The Wilds Await

Libraries and Returning friends

Adventurers:

Pin

Bodi

Reygar

Fisher

Gigo

 

Our group returned to Maephoon with the intention of gathering up one of our own who we had left to be an ambassador to these phoenix people and so headed out to do so. Upon arriving to the city it seemed warn out but its size still grand, many buildings and people filled this land and has a very different culture to our own. There are red robed men which seem to be their scholars and acolytes in training of many different races and creeds. Among this mass of people we found a large green man who Bodi ran up to and gave a bear hug introducing him as the one we were looking for. After saying our greetings to him a scholar approached us and spoke of a mission he wished to have us complete if we felt up to the task. He wanted us to find and explore a library to the north that had been lost for awhile that was a bit away. Us not wanting to leave this place empty handed and wanting some adventure decided to take up this mission and head north.

On our first day out there was almost no issue, we just took the road up to the river crossing and stayed at a fortification for the night which apparently someone saw some glowing things in the river but took no action against it. The next day we set out again further north and were again unhindered in our journey and were able to rest unhindered. Although the next day of our trip was not so kind to us, as we were crossing a river some giant reptilian beast came upon us and Snatched up Gigo in its jaws and another taking his pack animal through the use of some illusion magic got it to drop him. We continued on our way with Gigo injured but alive and again rest for the night. Along the way we found some tunnels in the side of the mountain that we decided against going into and found ourselves upon a path heading north. Some of what looked like goblins had fought something and lost and headed back to the tunnels we saw earlier.

This path lead us to an opening that looked quite pristine and well kept after some investigation we found that something indeed lived here and wanted no part of it. As we were leaving someone tripped and let out a yelp that alerted the creature to our presence and what we saw round the corner was what seemed to be an owlbear quite too large to be normal. I had the feeling of some magic that had tampered with this beast. It was quite fearsome dealing a mighty blow to Reygar in a single hit and knocking him out with the next. For most of the fight it was the party trying to get Reygar some aid and get him out of harms way since this creature seemed to have it in for him. We eventually managed to defeat the beast when Reygar while blinded managed to do a hefty throw that cleaved through the head of the beast and killed it on the spot. 

The rest of our journey was unhindered although we found some tunnels belonging to some fire ants that use their flame to burrow glassy holes into sand with their flame. We decided to continue on our way though as these seemed like something not to be messed with and found upon a hill a large dome that I peered inside with my divination. It seemed empty from what I could see and hear and so we went inside. There was a brasier and some stone walls with runes downstairs and we could not figure out how to progress further when Gigo had the idea to bash the brasier to ignite its flame which happened to work. The basement opened up wonderfully showing a new skull and the door to some place we could not enter as I could not understand the magic of the Phoenix.

We returned to the city through this new skull and were rewarded well. I was given access to the library and was funded 500g worth of spell copying items. Bodi given a saddle that lets him use his companion more effectively and the others various boons. The others returned after this but I think I shall stay in this city a bit longer as their magical prowess interests me and I wish to be an ambassador in Gigo's place as someone who can more represent what magic our people have. 

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Deadly Rivers

17th of Havis

Present:

Scarloc
Gleipnir
Yarid
Pin
Vaki

 

Following the plan of having everyone on horseback, which turned out to be something i would recommend for anyone planning to go on longer treks on the other side of the Ur-Gate. Decision might be a bit harder to make if you plan on heading North but heading South the climate only gets more temperate the farther away from the Ur-Gate you get.

 

18th of Havis
Passed through the Ur-Gate and headed Southwest. The day was uneventful, the expected wildlife tracks but we see nothing of them. During the night we are woken by a giant turtle emerging out of the ground outside of the cave. Trees with fruits growing on its back, it looked like a small hill before it started moving.

I suspect it has some connection with a deity that i am sure, beyond that i can only say that if you feed it valuable gems it rewards you with these fruits it has growing on its back. The fruits when eaten release the potent healing magic contained within them, stronger than any healing potion you can buy in Santaur.

 

19th of Havis

"The Fane is where the rivers meet" was the description given to Pin by the bird folk regarding the fane of their deity, we passed this very Fane during our second day of travel, it is very distinct because of the rainbow spanning over it.

Towards the end of the day the terrain slopes downward and some more vegetation springs forth from the ground.

 

20th of Havis

About halfway through the day we walk into a skirmish between the bird folk and the Valmari, unable to communicate properly with either, or force a ceasefire in any way we were forced to halfheartedly throw our weight in with the Valmari. The bird folk were swiftly defeated and decided to try to flee. We chased down a pair of them and brought them back to show them that their dead were buried in the proper way. An Arborian sky burial in this case. It is important they know where the bones are for they must be buried after the birds have pecked their bones clean. I can only pray this gesture buys us a chance to mend relations and reach an understanding with them.

In this case the Snake tribe of bird folk attacked the Valmari who were digging in and around their sacred burial site, no easy solution in other words.

The Valmari captain gave us directions to the Quamari and to one of their legion forts. To head west to a large river and follow it downstream to a much larger one, a mile across in some places.
Follow it upstream will take you to the legion fort by the city of the snakemen, downstream will take you into the realm of the elves.

The soil gets more and more fertile as we travel and at the end of the day we see a forest on the other side of the river.

This reminded me of a story i had heard of the Quamari, their hair looks like freshly fallen snow, and their eyes are amber. Like the Quor they were forced to wander and it is very unlikely any remain on the world they were created.

 

21 & 22nd of Havis

Having made it into what i now know is the Turravald, the realm of the elves we spent a few days looking for them, they are nomadic like most other creatures living in this land and they travel mostly on the back of moose, making them hard to track unless you know what you are looking for. We also learned that there are river spirits, some of them malevolent and very dangerous.

 

The snow elves themselves are skillful leatherworkers and bowyers, they roam the wilds during the summer months and shelter in their hidden citadels during the winter.

Their elder clarified what exactly the dwarves had done to earn their reputation. Explaining that while the others were resisting the masters bleeding the gods for their own means the dwarves allowed it. Then they hid in their holds when the master that slew Selara while the others stod up and fought to avenge her.

As with most things masters, what dies does not stay dead and Selara is now undead, this corrupts the land and the other spirits are fighting a losing battle to prevent the entire area from becoming a desolate vasteland. This however is lifetimes away, even for elves.

 

Through my talk with the Quamari i have a few new leads, first and foremost Selara had a consort, the moon. When Selara died she killed herself in her grief, i suspect this is the glow that illuminates the night sky to the north.

Second is seeking out the dwarves in the mountains east of the realm of the elves, this puts it almost as far away from the Ur-Gate as the elves, requiring another expedition. There is a chance they know more, depending on how close their ties with the masters actually were.

 

Finally the elder spoke of some points of interest surrounding the Turravald. To the North are the ruins where the people of Selara dwelled, it used to be a very important city in ages past. South is a lake where Fyrandelle dwells, is the spirit of the turravald, this is his domain, he isnt their god but its his land and they pay tribute to him as is his due. East in the mountains is the golden valley, in the ancient times called the golden lands but none are permitted there, they do not roam beyond because of ancient pacts.

 

We stayed the night, and two young elves accompanied us to Santaur as part of their rite of adulthood.

 

Scarloc Liadon of the Small Council, Strider of the Westmarch.

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A Cursed Swamp and Hole
From the journals of Gleipnir Oathold

Havis 5th-12th  

The party: 

- Bodi, the halfling ranger

- Gleipnir, the dwarven cleric

- Fisher, the elven ranger/rogue

- Pin, the gnomish wizard

- Savric, the human fighter

Oh to be back on the fields of adventure!  It feels quite some time since I've gotten a goodly party together to set off on common purpose.  I'm very glad that this week would be far different, and that my party mates were capable lads.  Bodi, as always the tracker/explorer, lead us upon the fields of Sarek once more with Brian to tow our goods, and led us on a quick jaunt to the Fane of Bloodaxe.  Savric seemed quite interested in proclaiming his many victories to the Sareph, and we had the time and supplies to make the rest of our journeys.  Pin was equal content to travel simply for the experience and our newcomer, a 5'0'' elf with white hair by the name of Fisher was eager to practice his tracking.  Truth be told his face seemed a might off at the beginning, but we'll get into that later.  Anyways, Bloodaxe seemed warm enough, and just as before Savric and Bodi entered into a deep coma upon touching the Sareph's ever-bleeding greataxe.  It took but a few moments, I preoccupied myself with the 8' tall wooden statue of the Sareph and inspecting its likeness, but Bodi and Savric did return.  While Savric seemed no worse for wear, Bodi's awakening was marked by what would seem a stroke.  The each explained the Bloodaxe had given them each a quest.  For Savric he was to find a blessed Quiver made by Vondal located deep within the fort of Kieran's bandits, near some kind of lake.  For Bodi, the Bloodaxe had granted him knowledge of Remaron, a Master within the realms of Sarek, and all of his creations.  Bloodaxe then tasked Bodi to hunt down a favored female lizard of Remaron within the confines of the Dread Swamp.  After this explanation we agreed to head into the swamp in order to entreat with my kin in the southern mountains, and the chance upon the tracks of Bodi's quarry.  It took us around 4 days to finally reach the swamp, however we did so without much threat or danger, though we did come in sight of Kieran's fort while riding the skull to the swamp.

 

Upon reaching the fetid lands of Remaron, the stench was palpable, if not downright malevolent.  It permeated the water, the air, and apparently even the creatures for the foul Drakonids filled the swamp by the hundreds according to Bodi.  Even some large and huge sized presences were felt by Bodi's expanded senses, and while we would not encounter these creatures, I found it odd that the creature Bodi was to hunt was not one of these, but rather a medium female lizard of some kind.  Suffice it to say we made our way south with all do haste, coming upon tracks of the Drakonids quite often, and while we didn't follow any of these we came clear of the swamp and into the open air, while on the banks of a river.  Its waters were tested by Bodi, and no sooner had it touched his lips, then was he rendered a sickly and pale state, as if some magical disease had befouled him.  I quickly removed the offending curse through magics, and thankfully Bodi seemed better almost immediately.  Glad for his return, we ventured further afield till we came in sight of the southern mountain chain.

 

Here upon the foothills of the range we setup camp, and I prayed to Mother Korsh, the Stern Lady for guidance in our travels.  I asked her to bless my rods of Augury, with the precision to determine the location of Karrendor, hold of my kin.  No sooner it seems then I finished my meditations, but a great kelemúrm, or earthworm, broke from the ground and attacked the camp.  The battle was a fierce one, Bodi and I charging to the fore, while Savric and Pin peppered it with arrows and magic, and even Fisher using his long polearm struck a blow true.  Strangely the kelemúrm was not actually a living creature, but a construct of the Master Intina, and Pin's investigations revealed the wretched sorceries within its rocky exterior.  Sprinkling some strange dust upon the inner workings, a black flame emanated from within, and the powder ended the constructs bindings.  I must speak with Pin further upon this.  Looking back upon the campsite, Savric's tent seemed the only thing savaged by the kelemúrm.  Even my augury rods were intact, and seemed to the point the way southeast towards some set of mountains far off, a likely sign of faith from the Stern Lady Dorsh.  Again beginning our trek, now with a direction, Bodi lead us towards what appeared to be a strange tower, of smoothed sandstone, almost glistening in the sunlight.  Indeed the very stone was so well made that to scale the tower seemed impossible from its smooth possibly polished exterior, and though I found the approach easy all except Pin seemed afraid of the structure.  It wasn't until Pin and I reached the vacinity of the tower and it opening to my greeting, that we noticed magical sigils and runes carven within the small hallway before us.  Pin explained that these were runes of enchantment and abjuration, and likely warded away those of non-dwarven ancestry, giving them the feeling of unwelcome if not unease.  However, in spite of the warding, Pin and I explored the tower, and while its beds and cells seemed empty, it held upon its roof a useful map that we managed to decipher, and detailed not only the location of Karrendor further southeast, but another village east of this tower, one that seemed dedicated to manning these fortifications.  As we left the tower, and told the others of what we had found, but a raven appeared to flock to us, and though it seemed strange, its didn't harm us, and so we allowed it to continue following us.

 

As we approached Karrendor proper, we were beset upon by many more challenges.  A freak snow storm reared its head, and we were lucky to find shelter within a natural cave close by.  In addition, some strange basillisk like creatures, that appeared bronze attacked our camp and attempted to melt and heat the metal of our arms and armour.  Had it not been for Bodi's keen watch and some quick warding and repositioning I fear the ranger might have died to the pack of metal heating lizards.  Finally on our last leg a glacier lay in direct path to Karrendor and while we hoped to take the bridge twixt it and the mountains to shorten our journey, we wisely determined that Brian alone would destroy the shoddily constructed rope and wood, and we would plummet into the crevasse.  However, though wisdom lead our feet around the glacier, it seemed that we would be plagued by an even greater threat, for a terrible flying bone dragon, an apparent madness of Hroth's doing, laired near this glacier.  Its flight came swift, and had it not been for a cunning image of the surrounding plain to mask our presence, cast by Pin himself, we might not have survived, and died mere feet from the bronze doors of Karrendor.  However, that was not to be our fate, and we escaped the creature's notice and reached the entrance.  

 

A beautiful stone and bronze statue greeted us with spear in one hand and shield in the other.  A beautiful shield, round of polished gold, along its edges runs a circle of black obsidian, and runes carved in the silvery metal of Jarro.  Within the center lies a corinthian helm and spear standing vertically behind it, with feathery wings extending from the sides of the helm.  That is the symbol of my Mother Korsh, and by her will, and by that of her brothers I spoke the words, and the halls of Karrendor opened once again.  Immediately the raven transformed into a strange woman, calling herself a daughter of Hess.  She explained that she was sent to aid us in our journey should we be halted by a danger, yet we had accomplished all through our own strength.  She also provided a means of returning to Karrendor without the need for travel.  In the foyer of the hold, she inscribed a circle that we might teleport to, and provided an amulet that would allow my companions and I a means of returning.  Last she explained that beyond the foyer's doors, there would be much evil left by Intina, and that we should not travel there lightly or ill prepared lest we fall to the corruptions within.  We thanked her for her help, and parted ways, teleported by her magic, back to Santuar.

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Delivering guts and glory to Grandma.

Start Date: 19th of Sunmar

Oscar, Aetelwulf, Fisher, and Savric attend.

Finally I'm able once again to head out into the wilderness, cramped city life does not sit well with me. Too many walls, and accursed rodents everywhere. Our party arrived in Duredun initially without purpose, I myself was just eager to go anywhere in the wilds and several others seemed to be equally directionless. Luckily, Savric had recently visited Duredun and was keen to check up on the Genasi he had assisted in matters of a civil war.

Savric knew the vague direction we needed to head so I used my scouting experience to guide us to the village we sort. Savric was surprised by how much the place had developed since he'd last seen it and I must admit it was quite a remarkable little hamlet now. A central fortification was surrounded by several stone and wooden buildings that seemed to accommodate every aspect of the townspeople's day to day needs.

Our group approached the gate and were met by two tattooed guards, they halted us and asked our business. Savric informed them we wished to speak to someone he called Fatstorm. Which seemed a little impolite but the guards just acknowledged the request and one of them left for a few minutes. He returned with a rotund gentlemen who also bore the intricate tattoos that these Genasi all seemed to sport. They shifted and ripple like rolling clouds as the man moved. He greeted Savric warmly and we quickly got down to talk of business.

Fatstorm told us of the growing numbers of Demons roaming the forests in the area and feared for the safety of his Grandmother. Upon saying this he became a little cagey and began speaking in hushed tones. He asked for us to meet him in a few hours for a feast. I was rather looking forward to this as Fatstorm looked like a man who took feasting seriously.

We waited for Fatstorm at the local inn, west of the main fort and were eventually able to meet with him once more. While we ate roasted boar, Fatstorm told us that his Grandmother had been exiled some time ago for practising rituals that were frowned upon by the Genasi and it was a sore subject that he didn't like to talk about in front of his guards. After a little more food we were tasked with heading out to the North East to locate the old ladies' shack and ensure that she was safe.

We headed out immediately, Savric and I once again teamed up to navigate as we were the most able and experienced. We hadn't been travelling long when a shadowy canine ambushed us. It was not my first time seeing such a creature as my party had been attacked by one of these Abyssal hounds last time I visited this place. The hound unleashed it's horrid breath upon our group before we could even ready our weapons, the necrotic miasma narrowly missed me but engulfed Savric, Oscar, Aethelwulf and Savric's noble steed. All but the donkey survived and suffered only minor injury. Between us we were able to dispatch the creature, I advised that Oscar smash the skull as he landed the final blow. I remember during my last fight with one of these creatures that it regenerated until we smashed the skull. Turns out this is not the case, even with the skull destroyed the abyssal hound formed from vile smoke once more. We were ready for it's attacks this time though and swiftly dealt with it for a second time. Any adventurers that run into these creatures out in the wilds, know that you will have to kill the twice no matter what. Be ready for them.

The rest of our days journey was uneventful and we looked for a place to set up camp. I found a lovely hill from which we could see the stars, it was a beautiful night too. Savric shot down this spot a insisted we find somewhere with more cover so we weren't exposed. No sense of romance that one.

During the night and ugly little man appeared. Sacric later informed me that he was a monk although I'm beginning to doubt the validity of this statement. It looked like an imp to me. The imp seemed quite pleased with itself in finding us and tossed a strange coin our way. Naturally I caught it. I'm never one to pass up misplaced treasures. This seemed to delight the imp even more. I approached the creature while Aethelwulf left to wake the others. I tried to communicate with the creature but it spoke gibberish, then it attempted to turn invisible and escape. Instinct kicked in and I struck the him so hard that he exploded, it was quite the gruesome sight. I collected a few entrails, one never knows when such things might prove useful, and returned to the group. We continued our rest and were on our way at first light.

We found the shack we'd been searching for without further incident but it was eerily quiet in this area. Aethulwulf sensed strange fiendish and fey magic coming from within the house so we were on high alert. At this point Oscar went and stared at a bird on the garden fence this must have upset the creature as it began screeching loudly. Seems the bird was some sort of alarm as it was quickly followed by the emergence of Fatstorms Grandmother. She was… strange.

She informed us that she was perfectly safe where she was and that there was no need to worry about her as she had a barrier that prevented the demons from getting in. It didn't look like much of a barrier to me, anyone could step over the fence that surrounded her property with ease. In fact that's exactly what we did. The old woman told us she had disabled the barrier to let us through but it was quite obvious she was lying. Not to be put off we joined the eccentric old dear for tea. Do not drink the tea, it is deeply unpleasant but we didn't want to offend her. I asked about the coin I obtained from the imp. Savric had already proven to be quite the scholar on the subject even if he couldn't tell an imp from a monk. It seemed that the coin was a token from the order of the three scales. Some strange cult that believed in the balance of nature, the divine and the depths. Fatstorm's grandmother confirmed this and offered us a way to find an altar at which I could use this coin if I so wished. I traded her the imp guts I had procured for a kitten that she said would guide us to our destination. I-I named him Mr Mittens…

Anyway, we took Mr Mittens outside and placed him on the floor. Sure enough he suddenly took off at quite the impressive pace. We struggled to keep up at times but managed to follow the feline until it eventually halted quite suddenly. The end of the day was drawing near so we decided to set up camp on that spot, just in case it was of importance. It turned out Mr Mittens was just tired and the place we rested was an arbitrary one determined by the whim of a cat that wanted to sleep. Luckily nothing bothered us during the night and we once again set my adorable feline companion on the ground at which point he once again shot off toward some hitherto unknown destination.

Eventually we reached a clearing which contained a shallow pond with a strange altar in the centre, this seemed to be the place. Mr Mittens had once again stopped, however this time he let out a single meow then ripped apart exposing long rotted undead insides. I still haven't quite gotten over this part. Arguably worse things would happen to me yet but this was by far the most scarring occurrence of our trip.

After recovering from my new pets evisceration we decided we should give the altar a go. It had three holes for people to stick there arms in and a slot in the centre for a coin. Aethelwulf, Oscar and I all took a point around the altar. Oscar at the point representing the depths, Aethelwulf at the divine and myself at the point for nature. I don't really know what happened but I appeared to lose whatever it was that we did. The other two were granted boons whilst I was inflicted with some sort of powerful cursed disease.

With heavy hearts and grotesque kitten related horrors fresh in our minds we decided to begin making our way back to the crones cabin. I hoped to possibly find a cure with her and she obliged but said it would take some time. In the mean time I will continue to search for a way to rid myself of this blasted curse.

While on route back to the safety of the crones house we ran came upon a strange looking devil, although hesitant at first we decided it best that we rid these lands of such a foul creature. The fight started at long range and the creature hurled small balls of flame at us from it's mouth as we slowly drew closer to each other. The devil boasted resistance to many types of damage including a vague resilience to magical effects. We slowly closed in as Savric fired mighty shots from his bow whittling down the monster one shot at a time. Seeing that the tide of battle was not in his favour the creature attempted to retreat but we cornered it and with a swift swipe I severed its head.

After some discussion amongst ourselves we decided to drag the corpse of this devil with us. The intention being to get him cleansed at the pools of the jubilant mane, a unicorn acquaintance of Savric's. We continued making our way toward Fatstorms grandmothers house and weren't travelling long before we were once again bothered by imps, there were more of them this time but they were still trying to employ invisibility tactics in order to get the drop on us. They were easily dispatched once they revealed themselves though. We dragged the bodies of the imps along with the barbed devil and continued on to the relative safety of the old ladies abode. She once again allowed us to stay the night before we made our way toward the pool of the jubilant mane.

On our way to the pool we stopped by Fatstorm's village to inform him of his grandmother's safety and to pass on her message to visit more. Then we continued on our journey to the pools of the jubilant mane. We came across a strange old man along the way, he demanded payment as some sort of toll for passage into 'his' section of the island. Weary from travel we decided it best not to risk a conflict with him and just paid his asking price.

Once we reached the pool we spoke briefly with the unicorn that Savric addressed as The Jubilant Mane. The unicorn instructed us to cleanse the devil in the pool as Savric had done before, apparently a subject of this power is exactly what was needed to allow the unicorn to revert back to his true form. Before us stood the splendid celestial form of an angel, his golden mane just as magnificent as before. Jubilant Mane told us about the dangers the devils posed and to be ready for the coming fight against them, he went on to warn us of the sheer numbers within their stronghold.

After Jubilant Mane departed we made our way back toward the skull platform without incident and made our way back home.

Now I'm going to stop writing as the flesh seems to have begun falling off my arm and requires my attention.

Fisher.

 

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Exploration of Southern Solara
or at least an attempt at that

Date: 41st of Sunmar

Party: Andreth, Pin, Bodi, Ash, Aethelwulf

I was warned that crossing through the Ur gate would be an uncomfortable experience, but it seems that Gleipnir's ward is allowing for easier passing. Just across the bridge we found some scholars studying the gate, and after some pleasantries exchanged with Pin, we learned that it was still not safe to stay too long in the chamber.

Upon exiting the gate we journeyed southward, as was our plan. En route to a familiar campsite of Andreth and Pin, we were attacked by a pair of Gryphons. Very dangerous creatures they were, capable of lifting even myself high into the air. I was saved from a premature death by Pin and his Illusion magics, though the experience was too close for comfort. After harvesting what valuables we could from the creatures we continued southward, all the while chased by a desert storm. The rain was heavy but did not last the night.

Early morning, just before dawn as my watch was close to ending, I was near fatally struck with a series of arrows. The group awoken by the sound of my falling repelled the raiders in a hard fought victory. I survived the brink of death yet again, this time thanks to Ash's abilities of foresight, though my waterskin was not so lucky. As I recovered, the others managed to capture one of our attackers. It was then decided that we would take the prisoner to the only known friendly village in order to learn more about why we were attacked, and who else might be willing to do so.

We journeyed westward from the outcropping we slept under, towards the Sacred Pond, but the storm was not yet done with us. While crossing through a gully a flash flood pushed us a mile or so off course. The prisoner was nearly lost in the white water but Bodi managed to pull them to safety and resuscitate them. The rest of the trek was without issue.

Reaching the village, Pin spoke with their leader about our attack. Though I could not understand all that was said, it was clear that they were distraught by the attack, and the prisoner was sent to his home village for further punishment.

Enthralled by the great beasts of burden collected by this tribe, Bodi requested that we set out in search of one to raise as his own. I admit, I was also intrigued by this for it is quite difficult to find a beast that can carry one such as myself for great distances. Our search however was all for nought, so we decided to return home. 

The travel home was not a dangerous one, though we pushed ourselves very hard to return quickly. Not much of note happened, except for the discovery of a cave just south-west of the Gate of Ur. It was left unexplored, as we were eager to return to our beds, perhaps an adventure for another time.

- Aethelwulf

 

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Ur-Gates, Sand and Mayflies

30th of Sunmar
Present:
Scarloc
Gleipnir
Savric
Andreth
Pin

Informed by Sir Eddon of a newly discovered cave where no one that had entered was seen again a group was quickly assembled to investigate this.
There had been two groups, the first consisted of 5 people who had walked into the cave and never returned, the second 4 people who had seen combat had gone after them into the cave to find them. This was four days ago and they also have yet to return.

We get to the cave, just large enough to drag a cart through, Gleipnir says the stone is carved out using magic, and that work here was done in two stages. The first is truly ancient work, the second a thousand or so years ago, the time of the masters in other words.

9 sets of human tracks led into the cave, nothing had yet to leave it, with not much else to learn from standing outside we entered the cave. Walking past a series of what looks like storage rooms we come upon a circular chamber.

In the middle of the chamber a statue, like that of a man wearing large robes and a deep hood stands, looking away from us and across a bridge spanning a chasm i could not see the bottom of.
The walls of the chamber may once had tapestries on them, the statue itself seems, for lack of a better word. Desecrated. With metal rods protruding from all over it, perhaps intended to tinker with its magic. Of which, according to Andreth it radiated blinding amounts of.

Crossing the bridge i see another statue, this one facing the other statue head on, as well as a ballista on the other side of the chasm.
Halfway across the bridge two pillars stand on opposite sides of it, when you walk between these you cross a barrier, or more like a portal, and Ur-Gate again according to Gleipnir. At the time this portal was one way, but the barrier that prevents you from going back is invisible from the Midgardian side, there will also be some discomfort passing through.

In the chamber on the other side, there are signs of battle, but this battle raged ages ago so not much to learn from it anymore. The chambers on the other side of the chasm appears to be a garrison of some sort. Though only memories and the ghosts of the past dwell here now.

We leave the garrison and find ourselves in a blasted wasteland, called the Valley of Death by the locals, around us are more obelisks like the one excavated back in Midgardia, in addition to some buildings. All appear melted in some ancient battle but i cannot be sure.
The sun is different here, it is found in the East and this globe of molten gold is apparently a fragment of Selara who is the progenitor of many races and used to be the ruler of the land.

To me it looked like the first group of people had spent some time looking around before setting up camp close to the cave, they had then been set upon by a shadow and one of them had died, i am unsure of the exact details. But i have been told the rock here is cursed and it is not a place one should linger needlessly.
Then it appears the group intended to rescue the first found who they were to rescue but without a way of getting back they split up. Two warriors and two commoners in each group, one heading South, the other one North.

We decided to go North following the Valley of Death into the Whispering Wastes, following the tracks we came upon a corpse. It was one from Santaur, his stomach and chest had been torn open and his liver and heart removed, possibly consumed. He had arrowheads stuck in him but not the rest of the arrow, the heads where made from some strangle crystal. Finally his third mortal wound was a crack to the back of the head.

The assailant, a Beacock i suspect at least has skeletal feet, is winged and with a screech paralyses its prey, we learned this as it seemingly came looking for us that night. I am guessing it is nocturnal and lives somewhere in the Southeast of the Whispering Wastes. Finally my companions did not wake from the blood freezing shriek but found their will as soon as i woke them up. This tells me that if it catches you alone and sleeping you might never be able to wake up.

After following the tracks north for 20 miles, mostly along a ridge you will find when you emerge from the Valley of Death a group of 20 or so humans with horses and a wagon came in from the West. Joining up with the survivors and giving them water, then taking them East.
During this night we were set upon by this Beacock but i could not find us because some dwarven deity concealed us in the rock.

The second day we follow the tracks East and come upon a people called the Valmari, or so i gathered later. They were mining salt, did not speak any language any of us knew, but appeared to recognise Erdari, this suggest a connection with something divine.
Because of this a lot of time was spent and relatively little was gained from it, we got the three survivors back, we know they have hollowed out metal clubs as weapons that they pour salt into and this somehow launches projectiles. They seemed protective of these devices.

After some time we were on our way back to the dried out river we spent the night in 10 miles back West. On the way we were set upon by a scorpion the size of a horse emerging from the sands. Poor decision as Savric had it dead before most of us could even turn around.
The night in the dried out riverbed passed uneventfully and we walked the 18 or so miles South back to the Ur-Gate where we left Savric to look after the trio of survivors while we headed South looking for the remaining four.

We followed the tracks south for a day before setting up camp, the south is significantly more pleasant, i will summarize in what way at the end of this log. During the night what i can only describe as a mouse the size of four bulls with a long tongue and chitin plates covering it walked over us, i suspect it to be a scavenger and herbivore, it can eat meat but doesn't hunt it itself. Fair warning it might decide to have a nibble if you don't move out of its way. Later in the night some wolves, likely to be normal wolves, decently fed and not rabid.

The tracks steered West and lead on for another 20 miles, on the way we learned one of the survivors had been taken by one or more winged creatures with feline hind paws and the front legs with the talons of a hawk.

At the end of the day we come upon another camp of locals, these looks like humanoid crows, intelligent enough to craft weapons and armour, sleep in tents and domesticate these large armoured mice. Their elder cast a spell that allowed us to understand each other and this is where i learned most of what i know of this land.

She spoke of the Quomari, snow elves who are 150 miles to the Southwest of our current location, this puts it roughly 180 miles or between one and two weeks travel to the Southwest from the Ur-Gate. It strikes me that the Southern part of the land is very accessible for the use of horses for example to speed up travel.

Dwarves are not held in high regard as apparently when they rose up against the "Tyrants", which i assume is another name for the masters the dwarves hid in their dwarven holds. Geinse the elder i was speaking to said she hadn't seen one in ten to fifteen years and that one was dead. She said the Valmari traded with them and the Valmari even mentioned the dwarves aren't very, lets say excited about strangers. The bird folk ambush the Valmari caravans as they attempt to trade with the dwarves so if i were to go looking for them i would find the Valmari. As opposed to scouring the mountains which is the other option.

"Colanders land" was mentioned, this is apparently all his land and by "this" i am guessing the area South of the Ur-Gate. He is referred to as "The Great Spirit". She mentioned Barromen, and pointed at Pin so she might be speaking of gnomes.

Gleipnir managed to break down some of the racial tension between the bird folk and the dwarves by cramming armour onto one of their warriors. In return he got one of their crystalline swords, not one for swords he gave it to me. The blade was apparently blessed but this blessing diminished when it was given away.

To restore the blessing i need to complete the rites by going to Hinhankaga, the Fane of Gaagii. Gaagii being Selara's daughter.

Armed with this knowledge, a new sword and dragging another three surviving mayflies with us we trekked back to to the Ur-Gate, only interrupted by one of these flying hawk-cat hybrid.

Lessons learned, the Valley of Death appears almost devoid of life, but the place is cursed, the three mayflies we left with Savric had gotten sick in our absence, and not from lack of food or water.

The Whispering Wastes is apparently cursed as well, Gleipnir tells me the man that died there had his souls taken by the land, not returned to Koros. It is also warmer and less hospitable than the South, water is nowhere to be found and so on. It needs to be mentioned that some light source illuminates the northern sky at night.

The South is more pleasant, the temperature is less taxing, and it doesn't change as violently when the sun goes down. Also plants, water and wildlife there where the North had massive insects and flying screeching skeletons.

Finally on the subject of the Ur-Gate, through magic Gleipnir combined Silver, Lodestone and the blood from a powerful being to create a temporary focus in the statue gazing over the bridge allowing us to walk back into Midgardia. This will only last for 25 days, placed there the 37th of Sunmar.
Gleipnir suspects Darro metal can be used to create a more permanent focus allowing free travel between the two worlds. Why the statue on their side was sabotaged i can only theorise was done to prevent anything spilling into our world.

Scarloc Liadon of the small council, Strider of the earldom of Westmarch.

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Rise of the Wolf King
Or the time Puck was Impulsive

Date: Twelfth of Sunmar

Party: Puck, Eddon, Andreth, Aethelwulf, Ash, Borden

Upon reaching the wall of Pelias Ash discovered a symbol left by her father, though it was not clear in its exact meaning. Our best guess was that it was a stamp of the date and time of his departure.

Immediately upon exiting the skull we were set upon by dragon-like Humanoids. Early on they pressed their advantage of numbers and surprise but once we recovered, short work was made of them. One of them surrendered to me, and after some debate, it was determined best to end his suffering. Peter, as he was called before he turned, was miraculously released from his curse after Ash's prayer was answered, and his soul was allowed to return to his homeland. Before his death Peter gave Ash and item that had belonged to her father, who even now may be somewhere deep in Morrendeep.

We traveled for sometime to our destination of Old Santaur without any more disturbances. Inside the Volken were held up in a small fort, repelling raids by the Tuskars. At first they were wary of us, and wanted to eat my new friend  Ash. Puck was prepared however, and produced a small gem known as the Wolf's Amber, winning the packs allegiance. They had been waiting for the bearer of the Wolf's Amber for a number of days due to a prophecy revealed by their shaman GGrruhhrr. In celebration of his arrival they made a feast of Tusker corpses. Revolted, most of the party members refused to eat, with some debate on whether or not this was an act of cannibalism. In the end, those of us who first refused relented when we learned that it was a breach of their customs, and we would have no longer been under their protection.

Ash and I stood guard upon the wall while sir Eddon and Puck negotiated with Feesaar, their leader. I do not know the exact details of their conversation, but my trust in their diplomatic skills proved to be well placed. Strangely, Eddon appeared to have a small bite upon his hand afterwards, which I put down to one of their more wild customs.

Suddenly we were beset upon by more beastman, the Tuskers had returned. We defended the walls of the Volken fort while they continued to laze about in a post-feast stupor, confident that Puck the Chosen would defeat the invaders. It was a tough fight, but in the end, sir Eddon and his blade Escarra proved to be too much for them. In this time I was struck with a near fatal blow, but was retrieved from the edges of death by our cleric, Borden.

In accordance with their prophesy, the Volken devoured the eyes of the dead Tuskers. However, in a trance, Ash revealed that the eyes of the fallen were not they eyes needed to complete the prophecy. In search of these eyes, we searched the base of a fallen tower that the Tuskers had been rooting around. Inside its walls we found a strange tree bearing magical fruit, and the corpse of what I assume was a long dead Volken. It was here that I sensed a powerful Seriph artifact, upon the head of the skeleton. With care we dug up the corpse until the crown was revealed. A horrible thing, ringed with wolves' teeth and copper eyes, which Puck immediately placed upon his head. A tense moment passed as we waited for a response, when suddenly, Puck was transformed into a beast that towered above even me, a goliath. The crown fused with his head, and he ran off into the darkness, where we were too weak to follow. I'm afraid the man's soul may still be trapped within the beast.

We rested beneath the tree where Eddon gathered its fruit, powerful items that will be of use in hunting down the abomination we have unleashed. I prayed to the tree and said thanks for its protection and gifts, then prayed to Kyne for guidance. In respones the Goddess blessed me with an ancient elven blade to smite my foes.

The return journey proved grueling but not dangerous, and we arrived back within the safety of the walls within two days time.

-Aethelwulf

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Shadows of the Masters

Those present Pin,  Gleipnir, Lilly, Shrike, and Savric

 

I heard there was issue with some place in Maephoon that Gleipnir needed help with and a master of arcane knowledge might be needed. So I decided to join his company and go with him on this mission. Our travel to Maephoon was unhindered and we made our way onto the isle and went cross the river to this tomb that awaited us. And so without issue we arrived at this broken down place with the feeling of nothing good around it.

Upon entering the door that was supposed to be closed was now freely open inviting us in As we wandered through its hall a figure appeared out of a statue of a faceless man who had wings were spread open like that of a soaring eagle. It spoke to us and told us that its master no longer wishes to waste energy or manpower replacing all of those beasts that were destroyed by our hands and that we were allowed to see him personally. So, weary of betrayal we walked down into the tomb and met not a man or an avatar but some strange glowing orb hanging by strange chains of some make I did not recognize only that they seemed dwarven. It was being held over what looked like a pit of fire and around this entire contraption were statues and metallic spider webs. Gleipnir spoke to this creature for awhile and it eventually invited him to touch the orb. The metallic webs that were in the way moved when Gleipnir walked through them I assume because of the strange medallion he held. Upon touching the orb he seemed to vanish into it and others followed him. Upon my inspection of the orb they seemed to be inside of it walking around and I could see what they were doing. It was quite strange. Not wanting to leave my companions behind I went in as well and ended up in some strange place.

We were in what looked like a courtyard with an altar at one side and some strange structure leading down on the other and a pond there. Our bodies felt light as a feather and our thoughts could provoke changes in the world. We were no longer on our plane of existence but some mental one where thoughts ruled. We came upon the door and with thought opened it and created a mirror to look around. Inside was the scene of some skeletons at benches and upon touching them memories would leak into us leading to a story of men who cared greatly for their leader and some man in robes being his consort and they were fighting weapons of the masters. This ultimately lead to them doing a sacrificial ritual to bring the one they adored power.

In the room I copied a text of what I think to be the ritual and in the library there were many books that were strangly blank except for one belonging to the court sorcerer  who put this ritual together and I with the help of Lilly coppied some of its knowledge so that it may also be deciphered for I am a keeper of such knowledge so that they will not be miss used once again for the only way to defeat a spell is to know its making and the threads that weave it. As Lilly and I transcribed these the others looked around in the courtyard and downstairs for a bit while we finished and really did not find much.

So after Lilly and I finished our transcription we joined our party to further look around in the basement where we then found a body that we believed was the body of the lord and the one under this spell. We attempered to communicate with the body and we were responded to and in our conversation with it we had learned that though he was an avatar of death he was not under his own will that the masters sent a shade to keep him under their shackles and to do their bidding. Though he still did enjoy death. He tasked us with destroying this shade and gave us temporary protection from the divination in the rooms leading up to its place of slumber. And so we went to fight it.

We crossed floors with a strange eye on it and other substance on the ground and found a closed tomb upon which our enemy layed. We all readied ourselves to attack the creature and so opened the tomb. Upon which we released some of our fiercest spells and left the shade badly damaged. During our combat many were knocked out and the creature would fall and come back but not with its full vigor. It attempted to attack the one it was bound to and we continued our attempt in stopping it. There was an eye inside of its tomb which we then thought to destroy and Glipnier had the wit to find another in the lake outside and the staff which lay in the area leading underground in the courtyard and destroyed them. After this the creature ceased to exist and faded away. 

The one who was bound was reluctant to heed our words of leaving the barrier and the city alone but did so in the return of protection of the island inhabitants from another shade of the masters that would be likely sent to replace the one destroyed and so with this renewed peace we returned home. 

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In Search of Bronze

Date: 37th of Mittern, year 1187

Party: Kogan, Mardigan, Adrian, Borden, Ash

  For most of us this was our first venture into the Wild. With the veteran Kogan as our guide and leader, we headed west in search of bronze. 

  The beginning of our journey was mostly uneventful. We used our torches to keep the mosquitos away and marched on for several hours. The first unusual sight that we encountered was the large carcass of some dead creature. We could not discern the cause of death from our venture point, but the body was crawling with maggots. Speculations were made that perhaps the curse of the undead now also target the wildlife. However, we did not venture closer to inspect the dead creature and kept going west. 

  It was a few hours later that we were attracted by the groans of something. When getting closer we found one of the undead tied to a tree, with burning torches put close enough to torture the creature, but not close enough to kill it. This was obviously the doing of something or someone intelligent, and someone who held no more love for the undead than we did. 

  Looking for clues, we found the tracks of what we believed to be five bipedal lizard-like creatures. Following those we encountered a small, but well built fortress. Unsure how to proceed, we stuck around inspecting the building, when suddenly the front gates lifted. This seemed like an obvious trap, especially considering the burn marks on the ground behind the gate. As we expected, there were numerous tiles in the floor that looked a bit off.

  We made our way carefully through these, but the inner gates were still closed. We could hear shuffling behind them, so knowing we're dealing with intelligent creatures, we decided to knock. Unfortunately, the response was in a language none of us understood. 

  Stumped, we decided to slide 10GP under the inner gate, hoping this will at least earn us some trust from the creatures behind. This worked indeed as gold seems to be an universal language. 

  None of us had encountered or could recognize what kind of creatures these were, but they seemed to have some relation to the Dragonborn we're familiar with. They were indeed lizard-like and red scaled. 

  After passing them 5 more gold pieces, they finally took us to their leader, who we could communicate with. He seemed to be using some kind of spell for this and holding up this very elaborate and expensive looking axe. This axe seemed very important to the creatures.

  We wanted to establish some sort of trade, perhaps offer them a bit more gold for information about where we could find bronze. Unfortunately, the talks did not go in our favor. The lizards believed us to be there to bring gifts to the creature they serve. Something named Ragnok, who in turn seems to be a servent to 'The Masters'. 

  Being new to this, the names did not mean anything to me, but I believed remembering them might prove useful in the future. 

  This is where our bad luck started. The creatures were insisting we leave all our valuables (gold and bronze) as a gift to this Ragnok. Events escalated when we shot at them, believing they would not simply let us go.

  The less said about the battle, the better. We fought bravely, but were outnumbered and the Gods did not favor us. Adrian protected us, fighting on the front lines until his last breath. We managed to kill a few of the creatures, but many managed to run away and hide in order to tend to their more serious wounds. The remaining four of us barely made it out alive, before heading back a bit poorer and a friend down. 

  A truly tragic day.

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More than Inspecting the civil war
Doredun

Doredun

Date: 33rd of mittern we headed out

Party Dolphus, Savric and Tal-Thrum.

Our party had been gathered by Dolphus who on hearing of the civil war between the Genasi had thought it would be best to investigate and see what was happening between the factions. I thought this to be a good cause, and see what we could find out and what could be done.

 

On arriving at Doredun, we set out I had been here once before. We set about travelling north to the coast. We spotted a winged creature flying in circles, not large but we chose to avoid it on be on our way.

After a short distance we came upon a guard post and a figure at the top hailed us. We continued to approach and this boy with tattoos and pants and a vest slid down the structure and greeted us.

He told us war had broken and that the last time our kind had come we had started it if not directly, a token of war was delivered by skull walkers. I asked if there would be hostility to us, and he said there wouldn't but they may be wary. Dolphus explained we were here neutrality for humanitarian aid and if the village elder would be around to talk to. He directed us where to go.

We moved off and next encountered a mercenary company, in blue with a trident emblem. Dolphus seemed to recognise the mercenaries sigil. We approached the company and were met by an elf and an air Genasi. The camp was preparing for war and preparations were in full swing. Dolphus again made his speel offering arms or armour but they just tried to enlist us, we explained we couldn't as we were already in the Earls company. It seemed pointless talking to the mercenaries with no real ties, so we moved off in search of a leader to speak to.

We reached the town of Verania, here the water Genasi were. A pair at the gates eyed us suspiciously as we approached them. Dolphus again tried to offer them weapons, booze or women as aid but they grew frustrated with his accent and it was decided it was best he not talk for a while.

We eventually with some tension managed to parlay our way into the camp to speak with their leader, maybe now progress would be made.

We were introduced to their leader Horath, who kept his arm beneath the table as we stood in front of him. I asked how the war fared and he said it went badly though neither side would win. He said there could be no end and that the Earth Genasi just wanted to be rid of them and drive them out and that they had weapons of great power that were hard to stop, creating great booms.

Though he said he had acted and been given a boon from Samal to aid in his fight. On being asked to see his hand he showed it, water tatoos flowed down his arm but his hand was demonic. I had a bad feeling about him from the start and we asked to make our leave. He grew frustrated and kicked a chair, asking what we're doing probing if we are meant to be neutral as we say. We managed to make exit and decided it would be best to visit the other camp and see what more truth could be discovered.

 

We decided to skirt the no mans land and it was for the best, as the great weapon was fired and Dolphus was temporarily deafened by the noise yet it would not quiet him. We were then intercepted by a group and on declaring that we meant no harm, were escorted to the air Genasi camp. We passed the great weapon, manned by five of them, it seemed that it had air forced into it and then it was fired, yet no great sound could be heard from it.

We carried on and were introduced to the leader, a great fat Genasi though not tall. We followed the same line of question and he said his war was going well and that they would win, though a barrier had been stopping them progressing. Dolphus again pressed arms and other such things upon them, to little luck. I asked for a word with our party alone and we discussed for a while, maybe what he was offering was not the outcome we would be wanted to pursue, and possibly other good could be made of the situation. We decided to continue questioning.

 

The Genasi said their fight was true and they had been given these lands by the Hirophant but not just this, that the water Genasi had sent demons upon them, he produced some foul bodies, creatures the same as who had attacked others we had heard.

 

With this information we thought we should maybe confront Horath about this, it was rather abhorrent.

We took a cart of the demon bodies, we would go to the camp and put him on the spot about his actions. At the gates of the water Genasi we were again greeted by the two gaurds who were disgusted by our cargo. We explained we wanted to enter and were shocked at the suggestion we should enter with a cart of demons. They summoned a mercenary to the bridge, a dwarf named Twin Fang. Dolphus spoke with him in dwarvish so I did not understand what was said but it was rather heated. He eventually turned and said we were allowed to enter, pulling up to a halt outside Horaths building. He came to the door.

We pressed him on his actions and he did not deny and said he had just done what he had to do, Dolphus accused him of going against the natural and therefore good. Taking a devils bargain was the wrong option. On being pressed so hard he became angry and came on to attack us where we stood. I was able to let loose two arrows, knocking him to the floor. Though it did not stop him, he was up in an instant and shot forth a wave of force, that looked like fire from his black hand.

It caught Tal-Thrum and Dolphus but Dolphus after this managed to restrain him by magic and we landed some more blows. The fight continued with the help of Twin fang, whilst the water genasai fled. He eventually fell with an arrow to the eye.

Everything settled, the barrier fell and the giant statues on the gates dissipated below to the water. Dolphus suggested we ran but Twin-fang started to drag the body to the gates. Where we saw the air Genasi beginning to charge, we hailed them and they slowed their charge stopping in front of us as they saw the body. We explained what had happened and bade them not to kill the water genasi, to give them time to gather there things and move to another place. They were not at fault here with the demons. Reluctantly they agreed to wait outside until they were able to leave.

Then we discussed the body of Horath and the weapon that was his hand, it was agreed we would get rid of this, we knew somewhere we could cleanse it at the pools of Jubilant mane. It was agreed that we would do it and we set off to finish our job, war averted. As we left the leader, who was introduced as Fat Storm said we would be welcome back at any time.

I can't say the journey wasn't eventful, it started easily with a couple of bears that were easily slain and scared away. Next we chanced upon a couple of elves, who gave us warning of travelling with a dwarf, Dolphus thankfully stayed quiet and we moved on our way to camp. Our next encounter wasn't so pleasant, we were set on by a couple of bull centaurs, terrible creatures I've fought once before. Though we were able to break their charge and dispatch them.

We eventually made it to Jubilant mane and the pools, they were happy we had brought something else demonic to cleanse within the pool. We cleansed the hand and then bathed in the pools and like last time I was here felt invigorated. Jubilant mane then helped us by transporting us back to the skull portal with a touch.

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