Under a Glass Moon

The path to glory, at whatever cost.
Waterday, 12th Aqueth 179 CY

Upon arrival at the encampment, my travel companions and I set about trying to make ourselves useful while waiting for this mysterious Guard Captain to arrive. The amusing lycanthrope set off to find food and returned with a rather feral-looking young woman (who joined us, no less! I’m not sure if he intended for her to be dinner, but she didn’t seem to be very nefarious, at least. Or tasty. I don’t think humans covered in bearskins would be very tasty). Artemus, our absent-minded merchant friend, set about putting his muscle to good use, and the diminutive noblewoman disappeared, muttering something about getting beauty sleep. I suppose it is a facet of nobility to focus so much on pomp and circumstance, but this was a strange place for it. I thought to my own experiences with my battle-bonded female ‘companion,’ the young dwarf cleric Bagorah, and how she often reminded me that the best way to get a group of people focused was to “Get ‘em tipsy, get ’em laughin’ or get ‘em awed. ain’t no better way to get a pal’s spirits out o’ the dumps. Either that or start a brawl, but humans are pretty picky about that. Best impress ’em with yer smarts.” With more than a fair amount of ardor driving my performance, I set about dazzling the encampment with games of dragonchess where I brought my skill and deft strategic awareness to bear. I’ve honed my skills in battle with a king and his retinue, after all. Soon enough, I’d gained the eye and apparent approval of the camp’s leader, General Keiran O’Nel. We didn’t speak much, but he respected my skill and the fact that his men felt a surge of morale that was sorely needed.

During my watch and conversation with some of the camp’s soldiers, I started thinking of my father’s wisdom, and of my need to become capable of aiding him. It galled me to bear this scar (even if it stood as proof of my experience) and it galled me that I was forced to let such a grievous attempt on my life go basically unpunished. Anger grew within me and I decided that I would ensure proof of my honor in the battles to come.

In the morning, the strange bond between Artemus and his brother, Guard Captain Katunix, was put on full display for everyone in the camp. I have never known human males to be so affectionate with each other, though Bram assures me it’s “not really a big deal.” Katunix is assigned charge of this group, and though I respect his rank and chain of command, I find myself somewhat less than impressed with his assessment of circumstances and feel more that he is a contemporary of mine than a superior. His glaive seems to bear the experience that he lacks, however, so I afford him his space. I hope to learn from his example, and hold that thought in reserve as we venture forth aboard the horses he requisitions for us all. Lady Timbre decides to ride forth with me, though this doesn’t bode very well for her once we are confronted by a ghoul!

Katunix and I sink our handaxes into the foul beast, and with some doing, it is felled. I feel the drive to take trophies of this noteworthy battle, and decide that the foul creature’s tongue might have some alchemical use (somewhere.) I also feel strangely compelled to take the beast’s foot, hacking it with my blade and storing it away. I’m not entirely sure why I decided that this would be a worthy
trophy… all I remember is feeling a haze of red wash over me and a justification springing forth from my mind accordingly. With that in tow, we headed forth. After some time, we reached our destination and spied to ominous towers in the distance, described as Towers of Waiting, a place of interment for the dead. Given that our mission was to confront a source of undead, this seemed a likely
source. This hunch was confirmed by the sight of a group of skeletons guarding kobolds, who seemed to be digging up more bones. Despite some attempts at stealth and other attempts at planning an attack, a disastrous sortie was launched against the skeletons. Timbre and Katunix took suffered grievous wounds, but Elyad and I were able to exact vengeance. The kobolds got away, and we wisely decided to rest up before continuing our mission. Skeletons come out, and are smitten.

With only one hand, Katunix bravely decides to continue the mission, and we press on into one of the towers. We set fire to a host of zombies in a bone pit below us and I eye some hammers that are ultimately left behind because combat finds us: a tough hobgoblin and a host of kobolds take us by storm on the higher levels, and a pitched battle is joined! Lady Timbre did the lion’s share of the work,
viciously mocking the beastie and unbalancing him enough for the rest of us to whittle away at his retinue, but eventually Artemus and I are the only ones in good enough shape to take him head on, and we put him down. This one was made an example of as well, and I took another grisly trophy to show my squadmates. Who would believe that I took on a hobgoblin and survived? No one, that’s who. Since everyone was injured, Artemus and I beat a hasty retreat instead of continuing on.

In the middle of the night, during my watch, I spied yet more skeletons exiting the other tower. I woke a few of the others and we set to putting them down, but I was frustrated. I gathered the bones after they were dispatched and set about burying them in different places so that they would be hard-pressed to reanimate again, when I was contacted by an otherworldly power praising my skill and ferocity in
battle. It made an offer to me, granting me more power if I would only continue indulging my anger in combat. I accepted, and was infused with the seed of something I couldn’t yet understand. But when I realized who I’d dealt with, everything changed…

The next day, the group decides we should head back to try and salvage Katunix’s severed hand. We meet with a medicine woman named “Grandmother Hawkins” whom I do my best to convince to save his hand until we can do more for him, but she suggests that we ultimately head back where we came, for the Mystic Lady would be able to restore him to health. Here is where the man gained my respect: even in this condition, he refused to abandon his mission. Inspired by this, and emboldened by Lady Timbre hiring a healer to join us for the return trip to offer insurance against our trials and tribulations inside. We requisitioned more horses and set off to finish what we started. Before we got very far, we were ambushed by a pack of goblins and orcs! The treacherous fiends were hiding in the grasslands! Our horses didn’t fare very well, but we saw to it that they were put down in a pitched battle. The mewling young healer complained that we should be held at fault for the presence of the orcs and demanded more gold! I have so far held my tongue, but don’t know if I will tolerate his complaints for much longer… my share of the treasure is for funding the interests of my land and my kingdom, not for the wagging tongue of an upstart who doesn’t respect those whose services he foolishly needs perhaps more than the other way around! I doubt that the source of these skeletons would take very kindly to one such as he being present during the return siege. Perhaps I will remind him of this if cooler heads do not prevail…

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My hand is gone....
Godsday, 11 Aqueth 179 CY

This is but my first adventure and I have already shamed myself in battle. I’ve spent my life training to be a worthy master of Dak and Thurann and I have failed them both. I lost my own left hand in battle. I cannot let myself be in frustration as I am still in the middle of battle. If I have to feel for anything, it shall be afterwards when I am by myself. Thankfully, Ha’unta is willing to assist me in preserving my hand in order for mother to take a look into it, but I know that she will be extremely unhappy.

So far my mission is to handle the two towers at the battlefield where it reeks with dead bodies and vengeful souls who weren’t placed to rest properly. I fear that necromancy is in the works and in believe that somebody is hiring the goblins to do the dirty work. I must make a full detailed report to General Donnie, but he will mock me for losing my hand.

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How did I get myself into this?
Waterday, 12th Aqueth 179 CY

I’m still unsure how I managed to get myself involved with this company. Oh, they’re nice enough, certainly. Well, sort of. Or, well, at least they are somewhat respectful toward my status. …Well, except when they disrespect my person, pick me up and walk off like I am a sack of leaves. (It can be so HARD to be small surrounded by big folk!) But I suppose (looking back) that those times they were trying to ensure my well-being. I MAY have (just possibly) been trying to do something that could have had negative repercussions. Potentially. But I couldn’t help it! Everything is so BIG and INTERESTING! There’s so much to do and see and I’ve always been a tactile looker. Regardless, I have decided to do the proper ladylike thing and practice forgiveness. So I am willing to overlook the previous physical handling.

But this doesn’t change the fact that I have no idea how I ended up in this situation. I agreed to head toward Katun because I myself had some things that I wanted to check out there, and somehow I got swept up in this quest to defeat the walking dead and all of the other monsters coming from the Battleplain. …Well, alright, I wanted to see what was happening down there myself (I never saw any of these monsters back home!). But that doesn’t excuse the way that we have been going about this quest. Which is to say, idiotically less than successfully. The brand new scar on my arm can attest to that. It is hideous , and I certainly will not be winning any beauty contests now.

But I digress. The real issue is that we set off again without taking a real break, and I worry that this may come back to bite us. I do not regret spending my time in the Healing Tents (It is what got us Sabd, after all, and I cannot regret coming upon something that may help us survive this thing). But now, as we approach the Two Towers of Terror and Death, I worry that I may only have one spell left in me before I need to take a rest and replenish my strength. And I worry that it may not be enough.

Honestly, it’s not like me to worry so much. I’m usually a lot more upbeat. It must be all the death and gloominess that surrounds this place. I don’t like it. So, we’ll just have to get this over with quickly. Then I can get back to Katun and check out the Stephanie mansion. I haven’t really had the chance to speak with many music-lovers since I left the Feywild, and I’d love to hear their song! So I’m going to keep my chin up. Life is a song, after all. And I’m sure this one has plenty of notes before it’s played through.

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I could be more Irreverent...
... but that wouldn't be right.

To put it most honestly, I am… well, *was*… a fieldmouse’s hair away from hating my quarry.

Prince Ha’unta’s haste toward what he thinks will make himself seem quite cool keeps me on a bad footing with him, and though I’m not one to care about people’s conclusions about me when the cards are down, I can’t stand the times I’ve motioned to help or meant no harm in speech only for him to take offense.

Timbre too is very obviously (purposefully) being difficult even after she’s been troubled for her own misbehavior. I actually found her quite cute… in the way one might a little sibling…! But given her intelligence, that precociousness is so feigned and irritating that I sometimes want to be on the other side of the realm, far far away from her.

And. Though this Kaila newcomer didn’t even when she could have many moments periled us fatally, I cannot bring myself to appreciate her shades-of-gray apathy. Are you mad that I caress the bow and arrow better than you, madam? Or is it that I was willing to take culpability for borrowing your weapon without your permission? If only I had a feathered fedora to tip to her, but I am no bard, just a white knight.

While the least problematic and I say even most amicable of the bunch… Elyad’s near-anarchic pureness still puts me through quite a wringer on occasion. Curses to the fact I never bothered to learn Druidic.

Perhaps these headaches were part of the reason I so immediately deferred to my brother. I was excited to see him after some time away, but it is because I don’t spare patience for those who insist on being contrary with me that I wanted someone else I looked up to that would help handle them.

But if I wanted him to help babysit and begin taking on the scourge of the world with me, I needed to at least do my part instead of letting him put all hands on deck, and now he has only one.

I am no leader and there is no reason for me to have to assert dominance over the rest of the party, but I let all of our disagreements and indecisions get to me. Because I did not keep a cool head when we went into battle, the glint of my armor could have been seen from the Feywild by our enemy. We paid for my bungled surreptitiousness dearly, and I found my self-doubts eating me away in the tower. It was only a very cowardly strike from myself against the hobgoblin commander that we took him down.

But this is not the end though. We’ve had our respite and redoubled our efforts storming the towers again. The fate of the world seems to be on our shoulders in the long run and if I can’t even remember to compromise where I should to take down a bundle of reanimated bones, then I am meant for nothing else than to line mother’s coffers and package smiles and empty words along with every vial of her wonderful medicine. I am not meant to know what happened to my father or his companions.

So I will learn to not let my allies bother me. As much. I will learn to hold my pride.

We are in this together.

I will have to recall everything I learned, everything I trained in from before. I will have to cure mental wounds as well as physical. I will prepare myself and bring the thunder to our foes. May the All-Knowing bless us. I have so much to learn, and I cannot shy my light away from fatal mysteries of the dim because of fear.

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I'm terrified.
Moonday, 10th Aqueth 179 CY

So. I am excited and terrified.

I’ve not written regularly in my journal so I’m relieved to come across some of it at this outpost. Money for ink has been scarce the past two months since I’ve mostly concerned myself with making connections and sell of the guild’s wares.

That isn’t why I’m excited. Or terrified. It’s not even that both a certain giant glowing stone at Hastow and mother-mummy-mama sent me on a quest to save the world with two members of royalty and a wild man who seems to only speak eight to ten words in Common.

I was afraid that things would happen. But now I find I’m more scared to find that they actually are.

(By the way, I wonder what was the case with that Dwarf who could kill us. She didn’t seem maligned… simply, beleaguered.

I suspect it was the dagger on her person that I sensed was evil. But I’m not sure… I have the odd feeling we may bump into her again and I may be able to find out then. Right now, I worry about Katunix and the Battleplain…)

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Dark recollections...

In the darkness, I’ve had a lot of time to think. So much has happened these past few weeks that I have scarcely had time to consider any of it at all. Now, I have no choice but to ponder and internalize as I await what must be my final fate in this prison.

Our recent trip to visit the Archivist has led to the revelation that I am… somehow a Prince. Prince of the Pyrachi kingdom and relative of the King. The entity had little to share of my nemesis, and less of the circumstances behind my life on the streets. Angering as that may have been, the news was even more sobering. How could I be a Prince? More interesting, though, was learning that my old friend was part of a royal house as well, and that her parents were murdered as part of a conspiracy. I don’t know how far this thing goes, but I can only imagine that she must have been similarly shaken on some level. She has always been shy, but she had almost nothing to say at all about it. I wish I could say that time will tell what will come of that news, but it seems we won’t get that chance, now… Elzeny’s usual dusky behavior yielded a unique situation in which we learned that she is of a race of vampiric people, and that Virgol had become her thrall I’m exchange for saving his life. In quiet retrospect, I should have realized that something was amiss when she ignored my prank after his miraculous resurrection. Though I was somewhat disgusted by the method, the end result was favorable…

Later, we copied a map of our land in the catacombs of the Archivist, and set out to find the Shadowstaff in Tiressea. We eventually decided to save the Shield headquarters with the logic that their assistance could help us satisfy our goals more handily, and set out for the town of Selepp to head north. A barroom encounter with the family of a local scholar gave us two things: one, that Elzeny must be a drunk, and two, a means of reaching our destination without incident (as well as gaining some extra coin!) I can be quite persuasive sometimes.

For twelve days we sailed. At various points, many of us took ill, but my store of citrus fruits helped us stay reasonably well during the journey. After escorting Artere, our anti-social charge, to the Drow town of Ambyn, we went our separate ways and were given a somewhat rude reception. The locals didn’t take well to us, and it was difficult to even establish leads toward our goals, but we got one that sent us in the direction of the town of Dyra. We never made it though. The efficiency of those damnable dark elves is unmistakable. They laid us low so quickly, and forced us to leave Virgol behind in a pool of his own blood. An honorable man should not have to throw down his weapon in a strange land, but an edict for reasonable discourse in avoiding senseless violence is also acceptable. They had us before we stood a chance…

Virgol is not one I knew for long, but he became one of my companions and tried to prove his worth time and again. The frustration of being unable to protect my companions is palpable, yet remote as I sit in this cage of darkness awaiting my fate. Being a Prince, taking my revenge, fulfilling my oaths, strengthening my personal honor… all so far away. There is nothing left to do but to wait and see…

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Holy tree barks.

Written in Elven
General Phittenzen has sent me to travel all over Kavan outside of Gelade to gather all of the information to brighten up for our cause to unify all of Gelade under our banner. But in the midst of my mission, my hometown is on a verge of a civil war. This mission has taught me things that I have never seen before ever since I’ve been a part of SHIELD. Going from Baronde to traveling across the land through this magical train car. I’ve seen many things that I can apply to our cause.

Personally, I’ve taken my time to get to learn about old man Norten and found out to the extent what his powers were. He stopped the giant storm that plagued our homeland years ago. That’s awesome. I gotta ask old man about it. I should say hi to Telly-chan to let her know that I’m still alive. I did promise that I will buy her something that I will find amazing. But now, with the people I’m traveling with, I need to get things done asap. I need enough people to stop the revolution. The General will definitely need to be confronted by, my word is on that.

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By Pelor I'm Alive, And Yet... Not?

I haven’t retreated to pen and thoughts for some time. Least not of which is that we seem to dislike pens. We have one, I am borrowing it. May everyone make sure to remind me if I forget I have it.

I died I think. And yet I’m still here. I was brought back to life as Elzeny’s thrall. I am grateful, but after revealing what she was, not so much, especially not when this clarifies why my link to my deity has been severed. I am still unhappy about being unable to reach Pelor but while I will have to accept that in this new lifetime, bereft of old memories as well, I may not regain my divine link to him, there are ties of idea and duty as well. I have beheld Pelor with my own eyes. It will take more than lost remembrances, paranormal bonds, and a newfound fondness and concern of our resident… rogue… to make me waver.

Admittedly, I don’t think I would feel that way if I had been who I was before that murderous tiefling burned me acrisp. I have travelled this lifetime (or would that be technically the previous?) with a certain amount of bumbling luck. There are times I’ve been humbled due to the lack of address my Pelorian brothers give to learning about other worlds, then encouraging us to strike out in Pelor’s name with naught but our own fervor and faith, sometimes at the behest or even harm of innocent other parties. It had turned me into a very doubtful, conflicted agent. But somehow, I’ve found new confidence, conviction in this existence.

Speaking of dispositions, the Archivist and his temperament disappointed me, but if my time in Lumene has taught me, it’s that knowledge and wisdom are tools, not purveyors of good, even in the Pelorian pursuits of truth. And we did learn much truth. It is what we wish to do with that knowledge.

For now, we wonder where our newfound knowledge will take us. I took interest in us travelling in the direction of Kozo, but my instincts told me better, after hearing of the Clan of Xazu.

To be honest, I miss Jalissa. She would probably think low of me in this state, but if she would scorn me for happenings more out of my power than I imagined, then it was truly not meant to be. Would it come to that, I hope there is a more civil resolution other than… Elzeny likely playing the situation for her own amusement.

If there is one thing that has settled well in my heart? I did not turn into a Rakshasa. I only remember, now with missing memories, what I have learned from Kirarel and my brothers about Rakshasa… not of my own experience with them in past times… but I remembered the reaction I had when I first remembered when those things were.

I had done bad things. I initially thought this was a form of punishment, becoming Vryloka, but if there is a chance I will vanish for good when this lifetime ends… is that being freed?

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REALLY? Really? really?
Sunday, Canceth 16, 154 CY

So I’m not going to lie. I love mead. Mead doesn’t always love me back as I woke up and threw up in a bucket with Ghenghaar pulling my hair back (Thanks buddy! Owe you one!). It’s okay mead, I love you and that’s all that matters.

I was informed in my not-so-great state that my poison was stolen and used in the Emerald Claw lunches. Last time I checked party members, I was the one stealing things. Can you all like not, not cool (And I paid a pretty penny for them too! sob).

Eventually, in my less than okay state, I made my way outside of the Emerald Claw’s lounge. Mialee was doing some sort of…dance? I think it was and Dak Tillaboth was talking to some woman. Things seemed to go well until a guard captain began yelling about dead bodies. Great, just great, really what we needed. Some people went out to check and I stal- followed them.

Virgol Firabi being the the caring Deva that he is, was checking up on our hungover Kitten (Party~)before this fiasco occurred. Unfortunately for him, the conductor saw this as suspicious behavior and claimed that Virgol was the killer (You should work on not being seen as sketchy, just sayin’). Figured that we could avoid the problem and I shoot ‘em. The last one was being a bit of an asshole so I sent Virgol to go back to the longue as a fight broke out (This is why we can’t have nice things guys).

So I kill the last bastard (Duh), and I’m greeted by the overwhelming scent of death. Not that I’m unfamiliar with the smell, but damn, it’s potent as hell. Damn, Ghenghaar‘s meat buddy is dead. He’s not going to take that well at all. As I made my way to the storage space of the room I’m met with what I know now is a tiefling. Red, has horns, and is a nasty piece of work. I attempt to talk to it. It doesn’t respond and in turn spits fire at me.

Nope, nope, nope. I’m not ready for this. I leave, to go get my friends because fuck this. We regroup, I let them know what has happened, and we learn that our fire breathing friend has stolen something precious that the Emerald Claw was guarding. Oh? Something precious? This pertains to my interests.

This should be dealt with quickly. I drag Virgol Firabi with me in hopes of locating the tiefling. For some sick twist of fate he was in the ladies quarters. How nice. Please don’t burn my things kthaxbai. We fight him, the guard captain joins, we win, Virgol Firabi dies. Welp, RIP.

Located on the piece of shit’s body was a note. We were duped by Baka Cannith to be a distraction. The item that the Emerald Claw was transporting is a phylactery. What is does I don’t know. Why Dak Tillaboth wouldn’t let me kill the guard captain I don’t know (Something about honor and that crap), but I feel as if it’s a great error.

Now back to Virgol Firabi. Hm. I can work with this.

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Gonna pay what they owe.
Sunday, Canceth 16, 154 CY

…no forgiveness.

Treachery struck three times this day, and I intend to answer it in full.

Dak and I, with the acknowledgment of the others, hatched a plan to stop the “saboteurs” we were tasked with guarding against. Borrowing some of the meat from my meat-loving friend, we poisoned their meals and waited for our opportunity to strike. Shortly after meeting them, however, things went wrong.

Dak found his way to the side of the magic user, and I took up positions outside of the door with the rogue. I thought I’d face some trouble taking her poison, but the promise of better things to come in pursuit of her goal seemed to be enough to placate her for now. Seeing Mialee dancing in the lounge reminded me of simpler times long ago, but I made no move to join her at that time. That one was always given to random fits of expressiveness and I decided to let her enjoy it. Soon enough though, her tongue betrayed our intent (as did that of Virgol…) after which I threw caution to the wind and joined my friends for a drink.

The guard captain’s suspicions were alerted to our intent by terrible news: my friend Deltar, that strange companion I’d made over love of good meat, was found dead alongside others. My spirits dropped instantly. I just couldn’t believe that I’d lost someone to such dire circumstance. Stunned, I moved away instantly to reach his side, but the guard captain gave orders to halt my advance. Virgol somehow managed to get away before all of this, and I fell into a rage. I threatened the captain and soon after, the poison took effect. The battle was joined.

Without the aid of the Virgol and Elzeny, this battle was more difficult than anticipated (the guard captain was a truly worthy opponent) but eventually, we triumphed. I claimed a few spoils of victory and helped to sort out the situation immediately following the chaos. We tied up the survivors and tried to assess the situation to no avail. I remember little of the events that followed immediately, because my perspective was so clouded by what follows: Sheezy gave us word of a fearsome foe (a tiefling: agent of powers we can’t yet hope to match) he’d encountered near the front of the car, so we mostly gave chase. Mialee stayed behind briefly, and Dak ran to check the stables. We checked the room he was last found in and discovered empty chests… and traces of necrotic magic. Following this and knowing the foe had disappeared, we gave chase and discovered him awaiting us in the girls’ suites!

Having seen first-hand what his powers did to Sheezy, the rest of us assembled there did our best to keep the tiefling pinned down, but he still hurt us pretty badly. Virgol arrived and… the fool, he ran in close to the vile creature, hoping to limit his ability to hurt us from afar. The creature pulled a sword and with two strikes, laid him low. Though we attempted to hold him in place with our attacks, he soon after moved himself, causing an explosion that ended the life of our companion. I let him down. I truly let him down. My abilities weren’t enough to Leo him from his untimely end, nor were they enough to end the bastard’s life. The guard captain arrived suddenly and finished him off, claiming an amulet once the deed was done.

Inspecting a note found on the body of the tiefling clued us in on an interesting fact; Baka Cannith used us as a distraction to ensure that the amulet (secretly a phylactery) would be stolen by this agent of his while we fought with the guards. Three times the treachery, three times the revenge. As I sit here alongside Dak giving Virgol his last rites, I only feel intense sorrow, regret, and anger. I wasn’t strong enough… again… I couldn’t save my charges and I couldn’t save my companion. I won’t let this happen a third time. I’ll get as much power as I need to protect my people.

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