Under a Glass Moon

A Moment Revisted
Sunday, Canceth 16, 154 CY

By the grace of Melora. That is the reason why I breathe. It’s the reason I bleed for both the natural world and my comrades who aid me in defending it. I swore an oath to myself to never let another member in my charge perish and I have failed in that task. I was not there to take the blows, wasn’t there to taunt the enemy, and Virgol was the one to pay for it. Seeing his body laying there and being helpless to do anything more for him.. It only reminds me of my past. Elzeny is right in that we should deal with this phylactery, however, the guard captain proved to be an honorable man and I cannot allow him harm, circumstances be damned.

But that is where my level-headed thinking ends. All I see now, as we clean Virgol’s body, is another person added to the body count; people slain because I was powerless to intervene. I hear the conversations being held around me. I see the rest of the team and conductors move about. But all I can do is pray. Pray to Melora that this slight will be forgiven, pray that Virgol’s soul will find peace in the warmth of the sun that he so firmly dedicated himself to. As we continue towards our destination, the ocean is in view and the sun shines brightly into through the room. It’s almost as if Pelor is asking for his follower to return to him. I picked up Virgol’s body in that moment and placed it in the sun, offering a prayer to both Melora and Pelor, wishing his soul a safe and peaceful journey.

Desiring a drink to wash away the guilt, I decided to head to the bar again in the dining car. Drinking down some ale dulled the pain and the company surrounding was that of the wizard woman once again. I nodded towards her and offered to buy her a drink. It seemed a fitting gesture all things considered. Maybe not one to wipe the slate clean, but it was certainly a start. Melora knows, with the way things have been as of late, we could all use a bit of what grandmother used to call ‘good juju’..

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Virgol
Sunday, Canceth 16, 154 CY

That deva’s dead. He’s dead because of my stupidity. I can’t believe that deva…. Virgol is killed by that god damn Tiefling. I swore that I was gonna avenge Virgol and murder that Tiefling bitch’s ass. But it ain’t gonna do nuthin’ cause that deva’s dead because of me.

But thanks to some note that i read, I came to realize that Mistuh B.C. is behind all of this shit and it’s most likely that it’s the same fucker who sent us on this lil’ train to take care of some bidness. We happen to stumble across that lil’ amulet that Mistuh B.C. happens to be lookin’ fo’ too. Though some of us may not approve to this, but i ain’t lettin’ the poor cap goin’ away widdit cause we need some leverage to negotiate with a specific B.C. individual.

Virgol, I know you ain’t gonna be approvin’ of this, but I have to avenge you cuz I need to atone for my fault and to save my kin. So then I can perhaps convince my peepz to join S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to find out more about my true purpose.

I will do what I can to make sure that you will rest in peace and also to ensure that my peepz will be able to survive this impeding civil war….

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Party.
Starday, Canceth 15, 154 CY

Party time.

Party. Time.

Party.

As an admission, I never quite get why people can be so drawn to me in this lifetime. Self-depreciation is a talent I prefer to use with levity, but I wonder if the reason I remember as much as I do of years ago in days of old when magic filled the air*, is because I must spend half this lifetime channeling some past existence as a louse.

Nay, once a Deva, always a Deva, unless you’re a Rakshasa.

In any case, I’m simply glad Elzeny is taken safely off to bed. Ghenggar coming to my aid when he did was much welcome; so much anger and brashness in that one, but he makes himself indispensable as an ally and even arbitrator where I cannot.

As a digression, the Pajari is definitely near, from the news we heard at the bar. I am surprised Elzeny did not catch on, but we cannot have a deviation unless the entirety of the group is okay with it. We will have to discuss this the morning following.

*- From a song by troubadours named “Led Zeppelin”. I do not remember where, but these oddities have been stirring sense-memories and making their way to the forefront of my mind recently. Excuse my rambling.

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Corruption
Freeday, Canceth 14, 154 CY

After defeating the goblin captain and rescuing the captives of Hybury we retrieve the artifacts and head back. we then are met with a message sent by El Eloron how tells us that shield has been compromised!
After staying the night in Hybury, Virgol seems to have done something right and Jalissa gets us some free horses. we arrive back at shield to discover the artifact that we brought back has drove members to attack one another, being stretched thin El Eloron gives us an hand full of quest that seem to put the group in a sudden disagreement. yet we decide that splitting up wouldn’t help and we head of to find Obsidian the lost scout. We put Obsidian back together with sheer force and magic and take him back to the dwarfs. but i feel were running out of time the white dragon kidnappings and the war headed to Sheezy’s home… I dont want more people to needlessly die anymore…

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Visions
Freeday, Canceth 14, 154 CY

Beyond my servitude for Pelor, there is great meaning it seems, in my being here with SHIELD. New experiences and the return of old memories.

Of note; that goblin captain who defeated me briefly was a skilled fighter, a specialist in heavy armor like myself, who took advantage of both my exhaustion and an unfortunate misstep. Bless that merciless, proud, arrogant foe too, for had I not been temporarily stolen from consciousness, I would not have seen what I did; sins and saves of former lives. My colleagues may have wanted to bring him with as a prisoner for information, but I could sense in him too much pride to not want to meet his end in combat. I let him pass on.

On the way back out, I wondered if that caged demon must have remembered me from a past life. He was in one of those visions. But then I remembered he was a berserker, a malicious force craving only destruction.

We of course finished with that accursed castle, artifacts retrieved and remaining hostages saved. Those who could not, Pelor bless their souls, were given rites and buried further in the forest away from dark designs and energies. I made sure that Dak and I asked for Pelor and Melora to bless them much as could. It is still a shame that we could do nothing about the black obelisk inside or the caged demon, but we had much to worry about.

Jalessa has taken quite a liking to me, and though I felt a minor aversion to her clinginess, I came to find her more clever and intellectual than I gave credit. She reminds me of someone, faintly, I knew in a previous existence. But we are fond of each other now, and though I may be a person of control and detachment, I have faith Pelor and Ioun smiled on our encounter. And may continue to smile on our rapport.

All is not well, however, for those who have perished in the town are missed by those dear to them. And worse yet, upon returning to the headquarters of SHIELD, we find half of it taken over by the artifact in the Gehilden Woods; of course, almost simultaneously as we find of two other matters involving Sheezy and Ghengaar respectively.

We decided to grudgingly give the matter regarding SHIELD priority. I promised to have some of my Lumenian brothers look into the matter. As our journey has so far taken us to a Dwarven city after the restoration of one of their magi-mechanized scouts, I can only wonder where our journey takes us. Will take myself. What it will reveal. And most of all now, re-reveal.

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Looming darkness
Starday, Gemeth 22, 154 CY

After Elzeny and I spied upon the imposing armored Goblin, I knew that it would come to battle between us before our quest was finished. And sure enough, once the castle’s wights were deposed by us, the battle was joined.

The fool may have had token assistance, and his might was certainly great, but he was no match for our tactics. After dragging him into the frigid poles kept here, I saw to it (with the help of our wildling) that the goblin was divested of his pride and his healing potion. No such base trickery from him! I decided that the battle had gone on long enough and ended the encounter by smashing my shadowed hand into his face with the rage I felt from being unable to save the witless citizens we’d sworn to protect. I felt no kinship to these humans, but I swore once upon a time that I’d never let any victims of abduction suffer such a fate and my inability to satisfy that infuriates me. Somehow, I was able to restrain my fury and keep from killing the goblin captain, but only in the hopes of attaining answers. I retrieved the gauntlets for the Hall of Valor and took the chain for myself. The arts are my calling, but I cannot deny a certain fondness for the more personal approach to dealing damage.

I did my level best to keep the goblin alive for questioning, even calling upon the powers of my helmet to aid in my healing abilities, but to no avail. It was not lost on me that my dear friend Mialee refused to assist me, but I can profess no true regret that he was not saved. I take pride in his defeat, and our mission was soon completed in any event. My oath-brother Dak found a note on the corpse, suggesting that this foe was sent as an advance agent of the Ruby Ravens. All tell of this organization from our prior exploits in the town suggest that they may be quite dangerous, but who knows for sure how long their shadow may yet be? We should tread carefully.

Sadly, the last remaining villager was found dead. Her end was a sad one: lingering and alone. I swear that no such failure will befall us again. After gathering the others, we departed for town. Upon our return, I decided that the so-called witch knew more than she was letting on, but there was a certain steel in her and she would not budge. It may very well be that there is much she doesn’t know, but I will return alone and raze her house to the ground should the truth prove otherwise.

While waiting for our audience with the councilman, Dak and I sought suitable gifts for the would-be young warrior we rescued among the former hostages. During our return to the small town, I gifted the youngster with some gold, and Dak instilled in him the value of a polearm. Seeking to make good on this, we made our way to the markets to find the youngster a halberd of his own. I did my best to haggle with the shopkeepers, but some unseen… something interfered with my ability to convince them. Foul play, perhaps? It matters not, for though we couldn’t secure the discount, the halberd was purchased. It felt good to help the youngster. It reminded me of the long-ago days back home. The village at large would be his home, the denizens of the place his new, expanded family. In safe hands, we left him with more hope in our hearts.

After a less-than-productive meeting with the councilman (where I tried to convince him that a band of adventurers at his beck and call would be worth more treasure,) we responded to El Eloron’s sending that told of danger back at the headquarters of the Shield. The Deva’s dalliance must have proved rather fruitful, because his paramour managed to secure us three free horses somehow. That one is strange, but his methods outside of the battlefield often prove to be quite heroic.

We rode back at all speed to find the place in shambles, a huge unidentified artifact casting a magical field of some sort that we were unable to penetrate. El Eloron informed us that an artifact we recovered from our first mission into the woods was more than they first realized, and its effects on the various agents of the Shield was a rather controlling one. As such, we were among the only remaining untainted agents and entrusted with more information on various quests the Shield had been investigating. I am sure that there was much information imparted to us by El Eloron, but all connection to the world was lost in a white-hot rage to me when he spoke of the White Dragon kidnappings. By the barest effort was I able to restrain myself from attacking the old elf for holding this information back, but so too did I very nearly break ranks to seek and settle this old score alone. This wound cuts very deeply and the attempts of the others to reason with me fell on deaf ears. My oath-brother swore an oath twin to the one I swore him to stand alongside me in this thing. The others offered their assent and help, but the blood oath… blood oaths matter to my people. With this, I may not live to see many days beyond the fulfillment of these promises, but I will see our vengeance exacted. May all others pale in fear at my unbridled impatience until these deeds are done!

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New mission
Starday, Gemeth 22, 154 CY

I never thought I would be dealin’ wid some of my old beef back home. I thought that I can put it aside from me. But damn why my kind is gonna gear up fo’ war? We ain’t ready fo dat. But of cos, I ain’t gonna be able to do a damn thing by myself, so i need to get all the help I need to stop em. It ain’t worth it. I kno’ fo sho that S.H.I.E.L.D. can do sumthin bout dat. But anyway, If I’m gonna get dese guys to help me, I need to do all I can to stop em., but fo’ now. I just hope that I’ll be able to make it in time to get back home to stop dis shit.

Shit ain’t pretty and I know dem Karningond boys ain’t playin as well.

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Life not wasted.
Moonday, Gemeth 17, 154 CY

Always I am open to new experiences and new understandings. But not if it requires the sacrifice of innocent life. I know I can always return from the dark in some way or other. It is never a pretext to regress to living in shadow, Pelor bless us. It does though give me solace that whatever my personal failures, I may experience successes at another time.

I disregard this logic when it means the demise or torment of others. If I slay or strike at enemies, it is with the blessing of my God and without malice. At the most disdain in their thoughts and actions. The goblin whom I menaced at the stockade some afternoons ago, for example, represents yet another regretful decision in the name of ‘greater good’, bringing me one step closer to some of my more supercilious brothers of Lumene.

And today? What good is there when such self-conflicted actions soon lead to the death of others? The alchemist perished shortly before our intrusion. And the guard captain, hoisted by Ettercaps? I am not so arrogant to believe these deaths have been completely preventable, but could we have tried harder? As a Paladin at the least, I myself need to fortify my resolve. An angel, but no God am I. Yet I channel powers of that God. It would be irresponsible to waver with such responsibility of power.

The realization hit firmest when we ventured into the former throne room of Rotmoor, the reanimated lieges and charges of the castle attacking us. My resilience against their necrotic assaults necessitated I throw myself to the fray and protect my S.H.I.E.L.D compatriots. I respect the remains, the spirits of the dead, but less when such bitterness is involved in their ill-rest. I made sure to invoke Pelor’s blessing and leave them to their crypt. I feel empathy for their cursed existences but wish no one to join them.
The guard captain’s son mourns his father’s death and is healing from a crossbow bolt to his foot courtesy of our resident trigger-exultant Rogue. As for Jalissa, who comforts him…? Like myself she answers to a higher power, but I know better than to seek friendship based solely on this shared fealty to our Gods, especially given her over-reliant behavior. Regardless, I want to see her, the boy, the other hostages we have rescued, and my companions to at least the end of this journey.

Our next step might involve consulting the scrying pool to figure further course of action. I have the sentiment that Nyquillis Dillwad and that Goblin commander are still in collusion.

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At the castle.
Sunday, Gemeth 16, 154 CY

We’s almost lost our damn lives. But I sure as hell did piss off that old man. But we’s gots to find out what the hell is in that damn castle. We took on a couple of drakes who ended up being not that scary n’ shite. We’s gonna explore dat whole castle and find out what dat masked guy was lookin’ fo’. Safe to say, I don’t like dat guy and I don’ like that I gots to do his dirty work. But at least that saved my ass along with da’ rest of ’dem.

At the beginnin’, I was havin’ trouble attackin’ those damn goblins, but eventually, I feel like I’m startin’ to get da hang of it and that woman does make great use of my powers. But I gots to say that the whole tree thing is pretty damn sweet.

Dis El-El-Ron gots some explainin’ to do once I come back!

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Can we like, not?
Sunday, Gemeth 16, 154 CY

We go back to the portal and end up in hell. Like really, we didn’t need to. But of course we did. We stiillllll didn’t neeeeeeeddd toooo thhhhoouuuuggghhh. The party of course, decides to go into the only castle in the area to investigate it to find Dak. Fine, you’ll will learn the hard way.

Nothing’s change inside. Fine tapestries, gems adored the walls and if I wasn’t as shit scared as I was, I would have stolen many of them. A soldier appeared leading us the way. I never did get a good look at his face. Other soldiers lined up against the walls. Not a single peep, not a single hint of emotion, nothing. We ended up at what looks like the meeting room. Shit, it’s him. I’m fucked. So fucked. Fucked all the way. Goodbye sweet world.

Wait, was Dak the one who messed up Nazzare Qullin‘s face? I would have chuckled out loud if it didn’t bring even more attention to me. The rest of the party discussed with Qullin about releasing Dak. It was agreed that in exchange for Dak, we’d give Qullin the “Grimoire of Summoning” from the tiefling witch. What is he playing at? What happened here? Oh, he’s gonna kill our families if we don’t. Greeeeaaaatttttttttt. Fuck this place.

On our way out I stole a gem. Found out that the pitfall had mushrooms. I ended up going down there, found out that the women was one of the people missing from Hybury. Got out of there just a tiny bit burned. Mialee ended up getting an item from her. Now, back to that “Grimoire of Summoning”….

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