Under a Glass Moon

Power that I cannot control at all times.....
Godsday, 18th Aqueth 179 CY

I still cannot compel what my powers can do. For some reason I was able to see where the assassin is despite him being invisible to the eye. But for some reason, I was compelled to burn down the barn. Could this be what the consequence of using the hand will do to me? But regardless, I set it ablaze on the stairs and glanced at Timbre while doing so. it was only with Artemus hitting me was I able to regain my senses and look at the horror of what I have done. Not being able to cope with the guilt, with the team constantly reminding me of my inexcusable actions at the barn, I completely lost my composure at the House of the Stefanië and I had to excuse myself, in the poorest of manner. I had to step away from the people and understand why I had to go through this. The hand is powerful as I have noticed, but I do know that it does not come without its consequence. Perhaps if I can overcome its evil will, maybe I can use it. But I must exercise caution and perhaps only under dire situations will I use the hand for its powers.

After Timbre decided to excuse herself from the group, we decided to travel and obtain the sword that I once promised the halfling. I still feel guilty about what has happened, but I have no choice but to accept that it has happened and there is absolutely nothing I can do to change it. Though I know I can definitely trust Artemus about what has happen, but can I trust anybody else? So far, save for Timbre, most of them have seem to be reliable and trustworthy, though I cannot say if they have yet to accept me for what I have done. Especially Artemus and mother.

But at least during the evil spirit invasion, which was a very dire situation, I rolled with my chance to blast them with some sort of cold attack, which allowed me to overcome the will of the hand, but it did naught to them, but for some reason, thanks to Elyad, I was able to not damage them with the blade of Dak, but rather the blunt end of Dak, which in the end was more than enough for us to overcome that evil spirit.

We were to rest at the area during the night, but the orcs came attacking all of us by surprise. Though we were almost defeated, Elyad, Kaila, Artemus, Ha’unta, and myself were able to overcome the orcs. Though safe to say, Ha’unta shalt never be on watch again. We were able to give sword back thanks to them. I feel that I can trust them all. Maybe I should tell them what really happened. I do need the hand, but I must not forget why I am a guard captain and most importantly, why I trained my hardest. I need to avenge father, even if it comes with using the hand…..

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Thoughts, revelations, and doubts.
Godsday, 18th Aqueth 179 CY

These new powers of mine have proven to be quite potent. I don’t fully understand them, but somehow, they already feel like a part of me. I discovered a more effective use for them when we confronted the assassins we sought in the barn. For some reason, the human Katunix ran ahead of us and set fire to the stairs leading to the barn’s loft! As we tussled with the first of the assassins on the ground floor, it was brought to my attention by the doings of Katunix and Artemus on the upper level that Timbre also managed to make her way here, as a captive of the evil rogues. The words of a spell came unbidden to my lips, and as I spoke them, the water flowed forth from my waterskin and wreathed around me in a frosty nimbus. Somehow, I just knew that I could proceed to the upper level unharmed, and I set forth to assist my companions in attacking the mastermind of this disaster. I couldn’t condone the actions of someone taking the life of a child for any reason, and my rage overtook me. Once we stopped the rogue leader, my anger overtook me. Even as the building was giving in to the flames, I dragged his body back into the barn and tossed it to the fire. My honor wouldn’t allow me to do any less, but I worry that my anger is influenced by the source of this power…

Anyway, we found a contract on the leader’s body explaining the details of his job to kill the man we questioned (roughly) before. I was sickened by the countenance of a man whose fear overtook his love for his child while reading this, and allowed my heart some peace with the glory I attained by avenging the loss of the boy’s life. I hope to never be so callous a noble as that! Our privilege means that we should use our abilities to fortify ourselves and protect our clan, not simply foist the blame onto a lesser servant to save ourselves! I wonder what my father would have to say on the matter, though I doubt telling him would earn me any points. He would be furious that I have strayed so far afield!

On that note, though, I learned something during our excursions that gave me pause. Upon returning to Lady Gwenn with the evidence we gained in our quest, she assured us that she would see the evidence used to good effect in saving our client and investigating his employer. As a boon for our deeds, she offered us some information, namely (for me) the implication that not only does she know well my father (which I knew) and my grandfather (a touchy topic, and one neither of my parents or grandmother would offer to shed much light on) well, but that grandfather Alpollo kept the company of many women (!?) and that her own daughter might be one of the children from such an arrangement!! My mind reels with the implications. Lady Gwenn… my aunt, of sorts? Her daughter, the Lady Aya, too? I was told that she is quite capable and adventures often, unlike her brother Anstiss, who has gone missing. I must meet her, and ask her many things! Always have I wanted a stronger relationship with my clan, and here is the opportunity! A chance to prove the bond and strengthen ties of family outside of those walls! A chance to prove both myself and my father right and come closer to my goal of keeping our people, and these lands, safe.

I must keep my thoughts focused. We agreed to seek this goal together, but Timbre disappeared and I found that my blood was running hot: I could not wait and needed another exercise to occupy myself. As a group, we agreed to accept the quest from the shifty halfling, Iser. We would leave the city to find his heirloom sword, and used details shared by him to gain the trail of his attackers. After some time following these tracks into the woods, we set camp, knowing we wouldn’t get much further in the dark. But as we began to relax, a group of humans approached us seeking shelter. They approached from the direction we were headed, and their tracks didn’t match the ones we’d seen, so our suspicions were raised. I demanded that they stay back, but they continued to approach anyway. I fired a blast of my eldritch magic at the ground in front of them to halt their approach with fear, yet they still advanced. Artemus used his senses to divine that these 4 were evil, and not what they seemed, when they attacked! Jackalweres! I’d heard of these foul beasts before in my studies, but never had I encountered such a thing. They put the Brothers Two to sleep, and set about attacking us with impunity. Kaila and I stung their heels while Elyad set to putting down the rabid creatures, and we roused the brothers after much effort and many wounds incurred in the battle. Too weary and in need of rest, we set camp for the night and I took the last
watch. Unfortunately, I was distracted by thoughts of the earlier revelations imparted by Lady Gwenn and let a group of goblins surprise us! What a foolish mistake I made! If ever Bram hears this, he will never let me live it down! Nor would my shieldmates! Argh, what a disaster. I suffered a great deal at their hands while trying to rouse the others, but eventually, rouse them I did, and we beat them back! Ha! Not before one of them spitefully damaged my tent. The very same tent I shared with my father in some of our camping trips in the lands surrounding our city. Happier times, when the demands of the crown had still not fully taken his smiles away. I found a pouch full of gems and the heirloom sword on his corpse, and after another proper (and undisturbed) rest, we returned to the village and returned the sword to its owner (though I may wish I’d returned it blade-first, the way he hawkishly lusts after my friend Munda).

The first chance I get, I intend to visit the local library to conduct some research about my family, my order, the Stefanië family, and these mysterious new powers of mine. I believe I know the name of the entity who bestowed them upon me, and I fear that his influence may be the reason that my already potent ire has taken such a dark turn. I need to learn more, to prevent the glory of battle and the taking of trophies from becoming a display of sacrificial slaughter. More importantly, I need to learn how I can continue to make this pact work without losing myself.

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The thoughts I've thought...
Godsday, 18th Aqueth 179 CY

I still don’t understand what could compel someone to kill children.

Even if the original assassin had shied away, someone else still ended up doing the job. A job. It’s a job to kill babies for some, and others as well.

I only hope the half-elf servant is given his due representation in trial soon. That would give some closure to something so disquieting. I’m thankful for the help the Lady Stefanië has given us, and I am willing to assist her in finding her son. I hope he is alright, her worries thoroughly remind me of my own mother.

We went to Pepper and took the next job to find the sword lost by Iser in the forest. I personally felt it would take my mind off of troubles, but it irked me letting those jackalweres get a leg up. I’m more astute than that but spells of sleep are always a nastier a sort than I give them credit for. Just like mother used to make them. The drowsiness persisted, and I found myself almost slumbering through the combat with goblins afterward that put the sword in our laps.

(But I do feel sorry for Ha’unta and his tent. I would be equally angered if a family hand-down were damaged the same way.)

I see so many of the people here at the Temple of Erathis on Godsday. I ponder that past events have forced me to quietly question the effect of the gods on our lives, and no stronger do I consider these thoughts than now. I believe in pursuing truth as the All-Knowing One Ioun has tasked of her followers, but I am further curious and connected to Pelor the more I investigate him and my father’s fate.

However, I can’t help but feel the most important thing is the interaction and consideration I have with other people…

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A Quick Many Things.
Starday, 15th Aqueth 179 CY

Things move quick in the span of a day and change. Elyad is back with us now with the ability to shapeshift. I question also how Timbre found audience with the Stefaniës so quickly, but she’s charming when she’s not difficult, I give her that much credit.

And the Stefaniës are quite alright. I was glad to be of assistance to the lady of the house, sum of payment or no. Always I find pleasure in furthering connections for the Mystic Lady. I’m not sure what to make of their experimental forays into music however. Clearly I lack the acquisition of taste needed to appreciate this progressive sound.

Much joy into the night. At the inn we met a woman from our rival apothecarist, a pretty one, and after needing to settle her down after my brother failed miserably at courting her, we talked shop and more and shared a room. Cecie, was her name, and I admit she gave me an intellectual run for my money. Very illuminating, she and her company’s instruction. If not for my willingness to listen and keep us both engaged, it might have been apparent I’m a little less smart than I let on. Only a little.

While I wanted this to be a log of pleasant thoughts, that’s not going to be the case. Killing helpless children is abominable, and the fact a local potato farmer… no let me rephrase that, sweet potato farmer was willing to cover up the details of his son’s murder out of fear and convenience, even if he were not directly responsible, is well into the territory of morally bankrupt. T’is nothing sweet about this attempt to prove his young charge guilty of the crime.

After getting some intel from a rough fellow at the tavern (who I really wanted to ask where he got his plate armor from…), we headed for a barn surrounded by tall grass. I sensed the Halfling murderer and what seemed like associates inside, and we threw ourselves in.

Is it me, by the by, or is this barn burning? Gods, no… Katunix, this better not be you…?!

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Ever since the re-attachment....
Starday, 15th Aqueth 179 CY

The arm is indeed a life of its own. I feel that there are voices that tells me what to do. From what I am understanding that I must somehow keep it satisfied in order for it to not harm me. Why may force me to complete tasks against my wishes, but the power is indeed something that may come of use. It may not be much, but I have to keep it somewhat satisfied in order for it to keep it from putting me and others in harms way.

But for now, we are trying to investigate the murder of a poor child. So far the elf in question is definitely innocent and as much of a despicable man the father is, he is definitely no guilty. Though I wish I could’ve made this man know his place. Maybe it is the voices of the hand telling me to commit something that I may regret.

Another task at hand that I gave my word is to retrieve a family heirloom sword. Though I do not know when it will be I can retrieve the sword, I do intend of getting it back.

I feel the arm compelling me to use its powers, which allowed me to pinpoint the culprit’s location despite him being invisible…. what is this? I’m….. I’m…. being controlled……

….. I must destroy this barn to the ground…….

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Musings before the mission...
Starday, 15th Aqueth 179 CY

We returned to the town of Katun, where Timbre impudently disappeared without warning. I don’t understand that girl. Anyway, I followed Katunix to the local Tailor’s shop, where many ostentatious items of clothing were found. Tyrdda Tailors, avant-garde fashion designers known even in my home, provided him with a sequined glove that would seem more at home in the lair of a wyrm than the hand of a human. I was confused because I thought the idea was to draw attention away from his decaying hand, but perhaps humans think that very ostentatious displays of fashion are a good means of hiding in plain sight. I must stay vigilant. Not one to pass up an interesting opportunity myself though, I saw myself festooned in a crimson-colored cloak.

The others occupied themselves with visits to the library and tannery, but I wanted to get a better lay of the land since I wanted to get to working. Katunix and I sought the adventurer’s guild, as the mark of a good soldier is the ability to stay useful. At the guild, we received notice of an elf who was in need of some help. I decided that it might be best to seek the approval of the others before accepting, though. Apparently, at the same time, Artemus managed to foster good relations with the Lady Stefanië while we were otherwise occupied. I wish I’d gotten to visit the library, though. I’m still curious about that dragon statue I saw back in the home of Jalissa Sarris, and the Overcouncil…

Later that evening, as we gathered in the local inn, most of our number sought to engage in… more savory pursuits. Bram and I locked in on a fine dwarf woman, but he was able to click with her better than I was, and I decided to talk to a stout young halfling named Munda who caught my eye. I decided to reveal my status as a Prince to her, but she was overcome with awe. (This is not what I was hoping for.) I insisted that we maintain a normal friendship
but I have no idea if she will be able to comply. It seems that Artemus had a good time, though: he disappeared and wasn’t seen again until the next morning.

I wonder if I will be able to turn these recent events in my life to my advantage…
(more to come later)

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I hear voices in my head....
Freeday, 14th Aqueth 179 CY

Through much thinking and with the little time I have left, I reluctantly decided to let the forsaken hand reattach itself despite knowing what evil influence it may have. It was a slight painful feeling as the nerves reattached itself and I can easily feel the chills coming from the hand. But I can tell that upon reattaching the hand, I sense an evil presence that has granted me with powers and even more should I obey that voice.

Brother is not happy, nor will mother be happy to hear this. I have committed a sin that I will never forgive myself, but I have done what I think was for the best. For me to not be able to regain my skill of Dak and Thurann is weighing upon me and my duty to avenge father is heavy is driving me with guilt. I could not forgive myself that I have succumbed to this nor will I ever forgive myself, but I have done it and I will live with this guilt.

Rather than to live in guilt and shame, I will use this motivation to find a cure to rid this forsaken hand of its evil presence that I can feel. Though I cannot fully feel to what extent it powers are, but it did promise me that if I obey the voice, I will gain more power.

Mother, where are you? I may have no face to see you, but I do not know how much longer can I hold off its evil influence……

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End of the Beginnning
Freeday, 14th Aqueth 179 CY

Mother, you are probably scrying these words, and I am not bothered by that. I quite need your presence actually after what had just happened, and I am not sure if your magic has seen what I have.

I feel rather beleaguered by my thoughts and will thrust at this opportunity to vent. It is as said in academy long ago where one of my instructors told me to feel the worst things I could five minutes every day to simply purge them from ourselves. It is how we render pristine as soldiers and as people.

Katunix hit me harder than I had ever been hit by him in my entire life, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so powerless as I did in that single moment. Pinned down and forced to retreat while he fought the necromancer’s influence, I felt like a coward, but I found my bearings and resuscitated the others, provided support in the way I best could given our precarious scenario. There was no need of my weakness there, and if we are to eventually fulfill any inkling of prophecy, we have to take losses in stride and thrust onwards.

Thusly, I’m almost overjoyed we stopped the necromancer and buried him away from the towers. I wanted to ravage what was left of the necromancer’s corpse and ferry his head as proof to the encampment but that, I knew and ultimately decided, would be a slippery slope. Justice should govern the punishment of evil, but not vengeance. Vindication, not vindictiveness. Be happy mother. If any harm comes to your sons, know at least that I am doing the best to abstain damage to my moral compass.

This I realize? Must be quite ironic given my brother’s choice on our return to the camp. Is that why he attached the hand to himself when I advised him against it? Was the guilt eating at him? I simply chided him, asked Katunix, why would you do that? Why wouldn’t you wait?

I walked out of that tent and am writing this so that I can take yet another loss in stride and burn away my perturbations. We have ended our first adventure, and though I do not know where we will be going, or if we will exeunt from each others’ presences for the time being, I would at least want to know my fellows better. And support Katunix, if it be to remind him repercussions for his actions or to follow through with him in his life decisions.

(Actually, mother if you are seeing this, there is a mystery I beg an answer to.

Do you know where Elyad went?! From what I take of him, I’m surprised that he would leave us to mop up the necromancer in such fashion… not even a plithy utterance or timely quip…!)

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Trials of Power
Earthday, 13th Aqueth 179 CY

After the coward healer ran away with our horses, the others and I continued onto the Towers of Waiting, picking up our investigating where we left off. I was feeling enraged and odd following my strange experience the other evening, so I missed out on some of the discoveries made by Lady Timbre, notably the statue of Pelor and only partially gained an understanding of the altar we discovered upstairs. I didn’t like being so distracted, but I shook it off and moved on with everyone up the ladder.

We saw the damaged remains of a wooden crane, and decided to peek around on the roof. There were more skeletons! We tried to get the drop on them and shove them off, but we were too slow. We fought them off with little trouble and Artemus made to confiscate a bow from them when we noticed a dark-robed figure on the other tower, in the midst of some sort of ritual. Kaila took a shot at him and – seized by some compulsion – so did I. A ghostly skeletal hand flew out from my palm and grasped the figure. He shivered in pain and responded by stinging me with a burst of energy darts. So enraged, he ran downstairs from us. We made chase, hoping to catch him before he could begin his ritual again, but we were too late. As we reached the door at the ground level, we found a group of skeleton archers, backed up by him. Despite the obvious dangers of fighting them at range in an open field, Artemus and Katunix broke ranks and attempted to rush them!

What followed was a pitched battle where defeat was a very near thing. Thanks to our tenacity and more than a little pain, we survived the fight. I made sure that the necromancer knew what I thought of him by shooting him in the face with my newfound power in his final moments.

After assessing our wounds and resting for the night in relative safety, we moved to explore the next tower. As soon as we entered, Timbre noted some chattering in a language she didn’t understand; a tongue I was raised with. I dropped into the pit and addressed the kobolds there, who were toiling unhappily and wondering if they would ever be allowed to leave. I told them that they were free, but they feared reprisal. So I made a show of having Katunix drop the corpse of our dispatched foe into the pit where they played a game of “crush the clutch” with his corpse. I’ve heard some humans refer to it as “stomp them in the nuts,” but I don’t know why you would ever soil perfectly good food by stepping in it. Maybe it’s to crack the shell? If so, his “shell” was thoroughly cracked when they were done. I set them free and we proceeded upward. At the top, we destroyed a lone ghoul, but there wasn’t much left to do so we returned to camp with the news. Keiran was not happy to learn that his sister was responsible for the deaths and despair of his men, and issued a bounty for her capture. I think I would like to face down anyone who would so endanger their own kin.

I faced him in three fierce games of chess that seem to have earned me more than a little admiration with the General and his men. While this was good, still there is no news of Elyad or our missing horse. Timbre swore to handle the situation, so I’m choosing to stay my hand here.

I would very much like to know more about that vision we shared, what it means for us, and what is next. I also marvel at these new powers, but fear what they portend. I suppose that a good leader manages to find a use for any potential gain, so I will endeavor to exercise great responsibility with this gift even as it calls to me to honor the traditions of my people in battle. A good leader is not subsumed by that which he must bear, but adapts to changing circumstances. And so will I. I don’t think that Durna will be very happy though…

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Torn by my hand and my honor
Earthday, 13th Aqueth 179 CY

When we came about after fighting a hobgoblin, the mysterious one word man disappeared, but the healer that the littleb princess brought decided to back out from his word and despite our insistence, he fled from the field, leaving us to fend for ourselves, but we were still bound by duty and it is a soldier’s duty to complete his mission.

Damn that wretched sorcerer. Forcing me to lay hands on my brother like that. I lost my mind and I couldn’t wait to lay my hand on that damn sorcerer. But alas it wasn’t meant to be as I fell to his foul beast.

Thankfully I came to senses and I am glad that Artemis was fine. I must say that hadn’t it been for these people, I would’ve suffered the same fate as those soulless skeletons. Given my rage, I desired to have that wretched sorcerer’s head off his body, but perhaps throwing him into the pit of those kobolds and have them mutilate his body was for the best.

But what I found was of the most revealing, thanks to the findings of the dragon born H’aunta, it was revealed that the general’s sister were collaborating with the hobgoblins. Of course this was to be reported to the general and he will proceed to issue a warrant for his sister. We offered to personally bring him his sister, but he declined it offer.

Then one of the servants iof H’aunta told me that the severed hand wants to reattach itself. When I heard that, I was quite disturbed by that revelation. Mother once told me about incidents as such before and where as I am highly hesitant in reattaching the hand naturally, I do need that hand as well. If only mother was here…..

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