D&D 3.0: Tales from Mystara
The Secret Log of Flint
The Secret Log of Flint
( This log is kept in secret by Nathaniel J. Flint )
[GM Note: This information is secret. Players can read it but their characters will only know what the owner of the documents tells them. Each entry that is tied up to an adventure on the Adventure Log could be 25xp for the character]
Part I- A New Land
Chapter 1: Benedetto’s Con
After weeks of waiting for the draft day, Flint was feeling ready to get started with his new life. Upon arriving at the designated spot, he found himself not with a military unit but with a ragtag band of people fighting and arguing with a man who seemed arrogant. The man explained them the situation regarding Benedetto Difusallo and explain to the group the proper way of handling the situation within the confines of the law in Threshold.
Upon hearing this information a dwarf in the group started yelling at the man, only to have him reply in a very pompous manner to him. Then a you lady by the name Valora Venatti, as she introduced herself, proposed that they all joined forces to capture this man and bring him to justice.
Flint remained quiet in a corner chair listening as everybody in the room introduced themselves. It was a very varied group of people who had been tricked by this man. He did, however, noticed that there were 4 wizards within the entourage and it troubled him immensely. He could not allow a magical being to know whom he really is or it might mean being on the run again. So when the time came for him to make his introduction, he provided only his last name and made it very clear that he did not trust the magic-users. This in turn provoked the loud mouth dwarf and his well-dressed companion. Flint, however, did not care about them since to his eyes they were insignificant and he felt they proved no threat.
After all the introductions were done, the group decided to split up and look for Benedetto Difusallo around town. When they finally tracked him down, they decided to lay a trap for him in the place where he was staying. Flint, however, was sent on an information gathering dispatch to know what illness had befallen the man and if he had been cured of it. On his way to the church, Flint came across a fine establishment by the name Kittens Cabaret. Flint decided to stop for a drink, or two, or ten. Four hours into this and after having forgotten his initial job, Flint returned to the inn where the group was still waiting for him and Raizak Derek to finish their assigned jobs. Despite Flint not completing his task, the group was ready to move in and catch the elusive man that had conned all sixteen of them. Flint proceeded to use the skeleton key and open the door to the room where the man was. Upon entering the room, the group met Duh Torpeson, the town’s fool. By talking to him, they realized that Difussalo had also tricked him in order to avoid capture.
The group went downstairs and began pondering how they would resolve this issue and recover their gold. During this dialogue, Flint noticed the behavior and attitude of Troyus Bloodstone and decided that this was man worth talking to and maybe even working with. But just as he was about to talk to him, a Paladin bursts in and starts yelling to another soldier in the inn. Flint listens to their conversation and watches as the lady addresses the group and offers them an opportunity to work for the government and make money in a legal way. This was music to Flint’s ears and so he waited for the rest of the group to make up their minds, despite his being already made…
Chapter 2: The Dread Horde Part I
Ugh! I finally have time to sit down and jot down some things here. Yesterday was a horrible experience in every sense of the word. I guess in part it’s all due to that Elven Ranger’s inexperience. Note to self, never allow a party to be split and end up by yourself.
Flint wrote these thoughts as he reminded himself of the difficulties faced by not only himself but also his companions during the previous days’ encounter.
When we set out it was all going according to the agreed upon plan. We would seek out the Goblin party attacking the farms, capture one, recover the loot, get paid and be back home in time for dinner and a drink. But as we ventured out into the wild Helethil Bluebelleyes suggested that we split up to cover more ground. Seeing as I don’t trust a lot of people in this party, I went off on my own. To my eternal bad luck, I came a across a dire wolf. This creature would later come to represent not only problems to me but also to my group. You see it caught on to my scent and me being the great warrior that I am embraced the noblest of warrior traditions, which is to run to fight another day.
As I ran in zig zags through the forest, I found myself yelling in a very manly voice for aid from my companions. The call was answered by all of my party members, Yoshirou Nakajima, Daero of Alfmyr, Maiavel of Alfmyr and Helethil Bluebelleyes who all proceeded to try and climb to a tree and help me up in order to avoid what would be certain death if I failed.
Three of them manage to climb up but me, being a seaman and all had a tad of trouble getting up there. Luckily for me, I was not the only one and Helethil stayed down to help me out and create a diversion for the Dire wolf (or at least that is what I want to think she did), what a great companion huh? The wolf continued to attack and miss in its attacks thanks to our great dodging abilities and finally we proceeded to climb up the tree and wait out until the wolf got bored and left.
Raizak Derek, Joseph Alexander Xiloscient and Valora Venatti later joined us; they had gathered information regarding the Globin Horde that we had set out to catch. As it turns out we were on the right path all along and so we followed until we manage to get in distance to see them.
After a brief bickering amongst ourselves, Helethil Bluebelleyes suggested that we split into groups to maximize our chances at an ambush. In my party were the monk and the bard. As we approached the horde, Joseph Alexander Xiloscient, stepped on some bushes that caught the attention of the raid party. From there on the battle began. I decided that I would use my trusty crossbow to take several of them out and after six shots I finally managed to take out two of them (These goblins are quite skilled in evasion tactics).
Through the usage of magic (which I noticed were very powerful spells) we managed to beat the party plus the reinforcements. Among the loot that we got there was a particular parchment, which I personally can’t understand but I feel is highly important for our future endeavors. I also received my fair share of the bounty, which made me really happy considering that my luck is about to turn with this new job. I can’t, however, feel so relax knowing that there is yet another magician in the form of Valora Venatti. Hopefully we will continue working well alongside each other and they won’t prove as treacherous as the ones back home…
Chapter 3: The Dread Horde II
I can’t believe that after a full week of preparation and helping that kid, Raizak Derek and the elf Daero of Alfmyr, with the possible symbols of the map I missed the adventure."
Well in any case, I feel it was worth it, that hot little lady at the cabaret wasn’t going to take care of herself. I still wonder about the muscles though. Was she half-orc?…
Chapter 4: The Old Mill
It seems my investment on this fine rapier has paid off. I was beginning to worry that I would just be reduced to being a sidekick.
Flint began writing and reflecting about his last adventure with the Band of the Wolf.
I’m beginning to trust these people a little more. It’s been so long since I had comrades such as these. Granted that the little kid Raizak Derek is always dragging that dam donkey everywhere, and the lady the with the big boobs, Valora Venatti is always issuing orders, but still I can’t help but feel they are not the same type of magic users you find back home.
Flint trailed off in his thoughts as he remember the details of the past adventure and then began putting ink to paper yet again.
To think that we have been here a month an just now we are finding out about the people of this town. Oh Olidanmara! How many stories did that old lady had again!? Her granddaughter, however, seems like the kind of person that likes to have fun. Good thing Helethil Bluebelleyes is interested in making her acquaintance. That friendship is surely going to be my “in” into her pan…
Flint was interrupted as he wrote by the sudden entrance of that new guy that accompanied them in the adventure.
Oh there is that guy. What was his name again? Oh right, he is Dio! That guy can surely be useful. I can’t help feeling like his showing up here is just too convenient. Still I am glad he is here after all going about the town and on adventures could become easier with him around.
Flint took a sip of his mug and proceeded to continue writing.
I’m really glad that I got to talk and work with Yoshirou and Troyus. It’s clear that this group needs regular old folk like us to guide and serve as a moral compass to it, though I feel that Yoshirou is to naive sometimes. I just hope I can continue working alongside them, after all, there is an unlimited amount of strategies that the three of us could come up with using that whistle technique. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be as great as the Gold Tri-Stars, obviously without the magic though, but we will make magic nonetheless said Flint while smirking. If it weren’t for us clearly we would be ant food right now.
Speaking of which that Old Mill prove to be a treasure trove for us, good thing I suggested raiding it, now we have our pockets a bit better off but we can’t rest, we still need to find that bilge rat Benedetto and get out gold back. I just hope that by the time we find him, I have found a way to get these people thinking more about the gold he might be harboring instead of his head on a plate…
Chapter 5: The Dread Horde Part III | The Dread Horde III
Its a sad day when you get stuck on guard duty away from all the action, but from what I hear from Troyus Bloodstone and Dio Stoutspark the assigment was a indeed rewarding for the group. I will definitely try my best to win rock, paper, scissors next time…
Chapter 6: Trinkets and Prowess
Back into action. This time around my outstanding skills where needed by the group. Good thing too, since the Baron Sherlane Halaran just ended our contract so we should start moving soon.
I was asked to appraise certain items by the group. I was only able to appraise one properly since my skills are a bit rusty (I should start practicing, so I don’t forget dad’s teachings). Also among the things they charged me to do, I had to visit this old geezer of a ranger, Colvis Nilenavi and try and find out information about his grandfather. He however, was less than cooperative and even hurt Maiavel of Alfmyr in the process as a warning to the group and me. Clearly he is mad at other stuff and is taking it out on us.
Late at night we met at the in and Raizak Derek came in asking us for money to solve the problem, that he believes I caused! Talk about audacity on the part of this kid. I paid my part and later the next day we received a great deal of dead animals, which we then decided to sell to make a profit. We, however, decided to keep a Dire-Wolf (Shit! I still get shivers) as a symbol of our group.
In the meeting in the afternoon we opted to leave the town making the towns people believe we left for another town in order to pursue a lead on the Caverns of Quasqueton that the trophy gave us. We had been walking for a day when all of a sudden it appeared!
It was my old nemesis the Dire Wolf. This time it wasn’t about to make us fall back. He attacked Maiavel (boy talk about bad luck) and sent us all into offensive mode. I offered a reward for its skin, since I want that over me, but then decided that it would make me to obvious and I need to avoid being noticed by anyone, since you never know how far Rupala’s agents might be willing to travel to get to me.
In the battle, I was once again able to communicate well with Dio and Troyus, which leads me to understand that our bonds can only grow stronger from here. For now, we continue on our journey and hopefully our destination will be rewarding enough for us to be able to star chasing down the fat con-man Benedetto…
Chapter 7: The Black Wood Path
Coming across that Satyr was truly a fortunate occurrence. I mean, aside from fighting the giants I think it all worked great for out party. I gotta admit that Troyus grip on him was a strong one. The harpy situation was distasteful, however. I think that he had every intention of letting us die there. I can’t believe I’ll say this, but I’m very glad that the wizards where here. Had it not been for them, we could have met our end dodging it out in the woods. The griffon was a test of our mettle as a team, and needless to say my rope tying skills have definitely improved since the old mill.
The important thing overall is that we made it to Quasqueton and not a moment to soon. The doors have been forced open and it worries me that the Satyr was so complacent and gave us information about the place that coincidentally looked like the skeletons that we saw through the door. It’s a good thing that the group decided to rest up and prepare for the battle. That extra day worked wonders for my constitution.
This day also gave me a good opportunity. I have come to like this people. I once thought trusting other might have been my undoing but these people have shown me otherwise little by little. I took Troyus aside and talked with him for a while. He reminds me of the guys back at the unit, with his wild personality and his desire for glory, just like the one I once had…. I told him my second name, James. He was surprised and mentioned that he had always thought that Flint was my name. I kept my first name a secret since I feel it will help me remain better protected from the Alphatian authorities. From there on I proceeded to tell him my story and how I came to be in Karamiekos. He seemed accepting of my background but more importantly; he showed no signs of judgment or of rancor at the fact that I came from an enemy nation, which is more than I can say from people of my own country. He asked me about my family and I told him where we were from specifically. One can never be to distrustful in this dangerous life and if something were to happen I would at least like my mom to know that I was happy and free, despite whatever circumstances led to my death. Troyus proved a great confidant and acknowledge me and that is definitely a step forward in the right direction to make some new friends.
On that note, I want to state this here just in case something were to happen to me in this adventure. I am to be given an Alphatian burial, despite the circumstance of my departure I still wish to honor my peoples’ rites.
To help my departed soul, fast and make a blood sacrifice during the first three days, there needs to be ritual offerings to fire and at the third night my cloths would be blessed so that I can start the journey to the next life. Food offerings would be consecrated for thirty days and then once every thirtieth day, till the end of the first year. All together there would be three blood sacrifices at the first year, with annual offerings for the next thirty years.
The rest of my possessions might be sold or split among the Band of the Wolf, but my Automated Foot Top will go to Troyus. I know that he will put it to good use. My rapier should go to one of the Shadow elves. I’m sure they can find use for it some how.
I know it might sound grim, but I wasn’t expecting Joseph Alexander Xiloscient to leave us and yet here we stand without him. I just hope that before I am taken from this world I am able to get my revenge and recover my honor after the con. If that happened, I think I could go happy into the next life…
Chapter 8: The Caverns of Quasqueton II
Unbelievable! I thought that having to scour the woods before entering the cave was a menial job, but catching up to the group only to lead my group into an ambush is a horrible feeling. These carnivore plants clearly wanted us dead. Plus the sight of Carceran did not do me any favors. Alas we were able to rescue him, but this place is proving more dangerous by the minute.
After what the other group told us, we need to start planning carefully our next move or else it could be the Band’s last…
Chapter 9: The Caverns of Quasqueton III
This venture into these caves is proving more troublesome by the day. So far we have found great treasures and, yes, some of them are definitely going to make our lives back at Threshold (or wherever we go to form here) easier but I can’t help the feeling that this venture is going to turn very ugly before it ends.
I mean right after those zombies and that weird looking undead thing, things can’t possibly be any friendlier the further we go down on these caves. Talk about strength on those zombies part. Breaking my trusty rope, which had held down even a griffon, that can’t be a good sign. Alas, I will continue with the group, I’ve notice that despite the mishaps some of them have really come to trust me and that leads me to believe that its only a matter of time before the rest do too. I can, honestly, says that even the kid Raizak and the weird elves, Daero and Maiavel have begun to grow on me. Truth be told, I am now sure that the things that happen back home with the Wizards might just be a unique thing to Alphatia. We still have ways to go, but I think that if this dungeon doesn’t kill any of us, our Band will reach a new level of exploring prowess…
Chapter 10: The Caverns of Quasqueton IV
We have spent days down here now and just know we are ready to clear the bottom level. Its been an evening of a lot of work since the group decided to follow my lead and build some walls to stop whatever is on the lower level of this place. For know we’ll rest, since the battles of today left us worn out and tomorrow we will begin exploring the lower levels, that is, if we don’t die when the doors open…
Chapter 11: Caverns of Quasqueton V
I had no Idea the human body could produce so much vomit. These Troglodytes, as Raizak told us they are called, really do have a pungent odor. I’ve had my share of seafaring and never had I undergone such a landlubber burst there. At the very least we are alive and well now. I was truly impressed by everyone. They all came together and faced up and cleared everything down there without much need of my assistance. This makes me glad, but at the same time worries me. I feel that I need to step up my game to be on par with that of the brothers Daero and Maiavel and, after seeing her combat prowess, even Helethil. Its going to be a long journey for me, since it seems that I didn’t learn all that was needed for adventuring with the 532nd.
After a few days, we cleared the dungeon and the remaining upper level. We have indeed stumbled upon a treasure trove with these caverns. The group has decided that we will not go back to Threshold and we will set forth towards the Barony of Highforge. This to me proves as great opportunity since Highforge, from what I hear, is a Dwarf run town and dwarves and I have one thing in common, our dislike for magic users. The only thing that worries me is the treatment we might receive considering that we are a band of mix races. In any case, we have treasure and no sensible dwarf can pass up the opportunity to gain money, so we’ll just have to see what awaits us at Highforge…
Chapter 12: The Goblin Woods Path
I can finally put feather to paper once again. After days of walking, Helethil ’s scouting leads us down the Dwarf path. Apparently this long forgotten road was used in the days of old for commerce. The road saved us various days. Despite the goblin encounters, which lead us to discover that a powerful sorcerer of the dread horde was tracking us, we finally made it to the gates of Highforge. The dwarf in charge, didn’t seemed to please with the fact that Yoshirou introduced us as merchants, which to me is ridiculous, since we did come with the desire to sell. Money should be money, no matter where it came from. Alas, I tried my very best to bluff him into letting us in, but these sentries are very seasoned and they saw right through me. We ended up arrested and awaiting the dwarves’ decisions.
Eventually we met Frolina Dragonshield the Captain of the Highforge Guard. She questioned us and took us to Dorfus Hilltopper, The Gnome King himself, and allowed us to plead our case. By this point it took the word and honesty of Dio to keep us from a bigger punishment. The other dwarf, Snorri Spanglehelm, in the room, did not seemed amused by the Baron’s decision.
We were given the freedom of the city, within the city! Since we are allowed to be here and live her but not leave when we want to. This at the moment is not a problem though. We got to sell our treasure, we divided the spoils and know we have a brief period of time for ourselves. I’ll talk Troyus later to see if he wishes to go with me in search for an “Adult Fun Parlor” in this city, but in the meantime, I’ll take to the streets to spend some hard earned money. I think it’s about time I begin representing the group in a more dignified way…
Chapter 13: The Highforge Market
I feel at ease now. Who would have thought that purchasing something in this city would be so difficult? I really have no idea how dad did it. This dwarves and gnomes are too obstinate for their own good. I, however, can see why though. Their race has endured many great deal of hardships from us humans and especially magical ones.
I wasn’t so lucky on my market journey though. Despite having the money for things, the dwarves refused to do business with me. To top it off, I wondered into an alley and these five dwarfs tried to jump me. It was a wrong move on their part seeing as they gave me a very rare and much welcome opportunity to let out some of my frustrations. I still feel the adrenaline rush from when I told their leader that he was ushering way to big words for a person of his stature. They were rattled. No doubt due to my intimidating demeanor.
Alas, I returned to the The Highforge Hostelry in order to eat something while I waited for someone of the group to return. It was there that I met Rolf Stronghollow. After a short conversation and negotiation, he agreed to purchase the things that I wanted from the market. I was indeed relieved, since I had no other means of approaching the merchants.
I went with him as he purchased the things and on my way back to the inn I saw it…a majestic Black Andalusian Horse, who is now my companion on this adventure, that I named Blackjack. While there I saw how the owner of the stables negotiated with Frutumal. I think he got less than what he thinks he got from the looks of the horse I saw they dragged out for him. Also there, was the young wizard Raizak Derek purchasing a war horse much like mine, but he was taking his time in picking which one. It seems he didn’t feel a connection at first sight like I did with Blackjack.
Upon returning to the hostelry, I bid my goodbyes to Rolf and proceeded to order food as the group started arriving. We chatted for a while and got introduced to several people, among them Worldcrafter. I proceeded to showoff my new garments and ring with the emblem to the group and some of them, like Troyus, Yoshirou, Dio, Frutumal, Raizak, and the brothers Daero and Maiavel where so hyped that they asked me where I got it. Seeing their enthusiasm I offered to buy them some, though some of them clearly saw through my idea and decided to pay half the price for a version on par with the quality of my own. In the end this really is unimportant since all I want is for people to start recognizing, respecting and fearing (when needed) the symbol of the band.
I asked Worldcrafter for the favor of securing these and asked for a special request for myself, since I plan on avoiding the dwarf market for a while. After he left, Yoshirou began telling us about his roommates at the The Iron-Axe. As it turns out these three men were the trio that were talking really loud the other day here. Apparently Freduk Flintstone, Barnik Flintstone and Dinouk are now staying in town because of the worms attacking the mine. This seems to be a true struck of luck since we are in need of goof influences in this town. The band took a vote and we decided that we would check up on the reports and information given to us. I just hope that Worldcrafter gets back with my parcel before we set out…
Chapter 14: Dalen Mine Worms
We met with the Flintstones at the Iron-Axe Inn. It was definitely something to behold. That poor man Dinouk didn’t have a chance and seeing as to how the bickered who would! First the two of them wouldn’t tell us what was happening in the mines. I had to bluff them into thinking that we were sent by Dragonshield and only then did their tongues loosen up. Secondly they couldn’t agree on what was going on in the mines, which was troublesome since it gave us very little information to prepare before venturing off into the mines. On the plus side this gave Wolrdcrafter time to return with my new whip, so in the long run it might have been all for the best. Though I think Raizak would agree that reading up on the possible monsters was a big help.
We finally headed towards the captain and asked for her permission travel to the mines. We manage to secure it but we were on our own there. That proved it would be dangerous and rewarding at the same time.
First we came across a Trapper. This huge beast proved very troublesome for our group. Though Maiavel was able to dodge his initial grapple, Troyus wasn’t as lucky. This seems to be happening a lot with him and Carceran lately, now that I think about the “magic” robe in Quasqueton. I think pretty soon we will have to have a team training session to learn to avoid these kinds of situations. On the plus side, my investment in the Highforge market paid off, I was the first to deal damage to this trapper thanks to one of my new whips. I can definitely get used to attacking from a far while keeping the pressure of my presence on the enemy.
After finishing off the Trapper, we came across a group of Giant Centipedes. These giant vermin made sure that fighting became difficult due to their poisonous bites. Thanks to Raizak, however, I was prepared for them with an anti-toxin and two bags of caltrops that helped Frutumal Huntinghawk and me make short work of one of them. Good thing too, since the rest of the group was busy fighting like 3 of those things and they left us the rear-guard to take care off.
After making short work of the Centipedes, we proceeded further into the mine only to find a pair of Thoqqua. This encounter became difficult to some members due to their bodies being filled with toxins, but it provided me even more time to practice with my new weapon. I got to say, I am far from proficient with this weapon, but I know that with time I’ll get the hang of it and become truly deadly. At least I did my part and was able to help the group in a fair way. No vomiting this time around, thank Olidammara.
Soon after we cleared the mine, we cleaned up and found quite a bit of gold, which we took with us as bonus for our efforts. From there it was a days travel back to Highforge and another surprise.
We found ourselves in the presence of Aleena Halaran, Dorfus Hilltopper, Frolina Dragonshield, and Snorri Spanglehelm. Inside the throne room the Threshold Captain spoke, only to be met with opposition by the Gnome King. It is curious how these people, despite being allies, seem to be at odds with each other. Nevertheless I am happy for this. We receive our papers back and a not so subtle reminder from lady Halaran that we are not welcomed in Threshold. Not that I mind much since my goal was never to be there from the beginning, but still this could prove as a good way to motivate the group to go to new places.
I use this time to write since we are setting of in a few days and I don’t know when I’ll be able to write again. All I know is that as a group we decided to follow up and help Frutumal in his quest and we will soon be heading out to Sulescu. We still need to prepare several things before we set out but for the time being, I’ll use our newly granted freedom and positive (better than before at least) vibe with the towns people to ask about the fat con-man Benedetto Difusallo, maybe someone here has seen or heard about him and that alone is worth checking into. I think I’ll start with the place where everyone is of loose tongues, the tavern…
Chapter 15: Days of Sulescus’ Past
I finally told my friends about my past. They seemed to take it well. Troyus seemed a bit bothered at this new revelation. It must be the fact that he is the only one I had trusted thus far and just finding out about this must have shook him. Nevertheless, he seemed eager to help me with what I asked of my friends.
I still can’t believe that man is here. I feel intrigued by the connection he might have with Rupala, but at the present time there is nothing besides their reactions that faithful day to indicate that there is a connection between them. For the time being, I’ll try to get him out of my mind and focus on helping Cliona or Raizak and the brothers in whichever way they seem fit, since they are all being very reasonable given the fact that I just dropped this information on them out of the blue. For the time being I will keep my first name a secret as I have so far. This might indeed protect them from any repercussions to them. My eyes will remain open just in case this man does cross my path again. He might not be connected but still might know something…
Chapter 16: The Path of Giants
Well I think this might be the last time I write in a while. Things have gotten a bit complicated for us and they are about to get even more so in the next few days. One would think that the world has had enough with the set of misfortunes I have made my friends go through. From a Dire Wolf, to a vomit shower it seems days with me in the group are never dull. This time around things might be more complicated than before.
We recently gathered information on the The FishSword. It appears all its documents are in order. This proved to be an inconvenience for us, since we where looking forward to catching Maiavel’s attacker. The search was a bust but not before we acquired information about the goals of the Fishsword’s crew. We learned that they were on land looking for money making opportunity and so it was left up to me to try and convince them let us into their group in order for us to make a profit as well. Our group split and this seemed like the opportunity for me to get information on the ships captain. I purchased a disguise kit and had a tailor fix my clothes, and then I created the persona of Hannibal Rivershore, an adventurer looking for contracts to pay his wandering mercenaries.
As I approached the captain and talked to him, I managed to pull my persona over him. I did, however, make a mistake. As a true Alphatian Duke, he disregarded me and proceeded to talk to Raizak and Carceran directly since they are wizards and no self-respecting Pure would bother with a lowly Cypri like me despite my disguise and excellent rhetoric. I didn’t mind this since it served as a distracting notion and allowed me to pass undetected. Raizak, however, felt insulted at the comments Tedup Zjiph made to them and if there is one thing I have learned in my time with the band is never piss off Raizak. The following chain of events led us to set out to out do the old wizard and let me tell you nothing says determination like paying people to lie for us.
We met up with the rest of the band who told us about the events that occurred in Castle Sulescu and we set out to hunt the giant. To my surprise our coordination and motivation was a great enhancer. Following Troyus‘ plan to the letter and thanks to Raizak’s childish gimmicks we where able to defeat the giant an be back before curfew.
Back at the inn we came in contact with the captain yet again. He wasn’t very please with us to say the least. Even more so after he was given instructions that he was to take us all the way to Specularum. In the end he accepted the contract and some in our group (those that don’t know him) were happy for the trip. The rest of us, however, have more pressing matters and worries in our minds. Will this wizard take its revenge on us when we are out of the boundaries of Sulescu, will my disguise hold long enough to make it to the capital and how will we handle things if the previously mentioned do not go our way. For the time being we have to prepare for anything and hopefully my persona will hold out, that is if I finally secure the papers needed that go with it…
Chapter 17: Silver Sword vs Wolfsbane Mace
Being a member of this group is truly a day-to-day adventure. I finally get finish what I was mentioning before. The papers are indeed important to us all. I talked to Raizak and he agreed to attempt the forgery, however, before we were able to set out for Specularum something incredible (and dangerous) happened.
The city guard came over to Evram Andriev. They were reporting that Kithkany Hunters had been seen pillaging the armory. After a short de-briefing and picking up some supplies we agreed to step out into the Hamlets and pursue the hunters without no rest whatsoever. Frutumal seemed eager to set out and I can understand him since this is the main reason he has journeyed so far away from his home.
We rode on our horses for about an hour, as we were ridding we noticed that a pack of wolves was running alongside us. When we stopped to look at them we realized that these were not wolves, but werewolves and that the pack was not just three or four but twelve of them. After a brief stare down, they continued unto the Hamlets and we chased after them. They proceeded to attack us and in the process we made it to the Hamlets. Upon reaching Abigail Farmsteads we noticed that the scene was direr than we thought. On one side of the battle the Kithkany Hunters were keeping the werewolves at bay and on the other we noticed this gigantic man with a silver sword protecting the villagers as they helped him in his fight with the werewolves.
We managed to eliminate the threat to our group and then proceed to split up. I know it sounds like a bad idea but when you have been by yourself in so many adventures with Troyus and Carceran, you only ask yourself what is the worst that can happen before actually setting out. As we reached the village the man dissipated in a storm of bats. We then met up with the rest of the group and after a brief exchange of postures, we agreed to help Kithkany and her hunters pursing this “evil” entity she claimed was the man with the sword.
We made it to the werewolf camp. At the camp the strategy made by the hunters kept the werewolves at bay while we prepared for combat. The War Priest Kithkany blessed Troyus with her god’s favor, though he would reject these claims if her ever heard me uttering them, she instructed him to keep the alpha busy while she handled the evil man. We each took it upon ourselves to try and eliminate as many werewolves as we could and then Carceran came up with the idea to use wolfsbane to make them flee. His strategy worked wonderfully for the most part, but Dio who had spent most of the battle reciting a prayer, all of the sudden yells out that the man in the armor is not evil. Just as the alpha fell to Troyus’ massive dagger stabs, Frtumal gets in between the man and Kithkany. He then proceeds to try and talk sense into Kithkany, but the fire of the field died out and the man disappeared into bat cloud yet again. This infuriated Kithkany, who attacked Frutumal and left him unconscious. The rest of us proceed to subdue her while Dio helped Frutumal. When we finally stopped her, the hunters tried to get in our way. Bad move on their part, I proceeded to intimidate them into submission by just saying, “Try it! This time around I won’t be just tripping people with this here whip. I’ll make you regret even coming here” The men quickly backed out and actually helped us pick up and carry the werewolves’ heads back to Sulescu.
When we reached Sulescu, Raizak received us and told us that we were ready to set out. The captain got into a quarrel with Frutumal. He talked his way into taking Kithkany with us but this required that we left immediately. As we boarded the ship I wondered if we would ever see Sulescu again anytime soon. That, however, might be a topic for another day. For the time being I’ll try and not write so much in order to not draw attention to myself. I’ll use this time to talk to the group and particularly Raizak about certain things from back home. I hear he has been helping out the group with certain trinkets he knows how to make. Now, I am no fan of anything magical, but I have come to trust the little guy and though I may have rejected his clothing offer in the beginning, I think its about time that I get with the program and allowed him to show me the ways of wizards outside of Alphatia…
Chapter 18: A Sulescu in Specularum
We are almost at Sulescu now and this last three days have truly been an ordeal. On the plus side my disguise has held up for the most part with the captain. This however was not the case with my third persona, but I’ll get to that later.
We arrived at Specularum three days ago in order to gather information about Canios Cassiador Sulescu. We got settled in on the The Black-Heart Lily and from there we decided up the city for the search. I remained behind for a bit to get some information on Master Rolahem of the Daggers Fencing School.
After a through search I found that the school had a shortage of equipment to work with. This proved difficult to address since it meant parting with quality gear that I had acquired over my journey. In the end it didn’t mattered, when I put the weight of the mission on the line the decision had already been made for me. The band must come first always.
I rode to the school and requested an audience with Master Rolahem. I introduced myself and told him of my desire to improve myself for the sake of my group. I presented him with my mighty masterwork whip for his school as a tribute in exchange for his tutelage and information regarding Canios. He summoned Master Sergam, introduced him and they both agreed to take me in for some lessons during the day as well as give me the information that I needed.
I gotta say, one thinks he knows a weapon until he learns from someone who actually knows it. The first lesson Rohalem gave to me came in the way of introspection. What was I fighting for, who was more important in a fight; me or the group, who can I really trust in this world? Now, the answers to these questions didn’t match his in a lot of ways but it got me thinking about a lot of things. I am currently fighting with no purpose other than one day clearing up my name. I did, however, realized that I hold the group more important than myself at times. Now this bit shocked me since this is not whom I was months ago when this started. Due to that fact, I think that, my last answer being the Band of the Wolf came as no surprise to him. This is when he intervened. He instructed me that a good fighter must always trust his weapon just as much as any other teammate. Weapons are an extension of yourself for the purpose of your group he said with a serene look on his face. I looked at the whip in my hand and I understood what he meant at that time. A wolf’s claw must be as strong as its howl and bite.
From there we moved into a sparring session, and what a session it was. He taught me various maneuvers and showed me many great uses with the whip in combat. I, of course, am very far from achieving these things, but with practice, patience and focus, I have no doubt that I will eventually achieve them. This went on for the better part of the morning and early afternoon.
After getting out I decided to put my howl to good use. I travelled to the Merchant District and later to the area known as The Nest and gathered information on both the The Veiled Society and Magda Marilenev and their movements inside the city. I found out very useful information about Radovan Ilonov, one of the leaders of the Veiled Society and Magda that put our mission into top priority and overdrive. From there I went to the inn a conveyed my information to the group. Raizak Derek came up with a plan to dwindle the Veils forces and my role in the plan would be to create a new persona that would move undetected in the city and search for Canios. With this, Billy Bones was born. He, however, had a short-lived role.
I went out early in the morning and proceeded with my part of the plan. I secured Canios and took him to a safe location. I went back to inform the group when all of the sudden I got jumped from behind. The next couple of hours are still a bit blurry in my mind but who could blame me.
Hush the assassin that was hired by the Veil to kill the Sulescu siblings and tried to take out Maiavel of Alfmyr saw right through my great disguise. He took me to a house in The Nest and began torturing me for hours. He lashed me with my own weapon, used a dagger to cut my back every time I refuse to reply, and he took a dagger and cut off my nipple; this is the last thing I remember before the band showing up to rescue me.
When I woke up the band had shown up to save me, their attention was focused on them, so I attempted to free myself, but to no avail. As the battle ensued, Frutumal Huntinghawk and Maiavel of Alfmyr managed to break through and set me free. I quickly grabbed my rapier and began fighting. Frutumal did his best to keep me alive while I fought. I shared the information on where Canios was in case things didn’t go as planned for me and eventually the numbers started shifting in our favor. Raizak set the house on fire with his fireballs and so I picked up my gear and proceeded to push forward towards the exit. Upon reaching the exit of the house I noticed that Hush was dead and that the Veiled Society Thugs where fleeing the scene. This gave me a sense of relief.
Upon returning to where Canios was housed, the band was instructed to leave while the siblings talked. I used this opportunity to go into the market and get some things before we head back to the Merchant District and purchased myself a new mighty masterwork whip. I figured since my gift was helpful to the school and learning from master Rolahem was truly an honor that will serve the band in the future, I figured I have earned the right to splurge on myself a bit.
Specularum was indeed an adventure. I feel I grew like never before and I hope everyone had the same opportunity I did. I’ve noticed Troyus speaking with a girl a lot, apparently he knows her from when he was a kid. I will talk to him later, maybe he has things he needs help with and I know it’s been a while since we have had a chat…
Chapter 19: Sulescus’ Heir
We made it to Sulescu in once piece. In the bay we were being waited on by a group of all to familiar faces. Vasil Andriev, Marcus Parathetos, Evram Andriev and Mikael Suaroski were more than happy (and strangely prepared) for our arrival.
We were taken to Castle Sulescu and were given time to prepare for the banquet in honor of Canios. I was finally able to get out of the Hannibal disguise. I will keep him in store for future uses. You never know when you need an alter ego to do things for you. I got bunked with Maiavel of Alfmyr since his brother needed to run some errands in town before coming to the castle.
We headed to the activity and the rich families of Sulescu brought forth their gifts to Canios. They weren’t opened there since they needed to be checked by the guard first which made the ceremony end earlier than expected. Back in our rooms, dead in the middle of the night we heard a scream coming from Casios room. When we arrived Cliona was there panicked with her brothers body laying 5 feet from her. I rapidly closed the door behind us and we began to search the room. We found that there was one of Leica’s toys among the gifts. We continued searching the room and found that it had a secret door. We went through it in hopes of catching the responsible for the heir’s death.
As we walked into the dungeon we found that there was a three way split so we separated to cover more ground. I went with Aranhil Thunderseeker and Yoshirou Nakajima down the left path. We managed to escape a pendulum trap with little trouble only to find ourselves fighting a werewolf. We disposed of it quickly and ran down the hall only to find Troyus’ group fighting an Alpha Werewolf. We joined the fray but not before more werewolves came out of the cage. I ran at full speed towards the open cage door and got scratched by a werewolf on the way. I jumped and pushed the door close and remained on my feet. While standing on the door a werewolf tried to climb out and I stepped on his claws, this deterred the ones in the cage from coming up anytime soon.
We cleaned up the remaining werewolves and continued down the corridor together. I opened the door at the end of the dungeon, only to find ourselves at the Guard’s office. Needless to say, we got arrested for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
That morning we got released and we were filled in by everything that happened in Cliona’s, Raizak’s and Maiavel’s group. We developed a plan, with Vassil’s permission, to pass off Cliona as her twin brother. I quickly got to work and disguised her to the best of my abilities. In the morning we headed to the ceremony and watched as Lady Magda Marilenev stood as the representative of the council for the ring ceremony and how her whole scheme came crashing down thanks to us.
As the ceremony finished, all of us, save for Cliona, headed with Vassil to the Castle where he paid us for our services. When Cliona returned she gave us the news that we are supposed to leave and have no need to return to Sulescu.
We met up with the rest of the group near the docks only to find that the The FishSword had left the port. Vassil secured passage for our group to travel to Specularum. To our fortune, however, it would be a month before we could set out since no ships leave the city until the festival to Poseidon (or however he is called over there) is over. So we are to spend a month in the city before we set out to Ierendi for the Music and Arts festival. In the mean time, since this time I entered the city with my Flint papers, I’ll return to the Daggers Fencing School to talk to master Rolahem and explain to him the reason for my disguise the last time. Hopefully he’ll understand the nobility behind my actions and continue to train me so that I can become even more deadly with my weapon of choice. With a little luck this month might prove fruitful than expected…
Part II- An Archipelago of Adventure.
Chapter 1: The Journey begins.
I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since we came to Specularum. I feel that we have been living here for ages. I can honestly say that I have made the most of my time here and among the locals.
I was able to go back to school with Masters Rolahem Belmont and Sergam Constantin. They were both very gracious and accommodating with me given the circumstances of my original deception to their eyes. I think it might be because Master Belmont saw through my original disguise (though he probably won’t admit it to me). In this past month I have learned a great deal from the two of them. From skills all the way to battle techniques that I know will prove very useful in my journeys to come. I think, however, my most important new knowledge is the history behind the two masters. Karameikos (and maybe the world) it’s a strange land. To think there is a whole clan out there dedicated solely to the purpose of hunting the undead. These are truly noble individuals and despite the fact that my surname might not be the same I feel compelled to carry on this mission just as my Master did before me. Who knows maybe in my journeys I’ll come across another Belmont on the same noble journey as that of my master and I. Nevertheless I feel reinvigorated to carry on and help my friends at Band of the Wolf in all their journeys with my new acquisitions. Its good to know that I have been able to gain valuable knowledge about combat and maybe other countries have similar schools that can further my aptitudes and abilities.
I, however, didn’t spend my whole month training. In this city I ran into one of the noble men from Sulescu, Marcus Regan. Was this a struck of luck or what? This fellow seaman owns a shipping company and was in need of extra hands. Since my love of the sea can never be stopped. I offered him my services and he gladly accepted. Over the course of the month I got to travel to Sulescu several times, working alongside him on his boat. I can honestly say we have become good friends. He was telling me that he also does business in Ierendi but that it comes to a halt for this season due to the storms. To a certain degree this made me feel more comfortable since I now know that I might run into him once we are there. I gotta say that the man (despite his manners) is indeed a great business man and is always very good to have an associate that is well connected around the places that you travel. We said our good byes and the true reward for this endeavor is definitely his friendship.
Its just a couple of days now before we are able to set sail for Ierendi. I hear that the journey might take longer than the previously anticipated fifteen days due to lingering weather conditions. This doesn’t bother me much, since time on the ship means gold that I might make if the captain does enlist my aid on the trip. I should, however start to reconvene with Troyus Bloodstone and the other people in the group. Ever since Raizak Derek finished my parcel, I have not seen him, so I guess, I might ask around to see if he has heard or learned anything of interest from Ierendi. Its been years since I last visited the islands, and even when I went there with father, James Flint, I remember that Mr. Silver discouraged heavily (for lack saying stopped me) that I went ashore with the men. I guess this time around there won’t be anything to stop me and maybe I will finally be able to what these great islands have to offer…
Chapter 2: Arriving to The Great Port
Ierendi, a land of opportunity!! I can’t believe we finally made it. I mean save for the Mad Sea Druid incident, I think everything went fairly well. We managed to secure lodging in the The Blue Dolphin. I gotta say that Yoshirou and the new guys came through for us. Speaking of new guys we ran into one of the guys conned by Benedetto Difusallo, Merkel. I think that this time around he’ll stick with us for a longer period. We decided to split up to cover more ground. So I went with the two new guys Axetor Stonecutter and that other one whose name is hard to pronounce.
We made it to Ierendi Royal Postings and as fast as we made it, I noticed what I feared for such a long time. There it was my mug plastered over the postings in a wanted poster. I quickly snatched it before the others could see it, but I noticed the Ierendi Royal Guard didn’t certify this particular posting. Given how thing work here, that definitely means that someone is definitely looking for me.
We read all the posts on the wall and decided to walk back to meet the others. On the way started asking people about my father’s ship The Walrus. Seeing as how I was new to the town, people were less than eager to help me in the endeavor.
The next day, I woke up with a renewed spirit for seeking out the information. Little did I know, I was about to run into someone that could complicate things incredibly. As I walked through the market with Merkel, I asked around and surely and securely someone eventually replied. I had heard stories about him from my brothers, but I never thought I would get to meet him. Approaching Merkel and me was none other than Long John Silver. The minute I heard his voice I knew we might be in trouble.
He asked about where I was staying and my business in Ierendi. I tried my best to divert the question and turn it into something favorable for me. So I suggested a drink for us to chat. I noticed that Merkel walked slower and slower behind us until eventually he faded from sight. I eventually entered a bar with Silver where we began drinking. There I receive the information that I wanted and, although Merkel says otherwise, avoided the problem that could be Silver to us. I have found out that the Walrus should be docking in around thirty days. This will surely give me time to prepare to meet dad and hopefully know about mom and the girls back home.
The next day I went out and proceeded with the group’s plan. I don’t know if it was because of my incredible social skills or because people know that Silver knows me and they feel very cooperative, but I found out everything we needed about the postings the group are interested in. I used my spare time to inquire about Silver and it turns out he has been living here since parting with my father (apparently on not so good terms). He has no ship but he does have a lot of connections which right know worries me since the Walrus is twenty-eight days away and I don’t want to get the group anymore mixed up in my stuff than they have too. I will, however, tell them about the poster next we all meet. For know I need to focus in knowing more things about this place. I feel that I could be happy here, but this is without a doubt a dangerous place to lower one’s guard…
Chapter 3: The Tomb of Aloun Mattringle
God I hate third watch! It’s the middle of the night you are barely catching your sleep and then boom! You feel Axetor‘s rough hand waking you up and saying: Wake up, Time for your turn! Lucky for me, my turn is with Troyus and that means that we can catch up while we watch. Right now he is doing his rounds and pretty soon he’ll be here so I start doing mine, so in the meantime I’ll use this opportunity to reflect on the day, after all who knows what might await us considering what Yoshirou told us about the body he found.
All and all, I consider today was a productive day for the group. Sure, I spent half of it pulling people away from something, but still we managed to get a lot of things under control down here. For starters, I have never felt so indebted to a Wizard. This new armor that Raizak crafted for me was worth every penny. It helped me avoid a great deal of hurt that these creatures had in stored for us. One of the most curious things was that many of these creatures had cries and sounds that sounded strangely a lot like Dio’s name. Either way we came across some serious dangers here. Good thing we came prepared, else we could have been in trouble. Out of the things we faced, though, the black blob of acid was by far the scariest. For a moment I felt that we could have lost both Troyus and Raizak but luckily for them I have truly mastered my whips and now I am able to do amazing things with them, which range from pulling dwarfs from certain death and breaking monster grips on people. Pretty soon I know that there will be little to no thing I can’t hit with them and I can tell that and slowly learning how to make my regular whip hurt more than it should. Let’s see where my training takes me from here.
I can hear Troyus coming around the hall. Hopefully this night will end soon and we can continue to explore this place and I am sure that it will be a lucrative experience for us and even more so when we get out of here…
Chapter 4: The Tomb of King Greeg
Alas!! We made it out of that dungeon. It wasn’t a piece of cake but it was indeed a win for the group. Last I wrote Troyus was just coming back from his round and he wasn’t alone. A devilish monster that Raizak and Carceran identified as a Will o’ Wisp was right on his tail. We banded together and were able to trap it and dispose of it as a team, but it wasn’t easy. Seeing that we were all awake now, we continued exploring the dungeon and found that the way to the fifth and sixth level was shut by the tremors recently, so we proceeded to go down to the fourth level. Immediately we ran into what Yoshirou had seen the previous day. It was a Chain Golem as the wizards explained an with Carceran’s touch magic we were able to dispose of it, but this was a security measure for what we where about to find.
We continued down the dungeon and we ran into an Ettin that prove that you don’t have to be smart to hit hard, still by this point (and after Sulescu) we understand giants quite a bit and we where able to get the nuisance out of the way. But it was on the tomb of King Mad Greeg that our true challenge would come. You see this giant beast known as Chimera appeared and almost took us all out. Merkel was even knocked out by its breath. The thing is that Chimeras have three heads and Troyus did a wonderful job alongside Yoshirou keeping it at bay, while I slid underneath it and Daero of Alfmyr, who is amazingly apt at walking on walls, moved behind it to flank it. Raizak, however, seemed very nervous he kept yelling, get the goat, GET THE GOAT!! Who knew the little guy would be so afraid of a farm animal and not so much of the snake and lion. Troyus managed to cut off all three heads and kept one of them as a trophy. Its strange the things a fighter wants to keep, but who am I to judge.
We finished cleaning up the dungeon and we found quite a bit of coin and gems. We got everything into the Bag of Holding we prepared and we Raizak’s magic we hid everything in my boots in order to smuggle them out. Upon making it to the entrance the guards were surprised to see us. They called the captain and he admitted we did a good job. They searched us, kept their part, paid us and told us that from now on we would get priority on jobs to be done for the Ierendi Royal Guard.
As we made it to town we decided to separate in order to get the map checked, hopefully repaired too, and to sell our loot from the adventure. This is where things really got interesting for our group.
I went with Yoshirou, Merkel and Veitor to Benno Treasure Maps. There Vael Owleyes greeted us and he proceeded to examine both the map and the patch Yoshirou found in the dungeon. He then began calling for the owner of the store and to our surprise, when he showed, it was non other than the fat con man himself, Benedetto Difusallo. I proceeded to move behind him, Merkel stood in front of him and Yoshirou asked the halfling to return the patch to him. He clenched onto it and proceeded to utter an innuendo to Benedetto. Yoshirou tried to wrestle the patch back but failed. At this point I began to talk. I told Benedetto that his time was up, that we where the group that he conned in Threshold and it was time to pay the piper with interests. With this Vael gave up the patch and started to tell us about the day that Benedetto came back talking about us and how he warned him that he would not intervene the day we showed up. Given the fact that this was that day, he moved from the counter, began tying himself up, put a rag around his mouth and locked himself in a closet. Benedetto then tried to talk his way out of the situation but Yoshirou knocked him out. We then went to get the rest of the Band of the Wolf in order to interrogate Benedetto when he woke. Raizak decided to remain behind as a counter measure in case Benedetto tried something.
When he woke up, he saw all of us standing in his store he instantly started to try and trick us. I proceeded to stand near him and told him that we were all here for him and that this time around there was no talking his way out this one. I then stood up straight again a cracked my whip in his ear. This broke the man! He began telling us all his story and journeys. He even gave us a map that he has spent his life looking for. It was written in various languages. I’ll spare you the details, but this is indeed Mad Greeg’s map we are now one shop, a fat talkative slave, and step closer to finding it and reclaiming many times over the amount that was taken from us and made us come together as a group…
Chapter 4: Two Maps and Four Quests
I can’t believe him! Months on the run and when I finally find him this is what I get from him. This gesture is so like him. But before I get to that I can’t forget about all the progress that we made in our days here.
We split up into groups in order to get information about future endeavors that we might undertake for profit here in Ierendi. Merkel and I headed for the Ierendi Naval Quarters in order to get more information about the Royal postings and the problem between the Aleea Merfolks and the Takala Tritons. We got all the information we needed, as well as the warnings of the consequences of a failure. From there we headed back for the day to the Blue Dolphin.
When the group came back we all shared our information and determined to pay a visit to the lighthouse to see what might the descendant of Teak Bootleleg have that could help us in the Greeg Treasure hunt. Dio lent me his choker, which augmented by the power of Raizak made me more eloquent. I felt like I could sell a beard to a dwarf. Thanks to this we managed to score a compass that belonged to his ancestor and on our way back we noticed that we got more than a compass. Raizak in his curiosity broke the compass, which in turn revealed another piece of the puzzle to solve the riddle. Now we are just one key away from being able to pin point the location more accurately. This had the group in high spirits but then it happened.
When we made it to the inn, a young boy was waiting for us. He asked for me to accompany him to the docks on Silver’s instructions. When I asked him if I could be accompanied, he replied: Only you are under Silver’s protection.
This made me realize that all the while, I have been able to move about this city thanks to Silver. There is someone after me and apparently, Silver might be the one keeping them at bay. I decided to trust in Silver once more and made my way to the docks. There I saw it for the first time in more than a year. The Walrus, it was docked and going through the standard docking procedures. At the foot of the dock and with the officers, was my father, James Flint and in the helm of the ship John Silver waiting for procedure to be finished. When it was all set and done I approached the ship and dad noticed me. He came over and hugged me, as he scolded me for leaving without telling him anything. I tried to reply to him but then I saw them coming down the ship.
A group of Bugbears started coming down to port and one of them addressed dad. When dad replied I immediately knew who he was by the name my father mentioned. He was none other than The Ear of Bargle. I found myself wondering what dealings my father might have with them, but then I heard my father say that he would be in port 15 days, which meant that he was the way back for this group, where ever they where going after their business was concluded.
Dad returned to our conversation an asked me what I was doing here. I told him that we needed to speak somewhere else and he replied with another question that puzzled me even more. He asked: Have you run into Silver? I answered honestly and told him that Silver had been helping and looking out for me since I made it here. He then replied in an angry tone: You can’t trust Silver! After this thing got complicated. I have been so much time on the run that it’s difficult for someone to ambush me now. Some men came up behind me and started attacking me. I am my father’s son and I won’t go down easily but eventually more and more joined in and I passed out. When I came back to, I was tied up inside the hull of the Walrus. I could hear everyone talking outside, but this time around all I could think about was why the hell did I expect something different from dad. With each passing hour I grew madder and madder, but I knew that the Troyus and the rest of the Band of the Wolf where probably getting ready to come and get me. After all I didn’t come to sleep or to breakfast and that must have surely aroused suspicion.
After a couple of hours a big bulky man came to get me. When they took me outside, I saw how Raizak and the group where in a standoff with my dad. I saw Raizak’s hand pointed towards the ship, which meant he was ready to sink it. As I passed my dad, he talked to me once more and repeated, Don’t trust Silver. To this statement my reply was clear and obvious at the time, Forget about me and think of me, as dead from know on. They untied me and I walked to the group, everyone greeted me and Dio quickly took back his chocker. I had forgotten I had it, but I’m sure he wasn’t as worried about it as he was for my safety.
We walked back to the inn and I shared with the group the information about the Walrus’ cargo of visitors. Raizak seemed genuinely concerned and showed us a wanted poster he had of the Ear of Bargle. We all agreed that we should look into what they were doing in Ierendi and given how my father had treated me so far, I quickly suggested that we visit Silver in a couple of days to see if he can help us in these and other matters of concern. I can’t how ever shake the feeling from my father’s warning. I need to find out why did Silver part from the crew. I mean the day we were drinking he told me he and dad left things off in good terms, but dad’s tone doesn’t seem to be the same as his. I’ll keep a look out for anything suspicious, but I have to wonder why has Silver been so helpful where as dad held me hostage. Whoever is after me must have great influence even as far as Ierendi. Dad and Silver must know this, and so I am in a crossroad where a decision might mean life or death…
Chapter 5: Into the Aleea Reefs
Gotta say being an underwater creature must have its perks. We were away for for almost two weeks, but the first half of our trip felt more like a pleasure cruise than anything. You see, we had a busy week looking for information through the city. Troyus almost got us in trouble asking Silver about the wrong people. Silver advise me no to mess with the Iron Ring and that is exactly what I plan to do. I just hope Dio and Troyus have the same sense that I do.
In any case, we had a day to prepare before setting out to the Aleea Reefs. I decided on the equipment I was to be taking. Given the fact that much of my equipment was not useful down thereI decided to just take a couple of things in my boots, my regular whip and I headed for the market to make a much awaited upgrade. I sold my trusty rapier for a fraction of what she cost me, but she had brought me here so far and her replacement would take over from here. In the market I managed to find the most beautiful and classy blade to this point. I purchased an incredible silver rapier with an engraved holster. I had the weapon-smith write in the words Wolf Fang on the scabbard and the hilt of the blade.With this new master craft sword I am definitely ready to lay to rest even the most resilient of werewolves. The group decided on the purchase of gifts for the King and Queen respectively and Raizak took care of that parcel for us.
I took my things and I boarded the ship with the group. Cliona is finally back. She had spent a couple of days partying hard in Ierendi and who can blame here. She lost here brother and now she is by herself in this world. I know that feeling, though mother and my sisters are alive. I can’t trust father, my brothers are part of the army and I feel communicating with anyone could mean the end of me.
After almost three days of travel, we finally made it to the reefs. At this point I asked Dio if he could lend me his magical necklace. I know it sounds selfish, but if I was to convince these Merfolk of our intentions I needed an edge in my speaking prowess. He accepted and me and Yoshirou went down to talk to the guard after they had shown up. They agreed to take us to their queen and the band set out.
Upon diving underwater I noticed that some of my companions are less than apt in the life of a seafarer. We ran into a Kelp Angler and we quickly took to fight it. Troyus, Raizak and Daero had problems getting their bearings underwater, but eventually we were able to take the plant down.
We continued towards the Obsidian City. Upon our arrivals, the Aleea Merfolks seemed intrigued with us and followed us all the way to the theatron. In there we were met by Queen Maeyi. I proceeded to talk to her and present her with our gift and the Ierendi Seal. Sadly for us, the gift did nothing to impress the great queen, however, something else did. She felt entralled by my words and voice. She introduced us to Thelis her captain of the guard and gave us the leave of her Queendom for us to search for information before setting out to meet the Takala. I remained talking to the queen and I noticed that with every word her expression intensified in a positive way. Before setting out the she gave me a box with a feather. The feather was a means for us to await our transport on the surface, away from the dangers of the sea. Before leaving she touched my chest and gave me a puzzled look. I guess she noticed my battle scar…Chapter 6: Into the Takala Reefs
We proceeded to leave with Thalis and after a few hours of travel we stopped so he could get his bearings. While we waited, the Nyxies Viyno and Viyna showed up and charmed our menfolk companions. We held them down and when Thalis showed up, he was ready to cut off their legs and arms. I negotiated with him and we extracted information about the conflicts in the Red Coral Forest, we then received a magical promise from the Nyxies as a thank you and proceeded from there.
We made it to the Hermit’s Cottage and it was under attack by a group of Sughaim. We made quick work of them and proceeded to talk to the hermit. This time around Raizak and Yoshirou did the talking. Jomer of the Dawn seemed senile so Raizak casted fox cunning on him, only to make the old hermit more puzzling. From the hermit, Raizak received Sebastian, a hermit crab that took a liking to him. With nothing else to do, we continued on our way until we made it to the Ruins on Red Coral Forest.
In here we ran into a unit of Takala Tritotons and their King Fryeden. I managed to convince him to talk and presented him with our gift. This time around our efforts were welcomed and we gained an audience with Fryeden. We eventually noticed that both races believe the other started the conflict and we found out that what the Mad Sea Druid had taken was a box with the sacred Horn of the Tritons.
When Raizak revealed that the Druid had the horn, both, Thelis and Fryeden asked why hadn’t he returned them. It was with that question that everything the hermit said make sense to me. I began explaining only to be interrupted by a band of Merrows.
We quickly took to combat and Merkel casted some very powerful nature magic that I hadn’t seen since Valora was with us. I noticed during this encounter that Troyus is bit challenged when it comes to moving in water. I must help him overcome this challenge once we are back on land. That aside, I was able to make quick work of a lot of Merrows and keep the King safe. He started looking at me with admiration from this point on. I noticed this because even his tone changed when it came to addressing me.
With his magic Raizak noticed that the Merrow captain was being charmed by someone else and so, Thalis began tracking them while Fryeden and his troop scoured the forest for them. The two scouts traveled back to the Obsidian City at top speed and told queen Maeyi. We proceeded to help the search in the reefs.
Eventually we found the Suhagin and the Merrow captains speaking. We confronted they told us that she wouldn’t be happy, but before we could actually asked them anything “she” appeared. The leader of this bands was the notorious pirate Ursula. She had remained anonymous for ten years while she re built her forces and concocted the plan to turn the Takala and the Aleea against the surface dwellers to exact her revenge. After she revealed her plan, Sebastian crawled out of Raizak’s bag and transformed into the Mad Sea Druid.
What happened after that was to outlandish to comprehend. The two magicians went on a full offensive. Oktodik attacking from above and crabs attacking from below. We managed to take out the leaders of the Sugahim and the Merrow and then it happened. The sea pirate witch Ursula told the Druid she knew about The Circle and that he was a member of it. The Druid went on a rampage. Upon seeing this, Ursula told him, now I know it’s true. She then proceeded to teleport from the battle.
After these events, Queen Maeyi and King Fryeden showed up. As they approached I began telling them of the events that had transferred in the reef, but they ignored me and went over to the Druid to ask him. He proceeded to confirm my words, but not before lashing out some insults my way. This guy clearly has issues. He then had Oktodik give the chest back to the Tritons. The king and queen then proceeded to look at each other and make their peace. Then they both came over to me. Maeyi, looked at me and thank me for everything, she also invited me over to the Obsidian City whenever I please. With this she winked at me and caressed my chest once more. Then Fryden came close. He put his hand on my shoulder and while giving it a firm grasp told me: You are always welcome on the Takala Reef great warrior Flint. I would be very happy if next time you come down here, we are able to cross trident and blade together. He then smiled at me and swam off to the Druid.
Both rulers asked the Druid to take us to the surface. He agreed and quickly had Oktodik grab us. On our way up he had Oktodik stop and squish us very hard. He then moved me close to his face and said: I would really appreciated it if you would not tell anyone how they treat me down here or anything else that you heard from the witch. You see if I find out you mentioned it to anyone, you will truly understand why they call me Mad down here. With this the final words Jomer gave to us finally made sense to us all. He has been playing with the minds of surface dwellers all this time. I bluffed to the best of my abilities and the Druid order the octopus to continue. He left us and we were picked up by the navy a day later.
In the ship, Burnscar questioned us about what had happened. I proceeded to reply to her by telling her everything that happened with Ursula and the Druid. She asked if there was nothing else, and I replied that that was all. From there, we were dismissed and we could finally rest. I took my time to write this now, since after 36 hours without sleep, I very much doubt I’ll be doing anything else but sleeping on the journey back. I wonder how fruitful a visit to Maeyi and Fryden might be in the future…
Chapter 7: The Wrath of the Iron Ring
What a night! To think that we would be on the run as a group yet again. After the negotiations with Lady Halaran and Kenelas finished I thought that things were definitely improving on all ports. But no! It turns out Daero (and who knows if his brother) was part of the Iron Ring. I trusted the guy… and yet he stole from Dio. Oh! The betrayal is deeply felt by the group in my appreciation.
Either way he has come clean and at the very least he has remedied some of the damage he made. Additionally he has given us excellent information on the Iron Ring, which could provide useful for dealing with them as they strike little by little.
Speaking of striking last night was intense. Since the minute I saw Daero and the paleness of his face even more intensified I knew something was going to go awry. He asked for Raizak, Veitor and Dio to accompany him into the room and asked Cliona, Yoshirou and me to keep an eye on things inside the Blue Dolphin. Good thing too. I was able to give Tom a note for Silver asking him his advice on how to do some unsavory business here in Ierendi. I gave him a gold coin and he asked me to give it to him in silver coins. After I paid him, he swallowed 5 of the silver coins and left. This kid must have a rough life here in Ierendi City.
As Tom left, we notice a tall imposing figure entering the inn. He was covered with a cape and approached us asking, where was Dio. When I heard his voice I recognized him immediately.
Frutumal? I said in a low voice.
He removed his hood and looked at me saying where is he? At that same moment the rest of the group came and gave us a quick explanation of what was happening. They asked for ideas on what to do, and I suggested we head for Beverly Boulevard because it was close to the Army quarters but close enough for the Iron Ring to want to attack us. The plan was simple; we are to lure the Iron Ring into a position that allows authorities to step in and dismantle the organization because of their actions. Daero, said his goodbyes, handed Raizak all of his money and left in the cover of the night.
We stepped out on the edge ready for an attack at any moment. Two streets before the Boulevard it came. From the roofs and the streets a bunch of Iron Ring Thugs began appearing. We quickly organized into combat patterns and began disposing of the street thugs. I managed to destroy their flanking opportunities by showing them how a real fighter takes on people. Using my whip and began taking out those that Raizak, Cliona, and Frutumal left unable to defend themselves and moved in to help the others. The monks took to the ceilings to deal with the archers. While they did this Raizak put one of them under a spell and we learned that their current leader was Ygus the Little. When we manage to take out enough of them they fled. But know they were referring to us as a problem that needed remedy. In the next street we ran into twice the number of thugs, only this time The Remedy was in charge. We continued to fight but coordination was necessary know. I noticed that Veitor with his huge blade was taking care of the thugs at an alarming speed. I rolled and moved across the street and ended next to him.
We need to work together to get out of this. I’ll cover your back and weaken them so you may take them out in pairs.
He agreed and told me we should stand with Dio on this to protect him. As we move towards him, we noticed that Frutumal fell unconscious. We continued with the plan and decided to save him after all was done. As their numbers began to dwindle in the ceilings, The Remedy showed up. He decided to take on Yoshirou in one on one combat. Big mistake in my opinion. you see Yoshirou might be young in age but he is powerful in spirit. The battle continued and we manage to lower their numbers to the point Ygus the Little had to comeback to intervene. When the street was almost clear for us to leave Yoshirou and Cliona climbed down in order for us to high tail it out of there. Then it happened…
Raizak raised both his hands into the air and started glowing in a bright yellowish aura. Out of him came flying a mass of rays that looked like a pack of wolves made out of energy. They all headed towards The Remedy and struck him all over. He then raised his sword and began yelling something I can’t quite remember. It must have been something about Yoshirou’s mother because, he turned back jumped into the ceiling and hit the man so hard he killed him. We all watched in awe as Ochalean Monk stood over the body of one of the Iron Ring’s lieutenants. The boy had now become a man and a the Ring now knew that if the youngest of our group, Raizak and Yoshirou, were capable of these things we would not go gentle into this good night.
The Little order a full attack on us and we began running towards the boulevard. Upon reaching the edge of the street, Burnscar showed up. She shot out a gigantic fireball down the street destroying everything in its path. In the midst of the explosion, she preceded to teleport us out of there and said to us.
I was ready to leave and then Stormbreaker came to me. I can’t believe its you people again. Here are some disguises, he’ll be here in a few days to come get you. Oh! And tell Stormbreaker our debt is settled.
With that she teleported out of there and left us at the border of the Village of Tokraka. We remember that this was the village we got information for before talking to the Takala. It’s a resort/hiding place for fugitives. Inside the bags were disguises for women and men to look like tourists. Everyone in the group looked at Raizak since we knew he needed to be a woman in his disguise, he smiled a bit and then it hit me. He must have been thinking of looking at women in this resort from a safe place. Damn that kid is smart.
And so that is how we ended up here. I haven’t gone out yet and I don’t know how I am going to face this town dressed as a woman but I know that if Raizak can pull it off, I can too…
Chapter 8: Tokraka Paradise
I take this time to write what could be my last entry. We just arrived from Tokraka and I gotta say, I still believe that place is to good to be true. The people there are all a bunch of two-faced murderous hosts. Though I do enjoy when my possible killers, give me a good bit of action before killing me. Regardless of the sex and the alcohol something fishy is going on there and it’s not inside the kitchen.
They kept us under house arrest because we seemed to be looking for trouble. I mean who could blame us! We were on the run from the Iron Ring, which by the way is still trying to kill us. Those people are hiding something big and dark though. Their songs, their reactions and their overall concept of secrets is just plain scary and nasty business. With luck, we will never have to be there again while hiding from the Iron Ring.
But now into what has me thinking this could be my last entry. We are back in Ierendi and things seem tense. Stormbreaker has placed us under protection in a safe house. But he can’t guarantee that we will be safe beyond 48 hours. This gives us very little time to plan but enough to be able to gather information on this Redwig man.
I am about to meet the group and suggest to them a possible battle strategy. Once that is done, I’ll go meet Silver for a business proposition he might find interesting. I think it’s about time, I pay back to him all the help he has give the group and me in our time here. If things go as plan, both him and us will have our situations changed entirely in this city. While I am at it, I might as well look into the plan Daero was speaking off to us. The government and the tribunes might be in danger and the right piece of information might just save them.
If I should not return from the next few days and this log be found in my things. Know that my things should be sold and evenly distributed among the group. My new rapier should go to Maiavel when he returns. Please send my whips to Master Rolahem in Specularum and tell him that I am sorry I wasn’t able to live up to his legacy. Give Blackjack over to Merkel or Veitor, they have proven a good companions here in Ierendi and I know they will take care of my good friend. Last but not least make sure you send 1,000-gp from my gold pieces to my mother in the Kingdom of Stonewall, here name is Amestris Flint. This might just help her and my sisters survive in case something happens to my scumbag of a father. My funeral should still be carried over as I mentioned before on Raizk…shit, it’s starting to stick, on Quasqueton. To my companions thank you for everything. If this are my last actions, I hope they help you out in the future and know that I am grateful I was a part of this band…
Chapter 9: Ambush Near the Cemetery
All right the deed is done. Who would have thought, I made it out alive yet again. This situation with the Iron Ring is definitely getting out of hand. The good thing is that by this point if they don’t know we mean business they are in for a world of hurt.
I gotta say that planning came in handy. My masterful skill with disguises and my knowledge of the town paid off. I was able to guide the Iron Ring towards us and the Gaius Gang away, talk about skill right there. The problem, however, was dealing with The Little and The Muscle along with their underlings. Not that we were worried or anything, but we managed to prepare the hideout for any and all eventualities.
When they made it to the hideout, our ambush was set. We managed to catch them off guard, which forced the hand of the Muscle and Little. Though we never saw The Little until after Poison showed up, we did manage to hit where it hurts. I took out the Muscle. One would think a man like him would have put up a better fight. I mean, Troyus and Daero did hit him but clearly the strength of my whip was too much for him to handle. I managed to move up behind him and wrap my whip around his neck. The pain of the barbs in my whip and the profuse bleeding that my attack caused must been what took him down after just one attack.
After his fall, Poison showed up and tried to barter with us. Bad move on her part, we had the upper hand and so we went on the offensive, and we almost did her in, but then it happened. She teleported Dio away!
We continued taking down thugs and when we finally managed to rescue Dio, the Apollo box had already been taken. We managed to capture The Little, but at what cost. Now Hendriks has all he needs to carry out his plan. But he made one crucial mistake. We are still breathing and we are coming for him.
We took the loot to Silver for distribution and we’ll just have to see what Stormbreaker has to say to us about his house. Hopefully once he finishes, I’ll be able to talk to Silver and see how favorable things look for us in our enterprise to hurt Hendrik’s business. Either way, the time is almost here when I will have to show the Band just how far my training with Master Belmont took me…
Chapter 10: A Deadly Celebration
Olidammara! This past couple of days have been horrible. We have been on the run for the most part and just when we get a break to be on the chasing side things escalate real quickly.
We lost one of ours yesterday. Brother Cornelious said he would be back but still, its hard to acknowledge that we are all here a second and we can be gone the next. Yoshirou is a fine boy, but I’m sure this experience will definitely change him to a degree when he comes back.
Speaking of changed people. Raizak, what the hell! I spent hours looking for Firespitter and his friends with Troyus and when we finally make it into the streets, chaos! Veitor yelled at me that a man was hiding in the next building over, when I go there I run into The Gift. Now, this half-orc was no piece of cake. I hit him hard but hit even harder and then grabbed me to give me a gift in the alley. Good thing (if it can be called that) Raizak saw him and went after us. He held him down with his magic and began hitting him with the mini-wolf rays. After a couple of minutes, I managed to wriggle free of his petrified body. This was the moment that Raizak yelled to me. He is my kill. I am a man that respects that, had it been Troyus, that wouldn’t be the case like with the chimera in the Ierendi Castle Dungeon and, there would have been no understanding. What I could not have predicted is that my whip would hurt him to the point of death. So after a quick lash to let him know that we meant business, the weakling died!!!
Raizak took this as an insult. I have never seen the little guy so mad. I mean he went as far as to hold me down with magic and light fire under me. I don’t think I’ll ever get over this fact. I know this is all his desire to prove himself a great contributor to the group. In my opinion he already has, with all of his help and crafting, but I think the little man wants more. In any case, to me is no problem conceding him the spotlight next time he wants it, after all in more than one instance he has saved our lives and surely deserves some of the credit. I will, however, be wearier from now on. Glantrian wizards are clearly and possibly as bad as the ones in Alphatia and that is a problem for everyone if he ever throws a tantrum like this one again.
That incident aside we managed to help Dio fulfill his mission to his God and his Brother revived Stormbreaker, which got us even more favor here in Ierendi. Daero returned with Hendriks’ head and a notebook that essentially helped dismantle the Iron Ring here in Ierendi. Now we finally get some well-deserved rest. I think I’ll go check out the city for a while. After all, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to move about freely without fear for my life…
Chapter 11: The Black Pit Part 1
Things have interesting for us in the last couple of days. I finally managed to spend some time in the city and I gotta say that, training in the Adventurer Club was rewarding but bland in a sense. There wasn’t much I could learn from the Master there, but I was able to polish up some one my skills and that indeed showed its rewards on the days that came after that.
Two days into hour well-earned rest Stormbreaker, Ikako, and Silverstreak visited us. They filled us in on everything that Raizak had been investigating in the past couple of days. After a couple of hours in the planning table we resolved that we would travel to Tokraka (I was secretly hoping to see the twins in the forest after we finished) and help capture the Ear of Bargle as accorded with Silverstreak.
A couple of days passed and we where all but set to leave. On the eve of our departure, Raizak revealed his new form to us. Not without making a show of it. I was the center of the party in an all out roast of all my endeavors as seen from the perspective of the boy, well man now. We did a little back and forth and I even approached him to talk and offer him help. He doesn’t remember what happened in the alley or at least he pretends not to. I guess that when you tamper with magic for vanity reasons, maybe there could be side effects like memory loss, not that I know anything about those things though.
Just as we where about to set out for Tokraka, Raizak pulled me aside to talk for a bit. He gave me information on Silver he had from his conversations with Stormbreaker. Now I know that so far Silver has proven to be a friend, but this new information is making me question if dad was just trying to protect me in his own weird way. For the time being I’m not going to mention anything to the group and as longs as Raizak knows there is still a way for the group find out should something happen to me. Either way this diary will serve as a record of this if it where to happen.
We set out for Tokraka only to find out that the Bargle Bugbears had made other arrangements in order to avoid being ambushed in the Village. When we met with our contacts, we met Chorus, Rele and Seawolf. They were to be our guides through the pit. We ran into various lizard men and we made short work of them. We proceeded down the pit and when we got to the bottom, Daero told us that the body of Zarak was gone from the pit. We continued down the corridor and ran into several mishaps but the truly scary parts were the when part of the group got trapped in a room with crushing walls. Talk about luck on my part ending on the other side of the trap. With a little divine intervention the group was saved, but this was only the beginning turning the next corner we ran into a Nithian Scarab Swarm. This little pests, where truly a challenge, especially when Frutumal and Raizak fell. We finally managed to kill the swarm and then Dio and Frutumal proceeded to heal us. Go thing they did too because…
Chapter 12: The Black Pit Part 2
Right in the next room, Ear of Bargle had made it through the dungeon all the way to a room with a giant skull sitting on a throne with his two hostages Chola and Bargle the Detective. Here they made their last stand. Only seven of the Bugbears remained at this point and I made my best effort to disarm the magicians. It turns out that these Bugbears are not to bright when it comes to protecting themselves from a man as skilled in the whip as me.
After a few seconds, the Ear of Bargle grabbed Bargle and fled at the same time Yoshirou grabbed Chola and took her to Chorus, her husband. I was quick to follow the Ear, his wolf and one of his bugbears while the group continued fighting. Now that I now everything that transpired after I left, it has made me question my decision but alas things were done and I cannot turn back time.
As I continued down the hall I saw everything and my mind was blown. Ear of Bargle exposed Bargle to the Heartstone and he was split into two. Both of them began duking it out while he watched. I hid as best as I could and then Raizak showed up. He casted his magic and Ear of Bargle turned his attention to him. Sadly, his wolf noticed me hiding and began attacking me. I managed to slip through him, but not without sustaining damage. By this point the rest of the group was making it towards the hall accompanied by a giant bright lion that Raizak had summoned. I gotta say. I found it really weird that he would summon a lion instead of a wolf, but I won’t complain. The beast fought magnificently and this gave me the opportunity to leave the wolf’s grasp. I proceeded tumble past the Ear and attack him from the back. I noticed he was in pain since the lion had him pinned down. Sadly for me Raizak’s spell didn’t hold out enough and the last remaining Bugbear attacked me from the back.
The rest after this is blurry, but I woke up to the news that Dio had been killed. The group decided to send him with Raizak to be raised from the dead in Thyatis in his church. With this yet again another companion that visits death only to be brought back by magic. This is a truly outstanding thing about magic. No wonder wizards back at home live so long, but I guess these intricacies are should not be the concern of a Cypri like me and now that we have cleared our name in Threshold and we have proven ourselves yet again with the people of Ierendi all that is left for us is to destroy this accursed stone…
Chapter 13: Trip to Safari Island
Several things have transpired in the last couple of days. We finally made it to Safari Island a couple of days ago. In the trip we managed to solve the remaining parts of the Blackscar innuendo. This means that when we get back the group will probably decided to follow through on the map. I noticed that Carceran arrived from the map shop bruised and hurt. He went to talk to Raizak right away, so something probably happened on the way. I still remember when Aranhil went to Southshore by herself and she came back just as beat up, so this is probably Carceran’s case. The poor guy always seems to be getting hurt by things.
On Safari Island, however, hour luck seemed to favor us. We managed to expedite the process of the hydra hunt and we even had time to gather information on it. I went to talk to the Governor of the island, whom was a little less than helpful considering he has delegated this whole situation to the guards.
When we reconvened we received a visit from an Ochalean man, who offered to pay us in order to accompany us in the hunt and for us to allow him to keep the hydra hide. When we accepted the deal he and his followers left and we received a second visit. This time the visitor was none other than, Macala Krosan, the island’s creature expert. She offered us money for the hydra components for her to study. We also agreed. With this our venture had just tripled in profit. We where now missing what we came for.
Dio managed to barter for extra preparation days and during this period Raizak teleported back to Ierendi City to buy some magical rods that we would need for facing the hydra. While at that, we looked into the man that was buying the Teak Bootleg items. He then sent our way, Captain Hector Rushblood. He claimed to be a descendant of a sailor in Mad Greeg’s ship. He and his pet monkey, Elricus, bartered with us, over items and we ended up buying for pieces of jewelry from him in order not to attract attention to our venture.
With this we managed to accomplish our main goal here. Now it’s only a matter of surviving the hydra in the next few days. I think I’ll ask around to see if someone else knows something about this creature we are about to risk our lives trying to take down. Hopefully it will be less difficult than the things we face back at the capital…
Chapter 14: The Hydra of Safari Island
The trip to Safari Island was very fruitful for the group. We managed to deal with the contract and earn a contact on the process. Though at first things seemed dire, Raizak made sure that the stone giant fighting the young hydra saw things our way. It actually helped us dispose of the Hydra, but it did some damage in killing two of the rangers and hurting Daero before seeing things the raizway. In the process, I learned that I still have ways to go before my whip and I are one. Though I’m getting close to being a master with it, I dropped an acid flask on myself while trying to seal a hydra-severed head and that is proof enough that I still need more work using my whip.
Upon dealing with the youngling, it called out to it bigger and nastier mother. By this point I was out of flasks to seal heads, so my job shifted to severing heads. With everyone working together and the combination of the Ochalean Rakasta Fire Team we where able to take down the mother hydra, but now the challenged remained. How where we going to transport these beasts back? We agreed to set up a perimeter and hold off the monsters for a day, while Raizak teleported to Sindaba and brought back a cart big enough to carry all things back. The idiot, however, as Troyus pointed out forgot the horses. What he did next was marvelous nonetheless. He whistled and two horses appeared out of nothing in the jungle. With this I was able understand that the magic this man has can be of extraordinary uses, more so than a simple pair of gloves.
When we made it to the town, people where cheering his name. I realized quickly that in the day we where keeping things safe, he spend time, boasting about how he was the one that did everything and we where just the aid. This didn’t sit well with the group, especially with Yoshirou. But I guess that as long as the job gets done the band will always remain receptive to the memebers, though some of us don’t have problems with are memories as Raizak does after his transformation.
We earned an ally in the form of the ranger, Yama Orce, that guided us through the safari due to the fact that we allowed her to boost her reputation by helping us. We talked about what to do when we got back to Ierendi and the group decided that we should tell Silver that we would go into the dungeon and bring him back his share and at the same time negotiate with Stormbreaker for a contract to clean and close up the secret entrance. Raizak agreed to carry out the negotiations and asked for couple of gold pieces from the group. I assume it was to be able to get through Southshore safe and by himself after what happen to Carceran.
When we arrived at port he met us and gave us the news that both Silver and Stormbreaker agreed to our crusade. Raizak also met the group at port with their new items. This made me realize that the group is slowly getting more powerful and magic is a strong aspect of it. In the next couple of weeks I might have to visit Raizak to place an order of the most unusual nature. In the mean time, I’ll just rely on tonics and potions to contribute. I’ll go to the market and get some things. After all, the last time we went into the Ierendi Castle Dungeon things where not easy and I assume the deeper we go the tougher they’ll be…
Chapter 15: Return to the Ierendi Castle Dungeon I
A couple of days getting ready for this and all we barely make it out with our lives. We spent the better part of Moldain searching the clues of the map and deciphering it during the day and corroborating during the night. While we did this, Raizak came across a painter that has visions of events. Apparently he saw us a month before entering Quasqueton. This is a weird occurrence, but Raizak said he would keep tabs on him.
We managed to find the place but we needed to return at night, because from what I have learned on my days here and interacting with Silver one of the codes in the map indicated that we needed to return at night. My street knowledge was correct; we made it to a fountain of the Second King of Ierendi, which turned out to be the secret entrance. We ran into an inconvenience though. The entrance could only be opened from the outside. Because of this, the Band decided that we would contact Stormbreaker in order for him to help us with this, but this left me thinking about how this would mean a bit less gold for us after all the effort. In the end the word of the Band is law and so we contacted him and returned the next day on Nytdain with our escorts.
We made it into the dungeon and only a few steps in we run into an annoying construct of a bronze serpent. For a construct it was incredibly nimble and hitting it was very hard even for me. Maybe if Troyus hadn’t gone missing the day before we set out things would have been different. Frutumal and Dio used their spells to finally trap it and even out the fight. Eventually and after a lot of earth changing on the clerics part we managed to take it down.
As we proceeded down the hall, we heard a couple of voices calling out for the Death Kahuna. Daero and I moved closer to see, what the voices where about and then we saw them. A pair of Huge Skeletons in the middle of a big hall calling out for the Death Kahuna that summoned them. By my calculations the man must have been death for at least 50 years but here they were, still waiting on their master and protecting the dungeon as Stormbreaker had told us before we entered. These monsters unlike the bronze serpent were not hard to hit, but on the other hand my whip didn’t even dent them. I felt utterly useless but we rallied quickly. Daero took point on drawing their attention, while Raizak and Yoshirou bashed at the gigantic piles of bones. The rest of us proceeded to follow Daero’s plan, though a bit more clumsily than he did because of his magic. Through the battle I noticed that it wasn’t just my whip that was not harming them, but all weapons that slashed or pierced. This made me realize that I need to have all the possible options to adapt to the groups’ needs.
When we finished off the skeletons we cleaned up what treasures might have been laying around and we returned to the entrance to bunker up and rest. In here it’s where things got really rocky (no joke) the ground began to shake uncontrollably. Maybe the clerics spells weakened the integrity of the dungeon or maybe it was just a regular earthquake, but regardless of this, we took our things and ran to the entrance. There, Raizak sent a spell to Stormbreaker, who opened up the entrance for us and we were able to escape before things got worse. We turned in what we found to Stormbreaker and he gave us a percentage of what we found. Better than nothing I guess.
He then told us to give him some time to verify if the dungeon integrity had been compromised and then he would come get us to continue our job clearing it out. This proves great for me as it gives me the opportunity to go shopping for a way to be even more useful for the group. Sometimes whipping things into shape is not enough and when things don’t work out, just pummel the problem away…
Chapter 16: Treasure of Mad Greeg Part I
It feels like a lifetime since the last time I was able to put ink to paper without risking death. The last couple of weeks have truly been eventful. From treasure to visiting the gates of hell, there is never a time to take a breather when it comes to our next goal.
This all started right after Stormbreaker told us that it would be some time before we could go back to the dungeon, after the earthquake. The group decided to continue following up on Mad Greeg’s map. After several hours of work, we finally managed to decipher some of the clues but we also realized that the other clues needed to be faced head on while on the island.
In order to travel there without permits, we managed to secure the one of the shadiest and most frowned upon ships on the city, The Crowe. Captain Rushblood was our contact man and after some negotiations on how he would help us achieve our goal we boarded the Crowe ready for a treasure hunt. To my surprise on board the ship, I ran into Long John Silver working as the cook in the ship. As it turns out this was the ship and the friend he told me a couple of weeks ago. The group seemed puzzled at our conversation and from what I later heard from Dio, Raizak seemed a little on the edge about Silver being on board while we were out hunting treasure but in the end I knew this could turn out for the best in our favor.
On hour way to White Island, we ran intoGoldo Blacksoul and his ship the Crone. It turns out his reputation has been severely damaged after our crippling of the Iron Ring and this was his last stand to recover his reputation among the scourges of Ierendi City. We beat the little halfshit and to administer an even more devastating blow, Raizak flew up into the sky and fired a gigantic ball of fire. The group insisted that it was just a regular fireball, but I could have sworn that at some point it took on the form of Raizak’s face while it flew through the air and hit the ship.
We moved away towards the island and we saw the Crow burning and sinking on the distance, hopefully Goldo will learn better than to mess with us again.
Once we made it to the island we searched around and finally managed to solve another of the clues, Troyus’ simplicity in thinking came in handy this time around. Among the things that we learned the White Apes of this island don’t like being made fun off as Yoshirou evidenced with his pungent smell after being hit with a rotten fruit by one of them. After the incident we noticed that the sun was about to go down, so we returned to the ship to spend the night before reclaiming our prize tomorrow…
Chapter 17: Treasure of Mad Greeg Part II
We made it to the island for what we hope is our last visit to this mysterious place. We continued down the path we had found the previous day and we learned the hard way that Mad Greeg did not enjoy visitors or even desired them.
Puzzle by puzzle we managed to get through the cave. Eventually we realized that each clue was meant to indicate how to identify and what we needed to do. Once this was done we proceeded at an even faster pace through the dungeon.
We got by using what I like to call the wolf formation. Daero scounting for traps, Troyus ready to destroy anything, me lighting the way on the front, the magicians at the center to support, Axetor, and Yoshirou covering the rear end and protecting the magicians. All and all it has proven effective and one thing that I learned from dad on my days on the Walrus, if it works keep milking it till it won’t anymore.
We eventually made it to a large room decorated with a bunch of images of the wind. Even though we knew that there must have been a rational solution, we argued and bickered so much that we ended up triggering EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE TRAPS on this area before we finally made it to the next phase. It would be here where Axetor’s lever pulling would save or doom us.
You see there where five animal drawings, and a series of levers. We decided on using the Gas of Whispering walls potion that we bought for the Ierendi Dungeon. With the questions we asked we managed to narrow down some of the aspects of the trap but that wasn’t enough. After several attempts to open and failing we were all literally staring into the abyss, only that this abyss was filled with lava rather than with darkness and despair, as you would imagine it would be. Axetor tried one last time and this time around the door opened. I can’t help but wonder if what made Greeg mad wasn’t his eccentricity when it came to traps but rather the dealing with people that were not clever enough to meet his intellect. Either way, I am sure Carceran’s bard friends could surely write a song with this lever and elephant trap later on.
In the next pahse of the cave we found a treasure chest that had five keyholes, each with a different sense. I argued in favor of the eye keyhole and in the end the group went with my decision and thus opening the coveted Mad Greeg chest.
We carried the chest back out the surface and we noticed that we were just a few minutes away from Rushblood leaving us in the island. We ran as fast as we could but in the end Troyus tripped and Veitor let go of his end, setting us behind and as such making us fall under the White Island sleep spell.
While sleeping I had a dream of a white island, upon reaching the island I decided to look around and I noticed that rather than an island this was a giant dead body. I decided to get out of there as soon as I could. When I woke, I found out that everyone that fell under the spell had the same dream and when piecing the dream’s together we realize that the bodies belonged to the long gone Nithian Inmortals. Carceran suggested that this might be what the Circle is dealing with but then again, I don’t want to mess with those people.
When we made it back to the ship, Silver called me over. I began talking to Rushblood and he was demanding that we hand over the treasure because it was his birthright. When I started to barter about it, he revealed the true nature of his ship and threathen us with death. At this point he also revealed that he brought Silver along to use him as food for his wraith crew. Dio stepped in and proceeded to offer removing the curse on the ship. The wraith leader agreed to Dio’s offer and killed Rushblood in the process. Now Dio was captain and we were all bound to the ship until the curse was removed or the wraiths feeding time came along. We talked it out amongst ourselves and we decided to visit the Death Kahuna in order to find a solution to this problem or better yet to find our lives back…
Chapter 18: The River of Death Part I
As we approached the port we noticed that the treatment we received was one of the elite. Dio and Raizak went down to port to visit the Death Kahuna and talk to him about this curse. After a couple of hours they returned and explained everything we needed to do. Dio decided that we should help the wraiths be freed from the curse rather than accept the Kahuna’s help with being free from this cursed ship. Dio is a great guy, but this time around I found myself questioning his judgment and his desire to keep the Band alive.
I went down to port with Raizak and Dio to gather information and I found that the Ear of Bargle were the grave robbers that were plaguing this island. I then returned to the ship and found my new Morningstar waiting for me alongside an oil of ghost touch. I felt ready to tackle the river of death.
We set sail the next day and eventually made hour way through the entrance and down the river. At the end of the channel we ran into a giant dragon skeleton and a giant’s skeleton lying on an island. Before we could dock, a giant undead octopus attacked the ship. Though we managed to defeat it, we realize that being so close to the gates of hell, the dead don’t stay dead. It was at this precise moment that Master Rolahem’s words came to my mind; “The dead are not smart, but if you give them a chance their stupidity will catch you off guard”. Truer words have never been spoken.
Upon striking the last blow to the octopus, we saw how the gate of hell proceeded to resurrect the octopus and summon even more undead skeletons to try and sink the ship. We quickly docked and began looking for the stone.
Daero and me tried and tried to find it but eventually the colossal skeletons became a problem not only to the ship but to us as well. Frutumal then came down to shore and worked his magic on us making us invisible to the undead, but time was running short and if we didn’t find the stone soon we would become permanent residents in this the river of the death…
Chapter 19: The River of Death Part II
I don’t know exactly how it happened and it was all so fast that I didn’t really care either. But apparently Dio met and healed the first captain of the ship. Raizak got a piece of parchment with the stone and ring on it. He then gave the drawing to Frutmal so that he could locate the stone. While all this happened the group continued to fight and Daero and me continued searching. Eventually Frutumal found the stone and told us. Daero rushed to the stone and I began to fight the undead to keep the ship alive while everyone boarded.
The zombie captain kept urging us to turn the skull around and it took us a few seconds to realize what we needed to do, but eventually we began fleeing from the islands. The three remaining skeletons got on the ship to attempt to sink it one last time but we managed to stop them. As we were leaving, we learned that the zombie captain was none other than Carrasco. Dio confronted him and we managed to get all the information on the Crowe, originally named The Broken Hand, the origin of the curse, and how to break it.
We know found ourselves in another dilemma. This ship belonged to the Death Kahuna and we were trying to destroy the curse that his predecessor Nula had place on it. After a big argument among the group Dio convinced to wraiths not to kill Carrasco and that visiting the current Kahuna was hour best bet to break the curse.
When we made it to Elegy Island, we noticed that once again the port stopped for us, but this time around the port was filled with all kinds undead, curiously all of which where forming a circle around the ship. When the Death Kahuna did finally showed up, Raizak realized that this was what Carrasco meant. It was a circle around the ship that only the Death Kahuna could see. He then told Dio and Daero this information as we were preparing to lower the treasure into land. Now Daero and Dio found themselves on a stare down. This decision could free the wraiths but also kill us due to the Death Kahuna’s anger. In the end, I don’t know what they talked about or agreed on, but I saw as Daero handed Dio the stone.
It was at this moment when my body and soul was filled with dread. Dio raised his mace and smashed the ring and the stone. The ship began sink slowly into the Nula bay, and now we where all on port with an offended and very powerful Necromancer that ruled all the undead around us. Dio’s judgment was clearly at fault, I would have considered our lives first rather than that of the wraiths that tried to kill us and cursed us, but these holy magic users are truly strange in instance.
Just as the Death Kahuna seemed like he was about to determined what kind of menial undead task we would be performing for the rest of our remaining days, a small man dressed in white showed up asking for Raizak. At first I thought he was a dwarf but then I realized he was just a really tiny human. After he talked with Nek-Ron and the Death Kahuna for a few minutes, the Death Kahuna signaled so that we left the island. The little man was named Herve and he showed us towards his ship. As we boarded I realize that coming back to Elegy Island is not doubt a grim sentence for us, but I can’t say it wasn’t a learning experience. I am now more convince than ever that Master Rolahem’s family mission needs to be continued. My next goal should be to get my whip and myself ready for fighting undead, but I believe this will have to wait a bit.
As we boarded the ship, its sails magically were raised and it turns out the sails were a peacock’s tail of colors. We looked at Herve and proceeded to listen to him as he spoke. He thanked us for accepting his master’s invitation to Dream Mannor. Raizak seemed very eager to arrive at Fletcher Island, but the rest of us were just relieved that we were alive after everything that had happened.
And that is how hour past weeks have been spent, we are almost at the Fletcher Island now and the group seems to be more calmed now. I guess when your life is at risk; it becomes easier to forget where your trust should be placed. I need to talk to Long John, I am sure that the loss of the Crowe and Hector Rushblood is definitely a blow to his dream that may require talking to a friend…
Chapter 20: Raizak in Fantasy Island
I have to say, Mr. Coarke was a very gracious host in our stay in his house. I don’t remember a lot of the details of what happened, but one thing I am sure of is that we had a great time.
We arrived, unlike in Elegy Island, and were greeted with all the fanfare that a group of our prestige deserves. From the port we were taken to villas and Coarke asked Raizak to accompany him and after that the rest is a huge blur.
The next thing, I remember clearly is us getting back on board the ship to Ierendi City. I wonder if we will ever comeback to Fletcher Island but one thing is for sure, the place is a fantasy spot for anyone wanting to escape their day to day…
Chapter 21: The Trials of Earl Novak Raspen
We made it safe and sound to Ierendi City. As we unloaded we were met by Raizak, who know teleports ahead of us all the time to work on his shop, and Captain Stormbreaker. I decided to accompany Long John back to the Seaweed while the group got around to their business.
When I met up with them again, I found out that Troyus and Dio decided to accept Novak Respen’s royal posting. This at the time made me a little frustrated with them since Stormbreaker had already told them that the Black Pond was ready for us to clear it and the Earl’s posting had no gold involved. My frustrations quickly dissipated when they explained that there would be money involved on Stomrbreaker’s part.
We quickly set out to organize a plan and I ended up being a support for Veitor alongside Raizak while he swam against the old Earl and my challenge became the next to last in the form of a hide and seek contest.
One will ask why were we running support. Well we found out from Stormbreaker that apparently there were at least three groups after Respen’s life. We needed to make sure nothing happened in any of the competitions or else the Earl could die. We ran point for each other and when we where not on task, we scouted the town to try and eliminate the groups. We managed to take down the human and elf group but the orc group still remained.
During Raizak’s chess challenge the whole plan came crashing when our group was spotted in the activity taking out the orc band. The competition went to Novak and our group was given a generous sum on the Earl’s part. He then proceeded to throw the mother of all Ierendian Parties. He tried to convince some of us, seeing as we weren’t happy with our defeats and in the end only Raizak and Carceran left the party.
The next morning we woke up to a huge mess of ROYAL proportions. During the night, according to what people like Yoshirou and Frutumal told me the next morning wild things happened all over. Apparently, I began drinking so much that I decided to climb to the second floor of the bar and swing, side to side, from the candelabras using my whip. This apparently didn’t go as well since the candelabra came crashing down and two men that tried to take me outside afterwards. Yoshirou insists that there was also a girl that kissed me early in the night right after I had thrown up, but Troyus insists that if I don’t remember that, then it didn’t happened.
In the afternoon, Stormbreak that came to bring us some sad news visited us. Apparently Earl Novak Raspen had died on his sleep during the previous night. This news sadden and filled us with joy at the same time, since the old man went on to glory not for being king, but for defeating the Band of the Wolf and throwing the greatest party in Ierendi history…
Chapter 22: The Trolls of Ursula
A couple of days after the funeral of the Earl, Stormbreaker approached us. He told us that the security issues that the Black Pond presented to the castle where to big and he ordered the entrance to be sealed. He apologized for not fulfilling his end of the deal, but that he had another job, which might interest us. The news hit me like a bucket of cold water. The group seemed hyped and happy about the fact that they could make up the gold in the next job, but I was worried about more pressing matters. How would we break this news toLong John? I decided not to mention anything at the time, since this could put us on the spot with Stormbreaker and that is not something we want to do from the beginning. How the band will deal with Silver later still eludes me to this moment but I guess that is one of those situations where you cross the river when you get there.
Stormbreaker proceeded to explain to us the offer and it turns out that the Tokraka Family has need for our services. Apparently the Northern Tower has a breach and the creatures coming out of it were presenting a problem to their economy. We headed there and began investigating. We found that six victims had been accounted for so far and we theorized that different monsters where at work here. I worked with Troyus and Daero to look up in the archives of the Royal Library for information on Wights, Mummies, and Abyssal Ghouls.
Among the records we found that there is a Golden Scarab that produces the swarm that almost killed Frutuman and Raizak last time and that there was a Nithian area that had been closed up by the Thyatians because of Mummy sightings. Aside from that we know from previous experiences that there are Ghouls down there and from what my companions tell me the Abyssal Ghoul is very real.
As we returned to the village we were ambushed by a band of trolls lead by a polymorphed Merrow that Ursula gave orders to. The Band made quick work of the trolls, but not before things got complicated for some members like Merkel and Frutuman. I have come to realize that my skills with the whip are great now, but my equipment just can’t keep up with my skills and that of my team.
This presents an issue for me since, I know for a fact what we might face in the North Tower and that it was Ghouls, the creatures, that made Master Rolahem stop traveling and pursuing his clan’s mission. Should I come across a Ghoul, I won’t hesitate to take him down but this puts my companions and me in a dire situation if not handled correctly.
We made it to Tokraka with the information. I talked to Raizak about an order of gear, but I realize that it won’t be ready until after we finish clearing this place. I talked to the leaders of the Tokraka Family and based on what we found out, they agreed to sell us potions at a regular cost rather than double. They also told us that we could take from the dungeon anything that we find but that half of what we find is theirs to keep. The band found this to be a reasonable agreement and so everyone began reading for the incursion.
Given the monster that we might find, I find it fitting to leave a note on this journal in case I don’t make it or can’t be brought back.
If my body should cease to be due to the things that we find in there, my gear should be sold off and the profits dived equally among the members of the band. My automated-foot pad will now go to Daero, since I’ve noticed that he has the craft to use it properly on ambushes. My rapier, Fang, will go to Maiavel seeing as he is a talented fencer. My Morningstar should go to Troyus, seing as he might one day need to bash things rather than slice them. Blackjack should go to Veitor or Merkel, who ever manages to bond with him easier. My gold is to be split in half. One half will go to the Band for the troubles they might face in my absence and the other half is to be sent to my mother and sister in the Kingdom of Stonewall. If at all possible, please write to them or send them this dairy, which will explain to her in detail what became of the life of her Nathaniel…
Chapter 23: Return to Black Pit I
A good nights rest after a day of being alive to tell about is simply a miracle. Now that I am back here at Tokraka and after we ventured for our lives it seems like the sooner Raizak gets my equipment ready the better off I will be next time around.
We went into the dungeon and found that apparently bodies were being moved around. As we investigated around we came across a pile of bodies stacked together in a form of ritual, according to Raizaka, and a group of wraiths guarding a sealed mine entrance. We managed to get rid of some and Frutuman (whom I would get into about later) turned the remaining ones. At this point we realized that the ritual was in place to draw living energy in order to sustain the wraiths in place to protect something. Raizak concluded that a cleric, a rogue and a wizard were needed to disable the device. Frutuman, Daero and Raizak go to work, but it took Dio’s steady devotion to finally stop the ritual.
As all of this was happening Yoshirou and Merkel noticed that there was a Mummy watching us and fled when we turned off the ritual. We decided to go back to town and get fixed up and when we returned we noticed that someone was trying to set up the ritual again. We proceeded down the dungeon and once again ran into the Nithian Scarab Swarm. This time around we made quicker work of it than before but we noticed the mummy that Yoshirou and Merkel described. It made a reference about us being Milenians. Apparently, from what Raizak told us later was his infeence, this Nithian Mummy was placed here by someone to protect against Milenians trying to get their secrets.
We moved further down the corridors and the swarm appeared again, this time around it took us a bit longer to deal with since Raizak was dealing with the Mummy. We managed to kill of the swarm and the amulet that summoned it 2 more times but not without injuries. We took a night to rest inside the dungeon but this was only the beginning…
Chapter 24: Return to Black Pit II
The next day we moved further into the next area of the dungeon. We finally made it to the Giant on the Throne. It was here where Frutuman made me question the judgment of Clerics and the way their deities make them work in mysterious ways. We began searching around the room and while Daero and me were busy checking up on the dead giant’s body, Merkel, tracked and looked into what type of beast might have done this to the giant. Raizak began a magic detection of the area while Dio, Troyus, Veitor and Yoshirou waited patiently. But not Frutman, oh no, he had to do something. He began to search around the throne and in the process he activitated what we later found out was a giant’s trial. This action on Frutuman’s part unleashed the beast of the challenge a colossal giant scorpion.
We tried to seal in the scorpion but it took Daero and later, Yoshirou captive in its pincers. I took all of us pulling at them with my whip to pry them free of its grasp. Once out of there it took only a few seconds for the monster came out but by this point Raizak had exahausted all of his magical reserves on destroying the beast. This didn’t come without a cost. We noticed how Raizak was basically branded and how the giant spoke the words; You and your clan have the blessing of the Titan’s, you are one step closer to defeating the ring.
I mention to the group that it seem likely that this ring the giant spoke of might actually be the circle. Raizak dismissed the notion until what happened to us upon getting out.
Outside the Northern Tower was the Tokraka Family waiting for us. Upon dividing the riches and debriefing us on what happened, Ino Padri asked the rest of the family to leave and explained to us that the Secret Circle or The Circle is a secret organization of spellcaster that are the control behind Ierendi. They have magical supremacy and like to keep it that way. They use their power to keep themselves wealthy but also to dig into Ierendi‘s past and discover magical secrets that have lie hiden for thousands of years. The Nithian Empire and older civilizations had an interest in Ierendi for a reason. And that is what The Circle is looking for since the foundation of Ierendi and perhaps earlier than that. Some believe that The Circle is as old as the Nithian’s colony on Ierendi. To be sure that no one interferes with them, they don’t allow knowledge, specially arcane one, to prosper in Ierendi. No libraries, no magical academies, nothing that they cannot control.
He also instructed us that this whole thing with the Northern Tower must be kept a secret. Should the Circle ever come to Tokraka, the Family would know it was we and no one is safe from the family’s reach. This he utter as a verbal threat to us limiting out options in who we consult about the tattoo Raizak was branded with, but I think it hurt Raizak the most since know he has knowledge he can’t share with his order.
After this conversation, Ino Padri offered us a stay and a treatment to our wounds. For the time being, I plan to enjoy this stay before we get back to Ierendi and it will be fruitful given that the Tokraka twins are already waiting on the next room already. Time to show them in round two with the mono-nipple man can do…
Chapter 25: The Last Trap of Ursula
Writing after what happend to us, has become increasingly difficult. Who would have thought that Ursula would be another mark in our day to day aventures. You see the Band of the Wolf and their leader Flint(sounds nice doesn’t it?) were summoned by Julius CorchaJulius Corcha, Burnscar, Maeyi, and Fryeden to the ship known as The Old Lady. There I was asked to bring to members to inspect an Obelisk they King and Queen had found on the depths. I took Raizak and Dio with me and we got to work. We solved the riddle but it was already to late.
We had fallen in Ursula’s trap. The ship got transported below sea level into a lava pit. Here the fight broke out between the Merrows in Ursula’s service and us. The group decided to place me as the commanding figure and through a series of arguments we managed to keep Burnscar from expoting into combat at the taunt of Ursula. The battle had many aspects to it. We learned that Troyus is a very proficient lava swimmer despite being a lousy water one.
In the battle Corcha directed the troops according to my command and we slowly but surely were able to start gaining the upper hand. Troyus eventually made it to Ursula and that is when we discovered the horrible truth (Troyus more than anyone I feel). Ursula was a Sea Hag. Her Evil Eye rendered him catatonic crying on the floor. The group did its best to rescue him while keeping Maeyi and Fryeden protected. If one of those two were to die, it would surely mean war for Ierendi. Carceran and Maeyi eventually solved the Nagpa Obelisk’s puzzles, while [[:yoshirou-nakajima | Yoshirou Nakajima]], Raizak and Burnscar protected the ship with the rest of the Band.
Meanwhile, Troyus had recovered and continued cutting down Merrows as he ran frantically towards Ursula. I ordered ballista support for him which would continue to fire at Ursula leaving her distracted so he could take her down. But then it happened. Just as he was about to cut down the Hag, a ballista bolt ran through Ursula taking her down once and for all. The band all looked in shock just as I did when this happened. Needless to say, Troyus felt I had stolen his kill and Raizak feeling this was the same thing that had happened to him, edge Troyus to confront me about it. I tried my best to get out of it but he gave me three days to meet him under Adventurer’s Club Dueling Rules.
We managed to return to the sea and having proved ourselves to ierendi and the underwater Kingdoms, we were comendated yet again. We returned to ierendi as heroes, but now I only had two days to prepare and meet Troyus in a duel. Raizak would pass me by on a regular base reminding me of the date of the duel and smirking. Plaza as prepped up, people and adventurers from all over came. When I asked people how they found out about the duel all they could say it was all thanks to Derek Promotions and the betting houses were on fire for this duel. My heart sunk. How the hell was i supposed to take down Troyus, a man who had dedicated his entire life to one on one combat.
As i walked into the arena, I noticed all the members of the Band were there, in one of the corners near a tree I could old Silver Long John Silver and Tom Little Boy looking towards the fight. Tom, was cashing in on bets, Silver just looking and when his eyes met mine, he winked and took a puff of his pipe. At that moment I knew that everyone was bound to win from this duel but me, so I might as well get it over with. Thus I jumped in and put all my faith in Olidamara. Maybe his luck would see that things went my way.
It has been a couple of days since the duel. From it I learned three things: first, Olidanmara’s luck is quite infinite if you truly believe in it, Troyus is a guy who is content with agood and fair contest always, and Raizak and Derek promotions may have lost some coin in the out come of this duel. I beat Troyus, Olidamara only knows how and life on Ierendi needed to resume for the Band. After three days of low key restng, I was ready to amke some coin and reputation. It was time to visit my old pal SIlver…
Part III – The Land of High Honor and Closed Eyes
Chapter 1: To Trap a Cat inside a Box
After a month of arduous work and planning I managed to convince enough members of the band to help me capture a fugitive from Ochalea. I decided on this venture right after Troyus received a letter addressed to General Troyus Machiste. he practically begged us to accompany him deliver the letter personally to his childhood hero. After Vael gave us the options to travel to Ochalea and how much it would take to prepare, Idecided on making the most of my time in order to secure gold coins and reputation for us ahead of time.
I talked things over with Silver and we came to a mutually beneficial agreement where he would get my share of the reward in exchange for his help tracking down this fuguitive. After working on this venture for close to a month, I managed to finally set everything up. twelve other memebers of the Band signed up for this capture. People like Maiavel of Alfmyr and Cliona Cassidor Sulescu whom I had not seen in a while showed up to help. A good thing they did too, for this was a dangerous mark. After a masive clash inside our map shop, we snagged the cat and were ready to set out for Ochalean soil.
Upon arriving to this new land via corridor we were greated by gargantuan centipides and a purple worm before arriving to the city. In the frenzy, Xaphira tried to escape but was kept in check by Axetor, Maivel, and Carceran long enough. We managed to dispatch the monsters and keep our prisoners, but not without realizing that Troyus Troyus Bloodstoneis so in loved with his swords that he carries no other blades with him or that Frutumal is a very courageous man, albeit hard to diggest.
The problem in this new land is not the monsters, so much as the people in it. We were arrested by two armies in the midst of training excercises and wargames. Upon being taken to the city we learnd that these people’s customs are very much tied to their isolitionist mindset. We also learned that Yoshirou is anoble born Ochalean and was surely our card out of this dilema.
After making it to the city escorted by the army and after a painfully thourough body and equipment inspection. There we were released after hours without seeing yoshirou and without papers and the condition that we did not leave the city. As we walked through the city we noticed how everyone kept staring at us and avoiding interacting with us. One lady even yelled leave this place, Gaijins!. It was a that moment that i realized that these people will not prove helpful anytime soon, but one way or another we need to get rhough t them if we are to make it in this land where everyone looks and behaves the same towards strangers…
Chapter 2: Ochalean Honor
It’s been a while since I have been able to write here. Truth be told life in Ochalea has been hectic. I found The Walrus on port and I think that means trouble but also an opportunity to settle some old scores. I everyone was of doing their own thing the first few days and things were set back when Troyus got locked up and our papers were delayed for an additional week. So being a man of opportunity, I set out during these days to do what I do best; Gather information…
Chapter 3: Rusianus Parade
I went about the port and the city gathering all information I could find on the Walrus. After several attempts and a couple of failed ones, I ended up learning bunch of things such as the fact that the ship was used to make an example to all the other gaijin ships, that the cargo they had was for one Lady Ji Kassa, and that she only granted audiences to hunters and adventurers. I quickly got to work and enlisted Merkel’s aid for this issue. I purchased all the fine alcohol I could find in the stalls and in the underhanded markets before the visit. When the visit was finally arranged we made our way to the house of an Ochalean noble. It was an experience like no other. We ate, we drank, and we partied so hard that I can’t even remember most of the night. Good thing about this was that, it was just like back on Novak Respen‘s party and what you don’t remember did not really happened.
The next morning during breakfast after a bit of haggling we reached an accord with Ji Kassa and she would keep the Walrus’ cargo and accept the dishonor of her actions so long as we paid for the penalties and fees. I agreed reluctantly, to a degree, to pay the fees on the condition that I was allowed to speak with my father in prison. She agreed to the terms and at the end of it all she offered to tell us about Troyus Machistes and Chaei Tun The White. With that we parted ways and I dedicated myself to helping out the band when I could and trining in my room until the day arrived. I met my father and the crew at the jail, we spoke and now I reached a calming point in all of the situation on Ochalea.
I met, a few days later, with the band and filled them in on everything I found from my information gathering and with meeting with my dad. The day of the trial, Yoshirou and Merkel accompanied me and luckily everything went without a hitch. Upon making it out we went into Ji Kassa’s carriage and after paying her, we received or more specifically Merkel received the Guide. Ji Kassa gave us Neku the Bakaneko who was supposed to guide us. Boy did that thing is annoying, but again Merkel is a basically a beast tamer so he has managed himself well.
On that afternoon, I got ready to watch the parade Frutumal had helped organized. Staying at the The Seven Winds I was in a privileged position in terms of viewing for this event. Raizak and I went to the balconies ready for the event but things aren’t always easy in our lives. Half way through the parade a second parade of monks and commoners showed up and stepped in the way of the General Rusianus Vladetronus parade. In the blink of an eye, we noticed how the scene changed into a riot. Raizak and I headed into action to try and protect the Band. When we made it to the area everyone was helping the commoners get to safety and I did my best under the improve invisibility spell Raizak gave me. I gotta say it helped out a lot not being seen. The next day we found out that Frutumal had become marked by the general and would be used as a scapegoat should the General need someone to blame. That same day we met with the crew of the Walrus and we arranged passage to the, Village of Lasimar which was the first point in our journey to find Machiste. We got our things together and left Waping Piao for a bit…
Chapter 4: The Village of Lasimar
We spent ten days aboard The Walrus. The second day at night, however, I was able to clear the air and find out my father’s truth about his relationship with Long John Silver. I personally don’t know who is telling the truth but from what I know, both men do have their reasons to lie about the whole issue. I think the day will come someday when I do have to make a choice between the father that the Immortals gave me and has barely been there and the one that has charged me for his fatherly advice and services. Till’ that day comes, I will have to be careful in dealing with both of them and playing doubles.
Jumping forward seven days, the night before we docked on Lasimar, we ran into a massive storm. Apparently this was the Tun Mi Lung that the fishermen that ate with us last night were talking about. The band got to work quickly and it was decided that we would avoid the storm and dock further down the coast. As we were sailing away, we noticed a red figure flying above the ship and it began firing towards the Tu Mi Lung. We made it to the shore and we decided to walk into the village while our things were unloaded from the ship.
In the village we met a little kid that claimed to be the chief and his mother. We ran into a couple of diplomatic situations with them, seeing that they are so conservative, but all of them agreed on the fact that we should leave because of the curse. The band split for a bit and Yoshirou and I went to meet to elders that played by the shore while Merkel and Raizak found out where to go next. In the shore we met and talk to Hui Ash and Fei Lung. We got some information from them, but it all reverted back to us having to spend the night there. When we met back up with the group Neku the Bakaneko was refusing to talk till she ate at night. We got our things from the Walrus’ crew and I said goodbye to my father. We then looked for a cabin to stay but the villagers did want to stay, but the old men vouched for us in an intimidating tone making them comply. Raizak goes to visit Zhan Ila in the afternoon and she tells her that we should leave right away or be trapped in the curse forever.
That night Neku said that we should ask when the last rakasta patrol had passed and then head for the old ruins. At that moment Riazak comes in a rush and tells us what he found. Yoshirou and I venture out in the middle of the storm to quickly to find the information that we need. After several attempts we manage to get everything need but running back we fall into the mud and meet the red figure that flew overhead the previous night. He asked us if we were trying to escape, but with my charming and honest voice I bluffed my way out of the situation by simply saying “No, we would never”. He then went over to the sea flying to fight the Tu Min Sun once gain.
We managed to escape only to be attacked by Quikasa Gnolls. Raizak made quick work of them and I managed to capture one so he could be charmed. After that and with everyone’s effort and made it to the Lasimar Rice Hamlet. There we were offered asylum for the night, but half way through the night we were attacked, again, by Pennaggolan’s that had eaten the village and were laying a trap there. The band managed to take them all out but it was a tad difficult seeing as this was our second night without sleep. We decided to rest up here and that alone is the reason I now have time to write. Hopefully when we set out tomorrow will be able to make it to the Temple Ruins of Korimizu without to much resistance…
Chapter 5: Dungeon of the Temple Ruins of Korimizo
I gotta say, this land proves to be more treacherous the more we venture through it. Two nights ago we lost Maiavel of Alfmyr, but luckily for us Dio has reached a level of comfort with the Immortal Apollo that allowed to brin him back. His death was a complicated thing on many levels which I will take my time to explain seeings as this is my time to reflect on things.
We managed to reach the Temple Ruins of Korimizu by dusk. The group divided up the labors and everyone got to work. Daero, Troyus and I scouted a searched through the ruins while Carceran and Veitor checked around for magic on the temple. After getting through setting a perimeter, we all reconvened at the campsite Raizak and Chal Miao had set up to debrief. Merkel and Yoshirou had gotten the next lead from Neku and the band was all but ready to set up for the night to get going in the morning, when we noticed an inscription on the wall next to our camp. Daero and I did our best to translate, but in the end it was Raizak’s knowledge of all the known tongues that gave us the the meaning of the writing. The writings concurred with the information Chal Miao and Neku had both mentioned on the way and we decided to look about the ruins to see what this was all about. Not without opposition though. Merkel wanted us to remain trouble free, and maybe if we had listen Maivel wouldn’t have visited his makers front porch.
The group moved about and found seven braziers(one of which was broken when something stepped on it) around the temple, and we being incline to uncover the mysteries of this place began lighting them up. I took the broken uppermost one and made a bonfire there. When all seven where on and mist swept over the temple grounds and lifted over the center area. In it, materialized in alphatian (though others claim it was thyathian, glantric, elvish, dwarvish, ochalean, or undercommon) giving us a riddle. Once I had finished reading, it landed next to me. A great manticore had appeared out of the blue. The beast let out a threatening roar and took off. Now I don’t know if it didn’t see me or what but it began attacking everyone in the group. I made my way down the rope I had used to climb up, and went over to Blackjack the noise of manticore beating its wings made it impossible for us to hear each other or coordinate. In an instant the temple began darkening. I can only assume the beast flying about put out the braziers, but that aside this is when things got hairy. The brothers had made their way to the floor and the manticore flew over to where they were. From a distance I saw how with a single swing of its tail he sent Maivel to meet his maker. Daero must have been put off with the sight of his brother like that because he was barely hitting that thing. I decided to help out by moving his body away from the collateral damage zone, so I went and grabbed him by the leg and was about to move him away when suddenly the manticore flew off. I was told later that Troyus remembered the location of certain glyphs on the temple walls and had told the group to move and press them. Apparently Carceran had failed to provided reliable information as to how to deal with the manticore and with Raizak protecting the camp, dealing with the beast became impossible so in the end solving the Temple’s puzzle saved us. A stair case opened leading up to the bottom of the temple. Maivel was brought back and we decided to venture into the temple. We left Chal Miao and Raizak taking care of the camp and Neku and we moved forward.
Upon making it down the stairs we found ourselves surrounded by large Ogre Magi skeletons. We began attacking them, but these skeletons had weapons and armors that made it difficult for the goup to deal with them. Dio was taking them down two at a time, but it it was at this particular moment and after having seen Maivel go down earlier that the words of my former Master Rolahem Belmont came to my mind; Undead lurk everywhere, if you are not ready, your companions will pay the price for your negligence. The fight ensued and we had barely dented the undead rush towards us. Maivel was looking more worn out and I thought that he was going to go right back to where he had just come from a few mintes earlier. Then all of the sudden and with no word of warning we we heard the words yelled the words amplo sphaera ignifera behind us and with a scorching and thunderous roar a gigantic fireball flew towards the skeletons in front of us. When we all looked back, there he was, Raizak was standing with his hands raised foward pointing towards the skeletons. In that instant Maiavel fell on one knee and Daero began helping him out through the stairs. Dio got to action and cast a healing circle that invigorated all of us, while wiping out a large chunk of the skeletons. Now the tables had turn, we began using back the skeletons and eventually we managed to take them all out. After this bout, I made my commitment ever more resolute. I need to get a weapon that can deal with undead in order to make my companions avoid such fate. We began cleaning up the room while Dio healed people and while Raizak studied the room. After we were done, Raizak told us, we need to go into all the elemental chambers, else we won’t know the true secrets of the temple.
So we headed into the Earth Chamber, there we ran into two Earth Elementals that surprised the group. One of them, hit Merkel so hard he had to pack it up and take refuge in the room I was searching. I made my way out and helped the band deal with the elementals before we could actually find the inscription. It turns out it was right at the archway on the entrance, Raizak found it while Dio continued his dutiful and diligent healing making sure we all were ok.
We then ventured into the Fire Chamber. Here the battle had burnt out before we even got there. The previous group that came before us dealt with the dangers here, so our trip in this room ended with us cleaning the room out while Raizak got the scripture from the room.
Next up was the Water Chamber. Here we got separated more than a few times. You see the room moved about constantly just like water flowing in the ocean. Merkel was locked outside the chamber and the group faced two Guardian Sentinels. These constructs were here protecting something, sadly for us the hurt they where putting on us was not so subtle as for us to have time to look about while they waited. We got right into the fight and I decided to give Troyus and Veitor the best possible chances against these things. I tried a maneuver that Master Belmont had told me could kill me or a the very least put me at the mercy of the enemy if I ever performed it before being ready. There is no fixed day to die so I went for it. I used my whip to knock the shield of the hand of one of the constructs. Once that was done, I moved to the next but was unable to ensnare the second shield. Luckily for us, the construct were taken down by the group and once again I made it out without a hit. Raizak found the switch that organized this room and allowed him to get the piece of the puzzle in this room.
On the last room, the Lighting Chamber. There was no message. What we found hear was pain however. Dio fell to the strings of lighting that were shooting all over this room. Others were greatly hurt by the sound spiral that kept on booming thunderous sounds and hurt our was every second. Here I saw something, I never thought I would see. Raizak gave up healing himself to save Dio. This act of kindness was unprecedented in my eyes, much less coming from a Prince level wizard, but it happened nonetheless. We managed to take down the spiral and when that happened the lighting stopped and the message was clear before us and Raizak was able to complete the key to the true history behind the Temple Ruins.
At the heart, we found four weapon oils. One for each of the elemental chambers where we faced the trials: Flame, Cold, Acid, and Lighting, are now a part of the arsenal of the Band of the Wolf , along with the riches Korimizu had to offer. It turns out this temple was originally a laboratory established by my people and the Ogre Magi to delve into the dark magic of the Nagpas and the Nithians. We made our way up the temple stairs, out into the camp. There we went to bed and rested before setting out the next morning. We are now one day away from the Village of Kuroiwa, hopefully there we will meet the Rakasta patrol we are searching for or at the very least get some information about Machiste that won’t kill us on the journey to him…
[GM TAG: XP AWARDED]
Chapter 6: Passing through the Black Rock
The band made it to the Village of Kuroiwa and not a minute too soon. It turns out we were the second group that arrived but not the last it turns out. We were greeted by Lady Kitsune an aristocrat wanna be that guides the village and has made it proper over the last years. Inside the village we where introduced to Toupil a Lunpin guiding a band of rangers on the hunt for a dangerous fugitive named Kou Yun, but after I talked to him by myself I found that the Lupin had quite a few inconsistencies in his story but I’ll get to that in a bit.
Right on our tail the patrol group lead by Venter Tun, whom we later found out is the brother of Chaei Tun The White, he came in swords and claws blazing ready to take on us. Yoshirou confronted him and explain in a very diplomatic manner everything the rakasta was asking for. The rakasta agreed to leave us alone but he was not in good terms with the band since his job is to protect the land and we had caused a break in his schedule.
The group split up and went on to do different things. At this point I went to talk to Toupil and I found that the only constant aspect of his story was the Mountains of Ice , however, the fugitive he was looking for was know for avoid set mountain. I proceeded to ask him about his relation with Lady Kitsune, to which he replied they had never met, but it was clearly a lie. This rose suspicion on him and Lady Kitsune but I refrained from pursuing the information and returned to the meadow where the Band was camping.
There we gathered around the campsite and seeing that Merkel had not returned we proceeded to ask Neku the Bakaneko what the next step on our journey to Nimshi was. The Bakaneko told us to take her to the village chief and Daero and I complied with what she asked, while Carceran prepared a briefing about the creatures we met at Lasimar in order to aid Venter Tun and get help getting to Nimshi.
Nothing could have prepared us for what we found out when the Lady Kitsune and Neku met. The Lady asked for Neku in exchange for an introduction letter to the village of Nimshi and map towards it. When we asked why did she want Neku, she calmly and politely replied with the story. It turns out that Neku the Bakaneko had perverted thirteen children from this village and used them to trap and eat the grown ups of their families. She made the children believe that they were some kind of Dream Warriors and used them to decimate the village more than 20 years ago. After that, the Lady told us to ask our group our decision on this request since we did own Neku at the time being. She told us that if we accepted that we sent her over with Yoshirou when he comes to sleep later at night.
I returned to the meadow, while Daero went to get Raizak. When both of them returned, we all talked it out amongst ourselves and Raizak went on to ask two questions to Neku. The first how did she come to be in Ji Kassa’s possession and why was she trapped. The second to give us a reason why we should save her. Neku told us how she was captured by the Rakastas of Nimshi and was kept as a treasure, explains why she knew the way to Nimshi, and that she was sold off to Ji Kassa by Chai Tun in order to be able to travel the world. In terms of the second question,Neku remained silent. This alone condemned her in the eyes of the group. We handed her over to Yoshirou for him to deliver her.
The Band was later summoned to see the execution. The sight was dire, we saw the families of those affected by Neku and how their suffering was drawing to a close. We also saw how Neku, who for close to 23 days been with us guiding us towards Nimshi while being trapped and only being partially feed, was now being lowered into a a smelter cauldron and then the cauldron was blasted with cold spells until the screams of the little creature faded into silence.
That night, I went to bed question the morality of actions within the world. The night, however, was cut short. We were woken up by Kitsune and the terrible news that Yoshirou had been abducted. We searched the room where he was staying while Venter tun’s rakastas looked for tracks the suspects, Toupil’s patrol. When both parties were done, we handed Venter the briefing scroll Carceran had prepared and he gave us a personal introduction letter bearing his seal and instructions to follow once we found the Village. With that we set out to follow the kidnappers.
Through the mountain pass we found a trapped laid out by who appears to be Yeng Lo Zhung, the demon assassin my father had talked to us about on the Walrus. The man is clearly looking for Machiste, and we had no time to deal with him at this point. I rescued Troyus from the trap, Carceran stunned our obstacle in the course, Raizak and Daero covered our tracks, Dio fetched Troyus a horse and Axetor and Merkel found a path for us. The band was leaving and there was nothing he could do to stop us now.
We made it to the top of the hill and there we ran into Yoshirou free and walking about the camp. Turns out he came with the rangers willingly. This were no ordinary rangers, but a faction within the Shima Rebellion. We found out about Yoshirou’s brother’s connection to the rebellion and what he was transporting when he was ambushed but the quickasa knolls and Onedea their leader. Sangyeng asked Yoshirou in the name of their old friendship and the honor of his brother to please help her bring peace to his brother’s soul and help the rebellion recover The Jade Princess. Yoshirou looked at us as if questioning the lawfulness of aiding the Shima Rebellion, and upon finding in our eyes the courage and support he was looking for. He then turn to Sangyeng and agreed to venture with her into the Jungle of the Tiger Men. With that the band and the rangers took off into what seems to be the latest in our day to day destabilizing and toppling of established orders. What a time to be alive…
Chapter 7: Ambushing Onedea
After days of planning and searching we where all set to take on Onedea and his bands. The knolls were on the move and we had little time to take them out, recover the Jade statue, and most importantly of all, get the treasure the Quickasa were transporting through the Ice Mountain.
Daero and Maiavel of Alfmyr stayed back with Axetor and Cliona to take care of the horses while we handle the bulk of the Gnoll Band. So we got down to it to buff ourselves for the encounter. Troyus received so much magic from Raizak, Frutumal and Dio that he was a spell short of sprouting wings and flying like a dragon.
As for myself, Raizak gave me a taste of magic I wouldn’t soon forget. He had used this spell on me back on Waping Pia just so I wouldn’t be detected by the minotaurs and centaurs while I helped people, but back then I never would have guess the potential this spell held when it came to combat. Maiorem Invisibilia said Raizak while placing his hand on my shoulder and all of the sudden I was invisible to the naked eye. Not only that but this magic was so powerful that I would remain invisible even while fighting the gnolls. I was set to cut loose and how hard it was just a matter of the bodies passing by me.
We began moving into position and as I walked slowly and covered I realized that my companions did not have the same luck. Dio’s armor cling and clang all over and the Gnolls caught a glimpse of him from a far. All of the sudden a volley of arrows rained from the sky hurting most in our side and revealing our location. Now I can’t say much for what happened with the first group but from what Carceran told me, as soon as the Gnolls got notice of us being there, Troyus jumped into the fray. As for myself I moved into the middle of the Gnoll caravan and after taking out one of their pesky hyenas, I decided I was going to destabilize this army the way Rupala taught me how. I remmebered his training way back in the academy days and how he always said that the best way to handle any army was to take out the vital people, leaders and lieutenants, and the rest will fall on its own. I began knocking them officers of their boars and the occasional hyena when it showed up. Eventually a hyena caught my scent and I was stroked by a Quickasa chain attack. This dust they carry is quite annoying, but thanks to my invisible form I was able to get rid of it, and eliminate the last hyena that was messing up my strategy and just a the right time too. Dio finished lifting up a stone wall which effectively cut the gnoll army in half, though some would say it also cut our options in half. By this point Troyus had made short work of Onadea with Carceran, Veitor and Frutmal’s help. When Onadea fell a cart being pulled by two nightmares showed up. We all heard a voiced that echoed throughout the mountain. Onedea, your death doesn’t end our agreement. Those treasures are mine or I will take the soul of your men said the voice as the gnolls shivered in fear began pulling the treasure carts to towards the carriage. We managed to stop the the drivers but then all her broke loose. The dwarf driver jumped from the carriage and turned into a demond which began fighting Troyus and the other group. Under normal circumstances, I would have moved into the huge fight and try and help the group end it quickly, but with Raizak clearing the remnants of the gnoll army, Dio curing people and Merkel providing cover fire for us and protection with Yoshirou to Sangyeng all our coin prize rested on me getting those chests back from the carts.
Then all of the sudden in a flash of speed, Yoshirou passed by me, he made it to one of the carts and began loosening the bonds on what we all thought was the Jade Statute. As this was happening smaller demons appeared and began trying to pull the chests and the statue towards their carriage. I whipped one away and pulled his chest away, just in time for Merkel’s wolf to drag it off the battlefield. When I turned my sight to the other cart, however, what I saw shocked me. Yoshirou, the young man that had been traveling with us since day one out of innocence and the desire to see the world did something completely out of character for him. He touched the Jade statue and disappeared with it. He effectively left us in the middle of a fight with demons and with no form of treasure taken with him. Now, I understand the statue was important to him, but he turn on the band after a year of preaching the importance of unity and support. This left a sour taste in my mouth but I had no time to bitch about it. The other demons continued dragging the chests of and I ran after them, grabbing the chest with my whip.
While I struggled with keeping the treasure safe, the rest of the group apparently heard the voice of a woman crying for help coming from the carriage. They took out the demon and in a sudden burst of impetuousness Carceran fired a sonic blast at the nightmare drawn carriage
so it wouldn’t be able to leave. The blast obliterated the the carriage, but the killing of the demon, eliminated the smaller ones allowing me to rescue the last treasure chest.
Later when the group reconvened at our campsite, we found out that the lady inside the cart was Kana from the demon cults. Troyus found her in the carriage wreckage and she declared war on him. But that was a problem for another day. We all agreed to travel to Village of Howaito Rokku to rest up and deliver the Jade Statue safely but nobody addressed the elephant in the camp. What was Yoshirou thinking when he abandoned us and should we trust him after this…
Chapter 8: To free Lasimar
We met Doraku at Village of Howaito Rokku and though our stay in the village was a great one, it was time to set out once more. While conversing with the old hermit monk we learned more about Shan Hou-Yan and the Tun Mi Lung currently on Lasimar. The band bought rations and set out following Doraku to Village of Kuroiwa, on our way we ran into some frost giants. The group made quick work of them, but not before realizing that even though Doraku was traveling with us, he wasn’t really with us. It appears, Merkel’s wording irked him to no end seeing us as treasure hungry monsters that didn’t care about the people of Lasimar. Raizak managed to convince him otherwise and we all made it together to the Lasimar Rice Hamlet. We met up with Venter Tun there and he filled us in on how the situation had escalated since we left. The group got together, we discussed our information and we came up with a plan. Though not fool proof, it would serve to end the curse befalling Lasimar and stop the greater of two evils, by teaming up with the lesser one.
We made it back into the village and we ran into Hui Ash and Fei Lung just as they were about to play their game. Hui addressed me and ask if we were back to insult them again. My reply to him assured him that we would never insult such venerable people a second time and we were here to stay. He then asked if we wanted to participate in the game this time. Raizak intervened and told him that we were so determined to be here that it should no longer be called a game. With this things on the game board. Hui asked Fei to play for bigger stakes. Fei agreed and invited us to his hut. There he spoke to us about what would be happening at dawn. Yoshirou angered him by asking him about saving the villagers, which in my mind made no sense considering that he seemed, once again, more concerned about these villagers that about us his group. In my mind this situation was a simple one, we would help the dragon defeat the elfreeti, provide and incentive for the dragon to leave the village, and get our treasure from the spoils of this titanic battle. In my mind the village had been battered for so many days that one more night wouldn’t make a difference, considering this was the very last night it would occur if we did it the right way. In the end the group began thinking of ways to make this battle go our way, as for me, the cryptic message from Frutmal’s god and the desire to save the village above our own lives was something that worried me to no end. Alas, we have made it far in our journeys together, so maybe this time around won’t be any different than before…
Chapter 9: Lasimar Epic Final Game
Silence swept through the battlefield as the sun rose on the east. On one side of the battle the Efreeti Elder of the Village of Kasai and Head of the Huo Pai: School of Fire of the Demon Cults, Shan Hou-Yan and his minions , and to the other side the majestic force of nature know to the locals as Tun Mi Lung, the Typhoon Dragon with us, Band of the Wolf at his side. This was a the showdown to end all showdowns, the moment of truth where fire would meet water and lightning in an epic confrontation that would shake the land of the Celestial Territories.
When the sun had illuminated all of the battle field, Shan Hou-Yan began speaking by asking the Tun Mi Lung to comply with their deal and allow his Jewel to be enchanted by his minion so it would retain its magic after his defeat. The Tun Mi Lung complied and a masked servant approached and enchanted the beautiful jewel. He then made his way back to Shan and the two elemental forces ordered us forward. Shan’s minions moved quicker and through the air heading directly towards the Tun Mi Lung. That is when we came to understand the rules of the engagement better, as the minions morphed in mid air into three Fire Giants ready to dish out punishment against the dragon. As we witnessed the giants passing us over head, my reaction was one of disbelief. Upon seeing my face, Yoshirou came towards me and reminded me of what we made preparations for.
The night before, Raizak had talked to Zhan Ila and had begged her, or so he claims, in tears under the rain for help in this encounter. She gave him some pointers regarding the game that was to be played and told him to not worry about the village since she would make sure they were safe. We used this information to prepare our battle strategy. Upon waking up, we geared up and began enhancing ourselves accordingly. Raizak took some bolts from Daero’s and my equipment to make them magical as well as Axetor’s arrows on the previous night, but in the morning things started to get busy early on. The Tun Mi Lung passed in his human form of Fei Lung, this time not smiling at all. He approached each and everyone of the members that would be in battle telling them; You are blessed by the storm will you strike true and fast like lighting or punish your enemies relentlessly like cold? . The members of the band replying upon being asked, most of them followed a set course of action, herd mentalities always leave openings like that. I noticed as Fei touched their weapons, or in Yoshiro’s case his chest, and with each touch from the dragon their weapons instantaneously began crackling and illuminating with the power of lighting. When he reached me, I answered him I will punish relentlessly like cold, the band looked at me in disbelief as if I had done something that was clearly out of place. What they did not understand was, that I was willing to cover up from the the rear with a the element that none thought would ever work. As the blessings were given Fei Lung left the hut and we resumed prepping for combat. We enhanced our strength, protected ourselves from fire, and even began moving faster than usual thanks to our hasten charms. The clerics, Dio Stoutspark and Frutumal Huntinghawk, blessed and prayed for us giving us more confidence in our strikes and strength on our bodies. The most incredible thing for me to see this morning, however, was Yoshirou’s body glowing green with a magical armor created by Carceran and his fists glowing with lightning. It was as if he was possessed by the dragon himself. He caught me staring and said to me, preparations will make all the difference today.
As I heard the words coming from the young monk, I snapped back into action and moved forward to shot a bolt towards Shan to send him a message that we would not back down. To my surprise, this Efreeti had a lot of tricks under his cloak which kept moving despite there not being any winds in the battle yet. He moved to the side and with a single finger he spun my bolt and directed it towards the floor. Everyone was at awe with his reflexes, but none stopped their charge. In that instant he looked at us and with a smirk said My turn. In the blink of an eye he was hovering above us, but not only that, he had apparently moved so fast that on his path he created a wall of fire to stop us from moving forward. We were now caught between a fist and a burning wall. The group began getting hit by Shan’s barrage of fists, most of them where able to handle the heat due to the protections but the impacts slowly began taking a toll on them. I noticed how out of nowhere a bolt flew towards Shan and hit him. A second one flew, but this time he deflected it with the wind made from his hand swinging. It appears Daero is being his usual self, taking advantage of magic to the fullest. I knew this feeling all to well. Having Raizak make you invisible not only protects your life but it also makes you relentless on your attacks. Axetor tried his best to hit him, but the efreeti was just way too trained to be hit, he grabbed Axetor’s first arrow with his two fingers and threw it backwards hitting Axetor’s second arrow. Clearly we wouldn’t be able to hit him at range.
While the battle ensued, Raizak began firing spells at the Efreeti, but very few seemed to work. Shan, grew tired of the wizard’s meddling and out of the blue fired a scorching ray towards the young wizard. While flying in mid air we noticed how the ray hit Raizak dead on the chest and some of us gasped thinking that he was a goner. The young wizard, however, had other plans in mind. The Raizak in the air exploded into a cloud of white smoke and a charred log of wood fell to the floor. Like a ninja, that young wizard had made the head of the Hou Pai school seem like an amateur.
After this happened the Efreeti grew tired of our antics, so he ordered his servants to begin with the plan. One of them must have clearly not heard him since he stayed floating about not doing a thing. You see, all this time the Tun Mi Lung had been toying with the giants and when they received their orders they pulled out a magic net to snare the dragon. At that same time, the servant who casted the spell on the Tun Mi Lung earlier reveled himself to be Huy Otgon and he had a captive, Kitsune of Village of Kuroiwa. He threaten her or more specifically him (I’ll get to that later) into making a wish and so she did. The net all of the sudden started wrapping itself and hurting the dragon with acid.
The band saw this and we decided to get serious about ending this quickly. If that dragon were to die, so would Ochalea. Veitor began camping the monk’s fire blows in order to attack him, and with all the protection he had on him, it was incredible to see him swing his sword and dicipate the flames before they hit him and damage the efreeti at the same time before being punched himself. Troyus and Youshirou both took a different approach instead. You see Yoshirou, like a true monk ran towards Shan and jumped towards him. As if walking through the air, he managed hit the elemental and continued on his merry way drifting towards the floor like a butterfly. Troyus in hopes of outdoing the young monk, or so I can only assume, ran towards the elemental and using his sword as pole managed to gain enough height to hit him and managed to do so in a single impulsive slash in mid air. This in combination with Daero’s random and out of nowhere arrows enraged the efretti prompting him to disrupt our movements by turning the flames into a smoke cloud with a single blow from his breath and creating more columns of fire as he moved at speeds faster than the average eye can see. The incredible thing about all of this is the fact that none of our arrows where harming him but all of his movements were inflicting pain on the group at every turn.
The group continued moving away from the smoke but we only got caught up in a second cloud of smoke. By this point Shan had begun making himself invisible after attacking us. No amount of preparation could prepare us for this second wish that Kitsune was forced to ask for. A huge shower of meteorites began raining from the skies, dissipating the smoke but also hurting the group, the giants and the efreeti in the process. Now, no one really knows where Raizak spend the whole battle after we realized he was an illusion, but from what we can guess he was safely hidden away because aside from stunning the giants, there were no fireballs or magical missiles in this battle. He claims he tried his best to take care of the cleric Huy Otgon, but Carceran, also argues the same, so its a fools game to try and guess who is telling the truth and who is not. He says that the reason everyone could hit Shan is because his magic weakend the Efreeti, but the truth of the matter is that after multiple attacks from the group and well placed bolts from Daero, the Great Shan Hou-Yan fell in battle to the Band.
When it happened, the Tun Mi Lung broke free and made quick work of the fire giants that, Raizak claims by his doing, had been rendered helpless. Kitsune, broke free and got Huy Otgon under his control. To explain this, he is actually a male werefox that had been tricking the village this whole time. He also offered the Tun Mi Lung the location of Shan’s village so he could claim superiority over them and demoralize them. While this happened, Raizak appeared and made a humble request to the Tun mi Lung. The Dragon reading his thoughts granted him the request but under the condition that Raizak didn’t call him Falkor. Who that is, is clearly a mystery only they know.
When we returned to Lasimar, Doraku, Venter Tun and the village were waiting for us. Everyone was thankful at our efforts to save them and we were now in good favor with them all. Venter Tun offered to escort us towards Nimshi and we said our good byes to Lasimar and Doraku before heading out with the Rakasta patrol. After four days we finally made it here and it I gotta say, this a place that could grow on you if you let it but we have urgent business to attend to and we are very close to what brought us to this land in the first place…
Chapter 10: The path of snow and swords
It has been a couple of rough days for us as a group. We made it to Nimshi rather easily being escorted by Venter Tun, but once here things started spiraling out of control. This might be the last time I have to write in a few weeks so I will make try and make this short and precise, seeing as I don’t know when we will set out.
Five days into our stay in the village the group spread out to go about their business in the village. The tribe was very welcoming in all aspects and our stay here has been the best one since we arrived in Ochalea. That all changed the a couple of nights ago when General Machiste showed up. I was stuck on guard duty with all the groups equipment, but later that night on our regular meeting I found out the truth of what General Machiste’s information had yield.
It turns out that I am a criminal, not only in my country, but also on Thyatis among the enemies of Machiste. My name had somehow made it to the list of operatives under a wealthy and powerful senator and also to the list of people that my friend Troyus has been hunting for. Now I don’t need to tell anyone how terrible it is to be on Troyu’s bad side, but my body more than shows for it. You see, after being told I was part of the people that killed his father, Troyus went on a rampage, that could have very well been the end of me. He beat me up so bad that I was within an inch of my life being extinguished for good, had Raizak not stepped in.
After the incident, the band sat and confronted me about it and I was able to clear my name. Though their trust was slightly shaken by the revelation Machiste made. This taught me a valuable lesson. No matter where I go, Rupala’s reach will find a way to make me a wanted man. I need to deal with that man soon.
We met with the Machistes and the village council and talked about our proceedings. We were sent on a errand to retrieve the body of giant that Axetor and Merkel had slain, but as always things got more complicated as soon as we stepped out of the Nimshi gates. We made it to the site and found the body being guarded by eagles. As Raizak tried to shrink the body he was hit by a Cone of Cold straight to the face, making his effort a null one. As this happened Troyus began asking us if we heard the voices, clearly he must have been hallucinating, for there were no voices to be heard. That didn’t stop him nonetheless. He charged of into the forest saying that he would whistle if anything went wrong. Given Troyus recent break down, I knew his psyche wasn’t well and this could only lead to trouble, so going against my better instincts, I rode off after him.
I know what you might be thinking. Why would I charge after a man that had almost killed me hours ago? The answer is simple. Back in Ierendi, when Long John Silver told me that Troyus and Raizak were both planning to take me out, I was skeptical at first given the source of the information. Then Carceran was attacked, and his attackers made it clear that Raizak had paid for a hit on me. Now that alone could have been proof enough for me to take up Silver’s offer and take both of them out before they got to me, however, Raizak came and talked to me and told me everything his informant had gathered on Silver. At the time it seemed like a trick for me to lower my guard, but as time passed by and I got to interact with Raizak more I realized that deep within the guy wants the same thing as me, to be his own man and live life by his own rules and not be subjected to anyone’s control but his own. On Troyus’ case it was a bit different. Why would a man that wanted glory and renown be bothered by a small fry such as myself. With that in my mind and with my realization that my companions were more open and worth trusting than anyone, even a man that saw me grow, but then had a falling out with my family. So these thoughts were quickly wiped from my mind. In doing this, I opened myself of to the possibility of trusting fully, which is something I had not considered since the moment I left Alphatia as a fugitive. So the answer to the question on everyone’s mind, is because I trust Troyus and the strength of the band lies in all of us looking out for one another, especially when one is more vulnerable than the rest.
As I reached Troyus, I noticed he had come across the assassin we met back in the mountains; Yeng Lo Zhung. Troyus was a as always bravely addressing the man and the swordsman compelled him into a duel for information. Troyus accepted since Leiliana’s life was in apparent danger. Upon doing this 7 swords appeared from the snow and surrounded both him and me. The man charged and began attacking. Troyus was able to break one of his swords and damage him a bit but we were clearly at a disadvantage. I drank a potion, grabbed Troyus with my whip and dragged him away to save him but the demon wouldn’t give us quarter. He jumped into Troyus’ horse and gave chase. Troyus held his ground and freed himself in order to resume the attack. By this point I realized Bloodstone had lost it once again and, unlike Raizak, I wasn’t going to be able to bring him under control. He managed to repel the enchanted swords yet again and kill the horse in the process, which made the Assassin have to worry and balance himself on the body of the dead horse in order to not be prone to our attacks. At that moment I decided that if Troyus was going to go down as he was exclaiming, he shouldn’t do it alone. I lashed out at the Yeng and hit him where it hurts, right at the neck where his armor left skin exposed. This drove him mad and he opened a gate to the Shadowlands.
As everything was being drawn in, I saw how Yeng was pulled into the abyss, Troyus and I resisted the pull. In a moments noticed BlackJack lost his footing and I felt as the pull lifted me and the horse. Then all of the sudden BlackJack regained his footing instantaneously. When I turned my head, I saw Troyus standing behind my horse pushing him with all his strength. GO! he said as the Shadowlands pull drew him in. Upon crossing the threshold, however, a giant worm with Doraku’s face came out of his mouth and jumped towards Yeng. The worm talked to me and told me This is my fight, take him and go. I didn’t need for him to repeat himself, I snatched Troyus by the arm and dashed of back to where we had come from. When we made it back, Dio quickly healed Troyus and me, and we explained to the group our experience with Yeng and the Doraku worm, which Frutumal explain to us was actually a Celestial Centipede sent by the immortals to punish those that break the rules of combat in the Celestial wars.
We made it back to Nimshi and explain what Carceran had found about the giants. The Elder Nazahn Tun and some of his allies met with us in a war council meeting. Machiste lead the planning and I intervened suggesting that they use us to their advantage. We got notice that in three weeks the Ogre Magi might make it to Nimshi, so we proposed, getting ready and reinforcements from Waping Piao, as well as equipment for us to venture into the Jungle to attack the fortress of the Ogres. The Elder placed all their forges at our disposal and gave us special discounts to buy and prepare, as well as a letter for the Governor Guin Po. Dio on his part wrote us a letter for the Church Patriach of Ochalea, so that he would send cures for the upcoming battle.
The problem we were faced with now, wasn’t the battle but Troyus’ desire to go to Waping Piao at all cost to save his family. This situation could very well be the destruction of all our careful planning and the end of his life in the process. So once again I find myself in the middle of a problem that can hurt a lot in the future. Tricking a friend in order to save him is never a good thing to do, but the means justify the ends I guess. I’ll leave it here for know, since I hear knocking at the door, which can only mean Raizak is here to get ready for our departure…