Ghost of Kalidria

A Stubborn Chest
Session 10

I sat on a beach with my eyes closed taking in everything that surrounded me; the softness of the sand, the occasional tide licking my feet, the warmth of the sun in it’s constant position of late evening, the small breeze that ruffled my hair. This wasn’t the first time I had come here but it isn’t often that I find myself here either. Then again, I shouldn’t complain since this kind of peace is rare, especially in the last few days. I opened my eyes to see the sun still in place, and the multi-dark blue colors of the water mixing in with the reflections of the sun and clouds. It was beautiful.

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Mixed in with the sound of the waves, I heard something.

…er……..lp
I moved closer to the water.
…sher…..elp…
I moved closer still.
…sher….Asher…ASHER, HELP!

I jolted awake and got up immediately, grabbing my glaive while doing so. Able stood up next to me as he must have been woken up too. I peered into the tomb in which we stayed for the night and saw Verik running towards us, being chased by something by a cloth of some kind. It wasn’t covering anything, or so I thought. Looking closer, I saw that there was a pitch blackness of some kind underneath the cloth, almost as if it was a void into nothingness.

Able, wasting no time, shot a scorching ray out of his hands and hit dead center of the evil being (“Nice shot, Able!”). The cloth on the darkness began to burn away and Verik, in the meantime, tended to whatever wounds he suffered. With my glaive in hand and my glaive glowing intensely, I swung down upon the evil being, cutting off a large portion of the cloth that covered it. A shrill noise came from the being and it began backing off, possibly from fear of the light of my glaive. It then began to sink into the stone floor, cloth piling up as it went. Verik, not wanting it to get away, threw his own glaive towards it but it went too high, soaring to the back of the tomb. At the last second, Able threw invisible force at the being and hit the cloth. We waited for anything else to happen but the cloth did not stir again, although we were still unsure if it was dead or not.

We walked to the back of the tomb to retrieve Verik’s weapon when he said that he heard the creature scratching at the wall. When we found his weapon, stuck in a pile of dirt on the ground, we investigated the area to see what the creature was trying to get in to. Verik had the better eyesight out of the three of us due to his elvish blood and found a secret door in the wall. We pushed it open to find what was inside.

What we found was nothing less than spectacular. The floor was made of shining blue tile, almost as if made by pure sapphire and the grout was silver. The walls were made up of mosaic glass depicting trees and flowers, mostly blue and silver. There was no dust to be found, as it was a well preserved room. In the middle of the room stood a throne made in a wicker style, although I couldn’t tell if it was actually made out of wood. The only drawback was that there was a smell of fresh decay of a body. That and there was a mummified corpse on the throne. The corpse was dressed in green and silver clothes with gold lining. It was wearing a pendant with designs of an eagle clutching lightning and a sword in its talons. (“Wait….I know this crest. It’s the house of Varfarrion! We’re in a tomb of Vyertinn’s family!”)

At the foot of the throne, there was a stone chest. Verik detected a magic lock. We wanted to see what was in it, but we didn’t want anything to reanimate while we were trapped in the hidden room, so we decided to take it with us to the front of the tomb where we slept. I tried picking it up by myself but it was too heavy, so Verik and I decided to drag it out of the room. And that’s where we messed up. We heard a sound, only to find out that the door was beginning to close with us still inside (“SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!”). Able, trying to hold the door, began muttering to himself. All of a sudden, his muscles began to bulge to twice it’s original size, gaining incredible strength and held the door in place. Pushing, shoving and pulling as fast as we could, Verik and I managed to slide the stone chest out just before Able’s newfound strength gave out. Once the door closed, we dragged the chest to the front to “safely” try to find a way to open it.

I took out my crowbar and hammer from out of my backpack. Positioning the crowbar where the lock was I started hammering to try to break it off by force. The first time I hit, nothing happened. The second time, I paid the price. The moment I struck was the moment my crowbar shattered in my hand, and lightning came from the lock and hit me square in the chest. I passed out. I woke up with a single pound on the chest from Verik, to which I replied with, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!” It was the single most painful feeling I have had since starting this quest of mine. I sat up to notice that I was shot a good 10 feet from where the chest was, and there was a giant hole in my cloak (“But at least the armor is nice and shiny.”). It was then that we heard a single click come from the chest (“Well what could that be?”). I dug out the shovel that I had in my backpack, handed it to Verik, and weakly said, “Your turn.” Verik hit it once and nothing happened, but some how managed to dodge the lightning bolt when he hit it the second time. After a few seconds, the chest clicked again (“Oooookay. I get it.”).

It wasn’t until then did we realize that it might be best to look for a key. Able searched the bodies and bones that were in the tomb and came out with 20 lockpicks, one for each body. He also noted that they all had crystallized chest bones, as if they died from lightning to the chest (“Perhaps they were all graverobbers?”). However, there were no keys to be found. We decided that it would be best to try and search the body in the throne room, but we didn’t want to risk the door closing on us again, so we figured that we could use the chest for our benefit this time. After sliding the chest to the hidden door, we faced it so that the lock would face the door, in hopes that when we struck the lock in a safe position, the lightning would go out to the door and blow out a hole for us to walk through easily. In an awkward but safe position, Verik took my shovel and struck the lock from behind. The only problem was that the lightning came out from the opposite end, and hit Verik dead-center of the chest. He somehow took it easier than I did, but there still was a giant hole in his cloak and his armor shined as well.

When that didn’t work, we tried to use the pressure of the hidden door to crack open the safe. When we opened the door, there was a shuffling and scrapping sound. I looked back in time to see the chest slid ON ITS OWN to where its original position was before (“ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?!”). Needless to say, I was livid. All I wanted to do was see what was in the chest, because it might actually benefit me in my quest. In fact, I was going to be even more pissed if it was just gold in the damned thing. A chest this much trouble isn’t worth the gold or losing your life over. Hell, 20 people already tried! No man ever opened the stupid thi-.

Wait. No man has opened it yet. But maybe one of the Gods can. It was then that I stopped what I, Verik and Able were doing, and prayed to the one God that made any sense to pray to in this tomb; Halifaust. There was a small creaking sound in front of me. I looked up to find that the head of the corpse in the throne began to move, looking straight at me and Verik. Able however was nowhere to be found. It started to talk.

“What are two followers of Halis doing trying to rob the tomb of one of my greatest followers?”

In awe that I actually was able to communicate with a God that wasn’t my own, I found myself unable respond immediately. Still fumbling for the words to say, I graciously kneeled before the God-possessed corpse.

“Oh great Halifaust, i-it is somewhat ironic that we are here, for we have been traveling with one of your followers, a man named Vyertinn Varfarrion. It seems to not be a coincidence that we are here the tomb of one of your greatest followers, and it seems we are in dire times.”

The God replied, “What would you do with the contents of the chest if it were gold?”

“If it were gold? Nothing. It serves no purpose to us. We only need that which will help us in our quest.”

“What is your quest?”

“To destroy the evil in this world which is about to arise, Calisto.” I spit as I spoke the name.

Suddenly, the lock of the chest, became undone, and the lid raises.

“Great Halifaust, are you sure?”

“Take it. Take a look at it.”

Inside there was a very old scroll. I picked it up gently, as if it were made of cracked glass. As I unrolled it, it showed itself to be a map with old landmarks. The land the map was showing wasn’t familiar to me or Verik.

“There is another item for you.” The God said.

We looked again to find two new cloaks for the both of us, seeing as they were damaged from the chest’s lightning. They were embroidered with symbols of Halis.

“The difference between those who seek what the dead possess and those that wish to steal what the dead possess is intention. There are no riches in this chest. But the value of its contents is priceless. Protect this map, for without it, your quest will not end successfully.”

“Thank you, Halifaust.”

The corpse’s head limped down, Halifaust done with the body. We walked out of the tomb, but not before I turned around and did one more gracious bow out of respect. Halis, as it turned out, wasn’t the only God who was with us. We met with Able again afterwards in the front of the tomb and figured that it was best to sleep again to regain our strength. I found myself back on the beach in my dream.

The only difference was the golden eagle who flew across the sea from time to time.

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Vyertinn's Journal: Reforged Shall be Blade that was Broken...
Session 10

I was… dreaming. I never dream. Never. Elves normally do not sleep in the fashion of mortals, especially those trained in the ritual arcane. When my body needs to rest I enter a trance and surrender my thoughts to the guided pathways of my mind. I look inward for council and come to conclusions based on all that I know to be true, but this… this was different. This time, visions came to me unbidden. This time, I had no control over what I saw. I knew not what I saw now where it led.

I felt.

I heard.

I was.

In the depths of my consciousness, I was in unknown territory. All I could do was experience my surroundings in such a way I could not refute. The air clung to me like a heavy mist, and the ground held me firm, refusing to surrender me to myself. I felt myself being led through a forest unlike any I had ever seen before. Everything was alien to my eyes. My senses betrayed my ignorance and as I stood in that cluttered wood I felt more vulnerable than ever before in my life. As I progressed, my very breath felt hot and clammy against the damp air, tropic and vibrant. Filled with life, unnoticed for generations beyond counting.

Forward I was driven, and behold, I stood before a great structure amidst that tumultuous jungle. A great monolith of stone and fauna, held together against time and memory. Waiting. Waiting to reveal to me secrets I never could have grasped in my own travels. It was a pyramid, built high amidst the cliffs, where time itself allowed trees young and wild to climb. Up it rose, to a flattened head, basking defiantly in sunlight. This structure had endured. It had withstood malice, and ignorance and time.

What I saw intrigued me, but what I felt terrified me.

Pyramid.jpg

As I approached, I could see carvings upon the walls of the structure, somehow familiar to me, although I have never seen their make before. As I stood, there stretched across the stone reliefs of birds of prey. Great raptors rising up in glory and triumph, surveying all that lay before them. I reached out without realizing, and cleared away clinging vines from some covered marking. What I saw was a great sigil, of an eagle clutching a thunderbolt in its noble talons.

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I was meant to be here. I could not say why. I found myself climbing stairs upward, to the peak of the pyramid as the sun glinted behind me. Within the centre was a massive sanctum of alabaster and platinum. Before me was an altar of carved stone, bearing an object of radiance and power. As I approached I could recognize it for a sword. Strange. It seemed so familiar, yet…

I touched the weapon.

In that moment, a brilliant eagle erupted from my chest, white feathered and shining with an awesome light that filled my very being. The creature manifested in front of me as a being armored and robed. In that moment, I knew that I stood before Hailfaust, the god of Justice and Honor.

Halifaust.jpg

I lowered my eyes as he spoke with penetrating grace.

“The hilt of this sword is all that remains… the sword was broken and melted. You father still carries the hilt. As his father before him. The hilt as all that remains intact of the weapon I bequeathed your grandsire… the metal used to forge this blade is found here in this temple. It is only in this temple that such worthy substance can be obtained…”

I spoke, praying that the reforging of the blade by the great smiths of Durg did not anger him.

“It pleases me that the weapon was used in such honorable fashion. But its current state is the reason. I tis the reason why Lynsyd lives and your father dies… If you wish to oppose Calisto, it must be done with this blade.”

“You carry the blood, faithful one. This is your path…”

and it was then that I fell out of memory and time.

-

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Vyertinn's Journal: Of Kith and Kin... and Pixies
Session 9

Adrian and I have made our way deeper into the woodland realm. The mountainous peaks steadily give way to the innumerable trees that climb higher towards the sun, housing every variety of songbird and raptor alike. The light wept through the leaves in golden rays that kissed the soft soil.

As we rode down the path, my ears were alerted to a familiar sound. The great Hunting Horns of House Gerrildeth, an ally of my family and kin through some bloodlines. I calmly explained to Adrian that we were about to be received by the Forest Watch, and that we should present ourselves to them as to put their scouts at ease.
In a matter of minutes, up the road came four cloaked riders, their faces shining brightly in the morning sun and bearing the standard of House Gerrildeth upon a riding lance.

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I raised my hand in a salute and approached them, removing my hood.

“Young Master Vyertinn, you are expected.” The first ranger greeted me.

“I am Ethewain of House Gerrildeth, and these are my bannermen; Lyrin and Leek Vorn. Tales of your exploits have reached even to the Golden Wood, kinsman!”

“Well met!” I replied, with a bow and a gesture of traditional elvish greeting.

“May I introduce my companion and ally; Adrian Thraxus of the wilds, Hunter and Tracker of all that is fleet and fell.” Adrian answered with a friendly nod at my introduction. I noticed the fourth rider appeared to be rather young for a border guardsmen, and infact wore a collar with the sigil of my house, Varfarrion, around his neck.

“I must ask, who is your young companion here? It is quite a rare thing for an elf not full grown to take the forest ranger’s cloak!”

Ethewain gave a smile at my query and said; “Ah, allow me to introduce you to your nephew! This is Elithain Varfarrion. Your sister’s son.”

As Elithain dismounted to approach me, I did the same and offered him a warm embrace. I was informed that my sister and her paramour had a passionate tryst that resulted in the pregnancy and as such my nephew was born nearly out of wedlock. Elithain explained that my Lord Father, Vyden had “encouraged” their betrothal with a particular … insistence. As Elithain’s father was a lord of a cadet house of Varfarrion, the wedding was something of a spectacle, if not at least a major scandal for the time.

My nephew expressed to me his concern that Vyden judged him harshly due to the conditions of his birth, being near to illegitimate. I calmly explained that Vyden’s anger did not lay with him. It was for my nephew’s benefit that Vyden forced the issue of the wedlock, so as to ensure Elithain would be born into succession in his line, as opposed to a disinherited bastard. Truly, my father’s scorn was with my sister and her new husband for threatening to shame our family name with a scandal. I confessed I was surprised his father had not earned a banishment for his salaciousness. It would seem punishments fall lighter these years since I’ve been away from Feldus. Perhaps a good thing too. But I know that my father looks after all of my kin with love and duty, and likely could see that his new son in law intended to do the same.

Elithain concluded saying that whilst he was not yet past his seventieth year( still adolescent for an elf), he enlisted with the Border Watchmen to both curry favor with the family and to draw attention away from his mother’s scandal. Adrian was intrigued to find that my nephew had taken scalps and jawbones from at least seventeen goblins he had slain. Such behavior always fascinated him. An amusing hobby certainly, if perhaps not so sanitary. But I absolutely can appreciate that Elithain has outstanding swordsmanship for his age, it appears my sister has bequeathed her own blade to her son. He bears it with honor.

We took our leave of the riders and continued deeper into the forest.

-

The passage is cut off, as the next few pages are torn from the book or defaced with inane scribbles and crude drawings. Noticeable are cartoonish faces of some puckish creatures, clearly amidst some sort of caprice. There is a doodle of to the corner of a eagle, bound and blindfolded, struggling with agitation and perhaps drowsyness. Included amidst the vandalism are cartoonish caricatures of Adrian and Vyertinn as well as their horse mounts.

HEE HEE!! HA HA HA!!!

NINCOMPOOP!!! FEATHERBRAINS!! DUNDERHEAD!! LIZARDBREATH

FITZ THE PIXIE WAS HERE

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Blotches of ink and pungent motes of pixie dust render the rest of the page illegible.

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Adrien's Journal: What Once Was Lost

Memory has returned to my comrade. Not a moment too soon, might I add, while the hospitality of our strange host was more than appreciated, he was himself beyond unusual, and his company proved awkward for all except himself. Still, my gratitude is extended toward the man for saving our lives.

Vyertinn has proven himself far more competent than I had taken him for over the last few months. The man I once believed to be a prudish, incompetent, spoiled man-child with a modicum of talent for the arcane, and a preference of books over people, has shown me a side of himself that I had not realized existed as of yet. The nature with which he carried himself, which I had believed was his overbearing superiority complex, was in fact a keen understanding of his surroundings. I had mistaken his confidence for puffery, and wrote him off as the son-of-a-warrior who knew nothing of war. His prowess in battle notwithstanding, he also has an acute sense of nature. Beyond that which is to be expected of elves, he knows the forest on a deeply personal level.

We set out from the medicine man’s gully, and onward to the river on an enchanted raft, which carried us down-stream for more than two days. It was a time of reflection for us both. Vyertinn read his spell book with great attentiveness, as I sat in quiet, watching the ebb and flow of the tide, wandering from bank to bank in a fashion one could describe as rhythmic. I was certain that the elf had been wondering why I came with him. I had been wondering that myself since we left Chunda. I told myself then that it was because I believed that he would get himself killed if he were left to his own devices, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I never doubted his ability to survive. I had seen enough of his fortitude and strength on the battlefield to know that he did not need me to fight his battles for him.

So why then did I leave my fellow travelers when my presence would have far better suited them? Perhaps it was a genuine desire to break down the walls between myself and my less than familiar Elven compatriot. Perhaps I felt that if we were forced to spend time together we would be less likely to desire the other’s death in the future. But, perhaps it had nothing to do with the Elf at all. Perhaps some other force had called me to these woods, with a plan beyond my own knowledge.

Upon the bank stood a woman of considerable stature by human standards. I focused on her to make out the details of her face. She wore a stern look that did nothing to hide her beauty, but sharpened her features immensely. He hair, black as coals, flowed in the breeze of the Great Falls Forest, her pale skin contrasting with the backdrop of sunlit wood. From here I could see only the most obvious details of her face, but I knew when I saw her that this was not our first encounter. I order the enchanted craft ashore, and greeted the fair woman. She stood less than two feet below me, and delivered unto me a wry smile, before addressing me by a name that I never gave. She clearly remembered me a great deal better than I her. She introduced herself as my half sister.

I knew her only a black Drake. A grand and magnificent creature she was, and one whose magic had grown quite strong. Her ability to polymorph so completely and so accurately was rivaled only by some of the greatest and oldest Dragonkin I had ever met. I remembered the days when I knew her. I was young, and afraid. The world I had been brought into was not a joyous one. I was born a bastard, with no father to speak of, and a mother in a state of perpetual hibernation. I had only a stepfather and half sister to raise me, and while my mother’s mate never resented me, nor was he cruel to me, neither of us had any illusion that we were family. He was not my father, nor I his son, no matter how much I wished it could have been so. My sister taught me to hunt, and train. before my 3rd summer I could feed myself. It would take a long time to break the habits of the base predator impulses, but they served me while I still lived in the Dragons Eye. My mother was a powerful dragon. Beyond anything words can explain. Were any other dragon I knew in her place, they surely would not have survived. I visited her from time to time. I was afraid of her. My sister accompanied me many times when I went to see her, but well into my maturing years, I always fear what would happen when she woke. I was the product of a foul offence of my mothers flesh, by a man unknown to anyone except my mother. She was forced from her sleep by a dark magic, so that she could witness the cruelty imposed on her. I was everything that cruelty represented. I was the manifestation of the torture that lay in her mind for nearly 2 centuries. I was afraid then that if she awoke she would kill me, or worse, disown me. To allow me to live, but strip from me all dignity, all birthrights, and all familial ties. To live with that shame was never my greatest fear, it was believing that I deserved it.

My sister took me to a clearing in the woods and told me of her purpose for being here. She told me that my mother was waking. She had begun to eat, and communicate to some extent. Her first order was concerning me. My sister had brought with her a black dragon egg. It was approximately in it’s 97th year, nearing ready to hatch. My mother had ordered it given to me. It would be my nephew, though it would share very little of my genealogy. She told me that she would be watching me, to make sure that her son was well looked after. She also informed me that she had been watching me for some time. She knew of my party, and of our journey, and she made no small matter that she was not pleased with the company that I kept, two of them being elves, a race she despised. She made Vyertinn’s own racial bias look positively mild by comparison. It was among her slew of insults thrown at my now absent companion that I found myself defending him, and if I recall what I said correctly, I even referred to him as a close friend whom I was proud to know.

I don’t know what came over me.

Finally, she informed me that she had seen a great many things on her journey, and one that would likely be of great concern to me. Not two days prior, she saw Malatin in flames. She knew no details beyond that, but she vowed to help if she could. It was too late for us to turn back. We would have to mourn later.

With that, we went our separate ways. I set back on course with Vyertinn, and watched as my sister flew off into the distance. within six hours, we reached the plateau of the so named great falls. beaching the raft, the two of us look upon the city built into the great cliffs of the forest. I laid my eyes for the first time upon the Elven city of Feldus.

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Asher's Entry - Turning Into a Halisicle
Session 9

I miss Malatin. The feather bed, hot bath and warm food and drink reminded me of the place I call home. I miss the people, walking to their respectful jobs, enjoying small talk and the occasional gossip. I miss the repetitious chores I had to do. I miss Durin bellowing at travelers trying to scam him out of a well-crafted weapon. I miss training with my father. I miss home.

I awoke to a knock on the door. “Breakfast is ready!” I shuffled out of the feather cloud I had been sleeping on and put on my armor and equipment. Verik, Able and I all shuffled down the stairs into the bar. We sat down at the bar and was approached by a tall man. It was the same man who was taking beer out to people in the tavern last night (Except for us. That was a different person.). “What’ll you be havin’?” He spoke. Verik, Able and I all ordered the breakfast special. Only a few minutes passed by and he came out with three plates that were filled and stacked with eggs, ham, bacon, oats, smoked fish, sausage, biscuits and gravy. If I wasn’t so hungry, I would’ve wondered just how the man managed to keep everything from falling off the plate. I was apparently hungrier than I thought, because I began to eat as soon as the plate hit the table (not rudely, mind you. I was raised better than that.).

We ended up talking to the bartender (whose name we would find out to be Elric Korg). As it turned out, a wizard named Seros (who was once property of Calisto and then became free) enchanted the tavern to travel to a random location every three days, and that this was the second day it was in Dragon Tooth Mountains (“Yup…we gotta go.”). When we inquired about the fees for staying, we were shocked to find out that it was only going to cost us three silver per night, to which Able and I ended up tipping Elric for his troubles. We even talked about the sword that he hangs up over the bar; the blade being made from black glass in Kindor and the handle made from ivory. Needless to say, it was a fine piece of weaponry if I’d ever seen one. Before we left, I had ordered a large sandwich for the road. I was given a loaf of bread that was almost half the size of me and was accompanied with a pouch filled with veggies and meat. Apparently, the pouch would keep everything from spoiling so long as it was kept in the pouch, and once everything was taken out, it would disappear, presumably back to Elric. I dubbed it the “Korg Sandwich.” After we put on our cold gear, we opened the door to the frigid cold that was the complete opposite of the tavern behind us. I wanted to stay, but there were people who depended on me. I needed to press on, no matter how much it sucked. So together, Able, Verik and I sucked it up and walked into the icy hell that awaited us.

I miss Malatin.

Our trek north is treacherous. Hours into our travel and the weather did nothing but get worse. The wind blew harder, the snow continued to pile up to our calves (poor Able. The snow must be up to his knees.) and our vision continued to diminish. Our faces, hands and ears began to numb, and the armor that I wore began to freeze. Able in the meantime, came up with an almost genius way to distract us from the cold by teaching me and Verik the language of the Gods, Celestial (“I’ve almost got it. I can write it down, but I just can’t speak it just yet”).

Verik stops us suddenly, certain that he sees two humanoid figures in front of us along our path. Able, not wanting to risk the chance of seeing if they were friend or foe, decided to walk to the left of the path to hide in the snow and let them pass. Granted, it would’ve been a good idea, but the snow he was going to walk into wasn’t snow at all. Verik and I grabbed Able immediately as he began to walk out of the path and into the cliff that was in front of him. To our right was the same thing, a cliff. Somehow, someway, the three of us managed to walk onto a bridge without our knowing (“How in the…”). We immediately looked down the path again expecting the two figures to be closer to us, except they had disappeared. Weapons at the ready, we slowly moved across the bridge. We saw a post, signifying that we had crossed the bridge.

Not even an hour after the bridge, Verik steps into what looked like a mangled carcass. He looks up just in time to see a giant claw nine feet from the ground up to come down and swipe him across from us. His armor was torn from the side and it looked like he suffered from broken ribs. Not wanting the same fate, I immediately rushed the giant white bear and swung my glaive to where the beast’s ankles would be, and praise be to Halis because I cut straight through, leaving it with only three legs to move on. It screamed with a roar that would shatter glass. Able’s hand began to glow reddish-orange and then shot a scorching ray out at the bear. It hit and the bear let out another scream. Verik in the meantime was busy healing himself (“Which is fine. I would do the same thing if I were him.”). I brought my glaive down on the beast again but I had gotten too close. Soon after I hit it, it had managed to knock me down and began mauling me. Being taken by surprise, I lost my head trying to get the thing off. I had tried to get my long sword out of its scabbard but I moved in an awkward position, and the sword got stuck. The bear had just managed to wrap its jaw around my neck when Able, who had moved right next to it, shot a point blank scorching ray into its face, melting skin, fur and muscle. The teeth of the bear began sliding down, tearing my neck as it went, giving me three scars on both sides of my neck.

After some rest and food, the storm begins to calm (“Thank Halis”), but we realize that we are too far west than we need to be. We decide to go north, but there were some disagreements with where north was. I honestly had no clue, so I just pointed in the direction I felt was north. Verik figured it would be best if he asked Halis for guidance. She pointed us north and so we went. The only problem is that it lead us straight to a cliff. Deciding not to go down the cliff, we headed back, following our tracks past the bear’s tracks.

As time went on, the weather and I got worse. The wind started to pick up again and the temperature began to drop. My fingers started to get stiff and my chest was starting to get extremely numb. As nighttime approached, I began to lose motor functions. I believe to be succumbing to hypothermia. Trying to get out of the wind and plummeting temperatures, Verik and Able digged into the snow to create a small shelter for the night. We ended up using the rope we carried to fuel the fire we so desperately needed. As soon as the fire was made and the bedroll I carried was laid out, I passed out, cold, numb and exhausted, leaving my life to Able and Verik. If they couldn’t keep the fire going for the night, I would perish.

I woke up almost as exhausted as I was the night before, but I was warmer. My left hand was still a bit stiff, but it was better than having no hand at all. We pressed on once more into the cold. The winds were still as cold as they were before. For the longest time, there was nothing but the sounds of the wind and the crunching of snow beneath our feet. Fortunately the morning sun allowed us to see a road down from where we were, but it would take another night to get there (“At least… we’re on… to something… this time.”). Before nightfall, we find a cave that would protect us from the elements. It wasn’t until we went inside did we realize that it wasn’t a cave. It was in fact a family tomb, with enough room to fill at least 20 bodies. The bones looked elvish. We decided to take shifts, with me sleeping first, considering my condition.

It’s strange. Funny even. I never thought that I’d be forced to sleep in a family tomb, let alone fight a giant white bear, almost freeze to death, all the while being lost in a frozen wasteland.

I really miss Malatin.

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Vyertinn's Journal: Homeward Bound.
Session 8

I have made my decision. After speaking with Lord Durf, I realized that our foes are beyond any of us in our current state. That much is obvious. Even worse, we have no knowledge of where our enemies are lurking, nor any particular weaknesses they possess. We cannot continue to wander blindly but Fridg is doubtful to have any secrets that can tear down a god. Fishermen’s tales are stale myths steeped in savory rumors. Father Belvue mentioned an Oracle in Xephos. I told the company of my intent to travel there, and that I shall attempt passage there from Keros.

But first, it is time that I return home. I have taken the southern road to the Great Falls Forest. Adrian has decided to join me. Perhaps the ranger feels that I’m sure to lose my way, or get myself killed on the road, or perhaps he merely wishes to see the wonders of Feldus for himself. For all of that, I am not remiss to have him joining me. I mean to beg the leave of my lord father to pursue these leads in Xephos. But perhaps some research in Feldus will reveal some useful information.

As Adrian and I set upon our journey south, I had a raven sent to the forest with word of my approach. Unknown trespassers into the woods are met with my less… diplomatic kinsmen. It is better that we are anticipated. It was half of a day’s ride when we heard a tremendous rumble over the air. It sounded like an approaching storm, yet there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as far as I could see. Adrian spoke with a grim certainty, this was the roar of a silver dragon. ON THE HUNT. Adrian was set to hurry back to Chunda, though I assured him that it would harm nobody in the burg. The servants of Hallis could rally the people away from danger, and Sable Newcastle would be more than capable of repelling it. My consolation was not enough to satisfy the noble ranger though, he turned aside and rode back north.

A day after that, Adrian returned.

There was nothing to be worried about after all. I told him that if I truly believed there was any danger, I would have been the first to answer the call. A son of House Varfarrion shall not suffer cruelty or injustice upon any soul, not while he lives.

That evening we arrived at the borders of the forest. It was there we were greeted by a curious bluebird, I’d never seen any like it whilst I lived in there. It was then I was greeted by a familiar face. It was an unclothed female elf by the name of Lady Silidria, the Frostdancer. Even as she spoke to us, she could hear our thoughts. A rare gift, and a dangerous one. Even amongst the elves, that power is regarded with fear. But Silidria is a kind soul, and gave us food and shelter. I have had true rest for the first time in decades.

It is good to walk beneath the trees. In the morning I shall return home at last…

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Asher's Entry - A Crazy Encounter and Politics in an Unknown Tavern
Session 8

After our stint with Chunda, Vyertinn decided that the best course of action was to head to the Great Falls Forest to seek his father’s guidance and then head to Keros, instead of seeking information in the city of Fridg. Adrian decided that it would be best if he would join Vyertinn for his safety, leaving Able, Verik and I to the information gathering up in Fridg. Eventually, I hope we all would meet up in Keros. Saying our goodbyes, the two parties split for the time being. Vyertinn and Adrian for the western road, and Able, Verik and I for the northern road. (“Farewell friends. May we find each other once more”). Able had decided to help teach Verik and I the Celestial language that Halis speaks.

One day passed without any problems. We found shelter which blocked the howling winds and set up watches between Verik and I (since Able has to sleep the most). However, the peace was short lived. During Verik’s shift in the twilight hours, the ground had started to shake, which caused Able and I to wake up (“Man, what the hell?”). We started to hear what seemed to be a storm rolling through as the ground kept shaking. The crackling of rock and earth was heard and soon after, a giant boulder was seen being hurled at the clouds in the sky. It was then that we saw a giant hand slam into the road right beside where we were sleeping (“WHAT THE HELL?!?”). Looking up, this thing was huge, at least 22 feet tall and it was running for its life. We took notice that the cloud that the giant threw the boulder at was moving at an extremely fast pace, chasing the giant. Evidently, the giant had to stop running to throw the boulder, as it was then stepping right outside of our shelter. Hopeful to keep us out of the crossfire, Able altered our aura into a neutral, almost nothingness state, and Verik and I turned off the light that emanated from our glaives.

Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that we weren’t fully in our shelter until it was too late. As the giant’s foot came down from where we stood (“WOAH SHIT!”), I jumped myself back into the shelter. Verik and Able were not so quick. The giant’s foot came down onto Able’s left hand and Verik’s right foot, but just before the full weight of the giant pressed into the limbs of my comrades, the silver cloud came crashing down into the giant, making it lose its footing and releasing the limbs caught underneath. Verik quickly healed his foot and Able’s hand as we watched not a cloud, but a silver dragon (“ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!?”) rip the giant’s throat into a bloody mound of flesh. We needed to get past the dragon but the tail was in the way which was swinging in a figure eight motion, so we all ran and attempted to duck underneath it. Able made it but the glaives that Verik and I held on our backs got caught in the tail’s swing, which knocked us both on our backs. Luckily the dragon didn’t notice us as it was tearing hungrily into the giant, however, the tail was about to come down on the both of us. We rolled out of the tail’s way and decided that jumping over it was the better decision. I had managed to make it, but Verik caught the tail in an upswing in the most painful of areas, in between the legs (“Yeesh. I never thought I’d say this but Halis, protect his nuts.”). Before the pain settled in, Verik threw himself off of the tail and the three of us ran as far as we could and hid when we couldn’t run anymore. After waiting for a while, we mustered up the courage to continue our path.

Continuing the path north, we started to hear music (“Music all the way out here? There’s no way.”). We soon discovered what looked liked a tavern with a dragon shaped roof, which seemed to fit since we were in the Dragon Tooth Mountains. We decided to walk in and I immediately felt a nostalgic warmth wash over me. A warmth I haven’t felt since leaving my hometown of Malatin. Inside, there were about 20 to 30 people talking, laughing, eating and drinking to their heart’s content. There were dwarves, humans, elves, half-elves and even a dragonkin. It was a melting pot of diversity that only what I assume large cities to have. It was refreshing to say the least.

Verik decided to talk to the dragonkin to acquire any information on what had happened to us earlier. Able and I sat at the bar and was immediately met with the bartender. He was a human on the short side at 5’5" with dark grey hair and was well shaven. The bar itself was very clean with a high polish. I asked for the house special (ham, lamb, cheese and bread with a bowl of soup) with a pint of the brewmaster’s drink. We talked and discovered that despite there not being any towns nearby, people actually traveled to come to this tavern, as it had made a name for itself.

-Able: “We were actually lucky finding this place. We encountered a silver dragon on the way up here.”

A man four stools down overheard Able. “Well tell us about it. Let’s hear your tale.”

And so Able told those who were listening what happened not even hours ago. They listened as if they were humoring Able a little bit since he was a mere child, but a dragon is still not a laughing matter. After Able finished his story, an older man mentioned that he also saw a silver dragon three days ago, and then buys us a round of drinks (“CHEERS!”).

-Old Man: “So where are you headin’ to?”
-Able: “We’re on our way to Fridg.”
-Old Man: “Oh, you better watch yourselves in Val. There was a bald boy that was murdered. It was the first murder in 40 years. It was the darndest thing. The boy was only six years old.”
-Me: “For what reason? Do we know?”
-Old Man: “I don’t know. It was really how he was murdered that perturbed everyone. There was a dagger through his skull, right in the middle of his forehead. The boy didn’t talk much. He must’ve been in a wealthy family since he always had a good bit of money. But I’ll tell you something that you’ll find in Fridg. There’s blue people there.”
-Able: “Legend says it’s the sickness of the Wyrm that’s resting in the ocean.”

From out of nowhere, the dragonkin (who appears to be a white dragonkin) in the corner spoke. “You know nothing of that wyrm, boy. I know the people who worship it, and it’s displeased. Sylander the Great Ice Wyrm’s temples were destroyed. Legend says that in 400 years, everybody who used to worship Sylander will pay homage to it. If its temples are not rebuilt, they will die, for their blood will freeze from the inside. It’s been 330 to 340 years since then, so it looks like it’s starting. I came on a pilgrimage to start rebuilding the temples. There was a temple in these mountains and I’m trying to find it.”

Able begins to rummage through his belongings. “I see. Tell me, have you seen this?” He pulls out the drawing of the triangular symbol he had made a few days ago and shows it to the dragonkin. He looked very offended by the mark he was shown.

-Dragonkin: “Where did you find that?”
-Able: “You see, my friends saw it in a dream of his. He’s long gone west by now. He said something about he was at a tree digging up an artifact, some mantle with this symbol on it, and put it on.”
-Dragonkin: “The mantle of the Mind Wyrm? The spirit that’s bound within the mantle will possess them and have life again. It depends on who died there. I’m new to these lands so I don’t know.”

As the conversation with the dragonkin ended (his name was Kalphrin), a taller, thicker man came out with our orders of drink and food in hand. We immediately started to wolf it down. As we ate we overheard two things of interest. The first thing was that there is an exodus of Krato. People are trying to leave before they become infected with what the blue people have. The second one was that there was a wedding between the old Lord of Kindor and an elf noblewoman of Fedoria. The noblewoman is from house Halifausti.

And as I hear the name Halifausti, I remember something from when I was growing up in Malatin. As much as Vyertinn talks about his family, I’ve heard his father’s memories. He and some other noble elven families of Great Falls Forest were once from Fedoria. They had left when the ruling family of Fedoria started enslaving every race that wasn’t elven. The deity of the elves is Halifaust. Vyertinn and his father are related to the nobility (house Halifausti) in Fedoria as well.

As time moved on we saw a small woman prepare to play music for the tavern. She was small like a dwarf, but she didn’t have a beard like them. She also had what seemed to be a customized lute. We talked to her and discovered that her name was Qwen and she was in fact a gnome. She told us that the only places that we would see gnomes are in Xephos, Alastin and maybe Kindor. She had mentioned that the gnomes were almost wiped out completely by elves some 1200 to 1300 years ago, and that the original home of the gnomes was Fedoria. (“I’m starting to connect some dots here….”). I had mentioned the wedding to Qwen and we all agreed that it was just a play for power once the Lord of Kindor passes away (“Clever girl….”). It also turns out that it was a gnome assassin that killed the elven king in Fedoria some time ago.

Able, Verik and I decided to retire to bed. Able got his own room while Verik and I shared a room (separate beds. Don’t get any ideas). As soon as I walk in, I see a bronze tub filling itself with hot water (“It seems to be enchanted.”). Quite honestly, the day had been so crazy, I didn’t even care if it was enchanted or not. It was about time I got a bath and a decent night’s sleep. It was certainly a nice change of pace.

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Vyertinn's Journal: Of Dire Portents and Dead Gods
Session 7

I have just visited the Father Belvue, Cleric of Hallis. Receiving tidings of the past night, I have deemed it necessary to send a message to my kin in Feldus. Father Belvue has assisted me with a Spell of Sending, and I recounted the events of our time in Chunda thus.

Adrian had overheard Father Belvue talk in his sleep, and dark words were spoken. We have surmised that the cleric was being used to transmit messages between the woman hounding Able and Adrian, and some unknown woman in the continent of Xephos. The message beckoned the stranger to Edius, that “the time draws near…”. Adrian also heard of a dark power sleeping beneath a great dead tree in the wilderness, and of some mysterious egg preparing to hatch beneath the sea. Riddles and secrets, and none that appear remotely helpful.

-

I have spoken at length with Sable Newcastle, and exchanged all of the counsel we could share. I explained to her the nature of the Tomb of Skald, which was emanating the powerful psychic energy that had worried her on her travels. In turn, Sable offered me some instruction in spellcraft, as well as proper care for my familiar should I continue to travel with Orion. I told Sable that should she attempt to explore that tomb, that she should send for me, and that I would provide as much help as I could.

-

After discussing with Lord Durf our intended course in Chunda, we debated the fates of the missing chundan miners. We became divided on whether to seek out the miners in tunnels leading in all probability back towards Skald’s Tomb, or to attempt to uncover the mystery of the Dead Tree. Able used his scrying abilities to confirm the paths before us and we confirmed that the Chundans were captured slaves in the goblin tunnels, but the Dead Tree held perils beneath the surface too dire for our small band to attempt.

We needed to uncover more information before we could act. Determining that there was likely valuable knowledge to be gained from journeying further north to the small trading port of Fridg, we set about preparing to set upon the road.

I have sent word to my father in Feldus regarding the correspondence between the Keeper and the unknown woman. Perhaps these tidings could provide some insight that is still beyond me. I sent a second message to Lord Eldos in Malatin, calling for aid of force. Lord Durf meant to send as great a force as he could muster upon the tunnels, if Lord Eldos could answer with a force of his own and have the two launch a joint attack, then they could surely free the captives still trapped beneath those dark passages. I believe Ethan wishes for a lasting peace with Chunda, and will not begrudge him any aid he can offer. This show of good faith could unite the peoples of the Dragon’s Teeth. As a parting message with my old friend, I mentioned the concern shared with me from Sable Newcastle that Lord Eldos should rebuild the ballistae in the town, being warned that the dragons in the mountains had begun to stir from their long sleep. Should such a beast descend upon Malatin, it is absolutely vital that the town possesses the means of repelling their attacks.

-

Asher and Verik have received a vision from Hallis! According to them they prayed in the temple for guidance, the idol of Hallis moved and spoke to them. They say she spoke of Calisto, that his spirit constrained her power here in Edius, and that he had gained godhood by devouring another god’s mantle. She bade her servants to continue to seek her, following their path of justice.

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-

I must confess that I initially thought these tidings of Calisto’s spirit to be terrible, but some part of me experienced a kind of secret thrill… I remember hearing the tales of the Five Heroes who defeated him, the songs of their skill and valor. They had always driven me to push myself further, but I had laid them aside when I took up residence in Malatin. But then… hearing those goblins utter his name, and seeing the circlet with his symbol… I felt such terror to look on it, and yet some private excitement. I don’t think I even wanted to admit it to myself, yet now, to be faced with the real threat of Calisto, now a full god… I feel ashamed and utterly terrified.

Utterly terrified.

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Verik Journal #1 Divine Intervention

Foreword

As a servant of the mighty Halis, protector of life, it is in me and my comrades best interest that I have a journal of our adventures together and the trials that we endure. This way we can read upon the adventures we have gone through and learn from our mistakes. These are the trials and tribulations of me and my newly acquired companions.


After a long night of chatting with the local priest of Halis in the city-state of Chunda and saving my dear comrade Adrian Thraxus from the dreaded fate of becoming a wight himself, I retire for the night at the temple with me, Asher and Adrian who the priest , Belvue, has so gratefully allowed us to stay. That night was filled with unrest for bellvue had been muttering the whole night as if he was communicating with someone in his mind. Out of nowhere he jumps out of his bed with one hand glowing white and the other with his glaive ready to attack.

This sudden commotion awoke me and Asher, readying to intervene. Adrian who was awake the whole time joined up. “Is there anyone else here?” questioned Belvue, still poised to attack. After assuring the priest that it was only the 4 of us that was ever in the temple he lowers his weapons. Confused and worried for the priest we ask what that was all about. Belvue then tells us of a bald women that was in his head who is looking for women in a nearby town. This women apparently has plans for her but what exactly he did not know. There was also the threat of 3 great powers that was sought after by the bald women. One was of an egg that lies dormant but ready to hatch located under a great sea. The other was of a great power that lies under a single dead tree in the middle of a long abandoned battlefield that took place thousands of years ago. Lastly a monstrous worm that resided far north in the unfreezing seas.

With this new information we set of to reunite with the rest of our comrades in Chunda’s great hall. There we recounted our eventful morning and all the new info we have learned. After having our fill with a great bounty of food that was provided, we reunited with the lord of Chunda, Olan Durf, to discuss what has happened with his 200 miners and what our next course of action should be. After much quaril between members in the group we were left with 3 options. Go to the dead tree to see what this great power is. Go to the caves to investigate and find the missing miners. Or continue questioning the people of Chunda for possible leads. Since a uniform decision could not be met, we decided that seeking more information was the best choice.

* The following part may contain some errors in who did what. Comment below for any corrections that may need to take place
With that decision made Able casts a foresight spell allowing him to glance at the possible future. What he sees is himself digging up the grave at the base of the dead tree, opening up the coffin to find a mantle with a most interesting and evil looking emblem. Upon putting on the mantle he acquires an enormous amount of power. After this unsettling vision, Able carves the emblem he saw on a wooden board so that the priest, Bellvue can set his wisdom on its origin. Me, Asher and Adrian set for the temple of halis. Able was off to the entrance of the cave to seek more information and Vyertinn Varfarrion stayed to chat with Sable Newcastle.

Upon arriving at the temple and showing Belvue the carving he immediately asks where it came from. Adrian tells him of Able and the two set off to the cave entrance to intercept him. Meanwhile me and asher, seeking some sort of divine intervention to aid in our travels, offered our prayers to the Statue of Halis. What happened next was nothing but celestial. The statue began to glow and this set its gaze upon us. We were struck with astonishment, then the statue spoke.." Followers of Halis, my dear Soldiers. It is in all of our best interest that you continue to seek me. A great power holds mines at bay, preventing me from stopping a mighty evil from spreading. This I bestow upon you, continue your journey following me, for I will grant you the ability to deter the evil Calisto who has indeed killed and adsorbed a deity, becoming one himself. This journey will not only help you but all of Kalidria in the end." And with that the statue returned to its former position.

After that amazing event, we meet up with the rest of the group and told them what had happened. After a long discussion we decided that our best course of action would be to got to the port city of Fridg where more information awaited us that would in turn aid us in our quest………

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A history of Able

Able was born and raised in Keros. Sixteen year old Lilith Arroway was a nomadic priestess who traveled to Keros as part of her journey to gain knowledge of the deities in Kalidria met a young man named Siax Wolfe, who at the time was training for a spot on the magus council in the city of Keros. They fell madly in love, so much that they lost focus of their duties as a priestess and a sorcerer. They didn’t want to give up their jobs and they both understood the consequences of doing so. They both thought that it’d be best for them to return to the exact spot that they had met in ten years, enough time for Lilith to have completed her journey and for Siax to finish his training.

Ten years pass and sure enough the two met in Keros at that very same spot in the inner city. They got married and had a child that they loved more than anything. Able wasn’t around his father that much when he was growing up. He was so busy with the council that he barely had the time to be around. Able learned to understand this and never held it against him. After all it was Siax who provided a very wealth lifestyle in the inner city. Lilith on the other hand was a stay at home mother who helped out around all the temples in Keros in her spare time given her vast knowledge of everything religious. Lilith home schooled Able when he wasn’t in school for his natural gifts as a young sorcerer, he learned most from his father on his time off. Lilith tought him everything she learned from her exploits throughout Kalidria, Able even learned how to speak the language of the gods and demons which Lilith taught him just in case. Able thought it was cool.

On his 14th birthday Able told his mother that he wanted to go out and see the world just like she did at his age. Lilith was pleased to hear this. His father wasn’t too thrilled about the idea but he saw so much of Lilith in his son that he knew that he couldn’t say no. Siax taught Able everything he would need to know for his journey, he even gave him a hefty amount of gold for his travels.

“Be sure to write to us, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you ever need it. Your mother and I love you so much.”

Before setting off Lilith gave able her old traveling staff and three books that she used in her travels. One white, one black, and one brown.

“Use these to keep track of what you learned. They will prove to be very helpful.” Able wasn’t sure but he knew that there was more to these books than his mother let on. But he trusted her and she would never do anything to harm him.

He set off on his journey. As he left the walls of Keros he thought about his parent. Then a voice called to him. “Stay strong child, they will understand in due time.” While Able loved his mother very much, she wasn’t the only reason for him wanting to go on an adventure

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