The Embers; a short story.
Looking for answers and all we seem to find is more questions.

Hello everyone. D here, “woof!” and Kesler of course, we’ve joined up with a rather rag-tag group of adventurers that came through the Elvenari lands seeking materials for a cleansing ritual. I decided to join them for a couple of different reasons and I’m glad they agreed to take us along, partly I’ve been in one place to long and these Elvanari are so intent on ceremony its crazy. It should not take a 2 hour prayer before you can eat breakfast, hell by the time your done its already time for brunch. However; my major reason is Sydell and his party themselves. Sydell has been infected by a demonic presence, a very powerful one if I’m not mistaken, and such things do not happen by chance so something much larger must be going on. I haven’t heard from the order in quite some time so perhaps they are ignorant of these events.

After the rather harrowing test for the Elvanari and the rescue of an old wizard we were transported to just outside Blarek, the city of mages. Here the group agreed to separate for a time, Sydell wished to search out the Embers and their deity, Mighty God, to learn the next step he should take while Lily felt that the mage city was the best place to find more information about not only the demon but the forces that seem to be working against my new friends. I have heard of the Embers but have never had the chance to meet one so I decided to join Sydell on his journey and Marcel came along as well.

We headed northeast towards the mountains, Sydell had met Ember’s before but it had been on the other side of Dromaria so we know it would be a bit of a hunt or so we thought. The journey was a pleasant one and gave me a chance to get to know Sydell and Marcel a bit more. After about two weeks on the road we came across a very cleverly hidden opening in the cliff face and heard voices from inside so we went to investigate. When we entered the cave the first thing we noticed were two figures standing next to some small cages, then promptly one of the figures seemed to fade away. The other figure stepped forward and turned out to be a rather dangerous looking orc, “growl!”, who said, to our surprise since we’d never been here, that he’d been waiting for us. It was then that we noticed the small bodies that were in the cages barely moving and one not moving at all. With an obvious enemy barring our way and another lurking somewhere in the darkness we knew we couldn’t waste any time so we struck.

The fight was rough but ended quickly. I launched my spear at the orc to by some time as Kesler darted in to strike at his legs and managed to keep the orc off balance. We were joined shortly by Sydell and Marcel. As we continued the attack on the orc I caught the flash of movement out of the corner of my eye as a crossbow bolt went shooting past us. The second bolt took Sydell in the shoulder but it didn’t seem to bother him and he turned to deal with the shooter. To keep the archer from making an escape I used faerie fire to outline him. The orc was a fierce opponent and no matter how often Kesler and Marcel struck he wouldn’t stay down. The archer was another matter, Sydell had drawn his scythe to reach the archer, where he sat perched on the side of an overhang, and managed a strong blow to his legs sending him sprawling and begging for mercy. Sensing a chance to get some answers I leapt from Kesler’s back, leaving the orc to him and Marcel, and made my way to the side of the cliff. I shaped the stone of the cliff face into a cage holding the archer. During this time the orc lashed out crushing heavily into Kesler’s side before he was put down by Sydell. The fight over I went to check on Kesler and the people trapped in the cages that I could only assume were Embers.

Between the Embers and the captured archer, who turned out to be a gnome thief, we learned that the Trust had sent similar groups to all the places Sydell’s group had found shelter and help. Few of the Ember’s survived the slaughter but Marcel and I managed to save the ones we could and find the few that had fled into the caves. These ember’s have a unique ability to mold earth and stone much like me but theirs seems to be inborn. After seeing to the Ember’s Sydell began to ask about Mighty God and whether there was a way to speak to them. In the past Sydell has dealt with Mighty God’s emissary on Dromaria, the lady in the lake, and this was seen as a great honor to the Embers. For our help they took us to the stature of Mighty God they keep in there cavernous home right next to a large underground lake. Apparently hearing the voice of Mighty God Sydell simply walked into the lake. After awhile Sydell reemerged from the lake bringing both good news and bad. While he now knew the next step he had to take on his personal journey our friends where in great danger in Blarek. We thanked the Embers for their help and left the gnome thief for their justice and began a hard ride towards Blarek hoping we weren’t to late.

My name is Jon and I do not trust you.

My name is Jon and I have replaced Franz Thunderhammer. I have been posing as him since the day the party met me and rejected Franz’s offer to have me accompany the party instead of him. Franz wrote a note in Dwarven explaining the situation which would be forfeited should my secret identity every be found out. Naturally, Franz failed to think this through beyond what his Dwarf instincts told him because to my knowledge there is not a single person besides myself that can naturally speak Dwarven.

Franz picked an odd group of people to adventure with and quite frankly they have every right to feel betrayed; however, it pales in comparison to my feelings against them.

First, we have Sydell. The very first week travelling I noticed he was evil. Pure and simple, something inside of him was evil. I figured since Franz trusted him that this individual posed no serious threat. At one point we met a druid who also gave an evil aura. Naturally, the group was angry with me for not telling them or taking action to attack the druid. Why should I? What makes this druid so different than Sydell? Well, the druid did attempt to kill everyone. However, Sydell has a living demon spirit inside of him that he is unsure he can contain so what is to say he will not try to kill us and when that day happens no one in this group has a chance at survival. I might as well just point to every passerby and state their intentions if the group is going to be whiney.

Next up, Penelope. Wow. Why is she alive at all? First she refuses to hand over the child, which is the responsibility of the church, and next she carries it with her while we adventure. On top of that, she put the baby at risk when the evil druid attacked. How am I supposed to feel towards someone who puts someone else’s child at risk like that? It is obviously not hers due to the race and she even acknowledged that it had an affinity to the church. What is she anyway? All she did for the first week was put the child at risk and heal Sydell who has spent the majority of his time killing.

Lily, The Great, is the accompanying bard. Not sure what to make of her. If anything, she aids in Sydell’s killing sprees and is very knowledgeable of whatever area we tend to venture upon. She’s tended to keep to herself around me and stay out of trouble. I have seen her play her harp on several occasions and the results have been exceeding my expectations. She did shoot an innocent child’s pet once.

My acceptance of Marcel Fisher is based on our shared alliance to Lothor and nothing else. He escalated a bar fight to physical means and did not go out of his way to aid travelling merchants. At least Penelope took interest in the merchants’ wares. Also, for being as holy as he proclaims, he tends to have no issue allowing selective murder. Death is not the only solution to conflict. Of all people, he should know this.

Also, there is a staff that Penelope uses quite frequently to mend whoever is injured. I had my chance to use this staff to resurrect Penelope, a child, and a child’s pet. Such great power wielded by a foolish elf? Oddly enough, the staff seemed powerless after I had my time.

Devrem Wolfborne recently accompanied us. He seems rather neutral on every situation and I have yet to see him take preemptive strikes against a foe.

The travelling group consists of someone I would consider a kidnapper, a lore master that records the daily events, a farmer turned vicious murderer, a holy avenger who tends to place the priority of the church under his friends and himself, and a man that has a wolf pet. I trust no one.

Franz is lucky he ordered me to cover for him. I have relied on my own healing capabilities since the staff has not been used on me. Every foe has been slaughtered rather than captured and interrogated. The elf finds a valuable lost item, discovers the protectors and owners, and then refuses to turn it over. It is a blatant affront to my church.

My sole purpose for being here dwindles. My very life is being put at risk daily and for what now? Even if I knew where Franz was located I would not tell this group even if they wanted to confront him in person. They are just as likely to murder him if they see him as a threat. I must keep an eye on Marcel Fisher. As an inquisitor of the church, it is my duty to necessitate their priorities and Marcel must aid in that task. I fully understand why Franz left. Before finding out my true identity, they treated me poorly if at all and mock Lorthor. Only under orders am I here anymore. They’ve done nothing to bring intentional harm to myself but have also done nothing to aid me in any way.

Beyond this mistrust of the entire group, Steel Bouldergate arrived. The group had decided to return to the Dwarven city and handle the entire situation there. Bouldergate informs everyone that it has been demolished and before my questions were even asked there appeared a raid of dragons.

These dragons were of the same breed that had attacked the city. Bouldergate moved us to a safer location atop a platform armed with ballistae. I truly did not care what everyone else did or even if they died. I will show them the same respect and care they showed me since I have joined.

I fired ruthlessly upon the dragons. I hold such a neutral stance against everyone here. It had crossed my mind to aid them rather than protect myself above all others. Three dead dragons later, the platform was encased on protective magic. Sadly, Bouldergate’s mortality got the best of him and he was nowhere to be seen.

The platform had a basement which was rather old. The main room held an orb and evil presences. It was more than Sydell this time. Did I have a responsibility to scout for the auras prior to inspecting the orb? No. Not with this group. For all I had known at the time, it could be more people like Sydell. These auras mean absolutely nothing anymore. I must judge people on their actions rather than their intentions.

Naturally, the auras belonged to unfriendly creatures that were soon dispatched. I aided in their departure from this world since I had no time to worry about possible interrogation. The orb that sat in the middle of the room was revealed to be a prison of sorts that held an old man captive. Upon his release he teleported us to one location of our choice.

The group was dropped off outside of Blarek, the magic capital of the west side of Dromaria.

Golem and.....who cares.

The group decided once again to make their own way on this mission. We hiked to the site of the golem and after closer inspection realized there was nothing we could do to finish the rite faster. In fact, there was nothing we could do to leave the area of the golem. Dev, the new guy, also showed up to help out. I really don’t care for what happened much less anything else at this point because of what happened after the fight.

There was a secret passage under this pond where the fight took place and beyond the passage was a bland room. Those who defeated the golem were rewarded with a coin inscribed with their face on it. These coins were of course sitting in the middle of the room and showed everyone’s real face.

In other words, there was no Franz coin. I had to come clean so I handed over the note and prepared for the worst. This was a fantastic day. Risk my life for someone else’s personal goals and get rewarded with questioning and betrayal.

Snowbound and Hellbound

Sydell here once again with another installment of “Holy shit, holy shit what is this thing thats taking over me!!!!”, and boy didnt we get waist deep in it this time. After we downed the Ogre we rested up a bit and set off once again. A bit further down the road we encounter a mass of tracks. Upon further inspection i am able to determine they are orc tracks, and a lot of them. Their tracks were heading the same way we were headed on the road so we decided to take a detour through the near by woods to avoid any more orcish entanglements. Unfortuantly what i had not expected was a major weather change for the worse as the sky broke upon and unleashed a frozen wasteland upon us. Had it not of been for Penelopes magic aiding our bodies from freezing and Lilys music stopping our snowbound insanity im not so sure we would have made it. Eventually we could go no further and had to seek shelter in a rocky outcropping that looked previously lived in, but since it was this or nothing we decided to rest there for the evening. Bad Call.

Not long after we settled down for the night when we heard some noise outside our makeshift fort, and before we even knew what was happening we were under attack by Yeti…Yeties…there were two of them. It was a brief, yet violent clash ending with us as the victors though were didnt come out completely unscathed. Regardless we won our selves shelter for the night and thats was more worth it then anything. Im not sure why but the other dont seem to be as affected by this winter madness as i am. How can they stand the feel of thousands of icicles constantly stabbing you? Atleast my sword doesnt seem to be affected by the cold, in fact it seems to be far stronger out here… A little longer and another batch of elementt protection spells for Penelope and we are on our way again. Whats this the appears before us? It seems to be a gaping chasm with the only way across being a bridge apparently mad of solid ice. I didnt like my chances of making it across that safely so i did something for the first time, I let my companions deal with the issue as i could just magically show up on the other side due to my new magic belt. Bad Call No.2. As i was on the other side i really can tell you in great detail what went down but i can tell you what i know. As the others began making there way across the ice bridge a little boym suddenly appeared on the bridge. He called himself Ignatious of the North or some such nonsense and began demanding payment from the other in the form of organs and limbs, it was weird. After awhile it became apparent that this was gonna come to violence though im not sure i can say who started the attack. The others retreat back to the start of the ice bridge as I through my fireball special right at the kids head. The kid is incenrated as is the bridge! Suddenly my chest began the tear and burn fiercely. I fall to my knees as i hope and pray the burn stops spreading and glance up to see…Ignatious floating in mid air seemingly unharmed. Chest burning, mouth agape at the fact that my best did nothing, no way to get back across with risking tearing my soul asunder and no ranged abilities that could be of use i find myself useless and spent. I retreat and cast some defensive spells (oh ya, I cast spells now too!) and hope that my teammates can win the day. Eventually Ignatious retreated sure to return to annoy us another day and another ice bridge appeared, ughh thank god cause i wasnt looking forward to finding another way across for my partners. They make it across with hasty yet caution and we walk on. Eventually we make it to the last town before we get to this dock so we figure we can restock and get out of the cold for the night. We were met by a strange creature called a Malkari. He had four arms and a passive demeanor and he was a delight. After such a dangerous trek across the forested freezer this respite was exactly what we needed. He let us stay in his house and told us all he could of the Elvenari. I sure hope these fellows dont hassle us to much cause i feel like i may need the water from that fountain sooner then later! So with the new knowledge of the Elvenari and a night in a bed we are ready to head to the dock. It wasnt to far and fortune favored us with an easy trip since we could stick to the road once again. The dock was exactly that, just a dock with a small shack next to it. The ferry master came out to greet us and when we told him where we wanted to go he didnt seemed to enthusastic about it. He tried to charge us an absurd price but with a little encouragement from Lily he lowered the price considerably. We make it across just fine and wind up on a deserted beach. The Ferrymaster was just gonna leave us here, but once again Lily to the rescue as she secured on of his rafts for us so we atleast have a way of this island. That Lily sur eis resourceful, shes like a walking Triple A membership! Once on the island we have 2 choices, walk on the beach, or go in the jungle. We chose the jungle since on the way in i noticed some movement in the tress i took to be the Elvenari. After a while we decide to set up camp but we didnt rest long as a little Elvenari girl comes running for here life into our campsite with a snow leopard seemingly hot on her heels. Finely a lucky break, we were in need of an elvenari guide and here comes one right to us and all we have to do is kill this tiger chasing her. Well apparently Lily had the same thought process ass she took a shot at the cats flank and brought it down. Bad Call No.3 The little girl stopped dead in her tracks and looked at us as if we were monsters! Oops, apperently the cat was a friends and as we could see shortly there after she was merely running away from this giant five headed hydra that burst onto the scene, snorting fire and screaming from all five heads. We seemed to have everything under control pretty well until the hydra opened all five mouths for a gout of hellfire that torched everyone and everything but me. Little girl, tiger, and penelope all down for the count. NNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Marcel and I hack into it with everything weve got while Franz and lily did everything they could to get the party back to life. Eventually the Hydra was downed and Penelope, girl and Tiger all back on there feet. We used all but the last of our healing resources on the resurrection, which left Penelope in a weakend state as it was, so we cant count on anymore close calls last that. If one of us falls again it could be for the last time. The little girl was grateful though unable to communicate with us due to the language barrier we shared though she seemed to warm up to us quickly and offered to lead us to here village for a feats and reward…apparently, i dont know i could never tell what she babbling about though penelope seemed to understand her at times. We get to her tree top villages to a less the warm reception, i guess they dont get to many visitors. We are lead to ther high priestess or head witchdoctor or mayor or some such and luckly she spoke common. She wasnt thrilled to see me but she seemed to know what i was there for. She knew i had a dark presence in me but she was the first to tell me it was a second, not just a darker part of me. I know now that i am under attack from an alien presence, and im not winning. She tells me of the fountain but only briefly. If we want a shot at the fountain we gotta go through a right of passage of sorts. She would not elaborate on it further and we were lead to tent to contemplate on it. Lily seemed reluctant to journey with me this time and i cant say I blame her. Its my fault were in this place and if it hadnt been for me Penelope wouldnt have been nearly raped in one instance and nearly killed in another. Also Franz would still have his beard and Marcel would still be a douche. Unfortunatly the High Priestess informs us that we all most go or none of us can so its left my teammates with no options but to stay forced into aiding me or leaving me to be consumed by this darkness. Like true friends they agree to come and I am so grateful, i wouldnt have survived this long without them and i wouldnt last long with out them. We are taking down to a sort of training ground/ archery range to test of to see if we are strong enough for this test which apparently we were because we all hit our targets solidly. Having passed intiation we set out on our test to win the Fountain and hopefully to recover my back to humanity.
The Woes of One Who is Young and in Confusion

Excerpt 24 of the journal of Marcel Fisher, son of Lumen Fisher of Staffons and Gwenethlane Lamisine of the noble house Felisima, Paladin of the Shield in the Holy Order of Lothar, savior of the prince elect of the royal line of Ania, and last student of the fabled knight Saber Dharst.

I talked to the heroes of Shelter Lake today. It was challenging as I was forced to appeal to them with both integrity and honesty, engaging to the nature of them as individuals. While I can’t place my church appointed quest above that of my vows as a paladin, I must admit that the opportunity to gain both notoriety and the ability to spread the holistic power of Lothar has a note of grandeur. It was with this attitude I understood something; sometimes being humble is necessary in the search for greater good.

I went and spoke to Sydell first, as he is what appears to be the leader of the group. He has a grisly disposition, I imagine stemming from his rustic upbringing, but at heart he is a trustworthy companion who has an astute sense of reason. He understood my intentions and his decision was to allow me to travel with the party.

Next came Penelope Naïlo. There was a palpable tension in the air that I couldn’t quite comprehend. Hopefully it will pass as I’m not sure what caused it to occur. She, similar to Sydell agreed without much argument. Her allure as a woman definitely doesn’t distract from her sensibility or judgment. She caught me off guard when she volunteered to leave the child, Serenity, with Steel Bouldergate and his regime. Penelope has an air of realism and depth that is hard to define. Mayhaps it is her elven heritage flowing through her delicate veins, or the otherworldly aura that separates her from others, but there is a charm that transcends my understanding.

Franz had no choice. There is little I can put in writing about the man as it would break promises and constitute a lie. These decisions may be the downfall of us entirely.

Lily “the Great.” What is there to say about her? She has both the attitude of a traveling performer and a court bard rolled up in the body of a lovely woman. However there is something about her that disturbs me. I imagine it may be her opinion of children or even her nonchalant idea of idle conversation. Either way she both understood my plea and was willing to allow my presence for the upcoming travel. Hopefully the tension will fade as we become companions, if that status is something we can achieve.

Entry 25

We set out a few days ago with the intention of reaching Instara swiftly. Thankfully the light shone on our path and we managed to arrive in the village of Thamis without issue. The local inn, The Willow Tree (an odd choice given the locale), had a various assortment of rough necks and merchant guards. The types of vagabonds that are found in these establishments sometimes astound me. As our mediocre lunch arrived so did a rum drenched shunt of a man berating my companions with insults and degradation.

This encounter swiftly erupted into conflict as he insulted both our integrity and our intentions. Upon his sacrilegious desecration of fine elven wine the line was drawn and Sydell took action. Knocking the aggregated asshole to the floor with a punch was satisfying to watch, even if a bit pedestrian. Sydell has a surprising amount of power in his farmer’s frame. However this escalated to the man drawing what appeared to be an item of dangerous power from within his cloak, causing me to take drastic measures. With the lives of fifteen people nearby I could not risk their safety. My mace sunk into his skull with a sickening thud as he released the orb in the direction of Sydell. Thankfully there was no eruption of cataclysmic proportions and a forcefield encompassed the small corner of the inn. His weakened condition and the intervention of his traveling companion stopped the tension before it could escalate. I healed the man and he was taken outside to be dumped in the horse trough.

Surprisingly, thanks to the meddling of my most troublesome travel-mate, we ended up traveling the rest of the way to Instara with the drunkard and his fellow caravan guards, aiding a middle-aged dwarf with his delivery of dyes and cloth. Penelope was quite interested and it appeared she purchased a few bolts or something of the sort during one of our frequent stops. I was unaware of her desire to create. Art is both a boon and an inspiration to those around us. Maybe I’ll have the opportunity to ask her about it in the days to come.

Entry 26

After our brief stay in Instara I must say I’m befuddled. Sydell labored me with information that I am not capable of dealing with. Penelope wishes to gain my attentions? Whether purely in a sexual discourse or in a more traditional manner I am unsure, but either way my aligned path toward the future feels as if it has taken a detour. Vows of poverty, purity, chastity, they are dreams and dedications. Not that I haven’t had the attentions of a woman before. Ania is ripe with harlots in the highs and lows of society. However I don’t believe those are the advancements that Penelope is making. She is a different breed. She is both beyond beautiful and is so enchanted by life that she radiates a wondrous quality to those around her. My heart wept for her upon her arrival back to the city. Such a strong will to bear the trials for one so young. I would shred the remains of the one responsible for her plight if I was capable. The very idea of what lengths I might go to is frightening. The entire idea of a future with a dedicated woman merits consideration, especially one such as the lovely Penelope.

Entry 27

Winter is upon us and the grasslands are shrinking around us, dying like the sun’s rays at the cusp of dusk. The worries of the road finally caught up to us. A sneak attack almost caught us unawares. If it wasn’t for the sharp ears of those with me we would have come out of the encounter with more than a few bruises and chilled bones. Orcs, the vile creatures of the northern territories descended upon us with a controlled precision and evil intent.

The initial coordination of their attack astounded me. Training and travel can only teach so much I suppose as this was not what I expected from such low brow beings. A wall of wind blocked our path as the orcs laid a cunning misdirection. We labored forward, wary of their magic and swords, unaware of the shifting ogre magi approaching from behind. If it wasn’t for the sly ways of my fellow follower of Lothar we may have perished at his hands alone. The battle was swift and deadly, as only those who have been in a furious melee can understand. Sydell rushed to the center of the fray while I stayed behind to guard our casters. There is a natural feel to the group; we understand our roles without question. After witnessing it first-hand there is no doubt that my companions have faced their share of battle together. Lily worked her magic with her harp and as if Lothar himself wanted to add dramatic effect the magi struck at the crescendo. A blast of cold straight from the artic straights descended upon our backs, bringing us to the edge of life itself. Sydell almost dropped from the single strike, it was as if one could see the ice form and sink into his very veins. If it wasn’t for the adept hands of Penelope and her wondrous staff we may have lost our resolve in that moment.

The rest of the battle was a blur of steel, spells, and the bold actions of what I can only assume was Lothar speaking through his followers. Orcs fell in a swath of swords, arrows and missiles. Lily took a scathing blow to her midsection which I did my best to stave off with my limited healing capability. While my attention was focused primarily on the well-being of Sydell and the women I must admit that Lothar himself must have been watching the fall of the ogre. It was done with precision and grace, a thing of near beauty if it wasn’t for the blood that laced the earth and the stench that filled the air. We won. That almost goes without saying but still I must thank Lothar for the blessings of my, dare I say it, friends? Together there is a bright future dedicated to helping those in need and ridding the world of the evils that spread across the vast lands of Dromaria.

Adventurer's Log 6 & 7
The Barbarians, a Dangerous Druid, and the Great Bronze Dragon

Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God!! Our last adventure was crazy. Scary. Intense. Bizarre. I don’t even know what to say. Or how to think. Or feel.

I can’t even remember how it started. I’ve pretty much blocked out all details except for the incident. And I can’t stop playing it over in my head. It’s like Lily’s music box is looping the same horrific song over and over and over. MAKE IT STOP!!! I can’t sleep well. I wake up to myself screaming and writhing around, in a cold sweat because of the awful nightmares that just keep coming. I wish Marcel was with me. He’s somewhat cold and pompous, but something about him comforts me.

We were on a trek for bronze dragons. Me and Serenity, Lily, Sydell, Franz, and the barbarian, Ander. King “Steal” Steel Boldergate of Ander Hall sent us on a mission to find them. That part I remember. Anyway. We came to a wooded area on our travel. There was some debate as it if we should go around or go through. As a creature finely in tune with nature, I wasn’t opposed to going through it. But this time I should have been. As we made our way through the dark woods, I noticed a creature appearing and disappearing into the shadows, which troubled me greatly. Soon after, we stumbled upon a wolf a top the corpse of an orc. It was hurt pretty badly so we healed it. Little did we know that this wolf was a Druid. As soon as we healed him he turned into his human form. He was quite an attractive man, for a Druid. And he seemed rather nice. The rest of the group appeared to trust him so we followed him to his living quarters, a small shack and a tree house deep into the woods, to stay for the night.

Lily went to check out the tree house when we first arrived. Sydell and Ander stayed in while I accompanied the dwarf outside. I think he wanted to drink or something. He’s normally a jerk to me, but he was extra rude while I stood out trying to figure out what his take on this Druid was. He somehow managed to disappear without me noticing while I was talking to him. I don’t know if he casted some spell to make him stealth or what. When I realized I was alone, I went back in to check on everyone. The Druid was making an awful concoction for dinner. Lily, Sydell, and Ander began to eat. By the look of utter disgust on Ander’s face I could tell the food was awful, so I tried not to eat without being rude. Ander went out, possibly to vomit and that’s when I noticed something was not at all right. Lily and Sydell were following the Druid’s every wish like mindless drones. At first I thought they were just being polite to our host, but I soon realized something was off.

I tried to leave but the Druid slammed the door shut and casted a spell so it couldn’t be opened. I was beginning to panic. He was ordering Lily and Sydell, my companions, my friends, to turn against me! I soon found myself grappled by the overpowering Sydell. Luckily, I had casted a spell of protection on the baby right before this happened. The Druid was ordering Sydell to bring me to the bed! He “likes it when they struggle.”

“Oh God,” I thought. “How am I going to get out of this? I’m going to die. He’s going to slay me right here, with the help of my friends!” He turned back into wolf form and I screamed for Franz to help. I never thought I’d be depending on the dwarf to save my life. And nothing. No Franz. Lily and Sydell were trying to destroy me. To help the Druid take away my virtue. An act worse than murder. And Franz was no where to be seen. I shouted to him that the baby was in trouble. I know he doesn’t like me, but the baby belongs to his church. Maybe, just maybe, he’d come for her. All of the sudden I saw the window break, but no one had come through it, that I could see at least. Ander finally was able to break through the door. He and something else began to attack the Druid. I managed to quickly cast mirror image so the Druid couldn’t tell which copy of me was the real me. Franz appeared out of nowhere. Maybe he was what came through the window. I’m not sure. It’s all a little hazy. I looked around and noticed Lily had taken out her harp. There was depth in her eyes. Something had snapped. The spell she was under seemed to be broken. Sydell seemed to be coming to as well. As I struggled for my life my friends, yes, my real friends, began attack the Druid. Out of nowhere Franz pulled out a bear trap and snapped it shut right on the Druid’s ferocious face. I can’t believe a dwarf, a dim-witted, drunk bafoon, saved my life, my purity, my dignity. I will never be able to repay him…

I was pretty shaken up up at this point but from what I understand, Franz went nuts. He desecrated the Druid’s body. It worries me a bit, something seems…different about him. I mean, he’s always done what he’s had to to defeat our enemies. And yes, I’ve seen him burn bodies, but it’s because he didn’t want them to come back as undead. Man does that dwarf hate undead. But never, in all my time, have I seen him do what he did to that Druid’s body. It was horrific, much too brutal and gory to even mention again. shudders After doing this, he and Sydell searched the ground and found the remains of many, many other travelers buried in the garden. It all makes me so sick to my stomach. I was so lucky, or I would have been joining those decomposing bodies out back.

We traveled on the next day to find the dragons. All I wanted to do was get out of there. Get back to Ander Hall. To find Marcel. To feel safe. WE found a baby dragon and it’s very sick mother who was stuck in human form. Everything from this part of the trip is very foggy. I know Sydell took the human dragon into the lake to see if it could heal her. After, we decided to take both her and her baby back to Ander Hall to see if anything else could be done.

The trip home was long and cold. Winter is arriving. The first snow feel when we arrived at the great Ander Hall. It was beautiful. The whole city glittered in white, wintery glory. Something about the pure white, freshly fallen, undisturbed snow and the cold, brisk air began to help make me feel better. To feel clean and fresh and safe.

We’re back to Ander Hall now. I must go find Marcel. I hope he’s still here. I must speak with him. After what happened I don’t know if I can continue to keep little Serenity safe….


Adventurer's Log 4 AND 5

Hellloooooooo Refugees!!!!!!! I was saddened to hear that all of you were being sold into slavery and once you escaped you were forced to live in a hole in a mountain so I thought I’d sing a few of my favorite tunes to help ya through the tough times!!!!! (cheers)

Well, in case you missed it, we’re stuck in some funky ruins because the stupid dwarf man decided it was his “destiny” or some shit. That damned dwarf gets this group into the most dangerous situations! I try to tell them….ugh, anyway…Let me get you up to speed – there’s so much to tell you!!!!!

So, like the Dwarf said, we arrive back in town to a huge (and I mean HUGE) airship. This very rugged, dangerous looking man hands Franz a note. I have a really bad feeling about this. Since he’s not drunk yet he barely tells us anything, my guess is that he’s not intoxicated enough to remember the he can, in fact, read. The gist of it is that we’re going on yet another ‘adventure’ – I’m going to begin using that term very loosely.

When we get back to the inn and the ale starts flowing, the dwarf’s lips get a lot looser. He says that we’re to take the airship, with the baby – OMFG, did I not mention that we have a fucking BABY with us now??? SERIOUSLY?!?!? – across the pond to meet someone in a place called Shemeer. Never heard of it. HA! Anyway, everyone is having all these crazy dreams about this baby and they all agree that it’s a great idea. Again, bad feeling but nobody listens to the bard – what do i know! Hahahahahaha…ahem, excuse me. Sinuses.

So, this baby. I don’t get it. The elf has been literally goo-goo and ga-ga over that thing since she laid eyes on it. (Side note: why don’t the elf and dwarf just do it already? OMG Seriously.) The only dream I’ve had about the baby is that I’m supposed to protect Sydell from it. I’m not sure what that means, I just met him and he seems a bit odd, with the red eyes and fireball thing he does. Can someone please explain to me again what it was that made me go along with all this shit in the first place?!?! And it just gets better!

We’re on the big airship and the captain or whatever he’s calling himself, Harper, seems to be keeping an all too close eye on the new girlies aboard the ship. It’s weird. Kinda creepy and rapey. Anyway, Harper takes us on a tour of the ship, all up and down and around. It’s huge. We find our rooms and settle in for a really long trip. I hope it goes well.

Within the first few days, as we’re still getting acquainted with where everything is, we tend to get lost and find ourselves meeting everyone sort of one by one. The ship actually is quite big, but not all of it is accessible so the areas we travel in are limited to a degree. It seems to have about 20 people staff, doing some sort of task keeping us afloat. And I noticed there are two other passengers aboard who are not staff. Why would you travel this way by choice??? The first we encounter is Roth, a spellcaster of some sort I imagine. Harper said that this guy literally just travels around with them, going from port to port. That’s the life!!! Seems like a nice enough guy. Our other fellow traveler we heard about by word of mouth. His snooty, haughty attitude precede him – tee hee! Marcel is a half-elf whose nose is so high in the air, if it rained, he’d drown. Harper said that the crew doesn’t care much for Marcel, but that since it’s his first trip with the ship and he’s actually got a destination, they just stay away from him as much as he tries to avoid them. Sounds like a swell guy.

About 5 days into our trip one of the crew members is found dead aboard the ship. And, of course, it looks like he was drained of life. Can nothing just go smoothly?!?! The scooby gang heads to the scene of the crime to take a closer look. This is what we gathered from Harper and our own inspection of the room. It seems that the deceased, Rodney, 24, had been a crewman for a little over 3 years. When his roommate ended his shift and returned home that night he found Rodney dead and saw a ‘demonic female figure’ exiting through the porthole. A small claw mark was found on the floor next to the bed, like a single claw got caught – maybe like a talon mark. According to Harper’s infinite travel-wisdom, the body appears to have had it’s soul drained, by a possible demon.
The boys decided to go off on their own and do something manly so Penny and I decided to walk around and see if we could overhear anything from the crew. We find out that the crew is really shaken up and scared. The dwarf tells us that he was detecting some evil from Harper, which seems possible, the way he’s been looking at us. Disgusting. But, after all that investigating, we really couldn’t find anything to link any of the crew or travelers to the crime. Crew member Rodney will be sent home for memorial once we reach port at Staffons.

So, back to the weird baby. Penny wants us to call it ‘Serenity’. I don’t care for that. The Dwarf wants us to call it ‘Vagina Hawk’. I don’t understand that and I won’t dignify it with a response. Sydell wants us to call it ‘Skittles’, after his horse. No. I’m going to continue to call it ‘baby’, or ‘it’. I don’t like having the baby around. It scares me. It never cries or fusses. It seemed to be such a tiny baby when we got it, but now it’s getting pretty big and it doesn’t seem that enough time has elapsed for that to happen. I’m no expert in babies, never had any myself so I really can’t say for sure, but it just seems a little early for a 3 month old to have teeth. That just doesn’t seem normal to me and I’m very leery of that baby.

After we leave Staffons without event, thankfully, we’re on our way to our final destination – Shemeer. From what I know of the land, it’s very primitive in that no one from our lands typically go there. It may be filled with savages, but don’t fear ladies! No unwanted children of rape because they’re all sterile!!! Now that’s something to bring in the tourists!!! But that’s for later. So we’re on the big airship again, evil-eyes Harper is at it again, watching Penny and me with his ’I’m going to rape you’ look. At least all he’s doing is looking, as scary as that is. A couple days into our voyage another crew member died. Scooby gang to the rescue!
There are no direct witnesses, so we were quick to work. The deceased, Pierre, 41, had been a crewman for less than a year. There was redness around his mouth, as though his soul was sucked out through his mouth. The room appears that there was no struggle, but the body looks like he may have started to struggle there. He was working at the time this occurred, another crew member said Pierre had left his area to get some tools and never returned. When he didn’t return to his work area, people started to search for him and he was found in the supply closet. The room only has one entrance/exit. SPOOKY!!!!!
We really didn’t get much more information than that and the rest of the time we were aboard the ship no one else was attacked, no one died and no one even reported anything remotely suspicious! WTF??? I really hope that those deaths had nothing to do with us. I hope that baby isn’t bringing this crap with it. I can definitely say that before the baby came into my life, I had never put myself in so many ridiculously dangerous situations. Am I losing my mind? Or maybe my free will?

GOOD MORNING SHEMEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LAND HO!!!!!!!!! I kiss the ground and bless my feet for standing on it!!!! About 3 weeks after Pierre was found dead we arrived in Shemeer. Strange town. Pretty big, about 5-6k pop. It doesn’t outwardly feel very friendly for a port town, though. Those places have always felt like home to me, to some degree. Nothing about this place feels like home. So, off to the inn to get a room, some dinner and drink and SLEEP!!!! It’s going to feel amazing to sleep in a REAL bed – in a real building!!! On LAND!!!
At dinner I’m pretty sleepy. I don’t remember what I ate, if I ate, I know I had some drinks thanks to the dwarf. And I remember seeing a very snooty half-elf about. Hmmm. Why did he get off here??? Doesn’t matter much now, time for sleep. My eyes are SO heavy….

<groggy> What….what the hell? Is someone in here? OW!!!!!WHAT THE FUCK??!!!!!! Holy shit, holy shit….jump!!!!! Ouch. OMG uber ouch. What the hell is going on? Ouch. What the fuck was that Is that smoke??? Jesus, I gotta get up – OUCH. Penny!!!! PENNY!!!! Can you get out? What’s going on? Ouch. HOLY SHIT! Ummmmm…..oh shit, oh shit….Throw me the baby!!!!
(why did I say that?) Oh great. I saved the baby and everyone else is gonna die. Now I’m stuck out here with this thing. At least it’s quiet. It looks kinda scared. “Lullaby, and goodnight…” no, nothing. This kid’s weird.

So, to the new inn we go, nothing much left of the last one what with the apparent alchemist fire everywhere. Marcel in tow since Penny decided to use our staff of life on him – don’t get me wrong, she and everyone else in the party would probably be dead and I’d be left holding that weird kid. I’m pretty psyched that didn’t happen, but Marcel could go away and I’d be ok with it.
The next day we decide to send Marcel on his merry way, along with the baby and Penny (to assure the baby gets wherever safely) via Ishy’s Travel service. A very reputable service, it’s been in use for eons and trusted by all kinds in all kinds of places. Marcel and the transporter seem to have made it to wherever, but the transporter never returned. Since no one ever came back to take Penny and that baby, they came with us. And guess where we went? To find some ruins that the dwarf said we HAD to find. Something about it being his destiny. His destiny is going to be dead on a toilet like Elvish if he doesn’t slow down on that hooch. So sad, Elvish Kingsley had the most beautiful voice and hips that could literally bring down the heavens. But, I digress.

On the way to these ruins we had to camp overnight. The tiny little dwarven legs just can’t go as quickly as the rest of ours, and honestly, walking slowly just makes me feel tired. I decide to take first watch and so does that damned dwarf. Wouldn’t you know it – the dumbest criminals of all time decide to rob us on OUR watch! I woke the others and we annihilated them. Two idiots out for a few gold. Too bad for them and thank goodness my watch is over. Sleep!
We break camp as early as we can and not too far ahead we find a train of wagons, driven by 4 huge horses. Sydell runs up to stop them – why I do not know, I hid – and they do not halt. As they pass him, the driver whips Sydell in the face! Cling, clang, zoom, bang – there’s magic flying and blood gushing and then….a clay golem!!!!! And then a fucking fire breathing dragon!!!! Sydell is fighting the golem and we run away from the dragon, taking the clydesdales to quicken our trip. With Sydell no longer in sight and the dragon bearing down on us, from up ahead a voice – Hey! Over here! HURRY! We dismount and run toward a woman wearing worn plate and holding a war-weary shield. We three run hurriedly behind her into a large cavern. We wind around, running as if with new feet, to a large opening. The dragon is still behind us, unable to enter the small opening, thankfully. Sydell! I message him where we are and soon enough he joins us. The dwarf, now energized, decides to explore, while the rest of us stay behind with the refugees. I seek out the oldest looking refugee and decide to speak with her. Her name is Ceril and I showed her the gold clasp taken from a known member of a thieves guild. Ceril comes from Blarek and I figured she might know of the guild. She clams up! Not a word, almost seems afraid of it. I assure her I am only seeking knowledge about the item, and tell her how it came to be in my possession. She tells me that it’s from “the trust”, a group with unknown motives, comprised of the lowest of the low of society. This “Trust” group murdered her father, who was some high official in Blarek at the time of death. She vowed to avenge his murder – her eyes gleamed with an intensity rarely shown to someone left alive.

The dwarf returns and says he found the ruins. Off we go (hopefully not to our deaths!) into these supposed ruins, searching for some items his church or whatever is requiring of him. We entered a hallway with what appeared to be bedrooms on each side. All doors were open except for one – locked from the inside. As we walk further down the hallway, HELL HOUNDS!!! 4 of them!! Sydell was all, hack and slash, and Penny was all pew-pew and I don’t really know where the dwarf went…I sang my songs and shot as much as I could, I don’t really know what’s wrong with me lately, I’m usually such a good shot!! Anyway, dead are the hounds and on we go to the next room we spy – oh my, is that a little girl? Is she ok? What a creepy little doll….OMFG!?!?! What the hell are those things? And again, hack and slash, pew-pew, creepy doll impaled onto the bed, living dead girl dead once again. DAMMIT! Can these things not just go smoothly for like ONE freaking time?! Why am I here again? Anybody?!!!!
Ok, why do I get the feeling I need to go into the room that smells really, REALLY bad?? I don’t want to!!!!!!!

Adventerer's Log 3

Franz Thunderhammer here representing the Thunderhammer clan.

I woke up to some weird pibb* going that morning. Who has the audacity to wake a sleeping Dwarf? Not even the legendary Angus Neoll’s music should be playing during sleepy-time. I had this amazing dream where my bread grew back and my wife’s was shorter than mine and my kids stopping being sober and learned to drink ale. Who says 89 is too young to drink? Those damned Steelaxes, that’s who. They think they’re so special with their new forge. Anyway, I woke up to an explosion of sorts right in the middle of my amazing Dwarf dream. Did I mention I had a beard again?

I grabbed my armor, shield, warhammer, and a little sanity before rushing downstairs to see fire everywhere. Did those little embers party too hard and set everything on fire? Nope, this wasn’t ember-caused. Smoke was everywhere and thicker than last year’s wool sweaters. I heard someone cry help from behind the bar. THE ALE! Save the ale! That’s what I kept thinking until I went back and the ale was gone but Yaela was stuck under a burning chunk of wood. It was crazy to think that ale could scream help anyway. I summoned all my Dwarf power to life the log and help the woman escape to the outside. Wasn’t much better outside, let me tell you. Zombies. Zombies everywhere.

Yaela needed healing. I let loose some powerful healing and then made an obscuring mist to cover myself. The healing was so powerful it killed a zombie! My fellow adventurers were fighting zombies in the distance while I decided to don my armor. No sensible Dwarf enters combat naked! Yaela grabbed her cooking stick and ran off to kill them nasty undead abominations. Finally got the armor on with the help of a townsfolk just as the mist subsided. A zombie lurked around the corner! Just as he showed his jawless face an arrow flew through the air towards his morbid face. I swung my hammer faster than a Halfing pickpocketing a drunken orc. BAM! Down goes the zombie. Count a win for the Thunderhammers. All the other zombies were dead too. It must’ve been the shine of my armor that made them drop dead again.

My fellow adventurers ran through this shiny fancy-pants magic portal to follow this Halfling that seemed to cause all this trouble. That little fellow is the same one that stole my headband! Into the portal we went. The stonecunning was so different down here. Lieutenant smashface went about smacking the midget around. He hit him so hard he dropped his staff! It was a good thing too since his midget magic was making the floor disappear. After his face got smashed in I got my family’s headband back. Passed down from generation to generation, this headband is what makes a Thunderhammer. All of a sudden, we were teleported to the crazy lady in the water. I was so sober I can’t recall what happened. Regardless, we went back to the town that was on fire and they were rebuilding!

How do humans build so fast? Did they go to Brownbrew University too? I have such great memories from my old Dwarf school. There were weekly Halfling Bowling tournaments and the bar that never closed. Get out of Brewing 101 class, get drinking, pass out, get drinking, and go to Brewing 101 class the next day. Not a sober face in sight. I can almost smell the burning embers and hear the clank of metal on red hot metal.

Anyway, back to the humans rebuilding their town. Turns out we had been gone for two weeks! The blight had receded faster than my father’s hairline. Humans aren’t all too bright since there was a giant ship sitting outside town. Who builds a ship made for the ground? What’s it going to do, sail on hopes and dreams? Well, turns out the ship was going to take us places.

A lad named Harper comes down to greet us and hands me a letter from the head my religion. The letter says this man was hired to pilot this ship on land and take us to a new place. Again, I was too sober during this point in time to care where we were going. I needed to find out how this ship works so I boarded it and asked around. Turns out the giant thing sails in the air! I knew it. The ship floats on hopes and dreams.

Well, other stuff probably happened that wasn’t nearly as amazing as my armor and shield. I’m sure I’ll get drunk sometime and ask the bard what happened. She’s really good at remembering things. I hope she remembers how baby crazy the elf is. The elf tried telling us about this dream she had about a baby. This Dwarf doesn’t know a thing about elf babies or why elves want them so badly.

noun, verb, interjection, vulgar.
1. Slang. Something interior or worthless.
–verb (used without object)
1. Slang. To meddle (usually followed by with).
–verb phrases
1. pibb around, Slang.
a. to behave in a frivolous or meddlesome way.
1. Slang. (used to express anger, disgust, disappointment, frustration, or the like, often followed by a pronoun as you or it).
1. give a pibb, Slang. To care; be concerned.


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