Breaching the Storm

Zelgadis talks to the party
Barek, where he at?

Zelgadis stands to address the party as we settle camp for the night (somewhere away from where Grace is humping that poor hafling to death).

ice and snow still drifts lazily around my feet but it has settled as i’ve grown more comfortable in my new powers

First I’d like to address something that’s on all of our minds, Barek. I won’t leave him in this place or under the power of that creature. His rescue should be our number one priority. To that end I think we should use the connections we have to gain as much info tomorrow morning as we can. Which brings me to my second point.

When I shattered that phylactery earlier I inadvertently became a Chosen of Palorn. I have talked with her before, back when the dragons were rounding us up for trial I asked for guidance and she answered. When we entered this section of the tower I received a vision of that phylactery, in an effort to repay her I shattered it. I was not expecting the mantle she bestowed upon me but I think it will be helpful in getting us out of here. In regards to Palorn and her domains I have been chosen as the Herald of Winter, not terribly surprising I know. However; she also holds dominion over Death. Not the wanton slaughter and murder kind but the natural flow that all life takes in time. She sees all forms of undead as abominations of the natural order, I agree with her wholeheartedly. With my connection to Palorn, and my recently severed connection to the Tower itself, the idea of the undead and those who raise them leave a bad taste in my mouth. I’m sorry Malik but I can not abide their use even as tools. I know we lack strength right now, Grace unable to follow us and Barek lost in the tower but we can still do this without employing the undead. Which brings me to my third point.

I have confidence in our skills, especially since we all seem to be holding onto some bastion of power, I think we all know what i’m talking about but no need to lay it all out in the open. Your secrets are yours to keep. Stroud did leave me a Dragon Orb, not personally but to someone I trust, it is locked away for now while I figure out some way to destroy it. Things have changed for me in another way recently; you all know of the being from the Elemental plane of ice that I had bound myself to. Our bond had helped insulate me from the Tower and granted me a small measure of power. I’m not sure how but that being and i have fused completely, I think it had something to do with becoming a Chosen but i’m not sure. Because of the fusion i’ve lost my ability to cast spells but it’s been replaced with a new power i’m still trying to comprehend. The elements of Winter, wind and water, are now at my beck and call. I’ve lost a lot of versatility with the loss of my magic but this new power feels right to me.

That pretty much sums up all the things that i’ve been through and that are on my mind at the moment. In the morning I plan to ask Palorn about Barek and hopefully gain some information that we can use. I’d appreciate your help in this. If anyone has any questions please ask.
Winter is coming

I had the dream again; memories strewn about a darkened landscape. Each one a bright, warm part of my past. Each one coated in a thin layer of ice; so clear as to be almost invisible. At first the dreams scared me, I saw them as an ill omen of what was to come from my bonding with the plane of Ice but I never felt wary or in danger during the dreams. That was when I began to explore my dreamscape, hoping to find some meaning behind it. During one such trip I sensed something dark and putrid. Following that feeling I came upon something new, a dark and hungry ooze slowing flowing across the dreamscape. Where the ooze touched the dream seemed to melt and putrefy. Nothing seemed to be safe from its touch except for the ice. Whenever the ooze grew too close to the ice it also began to freeze and then to shatter. That was when it began to make sense. The ooze could only be the influence of the Tower of Malice, slowly corrupting me from within and the ice was simply shielding me from its effects. Armed with this new knowledge I spent each night I found myself in the dreamscape spreading the ice farther and farther. I no longer sense the presence of the ooze within the dreamscape, I fear it has only gone to ground to protect itself. The ooze is born of dark magic that I willingly accepted when I gave my blood to the Tower. I hope that rash decision does not become my undoing but for now it is the least of my concerns.

My thoughts are crowded by Stroud and the Nine of late. I originally joined the Band to repay them for their help in returning me home and because I recognized the danger that Stroud presents to my homeland but the more I learn the greater the danger becomes. Not just for my friends and family but for all the lands on the eastern continent. Trying to figure out the best way to deal with this danger has occupied much of my thoughts. Stroud’s magic is far beyond my own, even with my bond to the Ice plane, but each new challenge brings me closer to his level. Magic has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I have always seen it as a shield to protect myself and those around me and as a tool to accomplish my own tasks. It has helped me reach goals I first thought beyond me, it saved me during the shipwreck that brought me to the Fey islands and helped me to navigate and survive my time on those islands. But I now need something more than just a shield and a tool. The time has come to forge my magic into something new, a weapon to strike down those that strive for the destruction of this land and its people.

Ice is pure, without hatred or malice. but it is also ruthless and without reason. The ice and cold can kill the unwary and the careless but it can also preserve and protect. I will cloak myself in the power of my blood and bond; I will use it to strike my own path and cut the strings that bind the fates of the many others around me. My mind is clear and my heart has hardened. To those that wish destruction and death I will bring it to them. Winter is coming and I am her Herald.

The Disposable Hero
The Story of Riieyu
In this world there are heroes and there are stories. Not all stories are pleasant and not all heroes are good. This is the sad tale of a dark boy who grew into a dark man. It began like many stories do with the cries of a new born child. That child’s name is Riieyu. He lay in a pool of his mothers blood as his birth was a trial she would not survive. Sometimes the mother doesn’t have the opportunity to raise her child as he takes her life with him into this new world. All he has now is a father and sister who already hate him. They had lost all and what they got in exchange was a bloody and screaming infant. The father whose name is Clint would spend the first and most important years of a child’s life in a drunken stupor, while the sister, Dottie, took care of the baby as best she could. She hated Riieyu. It wasn’t bad enough that this imp had taken her mother away from her but he was slowly killing her father and suffocating her as well. She tolerated him as long as she could before she finally vanished one day with no word.
Riieyu is six now and can already read and write better then his own father who was still hard in the drink. Clint had no patience for brilliant, young Riieyu and instead of nourishing the childs genius, he would punish him instead. There was a basement in the house of which they lived, a basement whose only light came from whatever candles might be brought there. Riieyu spent years of his childhood exiled to the dark basement. Occasionally Clint would be kind enough to bring food and candles for young Riieyu but as time went by his father showed up less and less and Riieyu’s hatred grew larger.
They lived in a town called Ania which no magic had touched for generations, so you can imagine bright Riieyu’s surprise when he encountered a secret compartment in the basement wall. Inside that compartment was a book. It was a thick volume filled with page after page of whimsical drawings and paragraphs of wisdom. This was a wizards tome. Riieyu spent endless hours in the dark basement studying by candle light this wonderful book, but this book wasn’t all pleasantries and niceties. There was darkness in this book and to that Riieyu was particularly drawn. He learned how to make food and water from nothing. Learned how to move things using nothing but his mind, yet he learned terrible things too, He learned how to burn people using a thought, how to murder without using hands. He decided to test out his new skills by sending a terrible nightmare to his father and the sister who had abandoned him. Poor Dottie is still in an asylum to this day but Clint would not be so lucky. Clint often passed out with candles burning and his nightmare was so terrible that in his thrashing he knocked over a candle and was burned alive along with the home. Riieyu did not fear the flames though, as Riieyu feared nothing. He loved the fire and he controlled the fire at will. He escaped the wreckage of his youth and laughed as it burned.
Riieyu had no one to turn too and no place to call home. All he had was the clothes on his back and his magical book. He found a safe place on the roofs to stash his book and went out into the streets of Ania to learn how to survive. His brilliant mind quickly picked up the skills required for him to survive. Where the best places to beg were. Who was easiest to steal from. How to kill to avoid being killed. All the hard lessons a child of 6 should never have to learn. He spent the next four years on those terrible and cold streets all the while gleaning all he can from his magic tome.
At the age of ten is when we see him now as we watch that fateful day his life would change forever. He had begun using magic in his every day life. Stealing without touching had its advantages. Except one day he stole from someone that knew a bit about the arcane. He would track Riieyu down in an alley where he sat in a quite corner eating his stolen bread while flipping through his book. The man grabbed Riieyu by the neck and bashed him against the brick wall dazing him. In his confusion he dropped his tome into a puddle of dirty water. The man dashed him against the wall twice more before noticing the book on the ground. “Do you know what this is? Do you know what happens to little boys caught with magic in this town?” The man asked poor Riieyu with rage in his eyes. He threw Riieyu once again against the wall, this time pinning him face first against it. He tore Riieyus pants off and threw them in the water beside the book. Riieyu heard the man unbuttoning his trousers as he was pressed hard into the wall. Riieyu went to a different place in his mind. He had been raped before, as it sadly happens too often to the lost people on the streets but he knew that he would never be allowed to live this time, not with this evil man knowing about the book he carried. What is a boy of 10 to do against a full grown man? So Riieyu hid in his own mind while the man finished his vile deed. Then seemingly from no where he felt a magic wash over him. It was different this time because he hadn’t been casting any spells. He turned his head to the side just in time to see the alley way bathed in flames. Riieyu did not fear, for he commanded fire, but this fire was not his. His assailant didn’t have time to scream as he was turned to ashes, yet Riieyu was untouched. When the flame and smoke cleared all that was left was a kindly looking man and Riieyu, clutching the remains of his book. “Eloveser, what are you…” A voice cut off as it came around the corner into the scene. “Eloveser, what have you done? You know its not safe to throw that kinda of power around in Ania. Maybe that will change in time but for now we must go.” The man known as Eloveser replied “This poor child was being accousted by a disgusting mortal and I will not sit by and watch evil unfold and do nothing Harvie!” “Plus, you see that book he is holding? Hes lucky to have gotten away with his life.” The stranger known as Harvie looked at Riieyu and what was left of the book he held, then back to Eloveser. “I know what your thinking and you can just forget it. You love your broken and damaged things so but he can not be taught! Look at the hate in his eyes, he is looking at you! His savior! and he cares nothing for that! He would burn you to the ground where you stand if he had the strength. He doesn’t have the will to learn the things I can teach him!” Eloveser said “Well I’m not just gonna leave the poor thing here to be raped again or worse! He will come with us and I will take care of him myself if need be. Do not stand against me in this Harvie.” Harvie, realizing he was fighting a battle he couldn’t win and knowing Eloveser spoke truth allowed the boy to accompany them. Riieyu with no where to go and nothing left in this world went along.
We flash ahead 8 years later. Riieyu now at the age of 18 had learned much in the ways of magic. Eloveser taught him all he could but it wasn’t until Harvie began to allow Riieyu to study under him that his magic truly began to grow. Riieyu had become one of the most powerful people ever to be able to call a spell, yet Harvie was concerned. “Riieyu is hate incarnate. He learns nothing without trying to give it an edge or adapt it in a way that will hurt someone.” Harvie said. “I have taught him all i can but the one thing I cant teach him is how to accept and forgive.” Riieyu frequently eavesdropped on his mentors but this time he wished he hadn’t for Harvie was right. Riieyu nourished a hate in his soul so deep and black one could fall into it and be lost for all time and Harvie having seen the truth of Riieyu would abandon him as all others had. Riieyu would not give him the opportunity.
One evening while Harvie slept, Riieyu sent Harvie a nightmare unlike any that had ever been dreamt. It cut to the soul of Harvie in such a way that Harvie would see those images for all of time. What Harvie saw, who can say? No one is foolish enough to ask and he would never say. All that is known for sure is he awoke to darkness and pain for in his dreams the visions that haunted him were so profound that his waking body had torn out his own eyes for fear of having to look upon them. Harvie knows the feel of magic unlike any other, though and he knew Riieyu’s touch on this nightmare. Harvie called Eloveser and Riieyu into his study where his appearance drew a gasp from Eloveser and a sinister grin from Riieyu. “Master, let me heal your wounds for I know they pain you grievously.” Eloveser said. Harvie held up his hand. “I will not be healed. This is to serve as a constant reminder to our young Riieyu that there is always a consequence to every action. My mistake was allowing him into the fold knowing the dark heart he has. His consequence is that he may stay, but I will never again teach him magic and he is banned from using it in my tower!” ’I would send him away if not for your soft heart Eloveser but he will never again wield magic in my presence." and just like that Riieyu was severed.
Two years later he had once again earned Harvie’s trust but Harvie still refused to teach him. Eloveser was kinder to the boy but seeing the wisdom in Harvies words, also refused to teach him in the ways of magic. Instead Elvoser taught him other things like forgiveness, acceptance, and peace of mind. Riieyu attacked these lessons as he treated all lessons, as a means to an end. He listened but never truly heard, he thought but never felt. Eloveser was becoming just as useless to Riieyu as Harvie had become. Yet one more fateful evening was to come, an evening that would change all.
He was eavesdropping on his master once again as he crept up to his masters study. “…had hoped you were wrong about him, Harvie but I just cant get through to him!” Eloveser said. “I have tried everything but nothing touches his dark soul.” “There are more pressing concerns then our foolish charge Eloveser.” said Harvie. “I have found another with far more potential and a sheltered youth so he will be far easier to mold when the time comes.” “I am going to be away from the tower for some time and if i have not returned by the little ones 15th name day then it will be on you to care for him and teach him.” “Do not let Riieyu stand in the way of this! Riieyu will never be master over this tower but this new one might. You are to send Riieyu away when I am gone and he is to find his way on his own.” Eloveser replied “Please master, do not send the child away! He may be unteachable but i love him and he deserves to be here! When the new apprentice is ready I will send him away but for now let me keep him safe!” “Your soft heart will be your undoing Eloveser.” said Harvie. “Go now for this may be the last time I can rest for quite a while.”
Riieyu was seeing red by the time he returned to his rooms. Now not only had Harvie cast him out but Eloveser was washing his hands of him too? Eloveser, the only person Riieyu had ever truly trusted! This would not stand! Riieyu began to create a nightmare unlike any he had visited on anyone before. He would break Eloveser for his betrayal! There was one thing young Riieyu hadn’t anticipated though. Harvie had set up precautions in the tower after Riieyu had scarred him and Harvie knew what Riieyu was about. Riieyu was just finishing up his nightmare and was about to send it when the doors of his apartments exploded inward. Standing there before him was a god of wrath. Wild hair flailing wildly as he coursed with magic Harvie casually flicked his finger sending Riieyu slamming against the ceiling then slamming him to the floor with the smallest effort of will. “I ALLOW YOU INTO MY HOME. i TEACH YOU MY WAYS AND HAVE UNENDING PATIENCE WITH YOU ALL BECAUSE OF THE LOVE A DRAGON HOLDS FOR YOU!!! YOU WOULD RETURN THAT KINDNESS WITH DECEIT AND MALICE! YOU WOULD HARM THE ONE BEING IN THIS WORLD THAT TRULY CARES FOR YOU! YOU HAVE LEARNED NOTHING! EVEN NOW YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND MY WRATH, BUT YOU WILL!” Riieyu coward as Harvie approached him, a ship lost in the tempest. “ENOUGH!!!” roared Eloveser as a huge golden tail slammed into Harvie. “The boy is a product of his upbringing and I do not blame him for what he has done, nor can i ever come to hate him! Banish him from the tower if you must but you will not hurt him!” and with a wave of Harvies hand Riieyu found himself outside the tower looking in and for the first time he finds himself crying. To late did he realize all Eloveser had done for him and he repaid all that kindness with hatred and murderous intent. Riieyu cried himself to sleep that night in front of the tower and in the morning he was gone.
Years later, we find Riieyu lost in thought and drink in a seedy inn. The room brightens as the doors are swung open and in walks a man whose very presence fills Riieyu with remorse. Eloveser approaches Riieyu at the bar, looks down at him with a smile but there is a deep sadness in his eyes. Riieyu gestures for Eloveser to take the seat next him. Eloveser sits down, looks around and leans close to Riieyu and whispers, “My son, we have a serious problem…”
Through the Looking Glass
What ever happened to whats his name??

Hi there everyone, it’s me, Venix. Don’t forget about me fool. And that’s Thaydin, a pain in the ass spirit of a long dead warrior. He was actually part of the ruling council of Annesville during it’s original formation. I ran the police and city defenses is all, it was the only way for a decent fight after we put down the good guys… and the bad guys… and probably a lot of randos in the process. Back in those days we didn’t really like anyone telling us what to do..

And that is what i’ve been putting up with since I left the Band of the Last Days. It’s not all bad, Thaydin’s power and experience has been something I’ve been looking for for a long time. It’s allowed me to become a true Treasure Hunter. We actually started with Thaydin’s own tomb in the Gray Tower. Ever since our connection has grown to the point that we can communicate he’s been itching to get his stuff back. He’s pretty easy to please too, as long as i’m cracking skulls while i’m cracking tombs he seems happy. Every once in awhile he pushes to the front and takes over but it’s never for long. We both seem to be working on the limits of our relationship.

God you talk forever, I’m going to take a nap. Wake me up if something interesting passes or a fight breaks out.

He does a lot of that too but enough about ol’ tooth and claw. Things have escalated for me since I left the Band to track down the missing dragon egg. I never did manage to find it or the rats I’m convinced stole it. I delivered the remaining eggs to Emporer’s Peak once the Band dropped the barrier around Omen. After handing off the eggs I tracked down the Butcher to learn what had been going on. He filled me in on what he knew of the Band and Stroud. They seemed to be doing well and with Thaydin waking up I didn’t really have a reason to hunt Stroud anymore, honestly it seemed like a bad idea, so I asked the Butcher if I could get out of the bargain he had struck with the Band. He hemmed and hawed but in the end he dropped it but I had to offer up my services in exchange. That suited me just fine, and I was a little guilty about ducking out of our agreement. So I started to do side work for the Butcher while strengthening my own skills. In between jobs for the Butcher I would track down rumors and information on ruins, lairs and mysterious places. I even began to make a decent name for myself.

Things were going well and I was enjoying myself. Then things took a turn for the worse. The war between the churches of Matunas and Dromadais broke out. Annesville was attacked and ransacked. I haven’t been able to return since it happened but the idea of it makes my blood boil. Grrrr. Sure it was a den of thieves and criminals but it was my den and there were good people there. Then the Butcher turns up dead. I went to check in since I hadn’t heard from him in awhile. He’d been killed bloody and there weren’t a lot of clues as to who could have done it. The Butcher was a chosen of a god and was no lightweight. My first thought was Stroud but it doesn’t fit his usual signature. So I began to nose around. I haven’t found much and I think I’ve got someone after me for asking questions. I haven’t had any incidents but I can feel it and Thaydin swears there is something out there hunting us and he doesn’t like being the hunted. It’s beneath me to be hunted! i’ve crushed dragons from the sky, fought angels, torn apart entire platoons, I have faced a vampire with the powers of a god and lived. I should fear nothing! Well that was then, your literally a shadow of your former self. For now. It’s always creepy when you say that.

I’ve managed to put together the information i’ve turned up. As much as I would like to rejoin the Band I think my path lies in another direction for now. I have answers to find and they have their own hands full. Hopefully this information will reach them. I’ve sent it along several routes and always with trusted individuals. It shouldn’t be to hard to find them either, their name is on the lips of many in both the Leng Empire and Eremata. The world has begun to dance on twisted strings and I fear that we underestimated Stroud.

Quiet fool! something is headed this way and I don’t like the way it smells.

What in the nine hells is going on anymore?
Lets get down to business... again.

Dear Family,

Hopefully I can find some secure way to send this to you during my travels but if not I should be making my way home to Tao soon. I’ve been keeping notes on all that is going on, mostly for my own benefit but I could use some outside thoughts on the subject.

My new friends are neck deep in this Stroud guys plan but no matter how good he is I don’t think he saw any of this happening. Stroud has proven himself to be unstable, devoted and intelligent which is a very dangerous combination. So far I seem to be something of an unknown variable in his plans and I’d like to keep it that way. The only major issue is that I gave up some of my blood while in the Tower of Malice which has allowed him to forge a connection with me.

After our trip into the Tower of Malice we made our way back and forth across the mainland. It’s kind of crazy how much traveling i’ve been doing. I visited Emperor’s Peak and talked to some dragons. I even met several Chosen, those rare individuals that represent the god’s touch on our world. We learned that Stroud has decided to spread the word about The Band of the Last Days (his name for my new friends) though several agents. The most recent being Graham. We met a woman, her name is Grace, looking to hunt him down and she’s been traveling with us since Emperor’s Peak. On our way to track him down we got a message from Graham saying that he wished to turn himself in. Apparently he’d already put his plan in motion and the start was his own capture/death. Upon which Nine individuals would begin to spread their own brand of chaos and death with the caveat that We would be the only ones to stop them. We’ve met one so far but she managed to escape.

Then we met another Chosen who was watching over a small town. She offered us a place to rest and some information on Stroud. She also had a woman staying with her that is searching for her father and it’s believed that Stroud is responsible and so our group grew once more. While checking out Stroud’s house we came across some friends of my group but they weren’t terribly friendly. One seemed to have gotten their hands on the White Dragon Orb. After unceremoniously killing his partner the man with the Orb vanished from the house leaving us in a house that was awakening to kill us. The cold that existed in that house was incredible and its source was a massive column of elemental ice that had the red Dragon Orb sealed inside (this would be the orb that is tied to the dragon in Osvata’s head). With the house attacking us and the intense cold surrounding us we had to act fast. I decided to try something rash. Knowing that the power of a water elemental flows in my veins I reached out to the column of ice in an effort to empower my magic and it worked! The strength was immense and it let me hammer the house into submission. In an effort to get the Orb, Osvata called on Flare once more but it cost her all the control she still had. As the house crashed down around us she rose into the air and flew off. Luckily the next day she was back, apparently Flare decided to let her go when her superior in the Church offered to take her place.

After that we received a summons from another one of the Nine who wanted to meet. He gave us a week to meet him. Then Malik vanished for a night. When he returned he had a new staff and a few items from Harvey’s tower, apparently he’s one of Harvey’s apprentices. I guess he got the staff from inside the tower but the other things he brought back literally thrummed with power. Osvata picked up a sword and it took control of her mind. We were able to put her down for a moment and get the sword from her grasp but even without it she seemed to want us all dead so we decided to keep her tied up while we looked for answers.

Those answers actually came from Crestfallen or more importantly from his library. No only did we get the answers to help Osvata out but I managed to track down some info on Grace and Osvata. Hopefully when Grace finds out that she has family it will help her with moving on from the Graham business. I also looked into elemental ice but there didn’t seem to be much information on it except that it comes from the border between the elemental plane of Water and Air. Perhaps Barick will have an idea. Our search provided us with three options for curing Osvata; she could die, we could kill an innocent that happened to be descended from an old enemy of the sword or we could shatter the sword at the grave of its fallen Wielder. We decided to go the ghost path but it requires us to be able to travel great distances. Luckily there is a person in a near town that can teleport us.

Once we get there we prep and Osvata shatters the Sword. The ghost shows up with a few angry spirits in tow. I open up with the strongest magic I have, drawing on the ice mana i’ve been keeping on me. Thanks to that ectoplasmic rod I got from Riddox I’m able to hit home with my strikes but everytime I draw on the Ice Mana a voice speaks to me. I probably wouldn’t think anything of it but my friends have shown me the danger that comes with entities speaking directly with your head. I definitely need to look into the Ice Mana more deeply but I push it to the back of my head, the ghost is more important. We are able to beat it but it cost Malik dearly as he fell in battle to the fearsome ghost. With the party unsure what to do I turn to Malik’s new staff, Something about it tugs at my memory. Upon picking it up I realize exactly what it is, the legendary Staff of the Magi. Stories are told to all practitioners early in their career. It is legend as our those who have wielded it through history. The last known wielder was Harvey so perhaps its not to surprising it is now carried by one of his apprentices. Knowing some of the staffs history I know that It might be able to summon some aid. I love my magic, its been part of me my whole life but there is something awesome about wielding power greater than you. With the Staff’s help I was able to call on an angel and ask her to resurrect Malik. He got a little bitchy when he saw me holding his staff, talk about “my precious” syndrome, so I tossed it back to him. As fun as it is I love the thrill of using my own power more than relying on the trappings of a Wizard.

After banishing the ghost we head back to town to rest and decided on our next move. With a bit of luck Malik runs across some magic boots that let him teleport. With the boots we realize we can still make the deadline with the Gunslinger of the Nine. Something has been eating at Malik though. After dropping us off not far from home Malik tells use he plans on re-entering the tower to put back the items he took out. I has come to realize that they had been there for a reason. He doesn’t want to risk anyone else so he asks us to give him two days and if he doesn’t return then we should continue to the meeting without him.

Summoning that angel has been replaying in my head, it was enlightening to speak to a creature from outside our realm, especially with a creature with its own innate magic. I’ve been carrying around three stones that I had bartered for from the Chosen known as Pierce. He said that each stone represented a contract with an outsider. Perhaps its time I look a little more closely at them. Plus, with the Ice Mana talking to me now I think its best for me to find as many answers as I can and perhaps those answers rest outside our borders.

I hope this finds you all well, Love,

Out of Hand
Hey folks, Malik here. Sorry I haven’t written in a while but things have kind of gone a bit crazy as of late. Ill start by telling you about my new power. I recently learned the ability to communicate long distance and have been using it a lot! I have been communicating with Flare/Grievane (oh yeah, Flare is Grievane now!) working with him in an effort to focus him on destroying Stroud for us. He arrived one night while everyone was sleeping and he had a deal for me. When Flare left Osveta and joined with Grievane, Flare saved her and allowed her to live and in return Osveta was not to tell anyone that Flare was in control of Grievane now. When Osveta returned she told everyone and as you can imagine that pissed Flare off something fierce! He came to me and explained that he would work with me if I did him a favor. He need something in Harvey’s tower that only I could help him get to and in exchange he would spare Osveta’s life and I could take all I could carry from the room. Of course I jump at the chance to further my own plans, help Osveta, and maybe take home a little something for myself! We arrive at Harvey’s Tower to find it ransacked much to my surprise and disappointment. Flare leads the way as we DESCEND some stairs that seem to go on forever until we arrive at a door where I have to use the key that Harvey had left for me. Once inside I see a wall filled with chest in which the magic was blindingly powerful, also there is a huge ass red dragon! Flare handles it with ease though since he controls the Red Dragon Orb. On a side note, I hate the dragon orbs. I intend to lock them all away one day. What kind of lunacy compels flare to use his own orb on his own kind? Its madness but I dont have time to think about that since Im grabbing all the chest i can pick up, 3 to be exact before grabbing Flares chest and away we go. Once outside he bids me to open the chest, so I do as per the agreement and step back. He approach it and pulls out… the Green Dragon Orb. FUCK!!!!! That was not at all what I was expecting as he adds a second orb to his collection, but then it got worse. Elovesor showed up. He must have some kind of link to the tower and must have known something was taken. Why didn’t I think of that! Flare sees elovesor and grins as he pulls out YET ANOTHER Dragon Orb, this one gold. Flare takes control of Elovsesor with ease. FUCK!!!!!!! A third dragon orb, and I lost a valuable ally! What can I do though? No way I can take Flare and for sure not here on the wrong side of the world. Flare teleports me back, smiles, says thanks, and off he goes. I had fucked up and this time it was huge. Atleast I have protected Osveta. The next day Im having a look in the chest with the rest of the group after I had explained what had happened the night before. Obviously I kept some things back but for the most part they know what happened. In one chest there was a powerful magic sword, in another a book that radiated hate and evil, and in a third chest…i have no idea cause i cant get the damn thing open. Im gonna go ahead and rule out the crazy evil book too, i dont need anyone in the party going crazy. Yami is evil and he is smart enough to read the book so ill let him take a look and see what it is. But the sword seems fine and it is awesomely powerful. I offer it to Osveta. I cant use it and I feel like she could make the most use out of it. She grabs it up gladly and, wouldnt you know it, she goes crazy. sigh…. It turns out that the sword has a personality of its own. it was held by some ancient warlord that hated everything but his tribe and so Osveta started laying into us! We try to knock the weapon out of her hand, to no avail. We try to knock her prone, to no avail. I lighting bolted the shit out of her, that did it! (Oh yeah! I have the Staff of the Magi now! long story, Ill go into it some other time…). We strip Osveta down, tie her to her horse put the sword safely away and we set out to find someone who can help us. We run into Crestfallen who tells us all about the sword and some of the options we have. He also warns me about the retrievers that are hunting me now because of the things i took from the tower, great. In the end we are still at a loss and we decide to bed down for the night. The next morning Osveta told us what we needed to do to break the sword or its hold over her but we have very little time. We have three choices. Number 1-she can die, Number 2- we kill the last remaining ancestor of the clan that killed the warlords clan, or Number 3- we visit his grave, break the sword and kill his ghost. I voted for number 2 but everyone else wanted to go for the ghost so I bought Boots of Teleport and off we went. We get to the grave site and Osveta breaks the sword freeing her from its will, but blinding her in the process as the ghost of the warlord rise from the ground with an army of ghost that start heading to the nearest city. We battle the ghost for some time as I throw everything I can at it with very little having effect. Zel seemed to be the most useful against it. I threw a bolt of lightning at him, doing very little damage and he swung at me…. The next thing I remember was waking up and seeing an angel. Then i saw Zel…holding my staff. After a brief period of rage at the audacity of him touching my staff, I realize I had died. He used my staff to summon an angel to resurrect me. Wow. I owe him big for that. I will return the favor for him one day, but he wont be touching my staff again while i draw breath. I felt weakened after the encounter, I have the magic to fix it but it will take some time. I can return Osveta’s sight to her as well but im so tired I just need to rest and think for the night. I come to a decision, I need to put this shit back. I need to do it now before I cause anymore damage. Osveta almost lost her mind again, and I fucking died for this shit! No, it all needs to go back now. I restore Osvetas sight as well as a bit of my old strength. It will take a week to get back to 100 percent but I dont have the time for that. I send a message to Flare and offer him the whereabouts of the White Dragon Orb if he will aid me in returning the chests. I hope he doesnt respond. I know I can pull it off if he is with me but the risk of him acquiring another orb is too great. I would rather chance it alone. Atleast if I get eaten by a dragon all these terrible items I have will be locked safely away again, though I dont intend to die. Im gonna have to be clever for this one. I take the party to Nan which is a short travel to the port city and tell them of my plan. If im not back in 2 days, go on without me. I teleport to the half way point where I will rest for the night so I can get all the spells I might need to pull this off. Tomorrow I face oblivion but I do it knowingly and Im not unprepared this time. Wish me luck, with any I will be back on the marrow, otherwise look for me alongside Dromadeas where I belong.
Books, books, and more books

During your trip to the Library of Asundeai each of you perused various books. Here is the relevant information found during that search.

Besides the books listed below you also find Grace’s parents listed in multiple registries for The Academy.

On Heritage and Fame
Discussing and dissecting the family trees of numerous elven lines you come across Grace’s parentage. Her mother is listed as the Brass dragon Fenwithlon Undersee, while her father is listed as Li Genswan. She is also listed as having two half-brothers, a Len and Vasou, from her father and a woman named Bej Wriorion. The book contains little to no specific details on these figures beyond the family makeup.

The Makeup of the Modern Day Church
When trying to find information on Osveta the servants brought back this single book. It actually seems to be a somewhat scathing review of the modern church system. Her name is found three times throughout, all copied down for you. The first instance is a list of current (within the last 2 years) initiate’s for the order of Inquisitor for the church of Matunas. The second is in a lengthy discussion of Grivane and his policies, highlighting his few good qualities, one of them being adopting Osveta from abandonment. The third is an odd passage in a somewhat random paragraph, which I will quote here for you:

“There have been few women of power in the churches over the last two hundred years, although these trends have been changing in the churches of ‘feminine’ pursuits. Justice is hard to find when those who should be represented are left by the wayside. Osveta Kaznovati may yet be one of the few exceptions to this rule, as she has been placed in a position to hold great power in the future,, through the methods of her would be mentor, high priest Grivane.”

When trying to find information or journals regarding Stroud and Senex Malus you found very little. However when it comes to the church of Dromadaes and that information, what you found was useful.

Chosen and the Choice
Here you found a list of all known chosen of Dromadaes over the last 200 years. Easily enough there have only been 4 of them. Each is listed here by title, name, and cause of death.

Franz Thunderhammer, Chosen of Dromadaes, died of moral sacrifice in the events of The Demon War, the 9th of the Harvest, 1475 NT.

Gerou Kimane, Chosen of Dromadaes, High Priest of the Church of Dromades, died of assassination by the Church of Dromadaes on the eve of the fall solstice 1412 NT.

Cera Tine, Chosen of Dromadaes, Black Blade of the Armies of Kessel, Winner of the 8th Annual Dervish Dance, died of assassination by the Church of Dromadaes, the 13th of the Frost 1309 NT.

Forwaurp Fenswaddle, Chosen of Dromadaes, Slayer of the Fork-Tongue Menace, Wielder of the Mace of Matunas, died of poisoning on the 2nd of the Reaping, 1304 NT.

Looking up information on your father you actually find quite a bit. Most of it comes from battle registrars and histories. The best and most influential portion is found here:

Heroes: the Reason Behind the Sword
The man called Aoki, is known to those who have fought beside him simply as, “the swirling blade.” His companions speak of his family as if they knew them. His small child Kasumi and her radiant smile, picking up a blade before she could even speak. His lovely wife and the pain he felt at having to leave her so many times. However, his sword has been the turning point in battles beyond count, and it is believed that his family has always been the inspiration behind his fighting.

Dragon ass...
I'm so tired of this thing in my head

So, we made it back to the mainland after an awesome time in the Fey islands. Ridox has been the most helpful person I’ve met on this adventure so far and I can’t wait to spend more time learning from him. Now, we decided to go to Dao to throw Stroud off our trail – and to piss him off, of course. It seems to have worked as Barek got word that he is throwing a magnitude 7 temper tantrum. Flare has been quiet as of late, just giving me information when absolutely needed I think. I’m not mad about it, that’s for sure but I need to use some of the advice Ridox gave me (that I can remember) to take better control of Flare. I need him to think that he’s a gift, to really kiss his ass for lack of a better term, in order for him to do things to help us/me without him taking over my will. Ridox was so good at using him, and not being used BY him – I wish I could do the same, but it seems that plan may never work out for me. I’m beginning to doubt my abilities…what good am I to our group without Flare? How have I helped them recently on my own? Ugh, so freaking tired of this dragon…

So, we decide to go to the tower of Senex Malus, hoping to find out what’s causing all this undead business and to get more info on Stroud. I’m not sure of everything that went on inside, but I remember needing Flare’s help and him offering safety to all members of the party, though no one took him up on it. No surprise there, although it does hurt my feelings a bit when everyone acts like I’m trying to pull one over on them. Yes, I have a dragon exerting control over me from time to time, but so far he’s been really good about doing it only when I ask for help. I only ask for help when I think it’s really necessary for our group as a whole – I just wish they saw it that way. I did not do this to gain power, or to be rich and famous. I asked him for help in order to save us all – and what do I get for it? One guy leaves our party altogether, and the others act like I’m a plague half the time. Guess that just leaves me the odd-man-out, as always.

Anyway, Ridox came back and saved the silver dragon that Stroud was using somehow to gain power or control over people – I’m not sure. No matter what the reason, that poor lady is going to need some major healing and that’s why we’re in Emperor’s Peak. I don’t know if I’m going to go into town with everyone else – it doesn’t seem like the safest place for me to be, Flare and all. Maybe I can just meditate and pray to Matunas for guidance. There has to be someone who can help me…

Motives and Destinies
Frustrated Pondering

Alright, I just can’t figure this out so I guess I’ll start at the beginning. It’s been the better part of a year since I left the troupe to learn more about this new arcane power and how to wield it alongside my sword, hopefully meet a master. I’d always loved my parents stories and their legendary heroes, but I’ve never been much of a performer. I thought maybe in my travels I might find some new ones to bring back to the troupe, maybe even bear witness to something extraordinary or actually be a part of it. Heh, gods was I naive…

After a few months I learned of the Magus schools; The Schools of War and Schools of Kuran. However, they are in Leng and my funds were running low. So I looked into an opportunity for work I’d heard about in Annesville. Which brings me to the first puzzle; How the Band of the Last Days came to be. It seems obvious that our meeting was orchestrated by Stroud but I also have to consider the possibilities. He keeps talking about our “destiny” and seems overly concerned with some of these prophecies. Is it possible that we met by coincidence and he thought we fit the profile? Or could he have created a situation for this step in the prophecy to be fulfilled, and we inadvertently became the Band of the Last Days. This was the first time I can think of where I personally felt Stroud’s touch. But Vearn’s past and our encounter with Kerri seem to tell a different story. I wish Osveta didn’t kill her so quickly, I could have learned so much. Stroud does seem to like to play puppet-master. Which leads me to the next puzzle; The Holy War.

It can’t be coincidence that we have worshipers of two rival gods in our group. Was a war between the churches of Dromadaes and Matunas just a convenient fit to the piece of the prophecy or were they chosen because of this? Or could he even have guided them to their gods? No, I don’t think so, Grevain’s Demise, that connection has to be clear. I need to research Harvey Deadeyes, especially after seeing what was on that chalkboard. Bah! That library almost certainly would have had something on him. So much more I didn’t get to… Ah well, I’ll go back someday assuming Stroud doesn’t burn that down as well. Eh, that’s not funny. Speaking of Deadeyes, he had a connection to the tower on that board Osveta/Flare copied for us. So that explains Venix. I think he was the key to opening that place, although Stroud gave us the window. Did we play right into his hands and let him in? The things in that place… more magic I must understand.

That explains most of our group, but where do I fit in? And is he trying to motivate us with revenge? Fear? Did he want us to meet my troupe or did I bring him to them? My family… Thance gave me this book, how did he get this and what else didn’t I know about him? What else did he know? I should have asked when I had time. Now Stroud has the other book, he talks about my destiny and threats to come. It’s painfully vague. I wonder how much he really knows and how he came upon this “knowledge”. What about the destinies of the groups before us? Was that trial and error? Is he desperate to find prophesized heroes or trying to create them for some other purpose, hiding behind a veil of destiny? He seems frustrated. Burning the school and hanging around the master’s house after he decapitated him seems a little high profile for his puppet-master style. I don’t think he meant for us to enter the fey. Which would also mean he doesn’t know of our help from Rydox or our new friend Zel. I wonder if he knows that I died? That Osveta and and Vearn saved me with the “help” of a dragon and Archon of Asir. I’m sure he knows about Flare as it is marked on the board, but I’m not sure she would’ve dealt with him had I not been in mortal peril. I’ve got to do whatever I can to help her out that mess, I owe her at least that much and it’s getting worse. I’ve never placed much stock in the gods before, but now I owe my life to one. I need to study more about the gods and their plane. I can’t even imagine the study Dona must have. Just think of all we could do with that kind of knowledge! Maybe undo some of Stroud’s damage. But I guess before we can think about that we have to stop him. Stop him before things get worse. I don’t think we’re ready. If only I knew what his motives were! We could appease him while we prepare so no one else would be deemed “distractions”, this isn’t just about us anymore, so it can’t just be about revenge.

The Phantom Tollbooth
The fine print always gets you.

I’m finally back in the real world. The Fey Islands were a nice vacation but I wouldn’t want to live there. The group i’ve fallen in with seems to be dealing with a madman named Stroud. From what I’ve been told he seems to have a thing for creating grand plans and prophecies and then twisting fate to suit his schemes, Kind of a Mr.Glass motif though I don’t think he’s fallen down any stairs. He’s been calling my current companions The Band of Last Days which definitely has a sinister ring to it. I’m a little worried about getting mixed up in one of his crazy plans but I know my family can take care of themselves and so can I. Not to mention I feel I owe these guys one since without their help I would still be stuck on the Fey Islands eating twigs.

The gang decided that we should go to Dao, one of the tri-cities on the continent of Leng. Apparently Stroud’s teacher built his tower on a piece of land that lies in between the three cities. We were hoping that we could get some information about Stroud or what his next move might be. In the city of Dao we were told that we couldn’t get into the tower; apparently undead have been sprouting from the grounds around the tower and attacking the Ingresses located near each of the tri-cities. Because of the constant attacks the Council of Clerics would not allow anyone to pass the ingress. We are led to believe that the Council of Matunas in Mai might let us through.

Upon arriving in Mai Osvita and Malik put an odd plan into action. Apparently the Churches of Matunas and Dromadeas have been fighting and its close to a full out religious war. So Osvita chains Malik’s hands before we enter town and they head towards the library to try and get a meeting with the Council of Matunas. I was planning to go with them but on our way to the library I was distracted by a shop. It turned out to be the Alabaster Tarrasque, a magic item shop that even those of us in Tor have heard of. I couldn’t help but look around, there was so much cool stuff even a few of the pages i’ve been looking for to help expand my spell knowledge. Unfortunately I’ve been pretty broke sense loosing most of my savings when I got ship wrecked. Hopefully I can come back later.

It turns out that Osvita was able to set up a meeting with a member of the Council of Matunas at a local inn. Strangely we had our meeting at 4am. Groggy and only kind of awake we meet with the Council’s contact. She promptly informs us that the council will not let us enter the Engriss but that she could help us get in quietly. We decide that its the best way to get what we need so we decide to go ahead. The Engriss turns out to just be a hole in the ground. Our contact actually had a nice staff she was willing to give us to help us through the underground tunnel that led to the tower and I decided to put it to good use. Thanks to the staff, a great silence by Malik, a massive flame wall courtesy of Flare/Osveta and Vearn’s fearlessness in the face of an undead storm giant we made it through. Then we reached the gate, a massive stone arch encrusted with runes. To pass we must give something up, I’m the first one to step up, knowing blood to be a strong offering in magic I cut the back of my hand and press it to the arch. After a moment of searing pain the arch lights up. I walk through examining the back of my hand which now has a vicious looking scar across it. Next up was Malik who cut the paw of his familiar, Battley, and pressed it to the arch. It lit up and Malik was able to pass through but Battley seemed to be behaving more like a normal bat then a familiar. Malik then blasted the poor creature out of the air, I asked him why and apparently the link with his familiar had been severed by the arch. Next up was Vearn who sprinkled some holy water on the arch and walked through but judging by the look that appeared on his face it didn’t go to plan but he didn’t elaborate. Next was Osvita; now i know about Flare and the issues she’s been dealing with but I was a little surprised when all of a sudden her arm went all dragon-like and her eyes too, she slashed her hand and pressed it to the arch gaining access. Bareck came last and he followed suit with the blood sacrifice.

After the Arch we found ourselves in a massive room with a huge crystal and four arches. Locked below the crystal was a mutilated silver dragon, that alone set my blood boiling but it seemed that the gate was powered by carving into the poor creature. Osvita was able to get a copy of some of Stroud’s plan out of his study. We wanted to help the dragon but there didn’t seem to be any way to get it out of its imprisonment. Malik decided to call in a favor, using a crystal to summon Rydox. Rydox didn’t seem to pleased but he tore open the dragon’s prison and offered us a way out of the tower. The gang decided that Emporer’s Peak would be the best option, especially if we wanted to get help for the dragon and it was the next place on the Stroud list. I’m finally on my side of the world and closer to my family then i’ve been in years but first things first. I need to get help for this dragon.


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