[This journal was found on Karath’s person. Below are the notes I gave Mike about this random item he had with him. It was meant to be a bit of background fluff to help his character learn how to interact with folks in the “real world”, but I also threw in some plot stuff that may be relevant to some of the rest of you.]
A note written in the front cover says the following:
As you embark upon your field work, let this book be a guide for interacting with people of their world. It is an artifact I found in the prime material plane when I was engaging in my field work, and it provided quite a number of insights into the best ways to talk to the “normal” people of their world. All the best as you research your thesis.
-Professor Jonas Hyperion
The diary is for a female deva elementalist wizard who called herself “Air”, though her actual name is Ariel (and sometimes she uses both, calling herself Air-Ariel). From what you can tell, she lived around the time of the Nerathi empire, though she was a traveler who sort of flitted from place to place. She did have a frequent companion, a human named Prakesh who sounds like he was a rogue… and he taught her a great deal about how to avoid scammers and how to read social situations, as he told Ariel that her “head was too in the clouds” to safely interact with the general populace. Actually, this Prakesh sounds like he wasn’t very nice to Ariel, but she thought of him as a true friend because she didn’t understand that half the time he was making fun of her, but in a semi-caring tone.
Ariel was a bit of a scatterbrain, getting distracted by a willow blossom dancing in the wind outside while Prakesh was gambling with their last gold piece, etc… but the two seemed to have formed some kind of bond. A wizard would go mad trying to imagine what her spellbook must have looked like, because there are some casual magical theory notes in the margins of this book, and many of them seem so haphazard and poorly organized that you can’t imagine how she ever made any spells work. You get the sense that she was more of an intuitive arcanist than a strict by-the-book kind of wizard.
Most of the useful interpersonal interaction stuff you get from the diary is from the parts where she copied down verbatim directions that Prakesh had given her about how to deal with a certain type of person, or when he was explaining why certain people were bad to do business with.
The book ends with Ariel casually mentioning that Prakesh seems disappointed about the results of some gambling thing he did, where he says that they now are obligated to accompany a group of adventurers to the ruins of some Elvish city that’s supposed to be quite dangerous. The last paragraph, written to the diary itself as if it were a person, says “If it gets too dangerous, I’ve developed a lovely sending spell to speed you to safety, though I can’t be certain exactly where that will be, especially if Elvish mythal magicks have as warping an effect on other translocations as they are alleged to. But I’m sure you’ll find a good home. Just don’t get lost in some library somewhere with strange books, and remember to let the wind blow your pages every now and again.”
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