Gavin is the King of Timiro! I am at a loss for words, and since many of these words must be private, I shall endeavor to work through my thoughts through my journal.
It all began on the 22nd of Selestra. As the sun began to set, and we began preparations to lay the sea anchor for the night, out of thin air we all heard the voice of our perished CrIsis member, Roggan! When he became part of Matilda he did not lose sentience it appears! He spoke mostly to Cava, but all of us could hear. Cava asked what he could do, and he replied, “Remember big tree in river? Roggan do that if mean ships are close.” We are on a ship that can rot wood! I asked what Roggan wanted to be called, and suggested the name Rogtilda, and he replied that was ok. Mighty Rogtilda can heal itself as well! It was eerie feeling the ship reverberate with the former troglodyte’s voice- but it was good to know that Roggan had triumphed over Anubis, and kept his soul. It seems it takes much effort for Rogtilda, for he stated that he could communicate only briefly, for mere minutes, twice per day. I could not imagine being robbed of the ability to communicate vocally- it would torture my soul!
Later that evening, while the noble paladin Sir Quixis and I held watch, there were great peals of thunder, seemingly from within Rogtilda! We went to investigate, and Cava revealed that Gavin had disappeared! He left a simple note, reading only King Gedro. He even left behind his monkey! Cava also said that the thunder came from visitations from Ra himself! Ra had released Cava from guardianship of Gavin, and said it was time for Gavin to face his destiny! I called for an immediate raising of anchor, despite the hour, to assist Gavin in Credia immediately, but CrIsis felt it was in the hands of the Gods, so we waited until morning. Cava seemed particularly aggravated with me for some unknown slight, and all of CrIsis seemed to wish me to be silent, so I resolved to not interfere, just observe.
Upon landing at Credia’s docks, I immediately noticed that the familiar Lance and Shield of good King Gedro had been replaced by a new symbol- a cross between the Flail of Anubis and the Red Fist of Manus! However, since CrIsis made it clear they did not wish my input unless spoken to, I kept silent. A kind dock worker let us all know that much had changed, and that the formerly good King had been acting of the dark as of late. After much information about the evils that were being consummated, we were told that the King was about to make a speech. All of CrIsis and I went to hear it, with the newest member, the Minotaur Xerx’ses turning into a hawk. He appears to truly be a wizard of considerable power.
Arriving in the back of the courtyard, I noted the new symbol on palace guards, upon the walls, and flying over the castle itself. Shortly after arrival the king began to speak. Rather than record the whole speech (which I have released myself to the lands of Palladium already), I shall just say that it is most admirable of King Gedro to set aside lands for those that assisted him in the defeat of his enemies. While the speech commenced, the offensive uniforms, and those wearing them, were systematically removed. Much fanfare proceeded when the lance and shield flag was returned to the ramparts, as well as when the skull of poor Skred Uryte was replaced with the monster Manus’ head. After the speech, Cava found a guard and was rebuked in his attempt to seek an audience with the King, but with his typical dogged determination found someone who knew of the awesomeness of CrIsis to be let into the castle. I, for my part, still kept silent, although I have personally performed for King Gedro in the past.
We were eventually greeted by Ondemeira the White, who gave me a slight glance, and I shook my head in the negative. She greeted all of CrIsis, and welcomed them. She pointedly ignored me, for which I was grateful. This is their stage, not my own. She brought us all up to the King, who cleared the room except for us and Ondemeira. He stated he was pleased to see us, as Cava blurted out a demand to hear of the last hours of Gavin. Upon this statement he smiled, and brought us down to the catacombs below the city.
Here I shall try to make a long story short- the King was actually the changeling Gavin in Gedro’s guise! He told us that playing the King was his greatest role. We had a party, it just so happened that all of the city was invited. All but Xerx’ses attended- he could only hold his magic for a limited time. Finally arriving back at Matilda, we found a new member of CrIsis waiting for us, along with Xerx’ses and good Sir Quixis- an elf named Azariel. Exhausted, we all chose to talk to him in the morning.
On the next morn, CrIsis decided that I was an errand boy. ‘Fetch us a map of the Yin Sloth Jungles Terramore.’ So, being the ever faithful servant, I set out upon my appointed task. Meanwhile I assume that Azariel had one of the famous fireside chats- I guess my input is no longer required. I went from place to place, checking in with King Gedro/Gavin first. He told me that he was to be leaving to check the front lines of the battlefield- the rest is between the new king and myself. I will miss him, for he was bright and respected all, regardless of race. CrIsis will be sorely hurt with his loss. Ondemeira greeted me warmly as well, and we endeavored together to find the best maps of the Yin Sloth. I filled her in on my travels, keeping CrIsis’ secrets private. She, being of the Light, did not press.
After a day of search I found 3 fine maps, for which I paid much of my personal funds, and cashed in a favor. It is the least I can do for the great CrIsis. Upon returning I was told that the maps were inadequate! Inadequate? So CrIsis went off to find their own maps, and I chatted with Sir Quixis, catching him up on all that had transpired with Gavin. Poor man, no one had informed him of anything. It must be quite boring to protect Rogtilda- a fine Paladin such as Quixis deserves more- but who am I to question the Gods and CrIsis?
I did finally spend some time with Azariel that evening, and I like his humor and his attitude. He shared a funny moment from the “fireside chat”- seems that when he told CrIsis that he learned circle magic Overkill responded by saying, “I learned to poop.” He also asked me to detail CrIsis strengths and weaknesses, which I gladly did. It was nice to feel valued again. The next day Azariel showed his expertise in making circle magic, inscribing, with the help of another summoner, protection circles around the ship.
We then journeyed onward, with little conversation directed at me. I spent my days watching for dangers, and my watches in chats with Quixis. I have decided to concentrate my new studies on those races that have served in CrIsis that I have learned little- Changelings, Troglodytes, Danzi, Eandroth, and Centaur, as well as Dragons. Hopefully it will add insight.
The only true danger we faced on our trip to the Jungles were some Kappa. I dove into the water, prepared to show off my new Swim as a Fish ring capabilities- unfortunately this time they chose to board the ship. This meant they were dispatched with haste- I saw Tyvernos fry a few with the Fulmination of Greminor before they climbed over the side.
We arrived in Cyclone. I have always wanted an opportunity to explore and tell about the Federation of Giants- this is my chance. I will not be accompanying CrIsis into the jungle- I was visited by one of the goddesses releasing me from CrIsis. I was able to at least get one last battle against the Pantheon of Taut before leaving CrIsis- 11 Shedim challenged CrIsis in the name of Anubis! I took a blow, but dealt some as well. I also saw that Azariel was struck- I hope the Gods and the Books warned you of the danger you will face, good Elf.
Now if only I could remember what the punishment for fighting in Cyclone is…. I am sure we are about to find out.
Another adventure awaits! Fare thee well CrIsis, wherever you may fare! You shall always have my undying gratitude, support, and love!
Written in his private journal by Terramore Gleba on the 1st of Ra in the 22nd year of Emperor Voelkian Itomas II.
Changeling King picture from Paul Davies. Azariel picture from the amazing Genzoman. Terramore(bottom) picture from Iron Realms.
The Journey Begins
May 12, 2013 08:00
Selestra 5th, 111.
Selestra 21st, 111
You’ll never guess what happened last night!! After I wrote yesterday’s entry, I reread some of the entries in Book 5, and fell asleep while reading the long-winded entry of the Danzi, ‘Drauka the Discoverer.’ I awoke to thunder in my bedchamber. On reflex, I activated my magical senses, and was assaulted by the sheer power around me. Nothing I had ever seen gave off that much power. I was rendered speechless.
And then I was rendered nigh-on catatonic.
The great and powerful Ra stood before me, at the foot of my bed. Thunder still rolling, a voice resonated from the depths of Heaven and Earth. ‘Alea-iacta! You Have Been Chosen! Come With ME!’ Before the last word died out, I was transported to a white room, walls shining with a light from within. As I looked around this room, my eyes fell on a throne that made the room seem dark. I had to shade my eyes from the … Glory … of the thing. As my unworthy eyes adjusted to it, though it still seared, I saw that it was wrought from molten gold, a giant lion’s head framing the headboard, where The Great Lord himself sat, staring down at me.
‘You are needed, Alea-iacta! You have shown patience. You have shown the ability to think through problems. You have rejected the Dark, and accepted the Light. Above all, you have shown true devotion to my Son, and therefore shall help undertake the task of Rebuilding him!’
My heart leapt within my chest. Every particle inside me burst with excitement, fear, and awe. I regularly dreamed of meeting a God, though I had always thought my unworthiness would turn me to flame in the presence of their perfection! I realized I wasn’t combusting, and though a thought of doubt flashed through my mind, I was elated at the revelation! My soul burned within me, and all I could utter were a whispered, ‘G-Great Lord Ra –‘
‘AH! Someone who knows the PROPER way to address a God of Light!’ Ra interrupted me.
‘Th-thank you,’ I stuttered my gratitude at being addressed in any way by He Who Illuminates All. ‘You do me a great honor, Great Lord Ra! You have given me my heart’s true desire! Long have I searched, and will finally realize my dream! I would hope for no more than to please you, in Resurrecting thy Son! Thy will is mine, and I shall obey thy order to the best of my ability. I shall not fail thee!’
‘That is good, for if you fail you shall join Anubis forever, as you have seen in your readings. You shall join CrIsis as a full member when they have need of you. Here,’ Ra said, pulling a gleaming book from a fold in his flowing robes, ‘Read this.’ He tossed it to me. ‘Read, Pray, Be Ready!’ He commanded, the book barely touching my fingers, and I was back in my room. I looked upon a familiar red leather cover, though it had something unique about the golden gilt. ‘ ‘ Sixth Book of CrIsis ‘ ‘ it read. My hands started to shake, not as much as they did in Ra’s presence, but shook nonetheless. I knew that Ra’s commands were not to be put off. Ra’s vengeance is as renowned as his rigidness. I dared not sleep, nor did I want to! I set in immediately, studying the Book. I was shocked to see the amount of turmoil CrIsis went through in such a short time! This group needs to be stable, as the Fate of Palladium depends on them! The four core members, Cava Overkill Tyvernos and Gavin, had been blown about by the turbulence of the group, and had lost sight of their true goal! I decided to try to be a tying force, and unify the group again. The loss of so many members in so short a time proved how disjointed the group was. It was time for the Strategist to come.
I talked to Nipshanks, and told him what had happened! He fell to his knees and praised the Lord Osiris upon hearing it. We went to the small Temple in White Ash, and I decided to make a trek to Shinkasa, to purchase some much-needed supplies. I wasn’t preparing for a journey, of course. We left the temple shortly after dawn, and set off to find the Guild wagoneer. His rates were far too high, so Nips and I packed my belongings and menagerie, and set off toward Shandala to procure the team. Finding the prices much more agreeable here, I hired a teamster to take us to Shinkasa. Cora Finks was as agreeable as a gruff drunkard could be. We arrived in Shinkasa after a long day of travel, and found traveler’s accommodations outside the Wall of Shinkasa.
Selestra 22nd, 111
The morning dawned with a stench wafting in from somewhere. I have no idea where that smell could come from, but I loaded my things back into the wagon, and Cora took us to the gate. ‘Halt! Anything to declare?’ the gatekeeper asked us. ‘Just that you smell horrible today!’ Cora said. I nearly leapt out of my skin. Shinkasa is renowned for unsavory treatment of non-human residents and travelers. ‘That’s ‘cause I was with yer sister!’ called the gatekeep. Seriously? Just my Luck, to get the only Wagoneer and Gatekeeper with a sense of humor! It was turning out to me my day! Luck don’t fail me now!
By this point, I had spent 350 gold on the wagon and teamster for a week, and 150 on food for me, Cora and Nipshanks. My gold was going quickly, but it was still enough for what I needed. Money lasts quite a while when you know when and how to spend it!
‘Where are we going, young master Azariel?’ Cora called back to me. I lumbered up to the navigator’s seat, and we talked about what I had to buy. He suggested we go to a Purfumier for scents of vanilla, lavender, and raspberry. I use it to scent my clothes after being laundered. They keep their clean better that way.
We passed by a Second-Hand and I purchased a mint-condition dress robe, vest, shirt, pants and belt, all yellow, and for 40 Gold! With this, and a brush for my hat and leather boots, I would definitely look dapper and dashing in meetings with Kings and Magistrates! While there I picked up a marked deck of playing cards and a set of loaded dice. I prefer to let Luck decide whether I win or lose, but I find them a very fitting representation of my future luck, being guided and guarded by the Gods. It’s like loaded dice.
Cora talked about a second store that I would be interested in, an Antiquary of some sort. He didn’t know where it was, or who owned it, but he had heard enough about it that we spent most of the afternoon wandering streets to find it. Alas, we did not succeed. At the end of the day, I visited the Playhouse, which is renowned for its mediocrity. I put down a dozen coins for the two of us, me and Nips. It was a sub-par representation of a bard’s reimagining of the Fall of Osiris, all done as a ballad acted out by women in whiteface. Had it been done by talented performers, it would not have hit me harder. This is what I was here for, and I was like these half-retarded monkeys acting for us. Untalented, uncoordinated wretches with a heavenly message and duty.
Selestra 23rd, 111
Today, I started the day in the Library in Shinkasa, searching for a map of the Yin Sloth, or Baalgor Wastelands. Nearing lunch, and getting nowhere, I felt a tugging in my navel. I told Nips, ‘I think it’s ti-‘ and was surrounded by milling crowds, the sun still rising. ‘-me.’
I found my wagon nearby, against a merchanthouse. I heard heralds exclaim, ‘His Highness, King Gedro’s speech is about to begin!’ Well, if I arrived here at this time, I thought, I was probably meant to hear the speech. I made my way with the crowd to the court in front of the palace, overlooked by a balcony. I saw flags across the town, a red fist superseded by the silhouette of a flail. The flail raised my hackles. Anubis ran this town. The King’s speech started, and no sooner had I started to plan my escape if things turned dicey, as I noticed soldiers with the Dark One’s symbol be replaced by gleaming white symbols I didn’t recognize. The king announced that someone named Manus has been overthrown, and the flags bearing the red and black were replaced by white and silver! I found I could breathe easily again. I listened to the rest of the speech, and knew that I was listening to history in the making. The King of Timiro, eschewing an olive branch to monster races, and obviously taking the first step toward abolishing slavery!
After the speech, I decided I must have been Transpositioned here to meet up with CrIsis. Of course, as Ra was the one watching over my calling, it was up to me to find them. He’s definitely a God of Self-Sufficiency. He rarely bothers with beings that cannot help themselves. I gathered the Wagon, and made my way to the docks. CrIsis meant Matilda. From how Book 6 was going, I had no doubt that CrIsis had the Boat back by now, and given the speech by King Gedro, Gavin’s line of distraction had come to a close. Perfect. Time to get back to the Mission.
I found Matilda, though it took a long time, as the artists’ renditions weren’t very accurate, and the CrIsis colors weren’t flying. I came upon the gangplank, and Sir Quixis Ote halted me! I explained myself, and he found my words not good enough. He closed the distance, and I found a ring of CrIsis appeared on my left ring finger. My countenance glowed, and I felt a thrum of energy flow through me. I looked at Sir Quixis, and recognition filled his eyes.
He helped me and Cora unload the wagon, and set up my room. My room. On Matilda. Reality still hadn’t set in yet.
Quixis and I were conversing on the deck, and a hawk lighted upon some of the rigging. “Hello, Sir Quixis! And hello, you. I am Xerx’ses!’ Only slightly taken aback, I said, ‘Hello! I am Azariel, Elven Mage and Apprentice Alchemist.’ The Changeling or Wizard directed himself to Sir Quixis, ‘Should you tell him, or shall I?’ Apprehension tickled the back of my mind. Sir Quixis gestured the Hawk onward, and it leapt into the air, and in a flurry of magical energies and motion, and there before me stood a pawn of the Old Ones!
‘AIEE!’ I cried… heroicly, might I add. Don’t believe Sir Quixis… what am I doing, lying to my own journal? That’s pathetic. Anyway. With my cry, I cast Carpet of Adhesion on the Minotaur, wrapping him in drying molasses. He told me he was a member of CrIsis, and I couldn’t believe it. He told me to take a look at the Ring on his hand, and blast me, it had the symbol of CrIsis. My eyes also took hold of the necklace around his neck, with the Crook and Flail. He showed it to me, talking of Dwarven mastercraft.
I released him, and we began to talk. It turns out he’s a student of the art as well. Hours later, well after sundown, the rest of CrIsis stumbled onto the ship. Cava, Tyvernos, Overkill. That is all that remained of the core. They mumbled unintelligibly about the hour and tomorrow, and fell into bed.
Selestra 24th, 111
The following morning, the members of CrIsis grilled me on several topics, resulting in me spilling my soul to them, sordid past and all. They had the usual questions I had read a dozen times over, all of which I answered honestly. They were at their ease with me, and I was ready to ask them what I needed when Terramore showed up with a map of the Yin-Sloth Jungles, much to Cava’s displeasure. Cava seems to have shifted from a like of the Bard to a barely contained hatred of him. It baffles me, as Terramore is a devoted member of the group! Granted, he does seem overeager, much like the Troglodyte now residing in the ship. That can be fixed. As long as he stays with the group, he’s a great asset. The second he brazenly charges off into the unknown he sacrifices our group’s safety. Our group. Man.
Terramore helped me compile a detailed list of strengths and weaknesses of our group. I made sure to encrypt it, so as to prevent tragedy.
We found a mapmaker named Dwarthoth. In our search for a map of the Baalgor Wastelands, we stumbled upon a gem of an old map. One of the New Kingdom! I heard the whisperings of the Pawn in my ear… ‘We can use the map to plunder ancient treasure troves and possibly deduce the location of the Piece in the hands of the Tribes.’ Through promises of furthered contact, mapping locations of nasty beasties and the like, and through the fanciful bartering of our ranger, we were able to haggle the cartographer down.
We then had one major problem! The map we bought was frail. We sought out a Circle Mage through whom we could maintain the map’s integrity. While conversing with him, I offered up a strategy to the rest of CrIsis. I suggested we draw circles upon the deck for protection. We purchased several more circles of permanence through him. Or rather, he donated them to us. Call it a six-for-one discount. It almost feels like a marrow-deep badness, that we took advantage of the poor Summoner. No matter. I will return here later and donate some of my work for his profit. We ended up with a Power Circle of Force around the helm, and a Power Circle matrix drawn by me with my Protection: Superior, Magic: Superior, and Elemental Forces circles, and the Summoner made them permanent.
All-in-all a very profitable and full day.
The morning dawned much like any other, and everything was calm all day. Nothing to add.
Supplemental Entry. First watch passed without a hitch, but on the Minotaur and my watch I heard a scraping along the hull. I readied the circles around the mast and rang the bell of attack. When the troops were roused, they all dove headfirst into the deep. I can hardly blame them, for it was a group of Kappas that nearly sunk the boat in the first place, but have they no heed to tactic and strategy? You do not hit an enemy where they are strongest! You make them come to you, where you are fortified. And Cava! His axe does less than his bow with lightning arrows, and its range is nil. Yet it is his weapon of choice… I wonder if he realizes that his axe is controlling him?
Selestra 30th, 111
We arrived in the waters surrounding Titania in Yin Sloth, and there is no dock. No dock on a coastal town? Really? That’s like having a children’s playground in a gold vein. Wasting your resources. Through the looking glass they saw that the neighboring coastal town appeared also to not have a dock. With that, we decided to go to the next town. Cyclone.
We got permission to dock, and were met by a Jotan. Our Minotaur explained that we could put in a word with the managing entities of Karowyn’s Merchanthouse about the virtues of Cyclone. We were intrigued by the city, as it is a city that has plenty of diversity – Monster races and Handsome races working, living, dying side by side. I was surprised by it. I believe that it would be a smart move for the merchant house. They are prime for a merchant-guild presence, given their location and racial climate. The next chance I get, I will pass along the message. This is for you, Jotan! He also gave us a prime discount, due to our connections and that we are CrIsis of legend. A mere 3600 gold for six months of mooring. Very manageable. I do feel for our boat, Matilda. Roggan is such a tender soul, and he shouldn’t be alone so long, sitting still. He’s a free spirit, like a bird, and we are putting him in a cage. I think I shall ask Sir Quixis to take him out to sea, at least along the coast, once per week. To stretch the sails, as it were.
In time for the celebration of the Holiday, our jaunty band was confronted by a dozen Shedim. They confronted us with announcements of, ‘ANUBIS DECREES…’ blah blah blah. We organized ourselves and routed them. The only problem we had was my own blind stupidity! I focused on the safety of the enemies on our front lines, before I cleared those that blitzed it. I paid for my stupidity with a very potent reminder. The minor demon left a mark on my left eyebrow that will scar. We lived to fight another day, and so we shall.
Power to Osiris, and Glory to Ra.
>>Entries ranging Selestra 5th to Ra 1st, in the 22nd Year of Emperor Voelkian Itomas II, from the personal journal of Azariel, Apprentice Alchemist 7th rank, Novice Summoner of 3rd rank, Novice Wizard of 4th rank, Acolyte of Osiris and the Lady of Luck.<<
Where Dead Men Once Stood
April 21, 2013 18:00
I am sorry for your loss CrIsis. I wish the events written here had ended better for everyone. I do know however, that they could not have happened differently for fear that Timiro would be a worn torn country forever if the king was not restored. Here is my account of the day the world lost General Gavin Mordox.
We were sitting in the bar. Nyodo and I had been there for hours. I watched people closely as patrons entered and exited quietly through the night. The room was filled with a gloomy sorrow so thick one felt as though I could feel it with each breath taken. We watched as the others looked at the door with the entry of each patron. It was though they expected guards to burst in at any moment and take the lot of them to the gallows. Then I saw a strange one. I have seen a few changelings in my time, but why was this one in the bar. He looked somewhat cheery compared to the others. His form was that of a young man ready to take his first wife. My eyes followed him as he grabbed a seat and ordered a drink. Interesting, a changeling who drinks, I guess things really are bad here. I sat and broke the silence with my friend, “When is this guy supposed to get here? We don’t exactly have time in our favor.” That was when I noticed the changeling tilting back to listen to us. He leaned a bit too much and his chair fell with a loud crash on the floor. His eyes met mine and with a shy chuckle and a smile he said, “Gavin Mordox at your service.” Well at least this chap has some humor in such a dark time. He got up and joined us as we filled him in on the status of Credia.
Priests of light were being taking off the streets and thrown into dungeons. Guards changed their tabards to the symbol of Manus and Anubis. Life was bleak. Gavin claimed the “curfew patrol” as he called them, had given him a hard time and that is what took him so long. We continued our strategizing for some time. We knew what awaited us and with that we headed out to inspect the keep.
Gavin was our guide. He knew the city much better than me or Nyodo. I looked as we passed statues that represented some heroes and some well less than savory characters. I had a feeling that we may be adding some statues if we were successful, and if we were not, well let’s just say one may find us in the ash of burned bodies. We continued until we saw the massive keep. It was truly magnificent and quite old. Gavin and Nyodo talked strategies. I told them I could cast flight, but I was busy counting the number we would face. There were so many and flashes were shown into the night sky constantly. I tried to find a rhyme or pattern to this, but it was to no avail. I remember Gavin speaking of a “jump” as he called it. I guess we were to fly extremely high and drop as fast as we could and Gavin would “catch” us. After all my battles and experiences in the past, was this to be my death? Then I remembered, I can make us invisible. So with that we became invisible and flew to the top of the keep. Gavin opened the ceiling door and we were in. I continued to fly down and spotted a large troll standing guard. I was barely able to fly past, but Gavin decided he had other things he wanted to do. I remember hearing Gavin whisper, “Your master wishes to see you immediately.” With that the troll ran down the hallway and we made our way to the first door. Gavin opened it slightly, but he made too much noise. A guard heard it and ran over. “Sorry to bother you sir” said the guard. We looked in and to our surprise we saw a raksasha. We waited for the guard to leave and made our approach. The battle seemed to be going well. That was until the rakshasa disappeared for a moment. We searched the room. Gavin claimed he could see a disturbance of energy in the room where it was and as soon as he had disappeared he reappeared once more. We continued to fight and the tides turned against us. I had but one desperate hope. I began casting my spell. It was one I have not had to use too often, but the teachings rang true in my head. With my completion of it he was gone to a different realm to not return for some time. Some guards came into the room only to see nothing. As I looked at what they were looking at I saw only the pillow destroyed from Gavin’s rage, but the guards saw what Gavin intended and they left shortly after.
We continued down the hallway and Gavin stopped us. He asked us to wait while he explored the keep. I could only assume he was entering the astral plane. I was proved right when he disappeared. We waited for a moment, and he arrived with a startled look on his face, “Yep, we won’t be doing that again. The place is crawling with shadow beasts.” He also claimed he found the king. We headed to the door and were ready to walk in the only problem was there were four guards. Gavin tried his mind trick again, but it only worked on one guard. The others questioned, “What are you doing standing aside for?” The guard replied, he told me to. The guards looked and saw nothing. They looked back at the man, and then they heard the voice, “Did you not hear me the first time? I said move aside I must speak with the king alone! Go stand guards elsewhere till I get you.” Gavin stood there in the form of the rakshasa we had just seen. The guards in shock gathered themselves and headed out at once. We see the king, and a giant axe coming down towards us. It was here we saw the treachery. A giant troll stood ready to kill us and there stood the nemesis of Gavin, Walrue. Gavin and I were instantly trapped in a sphere of psionic energy. We were greeted with another swing of the axe. Gavin was a true master of the sword. There was one point where the beast looked to cleave him in two. He lifted his sword with such ease and parried the full strength of his axe with just one hand. We made quick work of the troll, but then I looked outwards to see my friend Nyodo fighting against Walrue. He seemed to be doing well until he took several vicious strikes to the body. His life sadly left it. Gavin and Walrue continued their battle of epic proportions. In the end Walrue fled and Gavin was no more. I quickly joined the king and aided him. Together we went below and commenced the execution of Manus. The day was saved, but at what price.
I now look out at the statues from my window. The king is standing in the same room. He continues to prepare his speech. I can hear the crowds gathering. I know that with the reign of the King secure for the moment, good can finally triumph. It is time. I must watch the phoenix be reborn.
Posted by Ondemeira the White on the 23rd of Selestra in the 9th Year of King Gedro.
Image from Shutterstock.
With Nasty, Big, Pointy Teeth
April 21, 2013 17:00
Roggan has gone.
Well, not exactly gone. He’s still with us, but he’s no longer the goofy, lovable, eye-licking troglodite I came to love and respect, and I will miss that Roggan greatly.
I was so annoyed with him when he turned himself into that iron giant, thinking to make himself into some kind of superman…
No, make that supertrog.
…some kind of supertrog that could protect the group both physically and magically without considering the impact a 20 foot iron golem would have on the group’s travel arrangements, nor the effect he would have on those we encountered on our way.
Not trusting us to be able to protect ourselves or any innocents who may stand in need.
Bah. This is neither here nor there.
We had arranged for concealing magics to disguise his appearance and were trying to figure out how he could travel fast enough to keep up with Nicole, when Ra peremptorily announced we were wasting our time, and returned us to Haven. Straight onto Matilda’s deck, in fact.
We took the hint, and journeyed straightaway to the Library of Bletherad to gather information for our next excursion.
As we approached the library after docking the ship, an imp appeared before us. It begged for its life, then threatened ours, before disappearing again with a puff of sulfur.
I guess Ratel’s schedule is so cluttered that it will take him(?) a year to clear the backlog and get around to us.
Anyway, the library.
Apis’s love child caused a bit of a stir there, initially because he was the first minotaur to appear at the library in several hundred years, but when he mentioned the name of some ancient library, the librarian immediately whisked him away before we could find out where they were going.
This was nothing, however, compared to the disturbance Roggan caused when he tried to enter. Magic is somehow nullified in the library, and the librarians were convinced that he would fall apart the instant he went inside.
I tried to explain the situation to Roggan, and he seemed to understand, but insisted on entering the library despite the risk.
I eventually had to sign a waiver saying it was our own fault if he died before he was allowed in, but in he went regardless and…
Bit anticlimactic, really. All that excitement, then… nothing.
So Roggan went on his merry way to research…
I dunno, rocks? Probably something to do with rocks.
…and I went on to keep an eye on Gavin, and help him look stuff up.
After several days of searching the library by day and returning to the ship at night to discuss what we had learned and speculate about Xerx’ses conspicuous absence, Malkin shows up one night, out of breath and babbling about minotaurs, seed libraries, and insisting we travel to the Baalgor Wastelands immediately to investigate.
Perhaps the cow-boy had caused more excitement than I had initially supposed.
Presently, Xerx’ses had returned, and we finally got around to learning about him. As he described how he learned the secrets to magic in an ancient Dwarven library, I noticed the elf bard grow steadily more more agitated. The mere thought of the Dwarves having once been masters of magic was more than he could bear.
After all we had done! After all we had seen! At every hand, we have witnessed the folly of this kind of knee-jerk, blinkered thinking! Lemaria! Bizantium! The “peace accords” at Haven! He knew what we had gone through, what we stood for! Had he learned nothing?!
How can he possibly be unaware of the greatest, most glaring testiment to the evils of prejudice the world has ever known: the Elf-Dwarf War and the atrocities committed by each side!
The Gods themselves have demonstrated the stupidity of his attitude when they selected monsters to join us! Eandroth! Danzi! And most unexpected of all, a minotaur! A member of THE race that’s known for its worship of the Old Ones is now a member of CrIsis!
After all this, he can’t handle the simple fact that dwarves used to use magic?!
This was ridiculous!
“Oh, grow up!” I said, and we were off to the races.
He flew into my face and began to accuse me of all manner of things, from ingratitude to world-building, before threatening to turn his pen against me.
“You must do as you see fit,” I said calmly, and he stormed off the ship, followed quickly by Gavin.
I am ungrateful? To him? The weasely little bastard!
I didn’t ask this two-bit, stuck-up wannabe wordsmith to join us, that was his idea; I was against it!
I certainly never asked him to say a single thing about me, or anyone else in the group, for that matter!
It’s not like we even need him! We already have a chronicler: the great Rod Rambler himself!
He is the worst sort of fighter. He is rash and impulsive, often diving into battle without a second thought, causing us to have to enter harm’s way in order to pull his stick-filled butt out of the fire he so negligently threw himself into!
We have talked to him about this, and he has refused to change!
“Tactics? What are tactics? What do you mean we can fight more effectively if we coordinate our efforts?”
He has been nothing but a pompous, short-sighted, irritating danger to those around him!
And to top it all off, we gave him a full stake in the group’s finances, so he has been paid to annoy us and put our lives in jeopardy! Well paid!
Eventually, he calmed down and rejoined us on the ship, but I am done making an effort to be friendly to this blowhard. He is incapable of seeing the Light, and it is not my responsibility to make him.
We decided that night to journey to the Baalgor Wastelands to make contact with Xerx’ses’s library, and collect whatever Pieces of Osiris we could along our way, and with this in mind, we set off once again.
After several weeks of travel, with nothing more worrisome than some pirates, sharks, and minor sea serpents, we were attacked by some kappa who damaged the ship so heavily that she began to list to the starboard. As I prepared to attack, I noticed Roggan holding on to the mast for dear life.
I took my eyes off him for one second, and he was gone. I tried looking for him, as something that big couldn’t fall overboard without making an extremely noticeable splash.
But there was no splash.
There was no Roggan.
Suddenly the kappa were gone, frightened off by the ship as she began to heal herself.
Just as Roggan had put himself into that ridiculous iron body, so too had he put himself into the ship.
I’m not sure how to feel about this, especially as the only person he’s “talked” to has been that fat-headed blowhard who considers himself a poet.
Posted by Cava on 23 Selestra, Dominion 342.
Picture of Devil Doll by Joe Sparks.
Seas are dangerous traverse with care!
April 21, 2013 16:00
Dear Rostam and Darakh’zan,
Part – 2: Getting underway from the visit to the Holy City of Haven we were set to go off to the Island of Y-oda and visit a place called the Bletherad. If you look on the map it is one of the islands on the far right but I don’t know which one exactly. I got the impression it was a fortress of some kind with a good library! It is probably very similar to the Library inside the Etrinan Fort. I wish it had not been damaged by cave in when the dwarves sealed our ancestors in just before the elves overrun the Dwarven Forces. Still I was excited to see this castle after everything I saw in the Holy city. I spent the time reading the books from King Hafton on Wisdom and learning about the exodus of some of the eastern New Kingdom armies and the rise of the Eastern Territories, the Dominion of Man.
When we arrived I could see a town but no large structure that made me think castle of knowledge this way! I checked and the group asked if I could “go unseen” until we were at the library.
Library? I thought this was a castle we were headed to, but after what I have seen I find myself waiting for it to get worse. Besides a “library” could not be that bad, some scrolls, few books, YAK! YAK! YAK! YAK! YAK! YAK!
I looked down to see what in Thoth’s beak was making that racket!
An infernal deevil minion! An Imp, the heralds of Dyval!
All I got out of it was that CrIsis was already responsible for helping to keep the Glaive of the Old Ones from its master’s control! Any weapon that refrences those that shackled us once in bondage can not be a good item. Apparently, the firery creature’s master, Ratel was his name, would be able to return in one year. This was the 9th of Selestra just for good measure I remembered the date. I was also trying to work in two names of Lady Isis with my prayers so at least in my prayers she could be with her husband.
After 5 minutes of going on about how we would suffer it disappeared to the nether realms and the area smelled like sulfur, disgusting! We cut quickly through the town despite the looks people gave Roggan’s iron body, and soon we I saw the fortress, I was again to marvel at the wonders of this age. A colossal tower of stone five stories high whose majesty is surpassed only by the smoking volcanoes that stand to either side, off in the distance.
Master Cava helped me out with 10,000 eastern gold and paid my way into the library, I read in the books of Entrinan about the Greatest Library the World had ever known, the Prime Incunabula, and this must be its descendant since the scrolls I have refrencing the Millenium of Purification talk of an attack planned on by a zealous group of Purifiers. I saw a sign at the entrance that read:
“WARNING!No magic is allowed nor can be performed
inside the GREAT LIBRARY. Any being requiring
magic to survive is advised not to enter. Furthermore,
while ALL people are welcome, weapons and violence
are not. Leave your hatred and prejudices at the door
with your weapons and armor.”
This was posted in all languages that I could read and many I could not without the spell: Eyes of Thoth. Oh I met my first Wolfen, whom look similar to the Ramen only with a canine look to them. After studying them for a moment I wondered how they have been so accepted despite what Hoomans call a monster seems to be anything bigger than they are. Some are as tall as Minotaurs and while the ones I am meeting have chosen a monk scholar’s life I am sure they make fascinating warriors! I wonder if they have wizards among them? This trip is exciting, but now I am still waiting for a demonic creature far larger than an imp to show and lay waste to a town trying to kill us.
I dropped the Invisibility Necklace’s enchantment and while the monk scholars looked very surprised to see me with a few gasps. No one raised their voice, no said a cross word, no one tried to stop me from going inside. There was some mention that it had been over two centuries since the last time one of my kind had been to the library. When I saw all the books on just the 1st floor I cried out, “Thanks be the Prime Incunabula did survive!” This caught the attention of a nearby monk scholar of this place known to me as “The Library of Bletherad” it looks so much like the what the books described the Prime Incunabula would look like. While I did not know it at this moment but that monk scholar was about to change my view of the world.
My friend, Roggan, hmmm…
…only knowing this Troglodyte warlock of earth for a few days and I trust him. Friendships must start somewhere and Master Overkill, Master Kel-ed and Brother Roggan are my first friends upon leaving home. When he tried to enter you would think someone was trying to invade the Library! This was an odd turn of events when I am not the scene maker in the room, HA! However, there was great concern the magic used to hold Roggan to his body would dissolve once he entered the foyer/entrance hall of the library. I did mention that while his mind did reside within the Golem he is a magical construct and may very well cease to be. Roggan countered it was his soul in the golem, but that couldn’t be! From talking to Saraph the Lightbringer Rune Staff given to Luur’na after my father’s passing if his soul is bound to the Iron Golem it smacks of concepts used in Rune Magic! I waited to see the outcome and Master Cava was forced to sign a scroll promising he would not seek retribution on the Library of Bletherad if the magic did not hold.
IT WORKED BROTHER ROGGAN IS THE FIRST GOLEM TO EVER MAKE IT INTO THE LIBRARY!
Roggan the Troglodyte turned into an “living” Iron Golem is the strongest soul I know, and I have gleaned some crude understanding of how a rune weapon is made! I unfortunately fear this may make other mages and elementals try and they did not have the great and powerful Ra helping them!
Just then the Wolfen monk scholar asked me if I wanted to learn more about the Prime Incunabula and I said yes so I was escorted into a room away from prying eyes. Once in the room the Wolfen was joined by an associate monk that looked like a well fed Hooman. When they asked about what I knew regarding the Prime Incunabula I told them about where it had been located within the New Kingdom of the Elves, and that it had been attacked by several bands of Purifiers after the war of the Fair and the Strong ended. I was asked to be taken to a secret area of the Library and the mentioned they would need to blind fold me. Knowledge will get me killed someday but the chance of finding out this information was to great to pass up, so I consented and never tried to undo the blind fold used.
I could feel the changes that told me I had gone underground but then a maze of down and up, left and right, and double backed I think twice. The monk scholars never tried to trip me and made sure I knew where to step if there seemed any doubt. When we stopped it had been almost two turns of an hour glass from being asked to be blind folded. Being underground felt strangely comfortable, home like in a way and the cavern was clean and had many mortal trappings inside. Once some candles were lit by an elderly elf scholar I met my hosts:
The Elf introduced himself as Brother Malkin
The Wolfen in bright orange and red robes introduced as Brother Rrgrllaph
A SPHINX! A creature I thought I would never see!! She introduced herself as Phlixt
They asked how I came to join CrIsis and got the complete run down of my life story. I only kept my true name a secret and simply stated I was named for my father’s honor. These three shared with me similar tails and we spent a day discussing how we became fascinated with knowledge! The Sphinx even hinted that she had met the Lord of Wisdom himself! I did not press her for confirmation because while I would love to meet him I know I would probably come accross as an annoying speck given my poor talks with She-of-Countless-Names. Food was brought down and I went over maps of the world, I learned where I am, where I had been plucked from and when I told them about our chosen tribal name the Elf, Brother Malkin nearly fell off his chair!
“You don’t mean Fort Etrinan, it was destroyed according to the records of the Great War,” he exclaimmed!
I informed him he must have been reading the records of his people because the Dwarves staged one of the engangements to hide the colapsing of the tunnel to their famed fort and Minotaur allies that had stood with them through thick and thin. They also had left the bulk of their rune weapon arsenal behind to prevent the Elves from acquiring it. Brother Rrgrllaph asked how many rune weapons and I told him the number was just over 30 which actually dropped all their jaws for a second.
Oh were I a bard the joke would start…
… a wolfen, elf, and sphinx are stunned silent…
…oh were I a bard, HA!
They let slip my use of the actual ancient word for “Dwarf” rather the common Elven word most people use is what was carrying weight to my words. I reached in my robe and handed them a small book of Elf poetry written in ancient Dwarf tongue predating the War of the Fair and the Strong. I handed it to them and said they could keep it. Brother Malkin examined it and exclaimed something about the paper and wooden covers of a tree that does not exist anymore! He mentioned something about the Guardians and I won’t convey the rest of that per his request. Mother, apparently, Entrinan was one of the repositories for the Prime Incunabula and during the Millennium of Purification our ancestor saw a band of Elves, Dwarves, and a Titan get attack in the Wasteland above our home by group of demons tearing the sky open! I think, but cannot confirm that they were suppose to be the new Monk scholars of the Etrinan seed library. When they heard I had learned all my spells in ancient Dwarven from the tomes of Dwarven wizards they exploded with questions and I asked them as many in return.
I know the Wolfen do not eat children, they have an Empire in the Northern Wilderness, there are over a million of them in the empire and they have hoomans, elves, dwarves, goblins, orcs, and giants living among them in peace. I cannot wait to visit the capital of Shadowfall, named for the ancient dragon the founders of the city slew. They have no Emperor, but are a republic of 12 tribes that govern the empire!
I spent 3 days with them and the amount of knowledge I gained was amazing but even I was wondering how my friends were doing. Soon I was escorted back to Matilda and it would appear that Brother Malkin has called in a favor owed by the group to him, and we are headed after a piece in the Baalgor Wastelands while having the group stop home we can set something up about the books, I think the monk scholars would like to study them.
Then I believe inadvertently hurt Master Terramore’s sense of pride when I brought up the Dwarven mage tomes and that I thought of them as the masters of magic now. While Master Cava went to bring him back and speak with him the rest of the group had a “Fireside Chat.” They got to talk with me about everything I told Brother Malkin, Brother Rrgrllaph, and the Keeper. Though because of their rings and knowing Isis vouched for them I shared my true name. I handed over to young Master Gavin one of my chains from my collections of dwarven war manacles used to shackle the prisoners during the War of the Fair and the Strong. I told him the same thing about why I kept the manacles and what they mean to me.
…I keep them as a reminder to never let the past chain us from what we can become…
We left on the night tide of the 14th of Selestra heading south from the Great Library, I stayed in my room pouring over books and was very gratefull for extra parchment I was able to get from the library. While I came out to eat I was uncomfortable on deck of this ship having been the second time I was on water and very excited for my spell Swim as a Fish! I was tasked with learning how to use a piece of siege weaponry on the ship that fired a beam of sunlight so hot it could burn metal. Over the next few days during some of my trials with the gun I ended up burning Master Tyvernos our other warlock among CrIsis. As luck would have it I ended pointing the gun and firing right when some pirates attack driving a sea serpent toward the ship! I managed to hit the serpent and one of their sails, while Master Tyvernos directed the air to fan the fire and set the ship ablaze. Master Terramore let loose with fire balls his walking could fire due to its enchantments! Everyone I traveled with was fairly amazing and Captain Overkill I learned had been a pirate and he kept the ship steady during the entire mess!
The following day which would have been the 21st of Selestra was the most frightning, horror filled and inspirational day with my new band of friends. I was trying to get better at shooting the Sun Ballista and I am still learning, only today I shot Captain Overkill! After regaining footing and getting healing applied to him while he was at his post everyone felt Matilda drift to one side and the was a sound coming through the hull like something or several somethings began to try and chew through Matilda! When the ship lurched I cast Fleet Feet so I could move twice my normal speed and then Swim as a Fish as I followed Sir Quixis overboard. Osiris bless good Tyrvernos for trying to save me but my foe was below the waves. As several of us were off to battle these weird looking crab-like people it looked at though the ship was going to tip over!
We left Roggan tied to the mast and I thought we would loose him if the ship tipped over and sank with his 20 foot tall iron body acting as an anchor. Then a miracle of magic occured right before me. I saw a hole in the side of the ship begin healing! HEALING ON ITS OWN! The crab like creatures were spooked and what was left of them fled as though the sip were some kind of demon. We acted quick and once back on board I help get water out the areas that had been taking it on and we saved Matilda but there was no sign of Roggan’s golem body! When we began to lament Roggan the WHOLE DAMN ship spoke to us and Roggan had taken his soul and bound it to the ship!!!!!!!!
It was no longer the Matilda but the Roggan from now on! He sacrifice himself so we would not drown out on the open seas. I started writing this on the 22nd of Selestra but I am only getting around to sending the missive as I look at the Floenry Island chain to the south of us. I do not know what the 23rd of Selestra will hold for us but I know as a team we can conquer anything!
April 21, 2013 15:00
I am not sure how to explain this but, remember the lizard man that was accompanying us in Llorn? Well some weeks later he merged his soul into a titan of a golem and then, well, he is now the ship Matilda (I guess that I could call it the ship Roggan). See, shortly after our encounter with Wisdom (nice place by the way) we shuffled off to Y’Oda, home of the Library of Bletherad to get some information about some things (mainly Osiris). Oh did I forget to tell you we have a Minotaur? Yea. Anyway, remember him, even with the rule to leave our prejudice at the door, I thought that there would be problems with the Minotaur at the library. Not so. The patrons just gave odd looks and some of
horror but not a finger was raised to the horned friend.
When we arrived there was a strange Imp that pointed at us and began barking at us that his master was going to get revenge for what we had done to him and the Glaive. The guy ranted for at least five minutes before disappearing. I didn’t pay it much attention as he was saying that we would rule the day that we blah blah blah… and victory will be mine… blah blah blah… Then after his rant he disappeared. I have to admit I stood there for a minute not sure what to say before we continued towards the building.The whole team was given paid admittance (as we all paid for entrance) but because our Minotaur friend was a fountain of knowledge (he opened his big mouth at the door), he was whisked away to who knows where. I didn’t care much for where he went as he was with monks, so I am certain that it was alright.Myself, I hooked up with an old friend and found him deep in the catacombs of the library talking to a human friend he addressed as Thomas.
The Wolfen introduced us and then Thomas in his excitement of learning who I was dismissed himself in a hurry like either he had to use the latrine or his pants suddenly caught fire because I could not get the guy to stay. My friend told me that he had other matters to attend but that he would meet me at the old hang out Auntie Em’s.
After spending a couple of hours reading dusty books, scrolls and pamphlets I headed to the bar only to find out that my Wolfen friend Rrggrllaph who has inadvertently decided that something or someone was more important than an old drinking buddy who is in town only once a year. Anyway I found someone to drink with so it wasn’t a total loss. Though I am a Dwarven ale kind of guy, I found out that raspberry wine has a nice flavor, especially the Eastern Territory raspberries.
Sorry got distracted there. Sometime when the sun was about to rise I retired back to the ship still wondering why the Wolfen failed to show. When I got to the ship I discovered that the others were there save Xerx’ses and that he had not been seen all day since he went into the library. I was not sure if there was sleeping quarters for guests so I was a little worried. It went on like this for two more days until he emerged. As it turned out Malkin and Rrggrllaph had been interviewing him about some things that he said at the entrance of the library. I assumed that the Minotaur was a scholar as I had not seen him do much else and that his knowledge of the area would be quite useful. Imagine us with a scholar monk?
Other things were discovered by Gavin and there was a fight of words over what Xerx’ses called the ‘War of the Fair and Strong’ because Quixis and when he left Terrimore and Gavin followed. This gave us limited time to find out truly why the Minotaur was chosen. A few words were exchanged and when Quicksus calmed himself, apologies were exchanged and we were off.
I love being on the water. The gentle rocking is soothing. Sometimes when the sky is clear you can see the constellations of the gods. For a moment I figure that we are safe away from the hustle and bustle of day to day life and not having to deal with Cava’s kind. Mary I tend to agree with you that humans cannot be trusted most of the time but Cava has proved himself again and again. There is a human here and there that I trust but on the whole those with big egos ruin it for the rest of them. I would include Elves in this but Elves have been kind to me (I wonder how dad feels about it) or Grandma in Northolme. I grew up around Dwarves and never encountered Elves except as traveling merchants and because I had such a distant view of them I had made no assumption but then I served on the Redbeard with a few and gained a true taste for them (Keeper and Kat Kall I will find you). They are ok. Though Keeper would not let me near him and who would go near an assassin, Kat Kall had a love hate relationship with me as she loved the way I captained but hated that I was a Dwarf. It became a game to us to make a call at each other “That was an ugly thing you did Elf” and “You’re getting slow Dwarf”. It seems that she was the only one who was allowed by me to get away with that. Everyone else was ‘Captain’ this and ‘Sir’ that. Few would call me Overkill without addressing my title. I have to admit that when I went by Merd those few weeks off the ship I missed the respect that the title Captain came with.
But I digress. Let me get to the story that is the most heart breaking. While we faced pirates and creatures of the deep, it was this one time that is the most heart breaking. The night was not heard. The waves were gentle, and the sky clear. I could see the constellations. I actually was enjoying the night until the ship shifted hard and the push almost launched all of us off the boat. Those underneath came racing up telling us of some thumping (banging?). These creatures were organized and we just got the ship fixed in Haven; thousands were spent and now the ship was going to sink. Xer’ses slid off the side of the ship and Quixis dived in after him. The second blow (or was it the third?) sent me and Gavin overboard. I activated my ring of Swim as a Fish as I was determined not to lose the ship. Roggen was tied to the mast and Cava was in the crow’s nest.
I was certain that these creatures were going to drowned us as I was sure that my ring was not going to hold out and the magic of the other guys wasn’t either. It was then that the story changed. The iron golem disappeared and the ship started to heal. The team started to act fast and within a minute of exhaustion, we saved the now sinking ship. We made it to the Fenery Islands, the ship broken. As much as Roggen told me he was alive, I could not believe it. A ring appeared around the ship but I still could not stop thinking that the man sacrificed his life to save us all. Mary, he will be the only Earth Warlock on earth that will never touch the precious soil that had been such an intricate part of his life.
Picture from www.d20rd.org
How love can hold you up
April 21, 2013 14:00
Dear Rostam and Darakh’zan,
I see stars from a distant shore and all I know feels so small in the wake of things that have come and have yet to be. This is no small endeavor I have embarked on and I am now beginning to feel that I may have found a group of like minded souls. Thanks be to She-of-countless-names for deciding I was worthy enough to help with my lord’s resurrection.
I send these missives from the straits between the mainlain and the Islands of the Floenry Archipelago. If you go to the library and look at old maps with the Elven New Kingdom (hmm, I am seeing how the hoomans came up with West Empire), you should see islands in the bottom right. Yes I am near one of those islands the Hoomans call Enry. I don’t know which one it is on the map It feels like I am at the edge of the known world!
Well how does minotaur seeking redemption for his people that wish to abandon the dark ways of the past end up on an island on the other side of the known world?
Here we go…
After meeting with the elf boy and help him cast his first spell I was told we were to meet King Hafton once more. The king of Wisdom is what the elves of the age of light must have been like, kind, noble, and dedicated to life. My companions began discussing some family issues of the king which gave him joy and knowing that the only person that could have shared the information meant we were not lying about the trials of CrIsis in the city of Llorn.
I have yet to be to the city of Llorn, this was before my joining the group.
While King Hafton knew I was there, since I was wearing the invisibility amulet affixed to my scaled mantle/collar around my shoulders. I hid it on the under side so it’s not readily visible to those wishing to separate me from my goods. I could not participate in the conversation to avoid a riot in the palace. When the king asked if anyone needed anything I tapped Master Overkill on the shoulder and was able to follow him and we met in the privy of the castle. I told the good dwarf I would like any books on the history of Wisdom. He seemed surprised I did not ask for money but I explained I knew nothing about where I was, so I was hoping to find out anything about where “She-of-countless-names” had sent me and the Tri-Arcanum guild. When we re-entered Master Overkill relayed my request as though it were his own, and the king flashed a quick smile in my direction. The books would be sent to the Tri-Arcanum guild once collected from his personal library!
During our return Master Cava complained about a headache and a vision from the great and powerful God, Ra! I would love to say that I inspired the group to get back on track in finding Osiris, however, that would not be true. I have had to spend the lion’s share of my time fending off our race’s well-deserved hate and prejudice, then in helping to teach the elven boy to cast a spell I can see how they got side-track with mundane concerns. Master Cava was well in hand though, or so I thought, according to the great and powerful Ra’s wishes after Master Kel-ed had the books brought in by the elf boy I trained in tow. When we began to say our good-byes and well wishes a flash of light filled the room and when my sight cleared…
…I, err, we all were on a boat!
The temperature had changed and we were clearly at some form of docks, similar to what I had read about in books! Oh sweet Lawgiver, that is A LOT of ships and WATER! More water than I have ever seen in my whole life! There were two bridges of massive stone running overhead, I appeared to still be invisible. Looking over the edge of the boat it was a far drop to the water and the docks were choked with people coming and going!
Good grief all the Hoomans! More than my whole tribe on just the docks!
The city looked massive and off in the distance I could see a great tower…
….“IT’S OVERKILL! MASTER OVERKILL it is SO GREAT TO SEE YOU!!!”
Brought out of my amazement by very tall dark skinned Hooman whom I learned later was a Palladin like my step-brother, Zeelik and his mentor, Mergerij. It would appear Hoomans come in a variety of skin color and sizes as well, with Sir Quixis about 7 feet in height. Realizing they were all friends and this group had accepted, although shocked by, Roggan’s transformation into a Golem body I thought I could reveal myself as well.
I was wrong.
Sure enough the palladin turned and scream that we were being attacked by a minion of the Old Ones! I would love to say I got angry about but it was just mere frustration, so I turned my head and scanned the river saying loudly, “Where?” Never mind the palladin was trying to advance upon me at this point even if I try to defend myself it would only be looked at as an act of aggression. My fellow CrIsis members interceded on my behalf but I could see their mere word was not enough to override generations of anger and hate directed toward those that would harm the gods of light. The group even pointed out my necklace of Osiris and the flail I carried, but that made him guarded, at least I was not a target of his otherwise well deserved aggression.
We went below deck and I surprised about the size but the group mentioned a prior companion was a titan! Another of the races that fought the old ones and yet somehow, somehow I have been chosen to become a part of this world changing historic event!
I was given a cabin on Matilda, I wish I knew more about boats right now it took a about half of an hourglass to get my bearings. I store my armor except for the mantle because on the underside I had mounted the amulet that would let me take Hooman form that they gave me in Wisdom and I wore the necklace allowing me invisibility around my neck but let it also hand below the mantle.
About an hour later I ventured forth back on deck in hopes the rest of the team has had to ally Sir Quixis’s fears. Well I really wanted to see the city now that I could hide in plain site. When I asked about the city apparently I was in Haven, the eastern capital city of the Church of Light and Dark! There was even a temple of Osiris located with a Holy city in the center of town! I could see there was some fear about me leaping off the boat right then and there, and truth be told it was warranted. The only reference to Holy cities was in the Tristine Chronicles and Sekti-Abtu! Now it seems there is another holy city and I might be able to pray inside the Hall of my Lord the Lawgiver! The group said they would escort me into the city as they had business with a Bishop Nodeki there.
I was asked to remain invisible and they would get me into the temple. I have never been so happy to be unnoticed.
We left the ship as a group…
…I promised to stay invisible until we were out of public view and the group did there best to keep me in the center to avoid me stepping on someone, kicking, tripping, or anything else that might give me away. Rostam and Darakh’zan, you both will not believe all of the hoomans, there are 4 elves I saw and one had white priestly robes of Isis! Then a dwarf squire carrying a lance followed by a hooman palladin trying to talk and walk to his shorter companion. Oh my word hundreds and hundreds of hoomans in every walk of life, river runner, baker, I see priests and priestesses everywhere and they are dressed like you Darakh’zan and my late father. These Hoomans take their faith very seriously!
Given there were many twists and turns it was roughly 1,000 feet from the docks to the causeway leading up to the temple mound and the houses of the gods, if you are to believe the hoomans when they look up it! Mother I am looking at the Tower of Light! It’s height rivals the tales of the cities of the Fair folk before the dread war of hate and madness that destroyed the Fair and the Strong. It is a thing of beauty! As we walk the 500 plus foot long walkway I see merchants in carts, makeshift tents line half of the way up and sell everything the priests might need so they stay and care for the spiritual well bieng of the the followers of the Gods of Light and Dark!
Yes “and Dark!”
Once we got close I saw man stand in a guardroom and come out to look directly at me! In my head I heard him say, “I can do this easy or hard but I thought the good Bishop was crazy when she spoke to me this morning!”
We were never stopped and I do not think my companions had any clue I had met my first “Internalist!” What some texts called mages of the mind. I thought hard about my prayers to Osiris that morning and I could feel his thoughts bombarding my memories and when he stopped all I was left with was a thought, “Poor bastard must be the only one of his kind left!” That was a chilling thought that we Baalgor tribes are all that’s left of our race. Given our past I am not surprised, for we did not war with elves, or dwarves, but the titans, dragons, and gods of light! My joy seems eclipsed every time I forget I am invisible!
The temple city was amazing with temples to Ra – the Lord of Light; Thoth – the Lord of Wisdom (I am going to find some prayers for the Lord of Wisdom to start offering him thanks for understanding magic); She of Countless Names – the All Mother; Horus – the Great Sphinx (were I a palladin I would have taken the avenger); Apis – the Sacred Cow; Set – the Lord of Darkness; Anubis – the Lord of the Dead; Amon – the Hidden One; Anhur – the Slayer of Enemies (I do not understand how he turned from Ra); Bes – the Depraved. It seems the Hoomas feel that if they can see their enemy they can monitor them better. It looks so quite and peaceful here but I have no doubt there is a war going on I just can’t see.
My companions steered me away from gazing at the temple yard to the Pyramid of Osiris! They told me that the Antes Temple houses a real piece of Osiris! Part of my God is on this world and I was selected to help find the rest of him. I am finding it difficult to move but slowly and steadily I make my way to the gates. The group is greeted by Bishop Rose Nodeki – a Hooman priestess and Father William – an Elven priest. Feeling that I am no longer in public I deactivate the necklace of invisibility. Bishop seems shocked to see me but address me by my name! Well from the gasps behind me its clear not everyone was told of my arrival, however, stern glances from the Bishop shut everyone up. It would appear I have made the talk of every priest light and dark for probably the next month. I bowed and was stunned when the good bishop took my hand and help lead me up the steps saying each of Isis’s name with each step. On step 47 I mispronounced the name and the resulting pain made me focus to not have that happen again!!! Bishop Nodeki was very patient with me and there was caring in the way she helped me. I think was as surprised to be helping one of my kind as I was surprised to not be skewered.
Once we entered the vestibule she gave Father William right handed rebuke of stern proportion. A second later she spoke kind words to us again as a mother would to children and she left us in Father William’s care (I do believe he smiled like a very young elf, but given his wrinkles that must not happen much these days). I ….
….I left that pause because there is no words to describe the over 75 foot tall pyramid of white marble before me. I didn’t hide the tears for I am standing in front of the pyramid of Osiris – the Lawgiver! Father William tapped on my arm to snap me out of my reverie and I look at my companions whom were becomming naked and wading into the pool before me.
There is no feeling of fear I am trying but can’t register it, I feel like I did finding those books in the library of Fort Etrinan, nay, even better!
I feel accept that I feel NOTHING negative at all, however, I can’t shake the fact I will have to leave this place and outside there is a whole WORLD full of every feeling I don’t feel here. I wade through the pool and I am given a robe of white stout linen cloth. Embroidered in gold with my name in Elven tongue, our groups name: CrIsis, and the symbol of the eternal torch. I will never understand the gods but will simply trust that this is where I am supposed to be. Roggan, the now Iron Golem, waits for me to walk through the archway in front of me as I come out of the pool on the other side.
Once I walk through the light of the archway I was amazed further! Blue skies above and clean sandy desert as far as the eye can see! There in front of me was now 50 foot tall pyramid with golden steps leading up, and behind was the glowing arch hanging in the air! I do not know if I am in the Realm of the Gods once more! I followed my companions up the steps before stood creatures of legends!
There were 3 Ramen and a Seraph! A Spirit of Light! I bowed and kneeled I was standing in the presence of one that survived the the War of Chaos! My companions seemed so at ease and the Seraph – whom calls herself Elyth, talked to them with familiarity I surprised to see. Oh yes, there I was amongst 3 of the feline warriors of Ra, a flaming Spirit of Light, and hovering in blue flames at the center of it all: the Platinum Heart of Osiris the Lawgiver!
I am calm and yet I cannot shake the reason of dread, not the feeling, but the sheer reasoning of dread I KNOW is now coming. I am seeing things mortals should not see unless they are about to die! Yet everyone is talking casually and that the group is up to piece number “3” of my great and noble lord! Elyth explains Isis has need of her in claiming another piece of her husband and she does not expect to return, which is why the feline Ramen are here to now guard the Heart of Osiris! The group appears shocked and without giving them time to explain she asks to speak with me alone.
The group leaves and I admit to the Spirit of Light, Elyth, that I doubt my worth in this endeavor and while she gives me a simple direction.
“touch the heart Xerx’ses”
I summoned up my courage and did what only the dead or gods should be allowed to do…
…I laid my hand on the Heart of Osiris!
These simple words cannot describe the feeling within me. I have feel a calm I have never experience, and then yearning, he misses her! The absolute yearning! Even in pieces his heart cries out to be reunited to his love! Mother, I can only imagine this is what you felt the day after my father passed killing the demon with A’zad. I am a horrible shill, being at peace and calm does not negated reason and thought. Oh-she-of-countless-names I am sorry for how long you have been apart I will not fail you. My lord I will see you reunited to your love, the yearning is beyond anything I can feel the heart reaching out over centuries of being apart, yet ever waiting.
I will never be the same.
My second missive will explain how I made it to the isles
April 21, 2013 13:00
It is with heavy heart, and indignant fury boiling beneath the surface that this entry into the journals of CrIsis is written. I have watched this Troglodyte for over sixty years, overcome obstacles, be used and abused. He touched lives, and changed so many for the better. His ever-living optimism, indomitable spirit, and unfailing love have forged bonds that words could not. His love of the earth reminded any who would pay attention that we should respect all life, no matter its shell. I know that CrIsis will forever remember him dancing with his rock friends, whenever anything of note happened. In truth, though he travelled with them but a month in his body, it will be remembered for years to come. Roggan’s last few days as himself, I would like to recount in his own words.
Roggan leave Wisdom with CrIsis, and appear on MATILDA!!!! Roggan so happy! Even in Roggan Golem body, Roggan can walk in Matilda! Roggan go down to Murodin! Murodin excited to see Roggan! Murodin dance for Roggan! Roggan get smooth stone from Roggan bag, so Murodin can lick! Roggan miss Murodin. Roggan give Murodin hug and run back to CrIsis! CrIsis talk to Xerxy. Xerxy really smart! Xerxy cow-lady-baby from Baalgor Wasteland. Roggan remember that a Piece of Osiry there.
CrIsis take Matilda to library between two volcanoes!!! Roggan so excited! Roggan almost feel earth power in volcanoes, Roggan so close! Library on Island of Yoddie. Called Library of Blathera. Roggan think this funny name. But Library cool! CrIsis go into library, and see sign: No magic in Library!! Roggan worried. CrIsis worried. Xerxy tell Roggan that Roggan have to stay out. Roggan a Golem now, Roggan magic. If Roggan go in, Roggan die. But Roggan not Golem, Roggan have Golem Body. Roggan not like Gina, not true Golem. Roggan still Roggan, just have different body!! Roggan not think Magic wall kill Roggan. Roggan pray to cow lady. to tell Roggan if Roggan can go into Library! Roggan start to walk to wall; get to door; step through door; ROGGAN NOT DIE!!! Roggan almost dance! Funny puppy-man come up to Roggan, start chanting, but nothing happen, and say ‘It’s True!! The Barrier is not Down, and this Being entered! It is not a Construct!’ But of course Roggan not construct.
Roggan go to look for new Rock Friends! Roggan not find anyone who know until Roggan find dwarf! Roggan ask dwarf where to find Rock Friends books, and Dwarf excited to see Roggan in Golem Body!!! Roggan forget to go to Dwarf house, to talk to funny dwarf. Roggan find new special rock friend!! New Rock Friend in Mt. Nimro. Rock explode! Roggan want to find these rock friends, maybe when Roggan and CrIsis visit Xerxy family. Oh, Roggan want to talk to Wakiw! Roggan miss Wakiw, and Wakiw not write back to Roggan!
Malkin come to CrIsis one night, happy and dancing! Xerxy talk to him about Xerxy family, and Xerxy library. Malkin ask CrIsis to go there, and get some books for Malkin. Roggan tell funny, happy elf that Malkin can count on CrIsis.
CrIsis leave Blathera and Yoddie on Matilda, to get more pieces of OsIris. But MEAN CRABBY PEOPLE ATTACK! Roggan and CrIsis fight Seasnakes, Pirates, Dragons, and everything, and not die. But Mean Crabby People almost kill CrIsis!!! Roggan tied to Matilda mast, so Roggan not fall into water. Roggan big golem body not swim. But Matilda almost die, crab people making Matilda sink. Roggan afraid for Roggan and CrIsis, so Roggan do what Roggan have to. Roggan leave Roggan body like Roggan do before, but now jump into Matilda! Roggan now Matilda, but not do it before Murodin die! Roggan so sad! Roggan save Matilda. CrIsis save Roggan, Quixy, and Glebba, but Roggan not save silly, sweet Murodin. Roggan lose Murodin for second time in Roggan life. Roggan not like adventure. Roggan want to stay as ship, free. Dance on waves. Waves hard like rockfriends, sometimes. But Happy, too, like Rock Friends, sometimes. Roggan want to dance on waves forever, taking CrIsis to where CrIsis need to go. Roggan not talk to Rock Friends like Roggan do before. But Roggan now heal Matilda body!
So, it is with a dread finality that I pen this last entry. Fare the well, Roggan Golem-father, Roggan Rock-friend. Trogdorf, may thine sails be ever full, and thy hull forever sturdy!
Roggan and Matilda Are One
April 21, 2013 12:00
Roggan has sacrificed himself to keep us all alive. I feel lucky to have known such a great soul, someone that tried to remind us all that happiness and joy are weapons of the Light! Palladium has truly lost one of the truly good souls, a beacon of Light. While he will be with CrIsis throughout their trials, making Matilda even more magical, his smile, his dance, his tongue, and his outlook will forever be missed.
This hurts more than all can imagine- so I leave you with some prose that does not come close to recognizing one so magnificent, whose sacrifice was so great. I hope you find many rock friends Roggan!
And as who in the Ma’at avenue,
Sphinx ranged by Sphinx, goes awestruck, nor may read
That ancient awful creed
Closed in their granite calm:—so dim the clue,
So tangled, tracking through
That labyrinthine soul which, day by day
Changing, yet kept one long imperious way:
Strong in his weakness; confident, yet forlorn;
Waning and waxing; diamond-keen, or dull,
As that star Wonderful,
Roggan, for ever, dying and reborn:—
Blissful or baleful, yet a Power throughout,
Throned in dim altitude o’er the common rout.
Children of Light! If, in the slow-paced course
Of vital change, your work seem incomplete,
Your conquest-hour defeat,
Won by mild compromise, by the invisible force
That owns no earthly source;
Yet to all time your gifts to man endure,
Gods being with you, and the victory sure!
For though o’er Gods the Giants in the course
May lord it, Strength o’er Beauty; yet the Soul
Immortal, clasps the goal;
Fair Joy triumphs by her inborn force:
Thus far on earth! . . . But, ah! from mortal sight
The crowning glory veils itself in light!
Yet his the dangerous posts that few can mark,
The crimson death, the dread unerring aim,
The fatal ball that whizzes through the dark,
The just-recorded name—
The faithful following of the flag all day,
The duty done that brings no nation’s thanks,
The Ke Kontan of some grim and gray
A Salvator of the ranks.
These are the things our commonweal to guard,
The patient strength that is too proud to press,
The duty done for duty, not reward,
The lofty littleness.
And they of greater state who never turned,
Taking their path of duty high and higher,
What do we deem that they, too, may have learned
In that baptismal fire?
Not that the only end beneath the sun
Is to make every sea a trading lake,
And all our splendid Palladium history one
They who marched up the bluffs last stormy week—
Some of them, ere they reached the mountain’s crown,
The wind of battle breathing on their cheek
Suddenly laid them down.
Like sleepers—not like those whose race is run—
Fast, fast asleep amid the cannon’s roar,
Them no reveille and no morning gun
Shall ever waken more.
And the troglodyte passed from off the face
Of those who lived, and into it instead
Came proud forgetfulness of ball and race,
Sweet commune with the dead.
And thoughts beyond their thoughts the Spirit lent,
And manly tears made mist upon their eyes,
And to them came a great presentiment
Of high self-sacrifice.
Submitted by Terramore Gleba on the 25th of Selestra in the 22nd year of Emperor Voelkian Itomas II.
This poem, in actuality, is a mixture of a poem from Archbishop William Alexander, “Is War The Only Thing That Has No Good In It?” and a poem from Francis Turner Palgrave, “A Churchyard In Oxfordshire.” I added a small amount of text. Go read some Poetry!!
First 3 pictures of Roggan from the player himself, Gaitkeeper. Final Roggan picture from Syreene.
Sir Quixis Ote Reporting
April 21, 2013 11:00
Dear CrIsis, Palladium’s Greatest Heroes-
I am most thrilled by your execution of payment to the shipwrights of Virtue here in Haven. These good men have assured me that the repairs on Matilda will be completed upon the date scheduled, the 16th of good Selestra, if not the day before. She again glows yellow, as the lady Isis’ holy eternal torch, that binds you together and protects your noble souls. I long to again to take up arms on your behalf, to fight the Darkness, to renew my lord Osiris!
When shall you return so that I may assist you in your holy quest? I long to sail under the steady hand of Captain Overkill, to watch the noble Cava slay enemies from the crow’s nest with the exquisite Inas. I wish to see proud Tyvernos wield power over the air itself, while ever-cheerful Roggan controls the Earth itself! I wish to see Gavin, the blessed boy/man make evil quell before his powers of the mind, and I wish to see the noble titan Vandur in action for the first time- I am sure it is majestic!
Waiting here to serve you!
Picture by B.F. Gribble