A Fallen Light, A New Hope

Tales of the Huntress XIII
Running Errands

13th of Uktar

Well that was certainly an interesting train of events. We were chasing news of Lockley’s stolen item and it seemed like it just set off a chain reaction of favors. Half orc criminals fleeing town, gambling gnomes, creepy Drow store owners, it just didn’t seem like it was going to ever end! I was certain we’d be broke and promising another dozen favors by the end of the night. Thankfully the bookstore owner knew where to send us, although I think we could have handled the retrieval better.

At least none of those men died, even if they were a gang we can’t just go around killing everyone who gets in our way. Although hitting them very hard and knocking them out is another story. I honestly wish we could have done a bit more than that between that damned gnome cheating us out of our money and that pig from the bar.

More so the latter than the former, at least with the gnome I was at partial blame for playing against a man I realized was cheating. I thought I could catch him and win that way, he was a bit faster than I thought though. Guard captain grab hands was just a drunk pervert who could not understand when a lady has no interest in his “affections”. I feel dirty just thinking of that swine. I can’t believe he touched me! I don’t even want to think of that filthy cad any further. All I can say is thank the divines for Roy’s interference. Social awkwardness has never been my battlefield of choice.

Speaking of which. He had his own case of unwanted affections from that pushy harlot we helped escape town. Actually told me a bit about what happened up there, not that I was concerned, but I was interested in why that scag had the exact same hair as me just about. Color, length, and even the same curls! I don’t want to think of the frightening implications of someone with the ability to take on another person’s features at will. Or the discussion that had to take place preceding that. Seriously does everyone in that town have to be so damned creepy!

At any rate I’m just glad to put that nonsense behind us and to be back on track in our search for the watcher. Aaron told us about an old ally whose given some new information, and agreed to try an help get out of his deal with the Black. I hope for his sake they succeed. We don’t need anymore deals weighing us down. Especially with the stakes getting so high.

Hopefully the elves can get us some answers. It’s a bit uncertain whether we’ll be seeing the fey or wood elves for this. While I’m a bit concerned over the safety of the fey wilds, I have to admit the idea of seeing them and that marvelous city again would be exciting! And perhaps we’d even be allowed to speak with Gabriel again! I’d love to tell him some of the stranger things I’ve seen on our plane since we last met, maybe even get a few more stories from him in exchange.

The main priority is getting Aaron and Roy’s equipment and information settled of course, but I suppose I can’t help but hope with all the mess that’s happened recently to want to feel more of that excitement from when I first joined. Either way we’ll get the help we need and be one step closer into further danger.

May Avandra’s fortunate gaze rest upon us all.

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An Alchemist's Tale XXVIII

8th of Uktar

I.. This is insane… to think that something we let live could turn into such a horror.. . I guess not everything does deserve to live… it just ends up destroying everything around it if it is not of good nature… Maybe that is the lesson here… I don’t usually believe in pointless killing… everything should have justification, and a reason… and i saw no reason to kill that mimic at first… but now. I regret everything involving that situation… Selise… you were right, I was wrong. you were right. I should be more prudent on who i let live…

I.. This is insane… to think that something we let live could turn into such a horror.. . I guess not everything does deserve to live… it just ends up destroying everything around it if it is not of good nature… Maybe that is the lesson here… I don’t usually believe in pointless killing… everything should have justification, and a reason… and i saw no reason to kill that mimic at first… but now. I regret everything involving that situation… Selise… you were right, I was wrong. you were right. I should be more prudent on who i let live…On that same note… Hull.. We have failed here… drastically. This town could have been saved had we not been so frightened…. those people… they had a chance to keep their homes… but now, now it’s run over! and I am sure each one of those vampires is as strong if not stronger than the one we killed… I… I don’t think we can deal with that place on our own. We are going to need some help from someone… as much as i hate to say that… maybe The Duke can shed some light on the situation, figuratively and literally… At any rate we arrive and Water Deep Burrow tomorrow. I need to get some sleep. and I still don’t know if i can fully control this magic that I have acquired… and to think i was so eager to get it and here I am not sure if i should use it… Summoning my one sword seemed to work, but that can’t accidentally blow up my friends…

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A Blacksmith's Workings XIV
Monsters

8th of Uktar

We traveled to a location where a supposed treasure was located. This treasure was something the others knew about from before I joined. It didn’t turn out to be a simple retrieval like we thought it would be. It appeared that something had corrupted the forest. It took hold of most of us, but Mireya managed to snap me out of it. Another magic that rendered me helpless and unable to combat. A fey creature requested us to deal with an issue that was plaguing the forest and her home. We were there for treasure, but it turned out the two were related.

The chest we were seeking turned out to be dozens of chests and one very large angry chest with wings. An interesting creature. It had an unnatural desire to try and eat us. The chests quickly surrounded us but we managed to deal with them with only slight issue. Rowan had a rough time and due to the nature of the creature I had issues keeping up with it. I need to get faster and I need to be ready to help my allies when they are in trouble.

We returned to base for a few dull cold days of rest before setting out towards Deepwater Burrow. We decided to postpone the elves in search of professor Lockley to help us with expanding our home. It is… getting a bit cramped in there. We reached Hull to find out it was taken over completely by vampires. We chose it was best to run from them after accidentally angering them. I feel like that will not be the last time we deal with the vampires in hull.

Deepwater Burrow doesn’t seem to be much better of a place. We found Professor Lockley who has tasked us with finding an object that was stolen from him. He seemed to not want to tell us exactly what we were looking for.

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Trappers Tales XXVII
2nd 1st day, Uktar - Directions

2nd 1st day, Uktar

Apparently we’ve been spending too much time up north.

I mean, it makes sense given what we’ve had going on with Bagoda and everything, but even with our recent trip to Dalewin I didn’t realise how bad it had gotten south of Kestrell’s Corner.

Obviously the Silent Lambs are just insane, and not helpful, but Hull has somehow gotten significantly worse than when we came through. Not only are these vampires able to make do in the sun with cloaks, but they’re now bold enough to start patrolling and accosting people going past.

I wonder how many travellers they’ve brought in and done unspeakable things to. With the benefit of our travels we’ve been exposed to enough troubles to kind of have an intuition about these things, but I doubt everyone has the same.

I suppose it’s something we’ll need to deal with, we can’t have the entire region south of Kestrell’s Corner become unsafe to travel. I don’t know how, though. I don’t feel we’re strong enough, or at least I don’t feel I am, to help. No one else is likely to lift a finger, or able to, especially if they know the true nature of the threat, and I feel it’s unfair and unwise to not let people know of it.

Maybe we can deal with two birds with one stone, and set up the Silent Lambs against the vampires? But then, we run the risk of making one stronger than either of them are now. It’s hard to know what way to go with it, really.

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The Healer's Diary XXII
Mireya's Thoughts Vol. 22

8th of Uktar

Well, that was beyond frustrating. Something that we thought would be so simple as gathering up a bit of old treasure turned into yet another fight, ending with yet another friend teetering on the precipice of death. On a positive note, I could say that I was happy to have helped the poor faerie who called us to that place find justice for what had happened to her home. But on the other hand, we really had no choice in the matter and were hardly at our full potential. Had that mimic or its offspring been any stronger, I’m not entirely sure what would have happened. Rowan might not be with us now, and perhaps Aaron too.

The rest that we took back in the forest may have cost us time, but was well needed. No one can dice with death so often and still manage to keep going without the downtime to recover. It makes me wonder, sometimes, how long we can really go on like this before something snaps within one of us. Mentally, I feel like I’m on edge all the time.

That can’t be sustainable, can it?

Anyway, a few days and a blizzard later, we were on the road again to find Professor Lockley. I’m sorry to say that we made the mistake of stopping in Hull on the way down south towards Deepwater Burrow. I should have known better after what happened last time, but my error in judgement was more in thinking it might be an easier option than trekking through the snow and taking the long way around.

As it turns out, the place is now not only presided over, but overrun with vampires. I count us lucky to have gotten out as we did, for I’m certain that we would have been captured otherwise. After what curse Persephone bestowed on me last time we decided to play with such dark forces, I have no desire to venture into that lion’s den again so soon.

As much as I hate to say it, the town is doomed… at least for now. When we are stronger, we must return, we must free the souls trapped there still — and if they no longer exist, then we must eradicate the vile malevolence which has taken over. Such a den of evil cannot be allowed to remain in the world if I can help it.

But for now, our destinies lay on another track. Or should I say “destiny” at all? Is it destiny, or forces beyond our knowing pushing us in a certain direction to accomplish some further, overarching goal? Sometimes I think we have no say in what happens or where we are lead, like we are puppets on strings being orchestrated by some larger master of the universe. Even now, when all we had ventured here to do was to commission the professor, we are dragged into some further mystery, charged with taking care of things before we can have what we came for.

When does it stop? When do we take things into our own hands, and begin to resist the pull of the needs of others?

It feels selfish… and yet that is what I wonder these days.

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Tales of the Huntress XII
Mimics

8th of Uktar,

Damn. Mimics.

Disgusting creatures! I can’t believe I spent nearly that whole fight inside of one! I struggled and pulled as best as I could but nothing worked. I just remember the thing kept biting into me over and over again each time I moved. It hurt like a blight I’ll say that. It just kept tearing me apart so I screamed and then I just passed out from the pain at some point.

I woke up to Mireya healing me thank whoever is still out there. But it was still a bit nerve wracking. Something ate me! I almost died. What a shite way to go it would have been too.

I think I’m feeling better at least, more like myself. Strangely enough I think this was the kick in the arse I needed. Sulking about is just going to leave me with regrets when I actually do finally bite the dust. Best thing I can do is move on and accept what’s happened in the past. I can’t afford to waste any time these days.

This town we’re in now has me no less on edge. Full of thieves and corrupt rich men. Like Kestral’s Corner all over again really. We need to hurry, the sooner we help the professor the sooner we can get the additional rooms and lab constructed. Having it done while we’re out with the elves is the best option. We can’t afford to be displaced from home for too long later into the winter months.

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, hopefully it all goes down smoothly.

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Trappers Tales XXVI
1st 1st day, Uktar - Making Friends

1st 1st day, Uktar

Well, on the bright side, I’m not alone in fearing my magic.
On the other hand, if these people knew quite why I’m afraid of it they’d probably be less friendly.

They are friendly people, which is what makes it so disappointing that they’re so unreasoning. I got to talking with one of the guards, and I feel that they were guarding us in no uncertain terms, and he seemed a right good sort. Given how Roy was bundled off, I’d hoped to kind of talk him over to our side, as it were, and get some assistance. Mireya and Aaron were manufacturing a plan, and I was going to help them, but instead I wound up just being a distraction to the guards.

I’d hoped to have a little more time working on him when I asked about sitting at his table while eating, but instead he came to us. For some reason he didn’t think it odd when everyone else bundled out the room, which was fortunate.

They used the time well, and found Roy in a cell proper, before coming back to me. I think I was starting to make a legitimate connection with the man, because when it came time to leave he decidedly didn’t want me to.

We had to leave the mask and Roy’s hammer behind, so I’m hoping if we return to the nest of fanatics my association with him will help, and either he’ll be a little softer towards us than otherwise or be able to obtain the items somehow.

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A Blacksmith's Workings XIII
Mistakes

1st of Uktar

I think I have made some poor choices these last few weeks. The letter to mother was probably not in my best interest. Her reaction to the events was terrifying. Even if the letter had reached her, I think it would have been worse. She would have arrived in Baemore thinking Kosef was dead. I worry how long she plans to stay in this area. She could complicate matters with Bagoda and my family, there is also Rowan to consider. She may not approve of the choices I am making, especially when it comes to Rowan and Kosef.

The Brotherhood we visited was a mistake. We should have never gone there. I gave them to much credit as a group. I hoped they would see me as a victim rather then a monster. That was my mistake. I should not have talked with them or talked with them as a group. I expected too much out of these fanatics. I lost the mask and my hammer because of this. The hammer was a good weapon but the greatsword I retrieved so long ago is a fine weapon, especially now that it is repaired. The mask worries me. On one hand it is no longer in my possession and I don’t have to worry about its affects on me. Yet it is still out there and so is its sister. I fear what happens if the use the mask or its location is discovered. I can only hope that their fear will bury that item forever.

One final note is that the mask’s location may prove to be valuable information in the future.

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An Alchemist's Tale XXVII

1st of Uktar

I don’t know what to say.. this power I feel… its so different and nothing like I would have ever imagined… just think what i could do if I took the time to study this… No. I have more important things to do, i can study when it is done. but this power to protect myself and aid others… I feel like I am empowered! I must keep practicing the justicar, she is amazingly talented. I hope I can make her proud, maybe i can join her order when this is all said and done. Keep and eye on Baemore as I run the alchemy shop… these are all thoughts to think about for the future… for now. the alchemist and the elves… Our next major destination. I plan on using my time there wisely, I plan on asking someone to teach me their language. or at least start the process. this is something that will take months of practice.. but if we spend enough time in their city it will speed up the process by a small amount i am sure.

But first something needs to be attended to. I have let more important tasks stop me from pushing this for to long, but with our loss at the arena It is important that we get all the gold we can. That stash needs to be found, and to be honest i worry with whats going on there.. every time we go by the path to hayfield it seems like something has changed… i feel like we will need to liberate that city once more… i just don’t know to what extent…

Eitherway we need to get some rest here before we set out… hopefully I cna practice my new found abilities and be able to use them soon.

P.S I have gone to speak to the black about finding phineas if i do not return I pray someone looks here to know where i went. I do not plan to attack him or let him on that i am aware of anything.

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The Healer's Diary XXI
Mireya's Thoughts Vol. 21

1st of Uktar

Uktar… The Rotting, they call the month. Uktar has always been my least favorite time of the year. The meaning behind it — the rotting away of the green and the oncoming of a deep freeze — is depressing… and for one such as myself, born in the month of the melting of snow, something has always seemed uncomfortable about this time to me.

Yet this year there is something more to it. Perhaps it is that the “rotting” does not seem to be in only the environment, but in so many aspects of my life. Exiled from my home, my sister hating me, my infant son stolen from me, the person who I need most with no recollection of any of what has happened over the past few months… and now I feel that the tenuous relationship I had forged with some of my friends may be eroding as well.

I’m embarrassed to say that I lost my patience with Rowan during our stay with the Brotherhood. I know that she was sick and I understand her frustration with that fanatical woman, but I just felt so angry to think that she would put Arseni and myself — all of us, truthfully — at such risk for the benefit of giving her a piece of her mind. Walking in, my intention had been to simply fly under the radar by being friendly and accommodating of whatever they asked of us and hiding my own abilities. After meeting the woman in charge, she did not seem like a hateful sort of person or like she would cause any problem for us so long as we did not raise any red flags.

Unfortunately, yelling in someone’s face over the fact that your boyfriend has been apprehended for saying something foolish tends to be a bit of a red flag.

What bothered me was that I wondered how she could ever think that our calmness in the face of the news that Roy had been arrested would mean that we were planning on leaving him to his fate. I know she is smarter than that, so how she could not see that getting us all thrown into a cell with him would only make rescuing him even harder perplexes me beyond all belief.

Not to mention, though, that I honestly believe it may have done Roy some good to have a consequence to what he said to her about the mask. The issue that I have time and time again with this group is that the majority of them seem to lack the ability to think critically about the situations they find themselves in and exercise the caution necessary to not exacerbate matters. In a time when I am desperate to rescue my son, every single moment counts. Being unintentionally side-tracked is one thing, but side-tracked for no other reason than that someone said something stupid or didn’t stop and bother to think before jumping into a dangerous circumstance is feeling all the more unacceptable the more that it happens.

I am willing to accept until proven otherwise that Aaron has learned from his past mistakes, and I can always count on Arseni to keep a cautious countenance. But I have to admit that Roy worries me at times, and Rowan even more. I just hope that our visit with the Brotherhood has taught them something and that it won’t get any worse. With things only looking to get more dangerous, I can’t afford to lose any allies.

The changing of the seasons may bring more changes than those to the leaves on the trees.

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