A Fallen Light, A New Hope

Trapper's Tales XXVIII
1st 8th day, Uktar - Strange Tales

1st 8th day, Uktar

Just when I think we’re done with things getting as strange as they can get, we keep finding new surprises.

Goblins came as a bit of a strange twist. Magic came as quite a bit of a strange twist. My having magic came as rather a large, strange twist. Becoming a half elf was right up there with the biggest strange twists of my life.

However, literally entering the world of fairy tales is still right up there.

When we went to the elves, it turned out that they had a way to help us. Not only was there the Watcher, who saw everything, but there was also The Author. What he wrote came to pass.

To that end, and I know this will sound silly, we’re entering a story book. I don’t know if we’ll be there when people read it in the future or not, but we do apparently need to go in. At least we’ll be safe from bounty hunters while we’re in there, I guess (I hope).

Oh yes, bounty hunters. I haven’t written about that yet.

On our way north we were found by a group of people, in no mood to talk. It turns out that we’ve got a price on our heads, and being alive doesn’t seem to be part of it. The only information we were able to glean was that it was put on us by a woman. That limits it to about half the population, which is handy. And there’s so few women out there we’ve angered…

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Farin'Dale
Welcome to Story Time

Giant fields sprawl out from the center of the small town. The grass is perfectly one shade of green and is all grown to the same height. 4 roads come out to divide the small town in four perfect sections.

Looking out each road seems to go into a set of trees almost the same distance from the town. The trees change type as sharply as night and day between what are presumably the boarders between the four countries of this strange land.

The small town is made up of dozens of houses, one story houses sit on the rim and slowly they get taller as they move into the middle of town; one story houses, two story houses and a large clock tower that sits in the center of town.

The roads are made from a white stone and each house is uniformly painted a bright colour, each with a small garden attached and beautifully grown trees; everything is uniform in its appearance and changes only in the colour of each object.

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The town is easy to navigate for the simple fact that everything is divided the same on each part of town; wooden signs that are perfectly legible hang from posts around the small town directing anyone where they would need to go.

Birds can be heard from all over, singing away and cluttering around the various patches of “park” space dedicated in the town.

It can be easily seen as uneasy; the way the town is so perfectly uniform, green and peaceful, it is almost as nothing bad has ever happened here.

The people seem happy, on the outside at least, but for those that truly look deep enough, although they act happy, there is a passion about them that is absent.

You’ve entered a strange town in a strange land and you can already tell that you’re in for something… strange.


You had met with the young girl, Aurora she introduced her self as; she directed you towards the Blue Fairy for help with the Evil Queen; you set out to find this fairy in the Enchanted Woods.

You begin to walk along a road and come to a three way fork, it is clearly indicated that along this road you are to continue “straight” as the other twines seems to spring from the road in the other directions (Almost as if they each went from left to right), there is also a small set of stones that go forward that seem to guide you along.

Following the correct path as the young and responsible adult that Mireya and Roy are, you see something strange on the ground.

A log sits before you, but it has a sign attached to it that makes it quite odd “Cut me with your might to move forward”

“Could we not just move around it?” Someone says.

“Hmm, I don’t believe so” Annalissia says as she points to the grass.

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Five stones sit in a circle on the grass, from the middle a wooden peg sticks out, a sign attached says “KEEP OFF THE GRASS!”

She follows up again, “I think it best to not test our luck in this place…” She looks concerned at the group.

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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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