A Fallen Light, A New Hope

The Healer's Diary I
Mireya's Thoughts Vol. I

23rd Day of Kythorn

Well, this has certainly been unexpected. Who would have ever thought that one’s life could be so changed in but the course of a single afternoon?

FIrst, it was lovely to see Aaron again, although it’s clear that he’s not been having such a good time of things. I admit to having been ignorant as to the extent of his adventures in the past, but to find that he’s been jumping head first into such mortal danger is… alarming, to say the least. To have lost a friend, a fellow companion in his journeys, and to imagine such a fate befalling him — unthinkable, really.

Even more unthinkable is to realize that I can help.

I won’t be so bold as to assume that after a mere few weeks of practice I am any sort of expert, or that I’ve even had time to explore many of these strange new things that I’m able to do, but I do know how to heal. With focus on this wonderful new ability of mine, I’m becoming better by the day. Perhaps I won’t be able to add much in the way of fighting, but I’ve been working on some spells for that too! This old book is so full of amazing things; I’m sure that the more I read, the more I’ll learn and the more I’ll be able to contribute. After all, what good is having a gift if you never get to use it to help the people who need it most?

Of course, if only Doctor Anglehorn would be open to the idea, I could be so much stronger by now. It so frustrates me, his close-mindedness to magic and the healing arts. I can understand being scared of what you don’t know, but how can one watch a person die simply because they refuse to explore all of the options? It seems to me that this doesn’t make you a very good doctor at all…

No, I shouldn’t write such things. Having apprenticed under the man for so long now, I’ve of course come to know him as a genuinely compassionate soul who does what he thinks is right for his patients… But this old way of thinking which prohibits me from even speaking of what I can do for fear of his reaction — is that not a waste? Since discovering my new powers, all I can do is sit up at night and wonder if his patients that day suffered, even died when perhaps I could have done something more. It’s been torture, to the point that I’m not entirely certain how much longer I can in good faith keep quiet about this.

But I won’t have to worry about that right now, it seems. Going along with my cousin and his friends, trading in my ineffective existence at home and at work for the chance to learn more about my powers and keep others safe in the process… this is what I need. Even Father agrees, although I worry desperately of how he and my siblings will get along with me gone. Father’s always so busy working and I’m nearly the only mother Sebastian has ever known — if only I could convince Marcella to spend less time out with her friends and more time helping out around the house, perhaps I’d feel a bit better.

Yet he’s insisted, and so I’m gathering my things, preparing to leave when Aaron next calls. I must admit to being scared of what I’m about to get into, being worried about how my family will fare without me, but if I don’t give things a try I’ll certainly never know. This has the feeling of being a pivotal moment in my life and I can’t just let it slip past.

So here’s to safe travels, wherever they may take me. I’m certain I’ll have much to write about soon.

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Final Thoughts
Iona Buckman's Final Thoughts

The moment I saw his smile I knew it was over…I’d guessed wrong. Funny, my intellect was always the one thing I prided myself on understanding and having a firm grasp of, and yet overestimating it was literally killing me. So much for bringing the charlatan along as fodder, I suppose I filled that role in the end. How ironic.

I don’t want to die, for many reasons. I want my grandparents to see me grow and make my way in the world, and I wanted Selise to be there with me along the way. I’ll never get to buy the inn with her and give her my father’s ring like I wanted.

I wanted to see my friends and I become stronger through our adventures and deepen the already close bond that so recently became strained. I can’t stop thinking of them.

Arseni for all his light cowardice was in reality one of the bravest people I knew simply for being able to put those fears aside for the sake of all of us time after time. Kara, my formerly bright eyed dear friend who had to learn the real ways of the world far too soon, I’ll miss her smile. Then Aaron, perhaps one of the few people I could completely rely on without question. Even if I couldn’t return the favor. Just as Aaron began to forgive me it feels, I do something else stupid. Well at least I’m the only one who died this time. Maybe in the end, this is for the best…

I’m not sure how to feel about the person I was becoming. A killer for hire, and liar to everyone I cared about. Was I really doing it for them, or was it just finally the way for me to lash out a lifetime of hidden anger…who knows, and really who cares what the motivations of a dead woman are. Either way, my story ends here.

…Hopefully a better one can take my place._

- Iona Buckman, Assassin, Friend and beloved granddaughter

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Catalog of a Cartographer V
Personal Log 5

It is certainly nice to be back in Baemore, but the world has gotten even stranger in our absence. We were able to deal with the undead issue, although that was partly thanks to Arseni’s Unicorn. It turns out that the Mayor, and some of the townspeople, of Lanewood had murdered, raped, and pillaged the Ravencrest family and their estate. Lander certainly had a traumatic childhood, but I hope he appreciates us putting his family’s spirits to rest. While I was in the library, there was some drama with Iona that ended up with the Lanewood alchemist being killed by one of the group that killed the Ravencrests. We left town afterwards and headed north to find a priestess who we were told would have more information.

On the way, we met Analissa, an elf who helped us get safely to the ruined chapel where the priestess and a group of refugees were hiding. The priestess, Kestral, told us she could purify the bodies of the dead Ravencrests if we could find them in the ruins of their estate. Analissa stayed behind to protect the refugees while the rest of us pressed on to the estate. The estate was heavily haunted and it was clear that the ghosts were messing with us. The most annoying were two ghost children that had stolen some statue key things that we needed to get to the body of Lady Ravencrest. There was little actual danger until we entered the graveyard to purify the body of Lord Ravencrest. He was some sort of black smoke monster and he had a leaping jelly-filled undead and two rusty suits of armor helping him. As I mentioned earlier, the fight looked grim until Arseni somehow got a Unicorn to help fight Lord Ravencrest. The fight was over quickly, and Kestral purified the last body.

With Kestral backing us up, we returned to Lanewood and told the population the truth about the Mayor and his co-conspirators. They, and Iona, wanted the Mayor dead, and although we left before the sentence was carried out, justice was served at last. We stopped by Bagoda’s on the way out of Crestwood, but nothing of interest happened until we got back to the arena. Iona and I went to watch the fight while the others cleaned up, and we saw Kara fighting. She always loved adventure, but I never thought she would choose to fight in the arena; although to be fair I would never expect I would have fought in the arena. Kara ran off before we could talk to her, and we have not been able to find her since returning to Baemore. Oh, while we were resting a night in the chapel, Analissa showed by how to carve runes into arrows or bolts so they can do some of the things she was doing. I also got my hands on a repeating crossbow that can be held in one hand that should be quite helpful if we run into more trouble.

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An Assassin's Log I
A new chapter

An entry in Iona’s Journal that appears to be written about several unimportant and unassuming observations at first glance, but translated from thieves cant reads as follows:

I have been given an interesting opportunity. It seems that from now on Mara will be assigning me missions to dispose of people for payment. Part of me feels uneasy and conflicted, but I made my choice and I will have to either live with it or die by Mara’s blade I’m sure.

The others would be so disappointed in me…but in a way I’m doing this for them aren’t I? To get stronger and keep them safe, to not be too soft and be able to do what needs to be done for their sakes. Yes, I will bear the burden of my conscious, and in return be able to walk by my friends and loved ones sides knowing I can protect them. It is a fair trade I think.

I have some items I need to look around for, and I think a little acorn may be of assistance for some of them.

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An Alchemist's Tale V

6th 1st day, Kythorn,

It’s over, Iona’s actions have sealed someone’s fate. I wasn’t fast enough to save it her. Keslla I am sorry I couldn’t save you, but i promise you I will end this curse that has plagued your town. I will deliver the flowers to my grandmother. and i will not open the pouch you left for me until I finish both of these tasks. Rest in piece new friend and know that your town will be returned to its former glory some day.

We had a rough day through the myre, and we finally reached the cathedral. we head out for raven crest manor in the morning, I am leaving Hero behind, a house is no place for a bird. But I know that we will be reunited. As for the manor, well let’s hope that this curse is willing to go peacefully I don’t want to see more death… although i imagine that is nothing but a child’s wish

Kaleb, I am being safe, but if i don’t make it back, it’s no ones fault but my own.. I love you, and its going to be a hard day tomorrow. I hope you never have to read this, but if you do I am sorry. and take care of grandmother for me…

~Aaron Lyne
Proud Alchemist in training.

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Kalebs Reports
Scribbled on the back of an official report

6th 1st day, Kythorn, 1394

I am a little surprised they’re still gone to be honest, I thought they’d have been back by now.

We are supposed leave for the lake house soon, but the Festival of Obad-Hai is starting soon also, I wonder if they’d be interested in sticking around to go to that is something they’d be interested in, but I also hear that Angdale’s Traveling Circus is coming, which is pretty exciting, I hear they have all sorts of animals.

Well regardless, I also have exciting news for everyone… It seems ever since we entered that cave more magical beings have been appearing, and some of the Fey have been returning to the areas! I have so many places I want to go, I hear Fort Baemore and Baecrest are holding some event in honour of the magical beings, sorcerers and wizards are attending to!

Well, either way; it appears that we can travel to the Lake House right away, or perhaps attend the festival here and make our way to Baecrest, I should probably ask everyone what they want to do.

Kaleb

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Stray Thoughts and Schematics (8)
A shift in heart

6th first day of Kythorn

Things have taken…a terrible turn. I made horrible mistake and a woman is dead. Dead with no hope of being brought back. We thought the cleric could help but…

It all started when we came to Crestwood to find some witch to heal Aaron’s injuries. She did as we asked but she wanted us to ride Crestwood of its undead in return. We stumbled upon less of an adventure and more of a conspiracy. The mayor, the local smith, and a black hearted shrew known as Balta were responsible for the ruling families violent deaths and unleashed a curse upon the land as a result. Balta and I spoke and I (the next three lines have been crossed out and are unreadable.

An innocent woman named Kessla died because of what I did. I let her live, and she killed that poor woman. Next time, I won’t pull the knife away.

It seems like every time I try to do the right thing I make some fatal mistake. Why do I even try anymore?

The other two are still alive and it enrages me. What did they and that harlot care for the moral high ground, they killed an entire family for petty pride and power and who knows how many others through this curse. Yet for some reason we must rise above their level. I am starting to suspect most of the world cares little about being the better man. Perhaps I should do the same.

We ventured into the mire after killing Balta and have encountered some horrendous creatures. Along with an elf archer of sorts. I have not paid her much mind, I’ve been otherwise occupied. I found a rather efficient dagger, Aaron seems to dislike it but what does it matter that it’s of Drow make? It cuts through flesh as well if not better than any other dagger and that’s all that really matters. I shall keep it concealed just in case though.

We are currently in an old temple a group of refugees and a cleric have taken shelter in. She intends for us the exercise the home of the slaughtered family to end the curse. Personally I would prefer to throw the mayor and his remaining accomplice to the undead but my friends disagree. Instead we sit in the chapel for the night to defend it incase any undead should find their way to it, and head out at first light for the Ravencrest estate.

I only hope the worst is behind us.

(There are no sketches or designs on this page unlike previous entries, but several lines have been crossed out throughout the passage including an entire paragraph at the bottom)

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Trappers Tales IV
6th 1st day, Kythorn - Enemies and Friends

6th 1st day, Kythorn

I shouldn’t have let her talk me into it, but at least we came out of it alright.
With a handy arena nearby, Iona couldn’t resist the urge to risk our lives against goblins. Fortunately, we made a deal with a nearby man who would protect us a little, in exchange for a significant portion of our rewards. I think it saved Aarons life. At least we still made a little coin.

From there, we wandered off into the woods, looking for a witch. We had been told she’d be able to fix the injury Aaron got from the plants a while back. I feel like she found us, but we went in and answered her request regardless, where we had to go deal with an undead problem in a town (of course).

On arriving in the town, we were given a few random tasks, such as retrieve the hide of a werewolf, and collect a particular flower, but there was clearly a larger problem, something smelt as rotten as the undead, and we’d had our weapons taken, we weren’t allowed to explore the town on our own, and were being shown around by the inn keeper.

However, the alchemist was clearly wanting to tell us the problem, but didn’t like our escort.
Aaron and I tried to make our way out of the town hall towards her, while Iona distracted our guide with cooking. Despite the driving rain, it went poorly, and we were discovered. I ushered Aaron on, and confronted our pursuer, the blacksmith. Fortunately, he believed my lies about being afraid of a wolf. He thought I’m a coward for some reason, so easily believed it.

It worked, and Aaron made it to the alchemist (I feel like he just has a nose for alchemists, and can sniff them out anywhere), and got the full story. The mayor, the blacksmith and our guide were all cursed, and the cause of the undead plague.

As he was telling the story, though, Iona rushed in, and told us we had to pack up and go. She’d gotten into an altercation with the innkeeper, knives were pulled and we had to go. Something got Aarons neck up at this, and he took off. It was all I could do to keep up with him, as he made his way back to the alchemists, but we were still too late. The innkeeper had killed her, but was quickly repaid in kind by Aaron. It was rather disgusting.

We rapidly gathered our equipment, using the key Iona lifted from the innkeepers body, and fled the town before anything more could happen. We didn’t want to get into trouble with the rest of the town, so we walked out into the swamp. The hem of my robe had become soaked before we’d taken more than a few steps, but the others still thought it made me look “wizardly”, so it is what it is.

Aaron had become fixated on a temple supposedly in the swamp, hoping that someone there would be able to revive the alchemist. He’d become attached to her rapidly, probably bonding over alchemy. He did decide that we’d best break off down a short path, to try and find the flower he’d been asked to retrieve. If nothing else, he said, he could give it to the alchemist on reviving her.

However, we hadn’t reckoned on the wisdom of the werewolves. It was a trap, with the flower laid in the middle of the glade. It didn’t occur to me until after, and I haven’t and probably wont tell Aaron, but I’m now wondering if the alchemist was in league with the werewolf.

An unexpected ally appeared, though. An attractive, young looking woman, speaking gibberish, came out of the woods, firing arrows at the beast. After the battle we spoke to her, and she decided to help us for a little. An elf, which is why I couldn’t understand her, a few hundred years old. Goes by the name Analissa. She seems cold, and a little angry, but she’s helping, so I’ll take it.

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Catalog of a Cartographer IV
Personal Log 4

Although I cannot say for sure, I am starting to believe my friends are all slowly going insane. In their defense however, the world itself is much bigger and stranger than we ever had imagined. Also, if another cartographer ever has the misfortune of meeting the witch Bagoda, know that maps will do little good as the woods themselves change to suit her whims.

This latest “adventure” starting because Iona, Arseni, Aaron, and myself had too much free time before our larger friend group was going on its next expedition. We decided to check out a cave we had seen earlier and the arena we had heard rumors about. The cave was full of Ettercaps and we decided to avoid it entirely as they are rather beastly creatures. On the way to the arena I had a bit of an awkward situation with one of the locals but Iona, with her serpent’s tongue, ensured that we got away with minimal fuss. Although I had little interest in fighting in the arena, Iona and Aaron were quite eager and Iona was able to manipulate Arseni into going in so I had little choice but to follow them. We, without a massive amount of difficulty, killed the goblins in the arena. Most interestingly however, my bow seems to have some sort of magical properties; it fired a massively powerful shot that bowled over one of the goblins a good 20ft. I thought my father made it, but I do not think he has any sort of magical aptitude.

Aaron also had some sort of magical illness that required great skill to fix, so we sought out the witch mentioned above. In return for helping him, she wanted us to deal with the undead problem in the nearby town. The townsfolk, although understandably wary of armed strangers, seem quite friendly. Their bowyer has a fascinating design for a small handheld repeating crossbow. It is very expensive, but I might be able to convince him to sell me the plans so I can get Iona to make it for me. The others are out doing a bit of skulduggery while I take a look at the local library. I have found little of interest, hence my finally making an entry here. I do hope they do nothing rash out there, I would hate to have any more surprises.

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An Alchemist's Tale IV
I can’t believe she would be so.. why would she. does she not understand the repercussions of her actions?? She.. Why do i have to care so much for her that even when she makes a mistake that cost someone else their life.. two woman their lives… yet I feel nothing but love for her. this must be what true friendship is.

Iona, My good friend. I write this as I do not want to say it. You act to much on impulses. I care for you deeply but I am going to have to teach you that you can’t just be so aggressive when other lives are at stake
.
We Must find the priestess.. I must try to right the wrongs that were done this day.. I must do everything in my power to try and bring back Kessla she deserved better and I could see her helping me and grandmother out so much. I can only hope, and pray to the gods that have forsaken us that she will have the power to save her.

I must press on either way, Bagoda has given me a mission and if i intend to keep myself alive i better continue no matter what happens to this town, the risen must be stopped.

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