A Fallen Light, A New Hope

Exciting News!
Karas beginning

The second 4th day Mirtul, 1394

Dear Journal,

I’ve done it! I have been accepted into the University of Castow, I can’t believe it; it’s as if all of my dreams are coming true. Father is extremely excited, he has already began selling off some of his old weapons and armor from the city watch to pay for it. It’s exciting and scary, but I think that I’ll be okay, if we can raise enough money and sell the house here dad said that he would see if he could find a place to live in Castow.

I am breaking the news to everyone tonight, I can’t wait,

Kara

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One last Hurrah!
Karas beginning

The second 5th day Mirtul, 1394

Dear Journal,

I’ve told everyone, everyone is excited; they asked me what I wanted to do, to say goodbye. It hadn’t occurred to me that I would have to leave until then. I wonder if I will see them again any time soon.
Well, I’ve decided to try and be optimistic about everything, or try to at least. They asked me what I wanted to do, and I’ve decided that we’re going camping. We’re leaving in a few days, this will be one last hurrah!

I can’t wait,

Kara

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Stray Thoughts and Schematics (1)
A final send off

The second 5th day of Mirtul

The gang met up today, and we received some exciting news. Kara’s been accepted into the Univesity of Castow, I’m so happy for her! I know how hard she’s been working and it finally paid off. It’ll be difficult not having her around anymore, but I let her know she’d better write to me and tell me all about what her new life over there is like. After all once I finish my apprenticeship with Orel and have the money saved up maybe I’ll be able to pay her a visit!

We all decided to go on a camping trip as a send off. Kara’s always loved it. I’ve never seen the appeal, but I’m not going to let that get in the way of giving her a great final few days with us. I’ve been thinking I should get her a gift, or actually make one. Something to remember me by when she’s a reknown scribe for those nobles up in Castow someday. I do remember her saying she liked that music box I made with Orel when I first started my apprenticeship…

Aaron and Tavion will be going, and I think Aaron mentioned bringing Kaleb along. They’re such a lovely couple, maybe I should invite Selise, she’s met the gang enough times to be around them. Zia’s coming along with her brother as well, I’m excited to have her along and her brother seems nice enough. Maybe we’ll finally get more than a few words at a time out of him all being together for so long. That boy Ander is coming as well, I can’t say I know him well, but I’m sure that’ll change after the trip!

Aside from Kara’s news not much is going on. Baemore can be dreadfully dull I’m afraid. Not that I’d say that in front of Grandma or Grandpa of course. They’d probably scold me for being so rambunctious. I’ll need to tell them I’m going to be spending extra time at the shop the next few days making Kara’s present so they know I won’t be around to pick up shifts at the inn. I’ll ask Selise if she wants to come tonight, she has a shift in the evening I’m sure.

- Iona Buckman

(Beneath the entry are sketches of what looks to be an octagonal container with gears, a wind up crank, and wires drawn out to the side with small cliff notes)

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Catalog of a Cartographer
Personal Log 1

Since I filled up my last book a week ago, Kara has had some excellent news. She has been formally accepted to the University of Castow to further her skills as a scribe. It has been her dream to go there for quite some time and although I am happy for her, I will miss her being here in Baemore. Although we first met through out respective apprenticeships, she has become a great friend and the town will be even more boring without her here. Kara will likely want to go camping to celebrate so I will need to keep an eye out for a good camping spot when Aaron, Arseni, and I go out into the surrounding wilds again. There has been nothing else of interest going on so I hope the inevitable camping trip will help break the monotony.

On the next page there is a sketched map with a portion circled and marked “Possible Campsite”

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Stray Thoughts and Schematics (2)
An Unexpected Adventure

(Above the entry is a detailed blueprint of a beartrap with a brief note on how to improve the mechanisms)

The second ninth day of Mirtul

Well it’s been an interesting few days. I know how to swipe coins from a pocket now, pick locks…and a few other interesting things. Not only that, my mind feels stimulated in a way like never before. Everything just seems clearer to me now. It’s so fascinating and exciting! Like a dream come true almost…

The camping trip was, well I’m not sure whether it was a success or failure, but it was interesting to say the least. We made it out to the site, and were attacked by goblins. We did away with them fairly easily, but what came after was more perilous. We went into the cave to make sure more wouldn’t come after us, and we could have never guessed what we’ve found.

Goblins, undead, and traps that nearly killed both me and Arseni. It was such a surreal experience. We fought through the lackey’s and made out way to a woman who called herself an “aspect”, of magic. She claimed to be Kerin, one of the Nameless Heroes!!! I can hardly believe it, how can this be real? She asked for our help in stopping someone apparently trying to gain access to her power…she did something to all of us, and we were suddenly stronger, quicker, smarter than ever before.

Now we’re back in town and things are…well not back to normal. I don’t think that will be a possibility. But they’re calming down and it feels like maybe a life of adventure awaits. I’m truly excited for what the future holds. Selise is worried I can tell, but she’s accepting. I think it got to her how badly I was hurt in the cave, I’ll just need to show her I can handle this. This could be the key to our dreams after all. The start of building a life together.

- Iona Buckman

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Trappers Tales
2nd 9th Day, Mirtul - The Start of Strange

2nd 9th Day, Mirtul

I don’t understand. This entire trip has been bewildering, and I feel I’ve gone insane.
The trip went well. A nice hike, and then we set up camp. Aaron, Tavion and myself went into the woods as we usually would, bringing Iona with us. Before long we came across a deer, and using a pretty unconventional method, as we were low on time, I flushed it into a trap. Iona finished it off, and we carried it back to camp, where we had a good time.

Then things went strange, and I’m not sure that the meat wasn’t tainted.

I lay awake with Kara, talking, when she saw something outside. I went and took a look, only to be attacked by goblins. Goblins, here, in the Baemore Woods. After a brief skirmish, we (read: Kara) decided we should make sure there weren’t any more lurking about, so we stumbled off into a cave, which proceeded to have not only goblins, but shambling skeletons.

Further in, a few scrapes down the path, we came across a giant glowing rune. It seemed to react to me, and as I got closer it… pulsed, like a heartbeat, faster and faster. As I hit the centre I was overcome by a wave of… I’m not sure. I just remember colours, and a sensation.

We went further into the cave. I felt driven at this point. I wanted to turn back, but I didn’t, and I almost feel I couldn’t have if I’d tried.
We soon discovered what may have been why.

We came across a crystal blocking the path, humming with energy. Out of it spoke someone claiming to be one of the heroes of the Nameless War, Kerin Underbough. She said something about magic, and somehow imparted all us with some of her power. Afterwards I felt energy surge through me, and I was able to somehow, sometimes, harness… something. A power, surging through, and out of. my fist. It was scary, and enticing. I see now why the mages were so upset to lose it, even if I don’t understand it fully.

Unfortunately, we were also told of a nemesis in the cave, that the Nameless hero wanted us to deal with, so I had to put that power to the test. I fear I wasn’t of much use myself, giving little more than candle wisps to anyone I tried to attack, but the adrenaline of having the energy was amazing. The others quickly dispatched the… I guess wizard, of some kind. He was animating bodies, so I guess another who somehow has managed to harness energies, despite the Gods abandonment.

After we left this place, I was unable to conjure like I had in a cave, despite my attempts, which was welcome. I was longing for a return to normal. However, it was not to be.
Before we left, we decided to go for a walk, still, when we met… Something. He claimed to be a “frog pixie,” and harassed me for stealing his acorn. Unaware I’d done so, I tried to return it to him, when he refused, saying he then had to pay me. In return for his acorn, I got a… stick, of some kind. He called it a focus, and said it would allow me to control the powers I had in the cave anywhere.

I’d hoped to wake at home and find the trip a bad dream, but when we arrived in town Kara carted me off to see Ms Lyne. In trying to settle me, I’m not sure if she did more harm or good. Confirming that I may somehow be able to control these elements terrifies me more than if I wasn’t able to. I haven’t tried them since the frog-pixie gave me the stick, but I don’t think I want to. I am afraid.

From here, I know not what the future brings, but I know that I fear it. Zia, ever the helpful one, suggested I don’t tell the rest of the family what I can do. I doubt they’d pay any attention anyway, but I believe she’s right.

Ehlonna forbid that they find this diary, and find out what I can do.
Ehlonna forbid that I can actually do what I can do.

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Catalog of a Cartographer II
Personal Log 2

Well, I thought Kara’s camping trip would be fun but fairly dull, but nothing could have been further from the truth. It started out pretty dull although we did help an old merchant whose cart had been damaged on the way to Baemore. Iona fixed his cart and Aaron took a look at some of the merchant’s potions, one of which he gave us for helping him fix his cart. Kara had already picked out a spot to camp, and although I had not been there before it was quite nice.

A quickly drawn map of the campsite and surrounding areas

We went hunting and settled down for the night without anything else interesting happening. We were woken up in the night by Arseni yelling about goblins and I sleepily stumbled out of my tent to see our small campsite filled with goblins. The goblins swarmed around us and almost overwhelmed Arseni but we where able to fight them off without anyone being too badly hurt. Some of us wanted to try to get out of the woods and away from the goblins, but after quite a bit of arguing we decided to track the goblins to their hideout and end their threat and punish them for messing up Kara’s camping trip. We found a cave entrance that had goblin tracks leading into it and made our way into the cave’s depths.

A map of the cave entrance and the surrounding areas

There were many vicious traps hidden in the cave and even Iona with her knowledge of mechanical things could not disable the one that fired darts out of the wall. Iona and Arseni were sneaking past a pile of gravel that was obviously a trap when they opened a door. Behind that door, was what I can only describe as a skeleton reanimated by something. Arseni seemed to panic a bit having seen the skeleton, which was understandable, and he jumped backwards onto the pile of gravel. There was some sort of explosion and Arseni was knocked out and had to be dragged back to safety. The explosion alerted the rest of the creatures in that room and they rushed out and started attacking us. There were multiple skeletons and goblins, although it seemed quite strange that the skeletons were working with the goblins. We were able to take out the rest of the goblins and skeletons and explore the rest of the cave until we found a very strange room.

A map of the cave with notes on the various magic things and traps labelled

There seemed to be no way past the wall of fire and it was not until Arseni walked into the center of the magical sigil on the floor and the fire disappeared. We were not sure why the sigil reacted to Arseni in particular but when we came upon a large crystal things became more clear. When Arseni walked up to the crystal, an entity called Kerin who called herself “The Aspect of Magic.” She said something evil was defiling this cave and she needed us to help her defeat it. When we agreed, the crystal disappeared and I felt stronger, faster, and smarter than before. We pressed onward into a room that had a darkly dressed elf who attacked us. Goblins swarmed in from the door we came in but I felt like I could not miss and sent arrow after arrow into the ranks. Meanwhile Arseni was flinging around what could only be magic while Iona and Aaron attacked the elf. The elf summoned many undead to protect himself, but in the end Aaron was able to slash through the skeletons protecting him and kill the elf.

A map of the boss room and an overall drawing of the entire area

I know we did more stuff than this but I was really sleepy and do not remember much else

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an Alchemist's Tale

second 9th day Mirtul, 1394

Camping is one of the few things I can never get enough of. I love being outside around nature and being able to gather what ever ingredients I need. however this camping trip was… unique.. it started off great we made camp. we had some fun, we were able to hunt a deer! Arseni caught it in one of his traps. quite impressive actually.

but that is where the fun ended.. mid way through the night goblins attacked us we managed to fend them off but.. well not with out some injuries.. Kaleb took an arrow to the arm and Arseni.. well he wasn’t looking so good either..

Kara convinced the group to head out to search for them and followed their trace down a cave… this cave was dangerous.. traps everywhere Arseni almost lost his life.. and to top it off undead.. everywhere! it was a miracle we made it out alive.. but Kara was adament we continued.. which we did..

we came across a weird circle.. I think it was something magical… I wish mom was still around she would have known what it was.. she did study this stuff after all.. but it seemed to like Arseni.. he stood in the middle and the path forward opened up!

we spoke to some weird halfling lady she appeared to us.. Keirin she said her name was.. i remember that name from the tales of the brave nameless warriors that saved our world.. anyway she gave us this weird power.. I felt like i was stronger in some way.. i can’t really explain it..

well she didn’t do it for the fun of it.. there was some necromancer trying to tap into her power.. and needed us to help her. well it’s a good thing we did because it seemed like he was the one who sent the goblins our way.. and well to be honest he is the reason Kaleb and Arseni got hurt.. so I needed to make sure he didn’t get away.

well I failed.. he did get away.. but not with out leaving some stuff behind. i gathered it up and we went back to camp.. The next day we went exploring one more time and found this weird stump.. It apparently was the home of a pixie.. a frog pixie.. and basically he likes acorns.. yep acorns.. and he was nice enough to trade Arseni for his acorn he gave him something called a spell focus.. something that will allow him to control his new found powers..

now this pixie is rude.. very rude.. but he his weird powers i can feel it.. plus i have read about them in books.. and well Kaleb dosen;t like insults directed at his friends.. or me.. and as nice and chivalrous as he is.. I made sure to stop him before mr pickalo turned him into a frog…

when we got back to camp Kaleb was obviously upset so i took him out for a walk. and explained that i appreciate his deffence of me. but sometimes words should be left alone especially against a force we don’t understand.. He hugged me and let me know that he appreciates that i look out for him.. but he made sure to not let me forget that hes the one that should be looking out for me. I kissed him, and said i would never dream of taking his job away. and we walked back understanding of waht happened and in a much better mood.

well That mood was short lived once we got back to town.. unfortunately Kara decided to rush to see my grandmother to help Arseni with his stress.. and told Grandmother Lyne everything.. well let’s just say i am lucky to only have 1 day of work lined up.. it could have been much worse. well after i finish work today we plan on going to the farm tomorrow. so i can’t wait to see what happens on our next adventure!

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Trappers Tales II
3rd 2nd Day, Mirtul - Lost friends

3rd 2nd Day, Mirtul

We have made a grave mistake.
A very grave mistake.

Kara’s “adventure” almost had the lot of us die to a druid commanding wolves, and that was bad enough, but it appears we have angered a force more powerful than we’d had any inkling of, and are paying the price.

Loved ones are missing.
Ms Lyne.
Mrs Buckman.
Mr Starag.
Selise Avalon.
Lander Westwood.

Zia.

Sweet Zia. She’d never harm anyone, and did quite the opposite more often than not. It’s just not fair.

As the gravity sunk in of what was happening to everyone, I thought I had nothing to lose at home. As I’ve logged elsewhere in these pages I’ve had very little to celebrate from my home life, contrary to that of my friends.

But in the darkest times, when it seemed everything was pointless, there was Zia.

When Dad was raging Zia would be able to calm him.
When Hrodgeirr was at his worst, Zia would be able to focus him in another direction.
When the only way out was to leave, Zia would lead down the path, almost skipping.

And as she protected me from the family, I’ve done what I can to protect her from the world.

When Phineas would hassle her about where she was going, or the length of her hair, I would protect her.
When other children picked on her I’d defend her.
When she was sick I’d look after her.

But now, when the stakes are higher than ever before, I’ve failed her.

I wish we’d never gone on that camping trip.
I wish we’d never found that… whatever it was, that held the aspect.
I wish we’d never had this thrust upon us, purely because of bad luck.

But I swear to the gods that have abandoned us, if it is the last thing I do, I will get Zia back and make those who took her pay the blood price.

Flipping through the pages, it is possible to notice that in a first for the book, the paper is signed after this last statement

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Kara's Journal
The Cult, the Anti Party and the Flowers.

The Third Second day of Mirtul.

Scribbles written frantically cover Karas leather bound journal, droplet stains are scattered throughout the pages.

I can’t believe what has happened, the death of so many for such senseless things, a Necromancer cult attacks a town for an unknown reason?! Then we find this Druid. Shava Holimion…?

Regardless, we find out as we return that this other party… these, “Anti Heroes” used small husky dogs to trick the Baemore Farm townsfolk to into giving them the reward for the job, I could easily live with that but what I can’t live with is the renown they’re going to get for it… No one deserves credit for something they haven’t done.

It was only upon our return home that things took a horrible turn, our parents… my father, all of our loved ones had been taken by cultists, one by one we found them gone only to leave behind a rotting bouquet of flowers in their places…

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