Legacy of the Forlorn

Dark Tide
Vanya

We left Riddleport with haste once the star was destroyed. In a moment of clarity Amaras managed to secure us passage to Devils’ Elbow, prior to us needing a means of quick escape from the damaged city. The boat captain was not a normal man, I think he must have been a smuggler of some sort, since he refused to travel during the light of day. So we left Riddleport in the dark, sailing upon black tides to the small island known as Devils’ Elbow.
The journey was not long, only a few hours at sea. Most of the time was spent in silence, but as we neared the island we saw a ship that was adrift. I wanted to scuttle it from a distance, but my siblings wanted to check and see if anyone was injured. All to often I wonder how they have managed to survive so long when something is an obvious trap. So with a good deal of persuading the ship captain moved his boat closer to the adrift skiff, I turned myself invisible with my ring, since I knew this would only end badly.

I hate to say that I am right but yet again we were boarded by evildoers, I have a sixth sense about these things, since for all intents and purposes I am one of the evildoers. These rat like men swarmed over the side, attacking as individuals rather than as a pack. If they had chosen a different method of attack they may have proved to be an effective fighting force, but as it was, they were quickly dispatched since they each attacked separate people.
We took one alive and questioned him about the island, but he didn’t give any useful information, so instead they threw him back into the water so he could swim for shore. I suppose my siblings may have thought it a kindness, but I don’t think they understand the pain and suffering that the lone surviving wererat would have experienced in his long swim back to Riddleport.

We set about searching the skiff as well, aside from the one lone survivor tided to the mast, I have to admit I didn’t expect any survivor on the boat, nothing was left alive. We took our survivor and burned the boat, to prevent any other scavengers from taking it as a home to attack those that may come to the little island. Upon questioning the survivor we found that he was part of a group that was going to investigate the island, among those that were with him were the two mordant spire elves that had come to our court a year ago.

So now not only did we have to investigate the dark elf connection to the island but find a missing group of adventurers. Everyone else seemed thrilled, but I disliked the idea. Once we made landfall the captain gave us a day before he would push off, since he also had a very bad feeling about the island.

We pushed onward into the dense vegetation, Amaras leading the way since he is most at home in the wilds, while the rest of us followed. It took a realivily short time before we found one of the mordant spire elves, he was alone looking for his mother. We followed his lead, to a small camp, a place were the dark elves had set up base from the looks of things, soild structures dotted the landscape, and one in particular drew our attention.

A prison shack was set up and inside were two strange creatures, they were part elf, part giant spider. Revolting doesn’t come close to my feelings about these two things. We were surprised to learn they could talk, though our conversation did not last long as Amaras cast a spell that caught their dwelling on fire. One managed to push itself out of a small hole in the back of the shack, only to find Navarre’s waiting blade once it pulled free. The second died in the cage.

Another few minutes searching the camp yielded little information aside from a crater location on a map. So that was our next stop. Moving quickly we made it to the crater at about midday, and found a terrifying sight, a black dragon. We also saw the mother of the Mordant elf, trapped in a cage. I tried to sneak around the outside of the crater, but instead of waiting for me to get in position the others moved ahead.

The fight that followed was terrifying. Navarre was badly injured from acid and bites from the dragon, while I was hit with a gout of acid as well. I didn’t do much damage to the beast, as I was concerned with getting the elf out of the cage. The others made short work of the dragon, I was surprised to see. Maybe the dragons are not so dangerous as the stories would have us believe.

With that we searched the crater and found a number of trinkets that the dragon had collected, and made our way back to the boat. Confident that we had eliminated the dark elf threat here at Devils’ Elbow.

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Play to Win
Vanya

Amaras took off several months ago after the death of Cade, a revenge thing I think or maybe it is his way of showing Jayliin that he really does care for her, I don’t know for sure. Well in those months he found his way to Riddleport, a pirate city on the edge of Varisia. And this is from where he summoned us all recently. Once we arrived via the teleportation magic provided by father, we were introduced to two very disreputable people, I am actually rather surprised that Amaras had it in himself to consort with those that the rest of my siblings think of as criminals. I am sure that my brother sees them as little more than tools to be used for this one particular task, but I have been finding that tools can be used for many purposes.

It seems that Amaras has managed to find another den of dark elves in this remote location, something I had my doubts about when he left. Also in a stroke of good fortune it appears that the dark elves have lost a key to enter a hidden lair, and by lost I mean gambled away. Fools are never content with what they have, and as such the means for gaining entry into the lair is but a simple step away. Amaras’ companions told us that the key, a ring of some sort, was to be offered as a prize in a local gambling establishment. This was a windfall for us, yet none of us knew how to play the game that was to afford us entry into the lair. So without any hesitation we all moved out of a dank warehouse to the street in search of this gambling den.

It took us a short time to find the gambling hall, a place called the Golden Goblin, and I instantly fell in love with the idea of making something like this in Daggermark. The possibilities of such a wonderful business are limitless, and it can put another lever into play for when I need to get things done in a subtle fashion. Wealth seems to matter a great deal to humans, and they are willing to do almost anything for more of it, or to have less of it taken from them. It can also provide another training tool for my spy network, learning how people try to conceal the truth from each other in a game can also provide advantages in the realm of spying.

As we moved around the room, each of us tried different games. One that was rather fun was Ghoullette, a severed head was situated on top of a wheel and once it stopped it would insult whomever it was facing. Another game was skiffs, or something; a dice game that was very much in the houses favor. And lastly we were able to convince the owner of the establishment to provide us with the opportunity to play the game that would be the focus of the torunoment, golem.

It was a rather easy game to learn, but proved much harder to master then I had anticipated. There was a good deal more involved in the game then just chance, strategy was also a key component, so the first hand we played went to Lor’Athorn. The second however went to me, as I quickly saw how Lor’Athorn played and was able to assimilate his style into my own.

Afterward we were cordially invited to come to the game, although I almost got us banned from playing, due to a cultural misunderstanding. The owner thought that maybe I was cheating, and while I must admit it was tempting, when you are learning a new task I find that it is very important to understand the mechanics before one attempts to change the outcome with alternate means.

The next day when we arrived, the room was full, and a good deal more people we playing the other games, in a hope of getting into the larger tournament by winning at the other games. And I must admit the owner was very clever in that he had the house losing in order to get the most people possible into the large stakes games. Some of my siblings moved about the room talking to other people while I focused on the task at hand. In very little time after we arrived the main event began, and we were each taken to another table. I managed to do very well at the game this time, and won the ring we were after in the first place. I had been hoping that the tournament would be played to completion but it appears that the owner had a specific prize for each table, not a lump sum winner take all prize.

Once we collected our prizes I was informed that I would not be getting the ring as it appears that someone managed to steal it while the game was being played. Something I had thought of doing myself, but winning the tournament proved to be much easier than stealing it would have been. Since we knew that the ring was a key, and we knew the location of the door to the lair, we ran to the location in hopes of catching the person before they could get past the barrier. The tunnels were the lair was located were very cramped and musty, I hated every second of the dreadful journey, but Amaras seemed to be in his element as it were.

Once we reached the barrier I was surprised to see that it was still active. It was at this point that Amaras had the bright idea to dig under the force barrier, why he couldn’t have done this weeks ago is beyond me, but then again he does seem more addled than usual. I did my best in instructing him how to look for traps under the strange device powering the barrier, and when he touched it I was sure he would fry, but instead the barrier shut off and we were able to move further down the passage.

We arrived at a small open space in the tunnels, and from the looks of things someone else had tossed the room quite a while ago. We looked about hoping to find something that may have been left behind, so without our knowledge Amaras took off chasing a noise. As we finished our search we hear Amaras call back for us as he was leaving the tunnels. Chasing as best we could we never caught up to him, rather we heard a tremendous magical discharge and moved in that general direction.

The location of the magical attack was the Golden Goblin, the doors damaged with glass from a window on the ground. Moving in quickly we saw a very familiar sight, Amaras at the mercy of the dark elves, only this time he was unconscious and placed on an altar. The alter was in a pit in the center of the Golden Goblin, the floor boards must have been removable since this was not readily apparent when we played the game earlier today.

Quickly moving in we slew all the dark elves in a matter of seconds, magic flying about burning the elves to ash, while Navarre was quickly able to kill the leader with his gun. While we had hoped that the death of the leader would stop the effect, the ritual seemed to be gaining power instead of diminishing. It was at this time that the Ghoullette wheel head spoke to me, asking if I would kill him. Not having time to deal with such drivel I stabbed the head, extinguishing what little life it had left, and went back to solving the problem of the ritual.

Palanon and Lor’Athorn quickly came to terms with what was happening and managed to get the conduit, since that is what it was, shutdown just in time. As the ritual ended a huge eruption shattered the night sky, as whatever was hurling toward the earth was destroyed by ending the ritual. Lor’Athorn quickly saw the strange extra dimensional particles that were floating onto the city and spend a good deal of the night chasing after them with his bag of holding, similar to how children try to catch snowflakes.

After a short night we packed our things and loaded ourselves onto a ship to explore the Devils’ Elbow, looking for further information about the dark elf threat.
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Starfall

We have fallen into many dangerous situations over the past couple of years (the time we entered into Cyth-Vsug realm still haunts my dreams), but never before have we nearly avoided such disaster. I send my thanks to Erastil that my family was there or the devastation that might have transpired… it is too much to comprehend.

When I rec’d summons from Amaras I became very concerned and I only had just enough time to gather my belongings and Coreena before we were teleported. When we arrived it looked as if Amaras had been kidnapped by a band of hooligans and lunatics. He informed us however, that he had been working with these people to help investigate some Night Elf dealings in this region. I tried hard not to laugh at his disguise, though I probably could not have done any better. I’m glad to see that even when hiding in an unfamiliar city Amaras still has enough control to acquire allies. As the night went on however, I began to see that Amaras is becoming even more confrontational and downright bestial. I’m beginning to wonder if like Palanon, Amaras has been afflicted with some sort of derangement. Thankfully his Druidic powers have advanced to the point where he can transform himself into small, non threatening animals. The next evening he spent most of his time in the form of a large cat perched on my shoulder. I must admit it was very comforting having my brother so close, even though I now bear scars on my shoulder from where he kept digging his claws into me.

Amaras’s continuing aggression wasn’t the only discomfort of the evening. Our task required us to earn a seat in a local card game to acquire a dark elf item. Erastil teaches us that gambling is a foolish endeavor that only leads to lost earnings and pride. Still, I thought it might be wise to learn the game and the local culture if we where to win the game. Some of the games where very entertaining and I was even able to win a few. There was one horrible game that involved what appeared to be a fortune wheel with a severed head attached to it. When the ball landed on a certain point on the wheel, the head would spout insults at the participants. After receiving its ridicule several times I became too disgusted to continue and moved on. Though I could not hear her, I know Coreena got a fair share of laughter at my expense. Vanya latter put an end to that poor creature on the wheel, may it find peace in the afterlife. The game itself went as expected next evening. I was able to tap into my sisters deceptive wiles and use her skills to give myself and my family an edge in the game. I will have to pay some penitence for using such deception, but it was necessary for us to accomplish our goal.

After the game however, things got very bad. We came upon on of the Dark Elves while exploring some underground tunnels. Amaras chased our enemy down but was soon overcome and taken back to the casino. We arrived just in time to stop him from being sacrificed to complete a magic ritual the Dark Elves where using to call down a star. Seeing my brother lying there so beaten and helpless was more then I could bear. Thankfully my brothers and sister were able to bring down the Dark Elf before he could kill Amaras, but the ritual had already gone far enough that it could be completed without his aid. We had to work fast as the star began to fall closer to the city. Thankfully I was studying up on some theological interpretations of constellations and was able to help reverse some of the power being used in the ritual. I then focused on the thoughts of my family and tired my best to channel their knowledge and understandings into one another. Thank the heavens for Palanon and Lor’Athorn, for in the end it was their magical intuition that was able to stop the ritual and destroy the star before it struck. We rushed out see what was happening and saw one of the most amazing sites I have seen in a long time. I have seen meteor showers before, but nothing like this. The sky was lit up with so many falling fragments of the fallen star that it almost looked like an early dawn. Much like a volcanic eruption or a tidal wave, I find it enchanting that such destructive forces of nature can be so beautiful. Oddly the fragments themselves seemed to phase through objects and people as the fell. Lor’Athorn collected several samples and I’m very interested to see what he discovers.

The fact that the Dark Elves have access to such magic frightens me. As we have encountered and defeated more and more of them I have started to become less worried about their actions as they seem fated to fail. This is a horrifying reminder of what they are capable of. The question that arises however is what were they hoping to accomplish? What could they gain by invoking such devastation? Had the star hit, it would be like the Earthfall all over again. They are willing to annihilate millions of living creatures for their own gain? They are no different then the fiends of Hell or the Abyss. I HATE THEM! BY THE GODS I HATE THEM!

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Diplomatic Immunity
Vanya

A dragon came to the court at Velithi. All be it the dragon was disguised as a Chilexaian Ambassador, one the dragon killed at the outskirts of Kyonin, but still a dragon. I was a little disappointed that I was not able to see it in its true form; such an entity should be seen in all its glory, not masked like a human. I think the dragon would have escaped detection if she had requested something when she first arrived, as we had been expecting some fierce negotiations. When she asked for us to just let them leave in the morning, I was surprised and put on guard. So we played the game of thrones and pulled information out of the over dinner, in the slow and painful process of talking with humans. Aside from the Ambassador there was her maid, a hellknight, and the assistant ambassador.
They each had some interesting things to say, and we collected and cataloged the information as needed, finding out the real reason they were here; to find the sword Chalice. The assistant ambassador was especially put out when the main ambassador did not put forward the request to search for the sword. After some careful wordplay we managed to convince the fool to request the removal of the main ambassador, he used some magical parchment that burst into flame after he had finished penning his letter, such a thing would be especially useful in my line of work, I will need to have Palanon look into making me some.
When the assistant was penning his letter, I had him use Hialins quill, a magical quill that allows the user to copy the writing of those that have used it in the past. Such simple thing, yet extremely dangerous in the hands of the wrong person. Using the quill I made a secondary letter, one that I had hoped would inflame the main negotiator, and we slipped it under the door to her room. Yet instead of rage I heard laughter, that is when I knew something was truly amiss. Waiting a few seconds I entered the room and found a very dead ambassador. It was only a whisper but I heard something exiting the room after Navarre, so I turned him invisible and the unseen assailant bumped into him, extinguishing the invisibility effect they had active. Not overly surprising it was the ambassador we had talked to for the day that appeared before us. This is when we discovered the reality of the situation, that she was in fact a dragon.
The dragons, I never knew they talked with one another, did not want the sword Chalice uncovered as they had a dire prophecy associated with it. This suited us well since I for one did not want them to have it either. So we started negotiations with the dragon, since the proposed reason that the Chiliaxians came to Kyonin was to secure support for warriors fighting at the world wound. I reached an agreement with dragon to have her send arms and armor to Daggermark where I could smuggle the armor into the city for transport to the world wound, while paying the dragons in gold and gems for the items that were covering their hoards. I do not know how long this trade agreement will last, yet I hope it is a good long while, as I have a feeling that the dragons will keep the most valuable items until we have proved our trustworthiness.

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Jaylinn and Cade
Vanya

Jaylinn and Cade
It is with a heavy heart that I write this entry. Jaylinn and Cade had moved from Greengold to Sevenarches in an attempt to start a new life yet never reached their destination. We only found out about their failure to reach Sevenarches after Elensar sent word to us that they had not arrived when expected. Though I have done an wonderful job in limiting the frequency of raids by bandits by providing them with other means of employment, it is not outside the realm of possibility that a new band had taken to raiding the roads between Greengold and Sevenarches.
As such, we all set out to find our surrogate child, though he was no longer the young boy we took away from Daggermark. It took a few days of travel to reach a small settlement located near one of the many rivers in that we first noticed signs of foul play. This small village was almost pristine in its condition, buildings standing, no signs of smoke or combat that were overt, but there was something off about the location, there were no people anywhere to be seen. So from the outskirts of town, I decided to be the one to enter and look to see if anything could be found out as to why it appeared that this hamlet was abandoned. Moving into the village my keen eyes picked up on small things that told a very sad story, a scrap of bloody cloth blowing down the road, the appearance of drag marks leading out of a home, drops of blood on the window of a home. All these little signs prepared me for what I found in the center of the village, bodies, at least six that encircled the town well.
Moving back out to my family I told them of what I saw and we agreed to enter the village as a force, to see what else could be determined. As we all entered the town square the dead bodies rose to attack, as I had expected when I first went to investigate. We had a pitched battle with the dead, but were surprised when Mirri could not turn them as she has with the unliving in the past. We struck with speed and precision, slaying them without any real injury to ourselves. Once each one of them died a slick silver metal leaked out of the wounds and ears of the dead. Lor’Athorn once again set about collecting samples, and my siblings think I am the one to watch for signs of corruption. Lor’Athorn curiosity may turn to harm if he is not careful about the reason he collects such things, and the experiments he conducts afterward.
Amaras noticed that the well was exceedingly brackish and decided in his usual animalistic way that the best method to see if anything was in the water was to attack it. He summoned an orb of fire and threw it into the well, and much to my surprise his attack summoned a monster, some sort of plant creature from the depths. We scattered and allowed the mages to burn away the plant thing in short order, I personally clung tenaciously to my lovers arm during all this, as I have had enough contact with the fungal aspects of nature to last me a lifetime.
One of the bodies contained a tattered page of a journal that suggested that something may be happening at a mine, and seeing as how none of the bodies were Jaylinn or Cade we all agreed that looking for this mine would be the next logical step. Mirri’s companion, some mute half-elf ranger, proved to be very adept at locating the tracks and leading us on. During the long march to the mine, we encountered another group of creatures, unlike the bodies or the plant thing, that looked a lot like dog with tentacles. Magic proved to be ineffective in some cases, a fireball just washed over them without causing any harm, while the arcane missile that Palanon so frequently uses struck true on many occasions. The conflict with this new group did not pose much of a challenge so we followed their trail back to the den they stayed in, since they are not indigenous to this region.
The den proved to be the mine that was talked about in the scrap of journal we found. Upon entering there were a number of corpses that littered the enter way, taking this as a queue I used my ring to become invisible. As we moved into the cave we were confronted by one of the Dark Elves, standing with two half-elf lackeys, ready to fight. Yet as we looked closer we noticed that two of those strange flowers were supporting the cave roof and twitched with our presence. Jaylinn was also here, tied up in the back, held hostage by this dark elf.
Feeling the anger rising in my I walked across the cave while my siblings talked with this woman. I made my way behind her and after a moment looking for the best place to stab my dagger, I whispered every so softly into her ear “From my heart I stab at thee” as my enchanted dagger plunged into her neck, extinguishing the life she was trying so desperately to bargain for. Seeing their mistress so quickly dispatched the half-elves gave up on the spot. We cut Jaylinn free and made our way out of the cave, collapsing the celling in on those who would ally themselves with our enemy.
It was at this point that Jaylinn told us that Cade was dead. Personally I felt a good deal of remorse for him, since I had a hand in bringing the two of them together, yet Amaras was unusually stoic and reserved, and I can’t help but think that he had some other thought running through his head at that moment. The next morning he was gone, Amaras had left to look for something far to the west, or possibly run away from a woman I think he loves.

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Lost Apprentice

Journal of Lor’Athorn Edasseril

Entry the twenty-eighth

Alchemical Discovery: I have a lot to report this week. I have been studying the saliva samples from the creatures we fought. Not only have I devised a means to destroy them (a salt water solution works best), but also a means to slowly reproduce the material they create through their life cycle.

These creatures can apparently produce small amounts of a substance that inhibits magic. Though I am loathe to work with such a substance, I find myself interested in its properties. Imagine, for instance, a bullet that could disrupt the magic of an enemy caster. Or perhaps a chemical mixture that can release a magic inhibiting gas.

However, the means for which to produce the substance are definitely not efficient. So far, I have been able to help metabolize some grown organs to produce the needed mineral, but it only seems to take humanoid skin tissue (in this experiment, donated by me). I have attempted to use the meaty stone that Phos is fond of creating, but even that disgusting flesh yields only 1% of what an equal portion of sentient tissue would.

As such, I have created only enough to experiment on. I may be on a breakthrough to making even more, but for now I imagine I will have to be satisfied with containing this menace.

Main Entry:

I don’t often have attachment to humans, but Cade is an exception. Though I am uncertain as to his condition, location, or affiliation at this time, I still sorely worry about him. Knowing our enemy, they are likely turning him to some dark end. I only hope we come upon some means of retrieving him.

Though why Cade and Jaylinn were targeted, I am not sure. I continue to ponder on the nature of the dark elf mind. Their plots are often ponderous and ineffective. However, their grand schemes end up slowly chipping away at one’s resolve even as they ablate their own resources.

Our latest outing saw us travel to a small mining area and town where Cade and Jaylinn had settled down. We had received word that something was amiss, so we went there with great haste. We found an abandoned town, and some strange corpses arranged near the local well. The bodies had predictably risen to fight us. Unpredictably, they were not so much bodies as they were corpse puppets.

We dispatched them quickly, but our search of the premises quickly found us in conflict with a large plant creature. This odd coincidence brought us luck, as both Palanon and I were ready to deal with plants, as we always are.

During the fight, I saw Palanon in danger, so I stood near the creature to taunt it into attacking me. It was something I had seen Amaras do on many occasions, but I never thought I would find myself in that frame of mind. It worked, though, and I was nearly swallowed. I was glad to have spared Palanon the danger, but I don’t care to repeat such a feat.

Further investigation made it clear that our query was in the quarry. Before we arrived, we were set upon by a number of creatures. We would later find out that they were the adult stage of the creatures that had been controlling the corpses in town. We had been set upon by an ecological disaster from space!

We dispatched those creatures as well, and made our way into the mines, and found yet another of the dark elves was behind the plot. She had been holding Jaylinn hostage. I imagine she was not entirely prepared for us, as she had foolishly tried to wager Jaylinn’s safety for her own safe exit. We were too weary of dark elven plots and dickering, so Vanya made a snap decision, and made her way over to kill the dark elf woman before she became a problem.

Amazingly, it worked. We still had to contend with another two plant creatures that had been inhabiting the cavern, but we swiftly took care of the situation, and rescued Jaylinn. Cade was said to be dead by the dark elven woman, but I am unsure how much I can trust her words. For now, I can assume the worst case scenario, and that Cade yet lives.

We were able to recover some of the material from the mine, and from the woman’s armor. Navarre handily crafted it into his armor, and I hope to eventually empower the anti-magical defensive effect sometime soon.

For now, I must be content in not only studying these creatures, but also trying to do more to fulfill my duties back in Valethi. I have marginalized them for too long, and so I have split my time between Green Gold and home, as of late. I hope that our adventuring time does not further remove us from our duties, but I would be naive not to plan for that contingency.

End Entry.

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Through the eyes of a wolf

I write quickly for I have had one of the most spiritual experiences that have ever been blessed upon me. My spirit and conscience was carried for a time by a wild wolf. This was beyond a magical transformation for that would just be myself in the body of a wolf. No, this time my conscience took a back seat and I felt the full experience of being an animal of the wild. The only way I could describe it is…..pure. There was no doubt about our actions, no politics, no contemplation or philosophy, just pure simple life. Food, hunt, play, and pack, nothing else mattered. I now understand why Amrune goes through this transformation over and over again. I find it ironic that is was her pups, the ones we saved from grey waters attack, whose bodies we ended up traveling in. You can study nature from dawn till dusk, but you will never truly understand it until you have lived it.

When Greymuzzle crawled into our home near death I was very concerned. What could have done that much damage to a powerful creature like Greymuzzle? Then Amaras told us of how he had to go acquire the Staff of Awakening from the woods and complete the ritual. So many questions flooded from me. Why did we need to awaken the wolves now? Why nine when a pack is lead by one? Can Amaras handle this power? Is it a trap? Why did the Druids of the Green just leave a staff lying in the woods unprotected? Palanon started accusing me of being pessimistic. Of course I’m pessimistic. We have cunning dangerous enemies that are literally sprouting from the ground. It is a foolish farmer that does not prepare for winter. None of that mattered when we entered the wolves. It wasn’t all fun though. The pack was attacked multiple times and was caught in a forest fire. I felt there anger and fear as if it were my own. The pack had its differences but cared and fought for each other the same as my own. Perhaps we were not that different at all.

It’s funny, though I didn’t know it at the time I could tell which of my siblings were in each wolf. I don’t know how, I just knew. I wonder what each of them took from the experience? I latter asked Drekath what he learned. He is one of the most disciplined reflective people I know. Throwing him into the mind of a wild animal must have been a harrowing experience for him. All he said was that he “learned balance”. I’m sure if I asked Sylthas what he learned I would get a very long story embellished to the point where he became the great hero of the pack and all beast’s bowed before him. If I didn’t know any better I would say that Sylthas was compensating for something.

I do not know how much time passed when we awoke the final time with the guardian of the staff standing before us. We knew that some of ourselves were passed to the wolf we were in, but the guardian requested that we sacrifice more. I knew that many dangers lay a head for the pack and I was honored to give my strength to my wolf. I feel weaker now and my bones ach and creak as if I aged a century. I care not though, some burdens are worth bearing. Not all of us gave up something though. Amaras was greatly angered by Elensar’s refusal to offer more. Elensar stated that they had done their job and that he was more concerned for the Elves of Kyonin then the animals of the wilds. Though I understand why Amaras took this as a personal affront, he must realize that not everyone has the same priorities as he. I understand why Elensar refused and I respect him for that.

I try hard to grasp the feelings that I had as a wolf but I cannot. I remember what happened, but no the true feelings and emotions. I hope in time we will run into the pack again for I feel now that our destinies will become entwined once again.

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Primal Dreams

Journal of Lor’Athorn Edasseril

Entry the Twenty-Seventh

Alchemical Discovery: In experiencing life from the perspective of a quadruped, I spent some additional time thinking of a way to improve conditions for one of the key members of our group. I do not speak so much about Amaras as I do Nilsha, though this may soon apply to him as well.

In my latest experiment, I have taken into account the problematic nature of animals in attacking particularly dangerous opponents. To that end, I have worked with Navarre to attempt to fashion something that might allow one of our bestial allies to attack without fear of harming themselves. Though it does require some training on the part of the animal, and some preparation on the field, I feel like this could help maintain Nilsha’s survivability, as our battles grow ever more dangerous, with even some members of our fellowship having been in mortal danger as of late.

This device works like a harness that must be secured to the creature, and contains strategic spikes and blades that can then be used to allow the animal to strafe or slam into an enemy, spike first, and assail foes without risking fang or claw. Further experiments show that magical alterations to such devices may yield yet further use for Nilsha, both defensively and offensively.

Main Entry:
It is difficult to describe just what we went through, but it was enlightening in ways I simply cannot bring to paper and ink at the moment. We inhabited the bodies… perhaps the souls of wolves, and yet it was more than that. I am not a druid, but I must imagine their existence to be alike to our brief transposition. What we felt was a oneness with nature I could not have dreamed on the strongest chemical high. It was a unique and amazing sensation that I regret may not come to pass again.

I rarely find myself so excited that I get ahead of myself, but even now, I find myself a bit heady. To start from the beginning…

We had been asked, by a dying Grey Mane, to go and awaken the wolves. He had been in an encounter with that Strange Feral creature we had encountered some time ago. This time, its primal claw was too much for even this proud and powerful wolf. His mantle had naturally fallen to the nine pups we had rescued. Amaras had of course taken the responsibility to awaken them, and give these wolves the sentience needed to replace Grey Mane. However, he did not yet have the personal power to do this on his own, so he was directed by Grey Mane’s last breaths to seek out a staff that held such power.

Mirrianna was of course her usual positive self, but after we allayed her niggling fears, we set out to assist Amaras in fulfilling his task. We were surprised and amazed to find that our journey was without ambush, betrayal, or mortal conflict. After allaying out own fears, we investigated the circle that held the staff, drawing the attention of a celestial creature that had evidently been assigned to protect the staff and manage its use. She explained to us that we were to awaken these pups more directly, giving them a bit ourselves so that they may taste at the cup of knowledge, and grow a thirst for it.

It was almost humbling to see how noble these creatures were. We had perhaps acted as more of a pack through those wolves than we ever had as siblings, which shames me somewhat. Pragmatically, we are our own elves, and I understand that we cannot be so close as they, both by the function of their existence and the diversity of our personalities as elves. Still, I hope the others might have taken notice of this as I have.

We hunted together, ate together, and defended each other fiercely. I found in those encounters an interesting synergy between myself, Vannya, and Palanon. We sped through time faster than a human, experiencing the richest moments of those wolves’ lives, guiding them somehow in their tribulations. We were of course threatened by what I can assume were Treerazor’s forces, as well as the Feral himself, but we made quick work of both through our clever and handy team-work. I had of course landed the last blow on the Feral, lending my unique prestige to the wolf, giving him the name of Winter’s End. He has earned it.

Once we were done with the vision, the celestial creature made with us a proposition. We could give more of ourselves to embiggen the wolves. Despite the bonding between ourselves and the wolves, some among us remained too self-interested to render this last gift to the wolves. I am not upset, as it is merely another manifestation of our uniqueness.

We reside over the court now, and it would not do to have our fellowship browbeat one another until a decision is made. We are elves, and they are wolves. Our lot is to use wisdom to forge new destinies, as well as a willingness to learn lessons anew. These will aid us in leading in place of our father. That we do not always agree is a comfort that few will understand, but all will appreciate.

End Entry

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A Wolf in Spirit
Vanya

I was recently asked by Amaras to help take part in an awakening ritual for the wolf cubs under the protection of Graymuzzle. I have to admit that I was not looking forward to such a task, as I have never been on to commune with nature in the manner that he does. Yet since all my other siblings had agreed to do this, I felt obligated to take some time away from pressing matters to assist; since I was assured that the time this ritual would take will be minimal. So we left Valithi, with Graymuzzle dying in our courtyard, to go to a mythical location of special significance to druids. The journey took a relatively short time, only a few days, when we reached a mound of earth with a small tunnel leading into it. Amaras went ahead, and I followed closely behind, since there was a chance that the tunnel could have been trapped to prevent intruders from entering. Yet nothing was lying in wait for us, no traps and no mythical guardians along the passage. Once we reached the main chamber and saw the staff, it became apparent that the only trap we were to encounter was surrounding the treasure itself.
We took a few minutes examining the runes on the ground, what I took for a magical trap, and contemplated disarming it. I was convinced that if I destroyed the trap a safeguard mechanism would cause the staff to disappear, that is something I will have to keep in mind for later as it could be immensely useful in safeguarding treasure at a later date. Taking a great chance Amaras crossed the runes, and a huge creature of appeared. It looked like a woman with wings and a snakes’ body for legs. She knew why we were here and asked if we were all ready to take part in the event. After we all agreed, I was the last to accept the helpless position this ritual would put us in, we touched the staff and were sent into the wolves we had been tasked with giving wisdom and intelligence too.
I do not remember much of our time in the wolves, some of my other siblings still talk with it of fondness, the only things I remember were fights with creatures and beasts. I remember the pack taking down an exceedingly large creature as a pack, then I awoke. We were asked by the guardian if we would like to give of ourselves to make the pack stronger. While most of my siblings agreed, I decided to keep my essence to myself. I think this was part fear of what my siblings would discover about by soul if I should give a part of it form, and part spite, as I had already given more then I wanted to in the form of time. We had been trapped as wolves for over a month, time I needed to keep the humans in Daggermark under control. Taking charge of a human organization has given me a greater understanding of why they move so fast, and I have adapted to move as quick as they do. None of my siblings understood my anger at being away for so long and I suppose they never will, unless they tie themselves to humans the way I have. The human tendency to make individual decisions when a leader is not present can spell disaster for everything I am trying to accomplish, and the longer I am away the more decisions they will make on their own. While a month is a passing moment to an immortal race such as mine, for humans it is protracted period of time in which lives, kingdoms, and fortunes are made and lost. For all intents and purposes the Assassins Guild of Daggermark is now my pack, and I am the Alpha.

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A walk on the Wild Side

An Excerpt from the Journal of Amaras

“To truly understand someone you need to walk a mile in their boots.” This is a saying humans use quite often and I never really understood it. I have a vague memory as a child hearing this statement and taking Navarre’s boots and attempting to clomp around the house in them. When mother found me she asked what I was doing and I explained so she asked me what I learned about my big brother. I told her with the guile of a child that he had big feet, she laughed for a long time after that and I never understood why. Recently though this lesson came back to me and I understood its meaning more now than then, twilight had fallen upon the rein of the great wolf Grey Muzzle. He came to find me at my home where I was taking dinner with my family against my own wishes I must admit my oldest brother and his bardic ways had begun to wear upon me and I find myself enjoying his company less and less these days. Dinner was interrupted by a guard who informed us of a incident on the patio, going there we found the massive wolf injured and bleeding badly from wounds he sustained in a fight with the Feral who sought to usurp the old wolfs power. The guards gawked at the wounded spirit till I ordered them away to leave him in peace, the great wolf called my promise to awaken the younger wolves in and told me where I could find the power to do so. I had to convince the others join me and promised the old wolf I would do it as quickly as possible for he could not pass on till they were awakened. We set off on our journey and found the tomb of an ancient druid who possessed a staff of great power, working with the Guardian we started a ritual that placed our spirits into the bodies of the young wolves. For me the sensations of being in the body of a animal was not nothing new or different but for the others it was a new experience and one that I think helped them to better understand me and my own nature. We hunted together, we feasted together and we fought and bleed together as creatures of the forest. We battled the Feral in our wolf bodies and beat the creature putting it once more in its place and as we departed the wolves bodies the Guardian explained one last part of the ritual. We could give a small bit of our souls to the wolves to empower them, I did this without hesitation and to my utter surprise most of the others did as well. I wished nothing more than to take each into my arms and hug them firmly for this sacrifice. The three of my family who did not give this gift was both surprising in some cases but expected in one, though my sister Vanya and brother Elensar both struck me a personal blow. “Our duties and obligation to you are done brother. We will not give of ourselves any more to help.” So that is how they viewed this, not as a family member helping a family member out of love but as an obligation, as a burden. Knowing this now I will ensure I ask nothing of them in the future to come, but I can rest easy now knowing the wolves are awakened and ready to take their place as leaders in the forest. Returning home we found the great wolf where he had lain when we left him nearly a month before. One massive eye opened to regard me with respect and with his last breath he thanked me and let the life flee his body. I moved his body deep into the forest where I laid it to rest with the aid of the forests spirits a proper end to the life of such an amazing being. I do not fear he is gone forever since he was a spirit given form I feel strongly he will one day return. On a whim I returned to the place where we had found the Staff of Awakening but as I suspected the forest has reclaimed it once more keeping it hidden till needed again. If I one who had found that cave so easy before could not locate the path again after just a few days of being away then no one will ever find it again. I have often wondered about the wolf whose body I shared, Wayfinder by name, I pondered what role he will take in the pack and in the forest. I have thought of seeking him out but I never do for that is not my place, he is now something more than a normal forest animal and should not be influenced by the likes of me. Should I ever meet him I will thank him, for my journey in his body helped me to more understand the beast in my own.

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