Alchemical Discovery: As of recent I have noticed that my siblings have, with surprising regulaity, caused themselves harm in some fashion or another. Mirrianna has inflicted herself with hunger and fatigue for her god, while Palanon has been known to eat wheat cakes until he becomes ill. Although I have very little control over the actions of my siblings, I can try to mitigate these conditions.
My first invention in that vein is the lightning frog extract. The lightning frog is named not because of any affinity for external electrical sources, but for its ability to move about quickly in short bursts. It is theorized that it, like the shambled, has a specialized nervous system that somehow enables the creature to move about quickly by way of electrical stimulus. I am still studying the sample I have, but I may have come upon at least the partial reason for its swiftness. When studying the lightning frog’s blood, I injected a serum into another creature, and found that it had an interesting effect.
The creature injected exhibited not only increased reaction time, but aggressiveness where there was none before. Having tested it on myself, I found that it caused me to feel stronger, more alert, and certainly more tense. The effect was short lived, but sharp and pronounced. Further study led me to the creation of a potion that can induce this state in anyone. Furthermore, my research has also found that it can counteract deleterious bodily effects, such as nausea or fatigue. I believe this to be an interesting discovery, though I am reluctant to tell my siblings just yet, as they may not see the utility in it that I do.
Our time in Highhelm has certainly been interesting. Though gracious and hospitable, the turmoil brewing around has been difficult to weather. King Borogrim is of course at the center of a number of nefarious plots on his throne, whether they include his demise or not, but we have so far been able to stay the hands of any would be usurpers.
I had initially volunteered my help in understanding the nature of dwarves nobility, and that proved to be productive. My studies have once again paid off, and I have found a number of key behaviors that have allowed King Borogrim to root out the imposters among the aristocrats. This may be only a small problem in the scheme of things, but the king is certainly appreciative of what help he can get. I am thankful that our siblings have been both alert and attentive. Should we all come out of this intact, I imagine that our shared tribulations will at the very least not be forgotten by the king and those loyal to him.
But not all problems were so cut and dry. The King’s adopted son had turned out to be an imposter himself. Shamefully, no knowledge I had could have predicted that, though Amaras was keenly aware of something amiss with the supposed man-child.
Perhaps I should start closer to the beginning. The king had thought himself the target of an assassination attempt, which his “stone born” son had prevented. He had found a dagger that appeared to belong to the assassins of Lady Smilos in Daggermark. This had been troubling all on its own, but the truth was more complicated. Having been alarmed and upset, the king was already been without sleep for days, and asked us for help in preventing the assassination.
Not long after this discussion, Lady Smilos herself had appeared, most likely as a misdirection for her true intentions. She had some prepared banter she traded with us and King Borogrim, but her feigned innocence was marginally sufficient to have her dismissed. She would be attending the gladiatorial events later, as would the king. Despicably, she had dropped something to mask odor in the room, anticipating the keen nose of our brother Amaras. This did not deter him, however, and he was able to sneak close enough to Smilos at the arena to smell something more… poison.
At this moment, through a series of mental communications, we were able to discern that something had been left in the king’s room for a future assassin to use. A few of us rushed up there to investigate, and what we found was shocking. The poison was in the hands of the king’s adopted son. Moreover, his behavior shifted for long enough for us to cast further doubt on him, and my magic had shattered his. The stone born man was actually none other than Rufus, a deceitful halfling in the employ of Lady Smilos.
I was hoping we could simply end his troubled existence, but Vanya petitioned to keep him alive. I imagine she is thinking a few steps ahead, but I hope this was not a miscalculation on her part. We had managed to warn the king, prevent the assassination, and thwart Lady Smilos’ plan. The king, however, was near inconsolate when we told him the truth of the son he had cared for over the course of seasons. I was made proud when I heard Palanon eloquently explain to the king that his misguided trust and compassion were not folly but kingly wisdom.
Borogrim, though weary from a combination of sleep deprivation and coming off of powerful stimulants, was moved, and realized that in truth, his actions were not wrong. Our course was unclear from then, but we knew we would have to tread lightly with Smilos, and concentrate on the defenses of the city.
I resolved to work to continue to assist the king in not only gauging the loyalty of those who held it, but to use the disloyalty of those who didn’t in the king’s favor. Though I am not one to relate to the common dwarf, i can hope to at least secure those armies and alliances within the dwarves kingdomm, as we will need every able hand to repel the coming invasion. This invasion, though spoken of by a seemingly mad dwarf, is as sure and troublesome as those we have faced in the past. We must now acquire every advantage. I am certain that my siblings work even now through their own resources to do the same.