Legacy of the Forlorn

Mirrianna's Travel Log “Omesta”
I didn’t know what to expect when I approached the Gonme’s for an invitation to their city. I was so concerned about the relations with our people that I didn’t consider preparing myself for what I would find. Without a doubt Omesta is a hidden marvel and an example that another species can coincide with the woods of Kyonin.

The first example of the Gnomes ingenuity was the large lift built to ferry those from the forest floor to the canopy above. Staying within the letter of the law I noticed the lift stopped an inch above the forest floor. I was surprised how high up the city was. Always viewing from below, I didn’t realize the heights that some of the ancient trees have ascended until having to be brought to the top of one. Near the end I even had to grip the railing for fear of falling off. I had to quickly learn to get over this fear as the Gnome escorting me stated that the people of Omesta did not have need for such railing having lived in the tops their whole lives, and thus there is very little of it in the city proper. When we reached to top I was breathless for what the Gnomes had achieved. I expected maybe a small town, not the sprawling maze of bridges and platforms that awaited me. It is almost like a busy street in Greengold, only hundreds of feet up. Apparently the contraption that brought me up was just the beginning as many more such devices were found throughout the city helping the populace navigate and commute between levels and other threes. I was also amazed at how well the Gnomes have adapted to living in the tree tops. Much like Amon, the Gnomes have altered the some aspects of the trees to suit their needs. They have had some trees grow incredibly large leaves to collect rain water for an aqueduct, and grow naturally wide flat branches for natural walkways. They have also grown and harvested large nuts and breed large birds species for food. Even their houses look as if they were grown from the trees. Also like Amon, the Gnomes of Omesta have a keen knack for herbology as well as engineering. One such example was when I saw one gnome strapped to what appeared to be cloth and wood floating on the wind. He was tied to a branch so as not to be blown away. When I inquired, I was introduced to the items creator, a Gnome named Mezzinius who wore what appeared to be Amber Spectacles. He went into a lengthy explanation about how he was developing a way to allow Gnomes to glide from branch to branch and further. He did mention that the items where still in the testing stages and that he had run into issues with control. Apparently there had been several “incidents” and test subjects were becoming hard to find. He seemed confident he would work it out in the end though.

My trip wasn’t all exploration and excitement unfortunately. First of all, being a city of Gnomes I towered over everyone. It was like being at a school with no adults anywhere. Even when venturing to human and dwarf cities, I have never been stared at so much. Also the Gnomes legendary sense of humor began to were my nerves thin. Once I was asked to sit in what looked like a leaf chair, only to have it engulf me. The Gnomes thought this was hilarious as I could hear their muted laughter though the skin of the plant. It is thankful that I do not have destructive magics at my disposal like Lor’Athorn or Palanon, otherwise several Gnomes would have been blasted off the treetops upon my retrieval. Instead I just prayed to Erastil for patience. Also since they have almost no visitors, they had to adapt one of their dwellings for my size. Despite their efforts, my quarters were cramped and uncomfortable.

Still, the journey was worth it to learn about our tree dwelling neighbors. We can learn so much from them. I would recommend Lor’Thorn especially visit the city sometime. Unfortunately, because of the recent happenings in Kyonin I have begun to look at things in another light. It would be very hard to attack the Omesta. The Gnomes are not a violent people, but with their magic and inventions like Mezzinius’s flying devices, I feel sorry for any invaders trying to uproot them. They would be worthy allies to have for the future.

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Green Growing Things
Vanya

We have all been called to court by father, yet again. It seems that Elensar has requested his help in dealing with some of the unique issues surrounding Sevenarches. One of which is the production of food for the region, I guess the previous rulers were a druidic sect that grew all the food as well as ruled the populous. So while father is away we have been charged with overseeing the estate, and all the guests that may be coming to see us. Seeing such a vast number of people has always been a fear of mine, trapped in plain sight by the people you have been charged to help, chains that bind more securely then any forged by men.
In the few weeks that father was going to be away we were told of three petitioners that wanted to see us. One was Quillandra, the next was a gnome from the mountains , his name is Amon I believe, and finally the queen of the lake elves, Hera. Seeing as how we could have the possibility of insulting people of position and power, we made every effort to see them in the appropriate order.
Hera being the most important of them all was seen first. It appears that she came to offer us a bit of knowledge about our current situation, and a proposition for consideration at a later date. First she told us of a group called the conclave of the green, druids who are concerned with keeping the world alive, while a second group , the winter council, is focused on eliminating the lesser races, or at least that is what I got out of her little speech. One interesting thing that she mentioned was that the lords of the winter council all use bird names as their monikers, the same as our dark elf friend who I will enjoy killing slowly. But I digress, the other issue of note was that we are all being offered a position within the conclave, something that Amaras has been hiding from us is that he is a member of this organization, and has been for some time. There test to see if we would be compatible with their organization was to be helping the gnome Amon with his problem, whatever that may be, since we have not seen him yet today. Personally I do not see myself fitting in with a bunch of do gooder’s, I would much rather just kill these individuals from the shadows and call it a day, and I am not all that concerned about the lesser races. While they are useful and have potential, I see them more as tools to be used and discarded rather than as steadfast allies. So in a lot of ways I have more in common with the winter council then I do the green wardens, other than the fact that they want to kill me I would have been interested to hear their counter offer.
Following the discussion with queen Hera, we saw Quillandra, who was very pleased to see us and had a very strange request. She wanted to leave the safety of the estate and go to Erages to examine and possibly reconnect the elfgate that we located there last year. Knowing what his daughter was going to ask, Hialin showed up to listen to her request and decided that it would be much to dangerous for her to go alone. Seeing the wisdom of his words my siblings decided to pledge our assistance and protection to Quillandra when we had the time to escort her to the burial mound so she may conduct her studies. It is always surprising to me how Hialin is able to manipulate my siblings to do exactly what he wants.
The final petitioner was Amon, a gnome who created the Seerbloom ale that has become a staple of dwarven trade of late. It appears that he came to us in hopes that we would assist him with a small problem of theft at his home. He has created a new breed of plant and he thinks that someone is stealing it, from within a locked room. Seeing as how this is of particular importance to me, I need to learn that trick for myself, we agreed to help him with his missing plant. Amon was most appreciate of my willingness to help, so much so that I was afraid I was going to have to cause him a fair deal of pain before he would release my hand.
Taking just a few days to gather our things and head to the mountains we made good time in the move from our estate to the home of Amon. Upon reaching the heights of the hills where he makes his home, we were introduced to a shock. In the few years since my siblings had first met the gnome, he had managed to transform the entire summit of the mountain he was living at into a remarkable botanical garden. Plants of every shape and size dotted the landscape, a feat that should have been impossible as a number of the plants growing in this location should not have been able to survive at the extreme heights of the mountain pass.
Amon was excited to see us, he actually claimed that he was not expecting us for quite a few more days. He was eager to show us around the pass, and took my hand in a death grip as he lead me around showing off his very impressive collection of plant life. One particular plant that I took an interest in was a vine that held very toxic properties, contact was enough to cause the person to fall deathly ill, such a vine has remarkable potential, the spell rope trick comes to mind for an impressive living trap. Aside from that singular plant the rest seemed fairly mundane. But the thieves were not interested in the poison vine according to Amon, but a special hybrid of orchid that actually produced light. Nearly all of his samples had been taken over the past few months, all of which had been taken from inside his locked greenhouse. I spent a good deal of time while the others were discussing the issue with Amon to review the greenhouse and see if I could ascertain how they managed to remove his plants without being detected. As far as I could tell, the only way anyone would have been able to get into the complex was if they could walk through walls.
As we continued our examination of his greenhouse we came up with a plan to try to catch the thieves red handed. We would all stay inside the building and if anyone came in we would be there to stop them. I also took the added precaution to make the person holding the sack filled with the flowers invisible, in accordance with my natural gift. It was some time before we found out what was entering the greenhouse, but when we did it truly surprised me. Ethereal filchers, creatures that can actually walk through walls, were the thieves. They came and tried to steal the sack from Lor’Athorn, I guess they could detect the magical aura even though he was invisible. Luckily for us Lor’Athorn was much more aware of his surroundings then the Filcher thought, catching the thief in the act, preventing it from running off with the bag. Realizing that it was made, the creature vanished, we all made a beeline for the door in an attempt at locating the creature outside. Thinking that there may be more than one, I opted to stay back while the others rushed outside. It is a good thing I did, as a second Filcher attempted to steal a potion from my bag just a moment later, chasing after the beast I ran outside with sword drawn to a scene of turmoil. Navarre was surrounded by a number of beast with large mouths, while the filcher they chased out earlier was lying on the ground, dead or unconscious I could not tell. I kept pace with the Filcher and managed to strike a number of solid blows while it vanished from one spot to another, and it was Lor’Arthorn who managed to kill the creature I was chasing with a well-timed toss of his elven blade. With one of the creatures dead and the other unconscious, the other beasts that had Navarre surrounded vanished without a trace. It appears that they were connected in some way to the Filchers, vanishing when control over them vanished.
It was just about this time that Amon came out of the tower, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, saying he heard a commotion outside and come to help. Seeing me he continued to rub his eyes while running into me, claiming that is was too dark to see, all the while groping me. While I appreciate the young creature’s lust, I am tempted to revisit him later to explain how unwanted advances are handled by the Courtesans of Calistria. I think it would be a most educational experience for him, one he may even survive with minimal scaring.

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Under the Sea
Vanya

These past few weeks have been a storm of activity. First we had set up a party for the human wards of my siblings in the forest near Diamond Falls. This in and of itself took a great deal to arrange as humans are not normally allowed within the confines of the forest, so special permission had to be granted. All this took a great deal of political maneuvering, more then I think my other siblings are aware, and I hate to think on the cost of this excursion in political capital our father must have given up. Aside from that the party was going well, once we arrived that is. Everyone was having a wonderful time, the children especially enjoyed the excursion in the forest. It was a simple and idealistic moment in our lives, one that was very short lived.
At midday, my siblings and I gathered at the top of the falls to watch the rays of sunlight wash over the valley, when we were approached by a cloaked figure. I could not help but think such a thing was very cliché, and that such an individual would either have to be very powerful, or extremely stupid. As it turns out, he may have been a bit of both, as this messenger was from the race of dark skinned elves we have previously. He claimed he was the only one of his race that would speak with us as they all hated the surface dwellers, it sounded boring when he said it as well, and that he accepted this “mission” to tell us he and his race were officially going to hunt us down and kill us. He also mentioned one condition that he wanted to be sure that both of us would abide by, neither side was to harm children, which makes sense if you listened to Hialins’ lecture on elfish evolution. They wished to wipe us out and take the living children into the dark to become like them. After a few more minutes of threats ,promises of pain, and vague hints at past involvement with our family, specifically our mothers, Navarre had enough and attempted to shoot the interloper, he said his name was Falcon (once again very cliché), and vanished as soon as the arrow took flight.
Deciding that we at least needed to know whether this visitor had any factual information we decided to talk with Hialin first, seeing as he is the person with the means of locating or possibly coming across such information before anyone else. Unfortunately he did not have any information to substantiate the claims of this Falcon. Most of the claims that this race of dark elves was responsible for all the pain and hardship our father had experienced over the years is very exaggerated, but some of the events in his past they could possibly have a connection to. We know they can utilize or control shamblers to some extent, following the events of Fanura and Quais, so the death of my mother at their hands a possibility, in which case I will see that they all suffer a great deal of the involvement in her death. Also Vailes, who has been missing from some time, may have been taken by them, or simply wandered off. It is easy to make grandiose claims when there is no proof otherwise.
Following our conversation with Hialin about this Falcon and his race of liars, he told us of a message that had arrived from the water elves of Lake Encarthan. It appears that the prince, Valstarre, wished to have us visit his city, which is an honor we could not turn down as it had been some time since we, that is the elves of Kyonin, had been allowed to enter the domain of the water elves. So my siblings and I set out with all haste to the shores of Lake Encarthan to meet this prince and open the doors to better relations between our sister races.
The wait for the prince was not long, we had just arrived at the proposed location when he made his presence known. He was a powerfully built man, extremely pale skin though, and had next to nothing on, I suppose it helps with the swimming. Upon seeing him I started to make designs on increasing our relationships beyond just trade, then he opened his mouth and started to speak. Few kill the mood faster than rude and condescending behavior. His manner was crass and at times I wondered if we had been lied to, for surely this creature could not be the prince of a nation of elves, he had more in common with the brigands of Daggermark then the royalty of Kyonin.
As we descended into the lake with the assistance of his magic, I had expected his behavior to improve, yet it did no such thing, if anything it got worse. We were made to move quickly though the lake to the location of the city, and he made it quite plain that we were not to be seen by anyone as this was supposed to be a secret meeting. I was unsure why we would receive an invitation through proper channels only to be told that we were to meet in secret. He had us enter the city through a small cave, I am fairly certain it is the back door as some of the customers to the Calistrian houses call the side entrance, to avoid unwanted eyes. It was upon gaining entry that we saw a wonderful mosaic of Valies and his mother on the wall, each holding the others hand, an expression of friendship between them, connecting the two worlds in deed and action. It was at this point where the prince told us of his mother and Vailes, and the efforts they made to connect our two worlds. He also mentioned that each had an amulet that the other made to assist with the ease of transition from one world to the next. Valstarre said that they had recently captured a pirate that had the two amulets that were made for these women, and had taken the liberty to interrogate him but was getting little information from the brigand.
Curious we requested to see this prisoner, Aramas was more than a little insistent (Valstarre and Aramas seem to share a common trait, unbridled rage). Upon reaching the prison cells, once again taking the long way around to avoid being seen, we found out that the pirate was none other than Markas Milner Half-Elven. So the slaver had been a pirate, and was now being punished again for his transgressions. Upon seeing us his mood actually brightened for a moment, before Navarre said we were going to execute him. Such a poor creature, he actually asked that we deliver a farewell message to a women he had to leave behind, someone he loved and was sure felt the same way. I couldn’t help but laugh when he said the name, as she works at the Calistrian house in Erages, a “sister” of mine who had no more feelings toward him then she would a bug beneath her heel. With this final injury he accepted his fate and passed beneath Navarre’s blade.
After ending the unsightly business of executing Markas, we requested to see the items taken from his ship as they may have held a clue as to the location of Valstarre’s mother, or Vailes. The room we arrived at to search for clues was nothing less than expansive, it looked like they took every piece of trash or detritus from the bottom of the lake and put it in this room. Everything from anything that ever sank below the surface was in this room, junk and treasure alike. We spend what must have been hours scouring the room for any clue we could find. I managed to locate the sword Markas used in life, while Lor’Athorn uncovered a long tube much like the one that gave him inspiration from the Armory of Tystalaes Kes. Like the item in the armory this weapon was extremely old, meaning that what Lor’Athorn and Vague Harath had uncovered was not something new, but old come again.
I had asked Valstarre if I could take the sword of Markus back to the surface, saying that I would be returning it to a lady love, as their human tradition, but that failed to move the man. So I offered up the silver owl that I had received from K’lick on my birthday, something the prince readily accepted in trade. It was at this time that the prince finally mentioned that he knew where the pirate ship was sank and that more information may be there, as if we had enjoyed the hours spent searching through trash for clues. Taking this information, in addition to some magical bread that would allow us to breath underwater after consumption, we left the city (out the back door) and made our way to a group of building, ruins actually, and began looking for this wreckage. The ruins we entered were briefly discussed on our trip to the city earlier that day, the things that came to mind as we were going in were “extremely dangerous” and “nobody ever returns in the same mental state that they left”. Such a fine situation we once again found ourselves in.
The ruins of the buildings were strange, they twisted at odd angles and seemed to shift into and out of existence at times. Our search continued for a short time before we found out the reason why this location was considered extremely dangerous, it was home to an Aboleth. This squid like creature moved toward us with surprising speed, striking out at Navarre with a tentacle as it charged into the group. Spreading out, hopeful to find an opening we closed in, only to be thwarted by the creatures defenses, an excretion that seemed to have the same effect that the bread did, while Aramas was struck by one of the beasts many tentacles, causing his skin to become transparent and become scaled like a fish. It was Lor’Athorn who brought an end to the encounter with this creature from the deep. Throwing his sword he struck true and a discharge of electrical energy struck the creature. While this alone would not have been enough to slay the beast it appears that his attack drew additional energy from a storm that was raging above the surface of the lake, drawing a bolt of lightning down into the water to strike the aboleth as well.
Taking the moment to gather ourselves we quickly entered into the lair of to see if it had perhaps absconded with items from the wreckage that Valstarre said was here. Inside we discovered a great deal: one, the Aboleth appears to have been only one of many that resided at this location, which only spurred us on to do what we came to do and leave; second, that they kept a number of elves and other humanoid creatures as slaves, one of which was Valstarre’s mother. Lastly in the back of the cave the aboleth used as a home, we located a shaft that extended even deeper in to the earth. Aramas tried to drop a sunrod down the hole to see just how far it extended, and we lost sight of the light before it stopped falling.
Taking the slaves we moved to get them back to the underwater city of the lake elves. Once we arrived a number of things came to light. First was that the prince was not as covert as he thought he was, our presence was noted at some point and he was taken before the ruling council. Second, this was not the first time he had sought help from the surface world while looking for his mother, in fact most groups he contracted to help him ended up dead, or as we know now, as slaves to the aboleth. These events put the council on a very precarious position since if we had been killed or hurt they would have had to answer to the Kyonin for the incident, also we had managed to rescue the rightful ruler, all be it a bit insane now with the years of imprisonment and mind control. Taking a few moments to discuss things with the council we, Mirri and I, managed to convince them that this had all been for the best, as we came expecting to increase trade relations and allow for cultural exchange, and we were only too happy to assist with the search for the long lost queen. Our conversation revolved around attempting to gain access to their court as well as bring one of their people to ours, as this event would not have happened if we had real communication between our cities. This proved to be acceptable to the council and we left the lake city with a letter of good will and an ambassador to the court.

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A story left untold

A excerpt from the Journal of Amaras

This entry is one that has left me with much thought and many scars, but the telling must be told even if it is told many years after the events with in occurred. I had decided to seek out the wolf pups of Amrune who were in the care of Brightglade and take them where I felt they would be better raised and prepared for their destiny. The forest has many secrets and it keeps them well from those it does not trust but there is no secret more widely guarded then that of the Aer’shyr. I knew of them only through old stories and songs heard around circles of druids or forest creatures who whisper of them as myth or ghosts. If I could find them and I don’t know why but I knew I could I had hoped to ask them to raise the wolfs so they would be ready when it came time to awaken them. Convincing Brightglade to release them to me was not an easy task but in the end she relented to my arguments and bull headedness. In the years I have lived I have faced down some truly great threats from the raging waters of a rushing flood to the fanged maw of demons but I have never been so challenged in all my life then I was with this task. Trying to transverse the forest with nine wiggling barking wolf pups was more then I found I could handle on the best of days! If not for my magic and closeness with nature I may not have kept them as inline as I did, but with all wolves they look to the strongest and oldest as their Alpha and after some time I asserted myself as such. The journey was not easy and I have new found respect for mothers, feeding the puppies was not enough as I tried to teach them skills they could use later in life and played with them.

To make things worst I had only the vaguest of ideas where I was to travel and it would be a trip of at least a month if not more to reach the spot. When at last we neared the destination did those I sought find me, though at the moment I did not know it was them. It was evening and we were just starting to make camp when I sensed movement in the forest shadows and I caught glimpses of strange wolf like creatures by my meager firelight. They were shaped much like a wolf but their limbs were longer more slender, their bodies narrow and arrow sleek while their heads were vulpine in nature but with larger ears and slender muzzles. Their fur ranged in colors from the lightest of yellow to silvers, soft gold’s and whites which seemed to glow as if bathed in moonlight. The creatures circled the camp and refused my attempts at parlay and then with out warning they rushed in for the attack. They targeted the pups so I quickly moved them to put the fire on one side and myself on the other, calling upon the gifts I have gained from my bond with Nil’sha I began to lash out at them. They however were a pack and worked well as one dashing in from one side as a distraction while another came from behind. In moments I was covered in blood and not all of it was my own, but my chest heaved from the exertion and I knew I could not keep it up for long. That is when they called off the attack and pulled back allowing a strange elf like creature to enter the fire light. He was taller than a elf and his body like their was more slender, his arms and legs longer, his ears more pronounced then mine but it was his face which held my attention. It was narrow and held a bestial cast to it and was covered in fine soft fur as was his whole body I noticed, while a long main of hair cascaded down his back. His eyes were like those of a wolf and a bright amber that seemed to stab into my very soul and when he spoke it was with a voice that was both musical and growl at the same time. “What does a elf who carries the smell of the forest cat yet defends a litter of wolf pups want here.” It was more statement then question for I learned quickly he knew what was I after. Had known for some time for his people had been shadowing me for weeks laying down false trails and dead ends to make me give up and leave. I explained my purpose for being there and we argued back and forth for a time all the while my life’s blood slipping from my veins in the end he locked those eyes upon me and said “So much like your mother you are. You stand as tall as the Popal tree and are as unyielding as the mighty oak in your ways. Oh yes, yes I know who are you Amaras Edssariel I have known since you entered our lands weeks ago. What you ask of us can be done but there is a price that must be paid. One day in your life or those of your descendants the Aer’shyr shall come and make a demand of you, a demand you have no power to deny if you can accept that then we will do as you ask.” I agreed for what else could I do, he laid out other rules that must be followed for I was to return several times a year to check on the pups and ensure they were progressing well. With that the others moved in and each tenderly picked a pup up by the scruff and vanished into the forest leaving me alone with him. He turned sad eyes upon me and let out a breath “I am sorry young one as well for your journey here will leave its mark upon you in many ways. Be safe and journey well.” With that he vanished.

Much to my dismay I found out quickly that the bite wounds they had inflicted upon me would not heal from my magic. I had to tend each one just as a creature of the forest would, I smeared them with various salves and covered them in Gloom Moss to help pull infection out and bound them with mud and Paka Leaves. Then I began the journey home and it was long and hard for the wounds healed slowly and caused me great pain and brought about fever upon me. I wandered several days in the forest in a delirium speaking to shades of my mind, stumbling more than once. I vaguely recall collapsing near a small brook and darkness claimed me as I lay there watching the water flow by. I woke sometime later I don’t know how long had passed but I assumed it was much since I was weak from hunger; I was in the camp of a young druid who had been led to me as she said by Nil’sha. She had been caring for me for several days while Nil’sha stayed by my side refusing to budge. My fever had broken that morning and she was hopefully I could eat and build my strength back up. As she sat next to me she began to run her fingers over the places I had been bitten. “I do not mean to offend but these marks they are strange looking.” I looked myself to see what she meant and noticed that where each of the wolfs had bitten me the wound had healed as a puckered half moon scar that was pale like the moonlight on newly fallen snow. I laid back and wondered how I would explain these to others for I could not tell them how I got them without endangering all I had done. “Indeed they are. They are nothing more than reminders of what I have done and what I have yet to do.”

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Above, Below, and the Middle

Journal of Lor’Athorn Edasseril
Entry the twelfth

Alchemical Discovery: I have been working on a small device that might help in the survival of drowning victims. I have found a small plant that, when properly stimulated, can release a small amount of oxygen, as well as to absorb some carbon dioxide. While not fitting for long term survival underwater, it can significantly extend the amount of time that a person can hold their breath. It must be stressed that this is only a short term solution.

Circumstance has a strange way of bringing to light things that you had once thought resolved. I have come to realize that nothing is truly resolved until you see to it yourself. We, as siblings, have now been thrust into the ugly and unfortunate situation of having to carry out a blood feud. While this “Falcon” acted with the the barest thread of diplomacy, his real intention was to announce war. Let me go back further…

Many times, we find ourselves beginning a journey or misadventure by some big announcement; an attack, or perhaps a supernatural event. This time we were simply enjoying time to ourselves, without any pretense. This is so unusual that I think as siblings, we’ve only done it this once, or at least with so much calm.

We went to the Diamond Falls, mostly to celebrate the assumed birthdays of the children we had taken under our care. The gifts had all been distributed when we were approached by a strange figure who was the very picture of shadow. It was the first time we had seen one of his kind alive, and uncloaked. His introduction was pompous. He was here, truly, to announce in a vague sort of way the intentions of his people. They wanted to destroy our kind… what I will refer to here as “untainted” elvenkind. He had also wanted to make clear that we had done something to severely disrupt their plans, though I cannot be sure we could trust his words entirely.

However, in our questioning of him, he revealed, perhaps impertinently, that he or some force he represented was responsible for the sorrow our father has experienced. Falcon was in some way connected to the events that led to either the disappearance or death of our mothers. If we had tried to keep a calm demeanor about it before, that serenity was shattered. We were, understandably, extremely emotional. Only in reflection can I see how overtaken with anger we were, and I am hoping that we can think clearly when the time comes for us to deal with this detestable group.

I thank Navarre for being the quickest temper and shot, and sending Falcon away with an arrow. That our opposition is using such sophisticated teleportation magic does worry me, but it also makes me think that they are being reckless and inefficient with their resources.

With haste, we went to Hialin, hoping to spare our father the repugnant circus of tragedy that had played out before us. Hialin for his part was comforting. He advised us as I knew he would, telling us of how to proceed. He had also confirmed that he did not know this Flacon, so that at least we could be somewhat certain that the tainted elf was not some strange figure from our father’s past.

However, Hialin had some curious news for us that took our minds off of the matter somewhat. We had received an invitation to meet with the aquatic elves that had helped us against the shambler some time ago. Though wary, we decided to make our way over and meet with them.

We approached, and met with Valstarre, the prince of the aquatic elves. From the get go, he was very brash and rude. I could tell that the crown was heavy on his head, and that many handle that pressure differently. I will have to take notes in case I… happen to come into such a position some day. It is also fascinating to see someone in a position that many covet, but he himself detests.

He took us down into his kingdom with some, but not much, magical assistance. We beheld an interesting mosaic picture that depicted his mother and the mother of Amaras, Mirrianna, and Drekath. It was interesting to see that part of our history in a way we had never imagined. Their mother was trying to make peace with the aquatic elves, and here we were, fumbling through a back room deal.

Of course, Valstarre was wanting to have us help him with a task. He was tied up with his noble duties, and his people were apparently not wanting him to risk his life. This to me if a foreign concept, as we have, as nobles, risked our lives countless times for our kindgom. Queen Telandria would no doubt do the same, or perhaps has. Still, the lake elves are a different kind of people. Again, I must take notes…

We also discovered the presence of a sailor who had earned the ire of Valstarre and the lake elves. It was none other than Markus, the slave gathering scoundrel in service of the tainted elves. Though I did not hold much sympathy for him, Vanya was especially cruel to him. Navarre, to his credit, proved himself to be the senschal that this family needs. I am only glad that his impromtu execution of Markus was not too much of a political gaffe, but the clandestine nature of our meeting had already made this something of a debacle.

What Marcus had revealed, though, is that he had been in the possession of a necklace that once belonged to Valies, the mother of Amaras and so on. Sadly, it wasn’t necessarily much of a clue, more than a vague direction. Still, it was more than anyone had possessed since Vailes’ disappearance.

Ah, I almost forgot to mention. Among the items that were in the horde of items from Markus’ destroyed ship was a device very similar to the black powder device we had been working on. This was somewhat disturbing. The item was so old that it pointed to the existence of black powder weapons going back as far as many thousands of years. I am still unsure as to what that may ultimately mean, but it does make me wonder what could have wiped such an invention out. If it was not a cataclysm, perhaps I can harness such a fact for the removal of black powder in the future, if such a thing is necessary.

But I digress. Before long, we were on our way to the ruins that Valstarre wished for us to investigate. We had hardly caught sight of the ruins before a creature of nightmares appeared before us. It was an aboleth, some kind of ancient pre-historic creature that still roams the planet in some places. It did terrible things to my siblings, but we prevailed over the timeless terror. It was the first time I had unleashed such a thorough mystical attack, and I recall words said to me by my tutor.

“Magic is like the march of history. It is usually subtle, and quiet. However, it can sometimes come together like a great fulmination. When it does, you will understand why it is so important to harness both of these things. You may even someday understand when it is best just to let each of these things take their course.”

I must remember to thank Amrune for the improvement to my curved blade.

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A View from the Outside Part 3

Excerpt from A Druid in the City
By Jaylinn

If I had to look back on my days as a child and chose any one that was my most beloved memory I would easily say it was my first Birth Day. It was a huge surprise to all of us children when Amaras came to us one evening and informed us the next day we would be joining him and his siblings for a trip into the forest to a place called Diamond Falls. None of us could sleep a wink that night I ended up tossing and turning all night wondering why we were being taken into the forest and what we would see? Even my young mind could not fathom what it was we were about to undertake but it was a day I would remember forever. We made the trip into forest via a Elf Gate which was amazing by itself, but when we arrived at the falls I could do nothing but stare at it, the way the water flew into the air and sparkled like millions of diamonds or falling stars. However my thoughts were broken when a deep melodious voice spoke a word of greeting, turning I beheld a trio of adult elves I had never seen before. One was a beautiful elven women who looked out of sorts in the forest, beside her was a tall stern looking elf who looked at us as if we were a fungus found growing on his most cherished houseplant. Next to them stood a man who could be none other than Amaras father. He had spoken often of him to me but nothing could prepare me for sheer power and respect that poured off of him, however what struck me as out of place was that he looked old. I had seen some elves in my time who looked like that but he was older than most I had seen, which I later learned from Mirrianna was because of all the pain and sadness he had suffered in life. That is all that can age a elf she told me and then she pointed at her youngest brother and said “Look upon Amaras child and you can see it in him as well. The grief of losing our mother nearly destroyed him as it did our father.” I had never noticed till then but she was right. Looking deeply at him I noticed that he did appear more aged this even his eldest brother, slight lines marked the edges of his eyes and brow while lines of silver lined his hair.

However nothing could dim the joy of his announcement that today was to be our Birth Day! And we would celebrate in the way of his people, through food and fun. We made our way to the bottom of the falls where he introduced us to a pair of otters who talked! Though it took some convincing that their father would not freeze the lake again if the otters came out. And they came out in force, I have never laughed as much as I did that day watching them play prank after prank upon those of us near. Though their favorite target quickly became Amaras new stepmother who they tricked into falling into the lake five different times. She was a very sweet woman but easily duped, and I admit that we children did much the same to her as well. We played and swam in the water with the others; Amaras quickly challenged his brothers to a diving match seeing who could leap from the heights with more grace. The otters Pa and Po joined in with their own brand of humor and when they tried to encourage us we declined as we were all afraid to risk the great heights they leapt from. After a great deal of playing we pulled ourselves onto the banks where a great deal of food awaited us along with a large cake. When their father moved to light the large candles resting upon it the others scrambled forth to stop him saying something about a Phos’ making them, which at that time we knew the strange man not all. The cake was amazing and we all consumed far more then we should have and after it Amaras and each of his family gave us words of wisdom or gifts. Palanon gave us the most bizarre of them all and to me he handed over a small empty glass vial which he instructed me to open later. Looking back up on that gift and what it would do for me later in life…well to say was I happy for it would be an understatement, but I would never know how he knew I would need it when I did. Amaras words and gift touched me the most of any of those said or given, he told each of us that we were as family to him in a way. That if ever anyone challenged us or tried to harm us then they would face the wrath of his family, that touched me for some reason to know that these people cared so much for us. Later he pulled me aside and knelt before me and smiled as I have never seen him smile before. “Someday your path may take you from me and from this forest Jaylinn but know that I have been proud to teach you all that I could. Know also that you have taught me many things as well. I asked Vanya for advice on what to get for a young girl for her Birth Day and she told me you would like this.” He pulled from his pouch a small silver necklace from which hung a single oak leaf carved from amber with words in elven carved into it. I asked him what the words meant and he smiled once more “Its meaning does not translate well but it says, May your steps always walk in light and when you find yourself in the shadow hold this close and know let my spirit help guide your steps back to the light.” Later that night I cried tears of joy while holding it close to me. That day I learned what it truly meant to have a family, to be part of something so much larger then myself….to know what it felt to be loved.

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Of water and abberations

From the Journal of Amaras
Child of the Green

I have seen many amazing sites in my life and among those I count the bottom of Lake Encartha among them. Our journey to the bottom of the lake was one of wonder and amazement to me, at first I was frightened as the water closed over our magical bubble but that quickly faded as we went lower the water various shades of blue and green and schools of fish swimming by us curious as to who we were. We also saw even more bizarre and strange creatures of the depths move by in the shadows, which before the others summoned light I noticed my eyes pierced the gloom with ease. I could see in total darkness with as much ease as with full light, my vision had become that of the great forest cat. Another sign that my bond with Nil’sha was deepening further and I noticed she appears to be growing herself gaining more muscle and size. The amazement of the journey quickly wore off for most of us as we found ourselves trudging over the lakes bottom seeing nothing outside but darkness and the occasional glimpse of some shape or another near us. In time we were lead to the air filled cavern where I saw a site that took my breath away and learned even more of my mother. Upon the wall as a mural that depicted my mother and that of our hosts extending their hands forth in friendship. The Prince explained the two were good friends and sought to join our two peoples in a more lasting alliance then we shared now, I quickly found I liked this man. He did not find need to hide his words in flowery speech or behind a perfumed hand, he spoke his heart with much gusto and cared little for the feelings of others. He is a man I could get along with quiet well and I hope that I can convince him to pick up where our mothers left off, but that was not the largest shocker. He produced a necklace that once belonged to my mother and told us they got it from a man they had banished from the lakes surface long ago who had returned recently and they took captive. The man was Markus Half-elven and we were led to see him where we questioned him about his dealings with our dark skinned kin. He truly knew nothing more than he had told us which made his death at the hands of Navarre all the more appalling to me. He had committed no crime in our lands yet my brother took it upon himself to mete out punishment, he would not look at giving him a chance because of his split heritage. Once more I have it confirmed why these people come to so easily hate my own, we have done nothing but give them ample reason to! After his death the Prince asked us to do a favor him, his diviners had tracked down something related to his own vanished mother to nearby set of ruins. I feel for the prince he misses his mother and worries about her though he hides it behind bluster and a desire to shirk his duties. I have come to accept that my own is gone and all I can do now is hope to find out why and what fate befell her, maybe I can help the Prince find the same closure.

From those air filled caverns the Prince led us near to a set of ruins that lay on the lakes bottom, he could go no closer for his people laws forbade it. As we stood there on the lakes bottom starting the bizarre twisting ruins I came to mark them as buildings of a sort but as to what race would have made use of them was beyond me. The storm raged above us with all its might and the Prince quickly tried to dissuade us from entering he claimed something was stirring there something evil and old. We would be swayed once our word was given and swam into the ruins which became more bizarre as we moved in and then without warning a massive shark like creature was upon us. It was massive and sported several sets of vertical eyes and long waving tentacles but it was a fish and should prove little problem. I rushed forward to strike the creature and it followed up with a slap from is tentacle which stung but did not hurt much. It was what occurred after that which shook me to my core, my very flesh began to change slowly turning translucent and slick like a membrane.

Even after the creature was slain my flesh kept changing, Miri rushed to my side and began to cash spells but nothing worked. None of us had ever seen such a creature not even the prince could tell us what was wrong so my sister prayed to her god for answers and she was rewarded with a answer. A powerful Priest or Druid would be needed to turn my flesh to normal, the others wanted father to do it but argued against that. It was quiet clear we were not suppose to be there on the lakes bottom or near these ruins to bring in father would allow others to know and could cause our new friend trouble. It took a great deal but I convinced the others I could handle the problem via a druidic friend of mine who owed me a favor. Also when it comes to keeping a secret there none better then old Kestrel , locating him using my gift from Klick was not hard and he quickly cast his magic over me to revert what had been done. My payment for his services was to explain what happened which I did gladly for like me he had no idea what the thing below as.

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Finding the Dark Ones

The Journal of Navarre Edasseril
Entry 12

Vanya’s contact in Eragis informs her that it is a good time so we travel there. It is mostly a terrible place. The place is similar to Daggermark in the architectural style, and the fact that there are almost no trees in sight. Since it is on the coast and lacks walls or trees, the wind howls through every thoroughfare and tears at every building. As I said, it is a terrible place. It goes without saying that the people were unfriendly towards us. Fortunately, we have an experienced guide in Vanya’s friend Nerinin, a young half-elven woman who I learned later is also a talented actress. She found us a place to stay. We rested there until night. That evening we went out hunting for cultists and found a group of four who spotted us and ran. They were very quick and they led us through a series of obstacles. We were only just barely able to catch them before they got to their base. After capturing them, we questioned them and learned they had allies waiting within. Their base was a mound of earth hollowed out on the inside with a hatch on top and a more secretive entrance through a cave on the side of the mound. The twins and Nil’sha waited above while the rest of us went below. We were able to surprise the brigands inside and overwhelm them quickly with little harm to ourselves. Once felled it was easy to see that these people were elves with black skin. We searched the corpses and found a number of useful items. Inside this mound we also found an Elf Gate, which Pallanon told should take us to the Glade of Songs; a place that was once Amares’ mother’s home. Marcus Half-Eleven, a man we were told to look out for, showed up with more “converts”. We learned captured and questioned him as well. We learned that the Dark Elves were taking converts, feeding them some kind of fungal food and if they survived that, somehow use them to open the gate. Marcus also mentioned that he sent some people to harm Meritanus who happened to be selling his wares in the city. My siblings left to make sure Meritanus was alright and took Marcus with them. I stayed behind with Mirrianna and the converts to go find the bodies that the Dark Elves left. I forced the converts to dig graves for their fallen brethren and then released them after remarking on the foolish choices they had made. Mirri gave the buried men their final rights and then we left to catch up to our siblings. By the time we arrived all was well and we learned that our brothers Drekath and Sylthas had shown up and intervened before the attackers could harm Meritanus and his family. I’m beginning to wonder if destiny has chosen our family to watch over his, or if he is simply meant to be in peril any time we happen to be near. Regardless, it had been a long time since I had seen my brothers; it made me very happy to be in their presence again even though they would not be staying long.

After returning home, King Borogrim payed us a visit and he was not very happy. It seems that while being transported, the shipment of firearms met with a horrible tragedy … the entire shipment exploded taking the lives of many. I immediately worried that my plan for an explosive firearm had gone much too far, but as I reflect on the matter further, I’m confident that an explosion of that size could not have occurred by mistake.

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Helping Faunra and Amrune

The Journal of Navarre Edasseril
Entry 11
My siblings and I gathered for lunch one day and Vanya was quite chatty. It was suggested that we go on a family outing to Diamond Falls. I have heard of this places beauty and I realized it was a shame that I had yet to visit this place. I thought the idea was wonderful already, but became even better when I learned that Father would be joining us. A few days later we set out. I thought that we were really there to enjoy each other and have a good time, but it seems it was actually a chance for Father to speak to us candidly about a matter that could not be brought up at home: he wanted to talk about the spy. It seems Father suspected Fuanra and asked us to collect evidence.

It was decided that Amrune should be sought out to help us with this. Amares helped us to seek out Greymuzzle and after my brother swore an oath to care for and eventually awaken a group of wolf cubs, Greymuzzle informed us that we could find Amrune in Brightglade’s home. We met with Brightglade and she was happy to receive us. She thanked us for helping her before and informed us that she is doing much better and even taking on some of her old responsibilities.

We met with Amrune in her wolf form and started communicating with her when we realized that her cubs were those we were meant to awaken one day and that they were likely in danger. We rushed to check on her litter, and found them already being attacked. The cubs were playing near a pool of water when a nixie summoned a few water elementals and began trying to drown the pups. I held off the elementals while my brothers used their spells to weaken the nixie, and it was Vanya who delivered the killing blow. We were able to save all of the cubs, though one almost didn’t make it.

As my siblings were working to stabilize the pup, Still Water the nixie rose for one final attack. Though Vanya and I spotted the nixie we were both unable to stop the attack from reaching its mark … Black Wolf, Amrunes partner was struck down by the attack … I failed to defend him. It is a lesser matter, but one that still worries me: it seems that some of my siblings were surprised that Vanya was willing to jump into the path of the attack. I think they don’t give her enough credit. Vanya is does things differently than we are used to, but her soul is good and she has a brave heart. Amrune decided to end her cycle and become an elf once again. She told us about how Fuanra forced her to leave so that she could take her place as a councilor. After some thought we decided that Fuanra was most likely being manipulated by someone else and that her family might be in danger. With that in mind we went to Whitefall Glade to look for Quais. We searched their home and the neighboring areas. In a nearby cave we saw some person encased in shadow walking through. We gave chase as best as we could and Amares was able to yank off a boot before losing the figure in a tunnel filled with water. We examined the boot and found that it began to dissolve in sunlight. We went home to convey all that we had learned to Father. As soon as we arrived we were called to a secret meeting by Hialin. He shared with us an interesting secret: it seems that there are elves called the Thirokah who possess power over darkness just as I possess some power over light. We promised to keep Hialin’s secret. Father used his abilities to try scrying on Quais and saw only a shamble. He refused to believe it at first, but Quais had been changed.

We confronted Fuanra with all that we had learned. She broke down and admitted to everything. She explained to us that her son grew to be a powerful blighter who eventually kidnapped Quais and used him as a weapon against Faunra. After some deliberation we decided the most appropriate thing we could do would be to give Faunra a chance at redemption by allowing her to reincarnate. Amrune was reinstated to her previous position.

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Half Cocked

Journal of Lor’Athorn Edasseril

Entry the 11th-

Alchemical Discovery: I’ve invented a new kind of delivery method for various drugs and medicines. The difficulty I found in helping my siblings is that the vicissitudes of battle sometimes finds them unconscious. It is exceedingly difficult to give someone a healing potion when they are in that state. They do still breathe, however, and my invention takes advantage of this. I have created a device that can turn liquid into a fine mist that can then be inhaled even by someone who has been knocked out. I am eager to see how this will bear out in the din of battle.

Since writing the last entry, a number of peculiar things have occurred. I say here peculiar because they are in reality very frustrating. I am doing my best to assemble the events, so that I may make some sense of them.

I shall start first with the events in Erages. As we were finally free of being spied upon, we were certain we could discover more clues pertaining to the cultist activity coming from the region. Making our way over to the half-elven city, we soon discovered an inn by the name of “The Wholesome Elf”, the sign of which suffered from an unfortunate and potentially intentional lack of letters. This inn boasted a secure meeting place, so we promptly made use of it in hopes of avoiding the notice of the cultists.

We used a few local contacts, or so I am told, by way of Vanya. Before long, we had discovered one of the hiding places of the cultists, but it appeared that their intelligence had at least given them a bit of a heads up, as we ran into a number of their people making their way over to the hideout to warn the others.

We gave chase, and followed them through a series of dangerous obstacles. Though they appeared to know some of the path, they had tripped themselves up far more in their attempt to evade us than we did to them. I was surprised to find that I was on equal footing with Vanya. Normally, that would make me proud, as she is an exemplar of dexterous action. However, it was her who kept at my pace. We might have been out of sorts that day.

Soon, we arrived at a burial mound re-purposed as a hideout. Having dispatched their advance scouts, we had the drop on them. Palanon and myself were up above, waiting to rain doom on them, as our siblings snuck in through a secret entrance. Though they appeared formidable, the element of surprise won the day. I am still impressed by our level of coordination.

It had appeared as though we were dealing with corrupted elf of some sort. Though some of them were still alive, they managed to kill themselves with poison before we could interrogate them. They are organized in a way that frightens me. If they are unwilling to even speak to us to such an extent, I wonder what other terrible acts they are capable of, and willing to execute. Ours is a disciplined enemy.

As we were surveying the area, we heard someone else approaching, thanks to Nilsha’s keen senses. We found a man that worked as a sort of slaver, con man, and handler for the group.
He was far less disciplined, but understandably much less informed. He was as shifty as could be expected, but we decided to let him go. The law around here was lax, and he had learned a lesson. More likely it was one of humility rather than morality, but it would have to do. In carting him around, though, we ran into some familiar faces.

Our erstwhile brothers, Silthas and Drekath, were in town to take care of a few tasks before another bout of traveling. I was unimpressed by my full brother’s antics, but the other seemed amused, so I remained composed. I sometimes praise Yuelral that Palanon was my twin.

It appeared, though, that our brothers had helped Meritanus, who was of course in town. His son was looking like a fine young man, and we had learned that he would take control of the caravan while his father would take up business on the lake. I was proud to see his son growing into such a responsible young man, but the passing of human years always makes me feel a bit uneasy. I hope to see them again before either of them greys.

Our celebration and success marked the end of that adventure, but segued into a terrible disaster. Later that week, I had received news from King Borogrim that the weapons shipment to Daggermark had been destroyed by a horrendous accident. Upon reflection, I find myself paranoid with suspicion on the event. Although the result was perhaps what I had preferred, I surprise myself in that I am unhappy with the loss of life within Daggermark. It fills me with unease with the prospects of someone seeing the potential for such explosive devices. I must work harder to highlight the dangerous volatility of this invention.

I am also worried about the loss of face to King Borogrim. Should this truly be some nefarious plot that can be justly or unjustly linked to us, I foresee diplomatic trouble. However, if my suspicions are sound, I imagine that part of the plan has already been predicted and accounted for.

End Entry

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