Forward Into Danger

better, stronger, faster.
6 million silver piece man

I have confirmed that no God will claim me, apparently I have not appeased the human Gods, nor did the Elven Gods find my leaving worthy of them, a pox on them all. I found myself separated from the mortal realm and brought back, but not into my body, instead I am now some form of construct, it is amazing. The price was high, no longer can I feel the flow of magic and manipulate it, but for that price I will never succumb to age, hunger or a death not brought from a blade.

I do owe my killer/creator a small favor, I dislike being in debt to anyone but a mage less so.

I am able to keep my appearance (A good thing I was never myself) with only minor adjustments to my disguise so to most nothing has changed.

I have been working on additional designs for my laboratory and sanctuary in the mountains, but I feel having a ship will still be important, when we return to Gossad I shall see if I can regain my gnomish crew.

I must also be careful, no longer being of the living makes me less compassionate to them in general, I must not cross into to dark a path.

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Missive To Auric V

It has been ages since my last epistle — please forgive me. The halfling is a member of the eagle riders and thus always mucking around the aviary. Some months ago, the puckish fellow saw me trying to deliver my messages. He even used the meeting to try and strike up a rapport with me — the nerve! Like I’d have any interest in learning about what kind of depraved feasts his hirsute mother would cook for breakfast. And, please, tell me more about aged cheeses… suffice it to say that I don’t think he’ll make the same mistake twice.This is a long way of saying that I’ve had to stop writing to avoid the prying eyes.

In the meantime, I have discovered a marvelous new magic! Our party has stumbled, bottom-first, into the lair of an amazing human wizard. And — ha! — I know what you’re thinking. I, too, was reminded of old joke about the human wizard locking him self out of his own spell book. Regardless, the humans have managed to create at least one respectable wizard. With the aid of his extensive library, I was able to conjure up a new evocation called, Ulundo’s Spherical Conflagration. It’s a wonderful combination of Scorching Ray and Magic Missile — I expect you’ll be impressed. I’ll send it along with my next letter, using the secret phrase we discussed.

Other points of interest since my last Missive:

  • There is a war between the human clans brewing. Through the human (now a squire), we’ve been assigned to the front lines. I can’t honestly tell the two sides apart, it’s a blessing that the others are here to stop me to slaying the ‘wrong’ people. We’ve sat in meeting after meeting about this and I still can’t keep it all straight. It’s like watching two flies argue over a piece of feces: You’re both going to be dead and covered in excrement in a week, what difference does it make?
  • It turns out the elf was some kind of illusionist. A lot of good that did him when he was split in twain! Ha! So, I guess it’s of no import. Surprisingly, the human wizard has quite the talent for creating constructs. He actually managed to resurrect the elf into a new body of his creation. Truly impressive; though, obviously the workings of a syphilitic brain.
  • Of strategic importance, humans reserve the highest stories in their castles for the highest-ranked members. It’s like I’m in opposite land. I’m not sure I’d be surprised anymore to learn that they shove food up their rectums and vacate from their mouths — it certainly would explain the food. Doesn’t the head wizard has better things to be doing all day than walking up and down stairs? For gods’ sake, they only live for 60 years! I suggested that, perhaps, it was more intelligent to be placed on the lowest floors… I was guffawed right out of the room. Hrphm!

- U

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Met at the Cross roads
A deal with a devil

I was able to negotiate a deal with a group of devils for some items and future aid, while this is not something I plan on doing often, it was worth it, but next time the price may be to great.

Unfortunately, the insurgents mounted a large scale attack, and while we repelled it, their probing attack used more forces then we currently have. They also used a concentration of siege engines to lure us out in an attempt to destroy our group, it was not successful. With their numbers increasing by the minute, the mountains all but theirs and our reinforcements still weeks away (and far less in numbers) we will need to push some decisive and destructive victories, find a way to alienate them from the population or destroy the still unknown leadership that is holding all of these groups together.

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Captured Cleric

We have taken a cleric alive, but she will be asleep for a while. If we can get her back to the safe area we should be able to get a good amount of information from her about the rebels, we are low on resources so I hope to avoid detection and any altercations.

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Rathan Air-Com
Alden Piermont Abercrombie

From Ossus to Gossud

Dear Marhillion, storied dwarven bard of the glittering caves

I write to you from the human lands, old friend, for concern weighs heavy on my mind. Weeks ago I departed the coast on poor terms with my eldest brother J.G Abercrombie Jr.. I go west in service to our human allies, and I shall surely see combat. Our argument was heated, tempers flared, old battles sparked suddenly to flame. Yet in the time between my anger has waned. Now the dusty coals of regret fill my heart, and I choke on every ashen breath. In my absence I must hire your services to make things right, and forge our friendship anew.

You see, my dear brother is harboring doubts about his career choices, and requires a good deal of encouragement to continue working day in and day out for the prosperous iron bank of Gossud. You must find him on his commute, a long walk through the spacious caldera, and use your trumpeted fanfare (in which you specialize most expertly) and your golden voice of song. Illustrate, the way only the illustrious Marhillion can do, the importance of his is day to day tasks. Leave no detail out! His tasks include scrivening, scribing, dictating, reading, folding bills, saving, spending, taxing, writing, counting, thinking and talking.

Included you shall find your fee for one week of service, and a copy of my brothers daily schedule. He is humble and will try to dissuade you, but you must not relent!

Lastly, you must not mention my name. I am unsure if his is anger has lessened, and mentioning me may send him into a fit, surely interrupting your stellar performance.

Sincerely,
Alden P Abercrombie

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Get out while the getting is good

After meeting with the wizards I was able to purchase a couple of scrolls to augment my book, they will be useful.

While not much of note occurred as I waited for the others to finish (I hope Wade has his wife handled by now) I was able to make a good profit off of selling and reselling some trinkets and potions to the nobility who are looking for a good way to increase their chances at becoming a closer relation to the emperor. How easy it is to separate the dumb from their money.

On a side note, Kamen was able to make a beautiful replica of an ancient torc (I could only tell the difference from the original by using detect magic) and I delivered it, as a gift, to the Duke or Orange’s estate as a good luck trinket for his nieces, from the most honorable Wade Neil, Squire (his seal is amazing easy to copy).

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Fort Plenty

After dealing with final affairs we left King’s head for Osis, going straight overland instead of following the Emperor’s road. While this cut a good week off of the journey, it did cause us to take shelter in a ruined keep and battle against a large pack of wolves. After dispatching them, I took the time to scout the area and was rewarded with a few caches of goods squirreled away. this along with the other items we found will make a good amount of coin for us in Osis.

My appointment with the Emperor’s purchasing agent went well, I was able to trade the long sword for a blade more fitting of my style, get a decent price for some odd art objects and a letter of introduction to the mage’s guild. I believe I have convinced Ulundo to join the human mages and take an apprentice, I still am not sure what he is doing here for the elves, but I feel if he gets treated well and respected by the humans his vanity will make him less zealous of his cause for the homeland.

Wade has spent the past days since we got to the city with his family, I am looking forward to the meeting of them, it will be interesting how the common folk that he surronds himself with will deal with a dwarf, elf and halfling.

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Over the river and thru the woods

I will, in the future pay heed to the warnings of the locals as to which streams to avoid drinking out of.

It seems that during my “down time” Wade and Alden took some time to explore the catacombs located near the city, while nothing they found was extraordinary, they did stop a minor undead resurgence and made themselves some decent coin.

During my recovery, I did have time to speak with some of the local loggers who told me stories of an ancient (between 300 and 500 years) fort that is some 2 days deep into the forest. They speak of it being inhabited by spiders and it being magic and foreboding, while the spiders I believe, the rest is nothing more than superstition and wives tales. I hope to get some decent samples of the spider poison, both Wade and Alden are getting very good at removing the parts that I require from venomous beasts.

(notes on spiders, recipe for anti-toxin)

While only Wade and Kamen joined me on the expedition to the old forest fort, we made incredible (and quiet) time and camped near the entrance to a gulch that should lead us to the fort by mid tomorrow. Unfortunately this spot seemed to be in the middle of territory controlled by a pack of giant boars, we shall eat well on this small trip.

I may have been wrong about my assumption that the fort was old and only superstition kept others away, it seems that this part of the forest is inhabited by a fae spirit, at first I thought it was a nymph of some sort, but we encountered a dryad that seems to have been to long in this world, it is, while appearing normal, has fallen to much lesser forms of emotions, it is either corrupt, mad or both. It escaped and abandoned its hold of this area, and hopefully it will return to the fae and whatever made it act so strangely will fade from its memory (my guess is it’s original tree was felled to build this fort and it went made with rage and could not let go until forced away).

I have never seen Wade so determined, when the fae offered a truce and a bribe he adamantly was against it (he also claims that the fae’s magical quasi-dead pet pleaded for him to kill it). For his heroics he gained a very notable sword of a knight of much higher rank then himself (from the previous “lord” of the keep) which will be at the very least a talking point for him in polite company.

We found a decent amount of money and valuables, the most noticeable piece is a sword of excellent construction from before the rift, while only imbued with minor offensive magic, it also has a slight enchantment protecting its wearer from acid.

We journey back to King’s Head with money and good news (I do not think our clearing of this fort will do much, it is to destroyed and remote) but things of this nature do have a way of spreading to the bards.

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A cult among men
Highway to Hell

As if the world decided to take a course in irony, after heaping praise amongst ourselves for Alden’s growth and use only for him to get our very rare eggs taken by his father and having to give ransom in the form of information to his father. We delivered the owlbear heads to Wade’s superior and i am told he was pleased, this will earn wade more favor in the empire which is good.

After returning and dealing with a few things (the gnomes were incarcerated again) I was able to idle the majority of my time away while the rest of the group had obligations to their families and vocations. I was able to make a good trade with a dwarven wizard to get Wade a magic shield, a small sum of gold and a scroll of invisibility, which I have taken the time to learn.

Before we left the city I had three important encounters as such:

Kamen noticed me using my ring to recall and cast at the fire temple, we had a brief discussion on it but he understands my need for secrecy.

Alden’s father wanted to use us to make him more money, he was going to let us use a ship (his ship) so that we could supposedly do as we please, but this is a man I want nothing to do with. Everything he touches is diminished first, then divided to aid him later and that is not the type of enterprise that I wish to be involved in.

Kamen’s family will be taking up control and running of the small area in which we found, but we will maintain 20% control (so while we cannot make any decisions it will generate enough money to pay for itself and I will get the cave for myself). With the caves location into the cliffs I plan on having a large amount of it excavated out to include a series of large rooms, some open balconies overlooking the sea, a few rooms at sea level that will have tidal pools and protected areas to keep specific fish and sea life and a large garden located on the top which I will be able to grow specific plants (I have read about green houses and how with panes of glass an area can be kept at a tropical temperature nearly year round). I am starting to sketch plans for this but I will need to procure a large amount of funding to get it made properly.

(rough and incomplete sketches of cave and the additional modification)

Amusingly enough we are headed inland by way of King’s Head to eventually reach Ossuss where Wade’s wife is paying his summons exactly no heed. We have also convince Ulundo many things about Wade’s wife’s pie which he has taken to mean an actual pie and I am sure will lead to an amusing situation.

Stopping in King’s Head Wade met painter who has once again come across a job, while not raiding a tomb, we will have to storm an old fortress and remove the cult of bandits which now resides there. I look forward to trying out my new spell to render myself invisible, we shall see how it works.

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Burn baby burn
Owlbear inferno

I believe that those things that have found their way deep under the mountains should be left there at all cost. From the now liberated fortress we had either to go into a series of caves or over rough passes, it was decided that under the mountain was safer. This assertion of safety may still be true, if the overpass is littered with angry rock giants who throw trees at the living, without these rocky slopes and unstable paths would have been preferable.

We encountered a strange plant that uses its spores to infect creatures (it seems to drive them crazy and ignore the plant) I can only assume that these spores will eventually germinate into these plants and, while tempting I do not think this is a cultivatable form worth researching.

(notes about wild hooked beasts from the under mountains)

I did locate a torc on one of the giant stone apes and it has a peculiar magical property, it seems that it will cause a lesser geas spell to last indefinitely if it is placed upon the being before the spell is cast, but it can only be used once per decade.

Within the volcanic scar we were able to locate the old temple which was occupied by the owlbears. We defeated a number of sluggish lizards and trekked across the hellish landscape until we came to the temple. Kamen used a powerful scroll to bring in an angel to help our fight, it may have been more than we needed as the battle was over quickly, unfortunately there were not as many of the beasts as I had hoped, meaning no where near the amount of eggs that I would have liked to gain. Along with some paltry treasures we recovered 3 eggs, combined with what we found in our journey here it has been a slightly profitable trip, but not enough for my share to finance even a small part of the ship so I will need to continue to acquire more funds.

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