It all started with a letter and a ring

The Sound of Music

Having successfully infiltrated and observed the political situation in the Gotban Principalities, we decided to head on back to Lenknat. Our next course of action was to get the younger brother onto the throne. Hopefully, with our subtle, nearly imperceptible manipulation of the Gotban goat barons, this would result in the peaceful merger of the two countries, which will have no further international consequences. However, we had one more thing to do before we left. Taka had managed to get himself arrested during our short stay, and we had managed to break him out, but his possessions were still locked away.
While Taka and Murthrug schemed together on how to sneak back in and retrieve his things, I donned my title of sausage king and approached the guard house prepared to bribe my way in. It took disappointingly little effort to convince the guard to “forget” his keys in exchange for a fraction of what we would have had to spend to free Taka in the first place. In the evidence locker, I found Taka’s equipment, and some paperwork that looked lie deeds of some kind. I took all of them on impulse. It turned out that they were forged documents for the raising and selling of goats. Perhaps they will come in handy later.
With that behind us, we went to Lenknat and got in contact with the organization there. We found two people to talk to, one was an assassin, and one was a former military captain. We opted to talk to the captain, as we were not sure if we wanted someone dead just yet. We approached the captain and told him about our goals. He thought about it for a moment, and replied “the moths are very fruitful this winter”. He then tried to fill an upside down glass, and we noticed that he was wearing a shirt for pants. Clearly, something was not right here. We tried to communicate with him, using both gibberish and normal sentences, but nothing worked. Using our combined magical talent, we confirmed that there was something wrong with him. We descended upon him and poked and prodded him with a variety of spells, before coming to the conclusion that he was borked. Finally, we gave up and asked one of the other members of the organization milling about, who confirmed that he was in fact borked. In an experiment done by a local wizard, intended to turn the man into a super-soldier, he had instead been turned into a bumbling idiot. We decided to try and fix him in case he knows something that could help us, so we asked a man with a gnarly scar about any wizards crazy enough to try. He said he knew a guy, and gave us an address.
Upon arrival, we found an arrangement of glasses filled with varying amounts of water. Opening the door caused a gust of wind to resonate the glasses, causing a strange harmony. Not just sound, but magical energy emanated from the glasses, and an arcane mark held itself in the air before dissipating. We found more musical magical experiments further inside, before running into the arcane maestro himself. We explained our request, and he said he could attempt a cure. The one thing he needed was a helmet made of crystal, which he himself could acquire. While we waited for his half-elf manservant to gather the materials, I learned a thing or two about magic from him.Now, we just have to wait.

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In preparation

So before take on the mantles of humanity, we have decide to persue some unfinished business around the different nations. One of the tasks we decide to do was to stop a international war through peace and negotiation. We haven’t made much Congress due to the bureaucracy of the system put in place in the Gotban free trading principalities. The different guilds have much interests and power over what happens in the city we are in and to stop needless bloodshed we need to learn how to navigate this system. For now we are bluffing our way through the different livestock and food related regulatory guilds.

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In Search of Power

Knowing we had to take up the mantle of the teachers, we decided to begin our preparations by heading to Lèncahnat’ so that we might find information regarding the Lich brother who’s goal was to rule mortal-kind. On our way north we went to visit the orc who specializes in awakened items. He helped us become more attuned to our equipment, providing a much needed magical edge for the upcoming conflict. Speaking of magical edges, our next stop was to see the blacksmith. Now that I had a source of hellfire with which to smelt our mysterious metal, he made for us two fine weapons that were to be used by our druid, a scimitar and a lance.

Later, as we arrived in Lèncahnat’s capital, we were met with a cityscape most bizarre. The architecture was much less grandiose then we had become accustomed to, but their technological advances were clearly impressive. Every third building seemed to be a magic shop. Looking around we saw army recruiting posters everywhere. We asked the nearest sentries what was going on and were surprised to hear that the Gotban Free Trading Principalities might soon be invaded in an attempt to reconquer the land that once belonged to the empire. We tried to contact the King’s second son but he was too busy with military matters. We had heard that the Gotban Free Trading Principalities contained some prominent guilds that sought to swear fealty to the empire on the condition that the second son, who is much more amenable to their religion, be named heir to the throne. Seeing an avenue for peace, we resolved to travel to the Gotban Free Trading Principalities, but first we decided to follow up on a note that our paper frogs had returned.

We entered the allegedly haunted house, which to our dismay proved quite haunted indeed. The furnishings were not appreciative of our presence, but the doors proved rather sturdy. The owner of the house apparently was a scholar of magic and alchemy. As we found ourselves entering the attic, the source of this house’s magic became dramatically clear.

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A Token of their Burden

With the volcano split open, we knew we didn’t have much time before we would have to return and protect granny. However, we didn’t know who or what had killed Quake, so with quick haste, we rode on the wings of our friend Storm to enter the volcano and see what destruction had been wrought. Entering, we found ourselves in front of a large magma pool… With a humanoid body floating within it.

With the help of the druid magic, we were able to fish the body out of the lava.

…It was cold to the touch, and had no signs of being burned by the magma. Yet, with further inspection, we found stab wounds on the body with burns around the entry points. Storm made note of his missing infernal blade.

Knowing that there wasn’t much left to do there, we then made haste to granny. Speaking with her for a time, we found that there is only one way to truly defeat the lich brothers.

Open the door to Eden for a time, to allow them to gain mortality, and then seal up the door.
…Which is exactly what we had been working towards with the organization this entire time.

We’ve been played, well and true.

One of the lich brother’s is tired of immortality, and wishes to finally have peace. So, over hundreds of years, he’s set up the elaborate organization, for the purpose of bringing about the end of his mortality and open the gates to Eden. And he had selected us to help him finish the job.

Discussing with granny, the only real way to let this happen is with the death of her and Storm, while ensuring that someone else can take up the mantle. …And the ones who will fit that bill will be us.

There are concerns about Red’s ability to take up the mantle. Being related to the lich, she is at risk of being overcome with her past and origin. Hopefully, with her own strength and a little help from us, she will be able to come out from that stronger, and will be able to hold up the mantle with the rest of us.

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The Lich and the Thunderbird
by Finn

When I was first transferred to this party, my supervisor gave me one piece of advice: Don’t trust anyone. When I first met the group, I thought that he must have been misinformed of the state of things in this branch of the organization. These people were far more straightforward and less deceptive than my previous co-workers up north. But now I see what he meant. While the foot-soldiers are honorable and trustworthy, their superior(s?) are a whole other matter. While we still aren’t sure exactly what the return of eden would entail, none of the information that we have found points to it being a good thing. So, as we made our way back to the Leram empire, we began to consider the idea of not making it happen. However, we still wanted to seek out the remaining members of the family, both to learn more and to prevent any disasters from causing economic damage taking innocent lives. For this reason, we headed towards the capitol, hoping to find conflict bad enough to draw out one of the family. Unfortunately, our new political leanings were known only to us, and so our enemies remained opposed to our travels. A terrible storm ravaged our boat when we were at sea, potentially called upon us by “Storm” himself, killing the crew and leaving us to row a makeshift lifeboat to shore. Once we made it to the coast, we rode along with a trade caravan to the capitol. The bad weather continued, but was much less deadly. Perhaps Storm planned on depressing us to death? No, he seems much more direct than that (but I must remember the depression idea for future use).

Once we reached the capitol, things briefly switched from other-worldly conflict to good old fashioned human conflict. The theocrats had taken over, but a revolution was brewing amongst the masses (encouraged by the expert brew-master Kevtumal). Within days of our arrival, a full on assault was launched on the so called “speaker”. As we predicted, the skirmish drew the attention of a teacher, the thunderbird AKA Storm. He appeared with a lightning strike and confronted the speaker, exchanging words but not blows. Taka apparently was bored by this, and so he let loose an arrow. As it passed Storm, the electrical power that his arrow was imbued with multiplied ten-fold, and it struck the speaker with enough force to send him flying backwards. However, Storm was not the only supernatural power that saw fit to intervene. The demi-lich that attacked us in the desert followed us all this way, and used the bodies of those slain in the battle against us. Paladins and soldiers alike began swarming the streets, as the lich revealed that he planned on killing us to prevent us from bringing about eden. At this point, we were still neutral on the whole “eden” thing, so we did not correct him. Storm realized that with his army of undead holy men, the lich was too powerful for us to handle, so he flew us out of the city. Once we escaped, we had a little chat about the family and eden. Apparently, the return of eden would entail the opening of the gates between worlds, allowing gods and devils to once again roam the earth freely. A side effect of this is that the demi-lichs’ curse would be broken. This all fit with our previous knowledge of eden, which conveniently left out the demons. We decided then that we would no longer do the bidding of our superior, as eden seemed incredibly dangerous for all mortals (and two non-mortals).

So why then did our boss send us to find this information? Surely most of my colleagues were selected for their heroic, humanitarian tendencies. Perhaps our defection is of no importance, and our mysterious employer merely needed more information about the family? Either way, we are no longer on his good side, whoever he is.

As our conversation with Storm ended, we heard a cracking sound from the south, in the direction of the large volcano. Storm believed it to be the sound of someone, most likely our boss, killing the scorpion. This means that the only ones left are him and Granny…

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Welcome to the Jungle
The Harsh Light of Day

Normally I find the process of shedding light on things to be an enjoyable process, but exiting the tunnels was very jarring. I guess I had gotten used to the darkness because sunlight was too much for my eyes. There was so much left undiscovered back in the tunnels, and I can’t shake the feeling that I missed something important. If death wasn’t so probable I could have probed the mysteries of that place for years.
However, new adventure beckons in the jungles before us. Murthrug seems to be positively giddy be exploring wild lands, but this is so far from my field of expertise that I wonder if I will actually be useful to the party. How many secrets can a jungle actually hold? We pushed ahead and found a good place to rest and recover for the night. Murthrug found us a camp site and more food than I realized one person could find in the woods. If we were without him I fear that we might be dead.
The next morning we got up and started looking around the jungle with Murthrug leading. The rest of us are pretty out of place here. Murthrug found what he described as a trail, but I saw absolutely nothing. We followed it for a ways until we heard loud sounds coming from up ahead. All of a sudden bursting out of the jungle came a huge gray beast with large white tusks and an extraordinarily long snout. It trampled over us with ease and kept tearing its tunnel through the foliage.
We recovered in time to see that it was being chased by a large white furred creature with four arms. We moved to attack, but found ourselves in severe danger. Mantis was knocked unconscious quickly and out of nowhere a second one snuck up and attacked Taka. Murthrug moved to aid Mantis, dealing a blow that caused the ground to shake as its skull shattered, but he was soon knocked out as well when the second one turned its attention to him. Thankfully Red was able to scorch it and finish it off.
We barely had time to catch our breath when we heard the sound of two more approaching us. We knew we couldn’t survive another fight. Finn volunteered to stay behind with Mantis and Murthrug, as he could turn all of them invisible, leaving the rest of us to flee. We sped off through the jungle as fast as we could. Red and I had very little trouble navigating through the tangle of underbrush, but Taka was serious problems and was in danger of falling behind. We could hear the sounds of their running behind us and we knew we didn’t have much time. Suddenly I saw our salvation at the base of the roots of a fallen tree. Red and I ducked into a little gap in the roots while Taka climbed a tree, just in time to see the two creatures run past us.
We cautiously emerged and headed back to the rest of our party. We took some time to heal ourselves, and then decided to head in the direction the gray, tusked beast had been running, just in case those things came back. We didn’t have to go far. It had run off a cliff in panic. We continued to explore the jungle in search of anything that resembled the ruins that Red had seen in her vision, but with no luck. We did find a particularly nasty cloud of mosquitos and learned it was best not to hang out near water. We started to suspect that we might need to head in the direction that the white furred creatures had come from, but not feeling keen about a second meeting in our current condition we decided to rest.
The next morning we headed in the direction of the white furred creatures, but Murthrug felt uneasy. He couldn’t put on finger on why, but something just seemed off to him, which in turn put me on edge. If anyone was going to notice that something was wrong it would be him. Suddenly we end up in a clearing with a large, colorful bird that has what looks like an incredibly sharp beak. It seemed like it was trying to say something, but not in any language that I recognized. Luckily I had prepared the party and we were ready for its attack. I did my best to keep it uninterested in attacking or doing anything else while aiding my friends in their efforts to kill it before it killed us. Thankfully it was a weak creature, because it was an incredibly efficient killing machine. If we had made one false step we would have died, but thankfully we were on top of our game we killed it.
Several members of the body started to take feathers from the body, and Taka seemed interested in completely destroying the creature. I was more interested in the man that suddenly appeared in the clearing behind us. He says something to us in the same language as the bird and beckons us to follow. He leads us down impossibly well hidden trails lined with the faces of people who couldn’t have possibly been there before. After a long walk we are led to a huge cliff face that has been carved in the likeness of a giant bat with two impressive fangs, that it turns out are temples. We are led to one of the temples, but it doesn’t look like there is any way to get to the second. For those of us who were there when we fought Flood, which is now sadly fewer, we were struck by the similarity of these structures and those ruins.
We are lead inside and are greeted by a woman wearing a mask hanging upside down from a bar. She does a graceful flip down and waits for us to approach. There are no holes in her mask. Thankfully she speaks our language, and she thanks us for killing the bird, which had been plaguing them for some time. Either we would have made a nice sacrifice or we would have killed it. A win win situation for them. As a reward she removes the illness we contracted from the mosquitos.
She informed us that she was the High Priestess of the Bat Cult and that there are four other cults in the jungle. We talk to her for a while about our purpose here and I only felt like I had more questions than answers. It seems that while removing the natural disaster entities, we were actually killing entities inhabited by their gods, which is a strange thing to do when one is trying to reinstate Eden when Gods and Men walked together and everything was wonderful. How can that be if the Gods cause disasters? Someone is lying to me. I don’t know who it is but I am not happy. The last time someone lied to me and I didn’t find out I almost ended up dead. If anyone I’m close to ever lies to me and I find out I will see to it their existence is brought to a swift and sudden end.
After we got our tattoos, which I wasn’t thrilled about, so we could go see the other four cults I turned on Red and demanded answers. She claimed ingnorance about the discrepancy in information from the Organization and the information the Bat Priestess. Could it be that there are more Gods and that we’ve been killing off their chosen ones? If so I can only imagine that we aren’t in their good graces, which means that we are going to need to be watching ourselves. It also makes me regret killing off Plague. I had really liked her. She was one of the few people who could see. I will have to keep my eye on Red. She is not to be trusted. She may have been sent with us by the Organization to insure we didn’t get to close to the truth. She may be dangerous. It turns out that not only does this jungle contain more secrets than I was aware of, it sheds light on new lies and secrets with the same intensity as the sun after too long underground.

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Out of the mountainhome

It wasn’t long after we had left the dwarves when the sounds of my betrayal echoed through the ancient tunnels. Whatever it was I had spoken to had been true to its word. The price had been payed, and the way out had been marked.

I’d be lying if I said I felt nothing. Sure, I have lied, backstabbed, and done shady dealings before, but the people I hurt were always playing the game in their own way. These dwarves were innocent bystanders, victims of circumstance and guilty only of being tasty to one of the horrors that lurks these halls. However, our task is too important, and this small enclave, already on its last legs, was a sacrifice I was willing to make.

I couldn’t trust the rest of the party with this. Some of them are too new to the organization. They don’t understand the means with which we must sometimes pursue our goals. Luckily, it was easy to keep up the charade because I was the only one who could communicate with the dwarves. Everyone else thinks that the runic markings were made by our helpful subterranean friends. The only one who would have understood my decision is Red, but I decided to leave her out of it for her own good. Its better that only one of us looses sleep for this.

And so we pressed on, through the mountain. Eventually, the path marked out for us took us through a hole in the wall that lead to a large room full of statues. We investigated a bit, but found nothing magical, and decided to head on. Only too late did we realize that this was a tomb. Perhaps the souls of the buried had been twisted by the darkness that pervaded this mountain, or perhaps the dwarven ancestors were angry at me for my transgressions. Whatever the reason, we were soon beset upon by furious undead warriors. As we fought them off, another spectre appeared behind us and assaulted Taka. Luckily for us, nearly everyone in the party is capable of fighting incorporeal creatures, and we were able to send those bastards back to whichever hell they came from.

As we continued, we started to hear strange sounds from the branching passages. However, thanks to our guide, we were able to avoid running into most of the dangerous things that call this place home. The only other obstacle we faced was a pair of strange moths, who accosted us as we crossed a narrow ledge. We took them down without much trouble, but many of us were quite wounded from the days battles. We rested for one more night in the caves, to regain our strength. We hear a strange siren’s song coming from one of the passages, but the markings told us to go another way, and we had had about enough of the monsters in this place, so we just ignored it. Finally, after a few more twists and turns, we saw something we hadn’t seen in days. Sunlight. We all rushed outside and saw a massive jungle laid out before us. I’m just glad to put everything that happened in those god forsaken tunnels behind us.

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I need to keep an eye on my stash, from now on

With the loss of our friend and comrade in arms, we have found ourselves a new companion for our quest. The lady in the red robe has deemed it necessary for herself to be present in our adventures, it seems.

While we’ve tried what we could to destabilize the church’s support, we’ve only been capable of so much. So the party eventually came down with the scheme to intercept a shipment of coins for the Pantheon. While we were discussing this though, we were beckoned by a courier to meet with the Emperor.

“Shit. What’d we do this time?”

We enter the throne room, and the Emperor was very pleased with us for dispatching the dragon beneath the city, and offered to reward us for our great service to him and the kingdom. With a bit of discussion, he offered to send for Dorrak Hashvar to meet with us and see if he could possibly forge something out of this strange metal we found in the dragon’s lair.

After this meeting, we then went on the carry out “Plan to take a bunch of gold from the church.”

It was going along fairly well… Until our gnome friend was discovered. His reaction was to cast an illusion to make himself appear as a demon to make his escape.

The result of which being that if he or the rest of the party were seen, we’d be attacked and executed by the guards and clergy.

Well played.

With very few options left, and some unreasonable expectations to face trying to leave the city, we went into the Speaker’s Castle.

…It was empty.

Fuck my head hurts.

We searched around, and every second passing, my headache is getting worse and worse. I’m fucking pissed. Stuck in this empty castle, can’t leave without being spotted, can’t leave town without being attacked, and I can’t fucking go anywhere to get my fucking root.

I’m sick of this. I’m so fucking sick of this.

Knowing there is nothing to lose at this point, I open the front doors to the castle.

“I am the Speaker,
and I am DAMN pissed off with what you people have done in my name.”

I walk around, people in awe. Their stupid ugly faces agape, I just let into them.
How dare they. How DARE they!

With a following, I march to the throne room, and demand that the priests stand down and relinquish their positions. They claim I’m a liar and a heretic.

Listen here you little shit…

I demand an explanation as to why they would have let there be demons in the city and dragons beneath, and demand they prove I’m not the Speaker.

One of them stands forth and proclaims “Because I AM THE SPEAKER.”

Bull. Shit.

I’m tired of his stupid face. These people are fucking annoying. My head fucking hurts.
I command my following to attack. I don’t remember much more after that.

Next thing I know, I’m leaving the city, and we are heading south.

Fuck my head hurts.

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The Dwarven Halls
Some helpful runes

After the debacle in the capital I’ve led my companions southward pursuant to my most recent series of dreams. Our next clues regarding these mysterious disaster creators would come to us in the jungles of Saxiga"ka, but we would have to make it past the Skyborn mountains somehow.

Our choices were to scale the icy peaks, sail along the pirate infested coast, or to traverse the ancient dwarven halls that wind about within the mountains themselves. Seeing as we have no mountaineering or seafaring experience to speak, it was decided that, in order to better take hold of our own fate, we would risk the tunnels.

Soon after we began to miss the sight of the sun, we began to hear a strange commotion. A sound issued forth from the tunnels ahead that could just have easily been a battle as it could have been a demonic sacrifice. As we approached we found ourselves locked in mortal struggle with a pair of extremely violent and determined cave giants. Most of us nearly met our end right there but our tactical decisions won the day. While we wished to press on, the degenerate beasts had staggered us too greatly, and we decided to stay put that we might recover ourselves.

The next day, Finn began to notice some peculiar runic markings along the walls, which I can only assume were left by the creators of the tunnel system as a navigational aide. Finn assured us of this and we followed them for a ways, becoming waylaid temporarily by a colony of predatory invertebrates that we foolishly alarmed. We were led by the runes to a village which represented one of the remnants of the previous dwarven civilization. I noted some strange defensive measures which must have protected the encampment from the hazards of the halls, but I was unable to ask about them as our only means of communication was via a single dwarf who happened to speak Gnomish and could converse with Finn.

Gifts were exchanged and we were treated to a feast while stories were exchanged. While I could not keep up with the stories and the fare was rather abnormal, the evening itself was rather pleasant. It felt good to be welcomed and I wish these fair folk nothing but good fortune.

After a good night’s rest, we set out once more along our runic path, which Finn had confirmed to be a route to the other side of the mountains while speaking with the dwarves. A few hours out, we heard the sounds of screaming and anguish bellowing forth from behind us. While I understand that acoustics can play tricks on one’s ears, I can only hope that our friendly hosts are not in peril…

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Dark Days Are Upon Us

After we cleared out a cavern that had opened up in the city, we came back to the surface wth one less in our group. It had only been a week or so since we lost our first companion, and we are starting to feel the accumulated losses. We sent him back to Nera Gomar in order to have a proper burial according to toxiate customs and we hope his spirit can rest easy.

This organization has caused me much loss, I sacrificed my memories in order to help someone and now I am losing my companions as well. I understand that I cannot abandon this quest now, I am finally starting to see what we are doing to help the world as well as make sure it does not become controlled by whoever we are working for in attempts to be gods of some sort.

In any case, we are not attending the funeral of our departed friend. The cavern was not why were sent and we must see that this city does not fall into chaos when it is taken over by the church. Hopefully, the plan we just implemented will help in that regard

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