The Sundering

Brainstorming: Ways to Attack an Army of Undead
without getting ourselves killed immediately

These notes will need refined, this is just getting a few ideas on paper before they are forgotten.

The problem: There is a horde of undead heading toward the Necropolis, possibly led by an avatar of Ammalus. Nearby, there are large numbers of dead Orcs and Goblins that we really don’t want added to her army.

Goals:

1.) Destroy the current army
2.) Prevent them from entering (or leaving) the Necropolis
3.) Prevent the addition of dead Orc & Goblin armies
4.) Don’t get caught (or killed)
– Blame someone else (Pyrin would be a good choice.)
– Redirect to Aerish lands instead of Liaha.

Ideas:

To cast blame:

- Use or plant an artifact of Pyrin (Might need to acquire or forge (Mask) first)
- Portal back to on top of/below/near a temple of Pryin
- Actually get a demon of Pyrin involved? (No idea how, yet.) - wait, wasn’t there a demon book of Pyrin somewhere?
- Possible use of Glamour/Mask – The best chance of this working would be if we could somehow make it what they expect to see, so they don’t bother trying to look deeper.

- Who else could we redirect to?
– Harkin: This is possible, but since he is currently in Liaha might backfire
– Takedans: We should figure out where the Takedans that left Realterre (and any of their Iron Warriors) ended up
– Other ideas?

Decimate the current horde:

- Get them to walk into some sort of ambush
– ???
– Fire?
– Walk under many force walls/floating tables that are holding up loads of Napalm, dispell, then set on fire
– It would be very difficult to cover the needed area for long enough
– Get them to walk through a field of fireweed (we do have at least a few seeds after all)

- Mechanical/Magical merging – Still working on: (Getting into place for deployment could be tricky -Turtles?)
– Use fountain-drain bowl set/water engine/alt world steam engine to pump oil from a larger on the inside container over the horde like a firehose → Then combustion.
– Similarly, use animation to power a spinning mechanical flinger for the gel, then set afire
– Mechanical timer switches to open shuttered sun-stones? (Are there any that actually cause damage, or just discomfort)

Prevent the raising of an army from under a mountain:

Step 1:
– Find the large concentrations of bodies

Possible Steps 2:
- Get there first & destroy the bodies
– ??? – If they weren’t already crushed beyond saving by a mountain, I’m not sure what we can do
– Summon some sort of Elemental to destroy?

- Get there first & use the sword to raise them ourselves (then hopefully set them to rest)
– Any plan that involves us using a demon sword seems like a bad plan, but I’m willing to hear arguments
– This has the added benefit/drawback of drawing attention to the existence of the sword

- Mass Last Rites before she gets there
– This really isn’t Forge’s domain, so it would need to be done by someone else
– Figure out which gods would be good at a laying a battlefield to rest & get them to go along with this
– I still think Gorag might be best to do this, so that Ammalus and Gorag are fighting each other
– Would the seed things given by Viska be enough to reclaim them for her? Is there natural magic that could help?

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The Dia Dilema
Notes and questions in the analysis of motivations

Various Facts

1. Thief and bard trained lost princess of Valor – it seems like it should have been easier for her to escape on her own
2. The lord seems to want to make it easy for her to escape (showing her room, bringing her to the capital on a flimsy pretext even after her escape attempt, her training)
3. The lord has made sure that both he and Dia are as familiar with the north as possible
4. He has expressed extreme interest in the laws of Liaha
5. He seems to want her romantic interest and/or good will but he has not freed her, even though it would be possible for him

Questions to ask:

If they are working together:
- Are they trying to play us and lead us into a trap?
- Do they actually want help, and are twisty complicated politicians/thieves who cannot just ask directly?
- Why do they need our help? What do we bring that the lord of a city cannot arrange on his own?
- Connections up North? Vouch for his good will?

If they are working separately each for their own ends:

- If he wants her free
- Why does he need (our) help to free her?
- Just saving face, he would lose political power if she escapes (he implied this, but it seem insufficient)
- Yet he could easily fake her death and just get her a disguise to get out of the country?
- Maybe he is contracted not to let her escape as part of how she came into his possession in the first place and he is circumventing the contract?
- He wants blame for her escape (either successful or not) to fall on Calvin
- What would he gain if Calvin is blamed for aiding in her escape (since it would be an obvious conclusion)?
- What repercussions would being blamed for helping her escape cause for us?
- What benefit could she serve for him once she is back in Valor?
- If she is not favorably inclined to him since he did not obviously help her escape?
- If she is favorable – marriage to gain some form of power/nobility in the North?
- Suspects he might be given her hand in exchange for helping?
- Politics between Valor and Arlien
- Is there any connection to the linked ring of unknown full purpose?
- How could we tell after if him wanting her free was the case? What sort of search would be expected in either case?

- If he wants to keep her
- What negative effects will our helping (and almost certainly getting blamed) have on the team?
- Would it be different if just he suspects us than if everyone does?
- Why did he bring her to Realterre when he basically knows she has asked us to help her escape?
- Back to he wants to be able to clearly blame Calvin
- Blame us to the elves or to the humans?
- How do the elves tie into her disappearance in the first place?

Possible actions:

- Help her just vanish
- We would almost certainly be blamed
- Unless we could blame the other Valorians instead
- Fake her death, then get her out? (Oops, she fell in the Piranah moat trying to escape, nothing is left of her body.) (Try not to think about transmuting corpses to look like her.)
- He might think that is too convenient, but if he needs face saving might ignore it.
- Why wouldn’t he have done this himself? Why involve us?
- The mysterious ring?
- Something with how he got her to begin with?
- Can we get records on this?
- Was anyone else brought down with her? Or along the way?

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Carreg's Personal Journal
An Incomplete List of Things to Investigate or Events in which to Intercede

So, do I offer Azmi condolences or congratulations on his new relationship? And are we hoping he is local, or that he is on the other side of the continent?

Anyway, I figure that with the approach of the new year and the hordes of goblins and undead, I should start organizing a list of concerns that should either be investigated or acted upon. With events speeding up, it may be important to address these issues before they return to bite us after we neglect them for too long. [And what does it say about our life choices that the previous sentence might be literal?]

The List

Demon Caravan: Should we intercede? –
Knights of Tynerion are taking something apparently valuable along a road plagued by “dragon” attacks. 

“Dragon” attacks
Attacks byt three “dragons” follow patterns illustrated on an expensive map. (I’d like to recoup the information cost if nothing else, thought she may have resold that information since we haven’t acted in a timely manner.) Still, even with the mapped pattern, the geographical area to cover to determine the base of operations is extensive and difficult to canvass by a group as distinctive as ours.
*This is potentially an opportunity for profit, but until I come up with a better plan than wandering aimlessly up and down a road waiting to be attacked , it will be difficult to convince the others to help satisfy my curiosity as to what these “dragons” actually are and what motivates their (possible) backers.
*The goods they stole might also provide armament against undead hoards.
*How exactly do these creatures tie in with our mysterious spy at the Inn?
*Where is the basement where she found the map, and what else is there?

Books found with Dux –
(Given past experience, these should be looked at in a safe environment, with backup on hand to intervene if the reader starts speaking aloud or otherwise behaving out of character.)
# 1. Blue book – sparkly leather, slight metallic smell, silver edges – design on the front (Title on front cover – The aftermath, on Demons)
# 2. Book – has mechanical flap, plain brown leather, deceptively light – heavy enchantment magic – (Didn’t open immediately) 
# 3. Red leather brown book, spine cracking, well used, magical – pictures of what look to be a young boy and girl running around the spine – (Title: “blah’s” Tales for Children)
# 4. plain leather, brown, titled “The bard, thief of the Gods”
# 5. “On future history” : Less magical than others
# 6. “The World” – Magical, larger book, picture of flatted circle – sketch in gold leaf on the front – (Atlasy looking) – Binding has mismatched ends – oversized where the book would curve
# 7. Magic book – black leather – edges of pages are black
# 8. Book containing lockpicks with markings I’ve never seen before (and might not even be language) three different sets

The Men In Black
They are dealing with goblins (dealing harshly, but still, not killing them on sight)
* Killed primary sources regarding man in black leading goblins and orcs – two were killed subtly (6 month ago, and 2 month ago) then multiple others that were not subtle, killed more recently. One killed was a merchant, one was a weapons merchant who had gotten hands on something unusual, a wood engraver
* Possible ties to the King’s Black Guard
* Which has possible ties to the King’s unknown daughter by a red haired, pointy eared foreign princess who vaguely matched the description of a Valorian princess from tales. (At least, that is that tale according to a bard chosen at random, and thus not regarded as a reliable source)
* Note: “Valorian” girl in town has red hair, while her brother has green

Vampyr
It now likely regards us as a threat, but might get itself killed or drafted if Azmi happens to be in the area
* Whatever happened to the group hunting a Vampire? If still alive, they might have information
* Last seen in (Bas Borgi? need to confirm) [Elf, Nivolk, Human, looking for the Vampyr – Elf follows Viska. They  signed up 2 Nivolk, looking for other people]
*It might be a good idea to be proactive about this so we aren’t dealing with it at the worst possible time

Aluminium –
I should investigate the use of the extremely expensive metal in fighting demons. Tynerion considers the information on the application of the metal to weapons either proprietary, or entwined with a blessing to Tynerion, but the King’s blacksmith has centuries of family tradition that might hold an answer regarding how to efficiently use this metal.

Guild Affairs -
The head of one of the thieve’s guild’s in town was executed for trying to break into the black tower.
*IF he was actually trying to break in, what made him so desperate as to attempt that personally?
*If not, what did he do to draw notice that would result in his death
*Why the head of this guild and not that of any of the others? 
*Have any of the other guilds been impacted? I’m not sure what contacts to use to find out in Realterre.

> Ammalus’s Sword 
“Sword" may be metaphorical, and refers to any weapon that can be or use to Ammalus for the controlling of undead
See Journal Volume 72 pg 25 for the list of reasons we have to believe such an item exists and that Ammalus is active enough in the world to be seeking such items out.
For potential specific location, look into the following
The temple of Forge archives has a sword marked with skulls if the head librarian can be convinced Ammalus is an imminent threat (she quite logically doesn’t seem as well informed as the Demon Archivist of Forge who was the previous head librarian.)
Various old graveyards in the city (See list in Volume 68 pg 42)
Pay close attention to statuary in the city, including that above eye level and adorning buildings since the heroes of the town watch over the people

> Allegations against the lord of Gatta Conti, Lord Siel, as brought by the arena fighter Gil (Geel?, sp?)
Allegations have been partially substantiated by questioning sources about Siel and finding similar reports of his character, potentially corroborating loopholes in council law propositions, and in Gil’s reputation with a random Kitra on the street. A visit to the town in person might provide further insight, or at least an iterating chain of events since Bast has sent Kitra to Gatta Conti to “keep an eye on things”.

> Acaccio 
There have been so many tales about this town that I would like to see it in person just to assuage my curiosity and in the hopes that the chaos we seem to travel amidst might change the town for the better.
It is interesting to note that supposedly Acaccio was the town where magic first reappeared in the South.
Abbadon’s home town

> The Cat and Dwarf of Tynerion are seeking the Ringbearer
What ring? We should eliminate the possibility that they are seeking either Rivan or the local king (based on the list of titles that require further elucidation, including that he is “The continual seeker of the ring").

> Ping to the south of Stonehold, heard by Dwarf of Tynerion but not others about 4 weeks before they gated South (exactly how long after Scout?)
I do not recall hearing this ping in either timeline
This might have to do with the Dwarven city that once stood along the walls
Could Scout’s flight over the city have triggered something?

> Items the White Witch wants us to get any one of in exchange for sacrificing the box of drawers. (I guess Pyrin and his bride don’t like sacrifices as much when they are the ones inconvenienced?) The assumption is that these are artifacts of Pyrin, but that might be pure conjecture based on context and further investigation is warranted.
On the map WW gives Riven that has a command word that can be used another dozen times
scroll over Stonehold
Pyrrin looking box in middle of Kiitra plains
a black crown – Dowskill’s crown - 
the harper’s bow – (has more than usual number of strings)
(three more – none of the seven are in RealTerre)

> Demonic presence under the city
How bad is it that there are no longer 4 fish pools and the pools for mammals and vegetables no longer exist?
Are there pools of skeleton fish in this reality? (Need to confirm and check notes, the overlap and the resultant confusion warrant increased caution when relying on memory

> Locations of the Great Libraries other than Nix’s
Elven, Dwarvish, Nivolk

> Necropolis – Should we be attempting to trigger an attack on this city (preferably by someone other than us) before the things inside can leave?
In (mid Sept?) there was some noise to the east (magical – we don’t quite know what it was, but unsubstantiated information claims that Dowskill found a gate. He had to get to the gate, then activate the gate and what we heard the activation – right now, things can enter, but not leave
Dowskill’s agents are attempting to release the spells to let them out
Hopefully this isn’t tied to slave caravans that disappear to the east

> Do dragon’s shed & do dragonscale objects repel flames?

> The “Night Walker”
Wizard found at the temple of Forge claims to be a “consultant” – his name has been largely forgotten and he wishes it to remain so. He can be called the “Night Walker”.

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And so we left town
Tynerion knights may live a more interesting life than us - poor buggers

After the meeting we decided to leave town for a bit. Check on the properties and the like. Really we decided to go intercept the Tynerion peoples, because, um well… yeah.

So did a bit of looking about with the magic types. Found the Tynerion guys. They look like they made good time, got equipment, and horses. Resourceful. Or was all of that in their keep thing? Either way, they’re provisioned.

Looks like there are 6 of them. The kitra and dwarf we knew from before, and then they’ve got a couple of people from the plains, a half-elf and a plains kitra.

So we packed up and left. Made our way out past the property, Raven’s Curse Hold. And we find that they’re recovering from the attack. Couple of people died – farmers, and I think a guard. They chopped down more trees. Rivaldess must hate this place by now. (Another reason for me to avoid it!) And the cleric of Vanir & Freya arrived and was helping bury the dead & bless the property.

Neil took a quick tour and they talked a bit. Looks like the plans for the place are moving along. People wanted to get sheep and dyes to make some stuff to sell. Good idea, I guess. Set up the steward with a note so he can get Em to get some things sorted. I hope we’ll be back in town before then though.

Finally continued on and got a few more hours away. Ended up at a small inn for the night. The Crossroads or something – I guess that was what that iron cross stood for outside his inn. Had a stage with some lights and a bard. We got a room, and were placed well away from the other patrons, on account of Lord Calvin’s sickness you see. :)

Not much to tell. Some food, and took off the next morning. Ended up finding the Tynerion guys in the next town. Found them repairing an old shrine, and the locals called on ’em to do some judgement thing. Yeah, we went into the bar, but got pulled out when everyone else went to watch too.

Guy was some sort of thief, and stole some food. People didn’t like that, and the Tynerions knights got to decide. Looks like they’ll put him in charge of the local temple. <sigh>.

So they recognized us. Of course they did. Talked with them for a while, and they’re pretty determined to get answers from the capital. Of course they are. What else could go wrong.

Mental note: STOP ASKING THAT QUESTION!!!!

We found A vamphir found us during the night. Drained dry a dog in the courtyard, and later one of the Tynerion horses. Carreg and Neil were out looking at the wall. The magical wall meant to keep out nivolk. It had some sort of markings and was about 3 feet high or so. But, back to the vamphir – apparently it can take on some sort of mist form and drain things dry of fluids. Doesn’t look like any person was hurt, just a couple of animals. I guess that is good.

So traveled the next day with the knights back towards the city. Left behind the thief, the half-elf, and one of the humans. Their dwarf had a book with some info on these things. A vamphir is part demon and part undead. Joy. Long story short – it likes to take a couple of candidates and take the winner and turn the winner into a vampire as a reward.

Made our way into the little village. Got the same rooms again. Innkeeper is afraid that Neil is contagious since we now have another person who looks pale. :) Not too much going on, the kitra and dwarf went with Neil to see the local cleric – who apparently is some sort of old blademaster guy, listened to the bard insult dwarves all night, and then had food and went to bed.

And then we encountered our second visit of our new friend fiend. The vamphir clattered on the roof and then was outside the window. Neil threw some money at it, and that seemed to hurt it. Either the money disappeared when it hit that, or the innkeeper was quick to get outside and collect it after it was chased off. I got a shot off with the bow, and Neil thinks that hurt it. Don’t know if it is good, or bad this thing is after us.

A bit freaky, but I’m sure we can handle it. Made our way back into town, and just started to settle in. CC’s back. Em’s here. Now time to figure out what is next. We were thinking about sending some of us to check the temple of Forge, some to the Temple of Tynerion, and maybe to the sages to see what we can find out about this thing.

Hey, maybe we should find Nyx. Where did CC go? Maybe he came back too… hmmm…

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And there was fighting and stuff and we weren't even there...
Politics - bah!

Man these journal things are becoming a habit. I need to get back to my carvings. I think I’m going to try a woodcutting next. For paper and stuff. I’ve got this idea about having a bunch of stuff printed up and… well I shouldn’t spoil that surprise.

We were staying at home and checking out a few things around the city and things came to US for a change. I don’t like it.

First the wizard types, shh you know who they are, went and did their thing and went looking to see what the goblins, undead, and other things were up to. We found out lots of stuff, but not necessarily the things we were looking for at first.

The goblins and orcs armies are a hell of a lot less pronounced than the king led us to believe. And he’s got plenty of troops out that way. So sounds like even though the city has its head up its backside, he doesn’t. The forest road looked covered, as did the river to the north.

Then we checked out the site where the dragon loot was found. Saw a merc company there taking inventory and loading up. Carreg had lots of questions, but seemed to make sense, if I’d found it – I’d make sure I knew what I had and I’d have it checked over so something didn’t bite me, figuratively or literally, later.

After that found something weird. It was a camp with a bunch of guys in black armor. No sigils, no papers, no crests – none of it. They had orcs, goblins, and even ogres in the center of their camp. It looked like some sort of prison camp. Something fishy there. Don’t know who or what they are, but a camp in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of black armored warriors and a bunch of goblins, yeah, not good.

The others were doing the same thing, and checked out our property to the southeast. It was under attack. Ravenhold should be renamed to disaster magnet. A few people died, several hurt, a couple of fires in the fields, the silver oaks were cut down and burned. An orc company marched past the property and towards the city. It was being directed by another guy in the black armor. Weird. Sent a message to the town guards about the orcs coming here to attack. Two messages actually. The first was written in Liahan. They, the orcs, got to the outer city first, and spent several minutes slaughtering everyone and everything they could find until the guards showed up. At that point they were getting slaughtered. Not one orc or goblin ran. Not one.

Then they went looking for other stuff. Looks like the other property was safe. Sending CC, and he’s taking Nyx out there.

After that they stumbled across a bunch of farmers. Meh. But the farmers had some sort of treasure map, and shovels. They dug up some sort of weird idol thingy. So we did what any sane person would do… found some Tynerion knights and blooped them to the location. Took some magic work, but it got them there – right as the farmers summoned the demon thingy from the idol. One of the farmers grew a bunch of catfish like feelers out of his back that hit the knights and sent them flying. They did the only thing sensible – they dropped a building on it. Seriously. The Tynerion nights are a bit stranded down there, and it looks like they’re making their way towards the city we’re in. But they are limited in supplies, so it should take them a couple of extra days, like 5 to 7 instead of the 3 or 4 that it would be walking otherwise.

After that had a visitor. We had Abbadon show up at our door. Neil and Em went to talk to him first. Em came back in the room and grabbed Carreg. The little I gleaned from that conversation was that Abbadon had someone take away some of his abilities or possessed him. He came back to himself in a bar in front of scary sage lady really drunk. He doesn’t want anyone to know, it might weaken his base of followers or some sort. He’s convinced he’s on the path to godhood. He’s a looney. So Neil was sympathetic and took him to the Doctor’s pools. Abbadon sputtered a lot, said he was going to the meeting, and then never showed.

So, the meeting, well ended up that the king spoke, at length. Security of the kingdom, of the city, that the attack today was repelled. Called on people to step up and meet their obligations, and then to give their oath to king and country. Lots of crap in the oath about duty. Sounds pretty severe if you fail your duty. Neil was found mouthing the words, and ended up being called out for it. Neil explained that he couldn’t give his word as being from another kingdom. So steward told him he had “Forbearance” meaning that he has until the end of spring to get King Pyriar to agree to some sort of accommodation about Neil or he loses his position at the head of the council and his lands down here.

Neil was the only one that was caught, but there were a few others that had some unintended consequences. The scary sage lady, and Hinla both used the oath to become nobles. Hinla also snuck in papers that the steward had to sign for Neil to confirm it.

There is something brewing. I just don’t know what just yet.

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A trip outside the walls
Or I really miss my soft and comfy bed.

Been a busy couple of days. Finally back in the city and I’ve got a real kitchen to work in again, and a real bed to sleep in again. Neil says I’m going soft, and I respond with “So?”.

So what do I need to write here…

(Doodles & a sketch)

After we dealt with the basement with the nivolk/half-elf guy and the other things we had gone to the temple of Forge. Carreg did lots of talking, I think I covered that in the last thing I wrote. If I didn’t I’ll add a page here later.

(Blank space for what Kerian things he may have missed. If not more doodles later).

Got back to the house, it was late. Talked with Neil. And he took the idea that there might be a demon statue about a mile from our house surprisingly well. But meant we got to go back out into the city again. Went and checked out the old building and a few people were checking it out. I wonder if they were checking it out because they saw Carreg and I in it earlier, or if it was something else. I’m hoping it was because they saw Carreg and me.

The turtle was still there, and the bookcases hadn’t been moved, yet.

So we —figured that maybe letting someone else know about it, someone that could deal with demon things. Azimon isn’t around here, so that meant going to find Tynerion.

We took the quick way through the runs, and encountered a late night meeting of Abbadon’s followers who used an old Traveler’s statue as a place to speechify from. It made Neil turn a few interesting shades of red and purple. And the vein on his forehead…

Abbadon was there and speaking, but it was like he wasn’t Abbadon. Talking about living together in peace and harmony, the crap about modesty thrown out the window, and women being equals. The crowd went really quiet, a confused quiet, but still quiet. We started to make our way out of there. We had places to be when they figured out something was wrong. So something weird is going on with those religious nutjobs, don’t know what, and if it means Abbadon is someone I don’t have to deal with, I don’t care.

Made our way, finally, to the temple of Forge Tynerion. Ended up thinking it might be a better idea to go and talk to those who hunt and get rid of demons instead of those who would study them. Even Carreg agreed. Got inside the temple (the idiots who worship the Harken statue found a smaller one to worship, outside this temple, and were there.). Talked with the head cleric for a bit, he remembered Calvin as soon as he saw him. Talked with him about demons and stuff, and he had a book about the demon and the guy because he hunted the demon. Some good info, but it told us two important things – the demon thingy should be dealt with, and the knife that was used to kill it too. After our informal little chat, the brandy was put away and he started to brew a pot of kaffee. I wonder what that meant.

Next day was a bunch of council crap. Talking about who was misusing funds, trying to get guards at their property to drill (yeah they just wanted free guard protection), people who complained about not getting their stuff done first. And then somehow the mercenaries have come across goblins that had part of the dragon’s hoard. Finally had one guy who was inspired (uh, oh) to write up laws for reorganizing the councils.

Meeting finally broke up, and Carreg went to the temple, I got to go to Mellus and check out people, and Neil got to go home.

Carreg’s thing found some new head librarian at the temple. Guess he’s got that all squared away. Or is he the new librarian… I didn’t quite catch that. Maybe I should ask, nyaa.

Went to the temple of Mellus/playhouse. And even with being hours late, there were still over a hundred people there who wanted to perform for a noble. The first round of cuts was easy – I got rid of the sword swallowers (3), the guy who was an escape artist, the lady who danced around with nothing but fans, the troupe who were going to perform some scene from a book that the other performers gasped about – stopped them when they started to undress on stage. Side note, need to ask about that book, don’t like feeling ignorant or anything, and the group of Nivolk that liked to throw each other around.

The second round of cuts was almost as easy. The kitra slash dancers – dancing with swords/staves, the dwarvish brass and drum core (I didn’t even know they had one in town, but the suspenders was a sight… hmm may have to hire them to serenade Carreg if he was made librarian… hmm), the guy who thought ripping people off was entertainment – ball and cup, card tricks, dice tricks – um, nope. The mousey lady who lost her spectacles, then her cloak, then her… while she asked the dwarvish brass and crore to play… yeah, she was a nope too.

The first ones to seem decent was this guy all in black. Jumped around stage alot, but had a good story, and kept my attention. Neil will hate this guy! Check! He’s in.

Second one that almost got a spot was a nivolk girl. She had to be just of legal age, just. Her entertainment was being able to climb up, and into, nearly anything. She was damn hard to see even on a lighted stage. If we wanted someone to spy for us, yeah, for someone to help at a property, um no.

Next guy was an acrobat, and he said he knew some singing. Seemed like a decent fellow, but a bit full of himself though. Picked him to come out because of a comment he made “We all come from humble beginnings, but what we make from those is important” – that property sure is humble, and if he can do something to help, then might be worth it.

Another almost was an elvin guy/girl. I’ll be honest, with them it was hard to tell. The voice didn’t help either. They said they were pretty young, but had a variety of talents that could entertain everyone from a human king to a human child. The mention of human kind of unnerved me, but whatever. They told stories, sang songs, played a lute, and said they knew the harp, flute as well. Asked where they came from and got an answer of “a land beyond the trees, molded by the will of the elders, a land beyond time, a land of beauty, of truth, of innocence, a place we should all aspire to” Uh-huh. But man were those songs haunting.

Third was a kitra. She played the lute, and sang. Stories about life on the plains, in Kitran. Well I guess that is the only way those make sense. She came in with a pack and put it aside, gently, and when she was done she went and talked with a bunch of the others. She wasn’t actually as good as some of the others, but a bunch of them came out, did their bit, and then either waited alone, or just left. She went and sought out others to mingle and interact. Yeah, they’ll need that out there.

Another almost was a half orc. I wish I could have given him a chance, but I can’t see sending out there a half orc. Instead I told him to ask at Valus’ place. :) He was strong, and did a strongman routine, then asked me to pick any one of the other performers – I choose elvin thing, and the dwarvish band. Somehow he had a song and music that just worked within just a couple of minutes. He knew his weapons, he had done a stint in the arena, one in a merc company, and now wanted something that was more civilized – his word not mine. He wore armor instead of some fancy outfit, and had to ask him about it, apparently it was his own design – he learned how to make it from it in the stint with the mercs. Yeah, he would have been interesting.

Final one was a nivolk that was a drummer. He had a drum kit that was as big as him. He was also a good sport about it too, while he set-it up with some frames and stuff, he was joking that not only does this mean he has skills with drums, but also fortification assembly, but only if it is nivolk sized. Lots of drumming, and it was pretty good, but even better was when one fell. He walked around the drums, while playing, and started kicking the offending drum, in time. When he was finished he went off and talked with a bunch of others too. I think that’ll be important. He gets an invite.

Left to head out to the dumps Ravenhold the next morning with a whole lot of people C.C stayed behind. (Maybe he was the lucky one… hmm). Both stewards, guard captain, cleric, and more. I made the mellus people walk.

Got out to the property, and looks like they’ve already started working. They cut down Rivaldess holy trees. Really? I mean, really? Used them for everything from lumber, charcoal, staves, and more. At least they’re using the wood, I guess?

Took a tour of the property, and got things started to settle. Neil picked his bards. Tumbling guy turned out to be a tool. Wants to follow Neil around. Think he wants to look up Neil’s skirt. Slept in a tent. Left for the second property.

Second property was in order. Except for one not so little thing. Had a guy who was in the stocks. Apparently even without a Lord or steward in residence they were able to handle a problem. One of the guards is a human cesspool. Guy attempted to do things he shouldn’t to people he shouldn’t. They put him in a quickly made, but still surprisingly good, set of stocks. Set up here was a bit weird as Lord Calvin got to make his first real ruling, and he ordered the guy put down. Makes sense, that’s what you do to rabid animals.

Finally made our way back into town. And had a guest waiting for us, and sparring with C.C. Our problem solver who had checked out the creepy lady from months ago. Apparently creepy lady was following up info on the dragons around the city. Carreg is going to pour over the maps and try to make sense of ’em.

And now time for bed. I think I’m going to make breakfast, with some good Liahan food tomorrow, and then go back for a nap, then some practice, and then a bath. Nothing wrong with being a bit soft when you have fur, eh?

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Going to the Library
Some things shouldn't be checked out...

OK, I’m not tired this time. I’ll give the journal thing another try.

So it has been a busy couple of days. We went and visited places, saw things, did things.

Lots of talking and meeting with people. If this is politics, bleh.

First it was the guard captain. Talked to him about how things were shaping up for city defenses. Seems like he’s got a hand on it. He wants to recruit Tynerion people to add to his own if things get bad. Can’t say I blame him, not a terrible plan.

Then it was going to talk with the king’s steward. I was the lucky one and got to stay outside. Not too much to tell. Neil and Carreg wanted to see what is going on outside the city and things. They left after the steward set up a meeting.

Then on the way home, we went to check out a cemetery. Because who doesn’t do that when they’re walking home? Turns out it was one that was some family thing. Family of Aldus or something… Neil was freaking out that he might be related to some Tynerion guy called Aldin or something. It’s easly a couple months of hard travel, I mean, what are the odds? Slim at best, right?

Finally get home, and shortly afterwards we get the King to visit. Um, yeah, that shouldn’t happen. The king talks about goblins and orcs and undead, rants a bit about the council stealing power from him, and his plans to use Neil to try and get it back.

He was really open and telling us pretty much everything that Neil wanted. We really need to verify what he’s telling us. Not that i don’t trust the guy, but, I don’t trust the guy.

He told us a story about how he became king too. Apparently his father and 3 older brothers were all killed at the same time. He wasn’t killed because people didn’t know about him, being a bastard and all. Council took a bunch of power, but he was able to become king, though didn’t seem like they wanted that.

Wonder who sets up a quadruple assassination, and then gets away with it. Did he have something to do with it? His mom? The council? Someone/something else? Things got screwy up at home, but um, wow. And we’re all getting dragged into politics, so if this is acceptable or common… Hmm, maybe I need to practice more.

King showed us maps, and talked a bit about the laws, etc. Apparently the country has kinda rule free zones between the cities, or something like that. I’m assuming it means the city laws don’t apply anymore, but the kings laws do. Either way, can get away with more outside of the city limits.

After the king left, had a chance to finally relax and get some sleep.

Woke up early the next day and made some treats. Hid ’em in a magic box that keeps them fresh, and at temperature too! Going to enjoy those later.

Carreg and I are going out into the city to check out a few sites. I need to watch his back, I’m not sure if I’m getting paranoid, or just convinced that travelling alone here isn’t a good idea. Neil’s going to stay back and train with CC. He’s expecting people to visit too, so that sounds like a great reason to head out.

We ended up walking towards the runs and finding a broken down building. Looked kinda like a library. Lots of bookshelves made out of stone, but not much else. The building had three walls kinda standing, and a bunch of empty stone shelves. Carreg and I (of course) went inside. Spend about half an hour or so inside, and he found something using that magic gear of his. Apparently down underneath was some sort of magic.

Moved around a few things and pushed over one of the bookcases. Underneath was a glowy red wall that I could kinda see through. We spend a couple of minutes as he fiddled with the magic stuff and got it open. Went down a stone staircase into the dark, and it was dark. Even with the light from that sword, things were kind of murky down there.

It was a small rectangular room. The stairs we went down on one of the longer walls. Probably about three or four paces wide, about 7 or 8 long. The far wall (the other long one) had a small bookshelf. The short wall to the left had a small shelf and a leather bedroll with a couple of straps around it. The short wall to the right had a square pedestal a couple of feet high, with a black box on top of it. Weird scrips on that thing. In the center of the room was a large box. About the length of a man, and about as wide. Lots of weird writing on that one too. At the center of the room hanging from a chain was a little oil lamp looking thing that instead of kicking out light, was putting out dark flows. Kinda like when cooling how oil and water mix, yeah looked like that.

Went and looked at the pedestal first. Carreg started reading it, chanting really. Then it made a “Hiss, pop” noise and could see through the box. Some weird statue thing. Looked like a guy, but with a squid for a head, and I swear when I looked away from it that it had a bunch of eyes. Creepy. Oh, Carreg said it talked to him too. Great!

Then looked at the coffin thing. And as Carreg started to read that one, something inside it started to move and make noises. It said it was some sort of nivolk and when Carreg told him he was in a coffin, he screamed. Opened it up, and inside was a half elf guy who has missed a few meals. He was talking like a Nivolk though. Weird.

Talked with Duxis (Dux) for a while – yeah that’s his name – while I kept my sword ready and Carreg pocketed all the books. (Big surprise, eh?)

And then Carreg put a turtle around the statue, we went upstairs and destroyed the stairs, dropped a couple of bookshelves on the whole and decided that we should go talk with someone. Ended up deciding to go to the temple of Forge.

On the way there ended up running into el Bastardo. They kinda growled at us, we growled back, and he said something about Neil getting his due sometime later. Then we kept going, and Dux now had a bunch of new stuff. Didn’t see him take any of it, but by time we ended up at the temple he had three coin pouches, a set of mismatched knives, and two sandwiches.

Went and talked to the Forgies inside, and we got a private room. Food was brought for Dux. He didn’t like the spicy stuff either. Heh. They got him some clothes and Carreg spilled on Dux and what happened. They were talking books and stuff, and slipped in bits about the demon looking thing below. The candidates for the cleric for the farm were selected, and Carreg and I told ‘em to just send them to Neil to take a look at. Never even met ’em. Wonder if we’ll get a nivolk there too?

Apparently Dux was some sort of nivolk hero who slayed a demon after the demon wars and we found him in the remains of his farm? Um, ok?

Ended up spending most of the day there, and Carreg took a look at Dux’s knife, and then we left.

While we were gone, sounds like Neil got to talk with some of his very close friends. Training with CC he got to talk with Valus, and then the scary sage lady and El Bastardo’s daughter. Trying to figure out stuff about more politics.

I’m still trying to figure out if I was lucky to go with Carreg and deal with a demon, or not. I would have been there for the politics stuff instead. Hmm…

We, finally, got home as Neil was working through interviewing people. Apparently he had interviewed the Forgies, and picked one. Sounds like we’re getting Hinla. She’s half elvin and a miller. Knows a thing or two about a couple of weapons. After the clerics he started with the stewards. The guard captain guy was there to help too.

First was Echque. Some Aerish guy who from the sounds of the kitchen people had a staff where the sun don’t shine. Neil didn’t like him. After him was Rakos, sounded like some woodsman/ranger type. Another half elvin guy. Knew about a bunch of stuff. Looked like he was in his mid 40’s. So probably a couple hundred years old. Sounds like Rakos will be going to the crappy place to try and set it up. After him was Enkle who kinda snuck in, she heard a couple of people talking about the jobs, and wanted a chance. The steward had a whole “Eww, girls, gross” vibe to him, but sounds like she knows how to run and manage an inn. Neil’s going to give her a chance at the better of the two places. And then there was Zineya (Zin) – dwaren, gruff, and someone I want to point at Rauker. Who knows how old he is. Dark beard guy who knows a bunch of weapons, stonework, some cooking, and wants to run one of our places. Neil is thinking of setting him up for our properties up North a bit.

Tomorrow get to talk to some of the others. I think the Tynerion, Vanir & Freya guys are coming next, and I get to talk to the Mellus people.

Friday Neil gets to have another council meeting, now with the public! Yeah!

Saturday we get to sneak away to the crummy property, and then who knows what next.

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And Neil's vacation continues
Brace yourself, Winter is coming

From Kerian’s journal.

Events in the South have taken quite a turn.

Neil has gone ahead and decided that the people here are a bunch of screwups and well, being Neil… decided that he can do better. And since that fateful decision he has:

1) Butted heads with the tower wizards.
2) Found the white witch (and didn’t tell me right away, I’m still bitter about that one!)
3) Bought property.
4) Trained a Takadean in swordwork, yep.
5) Purchased property.
6) Purchased a second property.
7) Fixed a magical fountain.
8) Flooded an arena.
9) Become leader of the council.
10) Killed a Dowskil priest in our home.
11) Hired bandits to protect our newest home.
12) Pissed off the wizards again, and again. (Yeah, that’s gonna go well…)

Ohh there will be stories. And I’m not sure we’re done yet. He’s got plans for the newest property, turning it into some sort of outpost or city.

And now we’ve gone to recruit priests for the new property. Why? Yeah, WHY? Because we need them to bless the graveyard that was there – it had a problem with people leaving without permission from there.

Then we need a cleric to teach them to read and write. Reports and all that.

Then Tynerion is going to come out and teach ’em to defend themselves from bandits/undead/anything else going bump in the (k)night.

So yep, I’m going to be avoiding that place. Makes it easier since the bastard that sold it to us failed to mention that it had been burned to the ground.

Talking to clerics is as bad as talking to wizards. Apparently there’s been enough stuff going on in town between the White Witch, sorry Valus, Nyx (Yep, we found ANOTHER dragon. Don’t get me wrong, I like Em, and CC, but feels like we’re following them around instead of us doing what we want.) But with that, and then Carreg, in town, and finding an ancient library. Oh yeah, we found an ancient library – that was where Nyx was hiding. It apparently was too much for Forge to resist and either Carreg needed help or was lax in doing something about it. Either way, I’m staying out of that one too!

So we found an angel of Forge. She’s talking history and secrets and hidden stuff, and how the stories are not really stories. Imagine that, the stories that Artemir puts out there are not completely truthful. Imagine my surprise.

So we DID find out something useful though… apparently the raising of the new gods wasn’t some random chance thing, or something that Acyth engineered; or directly anyways. Apparently there was something about the evil gods coming back, and they either couldn’t, or didn’t want to bring back Pyrran or give the others more power. Makes sense I guess – after all Pyrran was blasted into parts, Rivaldess was thought dead, as was the White, ahem, Valus. It would have meant lining up behind Bast, Hemdal, and Tynerion – maybe the Traveler, while other evil gods were appearing too.

Dunno what decision I would have made, glad I didn’t have to.

But apparently Forge and them decided that they didn’t want to resurrect Pyrran at that time, they’d do something else. And that leads up to the latest thing the clerics/wizards have done that has made my head hurt.

We apparently have a choice . Ahh great! We can go and live our lives and attempt to protect our little corner of the world, or do something about it. Whatever that means. I think she wants us to be gods or something.

Not this cat, thank you! Her and Carreg were talking about it. I started counting the pen tips that were in the ceiling, that bored. I wonder if they could send a nivolk to take them out. :)

So we’re likely to be attacked by a dragon of some sort, and then have to figure out a way to do something that gods would do, and maybe have Carreg or Neil become a god. I don’t think dragons can, so there’s that.

Oh yeah, forgot about the dragons. Apparently there is some sort of dragons that are attacking around the city and collecting money and stuff, and burninating people it doesn’t like. Almost all of ’em have been outside the city, and we kinda, sorta, expect it to attack us. Because of the scary sage lady.

Scary sage lady is like Gato’s opposite. Everything that he’d miss – she won’t. She’s already onto Nyx. Better him than me! He goofed about apples somehow. She was retired, and now the Forge angel lady convinced her that she should come out of retirement to make sure the sages are ready for something.

So what’s next. We get to interview clerics. Mellus, Tynerion, Vanir & Freya, and Forge, and then hire a steward for the properties too.

And I got volunteered for the Mellus folk. For that I’m thinking I might pick a kitra or something for Neil. He might just deserve that. :) He hasn’t heard anything till he’s heard one of Bast’s ballads.

And then finally we can prepare for the goblins and orcs to come and raid the property and city, and Neil think’s that should be in front of the undead.

I’m just glad he hasn’t realized the best way to find that out is to leave one of us out there. I’m a simple cat, really. I fight, I whittle, and I like a good meal and a comfortable bed. I’d rather stay in the place we’ve got in the city, or if not there, the one to the west.

Yawn. Damn, must be tired, I just wrote yawn. Hmm… wonder if Carreg’s journals look anything like this. Doubt it.

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Life of Neil
probably another bad idea

ok. i need neutral ground. i want to facilitate a meeting between a cleric of tynerian and a cleric of artemir. Hopefully there is one in town. i need their help. i think this will work anyway.
i want the two groups to work together to help this town and me. the idea is that they help me get the cloak of pyrin that the cleric of bestelle is wearing and open another compartment in this box. once the box is open, i will turn over to them control of the warehouse/tree or whatever that has the food supplies. they are to give any seed corn to the peasant farmers to start a crop first thing in the spring. in exchange they will primarily sell it to the guild. the tynerian people will help the farmers keep the nobility and the foreign powers away from the crops so that they don’t gain control of the area.
tynerian can use their contacts with the nobility to help the guild set up the vallorean and the arleans to fight each other with the help of the coin.
once that is done, i want to go through a “door” back to leigha. i set out to help my people. i need to use the sword to unlock the box in either strata or brokensword. i have helped out some of the worst here in the six cities, now it is time to help out at home.
once that is done, if there is still some items left we can cause some chaos in vallor :).

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Life of Neil - VI
litch meets death

Well, we found a tower of the undead. Fire is most definitely our friend.

Oh, but first…MOLLY DISAPPEARED! She just vanished when she went to walk into the tower. We went inside and she wasn’t there.

We did find a vampire, skeletons, and a demon, Oh My. We went through the tower looting and fighting as we went. It was great fun really. Then we found the guy who lived in the tower. The dwarf said he was a litch.

He looked at us and didn’t want to waste his time fighting us himself, so he decided to summon Death. So Death pops up next to me, looks around our group, and lingers over the kid. Then the damnedest thing happened…he grabs and kills the litch.

Evidently Death doesn’t take kindly to “people” who cheat him.

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