The Edge of Darkness

May we find mercy

I am Thurik Orinbald

This feeble parchement can not desribe the dire straits we now endure.

We are adrift in an unknown realm. Since last I wrote on our mission for Grey Ravenshaw, the Mists in Hazlan upon the Road of 1000 Secrets have consumed us and cast us into a far away land in a distant time.

This place is cursed. Apparently there is a great war against a God of Undeath, Nerull, who has vowed to destroy the kingdom of Annwyn. We are considered great heros here. Having found no way into the mists our guide, Drina, feels that this is some fantastic node of events in which we are embroiled seemingly without choice.

To serve the greater good, we have embarked on a journey to recover yet another artifact, a ring, in order to restore the balance here and perhaps encourage the Mists to deliver us hence. And so into chaos we have been thrown. Ghouls have infested this place embroiled in a haze of blood and bone; a phenomenon unknown to these lands. As we have passed through the town in which this ring supposedly resides, their attacks have been maddening and savage. 100s, perhaps 1000s charge hither and yon, consuming all live flesh they find.

Bloodied and tired, we have pushed through the local church, leaving two orphans to their fate within, and proceeding over the river to find the source of this curse. Brave Moe attempted to save Drina as she was cast, bloodied and devoured, into the wasted waters over which we traveled, having retrieved the sands that would allow us to navigate the Mists surely.

The fight was almost the end of us, but by Ezra we endeavored through. May she bless us and curse those who seek to confound us. May we survive through the night. They are coming, their howls unrelenting…

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The Carousel of Hell

We reached it. The fabled “Road of a Thousand Secrets”. We made it to southern Hazlan where we entered the gray mists with Drina, our half vistani guide. Even being half Vistani, she still cost us a fortune to hire. Nearly all our gold. Even then, there is no guarantees. Luckily Moe had the sense or greed (depends how you look at it) to get the gold in the run down house in Ste. Ronges. We would have never afforded it otherwise.

The Amber Wastes, our destination, we could not reach. Not even close.

Instead we find ourselves in the “in-between”.

The “in-between” is the best, in my limited experience, I can describe it.

In between what? One might ask. In between time, worlds, realms. But it almost doesn’t matter anymore…

They are out there, even now…

We are holed up in what Thalia and Thurik have restored into a holy church after their rites and rituals were performed. I hear Moe smacking on some food he found in some stores. My stomach turned at the thought of eating. I cast a glance at Thalia. Resentment suddenly welled up in my chest and started to burn, I had to consciously swallow it down. My eyes watering with the effort. How could she abandon us? And for whom? A woman no smarter than the gore I wipe from my shoes. A woman who was now dead. How could Thalia’s “holy” antics trump all sense? How can she not see the greater picture? These people are doomed, trapped. We are the ones who must get off of this carousel of hell.

“Grace under fire. Pull it together. Grace under fire. Pull it together.” I whisper to myself, almost in a chant.

Trying to think clearly while the sweat is beading down my back, mixing with blood and staining my white robes pink. I pull my legs up under my chest, hugging my knees. My eyelids heavy with exhaustion. The blood, the smells and the faint crying of the children in the other room would be enough to unnerve even my sister. That was Ava’s biggest asset. She remained so calm, even when the world around us seemed to fall apart. My eyes began to tear at the thought of her.

When we entered this “church”, there were bodies, or at least what’s left of them, strewn about. After some study, we realized there were about ten of them. There were tied up against their will and eaten…eaten while still alive. Teeth marks still in the remnant flesh covering the old pews and stone walls. I shuddered to even think about the fates they suffered, and the last thoughts that went through their minds.

Tilting my head back against a half broken pew and closing my eyes, I thought back on how we came to this. After traveling through the mists, somehow we landed in this…place. Drina says, it’s a dark place in time that is doomed to repeat. This time she spoke of is one for the legends. None we have heard of, of course. But its a time when a people rose up against the gods, against sanity, trying to defy the odds . For even though this moment in time is great, this moment is also fated. We must leave before the fated comes to fruition.

When the Mists first cleared, a battle was in full tilt. Not just a battle, but a war. Flashes of magic and clanking of swords raged on when the mist cleared. Frantic soldiers called us to battle in a form of Mordentish. We looked at each other quizzically, not knowing if this was real. We hadn’t heard someone speak Mordentish since Ste. Ronges. With no choice but to join the battlefield, we found ourselves up against nothing less than a Dracolich. A bloody Dracolich!Taller than most buildings, its huge talons were bigger than Moe. The fearsome glowing eyes penetrated our minds and caused us to harm our own. This was how we met Jonathan, a captain in the army. Though, during half the battle, he attacked us because of the dracolich’s controlling influence. He ended up being the most noble of persons I’ve ever had the chance to meet.

Of course, destroying the Dracolich brought some major attention to us. Whose attention? None other than the Queen of Annwyn herself. She had a vision of our arrival, therefore setting us with a task to find an artifact. A ring of great power. The catch, of course, is that this ring of power is in the next town a day’s travel away. No one has been seen or heard of for the last 3 weeks. We learned the kingdom of Annwyn is fighting against the god of death, Nerull. How can mere mortals expect to win against a god? It’s at the point, however when you know you are going down, but you decide to go down fighting because to live with the alternative was unacceptable.

We met with these ghouls along the way. I have run into them before, much to my dismay, and was nearly killed. (This was back when we met with the Stranger. I prefer not to even mention him though. My eyes briefly narrowed in blind disgust). The ghouls are fast, ferocious and are motivated by a deep, insatiable hunger. Worst of all, they carry the faces of those once loved, but now turned into beasts with no humanity or thought save hunger.

This town the Queen spoke of we found overrun with ghouls. They are everywhere and we have no choice but to push through. There is a dust, seemingly of ground bone in the air. Brought about by magic-from the god of death? These ghouls could even have come in through the mists like we did. One thing is for certain, no one in Annwyn, not even Jonathan has heard of them before. From legends past or present day.

“To the church!” shouted Jonathan. “It is our best chance of safety. They will not stop coming!” He was referring to the ghouls. From the barn the ghouls ravaged, we ran for the town. I put a scarf over my face to keep from breathing in the dust. Thalia and Thurik carried the woman and her two children with us. Whatever. We can barely keep ourselves alive it seems.

The church seemed miles away, across a vast ocean of death, gore and charred remains. We lost Jonathan. His noble and courageous death will stay with me until I die. Without him, we would have surely perished. Tears flowed down my cheeks at the memory of him being over run and bitten, yet all the while swinging his sword in the name of his kingdom. I blinked them back, my dry eyes stung with the moisture.

That brings us here. At the church. Jonathan, like I said, I will remember till the day I die.

With a bitter look at the direction of Thurik and Thalia, bile rose in my throat again. Clearing it, I stood up and walked to the alter and tried to make sense of everything. I ran my hands along the alter’s smooth, cool surface.

“Can you see sumfin’ Sophie?” Moe inquired brushing the crumbs off his shirt. “See sumfin’ in yer head?”

I turned to look at him. As I did, I suddenly froze. “Yes, Moe, I think I can. Brilliant! Not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before.” I said as the realization dawned. Everything happened all at once since we arrived. A whirlwind of strange occurrences, its hard to think clearly. Grabbing some components, my hands started trembling in anticipation of what I might find.

After I finished the ritual I braced myself for the images that suddenly swam in my head. My eyes were open but I saw nothing in front of me, only pictures in my mind. My body stiff and still with effort. When I came to, I was speechless. “He turned on them. He killed them all. The priest that they trusted was somehow influenced by a force of great power. His mind became not his own. I believe he is even now, at his house across town.
I quickly turned my head and wretched on the floor.”We must rest if we can, but we also must hurry." We decided to leave the children behind in this now-safe house.

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Sweet Dreams with Cyprian

I can barely feel my limbs anymore. Its just so cold. The blood on my cloak has already been frozen by the bitter wind and is now weighing me down more than my already low spirits. Yet my vision has never been clearer, an unwarranted “gift” no doubt from some unknown dark power. Though I cannot deny the small pleasure it brings me. I looked at Moe. He understands, I’m sure.

I must focus…I must fight…they are coming. I can hear their howls and it fills me with dread. I have nothing left, with my mind already weakened from the battle with the hideous cold undead.

The wolves came out of the howling solid gray shadow in front of Thalia and Thurik. I brace myself against impending doom while glancing at the new stranger in our midst.

Will he fight with us or against us? How could one travel in this cold, through this terrain alone? Either way, I don’t trust him.

“Sophia….Sophia come to me.” A beautiful voice whispers softly in my mind. “Sophia…come to me.” Against my better judgment, I turned towards the direction it came from. I was compelled to move, it seemed like the most natural thing to do. One foot in front of the other…

Walking into the storm, a most beautiful man, pale as the moon and as dark as night looked into my very soul. His coldness seemed to warm me with comfort. “You have the most beautiful eyes” he breathed as he touched my face. Suddenly pulling me close, I felt a sharp pain in my neck and then…darkness.

When I came to, it was as if it was all a dream. Feeling even more drained, I opened my eyes, I was still surrounded by the blizzard. The gusts of wind brought the faint clanking of swords in a battle nearby to my awareness. I walked back towards the sound and found my party still fighting, though the battle was won.

The stranger approached me. His words at first didn’t make sense, seemed far away. He yelled, “She has been bitten by the Nosferatu!” I shook the fog from my mind and focused on him. He got everybody’s attention, and seemed to turn them against me before I even knew what was happening…

Darkness.

When I woke from the most glorious dream I could remember, thoughts of Cyprian still in the corners of my mind. I felt the rope rough against my wrists and the shade of the bind fold on my face. It was still cold. Struggling to get my bearings, at first I wasn’t sure if I should move. I was thrown over someone’s shoulder, swaying with the rhythm of short, but sure footsteps. Taking in a deep breath, I could tell I was definitely being carried by Thurik, the smell was all too familiar.

“I think she’s awake”, I heard Thurik say.

“Is she bound?” I recognized that to be the voice of the stranger. “Be quick abou-“

Darkness.

I awake again and feel the warmth of a fire next to me. I move quickly and quietly to escape the bonds. I feel Cyprian calling to me. Once I take off my blindfold I see everyone around me is sleeping except for Moe. We are camped in a shallow cave for the night. I rush out into the night calling to my love, calling to Cyprian. Suddenly the back of my head is struck and there is a burst of pain.

Over the next, of what I can guess to be a few days, passed with a series of sweet dreams and darkness.

I awoke to find us all in a cavern, everyone out of breath and covered in blood. A sight becoming all too familiar, Thalia unconscious, holding an old hammer and the stranger…sigh… still with us.

I felt empty, like I had suddenly lost Ava again. A bond so true and so deep, suddenly severed. Nothing of what transpired do I want to know in detail. But I know in my heart Cyprian is dead. The searing heartache began anew every time my mind wandered into the past couple of days. We are on a quest, a quest from a true Master. Forge ahead. Focus.

The stranger seemed to take a liking to Thalia and Thurik. All the while giving Moe and I the most disdainful looks. I cared not. I can’t recall his name because I refuse to learn it. He may as well have the name Stranger for all I was concerned. For a Stranger is what he is, foreign to our life, quest and reality altogether it seems. As he spoke, a fanatical look he would get in his eyes. It was as if he had no free thought or will. He was merely regurgitating what he was told, a functioning minion with one purpose. Much like a blacksmith would make his son a blacksmith. Therefore the son would walk, talk and be a blacksmith, nothing else. No enlightenment, no desires…no life. Though I suppose it’s a small comfort knowing, at least his actions would be predictable.

I tolerated his presence; he was being useful for the time being. Stranger continued to guide us through the mountain and to the next town.

Always conscious of my eyes, I kept them down as we approached the village. Thankfully after my careful study, I am able to speak Baloc and understand what was being said around me. Moe tells me about the local “bookstores” after we purchased our rooms for a month and I left almost immediately. The prospect of a treasure so rich as rare knowledge was like a room filled with gold for Moe.

But clarity took over and I spent the other part of the time looking into the “Road of 1000 Secrets”. After all, one can never be too prepared.

I anxiously hope we leave Stranger here. I would almost rather travel alone. I must keep Thurik and Moe focused on the task ahead. I wonder if the now-local celebrity that is Thalia will fit into our plans…

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27 Mid-winter, 758

The decision was made to leave Hadley and depart for Ste. Ronges immediately, because once in the city of Ste. Ronges it would be easier to decide a route to the Amber Wastes.

However, there was a delay in Ste. Ronges to help a paladin of Ezra find her missing friends.

The paladin, Thalia, and her friend, Jacob, were unable to remember details about a night one week earlier. Since that night Thalia and Jacob’s four friends had gone missing one by one. Sophia discovered after telepathically examining the memories of Thalia and Jacob that something had a grasp on their minds. A strange and alien monster somehow compelled Thalia’s friends to return to its lair so it could feed on them. The monster was destroyed but not before it had consumed the last of Thalia’s friends, Jacob, as well.

Because Thalia had lost all of her friends and felt as though she was in debt for saving her life she decided to join Thurik, Moe, and Sophia on their journey to the Amber Wastes.

In Ste. Ronges fare was purchased on a riverboat traveling south along the Musarde River to the town of Karina in Invidia.

After reaching Karina employment was taken as guards for a merchant caravan traveling east to Zeidenburg in Barovia.

Now, they wait in Zeidenburg for the caravan to continue south to the town of Teufeldorf.

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Sophia’s Journal – 5 Mid-winter, 758

Dead. They are all dead. They no longer walk this land or breathe this air. Murdered.

I’m not sure I can continue. Why should I? I can barely breathe myself. Each breathe I take is like a doubled fist to my stomach. It feels like a coiled serpent has wound its way around my chest and limits the amount of air I can take in. My eyes are red, no doubt. Red with shame and remorse. Red with sorrow and misfortune.

Ava. My heart beats her name and pains me all the more. My older sister is gone… Tears fill my eyes as I recall what happened over and over again in my mind, but I must record the details.

We left the “Inn” of the Westerman lands, and headed to dine with Lord Westermen himself later that evening. I gave the inn-keeper an extra gold to keep an eye on Ava while we were gone. I felt uneasy about this decision immediately, however, I rationalized we will only be gone but a few short hours at most.

The formidable guards escorted us to Lord Westerman’s estate. The architecture was nothing like any of us had ever seen before. The walls were stone, cold and unrelenting. The dining area, however, was lavish and rich with food. Enough to feed his starving people for a week to be sure.

Needless to say, Moe felt free to dig in. The rest of us, however hungry, continued as custom dictated. Lord Westernman casually mentioned he will decide if we are to live or die tonight, much to our dismay and shock. Moe nearly choked on the three biscuits he was chewing at the time, but somehow managed to swallow it without incident.

Shaking, Thurik, Artemis and I tried to get through the evening as quickly as possible and not say anything else that may influence his decision towards the latter. Unfortunately, Moe was another story. He mentioned (with his mouth full, I might add) Lord Westerman’s dealings with the Kavanaugh family twice. Unflinching, Lord Westerman’s head guard offered to cut out his tongue. Moe suddenly looked panicked, as if that would have been a punishment worse than death itself. He was quickly escorted out.

Once Moe left, those that were left felt even more compelled to leave without incident and spent the rest of the evening talking about the weather and other “pleasantries”.

When we left the manor, we found Moe running towards us with fright in his eyes. He tripped and fell at our feet and lost consciousness. He “came to” once we arrived at the inn. Upon entering, there was the same locals sitting around and nibbling on the rancid stew that Thurik seemed to enjoy so much.

I went to our room to check on my sister, when I opened the door, my blood froze. She was gone. Impossible. I went to feel the bed, cold to the touch. I ran to Thurik and Moe, my voice was shrill and panicked. I was barely able to form the words, “Ava is gone! Ava is gone!”. Thurik’s eyes widened in alarm.

All the emotion I felt and all that I had been through thus far, and now my sister missing broke the dam. I suddenly filled with rage. I turned towards innkeeper, Martha, and told her I would kill her if anything came to harm my sister. Her husband did not take kindly to my attitude, but at that point, it was all I could do to quell my anger and not openly attacked them both.

Not hearing Moe or Thurik’s words, I ran around the building looking for signs of Ava. Then off in the distance, I saw moving lights. Not thinking, I took off towards the lights.

The lights were not Ava. The lights were evil. The lights brought death. Moe, Thurik, Artemis all died. Killed by the lights. I could not save them. My futile attempts to heal there wounds never came to fruition. With everyone dead, I turned towards the last light and gave it one last effort and snuffed it out. I then realized I was alone, in the blackness of night with the silence screaming at me.

I ran like I had never ran before. My eyes wide with alarm I was blindly running with all due haste back to the direction of the inn. Guy answered the door. He seemed slightly pleased at my tragedy. I was not in the state to give it any more thought. I ran to my room, shut and locked the door, closed and locked the windows, stuffed any cracks to the outside world that I could find. Turning the light on as bright as it would allow. I sat on Ava’s bed, hugging my knees.

Sleep was too far off. Sleep couldn’t of happened without an act of Ezra. Yet…yet I heard faint footsteps outside my door…softly padding to and from my door. Hours later I heard them again…soft footsteps…searching…checking…quietly creeping. Each time it made my hair stand on end. I called out with false bravado in my mind and aloud…no response.

Finally dawn broke. Ezra, blessed is your light! When the message I sent to Lord Westerman was returned, I saddled my war-worn horse and rode with all due haste back to Hadley, back to my room at the Inn.

That next day I sent messages back to the ones left in Mordentshire, telling them of the tragedies that had befallen us here in Hadley.

Suddenly I remembered Grey Ravenshaw. One would think I would have thought of him earlier, but my mind has been muddled with grief, shock and guilt.

When I found him, I collapsed at his feet. To see him was a comfort I was not expecting. I choked out what happened. Told him everything. Then he told me he could bring them back.

Disbelief flashed through my head, but quickly dissipated. This was Grey Ravenshaw himself, he could accomplish anything. I told him I would want that, more than anything. I have to have them back. This Land is a darker place without them.

He took off the evening of the first day of the new year. After of course, the Soul Sphere had brought him to his fully restored self. I busied myself trying to keep quiet and stay low until the time had come to meet him. I had to go and retrieve the bodies from the northern reaches. Frightened to go back, but steeling myself to muster the courage. I and four members of the Crimson Guard went and retrieved the bodies of Thurik and Moe; but not Artemis because he would have refused to have been brought back to life. So I buried Artemis where he died.

The corpses were in poor condition. They had been eaten, bitten, and they were barely recognizable. But we fought our way there, got them and fought our way back through the dense forest of knolls and bodies.

It was one of the most beautifully fascinating rituals I have even seen. He brought them back! Then told me of my sister. Her fate was the worst imaginable. The “rancid stew” Thurik was so fond of, was made of the flesh of people. The Inn Keepers had sold there souls to an evil god. They chop up and cook travelers and feed them to the locals. Ava suffered this fate. Grey avenged her and killed them both.

Now we are set upon paying Lord Ravenshaw back for his deeds. Thurik gave up his duty to the Lamplighters, Moe seemed somehow…darker in nature. But I suppose that is to be expected after to you come back from the dead. Now that we are all together, we must find a guide to take us to Hazlan, then to a Road with 1000 secrets. There we will find our way to the land of deserts. The land of unforgiveness. To find an artifact for Lord Ravenshaw.

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Insight Into Moe Prt3

Insight into Moe Part 3

The trip into the Northern reaches is a memory that seems like ages ago for Moe. He can remember Lord Durven Westerman, who to Moe at the time seemed to be an evil and vile man in a corrupt, twisted, and foreign land. His only goal is to kill the vicious gnolls that invest his land. Lord Westerman would do this at all cost, even to the cost of death to his people and his family. It’s apparently an act that has made him impervious to death.

Moe also remembers Bryant the Deputy of the Westerman family only for the simple fact that Moe thought he would loose his tastes buds forever when this man was about to cut his tongue out for speaking the Kavanagh name one time too many in front of Lord Westerman.

He barely remembers the son of Lord Westerman appearing as a ghost in the dark woods outside of his manor. The visions that Moe saw while the ghost was touching him are very faint and almost forgotten now, as is the combat with the undead creatures that killed him, Artemis Garrett, and his friend Thurik.

Moe felt like he was awakened from the most wonderful dream he has ever had. There are no details of this dream that he can recall, however he is aware that the dream was the most peaceful and relaxing of his life. He knows that the food in his dream must have been endless.

Moe was awakened by the ritual that Lord Ravenshaw used to bring him back from this dream. Everything seems a bit different to Moe since he was brought back from death. He no longer feels that he is being watched, and his thoughts seem clearer now. His past memories seem like they were decades ago. The lights seem much brighter to him and the darkness seems let gloomy. Some how in the process from life to death and death back to life, Moe physically has changed. The darkness of this world has crept into his soul and afflicted him. He has emerged changed, his features drawn and pale, eyes dark and his form is stalked by flickering ominous shadows. He now can blend into the shadows more easily, and see into the darkness with glowing red eyes.

Moe now feels tied to the land of mist, to the shadowfell in someway. He is uncertain if this is something that Lord Ravenshaw has imparted on him or if it is something that the land has done to him. He still has a wanderlust about him that will most likely remain in his soul, but he now has a feeling of servitude towards this land and possibly to Lord Ravenshaw. Deep in his soul, he feels that he must protect this land. To him, this land is neither good nor evil, it’s just a place, his home and he will try and help those who wish to prevent its harm. Moe knows that Lord Ravenshaw is not from the Shadowdark, but feels that he has been reborn to this land and now wants protect it from those who wish to exploit the land.

Moe has died in a shadow, and stepped back into the gloominess with a bit of shadow in his soul. He now has a new purpose, the protection of this land. Moe still has a lot to learn about the shadowfell and now is indebted to a powerful individual that can teach him more about the land of the mist. He will follow in Lord Ravenshaws goals…. For Now.

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Former Lamplighter

Before leaving Hadley, Thurik pens a missive which he dispatches to Mordentshire, 20gp to whomever will ride there and bring back a response, if deemed necessary.

To the Esteemed Lamplighters of Mordentshire,

I, Thurik Orinbald, your former servant, regretfully inform you that I have failed. I was dispatched to Hadley, as you know, in order to investigate the disease know as Dark Adaptation.

The source of this dire plague was an arcane device known as the Soul Sphere, which was created nearly a century ago by a Necromancer called Grey Ravenshaw. I and my companions, including the late Eva Shade killed in action, have discovered the Soul Sphere and attempted to destroy it by a ritual involving the blood of an evil presence called a Dark Lord. From our research, these are beings who likely inhabit all the lands of the Mists, cast into our realm by greater forces in order to imprison them.

Unfortunately, I was incapacitated during a mission to find a known Dark Lord, one Dovavan Westerman, located in an isolated shire north of Hadley. I and my companion Moe the Goatherder were returned to Hadley by my surviving ally, Sophia Shade and the noble Crimson Guard, in order to recover. During my convalescence, I was informed that the Dark Adaptation had ended.

In spite of our efforts to forestall this tragedy, some 120 souls were lost. I believe that though I could have intervened, I was not competent enough to complete the task for which you have assigned me and have allowed a fellow Lamplighter to perish.

As such, I must tender my resignation. I feel that I am unworthy of the title of Lamplighter and must step down from such a noble position. I am leaving Hadley shortly to find an artifact that may assist an ally in Hadley in order to help further the struggle against the greater evil that we have discovered lurking here.

May The Lady bless us all, and I wish you well.

Thurik Ornibald

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A note to whom it may concern

I am Thurik Orinbald, Lamplighter of Mordentshire and this is an urgent letter to whoever may find it. I and my companions Ava Shade and Mo the Goathearder, have been dispatched to Hadley, and are now accompanied by Sophia Shade and Artemis Garret, in order to investigate an unusual disease referred to as “Dark Adaptation”. This is, in essence, a psychic or mental attack that causes its sufferers to experience an image of shadows and is usually fatal within a matter of days, as it consumes the soul of the afflicted. In our investigations we have discovered the source; The Soul Sphere, an arcane construct made by Grey Ravenshaw nearly a century past (the current date is 758 by Mordent reckoning, December 14th). Upon the death of his last scion, Scarlet Ravenshaw, the sphere was activated; its purpose, to generate sufficient lifeforce, by consuming the minds of the living, to resurrect Grey Ravenshaw, a vengeful and mad sorcerer. The only means of ending this supernatural plague is to destroy the Soul Sphere by means told to us by Grey himself, whom we discovered in his crypt, within the great hill of Hadley near the old mines, whilst still in the process of becoming whole. The means being the blood of a dead “Dark Lord”. We were informed by a Vistani witch that while one such force exists, in Hadley proper, she could not be certain where. However, she stated that within the territories of the Westermans, a Dark Lord ruled. We have traveled here in the hopes of finding this evil, whom we believe to be Lord Durven Westerman. The evidence to whit is that the villagers of his manor state that he has never been killed, even though he has been apparently wounded fatally several times. Lord Westerman has threatened to kill us, however, we have managed to negotiate a dismissal instead, forcing us to leave his domain. The ancient forest is infested by dogmen known as “Nolls”; they are ruthless and barbaric. If you find this letter some or all of us have perished, or I have been careless with my property. May the Lady be with us, and if you are an enemy, piss on you for I am out of ink. Thurik.

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Insight into Moe Part 2

Insight into Moe:

Things have been a blur for Moe over the past few days or has it been weeks? Moe is having a tough time remembering things or is he just trying to forget? He can only piece together bits of memories.

Constant feeling of someone watching him

Searching the Ravenshaw Manor and finding a silver platter with a Raven holding a rose.

Ava getting sicker and having to stay at the temple. Her sister Sophie showing up.

Sophie mentally attacking the “Vampire Spawn”, the elf “Tillven” watching through the gate he closed’ trapping us inside

The Wolf fighting and defending everyone

Finding some treasure.

The undead saying “Murder, Murder… Over and over.

A gold ring.

Searching and more searching

Finding a “Illusion” with a door behind it.

Master’s True Love? A big spooky undead guy.

Lots of books and papers.

A really nice dagger

The ghost of a long dead Ravenshaw. Total paralysis, evil pulling at his inside..Pulling at his soul..

His reflection showing that he physically has aged around 20 years.

A little boy screaming and running away in terror

The disappointed looks of people in Hadley

Biscuits from the tavern

Ava being cured

A talking black cat in a tree with a stern warning

A long climb up a rocky hill

A cave and a trap. Thoughts of suffocating to death. A magical spell and fresh air.

Restless sleep, fighting, falling, Panic.

Crawling into another small cave. A feeling of familiarity.

Really nice paintings of Grey. A Dragon, The dagger. A demon with a nasty bite.

Traps, Poison

A secret code on the floor

A gargoyle eyes opening. Water and water. Drowning.. Locks after Locks. Fresh air.

Restless Sleep, fighting, panic, excruciating pain, unconsciousness.

Confusion about foot prints, a vision of helplessness.

A puzzle on the floor. The letter ‘S”

Statues attacking.

Ravens flying around with the letters in there claws.

Grey Ravenshaw’s Picture Grey Ravenshaw’s Ghost Grey Ravenshaw’s Sarcophagus

Treasure and a really nice amulet.

Soul Sphere sucking up people from Hadley… Draining life

A white wolf running down the street chasing a black cat.

Ava worried and distracted

A potion of “False hope”

Biscuits from the tavern

Vistani woman and her message. “Being Even”

Artemis strapping on his large sword and studded leather

A peaceful walk into the forest

Looking for a white wolf

Finding dog/man foot prints

Hiding

8 horsemen with a black unicorn symbol on their metal armor

Hearing dog like laughter moving in from the forest.

Moe constantly has a feeling someone is watching him. His memories are very fuzzy and sporadic. If he tries to sort through them, he gets an intense feeling of panic and feeling of someone holding him or grabbing him, not letting him move. Since he was a child, he has always had the ability to put bad memories or thoughts in a little closet in his mind. He has seen many horrid things in his travels and this is how he has learned to deal with them. It seems like since his soul was touched by the ghost and he physically aged (or was it before this?), the closet door is opening on its own and letting out old memories of things Moe believes he has seen over the years. He has resorted to trying only to think of the present, this seems to keep the door closed. Unfortunately, he knows that when he tries to sleep, the door swings wide open and he is assaulted with bad thoughts, or “Memories”. This is his rational on why he has been sleep-walking. He is scared that he may harm his friends or himself, so for the next few days he will try and stay awake at night. As long as this works, he will not alert his friends to his problem. They have enough to worry about, let alone a 40 year old teenage Halfling with bad ju ju thoughts.

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Sophia’s Journal – Day 10

We made it. Alive and well, we made it through to the actual tomb of Grey Ravenshaw.

It was nothing like I expected. After we managed to kill off the “statues” and took a risk by jumping through a portal, we came to his tomb.

When Thurik opened the ornate iron door, I was almost immediately overwhelmed by the arcane magic. It was so powerful, I lost consciousness.

When I came to with Thurik’s aid, we looked around at the splendor of magic. Suddenly, Moe pointed to a cloaked figure above the long staircase. It stood still and held, what looked like a staff. It then began to come towards us slowly.

We quickly realized it was Grey himself, well I should say a shadow of his former self. He spoke cautiously, obviously taken aback that we should come this far.

In only moments, I had learned from him a great many secrets few could know. For instance, the Land of the Mists is a Shadowfell realm of existence. This discovery, is difficult to wrap my mind around. Meaning, Mordent could almost be referred to as a hell itself. My mind began to wander. Could I get my family out of the Land of the Mists? Could it truly be better? I must learn more. Looking up at Grey, I could almost feel his aura of wisdom and power. He was the key to unlock knowledge beyond comprehension. Knowledge that I had to obtain. “For the greater good”, I told myself.

With his tutelage, I could become one of the most powerful beings to walk between realms. I knelt, and pledged my fealty to him. What I could learn from him, would not be in any book or any person I could find on my own.

Why didn’t I leave Hadley with Ava? I came here to save and help her. We are now no longer plagued by the dark adaptation. We could have left. But why didn’t I? I’ll tell you. I have only just realized. I want to know more, I wanted something bigger than this ignorant existence in Mordent. Of course lives are currently at stake, but there could be a larger picture we are not seeing. I tried to explain this to Thurik, but he is duty-bound and will not deter his mission of saving the people of Hadley. I decided to keep my thoughts quiet for now.

I may not agree with Grey’s way of resurrection, but then he is wise beyond all. Who am I to question his ways?

Upon realizing that the 3 of us are currently not a threat to him, he seemed to relax. Moe started going up the stairs on the left according to his curious nature. After giving Grey the ring he found, Grey imparted on to him a beautiful medallion, the value of which is greater that I can fathom. His eyes got large and he quickly secreted it away in that bottomless sack of his.

According to Grey, we needed the blood of a dead dark lord to stop the Soul Sphere. We are running out of time, and I fear it may not happen. Thurik is hell-bent on going through with this.

When we arrived (safely) back in Hadley, the death toll was above 60. Ava was still in good health, but worried because she has not seen D’Artanion. This concerned me. D’Artanion has never left Ava’s side for as long as I can remember. He was last seen chasing after a black cat. Even Grey himself, does not agree with Alabaster’s sinister nature. Alabaster surely led him into danger, which in turn I believe, Alabaster wanted us to follow.

Ava, distraught with grief and dismay, still agreed to continue on with us after we informed her of what occurred in Grey’s tomb and what Thurik was now after. After further research and a dire warning from the Vastani woman, put us on the path to the Westernman lands, in the north reaches of Hadley in the Forest of the Ancients.

We left the next day, with Artemis in tow. About 6 hours into the travel, we came upon a small party of men of horseback with the Westernman symbol on their chests of armor.

They were enemies who cared not for the town of Hadley they supposedly protect. Their motives were their own. They would not left us pass or continue further, however, they wanted us to stay and camp here. They said they would return with news from their master. Even I could tell they were lying. We fortified ourselves with the landscape as best we could. Since they were never aware of Moe (since he managed to hide when they approached), we kept him out of sight. With watches set up for the night, we waited…

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