The Weekly Bulletin

Catch up on our games from the eyes of the players themselves!

5

The Diary of Keolith

Gods? Old-ones? Convoluted metaphysical entities with no bearing on reality, despite the diatribe of their followers? A rational person would think that such a being would not care about the name we “lesser races” give it. Unfortunately, the Dragonborn who appeared from the magma and rudely molested one of my dark fey is not a rational person. Like its patron who threw a fit when we woke it up, the Dragonborn had a tantrum over my choice of noun. A civil war in the west, corruption killing the planet, entropy destroying reality itself, these do not cause for concern for the Old-Ones. Incorrect titles, however, send in the damn troops! I was not aware Senuna was not only the old-one of war and fire but also semantics.

Eventually, the priest ceased its whining and we headed down the tunnel. This lead us to what looked like some type of prison, complete with barred cells, areas for trials, and a curious quantity of chain. I do not know what sort of “punishment” the dwarven legal system uses which requires so many chains, but I may suggest something similar to my wife upon returning to Fair Harbor.

We proceeded to search the building where, to no-one’s surprise, another Fey died. To everyone’s surprise, however, the Doctor demonstrated a rare display of courage and raised a strange glowing skeleton from the dead, despite the dangers. Maybe she is learning from us after all.

A note from the Journal of Dr. S Kennley

The drow woman being tortured had undergone… surgery would be a polite term. Keo was rather skilled, and with my magic reserves, we kept her alive. Good. Before this, we found out that the dwarves explode… Convincing them to join the fight would be good… if not to use their… disposition for our own gain. Our newest companion seems to be against the Embered Dwarves… if he is an issue, I’m sure Keo will resolve some tension he has over his Old Ones marking. I can only hope, if he has questions, he and Glory can come to me for answers. For now, I am disguised as a dwarf, tempting the leader into diplomacy… hopefully.

The Shattered Gods(7)

The Ruined Tower – Midnight

Children, the lot of them. Yet I’m not much older myself. We all have things to learn still but my frustrations with them are hard to manage at moments. Recklessly tossing unknown objects of value out windows, taunting unknown beings, not taking such beings seriously and goofing off in a moment that should be quite serious. I enjoy a good game myself from time to time but this is not the time.

Let’s talk about important things though, shall we? That unknown creature… like an entity of night and feline in nature. Lumen it called itself to make things “simple” for us. I don’t care for its air of arrogance. However, it seemed to see me as a brother. I suppose there are some similarities between us and I do have to respect its seeming joy it takes from the hunt given how it seemed to take glee in the idea of chasing after another one of the tribes. Their problem now… however its existence concerns me. Have we lost members of the tribe to this being? If so I’ll have to make it pay one day. No one is allowed to harm my tribe and get away with it. For now, I’ll put that aside, however. It offered to help us and though I imagine we may pay for it one day, especially with its strong dislike for Sumael, its help has aided us greatly in finding the corpse of the banshee and confirming the object of its hatred.

It turns out some other unnatural creature created the banshee by dragging her under the water and killing her while her companion fled in terror. A creature we had to fight with some minor difficulty. Some kind of glowing ooze that will make for a solid trophy for the hunt but not good enough. The banshee must be eliminated both for the good of our tribe and to give the pained elf her freedom.

Iliara though… that is a name I will one day have to seek. Is she among the tribes now? Why did she not return for her friend? Running I can understand. Fear consumed her… she had no way of helping at the time which rightly made the banshee feel betrayed by her last friend I imagine. However, we heard the banshee shriek the name into the night which I suspect means she never caught up to Iliara. The fool should at least have done something for her companion and I will be sure to let her know it if I ever discover where she now resides.

I also can’t quite get Lumen’s hatred for Sumael out of my mind entirely. What could trigger such hatred? Something about him being hollow? And Deimos had mentioned sensing something odd about him. I didn’t take it seriously at the time nor did I care but now? Could he be some kind of undead or demon? Only time can really tell and regardless I will not betray a fellow member of the pack, especially not one who has not yet caused us harm. It IS reason enough however to keep the gemstone we were given away from him… and cause to keep a close eye on said gem when others use it. Knowing the others one of them would probably give it to him just to see what happens and I suspect what would happen would be far worse than random buckets of rotting fish appearing or whatever it did to me if anything.

For now however, with the runes set around her body, it will soon be time to hunt the banshee. Hopefully, Deimos and Skrub will stop wrestling with each other long enough for us all to prepare to end this. Regardless at least I know I can count on them to at least keep things together once the fighting starts, even if Nix accidentally shot Skrub in the back. At least I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt in that regard.

Night and Days of Death – Sumael

The night was cold, even colder than nights up here are supposed to be, so cold that the fire struggled to hold its own against the chill in the air that carried the nightmarish howling to our camp. We had little time to rest after the fight with the ooze, but we went out anyway, covered in furs and carrying torches to aid us against the cold and the dark. The Banshee fled, after the first encounter, disappearing from sight until we were spread out. When it finally revealed itself to us it presented it’s horrifying visage, thinking to scare us but all of us had taken precautions.

Through the bravery of heroes of old or the protection of nature and the spirits, all of us resisted the first assault of her powers. We answered in kind but much more successfully, Skrub’s arrows, Nixe’s concoctions and divine moonlight summoned on it by Midnight tore through the banshees spectral form but incurring a specter’s wrath does not come without consequences. As she whirled over the frozen lake the banshee released her infernal scream, turning the cold even further against us. As the ice crept up my legs I could see it Deimos and Midnight to the bone. The both of them retreated to the lakes shore and I was struck down as I mounted a last, desperate attack against it. Immediately the monster turned around, pursuing Deimos, itself followed by the beam of moonlight, and with a swipe of its terrible claws caught not the paladin but Midnight and tore him open. Nix jumped from the ruined tower we were fighting beside, plunging his daggers into the banshee, finally killing it but it was too late. Our companion, Midnight, lay dead in the snow. The bounty of the hunt we collected, a frozen heart, still echoing the banshees screams, but it hadn’t come without a price.

Death is not the end they say and in lands such as these – still rife with ancient power preserved from the change of times – that saying holds especially true. Lumin, the cat ghost, who I suspect to be the origin of the horrific tales of the moon’s shadow, they called it while I was still unconscious and struck a deal. Midnight’s life for servitude. As if his attention had not been bad enough. I fear the things we might discover for him or be forced to surrender. It did hold up its end of the bargain, though already it seems to have thrown things into chaos. We returned to the camp, hoping that finally we would find respite after that harrowing fight but instead more death awaited us. As the sun was blocked out by an eclipse and I saw the vision of a figure, piercing blue eyes veiled in shadows, a horrifying scream echoed over the camp. Elra pulled me to the seer at first, she suspected if anybody knew it would be her but I disregarded her when I saw that figure again and ran out of the camp but to no avail. Skrub and Nix followed but we did not find anything spare for the shape of a man made out of snow. That was when Elra found the Seer – dead and decapitated on the site of the Moot. Her death now marks the end of our Great Hunt.

2

Ark on Murder and Quizes

Resuming our investigation of Room #2, the murder mystery room, Ouro continued to search the first cart which had a handful of chests in it but upon opening one of them it exploded and caught the cart on fire burning much of the contents inside and Ouro himself. Managing to get the chests stuck in the door Suhn after being alerted by Ark run close enough to blow the whole back end off the cart.

After grilling the lady who later admitted to killing the two one alive people we used the clues we were given being the smell of fruit on the woman and the smell of mead on the man, the poison kit found in the remanence of the fire, and the knife that the woman held to piece together that the quartz was used to make ice out of poisoned water and the knife was poisoned on one side, the side given to the woman. After taking damage from asking too many questions the first riddle was solved and a follow-up riddle was presented. Ouro was magically silenced for this which left Suhn and Ark to solve this riddle, YYURYYUBICURYY4ME and with a small tip from Ark and the woman Suhn figured out the meaning being “too wise you are, too wise you be, I see you are too wise for me” which lead into Room #3.

Entering the door lead the parties into 5 separate cages, two on one side for Tertius and Lucan, and 3 on the other side fore Ouro, Suhn, and Ark. Questions about their backstory were asked to each other and wrong answers were punished by hurting the one who answers wrong and a chosen team member on the other side. Eventually, Ark being the newbie answered too many questions wrong tried to get out of the cage to no avail and after taking a heavy hit of psychic damage fell unconscious where they still lie.

Suhn on The Final Curtain

Trapped. Damaged. My friends on the brink of death in front of me and to my sides. How low could I go? The questions. The Announcer, the traps in the room. We were on the border of collapsing as a team. Though, as if by fate, the crowd was caught off guard by Angus. I had never been as happy to see him as I was at that point. Ouro, taking advantage of the situation, let me know about the Mana Siphons under the cages. Looking down, I noticed a rat that was familiar. It was Angus’s, and it was signaling me to talk to him. Learning from Angus though, he explained that the next room, if we even survived this one, had its safeties disabled. It was meant to kill us. I couldn’t risk it. Not at that point in time. I just panicked. Shatter came to mind, not even caring about anything else. Not the Arena, not the Audience, not even those blasted guards. Wood and crystal ripped into me but I had to get through this.

Ouro quickly managed to break free from his own binds as well as we attempted to assist the unconscious Ark. Once the bars were broken enough, I got far enough away from her Mana Siphons to heal her up as Ouro took advantage of a pair of keys he took, freeing Lucan and (the line stops here as there is a visible wet mark on the page)

Tertius stayed back to fight off the guards by himself while the rest of us managed to escape through an illusioned wall that hid a doorway. We progressed forward but it was hard. Not physically but leaving behind a friend and ally was something I forgot how horrible it felt. We progressed farther and farther until we came to a dead end. With the Royal Guards right on our tail, Ouro managed to get the door open through hidden bricks in the wall, before we all managed to pile through into a dark room.

Lucan and I closed and barred the hidden door, slamming a shelf in front. Though this released some Wild Magicks as suddenly there was a random carpet under Lucan as he jumped back towards me. Ouro was cunning enough to put up an Arcane Lock against the hidden door before we all adjusted to our surroundings. We were in the vault, where we got out items. Ouro was able to find our items we requested and Angus found a path into the sewers. With a bit of a team effort, we all managed to get into the get into the sewers and block our escape route as we heard the door break open and sudden screaming of guards. While I didn’t know what happened, I also didn’t care. I just took lead and walked ahead. The other’s followed, as well adjusted to our new items and got to what we believed was safety.

Luckily I had managed to pull off a Hut spell for us to rest so we didn’t get infected from the sewers while we rested. Inside, resting, we had learned from Angus that Ondska was a decedent of someone of the past, who was in fact royalty. So Ondska believed he was, in fact, a royal, and maybe he is. But he is still nothing more than a madman, and those who are mad don’t do well in their position.

As we swapped stories, we had also learned from Ouro that Ondska had killed his sister, simply because she was not human. He described her as a pacifist, who wanted nothing more than peace. And they simply took her away and executed her. With Ark, on the other hand, she was brought forth by her god to take down someone who was threatening The Old Ones and her people. It got me thinking though, what was my own reason? For Amana? I simply accepted a job like a foot soldier and now, for the first time, I had begun to question myself. I had no reason to kill Ondska aside from being told to do so. I sat beside Ouro and just, could not stop thinking about it.

I had a dream in the night, something I haven’t dreamed about in years. Everyone from my past. Namar, Sybal, Mar’Tol, Humma, Kabal. In that burning building from years past. Our last job together. The fire that consumed their lives and sent me to be alone in a cell. I woke up in the middle of the night like I used to when I had that dream. I was crying. Ten years since that day, and I still remember it vividly enough to hear their screams in my dreams. The day I became a Foot Soldier. The day I vowed to work alone and yet, here I was. Not only working with others but almost acting as a leader. I just sat there hoping the two Trancers didn’t notice me wake up. Though I could not sleep anymore. My mind was racing. What was my purpose in this group, in this mission? I am nothing compared to them. I still am nothing.

I couldn’t keep thinking about that though. As we finished our rest and dispelled the hut that we had been resting in, Ouro led the way to where they had gone before in the sewers, the way to the castle. Though it was arcanely locked, he had no trouble suppressing it long enough to pick the physical lock and open the grate. Wee all climbed up soon after only to see in the distance, a large winged beast protecting the front gate. Ouro and Ark stepped up first, Ark under the effect of my invisibility spell while Ouro made an attempt to speak with the beast. Though I personally could not understand it, it was clear that this was going to turn into a fight.

A loud battle followed the discussion, probably causing more attention than anything else we could have done. Thankfully though, through a lot of resources being burned, we managed to cut it down, only for it to explode into thousands of metal shrapnel. Thankfully, we all managed to get into the door, and managed to use our potions and scrolls in order heal up.

Moving forward though, we all heard a great scream down in the basement area. Angus informed us that it was most definitely The Piper being tortured, and while I had no interest in helping the man, Ouro ran down by himself in order to help The Piper. I didn’t get his reason, nor did I have the time to worry about it. I ran upstairs on a different path to scout ahead and what I saw was a key point that would make this attempt a failure.

Metal Golems in adamantine metal plates. Dozens of them across the halls, each one being pumped full of a strange liquid. That was something that I knew we could not handle with our small numbers. Running back, I had no choice but to order a retreat. Ark was complaining about how they came this far, they have to finish the job, but I had no reason to stay for a suicide mission. As we saw Ouro return with The Piper in arms, I made a very simple choice for them. “Either stay here and die or retreat and gain a second chance. Nothing more.” With that, I left them to decide for themselves as I retreated back into the sewers. I waited for them for only about ten minutes for I was about to leave but that is when I saw them coming down into the Sewers.

Angus said we are needing a safe place to stay, a place Ondska would never look. He mentioned my old home, and while I was in denial of ever returning, no one had a better option. Striking a deal, I said that I would agree to this as long as I had the right to kill the murderous slaver and drug lord that was my father. In an agreement, we all set out together. Ark, Ouro, Angus, Lucan, and myself. A life in the shadows now. If I am being honest with myself, this was a life I missed.

Signed: Suhn’Vel Aramathine Stellar

The Shattered Gods

The Cure – Keeva

I’m wonderfully blinded in one eye now… I suppose if I am going to play the part of the Spy I should at least look like a Spy. Haha… At least the ice is off my face. Though the encounter with the beast that caused our construct to laser my eye out was less than amusing, I’ll survive, as will the others. Tegan found an… Well… I’m not entirely sure what Stella is. A Navigation Sales Rep? Sounds absurd, honestly. However, Stella is sweet and curious. She takes to the truth better than most… I fear I was brutally honest with her about her missing people and workers. Tegan and our newest companion seem… Well. Mordin… I see him now for what he is… he puts up a brave face, and that is admirable. His break down over being covered in horrible goo and dust… He is simply a man with great and terrible powers. One I will protect, as I will protect McMarvin and Tegan the best I can.

Speaking of Tegan… Her curiosity is venturing into the dangerous. Stepping close into the truth and then exposing it is something the Whisper Network has worked hard to conceal. I will talk to her and give her an option. It… is the kindest thing I can do for her. I have watched her grow so much and have become very proud of her boldness she exhibits. McMarvin… He carries the dangers of the Sun Demon with him. I wish I could help him. His cleverness in building things has cost us. Stella, the wonderful being, had told us she had been in contact with the Sun Demon, that she has new orders and been reassigned. I fear for her… I fear even more for her now that she has been taken. A loss we all will surely suffer for.

I… Another loss on my hands. My fingers are stained red now, and they will never be the same. I cannot lead the dead… I fear I will be if I don’t act faster. I have an entire city of people… and I have failed so many of them. We must rebuild. That is my resolve. We must survive.

 

6

Day 10 – Monty:

The world separates and I see Five Black Feathers. The fractured sides of black and white run jagged like a spider web. Reality falls and I’m standing in a sea of nothing as screams of dwarves echo in my head. I am slipping further and further away from the tangible as my fingers run from sand into dust. Laughing mouths and black eyes, the curling grin of a cat with predatory stare as the dead are burned or buried. A weakness I have not felt in years. It exposes a raw nerve and I forget myself, and shame my Da. I have failed my friends.

Perhaps even the new life we bring into our folds… a mana worm. In a moments meditation, I tried to find peace, turning towards the familiar, and familial. The soft feathers of the Bird Woman soothed the jumbled mess of thoughts for a moment…just for a moment, and then once more… I saw Five Black Feathers, and my sanity waned. The gifts given to us gained new power… I am cautious… but for how long? Will I lose my sanity as my Father did? For now… I must focus outwards… My strength is given to my friends. I see Five Black Feathers…

Day 10 / 11 – Tempest

It has been an eventful time lately. After an ancient natural born cleric gave our magic items a boost… after playing some tricks… it was time to regroup and focus ourselves for the task at hand. Of course, that isn’t easy when your Nena decides to try and hook you up with the latest addition to our little team. Way to make things awkward Nena… what makes her think anyone would want to marry me anyway?

That aside, Sprout has decided to stay with my tribe till they get settled into a new location and Monade is copying spells into his book. My mother then introduced me to one of the Janni, a sort of… lesser genie? I’m still not certain on the specifics but they are mortals who are connected to all of the elements as opposed to just one and this guy made some pointed comments to my mother about the fact that she hasn’t trained me properly. Awkwardness all around us it seems.

After a demonstration with orbs of the elements it has become clear to me now that I’m only trained in two elements when in fact I can be the master of them all, something which the Janni will train me in AFTER we have gone to Harriad keep to save Mezi and save Sandcarver, as I have to earn respect. That should be easy… right?

It seems that Kyrella is hot under the collar for this Janni person, which is nice to see. A lot of her focus has been on retrieving this artifact so that she can get home and lately also on saving the world, so it is nice to see that at least one of us is able to take our mind off of it all with something simpler and that which can bring some happiness.

As we arrive at the mountains, and the ruins of Harriad Keep, we are informed that this used to be some sort of base for the first person who worshipped and worked for the Aether Manifest. Now, it is rubble save from the one doorway… a doorway which, after a brief ritual, seems to open up to the sight of a beautiful kingdom. As lovely as it is, I could feel my chest get tighter. After a lifetime of assuming Mezi had no interest in knowing me and had abandoned us all to then knowing that it might not have been his intention… I may actually get answers. Once we get him out of whatever cell he is currently in of course.

Approaching the doorway was a Dao, one of the Earth Genies and she was quite the imposing figure. I was nervous about what she might say, she could very well tell us all where to go and close the gateway but instead, she sounded accusatory to our Janni companion and then whilst looking at Monty, queried why the testament had been returned. So Monty is a testament? What does that even mean? It seems that not only is she of the highest importance to Sandcarver, but by the sounds of things she has some importance here with the Aether Manifest too.

Let’s just hope it is a good thing, or we all might be doomed. And I have come too far in life to be denied the chance to meet Mezi…

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