The Darmend Crossroads

Raina's Inter-Adventure Ramblings

It's hard work. Tempering the soul is much harder than tempering iron. But after this is done, I'll be able to protect them all. I'll let the filth of the world wash against the mighty rock that is myself! I have seen it, I have seen the tenuous nature of life. I will-, I'm starting to sound a little crazy here. Bah, it's not like anybody reads these. Unless somebody's sneaking around my house after I've returned. I wouldn't put it past Edwyn. Still, he is a son of Darmend, which means he's worthy of my protection provided he stays out of my goddamned way! Unlike his master. That bitch Merthula killed Father! That should have been my kill! Argh! 

There's nothing for it now. He's probably rotting in some afterlife, if one exists. I need to worry about the here and now. Fucking Razinites. Think they can kill whomever with impunity. Justice should be carried out by the strong, order maintained by the strong! It is the duty of the weak to follow. I shall lead this town to prosperity while maintaining its safety.

In the coming weeks, I shall petition the coucil for the formation of a militia. I will lead it. I'll need to get foreign trainers in to teach us how war is waged so we can defend ourselves. I'll get the mine open again. With any luck, we'll get a steady source of iron. We've also found that it's a good spot to quarry stone. Maybe Adran and the Dwarf Rhalf can help with the stonework and construction of fortifications?

The roads to the East and West will need to be completed. That way, we can not only open up trade between the Zoinectarians and the cities of Charikot and Bharatput, but can become a major trade hub between the two. The increased wealth will require strength to protect it. Fortifications are definitely the way to go. Walls could magnify defensive strength. But we, as a people, will need to toughen up. It won't only be greedy humans that want our land. All sorts of monsters are likely encroaching upon town! They must all be put to the sword. I won't let Mavis or Derevan come to harm. I'll kill them all! I'll make them suffer for their transgressions! If they take my friends from me, I'll devise a way to destroy their very souls. I don't care if Merthula said that's within the realm of the gods. I'll become a god if I have to. 

Regardless, it's time to go. I need to retire for the night so as to not lose too much sleep. Maybe I should tell Derevan and Mavis about what's going on when I get back to Darmend? I don't want to worry them. 

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Raina's Post-Adventure Log IV: Baubles and Boneheads

Well, we originally set out to scout out a location for a stone quarry. So, we turned South. We found a stone formation with an opal embedded in the circle. I took the opal. Shadowy dogs attacked, but we dealt with them easily. Or would have, if that dolt Edwyn had stopped fucking about with the stone setting and helped Adran! Otherwise, easy foes. Then we took off into the wilderness. 

We soon came upon a tree. I went crawling about in it, and found some gems and gold bits. But then the walls began to close in on me. I tried getting out, but I found this slug-thing that tried to slime me. Several fire spells later, I was free. Then Adran and I torched the bastard and left. To hell with that tree! Note to self; return and destroy the tree. 

Here's where Edwyn stepped way out of bounds. He tried to attack the opal while I was holding it. In attacking me, I took a swing at him. I will not tolerate this kind of insolence! If he does something like this again, I won't hold back!

After trudging through some harsh terrain, we found an outcropping which Adran helped in extracting the ores from. He's good people. I'd save him over Edwyn. Later, we found a lighthouse with these giant moths circling it. After being exhausted, we left that lighthouse with the altar alone and holed up in an abandoned village. 

After that, we continued East, only to come across a downed bridge. I leapt across with ease, saved Edwyn's life, and helped the others across. Then a weird thing happened. I heard howling. Then saw wolves. It was only when I was struck that I snapped out of it. We continued onwards, finding the city of Charikot. I went browsing for spellbooks, but everything was out of my range. No matter. 

Once we left Charikot, we hit the mine. The stone's good for quarrying. That's great to know. Back to Darmend. 

We learned a good deal more about the world, and about eachother. But now I need to do something for the good of Darmend. I suppose I'll be back in a week or so. 

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Tanyc's Journal - Vampire Murder Raid

That damned obelisk with the shit about sacrificing babies kep haunting me, and I got Illandow and DARH! on board with returning to take out the fucker. Recruited Kire, Adran, Derevan, Col, and Jenrah to come with us. What little Illandow could find didn't sound good, but he still came along.

Stopped by the Nectarine outpost on the way and Heracles said they'd seen a lot more undead recently. Not a good sign, but seemed like we were on the right track. Made it to the ruins without any problems and we checked out the temple side first, Illandow talked to his goddess first. Col, Jenrah, and Derevan all tried to pick up the knife next, but were overwhelmed, then Jenrah saw a damn nice mace leaning against the wall. Wasn't there before, and when he went to grab it he almost smacked himself in the face. Adran was enjoying his illusions.

Skipped the storeroom part since we'd cleared it out and went to the lair, which the leech must've been busy with, it now had tapestries and shit. There was a thrall outside who invited us down, and while the others sat down at the table me and Col stayed standing. There was a damn skeleton playing an organ and some creepy fuck who was probably the bastard who Illandow had talked to. He demanded we return what we took from him, started with the lantern from Darh. Darh gave it up willingly, then the fucker demanded my crossbow. Said no, and before I could point out that nobody had touched it in centuries he attacked. Shot him, he clawed me, and it was on. Col hid, Jenrah jumped on the table and attacked, while Derevan sat back and watched, though he and Kire got involved after they realized the meat they'd been eating was human flesh. Then that fucker Col took my damn crossbow. Jenrah got in the final shot, stabbed the leech through the eye and tore off half his skull. Fucker didn't even make it out of his chair. Most of the others started making themselves puke up the human flesh, though Illandow didn't have any moral problems with it since he was an elf.

Found a secret door in the room, and we explored further. Found a room with light coming from under the door, and Illandow couldn't talk whoever was inside into opening the door. Jenrah tried to be intimidating but failed miserably, but DARH! finally got the skeleton inside to open it. He told us to go away and shut the door, so I kicked the damn thing in. Weird-ass place, inside he'd been working on creating some undead thing stitched together from a few different people. Said his name was Theodore and he'd lost a bet to 'her' and had to make undead for her. Her? Yeah, Illandow somehow completely missed his goddess telling him that the leech was a woman. The fuck, man? Needs to pay attention better. Theodore just wanted to be left to his own devices, didn't even want to raise an army of undead but had to since he'd lost the bet.

Explored further and we came across a room at the end of a hallway and were invited inside. Not a good sign. We went in, and there she was. The fucking leech. In her damn library, talking shit about how she wanted an army and she was going to keep one of us to replace the fucker we'd killed, singled out Jenrah and me. Fuck off, leech. Illandow and me were the first to attack.

Godsdamn are all of us lucky to be alive. She wasn't easy to hit, and I got hit by some magic shit that drained about half my life. Good thing I'd bought that high-end healing potion from the Nectarines a while back. Derevan tossed a flaming bottle into the bookshelves, tried to attack and failed, tried to seduce her and succeeded, and then ran away while a bunch of the others got into melee. Then she summoned fucking swarms of bats. A fuckton of them. Everyone got pretty fucked up by them, until Illandow burned them. Somewhere in there she'd charmed Jenrah, wasn't surprising. Horny bastard.

Col got knocked down when he tried to rush her, and she damn near killed Kire. Adran threw magic balls at her, pretty much continuously, and she charmed Col too. Derevan came running back in with that weird "God" dagger and yelled something about the "might of xan-something-or-other" and stabbed the leach a couple times. I finally got the last hit in on her, hurt her just enough to take her out. Fucking leech tried flirting with me when I did too, then turned into mist and escaped. Poured a healing potion down Kire's throat to bring him back around and gave one to Col, though I almost didn't after that shit with taking my crossbow.

We checked out the rest of the place, Theodore wasn't under the influence of the bet anymore. Found someone who'd been under her control in the kitchen, he'd snapped out of it and didn't know he'd been cooking human flesh. Found way too fucking many dead babies in the next room with the blood flowing into a long hallway filled with blood. Fuck this fucking leech bitch. Found an enchanted barbarian axe in there though. Two handed and DARH! likes his shield, so Jenrah took it. Illandow also found a necklace with a fireballl spell on it.

Found a few more people who'd been under her control, a couple of them were elves. Best moment was when I deadpan asked Illandow how he knew them. Godsdamn elven superiority, it was fun knocking him down a bit. Darh almost ended up in the shitter when he opened the door to it, then I triggered a battering ram log. Leech had had fun setting traps for us. Then Illandow did something stupid and touched a glowing wall and managed to get his ass cursed. Got the freed people outside and I talked with Theodore to find out what he knew about her weaknesses and warned him not to make any more undead and to stay away from the Nectarines. Might not've killed the leech, but she's going to be hurting for a while, she's lost Theodore and her slaves, and we picked up a few useful things. Going to have to come back sometime to finish the job.

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Rhalf's Journal - These People Are Crazy

I'd thought I owed a debt to the people who saved me from the slave plantation. I'm rethinking that now, because they might all be crazy.

Raina wanted to look for resources, mostly metals and stone to quarry. She, Adran, and Edwyn hadn't really explored due south of Darmend, so we headed that way. We eventually stumbled upon what I'll call Doghenge, it was an ancient ring of stones that had partially collapsed. The stones were pretty worn with time, but there were four statues of dogs around the outside that were in remarkably good shape for their age. I wasn't paying attention to what the others were doing while I was examining the stonework, but I probably should've been.

Luckily I wasn't examining the statues at the time. Four shadows spewed from the mouths of the statues, coalescing into the form of mastiffs. Edwyn attacked one, and had zero effect on it. We grouped together, and the shadow mastiffs avoided the entangled area I cast, but that protected us from one direction. I'm not terribly good in a fight, which was pretty quickly proven, and Adran got dragged down by several of the shadows. Edwyn and I healed him to keep him going, and while I kept trying to hit the damn shadows with flames Edwyn checked out the plinth in the center of the stone ring.

There had been a large opal in place, but it was now missing, and there were fresh gouge marks in the stone. He started yelling for whoever took it to put it back, but no one did. Adran finally firebolted the last of the shadows, destroying it, but new ones were beginning to form around the mouths of the dog statues. We ran, and no one offered up the opal. That's not suspicious at all. We made camp for the night and got some rest. I saw what looked like one of those dogs at the edge of the camp near dawn when I was on watch, but it disappeared.

We explored further in the morning and found a tree with a giant root system, large enough to crawl inside. It probably wasn't the best idea, but Raina did anyway, while I talked with the birds that lived in the tree. They said the tree protected them and that Raina shouldn't be in there. Then she did something that upset the tree, and it started groaning as the roots moved, closing off her way forward. She started attacking the tree in return, which went about as well as could be expected. The tree was just trying to protect itself and the creatures living in it! Then Edwyn and Adran started attacking the tree as well, which made things so much better. Completely ignored me telling them they were making it worse, and the tree started attacking us. The birds as well. I'm going to have to go back to make amends, especially because the others want to kill the tree instead. Don't antagonize it! It just wanted to be left alone and it protected itself when it was attacked!

Apparently there was a giant slug in the tree that could spit acid, and some of the acid hit Raina's backpack, and after we'd gotten a ways from the tree the acid finally ate through the pack, destroying some of her things.

And dumping the damned opal on the ground.

Things got intense pretty quickly, as Edwyn and Raina faced off over it. He tried striking it from her hand, and she retaliated by trying to kill him, claiming he attacked her first. Then she spewed a godsdamned shadow mastiff from her mouth. I backed off and tried using the entangle spell to restrain her and the shadow mastiff, but the only one affected by it was Edwyn. I dropped it and he backed off while Adran and I hit it with several spells, but Raina didn't have it attack. She continued on, as did we, and after a while the mastiff dissipated. She was able to find some metal ores along a bend in one of the rivers, and Adran used 'mold earth' to wash them out of the soil.

We kept going, eventually finding a tower with a light at the top, huge moths flying around it, and animals being sacrificed at the base of the tower. We were worn out and avoided the tower, followed the road further, and found an abandoned village where we rested for the night. Raina holed up in her own house, while Edwyn, Adran, and I slept in another. Edwyn fell asleep on his watch, and Adran took second and third, which was good because I crashed during third watch. He did wake me up when he heard a wolf in the distance, though it was too far away to tell anything about it and I didn't hear it. In the morning we continued on and came across a deep ravine with the remnants of a bridge crossing it, which wasn't easy to cross. Dwarves aren't made for jumping, and if I hadn't had a rope tied around me I would've fallen to the bottom. Then some spell hit us; Edwyn and I weren't affected, though we heard the wolf-like howl, which definitely wasn't from an actual wolf. Adran and Raina were both affected by it, though, and Adran snapped out of it and said he had seen a large pack of wolves. Raina didn't snap out of it, and splashing water in her face didn't help. I told Edwyn to slap her, which he gladly did, and that brought her around.

The road led us to the city of Charikot, which was getting ready for war. Pretty interesting place and I got to observe some strange creatures, which might be useful for shapeshifting and conjuring. They seemed to be pretty light on food, though. Raina and Adran went looking for spellbooks, and I just explored. I found a guy who would do arcane tattoos granting animal powers, which would be useful when I have something to trade. I also ran across one of those giant moths like at the tower with the light at the top, and something about it struck me. I don't remember anything about while I was affected, though when I came around someone was trying to pickpocket me. Hah! Picked the wrong guy to pickpocket, because all I have is a stick. There was opium in the marketplace, which I was craving, but I couldn't swipe any. I really need to get something to trade for it, despite what Mother Merthula would think about that.

It took a couple days but we made it back to Darmend, passing through a dragon graveyard first, and we stopped by a mine that they'd attacked a while back. Someone had been there relatively recently, rummaging through what was left, but they'd left. The mine was originally for gems, but it can easily be used as a quarry for building stone. We might convert it to that, and the gems would be a bonus.

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Raina's Post-Adventure Log III: The Greater Good

Well, this started out like a fine mess. Edwyn and Tanyc were intent on getting high. So, of course they wanted to stop by the plantation we raided. I helped them find some poppy in the burnt-out fields. After seeing what it did to the slaves, I don't want that shit in Darmend. Then Edwyn wanted to waste our time and check on the girl and her mother. We got there and found out what a massive waste of time that was. She was strung up from a tree, along with her mother. If they were stupid enough to go back to the place after everything that happened, they deserved it. Idiots. 

After burying them, we investigated town. Edwyn started shit with the peasants. Dumb motherfucker. Of course they formed a mob. Only after threatening the lousy pricks did we scare them off. Part of me wanted them to attack, to give me a reason to carve them up. But that would have wasted more time. This is how the real world is. Nobody cares about the truth, they just care about inflicting themselves upon others. Maybe I should join in? Worthless cunts. I'll protect Darmend from their ilk if it kills me.

We made it to the monastery and I checked out the library. Nothing there for what I was looking for. No matter. When everybody went to sleep, I crept out. I needed to check out the village and was still quite pissed about Edwyn's diversions. I hope the Razinite falls off a cliff. But regardless, I found the village. What happened next is for myself to know, and myself alone. 

After finishing my business, I left. There were undead everywhere, so I warned the group about them. Idiots still wanted to go to the village. So I left, got lost in the wilderness, and soon found my way to the ruins of the Jade Bathhouse. Note to self: learn to pull the soul of that creature back to this world, and learn to destroy it. I moved on. I had a letter to deliver to a man named 'Chrom'. 

Soon, I came upon Bharatput. It smelled like people. Gross. And the guards rode upon the crayfish from the Old Sughdian book. Neat. They were gearing up for war, probably because of the bathhouse incident. Not my problem now. I have to protect Darmend. So I found the place and gave Chrom the letter. Some pissants tried to block my exit, only for me to threaten them with a good thrashing. They soon 'went away'. Useless pricks. It was then I decided to check out the market. There's a vendor with the most amazing bag! I could stick my whole arm in it, straight down, and there was room for more! It has to be a magical item, considering it was so much larger on the inside than out. He asked 8000 gold peices for the bag. I'm going to come back and buy it when I get the chance, if I can scrounge together the money. I also bought a book on construction techniques and on learning the trader's tongue. Might come in handy. After all was said and done, I went to enjoy the company of a fine lady in the city. 

Well, when I came out, they were there. They hadn't gotten themselves killed in the town! That useless, annoying prick Edwyn kept saying I have crabs. I'm going to bury him in the woods one of these days. Maybe I'm inheriting my father's temper? No, no. He's just that annoying. How does Merthula put up with him? 

We went back to town for a debrief. Told them what they needed to know. Also got rid of that damnable hag soul. Buried it in hallowed ground. Good riddance. At least she'll never be reunited with her sisters. Now I've got to go recruit a work crew. We're building a road to the site of our terrible bridge across the river. 

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Tanyc's Journal - What The Hell Is Raina Up To?

Me, Mavis, and Edwyn set out with Raina to revisit the abandoned village that nearly drove her crazy when we passed by it. Probably shouldn't have, the warning signs were there. Before we left Darmend we tried to get Mother Merthula to part with a few doses of the black poppies, since they ward against mind magic shit or something, I didn't understand. Just knew she refused to, and Edwyn wasn't sure whether it was the red or black that did, so I snuck in and took a few.

We got across the river and headed south, picked up a few more doses of poppies that had escaped the fire we set in the fields at the slave plantation. Mavis was more than a little skeptical about using them, but wasn't time to yet anyway. Kept going south since Edwyn wanted to check on the girl who we'd brought to the monastery, she and her mother had headed back to their village. We found them, all right. Strung up from a tree outside of town. I cut down their bodies, we buried them, and me and Mavis carved a couple markers, then we went into the village.

Talked to the family of the kid we'd managed to rescue, they said when those two had returned a mob formed by the families that had lost kids attacked and killed them. Edwyn, pretty fucked up by that, climbed on top of a building and started shouting at them that he was the one who killed their kids. Mob reformed, and they started throwing rocks at him. Between Mavis and Raina intimidating them and me firing a crossbow bolt right by the head of the biggest one, with a warning that the next would go through their eye, they backed down and finally went back to their shit. Did notice one guy who wasn't participating and just watched us, though. Raina talked to him, he gave her a letter to deliver to his 'cousin' Krom in the city in the mountains. Sealed, of course. Kept on our way and made it to the monastery that evening.

Mavis practiced fighting with the monks, and Raina went to the library, while me and Edwyn tried getting help or at least information from the monks. He was successful, me not as much. I went to the masters, tried to get them to spill on what the hell was in the village. Already knew it was a former monk who'd gotten pretty evil, and their fucking stupid response was that his evil would destroy himself. Pissed me off, and I made the point that it was just as likely they'd have they'd have their asses handed to them and be wiped out themselves because they wouldn't do a single godsdamned thing about it, and we were going no matter what they said. That finally got them to tell me that whoever the fuck it is isn't afraid of death. Hard to be when you already are. So more godsdamned undead. Dealt with that shit before, I'm fine with it. Least it was something.

Raina wasn't in the library when we checked, assumed she'd gone to bed. She wasn't at breakfast either, and we finally got the monks to tell us that she'd left for the village in the middle of the night. I was ready to throttle them for that shit, could've told us or stopped her, but they said it was some self-determination shit they wouldn't interfere with. Fucking monks. We set out for the damned village, Raina was heading back to us.

Godsdamn was she cagey as fuck and didn't want to talk about what the hell she'd been doing. Claimed she was scouting the village and it was filled with undead, tried to talk us out of going. Wouldn't tell us what she was actually doing, just insisted we go to the city and deliver the damn letter. She finally blew up and went off on her own to deliver it.

Rest of us took doses of the poppy, and I'm still feeling the effects of it. Me and Edwyn have had too many hits of it, accidental and now intentional, and we're mildly addicted. About through the detoxing now though. After taking the poppy we followed Raina's trail into the village, and she sure as hell wasn't scouting. Went straight in on the main road. Nothing about her story's making sense. Got to the edge of town and tried sneaking in, the undead picked up on Edwyn though. At least two dozen, so we retreated, and they stopped at the edge. I took out one on the way out and we returned to the monastery, Edwyn had been cursed. Got the monks to lift the curse and we replaced our spoiled water and rations, and I found a stream full of salmon. Salmon steaks for dinner.

Raina didn't return, so we headed to that city Bharatput where we were supposed to deliver the letter. Passed the charred remains of the bathhouse on the way, the godsdamn jade golems were still there, and I filled Edwyn and Mavis in on it and how Pate died there. Made it a good ways but we had to stop for the night near the fork in the road where the dragon graveyard is, told Mavis about it and the little lizard people. She took first watch to let us rest since we were starting to have poppy cravings, ended up taking all three watches. Woke us in the morning and while she took a nap I made a stew from a rabbit she caught, but not before chopping off its fucking head and punting it into the bushes. Fuck rabbits.

Godsdamn Bharatput is a weird place. Guards were riding giant crawfish and there were crab people. Crab people. Looked like crab, talked like people. Crab people. Seriously, what the hell? And Edwyn wouldn't stop arguing with the guard at the gate so I had to grab him by the back of the neck and drag him along before he started some shit. Went looking for the tavern where we were supposed to deliver the letter but we got distracted by the market along the way. Edwyn traded a healing potion for some herbs, including one that was supposed to work on pubic crabs and lice, and I traded for a damn fine longsword. Wolf's head on the hilt, named it Wolf's Howl. Blacksmith needed it for the war effort, but talked him into trading it with my longsword making up the difference in numbers for him. One hell of a lot of weapons being made, and it started because of the incident at the bathhouse. Well, shit.

Heard something about dwarf ghosts in ruins to the southeast, managed to convince the people I asked about it that the hero they thought it might be was named DARH! Mavis thought she saw Raina entering a building, which got awkward when I had to explain to her what a brothel was. Went in and Edwyn tried to get them to let him see Raina, which didn't work, and he wouldn't stop talking about her needing treatment for crabs. To a crab person. Had to grab him by the back of the neck again and drag him outside before he got his ass kicked, and I muttered to him he was being racist. Mavis was too flustered by finding out what a brothel was to be able to lie convincingly to get to see Raina, so we had to wait outside.

When she came out Edwyn had to make a damn scene about her having crabs after sleeping with Red Alf, which didn't go too well, and the guards started threatening us. Since he wouldn't shut the hell up, as we were leaving I bribed one of the guards to smack him in the back of the head. He saw me paying the guard and I told him he deserved it.

Returned to Darmend and Mother Merthula gave us some tea to help with the poppy withdrawal, and Edwyn started his shit about Raina having crabs and her and Red Alf again. Merthula got him to shut the fuck up for a bit, though.

Need to go check out those ghost dwarves sometime, and there's the volcano to the northeast, but soon going to go kill the damn vampire or whatever the hell was in that ruin. And one of the junkies from the slave plantation is finally clean, a dwarf druid gardener. Weird combination. Might be of some use, though.


Kill journal:

Rotty – ghoul
Salmon – Fins, Flappy, Pinky, Brain, Redfish, Bluefish

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Tanyc's Journal - Revisiting the Nectarines

Got a pretty good size group together to check out more of the southwest, though we mostly ended up revisiting places. Got joined by Raina, Solveig, Mavis, Derevan, Edwyn, Adran, and Torathon. First part of the trip was uneventful, as usual, until we found one of those godsdamned plant people. Knocked his ass out, then interrogated him. Same as before, no concept of time, distance, or numbers, but he said he was from the lotus tree. Hell no, not gonna let that cult start up again, and I explained the prior dealings I'd had with them to the others. Knocked him out again and left him, and we set out to the lotus tree.

Found the orchards first though, and the others were pretty impressed. I lead them to the outpost the Nectarines were building, avoiding going near the temple. Heracles wasn't there though, and the soldiers were on edge. Raina did get to check out one of their helmets, but when too many questions started being asked I got us moving again.

The lotus tree is so damn big it can be seen from a half mile away, and it sure wasn't in good health. Pretty dead, actually, and that was worrying with the hags having been attacking it last time. I'd warned the others about the hags, and we approached. Three skeletal half-cow, half-man things came out from the cave underneath the tree. What in the damn hells? Apparently called minotaurs, and having a couple clerics with us helped. Handled them pretty easily.

Went down into the cave and Raina and Mavis turned tail. Then I figured out why, heard one of the damn hags talking to me, trying to make me scared. Fuck you, fear don't affect me. We kept going, finally found the hags and they had a cauldron they were brewing the lotus flowers in. Solveig kept talking to them, the hags offered him power but he just kept them talking. Derevan took the first shot.

Gotta say, much as I hate magic shit sometimes it's useful. Torathon cast some silence spell, kept the hags from casting. I nailed one with a crossbow bolt, and I'm pretty sure I have arch enemies now. Derevan ended up decapitating that one, and the second cast some illusion shit.

Of a fucking rabbit.

FUCK YOU, BITCH.

I fucking hate those little shits with their beady eyes and hopping and they're fucking terrifying. Especially the giant ones. This fucking thing was giant, had fangs, and had been eating flesh.

FUCK YOU.

Third one plane shifted or some shit and Torathon finished off the second one, ashed her. While he and some of the others set about some purification or protection ritual or something, I dragged the decapitated hag out. Burned the body and left the head on a spike outside. Next thing I know the most weird-ass lightning strike I've ever seen happens, hit the tree but didn't damage it, instead it now glows blue.

During the night Heracles and the Nectarines came by the tree, apparently looking to attack the hags. Solveig had been checking out the pot and found the word 'Zoi' on it, figured it was theirs. Raina wanted to keep it and take it with us, but the possibility of getting one of the Nectarine breastplates convinced her we should return it. We gave it back and Heracles thanked us for the assistance and returning the cauldron, said we could collect our reward at the temple and he set off.

Visit to the temple was pretty damn awkward. Most of us didn't have a problem swearing not to reveal what we saw inside the temple, but Mavis and Torathon stayed outside, and too many questions were asked for their liking. Some of us got bags of gold, but Derevan got a short sword, Torathon got a breastplate, Raina learned their techniques for making breastplates, and a couple got barkskin spell scrolls.

Set out to try to find where the comet impact was and we ended up passing too damn close to that obelisk and ruin. Managed to keep the others from going in there, weren't ready to face that vampire or whatever it was. We ended up going into the marshes and got caught in a noxious fog, made a few of us sick. Then we heard the moaning.

Edwyn and Raina were about to rush off to help whatever was moaning when I reminded them there were undead out here. Sure enough, it was a damn undead soldier. We took care of it pretty quick but then realized we were surrounded by more. Took them out pretty quick, I got two of them, including one of the ones that was swarming Derevan. The fog was getting worse, though, making us sicker, so we went back to Darmend.

When we were close the ground shook and we heard something like distant thunder, then fucking ROCKS rained down on us. What the hell? A fucking volcano in the northeast blew, tons of ash and rock were blowing up into the sky. A huge rock crashed down outside Darmend, too.

Got too damn much to check out, better make a list:

Southwest:
Vampire murder raid to kill the evil bastard in the ruins
Explore the ancient road track I found leading away from the Nectarine temple
Kill more undead and find the comet impact site
Kill that last fucking evil hag bitch

Southeast:
Check out the road further south from that village
Kobolds in the dragon graveyard
Raina wants to visit that abandoned village
War between the city states

Northeast:
Cactus people
Crazy guy with his hyena family
A fucking volcano

Northwest:
Check on the refugees, maybe find them somewhere more defensible to settle, also get them to make me dragon scale armor
White dragon is out there somewhere
Explore deeper in that mine with the golems
Fucking magic bullshit towers of competing mages where they fucked with my mind


Kill journal:

Corpsey & Putrid – zombies

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Raina's Post-Adventure Log II: The Rainaing

Well, here's a second go at one of these. My Father's dead, but not by my own hand. I have my suspicions, of course. Either Merthula did it or an Elf holding a grudge. Then again, it could also be the relative of somebody that caught his drunken eye. I seriously hope I don't have a half-brother or -sister on the way. Could you imagine if I had to raise them? I'd try not to make the same mistakes as my Father, but I'd be an awful older sister. Especially with the magic I'm delving into. I need to find out the party responsible for my Father's death so I can at least assess the situation, and if necessary, dole out some justice for what was rightfully mine.

So, we set out to the South-West. Met humans. Odd bunch, say women are only good as oracles and birthgivers. All human, too. Strange. Can't say I'd succeed in such a life. But that's because I'm freakishly tall and well-built for my race. Thanks Dad, you drunken prick. They were kind enough to let Solveig and I go over a helmet. I should make one of those so I don't take a brutal blow to the head like Pate. Speaking of Pate, let's put a feather in this idea: find the creature responsible for the bathhouse incident when I'm powerful enough and find a way to end her. Permanently.

We came across some minotaur skeletons. Truly magificent what a little magic can accomplish. If I could harness this power, Darmend might be safer from external threats. Imagine, turning an army of the dead upon invaders? It'd be quite a sight. After that, we ventured beneath the tree. Something spoke into my head and sent me running, and I soon learned it was a haggardly trio of wild witches. They offered us power by turning us into plant people. Pass, I already know the true path to power. It was the voice that spoke to me after the incident. They're nothing but a pale imitation. We killed them, and I ensured the three might never be reunited. Good riddance, since one escaped. She'll be lesser without the ability to bring back her sister.

We soon found a cauldron, which those Nectarine guys wanted. I noticed that there were no women in the ranks, and that began the quest for knowledge about the status of women in their realm. What was their god's name again? Zoinectarios? I can see why Tanyc calls them Nectarines. Still, we were rewarded for returning the cauldron. I learned how to make a better breastplate, which I'm going to try and make when I've got the iron. Maybe see if I can't further improve the design with the addition of bracers or upper arm armour. But they don't use iron. They're interested in it, though. I'll need to see if I can't convince the council to start a mining operation for me. Also, I'll try and hire some people to create some roads to facilitate trade. They also seemed remarkably interested in my methods of smithing! I showed them, since they mostly cast their weapons as opposed to taking them to the anvil for shaping. With some practice, they can make fine smiths yet!

We also ventured towards a comet. If I understand correctly from my readings, it's from the stars. Beyond the sky. Such a thing seems wild. I'm not sure if I even believe it. But a rock floating in the sky? That's even stranger. There were undead everywhere, and fighting towards it took work. The weaker of body amongst us began to succumb to the noxious vapours of the bog, so we turned back towards Darmend.

So, I've got a heaping to-do list. Figure out the party responsible for my Father's death. Make a helmet. Stay sane. Figure out if there's anything I may have missed in town about 'the power'. Petition the council for the formation of a pioneering group to build roads East and West. Petition the council for the permission to raise a town watch. And petition the council for a mining outpost to keep quality iron flowing in and through Darmend. The more iron I have to work with, the better outfitted our adventuring expeditions and town watch will be. Also, better tools that aren't just reforged scrap iron. I'll need to cover the cost of labour and materials, most likely. I'll have to see if Mavis and Derevan want in. Maybe we can name something after ourselves?

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Raina's Post-Adventure Log

Fuck. Maybe I should start one of these? Especially after what happened. After everything that's happened. How long can I go on like this? It broke me. Adventuring broke me. When I first set out, I thought it'd be sunshine and rainbows, only for the lot of us to almost get murdered by a flock of angry birds. We've grown since then, though. And I've made a heap of mistakes. That's just like me. A mistake. Nobody wanted me. Mother killed herself because she couldn't stand to look at me, and Father's an abusive prick of a drunk. I hate them. One abandoned me, and the other treats me like dirt. Useless pricks. But I've still got friends. Mavis, Derevan, and the others I adventure with. They're the lights in this dark world. And Mother Merthula. She's a riot. 

The Jade Bathhouse. That's where we lost Pate to a demonic whore. That's also where everything started going horribly, horribly wrong. Upon discovering the infestation, we tried to get everybody out of there. I warned the guards of the danger, and they tried to rescue their masters. I didn't think they were unthinking morons! Maybe some people are too dumb to live? With the golems rampaging, rescuing the masters became unfeasable. Then Pate had his skull crushed in by a golem. It's my fault. I should have tied him up. I should have thought better! Fuck! I'm so powerless! At least I've got a new horse.

Then we hit a plantation. It was filled with opium. Edwyn, the Razinite, seems to enjoy the thought of collecting as much as possible. Although, what makes a man worship Razine? I've got no deific affiliation, but I still wouldn't touch her. Guess I'm not nurturing enough. I'd make a terrible mother. Killing came easily. I just needed to tell myself that these were horrible people. But they were just on the job. I'm just as bad as they are. We're just as bad as they are, even if our reasons are 'good'.

Recently, we visited a dragon graveyard. We came across some lizardly little things. One was running at the end of the battle and I cut it down with a spell. It didn't deserve to live. Not after attacking my friends. Try and hurt my friends and I'll end you. They're the only things that matter right now. Them, and knowledge. And with that knowledge, maybe I can protect them! Protect Darmend. There's plenty of beings out there that would do us harm. 

Next, there was an abandoned village. It filled me with dread. And I'd later come to learn from the monks that I had been cursed. Probably because of this. It made me seriously think about my life and choices thus far. Part of me wanted to end this misery. Another part of me wanted to lash out at anything while giving a weak excuse for my violence. Thankfully, what happened next gave me an excuse to do just that.

We found a populated village, except there were no children. Well, there was one. They had been abducted by these giant, vaguely humanoid creatures. Ugly bastards. Cutting them down would be a service to the world. I wanted to use the remaining child as bait. Derevan suggested dressing himself up like a child. The parents were resistant to my plan, so we went with that. Finally, a way to work out some of my issues. They tried taking the child (the real child, not Derevan), only to be thwarted by us. I was focused on killing the one without the child under-arm, while my allies liberated the child from the other. I'm good at inflicting damage. In the end, both trolls lay dead. That's all that mattered at the time, even though my wounds wouldn't heal. Really, that should have been my first priority.

The next morning, we set out from the town to track them to the cave where they lived. Everything came unraveled there. We began killing each troll as they slept, only to find a child. The child said we were killing her friends. The 'friends' were child-abducting monsters. Or so I thought. It wasn't until later that I figured out that the missing children had become the trolls. It was horrific. I was so distraught over the fact that I was in such a rage to murder these trolls without investigating, that I walked out into a clearing. There I tried to self-immolate and end it. 

It wasn't until later that I figured out that I had survived the ordeal. The monks brought me back and ended the curse. But it doesn't change the fact that something called out to me while I was unconscious. It offers power. Maybe I could use it to protect Darmend from the threats outside of town? Still, this warrants investigation. In the meantime, maybe Mother Merthula can help with these unsightly burn scars all over my body? 

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Tanyc's Journal - To Catch A Predator

Set out east with Raina, Edwyn, Derevan, and Kire to check out the road south from the former slave plantation. The dragon graveyard wasn't too far out of the way, though, so we went by there first. Most of the dragons were long dead, but there was one fresher corpse. Took a bit of work but I managed to get enough scales from it to be able to craft a set of armor. It was pretty late by then so we made camp during the night.

They came in the middle of the night while I was on watch. I spotted one at the edge of the firelight, woke Kire and the others. Buncha godsdamned little lizard things called kobolds. A couple were carrying shields, most had daggers, but a couple of them had cages on their backs and bags of shit. They started throwing that shit at us, first green slime and swarms of centipedes, then swarms of wasps.

I took out one of those bag-carrying fucks with a well-placed shot, I'll call him Karl. Raina held her own against the ones carrying shields and I drew off a couple, took out one and shanked another that was attacking Raina. We managed to capture one of the little fuckers, though he later escaped in the night. Edwyn took the more useful shit the kobolds had, vials of acid and alchemist's fire, and I took the two now-damaged dragon scale shields.

Made our way south in the morning and I collected a good bit of dragon bone. Kire had to head back to Darmend, but the rest of us kept on. We found an abandoned village that reeked of rotting flesh, our rations were spoiled, and we were all feeling very down after. Raina in particular was affected, and nothing good came of that later.

Made our way to a monastery the others had been to before, we stayed the night there. Collected a few things and I got a recipe for a 'milk and honey' drink that puts someone to sleep for the better part of a day, and while they can't be woken until it wears off they're fully recovered after. I did some hunting and caught a few squirrels, birds, and gods-fucking-dammit, some rabbits. Fuck those little shits.

Next morning found Raina on the edge of a cliff, still out of sorts, and she never did recover. We set out for the plantation, took most of the day so we spent the night in one of the farmhouses. Next morning we set fire to the poppy fields before continuing south.

Made it to a small town where there weren't any children. They said trolls had been taking the children in the night, so we set up an ambush. Raina was pretty suicidal, got hurt pretty damn badly, and her wounds wouldn't heal. I'm still pretty fucked up about what the hell actually happened and I don't want to record the details or ever revisit this shit, but I'll just say that magic dolls, a girl who finds them and names them after her friends, and them being turned into trolls is fucking horrific.

Raina torched herself with a spell after we returned the bodies to the town, but thankfully Edwyn was able to stabilize her. We brought her and the girl to the monastery. Raina had been cursed in that abandoned village and they were able to remove the curse, though she's still going to have scars from burning herself. They cleansed the girl, though they couldn't do anything for her friends.

Fuck this. I need to get out again, going to go check out more of the southwest. I'll probably take the dragon scales to the refugees in the northwest, get them to make me a set of armor.


Kill journal:

Karl, Korl, & Koral – kobold pieces of shit
Tweety & Twiggy – birds
Twitchy, Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Brittany, Jeanette, Eleanor, Scratchy – squirrels
Thumper, Peter, Roger, Bugs – rabbits

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