Scars of Suldairia

(Rabdao) A new beginning, or how I gained the ability to accumulate concussions

I am unsure whether fate conspires against those whom I have come to respect and cherish. It seems that the village that has accepted me unconditionally with nothing but generosity and kind words has befallen some foul tidings. A pall of undeath has been unleashed with no end in sight. Many of those who I have now come to know in these trying times have become sick or simply disappeared into the rapidly unfriendly darkness of night. Many have taken refuge at the behest of my eccentric benefactor, despite his tendencies for speaking with explosive emphasis. I have begun to try and defend them against the deluge of evil by keeping ever vigilant of the building in which they have taken refuge. The tragedy which befell some of the more panicked villagers necessitated the change in venue as many were merciless devoured by the unholy spawn of unspeakable evil. Many screams echoed in the burning city, ruins a cruel reminder of how fleeting happiness and peace are in the face of reality.

The confusion of the first night allowed me to assume the form of my avatar to aid the villagers in their escape and reinforce their temporary sanctuary. The following nights were not kind to my running defense of the surrounding area due to the unending hordes of death washing against the last bastion of life in this now cursed town. My wounds were pushing my limits of endurance by the fourth night, every zombie I distracted— every corpse I laid low was soon replaced or reanimated. I knew that any hope of surviving the following night would lie in the practice of the elven battle stances learned for what seemed ages ago under my former master Vhaa-Shviano. Supplies for the hidden villagers and my sword lay hidden in the cellar of my benefactors home.

I dismissed the form of my avatar at the light of dawn. The strain of the past few nights immediately assaulted both body and spirit. However, the fire of my soul burned brightly— I would not fail these villagers as I have so many others in the past. I danced upon a delicate edge between vengeance and penance. Anger has always been a familiar companion fueling the rage against tragedies of both present and past. In what felt like an eternity, I finally reached the home of my benefactor in the dawn light. Avoiding the undead had not been easy, the weariness was drawing me to wits ends as I reinforced the door to inspect the holdings below. Uncovering the sword occurred after several moments of fumbling in the dim light of the abode. I proceeded to the cellar less carefully than needed. A swift fall and what seemed like blissful silence washed upon me after the first unfortunate (or fortunate) step.

Waking to the voices of what seemed like the living roused my alertness. I immediately knelt to a crouch grunting in protest of the bruises of my recent “trip”. Hearing the door forced upon and voices upon the first floor prompted me to move closer to the cellar stairs to investigate. My clumsy attempt at stealth led me meet you fine individuals. I am only slightly disappointed in not being able to witness your heroic deeds Master Baulder. Your stalwart allies and esteemed elf mentor Laiquaphalathel have saved many in the nights since I have met and joined your adventuring team.

(responding to master Baulder’s question of revealing my past)
Will that do for now in revealing some of my past? I promise to you as time comes more of my past will be revealed to you— much of it will illuminate my motivation which has driven me to learn what I have of the blade from you. The discipline, mastery, and affinity with the blade I have and will learn from you will help me to find the balance necessary to keep me from being consumed the thoughts of revenge that haunt me. All I can give you now is my eternal thanks for what you and your allies have given me in these dark times…the hope that I will cherish until my dying breath.

—rabdao

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The new additions...I think (Isto)
Isto

I got some downtime before we track down the cause of our true strife… A group of ran by someone named Dark Lord Montano. Nathaniel has not filled us much on this group yet, but he does seem serious. I do not wish to trifle him with my innocent request of information on Amaurea.

But go figure once we start moving the commoners out of town, Their Backup group showed up once we were an hour on the road. But at least their priests enabled us to get rid of these commoners and start tracking these people that work for Montano.

And these priests gave us insight on what happened when I died. They did not think it was a deity that spared me, due to my lack of faith. They described what I now come to understand as an avatar of the universe. Something akin to a god but older than that.

About these new allies that keep showing us with us. This Rabdao fellow.. seems very flamboyant, trying to be soothe with the female members of our party. Even though I do not intend on pursuing Alara, but I am keeping an eye on her. She has gone through alot in a short amount of time. I do not think it was appropriate for Rabdao to talk to Alara like that. I do see him being useful to my cause. But I guess the others may like him. I am currently not even sure about him, or his true intentions.

Then there is Mamori. This fox spirit female. Her ability to change her appearance is very useful for my plans. Though she does seem to be as pure as Baulder in her heart. Which would make more sense why they seem to be kicking it off well. Well, Baulder and his sparing. I will keep my observations on her from a distance. But I swear if she takes my form again… I will not be pleased. I will have to talk to her.

From the bodies of the White Lord priests, we found some mithiril chainmail. This stuff is amazing. I feel so light with this stuff on. And Alexander’s sword will do well by my side.

Soon, we will be off on the hunt. Hopefully the mask will not interfere the same way again. I have not had the time to commune with it on an equal field yet. And I have finally mastered its tongue, soon I will know how to control it, and my fate.

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Book Of Leaves
Finding food and friends

A small copper bound book seeming to be made almost entirely of leaves, bark and very thick pieces of paper. opening the cover shows a blank page, sans the words “I prepared explosive runes this morning”

two pages later you would see (if you continued to read and didn’t drop the book immediately) scrawled in tiny, neat handwriting…

I’m still not sure why Snow Cap told everyone to put that on their books before venturing to the world of humans, I can only assume its some sort of joke. I don’t know why anyone would just leave there book lying around though, they take so long to make. The binding, the enchanting, the illusions… its just a hassle to make a new one.

onto a lighter note, I finally found a family abroad, and they seem to enjoy my company! a few of them at least. some of them looked at me with eyes that change colors, and one of them tried to beat me up, but it was all in good fun. boy was Bauldur surprised when I turned into him, his face will help my nights seem bright in the days to come. He acts like he wants to protect me, maybe I just need to show him I can protect myself, but this is odd. my young form has always singled me out among other humans I’ve met. yet for this family they don’t seem to mind… maybe that is why Bauldur is being so protective?

I’ve heard news in the port land I smuggle myself into, war is no longer brewing, it has erupted.
I’ve heard there is catastrophic damage some were in this land.
I’ve heard that the majority of politicians in that city were crooked.
and I’ve heard… none of these are my problems, I work Primarily for Mother Fox (and maybe Bauldur if he keeps being so flabbergasted, its so cute)and as such the petty concerns of a small town like this are not really my problem, however if they become my problem then at least I know right were to start.

Lai, Rasgo, Bauldur (little heart scribbled next to his name) , Amben, Isto… almost forgot about Isto! he seems to have been hurt pretty badly… he has scars running across his face. but if that’s what it took him to be able to do what I saw him do? I say fair trade! during my exchange of blows with Bauldur, Isto was carefully watching from a tree nearby, and at the point were Bauldur probably would have severely hurt me (big man and his sword) Isto appeared right were he was standing, sending bauldur sprawling into the same tree. Isto appears polite enough, he accepted the spar as over, bowed in place of Bauldur and began to chat as freindly as he could, he kind of rough, but nice in his own sense.

as for Lai, Rasgo, and Amben? I’m still not sure on them, Rasgo has his families best interest at heart, he asked me soooo many questions, some of them I doubt even Mother Fox would know. Lai interjected now and then to ask a few, he seemed more… intrigued than concerned, curiosity did kill the cat, but answering questions like his might kill the fox.

As for Amben? she didnt say much when I appeared, so I will reserve judgement on her, she smells of the forest and animals and other good things though, so I hope she’s a nice person.

on the bottom right of this page, near the margin you see an inked paw-print, running along the outside of the paw-print are a few number and a few words. Day 10 onshore, day 1 with my new family

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Rasgo's Inner Meditation Journal (Adventure 28)
Rasgo journal

Many things have changed recently. First, I learned that I’m not a very efficient healer, and I don’t like that. I will let the clerics handle that as much as possible. Luckily for Baulder, I’m effective. Amben, on the other hand, needs help in a different way that I don’t understand. Hopefully, one of these clerics can heal her ailment before it gets worse. She doesn’t need to be incapacitated again, like our last adventure with her.

Second, we found a half elf named Rabdao inside one of the houses in town. He said that he had been unconscious and missed all of the undead activity. I didn’t believe his story at first, but Ghetto Farmer had apparently been training the lad. There are clearly other secrets, but I didn’t see a reason to press the issue. Rabdao seemed harmless and charming.

I enjoy seeing his trials and errors trying to woo all of the nearby pretty women. I am happy to learn from his efforts without being involved. He reminded me of the bard in Sheasbury in a way, but without the evil undertone. He even gained the jealous hatred of Isto and Baulder. I thought they would hate him, but he found a way to charm Baulder! Now Baulder considers training Rabdao and teaching him how to fight. I have much to learn from Rabdao’s subtleties. He seems to have a way of making people comfortable with him more quickly than normally expected. He put an arm around Alara to comfort her and she didn’t respond positively. Hours later, he was hurt and she was all over him. He’s crafty. I’ll keep a close eye on his techniques and try to learn from them.

The thing that’s more remarkable, is that he turns into some sort of angel from another plane for an extended time. That greatly interests me and I’ll try to learn how he does it so that I can further extend my extra-planar powers. He says that he assumes the form. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about it with the more pressing matters occurring and luckily, he seems harmless and helpful for now.

Third: I talked to Nathaniel and he feels that he needs to keep his and his bird’s abilities secret for the safety of those around him. I completely understand and will not press him further, as I wouldn’t want to be pressed for more information on my situation. He also said that there was some sort of connection between these evil groups. Apparently, the cultists are some small sect that follows an evil deity of death. They were approached by the Dark Lord Montano’s group seen on the red cloth (favor). Nathaniel’s disappearance was due to him following Montano’s people. Apparently, he thought it was important enough to chase them instead of helping us survive an onslaught of undead.

Fourth: We marched the townspeople out of town and after hours of walking, we ran into our guild’s rescue team. The thought we were in over our heads, and we were. Luckily, the evil clerics helped us survive before turning on us, allowing us to survive long enough to squelch the immediate threat. We began to set up camp and explain what’s happened, but got distracted by the next events.

Fifth: Baulder is becoming extremely powerful. I feel like he’s learning how to kill way more than he’s learning how to survive. I don’t know how long we can keep him alive, but as long as we do, we seem to win our fights in the end. Rabdao asked to spar with Baulder and Baulder didn’t hold back at all DURING A SPARRING SESSION! He used a new, powerful move on Rabdao as his first move, where he ran, jumped high into the air, and landed, devastating Rabdao with a mighty blow so powerful that Rabdao immediately crumbled practically to dust in a large crater Baulder’s powerful landing caused in the soft earth. If I spar with Baulder, I’ll need to be ready for something like that to happen to me. So, I won’t spar with Baulder any time soon.

Sixth: While the clerics, lead by Alara, were nurturing Rabdao, a fox began a commotion. It turned out to be some sort of shape changer from across the ocean in a desert land. Her name is Mamori and she’s a Kitsune. At first, I had to immediately make sure she wasn’t a direct threat to us. As expected, she was reluctant to give details about herself, but I was unwilling to let it slide by.

She had the ability to look like anyone she wanted or a fox at any time with only a collar to show her true identity. That has the potential to be the largest security risk we’ve encountered. She answered a string of questions that allowed me to be satisfied that she was safe to have around, but I will keep a close eye on her until my trust has fully been earned. Although I don’t trust her, she’s very frank and appears to be honest. More-so, she reminds me of my visions in a very familiar and comforting way. Thankfully, I detected no psionics on her, so she is probably not part of the group I’ve been constantly watchful for.

Finally, I have a little time to myself with my back turned to the camp. Now, I will begin working on this necklace…

When Mamori turned into me, I had a quick vision…
… After my poisoned and constricted victim breathed his last breath, I released him and turned from a dire snake back to myself. I felt relief at the fact that it was a quiet kill. For some reason, I needed him to not sound the alarm…

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Spreading Disorder Across the Kendoran Heartland
or, Why Didn't I Just Apprentice in Painting Instead?

I have begun to consider the possibility that those we follow don’t know us very well. Or perhaps it is just that we do not know ourselves very well.

I would write that the trip to Norsoon was uneventful, but it would be a great oak of a lie. We left Alaspar and had no trouble on the road till I walked into the inn at Haurndel and was preceded by the tip of a sword. It felt like my heart had been broken again, and it was – then the real pain came, quick and unexpected as a good joke. I knew blackness before the pain drove me mad, and was happy for it.

[This short paragraph has been alternately scratched out and blotted with ink and is unreadable.]

And yet I awoke. There were soon familiar faces around me. Rose had a happy smile, one I hope I will remember. There had been trouble, of course – the whole town was after us. I’ve yet to get a full account, but it seems Rasgo was more upset than I would have expected; he put on some sort of show of his talents. I’d never seen an angry mob before, not a real one – it seems to be a human thing, this unity of purpose and anger. Elves would never stoop so low save in dire need, or war.

They had torches and many men, and so we fled onward. I can only hope they did not destroy their own town looking for us.

Outriders were sent, no doubt the remnants of the towns militia joined by eager townsfolk. I thought we could trick them into thinking we were hunting down the same prey as they were – us. Alas, they were canny enough to see beyond our disguise – but not Baulder’s fist, large as it is. In fear, we maimed or killed them – perhaps we are lucky and they were merely unconscious. It was a bad time, and I do not wish to think on it overlong. We took their horses to ensure they would not pursue. We stepped lightly after that.

Isto seems to have become more comfortable with us, and it is something of a blessing: he slept without mask, and the group saw the face only I had seen before. I find it easier to not shudder at his visage. He has a hard face and malevolent eyes. I still wonder at how he obtained such terrible scaring. But I dare not ask.

Zephyrus was called back. I have no doubt it had something to do with his penchant for enslaving souls inside his mind. I always knew the dwarves were a cruel and uncaring race: even their gods must be terrible to allow such a thing, to accept such a one. It would not surprise me to learn that the dwarf took the direct route back and was strung up by the residents of Haurndel. I must remember to question those we follow; if he was taken by the townspeople, he may have put us all at risk.

Baulder has been quieter than usual of late. This troubles me more than I know how to say. He does seem to be getting along with Isto since the fist-incident; a mixed blessing, I think. If the Elves would let him in, I would bring him to our oldest forests to be at peace and come to terms with all that has happened. As things stand, perhaps I can find a small, pleasant grove somewhere.

Rasgo’s powers grow. Still I know little of his abilities save that they do not come from shaping the magics that flow around us. He brings all manner of things into being, but where does it all come from? I’ve seen him walk away empty-handed only to return bearing a large nest’s worth of vials and potions. He molds vicious winged creatures from nothing. I once saw him float into the air cross-legged, apparently willing himself there through some sort of meditation.

I do not trust these powers of his. And yet Mia, one of my own kind, appears to work power in the same manner. I fear the next great war will be fought with nothing but the mind. I fear the people who will wield such power. I fear the power itself: nature has not purified it; we have not crafted it; even Isto claims to have control of such power. Which surely means that the mask controls it, too.

Rose was taken from us. We’d spent our time in pleasant dalliance after the camp was prepared. I awoke and she was gone. [Several lines are scratched out and blotted at this point, but the paragraph later continues:] We found only a smattering of clues. She was carried away by some flying beast, one from another plane if my guess is right. To go from being the crazed Khanshefal’s sacrifice for power to being devoured or worse by some nameless monstrosity outside our understanding… I grieve for her fate and pray it is not so grim as I fear. And to see Isto wearing her armour beneath his clothes, so soon after…

I have digressed long in speaking on what happened Norsoon. Reading it, I am certain you (whoever you may be) will understand. And so, without delay:

We scouted the town perfunctorily. Our horses were left behind – though I dislike tying the poor beasts to a tree and leaving them; they are curious creatures, and given to boredom, and would likely have wandered far, but our need of them was great. Elmara is gentle, intelligent, and patient; she would not mind a wait so much. The horse I was given in Alaspar has not yet made his name clear, and being raised by humans has no doubt left him mistrustful. Though I do not know him as long as I have known Elmara, he accepts me as a rider. But the two of them alone? Not to mention, all the other horses. I must be careful next time such a situation presents, lest I find myself with more horses than I can care for.

Heaving learned little enough from scouting, we decided to head into town. It was, perhaps, a mistake. From the ground came claws and hands and the stench of death, and we were surrounded. Horrible creatures – terrible mockeries of life – pressed against us with hunger in their eyes. It was much like the caves, goblins everywhere and more coming. But these cursed men did more than keep coming; they would not leave. Though Baulder hewed them down with his heavy blade, whatever magics controlled them soon brought them back up again to grab their own limbs from their bodies and hurl the diseased, blackened, blood-soaked appendages at us.

Amben was there. I know not how she arrived, nor where she has been, but she was hardly minutes behind us. Priests and holy warriors, too, following this Nebuchadnezzer that we keep hearing about. We were thankful to have their help.

Even with it, we had to take reprieve in the church. One of their order was able to keep the rotting dead at bay. We looked over the inside of the church, fearful perhaps that the undead would find a way in unblocked by Delia and her god’s power. We found Alara. She was hanging from some sort of altar, bloody and hurt, and we wasted no time in bringing her down and having the priests tend to her physical wounds. Her emotional wounds must be terrible, but her heritage appears to have lent her great force of will; she was ready to fight the rotting ones and their masters immediately after we all slept, fitful though it was.

Baulder nearly ran off on his own down there. I barely managed to keep up with his enthusiastic pace. He saw what was obviously some sort of magical gauntlet. I tried to warn him from donning it before we’d looked into it, but the words came out of my mouth at about the time that he was fitting the last clasp into place. He’s certainly an explorer, our Baulder.

We sallied out of the church with a plan. Alexander, one of the holy warriors of Nebuchadnezzer, ventured with us and Alara. The plan fell to shreds almost immediately: we were to make straight for where we suspected the cultists responsible for this town’s death were; instead, almost from the beginning, many of us stopped to fight the rotting undead. And that’s when we saw them.

We’d heard their terrible cries. The carcasses of some foul flightless fowl charged us and died again, if it can be called death. That was when I knew there was no hope for the redemption of our enemies. To slay and reanimate with ugly, evil magics the bodies of those who lived, loved, and toiled there was not enough for them; to spread fear and villainy was not enough for them: they mutilated the souls of those innocent animals for their own ends. It was too much. And so, like a mighty oak’s roots will chew through stone, I was set at returning these humans to ash and earth. And so I read a terrible scroll and sent fire at them, and they were embraced by it.

I felt little at such action. I had expected to feel justice; my mind sensed only the chaos of battle, for it was not yet done. They summoned something, or empowered it, or perhaps merely opened a hole to allow such a vile thing to come through. Like a shipwrecked corpse it looked, skin pale and eyes without colour. My friends (and Isto) nearly died to it, and still I do not know what it is. Somehow, we managed to slay it, I think. In any case, it no longer seems alive, naturally or foully. We dealt with the remainder of the cultists in a grim manner, leaving none alive so far as we know. I removed what magics were still intact about them, hoping to study them, and more practically so some child or scavenger does not fall victim to whatever malevolent energies may be contained within. We gathered those townsfolk still alive, herded them to the church, and hope to sleep the night through.

I’ve had an ill omen about the White Lord and his followers since first I had heard of them, only recently. But Alexander was a capable ally in battle today, and it is only through Delia’s efforts that we were able to sleep and replenish ourselves after the terrible fighting of the day. I rest now knowing the townsfolk and ourselves are safe, at least for now.

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Narsoon zombie infection...or NarDOOOM! (Isto)
Isto

Where to begin… This day has been one for the craziest I have been through. I am happy that Nathaniel and I scouted the town. I knew there was something up with this town. We all got into town. we were half way between the gate and a church before we got surrounded. Normally I am not someone who gets into these situations in the streets, but it hard to be evasive when they were popping out of the ground like flowers… POPPING OUT OF THE GROUND. I have seen plenty in my time, but this was definitely a first for me.

Baulder was quickly surrounded, but thanks to some of Lai’s magick, Baulder was fine. Towering over all the zombies is definitely an advantage. I never found a use for that ability in the past. I have read stories of other Mind warriors doing the same, but it would not fit into my battle style.

Rasgo and Lai were very smart about hovering over the battle field out of direct line of the zombies. It was very amusing to see the zombies throw their body parts around attempting to hit them. Nathainel seemed to be doing fine, easily cutting down the zombies. I will have to speak with him later about how he was able to do that, and where he ran off to afterwards, because he seemed to have dissipated until later. Later in the combat, an old friend did show up. Amben! IT was nice to see her on her feet and moving, for I have not seen her since we parted ways in Sheasbury.

We were in big trouble though, these zombies kept surrounding us, even with our power, we seemed to just be overran. Until THEY came… Those damned divines from the White Lord. It killed me on the inside to ask for their help, but Baulder was going down…. and shortly after I did as well…

But the mask… IT… it saved me. It somehow controlled my body, and I was just a witness inside of myself. I couldn’t communicate to anyone or stop. Eventually I over powered it and regained control.

We found this priestess of Illmater inside the church’s underbelly. Her name was Alara, I don’t know how she survived this long without food or water. I quickly gave her water, knowing that would be the first thing someone that close to death would want. I tried to get the White Lord followers down here to help her out, but they were too busy slaying the zombies and doing some strange ritual. We were all tapped out so we decided to rest before we ventured into the darkness to get to the cultist on the other side of town.

I really did wish that we could have hurried over, versus slaying the zombies as we went, but we did bring Alexander with us and I refused to stake him. I know there is something up with him and his friends. I was hopping he would die in the process of us slaying these cultist but that did not happen.

Lai was brilliant with lighting our way with some magick. And getting me to go invisible was also brilliant. I got close to massive group of cultist and waited for my chance to strike.. Which happened to be when Lai casted a very powerful Fireball at them. I quickly jumped at the chance and took a stab will all my might at the one that looked the most powerful… But it seemed that blast weaken my mental state some how and my acid power seemed weak and I barely hurt the man. I ran while dodging his magicks and breaking out of them.

By that time the group caught up and IT appeared… Baulder called it a Drowned… I could feel myself choking within its aura… then everything went black… I woke up later with Alara beside me telling me That I died….. And I noticed the mask was gone…

THATS right… it saved me.. IT even spoke to me… We took out the zombies, it used my body well after my lungs were full of that magick drowning aura. Then something happened which I have been afraid of for a while… The mask was still in control. It proceeded to attack Lai. Luckly I think it was drained trying to keep me alive and killing the zombies, because it was missing Lai.

Somehow Lai defeated the mask. He told me it was gone. I knew he was lieing to me. He would be the one to take it. And, with his history of evil artifacts, he would probably try to destroy it. Luckily I got it back due to shit hitting the fan with the White Lord divines. They were starting to systematically “Judge” all the towns folk we corralled into the church. Baulder was going down and we were all not even at a quarter of our full strength. Lai came up to me and slapped the mask on my face. Nathaniel also returned on horseback and helped us out. We did slay the divines, which was a good thing.

I originally planned for Alexander to try to find the mask for me. I assumed he was a good person and would choose to either try to destroy it or return it to me, since it is the last thing I have of my family. But the moment I saw greed in his eyes, I knew he was not the person I thought he was, and the killing of Alara’s friend proved that.

Everything that happened made sense in one light or another… except for two things I cant shake. The mask and me well… writing this. The mask is showing me more of its power, but it comes at a price. I will try to confront it on a psychic level and communicate to it. Try to learn a way to channel its energies without hurting my friends again. Earlier was the first time we ever spoke back and forth. It seems to only care about killing, even if it is my friends. I will most likely have to convince it that they are assets to our cause. For without them, I would have died awhile back.

And.. I still cant believe this next part, I… I died… Apparently Alara said that I wasn’t breathing and she couldn’t find a heart beat on me for a good minute… then I started gasping for air. She has no clue on what happened, but maybe if I talk to her more today she can explain it. When Lai broke the connection between myself and the mask ( I think).I was in a vortex of swirling purple. Then I was in a weird place of darkness, with no sense of direction. I couldn’t communicate even to Rasgo with our telepathy. I originally thought this was the mask’s doing, but then a voice came out of the darkness, that was different than the mask’s. It question me about my goals and ambitions… eventually I did wake up. I’m not 100% sure on what happened, but I think a deity of some sort saved me, or someone/something is watching over me and my allies. I am not overly religious, the groups I worked for in the past patron’d to The Mask, but I didn’t devoutly worshiped it or any other deity. But that may change after I learn what happened.

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Rasgo's Inner Meditation Journal (Adventure 27)
Rasgo journal

My main objective was to get all of the survivors together inside the church. We went to every building, convincing survivors to meet at the church. The most helpful survivor was an eccentric man by the name of Ghetto Farmer. Eventually, our group broke up, handling business around town.

I spent some time looking at the condition of Baulder, Amben, and Kei. They had some sort of debilitating disease that looked like it could kill them. The clerics needed to wait until they could rest to help, but I couldn’t rest knowing that I could potentially save them from the effects of this unnatural illness. I managed to help them out, leaving me extremely low on power. I haven’t felt that vulnerable in a long time.

We all needed to rest, and went to sleep, expecting a long rest beginning at dawn. I awoke shortly after falling asleep to screams. Others were fighting and nobody thought to wake me. One would think that at least Baulder, whose life I keep saving, would wake me to help.

The clerics, following the White Lord Nebuchadnezzar, began sacrificing people outside the church. They believed that they were cleansing people in the fire! Even Alexander, who just fought undead at our side, was part of it. Exhausted, we fought the group of paladins and clerics. During the fight, Nathaniel rode into the fight and helped out, punching and kicking them without weapons. Eventually, we killed them all, and only one person was sacrificed. I don’t know how the others feel about it, but given our circumstances, I call that a victory.

I created a large stack of healing salves and everyone used them except for Isto. As careful as he is, I don’t know why he’d take an unnecessary risk. Baulder, even after the healing salves looks terrible. He seems to be within an inch of death. One of those clerics seemed to increase the ill effects to Baulder that the undead disease started. When I wake up, I’ll have to give him much more healing if the resident cleric, Alara, can’t help him.

My studies and natural abilities are allowing me to do new, great things with my power reserve within me. It continues to grow, and I continue to learn new things. Two powers that I’ve been working on are ready to put into real action. They will help solve some of the problems we’ve had lately. I worry about some of the powers that I have quickly depleting my reserve. I’ll need to avoid them as much as possible. Had I not wasted my reserve on them earlier today, I wouldn’t be in this situation. I also used all of my glyphs. I need to replenish them, so hopefully, we’ll have some downtime.

Before I sleep, I’ll contemplate the meaning of my latest vision. I quickly had it as Nathaniel raced up to us on his horse…

… I was a horse carrying 2 riders sprinting across a large city that I was very familiar with. I would stop every once in a while for a couple of seconds to remove my exhaustion, and then continue running. Our circumstances and destination would not allow for more efficient modes of transportation, and time was almost up…

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Rasgo's Inner Meditation Journal (Adventure 26)
Rasgo journal

After an extended fight, much longer than was expected, we seem to have stopped the cultists. The most powerful undead we fought created a large radius around it that had a drowning effect. We almost lost 3 people to that effect. That particular undead seemed to last forever as we fought it. Everyone seemed to contribute well in this fight.

We found magic robes on the cultist leader, and this time, Lai didn’t put them on. We saw two surviving townspeople cowering in a building too. We also found a red cloth, a favor, that was clean with a black chevron, a gold eradicated oak tree, and two gold escarbunkles above the tree. Malphite knew a lot about this and told us that its a symbol of an ancient evil warlord from several generations ago. They were from the significantly powerful House Dunbar of the Raisteri clan. This favor was found at the spot where Nathaniel vanished.

Amben and Kai appear sick from some long term effect. Also, some of us had a short term effect where we were dazed and our strength was taken away after one of the clerics casted a spell.

Finally, the largest remaining problem is that Isto, upon almost dying again, was taken over by the mask for the second time. This time, he fought enemies, but began attacking the party when the last close enemy went down. After being subdued and subsequently having his mask removed, he seemed to have died shortly, and then began breathing again. Now, Lai claims to have mentally fought the mask and said that he destroyed it, and it vanished. He is clearly lying, but at this point, that isn’t my concern.

We need to make sure that this town is rid of the undead and the cultists. We also need to find their origin, but that may be a task for someone else, if we can’t find any info while we’re here. As I was reviewing how we had to fight so many enemies at once while avoiding being drowned, I had a short vision…

… I had a weapon in 3 arms, and opponents in two more, being squeezed. I was trying to grab two more opponents silly enough to get close to me. In the meantime, I was creeping to the water’s edge, preparing to drown my newest victims. My color matched the sand and blood patterns closest to me, I was a tako…

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Rasgo's Inner Meditation Journal (Adventure 25)
Rasgo journal

With zombies coming from every direction, we continued moving forward. Those dressed in more armor seemed to not grasp the concept that we needed to keep moving. They wanted to stop and fight everything in sight. Isto and Lai stealthed ahead, preparing for the attack on the cultists while I helped the rest catch up with the help of my constructs. Our divine helpers, especially Alara, were very helpful.

Amben and the wolf have done well killing zombies, but they both look pretty sick. I will try to heal them if we survive this fight.

Eventually, we reached the cultists as a group and saw that they were trying to continue chanting in a circle, even during combat. Lai blasted them with a fireball, Isto stabbed at them, and I blasted them with a fire wall.

Unfortunately, there was a soaking wet undead creature that seems to drown anyone close to it. Alara fell unconscious, and Baulder is making noises that suggest that he’s in trouble too. Isto seems relatively calm though. I immediately sent in the two dragons and they began going to town on the soaked zombie. It’s now damaged and prone, but one of my well designed constructs looks pretty bad now. I thought about how well they served as guards and I had a quick vision that lasted a fraction of a second, but felt like forever…

… For months, I had watched the youth grow and develop into fine young Myconid. With my help and guidance, this tribe was growing fast without casualties. Soon, my replacement would be ready and they wouldn’t need me there to protect them from the raids, especially now that we’ve dwindled down the predators’ numbers. The guards that I created, using their bodies, were patrolling the town’s borders, peering into the darkness at a constant state of alert.
I got the message that there was an attack from the north, as I sent a few extra guards that way, along with most of our fighters. The next Sovereign in training was almost ready and now I’d get to see him in action to make sure that I was leaving this tribe in good hands…

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Rasgo's Inner Meditation Journal (Adventure 24)
Rasgo journal

As we continued in the darkness, our path remained lit thanks to our light sources and Lai lighting the way ahead while invisible. Zombies continued to arrive from all directions. A few of the nastier ones arrived from behind, so I fended them off, preventing them from reaching the party and causing nasty issues – until we could clear the area. We left them behind in the darkness, unable to close quickly.

We are almost to our destination, these cultists must be stopped. Isto has reached them ahead in the darkness, confirming their presence, and awaiting our arrival. Amben, Baulder, and Kai have helped fend off the zombies, allowing us to move forward as a unit.

I just gave Baulder his first nickname/codename that he seems to approve of. “The Business”. I suppose everyone will want a code name now. I’ll have to work on that.

I found a new technique during this battle. With levitate, I was able to grab the tail of my passing dragon construct mid run, with effort, holding on as my feet left the ground, while still having the ability to put my feet down upon stopping. It was an exhilarating experience. During that experience, I had a quick vision that lasted only a second or two as the construct ran to Amben.

… I was comfortable and excited because I was a large charging half scorpion, half tree, all Rukanyr, heading to my next victim. I had no plans on killing him. That was for the rest of my party. My job was to soften him up and move on to anyone not fleeing from my frightening appearance as I headed their way. Ah, there’s the one that shot FIRE at me!! The next charge began…

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