Scars of Suldairia

A Morning Workout To Top All Morning Workouts

Baulder awoke the first morning of their stay at the monastery well before the sun rose, well before even Alara began to stir to prepare for her morning prayers. He did his damnedest to mimic every subtle, stealthy maneuver he had seen Isto, Moxi, and Testuya preform through their adventures together. And were it not for the dark of the room, and the occasional near silent curse of the warrior knocking into something, one may even believe he had succeeded in barely preforming one or two. Regardless, Baulder snuck his way from the rooms, quietly sliding the door shut behind him. With a few cautious looks about him, Baulder would leave the hallway out into the courtyards of the monastery.

From One of the Many Small Stones Within Baulder’s Pack
Baulder clears his throat before speaking in a hushed tone. “Figure I won’t have another time like this to chat for some time. Hells, I barely have enough time now. But me and the others have arrived at the monastary and too much has happened since the last time I managed to sit down. I’ve grown stronger…I’ve learned more of Moralltach, was able to use even more of its power. It’s…incredible. What’s even more incredible is that Ilmater approved of what I plan to do. I hope I can convince Mystra and Bahamut of the same idea…” There’s a deep sigh before he continues. “It’ll be tough, but I have hope. I have to at least try. Now, it’s time to do some serious training. Each day I see my friends grow stronger, and I have to be able to keep pace with them, without the help of the Fellblade. I’ll do my best to sit down and collect my thoughts next chance I get. But for now, more training and adventuring.”

By the time Baulder concluded his short moment of personal thinking he had arrived within the largest courtyard in the monastery. He wasted no time in setting his pack down in a suitable position out of the way, took a long steady breath…and began a brutal training regimen.

With a warm up of heavy stretching, in the cold morning air Baulder broke into several hundred push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, squats bicycle lunges, leg lifts and handstand pushups. He took no breaks, only the occasional breather as pushed himself to complete his various sets. By the time he finally finished with his sets the sun was just beginning to rise, and he concluded his regimen with a mile jog about the monastery…and then a mile run about the monastery.

A sweaty mess, Baulder seem satisfied with his workout. Grabbing his bag, he would then go to spend the rest of his morning in the hot springs to cleanse himself, joining the others for morning breakfast.

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The Death of Istoaufrien

Feeling the sand under my toes, the harsh winds against my face, the daystar singeing my flesh. All of this I missed it. This is my homeland. I was born and raised here in the desert. The dunes, the barren wastes between the towns. I am back, and not for the reasons I thought I would be.

I look upon this villa, the Villa of a sorcerer king. Not even 8 years ago I was here, slitting the throat of a target. Working besides a woman. The woman the only one I trusted. I would have loved her if it wasn’t for the monster I made myself into. The reason why I am here now is because she broke me and my friends out of the slave pits to kill an angel. This same woman, one I have destroyed due to how I felt about myself, tried to kill the woman I love. Why do I help her do this…. Only because this angel is a bigger plight on the land than her.

I am no longer a creature of revenge. I am not here to kill the ones who killed me. I am not here to take revenge or for power. I am here now, watching this angel. His suffering I know all too well. Being a puppet, with several puppet Masters. I am liberating this angel as well as myself. for days I have been planning on using one of my puppet masters to help me slay this angel. But no. Before the sun rises we will both be free.

I will no longer try to make my father’s dream a reality. I will no longer be a pawn for Gwyn and the syndicate. They will hunt me, but after this day. I will strive more for the better path. I will show her the mercy and kindness I should have shown her years ago. I will spare this angels life. I will n longer use the demon. I will do all of this for no one. Not for the bargains of the gods, not for gifts or boons. But for myself and the ones I love.

I look to my friends and to Moxi. I fight to keep them alive and to further the cause we fight for. In the past few hours, I have been listening to advice from many places. But the one place I haven’t been searching for advice recently is myself. What do I truly want? Why do I still deal with the mask? Why do I bargin with the god and mother of my love? It is because I am weak. What I want is to become stronger. Not so I can take revenge upon those who have done wrong to me. Not so I can keep myself safe. But I want to be stronger now to keep others safe.
I am still not sure if I can trust Mother Fox with the demon. Being a trickster god and the fact the mask is a very powerful tool. There is only one I can trust right now to keep it same from me and keep it safe from the world. Though, she trusts her mother. I just… I hope the trend does stay. Ones who give the mask to someone they trust tend to die..

Though, today I will be dieing in a way. The Istoaufrien Daere, assassin, son and heir to Clan Daere will die this day. Istoaufrien Daere, the man who saves an angel, will be born. The man who does things for love instead of hate will be born. The man who will try to do his best to keep his friends, his love ones, and the people who cannot defend themselves safe. I, Istoaufrien, will no longer be tempted by pacts with demons, gods, or whatever else comes my way. I am a warrior of the mind, whatever I needed has been inside of me all along.

I look to Moxi now, for the first time in a long time, I am happy. Soon, our tails will intertwine. Hopefully not for the last time.

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As the Dust Settles
after the storm

Burned into the cave wall, deep into the stone the words glow like a dying flame

“I will become… A God”

Marked underneath that by three distinct prints, a small human hand, a smaller paw print and a large claw are burned into the stone as well

“Freedom to all who desire it, it is only a matter of time”

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Useless, huh? (Amben)

“…basically useless…”

I find that hard to believe, Baulder. I really do.

Until you’ve watched helplessly as everything you’ve ever cared for goes up in flames before your eyes, I don’t think you can appreciate my definition of the word ‘useless’.

Rather, we have time to prepare, to plan our actions out, and to fix things to the best of our abilities. No, we are far from useless here. In fact, I kind of envy you not knowing that kind of despair, and hope you never have to endure that. Those kinds of wounds don’t heal quickly.

Someday I’ll tell you what happened thirteen years ago. I’ll tell the others, too, but it’s not what you need to hear right now. Right now, we need to push forward.

I can only hope the past doesn’t catch up with us before then. I don’t know how it has fared all of these years, nor what it plans to do when it finds me…

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Ah, a fresh (old) book!
Now where to start...

Well, I guess to actually start, I found this old book lying around, no writing in it. Books have a charm to them, and even though this one has certainly seen its days, I felt bad seeing it sitting there useless. I decided to ask if it had a purpose. Seems like the men of the Shadows here were kind enough to let me have it, otherwise it would have been left here for who knows how long again. Baulder’s mentioned he keeps records of his events, a diary of sorts, though I’ve never seen him carrying a book. Oh well, a book works just as well.

I don’t think I’ve ever kept a proper journal like this, how sad it’s first days are seen in a worn town such as where we’re at now, and our group in the disarray it’s in.

And all in one day too…how does so much go wrong. This town has had me on edge ever since we arrive, between being forced to pray to the very White Lord our group travels to put a stop to, nearly causing a scene because of it….and watching another burning…

Why is it I can’t bring myself to face these men anymore…I’ve set my life to helping those who need it, and yet when someone needed me most, I couldn’t even move. I’ve seen men suffering from the shock of great trauma, even years after it happens. It’s almost shameful, I fear that event in Norsoon may have left a greater mark than I thought.

I just…watched. I watched a man’s life taken, and I saw my friends from Norsoon burned instead. I felt myself move to help them, but my body remained where it was. I could hear the flames…and then it was just Baulder. I guess I had blanked out, because he was carrying me back to the cellar when I had any sense back. Once again, he’s the one who gets me to move…every time I see these men, every time I remember Norsoon, why is it him that can bring me back.

Amben, too, the two of them accompanied me while I was in a less than graceful state. No words could express my gratitude, though I don’t believe I grasped quite everything that was said.

And then Mamori. I could hear her through our pin. Er, a gift from Nathaniel (sort of…they were recovered from the prison we were in), it allows the holders of the three pins to speak to one another from a distance. Mamori seemed as lost as I was, though in a different state of mind. Isto took the third pin and tried to help, she was far gone though. I don’t believe even my words helped.

Though I think Amben’s did, and Baulder’s. I may have accidentally activated my pin while the two of them were speaking to me, but their words applied to Mamori as well…I think it helped. She came back, but I could tell she was still hurting.

She did return, and by whatever grace I can thank, she allowed me to speak with her alone. I could see the pain, alongside my own. I just hope she truly took what I said to heart. I did my best, to explain what I thought she needed to hear, I just don’t want my own confusion to bleed through.

And that’s what it is, it seems…confusion…

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Is it even worth it? (Isto)
mental log

(Isto is laying on a rooftop alone. He seems to be fighting to be focused as his eyes fade in color.)

“I……..I failed.”
“She… I cant believe…… Why would she say that?”
[Long Pause]

“After all of the things we talked about… being together…….. Our ambitions……. Children……. Is she even telling me the truth. She could still be lying to me………… Maybe she is using me like everyone else.”

Isto sits up and rips off a simple necklace. The necklace being one made of leather with a marble tied at the center. He is looking into it hard, doing his best to remain focused.

“I Hope I am wrong…. I pray to whatever holy or unholy worthless god that is listening to me right now that I am wrong.”

[Long pause, the log seems to break as Isto slightly recovers.]

“I was harsh, maybe too harsh. I had to stop her. Living with the guilt of acting out on revenge… She was sounding like me… I did not want her to become me…. Maybe she is just playing a game with me. Seeing how I squirm….” Isto’s thoughts grow more and more frustrated. Isto sits up to and looks over an alleyway and throws the necklace.

Or at least tries to, he stops himself. “Maybe……….. Maybe I am not ready for this….Just hearing her admitting to wanting to be…… I was willing to give up the Mask to make our dreams possible.. Now, I wonder if its even worth it.” Isto just stares at the marble and does his best not to break down. Isto pulls up his cloak and the connection is lost.

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Written in Blood and Flames

Written beneath the Green hued bandages handed to each of you appears to be thin, wispy lines composed of what appears to be ash.

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Let's Go, I'm More Ready then Ever!
Too much shit to talk about, short story, I hate Antuzia

(Baulder)

“Well, I thnk I have this thing working once again. Ah, it’s been so long since I did the last one. Hells, I was getting to that point where I wasn’t sure if buying them was such a good idea in the first place. But, I paid gold pieces for these and I have the time. Gotta make it more of an effort to get some time to talk to these things.”

“Regardless, lots has happened since my last entry. Too much for me to discuss. The bottomline is that we were sent to Antuzia, we were captured, we escaped because of Isto’s friend, whose also a total bitch, and now we’re hunting down an angel…”

“And now that I say it out loud it really does sound terrible. This angel’s name is Zahafial, and he’s supposedly working for the White Lord. While I’m all for going after members of the White Lord…I’m having doubts about this. Despite him being a White Lord worshipper…he’s still an angel. They’re supposed to be all that is good and pure in this world and I know that he’s only doing what he thinks is right. Who am I to impart any sort of judgement on him for it? I’ve never exactly been the best at making decisions, and I make mistakes constantly. I know he’s White Lord but…”

There’s a loud sigh as Baulder remains quiet for a moment before speaking once again. “I suppose I’ll just have to make that decision when I get to it. Anyways, it’s been awful in this giant land of sand and heat. It’s literally the worst place I’ve ever visited. I have sand in places I never thought I’d get sand in! Ugh. The people are all out to stab one another and no one has any common courtesy. Gah! I’m getting frustrated just thinking about it!”

“Bah! Anyways, one our travels we ended up walking through miles of this thing called a spell scar. I’ve heard about them before but they’re nothing like what I thought they’d be. There’s no magic, of any sort, within them. Everything looked flat and dull and not nearly as beautiful as most of the world does. What’s worse is that the Fellblade wouldn’t respond, Alara couldn’t speak with Ilmater, and Rabdao had none of his abilities beside his sword training. And let’s be honest that isn’t exactly the best. Because of it, and the damnedable heat, I was a complete jackass throughout all of it. So was everyone else, but me in particular i was just an asshole. Ugh. Never want to walk through one of those again in this heat. Sure, some other place I could live walking through but I hate this heat and it’s made me so mad for most of it.”

There’s another loud sigh, and a pause before he continues, his tone shifting to one that is lighter. “That being said, we managed to get out. Nearly bled out with the fight the sandshark but Isto has been on his game throughout this place. His psionics never gave out, and he really went deep to defeat one of them. Got swallowed up and used his powers to wound it constantly. I think I was riding on it at one point. Mamo’s mind magicks were just fine too but…apparently Kitsune’s shapeshifting forms don’t work within a scar, and we were able to see her true form. And, speaking as someone who can say this without anyone hearing it, she’s actually incredibly attractive. Don’t get me wrong, Alara is more beautiful then a thousand glittering stars, but Mamo was…is…attractive…Gods I hope no one hears that. I wonder if all Kistune’s look like that? I mean, they should but no one ever sees their true forms. I wonder how many people I’ve met that were really Kistune…I’m getting distracted.”

He clears his throat. “Well, once we left the spellscar we were greeted by our elusive friend Nathaneil. Apparently, he’s the reinforcements that the Shadows sent and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see him. He was traveling with these people covered completely in bandages called the Kyroon. Isto said all they did was go around helping people, and they seem to be the nicest people I’ve met since coming to his place. But, they’re clearly not people, and from what I can tell their some sort of lizard like race. They have snouts behind the bandages, and I think they have some sort of tail. I feel terrible though, because apparently the White Lord is hunting these guys down and just killing them. They haven’t spoken to me, or to anyone I don’t think, and I wish I could get some sort of info from them so I can help…guess it’s just something I’ll have to help where I can. For now.”

“Now, as to the whole reason I wanted to write…speak this journal bit is the dream I had last night…it was incredible, the last time I had a dream was when we were in the ruins and this felt even more real then that. I was in some swamps, I could swear it was like the Nevassa bog and I was surrounded by my friends. All of them! Everyone I’ve fought beside was there in that bog, but we were getting stuck in the swamp and it looked like we would get sucked in…but I dug down really deep inside. I managed to pull everyone out of the swamp and muck, and I felt this great energy of excitment and power run through me, like birds were exploding from a cage within my chest! And then birds /did/ fly from my chest and the swamp dried and broke around us!” Baulder’s excitement is apparent in his face, and one could practically feel the smile. “There was more to it but…I’m nervous to share the rest…regardless at the end, when I woke up, I felt better then I had in a very long time. I feel like I’m taking my first steps to truely becoming a great hero. I’m ready to take on anyone right now, even an angel or a pit fiend it doesn’t matter! Ha! I can hardly wait. I’ll get to do more of these, I think this one is running out of space. But…its good to let this out to someone other then the group. Or my strange distant friend.”

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Mental log-Mistakes [Isto]

I had a new dream that allowed me to break my hold on gravity. I wonder if I can, in the dream state, unlock other powers and such? During this dream, I was bounded by tiny ropes, it was difficult to breathe. I forced my body with my mind to overcome these bindings. I woke up floating in the air with the others looking at me strangely. It was a very odd dr…………. [Static.]

[The static fades for a moment.] I am standing here, holding that simple necklace that Mamori gave me. I am holding my love in my arms as she sleeps. I am such a fucking idiot. Mamori I am sorry.

I just… I am an Idiot. It is because of me we are out here…. Hell, I bet it is because of me we were thrown in the pits. Ever since then, I have just been trying to do my best to keep you all safe… I just dont want to lose you again… I lose you all every night since we arrived… And it is always my fault.. [static, but only lightly. now sounds like there is crying between thoughts]

I dont want to lose you… or any of the others… That is why I went behind your back to Alara, I was just trying to keep you safe. I never wanted to hurt you like that. But every step I seem to try to take to protect everyone, I just drive them away.
[Pure static, but within the white noise, sobbing can be heard.]

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And Into the fire [Isto]

That is the last time I store my journal in the extra dimensional space of this haversack. The dream is getting worse. Every night it feels more real. Poor Rabdao, he is now being dissected alive in it. Sometimes even Gwyn is in it. One night she was an assistant, the next night she is also killed, and one night she was the one doing all of this. I know I have screwed up with her, but why is my mind showing me these things?

I am glad to see her alive, but after what she did to Mamori, should I really be? Gwyn has become the leader of the remains of the assiassn guilds. It seems like the White Lord has been using a bit more of a militristic approach here than I would have guessed. At least she is fighting agaisnt it, for now. But those words she spoke, “You are weak Isto.” I was stunned. I had a mental flash back to the dream. Luckily it didnt disintergate into that. She assigned us to a task to go kill an Angel of the White Lord, returning hte favor we owe her by saving us. I tried talking to her about what happened, but every time it deteriteated into something trivial. I feel terrible for leaving her behind and I must talk to her once this job is done. Is there a way to save her? Should I have brought her with me? If I would have stayed, would I have been in power with her? Or should she kill me after ignoring all of her feelings she had for me?

Anyway, my Mamori, she is truely amazing. She managed to tap into a power I would not have dreamed of. It was caused though by Gwyn’s men trying to kill her… And as we walked through the scar she was forced to reveal her true form. Mamori… Words do not describe her beauty in this form. It was during this transformation that I realized that we really havent been…. intimate in a long time. Though something seems to be troubling her. She hasnt really been sleeping and seems oddly distant at times. I wonder if it is because of what happened back with Gwyn? Is she afraid of feeling so helpless in her dreams? Or am I the only one who is really worried about these kind of things?

Speaking of worrying about other people, Fucking Baulder. Why dont people listen to me? The fucking child tells me he trusts me, then is wanting it disregard our safety to go hunt a monster. And not just any monster, a fucking sandshark. Even when we decided as a party it was a dumb idea…. And I guess the fates decided that we were going to fucking fight one anyway. And after I nearly killed myself and wasted all my power, we barely killed 1. AND IT WASNT EVEN THE BIG ONE. I had to drag a bleeding out Baulder to safety after he realizes that we are in over our head. I was telling that to everyone since Baulder was convinced this should be a thing. I would have died if Nathaniel and some Kyroon didnt show up. Now we are bunker-ed down outside the spellscar in a cave for the night.

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