Gyruff (Grand Duchy of Geoff)

Diary of Astra

CY619-
Dear Diary,
Today I woke up in the River Keep after having taken over it with G-Zo, Dasut and his apprentice, Brenin Rhys, and a myriad of soldiers the nightbefore. Not the most exciting place to wake up in considering lots of things but hey, it’s better than sleeping in a ship that could be torn to shreds by a fireball at any moment.

After getting prepared, we returned to the Rushmoors to see if we could get back the Silver Griffon after we abandoned it to reach the Keep as well as find a scout group Rhys sent earlier. Unfortunately every single scout member died a brutal death except for one who lived not only to tell the tale, but to warn us that our boat was taken over by the Water Temple. At least we had the Keep to be safe, although it was kinda guaranteed we
weren’t keeping onto it for long.

We head back to the keep and prepare for the afternoon, reassuringly playing out kind of normally, until suddenly the leader of the Air Temple shows up at the door and demands to enter inside. Instinctively thinking it was Asereri coming back to geas us once again I prepare a Dispel Magic, but thankfully I could save it for later as it turns out to be new Air Temple leader Raylinn, who brought with him our friends (well, more like travellers
we happen to associate with because we fight for a shared cause….. comrades? I’ll just say our fellow Guardians from now on, that’s what G-Zo would say), and I could breathe a sigh of relief while the Brenin greets them.
Dandelion steps up and announces that he is indeed, Dandelion, only to let way to Mazer, who has come to us with a troubling dilemma. He has somehow found a way to tie ropes with Tallia, that Paladin that had an obsession with Dandelion and wishes to marry her, but her father who happens to be the commandant of the Gran March has been taken by King
Karackus and the only thing we have that he’d want to trade with for him is the Essence; and if we save the Commandant not only will there be a happy marriage but Geoff and the Gran March can have a more stable connection.

So, because the Brenin wants to help an old friend out (not that I would’ve not helped out if he wasn’t there) we made plans to get back the Commandment while keeping hold of the Keep, which after some arguing and getting a little too caught up in the moment we all agreed to let G-Zo and Dentrack confront Karackus, the soon to be wedded couple and
Dandelion get the Essence, and everyone else guards the keep, all good it seemed; and technically we all did our part at the end but not before what’s to come.
See, not too long after the two parties left, the entire crew of the Water Temple happened to show up with 3 fleets of armed soldiers and their leaders (one of them was burned up but that didn’t really solve our problem), including Gar Shatterkeel himself. Luckily for us they didn’t come immediately as they feared our fiery spells of doom but we still almost
immediately died as the Dragon Turtle Bronzeflame popped out from nowhere to fry us. Thank Io our Mage Ranger Aurora was able to make the knee jerk reaction to hold off Bronzeflame with the proclamation of a deal.

The deal making than went on for several minutes before Aurora decided to check on more threats underneath, leaving me and Bronzeflume as he got more impatient by the second while everyone else was distracted by the Water Temple fleet. Knowing that this turtle would devour us if we didn’t do something I step up to further the deal making, which went terribly at first, in fact I almost killed us all as he rejected my first offer (For knowledge about
dragons, to a dragon that wants gold above all else….. Oh the irony) and began to inhale, giving me mere seconds to either convince him otherwise or die, or escape the attack and doom everyone else of our only chance of escape. Time slowed as I offered him the chance to let me live and go get the Brenin to pay him what he originally wanted, but thankfully my
knowledge was right of Dragon Turtles, and Bronzeflume couldn’t resist the offer; letting me live to get the Brenin with his probably not infinite but largeenough wealth.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get my hopes up too soon as the Water Temple fleet decided that, after Bronzeflume attacked his “allies” upon hearing the coins rumble in the Brenin’s shaking bag, they got out of their ships and began to charge through the muddy wasteland to take backtheir keep for good. Things got even more shaky when the Brenin, with his
hopes as high as Bronzeflume’s ego, suddenly proclaimed we can somehow fight back the horde and he sent his scouts out to fight from the shadows with their, interesting tactics… while Aurora temporarily fought against one of their leaders, also a ranger, from a distance.
Fortunately within a few minutes however he was convinced otherwise as the army failed to be affected by our scouts efforts and the ranger was healed of his wounds by several clerics, leaving our only choice being to escape.
After some awkwardness between the Brenin and me that had to do a lot with anxiousness, the Brenin’s shaky hands, and a confusingly irritated Bronzeflume, we were able to very narrowly escape from the several hundreds of javelins thrown at us as we were safely evacuated on Bronzeflume’s back, which was pretty epic.

We managed to get back to Hochcoch shorty and start the month long deal with Bronzeflume, and not too long after Dentrack arrived on a Triceratops with the Commandment and his buds, all in all a happy ending except with the misfortunate news that G-Zo was taken prisoner by Karackus and could be dead……. Yeah that’s all fine, he can do get out of there….. totally…..I hope.

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Wedding March – Coldeven 619

I accepted the invitation to the wedding of Benevolent Chipmunk Tallia Neholin and Baronet Mazer Raxxam, little knowing what was in store. Mazer has named Llewelyn one of the groomsmen, which fills me with foreboding.

As Llewelyn’s wife, I was invited to the bachelorette party. Other guests besides the bride as guest of honor included Aurora Starglow, Dispatcher Rabid Wildcat Nessle Oderi, Shea Raxxam, Lady Anicia Rholgran, Lady Shishiree Heth, Lady Ogiva Valon and Lady Nasicai Neheli. The wedding is to be held at Rhys ap Rhys’ palace near Hochoch. I purchased a new outfit in the theme color of rose gold. This will make a good costume for future performances. The day started pleasantly enough with brunch in the breakfast room. We then spent several hours decorating the main floor of the palace for the wedding.

What came next was a shocking surprise. Lady Anicia Rholgran and Lady Shishiree Heth had asked me to bring my spell components for the workout after the decorating. They were vague on which spells would be needed. I was shocked when we entered the lower level exercise room and found Mezophilosis and several of his friends imprisoned in magic circles. Apparently the workout would be killing them for sport. I realize devils are generally evil, but killing them in this manor was like killing a rabid animal. And killing for sport is against the teachings of Ehlonna. If they have proof that Mezophilosis is doing something wrong, then he should be tried in a court of law. I used my new dimension door spell and took Mezophilosis and myself out of the palace. He was most appreciative and we parted ways.

I spent some time in the wilds, communing with nature and doing some dance routines in an effort to calm myself. I was walking back to Hochoch late that evening when Llewellyn found me. Apparently Graz’zt was most displeased his minion had been threatened and G was threatening to level Hochoch in retaliation. Llewelyn and I managed to talk him out of that plan through much effort. I was then dismissed so G and Llewelyn could talk privately.

The wedding party and guests managed to assemble at the palace for the wedding. Tallia was upset at me, so I was banished to a seat far from the ceremony. Father Morrick was scheduled to officiate, but he could not be found. Rumors are that he was turned into a bird of some sort. Baronet Aoth, stepped in to officiate, but he turned into a dinosaur or some like creature when assassins threatened the bride’s father, Commandant Neholin. Gelwen had to finish the ceremony, which she rushed to finish before there were further interruptions.

We managed to get through the reception, although groups were separated by political views. Another assassination attempt was made on the Commandant. The chase led through Rhys’ new bedroom, which was being used by Raylinn and Shea. Shea chased on assailant off through the grounds. None of us could keep up with them, although Shea was found badly wounded later. So much for a pleasant gala.

Llewelyn found me later and informed me that he is marrying Princess Jessa Skotti Lizhal, the Regent of Keoland. I decided to walk away from our marriage and returned his ring. Grellyn’s personality seems to be dominating, with the hunger for power and secrecy. I miss my friend Caitlyn.

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The Wedding of Tallia Neholin and Mazer Raxxam

The wedding of Benevolent Chipmunk Tallia Neholin and Baronet Mazer Raxxam was… interesting.
(Many of the Knights titles have been shortened – yes these are the shortened versions – for convenience. Many guests brought a spouse/companion, though most of their entourage waited outside or back in their respective camps, taverns, inns, boarding houses or the castle.)

Residual changes (damages) around the DeepLager Tavern and Winery will take weeks to clean up and repair. It took a team of twenty men with machetes and carts to clear and haul away the thick vegetation surrounding the tavern. As they neared the building, it became increasingly harder to tell where the new growth started and the edge of the building actually began, as Llewellyn somehow brought the cut wood of the tavern back to life. – Rumors of what happened at the party are legendary and conflicting, even suggesting that there were demons or devils present. Father Morrick of DeepLager, was turned into a mountain hawk-eagle and wasn’t seen for days after the wedding he was supposed to officiate.

Father Morrick wasn’t the only quick change of official. Baronet Aoth, the druid, was to officiate, but turned into a large reptilian creature and attacked an attempted assassin. Baroness Gelwen stepped up to finish the rushed ceremony. Dasut the monk showed off his martial prowess by catching a hand crossbow bolt and throwing it back at the assassin attempting to kill Commandant Neholin, father of the bride. Due to the quantity of people arriving for the wedding and reception, the venue was moved to the under-construction palace of Brenin/Grand Duke Rhys ap Rhys of Gyruff/Geoff, about 3 miles from Hochoch.

Divisions and distrust between Gyruff/Geoff and Gran March were evident as each group gravitated towards their own wing of the palace for the reception and often grouped up further from there. It was easy work to convince many Knights of the Watch and Keoish that the Gyri had attacked the Commandant, but calmer voices and evidence of non-Gyri assassins convinced them that it was a ruse to place blame on the Gyri. (The non-Gyri had dyed their skin and hair darker colors, and worn Traditional Flan/Gyri garb in an attempt to further the ruse.

Over 285 VIPs (famous/named NPCs) and even more (less important) guests attended the wedding with about 6000 attendants, troops, support staff and servants. Notables included:

Regent of Keoland, Princess Jessa Skotti Lizhal, Countess of Sayre, daughter of the late King Kimbertos Skotti and aunt of Grand Duke Rhys ap Rhys. Though generally not supportive of Geoff or her politics, she attended the wedding of her vassal’s (Commandant Neholin’s) daughter’s wedding. During the wedding and reception, she was aloof and kept to the far end of the hall from the Gyri. – - Countess Hannah Linth of the Earldom of Linth and granddaughter of Marchioness Chantel Brodelin of Mandismoor (Dandelion’s great aunt) was in the company of Princess Jessa and Lord Watcher Lugh Narthistle, Loyal Banshee, Commandant of the Keoish Knights of the Watch, based in Linth. It is well known that the Linths are Suel Supremicists who have struggled with the Oeridian and mixed humans living in their lands. They have gone through several uprisings, but so far, brutally suppressed each of them. – - Baronet Averyn Linth of Riverside and Grebe, Countess Chandel Brodelin of Mandismoor, Marchioness Lisse Redlee Linth of Mareman, Countess Allita Elgarin of Flen, Margrave Brant Lizhal of Bierfield and Lord Elveress Lizhal of the Dreadwalkers also attended the Keoish Regent.

The elderly Duke of Gradsul and Lord High Admiral of Keoland, Luschan VIII of the Rhola, attended with his Archmage Drawmij (a distant relation). The Duke’s primary goal appears to have been political, attempting to persuade many of the Geoffian nobles to support his family’s bid to become the next King of Keoland. Realizing that he’s far too old to become king himself, he’s advocating for his son, Luschan IX, a thirty-something vibrant and charming Suel.

Though Earl Vlad III of Gand was Warren of the Rhola, he has recently turned against the Rhola family and was ostracized.

The elderly Duke Cedrian III Neheli of Dorlin, Count Orloc Neheli of Marlbridge, Baron Adreian Neheli of Mill Creek, Viscount Cronic Secundorth of Salinmoor, Baron Jharmok Redlee Neheli of Shelspring, and Baron Anladon Neheli of the Axewood grouped together separate from the Regent, Rhola and Oerdian Faction.

The Oeridian Faction is a group of racially and politically allied tribes through intermarriage as a counter to the major Suloise families in Keoland. They included House Berrig/Bazrail, House Garren (including Arglwyth Janos Garren of Rhad Derwyth), the Lizhals (actually Suloise) of Bierfield, Margrave Kharn Redlee of Middlemead, Countess Lissen Rheyd of Nimlee, Baron Alistair Bevel of Riverwatch and the Merchant House Gregaine.

“Venomous Ancient Black Dragon” Commandant Magnus Edvard Neholin (father of the bride) was regularly accompanied by “Fearsome Raging Minotaur” Knight Under Marshall Watcher Nadir (a Suloise male in his mid-50’s) of the Minotaur Regiment, “Maurauding Medusa” Knight Commander Watcher Wadwedd (Oeridian male in his 40’s) of the 82nd medium cavalry, “Radiant Ettin” Knight Commander Watcher Gwen de Leau (mixed human female in her 40’s) of the 116th heavy foot infantry, “Endowed Ogre” Knight Captain Watcher Dreyn (mixed human male in his 30’s) of the 1st Platoon of the 116th heavy foot infantry and “Forcible Fomorian” Knight Captain Watcher Mulwyn (mixed human male in his 40’s) of the 2nd Platoon of the 116th heavy foot infantry. Although it was his daughter’s wedding and he smiled appropriately, many could see that he was distraught and unhappy. Although not publicly known, there are rumors that the Minotaur Regiment, the Commandant’s personal huscarles, suffered a major defeat along the Rushmoors and many of the men are still being held captive by the lizardfolk.

The venerable and somewhat aloof Grandiose Imperial Wyvern Watcher Hugo of Geoff, head of the Knights of the Watch order, was allegedly at the wedding, though every inch of him was covered and his visor kept down. Hugo was former Brenin Owen ap Luth’s uncle, which would make him at least 90, if not older. Considering his age, its impressive that he can still carry the full platemail jousting armor, but understandable that he doesn’t remain in public for long. In fact, his presence was just enough that thousands of people could witness his appearance before he withdrew to his private pavilion accompanied by two dozen senior ranking Knights of the Watch. (Vengeful Elder Wyrm Knight Field Marshal Watcher Catical Fangorn – Commander of the Core Army, Unmovable Colossal Stone Golem Knight Field Marshal Watcher Boltar Hammerhold – Commander of the Westfold Force in Geoff (who spares a glance at Xilvyre without a word), Fey Enchantress Morgiana La Fey (who rides a unicorn mount) and many others you don’t recognize.)

Many of the Elector Baron Knights of Gran March were there as well: Most Illustrious Silver Dragon Elector Baron Watcher Thynian Rholgran of Shiboleth; Benevolent Copper Dragon Elector Baron Watcher Horcrass Heth of Farvale; Ferocious Air Elemental Elector Baron Watcher Faelan Harc of the Eastern March; Forcible Gargoyle Elector Baron Watcher Faelan Murthane of Proman Shire; Ardent Pegasus Elector Baron Watcher Reolus Valon (husband of bridesmaid Lady Ogiva Valon); Sapphire Ancient Blue Dragon Elector Baron Watcher Iboremar Dwilald Holithane of Manthus; Righteous Balor Elector Baron Watcher Aeman Weirwood of Dracus Province; Merciless Cockatrice Elector Baron Watcher Amatus Dassus of the Dim (Forest) March; and Vehement Chimera Elector Baroness Watcher Cerse Wolsing of the Rush(moors) March. (The Elector Barons of Direr and Cavintus did not attend.)

Elusive Stag Knight Under Marshal Watcher Peredur Blackblade – Llwyr of Cymeravon (with his personal huscarles, the 59th White Dragon Heavy Cavalry) and Stalwart Iron Golem Knight Commander (ret.) Dispatcher Darian Malthus – Llwyr of Araul Anterth were there and socializing with the other nobles of Gyruff and Knights living in Geoff/Gyruff now: Unrelenting Sphinx Knight Commander Dispatcher Gundar Kevitz “The Green Knight”, who has allegedly died and been raised several times; Observant Golden Eagle Baronet Knight Warden Watcher Oliver Garrin (cousin of Arglwyth Janos Garren of Rhad Derwyth and former baronet of Garrin’s Field); Striking Eagle Knight Commander Watcher Brachus Orellian of the 119th Heavy Cavalry. Glorious Garden Snake Knight Commander Watcher Holister Paent of the 68th Medium Cavalry; Rising Eagle Knight Commander Watcher Garth of the 61st medium cavalry; Vigilant Nighthawk Knight Commander Watcher Ostraman of the 65th light cavalry; Cadofyth Ser Olfred von Marsh (half-orc) head of the Cymeravon Bragad; Oich Randelsson and the Ferret Braich of Barbaraidd from Cymeravon.

Many other notable knights were there, including Radiant Pinnacle Gold Dragon Knight Commander Watcher Olwin Pendragon of the Gold Dragon Regiment in Shiboleth and also personally leads the 71st heavy cavalry; Massive Diving Black Dragon Knight Commander Watcher Heardred – Commander of Fort Endurance and the 114th light cavalry; Colorful Rearing Hippogriff Knight Commander Watcher Arinbjorn of the 81st heavy cavalry in Buxton’s Crossing; Great Vengeful Owlbear Knight Commander Watcher Lord Baron Magnus Therestell of the 74th medium cavalry in Orlane; Most Truthful Banshee Knight Field Marshal Watcher Lugh Narthistle – Commander of the Forces to the South (Keoland and the Ulek States); and many more.

Most of the nobility of Gyruff were there, including Grand Duke/Brenin Rhys ap Rhys (and Count of Arweth, though that is not [yet] officially recognized by Gran March, Keoland or the other countries of the Sheldomar Valley), Arglwyth Alvestar Glorandaal (a grey elf) of Blodyn Cain, Arglwyth Emyr Cadwaler of Daden Bryd, Lady Ariel (dressed in red, but with flames extinguished) of Dwyr, Arglwythes Gretta Lea of Ffrwythlon Dol, Arglwythes Briallen merch Luther of Rhwng yr Coed, Lady Lynelle merch Rhian – Heir of Rhychdir Rhos (accompanied by her guardian/regent Braichdyn Mellos Warren) and 36 brehyri (baronets) (including many party members).

The giants (though they did not fit into the palace) were well represented by Arglwyth Gruka Duk (storm giant) of Tjalf, Aurora Borealis (his cloud giant druid advisor), Sechte (his eldritch giant advisor), Chief Horus of the hill giants, Jarl Standal of the frost giants, King Raseri of the fire giants, Nimbostratus of the cloud giants (and their cloud castle) and Chief Thornsheld. Each brought a dozen or so of their kind, who camped at some distance from each other and the rest of the camps.

Dozens of Peers of the Realm were there, including: Ser Girais Longdraw, Ser Allyn Beaullfynn, Ser Darragh ap Broach – Cadofyth of the Longbowmen of Gyruff, Dame Nicole Fairweather Larendin – Minister of Internal Affairs, Ser Mordelin Larendin – Special Investigator of Internal Affairs (though still wanted for murder in Keoland and Gran March), Dame Hoskuld, Ser Strongswing Wheatbinder, Ser Darius ap Aedan, Ser William Lea, Ser Dimitri ap Rancar and Ser Thayer Sloan – Commander of the Dwyr Bragad (such as it is).

Lumbering Polar Bear Margrave Watcher Larrangin of Bissel and twenty-five of his Barons came, but most weren’t noteworthy to you.

Marchioness Resbin Dren Emondav, the dark skinned elf of Sterich and Stewardess of the Great Western Gate had several bodyguards and gravitated with her dozen or so barons to the library. The whole group seemed embroiled in internal politics, intrigue and plots that the rest of the guests could only guess at.

There were no representatives of the Ulek States, Stark Mound Gnomes, the three dwarvish holds or the three elvish forests.

After the reception, many of the guests and their entourage departed for home. Most of the Gran March and Knights of the Watch military remain encamped on the eastern bank of the Realstream, across from Hochoch. There are rumors that some Gran March soldiers, including officers and Knights of the Watch, have been kidnapped and possibly even killed.

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Chapter 11 - Dark Force Rising

Chapter 11: Dark Force Rising

I am heading east now to look into the rumors of Elemental Temples rising along the edges of the Rushmoors and reports of increased lizardfolk raids on the settlements bordering the great swamp. The area has always been a bit of a frontier on the edges of Gyruff, Keoland, and Gran March and evil has risen there many times before. Swamps usually have a reputation for being places of evil and darkness which is usually unfounded, but the Rushmoors is a different story. Tales are told that this area was once a fertile land until the coming of the Whispered one. Upon his defeat rumor has it that his capital city of Fhar’anod sank and the Rushmoors formed over what was once the center of his empire. During the Giant Wars my father visited the temple in the center of that city with the “help” of the duplicitous ghost/necromancer Ivan, I hope he is gone for good this time. Very little of it was left above ground at that time an he said it sank even deeper into the swamp once the magical gemstone that had been sustaining it was destroyed. Rumors are that King Karackus, a former ally of my father and Rhys ap Owen, has taken up residence in the city. I am not sure what to think of the former lizardman “Hero” of Gyruff. From what I hear he has headed down a dark path. At least twice agents of his attempted to steal the Light of Lydia.

On my way east I met up with Bothan and Gelwyn as they were contemplating what course of action to take. They were joined by Raylinn who apparently has worked out some sort of a deal to take control of the Air Temple with the blessing of the Brenin, no less. The Brenin has been erratic of late and I hope this is not a mistake. Raylinn was accompanied by several members of the Air cult which makes me a bit nervous. I’ve never really believed “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” nonsense, maybe this is a chance to prove otherwise. After some discussion we decided to head southeast to Ravonnar. The city seems to be recovering well since the altercation between the Lydians and forces from Keoland and Dayden Bryd. The Lydians still hold a lot of sway there but they have lost much of their power with the Light of Lydia shuttered. Having encountered that artifact, or something very much like it twice before, I know it can be a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands.

Along the way we encountered the Fey Lord of Time, well not so much encountered as a shared dream. He showed us a glimpse of the future I assume. In that dream, King Karackus was being presented with a lead chest that was later opened and revealed to contain the Light of Lydia. The Light was placed in an alcove that it fit too perfectly to have been by pure chance. Once opened, its bearers were immediately destroyed but the bones in the surrounding rocks began to reform into creatures from the past. It seems that Karackus’ plans extend beyond just mutating his own subjects but with something more sinister. The focus of the vision shifted further into the future, I assume, and showed an army of lizard creatures, dinosaurs, and other strange forms marching from the swamps toward civilized lands. I had heard that the Elemental Temple of Water had acquired the Light of Lydia but this vision seemed to indicate that the lizard folk had it or would acquire it sometime in the future. No where is safe if either of these foes acquires the Light, it’s destructive power is unmatched and we have yet to discover a way to destroy it.

After arriving in Ravonnar, we headed to the Temple of Lydia to meet with the high priestess. After the usual pleasantries, we inquired about the safety of the Light of Lydia. She was quite evasive but eventually agreed to go and check on its safety. I later found out that she did no such thing and that she had just gone an hidden in a storeroom while we awaited her return. It seems the Light of Lydia is gone and the Lydians are loathe to admit the fact, or worse yet, are in league with either King Karackkus or the Water Temple. Vilquar’s prophecy made a lot more sense all of a sudden and we knew we had to track down what had happened to it.

With the Water Temple and Karackus’ encampment to the North of Ravonnar, we decided to hitch a ride on one of Alvestar’s trading vessels heading to Tanner’s Ferry. Along the way, there was an opportunity to stop off at Pelyth Cove and check in on the Argwylth Alvestar, to see if he’d heard something about my father’s whereabouts. Unfortunately he was off in Gorna. I should have stopped in as I passed by. We made our way to Orlane, intent on coming across to the north side of the Rushmoors along the roads where lizard-folk raid had been occurring to see if we could find any clues. All was quiet in Orlane and the damage caused by the battle there almost 25 years ago has been largely repaired, including the swamp that was magically created in the center of town. I wonder how many hobgoblin remains lie beneath the packed earth.

In the Inn of the Slumbering Serpent, we met a Marcher scout who was looking for Venomous Ancient Black Dragon Magnus Evard Neholin, these Marcher titles never cease to amaze me, and the Minotaur Regiment he was traveling with. According to the scout, he was headed for Hochoch, not a good sign since Arweth remains a bone of contention between Gyruff and Gran March. Rumor has it though, that Neholin has been, up to this point, in no hurry to try to reassert Gran March’s claim on the cantrev. If anything happened to him, the delicate political truce between Gran March, Keoland, and Gyruff could collapse into open war. The scout was on his way to Tamlin and then on to Fort Endurance, the last place the Minotaur Regiment was seen. Since we were headed to Tamlin as well, we decided to accompany him. We had nearly reached Tamlin, when we were set upon by kobolds riding flying dinosaurs. Now I have not been around the Rushmoors in a while but I don’t recall flying dinosaurs being on the wildlife list. This seemed to confirm our fears that the Light of Lydia had been used to resurrect creatures out of the distant past by Karackus. The attackers were clearly unprepared for a target that possessed as much magical firepower as we were able to bring to bear and they attempted to flee. Most got away but we were able to capture one of them to gather information. After letting Bothan interrogate the kobold in common for awhile, a somewhat amusing endeavor, I decided to step in and continue the conversation in Draconic, which in the end turned out to be much more informative. It seems, these kobolds are thralls of the black dragon Kharlixes. So, either Kharlixes has his own source of Dinosaurs or he has joined forces with Karackus. We also learned that there may be two more black dragons in the area, and although smaller than Kharlixes, they could pose a serious threat to the local populace. It also turns out they have been having troubles with the Water Temple. We sent an offer back to the leaders of the kobold tribe with our little messenger that if they would refrain from attacking out forces in the area, we could more effectively deal with the Water Temple. I guess we’ll give the “the enemy of my enemy” axiom a test.

So much for “the enemy of my enemy” as not more than an hour later, we were assaulted by a band of kobolds more capable of dealing with our magic by spouting magic of their own. I guess, “Never Deal with a Dragon” might be the axiom of today. The kobolds blasted us from range with fireballs and did a lot of damage to most of the party. Being fairly resistant to fire, I was able to withstand the brunt of the assault. They badly damaged most of the Air Temple cultists and even took down Raylinn before we could effectively respond in force. The tide of battle turned quickly and we took out three of their four spellcasters in a single round. After that they broke and fled. Hopefully two stinging defeats in a matter of several hours will encourage them to look elsewhere for food. Reaching Tamlin, we found that the Minotaur Brigade had not passed through there either. They apparently disappeared between Fort Endurance and Tamlin

By this time, the scout was becoming quite concerned and we decided to look for evidence of what happened along the road from Fort Endurance to Tamlin. As we came to the road leading south to Willow’s Bend we came across evidence that a large force had turned south and decided to follow those tracks. We came to a point where a large battle had taken place, though someone had tried to cover it up. Gelwyn is pretty adept at spotting clues and perhaps she could make a good Ranger some day, we’ll have to see. We uncovered the remains of large number of humans and evidence that many had been dragged off into the swamp. From the size and shape of the prints we could find,it appears that large carnivorous dinosaurs were responsible for much of the devastation. Its unlikely they would have made any effort to cover the slaughter themselves, so the must be working with intelligent masters. Whether that is Karackus, Kahrlixes, the Water Temple, or someone els is not clear at this time. We found no evidence of the Regiment’s leaders and can only hope at this point hey were taken as prisoners and not dragged off as food. We gathered what we could to take to the garrison in Willow’s Bend and although the leader of the garrison looked at us suspiciously, the scout’s corroboration of our story seemed to mollify him and he thanked us for returning the arms and armor we recovered.

We need to look for more clues on where any prisoners may have been taken and hope that the GranMarch Commandant is among them. The fate of Gyruff may hang in the balance.

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Chapter 10 - Dark Tidings

Chapter 10: Dark Tidings

I have been gone far too long. Much has changed since my father’s departure as Regent and the rise of Llewellen as emperor. This was not what we had in mind when we sought to bring back the great king from the past. It seems that as you pull on one string, you loosen many others. I guess I should have listened more carefully to my father when he told me that everything was intertwined. I know he had great hope that Llewellen could bring stability back to Gyruff, but what stability will that be? So little of Caitlin seems to remain in him now, its as if her part of his soul has been sealed away and a more aggressive one has arisen. Rumors of debauchery have reached me from Llewelyns stronghold in the Stark Mounds. Has he fallen or is he not the man we thought he was. Only the Voice of the Dead could tell us and it is firmly in the hands of Llewelyn’s servant, Dagda. I am beginning to wonder if we brought back the wrong man. Beory has abandoned him as well and that is of great concern. If she could turn her back on her favorite, what does that mean he has become. Backed by the Primordial Dagda he is far to powerful to oppose. Perhaps as I travel the Gyruff more, I can discover places of power of Beory and although she is not my patron, perhaps she will grant me some of her wisdom.

The druid circle is broken and the Old Faith is out of balance. This bodes poorly for the future of Gyruff and I am at a loss as to how to restore the balance. My father has been working tirelessly since he stepped down as Regent, often disappearing for days or weeks at a time on one errand or another and there is no rest for my mother. It seems the whole world is out of balance with conflicts breaking out all over. It seems as if we are entering a new dark age. Even the Chained God has spread his influence across Gyruff with his servants plotting chaos to oppose order. The Earth Temple, the Fire Temple, The Air Temple, and The Water Temple all returned from those ages past and the Temple of Elemental Evil. Druids are guardians of the elements and with them so weakened, is there anyone who can stand against the coming darkness.

The people are confused by their Brenin and are uneasy about how Llewelen pushes him around. Many see him as greedy and uncaring to their plight. He is off on a military campaign with an entourage barely large enough to defend him. I hope it is not pride or arrogance that drives his actions. Gyruff needs its Brenin in Gorna dealing with the needs of the country. With most of the nobles dead, a charismatic leader is needed to hold together the crumbling fabric of the once great land. Even in the breadbasket of Gyruff, the Downlands, things have turned with the once vibrant crops, failing and the Light of Lydia no longer shining. News seems better from the Dim Forest as the elves have had some success pushing back the darkness, but spawn of the Shadow Dragon still roam the forest and undead still haunt the darkness. The Hornwood has gone silent although I know that there are elves that survived there. And what of the Gnomes, once allies of Gyruff but now rumored to be working on something sinister.

Even the places of power of the Whispered One are regaining their strength. There are new rumors of a soul swallowing object in or near Fhar’anod. The lizard folk there have broken their long truce with the humans of Farvale and are now attacking settlements and dragging off victims. It’s as if these “soulless” lizard folk are driven by some dark purpose. Whether it is one of my father’s former allies, Karrackus, is not clear. It may be something worse. The black dragon Kharlixes has even settled in the Rushmoors, on the borders of Gyruff. Then there is the sleping dragon of Keoland. So much unrest there and no clear line of succession. The once great kingdom could rise again or fall further into darkness.

There is much work to do but who can I count on? Former allies have fallen under the sway of the Chained God and the Elemental Temples. Who can be trusted and who cannot? Though my father would probably say “one Man (or Woman) can make a difference” but just how to go about doing that eludes me at the moment.

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Mazer's Journal: Cutting the Head off of the Air Cult & Freeing Friends

Well Mazer fans, it’s been awhile so I thought I would bring you up-to-date what is happening with me! What else could anyone be possibly thinking about anyway? Am I right or what??! Bam!!!

So on the business side of things it’s going awesome! Winning the Battle of the Bands event has really given The Two Lutes for Love even more exposure to show off our…greatness and superior musical abilities. I mean everyone is really digging us even more than before! Dandelion and I have the Hochoch Two Lutes for Love Tavern all ready for the Grand Opening event. That should be a blast and you are all invited! So that brings our Two Lutes for Love Tavern franchise businesses to three: Gorna, Hochoch, and Hookhill over in Gran March. D & I also own one other tavern in Gorna…but the Two Lutes are much more fun and the women just love it and flock there in droves! Also working on another Two Lutes Aberglain location, stay tuned.

Now onto the adventuring side of things. That has been a really tough thing lately. Remember when ole Mazer here was balls-deep crazy and eating dirt and stuff? Calm down…I am still feeling good and the craziness is a thing of the past. I STILL am “Eyes That See” and can identify anyone with the mark of T-Chain. I would prefer NOT to be associated with that real downer evil-Sack at all, but hey…stuff happens. Since that Earth Cult and its members are gone, that earth obelisk is buried deep underground again, ole Mazer here thought that we had all seen the last of evil T-Chain Sack cults. Right!!? Yeah… (Big Disappointment musical interlude on the lute…that may not have been stated just right.)

You see now there there is another downer evil T-Chain Sack cult called the Temple of Howling Hatred…or Air Cult. We have been battling them for some time now with no side making any big headway. It’s VERY difficult because their leader…a hot winged Elf chick called Aerisi can assume the form or disguise of anyone she wants. She then approaches and casts charm person and or Geas spells to win over new members for the Cult flock. Looser move! Well this Cult chick sack tried it with ole Mazer by seducing me…well I guess that kind of always works…ha ha, then she cast her charm/Geas spell. Well us half elves are pretty resistant to those and it did not effect me. But being an excellent performer and just too damn attractive I bluffed my way that I was all hers blah, blah, blah, and stuff and put the moves on her again! Yup…double-down event…because hey…It’s ME! (Mazer on a Mission musical interlude on the lute…)

Well in our many encounters this Air Cult leader Aerisi, she started taking, via her spells, Mazer’s best adventuring buds and incorporating them into her flock….what the hell!!? Morrik, Xilvyre, Aoth, Raylinn, Bothan (now insane and dunking his head in buckets of water after actually meeting T-Chain), and Tornado just joins them willingly for crying out loud! She also attacked Knight’s Rest and took a bunch of their Citizens too. Yeah, we are taking quite a hit here. Good thing D has managed to stay clear of this or the Two Lutes for Love would be in jeopardy too. I ended up convincing a Cleric residing in Knight’s Rest to perform a sending spell to Llewellyn letting him know that his fiancé is now married to an evil cult instead of him. In his reply he was none to happy. I feel sorry for those evil sacks! Whenever that ends up happening.

Well Benein Rhys must have heard of all this cult business because he marched a small army over to lay siege on Griffon’s Watch…the Air Cult’s temple. In the mean time he gave his best buddy Baronet Mazer here and Evendur (aka Metal Man) 45 of his troops to break off and accomplish something amazing. We are like the only Heroes left! Well Mazer here can play a Lute, woo women, and fireball baddies most excellently. But planning an assault on an unknown objective to be determined…yeah…about that…(This is Going to Hurt musical interlude on the lute…)

Metal Man & I decided we needed to free some of our buddy heroes unwillingly serving the Air Cult. Scouts informed us that they spotted Morrik, Xilvyre, & Aoth at the Steading doing some excavating on one of those damn obelisks. Objective determined! Prior to leaving I stocked up on some healing potions and bought some Dispel Magic scrolls for those Geas spells. We readied our 15 Scouts, 15 Archers, & 15 Medium Calvary with Metal Man and his Squire and magic using Mazer. Another unexpected person showed up too…Dispatcher Tallia Neholin, Beloved Chipmunk…whoa does she look great with that golden blonde hair, blue-eyes, overall stunning beauty, and that kick’in figure! She stated that her and Dandelion have went their separate ways and she was looking for something adventurous to do. Of course Mazer was the first thing to pop in her mind. How could it NOT be! Ha ha! Schwing! Normally personal “interactions” would have commenced right away but we were ready to leave and she was just getting over D. I can be a gentleman. She did say she would accompany us on our quest. Sweet! (Marching, Dangerous, with a Hot Armored Woman (sigh) musical interlude on the lute…)

We arrived without incident at dusk about 5 miles from the Steading. I thought it best to set up camp and under the cover of darkness, approach the Steading and free our hero friends from serving the Air Cult. Ole Mazer was impressed on our group’s stealth and detail of remaining under the cover of forest to mask our approach. No one could have seen us! Just then Aoth showed up saying “Hi Guys! What are you doing here?” Come on Man! Well I guess that Baronet Aoth is the King of Perception! That Druid!!! Well not much gets by him so I can’t be to upset. He let us know that he has not been under the influence of Aerisi’s magic and knows everything about what’s going on at the Steading. We decided that he would lure out one of our friends at a time and we could dispel magic on them. Huh, simple. What could go wrong? Let’s start with Xilvyre, and I gave Aoth a couple Dispel Magic scrolls to use.

We set up the troops and ourselves around the perimeter of the Steading and waited for Aoth and Xilvyre to show. My dark vision helped me see movement. Sure enough, here they come. Aoth took the initiative, used the scroll, and cast it on Xilvyre. One down, one to go. Wellllll not quite. When the spell went off, suddenly Xilvyre turned into Aerisi!!! ZOINKS! Huh…didn’t see that coming. The danger level just went way up…lots!

Having dealt with with Aerisi in previous encounters she will teleport away when in grave danger and Counterspell your spells. SO being that Mazer was in great company…ahem meaning Tallia…and Metal Man and mini-army, I thought let’s play her game and I held back waiting with my own counterspell. Aoth lit her up with his Moonbeam which gave all our troops with arrows an excellent illuminated target. She attacked Aoth not realizing that most of us were approaching under the cover of darkness. When close enough to see, I noted the surprise reaction on her face and she attempted to cast a spell…WAIT…not so fast Aerisi. You have just been Mazer’ed – Counterspell! Well she started high-tailing it back to the Steading via flying…fully illuminated by Aoth’s moonbeam. All our troops let their arrows fly on a NOT heavily magic protected Aerisi. We took her down quickly but when she hit the ground, she disappeared. Come on! Well, at least her gear dropped off and remained so that can’t be good for Aerisi. (Cut the Head off of the Snake? musical interlude on the lute…)

Soon Morrik and Tornado showed up and attacking. I was impressed to see Tallia move ahead of me and try to shield ole Mazer here from danger. Huh…a woman has never done that for me before….not even Jagr who has the hots for me. Mazer here took note of that. We also heard some strange steamy walking noises coming from the Steading too. Aoth just moved his moonbeam to another featured target which gave everyone the clear vision they needed. Before Morrik went down the evil air cult must have had him switch up career paths from protection/healing to amped up max damage lightning bolts! ZAP! He shot it perfectly and took down Aoth and the Lightning tail ended right on…you know it…Mazer here! Great… I’m a pretty sturdy guy and did not go down but I was in rough shape. It was then a figure came into view and approached me. Hands reached out confidently to touch my chest and I felt renewed, restored, with a very pleasant aroma in the air I might add. Tallia was there with her blue-eyes, smiling, and looking quite exquisite. She said lets keep going (with a hot flirtatious wink) and moved ahead of me once again…she was also quite impressive looking from this direction too as my head tilted and dark vision took notice of her perfectly formed…<swoosh> what the hell was that!!? (Lay Your Hands on Me musical interlude on the lute…)

This humanoid thing was flying around looked completely armored and shot some energy bolts (?) magic missiles at our Metal Man then flew up up and out of site (aka Tony of the Stark-mounds). Tornado also showed up with another griffon rider and both he, his companion, and their griffon mounts were killed. Sorry Tornado, don’t know why you joined an evil cult. Just when we thought we were in the clear, three large walking metal/wood constructs showed up with steam pouring out their back. There was a small Gnomish person sitting in their chest/head area. What the hell!!? How come evil-sacks get all the cool toys? Well my slow spell got a couple of them and all our arrows shot were ineffective. One construct picked up a large rock and effortlessly threw it and hit Metal Man quite hard. Ouch! That will leave a mark. As we started to retreat we grabbed Morrik, I let off a fireball which killed the drivers, and the machines stopped. Another big crisis averted. Just then a container (Orb of Destruction-Air) fell from the sky and broke on the ground…thank you Mr. Stark. This caused that really bad tornado-hurricane wind storm (with like a mile area of effect) thing that would kill you and we were caught flat footed out in the open. Quick decisions had to be made to save our lives. It was determined that the cavalry would have to carry the archers to the Steading to ride out the storm…hopefully they would be okay. I got out my portable hole, laid it down on the ground and the rest of us (Heroes & Scouts) jumped in…a quasi-bunker below ground & shut the opening. We revived Aoth, stabilized Morrik, and ate good berries and utilized any healing magics to ride out the hour of pain. Of course eventually we had to open the portable hole when the air started to run out..thats when we all took major damage, again re-closed the hole and healed up. And repeat. It was pretty tense and dangerous there for awhile when ole Mazer suddenly noticed that I was holding…Tallia…closely…and our hands were one. OMG…her hair smells soooooo good…don’t think…I can…resist…any…longer…(Umm is it Getting Warm in Here? musical interlude on the lute…)

Once the wind storm stopped, we climbed out, grabbed Aerisi’s dropped treasure, took the three walking constructs and started heading for Knight’s Rest. The other troops that went into the Steading for cover unfortunately did not return. Sorry Brenin Rhys. We noticed something else flying towards us from the direction of Griffon’s Watch…just great. We told the remaining troops and walking constructs to keep going. Soon we could make out Xilvyre riding on an air elemental. Oh geez…When they touched down the air elemental turned into Llewellyn. Great! Llewellyn told me thanks for the sending but Xilvyre is at the Air Temple of her own free will. In fact she would like me to bring all of you back so we can see what it was all about. Oh no! OH CRAP! If Llewellyn insists and is under the same magic of Aerisi or something stronger…compelled by his fiancé’s words we are done for! That’s when Mazer here had to step up his game and try to persuade Llewellyn that the best course of action was to accompany us back to Knight’s Rest and get a Remove Curse spell (I never even bought the right damn scrolls!) cast on Xilvyre to prove she is unwillingly compelled under a spell. Besides, what can it hurt…the remove curse spell is harmless, right? Sir? Xilvyre tried to convince him otherwise. Luckily for us I was more convincing and we all traveled to Knight’s Rest where the local Priest cast remove curse on Morrik, Xilvyre, and Llewellyn for good measure! They all returned to their normal selves and were relieved to be out of the evil Air Temple and with their friends again. (Great Accomplishment musical interlude on the lute…)

As I awake the next morning in a guest room at Aoth’s Manorhouse writing my thoughts of the recent events I note that Morrik was going to inform Brenin Rhys of Griffon’s Watch defenses and traps so that will be good Intel for him. I try to write quietly as not to awake Tallia sleeping next to me as she recovers from her “Mazer Experience”. Her perfect golden blonde hair and body…oh $&*#!!!! I’ll have to apologize to Aoth…and well the entire Manorhouse if we got a bit…loud last night! Ha ha! Bam!!! So goes the life of Mazer. Well of course Tallia is now bringing up the wedding plans with ole Mazer here, which was a known risk for engaging in late night activities with her. I’m sure D is going to razz me beyond belief! Well, my Buddy Brenin Rhys & Jagr are married. Xilvyre and Llewellyn are now married I have just learned. I wonder if ole Mazer could be…hmmm…what scares me is that I am actually considering it! <gulp>. Her Father is the current leader of the Gran March. I’m sure that Mazer here being a half-Elf musician that uses magic and is currently the Baronet of Fort Resolve…that the Gran March built and was subsequently thrown out of will not be of any consequence because his daughter is happy…right?

That sounds like a &%@#*’in plot line to me! BAM!!!

Oops, sorry for waking you honey! Time for another double-down! I’ll apologize to Aoth & everyone later!

Mazer. Out!

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Temple of Howling Hatred

Ready’reat 618
Astra, Mazer, Uaithne and I were coming to Knight’s Rest from Tenwalls when we saw Morrick approaching from the quarry. We also saw the end of a windstorm 2 miles across. Not quite half the town was killed. Survivors told us that a man in leather armor put a chest with a glowing orb by the well not long before the windstorm started.

Nightmarish Vole, Watcher Elspie de Field, a Knight of the Watch is staying at Aoth’s house, apparently spying on the Elves in the Oytwood. The war between the KOWs and the Elves is still ongoing. To say that the Knight dislikes Elves is an understatement. She would not even speak to Mazer and I. We stayed and helped clean up the town before we left to find the people responsible. Dame Dispatcher Beloved Chipmunk Tallia Nehelin from Gran March found Mazer. She was looking for Dandelion. Apparently she thinks they are engaged. Mazer sent her to Gorna to look for Dandelion.

Morrick got picked up by a dwarf female at the tavern. Mazer also found a companion for the evening. I met Maire d’ Beck, who enjoyed my performance and wanted to talk to me about ENCORE. After that, I felt that we were misjudging Aerisi and should protect her and the temple.

Mazer wanted to go after the temple directly, but I suggested that we go after the pick in Deward. Morrick agreed with my plan. So when we got to the tower, we went down to Deward. After getting past a few illusions, including falling through the illusionary floor, we found animated armor with a war pick. Mazer’s purple blade was ineffective, but Morrick and Astra defeated the armor and we had the ninth pick.

When we came out of the entrance to Deward, we were met by Aerisi. Uaithne and Mazer wanted to fight her, but Morrick, Astra and I wanted to protect her. Mazer disappeared and Uaithne ran. Aerisi led Morrick, Astra and I to the temple and we began our initiation. Just as I was finishing my initiation, I decided that I no longer wanted to be part of the air cult and left. I unfortunately have the mark now. I will need to look for a way to remove it.

I returned to Kindler’s Isle and found Llewelyn. We got married in a druidic ceremony the twentieth of Sunsebb. I also joined ENCORE and started performing around Gyruff.

Needfest 619
I found myself back in Knight’s Rest on the 7th of Needfest. Aoth told us that the light snow storm was just a precursor to an unnatural winter storm. Baronet Aoth’s staff prepared a Needfest feast for Aoth, his “guest” Watcher Elspie de Field, Evendur, Mazer, Uaithne and I. The Knight brought back a deer from the Oytwood. I am sure the Elves do not approve. As we were dining, we heard a knock at the door. Aoth’s guard opened the door to a frantic townsman. He reported that strange folks with shark heads were passing north of the village going east.

Watcher Elspie, Evendur and his squire, Mazer and I went with Aoth to investigate. Aoth found tracks of three individuals in heavy boots about an hour ahead of us. We realized that we could not catch up to them, so we returned to town. We found a light stream of townfolk from the tavern going west toward the temple. They had been persuaded to go to a new place. Aoth managed to convince 6 to come with us to the temple of Wee Jas. The cleric managed to help a couple of the people, so Aoth asked them to accompany us.

The tavern had closed, so we followed the trail of 20 or 30 people going northwest. We had to stop and rest for the night. The next morning we continued on. We met an under clothed woman running toward us. She said that she had escaped from the temple. She had the mark, but all “recruits” get the mark upon arrival. Saying his name is the first thing they have you do. She also detected as magical, but the mark does. We were suspicious of her since Aerisi can be anyone, but she could also be telling the truth. Then we were attacked by 3 griffon riders, including Tornado. When we started winning, the woman charmed Watcher Elspie and the townsfolk we had rescued.

We pressed on toward the temple and made camp. Then we were attacked by most of the temple’s combatants. The Skyweavers caught Uaithne and me in nets, flew us up about 90 feet and then dropped us. When we woke up, I was in the Temple of Howling Hatred again. Father Morrick thought I should undergo the initiation again as I had decided to leave after the first. I don’t understand why I left before. The ways of Yan-C-Bin are the true path.

Readying 619
I am getting close to finishing my initiation. I am working with the Windwards again. Uaithne is by far the best flutist. Morrick, Tornado and Aoth are going with Aerisi to try to persuade Dandelion or Mazer to join the temple.

Llewellyn suddenly showed up today. Apparently Mazer had told him I was here against my will. That was so ridiculous. I assured him that I was here by choice and suggested that we go find Aerisi and let her explain it to him. Llewellyn detected a windstorm at Moundgnomery. He turned into an air elemental and we headed that direction. We soon caught up with Aoth, Mazer and Evendur with about 4 dozen archers, Evendur’s squire and Beloved Chipmunk Tallia. They had 3 gnomish stone throwers and Morrick’s body on the back of one of the horses. Aoth, Mazer and Evendur sent the archers ahead to Knight’s Rest and stayed to talk with us. Mazer allegated that I had been captured and taken to the temple against my will. I was affronted and reminded Llewellyn that he was mistaken. Mazer argued that a visit to the temple in Knight’s Rest would settle the question. Llewellyn sided with Mazer, so we took a trip to the temple of Wee Jas in Knight’s Rest. The cleric cast Remove Curse on me. Suddenly I no longer wanted to worship Yan-C-Bin or to be friends with Aerisi. The guys said they attacked her with arrows and then she disappeared in a howling whirlwind. She must be stopped.

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Tornado Journal CY618
So as previously mentioned we found a griffon trainer in knight’s rest by the name of Godfrey (a ranger with no time for frivolous things). I expressed my interest in taking his course on griffon riding and he offered that for all of my money and my Griffon egg I could get the training. But I also had to go on an expedition to the stark mounds to get more eggs for him. Then Godfrey and two other trainees Seder Nog and Jaaris on a grueling expedition throughout the stark mounds where we were supplied with water, and could have 8 hours of rest a day but we could not eat, Godfrey said “fasting builds character”. Godfrey was nice at first but as the expedition continued he got less so. He demanded the best of us and wasn’t very good with explaining himself allowing for more than a few interesting situations. Jaaris was very sunken throughout the trip he was an Eladrin one of the elves from the land of the fey. He rarely spoke and if he did he did so only to criticize someone else usually about how we were going to die. After many days I was finally able to coax out of him that he had wandered from the fringes of the fey wild when they were young and decided to stay, for no other reason than they wanted to explore a strange new land. During that conversation he mentioned several time that even though he stayed he still believed that his people were far superior to the people he has encountered here. Seder Nog on the other hand was a very outspoken man who almost never was seen without a smile. Every night as we set up camp and sat around the fire he would tell us stories of the different posters that roamed the stark mounds. Even if the stories he told were obviously fake with completely wrong facts they were entertaining nonetheless and gave excitement to the bland monotone of the mountains. Sadly on the 13th day a tragedy happened, we had found a nest of three griffon eggs it was guarded by a griffon, it was a routine plan that we had done many times in the past weeks but with the burden of not being able to eat we were exhausted. It was Seder turn to lure the Griffons but sadly because of the exhaustion when he threw the meat it didn’t go nearly as far he had wished it had and the weight of it toppled him in the same direction. And the Griffon took it o mean that Seder was trying to steal its food and bit him even before I could react, me and Jaaris ran for Seder disregarding the eggs. We grabbed him together and ran as fast as we could for the before the griffon noticed we were gone we tried our best to heal him, but he died that night from blood loss. This brought me and Jaaris closer because even though before we were indifferent to each other Seder had become a friend to both of us and we mourned his loss but moved on. After that Godfrey reprimanded us for trying to save Seder instead of getting the Griffon eggs while the Griffon was distracted. Although with Seder dead and Godfrey angry, we pushed on but a few days after that Jaaris collapsed from exhaustion. Godfrey sent for someone to collect Jaaris and bring him back to town, while Godfrey and I pushed on. I lasted another week before collapsing from exhaustion. The next day I awoke feeling enlightened, weightless and like I would never have to eat again. The morning after falling from exhaustion Godfrey told me that there was someone by the name of Stephan ap Thomas and that the griffon who killed Seder was his own. So I was furious and confronted him I found him and demanded an explanation when he claimed having no affiliation with any griffons I just knew he was lying and couldn’t let Seder’s death go unpunished. I challenged him to a fight without any weapons and I, mad because of him being the cause for Seder’s death punched slightly harder than I should have and killed him. After that Godfrey rushed to the temple that would become my new home, called Griffons watch. I acclimated to my new life in the Air temple well every day I would wake up, then drink light foamy broth that tasted mostly of air and meditate. After that I would train Erebos my griffon, then after prayer fall asleep immediately. When I arrived I saw that Jaaris was already there training for the same thing I was and as Winter turned to spring he became much more cheery and oddly enough he even changed color. Erebos is a griffon that is brown in back and white in front with a black spot on his left paw. He is very temperamental and would try to bit me whenever I tried to feed it at the beginning and would try to run away while out on walks. But throughout the months he slowly acclimated to me and became very protective so much so that he would try to snap at anyone who tried to approach me unless he knew them well. As we got to know each other better and finally when I started to train him as a mount, the first time we when out on the saddle and out into the air he tried to buck me off and had I not been able to levitate I wouldn’t have survived the fall. But eventually through months of work Erebos was ready to serve as a mount in a variety of situations. After mine and Erebos’s training were complete we were officially inducted into the temple and finally I felt like I had a chance to roam free in the air. I. became a feather gale knight I was put into the rotation as one of the people who protect the temple from evil adventurer’s who mean to do it harm. Also Erebos and I were often selected to take part in many scouting and aerial missions in service for the temple.
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The Temple of Howling Hatred

Ready’reat 618
I next found my way to the Wayward Inn and Tavern in Knight Rest. Bothan and Morrick had found some elvish books in the Temple of Howling Hatred, which they allowed Xilvyre and me to read. They were the property of Dara Algwynenn Kalinoth. She is Arglwyth Alvestar Glorandaal’s cousin and the head of the temple of Howling Hatred. The airhead is vain and believes herself entitled. The elemental prince Yan-C-Bin gives power to those who swear to serve him. He gave her wings and more powers. She changed her name to Aerisi Kalinoth and with Windharrow set up the Temple of Howling Hatred at Griffons’ Watch. El-Char the rune caster is staying at the temple and taking recruits to excavate a gem from Moundgnomery. Aerisi has one gem and the cult has 15 or so. She has hired Adran the assassin and recruited Ser Thurl Mersosska, a former Griffon Knight. Ser Thurl formed the Feathergale Society and trained recruits as griffon riders.

We also found some interesting notices posted at the tavern. One notice was Griffon Riding Lessons. 10,000 gp for a 4 month course. This explains why the parents of the nobles were not worried. They had set their children to learn griffon riding. Some other notices were want ads for a music director, musicians and a recruiter. My companions explained that those people had been killed on their visit to the Temple of Howling Hatred.

Osiris, Raylinn, Astra, Aoth, Tornado, Evendur, Cedric and I were discussing what to do when a finely dressed Elvish woman came in asking for help getting someone out of the well. Several of us went out to the well. We saw some small, clawed feet kicking at the bottom of the well. We lowered the bucket and pulled up a small exotic reptilian female. She said her name was Precieux d’Or and she was 3 years old. She came through multiple portals looking for Mommy and fell through a reflection to the well. Precieux and Mommy live on a plateau with birds and fish. Mommy is the size of a building and has wings. I suspect that she is Dandelion’s new flame Avatierria d’Or.

The elven woman and Precieux started to walk away, which I did not think was a good idea. I am suspecting that the elven woman is Dara or Aerisi and that she summoned Precieux her for some purpose. I followed the pair to stop them. Dara charmed Raylinn, who saw no problem with Dara caring for Precieux. Aoth convinced Precieux to come with him and Dara got away.

It so happens that Aoth is the brehyr of Knight’s Rest. We asked around and no elves live here. We then went to Aoth’s manor house and found the reason for that. A Knight of the Watch has been staying at the manor house for the last few months to keep an eye on the Oytwood Elves. I had forgotten that the Elves and the Knights were still at war. She encouraged the few elves in town to move.

In investigating the town, we found the animal trainer. He takes money from candidates for the griffon riding and sends them to Griffon’s Watch for the training. Tornado is actually considering trading his baby griffon for part of the payment to take the lessons. Even though it means joining the cult.

The next morning, we went through Knight’s Quarry and headed on our way to Moundgnomery. We decided to try to stop El Char from uncovering another gem. Dara appeared in a tree and cast a Mass Suggestion that we drop our weapons and go to Griffon’s Watch. Some of us were affected, but most resisted. She then cast Cloud Kill, which killed Precieux. As I revivified Precieux, my companions attacked Dara. She was quite wounded and so flew away.

This strengthened our resolve to go to Moundgnomery. We found the steading without difficulty. Aoth found tracks of about 100 people entering, but none leaving. Thanks to Aoth’s keen observation, we avoided a snake curled under the fallen door. We found guards and wards all over the entry. Someone had recently touched one and died. We followed the path where the dust was worn away and safely reached the basement. We found a block of 3 cells, each with about 20 humans each. They had the air mark, so they are probably cultists here to dig out the gem. Further on we found a set of white bones and then a set of bloody bones. From the three sets of teeth marks, it appeared that they were eaten by a carrion crawler.

We next found a chamber with scaffolding leading 130 feet down or so. Workers were excavating an obsidian gem. We engaged in a fight with the workers and their foreman. We even let the curious Precieux light the scaffolding on fire. I have taken on the responsibility of caring for her until I can find her mother, but her curiosity makes that a difficult task. I will need more diamonds for revivify. Unfortunately, El Char was not the foreman. We also fought some feathergale knights and some arcane casters. We managed to survive and left the steading.

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Navel of the Oerth

Patchwall 618
Dandelion and I were on a boat to Aberglain. We saw Dasut, Dentrack, G’zo, Eldren and Gleek on the docks. It looked like there had been a big fight. Then we were suddenly transported, ship and all, to the dry steppes, Tovag Baragu. We saw an area with many tall doorways. A blue dragon flew over and started to eat some of the other passengers, but Dasut assured us that we did not have time to help them. Then a column of dust indicating approaching creatures appeared on the horizon, causing the dragon to fly away. We needed to get elsewhere if the dragon was afraid.

The tall doorways, or portals, where arranged in circles. About half of them showed scenes of other places. About one in five of the outer portals were active. Some of the portals showed scenes on only one side. Dasut seemed unsure which portal to take, but he seemed to want to be here. We entered various portals trying to find what Dasut was looking for. We entered a stone room under a castle and returned to the ring. We entered a flooded area where aquatic mules approached, followed by an abolath. We entered a portal into a jungle world with dinosaurs. We entered a tundra area with three frost giants. We entered into a grassy area of plains at night, with a drum which seemed a signal and an encampment.

We next entered a stone room in a temple. The temple was to Wes Jas. Dasut declared them an enemy and attacked. The frost giants also followed us and attacked. In the conflict, Dasut was knocked unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he told us his tale. He had been possessed by the ghost of Ivar the Terrible. Ivar had gone to Aberglain to seek three relics, the hand and the eye of Vecna and the Sword of Kaz. He had found these items and came to Tovac Baragu to find Addetum to destroy them. But Gleek now had the items. Someone also mentioned that a mirror in Baba Yaga’s hut in the land of fey was tied to Princess Jagr’s mirror and could see what the mirror saw. A chimera and rider appeared outside the temple demanding the relics, so we left.

We returned to the plains, where a purple worm had been summoned. We then took a portal to a plateau. The area was a large highish pillar surrounded by sea. The plateau was the tropical home of sea birds. We found an “elven woman” named Avatierria d’Or, who made friends with Dandelion. He arranged for us to stay the night after a two hour negotiation which left him exhausted. Avatierria warned us to stay out of the sea and the cave at the bottom of the pillar.

The next morning we found a portal to a stone room, which we took to Adytum. We fought some gargoyles and Gleek started using the sword of Kaz as his weapon. We got Gleek to the chasm to throw in the relics to destroy them. Gleek instead ran back towards the portal. We chased him back through the mirror room. I glanced at the wall and the next thing I knew, I was back in Gorna.

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