Kingdom of Isles

Din'dae's Journal 11 - Choosing Sides

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After spending the better part of a day setting up what we have named Chimera Keep, we spent some time getting to know our new guest Ceredwyn. While I noticed Palomar focus his gaze upon, he did not state the girl had a dark aura.. Also neither he nor Jemmrand Sorrowtongue felt she was being intentional duplicitous. In fact the haflling Eulogizer seemed to know quite a bit of Ceredwwn’s kind. TBD

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Epic of the Alliance - Chapter 5

Jemmrand sorrowtongue

The hearts of totems in them beat
And nearer to their foe’s defeat
Found ruins not yet obsolete,
But old beyond the counting

The crumbled walls of Mazion
Encircled halls of splintered stone
Forgotten, but not left alone
The taste of evil mounting

Slicer of breeze, attuned to sounds
Sensed that danger still abounds
Made safe the door to ‘neath the grounds
Into the sewers crumbling

To South a temple full of snakes
They tiptoed past despite their shakes
This ruined realm despite its breaks
Still held some dangers humbling

A flooded pit they should have fled
Bat-men flung spears from overhead
Below flew tentacles of dread
The orc fell in dark water

But out the hole, rimmed in relics
Radiance so psychedelic
Born by wings of light angelic
The priest reversed the slaughter

There’s stories told of heroes bold,
of powers old as giants
before stones quake, before the break,
their fists would shake: defiance!
now all is cracked, the skies turned black
there’s no well-backed reliance
but far from home, when you atone
remember the Alliance.

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Epic of the alliance - Chapter 4

Jemmrand sorrowtongue

Quick on their feet, to slush and sleet
Their rivals left behind, asleep
The snowy path left tracks discrete
They tracked an evildoer

Mage of death, a troll conscripted
Defiled an elf, his crypt decrypted
Our heroes charged and soon evicted
The woods: two villains fewer

Next found a stream in that great green
At which four maidens scrubbed clothes clean
But don’t trust all that can be seen,
Or you will be ensorcelled

But canny priests aren’t carnal beasts,
He warned “we won’t enjoy their feasts!”
When battle seemed it should have ceased
Emerged a threat more forceful

A bugbear troop ignited trees
Who knows from what the bugbear flees
But rattled, panicked bugbear pleas
Choked silent by soot and blade

The spell dispelled, the dangers quelled
Freed maidens made their spirits swell
Their beast forms flew ethereal
And bested Celia’s shade

There’s stories told of heroes bold,
of powers old as giants
before stones quake, before the break,
their fists would shake: defiance!
now all is cracked, the skies turned black
there’s no well-backed reliance
but far from home, o’er rock and loam
press on! be strong, Alliance!

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Din'dae's Journal 10 - Unwanted Guest

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To say the lost city of Bantu Asparr was not what I expected is a bit of an understatement. For naive reasons I thought the Lost City would be largely uninhabited. Or perhaps its denizens purely tribal in nature like the Ba-Bar-Ghee. While the later has certainly been true with at least one set of creatures we found in the Merchant District, it does not seem so with each district.

Our first foray into the city we found the remains or an old camp that was haunted fallen soldier and member of the Farstryder Society. It seemed a fight was imminent until Palomar and Jemmrand Sorrowtongue stepped in an got the damned spirit to talking. Through its tale we learn his name was Naseem. He was a kingdom soldier (and based on his journal a murderous deserter). As promise to sharing his tale with the Farstyders he shared with us some details of his experience in the city. It was enlightening giving us all the feeling the city was inhabited by several local factions already.

Later that same day we met the first of these “locals” as we made our way to the Military district. There we were attacked by a squad of four armed demon touched orcs. These were not wild monsters as they were uniformly armed and armored with master work gear. They attacked from surprise, using sound tactics and making a strategic withdrawal when we got the advantage. Although we won that skirmish it was clear to us all that continuing into that district would be entering into into enemy territory. A task for another, we decided, better left for another day.

Instead we spent the next few days exploring the Merchant District. Where we faced more surprises, this time of gargantuan nature. A crocodile and bat of eminence size and viciousness, with jaws that could swallow you whole. It was Khaine’s quick thinking and Palomar’s fearlessness that one the day, proving brain over brawn can indeed win. For the servant of the Sovereign Host used his flight ability to engage the gargantuan reptile and led it back to the gargantuan bat’s lair. There were tense moments when both creatures seemed focus on our flying friend and we feared the worst. But then they turned on each other a battle of behemoths ensured. We allowed the creatures to deal mortal wounds to one another before we set in seal the bloody deal.

Also we met the Ketch, creatures of inedible stealth while in natural surroundings. They make me quite uneasy. They were impressed with our defeat of the giant monsters, allowing Palomar and Jemmrand Sorrowtongue to once again parley bit of a truce with these creatures. Learning about other threats in the district like the “Many Monster” and the “Smoke People”.

The “Many Monster” we learned, almost to our destruction, was a small pride of chimera. Intelligent magical beast with three heads and breath attacks. As we sought to take the one male by surprise, its two females joined the fight. We were spread then at first but slowly closed ranks and fighting smart. Unfortunately Palomar seemed caught up in a zeal to smite these evil beast and did not notice how severely injured Khaine was. Another bite landed by the beast that took big guy down. I struggled to keep its attention until Palomar could rendered some healing aid.

Again with effort of all, but mundane and magical we won the day. Claiming the Keep of the Chimera’s as our new base of operations.

Feeling good about our accomplishments, Palomar and Jemmrand Sorrowtongue wanted to check back in with the Ketch. Creatures I still do not trust, partially because they skill at stealth seems to far exceed my perceptions and their by hamper my ability to keep my friends safe. The other reason… I couldnt quite put my finger on until later once we returned to them. For they had attacked and taken a half-elven beauty as well as an juvenile Elvenwar cat. We freed them which strained our relations with the Ketch. Apparently they were planning on serving us the noble animal and the beautiful madien for diner. While I guess the sentiment could be appreciate… thinking would would eat sentient creatures shows the distance between us, and proves if chance allowed they would see us in their cook pots.

Leaving the Ketch we head back to our keep and spent the rest of the day making it more worthy of that title. We learned of the strangers plight and a bit of who she got here. There is still much more to her tale I’m sure, but as I understand it she has been drawn her by a curse, probably by the Aspari (may they all be turned to boots and belts). She seems a bit naive in the world, however there is a sense of power with her.

Is this a new ally the gods have sent to aid us? Or an unwanted guest we will need to destroy…

Time, as always, will tell.

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Din'dae's Journal 9 - Ruins and Lost Cities

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The journey was not an easy one, though quest of this importance never are. The weather was unforgiving as we force marched through it. The cold biting all of us to our core, causes many uncomfortable nights. All of us save Palomar who used his connection with the divine to endure the brunt of temperature discomfort.

Along our trek we uncovered signs of prior explores. Some just their passage, others their place of final rest. It was one of these that we saw signs for an ambush by a troll and a booted man sized companion. Tracks were not too old, so we investigated hoping to learn more about this region and its dangers. What we found was a grave robber. An elven Necromancer and his undead white troll.

An anger boiled from deep within my core, and I set to ending this defiler with righteous anger. I was incredibly single minded in that effort not heeding the troll as I should have. Again I was thankful to my companions combat support. With their aid both beast and master were destroyed and we set to resealing the tomb of an elven hero. One who was a barer of Windsplitter in ages past, and whose War Mask I now wear as result of that conflict.

It is in this moment that I reflect on Palomar’s words that the gods have plans for us. I have always given honor to Gremmen and respect to the other gods, but have always felt ones destiny is in ones own hands. I was not pleased with the plan to move forward into the unknown so quickly, but finding this tomb… is it truly a sign the gods are watching and aiding our cause? Again time will tell and in most things I am patient. Most things…

Moving on through several more days of freezing cold we finally come to a clearing with a cabin by a large stream and four elven women about chores. Not to scare them we will slowly emerge from the tree line so they can see us approach. To my surprise, they turned to us with smiles and waved us forward. Elves this deep in the Great Green would NOT be so welcoming and my gut churned with a sense of danger. I expressed my concern, in low tones, to my companions as we approach the clearly beautiful women. My friends acknowledged my concerns except Palomar who merely focused his gaze upon the women.

We were barely 60 feet away when the servant of the Sovereign Host called warning that one of the women was a being of evil and the other three possible thralls. With that, we wasted no time in setting to, giving care to not harm the innocents. It was a tricky thing as they all threw magics at us in some fashion. Matters soon became more complicated as a group of bugbears came out of the tree line on the opposite side of the clearing. They were tossing oil and fueling a forest fire.

Still, although the evil outsider that had the women in thrall got away, we were able free the women, kill or run off the bugbears and stop the fire from spreading. In reward for our efforts these women, Zenji Spirit Dancers, provided us shelter, supplies and connected us to our animal spirit guides. The later process took us into the spirit world where we saw a glimpse of a ruined city and faced Celia in a serpent spirit form. Again an ancient anger welded up inside me and I, along with my comrades faced this snake in our animal spirit forms. With beak, claw, hoof and bite we assaulted this evil and sent it from the spirit realm. She tossed a curious threat at us as she vanished.

The experience also gave us a sense of direction and a better familiarity with the land. With a new sense of urgency we thanked our host and set off at first light. Still bitterly cold the weather was clear and it was easier going. We seemed to happen upon the right game trails and natural paths speeding our way over time. Finally after several more days of travel we found the Lost City. Or so we thought.

Upon further investigation we discovered it was not, and that is was inhabited by demonic serpent worshiping goblinoids. As we moved through the now known Ruins of Mazion we defeated these creatures as we went, we uncovered that there was something here that could lead us to the Lost City. A ritual that needed to be performed that would reveal the cities location. It required four gems of which we had only found one. The other three, we learn the hard way, were in the possession of an Aspari priest residing at the top of an overgrown stone ziggurat. He did not part with them easily, but once Jemmrand blinded him, and the rest of us beat in our opinions, it was determined he had no further need of them. Or anything else.

As he bled out I could not help imaging Celia lying there. The thought made me smile.

With all four gems we climbed to the ritual chamber and performed the rite. Expecting some sort of map or indicator as to the lost cities direction we were further surprised by a portal opening up. We looked at each other for a moment, then Palomar said, unexpectedly yet inspiringly “what… do you want to live forever” and steps into the portal. Khaine and I exchange looks and without need of word, my oldest friend entered next followed by Jemmrand. I took one more look around and out into the ruins before I too took another step in to the unknown.

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Epic of the Alliance - Chapter 3

Jemmrand sorrowtongue

Beyond the mines was endless green
Within the trees: orcs foul and mean
The mage sent forth his fiery mien
The rest moped up by arrows

The woodland tribes had worried vibes
Black branches hung with un-alive
A brilliant flash scorched undead eyes
And won the tree of gallows

A river crossed a creature’s lair
They fought what seemed a dire bear
Behind its eyes: a demon’s glare
The fighter faced its glower

The beast roared up, teeth en-gnashed
The river full of bodies slashed
Before it’s full demonic splash
Black Fang cut short its power

On to the Fort, well-attended
Camps and walls both well-defended
Lo! The well was not well-tended
A note of poisoned warning

While most sought unseen murderers
The Halfling sought drunk murmurers
The best of raconteuriers
Lead all to drink till morning

There’s stories told of heroes bold,
of powers old as giants
before stones quake, before the break,
their fists would shake: defiance!
now all is cracked, the skies turned black
there’s no well-backed reliance
but far from home, when birds have flown
trust in the true Alliance.

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Epic of the Alliance - Chapter 2

Jemmrand sorrowtongue

A ship made land on sovereign sand
Alliance reached their harbor planned
But where once shone their city grand
Sat smoking, half-sacked, ruin

A war proclaimed, the jewel defamed
Heinous spells The Lions maimed
The prince’s birthright fast-declaimed
His guilt almost a shoo-in

But still endured Akadimar
And none would soon forget the scar
With news of serpents from afar
The kingdom started scheming

New Golden orders to explore
Alliance sails fly full once more
The search for vile and viperous lore
The One beyond redeeming

Through aging mines and salty wights
An evil orb of bluish lights
The seer’s cure and blessed rites
Made elf no longer blighted

But while one member was made whole
Evil will always claim its toll
The augur’s life, now just a soul
Her visions still far-sighted

There’s stories told of heroes bold,
of powers old as giants
before stones quake, before the break,
their fists would shake: defiance!
now all is cracked, the skies turned black
there’s no well-backed reliance
but far from home, if you’re alone
look for the brave Alliance.

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Palomar's Journal (Entry 7)

Journal

It is a good omen that he have reached the lost ruins of Mazion on the eve of Year’s Dawning, though it was no easy feat. This region of the Great Green is infested by demonic powers, though now somewhat diminished after our passing. As a result, I have begun to expand my studies to include further understanding the fiends of the Abyss.

Unfortunately, it has become apparent that Mazion is only the crumbled remains of an Aspari outpost rather than the ruins of one of their ancient true cities. However, we the Alliance suspect the remnants possess the key to finding the fabled lost city of Bantu Asparr – the true destination of our nemesis Celia and where we suspect the dread ritual we must prevent is meant to be performed.

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Din'dae's Journal 8 - Into the Great Green

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Our trek through the dark woods between the Temple of Ebonpool and Fort Pliskin was full of dangerous and factions. First we encountered a company of tribal orcs, who true to legend attack us without provocation. Largely due to Enorath’s magics, we scattered their remains to the great winds for their bad judgement.

Towards the end of the same battle a score of forest elves, that had been tracking the tribal orcs, appeared sending arrows into the now fleeing orcs. A brief discussion and we were lead to their nomadic village and met with their chief. The conversation initially created some strain between Palomars and I. While speaking with the chief in elven, I got the impression my companion did not trust how I was handling the situation. However his approach with the chief directly bordered on disrespect and our audience was cut short.

I spoke to Palomar afterwards with support from Jemmrand and Khaine. My divine companion seemed to take my concerns to heart as well ask expressed his views. In the end I believe we have come to a better understanding of on another for it.

From there we made our way to Fort Pliskin, dealing with a foul undead and a demon possessed dire bear. The later nearly taking the life my my closest friend Khaine.

Pliskin

At the frontier keep we found more intrigue than we expected. Several factions had arrived ahead of us and seemed to be waiting for something. In addition, someone was poisoning the water and food. A warning from a fellow cast-away tip us to that fact and we were duty bound to help. As to the factions, we discovered that these were factions our fellow cast away had belonged to. It was also speculated that they were after the lost city, and perhaps even waiting for us.

With much discussion and not nearly enough fact for my liking, we decided to leave at first light without our military escort we met there in favor of speed and stealth. If there was to be a race, the thought was to get as much of a head start as possible. Taking precautions and preparing discreetly, by pre-dawn the following morning we ready for for our journey.

Collecting Jemmrand we set off into the Great Green just as a storm hit. Was that a bad omen? Or the gods help hide our trail? Only time would tell.

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Din'dae's Journal 7 - Much Has Changed

Image   din dae with chainmail

It has been some time since I have put thoughts to parchment. Mostly it was due to my former affliction. The pain of writing spoiled more pages than I care to count. But that was then.

Much has changed… like the home we return to from our stint on Sailors Hook is now thrust into a civil war. The rumor is that the Crown Prince made a play for the throne, and that serpent men along with horned demons attacked the city by ship and with the aid of great magics. Defeated the invaders were, the Kingdom now stands a bit divided. Looking inwards for the villain instead of outwards. I believe that was part of the the true masterminds goal and seems to have been at least partially successful.

Much has changed… like the curse I was under has been lifted. A treacherous trek to the Temple of the Ebon pool and the Oracle there in was needed to cure me of the curse. In payment we defeated a growing evil deep within the mines below the mountain. The process of curing me was not a simple tasks and not without its cost. The Oracle gave her life that I may be free. The cost was too high but I was told that she saw I and my companions played a significant roll in events to come.

What has not changed… is our determination to end Celia’s threat as we feel it has not stopped at Sailor’s Hook.

What has not changed… is or commitment to severing the head of evil whenever it rises before us.

What has not changed… is my loyalty to my friends, to my companions. For they have been there for me at my lowest. As such I will continue to fight for them, to bleed for them, if necessary to die for them. For they have proven worthy of that respect.

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