The Lost Seekers

Libris Pious 2

As the Book sits on its pedestal a shadow falls over it, suddenly the book flips open to a page showing a burning building and a skull mask in the background, before suddenly….

I woke up to Baldrin and Endolynn moaning and groaning and loooking distinctly worse for wear, me and Lysander both looked them over and i surmised it was more then likely ghoul fever or some sort of disease contracted from those animated corpses in the thieves base. Taking them to the Elfish temple, (without telling Endoylnn what our suspicions were, lest she burst into hysterics like she was prone to doing) Me and Lysander and Thamior got them both fixed up and according to the cleric it was ghoul fever, thank Sehanine Moonbow we got them there in time. Anyway we had a vampire to find and kill but with 2 members down, i couldnt do much and neither could Lysander and Thamior so we all decided to do some information gathering. That evening after we had all met back up again Endolynn and Thamior were saying they had found out information about vampires, including that they could breathe fire….. but we had a lead on how to kill the god forsaken thing, courtesy of Endoylnn, despite her annoying teenager habits and moods, she is very smart and she said that burning the vampire in his coffin would end him permanently., But we had no idea where this bastard was hiding. Eventually we ended up at a nobles inn following a lead from Liam that the owner got his bootleg liquor from the Laughers, but it turns out that was a wild goose chase and that liamk was just trying to cause some trouble for his brother………… After Baldrin had successfully scared everyone out of the establishment we all met back up outside, it was a little tricky to find everyone given everyone was wearing masks because of it being the night of the dead and we all had some skull masks on that Endolynn had bought from the temple of Wee Jas. After meeting up again it turns out Thamior had found us a lead from tlking to some random woman from the pub about how their had been a man living in Longspear some 200 odd years ago who had been accused of being a vampire and he had been ‘killed’ by a mob. We managed to get the address to do some investigating which led us past the Dromdal Manor down a little lane and to the front door of this rather dilapidated old mansion and as we approached…………

We all felt that ominous feeling of foreboding. so we knocked on the front door and then it turns out the door was unlocked so we walked in and found ourselves in a hallway and through one of the doors we found the blood sucker, sitting in a chair with a glass of what looked to be blood next to him. We exchanged words before he dispersed himself into mist and dissappeared upstairs. We followed him and it just got creepy and wierd from there, we found a picture with an actual human hand stuck to it at the top of the stairs. There was an odd smell up here and in one of the 2 end rooms we found the body of the cook from the thieves guild hideout and his hand was missing which explained the painting but in the last room is where it got incredibly interesting, the smell was strongest once we opened that door and i dont know what it was but as Baldrin looked down closely at the floor it caght alight suddenly and their was a massive fireball which i was basically in the direct path of as it burst out of the room, i manged to avoid most of the burst somehow barely but now the top floor was beginning to catch alight we started running back downstairs but as we came down at the foot of the stairs there was thousands of rats and they all started biting us and we could see more coming in from some of the side rooms, deciding that trying to fight through swarms of vicious rats wasnt a good idea or particularily appealing we headed down stairs underneath the main staircase which led to an underground basement. In my haste i tripped and ended up falling down most of the stairs, after everyone was down the bottom and we had made sure no rats were following us we proceeded through the only door into a room where some light seemed to be coming through the wall, Endolynn and Thamior managed to find the secret door behind the bookcase, as we walked in carefully we saw something seemingly move away very quickly from this chair with what appeared to be someone sitting in it, as we got closer the chair fell over and sitting in it was Auraluna Dromdal but she didnt look good, as i took one look at her i told Baldrinn to kill her quickly she was too far gone and would become a vampire spawn if we didnt act quickly, As Baldrinn splattered her head there was a shout behind us and the vampire had grabbed Lysander in some vicious grapple and was attempting to feed on him, after a struggle we managed to get him off Lysander as he dispersed into mist and began fleeing we chased him to find his coffin, but as we chased him 2 flaming hounds appeared in front of us, we managed to slay those hell hounds and continued chasing the mist, until it came into that freaking creepy as basement where Auraluna had been storing those people in her wall of stone. The same room that Cecily had said was filled in and closed up. We waited for the vampires mist to go into the coffin then Endolynn unleashed a burst of flame from her hands and he staggered out on fire saying "i had survived for 200 years before you came along’ before he collapesed into a puddle of liquid goo stuff.

As we celebrated we realized we had a problem, how to get out, we either had a still burning building behind us or a huge amount of debris and rubble or we could try and go out through Cecily’s house and alert her to the fact that we knew she had been lying to us and then making another enemy least of all that her mother had been down here and we had splattered her head to top it off. We decided Baldrin should climb out and sneak through the house and just see about helping us get out from the vampires mansion end. As he climbed out we headed back the way we had come and got back to the stairs that led out of the vampires basement, but the god damn house was still on fire Baldrinn had run back in and helped get eveyone out but as i ran through at the rear one of the roof beams fell down on top of me but Baldrin was still there and he helped me get out barely though.

As Jarvan gets out of the burning building the image slowly fades away and the shadow over the book starts leaving and walking away as the book closes again and flashes with light softly, before beginning to just faintly glow again………

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Baldrin's Journal Entry #10
I'm sure all of this will suck more in the future...

Hmm, where did I leave off last I wrote in this diary. I believe it was after recovering from the vampire, but before I grew too sick to write. So, last I left off, we had returned from a debacle where a vampire had attempted to murder us for no better reason than we were there… At least, that’s my story an im going with it. So, over the course of the evening, I began to feel like death incarnate. Amusingly, that’s because I had caught ghoul fever and was slowly becoming some abomination that would shamble around and eat people. Luckily, if I cant sleep, I know something’s wrong. So I bugged the only logical answer, poor little Lysander. To be honest, I’m lucky I bugged anyone at all, I felt terrible an I barely remember much about the whole thing. The same thing happened to Endolynn, so Lysander an the lads took us to a nearby temple and had them fix us. Seriously, vampires cost far too much money for this kind of stuff. We have burnt through so much gold in the last few days due to it trying to eat us and its stupid unholy pets. Gah. Good thing its dead eh.

That’s right, just blew my narrative payload early, but I’m in a bit of a rush so you only get a quick update today Ade. So, after recovering from our illnesses, we all set out to investigate and find this ruddy vampire. From what ive gathered, he was over 200 years old, and a nasty bugger to boot. Endolynn and Thamior spent a rather considerable time searching through libraries and talking to priests to find that out an because of their hardwork we approached the nasty monster with something akin to foreknowledge. An it paid off boobily bubcus for us. I kid you not, we knew we had to kill it, and destroy its coffin. We knew you could stake the ruddy things and itd do something, and that they hated Holy fire. You know what we didn’t know Ade, we didn’t know they could summon hordes of rats, or turn rooms into giant fire death pits. We turned up to the lair of this beast after some not inconsiderable effort (I may have started a panic and terrified many patrons of a swanky up town bar that charges far to much for its ale. However, I reserve the right to point out the owner deserved it) an the sod was waiting for us.
He was eating in his dining room, and when we confronted him he told us he would be waiting upstairs for us. So, daft as your mother Mary we wandered on up there and looked for him. Sure, we searched downstairs first, just in case it was a trap. Saw nothing though, so off we toddled. Checked a few rooms upstairs, an found a random thief drained an hanging from a roof beam. Not a pleasant sight but it could have been worse. Still, the last room we checked was the master bedroom. To us, it made perfect sense he’d be in there. It even smelt funny. Like nothing I’d ever smelt before. As we looked inside, we noticed the floor shiny, like it had something on it.
As I touched the torch to the floor, since I thought it might be some vile critter, it exploded into flames. Next thing I know I’ve stumbled half a dozen steps back to the stairs down and I’m being chased by flames. The heat of it was immense Ade, like some great hell beast was trying to swallow me whole. As we got to the stairs and headed down though, things got worse. The fire was quickly traversing the house, and at the base of the stairs was a swarm of terrible rats. I say swarm, but it was more like a horde. They were crawlin’ about, even crawling on each other. Just thousands of the blighters. An they seemed awfully intent on eating us too. Now, I don’t remember much of what happened next, but it involved lots of smashed walls and falling down stairs. It was all a frantic mess at the time, and not much better now. Still, we managed to escape the fires into the basement of the building. We felt momentarily safe, so we took the time to fix ourselves up.

The basement seemed rather bland, though with a bit of searching we avoided the death trap of doom (cant be sure what it was, as I said we avoided it) and found a secret door. Behind the door, obviously, was a secret room. Within the room was a woman, facing away from the door. Red hair, this woman didn’t move, and seemed almost like some dead thing. Obviously, we assumed it was some other spawn of the vampire lord that had been attacking us, so we approached it slowly. As we got closer, we discovered that it was Auraluna, the psycho that tried to murder anyone she didn’t like by locking them up in stone. Ironically, in her own secret basement. Anyway, she was in a bad way Ade, obviously drained, so close to death you could see the spirit leaving her body. Even as Jarvin tried to help her, it was obvious she was long gone. As I stood watching, I heard Thamior yell out “Vampire” an with that I did what any sane person would. I killed her, before she could kill us. What was I to do Ade, Thamior is a mage of some not inconsiderable power, an I trust his judgement more than mine on matters of the arcane. So, I killed an old lady. Yes we could argue over the semantics of who killed her, but it doesn’t make me feel any more clean about the whole thing. It was a mess, make no mistake. Still, it was one hell of a surprise to turn around and see Lysander stuck in the throes or mortal combat with the vampire we had been hunting.

Apparently, since closing the door had never helped before, Lysander figured that this time he would fight. So, when the vampire lord appeared in the doorway behind us, Lysander stabbed at it with his spear. Obviously, he missed, and the villain grabbed him and tried to drain him. So, in the hubbub we attempted to stab the vampire with a stake, and failed. Truly it was harder than it sounds. Eventually, I just clubbed the thing to death. It seemed to do the trick; so I followed the misty remains of the beast as it left the room. It lead us through a long cave that eventually spilled out into it’s lair. Its lair looked very familiar Ade. It had body shaped holes in the wall, and a table set up with a tea set. It even had an elevator in the corner. That’s right Ade, when Ceseli told me she had filled up the secret basement, she’d been lying. No, instead she’d leased it out to a terrible monster. The coffin was placed into the wall, and as the lord of the night’s misty remains settled into it, Endolynn torched it with her magic. I have never seen a blaze the like in all my life. Massive pillars of flame shot from her hands and wrapped the coffin, and it burst into flames. The beast exploded forth from the casket, burning and melting, and uttered its last words. In all honesty I was more taken up with the burning than what he said, but it boiled down to “how dare you, I’ve survived 200 years” and rounded out with a thud.

After that, we had to escape the basement. Sure, there was a big case of money in the mess, and all sorts of other stuff, but the meat of the story was in getting out alive. See, when we checked upstairs, poor little Barnsworth appeared. Terribly frightened, he thought we were going to burgle him, but he didn’t catch on to who it was. Trouble was, that meant we were stuck in the secret basement, with lots of sacks of gold and too much stuff to easily carry. Certainly too much to climb out of the elevator shaft with. So, we hatched a brilliant plan. I said brilliant, and I’m stickin’ to it. So, I took off all of my heavy gear, packed it up tight and left it with Jarvin, then sent them back to the other manor down the creepy cave. Honestly, I thought id have to dig them out but it turned out houses take longer than twenty minutes to burn down. Well, I know that now, but it didn’t seem feasible to me then. Look, no one said that I was the brightest light of civilisation all the time. Just most of the time. Anyway, while they wandered down the hallway, I had to do all the hard stuff.

Basically, with the lock to the Elevator picked thanks to Endolynn’s skills, I was able to sneak into the manor and then quickly go and dig out my fellows from under the collapsed building. That was the plan anyway. What actually happened was that Barnsworth was waiting for me upstairs. I had my festival mask on, so im sure he doesn’t know who it was, but I may have given the poor lad a bit of a fright that night. Anyway, as he recovered from his terror, I quickly darted out of the house. As I made my way back to the building, thinking id need to dig I collected a shovel from a garden shed on the way. Don’t look like that Ade, I returned it. Anyway, turns out, as you know, that the building was not a pile of rubble. No, it was a flaming inferno of fiery death, which I had to run into because my friends were stuck in it. Well, run into it I did. Well, about two steps. I knocked the door open ok. Then I yelled, and my fellows came up from the stairs, and made their way out. The last of them was Jarvin. Poor Jarvin, he always gets a bad end of a stick. In this case, a big heavy one that fell out of the roof. Big, heavy and flaming. So, with him trapped under the beam, I ran in to help. He was a big lad, so I tossed all of the packs and stuff that he had been carrying out front of the house. After that, he managed to lift the beam off of him a little bit. Apparently, it was heavy. I can see that. So, I hit it with my Hammer. It may have been heavy, but after that it was more like dust. Then we ran out of the building. The building may have collapsed as we left. I may almost have been crushed. I wasn’t though, so it’s ok. Right.

After that, we went back to the Badger and Hare. We slept, and awoke. We all woke early; we had much to do, and a wedding to attend in two days. Aye, a wedding. That one that we inadvertently set up. With the big bad evil guy, and the now we know big bad evil girl. Ironically, Ceseli even tried to contact us. Sent us an orphan with a message to come see her as soon as possible. We bribed him to get lost and not go back. We hope that worked, because honestly there’s too much that could go wrong with seeing her. I mean, she’s scary enough to have a pet vampire, and we could barely kill that. Plus, I like Barnsworth, and don’t particularly want to be responsible for the death of both his mistresses. Sure, she may be trouble. So is Felix, but the world survives him. I know this could all come back to bite us, but I won’t forget Ceseli the vampire tamer, and I won’t let her just wander free for eternity. Still, if we get locked up we won’t be able to help Lillavida, so were giving it a miss. Well go to the wedding, and then leave. That’s what I figured, and everyone agreed with me. So, that’s how it is. Even if this does sound more like I’m trying to convince myself than the imaginary person on the other end of this journal.
So, I’m writing this from the Smith On The Hill. I’ve got a cart full of crafting supplies to take with me, and I’m heading back to Longspear tomorrow to research my hammer an do a bit of shopping. An then, the day after well see Ceseli married and be done with this nonsense. So, to the next time I write you Ade, have a pleasant day.

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The Tale of the Long Night

“Now gather around children today we going to delve into the next part of our heros tale” started the old man motioning the children to sit closer to the stump he was using a chair.
“We start with Thamior and his friends a month or so after the terrible night that stole his children though things were looking up for our band of young adventures they had just signed up to travel with the Lady Lillavida Banes and her caravan to the Kingdom of Celene where they would follow the path that her late husband had taken many a year before” The old man begain his tale
“Isn’t Thamior from the Kingdom of Celene Old Master?” Cried one of the elven children
“Yes Child Thamior is from this fair country of ours there are rumours that he is even a Prince of Celene, That he is son to Queen Yolanda” Answer the Old man a small smirk on his face like the knows the true answer to that rumour " Now as I was saying The Lost Seekers had agreed to take the path of Lillavida husband but the rest of her venture could not route as it was one full of danger and risks prefect for the heroes we know them to be but who would guard the caravans? Well I am glad you ask Lillavida wanted our strong adventures main competition to help as well, she wanted the Golden Swans to follow her on the long slow boring route. Knowing that was he only way to help guarantee the safety of the caravans and those they loved travelling with them The Lost Seekers decided that they would go Longspear and recruit The Golden Swans to add in thins magic venture" Continued the Old man

So our heroes returned to Longspear later that night staying the night in there the Inn known as the Rabbit and the Hare. After a brief stop there the gang started to move by foot through to the city of Longspear to the Inn where the Golden swans where staying. As they moved through the busy streets of Longspear a small boy ran up and tried to steal the spell book of Endolyn ." Said the old man weaving the start of this day’s tale.
“Is this Endolyn the Arc mage?” asked a young girl in crowd
“Yes it is Little one” answered the old man
“She is my favourite” Pipped the little girl a massive smile beaming from her face.
“That is good child we all must have our favourite heroes” responded the old man. Continuing his tale the old man told the group of how the heroes chased the boy through the mid summer parade even setting one of the floats on fire.
“Now children it is during this chase that Ser Jarven proved his bravery and courage by jumping from the second story of a building down to the ground floor to try and catch the would be thief” Continued the old man " Once the child was caught he lead our heroes to the group of thieves known as the Laughers, They where the ones trying to steal Endoyln’s spell book"
“Did The Lost Seekers punish the thieves Ser?” asked a small child
“They did youngling” replied the Old man " they went into their base and destroyed them taking one prisoner"
The old man notices the smiles on all the children’s faces and knows he must help them learn that there is difference between punish and bloodthirsty murder as he learned throughout his long life
“But not all of them got out unscathed children The roof fell down on Endolyn and Baldrin during the attack hurting them quiet badly" explained the old man " Once the knew they were safe the Lost Seekers handed in the thief to the City’s guards and retired to there Inn, But as Thamior was un hurt the thought it best to tell the Golden Swans about the offer to join the venture" Finished the old man
“What happened next Master?” Asked the young girl again
“I will tell you in a minute child but first I need a glass of some wine elfish wine.” responded the old man as he got and lead to the children to where a pile of refreshments where being keep.

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Letter to Patty #1
biting is such a pansy way to kill people, they should tear at the throat like a dog, far more appropriate.

Uhh, hi lass.

So, I’ve never written anything like this with an actual person on the other end, so bear with me if it rambles all over the place. Still, kinda nice to know that someone’s reading it, in a weird way. So, first things first, before I say anything else. I’m safe as houses, we have recruited the less maimed members of the Golden Swans and are off hunting a vampire tomorrow before we head back to the inn. I know right, you send us off on a quick errand and we get caught up in some grudge match between a vampire rogue guild and Bandabar. Still, it’s the right thing to do, so you know as well as I do that I don’t have much of a choice. The other important thing is I’m sorry for being a bit of a tit for the last few days. I should have been over joyed to have you along with us, but I got distracted by my own selfish thoughts an didna think what that might feel like on your end, so I’m sorry for being a stubborn git. I would be more than happy for you to come with us Seekers as we follow the husband’s trail searching for him. In fact, honestly I’m excited to be spending more time with ya. Not having you around for two weeks sucked all the fun out of travelling, and it’ll be nice to have you with me. Still, we need to buy you some armour, and get you some better equipment, so I’m thinking ill visit the smith before I come back to the Hamlet. If I can’t swing that, we’ll have to convince Lillavida to allow the quick trip, since I need to say goodbye to the family, and I’m sure you’d like the chance to do that too now I think of it. Anyhow, with all of that outta the way, id best tell you about my last couple of days. Honestly, they have been a bit of a mess.

Hmm, where to start…

Ok Ok, it’s a bit of a long arse tale, and it starts when we came into Longspear. It was near dark, so we spent the night at The Badger and Hare before setting off in the morning to find the Swans. Since its new years, we were all kind of hung over when we left, and the rowdy streets didn’t help much. There was a parade and decorations an all sorts. I’m sure you would have loved it, but considering what happened later that day I’m happy you are safe with Lillavida (and that’s also one of the reasons we need to get you a better kit). So, walking through the mess of people, Endolynn has her purse snatched. I didn’t see it, but I heard the sounds she started making after that, and Jarvin told me to run so I did. Turns out we were chasing some runty street kid. Endolynn spent the whole chase freaking out, so much so she shot the kid full of holes. Apparently in her bag was her spellbook. I know, sounds like a dumb reason to maim a kid to me as well but Wizards seem to think it’s perfectly acceptable and who are we to judge. Ok Ok I’m judging, a lot, but I shan’t tell her that. She has a lot of growing up to do just like us an I am not going to assume she’ll go mental until I see it happen. An let’s be honest, if I see it happen, I’ll probably be on the receiving end of it an incapable of stopping it. So, back to the story. We chased this kid up a building, around it, and then he jumped out of a window. Kid snapped his neck on the landing. It was horrible Patty, just terrible. Thankfully Jarvin was there to fix him, which he did and the runty kid is all better now. An Endolynn got her book. Turns out the psycho that attacked the Smith is intent on chasing after me (that’s another point in the “you’re gonna learn to fight and get better kit” box) to get a hold of the hammer. Aye, bad news for him that is. So, we asked the kid nicely where his employers were and he kindly showed us. I may have terrified the bejesus outta him but hey, least I didn’t set him on fire. So, these tits were holed up under a brothel. We showed up, they talked all smug to us an then we clobbered them. Point in our favour I’d say. Although, Endolynn in all her haste did trigger a roof collapsing trap. It’s a special day when you have a few ton of solid brick dropped on you.

All told, that was a bit of a bust of a day. After all was done we sent the last survivor of the ‘Laughers’ (that was the rogue guilds name) to the watch, and I went back to the inn and got drunk. Rolling on the floor drunk in fact. What can I say, I’d just had a literal house dropped on me, it was unpleasant and me lass wasn’t there to pat me head better.

So, when I awoke the next day I had the vague idea that Thamior had gone to recruit the Swans while I was getting drunk. Turns out, he did get to their inn just out of town. He caused a bit of a ruckus while he was there too. Broke some windows, everyone there had a good time all told. They must have, because they never noticed a vampire and his thieves steal into the inn and abduct Thamior and Bandabar. Best guess is they were after Bandabar, but I honestly thought it was this Seraphim git after my party mates. So, the next day after having a roof fall on me, we went looking for Thamior. At the inn we found the other members of the Golden Swans. These guys. I can’t honestly be certain if they even care about each other. When we explained that we thought they had been abducted, these guys reacted not even slightly. From the inn we came back into Longspear, and went to talk to our surviving Laugher. He was a right tit, but lass I’ll tell ya something far more vexing than a recalcitrant prisoner. In all of this writing, I haven’t pointed out how petulant Endolynn has started behaving. Over the course of my interrogation she managed to amuse the prisoner and let him feel powerful, and then when she was removed from the room for doing that she started screeching and banging on the door like a child. Normally I’m not all that fussed by Endolynn’s moods, but she flat out refused to shut up, and the prisoner straight up refused to cooperate after this. Worse yet, while I was attempting to bring Endolynn into line for her folly, the damned fool was exploded in his cell. Aye, you read that right. This Seraphim character popped this guy while no one was looking. Thankfully, before I knocked the guy out(honestly I nearly killed him, but everything else was proving to be less than effective at making him talk) he told us that the ‘Smilers’, a rival gang, had the look of this mess on their hands.

From there the day just got more frustrating. As we were all discussing what to do next, Endolynn just wandered off. She was gone for most of the day. She says she was looking for clues as to where the Smilers were, but she made absolutely no effort to keep in contact with us. When she finally did catch up with the rest of us, her party, she promptly got angry with us for leaving her behind, as if we were her keepers and were supposed to force her to stay with us every time she decided to throw a tantrum. I tell ya Patty, I’ve tried making her see what she’s doin wrong here, But every time I do she decides its someone else’s fault. It’s always jarvin’s fault for not listening, or Lysander’s fault for not speaking up, or my fault for not making them listen to her. Honestly, the only answer to all of this is to have everyone take a deep breath and relax. We all get excited, but we need to rein that in. I truly do see where Endolynn is coming from in all of this, but I tell ya Patty, her tantrums are not helping. At all, and in fact they are straight up startin to make me mad as a stuck goat.

I’m getting off topic here, but I needed to vent at least a little. I know you can’t help me on this, and since the others will never see this letter it won’t help them understand, but that also makes this the safest place for me to air out the only thing really bugging me about the last few days. It’s a bit of a touchy subject though, so I’m going to stop poking it and hope that everyone just chills out. So, on with the story. Our investigations of the day led us to a fella named Felix. As a rule of thumb I don’t much like slime, and this guy is the slimiest. He offered us one bad deal after another to tell us where our friends were. He wanted us to smuggle stuff for him, an if that wasn’t a good option there was always getting a lass we helped earlier this year to marry him or to give him my hammer. At that, I pretty much decided the most appropriate response to this jag off was violence. The problem was my party mates decided that wasn’t the most sensible option. They wanted to try bargaining with this git. An try they did. All sorts of nonsense was thrown around until they decided we could just convince Lillavida to smuggle some bauble and then break it when we had Thamior back. Aye, that’s right. Their plan was to convince our scary boss to help some slimy scum smuggle something, and then to tarnish her honour by smashing it later. Stupid tits. That was honestly the worst plan I could have conceived. I said as much too, but instead of bargaining in another way, this was the option they chose. So, with that in the back of my mind, I positioned myself in the meeting room to make as much of a ruckus as I could. This guy’s guards seemed pretty capable but we could have taken them.
Except I was on my own when I broke Felix’s piano. The only one that stood by me was Jarvin. Thankfully he aint as stubborn as me, and was able to drag us out of the mansions 3rd storey window. Incidentally I promptly fell on me arse which seems like appropriate karma to me. Felix’s guards didn’t pursue us beyond that. Not at all. Actually they are some of the most professional guys I’ve seen in a long time. I’m almost certain they would have just tossed us outside of his manse and let us live if Jarvin hadn’t shoved us out a window, so that’s always pretty cool. Still, we had a simple problem then, and I had a more complicated one.

My party was convinced the best option was to get Lillavida to carry this bauble till we got Thamior an Bandabar back. They were going to follow that path no matter what. I convinced them otherwise. I encouraged us to sell poor Ceseli to the tit on the island. She’s a young up an comer is Ceseli. She wants power, and money. You can see it in her. I imagine it’s because her mother did some pretty terrible things and she wants no one to ever be in control of her again. Still, Felix, scum that he is, presents her with an option she didn’t have before. Marry him, take his money, and move up in the world. That’s the deal we took her, though Endolynn did try to spin it as something else entirely. That wouldn’t have sat right with any of us, so I cleared it up and made us all honest as beggars. We needed her help, and it was an opportunity for her. She accepted, and Felix told us where to find our companions. I refuse to dwell much on this in as much as I can. I told her to send for us if he mistreated her, and I intend to stick to that, but otherwise I’m going to stay out of this business. So, on to the rogues for the final showdown. That’s what we figured it would be anyway.
Boy were we wrong. There hideout was in a small farm outside Longspear, under a broken down windmill. Well, I had learned from my previous misadventure at the hands of the thieves’ guild’s roof. So, I was careful. As a result, Lysander got excited an impatient, and promptly got skewered by a bunch of thieves lying in wait. He just couldn’t wait for us to suss out the door. Figured there wasn’t nothing on the other side worth worrying about and that we’d all look the fool after he ran in. Irony is a pretty sadistic bitch sometimes. Still, Lysander is my friend. So I protected him as best I could and we moved on. We rested for a while in that room, after wed secured it, but eventually we had to move further into this horror pit. It turned out it really was a horror pit. I dunno what kind of thieves’ guild this place once was, but when we went deeper into it we found some seriously messed up shit. Poor Bandabar. There was an insane torturer in this dungeon, and he did some terrible things to Bandabar. The gist of this place though is simple. There were vampires, and they made a bunch of blood fiends, and were drinking people dry. We responded with extreme prejudice in our attempts to free Thamior, and to a certain degree succeeded. Heh, it ended in a fantastic brawl in the middle of a storm though, that was pretty awesome. Well it would have been if the freaking vampire chit hadn’t tried to drain me dry. He bit me twice patty. It was horrid. I’ve never felt such nastiness. The guy was enjoying the taste of me, like I was a juicy strawberry or somethin. We managed to fend off most of his minions and he himself, but then he bugged out as a big ball of floating mist. That’s right, big ball of mist. Freakiest kinda thing I’ve seen in a while. Worse yet, the mist headed right on in to Longspear. According to Jarvin if we don’t break its coffin he’ll get right back up again in a few days. So were off to find him an his home tomorrow. Also Patty, don’t get mad at me but I got a couple of tattoos to remind me of that nastiness with the bite, so I don’t let it happen again.

So, here I am, back in the Badger and Hare, with a very big pint of beer and this letter to you. I’m going to send it with a boy in the morning so hopefully when it finds you I will have killed that forsaken beast an we can all go to bed safe and sound. So, till I see you again my love, wish me luck.

Signed,
Baldrin Weathering Smithson, the Stone Hammer.

p.s Thamior was fine. Asleep even. Absolutely unharmed though.

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Letter to Cassius #6

[Due to Endolynn’s blindness and fearing for her life, she insisted Lysander write a letter for her father for her while she dictated to him on the journey back to Longspear. After some hesitation, Lysander agreed.]

Dear Endolynn’s Father,

I am blind. I’m actually blind and I cannot see a thing. The last hour or so has been absolute Hell. We are all very sore, bleeding, riding our horses quietly back to Longspear for some much needed healing and sleep and just repairing our Wee Jas damn souls. Is there more out there in this world? Worse things than vampires and wolves and torture chambers? I sometimes wonder what I’ve gotten myself into, especially when spells can only go so far and then you lose your sight and BAM, you’re left with no way of defending yourself and hearing your party members in pain only makes things worse because you literally cannot do anything! I may sound like I’m being very dramatic, and I think my party members will agree that I may have a panicked a little bit too much…

[Baldrin chuckles]

But I couldn’t see anything! Nothing! It was all black! Okay, I get it Endolynn, you’re blind. Anyway, let me start from the beginning…

From where I left my last letter, which I know is still sitting in my bag to be sent to Abbeyvale along with this one now, we embarked on a journey further into the dungeon, after some much needed healing. We came across a series of metal doors which lead us to an apparent torture chamber. There was a hideous, mutilated man, who was in the process of torturing Bandabar, and along the wall were three iron maidens. Poor, poor Bandabar. He was not in good shape. His uh, mandhood had been removed, he was burnt, he looked terrible… We picked a fight with the torturer, and succeeded, even after he set fire to the floor of the room. My Lysander’s wolf was acting very strange, but I think we assumed it was the fire. While the others tried to patch up Bandabar, I inspected the iron maidens. They had… figures, inside them still, and when I looked in one and saw what appeared to be an elf, moving, alive, I immediately opened them thinking it was Thamior!

[whole party shakes their heads]

But no, there were these horrible beasts that came out and started attacking us, just like everything else that seemed to be around here. I tried to attack one but it swiped back at me. It seriously hurt. Baldrin stepped in but it wouldn’t back down. The others were fending off the two human-ish ones, but they were incredibly tough. Once they were down, I was still quite scared that they would come back. I mean, they had been dead before and risen to attack us, why wouldn’t they come back again? I really, really, really don’t like any of this undead stuff and don’t want to have anything to do with it, but no, it seems to be a recurring theme in my life at the moment.

We had a look at the cells in the room for Thamior, but they were locked. The torturer didn’t have a key on him or in his bedroom so we had to go looking elsewhere. We walked down a corridor with Baldrin checking for traps in the floor every step of the way. Luckily, because one part of the floor did fall through. Baldrin jumped over it while Jeremy found a lever in the wall that opened a secret door that allowed us to walk around the hole… But we still appreciate Baldrin’s help. Well, at least I did anyway.

[Baldrin: Thanks Lass.]

You know what’s weird? Having you guys hear all of this. No don’t write that! We came into this room with curtains lining the walls and found a few doors after I so gracefully ripped all the curtains down. One of the doors lead to a bedroom. It was beautiful, elegant, and my goddess did that bed look comfortable. We had a look at the bookshelf and found a secret entrance to another three rooms! Jeremy went ahead and opened one and… It poisoned him. Luckily I had a potion that fixed him up pretty much straight away, and I cautiously opened the next door with my sleeve over my hand. We found gold! Sweet glorious gold! But how the hell were we meant to carry it out of the dungeon?

I Lysander then so graciously informed us that there were bad guys in the next room, and he had seen them and shut the door on them. Well, they knew we were here now, so we prepared ourselves for the onslaught. I hid behind a door with Jarvan so we could both shoot, and when we busted that door open we both hit someone! Yay! And that was about the time I got hit with a spell that made me blind. I had no idea what was going on around me, everything had just gone black and I called out to everyone that I couldn’t see, so I huddled up and they protected me while I had a little freak out on the ground. I felt around, to see where I was, and grabbed Baldrin’s leg, which I’m not sure he appreciated. I wanted to help, I wanted to fight, but I was so confused. I think everyone else managed just fine though, and Lysander was enlisted as my helper, my seeing eye assistant. I feel sorry for him, really, poor thing had to babysit the blind wizard.

I felt my way through and we came to him, the horrible evil person/thing/undead person thing that did all of this. Well, maybe, we’re not quite sure just yet, but he was definitely behind a lot of it. A vampire. A bloody vampire, pardon my language Father. I couldn’t even see him, so I just reminded everyone of how I was blind, and couldn’t see, but apparently they got the key from him to get Thamior out of one of those cells in the torture chamber, yay? No one seemed very excited, I think we were all really scared, because this definitely wasn’t the end of it. We rescued Thamior and patched him up, and the others killed a few more of the undead beasts (ghouls apparently) that were in the other cells. I stayed out of the way of this, what with me being blind and useless and all. YES LYSANDER, I AM STILL VERY UPSET OVER THIS. NO, STOP WRITING.

We went back out to the first room near the entrance and came across the chef of the Laughers standing over a body. He was quite distraught but we really didn’t have time to stop and sort anything out, nor did anyone seem very interested in it anyway. So we went back up the stairs and we wanted to just get on our horses and go back to Longspear but no, there was the bad guy, the vampire, and he called werewolves. Bloody werewolves. I felt like I was in one of those terrifying stories you and Alistair used to tell me to tease me when I got scared. Now it was actually happening. Lysander managed to capture a lot of the foes in the weeds he brings up from the ground, which was very helpful, but I didn’t know where to aim my spells or anything. I tried to throw Alchemist’s Fire at them which was a little bit successful, but I had gotten lucky. I also tried to cast a spell, with the help of Lysander pulling my arms in the right direction, but it was very difficult. I could hear Baldrin in pain, Jarvan was in pain, everyone was trying their hardest to fight them off. We managed to fend them off for now and got on our horses and right now, we are currently on our way home. Apparently, although I didn’t see, the vampire had vanished as a cloud of gas. I need to do some research when we get back on how one gets rid of a vampire, because I think everyone is keen to hunt him down and kill him.

But first, I need to return to my temple to get my eyesight fixed. I thought the spell would wear off but apparently it is permanent. My friends neglected to tell me this because they thought I would freak out. Yeah, I freaked out, but they insist that it is fixable. If it’s not, I’m not sure what I will do… (Endolynn is crying, so excuse her for a moment, she cries a lot, but I’m sure you know that. – Lysander)

The mood is a little depressing at the moment, I think we all just want to get to bed and rest. Until next time, Father.

I love you always.

[Lysander: Endolynn, that is really weird to write]

Endolynn

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Letter to Cassius #5

Dear Father,

[the pages are tear stained and the handwriting is a little shaky, written with a trembling hand]

I write this sitting on the floor in the corner of a now bloody room underneath some kind of windmill on a farm in the middle of Wee Jas know’s where… I’m writing this letter not even knowing if I will get it to you, because at the moment, to be completely honest, I am scared that we might never get out of here. The place is filled with thieves and bandits and I’m not sure how we get out or if we’re going to be attacked again. But our friends are in trouble and we need to save them. Thamior and Bandabar were taken last night by a group called The Laughers. I’m not sure if you remember but last time I wrote we had some trouble with the group, The Smilers. They’re rivals but I think that Serafim has hired both of these groups to cause problems for us, and now they’ve taken our friends and it has been Hell just trying to find out where they were.

We woke this morning and set off almost straight away to the inn that The Golden Swans own to collect Thamior, who was going to go and find their group to bring back so we could all head off on Lillavida’s trip together. We went upstairs and asked people whether they knew where Thamior was. Unfortunately I regretted knocking on people’s door when I came quite literally eye to eye with the uh, genitalia of a giant half-orc and I quickly turned on my heel and went to continue this investigation. Eventually we found their room and the window had been smashed, which we had noticed from the outside of the building. When looking outside the broken window I found a card, a calling card as such, with a smiling, winking face on it. We needed to head to the garrison to deal with the interrogation of one of the members of The Laughers from the evening before, so we decided to head there first. Jeremy, a member of the Swans joined us as well.

The first conflict between our party for the day… Argh. I went in to help with the interrogation and this promptly ended with Baldrin picking me up by the shoulders and kicking me out of the room. I was very unhappy with this. I was simply trying to help because I feel like I am a lot better as speaking to people sometimes but no, they did not appreciate or want my help but I suppose I did overreact a little bit. I just want to feel like I’m more a part of the big moments we face as a party. I wish I was a little more included. But regardless, this put me in a bit of a bad mood for the rest of the afternoon. We were waiting outside after Baldrin apparently “violently interrogated” our prisoner and suddenly there was a scream from inside the building. We hurried in and found a message on the wall, blood, organs, all of the shreds of a body but the skeleton… It was a terrifying site. It was Seraphim though. It’s a scary thought, that we are dealing with someone so powerful. It is half the reason I am so terrified at the moment. What if all of this is to do with Seraphim and we’re going to be stuck down here, helpless?

As my party discussed what we were going to do next I took things into my own hands and went off alone to find information on the hideouts of The Laughers. I was trying to be helpful and perhaps a little bit spiteful. I swear I was just trying to use my initiative. I found some information on Felix LeCarte, who The Laughers dealt with, but decided it was unsafe to go by myself, so I went back to the garrison and, surprise, my party had gone off without me. At least they were heading to the same place, so I hired a boat and headed over to Felix’s grand house on an island in the middle of the river.

The house was extravagant, and LeCarte had many servants and guards. When I walked in my fellow party members and Jeremy were already there. They explained to me that LeCarte had offered a few compromises. He would give us the information we needed if we either got Lillavida to deliver an artefact on her journey (potentially dangerous), got Ceseli’s hand in marriage for him or paid him an exorbitant amount of money. After getting nothing from the others I took his first offer, but he said he needed collateral from us, and that’s where things got complicated and… uncomfortable. I didn’t want to hand over my spellbook or Fae, but Lysander seemed okay about giving both Wolf and himself up, but we weren’t happy with him going, but then we said he could hand over Wolf if he really wanted to, and it got very confusing… Baldrin was mad and in turn, smashed the leg off the piano in the room. This just made LeCarte mad and we were all kicked out and Baldrin and Jarvan stayed to fend off the guards. They ended up jumping out of the window and we were all together again. We headed off to an inn to talk through our differences, and decided we would talk to Ceseli and see what she thought about marrying LeCarte. After all, he does have an awful lot of money.

We headed over and after talking to Ceseli, thankfully openly and honestly thanks to Baldrin (my method wasn’t working very well; “Have you thought about dating?”). She actually complied and she handed over a wedding ring as her offer to LeCarte. We were quite shocked and I feel partly guilty that she is marrying a man she doesn’t love, so he can get what he wants from her. I think she felt obliged, because she said it was to thank us for saving her life… But she shouldn’t feel obliged. Even when you get the solution you want sometimes, you still feel bad about it, but I suppose you will never be able to make everyone you care about happy. It’s proving to be more and more difficult as life goes on…

We went back and gave LeCarte the ring and he gave me a card with the address for this farm and a key that opened this hollow beneath the windmill. And here we are. We have just fought off a group of thieves, my magic is running out for the day, people are hurt, our friends are still missing and I don’t know what we’re going to do next. I didn’t want to continue any further without writing this letter, because I am scared, but I am so thankful to have a strong party who always sticks together, no matter what differences come up. I’m hurting, my arm is sore and I am tired. Where will we go from here? What else awaits us? I can only hope we will make it out okay.

With all my love,

Endolynn signature

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Baldrin's Journal Entry #9
im going to regret all the beer in the morning...

So ade,just a quick update on whats been happening for the last few days. Feels like weeks for me though, and im a tad drunk

[At this last sentence you cant help but scoff. The writing on the page is slanted like the book had been held sideways, and there are big drops of ink as if the author had pondered every phrase with a pen held just above the page]

and clumsy. Anywho, I have agreed, with my fellows, to undertake a two year journey with Lillavide Banes. I know, seems a bit mad to me too. There I was, convinced I should go put a stop to this war before it gets out of hand, and now im saying something completely different. Well, that’s life, and Lillavida needs our help. More maddening than that though is that Patty insists on travelling with me. Aye, that’s right. My mad lass, that copped an axe in the back, insists she is to come adventuring. So, its probably a good thing that im not off to war really. Though I am worried about her, to be honest the longer I ponder it the happier I am. I mean, my girls coming with me… and I think on that note I may leave the journal here an go to bed. I was in a bit of a mess today with a parade and falling out of a building and having a building fall on me, and could do with the bed rest all told.

So, signing off, hopefully not for the last time,
Baldrin Weathering Smithson, Of the Stone Hammer.

[at the bottom of this page, there seems to be a pool of ink that’s been smooshed around and made an imprint that looks almost like a face. At the bottom of the imprint, where you would expect a mouth is a small pool of watermarking as if someone fell asleep and drooled on their journal…]

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Letter to Cassius #4

Dear Father,

Revelations as of late: Well, we’ve been hired by Lillavida, to escort her on a journey up to Celene. The catch? It’s going to take a while… But I suppose everyone back home is kind of used to me leaving for months by now, so I hope you’re not too upset by this… It’s important that I go, and I’ll explain all the details.

I woke up the other morning in Little Tipping, very early, after a night of celebrating the new year. I would have preferred to have slept in of course, and not be awoken by Jarvan before the sun even rose, of course… But there was a banging at my door and there was Jarvan, and apparently a man was downstairs or something. I don’t know, I shut the door and went back to sleep. Again, he tried, to no avail. I was very tired! Well apparently they all went off to get Baldrin from Patty’s or something, because next I know they’re all knocking at my door to get me out of bed. I obliged, and stomped off downstairs in my pyjamas to see what all this fuss was about. There was a young boy, probably about my age, perhaps a bit younger. He told us he had been sent by Lillavida to come for us, and that we needed to go back to the hamlet and The Arrow at Rest. Boy did he seem obsessed with our group… But after being so rudely awakened (and slightly hungover), I was not in the mood for his incessant questions and admiration for us. But in the end we got on our horses and headed for The Arrow at Rest.

We got there to find out that the boy is just a merchant sent by Lillavida. A very merchant, though. Lillavida was packing up and leaving her daughters to run the inn. Everything was in caravans and there were so many. Much to my surprise, Lillavida told me that she did in fact know who my mother was. Apparently she had gone with Lillavida’s husband back up the North, that was the last time Lillavida saw her husband as well, and that’s what the journey is! I’m quite good at segues Father, really.

Lillavida is planning on taking the same journey her husband took up the North. She hired us, as well as The Golden Swans, as her body guards essentially. We took up this opportunity and set off for Longspear to see The Golden Swans. Travelling is getting much easier now with the horses. I must say though, Longspear was not much of a pleasant experience this time… As we were walking through the city today after spending the night at The Badger and Hare, a young boy stole my bag and ran off through the crowd. I don’t think my party fully understands how angry this made me, and why. My spellbook was in my bag, and I thought I had kept it safe but this boy had just taken it and I felt so violated. I think I was in shock but as I screamed my party pulled through and took off after the kid. I lagged behind; I was in absolute tears and my heart was in my throat. Thamior got in front and had caught up to the boy before he ran off again, over a wall and into a building. I had tried to cast a spell, Magic Missile, fuelled by my anger, and it hit the boy but he took the book out of my bag and ran off with it! I couldn’t believe it! He knew exactly what to take from me to cause me so much pain and heartache. There are two things people would never wish to take from me: My spellbook and Fae. Anyone who does needs to suffer the consequences of their actions after I have my possessions (or cat) back in my hands.

We caught him after knocking him over some stairs, but he was unfortunately okay, just terrified. He told us a group called The Smilers had paid him to take my bag. My bag specifically! MY BOOK! I was so angry, so filled with rage. He showed us the way to their headquarters and we headed in, after first accidentally disturbing a brothel, oops. We went downstairs and there were some scary looking men in there… I was so angry, I stormed up to them and started yelling at them, which lead to a conflict… But we were okay. By the end of it we had one locked up, one was dead… And we headed further into the other room. I wasn’t thinking clearly, I just barged in and set off a trap. The wall in the main room came down and more of the thugs started coming through. It was here, Dad, and I’m not proud of this, that I single-handedly, violently, brutally, killed a man on my own, and I went into shock. I cast a spell that I hadn’t had much practice with, it hit him the head and… Oh sweet magic of Wee Jas, I couldn’t deal with it. He was gone, his head was gone. I walked back upstairs and sat down and hyperventilated. I think I’m still a bit shaken up.

It is clear to me that I don’t fully comprehend how powerful my magic is getting and the consequences it has. But I’m going to have to get used to it though, if I plan on adventuring any longer… I love it, so much, and I love my magic but wow, I did not know that I could do that to a man. I think I have some thinking to do, and perhaps a bit of training to make sure I have these kind of spells under control.

I hope you’re well back home. It might be hard to contact me from now on as I set off on this journey but I promise I will still write.

Love,

Endolynn signature

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Libris Pious

As you approach the book on the pedestal you feel a great sense of presence and the feeling as though something is looking into your soul. Looking down at the book you see the words Libris Pious flash across the cover and as you open it, the journey begins……

You see a great deal of images flash before your eyes. a Temple of Heironeous on a dark night and a baby left on its steps, you feel the conviction of the young man you see before you as he trains and hones him self to serve his order and you feel the joy and excitement of a wedding as the young man is married to a woman. but in between all these thoughts and memories there are moments of pain and sadness as people die and the young man ‘fails’ to save them. until the blur suddenly stops for some reason on a rather mundane event that happened in the City of Longspear and you can feel yourself being drawn into the event…..

“Hey guys!” I yell noticing the young kid grabbing Endolyns bag and beginning to run off with it. Not looking to see if they were following me i yell back, “This kid stole Endolyns bag!” I point the kid out just as he disappears in the crowd and I begin chasing him. As I chase him down, Thamior manages to get ahead and almost collar the kid but after he jumps on top of a float in the parade heading through Longspear, he dissappeared down one of the alleys leading off the main road, and I cant beleive it as he scales the side of a building and climbs through a window. After following the kids route up which was rather hard wearing my armour, I manage to get up and see the kids run through a doorway following him down the hallway he begins heading down several flights of stairs, I cant catch him by following him down that way so I jump over the railing and land in front of him, the kids freaks out and runs out a side door way, as I follow him out, I see him on the ground a few feet below you with his neck twisted at a rather disturbing angle, pressing my hand down on top of him I close my eyes and offer a short prayer to Sehanine Moonbow and her holy energy flows through me and into the kid his neck sets back right and his eyes open, I prevent him from escaping and I manage to get out of him that the ‘Smilers ’ had hired him to steal Endolyns bag specifically because it had her spell book in it. As Endolyn cradles the bag and her book, I feel hurt that she doenst thank me for noticing and pointing out the thief, and it hurts more because she is always the first one to point out all the things I do that seem to in her and the parties mind ’inconvenience’ them but this time when I did something right she doesnt seem to notice, its like my supposed ‘flaws’ stick out more then the good I achieve, its like with Baldrin he doesnt seem to understand sometimes the reason why I dont kill people and then gets annoyed when I dont its not just because its my code but because to me every life is precious and Lysander well no one can ever really tell with that boy. Anyway after that we track down the ‘Smilers’ and talk to their leader they attack us, we manage to defeat the guild of thieves and capture some of them alive, And Endolyn directly kills her first person, she seems horrified and shocked at what she has just done, I deicide that I will have to talk to her and find out how she is feeling because the first time can be the most diffcult, not that it ever gets any easier well not for me anyway but still, she probably needs some comfort. As we head back to the Nadger and Hare we decide that tomorrow we will go and see the Golden Swans about Liliavidas offer since that was what we had originally come to LongSpear to do….

As the books closes, the person steps back and walks away, unsure of these images and memories, and what they mean…….

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Baldrin's Journal Entry #8
Bearowl tastes a bit like beef and chicken....

Quick one for the day, off to see Patty. So, If my plans for the future aren’t too far off the mark, the last memory I leave you will be of me and Patty going into her cottage for some engagement celebrating that involved an awful lot of champagne. I know it seems odd to be despairing and then ask someone to marry you, but I cant bear to lose anyone, and if I lose her again I want to know I made a go of it first. So, this small aside is a story that happened a few days after my last memory to you. While it seems inconsequential, its had me up thinking for the better part of a week. So some context.

I awoke with Patty to some banging on the door. Turns out Alara Silverwing, the wife of the shopkeep Samuel Silverwing had been murdered in the evening. Torn apart actually. Left in a field outside of town like a piece of discarded meat. Another tragedy to befall my home because of this ruddy war down south. See, there’s a bunch of right twats making a stir in the south trying to claw a part of the league out from under us, so the parliament sent all it had south to protect them. An that meant no one was left in the countryside to protect the poor locals. An Alara paid for it. So, with my fellows in tow, we went to find the beast that had attacked her, hoping to make Little Tipping as safe as we could. Lysander an his pup must be practicing the tracking, couse the little Wolf managed to find the den of this beast with very effort. So, set into a cliff was a small cave. Inside the cave rested the beast. An there was us, a faithful band of adventurers. Well, us and Thamior an Patty. Thamior seems pretty tough for a gem cutter. Probably a good thing since it seems he is intent on leaving the Smith to search for a way to bring his children back from the dead. Seems a noble enough goal to me, since we share it.

Anyway, you be curious about the beast. Well, so were i. Except Patty was there, and I had already seen her die once in the past year. Not again I tell myself every night as I dream of that event, and here it was, possibly happening again. Ya see, Patty is a strong willed lass. Hell, she’s stronger willed than I be, by a very great margin. Nigh unshakeable, and stubborn to boot. If ye tell er one thing, she will undoubtably do its opposite a split second latter, so I had no choice but to bring her along. An that gave me a right dilemma, which I solved by staying directly in front of her as we moved in to the cave. What, ye expect me to argue with that hell beast Ade, you mad. No, she had decided she was coming an that was final. So, I simply made sure nothing else got to her. As we moved into the dark of the cave with nothing but thamior’s torch, I felt a pang of regret about bringing her. I cant let her come when I leave Ade, I know she’ll pitch a fit, but I cant handle it. So, as we moved into the dark, we could smell the foul beasts stench. It was overpowering, and spread about us like some foul miasma. Smelled of old socks and rotting meat. Just rank, I tell ya now Ade. As we moved further into the cave, we could hear the breathing of some large thing ahead of us. As we came closer to the end of the cave, the breathing grew louder. Like the beat of a drum, or the pounding of a giants footsteps. As we got closer, I couldn’t tell if it were the beast or my own heart I heard, but by all the gods it was loud. As we came out into an opening in the cave, we heard the beast first. The cave itself were covered in bones and rotting meat, with the blood smeared over the walls and pieces of bone and gore stuck to the roof. It was like a scene out of some demented hellspawns dreams it were. An at the heart of it crouched a giant thing. Big as a bear, but with the head of an owl.

I know, right. Sounds ruddy stupid to me. When you go into a cave you expect a bear, or a hell beast. A bear owl though, that definitely aint something you expect. It’d be like if you went into a chest of treasure, only to have it eat you. Just not a normal thing to expect, but I swear it be true. Obviously, the owl head was bear proportioned. Still, twas a bearowl, an make no mistake Ade, it was pissed off. It came charging in roaring, an poor Lysander an Thamior caught the brunt of the beasts charge. As I tried to wack it with my hammer, it moved and I took a chunk out of the cave instead. Even as it ambled towards Lysander to attack for a second time, an arrow from patty thudded into its haunches. As I stared, the ruddy thing brought its full attention to bear on Patty. Thamior and Endolynn threw spells at this thing as fast as they could. The dark cave suddenly lit up in an explosion of light, an as it did so I saw the beast begin to move towards my lass. I nearly froze then an there. I was between it an her, but not enough near enough to stop it. If I didn’t act, the ruddy thing would be on her in moments. It was like all of the terrifying memories of the past crashed in on me at once, and all I felt was anger. How dare this ‘thing’ look at my lass like she was lunch. How dare it even consider taking her away from me again. In a moment of intense concentration, I brought all my strength to bear on the beast and smashed it so hard it crashed into the wall and slumped to the ground. I followed it up with a second hit to the chest. The beast lay where it fell, dead as it deserved.

The rest of the day passed in a blur. Endolynn, Lysander and Thamior went to inform the farmers the beast were dead. From there they went and told poor Samuel of the beasts death. Me an Jarvan carried it back to the inn for the slaughter. I know Ade, im sure you object. I certainly know Endolynn and Thamior did. “it’s a horror Baldrin, you can’t feed it to people” and “you’ll make people sick, its an abomination” was all I could hear on the trip back to Little Tipping. Still, feed it we did. Fact is, we’re sensible folk, and sensible folk don’t waste food. The Bearowl tasted fine, an no one suffered for it. Ole Bob did a right good job of preparing it, and because of him everyone at the Smith fed well. So that was that. On a side note, youll never guess who the guinee pigs for our bearowl were. Aye, told ya, twas the Golden Swans. They be a month an a half late, but they came to help us. I appreciate it an all, but still we had to try the food on someone, and Bandabar be capable enough to fix em if they got sick. Anyway, there was still the problem of where the owl had come from.

Now, the rest of this tale takes a lighter note than the last half, but I want you to remember something. All of the following nonsense killed a lady. No matter how amusing it sounds, don’t knock the poor lasses memory just couse its funny. Ill honestly say it is amusing though. So, there has been a tower in Little Tipping for the last few months. No one knows where it came from, and no one thought to climb in and find out. Fair enough, sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, but who’s to question the Watch. So, we knocked. Seems like a likely place to find a mad wizard to me, an we knocked to find out. No front door to speak of though, so everyone decided to climb the tower. Aye, you ‘eard me, they climbed it. Four stories, possibly death on a fall, and they wanted to climb it. Personally, I wanted to knock a hole in the wall but they wouldn’t wait for me, so I stripped me armour and climbed too. Obviously I didn’t fall to my death. Still could have though, an seems a stupid risk when you have a giant hammer, but what have you.

Inside, we found a floor full of cages for wild beasts. One of them was even large enough to hold the Bearowl. There was a rather strange animal on this level too. Looked like someone had mixed a duck an rabbit together. Horrible mess really. So, the next level was a bedroom. Fair enough. Except that half the furniture and a glass of pickles were enchanted to act like angry pitbulls when someone came into the room. Seriously, a pillow nearly stuffed itself whole into Thamior’s gullet, and a grandfather clock tried to bust my skull open. They nearly succeeded to. You can see why this story is starting to have relevance. Fact is, I dunno what the world looks like in your time, but if I have anything to say about it Magic is going to be a rare and respected quality, not something insane people can just fuck the world up with. So, down the stairs some more, and guess who we found. Aye, Thalassoss the Daft. Dressed in god knows what. Acting like a loon. We can only presume that the actions of this insane wizard were a result of the clothes he was wearing. From memory, he had a single glove on, some panties and a girdle, with some form of long johns underneath. We presume the clothes were responsible since, in the course of trying to take them off Thamior blew the wizard up and, while unconscious mind you, he continued to attack us. Now, I don’t condone Thamior’s actions, and I accept that Thalassoss probably wasn’t responsible for the atrocities of the evening, but still, it was satisfying to see the ignoramous hurt. Fact is, he’s flat out irresponsible. For his crimes against Little Tipping(specifically squatting on others property) we sent him to Longspear with the Golden swans to be tried by the courts. Honestly, I expect he’ll get off. That aint the point though. I hope this has been a warning to the foolish git about the consequences of his actions, and for his sake I hope I never find him again. You may be wondering why this post seems to end so abruptly. Fact is, stripping an old man of his clothes aint something I like to think of, and the rest of the stories pretty dull. There was a cat stuffed into a cage above a vat of acid for some inane reason. An in all of the fetching it down, nothing terrible happened except I realised we should listen to Endolynn more (though that aint terrible to be honest). The watch wasn’t gonna do much with the wizard, so we sent him with the Swans. An yet, after all of this I think ive come to two very important conclusions. The first is this:

I will not suffer any irresponsible magic users to live.

I don’t say this lightly mind. Obviously im not about to start murdering people because they played a prank, but I will warn them. I don’t think I can simply pass judgment on those that I personally deem irresponsible. An yet, isn’t that what paladins do every other day. I mean, jarvin’s rules are esoteric, and mildly constrictive to all of us, but he lives by them. Other’s are locked up regularly by them, and I have no doubt that if push came to shove people would die because of them. Why are the paladins of the world capable of deciding who lives and who dies, but the rest of us aren’t. I dunno Ade, I still must think on this. However, I believe this may be a step down a road that I cannae come back from. We will see I suppose.

The other thing I decided is that I must move south, and bring this war to an end. My brother Jaquen fights even as I write this, and the war is responsible for peoples deaths, not just on the front. If I can bring it to an end sooner, then maybe more people can be saved.
So, signin off for now,
Baldrin Smithson, the stone hammer

[The following page seems to be covered in memory dust. Even as you enter into the memory, you understand that it happened in the days after the previous post of the journal]

The memory fades in on a young man with dark hair that flashes red as he moves. The light jerkin he wears shows signs of hard use, and his pants are dusty. The time of the memory is just on dawn. As the young man moves through a serious of complicated warm up moves you notice his muscles are hard, and take up the majority of his mass. His eyes are closed as he moves through a series of actions that can only be thought of as well practised. Behind him, and around him, The Smith On The Hill stands rebuilt. Not quite up to the greatness of its past, the wood of the buildings seems new and well treated. The outlying wall is complete, and wide enough to have constructs move around it. Beyond that you know is another wall. As you move your focus back to the young man, you notice him pick up a massive six foot tall stone hammer. He doesn’t seem to have noticed you watching him yet. Eyes still closed, he moves into a basic pattern where he rolls the hammer over his arm, brings it up behind him and then launches into a flurry of swings before him. As he moves, the patterns begin to get more complicated and he moves through a series of steps allowing him to ‘strike’ out in multiple directions. As you watch he moves through a number of vertical strikes and uppercuts with the hammer, punctuated with sudden stops and even more strikes with other parts of his body. As the patterns get more complicated, his face begins to contort with concentration. Over the next half an hour you watch the young man move through these routines of movement with the massive hammer. All you feel towards him is love and tolerance for all his quirks. This is your man, and no one will ever take him away from you. As you think these things, you slowly turn the ring on your finger, and think of the future.
[The memory slowly fades. At the bottom of the page is some cramped writing. As you focus on it, you can just make out the words, “a present from me to you, for my hammer. Live a strong life Ade, whoever you are”]

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