I have decided to chronicle my current happenings, firstly for my own reflection, but also for the edification of others pondering what had become of me.
I am Movalyn, seventh sired of primarch scholar and archeologist Rashrious. I imagine that many would say that my life of privilege living as the daughter of such a man would be a life worth cleaving unto. I also imagine that some who read this account may see me as some spoiled child for having such a strong desire to leave such a life. But in truth, the constant moralizing and lecturing of my father, with his obtuse adherence to nonsensical arcane traditions, coupled with strong compulsions within me driving me toward a more meaningful life, all acted with great impetus upon me. Upon reaching my one hundred and nineteenth year I could bear life at the manse no longer and took action to leave.
My Father had given each of his children a scroll of teleportation. His belief was that should we find ourselves in some sort of strife we would be able to use it to escape to the safety of home. My plan was to use the teleportation scroll to travel as far away from the manse as possible. One of the ridiculous prohibitions that my father had embraced was against the magical school of divination. This being the case, I was confident that once I had left he would not use magic to find my new location. This was important to me. One thing my father abhors more than freedom of thought is not having control over his offspring. He would do his best to chastise me and bring me back into submission once he knows that I am gone. For this reason I have decided to travel to a land that is obscure, insignificant, and populated by people who are of no consequence.
The land of Narfell seemed the ideal destination.
Mere moments after using the scroll and arriving in the land of Narfell I realized the folly of my decision. After arriving at a crossroads, I followed the directions of a crudely constructed sign south toward the barbaric hamlet of Norwick. There I was greeted by bloated bodies hanging from a set of gallows. It was a fitting welcome, summing up the fears and paranoia of the town's boorish inhabitants.
I have escaped to a land filled with halfwits, dwarves and imbeciles.
I feel that maybe it would have been better for me to have simply committed suicide.
This is my second entry into what I'm sure will become the chronicle of a wasted life. I have done my best to fit in with Norwick's dim minded peasantry. For now I am staying at an inn called "The Grape Vine". It is run by women who formerly were members of a fellowship called the Sisterhood of the Crimson Glove. These women attempted to be great in the land, Promoting power and influence amongst women. But like all dreams in these lands, their goals came to nothing. Now they wait on tables and serve meals to travellers.
In my attempt to fit in, I even stooped so low as to help a child find chicken eggs in a thicket. Another farmer's spawn I helped by "milking" a cow, a disgusting experience that I hope not to repeat.
Is this what my life has come to? Am I doomed to become a waiter in some tavern or some dim farmer's wife? I will endeavor to save my destiny from such pathetic ends.
From time to time I have observed "adventurers" coming through Norwick. I have always looked upon such as utter dullards, and my current observations have done little to dispel that view. I am however intrigued by two things concerning the manner of their life. Firstly, that there seems to be an undeniable vigor in their spirits. Watching them blow in and out of town is like watching ships on an ocean. Some mysterious wind is in their sails that drives them into situations that any thinking person would avoid. But rather than becoming overcome with timidity in the face of obvious peril, they seem energized by it.
The second thing I have noticed is that if there is any prestige or advancement to be had in these bleak lands it is through "adventuring". I have not seen any other avenue of upward social mobility, and feel I am unlikely to see any in the foreseeable future.
So, I am considering a "life of adventure". I am not sure if this is a decision born from clarity, or if some of the stupidity of the local population has somehow rubbed off onto me and infected my mind with crass ideas. For this reason I shall give the idea some time, either to flourish into action or to die at the tyrannical hands of reason.
Today I visited the general goods store and purchased a back pack, along with a bed roll and other "out door supplies". I also have a crossbow, with almost a hundred quarrels. Along with my spell components and staff I feel well equipped to face whatever lies beyond the south gate - the gate which I hear is a portal to perilous lands.
From what I understand, this "adventuring" business is a reasonably simple affair. One simply ventures out "looking for trouble", blundering into it hopefully with enough power to return home alive with booty and an interesting story to tell.
Even with the weapons training that is traditional amongst my people, I am not a fighting person by anyone's standards, no matter how low they may be. But my training in the arcane arts renders me far from being powerless.
Tomorrow shall be the day. I will venture out tomorrow.
I went down to the south gate today, and promptly returned to the inn. It turns out that one needs to be prepared not only physically but also emotionally. The fear that gripped me showed too well that I had barriers in my mind to overcome before I walk down this path.
Here I sit in the Grape Vine, surrounded by drunken farmhands, waiters and other lowly people. People who share my current state of cowardice, who are kept safe by individuals with more emotional fortitude that we possess.
I am convinced that our emotions are a product of our mind. Our experience, coupled with our existing beliefs, react together to create a physical sensation in our bodies. This being the case I have determined to unravel my fears through reason, to defeat them with the application of undeniable truths.
Many plans and lives come to nothing because they rage against things that cannot be changed. Some things are true and will remain so despite all our efforts and wishful thinking. Even gods cannot change some things. So rather than become the victims of these truths, I will embrace them. I will make them allies in my mind.
The first truth: I will die. Either as a result of violence, or illness, or through the toll of time, my body will eventually give up my spirit for the last time, and my spirit will not return to it. This is an undeniable truth. But my mind attempts to deny it constantly. It refuses to die. With ever ounce of it's strength my mind and my body rage against this truth. So I will embrace my mortality. I will throw my arms around death as a lover encircles her beloved. For whether I die with status and wealth or in obscurity like a peasant, either way I will be utterly forgotten. The universe will continue on as if I had never existed. My death is as meaningful as my life. I will reckon myself already dead, for in a way I am. It is only my position in time that makes me otherwise.
Second truth: Upward advancement is purchased with toil. I was oblivious to this truth for many many years. Living a life of privilege, where my advancement was paid for by others, it is only now that I see that if I am to rise above my current existence then effort needs to be applied. And applied in the right place. The farm hand toils, but does not rise above his station in life because his toil is misplaced. Rather than destroy those things in the way of his advancement his sweat purchases the advancement of others. The farm owner becomes wealthy while the worker remains in poverty. The peril beyond the gates of safety, the "monsters" - they stand in between me and my advancement. They must be destroyed if I am to rise.
Third truth: Power cannot be created or destroyed. It can only change from one form, or from one person to another. Whatever power I need to advance currently resides elsewhere. It is in other people. It is in the hearts of "monsters". It is in knowledge I am yet to attain. Whatever power I have must be used to attain more power. Power must be taken. It won't be given. It won't fall into my lap. And if it must be taken so that I may increase, then it will be lost by others, and they will decrease. Pity and mercy and charity are enemies to this truth.
I will go through the gates tomorrow.
((OOC: Pretty much a cut and paste from the Historical Archives thread. I'm hopping to continue her chronicles here.))
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
I continued my studies into social interactions today by joining a "conversation" taking place near the entrance of the Mermaid Inn.
It was a conversation I felt worthy of interest mainly because it was between people of significance. One a princess, another - if I summed him up correctly - a priest of Mystra, another a druid.
The level of the conversation was nauseatingly obtuse however. Even going over the notes I took during the conversation was difficult for me, as if my own intellect was somehow becoming soiled by the dullness of their pointless talk. I shall not recount the bulk of what they were saying lest I somehow become more stupid by doing so.
However, my encounter did bear some fruit. Of note was the contempt for the system of justice currently presiding over the city. A recent murder case did not go the way the princess felt it should, and she was quite vocal in her slander against the Magistrate. This is noteworthy since the flow of my current studies is on the "morality" attributed to various flows of energy within the consciousness. A sense of justice is at the base of most systems of morality, and once that is eroded I believe the regular patterns become unstable.
A manifestation of this fact manifest itself soon after the princess' calumny of the magistrate. A child approached the gathering, unaccompanied by an adult.
From what I could gather from the conversation from that point, the child had previously been a squire in the Order of Divine Shield, but had recently been promoted to the station of Knight.
Instantly I recalled the child soldiers recruited by the Zhentarim.
Generally a society will order itself in such a way as to protect its young and women, and puts it's more expendable members - males - on the line between the society and the forces that threaten it. It is only in the most desperate of times that children are recruited into military service, and even then it is considered by most to be a grave collapse of it's moral structure.
And yet the moral decay of the city seems to be at such a state where it is not horrified by a child knight.
As I pondered this scenario, it occurred to me that the issue revolved around the "value" that most put on a life. The norm is for the reproductive nest of society - consisting of females and the young - to be of higher "value" than that of adult males. This value structure can be dismantled however, sometimes by desperation, but also by the strength of religious fanaticism. I use the term "fanaticism" not in a negative sense, but in the context where beliefs or a cause are seen as having it's own value, and a value that is higher not only than that of the lives of those who hold to those beliefs, but also the value of the reproductive nest.
Should this child knight die, would they despise themselves for having placed it in danger? not at all. With the presence of the valued religious belief the death of the child would be seen as a heroic act to be emulated by other children. And thus the recruiting of more tender solders would be more likely to succeed.
The genius of it. It was like a diamond tipped arrow passing through my mind. We consider "murder" to be a crime, but only because the life of the victim has value in our social system. Once life has no value - even the value of a child - then there is no more "murder".
((opening quote: Friedrich Nietzsche))
(("Diamond Arrow" stolen from Marlon Brado's monologue from Apocalypse now - https://youtu.be/mPPGMNOLaMw ))
[[edit - sorry for typos and bad grammar. very sick at the moment. And again - no disrespect intended toward the players of the characters I met today. You're all fantastic.]]
"Our persona defines our social identity; it is constructed in relation to the roles we play in our lives and in our world, how we want to look and be seen. It is the face we wear to be presentable and acceptable to our society. It is not necessarily who we really are, but who we want and pretend to be to others and, many times, to ourselves.” (War of the Gods, St Schoen, Ch 42, vii )
“Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions....
... One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
In the continuation of my social experiments I ventured into Peltarch today and purchased a dress.
To date my garb has been purely functional. I felt that this would be insufficient if I am to move about amongst "people" to continue my studies. "Vanity Plates" had a wide selection, but in the end it was difficult to find a garment that suited my purposes. I did not want to present myself as an "adventurer", as many female adventurers dress in the manner of whores. And neither did I wish to dress in a fashion that drew attention to myself. Eventually I found a garment that was plain, unattractive, and yet with typical feminine impracticality. I am satisfied with my choice. I look harmless, useless and of no consequence. Appearing as such should help me fit in well.
I ventured into the "commons" to begin my observations. I did my best to strike up a conversation with some peasants there with banal comments about the weather and such. I tried to keep my words to a minimum however, lest I soil my observations by inserting my own wit or wisdom into the conversation.
My previous assessment of Narfell was that it was a land populated by boorish dullards.
This, I now believe, was too high an opinion of those who populate these lands.
One of those I met, Longcloak if I heard the name correctly, was a peculiar specimen. it was as if his dress sense had been abducted by demons, dragged down into the lowest pits of the abyss, tortured with unimaginable afflictions, and then released back into the world to visually assault all who gaze upon him.
Another, Razzi, a self proclaimed princess. Or maybe an actual one? I accommodated her claims to royalty as best I could.
There was also a gnome. Perom. Typical of his race. Absurd in both appearance and character.
They say that the meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two alchemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. I find this prospect distressing.
Once I had as much as I could bear of this company I took my leave, and then examined my emotional state carefully. My notes on this are in tome "P IXVII commons". One thing of particular interest is that my revulsion and disgust was driving a wedge between my "outer" persona and my "Shadow" self. This was expedient, as compartmentalisation is the end I am hoping to move toward.
I summoned my shadow, who I have come to call Blackleaf, and conversed with it. It lacks the ability to speak of course, but I can feel it's whispers in my psyche. My shadow self would happily slay all I met today without conscience or remorse, and it utterly loathed the facade I was wearing in the commons. A small part of me was horrified by this. A very small part that I feel is beginning to die out like a low candle flame.
((OOC: None of this is shade on the players who play these characters, who I think do a brilliant job of bringing their characters to life. This is my clumsy attempt at playing an "evil" character and in no way a reflection of how I feel OOC about anyone. You're all great!))
(War of the Gods in Addiction, David Schoen)
(Carl Gustav Jung)
"Shadow is that hidden, repressed, for the most part inferior and guilt-laden personality whose ultimate ramifications reach back into the realm of our animal nature..."
"... it has been believed hitherto that the soul's shadow was the source of evil, it can now be ascertained on closer investigation that the unconscious soul, that is the "shadow", does not consist only of morally reprehensible tendencies, but also displays a number of good qualities, such as normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, creative impulses and more… “
(From "Confronting the Shadow Self", ch 4, viii)
As much as I loath my father I do value some of the principles he taught us. Of primary importance in his mind was the facing and embracing of one's "shadow self". This is the aspect of a person's soul that is often repressed by the religious and utterly denied by the paladin. But in truth even the most "righteous" individual is on the very edge of their "fall", only a hair's width away from committing acts that in most situations they would consider to be most heinous. A family man may be mild mannered and kind, but point a crossbow at his child and he will transform into a beast.
"It is not in denying or suppressing the darker part of ourselves," my Father would pontificate, "that we become enlightened, but by embracing it. By gazing into the eyes of our shadow self. Only then do we truely know who we are".
I have found these words to be true.
Back when I was young, only in my fifties, I shed the religious deception that had so obviously gained an unrighteous control over the pathetic and weak in my community. The fear of the fugue, the desire of a better afterlife, the selfish needs of the worshiper they sought to fulfil by grovelling before the god they believed would fulfil those needs... all of it an absurd pantomime in which the "gods" gain power by leeching off the "faith" of their subjects.
As philosophical as all this is, it is directly connected with my studies. The nature of life and death, the pattern of energies that course through a living body, has a "moral" aspect. While I reject all moral judgement as an attempt to gain control over the childish and simple, there is an undeniable duality in most souls where the aspects that are socially acceptable are cultivated and put on display, while those aspects that are not desirable and suppressed. And yet it is that "shadow" part of a soul that is the more significant part, and by denying or ignoring it we only know half of what makes a soul what it is.
Lately I have been casting a spell that was initially made famous by ancient bards. The spell would make the bard's shadow dance to their music. This "shadow magic" had a curse behind it however. Bards, typically being vain and convinced of their own value, are by nature not attuned with their own shadow. This lead to the rise of the Shadowking of Talfir. That part of us that we deny or are ignorant of will all the more easily gain control. However, I have been deeply in touch with aspects of my motivation that others may consider to be "dark" since I was young. And through my own "dancing shadow" I have created for myself an effective servant. While separated from my body, it has been whispering truths to me that I hadn't previously considered. It is as if my desire for hard facts had kept me from hearing my own insights.
I have named my shadow self Blackleaf.
I am one person, but I feel it right to compartmentalise myself in order to be more than whole. More than one.
[[Quote at the start of this post is a slightly modified quote from Carl Jung (Collected Works, 9, part 2, paragraph 422, 423) ]]*
My Studies have taken me to the beach area west of Peltarch. This territory appears to be the rim of Peltarch's claim and is constantly contested by giants.
Of particular interest to me is a sub breed of giant Jotunbrud Bar-Ruk, Anakim-gheev-ah, or Hill Giant. I estimated that the structure of their nerve and energy networks would be similar to that of a regular humanoid, only on a larger scale, but confirmation was required.
Obtaining a specimen for dissection was not an easy task. First was the chore of locating one that had separated itself from the rest of it's tribe. This was more difficult than I had expected. Once I had found a potential candidate it was then a matter of setting an ambush point and luring the specimen into it. I found a good hiding spot up on a ridge, and perched myself there after setting a host of traps that would injure and slow the creature.
I managed to strike where I expected a network nexus to be, and to my great satisfaction the lumbering creature was paralysed. It was still a difficult task to take the creature down however, and it managed to break out of it's paralysis before I could fill it with enough quarrels to slay it. In its attempt to climb the ridge and kill me, the specimen triggered many of the spring loaded spike traps as well as the entangling snares I had set up. This made it easier to bring down, but I had to be fleet of foot, running while reloading my crossbow. I have become reasonably good at this.
So with the creature finally slain, I was able to get to work dissecting it. My work was rushed as I feared another giant would come by the area while I was working. Yet even in my hast I feel I obtained some diagrams of high quality. These I have inserted into "Life and Death" under the chapter regarding the location of nexus points in relation to hide thickness.
Among the specimens possessions was a curious club. The markings on this weapon were not in giant, but rather one of the ancient Nar languages. The craftsmanship was also not giant, and it seemed obvious that the creature had found this object somewhere and decided to use it as a weapon.
Upon further inspection it became apparent that this sceptre like item had runes cast upon it that could hold magic in the manor of the Tarouk'na Moi - an obscure form of power rarely practiced any more. Historically this school of magic was used in the south by a what the historian Pinarch Dobian referred to as "the Druid Slaying Cult" . It's possible that in times past they ventured this far north, but it's difficult to be certain. I will continue my study into this item and summarise my findings in a separate tome.
((Scored this assassin club when out soloing giants. Neato!))
I murdered a man today. .
I'm not sure if the man was an adventurer, or a bandit, or maybe a mercenary left wandering after the recent conflict in Peltarch. While it does not matter to me, I have taken note that the pass has become populated by men at arms, and I have decided to travel south with caution. >
I found the target to be a perfect subject to test my theories regarding animating energy networks within a conscious host. Up until now most of my tests have been carried out on lower creatures - Kuo toa, Goblins, human children - but not a fully grown, armoured being. Due to the heavy armour worn by the target it was nessisarily to approach under invisibility, and to unleash the bolt with the aid of a True Strike spell. As expected, a crossbow bolt fired into the trapezius, approximately one third down between the occipital bone and the lower thoracic vertebrae, struck the network cluster that paralysed the target.
I used a sand glass to time how long he would remain combat ineffective, and was surprised to discover how quickly he emerged from his paralytic state. The records I have access to had lead me to believe that he would be immobile for longer, but the target was able to move after less than a minute. Naturally, the subject was keen to extract terrible vengeance, so I cast another invisibility spell, and once it had given up searching for me, I repeated my first attack. This time I commanded my shadow to assail the target, and continued to unleash quarrels into the subject until it expired.
I dragged the cadaver to a place out of sight where I could perform a rough autopsy. My initial assumption - that the short duration of the paralysis was due to a poorly landed shot that failed to disrupt the animating network cluster, proved to be false.
A more detailed breakdown of this autopsy is included in "Life and Death".
I observed my own behaviour recently, and have noticed that I have fallen in with a life style typical of "adventurers" in these parts. While most of my expeditions into the wild are purely academic, I have out of necessity had to loot my subjects and sell trinkets in town. I am going to need a large sum of coins in order to proceed with my projects, and at this point the looting of "monsters" seems the most expedient way of gathering said coin.
If I am to be honest however, there is a small part of me that becomes lighter when I am slaying sentient creatures. I wouldn't go as far as to say I "enjoy" it, as all joy has fled my emotional state ever since my ordeal in the crypt. The Pale has robbed me of many of my emotions. But caressing the trigger of my crossbow, to send the quarrel out that ends a creatures life, brings a sense of grim satisfaction.
I write this entry simply to explain the void between entries.
I have been reading.
My father would say that reading is to be favoured over writing, but it appears that in my attempt to shed my Father's influence over my thinking I have indeed neglect this one point. I will endeavour to pick up the written word as a means of chronicling my progress.
My thoughts on the nature of good and evil are penned in the "Utter Folly of Philosophical Thought" tome. Notes regarding my research into the patterns and networks of positive and negative energy in living and un-living and semi-living things are contained in tomes with respective titles.
I feel my phisical constitution has deteriorated since my self imposed exile from the outside world. It seems prudent to become physically active, lest my sedentary lifestyle lead to a sedentary state of existence.
Records of my "adventures" will continue to be chronicled in this tome.
((I've inserted the images from the Art Gallery "Evolution of Movalyn" post into the diary entries to make them a little more interesting to look at))
_I believe my studies concerning the Darkmantels and their ability to disrupt energy networks has come to it's conclusion, and that I am unlikely to gain any more useful information by further examination.
In addition to the knowledge I gained (detailed in "Life and Death") my studies had unexpected side benefits. My marksmanship has improved somewhat. I'm still far from being competent with a crossbow but the vast number of quarrels I unleashed in my attempts to gain viable darkmantel samples has trained me to be more accurate. My constant casting of the Ghostly Visage spell has also granted me the ability to cast the spell without regular preparation.
From this point I feel that further learning will only be gained through practical experience. To ready myself for this I have prepared a program of calisthenics and have dedicated myself to completing a set routine each day.
Once I believe that I am ready I shall head out to test my theories on live humanoid specimens._
_I have been "training" for days now. I'm starting to feel that my calisthenics routine justifies my procrastination. I am avoiding combat situations because a part of me still fears death.
A valid fear. I'm no warrior.
It seems to be a quiet season. The "Adventurers" that once frequented the area are difficult to find. I'd rather delve into hostile territory with living shields capable of tanking the enemy's advance. If I am unsuccessful in finding party to join by the end of the next tenday I shall venture out on my own._
Diary - 12th of the 105th.
I have fallen in with a number of "adventuring parties" since my last entry. So far I feel that I have simply followed along rather than contributed any action of actual worth. I have no dark feelings about this. My only fear is that it may dawn on the less obtuse adventurers in the land that I am simply using them as living shields while I gather specimens and make observations on how living creatures die.
Mind you, there are some to whom I state this plainly. These are the more thuggish types who seem more than happy to serve in this role. They are usually happy to have magical protections cast upon them as they enter the fray. I feel that others may not be so forgiving of my attitude however.
As usual, any observations I make that I believe to be of any value are chronicled in "Life and Death".
What remains of interest is how bands of fighting people will band together in order to venture out and slay "enemies of civilization". The bonds of trust always seem strong, even when there is very little to base that trust upon.
One dwarf, when observing that I favor the crossbow, gifted a fine crossbow to me. This one is heavier than my own, capable of a stronger draw, and of sturdy construction making sufficiently accurate. His generosity stunned me. It may well have been that it simply had no need of this crossbow. This seems likely since the dwarf obviously lacks the balance to make accurate shots. Even it's stumpy fingers look as if they would have difficulty handling the weapon. Even so, the fact that the dwarf would gift the weapon to me and not simply sell it for the coin surprised me. I expressed gratitude lest the dwarf felt I was simply a parasite of its generosity. Upon reflection however, there is actually a glimmer of actual generosity within me toward this thuggish creature. Should I be on my guard against this? Is it so easy to purchase my affections.
I shall not let myself get emotionally attached to any of them.
Especially not to any of the dwarfs.
I shall return either an appropriate amount of gold or a similar gift in kind to the dwarf. Then it shall no longer have any purchase of gratitude within me.
The writings of Xi Xu of the Order of X'Ion Pei (deadly shadow) are cryptic to say the least. I discovered a rumor that a local monastery was loosely based on Xi Xu's Saya Sangat Bunuh (art of assassination).
Regarding the similarities between Xi Xu's "art" and my own theories, I traced the similarities to this phrase - "the first key" :
To find the point of your prey.
Find the point within
Touch the earth
Salute to the eastern star.
Salute to the western star.
Then you will see the point within
And the point within your enemy.
(NOTE - My Shou is poor. This is a very rough translation)
When it comes to using the networks of energy within a target to immobilize and kill the difficulty arises in knowing which node to strike. As the body moves different pathways in the network fire, meaning that the vital node one needs to strike in order to paralyze a target is always shifting.
Initially I dismissed Xi Xu's poem as mystical nonsense. But almost by chance I remembered an observation that I had made while visiting the training monastery. A tiny star shaped symbol carved into one part of the wall. I thought nothing of it when I first saw it, but after reflection on the Xi Xu's text I felt there may be a connection. I went to the monastery, again with the story that I was hoping to pick up failed initiates. While in their outer room I saw the star again. Looking across to the opposite wall I spotted another star, almost invisible in the dim light.
Being careful not to make my observations obvious, I took out scroll as if to read it over and dropped it. While stooping to pick it up, I saw the Shou glyph for "Earth" on the floor. I dared not look up to see the glyph on the ceiling. As I stood, I made a recollection of the primary and tertiary network nodes and how they may intersect based on the movements that one would make while stretching ones right arm toward the ground between ones feet , across to the upper left, the upper right, and then upwards above the head. It was then, after making mental note of the points on intersection, that I had what could only be called an epiphany. It is not the networks themselves that must be disrupted in order to paralyze a target. Nor is it the nodes. It is the specific intersection of different networks that vary as the body of the target moves.
After returning to the library I made more tests concerning this theory. An important part of these tests was do ingest small amounts of Bunuh - a poison that affects the flow of positive energy through the body. The benefit of ingesting the poison is that it made the positive network visible through the skin, and enabled me to make accurate markings and observations.
I must test these theories on a live subject as soon as possible.
((OOC: I leveled up and took my first lvl of assassin thanks to exploration XP I earned by visiting the monastery in Oscura. I thought that was cool. Movalyn literally became an assassin by entering the monastery. Hence the "epiphany". I thought that ingesting poison was an important part of learning to become an assassin seeing that the assassin class increases your saves vs poisons.))
This journal may be of interest to anyone reading primarily because if it's exploration of the concepts of motivation and it's link to the concept of trust and endurance.
I ventured south to test my current theories on live specimens in the wild. South east on Norwick's gates there is a wood where packs of wolves and corpse beetles roam. I felt it would be an ideal location to make my observations.
Luckily I met a human woodsman on the way out the gate keeping watch at the tower. He looked to be the "adventurous" sort and I surmised that he would make excellent bait or a living shield should I need one.
As it turned out, he was too good. His skill with a bow and keen eyes, even in the dark, were brutalizing the specimens before I had opportunity to test to my newly acquired knowledge. Eventually I was able to find a wolf. It was large and appeared to be the alpha of a pack. I unleashed a quarrel into the wolf and what I believed to be the correct point. Initially I thought I may have slain the wolf and that I would need to find another specimen, but instead of collapsing it stood motionless. In the dim light one could see energy being released from the wolf's body.
After slaying the wolf, the woodsman became fascinated with the ability to paralyze a target. To be honest I never would have expected anyone to be interested in such knowledge. Not if they had the prowess in battle to be able to slay a creature using brute force. When he pressed me to teach him the technique I initially told him that I would not teach him. It seemed obvious to me that he lacked the wit to understand the concepts behind it. But moments later it dawned on me that his desire for my knowledge could provide an opportunity for further learning.
What in needed was a life, human specimen to practice the technique on. Capturing one and carrying out the experiments would be problematic, but if I could convince this human to do those works for me then I would not need to bear the required toil involved. I told him that I would teach him if he brought to me a live human subject for experimentation.
When he began to display moral qualms concerning the use of a live test subject I assured him that the specimen would probably not feel pain as the attack paralyzes the target. It was then that he volunteered himself. Technically offering himself fulfilled his end of my offer to provide a live human specimen. And a willing subject would be much more preferable than an unwilling one which was sure to squirm uncooperative.
After making him sign a document relieving me of any guilt for his injury or death, we proceeded. I wanted to carry out the test immediately before he came to his senses and changed his mind. I tied him between two trees in the wood and began marking his body with inks, highlighting various nodes and networks. His body was fit and well toned. I feel that my passions may have been aroused by the sight of it had I not undergone the ordeal in the crypts. That procedure has left my physical appetites quite dead.
I had to fire a number of bolts into him before I struck a vital mark and successfully paralyzed him. To my surprise he was quite resilient to the pain. I conducted various tests oh his body while paralyzed, and made careful notes that I have inserted into the "Life and Death" tome.
But again, what I am amazed by was the level of trust this human showed toward me in order to gain my knowledge. Were he not so hardy I would have had to find somewhere to hide his corpse. Hand he endured the pain of my experiments without any indication of malicious retribution against me. He has more than earned my knowledge. The challenge for me now it to package it for him in a way that his dull mind will be able to digest it.
There it was again. As in that dwarf I met in the mine. Trust. Harvesting it seems to be of great benefit. A valuable tool.
The human's name is Deller.
((OOC: Thanks so much to CaptainCeicro for the RP. He was a great sport about it all.))
_I met a dwarf in the mine while searching for Dark Mantel specimens .
Normally I would ignore a dwarf, but it invited me to come with him down into the deeper part of the mine. Wanted someone to "watch his back". Apparently the dwarf mistook me for someone who cares whether it lived or died.
Never the less, I accompanied the dwarf down into the mines. I thought that this would count as an "adventure" and provide some valuable experience.
We hadn't travelled far into the mine when we encountered an ooze. I recognized the creature as a "slithering tracker" by it's size and shape and by the viscosity of it's mucus trail. I took samples of it's tissue once we had rendered it harmless. I have made detailed notes in a separate tome - "Subterranean life I".
We encountered other creatures besides the tracker. They are also detailed in Subterranean Life I.
What was also of interest to me is the level of trust the dwarf placed in my ability to cover him. In reality I would have been eaten alive if it weren't for the dwarf's skill with an axe. But his trust in me, being a complete stranger to him, fascinated me. His intention seemed to be to increase his safety, and yet in many ways his trust made him vulnerable.
And that is what trust is I suppose - a willingness to make yourself vulnerable to someone. The dwarf's trust seemed like utter folly until it dawned on me that I had also placed much trust in him.
Pondering the concept of trust has lead me to conclude that it is foundational to the formation of "parties" that venture into dangerous territories. I would be wise to foster it within myself and curry it from others._
I have finally summoned the motivation to make a diary entry.
Since undergoing the ritual in Norwik's crypts I have struggled to motivate myself to do even the most basic tasks. I force myself to eat and bathe and leave my bed chamber. These waves of depression come over me at seemingly random times and duration.
I have resolved to resume my studies, and possibly join a group of "adventurers". If for no other reason than to stave this sapping misery.
14th day of the 12 month.
I have encountered creatures recently that have sparked my interest. Members of a local clan of dwarves have warned of "Dark Mantels" that prey on unwary miners. It was hard to get much information out of them. Indeed, it is difficult to understand half of what dwarves say. It's not that they have a poor command of the common tongue. More that they are sluggish in pronunciation, grammar and basic sentence construction. Speaking. I find speaking with them tiresome.
My first encounter with these creatures was almost ended me. Dark mantels conceal themselves on the ceilings of caves and mines. Their skin is camouflaged and their cone shaped bodies bear an uncanny resemblance to a stalactite. When their pray is below them they drop down and attack. Once immobilizing their pray they attempt to smother them under their hood like bodies.
I am primarily interested in these creatures due to their "magical" biology. They are unlike other beasts presented by nature. Instead, they have a digestive and nervous system that is totally alien. They possess the ability to draw surrounding light into their bodies, thus darkening their hiding places and improving the effectiveness of their ambush. They can also send pulses that can immobilize their prey.
Their ability to paralyze their prey is of great interest to me as it confirms some of my previous theories concerning the networks of energy that animate a being's body. I shall continue my studies on these creatures.
(Movalyn after emerging from Norwick's crypts a "Pale Master")
- The effect that prolonged exposure to negative energy has had upon my body is apparent even upon casual inspection. Firstly, my skin has acquired an obvious pallor. It has also become smooth and has a leather like hardness. The flesh beneath the markings that I had made upon myself before entering the crypt has now become white, and has a hardness similar to soft wood or bone.
- My skin has not lost it's feeling, but it no longer recoils to sensations such as pain or heat. When I probe my flesh with a needle I feel it passing through my flesh, but experience no discomfort until it is approximately one third of an inch deep. It still sweats in response to heat, and "goose bumps" when cold.
- My appetites have changed. I hunger, but food is flavorless in my mouth. My sexual appetites are now almost non existent. I have to force myself to eat, and yet a full stomach fails to leave me satisfied. It is as if the cravings of my flesh cannot be satisfied by the usual means.
- When I drink a healing potion my injuries are repaired, and yet drinking it fills me with the urge to vomit.
- Exposing my flesh to reflected negative energy from sources such as a Negative Energy Ray has the expected effect. Tissue damage from negative energy is as it was before my time in the crypt. There is no discernible difference.
- My emotional state is occasionally erratic. While it is consistent most of the time, on rare occasions I feel waves of either anger and hatred, or emptiness and despair. There is no target or cause for these emotions. I am not certain whether they are a product of the system of negative energy that now flows within my body, or if I have somehow become emotionally damaged by my time in the crypt. Either way, I have made up my mind to reaffirm the truths that have set me on this course, and to steel my mind with a solid foundation of logic and reason. The tempest of random emotions shall not move me.
The ordeal was an extreme way of gaining what others obtain simply by wearing a suit of armour. Were it only for the physical protection the procedure has provided I feel that I would have wasted my time.
There have been over benefits gained from my vigil within the crypt however. It has served as confirmation of my previous theories concerning the patterns of energy within living bodies. Upon this foundation I should be able to gain a better understanding of these patterns and use my knowledge of them to incapacitate and kill. This knowledge is vital for me, seeing that I lack the physical strength or co-ordination that other "adventurers" posses that enables them to pursue their path successfully.
My proximity to the undead, and my own death due to disease, has also helped me to develop my philosophical positions concerning life, death and undeath and the movement between those states.
I will continue to perform experiments upon my own flesh to further gauge the effects the procedure has had upon me. As usual, I will chronicle them in detail within the "Life and Death" tome and abbreviate them in layman's terms within this journal._
Now that I have my diary back my memories are starting to fall back into place. Like a broken vessel being reassembled.
My last solid memory is of pain. Violently ill, wracked in agony and gravely injured. I remember crawling out of the crypt, covered in my own blood and vomit, barely able to move my limbs due to a disease that was destroying my body.
And then darkness.
I have no idea how I ended up in Norwick, or who I have to thank for it. The servants at the temple of Chauntea have done a fine job of bandaging my wounds and curing my disease. For that I am grateful.
I have just returned from the graveyard where I fell, under the cloak of invisibility naturally. I retraced my steps hoping to piece my memories back together. I found my pack and my crossbow, as well as this diary. Now that I have returned to Norwick and had a chance to read over my previous entries some of my memories are beginning to come back.
There are still black holes in my memory however. Things that I just can't remember. I have been told that this will pass in time; "Normal for someone who has returned to the land of the living from death."
So I have been through death and back.
When I have my wit back I will document how that that makes me feel. For now, I am simply numb.
((Yeah … Movalyn died. Scurried out of the crypt diseased and con drained with only 2 HPs left. I rested the first chance I got ... and died. I thought it was some kind of bug at first, but it turned out that Movalyn took more CON damage while resting, and the lack of CON killed her.))
((OOC: edited previous post with OOC description of what was going on. Also inserted text into image placeholder posts))
_I am injured.
I caught the gaze of a roaming skeleton and it charged at me. I fled as best I could. While casting invisibility upon myself it brought it's battle axe down upon my left shoulder blade. The spell saved my life.
The bleeding from my would seems to have stopped, but I am in unspeakable pain.
Once invisible I cast a persistent blade spell. Instead of commanding the blade to attack I made it follow me and used it to round the undead up into one area. I then dismissed it and retreated back to this spot before the invisibility wore off. While I feel I am safe for now, writing in this lit area is a risk. I have only one casting of invisibility remaining. I shall not make another journal entry until first light tomorrow. Until then I shall remain hidden in the darkness. Should I survive until then I shall make my final entry and then hide until the next morning, at which point I shall leave this wretched place and not return._
_First light means I am now into my third day in this crypt.
The axe wound on my shoulder has become strangely numb. I am not sure if it is because I can no longer feel the pain or if the incredible ache that wracks my body now eclipses the pain of the wound.
I urgently need to relieve myself, but dare not.
The exit from this crypt taunts me. I could so easily flee this place right now. The temptation to flee almost wins, but my fear at having suffered so much fear and pain for nothing binds me here._
I a m clo se to dea th.
I w as over co me by fatig ue.
A zom bie ass au lted me.
I hav e ca st my last invisib ility spell. I hav e o nly one ca st ing of Persis tent B la de r e m a i n i n g .
I f e ar it wi ll not b e e n o ugh to k ee p me alive.
((OOC: I thought the coast was clear so I took the opportunity to go afk to change a nappy. I came back to find a zombie beating the snot out of my character! I shouldn't have turned the volume down! By the time I managed to cast my last invisibility spell I was down to 3hps, diseased, and missing con from zombie smell cloud. I chugged my last five potions of goblin gook. Did the persistent blade trick again to get the zombie and other undead off my back and then hid. YIKES!))
D i f i c ult t o wr i t e in the d a rk.
Am s af e f or now. Ent ered under in visibili ty spe ll. Found a safe place . ro aming und ead fo und me after in v i si bility expir ed. r etreated do wn s ta irs d eeper i nto cr ypt. ev aded wights and undead sol di ers b y fin ding an alco ve in co rr id or. One und ead soldier c am e very close. I retreat ed up the stairs and hid in ano ther alc ove * It fo ll owed. I L ost ne rve and recast sec ond inv isi bil ity. Fled to upp er level.
My bo dy ache s.
_A little bit of sunlight is peeking through the entrance of the crypt. Barely enough to write by, but I fear the light may also betray my position. I am safe for now.
The light reveals that I am now into my second day in the crypt. I feel I have been here an eternity. My body continues to ache from what I believe to be the effects of the negative energy on my skin and muscles. It was to be expected. The process of altering the energy patterns within my body inevitably results in some parts of it experiencing a kind of "death" before they are reawakened by the alternative form of energy.
The undead are vexatious. The gases expanding from the rotting lungs of some zombies causes them to groan a constant, monotonous chant. Sometimes I feel it is driving me mad, but I am grateful that keeps me aware of where some of them are. Some come quite close to my hiding place. Thankfully the darkness does a good job of concealing me, even from their senses. The smell is almost beyond my ability to endure at times.
If I return from this place alive I shall wri
(this entry seems to come to an abrupt halt.)
Cl ose c a ll.
Wand er ing un dead so met imes com e so c lose the y a lmo st trip over me. If I s tay moti on less they re main una ware of my pres ence. I have fo und a other plac e to hi de.
(Movlyn before entering Norwick's Crypts.)
I write this entry by Norwick's fire. My final preparations for the ordeal ahead are now complete. These being the gathering of supplies needed to survive for three days away from civilization, the shaving of the sides of my head, and the painting of runes and patterns onto my skin. The runes have been pained with a ink which is the combination of powdered brown and black onyx, cochineal, and pine sap.
A local recently asked me the meaning of the runes and patterns. I attempted to explain to him how energies flow through the body according to a very intricate system. By gradually exposing that system to an opposite form of energy in a way controlled by the runes I hoped to establish a counter network by which my flesh is sustained by that said energy in addition to positive energy as it currently is.
He seemed to become bored with my explanation and left.
Probably for the best. I doubt he would have understood my explanation of how establishing a contra network of negative energy within my flesh would bolster it against physical assault. And if I were to tell him that "gradual exposure" to this energy meant locking myself in a crypt infested with undead for at least three days I doubt he would have continued to believe I have a sound mind.
In truth, I sometimes feel that maybe my mind has become slightly unsound. Only slightly. There is a solid and logical reason behind the actions I am taking. At the same time the level of risk, coupled with the uncertainty of the outcome, has me thinking that perhaps this course is not the wisest one. I banish such thoughts however. It is only natural that my fear arise to challenge my motives. It is a self preservation instinct. But seeing that it is for the long term preservation of my self that I take this short term risk my fears are not helpful.
I expect the next three days to be the most loathsome of my life so far. I detest the undead. Spending an extended period of time in close proximity to them is a necessity however. The crypt they inhabit is the only place in the region where the levels of ambient negative energy are high enough to have the desired effect.
I told the guard where I am going, and that if I am not back within three days that I would appreciate a search party sent to recover my body for resurrection at the temple. He replied with a rude dismissal, stating that once I'm out past the gates I was on my own.
I have committed that guard's words and his physical appearance to my memory.
I will bring this journal with me into the crypt and do my best to make entries during the upcoming ritual. If this is my final entry I would appreciate if the one reading these words would take my remains to the closest temple to be raised back to life. I will endeavor to ensure you are justly rewarded.
((OOC: The pnp requirement for Pale Master is that the candidate spend three days locked in a tomb with undead. So to simulate this I'm planning to have Movalyn spend three RL days in Old Norwick's Family Tomb. ))
I have returned to Norwick. As much as I loathe this place, it is a relief to be away from Peltarch.
I have been forced to give up on the idea that by some means I would be able to enlist the help of an “adventurer” in securing an intact zombie specimen for study. Adventurers seem very thin on the ground at the moment. Only a Dwarven paladin in blue and black armour, who I doubt would agree to the task, and an elven lass who looked even more frail that I am.
So instead of removing a specimen for study, I have moved my study to the specimens. Norwick was originally located a little farther south from where it now stands. War destroyed the original town and left the area "cursed". Zombies currently roam the ruins of former Norwick, along with a variety of other undead creatures, primarily semi-corporeal “echoes” and possessed swine. My current method involves the location of a zombie, the destruction of the surrounding creatures, and the study of the zombie while under the cloak of invisibility. This is a tiresome venture for a number of reasons. Firstly invisibility is a very delicate spell. Any attempt to dissect the zombie or tamper with it in any major way breaks the spell. This limits my studies to external examination. Secondly, this examination is made difficult by the random shuffling of the subject.
A detailed explanation of my experiments and methods are outlined in “Life and Death”. Most of my findings have been the result of observations aided by the use of powdered onyx and the casting of negative energy upon the subject. By lightly dusting the zombie in the powder and casting the magic, I am able to observe and record pathways by which energy flows through the zombie's body.
At some points in my study the invisibility spell that kept me safe expired. I found that if I stayed behind the specimen and refrained from making any sudden movements that I could continue making my observations unharassed. If the zombie ever became hostile avoiding injury was simply a matter of moving away from the creature faster than it can shuffle and recasting the invisibility spell. I only ever had to do this twice.
In truth I am now glad that my study of the zombies in old Norwick is now completed. I find undeath loathsome, and being around it for so long has left me feeling soiled by it. The information I have obtained should be more than enough to continue my research.
Today my search for scrolls and tomes took me to the Hin hamlet in the Silver Valley. The diminutive folk who inhabit this small town are ignorant simpletons for the most part. Much like the inhabitants of Norwick, their agricultural lifestyle has sapped their minds of wit. One store keeper even refused me service for reasons I still can't fathom. She suggested that I "try Oscura". When I asked her for directions to this place she even refused me that.
My experience here has lead me to conclude that the reputation hinfolk have for being warm and hospitable people is baseless and utterly false.
Failing to find anything of use here, I have made up my mind to find this Oscura which the hin referred to. I will have to find a guide. I can't find any town called Oscura on my maps.
My first impressions of the underground settlemetn of Oscura were negative to say the least. First of all the way into town on foot is not what anyone would call "traveller friendly". I literally had to run through a snake pit to get to the gates. It was only later that I discovered that one could make their way safely into Oscura by boat from Peltarch. Once beyond the city gate I was in constant fear of tripping due to poor lighting, being abducted by slavers, catching some kind of fungal lung infection or being driven mad by the oppressive spiritual emanations that come from the well at the town's center. I would have left moments after arriving were it not for the wealth of valuable information that resided in the undertown's library and temple.
Access to most of this information was limited at first. Trust was an issue and "outsiders" are generally less than welcome in Oscura. Neither are they assured of any kind of security or justice. The remedy to this was to take an oath not to bring harm to Oscura and to seal that oath with a shedding of my own blood. As grizzly as this ritual was, it seemed a small price to pay for great benefit.
I feel that my research into the energy networks within the body is now sufficient for me to finally begin practical applications.
I owe a dept of gratitude to the following:
- St Noiblac of Illmater for his tome “Healing the sick and injured”. In particular his chapter on the systems by which positive energies flow within a healthy body and how they are disrupted by sickness and injury. This chapter contains diagrams that I have copied into Life and Death. They are worth taking the time to understand.
- St Acrinus, the Assimar cleric of Lathander who penned the tome Libris Mortis. I found extracts from this tome helpful.
- The attendants of the Falcon library in Oscura who were helpful. Especially for allowing me access to translated extracts from the Drow tome T’sabal Gulstrae.
I should also acknowledge the contribution the Maie Firvain has had on my research. It was my knowledge of this tome that helped me counterbalance the dark ideas contained in the T’sabal Gulstrae
There is a saying, "knowledge that has no practical outcome is as good as ignorance.". It is the practical outcome of my studies that chill me to my bones however. I am currently steeling my will to face the dangerous procedures I now need to go through. I continually remind myself that the benefit is worth the risk. I'm not actually certain this is true. The risks I face include unknowable variables, and the the true extent of the benefits are also unknowable until they are manifest. And yet I continue to remind myself of the risk being worth the benefit like the chanting of some religious mantra. Maybe a religious mindset has some benefit after all?
_I murdered a man today.
I write this entry in Peltarch’s library. I had ventured up here in the hopes of securing a zombie intact for study. I had heard word that undead wander sewers below the city, and it is from those sewers that I have recently returned. While the idea of venturing into such a filthy place would normally be abhorrent to me, my zeal to capture a specimen kept my disgust at bay. I entered under the cloak of an invisibility spell, hoping to survey the area first. Before I could explore very far I encountered a man in rusted armour. Noticing the holy symbol around his neck and other paraphernalia I surmised that the man was a priest. Locals had warned that a cult was operating in the sewers, and obviously this individual was one of its leaders.
I cast a Persistent Blade spell, animating a dagger to fly out and assail the cultist. He did his best to fight off the attack, but even his casting of cure spells upon himself was not enough to save him. Toward the end I broke invisibility and finished him off with quarrels from my crossbow.
Had the encounter gone differently and he slain me rather than I him, then he could justly state that he killed me in self defense. The same could not be said of me. While it’s probably true that if I were not invisible he would have attacked me and killed me, he was no immediate threat to me. I drew first blood and administered the coup de grâce. I doubt claiming “pre-emptive self defense” would acquit me of this crime should I ever face a trial. Not that I ever expect to. From what I have heard even paladins come down here to butcher these cultists. The city’s law enforcers seem to turn a blind eye to such things, and rightly so. Justice and protection belong to those who are worthy of it. Not wretches who live in sewers.
Even though I have killed before, this was a defining moment for me. This was the first time I had slain with my own hands a “person” rather that some diminutive “monster” in the woods. I had imagined that it would be an emotional event for me, but instead I am simply filled with a grim satisfaction. This may be because the individual I killed actively promoted his religious faith. While I respect the gods because of their power, there has been a mutually parasitic relationship between the gods and their worshipers ever since the Time of Troubles. The religious pathetically curry favor from their god and their god grants it in exchange for the worship and piety which is their life blood. A useless, self seeking circle of pointlessness. I am more than happy to unite this worshiper with his god. If I rid the world of even a small part of this grand folly then I have done the world a service.
While I had a strong desire to examine this fresh body as I did the beggar from Norwick, dragging it past the two guards stationed at the entrance of the sewers would have raised too many awkward questions. So I left the body to the rats. Perhaps a member of the cult will find the body and reanimate it? I will watch for it if I am ever down there again._
_This is now the second week of my visit to Peltarch.
I have spent most of my time in the city’s library. Most of the tomes here tediously detail the boring history of this insignificant city, and to say that I tire of them is an understatement. Peltarch is not totally without merit however. I managed to find a vendor of magical goods by the name of Hemrod. He is a foppish individual, and while a fellow elf he is not of the same blood as I. He manifests his inferiority each time he opens his mouth. I am yet to meet another Sun Elf in these lands. I feel that, unlike myself, most of my kind are wise enough to avoid settling here.
I purchased a scroll of Combustion from him today. I imagine that the spell will be brutally effective and am eager to test it._
_While bards may not sing of my victory today, I still hold today’s achievement as being worthy of note.
In the wood west of Peltarch, at the base of the Giantspire mountains, is a cave that is home to a clan of orcs. I felt this would be a good place to test my newly acquired Combustion spell as orcs are brutish creatures of great constitution.
A hand full of orcs kept a patrol just beyond the entrance to the cave. The greatest of them, a towering, armoured creature armed with a mighty hammer presented himself as the most obvious subject. Based on the size of its powerful arms and hammer, I estimated that a single blow from this creature would be more than enough to turn me into a chunky red paste despite the protective spells I had cast upon myself. For this reason I snuck cautiously into position, hoping to cast the combustion spell upon it while it was distracted with a persistent blade.
It’s senses were sharper than I imagined them to be, and it bellowed as it charged at me. I fled the cave with haste, and it chased me out into the woods. I was barely able to cast invisibility on myself before it brought its mighty weapon down upon me. As it searched about for me in vain I resumed my plan, casting the a persistent blade spell not to far away from it. As it chased the animated dagger I rushed forward casting the spell. To say that he effects of the spell were spectacular would be an understatement. The creature erupted, squealing as it caught ablaze. I quickly recast invisibility upon myself and retreated to a safe distance to watch the effects of the spell. It flailed about for at least a minute as the flames consumed it. It was difficult to tell if the creatures actions were due to its intense suffering and anguish at being burnt alive, or from fury and frustration at being unable to find me. A Possible combination of both I imagine.
When the flames finally died the creature was still alive but very close to death. While it may have been wiser to simply leave the creature, I was eager to examine how deeply the flames had damaged the creatures body. So I retreated further into the wood to take a long distance shot at it, hoping to finish it off. In hindsight this was total folly. Without prior casting of the True Strike spell I have difficulty hitting the side of a barn. This fact was confirmed as the quarrel I unleashed from my crossbow buried itself into a tree next to my target. With my invisibility spell now broken, the orcs fury at being set ablaze instantly became apparent. The bellow that it let out as it charged toward me echoed off the mountain and made even its ruckus while burning alive seem like a minor din in comparison.
I cast a frost ray spell at it as it closed in. not only did that spell fail to finish the beast off, it didn’t even make it flinch. I ran and it chased me out of the wood onto the hills toward Peltarch. I turned just as the creature’s hammer swung at me, crushing my upper arm. As I recoiled from the blow, my crossbow discharged. By sheer luck the bolt struck true, finding a gap between the scales of the orc’s armour. It’d dead body came crashing down on top of me, almost finishing my life. And yet against all probability I survived.
The servants at the Lighthouse temple in Peltarch a fine job of repairing my broken body. I feel gratitude toward them, enough almost to regret the negative statements I made against the concept of religion in my former entries. Almost, but not quite. I still pity and loathe them.
If anything, my encounter with the hammer wielding orc has galvanized my commitment to fortify my body against physical attacks. I will make concluding my studies on this matter my highest priority._
[[OOC: Actually happened. That Hammerer chased Movalyn through two transitions. On the second transition going onto the Western Foothills he attacked her and almost killed her. Mov auto attacked with her crossbow just as she went through the transition and finished him off. Her BAB is 2 and she hasn't got the point blank feat. I checked the combat log and with all the penalties the killing shot was made with an AB of +1. So … yeah ... phew!]]