Writings under the Moonlight



  • [The pictures are not my artwork, simply fit the scenes I have in my mind as I write and they have been slightly edited. I take no credit for them.]

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    As the moonlight shines down brightly from above and the stars twinkle as if thousands of watching eyes are peering down, Asha sits under the tree of the cliff side. An owl hoots, the waves crash against the cliffs below as the winds pick up, sending a soft spray of icy water up to coat her. A shiver spreads quickly through her body as the clouds begin to roll in over the Icelace, brought on by the chilling winds of the north as winter begins to take hold over the land. Asha looks down at her simple leather bound journal and curls sideways against the tree to hug her cloak closer for warmth before she begins to write.

    'Why Selune?

    Everyone seems to ask that and I admit, I have a hard time answering them.

    Why does one follow a god?

    I used to be afraid of the dark and the only time I found comfort was sleeping under the stars and Selune bright in the sky. It could be as simple as one childhood fear defining my path in life.

    Many in my family have been faithful of the Moonmaiden. My mother, who took me to such far off and wondrous places. Many who wander the lands give thanks to Our Lady of Silver, navigators who guide ships by the stars and those upon quests who look to Her for guidance. My grandfather is not only a priest in her church - I might add that is an oddity, as most are female within the church clergy. He also has been blessed by her in the form of control over a more bestial nature within, brought on by the bite of lycanthropy. A fate shared with my grandmother on my mothers side, who also has such a blessing given to her by Selune.

    I am no preacher, I do not hold sermons to spread the words of the Moonmaiden. I am there when someone is hurt, to offer a soft touch that may heal what ails them. I am there to let someone know that they are not alone when the end has come and they take their last breath. When the world seems to be falling apart, I am there to offer a smile and tell them not all is lost. I am there to tell them that even when the darkness seems to cover everything, the light can shine through and bring with it a better day.

    I am just there. Is that not enough?'

    Written at the bottom of the first page is a poem, the ink seeming less vibrant and more aged than the rest of the writings in the journal. A small note is written beside it:

    'I found this in the Temple of the Silver Stars and enjoyed it.'

    Oh friend across the ever distant shore
    And strangers well met on the merry ways.
    What dreams compel our slumbered souls to soar?
    What spectacles are chanced upon to gaze?
    The starry night majestic in its scope
    Connects the fates of all on land and sea,
    So hold your stride and never give up hope
    For Maiden’s Moon will guide us where to be.



  • The heat from the sun overhead is warming after a chilly night of sleeping on the roof of the Witch and Seer. Asha grumbles lightly and rolls over to her side. A pounding in her head accompanies the movement; a painful reminder from the previous night of revelries. She uses her arm to shield her eyes from the sun as she peeks an eye open to survey the surroundings. Above her in the tree, two doves coo lightly as if saying good morning to her. Asha smiles and shifts a bit to look at them, her stomach suddenly churning as she does. She crawls quickly to the edge of the rooftop and without waiting to see if anyone is below. She empties her stomach over the side of the building and down onto the grounds below.

    Wiping her lips with the back of her hand, she eyes the large form sprawled out on the grass near the shrine. The woman is covered in a blanket of grass, moss, and odd sticks. If not for the steady rising of the nature blanket, she might think that Reyhenna was dead. Asha laughs a bit as she watches the woman sleep under the makeshift cover, and the laughter brings about a new wash of pain from the wine headache she is nursing this morning. She crawls over to a shady spot under the tree and curls up to keep the sun out of her eyes. She takes deep breaths as she tries to fight back the ill feeling in her stomach. Getting out her journal to begin writing in the hopes of distracting herself from the hangover.

    'Friends.

    Do I really have any that are my own? Are most people just acquaintances? Who doesn't know my parents, or my grandparents, or my aunts and uncles? Most people I meet do. They sort of take me under their wing and help guide me through the dangerous parts of adventuring.

    "If I let anything happen to you, your father will kill me or never forgive me!" is a usual comment from them.

    I understand, and I appreciate that they care, I really do. I would consider some of them friends, even if they are friends with my parents.

    Reemul

    He is kind to me. He will often come up to me and ask if I could use this object, or that object. He gave me this wonderful mace. I was searching SOOOO long for a mace to use. He says I am the only person he knows that uses a mace and he would rather I use it than him selling it. He charged me nothing. I feel a bit bad about taking charity like this but he insisted. Who am I to say no to his genuine offer?

    George

    I really don't know much about him. He seems fun, though. He is quick to help; he is brave, he is an accomplished warrior, and he likes to enjoy life after the danger is gone. Drinks, food, and enjoying the camaraderie us adventuring types share. I look forward to learning more about him.

    Isolde

    Isolde is my fathers friend. She is protective of me, but she doesn't stop me from doing anything, or even lecture me for things I do. She is one of the people who always have that eye on me because of my father. She is so beautiful, so passionate about fighting what she perceives as wrong. Yet she is so forgiving and willing to give second chances. She would have made a good Selunite.

    Vick

    Vick often seems on the negative side of most peoples opinions. He has a grating personality. Yet at times, I can see the good side of him as well. He will randomly offer up healing to people or quivers of arrows. I hear people joke he is like a bank of True Resurrection loans. Or if you need something special but don't have the coin to get it just yet. So many people care, I feel. Even if they have a hard time showing it.

    Reyhenna

    Her comments make me laugh. Where she comes up with this stuff is beyond me. I am known as Seerbaby. I have been given the task of helping Thaddeus find her a mate. She has a belt.. and.. you know what? Best to keep some things off the books. She is so strong, willing to face down any opponent. She is so brash at times, and often causes many issues with her hasty actions or words. Beyond that facade is much more, though. Genuine caring for the city and her friends or family.

    Raazi

    I'm not quite sure what to make of her just yet. At times, she seems so lucid. Other times I feel like I must step in and tend to her as a Priestess of the Moonmaiden does with other Touched people. I think I will need to watch her more.

    Tory

    Tory is Vick's and Maria's daughter. She often seems flighty and unconcerned with some of the most horrible things going on around her. An enigma, like Raazi. I'm just not sure what to think about her yet.

    Salin (Six) Ashald

    The younger Salin, so clean cut and handsome in his Cerulean uniform. He is much like his father. You can watch the gears slowly turning behind his eyes at every mysterious situation, like some gnomish thinking machine trying to find the answer to all life's unanswered questions. I like him and he is dependable.

    Cormac

    This fella is a new one. Hrrrh. Black lipstick, large axe, bulging muscles, with an almost angelic voice. Something about him just draws you in. We have great conversations, something you wouldn't think you might find with a barbarian fella like him. He is loyal to his friends, and will gladly put himself between you and whatever monster wants to make you its snack.

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    I happened to walk into a mistake as I exited the Mermaid. Volpe had accidentally turned us into various other forms. At first, I was an ogre. You should have seen the look on the Guards face as we left the city. He had some stories for the other Black Sails that night. There are so many forms we all took, I forgot them all!

    Isolde was a cat. Reyhenna was a light. Raazi was a goblin. Mako was a manticore. George was a fire elemental and a silver dragon. Tory was a goblin. Vindel was an animated suit of armor. Helmed horror maybe? I got to be an ogre, a ruby golem and a dragon as well! Raazi and Tory got a bit out of hand, attacking Volpe, so we had to subdue them when we reached Norwick. I got to FLY though, spreading my massive dragon wings and heading off into the sky. What a rush! It was so amazing! Focus on the good parts!

    Some silly fun that brightened my heart after the ugliness of the trial and the war in the city. Some light to push back the dark thoughts. To help push her image back some more. I won't forget her, but I can't have her there all the time.

    We live in a world full of enemies,
    or so we are lead to believe.
    The best way to defeat an enemy
    is not with weapons or spells.
    The best way to defeat an enemy
    is to make that enemy a friend.

    My head hurts, and I feel like vomiting again. Ugh. The wine helped, but now I am regretting it.

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  • Day 10: The Trial Day

    Curled up on the bed in her room at the Witch and Seer, Asha wipes away tears from her face. Her thoughts drift to the people of the Jewel who were lost, to the people wounded. The anguish and heartbreak of the whole situation taking away from any satisfaction she might feel about helping to protect the city. Her mind settles on the person who caused it all, Jessica Whyte. That last look etched upon her face - the obvious pain from the wound she suffered, the final moment as the poison destroyed her from within. The images of various cures to poisons racing through Asha's head as she wonders if she could have done more.

    A long sigh escaping her lips as she hugs her pillow close, closing her eyes tight in an effort to force the images from her mind. Ten minutes of trying to rid herself of the bad thoughts seems an eternity as fresh tears well up in her eyes, moistening the pillow she hugs so close. A fist slammed down on the bed in frustration, as those closed eyes have the opposite effect, bringing forth more horrible images of the death and destruction that day. She tosses the pillow across the room, sits up and pulls out her journal, her quill and ink.

    'Oh sweet girl, stay unhardened and without spite! I can't but feel remorse at my own spite reflected back to me in here. Isolde said to me.

    You've already corrupted me! My response. Is it true? Probably not, but this course of events did nothing to help me stay free of the jaded attitude of so many.

    This day really put my faith to the test. People can be so horrible, and I do not speak of the ones we fight against.

    The Dress

    I bought a nice dress for the trial. I don't wear them often enough, and I thought it would be nice to look like a proper lady as I went to support my friends who got arrested. Would Edwin notice? Despite Isolde's, Sebrienne's, and even Reyhenna's teasing, it didn't really matter if he did. He is a nice guy, or so he seems on the outside. Charming enough, handsome enough. It is nice to be noticed, but nicer still to just be happy with yourself. I was HAPPY.

    I bought the dress from the Romani who now camp near the old Camp. Reemul escorted me down there, the nice Romani lady helping me try it on and get it fitted. It was a wonderful afternoon out, and I enjoyed that I would have something nice to wear. I am SICK of the dress. I should throw it out!

    The Trial

    It began as all trials do. Yada yada, legal mumbo jumbo talk. Yawn, stretch. Watch Edwin for a moment. Smile. Laugh at something Isolde said. Look to the prisoners. Smile happily and wave at Shannon when he comes in. Peer around to see the people in attendance. Listen to some more legal babble. Yawn. Really. NOT my thing. Here I was though, in support of my friends who faced some pretty serious charges.

    Then it happened.

    A bad feeling..

    Then suddenly the ground shook, a white hot flash entered our vision and it felt like time stood still for a moment. One moment I was smiling over at Edwin, the next moment he was pinned under rubble. Everyone was screaming, people were trapped, others were trying to flee. How would we get them all out? I could feel my flesh burning as the heat from the explosions began to fill the courtroom.

    A second explosion rocked the Courthouse. I could hear my friends screaming. Isolde was yelling for me to leave. I knew I could not help everyone, and this hurt me more than anything. How many men, women and children would die in here? Anger began to build in me, but I had to push it away and just react. I cleared the rubble off Edwin; I tried to get it off the others that were near me. I offered a prayer to Selune to whisk us all away from the Courthouse. I only had so many hands; I could not reach out and touch everyone to teleport them away.

    Why Edwin? Out of everyone near me. Why did I choose him? I ask myself these questions as I curl up in bed and cry.

    Was it just because of some childish fascination with him? I'm not even sure I have that.

    Was it because I feel he is the counter to Jessica Whyte, or so I hoped? He was the Seafarer that could clean up the Guild and take it back from the wreckage that this woman was putting on them? I'm new to this. I barely know the Seafarers, Jessica Whyte, or even Edwin Ashald. I suppose I again listen to my gut and have hope? I hear much from others and just try to make the best decisions I can.

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    The Battle

    Large scale battles are still sort of new to me. The rogue Seafarers, under Jessica Whyte, invested a lot in taking control of the city. The mercenaries were well trained, well armed, and very disciplined. They made us pay for each foot taken. The Courthouse, the Residential, the Commerce, the Docks. Each paid a price that day for Jessica's deception. I always try to say her name or separate her faction of Seafarers with the Seafarer faction that helped us. There IS a difference, despite what some might say or think. I can't bring myself to blame the whole for the misdeeds of some.

    We struggled to get through the Docks and were greeted by cannon fire as we approached. Many were killed or wounded in this assault, but we pushed on still. It was a hard push and we lost Erilo, Cormac and George before we made it deep into the Seafarer Headquarters. Sir Shannon saw them back to life and we pushed on, upstairs into an area where clerks were burning evidence from bookshelves, piles of paper and wherever else they could get documents from.

    There she sat in the final room, yellow teeth and glaring eyes. I remember her words. They are still echoing in my head.

    She had a bitterness in her voice.

    -- Look at you all. Such a big crowd. So hard to keep track of so many ants.

    -- I'm already dead in ... oh, 19 minutes.

    Erilo threw his weapon at her, striking deep into her flesh. Anger built inside of me. We were supposed to be the GOOD ones.

    -- ARGH! Beaten by a bunch of IDIOTS.

    -- I Just want to wait out the last 17 minutes and die without hearing your stupid voices.

    -- I only wish I can be around to watch you all burn when your time comes.

    She was furious that she didn't get what she wanted. The hatred in her eyes as she looked at us. Reyhenna asked me to check her for poison, and I did. It was a rare poison mixed with faerzress. I knew we COULD cure it, but the ingredient needed was in the Underdark and there was something I couldn't quite remember. Something else for the cure.

    Everyone was so angry that she was 'escaping' proper punishment. I only wished I could take the pain from her as she passed. Even after all she did, even after all the people she hurt, I would have helped her. I forgave her.

    -- I am so very glad so many of your stupid villagers and commoners and family members are dead.

    -- The pain you must feel makes me feel so much relief as I part ways with this stupid, useless world.

    I just wanted her to find peace in the next life. I would have asked Selune to guide her. I just wanted her to take my hand and ask me to help her. I wanted her to MEAN it. Instead, she said..

    -- You'll be the first to die, I'm sure.

    -- When the time comes, it will be you.

    -- I hope it is, stupid, naive, happy little girl.

    A few last words before she fell silent.

    -- I hope you all suffer so much.

    I forgive you Jessica and I TRULY hope you find some peace, wherever you are. If you ever need a path lit to find your way, call on the Moonmaiden. I will offer a prayer for you tonight.

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    **[OOC: Some screenshots from the event.]

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  • Day 6: Time Travel - Chronomancy

    Taking a break from civilization, Asha makes her way to her grandparents old tree home in the Rawlins. She glances up to the tree home that has sat empty for years, a wave of sadness comes over her remembering her grandparents and the times she spent there when she was younger. The fire-pit takes some urging to finally flame up, having sat unused for so long, except by passing adventurers. The sun slowly dips down over the canopy of trees, Asha's eyes drift in the opposite direction of the fading light.

    The moon slowly rises, the beautiful sight of her goddess washes away the sadness of remembering her lost family. A set of red eyes peers at her from the forming darkness, a small goblin stepping out of the trees to watch her for a moment - the creature retreating quickly into the woods again. An owl hoots from the forest, accompanied by the cawing of crows as they say goodbye to the daylight. Rustling in the bushes around her announce even the smallest creatures presence as she closes her eyes to listen. The fire crackles as it begins to burn brightly, its warmth slowly pushing away the evening chill in the air. Asha smiles lightly at the sounds of the forest around her and reaches into her pack to get out her quill, ink and journal.

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    'I am not even sure how to explain most of what happened today. It was AMAZING, though! It is like a play, its so unbelievable that it could happen!

    ACT 1

    The Herald D'Cameron needed some help with the well in Old Norwick acting up. Apparently this well used to act up constantly in the past and had begun its old shenanigans again. So, us being the brave and helpful adventurers we are, signed up to help the little hamlet of Norwick! Feldegast the gnome shopkeep has received a letter with his family seal on it - the letter itself signed by someone in his family who was DEAD. At the urging of Feldegast, we set off for Old Norwick to discover why the well was acting up after all these years.

    There was a giant spout of water - a geyser bursting up from the well, high into the sky! What an odd sight to see. Wild magic was rampant in the area as well, so we knew we OBVIOUSLY had our spot. We were met by a few disturbing creatures on our arrival. Slaadi, some type of ooze that seemed to draw the magic from my mind. They were horrible! Another guest stood close by shortly after our arrival, pale in features, staff in hand. 'Before you ask, I haven't figured out much more than you lot', she said. Isolde whispered something to me about the woman, but I won't write it here.

    A small drawing of fangs is set under this paragraph.

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    Apparently, this well was acting like some time distortion? Time anomaly? Really, what do I know about time? Obviously the whole multiverse was in danger, though, and we would save it! The well might only be reacting to the actual time magics.

    Around the well, we could see flashes of old Norwick from the past. It was so exciting to get an up close and personal history lesson. Bugbears pouring through to attack us. He was suddenly there! Frago, the one who had sent the letter to Feldegast and who has LONG been dead. It was odd, though, the man with us who goes by the name of Call seems to have been alive back then and remembers most of these people! I need to pick at his brain a bit.

    What to do next? After some deliberations, the only sensible course of action is to jump into the well, right? No, of course not. We just concentrated, and we were able to move through this "Time Anomaly". Time lines clashing. Our mission, if we chose to accept it [We did]. We were to find Ashan Nottiams - who the bards call "Pumpkin Head" apparently. As someone had interfered with his capture and subsequent stabbing to death, we need to set the timeline straight. He was apparently a bad man. Need to find some reference to him as well.

    Fast forward a bit. We got the beat down by the Norwick militia when we arrived. Just like from the stories! We met the following people, and I know little about them. I hope to change that through some book reading, though.

    • Mayor Tarien Norwick

    • Captain Uthger and his brother Uthgar

    • I won't forget Frago Tilnook!

    ACT 2

    The air seemed fresher back in the past Rawlins. Hard to explain. We searched for Ashan, and we found a cave system. It was so oppressive inside, long used by the darker forces for whatever purpose. We were trying to not be noticed, trying to NOT affect the timeline by needlessly killing those who shouldn't be dead. We failed on that, though.

    Enter Eastlanders. OUCH! Tough buggers, those Eastlanders, and they even managed to capture Nathelin at one point and put a dagger to his throat. We pushed on through! All different parts of the timeline coalescing, crashing together in our vision as we walked. Then we saw her, another Eastlander. She bid us come in. This was the one who was messing with time.

    Why are you doing this?

    Why? Why else! To survive!

    Were you there when the Eastlanders ended?

    I was in the Catacombs, yes.

    That part makes me curious. If she died in those catacombs, who came and told her before her death, to set her on this course of tampering with time?

    She was attacked by some in our group and the subsequent battle came to a stalemate, despite the summoned BALOR! She left shortly after, and we pushed on to find Ashan, or this mysterious Knight we were seeking. As she stepped through a time tear, it was like a grating on your very soul. Think of the most horrible, ear piercing sound, and have it feel like its entering your ears and scratching across your very essence. That is what a time tear sounds like. HORRIBLE!

    ACT 3

    Enter the Knight. Just'ene, a paladin of the Watcher. She was splendid! Long white hair just like grandmother, flowing down. She almost GLOWED like one of the shining knights from the stories! She stood before a big glowing seal, the magical prison of Ashan Nottiams. She had received a vision that many would die trying to take down Ashan and so she sealed him away to prevent those deaths.

    It took some convincing, but she agreed to let Ashan go. Why exactly? I'm not sure. She didn't know us, we were telling fanciful tales of time travel and Eastlander Chromancers. We tossed some minted coins at her feet, we showed her some citizen papers. She knew there was no King of Peltarch in her timeline - not exactly the most believable things. Maybe its just that feeling you get? Sometimes I just feel like I need to trust my gut. Maybe that's what she did.

    The feeling of nails grating down our souls again. Just'ene, eyes white hot, suddenly vanished in a time tear. As we waited to see if Ashan was again captured, the feeling came upon us all. The sound; the feeling of it scratching at your very existence. The blinding white flash as a time tear takes you away, and you appear back where you should be. Home again.

    We can't tell anyone what happened really. We can't pollute the timeline and we need to watch out for the Inevitables. They tend to get a bit upset when you go meddling in time.

    I need to read up more on:

    • Ashan Nottiams

    • Just'ene, the Paladin of the Watcher

    Who is that Eastlander Chronomancer?
    What can we use to prove we are from the future next time?
    What could possibly be the next attempt in the Chronomancer's plans to allow her survival?

    There are hundreds of questions to ask. Ugh. Time adventures hurt the head!

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    OOC: [Few screenshots from the event.]

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  • Day 2: Edwin Ashald!

    'It seems despite all my attempts to steer clear of the political incidents of the city, I still managed to walk right into the middle of one. Walking from the Docks and stretching my arms wide! Taking in a deep breath of the fresh, cool air coming off the lake. The smell of baking slowly drifting in my direction from the Mermaid. It was a good day for Kaeth -- that I managed to save after picking some up in Blackbridge the week before -- and Pastries! Today was going to be a good day! Except for that poisoned guy at the table.

    Ugh.

    It seems some woman named Jessica Whyte is trying to eliminate her Seafarer competitors. Edwin Ashald is one of those. He ingested some slow acting ettercap poison, or so Meadow told everyone. I tried a Heal prayer, but the poison was having none of that! The solution: go and find an Ettercap and get its blood. Off go one of his guards to collect this ettercap blood, never coming back. So off we go, into the Gypsy Woods in search of this elusive Ettercap that would be our cure to Edwin's predicament and also hopefully trying to find the Seafarer guard who disappeared.

    Between being kidnapped by bandits in the Pass and almost sold into slavery, you would THINK I would be a bit upset? Nope! Feels good to be back on the adventuring path! Isolde, Reyhenna, Cormac and myself were beaten down pretty bad, though. We escaped the clutches of the surprisingly organized Nars Bandits. Which reminds me, I need to bring my little squirrel friends some treats someday. We got our stuff back. We even got a name of who was organizing them! Isolde will remember. Turning the ballista on our captors was Reyhenna and Cormac's happy time of the day.

    We trudge on through the creepy, and spider filled Gypsy Woods! We meet our poison antidote, in all its massively large frame. I will call him Edward the Ettercap. Like the spider webs and juicy spider gore wasn't enough? No, no, let's add in Etterspores! I'm still not even sure what they were, but it was all sorts of disgusting. After a long, LONG fight to bring it down, we took Edward's blood, I gathered up his poison glands and we hurried back to the city, to rescue the fair Edwin Ashald!

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    Ugh. Bad Seafarers.

    It seems the plot thickens as we come across a group of Seafarer guards outside Edwin's Residential District estate. Demanding the poison reagents so their healer can make the cure, I offer them up. I truly do have hope in my heart that people are generally trying to do the right thing. This time I was wrong. The Seafarer Officer gave the reagents to the healer, who disappeared inside quickly and despite any attempts at asking or demanding to help oversee the completion of the cure, this officer wouldn't allow us inside.

    Here comes Reyhenna!

    Disagreement begins.
    Seafarers send for the City Guard.
    Seafarer neck gets snapped.
    Guard shows up.
    Guard piles on Reyhenna.
    Sebrienne does some horrible scream which stuns a bunch of folks.
    Erilo the half-orc stands up for Reyhenna and Sebrienne.
    Isolde and I sneak inside to check on Edwin, all invisible like, while those Seafarers and such were distracted.

    Inside, we find this "healer" disposing of the reagents for the cure! Isolde and I charge at him invisibly, and Isolde manages to thump them a bit and I quickly get to work. I was pleased at how quickly Edwin reacted to it! Too late Bad Seafarers! Edwin was groggy, but he began to wake up and we escorted him outside to confront the Seafarers who were trying to murder him. Things managed to calm a bit finally and our friends Reyhenna, Erilo, and Sebrienne were hauled off to the Gaol. They were joined by the remaining Seafarers.

    The trial will be interesting. The Gaol is now under the control of the combined forces of Edwin's Seafarers, the Wavebreakers led by this lady Amber, some fella named Cobin Daedalus and even some white haired elf lady came in and offered support. I don't know much about all these people, but I'm sure I will learn more in the coming months. I do know that Ex-General Velhar of the Guard was NOT happy about the whole thing. She was told to leave the Gaol.

    Peltarch still stands for another day, and tomorrow will bring some more excitement.

    Note to self: Collect Ettercap blood and Poison glands. I need to make more of this particular anti-venom. It seems some more people might be sick.



  • Asha curls up under the tree in the rooftop garden of the Witch and Seer. The air is crisp, her breath misting in front of her as she exhales, the beginning of winter is upon Narfell again. The night is clear, the moon high above is full and bright. She offers a smile upwards to her ever watchful goddess before turning her attention to the journal in front of her.

    Return to Adventuring - Day 1: The lizards!

    'I took a break recently. I spent most of my time in the Temple; scrubbing dishes clean, changing bedding, cooking food for the orphans, and reading stories before tucking them in for the night. When the city was attacked, I spent most of my time tending to the wounded. I would sit under the stars afterwards and think of the adventures I had been on. Despite enjoying this break, my heart longs for the wilderness. The open road and the great adventures that await us is what I truly need. So off I went again!

    [Not my image, just seemed fitting. Credit to the artist.]
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    The journey is sometimes short. I skipped my way down the road and out of the southern gates, just as the horns sounded! Lizardfolk were attacking the city, pouring out of their swamps and I ran straight into one of the big ones. Ugh. It is a bit more complex than that.

    Healer!
    Rush over.
    Get caught in some Stonehold.
    Stabbed in the chest.

    A true resurrection. True? One would think for the cost; you would come back ready to keep swinging! This was my first time dying, and I hope to never repeat it. Despite the use of powerful magics, the whole ordeal is draining mentally. The physical trauma on ones body as the magics knit your flesh back together, and urge your soul back into an empty shell. It ended with me sleeping away three or four days; some days were spent crying, other days spent just curled up in a ball.

    I forgive the creature for what it did, lizardfolk are an odd bunch. Not truly 'evil', just sort of primitive in their ways. Known as raiders, they value strength above all else. I suppose they saw the city as an easy target after the war? Perhaps they got tired of adventurers raiding their land so often? Perhaps they are angry at the construction in their swamps? I have always tried to avoid the lizardfolk, and I will continue to do so.'



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    Asha leans back against the wall in the docks, the altar to the Moonmaiden sitting only thirty feet off. She smiles as the moonlight seems to direct itself down in a focused beam to the altar - the bright light seeming to bring the whole section of the Docks District to life in the darkest hour of night. A trick of the mind perhaps, she thinks to herself. Selunites are known to see things that would make others think they were less than sane of mind. She shrugs the thought off and looks down to the simple journal, opening it up she begins to write.

    'Dwarves and Courage

    The Temple orphans wanted more stories tonight. Jumping on their beds in youthful protest when I told them they could not have them. Instead I ushered them to sleep and blew out the lanterns. I know I can't tell them about Bunus and his battlerager ways.

    Is it courage to race headlong into every situation, weapon swinging wildly as you do? Or is it foolishness? It could be a bit of both - I am guilty of both at times myself. Bunus is brave, foolish and stalwart. He stands firm each and every time we go out exploring. He is the shield that Selune heals through me. He would lay his life down for me, I know this inside. He is my friend and despite his stinky balor cloak, I love him dearly.

    I knew of the cave that he went to before. The large red X was said to be a warning - stay out! Beholders!

    Checking the 'GPS' and seeing his little dot not moving on the parchment made me nervous. I sat there for a time and watched to see if the little dot would begin to change location. Bunus, why did you have to go there, of all places? I gathered up who I could find, which was only Salin, the father of Six. Off we went to rescue my dwarven friend from the clutches of one of the worst nightmares to live on Faerun, if the stories are to be believed.

    The cave was dark and damp, but you could see them floating about in the darkness beyond, eyestalks slowly swaying to find more intruders. Every step you take, every scuffing sound of your boot on the stone floor sounds like an alarm going off. Your heart beat drumming in your ears. You swear they heard you as one eye seems to turn in your direction. The sanctuary should protect me from their sight or at least from most actions they might take against me. Salin is close by and invisible - he wouldn't leave me, my father would never forgive him he said.

    There is my poor Bunus, dead on the cavern floor, his body burnt and melted away from the horrible eye attacks of the beholders. I could see many of them hovering deeper in, so I quickly snatched up Bunus' horribly heavy body and sprinted out of the cave as fast as I could. I could hear Salin's footsteps behind me, and we didn't stop until we hit Norwick. The thought of those horrible creatures following us made my legs move faster than they ever have!

    It seemed.. easy. I expected them to find us right away and try to zap us into ash or whatever else they do! I should watch what I say. I still think there are floating eyes behind me at night. I have back my dwarven protector to keep me safe once again.

    Stay alive Bunus.

    Do NOT tell the children about beholders.'



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    As Asha slides the door open, she notices the lithe figure shackled to the floor, his chest rising and falling slowly with each breath as he curls up against the cold stone wall. She smiles softy and her light steps take her across the dusty stone floor quickly. Asha sets the tray of food down - the meal consisting of a broth with vegetables mixed in, a slice of bread, several small but fresh tomatoes and a mug of clarry wine. Offering a quiet prayer to the Moonmaiden brings the soft glow of moonlight to the room, Asha retreating to the doorway to write as she watches the elf.

    'The Elven Werewolf

    Many have told me that nothing is ever simple in Narfell. It seems each day I wake brings a new threat, a new adventure, and a new challenge. Each day also brings with it a new experience, a new smile at those experiences, new locations to see all over the lands, and new herbs and plants to find. Each day is a blessing!

    The particular day we met my guest, we were hired by the Cartographers Guild in Peltarch. A nice gnome fella who had accidentally turned Isolde into a cat with a magical rune discarded on the road, in turn offered us a paying job. Our task was simple, to head south and then east and map out a forested area. Bugbears were the enemies to be expected but it was goblins that were most troublesome. How could we refuse?

    A pile of goblins with grenades, a large net, a dwarf with a pilfered grenade, and an acid spitting insect chewing on goblin bones in a dark ravine. The makings of a REAL adventure.

    The night was perfect as our group kept up our mapping efforts. The moon came out so bright and beautiful, the crisp cool wind - so refreshing as it touched your exposed flesh, goosebumps forming as it did. We talked and laughed as we mapped. Then you get the feeling, you are being watched, you are being stalked. Your heart begins to pound and it echoes in your ears. The moon hid for a moment behind the clouds above and then they appeared, larger than horses. Dire wolves.

    If that was the end, our group would have likely been happy. He appeared shortly after, large, hairy and looking for his next meal. The red burning eyes of the werewolf, each breath causing a cloud that made him look almost ghostly, the low growling sounding like a hiss accompanying each breath. I tried to talk, I tried to do what Selune would want me to do. That could have easily of been my grandfather or grandmother out of control. I had to try something. He wanted nothing to do with it at first, instead lunging at our group. The battle was hard, he was SO strong, but we managed to make him flee. I was so HAPPY that the group gave me the chance.

    We cornered him later in his small glade, his soiled clothes and the remains of his meals littered the ground. Selune had tucked herself behind the clouds again and this seemed to calm him enough that we could all approach. Maybe we could talk reason into him. He wanted to rip our flesh, he wanted to feast on us. Selune disappeared into the new day and as she did he began his change back. We waited a time so we could get some rest and we were met by more elven figures upon waking. They searched for the beast and they wanted him dead - the groups negotiations paid off in the end and we were allowed to leave with our 'beast' hidden away under a blanket as we departed.

    A final meeting with an elven bardess in the woods was where we got some idea of his identity. The story she told while playing her lyre softly:

    There is a Sun Elf city in the woods to the west of where we were. There was a Lord with three children. One of those children has a habit of taking monthly walks, at night. She does not know if they seek to slay him because he is possibly the Lord's son. She believes they only seek to slay a beast that roams the forest, that they believe is an elven lycanthrope. Her advice was to take him far away. The name and location of this city is not for us to know.

    So he stays here for now. He rests. He says nothing but at least he seems to eat. I watch him curiously and wait for him to speak to me so we can begin looking into a possible cure for him, or at least control over his affliction.'



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    Autumn Crocus - is a toxic autumn blooming flowering plant that resembles the true crocuses. It has a pink color. The species is cultivated as an ornamental in temperate areas, in spite of its toxicity. This herbaceous perennial has leaves up to 25 cm long. The flowers are solitary, 4–7 cm across, with six tepals and six stamens with orange anthers and three white styles. At the time of fertilisation, the ovary is below ground. Plant is deadly poisonous and there is no known antidote. This plant is a particular threat to felines.

    'One must have magical means for removing the effects of this poison. LBL has a garden in the earth which is tended by her 'farmers' and their guardians. Was this the one who dropped the platinum pieces? I should find out.

    Must not panic when vegetation gets close.'