4
Nov

Mauril’s Journal, Entry 3

   Posted by: Mauril   in Campaign Logs, Fantasy, RPG

Again, it seems that too much time has passed since I have found the opportunity to again set upon my journal.  It has been weeks since I have had a place of refuge.  I have taken up temporary residence in Newholm with two of those whom I had gone adventuring.  Before I tell you of my time here, I should tell of the events that transpired to bring me from Queen’s Landing to here.

The group was able to broker passage to Queen’s Landing, where we had believed our quarry to have fled.  Though many of us believed it folly, we had few other options.  We arrived in the city only to discover that our pair of maidens turned assassins had split up and fled in opposite directions: one south by ship and one north by road.  They had forced our hands, or rather the hands of those felt honor bound to bring both to justice.  I had become more than curious as to who these women might be.  They were certainly not form any of the common races.  Their very existence had become a puzzle that I desired to solve.  I cared not which we followed but the more seasoned warriors decided that north was our best option.

We chased her and her companions (who she seemed to have picked up in Queen’s Landing) for several days.  We believed her headed for Duke Vladir, but for what purpose, we did not know.  I spent much of the chase trying to search my memories for scraps of clues that might lead me to understanding the origin and purpose of our mysterious assassins.  I was able to ascertain neither her race nor her reason for wanting to incite open war between Barloz and Aruthien.  Stirred from my musings, Rath (our wildland guide) informed us that the group we were pursuing had veered off the road and into the ogre infested Toth Badlands.

I was very reluctant to follow her through that wild country but I was more reluctant to leave the safety of the swords my companions wielded.  It was not long before my fears were justified.  We were ambushed by a quartet of ogres.  I will be the first (and maybe only) to say that it was a harrowing experience.  More than one of us were nearly brought low by the hulking beasts.  When they had been defeated, the warriors re-initiated the pursuit.  Once again I followed because it was more dangerous to try to return than to continue deeper in.  For my own mental safety, I returned to my thoughts trying to distract myself from my surroundings as much as I was able.  I pondered my slowly unfolding abilities and decided that I should begin true experiments on myself to find the limits of my abilities.

After several more days of pursuit, we were approached by the woman’s bodyguards.  They were a number equaling our own but likely besting us in skill.  They had been hired to make sure that we did not interfere with the lady’s quest.  My companions were set on doing just that.  In this instance coin, not sword blows, were exchanged and we were escorted north back to the road.  These fellows had agreed to carry on with us as far as the camp of Duke Vladir.  Men are too corruptible.  I do not limit this to humans either, but all manner of creatures.  Never do I trust a man working for gold.  These mercenaries, however, proved loyal enough and did never turn on us.

We were not, however, safe for the remainder of the journey.  We had set in to camp one night after reaching the road but a day from the Caspan Legion when we were raided by bugbears while we slept.  Their shaman rendered some of us ineffective immediately and the state of our unreadiness rendered the rest nearly so.  The fight was short and the cretins were able to escape with their lives and many of our things.  At dawn, while studied my prayerbook, the two footpads and the tracker, along with the Flenness, sought out the bugbear nest and the return of their things.  After a few hours they returned with the entire colony boiling out of their holes behind them.  Thankfully our horses were capable of outpacing them to the fort which guards the northern pass.

We entered the military encampment there and discovered that our assassin was in the company of a priest and that they had continued northward.  We were invited to sit with Duke Vladir, though I believe that it was more for his benefit than ours.  A scrupulous and calculating man, the duke waited for us to inform him as to the events which brought us to his camp.  While those more intimately involved with the events and the general related the circumstances, I offered my cartographical services to the chief wizard who was in the process of stitching together a map of the regions.  Some of the details were no longer accurate, but the maps were very well made and were some of the most detailed that I had seen in many years.

Upon the rising of the sun, we set ourselves once again on the trail of our quarry.  My interest in her had become quite piqued when we realized that she had headed into Jotunn territory.  What a creature of her type - subtle and conniving - had to do with the Frost Giants and their barbaric followers, we did not know.  We did know that whatever it was it could not be good.  The Jotunn were long enemies of the kingdoms and if they had begun to brew war between Aruthien and Barloz, something catastrophic was about to happen.

We had nearly reached the Vigabrock, home of the Sabercat Jotunn, when we were again ambushed.  Traveling is ever perilous it seems.  A sorceress and a half dozen archers waylaid us in a forest path.  She and a few of her men were able to escape.  Rath had found trace of them earlier and the markings on their weapons were unknown to us.  They had killed the priest who had ventured with our pursued.  We left the escapees to their own schemes (not that I had any desire to do otherwise) and picked our way to the Jotunn city.

I am still not sure exactly how we were able to sneak our way into the city.  The barbarians are none too bright, I suppose.  We had determined that the assassin was in the city and began a search for her.  We found our way to the merchant bazaar where a duergar and a bronze elf were selling weapons and information.  I was more interested in the latter and struck a bargain with the elf (to the glares of some of my companions).  I gave him information that would soon be common knowledge in trade for information on the whereabouts of our target.  Also, I purchased a severed, shrunken troll head.  I do not know why I did this, but I have kept it fastened to my belt since that day.  I have it with me even now.

The bronze elf informed me that the woman was hiding in the temple district and we proceeded to confront her.  I am not sure what we planned to accomplish by going down there.  We should have known that she wouldn’t give anything and would likely fight or continue to flee.  All these she did.  After a foolish chase between temple colonnades, the warriors cut her down.  If not for a frost giant priestess and her divinely granted ability to speak with the dead, we would have extracted little from her more than vengeance.  We discovered that she was a creature known as a yuan-ti, a snake-like humanoid, and we were able to collect a list of what we believed to be other assassination targets.  We left the Vigabrock with haste and returned to the fort in the pass.  We informed Vladir of the plans we had found, as his name was on the list of targets, and journeyed to Tir Castellan.

Upon arrival in the city, I headed straight to the library-templ of Mishya to find any and all information I could on the yuan-ti, their culture, history and potential purposes for wanting to begin a war in the kingdoms.  I wish that I could have spent the rest of my days in that library.  Though it was yet unfinished, it contained a wealth of knowledge greater than I could have ever imagined.  Even if the events that soon transpired had not, news from my former temple in Barloz would eventually reach their ears and I would once again be forced to flee.  I do one day hope to return and explore that temple to the mind.

I was first stripped from my Elysium by my companions.  They discovered a wizard, Havlan, who had connections with the yuan-ti and they desired to question him.  He owned and ran a potion shop in the city.  Again, I should have known better but I remained silent while the swordsmen hatched a plan.  I was nearly taken to the green fields within moments of bursting through the door and only know that the wizard and his bodyguard were able to escape.  Havlan obviously knew what was coming, which was the second thing to drag me away from the place of sacred knowledge: the Jarls.

The Jarls, for those fortunate enough to have not experienced them, are tribes of barbarians who follow dragons.  In this case, two ancient red dragons, Groldern and Sorcheena.  They had marched from the sea, it seems, and had begun to siege the city.  We were standing on the balcony with Cas when the first beast struck.  I am not too proud to say that I cowed in fear at its very presence.  There was nothing for those who had the will to stand to do against these terrible creatures.

At Cas’s behest, we escaped the city and informed Duke Vladir of the plight of Tir Castellan.  We then journeyed on to Queen’s Landing before parting ways and returning to our various homes.  Having no place to call home, I have come to Newholm and lost myself in their libraries.  I have set about three things: further study of the yuan-ti, further study of the Jarls and the dragons they follow and further study of my new powers and abilities.  This city seems primly suited for the second and I am resolved to spending what spare time I have to deciphering and learning the yuan-ti language.

As for my abilities, I do not know yet what they have become.  I have learned that I am not constrained to only the spells of a Mishyan priest, nor even to clerics alone but rather to any who call upon the gods to grant them the ability to manipulate the world.  My body still surges with a mixture of pleasure and anguish each time I tap into the raw divine.  I am not sure if I ever want that sensation to cease either.

I must return to my studies.  I do not know how long I will have here, as I suspect that my companions will call upon me again soon.  The yuan-ti have infiltrated more than we had believed and are connected both with Manath and some nebulous “other power”.  Their agents have infiltrated all of the kingdoms and now that their plans have been set into motion, I do not suspect that it will be long before their next stage rises to the surface.

-M.E.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 at 9:31 pm and is filed under Campaign Logs, Fantasy, RPG. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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