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Padhraig's Journal
The opportunity for a quiet walk from town to the Greenman’s home was not to be. Rather, most of our company agreed with me that the Shepherd who had laid down so many rules for the growth of this town was well worth meeting, so only Cabhain, Allie, and Jokhula remained behind at the Only Inn as Magret, I, and, it seemed to me at the moment, several dozen more made our way to the split in the river. On the island in the midst was a new cabin, a simple bridge leading across the water.

In fact, it was just three, Dama Kaela, Sir Jarrad, and Yvor. Still many introductions to be made, and I can understand why Kirrin Shepherd, as he gave his name, was somewhat defensive. In addition, that is, to the clear fact that he blamed us and our carelessness the winter before for the infestation of the island by, if not exactly demons, a taint of demons that willed itself toward regaining that state. He worried aloud that, even now, it was already too late to undo some of the damage done.

Taking from him a map of the worst infestations he had located, we returned to the inn and faced a new problem. Lightbringers, apparently of the faction Jokhula and Yvor had been cautioned to avoid, had been spotted on the island. Not in Treetown, but in the Cowtown settlement and, if rumors were to be believed, up around the new-born, all too circular lake that was the remains of the Zolosian Depot. Not the only remains, as the ants and Kirrin had made clear, in their own ways.

Snow came that night, and not exactly early this far north on the circle. Jokhula assured us that her magics and mundane tricks Yvor knew could get us to the lake despite the storm, and we made preparations. Food and supplies were gathered, odd wood-woven overshoes made to travel over snow, and too little time was free between this as Magret’s work in the still-unfinished chapel for us to find any real time to talk.

It was cold and windblown white as we left, back to an all too familiar path we had taken once before, knowing less of what we would find. Magic protected us from the worst of the elements and kept sign of our passage to a minimum, but my clothes and armor were not made for such use, even if the cold was kept at bay. When we reached a good ridge from which to view the lakeside, I was glad for any chance to not trudge uncomfortable shoes over too deep snow another stride.

The Lightbringers were there, in a more impressively constructed camp. Walls, a moat, watchtowers and a palisade protecting the three sides not against the lake, regular guard and good, clear lines of sight to any approach. And, to our surprise, at the first hint of a change in watch, a patrol flew up from the camp, passing by another returning to land. I think it was only Yvor and Jarred’s fine woodsmanship that kept us at all hidden from such careful eyes.

We watched for a day, to get better aware of them. One patrol returned bearing an unrecognizably shaped body, to the clear delight of someone we later ascertained to be the commander. We also witnessed a supply wagon arriving by magical gate, so they clearly were prepared to be here for some time.

That all known, we made our way to greet them in the name of the island’s governor. After all, his daughter was one of our number. The rest of us took on the role of her escorts, with Jokhula and Yvor moderately disguised and mostly silent to not be recognized. Silver and Merrin were the names they would offer.

The saw our approach before we left the treeline, and the guard was doubled as we approached. We were challenged in the name of the Lightbringers and announced ourselves as come to parley in the name of the Frasiers. After a brief delay, the commander welcomed us to his camp.

Bogen, First Son of the Lightbringers, was the name and title he gave, and cleansing this land of demonic infestation the purpose he claimed. Dama Kaela and Sir Jarrad argued the Frasier’s authority over the island and the Grey’s authority to protect the land, but he was clearly unconvinced. He and his had determined the lake the focus of the problem and meant to scour it utterly as a means of solving the problem.

I made no attempt to argue that, whatever power they might bring, it was scarcely likely to be of the scale of the twin orbs that had fragmented but not eliminated the problem a year before. I was of no mind to argue magical powers or their relative magnitude between sources arcane and divine, as the way he described their plan left me worried he might actually respond by getting sufficient power, an option not likely to the good of this island’s well-being.

Scarcely, and I think only because their plan were not yet at the ready, we won time to examine the exact nature of the lake’s corruption. With a few more supplies arranged from them, mostly heavy metal stock to use as weighting, we left to make a camp they could see, and there prepared for an early morning dive thru the ice and down into the dark, chaos-corrupted waters to find just what might have, quite impossibly, survived the twin annihilations. Magic was prepared to defend from even greater cold and grant breath in the depths, and if we did not all sleep poorly that night, I could not say who slept well.

Dawn came, and no sooner was I under the ice and into the water toward that, though, when the world flipped. The ice became floor beneath not ceiling above, and from its glassy-smooth surface grew a vast, cold palace.

“At last, my dearest grandson, you have come to me.”

The voice was familiar, though I had never heard it. Rather, it spoke to something in me deeper than memory. Magic protected me from the cold, but I could not help but shiver.
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A Good Place
This is a good place.

So thinks Valindra Silverbark, seated beside the great fire pit in the main hall of Caer Gwynned. She can feel the magic and wisdom of Gwynedd the Elder suffusing the hall, the force of all living things, gathered and centered here - powerful, vibrant, potent. Though Gwynedd the Elder serves Arduinna, a deity much different than Rillifane Rallathil, Valindra knows their power flows from the same wellspring, and she senses it all around her. That power lies strong in this village, coiled like a great knot of energy in the fabric of all-things centered on this place.

Thus, she is happy to be here, beeking in the warmth of the fire, savoring this momentary respite from their bloody travails, sipping a dark yeasty ale spiced with cloves. Outside, winter’s fist ruthlessly grips the land, but within this hall she has found the warmth and weal.

At the head of the gathering sits Gwynedd the Elder, powerful, beautiful despite or perhaps because of her age. She has given and taught Valindra so much in their short stay. The elf is deeply honored by her gifts, and has already prayed to the Leaf Lord to make her worthy of them.

Across the fire, Siobhan, the traveling dark eyed bard of the Severn River Valley, sings the story of the Orb of the Four Winds to those gathered in the great hall, her voice rich and sonorous. Valindra listens intently, watching the bard’s every move and gesture in the flickering light. She, loves to listen to such tales told and sung round the fire, though she has little knack for the crafting of them herself. This is one of the many things she likes about Blair, she thinks. Hopefully, Blair will tell some stories or recite some verses herself when Siobhan has finished.

She looks upon Blair and the rest of her comrades, Winter’s Bane, their faces ruddy in the firelight. Dill, already deep in his cups, casting his hircine stares upon most of the village lasses in the hall; Doughty Diogenes, his fearsome two handed sword seemingly never beyond his reach; Solera, so quiet and mysterious, her ice blue eyes glittering in the firelight, hinting at their unknown mysteries; and Ainorei, her delicate features sharpened in the firelight, leaning forward, absorbed in the bard’s tale unfolding before them.

It is odd, she thinks. They have known one and other for such a scant time and yet they have accomplished so much. They have given succor to so many people with their efforts, and word of their achievements has already spread throughout the valley and surrounding regions.

Yet she realizes that, with the possible exception of Ainorei with whom she shares a common forest home, she has so little in common with her comrades. Even Solera, a fellow elf, hails from regions so far geographically and culturally removed from hers, that she seems almost alien to Valindra. But despite this, a strong connection has grown and continues to grow between them all.

It suddenly occurs to her that in some ways they resemble the Orbs of the Four Seasons of which Siobhan sings at this moment, all so different yet forming a harmonious totality. She muses upon this for a moment, thoughtfully swirling the ale on her tongue, before rejecting the analogy as a bit too trite.

Nevertheless, the affection (even trust?) she feels for them has grown beyond its nascent stages and has flowered like fairy slippers blossoming on the moist forest floor. This is good and necessary, given what might lie ahead of them. The troll lair has proven merely an entryway into what appears to be a vast underground expanse of caverns and tunnels.

They have even found evidence that the Drow, those dark elves of the deeps so feared and reviled by her people, may lurk down there as well. Such a potential threat to the good people of the Severn Valley cannot be allowed to stand. And so, she and her companions must soon descend into those chthonic depths to explore and discover what threats may indeed lie in wait there, and eliminate them if necessary. Oh yes, Winter’s Bane will need to depend upon each other more than ever in the days to come.

Such worries, however, are for tomorrow. For now, Valindra merely wants to enjoy the company of her friends and the hospitality of Gwynned’s hall. And so she calls for another ale, leans back, and realizes suddenly that her heart feels lighter than it has in long time. Yes, this is a good place indeed.
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This has been an efficient day, yiss. Thirst has done well today. First checking on the Izzet lab near Ravnica General hosspital and reporting to Boross arressters about new hot drink that make goblins vibrate like hummerbirdiess. Then insspecting Tin Street market stalls for health code violationss. All clear, yiss. Big day at Tin Street because Rakdoss fesstival come soon. Won't be going near there during that, no. For some reason, speakers want me to go watch Azoriuss unload statues near fountain disstrict. I hates Azoriuss, very careful. But me more careful, yiss. But most exciting was picking up mail from posstal sservice. Those "masterful" Dimir sure took their sweet times getting Thirst his packagess he ordered. Not only wass my new game in one box, but another box has letter. Weird letter. Never gets mail that say "burn thiss." This is not orders from Prime Speaker. Thiss something elsse. I am quite thirssty for a Gin and Tectonic. Is only thing I likes about Gruul "culture." I might ass well sees what all this fuss is abouts...
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Epic × 2!
Burn after reading.
Stupid Zivix... Stupid Zivix, he thought to himself. This was almost as bad as the time when he used bat guano as a substitute for khalni heart... After wiping the soot from he goggles he began to collect the pieces of his failed invention. Perhaps 23 cores of power wasn't the right amount he thought, definitely needed more. Suddenly he realized and exclaimed, "The letter! The letter!". In all his time spent in Ravnica Zivix had never once been the recipient of a fancy letter. So enthralled by it he had mounted it on his workstation waiting for the perfect time to open it and see what was inside. After a thorough investigation the only piece he found was a partially burned corner which read "burn after reading", how terribly ironic he thought.

Saddened by the unfortunate series of events which furthered the doubt in his mind that he'd ever be accepted as an Izzet researcher, Zivix slumped in his seat and checked his watch. It was already 10:15 in the evening. He'd been working on his invention for two days straight without seeing the light of day. Perhaps it was time for a break, he thought. He headed down toward his favorite drinking spot, the Tattered Drake Tavern, looking to drown his sorrows in a large goblet of wine. On the bright side, Zikzax had told him that the pub had recently gotten a series of various exotic blends, including the illustrious Vitu-Ghazi Doubling Seasoned Wine, a variety he hadn't had in quite a while.

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Epic × 3!
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Posted by the GM
Aedda: A Calamidade
Ato III, pt 2 - A Calamidade
O Ato III ocorreu entre os dias 9º e 15º do Mês do Dragão de 2978 p.C. (pós-Criação)

O destino é algo engraçado. Você nunca sabe se está no lugar certo e na hora certa ou onde ele vai te levar. Ou então, quem você vai conhecer e que impacto isso terá no futuro. As pequenas coincidências que ocorrem no nosso dia a dia moldam toda uma cadeia de eventos que culmina no que somos hoje.

Um terremoto separou o grupo de aventureiros que voltava dos esgotos de Vom Garohm após derrotar um convento de bruxas. O primeiro grupo, composto por Àster, Akin, Dremian, Robb e Olara, caiu numa fenda criada pelo terremoto, enquanto o segundo grupo, com Nelath, Ragnar, Katyusha, Zoë e Halzin, conseguiram se segurar até que a fenda fechasse novamente.

O primeiro grupo, sem muitas opções de voltar para a superfície, decidiu explorar os túneis que se abriram perante si a fim de buscar uma saída. Durante o trajeto, conheceram um trio de drows que fugia de um quarto drow recentemente transformado em drider pela malévola Rainha Aranha, Lolth. Com a promessa de que ajudariam o trio a encerrar o sofrimento do amigo em troca de direções para a superfície, uma aliança foi forjada. No dia seguinte, a criatura veio de encontro ao grupo, e com um um esforço conjunto, pereceu. Áster, com sua imensa devoção a Tyr e à Triade, fez um ritual de purificação no corpo do drider, que trouxe sua presença à Rainha Aranha, e a irritou.

Enquanto isso, o segundo grupo concluiu a missão, trazendo Finelien Windhorn, uma das regentes da cidade que estava desaparecida, de volta. Logo no dia seguinte voltaram ao subterrâneo para encontrar seus amigos. O começo dessa busca, no entanto, mostrou o quanto a arrogância pode ser fatal, quando o grupo se viu cercado por uma trupe de goblins e de seu proclamado rei, um hobgoblin chamado Kuktat. Mesmo vendo sua desvantagem estratégica, Nelath continuou lutando, para logo em seguida ser dominada pelo rei, que a levou para seu covil, enquanto Kathy se viu executada pelas flechas dos goblins após acertar Kuktat com um Scorching Ray.

Em cativeiro, o segundo grupo precisava achar uma forma de sair das mãos de Kuktat. Felizmente, Arkud, o anão que cuidava da biblioteca de Vom Garohm, Tinta & Pena, que havia sido descartado pelas bruxas e, a partir de um acordo com o rei dos goblins, virou o cuidador dos prisioneiros. Uma vez sozinho com os prisioneiros , os instruiu dos desafios que poderiam esperar de Kuktat. Em troca, pediu para que o levassem de volta à superfície e junto com ele, Moi, uma svirfneblin que viveu sua vida inteira nas profundezas. No dia seguinte, Nelath foi desafiada a uma série combate (como previsto por Arkud) e em troca conseguiria a liberdade de seus aliados. Surpreendendo a todos com sua proeza em combate, Nelath derrotou cada inimigo que o rei goblin colocava em sua frente. Frustrado e impressionado, Kuktat pulou o último desafio, trazendo o maior guerreiro de sua coleção, um minotauro enlouquecido com o tempo em cativeiro. Seguro de que seu campeão destruiria a centaura em um único golpe, o hobgoblin permitiu que ela escolhesse dois companheiros para lhe prestar assistência, e Nelath decide por chamar Ragnar e Halzin. O combate se mostra brutal, com Nelath e Ragnar caindo inconscientes, mas Halzin felizmente garantindo o golpe final. A dupla é estabilizada e eles caminham para fora do covil. Já longe, eles montam acampamento, e ganham um tempo para descansar e honrar a vida de sua aliada falecia, e Ragnar se abre com Moi, contando um pouco do seu passado. No dia seguinte, encontram o drider purificado, e com a certeza de que estão no caminho correto, seguem viagem.

O primeiro grupo, seguindo caminho, começa a notar a presença de Lolth no seu trajeto, sendo atacada por grupos de aranhas. Durante o descanso, Áster é confrontada novamente pela Rainha Aranha, quase curvando sob seu poder, mas provando como sua devoção a Tyr é mais poderosa e expulsando qualquer resquício de Lolth em seu espírito. Essa batalha interna, porém, levou a paladina a um coma. Com Robb carregando Áster pelo caminho, o grupo seguiu viagem, passando por um posto avançado de drows sem chamar atenção, e chegando no que parecia ser o refúgio de um aventureiro, com um baú fechado. Adentrando o refúgio, o curioso Akin descobre que o baú está sendo guardado, quando uma estranha criatura, com vários olhos, o ataca. O confronto se mostra simples, e o pequeno kenku descobre uma bolsa mágica, contendo várias moedas de platina e alguns itens.

No dia seguinte, Áster acorda e o primeiro grupo segue viagem, para encontrar um grupo de inimigos composto por mais mais aranhas, uma delas gigantesca e um par de drows. Felizmente, o segundo grupo consegue chegar de encontro ao primeiro, e a força em números se mostra suficiente para derrotar os seguidores de Lolth. Mais três dias seguem até o grupo, agora reunido, chegasse a Vom Garohm. Na cidade, os aventureiros dividem as experiências que passaram na última semana, e decidem acompanhar Zoë e Olara até Thaldell, em Valenheim e posteriormente para Ark'hala. Nelath, no entanto, tem outros planos, decidindo seguir ao Norte, para concluir sua exploração do continente de Umend e suas diferentes sociedades. Ela presenteia todos com quem passou um tempo considerável um nome centáurico e pede a Ragnar que dê um enterro digno para Kathy.

Sem Kathy e Nelath, os aventureiros sentem um vazio surgindo, mas com a adição da curiosa Moi e um futuro brilhante a frente, não há o que lamentar no momento, somente esperar o que os deuses lhes prepararam.


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Tags: Milestone , Recap