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November 2, 2005

Time to Regroup

Jin's Journal

“Wake up Jin” I tell myself as I hang on to life with every fiber of my being. “Get off your lazy %** and get up.”

Suddenly I feel a liquid run down my throat and as I look up I can barley make out the familiar face of Jak. I wipe the blood and dirt from my eyes as I stand up. “Thank-you” I say knowing full well this is not the first time she saved my life. We head back to the land cart only to find that we are the only ones there, aside from the driver anyway. After some discussion we sneak down the small crevice on the one side and go clear down to the opposite end of the ruined city. It’s really dark as we slowly sneak up to the only two buildings still standing. After carefully looking around we sneak inside the one with noise coming from the inside. We saw two guards and a zombie dwarf. We had one close call as we left. I ducked around the corner of the building as Jak slipped inside the building across the street. She waved for me to get over their, but some careful looking around it became clear that was not going to happen. I noticed one of the guards looking at the building Jak was hiding in. I waited for a long time before Jak came out. Unfortunately she had a new “friend” come after her. Jak was able to trip this guard and I shoved my rapier into this Emerald Claw’s throat as another came around the corner. I swung and missed and as his blade cut me life went dark again. And again I awake to Jak pouring a healing potion down my throat. As I got up Jak and I put on the uniforms of our fallen adversaries, and did a little experiment. She walked into the first building again and to our surprise the zombie dwarf did not attack her. We searched the room and Jak found what we believe to be the information we need. I think it’s time to regroup and get out of here if only we can find Gib and K’ehleyr….

Posted by Fred at 19:48 | Jin’s Journal

November 5, 2005

Jak of All Trades

Jak's Journal

Rose Quarry, Eyre 10, 998 YK

We met up with Gib at Failin’s land cart, and I thought we agreed to go find Jin’s body and drag it back. Gib ran off into the night in the general direction of where Jin had fallen, and I’ve not seen him since. A few minutes later, K’ehleyr decided to go see what was happening, and I assumed she was going to help Gib. Perhaps she did— I’ve not seen her since either. Failin must have assumed the worst, as he asked if I was ready to get going again; so I went down to where we’d last seen Jin, hoping to find all of my companions.

I found Jin lying right where we’d been attacked by the zombies; thankfully he wasn’t dead, so I healed him enough to get him back on his feet. We went back to the land cart to wait for Gib and K’ehleyr; I’d not passed them and they’d obviously not retrieved Jin. Failin asked if I was ready to go now.

I said I was not and asked him to name a price for assisting us in retrieving our friends from whatever trouble they must be in; he would not leave the cart, but suggested we follow the canyon wall and avoid the camp— less chance of being spotted entering town. That sounded like a fine idea, so Jin and I headed off to do that.

It took us several hours to carefully walk through the Emerald Claw and zombie-infested town— we were scared to death we’d have zombies upon us if we made the slightest misstep. Eventually, we came to the only two buildings that still resembled buildings— most of Rose Quarry is just ruined foundations. One building was a temple to the Sovereign Host; the other, the Cannith foundry we sought. Unfortunately, the foundry was already occupied by two Emerald Claw soldiers and a glass-encrusted dwarf zombie, who was apparently digging where instructed inside the crumbling structure. We attempted to sneak in and made it through a few rooms before we must have been heard. I darted out and across the narrow street to the temple, and Jin headed around to the side of the foundry.

I had been using a spell to detect magic while in the foundry, and was surprised to see that there was something worth detecting in the abandoned church. Climbing carefully over mounds of debris, I found the source of the magic— a chalice. I recognized it from lore as Olladra’s Chalice, a holy item that could turn plain water into holy water. Unfortunately, it was embedded in a thick layer of glass, so close, but effectively out of my reach. I went to the doorway to let Jin know where I was, and signaled to him; unfortunately, he couldn’t reach me as one of the Emerald Claw emerged from the foundry right at that moment. Worse, he called for his companion as he ran to attack Jin. I left the temple to pursue them. I’m not sure what our fate would have been had the soldiers had better balance, but thankfully, all those years of life on a ship paid off— neither of our assailants could remain standing for long on the slick glass surface that covers so much of the town. Jin, who I’d not been able to heal as sufficiently as I’d have liked, eventually fell, but I was able to dispatch our enemy, and on checking their bodies, found a healing potion, which I immediately dumped down Jin’s throat. I didn’t have a scratch on me! We took the uniforms off of the dead soldiers in case we were spotted by more. I got a crazy idea then— perhaps the zombie would take directions from us while we were “in uniform.” We went into the foundry then, and I commanded the zombie to step back from where it was digging— it did so. There was a huge map on the floor, very much like the ancient map of Khorvaire we’d found below Sharn. There were also six statues, one on each side of three hearths on the South, West and North sides of the map; two made of red stone from this area, two of white and two of black. Upon investigation, we found symbols on the heads of the statues as follows:

Red Dragon Whitehearth, white seal, NE9
Red Lion Tallis, black seal, E4
White Wolf Cabblen Hall, red seal, SW15
White Falcon Blackhearth, black seal, SE12
Black Knight Kronu Hall, white seal, N6
Black Griffin Redhearth, red seal, SE7

The map still has some fragments of stone and broken glass on it, but I spotted a black seal of House Cannith in front of the “black” hearth. I suspect that we have found the record of the hidden workshops, but we need to clear some more debris away to make sure. I’ll have to command the zombie to destroy the statues, so the agents of the Emerald Claw don’t realize what they’ve uncovered. I checked for magic here too; I discovered one shield we’d taken off the soldiers’ corpses was magical, and also detected what turned out to be a little casket with a flask labeled “Compound 12” and 50 platinum pieces inside in the corner of the map room.

Now if we could just locate Gib and K’ehleyr as easily.

Posted by Kristin at 00:00 | Jak’s Journal

November 6, 2005

It’s a bit foggy...

Gib's Journal

I am waking up, in much pain. I find my head still spinning from whatever knocked me unconscious. My limbs are sore and seem bound.

I begin to look around and notice that I am not alone, there is an equally battered form next to me that looks familiar, K’ehleyr is tied and looking mighty pissed off. I look around more but fail to see anymore of my party. Although, there does seem to be a few guards from the camp I attacked.

Now it is coming back, I was looking for Jin. He was guarded by what was described to me as the ones who kicked my three companions’ butts. I decided rather than attack them, I might look for our goal, and hope the two dead dwarves wander off.

I found a building, with a cemetery. It had more dead dwarves digging up bodies; thinking this too was not the place to fight them, I decided to sneak into the nearby building.

As I came around the corner, I was greeted with a tall pointy-toothed visage of death. Quickly I realized I should run; as I did the vampire cast a large bank of clouds to surround the area, and called his minions to help.

Re-evaluating the situation I had to take a chance that this group was not with the other, so I tried to bring them together in a clash. I managed to escape the fog and head towards the other group. I even got the camp riled up enough to give chase. So I did my best to bring them towards the vampire and zombies, it all seemed to work until they did not fight each other.

Then I felt a great pain in my back and saw an arrow protruding from my shoulder. Then things got dark, my guess is it was the pain and blood loss.

Back to now, I am tied and bruised and my wound has not been treated. One of my companions is tied up next to me, another probably dead, and the third ran if she got smart. Ha, I got them right were I want them, they think they have the upper hand.

Posted by Jim at 12:07 | Gib’s Journal

November 7, 2005


Jin's Journal

As I waited for Jak to get done figuring out the map I turned my attention to looking as much like the fallen male Emerald Claw as I could. Going over the two ids I found on him, I realized one of them was a fake, but was unable to determine which was real and which was the one he was going under. Once Jak had the information we needed she told the dwarf zombie to destroy the statues, and parts of the floor. As she made her way back to the land cart I staggered into the camp either to save my friends or die trying. I was pleasantly surprised to find they bought my disguise and was explaining to them how we were ambushed and how the other one didn’t make it. That’s when they called for the vampire to come over. I was petrified, especially when it licked his lips at me. I like my blood right where it is.

“Did you get the information?” the creature asked.

“We had a couple of ideas, but we were unable to figure it out before the attack.” I responded.

“Then you failed.” he said. I thought I was going to die right then and there, but the vampire had other ideas. “Wait in your tent until I return, and decide your fate.”

With that, most of the camp left with the creature, and most everyone else just ignored me. I quietly went over to K’ehleyr and as I was cutting her bonds I told her to get up we’re getting out of here. She instead looked around for her belongings. I undid Gib’s bonds, but he still didn’t move. I ran from this camp to the waiting land cart dropping my form as I ran. I got there just seconds before K’ehleyr carrying the still-unconscious Gib. We all left and I’m happy to say we quickly outdistanced the mob of Emerald Claw behind us. We rode for a while and Jak was attempting to talk our driver into taking us into the Mournland, unsuccessfully at that. I got her to hand me one platinum piece and I told him there were more of these for him if he drove us.

“How much more?” He asked with an all too familiar look of greed in his eyes.

We bartered for a few minutes and agreed on twenty pieces. He took us just outside the devastated wasteland and rested for a few hours then headed right to our destination. We saw some strange things on our way, but were able to outdistance all possible problems and soon came to a mine shaft opening. We left and land cart and its driver and walked into the mine and came across a metal hatch in the floor. Gib, the little sneak that he is, caused a distraction and was quickly unconscious again as we turned around. I got to thinking. This one is a decoy. We were given three healing potions.

“There are there more hatches only one is the real one.” I told Jak and K’ehleyr.

Jak took Gib’s unconscious body to the land cart, and we moved on when she returned. It wasn’t long before we came to another hatch. There’s nothing to bluff my way out of, I say to myself as I take the key and go to open the hatch.

Again the all too familiar darkness of my mind.

Posted by Fred at 09:37 | Jin’s Journal

November 16, 2005


Jak's Journal

Whitehearth, Eyre 11, 998 YK

No sooner had I finished my missive in Rose Quarry, than Jin and I both came up with a solution— two different solutions— to our current puzzles— the map, and the location of our friends. We cleared some more debris, all the while Jin making adjustments to his facial features. By the time I had paced off the map from the colored seals in front of each hearth, and determined we needed to be about 25 miles outside of what had been the hamlet of Olkham, Jin bore a startling resemblance to the male Emerald Claw agent lying outside of the foundry building. He wanted me to pepper him with some arrows and make some realistic wounds, but I suggested he just add some bruises through shapeshifting— that seemed enough to make him look like he’d been on the wrong side of a fight. He suggested I head back to the land cart, while he went into the camp to look for Gib and K’ehleyr— I was still hoping they had returned to the cart but too many hours had passed. I had the dwarven zombie obliterate much of the map and all of the statues, to prevent our adversaries from finding any of the remaining foundries, wished Jin luck, and headed back to the cart as quickly as I could.

Somehow, Jin managed to pull it off; shortly after I arrived at the cart (Failin asking me if I was “ready to go” yet again), he was running towards us as fast as he could, K’ehleyr and Gib (unconscious and flung over the elf’s shoulder) not far behind. They leaped in and we took off, leaving a group of the Emerald Claw in our wake.

Jin managed to surprise us again by convincing Failin to drive us all the way to our destination; Failin had been adamant about only taking us as far as the border of Dead-Gray Mist. K’ehleyr was very upset because most of her equipment and our bag of supplies from Lady D’Vown had been left behind. I’m not sure which of us realized that the sapphire rod/key had been in that bag, or which of us realized that Gib had probably removed it to safety, considering it one of his own valuable “possessions.” Searching him, even unconscious, would prove fruitless, so we had to hope he’d present the key when and if the need arose.

I cannot do justice with my description of the Mournland. The mist surrounded us, but did not hide the many dead Brelish and Cyran soldiers that littered the battlefield from four years ago, preserved and looking as if they had just fallen moments before. While the air seemed still, we would occasionally hear something moving in the distance, and once saw a skeletal wolf/humanoid thing lurch out from behind a ballista.

An hour further in brought us more of the same, though one pile of corpses, mostly Valenar elves and Talenta Plains halflings, looked more decomposed than the other soldiers, and suddenly grew eight legs and attempted to follow us! It attempted to spear K’ehleyr as the land cart sped past, but thankfully missed.

We eventually came to some low hills where we believed Whitehearth to be, and discovered a timbered mine shaft opening bearing the House Cannith seal. Gib had regained consciousness, and I’d healed everyone as much as I could. We entered the mine.

The shaft brought us out in a 15’ by 15’ cavern, and branched into two tunnels. We took the left branch, went a few feet, and came to a metal hatch that clearly needed an object, a sapphire rod-shaped object, inserted into it. We told Gib that he might have something on him somewhere that would unlock it, and we all turned away so he could perform his “magic” on the lock.

We heard a yelp, and turning around, found a smoldering Gib lying next to the hatch, sapphire key a few inches from his hand. He was still alive, but knocked out again. I took him back to the cart where Failin waited for us, and before he could ask if I was “ready to go,” told him we wouldn’t be heading out until I carried the rest of the group out— that confused him good.

Unfortunately, I was hauling Jin out, smoking and unconscious, a few moments later. We’d found another hatch further down the right tunnel (which also branched) with the same results.

Later still, K’ehleyr and I were standing in front of another hatch. Not wishing to be zapped by a trap, I used a Mage Hand spell to insert the key. The shaft opened up! We found that we had to descend a very long shaft, through some magical darkness, into a spherical room. The room only contained an octagonal raised plate, with five sockets in it— five blue, two brown and two green. I continued to use Mage Hand to test the rod in different sockets; nothing happened with the brown or green sockets, but using the rod in the blue sockets causes the sound of rumbling outside of the room, producing various shafts to investigate. Now, which one is the one that will lead us to the schema?

Posted by Kristin at 14:07 | Jak’s Journal

November 21, 2005

Pack Mates

Jak's Journal

Whitehearth, Eyre 12, 998 YK

As I write this, I’m resting so close to a dire wolf that I can reach out and stroke her fur.

K’ehleyr and I decided to use chalk to number each of the shafts as we investigated them, as they always appeared in the same doorway and looked somewhat similar. Each of the four new tunnels that our blue key lead us to had a long corridor with various passages splitting off at the far end. The first we tried had a propped open door, a metal door (closed), and an archway leading in another direction. We noticed dried blood on the floor as well. Before we could investigate, we caught the sight of a large wolf in the open doorway, so we quickly tried another passage.

The second was… pleasant. A huge laundry room, complete with piles of fresh laundry and a tub of soapy water greeted us. As we watched, more clean clothes would rise out of the tub. I took a lab jacket I found on a pile near me and a few other items— you never know when you may need a quick change of clothes.

The third passage had a huge library at the end— and absolutely nothing worth reading, unless you like looking at inventory lists. There was a dead woman in there— she looked like she’d only passed yesterday— obviously her death occurred on the Day of Mourning. She had a House Cannith signet ring, and had been reading an arcane scroll for resisting energy. I took both; the former in case we needed the seal to gain entrance anywhere else in the foundry.

The fourth passage was full of soot and ash. When we made our way to the end, we found an area that contained a pool of clear water, and a room with a ball of fire rolling around in it. The ball started to roll towards us, so we quickly shut the door on it, moments later hearing a satisfying “whump!” as it tried to pass through the doorway.

Well, none of what we’d encountered so far produced any useful results, so we decided to try the first passage again, this time prepared to fight our way through if need be.

Things got a little… odd at this point. We stepped into the passage and the large wolf was there, so I said “Hello.” The wolf said “Hello!” I asked if the wolf had been down here long and she said that she had and then politely asked what we were doing down here as well. After some more (increasingly bizarre, as I really had no idea wolves could talk) pleasantries, we came to learn that Rorsa (as she called herself) had both a blue and green key, and had, prior to the Day of Mourning, been kept in a lab of some sort, along with the rest of her pack. She is fairly certain she could not talk then, and in fact, she’s the only one of her pack mates that can talk. Sadly, she and her pack have been trapped for four years (I can only assume that this odd tunnel set up somehow prevented whatever killed all the people of Cyre kept the wolves safe) in Whitehearth, and in fact, half of her pack mates are still in their cages, guarded by a nasty stone wolf. We agreed to work together, first to find some way of quickly reviving Jin and Gib, then rescuing her pack mates. She would give us her green key once they were released, so that we could find our way to wherever the schema was located.

K’ehleyr and I looked through the room Rorsa had been waiting in. It was a large room full of bunks and foot lockers. We did some rummaging, hoping for anything to aid us, and were rewarded with a handful of coins and two vials marked “healing.” Exactly what we needed! We immediately ran back to the surface to revive our comrades, and then brought them down to meet Rorsa, who led us back to the room with the octagonal pedestal. She used her green key, and a new shaft opened up, leading to another spherical room with a square pedestal. This one accepted blue, green, yellow or orange keys. Using her green key again, she opened up the way leading to her imprisoned pack mates. We found ourselves in a new narrow passage, the sounds of growling in the distance. We rounded a corner and came face to face with a wolf covered in marble plates. The wolf snarled, revealing obsidian teeth. Rorsa and K’ehleyr attempted to attack it, but had a lot of trouble landing blows and bites on the stony hide. The stone wolf had no such problems, and repeated wounded and knocked them down, and once ensorcelled K’ehleyr, causing her to move very slowly. I attempted to trip the creature with my whip, simultaneously singing a Haunting Melody, and while I know the stone wolf was shaken by it, it still had the upper hand. Jin could only assist at keeping us on our feet, while Gib managed to squeeze past the stone wolf and begin to unlock cages in the lab where Rorsa’s pack was held. As he freed wolves, they would come to Rorsa’s aid, flanking the enemy and biting it. Eventually, K’ehleyr managed to land a killing blow on the creature, and just in time, as she and Rorsa were badly wounded and Jin had been knocked out.

Gib dug around in some debris in the lab area, and came back with another signet ring, a round metal disk, an orange key, and a bloodstone broach bearing a crescent moon. Rorsa, true to her word, gave us her green key, and a pearl pendant she had in her possession. We decided to rest for a time, until my comrades and the wolves all felt ready to quest and travel. I went up and told Failin (who wanted to know if I was ready to go) that it would likely be safer for him to rest inside with us rather than in his land cart, and for once he agreed with me.

Here’s hoping this note finds you well above ground!

Your sister,


Posted by Kristin at 15:02 | Jak’s Journal

November 24, 2005

Again with the frakk’n bunny

Gib's Journal

Battered and bruised, my comrades all dead, my gear gone, and I haven’t stopped running for two days. I feel my mind racing for a way out of this tunnel, but it just keeps looping back in on itself.

I tried to hide a couple of times, but bunny would not have it. Endless in its single minded rage. When it first fell upon us it was like Death’s veil was thrown over us. It came from nowhere, and everywhere. I think I was hit first, the thing just came from no where and crushed me into the wall. With my left arm and most of my ribs instantly broken and the air driven from my lungs to the point that I nearly passed out all I could do was collapse and watch the horror as the beast tore into my friends.

They battled well, but where no match for its size and speed. K’ehleyr was last to fall, in a valiant last ditch effort to save Jak. The beast either thought me dead or forgot about me as it continued its rage against the now dead corpses of my friends. Seeing my only chance to live I began to creep away as quiet as I could. I almost got 20 feet away or so when it turned and stared right through me with the lifeless eyes.

That is when the running began. I don’t really know how I have stayed ahead of it so far, but every time I try to stop for a breath or to try to bandage my side which I discovered was bleeding profusely from one of my ribs exodus from my insides....

It is now that I find myself dizzy and in a haze. I find myself coming awake inside the land cart that I have come to hate so. My friends were there, I had apparently been knocked out again, this is getting real old... real quick.

Pushing my recurring nightmare away from my thoughts and listened to the story of my friends. Seems they have found a great talking dog, who requested our help. Anything is better than listening to “Are you ready to go,” so I went along. Feeling a little bit stiff and sore, I thought I would get things moving by retrieving my tools from Jin. Half way though the attempt Jin looked at me and stated that the tools are his, whatever that means.

So as we walked and went to meet this big puppy, I stretched my fingers and remembered my training. Eventually we were going to meet some stone dog, and I decided once again to get my tools. With the familiar feelings of leather and balance I retrieved my tools.

Then the big stone dog came. As the others fought, I slipped by the battle, with no small injury to my shoulder, and began releasing the caged puppies. Finally the battle ended and the big puppy gave us some stuff. Oh, I found some things too. Time to get some rest. I pick the nicest bunk and curl up against the wall. Finally some sleep that was not forced upon me. It is so relaxing … until it returned to chase me again.

Posted by Jim at 18:17 | Gib’s Journal