Jak's Journal
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Jak’s Bio

Captain Jak d’Lyrandar was born during a very brief thunderstorm, just twelve minutes before her sister, on the 22nd of Rhaan, 971 YK, at the family compound in Stormhome. Their parents were obviously not superstitious about making sure they were born when the Storm Moon was in its ascendant phase.

Jak always dreamed of being a sailor and traveling the width and breadth of Eberron’s oceans; fortunately, she was born into a family that made that possible. She lives in her House Lyrandar’s enclaves when docked in major ports, most often in Stormhome and the Dragon Towers when docked in Sharn. She has a twin sister, Morghan, though she rarely sees her as they tend to be on different ships and schedules; Morghan favors skyships, while Jak prefers the galleons and the open sea. When they do meet up, they talk as though it’s only been a day or so since they last chatted. Jak is a member of the Windwrights Guild, as is her sister. Though their parents are Raincallers, they must have had high hopes for both daughters, adding the appellation “Captain” to both of their names when the young half-elves were only just learning to swim and walk.

Jak has recently developed a dragonmark. She’s begun wearing clothing to cover it up, lest her crewmates start to treat her differently. She won’t be able to hide it for long though, and doesn’t really plan to; she just needs some time to adjust. She worries that she will be a Mark of Storm with a Khoravar attached to it, rather than Jak with a tattoo. And, she tells herself, it’s not like the one she has will help anyone other than herself, as it only keeps her from getting too hot or cold. Ironic, as now she has to wear more clothes to cover it even on warm days. She has not talked to her parents or sister since manifesting the dragonmark; none of them have one.

Captain Jak d'Lyrandar, image (c) Kristin Johnson

Character sheet: Captain Jak d’Lyrandar [Half-Elf Bard]

Posted by Kristin on July 23, 2005, 16:05


Sharn, Therendor 15, 998 YK

Dear Morghan—

Sorry I have not written in almost a month! I received your last letter just before boarding the Celestial Sylph to head back to Sharn. I see you finally got to travel on an airship— the Cerulean Sky? That one has an air elemental, doesn’t it? The Sylph does.

I actually had a chance to pilot it. I fear that I have developed one of those marks— I was sure I’d be lashed to the first ship leaving the harbor once word got out, but the Sylph’s captain told me to take a few weeks to adjust to it. And yes, my crewmates did start treating me a bit differently. Not badly, but I felt like valuable cargo the rest of the round trip to Valenar.

And speaking of Valenar, remember K’ehleyr from our last visit to Taer Valaestas? She finally took me up on that offer to travel on a ship, and came back all the way to Sharn with me! She brought a huge horse along. I had meant to learn to properly ride one while visiting, but with the mark showing up and all, I spent my time buying some clothing that covered more before heading back west. I assured her she could stay in our compound, as the Valenar we’ve met have always been so hospitable to us.

We arrived pretty late in the day yesterday, and were immediately met by Gib and Jin. It’s odd; Jin can look like pretty much anything so that he can fit in, but Gib somehow manages to blend in better. Perhaps that would be different in a different town. I’d told K’ehleyr about them, maybe too much, as she recognized them immediately and was soon attempting to instruct them on proper etiquette. This lesson was abruptly halted as we found a body while crossing a bridge in Upper Dura.

I quickly blew a whistle for the Watch as Gib winced and went through the body’s belongings, producing the ID of a provost at Morgrave University, identifying the elderly human’s remains as those of Bonal Geldam, professor of pre-Galifar history. Apparently there was more on the corpse, but at that moment I heard a scrape behind me and turned to see a cloaked form climbing over the side of the bridge. Yelling at it to identify itself produced an undesirable response, and we soon found ourselves fighting an axe-wielding warforged. I was knocked off my feet in time to see windows opening in the towers around us, and called again for someone to get the Watch.

I waved for the approaching Watch members as I heard a loud “clonk” sound behind me—K’ehleyr had finished off our assailant. A dwarf and two humans approached and asked us to drop our weapons and produce ID. We’d not yet registered K’ehleyr and I feared there would be trouble, but thankfully there were so many eye-witnesses to our stand against the professor’s killer that soon the dwarf, Sergeant Dolum, was congratulating us on a job well done and actually gave us a few gold coins as a reward. K’ehleyr, of course, promised to use her portion for purchasing ID first thing in the morning.

As we left the scene, another cloaked figure came towards us. I was about to call for the Watch again, fearing another warforged attacker, but the figure, a human, wore a signet ring of House Cannith, and asked only that we be at the Broken Anvil Inn at dawn.

We continued on towards the first tavern we found, and had a simple meal while we discussed the earlier events. Turns out that Gib had found more on the professor than he’d shown, the most interesting of which was a strange, mithril and leather bound book. The book’s pages appeared blank, but radiated strong magic.

Gib tucked the book away and we headed out into the rain. Did I mention it was raining again? I don’t understand why they don’t let the Raincallers fix that. Jin kept trying to get us to stay at his house, and Gib took him up on the offer, but I had no desire to go anywhere but our compound (not to mention, where would Jin have stowed K’ehleyr’s horse?).

We left the Valenar horse in the compound in the morning and went to meet at the Broken Anvil. We were seated by a halfling at a table with a human woman dressed in dark clothes— Elaydren d’Vown of House Cannith, with an offer to have a bit of adventure looking for one of their house artifacts left behind in the old city. A decent amount of coin was offered for what sounded like an easy bit of work. Of course, she needed a journal that had been in the possession of the Provost Geldam— luckily we still had that.

Lady d’Vown said the mark on the front was the old House symbol, and once she passed her signet ring over the book, words became visible on the pages. She looked through it while we ate breakfast, and then gave us a map and information on how to find the House Cannith’s lost foundry. Fifty-seven levels below the sewers, under Dorasharn Tower, we’d find an adamantine plate in the shape of a seven-pointed star. She also gave us a good portion of the promised coin to buy any supplies we might need. I have to confess, I’m not entirely sure what one would need to buy to go into the lower wards, so I just bought some rations.

We headed down into Lower Dura; it is definitely not a place to go dull-bladed or dull-witted! We were surrounded on all sides by poor goblins and shifters, and unwashed humans. I pulled my cloak around me so that my expensive clothing was not visible, and we made our way along the path marked on the map, until we came to a large gathering area. Our map was just marked “E213.” While we were sizing up a place called the “Rat’s Market,” trying to figure out who we could discreetly ask for directions, Jin walked up to a goblin peddling his wares to a large crowd and threatened him with bodily harm, and flashed gold at him! As all the eyes in the place became fixed on his location, Gib disappeared into the crowd in one direction, while K’ehleyr and I quickly turned and walked back the way we came.

Jin made matters worse by calling after us by name, telling us it was safe to come back, that he had the information we needed! I said something to the effect that he must have us confused with people who might know him and continued on.

He eventually caught up with us outside of that particular market, and I thought K’ehleyr was going to strangle him! While he was insisting that he had everything under control, Gib came back to tell us he had spotted two shifty looking shifters going down into the tunnel Jin had been told to use, no doubt waiting to ambush us. We had just suggested that Jin try to look like a shifter before Gib found us, figuring that in order to play the part, Jin would not have to converse with anyone down here. We headed back into the goblin’s market, through the indicated doorway, and down into the sewers where we had to trudge through water and the Host knows what else.

Of course, something was waiting for us! I used my whip dagger, thinking I’d surprise a shifter, but my blade hit metal— another warforged! As promised, there were two shifters there as well, but luck was with us and they were soon all lying at our feet, though Jin did not want to participate much lest he get his equipment wet. Gib handed me a crossbow and bolts found on one shifter’s corpse. We saw something detach from the warforged’s chest and flutter off— I was told the previous one had a similar thing happen when it was dispatched on the bridge last night.

We noticed that beyond us was a blue glow— it was a hatch on the ancient sewer wall, with the same symbol as had been on the Cannith journal. Unfortunately, it seems that it would be dangerous to pass without the proper signet; we should have asked to keep the journal as I suspect that symbol would allow us passage. As it was, we got blasted by an acid spell, resulting in our needing to take Jin back to the surface for healing and track down our Cannith patron.

Here’s hoping your current voyage is much less exciting (and dangerous!).


Posted by Kristin on August 21, 2005, 23:19


Sharn, Therendor 16, 998 YK

Dear Morghan—

I know this letter will likely be delivered with the last I sent, but I’m just glad I’m alive to send it at all!

We took Jin up into the city to find a healer, though he asked to go to a temple in his apparent delirium. We just let him babble on about clerics and took him to the closest Healer’s Guild. His mention of temples was timely though, as I had not realized it was Sun’s Blessing until the day was almost past. I had to make a way too brief stop at the Pavilion of the Host near our compound to leave an offering. I don’t believe any of my companions follow the Sovereign Host. We also stopped at the Broken Anvil for a meal and I sent a message to our Cannith patron, after having to repeatedly assure our friends that I could compose a note without confusing or insulting the other House!

This morning we all met again at the Broken Anvil and a courier from House Cannith arrived while we were waiting for our breakfast. He presented us, as we hoped, with the Cannith Journal. We’ve been taking turns skimming through it for any mention of the artifact. Before we headed off for the sewers below Dura, Jin decided to change his form, but for some reason, felt the need to go off and do so alone. Of course, he was still wearing the same clothing when he returned to the table, so we knew it was him.

We arrived back at the hatch, somewhat surprised that there wasn’t a soul in the market area, when it had been teeming just yesterday. K’ehleyr, who is a lot more battle hardened than the rest of us, took the journal towards the glowing blue house symbol. Thankfully, the hatch responded to that and opened up!

It got a bit nasty from there on in. The hatch revealed a vertical shaft that stretched as far as the eye could see in either direction. There had been a ladder at some point, but it had rusted away. And it was replaced with bugs. Really big bugs! We had to carefully make our way down the rough rock walls of the narrow shaft for about 500’, after which the angle became easier to navigate, though it continued in a generally downward direction. Sharn must go down below sea level as much as it rises above it!

By the time we did find a floor like level, we had gotten used to the bugs— that is, until we saw a carpet moving across the floor of a humongous cavern at us, clicking and chittering. Beetle swarm! Gib considered trying to eat them all, but they looked as determined to eat him, so we resorted to throwing lamp oil that I lit with a quick spell (see, I told you cantrips are good for things other than amusement!).

This seemed to drive the swarm off, and so we began to explore the huge vaulted chamber we now found ourselves in, hoping to find the foundry quickly.

Now, after that, things are a little hazy. I woke up on the floor of an ancient temple, with Gib trying to drip water from an enchanted fountain into my mouth. Apparently, we’d been accosted by some large acid-spewing rats, and both Jin and I had been nearly killed with their first attack! I owe Gib one. He and K’ehleyr had noticed a symbol they did not recognize at the font— Onatar, god of Artifice and the Forge. We were certainly on the right track!

Now that we were all conscious, we needed to get moving again, so we began to pick our way through the rubble of some buildings that had not stood the test of time as well as the temple had. We found one that could only be the foundry we sought, but could not find a way inside! As we debated over this, Jin found something in the journal mentioning a magic lock on some door, the frame of which had three distinct indentations in it (a pentagon, triangle and square), and in which order the indentations needed to be “unlocked,” had we only the three keys necessary to do so! Gib climbed to the top of the building, looking for another way in, and found a hole in its roof. Inside, there were two sets of glowing eyes— on two metal dogs, both obviously guarding something within. Another dog appeared to have been crushed when a section of the roof had caved in. We attempted to attack the remaining two from the roof, eager to prevent the necessity of getting close to those sharp metal teeth, but they were not willing to be baited out into the open, so we had to drop down on ropes to fight them. We’d hoped they would cease attacking when they saw the symbol on the journal, but they did not relent. Jin and Gib were both taken down by the creatures, K’ehleyr was not able to climb down with that big weapon she carries around, but she kept the metal canines off balance while I hit them. We could tell when they were dispatched, as a rod popped out of the head of each of them as they died. Each rod fit in an indentation in the magic lock spoken of in the journal, and realizing that, we cleared the rubble around the crushed dog until we found the third rod.

A panel on the forge wall had these three indentations in it, and upon using the rods, slid open to reveal that which we sought: the seven-pointed adamantine schema. We also found four potions, a map, some ancient gold and silver coins, gold ingots, and some good quality weapons and armor. Luckily, the potions turned out to be the kind that would heal our unconscious companions, so moments later Gib and Jin were helping us plan our departure from the underground ruins.

Just as we were climbing out of the foundry to return to the surface world, a flaming crossbow bolt shot past K’ehleyr’s head, and a voice called out, “Drop that schema!”

Posted by Kristin on September 2, 2005, 15:58

Fighting Chance

Sharn, Therendor 17, 998 YK

And we found ourselves face to face with another warforged assailant!

It was a long fight (for we chose not to turn over our hard-earned item!) and K’ehleyr was knocked unconscious once. I managed to pour that last healing potion down her throat while the guys kept the creature occupied, and within a second of Gib striking the killing blow, we were all trying to jump the warforged before the body hit the ground, hoping to prevent another one of those “Final Messengers” from fluttering away. It was too fast for us, though we were able to see that it flew off in the general direction of the shaft we’d climbed down earlier. We did manage to get a nice sword off its body, and Jin and Gib worked at taking some of the adamantine off of it, which K’ehleyr and I thought was tantamount to skinning a sentient creature.

We were in no shape to climb the shaft back to the surface, so we opted to hole up in the ancient temple for eight hours; hoping that no other warforged would be dispatched to find us. I estimated that they were looking for us about every twelve hours, but had no way of knowing if they were keeping to a schedule. I was able to cast some small healing spell on Gib, who’d been severely beaten up during our last encounter, and used what I had left to mend, or at least strengthen, the tattered map we’d found in the foundry. It appears to be of land between Cyre / Mournland and Darguun, though I do not recognize any of the symbols marking the map. I also attempted to get some practice in on my fiddle, having lugged it all the way down with us, but I managed to break two strings in two minutes.

This morning when we were ready to head back to the surface, Gib tried to find another route that would avoid the one the Lord of the Blades and his warforged assailants might be watching, but all tunnels out save the one had collapsed. He did find four large fire beetles though, which we fought (I killed two with a whip!). Gib and Jin took the “lanterns” off of the bugs, which provided us with enough light for the rest of the trip up.

Luck was with us; there were no complications on the long climb out of the catacombs, nor was there any unpleasantness waiting for us. I cast a quick spell to clean everyone’s clothing, and then we set off to the Broken Anvil again, both to eat and send a courier to House Cannith. At this point I discovered that the journal I’d earlier taken from Gib for safekeeping was no longer in my possession. I am sorry to say I accused the goblin of swiping it from my pack, but he was sincere when he told me that he did not and I was free to search him. Jin believed Gib to be telling the truth, so I let the matter drop.

Lady d’Vown soon arrived to meet with us, and was delighted that we’d retrieved the schema (and better yet, she made no mention of the journal), and mentioned that she may have other work for us in the future; we can check in periodically at the Sivis message station at the Barmin Tower. She paid us and left; and we went to sell off what we collected that we did not wish to keep. K’ehleyr and I went to sell the ancient coins to a collector and also sold the gold ingots and some various armor and weapons. Jin and Gib were gone for a long time, as they wanted to sell stuff that no reputable dealer would purchase.

They eventually arrived back with us for our next meal, but had not managed to sell the “warforged repair kit” and seemed a bit distressed about that; they were glad to take their shares from what K’ehleyr and I had sold.

I have a bad feeling about this.

Hope all is well with you!

Your sister,


Posted by Kristin on September 9, 2005, 16:56

Sea Cruise

Rhukaan Draal, Eyre 6, 998 YK

Dear Morghan—

I’m sorry I’ve not written in over two weeks! Time has gotten away from me again.

Nothing exciting has happened for two weeks anyway; I had barely seen Jin or Gib during that time, though that is likely because K’ehleyr and I spent most of our time in the upper wards of Sharn. In fact, we even had the pleasure of going to one of those galas that seem to occur whenever we’re in town. I usually don’t see anyone I know at those, but as luck would have it, Lady d’Vown at least knew we’d be there, and got word to me to meet her at the Broken Anvil the next morning— perhaps another opportunity to find an heirloom of her house?

I quickly fired off a note to Jin’s house, hoping he and Gib would be free to join us, and the four of us met the lady the next morning. She didn’t get to do more than hand us a bag containing provisions and instructions before we were attacked right in the Inn— we were set upon by four kobolds and another warforged! Taking out the kobolds was not difficult, just annoying, but keeping everyone standing proved difficult! Lady d’Vown was injured and I saw her dive behind an overturned table, and then we were all being irritated by the spear-wielding kobolds as we tried to get to the real threat. In fact, at one point the only thing between me and the warforged was K’ehleyr, and she was unconscious at the time! I didn’t think I’d get to her before she expired, but suddenly there was a fog filling the room, pouring out from where the House Cannith heir was crouched—allow the four of us to escape without being seen. We got K’ehleyr up and headed for the closest house of healing, then opened the haversack that the lady had left with us.

Not only do we get to go look for another schema— this time we are traveling in style! We’re on a Lyrandar galleon (the Nautilus— one with a water elemental of course!) just now arriving in Darguun’s capitol, and will be heading into the Mournlands— to a place called Whitehearth. Perhaps that old map I found will be useful, though I’ve been told that the entire country has been “altered” and doesn’t even remotely resemble what is on maps of Cyre. In addition to mundane camping equipment and supplies specific to our mission, we’ve been provided with healing potions— hopefully we won’t need them, as I’ve heard from other travelers that healing doesn’t work quite right in the Mournlands.

We had a spot of trouble, actually, while on our way here. On our third night in Kraken Bay, we were boarded by seaweed-covered skeletons who slew four of the crew before we could take them out— Gib was also hurt, but I was able to heal him. Unfortunately, the ship did not have a cleric of any sort on it, or the crew might have been saved.

I’ll try to write more soon— we’re about to dock!

Your loving sister,


Posted by Kristin on September 23, 2005, 20:22

Red at Night

Rose Quarry, Eyre 9, 998 YK


I have just realized that this is the first time in my life that I’ve been away from anyone in House Lyrandar for more than a few days! You had best try to meet up with me soon, or I’ll have to pretend K’ehleyr is my sister.

Rhukaan Draal has not changed since the last time I was on a ship docked there, but it was the first time I’ve been to the “Bloody Market.” What a crazy place! None of the vendors had anything I could possibly use, but a few coins for their time could get them talking. I learned that the ones with the most useless junk tended to have the most valuable in formation, and vice versa. Once this dawned on me, I quickly found the guy with the most useless wares and got the info we needed to find our contact, though I did “trade” my fiddle with two broken strings for the information. At some point during the hour or so that this took, Gib wandered off. Or perhaps he didn’t— there were so many goblins in the market that he could have been a few yards from us just blending in! K’ehleyr chose to just keep watch (and look less like a Valenar elf) and Jin was uncharacteristically quiet.

We found our contact, Failin, in a tavern just west of the market. The merchant that had given us directions called it the “Clenched Fist” and though there was no placard, there was an actual clenched ogre’s hand nailed above the door. It’s just as well that Gib had wandered off, as the clientele inside was clearly not goblinoid.

Jin found the person we sought— a red-headed, blue-eyed gangly human called Failin, so we sat down at his table and began to negotiate. He said he’d take us to Rose Quarry by land cart! I was thrilled by this, as I’ve never been on a vehicle moved by an earth elemental before, but I told him we had to wait for Gib. As luck would have it, Gib had figured out where we were and was waiting outside, so we gave our fare to Failin (who promptly gave it to the tavern keeper) and we left to walk to his cart. We had just stepped outside when two things happened— the first, two bugbears came out of nowhere and yelled “Failin, you cheating bastard!” and second, Failin was no longer with us. Come to think of it, make it three, as Gib had disappeared again as well. I was hesitant to get in a fight with the locals, but I had no problems with confusing them, so I shouted something to the effect of “How stupid do you have to be to not see the guy that you were looking for just ran past you into the marketplace?” which thankfully worked. Better still, Failin and Gib reappeared moments later, so we were able to get the cart unmolested.

The land cart was an interesting vehicle— it looked to be made of wood and stone, with wheels that merged with the ground when Failin took control of the elemental. I saw that he has a House Orien dragonmark, but he was emphatic that his last name was not d’Orien, so I’m not sure what his relation to Orien is, if any. Nice enough guy though, but not too talkative, or rather, he talks, but manages to not say anything about himself. I wonder if I would have been able to control an earth elemental, but did not get to find out!

It took us over three days to get to Rose Quarry, and we arrived at dusk. Long before we got there, we could see that horrid gray mist that surrounds the Mournlands stretching across the horizon in front of us. Rose Quarry is just outside of that area. Failin did volunteer the information that much of the red rock used in construction came from the mines here.

Rose Quarry is small— about 300’ by 400’ all told, and for the most part, the village is burned to the ground. From the land cart, it appeared that there was a large section covered in ice. We also thought we heard the sounds of picks on the north end, and could see four tents, a campfire, sixteen horses, and men and skeletons milling about in the south end! Gib decided to check out the south while the rest of us, who didn’t think we could be as quiet as our goblin companion, decided to check north. Failin waited at the cart.

Disaster! The “ice” we saw, was in fact, a large sheet of glass covering the plateau the village sits on. Two figured were moving quickly towards us— dwarven zombies, covered in what looked like glass shells! We were able to beat them back (I had to sing loud enough to inspire my surprised friends, but quiet enough to not be heard at the campsite) for a while, but K’ehleyr was struck hard by one and went down. I was able to heal her, and told Jin to retreat, but he would not. Suddenly we hear commotion on the other side of the village— Gib must have been spotted. I again called to Jin to retreat as K’ehleyr and I were about to run ourselves, when we saw him go down under the combined attacks of the two undead dwarves....

Posted by Kristin on September 28, 2005, 16:52

Jak of All Trades

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 on November 5, 2005, 00:00


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 on November 16, 2005, 14:07

Pack Mates

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 on November 21, 2005, 15:02

In Key

Whitehearth, Eyre 13, 998 YK


We’ve decided to remain here in Whitehearth just a bit longer.

After checking the newest passage revealed by using the green key, we came to another spherical room with a panel for unlocking the various passages. We used our newest key in an orange slot and nearly all fell into a shaft that opened up in the floor! Gib checked it out (he was the only one that could even see a little bit down it)— the long shaft contained brackish water in the last few feet— he was unable to find any levers or switches at the base, so he climbed back up and we tried going back to the main “sphere.”

We eventually made our way to another “orange” passage which led us to a steel door. I used Mage Hand to open it since we are a bit leery of doorknobs— opening it revealed the strangest thing! The room, little more than a hallway, was covered in mirrors, and had a huge brightly lit thing made of color floating in the center. As soon as the door was open, we realized that none of us could speak out loud. Thankfully the thing seemed unable or unwilling to attack, though it chased Gib around the little room. I saw another door a few feet ahead, and tumbled under the color-thing to get there, opening it and pushing back a curtain to reveal another strange sight.

It appeared that we were outside of a large room containing two bonfires and a crucible of molten glass, a crystal chest (the item we sought plainly visible within) sitting beside it. The room radiated no heat, and upon closer examination, was actually a tiny room that only contained one thing— a red key. By now my friends were standing in the doorway with me, the color-thing momentarily forgotten. We took the key and managed to get past the thing in the mirrored room without mishap.

Remembering that the room that had the shaft open in the floor had room for a red key on its panel, we hurried back there and tried the red key. Nothing happened. Almost simultaneously, we all realized that something useful might occur if we tried two keys together; we inserted both the red and orange, and were rewarded with the sound of sliding stone— a new 50’ long tunnel opened in the wall. Following it, we found ourselves in front of a steel door. Opening it revealed a large room containing two bonfires and a crucible of molten glass, a crystal chest (the item we sought plainly visible within) sitting beside it. This room radiated heat though, as did the two fire elementals that were heading towards us! I had been unable to heal my friends sufficiently from the activities of yesterday, but that didn’t stop Gib from running straight to the crystal chest! K’ehleyr also ran forward to engage one elemental as the other attacked the goblin. Singing didn’t seem to be enough to help this time— K’ehleyr fell to the elemental quickly, leaving Jin and I to fight it. I was amazed to find that my whip could actually do damage to it as I struck a killing blow. Jin and I ran into the room where the other fire elemental had Gib pinned down (or as Gib says, “Right where I wanted it!”). Gib was able to get clear of it, but it decided to attack Jin, hitting so hard we feared him dead. I wanted to go and heal him, but was out of spells, so I concentrated on killing the elemental. Gib must have weakened it already, as it fell quickly to my attack, at which point Gib and I both practically pounced onto Jin in an effort to patch him up. He and K’ehleyr were both unconscious, but thankfully the crystal chest, which Gib had open in short order, contained healing potions that like the wolves, did not seem to be negatively affected by being in the Mournlands.

In addition to the potions, we found two potions for resisting energy (how handy after the fact!), two copies of the diamond-shaped schema we sought, a large adamantine disc covered with mithral-laced runes and sockets, and a rolled up piece of paper. We also found another control panel in an alcove that, when used, opened the ceiling, allowing us the view of the sky above in its perpetual twilight.

We also found another body of a House Cannith human, wearing a signet ring, and a brown key. Even though we have the schema, we are curious to see what we can find by using the new key, so we may stay here another day. We could use the rest, and oddly, this is probably the safest place to be right now.

Your sister,


Posted by Kristin on December 2, 2005, 15:39

Sensing a Pattern

The Mournlands, Eyre 13, 998 YK, continued


We are finally leaving Whitehearth! I am the only one conscious (other than our House Orien driver), and I think the only reason my friends are alive is because of him.

We only rested briefly, and as soon as Jin and K’ehleyr were conscious again, we headed back through the tunnels to explore. Gib was sure there was loot to be found, and we did find some interesting things. Or rather, what my comrades chose to do with some of the things was interesting.

We found a room containing some well-made arms and armor, a few vials of oil for bladed weapons, potions for healing and restoration, jewelry and (judging by the squeal of delight from Jin) a wardrobe of very exciting fancy clothes. Never mind that all the outfits were dresses; Jin happily folded them and put them in his backpack, sure he’d have a use for them. I got a nice longsword— I rarely use such a heavy weapon, but I am glad I have it right now.

Another room had ten dead humans in it, most of which had keys such as the ones we’d been using to search the foundry. It was really creepy— the bodies were still warm and we had to check to make sure they weren’t actually breathing, even though we knew they’d been dead for years.

And finally, the room where the sphere of fire was rolling around— surely that would contain wondrous treasure! We now had two arcane scrolls of Resist Energy, and two potions of the same. I cast the scroll spells on Gib and K’ehleyr, with the understanding that Jin and I would take the remaining potions only if things weren’t going well for the other two— we assumed they could deal with the fiery thing easily enough. We were wrong! After a mere 10 or 15 seconds of K’ehleyr and Gib testing the sphere for vulnerabilities (Gib from inside of it), Jin couldn’t help himself and ran into the room, potion forgotten. So I followed him, altering the song I was using to allow me to swallow my potion without missing a beat. I hit the thing a few times, but it was clear that we couldn’t hurt it. It wasn’t hurting my ensorcelled friends, but singed Jin pretty good— lucky for him there was a huge pool of water in the corridor. Unfortunately his armor and clothes were lost during the incident.

What I saw next was pretty disturbing, but suffice it to say Jin was able to don one of his (her?) fancy dresses without it needing to be altered.

Worse, Gib and K’ehleyr had managed to burn off their own clothes (though they also “drowned” the sphere of fire in the pool). K’ehleyr attempted to put on one of Jin’s frilly dresses with her newly-acquired chain shirt, and Gib decided this was a “pants optional” day. Is it any wonder we were caught off guard?

We headed back to the ladder to the surface, and noticed that all the wolves and Failin were gone. We guessed (correctly) that Failin had asked the wolves if they were “ready to go,” and then helped them to the surface. We hurried out to see if he was still there.

He was, slumped over the steering mechanism of his land cart. A voice that was familiar to my friends whispered to “hand the third schema over” and we’d get to live. We were surrounded by six Emerald Claw soldiers, four skeletons, a spellcaster and, apparently, their vampire lord Garrow.

I handed one of the duplicate diamond-shaped schemas to Gib, and he hustled off to give it to the vampire. The voice whispered, “You have the thanks of Garrow and the Order.” The same voice said, a moment later, “Kill them.” And the spellcaster and vampire disappeared into the gloom on horseback.

Things went south very quickly. I sang a haunting melody that obviously agitated the members of the Emerald Claw, though their own master must have scared them more, as they all attempted to riddle me with bolts. Gib had disappeared into their ranks, no doubt with plans of an ambush, but I did not see him again during the battle. I was between K’ehleyr and Jin, neither of which were in any shape to fight, and both went down quickly from the blows of skeletons’ scimitars. A voice in my head told me to flee to live another day, but there was no way I was leaving my friends. K’ehleyr was closer, so I grabbed her and dragged her back to the foundry entrance, hoping to use a healing potion on her (and knowing it would not work properly outside in that preternatural gloom), but I could only get as far as the entrance when all the enemy appeared to turn and follow me! Lucky for me I’d been inside before and the tunnel leading in was not wide enough for more than single file entry; I ran to the ladder, climbed down to the area of perpetual darkness, and waited for the enemy one at a time.

It was several minutes of clinging to the ladder and stabbing blindly upwards into the darkness with my new longsword when I finally heard the last living person fall past me to their death below. The skeletons didn’t make an attempt to follow me down, though I managed to get a few smacks at them with the blade as I would come back up to goad another Emerald Claw into following me to his death. I am so grateful now for the time we spent learning to work while climbing and clinging to ship rigging— it saved my life!

At last, no one was following me down anymore, and I returned to the surface, fearing what I would find. The Host be praised, Failin had been faking dead after the cart had been peppered by the Emerald Claw’s bolts, and waited till I took enough of the enemy out of view, then went and stopped the bleeding on my dying friends. He must have destroyed a skeleton or two as well. This time when he asked if I was “ready to go,” I was more than willing to say yes! We’ve bundled up Gib, Jin and K’ehleyr for the trip out— if they don’t wake on their own by the time we hit the mists, I’ll dump those healing potions down their throats.


Posted by Kristin on December 5, 2005, 15:10

Shipping Out

Sharn, Eyre 23, 998 YK

Hi Morghan—

We made it back to Sharn, after a stop in Rhukaan Draal to meet up with Lady D’Vown. I got to pilot one of our water-elemental powered ships on our return trip. It took six nights to get back; I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed sailing over the past month! We’ve returned the item requested to her, and we even gave her another piece we’d found. Well, give isn’t exactly the right word. Jin blurted something at the beginning of our meeting with her that threw me off a bit, and by the end of our brief conversation, I believe we will not be working with her to find any of the remaining schema she is seeking. It is just as well. I am planning to sail back to Stormhome soon; perhaps I’ll see you there!

Your sister,


Posted by Kristin on December 21, 2005, 15:41