Overly Dramatic

Stedd's adventure log - Epilogue

‘Red’ Stedd Darvinson:

“Over time, I have learned to control it. It hungers for souls still, but it grants me power and so I feed it scraps. The unworthy. Murderers, rapists. It serves me in more ways. I keep the order in Hugain, and I will not abide crime going unpunished. Even Ivellios, for all his qualms, had to agree it is justice. CORELLON’S FOOL, SO EASILY TURNED TO OUR WAYS. And, for sure, Hugain thrives. Trade has increased. So what if some of it flows to the syndicate.

And yet, something is wrong. Something changed. It senses it too, and fills my head with rage. It feels like a predator denied its kill. Kragg can probably handle things here, he’s both competent enough to be able to do it, and not ambitious enough to be a threat. I WISH HE WAS A THREAT. I COULD GORGE ON HIS BLOOD, AND SNUFF THE SOUL FROM HIS BODY. I’ll have to figure out what it is. Somehow it draws me south. Back to Ashnor? Might be. Worth checking out.

And he is out there, too, somewhere, still. Perrin. This city is safe, but I will never be whole while he lives. I would let it consume my soul and burn in the Hells forever for a chance at him. I WILL TEAR THE WINGS FROM HIM. I WILL RIP HIM ASUNDER. NOT EVEN THE ABYSS WILL BE ABLE TO PUT HIM BACK TOGETHER ONCE I FIND HIM. AND ONCE I FIND HIM, I WILL TAKE MY HOST UP ON HIS OFFER, BELIEVE ME."

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Rusty's diary - Epilogue

Back in Antropolis. Studied the ritual Gloriea used to summon statues. Seems somehow tied to her mastery of chaos magic. Contain souls taken by demons. I have become convinced that some of them must contain the souls of those who disappeared back in Larna. Must investigate which ones. Can’t bring them back but at least I will have some closure. It occurs to me that my journal might very well be only place all locations of statues are written down. Should I destroy it? World might be safer. But the knowledge would be lost forever. I cannot. I cannot destroy this knowledge. I will need to keep it safe.

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Rusty's diary 27-02-2016

Eladay, Termini 17, 1284CE:

Fourth summoning circle in temple of Poseidon. Opressive feel in market. Cast a glamour to make us all look like peasants; should reduce chance of us being noticed. Morgran is bull-headed and I can’t overcome his willpower. Unfortunate. Guards were still suspicious, but Eldeth bluffed her way out of it. Remarkable. Entrance to subterranean hall with circle around side. Locked, but Aviendha has key. Mark tries to cross water, but grabbed by demonic squid. Morgran grabbed as well. I teleport him and myself across. Fireballs in the water. Mark pulls lever. Bridge raised across water. Statue is summoned. No demons. Farona sends a psychic distress call to Aviendha. Clever demon. The game is afoot.

Back to Farona’s camp. Mark and Aviendha rushed ahead, but doubled back after being attacked. Ambushed by dretches and a yochlol. Campsite ravaged. No survivor’s found, no sign of Farona. Eldeth tracked attacker’s tracks back to Ashnor. Tried Alton’s house. Abandoned for days. Will try to backtrack from dungeon exit, instead. Succesful at infiltrating dungeon. Found Farona and other survivors. Alton must be upstairs. Last circle as well. I will finally redeem myself. Found a guard room upstairs. Alton’s voice. He’s prepared. But so are we. Oiaxar is close to breaking free, as well. He can project his voice into this plane already. Not much time. Alton summons two demons, and transforms in one as himself. Eldeth saved beads of force for this day, and managed to trap Alton in one. Killed the demons. Tried to hide from Alton using invisibility but he has true sight. Still, he died more easily than expected. Gloriea summons the last statue.

Finally. After all this time. Done. Oiaxar taunts us. Challenges us to find him in Abyss and finish him for good. Opens a portal for us. Not taken in so easily; he will be more powerful there. Too powerful. But he wont’t be able to manifest on this plane for centuries, now. That will do for me. Eldeth charges in, though. So does Mark, grabbing Aviendha. I tried to save her. I did. Feared Mark. He shrugged it off. Dangerous glint in his eye. Almost like he knew this would happen. Rhogash follows them. All fools. They will die screaming. Oiaxar can call me a coward all he wants; fuck him, this world is safe. At least Gloriea sees it my way, too.

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Rhogash entry #11
There is no place like home

There is this saying, there’s no place like home, well, now home is like no place anywhere else. Our beautifull homecity is overrun by demons and the people seem to camp outside the city in refugeecamps. We met back up with Farona, who seems to have a prominent role in gathering the people from Ashnor. Not straying from our quest, we made good use of our time, only resting the minimum to regain spells and health. We had a few summoning circles to restore! Apparently they took the statues we had put in place here. First up was the mine. There were some dwarves there, which seem to be mining more brainlessly then normal. Apparently under a spell to powerfull for us to break, we decided to push on. After clearing some debris of a collapsed tunnel, we found a few cloakers who choked on our weapons.
The ritual went smoothly, no demons popped up, maybe they ran out of demons to throw at us or maybe we scare them. Anyway, this as just our first stop. Next up was the one in the crypts. This time we were greeted by some flaming skulls who bombarded us with fireballs when we entered. Gloria went down, a little bit ironic since she’s the one usualy throwing those things around. I helped her up again and after we took care of the skulls we went through a series of traps. Not too much of a challenge, though not like a walk in the forest.
In the final room we found a few undeads and undead-demons. I’m running out of things to descibe how we dealt with those, but they’ll not be returning anytime soon. After this it was another easy summoning of the statue.
Next statue on the list was the one on the island. We found a sailor willing to lend his boat and after overpaying him and ‘securing’ a way back to mainland, we set out. The island seemed to be protected by giants this time. I don’t remember seeing those last time I was here, maybe this Oxigar is trying to protect his statues afterall. Rusty and Eldeath teleported to the wall and took care of them, while Mark and me took care of the boat.
The keep on the island looked like i did last time we were here, including the oozes protecting it on the inside. I got swallowed a few times, realy not fun, but they better choke on me then eating one of my friends. After this we found the ritual place and again no demons were summoned, just a statue. We went back to Farona’s camp after this to get some sleep and contemplate what would be our next move.

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Rusty's diary 24-01-2016

Namday, Termini 15, 1284CE:

Found summoning circle at bottom of mine. Summoned statue. No demonic interference. Unusual. Collapsed tunnels on the way out. Unlikely to deter determined adversary, but might keep out transients. One statue down. Suspect four to go. Three locations known; crypt, temple of Poseidon, island.

Crypt guarded by flameskulls. Intruiging. Flameskulls that cast fireball. Nasty surprise. Will need to hurry. Guarded by traps as well; not much of a challenge. Ritual chamber infested with zombies, and zombie demons. Interesting. Had heard of such beings, but never seen before. Dispatched zombies and summoned statue. Still no interruptions. Eery. Traps disabled on way out. Very eery. Back to Farona’s camp to rest.

Tigday, Termini 16, 1284CE:

Next statue is on island in lake south of Ashport. Need to find transportation. Found a sailor willing. Reasonable price, initially, but Eldeth seems to want to throw money away. Weird behaviour for a dwarf. Hmm. Anyway,
teleported on top of ramparts with Eldeth when approaching island. Found two giants. Barely troubling. Into the keep. Apparently, infested by gelatinous cube before. Turns out, still is. Lots of them. Engulfed by one. Not amused. Destroyed them all. Summoned next statue. Still no gods damned demons. Where are they. Oiaxar must be noticing the statues being summoned. What is he playing at. Did I miss something? Is there some part of the puzzle I have overlooked? I wish I hadn’t burned those books, there must be something I have missed. No. I will be damned before I let him win. Back to Farona’s camp. I must make contingencies.

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Glorea's Diary Part Eleven

My worst moments of the day

  • I was hit by three fireballs!! MY FAVOURITE SPELL! It was fired by some terrible ugly skeletons and they hurt me really bad..auw auwww…
    …my poor beautiful body! I never felt so much pain and I was knocked prone for some time..How could that happen?
  • A whole room full of gelatinous cubes…..do I need to say more? Glad they didn’t trapped me in their jelly bodies..grosh..! Ofcourse I killed them with some fireballs.
  • Got seasick on a sailingboat, next time we take at least a cruise or something that flies!

My most glorious moments of the day

  • Eldeth gave me some of her etherial oil in the dungeon to pass the traps with moving axes and dangerous darts. It was really greazy, and oh my god I had to rub it all over my clean spotless body..Yugh. Why does it always have to be difficult? I’m glad I could make the smell more prettier with the scent of violets! But the oil sent me to the ethereal plane and it was really nice and silent over there and it helped me to pass through the terrible traps without a scratch. So really thanks Eldeth!
  • I summoned all the statues with my special ritual which I only know!
  • I killed a giant who was standing on the castle, Ofcourse I did.
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Rusty's diary 09-01-2016

Namday, Termini 15, 1284CE:

Date confirmed. Location confirmed. Deva sent us to forest near Ashnor. Found demons attacking militia. Barlgura, shadow demons. Not as serious yet. Will probably get worse later. Took out the Barlgura. Guess he should’ve stayed invisible. Militia took us to their camp. Militia leader is named Farona. Seems rest know her. Interesting. City has been taken over by one Alton Danesh. In league with demons. Seems rest know him, too. Dislike all these coincidences.

Turns out four statues have been taken from their ritual circles near here. Will have to replace them. One is in a mine. Overseer’s house looks abandoned. Mine itself not. Miners are like automatons. Eldeth knows them. Probed their minds; scared of something. Minds clouded. Deeper into mine. Found a cliff. Climbed down; small tunnel ahead is collapsed. Eldeth and Rhogash try to clear it. Attacked by cloakers. Hate rays. Why did it have to be rays. Killed them. Felt better.

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Understanding

The nightmares have grown strong and clear. The word betrayal echos in my mind. The wound of the illicit tattoo of Perrin festers on my body.
I know what this means. I know what I have done. I know what I should do, but I cannot. The name that can be seen in the blisters, not her. Anyone but her.

Why her? Did she? No she could not have, she know better then to interfere with holy things. I must be mistaken, it must be someone else.

The nightmares made their way into the real world today, well, real is the question. Everyone got a trail of sorts. Mine was to disrobe, I did, I showed them what I was.
They all had their eyes closed, but I knew she did not. I could feel it, I could feel the pull. Fate it seems it not without a sense of irony, I wonder if she saw it too.
Did she see? Did she see what I saw? Did she see her name too?

After the trails, we encountered a deva. Her light burned, it was blinding, yet it felt familiar. The moment I put on my hood and look properly through the slits of
eyes I felt something I had never felt before. Could it be? Could she be? The puzzle begins solve itself in my mind.

I see now what balance is, balance is that shadow cannot exist without light, and light would useless if it was not for darkness.
Balance is the path in between we must walk. Balance is not what this world is in right now.

I will complete my mission, I understand now, I know now why I born, who you are mother, who you are father. I know where and how it and I will end. Soon we will meet
again. The portal awaits, I will bring the girl.

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Rhogash entry #10
Elves, dreams and homebound

We’ve ben busy the last couple of days. After we had done our business in Shirogh, we wasted no time in getting to our next destination, the elven city of Almagus. The Thundershines hooked us up with their magic and we went through the now familiar portal. On the other end we landed in a swamp and had a warm welcome by some of the local wildlife. After this we made our way to the city, with a little guidance from a birdy (that trick of Eldeath is becomming pretty handy).
The city was what I imagined from an elven city, though the elves living here all seem to have a stick up their….behind. Nothing like the elves we encountered sofar, haughty, demeaning and full of themselves. They seem to think of us as lower beings and were directed to spend our time in the city in a special quarter for non-elves. We found a nice inn, run by a halfling. Eldeath and our new companion Moregran started drinking heavily, feeling totaly out of place.
We decided to split up and see what we could find out about the demon and the city. I tried to get into the main temple, but was redirected to a small chapel which wasn’t any use. Avienda and Gloria seemed to be more lucky, gotting invited to a party somewhere. At this point I was feeling pretty fed up with our progress and decided to try my luck. I entered the part of the city where all the official buildings were, hoping to get an audience with the high-priestess, but was stopped by a contingent of guards who urged me to go back or face the consequences. Not willing to end up in jail, I decided to go back and seek another way to speak with the priestes. I wrote an official request for an audience and send a messenger.
Avienda and Gloria seemed to had some luck though at their party. They found a way to get Rusty into the library. There he found the place where we had to be, thankfully not somewhere in this city. We took a boat and a small walk through the jungle before we found the tower ruins we were looking for. It was guarded of course, a young black dragon and some lizardfolk. A battle followed and with a little bit of luck we killed all of them.
Below the ruins there was a small dragon hoard; lots of coins a magic lute and the summoning circle. We were all prepared to face the demons that usualy show up while we activate the circle, but they decided to stay away this time. After the ritial we went back to the boat, but while we were moving back we all were all suddenly struck by fatigue. Against all reason, we decided to sleep before we entered the boat back.
We woke up, in a forest, but not the jungle we fell asleep in. It was a floating island as we found out later and we had no idea how we got there. At first I thought it was the lute that Avienda found, but it was something else entirely. Gloria, in a strange turn of events, decided we should look around and we found a splendid door, all gold and surrounded by gems. Behind is was an abyss, but when we looked through it we saw a hallway. After Moregran went through, we all felt a compelling senses to go through it as well. In the door we seemed to be at a party of some sort, with most of us being servants, except for Gloria and it seemed we where stuck in these bodies we were given, not being able to do anything.
I’m not sure what happened but apparently she did something, for after a while we where back on the island again. The next one was Mark, who found a dark door earlier. We all went through it and we ended in a dark room, with a gem in a beam of light in the centre. We searched the gem, but Mark couldn’t seem to get close to it, almost as if the light stopped him. Only after he undressed and find all his courage he could touch it and POOF we were back on the island again.
Eldeath’s door was next. A huge battlefield and she was the only one of us armed. We decided to back off to a cliff, but the armies were to overwhelming for her. We decided to jump the cliff, Eldeath frightened at first, but once she jumped we were back on the island again. Next door was Rusty’s, a library with all the knowledge in the world and someone from Rusty’s past. Rusty had to choose, knowledge or saving his friend. HE made the right one in the end.
Next up was me. By now we had figured out how to beat these doors. It was about confronting your fears. We ended up in a temple to Bahamuth in all his splendor. Suddenly Eldeath collapses, breathing barely. Moregran and Gloria follow. Then I notice the flames. One after another my friends fall unconscious and I’m the only one who can save them. I see a door and try to get them to it by dragging them. But the air is thick and is stopping me. I tried to get between them and the fire, but the fire is hot and burns me. The door opens up a bit more and I have to decide, save myself or die together here with my friends. With heavy heart I go to the door, leaving the bodies of my friends behind, praying in myself to Bahamuth this is just a test just like the others.
When I go through the door I’m back on the island and my friends are all there, breathing and well. Feeling very glad they’re still alive I hug them all. Two more doors to go.
Moregrans doors leads us to his ancestral home. Another party with nobles. But this time we had our own bodies. Seemed like our dwarven buddy had stolen something and needed to confront his family with this truth.
The last door was Avienda’s. It wasn’t a door like the others, more a gate made by trees and branches. Behind it was a city, but populated by only Avienda’s. We tried looking for the real one, but couldn’t find her at first. Then she started telling her story and slowly but surely the other Avienda’s vanished, untill only the real one was left.
Back on the island we found a staircase leading down. The stairs were lit by gems with the same colors of our gates. Below we found 2 demons. We quickly kill one of them and if we wnat to start on the other one, it transforms into a diva. A REAL DIVA. It tells us we passed the test and are ready to face the real demon now. She teleports us and we are back where it all started, back at Ashnor.

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Rusty's diary 15-10-2015

Nannaday, Termini 13, 1284CE:

Found dragon’s hoard below the tower. Lots of gold. Aviendha found magic lute. Curious. Also found summoning circle. Performed ritual. No demons. Very curious. Should be last of circles. Finally done? I hope so. So much time passed since Larna castle. Time to end this. So tired. So very tired. Soothing music. Might as well sleep here and head back tomorrow.

Titanday, Termini 14, 1284CE ?:

Woke up… somewhere. Not on the island. Orange sky. Think I know where… must be some plane. Can’t remember which one. Strange. Know I read about this. Light is all wrong, too. No shadows.

Gloriea seems to know this place. Finds gem-encrusted gold door. Behind it, edge of abyss. Don’t like this. Vague sense of dread. Door opens into hallway. Some elven castle. Mark finds dark portal nearby. Poke arm throug door. Weird. Clothing changed. Don’t quite feel myself. Morgran goes through. Dressed as servant. Walks through far door. Doesn’t seem like him. Weird. Want to check out black portal. Can’t though; after Gloriea went through I feel compelled to go through as well.

In elven palace. Dressed as servant. Can’t control my actions. Must scream but can’t. Others dressed as servants as well, except Gloriea. After while, go back outside. Seems Gloriea had to decide to leave. Might be some test. Feel like myself again. Door now looks fake and cheap.

Mark shows us black portal. Seems like something weird going on; environment seems to actively resist change. Find another portal; misty staircase, seems to be in middle, somehow. Golden gem on portal that seems to have come from elven castle door. Six other sockets.

Mark goes through dark portal. Feel compelled to go through as well. Seems the portals are connected to us. Intriguing. Expect to find five more. Mark’s portal leads to bright room with shadows along edge. Black jet in center. Mark can’t approach. Can, though, after he disrobes. Gets gem and we’re back outside.

Eldeth found next portal. Crossed axes. Entered it. Demon legion. None of us have weapons, except Eldeth. Too many for her. Cliff behind us. No way out. Jumped off, and landed outside again.

Found the next portal; flanked by stacks of books, weird statue on top. Statue looks quite dumb. Weird juxtaposition. Entered it, in great library. So many books. Books I’ve only heard of, all here. Found book about Oiaxar. Last war. Solution must be here. I just need some time. Bren is here, too. Not sure if real; the knowledge seems real, though. Bren attacked by shadow demon. How can I sacrifice everything for him? Fate of the world, or Bren. I must read faster… Book seems to be endless. Poor Bren. I failed him once. Not now. But I must. How can I choose? I feel darkness gnawing at my mind. I can’t remember start of the book anymore… I find burning candle, burn book. Bren’s shadow demon recedes… Book burns. All that knowledge… lost forever. Library fades out. I hear Bren. He thanks me. Poor, poor Bren. I can’t live with myself… But if that’s the price to pay for saving the world, I will pay it gladly.

Next portal is Rhogash’s. Sturdy wood. Leads to temple of Bahamut. Eldeth collapses. So do Morgran and Gloriea. Temple starts to burn. Try to cast spell. Don’t seem to remember how… Everthing goes black… Feel heat. Wake up outside. Going back to the center portal. Five gems now. Golden gem for Gloriea, black jet for Mark, ruby for Eldeth, prismatic opal for me and platinum gem for Rhogash. Two to go.

Morgran’s portal leads to ancestral castle. Has to explain to uncle how he stole and sold family heirloom due to gambling debts.

Aviendha’s gate is hidden in plain sight; a tree’s branches are twisted to make the gate. Leads to city. Eerie. Many copies of Aviendha. Don’t know which one is real. Hear a song. About orphan, found by charlatan, but apprentice became the master. Orphan was half-elf, but even that was a lie. Orphan is planetouched. As song continued, more and more copies of Aviendha fade out. Only one remains. Real Aviendha. The planetouched orphan.

Misty staircase is now solid; last two gems are socketed. Morgran’s amethyst and Aviendha’s translucent diamond. Followed staircase down. Two demons. Barlgura and hezrou. After barlgura dies, hezrou transforms into deva. Deva transports us to Ashnor.

Namday, Termini 15, 1284CE ?:

Woke up in Ashnor. Not sure exactly when. Island might only be yesterday. Might be weeks ago. Not sure. Think yesterday.

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