The Measure of Man

The Book of Merdock 3
Pulling strings

Merdocks friends have also gained powerful items. One of these being an orb of power. The priest trying to force his will upon it. Merdock is sure that he will be sucsessful. But as stated once before power seeks power. Following a lead the leader of our small group had found on our employees a hafling and his mates, we set off for an island. On this island there was a remple that was told un to us. We went seeking vengeance and only found more questions. Well Kirin the war priest found more questions and a kiss from a god. That is his tale for his book.

Kirin asked Merdock to stay and wait and watch the entrance to this grand place with the barbarian. which also mean check the place out while i have him busy. traversing the winding caverns and underground passages of this temple Merdock finds himself in front of the vault of vaults. Elaborate design multiple keys some being magical. After a long inspection of the door Merdock recognized some flaws and knew well heard tales of such locks that were made long ago. Once again with help from the dark voices in the dark Merdock set to work. Picking and moving and straining both mind and body. The giant door fell before a masters hand at open of anything locked. Looking forward to what treasures may lay behind the door. only to be confronted with yet many chests which seem to have more elaborate locks and clockwork protections. Fear not for if the door can be passed so can the chest they have set here before him as well. calling upon every skill he knew. With no idea of the timetable that has been set upon him his fingers went strait to work. Chest after chest fell victim to Merdocks talents. Half of the chest had items still in them. Magical and useful, say for one. Once again Merdocks visions have sent him on a path to gain power. Before him lay a fiddle made of pure bone. The power radiated of it. Merdock went to reach for it. When one of the voices from the darkness yelled at him stilling his hand. A voice Merdock has come to take serious advice from. covering the fiddle and packing it away. this fiddle of pure sorrow. bonefiddle.jpg

Merdock being in the town of craftsmen used the skin and bones of a freshly slain dragon to make its case. A Fiddle case just as dark as its contents.

The Book of Merdock 2
A master and his HEART of STONE
Sometimes we all face dark forces. It is how we deal with these forces that define us and shape us. Sometimes the darkness one carries in his heart is truly just a stone on his back. Merdock now having survived died and been reborn with unforeseen talents has realized his potential for greatness also has seen glimpse into his future in the realms of the all powerful. He has seen himself along side with deities. In what capacity he has no idea. Power seeks power. First a heart. A large obsidian heart came into his possession. Ever beating, thirsting for something. Merdock sat nights pondering this ever magical beating living stone. Having talked with voices in the darkness came to a realization that to gain power and strength to one day hold a seat in a group with ultimate power one must have allies and master the arts of their trades. Whom better to take guidance from than the master himself. Finding a shrine dedicated to a being of great power, Merdock forced his his dominance of the beating heart of an obsidian god. Absorbing his power for his own. Sacrifices were made , spilling his own blood opening his own chest, Merdock did cut. Having gone through torture of the flesh his whole upbringing this was a known pain a remembered pain. One that once made him strong in the past. Now changing him again making him stronger again. With trembling forces and a stirring of tapestries wall hanging pages of tombs. A transformation was taking place beneath the streets. Walls cracked black energy rises and falling from the creature that was once man. A single man bore witness with suffering death. After several minutes of silence a candle was found by said man and lit a flame. for he was to scarred to talk to the slightly glowing magmatic eyes sitting upon the masters throne and altar. The light from the candle had shown the shrine to be a mess paper from the tombs and the tapestries all over as if a tornado had struck just this very room. Benches turned items of worship tossed and lay about the room. But in the darkness still slightly shaded sits a creature of Stone. after a longer stare it was not just stone but obsidian dark and black with a glow from beneath a life of magma of sorts, deep below the smooth rocky flesh. merdockDND.JPG

Things have changed.

Not just for Merdock,

"The book of Merdock"
journal 1 Merdock found a blank book

Hello my name is merdock. I have decides to keep track to the events that are happening. I have just traveled to a new land. Leaving behind well, everything. in hopes that i may gain more power and skill to get power. I am here in….i actually do not know where i am but all my friends and co workers have arrived with me.

We were supposed to be set up when we got here and not the your fucked by the guard set up. i mean a place to stay and a start on the local marks. So we walk to the local in to grab some drink and size up the locals. They turned Bo out to the street guess the hate green people. Not the first time on of us has had to wait out side to drink. With some quick wit and some coin the bard convince the barkeep to give him a bucket of grog and sit outside. Bo got his drink so he didnt care. Drinks happen! After hearing of the possible meeting with some one we chased them down found them. Soe deaths happened and some mistaken identities accrued, no big deal. eventually we found a small man in an ally way stabbed…not by me. We helped him up and carried him to the place they had secured for us on arrival. Our counter parts here in the new city are far from the standard we are use to working with. in trying to figure out the plans of how we are going to start working this city. Black obsidian glass salesmen start knocking on the door asking for it…being confused and slightly mad ok ok we all were furious at this point. got the hafling to inform us they stole a beating obsidian heart that was in a box up stairs they didnt know what it was or anything. The hafling and his merry midgets hid in the underground hiding place. battle ensued my team and I destroyed this dark being. Also not to self they explode…the salesmen do. So the crew and i find a new place to call home and realize we need to go get all magiced healing up and made our way to the mages hall of magics. pfff mages. We get inside and every one is talking about the unnatural storm brewing out side. Herold was like “that shit aint rite…but these holes in the flesh aint rite either” we walked in and in the middle of our discussion we were having about the barbarians maps and what was going out side, we were rudely interrupted. they healed us and fed us only to ask them to see these scrolls these two have been carrying for basically since they were born or something. I suggested we look from the point of view the image on them map is looking from. just so happened to be on this building.. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER!!!!!!

side note : I stole their magical endless bread basket. merdock is never needing to steal food anymore.

We get to the roof. Lightning strike herod as he trys to leave. We say the magic vwords to bring him back. I dare not rite them. Green lightning brings him back. We see a dark being walking on water heading to the town. We get to the beating heart every on is die ing Herod keeps riding lightning bolts every where. we have to use the magic words to summon him back, with my amazing stealing skills i steal a whole cleric and put her in a cart. we are trying to escape the madness that is going on. the entire city hear some sort of song that is drawing them to this monster on the sea. Our bard in his awesome moments say oh hell no. Bo and Karin fight the urge to join them, after the bard counter this awful song of Whoa. The few of us find an empty guard house and barricade ourselves in. The stolen cleric and team get all ready for a fight for monsters of the dead and lightning and the sea our rising forth from the depths of the ocean and start destroying the population…we save as many as we can because we are awesome people or something. Hrod starts riding the lightning again. he is being teleported closer and close to the monster with this lightning bullshit. So much to comprehend that i dont even realize how absurd everything is that is going on. there is only do at this point. see where he ends up. we flip a cart over hook his horse up to it and yell go and not the magic words. we all arrive. we all pull some magic shinanigans and kill everything. I even get a life saving arrow loose that exploded a lightning water elemental. Yeah happened. I started with this thing cause since i died and got better i figure the things i see may or may not be real and since there are several witnesses i figure this one was real.
A Slow Burn
Portals and Portents

1/25/2014 Session

The morning didn’t bring much welcome with it, as the group stirred from their rest. Bo’s hangover raged much to his surprise, with Herod stumbling out to check on his horse. Kirin observed his religious requirements, pouring out the dual shot glasses as usual, managing to maintain his focus as the group discussed their next course of action. The decided to take out the group who had rudely moved in while they were away. Questions were asked of the warehouse workers, bribes spread about and answers received. The men worked for House Kardin, which piqued the groups interest. Resulting in another round of discussion, the consensus being that they would wait for them to return, kill them all then go out for whores and beer. Kirin wanted to take them out before, but the rest decided to wait to have their full focus.

Murdock took to the rafters to await their arrival while the rest took places about the warehouse. While Herod was out checking on his horse and re-positioning it to the nearest alley way, he noticed a armored man watch him then turn and withdraw. Suspecting they had been noticed Herod returned inside to alert the others. Evening drifted in and there was the faintest sound of a lockpick being worked on the chains tired around the front double doors before they were thrown open revealing several armed men. Kirin and Herod stood to lure them in, denying their requests to step outside to talk things out. A standoff developed as neither group desired to give up the advantage until the mercenaries closed the door and rewound the chains. Then moments later began throwing moltov cocktails through the warehouse windows setting fire to the building and materials inside.

Unfortunately for the mercenaries Kirin was well suited to put out fires calling upon his divine connection he drenched every landing point and kept the fires from getting out of control. Meanwhile Murdock raced across the rafters to the windows and returned fire wounding one and sending him fleeing for his life. Bo and Herod quickly found themselves lock inside as they tried to bring the fight to the men about the building, while Kirin and Raziel kept their focus on the fires. Murdock climbed out onto the room while Bo smashed through the wall near the rear door. Arrows rained up and down, fists flew and raging hears swelled. Bo and Herod gave a good fight but were forced to withdraw back to the warehouse as the mercenaries proved tough. It was Raziel’s might hammer that quelled their fight as he destroyed a man with a single blow. The rest fled his might slowly as his maul seemed to devour them left and right. Murdock having taken an arrow lay down upon the room and could hear the carnage below.

Eventually the mercenaries were hunted down, as the guard arrived Raziel unaware that Kirin was a member of the guard fled. Kirin approached the three members of the guard flashed his arm band and helped secure the location. Kirin collected everyone who remained on the scene and were about to head off to The Gambit when Murdock was approached by his friend Steve, who was surprised to see Murdock so wounded mentioning he had a favor to ask but wouldn’t want to cause Murdock further harm. Murdock wouldn’t let him off accepted the favor, Steve then provided directions to a healer they could visit first before heading to the docks. The group caught up to Murdock and followed after as each had wounds needing care. Meanwhile Raziel hid blocks away in an alley waiting for the guard to leave to join his friends at The Gambit. The group made it to the healers with no trouble, Murdock knocked in the proper order and after a minute of waiting a very large man opened the door. In a deep low voice “O..N…E” And Murdock followed inside. Murdock is met with a cluttered dirty home with all kinds of things pilled up in rooms and hallways. Following the large man he enters into a room with a mist about it, a old haggard woman with long white hair and a large bulbous nose. Her hair parted to reveal one overlarge eye. She turned to appraise him standing over a large bubbling cauldron. He requested healing, she provided, as well he requested a potion be crafted and she advised it would take a bit of time. One by one the others were brought in for their bit of healing, Herod learning that she was a distant relative of his Hvati’ay tribe. All the while the old hag continued to toil away above her cauldron chanting, tossing in seemingly random bits pull from shelves and vials. As she healed Bo she requested he spit within the Cauldron which he did vigorously. Once the group had been healed Murdock was requested within and provided a mason jar of crude liquid. Gold was exchanged and the party then headed off to the docks.

Murdock and Bo took point as they approached a lonely barge at the end of a pier. Alongside the pier a small wagon sat with two struggling men lifting bodies from the wagon and throwing them onto the barge. A hooded figure stood in the dark recesses of the barge watching over the two men. Murdock curious as to what was within the wagon snuck up and dived inside while the men were busy lofting a body. Landing on a pile of five other corpses Murdock hugged one to him and lay in wait for one of the pair to reach for him. When the man did Murdock killed him with a quick thrust of his hook through the soft palate of his chin. As the body dropped to the wagon it caused his companion to complain about the delay. Murdock calmly responded by tossing the body he had hugged to him out the covered entry. As the body tumbled over Bo rushed the unsuspecting accomplice and flung him from the pier to crash against the side of the barge and sink into the sea. The hooded figure seeing this reacted by raising its clawed fingers and changing something in a dark tongue. Murdock felt the black energy flow past him and into the bodies in the wagon. Life bled into the dead and they began to quiver and quake. Kirin and Herod having hung back rushed up to give what aid as the bodies of the dead rose to fight.

Quick work was made of the dead, with only Bo receiving a grievous wound. Murdock and the rest decided to return to the old hag’s place to request more healing. Upon arriving to the old home, Kirin decided to head to The Gambit in hopes of collecting Raziel and getting the rooms secured for their late night activities. Herod waited with Murdock while the old hag’s servant took his usual time to get to the door. After some argument as to how late it was the servant allowed Murdock within. Seeing Bo’s body draped over Murdock’s shoulder the hag offered to buy Bo off of him. Murdock haggled and accepted the offer and pocketed all the gold Bo had on him and left informing Herod there was nothing that could be done. Herod angered by this tried to better the door open and found the room empty, having forgone the knock pattern told to Murdock. Murdock calmed Herod and they knocked again, this time the servant would brook no discourse and directed the two to return in the day should they wish the Hag’s service.

The two headed off to The Gambit to meet up with Kirin and hopefully Raziel and blow off some steam….

And the Crowd goes wild!
Portals and Portents

1/11/2014 Session

It began as any other night had. Drinking at the Ruffled Trumpet. Herod sitting at the bar, alert as always for his moment when the Walls words will spring to action and his purpose near fulfillment. But, beer after beer found its way into his eager hands and time dragged on. Herod spoke to those gathered near of true men, and true actions that stir a warriors heart, seeking to prove counterpoint to the unmanly singing going on behind him. This proved to annoy the barkeep, who thunked a mug down and requested he move to a different seat and stop disturbing the guests.

Murdock and Bo entered, the Ruffled Trumpet being closest on their way home from a bit of business and their desire for drink, payment and a bit of violence did not care which establishment they found themselves in. Kirin having entered previously remained seated against the wall enjoying the music and waiting their pleasure. Quickly they garnered seats and kicked up their feet and snatched their first fistful of ale. Herod noticed these men enter and his interest was piqued.

Raziel entered the city shortly after sunset. Bewildered by the size and the apparent laziness of the people. Wandering the streets he began his search for The Harbringer. Knowing only that he has been sent to await duty in a tavern within the city of Garant. It took Raziel some time, and but due to noticing Herod’s horse stabled just outside, Raziel was drawn to the Ruffled Trumpet.

A group of irate armed men shouldered past Raziel and entered into the bar. Loudly kicking the doors and bellowing at the top of their lungs. Murdock, reactions well honed skittered away from the entrance around the bar and slid quietly into a seat at Herod’s table using the shadows of the corner booth to his advantage. Just as the group of men settled their anger upon Bo’s waiting smile. Kirin stood from his seated position and grasped the handle of his scythe. Patrons scattered, most backing away to watch the fight. Most having seen Murdock and friends in action at other bars. Words were spat out between Bo and the leader of the men. Their eyes scanning the crowd looking for Murdock. Herod gestured with his magnificent pipe to give the masked man away. Much to Murdock’s displeasure two of the group advanced him cutting short the range he had hoped to enjoy as he knocked an arrow to the string of his bow.

Blades flashed, arrows flew, Murdock sprinted across the tables. Raziel entered in, smiling ready to enjoy a fight. Then the hired bard, all but forgotten up on stage, begain to sing again. A strange siren call, which seemed to send ripples out through the air. Herod recognizing something of power in the notes called forth his own power and spoke counterpoint buffering away the malicious tune from him and Murdock & Crew. The rest of the Ruffled Trumpet’s patrons did not fair so well. In waves they all fell screaming from their seats first holding their hands to their ears then dropping them as they thrashed incoherently. The bard kept singing, almost as his jaw had unhinged his skin quickly sinking in, as if being consumed on the inside.

Just as quickly as the patrons fell did they rise, tearing from their fleshy shells, a walking mass of muscle and blood which proved to be turning a vibrant green hue. The group soon found themselves facing a tide of mangled flesh seemingly hungry for their still pink skin. Battle was met, as the forms proved powerful their muscles oozing with green goo, and vicious blows were dealt all around. They realized quickly that there were too many to handle, and focus quickly shifted to the bard, burning like a candle on four ends still stinging. Bo took out the bards leg with a power right hook, then was overwhelmed by the masses. While Murdock put a arrow through his skull. As the singing faltered, so did the masses as their muscles immediately began to loosen their movements slowing down striking with less vigor.

Murdock noticed something strange about the bard, as a spider like thing scurried from the folds of the bards clothing and disappeared under a booth. Which was found to have a abnormal hole leading outside along the wall. Everyone gathered together, Kirin and Herod healing Bo they realized that one of the bodies in the tavern was unaccounted for, the barkeep was nowhere to be found. Once wits were gathered, the group followed after Murdock who quickly picked up the trail of green fluid left behind by the barkeep. The trail led down the back alley and to a sewer grate.

Down into the sewers they hunched down due to their above average height. Through several twisting turns they followed until coming upon a bit of rubble. A passage had been hewn from the sewer wall and a chamber lay beyond, glowing in greenish light and pulsing. Murdock had taken point and crept silently into the room, finding a large pool of the greenish slime and twisted icons carved onto the walls. A door way lay ahead and something could be heard within. The others held back, to allow Murdock the stealth he needed to catch the entity by surprise. Moments later Murdock fled the chamber crying for the rest to flee with due haste. And flee they did, Murdock having been warned by his new friend that the area was not safe.

The climbed back up out of the sewers and with Herod’s horse in tow astounded to see the Ruffled Trumpet full of lively patrons as if nothing had happened minutes before. They decided to retreat to the warehouse Murdock and Bo shared a room above, finding then that mysteriously a month had passed while they were within the sewers. The warehouse workers shared their surprise that Murdock and Bo had returned, informing them that others had taken over their room and the ‘protection’ it involved. They forced their way in and took possession of the room, swearing to deal with the intruders when they showed up. Murdocks new friend sought out him for some help and Bo came along as well, charmed alongside Murdock to a new friendship. The rest remained within the room, drinking fermented horse milk and making introductions

Daring deeds, rescued damsels

Eventually will be transcribing the rest of the entries…

Olem Hastor received orders from his superior to follow up on a request received from Elinvale. Sent by Oracle Ayden the request sought aid and protection for a valued member of the faith, stating a miracle had been bestowed and diligence was called for. He traveled with due haste and followed Caliam and Co’s progress from Elinvale through the forest to Telair and past the Watch Post. Leaving messages in his wake should he fail to find Caliam. Olem came upon a scene of battle with the bodies of three ogre’s scattered about the road. Noting the ruin’s laid out about him he quickened the pace of his mount and crested a nearby hill bringing into view a walled noble villa still standing though showing the passage of years.

Standing among the quickly cooling bodies of the dead were Caliam, Garth and Tabris. The black rain still falling down from the blackened cloud cover above. Olem spurred his mount to cross the courtyard quickly alerting Caliam to his presence. A brief tense moment followed as Caliam raised his bow in preparation. Olem sensing no evil in their hearts called out seeking Caliam, then eyes widened as he saw Tabris get pulled into a book he had drawn from his pack. Caliam quickly grabbed up his cloak, grasped the book and stuffed it into his pack. Swearing to deal with it once they had finished with the Ogres.

Olem announced his purpose with which Caliam accepted and they sequestered his horse with the others. Meanwhile within the structure two of the captives took action to free themselves. Morganna ripped free of the bonds holding her hands together then in-canted a spark of fire upon the bindings of her legs while Lilura calmly sawed through the leather with her sharp nails. The other women held within the room reacted only when the flash of light from the fire woke them from their stupor. Not a word was shared between the two as Morganna went to the boarded up window and Lilura moved to the door and knocked. The matron called for a pair of her children to see what was going on. The women in the room huddled closely together fear starkly in their eyes as the heavy steps of a pair of the matron’s children worked their way up the stairs and toward their prison.

Outside as they crossed the courtyard grounds on foot Caliam came across a strange little hedgehog who’s eyes followed Caliam with an intelligence he had only seen before in Vaud’s. It seemed to take his measure and decide to approach Vaud. It climbed up onto his back, with which Vaud gave no issue about and proceeded to gesture with his nose an urgent desire to cross to the entry way to the villa. Inside the door opened as one of the ogrekin peered inside and a grunt of shock as Lilura called upon her pact let loose a ear piercing scream reverberating silently through the room, her magic sharpening the damaging sound so that only the ogrekin felt its bight. His eyes widened in shock and and mouth curled into a rictus of pain, he let loose a shout of rage and stepped fully into the room slashing at her small form in anger. His actions set the terrified women to screaming which alerted Caliam and the rest below that something was afoot.

Caliam, Olem and Garth rushed to the aid of the ladies as Al’Aver climbed the outside wall. Taking the stairs quickly they found two of the ogrekin threatening the women. Morganna called upon her powers and attempted to lull the each ogrekin in turn into a deep slumber succeeding on one sending its misshapen form into a deep dreamless sleep. She then closed on the sleeping ogrekin and with its own javelin ended its existence. The boarded window shook from Al’Aver’s precise blows as the remaining conscious ogrekin lashed out at all who came in reach. Lilura took advantage of the confusion as the hedgehog crawled to her, she willed a obscuring mist to billow from her to fill the room, much to Caliam’s frustration. She edged her way carefully through the combatants and down the stairs. Morgana remained in the room watching the remaining women and watching as the window was opened up from the outside.

As the smoke clogged the room the group managed to slay the remaining ogrekin and the matron who has joined the fray just outside her chambers. Olem quickly checked the chamber the matron had come from for other threats then followed after Caliam helping to lower the women out of the broken in window to Torg’s waiting hands below. Morganna curious as well entered the Matron’s room and located her things which had been claimed as the matron’s. Lilura unknowing of this began searching along the bottom floor for their things found a pair of double doors below their chamber and knocked again. A large lumbering form roared and charged the door. Lilura prudently fled into the main hall and aimed for the door. Smashing through the double doors was a large undead grizzly bear venting its anger as it tore up the floor, it neared Lilura and was about to tear her limb from limb when it impacted a stalwart form which Lilura could not see.

Caliam rushed to address the new threat levelling his bow just as Lilura caught her breath and whispered a word of power and throwing her hands wide sending a burst of webbing out filling the chamber catching the bear and blocking Caliam’s shot. Lilura scurried out of the villa and ran past the group of frightened women. The creature tore free from the webbing and followed after Lilura its growls turning to something sinister and purposeful as the grass beneath all their feet burst in growth and began to wind itself around their feet entangling them. Remarkably all maintained their feet and freedom from the animated grass. The group made quick work of the undead bear and were not so surprised to see it change form back into a twisted and malformed ogrekin.

Morganna was last to leave the villa as she had gathered the gear and what else of value that could be found within the matron’s quarters. Once they all were gathered together they withdrew from the compound. A safe distance away they settled down to rest for the evening. Lilura and the others broke out into an argument claiming each others intentions were nefarious and ended with a realization of heated tempers and misunderstandings.

Missing Villagers, Strange Clues

Caliam and Tabris returned to Elinvale in hopes of meeting up with Valerian and to gather their things for a trek into the unknown. Eager to discover what the scarecrow was up to and where the missing farmers were Tabris left Caliam at Chance’s Cups to gather a few odds and ends from his alchemical lab. His purpose cut short as upon returning home along the outskirts of the village he noticed a disturbance had occurred within. His parents were no where to be found, signs of a struggle could be found along the floor in the common room. Tabris found a bit of shell broken off in his parents lab and fearing the worst hurried back to ask Caliam for assistance.

With Valerian in tow the group headed to Tabris’ home. As they had passed through the village they had picked up a couple of followers, some of the children that had pranked back and forth with Tabris. They stayed well out of way and did not disturb the party who carefully looked over the home and began to understand the recent assault. Caliam tracked down the path out that the creatures took. He saw that Bris’ parents were drug out to the stable and loaded into a wagon that was then lead off down the road out of Elinvale. They decided to follow the tracks from this point, heading off down the road warily, pausing only to scare of the children from following them into a bad situation. It was then that they learned that one of the more rambunctious of the children was missing as well.

For hours they followed after Caliam, coming into his own feeling all the training he had received in the past gel in the need of the moment. Onward the trail twisted and turned running in a westerly direction dipping slowly to the south. Deep into the forest they traveled and finally came upon a clearing in the tree line and a low row of hills near the edge of a tributary of the Erindere river. In the dim light of dusk no shapes could be seen as the air hung quiet save for the bubbling stream. Caliam eased ahead, proving the most skilled at stealth of the group. Weaving his way between a pair of the hills he noticed a small passage cut along the base of the hill leading into the earth between two fingers of the tributary. He noticed as well that the wagon tracks didn’t cut as deep into the earth after passing past the passage and surmised Bris’ parents had been off loaded and taken within the earth.

Caliam returned to the waiting pair and together the covered the distance and entered into the earth. A chamber spread out before them dominated by a still pool of water with a crescent of land circling it leading to a passage on each end. Strange sounds could be heard along the passage to their right clicking or gibbering too faint to be clearly understood. Valerian stared into the water intrigued by its slight violet hue. He reached down and dipped his finger in feeling nothing beyond the expected coolness of the water. He licked his palm and could detect no unique flavor in the liquid. They decided to check out the quieter passageway to their left before disturbing whatever was making the sound along the right side.

Valerian trailed behind half a step still pondering the still pool and what secrets it could hold. When a golden hued form flashed before his eyes, startling him. No features could be made out just a humanoid form. This shape seemed to be following after Caliam walking mere inches off his right shoulder. Valerian called out to Caliam, warning him of danger which neither Tabris nor Caliam could see. Ardent in what he was seeing Valerian described the shape to the two of them inciting Caliam to draw his blade and slash out around himself to hopefully catch the entity. To Valerian’s eyes it seemed to follow Caliam’s strikes with ease moving minimally and staying ever at Caliam’s back. Then as suddenly as it was there it vanished from Valerians eyes in the matter of a blink.

Another chamber lay just a few steps down the passage, it was clear save for a wooden stand in the center of the room. Caliam and Tabris readied themselves, recognizing it as a likeness for the one they had seen the scarecrow they had encountered earlier step down from. Another chamber could be seen through a small passage at the far end of the room. Silence answered their quickened breaths as they continued to the back room. Inside could be seen a large mirror with wooden frame dominating the center of the chamber. Along the walls could be seen several tables and crates with shiny bits laying upon them. As Tabris and Caliam circled around the mirror to observe the shiny bits Valerian approached the mirror, and much to his curiosity reflected within was a different chamber with a suit of armor standing at attention along a stone wall. Valerian reached out and touched the window wondering if it were a portal to this other room, the moment his finger touched the silvered glass the armor took a step off its stand and oriented itself toward the mirror.

Quickly the armor crossed the distance to the mirror and stepped through into their chamber, as Valerian called out quickly to get Tabris and Caliam’s attention. The armor, elaborate full plate turned to face the three purple light could be seen glowing through the helm’s eyes. It drew a longsword from its sheath and combat was joined. Valerian took a vicious swing and dropped while Caliam managed to work a blade between its guard. Tabris deciding that more threats could still be coming started working his alchemical knowledge to shatter the magical portal. Which drew the attention of the armor and with quick steps and a heavy hand laid the young alchemist low. Caliam withdrew to the rooms entrance drawing his bow hoping to draw the armor away from a killing blow. A shatter resounded about the room as the scarecrow stepped through the mirror expending the last of its strength causing it to shatter behind him.

With a command the armor halted and the scarecrow sighed at Caliam, entreated him to see first to the aid of his companions. Once death was halted and Tabris returned to consciousness the scarecrow apologized for his guardian’s zealousness. Questions were answered, the missing villagers were being held for observation under the strange affects of the still pool. The scarecrow entreated Caliam and Tabris to share in the villagers ordeal and offered them each a vial of the liquid to consume. Which they did, each having a vision like experience seeing far off places happening or yet to happen. The scarecrow produced a ledger and hastily wrote down their experience nodding and whispering to itself. At Tabris’ mention of his vision the scarecrow frowned and suggested that they would be needed for observation. The Scarecrow left for a moment, returning with a pack of creatures that had so vexed Caliam’s tracking. Mongrelmen each with a myriad of animalistic features no two alike their tracks difficult to ascertain. With a carried Valerian they were led back to the still pool and around to the chamber where earlier they had heard the strange sounds from.

Once within the chamber they were greeted to the sight of goblins with twisted malformed heads bulbous and ugly with sores. Tentacles burst from varied locations about their bodies, mouths snapping open and closed with terrible fangs along the tendrils. The scarecrow shared his fear that Tabris may turn out like these vile creatures and lead the group out into the open air and to another of the hills. Entering within they passed by a guard chamber with a few more of the mongrelmen watching over and came into a vast chamber deep in the earth, lined along the edges with sturdy wooden polls forming a cage along each wall. Several of the villagers could be seen in the faint light as Tabris and Caliam were lead to the center of the room. Caliam bristled at their imprisonment and demanded their release, with which the scarecrow shook his head no. Tabris realizing their situation momentarily startled the mongrelmen by calling on his heritage and flooding the room with brilliant light shaking off his captor’s hands and running for the chambers exit.

The mongrelmen gave pursuit and quickly subdued the young alchemist carrying him back to the chamber and tossing him in the eastern will with the largest population. Caliam stood his ground refusing to enter captivity, causing the scarecrow to have to strike him senseless to get him in a cage.

Thinning frost, Strange meetings

First day of spring, last night of winter some few people of the village of Elinvale beheld a strange sight. A pulse of blue radiating from the top tower a sudden flash then gone.

Come morning the town and surrounding environs were frost free. Caliam took note as his caravan came across the frost free zone. Early out this year to continue his training with his mentor, leaving ill portents back home traveling into a uncertain future. Arriving shortly afterwards to Elinvale Caliam stopped by Chance’s Cups for a hot meal and sought out some gossip as to what the thaw was about, noticing that slowly during the day the area was getting warmer. Met only with a stare and a superstitious gesture his inquires were rudely ignored.

Valerian awoke early feeling a strangeness about the forest and took note of the line of frost, decided to investigate, ending up in the village. Walking through he noticed how lively it seemed, people teeming in the streets strange during the last throws of winter. The phenomena extended throughout the village of a frost less ground and warmer air. Bris caught sight of Valerian, surprised to see him in town and steered him to Chances’ Cups for a bit of food and a place to sit and talk.

Overhearing Caliam’s questions Bris approached bringing Valerian along in tow and proceeded to provide his recollection of the prior nights events. This grabbed Caliam’s attention and it was decided they needed to get into the tower and get some answers from the resident. As they discussed Caliam looked over and noticed one of the wagon captains seated, realizing his company may be holding the contract to make deliveries to the tower. He joined their table and started a discussion aiming to take over the delivery. He was making headway until Bris and Valerian entered the conversation and threw off the Wagon captain’s trust. After sending them away Caliam managed to talk the captain down to allowing Caliam to come along when they made their delivery.

Bris steered Valerian over to Jake’s for a few drinks in the mean time. Cracking a smile at Melli’s attention Bris ordered round after round convincing Valerian that the experience would be insightful and add to his experiences in a profound way. Caliam located the pair and after a mug himself decided to seek out the tower and examine it instead of waiting the two days till delivery. Bris hiccuped and pulled a pair of beads from a pouch handing one to a tipsy Valerian. A bit of alchemist’s kindness cleared up the alcohol’s effects and the group was on their way.

After dealing with some childish mischief Bris and the others came upon the tower and began looking around it. The smooth stone walls rebutted their perspectives till Caliam shook off the effects of an illusion that covered up a brass knocker affixed to the wall. He grasped the knocker and knocked five times slowly. Valerian managed to see past the illusion as Caliam knocked leaving only Bris unable to will his way past the warding. A door formed in the wall and opened permitting Valerian and Caliam into the tower. As they entered Bris headed home to gather his components seeking to make a door if one would not be revealed to him.

Light blossomed in the hallway Caliam and Valerian found themselves in, leading to a circle of runes that came to light as came to stand near. After a moment’s hesitation Caliam and Valerian perceiving that this was a teleport circle stepped within the circle of runes and vanished. They appeared in a barren chamber square in shape and devoid of furniture. Several minutes passed while Caliam and Valerian searched the walls for an exit, only stopping when they noticed a third form standing with them in the room. The cloaked form spoke in a dry wooden voice, “The master is not to be disturbed.” And responded by a set of chosen words to any other query. Caliam and Valerian realized they were in the presence of a construct devoid of original thought. It gestured to the slowly fading sigil’s of the circle as what they should do. It crossed the runes spoke a word of power and vanished from sight.

Caliam still undaunted in his desire to speak with the wizard of the tower mimicked the word of power and then stepped across the runes vanishing himself. Valerian followed Caliam speaking the word then stepping into the runs. They both found themselves transported back to where they began, though the construct was no where to be found. They exited the tower in frustration deciding to come back when the delivery was next to be scheduled and nearly ran into Bris. While they were within the tower Bris had returned to his home and found it a mess, as if a struggle had occurred recently and found a bit of shell lying in his fathers chamber. Caliam decided to check in with his mentor to see if he was available for guidance. Yet found his home empty that he was out on his rounds having not expected Caliam for several weeks.

Valerian decided to return to his home and gather his things, that his spells may be of use. In the mean time Caliam and Bris go out on patrol along the outskirts of the village and the surrounding farms and all seems well till they find one farm devoid of life. A quick search located the tracks of a wide assortment of creatures, to many separate tracks to be true. A small struggle had taken place in the common room, all the horses and animals set loose. And a strange scarecrow seen on a stand near the main house. Caliam immediately settled into caution and approached the scarecrow warily. It stood out strange, nearly brand new and dew free. The air which had been warm all morning and into the afternoon grew cold as he approached the figure. With a simple dagger and prodded the scarecrow shocked to find it tough and with little give, not straw filled as he expected. Caliam withdrew a pace commenting “That’s no Scarecrow” Which prompted the creature to slowly drop itself down and respond in kind, “Indeed I am sir.” After a tense few moments Caliam and Bris were able to perceive that this creature was incredibly dense of form and had long claw link fingers, a wide brim hat and a stitched mouth covered by a flap of leather. Words passed, questions of nature and it nature went answered unsatisfactorily.

The creature offered to show Caliam and Bris which way the farmers were taken and proceeded to walk off at a gait only a construct could. Caliam and Bris let the thing walk off out of sight, content to follow it at a later time then at that moment. The Scarecrow passed Valerian’s path as he headed back toward the village, he kept out of view and marveled at the strange sight.


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