Echoes of Mourning

Gabriels Diary Day 3

21 Ollarune YK 998
As we returned to Winterhaven dragging the bloodied and bruised bodies
of our two unconscious companions we were greeted by Alvana Wrafton
who offered us a free room to stay in the inn. I allowed my allies the
pleasures of the bed as I slept on the floor. To truly understand
God’s message you must live a life of extreme poverty.
I awoke in a startle well before dawn the next morning. I had
nightmares of fire and brimstone and of Delphina’s face. God was
trying to send me a message, Delphina must burn in the depths of hell
for her actions. As I walked out the Inn, I felt strangly drawn to the
charred remains of Delphina’s house. It was almost as if the house
was still ablazed. Even when I closed my eyes I could see the flames
of the night before burning bright in the now vacant lot. Flames have
purged the land of its sin and the land was now ready for God to bless
it with his presence. I took the visions to be god wanting me to build
a shrine to the Silver Flame. I blessed the ground with every ritual
known to man and a few only know to God’s Angels. I worked my old
bones to exhaustion and then worked some more….blood flowed from cuts
and my muscles burned with the fire of the sun but still I toiled on.
God’s message will be sent, even if it cost me my very life. After
hours of work the altar was finally erected. Once the area was
finished, the clouds parted and shined down onto my staff, I could
feel the burn of the Silver Flame surging through it. God was
rewarding his loyal soldier with the eternal power of the Silver
Flame.
As I was praying to the new shrine I hear footsteps approaching from
behind. I turned to see Dominaro approaching, I could tell he could
feel the radiant energy of the Silver Flame pouring from the site. Of
all the companions I have on this adventure Dominaro has been the one
I’ve most understood. As a follower of the Silver Flame I know the
fire that burns in his soul. As he crossed the threshold of the altar
I stood in wonder as light surrounded him, much as it had surrounded
me. God has chosen a second vessel for his love and vengeance. I will
teach him the ways, He shall be my new apprentice….he shall be the
next Angel of Death.
While Dom and I were praying at the altar I began to ponder the way I
would help Dom shed the attachment to the people and places and live
on a higher plane. When you are so blessed by God, you become more
than man….God becomes part of you and you become part of him. Then the
laws of man no longer apply to you, only that which god has decided
must be obeyed. Before I had a chance to gather my thoughts on the
matter Kolgarth and Satoris appeared behind us. Kolgarth immediately
resumed his questions from the previous night about what caused the
fire and why would I built an altar on its ashes. How dare he question
God’s master plan, the more I hang out with the barbarian the more I
question his use. Not only did he fall helplessly to Irontooth and
have to be carried back, he is questioning my actions. My patience is
wearing thin, I know god does not want this man harmed but if he
continues down this path I’m sure god will want me to smite him for
his insolence. Rather than cause unwanted attention to us I calmed the
brute by showing him the two letters I had in my possession. The
letter I found from Delphina’s and the one we found on Irontooth. One
was signed by K the other by Kalarel….I guess I just found our next
target.
Our discussion was interrupted rudely by Lord Padraig. News had
spread throughout the town about what our group had accomplished the
night before. Lord Padraig thanked us for dealing with Irontooth. He
offered us some gold pieces which I felt should have been donated to
the newly founded Silver Flame shrine but the group balked at the
idea. Typical greed from the nonbelievers….They live their lives on
the fence between a life of virtue and a life of wrongdoing. Let us
hope they never lean to far to one side or they will feel the burn of
the Silver Flame. We asked if he has ever heard of a man called
Kalarel. Padraig had not heard of him, but suggested that if anyone
in town would know someone, it would be Valthrun the Prescient or
Eilian the Old.
Satoris, having already met Valthrun and experienced his knowledge,
decided the group should go to him first to ask about Kalarel.
Valthrun said that he had heard of the name before in reference to the
ruins to the north of town. Beyond that Valthrun was not able to
produce any information about the history of the ruins, or why Kalarel
would be so interested in the ruins. Although I can sense that the man
is good natured It seemed to me that he was holding back on some
information. I will keep my eye on him in the future. After the whole
Delphina debacle ill keep this information to myself. No need for the
group to cause a scene and allow this man to flee like she did.
Although I wanted to get my hands on this Kalarel person my mission
was still to find this Douven Staul. Ill have to deal with him later.
We were able to travel to the bones yard without much incidence. When
we got there, I spotted Delphina directing a couple humans and two
guard drakes, alongside a shadowy figure.
We wasted no time and charged. With the help of Kolgarth I swiftly
struck down the weaker foes. Pitiful beast actually thought they had a
chance. Seeing that her life was soon at an end Delphina ran like
the scared little girl she was. Don’t worry God, Gabriel will take
her last breath from her in your honor. The shadowy figure turned
towards Kolgarth and Dominaro as shadowy tendrils to burst from the
ground and surrounded my two allies. Foolish decision for our friend
here he has allowed the greatest threat to roam free. My vengeance
shall turn wrong into right, this being will rue the day he decided to
stand against the Silver Flame! Swing after swing and spell after
spell landed against him with little effect, something was wrong….no
being could stand against such forces. It was then that the figure
started to fade. Bastard was only an apparition, as it disappeared I
yelled “I will find you Kalarel, you will pay for your crimes!”
After the last of them were defeated we searched the area. On one of
the human bodies, we found a large bone, shaped like the end of a rib.
This is probably what that idiot Douven was after. After we found the
bones we walked a little further only to find hey a shallow grave, a
dead body. Looks like I failed you Cyranthus, please forgive me.
That was when I began to worry. The apparition we fought was that of
an undead creature. Could that monster have set up a trap for us? If
we had to take this body back to town and it turned out to be unborn I
would have endangered the lives of hundreds of innocents. My first
thought was to set the body ablaze. Immediately I hear the revolts of
my fellow travelers. “Oh god how can you do that”……”Please no Gabriel
he was a person!”…. Don’t they understand that this is what must be
done. I have sacrificed my soul that the good people of the world
shall survive and thrive in a world that rewards sinners and
criminals. I could not persuade them to see the errors in there ways,
but I couldn’t let this body go to town in such a state. I prayed for
answers, prayed that these people never know of the horrors of the
undead or the damage they could do when not handled. I decided to
preserve the body, although it will prevent Douven from coming back as
an undead it is not a permanent fix. I can only hope I can fix this
mistake at a later time…

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Kolgarths Diary Day 2 and Day 3

Day 3 and 4 22 Ollarune YK 998 It’s been a while since I lost wrote and much has happened. Upon awaking I felt a draw to the forge, and found a box of residuum beside my bed. I let my passion lead me, and hours later I finished my maul, a war hammer imbued with elemental fire which I could unleash upon my foes. We wandered around town the next day, deciding which path we would follow. We heard that Douven Stahl had been seen heading to a dragon graveyard to the south, and that there was an abandoned keep up to the north that people had seen Delphinna flee to. We put a scholar to researching news of the keep for us, while we pursued our initial quest and went south to find Stahl. Upon arriving there we were confronted by the shade of the evil wizard we were following. Using my newly made Maul, I charged in and destroyed a great many of his minions with a mighty cleave, and began to run at the wizard. My companions quickly dispatched the remaining foes, and Gabriel recited a holy chant to drive the evil creatures presence from the field. Upon examining the burial ground, we found two very troubling things. The first of these was the dead body of Douven Stahl. Seeing his corpse lying there, I felt my chances of finding my family slip away. Even as this sobering thought resonated through me, Satoris yelled that he had discovered something else. It had the look of a rib bone and was pulsating with evil magic. It must have been the third rib discussed in the previous note we found. Even with the sadness coursing through my body at the thought of my family, I realized that more may be at stake here. It was in this moment I committed myself to follow this quest through to the end, as something extremely foul was at foot. I also realized that this quest was inexplicably tied to my own, and that the two paths had emerged as one. Douven Stahl might be dead, but he came across the knowledge I seek while following this same path. Perhaps remaining on it would lead me to other clues. We proceeded back to Winterhaven with the corpse and rib in toe, and went back to speak with the scholar. He told us some of the history of the keep, and as a group we decided to pursue Delphinna and see what she had to say. We made the trek, and before we were even within sight of the massive gates, I could smell the stink of goblins. We tentatively stepped into the main room, weapons at the ready. Immediately, we spotted a pair of goblins on the other side of the room and I charged in, bellowing a war cry. As I reached the middle of the room, the floor gave way and I tumbled down into a rat infested pit. Dazed, I stood up to get my bearings, then utilized my natural athleticism to leap back out and fall upon the goblins. Unfortunately, my companions were not possessed of this same skill, and Dominaro not possessed of plain common sense. Rushing in after me, after witnessing my fall, he attempted to leap the pit in his full plate armor. He crumbled at the bottom and was immediately set upon by rats. While the rest of us fought off the goblins, he was slowly bled by their sharp claws and diseased bites. We had to come back down and him up, and if his wounds hadn’t been so serious, the situation would have been laughable. We helped him heal up and proceeded further into the dungeon. For a while, room upon room it was the same. We’d find goblins and demolish them. My rage at seeing the last known link to my family dead fueled my blows, and I landed some very mighty swings on any goblin who dared get in my way, decimating their ranks. Finally, we broke upon the door to one room which seemed different than the others. There were torture devices all over, and a larger goblin was looming over an old rack. I charged at him and began raining blows, as my companions unleashed a flurry of steel and magic. Searching the corpse of the lead torturer, we found a key ring, and searching the room we found cells tucked into a corner. One of these had a small goblin in it, and as we approached he spoke to us. He told us he could help us, and would aid us in our travels, providing us details on the layout of the floor, carrying our equipment and setting up our tents and sleeping pallets. Naturally distrusting, Gabriel wanted to smite him on the spot, and I couldn’t help but agree with him, but Satoris spoke some sense in saying that he could be a valuable ally, and we should test him to see if he’s telling us the truth. Trying up Splug and putting him in my bag (He thought it was just a fun ride), he led us to the food stores, which turned out to be fresh and useful to us in our quest. He then told us about the master of the level, Balron the Fat, who was apparently a giant coward. A warrior letting himself get to that shape and being a coward to boot. The combination really displeased me, and I wanted to go show this Balron just how much. Taking Splug along, we went in search of this “master”. Splug pointed out a large set of double doors, so Dominaro and I burst through and charged into the frightened goblin masses behind it. After dispatching many of his minions, Balron himself came to join the fray. I finished off one of his warriors, and charged at him. The coward immediately attempted to flee the battle! The proud warrior in me was appalled to see such behavior, and I fell into one of my rages. With Splug on my back I raced across the battlefield, shrugging off blows from his weaker minions to confront the fiend himself. I unleashed my rage and let loose the power of my flaming maul all in one enormous burst, driving the creature to his knees and bloodying him. His minions fled the scene seeing their master go down, and the pitiful wretch begged for his life. He claimed he could tell of the rest of the layout of the first floor, and provide information on the treasure in the excavation room, if only we spared his life. I for one could not see any use for him, or any reason to let him live. We had Splug to provide us details, and he had proved trustworthy this far. The little fellow was really growing on me, he’d actually been a useful addition to our team in the short time we met him. I quickly found that the rest of my companions agreed with me. We gave the pathetic creature a chance to prove his use to us. Gabriel threatened him with fiery wrath if he did not speak. Scared for his life, and that we would slay him after he told us anything of use, he kept quiet. Finally we realized we had to prove to him we would dispose of him if he didn’t find some way to prove beneficial to us. Gabriel, being the zealotous sadist that he is, recommended slicing off a hand to show that we meant business. It was then that I realized the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. I asked Splug if he would like to do the honors, to make up for all the torment that this blob had given him, and he leapt at the chance. Taking him out of my backpack, I armed him with a knife and he quickly went to work with a zeal that proved that he meant it. Quickly doing the deed, he turned to us and asked whether he could cut off the other one two. It was then that our trust in him was confirmed, and I knew that I would quickly grow to like this small, endearing creature. Immediately Balron caved, and told us what could be found on the rest of this floor, and warned us of proceeding lower. Apparently, the rest of the caves were not cleared out, and foul oozes and other creatures abound there in hordes. We chose to spare his life, because while the miserable fiend did not deserve to live, I had promised on my honor and I was not about to go back on that. He fled off through a secret passage, and if I ever cross paths with him, he will not emerge so lucky. Perhaps I’ll let Splug have him. We proceeded next into the excavation room to see what treasure we could find there. Using Splug as a lure, we had him call to help for his fellow goblins and as they rushed out, quickly slayed them. Moving into the room, we saw a strange open area, with a few raised platforms and rough wooden bridges strung out between them. A few goblin minions prowled these bridges, but from the pit I could hear the growling of some larger creature. Leaving the goblins up top to the accurate gun of Satoris, I rushed into the pit and was confronted by two guard drakes. Not wasting anytime, I slammed one into the ground, quickly crushing the life out of it. Hearing a commotion behind me, I turned to see Gabriel fall from one of the bridges. Apparently foolishness runs in this church of the Silver Flame, and what the mage was doing rushing to the forefront of battle was behind me. With no time to spare for his games, I turned back to the second drake, and he met the same fate from my fiery maul as his brother. Looking around after the battle, we discovered the goblins had some sort of fire potion, meant to explode on impact. Unfortunately for them, they had no time to utilize these tools, as Dominaro and Satoris had cut them down much too quickly. Seeing an opportunity, I armed Splug with a number of these vials. It could prove a decidedly useful tool in the future. Elsewhere in the room we discovered a healthy supply of residuum, enough to make a new weapon of lightning for Dominaro. I question the judgment of giving such a potent weapon to a man who may not understand the dangers of wielding it, but I cannot doubt his prowess in battle or his usefulness, only his thought process. After collecting the treasure, we made the decision to proceed further, and see if we could find some clue as to what to do next. Before that though, we all needed a short rest, and returned to Winterhaven to stock up on supplies and prepare. While in town, I asked Satoris to prepare me a new backpack, one that could be used to more comfortably carry Splug. I feel as though he will become a welcome addition to our party. In fact, our relationship may soon resemble one I recently saw between a strange warlock and his pet…” www.lfgcomic.com/page/300 “ Kolgarth Barbarian of the Nameless

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Echoes of Mourning Session Four

Presented with three possible corridors to follow deeper into the Shadowfell Keep, the party decided to investigate each a little. They followed each corridor until it came to a door. Once they got to each door, they listened for any information they could get about what was beyond it. At the first door, south and west of the entrance hall, they could not hear anything, but there was a chill breeze coming from under the door. The second corridor, west and north of the entrance hall, ended at three doors. They could not hear anything behind two of them, but behind the third they could hear goblin voices. Down the third corridor, east of the entrance hall, they could hear distant movement, but could not make out what it was. They decided to deal with the known threat first, the goblin voices to the northwest. The members of the party crowded around the doors, getting weapons and spells ready. Dominaro kicked the door open, and the group attacked. Gabriel and Satoris loosed magic and bullets into the room while Kolgarth charged into the torture chamber, headed straight at the head torturer, hopping over the rack that separated them. Then Dominaro stepped into the room, focusing on the goblin operating an iron maiden. The goblins recovered from their surprise quickly. The hobgoblin torturer grabbed a hot iron and seared it against Kolgarth, leaving his flesh burning. The rest of the goblins focused on attacking Dominaro. While his armor protected him from many attacks, some got through. Seeing the damage, Satoris tossed him a healing infusion just before the goblin working the iron maiden pushed Dominaro into it. On the other side of the room, Kolgarth finished off the torturer with the aid of Satoris’ magic shots. Driven by the kill, Kolgarth charged the goblin that was holding the iron maiden shut, bringing his maul around and critically hitting the goblin, killing him instantly. Gabriel and Satoris finished off some of the goblins that were staying back and firing bolts into the fray with hand crossbows. Once Satoris saw Dominaro back out of the iron maiden, he tossed him another healing infusion, and the group started approaching the final goblin that had locked himself in a cage to shoot from safety. Unfortunately for him, Satoris was able to pick the lock almost immediately, and Kolgarth made quick work of the goblin once he had. Then the group started searching the room. They found three cells down a corridor off the room. The middle one had a goblin inside, who introduced himself as Splug. Splug asked if he could join the adventurers, offering to carry their things and set up camp for them. When he was asked why he was imprisoned, he explained that the goblins would gamble for ale rations, and he seemed to win more than he should, so they locked him up for cheating. Although the group was very wary of the potential for Splug to betray them, they decided to take him with them. They explained that in order to protect him during combat, they would need to strap him to Kolgarth’s back. Kolgarth emptied his backpack. Then Splug got in as best as he could and Satoris secured him to Kolgarth’s back using a fifty foot length of rope. While Splug believed this was for his safety, Satoris tied him up tight enough that he would not be able to attack them either. As his first offering of information, Splug told them that one of the doors off the corridor that had led to the torture chamber was the goblins’ food supply room. The group prepared themselves and kicked in the door. Indeed there was nothing but supplies in the room. Each person took as much as they could carry reasonably in their backpack, except Kolgarth as his was full. Then Kolgarth destroyed the rest of the rations with his flaming maul. Following Splug’s directions, the party went to the final room on the corridor, which he explained led to Balgron the Fat’s lair, the head of the goblins. The party carefully unlatched the door, and kicked it in. This did not lead to the surprise that they were hoping for, as there were no enemies just inside the door. There were only a pair of guards around a corner. Alerted, they rang the alarm bell. Goblin warriors and cutters began pouring into the room, and the group was outnumbered three to one. Dominaro and Kolgarth quickly dove into the midst of the enemies. They were able to cut down a cutter here and there, but it was Gabriel unleashing divine predictions of the goblins’ defeat that caused most of them to fall. Satoris aided Gabriel by enchanting his staff with the power of frost, and continued to imbue it with additional energy using a magical shot. Half the goblins already dead, a pair of double doors to the east were thrown open and Balgron entered along with his bodyguard. However, within seconds, Balgron saw that his forces would not hold against the adventurers, so he tried to flee. Before he was able to, though, Gabriel knocked him flat with a lightning bolt. With the rest of the goblins dead and Balgron recovering from the blast, the group moved up to interrogate him. Balgron pleaded for his life, offering the group all the treasure that had been found in the excavation site, east from the entrance hall. Each member of the party threatened Balgron, demanding more from him than just his treasures. Gabriel: You will tell me what you know or I shall send your soul to suffer eternally in hell! Kolgarth: Fat slob, speak now and give me some reason to spare your life, or I shall strike you down on the spot. Not even Orcus will be able to save you. Dominaro: Enough games. Tell us what you know, or we’ll cut you down, along with Doresain and Orcus and everyone else who comes between us and the will of God almighty. However, Balgron the Fat did not believe the heroes would actually kill him now that he had surrendered. He gave them the keys to the room and to his treasure, but held onto his information. Gabriel decided to perform a ritual to ask the Silver Flame whether or not they should kill Balgron. The spectral hand stopped them from killing him. While Gabriel had no intention of going against the will of the Silver Flame, he decided that Balgron must be punished. He instructed Splug to cut off Balgron’s right hand. Splug did this, happy to be fully a part of the group. As Balgron screamed in pain, Kolgarth asked him, “Now Balgron, do you have anything you’d like to tell us, or shall I let my friend at your other hand?” Gabriel added, “God has willed you live, but has said nothing about you suffering.” Seeing that the adventurers were serious, Balgron broke down. He told them about the other areas of the first level of Shadowfell Keep. He also told them the pass phrase to get to the second level, “and life fails in the dark”. The party let Balgron go. He wasted no time, fleeing through a secret passage to get to the entrance hall and leave the keep. The party used his key to open his treasure chest under his bed. Inside they found four protective amulets. Satoris determined what their properties were, and then they split them up. The group then head to the excavation site to see if anything else had been uncovered that would aid them in their quest. They could hear the goblins arguing as they got closer. Splug told them that they were arguing about whether or not there was any more treasure to uncover as nothing had been found in weeks. The party then had Splug yell to the goblins in the room, “Balgron the Fat wants to see all of us! Anyone who is not there in thirty seconds will lose their ale rations for the next month!” They heard scurrying around in the excavation site as the goblins hurried, not wanting to lose their ale rations. The party also heard some of the goblins fall off of the planks in their rush to get to Balgron, hitting the earth below hard. They stepped in to attack the goblins in the chaos. The goblins stood no chance against the surprise, and were all dispatched quickly. The two guard drakes that were kept there also fell quickly, both beneath Kolgarth’s maul. The adventurers found a large crate of residuum and nine bottles of alchemist’s fire on the bodies of the goblin bombardiers. They decided to head back to Winterhaven for the evening so they could rest, and also upgrade some of their equipment with the residuum they had found. There was no trouble on the way back to town. When they got back, Kolgarth worked the power of lightning into Dominaro’s greatsword. Satoris modified Kolgarth’s backpack so that it would function as a carrier for Splug. Gabriel and Dominaro prayed at the shrine they had set up. Then the group went to Wrafton’s Inn to rest up. Dominaro would not sleep well, though, as he had the same nightmare he has whenever he closes his eyes. To his left were his wife and son, Sarah and John. To his right, the Emerald Claw Commander that had led the attack into Breland. Between them all, hordes of undead. Emerald Claw Commander: Weak paladin. You may think your faith is armor for you, but what protection is it for your family. Your prayers won’t save them now. Sarah: Why are you letting them hurt me Dom? I thought you loved me! John: Help us, father! Don’t let them eat us! Sarah and John were surrounded, and the undead were able to injure Sarah. John was able to hold up, somehow. Dominaro: That’s my son! Dominaro rushed passed a couple of skeletons, getting attacked as he passed. He fought through the pain, and reduced two others to dust. The commander waved his hand and raised more skeletons between Dominaro and his family. Sarah: Why are you letting this happen to us? Don’t you still love me? John: Father, help! There’s so many of them! This time John was injured by the undead pressing in around them. Dominaro: John! I’m coming for you! He fought through more, almost reaching John. Emerald Claw Commander: Foolish Dominaro, your wife’s screams will create the perfect accompaniment to my minions’ feast. Sarah: (sobbing) John: Father, father please hurry! Both Sarah and John were able to fend off the undead for a moment. John: You’re so close, father! Please don’t let us die! Dominaro was able to get to John’s side. Emerald Claw Commander: Enough of this foolishness, finish them now! Sarah: They are everywhere… please help! Some of the skeletons grab Sarah, bringing her one step closer to death. Dominaro: Sarah! John: No! They’ve got mother! Dominaro, in a fit of anger ran towards the Emerald Claw Commander, closing the distance fast. Emerald Claw Commander: You think to challenge me? Foolish farmer! The commander raised more skeletons with a wave of his hand, mostly cutting off Dominaro’s path to him. Sarah: Why have you abandoned me!! John: No, father! Don’t go! At that moment, John stumbled under the barrage of skeletons. Emerald Claw Commander: Leaving your family behind to die at the hands of my minions? Have we frightened you that much? Sarah broke free of the skeletons and leaned over John, protecting him with her body. Sarah: Don’t worry John, I’m here. John: Father, you said you’d always protect us! Protecting her son, Sarah was killed by the undead horde. Dominaro, reaching the commander, swung his greatsword to kill him. The sword passed through him as through shadow and the commander vanished and reappeared across the field. Seeing his wife fall, Dominaro rushed towards her and John. As he passed skeletons, they attacked, and brought him down. At that moment, Dominaro awoke in a cold sweat. The nightmare ended the way it always had.

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Echoes of Mourning Session Three

The session started out six years in the past. Satoris had just gotten home from a day at the creation forge that he worked in for House Cannith. Things were just a little off, like someone had been inside and tried to put things back, but did not get it quite right. Looking around, Satoris found a package hidden under his bed. Inside was an odd device and a note which read:
“I had hoped that you would learn of this through other means, but my death wasn’t as it appeared, nor was my career. As of this day I release you from your apprenticeship, with only one final order: Learn this device, inside and out. I am currently a fugitive from Cannith, condemned for selling my services independently and withholding technology I have developed. They have recently discovered that I survived the Incident at Cyre, and they’ll be looking for you. This isn’t how I wanted your internship to end; you had such potential as an Artificer, but now you will have to finish your education on your own. I’ve taught you enough that you should be able to figure out the rest. If you can, meet me in the capital of Cyre. I can tell you more.
-Cedric”
Satoris did not have much time to take it all in. Just as Cedric predicted, bounty hunters were already looking for Satoris. They kicked in the door. Without knowing exactly what it was, Satoris pulled the device out of the box, pointed it at one of the hunters, and fired it. It was deafening, and when they all looked up, one of the three bounty hunters was on the ground, dying. The other two rushed Satoris, trying to stop him before he could shoot again.
They were able to injure him a little, but not enough to stop him from shooting both of them as well. After all three were down, Satoris grabbed his tools, some clothes, the note from Cedric, and the strange device and he left. He needed to find his mentor.

When the group got back to Winterhaven after defeating Irontooth, Alvana Wrafton offered them a free room in the inn. Dom and Gabriel got Satoris and Kolgarth into the room, unpacked the findings of Irontooth’s lair, and went to sleep.
Gabriel woke up first the next morning, having sustained fewer injuries than the others. After leaving Wrafton’s Inn, he felt called to the remains of Delphina Moongem’s house. He decided that the best that could be done with the now mostly vacant land would be to build a shrine to the Silver Flame. After a few hours of work, he fully sanctified the ground with rituals, and erected a small altar to focus one’s attention towards the Silver Flame. Once the area was finished, the clouds parted and shined down onto Gabriel’s staff, imbuing it with the power of the Silver Flame.
Dominaro woke up second, and, noticing that Gabriel was already awake and gone, he decided to search for him. He found him in the completed shrine. As Dominaro approached, he could feel the radiant energy of the Silver Flame pouring from the site. When he crossed the threshold, light surrounded him, much as it had surrounded Gabriel’s staff. His armor was also imbued with the power of the Silver Flame.
Kolgarth woke up third, unsure of where he was. In the box that Gabriel and Dominaro had brought back from Irontooth’s cave, Kolgarth found some residuum that he could use to enchant his maul. He decided to visit Thair Coalstriker’s smith again. Coalstriker was pleased to see him, and was more than happy to not only let Kolgarth use his smith, but to watch him as he worked. Kolgarth worked magic into his maul, emulating the magic that Satoris had imbued it with, focusing on heat, so he could use it more effectively both in combat and in weapon forging. When he was done, Thair was dumbfounded by his skill and by the results of his work.
Satoris woke up last, also unfamiliar with his surroundings. As Kolgarth did, he too found some residuum and a couple other odd metal pieces in Irontooth’s box. It was just what he needed to permanently harness some magical energy into his rifle. After an hour of tinkering and carefully enchanting his weapon, he had locked in the power of thunder, which seemed appropriate since it already sounded as if thunder was escaping whenever he fired it.
After they had finished working on their weapons, Kolgarth and Satoris both began looking for the rest of the party. They found Gabriel and Dominaro praying in the new shrine to the Silver Flame. Kolgarth resumed his questions from the previous night about what caused the fire in Delphina Moongem’s house. Gabriel produced the notes they had found, one in Delphina’s house before the fire, and one on Irontooth after they had defeated him. They were in the same handwriting, one signed “K”, the other signed “Kalarel”. They then discussed whether the fire was necessary and justified.
Their discussion was interrupted, though, by Lord Padraig. News had spread throughout the town about what the group had accomplished the night before. Lord Padraig thanked them for dealing with the kobold problem, and for making sure to root it out at the source. He offered them the stated reward of 100 gp, which they reluctantly agreed to take. The party wanted information more than gold though, and asked him if he knew of Kalarel. Padraig had not heard of him, but suggested that if anyone in town would know someone, it would be Valthrun the Prescient or Eilian the Old.
Satoris, having already met Valthrun and experienced his knowledge, decided to ask him about Kalarel. Valthrun said that he had heard of the name, and when he went back through some of his old correspondences, he found a letter from him. The letter was about two years old, asking about the ruins to the north of town. Beyond that letter, and his response, Valthrun had not heard from him again. While Valthrun was not able to produce any information about the history of the ruins, he said he could try to uncover the history given a little time.
Despite the intrigue of what might be happening at the keep that Valthrun had mentioned, the group decided to go to the dragon burial site that Douven had been interested in before his disappearance. They were able to find their way there in a couple hours without any trouble. When they got there, Delphina Moongem was directing four humans and two guard drakes, all under the watch of a projection of someone.
The group wasted no time and moved to attack. Seeing the adventurers, Delphina ordered her underlings to attack. Kolgarth and Gabriel quickly dispatched the human rabble and guard drakes. Seeing that she was soon to be alone, Delphina shouted, “I have failed you Kalarel” and fled. The apparition of Kalarel was able to cause more trouble for the group though as he was able to summon shadowy tendrils that grabbed Kolgarth and Dominaro, making it impossible for them to attack. However, it only delayed its destruction by a few moments.
After defeating them, the party searched the bodies and the burial site. On one of the human bodies, they found a large bone, shaped like the end of a rib. They guessed that this was probably the artifact that Douven had been after. They also found, in a shallow grave, a dead body. Although the group could not identify it, it had a letter in its pocket addressed to Douven Staul. Gabriel, worried that Kalarel may have used necromantic magic to turn him into an undead minion, performed a ritual to preserve the body in its current state. The party then took the body and the artifact and headed back towards Winterhaven.
When they got to town, they decided to see if Valthrun had discovered anything about the keep. He found a tome in his collection that detailed the origins of the Shadowfell Keep. It had been created to contain an exarch of the demon prince Orcus, named Doresain, trapped inside his prison in the Shadowfell, a parallel plane of existence. However, there was some tragedy that caused the keep to be abandoned, but Valthrun had not discovered what it was, yet.
Hearing that the group had brought a body back to town with them, he offered to try and identify it. The group agreed, and brought him to the shrine to the Silver Flame, where they had laid the body to rest when they got back to town. Valthrun recognized him immediately as Douven Staul. He asked if they had discovered what drew Douven to the burial site. The group showed Valthrun the bone. Valthrun offered to do some magical tests to try to discover what purposes the bone could serve. The group decided to trust him with it.
After Valthrun left to get his tests started, the party went to tell Eilian of what had happened to Douven. They found him at Wrafton’s Inn. Hearing the news, Eilian was upset and frustrated. When the group told him that Delphina was involved, he swore to get vengeance on her. Eilian then asked if any of the group would join him for a flagon of ale in memory of Douven. Kolgarth and Satoris agreed, but Gabriel and Dominaro left to warn Lord Padraig about the possible threat to the town from the Shadowfell Keep.
The two headed straight for his manor. When they met with him, they told him about what they had learned about Kalarel’s interest in the keep, and the original purpose for the keep. Lord Padraig asked them to look into what was happening there as soon as possible, as he would need everyone in town to work towards fortifying against any attack that may be coming. Gabriel and Dominaro offered Satoris’ help in repairing the siege weapons that were stored in Winterhaven from the Last War, which Padraig gladly accepted. Dominaro and Gabriel then went to get rest before heading to the Shadowfell Keep the next day. Satoris, with the help of Kolgarth and some of Padraig’s engineers, was able to repair the weaponry in under an hour. After, Satoris and Kolgarth also went to Wrafton’s Inn to rest up for the next day.
On their way out of town the next morning, Valthrun stopped them. He had discovered what tragedy had caused the keep to be abandoned. Doresain had been able to subtly take control of the head paladin’s mind, Sir Keegan. After some months, he was able to drive him into a frenzy. Sir Keegan awoke in the middle of the night and slayed his wife and child. Then he proceeded to attack the guards of the keep. They were able to final push him back into the lower levels of the keep. Sir Keegan finally came to his senses and locked himself somewhere deep within the keep. After that, people believed that the place was cursed, and avoided it. Valthrun did not know what had become of Sir Keegan, but asked the group to be on their guard, as it was clear that powerful forces were involved in the keep’s history.
When they got to the bottom of the stairs, they found a goblin on guard. The goblin attacked them by throwing a javelin. Kolgarth rushed at him first, but fell into a pit trap in the middle of the room. However, with his superior athleticism, Kolgarth was able to get out the opposite side and continue to the goblin, almost as though the pit was not there. Dominaro, decided to follow suit, attempting to jump across the pit. He misjudged how far he could jump in all his armor, though, and fell into the pit. He was quickly covered by a rat swarm that searched the area for food. Gabriel and Satoris worked to kill the rats and get Dominaro out of the pit. Kolgarth continued his assault on the goblin, chasing him down a corridor. Around a bend, though, he found that the goblin had gone for the help of two of his allies. All three focused on attacking Kolgarth. Dominaro came down the corridor shortly after being pulled out of the pit, and distracted the goblins from attacking Kolgarth. Kolgarth was able to focus, and he killed two of them in one swing. With the group back together and the goblins’ numbers dropping fast, the group had little trouble with the last of the three goblins, or with the goblin that overheard the racket and attacked from a side room.

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Letter from Satoris 1

~21 Ollarune 998 YK Hello, Lily. I’m not going to bother addressing this letter, because I’m fairly certain you have a good idea already, if the damn thing was delivered as per my instructions. I know you don’t want me visiting anymore – hell, I’ll admit I’m damn glad I’m not – but that doesn’t mean I should be staying out of contact completely. I know we’ve never seen eye to eye, Lil, and that you still blame me for what happened to our mother, but who else can I tell about the strange circumstances I now find myself within? I don’t really have any friends besides Sats, and he’s too busy working for house Sivis… and having the good graces to offer to deliver this letter to you. Now, I don’t care what you do with this letter: burn it without reading, read and then burn it, or just find some ingenious way to feed it to the horses at the stables, but for the love of the gods, destroy this letter one way or another. If house Cannith discovers I’ve been contacting you in any way possible, your life could very well be much less fulfilling and lengthy than we would both prefer. To compensate for this, I’m enclosing eighty silver pieces to pay for any… emotional stress. I’ll be sending more whenever I get around to sending another letter, so at least do me the courtesy of READING the damn things. This all started a few weeks ago, with a letter from an old acquaintance named Bren Ir’Gadden. I met him four years ago when hunting down a tip – a false tip, I might add – of where I might be able to find Cedric, my old mentor and coincidentally enough the same old bastard that turned me into a fugitive… but more on that later. Same time I met Bren I also encountered a rag-tag group of fellows, glory-seekers and the like, who apparently had some business there. Ah, there was some fighting, a few small horrors and the like, but apparently it wasn’t the last time I would see those people I met on the road; In fact, I’ve found myself now being strung along on some rediculous quest of theirs because it might lead me to Cedric. And as for my companions? One’s a barbarian – big, musclebound brute with a maul the size of a small child – named Kolgarth. Surprisingly, he’s not as dumb as one would think a barbarian to be. For someone who doesn’t bathe, his grasp of combat tactics and problem-solving is pretty admirable… well, if you can get over the whole “not bathing” part, at least. On the battlefield though, he’s a sight to see. Actually he reminds me of our first dog: big, mean, and more than willing to tear a few throats out. Only difference is that this guy could – and would, likely – EAT our old dog. But it’s a beautiful thing to see a warrior at work, specially after I’ve taken the liberty of enchanting his weapons. I gotta tell you, Lily, it’s one of the prettiest light shows I’ve seen in a while, that maul of his whirling through the air, crackling with the pure elemental energy I’ve endowed upon it. I guess as an artificer I’m really starting to come into my own. Now, there are two other companions, but one is fairly… well, insane. Some old guy named Gabriel and his cohort – or maybe his roadie, I can’t tell which – Dominaro Walsh. Gabriel seems like some sort of inquisitor from a religious sect, and he’s got all the compassion and clarity of mind that goes with it. I mean, the guy just wont shut up about his god! Always going on with “cleansing this” and “purging that”, I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulled nighttime shifts at his temple as the dishwasher. And when it comes to attitude, he can be somewhat… unsociable. He seems to regard us as inferior, stupid, and expendable. Well, I could understand me and Kolgarth in this category in his mind, but even his partner Dominaro isn’t anything more than a pawn in his opinion. More than once he’d unleash whatever holy magics he has up his sleeve at a group of monsters… with one of us in it. I think he might actually be out to kill us, though I suppose that much would be good news to you, wouldn’t it? But seriously, this guy seems too dangerous to have around. Take that cold-blooded mentality of his, and mix it with some of the things I’ve seen him do on the battlefield – For the sake of the gods, I’ve seen the guy burn a group of kobolds to ashes with just a wave of his hand – and you have there a volatile mixture, a sick puppy that might need to be put down for the good of those around him… At least his partner, dominaro seems to be of sound mind… for a paladin. I’ll never understand how religious fanatics can place more importance on believing that some big guy up above gives two **** about them then about learning actual combat strategy – and trust me, Dom takes the cake on that one. He’d probably be dead three times over if I wasn’t there with one of my healing concoctions to pull him back from deaths door, and frankly one day I’m not gonna be there to save his life every damn time. Because for someone that wears enough armor for me to build a small boat out of, he certainly has a wonderful habit of getting the snot kicked out of him. And his swordsmanship? I’m no big fighter when it comes to the down and dirty of using blades, but I’m pretty sure he would be doing something right if he tried pointing his sword at an enemy for once. Y’know: “pointy end goes in the bad person, and keep your hand on the round end” and all that. But when he hits, he hits hard enough that he could probably cut a horse clean in half. I mean, the barbarian is a strong guy and all, but there is definitely something behind that paladin giving his attacks an extra kick… And so here I somehow find myself: a fugitive from the only place I wanted to work for, hated by family, out on some crazy errand to find some guy I’ve never met, Douven Stahl or Douben Stahl or something, while being surrounded by three dangerous, smelly – and in the case of Gabriel – psychotic “adventurers” out to make a name for themselves. Well, at least that’s what it looks like with most of em, but Kolgarth seems to be looking for something else. While Gabe and Dom were sent by their order on some silly religious errand, Kolgarth is looking for the old Stonehammer clan of dwarves. Why, I can’t possibly imagine. I mean, what on earth would a goliath want with a bunch of surly dwarves? Oh yes, did I mention he’s a goliath? Big guy. Big, big guy. But here we are. Currently I’m looking for a guy named Douben Stahl, who we tracked down to a small town in the woods named winterhaven. On the way there were some kobolds and some damsels in distress – you know, the usual excitement for a strapping vagabond such as myself – but that’s when things started getting… strange. The damn girl claimed she had been taken prisoner by the kobolds, but no sign of struggle, no real job done tying the bond… hell, for a flower picker she sure didn’t know a damn thing about flowers, either. After we brought our “rescued” maiden back to town we met with some of the locals. Nice enough fellows – for a second I thought Gabe was going to get us run out of town – but nice enough. We met with some old guy, got a lead on Stahl, fairly boring things in general. Oh, and Gabriel SET THE GIRL’S HOUSE ON FIRE. I mean, sure she was likely possessed by some evil entity, but who isn’t these days? But that’s hardly reason to go burn a person’s house down, is it? But the girl had bolted. We followed her out into the woods and wouldn’t you know it, she was working with the damn kobolds the whole time! What frightened me was that these kobolds were unusually hostile, and with a group like that living so close to the town of winterhaven, that could have been trouble for the townsfolk. I’ll never get used to killing, but sometimes it just has to be done. We dug in to clean them outta their little cave setup, and ran smack into what was apparently their leader… of course, it could also have been one of your ex-boyfriends. He called himself “Irontooth”, actually rather clever by giant-goblin standards, and wore this hideous armor over his jaw – probably thought he was being scary, but he just looked rediculous. Eh, goblins. But in truth this was all pretty serious. Like idiots, we had waltzed right in the front door of their cave. I’ve been a fugitive for four years, and I walk right in the front entrance of a kobold lair? What the hell was I thinking? I’m just glad that these kobolds weren’t as trap-happy as their kin are known to be. But even so, there were quite a bunch of the little bastards. And as we fought, of course more and more came – things got bad quick, Lil. Dom and Kolgarth tried to hold them back, but they just kept pouring through, and eventually we were surrounded. Dom went down first – of course – but after that there was no one acting as a shield between me and them. One of their shaman hit me square in the chest with some roiling ball of blue energy – I’d have it pegged as acid, from the emanations it gave off and the way it burned clean through my armor. I got a few of them, but with kobolds they come in such numbers that killing a few doesn’t mean much. While I was trying to get Dom on his feet again Irontooth decided that he wasn’t going to have it – one clean axe swipe and I was down for the count. I think I heard Kolgarth go down as well, but I couldn’t be sure of anything by that point. I know it hurt back when you broke your leg that one time, Lil, but don’t talk to me about pain until you’re lying on a cold stone floor, covered in acid, bleeding to death from an axe being buried in your shoulder. I thought that was it for me. I could still hear the cries of battle around me and I thought: “well, it’s over”. I couldn’t reach my healing supplies; I hadn’t the strength for it. And the world just got darker, and colder, and eventually the pain just… went away. I woke up this morning in a room back in Winterhaven. I couldn’t believe it. Apparently one of my companions managed to save my life back there in that cave – I’d put money down that it was Dom – and the town healers did a fine job patching me up. I was sore from head to toe, but that was just a small price to pay for my life, though I could swear I could still feel the burn of the acid on my flesh. Alone in my room, I found a small box near my bed. There wasn’t a name on it, just a small, unadorned package containing a few parts. Parts that, might I add, were absolutely perfect for tuning up the gun I got from Cedric. But it was unsettling. Who knows where I am? How do they know what the gun needs in order to further improve it? Who SENT the parts? I think it might have been Cedric: he’s the only one that knows this gun as well as I do. He knows I’m looking for him; I wish he could just have the guts to come to me personally. Though really… I’m not sure what I would do to him when I see him. Every time I hold this rifle he gave me, I remember why I’m a fugitive. I remember why there are dozens of bounty hunters in house Cannith’s service looking to bring my head back on a plate. I remember why I have to fight, kill, steal, and cheat my way through life. I never asked for this thing; Cedric just dumped it on me and here I am now, because of something he did to anger house Cannith. They want the gun, but more importantly, they want ME. They think I know where Cedric is, and They’ll damn sure be ready to try and drag the information out of me. I never wanted to fight. I never wanted any of this, Lily. I miss my old life as an artificer. I miss fixing the machinery, making checks on the progress of the warforged, all that lot. I just want to find Cedric and give this gun back to him, and go back to MY old life. Without the pain, the fear, the killing and the running. I miss warm nights in my own bed, perhaps with a ladyfriend, perhaps not. I miss all of my life back in Cyre. But that life is long gone now, isn’t it? Even if I was to give the gun to Cedric, house Cannith would still hound my every move. I have to find a way to end this, one way or another. And finding Cedric is the first step to doing just that. But when I find him?… …I don’t know. I can’t decide whether I just want to talk to him… or shoot him with his own accursed gun. I know you’ll never forgive me, Lily, or even think kindly of me. But almost dying has brought forth in my mind that all I really have left in this world is my sister. Lily, be safe. If not for me, then for yourself. But please… be safe. I’ll send another letter when I can. ~D.

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Gabriels Diary Day 2

Day 2:
20 Ollarune 998 YK
As the meeting began with Bren ir’Gadden, I could not help but wonder what I was doing in this wretched place. If not for Cyranthus, I have a good feeling I would have rid Bren from this world. What kind of man spends all his time and money on booze and sins of the flesh? Even just looking at him I could feel god’s fury growing inside of me. Sitting down I looked around the table at what weaklings I would have to carry along with me on this mission. To my surprise it was the same three men that I protected at the tower four years ago. God must have a plan for these three if he is having them team up with me once more. It seems each one of these people is in search of somebody dear to them; that will be their downfall. Friends and family are only enemies in disguise and are as likely to stab you in the back as to hug you.
Sitting back as the other three asked their questions in hope of finding their loved ones alive and well, I looked closely at their faces. The barbarian Kolgarth looked worn and tired from obvious overexertion in searching for his family members, I doubt he will survive the day….I will lend him as much aid as god wills but it is not my job to keep him alive. The artificer Satoris still has the hopeful eyes of a much younger man; he honestly thinks at the end of his journey he will see his friend Cedric alive. I fear that if god has chosen otherwise the man will end up a lost soul that must be purged. As my eyes wander to the last ally I stop in amazement, finally a man of my own cloth. Dominaro Walsh, the paladin of the Silver Flame a man who I have battled with before, was sitting before me. Although the man’s battle prowess is questionable to say the least, his faith in the lord is unwavering and I know he would gladly die if that is what god willed. Nothing but complete trust in the lord almighty will guide us through these troubling times.
Bren rambled on about another person lost somewhere near Winterhaven…great another rescue mission. What sort of hold does this man have over Cyranthus to have him waste his greatest apprentice on such a remedial task? As he continued his tale I lost interest and looked around the bar. Men and women drinking and carrying on, my blood boils knowing that god is looking the other way from these hoodlums. Alcohol of any kind only leads those who partake down a road full of sin and regret. I willed a surge of holy energy to course through my veins as I prepare myself to rid this world of these insects when I hear Bren mention his old aid Aric and an unknown dragonmark that appeared on him the day we saved them in the tower. Upon hearing of such an unnatural thing I lost all interest in the patrons of the tavern and turned back to Bren. Although Bren hasn’t heard from him in 4 years and believes he is dead, I know otherwise. Those dragonmarks are a curse. They are a scar on this world and shall be removed forcefully if necessary.
Before Bren left he ordered a round of ale for the group, which I immediately declined as I scorned Bren for his decadent ways. Before I had a chance to leave, the bar maiden asked if we were headed towards Winterhaven, as she thought she had heard. As I was about to scorn her for her intrusion, I heard the lord’s words echoing in my head and knew this was part of his grand scheme. We accepted her plead and embarked towards Winterhaven.
A few miles outside of Winterhaven we were attacked by a band of kobolds. Although Dominaro and Kolgarth took a great deal of damage the lord saw fit for me to survive the battle unscathed. As we looked over the corpses for any evidence of where the kobolds came from we heard a whimpering in the woods. As we went to investigate, I knew there was something amiss. A petite girl was sitting tied up sobbing against a tree. Although she claimed she was attacked by the kobolds and tied up, I knew there was something off in this scenario…she was too unscathed to have been tied up by those animals… it seemed too tidy. I knew this girl should not be trusted and the only safe way to avoid an ambush would be to destroy the trap. The group argued against it and I decided to let them have their minor victory. I would not, however, let her travel with us in ease, I had her tied and gagged most of the way to the town gates….suffering cleanses the soul and suffer she must.
We entered town prepared for the worst. We kept her in the middle so she had nowhere to run to if her deceitfulness was proven by the townspeople. Luckily for her, we ran into two of her associates as we entered and they quickly vouched for her. Although they got her away from us this time, I will be keeping my eye on her, for a girl who was just saved there was much deceit in her words. While the others asked around about Douven Staul I kept my gaze steadily on the girl, I watched her until she entered her house… then I knew if we needed to catch the rat, we had found the boat she was hiding in.
After we finished talking to those two noblemen, the group decided it would be best if we all split up to do our own things while we waited for nightfall. I went to the local temple of the Sovereign Host to demand that they explain what my purpose was, here with these nonbelievers. Unfortunately the Sovereign Host does not see the light I bring to the world. Not caring about the evil around, they greedily kept their secrets for themselves.
As nightfall fell, we met up outside the inn. As we entered the inn, Kolgarth did not waste any time in causing a scene and giving away our intent. While I give him some credit on his brute strength, it might be best for the group to leave the imbecile outside during meetings. Luckily, I was able to see an individual particularly taken back by the brute’s demeanor. I immediately went over there and was able to deduce the identity of the stranger. Although he fought it at first, Eilian knew that his number was up and divulged the information I requested from him.
Eilian warned us about Delphina… I knew that girl was trouble. I needed to know what she had planned, and I needed to know quickly. I knew that if I wanted to fulfill my mission she was the key. I quickly left the bar and stationed myself covertly outside of her home, as I saw her leave I snuck in through the back window. I mis-stepped as I leapt through the window and crashed on the table. Momentarily dazed, I knew there was no time to revel in the pain; I began my search of the place. I was able to find a note hidden behind one of her drawers, it read:
“Be very careful to extract the third rib from the sinister side. I want the entire thing; I don’t know how much I’ll need to perform the ritual.
-K”
I have got to find this K fellow if I have any hope of finding Douven. I went to put the room back the way I found it but in my haste I have forgotten how it was set up. I knew I had to cover my trail but how…..Forest fires are nature’s way of cleaning up after itself, perhaps fire would work in this situation as well. I laid a candle down on some papers as I stealthily dove out the window and made my way up the street. I miscalculated the speed at which the house would burn and was quickly caught up in the mass of people forming around the house. As the crowd spokesman ran up to me to ask what happened, I devised a plan to keep our group from being detained from our mission. I spoke of a group of kobolds attacking the town and managed to get the man’s trust. As he ran off to gather the town militia I ran off to gather the group and to show them the proof I found.
I met up with the party at the local blacksmith. They asked what the commotion was and, although they are my allies in this quest, I could not trust them enough with the truth. They would not understand the greater good that the fire would cause. I showed them the note before they had a chance to press me for information. It seems in my absence the group was unable to keep a guard on Delphina and she managed to slip out of town right before we could apprehend her. Typical group of thugs, they think that their weapons and muscles will solve this. Only wisdom and faith will lead us to Douven and the answers they seek.
Just outside the village we were attacked by a small group of kobolds, probably sent to cover Delphina’s tracks. The group was quickly surrounded by this new foe, it seemed as though our barbarian ally was caught in a root spell, weak minded buffoon, I laughed to myself for a moment as I saw him fidget around like a baby learning to walk. I couldn’t help but think how useless he would be in the fight, moments later a giant maul whizzed past my head and into the chest of a wyrmpriest. Crafty bastard has been taking notes from Satoris I see….Maybe he’s not as dumb as he looks. As I ripped out the soul of the heartless wyrmpriest, I heard him mutter that he must warn somebody named “Irontooth” and looked towards the waterfall in the distance. Finally, we could destroy the source of the kobold situation in this area.

We burst through the waterfall before they knew what hit them. I whispered words of defeat to the cavern as we entered and watched as minions fell before us; fear burned into their eyes. Where I was carving my way through the masses I was surprised to see myself distancing from the group. The minions that fell so quickly to my magic were holding their own against the barbarian. His swings seemed to be slow and inaccurate; it seemed that the taxes of his travels were finally being paid. I spared what divine bolts I could to help diminish the mass of creatures that began to surround him but there were bigger worries than him. After one particularly strong astral wind I heard a shriek yell and saw a large goblin-like creature wielding two axes running towards us. It seemed we had located Irontooth. Dom knowing I was too valuable to be harmed quickly stood his ground in front of the much tougher opponent. Against all odds he exchanged blow after blow with Irontooth. Sadly even with his godly protection he fell victim to that monstrosity. Knowing that the tides have turned Irontooth turned his eye to his next target, Kolgarth. I managed to recite the holy words of our lord and stun Irontooth along with his 2 denwarden assistants, but he was able to shrug it off after only a short period of time. The 2 denwardens however had a much harder time clearing their minds of such immaculate words. After clearing his mind Irontooth charged Kolgarth, as that happened I managed to get to Dom’s unconscious body and protect my fallen ally. No soldier of the light would lose his life today. With the clang of metal ringing in the background I stood my ground and held the advances of the hordes of kobolds. I looked in amazement as Kolgarth landed a blow that would have destroyed any lesser foe in one blow only to realize that, as usual, it wasn’t enough. Only moments later Kolgarth crumbled feebly before Irontooth. Even though the outcome of this fight looked bleak I knew my faith would carry me through. Satoris tried his best to hold off the advances of Irontooth but for all the advantages he has in ranged combat you could see the weaknesses in his melee combat. Two crushing blows later and I alone stood against the might of these fiends. Standing defiant against these beasts, I prayed to the gods to give me the strength to destroy these abominations. One skirmisher made his way to strike me, but out of nowhere a holy glow came from Dom and he rose to join the battle. Evil cannot smite one who gives his life willingly to his lord. I knew then that holy justice will be dealt today. Commanding Irontooth to attack him and leave his friends alone Dom stood before Irontooth not as a man but as a warrior of the light. God has seen fit to bless his soldiers with his presence today. Irontooth paused for the first time during this bout and for the first time realized his imminent defeat. Not wanting to die without taking some of us with him he turned his sights on our two fallen allies. As he lifted his axes to end their pathetic lives beams of light shot out of his body. Kolgarth and Satoris will not die this day; God has bigger plans for the both of them. With Irontooth gone and the remaining forces seeing me, the angel of death before them they had no choice but to run. With the immediate threats gone I looked around the room to assess the situation, it was then that I saw him standing there in the middle of the floor. It seems that the denwarden that heard the words of god was still stunned from my earlier attack. Anger filled me….anger I haven’t felt since that day outside the church. Anger for all the lives these kobolds had taken. I grabbed the denwarden and threw him under the waterfall…although he could not move, I could see in his eyes the fear for his life….I held him under for two or three minutes before I felt the life leave his body……Never again will that monster take another innocent life…

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Kolgarths Diary Day 2

Day 2: 20 Ollarune 998 YK And so I pick up where I last left off. Years of searching have led me to the freshest trail that I’ve come across yet in my quest to find my family. Strangely, this trail has forced me to cross paths with these infamous faces of my past. Bren ir’Gadden, the scholar I rescued that day on the tower when I felt the prophecy course through me. Since the destruction of my town, that was the only moment I’ve ever felt a pull beyond that of my personal quest. That moment of doubt resonates with me still, the feeling of being drawn in another down another path. I’ve been able to push down that moment of doubt, but seeing these people again is more than coincidence. Luckily, these competing pulls are not a choice I will have to make at this moment, and I’ll have more time to think through my priorities as all trails seem to converge at this hole-in-the wall pub. It seems once more I’ll have to blaze a path for this motley assortment of adventurers. To my right, I see Satoris, the artificer with the strange element thrower. He explained to me the mechanics of his weapon, and I have seen similar on some of the largest ships of my house, but never before have a come across a personal version. It’s a very powerful weapon, and not only can it slash its foes with shards of ice and burn them with fiery wrath, but it can imbue those around it with the power of the elements. While his slight frame and weak constitution may prove a liability if he is thrown into the thick of things, I’ve seen the devastation he can unleash and he flits about on the outskirts of the fight. He is driven by a similar need for me, as he goes about searching for a friend lost in the catastrophe. A worthy ally to have guarding my flanks in the battles to come. The other two members of newly formed party I’m less ecstatic about. Dominaro Walsh and Gabriel, two members of the order of the silver flame. Anyone who allows blind faith to cloud their judgment, that the protection of some divine entity outweighs the benefit of proper discipline and training. It may seem strange to hear a barbarian preach on this, but I’ve been taught extensively how the use of discipline in conjunction to my natural rages can raise my battle prowess considerably. At least Dominaro shows signs of his training, he just has too much of a reliance on his god and his heavy armor to carry him through battle. I have a bad feeling that that will come back to haunt him, and soon. Gabriel, on the other hand, displays no consideration for anything beyond his devotion. Friends, foes, allies, enemies…there does not seem to be much of a distinction between anything for this raving lunatic. Wading into battle in ancient mail, laying all about him with his magic with no regard to who he hits, he is a force to be reckoned with, but also a beacon of power to avoid like the plague. One misstep around him can see me burned to cinders, the way he often leaves his enemies. While I cannot gainsay this power, he’ll need to learn to control and focus this, and temper his belief with restraint. If he can’t do that, I fear he will prove much more of a hindrance than a help in our upcoming assignment. Bren informed us that the key to all of the quests rests in the hands of one Douven Stahl, a man who has gone missing recently. A friend of the scholars, Douven has the information that all of us are seeking, and so the quest to find him falls to us. It seems each time I meet this crowd we’re destined to rush off saving someone. Bren told us to search towards the town of Winterhaven, so I began on my way. As I was walking away though, I heard Satoris asking about Bren’s friend from the tower. Apparently his proximity to the prophecy rune caused him to spawn an aberrant dragonmark. That topic hits much too close to home for my comfort, and hearing my companions’ protests of disgust and contempt, it makes me realize just how careful I have to be, even around my so-called friends. If any of them discover my secret, I might soon find myself on the receiving end of Gabriel’s holy wrath. I used that as my cue to leave, and began the journey to Winterhaven. On the way out, a serving girl stopped us to give us a code to contact a friend in Winterhaven. While I normally have no time for this kind of skulking and trickery, I sense something amiss in our future, and I can appreciate the caution. On the way into town we heard a shrill yell for help, and before we knew it we were being waylaid by kobolds. Rushing in to defend my companions of dubious fortitude, I fell upon these foul beasts with vigor. Looking to my left, I witnessed Dominaro rushing to battle as well, surprisingly fast for his heavy armor. As the battle wore on, however, I began to believe that he may have toned down his mighty plate. Blow after blow rained down upon him, and as the battle progressed I could see him getting more and more battered. Finally, the paladin fell, causing the kobolds to focus their assaults on me. I absorbed the worst of the blows, but they still managed to bloody me. At this point, I could no longer control myself, and I let the dam burst and gave into my primal instincts. I smashed through the frail creatures, waylaying about me to the left and right. When my rage subsided, I looked around me and not a creature stood. Calming myself down, we helped Dominaro regain his feet. Striding off into the forest, we found a young flower girl calling herself Delphina. As we untied her, my internal warnings immediately went off. As one in tune with nature, I have an affinity for things organic, and I recognized the flower beds that she was sitting on as lilies. However, the so called “flower girl” insisted they were violets, a strange mistake for one with her livelihood. My companions became suspicious as well, so we kept her under a close watch as we escorted her back to her village. I realized she was definitely one to keep an eye on. Upon reaching the village, we were informed that there was a man in the tavern who may be able to provide information on Douven Stahl, and that he normally shows up at nightfall. Having some time to kill before we made our contact, I wandered over to the town blacksmith, both to ask after my family and to find peace and comfort in the soothing sound of hammer on anvil. It was what I needed to calm myself after giving into the rage, one of the few things I’ve discovered can put me back in my proper mental mindset. Here I met a friendly dwarf who provided me with the same advice. He had spoken with Douven Stahl before he disappeared, and confirmed the rumors that he might have information about my family. He even went so far as to offer me a place at his forge, an offer I dearly wanted to accept, but the conversation had renewed my need for information, and it was time to approach the tavern. I wished him farewell and told him I would return soon to take him up on his offer. Upon meeting with my companions outside of the establishment, my impatience got the best of me and I burst in, demanding information of Douven Stahl. The response was…underwhelming…to say the least, but I noticed one old man who seemed a bit jumpy at the mention of the name. He quietly motioned us over, and once we exchanged the code phrase told us the situation. He also told us to keep an eye on Delphina, who had been acting strangely recently. His words confirmed my gut suspicion, and we made a plan to learn what we could about her. We chose Gabriel and Satoris to do the investigating, as their smaller size may allow them to slip along undetected, while my large stature would be a sure sign to anyone following. Little did I know they would botch the job so badly. I returned to the smithy to speak with the dwarf some more, and test my hand to see whether my skills had atrophied too much. Before long, I heard a commotion outside. I rushed out of the smithy to see Gabriel running towards me, and a large fire blooming where Delphina’s house used to stand. Unsure what had happened, but with a sinking feeling that I already knew the answer, I asked my companion about the fire. He proceeded to contrive some lie about a kobold following us, and I found myself aghast at how one who can claim to serve such a divine guardian could become so mentally unstable as to light a woman’s house on fire, regardless of her association with evil. Before I could get another word in though, he showed me a note that he had come across. Be very careful to extract the third rib from the sinister side. I want the entire thing; I don’t know how much I’ll need to perform the ritual. -K" Who was this mysterious K? Before I had time to think about it, Satoris came bearing word that Delphina was leaving the village. Quickly, we moved to follow her, putting as much distance between the burning house and ourselves as we could. Soon, the wench led us into the forest, where we could hear the chanting of some sub-human ceremony going on. Looking through the trees, we witnessed a horde of kobolds beside a river and waterfall. Unable to keep his hatred for all things evil in, Dominaro once more rushed into battle, leaving me no choice but to support my brash companion. Soon we began the fight. I began with my normal attacks, but soon I felt my legs start to lose strength, and my legs no longer responded. I had been rooted in place! Even with this disadvantage, I quickly overcame those creatures that came near me, while Satoris and Gabriel handled those further away. Running out of enemies to fight, I drew my throwing hammer and managed to take out another of the beasts. Still unable to move, and with no other resorts, I finally launched my prize maul to stop a kobold shaman’s casting before he could hurl his bolt of acid at Gabriel. This proved to be the creature who had cast the spell on me, and once he was vanquished I was able to move and reclaim my weapons. We had acquitted ourselves admirably in the sprawl, but I knew the worst was still ahead. From the waterfall, we could hear the chitter of little voices, and we realized we had found the kobold warren. Gabriel informed me that one of the shamans had spoken of an “Irontooth” with his dying breath, and we assumed that he must be the leader of these creatures. He may also be able to lead us to the next clue of Douven Stahl’s location. We knew we had to proceed ahead and find this foul best, so we cautiously entered the warren. Immediately we were beset by a number of minions. As I fought, I realized there must be some lingering affect to the shaman’s spells, because I was not able to move my arms quickly enough to hit the agile creatures. He must have sapped my strength, there is no other explanation for the laziness and lack of precision in my swings. Again and again I missed, but thankfully my companions were able to take care of the beasts. Gabriel in particular was able to use his magics to slay hordes of the minions. As we approached victory however, sounds of the struggle alerted the stronger denizens of the caves. When next I looked up, rushing towards us was a goblin-like creature with two dripping axes, and I realized this must be Irontooth. With him came a throng of shaman and denwardens, rushing to protect their brood. My companions and I all fought bravely, with Dominaro rushing in to take the brunt of the smaller creatures’ attacks. I engaged Irontooth myself, and we proceeded to fight toe to toe. However, this creature was even quicker than the others, and my attacks proved nearly as ineffective on him as the smaller ones. Every time he managed to graze me, I felt my life force draining into his axes, and realized they must possess a magical enchantment. Realizing the danger to myself and my companions, I launched a devastating attack, which I managed to connect, and I saw the beast stagger under my blow. In that moment though, I witnessed Dominaro fall under the onslaught of his minions, and that moment of split concentration provided Irontooth the opportunity he needed. As I looked away, I felt the bite of an axe as it hit a critical point in my body, and even my barbarian vigor was not enough to keep me on my feet. Swaying, I took a final swing at the beast and connected, and while he looked as though he may fall soon as well, it was not enough and I crumbled in a heap. Dimly aware of what was going on around me, I saw Satoris fall quickly to the kobold’s blades, and things looked dire for us. The only one standing was Gabriel, surrounded by a fiery nimbus. As he attempted to fight off the hordes, I heard him call to his god, and realized that perhaps I had been too hasty in dismissing his faith. A brilliant light surrounded the fallen body of Dominaro, and to my amazement I watched him regain his feet. Together the two Order members proceeded to finish off the leader of these kobolds, right as he was about to lay down the finishing blows on Satoris and I as we lie helpless. Seeing their leader fall the remainder of the kobolds began to flee. The last thing I remember before consciousness slipped from my grasp was the sight of Gabriel dragging a stunned denwarder to the waterfall, to “wash away his sins”. After that I slipped into the darkness… Kolgarth Stonehammer Barbarian of the Nameless

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Echoes of Mourning Session Two

The party began by talking to Bren ir’Gadden at the Gilded Lady in Lakeside. They asked him about many things, the Stonehammer clan, Cedric of House Cannith, and what became of his aide, Aric Blacktree. While he did not have much information about the Stonehammers or Cedric, he replied that Aric manifested an aberrant dragonmark after their time in the tower. He fled to avoid investigation by any of the dragonmarked houses. Bren, not having heard from him in four years, believes he is dead. This, however, is not why Bren asked them all to join him. He needed to request their help. His friend Douven Staul has gone missing. They have worked together many times, especially in connection to House Cannith, although Bren is not exactly sure what his connection is to the house. Bren is concerned that he has not heard from him in many weeks, especially as he was supposed to have a simple excavation to look into in a small town called Winterhaven, in northeastern Karrnath. He asks the party to go look into what has become of him. The characters reluctantly agree. Before leaving, Bren orders them another round of drinks to enjoy. After he left, the waitress brought over another round for the adventurers. Before leaving though, she asked if they are headed towards Winterhaven, as she thought she had heard. Assuming an affirmative from their silence, she instructed them to search out an old man in Wrafton’s Inn when they arrived, and gave them a pass phrase in order to gain his confidence. Again, the party reluctantly took note of what she was saying to them. Part of the group drank their free ale, while some scorned it. Shortly after, they all left towards Winterhaven. The trip was uneventful until they got within a few miles of the town. They were attacked by a band of kobold brigands. Despite some frustrations in dealing with the elusive dragonshields, the party came out of the conflict mostly unscathed. From the woods just off of the road, they heard some crying. When they went a few yards beyond the tree line, they found an elven woman, Delphina Moongem, tied up. Next to her lay a basket, and the flowers it used to hold. The group loosed her from her bindings, and asked her what happened. Delphina said she was out picking violets when she was grabbed by the kobolds. Kolgarth, Satoris, and Gabriel all noticed that she referred to the flowers as violets, when the flowers near her basket were irises. When they asked her about this mistake, she became flustered and blamed the stress she was in, having been captured by the kobolds. When Satoris looked her over, he could find no evidence of violence, or even chafing where she had been tied. He became suspicious, despite her claim that it was because the kobolds were interrupted by the arrival of the adventurers. Both Dominaro and Gabriel believed she was being dishonest about something. While Gabriel believed they should end her life and her deceit right then, the rest of the group agreed that if she was from Winterhaven as she claimed, someone should be able to vouch for her. As the five of them entered the village of Winterhaven, Valthrun the Prescient and Lord Padraig were leaving Wrafton’s Inn. They asked about who Delphina’s friends were. She politely informed them that they had rescued her from kobolds that had grabbed her, uncertain what was going to happen as the group was still keeping a close eye on her. Both Valthrun and Padraig did in fact vouch for her, and they thanked the group for helping Delphina. The group asked if they knew anything about Douven Staul. They said they knew him, but not as well as Eilian the Old. While they could not tell them where to find Eilian then, they figured he would be at Wrafton’s Inn later that evening. Dominaro passed the time meditating, listening for direction from the Sacred Flame. Gabriel went to the temple dedicated to the Sovereign Host to pray. Satoris went to the store house of the village, where siege weaponry was kept from the Last War. He was able to convince the guard to let him pass and look over the equipment inside. He found much machinery, and much need for repair. There was nothing useful to him, though, so he thanked the guard and headed to meet up with the others. Kolgarth went to meet the blacksmith in town. He was a friendly dwarf named Thair Coalstriker. Kolgarth asked if he had heard of the Stonehammers, explaining that he had been taken in by them and raised in their forge. Thair had heard of them, and was impressed. He said he had heard that they were the best unmarked smiths that House Cannith had. While Thair did not know anything about them personally, he overheard Douven Staul talking about them. At this Kolgarth decided to check Wrafton’s Inn for Eilian, to see if he could find the next step towards finding his family. The group met up outside the Inn and then headed inside. Kolgarth did not waste any time, immediately getting everyone’s attention and asking if any had seen Douven Staul recently. Nobody seemed to give Kolgarth a second thought, although the group noticed that one old man seemed to have a spark of interest at the mention of the name. When they approached him, they found out that he was Eilian. After stumbling through the pass phrase they had been given, he berated them for their lack of tact. He told them that Douven was a contact of his, but that he had missed their last meeting. Douven had mentioned that he was going to try to find the “third sinister rib” from a dragon burial site to the south. Eilian also warned them to be wary of Delphina. He had known her for a long time, but she had been acting bizarre as of late. Nobody else seemed to notice or care, but she had been forgetful… distracted. Gabriel decided he would try to glean some information from Delphina by going through her possessions while she was away. Satoris decided to see if Valthrun knew where the dragon burial site was. While Satoris visited Valthrun, Gabriel watched Delphina’s home, waiting for her to leave. Valthrun did in fact have an idea of where the dragon burial site was, and he mentioned that Douven had asked for the same information the last time he had seen him. He also mentioned that Douven had been looking for some rib artifact. Valthrun told Satoris, that if they did go to the site of the burial and find the rib, that he should be able to identify what it is used for. As Satoris left Valthrun’s tower, Delphina left her home. Satoris decided to try to follow her, and keep tabs on where she went and who she talked to. After they were out of sight, Gabriel made an attempt to break into her home. He went in through the window, knocking over a table kept near there. Despite the noise, he worked quickly to try to find anything of value. He found a note to Delphina: “Be very careful to extract the third rib from the sinister side. I want the entire thing; I don’t know how much I’ll need to perform the ritual. -K” Once Gabriel found this, he decided to straighten up and leave. His attempt to leave things as he found them was an utter failure, and he knew it, so he started a fire and left through the window, this time as nimbly as a cat. He went towards the blacksmith where Kolgarth and Dominaro were passing the time, until the house erupted in flames behind him. He tried to act surprised, and as the local townsmen formed a bucket line to put the fire out, he tried to tell someone what he saw – a kobold with a sling, that launched a flaming jar at him that missed and hit that house instead. Believing the town was under assault from kobolds, the man talking to Gabriel sounded the alarm, calling the militia to their stations around the outer wall. Gabriel slipped away, saying he would try to get his adventuring party to help with the kobolds. By this time, Delphina had spotted Satoris, and knew that he was watching her from the other side of the Inn. Hearing the commotion outside, and seeing that he was not getting any information from following her, Satoris slipped out while she was facing another way. The party convened at the blacksmith. They asked Gabriel what happened. Not believing his story the way the townspeople had, they pressed him for more details. He skirted the topic showing them the note he found in Delphina’s house. As they were looking at it, two of them noticed that Delphina was leaving the village. Gabriel mentioned to the person he had talked with earlier that they were off to attack the kobolds’ main assault force before it reached the town. Then the group left, in pursuit of Delphina. Just outside the village, the group was ambushed by a group of kobolds. These were tougher kobolds than earlier, and they were led by a wyrm priest. They drove Kolgarth to lose the patience he had learned working as a blacksmith, sending him into a rage. He began killing anything he could reach with his maul. The party suffered some wounds, but nothing that would slow them down. Grabbing a ceremonial necklace the wyrmpriest was wearing, they headed after Delphina’s trail again. The trail ended near a cliff, with a waterfall flowing down it. Beyond the small glade of trees between them and the base of the waterfall, the party was able to hear and see a couple kobolds. They attacked them and were able to kill them all before any could run inside the cave behind the waterfall to warn Irontooth. After resting for a few minutes, the party headed in through the wall of water to find a large kobold force. They began dispatching them as they had done with all the other kobolds they had run into. A short time after the combat began though, the battle was joined by tougher denwardens, a wyrmpriest, and Irontooth himself, the large, two axe wielding, goblin leader of these kobolds. The party quickly turned its focus onto Irontooth, and bloodied him almost immediately. However, this only sent him into a blood frenzy, and the long day of fighting started to take its toll on the adventurers. Dominaro was knocked unconscious by repeated fire balls from the wyrmpriest. Gabriel stepped over his down body to protect him, and unleashed the Silver Flame’s terrible fury. While his mind was clouded by the power he channeled, he stunned Irontooth and two of his underlings. The group took this chance to further whittle down Irontooth, but he did not stay stunned long. As he moved around the cave, he set upon both Kolgarth and Satoris, knocking them both unconscious, and nearly to death’s door. At the same time though, the power of the Sacred Flame coursed through Dominaro, waking to fight onward. While Gabriel continued harassing the underlings, Dominaro went after Irontooth, and was able to kill him when he went to finish off Satoris and Kolgarth. The rest of the kobolds were killed quickly after that, except for one that managed to flee in cowardice. Kolgarth and Satoris were stabilized, and they got them back to Winterhaven to sleep off the ill effects of the battle. They also brought back Irontooth’s treasure and a note to him from Kalarel, whose handwriting matched that of K in Delphina’s note: “My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors to the area. It probably does not matter. In a few more days, I’ll completely open the rift. Then Winterhaven’s people will serve as food for those Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding.”

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Kolgarths Diary 20 Ollarune 998 YK

20 Ollarune 998 YK

The search for my family continues, and the latest trail I have followed
has led me back into the company of a number of adventurers I have
previously met, and had not expected to see again. In this endeavor, I
have answered the call of one Bren ir’Gadden, who I believe has some
information on the whereabouts and status of my father, brother and
clan. While my trust in this man only lasts as long as I can keep him
in my sights, even the faintest of trails deserves to be followed, and
my training as a blacksmith under the tutelage of my father has taught
me nothing if not patience. As I arrived, I realized that he was not
alone. Scattered around the room were three people I was familiar with,
but had hoped I would not see again. While I had come to respect their
prowess in battle, the adventurers in question did not rank among those
I would wish to share a tankard of ale with. It was a fell gathering,
and seeing those familiar faces around the room brought me back to our
first meeting, and the day of the cataclysm that destroyed my town and
clan.

It was years ago, and I had ventured to the tower of Cyre to investigate
a new mysterious dragonmark for my clan. Little did I know when I
arrived that others had been dispatched as a rescue mission, here to
save none other than Bren ir’Gadden himself. While my quest differed
greatly than that of these other adventurers, the presence of vile
undead abominations resulted in a temporary alliance of sorts. In this
case, luck was on their side, as while they are formidable fighters,
they were quite outmatched by the forces arrayed against them.

The smallest of the three, the Artificer known as Satoris, wasn’t a bad
sort, and even after all these years, I still feel the shadow of a
thrill at the thought of his elemental imbuing of my war maul. It made
for a very satisfying day of combat as the forces of fire and frost
flowed forth from my weapon. While I typically disdain the method of
ranged combat, preferring to revel in the defeat of my foes from within
reach of my maul, I could not help but be impressed the first time I met
them. Quick and agile, Satoris was able to dash around the outskirts of
the battle, and his crossbow proved to be quite effective, striking the
foul beasts where they were most vulnerable. While his tactics were
unorthodox, the results he was able to put forth proved them quite
useful in a battle.

The same could not be said of the members of the Silver Flame sent to
the tower. Gabriel, the invoker mendicant, and Dominaro Walsh, the
avenging paladin, could not have come from further ends of the spectrum
for two people so cut from the same cloth. Both have been
obviously…“touched” by their god, and their religious fervor carried
them recklessly through battle. Witnessing them fight, I gave thanks
that my father was able to temper my barbarian ways, as the carelessness
of their assault and their confidence that divine intervention would
carry them through the battle nearly caused their undoing. As soon as
the enemy was spotted, Gabriel rushed in with nothing more than his robe
as protection. In the first moments of the battle he was nearly struck
down by the lesser minions of the undead horde. However, even I must
admit that his response to that assault was impressive, calling upon
righteous fury to smite numerous of the smaller beasts. His companion,
Dominaro, took the opposite response. Content to sit back and allow his
ally to take the brunt of the assault through the beginning of combat,
when he did make his move, he lumber forward, encumbered by his heavy
plate mail. I could see the value, as assault after enemy assault slid
harmlessly off his defenses, but the plate obviously hindered his
movement, as he failed to strike a single enemy until late into combat.
To be fair, when he hit, he dealt a crippling blow, but he never would
have been able to connect had I not broken the ribs of the creature and
slowed it’s movements. In the spirit of friendly competition, I
bantered with them, but I fear that their religion allows no room for
humor or compassion in the souls of those that it has consumed.

As for me, I acquitted myself well, vanquishing the larger, more
dangerous of the creatures. Despite taking significant wounds, I was
able to keep my wits about me, and I did not fall into the rage that so
often consumes my brethren during battle. I won’t say I did not feel
the longing to let go, as I would be lying to myself, but the time was
not right for me to give into the call, and I was able to cling to the
discipline of my craft. We managed to save the old man, but the dragon
mark turned out to be a rune of prophecy. While investigating, it
whispered to me that my path was tied to those of this disparate group
of adventurers. Up until this point, I had disdained that warning, but
now, seeing them again in the presence of Bren, I realized that this
gathering was no coincidence, and that fate had caught me in its’ grip
once again. An ill omen, being connected with this group of miscreants.
The last time we were all together, we witnessed the mourning occur, as
my entire homeland was swallowed up by the foul necromantic energies,
and the search for word of my family, which has driven me these four
long years, began. While I am wary of what the future brings with this
group of companions, I can’t help but feel I have finally crossed the
trail that may lead to the culmination of my search.

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Gabriels Diary Day 1

Day 1: 20 Ollarune 998 YK Cyranthus has sent me to meet up with Bren ir’ Gadden again today, that ungrateful bastard has somehow gotten himself into trouble again, that’s what happens when you live a life of sin. He wishes to meet up in the local tavern…I hate these joints, full of the worst kind of riff raffs, Booze and pleasures of the skins are all these men crave. God will judge them harshly should they ever reach his doors. I remember the first time I met Bren ir’ Gadden 4 years ago. The man was captured in a tower being guarded by some hideous creatures. ..Luckily for him God was watching over him. Cyranthus sent me and a paladin of the silver flame named Dominaro to his aid. I have never worked with another and did not understand why Cyranthus would send him along, especially on a mission as trivial as freeing a nobody. My talents were always better used for retribution. As we approached the tower a Goliath of massive proportions came out from behind the tree pleading desperately for us to help him get into the tower. Although this brute was a heathen and has little intelligence to call his own I felt pity for him and offered him our aid. I’m still disappointed in how little such a large being does in combat, although he did dispatch two of the evil doers, I could have taken them out as with just a thought. He brought along an accomplice, a shifty little human named Satoris that was always tinkering with something. I didn’t think much of the man until he showed his prowess in combat. A weapon that made the sound of thunder as it fired and left only death in its wake. He was truly being guided by the hand of god. As we stormed the tower I used the lord’s strength to vanquish many foes. As I struck the last 2 dead with a lightning strike that shook the very foundation of the tower we saw the prisoners. One of the prisoners was tied up on some sort of strange rune. I watched as the goliath went to free him and immediately fall to his knees. Some strange force was emanating from the rune. I didn’t think twice and walked courageously onto the rune knowing very well that my god would not allow some demonic force to hurt his messenger. I walked through it un-affected by the evil rune and freed the prisoner as well as the goliath. As I led the group out of that cursed tower we were accosted by the Order of the Emerald Claw, those insolent swine. They use their dark magic and think they can take down I, I who have purged this land of filth like them for over 40 years, don’t they know I am the right hand of GOD! I could feel the Flame coursing through my veins as I haven’t since that fateful day so many years ago. As I felt a surge of energy I was able to watch as 5 undead abominations were vaporized to dust in front of me. I knew it would be a good day for a fight. We quickly formed a line around the prisoners, I would not fail Cyranthus after all he has done for me. As I watched the others feebly hold off the undead scourge I knew this group would not be enough without some godly intervention. I prayed to our lord almighty to send a fallen warrior to protect these peasants I have under my protection and from the ashes an angel born of fire was reborn. The sight of such a magnificent being rejuvenated the group who was about to battle on and repel the ambush. As we surrounded the mage in the group we were able to identify her as Mallora. As I felt the burn of holy energy radiating from my bones I knew that god wished her dead.

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