Princess of Disaster

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Session 2

Dear Cal,

I’m writing this to you on the back of a wagon heading for Elf country. I thought I would fill you in on our journey thus far.

After you left the prophecy with us, we spent some time deliberating over its meaning. That is, all of us except Loki, who had left a letter saying he had some business to take care of. Personally, I’m not sure whether I want to know what he was up to or not. Anyway, we eventually all agreed that it must refer to the dwarves. So we set out for Khuzdgathol.

Along the road we came across some old metal workings, some of which we pocketed. A little further along the way we met a tinker to whom these metal workings belonged and we, unfortunately, swindled him with his own wares. I didn’t feel too happy about it, but I said nothing as we continued to Fort Waystone.

Once we reached the fort, we figured there wasn’t enough time in the day to make it to Khuzdgathol and so booked a room at the inn and did some odd jobs around town. I personally went to the local temple to assist the healers. After dark, we returned to the inn and settled in for the night.

The next day we made it to Khudzgathol. As we pondered where to look for the Reliquary, I figured that since the Reliquary is very resistant to injury, we could ask the healers at the healing temples if any of the nobles’ children had never been brought in for healing, even if they had been involved in a pretty bad accident. The healers pointed us to Zinlaz, daughter of Bilin, who is a member of the opposition triumvirate.

We made our way to Bilin’s house, where I tried to pass us off as researchers from the Elven Archives. Despite my insistences and Caranmacilien’s illusions to trick them into believing we had an appointment, they were about us not being allowed in until we had declared support for one of the political parties. I’m not one to get involved in such things, but since we had no choice, we made our way to the city center to pick a party.

In the city center, there were dozens of stalls, all arguing either for the Incumbents or the opposition. After a while, Dimli chose to support the opposition while Cili and I chose to support the Incumbents. With our support confirmed, we made our way back to Bilin’s, where the head guard saw Dimli’s support for the opposition and let us in with no problem.

We were taken to Bilin’s office, where I again repeated our story about the archives. We talked to him for some time about himself and his daughter. Eventually, he explained that Zinlaz was on her way to elf country to campaign for him there. Having gotten all the useful information we could from him, we bid him good day and left the city. We made our way back to Fort Waystone, where we managed to book cheap passage to Ascalon by helping a merchant with his wares.

As I write this, we have not yet made it to Ascalon, but I believe that we will be there soon. I will send this letter to you when we arrive.

Respectfully yours,
Dacedu Bruivon

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Session 5

Dearest Cal,

Sorry for the delayed update! It’s been quite an exciting few days.
We were asked to stay put while the “investigators” did some investigating to corroborate what we had told them. We did NOT kidnap Zinlaz, but they were very skeptical. Dimli and I were placed in a room with some beds and a guard was placed in front, although we were told we were not prisoners. Yeah right! Sure felt like it. Decedu was allowed to accompany other healers in the temple to study some of the rare occurrences as of late and to help out where he could.

Time ticked on and on, while we waited in the room. We saw someone at the window, but before we could get a good look, they ran into the woods. We tried to go after him, but we were not fast enough. We noticed a note on the windowsill. He must have left it! I opened it up, and it was from the band of thieves that call themselves “The Shadows.” They said they had Loki, and they were angry that he tried to join them with his allegiance sword to the White Tree. They were insulted since they have pledged allegiance to the Sun. They demanded we meet them at noon with a reward to satisfy them.

We quickly put some pillows under blankets in case anyone check in on us, they would think we were resting. We made it out without anyone seeing us, and made our way to rescue Loki.

We approached the thieves and Dimli shouted out “Looks like an interesting party out here.” We saw that Loki was bound and gagged and my gut wrenched, hoping they did not harm him. The leader asked if he was ours, and Dimli told him that we knew him. He told us again how disgusted and upset they were that Loki would try to join them without supporting their candidate. They demanded we pay them 100 gold or something comparable for his return. Anger brewed inside me. Dimli told them that they should just give us our friend back. I yelled out to them that we didn’t have 100 gold, and demanded they hand over Loki. I asked them what are his crimes? They said he supported a different candidate. I can’t believe the nerve of these men! Dirty thieving men, think they can do whatever they please. I am accustomed to peaceful and kind men, not petty and repulsive men. I told them that was no reason to hold someone hostage, and they should release him immediately. They said that they will brand him, with the White Tree, and we can take him. I told them they were being unreasonable, and unjust. Loki had done no crime, and the punishment was too harsh for merely disagreeing on politics. People rely too heavily on politics and miss out on so much of life! This candidate or the other, causing so much animosity. It makes me sick. Anyway, Dimli jumped in and asked if there was some other arrangement that can be arranged. They looked him up and down and told him that they do enjoy a good boxing match. If he would be willing to fight one of their men and win, we could take Loki. Dimli is ALWAYS up for a good fight, which I just don’t understand. He put his fists up and bellowed “Which one of you lightweight scallywags is going to fight me!?” I rolled my eyes a bit at him. But I guess my reasoning had failed, and there was no other way so I left it alone. The fight did not last long, they underestimated the strength of Dimli. Unfortunately, the fight got a little out of hand and when his opponent ducked to the side, Dimli landed a large blow across Loki’s head. I watched his chest, and he was still breathing. The thieves seemed to be pleased with the fight, and they threw Loki at us and left.

We carried Loki back and made it back through the window without being spotted. We let him rest on the bed. Someone came in and took us to Lt. Gray’s office to speak with him. He told us our story checked out (like that was a surprise). He asked for our help to accompany him and a few of his men to a place they believe the cult is gather at, and attacking from. He said we would leave in the morning, so we were free to do as we pleased that evening; the guard was removed from in front of our quarters. We decided to try to make some money in town.

There was a wedding that evening that was in need of some fireworks. I do love casting Illusions! It would be perfect. The wedding was beautiful, and I had a great time with everyone. I think I had a few too many drinks before the fireworks show, so although they started out spectacularly (as usual) they fizzled out at the end. Luckily the beginning wowed them enough, and not too many people noticed the ending, that they still paid me and let me enjoy the rest of the evening!

When I walked into the room upon my return, I saw that Loki was awake. I also saw the most peculiar thing! A WOLF. A big, huge, wolf. I screamed, and Veverka screeched and ran from her perch on my shoulder to hide under my cloak. I saw that the Wolf was injured, and Dimli explained he had tamed it and it was his pet now. Loki asked why his head hurt so much, and while Dimli tried to lie to him, I told him the truth. He was upset at Dimli, but thankful for us rescuing him. He was also upset at Dimli for bringing in an injured wolf, but he was getting really woozy again. We told him to rest here at the hospital, and we would go in the morning to find Zinlaz at the cult’s secret base, and we would be back for him.

We flew in the airship to the spot they found. It looked like ancient ruins of a former fortress, but we all knew this MUST be an illusion, although a very powerful one. I tried to see through the illusion, but was not successful. I was very frustrated with myself; now we would have to go in blind. Lt. Gray had some purple robes the cultists wear on the ship that he had recovered from previous dealings with them. He didn’t want us to go in, but knew being disguised would help. We were so desperate to find the potential reliquary, we didn’t really think much. We grabbed the robes and head straight in!

The guards at the gate stopped us, and asked about the ship. I told them all were dead in the ship. He thought that meant WE had killed them, and thanked us for their service. I was ready to explain that it looked like a sky bear attack! I knew the quickest way to Zinlaz would be through their leader. I cast an illusion of a letter to their leader to secure a meeting with him. I didn’t want to have to fight our way in and out, so I was quick on my feet to develop a plan to get us to Zinlaz!

They took us to Legeldur, their leader, and I had to work really hard to convince him of the letters authenticity. He believed me, and let the five of us take over guard duties over the prisoners. We were so close!

Dimli broke the locks on all the cells, and after some reassuring we were there to help and not hurt, the 5 prisoners finally believed us after Dimli knocked out the guard outside of the dungeon. We used pieces of the guard’s robe to cover the prisoners to make it less conspicuous. I really am clever sometimes! We had Zinlaz with us, and a few other children. What could they have wanted with so many?

We had to think quickly of a way out. There was a sewer nearby, but we had to get to the ship fast before we were discovered, and that led the opposite way. I tried to conjure an illusion of an army of bears attacking the base from the north. It wasn’t successful. I came out of the dungeon and tried again, and it was mildly successful. Enough to catch some attention, so we made a run towards the front gate. Darting around buildings and tents, trying to be seen. We each had a child with us making our way toward the gate. I tried to strengthen the illusion, and success! They sounded the alarm. “Bears to the north!” they yelled. I smirked; bears are always a good choice.

We made it to the ship! We had Zinlaz! We were safe.
-Cili

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Session 6

My dearest father,

I know that our most recent time together was brief, but you know that I have important things to do and had to leave in a hurry. As such I have decided that I will keep you updated as to what transpires on our journey, and so I am sending you this letter. Hopefully you will find our adventures to be at least entertaining if not enlightening.

As you know, I was in the Elven Capital concerning the matter of some human soldiers who had fallen ill. I was assisting in attempting to break the curse’s hold on them. We eventually managed to break its hold on one of them, but the rest are still in its thrall. It was at about this time that the rest of my compatriots returned from their excursion.

They explained to me about their recent trip to an old ruined fortress, which turned out to be a headquarters for the cult which we have been fighting against since we were recruited by Cal. But what interested me most was the story of the children who had been captured and have now been rescued. One of them, Zinlaz, daughter of one of the Dwarven competitors, was very quiet and subdued throughout the journey back from the fortress. From what the other children told my friends, the cult members seemed most interested in her, especially after she apparently reacted to some of the magic they were performing on her.

After considering what the others told me, I decided that I should talk to Zinlaz myself. We went to her room, where I asked her again about what she had seen and experienced in the fortress. She too explained how the cult members were quite interested in her after she reacted several times to the experiments they were performing.

At this point, Caranmacilien placed her hand on Zinlaz’s arm in an attempt to comfort her. There was a sudden flash of light. She suddenly pulled her arm away looking extremely frightened. The rest of us were quite startled as well. When we asked her about it, she explained that that was similar to the experiences she had had with the cult. Considering what her father had told us before we had set out to meet her, and based on what we had now seen, we decided that she would need to be examined by Cal to confirm whether or not she is the reliquary.

The next morning, the dwarf children were going to be taken back to the Dwarven Capital. We managed to convince the soldiers loading up the boat to let us accompany them. Just after we took off, I sent a letter to Cal alerting him to our progress and asking him to meet us at the Dwarven Capital. We then set off. While Caranmacilien entertained the children with some of her illusions, Dimli and I assisted the crew.

As we were beginning to near our destination, our airship was suddenly caught in a massive gust of wind. I nearly fell off, but Dimli managed to pull me back on board. We discovered we were being attacked by a White Drake. As we prepared to fight it, it suddenly called out in the Dragon language for us to hold. I shouted this to the others, and they immediately stood down with their weapons and cannons. It came up to the ship and settled itself upon the flight deck. It then turned to me and began to speak to me mentally.

He explained that he had caught the scent of a fallen Dragon and had followed it to us, where he discovered that I was wearing Dragon boots and gloves. As you know, father, I claimed these gloves and boots as trophies for having defended a small village from an attack by a rogue Dragon. The Drake examined me and found no reason to believe I was lying, but he could not read my mind to confirm this. So, he made me swear a blood oath that I would make my way to Dovahstrun to face trial concerning my story. After I swore the oath he agreed to guide us safely to our destination.

When we arrived, we discovered that Cal had already made it to the capital. Once all of the children had been unloaded from the ship, we followed the soldiers escorting Zinlaz home at a distance. We allowed her and her parents to have a tearful reunion before Cal asked to speak to her father privately. In his office, Cal explained that Zinlaz was the reliquary. He also explained that she needed to be taken somewhere where she could be kept safe.

It was at about this time that our friend Loki, who had not been seen in a few days, awoke in a dark secret compartment on board the very airship we had just departed. After a brief and mostly unproductive conversation with a drunken soldier, he made his way to Zinlaz’s house.

Zinlaz’s father, meanwhile, did not seem to believe that we and Cal could provide sufficient protection for Zinlaz. Cal asked for a chance to demonstrate what we could do, and so Zinlaz’s father escorted us to a small practice area inside the house. There, after Loki caught up with us, Cal demonstrated that we, the relicants, could combine with the reliquary, that being Zinlaz, to form an elemental avatar with exceptional power. This was finally enough to convince him, but we would also have to convince Zinlaz. When we mentioned that she would probably get a chance to hurt cult members, she readily accepted.

At this point I noticed that Cal’s eyes seemed to be almost teary. But whatever I saw only lasted for a moment. I’ll have to keep a closer eye on him.

It wasn’t long afterwards that Zinlaz had finished packing. We then made our way to the airship docks, where we commissioned a small ship to take us to Union Island. The journey was rough, but uneventful. After arriving on the island, I was surprised to find that most of the buildings were rather run down. After all the stories I had heard of the grandeur of Union Island and the White Council who ruled from there, the actual city itself was a bit of a letdown.

Cal told us to enter the main Council chamber while he went off to take care of some personal business. In the main chamber we encountered a number of white-haired old men. At first, they seemed to think we were just a joke. But when we insisted that we were actually relicants, they had us place our hands on a page of one of the tomes they had. When each of us touched it, different runes would light up on the page, indicating which element we were most associated with. In light of the fact that we were not jokes, Zinlaz was escorted off by herself while we were told to head to the official armorer who had prepared something for us in the off chance that we were real.

At the armory, Loki was given a finely crafted bow, Dimli was given a choice between a few weapons, Caranmacilien was directed to a local mage who could hone her spell for her, and I was given a new wand. We were then sent for some basic training from the head trainer. After a preliminary session where he determined how developed our skills were, we were told to go to our rooms, which were labeled with our elements, and get some rest for the next day.

Shortly after we had settled in, Dimli came to my door. He was telling me about a beam of purple energy he had seen shooting up from the shore. Based on how he described it, it sounded a lot like the same beam of energy they’d seen shoot up from the fortress that they had attacked and freed the children from. We woke up the others and made our way out to the training field, where the training master was still practicing. We explained to him what we had seen, and the five of us decided to look into it.

What we found on the beach was a strange crystal being guarded by a large stone statue. In one hand it held a sword and in the other it held a slingshot. And in the center of its chest was a glowing orb that was alternating between different colors. As we approached it, it shouted a warning to us, telling us not to come any closer. We tried going around the statue to approach the crystal, but the statue adjusted its position, placing itself directly between us and the crystal. It shouted a second warning, this time saying that it was final. We decided that despite the danger the statue and the crystal clearly were not meant to be here, so we decided to fight it.

The combat master started first, throwing his spear at it. It did very little damage and bounced right off its chest. It then tried to attack him, but he managed to evade the blow. The rest of us then began to attack it, and it took a while, but we managed to bring it down.

We then began to examine the crystal. One of us touched it, and it sent another beam of energy into the sky. Then we remembered that we had seen something similar to this crystal in the book we had gotten from the cult members on our very first mission for Cal (and yes, I am creating a translated copy to be sent to the archives). For some strange reason Loki had it.

Caranmacilien and I skimmed through it, and between the two of us we managed to figure out that the crystal is used in an ancient and long forgotten branch of magic designed to control life and death itself. We managed to figure out that the crystal is designed to absorb the life energy of all living things around it, and that in order to break it apart an incantation must be spoken. But rather than try to cast the incantation ourselves, we went in search of someone who would know how to cast it.

However, on our way, I thought I might be able to figure this out myself, so I went down to the Order’s Archives to see what I could dig up. I have since spent some time looking for answers, but have found nothing. Perhaps the books on this type of magic are kept by the heads of the order in another location.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to cut the letter off here, as I have spent too long in the archives (there’s no telling what kind of trouble my companions have gotten into without me). But I will write you again when I get the chance. Give my love to mother.

Respectfully yours,
Dacedu

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Session 7

Dear Cal,

I value precision and accuracy, so I’ll keep this as brief as I can. Because of my brief introductions to the Order of the White and all parties associated, I cannot recall the names of everyone involved, but the facts as follows should be accurate. Because there were no sentients were successfully fought and killed during the proceedings, I did not bother to record the facts as thoroughly as usual since no report or rite need be filed after.

Upon my arrival and introduction to the Order of the White and the other Relicants, we were given an ancient tome and told to investigate a crystal I assume was obtained recently. Once we came upon the crystal outside of the headquarters, the dwarf fighter Dimli examined the tome, and myself, the Illusionist Cili, and Dimli chanted as a group. As we chanted and consulted the tome, the crystal began to crack, eventually shattering. When it shattered, I saw the image of a woman, ethereal and a wispiness in place of her legs. She appeared and then vanished, which deeply disturbed a member of the Order who was watching us deal with the crystal. We followed him back to the main meeting room where an elderly dwarf revealed that the woman we saw was an evil sorceress, a wayward woman much similar to us Relicants (though called by a different title) but who attempted to “bind herself to evil” and was killed. She is apparently attempting to regain access to the physical world through these crystals and other means we may not yet be aware of, but we were assured that she would come and we will need to work to ready ourselves and the order until that time. We were informed that many people had lost faith in the Order and were unlikely to support the Order because they would not likely believe our prognostications.

With this in mind, the Order’s keeper of the coin sent us on a demi-quest to discover treasure to help fund the Order so that we could hire soldiers, whether they believed the prophecies or not. Thus, we set off for a nearby island. When we reached the island, we followed a map to a beach under a chameleon illusion cast by Cili and discovered a large stone face in the cliff. Dimli, from the virtual invisibility of the illusion spell, masqueraded as the island, claiming to have gained sentience, and talked with the face to gain information about the treasure we sought. Once we discovered that the face was the gateway to the treasure trove, we tried to prompt it to give us entry. The word “Marble” had been carved in the cliff below the face, and after two attempts by myself to use an actual marble to convince the face to let us past, the face finally opened its mouth and allowed us to enter the treasure cave. I assumed that presenting marble, in some form, was what forced the cave to allow us in.

Inside the cave were a series of tests which I will delineate for you since the Order will likely need to return to retrieve more treasure. The exact order of the tests may be inaccurate, but their solutions should be correct.
1. A stone dwarf on a pedestal in room filled with stone implements. He requests a balanced attack, and this room may be passed by giving him a stone spellbook and a stone hammer. He will crush or drop any other items such as a shield or a dagger. Once he has the spellbook and hammer, he will allow you to pass and will play with his items until you leave the cave.
2. A room with a clock and button. The clock is driven by falling stones and is reset by pressing the button. Though it is unnerving, the solution to this puzzle is to do nothing and allow the clock to count down. We attempted pressing the button, but because it stopped the clock and halted the implements, we agreed, at my behest, to allow it to proceed.
3. A room with a rope crossing a bottomless pit. The solution, much like the previous room, is that the pit is not bottomless and is only painted to appear so. I discovered this upon crossing the rope and looking back towards the party.
4. A room with a rope which came be pulled to open a door, but once the rope is released the door will shut instantly. Though there are likely several solutions to this problem, we solved the puzzle by convincing the stone dwarf from the first room that it would be enjoyable to hold the chain down for us (a lie, though he didn’t realize it was one until after we exited the cave).
5. A room with a riddle on the wall and several lizard eggs and the threat that one will hatch each time the riddle is guessed incorrectly. While I cannot the recall the riddle itself, the solution relates to the words of the riddle and not the substance of it. We initially guessed “death,” and fought and killed a large lizard, Cili and I striking one blow apiece while Dimli dealt the opening and finishing blows. The solution is the letter “e” and will allow you to pass to the next room where the treasure is store.

In the treasure room was a broken stone golem, which we did not risk in reactivating, and many treasures typical stored in such caches. We opted to take items and gems rather than just gold because they had more value per weight and even carried back a bundle of treasure wrapped in one of our cloaks. Upon exiting the cave, we were confronted by an elf and her train of archaeologists. Cili attempted another chameleon illusion and then a sea-bear attack illusion, but neither was successful because the elf appeared to be highly skilled as an illusionist and saw through Cili’s attempts. During the conversation that followed, we nearly came to blows, but with the elf having superior numbers and with us limited in mobility by carrying so much treasure, we were at a disadvantage and avoided direct conflict. I considered several times surprising the elf with an arrow through her left eyeball, but saw only a marginal tactical advantage in that, so I refrained.

The elf made it know to us as we spoke that she felt she had claim to our treasure because of the time she had spent attempting to enter the cave. When when we assured her that there was a large cache of treasure left in the cave which she was welcome to have, she seemed to relent a little but demanded we tell her how to gain entry and pass all the subsequent tests. It was here that we discovered that we had gained entry through luck and that our method had only worked by luck because presenting the marble did not work for the elf. She seemed very angry because she evidently thought we were attempting to trick her, but we discovered that the face had to say the word “Marble” and would then allow the speakers entry. Once she was allowed to go inside and retrieve treasure, the elf relented and we returned to the Order’s headquarters unaccosted.

The Order’s keeper of the coin was very pleased with our treasure and directions for how to obtain more from the cave and told us that we would now need to increase the people’s faith in the Order. We will do this by sifting through the many letters the Order receives requesting aid and choose to respond to letters that are the most prominent and do the most good for the most people. We are now set to look over the letters and decide which of the letters we will answer, because we cannot hope to answer them all.

-Jaern

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Session 8

Dear Cal,
As you probably know, the order of the white would like us to help regain the public’s trust and respect. Although I questioned why we weren’t going after the princess directly, they said they were sending their rangers to gain more information on how to beat her. We were presented with several opportunities to help people and spread the word of the order of the white.

Our first trek was to rid Haverton of a necromancer. Decedu still hadn’t rejoined us from the archives, and Loki was missing again (probably up to his usual shenanigans) so it was just Jaern, Dimli and myself. We decided an airship was the best way to travel.
Dimli haggled with the captain of an airship for passage, we just had to take a slight detour to help him deliver his wares.

Once we were at the outskirts of Haverton, we set up camp and took watches throughout the night. The town looked very deserted from a distance.

The next morning we went into town and tried to gather information. I wanted to just announce who we were, and find the person so wrote the letter, but the boys thought it best to be more cautious. Upon speaking with a few townfolk, we gathered the necromancer was in the mine. The poor town wasn’t doing to well as the mine is their main livelihood, and many of its citizens were being attacked by zombies. We spoke with a dwarf we had met while retrieving the book from the mines previously, and told him who we were and why else were there. He said that town scholar would be the only one who might have written us the note.

We headed to the scholar’s home. It looked like it had been attacked, but upon entering nothing inside was out of place. We couldn’t find any clues inside, so we headed to the mines.

Sure enough, zombies were waiting inside for us! We managed past them and entered into the large open area. There was a dark figure on the ceiling. I cast a pollen spell at it, and sure enough it was the necromancer and he wasn’t too happy! I tried to ask what he wanted with the town and ask him to leave, but he wasn’t being very cooperative. Jaern shot an arrow at his face which enraged him. We struggle through fighting off him and a hoard of zombies at his command.

We were able to defeat him with only a few injuries, and all the zombies turned to dust. I picked up his staff and carried into town announcing that he was dead, and that the order of the white was here to help. The towns people inspected the staff, and then rejoiced. They said they would speak highly of the order of the white.

All in all it was a success!
Cili

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