The World of Beline

Out to break heads.

Eric had waited and listened to the others in the Golden Grog Taproom but stayed silent over most of the days of the investigation of the raise in the taxes. It annoyed him that the family that took him in had to pay more for no reason he could see other then the greed of a pair of guards. However the situation required two things he had never done well. Tact and diplomacy. He was willing to sit back and let the others take the lead until the pair of thieving guards walked in and threatened the family.
That was different. Making sure he had his heavy crossbow and his axes he went to carefully respond to the two guards in his own way. Silently he slipped into the back alley and pulled a cloth up over the lower part of his face to hide his identity and drew up his cloak.
He had learned a lesson from the bear. If the bear tries to eat you and your’s you do not try and talk the bear out of it, you do not sit for tea with the bear, you do not complain to a larger bear. You load your weapon and fire it or swing your blade until the bear is so full of holes the bear does not get up again. Then you cut it’s head off, just to be sure.
To Eric, the threat of the guards seemed more of a ‘bear’ type problem, which meant that it was mostly in his area of expertise for the group. If something/one goes after them he stands between them and the threat as best he can to take the hits and return them until either he’s dead on the ground or the other guy is. It isn’t brilliant, like something a wizard would come up with, sneaky like a rogue might do, musical or imaginative like a bard or holy and healing like a cleric. It’s bloody and it’s mean. Between the way his family died and life on the streets as a child and then a headbreaker for the local criminals, Eric understood bloody and mean.

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ADventure Log #14

Boy, that sucked. A battle that I couldn’t really participate in. I tried using some of my spells, but just didn’t do much. Another spellcaster Kuatoa was also making the water rise. Rosie even had to get on my back and shoulders to avoid the possibility of drowning until the rest were able to defeat the Kuatoa in the vicinity.

But after that… treasure! Can’t stay upset when you get treasure, right, V? There was some pretty cool magical items found. Xanis got a wand of magic missiles and Rosie got some boots of striding. Avaleen got a shield and Banri got a ring of jumping. I claimed the pearl of power, and I also got to keep the bag of tricks, which could come in handy in the future.

While we were checking the cave system some more, keeping an eye out for any other Kuatoa that would need to be taken care of, we came across a Flump. I’ll deny it, but cute creature. Plur was its name, and he informed us that there weren’t any other Kuatoa in the vicinity, but there were more with elves of black skin quite some distance from us. Plur offered us a safe place to rest before showing us an exit to the surface, so that’s what we’re doing right now. Resting among many Flumps.

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Adventure Log #13

Hey, V, I’ve got an elemental stalker! Hah.

While we were battling some Kuatoa, a distortion in the water appeared near me, kinda forming a humanoid shape. Its ‘arms’ shot out at me and then I was constricted, like a second layer of skin. I was able to twist at the right time to get the water pressure to push me out of the constriction, but lo and behold, it appears next to me again. I swear the thing was fixated on me, V.

While that was happening, Kyn was lost. One of the Kuatoa spellcasters used a spell to disintegrate Kyn. In some kind of karma, the staff used for the spell turned against the spellcaster and disintegrated him and the staff itself.

It took a while after that battle to get through the tunnel and into some kind of cave system. Rosie and I were sent to scout ahead a little, but that didn’t turn out so well. We were captured, but didn’t go without a fight. Five against only us two just didn’t work out for us. When we awoke in this cell just a little bit ago, we noticed we had been stripped of all our weapons. Unfortunately there just isn’t much Rosie and I can do until we get out of this cell.

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Adventure Log #12

We joined the battle as soon as we arrived, and then met with Tyon, who sent us the aid for help. Nothing is really known about the fish-men, but Xanis recalled them being called Kuatoa. Malwen, the hedge wizard in the village, couldn’t give us any information, either.

However, a ‘possessed’ Xanis gave us the lead we needed and led us to the entrance and spelled a water mask on us all to be able to breathe under water. That was actually really cool, V. Breathing under water.

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Adventure Log #11

Rosie and Company. That’s how our next adventure request was addressed to us. Word is getting around, it seems. It’s from Wywick. And get this, V. Fish-men! We’re about 2 miles out from Wywick right now and we’re seeing fire, hearing some commotion. It looks like the village is currently being attacked. Battle time, V!

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Eric's Journal #1

Eric stood with his new clothes. A fashionable outfit, far nicer then perhaps his father or any within his family had ever owned. They did not sort with nobles or wander museums, but sold honey and wax from their small farm, his mother sold flowers that they grew and maybe a few candles. No, theirs had never been a life of ease or complex comforts.
Honey on biscuits, a warm fire to keep the chill away and a well thatched roof to keep the rain off. Those were the things that were sought, those along side friends and family to share them with, but here Eric was. Last of his family, dressed in cloth, the coin cost of which would be a good seasons pay, spent for no more need then to please some rich folk who’d not cared of his plight in the streets nor of the pain suffered for his family.
But that wasn’t quite true, the gnome had asked, she had taken him in as one of her own, the mage would be there as well needing one to help him out perhaps if needed. Eric knew on some level the mage was older then himself with his elven blood, but still he acted like a lad.
Turned away at the door for his one, single weapon he’d gone back to.. home? Was that was it was now? The Golden Grog Taproom anyway. A few ales as he pondered just staying there rather then heading back to a place to be trotted out like some show horse in fine barding to do tricks for the bored nobles and royalty. He had never been that kind. As a boy he’d kept his head down and rushed to do his work, often faster then he could keep his head on his feet which meant he tripped a lot. Muddy and scuffed he’d learned to get back up. Later when he was older and on the streets of the city he’d learned to slow down enough to watch where he was going, to look before he leapt, but he’d been a child of the gutters by then. Even when he’d become big enough to intimidate he was a thug and little more.
Still, the gnome had bid him to come back to the foolishness, and he didn’t look forward to listening to the old woman’s lecture if he failed to show once more, though he had gone already. It was with a heavy sigh he got up grudgingly and headed off into the streets and to the museum once more.
Without the axe at his side he felt unsteady, for most of his life he’d had a weapon at hand, but not this night, but they did let him in without it. Moving through he found the group and snatched an ale before attempting to grab a decent sized plate only to be told ‘no’. Then came the patrons with their curious questions, those who looked to him with eyes that said he was most certainly less then them. Not that, that was anything new for Eric. When one lived in the streets, one got used to that look.
As the night went on, Eric kept to the back of the group and the shadows rather then chatting. He knew his place from the streets, normally someone else did the threatening and chatting while he simply broke a leg or arm or delivered the beating. His was to keep quiet and keep his head down. It generally worked for him.
The night done he walked the group home as best he could although he had to take special care with the gnome. She was seen too over the others, even the old woman. But he frowned as he looked to his new clothes once they were off and his worn old blue trousers and once white tunic were back on. A night, a season’s wealth spent on playing dress up for a single night and then what? It was simply a bundle of cloth to cart around that he’d probably never need again.

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Adventurer's Log #10
Guests of Honor

Xanis’ journal, entry #10

We were invited to the opening celebration for the Kraggenthur Exhibit as guests of honor and we met the dwarf (noble?) Ivgrin Bronzering, who was responsible for the feast at the Grog.

Vyncent Waete was party guarding the King’s proxy, Nasad Zho?. He appeared to recognize us from the time we met on the road.

While chatting with some of the other guests, I heard stories of a new cult (Cult of the Aether) causing trouble in the lands to the south of Lienosea. The others didn’t seem interested in traveling that far for home (need to stay updated on whats going on in the south).

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Two Weeks Later

Two weeks have passed since the companions returned from Kragganthur, encountered the Inquisitor and pledged their aid to The Enlightened. Life, for this time, has returned to some semblance of normalcy. The exception being the fact that the companions have drawn the attention of the commonfolk of the city. It seems that word has spread of their doings; thwarting a band of highwaymen, braving the Blightfen to save the farmer’s daughter, delving into Kragganthur and retrieving priceless Dwarven artifacts, donating gold and aiding those in need.

Most of the commonfolk now treat the companions genially, those that recognize them offering friendly greetings or passing words of thanks. A few merchants and shop owners have even gone so far as to show their appreciation by giving some of their wares for free, such as street food vendors and even some small trinkets from curio dealers.

Two days after their encounter with Ahram, the companions notice signs put up at the museum declaring that, soon, there will be a new exhibit featuring the findings from Kragganthur. Most of the populace seem interested, though none moreso than the Dwarves, obviously. Once they had heard who was responsible, nights drinking at the Golden Grog while there were Dwarves about suddenly became very inexpensive for the companions as they were rowdily toasted and plied with their preferred drink by the stout folk.

In the midst of all of this good, however, there will always be a balancing of the scales as life is wont to do. The people continue to be heavily taxed and treated poorly. Not even the companions are wholly untouched by this. The Three Sisters was in danger of not being able to pay their taxes for this month due to, well, over taxation. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the people of Bramor to justify spending their earnings on things as frivolous as jewelry these days. Luckily, however, the Golden Grog did good business this month and, thus, Rosie’s parents were able to help their children make ends meet.

There have been rumors that the body of a local farmer had been found in an alleyway, bludgeoned to death. The body, however, seems to have been cleared away before the usual crowds had time to gather. This has led to the commonfolk whispering that it was the guards who are the responsible party. It surely wouldn’t have been the first time that the guards had been suspected of having a hand in the death of a citizen. The guards have been known for being heavy-handed and quick to antagonize. This has caused a dark mood amongst the people and much negative muttering about the law…far out of earshot of the guards, of course. There are those, however, who have been unable to keep their true feelings to themselves.

Vyncent Waete has been, personally, leading units of the city guards to quell those who are openly speaking out against the guards and, in some cases, the King himself. Those that are taken into custody for their dissension are brought not to the city jail but to the dungeons of Herrick Hold, itself. This has spawned even more mutterings from the citizens of Bramor.

The more elderly citizens, and even those few children who have heard the stories from their parents or grandparents, whisper that King Caelun keeps strange beasts within catacombs beneath the castle. They say that he uses prisoners as game for the beasts to hunt while he watches from a scrying mirror, as though it were simple sport. Not just prisoners, they say, but disobedient servants and those slaves he tires of. Most wave these off as simple tales told to heighten the feelings of ill will towards the King. Tales to frighten the gullible some call them. Whether the tales are true, or not, the general consensus is that none of the citizens would be surprised if the King were doing something of that nature.

With the squad of guards led by Vyncent, however, the dissenters are beginning to keep their thoughts to themselves. The one good thing that can be said about Vyncent is the fact that he seems to be hesitant to call upon the Inquisitors, content to deal with the problem himself.

While there has not been another incident involving an Inquisitor since the one the companions witnessed, they have not been completely out of mind. Each of the companions on the twelfth night after their return from Kragganthur had been visited by their pale, emotionless, disturbingly beautiful faces appearing to them in their dreams.

Or, more aptly, nightmares.

The nightmares have all been the same. The dreamer would have been experiencing a very normal reverie when, suddenly, the dreamscape reshapes itself. Whatever the surroundings of the dream had been, they now became a room that seemed to be made of black marble shot with threads of verdant green. Braziers set in each of the eight corners filled with obsidian fire cast a strange flickering light throughout the octagonal room.
Three of the ivory-skinned beings turned their expressionless gaze toward the dreamer. One pair of eyes entirely the color of whitest alabaster. One pair the deep crimson of garnet. One pair the deepest jet. While the colors varied, their effect was the same; they all caused intense fear to flood through the dreamer.
Their robes seemed to swirl and drift as though the Inquisitors were underwater while they began, as one, to calmly stride towards the terrified onlooker. Perfect white hands were raised and the dark, smoky, shadowy substance suddenly began to coalesce about the Inquisitors’ bodies. Tendrils of the thick mist twisted and snaked their way through the air between the pale beings and their petrified prey. Slowly, the tendrils reached towards the dreamers’ temples, as though the hands of a nervous lover extending tentatively to touch the face of their partner. The instant before the substance came into contact with flesh, the dreamer would get the overwhelming sense that, though they displayed no emotion, the Inquisitors would draw some sort of terrible pleasure from this act. Almost as though the pain they caused their victim would course back through the mist and fill them with the nectar of the Gods, themselves.
Then, the tips of the tendrils would slip into the dreamers’ minds and the most intense, excruciating, pain the dreamer could experience filled every fiber of their being. It was pain beyond cogent reasoning. It was as if the Inquisitors had invented a new kind of pain, one that even Hyryx, God of Pain, himself knew nothing of. Just as their victims would unleash a scream that would surely shred the flesh of their throat, the dreamer would awake with a cry, drenched in cold sweat.

The next day, each of the companions (save Rosie), would receive an invitation to dinner at the Golden Grog. The words scrawled upon the parchment were in Rosies’ mothers’ handwriting;

(Character Name), You are cordially invited to dinner this evening at the Golden Grog Taproom. A small group of Dwarven merchants stopped by the Grog this morning. They traveled to the city to visit the museum to see the exhibit showing off those items you most bravely retrieved from those ruins with my Rosie. Apparently, they found out somehow that my daughter and some of her friends were the ones who had made the trek into that place and wished to extend their gratitude. They dropped off one of the largest boars I have ever seen, a giant of a cask of their ale and all of the fixings to accompany. I, gladly, will prepare the meal for you all if you would care to come to the Grog this evening. Plainly speaking, having you all spend time here has been very good for business, lately. Seeing you all come to the Grog would, surely, draw some of the folk into the common room. My deepest appreciation in advance. I hope to see you all tonight. Very Sincerely, Priscilla Copperbottom
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Adventurer's Log 9
Nobody expects the Bramorish Inquisition!

Xanis’ Journal, entry 9

Kragganthur was a success! Nobody died, we recovered many dwarven artifacts for the museum, & we found the missing Banri. The blue haired boy found a collection of magical items on corpses of fallen adventurers who fell victim to the same teleportation trap that Banri activated.

*Eric – dwarven hand axe
*Banri – a pair of gloves with shock capabilities
*Avaleen – a Quaal’s Feather Token (whip) and some magical healing salves
*Elemir – a quiver that works similarly to the Bag of Holding lent to us from the museum
*Astarra – Cloak of Protection
*Rosie – a sentient pan flute (I hope so, cause Rosie has started to talking to the instrument)
*Kyn – a pair of Bracers of Defense
*Me – a powerful Magic Missle scroll.

Banri also brought with him, a tiny magical being, Lyvaria. “She” has taken a liking to me and “she” has taken up residence in my focusing orb.

In the final chamber, we came across the Guardian of Kragganthur, a large stone statue of a dwarf that wielded a magical maul. The Guardian asked me (actually all of us, but I’m the only one fluent in the dwarvish language) what was our purpose for being in Kragganthur (which we discovered is the resting place of the Dwarf King Kurak). I truthfully explained our mission for the Bramor Museum and how the relics would help preserve and share Kragganthur history with all of Lienosea. The Guardian let us leave peacefully and rewarded us with his magical maul.

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Adventurer Log 8
Kragganthur

Xanis’s Journal, entry #8

the following has been quickly scribbled into the journal

Entered Kragganthur, life draining Undead, animated Dwarf statues, traps magical & poison based, Banri teleported…somewhere?

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