The World of Beline

Adventurerer’s Log - Far Date 1 - Early Spring
The beginning

I’m too old for this shit! What possessed me? A grandmother and simple Patron of the Four to go out on the road? I’m not a merchant. I’m not a vagabond to go wandering whichever way the wind blows. The trip to Bramor was bad enough on my tired bones. So I really wish I knew how I ended up here, with this lot?

Who is this lot?

Eric, a jobless lout with no work ethic who goes on and on endlessly about bears. I don’t have much hope of turning him around since the wits in his head wouldn’t fill a thimble, but the Four knows I’ll try. Last thing Lienosea needs is another worthless pest.

The tiefling Astarra is a trial. I’m torn between being forced to watch her at all times, and ignoring her. She cares for naught but herself. Which I’d hold against her but I doubt she’s ever had much in the way of family. If I can keep her out of a dungeon cell long enough she might just be something. Maybe I can marry her off to someone with enough strength to tame her?

Rosie reminds me much of my youngest. She’s brimming with energy, enthusiasm, and not a blink of prudence. Always rabbling about some pirate she must be related too. I do to her what I did to all youths. Nod my head and feign interest until they run out of whatever gibberish they are going on about.

The elf Xanis and Banri the Boy Bard don’t require my constant attention. While Xanis seems to get caught up in Rosie’s stories of heroes and monster slayers, he has a good head on him. Always staring into his Orb is habit I’ll have to break in him. For his own good, socially and so he doesn’t walk off a cliff.

Gods blessings that Banri is with us. While he might get a little invested in right and wrong, he at least thinks of his actions. I can rely on him not to punch the king in the face because he looks like a bear. Or pluck the nose hairs of a dragon on a whim.

Yoked with them and we couldn’t even get to Wywick before trouble started. I talk us past highwaymen (On the King’s roads!) when suddenly the crazy kids are running back for gods know what reasons. Honor? Or just to prove who is the biggest fool. Somehow we lived through it. That somehow? Me with the gods blessing!

Crossbow bolts flying from every direction. Xanis flinging spells like a mad mage. Banri a blur of strange moves that I could never hope to match even in my youth. Eric did seem to know his way around the sword although he was too eager with it. We got our gold back but only one of the rogue’s survived. We should have tried harder for that.

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Adventurerer’s Log - Cart Date 2 - Still Early Spring
Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

If you want something. Don’t pray for it. There are dragonmen in the wild and guess what? I’m going after them. To do what? Save a damsel in distress? I’m a geriatric damsel (shut it!) and my distress is wandering around for days and days in the wild. Which is the best outcome. Because we might just encounter slavering beastmen who steal women in the night!

I don’t hope that the farmer’s daughter Lysha is dead. I hope she cooked up this story with some boy who Chevin didn’t approve of, and they ran off. We’ll find them in a few days, despite the hysteria catching in Wywick, and I’ll box their eardrums. Then I’ll do the same to Chevin till he takes in his new son. The old drunk goat is spending all his coin on our rescuing his daughter. What will she come back to then? No farm and not a copper to her family name. Another pair of out of work louts.

Should I have just gone back to Bramor? Yes! These kids are going to get me killed out there in the wild country, this Blightfen. But the kids would have blindly gone out and wandered the wild country. Because in stories they never say anything about bug bites, how disgusting it is traveling through swamps, how your companions stink from days on walking in the heat. Who cares about reality when you imagine yourself the reincarnation of some long dead hero. Don’t think about the dead part either. But I got Dog and he’ll get us to these beasts, hopefully he’ll get us back.

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Adventurer’s Log - Swamp Date 3 - Early Spring
Into the Blightfen

Xanis’ Journal, entry #3

I do not like swamps! The Blightfen smells, is wet and dirty, and full of biting insects (Research bug repellents when home). During Trance, my dreams are filled with images of the library, I can smell the scent of musty old books and hear the sounds of pages turning. I long for home, but we have an important task on our hands, the rescue of an Esseath girl. We must not give up.

We were ambushed during the night! Several lizardfolk attacked us while we camped. Luckily we were able to defeat them, but I suffered a horrible wound to my shoulder, I nearly fainted when I was struck by the lizardfolk’s javelin. I fear I may lose my arm (Research amputation). I must remain strong and push on!

Dog remains an invaluable asset to group, as he continues to lead us to the girl.

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Adventurer’s Log - 4 - Spring
Enter the Zyxsissk

Xanis’ Journal, entry #4

Dog has led us to the lizardfolk camp, where we were able to locate the missing girl. The lizardfolk appeared to be preparing some sort of sacrifice or feast (Research lizardfolk culture/religion – low priority). Banri, Rosie, & Astarra decided to sneak around and prepare for an ambush, while the rest of us attacked from a distance, flinging spells and bolts.

Everything was going well until the lizardfolk started to shout “Zyxsissk save us!”. From the swamp, a large winged reptile with scales black as night leaped into the camp to help the lizardfolk. All of us quickly realized what was standing before us, a young black dragon the size of pony. The battle was fierce, the lizardfolk were slain and the dragon, Zyxsissk flew away after suffering significant damage.

After freeing the girl, we decided to use the lizardfolk camp as place to camp and recover before making the journey back to Esseath. We thought we defeated all of lizardfolk, but our miscalculation cost us dearly. During the night we were ambushed by a large group of lizardfolk led by some sort of shaman. Dog was slain and Eric and Banri were nearly lost as well. The travel back to town was quiet, as we mourned Dog.

Cheven was over joyed to see his daughter return safely. We are staying Esseath for another day or two before we return to Bramor.

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Adventurer's Log - 5 - Spring
Seeds of Rebellion

Xanis’ Journal, entry #5

Much to write about and too many exciting things are happening, so here’s a quick recap:

  • Returned a set of chalices (Found in the black wyrmling’s hoard) to an Esseath noble family.
  • Acquired a new spell, Ice Knife and an Air Elemental Gem (also from dragon hoard).
  • Heard rumors of a group of anti-Caelun supporters while in Esseath, they are called the Enlightened.
  • On the outskirts of Bramor, we came across the King’s Hand, Vyncent Waete and a group of Kingsmen cleaning up what appeared to be the latest Enlightened attack against Caelun. We were told to keep quiet about the attack. We saw the symbol of the Enlightened painted on the target carriage.
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Adventurer's Log - 6 - Spring
Ahram Thorn
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Adventure's Log -7- Spring

Avaleen came by the set today, seems we have another quest – this time its for the museum that Xanis’ library is associated with. She didn’t tell me much on the way to the Golden Grog’s Taproom, just that she had a vision or something that they would need our help. I guess the museum is paying pretty well so this is a perfect opportunity and exactly what I wanted from these people. When we arrived at the Taproom Avaleen went straight to the bar to get a drink which Rosie went down and got an awful looking wine"?" for her to drink, not sure if Avaleen actually enjoyed it or not to be honest but I wasn’t going to drink anything, would need to stay cleared headed for what is to come. When the three of us went into the back room there were two unfamiliar faces awaiting us along with Eric and Xanis. Half-elven folk from the looks of it, they didn’t say much besides their names and that they were sent here by Ahram, of course he would have a hand in this, toying with more people’s lives. I cannot trust these two, no telling what their true intentions are…

Xanis informed us that we would be looking into some dwarven ruins for the museum, a recently discovered place and they are looking for any artifacts worth note from the ruins. Seems like an easy enough request but no telling what manner of creature could be lurking within the ruins. I pray that Korvon lends me protection and that Vatari guides my hand. We head out the next day, apparently Xanis was able to uncover that this ruin is supposedly some place called Kragganthur. During our travels it seems one of the new comers, Xoel, is rather proficient in nature, her and Avaleen were able to forage for food for us with little problem. I was able to finish the book that Rosie lent me while on the road, this Fineaus Finaggin was a rather adventurous gnome that got into all kinds of trouble, an interesting tale but I doubt any of the deeds he did could be accomplished in real life, I mean defeating a giant in a drinking contest sounds impossible for a little gnome. I was also able to find why Xanis is always staring at his crystal ball, is guess he is able to see glimpses of the future by some sort of magic, I don’t understand how it works but as long as he knows what he is doing that is all that matters.

It had been eight days since leaving Bramor, I hope Lena is alright, night was approaching and we started looking for a place to camp. Out of no where a loud ferocious roar came from within the woods and five large creatures appeared, these beast had faces that resembled owls but their body’s were more bear like. We immediately set into fending ourselves from these beast, the other new comer, Kyn, was struck pretty hard and I thought he was going down for sure but he was able to stay up and defeat the beast that attacked him. On of the creatures got me in the shoulder pretty good but nothing serious, we were able to defeat the creatures without taking any causalities. After that the next day was uneventful, then we seen the ruins, Kragganthur in the distance…

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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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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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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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