Land of the False Star

Darius Farrilis Travel Log
Into the City.

We have taken up traveling with several humans, and what I have come to understand is a halfling rather then the daughter of the heavily armored leader. They are a strange lot. They appear friendly but their intentions are strange and the decisions they make are quick and hard for me to understand.

There is a Paladin, whose sense of justice still confuses me. (Male)
A Ranger Albrecht, whom while quiet seems sensible and as baffled as I by the actions of his companions (Male)
Errath, a strange magic user and healer (Male)
Fifi, a female halfling whose function I don’t quiet understand.

During our travels we discovering a strange caern of skulls on the road they seem most interested, but moved on after a brief investigation rather then exploring further. Yet, when servants of one of the human lord were found to be disciplining a vagrant the leader seemed almost ready to come to blows with them. Yet he held back, much to my relief; however once we found a tavern he seemed to have no issues with the halfling taking time to drink and cavort with goblins. I suspect this group has little wealth given they turned down a much more secure tavern to visit the 5 rats. That or my understanding of human barter needs work, which is possible.

Yet when Rat like creatures appeared in the 5 rats and threatened the barkeep this was too much for the Palandin even though he seemed to tolerate friendly interaction with goblins. It seems any hostility from another ugly race resulted in violence, but the presence of vile goblins is tolerable. I can’t say I minded acting against the rat like creatures, thieves are vile things.

In this moment my Lady gave me one of the great scares since our journey started as she charged forward and she was nearly lost to me. I owe the human Errath a debt as he tended to her wounds with his magics, as well as the human scout whom aided me in dispatching The Lady’s attacker so that she would not fall to greater harm.

We are apparently going to take refugee with the Goblins, humans and their decisions baffle me. And while I would part ways and put my Lady up in better surroundings, she seems incline to stay with these people. I have no doubt she feels the need to repay or more likely study Errath and his unknown magics. For my part I am willing to see this strangeness out if only to help those that have helped My Lady.

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Errath - 02/26/14

My vision has brought me quite some distance in the last few weeks. I still don’t understand it fully, but soon I am sure I will begin to find answers. Why this valley? Does it have something to do with the magics that have tainted this land?

My companions are interesting thus far. I met them on the road to the valley. They seemed unconcerned with my abilities and have provided housing for me while we flee the rat people we killed. The paladin will get us into more trouble at some point. You cannot enforce law in a lawless place, such as the Ravental. The grip is too tight. We must heal the land to heal the people.

I flee with them now, but perhaps I was brought here to meet up with them. Perhaps they are tied to the path I walk. Time will tell.

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Fifi Grim-Dark--The Accounting.

::A date scrawled at the top of the paper.::

After goods bought…3 gold.

3 gold
+ Stone no one believes is worth anything
- Stone no one believes is worth anything
+ 48 silver off dead rats
=
Profit.

So so day. Must work harder.

Albrecht may have profits?

Seriade definitely has profits.

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Darius Farrilis Travel Log - Back into the woods

We have left the warrens of the Goblins.

My Lady was robbed, though it was expected I feel shame that I allowed it to happen. My Lady was generous enough to not mention it or make an issue of my failing. However, not only have I allowed her to be injured but I’ve allowed someone close enough to take from her that which is hers without our knowing.

A half orc has been added to our group, it seems fitting that such a creature would be blessed with divine powers, much like this land and all those outside Mist Veil that which is most repulsive can often time be that which means you the least harm. It is odd that form and function have no link in this place, but no odder then its peoples.

We’ve met with the watch and for the first time I feel driven beyond protecting and aiding my lady. Children are precious and should be sheltered and protected, that we have a chance to help aid any children is a noble task. Though I wonder if all of us feel this way. The Orc seems driven only by its stomach and Fifi remains a mystery.

The connection between Fifi and the Paladin baffle me, he will not tolerate innocent people to even be threatened lest it disrupt the peace yet Fifi herself seems to be a personification of chaos driven by her whims. The Ranger and the Oracle continue to be most sound, though I respect the paladin I fear I will never hold him in an personal regard. I worry for My Lady in this company, she is a gentle and naive soul and this company will no doubt banish many of her illusions.

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Fifi Grim-Dark--The Accounting II

::A date scrawled at the top of the paper.::

Targets Goods:

+ 16 gold
+ Soap
+ Ink Pen
+ Dagger
- Suspicions of the gay Elf
=
Profits.

Need to get to fence ASAP.

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Darius Farrilis Travel Log - The Jester

The children were found and liberated.

I find myself in awe of these shorter lived races. Despite great danger they drive forward. Fifi was discovered while attempting to rescue the children. Rather then flee or draw her weapons she valiantly continued on towards the children. It is with some shame I admit we could not break through fast enough to spare her, and she ultimately was forced to defend herself and eventually fell unaided.

Albrecht also demonstrated great courage drawing the vile jester to attack him seemingly willing to sacrifice his own life. Even the Paladin waded into fists worth of foes and stood his ground till he fell. Why when they are afford so little life, do the so willingly offer it up for strangers? I would die for my Lady, but this is my honor. I have been raised and trained from birth to do so, from the moment she showed the spark of Magic I have been there to protect and aid her. Before her familiar even. Yet they have not these bonds. These children, eachother, even us…They’ve barely known each other.

My lady however seems touched by their rashness, while I am proud of her for vanquishing her first foe with her own hand. It was a nightmare to watch, that she felt driven to risk herself. I must become stronger.

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In consideration —

I am frustrated. Impatient, I would dare say — although it’s certain that my unimaginative kin wouldn’t be astonished to hear the word when used in relation to me, being that my ‘strangely rash’ temperament was merely one more aspect that kept me isolated from them.

I’d hoped for more progress by now. Having finally escaped the limitations and expectations of Mist Veil, having finally arrived here, where I imagine I can almost literally feel the restlessness and raw potential of the magic underfoot, in the very ground and air, I am nonetheless stymied… held at bay by the very same group of dubious ‘adventurers’ that Darius and I were fortunate enough to be taken in by, and with such blindly trusting ease.

Unsurprisingly, their focus is on the petty and superficial: wealth, riches, short-lived glory. Nethys forbid they consider the concept of making their own fortune by venturing out independently to comb through the dark wilderness that so likely few have dared plumb the potentially abandoned treasures of. No, no. Far easier, far safer to rely on others to hand them neatly dictated tasks, accompanied by the promise of a pittance of reward.

We waste our time and resources (two things you would suppose would be far more meaningful to them rather than one such as I, considering their short supply of both) in meaningless battles, we bunker down with miscreants, and when we, at long last, leave behind the walls of the city, the only direction they seem interested in following is the one set by their moral compass, by their ironically gold-driven sense of ‘duty.’ There is so much to be explored, so much to be studied, so much to experience — and all they can concentrate on is playing savior.

And they could barely even do that right.

At the very least, I was afforded an intriguing glimpse into this ‘Jester’ creature and the ritual we interrupted it in the midst of, most compellingly woven in the (rather clumsily articulated) tongue of demons. I can’t help but wonder as to which dark entity might be willing to turn an ear this way, should it be coated liberally enough with blood. I’m somewhat disappointed I was incapable of hearing more, even somewhat disappointed the ‘Jester’ fled, taking its mysteries with it. But, in hopefully advantageous addition, having fought alongside these ‘adventurers,’ having bled and fallen in their aid, having assisted in rescuing their children, they should logically have no reason to view me in an enemy’s light when they eventually come to know more of me. Unfortunately, the paladin, at least, seems unsettlingly intolerant to such a meager and dismissible concept as ‘logic.’

It doesn’t matter. If they are unwilling to accept us, if they are too narrow-minded to see beyond their own superstition and terrors, Darius and I will go our own way, though it would not please me to once more force him into yet another situation that is neither to his liking nor comfort, as I must admit to having done since making him leave our his home behind. It cannot be helped, however; his duty, a thing of genuine conviction that this motley and greedy group could hardly begin to fathom, prevents him from allowing me to set him free from the tradition that shackles him to me. Would that I could console myself by saying it was his choice, except that it never truly was. But he was raised with me, knows what I am, knows I will not be dissuaded. I must respect that he knows, with equal if not greater clarity, his own mind.

We return to the city now. Let us hope we aren’t long for its comforts.

Addendum #1 —
The godly human has gone. I’d hoped to have more of an opportunity to study him, but perhaps it is for the best. The deities of humans seem to be as dangerously whimsical in their moods as the race that worship them.

Addendum #2 —
If I catch that little packrat thieving from me, I’ll let her bleed out next time.

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Fifi Grim-Dark--The Accounting III

::A date scribbled onto the top::

Worst day ever.

+ Nothing
-A lot of health

Profit 0.

:(

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Darius Farrilis Travel Log - Returns to Raventall

Since coming to these lands I’ve been faced with stark examples of my weaknesses. There is nothing for it but to work to correct these. The world of the shorter lived races moves at a different less forgiving pace. Perhaps this is why my mentor warned me to not allow their short lives to impact my perception of there skills.

Could it be that living in constant struggle and with such frailty causes them to advance that much more quickly. It is said that the weakest flame burns brightest, but until this point I considered it a turn of phrase to be used by the frail and infirm to comfort themselves with. My companions trusted me to stand watch, as did my Lady. Again my Lady felt driven to step into harms way to aid me. Its shaming to see her injured because I am not strong enough, to watch the paladin fall again under the fangs of our enemies. I was able to tend his wounds but it was a small repayment. Even the injured ranger and halfing were forced to rouse and take action.

I must find a way to become stronger, if only to repay the services of these ‘adventurers’. They continuously aid me, and more importantly my Lady. And while they are the cause of our situation, they are often our solace. We have received a reward, and while it would greatly help my Lady in her quest I can’t help but feel that they that have suffered so much, and will live so little time should take the lions share to shore up their defenses and capitalize on their strengths. My lady seems to agree, though she has forced me to accept some of her travel funds to compensate for what I’ve spent on us. I try to refuse but, she will have none of it. And I have no doubt she would put herself in danger to prove her point as she threatens.

Her willpower is inspiring, that she can face danger with such conviction isn’t surprising after watching her endure isolation for so long, and facing an ageless eternity of it. I only hope that my devoted company can offer her some solace.

on that subject, it seems the halfling was robbing us all. Even the paladin that has so protected her. I simply do not understand, she will risk her life for children for a nebulous reward. But with the promise of riches, and fine lodging she takes from those whom she seems to cherish, or at least seem to cherish her. I will watch her. She must sleep, they all must sleep. And if this is an example of companionship then I will fight to pay back their kindness, but never forget the risk they could pose to my Lady. We are to attend a ball, I fear that we will soon become victims to the politics of this city. I fear too my lady will see this as a means to an ends to gain access to the magics here and nearby. I will follow her choices, but intrigue is a dangerous game in which I’m less equipped to defend her.

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Again in Ravental —

:: the journal entry is broken into segments, as if added when possible or on a whim, differentiated by the fluctuating & implied mood of the handwriting. ::

Back behind the stifling enclosure of stone walls & dubious safety. Our companions celebrate having managed to not only complete but ultimately survive our ‘heroic quest.’ The human lord does us the practical courtesy of tending to our injuries before ‘rewarding’ us with the opportunity to become lax & complacent, to become fat on meat, ale & the inflated pride of this underwhelming victory. At least I get a bath out of it, I suppose — that & my missing property back, as the questionably sensible little halfling had a spontaneous fit of remorse after attempting to pilfer from her paladin ‘friend’ & returned it all. Bemusing.

I hold some hope that the lord might be capable of providing information regarding the mysteries that awaiting being investigated beyond Ravental — more information on this ‘Jester’ & who it might serve, stories of Forbandheim & the strongholds that simple folk dare speak of in superstitious whisper, hopefully even of the structure, that nearly beckoning tower, that this group seems content enough to overlook in their ‘adventures’ — or even of Ravental, given how this place seems to hold a precious stock in secrets. Simply to have an opportunity to discuss what I’ve, until now, only been capable of knowing through distant study would be thrilling… although I doubt that those who have spent their lives hiding behind walls from the terrors lurking outside are the sort of reasonable & intellectual voices that I ultimately crave. The human lord didn’t even seem capable of speaking of the mere concept of magic without fearful ignorance lending a sneer to it.

Still, it may be that if the conversation inspires his fear, if he can paint a compelling enough portrait of the boogeymen merely waiting to pounce on the ‘hapless innocents’ of this ‘grand city,’ the paladin will feel recklessly inspired enough to investigate. Although I am left continually puzzling over him, uncertain of whether I should be wary or no; this paladin is the same man who will leap to violent resolution when witnessing a bartender being harassed, but turn around & pet the halfling thief on the head as indulgently as a wayward child when she is caught having stolen from him & the rest of her companions. I find myself incapable of determining where the line of his tolerance exists. It is unpleasant, having to wonder if he’ll attempt to one day destroy me or not depending on precisely what mood he is in.

We must hold court over dinner. Tedious. Darius & I have left our ‘luxuries’ in Mist Veil. Perhaps the human lord will know it’s honor enough to share a table with elves, useless fripperies aside.

:: break. ::

The ‘adventurers’ squabble over gold. I suppose when the measure of one’s worth is in one’s material belongings, such riches hold some degree of weight. More wine for me, then, while they debate who’ll get what & how much more significant it will make them feel, since studying it out of the question.

I feel the poison still circulating; it’s sluggish, wearisome. Inconvenient. Intriguing. Like a whisper of death residing in me, so weak as to be inconsequential, yet nonetheless possessing the potential to become if properly nourished — & I wish I could feed it, that I knew enough, were powerful enough to strengthen it, to direct it, to host it like a child inside of me, to discover what I could make of it, what it could make of me.

Some would label it a ‘suicidal’ notion, I’m sure.
Others would know better. Others would understand.

:: break. ::

It is Darius’ ill-fortune to serve me. The Magocracy of Mist Veil does not swerve from its traditions, even if it all but curses a guardian to swear his life to protect a wizard whose passion exists in death. It’s exquisitely manipulative. They will not — cannot — refuse me my learning, but they can disapprove of it &, through their ‘laws’, effectively attempt to rein in my potential with Darius. He is as much my responsibility as I am his — is it not our obligations to others that serve to curb the selfishness of too much self-discovery?

It pains him whenever I am injured, whenever I come to harm while in his charge; he takes it as a personal blow, a failing on his part, evidence that he is not performing his duties as adamantly as our culture demands. Nevermind that it’s so often my own fault. No, I could try to endlessly convince him that he isn’t to blame for my actions, but he, being trained, being conditioned as he was, would never (possibly could never) accept it. He cannot allow ‘excuses’ for his supposed flaws; he never could, not even as a boy.

Yet I cannot explain it to him. I cannot explain that death is an acquaintance, that it & I have known one another for a while now, but that it still remains, frustratingly, enigmatic. That to master something, one must know something, one must touch it, gaze into it, wear it like an embrace or another skin. That for all some view death as an ending, it needn’t be so, it absolutely isn’t so, that impossibilities are the realm of the unimaginative. That there’s more to it, that there’s substance buried in the shadow, all within reach if one is brave enough to grasp for it. I can master nothing if I cower at the prospect of death — if I do, a simple acquaintance is all it will ever be. A life of ruined, stunted potential: that is a grim fate.

He would not understand. I cannot explain, am weary of trying to explain. It doesn’t matter. It isn’t his duty to understand & for all that it is continually selfish, the possibility of frightening him away — my childhood companion, my solitary friend — is not something I’d ever want to actually consider.

At least my now having a bow will provide him some small relief. Temporarily, at least.

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