Fall of the Evening Star

((much earlier)) A Darkness Comes- Northwestern Road Inn

Now, as I’ve started this journal late, I’m going to have to do some back tracking… but for the moment I shall write down what events took place yesterday and straight into the next morning. You may be smirking to yourself, but this time it was no pleasure. No pleasure at all till well into the morn.

I had awakened on that day, much earlier. See, I was out late the previous morning and had… well, started to take off my armor on the way to my room at the guild hall, then promptly fallen asleep in the doorway. We were that tired from our previous raid into the sacrificial temple. Anyway, I was awoken early around the time you would call ‘eight aiye ehm’ by my newer companion Loris. My elven comrade had done me the aid of picking up my armor, then myself, putting it all in my room for me. A rather kind gesture, since usually we don’t see eye to eye. Maybe he is a good lad after all… Hm. I think he is just sheltered.

So upon rising much earlier than intended, I got to see much more of the glorious morning take place. Consequently this gave me extra time to spend. I looked around for my other companions and located Khida and Xavian pretty quickly. If you ever lose either of these two, the most likely place to find them is in the courtyard, sharpening their skills. Such dedication, truly inspiring. They were busy with their normal routine, so I decided to leave them to their business after watching for a while. I tried to say good morning to Evening-dearest but alas, her room was locked, and she wouldn’t respond to any of my knocking. At that moment in time, I figured she was still sleeping, or just vastly tired. Hindsight is twenty twenty as they say. Looking back, I remember her always being the first one awake… always. I should have thought to check on her right then and there. But it was early, and we had just gotten back from a long haul. Forgive me.

Looking for something to do, I noticed Loris had already left to go sell some wares, which left me not one person to bother. I had decided to take this particular morning to lighten my wallet in both Cylarck’s Lizzafolk guild and down in the poorer district. One fellow looked as if he wished to take more than what was given, but with a disapproving look, I sent him packing. That took some time, so I went back to my own guild hall for some lunch. Pretty uneventful. Spent some time with Loris in the marketplace. I decided to repay his earlier kindness by buying his spellbook translation. He seemed to be grateful in his own little way.

Off and on I kept going back to Eve’s door and knocking to see if she had awoken… but to no avail. At this point people had been visiting Paskel our new guild master to figure out if we had any new requests or odd-jobs. Seems someone in the northern town wanted to talk to our little Eve about a place that had exploded. What? Yeah, that came out of nowhere for me too. But this was rather concerning, since we knew very little about the poor girl. We loved her dearly… but the she is a shy one, and tends to keep to herself.

Loris, well, he is known for his forceful entry, and when the girl wouldn’t open her door, he broke it down. None of us were prepared for what was on the other side. I vomited a little, I think. It was more unexpected than the news from Paskel. There was corpse of some unknown man in the middle of the floor…. he was quite literally all over the room, to say the least. I’ll spare you the details. She was nowhere to be seen. This was…. rather upsetting, and I’ll admit that I didn’t really handle it all that well.

Twitch the guild’s go to guy and I set out to ask around town to figure out where she had gone off to. The north-western gate, she left in the late night/early morning. We set out immediately. It was sundown by the time we found an Inn to stay at, with no sign of Eve. We stabled our horses, and rented two rooms. Khida and I were to share, whilst the Elves took the other. It was around then that one of them came rushing in. It was Xavian, saying he saw an explosion go off in the distance. Filled with hope, and reassurance that we were on the right path, we set off straight away.

Once more, we found a scene that would call to the macabre. Bodies, and tons of them, were scattered about. And in the middle of it all… our dear sweet Eve. She was shaking uncontrollably. Looked quite horrified and shell shocked. I went to console her on the spot, while the others started to investigate. I could leave that in their capable hands. Xavian found one alive and followed as quick as he could. He was oddly motivated. Eve, in her terrible state, had handed him a large coat button. Whatever it was registered within him and lit a flame. Concerning. Concerning, but not as concerning as the girl that laid in my arms sobbing. I think an hour past till Xavian came back. He had lost them. After exchanging a few words, I caught a glimpse at the button he held. It was the exact same as the one on his own over coat, with his family crest on. But he wasn’t missing any buttons… I would have pried more, but with Eve hyperventilating… well I was a little more than distracted.

We made our slow trek back to the Inn we had found. We were battered and bruised, sense the day’s travels weren’t at all peaceful. (Giant Mosquitoes are not very friendly as it turns out.) As Khida and I were taking Eve-dear up to a room, some wench at the bar called to us. Saying she had business with the girl. Man, did this woman have bad timing or what? I brushed her off and took Eve upstairs to my room, while I guess my friends talked with the lady.

After a knock on the door, the woman was there with Khida, demanding to take Eve in her custody. Hahaha. Cute. As if I would ever let that happen. Sound harsh? No, it was fully granted as my Eve was trying to hide from the mere sight to the woman. We had… disagreed on what should befall the girl, to say the least, and the woman left swearing we’d be dead before we slept.

Okay. I admit it. That conversation could have gone better. I could have reasoned with the woman, seen what her true intentions were, and figured out how to best deal with the situation. Maybe even learned something about Eve. But Eve was shaking, and terrified. Even if Palor himself damned my existence then and there, I would still defend my Eve. A blizzard’s chance in the abyss, as it were.

Well, anyway, one thing led to another and she wanted our heads. My bad. Oh, well, I’m sure we’ve dealt with worse. And judgment was to be tried. Eve and I rushed downstairs to go warn Xavian, while Khida warned Loris. That is when the scratching started. Lots and lots and lots of scratching… and the howling… then the noises… It was happening quicker than I had anticipated….

These little… man-beast-creatures… the were swarming the Inn. Swarming. Climbing on one another, trying to gain entry. Shit. Khida joined us downstairs, while I took Eve upstairs, trying to get into a position where we can funnel the vast enemy. Xavian and Khida took up position at the bottom of the stairs. One window shattered. Then another. And another. Their numbers were overwhelming. There were far too many of them.

But that doesn’t mean we ran away. Doesn’t mean we gave up. Hell, we didn’t even burn the building down. We fought on. All through the night and into the morning. Loris covered us from upstairs, attacking the ones outside through the window, and Xavian burned a great deal of them. I regret to say that I wasn’t of much use this battle, but I did keep Xavian from dying, and that has to count for something. After we felled a little under a hundred of those bastards, Loris managed to shoot down the foul lady what summoned them. Lucky for us, once she fell, so did her minions. Or, at least her control over them. She had done some sort of mind trick to Loris and Xavian though. It left Loris shaking and Xavian ran for cover. And I mean literally ran. Something frightened him greatly. But now it was early in the morning, and none of us had really rested that night. I was worn, as was Loris. Khida was exhausted and burnt, along with the majority of her clothes… Xavian was still shaking, but Evening showed him she was there for him. Even let him hold her Holy-water-safety-blanket.

Khida retired to her room, as did Loris. Looking at Xavian, I questioned which one of us Eve should sleep with. It was an entirely innocent question, really. …Hahaha, but you should have seen the deep red that man’s cheeks turned. It was a hilarious site. I decided to go easy on him and took the young woman to mine and Khida’s room. I found Khida asleep on the floor. Once more just lying there. After setting Eve on her bed, I went and covered Khida in blankets, pillows, and a teddy bear. Poor dear was exhausted. But then again, so was I. I quickly changed into my bed-wear, and hugged Evening. It was a well-needed well-rested sleep.

And the good news is, I’ve almost finished sewing Khida some new pants!

Loriss' Letters 011811

Dearest Taelia,

It has been some time since I last wrote. Things here have been, busy. How these fools got by without me remains a mystery. The other day I left them alone for but a moment, to recover Magnucelia from Miss Kendrick, and I returned to find them loitering in the street. Their task was simply to investigate a church. I suppose it is to be expected of inferior bloodlines. After arriving at the church we were ambushed by some foul smelling creatures and some priest playing at being a magician. I made short work of them naturally. Needless to say it was an exhausting ordeal and there was little to show for it. Though it seems we found the source of the plague, I highly doubt our problems are over, however there does seem to be a silver lining. There is rumor of a powerful magic sword nearby; I hope to obtain it for my collection. Now I don’t want to get your hopes up, but some old fortune teller claimed the one behind this unsightly mess may have the scroll. If it is true then my search may be over sooner than expected. While I have witnessed the powers of divination first hand at the academy, this woman did seem rather shady. Even if she is wrong I’m sure I’ll be able to obtain something of value.
These people are strange: A letter from earlier

The Harper’s Guild is an interesting place. The town of Saltmarsh is fairly small, but there seems to be plenty to hold our attention so far. Already the guild master has fallen, replaced with…well, he’s a very nice man, but I don’t think he actually knows what he’s doing. I know, I know, I should give him the benefit of the doubt, but if you met him, you’d…well, you’d probably get along quite well, actually.

My compatriots in the guild, at least, seem quite competent, if a bit…strange. Our designated healer, who goes by the rather extravagant name of Vandel Victoria Vaprisuave, is a favored soul of Pelor. He’s very cheerful and has a great aversion to seeing us bleed. I’ve told him that it’s an inevitable consequence of fighting, but he doesn’t seem to understand.

Xavian Duskwalker, a duskblade, is an elf. I thought him insufferable at first. He has an irritating habit of thinking that no one else is competent but him—no, that’s not right. He doesn’t seem to doubt anyone’s competence but mine. I’m sure you know who HE reminds me of. If it wasn’t for Sol, maybe it wouldn’t matter as much, but…well. Enough. Clearly, I need to train harder to win his respect.

Loriss Ovfellem is a war mage. He’s also an elf, and he IS insufferable. The man has no notion of anything resembling honor. I don’t wish to waste any more page space on him.

Our last main member’s name is Eve, and she’s…something of a mystery, actually. She seems to have some sort of secret in her past, but I’m not going to pry. If she wants to tell me, she will. She does seem to be deathly afraid of something.

Not much else of note has happened. Hopefully the upcoming adventures will provide me ample opportunity for training. Today I have nothing more to say, except that I remain yours hopeful that determined to /indecipherable scribble/ well. I hope this letter that I’m not going to send finds you likewise.

I’m sorry I will return when I’ve accomplished my goals.

Loriss' Letters 021511

Dear Taelia,

Our progression seems to be moving slower and slower. Having saved the town from the walking dead I was forced once again to visit the old hag that I had mentioned previously. She has once again set us on to chase geese. I get the sense she is looking down on me. This time I was forced to wander through a cave behind a waterfall, guarded by Worgs, entrance was a simple matter they did little to remain steadfast against the might of Lorenthian magic. The cave was dark and damp as expected being in this barbaric land makes me long for the spires and walls of Library. It was inhabited by a peculiar dwarf of unreasonable nature whose hobby was unseemly. He was rather capable fortunately my quick thinking once again saved everyone. In the end there was little to show except a tome which gave us even more places to search. I don’t get paid enough for this. Though all these enemies are helping to sharpen my skills my research is beginning to bear fruit. I’m working on a magic that can increase the potency of my spells. I’ve also been studying these undead that we continuously encounter. Soon I hope to be able to control them. My flames are wasted on such beasts. Tell Tallis to worry not for once my magic is perfected and my wallet full his freedom is secure.
Xavians turmoil

Things are not looking well, I have a positive lead to Miss Deedlit, however…

We visited a gypsee seer, she gave a suitable amount of information so that we may obtain what we seek.

Though that is only the good news.

When I asked her about my sister she reveled to me exactly what I did not want too hear. My fears and speculations are most likely true.

I will save her.

Or I will die trying.

There is much to be done.

The letters Xavian sent.

[Address to home. Written in Elvish. Tied and sealed with the family crest logo in wax.]

Father and Mother, I have found her.

This time, I will not be able to bring her back.

Please send troops to [CURRENT TOWN] well equipped. This may be linked to the attack of our den those past days.

Prepare yourselves.

Ahitra Nanrishak

-Xavian Duskwalker

[Address to [DRYAD]. Written in English. Tied and sealed with the family crest logo in wax.]

[DRYAD], I will not be able to gather that favor from you personally. Though I know of something that will do just as well. Please use the gold to [BARTENDER] of the [BARTENDERS TAVERN], they will make good use of it. If at all possible, use that money to try and find a Mage that could restore her lost arm.

Ahitra Nanrishak

-Xavian Duskwalker of the Harpers Guild

(The favor was a favor worth 1,000 Gold.)

[Address to Paskal. Written in English. Tied and sealed with the family crest logo in wax.]

Please take care of everyone.

Ahitra Nanrishak

-Xavian Duskwalker

[Address to [BARTENDER]. Written in English. Tied and sealed with the family crest logo in wax.]

If you would like, this could help you get your arm back. Otherwise you may do whatever you wish with it.

Ahitra Nanrishak

-Xavian Duskwalker of the Harpers Guild

[Address to [TOWN CAPTAIN]. Written in English. Tied and sealed with the family crest logo in wax.]
There is a powerful darkness soon to hit [STARING TOWN], you would do well to warn neighboring towns and rally forces together. Many towns north have already fallen. Legions of undead and Vampires are working their way south. Do not falter. Do not fall.

Ahitra Nanrishak

-Xavian Duskwalker of the Harpers Guild

Loriss' Letters 032211

Dear Taelia,

I had a very unfortunate day. A series of occurrences that resulted in discomforting results. A hideous beast attacked me and I was forced to assault it with my maximum power. Naturally I made short work of the foul creature, poorly disguised as a woman, I laid her out with scorching rays. When I return I shall instruct you in the use of these for they are quite useful in a multitude of situations. Before that this swarm of insects assaulted my delicate disposition and the fires of Lorenthia were all that could move my spirit. Their warm glow carried me through the day. Until I was able to receive aid from miss Kendrick. A wonderful mage that one, she has aided me many times in the past. I recovered an artifact I am not sure of its exact purpose but with study the answer will surely be revealed. I also acquired an orb that seems to heighten my awareness. This trip is finally proving fruitful the more power I obtain the easier it will be to return the scroll. Tell your brother I have a gift for him when I return. It should give him something to raise his spirit.
Things don't look good: A letter (Khida)

The more we find out about what’s going on around here, the less I like it. We’re now searching for a man creature named Strahd, who seems to be much dreaded around this area. Not without reason, from what I’ve been seeing. We’re trying to accumulate the artifacts necessary to defeat him, but the going has been slower than I’d like. I’m afraid that we’re running out of time.

I’m growing increasingly concerned about Eve. She’s developed some strange powers, and doesn’t seem to have much control over them. I’ve been studying magical texts in order to find out what’s the matter, but I haven’t found much of anything yet. According to a fortune-teller with whom we spoke, something is going to happen in…well, about a day and a half now. I don’t know if she’s trustworthy, however. I’ve heard that her gypsy group, the Vistani, act as informants for Strahd. She’s also told me something very worrisome regarding This whole mess has proven difficult to sort out, but I’ve been training very hard and taking advantage of the practice.

On the positive side, we have a new companion. She’s a paladin, but a good sort as far as paladins go. She’s proven well able to pull her weight in our recent fights.

Tell me you aren’t actually This place is too dangerous to I hope you are well ,and safe at home.

Loriss' Letters 04052011

Dear Taelia,

I’ve been working on some theories, and one of these is proving quite promising. I have found a method of increasing my magical energy substantially. Though it doesn’t last permanently I suspect it will more than suffice for these insignificant squabbles I’ve been pulled into as of late. I’ll need more time to test it but if all goes as planned it should speed my progress considerably. There is potentially an unusual side effect, nothing dangerous mind you just odd. Today the High Elf who travels with me tried to take his own life. He was always high strung I figured it was only a matter of time before he snapped. Hopefully it won’t get in the way of the mission. We were walking through some ruins today it reminded me of the Festival of Memory. You would always insist that I walk you through the maze of stone and Tallis would wander off so we’d spend the rest of the day searching for him. Perhaps when this is all over we can all travel together. I’ve accumulated a decent amount of gold when I return we should have enough to pay a healer to fix your leg. Soon I’ll have the scroll and free Tallis then we can go anywhere you want all of us as a family.

Loriss' Letters 04192011

Dear Taelia,

I do not like this place. It is dirty and overrun with unpleasant creatures. Nothing and no one listens to reason here. Today I witnessed something so heinous I dare not write of it. To think such a thing could happen, even if he was lesser kin. You needn’t worry, I have the knowledge and power of Lorenthia as my guide no such tragedy shall befall me. We have recovered the second artifact and are hopefully close to the third. Our progress is hindered at every turn but with my guidance the party moves forward. The brute still hasn’t learned her place, playing with things she doesn’t understand, fortunately Xavian was able to help her see reason and leave these things of value to professionals. I fear it will only be temporary she seems a bit slow. The talky half-right seems to be as cheerful as ever he continues to spread some sort of sickness about its effects don’t last long but I am working on a way to counter it. I shall not be outdone. In the meantime I will continue to document my journey until I return be well.

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