Whispers of Forgotten Ages

Starpeaks Part 2
Role-Playing

[I’ll assume that no one interceded into Alahan’s speech] It takes the party longer to get topside but you all eventually make your way up, through the caves of crops and into the stone cut underbelly of the fortress beneath the observatory. You soon find yourself in the company of guards at the main entrance into the fortress proper. Some chatting and diplomacy ensues. After a few minutes a tiny winged mechanical construct creature comes near. The head guardsman tell you to follow the Keeper’s homunculus but as he is speaking the homunculus chirps up that the master was above in his chambers but is currently on the way down to the central yard. Leading you all up quickly you pass workers and even children and soon find yourself in a large open area beneath clear skies. Off to one side Marga is watching a young man lead others in hand to hand combat training while standing in the center of the yard staring up into the sky is an older man in the traditional robes of the Arcane congress and a large mechanical quadruped standing at his side that his messenger lands atop.

He turns towards you clasping his hands behind his back. Larhut asks after your condition then insists that you see a physician and sends his tiny construct off to fetch one. He will press you on details of your recent troubles and provide answers to some of your questions but will only answer very vague questions or provide little information. Soon he informs you that rooms have been prepared and that someone will come check on your health once you’re settled in. He also tells you all the 1.5 weeks of pay awaits you (750 gp; your rate was 500 gp a week right?) in your rooms and the rest will be deposited as per your agreement with your mutual friend unless other instructions arrive and that items can be purchased from the smithy, alchemist, and magewrights. He then requests that you meet him that evening in his cambers for further debriefing. [You can ask question, buy items, get free healing, interact with Larhut and others and declare your intentions not to meet him later or take other actions].

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Starpeaks Part 1
Role-Playing

Artifax begins to lose consciousness… shortly after Maralen shouts the location of the parts headed to Starpeaks and flees those in the hallway make out the sound of metal on metal and the light in the main chamber is snuffed leaving only that light radiating from Dylan’s sunrod. You struggle against the tentacles that continue to try and ensnare you. You can hear the breaking and splintering of bone from up ahead. Such noises spur those still within the grasp of the tentacles to move with haste out of their range.

What seems like an eternity ends as those under the effects of fear begin to think more clearly and moments later the tentacles behind you dissipate and silence overtakes the group.

As you re-enter the burial chamber you walk by the twisted bodies of Hull’s men who apparently succumbed to the powerful embrace of the black tentacles and beyond them there is no trace of Hull or the Deuce but you can make out a fallen form before you near the stone tomb of an ancient wizard. Dylan and Alahan hear the distant clash of steel and some concussive explosions that ring through the rock. Ahead of you the secret tunnel is dark but clearly the sounds are coming from somewhere further up the passageway.
Once you approach the body you notice that Artifex-5 is inert and staring up and the ceiling with his chest cavity open and items missing. At this moment you two see Maralen walk up and she hears and sees everything you have (her knowledge arcana is high enough to know Artifex is not dead but just inert). [With that I’ll allow actions and interactions starting in this room; you can respond by commenting on this thread].

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Dylan's Case Book: Case 215- Starry Eyed

Day 10

The situation has certainly changed since we left Rli Co and began to make our way into the mountains. The wooden golem that attacked us a few days ago almost left me for dead (as the earlier entry mentioned, I just didn’t have the strength to elaborate at the time) if it wasn’t for the timely invention of Castle, though he was lost in a bout of insanity at the time. We destroyed it and moved on, only to come upon a raiding party of Silver Flame zealots from Thrane attacking a small farmstead outside Kela’lioss. We were warned away by a ranger of the Aundairian guard named Swift who helped us escape from the raiders after the entire horde of them decided to chase after our small band. It was one of the moments when all I could do was remember the thunder of hooves from my father’s horse and shine of his armor as he and his Cavalier brethren rode down an enemy in the field. I never wanted that life, and Moonhunter is my only attachment too it, but it would have been nice to have him and his order there instead of having to tuck our tails between our legs and run. A timely ice storm from Tangled saw them off, though it may have just been her stare, I am not sure.

Entering the town, my stalwart and naïve friend Castle went to report to the “Guard” what had happened with Tangled in tow, who promptly managed to piss off the local constable to the point that it was noticed by our mysterious new benefactor. I really need to reiterate with Castle that he should really try and avoid letting her talk to people that we want to like us. Even lackwit guardsmen do not deserve that sort of treatment. Simba and I went off towards a local tavern, where I was hoping to catch a drink (and perhaps more) with our ranger friend, but was deterred by an odd note passed to me by the barkeep. The Peepholes are apparently trying to recruit me. It is interesting that after all of my work in Freehaven, it has taken this job with Starry Eyes to get their attention. In any case they apparently are not big fans of my current employer or my choice in companions. They ask me to inform on them all, except Castle, who they apparently want to use as a living magical smithy. I decided it would be fun to play the game, so I followed the instructions and contacted them, as well as some of my friends in the city to learn of any rivalry or issues between Starry Eyes and the Peepholes or even the Robin.

I had to give Simba the slip at first, but I returned and carried on with him and Swift before our friends arrived and his master, our mysterious Peepholes benefactor (who had apparently contacted everyone else separately as well as me). He asked us to carry a letter for him to Hurricane, and I volunteered immediately. Normally I would have wanted to wait and haggle but all this intrigue is getting my blood up. After that I spent the night plying Simba to see if he really did have ulterior motives, and after many drinks and much sharing, I felt trusting enough to confide in him my missive and my plans. He was uncomfortable with the game and even more so towards keeping our companions in the dark, but poor Castle is too innocent and honest for this game and I can’t say I trust Tangled enough to involve her just yet. I promised to share after when got to our destination.

After that we left the town and traveled for a day and a half, before being accosted in the foothills of Starpeaks by a psychotic little creature with a bad temper, a great sword and a horde of goblins, demanding our blood (to dip his HAT into of all things??? I kept the hat out of spite, but the thing smells something awful). We took care of him rather quickly considering he was absorbing most of our blows (Moonhunter acquitted himself well, taking out two of the goblins himself) and moved on towards the last bit of our journey. That last little encounter reinforced the fact that I really hate nature….

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Rising Darkness - Day 13

Like the wind that carries rotted leaves, ancient secrets swirl around this most intrepid group. By the toad’s eye and newt’s tongue, we are watched and baited from the corner of our vision. Unseen forces show themselves, much like a pebble in the sand, or the single bubble in the churning foam of the sea. Four have been hidden, and four have been found.
Long forgotten duties call, ancient ancestors of shadow call for aid, and as response I can feel the power burgeoning. Shadow surges from my fingertips and swirl around my mind—-my skin crawls with anticipation and twitch with excitement. With every bloodletting and foul curse placed upon some unwilling subject, the building pressure lessens. In our travels this day, we came across some murderous fey-creature, ill-gotten beast of the natural world, a foul perversion, but one I could admire. I fed on its blood, and while I garnered no powers from it (the pitiful thing was nothing more than a lackey, had no actual knowledge to offer), I could tell the shadows were pleased—-for only just a moment, their constant swirling slowed, their cacophonous wails lessening to little more than gentle hum, a buzzing bee—the queen’s lust satiated.

Still my companions seek to do “good,” however misguided. Morality matters not, only mission, if only they understood the severity of the world. The ground muddied with “innocent,” blood, yes, but if they’ve their blood let, then they deserve their fate. A village was burned to the ground by some “Silver Flame” zealous morons…religion once again marring the landscape of civilization. The only piety deserved is unadulterated, raw power. My companions sought to aid, I detested, but was overruled—-hardly worth the fight, anyway. And how our rewarded for seeking to do good? As any do-gooder should be, slapped on the wrist and chased after. We escaped, but only, I am sure, because I was able to sow confusion in the ranks with storm of ice and wind.
Additonally, we’ve been employed to deliver yet another secret parcel. Our abilities are wasted, but that do-gooder Dylan is quick to jump at any opportunity to assist someone, he’s like the shrew, scurrying around in dust while the hawk circles above. The money is hardly worth the ink I use to write about the job.
Our destination looms above us…I look forward to being done with this journey and moving on to something actually worth my time.

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Rising Darkness - Day 10

Today marks the 10th Night-Rise in the 35th year of my Shadow’s Ascension.
The stars have burned a sinuous and weaving path before me, the forces of my beloved benefactor try me with trials and tribulations. These blood-stained days grow long, and the nights seem to hide other perils, wavering along the borders of our periphery, pouncing—-preying, even—-on our “fear”. I say, let them come and try to feast. Drink upon me and I shall gorge myself upon you, foul and clean, clean and foul—-water washed in blood, stone clothed by flesh, all held together by their sinew.
We’ve followed the path before us to the city of Eric Stol. Almost as soon as we found ourselves here, we were attacked by some…intriguing creature, imitating “poor” Beatrice. With an admirably deft strike, the creature nearly kill Goken—-who, when faced with his own mortality, apparently could “not take it” and left our ragtag group of playthings. Dor was quick to replace the ugly one with someone almost his complete opposite. Some toad who fancies himself a swordsman in many ways. His juvenile antics quickly grow tiresome, but I can’t deny the useful of such tactics when dealing with the lesser people of this town.
Dor has also found us Alahan, a man who stinks of dirt and twigs, to guide us on our journey. He walks the earth as though he owns the dirt beneath his toenails. The winds speak his name when he his near, and the trees seem to shake and shiver to his cadence. He brings with him a large cat, who carries the stench of the animal world. I can’t deny that these scents are almost comforting, a return to the way of the world. Best yet, the sweet, sanguine smell of blood hovers around them like a refreshingly glorious mist. I like Alahan, he understand the way of the world, unlike my other…naive compatriots.
In service to our benefactor, we attacked a warehouse, easily dealing with the paltry offering of guards. After a brief bit of recreation with some of the lackeys, we were attacked by a ball of flame, seemingly from some cowardly mage. Alahan’s cat was able to track them to an alley, where the trail disappeared.
We ended the evening with an ambush from some strange creature. My spells seemed to bounce off of it, dissipated by some arcane magic, a web of protection that cacooned the creature. It even managed to shrug off my curses and ill-omens, it’s mind seemed untouchable. I must study these creatures next I find myself in a decent library.
I could taste the blood and sweat of the mage in the air still, I’ve grown hungry for its blood and lust for its power…We must find these two, I plea to whatever aspect my Lord has taken to assist us, I cannot imagine this hunger I feel is uninspired.

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Dylan's Case Book: Case 215- Starry Eyed

Day 8

1.Returned the items for Starry Eyes
2.Gave Dark Cloak back his goods after a close call, but did reaffirm “business ties” for him in the city that could lead to his downfall, if i am lucky
3.-Starry Eyes hired a druid as a guide, he has a very big lion. Seems like a good fellow in a scrape, seems to really enjoy calling cats out of nowhere. will call him Simba from now on.
4.Saved Specs from slavers
5.Almost blown up by one of the Deuce while interrogating said slavers
6.Left town to finish escorting items
7.Attacked by Wooden construct in the middle of the woods
8.Artifex 5 went insane for no conceivable reason
9.Decided I despise anything made of wood that is animated
10.Invest in far more, and by more I mean A LOT of bandages and healing potions for the next time I work with Starry Eyes

PS. buy someone a drink in honor of Artifex’s crazy robot ass….

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Alahan's Journal Entry #345
WHat the hell have i got myself into...

It has been almost a full year now since my rapid departure from Valenar lands and i feel compelled to add another page into this journal to capture the events of my life in the event that my brother finds me unable to tell the story of what has become of me. Today marks a sort of milestone in my bid to integrate into the mainstream culture that i find myself in. Today i got a job… and a high paying job at that. No more do i need to float along the outskirts of civilization, making a living off of scavenging money and equipment by downing inferior opponents like bandits and others who would prey on the weak. I was just sitting in a tavern when an old human named Kelsen Dor(sp??)approached me and, in desperation, asked if i would serve as a guide for some employees of his heading to the Starpeaks despite me admitting i have never been to the Starpeaks before… The pay was 500 gold a week which is way more than i have ever been paid before. I met with the group that i was to serve as a guide for, and i must admit that they seem to be a capable collection of individuals. There are three of them: A Warforged donning heavy armor that can also cast arcane magic named Artifex-5, a half-elf swashbuckler named Dylan and an elven arcane caster named Maralen. After introductions I was quickly made aware that the group is very busy and likes to get involved in a number of noble undertakings. In this case, it was saving Kelsen Dor’s assistant named Beatrice who had gone missing. Out of pure curiosity I decided to tag along and like the others did not ask for any compensation. Our search led us to rescue the little girl from some golbinoid slavers who had taken up shop in an old warehouse. After defeating the inferior albeit aggressive creatures it was interesting to see that Dylan, the apparent leader of this band, wanted us to keep all of our foes alive, a thought that goes against my upbringing. I agreed to let this all play out and Maralen and I questioned our prisoners. In the process of intimidating the filthy lower creatures a fireball erupted around us engulfing nearly all of us killing our captives. The chase was on and Maggie and I were on the heels of our arcane assailant. We cornered the invisible foe in a dead end alleyway but it was too late, the foe had gotten away using teleportation magic… yes teleportation magic. I am beginning to wonder if 500 gold is enough now. I hope my new companions are able to match such magic or we are all going to have to close with this foe fast in hopes of preventing it from killing us. I come to find out that this foes was one of a pair of assassins bent on causing trouble for the group and they called themselves the Duec. A pair of changlings, one reportedly male and one female, brother and sister, sister dabbling in arcane magic and the brother a melee specialist. Oh what my brother wouldn’t give to be involved now. Anyways, I got maps of the Starpeaks and surrounding areas and we are heading to our destination now.

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Artifex-5 Internal Recording # 26,122

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Dylan's Case Book: Case 215- Starry Eyed

Day 5

I met up with Starry Eyes in Rli Co to report to him the death of the primary team and the kidnapping of his assistant. The poor woman, I can only hope that those changeling freaks don’t hurt her too much. After some initial investigations together we encountered the decoy crew at the local jail, only to happen upon the aftermath of a massacre. The Deuce, they call themselves, I have heard of their work but never encountered them before. Changeling partners, deadly, stealthy and nigh impossible to detect till it’s too late. The decoy team apparently learned that the hard way, and the one that was attacked (a severely ugly fellow with a very large sword and quite the temper, according to the guard who arrested him) quit in a spectacular fashion. Starry assigned the decoy team to me and we began our investigation. The two that were left seem competent enough. There is Castle, an inventor with a curious disposition and Tangled, an odd but beautiful witch who mutters to herself enough for me to think the bat she keeps in her shirt can talk back.

It took quite the investigation*, but we found our way to the *!@# and the Ril Ark. After toying with his middle men a bit, we met with Dark Cloak, their leader. He was a tougher sort, and I had to give him a few names in Freehaven of those who can “help” him bring the drug trade back into the city and the University (lesser dunces of nobles who will fall over themselves to help but will fail wonderfully, and hopefully take the gang down with them) but he gave us the location of what we sought. Some fancy magic from my two companions blinded and stunned the remaining guards and some blade work did for those that escaped the darkness. We recovered the stolen items and returned to Starry Eyes.

Ultimately I think that these Deuce assassins are going to be a much bigger issue that we are equipped for without some help, yet I get the sense they are only dogs put on our trail by a much bigger and dangerous Master. My contacts in the town were mute on that subject so we will have to see.

*side note: check with my contacts and make sure that foreman’s family is taken care of after they learn the fate of their father. No kid should lose their dad that way and have to starve because of it.

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