Elythia of House Valorian
Wealthy noble on the run, human sorceress
Age: 18 years old
Alignment: Chaotic neutral
Religion: Pelor (starting to lean towards Boccob)
Elythia was born first of her name to the noble (and wealthy) House of Valorian. Her parents, already having two sons before her, were ecstatic to have a daughter and doted upon her. Every comfort desired, dress or jewel coveted was given to young Elythia, who began to grow rather spoiled. Her life was as privileged as money and a noble lineage could provide.
Life changed on her 13th birthday. Known for her love of dresses, Elythia had been gifted a beautifully crafted gown made of fine elven silk and embellished with dwarven jewels. Unfortunately it was the wrong color – green, which, as everyone knows, is for boys. Elythia simmered in disappointment and anger. The next day, however, she appeared in high spirits, wearing the exact same dress except for the fact that it had somehow turned purple. Knowing that there was no other dress like it in the country, her parents were perplexed as to how this could be. With a shrug, Elythia simply told them she had changed it herself.
This revelation was met at first with disbelief, but subsequent events (mostly harmless wardrobe changes and small pranks) made it impossible for the Lord and Lady Valorian to ignore the fact that their daughter was a sorceress coming into her powers.
Determined to maneuver an advantageous future marriage arrangement with House Florentine and harboring the (likely valid) assumption that no one would want a spoiled sorceress as a wife, Lord Valorian had to take decisive action. Elythia (and her powers) would also be hidden from public view as much as possible. A marriage would be arranged and the whole sorceress situation would naturally resolve itself after the wedding.
So, for the next 5 years Elythia lived a secluded, though still lavish, life. Boredom was her constant enemy. She would play small pranks on her family and servants, and was eventually joined by an accomplice, Roger, the cook’s son. Similar in age and level of boredom, the two became fast friends. He was her only friend in the castle and as they got older she began to consider that maybe he could be more than just a friend.
On her 18th birthday, Elythia was informed that she had been betrothed to the “young” Lord Florentine (young being a relative term; 40 years of age is comparatively young to the older Lord Florentine’s 80 years). Elythia adamantly refused this match, and nothing her parents could say would change her mind. Embarrassed and angry that he had to renege the marriage contract he had so carefully constructed, Lord Valorian punished Elythia for her rebellion by removing Roger from the household. Roger was sold into indentured servitude (which everyone knows is basically slavery) to the Grewfert Merchants (who everyone knows are basically pirates).
Furious that her friend had been so cruelly sent away, Elythia flew into a magical rage. She destroyed the courtyard, packed up her favorite dresses and jewels, took a horse from the stables, and galloped away. She would find Roger and save him from the pirates.
Journal Entry 1:
What a mess. I haven’t had a real bath in 3 days. And I mean a real bath, with bubbles and candles and pre-heated towels. No, instead I am here in Desheb. Some sort of sandy dump of a town with a disgusting rat problem.
On the outskirts of town I met up with a strange group. Two half-elves, a bizarre dwarf, and a human. In the interest of gaining additional coin I joined forces with them to remove the rat source that has been bothering the innkeeper. Speaking of the innkeeper, I heard some choice pieces of gossip that his daughter has disappeared! How tragic for him! And her too I suppose. She’s probably dead. Perhaps better than having to live in this sorry excuse for an inn.
The innkeeper Greiz sent us off to some old pile of stone to start looking for rats. Well, he was right about the location of the source, and I do wonder if he knew what he was sending us towards. We fought off many foul beastly rats but none compared to the ratlike monstrosity at the end of the tunnels. A MAN had been transformed into monster, which was slain by the half-elf Thomas and his pilfered silver dagger. The creature had been resistant to my magic attacks, and even slashed my arm! I was most distraught. Luckily I was able to blind the monster and the half-elf cleric Layla healed me.
We returned to the inn and Greiz brought us down to the oasis part of town, a gorgeous cavern filled with villas. I wish I was staying there instead of this insubstantial excuse of a bed. We met an old woman with odd tattoos across her face and she rewarded us each with a purse or gold. I like this lady. And she has something to do with the merchant guild in the area…
Anyways, I’m not sure where to head next. The big town I was going to seems to have exploded. I hope Roger wasn’t there.
Journal Entry 2:
I am shaken. The gods are at war, and our lives are hanging by a thin thread of desperate hope. My original quest to save Roger is for nothing if I cannot do what the angel Naphrem asks of us.
Maybe Roger is safer on a pirate ship anyways, instead of on land with the stars falling into cities.
So. Memphun has been destroyed. (Side note, my favorite dress maker lived there. A true loss.) And by destroyed, I mean it is dust and rubble and freaky walking skeletons. Yes, the walking dead are among us.
Our group joined forces with several respectable members of that guild to attempt to recover a large shipment from Memphun. Between a terrible dust storm and the scorpion that killed Befaha, you could say our journey was not favored by the gods. We managed to reach Memphun only to find death and destruction. And no way to find that shipment. We wandered through the ruined city and unfortunately ran across looters with a grudge against the guild we were trying to help. Lovely. Unfortunately (for them), another piece of sky fell at that moment and they were crushed by the debris. Our good fortune was sadly short lived because we next met the skeletons and their demon summoner Hol Beloth.
The summoner is some sort of demonic being, and he was locked into a chanting battle with a magic user. Who died. But we did try. Layla has a special talent with the skeletons. She seems rather handy to have around. Unfortunately the skeletons didn’t feel like staying disintegrated, and kept reassembling at the demon’s command. Musushi was able to entangle some of them but it wasn’t enough.
We were rescued (in dramatic fashion) by an angel named Naphrem. He appeared to be both man and a terrifyingly glorious monster at once, and he gave me a tiara. Which I am now wearing forever. The angel banished the monster, who is apparently one of the nine. And the nine work for a god named Cyric.
For some reason, Rooke appears to know something about this Cyric god. I know he is hiding something and I intend to find out what it is.
Anyways, Naphrem told us we need to use the dead magic user’s spell book to retrieve a relic called the Stone Heart in the middle of orc territory. Great idea. But the alternative is the world ending, so I guess I’ll give it a shot.
We have decided to return to Desheb to resupply (Musushi was in favor of scavenging our way to the relic, but I refuse to eat anything he cooks. Probably contains rats. Or worse.) and possibly recruit some help from the half-orc shopkeeper (not a good occupation fit) and mercenary named Kayras. I’m sure our charming Sir Thomas will convince her, they did seem to have some chemistry.
That’s all for now. Who knows what tomorrow will bring
I hate orcs. Dwarves have rocks for brains. Everything is terrible and we’re at the bottom of a pit.
Finally, some time to write. We are somehow still alive, in spite of some of our best efforts otherwise (Musushi) and the booby-trapped cave we just left.
To start, after climbing/leaping down into the depths of the Great Maw we decided to stabilize Musushi and get some sleep. Rooke was nominated to keep watch, and he accepted this post without complaint. In fact, Rooke hardly said anything because he was staring at that book, the Codex of Duri, from Naphrem. Apparently he performed his duties well enough because we all survived the night.
We then began our exploration of the Illecin Delve. It isn’t a very nice place – too much gross fungi growing on all the dead things. Oh, and the traps. We came across some stupid dead orcs who had gotten impaled by spikes. Presuming the orcs didn’t throw themselves onto the spikes on purpose, we decided the corridor was likely booby-trapped. That pot I’ve been carrying around (to keep it away from Musushi) turned out to be useful – I just banged it around (using magic, obviously) the path ahead of us to ensure safe passage.
Next, we entered a room containing a stone golem and were promptly trapped by a stone door. We turned to Rooke to ask him to check the Codex to see if the heart of stone might be in this golem. The answer was No, but it wasn’t Rooke who was talking. Well, it was, but he was kind of possessed by the Codex… Anyways, weird. I became rather concerned, as there was a starved orc inside this room who had clearly not been able to escape. Layla, out of the goodness of her heart (far too generous, I don’t understand her sometimes), attempted to give the orc some food (which we should have saved for ourselves, seeing how we were trapped) but Musushi decided to grab the food back from the orc because he wanted to ask it some questions first. This give and take of food did not sit well with the orc, and it was obviously angry. So we had to kill it. I think Layla was mad about this… but we had bigger problems to deal with, because it turned out that the stone golem wanted us to answer a riddle. And he wasn’t very nice about it. Musushi and I argued about the answer and even though we were BRAINSTORMING the golem decided to just attack us with lightning. Thankfully Layla gave it the correct answer. The door opened, and we escaped.
We escaped into a hallway that floods with very little warning. My shoes got wet (not okay) which I immediately noticed, and this gave me a good running head start. We barely made it to safety, which happened to be another room with a very heavy stone door. In the center of the room was a clock-like device that began counting down from 12. As the count down continued, the panic in our group increased. We pulled a lever attached to the clock, and this reset the countdown. This was repeated many, many, MANY times as I had to keep pulling the lever while everyone else relaxed. I came to believe that this lever was a trick and distraction meant to keep us in the room. Also I was tired of pulling the lever. It took many tries to convince everyone to let the clock count all the way down to 0… but finally it happened. Lo and behold, we escaped.
More traps and tricks followed until we reached a narrow stone path leading into a void of darkness. We bravely continued on until we were met by a large boulder that took up the entire width of our path. It approached us when we approached it. It seemed to be mimicking the movements of the person in front… This was a tricky puzzle, but Layla (she’s pretty smart) had the excellent idea of using her owl to lead our group. The owl plan worked, and as the owl flew to the side of the path, the boulder tipped off over the edge. Our way forward was clear.
Rooke/Codex took charge at this point, leading us through another set of (fake?) booby traps into a large empty room. Empty except for one large stone golem, with a sparkling stone hanging around its neck. We immediately believed this was the heart of stone. Musushi climbed up the golem and reached for the stone, which awakened the golem. It didn’t like us. Layla’s owl retrieved the shiny stone hanging around its neck, but the battle was going rather poorly with poor Kayras taking most of the damage. Miraculously (praise whatever gods were watching and caring), Thomas awoke at precisely the moment we needed him. Rejuvenated, he grabbed his longbow shot off his arrows, some of which hit the golem directly where the stone used to be. Defeated, the golem sank to the ground. At this point we thought we had already gotten the stone via Layla’s magic owl, but Rooke/Codex told us that we were wrong. The Codex of Duri (the book) began to talk to us… yes, a book… and it told us that it (the book) was actually the golem we just defeated, and he also used to be some sort of shamen who trapped the heart of the world in his physical form. It’s all a lot to take in and keep track of, but basically we figured out that we needed to dig around inside the fallen golem for the REAL stone. We found it! We asked the Codex of Duri what we should do with the stone, and he responded by showing us ancient visions of shamens using the stone to fight back demons. Quite a handy artifact.
Our last task was to figure out how to LEAVE, no easy task considering a large orc encampment surrounded our exit. Sir Thomas, fully recovered from his bout with postofficius, valiantly volunteered to be our ambassador to the orcs and parley with them. Through a combination of flattery, showmanship, and lies, Thomas managed to convince Drekha that the shiny stone was the real heart of stone AKA the heart of the world AND that we were offering it to him because he is soooo cool. This pleased Drekha greatly, and appeared to give him and his followers a big moral boost right before heading into battle with Uzgash. Perfect timing, and a great way for us to make a discrete exit.
We are now in our way to the city of Gemoor on the coast. Who knows what we will find there, but hopefully we can find out where some of the Nine Eyes of Cyric have been sent and use our new weapon to defeat them. I hope I can also get word of Roger. I miss him.
Bad dreams and monsters. That is what our trip to Odisvalk has brought us. And also a large rat named Grogg. Seems to be the best way to sum up the past few days.
First, the gossip: Our captain Stenwall and his first mate Railey share a wife! How scandalous, and to make matters worse they’ve abandoned her because they’re scared of the island she’s on. Something about people with no bones. Odd and gross. Also, the captain is addicted to stimms and Railey is a gambler (which is fine by me, I won a nice prize from his games).
We saw a Grewfert merchant ship running down another vessel with weapons called “canon”. It was rather fearsome and truth be told I was glad to think Roger might be on the ship with the canon rather than the ship without. I pray he is safe and well, and also that he may be learning all he can about these fancy ships. Perhaps we will need one someday when I find him.
Odisvalk is terrible so far. Halflings live here and you know what they’re like. Besides we’d hardly been there 10 minutes before a hideous yeth hound charged out of the forest at us, thanks to a failed halfling hunt. At least the halfling had some useful information: the animals are acting strange, the stars aren’t quite right and one of them fell out of a constellation into the Serpent Hills.
Ugh, this is so much work.
The so-called “Nightmare Seekers” are a rather odd bunch. I am personally not very impressed by them, considering their pathetic losses in the arena, but they do know how to operate an ice skimmer so I suppose we’ll be with them for some time. They are very short. And not good at throwing things. I will say they are quite brave. Gerda told me there are ICE SPIDERS out here, and yet the Nightmare Seekers continue to return to these hills.
So, we arrived by ice skimmer to one of their encampments, hoping to find members of a previous expedition. It was just a sad collection of abandoned snow-laden tents and huts. Honestly it was kind of creepy. Hidden in one of the tents was Ultar Goodwhistle (accused arsonist?) who was out of her mind. Thomas found her under a tarp but then she ran away from us, shrieking the entire time. So really it’s probably her fault that the troll found us.
Trolls are ugly and disgusting and huge. Supposedly they are not real, but this one was totally real. It must have heard Ultar’s meltdown and came to investigate. It was so large it shook the ground as it walked. Thomas shot it with an arrow but it didn’t seem too bothered and even began healing itself. Angrim (?) the spear thrower was basically useless. Gerda needs some target practice with that axe of hers. Hralf played us some inspirational music. And White Lock was very bold with his hammer and lack of self-preservation instincts. Sadly, White Lock’s bravery resulted in him standing resolutely in front of the troll and getting smashed. Basically it was a mess. They would have been completely lost without us. Musushi had a flaming sword. Layla had a really cool magic sword. Thomas tried really hard and got creative with his weapons and tactics. Of course it was terrified of my fire. In the end, the final blow was by Layla (who actually knows how to use a spear, unlike that useless halfling Angrim). Everyone was very sad about White Lock, especially Garthar who insisted that we leave immediately on the ice skimmer for revenge or something.
We’ve arrived at the Serpent Hills and located the crater. It is gross. It is full of thousands of dead birds, who look like they all crash landed there on purpose in a certain shape. The effect is quite disturbing, and I think Angrim may have just lost it. He started stabbing Gerda with a knife (much more effective than his spear, he’d been using the wrong weapon all this time), so in defense she axed him to death (for once her aim was true). I suppose it’s a loss as he did know how to steer the ice skimmer, but really…
We just met Yergen Bearclaw (cousin to Garthar), and thankfully he had some answers for us. He was part of the missing expedition, and they were attacked! The Mead Barrel clan has gone mad and killed many and captured some. Perhaps they are in the Winding Wood?
Anyways, that’s all for now.
PS: My new cloak is amazing.