Paths of Gaeda
The Diary of Zarunal Turner
Being an adventure log, personal journal, and mages notebook. The text of this book is written in the mages hand and is unreadable. It is also covered in menacing warding symbols and Zarunals personal Glyph to discourage the curious.
//this is a margin note//
Dates are given based on the Dwarven Calender commonly used in the colonial lands.
September 1, Year 1901, Dwarven Calender
Delivery of the charmed spirits to the wedding of Enfield’s daughter to the second son of Lord Gruun in Adricsdorf completed. I have forwarded the receipts to my Lord. I am now free to pursue my own goals.
September 3, Year 1901
I have fallen in with some like minded souls; Iolar Tuaysheartah a traveling Elvin scholar, a couple of Human swordsmen Karnack of Jorontownand Liath Adhmad and an Elvin holy man(?) Savren to earn a wage surveying some newly acquired property for a newly arrived //puppet?// Lord Birgen. There is reported to be a ruin there and some intrigue.
September 5, Year 1901
We set out for the lands of Lord Birgen by way of Lord Gruun’s Mill at Oak falls then head south.
September 7, Year 1901
My apprentice Journey begins at daybreak.
Bond Debt 2600 GP
I have one Year and a day to make enough to pay off my debt bond to Master Gaelen and secure my status as a freeman and a mage in my own right.
I am apprehensive about my prospects but with discipline and vigilance I may turn things to my advantage. I must assert myself with these ruffians to maintain my rights to property. I will watch carefully for any opportunity to be of value to them and maintain my status as their equal.
We travel to the southwest stopping at a small farmstead on the border of Lord Gruun’s land. The folks there agree to keep an eye on my wagon and the scholar Iolar Tuaysheartah offered up a silver for a meal and lodging for the night. I am grateful for his charity. There was some news of a Guilds-man Master trader Jonson, that was missed at the wedding and had passed this way several days previous as well as some story of odd noises (howling) from woods on the other side of smokey creek.
As we head into the wilds I am reminded just how far from the conveniences and dodges of the city I am. We began our forage into the territory passing over a broken bridge and following a animal trail westward. After half a days travel the Ranger and Holy man fall into an pit trap. I barely put a feather fall on the priest before he disappeared. The Ranger was injured. As we progress there are more traps, a snare and a arrow trap. We were ambushed by Kobalds but we make short work of them.
//Kobalds are every bit as disreputable as the wives tales say. They lay traps for the unwary and ambush us seeking to take away the weak or unguarded. They smell of carrion and filth.
//5 Semi-precious stones together worth about 10 SP are collected.
September 9, Year 1901
We are ambushed in the night by large poisonous centipedes. The scholar is poisoned and sorely injured but feeling better by daylight and we press on. We are now following a creek to the west.
In the afternoon we are ambushed again by a much larger and organized group of filthy Kobalds. Iolar believes they may be a male group scavenging possibly from the west. The beasts are defeated by martial prowess and a very nice illusion of ghostlike owlbears created by the scholar. Perhaps he can teach me that.
//Their leader is found to have a crude Mithral dagger, Armor made of coins and a potion of some kind I shall identify in the morning. There is also a guildsmasters signet ring. I keep also the leaders signal horn.
//The dagger is magical (+1) and of Kashwa make. Belonging to the tribes to the south and west. A Shaman tells that those tribes believe the precious metal is a gift from the moon.
After repelling the Kobold ambush on the afternoon of the 9th, Liath and I stumble upon the remains of the Kobold encampment. It is a foul sight. //It is true that Kobolds eat their own and also any who they can ambush. Evidenced by some remains of the missing guildmaster, Frederich Jonsun. The man’s cloak is recovered, as well as the hilt of his broken rapier, some coins, and a number of miscellaneous documents including a cryptic letter from someone with the initial A
//The guild has been notified.
September 10, Year 1901
A carnivorous plant attempted to entangle members of the party.
September 11, Year 1901
A torchlight is seen in the mist, and Savren magically detects a presence behind it. He attempts to lead the party in tracking it down, but following this shadow causes him to blunder into a sucking mire, we eventually reached the lake. Through the mists, I can see some sort of tower or manor, and once the sun has set some sort of lights or other activity can be seen amongst the ruin. Loud sounds during the night are keeping the group awake and as we approach the tower the disturbing sounds at night have become louder and more insistent.some sort of lights or other activity can be seen amongst the ruin.
September 12, Year 1901
New Moon moving northwards around the lake, eventually stopping to camp at another creek.the worst yet: Dancing lights, disembodied screams, and other loud noises in the night
September 13, Year 1901
push ahead to the lake’s opposite shore and have the ruined tower in sight as night falls.
Towards the end of second watch, Zarunal, Liath, and Karnack all become aware of new sounds nearby: voices and the sound of people moving. When they investigate, the sounds retreat, trying to draw them to the north and away from the tower. Zarunal senses some new kind of trick, however, and successfully determines that the noises are illusory. The group continues to ignore the sounds and passes the rest of the night in relative peace.
September 14, Year 1901
Our bodyguard volunteered to be bait for our trap. Slowly letting him bleed to death, we drew the wisp from the wood, along with a bevy of more centipedes. We all managed to fend off the centipedes (luckily, I avoided any repeat of their venom! My comrades were not so lucky), draw the wisp into the prison, then quickly healed our valiant fighter. The lamp drew into itself and vanished with a flash, dispelling the unquiet spirit, and bringing peace and quiet to the woods
September 15, Year 1901
scaled the tower and discovered the source of the unnatural light: some sort of iron lantern, fashioned to be a magical prison of some kind. Judging by the nature of the inscriptions and the magical behavior of he item itself, I surmised a lantern archon had been imprisoned inside. Despite my companions’ protest, I opened the lantern and freed the grateful spirit. While it had little to offer in appreciation, it did offer something of great value, its name: Anoxinyl. This spirit also lent some insight to our recent troubles: A malicious spirit, once trapped in the lantern, had been accidentally freed by the archon and was now predating the area. Undoubtedly, this is the force which has caused us so much trouble of late.
September 16, Year 1901
On the 16th, they proceed to the tower, arriving mid-morning. Noticing that the earthen mounds around the tower have been disturbed, Zarunal decides to dig one up, and uncovers the mutilated remains of a human – possibly the mssing blacksmith’s apprentice from Adricsdorf. After taking the time to give the young man a proper burial, the party descends into the ruined tower’s basement.
In the darkness below, the party encounters swarms of rats which bit and claw at everyone.
October 7, Year 1901
We finally sold all the Monster entrails, scrap metal, furs, and shiny rocks we have been collecting and carrying around on Mr.Sly or in my wagon for 3 weeks, (dried or bottled but still…). We replenished our supplies and purchased new clothes to replace the blood-stained, claw ripped, acid burned flea infested often mended clothes we had.
Preparations – War is coming.
The company heads east then south misled into an ambush by dopplgangers and is further set upon by goblin sized constructions that seek a gem we acquired from the slain doppleganger.This valuable Gem is made a burden by it’s enchantments and letters of vile prophesy. I will encase it in lead to prevent scrying, Gods aid me to get rid of it and keep it from evil.
Then on to our destination.
Our venture company entered the city of — where the notable Mage — rules with a fair but firm hand. We stay for a week posing as a merchant party and make a small profit selling alchemical items. I am personally invited by the Mage to his tower and ask Iolar to accompany me. He was interested in a certain dread item we have acquired and after examination we are told to remove ourselves and the item far from his city immediately. Gifting me with a comprehensive book of alchemical formulas we are escorted out. We spend the night outside his city where there is gathered a large army of Cosairs and ruffians Hired from across the sea. Our research reveals that they will be used to impose rule northward “securing the borders Lysandria is too weak to patrol.”
We move on to the border city of — where fortifications are being made and an Army is mustered. We stay a week here again selling alchemical wares and collecting the local news.
October 31, 1901
It is the day of the Harvest festival. I discover Horras the
- who was acting strangely preparing to leave the city, Nobly planning to recover the lost payment allegedly taken by bandits. Unable to deter him, we hastily gather our band and follow. Leaving the wagon in the care of the INN. We barely arrive in time to aid him in defeating an Owlbear and several bandits. We succeed in capturing one who bargains the lives of his fellows for his own in prison and we are lead to their hideout. There we press them and prevent them from fleeing, most are killed. In the end we have captured the chief bandit by the name of Welsh and The innkeepers young son – a self made mage who was responsible for the disappearance of the chest. It is he that will answer most harshly for these crimes. He is also responsible for killing Horas. (need to ask him about the bloody handprints rumor) We recovered several merchants taken prisoner and their goods as well as the Tithe box.
//as we transported the Tithe and prisoners to
-- we are attacked by a troll which nearly kills poor Sly, The Prisoner Eric escapes with my dagger and Pitor Rentsch, the mage – later attempted to kill me when I showed him some trust. I was hoping to speak with him about his vendetta with Lord Blackwall. He suspects that Blackwall actually killed both Wilhelm and Jonathan Rentsch in order to secure his own power over the town. While Pitor’s actions were extreme he was acting to preserve his own honor. This is the reason I allowed Eric to take my dagger and untie Pitor, I may have been persuaded to aid them further. I failed to make my intentions clear. On a personal note – sequential magic missiles to the chest are quite painful though leave no scars. Much like a very bad bruise //
November 9th?, 1901
We are now fugitives from the law of Prophares. We delivered our prisoners and what turned out to be a box of lead bars to the wizard
-- . In our exhaustion we failed to listen to --‘s admonishment not to stick around. It should have come as no surprise when the soldiers of Prophares came to arrest us. Karnack of Jorontown was quick to take offense and with Savren took arms against them. After exhausting my non-offensive spells I was forced to defend myself and the Party I have sworn to aid with more lethal magics. We were successful at driving them off but only just and have fled back to Lysandria. I was forced to leave my wagon and home of the last several years as a burning heap so that our escape would not be hindered. A wagon is a fine shelter while traveling and a fine place to store goods in unfamiliar lands but it is easy to track and hard to propel through rugged terrain when the roads are scarce. While remarkable in it’s styling and paintwork as a halfling vessel it would be easy to find news of it in it’s travels. Better to destroy it then suffer my companions or worse yet each halfling wagoner to be harassed because of it.
In honored Halfling tradition I packed my necessities and trade tools and moved on before the large folk could exert their will on me. With the leaving of the wagon I leave behind part of my old subjugation with Master Galen, I am making ground – slowly to pay my debts to him. I have increased My skills. My confidence grows with them. I miss my family in Akandra, I hope they are well. It has been a long time since the day I stumbled into the shop ofGaelen the Alchemist. I was there to request a tonic to save my ailing Mother, poisoned by some means. I could not afford his price and he was not willing to bargain. He kicked me as one would a dog and I pulled down a shelf of potions in my clumsiness. I offered to repay my debt in service if he would only give me the potion to aid my Mother. I am a being of my word and so is he, but his greed is vile to me. I am now made greedy by my desperation to be free of him. I wonder what desperation it is that drives him? I hope Piter finds a just end to his desperation. I hope that I do not have to become what he has. -We are both fugitives. -
I am bitter with Travel and unkind fates. Yet I find I can bring hope to some. Much has happened since my last entry.
I have somehow become burdened with a Gem that changes worlds, I am an outcast of Halfing society shunned for my adventures. I have unwittingly brought catastrophe upon a Halfing village. I hope they can forgive me.
Gealen has refused payment and now desires the Gem I am rumored to have. Even if it was mine I would not hand it over to him, it is worth 5 times my service to him and I shudder to think what use he may put it to. I was able to extract some information on it from his labs. The Ferric Eye, I left as soon as I was able and rejoined the group I am now traveling with.
I have rescued the High Mage of Lysandria who was being poisoned, and taken began teaching his apprentice. Lysandria has offered to pay my debt to Gealen (who has now become high mage of (north lands)
We traveled West to investigate a magical Gate to the elven Kingdoms which are Iolars home and became lost in a Fey land corrupted by a witch, This in service to a powerful Queen the Ice Queen, whom I dicovered to be an Ice Dragon! what’s more Iolar has made a pact with the vile beast. I am greatly saddened by this. We did manage to slay the witch and Rescue the Fey Queen from the Ice dragons egg. though the experience left me in the form of several small creatures. Oddly the freedom of being a duck or owl or bat.. was satisfyingly free of responsibility.
We are now again in Lyssa’s Port. I am again a Halfling having been freed by the new High wizard of Lysandria. I have spent some more time with the apprentice and have discovered the uses to several items. including the Fey Queens gift to me. I feel as do my companions that a confrontation must be made with Galen.
We headed North and to Akana, and there after a brief and long needed visit with my family, made an ill planned visit to Galen. I foolishly chose to present the 2600GP Loaned from Lysandria and was rebuffed and out-witted by Master Galen. He has taken the gold in payment for a scroll he says I stole from him. A trick, that I in my greed fell too easily into during my last bitter visit while cleaning the garbage from his study. I found the scroll tossed in the trash. It did not occur to me that it was a complete scroll but rather thought it was flawed in some way and took it to learn something of teleportation.
//I will add it to my spell book now though// The encounter went very poorly for me. I was struck dumb by the accusation and by his pronouncement that he would never let me free and that he has the power to strip me of my magic… a revelation to me that was dire indeed. Adding to this he threatened the lives of my family. I was stunned with rage and shame. after failing to escape with the coin and a brief exchange of spells that I ultimately lost when he transformed me into a rabbit and tossed me to my companions like some stray vermin. I now owe hime 2600gp and Lysandria 2600 GP, and live in fear for my family.- I am hoping to recoup some of the loss by asking Iolar to charge him for the cost to Dispel the transformation to a member of his household.- I also believe it will be some time before I can enjoy a fire roasted rabbit again…
… I need a plan to overthrow this tyrant and I will do what ever it takes.
We have met with FUAFAU Galens Master. He is Not right – His flesh is like that of the dead. He has invited Iolar to an Event his daughter is holding to the North. and he has – through Alchemy dispelled the transformation placed on me by Galen. He suggests that my failures with Galen are a character flaw inherent to halflings. Though he admits I have the ability. I have also discovered that I am the only apprentice Galen has taken.
We have decided to gather together a troop to the North for our Expedition. I have a terrible sense of foreboding. I think it is time to arrange my spell lists for hazardous adventure.
Our Journey North has been uneventful thus far. We will be attending Lady frufru party today – I don’t like it. These things are never what they seem. there is something nagging me but I can not place my finger on it…