The Age of Reason

Under the Lake

Theoro Session 2

Dear Noam,

We arrived in Hamil and went to find the person that we are to relay the information about the Obelisk. We found him and talked to him about the other guys experience. We shared the information that I know. He also wanted to know where he could find it. I don’t think he has very good intentions. It seems that the rest of the group realized this as well. We tried to give him some bad directions. Hopefully that will keep him away from the Obelisk for a while.

We were then asked to go to the mage’s guild. They had a job for us. We were going to be hired out to get some kind of item from the ancient people who lived before the last reckoning. I have reason to believe they were the ones who meddled with the tesseracts. But I don’t think that what they are doing is dangerous. Not to mention they seem to know that this stuff is dangerous. They explained that they have created some kind of protection around a part of the city which is under the lake and they are able to keep the water out. Now it’s up to us to go down and find an item for them. We went down and found these machines that attacked us. These are far beyond a train. These things could think for themselves. I don’t know how it works. They don’t even seem to have any kind of magic on them. However, inside these things they had the item that we needed.

Our caster tried to use the scroll that would help us to get back. However, he messed it up. He didn’t ruin the spell, so I gave it a try. It was really complicated and I’m not sure how I did it. But with a combination of lots of luck and little skill I teleported us back! :)

I never want to go back to that place. I’m not sure but those machines underneath the lake scare me. I don’t think I can hurt them with my magic, and my arrows aren’t that good against them. I’m lucky that I was with some strong guys.

Love,
Theoro

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Adventure Log: 22-28 Quarenmar 137 YE
Selection from Vanja's journal

I really need to write these things more than once a week, however, much of the time is spent just traveling, why can’t all the interesting things in the Empire be closer together???

Anyways, I was in Desya visiting my aunt, when I ran into an old friend of mine. Good old Arwen, back from the University days (as short as they were) happened to be there. Of course, not much of a surprise, really, last I had heard from her Arwen was apprenticing with her part time while doing odd jobs for the Delvers.

Anyways, in the bar, around the same time, I spotted a little man, a halfling to be exact. He seemed to be the rugged adventure type, and he was around my same height as well! I, of course, jumped right onto it and approached him, offering to buy him a drink. It’s not often you meet someone who is your same height (a big deal for us gnomes), filled with the spirit of adventure, who is not related to you, and single!

Though, I think we will need to work a little on his social skills. On our first date he started with his sob tale about how his family got killed in a glass blowing accident. I honestly didn’t know that those existed, but apparently they do. I don’t know if he was intentionally trying to push me away, or if he just doesn’t understand how the whole first date thing goes, but in either case, I found it mildly endearing. I think he might be a keeper.

Strangely enough, we were all headed to the same place, Hamil. They needed to talk to my cousin Felix about some magic gems of some mumbo-jumbo, and I needed Felix to fence some things for me. So, I got two whole days to chat with Arthur and get to know him a little better. He’s shy, and perhaps a little callous, but at the same time, there’s something about him that I really like. A kindred spirit sort of thing, I imagine.

Well, I’ve been staying with Felix, and I might be for a few days until the next adventure calls me away again. In the meantime, I’ve taken Arthur out to dinner one other time, so two dates down. Looking forward to number three, that’s the first kiss date!

-Vanja the adventuress.

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Good Bye Greenwod
Arthur's Journal

With the goblin threat gone, I was once again able to venture into Greenwood forest. The goblins had destroyed and looted my little house. I was surprised that it didn’t bother me too much. I guess I knew that I wasn’t going to live there anymore. What did upset me was finding out that Ngiao is dying and going to have a baby. Hopefully not in that order. Over the years, there have been times when I felt thought of Ngaio as a foster mother. It’s weird to think of her as an actual mother. Does this mean I’m going to be an uncle? or a step brother? Not really, I guess. It’s unlikely that I’ll be around when the child is born. (Assuming that dryads don’t lay eggs or something else.) We’re back off to Desya. I’m exciting to see where this Delver job takes me. Every day has been an adventure, so far.

It’s nice to be part of a team. These are a good group guys that I’ve been grouped with. They don’t treat me like a little person, which is nice.

There’s this cat that has followed us out of Greenwood. She seems to like me. She sure is fluffy.

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FWP: The Wizard I Look Up To and Learn From Cares More About Research than About Protecting the World from Diabolical Forces

The goblin army came, though they were quite tardy in their arrival. The nerve of some enemies; they kept us waiting for several hours before engaging us in combat. Furthermore, they set a lovely inn on fire and blew up the train. I’m not entirely sure why they did that last one – I would have thought they would want to keep it intact as a spoil of war. But what do I know? I’m just the only intelligent being within a 100-mile radius or so.
Summoning horses did little more than provide meaty bodies for the hobgoblins to cut into other than those of my co-workers. But, I suppose it is better that conjured creatures take the sword to the gut rather than the others – even if this does mean my share of the payment is substantially smaller.
The leader of the goblins was an obvious fool. I had hoped for someone who at least pretended to have a semblance of mental prowess, but the idiot did nothing to hide his demonic heritage. Perhaps he believed that it was obvious by now what was going on anyway, but it never hurts to do what you can to keep your enemies in the dark as much as possible. Of all things, a man that worships the Demon Lord of the Secret Pact should know that much. But again, my expectations of idiots are far too high.
Though, expecting him to be able to stay on his skunk is perfectly reasonable. Also, expecting him to ride a horse instead of a skunk is perfectly reasonable. Regardless, he was a completely inept fighter. Even I could have flung my sword into the dirt and flopped off my steed like a schoolgirl on a bucking bull. I guess not all demon lords have standards of what sorts of followers they will accept.
Shortly after his dismal display of utmost lack of any sort of skill, I summoned yet another horse, which promptly placed its hindquarters on the demon-spawn’s chest. To put it in a way more easily understood by the fools I travel with, the horse sat on the tiefling. This made it easy for Arwen to tie him up, which in turn made it easy for me to throw his body onto the horse’s back and ride off.
I kept the fellow in the river, where any plans of spontaneous combustion would be rendered obsolete. Aside from that, I didn’t much care to have anyone – whether his allies or mine – interfering or interrupting while I was questioning him.
All things told, he is an enemy with no real interest in becoming an ally. His plan to bring his demon lord into this world where he can wreak havoc is absolutely impossible to allow. The gems are, of course, exceedingly dangerous, as I previously thought. Their function is similar to what I had anticipated as well, though he did not give as much detail as I would have liked on how to use the one that summons his lord. I suppose details aren’t really necessary in this instance, though.
I returned and allowed the local authorities to deal with him. Of course, he burst into flames not too long after; good to see that I’m the only one realizing that this is a trend with these people.
Interestingly, much of the information I extracted from the leader had been obtained from the innkeeper. Who knew a peon could know so much – but still, there were some important details that would have most likely remained undiscovered had I not conducted that private interview.
In any case, I have of course written the only other person I know of who might have some insight into the situation at hand.
Also, our efforts to find someone to disenchant the gems have been, more or less, fruitless. It is a guarantee that Neville could do it, but he seems more interested in its research value than in something as trivial as saving the world from demonic tyranny. I can understand where he’s coming from. It’s, more or less, similar to having a preference for oranges over apples.
Speaking of apples, I will be leaving ahead of everyone else in order to fetch some apples. I will also exchange recipes with Traigo. Hopefully there are no gunmen or exploding trains involved.

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Levrim's Journal- 4th Session

Strangely, it turned out that these scholars we were speaking with were the ones hiring the Mage’s Guild to find adventurers. Their goal? Continuing the exploration of the ruins we had visited earlier to try finding and retrieving a mechanical cube that they hoped would be down there. While I was loath to return to the place, they offered enough money to entice me. In retrospect, is that all I require to risk my life? Mere coin? Is that all I strive for now?

I used to dream of making a difference in this world, but how? I am no great teacher, not with my slow tongue and rash temper, and the recent battles I’ve seen have convinced me that I am no great warrior either. What then should I do to impact the world?

These questions plagued me even after entering the ruins once more. It was much as we left it, battered guardians now lying in pieces, but we made our way deeper into the depths of this strange place, hoping to find our prize without finding more functioning metal men. In our search, Raniel discovered a pit that led down, but the rungs of an old ladder on the side of this shaft were old and, in one part, completely gone. The others did what they could to bridge this gap with a length of rope, but burdened as I was, it was not enough. Halfway down, the rope slipped from my fingers and I found myself falling and terrified. Whatever listens to my prayers, I called in my mind, don’t let it end like this! I wanted to be more than some base mercenary, but seemed doomed to die in this pit.

I hit the ground and blacked out from the pain, but was soon roused by Celine’s healing touch. My head stung and my body felt heavy, but I forced myself up and used one of my mixtures to clear my head. I found myself and my companions in a room much like those above us, but this one had a strange panel on the ground which, when touched, made strange designs on the walls burn with a heatless light and lift a small ascender out of the floor. At least with that, we wouldn’t have to worry about the ladder and rope on the way back up.

It also revealed a hallway that led to where we heard loud ticking. Hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst, Kestrin summoned another rat from the aether and sent it ahead. It was still surprising to see a group of metal men lunge out of hiding as soon as the rat entered the room ahead. We rushed forward to fight the things, Kestrin with his rats and crossbow, Theoro with his bow and blade, Raniel with his swords swinging, Celina with her spells and myself with my hammer and my brews. It was a fierce battle, as there were more metal men here than we had encountered before, but we managed to scrap them.

With them gone, we discovered the source of the ticking we had heard was a box decorated with gears that sat on a strange clockwork pedestal, similar to what we had been sent to find. We removed it and then left the ruins. I hope that this is the last I see of that sunless place. Upon returning to the Mage’s Guild, we gave the box to the scholars and received our payment. Then, after resting and letting our battered bones some time to cease their aching, we received a new summons to Lord Celus.

He met us and, over a fine but confusing meal, offered us a job removing some thieving dockworkers from the employ of an associate of his and then helping that associate deliver his goods. He had ready answers about why he couldn’t do more than hire us as well as what the goods were, but something about it all seemed… off. Why deal with us when you’re a man of such position and means? Surely there’d be many he could turn to with this. The thoughts nagged at me, but the others agreed to take the job.

During the conversation, Celine seemed… tense… when we heard who the associate was. But, when I asked her if she knew this man named Franke, she became evasive. Strange. However, who am I to begrudge someone their secrets? Are any of us as we truly seem?

After leaving Lord Celus’ estate, I hurried to the docks and began asking around, trying to find out more about Franke and the kind of business he dealt in. Most of what I heard was mere rumor and conflicting, but one man, who spoke quietly but with the gleam of truth in his eyes, told me troubling news. The cargo in question was crates of drugs, something I had only heard about from my time training under Yueh. Yet Lord Celus had assured us it had been something else… Perhaps he also was lied to about the cargo, but my suspicions were back tenfold. Working for this man, though lucrative, was wrong. Wrong to every ideal I held and everything I ever hoped to be.

The cargo must be stopped.

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What is my purpose
Kestren

So I need to figure out what my goals are about now. I know where i’m from but I don’t know if I can or should actually go there. I have a lot of opportunity here to investigate and learn about the symbols on my body but what will that avail me? It’s probably about time I start being more open about myself otherwise I may never find the answers that I need. Maybe I can talk to the group about my past. I seem to be able to at least trust them. They could probably help me learn some more if they are willing. I’ll never get anywhere if I don’t trust someone.

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Raniel's Journal 3rd sessions

Note to self- bombs hurt.

It all started with a job offer to kill an arsonist. Seemed extreme to me at first but it was explained to be a political mess that required it. Long story short it was a goblin and two women of ill repute. Why they were there, I’m convinced I’m better off not knowing. Dumb goblin ran and threatened to shoot the bomb.

I told it it’d kill itself also, and it didn’t succeed at first, but he managed to get us all, himself included.

I really hate Goblins now. And bombs, those too…

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Arwen's Journal- Demons

………………..

I’m not sure if I love or hate my life.

When hobgoblins attack a random town, that’s fishy. When that town houses a scholar who just ‘happens’ to have ancient gems, that’s very fishy. When the tavern owner starts bolting the building full of innocents from the OUTSIDE, that’s an aquarium full of fish.

Sorry, I’ll back up again.

To defend ourselves and the town from the hobgoblin, goblin, and rat threat, we had the idea to secure the people together in a couple easily-defendable buildings and wait to ambush the attackers. We guessed it would take an hour for them to arrive. Three hours passed.

If there was anything we’d learned from our previous encounters with this group, it was that they were being led by either a madman or a genius- possibly both. So when the train was also a couple hours late, we started to get worried. However, just as we were planning what to do to find our enemy, our dear local bar owner was seen bolting the doors to the innocent-filled tavern. From the outside. With chains. Just at that time, the train was heard arriving in town.

It was just too much a coincidence. “Armed to the Teeth” took a squadron to investigate the train, while I stopped the bartender. Turns out he was also a demon cultist (Why was I not surprised?) and as soon as he realized he’d been caught, the tavern spontaneously caught on fire, the hobgoblins charged out of the forest, and the train exploded.

And now my bartender training prohibits me from telling you the rest of what happened in anything except the most epic of ways possible.


“Everything will happen as it was intended,” the bartender said, just as the bar behind him erupted into flame.

From the forest came the unmistakable sound of running feet and goblin war cries. Somewhere in the back of town there came an explosion that rocked the ground underfoot. The confusion was palpable.

Well no one could complain that we weren’t earning our money’s worth.

What troops there were charged the advancing army. As I hurriedly unlocked the chains on the tavern door, I heard the unmistakable war cry of Big charging the enemy, accompanied by the squishing sound of a goblin being crushed under his enormous foot. If we made it out of here alive, I would buy that man a drink.

The locks fell off and the doors burst open, as frightened people rushed from the burning building. That crisis averted, I turned to the army and unslung my bow. goblin blades clashed on the weapons and armor of my compatriots, each group trying its best to push the other back. I knew I wasn’t much of a melee fighter, and there was no way I’d risk shooting one of my own as they engaged with the enemy. There had to be something else. Something important I could target…

At the back of the advancing army, a figure caught my eye. Human, or at least human-ish, riding what could only be described as a giant skunk. The man hung at the back, surveying he charging army like a general would his troops.

Bingo.

“Aim for the Skunk!” I shouted to what of our archers were still on the tavern roof. I found a gap in the battle and moved as fast as I could, firing arrows where I could to aid my friends. A goblin leaped at the Monk only to be brought down by two of my arrows, but I didn’t have time to check if it was dead. Finally, clearing the battlefield, I had a clear shot at the man riding the skunk.

I loosed an arrow that sailed just over his head. The man turned lazily to star at me, his eyes glowing in an inhuman fashion. As I hurriedly reached for my next arrow, the man reached behind him to unsling a greatsword, the blade radiating a magical aura. He heeled his mount and charged.

There wasn’t time to fire again, so I simply lunged to the side as the mounted warrior galloped down on me. He swung his sword, missing my head by inches. I spun around, ready to fire an arrow in his direction, but stopped.

The swing of his sword had carried him off-balance. Normally the saddle straps would have held his weight and allowed him to right himself, except this time the saddle was coming with him. Perhaps a strap had broken, or maybe in the excitement of the expected battle he hadn’t tied them correctly. Either way, the man with glowing eyes let out a yelp of surprise as he tumbled from his mount, the skunk not stopping for him as it sped along back into the wood.

I fought back a smile. Rushing forward, I dropped my bow and grapped the man’s glowing sword, lifting it off the ground and slashing the fallen man in his side in one motion. Even unarmed, however, the man’s eyes glowed evilly as he started working his way to his feet, his confidence unbroken at the loss of his sword.

POOF!

I had seen E’s horse before, of course. The beast had made several appearances that fight, appearing to attack and disappearing when killed, over and over again where E saw the need to send it, but I hadn’t expected it to appear right in front of me. It turned around, looked at me, and promptly sat down on the man with the glowing eyes.

“Aaa!” The man screamed, trying desperately to escape the enormous beast sitting on top of him. I couldn’t help it. I laughed. Right in the middle of the battlefield, I put the glowing sword in my belt and laughed at the enemy general.

“I don’t think this evening went as you’d intended,” I said when I’d recovered, reaching into my bag and removing a thick coil of rope.


So that’s what happened. We won the fight, and later learned that the gems we’d been paid for helping our esoteric scholar a few days ago are direct links to contact-and eventually summon- a demon lord into our plane. We discovered this when A-to-the-T activated them and contacted the Demon Lord in person, who started trying to make him deals in exchange for power. Turns out the enemy was trying to slaughter enough people to activate the summoning gem. We’re now seeking help to disenchant the gems so they can’t be used.

I haven’t been a Delver for more than a month, and already we’ve met a Dragon, a Demon Lord, and a Dryad. It sounds like a bad “Walked in a bar” joke.

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Levrim's Journal- 3rd Session

After resting and recuperating from the beating we took in the ruins, we were surprised to be summoned by none other than Lord Celus, one of the members of the City Council. Apparently he has connections with the Mage’s Guild, as he had heard of our willingness to risk life and limb. We went to his estate, a lavish and stately place and met with him. In our brief meeting, he told us that he wanted us to find and ‘dispose’ of an arsonist that was causing trouble in the slums of Hamil. He stressed that we were to attempt to be discreet and, above all, not mention him in connection to this to anyone, as the slums were not under his jurisdiction. His desire to rid the city of one arsonist struck me as odd, including his wish to not have any of it tracing it back to him, but I could find no angle on this aside from what he had already said. We accepted and left immediately for the slums, the Beggars’ District.

A few simple questions soon pointed us to a shoddy building, boarded up and vacant from the outside. However, many people in the area knew that the arsonist, a small goblin, stayed there. Celine soon noticed a hidden door and we entered the building. However, inside we found ourself accosted by not just a mad goblin, but several grimy women that called arcane magic into being and used it to fight against us. Alongside them, the goblin slung arrows which exploded on impact. Though the blasts were small, they were deadly and I doubted at that point that anyone outside would not realize that something was happening inside.

So much for being discreet.

Celine and I did our best to keep Kenshin and Raniel on their feet as they took the brunt of the attack, and soon the women that aided the goblin were beaten down and the goblin fled through the building into another room. Kenshin quickly followed, but almost immediately after turning the corner, he cried out that there was a bomb. Both Celine and Kestren fled the building, a move that showed wisdom on their part, but both Raniel and I ran after Kenshin. Perhaps Raniel, like me, feared that this bomb would be too strong to flee in time and that our only hope lay in stopping it. He found the goblin standing near a metal barrel, explosive arrow nocked and at the ready if anyone came too close. I also noticed two things as I came into view of the barrel. One, the barrel was far too small to be as powerful as I originally feared. Two, I was a fool for running towards someone shouting bomb, no matter my rationale. Before I could heed this new insight and run away, the goblin loosed and the barrel exploded.

And by every god and demon of the cosmos, it hurt. I lost consciousness thankfully, but was roused shortly afterwards by Celine’s healing touch. Every part of my body ached, it hurt to breathe and blood was caked around my head. I found myself in the street with both Raniel and Kenshin, as the blast had blown us all, even the goblin, out of the building and out into the street. People were flocking near, gaping as the building we had come flying out of began to collapse and burn.

So much for avoiding attention.

I helped Raniel get back on his feet and he and Kenshin grabbed the goblin, who had somehow survived the blast. Celine was busy pointedly looking away from a certain man in the crowd of onlookers with an almost panicked feel to her, but now was not the time to ask her who this might be and why his presence bothered her so. We spun a tale, telling a half-truth about a powder-keg exploding and us needing to take our small green friend to a healer. We then limped away, goblin in tow, until we found a quiet corner. Then we roused the goblin and began questioning him. I mostly focused on why Lord Celus would want him, of all the criminals of this large city, dead, but I also questioned him how he came across so much powder. He claimed, after being put under duress that he had stolen the powder. Why? Because destroying things was so much fun. Hearing that from the little creature made my tired, nearly-broken body go hot and I longed to destroy the goblin in the same way he so enjoyed destroying things. Fire, but slow and painful, letting him savor what he had been inflicting on those around him.

However, Kenshin soon cut the creature’s throat and we left his body hidden behind some barrels. Quick and quiet, perhaps better than it had deserved, but it was out of my hands and I could think somewhat rationally again. We reported our partial success to Lord Celus and received our reward. We then went to nurse our wounds. That evening, as I wandered about making small purchases for my salves, I dropped by the Mage’s Guild to see if they had additional jobs for us. They did and I agreed to pass the information to my companions, but the mage I was speaking with pointed out my slow tongue and I, to my later shame, got so worked up that I couldn’t properly operate the lift and thus was stuck in the building longer than I had expected.

Once I found my companions though, I found them speaking with a trio, one of which was the scholar I had such distrust for. Another of the three though looked almost identical to Kestren and they often began speaking with each other in a tongue I had not heard before. I had known that Kestren was not from here, both by his accent as well as his appearance, but he often claimed that he knew little about himself, however that worked. Now he had found someone that he related to? I wasn’t sure what to make of it all and simply sat and watched as my companions and the scholars spoke.

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A Dwarvish Drinking Song
In which Leonard learns a jaunty tune

At Telerden’s insistence, Leonard Mayes celebrates his first battle according to dwarvish tradition. Which is to say there’s a lot of drinking and swapping stories that night.

After about the third round of ale, Telerden begins to teach Leonard a drinking song with a catchy, upbeat tune. As Leonard learns the words, he realizes that this cheerful song was probably written during the Great War near a dwarven city or stronghold that was defeated. It leaves a very disturbing question. What kinds of songs do dwarves write when they win battles?

Break the gates and flood the mines
Dump the wine into the dregs /
Leave the groundwork weak and sunk /
Our fathers’ work shall crush their heads!

Crush the jewels and gold and ore /
Melt the lot in alkahest /
Salt the helmets, wheat, and kale /
They’ll choke on our very best!

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