Brother, Soldier, and Seer
The Story of Carn Orn

During the rest in the Dungeon of Carn Orn, and the walk in the dank, earthy passageway beneath, prior to the fight at the underground river, the party hears recent history from Ranald and Elspeth and begin to piece together what has occurred in Carn Orn:

“Things were normal,” shrugged the elder Orinn, “Argyle was much himself, until right around the time this one showed up.” He nodded towards the female, Elspeth, who had been grinding scales against the floor and now was spitting into the results and forming a paste.

“If you saw as only most are willing to see,” she smiled, smearing the green above her eye, where her eyebrow was noticeable stubble, and below her eye back towards the hair braided tightly above and behind her right ear — the rest she left wild and free, “But Cormac warned you — all of us. And some listened, and some left…thankfully. But I returned, to see if I could continue his work and save more.”

“They should have listened..thank Mediena there were so few left in the Banobre. The Kennedy came to me, and with eyes glazed over with avarice began to whisper of wealth that could be had and would be had very soon. But that we should prepare for great changes, and potentially frightening things. When I asked where this came from, he merely laughed and said, ‘Can only that Aodh have visions?’”

“I don’t think they were Visions,” responded Elspeth.

“No. I’ve heard them since,” Ranald pulled into himself reflectively for a moment, and then pressed onward, “And then the earthquake. All of Banobre lost. Exactly as Cormac had said.” At this, Elspeth smiled, her eyes becoming heavy-lidded as she extended her right arm, palm upward and fingers outstretched in a proffering gesture, “The entire city was stricken with fear…that after the poison, we thought it was a reckoning…our extinction coming for us which we had evaded during the Lost Wars. But Argyle was there, more charismatic than I’ve ever seen him, leading with brightness and excitement and energy and calling for a new time and a new order to things.”

“And then those came.” The sullen Carnsman jabbed at one of the Wyrmkin with a spear.

“And then they came,” repeated Elspeth and Ranald nearly simultaneously, as if a ritualistic chant.

“They came from outside, with Argyle leading them in through the gates. But he had established himself avid cronies by this point — and he was…is the Kennedy.” Ranald shrugged.

“We fell in line.” Duncan nodded.

“And then I was thrown in here.”

“And I.”

“And I.”

“And here we sat, watched over by those things and fearing we would waste away watching our brethren going down with them and coming up with more each time. Where were they coming from? Were they here all along?” Ranald had become agitated, a familiar look creeping into his wide eyes. The Visionary placed a hand gentle on his as they fidgeted, and with a phrase, they stopped:

“We will see.” Elspeth intoned, both as a rite of her following, but also as a simple truth as the party began preparations to delve deeper…Fo Orn.

Game Log 16
Finding Fo Orn

During the night, Baranel transformed into a lizard and scurried her way out of the Keep to notice a pair of the Wyrmlings depositing buckets of dirt onto the pile beside the Keep and heading back inside through the main doors.

The following morning, the party assembled in the Great Hall, with a dozen or so guards around them as they ate at a trestle table with assorted sheep cheeses, mutton, and fresh baked bread. Baranel conveyed the information she had learned the previous evening and Elias got an idea in his head.

He stood from the table and strode towards the doors which seemed to be the way to the kitchens — having noted earlier clawed footprints which had not been swept away — and proceeded downward into the kitchens with a few guards in tow. The rest of the party was agape, having no idea what to do as the Dwarves seemed very reticent to let any of them go after their friend, or leave the Great Hall at all.

Downstairs, Elias made his way to the Larder and the guards with him attempted to subdue him, which led to him crying out for help. More guards entered upstairs and only after discussion was Khalo allowed to go, under guard, to find out what was happening to the Soldier from Sussenia.

Together, the two pressed onward into the Larder and found a storeroom completely converted to stalls which were crammed with sheep. And they were bleating, and bleeding, as a few Wyrmlings were abusing them and enjoying the sadism. At this point, Khalo and Elias were able to sway one of the sergeants of the guard to a less adversarial position and learned a little of what was going on — until he was stabbed from behind and killed by one of his compatriots. Thus began a rather epic chase.

Khalo and Elias sped past and through the guards up the staircase to the Great Hall, where they were met by the rest of the party as Lykk held the door against the ramming efforts of the guards. Now, trapped between two sets of guards — above and below — the party had few options. As they discussed, the voice of the Dwarven Captain of the Guards called out to let the party pass down, and the guards below stepped back. Quickly, the party made their way back into the sheep-storeroom and dispatched the Wyrmlings, who were found ravaging and desecrating the body of the fallen Dwarven sergeant.

We go together

In the name of Kai’ckul this is infuriating. Has no one here ever worked side by side with others? Like the goddesses the five glorious aspects of the one true God who are complete only when together so we must be. Getting down into these caverns was a sad display…….running around at odds with one another.
My father taught me from my earliest days in the theater every piece is necessary and working in complete unison to create the magic that makes people stand to their feet and shout praise. The greatest performance is no performance at all if there is no light for people to see.
Perhaps we do not yet see how to work together because we do not yet know one another or our strengths/weaknesses. I propose we have a discussion about such things so that we best know how to move forward now that we are set on this course and surely will face more and more foes down here. I am used to relying on everyone doing their part in concert and I feel that we can be great, but we must work together to make the crowd stand and cheer!

A Familiar Deceit
Entry 15

11th Day of the Oak, Year of the Crown

I may never know what difference was made by our choice to stay an extra day at Cennetig, but I do know that it felt right. We have allowed our sense of urgency to draw us on from one place to another for the past month, and each time another imminent danger pulls us on, but each time the survivors have been left with not enough. It seems to me the pirates were but one example of this. It is fortunate, at least, that we were able to turn one of that band around to the light of Kai’ckul once more.

How much better to leave a town in the midst of repairs, perhaps looking up with hope for the future! Indeed, amid the realization of my greatest fears, I think that hope is critical. Hope may make all the difference yet.

Alas, what we have found in Carn Orn worries me far more, I fear, than what we found in Cennetig.

We came with truth, with earnest desire to help. We came with news, but were met with deceit. They have seen these creatures and know well their look, but admit to nothing. They wall themselves in with hedge and pretend it has always been so. They build a pile of rubble to create the illusion of repairing a town and flaunt it shamelessly.

What reason could there be for such lies unless these Dwarfs have chosen to abandon their kin — or, worse, to ally with these fiends?

Are the free peoples of Kai’ckul doomed to repeat the mistakes of their forebears? Have we learned nothing?

But I stew in frustration. There must be some way to get through to these folk. Orieth returns…

Into the Black Maw
Entry 14

9th Day of the Oak, Year of the Crown

The worst has come to pass. If this new threat is not contained quickly — and I fear I cannot see how it could — then future generations may come to know this time as the dawn of a new era: an era of fear, death, and war.

As we cleaned out the cathedral, buried the dead, and rallied the refugees to aid in their rebuilding, I watched a Dwarf-child — a girl — wander, lost, until one of the Dwarf-lads noticed her. He stared for a moment and realized that the parents she sought were no longer among the living. How many more will perish if this danger is what it seems?

Days, weeks ago we felt and heard of a quake in the bowels of the earth. In the days after, we thought nothing of it, but now it seems clear to me that this is how the Lost came into this world the first time, and this is how they have returned, thanks doubtless to the work of the wretch Maegwir.

For indeed I am convinced it is they: the Lost. We hear word of a great beast come forth from the gaping pit, a very mouth of hell to spew demons of scale and wing and poison from its depths.

The epicenter of this crack lies yet East a ways, and I dread to see what we may find there; yet I think we dare not tarry here overlong. If these foul beings spread from there to here, how many other villages have already felt the taste of their noxious breath? If we go to another, how many yet more will have been destroyed by then? We must see for ourselves the source of this flux, and decide for ourselves how we might shut up the black maw.

Kai’ckul save us if we find there what I fear.

The High Five

The palm represents the connection of all and mother of the five, Kai’ckul herself. Its ridges reflect the mountains and valleys of our world that are with us throughout our lives. They grow deeper as we grow older and understand more of her presence in our lives. Our fate and life are written in the passages for those that know how to read them.

The Pinkey-
The smallest finger is painted red in honor of Wala. A reminder that even the smallest of us are called to bring about positive change and protect those who are the children of Kai’ckul. This finger should have a ring of pearl to harness the light.

The Ring-
This finger reminds us of the cyclical nature of the world. Mediena helps us keep balance in all things and the cycles of our world in order. This finger is painted bronze in her name. This finger should carry a ring of wood so that nature may stay with us always.

The Middle-
Namaka’s finger is painted black. This void in the middle of our hand helps us keep our greed in check. Although Namaka gives wealth those that seek ostentatious shows of wealth will lead to ruin and a return to the blackness of the sea from which all life sprung. This finger should carry no ring in a show of piety and humbleness.

The Pointer-
The index finger is painted white in honor of Nott. Love may come in many forms, even shrouded in the night and darkness that may seem fearful. However, the white on our finger reminds us that despite our fears we should not miss out on the “point” of our life’s work. This finger should have a clear gem on a ring to keep out hearts pure and to reflect the starlight of the night.

The Thumb-
The two joints of this green painted digit echoes the twin goddesses forever linked together. With this finger we should engage in a game of war and peace with our neighbors. The thumb wars as they are known reflect a philosophy about how war and peace are meant to be conducted. Philosophers throughout the ages and masters of many generations have written tome after tome about this time honored pastime. Easy enough for children to learn, but only the truly wise can see the turning of the world in its deceptively simple strategies. This finger should hold a narrow gold band to remind us of the thin line between harmony and discord.

By combining these elements with those of your compatriots raised high above your head you can show true devotion for and communiuty around Kai’ckul.

Its clobberin time!

Game Log- Tyler Moss’ apt.
Our crew of adventurers are face to face with a small lizard like creature but one who walks of two legs and speaks a guttural sounding language that none can decipher. Jethrail takes aim and fells the flying poison spitting creatures while the rest of the gang tries to fell them with throwing axes.
Many of the creatures are defeated but in the process a man with one hand barges out of a house and joins the fight. He had been protecting a home willed with a dwarven family for some time and took the momest of distraction to switch from defense of offense. The family was known as the Puddler clan; Clem the mother, and her children, Dwight, Lewis and Pillow. Their father (Digit) had been killed. They had been holed up in this house for some time and the rest of the town went to find shelter in the cathedral.
The merry band goes to investigate the cathedral (after magically securing the Puddlers in their house). Jethrail scouts ahead and finds that the whole town is overrun with creatures! We move through town quietly but are spotted by a group of six fliers. Most of us get into the shelter of an inn, but Jethrail gets buried under rubble dropped from the skies. After a hail of axes and magic missiles dispatch the creatures Jethrail is unburied and healed.
At this point Elias and Lykk are bolstered by their recent successes and improve upon their abilities. Lykk and Khalo join together to praise Kai’ckul by raising five fingers representing the five goddesses into the sky. This form of simple praise has been dubbed the high five.
Once the crew reached the cathedral they are met with 15 more creatures. We tried to be clever and hide ourselves from the flying creatures using cloud cover, while arrows, spells, high jumping and a VERY fast bear made short work of our foes.
Elias looks into the cathedral and seems only carnage and 6 lizards men that were much bigger than their smaller cousins. Some were watching the door while others tries to break into the crypt. They were speaking the same strange language but one word was understood. “Namaka”
Khalo remembers rumors a secret tunnel entrance to the crypt. Some members of the party keep watch on the door while others sneak in and evacuate the survivors from the crypt. With some coordination the split party attacks with surprise from the crypt door while the watchers attack from the front. The pincer strategy is successful and the large lizard when were defeated.
What to do next?!?!?!?!?! Where shall we go?!?!?!?!?!? Is Namaka really waking?!?!?!?!?!?
Find out in the next installment of……nameless adventure party time!

Within and Without
Entry 13

4th Day of the Oak, Year of the Crown

On the letter could be seen dried tears. She wept alone, or so she thought. If she had dared to allow us into her melancholy, she might have known the pride we felt in her companionship. She might have known that she was not, in fact, alone, but stood in the company of family. Instead, she withdrew to her cabin, nursing her woe and planning her escape from ship, woe, and life.

To be sure, a part of me maintains hope that we read too much into the letter. Orieth and I will keep up the search. I suspect that Nilbud would not leave Ester the Mule alone among Dwarfs. There is a chance we may yet see her again. But in my heart, I feel that she is gone.

It was I who killed Nilbud, surely as I had killed young Findelion had I left him where he stood on that ledge ages ago. I knew something gnawed at her and yet I said nothing. I told myself: Focus on the quest; she will come round.

She has not come round.

Only days ago, I vowed to take greater care with those in the world about us. Now I vow to take greater care with those within. If I am to lead this band of adventurers into danger and legend, it must be all or none of us.

We can none of us be heroes if we leave the world to burn around us; nor can we be heroes if we abandon our own to despair. It falls to me to keep watch — both within and without.

I, Nilbud

The End

The night watchman aboard the ship greedily pocketed the 15 ancient mint as I thanked him and slipped quietly on the small boat. As I climbed aboard I felt at peace. When the halflings inhabited the greenbirth it was said they had a intricate funeral rites which involved the deceased being send out into these very waters on a ship made of reeds and an adhesive made from purple pops. While their loved ones stood on the shore and told the life story of the dead as the boat sailed away and the adhesive dissolved the the sea water In that way the deceased were laid to rest hearing the echoes of their deeds and finding peace in a life well lived.

I was calm, sure that I was following in my ancestors footprints toward a resting place where I finally might find some peace. Maybe Merla will even be there at the bottom on the sea where I can return her cloak and apologize for being unworthy to bear it. My friends will not be here to tell my story as I go, but that is a blessing in disguise as there would be no comfort there for me. After all what could be said…..Nilbud Underfoot, she slayed a few big rats. Clearly a feat from which legends are made.

I hope my new friends find what they seek and that my old friends live lives worthy of honor.

The Burden of Change
Entry 13

30th Day of the Wyvern, Year of the Crown

Two score men lie dead, drifting listless on the tidal wash. These were not maddened beasts, homunculi of dust, or vines given life to take it from others. These were Men, many of whom had children and families. Men who will see those families no more, thanks to our slaying hands. Of course, I do not begrudge us the action taken to save our own lives. I am quite sure they would have slain us, should they have been allowed to take the ship. In this case it was us or them, and our quest is vital.

But it was by our hands that these men were turned pirate as well. Left alone with a ship and no master, no food nor prospects to call their own, having been trained for war as raiders — what greater cause might they have been expected to follow? We had the choice to stay behind after driving “Walter” away, to give these Men another life. Instead we pressed on, blinded by the urgency of our quest.

This cannot continue so. This world is wider than I had imagined (and I have as yet seen but a sliver of it!) and yet it is clear that we carry the burden of change wherever we pass. And so, where we pass, there must we take care to steer that change toward good and never ill.

Tomorrow, I understand, we reach Wyrmille. As I wipe the blood-haze from my weary mind and press on, I bear in mind the sign of the Dragon Knight — a reminder of the good we can bring, nor the harm we may heedlessly sow. May we all be proud of the change we bring in the days to come.


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