Demons & Shadows

Akhil’s take on the 07Mar09 Session

Forgiveness. That is what I wish to ponder today. Is it real or just a noble concept? Personally, I don’t get it but am trying. Does is make the world a better place or does it just give the offended the illusion of control and composure after being wronged? My mentor once said that I would find a world without forgiveness a lonely world indeed. I am alone and think forgiveness will not change this. My first impression was that forgiveness would be a viscous downward and addicting spiral. That is, those that forgive would find themselves needing to forgive more and more as people would perceive the habitual forgiver as a pushover and an easy target. But what would one do if they knew they would be the subject to 10x rebuttal if they wronged me? I would not need to forgive and would not be wronged. Harsh but is keeps the status quo, it keeps peace, and no one is crossed.

I did promise that I would try new things and entertain all concepts as I set out to discover myself. Thus, I am obliged to experiment with forgiveness. Vaessen fell from a window as we rescued a pack of reckless children from a burning house. He suffered a bruise and a singed eyebrow but hobbled over to me, put on a good show, and asked for healing. Like the house, I burned inside but found a way to push aside my anger and temporarily forgive him. I healed what a good night’s rest would have done, Did it help, did I feel better? On contrary, I felt as if a part of me died—the fire is out but I have not a home left as if I betrayed myself by ignoring my instincts. Maybe that part will be reborn after the baptism by forgiveness. What manner of Akhil will emerge? I know not, but it will be one who knows more about life and about himself.

Until then, it will be an uphill battle. As my anger simmers below the surface, and my magical knowledge enhances my powers, confusion mounts. I now have the ability to heal with a spell that once caused damage. If I ever find myself able to damage with a spell that once healed there will be chaos in my head.

Other than that, we made it to Laurander at long last. The kid was returned to his rightful family, and met Letsu at the school, and Miriam—poor Lem’s love. Soon we will embark on a wild goose chase after one of the 5 wizards. Anson is a guide who knows more. More likely, he is hitman hired by Gressen. I’ll be on guard for fishy activity as this whole situation reeks of a setup or a potential setup. Hell, I’m here because I was paid to leave Osena (not a bad deal) and to try some wine in Laurander—must have wanted me out of town really bad. That reminds me, I need to talk to Joe about the incident with the book. Duty, that’s what we’ll talk about. Until then I’ll need to reconsider my actions around Joe. WTFWJD (what the fck would Joe do? I’ll have to ask myself that when contemplating any risky action in public. Baa, the things I brook.

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Session 4 by Akhil

I died today. I know it. It was as if the 2 warring factions within had reached a permanent truce or, more accurately, one had ceded. Which one? Death drives my emotions (my instinct) and motivates me (my vengeance) but life sustains me (replenishes my mind and heals that which Death takes) and gives me purpose (heal others and education). The sensation is hard to describe. It was like floating in a hot bath, then sinking but not caring. Regardless, I am happy to have experienced it and grateful that I am able to write this entry from this side of the nether. Lest any forget, I am a proponent of controlled, experiential learning but not like that reckless manner. The experience brought life into perspective and helped me realize what really matters in life. Now it is just a matter of how to act. Alas, I am still relatively young and the question is: Is life too short to be chasing phantom wizards or too long to not chase and learn from the process? As of today, life is too short.

This past week I learned that my intuition is strong and usually correct. If I trust my eyes to interpret the material world or if I trust my friends over me, I will die short of finishing whatever it is that I must whilst on this surface. I MUST live and die by my instinct. It was my inner voice that first told me to reach for the healing potion at the Watch. It was my instinct that told me the coaching inn was fishy and restraint that kept me from my nightly ritual. Thankfully, I trusted my gut and locked the door. Without my instinct, our traveling funds would have been stolen or I would have been without mental reserves for the fight that evening. I must convince the rest of my instinct’s validity. Granted they are not 100% accurate but what are a few casualties along the way? The path beaten by any leader is littered with corpses of innocent bystanders caught in the wake. It is this wake that instills fear and keeps what could be an onslaught in check. Merely part of the process.

That is, I do not go out of my way to create this wake. It is a beneficial side effect. Although I try to save everyone, I cannot and am not disappointed as such. For example, I do my best to quickly tend to my friends. When they call for help, I do whatever is in my power to help. What I do not do is run away when my friends call for help. The last thing I remember after I called for help and before the blackness enraptured me was seeing Joe and Vaessen running away from me. Why—why did they run? I do not understand. Joe usually checks it to see how I am fairing like at the coaching inn. Vaessen—hmm, well he will be under probationary scrutiny: He stabs me in public, has the audacity to ask for healing, and then runs away when I ask for help. The flirt tends a tightrope poised upon a dangerous precipice. This experience has not and will not be inconsequential. Moreover, who was my savior—to what friend to I owe gratitude? What, who is this 9 year old stranger? WTF? Really, seriously, WTF? Which is the injury and which is the insult—what knocked me down and what followed up with a kick to the nuts?

Sigh, perhaps I am being overly critical. Such as I tend, but my anger should have direction. You must recall—I was abandoned by my birth parents, thrust into boarding school at a premature age where I made no friends, and then was chased from my homeland by the shadow hunters. Clearly, my sense of family, friendship, and duty is warped. I am at a loss. Furthermore, I grew up in a community which stood upon the pillars of Life and Nature wherein all had at minimum a rudimentary understanding of the healing process. This is a basic tenant of jungle survival. These tenants are different from those of the city—I can’t expect all my friends to have this skill set. We were assembled to have a mix of skills. Nevertheless, I should teach one either Joe or Friedlief the basics. The boy obviously has promise. Which brings me back to what matters—the youth. Kids matter. They are innocent, mean well, and their stupidity can be excused for a time. I should nurture his gift with one hand and shield him from Vasessen with the other. When I get to town, perhaps I will seek out the Whistler character and inquire about his lifestyle. A traveling teacher doesn’t sound like a bad gig. If that is not for me, or at least not for now, then I should start teaching healing and we should all go over what to do when in a straight line with 3 spellcasters in the vicinity. We all should have known better, I do the same thing. The road ahead is long, I have a lot of thinking to do, and I have neglected my knife for far too long.

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Session 5

From the battle with “Raegi” from Session 4, Sebastian and Gressen gave us a choice of a number of items. Of these items, we picked up the following: A ring of +1 muscle control (Friedlief), Amulet of Protection (Akhil), Hardened Studded Leather Breeches (Joe), Hardened Leather Jacket (Vaesen)

Vaessen received a letter from the Mystral Travelers which gave us free rental of horses that we’ll be using for our trip to Laurandur. Covers any length trip.

Preparing for the trip to Laurandur, we stopped at Creely’s general store and picked up a few things for the road—14 days hard tack for 4 people(normally 2200 shillings), 24 arrows for Friedlief (60 shillings, paid separately by Fried), normal rope (45 shillings), 2 pints of oil (~24 shillings) for a total of 4.5pints in inventory between Joe and Vaessen. Paid 2200 shillings total for that gear.

Met Gressen in the afternoon for fundage, he looked very tired, and was wearing the same clothes he was wearing yesterday. Raegi (the real one) still is recuperating and is still drained from his ordeal with Gedwick. We let Gressen know that we would be heading out in the morning. He told us to stop at his assistant to receive our advanced funds for the trip. Joe picked up the wooden box containing the funds. 5 marks, 2000 shillings.

When arranging for our horses, we ended up renting a pack horse to carry extra horse feed for 400 for a one way trip to Laurandur.

Ended up getting 123 shillings out of Eli and Brock, gave 30 shillings each to Fendon and lars. Also spent 75 shillings on night-before departure drinks.

Left the next morning, Friedlief shortly after departure spotted some deer and had failed attempt at killing one. Rest of day was uneventful, and our stay at the first inn was 500 shillings total for nights stay, dinner, breakfast, and bag lunch.

Second day we ended up running into a scuffle with some gremlins. Dispatched them all easily, received 20 shillings total from them. Stayed second night in woods.

Third night stayed in Fancier inn (independently owned) Clives Forest House 3 stories – 500 for night + lunch. Saw MT cart travellers, asked how long till Laurander—10-11 days. Fourth night stayed in woods by stream, uneventful

Fifth night stayed in MT inn, 500 shillings. During night, Vaessen and Friedlief were robbed of their personal funds, found out in middle of the night. All collected downstairs, and were ambushed by the folks that were running the inn – 5 enemies in total. After a fierce battle, we were victorious. The managers of the inn – A grandfather figure and a traveler were bound and gagged. Granddaughter Iris was up and around, but held captive, used to make food for us and the evildoers. Akhil slightly befriended the dark skinned traveler. We were refunded 300 shillings for our help with the matter. Got up late, had breakfast at noon, left and got part-way to the next inn, camped out (sixth night).

On the seventh morning we woke up to a rabbit in one of Friedlief’s traps, which we cooked and ate for breakfast. Travelled till dusk, slept on the trail. Friedlief and Joe went hunting for birds. Friedlief got bird. In morning, rabbit in trap, breakfast.

Travel past next inn, Vaessen and Friedlief spotted something colorful – stuffed animal of some form. Led to a clearing with a boy, 3 goblins attacking him, and 3 bigger dudes. Flying rhinoceros ended up killing the big wizardy dudes, but not before killing off Akhil.

< rest of session needs filling in >

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Session 4

Akhu’s take on Session 4:

Regret and mercy. These are on my mind after today. I am still worked up over the messed up past couple of days. I’ll forgo my usual refined, poised entries in favor a stream of consciousness approach.

Mercy has been on my mind recently. It is nascent concept to me and I am still trying to understand its uses and limitations. I thought it was an alternate to death, a conservative approach to an otherwise hostile situation. Perhaps the subject is worth more to you dead than alive or perhaps the fallout from the subject’s death would be catastrophic. Now I see mercy as a manipulative tool, a way to perpetuate a ruse. It all started with Raegi showing a thug mercy. Little to my knowledge, they 2 were in league. Why bother? I don’t get it—why such an elaborate ruse? Raegi could have simply hung back and then offered to take us out to dinner to thank us for helping him out. If the goal was to recruit some gullible townies to fetch supplies for him and avoid being seen, this wasn’t necessary. Anyway, mercy was just a way to further establish a ruse or to keep hired help around—it had no philosophical or morale implications. Regardless, I do not regret showing mercy to the misguided gremlin. It was a good experiment and I learn from Raegi’s “mercy” in the alley, from my mercy with the gremlin, and more about Raegi’s use of “mercy” now that I know his allegiances.

Which brings me to regret. The past month has been one of the most eventful months in my life. It ranks up there with the month in which I was born and the month I fled from the jungle. I have learned a lot about life and about myself. To recap, I have learned that I have a viscous penchant for vengeance that is overcome only by my desire to be correct. I hate being made a fool and I hate being wrong. Oddly, I don’t like being predictable which may seem counterintuitive at this point. Over all, I regret very few decisions that I have made over the past month because they have made me who I am now and I have learned from these mistakes. The one regret I have is killing the giants outside of Osena. I should have told Nokal, “sure, we’ll save the town,” take the wands, and then sought out a good vantage point from which to view the carnage as the giants flattened Osena. How I hate this town! It did not and does not deserve to remain—it is run by degenerates, guarded by the incompetent, and inhabited by those who fail to challenge these establishments. Ahh, I am being a bit harsh, there are plenty of “good” people that remain in Osena—the stay right over there (pointing to the town graveyard.) —Gheed is a piece of crap. Cleaned his bathrooms and nearly got stiffed payment. Saved the MT precious shipment, saved and healed most of the MT guards and we get a “thanks, sure am busy now.” No reward, no offer for a discount out of town. Had he offered I would have asked for a discount to get Lem outta town. He’s probably too pathetic to handle the journey but it’s the thought that matters. —The blacksmith is a piece of crap: Communication. That’s what everyone is this town needs so sorely. Tell me what you need done and how much the pay will be. That’s how business is done. Show some tact, business acumen, and respect to clients/employees. —The Watch is incompetent. Well, unless you have a hole in the ground that needs observation. I am sure that is the extent of their use. They failed to find the source of the gremlin invasion. They failed to find Eli and Brock—known criminal and a scourge upon the town. Better yet, when they knew of powerful criminals holed up in a mansion, what did they do? They try to tippy-toe in and amaze the criminal by how underwhelming they can perform. Totally bungled the operation. Why not quickly surround the house and rush in with all watch members and/or wizards from the school. Oh, they didn’t want to alarm the rich! I am sure the rich didn’t see all the dead bodies being carted out of the house and thought the sound of furniture breaking, and death throes were perfectly normal. Wouldn’t they much rather know that there was trouble in the house and it was dealt with completely, quickly, and properly? I would feel safer knowing this. Instead, a powerful scoundrel escaped. He’ll most likely return. I have no faith in Felix. He was unknown until yesterday but presto we now have a head investigator who is in charge of Eli, Brock, and “Raegi” in custody. I doubt he’ll be able to extract information from any of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is working with them and when I visit the watch tomorrow, Eli and Brock have escaped, and “Reagi” is sipping tea whilst receiving a happy ending massage from Felix. Pathetic. Baaa. Gressen is out of touch. Yes another person in town using us as pawns. Grr, I hate being taken advantage of. He runs the school but is somehow involved with girls in the slum. Reeks of a scandal. I no longer trust him or really anyone in town. Really, sending us all the way out of town to investigate a clearly bogus claim? What is he really up to? He must have something nasty planned with Felix, the fake Raegi, and/or the real Raegi. He just needs to get us out of town because we ask questions and have proven that we can handle ourselves more so than others. It is a setup. The MT travelers escorting us with turn on us once outside of town. He’s allied with Gheed. No one tells us the whole truth. Perhaps, I need to learn how to proper ask or how to properly force it out of someone. I have been little but an unwitting pawn the past month. No more! From now on, I pledge to follow my instinct whether it right or wrong. My gut will be wrong at times but I’ll be true to me. Friedlief agrees. A simple nod of our heads, and it’ll start. I distrusted Ettan from the moment I met him. We should have nodded then and beaten information out of him. He never sat right with me. Vaessen may see the benefit of this. Joe won’t like it—his heart it too pure and not yet jaded. No disrespect to Joe, I’ll have his back anyway and there is no one else who I want to have my back but I mean the guy sews in his spare time. I’d write more, but I need to break something now. Then I go to the library. Perhaps I will research giants and somehow send them a note apologizing for the misunderstanding and requesting them to send a delegation to Osena so that reparation can be made. We’ll be out of town—maybe lurking outside of town waiting for Gressen to reveal his true self or having wine in a far off land.

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Session 3

Dealt with a poisoned river near the city. Had the first encounter with Whisps and got to pull a leg off of a Rotling.

Took a trip to Tyrina and saved the herbalist and picked up items for Raegi.

Had a moral conflict over whether to give Raegi’s Steward a couple items that were inappropriately borrowed from the library at the school. Eventually they were handed over.

Hit Level 3.

Akhu’s take on session 3 Concisely put, that is what happened. I recognize the utility of recapitulating the events; however, I find it I immensely effective to condense them into what I learned and how I felt. No one has ever accused me of brevity. For the sake of the reader fortunate enough to read this entry, I now make my first foray into this illicit practice. Here is what I learned.

First, my thoughts drifted back to the day we met Raegi. His mercifulness perplexed and fascinating me. It was a concept utterly foreign to me. Why heal a thug who on his last breath before slumping to the ground was bent upon killing you? My first thought is not mercy but vengeance, hit back 10x harder, humiliate him and make an example of him. Pull a dagger on me my reaction is “how can I twist his hand so that he cuts off his genitally? Then I firmly insert it his rectum and follow up with a witty one-liner such as “pulling a dagger on me is a good way to fck yourself.” Since this concept was so alien to me and since this journey is all about inner reflection and learning about myself, I need to sustain an open mind. A gremlin served as the 1st experiment. Somewhere in the woods, we were attacked by some gremlins and goblin-like creatures. I peered into its eyes teasing feral instinct from its sentient self – seeking to empathize. What did it really want? Coins, just a few coins. I gave it some and it fled happy to leave with its life. It was the winner of that encounter. Just ask its friends. I too was happy at the outcome. Why did I think of this encounter? I used it as fuel for my vengeful streak runs deep yet bubbles to the surface with ease. Perhaps I am too “flighty” and perhaps I came across wrong but when I compare Vaessen to the gremlin, aside from the uncanny physical resemblance, the latter possesses superior poise and restraint. We all know how Vaessen pines after The Girl in the White Dress. He recounted his latest “encounter” with her with the typical painful eyes and a voice struggling to stem desire. No one likes to see a friend in such hysteria so I offered a few words of encouragement and suggested he talk to her or ask Cyrus about her. For this I was stabbed, in public in front of everyone. We exchanged one spell for 2 stabs and I left wounded. Granted a day prior I welcomed and openly encouraged him to stab me but only in the context of demonstrating our new abilities—experiential learning. Perhaps it is just a control issue… Plots of vengeance stirred. “you want to mess with someone who deems it his job to keep you on your feet, to heal you in battle? Fine, when you next crawl to me with puss dripping from your gaping wounds, I will make you beg for healing. Perhaps when you are but an inch away from death’s door and your visage contorts from mercy to despair will I heal you. That is your place.” These thoughts over my own friend. sigh. maybe I lead a lonely life cloistered with musty libraries as company and throw around the label friend too loosely. Maybe we are merely business partners bound together to round out a unique skill set needed to make ends meet. Perhaps I will talk to Vaessen. I would want to but I shy away from difficult conversations—I wish I didn’t and like to think of myself as a good communiator but I am being honest. This situation will likely ferment in the back of my mind, increasing in potency until he hobbles back to me bleeding and seeking healing. I’ll be paralyzed, digging deep for forgiveness, trying to conjure the gremlin encounter all before an enemy sinks a death knell into his back. That is what I learned today. The night grows old and my candle is but ghostly light surrounded by a waxy caldera. My knife is clean and I have magical reserves to be depleted. I shall ponder why the 5 mages went insane whilst I again try cast spells upon myself.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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