Chimes of the Exiled

When the heat is on, the pain is gone...

Since my last journal was taken by the courts a few days ago, I see it as appropriate to start anew. What has happened since then? Well I returned to Sestos only to find myself betrayed by Fred and captive until I could be sacrificed to some odd-looking faceless void. The travellers rescued me with a Marashi named Ashoka and Fred’s aid. As punishment, that man Fred is no longer allowed to speak in my presence for any cause. After, I left Fred in the capitol where he belongs and travelled to an island off of the city to help summon the exiled. Also odd-looking creatures those things are… We defeated a Marashi army and gained our own two legions, the Silver Panthers and the Exiled’s spiders. Combining the two legions the Silver Spiders were formed. Powerful lancemen riding spiders can have unusual applications in close quartered fighting as my advisers tell me. A spider couldn’t match a conventional mount on the open field, but in an enclosed space such as a tunnel, cavern or even urban landscapes where the laws of gravity might not always apply. An alleyway where one horseman could charge down can support one spider on the ground, and two on either wall. If the rider loses their mount, they are well trained as infantry. But what do I know I’m 12.

We learnt that Sestos was about to be under siege, so we returned only to find the city unscathed with gates wide open, but Marashi Guards greeted us. We entered the city through the caverns at the cliff base to find Ashoka again to bring us to a hideout. We found out that the city never resisted the invaders, so the people were mostly unscathed. This means that the people were able to revolt and take back their city. First, we needed the support of the upperclass families, so a deal with struck with the most powerful family. I was disguised as a diplomat from the citystate of El’Lay. I’ll give them the church, since I obviously am unfit to govern anyways, and it would allow me to leave the city later with no regrets. If the revolt fails, then they gain nothing and risk revealing that they oppose the Marashi, so I am sure that the prize of rule is tempting enough for them to pull every effort. Next we had to get the common people to revolt, they had a matyr, a marashi to blame and weapons to empower them. Finally, the marashi high command welcomed the ‘diplomat from El’Lay’ who showed good faith by turning in an escaped prisonner, and when their leader’s trust was gained, sent a threatening letter to El’Lay with the Marashi Seal, then had the leader assassinated. The Marashi will be very angered at El’Lay, and the El’Layians will be mustering their forces to meet with the Marashi. Meanwhile, the city of Sestos will be much more difficult for the Marashi to hold with unhappy resistance fighters all over the city supported by the rich upper class and the Marashi have a weakened command structure to lead them. When the heat is on, the pain is gone.

Where is Fred and why wasn’t he in the city where I left him? What are the true intentions of the Marashi’s leaders? What worries me is what Icarus said in that cell, always that same name… Nightcrawler…

One Down...

After months of work finding the remaining chimes for Abrack, the Wandering Travellers meet him on the island of Kythia where he believes that the chimes can be used in order to return the Exiled. When the travellers arrive at the island they found that it was the front line in the war between Marash and Rotheed. The Marashi forces manage to take the island while the party is using the chimes in an underwater laboratory – although they did help the escape of most of the islanders. A creature bearing little resemblance to any worldly humanoid stepped through the portal and told the gathered observers that it was one of the Exiled, and that they had been warped during their time away. It told them that the Exiled had been observing the course of history from a separate dimension, and while they wanted to return to end the reign of the Rakshasa in Marash they were unable to without the help of the Wandering Travellers. Now that they are once again able to interact with the material world they have pledged to aid Abrack in his goal of giving ruler ship of the Marashi Empire to the people by ending the tyrannical reign of the Rakshasa. In order to do so, the Wandering Travellers first need to regain control of the island of Kythia. To attain this objective, they must deal with the three occupying companies: The Silver Panthers, The Gold Lions, and the 87th Slave Company. The Wandering Travellers have been promised by Major Das that the Slave Company will help Abrack. Negotiations with Captain Rao of the Silver Panthers did not go as well. Abrack has asked the group to advise him when they are ready to engage with the Marashi forces, and the Wandering Travellers will get their first taste of the battles to come in this war.

On Rough Waters

The Wandering Travellers have been called to the island of Kythia by Abrack, he believes that the laboratory where the chimes can be used is somewhere on the island. When they arrive, they find Marashi forces negotiating with the island’s Creosan defenders. They agree to a ceasefire for The Festival of Fishing, an agreement that the Marashi plan to break. In order to save the residents, the party heads to the town centre, where they meet the leader of the guard, Commander Hera, who tells them that while she wises to evacuate the island, the townspeople have been convinced to stay by Father Tadros, a priest of Pelor. After some carefully planned speeches, some of the townspeople agree to leave, while Tadros and some of the older citizens will stay as they believe that Pelor will punish the Marashi if they break the peace.

Tadros tells the group of a dark cave by the beach, where they might be able to find the lab and the answers they seek…

Other poems in the Solaris Temple

We’ve been piecing together these two other poems. They seem incomplete.

Before the tear blocks His eye,
And the Dark One called here,
The body of the third of five,
The soul of the darkened sky,
If His vision is restored,
And It’s prescence remains,
The tear will fall down,
And all will be discord.

It’s blood cannot be spilt unless Its blood is spilt upon him.
And if It’s blood cannot be drawn, for Its blood there will be no dawn.
His wings signal the call for blood, blood to blood, blood from blood.
And from the blood, new blood will rule.

Jendai Prophecy

We were given this poem by Harold, the Leader of the Party of Light. I wonder if the chosen one refers to Nerif?

And as the doubt gripped the hearts of all; where a choice must be made,
And as the voices sang out their call; for an answer they prayed,
And as the people resist the fall; will they not be betrayed?
For He will send one of his children; the children of the Plane,
For He will through the man rise again; and erase all the pain,
For he will redeem the souls of men; then His glory shall reign.
One path leads to conquer and power, preceded by a fall.
One path leads to peace, love and flower, followed by withdrawal.
One path leads through the man the answer; empowering the thrall.

Today I Learned mushrooms have gills
Day 19 since the prison escape

The door we saw yesterday needed some psionic blast of some sort, and mine and Boon Chakos were not powerful enough to cause a stir. The glass statues in the room we slept in were somehow activated by Lorik’s patented “Think first, act first, then realize that we skipped step one.”. They too were somehow powered by some psionic energy. Thankfully a shard from their remains could temporarily increase Boon Chakos’ psionic ability, and the great door was opened. Vesryn stepped on the altar before anyone could act and he fell. Time seemed to warp as he fell, and it felt like ages before we could look down the hole he left to try and figure out how to descend.

After Lorik descended into the second layer of the dungeon and Boon Chakos followed, the stone tablet rose to our level, with the satyr displaying his lower body by standing on his hands. Quite an impressive display. Inukshuk and I stepped on the elevating stone and we descended.

Of course when we were at the bottom we thought Vesryn could handle his captors quite well, and none of us wanted to feel the bite of his ice or the sting of his arrows. He could even make friends with some of them then betray their hope as they are hit with the case of ‘friendly fire’.

Some spooky scary skellingtons were our next opponents, and with their sharp claws and shrieking shouts, Lorik was unfortunately knocked out. Strange to see some undead creatures not created by the forces of a misguided deity; they did not cower before they radiant light.

When Lorik’s safety was secured, the wizard returned seemingly untouched. I am not quite sure what happened next, my memory fails me. There were some enemies, a statue… Something was attacking my friends. But all I could see where the mushrooms.

Mushrooms everywhere, voices speaking to what I assume was me, and the voices knew me, and knew of me. How could these mushrooms know who I was and who I am? They have been sealed here for even they don’t know how long.

Mushroomking said…. something. Go and kill… more other mushrooms. Seek the artifact that powers the mushrooms and the tiny self-replicating constructs….

Lorik wide awake, looks like a mushroom in his pants. Boon not saying much, must be enjoying himself. Inukshuk hard to tell, he looked pretty normal to me. Vesryn… he is defiantly hearing or seeing things I don’t see. I hope he will be ok in our little side venture.

It was hard to concentrate, and I am not sure what is real and what is not anymore. We found some other forme of fungi, one which feared the radiance oddly enough. And apparently there was some sort of elemental there too? I am not sure… It has been a while since I had a rest. But I am ready for battle, to defeat the evil grey coloured mushrooms.

Things got pretty strange, Vesryn appeared to have fainted or skittered off, my hearing has been acting strange. Lorik was unresponsive when we walked into an ambush of humanoid spiders. With only three of us to do battle, we faced the foes. Feeling feverish, I took off my armor and tossed it to the ground. I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one feeling the effects; Inukshuk was without his armor and appeared unconscious. Not outside my area of expertise and with the favor of the gods he recovered. I think he put my shirt on. Was he wrestling with some sort of Rust Lobster?

Why didn’t Boon Chakos do the same and remove his armor from the fever? Must be some strange monk practice, I need to learn of it. Lorik appeared to have woken up from his stupor. We were not in good shape. It has been a long day full of endless battle. I still had most of my powers reserved, but the others needed to recover. Inukshuk must have had some memory issues since he lost his armor and axe somehow (how can you lose things that big?) and was stuffed in my armor.

I think we visited the Lord of the Mushrooms or something. Don’t recall. Well all four of us decided we needed to rest at Abbot Temgula’s temple to recuperate and resupply. We know of our foes and can adjust our battle plan accordingly.

Apes found us when we surfaces from the cave. One of them had a mustache and was starring oddly at me without my armor. I am 12 and what is this. Too tired to fight, I think we tried to reason with them. Well, I just pooped in my hand and tossed it at Lorik. They all imitated it so I think they are friends.

Well the four of us will be ready for tomorrow. Myself I am feeling stronger than when we last entered, and I know what I need from Temgula. Sometimes I wish I kept more gold for trading, but I think they are still thankful for the Snake Eyes I left them with.

I realize now that staying back and healing my friends is no longer enough. Even our mightiest can fall from a simple misstep or and unlucky hit from a foe. I can’t stay in the back and hope that my friends don’t die. I wonder if Temgula has Scale Armor handy, he is a snakeman after all. I hope I haven’t forgotten the Hand’s training.

I have the strangest feeling we forgot something very important in the dungeon. Was it a weapon? Or maybe it was some gems… I hope my mind clears up by tomorrow.


Enter the dungeon
Day 18 since the prison escape

I think I was the only one alarmed by the etchings on the walls, carved some great time ago, they almost appear to be moving, yet they are not. I first thought of tiny self-replicating constructs but I was quickly assured they were not. Since I had nothing to do with my hands, a torch lit showed what area we have stumbled upon. Following a wall, someone stepped on a trap and set onto us some form of preserved body, possessed by the madness of the place. There were also some small goblin-type creatures that took a liking to causing us mild inconvenience. One of the doors off the main hall had some great carvings, as if the door had great significance. Was it there to keep us out, or to keep them in?

Off to the side of this great door there was a pile of treasure, quite a sight to behold. I had no desires for gold but the others have never seen such wealth. Greed is a powerful thing, and so is fire traps that nearly kill us all. We were forced to rest beneath some glass statues. They seemed to represent some form of deity, or something, I could not care much for them since the burns needed tending and the head needed sleeping. It was unfortunate that those creatures returned in the middle of our rest, they faced the full wrath of a burning field both willingly and unwillingly.

Not a very fulfilling day, but rest is certainly needed. I think only Lorik wanted to keep going, but he was the only one not to feel the flames of treasure room.

Snakes on a plane
Day 17 since the prison escape

I’m not quite sure what there others were doing as we surfaced at the top of the lake into a lush green jungle, but after I had made sure the children were alright somehow they got us ambushed. It appears that this portal is known to the locals and they were waiting for slavers. Unfortunately for us, we appear to look like slavers, showing up with some children, and a Goatman wearing the sigil of the SnakeSkulls. Well, their attack was well coordinated and we had little chance of surviving that encounter. Thankfully words settled the dispute, not before Vesryn had a little bout with a poison coma. Inukshuk was replaced by the hand again.

The people seemed to have much faith in their leader, an escaped slave who knows everything about the area. It was risky to go with them, but I was curious about this person. Boon Chakos appeared to be even more curious than I. Vesryn wanted to know more of the acid he had experienced, and Lorik was fascinated by the Coral in the water. But the risk, they must never know that we are under the employment of a slaver.

They brought us to their monastery where we found Abbot Temgula, an eyeless person who had escaped life as a slave through the power of snakes. I immediately assess the threat of these people. They seem to have some sort of primal worshiping method to the snakes, but not as a god, but as a force. A will to be respected and left to their hunt, yet strike without mercy to those that interfere. Less of a prayer for power but more of a recognition of the strength.

The monks train long hours with much discipline and we are introduced to their leader without question, even while I remain certain that they have some doubt we claim who we really are. Best to offer a gift immediately. The abbot was very agile with the staff, despite his old age. Curious indeed. So many remarks casually said caught my ear. “In the fey again,” or “should we trust them?”. The most intriguing of them all was a contrast from what an acolyte said to what the abbot said, undead. The foul things must be turned and their souls released. There is some evil happening here and I know it, but for now I must appear as a well-mannered guest. And that word again, ‘Exiled’… Library is the first step. Well Lorik did his thing and got pretty friendly quickly. How does he do that? Even Boon Chakos spoke a bit about his past.

The omens say this is good, but I don’t always trust omens.

They agreed to take the children off our hands (not me of course thank you very much) and they offer what I assume to be a feast. Raw meat, yuck. I of course must appear to be content and I try a bit, but no I can’t keep it down. Boon isn’t drinking much, I wonder what he is discussing with the other monks. Vesryn had a bit much, but Lorik thinks that the Naga statue is a real port for his ship.

This library is a ruse, I know it. Some mention of the Abbot’s origins, nothing new that I don’t know. There has to be more hidden somewhere. How can they live among the land rich of ruins and not have any information on it.

The next day I wake to a crowd of onlookers watching the courtyard, where the fool Vesryn decides to trust this odd snake magic. So the abbot knows rituals too, well I guess I could trade some information about my own culture’s rituals for some of theirs.

The ritual complete and the party assembled, I inquire about the Exiled, and learn little about them, but I know more of the abbot and his relation to the Exiled. He too is uncertain on where to stand, yet he asks us how we know of it. Carefully worded, I tell him nothing of importance, and inquire about rituals to obtain some as an exchange. They also have some sort of focus for Boon Chakos, and I acquire the most powerful looking symbol I see in their stash. Lorik oddly took nothing, perhaps he too does not trust the abbot, or maybe he’s still suffering the effects of last night’s festivities. Very generous of the abbot, yet I fear we have taken much and have given little.

As a partying gift, I add to their most sacred of artifacts, their snake fountain. That statue had eyes of a snake, but I did not think that was appropriate, for the abbot had no eyes. The moonstones taken off of the SnakeSkulls should represent more to Vipergarden’s devout than as any other use. The white gems as eyes symbolize the lack of sight, but not the lack of vision. They seemed impressed. Good that they think of us as friends that gave back, since I don’t think I trust them entirely.

We journey to the location of this hidden temple, and as we approach to the sealed gate, a large wyrm attacks us with its clutch. Its psionic energy seems to interact with the gate, so we try and bait that out. The foe was not very threatening to us, and we managed to get it to open the gate, then I burn him into the afterplane. I fear what lurks inside sealed for these many centuries could be dangerous for us, perhaps we should wait for Inukshuk to return from his battle.


An offer and a thousand questions
Day 15 since the prison escape

Back again to this accursed wasteland. These portals of Abrack are so odd to me. What magick is this? How does he power them? How did he get this power? I guess I will just have to ask him again, maybe he’ll answer this time.

It just seems so strange to me how Abrack’s mood has changed. It’s been really bothering me the last two days in the Shadowfell; why would he threaten us with death for failure, yet be overly content when we completed his task? Even with Nightcrawler attempting to interfere… His complete takeover of Pom’s mind just a silent reminder of his power. And he offers us a request as an ally? Something doesn’t add up. He sees potential in us, we need to make a decision soon. Either we all agree to be his ally till death, or we will come to blows eventually.

But before we even come close to that decision we need information. Who is he? And what are these Exiled he wishes to serve? If only I had access to the Grand Archives at the Solaris Temple… I knew I should have studied more seriously.

Inukshuk still hasn’t said anything about his disappearance and reappearance. Is it even the same person? Does time flow the same way where he was? So many questions that unearth more questions… Well, he has a right to remain silent about it. If it endangered us, he would say something I know it.

I’ve also been surprised by Vesryn and his kind heart. He did not want anything to do with the offerings laid to the Raven Queen (it would not have done anything, the altar wasn’t set up right) and he was the insistent on freeing and not harming the children slaves. But now what do we do with them?

If only I could be like Boon Chakos, no need to think, just see an enemy, kill an enemy. No need to worry about mundane things such as morality and obligations. I wonder why he stays with us? He would be plenty fine on his own. I wish I could have heard what Vesryn said to him when he was recruiting a few days back.

Latyosh has been surprisingly quiet the last few days, always a bit ahead or behind the rest of us. What sorrows in the wilds has she seen? Always insistent that she fights her own battles. What is she trying to prove and to whom? I hope we can help her.

And Lorik, we’ve only known each other for little over two weeks, yet I feel like an old friend already. He feels it too. The shadowy hand that grips this wasteland, it worries him too. Does he trust Abrack? Does he trust me?

The snakeskulls we captured had little to add on Abrack, nothing that I didn’t already know. He has tasted the power of rule, and like all leaders, he thirsts for expansion. I would think that these prisoners would rather die before having to face Abrack, if he even sends for these poor souls.

And I just can’t get the hang of this stupid staff. I thought I would be able to use it in its dagger form, but I can even get it to change! I guess I should ask Vesryn for help, he has the knack for arcane things. I guess I should be less mean to him for his friendly fire, I am sure he meant well.

I hope this jungle temple is not a trap.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The first thing I heard was some rustling in Pom’s room. I left my meditation to investigate. At first everything was as it usually was, Pom was still unconscious, except that Lorik was acting weird. He turned Pom over and did something weird that I really have trouble explaining. When she still wasn’t moving, he stopped, and that’s when I noticed that Inukshuk was missing. We made our way to his room to see if he was still asleep, cause you know, that seems like something that he might do. He wasn’t asleep, he was nowhere to be seen.

We started searching for any sign of his disappearance, there was a faint odor of rotten eggs or something similar to that. We were just about to give up when there was some rustling from his desk. Lorik opened the drawer and was grabbed by a hand. Before you ask, it was only a hand, no arm, no torso, just a disembodied hand. What were you thinking? There’s no way a full body can fit in a desk drawer! I immediately recognized the evil magic of the underworld, it was clear that Inukshuk cut off the hand of his abductor while he was being transported there. There was nothing we could do now but wait, we were sure he could handle himself. Well, they were, I couldn’t be sure. Anyway, we didn’t dwell on that long cause there was shouting coming from the bar.

In the bar, there were 4 mages and 6 brawlers, one of whom, was much larger than the others and was wearing a mask. The leader of the group, a local keeper of the peace, watched us walk in and was consulting a bit of parchment, as if to confirm our identities. It wasn’t long til he was accusing us of murder. Turns out the diplomat we spent all that time convincing to allow the war to continue had died in the hours since we left. Despite our best efforts, he wasn’t listening to us and before long we were all chained up.

He started to lead us out of the bar when the masked brawler started to shout. He removed his mask and sliced some of the mages clean in two. The remaining mages fled from the inn and the remaining brawlers drew their weapons trying to protect their leader against none other than Abrack! Thinking quickly, Boon started gaining the trust of the keeper of the peace. All of us joined in except for Nerif, who elected to stay silent. We convinced the keeper of the peace that we shared this big oaf as an enemy and he unshackled us. As soon as he turned his back, the party started!

Before they knew what happened to them, half the brawlers were engulfed in flames. The others sprung to action and started helping Abrack fight off the remaining brawlers. Well, not everyone, Nerif saw fit to sit and watch us have all the fun.

The battle was over just as quickly as it had begun and we finally had an opportunity for Abrack to catch us up. He said that since Gushtir was dead, there was no more worry of whether the war was to begin or not, and Abrack was eager to join in. Before he left, he mentioned that some of his scouts found an ancient door in the jungle believed to the be the entrance to a grand temple. He suggested that we would be safer on the road, it would be more lucrative to go dungeon crawling rather than just simply skipping town.

So off we went, into the jungle, looking for the entrance to the temple. I hope there’s some cool stuff in there. Oh yea, and we kept the disembodied hand, we figured that when Inukshuk finds his way out, he’ll probably spawn a portal where that hand is…I think…


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