An Alliance

Today we were greeted by three guests in Valions castle.
Akren, The Second mate aboard the Sea Shepherd. has since taken the role of captain

Mathrys Sol. A Sahark mage, slim, well dressed and wearing a monocle. He was looking for Salren Dres which led him to finding us. Is a member of the Coral Circle

Talad Renion. Reddish skinned Sahark. pronounced limp and a very irritated man

First Mathrys Sol asked about what is an ‘Alithari’ and said that the Alvin Koris who accompanied us before was not the real mage but an impostor “Yes, I met the real Magus Koris in the north of Krunam; he’d never heard of the Sea Shepherd and was appalled that someone had stolen his identity”
Marthys informed us that Dres was a memeber of the Coral Circle until ‘quite recently’ and that he believed we were allied with Dres and that Dres has plans for us. We were then told by Talad that the Duke of Amastran, Karnhil has put our names on a hit list, possibly with a high price of any claimed bounties.

Talad also informed us that the Amastran Navy has been rumored to have been refited with new weapony (possibly of Vriith origin) and has been very active in the Straits of Amastra in the north coast of the open tundra. He also spoke of a rumor that this fleet may have razed the free city of Algoran six weeks ago.

Talad gave us a proposition, A lucrative trading contract, Trade of the valleys timber and stone in exchange for mercenaries and officials. Valion as Lord of the Castle and Asha agreed and signed the contract.

Whole again

It is done! I have finally become strong enough to wield healing magic great enough to regenerate my lost wings. My glorious wings, I have missed them dearly in the last dozen years.

These wings. My wings. Returned to me by my own hand, Not like that accident with Weiss and his spell to return me to my thaarian form.

For the first time in all my life I feel in control. Control over my body, my mind and my goals. I achieved my first goal now. Now I only have a few more. To kill Commander Siahsi or at least repay the dept of pain and blood on her talons. Keep my kiko safe and to gather as much power as I can to ensure both.

My Wings are a start but I need more. Scales to protect my body from harm. Deadlier weapons, Solace as my Cursed blade now reads will do for now but it is not enough.

Journal: Kalt Klaue 09
The Lich

As I predicted. The source of all the problems was a Lich but a Dracolich was a pleasant surprise. One I am glad to say was easily dealt with none the less. As all Necromancers even this one was easily stamped out.

I wonder why they bother. Spending all their energy and time in the art of Necromancy when ultimately, it is a flawed area of magic. Limited and restrictive in it’s use and application. It must be ironic in that it attracts those of limited and Restricted mind sets. This one, a Veskian who called himself Islik. His studies only produced a pathetic gathering of animated skeletons. the odd animated suit of armour and his crowning achievement was to posses a dragon’s skeleton.

All fell with little effort on my part. Necromancy’s limitations are too costly, it has too many weaknesses to ever consider for a path to power or immortality. Having poured over his notes with Talon I see all the flaws in his thinking. his experiments and his many failures took a toll on his mind. And what did he get? Did he become something greater?

No, He was just a fool. tempted by the taboo and confused it with secret power.

The Town accepted out claim of ownership of the castle and seem eager to take up work in restoring it. It would cost a lot of the gold we found here and Valion would not like to part with it but he is a beast. Doubtful there is much of the thinking man left in that head of his but perhaps Talon can convince him.

Until the repairs are finished I have retired back to the town and enjoyed the party kiko threw. She seemed eager to open the wines she found and I had to admit that seeing her happy warmed me inside. I need to do more to keep her safe. And the others.

But for now. Now I am going to Indulge in my new gender and the new life I am choosing

Talinon's Journal - Entry 6
Castle of the Dead

Of all the schools of magic that are known, one of them has proven to be the most mysterious to me. I focused mostly on transmutation while at Agarth but I did manage to snag a deeper understanding of the rest of the schools on the side. That is except for one: Necromancy.

Not to say there weren’t any tomes on necromancy. There were enough for me to know how to recognize it. But the attitude towards it was somewhat avoidant. I understand that it deals with the energies surrounding the dead and it has something of a morbid air to it, but it seemed to me that magic was magic and denying information because it was frightening was a little immature.

And then I met a necromancer.

I understood that it dealt with tugging on the threads of life and death and weaving them to your own ends. I understood that it often required the use of the ethereal organ one might call a ‘soul’. But I suppose I didn’t quite understand that a soul is not just a thing we have…

The spirits in the fortress were… people. They were living their lives. Or attempting to at any rate. They went about their business as if we weren’t there, only intervening when forced to act against us. At the same time they seemed… exhausted. As though they needed rest. Death to a raptor is nothing particularly special. It is just a thing that happens to you. A thing that, as a hunter, surrounded you. You try to avoid it as much as you can but you don’t tend to grieve for long when other lives are at stake. Survival is paramount, but death held little actual gravity. Perhaps we were just too unintelligent to cope with the understanding of loss?

But, now that I have spent enough time not being a raptor, I feel as if I remembered something I had forgotten. Something that Keran’s own death and reincarnation sort of re-sparked in me. We lay our dead to rest. Because our spirit is what drives our bodies. It’s what grants us control of our bones and our mind. The Veskian necromancer, Islik, had pulled his soul out of his body, attempting to control it remotely. I am uncertain if he was unhinged before he attempted this or if being apart from his mind caused it to deteriorate on its own. Either way, the man was insane.

Beyond that though, he used necromancy as a tool. The spirits he used as materials were dragged out of their resting place and forced to carry on “living” until he used and discarded them. What he did was both horrifying and… I suppose intriguing. He attempted to attach himself to the bones of a dead dragon. It moved and spoke with his intelligence, though it was still quite insane. Perhaps more so since we had killed his original body. I have seen skeletons risen and forced to do bidding but they always acted more like puppets than intelligent beings.

Necromancy is the magic of death and the forces surrounding it. It stands to reason that many would attempt to use it as a form of immortality. It’s that selfish desire, I think, that causes it to be such a taboo in the magical world. If there are willing spirits out there, perhaps I could use them to find a more utilitarian use for it…?

Post game wrapup
7th October

A searching of the castle yields the following loot:

The magical winds outside subside. The castle falls quiet. Talon finds all of the ghosts fade away swiftly back to their places of rest. The castle is peaceful.

Valion finds a strange glow that seems to encourage him towards the castles seal.. when he gets close enough, that strange glow he saw seems to flash from his body and encompass the seal. he feel sa brief pain as one of the cuts he received from Islik reopens. and blood drips form his wound on to the seal. He then feels a sudden feeling of contentment settle on him. its over in a moment.. but he knows now. this castle is his and wll obey his wishes.

(The castle is warded:

1, Against scrying (As per Nondetection CL15),
2, Teleportation (As per Teleport Trap CL15: in to a locked chamber warded with a permanent alarm spell outside the castle unless a specific password is stated during the casting of the spell)
3, It contains four phantom guards (custom guardian armours fought: they will require repair) that are under the command of the one who holds the seal. (the castle’s lord can direct who is friend, who is foe and who can give them commands, they may also give them basic instructions. They will not move more than 100ft from the castle walls)
4, It contains an unseen servant (as per the spell).

The castle, while firm and strong.. is in a terrible state of repair. It will require time and money to rebuild and make safe.

Help can be found in Asha. At first dubious, the group manage to convince the few friends they have made in town to investigate. A small patrol headed by Captain Royce is sent with the group to verify their words. On their return they bring the body of Islik with them wrapped in a torn musty curtain.

Islik as it turns out, had arrived by ship a number of months back claiming to be an alchemist seeking rare herbs on the island. He was amongst the first to ‘go missing’ to the undead.

An honourary banquet is thrown for the party to celebrate their defeat of the vile necromancer. A good opportunity for the townsfolk to throw off the depression of the long winter and weeks of fearing for their lives.

Intending to claim the castle, the group ask about repairs. The major has no qualms with the group wanting to claim the castle: it has lain empty for centuries due to its haunting and the defeat of Islik and his necromantic undead seem to sway any argument in favour of the groups claim.

You group can spend some of their wealth on repairing the castle.

The costs to hire enough labour and buy/commission enough furniture to repair the castle and equip it to the following conditions as as follows.

Basic: 10,000gp: castle repaired, sparse living conditions, no amenities / decorations beyond the basics of survival (sparse kitchen, basic doors, shuttered windows, candle lighting only where needed, basic hearth in living chamber, basic bed for group / guests, etc). Castle will be cold and uncomfortable but habitable. Basic DC20 locks.

Average: 20,000gp: castle repaired, basic living conditions with some small decorations (normal kitchen, fitted doors, windows with glass, locks and shutters, candle lighting over all castle, basic bathing amenities, a basic hearth in every living chamber, warm beds and basic bedroom furnishings, some basic paintings, etc) Average DC25 locks.

Good: 30,000gp: castle repaired, good living conditions with decorations (well stocked kitchen, strong fitted doors with barring at the outside, windows with glass, locks and locked shutters, magical lighting in main chambers and candle lightning, nice bathing amenities, cushy beds and nice bedroom furnishings, some nice local art and tapestries. Good DC30 locks.

Repairs/upgrades take time: 1 month for basic, 6 weeks for Normal or Good.

Castle custodians/guardsmen can be hired from the town.

These will cost 5gp/week per person for a basic 1st level labourer who will live in and help out around the castle, keeping it clean and maintained or a guardsman who will watch over and protect the castle. Someone with some training (1st level expert or 1st level warrior) will cost 10gp/week.

Any additions beyond the basics in the castle can be seen/priced here

Other: if there is anything else you want to do / explore, let me know. there are other things that can be done here, but will require initiative.

K's Journal

The writings on this page are smaller, scribbled and the handwriting looks a little messier than previous entries.

Entry 1:

This gatehouse was unexpected.. scribbling this little journal as the group takes q quick breather. It was full of ghouls or something. I’m not sure what they exactly were. They had some pretty tough skeletons with them.. including a giant one! I haven’t ever seen a giant before. Alive anyway now I guess. I heard that they prefer mountain areas. I guess this place counts!

I wonder if there’s more giants around here in these mountains? Nobody in the town said so.. maybe that skeletons been here a long time? Maybe it was alive when this place was alive too.. or something. A guard giant! That would be kinda amazing. And formidable. Kinda crazy that those guys beat it so fast but.. my company is currently really really strong. I need to redouble my efforts if I wanna keep up with them. I feel kinda like i’m falling behind. I’ll try my best next time!

Entry 2:

Whew, this place is full of ghosts.. they were in the armours and the rooms and everything. I wonder what’s going on here? We just fought some possessed armour.. plus some weird blue ghoul thing and a skeletal knight thing. I managed to kill it myself! Well.. unkill it.. re-kill it? That’s probably best to say. how do you kill that which has no life anyway?

The ghosts here have been kinda polite.. well, once they are ghosts and not in armour. The maid ghosts seemed kind of.. oblivious, like they think they’re still alive. The soldiers though.. or were they knights? Well, they attacked.. I think they were being controlled though.. by some unknown source. They bowed to us when freed from the armour. So strange. Not the fancy one though with the skeleton inside.. that thing was mean. The blue ghoul brought it. Then Grakas chomped its head off. Hope my enhancing magic helped!

Well, the guys are getting ready to move now. I’ll fill this in with more later.

Journal: Kalt Klaue 08
A brief rest to note down some thoughts

Another challenge. One that Valion does not shirk from though he fails to take advantage of his form. I killed at least three of those undead while the dragon barely manage to fell one.

I am beginning to think that Valion was not worthy of the gift he had been given. he is weak and slow, Dimwitted and lacking in any pursuits for strength and power. He had done me a favour though. Gifted me one of his scales and with it I may hold a key to my own assertion. I will be greater than valion. I would be a protector, guarding those under me from all harm.. All danger.

I need strength for this. Strength and power are the means to accomplish the ends and I can no longer afford to pass by any power as I have done before even if it lays in conflict to my morals. The ring I carry will be a start but I must acquire more. More so that even Valion will come to me for protection.

As others will. Kiko is in the greatest need of my protection. She is young and naive, not away of the lecherous looks that Slivernian has given her when she used her song magic to take a Yuanis form. She is seductive as a Yuais but I know Slivernain. The sight of an attractive female Yuanis is seen as a challenge to him. Another Female to add to his list of conquests. I will need to keep a close eye on that snake least he slips into my daughter’s bed while I sleep.

Yes. A close eye indeed. I do not doubt that he has already seduced Selena into his bed with his charm and roguish ways. Does he use protection with his many female partners? I am left wondering how many illegitimate children he has sired with his habitual fornication. I have not noticed Selena change much with any sign of pregnancy though I admit that I am largely ignorant of Yuanis reproduction, so perhaps he has a method to prevent insemination though I highly doubt it.

I should ask Selena though I may need to be subtle in the way I broach the subject. It would not do well to ask her while she is under the effects of her bestial side. Perhaps I can get the answer from Kiko. She would undoubtedly see no harm in asking Selena herself about the yuanis body.

It is cold outside this little hut. My talons almost feel too stiff to scribe but I persevere regardless. I cannot afford to appear weak anymore, even if I am almost out of spells I must be strong and I will be for I have saved my most powerful spells to last.

Yes, I now have a spell that will if for a time will bestow upon me glory.

Valion's Notebook - Entry 13

In Valion’s journal there’s a few notes on the village, some more notes on Kalt and his continuous changes. And a whole chapter on Slivernian’s rapier, the Winding Pierce.

Slivernian’s rapier intrigues me. The way he looks at it reminds me of a swordsmaster back home, Thellius. He was… godlike in his grace and motions, a true master of the arts. He had a dogma about weapons. He would often say that the only way to truly master the art of combat is to master your weapon to such a degree that using it becomes like moving your arm. I remember him never parting with it, he would even do mundane things with it.

Everybody called him a little odd in the head but in a duel, he was unbeaten.

I understand him more now that I’ve seen how Slivernian wields his rapier. The way he stabs so accurately. He could hit a mark as accurately as a man could put his finger on something. It is truly an extension of himself. He knows that weapon inside and out.

Strangely, I envy him for it. I was good enough at the arts but I never built up any relation with my weapon in such a way. By now I couldn’t, or shouldn’t but I still wonder if there’s some secret to it.

I feel… brutish and dumb smashing something to paste when it takes him just one careful stab to inflict such internal bleeding or damage that the victim simply falls limp.

Perhaps I should learn to assume a humanoid form and attempt to learn it? I can try but I already know I can never be as good at it as he is. Couldn’t ever tell it to his face, couldn’t bear the smirk he’d give me.

Down under that is the following, written what appears to be much later, in different ink.

I wrote more on my blade in the last weeks. Being a kobold allows me to do so much clearer. But the long period of being a kobold also allowed me to reflect on what I feel is important.

After Keran died I wrote that I have to remember what I used to believe in. And after my trial I learned I still believe these same things. What value does power have if it is not used for the greater good? What meaning does it have to be able to overcome great challenges if there’s nobody who benefits?

Kalt may not… be himself lately but he once had a code, one I hope he still has. To protect others. I must remind myself of that goals importance.

My friends do not need my protection, each one of them is a hero by now, I doubt my absence would mean they could be overcome. Still, for each one who is as strong as they are, a hundred are not. For each foe we slay, ten take its place.

I must protect them if I can, or lose who I am.

Written in ornate and much clearer words than before on the blade of the small greatsword is the following small bit of text.

“If they are tiny, I must be tall, if they are weak, I must be strong, if they are frightened, I must be courageous. If they are struck, I must be their Aegis. Without this duty, my life is void. May the gods see me through it.”

Talinon's Journal - Entry 5
The Four Packmates

Where to even begin..?

In my last journal I spoke of family. My pack from the forest were a group of animals that I shared warmth and security with. I lived with them for years and even… produced… a number of new members for them. Details of that are of course unimportant. I suppose I hadn’t given it much thought in the past, but animals or not.. I have children.

I have come to terms with my separation from my pack. I was trapped. They were saddened but had to leave me behind. I was as good as dead to them. It hurt, but rejection always does. I was denied my position without a challenger and I carried that soreness into my next life. I wasn’t cast out properly. It felt like I was still meant to be in the pack. And perhaps that’s why I clung so tightly to that mentality with my friends.

But as luck or fate or what ever manner of consequence guides this universe would have it, I eventually did have my challenger. He is a strong raptor. Contributed quite a bit to our fight against the Tyrannosaur. And I easily recognized him as the one that took charge after I was captured… The pack is in good hands. And they’re not my responsibility anymore.

The four we met in my trial was certainly not my entire pack. Our number was closer to two dozen. I suspect we only met them because they left the largest impression on me while I was with them…

The largest one. With the feathered ridge. He was always rather aggressive, but he knew his way around. He learned quickly where to attack to weaken and cripple. And he would be first in line to try and eat. I recall having to chase him off often. He had spunk, but also got himself into trouble a lot. He was dutiful and cared for me as an alpha. I felt his hesitation to challenge me. Yet he also had an eagerness for it, too. Ambition. That’s all I can think it must have been. I held nothing back when I fought him. He would have taken over eventually even if I wasn’t captured. In Trade Talk, “Kiivo” means “fierce”. It is the first word that comes to mind when I think of him…

The smallest one was often excitable. Prone to goofing around and teasing his hatchmates. It was no surprise that he was the one that got injured the most in our fight. He often thinks of himself as larger than he is. His free spirit was hard to control. He often got into the wrong places at the wrong times. But he was always affectionate.. and would faun over his sisters whenever he could. Tamarre. Spirited.

The females, though I suspect my friends couldn’t tell the difference, also were familiar. The smaller, though still bigger than Tamarre, was always brash. Running head first into scrapes and somehow managing to avoid injury. We usually caught up to the target before she got in too much of a mess. I wonder if she planned it that way. If she did, I never caught on. I’d always berate her for separating from the pack too early. I don’t think it quite made a difference. She was always stubborn. Kalla-deff. Headstrong.

Finally the larger, though smaller than Kiivo, was highly affectionate. She would always stick close to the younger ones. Making sure they weren’t getting into danger. She spent a lot of time in the nest admiring the eggs, too. She was sweet, but provoker her too much and she’ll make you regret it. Something Tamarre would find out. Oddly he’d never learn from it. Either that or just enjoyed the challenge. She cared most of all for the hatchlings. Sarriah. Motherly.

These four were special. The others had their quirks but more or less acted the same way. These ones were different. They had more prominent personalities. Were more cunning in hunts. Could they perhaps have been more intelligent than the common animal? Could they have been my

The journal ends abruptly here. Perhaps he was distracted by something.

Valion's Notebook - Entry 10
Entry 9 appears to detail some forms Keran appeared in

Scribbled on a few pages is a short assesment of Kalt, pictures of his dragon form have been crudely added, with markings. Several arrows point to body parts, pinpointing weaknesses or strenghts. Other notes inform on the effect of spells, movement and things to look out for. It looks like a complex schematic on how to fight a dragon.

A small text underneath sheds more light on the whole guide.

The spirit or dreamrealm appears to have both advantages and disadvantages. One can take any form he desires or conjure up any item that is small enough to be insignificant.
Sadly, some individuals have taken to using this ability for purposes foolish and pointless. It appears Kalt does believe himself to be a true dragon, either that or he’s a very good actor. Regardless of his motives, he appears to have fallen in the same pitfal I fell in months ago.

I can’t blame him for it but I am nontheless worried about its implications. While I am formidable in a brawl, combined with his magic, he is more formidable than I. I won be the skin of my teeth. Perhaps the others did not notice but it was only his inexperience that caused his defeat, not my strenght.

While I am… not unable to accept defeat, I can not accept that another of my kind, be he true or not, can overshadow me. I have taken to noting things down on how he fights, where his weaknesses lie and what to be careful of. I have no doubt that in the future, now or in many years, knowing how to fight dragon will be valuable information. I shall share all my finding on it with the others later. Just in case…

Ultimatly, Kalt is on our side, and while he ended up face down in the dirt before I, it is good that we have so much force on our side. Combined with the complementary skills of the others, I daresay there is little that can stop us now.

I wonder if Kalt will be changed outside of the dream as well. He does appear different.
Talon’s trial awaits, the final one. After this we take the key and leave for Vriith. Hopefully Karnhill’s advance in Amastra will be slowed by winter. I can only pray that my people hold on until we can assist.

Much is uncertain.

Further notes down below appear to pinpoint some minor weaknesses in Valion’s own fighting techniques. It is, however, unfinished, and provides little to go by at this point. It is unclear if he intends to share this information or just Kalt’s.


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