Hammerfists of Aladrov

Vax's Journal

An illusion to die for.

I would say I’m killing it, but I’m a zombie. Day 02 of being dead-Hasn’t grown on me yet. Nomak woke me up in Thallworth, we’re in a tavern. I don’t even have time to groan for brains before Mick puts me in a trunk. Dick. Mick’s a Dick. I heard some commotion with Thea outside and some rustling, I think I’m in a bag. Shit’s dark. Might reach Ardania today if we pitter-patter.
We spoke to Thesmea the barmaid before we left and she warned them about wearing orange and blue in Ardania, since those are colours of rival factions. If they only knew. We were filled in on the nieghbouring faction too, Korim. Place is run by Dwarves, and Dwarves being dwarves aren’t really liked by the rest of the populace. Oh and they worship Mallorith and like Synderforge Ale. 3 guesses as to which party member bought a cask of it. (Hint: their name rhymes with “prick”.) The barmaid also gave them some sob story about magic and a missing farmboy, but thankfully they headed to Ardania (but not before Thea took my disguise kit. I expect it back. She looks like one of us now- dash of red and white was all it took.) As they marched up to the gates of Ardania, it swung open before them. Guess the disguise worked. I heard them gasp and point out features of Ardanians- cobblestoned roads, corsets, feathers in hats, dancing, singing. Welcome to my house.

Through the uncomfortable layers of rope/trunk/bag, I heard Mick express surprise that Ardania and Korum got along so well, considering Korum wiped out Kala-Zanzibar(which is now the land of Zindor, if you failed history class). They must have stopped gawping, since Cori says she’s heading to the busty barmaid (aka my childhood), and I heard Corvyn yell for her to wait. Thea mutters something about the Rose Petal Palace and strides off, while Mick calls Nomak over to check out the Sun. I hear Cori’s nasally “waiiiiit guuuuys” followed by 2 sets of footsteps, so the group must be heading to the Rose Petal palace. I later found out that they split up…

Corvyn told us later that he went to the Bard’s College, in search of the smartest prof/bard for some information, while Zealdor wanted to ask him about his little cult (ahem, religion). He was referred to Kristof, but that’s not an option anymore. Last I checked, a dead man strung up might have a hard time playing the 12-bar blues. Other than Kristof, he was also referred to professor Ray Daynton, and Lynn Benson.

Meanwhile, the rest headed to the temple of Lastai. They met a Lord of the Divine, who described himself as a Brighton. Cori tried to convince the priest that I told her about Lastai, and it went about as well as you’d think. Mick took the direct route, and they learned that in exchange for a gold donation, a ritual will be performed during the Harvest Moon, and ain’t nobody had time for that, it was 9 months away. The priest then leaned in and said ‘You seek the Shade…." and walked away. Typical Ardanians. This was relayed to the entire group, and of course Nomak yells out loud “ANY OF YALL KNOW THE ”/characters/shade" class=“wiki-content-link”>SHADE?", which caused the entire church to stop and stare at them. Cori played it off like Nomak was looking for his shadow though. I’ll give this one to Cori- she sprung into action and played it off well. (Still could do without her dumb cat though.). They then made for the exit.

Back in the college of the whispered song, Corvyn and Zealdor tracked down Ray Daynton and asked him some questions. They learned that asking about ancient deities in a bard college wasn’t the most fruitful source of knowledge. Zealdor learned that there might be a church of Larstai in Kaarthus, and convinced Ray to investigate for them. WHen they asked about the Shade…Ray got paranoid. Like he knew something. He informed them about the Thieve’s Guild as well as the Shadow Guild, as well as pointed them to the Blood and Vine tavern. Ray also told them to come back in 48 hours, so Corvyn left him a little gift on their way back to the group so they can head to the Blood and Vine.

Over to the Blood and Vine they went, after 30 minutes of searching. But first, the ladies went shopping to…shell we say, “blend in”. They told me that there weren’t many people, which I didn’t find surprising. Not the kind of place most of my people would go (right up my alley though). They talked to Leeroy (fuckin’ Leeroy…) and his wife, and then promptly asked about the Shade. Wouldn’t you know it, the reaction they got didn’t get them killed! It actually led them somewhere this time-Leeroy’s wife led them down the ol’ secret hideaway, behind some curtains. SHe took em to the old secret bar- you know, the one where they didn’t care what colours you wore, as long as you weren’t a dwarf. (Cori also boasted that she checked and made sure there wasn’t any danger. Settle down ther, I believe you contributed.) They spied a hooded individual and Mick, being Mick, made his way over to him, drawing the attention of everyone in the bar. Later, Mick would tell me this hooded guy had a tail. And the hooded guy wasn’t a guy at all. Or a human. And she had friends.

The group sat down with this Tiefling, and Mick (once again, being Mick) just went for the jugular-he confirmed she was the “Shade” they were looking for. Five hundred and twelve. The Shade knew who we were- news travels fast, it seems. They tried to bargain with information, and turned up with “I’m looking for some fools”. Turns out, the Shade wanted information-a book, to be specific. Oh, and she ruled this side of the city. Sure, lady. The book in question was located at a collector’s house- well guarded, because of course it is. Collector went by the name of “Balthezarr”. “What say we make a deal? You resurrect our friend, we get you your book.”. But the Shade wanted collateral- Grif. Oh yeah, we named Nomak’s griffin “Grif”. A binding contract was drafted up: they get the book in exchange for my miraculous return. Here’s the catch- they had 4 days. And (fuck me), the Shade wanted to play a game to negotiate this contract-if they won, I’d get brought back to life, and we can keep the bird. If they lost, the Shade takes the bird for collateral. Personally, I don’t give a shit- I get resurrected either way. The game was called “Petals around the rose”- I can’t go into too much detail, but long story short-they lost. The Shade held on to the bird, the contract was signed, and their fate was sealed.

Zealdor was to be the one to bring me back-tie my soul back into my body. This was to be done by way of scroll-the Shade would pass over a scroll that would help it out. They required a Diamond as well as something to convince my soul to come back to this mortal coil. Mick made a promise to me, and lo and behold, I get to hear how much he misses me. (I’m making sure he never forgets this. Like, recite it at his wedding). BUT., here’s where it gets interesting- Cori, remebering a song I sang for the party to score some gold, had to sing it. (I’m DEFINITELY getting that memory back for her wedding). And Thea tempted my soul with gold! She knows me so well. Nomak addressed me “You’re a bad thief, but you’re a part of my fellowship, and I will do what it takes to get you back”. Backhanded sentiment, but better than nothing. Anyways, a few revelations later, yours truly is back.

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