Journal of Jimmy Problems 2/26/09 Writing in this Journal isn’t as foreign a feeling as I might have thought. It gives me hope that I might have been wise enough to do this in the past. So that there might be some record of the insanity that had been my life prior to my… memory setback.
The traveling companions I have allied myself with at present have taken a job from the Local Militia. Captain Argus Thorgrim, Marshal of Throal has hired us to scout the Southern road to Throal. Our destination was the village of Ardanyan. Our objectives being to scout, report and take care of any situations that may arise. Pretty broad list of orders like that is likely to get you into trouble. And so it did.
I had been advising the party on the best way to remain undetected from the Animals and wild humanoids that might occupy the area. On the third day I realized we were being followed. We took up defensive positions as Jovas decided to beat the bushes for our quarry. He was not disappointed. We encountered a flock of two headed birds of prey. Apparently flightless they vomited some kind of Orange dye which apart from staining, seemed to confound the victim. These ‘Bi-birds’ seemed to be starving, either they had depleted their food source or it had left the area. Once we dispatched the Flock, Carvingbone was able to track them to their lair in the hills.
It was there we made an interesting discovery. The Entrance to a kaer. It seems the Bi-Birds were using it as their Nest. The Wards to the entrance of the Kaer were apparently turned off in a very careful and slow fashion. Each ward was surrounded by tiny glyphs and runes encircling every protection to the opening of the Kaer. Carvingbone & Rags were able to decipher parts of the language. A fact I find impressive. I know first hand how difficult decoding Horrors languages can be. We dispatched a larger alpha bird. I find the details rather fuzzy however. I hope this is not a relapse of my previous condition. In that case it is imperative that I keep up with these journals, as my memory may not be as reliable.
With some hard work and careful planning by Carvingbone & Myself we were able to use the horses to shift some of the rock that had caved in the entrance of the Kaer. There was a small opening to the top of the rubble. I decided to chance the tunnel alone. Though I had guessed the fate of those who dwelled within, I was determined for someone to know their story. Knowledge the past has become a bit of an obsession of mine of late.These people had a tale that should be told, they deserved to be remembered.
With a rope tied round me for support I began my way through the small opening. It was dark and smelled of a foul spice both disgusting and familiar. Several times I felt the rock shift beneath me, and I was able to steady myself. Finally I exited the tunnel into the black of the Kaer. I waited for my Companions to make their way through. Jovas took awhile, but helped widen the hole for the way back.
This was the Kaer of Strathem. We figured on 70 to 80 souls. On average a small Kaer. It seemed that it also had a tragic end. We found most of the bodies in the Kitchen, where they seemed to have been piled for food. As their Stores seemed high, we feared a demonic horror possession of some kind. From the Journals and writings we determined that this must have happened at once, very suddenly. We were unable to bury these lost souls anymore than they had been sealed already. With the Kaer now a tomb, we were little more than scavengers upon their lives. We took their writings so that their story maybe told. I also took an enchanted blade from one of the more impressive corpses. I look forward to the day where I might plunge it into those responsible for this. With the Kaer of Strathem behind us but not forgotten.
We made our way to Ardanyan. Where we would find more to occupy us. We arrived in town and made our way to the Marshal, only to discover he’d been murdered. The investigating Deputy was a Dwarf by the name of Bordok the ‘Severed’. I never asked what of his was ever severed. It seemed rude to ask. Sides as much as I get along with my own race, it was getting to be too much of a Human’s only club. I feel less like Thorgrim was sending us humans to do the dirty, high death count work cause of some kind of racism. Anyhow, we quickly decided to help Bordok in his endeavors to investigate the murder. This decision was ratified later by Thorgrim but way of speaking stone.
The main suspect was already in custody. She was admitting guilt and was simply sitting in her cell, cool as can be. The local Shaman woman, Mother Bea, was old but reeked of power and confidence. I would not admit that I’m a book smart man, but I know when someone hasn’t played all their cards yet. And she was sitting on some kind of straight flush here. Unlike some of my colleagues I was willing to be patient. I felt we were making inroads with her, til she apparently had the second deputy commit suicide. Carvingbone lost it and tried to shoot her. With the mayor missing and Bea’s son “Darlin” probably being behind it, I didn’t think it wise to end this creature just yet.
We were able to raid Bea’s place and I was able to disarm the Mystical Ward protecting it with the help of Carvingbone & Raggok. We found evidence of her ‘Magik’. She had apparently invoked a horror named Shantelle. With Bordok’s notes on recent disappearances I guessed that she had be blessing people with singular gifts. As all the missing were tops in his or her field. This was confirmed by Raggok’s inspection of the Sheriff. We found a sigil across his heart. Mother Bea also had such markings or “kisses from Shantelle” across her body. They looked eerily familiar. I attempted to persuade her more by showing some of my own… scars. She was interested. She informed me that they were “kisses” from other dark Deities. Although I had guessed this was what they were, the truth confirmed made it no easier to take, nor did it remove my feelings of taint or uncleanness.
We were alerted to the fact that Darlin had appeared again and taken the Blacksmith. We rounded the final members of the council put them into the Church and headed out looking for Darlin. Unsuccessful, we returned to find our quarry had sought US out. Darlin was standing in the middle of the town square with his hostages roaring for his mother’s release. He was a big one. Bordok took control of the situation. Jovas brought out mother Bea while Carvingbone & I snuck up from behind and flank. Bordok determined that the Mayor & Blacksmith were already dead. The Banter kept up until ultimately Raggok struck down Mother Bea. I reacted as fast as I could, but I lacked the strength to free the girl from Darlin’s grasp. I wasn’t prepared for it, I couldn’t stop his killing of the girl, or his sacrificing her to create flaming undead who stormed into the church with the townsfolk, igniting whatever they touched. I just wish… I had more time… Carvingbone, Jovas & I engaged Darlin while Rags & Bordok ran to deal with the “Fever-Zombies”. Jovas went down in the second round to a vicious assault, I myself was grabbed by his intestines and had to fight to escape his clutches. I was able to aid Carvingbone in taking him down, but when he started to run, I had to break off pursuit. Jovas looked as he might take a bad turn and I decided to aid him. I rushed to his pack and pulled out his healing potion, as my own healing skills are not as reliable as I’d like. Once revived Jovas ran into the burning building rescuing as many people as he could. I got lost upon entering and soon realized that nobody was left to save. I yelled for my companions to get out and left myself. We were able to save most of the town elders and townspeople, but I’m very troubled in that I was not able to save that girl. Mother Bea had hinted to the ‘power’ that resided in my scars. Would that have been enough? Could I control it? Would it control me? How many could I save? Who would save me, should I fall? It’s crazy to think. But maybe my future is still linked to my past.