From whence goes Iderath

Letter to...whoever.
Will the Farmboy.

I have already decided that I will not be sending this letter to Yvonne. She would only worry. But I thought I should write it down, just to get it straight in my head.

For the first time since I left Sherstead, I nearly died.

So far we’ve seen off vampiric Crispin, undead-unholy abominations and goblins. But as we explored the ruins of Blue Keep, I was attacked by some creature of slime that quickly wrapped itself around my face, cutting off my air.
Fortunately I had my friends, who cut me free of the creature, but I think it was a close thing. The beast, if it was a beast, must have moved into the ruins in its long abandonment, and indeed we have found more signs of mould and rot in the other buildings.
The Domini also found an unfortunate who was locked in a cell, I assume when the original inhabitants left, consigning him to a long death in the dark. It made me unaccountably sad; the thought that the man (or woman) had lain for who-knows how long with nobody to hear the shouts. I wondered for a moment if Finn realised that could be his fate if he keeps exploring ruins. It must have been an awful death.

I’m not sure what happened to the people who lived here. By all accounts they left, but we found what may have been the result of a suicide in a room apparently occupied by ‘blisters’, and although a lot of furniture had been put away (in the room that the suffocating beast attacked me in) I found a bedroom, still furnished, and under a bed I found a worn short sword with a leather belt, with an ornate buckle. I took them to clean them up; they may be worth something to a person who is interested in military history, or even for the nice design on the buckle. For the same reason I took a suit of leather armour, some kind of military issue I think, and once we have deciphered the Domini’s vision, I will see if someone in Iderath would be interested in them.

My watch draws to a close, so I must stop scribbling. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.

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Blue Keep
** GM Update **

Our players trek to what they believe is Blue Keep, each with their own agenda; to follow a holy vision, to become wealthy or travel into legend, or more altruistic, to perhaps stop the “white plague.” After an uneventful trip back up the river, they arrive a the deserted keep, or fortification. Inside they find several seemingly empty buildings…and some…that aren’t so empty!

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A Day to Remember
Domini Kole Bartholomew, Aspirant of the All Father

Speech given during our visit at the bar. (Not the greatest but I am no speech writer.)
“My Ascension into paladin-hood has finally after many years of hard work and undying faith to the All Father come to pass. This is not, however the end of my adventure, for today begins a journey. For while I preformed my vigil, I received a vision, a vision that I myself do not understand… My quest is to journey to Stockbeck to see Livan in the Winterhare Inn. Livan should be able to tell me what it meant. I ask that you accompany me to Stockbeck for this may lead to an adventure that we all may profit from. Do not fret friends, The Temple of Blood shall not be directly involved, so you do not need to worry about whether or not an item is holy or not.”

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fathers funding
Konrad Finnegan

Theres a science behind it all, you know? behind dungeoneering. You can’t just go down and press a button, then get given a metaphorical cookie! I’d love to be exercising my skills rather than sitting on a boat to some stuffy old town. I’ve been there once, on my way to the college. But I never met this crazy old bat of a drunk! We set port after a week on the damned ship, and quickly found the man that Cole was sent out to see. Seeing as his church of ignorance sent him to find him, I was expecting another priest, or maybe even a nobleman, but we ended up with some soaked rat who spouted non-sense. after all, he said I was rich, but had a hole in my pocket! The nerve of this guy! I mean, this whole outfit was tailor made, to my fittings, and re-enforced for use in dungeons! Holes in my pockets are just not conceivable.

On the whole bright side, I’ve had a week or two to read my new book. I suppose that the big bad of the church of ignorance is not so much as others, julian, for example! Could you imagine the look on his face? If he knew I had this book, and had every intention of doing my own writings on it, then getting it mass published and earn me some extra coin. The spread of knowledge is key. That’s why I started searching through these places. All I want is for people to realize that there is much more in this world, much more that ANYONE can find and make money off of. But the issue with that is, if I also want to achieve Legend status I can’t have people finding my relics first. This leads to our next predicament.

I’ll have to do what I do best. I’ll just take everything good, and everything magical, so that when people come to find my tomb, they’ll find all of my treasures and then die with them so that people can find theirs! but back to the plan! I’ll put fabrications of traps and magnificent monsters, so that people will read and be slightly discouraged, but then when I have my riches, I will start putting the truth back into it! I am such a genius! I should get back to my studies of Shimarn… Good times!

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Best of a bad situation?
Indigo

I want to go home. Really home. Home to Grandfather and his condescending manner, home to my mother and her slippery, soothing platitudes, home to my own bed, good food, and the quiet depth of the library chairs.

But. I can’t go home. I’ve been told not to return until I have taken care of the problem I created. Dead to them all am I until I can make right the “mistake”… a mistake I don’t want to put right because I don’t believe I was in error. I still don’t. No matter how many times I replay the situation I cannot think of another outcome that would have felt as right as the one I have already chosen.

Can’t go home, don’t want to be traipsing around behind the Hammer yet again. Don’t want to hear horrific drivel out of the mouth of a drunken mad man… don’t want to think about it… am pretty damned sure I’m glad I stopped him from going on. The others were happy to let him spout doom and gloom and predictions of darkness about them, but me… I know better. I know that said is as good as done, and I won’t have it.

Upside? Will is back with us, and doesn’t seem to be so caught in the clutches of the church. We’ve added a new member of the group who is actually skilled at delving old ruins, and we are heading back out to investigate the Blue Keep we passed in our earlier travels.

I’m still not sure why. Still not sure I want to know why. Still not sure I care. At least I’m not in Iderath hiding in dives where you can’t get a good fortified wine, not staying in a different room each night, not covering my hair and changing the way I wear my clothes every time I take a turn around a corner…. so… making the best of a bad situation…

Perhaps there will be more interesting traps to investigate…

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Letter to Yvonne IV
Will the Farmboy.

Dear Yvonne.

I know some time has passed since I last wrote. When I get some time to myself I will be returning to the village to see you, but I find it hard to reconcile my life now with the safety of Home.

I parted from my companions for a while, with the coin from our incomplete task in my hand, and concern for my friend Sican in my heart. He had dissapeared from Iderath; nobody in the Moon quarter knew where he had gone to, so I have tried to restore his home to some semblance of order should he ever return. I have also bee staying there; I had no idea how fast funds could slip through your fingers. I begin to see that Indigo and Roxninger are not the mercenaries the Temple painted them as; rather, it is practicality that drives them.

While my friends were gone, attempting to set right our unfortunate early attempts, I quizzed the temples trying to find a path for myself, but found only despondancy. It seems all the Gods who embody nobility and courage in the face of battle also demand gruesome (and I could even call them grotesque) rites of initiation. While I have shed blood in battle, my own and someone elses, I balk at some of the acts I would be required to carry out. So I spent my last days alone walking the city and awaiting the return of my friends and companions.

I didn’t realise how lonely it could be when surrounded by thousands of people, so I was happy to see first Indigo, then Rocky, walk into a tavern near the Temple of Blood. In truth I had been waiting at that tavern for several days now, thinking they would return there once the job was done. They introduced me to Finnegan, a nobleman unlike Domini Bartholomew in manner, and, I am told, a proffesional ruin-explorer. With his aid they found the artifact we had missed (and a book. There seemed to be some atmosphere about this book, but I sensed it was none of my concern and tried to ignore it). They even, kindly, shared their profit with me, and we made plans to leave the city for a chance at making some small fortune in the unexplored wilderness.

Before our plans could be complete, however, the Domini returned, now no longer an Aspirant but a true Hammer, and asked our aid in tracking an old man. I gathered that some vision has struck him, and, although I am no longer his squire, I offered my help. At first I believed I would be the only one offering; clearly a lot happened on the other’s return journey to the tomb. But it was an excuse to leave the city, and the chance at adding to our coffers. So we accompanied him on a boat trip to see this old man, a drunkard who spouted prophecy like a cow spouts manure. Some of it went over my head, but we gathered enough to plan our next destination.

I will leave it here. We have returned, briefly, to Iderath, to prepare for the next leg of our journey.

Will.

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Another chapter
** GM Update **

Upon leaving the Tomb that was Shimarn’s resting place, they return to Iderath and the Temple of Blood. They are paid, and Bartholomew is rewarded with his raising to Hammer. However, his vigil and the ceremony of raising were disturbed by dark visions. He once again gathers his party, and seeks out a man known as Leevahn.

Leevah is an old drunk but seem to know things related to his visions, but he also relays dark prophecies about each of the members…They are returning to Iderath for another trip to the Blue keep…

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Straight into legends!
Conrad Finnegan

This is it! I never thought I would actually get my big break! one of my suppliers caught word from one of the hammers while he was praying that a group of adventurers were returning to some tomb they found. I never thought I would get payed for doing my hobby, but hell, I’m not complaining! However I was having trouble figuring out how to get in on this juicy deal! Until I found out that the trip was led by a “good” friend of mine! The people of this city view all of the noble families as friends, which means to them, Cole Bartholomew and I are supposed to be good friends! No, not I… maybe my brother Patros, who has been a hammer for all of a month. I doubt they know each other, but knowing that I’m getting into business with a church sets me off a bit, the gods rarely listen to people anyway, whether people like it or not. Anyway the point is I’ve gotten into a juicy deal and I’m not going to complain about it anymore! I must thank my father for pulling strings and getting Bartholomew and I introduced, because now I have a group, so I won’t be risking my life alone! (even if I have to split the spoils.)

So we set off, and I had hoped for merriment, and joy exploring, but not only did we have a priest on our journey telling the poor hammer that they are only to follow Bart until their death… a little obvious, but this guy was a total jerk, like, a full on Jerk. To the point where he couldn’t have been human, but a pure blood jerk off! Again, I digress… As well as the priest of ignorance (which I will explain later). They were in mourning or something, a party member who left, or died, I’m not sure, and I’m not looking for a downer, so I’m not going to ask! The journey to the tomb was boring, I was not impressed, the most exciting point was crossing the river! when we got to the tomb, The snarky woman with a flash of white hair told the priest of ignorance basically to stuff it! She seems like my kind of company, despite what the rest of my family thinks!

Traversing the Tomb was definitely interesting, but not much of a challenge. A couple of secret doors, and a couple of traps, but nothing I haven’t either seen in other places, or read about. I must say though when I placed my hand on a stone in a quazy tomb which had a quite tasty selection of treasures! Including a book of some “forbidden gods” The ignorant priest took it to be destroyed, because their worship is forbidden, and even Bart agreed! I will get my hands on that book… The research must be done, because obviously we don’t know enough about them, or their ways! Either way, I found our way through, which led to the final conflict of our run! The deathlord had the circlet that they were searching for on its head! we were making quick work of the minions, but they continued to stand back up! I figured I could solve the problem, assuming of course, that the circlet was what was bringing them back from the dead, and with my usual guile and agility, I climbed up on it’s vantage point, and ripped the circlet from it’s head! however that didn’t stop it… we had to completely obliterate the bodies of the minions, while the deathlord simply died. Well, that’s it… I’m assuming now that we have it, I can get the book, seeing as I have the circlet. But we must journey back to the city before that happens, and then we can get to somewhere more exciting once again!

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The death of me yet...
Indigo

Ah gods. This place is going to be the death of me. I cannot believe I trudged back to this horrible, fascinating underground tomb. Some of the same players, some new ones from the church that are ever so disagreeable. Finn is a nice edition, certainly fine to look at, but, an acquaintance from my past that I’m not eager to get overly involved with. I suppose, if I insist on hanging around with members of the upper crust, I should get used to it. It could happen.

So more tiresome hidden doors, one magical portal (not the one that swallowed Si’can) that transported us to a mirror image of the room we were in, a room full of skeletons chained to the ceiling and their big bad, boss man later we find ourselves in full fledged combat with the really big boss man wearing, wait for it…. the circlet we have come searching for.

Done and dusted we wait and recover before moving forward… I hope it will be forward and out. I really am tired of this. I find it interesting how annoyed and fed up with this place I am. We have found some silver, but not much else to make this profitable. What the temple is paying sure won’t pay the rent… not that I have a home to stay in, or anything like that.

Ugh. If I have to stand face to face with one more blank wall I think I might just swallow that poison hidden in my left boot. Seriously. Who knew “adventuring” could be so tedious? It almost makes me want to go home and deal with my little problem. Almost… Almost.

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Less than fun
Domini Kole Bartholomew, Aspirant of the All Father

We set upon returning to the tomb, leaving Will behind to tend to his own affairs. My retinue and I were accompanied by three Honorable hammers a Father and, an old acquaintance of mine, Domini Konrad Finnegan. now this Father and I have never really gotten along sadly, which as expected lead to a less than enjoyable journey… on the way there he was rather condescending and irritatingly repetitive. Though thankfully as we approached the tomb, and even more so into the tomb, he began to become less and less verbally hostile towards me.

We entered the tomb and thankfully, nothing had reset, though we were still in the same predicament. Where do we go next? Indigo and I came up with ideas and finally decided to give the walls another look over, and to our surprise and relief there was in fact another seam Rocky quickly figured out how to open the doors that followed, and eventually we came across a room with “living” skeletons who were chained to the ceiling inside of it. I and my companions quickly defeated the skeletons and a “master” who appeared from the other side of the room crying out “Leave this place!”.

Next we encountered a room with a metal box in the middle. My first impulse told me that the circlet was there, though upon looking it was revealed that inside were embalming tools. While I looked around I must have lost myself because the next thing I know Finnegan touches a pyramid and disappears. I thought he was to share the same fate as Sican, though I thought that he was less likely to return… I sent a Defender into the pyramid to retrieve him, but just like with Sican it didn’t return, I did something stupid and placed my hand onto the pyramid, as I did I seemed to travel into a room almost the exact same as the one I was in previously but, unfinished… I saw Finnegan and was greatly relieved. I scolded him and then called everyone into the room.

Much later after taking several breaks, and crossing a boiling pit of water, me and my companions broke into a room with 6 undead within. A circlet was on the head of the lead undead, That must be the Circlet of Shimarn! I thought. We slowly waded through the room of undead, as we downed them they would rise again. Despite this, Finnegan grabbed the Circlet, and I cleaved the lead undead in half and ordered the hammers to smash the skulls of the remaining undead. We opened the door and were graced by the light of the moon. A sigh of relief came from all of us at that point I think. Now with the Circlet, we shall return to the Temple of Blood unscathed and victorious!

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