Song of the Ages

Awkward

So we managed to get to that island of elven outcasts, right? Belfran got his hands on a ritual that would let us travel to and from the main elven island, but I admit I wasn’t feeling too fond of going. Of all the elves I’ve met, the ones from the main island seem to have a screw or two loose in their heads. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

We went anyways. Turns out Faren’s family was waiting for us at the teleportation circle and though she had told us little about them, I was expecting something to go sideways quickly since she must have had a reason to run away from home. Fortunately, the only thing that happened was sitting through a lavish dinner with Faren’s father apologizing to her again and again and Wyllo’s dad, now aware of her existence, trying feebly to get to know her. Not much of a backbone, that one. All in all, it turned out better than I’d expected, especially when Faren’s dad said that he was leaning on Alwin’s family to turn over Oak’s family at once.

Smooth sailing, right? Wrong.

The next morning when we went to pick up Oak’s kin, Alwin was there with some troops and tried to roast them in front of us. At least when asked why, he could admit out loud that it was simply to spite us. Fortunately, we were able to save his family and kill Alwin, which in my mind is the very definition of win-win. Now we just have to get back home and figure out what is going on with lich cultists attacking our fort.

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Things I'll Never Say
Wyllo

Ok, let’s talk about this leader nonsense. And this family nonsense.

I think I may have made a mistake as “leader” of our group. I have this issue with things being taken away from me that I didn’t consent to, and generally it also involves people. I never asked for family, but I also never asked for them to be taken away…or for them to sail away without knowing that I existed. I’m not angry or bitter about that—not enough that I would ever do anything about it or pretend it hadn’t happened. It is the way it is. I grew up a thief, I messed up a job, I went into hiding with Yoon.

No big deal, right?

Until Yoon gets framed for murder. Which isn’t unlikely, considering things she’s done, but come on. What’s the point in framing an assassin who’ll cut your throat out? What’s the point in framing an assassin who has a thief friend who’ll smite you with an arrow? (Yea, that second one I did. That’s not hypothetical.)

I think the problem came up when I made the mistake of thinking that it created a bond between people. And yet, following the unfolding of events after Yoon being framed, we ended up in a position where she kills someone and Fulgen gets angry and leaves. I don’t like when people leave. I like it about as much as I like people lying to me, and we well know how much I despise people lying to me.

Basically. Fulgen left, Yoon lied.

Points lost.

And then cue some family that I’d never bargained for, with some high, noble blood that I didn’t ask for either. I’m having some minor regrets about this whole situation. I don’t like when things happen without the active consent of all players involved, and finding out that I might have some relation to Farin, (Fey) who so conveniently came to our aid when we were fighting a dragon demon was just something that clicked on my instinct, I suppose. Where does that even come from? If it had been Yoon that had been kidnapped (hahahaha. Let’s be honest, they’d all be dead before leaving port.), I would have carved my way through with Firenze. I don’t know if I like all of this rational logic telling me that I should go after someone I don’t even know.

And on that topic of not knowing, when we finally caught up with Farin (Fey) and her captors, she was in a fucking dress? She’d gone all regal and at the risk of losing anyone else, I offered to switch places with her. Rather, I took up the offer. On that subject, everything would have been fine if Mosi and Belfran hadn’t decided they weren’t ok with that and come after the ship I portaled onto with that Xilro elf. Person. Whatever. In Mosi’s and Belfran’s defense, I’m not enough of a leader to tell them not to do something, and I wouldn’t want to be. So logically, not telling them not to do something stupid because I’m not that sort of person was the exact thing that fucked us over. Cue two broken ships. The one who commandeered to track Farin (Fey) down, and the one Farin (Fey) had been on with Xilro.

On the plus side, everyone in the company was relatively unscathed, so I guess that’s ok.

Fey, though, is being very…noble now. Not in a good way, though I wonder if there is such a thing. I’m not the biggest fan of the way she’s acting because it makes it difficult to explain to her that revealing herself to be alive after twenty-five years and then telling her father that she’s been held captive is probably not a good idea. Where’s our alibi, exactly? She’s wandering around with a group of mercenaries, one of whom is a bastard half elf that’s not supposed to exist and might come face to face with a father that probably also doesn’t know she exists. (Me. I’m talking about me.) On top of that, Fey is walking around in that dress with some crest ring or other and people are recognizing her for it and I don’t like it.

I don’t know what will be waiting for us in Celeria. I’ve been keeping a distance from Yoon because she has her own business she’s dealing with, but we’ve run into people from our past. Namely, a shirtless drow who’s helping us get into Celeria itself, and all I want right now is to go home. I suppose the closest thing to home is back at the Thieves’ Guild, but guess what I also found out after sending that letter to Scratch? Mother dearest never wanted me to be a thief. Scratch doesn’t want me in Celeria.

I’m setting a great record by disappointing everyone I know.

I just don’t want to be here. I should have thought this through. I’m surrounded by people and suddenly have no one to talk to. Not that I talked much anyway, but there’s a difference now.

If I run into Father dearest—I’m using these terms because I don’t know what else to call them; I think my Mother loved me, but I was too young when she was gone anyway, so what do I know, really—would he even know what I was? Who? Would he care?

Maybe when this is all over, I’ll go to back to…what was it. Shadowfell? The place with the tree underground. I’m pretty sure no one would look for me there. I have my little dragon and I have Firenze. That’s enough, right?

Point: I liked that tree. No random family members would pop out of it, right? I wouldn’t be compelled into something that I can’t make heads or tails of.

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Don't mess with the Black Foxes

Where were we? Right, Ferin had just been kidnapped and taken by some elf that was also threatening Oak’s family. Seriously, I know I’m not one to talk, but how many people can you piss off before you realize that it’s nothing more than your own fault? I think it might be an elf thing, since Oak, this elf and now Ferin have all started acting like it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself there. We sailed for days, slowly gaining on the kidnapper’s ship until finally we got close enough that they had to either talk or fight. I was expecting the latter so I was surprised when the elf kidnapper teleported onto our ship with his kidnappee. I mentioned that Wyllo had said that Ferin was actually a girl, right? I hadn’t put much stock in it at the time, but when they came on board, she was wearing a dress and looking almost, well, content with the situation. I’m telling you, if someone grabbed me like they had with her, I’d put a hole in their boat just to spite them, my own ability to swim be damned. But her? She told us that they’d come to an arrangement in which she’d help him shame her house, which I guess is like a clan.

Stone below, just saying that makes my bile rise. I’m not exactly beholden to my own clan as they probably are quite content to act like I’m dead, but I’m not out there raising my hand against them. They are the ones that taught me how to smelt metal and smith steel. Thinking about turning on them just feels wrong. And here is Ferin, or Fey I suppose her real name is, talking about aiding her kidnapper in taking her own family down a few pegs!

Yeah, I know. Everyone has their reasons, but it just makes me feel more and more that elves can really be a backstabbing lot, and not in the useful way that Wyllo and Yoon are. Well, Fey talked Wyllo helping with this plan since her presence would somehow further shame that house, but then the kidnapper, Alwin I think his name was, started demanding that we leave the two girls with him and just leave. I hated him before for kidnapping one of us and threatening the family of another, but now I just seethed at him, at his pure arrogance. Like we’d trust him after the few tricks we’ve already seen him pull. When he convinced Wyllo to come onto his ship, Belfran and I followed, using the lizard’s magic and that really set him off! He played it cool, of course, showing some anger but then waiting until our guard was a little bit down before he blew a gaping hole in our ship. I was able to somewhat return the favor by smashing one of his ship’s masts and pasting some of his crew, but he escaped before I could do the same to his head. We managed to capture most of his men though and got those that survived our first ship sinking onto the second ship. Admittedly, it took some time to repair the damage I’d done to it and it barely got us to land as it was, but I felt more than justified.

Alwin, and everyone else, has got to learn not to cross us. No matter what, I want them to know that doing so is going to hurt.

Ah, sorry. Guess I was gripping that mug too tightly. It just, well, gets under my skin. Anyways, we got to land and started mingling with the elven outcasts that people this fine land. Though most elves from the main island all seem to have something wrong with them, the ones that live here aren’t so bad. Good cider too. We even met Pale again. Seems like his people have figured out a way to teleport up here to try to convince some of the surface drow to come live with them. Belfran was pretty interested in that, since we need to get to the main island and save Oak’s family. Also to make sure Alwin has learned his lesson.

Yeah, I’m crushing his head if we meet again.

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I Don't Have Daddy Issues...
Farin

I’m going back to Celeria… back to my birthplace… back to my parents.
And I’m doing it by my own free will.
I struck a deal with Alwin, the Highborn who captured me. I agreed to cooperate with him to bring shame down upon my family in exchange for the lives of the Black Foxes and Oak’s family. It was a solid deal.
The Black Foxes had come to rescue me, and Alwin intended on killing them, which I couldn’t let happen. So I agreed to give Alwin what he wanted (A chance to ruin my family)
The next part is hazy in my mind, but I remember Alwin and I used magic to board the boat that the Black Foxes were on, and Alwin started to bargain with Wyllo. Next thing I know, Wyllo is taking my place on Alwin’s boat and the bastard sunk ours.
Belfan and Mosi managed to take Alwin’s boat over, and the coward fled through a portal.
Both boats took heavy damage. Ours sank, the other was heavily damaged.

Alwin broke our deal. He tried to kill us, and he will pay for it. It was mistaken when he thought he could just go back on his word. If he’d just kept to the deal, I would have happily testified and ruin my Father’s name. Alwin would have gotten what he wanted (a chance to elevate his own status by bringing scandal and shame to someone else.) And I would have gotten what I wanted. The safety of my friends and their loved ones.
But no
He just had to try and sink our ship and kill us all.

Luckily, despite the heavy damage to the remaining boat, the Captain managed to sail it to the Dark Isles. It took more than a week, and it gave me plenty of time to wallow in my anger. Alwin’s plan was to use me to destroy House Amastaria, and now I’m going to use myself to destroy him.
I’ve written home, the first contact I’ve made in 25 years. In my letter I told Father that Alwin was responsible for my disappearance. I claimed that he’d kidnapped me and has been holding me all this time.

I’m not looking forward to seeing my Family again. I’m only doing this because Alwin broke our deal. I’m actually not sure what Father’s reaction will be…
We were never close, I hardly ever saw him, or my Mother, growing up. In my youth I had caretakers who looked after me. Nannies when I was little, then a Governess when I was older, and scholars and tutors who were in charge of my education. The only thing Father has ever seen in me is political value. Almost the moment I came of age, he started talking about suitors. I only 105 years old when he settled on my Betrothed, I was hardly more than a child and he’d decided to marry me off for political gain.
I doubt anyone would even want me as a bride now, (thanks to my disfigurements) so hopefully that will keep Father from trying to force me to stay once we’re reunited.
With my ears the way they are, I highly doubt any Highborn would want to take me as a wife, therefore I will no longer have any political value to my father.
At least, that’s my hope.
It’s not as if he’s missed me. I hardly ever saw him growing up. He always seemed to be busy with Grandfather, taking care of who knows what. The only real memory I have of spending any sort of time with Father is when I was 50 or so. He took me hunting with my Uncles (whom I had gone hunting with many times, they were the ones who taught me how to hunt). That was the Summer before Grandfather died.
If Father had hardly been around before, once Grandfather had passed and left the role of Patriarch to Father he was never around. I spend more time with my Uncles more than I ever did with Father, and they didn’t even like me…

Not once since I left have I missed any member of my family. My father is cold and absent, my Mother distant, my Uncles’ rude, my Aunt belonging to another Household, having no cousins (until now I suppose) and my Distant Family being just that. I spent more time around the wood elves who were in charge of caring for me in my youth than I did with any member of my Family. How sad is it that I think more fondly of the Servants of my Father’s house more than my Father, or any other family member?

When I was a child I wanted nothing more than to make my Father proud of me. I was always seeking his approval. I studied hard with my tutors, was always well-behaved around the house, and learned to hunt with my Uncles. But nothing I ever did seemed to get his attention. It was only when I did something wrong did he seem to notice me. After he became Patriarch I realized my only value was as a political pawn.
If it hadn’t been for the fact that Alwin broke our deal, I would have been positively giddy at the prospect of bringing chaos to my Father. It would have been my absolute pleasure to do so.
I’m disappointed really. Instead of ruining my Father, now I have to destroy Xilro instead. It’s a pity really. We could have all walked away happy.

I wonder what Father will say when he sees me.

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Letter to House Amastaria
Farin’s Letter to her Father

Dear Father,
I hope this letter finds you well.
It’s Fey.
I’m writing to let you know that I’m alive, having survived 25 years in captivity. I’ve only just escaped, are by the skin of my teeth with the aide of a wood-elf by the name of Heian Meliamne and the company of mercenaries he works for.
I have suffered much in my 25 years of captivity, at the hands of Alwin Xilro, my captor.
My disfigurements will tell you more of my treatment in the care of my captor than I can possibly explain in a letter.
I am afraid of Alwin Xilro, and fear that he will prevent my return home.
Heian and his company are escorting me back to ensure I am retuned safely before Xilro can silence me for good.
He has already attempted to recapture me once since I escaped his hideout on Blackhull, and only failed because of Heian, and his company’s bravery.

Hoping to see you very soon,

Lady Fey of House Amastaria

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Half-Breeds Everywhere

Hello Paper,

It has been a while, hasn’t it? Where have I been since the last time I wrote? Honestly, probably everywhere. Wyllo has taken the role of leader over this horrible band of misfits. We also have picked up a few more of society’s rejects. One of them seems to be really close to Wyllo and I don’t know if I like it. No, this is not some weird lesbian jealousy thing, it’s a “I don’t like strangers” thing. Wyllo as leader? Pfft. What are we going to do now? More good? Family reunions? Bleh – all sound incredibly uneventful. People are given up for a reason. Maybe they should learn you can only really on one person. Oh well, I’ll continue with this party until I find something better. Who knows, perhaps this would be the perfect time to make my mark. Also, can someone please punch Oak? He’s incredibly obnoxious.

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The Code from the Book of the Vile
Belfran

After some difficulty, I have managed to decode the message Farin transcribed from the Book of the Vile. Is this message from the creator of our world?

Messen bore such fruit, it was such a curiosity to us all. It did not seem to live by the same rules Elysium did; where Elysium was a world of Ideals, Messen was a world of flawed realities. Our creations could walk, learn, grow, and change in ways we could never have imagined, and it opened such possibilities. It is unfortunate we were not the only ones with an interest in that fertile world. The Fiends came from the pits of the Plains of Chaos, our war with them was long, but only a precursor to the war that would bring our Father to ashes. I have placed a key in their realm, deep in the Abyss, where our kind may never find it, protected twice over by the lock Brother will place upon the way. There are three such keys, one in each world, that seals the lock that is hidden in the fourth. This is to ensure that none may ever grasp the power of the Dark One.

I begin to feel that it important to prevent this lock from being open.

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Reunions
Wyllo

[written in Elvish]

So…I think I have a family? Kind of? A half cousin, at least, who’s conveniently been kidnapped.

What was the last thing I wrote? Oh, funny. That is whath I wrote last time—that I have a family, at least. As of last time, we beat those Redclaws that Qelroth was challenging to become King’s champion again. It was harder than I thought it would be, since when we reached the final challenge and ultimately faced those Redclaws, they had that fancy burning book that pulled out a demon or something.

Yea, it was rough.

We also lost our Tabashi friend in the cross fire and since everyone seems to be insisting that I’m the leader of our group, I feel like that reflects badly on my leadership. Alternatively, we gained a couple of others, one of whom is my…half cousin? Potentially? (S)He’s mute. Also disguised as a man, but I guess that distinction doesn’t matter anymore since she’s been kidnapped by some elves who were following Oak’s weird mission of finding half elves who could potentially ruin the elvish name or whatever. That’s how I step into the picture, I guess. But now I’m blood-related to Farin who’s been taken because she’s of high blood and I suppose her family wants her back. Maybe.

What’s it like, being wanted like that? I’m not saying I want to be, but it’s an interesting concept.

On another note, Yoon is up to something that makes her feel like she can lie to me. I always thought that despite our differences in moral compasses, she knew I had her back. She should know that she doesn’t have to lie to me. She should know she can do whatever she wants so long as she doesn’t get herself killed—but even that’s her own business. I’ll take care of things if I need to.

I guess I thought she’d know that I hate being lied to, too. But that’s her business. She didn’t want me involved, so fine. I can’t let someone else die under my watch.

I don’t really know what else to say. I’m sad, but it’s weird to feel sad when your family starts coming out of nowhere and when you like the people that are around you—for the most part. I’m still iffy about Oak and Belfran, the latter more than the former.

We have a new Dragonborn friend, too. I feel like the term “fangirl” is born with her, but I’m not entirely sure what that term means. She’s fans of us? I don’t get it.

P.S. Firenze is possessed by the soul of a human? That human tried to bring down a lich. We let that lich out back at the Mad Wizard’s Gambit.

I feel like the world is going to burn because of the things we do. Which is appropriate since Firenze is a fire rapier, right?

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Secret Text Passage 3

Copied secret text uncovered in the Book of the Vile

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HRoZSBEYXJrIE9uZS4=

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Wait, what?

You know what you never really hear about? Dwarves at sea. Sure, mountains and hills are obvious, and even forests and swamps are possible, but on the ocean? I can’t even name one dwarf who likes being out there, not even myself. No stone anywhere, nothing to stand firm on or put your back to in a fight. Just water. Not that I fear it, mind you, just can’t see myself wanting to stay out there.

After some time on Drathl, we chartered a boat to the Blackhull Isles to make sure the cat would be properly buried. All through that time, I worked beside the sailors and learned a few things about knots, but the others were busy talking with each other or snapping at each other. That quiet fellow that helped us fight the dragon spent a lot of time separate with Wyllo, but I suppose that was for the best. She’s been on edge since Oak started talking about her family and I think she’s still trying to work her way through it. The more time away from Oak while she does that, the better in my mind.

When we did get to Dustmere, Yoon started acting up too. I swear, some days I miss my time lost in the forest. At least then I could kill my problems, but now they’re just all around me and I have no idea what to do about them. We finally found one of the cat’s tribe who would cremate her body as they see proper, but then Yoon just up and vanished. Meanwhile, Oak started talking about going to Celeria alone to save his family. To top it all off, Farin got kidnapped, though I’m still not too sure why. Wyllo said something about him being an elf noble in disguise, but I think she’s starting to crack from the stress of all this. Perhaps once we get Farin back and help Oak with his problem, we can take some time at the keep and just relax.

Yeah… relax at our ruined keep that is apparently now being targeted by cultists worshiping a lich. That sounds just perfect for our fearless leader. At least Yoon came back from wherever she ran off to.

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