Song of the Ages

Killing what needs killing

So, we had struck a deal to go and deal with the Viscount and his followers, as proposed by his loving daughter, right? Yeah, I didn’t like it either since if she’s that twisted, she needs just as much killing as the assassins and vampires we were heading out to do in. Maybe we’ll get that chance, maybe we won’t. For now, we accepted her help and in return she gave us a key to a grate near the town’s harbor. She then left town, though I wonder if she really did. All we have on that is her word…

Anyways, the grate. We found it, went inside and started looking around. At first it looked like a storm grate, but it soon gave way to carved walls and tricky traps. One such trap split our group up, with Dax, Big, Scratch and the drow girl on one side of a wall and the rest of us on the other. For whatever reason, they shouted at us to carry on, that they’d meet up with us soon, and for whatever reason, we did just that. We entered another part of this underground lair, a big room that looked like a barracks for dozens of people and some of the assassins came right in, looking for us. Seems we’d tripped an alarm along the way. It was a bloody battle, with those skulkers jabbing me in the kidneys, spine, groin, anywhere they could to bring us down. All the while, they kept shouting at us to surrender.

Yeah, telling us to surrender. Like I’d do that even if I didn’t already know that they were murderers with bounties on our heads already. Fortunately, we managed to pull through and even had one surrender to us, which is the type of poetry I like, not the type that Fulgen goes on about. He told us that the assassins had moved their base of operations elsewhere and as such most of them were now out of town. He didn’t say where, but based on what we’d learned so far, I’m pretty sure they go where the Viscount goes, so find one to find the other.

After that, we finally managed to meet up with the others, who had been killing spiders and such without us. We rested up a little, but kept pushing forward, hoping to at least kill the Countess, who was supposed to be a powerful mage as well as a member of this assassin cult.

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A deal with the devil

Look at this. You can tell if a place waters down their ale by how the foam acts. This one builds up to a good head, so that means that it’s a good brew that they’re not tainting with water. What? Oh, yeah, I was in the middle of that story, wasn’t I?

So Yoon got captured by this torturer, right? Well, lucky for her, Willow was watching this all and came running to get us. We came charging in, kicking open his front door and barreling in. The man was standing there in a bloody apron, but then changed into some kind of devil covered in chains. It was a good fight since he had some magic that made some of the chains hanging in the room come alive and attack us, but in the end they all got smashed and the torturer got stabbed through the eyes by Yoon. She had managed to escape her bonds during the fight and was more than a little keen to do to him what he’d been doing to her.

Once that was dealt with, we burnt his house down. Maybe that wasn’t a good idea, but we’re talking about a place that had been inhabited by a devil that had tortured and killed who knows how many people there for who knows how long. I didn’t feel any regrets seeing that place go up in flames. Yoon told us that when she was first captured that there was some blond woman there who bewitched her mind enough to get her captured. After asking around, we found out that this woman was none other than the Viscount’s daughter. It was certainly looking more and more like the Viscount was more than just an unwitting pawn in all this, but before we could formulate any plan about how to move forward on this, who should show up at our ‘secret’ hideout but the blond woman herself!

Yes, she was alone. Said she wanted to talk. For some reason, the others brought her in and we listened to her. She told us that the Viscount was both a vampire and the current leader of the Underhand but that since he was using his power to gain wealth, power, yadda yadda yadda, that he was no longer fit for his position. She said she’d help us dispose of him in return for her assassins dropping their attacks on us. The others made it clear that they were okay with this, though they did try to add some things into the deal. But me? It was obvious that she was as much of a vampire as her father was. Now, I’m no paladin but there are some things in the world that just need killing. I count vampires as one of them. They struck their deal, but after she left, I told the others that I intended on killing her as well if the opportunity presented itself. The world certainly would be a better place without assassins and vampires hiding in the night, you know?

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Fulgen's Tactical Notes

Super Banish Combo Warcry:

darkened secret binding
light and shadow seal
sealing consuming vortex
saves or gtfo
grasping roots of the worldtree
return to peaceful order
forbidden darkened sealing circle

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----
Wyllo

Shit.

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I'm telling you, lords and kings are nothing but trouble

Where were we? Oh yeah, Eastport. So we’d split up to get into town without drawing attention, with those that the assassins were hunting laying low while the rest of us tried to find them without being found out. Not my strongest suite, you know?

Still, we found out some things. The port was deemed ‘not safe’, and any attempt to find out more was usually met with sad silence or anger. The captain of the guard told us some more about it, saying that only the Viscount’s ships ever made it in and out of the port. Now, I may not be the sharpest axe in the bunch, but that fact was beyond suspicious. Unfortunately, the Viscount was away on some sort of business at the time, so we couldn’t check him out. However, I expected we’d eventually find something worth killing at the docks.

We also made contact with the rest of our group and were told by the drow girl that there was a chapel in town that the townsfolk avoided. I admit, I don’t quite get surfacers and their churches, but I know that if you have one, people will flock to it. Hence, this one was certainly odd enough to check. We decided to check it out since night was now falling. When we got there, I had to admit it seemed a bit sinister. It looked abandoned, but skillfully so, you know? Like, the windows were boarded up, but hadn’t rotted to the point that they were useless. While we let that sink in, Yoon went up and knocked on the door.

Watch it! I know it was an odd thing to do, but that’s no reason to spray me with your used ale. A waste of good ale, that is.

So, she knocked. I can’t say she was the only one that did some rash things that night, but it still set a bit of a precedence for later. Some sickly voice answered, talking like they were expecting someone and telling us to leave ‘it’ at the door. We ducked around the corners and waited for them to open the door, at least, they did. Maybe I was a bit rash as well, but I managed to peek into the window between the boards and see nearly half a dozen people eating some guy laid out on a stone table. I know I talk about eating anything, but that’s only when you’re desperate. These folks there, they had a look to them that this wasn’t desperation but something far more evil. Really got my blood boiling, seeing that, so I had the Goliath throw me through the window.

What did I say about wasting ale! Drink water while I’m talking if you’re going to be spitting it out on me all evening.

I’ve gotta say, that big guy’s got a decent arm on him. I crashed through the window and started laying about me with my maul, sending some of them flying. The others decided to follow after me, which nearly got Folgen killed. That man needs to stand back if he’s going to be so delicate. After the creatures, the vampires, were dead- oh, and some wraiths too -we decided to stick around to see who they were waiting for. Turns out it was some guy with a badly beaten priest in tow. I tried to get him to come into the chapel so that we could question him, but he just walked off, completely unworried about vampires, the fog or the complete lack of guards all over town. He left the priest with us though, since I guess he thought we were the vampires.

Turns out the priest was some wandering monster hunter who came into town and asked the wrong kinds of questions. He got caught by that man, tortured and then dropped off to be eaten. Probably has been going on for who knows how long. We decided keeping our cover up might still draw attention since we were outsiders asking questions, so we went back to the inn only to find Willow and Yoon had followed our torturer friend to our very inn and had asked the innkeeper to let him know once we came back.

I had half a mind to take her inn apart around her ears, but she claims that the viscount has her daughter imprisoned somewhere, so she has to play nice when the viscount’s secret torturer tells her to do something. So I just ended up wanting to take the viscount’s manor apart around his ears instead. We knew going in that the viscount could be involved, but this confirmation really soured my opinion of nobles even more.

Yoon decided to pose as a barmaid from the inn and tell the torturer that we’d returned so that we could at least see what he’d try. Probably wasn’t the best thing to do though, since she just ended up getting captured. Guess she just can’t pull off barmaid like she can assassin.

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An odd place, and I've been around

So, we had some money to fix up the keep, at least partly and while I was itching to be on the road again and hit some heads to earn more coin, I wasn’t expecting this next part. You know how some thieves have been attacking us from time to time, trying to kill us? I always thought they were just bandits or overly aggressive pickpockets, but it turns out they were actual assassins sent to kill Yoon. Whaddya mean, who’s Yoon? She’s the creepy girl that stabs people, been with us for a while. Turns out she used to be an assassin in their guild before she ran away and became a barmaid- yeah, I said a barmaid. So, they were sending people to try to finish her off. You’d think you’d realize when you’re being attacked by assassins, right? Guess they weren’t sending their best.

So, she came out and told us this and one thing led to another and the next thing I know Dax has practically sent the guild a message that he knows too much. At least he fessed up so we could be ready that night. I still wish we had actually sent the guardsmen we’d just hired into the cellar rather than just telling them they have the night off. Though, I guess none of us expected them to spend their night off roaming the night outside of their tents. Anyways, assassins came and killed them, then came after us. I ended up being swarmed by a group of them that stabbed and bit me, but I’d like to think I gave as good as I got.

What? Yeah, I said that they bit me. So? Oh right, I didn’t mention that some of them are vampires, did I? Yeah, apparently they use undead for some of their dirty work. Well, they do.

So, Dax nearly died, but we managed to kill some and drive off the rest. The next morning, we decided to take the fight to them. They knew about the keep, so staying there would just invite more of those bloodsuckers to come and kill our guardsmen, so we set out for Eastport, where the guild is supposed to be based. We met up with a pair of guys that apparently raised Yoon and agreed to help with the assassins, though I think they were doing it mostly for Willow’s sake. What? Who’s Willow? The girl that shoots things and then stabs them, not to be confused with Yoon, who usually just stabs them. We then split up since some of us might be recognized by the guild if they were just wandering the streets. We’d regroup once we figured out where the guildhall or whatever they used was.

Speaking of, Eastport is one gloomy place. I mean, the fog is one thing, but just how so many of the buildings are empty makes it feel, I don’t know, hollow, you know? And the people who are still there have this look in their face that makes you think they’re hollow too. I did mention we’re hunting vampires in this town, right? Yeah, vampire-assassins.

Fun times.

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Hubris
Dax

Traveling with this band, I have been thinking that those around me can take care of themselves. (Except when it comes to money, does no one understand how much is costs to keep a band of mercenaries fed and clothed and moving?) But, my stewardship is expanding. The workers in Fort Dax, the travelers on the road, the citizens living nearby. Whether they realize it or not, they will be relying on me. And already, I have failed. I should have known better to put two under equipped guards out when assassins expected. It might not be possible to run a successful fort and also gallivant across the country side.

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I'll Show You Rebellion
Wyllo

When I started being afraid of fire, did I start losing my own?

I’m not one to sit and contemplate. Things happen the way they’re supposed to, and especially considering what I’ve gone through (along with people I know—we all have a story, right?), I’m left as one who does not sit and contemplate. Life is rough, times are rough; deities have their own agendas and people who hold to their faith in those deities at least have something to hold on to. I guess it’s remarkable that people like that can have faith in something that they see is greater than them, but I see it as more naïveté. Maybe it’s a little enviable too, but I don’t have any reason to believe in deities because it’s always been me and a certain one or two others around me.

I know who those others are. At least, I used to. Now, I’m pretty sure my faith is being tested no matter which way I turn, and because of that, I’m doubting myself. Because of that, I think I’m losing whatever fire I have inside—and I’m pretty sure that’s metaphorical.

We had assassins attack our keep and Firenze (thank you for that, you punk) decided it would be a good time to have a heart to heart and tell me that he’s pretty sure my “fire” is not as strong as it was, and though I can sit here and mock a little, he has to be right to an extent. When did I start letting other people speak for me and make decisions for me and say what our next quest was going to be, and when did those people lose all common sense and instead decide to put this whole party in danger?

I’m looking at you, Dax.

Vashaya came back to our group a little while ago, and she was hurt pretty badly trying to complete her mission. This was about the same time that we’d secured our keep from fire giants and ended up finding a gateway to hell in the basement and had to banish that thing as well, and then Yoon started playing with creepy, chicken-blood symbols. We said we’d help Vashaya with her ultimate quest of getting rid of Seeth, who happens to be a vampire, who happens to be head of the Assassins Guild and surely no one knows any of these things are related because most people are smart enough not to look into things much farther than, “Orders from the Assassins Guild? Got it.” and that’s that.

This is where Dax gets the great idea to ask the steward of the town we’re in (yea, I can’t remember the name, oops) about assassins and Seeth and vampires and believe me when I say that if I were there, I would have stopped him before he finished the word assassins and instead just made himself look like an ass. But no, he comes back from “finding guards” for our Keep and shares this bit of news and suddenly, I’m back in square one. I’m trying to run away, even though technically, they’re not after me. They’re after Yoon (or Dax, since he’s so smart), but if she’s involved, I’m always involved.

She knows I owe her my life, but that’s not the reason I stay with her. I think she knows why, but she doesn’t understand? Maybe I’m not understanding anymore either, and this is where my character comes into question. What is loyalty and what am I fighting for? The answer is always Yoon, but she regrets leaving her cushy job as an assassin. I know she does and I know that’s when my trust issues come out (let’s all keep in mind that I’m an orphan and grew up a poor little thief), but I’d still do anything for her. I just don’t think she’d do the same for me.

Thus, Firenze’s rebellion.

He got over it, though. Or I guess, I got over it, but my resolve is not what it was. There are so many people suddenly involved with me that I feel the need to protect and also be wary and I don’t know (or don’t want to know, since Dax just jeopardized the entire group) if they would protect me and Yoon when it comes down to it. I’d like to think they would, but not for the reasons that are accepted as friendship.

At any rate, we survived our encounter and met Scratch and I’m pretty sure he’s worried, too. I’m not the spiritual sort, or I’d probably talk to Kels about all the worshiping she does. I’ve just always relied on myself unless someone needed me. Or something, cats and dogs included. Scratch felt the need to remind me that I took special care of a certain cat a long time ago—and it does feel like a long time ago. He says I’ve always had a heart of gold or something, but if that’s true, how do I find my way back to it?

Do I want to?

There’s a reason I don’t write long journal entries regularly. There’s so much musing in this one and I’ve given myself a headache.

I got a horse! He has a wild spirit like me, but that also makes it hard to earn his trust. I didn’t realize we were so much alike, but there it is.

Also, we found gold. I think I’ve already talked about that. It was a lot of gold and if I had less of a soul, I probably would have run away with it. (I didn’t. I won’t.)

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Finding Assassins is Easy
Dax

Turns out, there’s a magic word for making assassins appear. No one else seems as excited about this as I am.

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Assassins and Wyllo

Hello Journal,

Well, I made the mistake of being open with this group of travelers. I don’t know how, but someone convinced me to tell them about the guild of assassins and Seeth. Dax, being ever so money hungry, decided to throw that name around like it was common knowledge who was the head of the assassin guild. Safe to say, we are not sleeping tonight.

Another note, Wyllo is starting to worry me. Her thirst for blood and death is starting to freak me out and I am a bloody assassin. I enjoy the art of death, but even I know there are lines that should not be crossed. I am worried Wyllo is going to be consumed by something far darker than she anticipates.

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