The Chains of Medon

I need a hammer, dammit!
Thargus' Journal Entry

WHY’DT HAVE TAE BE ZOMBIES?!

First thing ah do when we’re back at the refuge is designing a new hammer! I won’t make the same mistake twice!

Surface dwellers have it easy when it comes to zombies. They only have to worry about them coming from one place – below. What about subterranean races? We have to worry about our walls, ceilings, AND floors!

Back to it then…

I’m glad we’ve escaped th’ ravine, but following Sara’s tracks haven’t been easy. We believe she may have been taken away in cart by men with a few horses, probably city guards on patrol around the perimeter of th’ ravine.

Once we made camp, we were visited by two men of the light on horseback. Their band of holymen are supposedly on their way to Medon t’ offer support after the collapse, but we haven’t told them everything (for good reason). I look forward to finding out more about them in th’ morning. I didn’t sense anything to be worried about from our conversation but I’d rather speak to their camp leader.

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Rescue mission?!?

The party just came back to camp when not even a moment seemed to pass before news was heard that the scouts and diplomat sent to the east was in trouble. Apparently only one returned and the other two were lost in a snake ravine and in trouble? Maximus looks at the other, who didn’t to be as concerned as himself, and it was quickly decided that the party so go investigate the whereabouts and try to uncover what happened.

After the short days travel by horse to the east, the party arrives into town. It is not only the weird looks and general distrust that is given to the party, but also the heavy armed guards in such a desolate town that concerns Maximus. Quickly shaking his head and refocusing on the purpose of the party, they decide to venture into a tavern to try and find some information in regards to their missing companions. All eyes seem to be following the party and it starts to cause discomfort amongst the team.

Shortly after talking up with the barkeep and ordering food Maximus notices that Valerio decides to get out and step outside….considering the situation they are in, it is not wise to be splitting up; especially when things seem ‘tense’. Maximus attempts to follow Valerio but it seems that he just vanishes into thin air. As Maximus heads out of the tavern he is approached by a few of the heavily armored guards inquiring why he and his comrades were in town and it seemed unusual. Maximus informed the guards that he was not too far from town when he encountered the party and decided to just travel into town together.

Not wanting to just leave Valerio wherever he went and also still concerned about their comrades, Maximus decided to head towards the bridge in town and just take a moment to collect his thoughts. It seems only a few moments pass when the rest of his party, well all but Lucca that is…wait where is Lucca and who is this new person with the party? It is quickly told that both Lucca and Valerio were in disguise (good to know for the future).

The party makes haste for the ravine and Maximus begins tracking down one of the party memebers….of course he would go into a cave that has snakes in it and trap himself in a tomb….On their way down they encounter someone who was following them asking for help to kill the mother of all snakes. The party shrugged and agreed as saving their friends was their first concern.

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A Truly Wondrous Place
Thargus' Journal Entry

The name of this strange and wondrous place escapes me still, but with a little more research we should have more answers. I’ve seen such amazing and forgotten things since we’ve been here!

It appears this section of the Deeprun Tunnels have been abandoned for quite some time, possibly centuries before our capital city was even created. It may very well be one of the greatest archaeological finds of my generation! The magical equipment and techniques I’ve seen used here are more advanced than anything I’ve seen in my lifetime.

What happened here that caused this disaster, sectioning these Dwarves off from the rest of their kind? I have so many questions, and I fear we won’t have time to get them all answered. I’ve already felt myself fall victim to curiosity about this place, I wish we had more of a chance to study and map the area but we have to establish an escape route out of the refuge above our heads. The safety of the royal family is still the number one priority.

We’ve managed to er….thaw…what appears to be a guard of some kind for this area. I hope we can understand him and find a safe way out of this area; if he’s friendly that is. I’m not sure how happy he’ll be when he finds out his fellow guards have been used as food for whatever those vile creatures were we slayed.

Gryth will never want to leave this place once we get him in here!

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Ice is hot
Wonders and amazement, Valerio's Journal

After we felled the stone guardian, it felt like forever until we had regrouped and decided to continue. Maximus discovered evidence of some kind of clawed creatures living down in these tunnels. Rowan summoned forth mystic dancing lights, immediately followed by some sort of clattering noise from the room to our south. We quickly headed that way, down another set of stairs — how far underneath the earth are we now, I wonder? I’m feeling a deep yearning to see the sky and trees, to breathe air that has not been stale for centuries, but onward we push, for the safety and future of Medon and the survivors we left behind.

We made our way into this room, dominated by a large table with a strange, textured stone inset. There was no sign of what made the commotion, but with no other visible exit, we started to investigate. After no success in trying to figure out what this table was used for, a flash of inspiration hit me, and I connected with the arcane forces in the device. It sprang to life! Tiny lights appeared, floating above the surface, creating a representation of some kind of tunnel. The textured stone moved with our touch, controlling the movement through this tunnel of lights. Thargus grabbed his ink and fastidiously copied down what he could, filling up three scrolls with information about this voluminous passage. This wonderous tool was like nothing any of us had seen before, and left us in awe. Our reverie was broken when we remembered the noise from earlier and the claw-marked tracks on the floor. Thargus’ keen vision revealed a secret door, and I activated the hidden mechanism to open it. Onward to another passage, another room.

Cautiously we moved on, unsure what manner of beast we were tracking. We trekked forward, through another passage, and into this grand hallway, filled with inky darkness. Unable to see the far wall, the ceiling, or even the floor as it dropped off in front of us, we took the nearest stairwell up (yes, up!) where even stranger things were waiting for us.

Six large alcoves were folded into the sides of this room. As we examined each one, we found the same incomprehensible thing again and again: huge pillars of ice, cooler than any snow I’ve ever felt, encompassing the remains of what may have possibly been a person, ages ago. Most of these icy columns (and their denizens) were in various states of disrepair, but there was one that seemed to be fully intact, housing the silhouette of a dwarven figure within. Lucca, Rowan, and Thargus worked together to activate a stone control panel of some sort, divining some critical information on just what we were looking at. We learned that we were staring at Adar, First Guard, although what he guarded, we were still at a loss for. Also, that he may still be alive, as the stone said he was awaiting “activation”.

We decided to free him from his hoary tomb, but not before we were beset by the creatures we’d sought earlier. Lithe and lanky, these dextrous, blind primitives scaled the walls and ceiling, leaping at us in search of their next meal. It felt great to unsheath Heartseeker once again and leap into battle! Supported by powerful dwarven and bardic magics, my steel held them back as long as I was able. Maximus once again kept me from falling to our foes, and Rowan’s sorcery was truly a terrific sight to see. One by one, our foes fell, until none were left standing. We caught our breaths, and then turned our attention back to Adar…

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The glowing numbers?

After the final blow was delivered to the spiders, Maximus wipes the sweat off his brow. It’s becoming a routine it seems to be facing dangers and monsters in these tunnels. Perhaps it was really wise for the party to head down and clear it; having the royal family and the townspeople above such beasts would not be wise.

The party makes their way back up to the hideout and Maximus quickly goes to fellow healer rose and begins to discuss harvesting an antidote from the poison he gathered. Judging by Rose’s reaction to possibly handling poison, it occurs that other people aren’t as comfortable with handling poison as he is.

The royal family agrees that the party should continue to clear out the tunnels and try and search for a way for everyone to travel underground so the party heads back underground to excavate one of the tunnels. After some help with the dwarven slaves, the tunnel is quickly excavated and opens to small hallway with a massive hole in it.

The party looks around but quickly realizes the only way to really go is down the hole and see what new adventures await! They instruct the dwarves to start building a safe way down the hole so the other townspeople can climb down safely as they levitate themselves down.

After venturing through some hallways the party encounters a large pillar that seems to have some magic emanating from it. Closer inspection reveals a large amount of numbers on the pillar that they cannot seem to decipher. The party ventures down the other corridors to find what seems like a little refuge underground. While exploring the rooms and trying to fully understand the nature of this place, the party is suddenly attacked by a statue!

Quickly disposing the statue the party looks to further explore this “refuge” and try and find out the true nature. Will the party find a safe passage for the townspeople to travel through or do more dangers await?!

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Cleansing Ritual

Ingredients:

Two Foci for Divine Energy, preferably two holy symbols of respective diety.
1 Vial of [Holy] Water,
Some Dirt or ceremonial ashes

Instructions:

Take water and if not blessed already, begin the process to bless the water for the ritual.

Have infected subject kneel before you and take either the dirt or ceremonial ash and make a small circle around the subject.

Place one focus on the subjects head and drip a little holy water onto the focus.

Dab the other focus with the remaining holy water and begin prayer to your deity, request the subject to be cleansed of the dark magic.

While praying, take the focus and tap each shoulder then hold the focus against the subject’s heart while finishing the prayer.

When the prayer is complete you should not feel any dark magic in the subject, thank your deity for allowing the ritual to be completed and remove the foci from the subject.

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The Darkness is safety?

Trying to get comfortable to rest for the evening, Maximus, can’t help but notice his other party members. This is such an unusual situation for all of us, it’s weird unusual on how “fate” works but all he can do is pray that there is a purpose for it all. Being underground is a newer experience for he and doesn’t not feel in his element.

Trying to shrug off his new environment, Maximus tries to rest for the night but the constant noises of nearby dangers make it for an uneasy sleep. Looking around in the morning? evening? Maximus’ concept of time wasn’t always the greatest but being underground (albeit even just the one day) has already thrown him off; but can’t help to notice that Thargas seems unusually refreshed.

The ancient architecture is very interesting and could see Thargas’ immediate reaction and love for it all; but Maximus is concerned with other things. It seems that their towns fate rests in their hands and seems like an extraordinary weight put on these young party members. While exploring the caverns more in depth and trying to clear a safe area for the royal family and others to hide down if necessary, the party comes across some sort of plants. Recalling Wilzu’s druidic teachings of nature Maximus knew of some of the characteristics of such a creature but before he could relay the information the creature attacked.

This was the first time so far that Maximus had feared for the safety of some of the party members. While the “men” of the group was fighting the creature in close combat it suddenly split itself into two and broke off to attack the young ladies. Much haste was needed to try and circumvent to try and save the ladies; but what Maximus soon realized is the ladies of the party our not helpless. They were easily able to destroy the creature as if it wasn’t even a concern…..perhaps his adventuring companions have more surprises up their sleeves and aren’t as helpless as he had thought.

Most interactions that healers have with people are when they are at their worst. Maximus is still trying to figure out where he “fits” in this group and what is the purpose of him being with them.

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An Adventure in the Dark
The Only Way Out Is Through

I don’t think they know the sun hurts my eyes.

It’s been a while to have spent so much time underground. The surface-dwellers will never understand the darkness and how refreshing it is. The sun energizes them, like the cold air here energizes me. The last six months have been harsh on my eyes, so I greatly appreciate the cool, stale calm of this forgotten place.

We should be proud of our accomplishments here! I did’nae know there were tunnels crafted by my ancient Gold Dwarven ancestors in this place! I’m willing to bet my weight in gold these paths haven’t been travels in centuries. We may have a way of getting the refugees of Medon out of this place safely, but a bit of exploration and scouting are in order.

I’ve also spent a little time sketching in my books. There are some ancient pieces of Gold Dwarven armor and weapons in the bowels of this place, and I intend to use the designs to empower my clan. This armor is of The First Ones! Long ago when our race was first created, these are the first pieces of armor crafted by the Core Smiths. It is rumored that this armor was forged from the heart of the planet itself. I look forward to seeing what Thorim can do with this.

My people aren’t kind, I hope we don’t run into many during our travels. There is a peace accord in effect between my family and the King of Medon, but I may have been branded a traitor and the King has no kingdom.

If we have to use these tunnels to escape this place, I will protect every single person here ‘till me dying breath, no matter how many of mah former brothers I send t’the Eternal Foundry. The people of Medon and the former slaves that make up my new house, the Stormfury Clan, will not be harmed or enslaved again.

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Rescue Mission Success?
Maximus' Journal Entry for the 9th of Sterium

Climbing over the final wall of the castle, now twice in only a week, seems like the mission was successful for the party. So much has happened in the past week that it is still a little chaotic. I was hoping for more of a peaceful time while living in Medon. These chaotic events recently just remind me of growing up in the Village of the Vial Mists. Growing up in a town of assassins always had its fill of adventure and chaos. As I looked over at the rest of the party climbing to the wall I can’t help but have a little smile. We must look like an odd adventuring party to others but I am starting to like these people. Just as I view the path ahead of us to safety, I am knocked to the ground. Everything is bright and there is ringing in my ears as I cannot even begin to figure out what has just occurred. A few moments pass and as I am trying to regain my composure. I barely see Valerio and Rowan fighting off someone that is trying to take the book. I try to get to my feet, but I am still out of it with, perhaps an explosion, it takes a few more moments until I am able to stand up. As I stand I see a bird flying off in the distance and the party looking frantic.

At this moment my survival instinct kicks in and quickly tell the party we have to leave now. Making haste towards the nearest forest, I jump down and let the party move ahead of me. Trailing just a little behind to make sure we aren’t being followed and to cover our tracks. After a short trip towards the hideout, we decide to take a short rest. I take this moment to keep practicing my healing art. I have been working on a few tricks that could be really helpful in battle. I begin to say the words under my breath and make the hand gestures and point my fingers towards the resting Lucca. After a few tries and changing a few things I notice a slight glow around Lucca meaning the healing transfer worked! I am excited at this success and actually test a few things with this new ability by moving further away from Lucca. Not trying to cause any attention towards myself I see that I am able to transfer some healing without physically touching the target! I can barely contain my excitement when all of the sudden I hear Valerio and Thargas’ voices from outside the camp.

I grab my Spear and take the king off towards safety. Once the king is in a safe location i place my hand on his shoulder and let him know that I have cast a spell on him to let us know if he is in danger and I will know his location if something were to happen. Then heading towards the noises I discover…. a very unusual scene….of what looked like Valerio having his blade against a hooded person who was face down on the ground. Both he and Thargas were questioning the person, what seemed to me too aggressive; but then again with recent events I guess it is for our safety, and started to go through the stranger’s possessions. At this point I try to take over with asking the stranger on who he was and what was his intentions but it only seemed like a few moments had passed when an armored construct of some sort appeared out of no where and attacked us.

After quickly disposing the guardian, I notice that Valerio had run off to chase after our captor. Apparently in the midst of the battle he was able to escape from the binds and took off. I tried to chase after Valerio, but with his boots, I cannot keep up at all. I return to the party and Valerio joins us and I notice the rest of the party going through the other spoils that were left behind by our visitor.

I wonder who that man was and what were his intentions? Who knows but our concern should be getting the king back to safety.

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The Birds!
Rowan's Journal Entry

Journal01.JPG

1264
9 Sterium
Skoreth

My relationship with birds continues to haunt me. Like fools, my “compatriots” and I returned to Medon to break into the gaol, rescue the king, sneak into the castle library, uncover Ambriel’s journal, and escape. Somehow, we succeeded. Well, mostly… As we were leaving the library, I noticed canaries on a desk. My arcane knowledge told me that there was transmutation cast upon the animals. Thinking of my own poor family, I could not bear to leave them to the whims of the cruel orcs. I scooped them all up (including the poor deceased one) into my cloak with the intention of examining them further once we were safely away.
We raced towards the same fallen section of wall we escaped through the time before. As we crossed the wall, the book in my sack began to move, almost as if it had a will of its own. Not wanting to lose the main objective of our sortie, I agreed to pass the book to Thargas. I should have known better. One of the birds was the orc wizard in disguise. He revealed his true form and tried to wrench the book from my hands I fought with all my might but the fiend still managed to rip pages from the book. He turned into a bird again (the shame!) and flew away.
As I write this we are camped in the woods, resting before we return to Bandit’s Refuge. I wanted to scribble down these thoughts. I know I will not be able to rest until I unburden myself of some of the shame and rage burning inside me. Tamolth, don’t forsake me! We are but Your feeble playthings.

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