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Scott
Posted by the GM
Scott RHoD
Meeting with a Vulcan, Day 3
Spending the night in Vrath’s Keep is uneventful. At dawn, Jorr dons his armor, gathers the appropriate paperwork and goblin appendages and bids you farewell. He will plan to meet the party, hopefully with a company of archers, at the Skull Gorge bridge by dusk tomorrow.

If there are any complications, he will attempt to send word via Animal Messenger (that is assuming the town priest or mage can cast it). This leaves the party short one horse…you will need to either put two people on the heavy warhorse or someone will need to walk.

After Isak completes the Animal Messenger ritual and the campsite is packed up, the party heads north on the Dawn Way.

It is oppressively hot. And humid. (Note the climate of Elsir Vale is similar to that of Mississippi…and it is now August.) And not even a whisp of a breeze to speak of. The trees of the Witchwood provide a partially shaded route, but even that offers little relief. Luckily, several creeks run along or across the Dawn Way and provide opportunities to water the horses, refill your waterskins, and even dump a helmetful of water over your head once in awhile.

The party sweats a lot. And has to swat an occasional hummingbird-sized mosquito. And headaches start to form from listening to the clop clop of hooves on the stone pavers of the Dawn Way for half the morning. But the ride is uneventful.

After a couple of hours, the party notes a conspicuous branch in the road. The Dawn Way clearly continues north, but a paved side path meanders off to the west. The side road is framed by a large stonework arch that spans the width of the road and is easily tall enough for someone on a mount to ride through comfortably.

The side road follows the contours of a valley between two hilltops for about five miles. At that point, another stonework arch marks the entrance to a large clearing. The ground of the clearing is covered with tightly packed pebbles. A large, ironbound cart made of thick logs rests in one corner and masonry tools litter the area. Rocks as small as a fist to as large as a horse dot the landscape, and many of them appear to have been carefully worked. Four ballista on stone pedestals appear to mark the outer boundaries of the clearing.

A copper-skinned dwarf sits on a flat rock, roasting a boar on a spit. You see him pick up a piece of wood, grip it tightly, and the firewood spontaneously combusts in his hands before he throws it in the fire. He turns to the party standing in the stone archway, as do all four of the ballista.

“Mutter, grumble, jibber, blah, blah, blah…”

(I know the party has common, elven, and goblin covered. What other languages does everyone speak?)
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Neal
Posted by the GM
Shadows of Nashville
Interim Activity
Several months pass relatively uneventfully. The new pack is becoming acclimated to its duties at the caern and has taken over their full share of the effort.

Baldor is continuing to try to grow his gun business, looking for opportunities to supply custom weapons. He has expressed interest in the pack making a trip to Atlanta, presumably something to do with the Gone Savage pack.

Fitz has simply maintained his career (barely) due to undertaking other projects. In addition to creating a small supply of talens, he has managed to find a couple of large blocks of time to travel to Cookeville and exchange the teaching of rites with Trina. After that, he bound talismans to each of the pack members. He has also sketched out various hot spots of spiritual activity in Nashville.

Archie remained relatively sedentary, as is his wont. However, he has done some investigation on Industrial Oil and Bryan Turner Group to see what there was in the way of a backstory to the dumping the pack stopped. So far information is a bit conspicuous by its absence.
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Another night down, one more to go...
Tomorrow morning we have a decision to make. We either hunt down our friend Jergen or we go into the sewers in search of evil. I am not sure which one we should do, honestly.

Jergen was touched by evil this 5th night of Fornskrak. After going out on a reconnaissance mission, he returned with no teeth, blood all over his face and open, puss filled sores all over his face. While we were deciding which temple to take him to try and get him healed, he jumped from the window and vanished into the night. All of this, just for finding out that the cartage company that we had our eye on had taint on it, and seemed to be a breeding ground for the undead.

I am still of a mind to find Jergen and help. He was a good compatriot and he didn't give himself willingly to chaos. He fought alongside me on a few occasions and it pains me to see that he will be hunted and killed if ever he shows his face again. We in the Dwarven community have fought Chaos for longer than many of the other races combined. It just seems that too many things are called Chaos and Tainted in the manling realm then would ever be looked at strangely in mine.

We carry on. After the rest of the group was confronted with a demon last night, and we find ourselves facing demon coins this day, we now go into the sewers in search of the one person who can cause all of this. This person who caused the taint of a companion, and would cause the destruction of this city, we go in search of him and try to destroy him, or find those that he would sacrifice to this dark god of pleasure and pain.

I regret that we were unable to help the young singers that had come to us for help. I find that the people that my companions ended up facing used runic symbols tattooed onto their chests as weapons. I must find out more about this on the morrow, if I can, and see if there is anything that can be done to stop it. The world that I left behind has come into my daily life a few times in the last month, and it pains me that I have not found my honor. But, I search tirelessly.

I found the temple of Grungni today and went there, seeking information and hoping to feel the Gods hands again. Thungni has left me and I walk the path of Grminir the Fearless, now, but the brethren of Grungni may yet hold a hand out to me in times of need. The temple was in the same district as the cartage company that we have had so many problems with. They have seen nothing more than the usual ratmen, sewers wardens, drunken nobels', or the spoiled brats of those same drunks in quite some time. There hasn't been any new activity that would raise any worry, and that makes me wonder what is planned for this party, if there hasn't been anything to raise alarm in the sewers.

The party is a day and a half away and we are now down a party member. We need to recruit someone that we can trust before we walk into this party that could turn into a charnel house. What makes me think that the whole thing revolves around this man who has summoned one demon in this city?

I need to return to my cups. I feel my buzz lifting and it is hard to think.
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Journal Entry 392
So as of today, I survived an assassination attempt
. And that wasn't even the craziest thing that happened. This morning, 6 weeks out from earth, the ship was attacked by pirates! I did my best to be nice and one of the captains knew who I was and turned against his allies for me ;)
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to turn the battle in our favor. We were saved by a mysterious ship! Our first story for the IPNN [InterPlanetary News Network], I thought, so after we were out of danger they sent one of the crew over to help us with repairs... turns out he was... how do I put this. The only crew member? Well that's not exactly true. I invited the whole crew over for dinner to thank them, and he was the only one that showed up, but with a different accent... and he said he was the doctor. It took us a while to figure it out because he was always in this crazy body armor suit, but this guy... he has multiple personalities. Two of them are girls!!! Tres, tres strange.

Then during dinner, I made a really unpleasant scene. I started having this pain everywhere. I immediately though of the killing nanites that father researched - the ones that burrow out of you and destroy everything in the way? Yeah. Me screaming, Lincoln [my bodyguard] freaking out. He was injecting me with all kinds of first aid; I was going for the steak knife on the table, anything to make it easier to get the things out of me. Luckily I didn't go nuts on him, it was too much pain.
The "doctor" guy from the mystery ship shot me up with something amazing (I swear no matter the personality this guy is a genius) and the pain finally subsided mostly. I snapped at our ship's doctor for wanting to give me yet another shot. Lincoln's theory that someone on the ship had activated the nanites was probably valid and another shot of something bad could've done me in, but whatever he gave me actually helped.

I told Lincoln that he should go find a pirate survivor and question them, but that didn't lead anywhere.
I don't understand the point of wanting me dead. This news station will give the remnant of humanity hope or closure. We need to know what happened, what is still happening because of Chimera. Just a few more weeks until we get to the ex-SSPC [Self-Sustaining Prison Colony {just made that up}] and we can set up a base of operations. I just have to figure out who could have set me up. In the interest of my safetly Lincoln insists I stay on the stranger's ship for the remainder of the trip. Maybe I'll find out something interesting about him... er... her, depending - so confusing!
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Correspondence of Mencia de Morena – 3rd Vorgeheim, 2523 – Templar’s Arms - Middenheim
<<OOC: This is entirely written in Estalian.>>

Addressed to Adriano & Maria-Lucia de Moreno
Durango, Estalia

Dear Father & Mother,

I write you this letter with a heavy heart to share news that doubtless you will be hearing of all the way back home. Had an opportunity to write you to been available to me yesterday, the tone of my letter would have been quite different as there was exciting news to share, but alas things took a tragic turn this evening. Let me explain.

We arrived in Middenheim just over two days ago after finishing out the remainder of our journey, thankfully it was mostly uneventful. Our mission here, I believe that I’ve mentioned previously, has been to try to determine the whereabouts of Witchhunter Gormann at the request of our employer, Inquisitor Altmann. He had been missing for a couple of weeks now, and the worst was feared due to the nature of the mission that he had been investigating. We took rooms at the Templar’s Arms, the same hostel where Gormann had been staying, and began our investigation. I wish that I could say that we were finding success but in truth we have been finding this to be one of the most difficult investigations that we have undertaken, but we were continuing to explore every avenue that we could beginning by retracing the steps taken by Gormann himself as we knew them.

The second day into our investigation we received a message from someone that was intended for Gormann, but in his absence, and perhaps because I was recognized as a fellow Estalian, the message and request for assistance was given to us via a messenger from Lady Antonia Riveria-Salazar Flores, of Estalia. She has been on tour through the empire, lately performing at the Royal College of Music. With the request to meet after her performance, we were fortunate enough to be given tickets to see her perform – a beautiful experience that I have no doubt will remain strong in my memory for the remainder of my life. After the performance we met with her backstage and discovered the nature of her request for assistance – it seemed that her understudy had gone missing, a young woman who was on friendly terms with Witchhunter Gormann. When we discovered the connection, and after speaking to her and recognizing her genuine concern for the young woman, Bianka, we agreed to look into the disappearance, and in return she would help us to obtain papers that we needed to further our investigation into Gormann’s disappearance.

To sum up, as our investigation drag out through that night (we were dealing with a time limitation as the tour was scheduled to leave Middenheim after the next night’s performance, and Bianka was meant to accompany) and no sleep was had by those of us carrying out the investigation, we were able to discover a good deal about the young woman’s origins (including the incredible turn of fortune that her life had taken as she came to work for the Lady Flores) and most of what had happened to her. She was abducted and a hideous act was committed against her, she was used as the sacrifice in a summoning of an entity of great evil by cultists to the one known as Slynish. She escaped them after, however the damage was already done – and would only grow worse as we would come to find out that she was, essentially, a bomb waiting to explode when it might do the most damage. Something evil possessed her and perhaps acting as her, she resumed Bianka’s life, showing up at the theater prepared to go on stage and perform after an introduction by the Lady Flores. By this time we knew what had happened, and I had sent word to the theater to warn the Lady Flores, but my message was not received in time and by the time I was able to go to the theater to follow up with her – while my companions continued to search for Bianka – the entity had broken free of her and begun it’s killing spree. Many innocent lives were lost in the fight that ensued, and because the city is under the control and protection of the Church of Ulrich, upon arriving I had to wait some time before I could get into the Theater to try to lend assistance. While I waited I did use the opportunity to send someone after my companions, that additional help might be provided, and just as they arrived we were able to lend our assistance to those who were entering the building and assist them in the search for survivors and the demon that attacked.

What we found inside was a horrible scene, I feel confident in saying even after having witnessed many horrible scenes. Perhaps the worst of the tragedies of that night being that the Lady Flores was badly injured in the fight, our Doctor, Rudeger, was able to stabilize her but the nature of the injuries made a full recovery impossible. She was left with her vocal cords ripped and her beauty marred. (A fate which I can’t help but feel guilty for, had I perhaps gotten to the theater sooner – or figured out what was going on faster – might I have prevented that tragedy from happening? Or would it have happened anyway due to how unarmed we have been forced to work – the only blade that we are permitted is a dagger, though I have smuggled a pistol along when I am able and the potential for danger is high.) Bianka was also found, the entity possessing her has left, sent back from whence it came by the city guard, but the young girl is, I expect, permanently broke and may be put to death given the possibility of taint or corruption that could cause her to be used by the minions of chaos to use her again.

That is where things stand at this point. What we know, and what we will follow up on just as soon as we have all rested – I can feel the weight of exhaustion overtaking me even as I write this, having been awake for nearly two days and functioning on the fumes of a potion to hold of sleep in order that we might accomplish all that needed to be done. We have the names of individuals that we suspect both as responsible for the many deaths at the theater, the kidnap and sacrifice of Bianka, as well as reported abductions of multiple pregnant women from the city – who we suspect will be used as an even greater sacrifice, and a potentially greater evil that is about to be unleashed upon this city – our task is not a small one, but it is one that we will not fail. We cannot.

I will write more when it is resolved and we have accomplished that which we need to do, I hope with news of success to be taken after such difficult days.

Your daughter,
Mencia
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