War of the Burning Sky

Shey's Diary, Page Five

Tajen seems lovely. And Dakers seems like a stalwart fellow. I am happy to have their help, truly, and I’m sure they’ll fit in with our dreary band of rag-tag couriers. Orvas seems as surefooted and upbeat as usual, Vola looks to be getting kinder and more dependable by the day. I didn’t know what to think about her at first, given where she’s from, but now I realize that she, more than anyone else here, would understand the Ragesian military’s cruelty. Rand is, well Rand is somewhat absent but I suppose he has his own difficulties to bear. Torrie has been quiet through most of our journey. I trust her, and I’ll follow her through whatever flames we meet, I just hope she knows what we’re doing next.

As for our destination, well.

I. I just don’t know what to say. I am utterly speechless. I don’t know what to say other than that WE DON’T ENSORCELLE RANDOM PEOPLE WHERE I COME FROM. I don’t get it. I just honestly don’t understand these people, these people who would turn on their own neighbors to turn a profit. Who would kidnap and murder and rape for a shiny new brooch. I just. I don’t understand.

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Orvas' Journal (Page 7)

Typical. We finally arrive at our destination after weeks of walking, and the first thing we have to do is wait. The Wayfarer Cirqueliste is in town. I’ve never seen one of their ships before, nor, really, much of their cirqueliste-ing. They were hiring. In another life, that would have been really tempting, but I have a job to do: I’m supposed to wait around here.
I spent some time helping train up the militia I guess they’re forming. They seem like good folk for the most part, though most of them aren’t fighters. If there is going to be a war, they’ll need to be an army.
Oh! Also, Shey brought some nice people he met to stay with us for the night. Tajen is (was?) a griffin rider! So that’s cool. I didn’t get a lot of time to speak to her, but the woman radiates kindness, so I like her. Her friend Dakers Gallo I don’t really know much about, but she seems to trust him, so I think I can too.
Later, we’re going to go to what I have gathered to be a war meeting to discus the future of what may end up being a war. At the very least, we’ll learn what was important enough for us to leave Gate Pass to bring it here.

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The Drunken Ramblings of Rand

There is something at at the bottom of this bottle, and if I don’t find it I can always try the next one. Buzzing…. there’s lots of buzzing…. People talking, churning out excuses to take advantage of one another when really it’s just human nature, or elven nature, or orcish nature, or nature nature… They do it to help each other, to help themselves, to make themselves feel important, better than everyone else, they’re screaming ‘HEY LOOK AT ME, I’M FUCKING HELPING, I’M BETTER THAN YOU’ and they got no idea how many other people get hurt along the way.
See, this bottle is safe, no one gets hurt, you just drink it till its gone and find another one to keep you company. See, safe. I could save them all, hurt them all, it’d be easy, but they don’t really want to be saved, they just want wallow in it an punch something and prove they’re right. Fucking halflings, all short and stuff, with their short slyness going on. And the beer here is shit. The wine’s not bad though.
Sufferin’ is what we do best. And I am the king. So I will drink to those poor bastards screaming in the fire and dying under the demon’s foot and hope they will shut up some day and leave me in peace.

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Vola's Journal, page three

Seaquen is overrun with refugees, which does not come as a surprise to anyone. Though we managed to get our unexplained case to its intended recipient, we received no more information as to what its contents may be.
It is unclear how long we will be in Seaquen, but we have paid a number of kind families for a week’s stay. I have decided to make my time here worthwhile, and have set up a make-shift clinic in the refugee camp. I am providing what healing I can, as well as the occasional prayer service. I don’t want to try to push my faith in the spirits on anyone, but I want to be able to share my faith with any who need it.
I spoke to a prominent Knight of the Aquiline Cross, an alleged eagle-rider, who told me that there has been quite a bit of fighting going on within the city. As if we needed to be fighting each other when war sits on our doorstep. She said that different groups are fighting each other: racial groups, religious groups, the whole ordeal.
Two more strangers seem to have somehow straggled into our group. A gryphon-rider from Gate Pass, a very nice girl who I heartily approve of, and her traveling companion, who claims to be a minor lordling or something along those lines. She has told me she plans on helping in my clinic, though it seems that Shey has whisked the two of them away on what is no doubt some exciting scheme of theirs.
Rand has more or less disappeared since we arrived in the city. The last I saw of him, he was staggering into the house we were staying at in the middle of the night, clearly drunk. I can only guess that he is hurting, or scared, or just tired of us, and of all of this, but it upsets me to see him act this way. I know he has a good head on his shoulders, if only he made a bit of an effort to tidy up his act. I’m sure we could put him to use somehow, there’s so much to be done in Seaquen, and in preparation for the war I’m sure is to come. Orvas has started working with the local master-at-arms, training soldiers, it would seem. How strange life is, to throw us all together into this mess. Not more than a month ago I was writing wishes on scraps of paper in anticipation of the Festival of Dreams, and now, here we are. Our home has been invaded, though the reports claim a victory on our side. Having seen the fire and devastation that engulfed Gate Pass as we fled, I don’t know if I can count it as a victory.
I have hope for the future, however. I have hope that I can make real change. Maybe my companions will finally work together for once and we’ll be able to save the world. Would that be too much to ask, do you think?
I think I’ll get a tent for my clinic, to keep the patients dry and protected. It rains a lot in this city. Save the world, one person at a time.

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Sequins

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  • Rand found the group accommodations on the North Shore, where some families were willing to accept boarders. After that, he got rip roaring drunk.
  • Vola met a fellow Knight of the Aquiline Cross, a half elf named Laurabec who has the companionship of a giant eagle
  • Orvas visited the Wayfarers Guild after hearing they were holding auditions. He met with Giorgio and is considering auditioning for The Spectacular Trial of Toteth Topec
  • Shey investigated rumours of missing young women, a trail which led, eventually, to prostitution at a brothel called Sequins and a biomancy shop called Majestic Creations. The brothel is owned by a halfling crime lord named Cernaban, but when Shey confronted him, he found he was ill-equipped to deal with the halfling.
  • Dakers Gallo, a Dasseni noble, and Tajen Notch, a former Griffon Rider from Gate Pass, first encountered the heroes as they attempted to purchase a dragon egg from Nathan Lowduke, at Sequins, where Rand was spending the evening.
  • Then, when training with Xavious Foebane, Shey came to ask the Dasseni commander about missing women, and Dakers and Tajen helped him with his search.
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Vola's Journal, page two

There’s a sort of numbness you develop, after a while. After trudging through fire and forest for weeks on end, you get sort of used to it. I’m tired, and sore, I won’t deny it, but I’m not scared. I feel strong. I know that the spirits have a purpose for me, and that all this is a necessary part of my journey. I know that I have the power to help people, and that is enough to keep me going, even when we are at our lowest.
I met Duke Alecto, and helped him heal the people of the town. After all we’ve been through these past few weeks, it was a gift from the spirits to spend that time with a man whom I look up to so much. His presence reminded me not to let my faith waver, even when I am faced with my own fear, or my own rage. Or, the audacity of my companion, Rand! Rand, I have learned, is a thief! Not only has he been stealing here and there since we met (and probably before, now that I think about it!), he had the nerve to steal from Duke Alecto while we were guests under his roof! I don’t know if I can ever show my face to him again. I am honestly ashamed.
However, I suppose I have developed a type of attachment for my traveling companions. Even Rand can be a good person at times. He cares so deeply for his family. Anyone with that much love cannot be all bad. As for the others, well. Shey, the elf, has his heart in the right place. He cares for people the same way I do, though he seems – lost. I worry about him, sometimes, and the creature of fire that passed through him. He has such passion, so much anger, and I fear it brings him more trouble than it’s worth.
I also feel somewhat protective of the boy, Dean, who we picked up on the road, rather worse for wear. We give him a lot of trouble, I know, but I feel drawn to him for some reason. I suppose I know what it’s like to come out of Ragesia, lost and alone, only to have everyone snarl at you behind your back.
And now, we approach Seaquen, our destination. What we hope to find here is somewhat of a mystery to me, if I’m being honest. But after braving a forest made out of fire (and after weeks of grumbling and arguing and ranting and raving and walking and walking and walking), I’m sure we can handle a city.

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Orvas' Journal (Page 6)

Not a huge fan of walking. Gotta say. I’m glad we got to help people along the way, though I really hope they don’t need our kind of help often.
I don’t like being out of the loop. There seems to be a war going on and I have no idea what’s happening outside the range of my vision. It’s maddening. Now that we’re almost at our destination, I realize how much I miss home. I just want to deliver this thing and go home. I want Rand’s family to be safe. I want the war to be over. I have no idea whether any of those things are going to happen.
Let’s focus on the mission: deliver the book, save home.

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Traveler's Tales
The journey through Dassen

Goal: Get to Seaquen

  • The heroes decide to trek overland to Seaquen, not following any major roads
  • They come across evidence of a battle where 5 Dasseni soldiers sworn to House Rego lay dead along with 3 Ragesian soldiers. They were several days dead and being picked over by crows.
  • On the road, the heroes were stopped by a patrol of lawmen bearing a blue armband with a talon emblem, demanding to see their papers
  • Later, they were warned not to continue by a man, who later introduced himself as Dean, a (former?) Ragesian soldier who appeared to have deserted and murdered his commander. Unfortunately for him, his commander was not dead. Or at least, not the quiet dead kind. The commander was found further down along the same road, burning a barn that contained another Ragesian soldier in it. The heroes fought valiantly and ended the abomination.
  • In the large town of Songhaven, Vola and Shey met Duke Alecto, who was healing the sick and injured. They helped him and he invited them to dine with him that evening. Turns out, King Steppengard has recalled his troops to the capital city of Bresk, leaving the lands undefended. Duke Alecto was in Songhaven to ensure it was defended against possible Ragesian movements.
  • The weather started to get icky as they moved southward
  • In the last town, Vidor, rowboats were purchased and the heroes made their way to Seaquen proper
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Chapter 3
Start of Chapter 3

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On a rocky coastal spur on the far side of a remote swamp, on the southern tip of civilized lands, an old city was swept into the sea. An earthquake collapsed its coastline, and volcanic geysers obliterated its people. All this happened centuries ago, but eventually people forgot the legends of curses, and sought to inhabit the land again. A clan of wizards, remembering only that once the peninsula had been home to a mighty fire mage in ages past, established a school, the Lyceum, on the rocky coastline, and brought slaves with them to tend to their needs.

Students, headmasters, and even slaves came and went, until only free men lived on the now-verdant rock spur. Around Lyceum grew a large town named Seaquen, home to just over a thousand fishermen, craftsmen, and former students. Spellcasters from around the world travel to Lyceum, no longer a school simply for wizards, but for all those who practice the magical arts. Lyceum and Seaquen have never known danger.

But now once-peaceful Seaquen is overrun with refugees, diplomats, spies, and heroes. A Scourge from the north burns its way outward from the Ragesian Empire, which seeks to capture or kill spellcasters disloyal to their realm; thousands have flocked to Seaquen in hopes of safety and salvation.

Lyceum, after proclaiming it will fight the Scourge, has found itself the rallying point for all the fleeing refugees. Most seek safety in numbers, some want to help, others desire an alliance; but a few wish to end Lyceum before it can affect Ragesia’s plans.

Among those arriving in Seaquen are heroes bearing a message from Gate Pass, a neutral city besieged by Ragesia. At the same time they arrive, a fleet from the elvish nation of Shahalesti begins a blockade of Seaquen, trying to force Lyceum to ally with them. While Lyceum and Seaquen struggle to handle the influx of refugees and volunteers, a secret plot to destroy the city is being set into motion, supported by Ragesian spies, but orchestrated by a distant and as-yet-unknown enemy.

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The Indomitable Fire Forest of Innenotdir
End of Chapter 2

The heroes’ main goal in The Indomitable Fire Forest of Innenotdar was to get through the dangerous Fire Forest and reach the other side, where lies the journey to the town of Seaquen. As they passed through the forest, they followed the Elfroad, though amid the simple dangers of strange monsters and hazardous terrain they realized that a tracker from Ragesia had followed them — Kazyk — and that the forest itself seemed to have an agenda.

When the heroes reached a river that cuts across the Elfroad, Indomitability sent a test for them, attacking them with small fire stags, then threatening to never let them leave if they refuse.

The fire stag directed the heroes downriver to a vast lake, where a village of fey sing a magical song that keeps Indomitability trapped, and thus keeps the forest alive. Before they reached the village, however, they witnessed an attack upon one of the fey, a seela woman named Tiljann.

The heroes decided to located a relic that could save the forest and the seela. In order to do that, they approached a dryad named Timbre, whose tree was on fire and would not see any visitors. Shey, believing he would be protected, attempted to step through the ring of fire that encircled the First Tree, and found that he was not immune to flame. But a strange thing happened and he stood back up, albeit with flaming antlers.

The heroes travelled to the bottom of Lake Seela, where the body of a giant stag was impaled with a sword. Pulling the sword out, Orvas bonded to the Living Blade of Innenotdir. The stag, who was the fire spirit Indomitability, now freed, swam to the surface and began exacting its revenge on the Seela that had kept him prisoner for decades. However, Orvas asked a boon of it, and the Seela were permitted to live.

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