Hydromancer? Shapeshifter? Whatever mood fits best.
Drench, Detect Poison, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Daze, Dancing Lights, Flare, Light, Ray of Frost, Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Open/Close, Arcane Mark, Prestidigitation
Air Bubble, Identify, Hydraulic Push, Magic Missile, Color Spray, Alter Winds, Reduce Person, Mage Armor
Locate Object, Mirror Image, Alter Self, Knock
Aqueous Orb, Lightning Bolt, Haste, Slow, Communal Spider Climb
Dimension Door, Scrying, Ride the Waves, Black Tentacles
Permanency, Stone to Mud, Wall of Stone, Polymorph, Telekinesis
Amaranth started as one of Pisces‘s personal apprentices, the School Master of one of the Merfolk schools that migrate around the Gnord Isles and Southern Sea, and a wizard of some repute. She was raised by Pieces as a daughter, but when Amaranth got older, she rebelled against him constantly, fighting for a measure of independence. In her twenty first year, her loyalty to Pisces was finally broken for good when Pieces convinced the school that the Sahuagins inhabiting the Ruins of Ill Omen must be destroyed. Amaranth had learned that in truth Pisces desired the magical trident the Sahuagins possessed, and even though the Sahuagins were enemies, they shouldn’t be obliterated for one fish’s greed.
After the events at the Ruins, Amaranth chose to travel with the adventurers. She believed that she needed some space from Pisces, but she was also intensely curious about the world above the surface. She traveled to Rycia, a city she had heard much about from sailors. However, she was put off by the brutality of the dessert and soon returned to her old school, hoping to bury the hatchet with Pisces. For awhile, everything was hunky-dory, but Amaranth longed to experience more of the surface world. She traveled to a place she had heard was famous for being a center for arcane learning, a city of mages called Arcades.
It’s been 3 Days since I went through the mirror to the place described to me by the northern sailors: Arcades, City of Mages, A place of personal discovery and wondrous mysteries. In just those few days, I’ve discovered so much! ‘Tis a magical place, filled with creatures and contraptions the likes of which I’ve never dreamt. I spent hours at the Waterfall district, entranced by the sights and sounds of the ceaseless cascades as they descend into the lake far below. The water here is so clear! I could see strait through the water strait through to the rocky bed. From the top of the cliffs I could see for miles around, and I’ve never seen so much green! The surface is covered by grasses, moss, and the largest plants I’ve ever seen (called trees); they crowd and obscure the familiar blue sky. What a strange place this is.
I do regret leaving Puffy the puffer fish back home; he was not fond of our prior excursion into the surface world, but this place is not at all like the dry and hot place we visited before. Puffy would have enjoyed this place, and I feel more homesick than ever without him. I will try to bond a new familiar soon who will be more agreeable with the surface world.
Today I enrolled into one of the cities many academies. The concept is a bit foreign to me; people come from near and far to participate in this community dedicated to the magic. These students are gathered together and uniformly taught a prescribed course of magic from a young age. My skills are homegrown, and my new classmates are fascinated by the tricks I can do, but these spells are commonplace back home (seriously? Who doesn’t know how to push water?). There are a few other out-of-towners in the academy who have some bizarre spells of their own. As I reflect on today, the appeal to a community like this occurs to me. When I left by school back home, I could have gone anywhere, but I chose to come here to a place I’ve only heard of in passing, without a notion of what I might do or what might happen. But I love magic, and everybody here feels the same, and despite us coming from all sorts of different walks of life, we share a kind of kinship.
I have not had a session yet; the town operates under a 7 day work schedule, whereby sessions are only held on the first 5 days of the cycle. Today was the 5th day, so 3 days from now I will report to the lecture hall and attend my first transmutation session.
What a day! Since my last entry two days ago, I’ve been becoming more acquainted with the academy lifestyle. There I was with a group of classmates in a study lounge, a place where the students pretend to be working on their projects as they do nothing of the sort, when a flock of books came blustering in. Not the strangest thing I’ve seen this past week, but shortly thereafter some familiar faces came charging in. Altair and Locke with that Richard fellow, whom I have not seen for more than a month, suddenly appeared and undid the hexed paperbacks! We chatted for a bit to catch up on old times; evidently, the fiend Eulis had gathered all the Mysteria and the heroes journeyed to the edge of time to thwart him, and wound up here in Arcadies of all places to continue their personal quests.
They were sourly missed in these past weeks; I doubted I would ever see them again, so once we were reunited, I could not help but join in their adventure. We spent the rest of the day on the town, tracking down some more hexed artifacts. We came across a pet shop where all of the critters had gotten loose, but we were able to coral them all back inside, save one adorable little winged creature that reminds me of the bottom feeders back home we used to poke fun at. The shopkeeper had not seen the creature before and was not at all opposed to letting me keep him. Strange, he almost seemed glad to see the creature away. The thing has spunk to him, and has the same curiosity of the world as I do (though he’s a bit more focused on what in the world is edible). I’ll have to spend some time considering a name.
Later, we wondered into the Evocation district, a place I had not yet visited, where we happened upon the annual battle royal weekend event. They didn’t let Altair participate, something to do with not being qualified. I did evidently qualify, since in no time at all I was up on the dueling mat facing off against the returning champion, a prettied-up bimbo named Andrasta. I should know better than to join in these events hosted by the other classes; I hadn’t practiced dueling in years and my evocation skill isn’t up to snuff. Whatever, it was just some tournament that I had no business in. After the match, Altair was brought in for some questioning by the battle mages. What has he gotten himself into this time?
I’ve been a bit too busy to write up this entry; so much has happened in just the past few days! I attended my first lecture (it was on altering the consistency of stone) and have been staying up late working on an assignment with my study-buddy Sarlac. I’ve been mooching his notes and texts since those are so darn expensive! Oh well, that’s the way of things I suppose. Gilligan (that’s the name I gave to the creature I met last weekend) has been supper cool in helping too, as his understanding of mud is boundless. We went and spent the hours of ritual to bind him as my familiar, we were getting along so great!
But that news is nothing compared to the events of today! As you recall, Altair had been brought into questioning by the battle mages, but we hadn’t seen him all day. Turns out he was being held against his will at a Top Secret Underground Research Facility! We probably would have spent days searching the city to find him, but today, at that very same facility, an anomaly released a band of faceless monsters onto the streets, and we jumped into action. However, I didn’t have time to prep my spell this morning since I overslept and was late to class.
Gilligan, however, teamed up with the Dean of Evocation and apparently put on quite the show.
We managed to reunite with Altair and beat back the menaces and close the portal from whence they came. Richard accused the mages of messing with forces they ought not to and summoning creatures they couldn’t control, but I don’t think it’s as simple as that. Wouldn’t the mages have had safeguards in place if they suspected this kind of event could have occurred? They would have, I’m sure, but they were clearly taken unaware, so something else is at play here…
The mages council convened today, discussing the events at the research facility, and we were summoned to them when they were done. Eldridge, the Dean of Divination and the Arch Mage, explained to us that essentially the veil that separates our world from the outsiders are weakening, which is how the Gigases, the faceless monsters, managed to attack in such strength. The mages suspects that, as the veil continues to decay, an invasion is inevitable! They’ve asked us to travel to the kingdoms to warn and prepare them for the coming storm, since we’ve fought the monsters and are capable adventurers.
We will be heading out after this weekend, as I need that time to cram through the rest of my project. They’ll thank me for it later. Locke bought me a copy of the Geomancer’s Handbook, as Sarlac was being a jerk about me borrowing his copy, so it should be smooth sailing from here out.
Remember the last thing I said in my last entry, that everything will be smooth sailing? Well I jinxed it. Turns out that Locke had stolen my copy of the Geomancer’s Handbook from the book seller, but it wasn’t difficult for the merchant to figure out where it had gone. By the waves, sometimes I can’t stand that man’s morality. The centaur burst into the eatery we were at, made a scene whereby Locke and he got into each other’s faces, and I had to give back the book just to keep them from coming to blows. Boys…
Anyway, I and Gilligan spent the whole weekend at Sarlac’s place working on the project. By the first class of this cycle, we had all the kinks sorted out and our Stone to Mud spell worked flawlessly! Sarlac was a total sleaze ball though, but I gave him what-for.
By the Waves, it has been ages since I last picked this thing up! I had thought it lost actually, but it happened to have settled somewhere between a dark steel axe and the Muramasa blade in the bag of holding. Since it’s been nearly three weeks since my last entry, I must be forgiven if my memories of those events are a tad hazy. Also, since so much has happened and I don’t have all night to write it down in as much detail as it disserves, I will try to be brief with it.
So I forget exactly how it happened, but we left Arcades in possession of three of the academy’s horses. Now, I had never ridden a horse before, which should surprise no one as I have spent most of my life without legs. The closest thing to riding that I’ve ever done is be pulled along by a hippocampus as I grasped its dorsal fin. I believe that anyone else in my position would have had just as much trouble as I did. In fact, I think I got the hang of it exceptionally quickly, having only fallen from the saddle three times.
We arrived at an old fortress where a troop of fighter-types had taken residence. They called themselves paladins, but were woefully inexperienced. Richard attempted to train them, but I found the whole thing tedious, and went about studying up on some incantations. That was until we were rudely interrupted by an old acquaintance, the dread pirate Salazar, accompanied by the bounty-hunter Catalina. They came for Locke, wielding weapons of thunder and steel the likes of which I’ve never seen. It didn’t matter, for we disarmed them and took them prisoner.
However, Salazar revealed startling information: the dwarf who stole Locke’s investments had been captured by Salazar, and now Salazar was using him as collateral to bargain for his life. This was a tough call, as we were ill prepared to travel alongside a cutthroat into a potential trap, but we didn’t want to leave the dwarf to his fate either. Since everyone had a different opinion on the matter, we left it ultimately up to Locke, whose business this was in the first place, and he chose to leave the felon in the hands of the paladins as we get on with our mission.
After that… I don’t quite remember. We stopped in on a wizard who was busy building a pocket dimension in case the weakening of the veil could not be stopped and he had to escape this realm. He informed us that this crisis may be a prophecy coming to fruition, but I don’t put much stock in those, especially when they decry the end of the world. Still… the end of the world might soon be on the horizon if we should fail.
Wow, feels like I’ve been writing for hours and there’s still so much to tell. I’ll get back to this tomorrow morning.
I find myself with a lot of spare time at night now, ever since I got this magic ring that makes a mere two hours of sleep be as restful as a whole eight. Unfortunately, this means while the others sleep I’m stuck with the “graveyard shift” (another quirky phrase I’ve picked up while mingling with so many dry-landers). Not even Gilligan stays up with me, despite the lazy head’s habit of sleep most of the day away in Guilder’s cart.
Speaking of Guilder, I need to tell you how we met. Well, after stopping at the dreary town of Vanguard and failing to bluff myself to appear as a dwarf, we passed through the Darkwood, where we met a friendly woodsman named Chuck. He gave us lodging during the night, and helped us against a monster called the Spiritmonger. I gave a polymorph technique I’ve been working on a try, transforming into a blue bear. I gave the group quite the startle, as apparently they don’t speak bear. Chuck did speak bear, and he told me that there’s no such thing as blue bears…
Anyway, we made our way through the woods, over the river, and onto Wybury, where we planned to gain some aid against the invasion. This Rossla character had adventured with the guys in the desert, and apparently had been trained at the very enclave we met the paladin troop. We were going to kill two birds with one stone by raising Wybury’s arms, and by convincing Rossla to help train the paladins. Of course, when we got there, there was turmoil in the kingdom, and we were just the adventurers to do something about it.
While we were investigating a mystery, Guilder showed up, an inquisitor by day, a monster hunter by night, or something likes that. He had tracked a werebat to Wybury, and with his aid we dealt with the menace. While we were at it, we saved a priest, did a fetch quest, and chased off a gremlin; all in a day’s work.
After a night of song and drink, regaling guilder with tales of our adventures and current mission, he decided to team up with us on our journey through the Green Lands. The trek was mostly uneventful until we arrived at Glitterdale, supposedly a once bustling mine town. However, the Dwarf Locke was betrayed by stole the town’s wealth, and almost all the people had abandoned the settlement. Only a single dwarf, named Rusty, still lived there. Locke and Altair visited some old ruins they had ventured in once, but beside nostalgia, found nothing.
Well now you’re caught up, and I ought to get back to watching; I hear tell that there are fiendish creatures that stalk the night around here. We’re heading to Iversten in the morning, and I plan to work on my tinkering skill on the way, maybe spruce up some of the junk we have around here.
What an awful day! We were only a couple miles out from Iversten when we had an unforeseen encounter with the Denizens of Chaos; there was one Gigas who had disguised itself as a tree (whether this was an illusion spell or a shape shifting technique, I could not tell). However, there was only one of it, and was felled before much damage was done. However, a new foe accompanied the Gigas. They appeared human shaped, but pale, gangly, without clothing or thought. Locke was invisible when he came upon them, but they nonetheless detected him, and we rushed in to support. They were easily slain, given their fragile state, but to our horror, as the deathblow was struck, the creatures splintered and burst in a cloud of white flame!
The Husks, as I named them, were feasting on a horse when we found them, and in the horse’s saddlebags was a full suite of silver armor. I jarred the guy’s memory, reminding them that the Shrine to the elf god Alaborn had a silver suite stolen from it, and that we were tasked with retrieving it. However, the suite was tainted black, and certainly appeared wicked. This obvious analysis nevertheless failed to discourage Altair from trying the suite on. Predictably, the cursed suite became bound to him, and he was unable to remove the heavy plate from his body.
I must admit, despite how unfortunate it is for Altair, typically so quick and flowing with his movement, to be trapped in a suite of armor, it is kind of funny watching him stumble around in it, looking like some sort of clumsy black knight. To be sure, this is a tragedy and we should look to free him as soon as possible… but still… it’s kind of funny. I sent a message to Eldridge reporting our encounter with the Gigas and Altair’s predicament; hopefully they’ll be able to help somehow.
Yesterday was merely a prelude to the abominations we would witness today. After a short night’s rest (it’s getting annoying waking up so many hours before sunrise and waiting for all the others, and especially Locke who’s always the last to stir), we came upon Iversten in the midst of a goblin raid! The town was in flames, women and children screaming as they were ripped from their homes and caroled into cruel cages. We managed to fight off a handful of them, but there were dozens others that made off with captives.
Before we could worry about the prisoners, we had to save what was left of the town. We spent most of the day putting out fires or tending to wounded, but afterwards, we made after the prisoners, Guilder tracking their caravan’s trail, and I scrying to reveal that they were holding up in a cave. To make a long story short, we managed to sneak past the majority of the goblin tribe into the tunnels, and saw that they were preparing for war, having built a number of siege engines. We encountered the forces of chaos in there as well, but whether the Goblins willingly served them or were under the influence of mind control, we never knew. Another tear like the one in Arcades had opened within the tunnels, but we managed to collapse it by destroying the resonance emitters holding it. The emitters were made of dragon scale of all things… curious.
After closing the portal, we made our way out of the tunnels, but not before Richard and Guilder were caught in a devilish arrow trap that nearly ended Richard’s second life. Guilder flew Richard to safety while I, Altair, and the freed prisoners scaled our way free. The goblins were given quite the scare as they were beset by spider swarms from Altair’s Spider Box, but I am glad that we managed to avoid unnecessary killing. Us, battered and out of spells, trudged back to Iversten, and there was much rejoicing.
Now that I’ve recounted our rescue of the hapless citizens and closing of a chaos portal, I need to mention the arrival of Trafire, the Dean of Evocation. She arrived just as dusk was coming upon us on our way to the goblin cave, in all her fiery glory. She had announced herself as being the answer to my message yesterday, as well as bearing news on the crisis of chaos. Firstly, she couldn’t break Altair out of the armor unless he returned to Arcades with her, where they would have the instruments to remove the armor without killing him. Also, they don’t want to simply dispel the armor, as it is the first artifact we have that’s been touched by the chaos magic, and it might provide valuable insight. However, I don’t think everyone trusts the mages, for whatever reason.
On a dire note, Trafire and the magi have been investigating the cause for the weakening veil, looking for what exactly is ripping it. Turns out, they believe that the veil is being torn from both sides, which the forces of chaos could not, on their own, break through to our realm. There must be something or someone on our plane ripping holes as well, somehow cooperating with the other side. The good news is that we have a solution: if we stop the tearing from our side, we stop the crisis entirely. The bad news, the power it would take to weaken the veil on this scale is inconceivably massive. I don’t jest when I say that nothing short of a god should have that much power over the planes. Nevertheless it’s happening, so let’s hope I’m wrong for once and let it not be a god trying to destroy the world.
My mood right now can hardly be described in words, but elated, thrilled, jubilant, or delighted can all work at this instance. I haven’t worked so feverishly since I had only a weekend to complete developing a Stone to Mud spell, but in a mere four or five days I’ve constructed my greatest craft yet, a Headband that grants the wearer vast intellect! Maybe it took me six days; they all ran together after a while. Anyway, for only the cost of some cloth, sewing materials, and eight grand worth of powdered harpy glands and thunder bug extract, this beaded headband has enhanced my understanding of magic, the planes, and the skill of disguise oddly enough. I cannot wait to try some of my spells with this wonder!
I can never admit this to the others, but while I was in my room working, Altair left with Trafire for Arcades, and I didn’t realize he had gone until I couldn’t find him to show off the headband, days after he had left. Also, Richard had spent a few days convalescing while Locke went and did Locke things, and Guilder gathered valuable arcane trinkets and knowledge to help my craft. I did notice that much by the way.
If the pages of this tome appear that they have gotten wet, that would be because I am writing this entry on a boat, and a Mend spell can only do so much for water damage. I suppose one could call this a boat, being such an encompassing word. I certainly don’t know how the tiny thing stays afloat with seven of us on it. Maybe it’s magic. Whatever, I’ve jumped ahead again.
After leaving Iversten, we crossed a clear, grassy country, in the middle of which we encountered an aged gentleman admiring a pillar. He explained to us that this pillar marks the site of a battle that took place here more than two millennia ago, as northern men made to expand their empire into the south. The gentleman told the story of a general for whom these fields were named after, Ardamir, and he told it so well that it seemed we might be taken back there ourselves if we leaned too far off the edge of our seats. His name is Veril, and he’s a bard and story teller, author of a number of best sellers, including the History of the Empire series. I got him to sign my copy.
As it turns out, we and Vrill were going in the same direction, and so we shared the road. We arrived in Pettleburg three days ago; we hadn’t been to a town this large since Wybury. It seemed to be in the middle of rapid expansion, with many new developments being erected outside the city walls. I was again reminded of Altair’s absents, who I would have challenged to a climbing race up and across the scaffolds. I wonder what he’s up to right now…
Anyway, our business in Pettleburg looked to be coming to a swift end, as we had no trouble seeing the mayor. He was a rotund fellow, but stood proud before the newly constructed city hall. Though he hadn’t the slightest idea what we were saying about the veil weakening and the realm being condemned to chaos, he nevertheless promised his guards when and if the invasion begins. However, it seemed that the local blacksmith was in trouble, and we have to help him if Pettleburg is to be prepared. And that’s why I’m on a boat heading into the Blue Lands; a witness described a strange light making off with the blacksmith’s wares at extreme speed this way.
One last thing; do you remember the Dread Pirate Salazar? Well he showed up again, and in his monolog, claimed that he has a new benefactor. Before we could say a thing, he set upon us a terrible monster of flesh and steel, barred the door to the warehouse and set the place on fire; it’s like he’s trying to kill us! We got the heck out of there, but Salazar got away this time. None of us felt particularly secure staying in town with a sneaky murderer on the loose (well, at least I didn’t), so we hired a boat and left first thing the next morning. By chance, we encountered Catalina in the Bannered Stallion, who apparently had a falling out with Salazar over a dispute of money vs. revenge. I was skeptical of her, but Locke went ahead and hired her, and I trust she’ll stay loyal as long as we keep paying.
I write this incensed by Locke’s latest attempts at… I don’t know what. What does he prove by giving away his gold? Why did he kill Salazar if not to take back the stolen treasure? Was it for Justice? Salazar was a loathsome pirate who would have been hung no matter what court tried him. But Locke always seemed to be the “live and let live” kind of guy, so I don’t think that’s it. However, Salazar had a death wish for Locke, so did Locke kill him before Salazar could kill Locke first? Salazar, if he ambushed us again, would have been his third strike. Everyone knows about the luck that surrounds the number three, so taking him out before that third attempt may have been wise.
So was it in self defense that Locke killed Salazar, a cold calculation that called for preemptive strike? Or was it revenge? I’ve always found that revenge is the purist of motivations, as we can observe in Salazar himself. Salazar was unrelenting in his desire for revenge against Locke for stealing his ship, killing his crew, and leaving him for dead. Salazar turned away his partner for the mere chance to kill Locke in just the way he designed, which inevitably resulted in his demise. But if Locke had killed Salazar in revenge, then Locke would be no better than the pirate. Also, if Locke wanted to kill Salazar out of revenge, he could have done it back at the enclave. Therefore, I don’t think revenge was the motive, thankfully.
So why then did Locke give away the gold? If Locke’s cold and calculating mind told him that it would be a good idea to Kill Salazar, the same calculating mind should have also told Locke that getting as big a cut of the treasure as he could would have also been a good idea.
The gold was due to Locke. Catalina had no claim on it. Catalina only knew about it because she helped Salazar steal it, so I expect. The gold was Locke’s, and everyone agreed that it was “Locke’s gold.” Even Salazar used it as collateral against him, though Locke refused to be toyed with like that. So, if the gold didn’t mean anything to Locke, then why, I ask again, did he kill Salazar? I am thoroughly stumped here.
I suppose the one good to come out of this was that we saved an innocent… or at least a not as guilty man from a terrible fate. Let’s hope he’s worth it.
By the waves, what a day! What adventures we keep finding ourselves in. Today we arrived in Winno to find the entire populace bewitched! They were infatuated with a single entity, reduced to drones to serve at his beck and call. I had heard of such powerful spells used to terrible effect by cruel witches and warlocks, and after today, I will never underestimate the influence of mind magic again. Even I was bewitched by the spell, and I can report that it leaves a very uncomfortable aftertaste.
Luckily for us, the perpetrator wasn’t an evil sorcerer or malefactor, but rather a love-struck alchemist who botched a love potion. It was ironic but sweet, as Yiktic meant the love potion to only work on the young flower girl Azlet, but she was the only person in town to have resisted it. Locke, Richard, and Altair managed to get the counter potion to Yiktic, and all was returned to normal. In fact, it turns out that Azlet had a thing for Yiktic too, so maybe now that they both know each other’s heart, the two can start over. Ah romance, it is surely the strongest magic, capable of overcoming any incantation. When I was little and when the school was close to shore to do trading, I would wonder off to listen to the songs the sirens used to lure sailors. Those songs would steal anyone’s heart, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I still remember the words to some of them.
Anyway, to change the subject, I feel that we must hurry on to rally stronger allies for the reckoning. When I list off who we’ve gotten already, I can’t help but think we’re lacking any substantial muscle. The Council of Mages can’t carry the resistance all by themselves, and the free peoples of the Marches are only a collection of unorganized farmers. We do have the Knights of Lion’s Shield in Vanguard, but they are green, and I don’t know if we’re going to have enough time for Rossla’s training to be of any use. We must hurry on towards Romeris before time’s run out!