The Ruins of Myvolia

Finally a little recognition

So I’ve been promoted to the honorable position of Master of Archives of Ran-Adin. Though it grieves me to still be stuck here, while my pleas go unheard by those who could do something about it, I must say that, in this instance, someone got something right.

I’ve been to the Sisters of St. Margo a few times to have them look into my breathing issues, and they assure me that it’s simply the change in humidity, and that my system will adjust…though it’s only gotten worse with time.

I’ve been continuing my studies on the fabled city of Thalia, and have uncovered some new information. Now closer to the position this great city once stood, I have a few more bits and pieces that have narrowed my search even further. I’ve been sharing my findings with the Gnome, Kaspar, and he seems genuinely excited about my research. He’s a secretive little man. One can only guess at his motives at any given time, though he has demonstrated his ability to utilize the Arcane Arts for me on more than a few occasions, and though not open to discussion are his talents, or their possibilities, he humors me on my occasional visits to the Dwarven Quarter to visit him.

My pleas for funding for the archives seem to get me about as far as my pleas for re-location, though the King himself has, on a few occasions, taken audience with me in respect to my research, and has “promised” that he will “look into the possibility of the allocation of some funds,” though I believe he says these things without thinking, and forgets them soon after.

I will continue my musings shortly, but for now I must go ensure that Kieth (a promising young student, though somewhat short-minded) has re-structured the Southwest corner of the Archives, as I have instructed him. If I were to venture a guess, it would be that he has not.

Hate might be too strong a word

So I’ve been a bit busy to put down my thoughts…but here’s one I’ve been stewing on: Brother Hayden is a disgrace to the order. After hiding in the corner while we dealt with demons and mummies, and after we successfully replaced the soul of a potent evil and kept it from wreaking havoc on the world with no help from him at all, he gets a promotion and relocates me to Ran-Adin?

I’ve begun a letter writing campaign to request a transfer back to civilization, but a suspect that my correspondences are not finding their destinations, as I have had no replies. Ran-Adin does not suit me. It’s hot, and dry, and dusty, and I believe I’ve contracted some kind of respiratory problem from the air quality here.

Nothing to do about it, however, other than to keep up my studies as best I can, and continue my possibly futile campaign to re-re-locate.

Desert Negotiations

I am now sitting in a hidden fissure, in the middle of a desert, next to the entrance of one of the most powerful arcanes to have ever lived. We felt it wise to wait and rest before forging forward—what with the events of the day.

The preists joined with me and the nomad early in the morning. We travelled to the fortress town of Ibylis. We discovered the town was in chaos. No maner of work was being done by the tradesman and all of the local gossips were gathering in the roads. Mounted warriors were gallopping heedlessly through crowds about the business of the local lord. Apparently one of the wives of the local Count had been kidnapped by some roaming savages: and now they are out for blood.

Our nomad companion is understandibly worried about his tribesman who have been hunted for sport for the last few years as the Pelorian colonialists have been making their homes in this strech of sand and rock. We did our best to avoid the situation but unfortunately our young knight smelled the blood and glory of war and decided to throw in his sword.

Not such a wise proposal as it turns out: this count seems to be some sort of enemy to our young knight and a bit of a tyrant to the territory. The Countess apparently was a young love of the knights before he enlisted into the Lantern order. We were just barely able to persuade the young Lantern Knight to follow our cause in the dessert.

Our nomadic guide became increasingly agitated as we entered his homeland. It was appaarent the local count had been exterminating and hunting down his tribesman. Sure enough as we crested the last hill before the encampment of our guides tribe we saw the decimation of the natives at the hand of the local militia. With only a cursory gut check we attacked the armed encampment.

The count was in the center of the encampment overseeing the execution of the last few remaining nomads, while a rape tent had been erected for the surviing women. The whole militia was not in force as it seemed several dispatches had been made to round up and eliminate any nomads that had fleed. But, that was just a half second assumption: the knight had already charged into the ranks of the Count’s militia with the surging anger of our guide seconds behind him.

By cover of night with a desert nomad

Just a a few minutes to take stock.

I am now sitting in the dark beside an outcast desert nomad commited to the preservation of the cell that has encapsulated the archmagus. I’m aquiver with esteem. For the archmage.

The lap of luxury I was looking forward to ended abruptly last night. I woke to the pitched screams of battle. An acolyte of the trapped magus tracked us down and tryed to wrest the urn from us. For apparently there is a ritual, involving human sacrifice, that can restore the archmage to life…or unlife.

Either way, I had the honour to witness, first hand, a full blown mummy in the flesh. And not some ragged monster some hack spellslinger threw together. This was the real deal. Ancient Myvolian wrappings, lapis lazuli, cornelians, and amazonites made me drool for the possible ornateness of his canopic jars…or even the full tomb that was created for this wonderful specimine of undeath. The creature was powerful. Unfortunately it didn’t manage to rot any of the priests…it would have been quite wonderful to see the immediate spread of the illness first hand.

The pragmatist within me spoke the loudest and I must admit I did try my hardest to defeat the creature. It would not have lead me to more knowledge. Right in the middle of the battle, the above mentioned nomad burst into the room to our aid. In a few seconds the spirit was down.

The priests and knight argued on about the course they must take regarding the safety of the vessel, the populus, and even the destruction of the magus…like that was ever an option. The nomad broke out the rest of the puzzle. Apparently the tomb…and cage of the archmage is close to the town of Ibylis. The nomad seemed deathly concerned about getting the urn back to the tomb so that the spirit could be safely contained yet again.

For some strange reason the party wished to stay in town the rest of the night to find out some fool thing or deal with some sort of personal issue: but I knew, if I follow this nomad he will lead me to more knowledge. This simple warrior tasked, since birth, with the protection of this hidden tomb will lead me to the depths of the Myvolian Necropolis.

I can’t seem to sleep.

A little comfort

Ah…finally…a little civilization. Well it seems the young lantern knight has some family in Ran Adin. His father works for the palace as some sort of phyisician so the father has a few spare copper in his coffer. I’ve been given a room and invitied to a real evening meal. This is a supreme relief considering the insanity I’ve had to put up with for the past two days.

As it turns out the urn is a reseptacle for a powerful magus trapped in the depths of time. This archmage was so powerful, that after his death, his spirit was captured and bound so as he might not return: now that is a degree of respect I can strive for.

The urn is just a small part of the cell binding the spirit and the story goes on and on about his posotion in life and death. It interests me not a little. What drove me was watching the insane ramblings of a devout priest of Pelor scralling necrotic arcane in feces across a cell in an asylum run by nuns.

You never know when you might catch a break.

As the others where abusiveley quizzing the poor matron pychiatric nursemaid I took quill to paper and sketched out a moderately powerful necrotic ward. Now, as I understand it, this babbling padre was the leader of an archialogical expedition that unearthed this urn. Of course, these sunlovers desperately want to contain this spreading evil so we are on a rush to capture or contain or even destroy this archmagus. I think that might be the safest move…for now.

What I do know is that if every barmy sunpreacher we run across starts spouting necromantic rituals I will be following this ragtag for quite a while.

A Couple of Inquisitive Nights

Travelling with the merchant caravan has accorded me a certain amount of security. In fact, my mind began to wander toward the relic that the older priest had been carrying on the ship. I had noticed it since so I thought I would offe rmy assistance…just in cas e it held any significant purpose.

I said I would gladly divine its purpose, power, and key if the clergyman would pay for the cost of my components. Knowing the last pearl I needed cost me 100gp I magnanimously offered said transaction at cost. The fool priest balked at my suggestion. He blustered on about how the church will tell him all he needs to know and that it was an outragious suggestion that he should have to pay. At this point the Knight spoke.

Strangly he was very keen to examine what the urn held within its mysterious past. Oddly, the young knight professed that the urn was evil and needed to be examined or destroyed. Teh older priest nearly fell to appolexy. He sputtered out loud about his position and his posession and how he would never intrust the rare artifact to a stranger.

I shrugged and was going to walk away until the Lantern Knight began bartering! Even though his superior had blatantly told him that was not the course to follow the young knight wanted to know if we could exchange loot.

Loot? I just wasn’t sue were this was going. I was not prepared to develop a booty schema with some random priests that I got shipwrecked with. So I said if he was serious I would gladly exchange a week of his service, bodyguard wise, of a time of my choosing. The elder priest was not pleased. Again, he started lecturing about his position in this endevour and how my small gnomish hands would never touch the rare antique.

Again, I started walking away. The chastised knight sullenly followed my stride. At the soonest distance from the Senior priests earshot he whispered “Why don’t you get the Lizard to steal it from Brother Hayden while he is sleeping; and then, we can find out what it is and put it back before the Brother is awake?”

It was very hard not to laugh. This was certainly the strangest Lantern Knight I had ever come accross. Not only does he cut a strong figure…he has an imps mind. I agreed, for the price of a weeks service, and set of to talk to my lizard.

This is why I stay in the library

Okay…so we’ve managed to beach ourselves, though not our ship.

I have some theories, which I will explore when I am again find myself in some semblance of civilization, though it’s hard to see them having the resources I need if their land is anything to go by.

I’ve read of this place…it’s harshness, and death dealing throughout history…but I must admit, even I couldn’t properly comprehend this. I’ve asked Pelor for water and food before, in situations where it was needed for his children to survive…but how does anyone survive in a place like this without heavenly assistance? I guess it’s true that hardship reinforces faith. Perhaps the hermits really have something there. Consider this my note to explore that further…perhaps the church will approve a pilgrimage for me for once. Other things to explore first, though.

My group seems pretty faithless itself…at one point I found myself launching into a sermon to reinforce their emotional (if not spiritual) state. For the sailors, it’s understandable, I suppose, and I’m not sure about the gnome…he seems a hard nut to crack. I sense a deep emotional void (or perhaps a space that was a void but has since been filled with impurities) within that one. He’s obviously got talent in the supernatural arts, which I have been “taught” to despise…though I don’t have (and have never had) a spiritual problem with that dimension of thought. Perhaps I’ll investigate it…though I get the impression that he may not be the one for the dialogue. Put it on the list.

The Paladin, on the other hand, shames himself with his lack of faith…as well as his selfish bravado. I’ve been around enough of the Lantern Knights to know that this one is an aberration. One wonders how he came to be in the order, and how he’s been allowed to remain. It can’t be just his battle prowess, the order holds itself to higher standards than that…though I’ll freely admit that we likely would all have perished without his martial aid aboard the Osprey. I shall ask Pelor for guidance in this matter.

Too many things on the list again, but I suppose I should be used to Pelor asking all this of me. I have been chosen, and I will perform my duty according to his will. We’ll see what becomes of the world on the morrow.

A Bloody Path to the Road

We are now in relative safety amongst a large group of travellers. We have shared salt with the apparent leader and now can let our guard down enough to reflect on the events of the desert trek of days past…

I couldn’t seem to think straight. The sun was beating hard against the back of my neck. All of the humans seemed to be able to keep a forced pace that I could never quite keep up with. I thought more than once about how fast they would move with nothing left but scorched bone and twisted limbs.

How can we be so many in this empty landscape of silt and sunset? Why are those black robed wanderers stalking us in reverse: how can they stay so far ahead of us? The Lantern knight was the first to break.

He summoned his celestial steed yelled back some nonsensical jibberish to us and charged the horrizon. He must have been gone over half a day before he gave up his flight. We could all witness the futility. I must begrudge him his stoic acceptance: his pride didn’t colour his language with idiotic boasts of grandure…he simply stepped back in line just before sunset.

That night I awoke to screams. One or two of the mates had there throats cut in the night. The Lantern Knight was enraged. He cried out for the decorum of battle but was only answered with the silence of a carrion eater. We doubled the watch and took measure to avoid anymore nocturnal accidents.

One of the mornings ached pink over the vast stretch of desert and we saw the first hints of the nomadic sillouttes in the distance. There were more. They didn’t expect the resistance they received. They now numbered a warband in strength. My blood boiled with the indignance.

How could these sweatrags think that we would just bleed into the desert for them! How could they dare assume we had no tools of pride, and artifice, and strength? They aren’t the unchallanged heirs of the desert! I couldn’t take it anylonger. I looked at the croud of morning risers ready for another march into the arms of death and fumed “Don’t be alarmed, I’m going to do something strange.”

I then wrapped myself into the folds of light-bending it around me-so that no one could see my small form. I took to the air as a hawk on the hunt and screamed across the cool morning sky intent on destruction.

Four-hundred feet into the desert sky I hovered over the watching nomads. I took pause and aim and then send a beast of flame into thier midst.

The forty foot black char of flesh, glass, and steel cracked the seemlessness of the landscape. All the savages lay dead or dying save for one. I boldly set down not twenty paces from him and was about to call for quarter when I saw the tail end of an evocation searing through the air toward me.

I took a scorching ray of heat directly to my chest. I was a fool to come here alone, to land here unaided, to confront this desert mage by myself. I quickly mimicked his jesture and threw a blacst of energy right back at him. Thankfully, luckily, that was enough. I took stock of the scattered bodies and my companions in the distance. This was going to be difficult.

I cleaned what was left of the life out of the nomads, arranged the valuables and tools, and then gathered the scattered camels. I had hastily managed to cover the bodies with sand by the time my co-survivors arrived at the battlefield.

Little was said. Thier eyes said more than words could. This will be an uncomfortable journey, weeks from civilization, in the company of savages, priests, crusaders, and traders. I must be very careful.

Brother Hayden interrupts me again
Just leave me alone

So… Here we are again. I’m sitting in my study, with my latest stack of texts, (which I just picked up yesterday, I might add) and I think I’m getting close to pinpointing the location the ruins of Thalia in northern Jemaini. As far as I can tell according to all of my compiled sources, the fabled city should be at the base of a steep cliff on a bay to the northeast of the present day city of Coronet. My instincts tell me that this is, in fact, correct. Then again, it’s been a long time since my instincts were incorrect, so it might be time. Mayhaps I will present this “new information,” (as they like to call it…as if information about a lost fabled city could be new) to the “General” in charge of the search. Then again, it’s not really what I’m supposed to be working on, so maybe not. Maybe I’ll let them head off in the wrong direction…yet again…I just wish they wouldn’t spend so much on these ridiculous expeditions. I’ll pray on it.

Brother Hayden comes in…and I pray for strength…the strength to not hit him square in his smug little nose…again. At least that other time it was an accident…Pelor knows.

So long story short (I have to get back to my books, after all) He’s got an urn, (of which I’m not going to get into here) and a letter from a Sister, about a wounded Brother, and I don’t care what anybody says about it…I’m not leaving my books behind.

Desert Bound

Well, the devout do serve a small purpose.

They seem to be able to create food and water out of the air. The shipwrecked foodstuffs seem to have already dwindled in the few short days we have been stranded. We figure if we march straight north we will come accross a well travelled trade route. We are unsure just how far we will have to travel but Captain Albrey is confident that the trade route exists.

But food is not the brunt of our worries. We are being watched…hunted. In the distance we see riders who stays out of our reach. The dreaded nomads of this horrid dessert. These peopel are the reason why caravans travel in the hundreds—well armed. We have tried to catch up. We have tried to signal for them. Nothing works. They just stare at us, far in the distance, like land bound vultures waiting for an easy kill.

They will rue the day. I don’t like the blasing heat, I don’t like the scorching sand, and I don’t like being hunted by savage dullards on camelback waiting for my skull to wither in the heat. I don’t care how these evangelical bureucrats will react. If those camel jockies don’t stop staring at me all day and all night I’ll roast thier sundried corpses on a bone spit and drink their blood to good health.

I’m getting a bit incoherent…I should rest a bit.


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