The Ruins of Myvolia

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After listening to that blasted lisping skull for more than a week spout about finding our way to Psionia I had to put in at an inn just for the sake of a soft bed. It was close. The bed was straw and softer than the dry dusty earth but the amount of nocturnal insects I had to share it with made me feel the fool for paying more than a single copper.

The room kept the sky away from my head and the earth frommy feet…but that was all. I managed to spend enough time studying my newly aquired books to get a fuller grasp of the necro arcane subtlties inherent of my new skills. That was nice considering that I will be cramped on a narrow drakkar for the next week with a bunch of devout lunks with nothing better to do than preach about the evils of what makes life…life.

Alright, probably not a fair assessment but Iresent having to hide the fact that I’m able to learn comlext multi-realities simply becuase the unwashed bear a fearfilled grudge against thier lack of comprehention. Don’t they see the intrinsic nihlism of life and the logical workings of the world? The bliss of the void will inspire there empty minds on thier deathbed. well, that is if i don’t find a better purpose for them. which reminds me I should findsome more documentations on the limitations and contingencies invovlved in a well performed raise. It would be unfortunate for me to acquire the ultimate skill and be ableto adequately take advantage of it.

Oh, how I will cherish the day when I wrest the life force of a unwasahed and feed it into the quivering bones of a discarded shell of humanity. How I will tremble with pride and extacy as I master the pupetry of life and death. any child with a tinder and spark can spue the fiery waqsh of sorcery but it takes a real dedication to the art to wrestle with the fabric of life itself…to conquer the world of reality and fiction, to encompass the oneness of nothingness…to express yourself with the negative of what energy is…the void of life and deaath.

Alritgh, to sleep. We will find thew path to our studies…we are so close to Psionia that if Theraspian is right we will find our treasure and I can make my man whole again.

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Aboard the Osprey

It’s as I fear. The bulk of the passengers are preists and knights of Pelor. I find it hard to relate with any ofthem and am very careful not to show or discuss my occupation. I’ve brought along a small lizard man I bought two villages back: he has been very helpful with distracting others who would otherwise stare at me. He is fully capable of carrying a heavy load and scouting for ambushes…or fish. I think I will keep him for a while longer.

The captain seems a stout professional man, brisk and proficient which is a welcome change from the rabble I’ve continually met throughout my travels so far. How can so many stupid people exist so effortlessly? The first mate is a dour homely man whose dark stares unnerve me a little. He seems to focus his baleful eyes on my lizard more than not: so, mission accomplished. The longer I can use the lizard as a social shield (or physical) the better.

I’ve run across a couple of bickering monks. They seem to have little love for each other but seem bound on some mission for the church. They continuously argue about books and urns and rabble on endlessly abou the will and might of Pelor: as if the empty god has some fraction of control over the events of this world.

A single knight seems to have been conscripted to the protection of the two monks: I can see in his eyes the pain the endless bickering has had on his mind. And the endless proselytising of the yonger monk has even drawn the devout knight into a couple of arguments. I must admit the stern tacturn well cut lines of the Pelorian Latern Knight has arroused more than one feeling in me…sorry Theraspian…I still love you.

I don’t recall any of their names but I hope to be rid of them before long and studing the mysteries of Psionia in under a week.

They are calling for the evening meal.

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Wrecked

Idiots!

You spend two centuries trying to purge the only hope for your salvation!! Why try to destroy the one power you have to fight the unnatural? Why should I have to hide my gifts?

So, supper didn’t go very well. After a half smattering of niceties and uncomfortable silence the two priests started arguing again. Near the end of the meal the ship started listing back and foreth heavily and a young deck hand yelled for the captain regarding some mysterious storm thundering in. Everyone rushed to the top deck. I decided to take stock of the stoutness of the ship and see if the bilge was up to the stress of a prolonged storm.

The lizard scuttled under the table to eat the remaining leftovers of the prepared meal. The ship seemed quite stout and well built…the crew seemed to know what they were doing and the bilge look operational. So I thought I would let the professionals do thier job. That was not to be.

There came much more violent lurches and sounds of fighting. A call to arms erupted from the the deck above. I rushed up the stairs to witness a moderate sized water (or air) elemental in full vortex form pounding the crew and ship. I assumed the plannar entity was fueling its ire from the depths of the ocean so it would be very powerful and almost immune to the vain brandishings of the mundane weapondry of the crew and passangers. Several crew members were crushed by the blows or torn from the deck and hurled into the churning waters.

I was loath to announce my powers to this unwashed rabble and expose my secret to the judging eyes and tennants of our Pelorian shipmates. But I saw no other reasonable course: if I wanted to ride this ship to Psionia I would have to intervien. I took out my crossbow and fired a few useless shots into the writhing vortecx of our primorial foe. Then, when everyone else was ensconced in the battle, I let loose as many scorching rays as I could into the upper most recesses of the twisting cyclone…knowing that the magical energy would have a more permantent effect on the creature.

Thankfully, the well sculpted Latern knight seemed to possess a rather ubiquitous example of a energy weapon. The weapon crackled angrily at its user and foe in what could only be described as an indignant destruction of carnage. Put to well use (though it will probably be the downfall of our young knight) his weapon and my magic disipated the plannar creature to its mundane form…but not before the integrity of the ship was compromised.

Everyone started scattering for riggings and lanyard. Trying desparately with thier uneducated lives to save thier own skin. I had other concerns.

If this vessel was to be stroon across the rocks I was going to get us the proper supplies. I walked back down underhold while the rest of the sailors were scambling for air and the water was pooring into the capsizing vessel. I mumbled my incantation for the breath of the water and studied the cargo for useful product and information. I quickly scanned any books I could find but found the water cutting into them destroying them quicker than I could reason thier value. I then decended further to open the cargo hold and cut as much cargo loose as possible to lash together a raft and have enought food and water for survival.

The motions of the ship were eratic and the falling of the ship became intense. I felt my body beginning to be squeezed by the depths of the sea. Strange. I had never thought of that before: the bulk of the water was squishing me, trying to burst my puny body…to make it one with itself. It was trying to disperse my body into itself. I know this knowlege could be applied to life and death: I must study this more.

Knowing I couldn’t have much more time. I decided to recover as much as I could from this loss. I took to the captains quarters. I searched for anything usefull: I found charts and ledgers being soaked by the water and discarded them as useless in a shipwreck. I looked for valuables that I could trade and barter with savages. I found a heavy chest. I assumed it was the treasury for the passage. I decided to take it to recover as much loss as I could.

The pressure was intensifying: as hard as I tried I couldn’t swim strong enough with the heavy chest in my arms. Tucking the chest under my arm I desperately cast a spell to give me the flight of a bird. With the power flowing through me I no longer had to rely upon the mundane use of limbs to propel me through the water.

I breached the surface of the churning waters and scouted about slightly skimming over the cresting waves. I spotted the crew who had already started lashing together the crates I had released from under the hold. The survivors had drifted quite far from where I surfaced so I balanced the chest on my back and shoulders and mimmicked a front crawl as I skimmed the surface of the water toward my shipwrecked companions.

All of the surviving crew and passengers were quite surprised to see me, the small Gnome, survive the brutal wreckage…especially the captain whose eyes buldged as I slammed his personal chest on the deck of the makeshift raft.

“Is that my chest?” he sputtered ridiculously.

“Yes. Do you have the key.” He nodded. “Good I want a refund. You promised me passage to Psionia. I would suggest you give all the passengers a refund and double the pay of your crew to make up for your incompotence as a captain.”

He then opened up the chest and gave me back my money.

It took a little over two days to reach the rocky shores of land…and the problems inherent with that.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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