The Shattered Spectrum: The Next Generation

Out of the abyss and into the darkness?
2nd Entry

After we made it out of “The Ways” we found ourselves in a very dark tunnel. I can’t see a thing. But this darkness is calming as I can feel the earth. And after being awake for so long I can finally sleep. We all can finally sleep. As I awake for the 3rd watch and Tavok tells me of a place with glowing mushrooms. Looks like we have found our next direction already. We go along the route and find ourselves in the Dwarven land. A dwarven child sees us and is quite frightened. We managed to stop the child from running off. Tavok attempts to walk away with the screaming child as elves scares the boy. He shouts even louder as Charisma tries to approach the boy. Braith tries to pull Charisma away and Charisma threatened Braith. I managed to get in between them but then Charisma raises her sword at me as well. Does life mean so little to her that she would shed blood over her pride? If Charisma is to be the leader in this fight then I fear we may have already lost. She actually threatened to take off Braith’s head? Is she so cruel and so foolish? Charisma’s pride has made her unfit to fully lead and I can no longer trust her. Which truly saddens me since I can no longer help her back to the light so long as things stand between us. Not to mention I need to find away to harmonize soon. Have we gone from the abyss into the darkness?

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Lost in The Ways
1st Entry

So I have committed my first kill. While I feel sorrow, regret has yet to find me. This place of fast travel “The Ways” seems to not know day nor night. I honestly have no idea how much time has passed, if any. Charisma seems to have found some of her voice. Meanwhile I feel mines may grow distant. The silence here isn’t true peace. Instead the silence is filled with shouting whispers. There is not just darkness here, many things cry out of torment and pain as well. They whisper so loudly. Not just words, but raw emotions and intent. My soul struggles to find peace here. I attempted to apply a focused Elemental Fist. And I failed, the energy could not be contained and it turned against me. For the first time I can not seem to harmonize my mind, body, and soul. And the whispers haunt me while remained fallen. I can not grow so long as I am in this state.

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The Fortress

We have arrived at some form of way-station. A fortress standing on the road of the Ways. It had been infested by Spiders. The battle to defeat them was arduous for many of the group. Afterward I did what little I could to heal and restore their spirits and bodies. This may be a good place to rest for a time, reconnect with the gods. But first we should look around and secure the area. Wouldn’t want unseen beings sneaking up upon us in our sleep. I believe i will check the balcony area first. It appears that several members want to open the door on the other side of the courtyard. I wonder if that would be good or bad. I can make good arguments both ways. I will think on this.

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Entering the Ways
Fears of an Oracle

I met a group of travelers as I was leaving the Green Forest. Something, or someone, guided me to them. And now I know why. They have decided to enter a place that has nearly killed me, and did kill my friends. Why? What is so important that they risk death? Or at the very least insanity? I fear that only my connection to the divine, though I understand it little, that has protected me from those who were my friends, and are now only shades screaming for my demise. Or maybe it is because of this door in front of us. A door I fear I have seen before but…. I am unsure. I can only follow the dictates of the divine and hope that in the end it does not all fall in around us. Bless us for they know not what they do or what lies ahead.

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The Hunt

With no sign of Charles and the howling noises of the wolves appearing to be getting nearer, Thaddeus burst out from the back room beyond the bar. He started to ask what has happened as he surveyed the room and was informed then that an attack was made towards the Lady and that The Bride is coming. At the mention of The Bride, he quickly changed his demeanor and started to hustle us out. He quickly blurted out to gather up all the village folks and evacuate the town immediately.

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In Darkness and In Light

I stepped outside of the Warbling Sparrow Inn and took a deep breath in to smell the familiar scent of the nearby forest beckoning me to times of old. A wistful glance and the sound of an owl brought me back to spy on Charisma’s animal friend, Bowie by name, flying about the roof top. I skirted around the back of the building thinking of a way to “detain” that odd Underdweller when I came upon a stack of firewood. I stooped down to grab a choice piece as I attempted to communicate with Bowie, using hoots and whistles, to convey in my pursuit of mischief towards the dwarf. I took out my carving knife and started to whittle away the outer layer of wood to reveal the creamy smooth interior. Without realizing that an hour has passed and still no sign of the dwarf, I hooted a farewell to Bowie and headed back towards the front door of the inn. I pocketed my carving knife and my small wooden replica of Bowie and strode towards Hawgr nursing his drink. Charisma for her part, was deep in conversation with none other than the dispirited human and his dwarf companion. I should have guessed as I thought to myself, what tales is she now spinning to catch them in her web and draw them in with our journey up North. I resigned to deal with them all tomorrow. I informed Hawgr that I will retire to our quarters and that he keeps an eye out for Charisma’s safety, pointedly referring to the two sitting with her.

No sooner that I was about to trance that Hawgr insisted we switch rooms to protect any attacks on Charisma as we sleep. He checked our windows to see if they’re sound and secure and told Charisma to sleep here while we sleep in “her” room. Luckily for her, we didn’t wait too long as a few hours into the night, we heard a disturbing sound of someone trying to open our door. I motioned for Hawgr to ready himself as i slowly approached the door. To my foolish carelessness, i was surprised by a crossbow bolt as i peered out the door frame. I winced in pain, clutching my shoulder as I yelled out loudly to alert Charisma of the intruder’s attack. She opened her door armed and ready as the adjacent room’s door opened simultaneously to reveal the dejected human and the Underdweller. We all gave chase to the young man who sprinted downstairs into the common room. Coming down I noticed out the windows, vague shapes gathering by the border of the forest. I cursed as the sound of howling wolves began sending their call, echoing out into the night. Meanwhile, as we clambered down, we were met with another man who took aim with a crossbow at anyone coming down the stairs. We all made it for cover behind the bar or pressed close near the staircase and heard the voice of one Charles accusing Charisma of her unwanted presence. The disembodied voice taunted us and soon conjured up a roiling inky black mass of darkness, lunging towards Charisma. With sword, bow, magic and that human’s loud contraption, we soon brought down the dark creature but could not find any signs of Charles. His last words rang clear stating that she caused all this and that The Bride will be coming.

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Frayston

We’ve nearly reached the village known as Frayston, our destination according to the Lady, as we passed several folks bearing a mix of various dejected expressions of subdued fear. Surely what the Lady seeks might lie elsewhere, if not, she’d best find whoever or whatever it is quick. So close to the western wall of the Darklands, I can’t imagine how these people could survive living here. Ah, she has picked up her pace and heads toward a lighted building. Can’t she wear something less obvious and try to blend in with the somber mood of this place? I wrapped my cloak tighter about me as she strode boldly inside shining like a beacon in the dark. I shook my head towards Hawgr as we both followed her in as I pulled my hood closer to my head so that my face is shadowed enough to not place me as a stranger in these parts.

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The feeling of oppression suddenly lifted as we took in the sights and sounds of those inside. It seems that these walls held at bay the looming darkness outside, as various folks enjoyed each other’s company with food, wine and merriment. My elven eyes quickly spied an under dweller among them and my knuckles turned white as the Lady’s armor, so tight did I held my staff. I tried to caution her but she briskly cut me off calling out loud the innkeeper for food and lodging. All eyes riveted their attention on her first, then slowly took in Hawgr and my presence by the doorway. A few individuals i took a brief look over, but my concern was torn between the Lady and for the odd looking dwarf who kept staring at my staff. I walked over to Charisma as she extended her hand to the surprised innkeep who stammered his name, Thaddeus. Rolling my eyes, I saved the man from further troubles by requesting that we have our meals upstairs. Unfortunately, the rooms the Lady required were not yet fully prepared so we were relegated to spend time in the common room to hear the performance of a local minstrel who thankfully distracted most of the patrons.

While supping, each of our attention were caught by one handsome man at the bar, who spoke to Charisma with a matter of fact tone. He called himself Charles Jillandre. According to Thaddeus, he never saw him entered but instead he informed us that our rooms are ready and that we can go up anytime. Another individual, a stern and wearied looking man nursing a tankard and smoking a pipe, listened in on our conversation and overheard the Lady’s verbal exchange with Charles. He appeared disinterested but he would occasionally reply something back to what his dwarven companion would say, while staring at our direction. Trying to determined the two’s intentions, i spoke to Hawgr and mentioned my intent to separate the two as Charles took his abrupt exit.

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The Company We Keep

The journey has begun and I have now been travelling for some time outside the borders of my homeland. I am joined by two companions, one is as different as the other as the Sun and the Moon are different in the heavens above.

I begin to slowly understand why the Councils have chosen me to aid her in this daunting task, this mysterious “Lady” half-elf, who calls herself Charisma. Despite her flaunted powers, she appears to know nothing of what life truly is all about outside her frozen walls up north. It’s as if she has just awoken from a long sleep, looked out from her tall glass tower and expects that the people will do as she bids. I hope she realizes before it’s too late that she needs to do plenty more walking in other people’s shoes to understand the scope of the land’s suffering. Perhaps it’s because of her human half that’s clouding her judgement that she does not perceive that her actions have consequences, a cause and effect ripple. Perhaps…

Tipping the scale to another side, I muse over my other companion in this journey. Although, I’m not really surprised to see a member of the Wandering Yellow Tribe in her company. This one by the name of Hawgr, is resourceful enough and keeps his opinions to himself. Even if the Councils believes them to be inconsequential, their seers might have sent this one to observe whatever stirs beyond the darkened wall of the Black Lord’s domain. Time will only tell as we search for others that may assist us in this troubled times. Will we find them in Frayston? I wish the Lady Charisma is not so enigmatic in her search for “the One”.

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Beyond the Woods

I bid a silent farewell to my parents and friends as I turned to gaze one last time to the solace I’ve always called home. Holding back tears that were welling at the corners of my eyes, I squinted up into the dawning sun just above the canopy of verdant green leaves.

A few moments after, a brisk wind, crisp with the smell of fresh morning air, stirs me back to my task as I gripped my gnarled quarterstaff. I looked upon the lightly beaten path and smiled. Now the journey begins as the White Envoy has chosen to make contact with the councils and I’m put forth to aid her somehow. May the spirits guide me.

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