Victory in the Vale

A Career of Violence

by Valthrun

I will try to keep this entry straightforward, journal, though there is much I’ve left undisclosed to you in the past few weeks. Partially due to a newfound interest in my line of work (if you can call it that), and partially due to an unwillingness to remember… certain events. But should my memory be erased, or should future scholars find a use for the complete story of my wanderings, I shall endeavor to patch up the holes left in my tale.

At first, a brief overview of our last endeavor.

The Pyramid of Shadows was no easy place to escape from, and while we recovered a few items of usefulness, I would hardly call our time spent there “productive.” We encountered Karavakos a number of times after the first combat, including a version of him that was quite skilled in necromancy and another that had been deformed (and ultimately, weakened) by the Far Realm’s influence (why anyone would ever resort to making contact with a realm of madness given form is beyond my ability to understand). There was also a being that purported to be the tiefling wizard’s shadow, but we let him live.

Before we could leave, it was made apparent that by destroying his fragments, Karavakos was able to reassemble his true mind and body, but he’d been separated for so long that he was no real threat to our party. I suspect he may have had one last spell up his sleeve to give us trouble, but Nebin depleted the last of his protective enchantments and slew him in one terrible moment, and he is to be commended for that I suppose. Vyrellis took her leave from us, back to the Feywild. I don’t blame her.

Upon informing the mages of Saruun what Paldemar’s map had led us to, we decided to take an old necklace we’d found in the Pyramid back to its rightful owners, the ruling family of the Barony of Therund far to the south. Dear reader, if you do not suspect that this journey led us into a whole new series of catastrophes, you haven’t been paying attention.

Therund is plagued by a seemingly-limitless gang of trolls, led by a “King Skalmad,” who wishes to reclaim the lands of ancient Vardar, a troll kingdom likely destroyed by the Nerathians. He possesses a mystic eye of unknown origin which makes his fellow trolls and a great many other denizens of the swamplands east of Moonstair unflinchingly loyal to him. Twice now we’ve delved into the dank, surprisingly spacious warrens to flush him out, but we’ve only fought him once; the magic of his false eye seemed to revive him, so I’m sure he’s still around.

The eye is a curiosity to me. Did it really prevent his death? The item is too large to fit in a human-sized eye socket, surely, but I believe it would be perfect as a magic implement. It seems to have power over fire as well… I must possess it.

Hio is as bafflingly frustrating as always. He reliably watches my back when things turn violent, but outside of that, he could drive me mad! He constantly fouls up any chance we have of ingratiating ourselves with persons of importance (particularly females), and his behavior around me is nothing short of insulting. He’s a full-grown man, but he threw a jar of dry, dusty herbs in my face like a child! A day will come when he’ll outlive his usefulness.

Elyas and Nebin haven’t changed much, but Lyssa is starting to worry me. I count on her as being the bastion of sanity in this group, but lately it seems like the anxiety she’s been bottling up inside since day one has been seeping into the brains of our foes, transferred with her own fists. I had always been skeptical as to how monastic fighting styles related to psionic arts, but I suppose this proves it. I merely hope that this act of ‘venting’ will prevent her from snapping under the pressure of her impossible task: to make good and righteous souls out of our halfling and half-elf.

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