q20

Summer 507
everything melts

After bringing Tithdirdon back to the village the group stayed up on extra super guard duty level maximum. Podvodník Kral noticed something sneaking through the fields at night from his view atop the keep and raised the alarm. Before the group could go outside to investigate Fulframent was nearly fatally shot by a poisoned arrow by an assassin that had some how gotten up on the roof. Hilo Vruk and Kral leaped to action and exploded onto the roof, quickly murdering the helpless assassin who was distracting by the spinning and strutting orc and did not notice the thief sneaking up behind him to deliver a knock out blow. Hoping to interrogate the elf they took him to the basement for lock-up, but on the way down the elf died and then melted all over Kral. To make matters worse Fulf was not in good shape and Olloth was unable to heal him, off to the power-site!

After fully healing bold with the help of the church mages and the energy of the power-site, the group shared their new information on the corrupted elves with Miroslav Adamek, the friendly local inquisitor. Miroslav shared with everyone that he had been sending people on blind teleports to help map out the network, many did not come back. One of the groups that did return reported a badly damaged site that seemed to be of orc construction, and racistly suggested the group go as they had a token orc as a member. The group, always ready for adventure and teleporting went straight away.

The orc ruin had several blocked passages that had caved in and had to be dug out. After hours of digging the a small section was finally opened up and exploration could be conducted. The usual signs of necromancy and magical experimentation were quickly found, as well as some sort of undead orc mage who stated he was quite pleased to eat them. After killing the undead mage near the teleporter stone, a huge bolt of energy shot out of the stone and transformed the melting mage into a horrible DC creature resembling a doll mage and the fight began anew. Finally killing the awful creature, it melted into shell and goo.

More digging opened up more hallway and after some “Kral-Creeping” the area was found to be safe and was searched, but nothing of note was found in the many abandoned living quarters, offices, and various other rooms. Exiting the western half of the complex and crossing a large cavern the group found an extremely well built and locked door, which was of course quickly turned into an unlocked door. After opening the door the group was surprised to see a human worker run off and slam a door behind him. Giving chase the group found a barred door which Kral eventually opened up into a room full of well armed foreign soldiers. Their leader, Balashi, quickly defused the situation and invited the group to dinner after a brief and tense standoff.

Dinner with the foreigners resulted in much information sharing. Balashi informed the group that they were in Duffgal, one of the orc nations. The two groups discussed their common interest in the Dead Continent and agreed to share what information they know. The Pevnost-Pals learned that not only does the moon’s ~320 year cycle occure, it has been linked with previous DC attempts at corrupting and subverting other areas.

A goblin attack interupted the end of the dinner but it seemed to only be a simple probe. Shortly after the probe attack guards from the dig site reported goblins some how within the tunnels below, and at the same time a much larger group of goblins came over the dunes. Bal ordered all his troops to stand against the goblins on the surface, while he and the group from Pevnost went below to fight off the goblins in the tunnel. After a dangerous battle in the crampt tunnels and passages of the ruin the goblins were seemingly driven off, leaving the victors to search the uncharted caves below the ruins where the goblins most likely entered.

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The trouble with Elves

After returning to the surface and to Pevnost, we spent a few days for Fulframent get some bed rest. Our luck seemed to have returned to us as Olloth didn’t make things worse this time.
With everyone recovered we set back out to retrieve the horses – which, if anyone ever asked us about we spun the story of how we graciously allowed the Church to borrow them. We returned to the power site and let Olloth teleport us back to the forest cave in the far north, returned to the surface and retrieved our horses from the church’s and started the long trek home.
We took our usual route home stopping to rest in Omice for a day to try and pick up more any news and the like. There wasn’t any new news to hear, no new gossip in the upper circles of society or happenings from abroad. We continued on to Zabr, where things began to get interesting.
Fulframent, as his usual, went to find news about his home from any of his own kind. What he ended up finding out was that an elf had stayed at the inn a week before, and the description matched Tithdirdon’s. With that news we set off to Pevnost, staying in our usual stop in the abandoned town. It’s been two years since we found the zombies in the basement, and about that long since we ran into that overly large wolf. After our time spent on Jakob island we felt we had to investigate.
The next day we started to search the town once more, eventually finding a small opening into the earth which seemed to be part of the old mines there. I was the first to enter, making sure it was safe for the others. The timbers seemed to be holding up well enough at the moment, but several paths were caved in. As we continued we began to hear the sound of scurrying rodents, and we soon spotted one of the things: a rat, a massive rat. Normally Fulframent would just let Beliya go at a rodent, but this was the size of a small dog! Fulframent shot it dead, but we all got the same feeling that it was like the deer of Jakob island.
Eventually we reached a door that Olloth said separated us from something magical, and sinec we were already here, why stop? The door was locked and chained, but the lock seemed to be in working order so I called for Kral to work it open. We awkwardly maneuvered to let Kral up front and in a flash the lock fell away. The door opened for us with only a little resistance, and inside were two very old bodies, long decomposed, and a slab of stone with what would have been an ornate iron cover back a hundred years ago. We knew it had to be something from the necromancers, it just had that feel about it, but we couldn’t just leave it untouched. We decided to treat it with caution: Fearing poisonous vapors as we had encountered Olloth contained the air around it and I started to lift the cover with my war hammer. The damn thing was heavy, so I just moved it clear to be done with it.

It looked.. odd, three prongs, one shorter than the other, with rings hanging down. It looked like a helm. Yes, a helm, a helm for a leader. Fulframent looked it over, and started to look at the bodies, but… he kept looking back at it, we all were. A helm, for the leader… why couldn’t they see that was what it was?
It took me a moment to realize that all of these thoughts were not my own. I was about to suggest that we leave but Fulframent beat me too it. We covered it quickly and left. Just another thing to report to Miroslav.
A few days later we were at the power site on the way home. Miroslav was there for once, but he didn’t look well at all. We started to discuss our findings and he told us of his problems. There were a two attacks on the power site’s patrolls a week ago. All they knew was that it was the work of an archer who after the fight recovered his arrows. The second time though he didn’t finish all of the scouts, and they managed to bring back some of the arrows. Fulframent confirmed that they were of elven make. This didn’t look good, had Tithdirdon gone mad? It didn’t seem like it could happen, he was far more bookish than a stealthy woodsman. We set off for home promising Miroslav to investigate. I didn’t tell him the helm spoke to me.
Tolui greeted us on our return and ushered us inside to tell us of happenings while we were gone. He said there had been a figure snooping around the village’s walls, and when Tolui went to investigate he only found a note that said to destroy after reading. Someone in the party made a jab at him for not holding onto it until we returned, but Tolui did the right thing in my book. He relayed the following message:
Meet me at the meaty place where the gate was born on this date -T.
He meant the old keep that we had found years ago, it had been a bandit hold out and after we had cleared it we used the site to salvage stone. On the date in the note we took our horses to the keep, letting Fulframent go first to chat with him. The door was barred but after a few moments he let us in. He elf looked crazed.
We spent some time to calm him down, and also subtly check him over. Fulframent confirmed that he still didn’t seem like he would be a skilled stealthy archer, but the contents of his quiver confirmed it – his arrows were domestic, and hardly any seemed to match together, and more importantly none of them were of elven make.
He had much to tell us, he had learned too much, had gotten attention from high up. The Northern Council, something akin to the crown of our country, wanted him dead and had sent an assassin.
They had fallen to the same sway as the Necromancers had a hundred years earlier.
All of his notes from his years of study had been destroyed, but he still remembered much of it. He shared what he could, and we shared what we knew.
We have an assassin to catch, a corrupt and powerful circle of elven necromancers to deal with, and the growing threat from the Dead Continent. And I still am thinking about that helm…

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Late Spring 507
So dark..

After re-supplying at the Church’s deepest camp the group sets off all the way to the Tether marked on the map. After over a week of walking through total darkness a dim glow is seen in the far distance. Upon reaching the source of the light, a large shaft with a conical base dotted with glowing windows is discovered. The base of the tether appears to be home to the flying dragon-like creatures encountered previously. While attempting to cross the rocky plains to reach the tower’s entrance the group is attacked by 4 of the “cave dragons”. A bloody fight results in the dragons being slain but Fulframent being wounded badly. Olloth unfortunately makes the situation worse with a failed attempt at magical healing that seems to warp and ripple the area(and Fulf’s wounds). With some basic first aid the group manages to get the wounded elf inside the tether’s base. The cave dragons decide to keep their distance after four of their kind were bested by the group, allowing the party to explore the tether’s base unmolested. The interior of the structure is a maze of curving shapes forming hallways and general room-like areas along with a central shaft and what seems to be some form of a power-site’s orb. Near the orb was a collection of personal affects and supplies of obvious new-life origin. At the very bottom of the structure’s winding spiral ramps is a teleportation stone that had been recently used that day and required a day to charge again. Once the stone was charged, Olloth brought the tired and injured party back to the Pevnost power-site.

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Early Spring 507
sleepy sleepers

The group returns to the new world to explore more now that The Church has an expedition camp there. During the long dark march to the camp Fulframent is accosted by Vit who seems to have some sort of fear/paralyzing power which he uses to grab Fulfy without resistance. Fulframent is found in the “morning” remembering little and having some small scabs on his forehead. Despite the unsettling encounter, the group marches on and reaches the Church’s camp. After passing through the camp the group decides to visit the nearest sleeper marked on the map, but the creature they encounter is severely damaged and any magic presented to it is rapidly sucked dry as its massive body attempt to slowly heal. The next sleeper found is half submerged in semi-molten rock. With supplies running low everyone decides to return to the Church’s camp to resupply.

Meanwhile, back in Pevnost the new expanded town wall is finished.

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Fall 506
I don't remember anything, who has the logs??? oh

After returning to Pevnost the group went north to the power-site to present the inquisitor with a report on their last adventure and all the new facts that came to light.

The group used the now-cleared power site teleporter to teleport to the Dwarven Ruin and head east to investigate the coordinates they got from the new-life scout a few months ago. While travelling through the ruin they found signs of fairly recent slaughter, many humans and dwarves were at the gate to the ruin and looked to have died trying to attack it. Upon reaching the site they found nothing, but after visiting a local Lihult Tribes village, they learned there was an odd stone circle known by the locals very close to the coordinates. The group investigated the stone circle and believe it is some sort of magical tether that feeds magic from the surface to deep below. Unable to learning anything else in the area, the group returned to the power-site near Pevnost.

After reporting to the inquisitor once again, the group decided to send an invisible Olloth and Podvodník Kral to the Burrow, with them a letter from Jiri Thrane sending out peace feelers and a fully charged orb. The orb was to recharge the teleporter in minutes rather than hours and allow the invisible scouting team the ability to return home before their 20 minutes of invisibility were over.

The teleport to the Burrow went fine and Olloth was quickly hidden in a closet while Kral went off to scout the area, hoping to find treasure and clues. During Kral’s ~20 min or exploration he discovered a large central spiral staircase, a large meeting hall of some sort full of devices and furniture of unknown purpose being interacted with in strange ways, an armoury brimming with weapons and equipment, a weapon-smithing factory, and a large library. In the library Kral managed to take a few map rolls and plans and a fairly random collection of potentially interesting books.

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Late Summer 506
Cazytown

After returning from the new world the group found their known path out of the complex was no longer the same as the walls had some how shifted. After trying to find a new route out the group encountered a large worm-like creature seemingly eating a section of the hallway, the creature looked heavily damaged and had what seemed to be a weapon stuck in its head. The group of course decided to pick another route, but after extensive searching found many sections of the complex to be re-built into a twisted maze of mangled hallways and rooms. Heading all the way back to Lifty they asked for help, and he was unable to restrict him self from teaching Olloth a command-spell to disable the worm-like creature (or any necromancer construct). Despite successfully disabling the worm, things only became more dangerous when DC “dolls” were spotted within the complex, most likely coming from the local Teleportation Stone and a few bloody battles ensued with the group suffering mild injuries. Eventually after a couple hours of searching a way out was found through the cramped cave-system they entered the facility in. After reaching the surface Weiss Ass was located and camp was made. Over the next weeks the group made their way back to Pevnost after picking up supplies and visiting family along the way.

It is now Early Fall and the harvests have begun.

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The house, the sleeper, and Weiss is okay.

Before we set off Lifty says it can only stay on this level a week, due to the magic draining properties of the level. Olloth confirms that it feels odd, barren of magic, and that he won’t be able to aid us with his power.

No one wants to be here that long anyway.

We head out straight down one of the stairways, leaving a torch to help guild us back in things go sour. The terrain is jagged and rocky, and lifeless. The darkness is overwhelming, and we can hear nothing other than our own movements. Up ahead we see a glow, We find a network of bridge connected mesas with what we believe to be molten rock between them, far down.. but it doesn’t look quite like lava. We see a dormant golem caught in one of the support structures and Kral decides to put his new climbing gear to work, investigating it and nicking it’s helm.

We continue on, finding cairns that seem to be set up as guide posts for a marked path. The stones seem to be rock that from down here – it sticks out quite well. We continue on and on and on, feeling like an eternity until we find a fork in the road with a crude sign. It reaches “House” and “The Sleeper”. I vote we see the sleeper, but the others say the house sounds more pleasant. I submit to their judgement and we head there first. It does seem like a house… with a few objects for sitting, as well as a box with some papers. We quickly read over them to find out anything we can about The New World. They end up being exploration and experiment notes made by necromancers.

We head off to the Sleeper.

It’s a long ways away, and we are all growing tired. We eventually have to stop and make camp.
When we feel rested enough we continue on and on and on. Finally we reach it.

The sleeper is a colossal worm like thing, standing dozens of feet tall with the face of a man, and several times longer. We walk around it, inspecting it. The sleeper seems dead. If it ever was living.

We find an orb in front of the sleeper, like the one we found on Jakob island.. we talk it with us after only finding a single reference in the notes we had found that it had done nothing at the house. We take it with us as we head back to Lifty, resting again along the way.

We finally return to Lifty, who quickly informs us that the orb is draining the magic of his orb – balancing our their power, since ours was empty. We realize that perhaps the orb was giving magic to wake the sleeper. We return the to top of the lift to let Lifty, and our orb recharge. It has been a couple of days since we entered this place and I worry about the donkey. Fulframent comes with me and we find him outside as happy as a donkey can be on the side of a mountain in the middle of no where. It was nice to see the sun again. All too soon we head back inside, and back down with Lifty. We make the trek back to The Sleeper, dividing into two groups after our rest. The Forward group will go without the orb, and can observe how close the orb needs to be for the Sleeper to awake… in case anything bad happens.

Olloth tells us to take cover – he senses something magic from above. We can hear the fluttering of wings. We set up an ambush are are confronted by a scaling flying serpent type thing with crow’s feet. It is nothing like the DC creatures or the new-life we have encountered, it’s unsettling. We safely take it down then return to our mission: the Sleeper.

The orb does have to be close to wake the Sleeper and even then it only allows it to speak, it would need a vast amount of power to move even an inch as we later find out.

It awakes in a panic, but is not aggressive to us. We calm it down and soon have a very long chat.

It was made to mine out this area, with many like it. It cannot measure time when it sleeps, but it knows that it has been quite some time sine it last was awaken – over 100 years ago by the Necromancers, and the last time by Vit. It speaks of a Disaster that caused it to sleep – we must assume, after questioning, that the disaster what caused the ancient mages to disappear. Before that event, which the Sleeper cannot remember, this New World was full of magic.

We kindly ask him questions, and try to answer any that he has as well. Our conversations continue.

Before the disaster the mages were in three groups. They wanted to start over, making new creations instead of manipulating old ones as they had when they were learning. One group wanted to wipe out the world and start over, destroying man, elf, dwarf, all of it. The Sleeper was the creation of a group that opposed this, and wanted to start over below, believing that it was wrong to exterminate the old races. The third group thought similarly but wanted to go above.
All of this led to a conflict that is probably the end of the mages in the legends of all of our peoples.

We had some confusion about the third group and asked to elaborate by what it meant by above. Going into the heavens? Where would they go?

The Moon, it said. It then asked what color the moon was. We told him it was yellow-grey, and he in turn told us that this meant they were successful in at least their first project, which was to change the moon so that it would better suit their needs. The moon before the disaster was dark grey. We still really don’t know what to think of this, other than there are mages on the moon. It’s… a bit of a shake up.

We start asking him about the dead continent, showing him a map… it is indeed where Tith believed it was, and it is the homeland of the ancient mages. It also where the third group of mages wanted to stay.

====
-Mind blown, moon mages and stuff
-We do not have the means to get the Sleeper closer to the lift :(
-The Sleeper licked, then ATE the flying thing in one gulp when we asked for it to help identify it. He said it was made messily, clearly not something done by his masters, but someone who followed their methods.
-How could it live down here?!
-Necromancers were mean to our Sleeper buddy. I think we could be friends.

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The long road.

Things have been going well in Pevnost, at least from a peasant’s view. The small chapel should be done by the end of the season, and with Jan and Tolui effectively administrating and running the place respectively it leaves me with time to go to the capital. And to go on an adventure into some forsaken ruins far to the north in the neighboring kingdom.

We asked Miroslav his opinion, and if he would be willing to come with us but he had to decline – he would be out of his jurisdiction there and has other pressing matters. So we set out on the week long journey to Zabr, and then beyond. It wasn’t until we were a day past Omice that the thought crossed me that I should see my family. I’ll have to correct that on the return trip.

In Zabr I gave the order to stand down for a few days, to relax. Fulframent tried to find any of his own kind to find out news of home – to no avail, while Hilo went around… being Hilo. He told me how he went to watch the fights and make bets, but I’m sure that he did his share of whoring and drinking too. The man (orc) deserves a small break and some fun though.

I’m sure he made a few heads turn as he went about town.

I went to dinners, talked to the rich and powerful, even the Prince who confided some of his troubles in me. Over all I think I have improved my station considerably, but I still have much farther to go before I will be an equal here.

The party was soon over though, and after three days we left, back on the road to the north. The villages are plentiful here – so much more prosperous than the south. We stop at a mining village for the night and to place some orders. This region produces steel for much of the kingdom, and Kral says it’s of very fine quality. We all place orders, and Kral even purchases some climbing tools. We continue northward for a few more days, the villages becoming smaller and less thick, and soon it’s almost complete mountainous wilds.

Kral finds the cave he had entered some time before he joined up with us and starts to lead the way. We have to leave Weiss outside. He seems content enough. We crawl and slides through the tunnel until we find a vast chamber, like some sort of obscene cathedral. It was far more vast than the last necromantic holding we found. We continue to explore and find the bottom floor partially flooded. I swear I heard a splash, but no one else says they heard it either. Fulframent searches around to calm my fears and the others seem to chalk it up to nerves.. .but I know I heard it. I just know. The search and mapping continues until we find a massive door. it towers over us, skulls and bones and a tall figure that took up most of the height of the door.

It looks like one of the massive creatures that stood outside the Power Site over a year ago during the storm. I’m unsure if the others were thinking it, but I was the one to voice this. Hilo approached it slowly, then stopped with Olloth barked a warning. Olloth felt a power either in or behind the door, and when Hilo moved to it it flared up. Hilo did the sensible thing- he approached it.

Twobeams of light shot out from the figure and we all got ready to run or fight. It took a second for us to realize that the beams did not harm us. They did not even touch us. But the doors were opening.

There seemed to be a hole with a platform in the room beyond the door, with a lone figure making a horrible, revolting gurgle. We approached when it did not move towards us, and it continues to make the sounds. It was consistent, making the sounds over and over again, in phrasing, broken up by coughing sounds, and soon we started to make out that it was speaking.

“How may I serve?”

We were dumb struck. This thing was fused with the platform, so we started to question it. It calls itself a ‘lift’ and can take us down to a lower level. We have not-so-affectionately called it ‘Lifty’. It says it can take us to ‘the Mine’ or ‘The New World’. Being methodical, we start with ‘The Mine’… after we hastily think to ask Lifty if he… it, would check it’s working condition first. It obliges and we are left waiting for the better part of an hour before it returns. We board and descend rapidly.

We end up at the mine, which is cavernous, with golems walking about, stacking up ingots of a bluish metal. We do some testing of it and find out that it is tougher than the worked steel we have. Needless to say we make note to grab some of the bars later.

The golems armored and are singed and soot covered. We experiment with out and see that they do not even notice us, even if we are in their way. We follow them to see where they are mining and smelting. It starts to get warm, then utterly hot as we continue on and eventually decide that it is not safe to investigate further otherwise we might fall victim to heat stroke or fumes.

We return to the lift and ask his to take us to this new world. He obliges and we go lower. And lower. Even at the speed we are going it still takes quite some time, at least half an hour. Then the walls that had been around us … disappear. We are surrounded by darkness, but we are still lowering – not falling. I think we are too much in awe to think about it until later, thankfully.

We pass through a structure, with a roof and made up of columns, with stairs leading off in what we have to assume are cardinal directions. We’ve reaches the new world.

=
We question Lifty about many things while we waited:
-This was a necromancer stronghold
-It knows only about the shaft and generalities about his masters, the Western Mages Conclave
-There was s rift between the Conclave and ‘The Order’, we have worked out that the Order is likely the roots of The Burrow
-A man named Vit was the last to use Lifty
-Vit was part of the Order, and enemy, and made it so that lift would work for anyone
-Vit was ‘Level 3 Undead’ at this point….

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Return to the Dwarven Library

Things were still tense after we returned to Pevnost. Hilo and I still didn’t see eye to eye on how to deal with the Burrow. I was worried that if Miroslav took too long to return, the orc would do something rash, perhaps showing the New Life body to a Church official with less discretion than our handler.

Luckily, Miroslav returned before too long. Hilo wasted no time inviting him into our secret stash in the basement and presenting the scout’s body to him. Upon seeing the body, Miroslav told us that these creatures had been known to the Church, but the records were so secret that they were almost forgotten. His scant information mostly confirmed what we already knew and suspected. The Church first saw these beings near the end of the necromancer wars and believed that they were creations or allies of the necromancers. After a few direct encounters, they vanished, presumably heading to the lairs where we would eventually encounter them. Some Church records indicate that they fought the necromancers, which seems to line up with the evidence of a battle that we found in the site near Novyrhad.

Miroslav then reported that there were reports of war in the dwarf lands near the Dwarven Library, and rumors of attacks by unnatural creatures that sounded disturbingly like DC. We agreed to teleport him there using the stone near Sedlec. I had some misgivings about the plan, thinking that going there might needlessly antagonize Osvald, but I was overruled. We traveled to Sedlec without incident before smoothly teleporting to the Dwarven Library.

We were lucky enough not to meet with a DC response from the stone itself, but almost immediately after materializing, we were set upon by DC-esque horrors. They were similar to some of the DC constructs we have seen in the past, but without the mask or the clean outer shell. Instead, they were fleshy and disgusting, with a slobbering skull. We dispatched several of them without too much effort – Hilo really has a way with these things. Miroslav was… less than helpful, but whether he was unable or unwilling is not clear. There is certainly magic about the man. Perhaps he was testing us.

We continued a short way into the complex, but we were stymied by a female-looking New Life with a large firearm. She had set up a firing position at the end of a long hallway, and warned us not to come any closer. Could it have been the moth woman from the Sea Cave? Unclear. Brief attempts at negotiation left us at an impasse, but we did manage to glean some information from her. It seems that Osvald’s people have taken over the Dwarven Library, and for some reason they have been launching attacks on the surrounding tribes. But why? Perhaps more importantly, Dusan’s project to create Newer Lives seems to have been a success. How successful, though, is still a mystery. The creatures we fought were certainly thralls; are they the current limits of the Burrow’s ability to reproduce, or are higher life forms possible?

Debate ensued about whether we should fight through or pull back. Miroslav suggested we return to Pevnost for now – after all, we had learned a great deal already from our little jaunt. Our journey back to the town was uneventful.

Not long after arriving back at Pevnost, a strange and horrible Bird arrived bearing a message from Osvald. Without expressing outright hostility, he rebuffed our proposals to work together against the Dead Continent threat, saying that we have nothing to offer him. We still don’t know much about Osvald and his kind, but apparently whatever project Cerny was referring to worked out, and Morava no longer concerns them. Even the prospect of an assurance from the Church to look the other way (which, admittedly, Miroslav was not enthusiastic about) did not interest Osvald. Despite my hopes, there will be no help coming from the Burrow against the Dead Continent.

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Why can't we all just get along?!
New Life wont play nice.

~The thoughts of Podvodnik Kral, Thief Extraordinaire

With the discovery that DC posed a greater threat then even the New-Life, our group in general decided it would be good to try to unite the New-Life and Church in a common cause. That proved be easier said then done. After a report summoned us to the power site we were shown the body of a DC creature which had been killed quite cleanly. It’s head had been cut clean through, narrowing the likely cause to either with a magical blade of some kind, or a highly advanced blade using a lot of force. The skeletal remains seemed different then our knowledge on the DC and it seemed odd to find one in the woods. Examining the place the body was found turned up no clues at all, or evidence that anything even happened there.

Feeling pressed into greater haste by this discovery, we decided to head straight to Seldec, or at least an old new-life complex nearby. The intention was to deliver a message with some proposals. During our first night of travel however, things got messy. I took first watch and stayed up by the fire while the rest slept. I got the feeling we were watched. Anyone else might brush off that feeling as bad nerves but In my profession it’s more then a tingle at the back of your neck. I woke up Fulframent and told him it was his turn to watch, and that I was going to get some sleep. I ducked into my tent and went out a secret flap in the back and off into the night. I followed my instincts to some ruins outside our camp where I really felt in my element. The dark ruins were a natural place to duck in and out and around. I got the feeling however that my target was no amateur. While not really aware of me, our watcher was not easy to locate and seemed to be changing hiding spots quite often. I eventually spotted him perched on a eight foot tall post, sitting rather unnaturally. I stalked around him and got in close, nearly within striking distance, and may have taken the opportunity had I not been a bit startled by what I saw. The watcher was clearly new-life. Maybe even DC, since I hadn’t really seen living DC before. I decided not to risk it and instead went back to camp, sneaking back into my tent and coming out casually. I let everyone know what I’d found out and they decided that waving to the spy might be a good course of action. I’m no diplomat really so I can’t say anything against it, other then it may not have been a good idea. Maybe. I had gone back into the night to watch it’s reaction. It had changed locations again, but the wave still had an effect. It ducked back into the ruins almost in a panic, paused, and then began to do something with its arm. At first I thought it might be using some kind of long distance information device, to report that it had been seen. Apparently not. It was dark, give me a break. It was putting something like a metal rod in its arm and then it snuck off speedily to get closer to the camp. I took out my blackjack and followed close behind, not ready to attack unless It was necessary. I wasn’t entirely sure if it had been loading a weapon or not, or if it planned to attack.

Once it got behind everyone though it seemed there was no hope to avoid conflict. It had been circling around to get the drop on us. That may have been its intention from the start since it’s spying locations had been closer to the camp each time I located it. Waving may only have startled it into more prompt action. We’ll probably never know for sure.

It raised it’s arm and took aim. I lunged out of the shadows and struck the back of its neck with my blackjack hearing a nasty crunch. His shot went wild and missed the group, causing an explosion and filling the air with smoke. I shouted to the group and then darted away, narrowly avoiding the slash of a sharp blade, which cut the air I had been in seconds ago. Everyone came running while I escaped into the shadows, and the new life climbed quickly up the wall of some ruins. Fulf fired an arrow but it seemed to have no effect to his dismay. Moving through the ruins, I realized quickly that the creature was not trying to get away, and rather was hunting me. It seemed to have decided to kill us all unfortunately. I used the ruins to my advantage and maneuvered it into a position in our advantage and Hilo came swinging. I vanished again waiting for another opportunity. Hilos hammer cracked heavily into the creatures gut sending it backward to the ground. I took advantage and ducked out, giving up on the blackjack and just giving its head a heavy kick on my way past. It had little effect on its health but distracted it. Hilo swung his hammer again but was shocked to have it fly from his hands as a quick swipe of the creatures sword dented it and disarmed him. Jiri who had been attempting mid combat diplomacy gave up and concentrated on defending Olloth and Fulf. Hilo in a rage decided he didn’t need the hammer at all. He dove onto the creature with his shoulder and used all his strength to try and subdue it. It however was so strong that Jiri had to join in to restrain it. I suddenly realized I had been missing the opportunity to do what I do best. I effortlessly stole the creatures sword and went back into the shadows with my new blade.

It seemed it was a fight to the death however, and the creature would not be taken prisoner. Its other arm was heavy and strong, and it delivered a brutal strike to Jiri’s face, sending teeth flying from his mouth, and his body to the ground. Hilo became enraged and jammed his thumbs into the new-life spys hard eye sockets. He pressed for all he was worth even as he was struck on the back of the head by its free arm. He begain to howl out what I can only assume to be loud orcish profanities and insults, or maybe just cries of anger and rage as he continued to push his thumbs deeper. I took the sword, and even though admittedly I am useless with a blade, I did my best to strike it’s arms and legs and cause damage. Hilo finally collapsed as we all swarmed in to strike it’s exposed body and pull Hilo to safety. Lucky the fight had gone out of the new life almost simultaneously as the Orc. I got in close and tried to take one last thing from it. I stole its dieing thoughts. All it could think about as it passed on was a deep worry regarding its possessions. It seems it’s initial confident assassination attempt had turned into a panicked struggle to stay alive, just to keep a possession from falling into our hands. A quick search revealed why.

It had a set of tablets, reports, talking about us and the church, and information about the DC we had found the remains of. It said the DC was a new and advanced type capable of moving about freely where the previous kinds could not. It seemed we had found the DC’s folly. Closer to home however was troubling info regarding us. The New Life had been dismayed to learn that they no longer had anything to blackmail us with since our recent contact with the church, and they may even have spread around the desire for our assassination. We argued long into the night over the wording, what the New Lives position could be, if they really wanted us dead or if they were only considering it, and most importantly what to do. Eventually Jiri put his foot down and ordered us on towards Seldec to deliver our initial care package, with a copy of the spys report added. We didn’t feel brave enough to stick around for their response after telephoning it off though a stone, so we just took off straight for pevnost. Currently Hilo has the New Life corpse under watch and plans are to show it to the church official who is overseeing the powersite. I just hope we haven’t dug our graves today. Well. Their graves anyway. I’m just some brewer after all. The only New Life to see me in action is now dead. That’s at least some comfort.

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