Icebreakers

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Jaela's Journal 01
1st Session

AGM 627, ?? ??

My memory is unreliable. I am writing things down, should I ever need it.

I should start at the beginning.

As near as I can tell, I have spent over a hundred years asleep in some kind of magical stasis. I do not know how this happened. I certainly do not remember entering stasis. In fact, I cannot recall my last memory. I have memories, to be sure — both routine things and specific events. But if I try to organize my memories into a timeline, things get jumbled towards the end. There are other gaps too — places, people, names I should remember but do not.

So, unreliable memory and therefore I am writing things down. With luck, this is a side effect of the stasis and will pass naturally. Of course, the last time I had any luck was when I did not get arrested for robbing the temple. And I am still not sure how lucky that really was. No, somebody did this to me.  And they tampered with my mind. Which raises the question: why? Could this be what the priests meant when they said there was a plan for me?

I was awakened by four strangers. Adventurers by the look of them. They tell me it is now AGM 627. They seemed truthful. In any case, much time has passed. The fortress is in ruins — my rescuers were there to explore it.

I do not know what happened yet. All I have so far is a name: Eritheya, a mage who attempted to carry out some sort of ritual here.  The ritual hurt many souls. I helped the one I could but it was not enough. I need to find Eritheya, she has much to explain. She may also have some answers about what happened to the order and to me.

I also need to repay the folks who rescued me. With luck, they will want to chase Eritheya and I can stay with them.

I seem to be counting on a lot of luck. Careful Jaela, that is precisely when it runs out

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Jaela's Journal 02
Still in the first session.

AGM 627, ?? ??

It is very likely that everyone I knew is dead. Dwarves do not live far into their second century anymore. I keep thinking of Boris. He always had faith in the plan. I tested his faith a great deal but it never faltered. I think that is why he pushed me so hard in training. He wanted to repay me for all the grief I caused him. Dwarves and their grudges.

Boris was so strong. He liked to say he was a warrior who learned to wield magic and everyone else was a priest who learned to fight. And I was a thief who could not seem to learn either.

I wonder what happened to Boris. I did not think anything could take him, but he was not young. Whatever it was, it was bound to have been impressive. Like when he led the defense of Pharae. Moradin's beard, he was the defense of Pharae that day! I remember, after the fighting, passing out from exhaustion.  And he was still up, casting healing spells on any who needed.

Whatever Moradin wants me to do, I wonder why he did not put Boris to it instead.  Surely, he would have been more capable than me. Regardless, I am the one who is here. I can at least honor Boris. I owe him much more but it is a start.

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Jaela's Journal 03
Session 17

AGM 627, ?? ??

I need to find out what day it is. This journal is getting ridiculous.

I should write something down about my rescuers.

Barb is big, strong. I suppose he is cute, if you like the type. He seems sharp and has good instincts. But then he opens his mouth and says something impossibly stupid. Still, he is brave and is always first to the fight. I like brash people. They make things interesting. He also gave me a forgemaster amulet he found. That was nice of him.

Ku has many names. He seems proud of how confusing they all sound to me. He does not speak much, which seems strange. I do not know many gnomes, but their race does not have a reputation for being quiet. He is also a spell slinger, good one from what I have seen so far.

Lia is an elf. A pity there is no dwarf among the group. Few things are funnier than a dwarf telling elf jokes to an elf. I know several myself but I can never seem to tell them right. Lia is also quiet, though it seems more deliberate in her case. She is a cautious fighter, though I suppose most archers are. She also has a rather strange obsession with spears.

Lady Akra is the leader of the group, at times — it is still not clear to me.  She is a dragonborn woman. I never saw one before. They are huge!  She is a smart fighter, disciplined. She is also very wise. She knows a great deal about arcane magic and rituals. Uncommon for a soldier, but very valuable. She seems to share in Lia's obsession with spears. Oddly enough, neither of them actually carries a spear.

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Jaela's Journal 04
Session 17+18

AGM 627, ?? ??

Things are starting to make some sense, at least when it comes to the current state of the fortress. We found a diary that belonged to Eritheya. It was in tatters but we pieced some things together. She referred to the Anvil of Light as “some old order”. How long ago did the Order fall?

Apparently, Eritheya was trying to restore the long lives of elves. She did all of this — the aberrations, the cursed souls. She even summoned a demon inside the fortress! We slew the demon and I sent the souls of my brethren on. I hope Moradin helps them find piece again. Why did he not protect them in the first place?

I think we have also found a way out of the fortress. The entrance is collapsed but we can can leave through a well. I am not sure what I will do next. My rescuers asked me to go with them. I should, at least for a time. I need to repay them.

I need to find out what happened to the Order. And I have to pick up the trail of Eritheya. Her diary mentions some old sources and the city of Alexandria. Maybe I can find more information there. The diary also mentions a siege bu

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Jaela's Journal 05
Session 19

AGM 627, Erastus ??

I know what month it is now. Some progress is better than none.

We are out of the fortress. It looks just as bad from the outside. Nothing but ruins and rocks. The entrance to the fortress is completely caved in. I cannot stop thinking… How could this have happened?

Now that I am out in the open, the world is just as cold as I remember. By the forge, it may have gotten colder somehow. I suppose it was too much to hope for that someone would have managed to undo the Great Mistake.

We were attacked on the road. Orc raiders and some cultists. We have a name — the claws of Luthik. Luthik, according to Lia, is the wife of Gruumsh, god of orcs. The mind boggles. Gruumsh has a wife.

We also found a note on one of the cultists mentioning “pesky adventurers going back to Redwall via the north road”. I think my rescuers have some prior acquaintances that I need to know about.

Other than the attack, we had a pleasant enough trek to Redwall, baring the cold. I am starting to get to know the others a little better. Seems like each of them have, in some way, lost something because of this damned cold and the state the world is in.

I will travel with this group for a time and help them as I can. They have several tasks ahead.

They were sent by the Temple of Moradin to search the fortress of the Anvil for relics. They must report back. I am very eager to speak with the priests at the Temple.

Barb carries and axe that has been cursed. He would like my help cleansing it. I was never one for the forge but surely Moradin can help purify the weapon. Perhaps the priests can lend a hand.

Barb also had a ship which was taken over by pirates. He would like it back.

Then there is a quest relating to a strange metal sphere. It granted visions to my companions when they touched it. To my touch, it just felt like metal. In any case, they have been asked to go a place called Tuore where someone may know more.

I also have my own search for Eritheya and the fate of the Order. And my missing memories.

Finally, there is the story behind our attack on the road. It is… really quite something. I will have to order my thoughts further before committing it to paper.

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Jaela's Journal 06
Session 19~20

AGM 627, Erastus ??

So, the story behind our attackers. It is a long one.

It starts with two men, Chony and Affligen, who owned a bar together — the Triangle Tavern in Redwall. Chony went missing and Afligen hired my friends to find him. They found Chony, who had been kidnapped by hobgoblins. After being rescued, Chony asked them to search for some stolen spices.

The group tracked the spices to an abandoned tower, where they spent the night and also at some point went to get a cart for the spices. The next day, they found a woman called Elden in the middle of the snow.

As it turned out, Elden was the previously unknown third owner of Triangle Tavern. Chony and Afligen had tried to get her killed but somehow Afligen also got caught by the hobgoblins and the spice somehow got stolen as well.

The party decided to help Elden. They brought her back with the spices and then helped her retake the Triangle Tavern. Much fighting ensued and Afligen was either killed or arrested — my friends seem to have forgotten which…

Chony managed to escape. He is on the loose and angry. My friends claim that technically they brought the spices back so he really should not be upset. I agree, but backstabbing bar owners are not the most reasonable sort.

In any case, Chony seemed like a good bet to have hired the attackers. But, as I brilliantly pointed out, the note to our attackers was written in Dwarven. Neither Chony nor any of the attackers was a dwarf. So why would the note be in Dwarven?

When we returned to Redwall, we showed the note to Elden. After comparing it with some writing of Chony’s writings at the tavern, we realised he was not the author of the note.

Perhaps the note did not refer to us. Perhaps another group of adventurers was set to return to Redwall through that deserted path at the same time as us. Perhaps it was all bad timing and misunderstandings. Yes. And perhaps Moradin will shave his beard and take up gardening.

We have a secret enemy. He is probably a dwarf. And we are in a city full of them. Could be anyone. Could be anywhere. This is not good.

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Jaela's Journal 07
Session 20

AGM 627, early Arodus

I am back in Redwall. I have not been to the city for some years. Well, more than a hundred, but discounting that. The city feels different.

The buildings, the districts, the walls, they have not changed much. But the people have. There are so many more of them, they move faster, they look more frightened. And security is much greater. There are checkpoints and controls just to get in and out of the city.

But I could barely concentrate on any of that. I kept looking over my shoulder, trying to find our mysterious enemy. I felt exposed, walking around in broad daylight. I miss skulking in cities. But I cannot. We do not skulk. We beat up skulkers, as Boris used to say.

I think I let my paranoia get the best of me. It has been a while since that happened. But I guess I will always be that little thief. I have to be more on guard against it, now that I cannot rely on the Order any more.

I was even suspicious of the priests at the temple! I lied to them when they asked about my faith. How could I do such a thing?

I prayed on it afterwards, long and hard. Begged Moradin for guidance. He gave some eventually, but it felt weaker, fainter than usual. I suppose he is angry with me for distrusting his priests. Well done, Jaela.

Moradin said to trust the priests. I did. I told them everything. It felt good to get these things off my chest. Talking to them felt familiar, somehow. Almost like I was back at the Order. I ended up losing my composure a little. The priests looked overwhelmed by all I told them.

Now we are heading out for Tuore. Would not be my first choice, but if the others want to go there, that is good enough for me. I will see if the priests can find any information about the fate of the Order. Perhaps they will have something when I am back.

The road to Tuore is actually a tunnel dug by the Redwall dwarfs. But they dug too deep and now the drow are attacking the tunnel. So we must fight them off. How depressingly familiar. Has there ever been a dwarf who felt like he had dug enough?

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Jaela's Journal 08
Session 21~22

AGM 627, early Arodus

We are trapped underground. Again.

The drow attacked the tunnelworks, as we expected. But we did not expect the manner of their attack. They had some sort of magical rod that could open temporary tunnels. But even with the element of surprise, we routed them. It is as Boris used to say, the drow spend too much time fetishising spiders, and not enough time practicing with swords.

The bastards were trying to kill as many workers as they could. They ignored us in favor of attacking innocent people. We could not save them all. If the drow had focused on us, things might have ended differently. We owe those people our lives.

When the battle turned, the drow fled. They opened new ice tunnels. We chased them through the tunnels. It was not the wisest decision. The tunnels closed behind us and we were stuck underground.

We interrogated one of the drow and found they were using a portal to launch attacks from their home city. We found this portal. Ku was very impressed. He said these kinds of portals were only spoken of in legends — ancient and dangerous paths through the Shadowfell. Looked real enough to me.

As we were discussing what to do about the portal, a drow priestess came through it. She seemed very surprised to see us. I suppose she was expecting the raiders to have returned in glory. We fought her, but in her death throes she transformed into a mutant goo monster of some sort.

Gods, is there a more disgusting race than the drow?

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Jaela's Journal 09
Session 23

AGM 627, early Arodus.

We managed to slay the goo monster. It was a pity we were forced to do it. Barb had found love in the gooey embrace of the thing. A great and sudden love. He even fought against us, the bastard.

He got over his heartbreak just as fast, as soon as the monster died. There was not much let of the priestess besides her robe and staff — a gruesome thing with spider decorations. I tried to smash but could not. Thing was hard. So Lady Akra sent it back through the portal, with a note suggesting what the drow could do with the staff.

I thought it was a perfectly reasonable suggestion, but Lia is concerned we have antagonised the drow. Honestly, I do not think the drow need any antagonising. They try to kill and torture you regardless of what you do.

We managed to find our way back to the tunnelworks using the tunnel making rods — the first one stopped working halfway inside the tunnel. I was worried for a moment that we would get stuck there, but Ku managed to get the another one working and got us out of there.

Once outside we reported to a dwarf called Naakila Rackar, consul of Redwall. He is very concerned and is marshalling the leaders of Redwall to defend it. Redwall has too many leaders. By the time, the consuls and the council and the paragons and the King and everyone else have debated the matter, the drow will have raided this city ten times over.

We will not go to Tuore, as helping in the defence of Redwall is more important. Rackar asked us to find an arcanist to study the rods. I suggested we go to Alexandria to find one. Everyone was shocked at my suggestion — apparently Alexandria was destroyed twelve years ago by someone called Duncan Alarik. How could anyone beat the magocracy? And why would they? I need to find out more about this. One of the few leads I had on Eritreya just went up in smoke. Could this Duncan be related to the siege Eritreya referred to in her diary?

Regardless, there are other places to search for mages. Some may have fled to the city of Malabar. And surely some are in Redwall. The others suggested we start our search in the Triangle Tavern. It was a good idea. Elden had information on a small group of mages that sometimes met in the tavern. We need to find them as soon as possible.

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