Arkenvale

Ralin's Journal

I arrived in the small town of Corwick hoping to provide my services as a smith, having heard they had been having trouble with miners being attacked. Upon my arrival I went to the Typsy Turtle Tavern and found the place totally full of wounded militia men. I did notice a drow in the corner in very noble looking clothes, what looked like a healer in obviously new robes, and an exceptionally short but charming halfling playing her lute for some of the men. After a quick chat with the innkeeper I made my way to the most important looking man in the crowd, a man by the name of Gladwynn who was missing his right eye. He informed me of their situation and said they could use armor. I set out to the general “store” (ran by a very odd little gnome) to purchase supplies then I spent the rest of the night making a set of light armor.
I did notice on my way out of the tavern, a small dispute between the two noble looking elves (the drow and the healer, who I then believed was a half blood) and a militia man. I stuck around to make sure the situation didn’t escalate before I continued on my way.
The next day I was on my way to sell the armor piece I had made when I noticed the half-elf from the night before passed out near a bunch of hastily dug graves. I carried the man to the Typsy Turtle and procured a bed for him. Afterwards I found Gladwynn’s home and sold him the armor. I then made my way back to the tavern to have a drink.
Once the half-elf woke and left I followed him back to the infirmary. The smell was awful.
That’s when I learned that all the graves were for the village militia. Someone mentioned pyres so I offered my services and got busy building. The half-elf seemed a little upset when I finished building and started bringing out bodies to lay to rest. I’m not very sure why, since I did most of the work carrying the dead. Anyway, after a while we filled the graves and lit the pyres. A fair number of villagers showed up to pay respects to their family and friends. I couldn’t help but share their pain as I had been through an all too similar scene not too many months ago.
After several minutes the elves and the halfling all seemed to notice something in the dark. The drow and I moved to put on our armor, but after I heard a couple screams I dropped my armor and ran out with my sword and shield. I was able to see the half-elf (who had an arrow sticking out of his chest) obliterate one of the attackers with a bolt of light. I ran to engage one of the others. After a short fight we subdued the remaining three attackers. One, Areth, we convinced to talk and give us as much information on his compatriots as possible. He was very willing for some reason.
The next morning we discovered that the other two mercenaries had slit the throats of more militia men and had kidnapped two nurses in the night. The drow, halfling, and myself set off to Caer Lach, having been told the mercenaries were camped not too far north of the lake. We arrived at the lake and while we were filling our waterskins the half elf joined us. We all introduced ourselves. The halfling is named Delyn, the drow Vesh ni…nao..nal….Vesh. The half elf Aden. We then set off for the mercenary camp.
After several hours we were ambushed by the mercenaries. After landing a few hits myself, I was, shamefully, knocked unconscious. I awoke to the drow..uh, Vesh I mean…healing me. I then helped in the rest of the short fight. Delyn had put two to sleep and managed to knock a dwarf unconscious. These three are surprisingly well suited for battle, despite their appearances.
After quite a while of deliberation, we decided on a plan to deceive the mercenaries. We were offering them more gold to help us capture the two drow ( who we now know to be employing the mercenaries). Vesh set off to the camp with the dwarf (Veeroth, their leader).
After several hours, Vesh returned. We accompanied him to the camp where we waited for nightfall. After a while, the drow arrived and we were able to subdue them.
We then learned, on our way back to Corwick, that Vesh was from a prominent slaver family. The Miletic family. He rebelled, freed several slaves and fled the underdark (still not totally sure what that is). He is now hunted by other drow.
We returned to town and turned the two drow over to Gladwynn. We informed him of the situation between the mercenaries and the elves. We led him to the infirmary so he could deal with them. As rude and brash as they may have been, I feel the elves deserved a trial. But, Gladwynn is in charge of the town, so I stepped out while he dealt his justice to them. As much as I may have disliked it, I know all too well the pain of burying your own.
Now that the drow are dealt with, it probably won’t be very long before the mercenaries start wondering where their payment is. So we have decided to stay here in town a little longer until we can figure out a plan to deal with them. I collected 5 scimitars and 5 crossbows (one of which I am keeping for myself) which I plan to give to Gladwynn to divide among his men.

I don’t have much of a problem with Vesh, but from my limited interactions with these drow I can guess they don’t particularly like other races. They seem to view themselves as superior to us. I haven’t noticed this trait in Vesh too much, but I will be paying attention.

The half elf, Aden, is very brash and I can tell he hasn’t seen much fighting but is a very adept healer. He seems to want to do the right thing usually, he just goes about it in a very odd and sometimes outright violent manner. He is part elf, after all, so I will be keeping an eye on him as well.

The halfling, Delyn, seems very pleasant but is surprisingly effective in combat. I feel there is more to her than I’m being led to believe.

Entry 2

After spending the night recovering, I set out to find Gladwynn. Once I found him I gave him the weapons I had collected to distribute among his men. I then returned to the tavern where I met with my new companions to decide what we were going to do about the mercenaries. We eventually decided that we needed to take the fight to the camp before they had a chance to strike the town. After some talking and drinking with the soldiers, and a very boisterous speech from Delyn, we assembled a party of 30 militia men. We then began the trek back to the mercenary camp. Once we were close, we readied an ambush while Delyn and Vesh went ahead to hopefully lure the bandits to our hiding spot. After several minutes, Vesh came running back very frantically. He informed us that the camp was completely emptied. Assuming the worst, we set off quickly back towards Corwick. When the town was in eyesight, it was oddly bright. Our worst fears were correct, the bandits had hit the town while we were gone. We quickened our pace to the town while several of the militia men fell behind, despite our best efforts to bolster their spirits. When we arrived at the outskirts, we got a better look at what was happening. The bandits had barricaded many doors to homes and set them aflame. I immediately threw myself into the nearest barricade to try to break it down. After a very intense fight with the remaining mercenaries and their leader, we began trying to save the rest of Corwick. Having dealt with many fires before (due to accidents or attempted kobold raids), I began telling as many townsfolk as possible to start digging trenches between the unburned homes and the fires. The people immediately set to work, and we were able to save most of the town.
After taking some much needed rest, we awoke to discover Gladwynn had been murdered. Searching his home, we found a note with what appeared to be numbers referencing payments. They were owed to the town chancellor. We decided we needed to find this man, who we were lead to believe had fled to the capitol not long before the raids started. 
But first we decided to go inspect the mine, where all of the trouble started.
When we arrived at the mine, we noticed goblin footprints leading into the mine. We followed them down to the mine shaft. Delyn disguised herself as a goblin and entered to scout the area. There were several normal goblins and two larger ones. We engaged them in what we thought would be a relatively easy fight. I slayed a few quickly. I turned to notice Aden throw a goblin off the cliff. Then, just as he turned back, another goblin swung from a rafter and kicked the half elf off the cliff sending him 60 feet to the lake below. I quickly took up my rope and part of Vesh’s, threw one end to Vesh, and jumped off the cliff after Aden. Looking back, I should have tied the rope off to a wooden beam, but I was too worried about my companion. I’m not sure what happened but I suddenly jerked and swung into the cliff side, dazing myself. I quickly recovered and lowered myself into the water and grabbed Aden, tying him high enough to keep his head afloat. I then began to climb back up the cliff, pulling the half elf with me. Suddenly, the rope went lax and we began to fall. I managed to catch the both of us. I then struggled to pull myself and Aden without support. I eventually made it back to the top where the other two were waiting, having finished off the remaining goblins. We found two more goblins hiding in a small room and allowed them to escape. I took the weapons and armor of the two large goblins because they were of a much higher grade than average goblin gear. Upon inspecting them I noticed an odd symbol I had never seen before, I’ll have to figure out what it is later. For now, we all need a rest. We almost lost Aden today.

I haven’t been with these three for very long, but I feel a very strong connection to them. And after this recent event, I feel like we’ve grown closer. I still don’t completely trust them, but I am glad to be travelling with them. It definitely beats being on my own. And maybe this will allow me to aid my home faster and more efficiently

Entry 3

After resting awhile, we went back to Corwick. Afterwards we set off towards Caer Athair to try to find Adred, the town’s chancellor. After a few days we came across a large military force with Adred among them. After some very unfavorable words from Vesh, the troops descended to capture us. Luckily, Aden and Delyn talked them down and the army continued on its way. We decided to continue our journey to the capital of Arkenvale, as Aden had contacts there. Along the way, Delyn taught me several thing about city life and what to expect. A half month later we reached the city, and nothing the halfling said prepared me for monstrosity that is Caer Athair. After we arrived everyone dispersed to attend to their business and we agreed to meet at the Deliberate Second Inn. I asked around about the insignia on the weapons I collected and found out they were signs of rebels of Arkenvale. I then sold the swords and armor and made my way to the inn where I met some friendly folk and began drinking with them. Hours later Aden, Vesh, and Delyn arrived. After some drinking and gambling we decided to head to meet Aden’s friend in the morning. The next morning I awoke and decided to wash myself with the water in one of the barrels in my room. Afterwards, I met my companions downstairs and we set off towards the palace. All of my friends were in very fine clothing that I had not yet seen. I found this odd as I don’t like going anywhere without my armor on, but maybe it’s a high class thing. When we arrived at the palace, I was left speechless. I had never seen anything so grand in my life. As we walked through the halls I was amazed at the excellent metal workings. We met Aden’s friend, Barrick, who was a very round but pleasant looking man with a rather large voice. Talk of a party and royalty and politics followed, none of which interested me. I was still astounded by the remarkable work that surrounded me. The man noticed my interest and asked. I informed him of my name and my profession. He told me if I ever got involved in silversmithing to speak to him again. Then he asked where I was from, when I informed him he became a little hostile but quickly changed back to his normal happy demeanor.
Apparently, we were all invited to this banquet. So when we left, Aden and Delyn went to the University and Vesh and I went to purchase clothes for me. After we finished, we went to find our companions. When we arrived at the university, we discovered a fight in progress.
We thrust ourselves into the fight to help our companions. I dealt vicious blows to two of the would be assassins, pinning one to the wall with my blade. Unfortunately I was knocked unconscious. I awoke to the combat finished and several of the men captured.
After this battle we returned to the inn to recover.

I am currently sitting here, ashamed of myself. I have been bested too many times due to my lack of concentration and power. We are too unorganized to be truly effective. So, I have decided to focus on training my mind as well as my body. My enemies shall come to fear me, and my allies will look to me for guidance. I will be the Battle Master

Entry 4

After some drinks and recuperation at the inn, Aden piped up that he wanted to purchase a crystal ball. So we all set off with him to find a magic shop. After some oddness and characteristic rudeness from Aden, we departed the first shop in order to find another. When we arrived at The Original Last Spell, I was amazed at the building’s architecture. On the outside it appeared to be a fairly large but simple shop. When we walked inside the building appeared to go on for hundreds of feet. Rows upon rows of magical items in glass cases. As Aden looked for his trinkets, Vesh and I went looking for cloaks. I have decided that this country is not a safe one, and I will go nowhere without being armed and protected, and a cloak will allow me to do so without raising too much suspicion. All I was looking for was a simple cloth cloak to cover myself with, but the odd little wizard who helped me told me of other options. I decided on a dark green cloak that he claims to be fire and waterproof. Aden had managed to anger another shop keep and only thanks to Vesh was he able to obtain one of his crystal balls he had been after. Once we left the shop, Aden dropped the GLASS ball and if not for Delyn…Uh, Ciri…and myself it most certainly would have shattered. On our way back to the inn we discovered a large number of guards flooding the streets. We cam to find out that another City inn had been destroyed by an unknown assailant. I accompanied Ciri to the palace. No one there seemed to have heard anything about it, and when she told two men that were talking to each other one of them rushed off in a panic. On our way back to rejoin our companions, a guard holding a strange bit of metal rushed by. A moment later, Vesh and Aden came running from the same direction and yelled for us to catch the man. I turned and set after him, easily catching up to him and stopping him. Once Vesh and Aden arrived they talked to the man briefly, and he departed again. Apparently there was a misunderstanding and he was the wrong guard? Anyway, we set back towards the Deliberate Second because it had grown late. We went to our separate rooms and slept the rest of the night. That night, I had nightmares of homes burning and people screaming. I’m not sure if I was dreaming of home, Corwick, or something else. I awoke to the sound of men downstairs. I quickly readied myself and approached the stairway. The town guards had been sent to escort us to the banquet, which had now been moved up due to the attack. They accompanied us to the palace. Aden (disguised as Old Man Arthur) then realized he forgot to bring the dean of the university. Once we collected him and successfully made it back, we entered the banquet hall. After a brief chat with Barrick we began filling our plates. I payed a young servant to keep me stocked on ale, and he did so without error. As more people began entering, Ciri and I took our places in a corner and she began playing. The night went on with hundreds of nobles stuffing their bellies with food and wine. I wonder if aby of them know anything about real hardships. As I watched the people I noticed an all too familiar face: Arel Delwyn, the bastard who had sacked my home, Travincal. He was surrounded by a group of mercenaries and wearing the colors and insignia of Caer Athair. My blood boiled but I knew that I could not let my passions endanger my friends. So I pulled the hood of my cloak up and kept out of his sight. After a few hours, Ciri stopped playing and we rejoined our companions at the table. After a while longer , people started filing out. I accompanied Aden as he made his way to confront the man who was after him, who had been standing by the door scanning the room. After a very drawn out discussion, Elwyn agreed to meet Aden the next day. As we walked outside, I told my friends about my home and what happened with Delwyn. Vesh then told us of Barrick’s offer to work for him as a small fighting force. We will need to think carefully about this…

I discovered that Arel is under the employment of the capital. He is allowed to do whatever he wants, provided he furthers the interests of the emperor, and he is never questioned or tried. This deeply disturbs me, as a man should not hold that sort of power. I don’t believe in a large ruling power such as the one Arkenvale has, but even I know that is too far. And what does that say about Arel’s attack on my home? Barrick DID act very suspicious when I told him where I was from…And what does this mean about this Emperor? Did he order Arel to attack my home? So many questions have been raised this night. Questions that I desperately need the answers to.

Entry 5

I write this as I sit here, attempting to drink the memories away. I hope this is the only recollection I have of this day. This has been a very long and terrifying day for us. It started last night when we decided to take Barrick’s offer. I still don’t trust the man but I need gold to help my home, which I feel I’m getting distracted from in my journeys. He wanted us to find a group of rebels supposedly held up in the university. We made our way there and found our way to the library. There, Vesh and I ambushed the rebels by pushing bookcases over onto them to subdue them. Then I finally had a chance to talk to one of these “rebels” and find out their side. The man I talked to claimed that they had a rightful heir to the throne and wanted to put him back in power over the current emperor who took it by force. I’m not one to get caught up in politics, but I can’t help but sympathize with them as their story is very close to my own experiences. We decided to let the man go, though Aden disapproved and wanted to turn him over for torture, which I wouldn’t allow. Aden departed to the palace while the rest of us followed the man. We discovered that there were more rebels hiding in the town and Vesh managed to convince them to not go forth with their attack with a note. We went back to the inn for the night and got some rest.
The next morning we awoke and departed to the palace to confront Aden’s pursuer. There we discovered men at post on rooftops around the town square. Ciri tricked one into punching nearby birds, which caught the attention of one of the other men, while I climbed a roof and subdued the other. When Elwyn arrived Aden told him of a plan to resurrect the man’s son. This sounded much like blood magic which I had only heard of but knew to supposedly be very dark. The man agreed and we made our way to the university. When we arrived, Vesh and I went to find the Dean. I walked into his office, pushed past the paige and opened the door. The Dean then lead us to a room with a small metal table in the center with a bunch of men in menacing looking cloaks. I refused to be a part of such dark magic, so I exited the room. I picked up the halfling and attempted to drag Vesh out as well, but my ands were occupied with the flailing Ciri. We exited the room and the door closed. After a few minutes we could hear the men chanting. It started as just faint words but gre and grew until the sound was deafening, I have no idea how the others managed to stay in the room with it. After several minutes the chanting stopped, and there was total silence. I walked to the door to peer through the window, and what I saw still haunts me. The room appeared to be totally filled with…entrails. gore and guts were all that could be seen. It took all the strength I had not to enter to help my companions, but I remembered the men had told us not to interfere no matter what. As I was thinking this over, I heard muffled noises. Ciri’s small, normally cheerful face went white and her expression was of sheer terror. She told me that the noises were definitely the screams of Vesh and Aden. Without thinking I threw the door open and the two of us ran in. Inside the room was nothing. Then, after a short moment, the gore covering the floor began to animate into a grotesque creature. Then, it got worse.
The creature began growing skin, the fair skin of a half-elf and the dark skin of a drow. Vesh and Aden had been merged into one unholy creature. Knowing that these monks had murdered my friends and twisted their bodies together, the only thing I could do was attack. It was the only right thing to do, as I know I would not want to continue living in such a state. After a quick grapple with the beast, I managed to rip both of it’s arms off and finish it. As soon as the monster collapsed to the ground, the room went white. I awoke back in the hallway with Ciri, I ran to the door and threw it open again.
There, in the room, was everyone. Alive and well. Though Vesh and Aden were soaking through with sweat. Seeing the monks, I drew my sword to end their vial days of necromancy. But then, Elwyn walked over to the casket, and pulled his LIVING boy out. I then sheathed my sword, walked back into the hallway, and sank to the floor against a wall. After a moment, my companions joined me and we made our way back to the Deliberate Second, none of making a sound. When we arrived we all sat down. Barloff came over and noticed our disposition. He then offered us all free drinks and another night free.
So, here I am, drinking two small kegs and wondering what in the hells just happened.

I have decided, that from this day forth, I will not tolerate necromancy. Yes, the man got his child back, but at what cost? Is that really his child? I know one thing, that creature was not a hallucination. Now, this civil war seems so irrelevant. I don’t know what we plan on doing tomorrow, but for now, I’m going to sit here and drown myself in ale

Entry 6

I awoke hanging in the rafters of the inn with a headache and only a faint memory of the previous day. After washing up and some breakfast, we set off to the palace to talk with Barrick. When we entered his chambers, I immediately noticed a new style of metalwork. Running the entire length of the walls was a flowing silver material. He informed me that it was a type of metalwork done for him by sorcerers. He allowed me to fill a jar of it and told me where I could find the men. Then we got to business. He told us our next job was to infiltrate the rebels and assassinate their leader in town. He told us they were believed to be operating out of The Original Last Spell. So after some more time, we departed for the shop, with the exception of Aden. He went to deal with Elwyn’s child. When we arrived we made our intentions to join the rebellion fairly noticeable. I approached one of the private guards and we talked some, discussing my home and what my companions and I were doing there. We led them to believe we were a freelance demolition company. They invited us to join them that evening for “dinner”. We agreed and departed. We made a quick stop by the pyromancer guild to visit with the men about the flowing metal. I will have to return at a later point in time to be able to make anything useful out of it. We arrived at the Deliberate Second to find it packed. I told Barlof we needed a table and he gladly procured one for us. Aden arrived a while later looking very shook up. We tried to talk to him but he stormed pass and made his way to his room. We figured we’d just talk to him in the morning.
A while later, we heard a lot of banging and crashing coming from upstairs and Barlof went to check it out. A couple minutes later he came back down swearing as Aden entered the front door…again. Barlof kicked him out yelling something about his walls being damaged which I assured him I could fix. We then followed Aden as he stormed out. He was being extremely hostile so I pinned him to the wall. I then recognized his control spell so I covered his mouth before he could mutter it. After a few minutes he calmed down enough to talk. He said he made a deal with his god that he could save the boy as long as he agreed not to “suffer any rebels”. We talked on this some and then decided to head to the meeting with the rebels. Upon our arrival, we were let in and spent roughly half an hour chatting with the many people gathered. Then they readied us for a challenge which I was not expecting. They sent us into a room with 5 city guards, bound and gagged. Their only instructions were to “prepare them”. After several minutes of arguing, we finally decided a mix of poisons to make them appear dead was our best option. It worked and we were accepted. We were then given an assignment to clear the gate to allow a rebel force into the city. We did so by distraction and a sleep spell. Not wanting to pick sides just yet, we sent Aden running to Barrick to inform him of the rebels at the gate. When the rebels arrived, we allowed them to see us then began sneaking our way back to the inn. The rebels dispersed through the city before the guards arrived to the gate, probably very good for us.

I’m not sure how to feel now. I desperately wanted these rebels to be good, honest folk wanting to set things right. But it appears that they don’t have many moral issues when it comes to how to get things done. They are more than happy to kill unarmed men who have not stood a trial, just for initiation. I WILL NOT kill innocents, no matter the cost. But I also cannot pledge my allegiance to an empire who sees no problem with the slaughter of whole villages. 
I’m not sure what to think…I set off from home with the simple goal of helping rebuild and protect it. But now I’m caught up in this political struggle between two sides I have nothing to do with. The thought of forgoing this whole thing and returning to my original task has crossed my mind numerous times. But I cannot leave these new friends of mine. I don’t see eye to eye with them, but we help each other and they are good people who I have sworn to protect. For now, sleep is what I need. I can continue thinking about all these events once I am rested

Entry 7

I….we…
My hand does not have the words. I suppose the best thing to do is start from the beginning.
We were given the task of stealing from a city armory by the rebels. We sought Barrick to find a peaceful way to complete the task. We returned to the inn to prepare for the mission. While we were sitting there, two drow walked in. We pursued them through the streets to a small abandoned house. I tried to talk to them only to be met with hostility and death threats. I kicked in the door as Vesh snuck his way in the back. The drow released a poison cloud so I dragged Vesh out. We eventually managed to overpower the trio of dark elves….but at much too high a cost…those bastards…they killed so many people…just to prove a point. I no longer care about this stupid rebellion or the empire. I want to find Vesh’s mother and make her pay

Entry 8

After a night of rest, I have calmed down and regained my nerves. I still want to hunt this Moira down, but that will have to wait. We went to see Barrick to discuss our plans for the night. On our way, I could hear my name being whispered through the crowds. The rumors varied greatly: Ralin was the leader of the Drow, Ralin was who they were hunting, etc. The good news is that no one actually knew who I was. When we entered the palace, it was buzzing with activity. Nobles and servants were scurrying about like mice. Barrick was not happy to see us. He has taken the attack as an act of war and has sent men to scout the entrances to the Underdark. We informed him that we were planning the raid for that night. We then made our way to the Original Last Spell to inform the rebels of our plans. We then did some shopping around where Vesh made many friends (I’m not sure how to convey sarcasm through written word). We returned to the inn to eat and prepare for the night.
We left the inn for the rebel hideout. We met our companion who turned out to be our old friend Areth! After a while walking through sewers and catching up we were under the armory. I lifted Ciri and Aden through the opening and they gathered all the weapons and armor. We then made our way back and presented our bounty to the rebels. They weren’t overall pleased with the quality, but they were happy to accept them. They then told us that the Vimes heir was in the city and we could meet him the following day. I feel this is a set up to out us as the traitors. Aden views my hesitance to tell Barrick as a sign of my loyalty to the rebels. I have not made up my mind who to support, but my main concern is my group who I’ve sworn to protect. As long as Aden doesn’t do anything stupid, tomorrow should go fine whether the Vimes is there or not.

Entry 9

I awoke and met my friends downstairs for breakfast. We had plenty of time to kill before meeting the rebels at their training grounds, so we decided to shop on our way. I stopped at a nearby smith and purchased a whetstone. I then showed the man the two short swords I received from the Drow. He offered me a very meager price so I respectfully declined. We continued downspin and found an odd store ran by an equally odd gnome. He specialized in hats, sword hats, and swords. After several minutes of talking with him he agreed to buy for 19 gold. Aden wanted to stop by a trinket shop so we followed him.
We noticed that the guard presence had significantly changed. There were far fewer men, and those that were present wore strange dark cloaks. On our way towards the center we discovered a poor soul who had been beaten to death. I grabbed one of the “guards” to inform him and he shrugged me off, saying someone would look into it. Not satisfied, I made my way down the alley to investigate. I found a bloody pool and a small club. I returned to my friends and they had a look as well. Aden found some torn bits of cloth, which appeared to belong to these new guardsmens’ cloaks. The club had a golden stamped C on the hilt. We kept these and continued downspin. When we reached the center we stayed along the edge and made our way to the building the rebels had told us. We listened before entering and heard the sounds of shuffling and clanging metal and wood. We entered and were met with a wall of swords. We brandished our rebel insignia swords and they returned to their business. We found Tilly and told him about the man in the street. He summoned Varand and we told him as well. He told us these men belonged to a group of mercenaries known as the CSPs, a vile group who will do anything to make a copper.
We split up and began to help train their troops. Most of them boys who had never wielded anything but a pitchfork. The building we were in appeared to be an abandoned inn, with many tables, chairs, and various glasses and dishes scattered about. The group I was training seemed to be focusing too much on just swinging a sword. I started changing things up by hitting them with the hilt of my sword, my shield, chairs, throwing dishes at them to off balance them. I would fight hard for a few minutes, challenging several of them at once. Then we would take a break and I would go over technique as well as improvisation with them. These men need to think outside of the box if they want to stand a chance against a mercenary army. A banner for freedom in one hand is useless without hardened steel in the other. We trained the group for an hour or two before they stopped us for a break. The recruits slowly shuffled out.
Then, Varand called us aside. A middle aged man with a small beard and shaved head stepped up to us. Varand introduced him to us as Aldus Vimes, the heir to the throne and leader of the rebellion. We had a long conversation with him and he revealed that they knew we were feeding information to Barrick. He said he would forgive us if we agreed to kill Barrick. Aldus left us to discuss amongst ourselves while he ate. Aden took issue and we began a very long and drawn out argument over what we should do. I was starting to fear that we might have to make an enemy of him when suddenly he bowed to pray. After several minutes he looked up, with a much softer expression. I don’t know what he was shown in his prayers, but it appears to have changed his outlook on this rebellion. We then met with Aldus again and came up with a plan. We were going to kill one of the mercenaries, change his clothes, and convince Barrick it was the rebellion leader. In doing this, we hoped we could take some pressure off the rebellion and put more focus on the drow war.
All the recruits returned and we resumed training. Afterwards we cleared everyone out and managed to lure a mercenary into the building. Ciri knocked him out and Aden cut his throat. Not an honorable death by any means, and I hate that it had to be done. But we dressed him in rebel clothes and split up. Vesh, Ciri and myself started back towards the Deliberate Second while Aden was going to tell Barrick that the leader had been killed. On our way back we ran into an angry mob. The villagers were protesting the CSPs brutal treatment and extortion of them. The mercenaries were huddled together, obviously plotting an attack. I stepped in front of the villagers and yelled at the guards to flee. I demanded several times that they run or they would be killed. One of the guards attempted to fire his crossbow at us but it malfunctioned. The villagers tried to surge forward but we held them back, keeping the group together. We then started to slowly advance, all while I was still warning the mercenaries to flee. Some of the mercs in the back released arrows at us. I managed to block two of them but I was not fast enough and unfortunately….one of the villagers took an arrow to the throat. The mercenaries seemed to be bolstered by this while the villagers started to shy away. Ciri turned and rallied the people while I roared that the CSPs just sealed their fates. An intense battle began in the street; I was blocking lethal blows to the villagers repeatedly as the guards attempted to slaughter the weak. Something came over me this battle. Something I hadn’t felt in a long time. Purpose. I knew who and what I was fighting for.
I unleashed brutal flurries on these men. They would attack the peasants, I would block and counter. Stabbing and slicing and cutting into the mercenaries as they frivolously tried to enforce their authority.
It is amazing what a purpose will do for one’s spirit. Soon the battle was over. We lost two men, but they were now martyrs and heroes to their fellow peasants. I revealed my true name to the crowd in an effort to give them a name to rally behind.
We made our way to the Original Last Spell, because the inn would not be safe for us or anyone else now. We informed Varand of what had happened and he seemed shocked but ecstatic at the same time. Ciri has acquired some red dye and we are going to paint this town with the rebel symbol. Tonight is a big night, and I feel we’ve just gotten started.

I have decided that these people are under my protection, and any man who threatens them is the enemy.
Gods help my enemies.

Entry 10

We managed to spread rebel propaganda through a couple districts without much incident. We ran into a Particular but we were able to diffuse the situation.
We spent the rest of the night at the Original Last Spell. We sent a messenger to let Aiden know to meet us. He told us that Barrick needed to see us. We then told Varren we were going to the palace. We made our way to the palace and met with Barrick. He informed us of a sorcerer who was harassing a few nearby towns and asked us to handle it. We agreed and were provided with a cart and two horses. As we left the town we passed Varren and informed him of our mission. We then set off on our way.
When we were nearly half way there we encountered travelers who’s cart had been wrecked. We stopped and I assisted them in fixing their broken wheel. He told us he was a merchant heading to the capital. Ciri gave him my name in hopes of spreading more good will in Caer Athair among the rebels.
We eventually made it to the town and met with the man in charge. He told us the sorcerer had been attacking their village for several days, using elementals to sack the town.
We made our way to where the sorcerer was thought to be held up. We encountered a couple water elementals and, thanks to some trickery from Ciri, we were able to bypass and literally stumble into the sorcerer’s lair.
After an intense fight we managed to pacify the mage and talk with him. He told us of moonstones and how he believes there is one in the town which is corrupting the townsfolk. He offered us all rewards and swore to leave the village alone if we could get the stone for him.

We are in an odd situation, on one hand, this man has killed innocents. But he claims they attacked him when he inquired about the stone. We are taking a short break then going back into town to investigate the moonstone story.

Letter attached to the front of journal

Father,
I am sending you this journal that I have kept through my travels, because I am unsure that I will survive tomorrow. I have come quite far and have done many things in my life, but tomorrow may be one of the most important days of my life. Tomorrow will define who I am, for I have questioned myself several times the past several months. It has been a long time since I received your letter. I finally took your advice and let Moradin guide me to the path I feel I need to take. I am about to write my last entry into this journal, so you can see the events, struggles, and victories of my life away from home. Please share my stories with the people, I wouldn’t want to disappear from this world without my friends knowing of my adventures. I hope you will be proud of the man your son has grown into, and I hope you approve of the decision I’ve come to. I love you father, and I hope to see you again in this life. If not, may Moradin guide you, and I will await you beyond.
Your son,
Ralin Freesmith

Entry 11

We entered the town and after much investigating were able to locate the moonstone. We hatched an elaborate plan to free it from the jail it was buried under. What we weren’t aware of was the corrupting power the stone held. It drove us all mad and turned us against each other whenever we were close enough to it. Aden and I even came to blows.
We managed to get the stone back to the sorcerer who then informed us that this was only part of the stone, and the chancellor of the town held the majority. So we ventured back to town the next day and managed to steal the stone while he was distracted. After presenting it to the sorcerer he described ways of working the quicksilver I’ve been holding onto. I’ll just need to find some magic user capable and willing to help me.
We began our journey back to the capitol where we met with Barrick. He informed us that the Shades had been cleared and all the people were being held in a prison camp. We then made our way there to investigate and were let in without issue, because we were “working for the capitol”.
I will never forget what I saw. Men, women, children, elderly…all corralled into tiny cells in different buildings and being beat to death for information. In the center of the prison camp were the worst atrocities. The Particulars were burying people alive. I could no longer contain myself and lashed out at the men. We killed the guards in this building and set the civilians free. We then started making our way through the buildings, killing Particulars and freeing people as we went. We took a very heavy beating during our liberation, Cirri lost her foot, and were forced to retreat back into the city chased by a massive metal golem, leaving the open rebellion we started going strong.
We worked our way through the cleared Shades on our way back to the rebel hideout. Vesh and Aden dropped their CSP clubs and cloaks. We were questioned by a guard who I ended up subduing. I told him what we saw at the prison camp and told him I did not want to hurt him. I also told him to wake up and realize that he swore to protect people. We managed to make it back, get Cirri bandaged up, and inform Verrand of what we saw and did before we passed out from exhaustion. We awoke and were told that Verrand had gone to the prison camp with a group of men. So we set off to the prison camp. We noticed a very heavy guard presence. We were trying to plot ways to help the rebellion. Aden mentioned burning down the Shades in order to frame the Empire and I agreed…. More on that later. We managed to make it to the prison camp, Cirri riding in my backpack the whole way. We could hear the sounds of fighting sporadically through the compound. We entered and found the golem from the night before in a heap on the ground surrounded by mages and Particulars fighting off rebels. We joined the fight and made quick work of them all, Vesh managed to destroy the core of the construct. We then followed the soldiers to the center of the compound to Verrand. My name has become a symbol to these people and they rallied to see me and I think their spirits were bolstered. Verrand was eventually swayed to the burning of the Shades plan. I was a strong advocate of it as well because I believed it would rally the people against the Empire, not thinking about the consequences of such an atrocious act. I finally prayed to Moradin for guidance, and dropped to my knees from the vision he showed me. He showed me new homes and better living where the old stood, but also showed me visions of families burning alive in their homes. I could not stand the thought of doing harm to these people who already have it so badly. I immediately changed my mind and managed to convince Verrand of the same with the help of Cirri and Vesh, though Aden was still adamant about burning.
We then agreed to attempt to rally the people inside the city by spreading word about the Shades being cleared, as most people were totally unaware. So we did just that. We gathered a group of women to help us and managed to sneak back into town. Cirri and I split from the others and bought/made a temporary peg leg for her.
That night we ventured out to a local tavern and managed to persuade the people to investigate the Shades. We left to paint propaganda around the city and came back later to check. We reentered the taverns and people were rallied and ready to march on Cable Street. We convinced them to await until the mid day and meet us at the city gates.
We then made our way back to the compound and informed Verrand of our activities and success. Aden went to the capitol to try to get Barrick distracted and recommit troops to a false invasion. I pray that he stays true to us, but I’m honestly not sure that I can take that elf’s word for anything.
Tomorrow will be the deciding day of this rebellion. We are walking the people who were torn from their homes up to the gates and telling everyone who will listen their story. We are praying that the guards listen to these people and don’t just open fire on them. We will march on Cable Street and take their compound as our headquarters for the eventual push on the palace.
These people have been oppressed long enough, and it is now time for them to rise up and take their freedom and revenge. I know the pain of loved ones being senselessly taken and I hope they can find solace soon. These people trust me. I am not one of them, but they view me as a leader and I believe they will follow me til the end. This is not my fight, but I cannot turn from them. They need me, and even though I’m not sure why, I need them…I need this. I feel the following days will either be my end, or my true beginning.
I am their sword, their shield, their voice.
I am Ralin Freesmith

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