Cambrya the Second Age

A Dragonborn's Faith

The chill wind blew over my scales as I watched Audgier Freiheim walk off into the distance.  How did this happen? I thought to myself.  Where did we go wrong? The wind blew Audgier’s cloak as he walked in silence.
        “Take her up, Emile!  Let’s get out of here,” Simon shouted.  To me, he sounded annoyed or frustrated.  His desire to abandon Audgier to his fate was unspoken as the ship began to lift off the ground.  “Frostfire!  Get to the ropes!”
        “Aye, Captain,” I shouted somewhat absently as I moved to my position on deck to control the ropes attached to the sails.
        Everyone was understandably upset.  Vecna himself made a deal with Audgier for our souls.  I say bargain, but in reality I mean Vecna conned Audgier.  In a moment of desperation, a moment of weakness, Audgier traded our souls so that a woman he cared for could live the life she deserved.  Ironically, that’s what got her killed as she turned back to her human self within a drow encampment.
        Audgier was devastated when Vecna gloated about what Audgier had done to us and to Mia.  When he realized the extent that he had been duped, he fell into a black depression worse than even when he entered our village for the first time, years ago.
        I admit, even I felt hurt and betrayed by Audgier’s actions.  I turned to Bahamut for answers.  I thought that by showing Audgier that the gods had not forsaken us, that we still had a chance and that through faith, an aspect I ahd thought Audgier shared, he would see that we could continue on.  I thought that a trial by combat would show that Audgier’s belief that he was irrevocably damned was wrong and that everything would be okay.
        I was wrong.  I hadn’t counted on Vecna breaking Audgier’s faith.
        There was an argument.  Vecna himself got involved when Audgier offered his soul in exchange for ours, but backed out before going through with it.  Everyone shouted accusations at Audgier and at me for forcing the issue.  The next thing I knew was that Richard had his dagger out at Audgier.  Neither of us expected Audgier to swing, but I think Richard was the most shocked.  Everyone turned on Audgier, out for blood.  I imagined Vecna laughing as we turned on each other.
        I yelled at Audgier to drop his weapons, but he refused to listen as the frenzy overtook him.  Finally, in a desperate moment as his lifeblood gushed out of his wounds, he jumped over the side to certain death.
        Time froze.
        I realized in that instant that my friendship with Audgier was more important than what he had done.  Yes, he had made a mistake, but he had been doing what he felt was right.  I understood that it wasn’t Audgier that needed a trial for Bahamut, but me.  As Audgier dove over the edge to certain death, I realized that this was Bahamut’s trial and that Audgier’s life hung on a thread.  It was up to me to decide Audgier’s fate and Bahamut was giving me the choice of whether Audgier lived or died.
        In that instant, I forgave Audgier for his foolishness.  As Audgier vanished over the edge, I ran forward, pulling the sorcerous energies around me and wings of ice and fire exploded out of my back as I leapt over the edge after Audgier.  The only thing I heard was the wind whipping past me as I dove toward Audgier.  At the last moment, I grabbed him in a bear hug and used my sorcerous wings to force us back up to the ship.
        Audgier didn’t struggle.  I can only think that he felt he couldn’t even commit suicide properly.  Silence reigned as I landed back on the ship.  Accusatory stares watched me as I led Audgier downstairs.  Would he understand my reasons for saving his life?  Would Audgier understand the enormity of what had just happened?  Would Audgier think that I had betrayed him or that I was only saving his skin to benefit me?  He saw Bahamut’s justice duel as two people trying to kill one another and didn’t understand putting your life in the hands of a god.
        Audgier wallowed in self pity as we landed in the nearest field.  When we touched down, he walked out the door and began stripping all of his weapons, all of his possessions.  He climbed off the ship and began to walk away, weaponless, in a land full of drow and other dangers.  I ran over and grabbed on of the fallen hatchets and yelled his name.  He turned, and I threw the hatchet at the ground at his feet.  He took the hatchet and walked away without a word as I watched my best friend walk into the sunset.

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War Comes
Richard Whitemane

The war is upon us, we have sacrificed a world to save our own and if we lose this battle that sacrifice is in vain. We have returned from the other Cambrya a world without the gods. As we left the portals closed for the last time and that world was destroyed. We let that world be destroyed to kill the drow army there that would have stole their weapons, guns and brought them back to our world. I feel dirty and evil like a drow after letting a world be destroyed to benefit my own.

My father taught me that no matter what fight try to save people never give up and when the going got tough I didn’t even fight. We gave in to the excuses of not having enough time, not being able to think of a solution, not being able to do anything and turned away letting the other Cambrya die. We could have stopped it but then we would have had another war to fight, a war with a the very least twice as many drow armed with guns to fight. Could we win, maybe but the cost would be immense.

Now I have to find a way to live with the miserable person I have become. I have killed more people by doing nothing than all the drow on our world put together. I feel more like a drow in one day than with all the influence of my life put together.

But as it stands right now none of this matters, I have a war to finish. Right now I need to focus on the task at hand and kill every drow that comes before me. Right now I have men to lead and a fight to win. Right now I have focus. After this I can think about the past. After this I can figure out what to do with the person I have become. I have tried so hard to be a good person and I keep screwing it up. I hope I can find a purpose after this war.

But now, now I have drow to kill, let them come so I have something to focus on.

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Blood and Shadow - The Eleventh Hour
Iz'bryn

Journal entry Pg. 178

It’s been a bit of time now that I’ve joined Dragons Bane in a sort of mutual agreement of travel, this is not what I expected for the worlds “premiere” adventuring group.

I can accept that this band of adventurers have gone through quite a bit together, they look weary and tired, the bags under their eyes tell stories of trial and tribulation. I can accept that they have some sort of looming, impending doom hanging over their heads, with the acceptance of deal from a dark, evil god.

What I cannot accept, however, is that in the eleventh hour, this band of adventurers, in which by this point I would have thought should have developed some sense of family ties… bicker, fight and attack each other. I see them treat each other with the same disdain, and fervent hatred at times as the Drow do to each other.

In the eleventh hour, when the world has a common enemy, facing destruction, some worry about morality, I fear that if the time should come when “collateral damage” should need to happen in order to win this war they will dizzily argue in circles instead of perusing the goal objectively?

In the eleventh hour, when darkness threatens to consume everything this small band of “heroes” knows, will allow things to happen that may scar their soul for eternity afterward? Will they understand that morality sometimes needs to take a back seat in a war in order to complete a goal?

In the eleventh hour, will they stop killing each other, and avoid internal conflict until, perhaps, after the war? When they can slaughter each other without causing the world to turn to ruin?

Morality is contraband in war.

-Iz’bryn

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Impassable Partings
Emiel

The Dimensional Vortex, it’s a move that spurred from dealings with Sir Spriggles and his portals. The idea is that if I focus magic thru my blade and swing downward with tremendous force, I can create a portal myself. The problem is that it is very brief, so brief I literally need to place it in front of someone while they are moving to work. In that split second, I send them weapon forward into another target, one of their own. Using their power to help me protect. Of course if there are no other targets, it still has a use… like dropping someone off a flying Spelljammer for example.

It didn’t work. Was it my technique? Timing? Or the fact, that deep down, I didn’t want to do it.

After Audgear and the rest of us had to watch Mia, now human, being forced to walk with Vecna and then just fade away. He claimed he was going back to his old ways, nothing but doing what he does best… killing. We felt for the most part, except Simon, we could deal with his new/old attitude. But that fools words led us to an impasse. He stated that if anyone drew a sword on him, he’d swing to kill. We tried to explain the flaws in that. There are guards that need to protect this land and they would draw steel on him with the way he was acting, not to harm him, but to defend.

He wouldn’t listen.

Then he was asked if he would attack any of us if we drew our blades on him. He said yes and we didn’t believe him. Richard went to call his bluff… he wasn’t bluffing.

The battle drained us all, but none of us died. Even Audgear’s attempt at killing himself didn’t work, Frostfire cared to much and wouldn’t let him. But it also let us to where we started, the impasse. Simon still wanted him dead. Better to kill him and put him in the hands of Vecna, so we know which side he’s on. We decided on giving him a choice to leave on his own free will, hopefully figuring somethings out and maybe, just maybe he’ll come to his senses and prove what he’s worth.

Audgear, may Avandra be with you, you idiot… and don’t die.

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I can't seem to find where I am going

Audgheir

I stare out at the woods and can’t bear to even see the ship leave. It would seem the way I was is no longer acceptable. Dammit they need my strength why couldn’t they just leave me be. I don’t have to be happy or cheerful or helpful to kill drow. Why does trying to help lead to so many mistakes. I guess I am not even known for keeping my word. When I told them how it would be why did Richard have to test it? When he pulled that knife, I knew my word meant nothing, that he didn’t expect me to swing. I am a man with very little left, my word is about it, so I swung. I threw the fight. They could have beaten me anyway but I made it easier for them. Although, despite proving that he is a better man than me, I hope I left simon with a scar.

I cannot stand Simon. He was a scumbag and had proven it time and time again and everyone gave him trust no matter the number of warnings. I tried to do the right thing and only seemed to meet failure. How is it success comes so easily to someone so underhanded. Three times, going back in time, trying to break the stone myself and talking to a good god and a dark god to free her from the curses and all simon had to do was talk to her. The harder I tried the further she got until I finally got her killed and her soul taken. Since knowing what would happen to her I have been in a fugue where I just wanted to kill EVERYTHING and was trying to hold it back. I knew that there would be times I wouldn’t be able to and I tried to warn my friends.

In the end I tried to save them the hurt of having to kill me and I couldn’t even do that right. Apparently what I am good at is a very short list. I want so badly to ride all night and day to Greyson and kill any drow that gets off at the docks, but I don’t know if they would accept me even being that close. I wonder if Vecna even cares anymore. They are no longer my friends it would seem and I can only hope that frees them from my actions but I doubt it.
I have been cast out by my fellow barbarians.
I am not welcome anywhere else because I am too barbaric.
I have gotten the only woman I cared about killed and her soul taken to cure something that didn’t need curing.
The one person I tried to protect everyone from ended up not being a scoundrel but a king and being such reflected how much of a bastard I am.
My friends have decided it was better to test my word that I would strike anyone who pulled a blade rather than just leaving me be.
My sword is no longer my own and with it any shred of honor I had left. I hope Roslin enjoys his trophy, it is earned.
My soul is already claimed by the evil in this world.

Why did you leave father I could have used your guidance so many times? Why did it have to be this way Mia? Why did you have to save me frostfire? Why did you have to offer to let me leave? Even after everything that happened I could still have killed drow for you.

I don’t know what to do and I wish someone would show me. I have been lost for a very long time.

Audghier summons his horse.
Whether they want me there or not they need as much help killing the drow at greyson as they can get and I will be there. They can decide what to do with me after, but one thing is still true, I am good at killing. Fuck you Vecna I may be yours when I die, but I have alot of drow to kill before then.

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anger
An anger like I have never felt before fills me. I have tried being a hero and tried saving people. In the end all I seem to do when I try that is hurt my friends. I had thought it was a curse, this inability to to anything but kill and get people around me killed. I left behind my barbarian ways to try and be something I am not. I can only feel anger now… anger at myself. I couldn’t get anywhere with priests, mages, or good deities. Why did I even talk to the dark god Vecna? Because I felt powerless to help one of my friends I had truly failed, I opened my mouth and asked for things I shouldn’t. I thought he would only want my soul and that I could only bargain for my own soul. He is however a god, and gods don’t play fair. I don’t know anymore. Killing is all I seem to be good at and I wish I had never tried to change that. Now my own failures just fill me with a rage I can’t hold back any longer.
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Worth
Emiel

The wind blows through my hair as we sail towards our destination. I’d be normally enjoying this, but right now I’m just going through the motions. There is just too much to think about right now.

How much is a soul worth?

Are different souls worth different amounts?

How many souls does it cost to fix things?

And don’t I have a right to decide what I would or would not sell my soul for?

I grip the wheel tighter as frustration pours over me. I turn to look at Audgear as he works the ropes and I shake my head.

That single minded fool! What was he thinking? Or was he thinking at all? I know he wants to help Mia, we all do, but we have a war in front of us and that takes priority. I’d think Mia would understand as well since she agreed to help, or she just wanted to follow her drow instincts to torture Simon.

And to talk to Vecna of all the gods, he’s one of those we are fighting against. It’s as if he’s turned traitor by making a deal with the enemy. Audgear can say he stated that no souls would be involved in the transaction, but he was dealing with the god of secrets and the undead, nothing was going to be in the up and up. He had no right to even discuss the use of any part of Dragon’s Bane without us in the conversation.

And in the end all that Audgear strived for maybe worthless if we don’t get the Mia and Simon in time.

Sweat beads down my forehead, I’m praying for the winds to pick up, to gain some speed, to have something good come of this day other than saving Hush. And in that moment a spark, a realization of the words Vecna said.

What were they again? Something that our souls were his unless… unless a god intervened on each of our behalves. That’s it! That’s the goal. I’ll show what I can become. I’ll survive this war, we all will. And when I die, which won’t be for a long… long time, I’ll have a god standing up for me because of what I am worth.
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Repetition
Richard

A lot has happened since I last found time to sit down and just muse over the events that have happened. For obvious reasons I am not going into a lot of the details, if they were written down and fell into the wrong hands it could end badly for many people involved. I have learned a very important lesson though through our series of misadventures and that is that the things we do can have cascading consequences that reach far farther than I even though possible. The drow are also far more sinister and cunning than I thought, words do not do their tricks justice. They keep finding new ways to suprise us, which creates death around us for those we know, we keep getting lucky and managing to survive.

In our search to find one of the Sunriders, a druid by the name of Hush, I am given the chance to meet my brother and Halbrecht. We have to smooth things over because our recent acquisition that lets us travel at remarkable speeds led them to assume we were imposters at first, but we managed to convince them that it was really us and joined forces to track down Hush after defeating a drow ambush. Yet another place swarming with drow.

What to say about my brother, he is to say the least the complete opposite of me. We share a few things, we both want to stop the drow, though I want to stop them because they are evil and he wants to murder them all in revenge for the torture they inflicted upon him. Where my disposition is fairly happy he is cold and withdrawn. Apparently my father died more recently than I thought, my brother will need to share that story before he leaves and I will need to give him appropriate thanks for fathers necklace.

Tracking Hush to a cave filled with dead drow we find her after being tortured by them, though she seems to have been able to kill them all. She is extremely skeptical that my brother and I have any good in us, and with my track record for mistakes I sometimes wonder how good I really am. We notice smoke coming from the village, rushing back we find it on fire. The village is razed, everyone is dead the drow came in the short time we were gone. Now its time for us to stop them, we take the fight to them.

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There and Back Again
Rynn

I saw her… him… Ioun. The embodiment of knowledge, secrets, books. I wanted to ask so much, know so much. Everthing I thought came off as an insult to Ioun’s infinte knowledge. Where do I come from? Where is my family? How do I do what I do? Still as important as these questions are to me, what worth do they have with the infinite. I failed Ioun, I didn’t understand the gift Ioun had given me and I squandered it. But I have learned a valuable lesson.

Forward, everything always moves forward. I had never considered that going back was ever an option. That reliving what had already occurred could happen. When looking back at my choices, our choices, there are things I would do differently. But again, these choices, these decision to change things spawn new and different possibilities that had never been considered. Simply by staying an extra minute the entirety of our path was altered. Never again will I dismiss my actions my choices. Each needs to be considered and understood. Even still the future cannot be mapped, the choices of others dictates so much. But if I can understand my choices, my decisions then maybe I can alter things to a path that I can follow and predict.

Thank you Ioun. Thank you for everything.

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Lows & Highs
Emiel

I know as soon as I saw that bird on the branch that we messed up. No… that’s not really true, that’s when I knew we were being given a third chance to make things right. Seeing my friends, comrades, and Seamus die before me left a terrible taste in my mouth. All these plans we had to defend Rhubarb blew up in our faces, literally. I mean I knew the Drow were sick and merciless, but to create a potion to make living beings explode, is a new low. And having pieces of an innocent man all over me is something that I will not soon forget.

But the question is, what do we do this time? When we tried last time we forced things too much… did things too fast and lost the details in the process. Rynn had his scribblings he was working on, connecting this to that, cause and effect, but all it was really doing was making Rynn second guess everything. Not letting us go forward. We should know, you can’t fix every little thing, we just needed to make little, subtle changes, going towards the big picture… stopping the Drow, Lolth, and Vecna.

Time moves backwards again, leaving us back in the north. We are asked our choices and sped up to our next choice. We follow the path that we create, fixing key points while not making big ripples. That brings us back to that little village that’s stuck in the past, to Simon, and an option that we never considered, but had been staring us all in the face. Getting our hands on the Spelljammer would save us from waisting the energy of the Twelve and having some magical firepower if the need arises. But taking it is the problem, we need the bloodline of King Grey to be allowed to us it. Now I know that’s Simon and I know that Simon wants the Spelljammer among other things. So I just state the problem, the solution, and let Simon be Simon. Using the knowledge I had to solve the problem, while not letting it slip where I got the information from… not bad. I’d think Ioun would be proud or at least less annoyed.

In the end Simon seems to be acting differently to me. Maybe it’s because he wants to learn magic to pilot the Spelljammer or we changed something we as yet don’t understand. Right now it doesn’t matter, I’m going to fly this ship and enjoy the wind in my hair because who knows when I’ll be up so high again.

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