Cambrya the Second Age

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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questions of a father
Audghier
When someone is gone for a long stretch of time we miss them and want to know many things about them. When a knight goes to war the princess he leaves behind might ask what he has seen and how many dragons did he slay. When a sailor leaves for the sea his son may wait patiently to ask whether he saw a mermaid and if he is captain yet. When a mother goes to market her sister may wonder if she has brought milk for the children. As I hold the small piece of paper in my hand I cannot think of what to ask the man who was once a father to me.

Where did you go? Did anyone else survive? Why did they attack us? Are you proud of me? the list of possibilities war inside me, each striving to be the one that fills that tiny space. Like some sacred memoir to the long dead in a capsule sent back in time this tiny paper will let me talk to a man who to me has long since been dead.

The pen in my hand moves as I try to force it to write everything in my mind all at once, but it is soon stilled by the cold grasp of doubt. If he survived why didn’t he tell me. Why did he hide from me? is he ashamed of who I have become. Ii swallow grit and sand as I choke down my doubts for the only man I have ever truly loved and longed to prove my worth too. I wish to ask my brother frost fire what I should say or even Rynn and his honeyed tongue what I should put.

There is however only one question I would ask of the man who left me on the field of the dead and hid from me my whole life. I want to know why you left? Why have I been alone for so long? Why should I keep figting so hard for a world that seems to care so little? Why shouldn’t I take the road that Simon wishes to take and just wench and drink until I die smiling and happy. Why should I try to follow honor to die like pup? Why should I follow duty and die like Redfield’s son? Why should the son of someone who didn’t even want him and could not even impress his guardian enough to stay aspire to more than taking what he can?

I simply put
Why?
and sign underneath.

My insides grind as I contemplate whether I even want to hear an answer. I turn away grab my sword and head off to war once again.

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im so strong my singing muscle can kick you ass
Audgir

I chop chop chop
and I chop chop chop
hack and slash and a chop chop chop
kick drow in the head
send barmen to bed
drink punch and yell and chop chop chop

I smash smash smash
and I smash smash smash
slash and crash and smash smash smash
make emiel red
and beat dragons dead
flip a table drink a beer wench and smash smash smash

I get slap slap slapped
I get slap slap slapped
flex and pose and get slap slap slapped
I get it in my head to have mia in my bed
SLAP!!!!! “no more singing”

sorry mia…

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