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Author Topic: Unadorned Journal  (Read 380 times)

PatchCap

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Unadorned Journal
« on: November 21, 2019, 09:35:43 AM »
[This unassuming journal seems to have been written in some outlander language, making it difficult to decipher.
The writing is neat, but clearly written in a hurried hand with a tendency towards very short spaces between words.
Every now and again, a page is signed; ELL, and the words Ruby and Jade occur on multiple occasions.]



Entry one

As unfortunate as it is, I have yet to learn the system for keeping time here in the core, and it seems stupid to utilize the Golarion method and months, so I’ll be writing entries instead.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 09:43:30 AM by PatchCap »

PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2019, 09:37:54 AM »
Entry two
Az Ruby, Jade and I arrived some days ago to this Barovia. I assume it is some sort of demi-plane we have accidentally stumbled across, which is fascinating in itself.
The plane itself seems to consist of what is considered “The Core”, a collection of nations that all are able to interact, despite the thick fog that seems to be the walls of this plane. The locals call it the Mist and talk of it as if its alive. Maybe it is.
One thing I noticed quickly was, that The Core seems to have some sort of differently aligned energy about it.
I asked Ruby and she agreed. I think we might border closer to the negative energy plane than we’re used to. It’s quite fascinating.

ELL

« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 09:44:47 AM by PatchCap »

PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2019, 09:38:12 AM »
Entry 3
Fascinating… that is all I can really feel… fascination! Ruby, Jade and I were just leaving a cave whereupon I heard chanting to the east. This led us to an orchard where we found a ritual had taken place. The candles were unlit, but as no one else were around, we lit them, hoping for something to happen.
Before it did, more people arrived, among them what I assume to have been a paladin, and a druid who seemed powerful.
They were horrified by the mangled corpse in the magicked circle, of course, but that is to be expected from their kind. I’m glad Jade is not the kind to blindly judge, despite his similar inclinations.
As time progressed, something must’ve activated the ritual, because the mangled corpse of the woman suddenly became animated, chanting the name of Erlin, a name we later learned is a death god in one of the lands here.
As she moved, the overly zealous moved to strike her down. It was such a waste… I could see it on Ruby’s face too… She was sad to witness a birth only to have it marred by such types and their tendency towards the blade.
The woman came for Gar Jade, and in a show of the might of the undead, she killed him swiftly and brutally before the others did likewise to her.
I think it took all she had for Ruby not to strike them down, but I’m glad she didn’t. With Jade down she and I were outnumbered and it’d have been difficult for us to survive.
Instead I picked up the corpse of Jade, when an idea struck me. Clearly we had a working ritual right here. What things could be learned!
I shared my idea with ruby and she was excited, if hesitant.
We could put the corpse of Jade in the circle.
Ruby expressed rightful concern that his ascend to undeath should rightly be Jade’s choice, and I agreed.
Then the others rushed off, leaving us be, and curiosity got the better of me. I prodded Ruby, and she couldn’t help herself either.
We put Jade in the circle and spoke powerful prayers to Urgathoa, the Pallid Princess, the first undead.
I wasn’t sure it would work, after all, Ruby has complained that her connection to her goddess is weak here, and the ritual was made with another deity in mind but… it did!

Unfortunately, I didn’t learn much as the risen Jade decided to knock me out in his initial stupor, before Ruby managed to pacify him and he ran off.
It is such a shame, really. I would have loved to learn more, but It had to wait. We had to get Jade back, especially with the do gooders around.
We didn’t manage in time. Jade was killed again, and this time, we decided to revive him the normal way. We agreed to not tell him. It was unlikely that he’d remember, and, well, we had no idea how he felt on the matter.

Still, my interest in the undead shroud of this place has never ´burned brighter!

« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 09:49:38 AM by PatchCap »

PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2019, 09:38:27 AM »
Entry 4
Jade has seemed a bit withdrawn since he was revived… I wonder if it is because this is the first time he died or if it’s residue from the ritual… I’ll have to keep a closer eye.


PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2019, 09:38:44 AM »
Entry Five
We returned to the Monastery today.
Last time we were here, the overwhelming amount of negative energy present caused us to have to flee, but we brought Naris along this time, allowing her and Az Ruby to guard us against it.
It was certainly an experience. As far as I can make out, the residents of the Monastery were somehow barred from leaving, locked in with a potentially angry ghost, eventually resorting to cannibalism when they grew hungry enough.
What is interesting here is, that despite the cannibalism, none of them seemed to turn into ghouls, or even wendigo. Instead they all returned as angry spirits, trying to rip our lives from within our bodies.
I don’t quite know how that works… Cannibalism is supposed to cause Ghouls and, if in mountains with the right conditions, Wendigos, but, never have I heard of the spirits being restless as a result… perhaps whatever killed the knight and barred them from leaving had a pull on events?
Nevertheless, we found two places of power, perfect for later rituals, one of which was a giant column of light in the middle of a room where we found and killed the ghost of the knight mentioned  in some of the journals found around.
The real treasure was in the last room we  checked, however. A LIBRARY! I found a good collection of books and brought them home with me. Most of the tomes had been damaged by age, of course, but the Hospital had several tomes on medicine and anatomy, the latter of which was of great interest to me.
Overall a good haul.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 09:51:16 AM by PatchCap »

PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2019, 09:39:00 AM »
Entry 6:
Ruby showed Jade and I another inn today,. This one was in the high class section of Vallaki, an interesting place. Nice décor, nice beds, baths, windows and a gorgeous view of the lake. Even Jade seemed to like it, though he did turn into a dog halfway through. Sometimes I think he might be more comfortable in the skin of an animal.
Whatever the case, Ruby and I had a fascinating conversation. For all that I appreciate Jade for his stoic confidence, steadfast protection of us and his good looks, I could never imagine having such a conversation with him…
Ruby on the other hand might not be as widely knowledgeable as I, but her knowledge of the undead is vast, as is to be expected of a follower of Urgathoa.
We agree that this place is mired in a strong undead energy. The dead rise freely on their own, the living suffer and positive energy is scarce and ineffective.
We’ve managed to locate a few places of power where this is particularly true. Deep in the Crypt under the Temple to the morning lord, The monastery of Hospital Gauntlet, the watchtower and of course the graveyard. Any of these places could do for expanding my research, but I think we should be careful, they’re not all equally suited for rituals and necromantic exploration.
She did say one thing that caught me off guard.
I mused on whether it was possible to fuse the living and the unliving, mostly in jest, but Ruby’s reply got me thinking. She asked why not. The only thing separating them is death.
I’ll have to think more of that. Thankfully I still have the books from the monastery. They might come in handy after all… After all, if I am to deal with death and undeath, I’ll have to understand life.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 10:07:15 AM by PatchCap »

PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2019, 09:39:16 AM »
Entry 7:

What is it that the undead and the living have in common? SPIRIT! That might be worth looking into… tomorrow.


PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2019, 09:40:06 AM »
Entry 8
[This particular entry seems to have been rushed moreso than usual. The writing is frantic and sloppy.]

I had a dream just now! I was in a void, surrounded by silence more quiet than possible, feeling alone, like a candle flickering in darkness.
I saw a creature, and it saw me. It was and wasn’t made of the dark. It was an amalgamation of nothingness and a writhing mass, and my mind could barely comprehend it. What I did comprehend was its arm, shaped like a snake, with a snakes head, extending towards me. It looked at me, it saw my eyes, my eyes like lightning, and it struck.
It tore my left eye from its socket and swallowed it whole.
I screamed in pain, I clutched my eyesocket, suddenly able to move.
Then my hands were gone, or… I could see through them. Instinctively, I closed my right eye, and the darkness changed. What was before imperceptible, was now somewhat more manageable. The writhing mass was a little clearer, snakes, maggots and worms. And darkness.
I stared at it.
The snake hand stared at me.

---

When I woke, my left eye was hurting. I think I might’ve scratched it while moving in my sleep. It’s red.
The dream, however, has not faded. It is clear and sharp as a knife, and I think I know what must be done. I am known as Eyes Like Lightning. Such is my adult name. I was named for my eyes, they are my defining characteristic. Obviously, to see beyond my own world… to perceive the veil of undeath that looms over this demi-plane, I must leave behind a few things… If one of those things is an eye… then so be it.
If nothing else… I might be able to reanimate it.

---

I’ve given it some thought. The symbolism is quite clear, but where did it come from?
Yesterday, as we slew trolls left and right, I joked about divining in guts… and when the clerics said their prayers, Ruby and Rein, I couldn’t help but say one to mine own lord out loud… Perhaps that was the trigger? I asked Lord Abraxas to open my mind and expand my knowledge… but if that is the case, why? Az Ruby can barely feel the Pallid Princess here, why would my lord be any different…
[a passage is scratched out]
Maybe the prayer itself made my mind think in different ways. I should ask Ruby for some hallucinogenics… Maybe I can delve further into my mind.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 10:11:09 AM by PatchCap »

PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2019, 09:40:22 AM »
Entry Nine:
Eyes for knowledge, bones for magic, Blood for power.


PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2019, 09:40:36 AM »
Entry ten:
I died today. Ruby brought me back to life, of course, but the experience was still harrowing… If I am to complete my research, I’ll have to be more careful.

On another note….
For as far as I can remember, I’ve been told that my magic is in my blood. That the storm courses through my veins and makes me powerful.
I don’t think that’s accurate.
According to the Gnome Scholar Spippica, blood doesn’t just come from nowhere, and we don’t just have a limited supply either.
Spippica theorizes that Blood is made in the Bones, and honestly, I think that makes sense!
Whenever I’ve overtaxed myself, it’s always felt like a dull ache in my bones. When that spectral spider nearly ate me and my life force was sapped, it felt like a numbness in my bones. I could nearly not cast my magicks due to this numbness.
Maybe it is as I noted down above! The power might be in the blood, but the blood and the magic is made in the bones.
Similarly, if my dream is to be believed, knowledge stems from the eyes.
This is all in all good news. Bones have traditionally been easy to affect with necromantic might. My bones are already naturally infused with magic… Maybe the answer is in the bones.

ELL
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 10:12:14 AM by PatchCap »

PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2019, 05:35:37 AM »
Entry Eleven:

[This particular journal entry seems much more relaxed that the mane before it. Clearly it's been written slowly and languidly.

Ruby has been particularly affectionate as of late. I don't know if its because spring is coming or what, but in all honesty, I don't mind.
Funny, I thought Jade, the shapeshifter, would be more affected by spring, but he's as disinterested as always... at least in human form. He is more likely to allow petting when he's all fuzzy.

In any case, on the the actual important news!

I found the place... well, WE found the place.
Going with Ruby, Jade, Aishi, Naris and another shapeshifter named Willow, we ventured down into the Raduta Crypts again.

Of course, last time we were there, we were overrun, and I ended up having to carry Jade's corpse all the way up... His bulk made for a formidable load.
This time things went much smoother. I theorized that it might, seeing as we've gotten much more used to the dangers of these lands, but it was nice to see theory put into practice.
We ousted the mindless undead in there with relative easy, even the unliving shadows were no match, and beyond them is where we found a room so steeped in dark energies that it HAS to be where I perform my rituals!
I think Ruby agreed. Her demeanor changed ever so slightly, not wanting to give anything away. I understand her. We've become friends with Naris and Aishi, but truthfully, we don't know how they'd react if they knew all about us.


After the Crypts, we split and Ruby, Jade and I went to a hillside, leading up the mountains. Here we made short work of a Bone Golem and Rub y showed us the entrance to a Vampiric Lair!
Our trip was made short, unfortunately, as it was clear that someone else was in there, fighting the Vampires. Ruby asked that we leave, so that we wouldn't have to put down any undead with a mind of their own by accident.
I understand that by her faith such a thing is frowned upon in some cases. Personally I only really care about two people, and myself of course. I find that it makes life easier.

---

I think for the first ritual, I want to see if it is even possible to reanimate an eye. If it is, even if only for a short while, then I know what I must do... I'll have to ask Ruby to help... I think my mind might stop me from pulling my eye from its socket.

I should really study those anatomy books more, I need medical knowledge if I am to proceed. As predicted.

PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2019, 05:13:18 AM »
12:

[This entry has clearly been written over two sessions, in two different places. The first half is damp with multiple spots where water has hit it, the second half is near pristine, written in the same languid fashion as the previous entry, and strangely, smells faintly of vanilla.]

The last day has certainly been interesting in a way I had not predicted. Ruby and I, along with the elf, Zerasé, one of Ruby's conquests, decided to go exploring in the lands where we had only briefly been earlier. the place with the Trolls.
The trolls themselves we decided to skip for the time being, after all, we've already found them to be mostly easy prey... that said, I should see if I can't get some of their guts... If the trolls in Kaer Maga can divine in their own intestines, in a world where prophecy is dead, then there must be some value to them...

I'm not a skilled diviner, but I can always give it a shot.

We did, however come across a house where an agitated raven was trying to break down the door to enter! As Azshara opened to the door, the bird flew in and we followed.
It turned out to be an abandoned house, however, it hid a most intriguing secret!
In the basement beneath, some scholar of life had decided to experiment with imparting the regenerative qualities of sea trolls to living beings, presumably in an attempt to later give this quality to the spoken races.
The entire place was empty, save for a few half eaten corpses and a lot of differing footprints, but the research was meticulous and definitely worth the trip if not more.
Zerasé was a bit uncomfortable, but in the end, her curiosity won her over... I think Ruby might have herself a good apprentice in that one, if she manages to honey her words correctly.... or maybe it's her other tongue related talents that have gotten her this far... probably that.

I will have to return later, there were so many tomes I can use to expand my knowledge of anatomy and operations there, but I could not carry them all... If the house remains abandoned I suspect an invisibility spell shall be sufficient.

---

The last day and night have been interesting in ways I had not anticipated... Tonight I met Onyx.

Onyx, it seems, shares my tribes fondness for tattoos, especially facial ones, and though he seemed soft-spoken, slightly stuttering and didn't have much of a presence intially, I couldn't help myself feeling drawn to him... maybe it was our mutual interests that shone through, maybe Ruby's lessons about indulgence have just left me more hungry than I realized, in either case, we got to chatting... about my research, about the night, about death, life and undeath. It was phenomenal to finally meet someone else here who shares my interests, I mean, outside of Ruby, of course.
I think we spent almost the entire night simply discussing my ideas and thoughts, having a good back and forth. He did seem a bit hesitant to my theories about fusing negative and positive energy in one body, but that is understandable... the two concepts have traditionally been taught as exclusively black and white, unable to co-exist.


I think magic is the key... why not, magic breaks all the rules and instates its own all the time.

Onyx serves some deity unknown to me. He wasn't hesitant to talk about them, but what interests me most is, that they seem to not have a name, rather they have many titles, and, to me, almost seem more like a conceptual deity than... well...

Onyx promised he'd help me attain more knowledge through practical applications. His deity allows him to call forth the undead, something I suspect Ash Ruby might also be able to do, and it would be invaluable to have a unliving specimen to examine, not to mention seeing them brought into existence. I'll have to introduce the two of them. Together they can work as a knowledge base for my research... and as companions.

Ruby's lessons in indulgence have affected me more than I thought, but I'm happy they did.
I proposed Onyx and I move to an inn to discuss things of a more intimate nature, and he agreed!

I could get used to spending my night both physically and mentally stimulated like that.

PatchCap

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Re: Unadorned Journal
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2019, 09:09:01 AM »
[This entry seems to have been written slowly and deliberately, rather than the rushed scribbles of most entries in this journal]

I have rushed things...

It would seem in my eagerness to learn, I let my curiosity get the best of me, I skipped steps, necessary steps that I really ought to have considered. I've been a bit of a fool, and I'm reaping the consequences.

I was SO certain, that the energies here could be tamed, that my theory was correct and that I would be making leaps of progress in no time, that I never stopped to think twice.. To reconsider that everything we know from home might not hold true here.


Ruby and I went back to the abandoned house. We had everything ready, and Jade was there to make sure we were not disrupted (and to provide vitae, it turned out).
We conducted the Ritual we had been working on... We tried to remove, reanimate and reintegrate my left eye. Ruby intoned her Goddess' favour, the candles were placed, the reagents were all in order... everything was as it should... except, we're no longer at home.. nothing here is as it was...

We gave it an hour... then another two... Ruby had done her very best, I don't blame her, but in the end, my Eye refused to reattach, it popped out, slimy and barely whole, smelling of rot and sweet wine... I had hoped I wouldn't have to behold mine own eyeball more than once, but alas, my hubris did not go unpunished.

My left eye is lost.

[There seems to have been a break in time before the entry resumes]

I'll have to re-evaluate things.
First things first, I have bandaged my head to cover my empty Eye-socket. Secondly, I shall need to find a better solution... I probably need to find something to put in my head to make sure my eye-socket does not deteriorate further... Maybe, if I can affort it, a Sapphire or other blue stone, to keep with the look... shaped for the purpose, of course.

I might be able to have it restored later if I can find someone sufficiently powerful in the regenerative arts.

For now though, I'll keep my studies to the theoretical, with a reduced amount of experimentation.

Working on myself is off the table for the foreseeable future, maybe forever.

[A note has been hastily added on, probably later]

You'd think I'd be angry or disappointed, and I am a bit, in myself, but really, I feel a sense of clarity... as if I have woken a little... I think I remember something about a deity somewhere who gave its eye for knowledge...