Sea of Madness

For those about to Rock…

This little hut is a bleeding maze! Stress on the bleeding. Even though I’m showing my worth in battle now, I was really close to death at one point. It was so close I had to withdraw for a moment. Not my proudest, but if I wanted to live it had to be done. I don’t know what those monsters were called but there were horrible. Doesn’t matter how much damage we were doing to them they were just healing it back or running away to heal.
This new crew I’ve attached myself to, is a formidable one. Completely disturbing at parts with the absorbing of souls and guts hanging out, and that’s just one of them! But they are a good crew to have on your side.
I just have to continue showing my worth to them. Showing that I can take a punch or two and dish them out as well.
I don’t feel good about making a deal with the hag, but it had to be done to find their friend. I think Suldren is his name. Apparently he helps heal the group, which they definitely need.
Hopefully we don’t bump into this Witch of Witches. If she can capture all those monsters we saw by herself, it’s gonna be a long day if we bump into her.
So many questions of mine to be answered. One of the weirder ones is why do they keep mentioning that the human is a potato farmer?

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Book of Nod Vol II Entry 2
what what? in the hut.

Barely have we gone through Baba Yaga’s demesne and I hang at death’s door. Motivation seems lacking without the Captain. I can see it in the crew’s eyes. It’s like a hole that we keep getting into, and Suldren never seemed to mind digging up and chattering all the while. I do feel a sense of loss.

I cannot imagine what shall befall us after we leave this hut. We have left behind a witness who will have no trouble mentioning our names and whereabouts to Baba Yaga as the group has no problem dispensing them out like candy at any given time. The Witch of all Witches will most certainly be after us. Oddly enough, it won’t even be out of revenge in all likely-hood. Quite simply, it will be a callous justice for invading her home, rifling through her private affairs and taking Suldren back. To her, I imagine, Suldren is her property, and there will be a price to be paid for that, I am certain.

I will never get my debts out of my ledger, it seems.

At least it keeps me from thinking about the Tower again.

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From the Journal of Cassius Wolfslayer, Book Two: Page 2

We continue our exhaustive search through this expansive “hut”. I feel like calling this a “hut” is like calling a mountain a “rock”.

After leaving the room that had the trapper, we found a room that was guarded by two gorgons and several spectral beings. The room was decorated with many works of art and several statues that all made for a terrific backdrop for what turned out to be quite a battle. The fighting spanned the length of the room as Ishahotep and Vistin tackled one of the gorgons and Drown downed the other one. The rest of us focused on the spectral creatures that had seemed to spring up from all around us.

After the last of our enemies had fallen, we surveyed the room. In addition to the clearly visible exits, I found a trap door in the ceiling, and the others found a trap door in the floor. We went through the door in the ceiling and were suddenly in what looked like an underground cavern. After much (really, too much) deliberation, we went through a passage that brought us into a room with a mechanized platform.

We crammed ourselves onto the platform and rode it up.

Another doorway brought us into some kind of prison, or perhaps a menagerie. There were several cells that contained a bizarre mix of individuals. A mist, that we later found out had some kind of life-draining quality (we did not find out first hand, thankfully) and one very talkative, and not-very-bright beholder. The beholder pestered us for several minutes trying to convince us to free him. I assume it was a “him”. It sounded like a “him”.

Our thrilling discourse with the beholder was interrupted by a hag who was imprisoned at the far end of the room. She looked decrepit at first glance, but there was a strength to the way she carried herself. She had been imprisoned by the mistress of the hut after assisting her for a long time. Apparently she knew too many secrets and so couldn’t be allowed the luxury of freedom.

After conversing at length with the hag, we decided to free her in exchange for information regarding the hut. We forged an oath, protecting us from her and vice versa, at least in the short term. As part of the terms of the oath, she provided us with a few locations where Suldren may be held captive, as well as the route we can take to reach them. She has been imprisoned for some time, however, and the configuration of the rooms changes from time to time, adding an extra fun wrinkle to this endeavor. One of the rooms she gave us directions to is none other than the treasure vault of the witch. I can only imagine what we could find in there. While I question the wisdom of stealing more than just Suldren from this “mother of all witches”, we are still pirates, and we have a lot of lost looting-time to make up for.

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Book of Nod Vol II Entry 1
Out of the Tower and Into Lordship

I am in unfamiliar territory now, in a battleground with my mind. I had been placed under a vigorous torture regimine and am only now recovering. I… have come to find out things… my prison was a series of mirrors and with that I discovered that set upon my back were glowing sigils set to rhyme. It spoke of… a destiny? Of sorts? Of my origin? It is not the origin that I know. But when I think upon my youth it simply seems to get more dissolved. I can remember the facts that happened, but not the memories themselves. Which, to me, is disturbing as I have quite an acute memory.

When Had spoke with me (or should I say interrogated?) he’d asked about what I’d done. What had I done? I honestly couldn’t tell you what it was. Not that he was any more specific, he had no idea what I’d done either. A strange scenario if you ask me, an Eladrin interrogating another Eladrin about things neither of them knows about. He routinely scraped my brain looking for an idea, but going through the mind is a vast encounter and it likely would have taken him months. He was gambling more on me breaking down far faster and telling him what he needed to know. The funny thing was, I had found surges of strength deep in the depths of my mind. It had caused me to say things I wouldn’t have said otherwise. I’ve had blackouts. I thought it simply a symptom of the torture. The first time I had come to, Had looked startled, I couldn’t interpret his features beyond that. It would often come when Had was close to something important in his mind siphoning. It was something raw protecting me.

I can’t seem to focus, I’ve lost my composure. I feel at times like my life is a figment. Like I’ve been sleeping all my life. I couldn’t even think as my sister bartered with us. I do not look forward to my sister’s favor, I had just evened our score, and now I’m behind again.

I am also largely unconcerned that I’m the Patron of Abril-Tir. This world has turned upside down…

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Vistin's Journal

Well, reader, now no one can say I haven’t been frozen for several months in magical fey ice. It seems the feywild is truly a bottomless well of disappointment and inconvenience for me.

“What has happened lately?” you might be asking yourself. I will tell you, dear reader: The feywild has been happening. Just as it looked like we would get our ship repaired sometime before the shorter-lived members of the crew grew old and died, we ended up in a fight with our old nemesis, Synelle. The fight did not go well for him, but since we ended up spending several months frozen in magical fey ice, I can’t exactly say it went well for us, either.

We’re thawed out now, thanks probably to Nod, although to be honest I wasn’t really paying much attention to the people talking to me when I was first released from my icy prison, as I was distracted by having spent several months frozen in magical fey ice. There were some explanations and I think Nod might be some sort of king now, but fey business is always so hard to follow and never as rewarding as it is complicated.

There were only two problems facing us when we were released: Suldren had been turned into a Goliath, and our ship seems to have quit the feywild. The first was easily sorted: The Goliath was just some other prisoner, thawed in Suldren’s place. Apparently the poor fellow was frozen in a past age and forgotten about, but he’s sturdy and strong, so he’s a welcome addition to the crew for the moment. It’s not entirely clear why he’s helping us, but I suppose he doesn’t have anything else to do, and we are the living souls he’s known longest at this point, so perhaps it’s as simple as that. It’s always good to have one of his kind fighting at your side; foes tend to single them out as the largest threat in a fight.

Suldren, on the other hand, was taken to the realm of the mother of all witches, of whom I estimate, based on the size of her realm, there are at most six. You could walk around her entire realm inside of a day, reader. Her house, now: Her house is enormous. It’s not much to look at from the outside, but it’s much larger within. We’ve only met a talking cat and been attacked by the shadows of some sculpture so far, but this being a realm of the feywild, I’m sure something truly peculiar will happen to us sooner or later.

Reaching this realm cost us a favor from an Eladrin lady, which I’m sure will be extremely disruptive and costly, but we can worry about that when the time comes. Until then, her counsel was sound, and we will hopefully be able to share the good news that we are indebted to a fey with our dear captain very soon.

The loss of our ship has also meant the loss of those powers we were granted by our bond to it. Hopefully we will find some way to repair our connection to it, ideally by dispatching the wretches that stole her from us. For now, we muddle through as best we can.

It appears that my companions are nearly recovered from our battle with the sculpture-shadows, so I will put away my pen for now. As I close, I would like to note that I believe Nod should take greater care in his appearance. He has been looking rather haggard since we were thawed and it does not suit him. Perhaps I will give him some advice the next time we have a moment to talk.

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Like a Rolling Stone...

Everyone i know is dead and I’m truly alone in this world.
Two statements I thought I would never say, have come true. It really hurts. Family, friends, and my fellow crew are all gone. I had to keep it all in. We pirates don’t show our emotions. We bottle it up deep and let it out when we fight. And when I find anyone who was involved in my imprisonment, they will feel my wrath. They’ll be a bloody pile of meat when I’m done with them.

So I’m alone, and I was tossed in with this random crew. They are missing their Captain and we have to go after big bad witch to get him. They need the help and my schedule has suddenly opened up. So I’m temporarily with their crew or something. Not sure on where I stand with everyone. The first few battles I am definitely not pulling my weight. I must be still a little frozen or the weight of what has happened to me is still weighing on my mind. Either or. Anyway, I have to prove my worth and not turn into a liability. I gotta be the me that I was 1000 years ago. Wow, that was really tough to write down.

When I said random crew. I was not lying. I have a weird cast of characters. There’s Ishohotep or whatever his name is. Apparently, he is this desert guy who is now a pirate. Weird. Then there are two dead people in the crew. Walking dead people. We have an Eladrin who’s sister ruled the palace I was in. And there is one human. I’m waiting to see what’s wrong with him. Not sure if there is anyone here I can connect with. Well time will tell.

I’m thinking, should I continue with my old life? Or start anew? Why was I the only one left. So many questions and no answers. I am scatter brained. The only thing i know is if the cat can leave the hut, I would like it as a pet. Put it on my shoulder.

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Story of a Dead Man 3

The day I awoke to learn that I was dead, was what I had thought to be the worst moment of my new existence. It would seem however, that there are worse things than death. There is failure.
When I was pulled out of the thrice-damned sea I swore to serve the captain of the Cortadormar. When Captain Lee was slain and Suldren took up the mantle of Captain I promised myself I would not fail him like I did Angus Lee. Well, it would seem now that I failed at that as well.
Allow me to explain. Captain Synelle attacked us and we had almost defeated him. Then some Eladrin that knew Nod appeared, thanked Synelle, and froze all of us. The others say they slept, lucky them. The dead don’t sleep. It felt like an eternity of just staring at hazy blue images that made no real sense. It was such a relief to be freed. That was until we realized that we may have permanently lost the Cortadormar. Also Captain Suldren was taken elsewhere by the queen of all witches. He may not even be alive. So now it seems I have failed both my Captain and ship again.
It’s a cruel world that would send me back just to torture me like this. It’s seem the only thing I can do now is try to help save the Captain. For you Suldren, I pray to whichever twisted god holds sway over my fate, that the hate this world seems to bare for me does not spill over on you…..

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From the Journal of Cassius Wolfslayer, Book Two: Page 1

Cold. So very cold for so very long. Have you ever danced on the border between being asleep and being awake? That moment where you are barely aware of the fact that your eyes are closed? You try to move, to open your eyes, and you can’t. It can be terrifying and confusing. Now imagine being in that state while experiencing a cold far colder than you have ever felt. You cannot breathe, you cannot shiver. I and the other Daggers were in that frozen hellish state for what seemed like an eternity.

I remember the battle with Synelle. We stormed his ship and after a battle of epic struggles, heroic melee, and bombastic arcane exchanges, we felled the foul Eladrin bastard. After that, all I remember is the blackness and the cold.

Upon our release from our imprisonment, we were greeted by Nod and a couple of other Fey. Nod’s half-sister, and none other than my patron. His true form is that of a satyr, apparently, not the Eladrin form I saw him in during our first meeting. His interest in me apparently runs deeper than I imagined, as he was partly responsible for orchestrating my rescue. I underestimated the loyalty and devotion of the Fey, it seems.

Upon our waking from our forced slumber, we discovered that Suldren was separated from the rest of us at some point, and taken by a witch. And not just any witch, “The Mother of All Witches”. Despite the fact that we were only just barely feeling the warmth returning to our bones, we began planning the rescue of Suldren. Nod’s sister, Mag, was able to give us the information we needed to get into the witch’s hut. We owe her a favor in the future however, which I simply cannot wait to fulfill. We also have deduced that our ship, or at least, the artifacts that we bonded to it, have likely been taken from the Feywild. It seems we are pirates without a ship.

When it rains it pours.

A goliath, whose imprisonment we believe to have been over a thousand years long, was freed along with us and we’ve welcomed him into the group. From what Mag has told us, we’ll need all the help we can get.

Entering the witch’s hut was not very difficult, since we had gained the information we needed from Mag. A well-spoken lie by yours truly got us past the enchanted gate. The hut itself, while heavily enchanted, still had a warded door that just needed the right amount of tender care taken with it.

Inside the hut, things have been a little more difficult. The hut, while not very large on the outside, is vast on the inside, with many chambers; the wonders of the interior design to be found within the Feywild. Constructs made of ooze, magic-wielding bird-like creatures, and “living” shadows have all attacked us so far, and I feel we’ve only just begun exploring this place.

As I write this, we are taking a rest within the chamber that held the bird-men and the large ooze, a trapper. I can’t help but think of the cat we met once we entered this place. He could speak, and lamented what his “life” has become. His mistress has transformed him. He is now “once-a-cat” as he put it. It troubles me. When we find Suldren, will he still be Suldren? Or will he have been transformed into some abberant shadow of his former self to satisfy the mad wishes of this witch?

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The heroes awake

Cold.

And dark.

These are the only things you’ve known for an insurmountable time. Perhaps it is all you’ve ever known. True, you hear noises in the dark: whispers in some tongue you don’t know, but still understand. The whispers tell you things about hope and fate and life. How you have none of them any longer. How all that was once yours now belongs to The Prince.

Briefly, you feel warmth.

Is this merely a falsehood? The last burst of something resembling life flowing out of you? Your lantern burning brightest?

But no, the warmth spreads, blooms into a new sensation. A sensation you haven’t felt since your first day alive; born from an icy womb into the world.

A crackly voice, tinged with madness calls out:

-There now, see? Right as rain, fit as a fiddle. Heeheehahahahaha!

Your eyes remember their purpose and adjust rapidly to the dimly lit chamber around you. You lie on the floor of a throne room of winter incarnate. Ice is the brick & snow the mortar of this room. Around you stand several figures, all fey, one familiar: Nod. He looks gaunt. No, not gaunt, or not just so at any rate. Haunted, that is the word. He looks down upon you like the cat that ate the canary, only to find out the canary was full of spiders.

To his left, another Eladrin whom, when they stand next to each other, is clearly related to Nod, though you’d never notice were they apart. She, too, has white hair and blue eyes, but a tinge of green hints her skin and a tinge of madness hints her smile.

To his right, a satyr. The Satyr, you might dare to say. All swagger and style, this one.

-Ah, there we are boys. Finally up, ey? Have a nice nappy? Fancy a spot of tea? Come now, Mag. Surely you have a warm cuppa in this palatial bit of majesty you’ve acquired for yourself.

Mag, the female Eladrin, looks to him with a touch of disapproval.

-Warm drinks? Warm drinks? You Summer and your warm drinks!

Within a blink several Eladrin appear, setting a small table, brushing chunks of ice out of your hair, dressing you in finery, tending to your thawing wounds and sitting you down in an overwhleming frenzy. With a nice cup of tea melting your blood, you look around at your fellow Daggers. You come to the realization all at the same time: Captain Suldren is missing, but you still number six. Sitting where your Captain should is literally a mountain of a man. Chiseled from rock of mountains strong, this Goliath sits before you. He looks as bewildered with his predicament as your compatriots do.

-What in the nine hells happened? Who are you people? Where am I?

-Well, Moppet, I’m Mad Mag, this is Puck

-The brave!

-…this is Puck

-The cunning!!

-…this is Puck

-The mighty!!!

-THIS IS PUCK AND THESE ARE THE SIX

-Five.

-…five… Daggers of the Cortadormar.

-Pleased to make your acquaintance.

Puck finishes with a flourish, gesturing to the group at large.

-Well, except you, Cassius. Met we have and friends we are, wouldn’t you say?

Cassius looks nothing more than purely confused as Puck, for just a second, turns into an Eladrin, one Cassius has not seen since the day he earned his surname. With a slight bow and a smile, the Satyr stands before you all once more.

Cassius remains staring, mouth agape.

Mag and Puck look over at another Eladrin, so unseeming you didn’t notice he was even in the room until the attention was drawn to him.

-Took, where is the sixth member of their company?

-Hey, don’t look at me, folks. You said bring back the five I acquired, here be the five I acquired. I give my word, these are the five I found and returned as I found. If you’re missing one, he wasn’t there to be taken.

Mag mumbles something to herself and for the first time the Satyr looks uncomfortable.

-What did you say, dear?

-I said The Witch must have him. I had heard that Set had considered having her work them over one by one to find what Nod hid, but I didn’t think he’d become that desperate.

-Well, how attached were you gentleman to this Captain of yours? Oh relax, I’m joking. Mostly.

-You lot have your work cut out for you, it would seem. It shall be no easy feat, sneaking past her feet. But perhaps Mag can persuaded to help you just a little bit more. If you make it worth my while…

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The Journey Home: My Adventures in the Feywild Chapter Five

We have made it into the tower. We are using the power of the ritual to locate Nod. The first room we encountered that proved to be exciting was filled with sentient statues. They demanded to know why we were there, and would not let us pass.

Boy, could those statues scream. I was glad we smashed them to bits just to shut them up. The room they were in was certainly tailored to make fighting them difficult; we had to navigate short walls that created paths over ice. Luckily I’m skilled at balancing myself, if nothing else, so I was able to avoid the ice.

After we returned the statues to a lifeless state, we came across a large open room. An Eladrin appeared briefly to make it clear that we were no longer going to be underestimated. He then disappeared while leaving us to fight a massive construct. I ran at it and gave it everything I had in what was my best estimation as to a weak point in the armor. I succeeded in giving myself a rather painful tingling sensation in my arm, but nothing else.

Merrill was able to identify the construct, and what little he was able to shout at us over the chaos of the battle was not good. The construct was powered by thousands of souls… and it has no weaknesses. No one, not anyone, ever, has been able to defeat the automaton.

We ran. We ran as fast as we could. Nothing we tried on it had an effect.

We were able to make it to another large open space, but this one had a large ice slide that wound from top to bottom. We started taking the slide down. It was spotted with spiky protrusions dotting the floor and ceiling. After sliding down a bit, hopefully putting a little distance between myself and the construct, I wedged my grappling hook into one of the icy stalagmites. Holding myself in place I tied my net to the rope and began to set up a snare. Garreth caught himself as well and began smashing the ice precisely where my net would be waiting.

Dear reader, I tell you now, I cannot remember the last time I felt such joy and relief as when that mechanized beast was caught in the net, and then crashed through the slide tumbling out of sight below us.

I just hope it does not find us again.

We are now preparing to travel further into the tower, still following the tug of the ritual that is following Nod’s trail. Let’s hope they are all out of invincible war machines… although… looks like we were underestimated again. Ha!

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