Sea of Madness

A breath of winter: eight.
Do what, now?

This castle is bad. I miss ice-covered trees and white, open spaces. In here, it makes me feel crazy. The walls and all the bad guys. I thought a place full of tricks & fights would be fun! It isn’t. But I promised The Lady, and Faunus needs me.
There’s some kind of armor, full of fey souls. I don’t know exactly what a souls is, but Onyon said it made it indestructible. I’ve never found something like that before, just need the right kind of destruction. We don’t have it yet.
So we ran away.
Tumbly, bumbly down an icy slide. I think I knocked my noggin, because I don’t remember anything after that…

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A breath of winter: seven.
Bloody mad.

We are looking for a Fey thing: something that is from Nod, the one we have to save. While out looking, Garreth got into a fight with too many others and got dead. I covered myself in their blood in his honor and made that symbol he always wears.
After, Faunus said we could make him alive again if we had something pretty. I gave him the nice gem I yanked out of the mountain things head and it worked, he came back! I told him to not get in fights if I’m not around. I’m so happy I pulled that pretty gem out of that big stinky things head!
Faunus says maybe the Lady wants to know where the magic circles are so she can take over the city. I hope he’s right! I can’t wait to find Nod and leave.
I hate these people. I want them to all die.

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The Journey Home: My Adventures in the Feywild - Chapter Four

Faithful reader, much has happened in the past few days…

We were able to secure a place to lay low. It is a mill or factory building of some kind that is not in use by anyone, except us now.

We were attacked by a gnome, and his minions, while we were walking through the streets. The gnome was seeking revenge for the eladrin that we killed. The little bastard took off pretty quick when it became apparent that fighting us was a big mistake. He left his minions though, and they lasted all of twenty or thirty seconds before falling before us. I swear, I thought I was violent, but Buckle tore right through one of the poor monster’s most tender of body parts. I fought in the pits of the arena, and I had never seen anything like that.

We ran from the scene of the battle and tried to stay out of the way for a little while. Buckle confided in me that he was on the hunt for circles, magic circles. I think he’s been asked to find teleportation circles. I told him I would help, but for now we’re keeping his mission between us. He doesn’t want the others to know. I was hoping the office of the city planner may have something. I took Buckle along and we broke in at night and stole some maps. I think we may have something we can use to help him.

Later we spoke with Rot and he advised us that while trying to determine the location of our quarry, he had eliminated all the prisons in the town, except for one. He had no way of knowing if they were in this last of the city’s prisons. So we came up with our own plan…

Pooling our resources, we were able to make sure Buckle would be able to remain invisible for several minutes. That, along with his ability to pass through objects and walls, meant that he would be going into the prison, alone, to scout it out. It felt a lot longer than a few minutes. I was actually worried about him. It has been quite some time since I was this concerned about anyone besides myself… the last time it was also a pixie. I hope this friendship lasts longer than the last one did.

Anyway, our intended targets were not in the prison, which only left the tower. Getting into the tower would prove difficult, as you need to be invited in. Rot told us of the Eldritch Games, and the fact that the winners would be invited into the tower. It was our only chance.

Before we could participate in the games, though, our friend the gnome returned. This time he brought different friends… much more aggravating friends if you ask me. The street turned to water and in the chaos of the battle, Merrill and I were shoved into sacks by these full-sized doll-like creations that were fighting for the gnome. I blacked out at some point from lack of air and being struck against something solid.

I awoke to Buckle and the others pulling me out of the bag, and Buckle giving me a magic ring that belonged to the gnome. He’s such a sweet murderous pixie monster. The gnome wasn’t really able to give them anything worthwhile in our hunt for Nod and Cassius.

At last, we competed in Eldritch Ball! Despite Merrill taking a bad fall during the game, we won! Little Buckle shrunk down the ball at one point, we were all flying about all over the enclosed arena. It was madness! I never thought I would long for the straight-forwardness of the gladiator pits! Our success has gained us the invitation we needed to get into the tower.

Too bad there’s more to the tower than that.

We also know now that navigating within the castle is supposedly impossible, or at least very, very difficult, without an enchanted key. Things in the Feywild are never easy. I tried unsuccessfully to gain some information about how to obtain a key from a barfly I had befriended days before. Whether or not he knew anything, I’ll never know, but one thing is for sure, I can’t go back to him for any information ever again.

Garreth got into a scuffle, as always, but luckily Book was able to warn me and the rest of the group must have heard the commotion, because we all came pouring into the area where Garreth was doing what to him must be considered “questioning”. By the time we reached him, it was too late. He was surrounded and was being beaten to a pulp. We were able to eliminate his assailants, but alas, he fell. Thankfully Book is a practiced ritual caster. He accepted a gem that Buckle had torn from the head of the giant stag we fought in the forest and in return he used a ritual to bring Garreth back to life.

Let’s hope he is a little smarter about when he picks fights in the future.

I don’t actually believe he will be.

We were getting no where on the key front, and so Book suggested using a ritual that would home in on Nod. All we needed was something of his and then we would be able to use the ritual to track him, and not lose our way in the temple. Then we could get back out again using the ritual on something of Book’s.

So here we go, dear reader. We venture into the temple guarded by something so big I can’t look at all of it at once. This is what we have been working towards since we left that barrow so many days ago. I sure hope we find what we’re looking for.

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A breath of winter: six.
Eldritch ball is the best!

Finally, we get to play the game! It’s called Eldritch ball and there’s six of us and six of them and whoever scores the most wins. It was so much fun! We were all flying around, throwing the ball around and hitting each other!
I got the ball and made it Buckle-sized, but some jerk stole it. I made him pay.
Merril was the only one that got knocked out on our team. I’ll try not to laugh at him too much tonight.
We beat the other guys bad. I had fun! I want to play again!
After the game, the flaming gnome was outside waiting for us with some pretty creatures. I hate him so much! We really really killed him this time, forever!

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A breath of winter: five.
Bye-bye stupid gnome.

Before we played the game, we needed more friends. To get them we had to be mean. I don’t like being mean for no reason, but I’m good at it.
Stupid gnome tried to kill us again. The street became water and everyone went swimming and there was a beast with lots of heads.
I hate gnomes.
He hid & hid while I ripped the creatures heads off, but Faunus & Merrill were stolen. Myken saw but didn’t tell us. I wanted to hurt him so bad. So did Garreth, I could tell, but we didn’t. We needed Faunus!
I rubbed their blood on my eyes and followed their pain to a house with an eye on the door. I went through the door and found them and the gnome and some big weird dolls.
They put me in a bag!
I got so mad I tore them apart and got all tangled in their threads and pieces. Everyone else came in too and the gnome went away again, but we found him upstairs and I buried my pick in his knee but Garreth said not to kill him and he was in charge so I didn’t. We asked him a bunch of questions about Nod and then Garreth let me carve a hole in his skull. I knew he would be mine.
I stole a ring from him and gave it to Faunus and told him everything he missed. He was glad to see me!

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A breath of winter: four.
I win!

I told Faunus about the circles for the Lady. I didn’t think she would mind, because he’s the boss. We talked talked talked. Boring. But Faunus said it was important.
We found maps with good stuff in an empty building at night. I smashed a thing, too!
I convinced Garrett to be less loud about his stupid god all the time!
A bunch of goons attacked us. There was a gnome!
I hate gnomes.
I wanted him dead so bad, but he had nasty fire ghosts protecting him, then I got to him and hurt him then he disappeared. He is mine.
I ripped off the sensitive parts of one of his giants. That made me laugh! Hahahaha!
Faunus said there was a game where if I got into and out of a fancy jail without being seen I would win. I ran right in and no one knew I was there! I made sure the eladrin we need wasn’t there, plus I found a circle for the Lady!
I won!
Now there’s some game to play where we hurt people. I’ll win that too, I bet!

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The Journey Home: My Adventures in the Feywild - Chapter Three

So, as predicted, we survived the plunge into the city. Sorry to have spoiled the surprise for you.

The plunge was not without its peril, though. Not everyone in the group landed gracefully, even with the magic boots we all were wearing. I had to jump into a pond to rescue Garreth, whose armor made swimming about as easy as picking a lock with a carrot. But, after Buckle and I went off to liberate some dry clothes from the wardrobes in a nearby home, we were all set to find a place to settle down for the night.

The inn was our only option, unfortunately, as maintaining a low profile was one of my chief concerns. I made it a point to make sure we try to find an empty home to squat in later.

The next day we began trying to gather information. While in a bar, I was able to sweet talk some lout into giving me an idea of what to look out for in town, and who might be able to provide us with information on the location of the ones we need to rescue. Despite the others doing a poor job of acting inconspicuously, we managed to get the name of an eladrin who runs a bookstore in the city.

Outside the store of the aptly named Book, was a beautiful Summer Court eladrin. She is some kind of traveling bard. Abandoning the circus performer cover story, I told her that I was a rich youth from the south, traveling the world and writing stories of my adventures. I was able to convince her, and she led me in to the shop to meet Book.

Book was somewhat curt at first, but as we spoke more I began to learn a lot about the city. With a little gold I was able to learn that Baba Yaga has somehow entered the city, with her whole house! Not only did her house just show up in the city one day, but no one has dared tried to evict her. I also learned that the Prince of Frost does not reside in the city, but the large tower is the seat for the local patron. I also learned about the prisons in the city, and was able to at least narrow down a bit which ones may contain those we search for. While Book was a bit suspicious of my cover story, it was easy enough to convince him that I was harmless to him at least.

Our information gathering also turned up another name. The name was Rot, and the place was a rather decrepit-looking house in the more run-down part of the city. When Rot came to the door he was not very welcoming. We were able to convince him to allow two of the group inside to talk. Merrill and Onion called “dibs” and then ran inside snickering. I think it may be a satyr thing I missed out on growing up a slave. I was able to slip Buckle into Merrill’s pack before they went in at least, giving them better odds if Rot crossed us.

Rot wanted us to prove ourselves before he would agree to help us. We were to kill an eladrin member of the guard. She was not just a random target, Rot specifically wanted her dead. He holds a grudge with the powers that be in the city after his family was disgraced for a difference in ideologies. Needless to say, we killed the member of the guard, and all those that were with her.

Now, earlier in the day Garreth made me aware that he has an additional mission besides saving the prisoners. He is to kill the patron and his attendant. I made the others aware of Garreth’s mission and we all agreed to assist him. Considering Rot’s anger with the ruling powers here, I decided to tell him our plans when we went back to him to report our mission a success. We definitely have a new ally here now! Rot is going to lend us whatever aid he can, after he has a couple of days to plan.

With the next couple of days free, I plan on using the time to try and find us a place to stay besides the inn. We need a home we can hide out in to avoid suspicion. I also plan on (with a great deal of subtlety) trying to find any others who may be unhappy with the current government. It may be worth trying to find others that would aid us in our cause, so long as we can do it without stirring up more trouble. I find alcohol is a great help in these matters. More to come… I hope!

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A breath of winter: three.
Shhhhh

The city is boring. I thought it would be fun to zip around the buildings in a city like this, but Faunus says we have to be quiet.

I hate being quiet.

Faunus is the boss, the lady says, so I will be quiet for him.

I hate being quiet.

I tried to sneak away to find the things for the lady, but Faunus saw me. I promised I would tell him later.

All we did was talk. Talk talk talk talk talk. Faunus and his talking. At least I got to steal some hiccup drinks.

They were tasty!

We met a Eladrin who wants to help us do things. We had to help him before he helped us.

I sneaked into his house with Merrill & Onion to make sure they were OK. The new Eladrin said we should kill someone. I squeaked a little I was so happy, but he didn’t hear me.

We found her with some friends, the guard lady.
We ended them all and I drank some of her blood. It was good-warm and made me tingle.
Again!

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A breath of winter: two.
It's always "No!"

I found a pretty jewel in a cliff, so I tried to take it, but it was in a skull! A very big skull!
It hurt us alot, but I hurt it more and it stopped.
We found a caravan with lots of cool shoes, and some hungry snow birds. We talked some, but then Onion made them stop and we talked.
They were funny.
We tried to pretend we were performers to get into Abril-Tire for the lady, but the mean Eladrin said “No!”
I showed him how strong I am, but the mean Eladrin still said “No!”
Then we got in a carriage and drove away, out into the snow again. I was making faces in the glass, then I heard a smash and one of the Eladrin was down!
I looked at Faunnus, finally he said “Yes!”
I darted around and made destruction! Faunnus said no killing, and he is our leader, so I didn’t.
Onion’s snow birds picked dropped us into the city at night.
That was fun!
Weeeeeeeeee!

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The Journey Home: My Adventures in the Feywild - Chapter Two

Let me tell you something about the Feywild. It is inhabited by the most bizarre collection of animals, people, and plants you could ever expect to find. Case in point, while continuing our trek to Abril-tir we happened upon a gigantic stag that was half-buried in the ice and rock of a cliff face. And I mustn’t leave out that it possessed some kind of crystal or gem in its head, because why shouldn’t it have something like that? We were able to destroy the behemoth, but believe me, that was one startling thing to discover.

The next fun moment of discovery occurred while we were inspecting a broken down carriage. The snow at this point was falling so heavily that our sight did not extend further than a dozen feet or so. And then the snow griffins attacked. By “attacked” I mean that a couple of them snatched me up out of nowhere and brought me up into the highest branches of a tree where they fought over which one would eviscerate me. I was already grabbing my blades before I could process what was happening and started slashing at them. With help from the others still on the ground, we were able to dispatch a few, but Onion grabbed a tattered red flag and started waving it around. The remaining griffins were calmed by this and simply sat staring at the flag. Then things got tense. Onion insisted that he keep the griffins and that they travel with us. I, and a couple of the others, pointed out that putting one’s trust in wild animals that have already attacked you and your friends once is not just foolish, but suicidal; especially when traveling the already dangerous frozen Feywild. Onion was convinced that he should keep the griffins, and it was only by an amazing stroke of luck that we were able to accommodate him. Buckle, apparently, can talk to the griffons. He was able to negotiate some kind of truce with them. So now we have a pack of griffins at our beck and call. Fantastic.

Onion worries me. It is not so much that he flat out ignored my position as leader, it is more that he seems to have an under-developed sense of self-preservation. One learns quickly when growing up on the streets and in the gladiator pits that you never rely on something you cannot trust when in a combat situation. Up until now I had no reason to not trust him. It is a shame really; Onion is a fellow satyr. I had hoped that at the very least my people would prove competent. Merrill still gives me hope. Garreth and Buckle spoke with me privately and made it known that, should I give the order, they will dispatch Onion. Despite my wish to learn more about my heritage, if Onion continues to prove himself to be a liability, I fear it may have to come to that. As a gladiator, you either fight smart, or you wind up dead. Relying on luck alone will get you killed.

We found enchanted acrobat boots in the carriage and proceeded to Abril-tir. Finally, after trekking through the snow, ice, and wind for hours, we found ourselves staring at the massive ice walls.

We were not received warmly. Scar, a captain of the guard, made it very clear that they do not receive any strangers into the city during the winter. We attempted to win him over with a “performance.” I think our performance may have actually worsened the situation. I even started doing some sleight of hand! That’s how desperate I was! Anyway, since there was a massive stone block poised to drop on us from above and crush us into a frosty slush, I decided it unwise to push the issue too far. Scar had his men appropriate a carriage for us and several of the guard were posted to it so that they could escort us to the nearest town.

The nearest town being Duskweed, where I was before this madness began.

Needless to say, we did not make it to Duskweed. En route to the town, we made friends with one of the two guards posted inside the cart with us. The rest of the men were all riding on the outside of the cart. Our new found friend let us know that there was a way inside Abril-tir that did NOT involve the gate. I was so happy to hear that news that I released the excitement the only way I could, by knocking out the other guard inside the carriage.

After we incapacitated the other guards (I promise we left them all alive) we continued the discussion with the one guard who showed us some kindness. He explained his theory. It had a few holes in it, but luckily we could fill in the gaps.

Here is the plan: We ride the griffins and jump into the city from above. That’s it. Alright, there is a little more to it than that. While it is true that normally that plan would mean our unquestionable end, our new, slightly-bloodied acrobat boots will prevent us from the certain death that would normally follow that action. So we’ll just land in the city. You see, the magical affect that would normally teleport us as a means of last defense against aerial infiltration will be neutralized if we all don a pair of the manacles that the guards were carrying. The manacles prohibit teleportion by any who wear them.

We are about to try the plan. I am using my glamour to look like one of the eladrin; anything to give us an extra edge can’t hurt.

If you are reading this in a published book that looks like it has many more chapters after this one, then that means we made it. Sorry to spoil the dramatic build. See you in chapter three.

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