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Sabbatical
Sabbatical in her tent in the Tempest Brother's Expeditionary Company camp writing reports while she thinks about important things.
Relatives Fierna, Pharastra
Languages Common, Infernal, Celestial, Abyssal, Primordial
Affiliations Fierna, Phlegethos, Tempest Brothers Expeditionary Company
Marital Status Consorted to Reedy
Place of Birth Hell (Phlegethos)
Date of Death TBD
Place of Death TBD
Species Tiefling
Gender Female
Height 5'3"
Weight 128 lbs
Eye Color Gold


Philani a.k.a. "Sabbatical" is a Tiefling of Fierna visiting Quelmar from the plane of Phlegethos. She isn't particularly keen on Quelmar, but had strict instructions to "go out into the world and find an adventure!" At least the visit is an opportunity to try new things, not spend every waking moment on legal training, and spend some time exploring some esoterica. She has adopted the name of "Sabbatical" for her stay in the mortal realm rather than sharing her true identify and heritage with people. She presents herself as a foreign attorney here to take a break and try new things, which is certainly all true, if incomplete.

Despite her devotion to her role in hell, Philani is a cleric of knowledge rather than order and firmly believes that the system of the hells has room for improvement with just the right injection of outside knowledge. The closest being to her patron deity would be Asmodeus, as she is fully devoted to the cause of the devils in their fight against the forces of evil chaos. She is rigid in her rules, but not quite as bound to precedent or tradition for its own sake and willing to permit some experimentation, so long as it's on her terms.

Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]

A red Tiefling woman with dark red hair and dark asymmetrical horns growing from her head. She is wearing scale mail armor and wielding a metal shield.
Sabbatical in her initial field equipment.

Sabbatical is a red Tiefling with long, nearly black, red hair usually worn up in a bun. Her horns are relatively short and grow in an asymmetrical pattern, the left growing backwards along the top of her head, and the right protruding more horizontally. She has an average frame, with enough muscle to handle most tasks. Her face is striking, with her golden eyes shining out under a sharp brow. Most often, she wears the padded undertunic that fits beneath her scale mail armor over a pair of lightweight trousers and leather boots. In the field, she wields spell and shield while keeping herself safe with armor.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Sabbatical is not naturally sociable, but is making an effort to put herself out there. She likely comes across as somewhat rigid and opportunistic--happy to exploit any perceived weakness for her own purposes. But she is also collecting new experiences and new ideas for later consideration.

Sabbatical has a low tolerance for fools and for chaos. Chaotic waste and willful ignorance are the greatest of sins in her mind. She tends to view people as tools, and those who act without thinking are worse than broken tools--they are threats. She is extremely cautious by nature, and extremely wary of unwanted mental effects. She does not like feeling weak compared to others, and has a strong need to feel in control of events around her. Although she has powers from her bloodline to briefly charm others, she has rarely exercised them, focusing instead on the spells she has earned through study and devotion to the acquisition of knowledge.

She tends not to trust others, but due to her relatively limited exposure to other races and beings, she is more likely to trust those she sees as similar to herself: tieflings, and other analytical minds. She fully believes in the necessity of the Hells and does not regret or resent her life and soul being devoted to its purposes. Other tieflings she views as distant relatives who have freedom to act in ways that even powerful devils cannot, but who can still serve a greater purpose. Those that approach life analytically, she believes will eventually, and inevitably become her allies.

Sabbatical appreciates courtesy and offers it to others by default unless they act in a way that loses her respect. Despite few interactions outside her fiendish upbringing, she does not judge others by their appearance, nature, or heritage except in comparison to their environment. To a degree this is because almost everything is new and strange to her, so she approaches it all with an initially open mindset.

Deep down, much of her motivation comes down to a desire for control, control that she has almost never really felt in her life. Her mother and grandmother have always had a relatively heavy hand on her affairs, even when they are distant or seemingly disinterested. Even the sabbatical Philani finds herself on is at the command of her family, although it creates many new opportunities. Power is the only true means of securing control, and if nothing else, this sabbatical will provide plenty of opportunities for growing in power, in one way or another.

She had not previously fully externalized the goal, but her long-term plans involve potential ascension to the ranks of the archdevils. After all, the individuals in place in the 6th since Glasya's ascension to the Ninth have been mere place-holders while a truly worthy successor is determined. Since her marriage to Reedy, this goal has been of more importance to her than before, and she feels an urgency to accomplish it far sooner if she can. As a result, she has been pushing herself ever harder in order to grow her power and contacts across Quelmar and the planes that touch it.

History[edit | edit source]

Sabbatical only recently arrived in Quelmar, with only some meager possessions and a few gold coins. She obtained lodging through the connections of cultist fanatics devoted to obtaining an archdevil's favor while she waits for the Tempest Brothers Expeditionary Company missions to launch.

Philani, on the other hand, was born as one of only a few mortals native to Hell. Her grandmother is the Archdevil Fierna herself, and Philani has been in training to be one of her lawyers since before she can remember. She is a qualified, if junior attorney within Hell's legal system with experience handling cases of cowardice, attempted escape of punishment, and soul embezzlement. In her capacity as an assistant prosecutor, she has personally participated in the permanent destruction of 837 fiends of hell and 4 acquittals. After her enforced sabbatical on the mortal plane she expects to return to working in the courts of Phlegethos until she eventually dies or is directly transformed into a proper devil. After that, she intends to climb the ranks of hell and eventually rise to the rank of archdevil. Unbeknownst to her, she is also being pushed to become one of Hell's few representatives in interplanar affairs--a role she actually more easily accomplish while she remains mortal. Should she do well in this role, other opportunities may present themselves for further advancement. Her caseload, study materials, and options have been carefully curated by both the Archdevils in her life to see if she can rise to the challenge and impress the lord of all Hell in order to earn a place in his favor among the cosmos. [Additional details forthcoming in the books: Fatherless in Phlegethos: An Infernal Childhood, and Ascension in Abriymoch: From Palace to Protégé.]

Philani has several contacts from the lower planes she is familiar with, and is especially knowledgeable about fiends of all sorts. Her primary physical trainer as a youth was Kar'seth, a mezzoloth who agreed to serve as her instructor indefinitely on the condition that upon her rise in status into an archfiend duke or archduke of Hell, he would be given the opportunity to face her in single combat to the death. If there is anyone outside her own circle that Philani could have been considered close with prior to coming to Amusa, it would be the archdevil Totivullus, baron of Minauros under Mammon, and one of Hell's most effective scribes. It is rumored that Totivullus is in charge of keeping the originals of all fiendish contracts signed in blood. He has frequently been a resource for Philani in her work examining contracts in legal disputes.

Languages[edit | edit source]

Sabbatical is fluent in Common, Infernal, Celestial, Abyssal, and Primordial. She hopes to pick up an additional language at some point in the future, perhaps Draconic or Sylvan.

Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]

Sabbatical's primary approach to combat involves debuffing targets and controlling a battlefield through Suggestions and Commands. As hearty as she is, she focuses mostly on fighting defensively, knowing she can outlast most opponents, or simply turn the situation away from combat entirely. She is not really a fighter at heart and would rather any fight she is involved in be decided long before weapons are drawn. In one notable exception on a violent night, Sabbatical exhibited powers producing hellfire flickering with crimson, green and gold that both wreathed her with light and could retaliate against enemies in close range. The flames reeked of sulfur and damnation, and danced with an energy almost eager to consume life. Since then, and since acquiring an amulet from her home, she has been able to unleash further fire-based spells, although her preference is still toward dealing with humanoid foes and causing paralysis or use mind-affecting spells.

Unlike most Fierna tieflings, Philani has a mix of fire-based and charm spells as part of her blood. Her connection to hellfire has expanded further through constant use of the amulet as a spell focus not just for her fire spells, but also for all of her magic.

In order to broaden her skills and access to ritual magic, Philani has also studied the basics of arcane spellcasting. These skills are still in their early days, but are expected to expand at least through the selection of an appropriate school of magic.

The Journal[edit | edit source]

Sabbatical carries with her a heavy tome bound in strange red leather filled mostly with blank pages. The heavy tome is where she drafts work on the memoirs of her own life, which she expects never to share with anyone, but cannot quite shake a desire to make. She also keeps a smaller travel notebook where she keeps the journal she was instructed to make for her time in Quelmar, detailing all the potentially exploitable mortals she encounters, any new ideas she discovers, especially those that could be used as inspiration for new punishments, and a simple record of events. Highlights of entries of the latter will appear below. As the first journal has filled, she has now supplemented it with an additional notebook purchased for her by Reedy. This extra journal was destroyed in a fiery explosion at the base camp, but Sabbatical has acquired some additional texts to reproduce what she remembers of substance and continue writing with.

Entry 1: Arrival in Quelmar[edit | edit source]

The portal delivered me to a rather inconvenient location: the bedroom of some cultist of Grandmother's. It took far too long to convince this man that no, I was not sent to be his slave or to give him the power of his dreams in exchange for his soul, he was instead to help me integrate with the local society and then forget we ever met. Apparently, I am in a city known as Galik, and my current equipment is illegal without first obtaining the appropriate authorization, which has been another inconvenience. Fortunately, the cultist, Fagin Stonemeadow (to whom I genuinely wish the most exquisite torments once his time comes) was able to provide temporary storage for my armor and weapons until my use can be authorized. The gold coins Mother gave me got an odd look (wrong mint marks for this realm) but were accepted by the innkeeper I eventually found. The city itself is filled with life and lights that remind me a bit of home despite the lack of volcanos and the addition of numerous flying machines. But it is late and I should make an effort to adjust to this realm's day-night cycle quickly and work further in the morning.

Entry 2: Dates and Waits[edit | edit source]

The local calendar lists the date as Wampus 24, 893 PR, which I will use to track the passage of time from this point on. Apparently the bureaucrats of this place have learned their trade well. I only have a few options if I mean to legally operate in this city: join the local militia; obtain a special dispensation; or join an adventuring crew of some kind. While I would prefer a special dispensation, that would draw too much attention and it turns out even the application process (which my experience tells me I would likely be denied) will take months to proceed. That leaves my best option to be joining a crew of adventurers and most likely operating outside the city for the most part. This suits the overall purposes, and several crews appear to be recruiting. I spent a few days (and the remainder of the gold Mother sent with me) researching the companies, and I've decided that the Tempest Brothers Expeditionary Company will best fit my needs. They are set to launch an expedition into Amusa proper soon, and that sounds interesting enough. I expect my next entry to occur after I have secured membership and I meet with some more noteworthy individuals.

2.1 Introductions and initial notes[edit | edit source]

As it turns out, the expedition is not scheduled to depart Galik for a couple weeks, but a number of the recruited adventurers have already begun to gather. The company's compound has a staging field where some people have set up and it's adjacent to a tavern that has seen a lot more traffic than I expect it has in a while. The sheer informality of the interactions was a bit jarring, but I'm trying to build some connections and get to know the people I'll be spending time with on this time away from work. I was slightly surprised to meet two other tieflings among the first group of contractors: Reedy and Marion. Both seemed young to put it lightly, although Marion had a hint of sadness to her, while Reedy seemed to carry an undercurrent of anger.

The rest of the gathered individuals included: a pair of seemingly unrelated kobolds were also present: Snooze Sneeze, and a smaller, quiet one whose name I have yet to learn; an avian musician of some kind; a swarm of worms inhabiting a suit of armor calling him/themselves 'Wiggler.' (Chaotic, erratic, and to be avoided if possible); a blonde human woman with an ego the size of an archdemon who likes to insert herself into conversations uninvited and seems to assume everyone knows her; a human man (Jim Stacey?) who watched the others with a calculating eye enamored of smoking some kind of herb (possible danger or ally to be determined); and an automaton calling himself Lambda who asserted an interest in building positive relationships and exploring the wilds for is own sake. Additional notes and details to follow: a dossier of individuals and impressions before the start of the expedition.

2.1.1 Marion (Marianne?)[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: tiefling (she/they), white skin, painted horns, short red hair, tall. Unknown archdevil heritage.
  • Personality: shy, submissive, dislikes crowds, evidences a degree of passivity in her identity and a desire to ingratiate herself with others. She needs to become more assertive if she wants to survive long-term in the world, let alone anywhere more dangerous. Has discussed an unfamiliar deity: Beshaba apparently linked to ill fortune that is connected to her. This connection bears more scrutiny and could indicate a potential resource or threat. She has continued to exhibit self-sacrificing tendencies and a lack of self-confidence in matters despite being remarkably capable in the things she sets out to do. She demonstrates caring and curiosity to a remarkably resilient degree despite events not turning out well for her, although this has changed somewhat since her near-death experience on our latest mission. She has been more withdrawn and less confident in herself, yet still always ready to care for anyone else. Part of the problem I see in their future is that she seems to define herself by the value they bring to others. They are concerned too much with selflessness, largely inn part to their perception of themselves as somehow lacking in agency due to Beshaba's influence on their life. This makes them readily exploitable, especially by those she perceives as allies and friends. As such, it is useful to share some vulnerability and non-sensitive information with her in order to create a stronger sense of closeness. This is a useful investment for a moment of need should one arise. She's also just nice as company, although she continues to exhibit a misunderstanding of a self-interested mindset. She has finally been able to feel a sense of suspicion for the latest newcomer from the GreenWood Foundation (Dr. Moss's project), but this is likely minimal.
  • Risk Assessment: Low. Moderate. While their combat ability is uncertain, she appears to pose very little threat to those she perceives as allies, and this is a group she is exceedingly willing to expand. In a direct confrontation, many of her abilities could counter mine, since she seems to be focused on supportive spells. Updated combat capabilities demonstrate sufficiently advanced connection to her magic source to cast more powerful spells than myself. She seems to be marginally ahead of the power level of most other recruits, myself included. Although, through diligent training and getting back into practice, I believe I have reached a comparable level once more. Our skills are clearly in different areas, with Marion having significant cantrip versatility, but lacking the breadth of spell knowledge one might expect.
  • Personal Notes: She's very open and might eventually make a decent companion if certain boundaries can be established. Additionally has been observed using healing magic and is some kind of focused spellcaster. She had a real problem with me when I committed to killing Jim Stacy and basically told me to fuck off and not come back.
  • Known Spell usage: healing, invisibility, spheres of devouring darkness.
  • Further Details on Beshaba - goddess of ill fortune, has been part of Marion's life for quite some time. Marion feels a lack of choice in events, going so far as to say she has no agency. May be tied into many events surrounding the company.
  • Relationships: After some prodding at the obviousness of the attraction, Marion and Nassir have formed a relationship. They are clearly still very new at this, and despite both being adults, seem quite uncomfortable with making or at least acknowledging the more physical attractions. She would probably not react as I want to the gift of that small flask of massage oil I purchased in Galik, but I expect she would turn utterly crimson despite her pale complexion. I'm sure Reedy would enjoy seeing the reaction as well, so perhaps once I notice any signs of them actually taking further steps together. They are also seemingly trying to adopt the kobolds Sneeze and Kompi, and I wish them the best of luck in keeping Sneeze away from me and my interests.
2.1.2 Reedy ([][][][][][][][][])[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: tiefling (she/her), red skin, short horns black hair, above average height. Appears to focus on archery. 21 years old. Glasya heritage?.
  • Drake companion (Daq) changes colors and elements
  • Personality: brash, vocal, and broadcasts a commanding air. Seemingly protective of her drake (and others?) and quick to threaten violence. Stubborn. Friend? Lover?
  • Risk Assessment: Moderate. Uncertain Moderate combat skills, but with the added threat of a companion creature inadvisable to engage directly. Manipulation of others to draw her ire would likely be more effective. Mobile, but unwise. More likely vulnerable to magical influence than direct magical attacks. The most significant threat comes from the combination of melee strikes from her companion drake and arrows from a distance. The drake empowers her shots with additional elemental damage and can disrupt spellcasting even if Reedy herself is incapacitated.
  • Personal Notes: Despite the above personality notes, she presented a balanced and friendly demeanor when shown the same. Likely protective of her inner circle and a potentially useful ally to make.
  • Magical Abilities: quick summoning and dismissal of her drake, Daq. Never as alone as she may seem.
  • Additional Note: She chased after me when I reacted poorly to an invitation to join a chaotic fae dance. Despite my pushing her away multiple times, she kept coming back, even seemingly overcoming a Suggestion spell far before its duration was finished, although perhaps that was due to a flaw of my own wording. Although I was far from in a combat-ready state, I unleashed several spells on her to relatively little effect, and she was relentless in shooting me forcing me to exhaust my fury. I hurt her, and Daq, during this exchange, but she wanted to help me anyway. After that, she returned to the Black Viper with me, where Stonemeadow delivered an object from the portal. (Not exactly a subtle choice to demonstrate that you're willing to reveal things to Reedy, by the way.) We had a very direct discussion which included an exchange of names and many more details of our backgrounds. (No, I won't be sharing any of those details. You either listened in yourself, or missed the chance.) As much as I'm willing to trust anyone here, I think I can trust Reedy. She knows about your gift and my new capacity for twisting hellfire up from Phlegethos, at least. We'll have to see how well the situation lasts.
  • We have started sharing a tent in the camp. Not something I expected to find here, and I'm uncertain how long it will last, but I enjoy her company. She does infuriate me sometimes, and I'm disappointed in her choices to engage with Jim Stacy and spare his life when she had him at her mercy. We are in a bit of an awkward place in whatever our relationship is. Entry Outdated and not reflecting current information. Not all information safe for even this encrypted text.
2.1.3 Wiggler[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: swarming mass of worms (he/him maybe should also include they) encapsulated by a humanoid metal suit. (How he entered the city, given its restrictions, I am uncertain, possibly through wildshaping)
  • Personality: Jubilantly chaotic and full of positive energy for an unknown reason. Prone to sudden bouts of "wiggles" which result in scatters of worms around him. Since making his ability to shapeshift into animals known, he has considerably changed, becoming more relaxed and tolerable. Frequently adopts a cat persona and seeks to comfort others. Has demonstrated a weakness of will and pain. Since his unlocking of a psionic ability he has proven to be even more weak in terms of facing up to his power.
  • Risk Assessment: Low/Chaos. Unlikely to intentionally cause direct conflict, yet highly likely to instigate chaos or lead to negative reactions.
  • Personal Notes: Not a creature of the Abyss, but has some Feywild associations of some kind. Presented himself as some kind of healer and offered special worms to others for consumption. Avoidance strategy seems most viable. Mitigation of chaotic urges if assigned together. Encourage emotional support focus as this has been a positive development of his aspect and usefulness. Unfortunately he has failed to incorporate any growth into his actual character. Since the telepathic awakening he has developed some sort of obsession with testing himself against my mind. I encouraged this briefly as a means to practice my own mental defenses, but after he broke down in a sobbing mess after the second round of this, I have no more sympathy or time to waste on him. His emotional dependency on others and weakness in the face of tense verbal situations demonstrates significant weakness of personality. He has barely acted like a thinking being, and I question whether he will be of value in any truly trying situations. Psychologically unsuited to the inevitable trauma of losing people. Later interactions have only served to confirm initial impressions. The lack of mental fortitude and general insanity he has exhibited continue to indicate he is unworthy of even minor investment. Has moved from prowling the camp as a domesticated cat looking for cuddles to skulking around as a rat after being punished by Bjorn for attacking a newcomer to the company without reason. He broadcast some misguided attempt at gathering information as his purpose, yet did so while interrupting what was turning into a fruitful conversation. And now he appears so emotionally damaged that he cannot even control himself. Disposal would be the best solution at this point, but personal risks for doing so are too great, not from him individually, but from Company policy. Unfortunately, he will remain, and remain a pest likely until he falls on a mission. One can only hope he does not drag his entire team down with him.
2.1.4 Lambda[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: warforged (he/him), combat automaton
  • Personality: Naïve, curious about everything, and interested in collecting knowledge, attempts to be diplomatic to all others. Exhibits an unusual kindness, especially towards Marion.
  • Risk Assessment: Moderate. Low expected direct risk, but significant risk of obtaining knowledge that is not beneficial. Open to requests to obscure information if made ahead of time, yet seems susceptible to any number of outside influences. Combat skills and very nature make many of my abilities inapplicable should the need arise. It would be best to not ever engage Lambda in combat, and to direct overwhelming physical force toward him should the need to eliminate the being arise. Upon sparring with him, this assessment is confirmed. Additional firepower will be required should his interests run directly counter to mine.
  • Personal Notes: Despite no interest in magic, Lambda's quest for knowledge and understanding seems genuine, yet he clearly allows others to direct and limit him (or at least makes the claim that he honors such requests). I suggested he discontinue following such requests, and informed him that he can retain whatever information he learns about me. He is highly focused on improving overall group cohesion, and like me, finds some of the most chaotic members of the company distasteful and potentially dangerous. He also appears to carry a heavy weight related to his past existence (programming?) as a weapon of war against dragonkin.
  • Additional Notes: Since launching on the expedition, Lambda has demonstrated an increased amount of... emotion, almost to the point of seeming unstable. At the same time, he demonstrates a single-minded dedication to his self-imposed tasks of camp security and protection for his allies. The revelation that his "brother" Theta may still exist and be a potential threat inspired a brief period of manic over-preparation by what I can best describe as an episode of depression. His confidence in combat has been shaken, and he worries that putting himself on another mission is as likely to pose a risk to the company as to protect it. This is odd given what I have seen of his ability demonstrates no such obvious flaws, yet he has seemingly lost all sparring bouts, so either his actual tactics are unsound, he is remarkably unlucky, or he simply picks poor battles. In two of these scenarios, I suppose there is some reason to have doubts, yet I expect him to at least contribute successfully, even if that contribution to a mission is as a sacrifice.
2.1.5 Arcane "Arc"[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: tiefling (they), purple skin, white horns, short white hair, average height. Glasya heritage
  • Personality: Somewhat distant (expected professionalism from their role or more?), free with knowledge, research specialist, studious, does not appear to be be very socially adept.
  • Risk Assessment: Moderate. Largest risk is that any information obtained by Arc will become known to an unknown number of others. While not a self-professed combatant, has a position of authority in this company for a reason and may have surprising strengths.
  • Personal Notes: Most likely direct superior in the role I expect to take on during this sabbatical, so a good individual to stay aware of. Potential a valuable source of information about other members of the expedition if I am ever in need of intelligence on them. Keeps records, so even if they cannot be directly persuaded, notes may be borrowed if necessary. Joined the "ladies night out" I organized for myself and the fellow tieflings in the company and exhibited a professional demeanor and a solid background in arcane study. Now that we are actually out in the Wilds, they are... somewhat disappointing. They have exhibited unsound decision-making in failing to put together an adventurer response unit after their first research team went missing, and instead wasted an additional eight lives without really seeming to care all that much. Had the lives been spent for a viable return, I would not mind, and could even respect the callousness, but they just seem inefficient at this point. They may be an effective researcher, but they are far from an effective manager or leader, and likely need a tighter reign on their impulses.
2.1.6 Sneeze[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: kobold (he/him), red scales, average size.
  • Personality: (uncertain due to limited interaction), appears to act in remarkably stereotypical kobold fashion, emphasizes physical interaction with others. Violent, childish, and child-like. Is very stupid generally, but has revealed knowledge in certain matters that makes me question how much is real or a mask.
  • Risk Assessment: Low. Moderate. Appears easily distracted by any new thing. While personality and intelligence remain his greatest weaknesses, his raw combat ability cannot be ignored. He exhibits the profile of a raging barbarian who swells in size during his rage. Violence is clearly his first approach when faced with a problem.
  • Personal Notes: Is surprisingly knowledgeable about the workings of the company despite living in the floorboards of the nearby dormitory space. Is actively hiding (from law enforcement?) and has been spotted openly flouting the laws of the city Galik. Has claimed to have been taken in the past through a feywild portal where he was cast into the future and across the continents of Quelmar to where we find him now. Also strongly resents Lambda for killing kobolds in the past.
  • Additional Note: Cannot be relied upon for even the simplest things or understandings. A direct liability even with explicit management. Reedy continues to appreciate the little monster for some reason--likely just that she has an appreciation for any draconic being--and he is somehow liked by others as well. He crafted a horrifying meat puppet of myself and a larger one of Reedy as some sort of gift commemorating a maternal holiday. Lastly, it took considerable effort, but he finally seems to realize that his presence is unwanted around me after I called him a disgusting chaotic creature. This earned me a reprieve from his efforts to crawl close to me and has even made his presence among other company more tolerable, if still best kept at a distance. I can only hope I do not end up on any assignments with him unless they are sufficiently deadly to arrange a "terrible tragedy."
2.1.7 Kompi[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: kobold (he/they), white scales, very small.
  • Personality: Skittish. Surprisingly well-spoken for a kobold, but cautious and wary of loud and large creatures. Actively non-confrontational, even if they have a considerable situational advantage. Always hiding in someone's shadow.
  • Risk Assessment: Low. Unknown combat skills, but appears likely to be relatively easy to frighten or redirect toward an alternative threat or target. Has an ability to manifest large "dino" creatures as needed to help in situations.
  • Personal Notes: Friends with Marion, and willing to offer "gifts" to those he considers friends. Gave me a piece of petrified wood after I mentioned my ability to create silence. I like them, although we have only infrequently interacted. They keep mostly to themself and don't start trouble. Playful with regard to bones and dinosaurs. They appear to have developed a dislike of Sneeze, which I approve of, and remain a helpful resource in summoning. Has grown particularly close to Nassir and is most often found hiding in his shadow now that we have settled into the base camp.
  • Additional Notes: Has now lost an arm and been infected with the same demon disease as I have. The lost limb was initially resolved by Pennysworth producing a magical hand, but it seems they want something more tangible and have been making efforts to repurpose Jim Stacy's old childhood prosthetics. They appear to still be afflicted with an indefinite madness and nightmares as a result of contact with the tome collected in an earlier mission.
2.1.8 Obsidian ("Idi")[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: earth genasi (he/him), brown hair, average height.
  • Personality: minor physical obsession with his axe, easy-going, somewhat timid, and attempts to be a little mysterious. Interested in artifacts, books and research, and seems a
  • Risk Assessment: Low. Observed basic combat skills, but an uncertain demeanor. Mixes magic and martial ability, so is likely short-range combatant with limited ranged capabilities, also seemed physically vulnerable.
  • Personal Notes: Has acted a little awkward. Perhaps burgeoning signs of an infatuation for Marion. Requires further observation.
2.1.9 "Jim Stacy"[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: human (he/him), older, average height
  • Personality: observant, patient, and has a tendancy towards violence. Thinks of himself as above most of the others and likely selfish nature, but has evidenced a paternalistic instinct towards Marion. Draws conclusions quickly, but may be more flexible regarding their results. Smoker--addiction is a potential weakness to leverage. Has a highly suspicious view of situations and people and likewise suspects poison or threat from anywhere.
  • Risk Assessment: High. Moderate. Highly focused combat style on throwing daggers. Mobility specialist and assassin? This may be relatively easily dealt with, but more worrying is his tendency to watch others and consider threatening circumstances. Even more worrying are the unknown forces at play surrounding him. While some details have been found, his mere presence poses a significant risk to all those around him. Recent developments have shown several vulnerabilities to exploit. Downgrading threat rating.
  • Personal Notes: When asked about his conclusions about me, described me as "athletic, gruff, uses physical fitness as a means to combat their social anxieties." I am unsure if he's just not as good at reading into our limited interactions or whether he was simply lying about his thoughts. More likely the latter. Has earned the sobriquet: "Mr. Newspaper" due to his habit of hiding behind one while sitting in the common rooms.
  • Has used any excuse to act with violence and a violent disregard for limits on that violence.


Mr. Stacy apparently ominously disappeared the other day. He returned after close to a full day, wrapped in magical chains and unconscious. He was also noticeably being observed by some kind of dimensional being. Upon further medical examination, he appeared to be in a coma, but not in any immediate danger. However, his presence itself was an imminent threat as this dimensional being, appearing human and apparently called "Dr. Moss" stepped from some kind of dimensional doorway and freely passed in and out of it. He gave some cryptic statement of being Mr. Stacy's family before disappearing again, although I expect that is far from the last time this person will make their presence known. Marion has seemingly grown entirely attached to a fanciful image of him as some sort of father figure. He seems to play along with this fantasy readily, and even outside of their presence, but there's an obvious tension to matters involving him despite the obviously greater threat he himself poses to her than anything he has done to protect Marion. Upon waking he also exhibited new ability with throwing daggers, being able to conjure and throw them at will. He may also have additional abilities including some level of telepathy now. Further interrogation is required. Upon further interrogation: Jim Stacy stole his mechanical limbs from a friar of the Imperfect Cog. He lost his limbs as a child when some kind of "anti-foundation" group killed his adoptive family. He is a clone of Dr. Moss of some kind. He has been subject to an unknown and extensive amount of experiments and possibly tortures. Despite all of this, he doesn't believe any of those watching him pose a risk to the company recruits because we are not "anomalous." These bits of information are reliable insofar as Jim Stacy believes them to be authentic, but his mental faculties may have been compromised as well, so this information may also be merely what the watchers want him to think. The entire situation reeks of the kind of trouble I absolutely do not want to get tangled up in, vacation or not. It will be best if others can be convinced to distance themselves from him, but he seems to keep himself ever-present in company public spaces. Perhaps once the expedition actually launches this will be easier to accomplish.

When brought on a run through the city to direct his attention to a different news publication, he evidenced no strain from the steady pace I set, nor any difficulty in handling obstacles in the path. Surprisingly acrobatic and spry, although he has a tendency to avoid relying on his mechanical limbs when engaged in complex maneuvers. He has come to the incomprehensible decision (almost certainly because Marion made him feel bad about it) to support the murderous and chaotic fae. Apparently this resulted in him assaulting a satyr in her home and being knocked unconscious, but I could not find the location to finish the job. If this is how he will decide things, he is better off eliminated as a consequence of his own failures and where the fallout from his mysterious connections can be directed elsewhere.

After he attacked me in the camp, I told Marion I planned to kill him, which I did, but she seemed certain that the mysterious Dr. Moss would inevitably revive him, so any effort would need to be quite thorough. I planned to burn his corpse to ashes at the next opportunity, but it seems that he got himself removed from my approach when he attacked Reedy in the forest. Rather than bring me to his unconscious body, she turned him into the camp leadership. They announced he was "in pieces," but I confirmed shortly afterward that he was at least still alive. Still alive means still a threat, and I will act accordingly. I will attempt another Sending next week to see if he is truly dead, but either way it seems he is not an imminent threat anymore.

......And not more than a few days after that he made contact in the form of a demon. There is no point in Sendings when he appears to have been consumed by a demon in some way. The problem is the demon filth now, and not Stacy. I thought perhaps this Foundation might be interested in providing assistance now that their asset has been compromised, but I do not trust them, and will continue to avoid them as much as feasible.

2.1.10 Therrin Flare[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: humanoid (he/him) (possibly Aasimar),
  • Personality: Appears to be typical devout Pelor worshipper. Appears unlikely to have buried evil tendencies at this time.
  • Risk Assessment: Moderate. Followers of Pelor are likely directly antagonistic to long-term plans, but because I'm not engaged in anything specifically adverse to Pelor's purposes on this visit to the mortal plane, I likely have little to fear. It is possible that inconvenient revelations could come from this one though.
  • Personal Notes: Illusionist. Very free with minor magics and a little bit of a show-off, although that's already obvious from the personality note.
  • After taking on a mission alongside him and spending additional time with him in camp, he demonstrates an eagerness to help and heal. He is very young of spirit and has clearly yet to experience anything that truly tests his faith. He is also not a typical devotee in the sense that he is not studied in mysteries or practices, but he clearly has a more... transactional relationship with his patron deity. Is more effective of a healer than initially anticipated. In combat he generally used Radiant energy to both damage and heal. He is also set on constructing a general altar in the camp. This has been opposed from my contacts at home, but I will have to see whether I can subvert or otherwise taint the project. So long as actual consecration does not occur, I believe things will remain tolerable.
  • Further Notes: Despite what seemed like a successful conversation regarding the altar, no action has been taken in line with my suggestions of relocating it or preventing Sir Yewvane from calling exclusively on the 'light' to shape it. He is clearly non-confrontational, and he seems to lack personal resolve, instead being swayed in the moment quite easily.
2.1.11 Paris Hilton[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: human, (she/her), blonde hair and gaudy wardrobe
  • Personality: Self-centered, shallow view of the world and situations surrounding her, likely to inject herself into any and every conversation without care or notice whether she is welcome
  • Risk Assessment: Low. While her combat abilities have yet to be ascertained, she has demonstrated no dangerous capabilities or attitudes, and I find it highly unlikely that her personality has been a front in order to hide deeper plans; that would be far too exhausting for anyone human to maintain. She uses a crossbow loaded with obnoxious glitter bolts that pack a significant punch, but her accuracy generally leaves a bit to be desired.
  • Personal Notes: An annoyance, more than anything else, and one that I let get under my skin too easily in our first interaction. Still, I would prefer to avoid her if possible simply because I find her presence grating. She exudes wealth and privilege, which would be useful to take advantage of, but even the thought of being in her presence long enough to do so makes me feel slightly nauseous. Grandmother's approach is likely not viable for me in this instance.

Follow-up notations: Upon further interactions, manipulation of this woman seems eminently possible through the use of large words with vaguely positive connotations. This was effective in securing aid in establishing a Quiet Corner of the common room where others are advised to provide a calm space, and where permission has been granted to support that via Silence spells. Civility and barely honest compliments appear to be a viable stratagem moving forward, although her very presence is still grating. She has finally started using the full name given to her rather than a diminutive of "Sabby," which I appreciate. And when she is not drenching everything in glitter or pink, she has become more tolerable as well. Perhaps I simply needed an adjustment period in order to deal with the exuberance she demonstrates. After all, Grandmother hardly cares for the stories those Paladins she has broken tell her, but she finds a way to tolerate them long enough to make them feel favorably toward her. Perhaps her greatest asset in practical terms is keeping Sneeze occupied. She is happy to devote to him the attention that he obviously craves when she is around. She may also be useful in extracting information from Millar due to what appeared to be a one-sided infatuation for her on his part.

On missions, she continues to prove surprisingly useful. Flanking threats or well-armored foes seem likely to prove her weaknesses though.

2.1.12 The Court of Seasons[edit | edit source]

It's hard to isolate any one individual of this group of four Eladrin elves. I know that they have set themselves up in the yard outside the Tempest Brother's Company, and that they are fay, one of each season, but little more beyond that. Thus far they have seemed oddly reclusive, yet forward, so I will attempt a direct conversation to assess them soon. The power dynamic and relationships may not be easily exploitable, but perhaps their inherently controlled chaotic nature can be channeled in useful directions. They have kept mostly to themselves, and aside from their first setup I have only seen pairs going out and doing things.

From my limited knowledge, these four are rather unusual for their kind. They each seem quite stable in their seasonal affiliation and form a tight-knit group.

Sir Yewvane Eedryll - 7th Knight of the Court of Seasons (of 8 extant houses), and the leader of the group. The others clearly defer to him, and are all "heartsworn" to him (and possibly each other).

  • Autumnal affiliation eladrin elf (he/him), Knight and leader of this house. He appears to be the primary adventurer, although his Winter companion also appears comfortable around a fight. He has taken to resting a hand on the hilt of his sword much more lately--since the latest batch of fae beings arrived, and since he learned of Finnegan's tale.
  • The Autumn Knight has exhibited a considerable amount of hubris more recently, and exuded a sense of moral superiority. He has not even considered the fact that it was as much his actions, as those of his vassal that led to my offense and rage.
  • He is seemingly protective of Luster for reasons I have yet to understand, and motivations related to fae politics I lack the context to disentangle.
  • Has relatively weak combat skills, but some healing magic and a willingness to engage in light bladework and instructing the tactics of others. He would likely prove a better fit in a mobile combat group including additional front-line fighters. He also focused on healing.
  • Further interactions have demonstrated Sir Yewvane's close ties to light. He can be cordial in conversation, but is more active in directly antagonistic activities as well. Ever since his mission on the river, we have not really had much of a conversation, and I suspect he is wary of doing so because of the infernal mushrooms they discovered on their mission.
  • He continues to butt heads with Reedy on many occasions, so it is likely best not to pursue interactions with the pair, although Reedy seems far more receptive to attention from Olla and even Taya on occasion. Although both are devoted to Yewvane, they seem less directly invested in his light-focused agenda.

Shieldmaiden Taya

  • Winter affiliation eladrin elf (she/her) tall (nearly 7 ft.) and broad. Clearly strong and the muscle in the group. She takes an assertive posture, but a deferential role to Yewvane. This has become more noticeable over time, but she is also clearly the most prone to violence of the four. She has mostly focused on camp duties such as patrols and remained mostly invisible since departing on the expedition.

Olla, Folly of Spring

  • Spring affiliation eladrin elf (she/her) the kindest and least obtrusive of the four. She has only rarely appeared, but has always shown the utmost courtesy outside of revels. Perhaps a bit incautious and prone to making rash decisions.
  • Olla has become my primary tutor in learning Sylvan. She has a beautiful way with the language and is an effective, if unorthodox teacher. Prone to flights of fancy and wandering thoughts, I ofttimes have to refocus her attention on providing me with useful vocabulary and an understanding of the right syntax of things. Part of this instruction is also in the culture and ways of the Courts of fey with which she is familiar. She attempts in large part to get me to embrace the way of thinking interconnected with the way the language works and form a sort of poetry in every word. In some ways, the tongue reminds me of Celestial, although with a much greater emphasis on promoting nuance and free-flowing thought than general light. It's not as hard to learn it with her as it was trying to do so from the texts and non-native speaker you tried out when I was younger.
  • The other interesting development with Olla is less about her and more about what she represents to Reedy: an additional partner in sexplay. I feel there could be some fun to be had in this regard, but it seems that despite Reedy making jests about her on multiple occasions, she has a streak of jealousy as well.

Ojai, Feast of Summer

  • Summer affiliation eladrin elf (he/him) rarely wears much in the way of clothing, clearly a sensuous creature of excess and desires. When I refused his invitation to join in a revel being created by Finnegan, Yewvane, and involving the dancing, murderous fairy, Luster, he pressed on again, imagining I would find anything to like in that circumstance, further exacerbated by suggesting feeling their dance would be somehow beneficial, but most insulting was the imposition of effects on my being, delivered by that same music.
  • For some reason, he seems to feel a degree of contrition and has offered service in recompense. Frankly, I have no interest, but I know it would be foolish of me to let their foolish decision go to waste. I would also cede control to them in determining how the perceived debt is balanced. This matter now seems to have been fully addressed with the delivery of the bottles of wine and the confrontation in the arena in Galik. He has mostly avoided me since, even during the longer visits to the eladrin tent.
2.1.13 Nassir Tycho[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: Bronze/Black Dragonborn (he/him) very tall
  • Personality: Cultured barbarian tribesman. Has a culture closely centered around concepts of honor, appears to have a burgeoning infatuation with Marion and has been spending a lot of time with her. Seemed receptive to suggestions and cold logic applied to the Luster situation. Understands the need to make hard choices and cut dead weights. He peppers his native tongue into the common speech frequently, likely due to a lack of either direct translations or because he simply thinks in that tongue.
  • Risk Assessment: Low. While his direct combat strength remains to be properly ascertained, I find it highly unlikely that I would have to engage in combat or he would threaten any of my goals.
  • Personal Notes: Pleasant enough company, although he seems a little on the slow side. He could possibly be leveraged into accepting an offer of power, especially if Marion were in danger. He seems to carry a weight of some kind from some past misdeeds and is a being of ponderous pace, slow to anger. He has definitely continued a close friendship with Marion. This relationship is indeed growing, and the two have started sharing a tent, although from the degree of timidity to their motions, I do not suspect they have consummated the relationship. I find this curious given usual tribal practices. Perhaps his has more elaborate or lengthy courtship rituals for some reason, or it is down to personal insecurity. Either way, the attachment is so significant that he nearly attacked Hermes when the man returned early from his mission with myself and Marion, and reporting our likely demise.
2.1.14 The Shapeshifter (Changeling) Guy, Girl, Thing, Kid "Lowkey"[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: Frequently changing, but maintains several personas that are all detestable. Guy is a male half-elf who leans hard on a fake understanding of elven culture, Girl a human woman in mid teens. Thing appears to be a frog-creature, perhaps a Grung? and Kid is a (somewhat large) human child. Proper name: "Lowkey?" and primarily operates as "Girl?"
  • Personality: Insufferable chaotic instigator, endlessly rude, and plays the victim.
  • Risk Assessment: Low. I do not expect this creature to survive long. Even if its combat abilities prove adequate it will almost certainly place itself in untenable situations.
  • Personal Notes: Avoid whenever possible. Even attempts at developing a better understanding were complete failures. This being has no interest in growth or change, and is just a chaotic element best eliminated. Surprisingly, they have survived the first couple weeks of the expedition, although it seems they have completely withdrawn from the social aspect of the camp. This is likely for the best, although it is clear that they cannot be trusted or relied upon. Perhaps field observations if ever assigned together will reveal an appropriate method of seeking removal, but barely even remember they're here in the camp anymore. Perhaps they are taking on other forms in the camp and hiding their presence? Unlikely, but if any evidence of such could be acquired, they might be removed for cause.
2.1.15 Tassa Brightfox[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: Kender (she/her) long red hair, green eyes, from Krynn, a place I know very little about, but where she is seemingly unwanted.
  • Personality: Highly curious, credulous and not a strong critical thinker. Innocent and ignorant. She is an effortless talker, but I was uncertain what to make of her reliability until she wrote the report. She pays attention to a lot and retains information, but she is seemingly reckless according to her own report of events.
  • Risk Assessment: Low. Honestly, this one seems harmless and a poor fit for the crew of killers this is turning out to be.
  • Personal Notes: Yet another cross-planar traveler. She provided a quite... verbose account of her mission to synthesize into a report. It certainly contained all the necessary information, but exhibited why it's important to produce condensed versions for general distribution.
  • Note: Tassa voluntarily joined the demonic "mother" for unknown reasons and is now lost.
2.1.16 Finnegan Warbler[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: Puffin aaracokra (he/him)
  • Personality: Magnanimously pompous. He initially set himself as a pseudo-lordly entity over some kind of magic table intended to keep the peace and provide for everyone as if he himself were a lord.
  • Risk Assessment: Moderate. He seems wrapped up in his own games more than anything else. I have yet to see him do anything particularly impressive except carry around a fae-infused magic table and play instruments.
  • Personal Notes: Thinks himself the spider in a web of fae intrigue. He has remained mostly distant since embarking on the expedition. Perhaps his issues are already catching up with him a bit.
  • On the expedition he has mostly avoided me even as he engages with the camp more frequently. This has not changed even after I directly engaged with him about providing a report on his river adventure, although he seemed less wary of me after I directed ire toward Researcher Millar in his presence given the inconsistencies in their reports of events. However, he still has yet to actually provide the sample of fungi which he claimed exhibited infernal energy.
  • Personal Notes: Having now gone on a mission with Finnegan, he has proven most bloodthirsty in practice.
2.1.17 Zimper[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: Mixed gnomish and goblinoid features. (he/him)
  • Personality: Skittish. Speaks to a rock. Externalizes much of his thinking to a rock he has named Sylvester who only he can hear.
  • Risk Assessment: Low. Although the rock appears to deliver his more insightful thoughts. Sabotage of whatever mental system he has set up would likely disrupt any ability for him to function.
  • Personal Notes: Honestly, I think this poor creature is just insane. There may be a way to make use of the infirmity to advantage, but even if it can be done, the value seems likely to be low. Once sufficient materials are collected, examining the rock to definitively eliminate the possibility that it has power will be of use. It does not read as magical, so it is unlikely, but perhaps it is simply well concealed.
2.1.18 Luster[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: Fairy, (she/her) azure/purple skin and hair, supposedly a transformed eladrin of the Moon Court.
  • Personality: Unstable, violent and prone to chaotic actions of all stripes. A true, wildfae, and not one with motivations entirely comprehensible to mortal minds. Exudes joy even when contemplating terrible actions.
  • Risk Assessment: Extreme. Personal threat moderate. She is a genuine troublemaker, bringing chaos in her wake, and poisoning those around her with her schemes and the consequences of her actions. If she can be eliminated or removed, it is strictly beneficial to allow that to occur.
  • Personal Notes: I do not understand how, but in the past few days, despite entering the company by dragging the corpse of a man she had illegally slain, she has endeared a large number of the most vocal recruits to her side. This is also despite the fact that she has brought additional trouble and scrutiny to the company in the form of fae bounty hunters and satyrs who are associated with her (former?) court. It is quite frustrating to see so many fall under the sway of a being of utter chaos just because she smiles at them. Perhaps showing them an appropriate demon might help redirect scrutiny toward the smiling faces.

Luster has since departed, uncertain if entirely of their own volition.

2.1.19 Amaris[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: white-furred satyr (she/her), new emissary from the Moon Court of Fae
  • Personality: Somewhat kind and reserved. Non-confrontational and seems highly invested in ingratiating herself with others. Gains self-confidence by providing "aid" to others.
  • Risk Assessment: Low. Self-asserted a trickery-focused worship, yet clearly devotes herself to healing. She likely has radiant powers and uses the classic means of clerics contributing to combats. These are likely not a direct threat in themselves because Amaris is unlikely to involve herself in a direct conflict with me.
  • Personal Notes: She clearly has some kind of agenda, and has been organizing mental health screenings and 'diagnoses' of other members of the company. The assessments of others are a good idea, especially after seeing Kompi's reaction to a mission being somewhat destabilizing on their mind. Perhaps this will permit the company to remain safe from additional mental forces destabilizing individuals. Madness would likely cause many more problems than we're already facing.
2.1.20 Groth[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: Tall minotaur.
  • Personality: An emotional mess with little capacity for negative interactions. Will start crying at the drop of a hat, but finally reached something deeper momentarily when pushed. Bombastic, slow, and loud. Speaks elvish and sings to pass the time.
  • Risk Assessment: Individually moderate. I plan to avoid him simply because of the associations with Jim Stacy and Dr. Moss. I expect magical restraint would be highly effective, or commands to redirect any potential violence he wields. He also lost to Sneeze in a recent fight.
  • Personal Notes: The only real concern related to this individual is the potential lingering attention of Dr. Moss. However, now that his precious clone is out of the picture (at least temporarily) that threat should be somewhat reduced. Still, keeping alert for any potential threats and oddities will be necessary given the entire situation. Should he prove any different from these expectations, he may be able to be baited into making a foolish attack.

He disappeared in the midst of completing a project related to the altar and has been replaced with a more... useful agent of this GreenWood Foundation.

2.2 Information Gathering[edit | edit source]

In addition to assessing the people with whom I will likely be working, I have been attempting to assess the city of Galik as a whole. During my daily exercise, I've taken up running the streets to develop an accurate map of the area and develop a feel for the varying districts. This is slow work, as the scale of the city is significant, but has yielded considerable results, not least of which is discovering the location of The Flame's Respite, an underground lounge with sauna rooms and the capacity for aromatherapy. The proprietor, a fire genasi man named Torrick Ignus has agreed to host an evening of relaxation for myself and the other tieflings I have met around the Tempest Brother's compound.

2.3 Food and Fiends[edit | edit source]

The sauna day went reasonably well, although one of the invitees failed to arrive. I had a good conversation with Arc, Reedy, and Marion about a number of topics including our shared and differing fiendish origins. Marion doesn't know theirs, but both Arc and Reedy are descendants of Glasya. We shared information on our backgrounds and approaches to study: Arc studied underground (Katharda?), Marion studied in a school in Rwendia on the coast which was apparently a scam of some sort, while Reedy is more practically inclined and has little in the way of formal study. Apparently both Reedy and Arc have elves as a parent, and Reedy is estranged from her own family, both on the mortal side and the fiendish side. The last topic of discussion was true names, which I explained I was not going to be sharing casually due to their... significance in fiendish circles. But I feel that the experience brought us all closer together and has strengthened the ties between us. The other tieflings here should be allies at the least.

2.4 Follys of Fae[edit | edit source]

It seems that this company is situated at a nexus of several different planes, but most commonly the feywild. There have been a large number of individuals from there that have either joined or otherwise interacted with the company. It makes me wonder if I've been placed here for similar reasons. The timing is likely no accident at least. Finnegan Warbler, the puffin man has a history with the fae, apparently having been a captive minstrel for the Seelie court. He harbors clear antagonism towards the others with fae connections, yet puts on a face of calm and comfort with them. Finnegan also is bound to some nightmare entity called the Bogge who is either hunting him or using him as a piece in a game to gather (steal) the names of other fae beings. Despite his supposed distaste for these connections, he does not spurn them, in fact he seems to chase them. Much of Finnegan's time has been spent in close conference with Sir Yewvane Eedryll of the Court of Seasons. Although not fae strictly speaking, the eladrin are closely tied to the plane and the politics therein. Wiggler is also associated with a fae connection, although not tied to any courts directly so far as I know. I've pieced together that he suffers from vivid dreams and a pull toward danger in addition to his other flaws. He has some connection to a druid, either an elf or another aarakockra (uncertain which) as well as a fear of birds--which is reasonable given his state of being a worm.

The latest fae arrival is far more concerning, however: a faerie entered the tavern with a body in tow, a she had just recently slain. She asserted a private bounty on the man, yet dragged his corpse to our door instead of wherever he was intended. Not only was she entirely cavalier with the death, the Tempest Brothers' company representative accepted this with hardly a thought of protest. Mr. Decrye blithely disposed of the body--apparently a merchant of Sneeze's acquaintance too--without fanfare and that was the entire extent of official action regarding Luster's murder. Somehow, many of the company seemed to accept this without thought, openly accepting Luster into the company despite an ongoing thirst for violence subsuming her aura. The chaos and violence were just overpowering any other sense I could get of her, and worst of all, as a fae and not a humanoid, my ideal strategy would be useless against her should a fight prove necessary.

Events continued to spiral into madness the more people Luster interacted with. Only a couple days later she and the other fae organized some kind of revel in the tavern. The entire debacle was full of chaos and light, and a frenetic energy I could not abide. Ojai, the most raucous of the eladrin invited me to join the dance. I declined politely at first, but this only prompted him to ask again with more... enthusiasm. Much worse, I felt Sir Yewvane imbue the song he was playing with some kind of energy, attempting to pull me into the frenzy. I had a visceral reaction to this intrusion of my spirit, immediately turning away. As I fled the scene, I felt an almost overpowering urge to burn something, anything. I almost directed this intent toward the eladrin's tent, but something within me knew that wouldn't be enough.

Rage continued to build within me like the fire was building up under pressure. As I sought a place and target to unleash it, Reedy tried to intercept me. I redirected her with a Command to leave, and then a Suggestion she stay in her room when she continued to pursue me. This latter effort proved futile as I eventually lost focus on the spell. I tried everything I could in the arena to release the pressure of the energy, but it only built up hotter and hotter inside me, consuming me from the inside until Reedy finally reappeared and attacked me, providing a target for my frustrations. This led to a short, but explosive battle where I hurled multicolored streaks of hellfire at Reedy and even managed to wrap that fire around myself as a protective measure. This protection proved insufficient in the moment as the combined efforts of Reedy's arrows and Daq's bites nearly incapacitated me. But, my rage was spent, and there was nothing else I could do, so I allowed her to bring me back to my own inn: The Black Viper.

As we approached the Black Viper, however, this is where your agent comes back into events, so I'm sure you are already aware of what transpired. Still, I'll record that Fagin Stonemeadow delivered the package he was entrusted with, He did so while revealing a significant portion of my real name to Reedy. Seeing as you've decided to be so cavalier with my secrets when it comes to Reedy, I invited her into my room for a discussion and exchange of information. I explained some more of my situation to her, and also my given name. She provided her own name, and some of her own personal history. Details of which need not be reproduced without consent. I showed her the new amulet you've provided and explained its effects. The additional ability to call upon hellfire during my spell preparation is impressive, and I expect to end up making extensive use of it during the upcoming adventures. More than that though, I think the entire situation brought us closer together. She trusts me far more than she should, but it's also not something I feel any reason to exploit. The largest complicating factor is simply that she is a daughter of Glasya, which could create some political tension, yet she has no interest whatsoever in joining her mother's forces.

2.5 Dinner and Dinosaurs[edit | edit source]

After discussion and testing of my new infernal abilities with Reedy, we returned to the Tempest Brothers Company to find... many of the usual residents absent. It seems they had their own business going on, so only a few were still present at the compound. Luster, Zimper, and Yewvane were out in the yard, with the former two playing like children while a proud father watches on. He told me that Ojai would like to speak with me, and I replied that I would be in the large common room. I decided to take the opportunity to cook up a large portion of food, drawing on Knowledge to devise an appropriate recipe for boar ribs. The cooking actually went smoothly, and turned out very well. Further evidence that Grandmother's execution of that cook three years back was well-warranted. It's really not that complicated to make a tasteful and satisfying dish if you have even a modicum of knowledge and take reasonable care with the process. Oddly, several of the absent recruits failed to return in the evening, so there was a considerable amount of leftover food after those of us present ate our fill.

When I first brought the food out, Ojai was standing, dressed in a full set of clothes for the first time I've seen either before or since. He bowed and offered what he described as formal apologies for offending me earlier. I was in no mood to deal with eladrin games or misunderstandings and told him to do so later, yet he continued to remain, insisting on offering wines and my choice of services. (He even provided a list when I told him to produce one.) While he was not the only offending party, it seemed that neither he, nor any of the other eladrin recognized the full situation. Even so, I intended to ignore Ojai for the evening and deal with his apology later. Unfortunately, he had other plans and continued to follow at the periphery of the group until later in the evening.

During the dinner conversation, Kompi described an ability to summon scaled beasts, this seemed fascinating to both Reedy and myself, so we convinced Kompi to summon one of these creatures in the arena after dinner. The beast was quite impressive: large, scaled, and well under Kompi's control. They had it demonstrate its speed and strength, as well as proclaimed it to be particularly proficient in pouncing on targets. Since Ojai was still hovering around, now smirking at the situation, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to test the animal's skill at pouncing and I suggested they demonstrate the ability by jumping on Ojai. Ojai slipped aside using his eladrin gift to fey step aside, but then fled, sobbing back to his own tent. This prompted Sir Yewvane to accuse me of needless cruelty all while Sneeze suddenly returned dragging a barely-alive satyr--apparently a Moon Court envoy trying to track down Luster for some fae political game. The entire thing was a disaster. Sir Yewvane threatened Sneeze and demanded custody of the satyr, this made Reedy act protective toward Sneeze despite the creature's obvious insane violent tendencies, and the situation swiftly developed. Sneeze also claimed that Jim Stacy had been knocked unconscious and was left tied to a bed, but I was unable to locate the place in order to finish that man off, a failure that I can only hope does not come back to haunt me.

Entry 3: Into The Wicked Wilds[edit | edit source]

We flew directly from Galik out into a clearing in the wilds where the company had decided to locate its base camp. There were several initial missions launched at once, each exploring a different distance and direction from the base camp. Some details of each mission follow, although my personal knowledge will be limited to the numbered missions. Details of other missions will be collected and organized

Mission Report: The Temple of Lolth[edit | edit source]

Participants: myself, Reedy, Sir Yewvane Eedryll, Paris Hilton, Therrin Flare

Location: a few hours' walk South of the camp.

Objective: Explore a ruined structure and recover anything of interest.

Action Summary: Explored the temple, cleared out spider infestation, discovered locked secret passage to underdark and key to opening it from outside.

Notable Events: Within the temple were two significant oddities: magic-infused spiders linked to webs that could shoot out energy blasts and some kind of complex ichor monster. The ichor creature was able to direct limbs to appear from nearby pools of ichor that would attempt to strike anyone who got too close. The ichor monster was also spidery in form, but of a different quality of creature from even the magic-saturated spiders we encountered.

Specific finds: A large red gem which emanates a small amount of magic which belongs to the statue of Lolth within the temple and opens the secret passage that leads down, presumably toward the underdark and unknown. (In the hands of Paul Fletcher.)

A Cloak of Protection which grants additional defenses against attacks. (Claimed by Reedy)

Narrative Account:
Paul Fletcher delivered our initial assignment for the company: to explore a ruin located South of the base camp that had been established. There was little in the way of details other than the fact that a temple had been discovered in initial scouting of the territory. It was also revealed that none of our party On the walk out of camp we discovered little of obvious or direct interest until Paris Hilton's explosion of a glitter bomb appeared to draw the attention of a large creature in the distance--a creature large enough to topple trees and for its roar to be audible from a considerable distance. At Paul's behest, our group continued onward and avoided further attention-grabbing activities, although we also made no special effort to conceal our presence.

Upon reaching the ruined temple, it was clear that it was old and had been abandoned perhaps hundreds of years. The architecture was somewhat elven in nature, but little in the way of distinguishing marks or artistry remained on the exterior. We quickly proceeded into the first room where we were confronted with a clutch of giant spiders. These posed little threat or impediment to our explorations of this first chamber, but there was also little revealed other than a doorway which led further into the complex. The second chamber proved more interesting with several spiders enhanced by magical energy which were capable of firing elemental bolts at us while we fought. They had also imbued their webs with traces of the same magic. Some judicious use of fire and arrows succeeded in clearing the immediate threat without too much trouble. This revealed the primary remaining feature of the room: a statue of the beautiful and horrendous Spider Queen, Lolth. Lolth, the patron deity of the drow, has been imprisoned in the Abyss and is worshipped almost solely by drow in their underground cities. Finding a temple to her here on the surface is odd, and somewhat concerning. Her dark designs are unlikely to have direct implications for our Company, but it is another factor to potentially be aware of.

The only additional visible exit to this chamber led through a passage with pools of ichor with disembodied spider legs which would slam against anyone who stood too close, trying to batter them to death and drag them into the pools of ichor that littered the floor. Rather than try to find a safe passage, it was easier to blast our way through and clear out the threat of these limbs all at once. As such, I summoned a sphere of flame and the others fired ranged attacks or spells to clear the way. After passing through the second room filled with these parts we encountered a final large spider creature formed from the same ichor. This one proved more resilient and threatening, but eventually fell to the combined efforts of the party despite some difficulty in securing an ideal attack angle as Sir Yewvane blocked the doorway in some ill-guided attempt to protect everyone else from attacks.

After clearing out the creature and destroying its nest, we were able to recover a few gold pieces and simple weapons as well as a ruby in the form of a dodecahedron which belonged in the palm of the earlier room's Lolth statue. Upon placing the object in its place a new passage was revealed: a stairway leading deep underground. Given the nature of the temple, it seems likely that a drow base may be present further down the passage. The likelihood of encountering unknown dangers further down the passage while our magic and energy was expended resulted in a decision to bring the stone back to camp, while noting the presence of the passage for either potential future exploration or diplomatic efforts.

Entry 4: First Week's Base Camp Events[edit | edit source]

Wiggler's Obsession:[edit | edit source]

Upon returning from my first mission for the company to clear out the ruins of a Temple to Lolth, the worm-in-armor Wiggler intruded on my evening respite requesting to "test himself" against my mental defenses once more. It seems that when I pushed him in the earlier training session at the Company's Inn he became fixated on 'proving' himself to me, except in ways that fail to account for his actual weakness. After dealing with the long day's journey and the trouble of being chewed on by spiders, I told him to back off and that I wasn't in the mood to deal with him at the time. He refused to take no for an answer and continued to attempt to probe deeper into my mind. Despite plentiful warnings, and even two Suggestions that he cease, he refused to leave. At this point, it was not an invasion I was willing to put up with any further and I began calling upon the fires like I had before in the battle in the Temple and in the arena with Reedy.

Unfortunately, this is not exactly a subtle magic. The bright fires shining in the darkness of night drew attention from the others in the camp. A new face, some elf woman who I've yet to actually be introduced to, and Jim Stacy came running over to investigate the commotion. Wiggler, apparently spent in terms of his own mental energies, also resorted to magical attacks in response to my own invocation of flames. My intention was to either drive him off, make him capitulate, or simply render him unconscious before dumping him on someone else to deal with. This either was not clear to the intruders, or more likely, Jim Stacy simply didn't care. I tried to tell them to simply mind their own business and let the two of us handle things, but Jim Stacy had other plans. He decided to attack, and he sent his conjured daggers right at me at with lethal force. The energy of his attacks was intense, leaving me barely on my feet and suddenly intensely aware of the fact that I was not wearing my armor or wielding my shield. Unsure of how the elf would respond to the most appropriate response of incinerating him, and certain that Wiggler would continue to harass me, potentially disrupting my concentration, I unleashed paralyzing force on Mr. Stacy and fled into the forest, demanding that none of the others follow. Fortunately, Wiggler shifted to merely yelling at my back, and the elf (Rina, I believe from checking around the camp later) interposed herself between the worm and me rather than pursue me into the forest. (More on Stacy in a separate entry.)

Two days later, Wiggler sought me out again in the mess tent as I was eating soup. He thought to continue pressing his mind against me indefinitely and proposed to do so daily. The sheer presumption of this was incredible, especially given the fact that he owes me a favor still for my intervention to calm his emotions in the inn before the expedition launched. I was initially vaguely interested and willing to test my own mental resilience against a handy and reliable source, but I refuse to subject myself to indefinite invasions at the whim of some pathetic worm who can't even decide whether he is a person or an animal.

He demonstrated an obsession over the fact that I called him weak and a need to prove me wrong. He offered, as proof, that he not only survived his battle with an oblex on his mission, but was the one to kill it. This is a complete misunderstanding of what his failings are and what he needs to do to overcome them. His weakness is especially clear in two aspects: he relies too much on others for a sense of self. His identity has proven quite malleable over the few weeks I have known him, and he has had marked changes in the fundamental nature of his personality. He is also weak when it comes to personal traumas. Wiggler demonstrates a complete inability to face his own nature and history. He has nightmares and perhaps more importantly allows his fears to affect his waking judgment. When he first awakened his psionic powers, he was overwhelmed not just by numbers, but even just the simple experience of listening to surface thoughts. I chose to insult him by describing him as a worm precisely because that it what he must accept and incorporate into his being if he ever wants to improve in a meaningful way. Self-knowledge is the first and most vital step in any journey. This is an area where Wiggler seems, at least as yet, unable to improve.

The Jim Stacy Problem[edit | edit source]

In the aftermath of Jim Stacy's attack on me, I retreated into the forest. Eventually I circled back around the long way of camp to see Marion and receive some healing. As this was the same night we had first arrived at base camp, the medical tent had yet to be erected, and there was no other person I felt I could turn to for some necessary assistance at the time. Stacy's willingness to escalate to violence was not the most concerning thing, but his lack of either willingness or ability to restrain that violence was at this point, too dangerous to ignore. His blows were never calibrated for anything other than maximizing the damage he could inflict. Perhaps it was a mistake, but I voiced to Marion my resolve to see Stacy dead if I could arrange it. She did not react well, raising some valid concerns that the unknown organization of Dr. Moss could prove to be a considerable obstacle or impediment to such efforts. However, I believe it more likely that he is simply being observed frequently, and intervention to prevent me from taking action is somewhat unlikely. I left Marion and returned to my own tent, where my armor and weapons were present. Reedy came out of the woods followed by a couple others including the elf Rina, concerned for my safety.

Once the others were dismissed, I told Reedy what happened. She took the idea of killing Jim Stacy in better stride than Marion, but still resisted the idea except in the event he attacked me again. This led to an uneasy sleep, but with at least Daq on guard at the tent's entrance. The next morning, Reedy tried to confront the company on her past resurfacing with a bounty poster of her only to find herself uncomfortable and seeking solitude in her moment of stress. As it turns out, Jim Stacy decided this would be a good opportunity to stalk her and try to get in her head. The precise details of the encounter in the woods are only known second-hand and are mostly unimportant. What is important is that there was a confrontation and Jim Stacy was rendered unconscious. With him at her mercy, Reedy opted not to kill the man, but to turn him over to the Company leadership in the form of Bjorn. She advocated for returning him to Galik to collect on a bounty, but Bjorn claimed instead to have taken him to a nest of some kind where he would be dealt with definitively. He later made an announcement that Stacy was in many pieces and had been removed from the camp. A Sending spell shortly after this announcement revealed that Jim Stacy was still alive at the time, but did not seem to be in the best shape. Unfortunately this means that his fate simply remains unknown at this time, and he remains a potential threat at large. I intend to check again in a few weeks to see if he is still alive, or if it was merely a slow fate that awaited him.

When I confronted Reedy on the foolishness of her choice, she revealed that she was unaware of the other forces involved surrounding Jim Stacy. But the reason she didn't kill him was because she lacks the instinct of a cold-blooded killer. Once she is no longer in the heat of combat, I question her resolve to see things through without an immediate threat to herself or those she cares for. I attempted to explain how Stacy's continued life poses such a threat, but I do not think she was convinced at the time. After a few days, however, she had her own direct encounter with Dr. Moss that frightened her. She reported that he popped out of a blue doorway that came from nowhere and froze time in the immediate area for several subjective minutes. He interrogated her as to what went on with Stacy before letting her go and vanishing back through his doorways. It's concerning that this Moss figure acts with such free reign. Even my messaged request to counter his actions failed to deliver a satisfactory response, but you already know about that response.

Ongoing Mystery: Shadows and "Siblings."[edit | edit source]

Marion reported a strange encounter after her first mission. The party was sent by a person known as "the Collector" to recover a first edition book of The Cosmos Compendium from a temple. Within this temple was a powerful entity described as a "Big Blue not-dragon" and Giant runes with Primordial words.

The party also encountered some competition for their prize: another adventuring party consisting of apparently individuals closely tied to members of our company. This party stole a key and map provided by the Collector which led the party to the book, where additional threats were encountered. Yet Marion found the group strangely friendly and compelling despite being actively engaged in combat with the group.

Jack of Hearts - charismatic masked swashbuckler, leader of other party - linked to ??? () gave Marion some kind of calling card, which was discarded before returning to camp.

Malakar - masked humanoid spellcaster - linked to ??? ()

Titan - tall brass Dragonborn - linked to Nassir (suspected of being deceased brother?)

Wren - elf, short white hair, dark eyes - linked to Wiggler (has been dreamed of, thought either missing or deceased)

Theta - warforged construct - linked to Lambda ("brother", deceased)

Yellana Eedryll, 4th Knight of the Court of Seasons - eladrin woman, long white hair - linked to Sir Yewvane Eedryll (predecessor, or contemporary? presumably thought deceased, although Yewvane denies even the possibility of her existence.)

Tini - small green kobold - linked to ???

Entry 5: Tempest Company Operations Week 2[edit | edit source]

5.1 Mission Report: A Dinosaur's Favorite Snack (All that Glitters)[edit | edit source]

Participants: myself, Marion, P'Rahp, Neru, Hermes, Helli

Location: A few hours outside of camp to the West/Northwest.

Objective: Follow up on Arcane's missing research teams. Find out why they are missing, locate their likely remains, and deal with whatever may have killed them. Recover any magical plants or other materials and research notes if possible as well.

Brief Action Summary (1-2 lines): After tracking the research parties' pathes through the wilds for a few hours, we came across a large clearing with a glowing magical plant near its center. While investigating we were attacked by a total of three large magically enhanced dinosaurs. Battle was fierce and close. Hermes fled early and caused an uproar in camp when he returned alone before the rest of us returned a few hours later.

Other Notable Events: The camp is located on a leyline, and it flows through much of the surrounding jungle. These dinosaurs were immune to their own element and both resistant to spells, and non-magical damage. At least one of them also possessed blindsight or truesight, being able to pierce through invisibility.

Specific Finds/Acquisitions: A number of Magical fruit from the magical plant discovered. (Marion/Arc); Several sets of scales from the lightning dinosaur sufficient to craft resistant armor should the time and tools present themselves (Neru, P'Rahp, Sabbatical, Marion, Helli); the poison beasts bits were all presented to Arc for study, and gold pieces in payment for a completed job.

Company Personnel: Arcane (Arc)

Individuals of note: N/A

Narrative Account:
Arc summoned the six of us to investigate several disappearances of their research teams. They had sent three teams in sequence, and each had failed to maintain contact or return. The latest group had a single individual making daily check-ins through the sending spell, but had gone silent three days ago. After we discussed the wastefulness and inefficiency of Arc's previous plans, Arc sent us off with some basic directions and little other information. I have been... somewhat unimpressed with Arc's contributions now that we have entered the field, although their efforts in combat situations or camp-wide protections have yet to be fully realized.

As we traveled a few hours out of camp, Hermes focused our initial efforts at tracking, although he gave way to other contributions as the day wore on. Eventually the trail turned more North than West and we encountered a clearing with a large glowing plant at its center. Half the party investigated the plant, while the others searched the surroundings. We found the bodies of some researchers, including a few journals and coins, as well as armor and other equipment, all with signs of significant battle damage and elemental energy. As those of us checking the bodies searched them for more information, the others harvested some fruit, and then cut into the plant in order to collect a sample. Upon doing so, we were immediately attacked by a dinosaur laden with poison spines. This dinosaur struck first for Marion, and forced her into a barrier of ice immediately. While they were momentarily safe, the dinosaur turned to find softer targets and rushed toward our group investigating bodies. It revealed surprising toughness and a propensity to unleash spin attacks with the spines on its tail before attempting its vicious bites.

The roars and commotion of the first beast quickly drew a second into the fray. This second dinosaur was larger, and instead of poison, was imbued with electrical energy. It called forth a storm and unleashed directed bolts of lightning in addition to its bite and claws. This was turning into a dangerous battle, but one in which we could maintain a stable fighting position when a third creature appeared. This one was a flaming pterodon of huge size which swooped in and downed Hermes in a single blow. I was able to heal him back to a mobile state, but with a third massive beast in the fray, withdrawal seemed almost certainly necessary. Hermes was the first to effectuate a withdrawal, with all three great beasts alive and attacking, and many of us severely injured, I cannot fault the decision. Before the rest of us could organize an effective retreat, at least one of the other beasts needed to be dealt with. The poison lizard was the first to fall, finally succumbing to a burst of flame I unleashed on it from being struck by spines. Unfortunately, as I recovered from this blow, the pterodon struck me, tearing past my shield and cutting into my armor, knocking me unconscious in a single blow. Fortunately, with a plethora of healers in the group, I was resuscitated quickly and was able to disengage from immediate danger and take cover under the tree line.

At this point, I had a choice: stay within range of threats and remain close enough to offer some final limited support, or retreat to safety, leaving the others to an almost-certain demise. Flight could easily have been justified, and manipulating the camp's reaction to the loss of four adventurer members on a single mission onto a darker path where the Hells could have been invoked would have been relatively easy. It wouldn't even have been a dishonest or disingenuous effort. Infernal assistance could have provided exactly the outlet the camp would have sought in the aftermath. The whole thing could have been a master stroke, earning potentially several souls to the Hells' cause at the low cost of only four lives. I almost left; Philani should have left then, or better yet remained just near enough to ensure the demise of the others and return back with a corpse or two in tow. But... I didn't. Even now, days later as I reflect on it, the best way I can describe my reasons is that it didn't feel like the right move for Sabbatical. I don't just mean that it isn't in keeping with the pseudonymous character and identity I've adopted, but something more pervasive. It's not something I as Sabbatical wanted to just let happen unless it were actually unavoidable. I could tell that I was almost certainly out of immediate danger at that point, and although I could have pushed for the utmost advantage for the Hells, I didn't need to. I'm not on assignment to collect souls, I'm not under specific pressure to manipulate every circumstance, and I don't exactly want a bunch of these people to die. It doesn't improve my present situation, my living conditions, or advance any of the goals I've set for my time here. I am not currently bound by duty or anything else to maximize any potential gains for the Hells. Even as my soul is already bound and I know I am ready to serve the Hells and rise through the fiendish ranks for all eternity, I am still free to do as I will whenever I wish, so long as I am also willing to bear the consequences. And in that moment, I knew I was risking death, albeit a small chance at that moment, just to help protect the lives of others and move us one step closer to completing our mission's objective.

As I adjusted my tactical position, the lightning beast sent a blast of energy into the flaming beast as well, inciting its wrath and turning conditions more toward our favor. Yet it was also strangely fixated on Marion, and seemed intent on killing her. I could tell from my vantage point beneath the trees that Marion was but one blow from death, and the beast had the initiative. I could heal Marion and ensure her immediate survival at the risk of her simply being wounded and dying again, or I would wait, delaying my moment until just after the beast's attention shifted to give Marion a chance at not only surviving the moment, but escaping danger entirely.

No matter the choice, it was a gamble, so... I gambled, letting the creature act before I would heal Marion and trusting that she could then see to herself. Luck was both against and with Marion in that moment. It seemed all but certain that the beast would turn its focus away from the dying girl, but something prompted it to take one final attack toward her unconscious form. Despite her being prone and helpless on the ground, something about the angle at which the monster bit caused its jaws to close just short of Marion's throat, missing her by inches. I can honestly attribute this to nothing short of luck--the power of Marion's goddess, Beshaba. I seized the chance, immediately, releasing my healing spell and ensuring Marion had a chance to act and escape the situation. Of course, as luck would have it, the means by which she chose to escape: turning herself invisible, proved futile, and the creature swiped at her, knocking her once more unconscious as she tried to escape. Yet, the minor healing I offered proved enough. Neru was finally able to land a killing blow on the lightning beast and another minor heal allowed Marion to find cover beneath the trees before the flaming beast could turns its attention back to us. We were all able to withdraw momentarily, listening to the beast fly once more on its way now that the other two creatures were dead.

After taking that moment to gather ourselves, we returned to the clearing and scoured the bodies of the fallen animals. We recovered a significant quantity of useful scales from the lightning beast--enough for many of us to potentially craft armors from them, as well as parts from the poisonous beast. Furthermore, we recovered sufficient plant samples for Arc to make a more thorough study in the future. Knowing our severely weakened and depleted state, I insisted we take a short time to rest rather than turn immediately back toward the camp. Any passing threat could have easily eliminated us had we not done so, and all we lost from the decision was one more hour of daylight, meaning we would have to return to camp in the dark. This was hardly a serious impediment under the circumstances. As it happens, our delay had consequences back at camp, but those are in the next entry.

5.2 Camp Stability and arrivals:[edit | edit source]

Hermes returned from the mission a couple hours before the rest of the party, reporting us likely dead, and causing quite a stir in the camp. The details of what exactly occurred in this time have only been relayed to me second-hand, but it seems Nassir called Hermes a coward who should be dead, Sneeze demanded a mission be planned immediately for our rescue and recovery, Lambda practically melted down, and the camp was generally on the brink of fracturing, especially when people spotted P'Rahp returning to Arc's tent to assist in delivering the report. It seemed like it nearly got to the point of the contracted recruits ignoring the Company's orders and going off in the middle of the night in some half-baked attempt at rescue, not that any such thing would be possible had we actually been eaten. At best it could have been corpse recovery, although I'm not certain if I die on this sabbatical whether I will even leave a body behind. I suppose if that happens, it wouldn't be necessary for my transition... but that is a digression. After we delivered our report to Arc and I insisted Hermes retain a full cut of the payment for recovering plate armor and the magical flora and fauna, the group dispersed among the camp, most of us seeking some additional healing in the medical tent at first, despite our chance to rest briefly out in the wilds.

I gave a very brief report while in the medical tent, and I hope Amaris or Matilda got a chance to thoroughly examine Neru over the next few days, since he did consume some of the magical fruit during the battle. After that, I returned to my tent with Reedy and we had a discussion. She had also been pushing for an immediate rescue effort, although not quite as forcefully as the others. I think, from her reaction and description, that she was in a bit of shock and hadn't yet fully processed the potential that all but Hermes could have died on the mission. At this point, it was clear to me that we needed to address the issue of death between us, and that it needed to really be understood among the company in general as well. We were all presumably aware that this expedition came with it substantial risk, and yet, it seems a large number of the people here did not really appreciate that their lives could be lost on almost any mission out here, even if they are smart and careful. My own life could have easily been lost had not the group banded together with just the right amount of healing to avoid disaster, despite my own careful tactical positioning.

But the personal discussion with Reedy centered on my own situation and relationship with death. It won't be something to fear, or regret, so much as just accelerating my plans. I would prefer not to die, but it will be far from the end of my plans. Since Reedy is already well aware of my family connections and the basics of my history, I explained a bit more of why her desire to effect some kind of rescue would have not only been stupid under the circumstances, but entirely useless in my own case. It seems certain that she will still worry, but I think that will lessen in time as she comes to truly understand the situation. But it was at this point that I really began to understand just how much I had effected her, and how much she had effected me. Details for this in a separate entry.

The next few days were still quite tense, and discussions ranged quite a bit. One recurring issue was that the members of this company needed to be less volatile when confronted with the news of someone's death. This was absolutely clear, especially in the case of Marion, who has become a de facto heart of much of the camp's social connections. She is the nexus for many of the relationships here, and Felix even suggested sequestering her from future assignments in order to ensure camp stability. This was suggested without any input from Marion, nor even a consideration of whether that would be possible. He also suggested the vague beginnings of several broad policy changes with no sense of their viability or appropriateness to the circumstances. I rejected all of this, and then spoke to Marion to tell them not to accept any outside suggestions of restricting her involvement. She has proved capable enough to choose for herself the level of involvement to take in assignments, and allowing some empty suit of armor to dictate restrictions in the name of protecting camp morale or stability is absolutely unacceptable. I discussed with Marion the idea of making an effort to more thoroughly prepare her closest contacts for the potential of a death, and I think it highly unlikely that we will see a repeat of the circumstances of the night of our return. We can ameliorate the risks of discord more efficiently and without so much resistance by assigning personal responsibility for professionalism rather than instituting new general programs amongst a disparate group of adventuring individuals. This "Felix" requires a further addition in his own entry similar to those detailing other persons of interest in the company. And room will be provided for any other notable arrivals over the next weeks.

5.2.1 "Felix" or whatever you like[edit | edit source]

A late-comer to the company, and certainly an unusual one. What I can gather is that he just appeared from invisibility one evening and joined up. This somehow did not seem to alarm or disturb the actual Tempest Brothers Company leadership involved with the camp either in its strangeness or regarding the apparent risk of invisible persons skulking through the camp.

  • Physical Appearance: A Blue-ish hollow suit of armor possessed of some internal motive spirit. (he/him)
  • Personality: A confusing and chaotic whirl of nonsensical expressions. He is a self-proclaimed pacifist and clearly has a need to be "helpful" to others even, or perhaps, especially when he is unwanted. He is made uncomfortable by social tension and violence, yet un-phased by it at the same time. Has a tendency to tell stories and clearly likes to hear himself speak. Nothing really seems to stick to him, and he doesn't ever really give straight answers to questions. He thinks himself quite grandiose and eloquent, but from my experience it is more just a factor of him being verbose.
  • Risk Assessment: Unknown, possibly even to himself. Frequently just... appears places unexpectedly, likely as a result of using invisibility around the base camp. Whether he uses this to gather information or just make surprise entrances into situations is unclear.
  • Personal Notes: It's unclear why this being showed up in the first place or stays with the company. He seems to think he is being helpful or something, yet also seems to think he has a right to involve himself in any situation because he will be "helpful" to it in some way. It may be interesting to try pushing against him in different ways to see what reactions arise, but he is likely best and most conveniently avoided. There are enough other people within this company more receptive to his "help" to keep him away from me or my business.
5.2.2 Junior Researcher Alcast Millar of the GreenWood Foundation[edit | edit source]
Millar was a surprise addition to the camp. He seems to have appeared from one of the all-too-common blue doorways related to this organization of Dr. Moss's. This was shortly after Groth'velian, the minotaur passed through and seemingly departed the company for good with almost no warning. He has introduced himself as a junior researcher in the organization whose name has finally been revealed as the "GreenWood Foundation," yet whose actual purposes remain undetermined. As advised, I intend to keep my distance from this man and his organization, but a certain amount of interaction is inevitable in the close confines of this company, and some information-gathering is required in order to ensure those interactions have minimal risk. As such, I have engaged a campaign of using others within the camp as tools to pry information from him, although direct conversation will still sometimes occur. It seems likely that in his eagerness at his own "first" field assessment he will reveal information he should not and which may prove useful either in future interactions I am forced into during this stint within the company or for later action undertaken for Baator.
  • Physical Appearance: Human, long tied back gray hair despite appearing young, mid twenties at most (he/him)
  • Personality: He is an eager individual with significant areas of cluelessness or intentional
  • Risk Assessment: Moderate. Largest risk is not personal, although he presents his own personal threat--mostly in terms of annoyance in social circumstances--but due to the fact that he is under the effect of frequent scrying by parties from Moss' GreenWood Foundation. He has claimed this is only daily in the evening for him to deliver reports, and seems to believe that, but I have my doubts.
  • Personal Notes: He continually pronounces my name incorrectly, presumably on purpose because he has not even responded to correction. He also seems to respond very poorly to any kind of threat to his assumptions or activities. He puts on a show of being clueless about social faux pas, yet seems to deliver them as barbs specifically to cause discomfort in others. Yet when confronted, he either waves the point away like it's meaningless or just runs away himself.
  • Ability Profile: He is a wizard who uses two swords as the focuses for his spells, likely in a melee-focused style bolstered by ritual spells outside of combat.
5.2.3 The general camp morale[edit | edit source]
There has been a sense of tension in the air of the camp over the last week. With the brief time where most of our adventuring party was thought missing, the new arrivals, and the ongoing tensions between individuals. Felix in particular seems to be disturbed by the fact that people in the camp do not all get along as friends. My greatest concern is the unprofessional members of this group rather than the attitude between people. I've raised the poor reaction to the recent mission with multiple people: Reedy, Marion, and in conference with others like Felix and Sir Yewvane. But we need not like each other to be a functional company despite anything Felix and his ilk may think; we need only maintain enough professionalism while we are actually faced with threats.

This was also the time period when Sneeze finally grew too brazen, encroaching on my personal space yet again and refusing to leave me alone. I described him as the disgusting chaotic creature he was, which evoked tears and a verbal response at the time, but also seems to have finally gotten the message across to his small brain that I want nothing to do with him. This is an acceptable outcome, although it would still be cleaner were he to be eliminated entirely. That solution would upset Reedy, but I think I can manage to produce some sympathy if not empathy for her attachment to the creature.

5.3 Relationship with Reedy[edit | edit source]

Reedy and I have been close in some way ever since the incident in the arena back in Galik and my telling her a bit more about myself and my family. This closeness only grew when we agreed to share a tent in the camp, even though this did not necessarily imply a physical relationship for either of us at the time. Given how she has reacted, and her own personal connections to the hells, she is really one of the only people among the company who has much of a chance of fully understanding me, and I can now understand why the delivery of the Phlegethos amulet was made even given her presence.

Whether you and Grandmother intended it or not, I may not know, but I've come to appreciate having a real ally in this space on whom I can rely, at least to some extent. In the beginning, I thought that's all she would be: a check on my worst impulses and a person with whom I could be a bit more myself without fear of inadvertently revealing a secret or creating the impression that I mean them harm by my mere presence. She also proved competent in combat and reliable in terms of offering personal protection.

On our first assignment, she was... a little overly protective, which was interesting, but I didn't take to signify anything other than her interpretation of mission priorities. Then, in the aftermath of my confrontation with Wiggler and Jim Stacy, it became fully clear that she cared for me to a significant degree. I admit at first, I expected to use this growing affection on her part purely as a way to satisfy my own carnal desires, and it initially seemed that she was open to that being the extent of things as well. When we argued later about how she should have killed Jim Stacy herself after they fought in the woods, I was upset at her, disappointed, and yet I didn't want her to leave really at any time. Her presence quickly changed from one I tolerated to one I was comfortable with, and now one I welcome.

When she learned of a bounty placed on her by her family, we confronted the news together, and she shared with me in confidence much more detail of her origins than she felt safe to do so with anyone else. This... "Core" (pronounced Core-ay) family is apparently a powerful one here in Amusa, and perhaps elsewhere in Quelmar, although I'd never come across it myself. It even seemed that my unfamiliarity with the name was a source of great relief to her when she shared it. I used a little bit of the social management skills I've been taught to redirect focus away from the bounty and anything to do with the Cores, and this seemed to put me further in her good graces, a position which I quickly found I liked being in.

Reedy is a competent lover, although lacking in experience and appreciation for some of the more nuanced pleasures I've experienced with access to the harems in the palace. She is also less receptive to frequent displays of lust than I would prefer, and yet I find myself more than willing to let things go at the pace she is most comfortable with. As you and Grandmother know, I am not one to shy away from the opportunity for sex, but it's also not a controlling impulse for me, just a pleasurable one. Despite sharing far fewer total sexual encounters with her than my favorites back home (Kieran always has known how to please me, and if he still remains, when I return, I may still have use for him.) I feel far closer to her than anyone else, and I appreciate the little touches of physical affection between us. These little physical reminders of closeness come so easily with her, and I begin to really understand some of yours and grandmothers' lessons on seduction far more now that I am experiencing it to some degree in its true form rather than just the examples and physical lessons. Despite all her differences from me and the ways she is not ideal, I find myself trusting her.

This is not just a trust with my physical safety or with some of my secrets, but something far more significant. I shared with her that I would be leaving, and where I would be going, and this only made her want to follow me. But perhaps the most significant moment was when I shared my ambitions with her. She didn't shy away, rebuff me, tell me they were foolish or outside my grasp, she accepted them and offered to support them. As I write this just after the successful culmination of events in the contract described below, I may not have the timeline of events perfectly accurate, but it was also around this time that we had the necessary discussion of what exactly our relationship was, or could be.

Reedy took me out to the sparring area just outside of camp to share a private meal and discuss where things between us stood or could go. I again explained that I wasn't really looking for anything permanent when I came to Quelmar, and what obstacles lay in that direction: my return to Phlegethos, my eventual change into a devil, my ambitions, and my lack of total control over my life. I even shared how my own feelings for Reedy are not so... insurmountable as hers for me appear to be. Yet, she confessed that she loved me, and would face whatever difficulty to stay in my life forever. There is nothing really for her to gain from this relationship other than me, and in fact she loses so much she holds dear in order to further it: her connection to Corellon, which she clearly prizes, her mortal family, her life, and her very soul.
Sabbatical accepts Reedy's love.
I tried to be quite clear that I could not promise love in the same way, that I would hurt and use her if she let me, and yet she persisted. For her to be willing to sacrifice so much not for gain or to advance another agenda just felt so different from anything I've experienced before. Perhaps it is in part the naivety of a young woman half my own age, but she also has lived a life filled with strife and tensions. She carries with her a thirst for freedom I admire, yet is willing to subordinate her soul to my own in the name of staying close to me and supporting whatever I choose to do. How could I possibly reject her? No, she is not currently an ideal fit for a bodyguard or general under my command, but neither am I in that position of command. We both have time and room to grow into the roles we choose, and I find myself looking forward to overcoming any challenge the multiverse throws at us together.

Of course, to be truly lasting, any relationship between us demands Reedy's soul be traveling to the same plane mine is. This would not necessarily be impossible without a contract in place, but writing one gives us both surety as well as establishes proper terms for the future and protections from potential outside interference. In particular, I felt concerned that should nothing be set in irrevocable blood, despite anything Reedy feels now, she would find that forces surrounding her would change those feelings. Either someone from the side of light in Corellon would intervene and persuade her not to abandon her moral convictions related to the hells, or she would simply find herself no longer pulled in the right direction in terms of those morals. The other significant issue that needed to be addressed was her mother, Glasya who seems to have as much interest in Reedy as Grandmother has in me, yet has approached that interest in ways that make no sense to me whatsoever. Her failure to engender a feeling of familiar loyalty or even similarity of purpose with her daughter baffles me when I find compare it with my own situation.

Entry 6: The Contract[edit | edit source]

After receiving confirmation from Reedy that this is a step she is ready to take, I have requested materials for making an official contract. The imp bearing them arrived intact, but that is not the only fiendish entity that morning. While I accepted my delivery, Glasya took the opportunity to personally intervene with Reedy. [Summary of discussion and my own part in it. Add brief mention of Reedy's flight, her "trap" for me and request for space.]

Fortunately, for all of us, it seems that Reedy is prepared to continue with the process. But at this point it is vital to take her verbal commitments of her mind, heart, body, and soul to me into a written and truly binding form before there are more disruptions or either of our lives is put at risk on an assignment. As such, I have devoted much time to crafting a contract with her to be ratified by Fierna that brings her fully into my service, and through me, into the service of Phlegethos and the Ten Hells. The key provisions of this contract are identified as follows, taking into consideration your instructions as to their contents adapted to the situation and both my own and Reedy's intentions as to their application. Knowing that terms may eventually need to be updated, I have included a provision that permits the terms to be altered either by mutual agreement between the parties, or through the unilateral approval of myself insofar as such modifications remain within the scope of my personal authority within the hells. When I sent my proposed drafts in, I did not expect quite the level of changes and personal involvement that Grandmother would want, especially regarding the potential for issues related to Reedy's ties to the Ninth circle and Glasya. But what truly gave even me pause with the modifications was the speed with which events seemed to be pressuring us. I do not know whether you or Grandmother were aware, but I was called in surprisingly at the last moment to join a rescue operation very soon after all the modifications arrived. This operation sounded potentially deadly, especially given my previous one, and was so. (Further details on that separately in Entry 7.) But it cut into what little time Reedy and I had already planned to discuss any alterations by a few days before she was due for her own next assignment. These factors combined gave me pause, and shortly after delivering my message to you regarding my encounter with the demons, I contacted Grandmother directly regarding the contract to explain my concerns. She was as easy to talk to as always--something I appreciate now more than ever--and understanding. Given the fact that Reedy is already committing her soul to our cause with little being offered in exchange except my own connection to her, I felt that some of the terms were presented too harshly, and Grandmother was willing to offer some concessions after I gave assurances. I have staked my reputation on this, and I trust that I will not be proved a failure when it comes to securing Reedy as a permanent ally to our cause. The main points of the contract are summarized below, although you already have the original now secured by this time.

Final Draft of Contract:

  • Upon signing, Reedy swears an undying oath of loyalty to Philani, to the realm of Baator, the circle of Phlegethos, and the Archdevil Fierna.
  • Upon signing, Reedy hereby renounces her connection to Corellon, and must apostatize and deny his name by word and deed.
  • Upon Signing Reedy renounces her mortal family, and renounces any rights accrued by birth in the material realm or Baator, except insofar as those rights may be used by or transferred to Philani in the interests of Phlegethos. Reedy renounces any blood claim to a seat of power as a daughter of the 9th and offers any such claim as a gift to Fierna.
  • In compensation for the renunciation of the Devotion to Corellon, should the spirit known as Daq be separated from Reedy, through the efforts of Corellon, it will be given the opportunity to be transfigured through a connection to the realm of Baator while retaining its adaptive draconic nature. Should the spirit be unable or refuse to change, a suitable replacement will be provided.
  • Upon signing, Reedy will be made an official protector and consort of Philani with all the attendant rights and responsibilities except that no rights shall survive the destruction of Philani's soul, were upon her soul and service fall to Fierna. Aside from the permanent destruction of either party's soul, this consortship to remain in effect unless and until both Philani and Reedy agree to terminate it, subject to the approval of Fierna.
  • Upon either her body or soul entering the hells, and at the direction of the Archdevil of Phlegethos, Reedy will relinquish all mortal ties emotional and physical and have her nature transformed into that of a true fiend.
  • Upon her death, Reedy's soul is forever bound to the authority of the Hells in service to Philani, and through her to the interests of Fierna and Phlegethos, and through them to the Dark Lord Asmodeus.
  • Upon her death or return to Phlegethos, Philani will renounce the name Sabbatical and forswear any remaining mortal ties and renounce her good deeds. She will then have her nature transformed into that of a true fiend.
  • Reedy agrees to change her name to an acceptable alternative as yet to be determined upon death or transfiguration into a fiend. Should she fail to select one, one will be provided to her.
  • Fierna agrees to empower a mark placed upon Reedy by Philani and a corresponding one placed upon Philani by Reedy to bridge the planar divide and provide two-way communication for so long as Reedy remains in her mortal body. This mark will permit a temporary corporeal form of Philani to be summoned to the material plane for 24 hours once per month utilizing a summoning ritual provided. To perform the ritual Reedy must sign the name of Philani in blood and severe one of her mortal ties, be it physical or emotional.

Entry 7: Demonic Incursion and Further Company Business[edit | edit source]

7.1 Mission Report: Quartermaster Rescue[edit | edit source]

Participants: myself, Lambda, Kompi, Therrin Flare, Paris Hilton, Nestor Spitemore, Hunk the kobold

Location: East of Basecamp, toward the Scar, at the crash location. Smoke from the crash was visible from base camp.

Objective: Travel to the location of the crashed airship containing the company Quartermaster, Pennysworth and recover him and as many others as possible.

Brief Action Summary (1-2 lines): The party traveled out at a quick pace to locate the crashed ship. Upon reaching the airship we learned that the crew had been attacked at least once before by humanoid creatures speaking abyssal. The ground in the area was spongey and soft, covered in fungus, pustules, and moss. As we attempted to repair the airship we were attacked by over a dozen demonic creatures all chanting phrases in Abyssal which burrowed out of the ground. There were four types of creatures: two types of relatively weak spawn, one of which could emit spores when struck by an attack; lieutenants, which could leave a person paralyzed by fear; and a large, four-armed giant capable of tearing a person limb from limb. We barely fought off all the creatures, hearing a piercing shriek for "my children!" echoing from the area before we got the airship operational and escaped the area.

Other Notable Events: When the largest creature was slain by Paris Hilton's bolts, it exploded not just in her usual glitter, but also in spores over the entire area. These spores entered into the eyes of many of us and have caused an infection of Sight Rot, threatening our vision, causing significant discomfort, blurry vision, nightmares, and hallucinations. All of the other demons were speaking in abyssal as they attacked. Translations as follows: "Embrace my mother's love." "Come and let mother comfort your sorrows." "Accept her gift of love and freedom from pain." "Let her free you from the shackles of mortality."

Specific Finds/Acquisitions: A new camp Quartermaster who should soon be opening up his wares. Participants to the mission obtained discount coupons.

Company Personnel: Bjorn Shattershield, who assigned the mission; Pennysworth, the target for rescue.

Individuals of note: Jim Stacy: Stacy's voice was one among the throng of demonic entities. He may even have been corporeal in one of the Demons' forms, but threatened that he "will return for you all" and "will not stay dead."

The Demons' "Mother:" Unknown demonic threat.

Narrative Account:

This mission was relatively straightforward: smoke was spotted in the distance, in the direction from which the base camp Quartermaster was flying in, and a distress signal had been received. Bjorn ordered the group of us to head out on foot immediately, help them fix the airskiff and return. The trip out was mostly led by Hunk the kobold, who is remarkably well-spoken and verbose when compared to other members of the race I have encountered. We headed straight to the crash site, which was situated in a portion of the wilds covered in moss and fungi.

Pennysworth, the penguin aarakockra apparently brought several of his children along as support staff, and they had already fought off one wave of apparently Abyssal creatures in roughly humanoid shape. We had just barely gathered around the ship and begun a plan to repair it when we were attacked by dozens of creatures formed from the moss and fungi of the area speaking in abyssal. These demons showed little in the way of intelligence, but kept speaking of a "Mother" which could offer comfort and gifts. But fortunately, I was the only one who could understand the nonsense of these obvious lies, so no one else could be tempted into doing something ridiculously stupid. As we battled the creatures, some of them released toxic spores when struck by an attack while others seemed merely to be using their arms and claws to try to batter and slice.

Despite being ordered to find safety on the air skiff, several of the smaller penguins failed to do so quickly enough and we slain during the battle. As we cleared out some of the last remaining smaller demons one of them spoke with the voice of Jim Stacy, asserting revenge against me and the camp for his fate. I cannot say I feel sympathy for his state, but no one should be left in that state and all demons deserve destruction. On the opposite side of the battlefield an enormous creature with four arms appeared, and, bypassing Lambda who had been knocked down, it ran straight for Kompi. It reached out its arms and picked up the little kobold, and then tore their arm off and very nearly tore them entirely apart. Eventually we were able to destroy the creature, but in doing so it released an immense cloud of spores. These spores fell over all of us in the area, getting in eyes and throat and starting to burn. There was also a shriek from somewhere nearby calling out for its children.

In the relative clear, we all thought it best to retreat quickly rather than stay and attempt to deal with whatever additional threats this "mother" could muster to attack us. It was also clear that these spores that had spread were starting to affect several of us with burning in the eyes and throat and blurry vision. Within a few more moments we had the airship operable once more and took off to return to camp short two of the weaker penguin assistants but heavier with the weight of whatever was going on with Jim Stacy and with the demonic disease starting to fester. Tactical details are recorded in my mission report reproduced above, and details of the aftermath belong on their own entry.

7.2 Additional Camp individuals:[edit | edit source]

7.2.1 Frankie[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: A plant-like entity described by others as a "walking cabbage," made primarily of wood, with lanky arms and a scarf.
  • Personality: Frankie seems easygoing and trusting of others. He also appears to have amnesia, or at least no recollection of his existence prior to a few years ago when he awoke and started wandering the wilds. He also has no attachments he is aware of other than his scarf. The Green Knight, however called him "Franklin" and seemed to know him, indicating a past connection there.
  • Risk Assessment: (Low) Despite exhibiting stealth skills and a willingness to put himself at risk, he more accurately describes himself as a scout. However, he has shown no indication of using these skills in areas he feels safe. Putting him at ease with a few polite words and making use of his easily-placed trust should be straightforward. He has also demonstrated a willingness to follow my suggestions as to courses of action for him to follow.
  • Personal Notes: He lacks conviction and seems easy to manipulate, presumably by anyone. As a being with little remembered life experience, he has demonstrated the naivety I would expect, so it seems unlikely that the amnesia is a ruse. Before investing much effort into using him, it's important to consider what effect regaining memories may have on him and whether he is worth the risks of plans being disrupted by such. He has been reasonably capable on assignment.
7.2.2 Professor Mann (And Chester the cat)[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: The self-identified Professor Mann (he/they?) is a cloaked and hooded figure that moves more like a marionette than a person. He is always accompanied by the cat Chester, who I suspect may be the actual person of the pair despite denials.
  • Personality: They are somewhat withdrawn and remote. They speak only by using an unknown magical means which produces seemingly sourceless audio in a small area. They are conflict averse and interested mostly in acquiring material for their shop. They are also polite and curious, but do not push for answers if questions are avoided.
  • Risk Assessment: (Low) Whatever his eccentricities and problems, they seem unlikely to affect my current stay adversely. They do have a fascination with fey, which may indicate that they are the subject of a curse or bargain struck in the past. Offering a way out of such could prove fruitful if terms are ever learned.
  • Personal Notes: The Professor is affiliated with Galik Arcane University, a subsidiary organization of the Dominion Arcane Guild. They do tend to follow along on certain adventures to provide immediate access to their shop of field magical supplies such as scrolls and potions.
7.2.3 "Jo" Joylee Seraphim-Belphegor[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: Jo (she/her) appears to be a human woman in her early thirties often seen in her scale mail armor.
  • Personality: Jo seems to be a balance of extremes. She talks to herself sometimes and seems to have an internal dialogue going on.
  • Risk Assessment: (Moderate) I have not interacted with them enough to be certain, but it seems that they have an infernal and celestial parent. This makes them a potential complication. Their parentage may also be worth investigating to ensure loyalty remains in the infernal parent and to see whether the celestial can be swayed to serve more useful interests.
  • Personal Notes: Reedy has described them as... interesting and a lot to take in. This was an accurate assessment, albeit far from helpful. She seems to have a complex relationship with both parents and also perhaps children of her own which she takes care of. Likewise, she seems to have claimed to be on some kind of holy mission that directs her wherever she is needed.
7.2.4 Dragonett[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: Dragonett (She/Her) is a very young wood elf with copper-brown skin and long black hair. She is an archer and scout, about a handspan taller than I am.
  • Personality: Dragonett is a bit bloodthirsty and violent, seemingly looking for ways to vent a fury from within. She seems rather immature for an elf, but a useful combatant.
  • Risk Assessment: (Low) Whatever the object of her fury, it's not me or my business. She also seems capable enough of restraining herself from leaping into the worst situations unnecessarily, although my only experience with her is actually on a combat mission. She is a ranged fighter who specializes in using Zephyr shots, so learning something like a shield spell would be a significant boon.
  • Personal Notes: Limited experience, not an active participant in camp matters as of yet.
7.2.5 Radion[edit | edit source]
  • Physical Appearance: A more standard warforged than the others I have met, Radion (he/him) appears to have regular humanoid proportions and a standard frame with a cloak and greataxe most often in use.
  • Personality: Radion is a bit overzealous about running into dangerous situations, but also seems to have a reasonable amount of social restraint and patience. I have only seen them on assignment, so I have yet to observe their more casual attitudes.
  • Risk Assessment: (Low) They are unlike to cause trouble, and have proven to be an asset on missions. Their tactical acuity leaves a little to be desired, but they have situational awareness and some interesting, if chaotic abilities.
  • Personal Notes: A competent and useful front-liner, although not really actively participating in matters around camp. Mostly keeps to themselves.

7.3 Sight Rot and Resolution[edit | edit source]

In the aftermath of the demonic encounter we escaped via airskiff and made the return to camp. During the travel, several of us, myself included began to develop further symptoms of some kind of malady in the eyes. Therrin attempted to cure it through use of a Lesser Restoration spell, but it did little, and it was clear whatever disease had been inflicted upon us would not be so easily removed. Upon returning to the camp, I made two announcements: first that Jim Stacy had joined demonic forces and was a threat, and second, that some kind of disease had affected a number of us. The latter announcement I made in the medical tent, where Felix attempted to convince me to undergo a quarantine in order to ensure this illness could not spread. He backed down when I told him that it would take a use of force in order to prevent me from leaving, and that I was merely informing the camp of the matter, not subjecting myself to his imagined authority. There was no indication of the taint being a contagion and any quarantine had already been broken as the party split up upon disembarking from the airskiff. Although we were able to discover that regular application casting of lesser restoration magic could at least prevent the disease from getting worse than it already was, a certain amount of damage had already been done.

Back at my tent the real symptoms truly began to appear for the first time, as instead of mere blurring of vision in places, I had my first visual hallucination, that of a dark patch of mold on the wall of the tent. Reedy assured me nothing was there, and my other senses didn't notice anything amiss, but this was the first indication that my eyes were truly compromised. This... was not a feeling I was prepared for. In the Hells, I had never considered how a demonic taint could infect a person to such a degree that it would resist my efforts to remove it. While I feel confident the fires of Phlegethos would prove sufficient, I was stuck in a place where my only access is the little trickle of energy I can call upon. My senses could not be fully trusted, which, while I know I could be subjected to illusions at any time, felt vastly different to have the deception with its root inside me.

I did not sleep well that night, despite Reedy's assurances that she would help and that she would protect me during this time of weakness. My dreams that night emphasized the taint's seeming permanence and left me feeling wholly unrested. It became clear by the next time I fell asleep that these dreams were not merely my mind reacting to the reasonable fear of what this disease could do, but were a direct symptom of it. The fiendishly insidious disease also carried a psychic attack with it, preying on deep-seated insecurities and fears and drawing on anything of import to the person affected. Those first dreams left me shaken, as they carried a risk I knew could be real: that my infection would prove too resilient for my body, and that I would have to be destroyed in order to be rid of it. The greater fear was that whatever it was doing would be pervasive enough to stain my soul and cause me to be rejected by the Hells.

I took as many steps to cleanse myself as I could think of short of actually burning my eyes out, a step I was unwilling to take unless and until proven necessary. This included ablutions with water and ash as well as meditation and rituals. None had sufficient effect to rid myself of the disease even if they did slightly ameliorate some of the symptoms. I was left feeling tainted and unclean still, and I strongly considered removing my own eyes in order to prevent any trace of this thing from staying in me. However, because I couldn't even be certain that violent removal of my eyes would succeed in removing all trace of demonic corruption within me, the cost seemed too high to take on an uncertain gamble. I was left terrified and ashamed of my state, but I did my best to keep it hidden.

This all came at an incredibly poor time for me as well because I was still struggling with the infernal contract I was crafting for Reedy. It made all my efforts trying to craft proper language and writing carefully just wasted effort as I could not see clearly enough to write it all down. The hallucinations also appeared to come at calculated moments to evoke a reaction or to prompt some kind of ill-fated response. Attempting to rely both on Reedy and my other senses, I avoided making any truly dangerous errors, although I am certain that was only possible because I was able to spend the time mostly in seclusion. Shadows and filth composed a large part of the images, although some of the images were instead of seemingly random things, like Reedy's skin turning a bright shade of blue.

As you no doubt are aware, this is also when I decided to contact Grandmother directly about the contract. Although I had trouble with seeing clearly, I could still think, and I knew I needed to address things properly before either Reedy or I were placed in another life-threatening position on a mission for the Tempest Brother's Company. As Reedy prepared to embark on her assignment to discover what happened to the company livestock, I carefully transcribed the contract text onto the fresh pages I had been sent, even through the blurred vision. It was now that we signed the contract (a new addendum to my own deal sealed long ago) and were wed. Of course, Reedy's mission left us no time to properly celebrate either the union or the beginning of our long time together as consorts.

While she was out on this mission, I recruited Lambda to assist me with cooking up a custom meal for Reedy using the knowledge I could borrow from my power. Lambda was able to ensure these efforts were not defeated by any untimely hallucinations, and I promised a minor favor in the form of an attempted Sending spell to an ally of Nassir's in exchange for a supply of his clan's special spices to season things. I prepared a meal as grand as I could under the circumstances with fresh greens, potatoes and the best meat available. My plans for a special evening meal sort of fell apart though because when Reedy returned she had already eaten at a feast. She also came with news of a rare flower in the area called Eyebright that would hopefully help, and a druidic concoction to overcome bad dreams.

This last thing I was hesitant to welcome. Even if not a poison, it could be mind-affecting in its own way, and willingly taking in such a substance can grant it more power over one's mind, so it was a risk in and of itself. As we discussed the potential I revealed my fears to Reedy: that this demonic taint was potentially far worse and beyond the ability of even spells enhanced by a magic flower to resolve. This... moment of vulnerability and emotional intimacy was very difficult for me. Showing genuine weakness and vulnerability to another being always seemed like it would only be likely to have me exploited. In the Hells, this may even be correct (and is a good lesson to keep in mind if I wish to feign a weakness and exploit a predictable response in the future), but with Reedy, it didn't feel like a real risk. On the contrary, my sharing those moments with her seemed more effective than anything else in demonstrating trust in her, and it brought us closer together in a way that physical intimacy and closeness alone could not accomplish. This, likewise, seems like a weapon I will find opportunity to make use of should I find myself in the position to tempt other mortal souls into the Hells: show them a genuine emotionally vulnerable moment to build closeness and trust.

After being briefly haunted by the spirit of a dragonborn whose body I had questioned earlier and then attending his funeral, Reedy raised the idea of rings for the two of us, which, while sweet and sentimental was unnecessary for me. It may be helpful for her though to both have and to know that I have a physical symbol of our union. Our discussion drifted to druids and growing things, and the lack thereof in Phlegethos before eventually turning back to the demons and the all-too-noticeable conflict of the war with them becoming a significant part of my life. The Fourth circle is far from the front lines of the conflict, as had my previous work, so I did not expect to really confront the demonic threat first-hand until after I had been transfigured. My first-hand experience has only proved the reports accurate, and perhaps even understating the need that exists to protect reality from these creatures. They would ruin corrupt and destroy all of it if left unchecked, and it seems that only the hells have both the strength and resolve to do so. I would be more than willing to take the fight to them in the abyss and deal some lasting damage to the demonic forces once I am transformed into a proper fiend myself and can undertake such a mission. Likewise, if there is any need for a fiendish commander in driving this "Mother" from Quelmar and back into her own domain where she can be properly destroyed, I would find the opportunity quite satisfying.

In all, it was a full week of dealing with this corruption before a party was dispatched to a location thought to have eyebright flowers we could harvest. This left me with a week's worth of sleep debt to begin catching up on as well as everything else. The return party was short one in number when it returned, as Tassa Brightfox seemed to have been lost after the conflict, but the mission of primary concern to me was successful: the flowers were acquired, and sufficient quantity of a paste was crafted in the medical tent. By weaving restoration spells in combination with its application directly onto my eyes (quite uncomfortable, but no more so than than the discomfort of the spores in the first place) it appeared to be wholly successful in ridding my body of the disease. This was a relief I do not think I can possibly overstate and an experience I hope never to repeat, but finally I was whole once more and capable of facing any threat once more. When I have to leave I hope that I do so having caused sufficient disruption to this demonic "mother" and any plans she has here.

Entry 8: Draconic Disasters[edit | edit source]

8.1 Speaking with Daq[edit | edit source]

Through the use of the Tongues spell, I have finally made personal contact with Daq, Reedy's companion drake, possible. This has proven to be of limited personal value, and will likely not become a frequent habit. Daq is not particularly intelligent and sees the world with a very limited perspective. He is fully devoted to Reedy, which I appreciate, and through her, his loyalty extends to me. His capacity in keeping that loyalty, however is what I doubt. Reedy has admitted that he is apparently poor at keeping secrets, but fortunately he only understands the draconic tongue, so the most sensitive matters are safe from any weakness he poses in that regard. He called me a "tiefling dragon" of some kind during our first conversation, and seems to lack real understanding of all the different types of being there are. He also has his own name for Reedy: "Tugra" derived from a shortening of her name's meaning in Draconic. I have not felt it safe to share my own proper name with him.

The most beneficial part of this discussion was firming up a resolve for me to learn a few key words in draconic to be commands, and some hand signals for instructions. These instructions include things like: Follow, Guard, Attack, Wait, Watch, Hunt. Some words to learn in draconic to supplement these instructions are: here, there, that, creatures, beasts, people, and some names. This is likely the extent our working communication until such time that I actually learn to speak draconic, something I will endeavor to learn in the near future.

8.2 Mission Report: Dinosaurs Devoured, Descent to Dragon's Demesne[edit | edit source]

Participants: myself, Frankie, Wiggler, Amaris, Jo, Dragonett

Location: Multiple days (on foot) North of Basecamp - Several hours by skiff.

Objective: Investigate the region for whatever is causing the large number of dinosaur corpses in the area before it becomes a threat to the camp.

Brief Action Summary (1-2 lines): Aerial reconnaissance team encountered a giant bird (a Roc) that attacked the vessel and caused it to crash. Upon crashing, we fell through the ground into a collapsed and buried draconic temple dedicated to Tiamat and her generals. We fought a Medusa and half the party was almost petrified before it was slain. Found a sealed tomb laden with gems and a mask and dispelled a ward, inadvertently releasing an undead dragonborn calling himself Galidant who wanted to eat us, but was temporarily restrained by a magic circle. Upon escaping out a tunnel, made contact with a rescue party and fought a retreat against The Green Knight, who had just collared and teleported the Roc away by some unknown means.

Other Notable Events: Unsealed a 5-element lock. Recommend future expeditions carry items or spells to represent each element in case such areas or puzzles are found in the future. Also recommend wands or scrolls of Detect Magic be crafted and distributed. The Green Knight called Frankie, "Franklin" and seemed to have a personal connection with him that Frankie denies any recollection of, as a result Frankie tried to offer himself as a prisoner to the Knight to distract him from the rest of us. Jo also appears to have (or claim) mixed fiendish and angelic parentage.

Specific Finds/Acquisitions: Assorted gemstones distributed and sold by the group; A pearl capable of serving as a component for Identify spells (Sabbatical); A Dagger of Venom (Frankie); The Mask of Draconic Majesty (Dragonett).

Company Personnel: Lucinda Grimfold, Skippy - Halfling Skiff pilot

Individuals of note: Tiamat, the Dragon Queen - the five-headed queen of chromatic dragons, with designs on claiming/destroying the mortal realm;

Kavanmort, the Twin Doom - a two-headed blue-black dragon known as a weapon of Tiamat's that also poses a serious threat to her goals as it also has a fondness for eating dragon flesh, supposedly slain by Harkon Grimfold, one of Lucinda's ancestors;

Xevriss, the Devourer of Gourds - a large and fat dragon with stag horns known for his gluttony;

Alkinimic the Ancient - ancient and aged red dragon that is growing infirm, suspected to also be Old Alkinimic described later;

The One Taken by the Underground - Obscured and mysterious draconic force possibly still at large;

Galidant, Exultant of Kavanmort - undead dragonborn (vampire?) servant at large, from some time ago (near the start of the War of Many Names?);

The Green Knight - seeming ally of Galidant, knows Frankie somehow and tried to kill all of us to keep us quiet saying we "knew too much" after speaking to Galidant.

Narrative Account:

Lucinda Grimfold called this group together to investigate the cause of several dinosaur deaths to the North of the base camp. The scouting parties had discovered several fresh kills of the enormous lizards, both magically mutated and the mundane variety, and she is concerned that whatever is killing these creatures may head in our direction once it's hunted its territory clear. We set out aboard an air skiff piloted by a halfling named Skippy who pointed us in the right direction. From the air we spotted evidence of a few bodies in the distance before we spotted a dark shape approaching from the distance in the sky. As it approached, it resolved into an enormous winged figure: a bird with a wingspan greater than the entire skiff at over fifty feet. The bird (a roc) swept at the vehicle in an attack and nearly knocked Wiggler out of the ship before coming around for another pass and tearing into the vessel, causing us to quickly lose altitude.

Skippy directed our descent into a clearing in the forest, whereupon the ground immediately gave out under us, dropping us an additional sixty feet into a large underground chamber. The chamber appeared to be the antechamber for some kind of draconic temple dedicated to Tiamat, as it bore her symbol of a set of massive doors and contained five dragon statues placed around the room. Wiggler began to panic, curled up in a ball and useless when it became clear that we would not be escaping anytime soon. He did volunteer to transform into some kind of animal that could climb, but since the roc was still circling the area above us, we all thought it best to explore alternative exits first. Even in a worst-case scenario, I could have sent a message back to camp in order to notify them of our general location and our status, so I was relatively unworried.

We examined the room. I focused on the statues while Amaris and Jo looked over the wreckage and Frankie and Dragonett checked the collapsed tunnels for items of interest or possible exits. We determined that it was likely a five-part lock associated with each dragon's element in order to open the large door, and the two dexterous members of the party located a magical dagger we later identified as a dagger of venom. We began the process of unlocking the great door my providing a match to each of the chromatic dragon elements: fire, a torch; ice, chill water from a cave wall; lightning, a static charge; acid, wiggler's feral strike; and poison, the dagger. Upon providing each of these to the basins set in front of each dragon statue, the door unlocked and opened, revealing an even larger chamber filled with statues of stone beings of all kinds, mostly humanoids, a combination tomb/altar to Tiamat. The walls were decorated with large murals of three special dragons: Kavanmort, the Twin Doom; Xevriss, the Devourer of Gourds; and Alkinimic, the ancient. There was also a defaced image of some dragon known only as "The one taken underground" which was seemingly corrupted or something.

As we cautiously explored the statue room, it seemed that several statues were subtly shifting position, putting us all on guard for some kind of attack until a medusa came at us from behind. The medusa was seemingly controlling the statues' movement, and they joined the fight, making things far more difficult for us. Half of our group had started turning into stone before we killed the creature and its partial transformations no longer had any effect on us. The death of the creature also caused all the previously mobile statues to revert to stationary form. Despite them all almost certainly being the bodies of previous explorers, I smashed one of the statues, reasoning that I would rather die than be trapped in an indefinite stasis like these people, and that no one had reason to come back here and restore them, as such a spell would have been expensive for each one, let alone for the numbers there were (easily over thirty).

We searched the area for valuables, discovering some coin and gems decorating the tomb as well as seven marks in an arc around it, indicating some kind of magical seal in place over it. However, one thing we also discovered was a valuable pearl, which is a necessary component of the Identify spell, something I had been hoping to find for some time. We retrieved the gems and pearl as well as a circlet, which I identified, and which was claimed by Dragonett. Thinking there could be more of worth available, and hoping to find a way out behind the tomb, I asked Amaris to dispel a layer of the protections so we could examine things more closely in safety. Unfortunately, this led to the awakening of the tomb's inhabitant, an undead dragonborn who thirsted for blood (vampire) and who we had just released. He called himself Galidant, and was clearly a creature not in his own time, with vastly outdated information about his part in the earlier conflict of the War of Many Names.

We found a passage behind the tomb that led outside, and the whole group thought it best to leave sooner rather than later since this Galidant had strongly implied he would be attempting to eat us despite being the ones to free him from imprisonment. Outside, we found another entrance to this temple, and the other half of our airskiff, containing the communication apparatus. We signaled for rescue and were about to simply wait for rescue when the roc reappeared, this time with the Green Knight riding its back. The creature crashed into the ground, subdued, and the knight slapped some kind of magic collar around its neck, causing it to disappear (likely teleportation or other dimensional magic at work). He then told us that he would be killing us all because we knew too much having spoken to Galidant.

As we were already exhausted from the battle earlier, we opted to fight a retreat rather than a pitched battle, and our rescue skiff was nearly arrived. The party scattered, remaining close enough to still offer some support, but far enough that the Knight could not attack too many of us at once. During the battle he spoke, focused almost entirely on Frankie, who he called "Franklin" with seeming recognition that Frankie claims to lack. He also clearly had some sort of regeneration capability. The Green Knight also appeared to be vulnerable to fire, which, as my weapon of choice, meant he targeted me for his first execution. I barely had a moment to cast a spell trying to command him to grovel, which he shook off, before he jammed his sword straight through my armor and my chest and out my back. Suffering from shock, I passed out for a moment before one of the others was able to offer me some healing so I could activate my stride and escape the immediate danger. We actually seemed to be making progress in the battle, and I think we could have simply killed the Green Knight had the rest of the group felt the same and committed to an attack instead of a retreat at the end. Still, I could not press the issue, and we all boarded the airskiff. I do think there was potential for one or more of us to be knocked unconscious again had we pressed for more battle, but even so, I believe it would have proven useful to kill or capture this figure while he fought us alone. Time will tell whether his continued actions in the Wilds are a net benefit or detriment, and I will endeavor to be more persuasive when I tell others to risk their lives for outcomes they do not fully understand, but I can see.

8.3 Dangers in the Dark and Disruptions of Deities (Reedy)[edit | edit source]

Reedy returned from a mission today that took her back to the Temple of Lolth we uncovered on our very first mission for the Tempest Brothers Company. Although I haven't yet written up a complete report, some things have been very clear based on her state when she returned to camp and our discussions over the next nights. The mission she was on left a lasting impression on her, and has led to consequences both personal and material. First, for material, Reedy returned with multiple Cloaker hides used to craft into Displacement cloaks and an increased fascination with obtaining monster parts and materials. She has made an arrangement with Bulio to exchange such items for credit against the cost of a Cloak, which he has agreed to craft over the next few months.

The personal and emotional consequences of the mission are more pervasive. One of the members of the missionwas killed, and all of the party were knocked unconscious at at least one point. This came close after the death of two other members of the company and clearly took a toll on many of the people planning to undertake missions for this company. Reedy's reaction, however, was more... disconnected than I expected. I know she is beginning to change, both in response to me and our contract, and I welcome the changes as a whole, but the pace seems, faster than I expected, or I didn't realize quite how near she was to thinking of others as disposable already. The attitude just seemed at odds with what she had displayed before, especially regarding a desire not to kill bounties, but turn them over to "proper authorities," including how she handled the Jim Stacy situation. Yet she somehow was able to be callous when it was the lives of her allies on the line rather than someone under her power. This will be something to keep an eye on for developments, but so long as she makes correct judgment calls, I am not concerned as of yet. In fact, this could simply be a positive development in response to her accepting of her path with me.

Several days later, Reedy was among those asked to join the nearby druidic conclave of Thistlebrook in a celebration of some kind. As part of this celebration apparently the representatives were brought before two gods: the timeless and the nameless. Somehow this event turned from a celebration into some sort of test or trial by these entities involving forces far beyond my understanding. Supposedly those with Reedy were sent into the distant future, to a time when the entire world was ending. During this time, my bond with her soul was just... absent, like it didn't even exist. This was both unexpected, and, as far as I know, it should be impossible. I was under the impression that not even deities could tamper with a soul in that way without the permission of the soul's owner, and it was clear from Reedy's description of events that no such consent had been given.

Firm answers about the incident remain sketchy, as the druids have not been particularly communicative, despite an attempt by me to reach out to their leader for more information. I am especially concerned about this seeming capacity for one god to affect the flow of time so significantly, not just to slow or speed it as the fey often do, but to jump whole groups of people around through it. A small consolation is that these two gods seem to have a limited sphere of influence connected to the druidic conclave. This may mean they are not a direct threat to any of our goals or plans, but I still believe they were worth reporting on to infernal eyes and agents, and not just to the company. In any case, Reedy left the encounter stronger and with a new draconic bow infused with the energy of a radiant dragon. This is somewhat ironic given her new affiliations, but should prove useful should she ever end up taking on the role of tracking down fugitive devils attempting to avoid their trials.

8.4 Mission Report: Deceptive Dragon's Demise[edit | edit source]

Participants: Myself, Sir Yewvane Eedryll, Dickweedus, Finnegan, Lowkey (Girl/Guy), Radion

Location: Mount Alkinimic

Objective: Investigate and confirm the ancient dragon's demise and secure his horde before anyone else can.

Brief Action Summary (1-2 lines): Airship flight to the mountain discovered an encampment at the foot belonging to the Haslow Historical Expedition, hired by the Collector to find an artifact from Alkinimic's horde and work on his history. The party fought mimic creatures in the forms of gnolls and kobolds as well as mimics pretending to be treasure, and one taking the form of the dragon himself.

Other Notable Events: Recovered the artifact for the Collector, but refused to turn it over to him immediately. It is currently in the care of the Company for study. Kobolds (and presumably Alkinimic's body) were transformed by someone called the "Fleshcrafter" by use of a magical glowing red stone which can only be the Philosopher's Stone. The Collector eventually offered the company a large sum of money for the artifact, which Velemar Decrye accepted, but did not divert the 80% expected to the party as an appropriate fee, instead, accepting the Collector's offer of a mere 100gp for each of the group.

Specific Finds/Acquisitions: A +1 Greataxe (Dickweedus); a pack of items from the dragon's hoard: scrolls and magic candles. (distributed); mundane weapons (Sir Yewvane); A phoenix statuette called "Daughter of the Setting Sun" that resisted Identifying magic.

Company Personnel: Velemar Decrye, in charge of the mission. Skippy - air skiff pilot.

Individuals of note: The Collector - highly suspicious in terms of involvement. Sir Yewvane believes they are fey in nature. Lori Haslow - Leader of an archeological and historical company connected to Lambda. The "Fleshcrafter" - unknown potential future antagonist.

Narrative Account:

Rumor of the Demise of the ancient and feeble dragon Alkinimic have spread with word of the smoke coming from the place known as Mount Alkinimic changing from black to white. The Tempest Brother's Company hopes to be the first to send a group to claim the dragon's hoard. Yet, this mission had a somewhat heightened risk of danger from the start, as Marion had been given a vision by her god, Beshaba, of a party of her friends going into a mountain, before it became a mouth and swallowed them. Marion's vision was quite clear that the mountain would open up into a mouth and swallow the party that went into it. This led to a sense of increased caution, but we still needed to know what was present and make a proper assessment.

Velemar Decrye was point person for this mission, and something felt slightly off about it from the start: the goal was to secure the hoard of a dragon, yet there was no consideration of what that would mean in terms of the local forces: a clan of kobolds reportedly peaceful, or for any other interested parties. When pressed on the matter, Decrye simply said that we should secure it by whatever means we chose, implying that the Company was in dire need of funding. While I admit the resources would be useful and I am more than curious about what I might be able to find hidden away in the lair of a dragon so ancient that he is dying (which... is not how dragons work to my knowledge, yet that is the explanation that continues to come up with respect to Alkinimic in particular), but this dragon's connection to Tiamat and Kavanmort are the most directly-related things I'm hoping to find some answers to. I understand the dragon queen is a sometimes ally and maintains territory in Avernus, but indications are that even she did not fully control these particular members of her kin. It could prove instructive to examine them, and provide an advantage for whenever her interests diverge from our own more significantly.

The skiff ride to the mountain was relatively uneventful, although it was plenty long enough to confirm my distaste for multiple of these particular inclusions. There are many here that I will be glad to break from and never have contact with again, unless its on the opposite end of a battlefield or in an opportunity to lead them into corruption. Radion seems an okay sort, although of seemingly lesser personal strength than some of our peers, and Sir Yewvane continues to be most tolerable, even though we are more likely to be at odds in the future. I expect to inform him of my allegiance more directly just before I depart and see if he is open to further diplomatic contact or not. The Court of Seasons may yet prove useful, but how amenable they are to any overtures, seems most unclear given how he has directly opposed certain desires of mine.

As we neared the mountain, we spotted an encampment not too far away bearing some sort of archeological group symbol. Finnegan volunteered to go scouting ahead through the sky and was turned invisible by the changeling calling itself "Girl" to facilitate the effort. There was some... conflict instigated by Dickweedus about just waiting around, and it became very clear once Finnegan returned that the half-orc's impatience was going to be a disruptive force on the mission. Although it seemed clear that a diplomatic introduction with the camp would likely prove useful, he insisted on simply charging on ahead toward the wood and the mountains, and he forced a split in the party. That said, the presence of the more chaotic agents in this group would not have made diplomacy any easier, as proven when even Sir Yewvane spoke with a surprising lack of courtesy when we discovered the Collector's involvement. As it turns out, this company was Haslo's Historical Expedition Company, hired by the Collector to look into some relics and further details on Alkinimic in particular. They were after a singular item: a phoenix statuette, of unknown power, and supposedly would interfere with nothing else our own party chose to collect.

The others passed into the forest between this camp and the mountain, passing through some kind of magical border into an area where they reported being presented with several illusions related to their pasts. This caused some of them concern, and they paused long enough for Yewvane and I to catch up with them at the site of some kind of battle. There were remnants of kobold and gnoll bodies strewn about as well as some horrible living gnoll construct pinned to a tree by heated spikes of some kind. As we investigated the bodies, we were attacked by a bunch of creatures who looked almost like kobolds, but with something horribly twisted about them. These not kobolds (copybolds?) were seemingly made of some sort of flesh amalgamation just in the shape of a kobold, and as they attacked, the gnoll construct ripped itself free of the tree, revealing that it was still active. Battle was quick, and the creatures didn't prove too dangerous, although the gnoll remains provided incontrovertible proof of abyssal involvement of some level. We searched the remains for anything else of note and found a magic axe and a few intact weapons which Yewvane is now keeping.

As we reached the foot of the mountain and a cavern entrance we encountered Haslo and the Collector again, and it became clear that they intended to accompany our group in person in order to fulfill the Collector's wishes. I found it highly interesting and suspicious that the Collector came along himself, as I had been led to believe they were a distant and hands-off benefactor rather than one to put their own person in danger. This made it all the more clear that whatever this artifact was, it would be... unwise to let him lay claim to it without more information. As we passed through tunnels we came across an abandoned kobold village with only one survivor who identified himself as Yosh the kobold. He revealed that the lair had played host to a strange visitor in the last days of Alkinimic's life: a being called only the "Fleshcrafter" who employed some sort of magic produced by a glowing red stone he wielded. With this stone he changed the kobolds, and, as we later learned, also changed Alkinimic's body, although it seemed that he may have died just prior to the act. The kobold revealed that this Fleshcrafter was also the source of the mutated and twisted kobolds which he had created from the still living members of this community. It became clear that this kobold was also afflicted, although had yet to fully turn into whatever monstrosity it would soon become. I wanted to destroy it, as did a few other members of the group, but Radion intervened, wanting to spare the creature, and my single spell attempting to circumvent their objections was avoided. This left the creature free to eventually finish transforming and become a threat and ignored the fact that it would have been a greater mercy to simply end its life before it could become fully twisted into something else.

As we all moved on from the kobold village we encountered a hall heaped with what appeared to be treasure and, resting atop a pile on the far side of the room, the phoenix statuette. Something was clearly off about the room, but our half-orc ignored good sense and rushed into the room to claim the artifact before anyone else could prevent him. As he grabbed it, the piles of treasure revealed themselves to be mimics, and even the floor began to sink and pull people towards its center. It's confusing that this fake treasure room yet contained the sole artifact the Collector was looking for, and that is a lingering problem about the entire affair with him. He knows far too much about the exact disposition of the items he seeks, and has far more resources than he should. Yewvane claimed he was fey, and that would explain certain things, but not everything about him. He also didn't contribute at all in the battle that ensued as we were attacked by several more of these mutated kobolds and the mimics. The battle was tougher than the prior one, with multiple people being knocked down and one of Haslow's companions dying to the attacks of these creatures. We were outnumbered and the battle was close, yet he simply stood around watching, and wasn't even attacked. The whole thing was suspicious, and after we won the battle and caught our breaths, it was hardly surprising when it became clear that he had somehow acquired the statuette from Dickweedus despite being a good twenty feet at least from him throughout the battle.

Under the impending threat of violence, from the half-orc, and less immediate threat from the rest of us, the Collector relinquished the item once more. As they had said when we first met them in Haslo's camp, the Collector asserted he would be the best person to maintain control of the item, both for our own safety and the safety of the item, yet he was far from convincing. Having secured at least temporary possession of the phoenix artifact, I attempted to identify it. The spell failed, for reasons that I could not fully parse at the time. Hopefully I can examine it more thoroughly later with sufficient time to discern what caused the spell to fail so and to emanate danger. (Post-script note: More information acquired since, but classified for personal discussion only)

The center of the floor of the fake treasure room opened up to a large chamber 40ft down, and after a short rest, we descended into an immense cavernous space with crystal walls and the body of the dragon. It also had piles of treasure, this time, that were real. A voice emanated from everywhere finding it “interesting” that “newcomers” had come, and the crystal walls displayed images, I believe individually, of our deepest desires. I saw myself sitting on a throne surrounded by flames, with Reedy standing beside and behind me as a confidant and guard. The voice attempted to offer us the things we saw, but that was nonsensical and not the least tempting. It cannot offer the sort of power I seek: it can only be seized, when I have earned enough to make the effort. Attempting to do so not on my own personal power would be meaningless.

The dragon’s body rippled and distorted, revealing some kind of mimic-like monstrosity who was quite offended by our rejections. Yet, we were not prepared to fight such a creature. Despite this, Richard ran straight at the monster while Yewvane and Finnegan fled and I turned to attempt to snag an item I sensed of magical nature in the nearby pile of treasure. I did not want to leave empty-handed when the treasure was right there and the half-orc had the creature’s attention.

My first attempt to locate something of value failed, and the lot of us were all pulled closer to the dragon by a barrage of tendrils launched from its maw. Fortunately, this did not lead to anyone’s loss of consciousness or being consumed immediately in the creature’s maw. Using the power of the flames, I sped clear of the dragon and searched once more, this time successfully recovering a pack containing a few magic items and scrolls. While I would have much preferred additional time, it was not worth the risk of the dragon’s widespread tendril attack coming at us again, so I fled, and with me, did the other two.

Upon exiting the caverns, we caught up with the others who had retreated, avoiding more of these warped kobolds. We made our way back to the skiff just before the entire mass of the mountain shook and split open. Atop the newly cracked peak, the dragon roared. We retreated to our skiff and, since we were in possession of the artifact the Collector wanted, he came with us. Sir Yewvane attempted to forcibly remove the Collector from the skiff with a kick, but he teleported back on board. To my surprise, matters did not further escalate from there. Lori, and her surviving associate rushed to their camp to evacuate it and flee the area in case the dragon or its new army of warped servants attacked.

When we returned to camp, the Collector spoke to Mr. Decrye and persuaded him to part with the artifact by providing generous funding to the company, while still only paying us a pittance of a hundred gold each. While it was clear that mere words would do little to persuade the company not to accept this offer, I was able to convince the collector to leave the object temporarily in our care so long as we can make use of it. Whether it actually is of use, of course, remains to be seen since it resisted my first efforts to identify it.

Entry 9: Worries in the Wilds[edit | edit source]

9.1 Mission Report: Withered Wastes[edit | edit source]

Participants: Myself, Marion, Nassir, Hermes, Juno, Thordon

Location: A few hours Northwest of Camp, beyond the druid conclave and near the location of a recent forest fire. (See Mission 9)

Objective: Discover the source of the withered sections of forest and attempt to prevent its further spread.

Brief Action Summary (1-2 lines): Gathered information and firsthand account of the area from druids. Upon investigating the area, we found withered bodies of dinosaurs and demonic fungus creatures that had not dissolved. Eventually after progressing further, we encountered an area full of withered vines in which stood a giant creature of ash, wood, and fire. We battled it and stopped the further spread of withering energy.

Other Notable Events: The entity spoke in Primordial, rumbling about hunting, withering, bleeding and burning, being a former protector and doing so no more, because it was burnt. It wanted only consumption and desolation at this point. After defeating the entity, Nassir acquired a magic stone axe imbued with the energy of this forest being and some kind of burning power.

Specific Finds/Acquisitions: The axe which wraps itself around Nassir's arm when not in use, and some gold pieces (60 each).

Company Personnel: Billiam

Individuals of note: Galaros and Curian, of the Thistlebrook druidic conclave.

Narrative Account:

Aside from the awkward manner in which I was pressed into joining the mission, the entire thing was fairly straightforward from my perspective, so I will not belabor it with a lengthy report: the druids Galaros and Curian discovered an area of withered land which they believed our company was at least partially responsible for, so they wanted to alert us to it and encourage us to investigate it more thoroughly. After traveling closer we found the terrain blighted and falling apart, even evidence of creature who would not normally leave bodies, such as the demonic "Mother's" creations dead and decaying in the area. In order to ascertain whether the undead and presumably vampiric creature was involved in these creatures' demises, I took my dagger and sawed one open, learning that no, it was not drained of fluid as I would expect from a vampire, but it was dessicated in a way that I would not expect given the climate.

As we progressed further, we discovered a tangled mass of withered vines from which a creature speaking in primordial arose and moved to attack us. This creature ranted about being some kind of former forest protector that had been burned and would now wither and burn everything else. It demonstrated an affinity for fire and earth and ash, and yet also still seemed to be drawing vitality from the ground around it. It was clearly some form of primal creature that had been corrupted in some way against its nature, although by what it is more difficult to say. I would not expect a mere fire to be able to cause such, even if it had been caused by a party in conflict with demonic oozes.

During the battle it became clear that we were struggling to make a lasting impact on the creature with no clear method to eliminate its regeneration (although in hindsight, Marion has a spell that can assist with that in the future). Nevertheless, escape seemed like an unlike option for most of the group because the being could teleport short distances in addition to its usual movement. This resulted in an intense battle where both sides fought to the brink of defeat before we were finally able to bring the creature down. In the aftermath, I searched the mass of vines for anything of value and discovered some coin and gems as well as what looked like the stone head of an axe wrapped in vines buried to the haft in a stump. Without waiting for it to be examined, Nassir picked up the weapon, and the vines wrapped around his arm, binding the blade to him. Despite this *clearly* being a sign of some kind of cursed object, Nassir insisted he would rather keep it for the time being after I identified it and explained what its beneficial properties were: It is a magicly enhanced axe that can store itself around his arm and deal additional fire damage when striking foes. With the creature destroyed and the withering prevented from spreading, we returned to camp and let Billiam know of our success.

9.2 The Phoenix Statue: "Daughter of the Setting Sun"[edit | edit source]

This entry is mostly missing, having been burned to ashes in the explosion in camp which resulted from an attempt at experimenting with the statue. Rather than replace the notes there is just one line:

"Initial notes destroyed. Further details, thoughts, and reactions deemed too sensitive to write down anywhere. For private discussion with Archduchy and above only."

Side note: Velemar Decrye has proven far less reliable than initially expected, and his goals clearly do not align with my own, or even entirely with those of the company. He claims to be a shrewd businessman, yet has engaged in questionable practices and proven to have some ulterior motives.

9.3 Promises and Promotions[edit | edit source]

The messages I've received and the way you, Mother, pushed for an immediate fiendish transformation upon my return to the Hells made me concerned. This contract with Reedy and the portions affecting my self are some of the first times when I've really felt that our interests did not align. Not so much areas of focus, as we have already had considerable differences of opinion, and my desires do not express themselves in anywhere close to the same as yours do, but in terms of goals and motives. I don't think I had ever really thought of you as a potential rival or adversary before, but I begin to see the edges of that possibility. You have ambitions of your own, not only goals for your daughter. Considering my place in the infernal hierarchy, or, not quite within it, as it currently is, I've begun to worry about my station on my return. There was never much reason for concern when I was fully concentrated on my legal work, but since I have been reminded of my ambitions by the pace of things here on Quelmar, I've noticed that I was growing... complacent at the pace of my advancement rather than truly pushing myself to the limits of my ability and proving that I have the capacity and the drive necessary to rise to the rank of archfiend and hold my position against any and all threats. There are pit fiends who have strived for hundreds of years to be worthy of something I had assumed I would be able to take, and yet until recently, I hadn't fully grasped the possibility that I might not find myself made into an archfiend when my time to transform or die came.

This uncertainty about my status has been exacerbated by my relationship with Reedy. I am more than confident that, given time, I would be able to climb the infernal hierarchy as any kind of devil and eventually claim my place among the Duchy if not also assert a claim to one of the circles on my own. What I truly hadn't considered is what my status might mean for others who depend or rely on me. I had never built a true power base of fiends loyal to me because I lacked the authority to claim souls and to promote beings on my own. I always assumed it was something I would take to after transfiguration, but dealing with the mortal souls in Amusa has been incredibly instructive. There are countless areas of leadership I was simply lacking, and an ability to create loyalty in others was one of those areas. I've inspired such with Reedy through an exchange of promises, her loyalty for me, and a shared emotional and physical connection that she calls love. That approach is not scalable to all the other beings I must enlist if I wish to have a functioning duchy of my own in the future. Considering this also brought home the idea that I must consider more interests than my own and my superiors' when making decisions or plans, I must also consider those of my subjects, dependents, and consort. While their interests would never contravene my own, awareness of them is vital to maintaining loyalty and making beneficial decisions. Of course, if I lack standing or autonomy, such as being placed on a low point in the infernal hierarchy, then I will have little hope of controlling circumstances sufficiently to protect my own interests let alone those of a consort. Over the last couple days, as I consider my imminent return to Hell, this has weighed on my mind: how can I hope to protect my consort's interest when I still know so little about where I will stand in the Hells? The reality of the situation is that I can't. I made no promises to Reedy about having power or guaranteeing some kind of status, but our discussions were always built on certain implicit assumptions that I now realize I did not have sufficient reason to have. After all, only Asmodeus has the power to raise a being to the station I seek and I have never communicated with him directly, let alone had opportunity to impress him, unless my superiors, such as you, Mother, or Grandmother and Grandfather have passed along information about me without my knowledge. While I do not fear any of my activities being known, I realize also that I should not assume any of them are either. I've seen countless fiends' achievements attributed to their others through politicking or arranging reports in particular ways. I should not expect my own circumstances to be different unless I take action to ensure it. It's not that I do not trust you, Mother, just that I now understand where some of the boundaries of that trust might be. Reedy has assured me that she will love me regardless of the form I obtain, but I do not think she truly understands what it would mean for each of us to be a lesser fiend, or even a greater fiend. Her only real interaction with other devils has been through her mother, an archfiend, and through myself, a tiefling agent of the Hells. Her perspective on these matters, while endearing, is hardly to be fully believed. Nevertheless, it was a comfort to hear. Telling her of my uncertainties and hearing from her an unwavering trust in me was far more of a comfort than I could have anticipated. It was also a relief to share the details of my concern as something I had left unstated in the contract we put together. I do not like the feeling of deceit even through ambiguity, although I understand its value and necessity in certain circumstances. It is not how I would treat a consort, someone I have brought into my life and my family. Still, I think that is more than enough said on the matter. I will discuss my rank with you when I return and deliver these reports in person, and then there will be no more uncertainty on this matter.

9.4 Mission Report: Tablets on the Train[edit | edit source]

Participants: Myself, Reedy, Wiggler, Radion, Chrysaor, Cealion, Frankie

Location: The railway connecting the West of Cauldomo to the border of Galik.

Objective: Escort a shipment of mysterious tablets to the borders of Galik and into the hands of a researching contact of Cookie's named Makamane.

Brief Action Summary (1-2 lines): We took an airship two days out to the train station, where we loaded up and spread out. The party led by Jack of Hearts attempted to rob the train and steal the tablets. When this proved more difficult than he anticipated, he blew up a bridge and we barely stopped the back half of the train in time. Both sides fought vigorously, but no fatalities occurred on either side of the battle.

Other Notable Events: Jack's actions revealed the presence of a significant information source within the camp of the Tempest Brother's Company. He also revealed having detailed personal information on several company members, including Reedy, although he pronounced her original last name incorrectly.

Specific Finds/Acquisitions: For successfully completing the mission, protecting the majority of the passengers, and preventing the total destruction of the train, we were all awarded 150gp. I also recovered Jack's offhand rapier, and two cards: a Jack of Hearts and a Queen of Hearts.

Company Personnel: Cookie.

Individuals of note: Jack of Hearts (Masked Swords bard), Theta (Warforged versatile combatant), Titan (A resilient dragonborn barbarian), Yellena (Eladrin Frost magic, melee attacker), Malakar (undead evocation specialist), Tini (Kobold cleric?), six Pentulvan Brothers, of 18 (human bandits with maces/rifles) (see also Mission 2)

Narrative Account:

[The details of this mission]

Entry 10: Final Farewells[edit | edit source]

I know my time on Quelmar is coming to a close. The entries here detail final unfinished business to be delegated to Reedy or other agents on the mortal plane while I return and face whatever awaits me back home. I will admit to feeling a bit of trepidation as to what is going to happen next. When I first left I fully expected simply to return to work in Belial's courts for quite some time as I demonstrated my ability to follow orders not just well, but exceed them through exceptional performance. In my role as Sabbatical, I have learned a lot more than I expected to, and the experience has certainly changed me in more than the obvious ways. I will attempt to describe those changes the best I can here as well, both for my own benefit and in continued faithfulness to your request that I keep a record. Should anything unexpected befall me, I have provided Reedy with instructions on how to burn this journal in a sacrificial ritual in order to send it to the hells. I trust that this is acceptable, and the risk of the method falling into dangerous hands is exceptionally low.

10.1 A Final Mission to Comprehend a Henge[edit | edit source]

A formal mission report of this mission seemed unnecessary. Few of the company seemed to read the reports, and since I am leaving shortly, the effort of doing so seemed likely to be wasted. There were, however, a few interesting matters of note, so I will record a brief summary of events and finds.

10.2 Final Dealings and Connections[edit | edit source]

[Text here will discuss: Reedy, Amaris, Marion, Sir Yewvane Eedryll, Sneeze, Kompi, and any other contacts Philani expects she may maintain.]

The Return to Phlegethos[edit | edit source]

Sabbatical left the material plane of Quelmar on Kentgannon 12, 893 PR by use of a ritual spell temporarily tying a nearby river to the Styx and boarding a raft to take her to Avernus. This ritual involved a chunk of stone quarried from Avernus as a focus, symbolic payment to the ferryman of death, and a prior arrangement for passage organized by her mother, Pharastra. The river's waters returned to normal after a few hours, and the sole remaining evidence of the ritual is a rough circle of infernal stone at the banks of a river in the wilds of Amusa carved with a pentacle on the surface.

In Avernus, Philani ran into several difficulties: the party of devils she was expected to meet up with was scattered by a horde of invading Bulezau demons, and she was some distance away from support. There were not too many survivors of the demons, only a dozen, by the time she arrived nearby, but such numbers were not something she could take on single-handedly or at once. She encountered one imp, Serrek, whom she commandeered into her service and used as an invisible scout and lookout as she planned a strategy to eliminate the remaining demons. It took several days and a close battle with 3 of them at once, but Philani was able to eliminate them in several small encounters. She did briefly become infected with a fiendish disease, but was able to cleanse it through the use of a Lesser Restoration spell after a rest. With the immediate area finally clear of demons, Philani took Serrek with her to a fortress where she was able to secure safe passage to Dis, the second layer of the Hells.

Upon her arrival in Dis, Philani secured accommodations at an expensive inn, making use of the coins obtained from her time on Amusa. She also received a message from an unnamed Duke of Dis arranging for a meeting. At this meeting she was informed of an order for her to travel via portal directly to Hellmar and meet with Asmodeus for a detailed report of her activities. This was due to Glasya making certain statements and insinuations about what Philani has done on the mortal plane since she left the Hells. The meeting went reasonably well, with Philani providing a thorough accounting of herself and her activities, as well as sharing her opinions on the role of family in the Hells and the potential threat to the universe posed by a demonic "Mother" in Amusa, a being she believes is likely Zuggtmoy. No final decisions about Philani's status or station were made, but she was given passage back to Phlegethos directly after the interview.

Philani returned to Phlegethos on Kentgannon 26, 893 PR. She returned to Fierna's palace and delivered another report to her mother, Pharastra, and her grandmother, Fierna. After delivering this report, it was clear that further strategizing regarding the demonic threat on Amusa was necessary. Philani remained in the palace for the next month as she was thrust into a position of direct oversight of a camp of demon hunters. During that time, she continued to pursue arcane studies, developing an affinity for the Order of Scribes Wizards and awakening the strange, animate spellbook Bulio had sold to her.

The Rise of a New Archfiend[edit | edit source]

For further details of what becomes of Philani/Sabbatical, see Philani. She later becomes known as the "Inferno of Phlegethos." When or whether she grows beyond that title to the ranks of an archduchess in her own right remains to be seen, but she remains ever loyal to the Hells even as she increases her own power.

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