|Languages||Common, Infernal, Celestial, Abyssal, Primordial|
|Marital Status||Consorted to Reedy|
|Place of Birth||Hell (Phlegethos)|
|Date of Death||N/A|
|Place of Death||Probably Hell|
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]
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.
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.]
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.
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.
Entry 1: Arrival in Quelmar[edit | edit source]
Entry 2: Dates and Waits[edit | edit source]
2.1 Introductions and initial notes[edit | edit source]
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.
- Risk Assessment: Moderate.
UncertainModerate 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 meforcing 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.
[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.
- 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[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.
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.
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]
2.3 Food and Fiends[edit | edit source]
2.4 Follys of Fae[edit | edit source]
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 1: 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)
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]
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]
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]
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 2: A Dinosaur's Favorite Snack (All that Glitters)[edit | edit source]
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
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]
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]
- 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]
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]
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.
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]
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.
- 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.