War of the Burning Sky

Entry #22 - Wherein Beryl Enters the Shrine of Anyariel
We also met Maelros! Pretty sure he's evil

Hello again Mr. Book! I kinda lost track of time, but I’m writing now so that’s good, okay?

So… uh. We looked through the ruins and didn’t find much, except for some shiny necklace that Rhakesh found. Shava said it was charmed or something so that you could speak Elfish, but not anything else. It was weird, but Rhakesh liked it. We also found some rats and stuff, and they were hungry so they tried to eat us. We killed ‘em and threw ’em in the river, because we read something in the tower that said ’water always kills them’ or something. I think it did the trick, because the rats just became soggy and wet instead of ker-sploding in fire to become alive again.

THEN we went to the ‘Shrine of Anyariel’. I had to stop to spell that because it sounded important. It’s this big fountain that looks like a willow tree that’s all dried up. Everyone was kinda scared of going up to the tree, because it could be trapped or something. I went up there since I have a way of things like that, but suddenly WHOOSH evil clawed undead thing from above! It nearly ate my face off (and I’m rather attached to my face. I make a living off it, o’course). It also summoned up a bunch of skelley-mans and tried to kill us while it hid in the fountain (I dunno how, but it kinda just… melted into the rock. Magic, I’m guessing).

We were fighting hard, and then some devil-guy appeared from the forest! Not the devil-guy from before, but a half… demon… person. Tieflings? Sounds like thiefling but with a hard ‘T’. Either way, I don’t like him or his name ‘Maelros’. That just sounds EVIL. Even brought a fiery panther with him (sorta ~ I guess it was trying to eat him, but still). Rhakesh said he wasn’t a bad guy, since he helped us kill (rekill?) the undead things, but I dunno. Shava said he also used some weird magic stuff, which is different from ‘normal’ magic stuff? Still, I’m keeping my eye on him. We already got enough evil people walking with us as it is, HADDIN.

So, we go into the shrine after Shava opened it up and there’s this BIG statue of Anyariel (I think – some elf woman with a big sword, which is like the legend she said earlier) and these two dead guys at the foot of it. There was also a pedestool thing with a bunch of glass around it, like someone smashed it to get whatever was in it. Shame, I wanted what was in it. We didn’t find much of anything, just a dead Shahalesti soldier and a dead elf priest guy. Probably the guy that wrote the book in the tower. I didn’t wanna leave empty-handed (so some guy managed to beat us here, there HAD to be something handy) so I thought the soldier’s stuff might be useful. When I picked up the helmet and was about to put it on, this angel-ghost-paladin-thing appeared and started shouting stuff, pretty much scaring everyone in the party (I ain’t afraid of no ghost, but an angel-ghost-paladin? ….maybe).

I wonder what ghosts like to eat? Do they even eat? Probably souls or something. I wonder how many souls I got? I bet a lot.

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Entry #21 - Wherein Beryl Eats Something
And then bad things happened

Where was I? Oh right, tower.

We were impressified with the tower being all big and imposing and stuff, so we took our time breaking in. We tripped some mace trap, but after I disabled it the thing went away. There was also a thing saying ‘speak friend and enter’ but I think I butchered saying it. That’s okay; it’s not the first thing I killed today.

While everyone was checking out the bottom floor, I made my way to the top to get to the good loot, because everyone knows the good stuff is at the top. Or the bottom if you’re going down. Either way, after accidentilifying falling and breaking some stairs, I got to the top and found a bag of seeds saying stuff about sleeping and meeting the fire-maker. I figured ‘Hey, I can find out who made this fire thing personally’ so I ate one.

Big mistake. I think. I can’t really remember, because I just started seeing some WEIRD STUFF. Like… blood and swords and stuff all over Gate Pass, and a flaming dragon head, like the one at the logs blocking the road before. Also… other stuff. I think… I saw some people… nice people who tried to save me from something… I think an army? It was really fun at first with all the blood and stuff. But then, I started crying for some reason. Something about being alone. I was always alone, wasn’t I?

Then Shava shook me awake. I was REALLY dizzy, but somehow some big frosty snake thing was floating around attacking everyone so I tried to kill it dead. I think it exploded after everyone pounded it to pieces of ice. It hurt.

So… everyone is kinda bandaging up and figuring out what to do next. We still gotta look at the ruins, like this ‘Shrine of Anyariel’. Shava said Any-real was a hero that had a big wooden sword and killed lotsa stuff with it, because that’s what heroes do I guess. She fought this stag who wouldn’t die, so she pinned it to the bottom of a nymph’s lake (totally awesome). She was really well-liked by this dryad, but the nymph was really jealous. Shava thinks the dryad was the one we tried to help. That… isn’t so awesome.

Yeah…. kinda feeling down now. I’ll write again later.

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Entry #20 - Wherein Beryl Meets a Dragon-Demon
Or Demon-Dragon. Whatever~

Good morning, Mr. Book! Or is it afternoon? It’s hard to tell when everything’s so bright in a fire forest; it could even be night.

Everyone said goodbye to the Dragonbornmagister guy and we pressed onward. It sucked being on a fire-road, and we got ambushed by some stags made of fire. Seriously; everything is made of fire here. It’s SO HOT, like being in an oven. They really hated me for some reason and charged at me, and I got pretty hurt. But Rhakesh and Shava were able to blast them to bits (Even Haddin the jerk blew one up. Didn’t know he had that much power). Good thing too, since this big fire wall closed off the way back, so we kinda had to fight to get it to stop. I think? I’m pretty sure that’s what happened.

Anyways, some weird fire-dragon face appeared from the logs that blocked the way forward. I guess it makes sense, since the dragonmage-guy said a dragon might be the cause of the whole forest being on fire. He said he wanted to be free and wanted us to release him ‘by silencing the forty tongues’ singing some song that is holding him back. I didn’t trust him, and neither did Breora or Rhakesh. Kathra thought it might be a useful ally if it could make a whole forest on fire and stuff. Shava thought about it for awhile, and tried to stall for an answer, but he really wanted a yes or no. I said NO because those fire-deer hurt like hell, and shot at his face. I guess he got angry and cursed at us and stuff. We could go talk to him again at the lake, where he’s being kept prisoner, but I don’t think that’s a good idea.

Anyways, we’re going to some ‘ruin’ now, so I’ll write later. I see a tower with possible shiny stuff inside.

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Entry #19 - Wherein Beryl Wakes Up
We fought stuff and I was sleeping through most of it, ok?!

Hey, back again. My hand’s better now.

We were kinda scared to go down the hole, since it was dark and stuff, but we went in anyways. Breora and I went in first while the others were holding onto the rope.

Bad idea.

We got jumped by a lot of those mushroom men and got our heads handed to us in a basket. It wasn’t fun. I tried to climb up the wall, but the hole was in the ceiling, and I got nervous. Then I got pelted with some moss and I blacked out.

I woke up after a while with dirt being tossed in my face. I guess that’s Rhakesh’s way of waking us up. Either way, I’m sore and cranky and stuff, but at least everyone’s alive. For now.

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Entry #18 - Wherein A Ritual Goes Wrong
It totally wasn't my fault

Okay, I think my hand is better now. …Nope, still stings.

So we fought the evil devil guy and faceless monster things (well, I didn’t; the others pretty much blasted everyone to bits and I just shot arrows in the air like a doofus) and he has the nerve to run away! Or explode, because he disappeared in a small fiery explosion. I didn’t explode him either, so I’m guessing he ran away. Kind of a shame, I wanted him to meet Mittens. He didn’t really get much to stab lately.

We keep on walking for a bit still wanting to get out of this dumb forest when we meet this other dragonborn (who’s NOT a stick-in-the-mud; weird) who’s a sorceror (also weird) trying to fix the forest from being on fire. He wanted us to get some mushrooms in a nearby cave for some more of that cooling draught stuff. Shava was super excited to try to stop the fire, so we go to the caves!

Once we’re in, we hear this really annoying screechy sound nearby, so Shava and I go invest-ur-igate. It musta been louder than I thought, because I couldn’t hear myselves think afterwhile (which is kinda nice but scary at the same time). So… we go pick mushrooms! Mushrooms, mushrooms, mushy-mushy mushrooms~ I thought it was for a soup or something, since we had mushroom soup from Mr. DragonMage. It was really good soup.

We got jumped by some mushroom-men! I didn’t even hear ‘em coming (but then again I still couldn’t hear stuffs for awhile after that, so I blame magics). Shava saw ’em though, so she blasted them with some icy-magic stuff and froze ’em in place while everyone else smashed ’em to pieces. I wonder if mushroom soup is good with ice? Yuck, probably not.

Rather than chase the mush-men back in their dark hidey-hole, we returned back to Mr. DragonMage and gave him his mushrooms. He didn’t make soup and led us to this big altar-foresty place nearby for a ritual to stop the fire, or at least on a pretty dryad lady and her saplings. Shava and Breora were the only ones really familiar with magic stuff, so they did what they could to help him.

Something musta gone wrong, because suddenly there was an earthquake! It was really bad, and the dryad lady started screaming bloody murder and to save her babies, which were on the other side of a gorge that kinda just appeared (because earthquakes suck). Rhakesh, Kathra and I jumped into action to save the saplings and dunk ‘em into a pool of water (it’s not as bad as it sounds) while Shava and Breora got trapped in a big forcecage where the ritual was being done.

Saving the saplings wasn’t that bad, just really scary (SO MUCH FIRE, CAN YOU NOT) and we managed to get them to the pool of water. The ritual musta burned up the dryad lady too much and she kinda…. died in the pool of water while her saplings were playing about in it. Well… it was what she wanted, but it was kinda sad in a way. Like how you hunt down something and see their kids look back at you. Except laughing instead of crying? Maybe it’s a dryad thing.

We climbed the trees that made up the forcecage and hopped in to help out the elves. They were getting slapped around by some big vines that were wrapped around the tree, but they looked pretty good. Especially after I got slapped REALLY HARD by one of those things. They really hurt, but Rhakesh hated those things a lot more than I did. He started foaming at the mouth after getting slapped for the third time. I really don’t wanna make him mad now; but Esme got a kick out of it.

It took awhile, but we managed to pull the vines off of the trees so they couldn’t hit anything anymore, and somehow it broke the forcecage thing. But Mr. DragonMage fell down a hole and needed some help getting back up.

Owowowow hand-cramp again. I thought it was better… you lied to me, hand! I’ll write again in a bit.

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Entry #17 - Wherein Obi Leaves and Kathra Arrives
We also fought a devil!

Hello Mr. Book! We’re on the road again!

I guess the caves used to belong to some goblins, because there was a bunch of drawings and stuff. We found a journal with some potions saying that the goblins got a bunch of stuff, like crossbows, and ‘shatterspell’ vials and lots of Shahalesti gold. But Shahalesti people don’t hand out gold like that all willy-nilly, so something weird is going on. Shava’s kinda confused by it too.

Obi also found some runes on the wall saying there’s a long forgotten tomb to the last of Canims way back near Gate’s Pass, so he decided to split and go to his people (sorta). I didn’t wanna forget him, so I talked him into giving me his dagger. I’m getting a good collection, but in a sort of unhappy way. Y’know?

Either way, we made it onto the road again, and we walked into a not-fire dwarf, who was looking for us. Laurya must have sent her out here since that the last time I saw a bunch of dwarfs. Kathra Silverheart (kinda boring name, compared to Mr. Marbles) looked like to hit it off with Rhakesh pretty good, but then we got to talking about clan names and stuff. Shava and I don’t really have a clan or anything like that, so it’s kinda awkward. Heck, I don’t even think Beryl sounds right. But that’s what I was always called, right?

We crossed another bridge (much sturdier than last time) and met a fire hound. The last fire creature was not friendly at all; even the goblin warned us about them. Still, it was kinda weird to see it drop a bone for us to pick up, and not try to rip our faces off. The bone had a message carved into it, saying to leave the case and to take the bone with us to make a deal or something (pretty cool way to leave a message, but I prefer my way). Everyone thought that was a dumb idea, so we kept the case AND the bone (because why not?).

It didn’t take long until some evil devil-man with spear (glaive? I think that’s what they’re called) suddenly appear-exploded in front of us, and summoned a bunch of faceless monster things! Apparently, he REALLY wanted us to leave the case, but we forced his hand. Or something.

I’ll finish writing in a bit; I got a hand-cramp. But why am I still writing?! Because it hurts so good!

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Entry #16 - Wherein Beryl Finds a Secret Cave
The Fire Forest is actually pretty dangerous

Hello book. So much better here than outside. Whew!

That bridge was really crumbly, and everyone didn’t really want to cross. We kinda had to, since there was only the one way to go, so I went first to scout it out. I musta got really lucky, and made it on my first go. Rhakesh and Oberon weren’t so lucky, and fell through to the bottom! Obi almost died, but then again, he’s always ‘almost dying’.

There were also a bunch of bats that made it hard to cross, and beat up Breora pretty bad. Still, it didn’t take long for the elves to blast ’em to bits with magics and stuff. Obi even found some shiny stuff in the wrecked wagon below, like some more of that cooling draught stuff.

Further down the road, we found a tree that fell on the road, but it had kinda opened up an underground cave. It’s SO much cooler in here; I don’t want to leave! There’s even a pool of water that’s really cold. Maybe the river didn’t dry up? I mean, it’s REALLY cold, so I think it’s possible. I kinda want to push someone in it, but they’d probably get all angry about it. Not that I can actually push someone in; almost everyone’s stronger than me. Except the mages maybe, but they got magic so not a good idea at all.

I’m gonna take a nap now; probably gonna be the last chance for awhile. Unless there’s a bunch of caves in the forest. I’ll write again later, Mister Book!

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Entry #15 - Wherein Beryl Enters the Fire Forest
Fire is pretty~

Hello Book, it’s me again. Kinda glad you’re not burnt to a crisp.

In case you can’t see (which I guess it’s possible; you’re a book after all) we’re in the Fire Forest now, and it’s really hot. Imagine the hottest summer you’ve ever had, and it’s a lot like that, except with a lot more fire and smoke. I hated it at first, but then I thought “Fire’s actually pretty neat.” Then some weird stuff happened.

There was this guy we thought was dead (he looked like a burnt-up skeleton still on fire). Shava put him out with her cloak and he thanked us for sparing his life. Why are so many things dead and still moving? Dead things should stay dead. Still, I guess it’s not so bad in that case.

We got about 2 miles in and suddenly a red goblin nearly ran into me while being chased by some fire-bats. Fire-bats are kinda annoying, flittering about and staying out of arm’s reach while dive-bombing you to burn you with its fiery tail and stuff. Shava and I could still get them when they flew up really high, but Rhakesh looked angry (well, angrier than usual) when they flittered away. Still, they weren’t too much trouble and we killed them. But then one of the bats glowed real bright and got back up again, right after it died! It even got my arm pretty good. So we killed it again.

Shava’s doing all sorts of studying while we’re here; it’s her old home before it caught fire. Hmmmm… I wonder if her family is still sorta dead-alive here? That’d be kinda spooky. I mean, she picked up the bat and carried it with us for a while on her floaty disk, and the bat actually put itself together again, even after I threw its wings away! It’s weird; fire is supposed to burn everything to ashes, but everything is still alive here. Or sort-of-alive, at least. I’m not sure. Magic is weird.

I’ll write again later, Mister Book. We’re at a bridge, and I can hear some sorta strange sound coming from the other side.

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Entry #14 - Wherein Beryl Meets Crystin and Haddin
Beryl also goes crazy for a bit

Hello Book. It’s me again!

Yesterday, we were just outside the Fire Forest. Gate Pass seems so far away now, it’s pretty weird to think about it. We were set to go on through, but we ran into a weird girl named Crystin who wanted to take her and her father along, because they were finger-wagglers and the Inquisitors were gonna come for them. She seemed kinda out of it, but we went along with it and went to talk to her father.

Turns out this guy is Haddin. It took me awhile for it to click, but he used to live in Gate Pass. Really good fancy-shmancy painter, but his brother (or half-brother? I dunno) Mandragon was a bad guy, being a thug and stuff. After a while, they thought Mandragon suddenly became good or changed, but it was Haddin who dominated him and made him nice when he wasn’t really nice. Or something like that. Gate Pass got all angry about it and blamed him for dominating other people (dunno if he did or not, but whatever) and eventually he left town. There were some rumors that his daughter was under his spell as well, and that made me angry. No one should be dominated; NO ONE.

So I ask him (with a dagger in his face) if he’s controlling Crystin. I… can’t really recall much after that, but I think he used his evil magic on me to forget about it. Or something. But I know he was lying. HE WAS LYING DON’T EVER DOUBT ME.

When we were ready to leave this morning (note to selves; do not take morning breaths in the Fire Forest) the Inquisitor guy finally caught up to us! It was only one of them, but that’s pretty scary. So, everyone charged off to go kill him really fast. Except me.

I wanted Haddin dead, so Crystin won’t have him inside her head. So I tried to rip him apart. He did his weird mind-meld thingamajig, and things got fuzzy again. Then I think Rhakesh slapped me. It still kinda stings.

Shava said that it wasn’t a good idea to kill Haddin, because magic is weird. Crystin told me not to kill him either, because he’s her dad and she loves him. Haddin’s an evil man and he should die, with lots and lots of pain… but he’s still alive, because they can’t see him for what he is. HE’S EVIL MISTER BOOK DON’T TRUST HIM.

I might not write for a long time, since the Fire Forest is really hot, and you might burn up. Hope it’s not as bad as I think.

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Entry #13 - Wherein Laurya Leaves the Group
We didn't take it well

Hi book. Today is not what I wanted.

We were about to depart for the fire forest, but our party heard rumors of a disease running rampant through the dwarven kingdom. Birdlady Laurya had to stay behind and tend to them, following her path as a healer of the downtrodden.

We should have let them rot. They did nothing but hinder us, forcing us to fix their foolish mistakes. We would have been better off.

Regardless, we had to continue. Ragesia sought our group, regardless on how splintered it became. With reluctance, we left her behind.

It is for the best. Her kind isn’t suited for war, like we are. Isn’t that right?

We made our way, even while the others were still choking back tears. Irritating. We ran into a band of bandits, who appeared to recognize Rhakesh. From their words, they were responsible for sending the oaf to an early grave. It didn’t take long for him to repay their kindness; the brigand’s throat was torn out relatively quickly. A little sloppy, but Rhakesh isn’t one for technique.

The rest of the brigands didn’t survive much longer, between the two undead warriors ripping through them like parchment and the fey arcanists blasting them into ashes. Shame, I was hoping to kill a few more myself.

I’ll be writing sooner than you think, ‘Book’.

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