Rise of the Runelords (RPHaven)

Celebrating after a Long Day

Arken is back at the Rusty Dragon, celebrating their recent victory by grabbing several pitchers of ale and bringing them to the group’s table.
Rivkah takes one and drinks straight from the pitcher, “Now this is how to celebrate a victory well-earned.”
Taru takes two pitchers
Arken: “Well I think we’ve earned it after what we went through. Besides, I think we could all use a chance to relax.”
Taru pours herself a mug, “Hardly,” then gulps it down
Arken: “And now we have a chance to get to know each other better.”
Rivkah rests her chin on her hand, “After all, we only know each so much between all the things that have happened.”
Arken: “I guess there’s not much to say for me though. I’ve lived here for about, forty years or so?”
Rivkah: “Forty years is a long time, with plenty of room for things to happen. I’ve only been here since… a couple of a days before the festival.”
Arken: “Oh, where did you live before this?”
Rivkah: “I… wandered. My adoptive parents were Varisians so we were always on the move. I guess I sort of just picked that trait up.”
Arken: “Oh? I’ve only moved once. I used to live in Magnimar, what’s it like?”
Rivkah: “It’s actually rather liberating. Though… nowadays things seem to have gotten rather dangerous. Especially after our most recent issues. Still, it beats my homeland by a long shot.”
Arken: “Oh? Where’s that?”
Rivkah taps her fingers on the table, “Tsk… the plane of shadow. It’s a wretched place, for one so close to our own.”
Arken: “Huh? The Plane of Shadow? I’ve never heard of that before.”
Rivkah: “No? It’s a twisted mockery of ours. Devoid of color and ruled by horrid creatures known as umbral dragons.”
Taru finishes another mug, “Those monsters aren’t anything to trifle with. A single bite’ll sap your life, assuming you live in the first place.”
Taru: “And then you raise as one of their servants.”
Taru fills her mug again
Arken: “And I thought dragons were bad enough. That does not sound like a fun place to live.”
Rivkah: “It wasn’t. But… let’s not talk about that. It was a trying time and this should be a time we talk about pleasant things.”
Taru pours herself more ale, “Like what?”
Arken: “Well for one we don’t have to go below to that awful place ever again.”
Rivkah: “In theory. Still, I hope it holds true! It was quite awful. I can’t help but feel like we’re not totally done with these cultists though.”
Taru: “I’ll be going back down after all of this is over. Brodert will likely want to accompany me.”
Arken: “Oh, right I forgot you wanted to do research. I could help if you want, but the less I’m down there the better. Those… things give me the creeps.”
Taru raises an eyebrow, “What would you even help with? There’s nothing we need broken.”
Rivkah: “Stray enemies. I think we cleared it out pretty well though.”
Taru: “I can handle myself.”
Arken: “So… do you think it’s true? That Nualia is behind all this?”
Taru: “Of course.”
Rivkah: “I think it’s true. The journal was pretty damning.”
Arken: “I see,” she says, before taking pouring herself and drink from the pitcher and drinking it. “That’s unfortunate.”
Taru finishes her pitcher “She did a decent job covering her tracks.”
Rivkah takes another drink, “It is. My hope is that she’s the head we need to cut off the beast. Lamashtu probably has many heads, but only one seems interested in this region.”
Taru: “Only one now. Erylium was the other. Ilamin took care of that.”
Arken: “I don’t suppose she’ll come quietly will she?”
Taru begins her second pitcher, “Of course not. Hopefully she’ll die without much work on our part, but our luck hasn’t been good as far as foes have gone.”
Rivkah: “Mm… our luck has been getting bad. Do you think we’ll find more sinspawn with her?”
Arken continues drinking more ale, thinking to herself.
Taru: “They came from that pool below. Unless she found her own, no.”
Taru finishes a mug, “Instead, it’ll be goblins and goblins and more goblins. With goblins backing them up.”
Rivkah: “Goblins are better than sinspawn. Unless they’re… like that three-armed one.”
Arken: “Well that’s some good news at least.”
Taru: “Oh, and of course she’ll have actual threats. Villains always have underlings.”
“Tsuto was only one. She still has goblin chieftans, the bugbear, and some unidentified third party.”
“‘Ripnugget’ is a terrible name. ‘Malfeshnekor’ is thematically appropriate, as is ‘Bruthazmus’. Nualia needs to control her henchmen’s titles better.”
Arken: “I don’t think Sandpoint will be happy about this though.”
Taru pours more ale, “Of course not. Who wants to be threatened by someone named ‘Ripnugget’? Seriously…”
Arken: “No, I mean… they still don’t know about Nualia.”
Rivkah: “We should keep it under wraps. Not… actively lying about it, but lying by omission. At least until we can settle things.”
Arken: “Yeah, I guess we don’t have any other choice…” she says looking into her ale.
Taru: “Feh.”
Rivkah: “I know… it sucks. But it’s best to avoid accidentally causing a widespread panic. Again.”
Taru finishes another drink, “As soon as this is over, we can go back to our normal lives.”
Rivkah: “Really? I was thinking we could make a hefty profit and get a business going.”
Arken perks up “Hmm? A business?”
Taru finishes her second pitcher, reaching for another, “That magic business thing?”
Arken: “Oh? You two were going to start a business? What kind?”
Taru: “I never agreed to anything.”
Arken: “Oh Taru, you don’t need to be modest. It’s just us three.”
Rivkah: “I think it’s a good idea. There may be a market for it in a larger city. We just need to find a niche to fill.”
Taru: “Magnimar has a black market.”
Taru continues draining her pitcher
Arken: “Huh? What do you mean?”
Taru: “What do you think I mean?”
Arken: “Hmm?” she says with a blank face.
Taru scowls, “Black market. Underground. Extralegal.”
Arken: “Ooooh, Alright.”
Rivkah: “A place to sell… less than legal things. I’m not entirely sure that’s what we want to pursue, but all ideas have a start.”
Arken: “Oh, so what would you two sell?”
Taru: “Whatever’s in demand.”
Rivkah: “It’s something that is difficult to appraise without visiting the city itself.”
Taru: “I’d rather not go back to Magnimar, although their libraries were exceptional…”
Taru empties the last of her pitcher, “It’s big. Easy to find buyers. Lots of rich merchants and criminals.”
Arken: “But I mean where would you get something to sell?”
Taru: “Make it. Anything can be made magic.”
Rivkah: “Taru is turning out to be quite the artiste when it comes to crafting. It’s my job to essentially sway things in our favor.”
Taru hiccups, “You mean sell it. I’m no good at talking to people.”
Arken: “Taru I didn’t know you made things!”
Rivkah: “Well, we know you’re no good at talking to people.”
Taru lays her head in her hands, “Ugh… I don’t make, I can. I don’t, because things like the book happen.”
Rivkah finishes off her pitcher and yawns, “What sort of avenue are you looking to pursue with your artifice?”
Arken: “Taru, you shouldn’t be embarrassed. If you need anything I’d be happy to help too.”
Taru rests her head on the table, “Retirement so I can focus on important things. Magic, research, and not getting help from Aasimars,” throwing a glare at Arken.
Rivkah: “No buttgrabs from wayward kayal either?”
Taru thumps her head against the table, rattling the pitchers, “Don’t remind me…”
Arken: “Wha? Did I miss something between you too?”
Taru pulls her hood over her head, “Too blind to… dumb… dammit.”
Rivkah: “I grabbed her ass, that was why she slapped me.”
Taru: “Lucky it wasn’t worse…”
Arken: “Oh! That’s what the thing in the tunnels was about.”
Rivkah pours herself another drink, “Yeah. It was a joke.”
Taru: “Ha ha. Funny.”
Arken: “Rivkah! I’m surprised at you. Taru is very sensitive about things like that.”
Taru: “Tail-grabbers shouldn’t be hypocrites.”
Rivkah: “Mm, I had no idea she was sensitive towards that sort of thing. But I guess it makes sense.”
Arken: “It’s alright, you didn’t know. That’s probably why she’s madder at me than you, meanie.” she adds before she starts drinking more ale.
Taru groans, “Ale’s kicking in. Bedtime.”
Rivkah: “Want some help getting to bed, Taru? You look like you’re already on your way to sleep.”
Arken: “Alright Taru, you get some sleep. Do you need any help getting upstairs?”
Taru rests her head in her arms, “Here’s fine. Night.”
Arken: “Now that won’t do. Rivkah, want to help me get her to bed?”
Taru begins snoring.
Rivkah: “…Yeah. Let’s get her to bed.”
Arken: “Alright then,” she says before standing up and starting to lift Taru “Hopefully she doesn’t get sick.”
Rivkah gets up and helps out so Taru isn’t in any horrible, incriminating, or horribly incriminating positions, “Then I need to crash myself. Despite my devotions… I’m a bit of a lightweight.”
Arken: “Alright, I should probably check on everyone else too. Can’t have everyone falling asleep downstairs.”
Taru sleep-talks in incoherent mumbles the entire way to bed
Arken gets Taru upstairs and into her room without dropping her, “Alright you, get your sleep for tomorrow. It’s a big day.” she says before tucking her in bed.

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Meilin's Letter to Taru
Fireday, Rova 26, 4707

Dear Ms.Taru:

It has come to my attention that you came into possession of the manuscript of my latest work : The Flower in the Garden. Unfortunately, it would appear that you have misplaced it, but luckily it has somehow come back into my possession.

You could not imagine my surprise when I noticed that you, with such enthusiasm, have made the manuscript quite a bit heftier with your own work. I must beg you for forgiveness as I was not able to stop myself from reading it.

I can understand if you do not desire to read my works anymore, let alone this letter, but I ask that you allow me to help you with your writing. Allow me to hone your enthusiasm you showed me in the manuscript towards a masterpiece.

Attached is the manuscript with my full critique on your work.

Sincerely,

-Meilin Finn

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Journal Entry - Taru [#03]

Rova 26, Oathday, 4707

Under normal circumstances, I would not be writing two entries for one day. The tunnels were filled with surprises, some joyous, some less so. The Sinspawn’s physiology was one pleasant surprise. Their blood flows reverse from mammals, but their heart is still anatomically identical, upon first glance, as ours! The most basic of their physiology would kill anyone in an instant. The head, unfortunately, was brutally maimed by Arken, as was most of the abdomen. I am thankful that her strikes missed its heart, or rather, that its ribcage was able to withstand her wrath.

It is a shame I was given so little time for my first autopsy, but that is remedied by the second pleasant surprise; a live Sinspawn! It is currently residing within a cell in the Thassilonian ruins down below, which Idiot is fascinated with. I do see how exemplary ruins would be an excellent point from which to teach undergraduates, but if he is as truly interested in Thassilon as I, he would have already visited some, as it is hard to throw a stone without hitting some remnant of the civilization. Stupid Idiot. They chastised me for being realistic about these ruins, and grounding him from his lofty thoughts of card-based parlor tricks and filthy mind on true academia, but they shall see soon enough. With a live subject, I can perform any experiment conceivable! All I need is time.

The most pleasant surprise, followed quickly by two of the least, came from Idiot becoming paralyzed from a Vargouille’s screech. I was able to tie his shoes together, and magically grease the floor so that he fell not once, but twice, as the forgetful sot was so addled he didn’t untie his shoes. It shall be my fondest memory of this . He was in no danger, of course, as Arken and others were on the stairs, and I had only done it after the scuffle. It was a (probably) harmless joke, and yet she became absolutely furious. I am beginning to think the Sinspawn’s bite was not the cause of her outburst earlier. She yanked me by the tail as if I were a mere beast, the nerve. I hope her jaw is still sore.

The other most unpleasant surprise was what we found within the inner sanctum (note: Study effects of Lamashtu water on either rats or Idiot’s breakfast – whichever is more likely to ignore the taste.), we were quickly overpowered. The quasit is a disciple of Lamashtu, and is able to summon Sinspawn. She cut her hand over a strange cauldron filled with something not unlike lava (note: See if summoning a Sinspawn is possible – don’t inform others.), and then the statue in the center of the room came alive. A Caryatid Column, which sure enough did shatter our weapons later, forced us to make a tactical retreat. After we had escaped from below, it followed us and killed one of the guards. Ilamin was able to land a decisive blow, shattering the column as well as his scimitar beyond repair. I did get the column’s face, which Rivkah the Lech believes could become quite valuable were I able to enchant it somehow. Bah. She’ll be nothing more than a business associate, so I will tolerate her company. For now. I’m sure I have a few books on economics lying around…

Oh my goodness Arken just handed me the manuscript of Meilin Fenn’s next masterpiece! But how did she get it? Anyway, I have his manuscript! But he must want it back. Wait, if Arken got it, that means he’s in town! He could be in the Rusty Dragon itself! Oh gosh oh gosh, if I try really hard, maybe I could help him on it? “Taru…” Aelwyn whispered as he stared longingly into her crimson eyes, deep as the Arcadian ocean, fervent with desire… no, he wouldn’t want me to force a character on him. Maybe a suggestion for the next book? But Arken will tell him my name, and I am easy to recognize. I simply must come up with an alter ego… sleep can wait.

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Romance Novel Enthusiasts

Ionor sits at a desk in his room, just finishing wrapping up his wounds and taking some stationery out of his pack. “Damnable girl…”
Arken climbs the stairs of the Inn and finds Ionor’s room. She pauses for a moment before knocking on his door.
Ionor quickly closes the book he was about to write in and looks to the door
Ionor: “I-ah…Oh who is it?”
Arken: “It’s me, Arken. May I come in?”
Ionor: “Eh…And what does Arken want? Come to drag me into another fruitless ‘dispute resolution’?”
Arken: “No, it’s not that. I’d just like to check in on you.”
Ionor: “And I suppose you won’t take no for an answer. Hold on I’ll unlock the door.”
Ionor gets up and moves to the door. the sounds of fumbling with locks can be heard for a good while
Ionor: “Ah…damn things…”
Ionor opens the door
Ionor: “As you can see, I am fine. Good night!”
Ionor shuts the door again
Arken: “No no, wait!” she says, trying to get her hand in the door.
Ionor sighs and opens the door again
Ionor: “Oh fine, let’s be done with this then. Now what do you want?”
Arken: “I wanted to make sure you were alright after what happened today… with Taru.”
Ionor: “Oh I’m fine. Never better. In fact there is nothing better than being made a fool in front of everyone. Twice.”
Arken: “It wasn’t your fault! What Taru did was rude, and I will talk to her later about it.”
Ionor: “Feh, no need. I’ll pay her back for this tenfold! I intend to make her rue this day.”
Arken: “Wu-wait, is that the best idea?”
Ionor: “All misdeeds must be punished. Even one as naive as you must see this.”
Arken becomes flustered “That’s hardly the point! I know she was mean to you, but is getting even such a good idea? Won’t she just do the same thing?”
Ionor: “Hah! I’d like to see her try! The only reason she was able to do what she did was because of that foul creature.”
Arken: “But what if she found another way? Won’t that mean you have to return the favor?”
Ionor: “I suppose I would…Tell me, why do you stand by her? You’ve seen how little regard she holds for others. Why do you keep on protecting her?”
Arken: “I…it’s complicated. It’s not like I’m trying to protect her exactly…”
Ionor: “Feh, you out of everyone should be the one who holds her with as much disdain as I do. Or does your blood not call you to that?”
Arken clenches her fist and shouts “That’s exactly why I don’t try to stop her! Every day of my life people expect me to go out and help people, to do ‘what I’m supposed to do’. When people look at me, that’s all they ever see! Just for once I’d like people to see me!”
Ionor is silent
Arken: “It isn’t any different for her you know. They just expects something different from her.”
Ionor looks down and mutters under his breath “I’m…sorry.”
Arken looks at him and quiets down “It’s alright; you didn’t know. I’m sorry for yelling.”
Ionor: “No, I know well enough. All things have a place in this world, for weal or woe. However unlike your ancestors you have a choice as to where, as does the girl.”
“It was wrong of me to say that and…I’m sorry.”
Arken: “I’m glad to hear that, just think about that next time you see Taru. You two have some things in common I bet.”
Ionor looks back up to Arken “I have nothing in common with that girl and you know it!”
Ionor: “I do not hate her due to her blood, it is her actions and words which offend me!”
Arken: “Haha, the more you deny it, the more you two sound like a couple from one of those novels.”
Ionor ’s face turns red
Ionor: “And what novels would those be?”
Arken: "Hmm? What, do you read those kinds of things too?
Ionor: “I-I uh, Y-you haven’t even said what kind of damnable novel!”
Arken: “Oh? I think they were called uh, what are those called again… romance novels?”
Ionor becomes increasingly flustered upon hearing those words
Ionor: "I-No! W-why would a scholar like myself read one of those, what did you call them, Romance novels?
Ionor: “I assure you, the only things I read AND write are purely academic subjects!”
Arken: “Write? Oh you write those? That’s so great!” Arken says, seemingly overjoyed.
Ionor: “N-no! Stop it! You are putting words in my mouth now!”
Ionor looks around the room to find anything to assuage the situation
Arken is practically beaming at this point “Well then, I guess I should let such a passionate writer return to his studies.” she says, making a small bow as she starts to turn towards the hallway.
Ionor: “Okay okay, hold on!”
Ionor quickly runs to the book on his desk and then runs after Arken
Arken: “Hmm? What’s that?”
Ionor: “Here! a draft of my latest work. I’ll give it to you if you swear that you won’t tell a soul about this.”
Arken is surprised “Oh, but I couldn’t accept this.” she says before smiling “but… I think I know someone who would appreciate it more than me.”
Ionor: " I swear if this gets out into the public ear, I will call down a curse upon you so foul, the denizens of the hells will recoil in terror!"
Arken starts laughing at the situation “Alright, alright. I wouldn’t tell anyone anyway, but I still can’t accept it. The other person would be very interested and I doubt she would let anyone else even touch it.”
Ionor seems to calm down a bit “I…oh alright. But I trust you in this, and my threat still stands!”
Arken: “Don’t worry, you’re secret’s safe with me. I can go ahead and give it to them right now if you’d like.”
Ionor: “Feh, if it ensures your silence I’d have you deliver my entire library. My name isn’t in it anyway, so what does it matter.”
Ionor hands over the book
Ionor: “Well if you are quite done poking your nose into my affairs, I’ll be returning to my room.”
_Arken takes the book and starts to walk down the hall and around the corner “Don’t worry now, I’m sure she’ll appreciate it greatly.” she says, before muttering to herself “and he said they have nothing in common”.


Arken knocks on Taru’s door quietly. “Psst. Taru. It’s me.”
Taru is reading on her bed, buried between stacks of tomes, lost between the pages
Ionor enters his room and shuts the door behind him muttering something about ‘kids these days’.
Arken knocks again, louder on the door.
Taru stirs, then barks at the door, “What is it? I’m busy. Go away.”
Arken: “It’s me, Arken. I have something I thought you might want to see.”
_Taru lays the book down and goes to unlock her door, sighing loudly as she opens it, “What?”
Arken hands her the manuscript. “Someone gave me this. I thought you might want to see it.”
Taru takes the manuscript, her eyes widening as she sees its contents, “Buh, wha, this is…”
Taru gapes at Arken, “How did you…?”
Arken smiles “See? I thought you would appreciate it.”
Taru: “How?! Did you steal this? Who did you get this from?”
Arken: “I don’t think he’d want me to say. I know you like to play detective. I’m sure you can figure it out.”
Taru: “Who said? Tell me!”
Arken giggles and skips back down the hall “See you tomorrow!” she says in a singsong voice as she trails off downstairs to see about an after dinner snack.
Taru stands in the doorway, dumbfounded, but quickly regains her senses and goes back inside to read her gift.

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Ionor's Itinerary
Third Entry

I feel as though I am coming closer and closer to snapping, the longer I stay in this damnable town!

After that hellbitch Taru instigated another argument with me,Arken lost her temper and forced us to ‘play nice’ and go through some fool’s game this morning in hopes of having me and the girl reconcile. That Aasimar girl is simply terrifying when angered, I had no choice but to agree to go through and play along with her little games, as futile as they are. Still, I do appreciate the effort. It is almost li

I do not know how the others do it; Whenever the hellspawn opens her little mouth and lets her idiocy dribble forth I can’t help but to attempt to shut it! The girl goes far and beyond being contemptible, in fact I would go on to say she redefines the word! I take some solace in knowing that her foolishness will likely lead to her untimely demise in the caverns underneath the glassworks tonight, let us hope she does not take us with her.

Moving on to more important matters, I bought a ring for Shayliss yesterday. An emerald adorns it, just as emeralds adorn her eyes. I hope she is most pleased with it, and I hope I know what I am doing. I do not know how this relationship will function. I can not abandon my duties to the circle, nor can I expect my flower to follow me into the hinterlands, abandoning her life here in Sandpoint. Perhaps it would be best if I disappeared and let her free from this marriage that I can not spend with her. I must admit I feel guilt making this into my next story, when it can not have a happy ending.

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Journal Entry - Taru [#02]

Rova 26, Oathday, 4707

So much has happened in the past few days that I have not had a moment of spare time to devote to my journal. I still have unfinished notes left from Rova 21, Starday 4707, and this hero charade is taking time from my research. These cretins do not know the value of hard-earned knowledge, especially that pugnacious, filthy contratian Ionor. None of them do.

Hopefully, when we descend into the tunnels today, Ionor will meet his fate. That would please me beyond measure, to know he would never utter a single stupid word from his stupid mouth again. Perhaps I can help that along somehow… but Arken would disapprove, not that she matters. Fat load of good her little therapy did. Completely worthless, and the gall of her waking me up after so little sleep (thanks to Chask) has put me in the foulest of moods. I will tolerate Ionor until this little problem has finished, and put all of this behind me.

All is not lost, however. I am on the cusp of the greatest of discoveries; Sinspawn will be my breakthrough into academia! A completely new subject of research, an entirely unexplored well of knowledge just waiting for me to fill my cup. The best scenario is that I am able to retrieve a live specimen, although I doubt the others would agree to it. If I find out where they come from, though, it might be possible to call more into being. This is so exciting! I will be famous, and not based on being at the right place at the right time, but by earning it. I am going to need blood samples, bone fragments, follices of hair, nails, sinew, muscle, teeth, skin scrapings, and a detailed autopsy of the body, as well as an anatomical study of the Sinspawn. I will leave no stone unturned, no hypothesis untested, until I have amassed enough information for two dissertations! No, three! And then I will be able to afford…

Anyway, this whole business should clear up soon enough. Tsuto was hardly worth my time. His mystery was easily solved, almost too easily. Nualia is not the brightest candle, but she certainly outshines Arken for cunning. I suppose not all Aasimars are quite as dim, but Akren is terrifying when angry. All the more reason to get away from her as soon as possible by stopping Nualia. Unfortunately for her, I picked up the trail. I am making short work of her little plan, which reads just like one of my books. This case is already closed.

Ah, we do have a new addition to our group, an invasive child named Tanaka with no sense of personal space. He is a better member than Ionor, at least, the lecherous slimeball. Abusing his unrightfully earned rank to lay with a child, then goes on to complain about how no one approaches him. The nerve of that grim-encrusted snake. Hopefully, Tanaka will become disillusioned at those golden ideals after seeing the true face of us “heroes.” Then he will go back to his church and stay there, as he is much too young to be setting out on “adventures.” Oh well. His funeral.

Soon, everything will be back the way it was. I will be able to relax in my chair, pouring over notes, without having to answer to the call of anyone. Peace and quiet. Soon.

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Arken's Dispute Resolution
In which Arken tries to resolve a disagreement between Taru and Ionor.

Arken is downstairs sitting at a table, waiting for Taru and Ionor.
Ilamin approaches Arken, and they discuss something briefly in Celestial.
Taru groggily shuffles downstairs, and slowly makes her way to Arken’s table
Ionor wanders down to the first floor, a bit more fidgety than normal
Arken: “See Ilamin. I told you they would be punctual.”
Ionor: “It’s not like we were given a choice.”
Ilamin sits down at a nearby table, watching everyone occasionally.
Arken: “Ionor come have a seat. Don’t worry, you aren’t late.”
Ionor lets out a sigh and sits down with Arken. “Shall we get this over with? I’d have other things to do.”
Arken: “I am sure you do, but working this out is important. I realize that you two are not happy with each other right now, so I should go first … I am sorry for being angry with your two yesterday. Ameiko is a good friend of mine, and none of this has been good news for her. I was angry because more people will get hurt unless we learn to work together, that is why I wanted you two to be here today. So, where should we start?”
Taru: “We should start with Ionor.”
Ionor: “Why me? You’ve been the instigator more often than not. I’m not even sure what you want me to say. Any apology I could give would be half hearted at best.”
Taru: “You’ve been the sole instigator this entire time.”
Arken: “Actually..; maybe she’s not wrong Ionor.”
Ionor: “And now you are on her side? I swear, I must be fated with misfortune.”
Arken : “Yesterday you said something to her. When we were interrogating Tsuto. You made a comment about who would want to touch her when Tanaka was trying to help.”
Ionor: “After she so childishly bit the hand that was helping her, yes. Perhaps what I said was mean spirited, but it was of course in reference to a mean spirit.”
Taru: “It’s mean spirit to expect personal space?”
Ionor: “It is with you, almost everything you say is either a snap at those who try to help, or a complete disregard for others! I suppose if you want me to say something, I am tired of being second guessed by you. You seem to hold nothing be disdain for my ways and my methods.”
Arken: “Just a second. This seems like a place to work. Taru, you expect some personal space. It seems like that’s important to you.”
Taru: “Yes, it’s incredibly important. How would you like strangers you just met to start touching you?”
Arken: “I’m sort of used to that. It does get a bit annoying though.”
Taru: “Not all of us can be so carefree around strangers.”
Ionor: “And what is that supposed to mean?”
Taru: “If you grew up on the street as a ‘hell bitch’, which you affectionately called me, you’d know what it’s like to be a class below flea-ridden rats.”
Ionor: “I assure you, there was no affection in those words.”
Arken: “Ionor! That is not acceptable.”
Taru folds her arms, “Asshole. That’s all you are, and all you will be for the rest of your cantankerous life.”
Arken: “Taru, now hold on there.”
Ionor: “Feh and I know well enough what it is like to be mistrusted, to be feared. How do you think these fools who hole up behind these walls feel about me? The wild man, one of those scary druids. Better hide the children so he doesn’t kidnap them and sacrifice them to a tree!”
Taru: “Maybe if you took a bath and cleaned up, you wouldn’t look like you spent ten years sacrificing children to trees.”
Arken: “Taru! Alright, both of you stop for a minute”
Ionor glares at Taru
Taru Lahti glares at Ionor
Arken: “I think it’s obvious that both of you have been mistreated in the past, but mistreating someone else won’t make things better.”
“I may not have had Taru’s life, but she has said it wasn’t fun growing up with people judging her. It sounds like you don’t like people judging you by how you look either.”
Ionor: “What do I care what others think of me? I’ll just return to the hinterlands when this whole nonsense is settled. Solitude is one of my few blessings.”
Taru Lahti: “I was fine before I met Ionor. Everyone let me to my studies. He’s the problem.”
Arken: “Now Taru, you haven’t been entirely fair either.”
“If you don’t want him to judge you, then I think it’s perfectly fair to ask that of him, but it’s also equally fair for him to expect you to do the same.”
Taru: “He started it.”
Ionor: “Did not!”
Taru: “Did too!”
Arken: “Both of you It doesn’t matter who started it.”
Ionor: “Besides, expecting her not to judge someone is like expecting the rain to keep you dry.”
Arken: “Ionor!”
Taru: “See?”
Arken: “I think it is perfectly fair to ask both of you to drop your judgments of each other for the time being. Taru, Ionor is a scholar, I’m sure he would appreciate someone looking past how he looks. I am sure you are more polite to those people who do accept you.”
Taru: “A scholar that pays for backwater charlatans to flip some cards and make vague statements about his life?”
Arken: “Taru, that is unfair, and he is clearly sensitive about that.”
Ionor: “And now we are back to this. You Ill the name of Madame Mvashti everytime you speak of her!”
Taru: “She does something anyone can do. It doesn’t require knowledge or intelligence.”
Arken: “But are her predictions accurate?”
Ionor: “They have been factual even if some are too fool to see it.”
Arken: “Alright, both of you”
Taru: “You’re too much of a fool to see that they’re anything but precise. She gives you the hook and you bait it yourself, then willingly latch on like a lost puppy.”
Arken: “Petty insults are not helping here.”
Taru: “Or a drunk fish.”
Arken: “We need to be able to work together.”
Ionor: “And you disregard the evidence in front of you like a small child.”
Arken: “Both of you!”
Taru: “What evidence?”
Arken: “Did you forget what happened to Rivkah?”
Taru: “No, but that doesn’t have anything to do with us.”
Arken: “She was seriously hurt because we were careless. That thing in that cave is clearly stronger than goblins. We have to go down there today to investigate what is down there. We cannot afford to have distractions like this.”
Ionor mutters “She wouldn’t have been injured if we had just listened to me.”
Arken: “I can’t ask you two to be friends, and you two seem to be opposites of each other, but surely you two see the importance of working together, right?”
Taru: “And if we had simply left that tunnel to the guards, whom you so despise, we’d have dead men on our shoulders. I’m not so stupid as to let petty little people distract me from doing what’s important, but Ionor is trying his hardest.”
Ionor: “I could say likewise to you!”
Arken: “Both of you.” she shouts, before grumbling “maybe I should have waited for breakfast first.” She then looks back at them, “Look, you two have clearly said things in the past to upset each other. Would either of you be willing to try a fresh start?”
Taru: “I’d be willing for Ionor to never speak to, look at, or generally be near me.”
Ionor: “And I’m the one who gets yelled at for speaking ill.”
Arken stands up, placing her hands on the table “Enough!”
Ionor looks up to Arken with dread
Taru Lahti looks at the table, focusing on its many dents and scratches
Arken: “I think it’s clear that you two have a long way to go to working with others. When we go into those caves today, I’m going to be watching both of you. I am trying to help you understand one another, because both of you aren’t that different. I know you both have issues trusting people, and I guess you can’t trust each other to be respectful, so when we go into the caves, you two will refrain from speaking with one another. If one of you needs to tell the other something, you will say it to me. Hopefully, that gives you a chance to think about what you are saying.”
Taru: “It’s a step up.”
Ionor: “The less I have to speak with her the better.”
Taru: “Are we done now? Can I go back to sleep?”
Arken: “I guess so, but before either of you go. I’m sorry I couldn’t help you two work things out.” she says, before looking away, “Come on Ilamin, let’s go.”.
Taru Lahti quietly gets up out of her seat and heads back upstairs, rubbing her temples
Ilamin follows behind Arken as she goes upstairs, casting a glance at both Taru and Ionor. His eyes can’t be seen, but he does not seen happy.
Ionor stays seated, waiting for the others to finish heading up stairs before he sets his head in his arms and mutters “I…thanks…” to no one in particular

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Arken's Journal Entry
P.S.

I guess I should add some things. I thought today would be slow, but it didn’t get better. We did meet someone new. His name is Tanaka, and he was able to heal some of us. I’m grateful to have another person in the group. Especially after what happened in the jail.

We met Tsuto in the jail. He was still recovering from our fight. Tanaka was able to heal him too. Despite some objections, and some arguments I tried to ask him about the raids. He refused to say anything. He says he is in love with Nualia, which I guess means she didn’t die after all. The church never found her body after the fire, so she must have escaped it somehow. He was difficult to talk to, in more ways than one. He is Ameiko’s brother, but he also helped those Goblin raids happen. People are dead because of him. He tried to turn the questions around one time, but it didn’t help. I suppose he will get a trial, but I can’t imagine it will end well for him.

After leaving the jail I found Taru and Ionor arguing. I had to have them removed from the jail for being disruptive. They were still arguing. I was pretty upset, and I guess it shows, because a guard came out to see what was happening. Both of them seemed pretty upset, I can’t say I blame them. I shouldn’t be mad at these new friends. They must have had hard lives before this.

I went to explain to Ameiko what happened. Unfortunately when they brought her out of the basement of the glassworks she saw her father. She puts on a brave face, but I know she can’t be happy right now, who could? In he morning I will have to settle things between Taru and Ionor, but until then I can at least comfort Ameiko.

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Arken's Journal
[Entry 01]

Normally I wouldn’t bother to write about what happens here in Sandpoint, but this last week has been unusually active. It might be useful for me to write some things down. I’ll add more if anything else interesting happens. It started with the festival. There was a goblin raid during the celebration, I managed to fend off some of the them, thanks to some people I met. It doesn’t look like this was a normal goblin raid however so I might have to worry about another attack soon.

I did meet some interesting people at the fair. One girl there was interesting. Her name is Taru. She likes to read romantic comedies, but I’ll probably have to wait until she’s done with it before I can borrow it. She’s sort of like me I suppose, but I don’t think she agrees. I didn’t know Tieflings were treated so badly. I’ll stay with her and help her out. Come to think of it, I guess a lot of those people I met aren’t used to being near others. That grumpy old man sure doesn’t seem like he knows how to be polite, that’s for sure. I should try and get to know some of them. If we are going to work together, it would help if I got to know them better.

After snooping around town and trying to find some answers it seems like Ameiko’s brother, Tsuto got involved in a giant plan that organized a lot of the goblin tribes. He killed her father inside the glassworks factory, and tried to kidnap Ameiko. I still have to tell her about her father; that won’t be fun. We are lucky that Tsuto isn’t dead after what happened in the glassworks, but with the raid on the town he has a lot to answer for. What has happened is terrible, but I can’t see a way to help him. Maybe after I talk to Ameiko I will see if I can talk to him, and find out why he did this.

It doesn’t end there, there’s talk that Tobyn’s daughter is behind all of this, but isn’t that impossible? She’s dead, I suppose she has been dead for awhile. Maybe it’s her ghost?

I also got bit by some sort of thing under the glassworks. I don’t know why, but it just made me so angry. Such a filthy creature. I’m glad it’s dead now. Ilamin seemed worried about me, but I assured him I’m fine. Soon we are going down to explore further. Hopefully there aren’t any more of those things.

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Ionor's Itinerary
Second Entry

This trip to Sandpoint is becoming more and more troublesome.

I have quite suddenly become engaged to one of the locals, a beautiful little flower named Shayliss. However I fear I may have committed myself to a loveless relationship. I know nothing of her outside of her body, though I might add I appear to not be the only one who does. Perhaps I am being pessimistic, perhaps we will learn to love each other in time. If worse comes to worse, we were both pleased with each other’s performance, and have that to look forward to in the future. For now, all I can do is look for a ring and contact the arch-druid for a ceremony. On the bright side, I have a new idea for my next novel, or rather Meilin Finn does.

In the interest of gaining some insight on the conspiracy, I asked Niska to perform a harrowing before our walk. The results were less than reassuring. We wound up drawing the The Brass Dwarf, The Demon’s Lantern, and The Survivor for the past. From this, I have come to believe that our ‘friend’ who stole the priest’s bones was one who was led astray and survived The Late Unpleasantness by either hiding themselves or something else. For the present, we wound up drawing The Liar, The Carnival, and The Owl. This I feel was predicting my (admittedly pleasant) encounter with Shayliss. She is just as Niska described The Liar card. A liar, a love, and a temptation. The Carnival alluded to her ‘rats’ that she asked me to clear out. In other words, her illusion to get me in bed with her. Finally, the Owl described me and my actions. I apparently showed a great amount of wisdom in agreeing to marry her, though we will see if that is truly the case. Finally we drew, The Mountain Man, The Juggler, and The Dance for the future. Niska’s explanation of these cards was foreboding to say the least. It would appear that goblins will be the least of our worries in the upcoming future. I fear that I (and likely the others) have stumbled into something that goes well beyond mortal matters. Let us all hope we can live up to our new hero statuses when the time comes.

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