Rise of the Runelords (RPHaven)

One Out of Two Ain't Bad

Well, I have to say that I was worried when I first heard the squeaking coming from down in my basement. I knew that Katrine was one to enjoy fooling around, especially with that Banny Harker—oh how they annoy the neighbors with that mill business. so late into the night.

Don’t know much ‘bout this Ionor fellow, nor what my dear Shayliss sees in him. Maybe its just that he’s a real hero. I can remember my young days and admiring them ladies going in and out of town on some business or another, ayup.

I’m just worried he’d take her out on some wild adventure. I mean, if she decided to maybe move down the road in a log cabin or something, that wouldn’t be too bad, but attacking goblin fortresses or the like? That’s just not for my daughter, no sir!

But really, back to Katrine… that dang girl… I wish she’d get her head on straight. sometimes I wish I would just knock some sense into her, or that Harker… I’d like to get my hands around his throat if I ever catch him in a dark alley. Teach him to seduce my girl and turn her into a slut! Yeah, that’s right! Teach him good!

Oh but hey, I’m just happy Shayliss is happy. besides, ain’t often you get to see a real bona-fide druid thingie going on at night. Just hope they aren’t into orgies, we’re bringing Father Zantus along, and that just wouldn’t seem proper.

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Trip to the Basement

I’ve been digging through this hole for so long. Always digging. I must keep digging. All my debts paid, all my sins erased, and finally I will be free. Free to be who I was meant to be, free to rid myself of that crying, that horrible wailing.

And free

to be with

her

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Diary of a Tentamort
In which a Tentacled Creature with INT 1 uses a Keyboard

aeeiolkwef;hENOHDLKNSdfv[oiknlWEDIOHLKWE IHJSDfsCXdSP chdsFLKN8HOIR ’oisdy98hISKLD9Y8[IweasOi hknS [OIKNEDc{oI

(yummy birds)

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Notes Scrawled Amidst Ancient Research

Entry #1

Damn those Pathfinders! All of the blood, sweat, and tears I poured into my thesis are now wasted! They are probably locking my research on Thassilon away as I write this. That was years of exploration, dungeons delved, allies lost! They can’t just reject me for no reason. My theories were too sound. The evidence was there! This must have something to do with the two missing initiates. The ones who had those rather compelling arguments and those rather ancient artifacts that mysteriously disappeared…

Entry #2

What luck! An aasimar woman approached me today, seeking an expert in Thassilon. If I can’t make it as a Pathfinder, surely I can do my research on my own. The platinum she’s paying will help me with my own personal work, for sure.

Entry #3

I saw him for the first time today. While I was deep in my notes, covered in the shed hairs of my dear Skivver, the most amazing man walked through my research room. His supple body navigates through the catacombs with ease. His eyes large and expressive, dig deep into my soul. How I wish to caress those pointed ears of his and whisper to him the secrets I hide.

But I cannot… he could never have eyes for someone like me. No, I must admire him from afar, in my most private of times, and in my dreams. What a worthless wretch I am! Unable to give the man I love a simple “hello!”

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Arken talks to Ameiko about Nualia

Arken walks up to Ameiko’s door, and pauses for a moment before knocking softly.
Ameiko opens the door and steps aside. “So, yeah, you wanted to talk up here, what’s it about?”
Arken: “It’s about some of the stuff going on. It’s been a bit of a mess lately.”
Ameiko motions her over to sit down at the bed. “Go ahead, shoot.” She said closing the door behind her.
Arken walks in slowly, not really sure what to do with herself, before finally sitting down. “Well we did some investigating and we uh, think we know who started that raid during the festival.” she pauses before answering, not sure how to tell her. “It was uh, Nualia.”
Ameiko: "Nualia? the preacher’s daughter?
Arken: “Yes… it looks like she isn’t dead after all. I wish that were actually good news.”
Ameiko: "Why the hell would she be raising a goblin army?
Arken: “Well we’re not sure, but it looks like she’s worshiping L-Lamashtu.”
Ameiko: “Tsh, well that means she’s nothing but trouble. Lamashtan people are as crazy as they come.”
Arken: “Y-Yeah, well apparently she’s behind this whole thing: the raid, the caves under the glassworks, it’s pretty bad.”
Ameiko: “Sounds like it. so, you guys going to go stop her, I take it?”
Arken: “Yeah, we are going to go to her hideout in the morning and . . . take care of it I guess.”
Ameiko nods, “You want to know how to handle her, huh?”
Arken: “It’s not that, I mean I understand the fighting part,” she says looking away “That’s the easy part.”
Ameiko: “Well come on, Arke, what’s wrong?” she places a hand on her shoulder.
Arken: “It’s just, she’s the only one I’ve ever known like me, and I thought she died, but now she’s alive, and she’s also worshiping Lamashtu and trying to destroy the town? I don’t know how to reconcile any of that . . . I thought I could trust her to be good.”
Ameiko: “I didn’t know Nualia too well. Form what I gathered, she was pretty much worshiped by the town, especially the Varisian-folk. Were the two of you… close?”
Arken: “No, I guess I didn’t know her that well. Her father did try to shelter her from people a lot. I guess it makes sense, looking back now. I guess I was just happy knowing I wasn’t alone.”
Ameiko: “So you don’t want to hurt her because she’s the only other Aasimar you’ve ever known, huh? Yeah, I guess I could understand that. Not really sure if you can reason with someone worshiping Lamashtu, though. Might be able to take her in or something…”
Arken: “I don’t know that that’s better though. I don’t think she’ll come quietly, according to Tsuto sh- sorry.”
Ameiko grits her teeth. “Wait… so she… it was her? She’s responsible for what happened to my family? You’re a better person for me if you’re having trouble with this, Arke. Show me where she is, and I’ll stab my sword right through her heart! That’ll make things easy for you.”
Arken: “No, I don’t want to risk losing you! … I’ll do it.”
Ameiko: “Arke…” she takes a deep breath. “Suppose I should leave things to the new adventurers, but… You can’t go and do something stupid, I mean…” she reaches out and tugs at Arken’s leopard-clawed outfit “Looks like you had a close call already.”
Arken gets up and hugs Ameiko tightly. “It’s alright, I won’t let her hurt anyone anymore. If I can do that, I don’t care how it happens.”
Ameiko gasps but soon places her arms around Arken’s back. “Just promise that whatever you decide… don’t let it change who you are. I lost enough family already to the decisions they made and what it did to them.”
Arken: “I won’t. I promise.”
Ameiko: “Y…you’d better not break that promise,” she pauses, then said “or you’ll have me to answer to.”
Arken laughs a little “I promise. I’ll always be me.”
Ameiko: “Good” she said “now get yourself some new clothes and I’ll get ya dinner if you want.” she said, play punching Arken in the arm.
Arken: “Alright, I’ll go change before I go downstairs.” she says, before heading off to her room. She stops at the door for a moment. “Thanks, I’m glad I could talk to you about this.”
Ameiko: “hey, any time. That’s what friends are for, right?”
Arken: “Right, I’ll be downstairs soon, and I can help with dinner. I just need to check in on Taru first.”

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Taru Attempts to Interrogate Tsuto "Hannibal" Kaijitsu
And fails miserably

Taru heads towards the jail house with determination
Vachedi sees Taru entering into the garrison and nods
Vachedi: “Here to see the prisoner again?”
Taru: “Unfortunately.”
Vachedi nods and shows you down the way into the lower level

Tsuto lays in his cot
Taru: “Tsuto.”
Tsuto: “‘Bookworm,’ that’s what they call you, right?”
Taru: “What of it?”
Tsuto: “Nothing”
Tsuto shrugs, “Read through my journal, I suspect”
Taru: “Well, yes. It had information about the raid. And that quasit. And Nualia.”
Tsuto: “You appreciate the art, bookworm?”
Taru: “N-no, and you really shouldn’t be doing that… you’re trying to distract me!”
Tsuto: “Seems to be working, isn’t it?” He sits up on his cot, looking her in the eyes. “What do you like best about this town?”
Taru: “What do you mean?”
Tsuto: “You have to have some kind of reason to want to protect this place so much. What do you care about Sandpoint?”
Taru: “Why do you care? You want to destroy it regardless of what I think.”
Tsuto shrugs, “Well at least I have a reason to destroy it. You don’t seem to have a reason to preserve it.”
Taru: “If you must know, it’s because there’s a bookstore I particularly like here.”
Tsuto: “A bookstore? Of course a bookworm would want to preserve the store.”
Taru: “Shut up! You say that like it’s a bad thing, and it isn’t. You just want to destroy Sandpoint because of some angel-blooded hussy.”
Tsuto stands up and grabs his bars. “Do you know what it’s like, to be hated by the only family you had, abandoned by your birth father, thrown away as a secret shame?”
Taru: “You had a family.”
Tsuto: “And every one of them who didn’t die abandoned me.”
Taru: “You had Ameiko, and I find it hard to believe someone that dumb blond gets along so well with would abandon someone.”
Tsuto: “I asked her to join me. I got rid of the man who caused us so much grief. I offered her a chance to destroy everything he stood for! I thought she would agree with me, because he was the one who killed our mother!”
Taru: “Because it’s all about what TSUTO wants and what TSUTO needs, isn’t it?! You callous pig! Maybe Ameiko didn’t want you to kill her father! Maybe she just wanted to live in peace!”
Tsuto: Well, she’s not getting that now, is she?"
Taru: “No thanks to you.”
Tsuto: “No thanks to this town!”
Taru: “No thanks to your conceit!”
Tsuto: “This place has ruined many lives.”
Taru: “You don’t see me trying to burn town Magnimar because of a few bad people, do you?”
Tsuto: “You should be old enough to know about the Late Unpleasantness. When my mother was killed, dashed upon the rocks on the coast. When a man who was so unassuming killed… when Nu-”
Tsuto clams up
Taru: “When Nu-who?”
Tsuto: “I don’t have to say anything else”
Taru: “So you’re just going to build up tension only to let the audience down? I guess that’s why your story’s ended.”
Tsuto: “No, I’m just waiting for the climax. And it’s going to come when this place is nothing but ash.”
Taru: “Well, news for you. We talked with your little goblin friend, and it turns out Nualia isn’t just with you.”
Tsuto: “You lie!”
Taru: “Gogmurt didn’t lie, that’s for certain.”
Tsuto runs up to the door again
Tsuto: “Gog…”
Taru: “How did he describe it? Like ‘donkeys going at it in the woods’?”
Taru stays put in front of the iron bars, “But of course your precious Aasimar would never be so… unfaithful.”
Tsuto: “That little… one of those goblins watched us!?”
Taru: “And others, too.”
Tsuto: “She would never! I sacrificed everything for her! I…”
Taru: “Like a lost little puppy.”
Tsuto pulls his hands from the bars and turns away
Taru: “Shouldn’t you be used to this?”
Tsuto shakes his head and laughs
Taru steps back, “…why are you laughing?”
Tsuto: “You’re quite dramatic, Taru. Here we are, two outcasts, each with something we believe in. Bastards, the both of us. How similar you are to her, but without her manners.”
Taru: “I-I’m nothing like her! F-for starters, I don’t worship Lamashtu, and I don’t want to… well, I don’t want to raid a town for no reason!”
Tsuto: “Yet I hear tell of your exploits. You are no saint, Bookworm.”
Taru: “I never said I was, but I never purposefully maimed myself to b-birth her servants! That’s despicable!”
Tsuto: He shudders, “She defaces her beauty to make herself a monster, to make herself look something like you.”
Taru: “I am not a monster.”
Tsuto: “That’s a matter of opinion.”
Taru: “It’s not…”
Tsuto: “How do your so-called friends see you? The druid, he seems quite fond to think you a monster, doesn’t he?”
Taru: “No…”
Tsuto: “And that holy roller… how often do you think he keeps his eye on you. Both of them, actually. What’s that they say about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer?”
Taru: “T-they aren’t my friends, first of all, and… it isn’t like that…”
Tsuto: “Let me guess, the only one who genuinely likes you is the Aasimar, the one who only cares about you because she’s as dumb as a rock?”
Taru stares at the floor
Tsuto: “There is nothing here for you, Nothing. No one. All the townsfolk ever did to you before you became a ’hero” was ignore you. No one has done anything for you because they didn’t want to acknowledge your existence."
Taru: “That’s not true, I have the Old Light, and… and I have The Curious Goblin, and now there’s the Thassilonian ruins below the Glassworks! There’s a lot of research to be done!”
Tsuto: “The buildings of the long dead and fiction. That’s what you have. Have you ever lived in the real world?”
Taru: “Books are real! The ruins are, and… and there’s books about them…”
Tsuto: “Face it, you hide from reality just like you hide yourself under those garments of yours, hoping no one will notice the horns or the tail or look at your face long enough to see your terrifying eyes.”
Taru: “T-t-terrifying…?”
Tsuto: “Just like hers… you could take charge of yourself. Stop hiding, and people will fear you, respect you!”
Taru: “I… I-I don’t, I’m not hiding…”
Tsuto: “Then prove it.”
Taru reaches for her hood, hesitating
Tsuto watches intently
Tsuto gives a quick nod
Taru digs her nails into the fabric, and begins to tremble
Tsuto: “Do not fear yourself… Taru”
Taru: “Y-you need to stop talking.”
Tsuto waits silently to see what she does
Taru stands there in silence, still quivering, still clutching her hood
Tsuto grips onto the bars, his arms starting to shake as well
Taru slowly begins to lift her hood
Tsuto’s eyes widen
Taru yanks it down over her face, “Sh-shut up! Shut up shut up! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” then runs out the jail, stumbling back to the Rusty Dragon where she locks herself in her room for the rest of the night

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From the Diary of Shayliss Vinder

Father has been asking people lately all about that fiance of mine, seeing as he hasn’t come knocking on my door or anything recently. I know that he’s an adventurer and a hero, so he has so many important things to do. I can’t believe the catch I made, though. Most of those heroes were so monstrous or not my type, it was a gamble to see if the only human man in the bunch was any attractive, but you know what? he was, and did he know how to “clean them rats” good. Who knew older men could be so good at it? I told Katrine Vinder about that tryst, and she just rolled her eyes and said she was fine enough wiithBanny Harker over at the mill. Of course, the two are always going at it and keeping that mill running at night so that no one can hear them, but keeping up half the town!

ah, but I’m getting bored. Ionor better show up again soon, or I might just have to find some other way to entertain myself. Hm… he’s a druid, they’re probably ok with an open relationship, right? Free love and one with nature and all that. Maybe going into his forest to live among nature might be fun. I’ve read about the wild parties they have out in the woods. Anything is better than boring old Sandpoint.

Sometimes I wish something crazy happened around here…

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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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