The Emerald Spire and Beyond!
Journal Entry #6
I am now to only be referred to as, NIGHTINGALE THE DEVIL SLAYER!!!
That is all.
Journal Entry #5
I have been neglecting my journal entries as it is not in my nature to leave any evidence of where I have been, and what I have been planning. There is also the fact that I have thus far not found anything noteworthy in the Emerald Spire – well, no loot worth mentioning – the Spire itself however is a different story. Level after level of grueling punishment… if it wasn’t for the fact that it is pushing me to improve on my already finely honed skills, I would consider it a waste of my time and an unadvantageous risk.
I haven’t come out of this completely empty handed though – I have acquired a Keen magical rapier, as well as a pair of swords which seem to be built from shards of the spire itself – stunning green blades with a distinct fire within them when the light hits them just so. Although I can’t really consider them a prize as I have actually spent gold to obtain them…. makes the experience bitter sweet…. but I intend on rectifying this by robbing the merchant who I had to pay for these weapons, before leaving this area once the Spire has been completed. That should relieve me of any lingering feelings of disgust, but I must be patient and wait until just before I leave town, so that any suspicions will be too late. Once I’m gone, none of them will ever see my face again – and if they do, they won’t know that it’s mine!
So why do I feel the need to make this new journal entry, you ask?
Why after so long? Especially when there hasn’t really been any treasurers of note to log?
Something occurred the other day as we were leaving the 7th level of the Spire… Something… unusual. Something about the Shadows…
I noticed the Shadows… I know that doesn’t seem unusual – I often notice shadows – they are a comfortable hiding spot during a theft and they warn of danger approaching – I have always noticed the shadows and have built a career around the advantages I have found in them…advantages no one else ever notice…
But that day was different…
As we were making our way back up, out of the spire, feeling tired but accomplished, I stretched out my hand to sail through the smooth darkness and I noticed… my hand was no longer there!
Well, that’s not entirely true – my hand was still there… I think… It still existed, but I absolutely could not detect it. My own hand, just a few feet from me, and I absolutely could not detect it!
I tried it again when we passed through another dimly lit area – a corner which was dim, but still light enough that I could see rubble piled in the corners, but again, my hand vanished without a trace!
I claimed exhaustion and slowed my pace until I was at the back of the group, not wanting to call attention to my experimenting. I then took a deep breath and allowed my full figure to enter the darkness. I could see myself, and the group, but they didn’t seem to notice me. I ran ahead of them, remaining in the shadows, but again, none of them took notice.
I then decided to call out, and see if perhaps they just weren’t paying attention. Kat and I do not have many similarities, as Kat prefers combat, while I prefer to remain unseen – my presence unnoticed until after my damage has been done; but during this trip, the curious creature that is Kat, has always been a worthwhile companion. It is necessary for me to scout ahead and give warning of possible traps, secret passageways, and to pick locks that would otherwise hinder our progress, but I feel as though an unspoken trust might be forming between Kat and I, as while I scout ahead to warn us of possible dangers, Kat is always beside me, offering protection should the need arise.
As such, I decided to call out Kat’s name and see the reaction from the group. Could they hear me? Could they see me, if I called attention to my whereabouts? But at first when I spoke, they looked around, and seemed completely confused and unable to pin point my location. I couldn’t tell if they were concerned about me, or angry that I was playing some kind of trick in such a dangerous area, but when I revealed myself and stepped out of the shadows, Bobbity seemed genuinely intrigued.
As we made our way out of the Spire, we took advantage of the shadows, to experiment with their possible hidden effects. One by one, Kat, Bobbity and I took turns stepping into the shadows, but it seemed that only I had the ability to hide in them so completely. Even while they paid close attention to me, no matter how slowly I entered the shadows, I seemed to vanish in front of their eyes, without a trace.
I thought that this was some peculiar effect of the Spire, but when we arrived at the tavern, I was able to continue vanishing in the shadows there as well. I removed all my items and even clothing, to see if some effect had been cast on anything I had on my person, but even then, I remained unseen.
This will be a very interesting ability that I plan on exploiting…. i mean, exploring… further, and taking full advantage of in the days to come.
It will definitely be an asset when retrieving my gold from that heinous merchant!!!
We have just returned from exploring the second layer of the Emerald Spire.
We headed downwards, feeling quite accomplished after walking through the ground level, now silent as the previous occupants are no longer alive to get in our way.
The second level was much easier to walk through, as light was less of an issue and the floors were easy to tread – provided you have a master at trap spotting and disarming, such as myself. I can only imagine that without my presence, the lot of them would have fallen victim to the great number of traps set high and low throughout the level – which we learned early on as they carelessly set off a trap in the first room we came to.
From then on, I lead the way, spotting traps, disarming traps and unlocking doors. I also spotted secret doors to help give us a thorough search of the area. If only there was more treasure to be had, I would say that this level of the spire was a custom built playground for one such as myself.
However, there were a few other aspects of the level which were less entertaining, as we did come across a few giant moon spiders and the undead. It was the first time I was ever grateful to have clerics nearby, as they made quick work of the undead. Also, the little, curious creature, Bobbity, also impressed with his bombs, which hit multiple opponents at a time. Kat was quite brave, as he entered many unknown areas along side me, making sure that if we were caught off guard, I would have extra defences.
Our little, unlikely team has been learning how to work together and to think tactically, which is a great improvement from our last trip into the spire. I feel more confident now that we are better equipped to handle whatever challenges the spire throws at us next… especially if it means that we finally can “rescue” some more loot.
On that note, I am amazed to say that our clerics actually managed to teach me something during this expedition. Apparently, you can get away with grave robbing if you simply refer to it as, “Archeology” interesting… I will definitely keep this in mind for future… “excavations”.
Well, my vacation has taken an unexpected turn.
With our team cleric called away to see to other business, we remaining decided to take a break from the spire, and instead explore the nearby, small town of Thornkeep, located within the Echo Wood of the northwestern River Kingdoms.
Any opportunity to find treasure is an opportunity worth exploring, and think we needed an exercise in teamwork, since it seems we are bound to die within the spire if we can’t all work together.
The caves were interesting – I don’t usually like to resort to violence, but I was the first to draw blood, and on my first shot, killed a large insect type creature. From that point on I was crossbow in hand, slaying goblins from room to room, earning me the nickname, “Slayer” which I have to admit did give me a giggle.
At long last, my teammates did finally get a taste of what skills I possess, disarming traps and magical locks, saving us all from a terrible shock and making treasure available to us, but I think my favorite moment was when we reached a vast cavern, perilous and seemingly unpassable… which I simply and skillfully made my way across, and created a rope bridge so that my teammates could pass safely. Without me there, they would have surely fallen prey to whatever lurked in those waters – I dare not imagine what it could have been, but I know it would not have been pleasant.
I hope my team has a better appreciation for me now, as well as my skills.
I think I may actually be growing a fondness for them… so strange… I don’t usually get attached, but I suppose long periods of time in life threatening situations could cause a kind of affection…
There was one point in Thornkeep however, that did have me extremely unnerved!
I could sense danger, but could not see it and despite being careful and letting all my teammates go ahead of me, I was brushed by an eerie, darkness!
I immediately fled from the room, but when I turned around, all I could see was a fleeing shadow!
I was told that the shadow was alive and quite powerful – more than a match for us.
I marvelled at how a simple shadow could hold such power… intrigued…. inspired!
I think I might spend a bit of time contemplating the potential of using shadows more efficiently. It may help me to become a more effective rogue?
Pharast 18, AR 4715 – Entry 2
Well, the secret that I am not human, but a Kitsune must be out by now, as the moment we entered the Spire and saw that danger awaited us on the very doorstep, I shifted into my Kitsune form. Who needs daggers when you have claws? Though perhaps the darkness blurred their vision, as no one seemed to react to it?
I suppose they might not have noticed? I shifted back into my human form once we left the Spire and were back in the daylight, so perhaps while in the Spire, it was too dark for them to see my form shift?
Hmm… it might be an amusing trick if I were to always shape shift into my Kitsune form as we enter and then shift back into Human form as we exit the Spire – they might think it’s a magical effect that the Spire has on me – could be a fun little prank if it works… some of them don’t seem too intelligent, so it could happen.
As for the Spire itself, Daikitsu knows I enjoy working under the cover of darkness, but being completely blinded by it is a bit more than I usually bargain for. Darkness was not my ally today, when the enemy could see me, but I could not see them – now I know what my victims feel like… proof that it’s been an effective strategy all along.
Resorting to violence isn’t my first choice. I prefer to slip in and out stealthily and unseen, avoiding danger and combat. The rest of my team mates however, seem to prefer to want to attract attention to themselves, blindly chasing foes into unknown danger, setting off traps, and causing our numbers to be split… I guess that’s a different approach… but I find it a poor strategy to choose battle over stealthy avoidance; but I usually work alone which makes going unnoticed quite a bit easier.
I’ve heard that splitting the party is usually unwise, but that’s just what happened when those fools rushed ahead, and triggered that trap before I could disarm it.
We should really discuss tactics if we are going to survive this Spire.
At the very least, I should compliment them as they are doing their jobs as far as providing cover for me and drawing the enemies attention off of me. Maybe while they cause a distraction I can find some traps I can spring on our enemies, or better still, some loot I can slip into my cape while they are preoccupied with fighting.
As for my own fighting abilities, I might have been more helpful in battle if it was not for that damned darkness! I am fine with low light, but this was unnatural! I can not hit what I can not see! (It was almost as if I rolled 4’s 7 times in a row and it was completely NOT my fault!!!) Though, when I could see my enemy, I did manage to kill one or two of those vile goblins, though I wonder if anyone even noticed?
There was unfortunately one moment when things looked very grim.
After I bravely forced my way to the front of the line on a spiraled staircase, so that I could unlock a door that lead to a monstrous, blood thirsty beast on the other side, (which they are lucky I did, or they would have undoubtedly all been picked off, one at a time) I found myself face to face with the brute.
I tried desperately to flip out of it’s path once the door was open, and I was successful once, but the beast followed me, and with my surroundings so unfamiliar, and the room was so congested, he caught me the second time and then everything faded to black. I was almost done for.
Damn Gorn for not assembling a party that contained a designated healer! That’s dungeoneering 101!
Why didn’t somebody suggest in a dozen letters while the party was being formed that we needed MORE healing!? (Stares at you expressionlessly, breaking the 4th wall).
Luckily we all made it out alive, just barely.
Sadly, there wasn’t much plunder to be found. A ring of feather fall, but I try not to put myself in situations that would require such a trinket. Hopefully the rest of the Spire proves to be more fruitful.
Instead, I filled my pockets with shattered stones from the spire, and will bring those back to town with me. Perhaps a skilled jeweler can craft them into some lovely necklaces or bracelets for me to fense.
Too bad green isn’t my color. Next time, I’m going to vacation alone at the Magenta Spire.
Moonday, Pharast 16, AR 4715 – Entry 1
I arrived at the gates of Fort Inevitable when the moon was high, cloaking myself in the darkness provided by the nearby vineyard. As I watched the gates, I sampled the sweet fruit of my cover, watching the hours pass.
This gate was no good to me – though only one Hells Knight gaurds it, it is not heavily trafficed enough to provide the right distraction. Simply walking in and paying the fee of entrance isn’t my style, and although seeking aid from a well known source named Gorn would be easy to obtain, there is no skill in it and as such no challenge. A girl on vacation needs to have some fun, doesn’t she?
By morning’s first light, I had already positioned myself at the main gate entrance. More guards, but also more traffic – if you can call one wagon of vegetables every few hours traffic. I seized my opportunity when a wagon-load of fresh country apples rolled past. The driver was so focused on the guards up ahead that he did not notice me climb aboard. I must have chosen a well known wagon, because the guards didn’t even bother to check his wares, and I was able to enter the city completely undetected.
For a city that is rumored to be incredibly well guarded, there was disappointingly no challenge for me to find my way inside unnoticed. I hope the spire proves to be more entertaining.
After a long night of surveillance, I made my way straight to the Helmed Lady Tavern, pick-pocketing townsfolk as I asked them for directions – their coin provided me with plenty to eat and drink upon my arrival at the tavern. With my hood up to cast a shadow on my face, I found myself a quiet table in a dark corner, hoping to avoid any interruption by any intrigued locals with enough ale to give them courage. Here I bide my time as I surveyed the local riff raff and planned some easy marks to pass the hours.
A few interesting specimen find their way to the tavern. A stern drawven woman tends the bar, while a local elderly gentleman, who I assume is Gorn rests by the fire. But I am in no rush to make my attendance known – I was informed that there would be others, and I waited to see what sort of bunch would be assembled.
Gorn is soon approached by what seems to be a Cleric….I reconsider whether the treasures that will be found inside the spire will be worth the endless hours of listening to him mutter on and on about his worthless religious nonsense. I suppose if need be I could always put a gag in his mouth – silence is golden after all and I’m sure I won’t be the only one who isn’t interested in hearing about his deity.
Next is a dwarf, heavily armored, seems sturdy enough. Ah yes, my meat shield has arrived. Excellent! By the look of him, his mannerisms and stance, I’d say that he seems to be the sort who values honor and courage – perfect tools for me to twist around my little finger, he will be my pawn and my protection should we encounter anything nasty in the spire.
The next pair to approach Gorn were a definite curiosity – a… I’m not sure… but it doesn’t smell like a gnome, and a Nagaji. They draw more attention to themselves than is my liking… still, I can’t sit here watching them forever. I approach and make my introductions.
As anticipated, Gorn seems utterly enamored with me… what else is new. My trick with his coin purse definitely proved I have my uses and the stunt with the shape-shifting has all of them guessing, but none the less, I have proven myself as a member of the team they should feel very lucky to have. Although, as much as I am enjoying the excitement they must feel of having such a mysterious member of the team as myself, I do wish that the Negaji would quit staring at me…. those lidless eyes give me the creeps…. though I suppose I will have to play nice to him, seeing as how he’s Mr. Meat Shield #2…
We drink, eat, are merry and discuss our strategies well into the night before each bedding down for the night in our own, private rooms… there is only so far I will go for a meat shield.
The next day, Gorn gives us a tour of the town and it’s surroundings.
Most of it is fairly boring, although the suggestions to burn down the Hell Knights tavern, steal some treasure and horses and ride away does make me chuckle – these guys might just be fun for the time being after all!
I am also made aware of the local money changer / fence, who I ask Gorn for an introduction to, in time. I will see about gaining a job in his shoppe, where I can have him fence some of the treasure I find in the spire and slight of hand my way to a few of his coins in the process.
While we are all eager to make our way into the spire, Gorn wishes to wait an extra day to see if a 6th member of our group reveals himself. I’m anxious to get started, but I suppose having one more body to carry my loot, distract any baddies and act as a shield is never a bad thing… why do I feel like my next meal will be my words…