Songs by the Hearth

Character Journals
Collection of all journal entries made by players to date

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Judoc’s Journal, Entry 1 (x)

NOTE: If your journal entry is not on this list, you won’t receive a drama card for writing it.

Hired Help

Chapter 6 – Hired Help

3rd Waterday of Reaping

Just after the party turned down Vincent Regovs’s employment offer they learned that their shipment of artifacts that was being transported by Dynachus had been pilfered, and despite the party’s best efforts they could not find the thieves. The party then agreed to take Vincent up on his job offer, thinking that the cult he wanted them to deal with might have been involved with the theft. It wasn’t.

The party dealt with the cult, which was headed by a blue dragonborn named Gharesh Vren. Gharesh is a prophet and an empath, able to see into the truth of people, and into the future. He was convinced that the a thunder god known as the Thunderhawk was going to destroy the world in order to start it anew with those who were worthy of it. The party had none of his preachings and so they infiltrated the barracks he was using as his convent location and discovered a pyramid relic entirely too similar to the one that they found in the Syndrati Ruins. This one had similar runes with a similar tablet, though instead of housing countless souls of ancient tieflings, it instead housed a lightning being that manifested when the pyramid was disturbed. It also seemed that the cult members were sacrificing themselves to this thunderhawk being. The party defeated Gharesh in combat and convinced him that he was in error, and so he moved out of the city with a vow that he would spend his time helping the poor and downtrodden.

After dealing with the cult Vincent had the party track down a 3-headed, flying, and frost-breathing beast that was raiding the village of Scale (a fishing village). The one stipulation Vincent had was that the creature was to be taken alive. So the party traveled via barge to Scale and set a trap for the creature (a Chimera), and quickly captured it thanks to very liberal use of opiates. They used the barge to ship the creature back to the Regvos manor where it was shackled on display. Vincent had plans to put it on show for a party of his fellow rich people that would take place in a day. The party was now to make sure Vincent was not assassinated, as assassinations were not only common, but expected at these parties.

During the preparation for the night of festivities the party discovered a murder most foul, where the body was being disposed of by feeding it to the captive Chimera. The party tried to find out who the victim might be, but couldn’t find anyone missing in the servants or guards, though it seemed there was someone missing in the performer’s troupe that was performing that night. Regardless, the party started and the party oversaw everyone’s entrance. The event was an interesting one; during the afterparty Vincent was goaded into a fencing duel with Joaquin, the best swordsman in Leuda, and seemed to be outclassed (he was drunk after all), but quickly and deftly disarmed Joaquin and won the duel. In celebration Vincent took a bottle of liquor from his private stash and poured a drink. Before he could drink one of the performers, a dagger thrower, threw a dagger at Vincent, piercing him in the shoulder and shattering his glass. The party chased after this assassin and after much struggle captured her (for it was a masked woman). Of course while they were away and only Judoc was watching Vincent, they moved him to his panic room in the cellar with 2 servants. Unfortunately one of the servants was disguised and stepped forth to finish his job and assassinate Vincent.

Party in Noble

Chapter 5 – Party in Noble

1st Starday of Reaping

It turns out that your short adventure in the Syndrati Ruins turned out to actually take the better part of 4 months, as your return to your humble basecamp showed it much improved. Several crude cabins had been erected, and the central tower had been repaired. Two dozen extra workers were building and clearing the area. A few new faces were to be seen. Miriel, an eladrin historian, as well as an entirely new adventuring group led by a half-elf named Tristan. The group included Kludge, Simian, Sirius, and Tiny. They were working with Nevek, as it was assumed that your group had all died horrific deaths.

As that was not the case, your arrival was surprising to most. Though you quickly acclimated and got to work helping those around town. Jeeko created a fresh-water trap using clearwater solution, Korbin and Marcus returned to the ruins of the collapsed pyramid to try and collect as much as they could, Thaal and Tauracon assisted, and annoyed, Iratra with her studies.

The next bit of excitement happened when the two adventuring crews, along with Nevek, went to hunt down a large beast that had been causing problems nearby. This beast, creatively titled the “land shark”, was a brute of a creature that took a bit of cleverness and tracking to finally find and slay. Its meat and hide proved valuable resources for the people of the camp, which had recently been named “Rebirth”.

While the two adventuring parties were out on the hunt it seems there was some foul play back at camp: Roland’s new wife, Maribel, had been kidnapped. Roland had received a note saying to be in Noble to retrieve her, but to come alone. Well he didn’t the you lot went with him. The first leg of the trip was a trek to Drift, a river town that was the launching point for many a long journey. This particular journey included you accompanying Quin and Cole with a large collection of artifacts and rarities to be sold. Once in Drift you loaded it onto a barge and were ready to shove off. It would have gone smoothly had a group of would-be miscreants tried to kill you all in your sleep. You staved off the attack and tracked one back to their home base (a butcher shop), and found clues that they had been hired by the Travers family. Not having much time to dwell on that little tidbit, you left Drift via barge with Dynachus, Quin, Cole, Miriele, and Roland, all headed for Noble.

Upon arriving in Noble (during a festival of sorts, no less), you broke off from the rest of the crew so that it was just you lot and Roland. Jeeko, having been here before with Nevek, showed the group a hole-in-the-wall inn and tavern made for the misfits of society called The Stray Dog, where they got Roland ready for their meet that very night.

The meet went as well as can be expected: no one you wanted to die lived, and no one you wanted to keep alive died, so that’s a plus. It turns out your old acquaintance Tyros was the one behind this, as he met with Roland and showed that he had Maribele, albeit in a drugged and magically induced state of unconsciousness. Turns out Tyros didn’t have the antidote, but when he threatened Roland you lot attacked and were very nearly outmatched, but some good luck and quick thinking got you through it. Along with a mysterious stranger that appeared for a few moments. This mysterious stranger loosed a few arrows through necks, stabbed some backs, and disappeared into the night as quickly and dramatically as he had come in. You didn’t have time to think about what that individual’s purpose was, as you had to find an antidote for Maribele, and you knew only one person would have it: Roland’s father, the head of the Regvos family.

Roland led you to Vincent Regvos, his father, in the Rose and Crown drinking parlor. Vincent quickly gave his son the antidote he desired, but seemed much more interested in your group. He made several inquiries about your employment and exploits. In the end he offered you 10 gold coins each as a sign on bonus if you agreed to work for him. Not for a specific job, but to remain on staff for him. Your first job would be track down cultist activity in the city. Not that it matters though as everyone in the group very succinctly turned down the offer. We’ll have to see how Vincent, a man who doesn’t like to be turned down, takes this.

Time Stands Still

Chapter 4 – Time Stands Still

3rd Waterday of Wealsun

Not long after your journey into the pyramid’s upper middle tiers you came across a still-living tiefling by the name of Gideon, who seems to be from the time of the Syndrati people, yet he does not seemed to have suffered the ill effects of the rest of the people. Curious, but he was amicable and willing to travel with you for now, so he joined your group and you continued to investigate the lair.

Soon after you found a room that contained a living knowledge of the Syndrati, and you were able to learn of this through images made from swirling dust. Most importantly you learned that the Syndrati were not satyrs at all, but they were tieflings. Or rather, they were what tieflings looked like thousands of years ago. After this occurred Hadarai showed up again and, in a strange display of non-hostility, asked for your help in taking an artifact from the pyramid to the very top in order to help him stop something. Not only this, but you had to listen to Hadarai seemingly argue with himself, as if he were of two, or more, minds.

You explored more of the pyramid, eventually coming to a room with the prone bodies of dozens of Syndrati, along with the artifact that Hadarai had mentioned. Some investigating revealed that the artifact was part of a ritual that was likely used to allow one to shed their physical body and become a being of pure energy or spirit. This artifact was just a vessel for that, but seems that the spirit of Hadarai, which turned out to be the spirit of dozens of individuals, was housed in the small pyramid-shaped relic.

So you took the relic to the top of the pyramid and met another strange individual: Cryva. Cryva appeared as a a woman with plant-like features. More significantly she was connected to a large willow tree made of crystal and ice that dominated the entire rooftop. She was not hostile towards you; in fact she seemed genuinely friendly, thanking you for breaking the spell that the Syndrati had cast on her so long ago. She told you that the Syndrati invaded her home and when she and her eladrin fought back, they summoned her to this location. When they found out they couldn’t kill her, they imprisoned her within a moment of time that never ended. But since you had broken the seal on the pyramid, time was slowly catching up to itself. All she wanted now was to get revenge on Hadarai and return to her home.

Hadarai was summoned by placing the artifact on an altar, and he was just as resolute as Cryva was in NOT wanting her to escape. He was terrified that she would escape and take out her wrath on all tieflings and plunge the world into an eternal winter (as was the fate of his people). He said that the Syndrati that shed their bodies had done so to cast the spell that imprisoned Cryva, and to remain aware and make sure she never escaped. He would not let her leave alive.

This was the conundrum. Cryva would not leave without getting revenge on Hadarai, but Hadarai would not let her leave alive. And so you had to choose what to do: help one of them? Do nothing? In the end you, or rather Thaal, sided with Cryva, and so Hadarai was defeated and the Syndrati relic destroyed. As soon as Hadarai was slain the pyramid you were on top of began to collapse as thousands of years of erosion occurred in an instant. Now you have to survive the collapsing pyramid in order to get back to your base camp, and hope that being inside a bubble of stopped time didn’t cause too much problems for you.

Delving into the Pyramid

Chapter 3 – Delving into the Pyramid

3rd Sunday of Readying

After resting for a night you returned to the ruins to explore the pyramid, this time bringing Fenton, in the hopes that he can translate the text on the Syndrati temple walls, and perhaps speak with the gnomes.

You arrived at the largest pyramid in the ruins, but as you got closer the wind got stronger, blowing snow and ice past you until you reached a point where the sleet was too thick for you to see the pyramid any more. You attempted to navigate the blizzard that suddenly surrounded the pyramid, but found that when attempting to pass through it, you only exited the blizzard on the opposite side: some magic was at play here. To solve this, you decided to go under the blizzard. You made your way to a nearby pyramid and ascended to the top, where there was a slab of stone carved with runes of preservation and sealing. Working as a team you broke the slab open and descended down the shaft that was now open to you until you were deep underground.

The rooms ahead of you were exceedingly well preserved: dioramas and wall paintings were in very good condition for being nearly 8,000 years old. You even found sentient creatures: the first was a hermit crab with a large stone shell named Kolka Kyala. He told you that you should seek the Master of the Bodiless, Tloques Popolocas, and he would tell you what to do. You found his chamber but it was only occupied by a large sacrophagus. Hadarai appeared to you in this room, giving you cryptic warnings about something you “unleashed”, or that they were in danger. When he disappeared, the tomb was unsealed, and Popolocas, who was in fact a vampire, rose out to greet you.

After defeating Popolocas, you continue to search the pyramid’s lowest levels, most of which were filled with brackish water. In one of the flooded rooms you met with snail-like creature who regarded himself as the Son of the Moon Goddess. In another you found a creature that took on the guise of a very beautiful woman. She manipulated the water in an attempt to stop you from passing, but you defeated her snake-servant and continued upwards in the pyramid, avoiding several devious traps. You learned that the Syndrati culture appeared to revere the sun, as lots of sun symbology was present in wall paintings. You also learned that they were battling with tall and pale humanoid creatures, with eyes of solid color.

The next layer of the pyramid was larger. In it you found several pieces of treasure: a golden circlet, a silver lockbox, several potions and a ritual book. You found more tombs, and were lured around by a tricky will-o-wisp. You even found a pair of Syndrati asleep in a room. When attacked they came out of their coma-like state and attacked in retaliation. You were able to talk them out of battle with the help of Fenton, who could translate (albeit very, very poorly). Before you could figure out what these two wanted, they began to age rapidly before you eyes until they were nothing but piles of dust. Curious.

You continued until you found a stairway leading up to a level that wasn’t filled with toxic fumes. Here you found a hallway that told of a game the Syndrati played, and were forced to play it yourself. You competed against a magical sphere that was attempting to move into its own goal, which would have resulted in the death of a player, but fortunately for you, you managed to get the sphere into your own goal, which unlocked a small treasure cache.

You continue to explore the pyramid and learn more about the Syndrati people, and unravel the mystery behind the eternal winter about this place.

The Syndrati Ruins

Chapter 2 – The Syndrati Ruins

2nd Earthday of Readying

Your first day in camp was spent making sure the area was secured against further incursion, which has so far proved successful. The next day marked your first trip to the ruins that are the reason for this entire group being here: the Syndrati ruins. The ruins themselves were on the other end of a short cave system that passed underneath sheer cliff faces. Once beyond this cave you found the ruins, nestled in a crater and surrounded by mountains on all sides. Strangest of all is that the entire area was frozen over. Snow covered any surface, and made for a treacherous journey as you braved the cold to explore the ruins.

The ruins themselves were made up of tightly packed stone buildings, most of which were open to the sky, dotted by larger tiered and squared pyramids. The largest pyramid you could see was at the center of the basin. You moved in that direction. Your travels were interrupted when you spotted a frost giant wandering the area. You tried to flee from it (it was a frost giant after all), but the wolves had you surrounded; there was no escape for you. But as fate would have it a group of pygmy-gnomes appeared and entered the battle with the giant. You convinced them that you were on their side and joined in their attack. The giant managed to knock out Korbin and the gnome leader and haul them back to his lair. You followed and found his lair to be in the top-most tier of a nearby pyramid.

Tauracon and Jeeko sneaked up to the giant and quickly slew the already-weakened giant from a distant. They revived Korbin and the gnome, and enjoyed the loot they found: several handfuls of orium copper coins. You were then escorted by the gnome’s leader to their hideout: a burrow underground. You explored the complex and learned about the gnomes’ history and how they came to this place. Adjoining the burrow was the basement of one of the pyramids, and you explored it, finding wall paintings and iconography from the ruin’s builders.

After finding nothing else of note, you returned to base camp to inform Prismeus of the situation, and deliver your first shipment of relics from the ruins.

A New Life

Chapter 1 – A New Life

2nd Godsday of Readying

This story begins with a caravan on the 5th of Readying. A caravan filled with people all with the one goal: a new life. This is the story of those people. Over the first day of traveling you have met and spoke with many of the individuals on your journey. This is a roster of those people and what notes were made of them:

  • Prismeus Vrago – Tiefling male. Benefactor of this expedition. Proprietor of rare artifacts.
  • Iratra Vrago – Tiefling, female. Prismeus’ granddaughter. Seems anxious and quiet.
  • Nevek – Dragonborn male. Leader of the group and works for your mysterious benefactor.
  • Fenton Fryft – Half-Elf, male. Master of coin for your mysterious benefactor
  • Donoghan family – All humans.
    • Cedric Donoghan – Father. Hunter/trapper
    • Sophia Donoghan – Mother. Herbalist
    • Percy – Son, teenager.
    • Rose – Daughter, Child.
  • Fletcher Family – All humans. Travels around from city to city doing tasks and helping fix things.
    • Taran Fletcher – Father. Handyman and jack of all trades
    • Lysa Fletcher – Mother. Seamstress and cook
    • Aron – Son, mid-twenties.
    • Luke – Son, mid-twenties.
    • Sarena – Daughter, teenager.
    • Wallace – Son, teenager.
  • Shaulfer Family – All humans
    • Garth – Father. Farmer
    • Nita – Mother. Farmer
    • Eli – Son, toddler.
  • Rolen – Male, human, mid-twenties. Can read and write. Engaged to Maribel
  • Maribel – Female, human, mid-twenties. Learned in history. Engaged to Rolen
  • Dalton – Male, human. Missionary from Kataan; has several colored cords around his neck.
  • Vincent – Male, unknown race. Lumberjack and Miner
  • Wolvar and Dynachus – Dwarf and Tiefling merchant pair who are part of the Wayfarer’s Consortium.
  • Quinn – Male, human. Late-twenties. Scout.
  • Cole – Male, human. Early-twenties. Hunter.
  • Titch – Halfling male. No discernible talents. Trying to break the stigma that halflings are worthless
  • Saeven – Male, shifter. Strong and fast.

During the week long journey that the caravan took there were several interesting turns, the most interesting of which happened on the second night, when 3 children were lured away by sprites in a field. They were lured to a barrow where they were kept company by a large half goat, half man creature with black skin, who called himself Hadarai. He stated that the children were safer with him than with the group because one in their midst caries a terrible power that doomed them all.

Discussions with Hadarai broke down and he was forced to leave. It is uncertain what exactly Hadarai is, but he seems a threat, because when the caravan finally arrived at the base camp for this expedition, the plants in the area came to life and attacked the group; it is assumed this happened at Hadarai’s command, because he showed up, materializing in a ruined tower nearby to warn the group that they are trespassing and that the land will not suffer their presence.

Regardless, the plan to explore the Syndrati ruins remains, though the group is more cautious.


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