Ashfar

Elwen's Journal
17th Day of the Delver

Its been a very strange day and I still haven’t processed everything that’s happened to us. I think writing it all down will be helpful. There’s so much we’ve learned in the past day and I’m afraid we’ll start to forget the details if I don’t take note. It reminds me of having a large quest log in WoW. Without being able to go back and read through everything we’re involved in, we may leave some things undone. So, this will be our quest log, of sorts..

Rescue the Children- Jed and Callum never came back from picking mushrooms. Despite warnings from Jim Oakenbough that the mines were haunted, we searched them and discovered the children. They had been kidnapped by Chief Talks-With-Fists and his band of hobgoblins. We rescued the children and now have to return them to their worried parents.

Ghost Stories- Jeremiah found out that the mines were haunted, though he had the impression that the story was made up from the one who told him, one of Jim’s men. Turns out there really was a ghost, with his throat slit. We found his corpse, and it ended up being washed into the room with us when the mine flooded. We intend to bury it, although no one really wants to touch the thing since its been decaying for a couple of months. Oh! I almost forgot! Tim found a metal badge on the corpse. It has markings depicting a bag of money and two crossed quills, with the word ‘Saragost’ below.

Guilty Town- Jeremiah got the feeling that most of the people he talked to in the tavern were in on a dirty little secret. We still haven’t gotten to the bottom of this.

New Priest in town- Apparently there is a new priest in town, though he doesn’t use the church, as it has fallen into disrepair. He worships Blediwesse.

Raids- Other villages have been getting raided by humanoids, but Bronce has never been attacked as far back as the villagers can remember.

The Sword of Starkweather John- Starkweather John was a hero who fought against the darkness, and a dark skinned drow magician, and died near the village. The voice at the stones commanded us to seek out his sword..We found his tomb, and I took a rubbing of the inscription that was on the stone. I’ll recopy it here into my journal: Stranger, trouble not the bones

Resting here beneath these stones

Here lies one of mortal part

Who held a star within his heart

And when They come that came before

The Stars shall fall to earth once more

To stand against Her might again

Who rises from Her sleep profane

And when conspirators assail

The throne, then these may yet avail

To cast from his exalted place

The foe that bears a dead king’s face

Duergar threat- The mine flood washed us through a weakened wall and into a chamber carved out by grey dwarves. From the look of the murals, they may be planning on invasion. We found a parchment written in an unknown tongue that may come in handy in figuring out what they’re up to. We just have to find someone who can read it..

That’s all I can remember now…as I said, its been a long day. If anyone can remember any other clues or threads of this mystery that can help, please add them here. This way we can keep track of what’s going on in this strange world.

-D

View
Elwen's Journal
17th Day of the Delver

I’ve finished recording all the clues I can remember from the day…I hope one of them will help us get home. Everyone else is still writing in their journals so I guess I’ll take some time and put some of my own thoughts here.

Well, it started out as the greatest dungeons and dragons party ever. Maybe that was the problem. I guess our universe couldn’t support that much awesome in one room. Anyway, before I could even start my campaign this light enveloped us and we found ourselves standing in a thick mist. I knew right away something was wrong. While Tim and Jeremiah were speaking, trying to figure out where everyone was, I was trying to come to terms with the fact that I had long, dark hair, a lower center of gravity, and two of what Tim has been calling ‘boobies’ sitting on my chest, not at all well hidden by the fact that I was wearing some kind of low cut blueish robe or dress. Note to self: Find something less revealing in town, and a decent pair of pants. Adventuring in a skirt/dress/whatever is not at all easy.

Jeremiah looked pretty similar to how he looked before, except stronger. Still, he got off pretty easily, compared to Tim and I. He had a birthmark of some kind on his chest, it looked like a stylized lantern. We found that same mark on the stone column he was standing in front of, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Tim had changed more drastically. I had always been taller than him, but now he loomed over me. I guess that’s not hard to do now, I think I lost nearly a foot of height. Anyway, Tim had huge shoulders, and resting on them was the LARGEST SWORD I’D EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE! I guess that shouldn’t surprise me either. Tim loves swords, and the bigger the sword the better. I guess whatever changed us has a sense of irony. It fulfilled Tim’s yearning for huge swords, but gave him the body of a half-orc in order to be able to wield them. Jeremiah was able to become a martial artist, walking in the steps of his hero, Bruce Lee, but he also is a half-elf, the race we’ve always mocked as being next to useless. And me…well I’ve always been a huge fan of elves, from Gavilan to Amaranth, and even tended to play female elves on WoW because they’re easier on the eyes. Well, I’ll just say its better to watch them running around on a monitor than to be one.

A voice informed us that she called us here for a reason and that the darkness was already gathering to stop us. No sooner had she finished telling us this then the darkness literally attacked us. Creatures that looked like shadowy goblins arose outside of the circle of stones we were in and attacked us. Jeremiah and I didn’t even have weapons, but Tim stepped up to the plate and began causing a lot of destruction with that 9 foot blade of his. Jeremiah decided that his body was a weapon and began kicking and punching the little beasts back into oblivion. I…well stood there and felt pretty useless. I wasn’t the strongest of us to begin with and becoming an elven girl didn’t do much to improve that. Classic Earthbound moment.. “I threw my shoe at the beast! ...You may not have noticed…”

After the battle, we discovered that Tim also has a birthmark of a wolf’s head on his back. We later found I have a rose mark on the back of my neck. All these symbols were on the stone circle…there has to be some connection there.

Anyway we went into town, after talking with a really rude miller named Jim Oakenbough. Hrmmm…I should probably devote a page in this thing to keeping track of people’s names. Jeremiah, already sort of in his element, used his people skills to find out a lot of information, most of which I’ve recorded already. Then we went to go find some missing children in a haunted mine.

On the way there, we met up with Amy! I guess she got worried about Jeremiah not answering his phone and came to look for him. What a loyal wife..I wonder if she knew what sort of trouble it would bring her? She was lucky though, she turned out to be an elf as well, and an adult one instead of an adolescent. She even kept her original gender, and stands a bit taller than me. From what I can tell, she’s some sort of ranger. I guess that explains her fondness for the hunter class on WoW. Oh..I just thought of something.. what happened to their young son? How sad..I won’t bring it up, I’m sure the thought’s already occurred to her. We can only hope that when we get back to normal soon so the poor kid isn’t an orphan..

So we went through the mines, saw a ghost, and fought a lot of hobgoblins. Tim gave me his bow, so I was able to be a bit more useful this time through. I’m no crack shot like Amy, but I can hit more often than I miss. I guess elves really are good with bows.

Our luck ran out deeper in..we found one of the kids but he was being held at knife point by the hobgoblin warchief. Tim was impulsive, I don’t know if it was his half orc instincts taking over or what, but he charged forward to try to kill the chieftan. What happened next seemed to be in slow motion. The chief’s guard both stabbed at him, one of them impaled Tim, running him clear through the chest. I thought he was dead then and there…Jeremiah had already received a pretty bad stab and…we were all kind of on edge. Then I realized that the kid was about to get his throat slit and..I felt a power inside of me. I screamed something, I don’t remember what, and held out my hand. A brilliant blast of energy flew from it and shot, quick as thought, towards the chief, mangling his hand and causing him to drop his knife. Tim, his momentum unchecked despite his gaping wound, arrived before the shock of the attack had faded, and cleanly removed the chief’s head from his shoulders. Amy and Jeremiah captured the guards and we rescued the kid..

Anyway…we stumbled onto a room carved out by grey dwarves, duergar.. We fought and killed one that had come up to check the flood damage.. We probably can’t remain here much longer though. We need to get these kids back up to the surface.

Oh yeah, before I forget, we’ve come up with aliases to use while we’re here. Tim is Karsh, Jeremiah is Sinfort, I’m Elwen, and Amy is…well we haven’t picked one yet for her but I imagine she’ll go by Alyiah. I hope JT flakes out on us..if he shows up late he may get sucked in and end up a halfling or a female dwarf or something ridiculous like that.

View
Sinfort's Journal

The following entry has been scrawled onto poor quality parchment in a rough handwriting. The ink is smudged in a few places, and the overall parchment has a natural inward curl to it.

September…something…

I can’t remember the last time I kept a journal. Junior High maybe? Sitting here in front of a softly crackling campfire tends to get one thinking, though, and I’m desperate. I need to figure things out, and, seeing as how I’m an extrovert, writing something down might help. Okay, where do I start? I was home from the military, finally. After a tour in Iraq, and barely slipping by yet another, I finally finished my obligation to the United States Army. Tim finished his as well, so the natural first reaction was to travel back to Mountain Home while our pockets were still swollen from governmental income and have a “Feast the Army party.” Our plans were grandiose. IBC would flow freely, and we nearly cleaned out the local Harps of ice cream sandwiches in preparation for the night. Every single one of the Guys’ Team had planned an entire campaign. The plan was to play four days straight of D&D. Hygiene and nutrition would be thrown to the wind, to be sure.

We got a phone call from Jimmy saying he had “things to do,” which is characteristically eccentric—characteristically Jimmy. JT got caught up doing some things as well, but the enthusiasm in his voice promised he would be there as soon as he could. David got the green light to start a campaign up for just me and Tim, so we decided to pursue that option. We sat down to play the game, and to say that our spirits were high would be an unforgivable understatement. Laughing and the sounds of IBC bottles hitting the table polluted the downstairs of David’s basement. Just when David reigned in our excitement and started setting the scene for his new campaign world, the oddest thing happened. A thunderous sound crescendoed and climaxed. Actually anti-climax would be the appropriate term since when the sound got the loudest and the ground shook violently, nothing but silence and a blinding white light met our senses. Then…we were somewhere else…and someone else.

Next thing I know, I’m a half elf…yes, like the fantastical race and, no, not figuratively. Odder still, Tim is a half-orc and David is a full elf. The trick of it is, he’s a girl…boobs and all. Sort of makes me think Tim should’ve said something along the lines of “David, I got a total BONER when you woke up with those boobies.” Heh…I digress. The next chain of events can be described as nothing short of … well, campaign-ish. It really feels like we’re in some sort of fantasy alternate environment, helpless citizens begging for help and all. We were thrust into a chain of events that led us into the rescuing of two village children! I’ve never felt more alive in my life…that is, until I was run through by a rugged steel blade. Oh well, no sense in writing that all done. The real mystery is how I got here and how to get back. This is just skimming the surface, but with any luck, I’ll be alive long enough to keep writing in this thing until I can figure it out.

Writting along the bottom of the page are a few words written almost randomly Notes: Tim = Sinfort, David = Elwen, Me = Sinfort, Amy = Alyiah.

Will anyone else be here? How to contact the outside world…

Zelemach?—> evil drow wizard

Father Beneson?

View
Karsh's Journal
Day 1-Our New World

To whom it may regard,

My real name is Timothy Eberhard. I come from another world called Earth. I woke up in this new world along with my friends, Jeremiah and David. (The words I don’t belong here are crossed out) We don’t belong here. I’m no longer human. I’m a half-orc. As weird as it sounds, I (the word think is crossed out) know that we’re stuck inside some alternate universe or dimension that’s actually a D&D campaign. I guess that’s pretty cool. At first, it felt thrilling. I’m so strong, you know; it’s like I’m invincible. We found a town called Bronce and I had this great one-liner at the inn. I told the people that we would find some missing kids. After all, we’re heroes now. It seemed like the heroic thing to do.

(The sentence I’m hurt bad has been scrawled in the margin on the side of the page)

Now, I’m not so sure. Jeremiah nearly died. Heck, I may not be around much longer to write in this thing – and for what? To go after some children that aren’t real in a world that’s not real? How is that going to help me get home? From now on, I’m going to try to think it through before I take anymore risks. (The words There’s no reason are crossed out) It makes no sense to risk ourselves for figments of our imaginations that won’t matter (the word if is crossed out) when we finally do wake up.

I think the only thing that does matter is surviving and figuring out our situation. My brain tells me that’s right. My heart feels like it disagrees.

More tomorrow, if (the word I is crossed out) we make it that far.

View
Nhym's Journal
First entry, no date given

This must be a joke.

Geh, don’t get me wrong, I need to read and understand as much as I can right now – especially if it could mean my survival in this…whatever I’m in. I’m not sure that I miss my parents – they’re still in Mountain Home, probably worried sick about me and Tim, since I’m pretty sure Tim is here along with David and Jeremiah, probably Amy too and, unless that portal thingamajig closes itself, we can count on David’s siblings arriving sometime tomorrow.

Hrm, come to think of it, the tide will be in tomorrow and I could go wait for them. If they do show up, I can defend them at the very least using what I’m learning from this spellbook.

That’s right – I said spellbook. It turns out the laws of physics and such work similarly to the real world (not to imply that this world does not seem real), though not precisely like those in the real world. I would say that somehow a singularity popped up in David’s basement, and that by crossing Planck’s wall we have entered into another universe – but that would’ve annihilated the Earth, so that probably wasn’t it.

Anyway, you know how some people in the real world can wiggle their ears? Apparently there’s some people here who can tap into energy as an act of will and fashion it into various effects – let’s call them spells…freaking nerd. Anyway, it turns out I can’t do that. But there is a science of sorts here that delves into the manipulation of similar energies – only these energies come from the “caster” themself. It’s difficult to explain, but I’ll do my best.

Here, everybody has an essence. This is not a matter of faith, like the idea of a soul in the real world – you can actually see the workings of peoples’ essence under the right conditions in this world. Well, one of the laws of physics that still works here is that everything has an equal and opposite reaction, and that’s where spell-storing comes in. In order to store a spell you need a suitably “magic” container. I’ll spare the bloody details of what constitutes such a container, suffice that you need one.

Next, you have to go through the necessary motions to “sever” a piece of your essence. That sounds terrible, but it’s not demonic or anything. Your essence works like a muscle, and you have to tear muscle to make it stronger (this is what working out accomplishes). Well, the same is true with your essence. By working it out, you get to where you can store more and more of it. Now, like working out, this is unbelievably exhausting – so it’s not something you can do repeatedly and without rest. Anyway, once you have the severed piece, you must store it – that’s pretty easy.

Here’s where “physics” comes into play. If you modified the piece of essence correctly, then there is an incantation that returns it to you, but there is a reaction when this happens. The results of returning the piece of essence to you is a number of effects, and I have not even begun to scratch the surface. My first attempt was laid out for me in this spellbook, and it summoned a fantastic horse. I named it “Spanky”...Jeremiah and Tim would have laughed.

Anyway, the break’s about over…this kind of makes me realize how much I miss xanga. Ah well. The first spells I have prepared are:

Parietis Periculum Luminos Resarcio

I still have two more of these prisms to fill tonight. I’m working on one right now which the book indicates is the “bread and butter” of any combat caster called “Venifica Absentis” which should really help out if I elect to go back to the stones tomorrow…did I mention I nearly died there? Well I did. Being here apparently makes some alterations to you…suffice to say that I will not be relying on physical prowess to get me out of this mess.

I hope fate has been kinder to the rest of the GT. Anyway, back to studying.

View
Elwen's Journal
17th Day of the Delver (evening)

17th Day of the Delver in the Year 2000 (evening)

I write by the dim candlelight of Father Bronson’s study. Fortunately, my eyes seem much more accustomed to working in dim light than before (low light vision?). Now that I think of it, all my senses seem sharper. Everything is more…crisp?

Amy just stirred a little in the bed…hopefully a good sign. She was hurt pretty bad. I guess I should explain what happened.

After rescuing the kids we received a heroes’ welcome. It was really weird being on the receiving end of that. The parents offered us some reward money which Jeremiah rightly turned down. For the first time since coming here, I felt like we were ‘heroes’.

JT gave us a scare.. He left a message for us to meet him but instead of giving the innkeeper his real name, he told him he was ‘Ronisha’. Yeah, Ronisha, the extremely powerful mage from Jeremiah’s campaign. If we hadn’t been so intimidated by the idea of one of the main villains of the death campaign waiting for us, we might have busted in and killed him before we figured out who he was.

Oh, and he’s a gnome. He recognized Jeremiah and Amy right away. Tim he eventually figured out. My appearance kind of threw him, but that’s to be expected. He’s like three feet tall now. “I don’t know which one of us got it worse,” he said. Good question. I guess I should be glad I’m not a gnome.

He also said that the portal was still open in my basement…we need to figure out a way to close it before my little sisters wander in.

Anyway, the body we found in the mine was the remains of a murdered tax collector from Saragost, which I guess is the capital city of this country. Jim Oakenbough was the suspect, so we went to snoop around his mill to find clues. Amy found a hidden box full of gold coins..tax money. That was all we needed for the local authorities to arrest Jim and his gang..

Unfortunately they had other plans..Jim and his lackeys attacked us in the mill, intending to murder us to cover up their secret. Jim charged in and ran Amy through, stabbing her and leaving her a crumpled heap. We were all terrified…seeing her lying there we realized how real and well…dangerous this whole world is. Jeremiah lost it. I’ve never seen him so mad. He..brutalized Jim, sending pieces of his skull flying everywhere.

I got stabbed really bad through the chest with a rapier..the irony of that was lost on me, I sort of went into shock. It hurt..a lot. Father Bronson sort of patched up the wound but he hasn’t been able to heal it yet..the bleeding has stopped under the bandage but its still very painful..

Amy survived, and we were able to bring her to Father Bronson’s, where she is sleeping still. He said in the morning he’ll be able to heal her, if she can last the night.

In the meantime, we read the translation of the parchment we found. In ten days, an army measured in the tens of thousands will ascend from the underground and march on the surface world. What we’re going to do next, I have no idea..

Jeremiah’s calmed down a bit now that he knows Amy is still alive, but he’s still very distracted. I hope he can focus soon and take a leadership role here. We need to make a decision, and fast.

I’m exhausted…this has been the longest day of my life, and between all the running around, getting stabbed, and overextending myself with my magic, I can barely keep my eyes open. (Sidenote: I need to learn what my limits are with magic..I definitely pushed too hard today and I think it could be dangerous). The rest of the group looks just as tired…but I doubt we’ll be able to sleep until we figure out some kind of plan. Father Bronson wants us to attend some sort of town meeting tonight.

It looks like we’re going to discuss our next move…I’ll write some more when I know what we’re doing.

-D

View
Karsh's Journal
Day 1- Triumph and Tribulation

We have returned from the mines alive.

It seems as though my brother, JT, has become trapped here as well. We found him waiting in the town of Bronce. I can only assume that the portal in our world is still open, which leads me to further assume that the other end remains open in THIS world (the words Must find it are written in the margin).

Father Bronson healed my wounds with magic. I can’t describe it. It felt like a miracle. It felt like some great entity had lent me a small measure of its strength. Immense relief.

The children have been reunited with their parents and the body of the man from Saragost will be given a proper burial.

We confronted his murderer at the old windmill. Jim Oakenbough and his gang are dead. Amy is in bad shape. She might not make it.

(The words Feel so helpless are scrawled below)

Father Bronson translated the scroll from the mines. It is written in Undercommon and hints at a plan to attack the surface people. Our people.

(A vertical list of Underdark races has been started in the margin: Drow, Duergar, Svirfneblin, Illithids )

View
Nhym's Journal
2nd Entry- No date given

This sucks.

Did we save the world today? Fuck no, we didn’t. What did we do? We went and picked a fight with a local gang – you know, the kind that you will find in virtually every town in virtually every time from now until forever. Heroes? Not quite. And it may cost Amy her life, and it could have cost David his. I just watched one of my best life friends get stabbed through the chest, and for what?

God…I hope Amy’s alright.

Let me do some catching up – the GT is here: Jeremiah, Tim, David, and Amy. Tim has wound up with the opposite endowment from me: he’s a freaking giant and boy, has that come in handy. He’s a beast and everybody knows it. During our fight with Oakenfuck and his gang, Jeremiah and Tim were essentially a two-man army. My infantile (really, one-day old) study into magic yielded the results you’d expect from a man who has no idea what he was doing. I guess I provided a healthy distraction, and I definitely kept my cool in combat – but that is a poor substitute for actual battle prowess, which it seems military training has given Tim and Jeremiah in abundance. It’s obvious that this is a very dangerous world we are in, so I will need to spend every waking moment I can trying to understand the art of wizardry as much as I can in a short period. I must do everything in my power to ensure that what survivors we will be left with after tonight stay safe.

I hope Jeremiah’s alright. I want to go hug him, but I know he’d probably just want to be left alone – same with Tim.

Worse yet, apparently the GT found a note in some weird language that the local priest translated while we were scuffling with Oakenbough. It indicates that some group is planning to make an attack on the “upper world.” Initially, I thought that was ridiculous – who has the resources to launch an attack on an entire world? So I thought that maybe it was written by some creature of lesser intellect who was referring to the small berg we now occupy as the “upper world.” While this is certainly still a possibility, people don’t get sucked into alternate realities on a daily basis (yes, reality – I’ve concluded this is not a dream). It’s not completely improbable that something major is in the works. I hope my first impulse was the right one.

So, I think I’ll start skipping chapters on practical magic and focus on stuff that might just save our lives. It is clear that there is another battle coming, and I’m going to keep all my fingers crossed that it’s only a battle and not a war.

Back to studying.

scrawled in later

The town council is now meeting to come up with a strategy for what to do with this impending attack. The local priest will be unable to go and has asked any of us to attend in his stead. Given that Amy and David are both injured and will likely be unable to attend, and that Jeremiah will be mentally occupied with Amy, it seems as though that responsibility should fall to at least myself, and probably me and Tim.

It’s what must be, though I hate that I will lose studying time to do this. I suppose I should learn to establish my priorities and stick with them so long as I’m stuck here, as I won’t be able to tackle everything that must be done.

I hope we can find a way home.

View
Elwen's Journal
17th Day of the Delver- Near Midnight

Wow.

I’m not really sure how to start this entry..

Tim left to go look for the Sword of Starkweather John. I must have been more exhausted than I thought, and, feeling pretty useless watching Amy’s fitful sleep, I must have dozed off. It was not the sleep I had known before, as a human. I fell into a sort of trance, my eyes staring blankly ahead. I do not know if my friends, preoccupied as they were with what was going on, even noticed that I was out. The only way I knew it was that the room was suddenly empty, except for me and the open window to the moonlit night.

In my dream, I saw an elven woman approach me. Her hair was like starlight, and her entire being glowed with a pale radiance. She seemed serene, wise, ageless. I felt insignificant in her presence. As she approached, she seem to shrink until she was only a little taller than me at her arrival.

“You were unable to help your friends…They have all been so close to death already and you could do nothing to prevent it.” Her voice was not accusing, merely stating a truth I had already been struggling with.

I could say nothing, and only nodded.

“They will fall, one by one. The dark gathers against them and Mother can no longer intervene. She has done too much already.” The voice continued, a hint of compassion behind the silvery cadence of her words.

I looked up at her, wishing to deny her prophecy. The thought of death claiming my friends had me livid, but some part of me knew that her words rang true.

“A daughter can help her mother’s work..” The elven woman continued, sensing my frustration. “If you will serve me, as I serve Her, your friends may yet survive. Your mission may yet succeed. You must learn the healer’s art. You must become my priestess and act as my vessel. Without divine aid, only death awaits your friends…and this world.”

What could I say? I already served a God…but He had been silent since this adventure started. Perhaps He was behind this as well…a sort of higher power working through these events in His customary ‘mysterious way’. I couldn’t be sure of anything anymore, but I knew that this woman..this goddess spoke the truth.

“I accept.” The first two words I was able to utter in her presence, after what seemed like an eternity of indecision.

She smiled, pleased, and suddenly the moonlight around her seemed to spread into my being, filling every ounce of my dream self with a tranquil glow. Divine knowledge filled my mind, I realized the identity of this goddess, and the rites of her service.

“Now awake, my daughter. There is much still to be done.”

View
Karsh's Journal
Day 2- The Sword of Starkweather John

The moment I held the sword, it felt as though all of my doubts were stripped away. I felt complete.

I thought I might stay for a while in the old churchyard. It’s peaceful here. I can gather my thoughts.

My friends are meeting with the people of Bronce to discuss the best course of action. I already know what we must do. We must ride to Saragost with all haste and present proof of our story to the king, so that he can muster his armies and prepare to repel the invasion. We must also investigate the plans of our enemies in the Underdark, so that we may counter them successfully.

But what of Bronce? I suspect that the king has neither the time nor the inclination to send troops to defend such a far-flung hamlet that is not of any strategic value. The people will be slaughtered unless they abandon their homes and flee to the capitol. I hope they listen to reason.

I am ready to ride night and day if necessary. We cannot falter for even a moment.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.