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A report in the jail of Trinsic


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*a copy of the Lycaeum journal which is freely available among educated scholars contains the following article*     Commander Hawke a Warrior but no Diplomat   At the latest Trinsic tournament Comman

Today was hectic. Alusair accompanied me on my patrol to the moongate, although there were only rats to be found. [several lines are blotted out]   Later, while back at the gate, Something felt strang

*a report is sent to Captain Reann, with a copy to Skaros the Spymaster*   Some clown was creeping around the lighthouse today. I am not sure who he was or what he wanted, but he knew me and that I oc

Today, everyone amused themselves at my expense.

In addition to having little memory of fair in Cove, I also had the most enormous hangover imaginable.

 

I arrived early for my shift, in the hopes of having the time to locate my uniform (which I'd stored safely in the jail, and promptly forgotten about).

I didn't have the time.

Zorgh and another orc approached the city, and then retreated to the forest under threat of "mojo". It turns out that was a trap, which Alusair and I fell into quite completely. Fighting ensued, and among those injured during the course of it were Alusair, Jessica, Haruka and myself.

Among the attacking orcs were Zorgh, the other one Zorgh addressed as "boss", and I think I saw Pug running by.

Words will be had with those two.

 

His Grace and Jessica went to a meeting in Britain, and the remaining guards licked their wounds (literally, in the case of Haruka).

I was able to find my uniform, and change into it.

Then we visited Mordred's new house, and more entertainment was derived from my suffering.

 

Following that, Alusair and I followed the clues from the case involving William the Fence, and located the key.

[several lines are blotted out]

 

*Signed 'Kou'*

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Today was the Battle Chicken League in Tokuno.

Although it's not really chickens, since they're lizards. I never understood that.

 

My shift started early, and included reporting to the duke about [some blotted out words]. He seemed pleased that Alusair and I had taken the initiative, even though he'd previously Alusair not to pursue it too far (or something to that effect, at the time I was distracted by being in rather a lot of pain).

In any case, he was decidedly unangry.

Then I tried to explain to him that, although I can't handle a weapon, I'm still valuable to the watch (he didn't seem too chuffed at the revelation). The explanation mostly failed, because I'm just not as good at explaining these things as I am at doing them.

 

Then, the duke went to Tokuno, and Alusair and I remained to guard.

Zorgh arrived at one point, and asked for shinies. I was still likely the happiest to see him of all the guards, and I didn't really make him feel welcome after last night. I'd hoped to have more opportunity to explain to him, in no uncertain terms, why his conduct was frowned upon, but that was a mite difficult today.

By the time the duke returned, Angeline, Mordred, Corwin, Laurina (Rina), Hedlyn, Elise and the bear-headed Kallaharian had arrived.

 

From there, Alusair, Jessica, the duke and I went to where the key was hidden.

It didn't go as well as yesterday, owing in part to an exceptionally well crafted golem. Although additionally, using my abilities on more than one other person was more draining than I'd anticipated.

Beyond those problems, we were able to locate the key, and return to Trinsic relatively unharried.

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Today was the Battle Market.

It was pretty quiet, and at the beginning no one seemed willing to challenge anyone, which makes for a dull tournament. So I challenged Reann, fully expecting her to put me back in bandages within the space of a few seconds.

Quite the opposite happened, which unfortunately made me a target in the free-for-all later, whereupon I earned the attention of two maniacs with axes. Although on the plus side, I beat the captain in a duel.

 

Following that, an orc came to town looking for a lil'wun that had apparently come on his "grunt kwest" and not returned. He was asked to leave, and did so, then returned and was asked to leave again, firmly.

During that time, Zorgh arrived, and whether by his efforts or those of the watch, a fight broke out. Hedlyn, Reann and I chased him through the ant caves. I was able to chase him to within sight of Stonekeep before I lost him.

 

After that, there was just a lot of talking at the West Gate.

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Today we went out on one of the Duchy Navy ships to train in sea combat.

As with the excursions to Ilshenar, I was able to use my abilities to aid those close to me, although as with the second time in Ilshenar, it was very draining.

We engaged two pirates, both of whom were eventually removed from consideration as "threats to shipping". Although Iljian was not terribly impressed, I personally think that for a city watch, we did a grand job.

 

On returning to Trinsic, I showed the other watch members the ship mother had had me sail back to Trinsic. Unlike her current, unpronouncably-named one, this one looks terrible, even for a salvaged derelict. Iljian seemed to think that it was at least structurally sound, which I suppose is all that's really needed.

I believe the intent is to have it fitted for pirate-hunting, and to sponsor a privateer.

 

Later on, Zorgh snuck into the city, and constructed a crude fort alongside the road.

A fight ensued, for which I don't hold an abundance of regret, and which ended in Reann dragging the little rat to the ant hole. I fared about as well as Zorgh, although I'm fairly sure I caused him enough pain to prove to him I am more than just a friendly smile.

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Today we met with Colonel Clegg in Serpent's Hold, regarding the key for the locked box that no one's been able to open in a really long time.

Before that, I spoke with the duke at the West Gate. He expressed a concern about his cherry orchards being diseased, and I suggested that maybe my ability to extend my healing to others might work for trees.

I don't know if it'll work, but there's a good chance there'll be no harm in trying. So tomorrow I'll go and loiter amongst the trees.

 

Then, we met in Serpent's Hold.

Those assembled filled Colonel Clegg in on the progress made towards locating the key to the "mysterious wooden box" outside his office.

To summarise, the efforts to psychologically torture William the Fence yielded a clue in the form of a tattoo. The tattoo lead to a room in Hythloth, in which a book on one of the bookshelves contained a clue that lead to a building in Mistas. In that building was a key engraved with "mysterious runes".

With the colonel adequately filled in, we travelled as one big disorganised group to the Justice Moongate in Ilshenar, and then on to Mistas. Once there, the colonel recovered the key, and we returned to Serpent's Hold.

Upon reconvening, the colonel used the key to open the chest, which contained the journal of one Captain Wally Swiftknife.

I found it when I was just a young swashbuckler, looking for a crew to join in the harbour of Buccaneer's Den. It was entirely accidental...

I was at the tavern with Captain Blackheart and after a few drinks... well nature called. I must have entered the wrong door cause next thing I knew I was in some sort of cave. I went around a corner to relieve myself.

The rum had done more than fill my bladder though. When I wanted to turn back, I found myself lost. For hours I wandered through what seemed an endless system of caves, until I could go no further.

 

That place will come in handy now. It's perfect for hiding things...

Following what was written in the journal, we ended up in Buccaneer's Den, in the tavern.

A little searching lead us to discover the mentioned caves, and thus we descended it what really was a near endless cave system. However, down one tunnel there were spiders, and past the spiders we found the area Swiftblade referred to.

Clues scattered about the cave seemed to point to four locations.

Two of them, I'm unaware of.

One of them lead to the seas off Cove, where some terrible creature had eaten the key.

The last, which the assembled Duchy Watch followed, lead to the Dungeon of Shame, and a key guarded by the evil mages.

keynl.png

On returning to the cave, we learned that the key fit one of the locks, and that inside was the third of four clues.

Eventually, all four keys were recovered, and all four clues discovered:

 

  • A broken clock, stopped at 8pm
  • An image of a moonlit whirlpool
  • A copy of the book "The Burning of Trinsic"
  • And instructions to "Say the magic words and you will be drawn in! Hold your breath! It's a wild ride..."

From those clues, a time and a place were determined.

Sunday, 8pm, at Trinsic West Gate.

 

Following that, we returned to Trinsic, and [a whole paragraph is blotted out]

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Today, I was off duty.

As supported by the fact Mordred had forgotten, I'd assumed I might need to remind people about the not-terribly-grand opening of the as-yet-unnamed tavern.

So, I ended up at the gate anyway, and fell into greeting visitors to the city, albeit in a significantly less protective uniform.

 

Mordred wanted to talk to the duke about something private.

While they were discussing, Calluna's husband arrived, and from what I could gather from their conversation he'd thought that she'd been taken, and so gone in search of her. Meanwhile she, thoroughly untaken, remained around Trinsic (likely assuming said husband had run off).

 

A little later, we adjourned to the tavern, and much socialising was done.

It's quite small, unnamed, and somewhat unfurnished, but the opening night didn't go catastrophically.

The shortlist of possible names for it are:

The Foxhole

The Fox and Hare

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(Written quite flowingly)

 

Today, there was nothing planned, however not long into our shift a message arrived from Yew, stating that "something" was happening, and inviting us to attend.

Mysteriously vague invitations from Yew aren't terribly appealing to me, and so I volunteered to remain at the city while Alusair, Mordred and Gerrick went to investigate.

I never learned what went on in Yew, however Alusair and Mordred returned unscathed, so it couldn't have been bad.

 

While they were gone, upon patrolling the city, I discovered what appeared to be a dead sailor.

The cause of death appears to have been the result of falling from the end of the wall opposite the stables near the docks.

His coinpurse was still present which would presumably discount robbery, however the presence of the man on the city walls, and his subsequent fall would seem to imply some manner of foul play. He may have been being chased, or cornered and pushed.

With the lack of other guards, I acquired a length of cloth from the tailors. I then moved the body onto it, used the rest to cover the body, and was able to carefully drag the body to the healers.

I returned to check the wall and the surrounding area, but could find no further evidence of what may have happened, and no non-duchy ships were docked at the time (although that doesn't discount a ship that left in the intervening time minus a crewman).

 

On returning to the gate, Alusair was there with a man and a woman. The woman was wearing a Vesperian uniform, and the man was wearing something that looked like it might have once been one.

Alusair went to check the body, and I went to change into a uniform that wasn't bloodstained.

On returning to the city, I was stopped by the man and woman. They were claiming to be collecting a tax, and of the Duchy, even though they were still wearing Vesperian colours. It seemed to be little more than a joke, as the woman kept giggling, and on the return of Alusair and Mordred, they dropped it.

 

From then on, save for a visit from Devante Stirling, it was an uneventful night.

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The mysterious deaths and disappearances continue and we still have no idea as to what is happening. Last night I sent Alusair, Hildy and Kou out to investigate and they returned with more or less vague news from the healers at the Cottage Hospital and the tax collector at the moongate watchtower. Apparently, -something- is infecting people, with an effect comparable to the malicious workings of drugs, albeit stronger and more often lethal. Instead of slowly wasting away like shade addicts the victims seem to find a rapid, often violent death relatively quickly. As we do not know where the substances are from we will have to try and find out where they are from and how they are being delivered into the town. Which will be tricky, since the citizens and traders will hardly admit to the possession of dangerous and illegal substances – provided they even know. Things would be much worse still if it were someone trying to poison the city by whatever means they have. Normally I would think that unlikely, but since we found an entire cave system within a whirlpool in the park pond (of all the places) I guess we need to consider all options.

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  • 4 months later...

After the robbery last night I took some time this morning to speak to Cordelia the jeweler about what happened. Unfortunately she cannot provide any helpful information. Apparently, she was knocked out from behind and thus did not see any of the criminals. She is not seriously injured and apart from a headache and the shock of having been robbed she should be fine. According to her inventory the robbers stole a number of gemstones, but not finished jewelry. Identification of the contraband should therefore be tricky. Cordelia estimates the value of the stolen goods at several thousand gold pieces.

 

There are no useful clues that might be of use in the investigation. The robbers broke the upstairs window of the shop, which is accessible via the city wall. A fragment of a note and a piece of purple cloth have been found, but they both look quite like planted clues designed to mislead the investigation, so I am unsure about their actual value.

 

Prior to the robbery an orc was at the western gate, claiming to be looking for his clan, which vanished. He promised to leave the town if shown the cells but afterwards he armed up and tried to run deeper into the town. I chased him and we had a small skirmish until he fled out of town and back into the woods. In the light of the robbery it is possible that the orc was merely a distraction to keep the watch busy, though it did not work as the gate remained guarded.

 

A slightly suspicious woman was also seen entering the town. Some time ago she was a frequent visitor to Trinsic, along with a man, though I did not see her often in the last months. She acted somewhat suspiciously but since there had never been a warrant on her before we did not pursue her. Though she, too, should be questioned concerning the robbery.

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(Written a bit clumsily, and much of it is a little smudged by what may most likely have been a sleeping watchman's cheek)

 

This morning, several citizens opted to voice their discontent in peaceful protest.

Among their complaints were those of a shortage of food, and so I began distributing some of the food I'd been intending to use for the tavern (meaning there's no longer any food for the tavern, or for me).

Not long after that, I began to smell smoke on the air, which lead me to the Keg and Anchor, and a particularly unruly protestor who was attempting to redecorate the premises with liquor and fire.

I was able to bring him into custody, and extinguish his partial success in that endeavour.

 

However, more people seemed to think he had a good idea, and thus far I've had to deal with fires in the following areas:

North Bank.

Meeting Hall (spreading into the meeting room and records office).

The Keg and Anchor (on several occasions).

The Docks.

Barrier Isle.

The Training Grounds.

Several places along the wall.

 

This behaviour seems based on hardship, triggered by the actions of Johan and his bandits.

If that be the case, then arresting him and having him be brought to justice for his crimes should have a similar effect, halting the rioting. Of course assuming that the other factors (ie. Hunger) are dealt with.

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  • 3 months later...

On routine patrol round Trinsic with Senior Watchman Angeline and Watchman Alusair when we noticed some smoke going up to the south. We checked round the south gate and outside the walls but didn't find anything. However we then worked down the south side after hearing a bit of commotion near the orphanage and Alusair noticed a fire built on the far bank.

 

*You see a burnt down pire, with the grim, still smoking remains of a corpse in the middle. Some charred items lie around it and you might find some glass splinters amongst the wood and kindling, if you searched.*

 

There was a note left next to it which read:

Rise up brethren!

This is what happens to those that do not heed the voice of the masses! This is what happens to those that do not care for those beneath them.

 

According to Iljian the person was hit on the head before being burned so might not have been alive or at least was unconscious which I hope is true because burning people alive is not a good thing. It's still murder either way.

 

The body was too burned to recognise but Iljian thinks it was a man, but quite small. He or she had a very fine looking amulet in the shape of an ankh in well crafted silver set with a beautiful moonstone. There were some bits of leather armour and quite a lot of gold, so it looks likes it was a rich person but there wasn't any robbery. The only other thing of note was some bits of broken glass in the remains of the fire.

 

No clue who might have done it, except the note which is a bit like what the rioters and that Koba in Britain have been saying.

 

Anyone with any information regarding this is asked to report it to any of the Watchmen.

 

Brynhild Fredriksen

Watchman

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  • 3 months later...

Report about the leather and beverage delivery to Britain

 

This morning Lady Aryala ordered us to load up some barrels and crates on the ‘Honour of Trinsic’ for a journey to Britain. It seems the town was in need of some fine leather and decent beverages and it was to be delivered by ship.

 

Lady Aryala personally commanded the ship with Alusair as guard and Kou and Meron as help on deck. We set sail early in the morning and though the weather was a bit rough we made good time and arrived in Britain at around Noon.

 

The customer was a bit late, but seemed happy upon seeing our ship and quickly started haggling about the prices of the cargo. Lady Aryala had pity on the poor man and sold the Barrels of fine wines and liquors for a very fair price and the price of the leather had been agreed upon beforehand.

 

The dockworkers in Britain are still rioting in town and so we had to unload the cargo ourselves.

Meron did most of the lifting and dragging and we managed to unload the cargo in under an hour.

 

*sketch shows Lady Aryala haggling with the customer*

deliverytrinsic.jpg

 

 

While we were unloading the cargo one of the crazy Britain rioters threw a fire bomb from a passing ship onto our ship. Guard Alusair reacted quickly and with the help of others put out the fire, so only the sails and some planks were slightly damaged, but nothing serious that would hinder us to return to Trinsic the same day.

 

The return trip was pretty smooth, even with a slightly intoxicated Meron who commanded the tillerman to steer on land twice, but with Alusairs prayers and Lady Aryalas stern commands we returned safely home.

 

Christina first Tillerman of the Honour of Trinsic

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  • 1 year later...

*a report is sent to Captain Reann, with a copy to Skaros the Spymaster*

 

Some clown was creeping around the lighthouse today. I am not sure who he was or what he wanted, but he knew me and that I occasionally help the Royal Investigators. He told me to find the Sultan in Nujel’m and to perform a delivery for him. I tried to question him, but he quickly fled through a moongate that closed behind him. With no other clue to follow I went to Nujel’m to try and find the Sultan. When I arrived he was standing in the park in the back of the palace, staring at a large chest – and while that his often his pastime, this one was not on a woman but made from wood. What was curious was the sound coming from within. Some kind of mechanical whirring and ticking. It seemed to fascinate the Sultan, who could not stop observing it, as he said.

 

When I asked about the delivery, he told me to bring something to Skaros the Spymaster, in Castle Blackthorne. Apparently it is some kind of mirror, wrapped into paper. But it also appears to be having magical qualities, since it is talking. Or rather, it is insulting whoever looks into it. By way of an explanation the Sultan said that the purpose of the exercise was to remind his Grace that he does not rule all. In addition, he explained that Nujel’m is proud, and that they want King Blackthorne to be humbled. While that might as well be his usual prattling, I found it curious that he kept using the word ‘we’. He also emphasized that I should tell Skaros that the delivery is from the Sultan, and also to give him my name as well.

 

All in all, the entire thing seemed curious. The Sultan, if it was indeed him, seemed fascinated, almost hypnotized by the chest. When I asked about the ticking he admitted that he ‘must’ observe it. As if compelled to do so. And if the chest can make him observe it, maybe it can make him do other things, too. Such as arrange stupid deliveries that are obviously designed to sow trouble between Nujel’m and the kingdom. Faced with all this weirdness I made a round through the palace grounds, after I failed to coax more information out of the Sultan. The palace seemed fairly normal, but I found a pig corpse on the stone table at the entrance (where the weddings happened) and a room full of torture tools, corpses and body parts in the back. Something seems definitely amiss in Nujel’m.

 

Skaros did not seem surprised when I handed him the ‘gift’ from Nujel’m. Apparently he had gotten quite a few more by then, all from people who signed their names but did not know what they were delivering or why. I cautioned him to have the weird gift checked for magic or poison, and also explained about the strange ticking box and its effects on the Sultan. In return, he told me that the King had recruited Snox the goblin as emissary to his people. Somehow that does not seem to be a smart move, but apparently Snox is really leaving soon. Skaros asked me to join him on his trip and to find out what his ship is being used for at the moment. Apparently, Skaros had reports about a large fleet being built by Nujel’m and he is obviously worried. With the appearance of the ticking chest however, the possibility of a hidden power must be considered. The delivery I was asked to make is so obviously stupid and part of a warmongering effort, that it seems possible that a hidden puppeteer is trying cause trouble or even war between the realm and Nujel’m. I will try to find out more and report again.

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*a report is placed on the captain’s desk, with a copy sent to Skaros*

 

Tonight was a bloody mess. I am not sure if it is good idea to send an ambassador to a bunch of goblins living in an underground ruin. Maybe someone had complained about Snox sleeping in Luna bank and the King is trying to send him away.

 

The idea was to pick up Snox at Blackthorn’s castle, help him get his ship and his things and then bring him into the Underworld, where his tribe seems to make a living preying on adventurers and spiders. We met Snox as planned, but then it all went wrong. When we reached the location where Snox had tied up his ship we found it gone. Apparently a group of fighters had taken it. As usual the efficiency of the Royal Guard made sure that none of them survived long enough for questioning, so all we know is that they wore chaos insignia and rode lizard mounts like the forces in Ilshenar. It would have been better to capture some to learn more about their origin and motives.

 

Failing that we found a gate leading us to the outskirts of Fire Isle and proceeded towards the entrance to the Underworld. To our surprise we found it blocked with makeshift wooden barricades and an apparently important goblin, who denied us entrance. Snox tried to convince him to let us pass, but to no avail. The king’s document was no more convincing, probably because not even the goblins themselves understand why it should be necessary to have an ambassador. I stood further back from the crowd and thus missed some of what was said, but soon enough only the weapons were speaking and the Royal Guard proceeded to slaughter every goblin daft enough to try and block the way into the deeps. Nothing beats a decent slaughter, especially as a grand opening to diplomatic relations.

 

In the end the resistance faltered and we entered the caves. As was to be expected the goblins were thrilled about the prospect of having diplomacy with a bunch of folks that slew half their tribe. Faced with an army however their big wozza (or whatever his name or title) did something remarkably clever, which was to imprison Snox and wait for everybody else to go away. If I were to venture a guess I would assume that this is the preliminary end of Blackthorn’s diplomacy.

 

In the end we learned next to nothing and achieved even less. A few folks were excitedly cradling small ship models which they had looted from some of the many corpses of the night. This indicates that Snox’ ship was not taken by pirates, but rather that it had been specifically sought out by the culprits. But as to what is going on in Nujel’m we found out nothing, nor where the supposed fleet is being built or where the ticking chest came from. In a rather desperate attempt a learning more I made another tour around Nujel’m, but discovered no sign of a fleet being built nor anything else, save another ticking chest that I had not previously seen. However, it remains obvious that Nujel’m will require outside help to even build one ship. On the entire island there is barely a tree to be found and none of them suited for ship-building.

 

More puzzling are the chaos insignia worn by the alleged ship-thieves. Is this Blackthorn’s doing somehow? Is he playing us false or against Nujel’m? I made a tour around Vesper as well, to try and see if I could spot Snox’ ship somewhere, but I discovered nothing unusual. However, even if we did not discover it yet, there must be a connection between followers of chaos, the mechanical chests and Nujel’m. If the Sultan was indeed influenced by that chest then a third party must be trying to spark a war. The mechanical contraptions however might be connected to Blackthorn again, who certainly had his experience with bizarre machinery, even if he now claims to have been replaced by a mechanical double. 

 

Everything seems very strange and shady, but I will try to follow this up and find out more.
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  • 3 weeks later...
*a report left on the captain’s desk, with copies forwarded to the Duke and Skaros the spymaster*

 

We were sent to talk to the various important characters of the last weeks again and to try and determine how the individual happenings are tied together. I must admit that I had tried –and failed- to do that before, but this time I came with the royal task and backing, so I was received more friendly than before and had a chance to really talk to people.

 

The first on my list was Skaros. When asked about the possibility of war he admitted that the Sultan is stupid, but seemed doubtful if he is aggressive, too. He claimed not to know what the Sultan is planning to do with the ships that he is buying. However, if he really has Snox’s ship, then that would be an indicator for a larger operation, in Skaros’ eyes. As for Snox himself, Skaros seems to think it a tragedy that all the blood was shed at the entrance to the Underworld. He agreed with me when I said that it was unnecessary and that Berkz should have been taken alive. Apparently, the spies were not even aware of him beforehand and only mentioned Sniffla, the head honcho. Both Skaros and the King still seem to have hopes for a peaceful communication with the goblins and so Skaros sent me to try and talk to the honcho about both peace between his tribe and the realm as well as freedom for Snox. When talking about Skaros I noticed that he was somewhat upset by that article in the Trinsic Beacon. He tried to assure me that the King is an honest man, even if not as humble as prior rulers of the realm. Especially the bits about the war and the architects seemed to upset him a great deal.

 

Following Skaros I travelled to Nujel’m to speak to the Sultan. I found him on the market square, overlooking his guillotine. He freely admitted to having purchased Snox’s ship and thought it normal that island people have a need for ships. However, even after having had just a few words with him I noticed his aggressive tone. When asked about Snox he told me he had set him up in Luna, where he would fit right in with the rest ‘of us ruffians’. I must admit that I had a hard time learning anything from the Sultan. His mind seemed to wander constantly. First he calls us ruffians and then he claims that he has only respect for the king and kindness for the kingdom. He also claimed to have never sent the strange mirror presents to the king. This time, there was no ticking chest next to him, either. In fact, while he seemed mesmerized by it last time, he now claimed to hate it and to want it gone. He also has not forgotten the affair with Koba, though he did not seem to know anything more.

 

Next on my list was Snox, even though I hate the Underworld and try to avoid it. The spiders in there are gigantic and give me the creeps. I wandered into a nest of wolf spiders in the dark and had a fight that will give me nightmares for a month. Eventually I found both Snox and the honcho, but I crept by the latter to talk to Snox first. He was full of self-pity, believing that he was tricked by the Sultan, who bought the ship for easy pickings at Luna, which Snox did not really find. Amazingly, the goblin is a vivid fan of King Blackthorn, who he believes wrote him a lovely letter. In the end though, the slaughter at the gates put an end to that attempt at diplomacy. Snox never heard of Berkz before, but the goblin blood shed made the poncho demand a better proof of peaceful intend – which Snox will not be able to deliver while in a cell.

 

Shortly after that Snox started blaming me and shouting for guards, so I left him for now to talk to his head honcho. Apparently, however, the logic is simple: killing goblins is bad. That holds true even if the goblin in question is an imposter. Sniffla denies having built the barricades, but claims they want to keep them now. He also denies having seen a letter from the King, which is more surprising, since Snox claimed that Sniffla just does not want to read it. The honcho claimed that if Berkz had it, we should be having it, since we looted his body. Furthermore, he does not seem to believe that the King sent a letter at all.

 

Finally I spoke to Pierre, whose article seemed to have ruffled some feathers. However, he seemed largely undisturbed by that and assured me that it had been a calculated article. He explained that when hunting a bear, you sometimes have to smoke it out of the cave with a fire. In fact, he seemed quite pleased that both the King and Skaros had taken note of the Beacon and that it had moved them to act. I had a longer talk with Pierre about the possible happenings in the realm as well.

 

*signed and sealed*

Iljian

Sergeant

 

*curiously, the report seems to continue after the seal. Could it be that one of the clerks made a mistake and sent the unofficial version on to Britain?*

 

I am very troubled by the findings. Nearly all of the clues gathered allow for a so far undiscovered third party to be warmongering in the realm. But they also allow for a deep suspicion towards the king. On several occasions now we had imposters at work, presenting themselves as people of note. The goblin Berkz for one is unknown to the other goblins in the Underworld. A fake Alaster appeared at the Council meeting and the creature managed to change its shape later on. The Sultan acted strangely. What is most worrying is the ability to change shapes that is presented here. Disguises cannot change the shape of a body. Neither can the magical spells usually applied. Berkz the goblin had matching physiology, not a human one. I spoke to several scholars and mages and they all agreed that such an amazing ability to change shapes is only displayed by one creature: a doppleganger. These are found only around the Exodus dungeon in Ilshenar. The King claims to have been a prisoner of Exodus, and yet there is no real proof for that. He might still have ties to these creatures. Furthermore, Snox’ ship has been taken by chaos dragoons. This, too, indicates an involvement of the King. The Sultan had purchased the ship from Snox and could have taken it whenever and wherever he liked, without having to claim it by armed warriors. So far I have not yet seen any chaos dragoons or symbols in or around Nujel’m. Nor did anybody see a trace of the mysterious fleet that the Sultan is apparently building. So far it is unclear whether the Sultan had been replaced by a doppleganger when he sent the gifts to the King or whether the ticking chest had something to do with his strange behaviour. It has to be noted though that the chest was a mechanical creation, which once more points towards the advanced tinkering contraptions of Exodus and Blackthorn.

 

Lastly we have the declared intent of the King to consider. He is a preacher of chaos. At the moment, the real is living in something close to harmony. A plan to sow discontent and chaos might serve his ideology while at the same time presenting him with a crisis and an ‘enemy’ that might rally the people to his cause.

 

Pierre does not seem to share my suspicions, however. He assumed that the King, if he were behind all this, would have been clever enough to avoid having any aspects traced back to him. He rather fears a clash of ideologies in the realm. We already have groups of followers of virtue that oppose the King and the realm. He assumes that we might similarly see groups of disgruntled followers of chaos, who believe their leader being too far away from their own understanding of chaos. There might be attempts to sow chaos and to throw the realm into turmoil. And he reminded me about the dreams of Blackthorn, which we explored before. If there are truly lives and worlds at stake, then the conflict might be larger than we realise. Pierre also asked me to emphasize that we should not allow the talks of sports and celebrations to lull us into a sense of security. If there are indeed forces at work that can control dopplegangers then we might face serious danger and betrayal from all sides.

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To Sergeant Iljian

 

Sir, as requested I went to the meeting point in Britain Counsellor Hall for the lecture about Order and Chaos.

Sadly none of the lecturers showed up, though a weird dressed woman named Mesanna arrived and talked about weird dyes, illegal rares and other stuff before returning to Luna babbling like loon all the time.

 

dvqs.jpg

*sketch shows the strange woman at the counsellor hall*

 

I continued to wait until some person called Barney started to tell a unintelligible story about travelling with chickens or something similar.

I listened to the babble for some time and decided that Chaos had definitely won and had probably saved me from a boring lecture.

Rumour has it that his highness and priest friend took a deep look into a bottle last night and are still nursing their hangovers.

 

xyq5.jpg

*sketch shows Barney rambling unintelligibly*

 

Still even as no one showed I expect the full fee to be paid by end of next week.

 

Kyan

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  • 2 weeks later...
*a report left on the captain’s desk, with a copy sent to Skaros in Britain*

 

Due to other duties in Trinsic I was somewhat late in joining this investigation. I visited all the places and talked to the usual suspects, but seeing as there are several reports on that already I will keep mine short on those aspects.

 

The gist is that we found several corpses on the site of Father Grant’s murder that were neither decaying nor being eaten by ravens. Further investigation led to the Raven King, which is actually a talking bird. Apparently, Blackthorn is keeping these around now since he believes that the realm will fall if the crows desert Britain. The bird told me that they do not eat those empty of life, or those that have never lived. In order to learn more I visited the place where we fought in order to reach Snox’ ship as well as the one where the false Alaster died, but found no traces there. With no more options left I fought into the Underworld, where I had to meet those horrible spiders again until I found the grave of Berkz. With the grave already half open from my fellow investigators I quickly found the mechanical bits within the corpse and spoke to the head honcho about the contraption and Memen Tomor. I am glad that we might have proof enough to see Snox released. In the end I reported it all to Skaros as well.

 

So far my report is much like the others, so I tried to learn some more things. I spoke to several tinkers about the possibility of mechanical images of real living people. The short is, they did not believe me. I had to show some of them the corpses near Britain moongate before they were even willing to admit that such a thing might be possible. However, many mysteries remain. The biggest one is: how did nobody realise what we were facing? Even if the impersonator managed to behave exactly like the original… as soon as you start ripping it apart with dragons or poking it with weapons you would surely have to notice that these bodies were not normal. Along with the tinkers I even made a test, and stabbed one of those mechanical bodies with a sword. The feeling is much different, with the screech of metal on metal and a weird feeling as the blade rips through metal feathers and cogwheels and scrapes on metallic structures. How did nobody notice this during the fight?

 

The worrying conclusion that we reached was that not all the metallic corpses might have been the enemies’. In fact, we mostly fought chaos dragoons and their ilk and as far as we know they are normal creatures of flesh and blood. Furthermore, their number is too great… if they could manufacture that many artificial constructs then the war would be long done and lost for us. So if we assume that only the leaders are artificial constructs then we would have seen about four or five of them by now. Blackthorn, Berkz, Alaster, maybe one or two more, the leaders of the chaos dragoons at the site of the battles. Who were the other corpses then? Is it possible that the chaos dragoons killed some of those that had infiltrated our rows? Who else is not real then?

 

I am convinced that we urgently need a way to tell machine from man. For now it might suffice to cut the skin and probe for blood, but it is possible that the machine or their makers could adapt to that strategy. With funds drawn from the watch budget I tasked the tinkers of Trinsic to further study the mechanical beings that we found. Should they discover more then I shall report.

 

*signed and sealed*

Iljian

Sergeant
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*a letter adressed to Sir Iljian*

Dear Sir Iljian

I must inform you that this is the last mission I accept from you.

I was stabbed, burned, hit, slashed, poisoned and knocked out more times than I care to remember.

Your pay simply is not worth the risk!

 

For my report.

I arrived late at the Britain Counselor hall and only got a glimpse at some fine Lord talking about some Globes and other things we would need to find.

The Lord I later learned was Dupre pointed at some weird mirror and told us that touching it would transport us somewhere.

Well that somewhere was a damn dungeon full with Monsters. Zealots, Shadowfiends, ghostly Armor, Skeletons and other monsters attacked us.

Dupre led us around dark tunnels asking us to find those Globes as they were needed for some ritual.

It seemed like ages and I got knocked about a few times until we arrived at some grave where Dupre murmured something about Memon and a freaking green Skeleton Dragon appeared starting to attack anything it could reach. Well among the first to fall was me and when I woke up the thing was dead and Dupre looked happy and unscathed and bade us to return to Britain.

If there was some sort of summary I never saw it as I tumbled to the next healer to get proper treatment and afterwards a few drinks at the tavern to dull the hurting.

 

I expect the rest of my pay within the week, wishing you the best and I hope never to hear from you again.

 

Kyan

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  • 1 month later...
*a report sent to the Captain of the Trinsic city watch, with a copy for Skaros the Spymaster in Britain*

 

This mission is daft. Nujel’m is a city. People live there. People move about and they move their things about. To have a bunch of highly trained investigators go about and list everything that has been changed since last time, with punishments for things reported too much, is daft. Instead, we should be looking for this mysterious fleet that the Sultan is apparently building. And I think we are all aware that that is not on Nujel’m itself. Daft and dangerous.

 

Anyway. In the south of Nujel’m everything seems more or less unchanged. The prisons are still empty, most likely because everybody imprisoned there long since managed to get away. All the traces of the Sultan’s enjoyments, like that stage on the chess-board and the guillotine are still in place. The ticking chest by the bank also remains both there and ticking. The inn, along with Ricardo’s notebook, are still there as well.

 

Most of the palace seems unchanged as well. In the northern parts there is still the bizarre torture chamber with all the bones and things and the books about Ley Lines are still lying about as well. One chest of drawers is a bit mysterious, since it will not open, but apart from that the rooms in the palace seem unchanged in that wing. Even the pig is still rotting on the altar. In the kitchen I found the Sultan himself, eating, as usual. He seems to have surrendered his control over the navy to that incompetent fool, Bladdersticks. It is worrying that the fool (in both meanings of the word) is apparently promising the Sultan food from ‘far away lands’. This might be an indication that the fleet is soon to set sail to harass the seas of Britannia. My worries were confirmed when I spoke to Bladderstick in the next room. It seems he has taken insult at our inability to find his idiotic jokes funny and now wants to use his influence with the Sultan to take revenge on us all. After those enlightening conversations I quickly checked the rest of the palace, too. Though nothing seems to have changed, with the chest in the gardens still ticking.

 

The rest of the city inside the walls seems much as it was, with just the usual traces of life amongst the citizens. To the north, I encountered a beggar called Tim, though he had nothing new to report. More interesting was a pair of stern looking, hulking guards. They kept me out of one of the huts, but would not talk to me any further, other than saying that the things happening in Nujel’m were not my concern.

 

To the west I encountered Bob, a worker busy towing supplies on the order of Bladderstick. I managed to talk some to Bob and he confided that the Sultan was more or less eating the town into starvation these last years. It all seems to fit together now, they might be trying to build a fleet in order to steal or plunder goods and gold to further feed the city and most of all the Sultan. Bob also mentioned that Bladderstick is furious about something, so this is all part of his revenge against us as well.

 

Further out of town I came across Tully Applebottom, who is still grieving for her Jack. I spent a moment to talk to her, but it does not seem like anything will ever give her comfort. Even the healthy citizens, which have been spared from plague and illness in the past, have not managed that, despite living next door. Beforehand, there had been the remnants of a dock construction in the west of the island, but those are gone now. Instead, I came on a fellow named Dough, who was recruiting for the Navy. He, too, confirmed what I heard before. Bladderstick wants to strengthen the navy and then take his revenge on us. However, neither Doug nor his men seemed to know where Nujel’m would attack first. Curiously though, Doug mentioned that Bladderstick does not seem to trust women and thus wants none of them in his navy. Overall, this Doug seems to be a nice guy. We are both sailors and fishermen, so we had a nice chat about ships and storms. He seems to be really worried about the troubles that might lie ahead. With his fishing boat turned into a fighting vessel he might soon have to sail against us and Blackthorn, which cannot possibly end well for him and his crew. I hope that we will not meet again in battle and if so, that he can be spared. His men, too, seemed to be a rather normal bunch of guys with normal cares and sorrows. Families, food and a little gold is all they seem to want – as do most of us – and it seems unfair for them to be drawn into Bladderstick’s revenge.

 

Last I checked was the cemetery, but I found nothing but an old book there.

 

So overall, we have a dangerous situation at hand. The Sultan is distracted by his unvirtuous lifestyle of gluttony and selfishness. He has ruined the island and the people he was meant to feed and protect. Instead, he now turned much of his power over to Bladderstick, who seems intent on taking his revenge on Britannia by setting up Nujel’m for a war at sea. That this war will begin soon, there cannot be any doubt. But we must be ready for it or many people will die.

 

*signed*

 

Iljian

 

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Skarros had called in the troops today to tell us about the latest reports in Nujelm.

The reports told us about people complaining about the sultan and about Commander Baldderstick that promised a better life and regular meals.

Some heavily guarded, blocked off areas outside the town though had Skarros' attention.

What were the Sultan and Bladderstick hiding? Was it true they were trying to build a fleet and planning to raid their neighbours?

 

With that in mind Skarros opened a portal and we invaded Nujelm from the north side of the cemetery. At the outskirts of the town we questioned some destitute citizens praising Bladderstick and hating on the Sultan and when we claimed that Bladderstick was most likely a traitor some citizens actually attacked and had to be subdued.

 

When we arrived at the blocked off and guarded building, the guard attacked and after defeating them and we found a secret passage to an underground cavern where a small fleet of ships was being built. Bladderstick personally led his troops trying to drive us out of the cavern, but after a short and brutal fight the unfunny bard and even more incompetent general fled and let make his ships sea  unworthy.

 

Afterwards we headed to the palace where the Sultan claimed that he did not care about the king and his troops and that Bladderstick was doing the right thing. He or one of his magicians erected a magic barrier keeping our troops outside, so Skarros ordered that the town should be so long under siege until the Sultan sees reason. The town is still full of supporters of Bladderstick that attack anyone not in line with the mad bard.

 

*an unsigned report*

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  • 6 months later...

We were called to help Skaros, one of the King's men, on Sunday and were to meet at the usual place in Britain. Due to some travel difficulties and a pounding headache from bad Vesperian ale I arrived a little late in Britain, but luckily either the king in his drunken stupor or one of his advisors had gotten the date wrong and so our help seemed not to be needed.

 

Instead, a greenish glowing bone dragon that went by the name of Memen Tor appeared in front of the gathered crowd to challenge us with various threats and a variation of "Trick or Treat". Even though there was no sign of any actual treats the people started jumping through a portal opened by the bone dragon, following it the gods know where.

 

As I could hardly return to my Sergeant without having a look myself I grabbed my *The word ale is crossed out* sword and headed through that damned magic portal. As expected nothing nice greeted us but a dark scary cavern full of strange sounds. After lighting my torch I followed the adventurers before me and we headed off into the tunnels, towards the sound of what I now recognized as battle. People ran like crazy through the tunnels looking for loot and treasure, but as far as I saw there were only monsters awaiting us trying to make us their next snack.

 

20074733xb.jpg

 

I followed one of the tamers that had a big strong dragon around and together we attacked a skeletal dragon that had set its eyes on us. The dragon engaged and I supported it. Well, at least I tried until a gentle tap of the skeletal dragons paw sent me flying into unconsciousness. And that was not even that greenish Memen Tor thing.

 

20074749ww.jpg

 

A nice healer revived me, charging quite a hefty sum from me for that service and claiming that even compassionate people need to eat... damn priests!

 

I got up and followed the tamer with his nice pet around and was a lot more careful with engaging this time, which means I stayed mostly out of the dragon's way and let it do the job.

 

It seems the promise of treats was exaggerated, since once the whole system of caverns had been explored, no big heap of treasure could be found. Apparently, that Memen Tor thing had staged it all just for his amusement, while we tried to scramble through the tunnels.

 

So we all returned with no loot, but as far as I saw no one was seriously hurt except their pride and greed. I learned that it is safer to stay way behind a dragon and cheer it on than to join fighting stupidly powerful things myself. I now wish to return to my normal duties of catching shoplifters and chasing the occasional orc away from Trinsic.

 

Shae

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  • 1 month later...

To Captain Iljian!

 

I just returned from a vacation in Vesper when a mob of angry merchants demanded to speak to the captain and demanded that I imprison the mayor Aryala.

Some crazy void hole has opened in the middle of bloody Trinsic and spewed out some monsters.

Lady Aryala and the town guards managed with a little help of the royal amateurs to beat back the first wave of creatures and control the area long enough for some crazy sorcerers to get that void gate under control.

 

wghydxpm.jpg

 

The sorcerers chanted some incantations souring all the milk of Trinsic if what I hear from townsfolk is true. The monsters also ran unchecked through town causing a lot of property damage and danger for customers and merchants alike.

 

Well after a fierce fight the void gate was sort of closed and we now have the remnants of the void in the middle of the street and angry townspeople.

 

Lord Dupre arrived after the fight said that he is concerned and offers a reward to those that manage to help. A fancy statue in the park to the hero who can save Trinsic from a hole in the ground.

 

5nqrv3qd.jpg

 

The Merchants will visit with you next week asking for reparations and will also ask for the resignation of Mayor Aryala. The townsfolk are annoyed but still think that it was not the Mayoress' fault and still believe in her.

 

I added some pictures of I acquired of the fights from a painter named Warhol.

He asked for money, but I took them and claimed it as evidence for the crown.

 

 

Padrick

 

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  • 3 months later...

*a note is left on the desk of Sergeant Iljian*

I drafted this report from the braggings of a drunk customer in the tavern tonight

 

Kara

 

They met at the Kings castle where the king held a speech. The King  claimed that Juka attacked us and that we managed to capture their general.  After torture the general confessed that they were looking for a new home. King Blackthorne agreed to help the Juka  if they worked with us and became our servants. They agreed and this is why were were summoned to free the town of Mistas for the Juka.

 

After jumping a gate the army arrived at Mistas and the warriors and mages started their assault.

 

tuhoe4ug.jpg

 

The culstists living there threw everything they had at them but were no match.

there were some  casualties, but those were from inexperienced fighters that rushed ahead without thinking and did not let the wyrms lead the way.

 

The Juka, the so called allies hardly helped at all, it seems their prominent feature was to cower somewhere and hide.

 

The way to what seemed a tavern was freed first and was secured as a first stronghold in town.

The customer even had a good sketch of it.

 

yzxavjhh.jpg

 

 It seems what happened next was a bit unclear, probably because he got drunk at the liberated stronghold. But in the end the town was freed and handed over by the king to the Juka with the understanding that they are our servants.

 

f6nikfhg.jpg

 

The Jukas did not take it so well and the King's men beat down the Jukas and put them into their place.

 

End of report

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