The City by the Sea

The Heart of Injustice

Lamont Journal entry
Date Fifth of Tor’raag

By the mercy of Mehgaia, what have I done?

Things had been going so well. We had a safe place to live. I was making inroads with the people in a number of districts. In a year or two I would of had the sway to make things better. Maybe establish a fair type of law and start to clean up Low town.

Then I knocked out a Justacar and threw him at their compound gates.

I mean, they need to be stopped, that was a given. They’re so corrupt they hurt the people more than help, but I need allies for this. I don’t want to replace them with something just as awful. I know that the districts are thick with crime but I might have to leave that for another day. Am I failing the order if I’m only moving thing’s forward but not fixing it completely? I need help. I hope I don’t regret contracting them. The empire is pretty distrusted here.

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Conclusion
Journal entry by Lamont de Re'lon

It has been too long since the events at St. Owens for me to recall them clearly. Honestly, I don’t think I even understand everything that happened. We were trapped in there. It was full of creatures that seemed to spring from your nightmares. Beak faced hounds with tentacle manes, slick faceless winged humanoids, asnake made of Chaos.

The place seemed to feed on our minds. Some worse than others. I didn’t sleep the whole time there. I faced nightmares ever night. Iryani seemed to lose her mind after we were attacked by a batch of shades or ghosts or some kind of specter. At that point I had to pull her along like a wet cat.

In the end we figured out that the garden was the source of it all. Under the earth there was a huge magic circle ( more on that later) tied to 8 statues. They were drawing energy and making a bridge to gods know where. So we did what any reasonable person would, we smashed them.

This was alot harder than expected. We needed to break all of the statues, but each hit triggered some kind of defensive magic which made us sick or paralyzed us. Sometimes it created a temporary madness. it was hard, but we did get down to the last one in one piece more or less.

The last statue proved the most harmful every blow that fell on it screamed out, echoing in our minds. It created bouts of confusion which were enough to make Iryani and Vesper try and kill each other. I’m not sure how Iryani survived that, she must be blessed by Nim.

In the end it was just myself and Milah and she had fallen prey to the statues madness. I shrugged off her occasional attack and destroyed it. I had hoped that with the statue gone Milah would revert back to herself but the damage was longer lasting then that.

I needed to insure Iryani was alive. I needed to check on Vesper and that girl that was fliting around the place. I couldn’t do that with Milan flipping back and forth between knowing who I am and trying to kill the closest thing to her. So I knocked her out. I’ll always remember that look of betrayal in her eyes when she had a flash of conscious just before the last blow. She will be fine. The healer says they just need time. I think I needed time too. That’s why I took charge of the house on the island.

All that was two months ago. Everyone seems to have gotten better except Vesper. In the throes of madness her affliction has spread. It’s stable again, but it is disconcerning. We need to find a way to turn Cain’s eye away from her, but this will take time.

After we were away from the city I hired some people to dig up the garden at St. Owen’s to insure there was nothing left of the magic circle. We found that the pattern had been made of gold which was somehow melted into the earth. We dug it all up and I used some of it to pay for the demolition of the building. It’s gone now. Some more of the money was put aside to run the house. I guess I’ll split the rest with everyone, I don’t need this much and it’s not like I’m going to start buying fancy horses and a lance.

I’ll send a report back to the Order sometime soon too. They should know about this. I should investigate who built those statues. I should be back in that City helping people. I should be protecting anyone I can but when I see the smoke from that city on a clear day, my hands shake and I worry that to save anyone, I’m going have to burn that city to the ground and sink it into the sea to put out the fires.

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St. Owens: Harmless Abandoned Asylum, or Clever Death Trap

It all started yesterday. No, it goes further back than that; I just haven’t put all of the pieces together yet, but I will. I suppose the most relevant point is that Hector, former leader of the RED Hands (that part’s important) told us about the property he sold off to some politician from the upper crust. I haven’t determined who yet, but the clues are there, I can feel it.

Well, Lamont just marched us all right over there and lo and behold, the door locks behind us. Or did it? He checked the door and claimed it wouldn’t budge knowing very well that WE know he’s the strongest among us and wouldn’t check. If I wasn’t pretending to sleep I’d go check right now but I can’t ruin the illusion. It’s really hard to write sideways, but at least charcoal doesn’t drip. So, we soon encounter Lamont’s plant, Nate Drake, whom I’m now convinced is here to replace me once Lamont figures out how to finish me off. He claims to be a librarian which is definitely a cover story, and all he does is read, which is surely a ploy to catch me off guard.

Then there’s that elf girl in the hall who didn’t count on me seeing in the dark. She might be poisoning the food, but I’m not sure who she works for or with. Everyone, or everyTHING else seems to attack us on sight. Everyone wants me dead but the people I’ve surrounded myself with need my trust before they can betray me! I’ve started walking a few paces behind them as I’m sure that they’re all in this together; Lamont is somehow masterminding this.

I’m not sure what the connection is, but we’ve encountered some strange bug people, blue beasts that travel in packs with zombies, screaming ghosts, and some weird snakes flying in the courtyard.

The blue beast don’t deserve much note aside from being the first real clue into Lamont’s intentions. It was HE who made us approach from the front. I knew an ambush was imminent and, oh! I got surrounded of course but I was too cunning and escaped without much incident.

The ghosts were in some old patient cells. I wish I knew who checked them when we explored the building initially, but they clearly hid these things from me. Conveniently, I was assaulted immediately and blacked out briefly. I woke up before anyone could finish me off, though Lamont was hovering over me, likely about to strike.

The flying snakes are possibly from the strange portal in the SKY (more on this later) and seem to be trapped by the fluctuating nature of that portal since we encountered them during the day when it seems to be closed. I think they were an accident of the whole plan as they seemed most harmful to Lamont.

It was after this that the second bug who escaped the first fight made his presence known, capturing the elf girl (a third agent in all of this mess) and holding her in one of the operating rooms. Lamont insisted we rescue her, perhaps seeking a new ally. They wouldn’t let me question her about the poisoned food, but she told us about the people in yellow robes that would visit the 8 statues in the courtyard on occasion. Lately, lines have begun to glow on the ground, connecting them all together though I don’t recognise the shape.

So, we have RED hands, and YELLOW robes, which makes orange. Orange is the opposite of blue (which I am, by the way) clearly aligning them against me. Furthermore, orange is the opposite of apple. “Apple of my EYE” and there’s a portal in the SKY that looks like an EYE, and SKY is the name of the one Red Hands member that escaped. The robes themselves mean that the wizards are involved, so there’s big magic at play here, and this land was allegedly purchased by some politician from the upper crust.. Wait, the Azure King! Azure is also blue! They’re after the king and I’m to be just some not-so unfortunate casualty! Damn you Lamont, you want the throne for yourself. You tricked me with your “running away from responsibility” story!

If I live through the night, I’ll check the front door on my own and make my escape. Lamont wants to head out to the courtyard tonight under the full moon for what I can only assume is some horrible sacrifice, but I have to play along for now.

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St. Owen's part 2
The rest of the first day in St. Owens reviled a few other oddities and secrets. One of the offices in the basement had a shelf full of undead fetuses which tried to escape there glassy provisions when the party entered the room they were in. Vespa made short work of them striking the shelf with a sheet of lighting. The jars exploded killing the creatures.

And examination room was also found in the basement with an operating theater.

The top floor held most of the housing for the former patrons. A pack of void hounds had taken up residence here was using what people it could find to breed more of their kind. They proved little threat.

With the whole building explored the party picked a room to rest in and tried to sleep through the night. For some in the party this would prove a difficult task as nightmare crept into there sleep leaving some of them fatigued and unable to recover important spells.

In the middle of the night a horrible screaming and banging could be heard from the solitary cells down the hall. The noise persisted until Lamont could take it no more and marched himself to the cell and pulled open its door. Within was found 3 Allpi, broken sprites of the insane which died in these cells. Though their touch caused no physical harm they were able to drain away all of Iryani wisdom leaving her comatose and a little broken inside.

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St. Owen's

With nowhere to go but in, the party resigned themselves to exploring St. Owen’s. Most of the main floor showed the location to be fairly humane. Many of the rooms showed signs of having been abandoned in haste and a layer of dust sat over most of the rooms.

Trapped in one of the sick rooms was a man by the name of Drake. Having come here to look for an entrance to the deep paths he didn’t get far before a structural collapse trapped him in a room. Luckily this was only a day ago so he had suffered little harm other than embarrassment.

There were two things that stood out on the main floor. One was the quality and extent of the library; it seemed to cover a broad array of subject’s and was still well stocked.

The second was the garden statues and the strange creatures that were studying them. The statues made to honour the 7 virtues were arranged evenly around the room and in the centre, an odd eighth statue was newly erected, depicting an unknown figure.

The fight with the alien creatures was quick and brutal, and in the end one of the creatures escaped into the building.

The next area to be searched was the basement and in doing so they seem to have picked up a shadow. Someone is watching them, moving in the dark watching them but never getting too close. Other mysteries that have arisen in this space are the hole that seems to never end and the testing rooms for the poor souls that have been used as living experiments.

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The Beginning of the End

It didn’t take long for the party to get back to town and recover from their wounds. A couple days’ rest and a visit to the Cult of the Empire and the party was back in action. This time taking a more direct rout to Hectors, the party managed to make it into the estate with no issues. Hector was waiting. Well, he was eating but he knew this was coming. After a little chat and the party learning about the sale of St. Owen’s, a home for the mad, in Red Hands’ turf.

Hector decided that he liked his house enough to press his luck against the party. As fists and blades clashed in the dining area, Sky burst out onto the balcony and soon the area was full of lighting and flame as well. There were screams and curses, death and faked death, acid and… pretty sparkle lights. The battle was long and hard fought. At one point having died once and been resurrected, Hector tried to surrender but the anger of a months-long war with the Red Hands and the death of a close friend left little compassion in the groups hearts and Hector was put to the sword. Sky, seeing that victory was not in her grasp fled vowing to continue the circle of vengeance. What few guards remained surrendered and were granted survival.

The next two days were taken with resting and exploring the home and Island. Though well built, Hector did not have much care for decor beyond a few personal luxuries. The building is large and the island still mostly wild. Only time will see what can be done with it. To date no one has found Hector’s personal stash.

With the problems of the Red Hand behind them and no other pressing matters, the party decided to take a look at St. Owen’s to see why someone would want the old building. Upon passing into the antechamber the door firmly shut behind them with an ominous boom. The lock seeming to be of a mystic nature the doors did not care who tried to open them. The now stale air of St. Owen’s seems oddly still for a place that was once filled with screams and manic laughter. With no way out, it seems there is little to do but move forward into St.Owen’s.

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The Worst Fucking Day Ev... I'm Invisible, Aren't I?
Iryani's late journal entry

Alright, it wore off? Anyway, Uncle Allan gave us the go-ahead on smashing in Redman’s summer home. I forget his name now, but Cole’s boss; that ass couldn’t have talked more if he had 8 faces. Right, so Uncle Allan said he had a friend from abroad who could sell us some magical stuff and he got us a discount! Not only is magical stuff harder to find than a clean rag on Vildeis… Discount!

Long story short, we got some scrolls, potions, a bead that turns into a campfire… I’ve been camping a lot lately it seems. Lamont got some cute slippers but I don’t expect to ever see them again. It’s funny because they’re lavender and he likely doesn’t even know that’s a colour. I think Milah got a ring to keep herself safe and Vesper has a new wand to add to her spoiled-Empire-brat collection. Or whatever they call themselves.

So far so good. So we get to the coast down south, see where the Red Hands are taking boats back and forth to their summer home. So, we’re waiting for night and Lamont manages to stumble into an old sailor’s hideaway. Sorry, I mean fall. He found a hole in the ground and fell into it, but he found a sailor’s cache so kaching! I thought. Boy was I wrong.

Well, Nim, sea and sky god of the Empire used to be 5 people and a boat. Maybe the boat’s in there, the Empire’s weird. Yeah, this was a cache left by them. There was this really strange and magical room with an animated painting of a ship on the ocean, and a crystal that projected the constellations in the region. This region. The door through was blocked by a puzzle tied to a list of names, and we had to pick out the names of the five people who became Nim. So, ‘no’ to the boat being in there.

Well, we don’t know Empire gods so the room said something about learning the hard way, and then there were elementals and I think one was a ghost, but don’t tell the other elementals. So, good news, I learned how to use my brooch of vanishing, the bad news is that I can’t say ‘fuck’ whenever I want to anymore. Oh, and that ghost sapped so much strength from me that I can barely walk. Anyway, we were scattered across the room but gradually mashed our way through the elemental squad and went back to guessing names on the wall. The room changed the rules and threw an invisible pixie thing at us. This asshole, well, I cast a spell to see invisible stuff so he blinded me. FOREVER!

I threw my scroll of Glitterdust onto the ground for Vesper to cast, I guess she did because I don’t think I have it anymore, and they killed that little pixie shit head and Lamont got a sword… I guess. Today can fucking eat me.

~ Transcribed by Sally of ’Sally’s Scribes and Scripts’

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Back in the family and a night of revenge
One Ship two ship, red ship, long ship

With the grappling hooks in place and the ships bound together, the gang planks dropped and arrows flew. Justacar deupitys rushed the Wakecaster while the Justacar in command hung back and inspired his troops. The battle was hard fought but in the end victorious.

Kalin, not wanting to be confused with a nice guy took this moment to kick everyone not part of his crew off the ship. Luckley there was an extra ship to stand on. It took over a day to get they ship into a harbor because of the lack of crew but it made it there. With a little travel and some negotiations the ship was sold and a tidy profit made. Iryani took her share of the profits and put them into a new ship being built for her.

A couple of nights after this while relaxing at the catapult inn. Captain Richards decided he would make good on his promise and bough the watch done on them all. The Inn was set on fire and exits blocked. forcing the party to fle through the only exit left Into the waiting arrows of the watch. The fight ended when Captain Richards saw that victory was not at hand (because all he could see was acid) and withdrew. Though victorious, The Catapult Inn was Destroyed.

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Row row row your boat

Having had a few days to rest the party made ready to talk with Kalin. He had devised a plan to get into the Justacars compound and liberate their ship. Kalin and some old members of the crew would cause a commotion at one end of the compound while the party snuck in through an old waterway that ran beyond the walls of the compound. They would meet at the ship and escape from there.

The path through the waterway was short but not without peril. The party was accosted by a Gibbering Mouther which seemed like it might be a challenge until Iryani crippled it with a colour spray.

After exiting the waterway and spending a short time searching the compound they discovered the newly painted Wakecaster. While approching the ship the party activated two clockwork guards which were a bit of a challenge. During the fight they even made Lemont take a bath.

After gaining control of the ship the party repelled an attack by a troop of Justacars sent to investagate the commotion caused by the clockwork guards. It was not long before these people were bested, the party was reunited with Kalin and they were on their way.

But it’s never that easy. The Justacars, having spent a large sum restoring and installing an experimental weapon on the ship were quick to give chase. Slowly gaining on the Wakecaster, the Justacards rained shots onto the ship trying to slow it down. The party spent this time trying to figure out the strange runes and magic circles used to power the Arc Canon. Once the controls were understood the ship was turned and a shot fired. Still 600 feet from the Justacards ship, the canon withered wood and killed crew in a crackeling 10 foot line.

Closing fast the ships are now locking into place , the Arc Canon is charged and blood will once more flow over the Wakecasters deck.

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A time to rest and reflect

With the hunt for Kol over The party brought The information they learned to Uncle Allen. They had learned that Hector has a small home on a island 2 miles up the south coast from the city wall. Also that Hector’s left had was a women by the name of Sky. It seems she found and Imperial Spell book and seems to think she is a wizard because of it and often is found with Hector. During this conversation Vesper boldly informed everyone that she bore the Mark of Cain, A strange curse that seems to have no cure. At this Uncle Allen dismissed the rest of the party and had a private chat with Vesper.

With a few days to them self the party went their own ways for short time. Milah began training to improve her endurance, Iryani visited her departed friend on the island of Dust and Ash, Vesper learned a little about the Lower City and Lamont fell into a bottle.
On one of these days while the party gathered for brunch, they witnessed the Justacars arresting a large number of Crazy people that seems to have gathered on Allen street. The party was informed that they would most likes be sold off to the silver sands for work in the mines.
On one of these days while asking around the docks about ship prices, Iryani’s Brother found her. It was a awkward and warmish reunion. Kalin was quick to enlist the help of the Iryani to free their mothers ship from the Justices.

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