A Light in the Dark

What by all that is sacred is going on?!
Thank you Warmonger!

We have been walking for a few hours, our discussion going on in a circle, unlike our travels.

We discuss what I am planning. The ritual that I’m trying to put together to bring forth Pyrico if possible. Or send us hurling to get him out if I’m off. I hope I’m not off on the sigils and words needed.

The circles must be perfect. The sigils, runes, and words perfect. The intent perfect. The offerings shall be as close to perfect as possible.

I hope that Pheraya has salt. Or that there’s salt in the bag of holding that I took. Salt is great for the outer ring to keep out unwanted things. Otherwise it’ll be a lot of charcoal.

But yes, I began talking about how to raise energy to the men. I might as well be talking about advanced interplanar travel, portals and jetstreams to a bunch of first year acolytes. I am having a hard time trying to form my thoughts into words they would understand.

Christoph and Jern were taking turns pulling Pheraya as she’s still unconscious. And I was thinking of the rituals my maternal grandfather’s family performed.

Parts of that lines’ secrets are hard for me to crack open, but I can recall a ritual of summoning to battle an enemy force that my grandfather had partook in; the summoning was the Revscra, Death Unicorn, more than less, an ancient and weak god of the past, reduced to demi status, but still powerful enough to kill mere mortals. I’m hoping to modify the ritual enough to gain Pyrico’s audience. Can we last long enough?

How can I get them to figure out how to raise energy? The dwarf has an intriguing battle technique. I need to get him to focus on how to incorporate it into the ritual. His race is strongly linked to the earth and her secrets. In this world and mother’s. In ritual he may be best to work the grounding ring, the ring of summoning purpose.

I begin to talk to Jern about this while thinking of Christoph’s link to Nameless and desire to not gain unwanted attention. He may be perfect to channel that desire into how the ritual uses the energies gathered. I do like him challenging me. But I wish I had all the answers.

Jern surprised me by his statement of trusting in my leading them along this path. I will have to honour this trust and ensure the ritual is flawless.

No pressure.

I’m in the middle convincing Christoph the importance of the crazy scheme and changing the balance when suddenly it darkens. I feel a shift and quickly shift my vision to magical sight and we’re in the middle of it. And it’s dark magic. This is bad. Very bad. There’s no direct path out as it descends. We are going to be trapped!

I scan the area, after informing the others that we’re in the middle of this. I’ve released my scimitar and raised my shield, then I see the unicorn outline in the mist. That chill from the shadow plane runs up my spine.

I’m an idiot! Close to 3 decades ago Mother told this bastard to go to Hell in this VERY forest! He and his were battling Pyrico and his for this forest. Damn my boldness for talking so freely!

On the one hand what I’m planning must be on the right track to have him manifest. On the other, he’s here to destroy us. But he didn’t come right on top of us, perhaps we are screened? But by who?

I do some quick thinking about who to send off and who to keep with me at the same time.
I charged Christoph with my sister and to run in a direction opposite to Kastral’s approach as swiftly and quietly as possible.

He is between us and Pyrico’s pyre. I must be on the right track!

I tell the dwarf to make noise. He’s in heavy stone armour. Should be easy.

And the black bastard changed his direction. I pull the dwarf to get him running with me, away from Christoph. I handed Jern a potion of bull’s strength, just in case. I meanwhile call to Merlai and the Wanderer for help, either to hide us or give us speed. Nameless too. I ask for help too. Really any of the gods that would be able to help.

He’s chasing us, no doubt enjoying this play with non followers. Then he disappears. Is he after my sister?

No. He steps out before Jern and I. I am powerless against him. I am not yet at my full potential, Mother had more magic open to her than I do when she challenged him. He is what is killing this realm. And I don’t have my tools yet to do damage to him. But yet I step ahead of Jern. He can hit harder than I. Perhaps my time in the pits will aid me avoiding getting hit. Yeah… Right.

But then I smell ozone. I yell a warning to Jern and dive behind a tree as a bolt lands where we had stood. Had the Lord of Lightning come?

No. It’s Warmonger! ’Let’s do this!’ He shouts out rather, gleefully?

Is this why he didn’t smite me? That I would be bait that would bring him fun? I’ll take that with a strong thank you to him for saving us.

And we’re running again. Must find a way for the dwarf to travel faster. Poor bugger has short legs. I send Asra to find Christoph and get him to join with us as we move to avoid the divine battle. The out pouring of magic and noise is very heady, and I took flight to avoid it. I keep Jern heading in the right direction when suddenly Christoph and my sister arrive. Pheraya is not only awake but flying! I hug her tight then help her fly swiftly. She is so weak.

We keep going and then Asra falls before me, giving me some sort of ring from Christoph. Turns out it’s a gate ring. It has potential applications. We continue to walk, Christoph and Pheraya are unable to keep up the run. By the time night approaches, I’m ready to lay down and rest, but the battle is still raging, according to Jern. Trust a dwarf to feel the vibrations.

We keep going til the normal sight fails. Which means that the human form of Christoph is blind. My sister with her elven eyes, still stumbles, more weak than blind.

We find a safe looking place to rest. I let Jern and Pheraya go to sleep and then proceed to teach Christoph the basics of what he’s writing. He simply falls down afterwards to sleep. Poor man. I may have to reteach him what I just taught.

Next was Jern. I was tired but I kept focus and taught him the first line of what he’s to write. Pheraya is softly snoring when I finally call it a night and wish Jern a quiet watch.

I settled down to revery. I need to look at the spell circles. First I see what my grandmother used, she’s a follower of the Earth titan, as was her father. I look several generations of shamanic summonings til I finally find a follower of Stath. He’s not Pyrico, but Mom once called to him.


What have I turned my back on?

A prosperous kingdom. A husband who is more diplomatic than I. But who doesn’t love me. But Christoph was still anchored to logical thinking, and his concern for my well being was tender. I miss having someone being sweet to me. Nice strong arms… But I digress.

A great relationship was coming with the nearby dwarven kingdom lead by King Jern. I’m pretty sure I know his wife from something, but what?

Wait! She brought us to the Vrynmer!

Oddly Pheraya was the court magician. She, a practitioner of the mind arts, like father, being an archmage. Perhaps in a different life it would have come true. But Rajine had apparently trained her. And Baelok was there, but he was different. He smiled!

How powerful is the caster who did this?

Tricked me into believing I was a queen. That all is well and grand. But why did the first boar strike me as odd? What caused Jern to start rambling about the mist forest? What exactly struck me to start lifting the veil from my eyes?

The dancing started it.

But that thrice damned brand on my neck. It was gone but then it came back.
And Jern and Christoph saw it. And both began demanding answers.

When did it happen? 9 years ago.

Who did it? Jern accused Christoph. Christoph asked me who did it in a way that scared me.

How can I tell them? The rough hands. The smell of sulphur. The burning brand had failed. The laughter as the needle is punched into my neck.

I think that is what forced me to realise that the beauty isn’t real.

Pheraya grew quiet. Christoph brought up that we might be in danger.
What had forced us here? What’s eating us? Or packing us away? Jern also grew very agitated. Where’s my scimitar’s tattoo?! Why didn’t it come back like the brand? It too was done against my will!

Don’t let panic take hold.

We have to wake up. We must wake up!

Jern Staalbred: Journal - Pt 8.
In which apparently we're friends with Gods now?

We found some kind of “safe” location in the middle of the misty death woods. Made all the more so by the fact that we have a strip of cloth to hide under. Got fed a bunch of small woodland creatures. I don’t appear to be bleeding out.

Wake up to something sitting on my chest. Some kind of hallucination? Some kind of sassy whatever it is, as it bemoans my wounds, and then…. Fixes them? Friend of Kristoff’s, apparently. Probably a dream. Try to leave the area, cause fuck that. Come back into the other side of the scene, further confirming the theory. Also, the imp thing says it has controlled other dreams of mine? Not too sure what that means

Kirstoff’s also awake. Then asleep. Then awake. Apparently he’s talked with this thing before. Something called Nameless? Fancies itself a god, I guess? Appears to be some kind of trickster.

It asked what it can do for us. I have no idea what it can do for us.

Gave us some potions? PInched my ass and fucked off. Emeira came back. Brought more food.

Confirmed she was the one who called nameless. No real information as for what purpose.

Apparently there are shadow monsters that worship a unicorn named Castal? Also a water god named Seabitch. I suspect that’s not on her birth certificate.

Slightly surprised that Kristoff worships Warmonger. Doesn’t seem to be a complete asshole though, so maybe that’s Not a requisite?

Off we go. To somewhere. To meet a holy place. Apparently Emeira has chats with all the gods? Cause, you know, who doesn’t? Someone suddenly walked into the group. And is warmonger. Covered in weapons, of the unshitty variety. Can’t rightly recall what he looked like.

Mocks our gear. Hands Kristoff a new bow. A Warbow. Fucked off behind a tree.

Ameira lent me her brother’s warhammer, in lieu of Princess’ realiability. We decided to head off towards somewhere elves are. Wonderful.

The Shadow Seeks Christoph?
How to talk to them?

We had travelled a distance away from the spider and web golem. I had on my mind too many questions. And the golem heart to study.

I wish I was in the Library in Limbo. I would be able to figure out the heart there in no time. Or if Rajine was around, my elven brother would be able to get the secrets out, especially with what I took from the fire realm.

I miss my brothers!

I helped to put my sister and Christoph into my tent. It was cramped but I’m certain that they would call it cozy. I wonder how mom would react if my sister took the werewolf as her mate. He did well with the last fight…

Jern took watch, but lets face it, his wounds were more serious than his gruffness would allow him to show.Asra took a nap beside him while I reveried. When I awoke he was asleep. Poor dwarf didn’t stir when I shifted his cloak to cover him better. Asra agreed to guard the camp while I went to do magic.

Ritual magic.

I drew the circles and the sigils. Checked them for any imperfections. A communing circle is rather easy to do and doesn’t require blood, thankfully.

Mother called the eight Elemental Lords. They are Gods. But her tradition didn’t see them as such. I called for Blah of Lightning, Vrynith of Light, Pryrico of Flame, The Wanderer of Air, Nameless of Shadow, Blah of Ice, Merlay of Earth, and Syrenia of Water. In the center I also called for the Gods of Magic. Then I focused and raised the energy, going to each mark and calling to each one, asking for help.

For each I left a gift for their time to talk with me. The first was Nameless.

I thanked him for rescuing me from the Beast and bringing me back. I asked him about Pyrico and Vrynith. They had lost their followers as the Kabal took more power. I pointed out that I’m back. And my sister still follows, at least I hope she does. But we aren’t enough. He further suggest that I yell his name. I was perhaps disrespectful when I told him I did many times while on the Plane of Fire. Surely I would have attracted his notice, but I didn’t. He’s the Phoenix. Pyrico will rise from the ashes, and the ashes are scattered. Nameless suggested blood.

Then it struck me as wrong, and I questioned Nameless about it. God of Shadows, Prophecy of sorts, Trickery, Riddles and Humility, or at least he was. Now, I fear he’s been corrupted as my sister said. He also made an error in bringing me back to now.

I’m here as a mistake.

Two years did go by for me. Not 9. If I had gone back to the correct time would I have been able to prevent the present situation? Or would I have been a casualty? I must not dwell. But I might have found my brothers. Those who wanted to work with us may have still been free. The sun would be out. No, dwelling on what I missed will only embitter me.

Focus instead on the riddle of whether or not the Elves are exterminated or in some sort of stasis. To find the Elves I will have to travel to their village which is where Uncle Toza will be. Without help, I am certain that we will die or worse. I need to find Pyrico and have him back in his forest. I need the elves’ help to bring him back as they did honour him. But I need his help to bring them out of stasis if they are in stasis. Who else can we get? Toza was an archmage. A book magus. And an elf. Magic is very much apart of him.

And, as my guardian before he was turned against us, he knows my True name. He also knows my twin’s. I don’t think Fifi knows how scared I am. But they mustn’t know.

Irony, ritual magic is stronger when blood is used. Ritual magic is also stronger when there’s more than 1 caster. Will the dwarf and man be willing to learn about ritual? Can they be trusted? Perhaps this is what Nameless meant? I possess Pyrico’s Talon. It would be better if I had the staff that Pyrico gifted father. But at least I have one direct link.

But the task is daunting.

I want my brothers!! But Nameless left without saying goodbye. He didn’t answer about them being alive, dead, or free. That and his persona is very unlike him. It’s very wrong, off even.

How did Nameless get corrupted? Is there a way to fix him? I loved playing with him as a child, he was safe and always caught me when I was bounced from the Prime and sent me back. Now? Now I’m not so secure in my safety with him. But I must hope he still doesn’t lie. He never lied to Mother.

I traveled the circle, trying to listen to whispers of each called upon God. Syrenia surprised me.

I purposely avoided drawing her attention to me in the past because I was certain that my being would be an affront to her. An insult. I still honoured her with gifts, but I am not like the others in Strom that did follow her.

She sounded old, angry and impatient with me. I asked her for aid to try and bring back how the world used to be, when she was not only feared but respected. She may not be interested in Pyrico, but Vrynith is vital to the land plants, he must be as well to the seaweeds and kelps. I gambled on that suspicion and then spoke of the beauty of the sun light on ocean waves and fish scales. Thank you Vivian for your wild stories. If you are alive I pray that you have a fine sail full of wind, if you are fallen, I hope you took many with you and you sail the eternal river.

Syrenia said she’ll consider what I said, and I thanked her for her presence and time.

No one else came.

I said thank you to any who listened but the gifts were still there. I gathered them up and eased the magic away. Then proceeded to erase the circles and sigils.

How am I going to broach the topic of ritual magic with 2 mundanes?

I got back to camp and noticed 2 things. One, Asra had gone hunting and brought back rabbits and pheasant for us, as well as fallen wood to cook by. And two, Jern and Christoph weren’t only fully healed but also knew what I had been up to. They jumped upon me. I half didn’t want to tell them, but half was trying to work out how to say what needed saying.

Seems Nameless thinks I can trust these two. But it’s still hard to talk magic to people who have a history of disgusting it, dwarves, or who know enough to get into trouble, Christoph.

It also doesn’t help that I managed to insult Christoph’s second diety, Warmonger. He wasn’t around when I was here before, though apparently 90 years ago he was, as Jern knew about him. Perhaps a regional diety? I don’t know why he didn’t hurt me for the offence. Perhaps he cursed me and I don’t know it yet? Not likely as he’s a god of force, battle and that sort of stuff. Perhaps a good God to dedicate difficult kills to? Though he did, scold, me for using magic to talk to gods. It’s rather unnerving to be scolded by a god I am not familiar with. And he actually gifted Christoph with a beautiful bow! Trouble is coming soon!!

After he left, I leant Jern the hammer I took from the Bazaar in the Brass City. I mean for Baeloc to get it when I find him, but I’m certain he won’t mind Jern testing it out first. If a God tells a mortal to look out for something, take heed.

Christoph is being hunted by a dragon known as the Shadow. He’s worried about his family. I wish I had something to scry with to help him. He doesn’t know why the harbinger of the mist is after him, but apparently Nameless also warned him. What did he or his family do to the dragon? And I don’t mean present family necessarily. Did an ancestor stick it with a lance? Or kill its mate? Can I use fire to scry? I grabbed what I thought I needed when I escaped. And things for my siblings, but I’m under prepared.

I really hope the dragon is not Obsidean.

Now I want Pronkar with us! He taught me a few things about weapons. Taught Baeloc more. I yelled for him. I hope he’s still him and not Kaballic. He’s been in these woods before, hunting mother, father, the good king, and the rest, before mom and him made peace when the king died. Jern was worried I was calling for another God. Seems my ritual wasn’t as covert as I aimed for. It did it like mom, but she had a sacred space to do her rituals. Am I the reason that Toza meets us at the lake village?

Now, how do I talk about rituals with people not raised on learning the basics? If they believe it is impossible for them to do, it’ll break the ritual…

And my sister is still out. I’m worried but it’s only been a day. I’ll have to share my tea with her. Please wake up. I don’t know enough of the invisible arts to help you more. Why didn’t you wake up when Nameless healed the other two? Please don’t be vision trapped.

Gods above and below, please send us help to help you. We need a foothold to start spreading hope and reborn the resistance.

Jern Staalbred: Journal - Pt 7.
In which spiders and spider accessories can go suck an egg.

Spoke some with Emeira. Learned that someone named Xyxzus or the likes probably created the spike fingers? Not sure who that is, some kind of Necromancer I guess? We’re heading towards some little town. Either way we’re heading towards some little town I don’t know. As opposed to a bigger town I don’t know where said Xyxzyz might be waiting for us for reasons I don’t know. This week has been a pile of bullshit, and there’s no sign of it stopping.

We were woken up in the middle of the night by a blood-curdling scream. Fifi’s thrashing about in her sleep, having some kind of nightmare. Apparently this is a normal occurrence, which of course is nothing that should have been discussed Prior to hunkering down in the middle of spooky woods, where we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves.

The wolf and I repositioned to the other side of a tree so as to help dampen the noise, and were promptly rewarded with a further blasted shriek, but literally this time. As in it tore a hole in the middle of the tree, causing it to collapse on the two sisters, and our food, and the campfire.

Managed to get them extricated, and the burning tree off the goods. No significant damage, but It was bloody well time to get the hell out of that bullseye. Moved on, set up camp. Rest of the evening went fortunately without event.

Morning passed, and we continued on the way. Found out after a while that we were heading basically the opposite direction that we were the day before. Apparently there was some kind of revelation overnight, that something scary was waiting for us where we were heading to, so now we’re headed somewhere else. Vision related to the screaming, I suspect.

Eventually we came across a bunch of giant webs. Shockingly, they had giant spiders with them. Turns out I still hate those things. Managed to crush the one that dropped down; despite Princess’ protestations, but was surprised by some kind of web golem assaulting me from behind. With a combination of fire, violence, fire, having my esophagus forced out of my mouth, fire, fortuitously timed healing potions, and fire, we all managed to survive; if barely. Emeira went up to the canopy to burn the hell out of everything. I took Kristoff and Fifi and got us out of the drop zone as shit started falling from nests and branches.

Collected what few valuables dropped, and we regrouped. Sort of.

So Fifi’s unconscious, potentially with some form of brain damage, and Kristoff is too exhausted to move. We’ve managed to set the two up on a blanket to drag them along with us as we get the hell away from here. Will they be safer where ever we’re headed? Hell, will we ever even arrive? How long till another prophetic fart or wandering pack of undead tells us to turn around yet again?

Burning fur is the WORST
Hello, you have more legs than me.

Short entry.
Spider venom is potent shit. ‘Specially when from one the size of a fucking house.
Should’ve bagged some.
Oh well.

Note to self: Ignore last note to self and pull out the damn cloak. Chances of lightning strike minimal. Repeat instances even more so. Fuck your odds, Shinji.

If I get struck AGAIN, giving it to Wingy. She can… dunno, make traps or shit.

GODDAMN, I need a town. Need cure potions. Desperately.
Gold can’t keep people alive.

Cuz, Lady, these guys are nice. Stupidly so. Nicer than Scalpel.

This mutherfuckin forest is NOT NICE. No matter what Wingy says.

I’m gonna start having happy dreams about cobblestones and lintels. No regrets. NONE.

Note to self: Give Wingy one of the ring gates. Just. Reasons. Mid-battle reasons. Can’t remember.

Nts: Remember reasons and confirm decision (May have to do with house-sized spider and giant-ass spider golem)(Or fire).

Nts: Find town. Send letter to Svorak.
SEND IT DAMMIT. He should know.

Really hope shifting from half to full wolf will get rid of the burnt fur smell. On the verge of passing out.

Here goes.

Solitude Isn't Solitude When Company Won't Leave
Who made what now?

We’ve traveled for many grey foggy days. I can hear the group, but I’m not yet ready to be close to them. And my sister won’t leave my side.

I know she’s concerned. But damnit! I need to adjust. This isn’t the world I left! Its not where I belong! But I can’t just do nothing. Mother wouldn’t. So I won’t. Lets get to the Phelmyr and find some sort of lead if not the Elves.

At night I circle the camp they made, ensuring that nothing hunts them while they sleep. It’s great being able to revery again! My sister voices her worry about how I won’t fully commit to the group.

She can’t understand. I never want her to know what happened. She doesn’t need to know.

I saw a flare of fire the other night. A pyromancer? Is it free or is it an enemy cloaked? I will have to study it and see.

Before I can, the fool of a barbarian runs to a group I can’t see. I turn to look for more seed pods for the Guardians, then I hear battle. I grab the pods and start to fun to the fight, my sister following. We are so close to the Phelmyr, what could they be fighting?

When we finally arrived, the fight was over and the undead were dead. I examined them, allowing my sister to treat the wounds.


Not good. Not good at all.

The fools didn’t know what they fought or who made them. They allowed some to escape!

We were too close to the Phelmyr to try and turn away, so instead I encouraged them to push on. Xystus made these things. He’s a powerful necromancer. And the damned leader of the Cabal. I know not if he lent them out or if they were patrolling. But we had to leave.

Theories are that the boneclaws can also evolve from skeletons exposed to great amounts of magic. But I doubt it was a rogue group. Xystus struck mother as too much of an ego driven control freak to allow something like a boneclaw to make its own troop much less meander.

We walked a couple of days hard into the forest seeking the centre. But my sister had a horrible dream, well vision. Toza would meet us on the desolate island where the Elves once lived. My hopes of finding mother there ruined. As much as I bantered with Christoph over the day and tried to make light with Jern, I wasn’t relaxed. I changed our heading to go south. To head to where I spent my childhood, where Uncle Toza rules. Strom.

We need help and it’s going to be risky, especially with a dwarf. Can we find the remains of Bryntek? Mother strongly believed he was important to preventing the Cabal from gaining the land, and blamed herself for his death. Or books on lore, ancient history regarding that mystery island?

It’s a huge risk. Uncle Toza knows my true name. And Fifi, as Christoph calls her, just destroyed a tree, and I burned our way out from underneath.

We must work on discretion.

But that was now days ago.

Today I’m standing over the many remains of people killed and eaten by a giant spider and a web golem. I hate golems! I fought several in the arena. They hit too hard, and someone’s spirit was always bound in the heart. And I have its heart. A magus somewhere is going to be pissed.

My sister exhausted herself, and is now unconscious. Jern damn near died, and has my sister beside him. The wounds seem bad… But it’s Christoph who is battered. The spider’s poison stole his strength. And I now have to figure out where to go.

Did Toza make the golem? Or one of his underlings? Do they know it’s been destroyed? Did they see through its many eyes? We must move somewhere so they can heal their wounds. Oh kind Merlay, show me a haven, please.

Who’s soul was used to power the golem? Can we get it out? Do we want to?

Back to the Prime
Nameless Still Watches Over Me!

How much longer could I have continued?

I’m so tired. I’m so excited!

After months of being chased, the nasty caught up to me. It moved a hell of a lot faster than I thought possible.

I got knocked out of the skies traveling between mountain peaks. I do not know what did it. But I managed to roll out of the crash and barely got onto my feet. I shifted to elven form and ran. The creature was too close, hours perhaps and closing. I tried to take to the skies and again got knocked down. This time I landed in a valley and bolted. Its presence was overwhelming. I ran til I literally couldn’t run any farther, it was a dead end. The cliffs too steep to climb and the area too small for my wingspan. But I spun about to face it, my weapons in hand and back into my natural form. My ermine friend ran onto my shoulder, lending me her strength. The beast crashed around the boulders, all black shifting shadows and claws. I was ready to do battle and die when I heard the laughter.

It’s such a simple laugh. More a giggle.

I think I yelled for him to help me.

I thanked him afterwards. And then I was falling.

The sky was grey but it was bright, compared to the darkness I was traveling through. My weariness was gone. The fell presence was gone. I flapped my wings and I heard battle. Turning to get my bearings I saw her.

My sister. The youngest of us! She looked older but it must be a disguise. She was in trouble, there was a wolfman, werewolf near her and a displacer beast. I called out her name. Well, not her true name but the name I knew her as. And I dived down, dropping a globe of darkness.

I turned to attack the werewolf, I’ve dealt with their ilk in the arena, and just because they are hard to kill doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. But my sister shouted that he’s a friend.

Really? That murdering furbag is a friend?
I’ll have to talk to Pheraya, which is what she’s calling herself.

So I turned to attack the beast. I’m familiar with magics that mimic this monster’s ability. Just pity I’ve not yet figured out how to see the truth. They saw me. And I turned back to a woman. Human.

Then I cancelled the globe to allow the werewolf to help. And then there was a dwarf. How did I overlook him?

And then the Brokki arrived, angry about us taking his kill. I was ready to take him out. He seemed simple, if primitive. But he wisely backed down.

My sister, in her joy, ran up and hugged me. I had to fight the urge to throw her off. I’m not ready to be touched. Anyone who touched me meant to kill me or take me against my will. I killed the first and tried to kill the latter though that bastard always stopped me before I could finish them off. I had to tell myself that my sister will not harm me. But I need space.

There were too many people, and they seemed friendly enough.

The dwarf was brought her from 40 or something years ago. He speaks Shykkish, I can understand most of his dialect, as can my sister. But the Shykkish that the Brokki and the werewolf speak is different. I can understand it, but the Dwarf seemed to have a hard time.

We harvested the displacer beast Everyone was talking, and I was adjusting to the gravity, the light, the air and temperature of the Prime. I think I made some responses. I know I called myself Amira.

And we set off.

Though I found it odd. They saw me as I am. They probably think I am a Devil or a Demon. Something evil. Pheraya told them that we are sisters. The looks were dubious.

I walked and sometimes flew to get my bearings. The road we left behind. What was I going to do? Will the Beast hunt me here too? How long do I have til it arrives?

And 9 years?! I’ve been gone from my siblings’ lives for 9 years. The resistance is destroyed. The Cabal have won. And the sky is no longer blue. Vyrnith is missing or sick. Pyrico is gone too. And Nameless now scares my sister. He’s now sinister. How did this come to pass? A curse from an island in the opposite direction did this. A dragon may or may not be involved.

I’ve failed my family. How could 9 years pass?! I was banished for… 2 or so years. I am certain time doesn’t differ between the planes I was on.

There’s nothing in mother’s or father’s blood memory about this curse. The curse of no Vrynith shining upon us. Course not! It hasn’t happened when I had been here.

My twin brother is gone. I’m hoping not dead. My elven brother is also missing. As is my warrior brother. If we were together, we could do a summoning ritual to talk to the Elemental Lords. I’m not sure if my sister and I can do it together.

We camp, and the Brokki is fascinated by my ability to start fires. He got too close to me, so I leave with the werewolf to hunt. How long has it been since I’ve eaten real food? Too long.

We are silent, and it’s relaxing. I remain on the outskirts of camp with my ermine. We talk silently until my sister arrives to talk. She had noticed my reaction to the hug, I tell her I don’t want to discuss it. She pushes and finally I showed her the tattoo branded upon my neck. I tried to cut it off, but it remains, not matter my form. Pheraya is angry and wants to kill the bastard. I just shake my head, she’s grown so much. Her eyes are father’s, her temper is mother’s. I want to hug her, but I can’t. I keep watch them before the breaking of dawn, I depart.

I convinced them that we should head to the Phelmyr. I need to find a gift. And process that the only way to get food grown is by the good graces of the Cabal. The entire land is bound and shackled. Surely not everyone I knew is destroyed. Surely magic isn’t dead, but suffocating.

A Friend Made
Enter the shadow ermine

How much farther must I go before I reach the overlap of the Drell Plains?

It’s been weeks, no months. A few I think, since the Hunter popped into existence. I can feel its presence getting stronger. It’s big. It’s mean. And it means me great harm.

I can travel faster than it, but I need to sleep. It doesn’t.

Conclusion: it’s a construct or undead.

And it’s powerful. My reveries are interrupted now by visions of gnashing teeth, blood dripping claws. I am not powerful enough yet to destroy it. And the lack of rest is starting to wear on me. I almost crashed into a shadow tree the other day.

I continue to fly in my natural form in the shadowed skies. So many shades of grey, my natural ruby skin is a sharp contrast. And that’s perhaps how I attracted her.

A weasel like creature. It doesn’t fear me, nor does it attack me. I’ve started sharing my meals with it. Perhaps I’ll enact the ritual of binding and make it my familiar. It’ll be nice to have something to talk to.

Perhaps it can show me shortcuts and keep watch. Or at least help me keep my mind focused on escaping.

I can see a mountain range in the distance. If I’m correct if I follow it I’ll find the Shyk Valley, Havaar and eventually the Phelmyr. But I’ve noticed something strange, the travelling is slowing down, like in a nightmare. I think I should make the hills in three or four days, but if the slowness continue, it could be weeks. Or worse, months. My siblings don’t have months! Its been too long already!

Thanks to the cloak, I won’t run out of supplies, but, the Hunter will creep closer. Can I lose it? Flying, I leave no trail. But I keep traveling in the same direction. Perhaps I should change direction? Where shall I go?

Why did Aunt Lorelei banish me? She could have easily killed or captured me. Too easily. But yet, I’ve been banished. I’ve been… Gah! Focus.

I know I need help, yet I dare not call to the Elemental Lords. I felt something fell travel the plains two days ago. I hid in a burrow the ermine showed me. We didn’t move for hours, which costed me distance. The Black Unicorn is on the move. This really doesn’t bode good for the Prime.

I think I will enact the ritual early tomorrow. It’ll be nice to have something to talk to.

Sayeeda's thoughts

It’s been over a year since I was banished from the Prime. To the Plane of Fire. Why there? Why? Why didn’t Nameless grab me as before? Why did Pyrico ignore me?


The toxic gases stole my strength. Their cruelty stole my freedom. And yet I refused to die. I refused to break. And Pyrico didn’t lift a talon nor fluff a tail feather to help me.

I was alone. I knew how Mom felt when she was stolen. I have felt that loss and rage.

And I was abandoned.

I plotted. I schemed. My hands are covered with blood. My hair is shortened by the theft I committed. And I am free.

Free and fleeing.

Damn the cruel Efreets. Damn the scheming Salamanders. Damn the treacherous Mephits. Damn the complacent Azers. Damn them all to the frozen lake of Stygia and may the devils cackle as they consume the bastards. Mother’s Father had supposed allies yet none would aid me. I escaped.

Weeks. No months ago I escaped. I killed some. I stole much. And yet I couldn’t get my Father’s ring. Will he forgive me? Will my siblings forgive me not regaining something so dear?

Something that can link us for that bastard. Link me.

I’m not going back. I will not dwell on the ever changing pit.

Weeks ago I managed to find the rumoured tear between the Fire Realm and Shadowplane. It’s cooler here. A lot cooler. I’m thankful I figured out how to warm myself. I’m glad for the travel cloak and its magic.

And the beings here burn. I will not get recaptured. I must get back to the Prime. Nameless! Hear me Nameless? I need your help. Please.

They now stay away from me. I’m strong enough to summon fire and cloak myself in the flames. Fire hurts them bad. And their cold yet not cold claws don’t hurt me as bad as they would a human. I think, I suspect that there’s something from this Realm in my Grandfather’s line. His blood memories are harder to access than my Grandmother’s. But the knowledge I can recall does help me.

The shades are angered by my presence. My warmth angers them. My life enrages them.

And yet I believe not that it’s one of them that I can sense.

Did I remember too late that while Nameless has an abode on this realm, that Kahstol also resides here? Or is it something that was sent to bring me back? Or something entirely new?

Today, I felt the rage and malevolence pop into existence. It’s distant. But I think I can feel it trying to track me. I just got into the portion of the Shadowplane that resembles parts of Vrynith Kareel. I must go further before I find a way back to the Prime.

I will get back.

Take 2 - Meet the gang
Fifi's Epic Adventure

Lady, if you’re reading this… Yeah, I know. Feel free to laugh. But you better realize that I’ve learned my lesson. Never follow the chick who wants to find her long lost relative. Especially, if they’re chicks who you’ve picked up from the side of the road—LITERALLY, FIFI—and are crazy bitches with crazy tattoos and wicked dagger skills.

Svorak can go jump in a creek. I don’t care if Fifi’s hot as hell and a hundred times smarter than me. She’s still ice-bridge-over-lava crazy.

Right. So I lost the damn book. The first book that had all the details of this trip in all its starting disastrous glory.

Like me getting mauled by a damn rat/crocodile/tiger chimera of a critter and then fucking growing fur in front of Fifi. For four months, she didn’t know. FOUR MONTHS I had this under wraps and under control. Kept out of melee, took care of my wounds, ducked into alleys when shit with FUBAR. Nope. Day two on the road with Fifi on her search (weren’t even out of the backyard) and already one secret is out.
Sure, Fifi had claws of her own. At least those looked consensual. Mine? Not so much. Add to that, the hunter who was trailing the critter showed up and saw me in fur. As did a dwarf who popped into existence down the road. And the flying bat-woman straight from the seventh ring of hell.

I will never ever have any rights to yell at Shinji about being a leak ever again. I pop fur and half the population is right there to see.

Anyway. Bat-woman and Fifi are apparently sisters. If that’s the sister, I can’t wait to meet the broodmother. I’m fucked.

At least I got friend-zoned right off the bat. Gotta give that to Fifi. If she hadn’t yelled, “Friendly!” I’d probably be a smudge on Nameless’ chalk board.

The hunter, Thakish (I know I’m spelling that wrong, but it’s not like he’s gonna be reading this anyway), is alright. After trailing something for three months and half a continent, I’d be ready to take off the head of anyone claiming the critter too. But.. I was pissed. Not so much about being clawed up, the change takes the damage, but I was hoping the wolf pelt would stay hidden for a little longer. Anyway, nice guy. Good technique with skinning. Willing to share out the parts when people put in good reasons for wanting them.

Take Bat-woman and her wish for a spine whip. That will be something to see.

Ah, right. Bat-woman. No wait. Thakish and his improvised skull codpiece.

Okay, so back to Bat-woman. I don’t know why she’s hanging around. Honestly. She’s got ammunition like… Ruby’s team, Shinigami’s closet, and Tiger’s stash combined, I’m sure she has more fire power. Hell if I know why she just doesn’t yank her sister and hunt down the mother on their own. Clearly the woman’s been through a war in the most intimate of ways and hair trigger is the nicest way of putting it. Swings like a monkey on a vine between dead sober and giddy sugar high. A lot like Lady’s reincarnated sister.

Lady. Your sibling is cracked. She knows it. Her lover knows it. We all know it. Smooth out your panties and don’t set me on fire. I’m just putting this down as I see it.

… I ain’t kiddin’. I got enough sparks going on. Put down the match or I’m telling Medic that you skipped dinner again.

Course, I’m writing this assuming that Lady will get her twitchy fingers on this at some point and that I’ll be alive to know about it. Aaahhh… yeah. Assuming. Well, positive shit and all. Moving on.

Dwarf. Jern. Fucking capable. For a guy who popped into the future, he’s taking things in stride pretty damned well. Hits like a caravan stocked with bricks. First magic user I’ve seen for a while too. Svorak, you gotta meet this man. You know how you always complain that mystics are always so frail? Or that clerics faint at the sight of blood instead of stemming it? This fellow will open up your belly while closing mine. All in one swing.

I don’t know whether Medic will have a field day or a hissy fit. I know he’s old school, arms in guts, honed to the bone, but Jern’s got style.

Gotta wonder if his trick will have any effect on Lady. Will the magic rebound if it’s unnecessary? Or if the wounds don’t take?

Put down the fire. I’m not seriously proposing any testing. I saw what you did to Medic.
(He still gimped in the left knee?)(It’s been years since I’ve seen him)

So day two or three, barely out of the yard, I meet new people, gain a new bladder for the poison stock (like I said, guy likes to share) and we’re off to a rolling start. In that I’m stuck as a fucking critter til dawn.

Oh. And Bat-woman’s mini-weasel has no qualms in stealing a bites. Heh. Itty-bit’s got balls.

Which then brings me to today. A few days after that glorious start.

Today… Oh, today.

We met more Brokkai. Well, one. Couldn’t really miss the guy as he’s standing around a tree on fire in the fog. Lit the entire area up like Ruby’s grin over her newest crossbow (kid needs a hobby). Funny enough, Clarence, had his own troubles. A tiny guy in black robes. And I do mean TINY.

Y’know how I said I had enough sparks? Yeah. The tiny-ass mini-magic caster has a hard-on for fire spells. I bet you half my stocks in belladonna that at some point, my tail will be singed. And it won’t be by accident.

Clarence and Thakish got along just fine, and not long after that we think we’ve run into more Brokkai.

Yeah no. Undead with extendable dagger fingers (ten feet?!) and intelligent. One of those fuckers talked. TALKED. And not in the “Brraaaaaiiinnns” category. Full on sardonic rhetorical quip. Undead grunts don’t have enough working grey matter to pull off rhetorical.

We took down half of them—less said about that the better. The other four booked it. I’m not sure if back from where they came from or just away. I want to track them, but the death-bringer fire-caster was out of juice and desperately needed to pass out for the night.

We may still go after them. With my luck as it is, can we afford to let undead of that caliber wander? Where were they going? Where did the others go to? Were they expected at their destination? Have we just painted targets on our backs (more so than already?)?

On another note, I think I’m getting… No. I’m not used to this form. It’s still… Fuck. It’s not right. For one, I’m sure the chemicals in my brain are a different soup mix altogether. Priorities are shot to hell. I mean. Bite? Undead? Who’d do that voluntarily? Me! That’s who. I know I’ve got the nastiest case of after-dinner breath because now and then I’d catch Thakish turn and cough. But the worse thing? I can’t tell. It tastes weird, yeah. But it doesn’t seem off like the way Lady’s cooking goes.

But… I’m finding my balance a little faster with each change. The colours and the sounds, the SCENTS, aren’t as disorienting as they were a few months back. I don’t need to hide under a rock and wait for my senses to calm down. I still want to, but now they aren’t as bad.

Still want this curse gone though. I’m lucky these people aren’t ditching me mid battle, but I wouldn’t blame them. I get the feeling that I shouldn’t want to use this form. Hybrid or critter. I’m sure it’s easy to use it, but it doesn’t feel good. No, it feels great.

I’m gonna stop there. Writing in hybrid form is a pain in the furry ass. Even if I’m using the huge chunky pencil stub, the bone structure is off and the muscle cramps are not fun. The eyes aren’t geared for paper by fire light either.

Gonna go stretch out. Maybe run a bit. Thakish was making noises about me being his hunting dog; I’m tempted to see what game we can scare up. There’s just so much energy in this form. I need to move. To go. To run.


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