The Mark of Prophecy

Entry 15

From the Journal of Arjhan Da’Seka Flamebrow…

2 Zarantyr 999 YK

We got Melchizedek back. As it turns out, he’d been kidnapped by one Melech Amborse, a merchant who is a member of the Aurum. Lady ir’Ryliss’ anger is catching up to us, it seems. Melchizedek seems pretty beat up, but the others got him out of Ambrose’s wherehouse easily enough. That gnome even helped. Maybe he’ll stick around.

1 Zarantyr 999 YK

Well, we’re in Sharn, and Melchizedek is missing. He picked up Torra on his way here, and she claims that he vanished after she and he delivered Paldrith, Captain Alistair’s brother; she came back to the ship, while he left to go post a few letters. I don’t fully trust her. Not two hours after we met up on the ship, she stole my translation of the Abyssal book. She claimed she wanted to see what kind of progress I’d made.

Now we’re waiting here on the ship for someone form the Boromar Clan to bring us some information of a group that apparently attacked the others while they were out looking for Melchizedek. Everyone believes that the attackers are related to his disappearance, and Rogan, the gnome who’s been guiding us through the city, is convinced they were from House Tarkanen. Nothing to do now but wait for our contact. It’s no good looking for information on our own; with the king having died this morning, that’s all anyone will talk about.

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Entry 14

From the Journal of Arjhan Da’Seka Flamebrow…

26 Vult 998 YK

We arrived in Vathirond this afternoon, and were finally able to check the date. Apparently, we were underground for nearly a week, somehow. None of us remember it being any more than a few hours. In any event, we got a Sending to Melchizedek, who told us he was in route to Sharn with Torra. We’ll leave on the Lightning Rail tomorrow morning.

????

I am…confused, to say the least. We retreated into a cave this morning(?) when Bree told us she heard an army approaching. As strange as it sounds, I think she was hearing the Karrnathi army from 4 nearly five years ago. Inside, we found…I don’t know what – a window into the past, perhaps? It seemed to be a research facility of some sort, though the Mourning appears to have warped it, and the researchers, to a considerable extent. All of us, except for Darin, experienced a different part of this facility’s history, and while Tethys is reluctant to speak of what she saw, it seems clear that the facility is central to to the Mourning, and who ever was behind it seems to both still be out there and know Dolph.

We made out way through a series of catacombs (each of us has a different recollection of what transpired down there; we each seem to remember the others dieing multiple times. Again, Darin is the only exception) and when we emerged above ground, we had new equipment and were hundreds of mile southwest of our starting location. Fortunately, Darin is confident he knows our location and has promised to continue guiding us.

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Entry 13

From the Journal of Arjhan Da’Seka Flamebrow…

17 Vult 998 YK

Fortunately, we were able to find our missing companions without much trouble, though Dolph is clearly suffering from the Mournland Affliction. We even picked up a new traveling companion, one Darin ir’Riclamin, formerly of Ikar’s Salvage. He claims that he came looking for us after we got separated because he could not stand by and abandon anyone that was clearly in need of aid. I am grateful. Bree may not trust him, but he has been helpful. He pointed out that the tracks I had been following belonged to the soldiers of the Lord of Blades, and he has led us to an the ruins of a village which should provide some shelter. There were a few undead, likely remnants from some Karrnathi army, but we took care of them quickly enough. It’s strange, but I can’t shake this sense of deja vu, like I’ve been here before.

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Entry 12

From the Journal of Arjhan Da’Seka Flamebrow…

16 Vult 998 YK

And just when things seemed to be going so well. Nearly halfway to the boarder, and we’re all seperted. I could have sworn the others were right beside me, but that fog must have been playing tricks on me; when I got out, I was alone. I found Bree and Varis later, but Adrik, Dolph, and Tethys are still missing, and we have no idea where any of Ikar’s men have gone. We’ve set up camp for now; hopefully tomorrow we’ll be able to find our friends

12 Vult 998 YK

We located Ikar last night, and, after verifying our story with Garrow, he agreed to guide us out of the Mournland. He told us anywhere other than Karrnath would cost us extra, so we’ve decided Karrnath will do just fine. Hopefully we can get a message to Melchizedek when we arrive. Until then Ikar has laid down a few rules regarding traveling in the Mournland. They seem to boil down to, "If you get lost or attract attention, you’re on your own.

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Entry 11

From the Journal of Arjhan Da’Seka Flamebrow…

11 Vult 998 YK

We have discovered some connection between the Halfling disappearances, the Order of the Emerald Claw, and some mysterious “Empress” apparently based in the ruins of Metrol in the Mournland. Bree, Adrik, Tethys and Dolph managed to capture an Emerald Claw captain, one Vikus Garrow, and from what he told us, we suspect that this “Empress” may be the one on whose behalf the Emerald Claw are trying to claim the Frostfell Artifact. Garrow insisted that his Order’s arrangement with the “Empress” and her people is strictly business, and hinted that it could be dissolved fairly easily. He was also eager to volunteer the Emerald Claw’s help in retrieving the Artifact, particularly once he learned of the Blood of Vol’s interest in obtaining it. As a show of trust, he led us to an unguarded passage out of the “Empress’” facility and told us where we could locate an associate of his, a Half-Orc named Ikar, who he promised would guide us out of the Mournland.

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Entry 10

From the Journal of Arjhan Da’Seka Flamebrow

10 Vult 998 YK

While the “how” or “why” of the Halflings’ disappearance may still be a mystery, we do know at least part of what has happened to them: Dolph and Bree were able to identify some of the strange slime we’ve been seeing all over the landscape as some kind of magically tainted Halfling blood. And during the night, we were savagely attacked by a party of slimy, blue, Halfling-sized creatures, though they were led by what appeared to be a normal halfling. After killing the abominations, we were able to track the fleeing Halfling to a tunnel on the bank of the Cyre River. Bree, Dolph, Tethys, and Adrik followed him inside, while Varis and I stayed behind to hold the exit.

9 Vult 998 YK

Apparently, another cause of the uneasiness in the Plains are the mass disappearances of Halflings to the north, where the Lightning Rail hits the Mournland. No one seems to have the faintest idea as to what’s causing this, though Bree, convinced this may have something to do with her vision, is determined to find out. We departed Gatherhold this morning; we should reach the border tomorrow night.

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Entry 9

From the Journal of Arjhan Da’Seka Flamebrow

8 Vult 998 YK

The Blade Desert lies behind us now. We have reached Gatherhold and found the rumors of the massive gathering are true. Hundreds of thousands of Halflings are camped outside of the town, all apparently brought here at the request of someone called “Holy Uldra”, or at least at the request of her followers, who have apparently, in the grip of a xenophobic fervor, sabotaged the Lightning Rail and driven representatives of House Ghallandra behind the protection of their compounds walls.

We encountered a hafling (presumably Holy Uldra herself) speaking before an assembly, urging them to reject outside influences and remain pure to their hertiage. I understand where views like hers come from; I’m all to familiar with the tensions and resentments that arise when people feel that their ancient traditions and way of life are threatened. I understand, but do not agree. Neither, it seems, does Bree. She made her displeasure with Holy Uldra and her ideas very clear.

1 Vult 998 YK

It’s done. Bree assassinated Vadallia herself in his chambers (if truth be told, it seemed suspiciously easy, but at least the deed is done), though in her haste she did not think to take anything that may help prove our warning to the Halflings. She, Tethys, Dolph, Varis, Adrik and myself escaped from the city and began rding hard for the Blade Desert. Melchizedek and Karmuk, the kobold we picked up, remained behind in the city to safeguard our ship (we still need a name for it).

28 Aryth 998 YK

We arrived in Taer Valaestas this afternoon in the midst of what appeared to be the mobilization of the entire Valaes Tairn, something Varis assured us would only happen if High King Vadallia intended to march the entire host off to war. The popular theory in the city was that the target was Gatherhold, where apparently all of the Halfling tribes have convened, though nobody knows their reasons. Bree in particular was agitated by the news. The Valaes Tairn, while outnumbered in such a campaign, would undoubtedly crush whatever opposition they met, particularly if the Halflings are taken unawares. Unfortunately, all signs point to an imminent march, and against Valenaren warhorses, we would have no chance of beating the army to Gatherhold. Drastic measures must be taken if the Halflings are to be warned: if High King Vadallia dies, the march should be forestalled enough for us to warn Gatherhold

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Entry 8

From the Journal of Arjhan Da’Seka Flamebrow

20 Aryth 998 YK

Our company now has its very own ship (We shall have to decide what to name it. And what to do with our Kobold captive. Tethys and Bree seem quite taken with him). Varis has suggested that the quickest way to Gatherhold would be to sail up the Redwater to the Valenaren capital of Taer Valaestas and go overland from there (I suppose he would know), and I am inclined to agree.

19 Aryth 998 YK

We found Prince Kel much easier than I had expected, though I suspect that may have been intentional. Given how much the Changeling seems to know about events in the Principalities, it is possible he wanted us to find him. He appeared dismissive of our warnings and Ryger’s request, until Tethys mentioned some sort of “Elemental ships” she had seen in her vision. These ships (the “Chaos Fleet” according to Kel, but none of us have ever heard of it) seemed to trouble him, and he agreed the matter required his attention.

More troubling to me, however, were his other tidings. Apparently, the Bloodsails tracked us to Regalport, or at least knew of our connection to the Seadragons. Ryger refused to give us up, and now, supposedly, Bloodsail and Direshark ships are radign Seadragon territory. I fear Tethys’ vision may already be coming to pass.

Bree has become increasingly worried about the lack of contact with the Talenta Plains and wishes to return home. When Kel heard of our plans, he made us an offer: help him capture a small raiding vessel in the service of the Cloudreavers. The grey Tide would keep the cargo, and we would keep the ship. It should be passing through the Tempest Strati tomorrow.

13 Aryth 998 YK

We arrived back in Regalport without complication and presented what we knew about the Bloodsail’s and Blood of Vol’s plans to bring back the Mark of Death. Prince Ryger promised to send envoys to the Wind Whisperers and the Diresharks to help combat this threat, but asked if we might be willing to attempt to contact Prince Kel of the Grey Tide. He offered us a samll ship and a couple of sailors to aid us, and we accepted. We depart tomorrow.

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Entry 7

From the journal of Arjhan Da’Seka Flamebrow…

5 Aryth 998 YK

I do not believe that could have gone much worse. Illmarrow Castle is, as we discovered, infested with all manner of powerful undead. We were all of us, excepting Varis (thank the gods) captured and interrogated by high ranking members of both the Blood of Vol and the Bloodsaisl, so at least we have the proof we need that there is a connection between the two. We have been given the task of retrieving the Artifact from the Silver Flame, with death threatened as the penalty for failure. One of our interrogators mentioned other agents working towards the same end, though Melchizedek is confident that the Emerald Claw represents other interests. The plot thickens, as they say.

Needless to say, the moment we were turned loose, we seperated from the “escort” so thoughtfully provided. Neither I nor any of the others have any desire to work for the Blood of Vol, though no doubt we have not seen the last of them. For now, our plans are to return to Regalport and present our findings to Prince Ryger.

2 Aryth 998 YK

Tethys’ smuggler friends were able to get us to Farlnen without incident. Melchizedek and Varis have gone to infiltrate the Bloodsails, though I do not believe they will learn much. The others and I are going to attempt to infiltrate Illmarrow Castle. From what we’ve learned, that place is at the center of whatever is going on.

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Entry 6

From the journal of Arjhan Da’Seka Flamwbrow…

22 Sypheros 998 YK

Why, this city has gone as mad as Thaliost! This morning we were attacked by members of Prince Kolberkon’s Diresharks, and according to the guards, this attack was not an isolated event.

Our meeting with Prince Ryger met with success. He seemed to take our warnings regarding Tethys’ vision of an impending attack by the Bloodsails and the Diresharks seriously, but he admitted that he would need more proof than the vision and the attack in the Eldeen Bay. He tasked us with finding that proof, due to our “independent” affiliation. Tethys calims she knows some smugglers who will be able to get us to the island of Farlnen discreetly, so with luck we’ll be on our way tomorrow.

21 Sypheros 998 YK

At last! After 3 weeks at sea, it is good to have solid land under my feet once again. Tethys has kindly offered us her home while we remain in Regalport, and her mother has been most gracious host. Tomorrow, we shall try to meet with High Prince Ryger concerning our fears regarding the Bloodsails.

3 Sypheros 998 YK

How fortunate for us that Sir Vulgrim named Adrik a Friend of the Silver Flame before he departed! Else we would never have been permitted to leave Thaliost. If only our luck had held out a bit longer; Paldrith d’Lyrandar, the man to whom Captain Alistair requested we deliver his envelope, was not present on Stormhome. We were told he operates out of Sharn, and , not willing to take such a detour, deposited the envelope with a clerk, who assured us it would be delivered safely. Tomorrow, we depart for Regalport

1 Sypheros 998 YK

It appears that our group now consists only of Adrik, Bree, Tethys, Melchizedek, Dolph, Varis, and myself; the others have all said their farewells and departed for their homes (some more amicably than others). Those of us who remain have decided to return to Stormhome to deliver Alistair’s letter, and from there to journey on to the Lhazaar Principalities, where we can hopefully begin to make sense of this mess we’ve found ourselves in. We depart tomorrow.

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