Penlin's Burning Sky

The Song Does Not Remain The Same

Many years later, the party revisits the seela in the Forest of Innendotar. Speakers of elven, Scathelocke and Sakai are the first to understand the new verses in the Song of Forms, verses usually referred to as the “Indomitability Verses”. It is fitting that the first and last of these new verses chronicle their deeds, so distinct in style. Ever after, Scathelocke always claimed that his translation to common speech was the most authoritative – it certainly was the most epic-sounding, especially when describing his deeds – but he had an irreverent nephew, who produced a more tavern-friendly version called “How the For-est Was Won”.
[OOC: Lant would make this all rhyme and such, but this is the best you will get from me. Think of the regular text as summarizing the epic song verses and the OOC comments as something like the credits to Animal House, where you find out what happened to the protagonists when they “grew up”.]

Scathelocke’s verse has some fine alliteration about the “Bearer of the Blade” and “Finder of the First Tree”. The entire party watched with baited breath as he struggled alone against Indomitability underwater. He would have finished him single-handedly at the bottom of the lake, or so his translation goes, but Indomitability realized he had met his match and fled to pick on the seela singers instead. Still, it could not escape Scathelocke’s wrath, who caught up to him, leaping onto him to help with the final blows.
[OOC: To this day, Scathelocke never tires of reminding Heimidall how he excels him in the jumping-off-raft-onto-beast category. Secretly, he is grateful that he got his one good Athletics check when everyone was looking. Timbre, who wrote most of the original elven verses, didn’t really know what to say about the long, awkward time Scathelocke was underwater, so she made up some good epic battle stuff. In her sacred glade, there is a wastebasket with a crumpled up first draft that reads, “Scathelocke, he had enough healing surges.”]

Heimidall is credited for his lone stand against two water ogres during Scathelocke’s dive to the bottom. The tireless dwarf was unmovable as the creatures clawed at him and tried to pull him off the raft and down to a watery grave at the bottom of the lake.
[OOC: The grumpy old dwarf is pretty sure he saved Scathelocke’s butt from the ogres while he was futzing around at the bottom of the lake but considers it dishonorable to say so. He regularly challenges Scathelocke to a long-jumping-off-rafts rematch, but Scathelocke always politely refuses.]

Lex had walked on water before, but this time he just piloted the raft back to shore: simple but effective. They say to “never split the party”, but one group had to go out into the middle of the lake and one group had to defend the seela. Indomitability’s speedy swim left them stranded in the middle of the lake. Lex could have easily walked himself back to shore but made sure to get all three of them back in time to relieve Sakai and Faegan at a critical moment.
[OOC: He never tires of calling himself a “fire mage, war wizard”, but Lex has a secret stash of scrolls tucked away somewhere. Rumor has it they are exclusively water and cold spells.]

The old paladin, Faegan, swears that it was the gods who picked him and Sakai to remain behind to fight Indomitability when it reached shore. It was their divine wrath, something the beast was surprisingly vulnerable to, that wore the beast down. Until it was too late, Indomitability was too hell-bent on killing the singers, ending the Song of Forms, and releasing himself from the stag’s body to pay heed to Faegan as he charged in on his celestial steed, hounding him mercilessly.
[OOC: The rumor about Lex’s stash of water and cold spells is true, but only Faegan knows this. They were his Christmas gift to Lex the very next year. Faegan subsequently published a treatise in “Adventurer’s Quarterly” entitled “The Importance of Damage Type in Combat”.]

A true healer, Sakai focused on saving the seela singers. Years later, when it was better understood what sort of creature Indomitability really was, it was recognized that the sole surviving singer was important. Had the Song of Forms stopped, Indomitability would have been released from its stag body into … something much worse. How fitting then that it was Melora’s response to her quiet prayer that finished it off.
[OOC: In the version by Lant’s irreverent nephew, there is a bad pun in the chorus about killing the fire beast with “sacred flame”. In fact, most hearers incorrectly assume that the song is called, “Fighting Fire With Fire.” After being chastised by Sakai for her “epic catfight extraordinaire”, Timbre retreated back in shame to the privacy of her grove. The only time she has been seen since was when she delivered these verses to the seela. Sakai still gets a Christmas card every year from the one singer she managed to save.]

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Dangerous Woods
Journal Entry

Faegan: Torrent was almost exactly on time and had a fresh (well mostly fresh) party in tow. Heimidall is a bit ornery, but I know he can stand up in a fight with the Ragesians. I was encouraged to see a Goliath among them as well. At least we will have two more strong arms in our fight.

The others in the party were a bit unconventional, but seemed to hold up when we were attacked. I am never quite comfortable around those who don’t know their way around a sword and shield. Some have proven themselves to be reliable in the past, but you never know when their magic is going to give out, or even come back to bite you.

We are headed to the Gauntlet. I remember the scouts and cavalry from the last war talking about using the area to ambush the Ragesian troops. Unfortunately I was too young to have gone along with them. I look forward to seeing where my father and grandfather drew their swords.

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Interlude while crossing a deep spot in the sewer

Lex: Why is Khael carrying Dante? What do you mean “he can’t swim?” The dwarf can swim! Now I get it, he cannot keep his mouth shut long enough to keep from drowning. Now it makes sense.

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The Oncoming Storm

The Empire appears to be everywhere. They have an uncanny ability to find cracks and surge forth into them, infecting everything they touch with their twisted faith. All that one can really do is delay the inevitable, ekeing out an existance by staying ahead of them. Oh sure, they don’t kill everyone. Not in the way you’d think anyway. But their culture and the way they do things, it eats at you. Takes away who you are and makes you what they want. And trust me, you don’t want to be a shining example of a Ragosian. To be so is to give up too much of yourself. You become the Empire, a twisted facet of their war marchine.

If only the Empire would be satisfied with what they have. Why Man always seeks to want more is beyond me. It’s one lesson I never figured out, though I can’t say I’m all that dissapointed in myself for failing at it because I’m not sure I’d ever want to. I prefer being satisfied with life. One can be happy that way. And I was. But then the Empire came to Gate’s Pass. Not for me, of course. I’m just another magic user that they want stamped out. I try to explain to them I’m more of a performer, but they don’t seem to understand the magic of the theatre. Heathens.

So here I am. Running again. One wonders if magic is worth the cost. If it’s worth being looked differently upon, to be held to a different standard and see others look upon you like a monster, all because you can do something they can’t. I mean, I can’t swim, bu I don’t look at people who can as if they’re some sort of abominatoin. It would be rude.

The Empire looks at magic users as something they can’t control. Anyone can be born with the ability to learn and that scares them. They can at least regulate who recieves their ‘divine’ training. Maybe that’s why I prefer the arcane. I don’t have to be regulated in what I do by anyone, divine or mortal. My power, for it IS mine and mine alone, is mine to use and do with as I see fit. I’m not beholden to some dark god who wants me to use his gift for evil, and I’m likewise not forced to be the most righteous man on earth by a god of light who will use me till I’m useless or dead in order to acomplish her ‘good work’.

I run and I hide for my freedom. But they’re running me into the ground. Literally. Yet even here, in the stinking sewers beneath a doomed city, they have seeped forth. My companions bravely fight them off, as they have time and time again. But they cannot fight forever. They cannot fight a force of nature. And soon it will be upon us.

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Musings on Power

Perhaps I am tainted by the general disdain for non-mages that pervaded the halls of the School of War Mages. Certainly Inonir’s path dismays me. I would have said “disgusts” in years past, but there is no denying the effectiveness of the power and I hunger for power. What is it about the warlock’s way that is inimical to a true mage? It is the surrender of self to another power. It appears to the outsider that Inonir is but a proxy for the void itself. But I am no longer a pure outsider. I have interacted with this warlock and seen that he possesses a sense of self, and that he fears its loss. This is why I feel the dismay. When even a dedicated participant senses the eventual doom of his path, only a fool would merely dabble in such magic. That path to power is closed to me by my own hand. I’ll not willingly open that door.

The bard no longer holds my disdain. I now realize that his magic is no different from my own. Music is itself a discipline born of mathmatics. It has particular power over the mind. Dante’s ne’er-do-well attitude belies the focus and practice that have led him to this point. No, Dante’s magic is simply magic. His failings are not due to an inherent weakness of his chosen path, but to his numerous personal character faults.

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Dante's Log 2

Dear Diary,

The sewer smells like shit.

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Dante's Log

Dear Diary,

Lex is a jerk.

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