New Day Dawns

The Journey Begins

Selestra 5th, 111.

I bought the fifth book of Crisis today, finally! I got up before dawn, and travelled to Shandala. I read the book on the way back to White Ash, and studied it all day.

Selestra 21st, 111

You’ll never guess what happened last night!! After I wrote yesterday’s entry, I reread some of the entries in Book 5, and fell asleep while reading the long-winded entry of the Danzi, ‘Drauka the Discoverer.’ I awoke to thunder in my bedchamber. On reflex, I activated my magical senses, and was assaulted by the sheer power around me. Nothing I had ever seen gave off that much power. I was rendered speechless.

And then I was rendered nigh-on catatonic.

The great and powerful Ra stood before me, at the foot of my bed. Thunder still rolling, a voice resonated from the depths of Heaven and Earth. ‘Alea-iacta! You Have Been Chosen! Come With ME!’ Before the last word died out, I was transported to a white room, walls shining with a light from within. As I looked around this room, my eyes fell on a throne that made the room seem dark. I had to shade my eyes from the … Glory … of the thing. As my unworthy eyes adjusted to it, though it still seared, I saw that it was wrought from molten gold, a giant lion’s head framing the headboard, where The Great Lord himself sat, staring down at me.

‘You are needed, Alea-iacta! You have shown patience. You have shown the ability to think through problems. You have rejected the Dark, and accepted the Light. Above all, you have shown true devotion to my Son, and therefore shall help undertake the task of Rebuilding him!’

My heart leapt within my chest. Every particle inside me burst with excitement, fear, and awe. I regularly dreamed of meeting a God, though I had always thought my unworthiness would turn me to flame in the presence of their perfection! I realized I wasn’t combusting, and though a thought of doubt flashed through my mind, I was elated at the revelation! My soul burned within me, and all I could utter were a whispered, ‘G-Great Lord Ra –‘

‘AH! Someone who knows the PROPER way to address a God of Light!’ Ra interrupted me.

‘Th-thank you,’ I stuttered my gratitude at being addressed in any way by He Who Illuminates All. ‘You do me a great honor, Great Lord Ra! You have given me my heart’s true desire! Long have I searched, and will finally realize my dream! I would hope for no more than to please you, in Resurrecting thy Son! Thy will is mine, and I shall obey thy order to the best of my ability. I shall not fail thee!’

‘That is good, for if you fail you shall join Anubis forever, as you have seen in your readings. You shall join CrIsis as a full member when they have need of you. Here,’ Ra said, pulling a gleaming book from a fold in his flowing robes, ‘Read this.’ He tossed it to me. ‘Read, Pray, Be Ready!’ He commanded, the book barely touching my fingers, and I was back in my room. I looked upon a familiar red leather cover, though it had something unique about the golden gilt. ‘ ‘ Sixth Book of CrIsis ‘ ‘ it read. My hands started to shake, not as much as they did in Ra’s presence, but shook nonetheless. I knew that Ra’s commands were not to be put off. Ra’s vengeance is as renowned as his rigidness. I dared not sleep, nor did I want to! I set in immediately, studying the Book. I was shocked to see the amount of turmoil CrIsis went through in such a short time! This group needs to be stable, as the Fate of Palladium depends on them! The four core members, Cava Overkill Tyvernos and Gavin, had been blown about by the turbulence of the group, and had lost sight of their true goal! I decided to try to be a tying force, and unify the group again. The loss of so many members in so short a time proved how disjointed the group was. It was time for the Strategist to come.

I talked to Nipshanks, and told him what had happened! He fell to his knees and praised the Lord Osiris upon hearing it. We went to the small Temple in White Ash, and I decided to make a trek to Shinkasa, to purchase some much-needed supplies. I wasn’t preparing for a journey, of course. We left the temple shortly after dawn, and set off to find the Guild wagoneer. His rates were far too high, so Nips and I packed my belongings and menagerie, and set off toward Shandala to procure the team. Finding the prices much more agreeable here, I hired a teamster to take us to Shinkasa. Cora Finks was as agreeable as a gruff drunkard could be. We arrived in Shinkasa after a long day of travel, and found traveler’s accommodations outside the Wall of Shinkasa.

Selestra 22nd, 111

The morning dawned with a stench wafting in from somewhere. I have no idea where that smell could come from, but I loaded my things back into the wagon, and Cora took us to the gate. ‘Halt! Anything to declare?’ the gatekeeper asked us. ‘Just that you smell horrible today!’ Cora said. I nearly leapt out of my skin. Shinkasa is renowned for unsavory treatment of non-human residents and travelers. ‘That’s ‘cause I was with yer sister!’ called the gatekeep. Seriously? Just my Luck, to get the only Wagoneer and Gatekeeper with a sense of humor! It was turning out to me my day! Luck don’t fail me now!

By this point, I had spent 350 gold on the wagon and teamster for a week, and 150 on food for me, Cora and Nipshanks. My gold was going quickly, but it was still enough for what I needed. Money lasts quite a while when you know when and how to spend it!

‘Where are we going, young master Azariel?’ Cora called back to me. I lumbered up to the navigator’s seat, and we talked about what I had to buy. He suggested we go to a Purfumier for scents of vanilla, lavender, and raspberry. I use it to scent my clothes after being laundered. They keep their clean better that way.

We passed by a Second-Hand and I purchased a mint-condition dress robe, vest, shirt, pants and belt, all yellow, and for 40 Gold! With this, and a brush for my hat and leather boots, I would definitely look dapper and dashing in meetings with Kings and Magistrates! While there I picked up a marked deck of playing cards and a set of loaded dice. I prefer to let Luck decide whether I win or lose, but I find them a very fitting representation of my future luck, being guided and guarded by the Gods. It’s like loaded dice.

Cora talked about a second store that I would be interested in, an Antiquary of some sort. He didn’t know where it was, or who owned it, but he had heard enough about it that we spent most of the afternoon wandering streets to find it. Alas, we did not succeed. At the end of the day, I visited the Playhouse, which is renowned for its mediocrity. I put down a dozen coins for the two of us, me and Nips. It was a sub-par representation of a bard’s reimagining of the Fall of Osiris, all done as a ballad acted out by women in whiteface. Had it been done by talented performers, it would not have hit me harder. This is what I was here for, and I was like these half-retarded monkeys acting for us. Untalented, uncoordinated wretches with a heavenly message and duty.

Selestra 23rd, 111

Today, I started the day in the Library in Shinkasa, searching for a map of the Yin Sloth, or Baalgor Wastelands. Nearing lunch, and getting nowhere, I felt a tugging in my navel. I told Nips, ‘I think it’s ti-‘ and was surrounded by milling crowds, the sun still rising. ‘-me.’

I found my wagon nearby, against a merchanthouse. I heard heralds exclaim, ‘His Highness, King Gedro’s speech is about to begin!’ Well, if I arrived here at this time, I thought, I was probably meant to hear the speech. I made my way with the crowd to the court in front of the palace, overlooked by a balcony. I saw flags across the town, a red fist superseded by the silhouette of a flail. The flail raised my hackles. Anubis ran this town. The King’s speech started, and no sooner had I started to plan my escape if things turned dicey, as I noticed soldiers with the Dark One’s symbol be replaced by gleaming white symbols I didn’t recognize. The king announced that someone named Manus has been overthrown, and the flags bearing the red and black were replaced by white and silver! I found I could breathe easily again. I listened to the rest of the speech, and knew that I was listening to history in the making. The King of Timiro, eschewing an olive branch to monster races, and obviously taking the first step toward abolishing slavery!

After the speech, I decided I must have been Transpositioned here to meet up with CrIsis. Of course, as Ra was the one watching over my calling, it was up to me to find them. He’s definitely a God of Self-Sufficiency. He rarely bothers with beings that cannot help themselves. I gathered the Wagon, and made my way to the docks. CrIsis meant Matilda. From how Book 6 was going, I had no doubt that CrIsis had the Boat back by now, and given the speech by King Gedro, Gavin’s line of distraction had come to a close. Perfect. Time to get back to the Mission.

I found Matilda, though it took a long time, as the artists’ renditions weren’t very accurate, and the CrIsis colors weren’t flying. I came upon the gangplank, and Sir Quixis Ote halted me! I explained myself, and he found my words not good enough. He closed the distance, and I found a ring of CrIsis appeared on my left ring finger. My countenance glowed, and I felt a thrum of energy flow through me. I looked at Sir Quixis, and recognition filled his eyes.

He helped me and Cora unload the wagon, and set up my room. My room. On Matilda. Reality still hadn’t set in yet.

Quixis and I were conversing on the deck, and a hawk lighted upon some of the rigging. “Hello, Sir Quixis! And hello, you. I am Xerx’ses!’ Only slightly taken aback, I said, ‘Hello! I am Azariel, Elven Mage and Apprentice Alchemist.’ The Changeling or Wizard directed himself to Sir Quixis, ‘Should you tell him, or shall I?’ Apprehension tickled the back of my mind. Sir Quixis gestured the Hawk onward, and it leapt into the air, and in a flurry of magical energies and motion, and there before me stood a pawn of the Old Ones!

‘AIEE!’ I cried… heroicly, might I add. Don’t believe Sir Quixis… what am I doing, lying to my own journal? That’s pathetic. Anyway. With my cry, I cast Carpet of Adhesion on the Minotaur, wrapping him in drying molasses. He told me he was a member of CrIsis, and I couldn’t believe it. He told me to take a look at the Ring on his hand, and blast me, it had the symbol of CrIsis. My eyes also took hold of the necklace around his neck, with the Crook and Flail. He showed it to me, talking of Dwarven mastercraft.

I released him, and we began to talk. It turns out he’s a student of the art as well. Hours later, well after sundown, the rest of CrIsis stumbled onto the ship. Cava, Tyvernos, Overkill. That is all that remained of the core. They mumbled unintelligibly about the hour and tomorrow, and fell into bed.

Selestra 24th, 111

The following morning, the members of CrIsis grilled me on several topics, resulting in me spilling my soul to them, sordid past and all. They had the usual questions I had read a dozen times over, all of which I answered honestly. They were at their ease with me, and I was ready to ask them what I needed when Terramore showed up with a map of the Yin-Sloth Jungles, much to Cava’s displeasure. Cava seems to have shifted from a like of the Bard to a barely contained hatred of him. It baffles me, as Terramore is a devoted member of the group! Granted, he does seem overeager, much like the Troglodyte now residing in the ship. That can be fixed. As long as he stays with the group, he’s a great asset. The second he brazenly charges off into the unknown he sacrifices our group’s safety. Our group. Man.

Terramore helped me compile a detailed list of strengths and weaknesses of our group. I made sure to encrypt it, so as to prevent tragedy.

We found a mapmaker named Dwarthoth. In our search for a map of the Baalgor Wastelands, we stumbled upon a gem of an old map. One of the New Kingdom! I heard the whisperings of the Pawn in my ear… ‘We can use the map to plunder ancient treasure troves and possibly deduce the location of the Piece in the hands of the Tribes.’ Through promises of furthered contact, mapping locations of nasty beasties and the like, and through the fanciful bartering of our ranger, we were able to haggle the cartographer down.

We then had one major problem! The map we bought was frail. We sought out a Circle Mage through whom we could maintain the map’s integrity. While conversing with him, I offered up a strategy to the rest of CrIsis. I suggested we draw circles upon the deck for protection. We purchased several more circles of permanence through him. Or rather, he donated them to us. Call it a six-for-one discount. It almost feels like a marrow-deep badness, that we took advantage of the poor Summoner. No matter. I will return here later and donate some of my work for his profit. We ended up with a Power Circle of Force around the helm, and a Power Circle matrix drawn by me with my Protection: Superior, Magic: Superior, and Elemental Forces circles, and the Summoner made them permanent.

All-in-all a very profitable and full day.

Selestra 29th

The morning dawned much like any other, and everything was calm all day. Nothing to add.

Supplemental Entry. First watch passed without a hitch, but on the Minotaur and my watch I heard a scraping along the hull. I readied the circles around the mast and rang the bell of attack. When the troops were roused, they all dove headfirst into the deep. I can hardly blame them, for it was a group of Kappas that nearly sunk the boat in the first place, but have they no heed to tactic and strategy? You do not hit an enemy where they are strongest! You make them come to you, where you are fortified. And Cava! His axe does less than his bow with lightning arrows, and its range is nil. Yet it is his weapon of choice… I wonder if he realizes that his axe is controlling him?

Selestra 30th, 111

We arrived in the waters surrounding Titania in Yin Sloth, and there is no dock. No dock on a coastal town? Really? That’s like having a children’s playground in a gold vein. Wasting your resources. Through the looking glass they saw that the neighboring coastal town appeared also to not have a dock. With that, we decided to go to the next town. Cyclone.
We got permission to dock, and were met by a Jotan. Our Minotaur explained that we could put in a word with the managing entities of Karowyn’s Merchanthouse about the virtues of Cyclone. We were intrigued by the city, as it is a city that has plenty of diversity – Monster races and Handsome races working, living, dying side by side. I was surprised by it. I believe that it would be a smart move for the merchant house. They are prime for a merchant-guild presence, given their location and racial climate. The next chance I get, I will pass along the message. This is for you, Jotan! He also gave us a prime discount, due to our connections and that we are CrIsis of legend. A mere 3600 gold for six months of mooring. Very manageable. I do feel for our boat, Matilda. Roggan is such a tender soul, and he shouldn’t be alone so long, sitting still. He’s a free spirit, like a bird, and we are putting him in a cage. I think I shall ask Sir Quixis to take him out to sea, at least along the coast, once per week. To stretch the sails, as it were.

Ra 1st, 111

In time for the celebration of the Holiday, our jaunty band was confronted by a dozen Shedim. They confronted us with announcements of, ‘ANUBIS DECREES…’ blah blah blah. We organized ourselves and routed them. The only problem we had was my own blind stupidity! I focused on the safety of the enemies on our front lines, before I cleared those that blitzed it. I paid for my stupidity with a very potent reminder. The minor demon left a mark on my left eyebrow that will scar. We lived to fight another day, and so we shall.

Power to Osiris, and Glory to Ra.

>>Entries ranging Selestra 5th to Ra 1st, in the 22nd Year of Emperor Voelkian Itomas II, from the personal journal of Azariel, Apprentice Alchemist 7th rank, Novice Summoner of 3rd rank, Novice Wizard of 4th rank, Acolyte of Osiris and the Lady of Luck.<<

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