Shadows in the Abyss

Dagon Wakes
It's about to kick off
The Veins of Atmar
Long goodbyes, descent into the Undersea, a lot of rum and coke
The King of Pirates
And it is, it is a glorious thing to be a Pirate King
Vision of a New World
Tyrnn travels the branches of Oldrim to visit the New World

A day of wonders, both great and small, and choices made. This journal entry may be longer than usual for I wish for some record of all I saw today to remain, even when I have gone from this world.

We set out for the temple, unsure what to expect but prepared for battle, only to find it deserted and decaying. Yet even in it’s dilapidated state I could see the glory that still shone through. This great monument had withstood so much and for so long that it could only be an inspiration for all of us to follow, and yet only a little remained of the god it represented.

Within the vaulted halls and the seawater channels, in the centre of a beautiful wildflower garden there stood a single tree, twisted and gnarled with age yet still bearing fruit. A black fig, much like the peach served in Lanzhou, hung heavy from the branches that seemed to reach towards me and bow in the wind. It was a sign, and time for me to meet my god.

Eating the fig I could feel myself changing. My feet rooted in the ground and my skin became as bark, my breath stopped and I crumbled away into nothingness. I came to in a place I had visited once before, the plane all souls come to after their death, and yet I still kept my body. Going in any direct was a futile effort, with no idea of my location or destination there was no reason anymore. So I accepted my fate. I laid down, I waited, and I died.

As my soul rose out of the body I used to inhabit, a strange figure rose too, but this one from my sword, Tranquility. He claimed to be an ancient follower of Gozreh, one Ondir and was to be my guide to them. And so we left this plane in a new direction, one I had not been able to perceive while still trapped in my flesh and that is still hard to explain now that I have returned to its confines. We climbed higher above the plane, above many planes, all laid out along branches as if part of a great tree, and set off.

As we travelled, heading along the convergence of the branches, I got a chance to see into some planes we passed and the strange ways of life those within had. I’m only left with an impression of the things I’ve seen, some mortal attempt to perceive something outside of our understanding, but what I saw was both magnificent and terrifying. Strange creatures swirled at the edges of some planes and slowly sapped away the life contained within, draining them and leaving husks in their wake. Dotted among the still living globes were those left behind, full of darkness and radiating pain.

Eventually we shifted back towards a specific globe, smaller than many others but somehow brighter; fresher and newer. The surroundings shifted into focus at the bottom of a vast cliff, a climb greater than any I have ever seen before, and my guide started to climb. The way was tough, a long climb that seemed to drain in a way that was unrelated to muscles or breath. As we reached the final push of our climb, Ondir’s gradual shrinking of stature became obvious and I was forced to carry him through the final push to a meeting I have so long awaited.

For at the top of the cliff was my God. Gozreh, whom had received so many of my prayers and curses, sat in meditation upon the plateau and overlooked the creation of this world. As sat beside her, and settled into my own meditative state, I could feel the work taking place around us. Mountains rose up and spat fire, flowing rivers carved out valleys and forests ages and spread. And then… a pause. My god turned to me and offered me the welcome I hadn’t known I’d missed for since I first left my childhood home.

She offered me a choice. To stay and help her create this new world. Or return to the world of my birth, the world she has now all but left, and fight back the darkness rising there. While I longed to stay there, in the warm embrace of my god, I knew I could not abandon those I had left behind. So I return to pen this entry and begin our journey, which will finally put us against Dagon, the one who would devour this world.

-Tyrnn Holyhand
Acolyte of Gozreh

The Giant King Falls
Battle in the flooded ruins of Gozreh's temple.
Space Dragons, Cosmic Giants and Valley Druids
Altan turns up the heat, Andrew becomes a man, Olo almost dies
Flaming Hair, A Murder of Crows and an Ancient Plague
The story goes back to its trippy roots...
Time Travel, Megafauna and Very Bad News
Altan plays his first card, Wei Wei begins his cosmic quest...
Ronins, Shamisens and Empty Promises
The Second Betrayal...

Leaving the destruction in Lanzhou in our wake we set sail once more, this time for Windsong Monastery, my old home. A bittersweet feeling. In some ways I dreaded the return and the disappointment my Master would feel when I could not stay to take his place; but to return to the place of my childhood, and the simple and peaceful pleasures to be found in monastery life, would be a balm from the betrayal and intrigue that had taken place since our last visit. This was not to be the case however.

Jacob, my counterpart from Catalan’s airship, had returned to the monastery. Master Hatori had secluded himself and seemed worn, tired and stretched too thin. Mei was distracted, her focus elsewhere and her infrequent returns to the temple should have warned of what was to come if I had not been too blinded by the chance to rest to heed the warning of the Guardian of Windsong.

A trip out to the nearby town seemed positive at first, we heard that the followers of Zon Kuthon had been less active in the area lately, and the chance to let loose was only enhanced by a dance and moonlight walk with Mei. Unfortunately this was cut short by the discovery of multiple bodies. The reason for the cults inactivity became clear when we came across bodies in the road, leading to the vast slaughter that had taken place in their grounds. None were spared. Monks, priests, civilians and even the children laid out to rot, only the coolness of the night helped to keep the stench of decay at bay.

Upon returning to Windsong, it soon became clear who had done this. Mei. I thought she could change when I spared her life previously; but the years spent fighting off enemy forces, only to have them return later, had worn down her commitment to defend. It would have been hard for me to cast judgement for while I have tried to avoid the death of innocents in our journey, I have some blood on my hands will not wash off. Master Hatori however, judged this a grievous breech of the principles he taught and he cast Mei out of the monastery, never to return.

This proved to be a short lived exile as she returned that night in an attempt to steal the relic of the Monastery, the Orb of Storms. I feared a battle to the death as I confronted her, demanding that she return the orb and repent for her actions against the followers of Zon Kuthon. It was not my place to repeal Hatori’s decision, but I vainly hoped genuine repentance might be enough to allow her to stay.

Mei could not do it though. She returned the orb and left peacefully, to wander where the winds would take her but without a place to call home. Life without a home is hard. Life without a family or purpose is empty. It is the people in our lives that drive us onward in our journeys and allow us to become more than we were yesterday.

Hatori took this hard. One student a betrayer, one a gun-wielding mercenary, and myself. He said his goodbyes and walked into the embrace of the ocean, leaving myself or Jacob to take up the mantle of master. Most of the students have come with us on “Betwixt Two Planes”, to continue learning the path from their inadequate new teacher. Some travel with Jacob, to destinations unknown.

I’ve tried to follow the teachings of our order, to bring balance to the world and better the lives of those I could reach. But what had our recent adventures wrought? Deaths by the hundred in the Imperative. Chaos from the unravelling of the Arcanum. Murder of the Empress and her consorts. I don’t see the alternative which could have avoided war with Tirrimere and our heads on spikes, but maybe that is a failing on my part. The uncertainty claws at me even as the responsibility for these young lives adds a new burden to my life. But I must go on, I must do better and try to show these younglings my way. For it is the only way I know.

-Tyrnn Holyhand
Teacher of the Way
Acolyte of Gozreh
Master of Windsong Monastery

Peaches, Kidnappings and Cannonfire
The First Betrayal...
  • The party is waylaid by a kraken on their journey to Lanzhou, which causes major damage to the ship. The crew beat it back into the ocean, where it drifts away and flees.
  • Arrival in Lanzhou is heralded by a very drunk Catalan meeting Aramis and explaining how upset she is at him while simultaneously buying him drinks. Aramis gets bored and wanders off.

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