The Shard Isles

Quinn's Journal - Setting Off

Day 29.

Land! At last we have found land. Our ship hit a sandbar, but the more giant of our crew simply hopped out and dragged it to shore. I am growing fonder of these gentlemen every day.

We unloaded the ship and Varak, Ku and I set out to explore a bit. Foostus and Vindicus stayed back to make camp, it seems they both interpret the ridiculous teachings of their god to mean that they need to build a little house right on the beach. Hopefully I can talk them out of this later, clearly their hitting things with swords ability will be useful in this potentially-dangerous land.

Those of us who understand adventuring set out and quickly found a mossy path. Somehow this path seems very permanent, even as it is mossy and unused. We followed the path until twilight set in and hurried back. I saw things moving in the darkness and would rather confront them when I can see them.

I know, dear Journal, a bold start indeed.

Day 28

We have been sailing for a few days on this kobold vessel. We suspect we’re near land, as this ship is not made for the deep sea. Food is running short – we’re down to our personal supplies.

Day 25

Attack! Today we were boarded by some nasty lizardmen and their rattish friends – they killed Bart, the first mate, first. Naturally, I saved the day. Clad in my sleeping clothes and armed with nothing more than my stick of a wand, I blasted kobolds from the mast and led the crew to victory. There will be time later for a blow by blow, so just some notes for now. Ku is certainly a wizard, but I am questioning the ‘great and powerful’ aspect. The brutish minotaur and goliath showed their worth today – hitting things with swords. Varak even attempted to leap across to the kobolds’ boat and succeeding in making a fool of himself and getting very wet. I now understand Vindicus’s bad breath – he can spit acid!

While we quickly dispatched the creatures, they did manage to set fire to our sail. We were unable to save the ship. I eventually talked the captain into taking his valuables and moving on to the kobold ship to finish the journey.

I regret Bartholomew’s death. He was a good man.

Day 22

We are lost at sea.

Day 19

Still no land. The captain’s been acting suspiciously, I hope he knows where we’re going.

Day 15

Two weeks in and a deep mist has settled around us. Spirits are high, we must be near our destination. Most of the good food is gone, I’ll be glad to be off this ship. On the other hand, I have secured for myself the enviable position of ‘watching out the bow and shouting if I see anything’.

Day 8

A week has passed and our passage has been uneventful. Ku has been regaling us with stories about his wizardly exploits, they are nearly as good as some of my more elaborate fables. The captain told us to ration food better. I’m not concerned, there’s only a week left. The dragonkin’s breath reeks.

Day 2

Out to sea! Today we lost sight of land and of wretched Aylis. It has been smooth sailing thus far, thanks of course to my musical prowess. The captain says the trip should take about two weeks.

Day 1

Today we set off to parts unknown, or partly known, the Shard Isles. I have secured passage aboard the Latif Jove, a small sailing ship whose captain, a Mr. Devin Lex, seeks the same riches the rest of my new companions are crowing about. As for myself, anything is better than staying in Aylis, even if I could.

We are a motley band of sailors to be sure. The goliath and minotaur – Varak and Foostus, I think – seem impractically large on such a small ship. The captain has mostly set them to carrying heavy things for the moment, which suits me just fine. Ku, a gnomish wizard of ‘great power and import’, is an odd sort. He was constantly glancing over his shoulder when we were still docked, but it seems he’s settled down now. Vindicus, a dragonkin, seems to be a good sort of fellow, if misguided. From the sound of it, he’s planning to build a one man colony out in the isles and make himself mayor!

Anyway, Journal, I’m sure we will have more to discuss later. Currently the first mate is shouting at me to help with the sail.

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Quinn's Journal - Into the Dark

Day 30

Since we have left the sea, I feel less inclined to date my entries like a ship log. Our first night on this rather lovely isle passed uneventfully. Vindicus managed to catch us a deer during his part of the watch and also managed not to devour it whole, so we have a supply of venison to eat.

Speaking of Vindicus, he and the minotaur had eerily similar dreams last night. They both claim to have seen their goddess, who instructed them to ‘restore the fragments of civilization’ or some such nonsense. While I’d normally ignore such a tale, the two of them telling it together does give me pause.

Foostus stayed with the captain this time around, I suppose it’s for the best that someone looks after him.

We began our exploration proper this morning, following the path we uncovered last night. It seems the path is in fact an old brick road, long unused. Who used it remains uncertain, the only hint we’ve found is a sign labelled ‘something something -ty’, which is entirely unhelpful. City perhaps?

Not all was pleasant however, we were attacked by a number of some sort of giant bat with stinging tails. I, of course, led us to a glorious victory – it takes a lot to catch old Quinn by surprise.

Before too long along this road, we discovered an small, weedy pond. It looks like it was once part of a more civilized place – there was a small stone bench and the pond was ringed with stone. Also nearby was a door – someone had carved ‘B_W__E THE FA_______’ into it.

Beware the what? As noble adventurers I believe it’s our task to find out.

Naturally, we broke down the door and began exploration of the underground complex it hid. I’m not certain what this place was used for originally, but it seems like it may have been important. Ku identified it as elven-made, and it seems to be entirely lit by glowing magical lights. Now however, it’s mostly used for growing moss and mold – the entire floor is covered in an inch or two of water. I am certainly I invested in good boots.

As we’ve explored, Vindicus has been complaining about hearing ominous noises. I have heard nothing myself, and suspect he’s scared of the dark. Ku has remained boastful, but his flight from the bat-creatures showed his true courage.

So far this complex has been relatively bare. We have faced a few traps – one of which Varrek nearly threw himself into. (note to self, bring this up if he bothers you) We also encountered a member of the undead. While Vindicus’s god is rather to uptight for my taste, he showed its power in that fight. Shouting invocations, shooting blasts of light and all that. Very flashy and very effective it seems.

My comrades are picking up their gear, it seems they’re finished picking through the various goods in this chamber. We’ve found some gold, some vials of acid, and the others are pressing a magical spear and some magic chainmail on me. “We can’t use this!” they say. I see how it is.

Anyway, it’s time for me to pack up as well. Until later, dear Journal.

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Quinn's Journal - A New Ancient Land

Day 31

Much has happened since my previous entry, dear Journal. An adventurer’s life is ever an exciting one.

We have abandoned the (literally!) accursed dungeon for the moment. We traveled deeper in and discovered an odd artefact – a large sphere suspended on a fountain of some clear, viscous fluid. The sphere was seated in the center of what was perhaps a summoning circle. We were unable to decipher most of the markings on the brazen ring, but it seems it is associated with arcane power and calling or beckoning.

The pattern of the circle had 6 vertices, when each was touched by a living being it drew forth a stronger response from the sphere, from dimming the lights to wreathing it in fire. Perhaps fortunately, our experiments were cut short by the absence of a sixth member to our group and the undead. I suspect the sphere somehow drew them to us.

I have found a greater respect for the generally ridiculous god of the dragonkin and minotaur. Vindicus blasted the zombies with a holy fire than even I must admit was rather impressive.

Fleeing the zombies, we explored the complex a little further before attempting to exit it. We discovered some gold and magical items that I’m sure will be of value now that we’ve located civilization.

Speaking of civilization, we have found it! This would be better news if the kingdom weren’t under siege by hordes of goblins. We met a rider on the way back to camp. His name was Arsène Blondel, hailing from the kingdom of Voisin, led by King Reynaud. He was seeking a group of elves called ‘Baequi Dlues’to aid them against the goblins – apparently they owe the king some ancient debt. I’m afraid this is all unfamiliar territory, I haven’t heard of any of these people or places. As far as I was told, the Shard Isles were empty of human settlement.

On the other hand, dear Journal, that fool Varreck’s whims were beneficial this time. If it weren’t for him, we would have all hidden in the bushes and let the rider pass.

Needless to say, as the brave adventurers most of us are, we volunteered to aid the kingdom. Vindicus and Foostus going on and on about their divine duty may have had an influence as well. Blondel gave us a token of his friendship that will hopefully gain us passage beyond the guards, if we can sneak in.

We picked up the good captain and set out toward the kingdom. Along the way we spotted a Black Dragon! We very carefully fed a fallen runner’s horse to it and fled the scene, only to run into a bandit trap!

The battle was utter chaos. Vindicus and Varrek shot off after the first bandits they saw, leaving Foostus, Ku, and myself to fight off all the rest of them. Between Foostus’s giant weapons, Ku’s arcane powers, and my cutting wit, the bandits fell one after another. Vindicus and Varrek caught the people they were chasing eventually, it seems they acquitted themselves well.

As things stand, we now have the bandits’ loot and horses, and a wagon to carry it in. Things are looking up for this trip after all.

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Quinn's Journal - The War Begins

Triumph! Our victories know no limit! My heart still races with the thrill of battle, but I feel compelled to keep this log updated.

We have a new companion – Piers. He’s a halfling, apparently a survivor from the caravan we discovered. He seems fairly useless, except as a guide and cook. I suppose that’s enough – Vindicus and Vareck’s cooking was unremarkable at best.

On our travels to Voicen, we encountered a company of goblins marching down our path. Ku’s arcane fire and Vindicus’s bad breath put a quick end to them. I myself kept an eye on Foostus; the goblins approached in the night and I don’t think my hulking friend was quite awake yet.

The true battle was yet to come. The next day, we found ourselves on the outskirts of a goblin camp. The little monsters were building siege towers! After some discussion, Vareck decided that the best way to deal with the goblins was a head-on assault. Note that the rest of us had agreed to lure them out to the treeline. Vareck fought nobly against the largest of the band, but was struck down.

Ku summoned a great ball of fire for us as Vindicus rushed ahead to support Vareck. Foostus and I followed the original plan and picked off goblins one by one. Those of us that kept our heads eventually prevailed, and I was able to mend Vareck’s wounds. I will report further on this in the future I’m sure, suffice to say that I was the hero of this battle.

Anyway, I must be off; the siege towers have finally collapsed and it’s time to pick up and move on.

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Quinn's Journal - Whoops

Maybe we shouldn’t have killed that dragon.

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