Symbaroum - Descent into Ambria

Kibble
And then there were two.

The Huntress escaped death on the trail between Freehold and Anadara. Her goblins were not so lucky. Unfortunately… they forgot to burn the body.

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Uplink

Cuta is able to verify that three systems remain. She is only one of them.

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Catching Fire
Fleeing Thistlehold

Chance gave the healer insight into the true intentions of the Ordo Magica, and Mikhail fled Thistlehold, eventually fighting his way through guard after guard.

Badly wounded, he stumbled into a boarding platform and was whisked away by the Nine, before it met with the rest of the party, seeming by chance.

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CUTA
Community Utilized Transliteration Algorithm

The last thing everyone expected to find rummaging in the ruins was a set of crystals that activated an ancient intelligence from the lost world of Symbaroum’s past. Cuta awakened, answered a series of questions, and then offered one of her communication devices to the party, to allow her to accompany them out of the city.

Where she will learn what became of her world.

And the party traveled…

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Anadara
The Ruins of Andanar

The party quickly learned that Anadara was in better shape than Kazad.

They also learned they weren’t the first ones there. A party was already living in one of the outlying buildings on the edge of the Dark.

Using the tricks they had learned about getting around in Kazad, the party sought refuge in the shadows, and waited to know what kind of party they might have to deal with.

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Aftermath
Two Elves with Three Legs

The party found their way south toward the Dark, and discovered signs of a recent battle, most likely between elves and ogres. They spared two of the elves, and gave them a horse from the four they managed to recover, before fleeing east, away from the elves that would be seeking them.

Coming to the ancient city of Anadara, the party saw fit to hide themselves, and wait for signs of safety.

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Spoiler
The Sad Death of Kings

Sara watched her father die.

Then the party had to run for their lives. The elves turned on them, and Glennis’ quick thinking saved them from a fight by remembering that strange underground paths seemed to lay between these hidden cities in the Bright.

Running to the brink of exhaustion, they finally fell upon a clearing, where they could escape, but fate still had a few twists in store. A party of elves in pursuit had finally caught up, when Shade transformed into a massive ogre, and brought down the roof of the tunnel.

Escaping into the night, or so they thought, they came face to face with elves. But these guards on the trail had no idea what had just occurred, and with subterfuge allowed the party on their way.

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Lost Girl - Entry 6
The new and improved personal Journals of Saraethia the Changling

It’s been a week, I haven’t been able to bring myself to talk about any of it. I still don’t know that I can. I haven’t said anything in at least six days that wasn’t directly related to our plans and continuing on. What I have said has been abrasive and frankly angry. I feel bad for treating them this way, but what else can I do at this point. No one would understand if I started pouring out my heart about the grief that is just under the surface.

A week ago I had hopes of a real family, everything that I missed out on. He loved my mother, and he loved me… but that was all a foolish dream. I didn’t know that the man that insisted on my company would kill my father for the excuse of a perceived rejection. It was a lie, a carefully written lie that I had rejected him. The truth is, Lexonal should have killed him for insulting me by rejecting the person I really am. Sure we hammed it up a little, but that IS who I am.

Telk see’s that. He even accepted it. Not that he will for much longer if I keep up the cold shoulder. I’ve barely said two words to him and I know he’s too polite to make me talk to him, but what do I say? “You know that man that you absolutely loathed? Well I actually wanted him in my life because he was my father and I’m pretty upset that he’s dead.” No.

Then the bitch that tried to kill me, and everyone else, just wanders in trying to help us escape, mostly because she needs help too. So now we are stuck with her, and every time I look at her stupid smug face I think about Lexonal and how it’s my fault he’s dead.

Oh and surprise, I have an uncle, who ALSO looks like Lexonal and you know, now I need to explain to him that it’s my fault his brother is dead because I wanted something I’m not allowed to have. Who knew that being born to breed for a race that hates you would be so fucking complicated.

All I have left of my family is a stupid story book and a dumb bear that they gave me when I was a baby. I can’t even bare to look at them right now because it just makes me hurt. I wanted to go back when we met those soldiers. I wanted to ride off and go hurt the asshole that wanted power so badly that he killed for it. I want to shove a blade so far in that he chokes on all that ill gotten power. I want to destroy everything that they’ve so carefully built and grind it under my boot.

Fuck them. Maybe that’s why having Telk’s child appeals, because then I could destroy it from inside, using their own rules. Guess what fuckers, that’s a changeling you just made king. How does it feel?!

I know none of this matters in the grand scheme of things, but I swear to any and all gods that might be paying attention to a reject changeling bastard, that if they try to kill Telk to get rid of Bertolin, I will gut each and every one of them. I don’t care how friendly or how much I enjoy their company, no one is taking another piece from me. No one.

I probably should scratch out that last part. They’d be pissed if they read this after I’m dead. I don’t actually mean it, but it helps me feel less… whatever this is. I meant the part about that fucking elf though, he’s got as long as it takes me to finish this shit with Bertolin and sneak back into the city.

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Lost Girl - Entry 5
The new and improved personal Journals of Saraethia the Changling

It’s taken me a while to get back to this. It’s been two weeks since I’ve even thought about it to be honest. First things first, I was wrong about Telk. Killing the cat will kill him. I almost killed him and there is no end to the guilt I feel about my stupid idea. Lexonal asked that we come to the city, his city. I didn’t know that at the time. There was a lot I didn’t know at the time, and like usual I was burnt by the trust I put in others. The good thing is that it is not too late to stop it. I’ll get back to that in a minute.

We left the next morning after I’d spoken to Lexonal and we brought Avisrabind with us. We were attacked on the road. Marr Cats, about a dozen and a half of them. Most of the horses were killed, we had one. Telk was put on it, against his wishes and sent on ahead. Luckily though, we found our ogre friend from Freehold and he offered to move us faster. We found Telk’s horse four hours ahead, his boots carried him the rest of the way until he found an elven patrol. He shifted to protect them, so it made it so he could speak to them which is a good thing.

We got there and found they were mid war with what had tried to stop us. The horn sounded for reinforcements and I grabbed my flail, taking one last look at Telk before insisting that they let us help. If I had known then what I know now, I might have been less surprised that he didn’t argue.

Lexonal was on the front lines, commanding the troops… which should have been the evidence I needed to know he was important. Unfortunately I’m a little obtuse. We fought for three days and nights after that. I don’t even know how I kept on my feet. Then there were Colossi, three of them, I don’t know how we did it, but we took them down one by one.

I don’t remember ever being so tired in my life. I remember the theurgy dragging me off the field at one point because I’d been gored by a Colossi, but as soon as I was knit back together I was out there again. Probably not one of my brighter plans. The sounded a retreat towards the end, storm clouds had started to brew suddenly, and knowing Berloten, I knew what he was doing. I grit my teeth and started to focus on drying up the clouds, and pushing the weather fronts away from the city. It worked, which is a little scary because I’ve never really thought that I was more powerful, but it’s not the first time I’ve changed the weather on him.

After the battle they let us rest for a few hours. I woke up to the dulcet tones of Lexonal again. He was a little upset about something that Telk had promised me… and it wasn’t ever something I had thought anything of. We’d been split up a bunch of time, but I guess leaving him in the city was out of the question. When that man promises you he’ll never leave, then I guess he means it.

Anyway, it meant I had to stay behind. The theurgy were supposed to be helping Telk, right? Right? So I stayed, the rest went back to Freehold to get our stuff and supplies. A four week timeline to the next eclipse was the reason for the rushing. So, one week down and here I sit, tired of the parade of pretty boy elves that just keep showing up to chat with me. I start refusing visitors, since by this point I’ve realised that they aren’t letting me see Telk. So I read. … I read some funny things, like the word Changeling is a bastardised form of an elvish word that means breeder. Funny. That was the day that I escaped to Telk’s room.

Color me surprised though, when he tells me that they aren’t seeing him. He’s sitting alone, not being talked to, or told what’s happened, in fact, nothing at all is being done for him. It made me mad. Mad enough that when I heard someone outside his door saying that they were looking for me, I didn’t budge. I let them look.

The horns sounded that the group was back, so I made my hasty retreat to my room, slipped back in the window, and turned around to see none other than Lexonal standing there. After a bit of an argument about my behavior and what looked like an admission about what I hoped would be answers, the door opened. Lexonal left and brought Telk to us. He didn’t know why Lexonal seemed to be so eternally pissed at him, but after our talk I could kind of guess. It wasn’t because he wanted my attentions. It was because he wanted my attentions off of Telk because two changelings can’t make elf babies. I’ll be damned if I’m going to be anyone’s breeder. They can die off for all I care.

The visit was shorter than I wanted, the rest of the group was given nicer rooms and I was left all by my lonesome again. Something that wouldn’t have upset before a few months ago. That tends to happen when you start to trust people. You miss them when they aren’t around.

About an hour or two later Lexonal was back, and looking a bit less pissed off. It’s okay, I was mad enough for the both of us. I flopped the book down on the table, open to the part about how I was a breeder and told him to explain. He did. Elves are steril, or at least they can’t make children together. They can breed with humans, but not each other, not anymore.

This did not improve my mood any. I explained at length that I wasn’t a breeder, and that I wouldn’t be, especially after what they were doing to Telk. He seemed confused why I even cared, but it didn’t matter. I told him he promised to help and ignoring Telk and locking him in a room isn’t going to help. Lexonal makes these faces when he’s trying to decide to tell me something, and he made the face again.

He told me that they never intended that he die. So I asked if he thought that sending me pretty elves would make me forget about Telk like I was some stupid floosy. He paused then and nodded. I almost punched him then, but I kept my voice nice and quiet. I told him that it had nothing to do with that, and as long as they weren’t helping him, they would get no help from me. He seemed almost deflated and just sank into his chair.

Then he told me something that I wasn’t expecting. He told me that I would be protected because of who I was. So without thinking, as if I ever think before I speak, I asked him who I was. His daughter. That was all he said for the longest time. Probably giving me a bit to let it sink in.

That explained everything. The spying, the following me, the bear that he fixed and brought back for me… Even the way he treated Telk. Everything. I think my silence must have been deafening, because it was him waiting for me to say something then. So what did I say? I asked him if he loved my mother.

Of course was what he said. That was all I needed to know about that I guess. It gave me a way to get through to him, since elves are bad at understanding none elves. So I told him that I didn’t understand why, if what he had done, to make me, had been because he loved my mother. Why would he refuse me the same chance. That took the wind right out of his sails, and I could see it as soon as he heard my words.

He agreed to help then, my end of the bargain, to protect his image was to continue seeing the elves as they paraded around me one by one, and just be extremely picky about the whole thing. He would make the theurgy work with Telk, every day. My condition was that I got to tell Telk the truth, because I wouldn’t let him sit in his room, in anguish, wondering if my head had been turned. I know how I’d feel if I were him. Hell, I saw it on his face when I mentioned that they were showing up. He needs to know that I’m not just carrying on while he’s silently losing hope. I’m going to arrange visits too, no one needs to be isolated like that. We’ve already suffered so much.

I don’t know if the group would understand any of this. I don’t much understand it myself. In fact, I’m pretty sure I just want to cry. Me, brave witch hunter, slayer of abominations, and I just want to crawl into my bed and cry. Not because I’m hurt, but I went from being unwanted and alone, to understanding why my Mother fought so hard to protect me, and wondering why my father never came to claim me until now.

I’m probably overthinking this, he probably couldn’t find me. I mean, I used to be fairly good at hiding who I am. Not so much anymore, but that’s more because I haven’t shape shifted in weeks, I haven’t needed to.

He did ask one thing that makes me wonder though, he wanted to know how many other changelings were with us. Probably wants to recruit them to the breeding program or something, I kinda suspect that Karra isn’t what she seems, but I’m not going to say anything, so I told him there was one. Sorry Shade, but you just have to sleep with some pretty elf women, I think you’ll live.

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The Eclipse of Azan
"You have four weeks."

The party was forced to leave Telk and Sara behind at the elven city, while they returned to Freehold to gather supplies and reinforcements.

Another eclipse of the moons of Azan signals a weakening of the Dark’s power, and a chance to strike at Bertholin where he feels strong, and possibly end this in a month.

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