If found, please send to Master Healer Soen. Sun Temple, Albeira
While traveling to Summerholdt, I ran into an adventuring party, and to my surprise, it was several of the adventurers from Iron Gorge! Even Master Vox was among them! They were being led by an elf singing a strange song, which seemed to offer protection of some sort. Before we knew what hit us, however, a dark rift opened up on the side of the road, and we were attacked by several creatures that appeared to be demons. I can say with confidence that I was able to hold my ground, and the fear I would have felt in this situation was dissuaded both by confidence in my abilities and trust in the adventuring party. I've changed so much since I left the Sun Temple in Albeira!
Unfortunately, we were pressed through the dark rift, and after a sharp pulling sensation in my stomach, we found ourselves in a completely different landscape. After some inspection, it was determined that we had arrived in Circadia! Not only that, but we were near the capital city. Or at least, what remained of the capital city. It had been reduced to a smoldering pile of rubble, embers still glowing orange in the moonlight. Faced with an open field in front of us, a search party was dispatched, and found a sort of guard tower behind us, which looked equipped to let someone know if intruders were present.
A few members of our group gifted with sharp hearing and sight alerted us to guards passing on patrol, and we scurried to find places to hide. It seems that whenever destruction occurs, Sauren aren't far behind, and these guards were no exception. A plan started to take shape, and I was introduced to a boisterous young chef named Bridget, who wielded a large kitchen knife. She led the charge in finding a large tree to chop down and use as a battering ram, as several of us surveyed the capabilities of the tower. It looked as though the main entrance was protected by several sharp barriers, and there were holes in the wall above it that no doubt held objects intended to kill invaders.
Soon the Sauren were alerted to our presence, and blood-curdling screeches pierced the night.
Once the battering ram was fashioned, the strongest of our number charged forward, slamming it into the heavy doors of the tower. From this point on, things became a blur of singed bodies and stray fire magic. I quickly joined the triage unit and helped to administer healing, both in stabilization and the distribution of potions. Before too long, we heard a victory cry and rushed into and past the tower, and were met by a heavily guarded wall.
It was at this siege that things truly began to fall apart. My friends were falling faster than any of us could tend to, and I found myself staring at gaping chest wounds and severed limbs without an ounce of magic left in my body. At that point, I turned into a glorified stretcher, trying to move the injured and dead out of the way of the combatants.
This was one of the longest nights of my life.
Thankfully, it eventually came to an end, and we were victorious. We took over the fortified area, and bolstered the defenses ourselves. Lady Nell, the head healer of the encampment, used powerful magic to bring several of our comrades back from the clutches of death, and we somberly began to piece ourselves back together.
I'd come so far in feeling useful, and yet I so easily return to a state of helplessness.
My spirits have picked up significantly, as my previous employer, The Scabby Rooster, has arrived in the encampment as well! It took no time at all for me to fall into the same routine, and helped everyone settle in for a long-awaited hot meal. I was able to thank several of the warriors for their hard work, including a half-troll named Tal. He was seated next to Bridget and another man who looked extremely uncomfortable, and bristled whenever Tal came too close to him. Some people just aren't as accustomed to Trolls. I had been thrown into the deep end, with one of the Rooster's regular employees, a full troll named Bolgrin. Bolgrin and I don't often see eye to eye, as he is rambunctious and has an affinity for ale, but I think he has good intentions.
There are some things that go on at the Rooster that I'm happy not to be involved with. Including that mystery pile that always ends up behind the tavern.
I’ve sentenced a woman to death!
Once things had finally calmed down at the Rooster, I sat down to eat some stew, and was seated next to a woman named Skyler. I tried making friendly conversation, and her tale seemed as if a bard had written it in a fever dream. She talked about being trapped in the Chaos realm, and it seemed that every mention of that time brought the temperature of the room up by several degrees. I followed an impulse, and was able to sense a heavy amount of Mirror magic emanating from her! So much so that I swore she seemed like an object form the Mirror Realm itself!
This frightened me half to death, but before I could say anything, she left the tavern.
During my dishwashing shift, I heard a scuffle happening. Upon further investigation, I found Skyler murdered in cold blood! The adventurers that were near her managed to capture one of the assassins, and after some coaxing, we were able to pry some information from her. The three of them were siblings, and it was her brothers that committed the murder and then escaped. We found out that the brother had used a special kind of knife, made of mirror-like glass, to kill Skyler. My mind immediately flashed to my observations at dinner, and I’ve halted Nell from reviving the fallen woman.
I was sure that this was, in fact, the Mirror Version of Skyler. She had resonated with so much Mirror Magic, and I was still reeling from all of the Mirror Realm research I had just conducted. The Mirror Version of a person would be thematically the exact opposite of their Actual Self, and since I had never met Skyler before, I had no way of knowing if she were acting strange. The only thing that was holding me back was the knowledge that if a Mirror Version dies, the Actual Self dies as well.
But, for how powerful she was, this seems like an appropriate sacrifice to make to save the whole camp.
I wish Master Elan were here. He would be able to clear up this whole mess. One of the Necromancers contacted Skyler’s spirit, and she is saying that her Mirror Version is the one who sent assassins to kill her. After further investigation, the prisoner confirmed that the special blade they used allows a Mirror Self to be killed while sparing an Actual Self. I’m not sure who to believe, but we’re allowing the resurrection to proceed. Hopefully I won’t regret this.
I’m turning in for the evening. Skyler is back in the land of the living, and is swearing revenge on her Mirror Self. We had to restrain her, the look on her face when she saw the captured assassin caused everyone to panic, especially after she stabbed and cauterized the assassin’s leg.
These types of moral decisions are very taxing, but I’m hopeful I’ve made the right choice.
I need to keep my studies in perspective, and not let my mind get carried away!
This morning the fortress was attacked by demons and wolves! Luckily, we were able rise some of the warriors in time. My new friend Bridget was still half asleep when I had to take a more violent approach.
I may or may not have slapped her and shouted “Use that giant knife to protect the breakfast!” and shoved her out in front of the Rooster.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
You’ll be pleased to know that while I’ve been engrossed in the study of Mirror Magic, I still make time to study Sun Magic. I’ve spent the better part of this morning finalizing some new spell techniques with my Sun Mentor, Master Anariel. It seems that I’m ready to move on to Second Order, I just have a few rituals to accomplish!
I have to perform a Wedding, a Funeral, and a Festival. Hopefully they won’t all happen at the same time!
Just a little Sun Acolyte humor. You get it.
Today we were greeted by several representatives from the Circadian islands that surrounded us. They each presented arguments for the party to save their homelands from the Sauren invasion, and soon the entire camp was engrossed in a lengthy political debate. I’ve found that I’m not suited for these types of discussions, as passions ran high and decisive actions were few and far between.
While the debates were happening, an injured Sun Acolyte found her way to us. She explained that one of the local temples had been savagely attacked, and all of her superiors were dead. I quickly recruited Bridget, Anariel, an elf named Lothinleaf, a warrior named Brumous, and Master Vox, and we accompanied the frazzled priest to the temple.
Upon arrival, we saw that the temple was swarming with rabid wolves. Blood seemed to ooze out of the doorways, and the wolves were starting to drag the bodies of the deceased out of the temple, no doubt to consume them. The party sprung into action and helped to fend off the wolves, as we moved the bodies back inside. With some further investigation, I noticed that their hearts had been removed!
While the battle against the wild beasts raged on around me, I was able to give these priests their last rights. I took a nasty wound to the leg, but was able to recover some of my health thanks to a quick potion from Bridget and bandaging from Lothinleaf.
With Anariel’s help, we were able to properly bury their bodies, and helped to partially restore the temple to its former standing.
I’m sure not many Sun Acolytes can say that they’ve performed a Funeral in the middle of a battlefield!
It seems that several decisions were made while we were away, and I’ve accompanied small parties to several islands. By the time we had arrived at a small compound held by several of the island’s militia, I barely had enough energy to fend off the Sauren attackers. One of the other healers, Bertie, and I decided to stay behind and give what assistance we could to the wounded on the island.
I’ve always tried to keep an open mind about the Sauren, I can’t condemn a whole species based on the actions of a few. But spending several hours tending to the aftermath of their war, it has really tested my convictions.
This war needs to end.
I’ve returned to the fortress, and it seems like the adventurers here had quite an ordeal! Apparently, portals opened up on all sides of the encampment, and demons and Sauren worked together to try and perform a siege. Luckily, thanks to some quick thinking and preparation from the party, the fortress was able to be protected.
Aethyra (my “ex-wife”) had contacted me to make preparations for her wedding to Petra, in order to make up for the unwarranted punch in the nose, and the Rooster began its transformation into an impromptu wedding hall.
Our camp is in desperate need of some joy, and a wedding seems like the perfect thing.
Iggy’s double-booked weddings the Rooster!! This is absolutely unacceptable. The other couple is completely obnoxious, I can’t believe this is happening! I’m nervous enough, trying to get this ceremony perfect, and now we have Lady Solarus Bentwood and her fiancé running around, eating our prepared food and causing quite a stir with the attendees. I hope this gets resolved quickly.
Caleb’s Sun Acolyte Wedding Ceremony
Friends, Loved Ones, and Comrades,
We have come together on this day to join [Partner 1] and [Partner 2] in marriage.
It is believed that the spirit shares its essence with all things in nature. It is this belief which assigned virtues to the cardinal directions; North, East, South, and West. We turn to the stars to help guide us when we are lost, and it is by the shining light of the Sun that these two have found their way to each other.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North:
A firm foundation on which to build
Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives
A home to which you may always return
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East:
Communication of the heart, mind, and body
Fresh beginnings with the rising of each Sun.
The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South:
Warmth of hearth and home
The heat of the heart's passion
The light created by both to illuminate the darkest of times.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West:
The deep commitments of the lake
The swift excitement of the river
The refreshing cleansing of the rain
The all-encompassing passion of the sea
Each of these blessings emphasize that which will help you build a happy and successful relationship.
Yet they are only tools.
Tools which you must use together in order to create what you seek in this union.
A reading has been prepared, let us hear from those who would offer you counsel.
The guiding light gave you a path, but it was you who have chosen to follow it. [Partner 1], share with us the words that are in your heart.
[Partner 1 Vow]
The guiding light gave you a path, but it was you who have chosen to follow it. [Partner 2], share with us the words that are in your heart.
[Partner 2 Vow]
[Partner 1] and [Partner 2], as you proceed into your future, happy and difficult times will come as surely as the sun rises and sets, and as surely as the seasons cycle and change.
[Partner 1], Do you promise to weather the changes and difficult times, take solace and support in [Partner 2], and share equally your burdens and your joys?
Then place the token of this unending bond on [Partner 2].
[Partner 2], Do you promise to weather the changes and difficult times, take solace and support in [Partner 1], and share equally your burdens and your joys?
Then place the token of this unending bond on [Partner 1].
By the power of the Sun, I enact this Ceremony, and proclaim that from this day forward, [Partner 1] and [Partner 2] shall be forever united in marriage.
You may now share the first kiss of your union.
[the following is in shaky writing and is scratched out, for the most part]
I just have to tell ou a thing. i did it! A marriage, I did. the two of them are now happily pronounced partner 1 and partner b. my Throat what a little tickle, so i drank what Iggy gave bme. OH IGGY. He didn’t not get rid of all the otheeeeeer people wedding. GREAT JOB.
I may have be intoxicant.
Bolgren, that spunky big ol guy. He brewded some ale, I guess. This is what I’ve had the drink, and he attacked me in themiDDLE OF THE CERMONY. How could and dare he!?
Luck and lee, I made it back to finish the matrimones and now Bolgrn and I are friends because w drank all the rest of this stellar aaaaaaale.
I guess a demon mamed the Collective collector came to cllect and i PUNCHED HIM IN THE FACE, probably.
I shoul sleep now.
Pee Essss - Wallad bring more winE! IT’S GRAET!
Please disregard the previous letter. I foolishly trusted the members of the Rooster, and ended up completely drunk and (as I’ve been told) not only almost didn’t finish the wedding ceremony, but tried to attack an incredibly powerful demon!
I’ll take this throbbing headache as an adequate punishment for this display of unprofessionalism.
At least Bolgren and I are still friends.
It seems that this encampment is well-stocked enough to be run by the locals, so the group is planning on parting ways once again. There is a political rumbling that is making its way through camp, and it seems that Master Vox is up for a Senatorial position. She has graciously asked me to accompany her on the journey back into the heart of the Illumin empire - the place that I ran away from so many months ago. I do have other business to finish in Albeira, and I want to be there for one of my mentors, so it looks like I'll be heading back. Hopefully I won't get caught!