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Being the collected notes of Yamyra Anafa, Pathfinder; pertaining to the events beginning in Pharast, 4711 AR


Campaign Journals


Mid-Night, 2nd Pharast, 4711 AR

I am so very tired, but if I don't get this down, I have no guarantees I will remember it properly...
Well, today started with a blunder & didn't finish much better. I should have actually read that stupid letter first...

Facts, Yamyra, facts.

Having received a letter from 'Venture Captain' Heidmarch yesterday...
No, it's two days ago now...
I arrived at Heidmarch Manor, also known as Pathfinder Lodge #263, Varisia, on the morning of the first of Pharast. Fancy was with me, of course. At the time I...
assumed the letter was a request for the return of the Lodge's copy of Ipswick's 'On Thassilonian Architecture & Common Dweomers Thereof', which weighs at least a third as much as I do, so it was either Fancy come with & carry the enormous great thing, or hire a porter & I'm not made of coin thank you very much...

Facts, Yamyra, facts...

Not long after my arrival, Miss Carmina Scarnetti, a very nice, though a trifle...
Well, simple young lady, also a Pathfinder, arrived, having also received a letter. Since 'Venture Captain' Heidmarch had requested in the past that I aid miss Scarnetti in acclimating herself to those areas & social strata of the city with which she was unaccustomed, to my mind very nearly all of it...
Well, I concluded that the Venture Captain had an endeavor she wanted an agent for, probably one involving ancient Thassillon, since I hadn't been expecting the Lodge to require the return of the tome in question for a month or more...
Oh wait, before Carmina arrived there was another, one Koriah Azmeren, a full-fledged Pathfinder with several articles in a number of separate Journals under her belt. However immediately upon her arrival the Venture Captain & she secluded themselves in Sh-
In the Venture Captain's private chambers. Which is why I didn't remember that she arrived before Carmina.
Oh I do hope this will be enough to jog my memory in the morning...


Morning, 2nd Pharast, 4711 AR

Much better. I can actually think now
Returning to my previous narrative. Not long after Venture Captain Heidmarch & Pathfinder Azmeren retired to the Venture Captain's private office to discus Pathfinder Azmeren's latest exploits, three new Pathfinders arrived fresh from the Grand Lodge in Absalom.
In no particular order: Horven Gaveltoes, a cu-
Halfling whose talents seem to fit the most common stereotype of our people; Ganer Jitesh, an odd cat-fellow from Jalmeray I believe. He seems to follow the words of the God of Magic.
Finally, Gared Naught, a Dwarf !archer! & follower of Deadeye from the sounds of it. I shall have to show him to the Lodge soon, he will likely find it more comfortable than much of the rest of Magnimar.
As the three gentlemen kicked their heels waiting on the Venture Captain, Ganer began giving Fancy a bit of 'what-for', well, it seemed that way at the time... So, of course I wound up rounding into him. Turned out to be a bit of mis-communication all round...
Not long after that was resolved, Venture Captain Heidmarch & Pathfinder Azmeren came to enough of a pause to come out & show off a Thasillonian relic Pathfinder Azmeren acquired during her most recent foray into the Darklands below the Fogscar Mountains. A magical puzzle box neither had yet had opportunity to open. Sh-
Venture Captain Heidmarch chose to make this an impromptu assessment of the new Pathfinder's capabilities, challenging them to determine the locking mechanism while she & Pathfinder Azmeren finished their discussion.
As it was on display in the Library, Fancy & I accompanied all of them so that we could return the Ipswick before returning to my previous endeavor, assisting Andel in cataloging & indexing our notes regarding the 'monuments of Magnimar', including as accurate an assessment of their affects upon observers as possible.
In retrospect, both Sh-
Venture Captain Heidmarch & I should have known better than to leave a potentially dangerous relic in the !Library! of all places. What if it had exploded or something even worse?! Andel would never have forgiven me if I was somehow involved in such a catastrophe...
Fortunately, it wasn't that bad...
I'm sure a competent carpenter can address the gouges in the table & most importantly, none of the books suffered any lasting harm. Of course, I'm still not convinced it wasn't just some particularly elaborate & propagandistic children's toy...
Beware the gifts of Shalast or some-such...

Having successfully opened the box & dealt with the consequences, the boys & Carmina seemed to meet Venture Captain Heidmarch's criteria for agents to pursue another task. It seems a member of the Sczarni gang the 'Tower Girls' had contacted the Venture Captain regarding an impressive Thasillonian relic she, the young woman, not the Venture Captain, had discovered somewhere nearby. Natalya Vancaskerkin, a Chelish name, not Varisian, odd that, had seemingly disappeared after her last missive indicating she would be bringing the relic to Heidmarch Manor. The Venture Captain wished to know if miss Vancaskerkin's 'disappearance' was misfortune, miss-communication or mis-adventure & she wanted the !?five?! of !us! to get the answer for her. Seems I'm to be a field agent after all...
The remainder of the day consisted of chasing down one rumor after another, having my most reasonable suggestions disregarded by the others, staying awake far too late into the evening, engaging in the kind of violence one would normally associate with the Sczarni, and finally being proven correct when we acquired our most solid lead regarding miss Vancaskerkin's, or at least her 'gang's' whereabouts than anything we had previous. From the Watch, whom I had been recommending we speak with from the beginning.
That much accomplished & it being the small hours of the late night, we retired to Heidmarch Manor in hopes of making our report to the Venture Captain on the morning.
Which I still have not done yet because I am having to write down these notes!..


Morning, 3rd Pharast, 4711 AR

Note to self: I really need to review those interviews re: Riddleport, the Skinsaw murders & related phenomena, the recent civil unrest in Korvosa...
Alas, not likely any time soon.

Having made our morning report to Venture Captain Heidmarch, Carmina, Gared, Ganer, Horven & myself toddled our way down to Shadow to make inquiries of one 'Fenster the blight', the 'gentleman' in question truly lived up to his sobriquet, a thoroughly revolting man. Unfortunately, miss Scarnetti's impetuousness did our efforts little benefit by simply barging in to his place of...
Whatever it was a place of. He became sufficiently agitated that we were forced to subdue & bind him in order to procure any information of value from him.
Fortunately, we were able to learn the location of miz Vancaskerkin's 'bolthole'. Which happened to be no more than a block or so away.
Unfortunately, I still need to develop certain of my more esoteric capabilities, that rat was not particularly helpful...
Ah well, miz Vancaskerkin's 'hideout' was a seemingly abandoned warehouse, one of many down in Shadow. She had apparently gathered a number of ruffians, both human & otherwise, to aid her in whatever her plans were.
This is getting ahead of myself somewhat, but that...
item, truly did seem to have a very deleterious effect on her psyche...
I only hope Venture-Captain Heidmarch is correct in her assertion that the stone placed within will continue to counter that malady, I question Carmina's ability to forestall such an affliction for long otherwise. To be honest, I question any of our ability to forestall such an affliction for long otherwise, but I am getting ahead of myself.
Miz Vancaskerkin had sequestered herself well within the warehouse with a number of minions, granted, they weren't very capable minions, otherwise this document might not be continued at all! She had also, rather cleverly hidden herself up in the rafters. Well, it would have been rather clever if her minions hadn't inadvertently lead us up there to flush her out. Even so, she was quite 'slippery'...
If it weren't for the same magical compulsion which seems to have lead her to betray both her companions within the Sczarni & Venture-Captain Heidmarch, a compulsion which drove her to the most ludicrous heights of Megalomania we might very well not have captured her at all.
Oh! Right. Once we determined she was under some manner of 'Power-Madness' we were able to trick her into believing we had switched sides to become her underlings, from that point, well it wasn't easy to disarm & subdue her, but it did become possible.
Unfortunately, Our difficulties still weren't over. As it happened, a member of the Sczarni gang she had betrayed, one ?Terisha Sicloni? I believe miz Vancaskerkin called her...
I shall have to re-review my notes, this Terisha had apparently been either trailing us, or observing the warehouse. Because immediately as we were leaving, Natalya in tow, Terisha & a handful of common thugs set upon us in an attempt to kill or at least waylay Natalya & likely make off with the item which started this entire mess. As should be obvious, they were unsuccessful, though we only managed to drive them off, not apprehend them for the Watch. Natalya has since informed us that Terisha may be the chief Lieutenant of the Tower Girls Leader...
Now what was her name? Where are those notes?
Fortunately, once we returned here to the Lodge, the Venture-Captain had apparently made discoveries of which I was previously unaware, as she recognized the affliction for what it was & more importantly how to counter it. She also recognized the item for what it was...

Reader note: At this point, the writer switches to some manner of cipher using the Halfling 'kant' as a base.

Een fragment van een krachtige relikwie van het oude Thassilon.

Wat ze nu wil dat we om te proberen en te herstellen van de andere bits. Desna over ons waken.
Vreemd genoeg, zijn we geholpen in dit streven door een aantal vreemde sympathieke kracht. Door sympathiek, verwijs ik naar de geheimzinnige stelling van 'Sympathy & antipathie' ...
Eigenlijk, nu ik erover nadenk, dat is niet juist, het is niet de krachten van sympathie, het is de kracht van Contagion ',' dat wat eens was een, wil nog eens als een '...
Het belangrijkste is dat om een ​​of andere reden, het bezit van een van de fragmenten een voorziet van een bewustzijn van een ander, in sommige mysterieuze 'sequentie' Ik heb niet de kennis om te ontgrendelen ...
Tenminste nog niet.
Deze 'sequence' in feite heeft geleid tot de conclusie dat er een ander fragment hier in Magnimar, dieper in het stapelen bekend als 'de Kraai'.
Ik heb een slecht gevoel zullen we dat lood worden onderzocht eventueel morgen.

Halfling:
A fragment of a potent relic of Ancient Thassilon.

Which she now wants us to try & recover the other bits. Desna watch over us.
Curiously, we are aided in this endeavor by some odd sympathetic force. By sympathetic, I refer to the arcane theorem of 'Sympathy & Antipathy'...
Actually, now that I think of it, that's not right; it's not the forces of Sympathy, it's the force of 'Contagion', 'that which once was one, desires once more to be one'...
The important thing is that, for some reason, possession of one of the fragments provides one with an awareness of another, in some arcane 'sequence' I have not the knowledge to unlock...
At least not yet.
This 'sequence' in fact has lead us to conclude that there is another fragment here in Magnimar, deeper in the Piling known as 'the Crow'.
I have a bad feeling we will be investigating that lead, possibly tomorrow.


Night, 3rd Pharast, 4711 AR

I'm...
Concerned,

For Carmina. Granted, neither of us have ever been in such a circumstance before today. I'm ahead of myself again...

Carmina, Ganer, Horven & myself made our way out to the Irespan Piling known as 'the Crow' with dawn's light, hoping the morning fog would conceal us from any watching eyes the Tower Girls might have posted. It seemed to have worked. At least we encountered none until we were well within the structure & they seemed only as aware of our presence as would be expected by our bursting in on them as we chased after an enormous Rat we suspected of being a possible guard beast of some sort. Turns out it was...
For the greatest degree, they proved little deterrent to us, one encounter with a Tanglefoot bag at the beginning not withstanding. Between Fancy, Carmina's...
Lack of self-preservation, and Ganer's divine protections; there was honestly little for Horven or I to do save keep an eye out for environmental hazards & make certain the actual relics & cultural artifacts remained as undamaged by the proceedings as possible. Three guesses who focused on what...
That changed, somewhat with our first encounter with a Lycanthrope.

Have I mentioned the Lycanthropes before?..
Let me check my notes.
Hrmm. Not seeing anything.

Well then. Natalya Vancaskerkin, now also released from the mental affliction the item imposed upon Carmina, revealed to us that the leader of the Tower Girls was a woman by the name of Ayala Javeski. She also revealed that ms. Javeski was a Were-rat born & she had 'granted' this 'gift' to several of her chief lieutenants within the gang, both as a 'reward' for loyalty and as a means of increasing the gang's potential power within the city. Consequently, we took a few precautions prior to our investigation. Fortunately, mr Graveltoes had a small amount of experience with such creatures & we were able to procure the necessary items. Namely, weapons of silver, which seems to render much of their supernatural defenses no greater than that of a mundane citizen's.
Therefore, when we finally encountered a Lycanthrope Tower Girl, she proved not much more difficult to deal with than the simpler varieties...
I suppose I'm making this seem... It certainly wasn't easy, but my cautions seem perhaps excessive now in retrospect. Or perhaps it is because of our precautions that we succeeded with no actual loss of life to either side. Though there was one incident once we finally found Ayala... But it turned out that even that young woman managed to survive as well...
I'm getting ahead of myself again. I don't want to put some of this down...
But I am a Pathfinder & a Pathfinder does not shrink from the truth, even if she might wish to.
As I said earlier, no lives were lost, save for a handful of those unseemly large rats. Granted, once we had made our way well into the Tower girls' 'Lair' there was a moment when I was concerned it would be necessary to sacrifice Fancy to save the rest of us. Carmina had fallen, Ganer had allowed himself to be both encircled & separated from the rest of us...
I feared that the best we might have to hope for was that Horven or I would be forced to flee & hope the Girls might ransom those of us they defeated back to the Society.
As it happened, that was when Gared showed up, miz Vancaskerkin in tow.
You know, it's odd. I have no interest in combat. No talent for it, no enjoyment. I would much rather contemplate the frescoes, the carvings, the statuary we found out there.

As we were able to explore, we discovered a number of carved windows, concealed with illusion magics to seem nothing more than expanses of the stonework. The all but seamless examples of Thasillon's fusion of Magic & Architecture.
By the way, there is no doubt in my mind that the Irespan was a part of Bakrakhan. Practically every example of representational art we found was another aggrandizement of Alaznist, the Final Runelord of that land.

Gared's appearance turned the fight back in our favor. Once we were able to defeat the next-to-last holdout conglomeration of the Tower Girls, Ganer returned Carmina back to full health once more, we found ourselves in a position to do a bit more of the examining & contemplating of which I alluded to...
Of course, then reality butted in again, just like that less-than-favorite uncle at a family picnic. I shouldn't complain too much, after all I was the one who insisted that we not allow those Tower Girls who had run off to warn Ayala of our coming too much opportunity to prepare, or worse yet, ambush us as we were examining the site. So we pressed on.

I feel I should comment once more upon the internal structure of the Crow, given that I have not done so, at least I have not commented upon this aspect of the internal structure yet. It must have been a defensive structure of some manner, as there was a great deal of climbing up & down throughout. Initial entrance was gained via a small sally port concealed near the base at which we were able to tie our rowboat & where we noted to presence of a handful of their rowboats. Fortunately as it later turned out we did not cut those boats loose when we got there.
From the sally port, we made our way up a flight of stairs that had to have been at least half the height of the Pile, something like one hundred feet or so. At which point we encountered the first group of defenders. upon defeating them, we found our way continuing higher, to what must have been just beneath the level of the Irespan when it was whole. It was here that we met our first true environmental impediment, for to continue on it was necessary to leap or swing across a precipice all the way from near the top of the Pile, some two hundred feet above the surface of the sea.
I'm still not certain how we all managed...
Of course, it was not long after that that we encountered the largest group of Tower Girls yet, fully all but a handful of the remaining members of the gang. That was the point at which I feared we were lost if you were wondering.
As it happened, if you had been following earlier, this was the point at which Ganer & Natalya caught up with us.
From this point, we found stairs leading downward once more. I believe, all the way back to the waterline, or very nearly, the sound of the waves seemed very near. The floor where we finally caught up to Ayala had what may well be the most interesting from the point of view of the Society, for we discovered an entire grand doorway, two doors whole, plated in Sicatite! Needless to say, we have yet to pass through, given that in addition to the dangers inherent in interacting with that particular skymetal, the door was locked with a puzzle lock. Fortunately, it seems to be of a design we have encountered already, so I have hopes that we will manage to overcome it by means of our wits rather than brute force.

The encounter with Ayala was noteworthy only in that Carmina once more showed very little in the way of self-preservation...
That's not entirely true. Well, Carmina's lack of self-preservation is, but it turns out Terisha wasn't a Were-rat because she didn't want to be...
In fact, it seems she might hate them. At the very least she was rather graphic in warning us of the dangers in simply delivering them to the watch rather than executing them ourselves. I suspect she might have volunteered to do it for us. Not certain however as I was above working with Natalya to see if it would be possible to use the block & tack the Tower Girls had anchored to the ceiling arch to avoid having to make the entire climb & descent with the captured criminals in tow.
it wasn't

Oh! I neglected to mention we allowed the gang members not afflicted with Lycanthropy to scarper off. Hence, the comment about the fortunate happenstance of not removing their rowboats. The upshot of it all was that Carmina, Ganer, Natalya & I took Ayala & Karina back with us while Ganer & Horven stayed at the Crow. I hope they will be alright. They should be, after all, the Tower Girls had made it into something of a hide-out, camping gear & all. Barring unforeseen circumstance, we will rejoin them tomorrow.

Of course, on the topic of unforseen circumstance...
There are things I don't know about Carmina's childhood...
That sounds stupid, of course there are things I don't know about her childhood! For all that she seems like a child at times I have only known her a few months at most! I know why I had no wish to kill any of them, even Ayala. I suspect Carmina's reasons may differ from mine. I also know...
Well, suspect that while my reasons meant I also had no desire to commit violence against that...
guardsman,
Carmina's did not, I suspect.

I fear for her. I still don't trust that...
thing


Night, 4th Pharast, 4711 AR

We determined the locking mechanism for that door. I'll have to review my notes, but I'm beginning to suspect another common theme of Bakrakhan, if not all throughout Thassilon. It can't be a coincidence that both locking mechanisms we discovered dating from Bakrakhan in ancient Thassilon made use of a thematic letter transposition technique...

Past the doors, we found a chamber with the most marvelously preserved murals, truly the best preserved that I have ever seen from that time period! Of course, it's not as if we were really able to stop and properly appreciate them...
Beyond that chamber, we found a set of stairs going down. I am uncertain whether we have passed below the surface of the sea yet, but I suspect we must be getting close. Close, but not yet quite there, it seems. The stairs emptied onto a hallway which itself curved about to open onto a kind of terrace above an oddly shaped chamber, something like a fat 't' or cross, with the terrace forming the top of the t, two short hallways forming the arms, and a pool serving as the base. I don't know what those things were in the pool, but I will be quite pleased to never encounter their like again. Awful, viscous, amorphous things...
The chamber off the East hallway wasn't much better, an enormous mass of bats took flight and tried to consume us all!
Obviously, we prevailed, but it doesn't mean I have to like them. To the West, we located another stair, leading down of course, but given everything that has happened today, I was able to convince the others that we should wait for the morrow to continue our exploration.

Oh, I've said nothing of what was done in the earlier part of the day. Mostly because there was nothing much to say. We woke up, I delivered my notes to Andel regarding what we had determined so far, we packed our things for an extended exploration of the Crow and made our way back.


Morning, 5th Pharast, 4711 AR

I swear, I have never known a more pig-headed, self-destructive, self-deceptive...
ManChild, in all my life!
I could strangle him if he weren't already at risk of dying...
Horven has come down with something. It first became apparent yesterday; but, like a fool, I allowed him to convince me it wasn't serious enough to pause our explorations over. Given it's virulence and speed...
Well, I'm no healer, but I fear it is something he caught here.
Of course, that begs the question of what he encountered that the rest of us didn't...

It goes without saying that we have put pause to our explorations until his fever breaks, or becomes severe enough that we must return to Magnimar.


Evening, 5th Pharast, 4711 AR

The remainder of the day passed comparatively uneventfully. Though I did nearly have to threaten Horven with being sat upon by Fancy.
Well...
Not really, but certainly seemed so, how much he made of 'not being a burden!' Are all men this foolish? I've never known Papa to go on so.

We passed the time with relative ease. Masters Gravletoes, Jitesh & Naught shared tales of their time in Absolom, and their training at the Grand Lodge. From their words, I can tell they knew each other from before joining the Society. From words not spoken, I can tell there is pain and regret in their pasts together...
Carmina shared her attempts at 'Abyssal Poetry'...
I'm a bit disturbed that I'm beginning to recognize enough of the words to follow without needing her to repeat herself in Taldane...

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