A Watermarked Ledger

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YourMoveHolyMan
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Re: A Watermarked Ledger

Unread post by YourMoveHolyMan » Thu May 16, 2019 9:48 pm

The 16th Day of Mirtul, 1355, page 2

Continued from the previous entry.

After I'd had time to read the foul poetry several times, enough to remember it to write it down by later, the ink on the parchment started to run, like foul black water or spilled ink. The lines that were already written smudged and were lost. I tried Sending to Tess again, but was unable to reach her again, and have not been able to since despite multiple attempts. Before the ink could escape I folded up all the corners of the page and quickly Sent to Shadow, Shadow contacted Sword, and both met me at the magi's lab back at the fort.

I handed the parchment over to Shadow, and he had Sword fetch sawdust. Sound idea and I learned a lesson in capturing ink on parchment, but this was a mundane solution to a problem wrought by magick and was unsuccessful. Through use of magick then, Shadow discerned that the parchment itself held a curse, the magick behind its creation and use wrought of Illusion and Necromancy. Shadow believes, and he would be the only authority I trust in the matter, that the source of the sender is a devout divine priest or priestess of Shar. He believed they were highly gifted and likely a soul that had performed many atrocities. The latest of course I attribute to Tess' disappearance.

To attempt to dispel the curse over the parchment I used the remainder of a wand's magick to shield Shadow from death, and Sword and I had to step away or risk harm. Shadow eventually rejoined us after taking some time to perform his work, and he regrettably informed us that he could not identify the sender. He reinforced his belief that this was the work of a priest or priestess. Will not detail the clue to his belief even here, just that I trust his word in the matter.

I then parted ways to head south to find more allies in the matter. Niamh had reached out to me for another lesson in weaponry so I tried responding to her to see if she could still meet. She was otherwise preoccupied so I responded more honestly that I needed her help, or the help of someone of the Inner Light. Bless her, she did come and meet with me at the Inner Light. I explained in brief and she reminded me that Shandril Brightmantle had returned to the region, and she sent to her to ask to meet with us. Shandril agreed and we departed the halls of Inner Light. I explained what I could without revealing the source of my allies. I stressed the point that despite misgivings toward myself, what mattered was getting Tess back. Shandril reminded me she had always treated me with kindness and I agreed. While no progress was made on the front I at least had more folk aware that Tess was likely the captive of an agent of Shar. More people looking at the problem the better, and they don't think like northerners do and vice versa. I have since written to Adelaide Darius of the Inner Light, and reached out to Eleazar of Selune.

After departing from Niamh and Shandril's company I returned to Ulgoth's Beard, going back to the campsite from a few days prior for any sign of where Tess might have gone, after. The area where we had camped was away from the beaten path so I had some hope to at least see what direction she'd left by. What I found, was her tracks leading up to the cliff, my tracks leading to the same direction. Her steps leading from where she was in prayer to the camp. And my tracks leading away. I originally assumed it was an err on my part, or that her steps were simply lost due to the time between when she was there, and when I went looking. I have since come to another conclusion, see below.

I returned briefly to Shandril and Niamh's company, and then we returned to the Gate by Shandril's magick. We parted ways and that is when I wrote to Adelaide, and left the letter at her temple. Shortly thereafter Shadow contacted me and imparted telling news.

His agent located Tess - and she lives. The dispelled scroll I'd left with Shadow, which I thought was destroyed, but was still intact, if blank. It went to the plane of Shadow, at 'Shadow's' direction, our original intent was to track down the author. However, it lead Shadow's agent right to Tess. The area which it described was a cliff overlooking a sea of blackness. It found Tess upright, but posed as if she was asleep on her side. So still she appeared dead if not for a silver radiance that encased her like a cocoon.

Whatever this cocoon is, which the agent described as resembling moonlight and standing in stark contrast to the rest of this realm, it was currently surrounded by fell shapes and shadow figures, laying in wait. Maybe waiting for the magick to run out? I don't ken how much time we have.

If there were no tracks leaving the camp, did she ever leave? Did she ever wake up? Why would this happen to her? Did she write the note before she fell asleep. If she slept but never woke, who rolled up the sleeping bag? I'm fairly convinced the letter she sent me is authentic. It sounded like her and was wrote in her stationary and uniquely colored ink. Was she aware of some impending doom, suddenly what I thought to be a series of small chores looks to carry far greater weight than I could have known, then. But now I'm doubting everything I gathered according to the list. Assumed to show it to her when we were reunited so she could tell me yes or no.

I've contacted Eleazar but he hasn't contacted me back as of the writing of this page. Said he was on something important. I find myself terribly short of patience.
Michael Dunn

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YourMoveHolyMan
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Re: A Watermarked Ledger

Unread post by YourMoveHolyMan » Fri May 17, 2019 4:42 pm

The 18th day of Mirtul, morning

The dream,



I walked along a familiar beach, though the sand I stood on was untouched, the area deserted.

Overhead, countless stars shown, sparkling gems I felt as if I could reach out and touch. The waters that crashed upon the shore were breath takingly silver. As if they encompassed all of Selune's light. But as I looked up at that foreign, yet familiar sky, she was not there.

The wind came, and brought with it a voice. Or the voice was there despite it. A woman's voice outside my ken, it was powerful and soft. Reminded me of the silver waters I beheld and yet different, belonging to some shore I'd not bore witness to. She spoke and she didn't. It was a dream and it was in my head. The words were said but were also a memory. When I woke later they remained vibrantly clear.

Shadow’s lock by moonlight’s key,
One heart the price of choices three.
Those who look oft fail to find
The path revealed by seeking blind.

The Bitch’s breath to sate your thirst,
Silvered edge to parchment cursed:
There draw your path in scarlet ink,
Night’s gate revealed for but a blink.

Trust not the way revealed by sight
To guide you from the heart of night;
Scatter your way with shards of sky,
Followed before Dawn’s waking sigh.

In shadow, what you fear to lose,
The heart’s final task: to choose.
There is more than one road home—
But all but one you walk alone.

That was the last thing she said, or the last thing I remembered, depending on your interpretation of memory and words spoke in a dream. I remember looking up then, and Selune was bright and full in the sky above.

I woke up, same place I'd fallen asleep outside the Inner Light. Tess was still gone somewhere I didn't know how to reach. I remembered every word of the dream, but not what to make of them, and so I returned north to the Shadow's counsel.
Michael Dunn

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YourMoveHolyMan
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Re: A Watermarked Ledger

Unread post by YourMoveHolyMan » Fri May 17, 2019 5:17 pm

The 18th day of Mirtul, midday

-Met with the Shadow, and the Sword. The magi's counsel sorting the pieces of things far outside my ken. I owe him more than I think I will ever be able to repay him, moving forward. But I am no sage for fortune teller to see all roads ahead. I'll be lucky if I ever see him or any of the rest again.

Turned over my pin and key to the Sword, one of two things will happen after today. Either I'll save her, and I won't leave her side again. Or I'll fail, and I won't be worried about mercenary companies, devil armies, or anything more.

-Took Rain to Niamh, couldn't find Eva but I trust Niamh to see her the rest of the way.

-Met with a few more sources of counsel, but all words of wisdom and magick pointed the same as the Shadow's. Though there were kind offers of aid should things not go as planned from this point. Words of warning, too. Repeated from an unlikely source. But thats tomorrow worry, and there is a long night ahead.
Michael Dunn

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