The musings of Thia Ruuhralah

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CookieTime
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Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:38 pm
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The musings of Thia Ruuhralah

Unread post by CookieTime » Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:48 pm

24th Marpenoth 1355

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It has been about ten cycles since I arrived in Sshamath. Ten cycles of exploration, study and fighting in this new place and its surrounding caverns. My time searching for new forms of magic and mystical artifacts has lead me here and this city does not disappoint in those regards. There are so many books, scrolls, wands, enchanted weapons and vestments here that someone could spend several lifetimes studying and deciphering their secrets. More fascinating than the magical items though are the beings that sell them. I never thought I would see in one city a beholder, an illithid and a wizard of Thay all selling magical goods, some of which seem exceptionally powerful.

Though my time here so far has been short, I have not been idle in my wish to discover and improve upon my arcane knowledge. I have joined the School of Conjuration and Summoning and quickly became an Apprentice due to my existing wizard abilities. The School though does not have its own premises though, as I write this from a room in the home of the School of Mages, (which they have so graciously permitted me to use). Why there is no permanent abode for my School, I do not know. Maybe there never was a fixed place for it. Maybe there was but it has since been destroyed or transported somewhere. Maybe I just haven't come across it yet in my excitement at all the mystical oddities this city holds. Someday I may find out the reason.

On a side note, I have noted that while the School of Mages has plenty of books and alchemical equipment, they do not have any kind of targets or test dummies to practice their magic upon. I will likely keep an ear open in case I hear of where some can be procured, to pay back the School of Mages for their kindness.

The city itself is not as busy as I expected a city to be. While the main bazaar bustles with merchants and their wares while the guards patrol nearby, the outer parts of the city become quieter with fewer beings walking around.
There are two beings of note that I have come into contacted with on more than one occasion, both drow. Their names are Aunrae Releth and K'yon Oblodra.

Aunrae introduced herself as a bardess and the matron of House Selmiyeritar. From the first time we met, she does not seem like a typical drow to me. Her behaviours and attitude have been quite pleasant, not angry or entitled as most other drow I've observed. For what I've heard about drow seeing themselves as being better than all other races, Aunrae has never shown that to me. She is a bit of an enigma which may reveal its secrets in time.

K'yon on the other hand seems like a typical drow to me. He introduced himself as being of the School of Necromancy and acted quite brash towards me. Being that Sshamath is a drow city and that drow hold a higher rank in society than other races in this city, I have to act quite humble to him, especially since I sense him to be a more powerful mage than myself. He has seemed to have taken some interest in me though and has had me demonstrate my summoning skills to him. Indeed he also has skills in that form of magic, having brought forth powerful summons of his own while we walked through the caverns outside of the city. Clearly he has been learning strong magic abilities on his own or he has another teacher outside of his School of Necromancy. His magic intrigues me so I should watch him carefully during our interactions, to see if I can learn anything new from him.

The interactions between K'yon and Aunrae interest me as well. While K'yon can be angry and hot headed when he is alone, when Aunrae appears he quickly calms down and his emotions become more stable. Merely being near Aunrae seems to change K'yon's personality. Could there maybe be something happening between these two? While understanding the reasons behind this change could be interesting, it would probably be a bit risky at this time. Pry too much and someone could end up as a new test subject in the School of Necromancy.

I should end this entry now and turn my writing to an essay that K'yon has requested from me about some of the tips he gave me about utilising my summoned beast more effectively. This may turn into some form of teaching. If it does then learning from a being that can summon the powerful beasts I have seen would be quite beneficial. I must be wary though. We are from two different Schools of Magic and I cannot have beings think that I am betraying my school by learning from him. There could be severe penalties if that were to happen. These meetings must be personal and not associated with our Schools if I am to avoid this.
Thia Ruuhralah - Imaskari Wizard: Bio - Journal

CookieTime
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:38 pm
Location: UK

Re: The musings of Thia Ruuhralah

Unread post by CookieTime » Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:26 pm

30th Marpenoth 1355

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I am hoping I have wrote the correct date. According to my calculations it should be right but the floating skulls around the city say the date is 2 cycles into the future. I should probably explain that there are large skulls in the city that float above the ground. When addressed, they speak what cycle and turning it currently is. I'm quite sure it is the skulls that are wrong but it's wise to be cautious.

As I write this I am almost recovered from an illness filled with sneezing, shivering and weakness. I blame a recent expedition I was taking part in to some Netherese ruins. There was a large group assembled, of which I appeared to be the only non-drow. We were to help secure an outpost in those ruins. On the way there was a mystical barrier and areas filled with elemental and shadowy creatures. There was one particular area that was quite damp and cold. That dank and clammy air clung to my clothes for the rest of the expedition until I could get home to dry off. I blame those conditions for my illness.

At the ruins themselves we were faced with a projection of a beholder calling itself Qhardurexekai. It claimed its queen was named Nigh...osososo... or something like that. Sometimes I am not good at remembering strange names. This beholder made threats towards the cities of Rockrun and Sshamath unless concessions were made. While one member of our group seemed eager to negotiate, my opinion is with what appeared to be that of the majority. We should protect the cities and remove this threat by any means possible. There is still so much to study and discover here. Sshamath and the surrounding Underdark can't be allowed to fall yet.

My time convalescing in my bed after this event did give me time to think and I came to a startling realisation. While my study of the arcane has been proceeding well, I concluded that there was a type of magic that was at risk of eluding me - the divine. If I proceeded as I had done previously with my studies, I think I would have been unable to grasp even the most basic of divine magic, without devoting time to some form of god. That is something I do not wish to do. Even in my youth I only paid lip service to Shar, not truly wanting to worship some other being. I only did so to appease my aunt.

No, to avoid having to give praise to some deity unworthy of my time, I have to come up with some other way to use at least some form of divine magic. Even being able to use and study a little bit of it would be better than to have access to it completely cut off. To this end I have made some changes to my habits and have done some intense studying and practice during my convalescence. During this while I have not been completely sound though has not been a good idea. Intense training while fighting off illness has lead to complications, namely somehow a number of the spells written in my spellbook have become damaged or illegible, rendering them useless. I did remember what those spells were though, so I have been able to go to the bazaar and buy new scrolls to study. Soon I hope to have those spells restored and available to me once again.

I shall end this entry here and return to studying the scrolls in my possession. I am still an Apprentice in the School of Conjuring and I am eager to progress to the rank of Wizard. That can only come through more studying and practice. Of that I am certain.
Thia Ruuhralah - Imaskari Wizard: Bio - Journal

CookieTime
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:38 pm
Location: UK

Re: The musings of Thia Ruuhralah

Unread post by CookieTime » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:33 pm

9th Uktar 1355

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I am trying to arrange my thoughts into words but it is tough. The time since my last entry has seen very quiet days mixed with days of vigorous activity with marvellous results. To recall the events and turn them into words on paper without being overtaken by emotion is a task that is eluding me at the moment. Maybe if I just write something down then the words will eventually come more naturally. I shall probably break up the events of the past nine cycles into a couple of entries to pace out what will be written.

After some consultation with other mages in my School, through a series of imps unfortunately, I was given permission to attempt to rise to the rank of Wizard. The mages of my School do seem to be busy a lot of the time, so I suppose using imps to pass messages does make some sort of sense. The messages I received in relation to my wish to rise in rank instructed me to do three things.

1. Practice my arcane skills until I had reached the pinnacle of 5th circle casting.

2. Using a summoned beast, I was to defeat a basilisk broodmother in her lair under strict conditions. I was allowed to ward my summoning as much as I desired, however only the beast was allowed to attack the broodmother. I could attack or hinder my target in any way. If any of its children appeared, I was allowed to defeat them but the broodmother could only be taken down by whatever beast I had summoned.

3. Remove the eyes of the broodmother and return them to an imp who would take them back to the School.

When I asked why the School of Conjuration and Summoning needed basilisk eyes, I was given no reply. Most peculiar, since basilisks are known to petrify beings with their gaze but magic relating to this act is not something my School teaches.

For step one, to hone my skills I chose an area near to the basilisks' home that was inhabited by troglodytes. I have on occasion encountered them before and they seem like ideal practice targets at this moment in my arcane development. While the weapon wielding troglodytes proved quite easy to bring down with my beasts, the magic wielding ones were stronger and capable of causing serious injury if care was not taken.

It was during one of these practice sessions that I cam across a dual wielding drow by the name of Val'lyn. Quite a calm, pleasant and patient being, considering that some of the beasts summoned that day seemed to lack intelligence and could not follow simple instructions well. Val'lyn would share stories of raiding in the caves and tunnels around Sshamath, including one of him being hunted by a pack of goblins. He seems to be an accomplished fighter, who uses a technique that paralyses his foes so they can be defeated more quickly.

Unfortunately tiredness comes to us all and I had to depart, although coming away stronger than when I had started that day. I also had troglodyte blood in my boots that would need cleaning before it stained anything. Before leaving, Val'lyn mentioned that he has seen several Imaskari in a place called "The Web". I have been far too engrossed in my studies to actually try to find more of my people in this city, so I decided to try to find this place in the near future.

A couple of days later, I headed out to the lair of the basilisks to complete my tasks to become a full Wizard in my School. After carefully travelling through the troglodyte tunnels I came across the lair. Sneaking deeper through the caverns, I spotted a broodmother in the distance who was isolated from the rest of her kind. I summoned a mighty fiendish lion and placed many wards upon it, then instructed it to attack.

What happened next what quite unexpected. I had assumed it would be a tough battle with the victor barely making it out alive. Instead I saw my beast jumping and dodging all around the broodmother, taking large bites into its hide before nimbly avoid any counterattacks. After the battle, the broodmother was lying dead on the ground while my beast has hardly a scratch on it. If only it could navigate these tight tunnels as well as it can fight. After making sure the coast was clear, I approached the broodmother, took out my silver dagger and carefully removed the creature's pale green eyes.

This all took a lot less time than I has anticipated, so I headed back to Sshamath and decided to celebrate with a few drinks at The Great Elixir. I regaled the bartender with my somewhat tipsy tale of what had happened that day. They didn't seem to believe me at first, until I brought out a pouch containing the eyeballs and set them on the bar counter. In hindsight I suppose I should have taken them to the appropriate imp before celebrating but my mind was still grappling with how easy the task seemed to be.

After leaving that bar and delivering the eyes, I recalled what Val'lyn has said about "The Web" so I then chose to explore the city to find this place. I came across a location called The Web Of The Spider Queen but it was a temple filled with only drow. Reasonably near to that was a bar called The Spider's Kiss which did indeed have Imaskari patrons. They all seemed occupied though with other beings so I did not disturb them. I should go back and see if there are any more there to talk to. It would be nice to talk to others of my own kind once again.

So now as I write this, I am a full Wizard in the School of Conjuration and Summoning, my arcane power is increasing and I am gaining more gold with which I can purchase more magical artifacts to use and study. Life is going quite ok for the moment. There is more to tell, however I have other things I need to attend to so that is going to wait for another time.
((This is a very long entry so congrats if you get through to the end :D ))
Thia Ruuhralah - Imaskari Wizard: Bio - Journal

CookieTime
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:38 pm
Location: UK

Re: The musings of Thia Ruuhralah

Unread post by CookieTime » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:15 pm

11th Uktar 1355

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Being in a mostly drow city, I have heard several unusual words used repeatedly which I am slowly starting to learn and recognise. The two most common words are Vendui and Aluve, which mean Greetings and Farewell respectively. I must admit when I first heard the term Vendui, I thought it was a title rather than a greeting, so I may have used it incorrectly for a while. Jabbuk in drow means a male who is in charge of something. I will likely never be called that here, given the drow's tendency to look down upon all other races. I believe if my people appeared in great numbers, the drow would have to give pause at our strength and abilities.

One definition that I have learned to not be so kind is the word Ilbith. It is a word used to describe non-drow, something akin to filth. This is a word I have heard K'yon use many times, sometimes directed to me. I'll be sure to note how often he calls me that word in the future. As my power grows and my talents multiply, I may be able to challenge his Ilbith calling and get some respect for my arcane abilities as for my people.

At least there is some good news to write about. The following describes what occurred just two or three days after the events in my previous journal entry, as a solo raid in the goblin lair turned into something much bigger. I was thinning out some of the goblins in the upper areas of their lair when I ran into a drow called Cinder. I had met Cinder probably about ten cycles in the tunnels around the goblin lair but only briefly as tiredness was overtaking me. Cinder had recognised me from the expedition to the Netherese ruins, by the blue greatcoat I wear. Probably also because I was the only non-drow that I could see there so I possibly stood out a bit from the rest of the party.

Cinder offered a chance to team up and go deeper into the lair to fight ogres and find the goblin chief, which I had accepted. On my own, I have been driven back by the stronger goblins guarding those areas so to team up with someone made a lot of sense. After defeating those guards and making our way down into the lair depths, we quickly found the goblin chief wandering the halls. To my surprise the chief went down quite quickly by the blows of Cinder and my beast. For Sshmath being a city heavily invested in magic and wizardry, there does seem to be a healthy amount of good melee fighting drow down here.

A few ogres were found but not many. We joked that maybe it was an ogre national holiday. The jokes stopped when we came to a small room that contained a kitchen and a small jail cell. It seemed like maybe the goblins or ogres were capturing other beings to cook. In the kitchen however was a large lump of meet, too big to be from most beasts near to the lair. Due to the size of this meat lump, I questioned if maybe the ogres had resorted to cannibalism. Surely the goblins were too small and weak to be harvesting the ogres themselves. Another suggestion which made a bit more sense was that the meat could be from a basilisk, as they grow to be quite large. After some quick discussion about this discovery, we swiftly made our way out of the lair and back to the city.

Inside the Gloria's Wings we discussed our little raid before being joined by two new drow. One was name Myr and was dressed in black and blue. The other wore what appeared to be sturdy armour and was named Elevwyn. The later was new to the city and still finding their way around. The four of us starting talking and decided to do a raid of the different caverns inhabited by the goblins, umberhulks, basilisks and troglodytes. This would help thin the numbers of them near the city and it would be a good opportunity for Elevwyn to learn about the different beings in the Underdark. Before we left, Myr took Elevwyn into the city to show a few key places.

This part has me excited. My hands can hardly stop trembling from recalling this event. Cinder showed me a book he had found but it was no ordinary book. Touching it you could feel a magical current running through its cover. This seemed to be some kind of magical tome, one which had its secrets locked away. Cinder had tried to reveal what was inside but did not have enough knowledge of the arcane to do it. The tome was passed to me so I could attempt to unlock its words.

Holding it in my hands, I focused hard on the arcana I knew and in a moment all the book's knowledge was revealed to me. right there on its pages. I was giddy with excitement as I opened the tome and slowly turned its pages. It's times like these that I hope for. To be able to discover, use and learn about new magical entities. The tome spoke of Divination, specifically about a powerful artifact called the High Seeing Orb. This object contained strong scrying magic, capable of penetrating powerful magical barriers to locate beings. The tome said that the Orb had other more impressive abilities but it didn't say what they were. It also didn't state where this artifact was.

I do wonder if maybe the power of the Orb could detect new strong arcane artifacts. If it could, just think of all the possibilities. If I need an item that can perform a certain job for me or even if it could just find me something new to study, this Orb could find it for me much quicker than I could through mere investigation. I may be getting ahead of myself here though. The Orb would need to be found first and I am just speculating as to what it could do for me. Still it is exciting to think of something like this Orb in the world.

((A line of link trails off the edge of the page at this point, as if the quill slid across the paper.))

Ok, I think I am calm now. This writing has brought back strong memories of this moment and my hand could not stay under control any longer. Thank goodness for whiskey. Back to my tale. Once I had looked through the book I told Cinder what I had found in its pages. To my astonishment, before I could hand the tome back Cinder told me to keep it! This is clearly an important find and to the right person could bring a lot of gold, but here I was being given it for free with no conditions. I was astounded. My jaw may have hit the floor. I managed to compose myself before Myr and Elevwyn returned for our group to head out into the caverns.

On our raids we tried to protect Elevwyn as much as possibly, being that they were new to this place and was not as experienced as the rest of us. Myr and Cinder seemed to make an excellent team. Sometimes before I had time to complete one spell, they had already brought the target down. It was not all easy though. A large group of goblins almost got us killed so we had to take some time to heal. Later on I was lulled into a false sense of security by the return of easy kills, so much so that I must admit that I lost my concentration so I did not notice my wards fail or my beast return to its home plane. At this point the group was ambushed by a horde of some form of shadow creature and our group almost failed a second time. It was embarrassing for me to let my guard down like that. I did not have the ability to bring forth any more beasts to combat the shadows. Fortunately my small study into Necromancy meant I could bring forth some undead from the corpses littering the tunnels. They are not as strong as my beasts but they do in an emergency.

What I've discovered in these tunnels is that when you are with a party, it can be difficult to move through them all at once. Many of them are quite narrow so when we faced several enemies, it was Cinder and Myr leading the group who had to face them head on. There was no space for my beast to face our foes too, not without risking knocking down one of the group. Sadly with the current limits of my studies, I can only use low level offensive magic as the higher tiers are filled with the necessary summoning spells and wards, so switching in combat to being a ranged mage is not that practical.

Some kind of outpost near the goblin lair brought us some respite, before we ending up running into another person. This one was dressed like some sort of knight or guard. This being did not give their name although others in my group seemed to recognise them. After some battles with basilisks, we ran into a couple of beings who seemed to be on their own raid. One was a gnome, finally someone who ventures into the tunnels who is not a drow. The other was either very skilled at hiding or was using an invisibility spell. They could only be heard, not seen. They had two creatures with them, most likely summoned from another place. One was a grey slaad while the other seemed like a blue coloured genie. From a bit of studying of the planes I did the next day, I believe it may be a qorrashi but I am unsure.

This small group did not join with ours as we seemed to be going in different directions. However we were then joined by a duergar. This is the first one I believe I've seen away from the city or its immediate surroundings. That now brings our group's total to six, the most I've ever seen in a raiding party, other than in organised expeditions. The now larger group now though made fighting in the tight tunnels even more difficult, yet we persevered. Fighting alongside a group has been quite entertaining though, as well as helping my magic to get stronger as we are able to combat stronger foes as a party rather than solo.

As happens near the end of every cycle I needed rest and the warm embrace of my bed was calling to me so I had to leave this group. As interesting as it would have been to continue, I doubt a half asleep mage would have been much of a help in combat. I shall leave this entry here too. On my desk I can see a glass and a bottle of whiskey with my name on it. Maybe a drink or two would be nice before going out into the city.
((I think these are getting longer and longer. Quite a lot happens sometimes and I don't know what to edit out.))
Thia Ruuhralah - Imaskari Wizard: Bio - Journal

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