Campaign of the Month: January 2014

Greyhawk 937 CY: The Age of Steam

On and off the train
Readying 11-15, 937 CY
Readying 11, 937 CY
Evening
Invitation was sent by Zagyg. Lord Mayor is back and is weirder than we’d heard. Seems Bahamut is missing, though we weren’t specifically tasked with finding him. Might be “implied” that we should.
Met with the others who were invited. They are as follows with initial impressions:
Bannik – Sack construct with cognitive abilities the same as a normal being. Lived in GHC for many years. Wizard and toymaker. Unaware of who created him.
Camilla Sevestrian – Familiar with her. More tolerable than most of her family. Very public persona. Could be useful, but need to watch where her resources come from.
Amelia Sanders – Knight of Geoff, servant of the royal family. Hospitalier of Pelor. Seems trustworthy and competent.
Delwin Smyth – Excitable half-orc alchemist. Seems pretty bright, but don’t know anything about her background. Need to investigate
Vane Von Slythe – Didn’t get to interact much. Hearsay that she’s very skilled in a fight, but there’s always rumors about her family’s old connections.
Eve – Fauster, civil engineer. Already more tolerable than any other from her city I’ve met. Cleric, which should be handy. Seems pleasant for her sort.
Satoshi Daichi – Isle of Pearls noble. Samurai. Searching for a way to break the curse on her sister. Doesn’t seem to care about hiding things about herself, which I appreciate.
Marin Redsky – Self proclaimed pirate. Looked incredibly bored, and didn’t bother to help when we fought. Seems to have an interest in plants.
Mortekai Braithwaite – Already have a file on him. Good to have someone on the team I know I can trust, though.
Spencer Dawnshroud – Flan tattoo monk. Hasn’t said much, but obviously comes from a famous family.
Taylor Dawnshroud – Flan Garment Sage. Doesn’t seem to speak except in that weird rune/light language. Seems competent.

Readying 12, 937 CY
Evening
Avoided Hespertae successfully. Spotted weird ferret creatures with human faces stealing things from the train’s baggage compartments. Chased them down. Attempted to steal the blueprints of the train from Harrington along with engineers tools. Found cages of monkey hybrid monsters in the baggage car. They were running to their owner who turned out to be some kind of mannequin simulacrum which cut out the moment we caught him. Marcy claims it’s Teivryn Vayne — my uncle?

Readying 13, 937 CY
Morning/Afternoon
Gabriel Hillman is on the train and, with Zagyg’s lich, Mortekai, and Bannik, inspected the remains of the aberrations and the puppet duplicate. Mortekai figured out the human brains of the ferrets were taken from people living in small towns near GHC. Also saw Teivryn before they “died.” Need to investigate. Discovered one of the things taken was a bag from Dr. Felix Edgington who is going to be part of an expedition to excavate “ Caeridalor” in Onnwal. More dragon stuff. Mortekai talked to Dr. Edgington. Delwin examined the black liquid the mannequin was carrying and says it’s some kind of alchemical concoction that stops working when not held by it’s creator. Found a control box along with some clockwork zombies on the room of the train. Not human magic. Possibly draconic? Definitely dragon connections not a coincidence. Hillman checked out the box and said he’d try to identify the strange metal. Hand of Chance is on the train and tied up “Teivryn’s” lackey. He was surprisingly cooperative. Questioned him. Seems to work for Gasgal who set him up with Teivryn.

Evening
Tried to have dinner. Marin sensed “burst of plant life” from the rear cars. Looks like Teivryn bugged his lackey with some kind of plant parasite that burst out of his chest. Definitely something engineered and not natural. Plant has ties to Sea of Gernet and Amedio Jungle. May need to try to track those ties.

Readying 15, 937 CY
Mid-morning
Split up. Some went to investigate the disappearances in the towns. Mortekai and Bannik visit the school of magic and circle of eight. Marcy and Amelia headed to the library and Sevestrians. Delivered evidence to Watch HQ. Talked to Commander. Seems Teivryn is a real threat. Dar convinced it’s actually him. No one wants to talk to me about it, but Chalk gave me the file. Turns out the puppets have some kind of failsafe mode. Caused some problems. Need to remember to disable them completely next time.

Afternoon
Visited the messengers guild and talked to Lucas. Warned him and the boys to keep an eye out for Teivryn or any unusual disappearances. Let me know about some “musty smelling” deliveries the old man asked him to make. 1 AM at the sewer entrance in the river quarter.

Evening
Meet up with GHC group. Mortekai says the puppet magic is more “draconic.” Speculate a sociopathic dragon? Apparently Teivryn could make weaponized people. If he’s really back, and not a copycat, it seems lots of people will be pretty anxious. Can’t believe he was declared dead. Very sloppy with no body. Bannik and Mortekai learned about the expedition to Onnwal from Gabriel Hillman.

Night
Tracked down the package delivery. Weird creatures, more of Teivryn’s work I assume. Managed to catch them all. Had a bunch of scrolls that were blueprints to build some kind of device to make a shield against draconic magic. Has some kind of unknown biological power source. Critters said they hear the “master’s voice.” Completely brainwashed and don’t remember how they even used to be. Might be able to get the one ratman to talk to us. He was pretty chatty. Not sure how much he knows, though.
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A Quest!
Readying 14, 937 CY
Dear Dad,

You’ll never believe it! I’m going a quest! It’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me for sure. But maybe I should explain a bit.

It turns out there are other people that Zagyg invited to go on the train too. They’re really neat and didn’t seem to mind how tall I am at all. There’s a pirate named Marin with bright blue hair. She seems really bored, but I bet once we really get going she’ll see how exciting this all is. Eve is from Hallowfaust! I think she’s a cleric of Nerull, but she’s super nice. Mortekai is a necromancer, but he’s also really neat and very smart. He dresses really nicely too. I met Spencer and Taylor Dawnshroud — yes, Dawnshroud! — who I don’t know much about yet. They don’t talk much, but I like them already. There’s also a knight from Geoff named Amelia who seems very kind. Lady Satoshi came all the way from the Isle of Pearls! That’s pretty incredible, and she’s already on a quest to save her sister. I bet she’s really good with those swords. Aderyn is a watchman from Greyhawk City. She seems pretty focused. There’s also Duchess Vane Von Slythe! I want to ask her about her family, but I don’t want to be rude. I’ve never seen anyone with hair that red before. Marcy is really cool too. She’s got a beautiful voice and is very nice. I don’t know much about Gurdy and her friend yet, but I’m sure they’ll be really great too. The last one is Bannik. I’ve never met anyone like him before. He’s… kind of a sack person. Or something. But he’s so cute! And really nice. I think he’s friends with the Seafire family! So many people from famous families!

See? I told you that you didn’t need to worry about me. There’s lots of really skilled people helping out. I’m not completely sure what we’re supposed to do just yet. Zagyg sent his lich friend to talk to us, and he says that Bahamut is missing from his palace. I guess we’re supposed to find where he went. The lich was very polite, but he doesn’t eat which was too bad. The food was really good!

The train is so cool. I got to tour the engine thanks to Amelia. The cleric of Ranet who’s the engineer didn’t seem to like having to talk to people much, but I also got to meet the prince of Geoff. Owen is so adorable and really clever! He designed the train. I really wanted to talk to him about the mithril processing mechanics, but I was afraid to embarrass myself. Everyone had been so nice already, I didn’t want to be demanding.

There’s some weird stuff that happened on the train too. There were these creepy monster ferrets with human faces that were stealing stuff! I guess I don’t understand everything that’s going on, but it looks like there’s some bad guy who makes monsters out of people. It’s pretty awful, and it looks like he’s got some alchemy skills. I was really happy to get to help, so I took a look at this black liquid he — well not him, but a puppet of him, it’s weird! — was carrying around. It’s like some kind of alchemical catalyst or mutagen. I think he was using it to make his monsters work. I want to study it more in case I can find a way to neutralize it. If I can’t figure it out, I’ll send you some. I know you’ll figure it out right away.

I gotta go now. I’ll send you another letter as soon as I can! Tell uncle I love him.

Love,
Delwin
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Introductions
Readying 12th, 937 CY

Dear Father and Lucian,

To start, I have already sent formal reports to Grandmaster Hlast and Grandmaster Baryoi.

The invitation landed me in posh accommodations with a group of mostly Greyhawk City natives. Zagyg’s lich accountant appeared to tell us the specifics of the invite. It seems that Bahamut has left his palace, his star has disappeared from the sky, and an illusion in its place. At the same time, an archaeological dig to the south is unearthing a city that was once filled with worshipers of Tiamat. Co-incidence? I think not. We didn’t have time to really learn much about each other, because, almost predictably, there was an incident on the train. I at least got a look at the engine operation and observed Prince Owen at work on the original plans.

Zagyg’s chosen are very interesting group and includes an actual garment sage named Taylor. He spoken in the sing song symbols of the old sages and I was able to pick up a good deal, though his brother Spencer, a monk, had to translate. Spencer assured me that I would be able to understand the speech perfectly as Taylor and I got to know each other better.

Sitting very quietly in our group was a very bored pirate by name of Captain Redsky, a very bored Duchess Vane von Slythe, a very observant Lady Satoshi from the Isle of Pearls, and Dame Amelia Sanders. I wonder if she can turn into an owl?

Less quiet but very observant were an Aderyn Vayne of the Greyhawk City Watch and Marcy Sevestrian of, well, you know. Rounding out the group was the super effervescent Delwin and the very unusual Bannik. Bannik seems to be an animated sack cloth man. He is obviously made, but by whom or why, he doesn’t know. He isn’t a necromantic construct or even a golem animation. Rather, he feels like the clockwork man I once saw in Zief. There is a soul in there and it’s very bright.

The last member of the group, well…

Remember when Journeyman Nightchyld and Journeyman Stonereap had been asked to audit the classes and work of Mortekai Braithwaite after his short enrollment in the Upperfaust ‘school?’ Yeah. Him. And the things that he said while ‘talking shop’ have me seriously concerned. Between comments about how hundreds of years of necromantic research across multiple fields was an interesting take on necromancy to a claim to have seen the Bonewrack (yes, he bragged about a museum piece), I honestly wondered if he had ever really been to Hollowfaust at all. I met up with James and William after the train ride to discuss what I’d learned. While their audit concluded that Braithwaite had a firm grasp of concepts any journeyman should have, they had not spoken to him directly in order to avoid contaminating the results.

Honestly, the man talks as if he invented necromancy and that studying positive and negative energy was something he came up with and not something enlarged upon by Lady Carthylla during the Rain of Colorless Fire. I’m not sure what to do. He has the very sort of attitude and just enough knowledge to do something dangerous all while having the Hollowfaust seal of approval. And I cannot raise my concerns with the other members of the group being that he is a Greyhawk City native and someone who works with the City Watch.

We’ve long worried about what the Upperfaust school would mean for us long term. Now, for better or worse, we are going to find out. And if the poor ghost he has bound to him is any indication, Hollowfaust’s reputation may suffer dramatically.

I sincerely hope my particular gifts in working with the undead are enough to stem any lasting damage. On the other hand, I would not mind seeing the school closed. I am really tired of meeting all the ‘necromancers’ who walk into the school, barely pass a class, and walk away with the attitude that they know all they need too. It’s a huge insult not just to the Guilds, but also to the college in Kemet.

Love,
Eve

P.S. – Please send a copy of Master Evernight’s potions manual in the alchemist edition. I really think Delwin could make use of it.

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Disheartening
Readying 13th, 937 CY

Mom and Dad saw us off from the School of Magic, leaving a very sullen Ben and Leon at the main house. After kissing Vicky and I, Dad sent us off with a grim look I hadn’t seen in a long time.

We split up in Gorna, with Alice tailing me to my table. Once determining that she could see me clearly from her seat, I got to meet Zagyg’s new heroes.

First up was Aderyn Vayne. Last living member of the lost Vayne family and a member of the City Watch. She had that great look she always has when she sights a Sevestrian: cranky resignation. She didn’t want to be there and seems to resent the invitation.

Sitting next to her was Mortekai Braithwaite, a necromancer who freelances with the Watch. He’s ‘fancy’ and, worse, arrogant in the way Greyhawk City raised mages are arrogant.

Next to him was Bannik. I’m not sure how to describe him. He’s very gentle. He’s also a living sack doll.

On his right was Lady Satoshi Daichi, a very proper lady of the Isle of Pearls. She didn’t say much beyond introducing herself, preferring instead to observe everyone else.

Next to Lady Satoshi was Duchess Vane von Slythe, looking bored. But rumor has it that she always looks bored outside of a fight.

Dame Amelia Sanders sat next to Vane. She was certainly confused as to her invitation. I wonder how long she will be able to balance her duties to the crown versus her invitation by a demi-god to potentially save the world.

Next to her sat the brothers Spencer and Taylor Dawnshroud. Spencer did not say much and Taylor, a bona fide garment sage, spoke only in the sing song language of the sages.

Captain Redsky was to their right, looking so disinterested in the proceedings that I worry about her involvement.

The place next to her was empty.

The next seat was filled by Eve, a Hollowfaust journeyman. Calm and polite, she gets a lot of points for actually looking like she found Braithwaite’s prattling interesting. She didn’t even wince when he bragged about seeing the ‘Bonewrack.’

And last, but not least, was Delwin Smyth. Who is, by far, the most attractive half-orc I have ever seen. And was way too excited to be involved. Delwin and Eve have become very fast friends, both having similar bubbly natures.

The empty seat was eventually filled by Zagyg’s lich accountant, who was visibly less sullen than usual. While he spoke he unconsciously leaned toward Eve.

The lich informed us that Bahamut had left his palace and his star no longer appeared in the sky, what we saw at night being an illusion held only by the Church of Celestian. So the mission seems to be to locate a missing god, which is no easy task if he chooses not to be found. My first bet is on Tiamat having trapped him somewhere,

The most disconcerting part of this entire meeting was how little serious thought the invitees were giving the situation. While it wasn’t as bad as how my Great Ancestor’s companions reacted to being told of Dalt’s murder, it’s still disheartening.

C.

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Making Monsters
Banniks' Journal: Readying 14th 937 C.Y.

Readying 14, 937 C.Y.

It has been an eventful few days. But the worst of it is that what is happening will not be a short train ride, but rather a long nightmare. Bahamut is missing and for some reason the Lord Mayor has involved a group of people of his own choosing…one of whom is me. The morning after the dinner party and introduction to my fellow draftees we boarded the train.

The device is amazing. The young half orc Delwin was excited to get a tour, as was our cleric Eve. I was mildly interested but my general dread at the situation made my excitement less than it should have been.

My dread also was focused on an ill defined foreboding. The feeling that something was coming that should best remain gone. My fears were quickly confirmed when we discovered small ferret like things with human faces stealing objects from the compartments. Officer Vayne is to be commended, she is observant and swift. But there is a blind spot that is ironic given our near future circumstance. She is not aware of her own family history. I noticed the resemblance the moment I saw her. She has her mothers’ dedication to justice and her fathers’ charisma. Although she turns the last outward like a bit of a weapon.

I did not know her parents well. I do not know anyone well. But I did encounter them when studying a bit of her uncle’s work in researching the horrible thought that I may have been made along those lines. Thankfully I was able to disprove that. I am getting ahead of myself. I suppose only I will ever read this, but still.

We followed the creatures into the final three baggage cars where we found man made aberrations that were mostly apelike. We defeated them but some gave chase to their handler. They subdued him in the last car but he turned out to be a living puppet with the face of Teivryn Vayne.

Teivryn Vayne was a genius and a mad man. He was believed killed when he tried to take over his family crime empire at the same time his brother went to the city watch and the authorities came down on the family holdings. Teivryn made monsters. Not just monsters really…he made living insults to the gods. He viewed all living things as materials and himself as a maker who could improve on all things and re-craft it all. It has been decades since he was assumed dead. I do not think the wisest assumed he was dead, only the hopeful. The wisest did not want to think about the alternative and promptly sowed the seeds of disaster.

When our group member Miss Sevestrian mentioned that he was officer Vayne’s uncle the good miss Vayne said that was not possible she had no family.

She does not know. Of course she doesn’t. I would not tell my child. I would keep them safe. And over the years others must have assumed she knew and avoid the subject out of kindness. And others still have kept it from her willingly. Much as I have done in the last 48 hours.

Teivryn left us a surprise in the form of a plant creature that tore its’ way out of a henchman we had in custody. But the other dreadful development is that he had the puppet. That is not his work. It is the work of the puppet maker. I have also investigated his existence in search of my origins. I thought he was a myth. I wanted to think he was a myth. I am fairly certain that he is not my maker. But I can not rule out some common element in his history and mine.

We are arriving back in Greyhawk City with most of the people on this train oblivious to the problems we encountered. We moved rather quickly and intentionally hiding it all from prying eyes. Some of us will stay here and look for evidence of Teivryn in the city since we have indications he has returned. Others will travel a short few days beyond the walls to three small farming villages where it seems he harvested some of the humans to make his creatures.

So far what I know of his methods and history from my personal investigation over a decade ago has not been needed. I do plan on telling them what I know when we get to the city. Until then I will wonder if I will ever have the peace of solitude again. It is not that I dislike the company. Actually it is very much the opposite. Sometimes the traps of enjoyment are the most subtle and painful.

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The First Leg of Our Journey
Readying 13, 937 CY

Sire,

The first leg of our journey has already proved eventful. You know how the Lord Mayor of Greyhawk City sent, as his proxy, his lich accountant to speak with us at the dinner before the trip. Although the revelation that Bahamut is missing was shocking enough, I must say it was oddly softened by the novelty of the nature of the messenger.

Our quarters on the train were lavish by any definition. This sat uncomfortably with me, as it also seemed to with our new companion from the Greyhawk City Watch. It would be prudent at this point, sire, to provide you with a list of those in our company. The Lord Mayor has indeed selected an eclectic group.

First, as I mentioned, is an officer of the Greyhawk City Watch. Her name is Aderyn Vayne and she does not divulge much. This is understandable given her profession but there is also a firm resentment of this mission. I can not say that I would not feel the same in her place. A watchman is there for the city not for train rides and secret missions. She is obviously devoted to her duty and good at her job. She instinctively took the lead in a problem we experienced later.

She already knew another member of our group, a necromancer named Mortekai Braithwaite. Before I address my obvious concerns I must mention that he seems oddly personable for his profession and has a taste for fashion. He was the first to extend empathy and a dance to a young half orc girl who Zagyg has also invited. I do admit that there is a history of reliable necromancers being included in the Lord Mayor’s plans. Both the heroes of the Key and Codex had them. And the man consults for the city watch and is trusted by the discerning Miss Vayne. But there are, of course, the necessary concerns over his profession.

Along those lines we also have a woman from Hollowfaust, but not a necromancer. The woman, named Eve, is a cleric of the Night Father Nerull. She is a civil engineer and very upbeat about her craft. It is refreshing to see such happiness in someone who must live with the constant understanding of the uncomfortable reality of the Night Father.

The half orc girl is another surprise. This young alchemist, Delwin Smith, is as massive as you would think and as gentle as you would never imagine. She was excited, giddy and filled with wonder at our situation. And, out of everyone, she was the most committed with a genuineness akin to almost childhood at the idea of a quest to do good.

A kindred spirit to my own ethics, to a point, is Lady Satoshi from the Isle of Pearls. Please advise on any information and wishes you want conveyed to the Emperor should we go to her home. He and his country are old friends of Geoff and I would like to show the proper respect. Lady Satoshi seems to be a member of their honorable warrior vocation. She is concerned about the conflict of being on two quests at once since she is already sworn to lift a curse that was placed on her sister. Once I know more I will send you details so we can see if our sages can offer her assistance. Those from the Isles have a long history in the Lord Mayor’s plans.

Also of interest and relating to the composition of the previous groups compiled by the Lord Mayor are the next set of people.

First there are two brothers Taylor and Spencer Dawnshroud. They are the descendants of Loreli Dawnshroud of the Heroes of the Codex. Taylor is a Garment Sage and Spencer a tattoo monk. Taylor, although younger obviously has the deferential respect of his brother. Likely due to his sacred station. As a Flan I have to say it is an honor to travel with both of them.

Next is a member of the Sevestrian family. Their involvement with the Lord Mayor goes back to the Heroes of the Key, as does our own. Camilla, called Marcy, seems to be a fairly composed girl. But like all in her family, I am sure she is formidable, observant and dangerous. She seems to be a bard…which is refreshing. I have a fondness for Bards, since their craft is welcomed in the darkest of times.

Next is the Duchess Vane Von Slythe. A descendant of the family of obvious and well known origin, I am not immediately worried about her bloodline. She seems a bored but focused girl who is happy to have some freedom. What she does with it will determine if I become concerned.

Marin Redsky is a pirate. She is obviously competent but seems to have a distance in her that bears watching. As odd as it is to say, if Zagyg has chosen her I trust her for now.

The last is by far the oddest. His name is Bannik and he is a being of gentle disposition. He is a mage but he also is something completely unknown. He maintained an illusion of a human face until he realized that his time with us would be comprised of more than this trip. In truth he is a being made of sackcloth and some kind of power and support that is unknown. Bannik himself does not know who made him (I use him for ease) or why. He remembers the last 40 years and parts of 300 or more. There is one thing I am sure of…he is not a construct. He has a soul.

I would not say our group is complete. The Lord Mayor has a habit of last minute additions. But for now, Sire, these are the people who have been gathered for a mostly unknown purpose. In my next letter I will detail a series of interesting events on the train that perhaps foreshadow some disturbing times ahead.

Ever Your Servant,
Dame Amelia Sanders Hospitaller of Pelor

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The Day Before The Most Exciting Day Ever
From the Notebook of Future Star Reporter Emily Sanders, Age 12

There seemed no better time to start a real professional reporters notebook than now. After all my sister Stephanie and I finally got permission to go with mom and dad and aunt Amelia on their trip. Well, it’s not really their trip. They are going with our amazing royal children. I know reporters are supposed to stay objective but we’ve played with them and Millicent has baby sat us. We have the best royals ever. I can’t help the facts. I just report them.

Maybe those lines above should be We finally received permission to accompany our parents. Ok. You may wonder why I am writing my corrections out…well have to learn from a Process don’t we. That’s what the little Prince Owen says. So I decided and promised myself that I would not erase things in this notebook. just write them and correct them by writing the Correction. That way I learn and remember it when reading over the book. And I promised myself and as Dad says, when you promise yourself only you know when you lie so it is the most honest test of who you are and should be the hardest promise to break. More on Dad later.

Wise right. That’s because our family are the descendants of a Hero of The Key: Sir Christopher. He also helped give advice and aid to the Heroes of the Codex. That’s right…a hero and a hero….consultant. That’s a good word. He could turn into an owl. And so can some of us…sometimes. But…that’s kind of a secret on who and when and how much and for some reason; what kind of owl. But everyone knows most of it. Your premier knight family can’t go around being descended from a guy who could become an Owl and people forget that happens.

So we have a Family History to uphold. Which is why I am as honest as one hour more than the day is long. That’s why I am going to be a Reporter.

Back to the trip.

So we will be going all over the continent. To nearly every country! And I will be learning about them all. My mother, who will be teaching both us and the royal children has assured me of that. My sister Stephanie wants me to add our mom teaches all the royal children even Prince Owen. Prince Owen is some kind of genius who came up with the idea for the train. He is a genius. And out Mom teaches him. So I don’t even think they have a name for what she is. A super genius my sister says. But that’s not right. Sounds too flashy. We’ve decided on ultra genius. That’s right our Mom is an Ultra Genius.

Our Aunt Amelia will also be there. She is a knight like dad but not like dad. Dad is the head of the Order of the Griffon, the highest knighthood in Geoff. He is also the Constable of The Realm. And Master of Castle Vigilant. Ok this is getting to me more about dad again. Because he is more awesome than one paragraph will fit. But to aunt Amelia. She is a Hospitaller of Pelor. They can beat a giant down and keep them alive. They are Knights and healers…like doctors at the same time. She’s just gorgeous and can throw a punch.

Anyhow…anyhow is not really a reporter word. But…anyhow. I am going to describe the whole opening dinner in Gorna after going to it tonight. We get to go to the dinner and say up until the end. I will describe everyone there. Every moment. So faithful readers…keep reading. Because as the daughter of an ultra genius I bet I am going to be the next Octavius Hespertae. Obviously not as Handsome. I mean who is?

Oh. I am really regretting that promise to never erase anything in this and learn from those moments. But a reporter has to be honest in her notebook. Later today I will also write an objective entry on the amazing Royal children. Uh. Stephanie says I need to work on my random capitalizing. I told her I do that to stress to myself what is Important. I would clean it up if I was actually Editing an Article.

Readying 11th, 937 CY

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Very Portable
Readying 5th, 937CY

Aunt Pearl runs the family warehouse of miscellaneous materials. It was conceived by Earl Sevestrian 300 years ago as a way to keep everything the family kept for itself securely in one place. It is a magical device Adelaide Vayne picked up and traded to Earl for a favor to be filled at a later date. Surprisingly, the favor he asked was that his aged mother and baby daughter be allowed to live in the Main House till the end of their lives. At the time, the Vaynes and Amaidars were in a full scale war that had already claimed the lives of his wife and three of his four children. He died a few weeks after his mother and daughter had moved in.

The warehouse itself is massive and Aunt Pearl has a full staff to keep everything in order and precisely cataloged. After hearing my apology for the vagueness of the request, she pursed her lips and told me that she had already received a note stating which items to pull. She handed me two packages and moved me along. The first package was a belt of physical strength with an empty, but incredibly beautiful, scabbard attached. The second was a greater coat of shadows. Both were interesting choices. When I rifled through the pockets of the coat, I found a small folded black square. Unfolding it revealed a portable hole. But not just any portable hole. THE portable hole. The one Gavin VII carried.

I said a prayer of thanksgiving, put it on the wall, and walked in. There was so much in there, I grabbed Ben and Leon to help me list everything and organize it. It didn’t take long before they had a couple cousins involved in building a device to organize everything for them. While they worked on the hole, Sally showed up with a large number of garment bags over her arm and her assistant dragging two trunks. Sally reworked my wardrobe for extensive travel and likely battle, putting hidden pockets and weapon concealment in every available space.

Vicky came by with a new bag of holding and immediately forgot it on seeing the portable hole. As I packed my new clothing into the bag of holding, Ben informed me that there was a pantry in the hole and all the food was perfectly good for use. Including several jars of fruit preserves made by Kylie Evernight!

C.

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Silver Winged Invitation
Readying 4th, 937CY

The reason for keeping this journal arrived during breakfast this morning. A letter from the Lord Mayor flew, on little silver wings, into the dining room, perched on my tea cup, and sang a little invitation to ride on Bahamut’s Might.

While my grandfather, father, and Gavin leaned forward in that way that I am sure every family head does when Zagyg is involved, I politely informed the letter that I was already a ticket holder for the occasion though I was was very interested in the particulars of this invitation. It informed us that the Lord Mayor was gathering a group of certain individuals for certain ‘upcoming events’ and that a much more in depth explanation would happen on the train. Further questioning of the invitation only received confused and exasperated sighs. The poor thing wasn’t equipped to handle any other questions or give further information. When I gave my acceptance to the invitation, it fell to the table, inert. The silvers wings became little more than decoration. (The original invitation is in the paper pocket in the back of the journal.)

I waited as the former, current, and future heads of my family conferred. My brother Michael voiced concern about my personal safety while Vicky started making changes to the roster of who would be going and who would be staying behind. We were all worried about the security of the first run, myself especially as the supply chain manager between Greyhawk City and Gorna. If the first run went off without a hitch, it would make running imports and exports between the cities a far more efficient process. We all knew that an attempted sabotage was in the works, but the invitation might mean the situation is far worse than we realize.

Ben and Leon were not happy about being kicked off the first train run in the history of the Flanaess. My father told them that they would get over it by the time they were married. My cousin Alice was tapped to watch my back, while Uncle Roy would provide extra security to my father and Gavin. After the entire list was rearranged, the remaining tickets were given to Vicky’s discretion.

After breakfast, my father sent me to Aunt Pearl to be properly equipped. While anyone outside the family would never know, I could tell he was worried. I’m worried too. I’ve just been hand picked by Zagyg to be thrown head first into trouble.

C.

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Related to a God
Readying 3rd, 937CY

While we are taught as children that our Great Ancestor keeps a watchful eye on us, ‘The Chess Lesson’ was our introduction into what that meant. I was five years old at the time and my great grandfather, Gavin XV had passed away. Sevestrian funerals are big deals and go on for days. Looking to ease the burden of so many young children under foot, Vicky’s mom, Tara, herded everyone under the age of ten into the front parlor to play and promptly used the time to nap, knowing we’d all behave ourselves because Ludwig was on her shoulder and watching us. We couldn’t get away with anything if Ludwig was around. An older member of the family appeared with a chess set and we spent the next three hours learning to play, wanting desperately to make this one person proud of us without really understanding why. Gavin picked it up the fastest and started making moves that impressed our visitor. This led to each of us wanting to show off our particular talents, which was loud enough that my father and Aunt Camilla came in to see what was going on.

And both immediately bowed. The sudden silence woke Vicky’s mom, whose jaw dropped before she quickly stood and bowed. Gavin VII patted each of us on the head before disappearing as suddenly as he had appeared. And that’s why a request from our elders might not actually be their request alone. It’s traditional for the retired members of the family to roost in the front parlor or, when the weather is nice, on the front porch. But those are also the two places we are likely to encounter our Great Ancestor when he chooses to appear.

My mother told me about the day she came to the main house in order to finalize the engagement with dad. She said they were in the front parlor when Grandpa groused about her family’s troubles. She was worried that the engagement would suddenly go up in smoke and she was truly head-over-heals in love with dad. But a Sevestrian sitting in the corner of the room reading the paper told Grandpa that it was a good match and that mattered more than the Barony’s problems, which could be solved with a minor investment of time and expertise. And with the word of a god, mother and father’s engagement was settled.

C.

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