From all walks of life, Tarkus, Angel, Sith and Ayla have all crossed paths on the first adventure of the civilized world. Being established as the first adventurers: What will they find on their journey in this virgin world? How will their choices shape the world for generations to come? And do they really have what it takes to become gods?

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The Collection
Cards have been finding their way to me. The first card Ayla found, but I can't shake the feeling that she was just another stepping stone on the cards journey to me. I have four now, all tarot cards but not. They have the same feel and similar subject matter but the images and names are different. It also seems that they better reflect our world than normal tarot. I know it's a whole deck and I feel their power. More are coming to me...
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Moral Quandry at Cloud Top
After our trials in the tomb it was time to make our way to Cloud Top. King Lawfang had expressed concerns about trade with the town. Apparently by the time caravans were reaching Grimmspire they were sorely lacking in supplies. So the king tasked us with figuring out what was going on.

The town was gorgeous. It seemed to have been an old rock quarry that the native dwarves carved a town into. Since the town was all carved out it was seamless in its construction and downright ornate in its decoration. We found a pub on the edge of town called the Rockbreak Pub. We tried to snoop around a bit for some information but there weren't many visitors at the pub that evening. The owner, Marshall Rockbreak, seemed to think all the trade was running smoothly. After some barding on jiraiya's part and some tarot reading on mine we stayed the night at the pub.

The next morning we woke to shouting. Unfortunately I don't speak dwarven. Fortunately Tarkus does! So he was able to translate for the rest of the group what was going down. There seemed to be a man shouting at the captain of the city guard about his unfair caravan routes. He wanted to head to Grimmspire because it would be more lucrative. The captain was very stern in his answer that the halfling, Bannon Glaive, was not to go that route.

After their argument Ayla and I ran after Glaive to see what the hubbub was. He said that the captain has been keeping him on a route away from Grimmspire and that the city has the trade to Grimmspire covered. We told him to hold off on leaving with his caravan and he gave us one day.

We met back up with Jiraya and Tarkus they told us that the dwarf was Captain Rockbeard and that he insisted that trace was fine with Grimmspire. We decided to split up and try to wrap this up in a day. Ayla and I went off to question guards. She transformed into her fox form and asked the horses that were part of other caravans different questions. We learned very little other than the caravan owners were scared and that they made a stop between Cloud Top and Grimmspire. The guard I questioned had little else to say. I felt that they were trading with goblins, but I wasn't entirely sure.

We questioned a shop owner and we were again told that everything was fine and to go away. The owner then started walking toward the city guard office and I was ready to follow. I mean why should I run?

Just then Glaive came and said he was heading for Grimmspire. We offered to come with him and protect him. Tarkus used Inthir's coin to look like Captain Rockbeard and convinced the other guards to let us through. Eventually we had to cheese it out of there because the real Rockbeard was coming.

Everything was smooth sailing until we came to a clearing with a cloaked man standing there. He told us to stop, that we carried his goods. We challenged him and he reveled to us that he was a giant green dragon. This was my first dealing with a dragon. He told us that he protected Cloud Top in exchange for their goods. He made it sound like he bullied them into it, but we were remiss to leave the city alone in the lion's den so to speak. I offered to make a deal and as interested as he seemed I was unable to think of a deal he would even make. Of course every deal I could think of was in our favor. We were also reluctant to fight such an awesome creature. Eventually he walked into the woods saying the deal was off and we were left with sour tastes in our mouths.

After the dragon left we attempted to find him so we could do something more proactive, but he was gone. All we could do was inform King Lawfang and plead for him to help. So that's what we did...
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The Tomb and it's Secrets
So after considering our options we decided to go to the tomb first. I mistakenly thought it was in the Northlands but it turns out that it is located at the center of the fey forest we rescued. The we will head to cloud top and then the Northlands.

AS we were traveling through the forest we began to notice that the trees were protecting us. They would make a path when we were traveling and circle around us protectively as we were sleeping. The trees even warn us about the "Dead Place." They told us nothing is there and to beware. That was of coarse the tomb. We came upon it at twilight and rather than go on in we decided to rest.

The next morning we went to inspect the tomb and it seemed like a small shrine of piled rocks marked it. There were steps leading down into the earth and the first one was marked with "Tomb of Angonsei." None of us were sure about the tomb or it's origins. We had no clue what Inthir even thought may be there. None the less we went right down the steps an into a well lit corridor with blue flame from blue candles. It was freezing down there. it was even colder by the candles. As we searched around we found that the room was long and at it's end was a large wooden door with markings. There were four halls splitting off from the main room and four statues near the stairs of the main area.

The statues were an elf, and human, a yuan-ti and a kobold. In the very middle of it all is some sort of feline statue. I went over to inspect the large wooden door and it appears that the markings correspond to the faces of the different statues minus the feline. Tarkas had an idea to always keep right. We don't know what's beyond the initial entrance to the other hallways to we started with the right corridor closest to the stairs. As we began walking the feline statue moved it's eyes and started speaking to us. We kept going. The hallway had a door which opened into a larger corridor with another door at the end. There were some marking all over the walls in a language none of us could decipher. Suddenly the human statue appeared in the doorway saying, "Sometimes we must dig ourselves out of trouble."

The truth is I was terrified. I'm afraid of the dark, specifically dungeons. Even though the place was well lit it still scared me shitless. After going through it I would probably still be scared to go through it again. So when those statues started coming to life I was starting to lose it.

We finally moved toward the other door and opened it to a small room with sand on the floor. There was nothing else there. We threw something in there and it didn;t bounce off the opposite wall but instead the wall rippled and the object seemed to go through it. Jiraiya just up and went through the wall. I begged Ayla and Tarkas to just wait on him. After a few minutes he wasn't coming back. I was shaking, I couldn't believe he could die so easily and quickly. I wasn't even sure what happened but I was sure that if he could have just gone back through the wall he would have. Tarkas suggested we go back to another hallway and as we rounded the corner we heard a thump and a yell. We came running back and he was there.

He said he teleported to a desert and had to dig a hole so he wouldn't die. After that he found a glass skull and the world fell away and feel back into that room. I was LOSING it.

I suggested that obviously these are all trials. We'll get a clue go through the trial and find a skull which fits into the wooden door I thought. And that's pretty much how it went.

We then went into the next hallway and the kobold statue told us that, "only when our minds are still and empty can we be judged." Jiraiya immediately went into his meditative rest and I followed him going to sleep. I was immediately plunged into total darkness. I was huddling myself into a ball and shaking when four apparitions appeared before me. They were the statues. One asked me if I would trust my companions with the power and I say yes. They ask me why I want the power and I replied that I wanted to help people. They asked me what I would do with it and I admit to them that I have no idea what it is, but that I would use it to my advantage to help others. Lastly they asked if I would kill to keep it from being abused and without hesitation I said yes. I was then plunged back into darkness. We all awoke at the same time with different amounts of gold in front of us. Shaun had the most and I had the least. I had the feeling that the apparitions didn't see me fit to wield whatever power this is.

But it was on to the rest of the passages. The next one led to a large room filled with soil. The elf statue came right up behind me saying "Our paths are more complicated than they seem, the world changes on our way back home too." And after I first stepped into a hole that had skeleton arms grappling for me I understood what the elf meant. I have to say that room was my worst nightmare. I wasn't well lit because the room was so vast. We all had to start throwing things in front of us to make sure there weren't skeletons laying in wait in that direction. We couldn't even throw the same objects because the skeletons became wise to our tricks. After being pulled beneath the surface by the undead and being heaved back up by Tarkas a number of times I not only gave point but we also finally got the glass skull sitting innocently on the other side of the room. Then sure enough the room changed shape and so did our way back. But we got there.

After dealing with all that I tried to heal myself and couldn't. I suspect it was those blue candles. We then went to the last hallway which the yaun-ti statue told us "our senses betray us." There were four other statues in the room made of a different type of stone. They then began attacking us. After we felled all of them we noticed another hallway and began to walk along it with Ayla taking point. Suddenly Ayla was stone. I flipped out a little bit but I immediately turned around and told the others to do the same. I tried turning Ayla around but nothing happened. We went back to the first room and searched the bodies and found magic blindfolds. I put one on Ayla but nothing happened. So the rest of us put one on and I led us using my staff as a walking stick. After walking quite a ways Tarkas said he heard something. Jiraiya said he felt like he was standing in goo. I suddenly felt breath on the back of my neck and squealed. Jiraiya said that our senses betray us and then all those sensory things feel away. We kept on walking and we hit a door. We went through.

We then heard a slithery sound and someone telling us that we're here for his head. Tarkas and jiraiya began fighting him and though I was scared I took a step and suddenly I could see the whole room through my blindfold. I used my radiant beam of light and little radiant woodland critters consumed him. Jiraiya cut off the serpent's head and it turned to glass. We raced back to Ayla. She was still stone. We put her on Vivis's floating disk and kept going. We put all the skulls in their slots and then the feline turned to talk to us. He told us to only take what we came here for and then the door opened.

Behind it was a treasure trove and a narrow path. We back walking until we came to a kind of magical bubble. We all walked through. Ayla was still stone so she rode through on the disk. Inside the bubble were hundreds of the blue candles so the inside was filled with ice. But underneath us you could see lava and water. If something burst the bubble we would probably all die.

A blue man strode up to us claiming his was Agonsei and that he was a djinn. He asked up what we wished for, so I immediately wished for Ayla to return to the way she was. He made it so. We had many questions for him but he made a wish for them. Apparently he was there of his own accord because people feared his power. He can choose to grant or not grant any wish unless someone binds him. We all began wishing for things. I wished to be more charismatic and in the midst of doing this I realized that this was taking advantage of the power. I mentioned this to the team and they seemed like they had already come to the same conclusion. Through our questions wee learned that we cannot leave unless we wished it. The only question left was what to do with Agonsei. I understood that Tarkas and Ayla were hesitant to let him roam free. I mentioned to them that not matter what I was going to wish it, but I wanted to be at a point they were comfortable with. Jaraiya mentioned that we could just wish for him to have less power and put us back by our horses. We all shot that down. We ended up wishing for him to take us all back to our horses and that when he is in trouble to come find us.

He seemed grateful enough and wanted to give us something as a team. We brainstormed a team name with him and he gave us team familiars. He also granted Shaun's wish of making our travels easier. I hope to see Agonsei again honestly. I think that it's a pretty sure thing that he'll get into some sort of trouble though!
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Castle Grimmspire
After Tarkis went out to grab his sword and he came back with a man. He looked like the guy I saw leaving the battle with the bandits. His name is Shaun and he said that he wanted to come with us to Castle Grimmspire. He said he was a cartographer and was planning to map the region as we were traveling. So we agree to take him.

After several days we were able to reach the castle and Tarkis quickly dressed in the armor he stole from Gabe. He also revealed the coin that Inthir had given him. It was what he was using to change his appearance. So he used the coin to change his appearance to Gabe's and loosely tied our hands to make us appear has his prisoners. So after being lead to the gate the guards freak out saying that Fritz just left them and wonder who and what we are. They go and get Fritz and it turns out that Fritz is actually Riggin and he has been impersonating a guard. After a few hushed words between Tarkis and Riggin(Fritz) we are lead to the dungeon and to separate cells. They are clearly impressed with Angel who is a bard, and they also feel that we are unjustly being put down here. The guards only take Ayla and Tarkis's weapons and leave my staff and Angel's lute.

After Ayla determined the shift patrol intervals we started planning what to do next. Since Angel and I are magic users we aren't without weapons, but Tarkis and Ayla are. Ayla can turn into a fox but the bars were bladed and even if we had escaped we still would have had to contend with all the guards.

So we decided to stay put. After all by that time the lights had gone too dim for us to see. So Tarkis turned he attention to the only other resident that was down there. His name was Dalen and he talked to us about how he was here of his own accord for protection. Apparently he was confronted with some weird monster made of black flames, and he was here in the dungeon to stay safe. Tarkis sympathized with him and said he had experienced something similar. He asked why this happened to Dalen and he replied that he had destroyed other people's livelihoods to boost his own. He said he had set other farms on fire so people would be forced to buy his crops. He said staying in this prison was the least of what he deserved. He seemed as though he felt incredibly guilty. But the next morning we woke up to guards screaming and Dalen lying dead on the floor in a pool of blood with a piece of glass in his hands.

The guards were very sympathetic to our situation and felt the need to move us from the dungeon. After that the king requested that his spell-caster search us for magical stuff. So Vivis soon appeared to look us up an down. He sensed Tarkis's coin and we all attempted to fool him but to no avail. Vivis found Tarkis's coin and he no longer had the visage of Gabe. Vivis wanted to know more about what was going on because he also didn't believe that we committed the charges against us. So we told him about Alfin and Riggin(Fritz). He said that what we told him seemed very true, but we still had to go on trial.

At our trial Riggin(Fritz) was standing with our prosecutor. The king told us that our charges included raiding a caravan and murdering its owner. We went through a lot to try and prove our innocence but it ended up that the king began to think it was Tarkis and Angel that committed these crimes. Ayla and I were a bit lost at what to say. Admission that we were with them could be damning. I inquired about our accuser and the prosecutor gave a tell revealing exactly who he was. Of course it was Alfin Glibb. So I demanded that we be allowed to here from him and after all the wild stories the king was ready to hear from him as well. While addressing the court Ayla and Tarkis did their best to trick Alfin or Riggin(Fritz) into an admission of guilt. Instead a cloaked figure in the audience stood and confirmed our stories. He unmasked himself and through a flurry of hushed words and gasps you could see it was Gabe. He explained everything again and Riggin(Fritz) finally cracked as well. So he and Alfin were taken away and we vouched for Gabe that he didn't need to do time, but he did need to be watched. So the king made him a part of his guard.

Through our trial we had to give details of everything, one of them being the fight between the goblins. I asked my team if we could keep Inthir's necromancy powers on a need to know basis and they indulged me. But we did tell the king of the Northlanders and the plot already in execution to inhibit the goblin race from evolving into a kingdom. He also disclosed that the Northlanders are spell-casters and that the coin belonged to the one we met. So the king called a council to discuss the issue and sent a courier to the Northlands. He also asked us to stay at the castle for a while until the messenger got back.

It took two weeks for the courier to return but in the mean time we all did odd jobs around the kingdom for some extra cash. I helped Ayla and Angel find a ritzier side of town and I also read tarot for the nobles. After seeing my tarot skill Ayla disclosed to me two items she found. They were tarot cards but different. They seemed similar to other cards in a regular deck but not exactly the same. One was The Rogue with a man in the foreground looking off and a hooded figure behind him holding a dagger. The next was The Skull with what looked like a grimm reaper. It was very odd, but I had the feeling that I needed to hold on to them. Ayla was suspicious, but I convinced her that I could hide them away from others and that she may check on them at any time. She reluctantly agreed, but I hope I can find some information about them for her.

When the messenger came it was a collie faced kobold. She gave Tarkis two letters, one for us and one just for him. The one for us thanked us and invited us to the north for a reward. He said it was a secret hidden away in a tomb and that it was very dangerous, so much that he dared only speak his name. The letter also contained a blank piece of paper. We brought it Shaun but he was as clueless as we were about it. He asked to read the letter and asked why our friend didn't sign his name. He said that the northlanders always speak in riddles. After a moment I grabbed the paper and said "Inthir!" and an arrow appeared. After inspecting it, it seemed as though the arrow always pointed the same direction. So that must either lead us to Inthir or the tomb.

After this the king called us and told us about a problem he's been having. There is a city to the north called Cloud Top that Grimmspire does trade with. However, for the past while the caravans have only been bringing a small amount of supplies. He said he didn't know why, but he did request that we take care of the problem if we could. After that he came up to me and said "I think I need to give this to you..." It was another card. This one is called The Throne and just has a throne on it. I put it with the others and I felt a certain level of emptiness lessen, but not completely. I don't think these were meant for Ayla. They have found their way to me and I feel there are many more to come.

I'm not sure if we'll go to the Northlands or Cloud Top first. Angel procured us some horses and a wagon so that's all taken care of. Shaun asked if he could tag along and even though we'll have to provide for him he may prove to be a great asset when we get lost.
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Epic!
First Night
There were flyers around town saying that someone needed traveling companions from the town of First Dawn to Castle Grimmspire. It said that there would be a reward and to meet at the Rise View Inn. So I was waiting around the inn and a few other people show up early as well. We got to talking. There is a Teifling named Tarkis, a human named Ayla and an Eladrin named Angel. I was rather excited to see the Eladrin, because I don't get to see much from the feywild anymore. So it was quite refreshing. The human and Teifling seem a little secretive. I'm not there to here everyone's life story so they can keep it if that's their preference.



After a few minutes two Orc twins showed up. We were all served a free round of drink by the bartender courtesy of the man we were all here to be hired by. Tarkis and Angel expressed dislike of the orcs, but after a while they came over and started being all friendly. They said their names are Gabe and Riggin.

A few minutes later a halfling came in and jumped on the table claiming that he is Alfin Lawfang of the Grimmspire Lawfangs and he's going to hire all the people who've showed up for the job of escorting him and his supplies back home to Castle Grimmspire. So we all husseled outside the inn and prepare the small caravan of wagons. Tarkis and Ayla are extremely suspicious of Alfin. However, Tarkis brings up the excellent point that if we are bringing Alfin back home, where are the ones that brought him here? I was pretty intrigue by that as well. So I asked Alfin. He stared at me and then turned around and called to everyone else that he was ready to go.

Along the way Gabe and Riggin come talk up us and claim that they accompanied Alfin to First Dawn. I ask them where everyone else went and they talk some practiced bullshit about doing other things. Ayla faded into the shadows but I visibly showed my disbelief and walked off to keep and eye on Alfin.

After a long days travel that was greatly helped by Angel's songs we gathered on a small hill to camp. I begin talking with Angel, Ayla and Tarkis about our suspicions. We all know there is no concrete evidence of anything. So Ayla fades away as usual, but she comes back with information about our cargo. Surprise! It's people. She couldn't get much information about what type of people or anything. I mentioned it could just be slave trade. We are on our way to a wealthy castle that needs servants and farmers and other workers, so that isn't much to be suspicious about.

As we're still trying to figure out what's going on Gabe and Riggin come up and ask us some questions like if we know what the cargo is. Ayla and I firmly say no, but they don't look like they're buying it. After a little more prying they suddenly yell out, "Dragon's breath!" And people just start pouring out of the woodwork. Suddenly there are bandits everywhere stealing other people stuff and killing them. It's all a little overwhelming but it's not like they could put up much of a fight while they were asleep.

They all finally start to converge on our small group and I let my power surge around me and scream for them to back off! Alfin comes out boasting some shit about how he's been running this scam in the past several towns and that now they're on their way to the castle. At this point all we have left is to start attacking the bandits surrounding us. Ayla tells me to go for Alfin so she can cut him off, and Tarkis and Angel tag team the orcs. After giving Alfin all I had I got surrounded and unfortunately he and Riggin get away. Luckily Ayla was there to help me because I would have died.

After Alfin left and half the rest were dead the last three bandits surrendered. We interrogated Gabe and he confirmed what Alfin was saying that their next target is the castle and that they stole the uniforms from some of their guards. Tarkis took the uniform and put it on. We knew that we had to go after Alfin but we also needed rest. So after tying up those three we all went to sleep. After a little while though Ayla and I were woken up by a thunderous yell. We knew it was Angel and we figured out which direction he was in. We ran into the forest and were greeted with about 8 goblins attacking Angel and Tarkis. Ayla and I immediately went into action. Angel told us who the leader was so I rained brilliant beams of light all around him. After killing three goblins and now threatening theirs leader the goblins fled. But not before the leader set small fires in the trees.

Tarkis and Angel followed them, but Ayla and I elected to stay back and make sure the entire forest didn't catch fire. Ayla thought to snuff them out with dirt so I went back to camp to get our packs. When I returned she was calling all manner of animals and had the addition of fox ears and a tail. It wasn't exactly surprising, but I didn't question her about it. She got birds to dump dirt out of our packs above the trees. That easily snuffed all the fires out before they had time to spread.

As we were finishing up Angel and Tarkis came back with the hooded leader of the goblins. They removed his hood and revealed that he was in fact a dark furred kobold named Inthiir. He was apparently working to hinder the goblins progression by having his people disguise themselves as goblins and then split them up so they couldn't work together. Inthiir is a necromancer and as soon as I heard it I begged him to teach me something. I know very little of how magic works and I desperately crave to learn more. So Inthiir coming along was amazing. He sais he wanted to thank us, but that he wasn't alone. He pointed up and we saw that the forest was alive! It's been so long since I've seen wonders like that.

Inthir pulled me aside later and agreed to teach me something. Something very powerful. He told me about soul gems, and how they use a person's essence and harness it's power to enchant things. I can't deny how intrigued I was. I asked him how he ever sees fit to use his powers and he said that they, like anything, were to be used in moderation. I don't know if I could use this power. It seems perfect for Alfin, so I guess I'll see...
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Homebrew (4E)
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