Oki

Big Head's Journal #2: From Grave to Grains
The game is a foot

Well I would’ve never thought that Otis cult were still here in Middleborough. Not only are they here but they were though. But not tougher than the shadow of big head. Thinking after they tried to burn a house down and hit me with a shuriken they could hide. They thought their traps would stop me but it didn’t. It only made the thrill of the hunt more exciting, even while writing this I can’t stop the shaking from excitement. There were some hiccups though, I gave my presence to Bodil and Giles after boxes falling on me, got foot in hole (still feels numb and hard to move), and an imperial took a pot shot. Why can’t anyone understand that I am doing good for the people. Still my work isn’t done, one got away and the blue eyed ghost was there and went away after the guy left. It seemed to be good seeing as it lit up the one guy not us. To make matters worse seems there’s a potential smuggling/pilfering operation, seeing as how the boxes of “grain” are really iron spirits as sus calls them. One contained syringes, silver disks, and a tiara with cables sticking out of it. Main question is who took the grain and where is it? Now that I think about it I agree I do feel pretty wearing it think that I will keep it and at least one syringe gotta keep the fire going through tomorrow and the next day. Uh-oh thunderous stomps means thoorin’s coming by better hide the stuff before he takes it.

-Big Head
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A Treatise on the Cultures and Histories of the Frontier
Ambrose Ballrene

Some of the oddest forms of divination are found in the frontier. Here the Scrapwalkers and those of the fleshier sort practice the art of Cybermancy. The trek into the deepest caverns or weathered ruins, finding those brushed steel and blinking places those old bodiless souls called homes. Here I have seen them huff vents of queer smoke as those followers of the Inferno might through peace pipes, cocking their heads skyward and exhaling fumes of violet, lavender, and roiling cerulean. They say they see the past future of time and space, its odd geometries, The Dreamer and The Walker all cavorting in the clicking lights and flickering walls of these hallowed grounds. And from these swirling visions the they parse that which is to be.

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On the Art of Magical Crafting
A Treatise on the art of imbuing the mystical forces into the objects of man.

The art of crafting magical items is a tradition far older than any border on map or history put to page, an art form meant to bind the fickle wills of the mystic to mortal instruments for the use of all men and beast. That said the art itself has been fraught with uncertainty and danger since before records were kept. Tales stretching back to the Homes Across the Sea tell of the dangers of trinkets made without clear intent and of magic laced into weapons forged with malicious intent and the dangers they’ve wrought on the lives all men. From the mundane feather token to the fabled “phylacteries” of the Whore Frost, our stories and lives are littered with their footprints and in these humble few pages I hope to give you dear reader a better understanding of their works, lest you run afoul of these arcane devices as so many unprepared have before you.

Creation:

Perhaps the most important and least understood parts of a magical item, the point of craft and creation is arguably one of the most dangerous times in the life of all magic items. Here brave or foolish wielders of magic attempt to call, coerce, and bind the raw unbridled powers of the aether and shape them to their whims, hoping that they will relent and acquiesce to their whims. The first and greatest danger is the magic itself. Wild, powerful, and unrelenting the whims and winds of magic are often too much for even the greatest sage to understand completely, let alone the run of the mill craftsmen. This greater mystery to this powerful force often leads to odd, unintended effects during the crafting of various items, be it as little the gold band of a nobles ring of deflection becoming bright pink to the weapon sprouting fanged maws and an endless thirst for human blood.

to be continued.

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Big Head's Journal #1
Worst Night Ever.

You know such a simple plan go into the big scary beacon of death, find proof about blue eyed ghosts, get cool lost tech stuff, get drunk at Pilgrim’s Hill with new comrades and friends and what happens? Suus goes attacking the robots going on about how they are tormentors and stuff, dwarf goes and injuries her hand by smacking the table hard causing us to postpone the trip into the beacon and caused me having to use the damn library that has no info about the ghosts anywhere. NONE! You’d think a town with the United Churches and Temple of AZ AND where nothing but strange and supernatural happening the only info there would be is the supernatural and strange. Maybe I should have stuck with the Sons of Frontier and New Kings. Nah, supernatural needs to be stopped before they get more powerful beside could involve Duncan. And on top of all that now I got my identity discovered by my comrades who may or may not sell me out when I least expect it I don’t know if I can trust them thought my third disguise would have fooled them for sure especially since Suus and Thoorin never saw my special talent but NOPE! GET BITCH SLAPPED AND CHARGED 150 GP FOR NO REASON BY PIG MAN BECAUSE OF “WASTING HIS TIME” OR SOMETHING LIKE I’M SUPPOSE TO TRUST THE MAN WHO’S BEEN SAYING “I’m gonna catch him and turn him in” ALL DAY. Why is it friends anyways friends/people trying to be friends with always want money from you. God might as well invest in hookers as friendship at least getting blown is always on the table with prices. Well I know A) Children are dicks and need to stay locked in their cages. B) Chickens are dicks and the next chicken coop I see it getting fire bombed for fired chicken. C) Sneak everywhere when masked not like I move any slower from regualr walking. D) I now have a constant alibi which is great for me to get away with my stuff. Downside is how much can I away with before Suus decides he’s gonna turn me in is the question. I need to get dirt on these two if they got my secret then I need see if I can get dirt on them. First thing is first blue eyed ghosts, then SOF, then dirt hopefully after all of this hopefully I can get money and get tools to make my job easier. Ugh can’t wait to get back to camp feeling tired after all of this gonna sleep forever.

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The Field Journal of Sus Steadyrock
Blindsided.

If somebody had told me the circumstances in which I would be writing this entry, I would have called them a fool or a madman. At any rate here I am, and I wonder if maybe I’m the one who’s been a fool.

Despite the many changes in my life, there has always been one reliable constant. The Tormentors, and their horrifying children the Iron Spirits, have bedeviled my people. No good can come of mingling with them. This is known. This is indisputable. And yet here I sit, bruised and stiff but alive in the lair of a Tormentor.

After all of that bloody business with Crog Halfsmile and his gang, I came to Middleborough. It seemed like a good place to lay low for a while until Crog’s boys stopped caring about their oaths of vengeance. Plus, I figured I could make some coin. Bigger towns always have someone causing trouble. As luck would have it, the only posted notices were looking for a Blue Eyed Ghost and some kind of a vigilante going by the rather ridiculous name of “Mr. Big-head”. The ghosts I’ll leave to someone more prepared to deal with that sort of thing. Surely somewhere in this foolishness of “civilization” they’ve got a shaman. The vigilante, though, that one caught my interest. Apparently some kind of three-eyed goblin has been skulking through the shadows and striking fear into the populace. There’s a pretty hefty reward for any kind of information about him, too.

If I hadn’t been half drunk when I found out about the vigilante, I probably wouldn’t have done what I did, but the goblin sitting across from me was clearly passed out drunk. I figured what harm could come of taking just a peak under the bandana he wore on his swollen head. Who ever saw a goblin in a bandana? Destiny truly always attacks from the flank.

Far from being some kind of vigilante, the goblin is question is called Gorgus Hammerthumb. He’s a carpenter, and admittedly not a bad one. Ugly little plug, but that’s not his fault. He came with me when I went to speak to the council to see if I could get any more information about this Mr. Big-head. Along the way, he spun out some crazy tales about the so-called Heroes of Middleborough, and the unlikely things they’ve seen and done. A statue attacking the man it was built to honor? This morning I would have called that outright prevarication. but now I have to admit that I’m just not so sure.

Gorgus and I eventually made our way to the Little Ray of Sunshine caravan, where these “heroes” have been making camp and offering protection for the merchants. Some heroes. They couldn’t even seem to muster up any interest in the fact that an army of greenskins was arming themselves within a defensible location right in the center of their town. But I’d exhausted my leads for Big-head, and the caravan’s owner seemed to be recruiting more talent, so I decided to sign on as a guard, and caretaker for the horses. As an “audition” they squared me off against the most disgusting half-ogre I’ve ever seen. His body is almost completely round. Squeezing through the gaps in the tight white leather, his skin is oily where it doesn’t seem to be made of stone. He calls himself Thoorin, and he’s a coward and a cheat. He’s plenty strong, but still felt the need to wear a set of brass knuckles in his boxing match against me. I would have set Rasher on him, but I choose to fight with honor. Besides, apparently standing off for a minute against the brute was enough to convince the head man that I had what it took, and they gave me the job.

It wasn’t what I expected. Instead of journeying across country stopping attacks by bandits and wild beasts, I went in a company including this Thoorin and a council member for the city, a halfman named Joseph. A strange, stocky woman named Bodil who apparently can sense the activities of the spirits of this place came with us, and despite my reservations and fear that I’d have to protect him at every turn, so did Gorgus.

Shortly after entering we were attacked by giant rats that, when killed, became swarms of smaller rats. This seemed to surprise Joseph, and I confirmed that they were natural rats nests, though certainly not natural rats. Still not sure where they got the materials needed to make their nests, though. They burned handily enough, so hopefully that takes care of the problem.

That’s when my entire world collapsed out from under me. In the very next room of this gods forsaken place I came face to face with an Iron Spirit, which came at me aggressively, then stopped when Joseph threw himself bodily onto my Raven’s Beak, forcing it to the ground. The monstrous thing, which they are calling 13013, broke off its attack and seemed largely uninterested in me or my companions after that. Then we descended down a hole into another level of this horrible place. There we came upon what I first took to be a woman, working at some kind of glowing window. Upon closer inspection, I saw that she was not a natural being at all. I took her to be a Tormentor, and I did the only thing I could think to do – I attacked her. The rest of the party turned against me, and they knocked me out and tied me up with my own rope. I can’t blame them, I probably would have done the same in their shoes. Now, I’m not so sure that she is a Tormentor. Apparently, she’s a “robot”, whatever that means. But she doesn’t seem malicious. And this place, this Psychosis Beacon, is seemingly no longer being used for whatever foul purpose it was originally designed. It seems we’re just here to loot anything of value. Not quite what I call “heroic” behavior. Still, this group is undoubtedly powerful. Maybe they just need someone to show them how to best apply that strength.

I think our time would be better used finding that vigilante menace and bringing him to justice. Perhaps I can enlist Gorgus’ help. He should be able to understand the mind of a goblin, and he’s proven to know how to handle himself in a fight.

Joseph has just left us, and the others seem to be discussing what to do next. I’ll write more soon, but for now I think it’s best that I pay attention to what’s happening around me.

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The good, the bad, the dragon
Anyone want to buy a dragon?

Oh my god it finally happened! I’m finally ahead of duncan! And it was with the help of Jerrard and the caravan! And we even got the dragon alive! What a great day it was…until I learned that we have to wait for someone who wants to buy a giant dragon which mears midle brough has a giant ticking time bomb. Why can’t anything go with no problems in the end. And with how rich the town is its not going anywhere soon. And to top it off imperial legion won’t let arrelius look over something how he’s too low rank and have only top men. I don’t like it they would not even let me know what their plans are if it tries to break free. I need to find someone who wants a dragon and has the disposable income to spend on it. I need to go further than Middleborough but I must not leave cause I know that the dragon will escape. I need someone who has a friend in every town but who?

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Leper's Log
Elections, Meetings, and Numbers

At first, I was feeling really confident about the elections but now I’m starting to feel a little uneasy about it. Duncan has a small lead, a 10 to my 7, but with a little digging around I learn there’s a possibility Sons of the Frontiers not only run a smuggling operation, but also back the new kings, a group of outlaws who believe the frontier should be free of the imperial rule. To be honest, it’s a worthy cause to fight for but I feel the way it’s fought is terrible one mustn’t do it through illegal means for it only proves frontier men shouldn’t be left alone, there must be talks. In other news we got thoorin set up to be fixed tomorrow and met with Hexin, a writer interested in the various stories we got of our travels. After a few bites of food and some drinks I proceeded to tell him of ravenmoor and occultic stuff that went on. I also told him about how we freed thoorin from slavers and took him and other slaves up a moutain to the quiet earth monastery. How we managed to beat Eserosa, had evils spirits chase us, and managing to cause an avalanche and surviving said avalanche. Also mentioning what is so far the biggest moment in my life, meeting heavenly mountain who came down from the sky killed thoorin and me arguing with him foir three hours to convince him to bring thoorin back. He seemed quite enamored with our stories cause after we finished he thanked us and said anything that we wanted he could give I mentioned I was running for election and needed help with votes and he said it was done. I swear no amount of gratitude could show how grateful I am about this and now I really need to get to work on that speech I’ve been putting off so much stuff going on so little time. Also I should probably tend to a nagging thought in my head, well more of a nagging problem. Ever since the damn avalanche I’ve been getting equations in my head now numbers dig into my skull everyday almost on repeat. 65, 18, 10, 3, 4 I wonder what they mean? I really fear what they do mean and have a good thought where the answer will lead to eventually but I must know for sure. I wonder how to ask for help on this without actively getting people involved? I guess one place to start would be alchemy seeing as it may put me on a direction to the right place. All I know for sure is this, it gonna be a long summer.

-Joseph Leper
Priest of Joshua, Diplomat for Little Ray of Sunshine

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Muthafuckin Mountains

Thoorin think he come to realize things. Thoorin think mountains sucks. All cold and snowy and stuff…take thoorin forever to climb!

And there also lotta mean things in dem! Liver eating vultures…dere be big giant thingies…thoorin not see dem but hear that gerrard got slapped into mountain by one of dey tails…hehe dumbass…

Damn hobgoblin have camps in dem too…fuckin hobgoblin…try to make thoorin slave…thoorin throw ’em off mountain! That what thoorin did, that az kinda vengeance! Still gonna punch next one i see tho.

Den we find temple on top of mountain with yeti sleepin in dere…though thoorin not like be so high…not enough sky…make thoorin tired. Then zombie mountain guy try and make us zombies too…made gerrard head into punching bag heh! good thing gerard have thoorin to put face back on for him. But den dere be big swarm of ghost…things…more dan thoorin count…more dan LAZARUS count…before everything go black.

Had to drop mountain on dem to kill dem…break thoorin new bone! still has bit of bone in thoorin belly! had to dig way out with pot! Den …thoorin looking at yeti when he come out…least yeti nice…help dig up others and give us things for saving dey home.

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Cold Mountains and Never Again

Mapping the mountains has been a major annoyance. Our annoying ogre tub of fat decided to walk off on his own and get captured by slave traders. We rescue him in a raid and one of the bastards crawls his way away and runs to their camp. So we run into the high mountains to get away from them even though we could have raided them instead.
Now we have a bunch of useless slaves with us and people who I fight next to are making a racket while yetis sleep in this god-forsaken-temple.

As a warning to incoming travelers, do not partake in the door’s ritual. Do not drink the water. Do not seek the secrets of the earth.

Another warning. Yetis.

Fucking go home and leave this place. The air sucks and to be honest I’m waaay more annoyed at this adventure than fifty gold will pay for.

G.Karth

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The Road so Far pt. 1
Leaving Middleborough and Visions of what's to come

Reposting all the updates I’m putting down on tumblr for you guys to check out as well.

So after managing to discover the evil murder cult located beneath the quiet town of Middleborough, the giant and ancient machine dungeon it was located in, the horrible creature from beyond space & time powering it, and the danger it would cause should the creature escape or the ritual that keeps it dormant fail (and thus garner the murder of innocents) the party managed to do the impossible and save those sacrifices still left and defeat the beast before it could escape. Soon after that Thoorin Blackhorn, Gerrard Karth, Quintis Arelius Aeire, Duncan Yureft, Az-Rasani, and Lazarus S. Brixton were crowned The Heroes of Middleborough and the party (everyone sans Duncan) were granted the rights to delve and salvage the ruin known as The Psychosis Beacon. Duncan meanwhile took his fame and parlayed it into greater local and political fame in the region while downplaying the actions of the rest of the party. Gerrard Karth meanwhile was brought back from the dead soon after with the funds the party acquired as thanks for his sacrifice. Many questions were still left unanswered including what the original purpose of the Beacon, who built it, and what secrets does the mysterious library that the cult managed to acquire hold both for them and the world at large but with time all of that was going to hopefully be answered.

Unfortunately their rest time was short lived and they and the Little Ray of Sunshine caravan they worked for soon departed Middleborough for months on a trading journey throughout the great plains of the frontier, selling off just some of the goods they’d manage to find within along with their own personal goals along the way. Gerrard, now back from the dead was on a mad quest to understand the fleeting memories he retained from his time on The Great Walk, his people’s version of the afterlife. In these he saw a great plain of animals rendered both ordinary and fantastic in this heavenly place and things terrible and nightmarish in scope. Wolves howled his arrival and giant herons caught fish amid reflective rivers and for a moment he felt peace. Unfortunately this didn’t seem to be the lot of his vision as he could see miles away the ghostly remnants of his people, their souls bound in a dark cave and in the crushing embrace of the monstrous claws of a monster he could only assume was hands of Kahjeetohwha, the “Fieand Bear” they had encountered a lifetime ago and that the beast held more than just the treasures it still had in it’s dark cavern. But he wasn’t left to ponder on this long as he saw a massive beast fly over his head with wings like leather, teeth like swords, and breath like fire soaring above his weakened form, wheeling around to strike him before he could lift his blade. Suddenly though his life was saved by a great heron, its beak like 2 greatswords lopping the beast head from its neck like sheers to wool and raining its blood down upon him like holy water, emboldening him like never before. It seemed in death his quest had not so much ended as just begun.

Meanwhile the rest of the party had their own burdens to bear. Rasani, the young half-orc hunter has had to learn what the price one pays to be a hero is, as he deals with the fallout of the Psychosis Beacon including his cold blooded murder of the captured and incapacitated cult leader Janrel after a fit of madness drove him to put a ball of led through the center of her skull. The 17 year old still sees her face in his mind, her brains scattered all across the floor, his pistol smoking in his hand yet his actions not entirely his own. On top of this is her mysterious book The Omina Mutandis that he pocketed in the dark of that foul day and forgot about until days out of town on the open road. He knew it was powerful but the danger likely contained in its pages left him more interested in hiding it than sharing it with his party.

Lazarus on the other hand continued his path to discoveries most likely best left unsolved, the events within the Beacon not only showing his surprising heroism but also illuminating his greatest flaws. Now on the open road and without the prying eyes of all but the most liberal or dogged authorities he was free to indulge in some of his most obtuse and disturbing quandries like what purposes The Psychosis Beacon really served and what could he learn from it himself. Meanwhile in his dreams he was plagued by nagging questions he could not shake, like where that damnable tome of Janrel’s disappeared to and what new answers it might give him to further his rise to academic stardom akin to his professor Ambrose or even some of the other greats he oft found himself reading of like medical biologist Zothabooth, or the much lauded planar scholar Professor Osprey who had traveled the planes and been courted by the angels themselves for his brain. He was a man chained to the beasts of knowledge and fame with his own expectation in hot pursuit, now it was only a question of whether he could manage them all or be consumed by them.

The young legionnaire Quintus though was still dumbfounded by all that had managed to happen to him. In the course of a mere 48 hours he had been conscripted into an investigation with this group of oddballs, discovered a conspiracy over 200 years in the making, seen a madman claw his way out of a living ooze before nearly killing himself by way of tearing off his own face, nearly die to the poisoned claws of a trained assassin, face a monstrous horror from beyond space and time, and literally be transported to the stars themselves to watch his world tilt beneath him, a tiny marble on an endless black sea of stars before crashing back to earth and then having to trudge, broken and barely alive; to his commanding officers through a howling blizzard in order to save his friends still trapped inside that damnable Beacon. Now assigned to watch over this band of fools and madmen by the Governor of this bleeding edge of the frontier he only hoped that things would get at least slightly less exciting or at the very least less horrifying as the thing he saw in that foul pit and the heaving mass of bloodshot eyes and gnashing maws still haunts his dreams to this day.

Finally we come to the oddest man of them all, the holy man known as Thoorin Blackhorn. The half man, half ogre monstrosity with a heart of gold and arms like iron. A refugee from is own homeland of backwater giants more focused on their own dark appetites for the things and flesh (both violent and carnal) he was just happy to be anywhere but home and with the backing of his church of radical worshipers of a god focused as much on revenge as redemption he had hoped to finally find the peace his home had never granted him. And with this journey he seems to have found it thus far, from robbing dog fighting taverns with the caravan master to breaking the skulls of things that shouldn’t be beneath the head of his trusty shovel or his massive hammer Thoorin believes he has found a home like none he has ever had before. Some think that his simplicity protects him from the horrors that seem to plague the rest of the party but for Mr. Blackhorn every new day has been a blessing he never wants to give up and with his long tongue and angry hammer their will be few with the strength even to try.

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