Darksoul

Alalen 18
Alalen's Story

I eventually got bored watching Emory rage and went to join the rest of the group. After beating up a few bandits who thought they should bar my path, I met up with the others (and Tracii, who had evidently also gotten bored) outside of what I had heard was the bandit leader’s tent.

Emory’s screams of rage and explosions of fire growing ever closer, we went inside. Sam’s son was in a cage, and we spotted the bag of shadowmoss behind the leader’s chair. He refused to do business with us nicely, and it turned out he was another of Sam’s former comrades, and had parted under less than friendly terms. We of course proceeded to beat him senseless, rescue the boy, and take the shadowmoss. I put it in my satchel for safe keeping.

With the boy and unconscious bandit lord in tow, we proceeded to quickly leave the increasingly burning camp behind. Once we rejoined the boys mother and had reached a safe distance to the north, we made camp. Sam, Legnar, and Vito took the bandit with them in to the woods. I stood watch at the camp, telling Daryel, the boy, and his mother stories of the aravels and the ancient elven gods, largely to distract them from the sounds coming from the direction the others had gone.

It wasn’t long before the others returned, minus one bandit lord. I left Sam to spend time with his family, retreating to the edge of the camp to continue keeping watch. We returned to Lothering the next morning.

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Sam Holbig 18
Sam's Story

27th of Cloudreach, 9:42 Dragon

Of all the places I’d have expected my old life from Ostwick to catch up with me, this has to be the last of them.

The situation with the knight, the mayor, and the blacksmith is a tortured mess of small-town politics and drama, and after a few rounds of drinks and a few pointed questions put to the locals about it, I decided to wash my hands of the whole affair and head off to bed. Out of an over-abundance of caution, I took a watch for a few hours while the others snoozed; however, it seems my caution wasn’t quite over-abundant enough, as I woke up to find both Enna and Emery missing, and our bag of shadow moss… “misplaced.” A quick bit of asking around revealed that Emery was the most likely culprit and was last seen headed north, so the lot of us mounted up and rode out to try and catch him. I think the others got caught up with something or another, because I somehow ended up in front of the pack.

As I’m riding along, what should I come across but a figure slumped against a rock. I thought at first that Emery had run afoul of some bandits — their village is this way, after all — and caught a blade for his troubles, but on closer inspection I saw it was a woman in traveling clothes. Luckily Daryel was right behind to heal and dress her wound. When the woman came to, she immediately asked what had become of her son, and we quickly established that he’d been taken by the bandits. One of my comrades asked something about the lad’s father, and the woman said he was standing right here… and then asked me by name if she recognized her.

Needless to say, THAT got my attention right quick, and I took a closer look at the woman. The years had weighed on her a bit, but now that I knew what to look for, I quickly recognized Elly Thomas, a town girl I’d had a fling with back when I was corporal on the Walls and we were both young, stupid, and invincible. Our youthful indiscretions had left Elly in a family way, and while I was willing to play the role required of me, Elly had decided the child needed a father that wasn’t in danger of catching a terminal case of sword-to-face at any moment, and settled down with the local tanner instead. Well, hindsight being 20/20, it seems that wasn’t the wisest of choices; the tanner apparently decided his neck needed to be longer and his life needed to be shorter, and when the boy got old enough to start wondering who his father was, Elly decided she needed to track me down and give him a real answer. I’m a bit surprised she managed to find me down here, to be honest — have our travels been making that much noise?

Well, for all the strength Elly showed in getting down here with a child on her petticoats and no sword-hand to protect her, she’s still no fighter, and we left her in Ostagar while we continued our pursuit of Emery. Luckily for us, the mage hasn’t picked up much in the way of subtlety or anger management, and we quickly found him venting his frustrations on that massive bandit village. How dare they steal the bag of shadow moss he rightfully absconded with?! Still, while Emery gets an A+ for effort, he loses several marks for discretion — my son is somewhere in that village he’s burning down! While Alalen and Veto kept an eye on Emery, Legnar, Daryel and I snuck into the village proper to see if we could track down my missing boy or our missing bag of shite. We ran into a pack of bandits inside, but Legnar and I put on a pantomime that… convinced them Legnar was one of them? I think? Anyway. Legnar asked where the main treasure stash and the recent captives were, and the bandits told him both could be found in the center, near the tent of the bandit leader — Lyndon Kingsley.

Kingsley. Now that’s a name I never expected to hear again. We took our leave of the bandits — in a manner of speaking — and made our way towards the center of the village as everything burned around us. Legnar’s got a sack to find, and I have a boy to recover — and a score to settle. I wonder if old Kingsley remembers me? Maker knows I remember him… and Maker willing, at the end of the day I’ll have that old bastard’s head on a pike.

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Alalen 17
Alalen's Story

Wake up to find that Emory has stolen the Shadowmoss -
That rat bastard!

On the road North past Ostagar-
We’ve found an injured woman who claims to be the mother of Sam’s son, who was taken by the bandits that attacked her. Sam looked understandably upset, and promised to get him back. As it appeared that Emory had also continued towards the bandit camp, this handles two problems at once. Tracii and I kept an eye on Emory while the rest of the group snuck into the camp.

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Sam Holbig 17
Sam's Story

13th of Drakonis, 9:42 Dragon

After what seemed like an eternity of singing to myself, fighting off the wilderness around me, and going quietly mad — I distinctly remember talking to a squirrel at one point — I finally spotted the rest of my party coming up from the pond, apparently having not drowned in the process. They carried with them a sack full of shadow moss, as well as some… unfortunate news. It seems that what we call “shadow moss” is actually the stool of a giant guardian snake that lives in the pond (which is not something I wanted to hear, I’ll admit, but apothecaries have made tinctures from worse), and is apparently also the sole food supply for the fire sprites that we followed out here. Oh, and the snake attacked while they were down below, so they killed it in self-defense. I think you can see where this is going.

… Okay, let’s be honest. It’s terrible what’s happened to the fire sprites, and if I weren’t currently dying of brain fever in the middle of a miserable fucking swamp, I’d probably have a lot more sympathy for them. But let me get this straight: these creatures are surviving solely off the droppings of a single giant snake? That’s a single PREDATOR, which has to go hunt for food, and is apparently vulnerable enough that a group of half-competent adventurers can put it in its grave? I say it’s a fucking miracle that the thing’s lasted as long as it has, and while the inevitable fate of the fire sprites is tragic, at this point it’s not genocide anymore — it’s euthanasia.

Anyway. The rest of the group and I high-tailed it out of the Wilds at that point. I’m pretty sure we passed up no shortage of opportunities to get ourselves in more trouble, but fuck that, we’ve got a schedule to keep. Of course, to no one’s great surprise, trouble eventually found us as we were preparing to take the ferry back across the river. An armored knight was waiting for us as we approached the town, and while both he and we were pretty coy about our business to start with, he eventually had out with it that he wanted to take all our shadow moss, in order to stave off the Amber Rage infecting people in HIS town. He was very polite about it at least, and we managed to talk him down, though there was a bit of a tense moment when his fellow knights came out of hiding and Vito decided it was a good idea to charge him while negotiations were still ongoing. (Between that and the horses, I think I need to have a talk with that fellow about impulse control one of these days.) As it turns out, the medicine-worker in his town is one of the infected, so I doubt this stuff would have done him much good without our help anyway. I just hope there’s enough snake shite here for the old woman to work her magic — and, for the good of everyone down here, that she either figures out a new source for the stuff, or knows a way to get rid of the Amber Rage for good….

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Legnar Umlaut Contract # 3.5
The Battle of Shadow Moss Rages On!!!

Contract: Assault on Shadow Moss
Status: Updated with new objective
New Contract Name: The Battle of Shadow Moss Rages On
Mission: Find Shadow Moss and deliver to shaman in the village of Southmere within time limit
Reward: Saving Southmere from a deadly condition, including ones self
Time Remaining: 58 hours

The group immediately sets off for the wilds with a few provisions and words from the shaman. She meets us on the outskirts of the village and says that she lied about the time we have to return to make the cure. The Amber Rage effects can surface over in a manner of hours, not days! She only said that towards the villager to delay the executions. She can delay those injured from turning with constant care, but only has the resources to maintain this for about 3 days. After that, they will turn quickly, and is not a guarantee. Different people may take the treatment in different ways. As for the items she gave, a bag filled with beetles, meant for the raven she called to her. Giving the instructions to throw a beetle into the air every hour and the raven will guide the way. She states, “Once the raven falls dead from the sky, (WHAT?!) cook the contains of this bag to summon fire sprites. The sprites will lead you to the moss.” Then she hand us the most foul smelling bag my nose has came across. (AND SHE WANTS US TO COOK IT?!) Finally, she hand a large bag and says to fill this bag to the brim with the moss, and that should be enough to create the cure. So Sam, Alalen, Vito, Enna, and I set off to the wilds.

Time Remaining: 53 hours

After following the raven for some time now, we came across (wait for it) a raging river (OMG, is NOT a chasm this time!) which needed to cross to continue towards the wild. Luckily nearby there happens to be a town with ferry crossing to get across. That where the good news end. Apparently, that are more infected roaming the area and the town is completely deserted, save for a flock of blood crows. I was able to sneak into the town unnoticed and find the ferry crossing….in middle of the river. By sheer determination and willpower (and maybe the rage setting in) manage to swim to the ferry. I could swim back to the land, but nothing that the others and a rope can’t fix. Sam found a survivor from the attack and gave him one of his vials of the concoction used to stave off the rage (hoping the these won’t bite us in the end) with directions to Southmere, hoping he may find better care there. Vito came to the ferry horseless through. He claims needed to sacrifice the horse to get past the blood crows that caught him. I waived it off (but it still concerns me that he would such a thing). It took some time but we managed to cross the river without interruptions

Time Remaining: 47 hours

We’ve been traveling for since we leave Lothering, and most of us are become fagutied. (unknown if Vito its though. Also curious as how are Sam and Alalen are holding up) If we dont find a to rest soon, we made just pass out along the path losing our way. Up a head we spotted a couple of Chasind who just dealt with their own barbarian problems. The were startled at first but once we told them our mission and about the shaman, they seemed much more friendly. (Seriously, the first non-infected Chasind I come across and it a positive meeting! People in the country seriously need to open up to others) We asked for any information willing to give about the wild, only saying that we wont be making it there on horse back. They give directions of their tribe at the edge of the wild. There we should speak to the leader asking for a place to rest and to shelter our horses. Plus was only a hour away on horse to reach there.

Time Remaining: 46 hours

Just before the raven that been guiding us moves into the nastiest swamp I ever seen (despite being on the surface for almost five months), we spotted the Chansind village. Cautiously, we entered. We did draw stares of the Chasind inhabiting the village to a point their protector was shortly upon us, weapons at the ready. Showing that we meant no harm, the protector escorted us to their leader shelter. Their leader step out of her shelter of gestured to us the only one comes in to speak to her, which the group elects me, while the others are watched. (Sigh, why I did get roped into this. I know I’m to have a mouth on me. While yes, it has gotten me out of trouble, it gotten its fair share into it as well. Plus I never sat at a negotiation before)

The leader sits her and myself at a table, pour a bowl of some reddish liquid, hand it to me and says “Drink!” (Well, if I’m going to died if we can’t find the moss, it wouldn’t such a issue dying here with whatever these this). I pick up the bowl and down the drink. (And boy, was it the most potent sweetest wine I ever had! Only one serving and I’ve already feel a little headed). I place the bowl down and wipe my mouth, when the leader starts laughing. “Never I’ve seen someone able to drink our wild wine and still sit up right! Another?!” she states. (Thank the Maker she can speak our tongue) I’ve passed for now, stated that I have business in the wilds. She expected so, as the tribe often sees adventures make their way past here before. They generally allow rest and place to stable their horse, for a price. “What do have to offer to us in exchange for our service?,” she questions. (-Gulp- Okay Legnar, don’t screw this up) I state the reason on why we are entering the wilds and hoping to return soon to Southmere. I show my wound where I was struck by the barbarian. (The skin coloration is starting to spread, but not as quickly like the one in Southmere) Her eye open wide when she see the wound and offers her sympathy. “I understand you plight and I see the shaman as given you provision on the journey, but I still need a form payment. Not coin thought, it worthless to us. Something I haven’t seen before,” she states. So I offer her one of my vial of the poison suppressant. “This seems awful much, plus this is keeping to sane correct?,” she questions. I tell her that it’s all I have to offer and I do have another vial for myself. She accept the offer and tells me “If you are able to return and of sane mind, I’ll have something for you! But please, rest now. I see the weariness in your eyes, as well as your companions.” as she pour another bowl of the wild wine and hands to me. With the bowl in hand, we walk outside and give the others the news.

(I generally don’t do this, I feel I need to speak with whomever is reading this. Is been little less than five months since my trek to find Valddock and Belbara and I feel this land as been changing me. My eyesight has vastly improve, or at less adjust to the light if the day, instead of the dim torch lit caves of Orzammar. Also, I’ve such completed my first negotiation! maybe, with some practice, I can attempt to mislead any opponent to look another way or become distracted, opening them up for a vital strike. Only time will tell. Hopefully I’m going to have the chance to do so. Hopefully, whatever this rage is doing to me, won’t effect my slumber)

Time Remaining: 32 hours 30 minutes

After resting in the Chasnid tribe (and waking Enna up from her drunken stupor. She had one bowl of the wild wine and was out cold) we’ve started to travel, on foot, through the wilds. While it’s raining… we’ve travel for some time now following the raven as our guide. Until the one time I throw the beetle to feed the raven, both just fell from the sky, dead. The group started to panic, aside from Sam. Sam recalled that is was going to happen and it does happen, to cook the bag of the foul smelling bag, while it’s raining… Thanks to a little creativity, we fashion a way create a fire, in the rain, and begin to “cook” the contents of the bag. The smell was so foul, most of us started to gag from the smell. Alalen vomits from the smell and a bit lands into the pot. (Sam and I give Alalen a look wishing him death if that just screwed this up. Unknown of the rage it effecting my temper. I should drink another vial. But I need to spare this on for the trip back) After some time, something finally approached the pot, bit is wasn’t what we were looking for. It was a giant mud-crab of sorts and it was directly headed to the pot. We can’t have the pot spilling over, so the crab must be dealt with. After the crab was done, we waited for another couple of hours but finally the sprites came. Singing the most depressing tune. So the point that I’ve just assumed that leaving Orzammar was the worst mistake I’ve made in my life. I would truly never see Valddock or Belbara again, even if I made it through this Amber Rage. (Hell, I was even thinking about the fact that my birth should have never been. Even though it should not. But I believed it) Something got me to snap out of it and it apparently others felt the same effect. But the fire sprites were here, chowing down on whatever we were cooking for them. After they were done, they left. And we followed

Time Remaining: 28 hours 15 minutes

The fire sprites lead us to a hidden grotto within the wild. Enter the grotto was like a day to night change in scenery. Blue water instead of the murky swamp we’ve been waiting through. Ruins all around this plan, creating a natural barrier between the wilds and here. The rain was even replaced with a mist that cooled down the area. The sprites circle around a lake in the middle of the grotto then shortly after dove into the lake. Vito dove after them followed shortly by Enna and Alalen. I stayed up top with Sam, as it seems he is not attempting to swim him his armor on. We spent some time exploring the grotto and happen to find a healing potions. A few moment when by with nothing really happening. Until I realized that I still have the bag to gather the moss. So I tied a rope to me and to an anchor point, then dove in. (I plan to use thing as a method to return to the surface. Also, I hope that Sam will be okay alone up there) Some how I find into an undersea cave and spot the others in the aftermath of a battle with a giant snake. It seems like we are invading its territory. We start searching through the many caverns for whatever the shadow moss may grow from, and we found it. One of the caverns seems to be a nest for the snake contain Shadow Moss, and was littered everywhere. Then the realization hit us. The fire sprites are eating the moss. And the moss con only grow in the snake stool. Which the others just killed with no signs of a mate or eggs. Which means, once this moss it gone, that will be no more. The fire sprites are doomed to starve, either now or later. (It not everyday you get to destroy an ecosystem) We fill the bag with has much moss that it can hold and returned to the surface. Already the grotto has seems to lost is luster it once had.

Time Remaining: 21 hours 30 mins

It was little harder to find our way out of the wild without a guide back, so it took longer to gather our bearing. But eventually, we found the Chasind tribe. I went to the leader looking for whatever she planned on giving me. (I’m thinking that I completed some tribal ritual and was to be wed with one is their tribeswomen) During the time we are in the wild, she manage to create two bottles of the wild wine and gifted them to me! (Score! Also, thank the Maker that it wasn’t the prior thing I was thinking about) With the time ticking, we said our farewells, gather our horses and raced for the river town.

Time Remaining: 15 hours

We’ve made it to the river town in a decent amount of time and with no interruptions. Thanks to us using the ferry about a day ago, the ferry was prepped to return us the other side of the river with little concern. Plus is seems the murder of blood crows moved on to another location.

Time Remaining: 13 hours 30 minutes

Shortly after leaving the river town, we were stopped by a group of knights from a neighboring town, demanding them to hand over the bag. the reasoning on way is the same as our own, to stave off the Amber rage in their town. We’ve tried to tell them on where it get it, but they claim they was just their. The knew that someone had just emptied to cave out just before they arrival and tracked us down to crossing the river. I stepped up and asked what plan do you have to create the cure. They claim there medicine man maybe able to create something with the moss. I calm them down, by telling them that a Shaman in Southmere as a proven method to create and administer the cure. The head knight gives a signal which, in the distance, many more knight come out of hiding. Which brings Vito into thinking they are planning to attack. So he charges the knight I’m speaking to. His lance misses its intended mark and in a fit of rage, bring Vito down off his horse. That show of defending the knight was, apparently, proof enough to have him believe what I claim it true. (Even though is was the farthest from it. There is not guarantee that the cure the shaman is creating will work or out, but I’m Not Giving Up THIS BAG!!!!) The knight will ride with us to Southmere and await for the cure t be created.

(My condition as be fading for a while now. I haven’t to caring at things I should be at, and becoming more violent. Currently I seeing red and starting to think about attacking everything that stands against me. I believe is time for the last vial Hope it’s not to late)

Time Remaining: 8 hours

The sun begin to set of the second time I’ve been awake, but the mission is nearly complete. Just need to the deliver the moss to the shaman in Southmere and await the cure. If only it was that easy. We arrived just a few miles away from the village, only to be stopped by a blockade of militia, bearing the crest of the knight in the village. They have orders to stop anyone attempting to help the infected, by any means necessary! (I Can Not Believe This!!! This Noble Fuck of a Knight Thinks Himself as Law. And Damn Anyone that Oppose Him!!! If I seeing red before, I am NOW. Thankfully with a clear mind. hopefully) So the group comes up with a quick plan. Enna creates a hole in the blockade, followed by Vito widening it. I, wiht the bag at hand, followed shortly behind Vito to use the opening to break through the blockade to rush to Southmere. Meanwhile the others starts delaying the militia has best as they can. I’m carrying a light load on me, so I start pulling away of the militia that were uninterrupted by the others.

Time Remaining: 7 hours 30 mins

I was the first to arrive into Southmere, which is complete chaos. The knight pulled his strings and gotten a band of Denerim soldiers to “assist in removing a plague infecting the village” The town center is complete transformed into a execution site with infected villager tied up to wooden stakes, surrounded by oil coated wood. The local are waiting at the ready with torches at hand awaiting to the call to “cleanse the infected.” Which most villager were chanting. I plowed through whomever gotten in my way (definitely feeling some effects of the Amber Rage) trying to get to the old barrack where, hopefully most of the infected and the shaman are at. Then I spotted large crowd of villagers in one area of the village,acting as if to barge into the building. I started to head that direction and spotted the barracks, with a lot of makeshift barricades, and Emmery hurling fireballs into the crowd! (I see that nothing as changed with him. Also, why is he helping the infected?) Wasting no time, I had my horse run to the back of the barracks where I leap off, with daggers in hand, landed on the walls of the barracks, and started to scale of the top. After good bit of scaling, I fall into the floor and rush down the halls looking for the shaman. I hand her the bag, ask if there anything else she needs. She denies help and sends me away. I’m with so much rage, I immediately rush to the front door, draw my blade, kick the door open, ready to take on anyone that stand in my way, and…… laid down of arms was called.

During the time I was scaling the wall, the other were not long behind me. They all have their stories, but mainly Vito was the one who got every one to stay their arms. The officer in charge of the Denerim soldiers was one over by Vito, suggesting that instead of reporting back the loss of half a village to a plague, to wait for the cure to be created, see if it worked, and report back on saving the village from this deadly plague. And if the cure didn’t work, Vito claimed that he would personal see to the executions himself. And she agreed with those terms, followed closely by giving the knight that called them an ear full

Time Remaining: 3 hours

These past hours have been very stressful for everyone in the village. Infected villagers start to turn without the care of the shaman and were forced to be tied. Sam, Alalen, and I were not see that we didn’t show the raging effect yet, thanks to the vials the shaman gave us. Everyone just sit in peace waiting for the shaman to emerge with the cure. The knight was barking up a storm, but was currently under the watchful one of the standing officer of the Denerim soldiers. (Who is getting friendly, chatting with Vito). Until, finally, the shaman emerged, with a huge cauldron. She poured what all expected the cure to be into a bowl and administered to one the infected villager that showed the worst signs. The crowd held there breath and waited for something to happen. For a full two minutes, nothing happen with village. The knight was just about to call out to the crowd, then is finally happened. The village started to calm down, and their skin began to return to its normal color!!!

Contract Complete in time allotted
Reward: The Village of Southmere, Sam Alalen, and I are rid of the Amber Rage.

Dareyl and the shaman started handing out the cure to the other villagers. The standing officer place the knight into her custody, pending a formal inspection of his reports while in Southmere. The knight of the other village is grateful see prove of a working cure and ampule amounts for them for their village. They took what is needed and headed off. Sam, Alalen, and I drank the cure and breath a sigh of relief, see tomorrow will be coming in our future. I’ve took the shaman about what happened on the wilds, explaining that there will be no more moss coming for those wilds again. She understood, stating that she’ll use what she as here sparingly. I also asked if we may what left of the Shadow Moss, seeing that us the reason for us being here. She produce a small bad stated that this is what is left and handed it to me. The village began is rejoicing, having ride of the Amber Rage. As for me, I headed to the inn, looking to put this journey behind me and have a restful night sleep.

—For those who are reading this book, These are the adventures of Legnar Umlaut. They are contract summaries that he has taken along the course of journey to find his missing sibling. Please note, everything within these brackets, ( ), are his personal thoughts the matter.

If found, please return this book to the Umlaut caste within Orzammar

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Alalen 16
Alalen's Story

Retrieved the horses from the swamp town, Legnar obtained a bottle of wine from the leader –
Sometimes I think I should learn how to deal with people better. It seems to help sometimes. Then I remember that I generally don’t like people that much…

Met and recruited the soldiers from a neighboring town –
This could have been trouble. Much as I’d like a good fight, we really don’t have time for it. Glad Legnar was able to talk them down.

Ran into a group of the Knight’s men on the way back to the infected town and fought past them –
Oh great. More delays. The longer it takes us to get back to town, the more I just want to kill anything that gets in our way…

-Caught and stopped the soldiers chasing Legnar
Ahhh, that was a satisfying brawl. Now where is that asshole of a knight?

-Upon finding the pending executions in the town
No. This is unacceptable. I expected to have to kick someone’s ass when we got back, but now half the town is in on this?! Time to forcibly change a few people’s minds.
draws blades and runs them through the infected blood of his own wounds
Let’s see how much they want to cull the infected when it’s themselves…

-After taking the antidote
Hmm… I guess I should have taken that potion the shaman gave me more often. Didn’t realize I was getting to be quite so aggressive. Although, I still kind of want to break something. I wonder, does that just take time to fade?

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Sam Holbig 16
Sam's Story

13th of Cloudreach, 9:42 Dragon

The trip back from the ferry-town was mostly uneventful, but as soon as we came in sight of our destination, our way was barred by men-at-arms carrying the banner of the village’s local knight. When we explained our business to them, they replied that they had orders to stop us from returning. Because apparently the knight is such a homicidal fuck-wit that he’s determined to kill everyone who was infected, and to hell with anyone who’s trying to help them. I felt a bit sorry for the poor bastards he set in our way, to be honest — they were just honest men following orders, insane as those orders might be. Nevertheless, they were in our way, and so we charged and broke through; I think Veto and Enna might have stuck around to slow them down a bit.

We arrived back to see the town in chaos, with the knight and this town’s irritable blacksmith (is there any village on this continent that DOESN’T have an irritable blacksmith?!) preparing to burn Amber Rage victims at the stake in the town square, and rioting villagers preparing to assault the fortress where the remaining victims were being secured. Being the heroic types we are, the lot of us sprang into action. Alalen and Veto (who had caught back up by this point) charged the crowd to try and reach the knight, Legnar started scaling the walls to deliver the shadow moss, and I moved to defend the front gate from the angry mob. I saw Alalen make a show of putting his own blood on his blades, so that any villager who crossed him knew they had the stake to look forward to, and had only themselves to thank for it; of course, most of them weren’t thinking that rationally, and a few of them got cut for their trouble.

For a moment it seemed we weren’t making it out of this without bloodshed. However, after a bit of shouting, we managed to convince the angry mob that the cure was literally being brewed as we spoke, and if they would just give it a few more hours, this whole thing would all be set right, which ultimately got them to disperse. I’ll admit I took the opportunity to throw a few choice words at that murderous fuck-head of a knight. He wanted to have it out with me, I could tell, but there was a woman with him who convinced him to stand down; I wonder who she is?

Anyway, the old woman got her shadow moss, and we all managed to choke down the resulting concoction. I’m no more of a frothing maniac than I usually am, so I presume it worked. The mayor was most grateful, and I think he was trying to marry his daughter off to one of us — apparently she had previously been engaged to Sir Fuckhead, which, combined with his obvious hatred of the mayor and his eagerness to slaughter the infected villagers (including his fiancee), opens up a can of small-town political drama that I want absolutely no part of. We managed to convince him to work on building an alliance to take out that bandit camp instead, since SOMEONE needs to. As for us, now that this mess is sorted out and we finally have what we came for, we’re headed back to Lothering and then hopefully onto Aneth Ara. I’ve said this once before, but the sooner we can put this whole absurd fool’s errand behind us, the better.

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Sam Holbig 15
Sam's Story

2nd of Drakonis, 9:42 Dragon

After settling our affairs in the wildling village and dragging Enna out of her drunken stupor at long last, we finally made our way to our campsite — at least, I presume that’s why the raven promptly keeled over dead when it got there. Now of course it’s been raining for Maker-knows-how-long and we’re in the middle of a fucking swamp, but despite that we somehow managed to get a fire going and that wretched-smelling soup cooking. (The smell was actually bad enough that it made Alalen lose his lunch, and I’m pretty sure some of it went into the pot. I promised him that if this whole quest went tits-up as a result of that, I was going to violently murder him. He didn’t seem to take it personally.)

Now, Maker forbid that we make any sort of forward progress in this quest without some beast or another coming along to ruin our fun, so what crawls out of the swamp but a giant crab, making a bee-line straight for the soup. I suppose if I sat in a swamp all day with nothing but mud and shit-water to eat all day, I’d find that stuff pretty appetizing as well. Obviously we couldn’t have the thing spill the soup before the fire sprites showed up, so we fought it and killed it with little enough fuss. Thing was damned tough, though; I wonder if I can use any of those crab plates to fashion some new armor? A thought for another time, I suppose. Anyway, we had just finished off the crab when the fire sprites finally decided to show themselves. They were eyeballing the soup and singing this song that —

Actually, hang on. If you see spots on the page, it’s because I’m chugging the rest of this drink and not caring too much if I spill a bit of it.

Okay. I don’t know what in the Maker’s name those sprites were singing, but it was the most fucking depressing piece of music I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter. Alalen and I pretty much decided right then and there to go throw ourselves on the bandit’s swords, and I’m pretty sure Legnar started bawling. Thankfully we managed to snap out of it in time to follow the sprites, who had apparently gotten bored with us and decided to wander off. (I think we were supposed to throw the soup on the fire for them? Not sure anyone ever got around to that. Well, whatever.) We were thankfully able to track them to some sort of hidden grotto, where the sprites all dove into a pool that seems to lead somewhere. Or maybe they just all got snuffed out, like what normally happens to fire when it goes in water. At any rate, Alalen, Enna, and Vitorius decided to follow them in, while Legnar and I stayed up top to look around. As it turns out, this place is home to some sort of pre-Tevinter ruin, and I managed to find some decent healing potions that someone had stowed behind a loose stone. (I wonder how long those have been there?)

Eventually Legnar decided to dive after the rest of the group, since they’d forgotten the shadow moss gunny sack and we figured they’d need it. Me, I’m a big bastard in heavy metal armor, so I’m not much use in a pond. I decided to stay up top and make sure that no more unpleasant surprises came to bother us. I’m still up here now, hoping that the rest of my team hasn’t drowned in a hole or been eaten by a giant snake or something, and that they’ll make it back before I turn into a raving yellow lunatic.

Fuck the Korcari Wilds. The sooner we’re out of this shithole, the better.

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Alalen 15
Alalen's Story

3/2/16

Met the Chasind leader in the swamp town, stabled the horses –
Hm. Think I’ll pass on the overpowering drink. Legnar seems to be enjoying it well enough. I’ll just babysit Enna while he handles things.

Summoned the fire sprites, fought a giant crab, followed the fire sprites to their grotto –
This smells atrocious… gets sick everywhere. No, really, that smell is appalling. And attracted an enormous crab. Awesome, let’s kill it before it gets to the pot of disgusting soup.
How can those creatures eat that?? Do they not have functional noses? Whatever, there they go!

Swam into the cavern –
Best not leave them to explore down there alone. I think Sam can handle it up here.

Fought the giant snake –
Snakes. Why did it have to be giant snakes?!

Found the pit of bones –
What a lovely mess this is. It’s a shame I can’t find anything useful, but at least nothing tried to kill us.

Collected the shadowmoss, learned the story behind it –
Shit. We came down here for specialty shit. And killed the last known source of it. Gods help us if we ever need it again… Should we put these poor sprites out of their misery, or- wait, what is Veto running from?! Come on Enna, we need to go – wait, what do you mean he’s just fucking with us? That bastard…

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Sam Holbig 14
Sam's Story

17th of Guardian, 9:42 Dragon

Ah! It seems I misunderstood what that old woman was saying about the Amber Rage. It doesn’t take a handful of days for the disease to set in, it takes a handful of hours. Luckily she had a stock of potions around that could help stave off the effects of the disease for a day at a time. I wonder how many of those she has left? If I’m still correct that the shadowmoss grove is more than a day’s ride away, then the infected left behind in the town may be more screwed than I thought….

Also, it turns out that, even with magic on our side, finding the grove isn’t as simple as one would hope. The spell the old lady casts summons a raven, which we have to feed from a bag of beetles every hour so that it will take us to a campsite. There we have to set a fire and dump another bag of foul-smelling crap in it, which will apparently summon some fire sprites that will take us to the actual grove, where we have to fill ANOTHER bag (a proper gunny sack this time) with as much of the stuff as we can find. Because of course nothing involving magic can ever be simple.

On top of all that, there’s still no shortage of those yellow berserkers running around out here, but so far we’ve been lucky enough to miss them. We found a town with a ferry we needed to cross where they had killed everyone (save for one poor bastard who got infected; I gave him some of my medicine and sent him back to the festival town, where hopefully he’ll be safer), and came across a pair of non-infected wildlings who had gotten in a scrape with some and just managed to put them down when we arrived. There was also one fellow in a cart who chatted with us briefly; he and the tribesmen both pointed us towards a village on the edge of the Korcari Wilds, where hopefully we’ll be able to get a guide to help us find where we need to go.

In the meantime, we’re still following that damn bird, and I’ve pretty much lost track of how long we’ve been walking, and frankly at this point I’m debating the relative merits of giving into the Rage and finding myself some bandits to slaughter before I keel over. Once we’ve made it back to Aneth Ara after running all these bloody errands — IF we make it back — I’m seriously considering hanging up my spear and giving the middle finger to this adventuring life, at least for a little while. Every day my patience with all these fools’ errands and darkspawn and chasms and useless bloody villagers gets thinner and thinner, and I find myself giving less and less of a shit about the world going to hell around me. Back when I left Ostwick, I was hoping someday I’d find something that would inspire me to give up my wandering and settle down. I never expected that something to be disgust, or apathy, or the growing sense that all of Thedas can go and fuck itself.

Or maybe that’s just the fever talking.

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