A Colder War

Entry 29: Random Battles, Open Bars, and Orc Wrestling – A Few of the Kings Favorite Things
Entry 29: Random Battles, Open Bars, and Orc Wrestling – A Few of the Kings Favorite Things

- We start this chapter aboard the lightning rail express headed to the Capital City, Wrote. I sit here upon my bunk surrounded by the chaps as we leisurely prepare for bed. It has been quite a day in the lap of luxury. The perquisites of first class travel are well worth the coin, dear reader, especially if that coin is not yours but your publisher’s.
- I spent most of my day following the others, but I cannot say I did not take advantage of the spa car, or the luxurious food within the dinning car. I took a little time to groom Jack’s horse Steve aboard the stable car and enjoyed my time with the beast. Speaking of beasts, the Orc has somehow managed to put a hole through our bathroom wall. It seems he found it difficult to operate the latching doors of the private bathroom within our stateroom car. I can only hope we are not charged for it. Jack spent his day in the rooms of other passengers. He is a man of the people and loves to hear the stories of others. It might be misleading to some readers but I must mention that many of those he visited with today were of the fairer sex. Make nothing of it, dear reader, only know that Jack Tobias is a man not afraid to be approached by the common people. Lord Gut spent the majority of the day within our Stateroom. He seemed to be communing with some greater force. I interrupted him briefly to interview him but he seemed not to want to be disturbed so I left him with many questions unanswered.
- In our interview he told me that “Chaos Reigns”. Perhaps that shall be the title of my first book about the man. I asked him if he did not think chaos an evil thing and he explained to me that chaos is balance. If all were ordered there would be no balance. The two must exist together. He explained to me that he was risen as a revenant to bring this message to the world. He is a living artifice of this philosophy: that order must be balanced with chaos. The DoomBringer hinted that he lived beyond the body he currently inhabits that he was alive beyond the “planier degree” that mere mortals can understand. The most puzzling thing he said is that chaos and the order he somehow associates with it “is what holds everything”. Take this as you will reader, but I myself am very intrigued.
- That is strange. There is a tapping from the ceiling. I wonder what it could be.
- Goodness me, some strange creature has busted into the window nearest Jack and is swooping toward Lord Gut.
- Lord Gut was prepared, pulling his bow as soon as he heard the tapping. He loosed an arrow at the creature and it screeched in agony as it connected. In response several more screeches were heard out side of the stateroom’s broken window.
- I believe the creature to be a NightWing, a creature of pure negative elemental energy. It appears as a darkness, a hole in reality shaped like a giant bat with glowing red eyes and long grasping talons.
- After it recovers it immediately flies for Lord Gut and grips him up in its talons in a way that can only be described as gentle.
- Jack aids the DoomBringer by leaping onto the creature and taking it to the ground.
- What’s this? Above me now the roof is peeling away. As it does the Orc has begun to shout at us the details of how to rid our selves of these creatures. It would seem he has seen their like before. He tells us that if we can kill one or two the rest will flee.
- *EDIT From the hole emerged two giant vulture-like talons. Between them emerge a vultures beak made of darkness. It snaps at me and grabs my book, but the Orc in a moment of graciousness saves my work by severing the creature’s neck, freeing me from its grasp.
- *EDIT The head bounces off the floor and hops back up to snap at the Orc’s neck before it dissolves into nothing. The Orc’s fine armor has rescued him so in part I have repaid the debt I might owe him for saving me and my notes, moments ago.
- *EDIT meanwhile Jack and Lord Gut still battle the first creature. Jack pulls a blade and stabs the creature in one of its red eyes. The creature screams and then dissolves to reveal Lord Gut where he lay under it. Jack hoots in triumph and helps the DoomBringer to his feet.
- *EDIT From the hole comes another of the winged horrors and without warning it lands atop me. It pierces my leather to stab me in the gut, but I did save my notes. I scramble out from under the creature but the beast has busted my potion of healing within my leather pouch.
- *EDIT The Orc impales the creature that has landed atop me causing it to burst into a mist that swiftly dissolves into nothing. Above several more screeches are heard as I glimpse the fiery eyes of one of the creatures through the hole in the roof. It bounds away into the night and the screeching fades into the distance. The Orc has saved me once more. The creature might be a brute but his is loyal to those he travels with. I must find a way to repay the Orc, even if it means spending more time with him.
- After the brief moments of terror we have all just experienced I believe it prudent to inform the conductor of what has just occurred aboard his train. As I limp off to do so Lord Gut rushes into the car behind us to see if there are other threats nearby.
- After the conductor uses his spell of minding to fix the ceiling and windows (and the hole in the wall the Orc had made earlier which I might have led the conductor to believe was left by the NightWings), I tried to rest, but the conductor had opened the minibar and Jack and the Orc began to celebrate their victory, as is their custom. My wounds pained me but even though I got little sleep I felt better in the morning. Perhaps my wounds were not as deep as I had believed.

- We have arrived In the Capital City of Wrote. It is a place I am well familiar with, a beautiful city, if not as grandiose as Sharn then more regal by half.
- At this point the party splits up to go about various tasks.
- I make my way to the castle to visit with an old friend, High Priest Dosal. A man that is responsible for keeping the city in order, neigh the kingdom. If we are to see the king I must at least give my old friend a heads up first.
- I have procured an audience with the king in two days hence. It was good to see Dosal, the old chap. He is still his cynical self but he sees the value in the Hero Jack Tobias, and believes that if we play our cards right we shall be able to convince the king to give us an airship for our book tour. I have found a way that even the Orc might aid in this gambit. It seems the King is a fan of wrestling. He especially likes to best those of the monstrous races, such as our fair Orc.
- *EDIT While I visited with Dosal Jack and the Orc went to a tavern they once frequented. Not surprisingly, Jack ran into an old romance, and left the Orc to his cups. After a turn of events that I will not describe here – though the good captain made sure to give me every detail in the most thorough of terminology – Jack ended up in yet another tavern across the city getting reacquainted with two women of his past. It would not be until the next day that he met Mezmeralda. The daughter of one of his wayward lovers of an age that matched Jack’s last visit to the city and that favored Jack with her fair skin and open charm. I cannot say that Jack did not dote on the young lass. Alas, he could spend but a little while getting to know her before duty called him away to another location. It would seem that during this period the Orc had created a bit of a scene in the tavern Jack had left him in.
- *EDIT In the few hours it took Jack to reacquaint himself with those he had known in the city during the war, the Orc caused such a scene as to almost be thrown out of the city. While Jack visited, the Orc drank. He drank so much in fact that the Low Road Tavern, in which Jack had left him, ran out of hopped ale (a favorite of the Orc). So having “no choice” as he would later explain, he switched to stronger spirits. The problem began when the barman asked him to close out his tab. The Orc had not intended to pay it seems for instead of complying he tossed the man out of his own establishment and barred the doors. By the time Jack came around to talk sense to the oaf, the guard had been called and a standoff was in progress. The Orc was screaming that they come look him in the face. He begged for a challenge worthy of his warrior’s prowess. Jack somehow managed to talk the guard (and the Orc) down and usher his fool-hearted companion across town to where we were lodged. Needless to say the two were forced to lay low for the two days until our audience with the King.
- *EDIT Lord Gut spent his time more wisely. He took the opportunity to visit the trade house of the Madonie. He visited long with their house historian, Anomin, looking for clues about the elven woman’s quest. Anomin told the DoomBringer of Elenon, the ancient tomb that the elven woman spoke of. He claimed it very well protected and within the tightly controlled dominion of the medusa warlord Ken. This Ken is said to have legions at his command. Anomin suggested that if we are to make it into the tomb we would have to use much stealth, for it would be impossible to battle through the many monsters at Ken’s disposal. Ken is known within Droam as one of the most warlike of the tribal leaders, and it is unlikely that he would not be aware of the treasures within the tomb.
- *EDIT Lord Gut also asked about the Emerald Claw and was briskly told that they were banished from Wrote at the end of the war. That leaves the question of why they ever were allowed access to the capital city in the first place.

- The next few days we all lay low along with Jack and the Orc, for the most part. Though, Lord Gut spent much time in the local libraries and I visited with my old publishing house Wynard Publishing. I informed the Orc of his upcoming competition with the king and this set him to preparing, though even two days after his rowdy episode he still seemed hung over. Jack seemed to be preparing for his audience, but the Hero was close lipped about his plans.

- The day has arrived and we have made our way to the castle to meet High Priest Dosal. He takes us through the many defensible rooms stock full of enchantments and wards to protect the king. I glance sideways at the Orc and he glares back at me with that special look that says he’d love to toss me over a high wall. I can only hope the brute has sense enough not to kill the king. It is not as if he will easily take victory, but if he does I worry he will get carried away. I am sure, dear reader, that you remember the poor guard in the shrine to Onatar the fire god. I can only hope there is not a repeat performance today.
- We are now entering the King’s Court. King Boranell sits slouched in his thrown. He radiates the essence of the relaxed commander. It is quite clear that he is in control here and he is well aware of that fact. The man favors a bear in the silks of a king, save his battle hardened leather belt and cap which each holster several blades, mostly axes. The man is the vision of the warrior king. An avatar of verbosity and regal majesty. It is no wonder he is much beloved within his realm.
- As we approach the King he greats us with regal ennui. The Hero Jack Tobias gracefully bows in an acrobatic display. The King tells him to stand in self-abasing grace. Jack begins to praise the King but the king has eyes only for the Orc. He demands silence from our hero and addresses the Orc by name. “You must be Cyrus” he says, in barely concealed glee. It is clear that His Majesty longs for battle. The Orc only nods, and the king begins to remove his weaponry and armor. The Orc’s insanity peeks through as he grins in reciprocated glee.
- The Orc stands his ground and allows the King the first blow. The king swipes the Orc but the Orc somehow dodges and retaliates. He grabs the King by the head and pulls him into a headlock but the King uses his shoulder to ram the Orc and knock him to the floor. King Boranell leaps at the prone Orc. The Orc attempts to catch and throw the King but the Royal Bear is too heavy. He comes down on the Orc and puts him in a leg lock. The poor Orc struggles but can find no purchase against the Kings grapple. The King begins to laugh hysterically. As he twists and lifts the Orc to slam him into the marble of the floor. The King Stands over the poor defeated Cyrus, impatient for the fight to continue. The Orc stands, and where he rises from there is a visible indention in the floor. I can only imagine, dear reader, that that ocr shaped indent will cost the Royal purse gravlely, for the ornate marble of the floor is of the rarest quality. Or at least it was before the Orc’s monstrous mug left its permanent mark upon it.
- The Orc stands, not yet discouraged and begins cracking each of his joints in turn. The King motions to the Orc to bring on his best, and the coarse beast abides. The Orc cracks a monstrous smile, just before he charges. The King side steps and puts the Orc into a full nelson. He asks the Orc to wisely yield, but the brute will not listen. The king grins and laughs once more as he brings an elbow down to once again slam the Orc to the floor. The Orc tries to rise but he is done. The King stretches in victory and sits back on his thrown still shirtless and without his armor or weapons.
- What a mighty King the nation of Breland is blessed with. King Boranell has bested a beast I have seen take on three guards at once with little bother. He has trounced the powerful Orc as once the Hero Jack Tobias did in the legendary arm wrestling match I have wrote of before. This King is himself a hero it would seem. And I feel confident now that he will see the wisdom of Jack’s proposal, and grant him his airship. What a Regal King indeed.
- Jack is taken aback by the Kings victory over his Orc. He shows deference to the King who is a brisk man and not given to be charmed even by the most charming of heroes, like Captain Jack. In the end Jack lands on humility. A face he seldom shows but one that is at the root of the Hero Jack Tobias. The King in his magnificent grace grants Jack and our party our request. I help explain to the King our plans of national unity and adventure in the name of the Kingdom and of prosperity of the realm. He likes the idea and gives us a ship and the crew to run it. He makes sure to include one of his pet changelings, Agent Trace of the Dark Lanterns. What this will mean only time will tell, but I rejoice that we have found our victory and Captain Jack will have his airship. At least for the next three months.
- I examine the good Jack. He seems down though he has found his victory. Perhaps he is worried about his Orc, or perhaps the King’s briskness has chaffed his ego. The Hero is a complex man and it is not always clear what he is thinking.
- From behind the thrown a small humanoid emerges. This is the Agent Trace the King has told us of. Weather it is male or female is unclear. It has a dandelion puff of bright green hair and its eyes are pure white. Its face is amorphous hard to focus on in a way that sends my eyes to watering. The creature is hideous, but it is also somehow beautiful. I have very rarely seen changelings, at least that I am aware of. The experience has left me questioning my own preconceive conceptions on what defines appearance. What is Beauty? What is hideousness? I must think on this, dear reader, and get back to you.
- Trace stands beside the King as he congratulates us and calls for ale to toast our agreement. We all bow low to the King’s graciousness, and take hardy gulps of ale along with him.
- In a moment of inspiration I ask the King if he would allow me to interview him and write an article about his most exciting adventure. He has agreed and insisted we go out into the city of Wrote to crawl the pubs and taverns. We all go forth to see what the night will bring us within his royal presence. What a King Boranell is. What a Hero Jack. And though Lord Gut did not play a direct part in the acquisition of the airship, he did do his part in researching our options and standing by with plan B as he ever is. Even the Orc played his role. I almost begin to respect the wayward Cyrus, but then I remember that he is and Orc, for he reminds me with his brooding and his wild actions. Perhaps he is redeemable yet, however. Only time will tell.

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Entry 28: Jack’s First Love and the Motivations of the DoomBringer (Countinued)
Entry 28: Jack’s First Love and the Motivations of the DoomBringer (Countinued)

Find the previous section of Entry 28 (link is broken)
- As Janae introduces her strange guests she seems on the edge of annoyance. She is disheveled by their presence, not her usual self: the perfect avatar of the orderly mind. The elven woman stands at ease casting an imperious look over each of us in turn as Janae gives her name. She is Shara of the far away land of the Elves: the continent of Aerenal. Her costume is classically Aerenalian. The soft silken fabric wafts down her delicate form in rich purples, greens, and blacks. She wears much jewelry of stone and gold but nothing of such value to mark her as royalty. The woman is a mystery, and her strange effect on Janae does not endear me to trust her.
- It seems this lady Shara is an old acquaintance of Janae whom is visiting Sharn on vacation. Upon hearing of our appetite for adventure from the lovely Janae she asked that she be introduced. She offers the adventurers and I what she calls an opportunity. She wants us to go west into Droam to seek out an ancient elven tomb. She would have us bring her an ancient manifest of the kinship of the elves that once inhabited the region. She would pay us a total of five hundred coins and “let” us keep whatever else we found.
- EDIT What she did not share, that the good Lord Gut later discovered, is that the tomb she would have us raid has been long under the tenure of a vicious Droamian warlord. It also is likely to be filled with guardian revenants and the souls of long dead elven warriors. It seems the Lady Shara did not believe that we would risk such a journey for a mere five hundred coins, but knowing the Hero Jack Tobias’s penchant for adventure I believe she should have led with these details.
- Lord Gut appealed to Lady Shara with the most interesting of speeches. I must admit, readers, that a bit of it was over old Marian’s head, but the poetry of the words were nonetheless breathtaking and worth jotting down here. He said:
- “Look not to the skies, nor the depths below, nor even to the distant past or future. Seek the divine within, for the blood is the life, and in its call can be heard for the promise of eternal life. One has but listen.”
- Upon hearing these words the lady Shara seemed to be suddenly struck by a mood of thoughtfulness. She dropped, if but a little, her airs of pompous superiority. Her manservant seemed to take note of this and stiffened minutely. The lady Shara allowed a few questions from the DoomBringer at this point. He asked her of the tomb and of her intentions but she was ever coy. He once addressed her servant but he only bowed and said nothing. Eventually he came around to the subject of the Blood of Vol and the Emerald Claw. At their mention she returned to her former pose of disgusted authority and told us that these groups were but a symptom of the dysfunction that human governments allowed upon the continent of Khorvaire. She made it very clear how pitiful she thought us all in that moment. All but perhaps Janae who is herself half elven.
- At this point I chimed in with a candid question for the Lady Shara. I simply asked her whom she served and as I studied her response I knew it true. She serves only the council of the Undying, the governors of Aerenal. Both Lord Gut and myself still had many doubts but the Lady Shara was tired of our questioning and excused herself. She told us to let her know if we accepted her offer soon and we told her we would try to before the days end.
- After the Lady Shara and her manservant left Janae apologized for their presence. She explained that upon telling Shara of the Hero Jack Tobias and the magnificent Lord Gut Shara had insisted they meet so that she could propose her mission to us. After things settled Janae gifted me with a ward for my notes that guard them against physical damage. It was a lovely gift and I gave her much thanks.
- Janae has told us of the ancient goblin temple deep beneath the cogs: The tomb of Ager the fourth a goblin king from ages past. Under Sharn there are many lost wonders and horrors, from ancient plagues, to living spells gone mad. There might even be entire lost civilizations living in hidden nooks below the city. The temple is a nexus of dark energies and is the most likely place for the hidden cult of the Emerald Claw. It is well protected by blood magic and things even darker then Janae could explain. It is most likely filled with undead goblins and other revenants of ages lost. Janae has made it clear that she called us here not to meet Lady Shara but to tell us this and warn us of the danger we are in. She tells us that the eyes of the Emerald Claw are everywhere throughout the city. Perhaps even within the walls of the University where we now sit.
- Janae has told us of how the Emerald Claw uses the ancient magic of Darguun to bond power to themselves in evil blood rituals that are obscure and ancient.
- After a bit the conversation turns back to Lady Shara. I ask Janae where they met, here or in Aerenal, wondering if she had ever been to the other continent. She began to answer the question but then as if magically silenced stopped and in puzzlement told us that she could not remember. This put both Lord Gut and I on edge, but Jack and his Orc were loosing interest now that the conversation had turned from explanations of adventure. Jack excused himself to the restroom and the Orc sat in the corner silently staring at me with a look that could only be described as that of the pitchers.
- I immediately used my humble skills of deduction to try to see if anything seemed out of order in the room. It seemed that Janae had eaten here allow recently and that her strange guests had not shared the meal, but nothing else particularly strange could be detected. I questioned Janae about her true affiliations hoping not to offend her and she made it clear that she only served the University.
- Dropping the matter I gave the floor to Lord Gut who asked many questions about the Emerald claw and the elven tomb to the west. She told us of the volatile region in which the elven tomb was found, but had little more to say about the Boold of Vol or the Emerald Claw.
- As the chaps left I stayed behind to ask Janae if she would like to go for tea soon. I would like to pick her mind for the history and knowledge held there, if not for an article then for my own interest in such things.
- The fellows and I have made our way down to Tavit’s Landing to have a drink and a meal as we discuss our options. We hope that the crowds will hide us from the authorities and the eyes of the Emerald Claw.
- We have settled on a kobold buffet, yet it is quite over priced. I have bought the Orc his meal to reward him for behaving as civilized as could be expected in front of the lovely Janae. Perhaps this bit of positive reinforcement will encourage him to act as civil in the future. I know what you are thinking, dear reader, but one can hope. Even if that hope is wasted on the likes of the brutish Orc.
- After a quite spirited debate the lads and myself have decided to leave the city until things settle a bit. Jack has devised a plan to visit the capital and ask for an airship from the king. I at first thought such a plan only wishful thinking but Jack has swayed me. The Hero is wise. So wise that he can even remind old Marian that he isn’t always right. Upon discussing it our plans are now to get aboard a train and go to Wrote. There we will pitch to the King our plan to tour the nation with the pomp and circumstance of the Hero. We will remind Breland of its greatness, and the Hero Jack Tobias will be the arrow that points the way.
- Before we go I must visit my new publisher at the Corenberg Conical and update them on the new developments.
- EDIT My meeting with Mr. Jonah went very well. He purchased my article about the corruption in the Guard. He loved the idea of a book tour by airship and gave use the money needed to travel first class on the lightning line to Wrote. He did not like my idea of an article about the Orc but I think that once he reads it he will decide to publish it. I am still feeling him out about the book series about the DoomBringer.
- With fifty coins and first class tickets we board the train to Wrote. I have finally met Steve, Captain Jack’s mighty steed, and my what a noble beast he is. Well, Dear reader, until next time. Perhaps soon you might only need look to the sky to see the Hero Jack Tobias floating his way into a town near you. Keep your fingers crossed.

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Entry 28: Jack’s First Love and the Motivations of the DoomBringer
Entry 28: Jack’s First Love and the Motivations of the DoomBringer

- After the excitement within the Lower Menthes neighborhood I have clandestinely followed Jack and the Orc to a position much higher in the city. As I have walked through the crowds I have heard tell of the destruction of the guard tower and several other buildings within the Lower Menthes plaza. The rumors have spread very quickly, and I must ask myself are they true or just exaggeration. I must investigate when all of this trouble is over.
- Lord Gut has rejoined Jack and the Orc, melting out of the crowd to appear before them. After a playful chide by Jack and some small discussion I cannot make out the three men continue on through the city.
- The three have made there way into a upper crest Halfling neighborhood I have never been to before. They have knocked on a door. A fetching ginger Halfling has answered. I must get closer so that I can hear what they say.
- It seems Jack knows this woman. I hear talk of love past and coin due with interest. Is this comely Halfling some prostitute? No. It seems she is an old love of Jack’s. His first contact in the city.
- Jack pleads with the woman to let him in. To hide him in his time of need. She refuses demanding that first he pay her the coin he owe.
- The Orc produces some coin. His gesture is crude and simple but noble for such a basic creature.
- They have entered. I will approach and knock.
- I was admitted after I explained to the Halfling woman – Lucile is her name – that I was part of Captain Jack’s party. This did not seem to endure me to her. I am curious what past the two share.
- As we sit around the fire in the lovely Halfling parlor the chaps begin discussing the Emerald Claw. I will take this moment to jot down what I have shared with them.
- The Emerald Claw is a quite nasty religious organization from Karrnath. During the war they acted as the secret police and shock troops for Karrnath. They introduced the use of undead as soldiers and volunteered many necromages into the service of the army. After the war they wasted little time using their sway throughout every rung of the social and military order to enact a coup removing King Kaius I and putting in place their own figurehead. (For more see Wiki and Lure Spouted Notes)
- After I explained the state in which Karrnath currently finds itself Lord Gut chimed in. He told us of his true intentions here in the city of Sharn. It would seem that the Emerald Claw is in league with the cult of death known as the Blood of Vol. This cult is a common feature of cities all across the continent. I have even met practitioners in my homeland of Eldeen Reaches. But here in Sharn they have aspirations to become the national religion it seems. With the help of Karrnath they would overthrow the ruling powers of Sharn and Breland. That is why they were with the guard that is why they pursue Lord Gut. Because he plans to stop them.
- The DoomBringer has told us of a power hungry priestess who has used many names but now goes by Lady Demise. She is a woman of great power in the city and likely hides within the aristocracy.
- Lord Gut has shared his plans to destroy the rising power of the Blood of Vol in order to ask us to join him. In complete agreement Jack, and the Orc have set their minds to the DoomBringers mission. The three of them shall overthrow this Lady Demise for the citizens of Sharn and for Breland, and I shall help in what little ways I can as well. Stay tuned, dear reader, for more adventure and the fate of the capital city is to come.
- After an evening in the Halfling Lucile’s parlor Jack has somehow secured us stay for the next few days. The chaps need to lay low while the heat from their current ordeal burns down to embers. I on the other hand have no need to hide and must visit my local contacts to start pitching my story about the Emerald Claw and the corruption of the Guard. I also must Try to find a new publisher for my current book “The Hero Jack Tobias”.

- I had a little luck with publishers today and have heard of the great destruction in Lower Menthes. It seems that the fire in the shrine Lord Gut’s servant set spread quickly to consume most of the plaza. Several civilians died and over three dozen guards joined them. Dozens more were injured or maimed. It is truly sad what these destructive acts have wrought but remember, dear reader, that it was the corrupt guard that caused such destruction not our heroes.
- I have spoken to Jack about his old flame, Lucile, and I have interviewed the comely Halfling as well. The story they tell is sometimes tender sometimes tragic as young love so often is.
- When Jack was sixteen he left his life in the circus in central Breland and he jumped a train to the city. I have gone into much detail about this in previous writing so I will spare you the details of that trying time in his life.
- Once in the city Jack had nowhere to go. He wondered the city awhile until he grew sad and longed for a drink to ease his troubled mind. He entered the nearest pub and earned himself a pitcher with his wit and his acrobatic tricks.
- After he was well into his cups, happily entertaining the patrons of the pub, a young girl approached him and struck up a conversation. She was a beautiful young lass or at least he though she was. Truly Lucile was already 20 years of age and living successfully on her own at that point. She had seen the drunken Jack dancing for his dinner, she had heard his sad story of the homeless lad raised in the circus with no real family, and she had studied his handsome features and fell for them. She took pity on young Jack and offered him a place to stay.
- For weeks the two did not leave her home. They lived in bed never seeing the light of day, but eventually Jack began to sober from his weeks long haze and realized that Lucile was not a young girl but a Halfling. This did not change the mind of the noble Jack Tobias for he does not see race or creed only beauty, and the lovely Lucile is nothing if not beautiful.
- Jack began to long to see more of the world. Lucile wanted only to keep her love with her forever more. Jack began to believe that Lucile had taken advantage of him and he began to pull away.
- On night after a fight that ended in Lucile locking herself in her bedroom Jack took a purse of coins and went out into the night in search of a pub. He found instead his destiny. That night at the pub a wily recruiter signed Jack into the service of Breland and he was wisped away to an army barracks to begin his training. Breland had shanghaied him as they did so may youths of his generation, and young Jack had never had the chance to say goodbye to his love Lucile or even to return her coin. A tragic story, I know, but this is the type of sorted affair that has shaped our complicated hero. Jack Tobias is a human, a man like so many others, yet there is none quite like he. The daring acrobat, the man of great insight. Sometimes a fool, sometimes a wise man. But ever the Hero Jack Tobias.

- *EDIT This morning I have gone shopping with the Orc and helped the poor retch purchase a suit of armor that might keep him from succumbing to his suicidal nature.
- Speaking with Jack, I have just been notified of his mighty steed Steve. I have yet to meet the noble creature but am told he is being stabled at the edge of the city in case we need to make an escape. I had no idea the captain could ride such a mighty battle steed, for I have ever seen him behind the helm of his air ships. Yet I am not surprised that such a noble soul would possess the skill of a noble upon horseback.
- This evening it seems that our stay with the lovely Lucile is drawing to an end. She seems to be growing tired of our company and it would be impolite to continue to encroach on her hospitality.

- In my quest for a ward of protection for my notes, I have met a young woman named Janae. She is a half elf of much beauty and intelligence. She is a researcher at Morgrave University. She seems overlooked by the faculty there, but her knowledge and beauty is a testament to the greatness of ancient institution. The dark god Darguun is her research specialty but she has a mind for much esoterica.
- In our conversations we have visited the topic of the Blood of Vol cult and its influence and history within the city. Excitedly Janae has invited Lord Gut the DoomBringer along with those who would help him to come and speak with her.

- After an unpleasant night preparing to leave Lucile’s under her agitated gaze, the fellows and I have carried ourselves and our gear out into the world to find more adventure. We have headed to Morgrave to visit the lovely Janae.
- Upon being admitted into Janae’s study we find ourselves in the room with the bookish beauty and two others: a dark-skinned elven woman and a man with a skull tattooed obscuring much of his face. The latter seems to serve the former but it is unclear why they are here.

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Entry 27: More Drunken Foolishness in the Grand City of Sharn (Continued)
Entry 27: More Drunken Foolishness in the Grand City of Sharn (Continued)

Find the previous section of Entry 27 Here
- At this point the three of us took a moment to decide the best plan of action.
- Lord Gut swiftly donned what was left of the dead guardsman’s outfit. He somehow, perhaps magically, transformed in such a way that almost fools me.
- The Orc helped remove the blood and gore on the guardsman’s uniform. It was truly disgusting to witness the foul beast dispose of his victim in such a way. I had to step away dear readers. I am not ashamed to say that the disgusting scene made me vomit.
- As I stood aside in the shadows trying to gather myself after the brutality I had just witnessed and the arrow that still protruded from my shoulder, several guardsmen repelled onto the roof. Perhaps they had come from the pursuing boat, or perhaps from another nearby roof. It was not clear for I ducked into hiding.
- As I hid watching the DoomBringer enacted his plan, he somehow fooled the guards into believing he was one of them. I looked about but did not see his servant who had only moments before been near.
- Despite the bloody proof of the beast’s brutality that still stained the roof and the clothing that Lord Gut had donned the beguiled guardsmen believed that the disguised DoomBringer had single handedly captured the creature. I attribute it to the great wit of Lord Gut. He is a wily man.
- *EDIT Meanwhile Captain Jack still piloted the stolen cruiser. As he somehow miraculously pulled it out of the nosedive, he noticed that above him the other guard cruiser was still in furious pursuit. No one was nearby to hear but I can only imagine Captain Jack laughing aloud at the danger he faced.
- As Lord Gut and the three guardsmen marched the Orc down to street level and to the nearest guard tower I shuffled from roof to roof in pursuit, the best that I could in my injured state.
- *EDIT Meanwhile Captain Jack looped back around while losing his pursuers. He had seen the commotion on the roof and he knew where the guard would be taking the Orc. He has relayed to me that once he used a similar ploy with the Orc as mock prisoner. It did not end well in his telling and so he feared the same would happen in this instance.
- *EDIT As he rushed to our rescue he looked back to scan for the other guard boat. He did not see it but instead he saw that his cruiser was ablaze. Yet he did not worry, for the Hero Jack Tobias never worries.
- The DoomBringer and the Orc made there way into a large plaza surrounded by multilevel walkways that stretched up and down the tenements and market buildings about the plaza. At the far side of the plaza stood the guard tower adorned with the emblems of their order. I knew instantly where we were. This was the center of the Lower Menthes neighborhood.
- I could see that Lord Gut attempted to stall them as they headed for the tower. I found a place three stories up along a walkway and watched as he slowed their progress. I took the opportunity to set down my notes and take care of the arrow that perturbed from my shoulder. I had seen many men dress their own wounds across the battlefields of Aundair and eastern Breland but I had never had to do it myself. I broke the head off of the arrow leaving the shaft sticking out just enough to grip when I could later remove it. I made a makeshift bandage and wrapped my shoulder to stanch the bleeding. Then I heard a commotion overhead and scrambled for my notes.
- *EDIT As Captain Jack neared the plaza he realized that he had lost most of the steering of his boat. The guard cruiser was still nowhere to be seen but he still had problems. His boat was going up fast and the flames were now within the rearmost section of the cabin. The boat was beginning to crumble as the Plaza finally came into view.
- *EDIT As he came around a tall tower he saw that above the plaza floated the other cruiser, but he could do nothing to avoid it. The cruisers smashed together in a horrific light show. Together they smashed into the guard tower sending stone and guardsmen raining to the street.
- *EDIT Captain Tobias somehow leaped free of the wreckage, and in an acrobatic feat used the towers and walkways to descend to the street unharmed. He landed just at the feet of the party that surrounded the Orc. I later asked him what thoughts rushed through his mind at that moment. Dear reader you may think that he was feeling triumph and pride as he had every right to in a moment like that one, but he told me that he felt regret. Regret for the lives of the guardsmen that were lost. Regret for the destruction he had wrought.
- *EDIT Consider this, dear reader: Was it the fault of Jack Tobias that the Sharn City Guard in their pervasive corruption allowed the Emerald Claw to use there men and boats in pursuit of Lord Gut and whoever might be with him. Perhaps you might blame the Orc, and sure he has committed enough crimes and murders in this story alone to deserve the justice of Sharn to descend upon him, but ask yourself why it was that the guard provoked him in the first place. It is well known that he has a temper. It is well known the deeds and exploits of Jack Tobias and his Orc and the respect the Captain garnishes from all those about the city, be they guard or civilian. Yet on that night the guard treated Jack and his brutish companion as if they were nothing more then common rogues. It must be that someone of power does not want the great Jack Tobias associated with the causes of Lord Gut the DoomBringer. It must be that the corruption of the guard is even more pervasive then once believed.
- Just then, as Jack landed before them, Lord Gut released the bonds that held the Orc. The beast unleashed his rage upon the nearby guards in a fearsome roar.
- Lord Gut stepped out of the group of guards and drew his small crossbow.
- One of the guards jumped onto the Orc and pinned his sword arm in place. As the Orc struggled against him the guard plunged his sword into the beast’s side. Seeing the fury in the monster’s eyes the guardsman leaped back to free himself of the Orc.
- Meanwhile Captain Jack swept the legs from beneath a nearby guard and incapacitated him.
- During this Lord Gut lay down covering fire but did not make any direct hits.
- In fury the Orc charged his opponent and smashed him through a nearby wall.
- At that point I moved down the walkway to get a look within the building. Within was a shrine to Onatar the fire god. The Idol had been knocked over and fallen into the eternal flame below the altar. Flames leaped in angry wisps nearby as the Orc bit a large chunk out of his victim. The man screamed in horror as blood gushed from his wound.
- What came next I am tempted not to write here, but I must to illustrate the brutality of the beastly Orc. Dear readers this is not for those of weak stomach. I myself nearly vomited once more upon witnessing this scene. The Orc proved that his brutality has no bounds as he ripped the head from the still breathing guardsman and tossed it into the street with a bloody roar. It bounced to a stop at the foot of the final guard who took that as his cue to flee screaming into the night.
- The denizens of the neighborhood began to stir awake during the brief moments of the battle I have just described. Wailing and shouts came from the guard tower as more of it crumbled away. Heads poked out of darkened windows to get a glimpse of what the awful commotion was outside.
- Several guards and a few women came bursting out of the doors of the guard tower completely oblivious to the freshly ended battle. Before them in the street was the rubble of the tower and the bodies of those who had fallen to their deaths.
- Lord Gut took that moment to make a distraction. He sent his servant into the shrine on a mission to help the fire spread. The shrine burst into flames consuming the poor servant as it did. Perhaps it was the anger of the fire god that consumed the lowly ethereal servant or perhaps only bad luck but whatever it was his mission was a success.
- The chaps used the distraction to try to bust down an iron door that led into the sewer. Meanwhile I made my way down a level and nearer to the action.
- I witnessed the Orc try to slam through the sewer door, but even his monstrous strength could not budge the stout iron door.
- It seems that the denizens of the plaza are now fully aware of the commotion and who caused it.
- Oh bother the lads have fled afoot down an alley. I must follow them atop the roofs.
- I have seen Lord Gut leap from a ledge to float away from Jack and his Orc. I suppose they have decided to split up and meet back up later.
- After much running and scrambling Jack and his Orc have come to the edge of a magical enclosure that holds a great herd of zephyralos (the staple cattle of Sharn). Jack goes within a small shack that butts up against the enclosure.
- Whatever is happening inside must be very strange indeed. I have seen the Orc make an expression of puzzled disgust that I have never witnessed on the simple beast before.
- Oh my, dear reader. I have moved to get a look within and what I have seen. It is not to be written here. I am sorry my readers, but decency demands I keep my silence.
- After a strange confrontation Jack and the Orc have somehow released the magical beasts in an aerial stampede. A large bearlike man with a bushy white beard comes forth from the shack screaming obscenities as Jack and the Orc flee in comic fashion.
- Into the night our hero vanishes as the neighborhood of Lower Menthes descends into chaos. Perhaps some of you believe it Jack’s fault, but remember that if he had not taken the actions he did then perhaps now he would lay dead a victim of the Emerald Claw and the guard they use as their cats paw. The death of those guards within the tower and those dispatched by Captain Tobias and his companions are casualties of a private war. A war waged against Lord Gut by the Emerald Claw and whoever in the city is supporting them. Jack Tobias can only follow his impeccable instincts. And on this night his instincts told him that if he and Lord Gut did not survive then some great enemy to the people of Sharn would have won, and they would have used their victory to garnish even more power over the many.
- Yet the good captain regrets the deaths of his enemies, for he is a complex man. A man of subtle emotion. A man of both Humility and Pride. On a night that started in celebration and carousing the true dignity of the hero has shined through. The enemy of Sharn has revealed one of its slimy tentacles and Jack Tobias has severed that evil appendage. Only the future will expose who is behind this evil, but stay tuned, dear reader, as our hero discovers the truth.

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Entry 27: More Drunken Foolishness in the Grand City of Sharn
Entry 27: More Drunken Foolishness in the Grand City of Sharn

Captain Jack and the Orc’s Drunken buffoonery has caused more strife.

The three of us went out on the town; Jack and the Orc in celebration of Jack’s recent poker winnings, and myself as the observer of their adventures.

Lord Gut joined us in the tavern. He emerged from the shadows and allowed me to question him. I find the man and his mysterious past quite intriguing.

Just as the self-styled “Doombringer” was beginning to open up about future plans, the Orc casually murdered yet another city guardsman. It is not uncommon for the fowl beast to let his temper get the best of him.

Of course, the lovable Captain Tabias did his best to calm the situation. He even offered to make things right with his winnings. Unfortunately, he could not produce the money, for he and the Orc had spent it all on drink. It was too late for calm words, as more city guard arrived and nothing could be done.

The two decided to flee and, luckily for them, Lord Gut’s magical assistant had somehow procured a nobleman’s skiff. Seeing that Lord Gut was to join the others I too tagged along hoping to capture the adventure.

Jack, in daring fashion, piloted the flying skiff onto its side to fit through a small gap in an attempt to escape the pressuring guards and their large floating boats.

Oh my, we have lost Lord Gut. Against my pleading that we make good our escape, Captain Tobias Is swooping back to pick him up.

Jack’s piloting and – not to toot my own trumpet, but – my strong words of encouragement have allowedd the Orc the strength and positioning to grip Lord Gut and pull him back aboard.

The daring Jack is now piloting us straight up into the air.
*EDIT Just after Lord Gut was safely back aboard the drunken Orc convinced Captain Tobias to – as he put it – “Do a barrel roll.” This maneuver caught both Lord Gut and myself unprepared and we both flipped over the edge.
*EDIT The Orc “saved us” but then immediately leaped off of the skiff to attack the guard cruiser below, taking us with him. How this foolish beast has survived so long I am not sure, but I do not want his foolish antics to be the death of me. This I can tell you.

We landed on the roof of the guardsmen’s boat awkwardly. Lord Gut and myself have stayed atop but the Orc has fallen over.

Just now the Orc has somehow made his way into the cabin of the cruiser and is using his brutish nature against the authorities.

Oh, and yes! Now I can see that above us Captain Tobias is lining up a strafing run. We are saved!

Lord Gut has daringly thrown himself into the fray below. He would aid the Orc, though I doubt the beast would return the favor.

I took a peek inside at the melee and saw something most unusual. Alongside the officers of the law are two armored knights of the Karrnath Emerald Claw. They clearly display the hooked hand about a emerald globe upon their surcoats. I know from experience that these two must be undead. They are probably little more then rotted skeletons within their fancy armor. Not unlike Lord Guts assistant, who even now fights beside him.

As I looked inside, Captain Tobias has collided with us pushing us down just in time to miss a bridge. He has saved the day in dashing fashion as he so often does.

The Orc is a fearsome beast. I regret to say that he has murdered more city guards.
Lord Gut has out maneuvered the two undead mystery knights. Why are the Sharn city guard in leage with these evil creatures? There is no doubt in my mind it is in connection with the doombringer, but why do they seek him? I will need to get to the bottom of this, and soon enough I will let every citizen know just how corrupt their guard is.

The Orc continues to murder. I am sure, readers, that you are very used to such evil tales about the creature, but I can say that it still sickens me to see him treat the authorities so.

The brave Captain Jack has flipped over the side to help his loathsome orc, but in the confusion an arrow has struck him. Oh no, what will our hero do now?

While all were distracted by the Captain’s entrance, Lord Gut has shot one of the revenant knights with his bow.
In my bravest voice I shout down at the lads to bolster their bolts and fight the good fight against the Emerald Claws and the corrupt guardsmen that serve them.

Jack is now fully engaged in a struggle to take control of the cruiser.

While distracted by the battle within, I have been thoroughly shot through with an arrow that came from another cruiser hot in pursuit. Blood is everywhere, but I have saved this document from slipping over the edge. If I die at least the truth will live on.

As I lie dying I look over the side to see the Orc launch one of the Revanant knights into the abyss.

I have pulled myself to a position where I can better watch the action. Within, Lord Gut has distracted the guardsman who was fighting with Jack for control of the boat.

Meanwhile Jack uses his charisma to distract the man and make him truly focus on Lord Gut.

I have seen Lord Gut use his eerie persona to strike fear into the guard, for he is gripped in horror. A pitiful victim of Lord Guts Ethereal Chill.
*EDIT At this point Captain Jack Pulled the airbrake. In my weakened state I was unable to do anything more then grab hold of my notes and tumble over the side.
*EDIT Within I am told that Lord Gut took hold of the fearful guardsman as they free floated and took from him his talisman of floating. Then the poor man was grabbed up by the monstrous Orc. Though the creature was secure within the boat he decided to take his chances outside of it.
*EDIT I fell swiftly to my doom to my great woe, but in his majestic benevolence Lord Gut rescued me and used the talisman of floating to land us both atop a roof.
*EDIT Meanwhile the Orc murdered yet another guard by taking the poor, terror struck lad along as he tried to commit suicide by abrupt stop. The aftermath was gruesome yet somehow the brute still lives.
The three of us, Lord Gut, The nefarious Orc, and myself have now been separated from the brave Captain Jack and the airboat. But we are together and marshaling our retreat before the authorities come down on us again.

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