by quinzi (lex) late winterfall, just before 1 ss
TLDR: Freelance team exploring rumors of ruins 2 days’ travel south of Verloren.
Quinzli’s journal, entry numbered 1,131. Between a heavily-annotated recipe for some kind of mango-jam pastry with a map of the day’s travels beneath, and half-finished pastel sketches of a large turtle and a rat carrying an apple.
It is either my tenth or eleventh day on a new continent. It is rather difficult to recall, having left in an appalling rush. Whatever else is true of the Consortium’s men, they are an admirably dedicated bunch, may it please their wretched masters. Regardless, they are once again behind me for a while.
I have made camp for a second night south of Verloren. Graced by a bit of luck, I met a fellow fledgling arcanist named Astrid, accompanied by Cylw Cylowbr Clybo Cylobobr a knight. Apparently a well-traveled gentleman with noble blood, though I have no cause to hold that against him. We will see if history repeats itself. They were headed south with news of curious ruins. Enough reason for a walk.
Trappers near the edge of the forest provided a simple map of the area. Much opportunity for errors. A good start nonetheless. They mentioned trade with a red goblin tribe. Curious. Heard no stories of such alliances down south, but perhaps the years are finally catching up to me.
We began down the road, spotting ravens in the air. Just an elk corpse, with no obvious signs of what killed the poor beast. Cylow believed it was killed less than a day ago, and I have no reason to doubt him. A bit further along, we found a sizable obelisk, perhaps some curious relic of a past civilization. It was deliberately marked, but with no writing I recognized from any land in Sanctus. Astrid has a rubbing I must study later. Much as I wished to remain, Astrid’s rubbing will do. We continued.
An inexplicable set of leather armor lay in the road, mildly overgrown. A flat boulder south of the road. I saw no reason to pause, but my companions disagreed, so we investigated. The interior smelled of wet fur, and as Astrid peeked inside, an arrow hit her. Fired by a shabby-looking fellow with two companions. We retaliated, dropping two of the poor fellows, and the third fled. I was not inclined to pursue, but my companions disagreed. Brutal, but understandable. Naive of me, perhaps, but I shall take the next opportunity to counsel mercy. It is possible our assailants were simply desperate men. Resources are scarce in this land, after all.
The men dispatched, we checked their hideaway. I discovered what appears to be a torn-up scroll and a golden holy symbol hidden in a drinking mug. Leftovers from a holy man assailed by the bandits, perhaps. I must assemble the scroll later. Astrid discovered an apricot-sized lump of wax containing some curiosity in the middle. It rides with me. So many little mysteries.
There was a cave mouth south of the road, but well away. Something for the trip back. We crossed the mapped river without incident, though my knees aren’t what they were. A bit unsteady, walking across that tree. We picked up the pace, cutting across a switchback on the trappers’ map. Fortune smiled and experience guided us through, saving several hours. Regaining the path, we found a small shrine, familiar to Astrid. A shamanistic totem, apparently. I left some apricots among the offered flowers and fruits. May it please whatever spirits roam this place.
I found several four-leaf clovers in a field where the path forked. Old talismans of fortune, so why not? While gathering them, I stumbled across and collected a curious key. Pewter, and nicely worked, with a head like a mouse’s face.
Making good time, we decided to make a short diversion to a black spot on the trappers’ map. We found two large trees with roots knitted across the path in a peculiar way. Not natural, I suspect. Cylowboborow spotted a short ladder leading to a room behind one of the trees. A small dwelling laid at the top, sized for a halfling or gnome. A chest at the center, but I advised against disturbing the natives. My companions agreed, and we made camp nearby for the night. I took my usual precautions before sleeping, and my wards were disturbed near the end of the first watch. Cylow heard something with two legs running away. Whoever (whatever, perhaps) it was, they took precautions to hide themselves from sight.
Beginning my watch, I reset the wards and left a bit of a treat just outside. Shortly past midnight, the little bag of fruit took off. Whoever was out there does not strike me as a threat. Curious, merely. Understandable. We are strangers here.
In the morning, we checked the dwelling again, finding no one home. There was some debate about passing through the crossed roots, but with no solid reason to do so and the suspicion that our curious friend may have been a guardian of the place, we turned back to the clover clearing and proceeded into the marches. Vegetation thinned and the path became spotty, dipping into the water and weaving through cattails. Astrid noticed a large rat with intelligent eyes who seemed to be watching us. Another curious creature. Astrid fed it a fresh apple, and strangely, it returned to give her a silver piece. Delightful! But no clue as to where it came from.
We continued. The rat followed us for a short way. We came upon a large crocodile sunning itself, but it paid us no mind. Another small altar beneath a tree at the edge of the marsh, but we had no time for it, as we spotted a huge turtle swimming toward us. A sluggish creature, so we simply stayed ahead until it gave up the chase. It is likely that we unknowingly approached its nest. No harm done.
We took a rest in a beautiful glade on the north end of the swamp around midday. Without the dense forest surrounding us, we made excellent time. Shortly after our rest, we spotted the ruins from the trappers’ map. Astrid, it turns out, had a companion watching over us. An owl who reported some “bad meat” (amusing phrase!) on the road ahead. 1 watching the road, 4 in the ruins. We approached cautiously, sneaking through the woods to the castle. Inside, we found 4 dead goblins, killed by deep, narrow slashes. Much like spiders from the jungles, but before I finished that thought, Cylow spotted what seemed to be enormous bats flying at us. They were slow enough that I was able to shoot an orb at them, but my reflexes did not serve me well. Two bats pinned me in a corner. While I was able to burn two down, they still knocked me out with some terrible poison. Not the first time, but it does not get more pleasant.
Cylow and Astrid woke me up, and we elected to spend the night in the ruins. With some tea, I settled down to identify a few items they found. A jeweled dagger which appears to be enchanted, a golden statue made by elves, and a number of personal items. It seems one of our goblins enjoyed a game of bones, and were attempting to erect a red decoration of some sort.
I rested for the remainder of the evening, keeping to my tea and books. It was a trying day, and this entry has run long. Must keep them more brief in the future. Hopefully tomorrow’s trek is less exciting dangerous. I will sharpen my wits, gods be pleased.
Witnessed and recorded by Quinzli of the Scale, Akayi Transmuter.
The journal entries here are provided by the active player characters participating in the Detroit Marches.
All Abaza Amaranth Aredhel Lethe Astrid Gilrin Atuji Of Clan Greatscale Audra Ayten Gilrin Basil Benedict Greenfield Black River Swamp Blackscale Brea Daergle Brynn Bryn Naikaho Cavalier's Watch Chat Clan Shimmerscale Crimson Surgeon Cylowboborow Nonsoon Demogorgon Diamondshard Banwyze DILONDORG KAAL Doros Doross Dorros Dredge Dufdor Dwain Eilis Eilis Gilrin Eladrinne Escobar Fagan Far Reach Fort Providence Gator Rock Genji The Wererat Glin Ybendawien Droat Golden Apple Great Cataclysm Griffin's Roost Grildor Trueforge Haldor Kemleigh Ham Hamilton Hekili Nalani HEYKITD GETOFF MELAYN Icegate Jerimiah Jerwin Jinn Kanyu Il Senya Kathra Kegrove Kellen McCall Kenku Kiera Lyssandria Kohaku Ruim Koltalon Kresh Krolan Kunyata Kar Leatherhead Liam Buckham Liana Lindir Lizardfolk Longtail Lucretzia Borgia Makani Pahili Malmir Merelda Meznen Midden Heap Mindartis Morgrimm Naill Amakir Namfoodle Nehi Xum Nehi-Xum New Cadeni Njord Noric Synphase Noxochiyotl Obelisks Of The Bayou Omgar Onen Peter The Wolf Phoncledeh Player Character Journal Entry Polar Bear Polg Pollen Quinzli Rabbits Ralthor Rawq Elrid Rhogar Roscoe Greenfeld Rotten Morgan Bonecrusher Rube Lastname Ruins Salazar Sang Woo Ser Mathius Shaena Tosscobble Silent Mockingbird Som Sorrel Summerport Syndar Beratos Tabaxi Tainted Falls Teddy Bear Tharrus The Fist Theobold Peacekeeper Thur’a’ugh Tormund Firehammer Tortles Treewalker Truss Stacianodel Udoroth UDOROTH THAMMILIDAAR Umberlee Underdark Valaquaraptors Vandil Varron Greensleeves Vengir Duskhallow Verloren Yuan Ti Zorak Dreadmast