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February 18, 2014 11:17
Some excerpts from the journal of David, Battle Cleric of Balthac

… After days of travelling through the wild lands of southern Darokin, we finally arrive at the small town of Gromlet, seat of the magistrate of Veluna, at dusk on the 21st of Flaurmont. The town appears to be an almost exact replica of the small Karameikian town of Hamlet, but that was in the previous timeline- I will continue to be amazed by the weird similarities that exist in the most unexpected places. I certainly do not understand the true complexity of time travel. The town has a variety of shops and places of interest, despite being located seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Being exhausted and weary from our long journey, we go directly to the Welcome Wench Inn. The innkeeper, a large beefy man named Ostler Gundigute, warmly ushers us in. There are few people currently at the inn, mostly merchants and travelers, as well as an armed man who could be an adventurer of sorts. He invites us to sit at a table with a robed young man, who introduces himself as Spark, a Glantrian wizard seeking adventure and knowledge. Without hesitation, he asks to join us on our mission against the creatures of Chaos that have taken root in the area. Being short on arcaners, we welcome him to the party and Lindsay begins eagerly chatting him up. Unfortunately, he treats her with a fair degree of disdain because she has not studied in Glantri, but encourages her to strive to attend the Great School of Magic.

Not long after we are seated, a town guard sitting to the south unexpectedly leaves. I am quickly suspicious of his departure, and inquire the innkeeper about him. Indeed the guard is well known, and not a new addition to the force, so my mind is eased of the suspicion that he might be a wicked spy, but I am still concerned that our arrival spurred his departure. Since I am famished, I order the 7 course meal with a high quality mead, and eagerly dig in. We ask the innkeeper about any unusual activity in the area, to which he has no information. However, when we mention the Temple, fear overcomes him as he states that he cannot speak of it, and withdraws from our company. Clearly things are not as they should be- but this town has long lived in the shadow of the temple, perhaps they have developed a culture of fear that has remained since the great and terrible days of the temple’s zenith. In any case we find out no more information from him. As we finish, several guards enter the tavern, approach us, and inform us that Lord Grom would like to meet us. Without them saying so, we all assume that Lord Grom is the Magistrate of this frontier area. The town guard escort us to the watch tower. It is unimpressive, and hardly appears to be the proper seat of a noble. Close by is a large construction site where a more impressive and fortified keep is being constructed. It occurs to me that Lord Grom may be a newly appointed Magistrate, and is determined to make changes where his predecessors have fallen short.

Upon entering the tower I encounter two familiar faces- those of Rufus and Bern from the village of Hamlet from the other timeline- and so I am continuously baffled by the effects of the time warp. Naturally neither of them know who we are. Sir Rufus, a burly looking fighter, introduces himself as the Castellan of Lord Grom and Bern, a robed slender figure, as the vizier of Lord Grom. They begin to question us about our intentions in the area. I talk about our desire to root out the forces of chaos, but our new companion Spark sees through to their own desires, and asks if they need any particular assistance from a party of adventurers. Sir Rufus begins to speak with caution, looking about himself as if others could be listening. He tells us that the Temple is returning, that evil is coming from within it. He does not know its exact location, but informs us that it is close by to Nulb. Since it is our intention to head there anyway, we readily accept the task. They also fully provision us in preparation for our journey. Night has now fallen, so we retire for the evening.
We wake and head to the Church of St. Cutbert early on the 22nd of Flaurmont. We hope to purchase some healing potions or something of the sort from the priests of the church. The church itself seems to be attributed to several different immortals revered in Darokin. When we enter we are approached by a priest, who introduces himself as Kalmer, but all he does for us is show us to Bishop Tershon. Tershon is rude, treats us with contempt, and is utterly unhelpful other than to sell us some holy water. After our brief meeting with Tershon, Kalmer tells us that the true bishop of the church, Yday, suddenly left some time ago and has not been heard from since. Bishop Tershon is now the acting Bishop. I am suspicious of Tershon, but it is easy to be suspicious of rude, unhelpful people when they are in positions of power. He may just be incompetent at dealing with other people- I feel pity for his flock.

After the episode at the church we immediately set out east for Nulb. We arrive after about 2 hours of riding. The poverty of Nulb is crushing, and it is no wonder it is a haven for cutthroats and bandits. However, rather than taking a delicate approach, since one of us alone probably carries more wealth than the entire population combined, we decide to barge into the Boatmen’s Tavern. Spark presumptuously offers 50 of my own gold to anyone willing to take us to the Temple. The whole Tavern nearly jumps up to attack us and rob us blind, but upon seeing our equipment and obvious readiness for battle, they reconsider. One man stands and approaches us, and advises we follow him quickly before the whole town sets upon us. He takes us to an old building were 6 other individuals are waiting for him. He introduces himself as Parn, leader of the Broken Blades. I am inwardly amused that they have given themselves such a cute name. Our party could demolish this group in seconds, and we still do not waltz around with silly titles for our motley band. Parn explains that they are mercenaries, and are willing to take us to the Temple for the 50gp offered back at the Tavern. We head out immediately in order to avoid drawing any more unwanted attention then we already have.

Parn takes us along the southern road out of Nulb. The further along the road we travel, the more twisted and wicked the vegetation becomes. Indeed the land itself is corrupted around the Temple. Finally we arrive at the Temple. The grounds are littered with the bones of many humanoids. The Temple grounds have been razed and destroyed, but the cathedral itself stands eerily pristine. Parn and his men are eager to depart, so we pay them and send them on their way- we have no desire to share in the treasures of the venture should we be successful! I look to Balthac, knowing I will need every ounce of strength and blessing he can provide to me. This adventure will be dangerous, deadly- it is likely that not all of us will return.

After assessing the Temple at a distance, we decide to approach. As we near the gate Camarau stops us, his Elf ears catching the sounds of nearby talking. We position ourselves for battle, and call out to them, inviting them to come forward and treat with us. They instead beckon us to them. Rather than deal with a possible ambush ahead, Spark lets loose a mighty fireball, which destroys the entirety of the bandit party save two, which he finishes off with more minor spells. I am impressed by his show of force, and pleased that we have an evoker amongst us, but wonder if such a powerful spell had been better saved for later. However, we do not know what tricks the bandits had up their sleeves, and Spark may have saved us from a more irritating than expected engagement.

We approach the Temple, the arcaners detecting magic along the way. The temple doors shine bright with enchantment, and we know that to try the doors would be foolish. I approach close enough to examine the doors, but far enough away to avoid any explosive runes or the like. The main door is a set of two huge bronze doors. Magical runes can be seen etched into the door glowing in a silvery radiance. The two side doors are heavy, thick doors made from bronze wood. We begin trying to problem solve the best way to enter the cathedral. We explore some options with the windows and Gimbly, but decide it is probably best not to put the gnome into such peril by himself. To the northeast we see a constable of ravens circling a broken tower. We decide to investigate the tower in the hopes of finding some other entrance into the catacombs below the cathedral.

As we approach, Gimbly informs us that he can speak with the ravens thanks to a spell he possesses. He casts the spell, and begins to try to communicate with them. They are aggressive and angry, but indicate that they are guarding something in the tower. Before we can continue the conversation, the unkindness descends upon us, passing through a formerly unseen magical illusion, and reveal that they are actually giant ravens. They surround us, pecking and biting at us. I strike out at one, slaying it. Others of the team are downing ravens around them. I miss several times, and take a hefty peck. Octavious clears the rest of the ravens that are surrounding me, so I move south and slay a raven near Camarau. The battle is over in half a minute, the ravens smitten to the earth. We look to the entrance of the tower and see that it is barred and chained from our side- worrisome that such a place of evil would be interested on keeping something locked in, unless they were prisoners. We now ponder our next actions carefully, not wanting to release some powerful monster, but not wanting to leave helpless prisoners to their suffering…

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