The Enemy of My Enemy is...

Entry 4: Stone Doors, Stone Men

Stone Doors, Stone Men

After the fight with the undead, Maddox ended up with the small orb that Yurik had picked up off of the leader. The group of adventurers headed further into the depths of the cave inside of Uldany’s Stockades and came upon a curious chamber. The room held a bunch of stone statues in various combat poses, including a massive dragon statue. There was a magically sealed door on the far side of the room, as well as a large stone door sitting in the center of the room, not attached to anything else.

The carvings on the stone door spoke of a portal it guards, and how the door could only be opened by someone who has opened it before unless they had a key. They key was priceless but burdensome on its holder. Faced with a dead end, they returned to the surface and reported the missing Mason to Justicar Fel. They did not, however, mention their encounter with the undead.

They were asked to sit a moment while Fel met with a group of dwarves from Bar’Dur, demanding that they release the Mason to them along with the Diamond Core. They refused to accept that it had not been found yet and accused Uldany of trying to steal it for themselves. They warned that if their demands were not met, their thane, King Baccus the Unmoving, would no longer carry ‘tolerance’ for Uldany’s leadership.

After the dwarves departed, the group was assigned a spirit-talker to accompany them on their missions from then on. Familiar with the wild, he would be considered a big help. After a brief exchange, Freya told Fel that the Mason had given them instructions on making a key to the Diamond Core’s hiding place. Pleased, the Justicar sent them off to obtain the key at any cost. They were futher instructed to deliver a package to the Governor of Stonewall and a sealed letter to the Thane of the Dwarves. They were told to assist those in need in the name of Uldany, and if they came across the traitor Prince or his band of miscreants sent out to find the Diamond Core, they were to apprehend them if possible, kill them if not.

Opting for Stonewall as a primary destination, the group set out. For the entire time, Maddox endured nightmares where he would cut his eye out with a sharp dagger and stare at his empty socket in a mirror. Likewise, Raze had daydreams whenever his mind wandered of stomping Maddox to death and taking they orb they had found below Uldany from him.

They arrived in Stonewall and found the way to the Free Lands sealed under order of the Governor. Apparantly, a sickness had broken out at some villages nearby and he didn’t want it spreading if it were a plague. The group delivered the package, as instructed, then successfully bribed the Governor to allow them to pass into the Free Lands.

They came upon a town where the people were sick. It wasn’t a fatal illness yet, but the spirit-talker of the group was able to discern that the reason for the illness was that swamp water had leaked into all of their wells. The self-proclaimed mayor of the little hamlet they were in told them a sad story about his daughter being taken away by the Stone Men for a crime that he was not aware of.

Freya spotted a massive footprint along the side of his house, and the group followed it into the swampy wilderness. After a day of travel, they came upon a half-sunk ruin bearing the mark of the High King of Uldany, noting the location as forbidden. Since they were not currently in Uldany, however, the group decided to ignore the mark and head into the depths. After an encounter with some weird muddy monsters, they managed to find the Stone Man and some hired help. They subdued one of the hired men and questioned him, but the other two died in the conflict. The Stone Man was knocked unconscious, turning back into a normal human. Maddox removed the item they wanted from him, his magical medallion, and the man woke and screamed as he dissolved into glittering dust.

The mayor’s daughter was found on a stone table at the end of the room, sliced completely down the middle and bled out. The blood bubbled curiously, catching Yurik’s attention. On the table was painted a mural of a giant orc with one eye chasing an army of people that were fleeing from him. He had a massive sword and was throwing balls of fire at them. Yurik was suddenly overcome with rage when Maddox spoke to him, causing him to strike his comrade. A fight almost broke out in the group, but they regained themselves in time. They paid the captured man what the Stone Men promised to pay his family for sacrificing himself by taking this job, then let him go.

Comments

What will become of us? I do not know. I am bloody well uncertain of most things these days. My dreams have taken a strange turn. I am both horrified and curious. The pain feels so real. I am left worried and puzzled. Sometimes in a dream a broadsword is just a broadsword. However there are many times where dreams have deeper meaning or are portents and then only thing that leads me to the latter conclusion is the reoccurrence of the same dream to the exclusion of others with a marked progression in the events with in the same dream.

Note to self: work on my waking pain tolerance so that i may stay in the dream state longer. 1) to get more sleep,Bloody thing wakes me up 2). so see where my unconscious mind takes me

As to the orb what a strange little thing. Its obviously magical that much I know. The yellow iris in the thing follows me as I move it, as if its watching me. other than that it remains a mystery. A little bobble who’s purpose is closed to me and in my sworn pursuit of knowledge I must discover its function. That is why I had to hide that fact that I posses it from Raze. It obviously got some kind of hold over him when he possesed it, that is yet another fact of the device. Though I seem to be immune to the effect. I told him I thought it was nicked from my pocket in Stonewall. He seemed to beileve me that is good. His obsession is unhealthy…. and it’s mine.

We dealt with the stone man. What a messed up system this lot has, and a question I have is who deals with them when they do something wrong? Who is the stoneman’s stoneman?
We rode into town. According to the spirit talker they are suffering from a flu like sickness that has lasted 2 weeks. someone said the stonemen have gone crazy so we hunted them down and took one out. Stonemen use medallions made form the bound spirits of earth. Spirits might make most uneasy but do they deserve that? The spirit talker and his… “companions” don’t seem so bad, helpful even. There is a price for their power though. I removed the medallion from the defeat man and he died a dusty death. Either way I am uncomfortable with the way we handled it not knowing the full story and I wish I could’ve talked with the stoneman. Though apparently he was preforming a blood ritual. though not unknown to me. It is generally not preformed by people with the best or noblest intentions. (unless they are very young and don’t know what they are getting into… or how permanent it might be).

well we have the first part of The Mason’s key. I hope he is alright and I hope more is revealed in my dreams.

Note to Self: watch the half-orc. He is unstable and seems to have no self preservation. He marched bolded as brass into the stoneman’s…“Lair”? and he punched me with no (little) provocation.

also it was awfully nice of me to give our prisoner his fair pay of gold. Life doesn’t have to suck for everyone. If I can only make the world a better place with little gestures then I will do what I can.

The orb is mine.

Entry 4: Stone Doors, Stone Men
 

What an odd group of people…

I don’t know what to think. They seem somewhat tolerant of me, which is good I suppose. I’m tired of hiding what I am. I’m tired of the bigots, tired of the ignorance, and the superstition. I don’t know how they can’t see the beauty in these spirits, how they embody nature,and the intricate patterns. Even the unfriendly snake I called, if you looked carefully you could see the iridescent scales, and the way the light shimmered just so, off of them, and to watch him dissipate into the ground. I can’t imagine being cut off from such a thing.

These stone men boil my blood. They bind a spirits essence to these trinkets so that they may take the form of the “stone man.” To what end? They bind something whole, and get a twisted ruminant. The spirits where my only companions for many years, and to me, this is no different than hunting down your fellow man so you can stitch together a particular fine leather armor out of their hide. I want to hunt down these stone men and eradicate their order. I want to grind all of their precious medallions into dust, and burn any record of the heinous crimes against nature they have committed.

Do these Stone Men have anything to do with the imbalances here? Swampland encroaching on civilization? Mud caverns that don’t collapse? Blood Rituals? Something is amiss here,and my gut tells me someone is tampering with the elemental spirits, I don’t know to what end, but if I had to put money on it, I’d say they’re binding elementals to their will.

The company is good enough so I guess I’ll stay with these adventurers for a while, although I wouldn’t mind dropping the half-orc down a swamp infested well. Earlier he was prating on about how magic-users are tools and what not. It’s more of the same I guess, but in light of the new found tolerance it seems all the more ugly. Once more he’s one unbalanced SOB. I think the mage should have burnt him to a crisp, and left naught but his blackened boots. Let’s see a tool do that!

I’m glad to be out of uldany, at least.

Entry 4: Stone Doors, Stone Men
 

Maddox ended up with the jewel. I think all but Raze think thats for the best. We pressed on to find a room full of vividly life-like statues, including a very intricate Dragon. True artistry was found here, curiously realistic. The far door was magicly sealed and seemed impassible at this point. As for the door in the middle(connected to nothing at all) is as much a mystery as the other. Artist only? Either way we left, no where to go. We headed back to Fel. We waited while he talked to dwarves. I could not hear the whole conversation, i was concentrating on engraving my bow. Its getting very nice. Fel was pleased to hear that we knew a little about the diamond Core. He told us to deliver a few things, and to obtain the core. Before we departed however, we were apointed another magician. A shaman, this is the kind of magic i remember as a youngfang. Watching the spirits dance in the caves, the old ones telling stories of battle, and beasts made stunning with the aide of the great spirits. I am glad to have another who knows the way of the earth, and knows to talk to and trust the spirit folk.

We headed to Stonewall, delivered the package to the mayor and had to….ask politely to gain entrance to the free lands, apparently plague ridden. We found a small town full of sick folk. Upon investigation, it showed as not yet a plague or even fatal. The “mayor” of the town told us of his daughter who had been taken by the stone men. It was then Freya noticed the tracks outside the hut. We set off and the next day found a half sunken crypt of sorts. Inside we were attacked by moving shaped mud. Freya could not tell, me from them as i was covered in them, and nearly cut my narrow, scaly self in half. The next room however we found a stoneman. Along with a few hired swords. The stone man was knocked unconscious and one of the merc’s was left alive. after some talking we paid the merc his price and sent him scampering. Maddox took the medallion from the body of the now human stone man. As the medallion left the body he awoke and screamed for him to not take it. but to no avail, as it left his person he shimmered and turned to ash in the breeze. I do not like this magic, it is dangerous.

And everyone is acting more and more curious. Between Yurik staring at the table/painting. Raze looking at Maddox like he is meat, and Maddox holding his eye when he wakes, i wonder what will become of us. Will we ever make it back to civilization? Meat would be nice. Something spicy, seasoned, succulent meats.

Entry 4: Stone Doors, Stone Men
 

Yurik’s Mission Log
District 5

Mission Objectives:
Primary: Go to Stonewall drop of package to govoner
Secondary: Find stone men and get part of key

Personal Notes: Damn walking dead, caused much injury to me. I will heal, we half orcs are a stubborn race. The orb I procured seems to have a strange effect on my companions, the metal magic user seems extreamly strange, refering to the orb as its precious. Then the human magic user takes it. Yuri wispered in my ear, that he was not to be trusted, also that I should kill him. Yuri does not know that the human is needed and has his uses. I am starting to get used to them. We found a room with two doors that couldnt be open. After we left we started our journy to stonewall, we are to drop of package and find stonemen. We are givin another magic user, it seams they are multiplying. This one is different though, he works with sperits, what ever those are. We go to stone wall, bribe an official, go through city, find town with plegue. Everyone is so worried about how to find stonemen, they should just let me burn house down. Anyway we find crypt, I go in everyone else is affrade of breaking forbidden law. They fight mud people, we find stoneman and others. We fight, we win of course, then I find girl on table with blood boiling. The human comes up behind me and speaks. I am not sure what happened, but Yuri tells me to hurt the human. I do, it felt good, but I must learn to restrain Yuri.

Mission: Successful

Entry 4: Stone Doors, Stone Men
 

Yurik’s secret personal journal.

Today I have decided to make a secret journal that I will keep hidden from my companions, as it would cause discord with them. As we know half orc’s are a curious race. It is because of the human in us, but the orc in us is fearless. This makes me seem with out cause for death. It is true death is natural, but I wont go quietly. I have noticed that Yuri is getting more prominent in his influence on me. It started as just voice in head, then I saw him. He is around more lately, not just visually. He is getting louder, starting to have effect on will. I am able to restrain him, but it is curious. Just recently I have noticed a third voice, it is like me but more human. I will let it manifest further and see what happens. Yuri has to rest sometimes.

Entry 4: Stone Doors, Stone Men
KaideBlack

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