Journey to Recovery

Ardal's Journal - Entry 3
Entrepreneur

It's good to be back safe and sound. Thankfully our last adventure prior to leaving did not result in me almost dying again. Found an old Dominion research centre, long abandoned and rusted away. I think the others found some things of interest, I was more interested in the strange geometry caused by the abyssal leak in the basement until it was revealed to be an illusion. Apparently some form of evil outsider summoning was going on there. Dangerous research to be sure. Speaking of evil outsiders I finished reading that goblin journal we found. Some useful information but mostly gibberish. Maybe I should give it to Nisha, she likes books but I don't think she can read goblin. Might compile an annotated version if I have the time.

 

Anyway we made it home safe and managed to pick up a sizeable payment for our services. That wasn't all however. It took some time, a little under the table dealing and lots of unnecessary attention (turns out most bureaucrats haven't seen a kobold do law before) but I managed to set up a web of numerous companies and patent our discoveries under them. Thankfully our wizard managed to make me a hat to disguise myself so I don't distract everyone when I try to work. It was only after I was done that I was informed that Dranhiro had just disappeared without telling anyone and decided to have a nice trip to the palace. I swear if he doesn't shorten my already short life by obligating me to ritualistic suicide then he'll do it with worry. Does he just not care what I risk for him? It was a long day and I decided to go back home to do the most important job of all. Tell stories to the little ones.

 

Unfortunately I was cut short when Reg came bumbling into the camp looking for me. Apparently Eulisses Crimson, First Minister of the Tiefling Empire had arrived looking rather upset demanding to meet with the owners of the company New World Designs. It turns out that military spending is rather high in Tiefling Empire and increased costs of having to construct patented designs is unacceptable. Who could have possibly guessed? Thankfully he was much more calm after I explained that whilst we required reimbursement to continue our very important of work of making the world a better place, that it need not be financial in nature. After all there is much a First Minister can do to help us. After business was concluded things were much more pleasant and I think I made a good impression on him.

 

As much as I enjoy being home, it won't be long until we return to adventure. After all, a Free State isn't going to build itself.

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Nisha's journal 2

The most peculiar event has occurred the sword which I was training with and examining has begun to speak, not well for that matter, but still its sudden consciousness is most remarkable especially when combine with the fact that no one else seems to have the faintest notion of its Awareness. Whether or not this is some demon trick or I have simply gone insane has yet to be seen I do believe it will become a valuable tool. This requires further study.   

The discovery of the abandoned research lab was most pleasing it offered a great chance for some investigating into past events and fields of study, the identification of the leak was rather unsettling but it was still an informative experience none the less. The research these people were doing was quite thrilling with the actual examination of outsiders on a more physical level quite intriguing indeed. It was a shame to find little of higher value or anyone still there but I’m sure with further studying into such facilities there is likely to be more of them scattered around. My new acquired companion seems to be interested as much as I am in this location however the particular mention of Mortanis infuriated it to no end.  This requires further study.

The return to the capital was a welcome change in scenery, I have to say this is clearly the kobolds area of expertise the small creature is actually starting to prove to be an increasingly more valuable member of our group perhaps I was wrong about the value they hold but of course it will take further work with him to know more.  The other members seem well meaning enough with the wizard and alchemist having the most inline views to my own. The only thorn would be the kitsune who has a few strange notions. I am most intrigued about a meeting with the first Minster who happens to have presented himself to us at the most opportune moment, I would like to see if he can provide myself with some form of research or contractual work for the empire to have an invested interest in out particular actions. This will require further action.

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Ardal's Journal - Entry 2
Regime Change

Well after a fun night of drinks and merriment (most of which I don't remember) we returned to the tunnels for some more exploration. Unfortunately all we found was a collapsed tunnel and an angry hydra. If I take nothing else from this adventure at least I now know that hydras are a lot more nimble than they look. Charging forth was not a good idea. Still here though, so can't complain too much. Without any real method to make sure the hydra stays dead we've captured it instead and I think the plan is to sell it on to whatever idiot wants a hydra for a pet. The other plan to permanently mutilate the beast to sell it's meat sends shivers up my spine. To even contemplate… I digress. Dellisar hired out some labourers to clear the tunnel so we should be able to follow that up again soon.

 

So without much to do in the meantime I suggested my plan to investigate the kobold chieftain and institute some “regime change”. Everyone was rather sceptical of my claims but once I pointed out they'd get to see kobolds fight and maybe die suddenly they were on board. That was more than a little depressing. After some investigating it seemed quite likely that the chieftain was actually a demon and put forth funds to properly equip us for the fight. With traps, cold iron, grenades and holy balm in hand we set up an ambush that went almost perfectly. The demon teleporting out of the trap was somewhat unexpected be we'd set things in favour too much for it to be to much of a setback. As for the demon itself, I managed to convince my colleagues to not finish him. Looking at him, after the beating he took from us he looked quite pathetic. I also think the conditions are just right to redeem him. Of course anyone with any sense is quick to point out “Hey Ardal, demons are literally made of sin you dummy” but I am of the belief that almost all sin is committed with ultimately good intentions. If I am correct then somewhere, buried deep within, is a tiny spark of good. On a more practical level someone with the skill set of an Incubus is always going to be useful. I'd like to say that staking my life on his redemption was a carefully calculated move and that all is going according to plan but really it just happened. I suppose it's always good to have sufficient motivation!

 

But enough talk of Dranhiro (that is his name)! I have taken a good look at the newly liberated village and manage to conduct a census and there is great news! There are far more than 50 kobolds here and the village is positively thriving. I'll need to ensure certain safeguards are set up but as starting points go I could scarcely ask for more. There's a lot of work ahead of us but with righteousness on our side we can hardly fail.

 

I think our work here is nearly done, once the collapsed tunnel is explored I think we will probably be returning home. I hope we can turn our successes here into further successes.

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Nisha Journal

These new lands offer little in terms of new knowledge, most of the planet life is similar and wargs, owl bears and kobold are hardly revolutionary in terms of their intellectual merit. One of the most outstanding discovers is this land based cannon which would be a great addition to the empires stocks both militaristic and achievable.  The survival of the people here represents an interesting change of events; it was expected that some would survive but so close to the empire is interesting.  Their location if brought under the guidance of the empire would make them a valuable outpost for future travel and exploration.  On closer inspection of the town the two wizards may have some value but not much and the towns peoples irrational fear of demons that have no direct influence on them is amusing. Perhaps they will relax when more tifelings colonise this land we shall see.

The discovery of necromancy in this area was most peculiar and a welcome change from the casual forests and frankly drab peasantry. The fact that such a small artefact had the ability to do this to them speaks wonders of the villages defense and manpower. The group performed spectacularly tactically creating exactly a situation which would work out favorable even the kobold did his bit it was quite remarkable to see the little guy try. The discovery of these demons and their lord are quite intriguing a war in hell would certainly be an interesting documentation event.  However, I will have to study this in more detail when at a suitable location. The fact that the fools decided to destroy the artifact before further study could be undertaken is foolish to the extreme if I had been in charge I would have had them executed for preventing and hurting the understanding of the empires people.

The device at the end of the tunnel was another remarkable event its ability to move at speeds far greater than a carriage or boat what it would do for the people of the empire would be revolutionary the ability to travel so speedily with little chance for interruption or delay would allow for a system of response and action unprecedented by the current empire. Of course it would not compare to the vast superiority of magic however there of course those with such gifts or training that must be considered. It would be interesting to see how it could be implemented. One of the less interesting but not less researchable events was the discovery of the hydra this beast could defiantly be used in some medicine or protection service for the people of the empire I would have to study it in greater detail especially its regenerative powers.The end of the tunnel was unfortunate but hardly unexpected.

The fact that the group decided to go back to that village astounds me most of the time kobold make good servants and sometimes good dungeon keepers. However, upon discovery of the demon in charge it immediately became a hunting expedition.  With the knowledge this demon has we could learn much, the truth about this war, the events outside the empire during the fall, more about the fall in general. So much I was glad when in my slight moment of weakness, the fools did not execute this valuable source of knowledge.  

I shall look forward to studying him and this blade he has given me in great detail.

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Ardal's Journal - Entry 1
For Glory, Adventure, Fortune and Friendship!

Well that's what I am expected to say. Anyone with any sense knows otherwise. For Gold, Land and Empire would be far more accurate. Although I am being rather harsh, after all no one expected anyone to actually be alive out here. The discovery of yet surviving settlements will no doubt come as a shock to those at home. More importantly for me is there is indeed a surviving kobold presence on the island! Admittedly they are being ruled by a tyrant, a man a shudder to think of. However if the wizard is correct about the presence of illusion magic there is certainly more to that chief than meets the eye. In either case I have plans for some “regime change”. Then I can finally get on with my important work. A census, land surveys, establishing military tactics, knowledge exchange, the list goes on!

 

But enough of the fun stuff. As for the work I'm actually being paid to do, things have been rather successful. Lots of strange technology has been recovered and with any luck we should be able to get them repaired and perhaps even take a look at their inner workings. Who knows, we might even be able to get them patented back home! That would certainly be a boon worthy of the danger we have faced here thus far. I nearly died twice! The most curious thing thus far has been the strange contraption we used to navigate the tunnels we found in the local mines. We plan to return for some further investigation of those tunnels.

 

As for those that I am working with, they are a pleasant enough lot I suppose. Competent as well, we cleared out the undead in the mine with ease. I get the feeling that I'm not really respected however. Especially from Nisha who I think simply despises me. The survivors in the city were not much better. The Governor's son in particular couldn't hide his shock that I was in fact a lawyer. I should be used to it by now but it still gnaws at me. Which is good. It helps drive me. They said that I would never become an accomplished bard, all kobolds are good for is irritating their betters. I learned from my masters, put in my all and now I can bring hope to my allies and madness to my enemies. They said I could never afford to go to law school. I broke myself upon the anvil of labour working numerous jobs and looking after my tribe. With sheer perseverance I got enough gold. They said I wasn't smart enough to enrol. I showed competence in numerous field until they had no recourse but to enrol me. “Take the bar? Ha! You couldn't even reach the bar” they said. I graduated with honours. You'll die penniless if you specialise in defending kobolds they said. I'm still here and I recently secured planning permission to develop a cave system. They said I'd die if I ventured out in those devastated lands. I'm still here. Throughout it all I'm still here.

 

They'll say that my dream are impossible, that I'll never succeed. But I've overcome every obstacle and I don't intend to ever stop. Even if the gods themselves stand in my way I will overcome. You might call it arrogance, I call it determination and my defiance can be summed up in a simple sentence.

 

I'm still here.

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