Lost in the Mists

A new beginning

We made our way to Vosk, without any real threat to our group. We learned that Goodman was formerly Vosk’s ally, but none of us cared. The past is the past after all, and after all he’s done for us only a fool would doubt Goodman’s intent. When we finally reached Vosk I was surprised by his demeanor and what he had to say.

I expected arrogance and delight in his cruelty, instead I saw sadness and resignation. He felt powerless to change himself or the world around him. He made a deal with a devil and gave up believing he could do anything positive. I was no less motivated to stop him, but I couldn’t help but pity the man. After failed attempts to convince him to surrender we fought Vosk.

As it looked like the fight was ending, Garrett blasted a hole right through Vosk’s chest. He immediately healed and continued fighting. We realized we’d need the sword to defeat him, so those who knew how to wield such a weapon passed it around until his body was destroyed. His spirit remained and was a much fiercer opponent. As the fight continued I called upon the light of the sun to blind him, and as he struggled to see again the light burned him away. It seemed fitting that such a creature of darkness would be destroyed by light.

After Vosk’s spirit faded away we all heard a chilling laugh. Someone out there found our struggles amusing, and although I’ve never heard him laugh, I know in my heart it was Strahd. I shuddered despite our recent victory at the thought of his hounds and the seemingly endless days I spent hiding. I steeled my resolve quickly as I realized I have powerful allies now, and that I have nothing to fear from him.

As if on cue, I felt myself absorb some of Vosk’s power. I feel more vigilant, more connected to the natural world, more connected to the light. I have become a more effective tool for cutting through the darkness of this world, and I could see a change in my allies as well. We will find a way to change the way this world works, to fight the despair, and to free the people. I have never been so confident of anything in my life.

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Star Chart 983

Cosmic Event R367-S521-N235 : The star Mordred is no more. Aphix has devoured it completely and it no longer holds power over anything. Every star in the heavens now hangs almost lifelessly in the darkness of the sky. Some exceptions remain. Ursa , the Bear star and Vaishis, the Blood Soaked Blade are currently being pulled heavily by the star Acamar. The entirety of the Laxis cluster pulls so heavily on the comet Zalbraik that nothing good will come from this. Only the Rashlin nebula and the star Galtris have seen relief after what has transpired. Lastly Cadris has taken on the exact hue, shape and movements of Caiphon, the Dream Whisperer. Yet, despite the changes, in the night sky of Miridus these stars paths have simple stopped.
It has been a month since my friends and I ended Vosk. My studies since then have brought about a startling insight. Allow me to explain: For years now I was under the impression that I had been examining and watching those celestial lanterns which hang in the sky. I was however quite mistaken, it was in fact the stars that were watching me, testing me to see if I was worthy of the power and knowledge that they possess. It was after this discovery that I began having near constant vertigo. I’ve fallen down the stairs no less than five times in the last month. I’ve also had lapses in time, finding myself standing in the middle of town talking to people that moments later I would discover where not there. One of the most worrisome things to transpire was when my right eye stopped working. It drifts in random directions now and has become completely cataract; well it worried me at the time. After the dream I had last night, it all makes sense. I dreamed of the night sky, and in it I saw the constellations known as the Watchman. Caiphon is part of this constellation and in the dream I was drawn up to Caiphons form and it was there before the star, that I saw it was not a thing of light and fire, but a living and writhing mass of…….something. The form opened up like a maw or an iris and consumed me. There inside of Caiphon it dismantled my mind and placed it’s knowledge inside. When I awoke I could see clearly. My left eye had changed. Its entirety changed to the same purple as the Dream Whisper. I now know that I am to work as Caiphons spy-glass to view things here in Ravenloft and Caiphon shall in turn be my Watchman and guide me on my path. It has already been written.

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Life #32 - The Dawn of Hope

We left the large hall where we had just defeated Goodman’s former allies. A staircase led us up into a room dominated by a large statue of Vosk. Memories came flooding back from the time before we were brought to Ravenloft. Vosk had ordered the statues of his fallen enemies to be melted down so this statue could be cast in his likeness.

As we stood there before the statue, it creaked and shuddered to life. It quickly began an attack on us. I darted around behind the statue in an attempt to flank it. The statue packed a strong punch, but we were able to defeat it without too much trouble.

With the statue destroyed, we moved onward and came to Vosk’s throne room. Vosk sat in his throne, and his King’s Blade bodyguards stood on either side of him. Vosk taunted and insulted us, but we refused to back down. We gave him the option of a quick death and his calm demeanor gave way to agitation. He spoke of the Masters of the Mist and told us that we, like him, were just tokens in the Masters’ game. Vosk told us that the Masters had lost interest in Vosk and so they were using us to execute their will.

We tired of delaying the inevitable and so the fight began. The King’s Blade guards were nothing we weren’t used to by now, but Vosk was a fearsome foe. He seemed to take a special delight in slashing through Goodman’s metallic hide, but despite Vosk’s best attempts, we would not be cowed. Arcing through the battle as a bolt of lightning, Garret zapped himself into Vosk’s throne. From there he blasted Vosk with a ray of divine light which bored a hole straight through Vosk’s chest. Vosk fell to his knees, but did not die, and in a moment was back on his feet. Barlow deduced that we needed to use the sword to truly kill Vosk. I grabbed the blade and was able to drive it deep into Vosk’s flank. It obviously weakened him. We passed the sword around in an effort to keep Vosk from defending himself. It worked and we were able to cut down the dark lord.

Vosk wasn’t quite finished yet, though. As his body fell to the floor, his spirit coalesced in front of us. He flew at us in a rage and tried to attack our very life forces. We were able to quickly defeat the spirit, but needed to make sure he wouldn’t come back.
Acting without delay, we put the Crown of the King on Vosk’s lifeless corpse, and then sat his body in the throne.

As we stood there looking upon Vosk’s corpse on the throne, we were looking at the end of a nightmare that had lasted more than five years in the minds and hearts of the people of Miredus. But what happens now? Will it be just another nightmare? Despite Vosk’s death, Miredus remains in Ravenloft. We were not transported back to Jura.

Upon leaving the tower we discovered that the wall of King’s Blade soldiers had vanished, but what replaced it was a dense, eerie mist. It looks like we’ll need to search beyond the borders of Miredus to learn more.

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The beginning of the end

It is with a heavy heart, and a strong sense of resignation that I find myself keeping this record. I begin this record as written proof that I was once a man of depth and honor. I know now that Fate can not be avoided. I can already feel myself slipping further into that which I have fought so long to avoid. Vosk’s death was not just the end of his reign, but seems to also have been the beginning of the end of my already tenuous grip on reality and order. Much like it was Fated that it be my hand to bring end to Vosk’s life, thus it is clear that I can not escape my other Fate, as the chosen of Soahc. So be it.
The crown weighs heaviest upon he who does not wish to rule.

{all words written backwards are where I slip from Common to Primordial without noticing}

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Saima's Journal: The Haunted Man

Since I have adopted Megan, I will admit that I haven’t been visiting Barlow as much. Last night I went to check on him and I was shocked at what I saw. The house he has been staying in is a mess. Barlow himself was sitting on the floor, staring out the window and muttering nonsense to himself. He looks like he hasn’t been eating. He wouldn’t respond to me when I talked to him and his eyes looked through me.

Before we came to Ravenloft, I knew Barlow. My husband used to love to look at the stars of Jura when the night sky was clear. He would take me to the perfect hill and name the stars for Astrid and I. Even back then, Barlow was out there nearly every night, looking at the sky and making notes. We never spoke. He was always so engrossed with his work, he hardly ever seemed to notice anyone else.
After we came to Ravenloft, long after my husband had been killed, I went to that hill one night to look at the stars.
Barlow emerged from the darkness and interrupted my reminiscing. “Your star is still there, you know.”
“Excuse me?”
“Vaishis, its still there.” He pointed to the sky. “Of course its patterns of rotation have changed since we came to Ravenloft, obviously.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what you are talking about. Vaishis?”
He seemed perplexed. “I assume your husband told you about your star? He did read the stars, didn’t he?”
“Oh, no. He just liked to look at them and he learned some of the names. It was a hobby.”
“A hobby?? Well that’s a strange hobby. Oh, I apologize, Lady Tsuka. I was under the impression that your husband was like myself. Well, I hope it brings you comfort to know that your star has not disappeared. It current location reminds me that I need to tell you something important-”
“Thank you, Barlow.” I had grown weary of the conversation. “I must be heading home now. Busy day ahead tomorrow.”
“Oh yes, of course! You are planning on joining the midnight watch tomorrow. I read that in the sky last night. That’s wonderful news. I too will be joining them as well. I think that the Watch is in desperate need of my unique services, don’t you?”

So began my strange friendship with Barlow. Looking at him now, I am afraid that whatever sanity he has left, he is quickly losing. I should remember to keep a better watch on him from now on. How can any of us hope to defeat Vosk when we can barely hold on to ourselves?

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Life #32 - Dawn Rises when Darkness Dies

We have entered the tower. Vosk tried using a swarm of undead ravens to keep us out, but we handily defeated the vicious little creatures.

Upon first entering the tower, we faced more of the King’s Blade. Even this elite guard were no match for us and we quickly put them to rest. We entered a large hall and faced the specters of Vosk’s past. At some point in the past Vosk belonged to a group of sell-swords. When Vosk was punished for his evil ways the rest of his group was apparently also punished. Among those we faced were a monk, a diplomat, and a wizard. They had been transformed into different undead abominations. The shock came when they revealed, in malicious glee, that our own Goodman had once been their cleric of Pelor.

Goodman’s former allegiance to Vosk and his companions came as quite a surprise, although Goodman has always been secretive of his past and somehow always seeking to repent for something. Despite the attempts of Goodman’s former allies to drive a wedge between us, we did not waver in our loyalty to him, and we all came together to defeat them.

We now prepare to ascend to the upper levels of the tower. We will defeat Vosk. We must.

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Hymn to the Morning Lord, Verse 16
His light reveals all things hidden.

Thus it came to pass that triumphantly the Points gathered the necessary trio of relics. An obstacle of feathers and unlife barred passage, but the Points, along with Your light, cleared the way and approached the door. The mantle donned, Your humble servant entered the long-unbreached tower of the villain Vosk. Within awaited vicious challenges in the form of Vosk’s loyal to the grave and beyond soldiers, in addition to several shades from Your humble servant’s past. Shame and sin brought into the light for all the Points to see, not a one faltered, their bonds made stronger for the truth revealed. The shades taunts were silenced and their rest in Your cleansing light was given.
Give light, Morning Lord, that we may see.

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Star Chart 967

Cosmic Event R349-S493-N208 : The convergence is complete. The star Mordred has been surrounded in a perfect triangle by the stars Vint, Ashlon, and Linterrece. Together they drift towards the event horizion of the Black Star, Aphix. The five celestial bodies aligned with Caldris come into alignment with Halliuos, The Champion, while Caldris itself drifts into a perfect alignment with Caiphon, the Dream Whisperer, and Laxis 12. Tonight Caldris’ hue almost matches Caiphon’s exactly.
Tomorrow we finish it. Tomorrow we will enter Vosk’s tower, ascend to his throne room, and send his night blaCk soul screAming Into the abyss of the night sky to forever dwell in the Darkness-in-Between. My allies stars have aligned htiw 2.7863 X 8.7691( 3674.9176 / Y) = D sq. eht star Hallious, they shall be victorious. It is disturbing to see that my nwo star has Perfectly aligned witH Laxis 12. Y+ 6.832 / X= X cb. tO the power of W repeatiNg. I suppose tHis meAnS I have in fact gone mad. I am confuSed as to HOW this caN be, what with how perfectly I can V= 5.9347 X 8.1200001( Q + 91283.748= .502714 / S sq.) see the future now. After Vosk has been slain I will once again be free to entrench MysElf in my work. I will THEn be able to Y-3748.3749( 834.192 / H cb.) piece together WhAt .000027365 to the power of Z + Q( 64532 -28.734 + C) Caiphon is trYing to tell me. C= .928374 + .38274 sq. (8372940.82974 X .298376) / 7384.278 + C – 738.2761( J + .28176 cb.) – 6.9283 X R+ 827365. 8273………………. (the equation continues for the next 17 pages.)

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Life #32 - Enter the (Skeletal) Dragon

With the help of our hostage, we found the Queen’s throne room. Fannis, the dark elven queen, and a Redcap, were by the throne. Surrounding them were the queen’s guards.
We tried diplomacy first. We demanded the mantle that the queen’s subjects had stolen, but she refused to be reasonable. She threatened the children of Miredus. We had no choice but to fight.

The battle spanned the queen’s throne room. But one by one, her subjects fell until she, too, died in her foolish quest to subjugate the people of Miredus. With her death, we had the key to the tower. We still needed the crown of the king and the sword of the brother.
After taking some time to rest, we set out the next day for the King’s Tomb, which lies outside of the town.

After we got past an illusionary door protecting the tomb, we were greeted by a large stone golem. It warned us to leave immediately, or we would be killed and forced to serve as guardians to protect the tomb from future intruders. When we refused to leave, we were attacked by the ghosts of previous tomb raiders. While the spirits proved to be tricky adversaries, we were able to defeat all of them.

After defeating the ghosts we went to Tobias IV’s crypt first. We found his crown interred with him. After taking the crown, Goodman made sure to say a short prayer. Disturbing the buried dead is not something we wish to do, but the good of Miredus requires it.
After getting the crown, we found Hans III’s crypt, which contained the sword. The tomb of Hans III also had the bones of Nagendra, a mighty dragon that Hans had bested in battle. We took the sword, Goodman again said a prayer, and we left.

Just after we exited the Hall of the Kings, we heard a terrible rumble behind us. Nagendra’s skeleton burst forth, reanimated and ready for a fight. Nagendra offered us the chance to serve him, and said that he would kill Vosk.

We hesitated for the briefest of moments when we thought about using Nagendra to take out Vosk, but then Barlow reminded us all that without the fetters, Nagendra would just assume Vosk’s place. So with that we rushed the undead dragon and destroyed it. Goodman again said some prayers in order to keep the skeleton from rising again.

We returned to town and were told that Vosk’s champion was looking for us. We went to Durgan, at the barracks. While we didn’t tell him exactly what we were up to, we did all we could to assure him that we were working in the best interest of the town. Considering our record of heroic deeds, he decided to trust us. But then soldiers from the King’s Blade appeared at the entrance to the building. They killed those closest to the door before we burst into the room. They were clearly undead. We immediately attacked and were able to dispatch all of them. It seemed that we had to go find Vosk’s champion immediately, so we set out.

We found him on the green outside the tower. Vosk watched from a window in his tower as the champion drew its scythe and rode toward us. I quickly ran up to him and drove my axe into his flank, but he ignored me. Instead he rode forward through most of the group, trampling whoever was in his way.

Working together we quickly got the champion off his horse. I used my teleportation abilities to separate the two. With both of them on the ground, we quickly surrounded each of them and defeated them.

Vosk didn’t stay to watch the end of the fight.

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Star Chart 962

Cosmic Event R322-S468-N193 : The convergence of three stars weighs heavy on the star Mordred: Vint, the Key, Ashlon, the Blade, and Linterrece, the King. This convergence aligns Mordred with Aphix, the Black Star, which devours all things in its path. The star Caldris and its partnered stars pull this convergence closer to its completion and already Vint has come into a prosperous alignment, though the dark nebula Kasllae moves contrary to this alignment. One star remains dominant in the sky: Caiphon, the Dream Whisperer. In its subtle way is tugs at the alignments of all of these stars, Caldris in particular and this star is ever so slightly taking on the same purplish hue of the Guiding Star.
It has begun, my friends and I set out to collect the three item connected to Vosk’s, and more importantly, Miredus, past. According to the journals that we obtained from the carnival, these “fetters” hold the key to destroying Vosk. The first of these is the Mantle of the Regent, which was buried with Regent Trogen. We Last night we broke into Trogen’s family crypt only to discover it had already be despoiled and the mantle stolen. Goodman performed a ritual so we could speak to the reagents corpse to discover what had happened. Apparently shadowy creatures had come up from deeper in the crypt and had taken the mantle. Going deeper into the crypt we found a hole which descended deep into the earth. I would have liked to avoid something like this all together as being away from the open sky has begun to make me exceptionally nervous. Also, I already knew what was coming. Entities of shadow and treachery would be waiting down there, granted our victory was already assured, and beings such as that are things I prefer not to deal with. During the delve to help me focus I began practicing the Predeic Scales, a mathematic formula which X = 3.742/ A { 718 – Z} the movements of the stars are based on. This formula K- .07465/ 12 AXIS OF X% + 7.06 was conceived by an intelligence which predates the gods. When I work G=.305( ½ X V) * 982.0267 = V/82 through the equations in my head I have found it unveils destinies to me minutes to hours before they transpire. snevaeh eht fo stnemevomeht fo gnidnatsrednu retaerg ot pets strif eht si sihT. All is happening just as the great star Caiphon has written. Nextwegotoreclaimtheswordofthebrotherandthecrownoftheking. Our destiny and Vosk destiny are coming screaming together. Our victory is assured. It has already been written.

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