The following is a fragment of the journal of the wizard Celedor, recovered and transcribed by the scribes of the Great Library of Throal
…by magically inducing entropic change in the soup, I was able to quite effectively ‘ease out’ the magical properties of this mysterious…mushroom? I would myself call it a flower, but I am not entirely sure it is either. Wivin, however, is adamant of its fungal nature. It was at this point that I began to notice a slight problem in our efforts to revive the crew of the Salvation.
Another airship was beginning to rise from the treeline, and my heart sank to recognise it to be of Sky Raider design. We had not seen the Sky Raiders since our brief but frantic encounter with them on our first journey to Throal, but it seemed they had caught up with us at last, assuming that this was not simply a coincidental encounter with another Raider force. I wonder how many tribes of Raiders there are? I am certain that if I were to research the…
[the parchment here is scorched for several pages]
…with a horn on his head! Now, as the Raiders approached, they grappled the Salvation, and began boarding, despite N’Wad’s efforts to climb the rope ladder and re-take the ship himself; the Raiders simply cut the rope, causing him to crash clumsily to the ground. Having been deprived of a physical means to attack the boarders, N’wad resorted to that second annoying habit of Swordmasters: the taunt. His outraged cry fell on deaf ears. As N’wad was, as wittily as a troll may, hurling many mouthfuls of creative abuse, I decided to stealthily approach T’Char, who was kneeling under Salvation, next to Captain Farsight. I informed them of an idea that, while the others were yelling or standing stupified, I had quickly formed. My plan was simply to discreetly move the remaining crew members away from under the Salvation, and to allow the ship to crash to the ground, for surely it was better to damage the ship than to allow it to fall into the hands of Sky Raiders! Alas, my plan was thwarted by a slight oversight I had made regarding the Sky Raider’s ability to fly a ship. The Salvation was now under control of the Raiders, and air-worthy, much to the relief of T’Char. It is no matter, even a wizard is not perfect, though it may shock you to hear, but a true wizard does not despair if his plans fall awry, but presses on, with ever new designs!
At that point, our Windling companion Mary decided to fly up to the ship, for what I do not know, though she cannot have succeeded, for we all heard a high pitched squeal, and saw her crash to the earth below. As the Salvation was rising away, I quickly re-attuned my matrices. Risky, I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I stood up tall, and cast Bedazzling Display of Logical Analysis. Now with magical power on my side, I called out to the Troll Captain, Bartrok I think Farsight called him, and appealed to his sense of honour to come down off the ship and duel my companion N’Wad (in whose willingness and ability to cross blades I am confident, passions save me). I could see that my argument swayed the Raider Captain, but he stood fast. It was obvious that he would not give up such a fine treasure as a Throalic ship, even if his honour was called into question. As a last effort to provide some result from this encounter, I began to thread Crushing Will into one of my matrices. I, at this point, heard a metallic “pinging” sound, as I believe N’Wad threw a dagger at Bartrok, who would obviously have deflected it. I would have deflected it. No, it was a futile move, but of course my troll companion has yet to learn of the subtlties of aggressive negotiation. You cannot simply be throwing sharpened pieces of metal about willy-nilly! I, having thread my spell perfectly, cast on Bartrok. He howled in pain and lurched away from the railing, my spell manipulating the astral pattern of his mind, crushing it momentarily. Unfortunately, with Batrok no longer at the railing, and Salvation rising fast, there was little else we could do but stand by as the Raiders made off.
This crushing event was followed by much confusion and running about, though mostly from the others. I believe even Wivin was terribly confused, accusing me of stealing his sausages! I do hope that if indeed I live to see his age, it may not be in such a haphazard mental state! T’Lin begain to scout out the area of the clearing, a good idea, for there may have been more jungle creatures, only held at bay by the sight of the large and unusual ship that had ere been mysteriously hanging in the air. Farsight, at this point, began to distress about what King Neden might do when he found that she had lost the pride and joy of the Throalic fleet, and so N’Wad, like the well-meaning brute he is, decided to shake her. I would have bedazzled her with a display of logical analysis myself, but to each his own, and I had far more important things to worry about. The airship’s crew were strewn about the clearing, all weak and dying, and I began to go around, administering soup as best I could to them, to halt the progress of the horror wasting disease. T’Char was in a very bad way, it was clear he would need more than just soup, so I fed to him one of the booster potions I had in spare, as I did not trust N’Wad’s amateur alchemical creations. He seemed to be ok, but I could not be sure. What I was certain of was that they would all need the attention of a healer, and soon. T’Lin, Mary and Wivin then began a journey back to Golden-Shore, to find help for the party. There being nothing else do, N’Wad foolishly challenged me to skip a pebble as many times across the lake as I could. As primitive as N’Wad’s pastimes are, the rock-skipping held some strange allure for me, and so I consented. At first, my attempts were somewhat pathetic, easily outstripped by N’Wad’s long throws, but after not long I was skipping rocks to the other side of the lake with ease, leaving N’Wad in the dust of my wake, metaphorically speaking, of course. It just goes to show that a wizard learns all skills that he applies himself to, no matter the nature. Whereas other adepts are limited in the study of their disciplines, a wizard’s study of the nature of magic allows him to perceive and understand magic in all forms. After this amusing little reverie, I proceeded to meditate, and perform my Karma ritual, rebalancing to my pattern the pattern of the universe of magic all about me.
It was not long before the others came back with mules and stretchers for the sick, and we made our way back to Golden Shores with no remarkable incident. Once back in the village, the others talked and I made my way to the hut in which we’d first spoken to Wivin, to recuperate and meditate apon my discipline. After a while, Mary, T’Lin, N’Wad and Farsight came back to the same hut, and began to consume some fluid of seemingly remarkable potency. Mary indeed collapsed after a single thimble, though I had previously witnessed her consume drink by the bottle. In the bottle, actually. After N’Wad, T’Lin and Mary had passed out, Farsight offered me a pitcher. I took it cautiously, and sniffed it. The offensive stench of it drowned my nostrils and clouded my mind. I felt quite dizzy, and decided to leave the hut, pitcher in hand, just as Farsight herself collapsed. I wandered, with some difficulty, over to the edge of the village, and for some reason decided that it would be an excellent idea to test the liquid for flammibility. I cannot say what possessed me, other than the ‘fire-spirit’, as later the villagers called it. Nevertheless, I awoke the next morning in the infirmary, with a headache, singed robes, and no eyebrows.
That day, the question on our minds was of course the question of where to proceed from this point. We of Kaer Nerrok had not in fact known how dangerous our position was, in fact we were deep behind enemy lines, with the majority of Theran forces towards Lake Ban, following the river, and a Theran-friendly approgoi of the T’Skrang in the other direction. With dangerous and difficult jungle to the North, there was no way we were going to be able to get back to Throal directly. It was clear then, that we should make course for Travar, the airship capital of Barsaive. Not a Throalic ally, but then not a Theran friend either. From there we could buy passage by airship back to Throal, and perhaps more frightening than facing the jungle, report back to King Neden the state of our expedition. It was, despite protests from certain parties (“Attacking the fortress of Triumph would be what the Therans least expect!”), decided that we should circumvent K’Tenshin territory, and move out into the open plains, and then head for Travar, on foot. And so it was that we set off the next morning. Myself, N’Wad, Mary, T’Lin, Farsight, Rawrg and T’Char.
Moving out onto the plain, we soon saw smoke on the horizon, and with further investigation, discovered a burnt out caravan, abandoned only a matter of hours. Unusually, there was not a trace of blood or violent struggle, save the obvious burning. Mary found a strange arrow, which I identified as an ork whistling signal arrow. I found, with my unusually perceptive eye, a gourd that had been squashed slighlty by a hob-nailed boot. I pocketed both of these, clearly important clues as to the fate of the caravan owners. After a while of walking, we came apon a field of long grass, and we were told to proceed carefully, as the could be all manner of wild creatures lurking in the undergrowth. Well, speak of a horror, after not long our quest was arrested by 4 orks, which Farsight identified as slavers (but who denied it, naturally), who demanded that we pay them protection money. Such extortion was so beneath me that I was immediately outraged, and used my talent for Arcane Mutterings to attempt to beguile and confuse the leader of the group, a large ork with a large crystal mace. He was, naturally, befuddled, but the others, apon detecting the magical nature of my words, flew into a rage and attacked us with thrown daggers. All of their daggers missed, save one, which struck poor Rawrg. N’Wad immediately performed his signature “Troll Spear” apon the leader, but failed to knock him down. Chaos then broke out, with all of the orks rushing forward to meet us. I, knowing what I must do, stood my ground and began to thread and cast my Crushing Will spell on the ork leader, sending him to the ground bleeding from his ears. Both Farsight and Rawrg, still weak from the horror sickness, and no doubt (in Farsight’s case at least) despair, were struggling against their foes, each a fierce orkish warrior. N’Wad, in true swordmaster style, was valiantly fighting his opponent, but was taking a few cuts himself. I only saw this briefly, for at that moment I took the time to re-attune my matrices for a more convenient selection of spells. As I did this, Mary cast her elemental Earth Darts at the ork that had just knocked Farsight down, but the hit was only superficial. At this point, I was distracted by the sight of the ork leader getting back up! He was still disoriented from my crushing his mind, and so swung his mace about ineffectually. I then cast my Mind Dagger spell on him, the advantage of speed being on my side, as no threading was required for this particular spell, but he proved inexplicably resistant to my further attempts to pierce his mind. N’Wad however, had a different sort of piercing in mind, and struck the ork down with his blade. He was not to rise again. Rawrg, I noticed meanwhile, had been struck in the leg, and then brutally booted in the face. I thus turned my attention to the ork attacking him. I once again formed a magical dagger within my matrix, and directed it at the ork. It bellowed and keeled over, as my magic pierced its brain and caused it great pain. As it attempted, quite valiantly, to rise, I performed my spell once more, and it was still. I then directed my attention to the rest of the battle. N’Wad was still dueling his ork, having disposed of the leader, and was now jumping about in a showy fashion, typical swordmaster, shouting taunts and battle calls as he did. T’Lin received a most impressive blow to the face, from an orkish sword hilt, and went down unconcious. Mary was struggling against her ork; it waved a sharp spear at her, missing very closely, before throwing it far wide of her. I quickly siezed the opportunity to thread Crushing Will, just as N’Wad’s hawk hatchet glanced off its shoulder (never could learnt to concentrate on one thing at a time, that one). Nevertheless, I cast, and the ork went down, gushing blood, just as N’Wad all but decapitated his.
Thus that day we won something of a pyrrhic victory; Rawrg, T’Lin and Farsight were knocked out, Rawrg was badly bleeding, so I decided to use my last salve of closure on him. Looting the bodies, we found little of value. Only the ork leader was dead (the others were unconcious),so I removed their armour and weapons, and distributed them, in no particular order, about the long grass.If they did decide to pursue us, we would at least have a head start. We had won the battle, but now we stood at a difficult point, as our party was in no state to travel, and certainly not to fight. We must reach Travar with all speed, but I am uncertain how soon we will be able to travel once more. Much is uncertain in this dangerous and deadly new world, and it seems that hardship apon hardship is pressured apon us. Myself a wizard, and therefore having no such concerns regarding pressure and danger, I do not worry for myself, but for my companions. Perhaps I shall…
…actually believe that magical threads may simply be played like an instrument…[there are scribbles here]…never did understand troubadours, always playing when I was studying. The racket they would make…[more scribbling and scorching]…and then Susan rejected me when I asked her to the annual Kaer ball, she was a troubadour, I remember…[scorched]…only wanted to touch…
Here the fragment ends