Return To The Shattered Earth

Chariese's Journal 4

everything in the last year has been good. well some things good and some things bad, but most of the bad things had to do with recovering from what happened at DarkestNact. Kaleb’s funeral for instance. but all in all it’s like the town had been sick for years and years, and now it is getting healthy again.

it has been a little strange, because I kind of feel that there is something different about me, something different about the nine of us who fought. there is a weight on us, kind of like when you swim in too deep, that you just can’t describe to anyone who doesn’t feel it to. it’s hard to describe, but there are just some things that people who haven’t been through what we have been through cant understand, Serat and Idanara are as close to me now as Thomas and Gelid.

The people from downhill are mostly working with Jo’s family now that there are no jobs on mansion hill. they have mostly replaced the people who died, and the town is bustling and prosperous. We have new paved roads, the old marketplace has been torn down and a performance space put up in its place, so that both torch lit beacons can always see each other.

My brother and Lita got engaged! he really has a great sense of style, making all of the townsfolk run around thinking he had gone crazy by shooting arrows off the roof of the church! If I ever get married I hope that my man proposes as cool as my brother did!

it turns out that Jo  is a lot older than we all thought he was, like 19, and he got engaged to!  his girl actually proposed to him.  that was really neat,  she must have a lot of guts to do that.  he's much better now, and he is worshiping Kord  pretty strongly.

Gelid has worked pretty hard for Mr. Von Keros and he seems really happy about it. I can just tell he’s going to be a powerful wizard someday.

I confronted my aunt,  and demanded answers from her.  she told me that I had or part of the answers, but not all of them. That I would or not the rest of them later on this year. And then she gave me a map. It was a strange map, and it seemed to be marked weirdly,  but I was determined to figure it out.   its real complicated though.
at the darkestNact  celebrations Mr Iron hammer  gave us all,  that is the nine of us who fought  last year,  presents.  mine was a dagger that matched the one that Poppa gave me.  also in the box was a piece of amethyst, that  we figured out would fit perfectly on the compass Rose on my map.  once I figured out that I realized where we had to go, the Peninsula about three days walk from here.
I decided that we should all do it together, at least the kids my age.  so I organized an expedition including Me, Gelid, Thomis, Seratt, and Iyenanara.
it was really exciting to be going off on our own, but we're all pretty sure that the grown-ups not only wanted us to do this, but have been waiting for us to do this. Some of the grownups even slipped like my father that it has something to do with our destiny. Not sure I want to have a destiny!
anyway the first two  days on the road were really cool, we stopped the first night at my place. And I found out for the first time that Mama is actually a stark-smith.  I don't know why I never saw it before.  but that is really cool because it makes Joanna my cousin!

The second night we camped out, and everything went just fine. That is until an hour or two before dawn when Idanara woke us up saying there was a clerk across the river. We all thought that it was just another group of travelers and so we went back to sleep. It turns out that they were goblin slavers laid by some sort of strange jet black elf. it was a relatively hard fight, but we beat them pretty easily. they were nothing compared to the black tentacle things from last year. we freed the kids they had already taken from the next town up!

it took a full  day and a half to get everybody to the next town, but I feel really really good about having taken down some bad people who were going to turn helpless children into slaves.
I'm really getting excited about what we're going to find at the end of this trip!
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Chariese's Journal 3

We knew that Darkestnact was going to be bad, we just knew it! We were right. It was every bit as bad as we thought it was going to be. But we started out calm and nice. Gelid Really wanted to let Mr. Von Keros to teach him, so Thomas and I went with Gelid up to his house. Mr.Von Keros gave him some sort of test, and told him that he had to solve it before the end of Darkestnacht. it didn’t take him till the end, he finished it before sundown! It only took him five hours. Mr. von Keros said that it’s stumped the fifth circle initiates! I was so proud of him I almost wanted to burst. I really don’t think I have ever met anyone as smart as Gelid is.

the competitions and stuff during the festival were fun, that is up until with the children's fighting tournament. Some of the kids, you have the ones you would figure like Carver and Annabel Stark-Smith  took it seriously and we were out to actually hurt people. When I came up against Carver  he just stepped backwards out of the ring, and pointed at me saying later. We all knew that what he was really doing was threatening to kill me.  things lightened up again briefly when I went up against his gnome guy who was pretending to be a child. I won! It was actually really fun, it wasn't so much like fighting as it was like dancing. I didn't win the whole competition though because Jo hit me much harder than I think he intended to and not be cold.
during the music competition, this really strange kid with a violin played some really creepy music. The guys and I noticed that  the end of the song he plucked nine notes in a backwards circle and one in the center just like the torch lit beacon. When he did that we all got really sick feelings in the pits of our stomachs.

We decided not to do the group competition, but this new. We met named Serat fought on the same team as Jo and some of the other cooler kids in town, including my brother. the orc women, you know Jo’s real mother gave him a symbol of the red eye, we were real concerned but he thought it was okay. It obviously wasn’t. During the team competition he was really lost it! And he hit the kid who was playing the violin far too hard! But from what the guys to say it wouldn’t have mattered anyway since they think he was dead anyway, some sort of un dead creature. Joel ripped off the amulet and we went with him as the guards took him to Mr. von Karros.

it was then that things started to go really wrong,  Mr. von Karros told us we had to find the violin, but not to touch it!  the new girl,  who is the Eliese's Half sister with us and Serat to look for the fire and. When we found it three of the bad kids have it, one was playing it however was guarding them, and Annabel was using a creepy necromantic candle and relating the torch lit beacon on mansion  hill  backwards, a sickly green fire was coming up and we knew it was very very bad. The fight is all a jumble, a couple of things I remember clearly  we all fought bravely and well. I'm pretty sure that I would have died if Gellid  hadn't jumped in and when he had.  and Joeanna Starck-smith  helped us.
we put out the bad fires, wrapped up the bad violin  and went back to the church.  or of the powerful grown-ups were obviously thinking in down hill  probably with Jo's mother.  we saw that there was a fire off the hill, where the older boys had run earlier  when we went looking for the violin.  we went off to help them. The house was on fire, there were monsters, it was all really really bad.  In the fight that followed  I had to leave the violin outside and go in to help.  When everything was said and done Kale and Serat where dead,  and the house had burned to the ground.  though we had managed to  relight the Elvin torch beacon.
when we limped back to the church again carrying our dead. The powerful grown-ups limped back to. Joeanna  Came in covered in blood, and had a bag of diamonds. She said there was only enough for one. When she saw that KAle  was dead she started to cry. We found out later that they were married in secret.  Crying she looked at Mr. Prichard and said you have to save the angel child don't you?  he nodded. At dawn 2 hours later Seratt  rose again from the dead.  he's one of us now as is idanarra.
I showed Gelid  how to cook eggs,  we did it on Mr. ironhammers forge  so that he could take breakfast to Mr. von Kiros.  I went with him to deliver them at dawn.  he went in for just a minute or two, I waited on the front steps. He came running out a few minutes later and said I should come with him he looked really excited. He led me to a big dining room where a huge breakfast was laid out. The two of us met with Mr. von Karros mostly in silence. Just as the sun came through the window I the held Gelid's  hand,  I felt little feverish from the night before, but his hand was nice and cool.  I wished him a happy birthday.
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Chariese's Journal 2

days after the horrible attacks, at the beginning of Goddes Blush, I really thought that things were just starting to get back to something like normal. I mean the kind of are but some really strange stuff happened today. Even though everybody is really sad, and busy rebuilding things after the attacks, I’ve actually been kind of happy in a strange kind of way. I have real friends for the first time ever. I’ve been spending a lot of time hanging out with them, and helping out where ever we can around town.

when I remembered that I had packed the Boars tusks I decided I wanted to make the guy’s presnts, it only took a couple of hours to turn them into bracelets for the guys. I was just finished working on them when Galid showed up and said that Thomas had gone to downhill, and we should go to. On the way there he explained to me that almost 30 people had died in downhill the night of the attacks. That was real weird as the grown-ups had told us that only 30 people had died total. those people had been really grateful to us for lighting the torch lit beacon and had pooled together their money and bought us each a sun Rod! When we got there we realized that all the dead people they were burning, Were wrapped in blankets, and that that would mean they wouldn’t have enough blankets to sleep at night. We decided to pull together what money we had, and by then as many blankets as we could.

Turns out that Mr. Pritcherd didn’t even know, didn’t even know that many people have died in downhill. He would help us take things down there, and we should come back later that afternoon so he could go with us. He gave us a package to take to Mr Von Karis. he was the guy, who the other night was shooting flaming skulls out of his hands!

When we got to his house and knocked on the door, there was no answer. We told a passing servant that we had an important package for him and went inside. We so shouldn’t have done that! When we got inside the door closed behind us and wouldn’t open again. We looked in the bag, and we realized it was another one of those tentecley things in the bag!. It started to try to talk to us inside our heads, it finally got through to Jo and tried to convince him to let it out of the bag. We convinced him not to but we were real scared. The house looked all busted up and there was nobody inside, we decided to explore to see if we could find a way out. We found a room that was just covered in blood! We found a graveyard inside the house! We found a chest, Thomas said we should put the bag inside the chest so that the tentacle thing was less likely to get out. Gilad Tried to open it, he succeeded, but he got pricked by some sort of trap and I had to suck the poison out of his finger, just like Papa taught me to do with snakebites. It even tasted like snake venom.

We searched for hours it seemed like, there were a lot of really strange things in the house, I didn’t recognize half of it. We found a really weird room with some call kind of smooth tile all over it. Just off of the master bedroom. Geliad Tried to read Mr. Von Karis’s Journal, and it was like it exploded in his face. I really thought he was dead for a secon. he was actually hurt really really badly. We decided to go back to the front door, and wait for the grown-ups to come find us, after all they knew we were there. After waiting for a couple of hours, we realized that they weren’t coming we left a math for them on the front step, and went to go sleep in the chapel we had found. I don’t think I’ve ever spent a longer or scaryier night.

After we’d slept what seemed like all night, even though the sun never came up, we realized that nobody was coming to look for us and we would have to find our own way out. We eventually found a larder, which was really nice because we were really hungry. Then the only place left to explore was the basement. I really didn’t want to go into the basement but we didn’t have a choice. There was one room near the end of it, that really hurt my head to look at. And it must’ve really really her Geiled as well as he screamed and fell over. I thought maybe he was going to die again, but he didn’t. When he woke up, he was acting kind of funny, like the only thing that mattered in the whole world was learning things! I just knew that something in that room had messed with his head. Thankfully after we looked in just one more room Mr. Von Karis showed up behind us, and thanked us for releasing him from something called the space between spaces or something. The guyes seemed to understand just what he was talking about, well not Jo, but it wouldn’t make any sense to me. We told him we had left the monster thing in the white tiled room, and before you know it we were there! He started to float around, and do really cool magic stuff! He said he wished that Geliad hadn’t read his journal, and it was like he never had! He wished all of the damage away! he told us to go, Gelied didn’t want to, he was still acting real strange like before.

We almost had to drag him out of there, and took him to Mr. Pritchard. it seems that even though he had been gone all night outside of the house only about two hours had passed! Mr. Pritchard fixed Geliead up and he stop acting so funny! OH ya! I forgot to write down dead before we went to sleep in the chapel, when I kind of thought we might die, he gave the guys the bracelets I had made for them.

so after Geliead  was feeling better Mr. Pritchard and us went downhill, with the blankets. It was really strange once the folks down there realized that we were the kids that had lit the torch light beacon, it's like they couldn't get enough of us! It was kind of embarrassing. It was like they really really loved us a lot! We went to the little chapel, there was a half orc lady there as the priestess. Mr. Pritchard started acting really funny, and didn't seem to like her at all.

We talked to her a little bit about how Joe thought she was pretty, and asked her if there were any other half orc ladies like her down here, because Joe’s said that there was a really pretty lady with green skin in downhill. He said he saw her in his dreams, which I thought was kind of strange, when she was younger. Once I realized that she was the only one like that down here, and that she had never met Jo, I realized that she must have been his real mother. It was really strange so I didn’t say anything more about it and we left.

Mr. Pritchard said that we weren’t allowed to go down there anymore, well at least promise isn’t, Mr. Prichard isn’t my dad so I don’t have to really do what he says. He says that she’s a priestess of something called UR and that they steal from the gods commission point I don’t really see how that’s possible! After all their gods. I’m kind of curious to see what that means so I think it’s sometime later, probably after darkest Nact I’ve let it go talk to her some more.

when I finally got home, to  Aunti Evie's it all just hit me house gear he and weird today had been. I told her all about it, and then just like a big baby I started to cry. She was real nice about it though, and hugged me, and even made me some special  fruit custard!
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Thomas Journal 3
Goddess Blush: Durvishire

The next few days were busy days, healing the injured and helping to take care of people, listening to the homily in the mornings and then spending every spare moment with Gelid and Charese. We helped my father and Lida in the temple, helped Mr. Ironhammer and Jo in the forge, and learned how to fight with a staff from Mr. Vance. Sometimes, Mr. Stark-Smith and Mr. Montgomery came to the forge to get the gates to Manse Hill fixed, but always left angry.

Elias came up to us, carrying one of his satchels. He thanked us for our help and told us we probably saved his life, and gave us some vials that he’d made, saying they were like sunrods but they lasted longer. Geled asked him if he could learn magic, and Elias said that he could let Geled read some of his books sometime.

We went to Mr. Ironhammer’s forge to check in on him, and he was deep in his work, covered with scars and tattoos that we could see after all of his hair was burned off. He wasn’t himself and hadn’t been since the battle, so we went away and headed around town to see if there was anything else we could help with. Charese said she had something to work on so she went to her auntie’s house, and Geled and I ran up to Manse Hill to see if we could help anyone out. While we were there, one of the servants named Fergusen came up to us and said that they had seen us during the battle. He thanked us for our help and for lighting the Torchiere, and then said that the families in Downhill had lost 25 people – almost as many as the 30 casualties that we had been told about. Fergusen told us that the families had pooled their money to buy us a gift to thank us, and gave us four sunrods – an incredible gift from poor servants! I gave him the glowstick that Elias had given me, and thanked him for his gifts, and then he ran off back to work. Geled ran down to get Charese and I went to Downhill to see if they needed any help at the temple to Wee Jas.

Downhill was even worse than I had thought – the runoff from the hill flowed into a pool at the bottom of the hill, and rowhouses lined the muddy path. Two stone biers were built and they had burning bodies on them – bodies that were wrapped in darned sheets and blankets instead of funerary wrappings. Nobody was there, so we ran back to town and bought as much bedding as we could. I talked to my father and told him that there were no priests in Downhill, and that they needed help burying their dead. He said he would take up a collection, and then asked us to take a package to Mr. Von Karis.

We got into the house, and it was abandoned – or seemed to be. The bag started moving and tried to talk in our minds, so we quickly went through the house, looking for something to put it in. We found a steamer trunk and Geled pried it open with a wire, but cut himself on the lock. Charese sucked out the poison and spit it out, and we pulled the linens out of the trunk, then shoved the bag into the trunk and tied it shut with the linens. Then we started searching the house, looking for any clues. Upstairs, Geled opened a book and it exploded, throwing him against the wall. We put the trunk into a room and put heavy weights on top of it, then locked it inside before returning to the front door to wait. After a couple hours, we didn’t hear anyone coming for us, so we went into the chapel and blocked ourselves up inside it.

Come morning, we returned to exploration of the house since nobody came after us. We went into the basement, finding doors that led to other rooms that we’d already explored – sometimes even through doorways that led to other rooms. We opened a door into a room with weird symbols, and Geled screamed and collapsed into a heap. When he came to, he sat up and started talking reallly strangely – showing an intense thirst for knowledge that was uncontrollable. We passed back through a scary white room and opened another door, then we heard Mr. Von Karis’ voice from the other end of the room. He thanked us for helping him to escape from the “spaces between spaces” and unfolded the room somehow, bringing us up to the room with the creature in it. He opened the trunk without touching it, and magically held it in midair while he dissected it alive. Then he told us to go home, and we went back to the chapel to tell my father about everything – and found out that it had only been a couple hours, and not all night like we thought.

We brought my father down to Downhill along with the blankets, and people were a bit suspicious of us until we mentioned that Fergusen gave us a gift and we had wanted to repay the favor by bringing some blankets. Then the man brightened up and thanked us, shaking our hands and calling out to Fergusen that we were here. We went to the chapel to drop off the blankets, and a half-orc woman met us there. After explaining what happened, she smiled and thanked us, but my father seemed scared and dragged us out – afterwards, explaining that she worshipped something called the Ur, and stole power from the gods.

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Thomas Journal 2
Goddess Blush: Durvishire

Gelid and I came back into town, bringing Aaron Daris to the temple to see if my father could do anything to help him. He gave us a list to bring to Goody Wilder, so we left Aaron there with my father and Lida, and went to Goody Wilder’s place. On the front porch we ran into her neice Charese, who is our age, and we told her some about what happened. She told us we should tell her auntie, so when we went inside and gave Goody Wilder the note from my father, we told her what happened. She didn’t seem surprised, and told us that things would be all right, then gave us the herbs to bring back to my father. We returned them home and went outside to sit by the Torchiere.

While sitting there, we heard Jo Fisher yelling behind the market. We ran to help him, and found him struggling with a horrible thing! It was small, but made out of tentacles and mouths – one of the things beneath the floor! We helped him grab onto it, and Charese stabbed it, while I pounded on it with a cudgel. After a long fight, we killed it and then Mr. Ironhammer told the guards to wrap it up, and we took Jo to the temple to help him get healed. By then the alarm had been raised, and we grabbed lanterns, then sat outside on the stoop, keeping watch over the square.

We saw some other kids run out of the church – Leon Barber, Kaleb Farmer, and Elias, the elf. They ran out into the night, and we called after them to take a lantern with them – that the monsters were afraid of the light. We ran outside too, carrying lanterns as we heard shouts and fighting – we could no longer sit by while others were fighting and dying in the night. We started setting fires to illuminate the shadowy areas behind buildings, and then heard shouts of the older kids in trouble. We ran up to find Leon, Kaleb and Elias fighting what used to be Stephan and Twig – and in Stephan’s case, casting spells. We surrounded them and started pounding on the two who used to be bullies, causing the creatures inside them to burst out and try to escape… but we grabbed them and smashed them into a pulp. By then, we noticed that the fires on Manse Hill were out, so we lit our lanterns from the hearth in the center of town and ran the circuit through town to the hill, where a huge battle was taking place. We paid less attention to the battle than to the extinguished Torchiere, lighting it in its order while the darkness beyond attempted to put it back out again. Whenever we faltered, magical bolts flew out of the night to strike us, severely wounding whoever they struck. I jumped in front of some bolts to shield Charese from them so she could complete the ritual, knocking me down and I passed out from the pain. When I woke, the fires were lit and the adults helped us to get back to the chapel, telling us we did well.

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Thomas Journal 1
Goddess Blush: Durvishire

Gelid came to find me at the church while I was making more poultices, He reminded me that it was Goddess Blush, and that it was time to buy sacrifices for her. He only had 5 silvers to spend, but I’d managed to save up 20 silvers, so I offered to go in on some jewelry with him and see if we couldn’t get something decent. We went to the market and watched for awhile, and determined that two of the merchants selling trinkets were totally untrustworthy, so we watched a couple other ones. The first sold goods that looked quite nice, but Gelid said that they were enchanted to look nicer, so we left his shop – though not before I told him that he might be better served to be honest with his customers. He was not impressed, and blew us off, so we went to the other merchant. This one was a crotchety but decent-seeming fellow named Anthony Grimaldi – shorter than we were, and old, He had all kinds of mechanical things in his wagon, which Gelid took an immediate interest in. Gelid picked a particular ring, and I took one as well, paying the fellow after a bit of negotiation. We got an incredible deal, paying only 25 silvers for two nice rings, and left to return to our homes…

...but we got ambushed by Aaron Daris and his cronies. They surrounded us and demanded the rings, but I wouldn’t part with them. Wayland Carver tried to grab the ring from me, and Gelid punched him in the face! I’ve never seen him so mad, not even when they tied him to a scarecrow two months ago. Stephen Montgomery grabbed me from behind and held me, so I slammed my head into his jaw, and Twig Stark-Smith took that opportunity to kick me in the stones, I don’t think I’d ever felt so much pain before. That stunned me long enough for Aaron to grab the ring away from me and run, and the bullies let me go and ran. Gelid and I ran off after them, but Twig pulled a shard of glass from his sleeve and swung it at me, then fled faster than we could chase. It was then that I realized how much it hurt, and I doubled over in pain. Doug Ironhammer helped us after the bullies ran away. giving me some ale to dull the pain, and when we said they stole our ring, he gave us another one – an incredible ring carved out of solid ruby! He told us to hold onto it until it was time to sacrifice it, and then I asked if we could do anything to repay him for his kindness. He asked that we go get some supplies from the warehouse down by the docks, so we took his handcart and headed out.

On the way to the docks, we saw Jack Vance standing guard as he usually did – but something was wrong. It was cold out, and we didn’t see his breath… so we went up and called his name, and then tapped him. He fell over flat onto the ice, stone dead! We ran back to find Mr. Ironhammer and tell him what happened, and he came back to the warehouse with us, leaving Lita behind to guard his stall. We found drag marks where Jack Vance used to be lying, leading to a hole in the ice. He told us to not talk too much about it, and to get the supplies and then go home. We went into the warehouse, but while we were there, we saw some light inside – the four bullies were inside, gloating over their prize. They noticed something written on it, and read the inscription out loud – the ring cracked and they started yelling at Twig, who broke it! Then a huge tentacle reached out of a hole in the floor and yanked him off his feet, dragging him into the crawlspace! Gelid and I froze in place up in the catwalk, watching in horror as Aaron Daris cowered in a corner, Wayland Carver fled and Stephan Montgomery pulled out a piece of chalk, drawing some sort of protective circle on the floor. We climbed down and pushed a crate into the hole to block it, and then Twig’s voice came out from under the crate, asking us to come down under the floor… But we’d seen him get hurt too badly to talk, so we grabbed Aaron, who was not moving out of the corner, and Stephan and Gelid and I ran back to the entrance, carrying Aaron over our shoulders. Before we could reach the doors, another tentacle reached out of the darkness beneath the floor and grabbed Stephan by the ankles, slamming his head down on a wagon and yanking him under the warehouse! Gelid and I ran out to find Mr. Ironhammer and told him what happened, so he sent two guards into the warehouse – and they came out a few minutes later with Stephan and Twig, who looked like nothing bad happened to them! We told Mr. Ironhammer not to believe it, especially since I called Twig “Tadpole”, an old name that he hated being called, and he didn’t react at all. Mr. Ironhammer told us to keep the ring with us, and we left to go towards the Torchiere.

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Charese's hard Days night

boy am I glad that Momma taught me how to read and write, and got me my very own paper diary to keep my thoughts in. I know that I’ve never used it before, but the things that happened today, make me think that I’m going to want to write in it a whole lot more.

When I woke up this morning, I was really excited. I mean yeah Roean didn’t let me sleep in a tree like I wanted to, But we got to town in late afternoon. I always love coming to town, there’s always so much to do during the festival’s, and Antie Evie’s place is so much fun to stay during dark night. As soon as we got in I immediately ran out to go see what there was to see in the town center.

I saw those bully kids, you know the ones that are always picking on Jo, Twigg and that friend of his being led away by two town guards, the guards said they were in big trouble, and the kids kept saying they didn’t do it. I was real curious about what was going on so I decided to track them back to where they had come from. On the way I met up with Thomas Pritcherd and Galied, never really met Thomas before and never really said much to Galied, but they seemed real freaked out so I asked them what was happening, they even had another kid in a wheelbarrow.

they said that the two bully kids, were really monsters inside now! I mean they seemed real sincere about it, and if it wasn't for knowing there was weird stuff in the world, like Mr Mittens  I don't think I would've believed them, but it really seemed to me like they were telling the truth.  I told them that they should tell my aunt about what they'd seen, and it turned out to work out right anyway because Thomase's father had a note for Auntie Evie.
you I told her what was up,  what the guys had see.  And after she had got together the  Hearbs  and stuff for Mr. Prichard  she just for a second drop that frail  old Biddy  routine but she does for most folks, and told me to stay with the guys.  when I went back outside with the guys Roean  have a look on his face, you know look him and momma  sometimes get right before something bad is going to happen,  and told me to keep my knife  close.  well you know he didn't actually say it,  but I knew that's what he meant.
boy was he right, we weren't hanging out at the fire for more than five  or 10 minutes, when I heard that Jo  was having some sort of trouble. We ran  over and Jo  was  fighting  with the nastiest thing I've ever seen. It was like five Ells  all together  and they were trying to hurt Joe. The guy was an eye all jumped in. And just  pounded the snot out  of the thing. I was real scared, I mean worse than when I had to take on that mother bore all by myself.  we killd it then  for grownups got there.

That’s when things started to get really bad. We’ve started to blow the horn up on the roof of the Church, I saw that the beacon light was down on mansion hill and there was fighting happening up there. Auntie Evie turned into a big owl and flew off to hill with Mister mittens. I always knew that she could do something like that! I just knew it!

For a little bit I thought everything was going to be okay. The grownups were taking care of it now. Everybody was milling into the church, scared, and not knowing what to do. Roean was being totally cool, protecting the church from the roof. Auntie Evie was out fighting what was ever on the Hill. I knew, I just knew that I had to do something to help. Me and the guys grabed lanterns and ran out to light fires with a beacon fire wasn’t hitting to keep the darkness at bey.

we'd just gotten one let, and going real good when we heard fighting. We ran over to help. The next couple of minutes, well, it was real bad. I mean I thought the tentacle thing earlier in the day was going to be the worst thing I've ever seen in my whole life. I was so wrong. The boys that had been led away by the guards earlier that day, were fighting a group of the older boys. And it was real clear, that  the guys were right! It was a believe them anymore. We fought them, they tried to kill us, but... we killed them. I mean they were real and nasty boys. Always picking on everybody. But they didn't deserve that. Somebody should have protected them, but all we could do was kill them to make sure that they didn't hurt anybody else.

Just about when we’d finished, killing them, and the things inside them ( ) said that we had to get the torches relit. So after we got the injured back to the church, to put out my lantern, and re lit on the hearth fire in the center of town. I was just going to run the fire straight up to mansion Hill, but the guys, are much smarter than me! Yelled at me that we had to do it like the real writing ritual. So we all took off running, me, Thomas,Galied, and the older guys, at least the one still standing. I don’t really remember much of the next couple of minutes real clear. I remember running I remember lots of times nasty things with tentacles came out of the darkness once or twice I had to fight them off myself. Most of the time however the guys who were running with me behind my back. They made sure that none of the tentacle things could get me so that we could get the fire to wear it needed to go, and we light the fires to drive back the darkness.

we got the fire is lit in the right order, and I know that Thomas jumped in front of one of those fireballs that would've killed me why I was doing the lighting. It almost killed him! The grown-ups, including Mr. iron Hammer, and a big bear  I just knew was my Auntie Evie  were fighting something, but I didn't look too close. I just knew it was going to be something horrible.
when all was said and done, I know that us lighting the beacon fires again turned the tide of battle. I just know that if it hadn't been for me and the guys working together to make it happen that the town would've been taken over by the dark. But every single one of us would have ended up all inside just like the bully boys. I think me and the guys are going to be friends forever and ever.
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Gelid's Journal

Goddess Blush (3rd Day of Ice) 9 Days until Darkestnacht

Afternoon: Church

Went to visit Thomas at his father’s place of worship… Thomas is a nice boy but I honestly would have spent time studying, but father says I am too cloistered. Thomas agreed to help me get a few trinkets to sacrifice for Wee Jas, he’s been pinching his coppers, the boy has 1.5 gp!

Afternoon: Thoroughfare

Two merchants seemed nice enough, but the first one we talked too seemed a tad insulting as he tried to pass off glass and pewter as fine gold and rubies. Thomas suggested we have another chat with the merchant… But only after one of the Stark-Smith women was duped into purchasing a bauble that was scarcely worth what she shelled out. Thomas tried to “help” the merchant by telling the error of his ways, the boy must learn that callousness cannot be chastised away. Another merchant seemed more amendable to dealing with us… He looks interesting, and his cart is quite clever, I liked him immediately. Anthony Grimauldi was his name, but I think we got the better of him on a ring I selected…I think it may be magical, and we got a second ring in the deal for free to boot! All was going well and the day seemed quite productive until the four most horrid boys in town descended upon us. Wayland Carver tried to take the special ring from Thomas, and it was at that point I remembered the looks on the same set of mongrels faces the night they tied me to a scarecrow two harvest moons ago… It was then I had just about enough of their years worth of taunting, being beaten, being robbed, and being called the blue kid… So I punched him in his stupid pig nose. Stephen Montgomery grabbed Thomas from behind which was the wrong thing to do, too bad about Steph’s nose. Poor Thomas, I felt so weak watching as Aaron Daris wrenched our good ring away after “Tadpole” Stark-Smith dealt my friends, um sensitive area, a savage kick with his cruel pointed boot. Doug Ironhammer, the town smith helped us after it was too late and the bullies ran off, but he gave us ale and condolences. Mr. Ironhammer is such a nice man and so generous, he gave us a ring worth possibly thousands of gp… He said it might very well burn those hooligans britches when we sacrifice this ring, which was undoubtedly more wondrous than the stolen property could hope to be. Amazing, truly amazing.

Mid Afternoon: The Docks

Mr. Ironhammer had us go down to the docks to fetch some cooping supplies in the dockside warehouse. Its only right that we help him out after giving us that beautiful ring. We saw My Vance on at his usual position near the coast, but he was strange today, might as well see what is bothering him. !!!!Jack Vance is dead!!!! He was frozen solid, yet there was no overpowering cold!!! He just fell over right down onto the rocks!!! Mr. Ironhammer came back to the docks with us while his daughter Lita guarded his stall. I am so glad he is with us, there is something comforting in how he carries himself, maybe its the gloves? I really like his gloves, they look mean, and intimidating, and mean… Maybe I should talk to him after sorting out the whole frozen people situation that has arisen… The stolen ring seems so petty now that Jack Vance is dead. But the body has been moved (or dragged)under the docks… Must ask Mr. Ironhammer about being a pit fighter in Hartsreel, he said to ask him about it later in the pub… Oh dear Wee Jas spare us this day…

Near Dark: The Warehouse

The supplies we needed are in the warehouse above the docks, it’s a simple matter going into the warehouse, right? I mean there hasn’t been a monster seen in 6 generations, so there is probably a perfectly reasonable explanation for Mr. Vance being frozen solid and dragged into the water below the docks… I am glad I have the piton, now to search for what Mr. Ironhammer needed. We get all the supplies from various parts of the warehouse and load up when the bullies showed up again with our ring, and Twig seems to have broken it after reading some incantation inside of it… But dear Gods, the poor boy was pulled under the floorboards by some tentacled deamon!!!! And Stephen, oh dear stupid Stephen and his magic, he was taken as well!!! Mr. Ironhammer didn’t believe us entirely, even when Stephen and Twig CAME OUT WITH THE GUARDS WHO SEARCHED THE WAREHOUSE!!!!! But he urged us to keep the ring on at all times… The night seems darker now…. Darkestnacht is 8 short days away… Gods help us all…

Gelid’s Journal:

Goddess Blush (3rd Day of Ice) 9 Days until Darkestnacht

Nightfall: Thoroughfare

Walking back to the thoroughfare was odd, I kept thinking about my birthday coming up on the 13th… I never thought I would doubt seeing my 11th year… Things are so strange after seeing Stephen and Twig being torn apart by that thing under the docks. I really must speak again with Mr. Ironhammer, being near him makes me feel brave, or at least less scared. We ran into Charise Wilder near the center of town, I never really talked to her but she is a nice girl and she listened, really listened, but what’s more, she believed. And Jo, the giant green ball of wonderful snuck up on us near the main bonfire, he does wonders to calm my troubled mind. He really is a kind soul. But more importantly Charise says her aunt Goody might believe what happened. Thomas said he dropped poor Aaron off at the church and now we have a second reason to see Ms. Wilder, apparently she has herbs that would be of benefit to the Daris boy…

After Dark: Goody Wilder’s house

Thomas told her what we saw and gave her the note containing the list of herbs we needed, she seemed disheartened. She said under her breath, “So young, such a shame.” As se found the herbs we needed. And for a moment Goody wilder was completely lucid, or at least as much as I ever heard her sound when she told Charise to stay with Thomas and I… So strange, I never though hearing a “crazy” old lady speak so clearly would give me such a chill… She knows something, and so does Rowan, Charise’s older brother. It wasn’t so much what he said but how he said, “You take care of yourself.” to his sister. Bad things are coming and everyone seems to feel it.

After Dark: Chapel

Aaron is stable, but Lita is helping him as best as he can with the root mixture Goody gave us. So sad… We really can’t help any more..

After dark: Thoroughfare

Approaching the great fire Charise heard Jo struggling with someone so of course we rushed to his aid. Bully me if you want, but no one bullies Jo! He was struggling with something in the dark… it was one of those damned tentacle monsters!!! We grappled with it for what seemed like hours, but couldn’t have been more than a minute or so, damn the thing can wriggle! I held it as best as I could with Jo and Thomas as Charise stabbed and bludgeoned the abomination to death!!! Now the grown ups believe us when we point at the things corpse, only when it is nearly too late! When we pulled down the tarps around the great fire more of the tentacled fiends skittered into the darkness. We gathered the children in the church and were blessed by Thomas’ father but the two Carver boys ran off despite the danger, thankfully Thomas gave them a lantern and spoke of the monsters fear of light. The damn town is falling apart with panic, poor Charise was clearly stirred by fear, but hopefully she won’t be reckless… I can see the fear in her eyes. So much confusion, we had to do something so we lit a fire to push back the darkness, but luck would have it that we saw the Carver boys again fighting along side of the Farmer boy as the battled Twig’s vile imposter. I feel horrid for what happened to the real boy, so now it is time for retribution on this abomination! Damn that horrid doppelganger of Stephen, hit me with magic missiles in the back! It appears we have a fantastic strategy, light the buggers on fire or grab onto them and stomp it into paste! The deamon inhabiting Stephen decided to move to more agreeable climes and vacated the boy’s body most violently. It attempted to inhabit Thomas but Charise was stronger than the beast, it was at this time we enacted our newfound and soon to be time honored strategy. So much death, and whats more, Stephen was using spells of the dead, Necromancy! The creatures controlling the boys aren’t able to cast spells on their own, otherwise the beasts would have flung all manner of arcane arts at us when we wrestled one with Jo. Stephen must have studied Necromancy!!! As we brought Elias to the Church, in a maddened ramble he mentioned relighting the torches so we must head to Manse Hill where the torches have indeed gone out! Charise lit her lantern from the central Hearth, which reminded me, this is the Rite of Passing… It must be done properly, so I ordered the torch bearers to run a distance equivalent to marching around the town. It must be done right!!! Upon arriving to manse hill, there was a terrible battle underway and some form of vile spell caster attempting to douse the torches we lit. That Charise is nimble, she dodges his spells with grace! Leon jumped in the way of a vicious volley and barely survived. Thomas was nearly killed when he took a volley aimed directly Charise… Thomas… So brave, so strong! A lesser man would have given in to Wee Jas’ call. Our courage held out, the fires were lit and we huddled next to the hearths warmth.

As I looked out past the haze I saw a maddening sight, the robed figure with webbed hands pulling darkness from the very air and using it to fight Mr. Ironhammer, Goody Wilder (in the form of a bear, and Mr Mittens riding her back), Mrs. Barber, and Mr. Von Caris (who was throwing energy skulls at the deamon). When it was overwhelmed and injured by the light of the torches the Creature seemed to fold space around its wretched form and disappear. The adults saw us and understood what we did.

Midnight: Church , 4th day of Ice

The night was so strange after that, it was all so surreal watching the dead and wounded brought to the church, and indeed all I could do was watch. I was exhausted from fighting … And killing two boys whom I knew in life. They were horrible, but thy did not deserve the fate they ultimately were dealt, the were just children, like me. But I don’t feel like a child anymore, that part of my life is over, that wonderful brief span where the greatest of my worries was reading a new book or avoiding the likes of Twig and Stephen… I wandered the Church and let my thoughts do likewise… I always do that when things get intense, it calms me a bit, but in my mental meanderings I remembered, it was nearly midnight it was time to make our sacrifice to Wee Jas… It only seemed proper that I gave the ring Mr. Ironhammer loaned us to the Goddess. I hope she accepts the offer with a smile, because the ring helped me protect my friends and no doubt it has protected countless adventurures before it’s journey ends here and I give it away to her willingly… After all Thomas said it was the journey of the item to the flame that the Goddess appreciates… I hope maybe this will please her. As my friends and I dropped our offerings into the fire, I knew at that moment we had a bond forged that would last to the end of our days… For better or worse.

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