The Sigils of Meshtun

The Noble Kaj

After some reflection of past deeds and trevails leading up to his knighting by the Duke of Enyen, Kaj will now be known in formal circles, as:

Sir Kaj Duskchild, Knight of Enyen. His regalia (Coat of Arms) will depict a Red Rat over an anchor with the following cryptic line:

“O Sands Ye Is Marm Balled Me Cutter.” This is thieves cant for “the love of his wife sustained my blade.”

Kaj has paid a seamstress some pences to begin work immediately on a small surcoat bearing his new regalia on his right front shoulder.

Kaj will now try to act with nobleness and dignity when he backstabs and shanks his worthless foes.

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Time and again...
Ancient Curses are Ancient

There has been great turmoil in the lives of The Marked Ones.

The group has been traveling together for months now, and has grown considerably in power from where they began.

After Doom Spike Village they traveled to the old keep in the mountains of the island. There, they fought through a ritual being performed by cultists and those enslaved by the cult. Unable to disrupt the ritual that would “Summon the Worm”, they were caught in its effects. Little did the cult itself understand just what those effects would be.

The Marked Ones were transported to a time in the past where powerful nobility, once servants of Pelor, had been in time, warped to something different… something wrong. They worshiped torture and pain now, reveling in the glory of the suffering they habitually cause. The King of these people had seen to it that the adventuring group was called to his keep, and hoped to use them in breaking the curse that kept the twisted ones trapped in the past.

The keep was all trapped in a Time Loop, the day of their siege replayed over and over again. The dead would return, the gains would be lost and the losses regained. To end this, the twisted inhabitants of the keep (including the King, his sister the sorceress, and the vizier as key players in the repeating dance) all wanted an enchanted sword that lay below the keep, stolen by the King’s brother and taken away long ago. The Marked Ones attempted to learn what they could and then ventured to the cavernous depths below to find this magic blade.

There they engaged with an Ancient group of inbred Eladrin who were barely holding on to survival. Allied with this group, The Marked Ones found their way to the sword in the lap of the corpse of the long dead King’s brother, for he (like the feeble Eladrin), were not trapped within the time loop, but could not leave their own little pocket of Underdark because of it. The Marked Ones, after escaping from a beast that still gives some among their number nightmares, attempted to lead their new allies back to storm the Keep with the help of the sword… that coursed with an evil intelligence.

When the bringer of doom, this fel blade, touched the barrier of the cursed keep’s edge, reality exploded… when all was normal again, the group had returned to where they began, and were able to finally recover one of the Robes of Pelor, an artifact they had journeyed there to retrieve in the first place.

This accomplished, the curse seemed to have been truly destroyed. In the Shadowfel of the island, where an ancient convent of the Raven Queen once was destroyed by powerful magic leaving only an ever churning whirlwind of death… the air was silence and calm once again. The Marked Ones visited the physical realm’s version of this place in the modern day and cemented their friendship with the maidens there. The adventurers granted them the evil sword to keep safe and away from influencing The Marked One’s growing strength with its horrid power. This was impressive to the masters of the convent and they hinted at a bond being forged.

The Marked Ones were granted easy passage to the Shadow with the Sisters who were returning to the holy site of their past to rebuild the ancient convent once again. Here, in the Shadowfel, they crossed the desert rather than wait several moons for a boat to cross the ocean that lay in the same location in the Realm they knew as home. There were dangers a plenty here. From creatures they did not know, to a powerful dragon they defeated with a show of strength followed by carefully chosen diplomacy and cunning. Eventually, they arrived in Enyen’s counterpart in the Shadow. This city was not as it should be. Before, in this place, the Raven Queen was considered a patron. Now, the Goddess was openly shunned and creatures not before welcome there were at home… like the Undead.

The group was ushered into the central keep where they came face to face with a new player in the great game of the Sigils. A Vampire whom several among the group saw and instantly wanted to strike down for defying the will of the gods by its very existence. This Vampire was too powerful, and the words she spoke were too well played for the battle to take place just yet. She served Amateen and proposed a working partnership between the group and her lord. As the details were left vague enough for The Marked Ones not to be heavily bound, they agreed… for now.

The group then returned to the Realm of Enyen…

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Doom Spike

A short recap so everyone knows what has changed:

Kaj has acquired:

In the village, inside a chest in the millhouse, a map of the doomspike castle and an “artwork” piece with elven script (a poem).

A silver ring eladrin ring found on a female skeleton inside a iron maiden. Inspection by the arcanist of the group has determined that the ring (aka torture room ring), is not magical.

Also found a set of keys (one opened the torture room into the iron maiden).

Flint got burned and learned how to dance like a mad villager.

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Dweniden as a Child (Part 2)
Youth In Revolt

...before he was ‘found’ by Bahamut, Dweniden was a very different person…

Born of a people displaced from their homes, lost and broken and trying to rebuild in the Human-centric world. The generation that came to the city is now older, their children have children themselves, and among them was Dweniden.

Not to get into too much detail, Enyen was Dweniden’s home in his youth. It has been over ten years since he has left the city, but he was there for many years before that. Dweniden no longer resembles the child he once was, and he prefers it that way. While Kaj is hiding from external dangers there, Dweniden was hiding from personal demons. To be recognized would raise too many questions from within, and to prevent that end he has not even shared his history with his allies.

Though the more perceptive, upon reflection, would put together some of the pieces that showed a connection between Dweniden and Enyen, he has offered nothing on the matter.

The temple in particular surprisingly, and to Dweniden’s comfort, did not recognize the man who left to wield his God’s power in the name of all that is Holy and right.

Before the temple though, before being ‘saved’, he was a thief, a burglar, a hooligan who picked dangerous fights and defied his elders. He was a street tough and would have, left to his own devices, become a frightful and dangerous man consumed by darkness. He owes his life, and more importantly he feels… his very soul, to the beings of light who guided him.

Dweniden was trained by both priests and Outsiders (the capital O is intentional). Meaning Humans, Elves, Gnomes, Dwarves, and other people born of this world… but beyond them, and more importantly, he was schooled by Archons, Devas, and other Angels and Spirits not of this world. Before he first called down Bahamut’s wrath upon a foe, he was trained by beings most people in the world did not even believe in, much less get a chance to stand face to face with.

His youth however, is always in his mind. He can not hide from it, he knows… but that does not mean he must embrace it.

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Dweniden as a Child (Part 1)
A Second Chance

“You don’t know me. I don’t even know me, so who the hell do you think you are to say you do?”

‘I know what you seek.’

“What do you mean?”

‘You have been chosen, I think. By me at least. But I sense by something beyond me as well.’

“Chosen? What are you talking about?”

‘Walk with me. I will show you things you never dreamed you thought you’d see.’

...they walk to the church, pass through the great chamber and a door that was locked off from the public… Dweniden, only a youth now, can not believe his eyes…

“Is that… is that an Angel?”

‘Yes. If you stay, he will be your teacher. He will push you to your limits. Failure will be punished severely. Success will be rewarded with service to a purpose higher than yourself. Something important. Something that will be felt beyond your own life.’

“I can matter.”

‘Is that a question, or a statement?’

“Both.”

With that, the young Elf who didn’t belong anywhere found a place to start again. But before that, there was much less hope in Dweniden’s life…

(Continued:)

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Life in the City

During the party’s stay at Mercy House, Kaj reveals the following to his fellow Marked One’s:

Places of Interest for Kaj:

Kaj spent most of his life, from early teens through the age of 21, frequenting the docks and the slums of Enyen. Occasionally, traveling to better parts of the cities on “errands” for the Guild or Captain Barraka. Places of special note for Kaj include the following:

House of Mercy: it is just a plain roof with no walls, supervised by Old Marm Issiid, a blind elderly lady who hands out food to the beggar children of Enyen. Mommy “Iis” was the difference between being hungry and starving to death when Kaj was a young street urchin. Mercy House is supported by various charities and, unbeknownst to the general public, protected by the Guild. The guild law provides that “no blood is shed at Mercy House.”

The Floating Anchor: is a rundown tavern on the docks that also contains a lower level accessing the water line. A perfect place for smuggling goods into and out of Enyen. Was a frequent spot for Her Bright Ladyship to anchor. The proprietor is Cars Flatbottom, a dwarven male who was forced to work on a ship in his younger years. Cars is an excellent fence and knows how to make a profit from Enyen’s seedier population. Persons of note:

Raast Baraka, Captain of Her Bright Ladyship, half-orc, late 40’s. A grim silent figure who brooks no challenge to his authority as complete master of the ship. Carries a huge cutlass. Few outside the crew know that Baraka is a half-orc. His huge beard and bushy eyebrows cover up a lot of his orcish features. Only a close inspection reveals pronounced canines. Commanded a crew made up by goblins, and the riff raff of the Sea Realms. It is known among his officers that Baraka never purchased his ship, but acquired it by force of arms. For the past decade, Baraka has made profit from transporting and selling contraband, stolen goods, and other illicit cargo. Baraka is famouse for being able to harbor at any port of call, even without a harbormaster’s knowledge.

Ulfer Vurmstag, first mate, barbarian, mid 30’s. A huge tanned barbarian from the Northlands. Kaj first met Ulfer when he attempted to a fugitive passenger to transport, without approval from the Shadow Guild. Young Kaj impressed Baraka with his ability to browbeat Ulfer and the crew to accept the charter, and Baraka ordered Kaj press-ganged into the crew as additional payment for the fare. Ever since their first meeting, Ulfer and Kaj have harried each other. Kaj learned to respect Baraka and learned from Baraka how to earn respect from a crew of cut-throats. Kaj gained the captain’s favor and was ultimately promoted to second mate. In the end, Ulfer’s resentment boiled over and he attacked Kaj during a port call in Enyen. Kaj beat the drunken Ulfer in front of the crew at a dock tavern and Kaj sliced his ear off. The Captain arrived at the scene and pronounced his judgment. The fight was off the boat, so it was not appropriate for him to issue ship justice. However, Kaj was kicked off the crew for attacking a superior officer.

Remi, rogue, human, mid 20’s, member of the Red Rats. Childhood friend of Kaj when he was growing up among the squalor of the City. Kaj, along with Remi, joined the Red Rats, a youth gang that controlled the docks area of the city. The Red Rats focused on stealing cargo sitting at the docks. Eventually, the Red Rats drew the attention of the Shadow Guild, one of Enyen’s underworld guild of assasins, prostitutes, pimps, fences, confidence men, and thieves. A dozen Guildsmen arrived at the Red Rats’ location and offered the Rats a choice: join the Guild as a local franchise, or oppose the Guild. The Rats agreed on the spot, happy to move up in the world. The Rats quickly learned that associating with the Guild had a heavy price. “Murder, cheat, steal, and rob, but always offer a half portion to the Guild” was the only rule harshly enforced by the Guild. Remi helped Kaj escape the city after the incident with the Captain’s Wife.

Vanis, Femals human early 20’s. Was a member of the Red Rats, along with Kaj and Remi. Vanis became a little sister to Kaj. When the Rats fell short of the accounting by the Guild, the local chapter boss demanded Vanis for his whore parlor in payment. Kaj argued with Remi against the payment. Kaj took Vanis to the docks, along with all his money (a handful of gold pieces), to the only ship that could sail past the reach of the Shadow Guild, Her Bright Ladyship. Although Kaj was press-ganged, Captain Baraka kept his word and delivered Vanis to a religious settlement, at the outrage of Vanis. Kaj promised to return and make Vanis a lady.

Scandalous Affairs:

Although Kaj has committed many crimes of the heart in his young and lustful career as a rake of Enyen, these are the more memorable feats:

Madame Anise Dumain, wife of Sir Durin Dumain, Captain of the City Guard for the Merchant District. Anise is in her mid 30s, buxom and lascivious. Kaj was easily able to seduce Anise on one of her slumming trips near the docks. Kaj was also able to learn the patrol schedule for the merchant district and was in the midst of repaying Madame Dumain when her impotent husband barged into the scene—coitus interruptus. Kaj was able to escape the pursuit of the entire district guard, but only with help from his Red Rat pack.

Therrila of the Seven Veils, half-elven entertainer, dancer, and concubine of Orsk Mossin, Under Boss of the Shadow Guild. In one of his craziest act, Kaj approached Therrila after a night of drinking and actually scored the bedroom dance. After sobering up, did Kaj realize that he had just diddled the woman belonging to the second most powerful man in the Shadow Guild. Every step taken by Kaj in Enyen echos with the repercussion of what will happen if Orsk finds out that Kaj has rubbed his favorite rubarb.

Ankaras the Flesh Weaver, a hag of the slums, with flesh “condition.” Ankara is ugly to the extreme. Ankara also provides healing and medical services to Guild Members when they are unable to approach more legitimate providers. Kaj met a beautiful maiden on a fool-moon and wa surprised at the ease in which he was able to get up her dress. Several days later, Kaj awoke in Ankaras hovel, to her shrieking laughter. Kaj has been unable to tell anyone what happened, and shudders at what he suspects happened.

Recent Developments: Upon return to the City, Kaj learned the following: Captain Dumain has posted a 150 gp reward for Kaj, dead or alive. Remi is locked up in prison, apparently as bait placed by Captain Dumain in his effort to catch Kaj. Vanis was shipped off to the Sisters of Sorrows at Doomspike Island. Orsk Mossin has moved up as head of the Shadow Guild. The Shadow Guild competes with two other organizations, one made up of halflings, and another lead by a mysterious Dark Lady. The Dark Lady has informed Kaj that she will meet to discuss the sphere.

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Wanted for 150gp

Getting closer to the city, I learned from passerby and inn patrons that a notorious scoundrel is wanted dead or alive for the raping of Captain Dumain’s lady. The reward offered is 150 G.P. I am seething. That is an embarrassing amount for my head. That is horse-thief territory. Nevermind the fact that half of Enyen has “raped” the good lady Dumain. Nevermind that Lady Dumain apparently is a serial rape victim and that she always scheduled her rapes during the time that the good impotent Captain Dumain was at watch.

The only ones that could believe this horse dung are the priests in the City. I was “upped” by the Shadow Guild for my efforts with Lady Dumain. Hopefully there is honor among thieves and my mates have stood up for my good name as a murdering philandering, but not raping, scoundrel. We rogues do have standards.

I have advised my comrades that the best approach is to get into the lower wards and make our introductions to the Guild without skulking around the City waiting for the Hoary Man to chop us up into stew.  I could improvise a disguise and go under my psuedoname of "Jack." Perhaps each of us should temporarily adopt travelling names for our time in the City.
I was mulling these shade thoughts when upon entering a walled town, a small lass runs up screaming her head off about her mother being attacked.  Banyan, without any thought to our prior discussions regarding well-planned approaches, and scouting the scene, charges into the village.  The gang runs after and we are besieged immediately by dwarves that appeared to have been dipped in a barrel of Hell.

This was close. Lightnin-Gnome couldn’t hit anything all day. D went down. Barrels were blowing up in our faces. I was beedin out on the dirt street. The dragon slayer, Doc was busy trying to keep us off the Lady’s doorstep. Banyan was finally able to knock the head of the evil dwarves off a roof and we stuck him with the butcher’s bill.

Even after this near miss, I can’t get over the fact that they only offered 150 gp for my head.

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Touch My Ball

Ahh…Returning to the shining star of the inland sea, Enyen. Not wanting my adventuring mates surprised to find a greeting of daggers upon our entry to the City, I confessed several indiscretions committed by Yours truly several months back involving the wives and mistresses of Enyen more notable citizens. The construct named Banyan seemed a bit confused when I explained the process by which a man ruts his partner, funny Banyan. The invoker seemed aghast also, the missionary.

Entering the outskirting villages, I was unable to learn anything new regarding recent events in the city. The local yokels did get us to agree, over my strenuous objections, to cleat out the graveyard of an infestation for 50 lousy gold pieces and a ham breakfast (Crikes—our rates are getting dirt cheap). The graveyard was infested by fell creatures jumping out of a magic circle surrounding a black ball. The elf invoker, dwenadoo-odo, dwe ni, “D”, went into the black ball and disappeared.

After clearing out the graveyard, including a flaming skull-thing, I touched the black ball and knew that I, Kaj, was “master of the Ball.” I tried to get everyone of the group to touch my ball. That gnome shit refused to touch my ball. Banyan would have nothing to do with my ball. Under pressure, Flint reluctantly touched my ball. Me and flint entered a dark place. . .

Next entry, you’ll learn that Kaj is now a rapist. So long mates.

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Return to Enyen

We’ve done alot, me and this crew of ne’er do wells. We cleared out the hobgoblins of the upside down fist and then went to the Falls to help out the grand ol’ church of Bahamut. After clearing the area of the kobolds, we entered the caves behind the falls. We discussed who would go in first, and everyone kept staring at me. Perhaps all my black clothing, throwing knives, and felt-bottomed boots gave these guys an unfortunate impression that my occupation involved skulking in shadows, when every upstanding citizen knows that I am simple sailor.

Anyhow, I entered the cave by my lonesome and faced a practical army of the kobolds. My crew heard my brave screaming through the waterfalls and entered the fray.

After clearing out the majority of the dogfaces, we chased the leaders to the back chambers and discovered to our dismay, a green scaled dragon from folklore. I thought the dark lady would have us for sure that day, but the warforged was able to knock the dragon over and the rest of the crew had a fine time whittling the drake down. He tried to escape with his stinkin lady-bitch, but good ol Flint-the-dragon-slayer, clipped him in mid-flight.

We returned to town with souvenirs and I approached my fence, ahem, merchant for commercial transactions.

Was able to pick up a nice rapier, named “Luck Be Damned.”

The crew discussed where we would head, and the majority of the crew selected that shining city of Enyen. On the way, I divulged my past improprieties with a young lady who happened to have been wed to some captain of the city guards, blah blah blah. I informed my party, in full disclosure, that the captain had taken offense at my carnal knowledge of his dame. His dame not so much.

Can’t wait to get to the City.

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Portal Panic (Kaj's view)

“Coup De Grace The Other Gnome” – Kaj

I knew the passageway down the left held Hell’s horror. I must be traveling with the clumsiest crew in Meshtun. We followed the hobbies blood trail down the dark and narrow. We discover a simple pit trap with hanging rope to swing across—simpler than jumping riggings on a rowboat.

We overcome goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, hexers, and a bloody ogre. But the party is laid low by a rope. The elf, dwarf, and near half the crew go down the pit trying to cross it. I decide fate has called it and actually use the rope to climb down, rather than my mates’ head dives into the abyss.

In the stinkin cesspool, we notice that the floor is covered with shrooms of various colors, and two of the largest lizards I have ever heard described. The crew sucks at climbing rope, but make quick work of the two drakes (as I am later informed by our naturalist).

After being stymied by a barred door (the goblins on the other side did not believe my imitation of a distressed female goblin), we proceeded to the side room where we were confronted by a phantom tapestry and yellow goo.

Someone had the bright idea of messing with the witchcraft and two swarths jumped out of the tapestry and proceeded to waste away before our eyes.

We took out the goo, and then became acquainted with a couple of spooks in what appeared to be a burial chamber. At the end of the passageway two gnomes put up a hell of fight. We pounded one senseless and demanded surrender from his friend. His friend decides discretion is the better part of valor, and I yell out “coupe de grace the other gnome.” Hopefully, that will put the little bugger’s mind in perspective when we question him about the prisoners.

I still have not been able to rest up and the haphazard bandages are covering my wounds are starting to fall off. Would like to rest, but keep thinking about all the other prisoners down here waiting for the monsters to eat em, feed em, or gods know what. It was so much simpler on the seas.

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