The Forest of Spirits (Alpha Group)

27

Note to self: Mummies are bad news and Stormkiller is the best sword I have ever owned. Fuck that bitch. And not in the sexy way. Ew.

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Roux: An Annoyance of Spiders

I do not wish to encounter enormous spiders again. Most unpleasant. Bastien-rao jumped in front of me after it bit me, which was exceedingly rash of him. Nate-rao was poisoned attempting to collect its venom after we defeated it, which was MOST unwise. If he was going to attempt such a thing, he might have at least followed proper venom-gathering protocols.

Not much to report other than unpleasant arachnids. We have reached several towns and did a great deal of resupplying, in addition to selling those things we were no longer in need of. I have begun learning Hon-la, in preparation for our next destination.

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26

Note to self: this world is not wanting for crazy people and this will not be the last time I meet one.

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Roux: An Abundance of Explosions

Well, we have now emerged out of the extremely bitter cold into the merely rather bitter cold. I am fortunate in that Suishen-tzu shields me from the worst of it. It is not the least of his favors; I confess that I will be a bit melancholy when I am obliged to return him to Ameiko-ren. Apart from anything else, his conversation is most intriguing.

We have fought the woman who claimed ownership of the tower and the presumed cause of the harsh storms, and prevailed, though it was a difficult battle. She had an extremely powerful lightning spell that I shall have to study in greater depth. Though I prefer to utilize a mixture of magic and swordplay in my own endeavors, there are times when getting close to an enemy is impossible or unwise. I shall have to learn more spells that function at range.

We also discovered some chrysmals, peculiar creatures that appeared to be some sort of scorpion made out of crystal. What they were doing in the tower, we have no idea. They only spoke Terran, and we were unable to inquire as to their purpose. They were not unfriendly, however, until Zee-rhua made the unwise decision to take one of their crystals from them. Curiosity is entirely understandable, but one cannot simply take things from others (unless of course those others have been hostile and duly defeated). The chrysmals went after him, and he ran away with his ill-gotten gains. When we emerged from the tower, they had roughed him up quite a bit. Though it was entirely deserved, I gave him a potion anyway.

We traveled onward, but were interrupted by an enormous horde of undead. I was able to utilize some spells that I do not yet entirely understand; it took a great deal of study to understand the basics. It is fortunate that fire is most effective against these types of creatures. The caravan was also attacked during the fight, but mostly escaped unscathed. I am worried about her.

It seems we are on our way to a nation called Hongal, where we will be able to resupply somewhat. I should attempt to study the language before our arrival. Things have calmed down slightly; I had a chance to speak with Nanuuaq-tzu. We had a most intriguing chat.

I have been learning a great deal, but it is nice to have some quiet time. I have not had the chance for much reading lately.

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Dr. Zee: Medical log 00004

I’m reminded of a time, which seems like forever ago, when I was but a boy. My father took me to a small village deep in the wood, he told me the people there had been quite receptive of the wares he peddled, and he was hopeful to do more business with the locals. I would later come to realize that his choice, though bold, was very impulsive. I suppose in many ways I take after him, but that village proved to be his downfall. Of course this being much later on. No, at that moment he was simply a salesman, as simple as any salesman can be, it isn’t easy work convincing someone they need something. He was never the best at it either. He often barely got by, but that time he was certain. He wanted to earn enough money my mother could open her own practice and he was convinced this town was the key. We went first to the home of the village leader, Fahim Gelhaad, I believe his name was. He was large and grizzly, with a big black beard that appeared to be a bear taken residence upon his face. When he spoke the ground seemed to quake as if to acknowledge he was speaking. His eyes were as spears piercing your heart. Yet, my father looked right at the man, without fear or hesitation, and spoke to him as an equal. I digress, I feel I have been rambling I should probably document my findings. I can ramble more later.

Patient 002, Nate, managed to make it through the fight nearly unscathed. Surprisingly nimble for someone always lazing about. I do wonder if he has somehow found a way to focus that paranoia into some sort of energy source. It could also be a side effect of the Go Go Juice. Further monitoring definitely suggested. He does seem to able to take advantage of my distractions. Though it is hard tell if he is highly perceptive or merely opportunistic. Probably both. I mean I did witness him jump off the back of a giant condor. Side note: suicidal tendencies.

Patient 001,Teak Haslet Calandra Honeysuckle August Annwyl Sage, a wildflower blooming in a barren wasteland, being the aforementioned condor has a unique condition in which she transforms into large animals. It doesn’t seem to have any negative side effects, aside from some unusual grooming habits, but I should certainly like to know more before I can make any confident statement. I will say it is the most extraordinary thing I’ve seen and I once treated a man with working thumbs on his feet.

Patient 003, Tallus Lynch Witchem, took quite the beating. A common trend it seems. He used some Go Go Juice and an application of bladeguard. He seems an above average swordsman and I only say because I don’t hear of many great swordsmen getting stabbed or blasted as much. I honestly can’t tell if he is fortunate or tragic. I haven’t developed a cure for back luck; at least not yet.

Patient 004, Danseroux Ainhoa Lien Mireille Iraina Sancia Elixabeta Azelise da Ysanne, faired well, though I suspect that talking sword had something to do with it. The child’s exceedingly high intelligence I doubt will cease to marvel.

Side note: A strange device seemed to sap the ability to think right out of me, had we not found a magic scroll I may have been condemned to a life of mediocrity. A tragedy I would wish upon no one. You’d think I’d have learned by now not to let my curiousity get the best of me. I shall have to thank patient 004 for assisting me in the recovery of my greatest asset. A mind truly is a terrible thing to waste; or lose.

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Teak: Deja Vu

The thought went through her head that maybe she should have taken some time to heal herself before they came up here. Maybe she should have worried more about herself.

It was too late now, though, with the monster’s mouth around her and about to swallow her any second. She could see into its belly — the fiery, red-hot pit that was about to be her grave. Oddly enough, she wasn’t scared or anxious; she was only curious and a bit resigned. There was nothing she could do anymore to stop it.

Just as it was about to pull her into its gut, there was a force pushing her out of the way. She didn’t see how it happened, but the next moment, the creature was swallowing Kaleth instead.

The scream that came from her was shrill and panicked.

She couldn’t move as she knelt on the ground where she had been pushed. She could only watch in shock and terror as her friends desperately tried to save her companion.

He was dead. He had sacrificed himself to save her, just like…

Kaleth was dead.

It was this thought that kept her immobile as the others fought.

Tallus shot it, and one more lightning bolt from the still-in-effect spell of hers brought the monster down. Then Nate cut open its stomach and they were barely able to convince Dr. Zee to pull the body out in time.

It happened so quickly, but to Teak, it seemed to take forever.

She was by Kaleth’s side in an instant. As soon as she’d seen him breathing, she was there, spells on her lips and fingers. He was alive. He’d survived it.

Once she was certain he was healed, she collapsed on top of him. Sobs of relief and terror overwhelmed her. He licked her face affectionately.

Kaleth was alive.

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Dr. Zee: Medical log 00003

Patient 002, Nate, was blinded by a plant creature; he recovered shortly thereafter, however he seemed quite distressed for the duration of the condition. I was able to extract the means by which the plant creature blinded him and perhaps with further study could create an artificial reproduction. Though I may have to suggest to Patient 002 that studying unknown effects through direct exposure is ill advised.

Patient 003, Tallus Lynch Witchem, was swallowed by the previously noted plant creature and was regurgitated entrapped in a seed pod. It appeared to be an attempt to utilize Patient 003’s nutrients to reproduce. He escaped before the process was complete, which while I am glad for his survival would be curious to see the completion of the cycle.

Patient 001,Teak Haslet Calandra Honeysuckle August Annwyl Sage, still lovely as ever, has suffered a series of tragic misfortunes. First being subject to an ailment she refers to as “soul rape”, for which I have given her one of my more expensive remedies (soul stimulant) to delay its effects. A part of me wishes I had accepted the 800 gold offered by patient 002. However, if it eases her pain it is well worth the cost. The second, her animal companion was swallowed by a remorhaz attempting to rescue her, and would have died had I not risked my own to save his. I must say it was a difficult choice for had I perished in the process it would simply have added to the victim count. Fate was with me on this day; though I do not wish to do such a thing again.

Patient 004, Danseroux Ainhoa Lien Mireille Iraina Sancia Elixabeta Azelise da Ysanne, has proven to be interesting indeed. She hails from a land far from here that has many unique customs such as using hand gestures to communicate emotions. She has agreed to teach me her customs and share her magic with me. I greatly anticipate working with her in the future; I sense it will prove profitable and enlightening.

Summary: I can now understand why Ameiko was so eager to have another doctor around.

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Teak's Journal: Entry (19)

I’m sick and tired of this. Sick and tired of it.

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25

Note to self: Being blind still sucks.

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Dr. Zee: Medical log 00002

Patient 004: Danseroux Ainhoa Lien Mireille Iraina Sancia Elixabeta Azelise da Ysanne received treatment in the form of a cure extract for battlefield wounds.

Patients xxx: These unfortunate souls proved to be incurable; oddly enough they were already dead. I had heard of such a thing, but not yet witnessed it for myself. Had I the time I would have liked the opportunity for closer examination. Sadly, my other, living patients, required my attention. I was forced to euthanize these “undead” in order to move forward. There seems to be others though so there is still hope. As father always said, “you only fail once you’ve given up.”

Note: I discovered a naturally occurring poison, by the name of Black Frost, and was able to harvest some for future studies. The others seemed excited about the discovery as well; good to be traveling with enlightened minds.

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