The Forest of Spirits (Alpha Group)

Roux: A Bevy of Battles

Dear Feliu-rhi,

I send my kindest felicitations and blessings for you and your kin, and undertake with eagerness the pleasure of writing your honored self.

We have been occupied clearing out the ‘occupants’ of Brinewall Castle, numerous troglodytes and the ogre-kin woman Sophie-Tzu decided to ignore earlier. We had to fight them all at once, but fortunately our three-front battle did not go as poorly as that of Jaquai of Torneaux, and we prevailed. I have not yet had a chance to attempt the new spells I’ve been studying—save for the new method of channeling energy through myself or my sword—but I am sure I will get the opportunity soon.

We have met another helpful occupant of the castle, the harpy Ziaobe. She is incensed at the oni Kikonu for certain offenses against her, and wishes to help us. She has agreed to lead him into an ambush, making certain he has exhausted his ability to cast dimension door beforehand so that he cannot run away again. It is time we settle this. I do not know what effect, if any, his defeat will have on Ameiko-ren’s condition, but he has apparently resolved to kill us in any case, so it is unavoidable.

I shall continue this letter later. It is my hope that I will know more at that time.

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Teak's Journal: Notes (7)

Zaiobe wants us to kill Kikonu. She is a harpy who works for him, but she is willing to work with us to get rid of him.

Also, my luck today sucks.

I was able to trick Sophie into thinking animal feed was trail rations. I am proud.

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7

Note to self: Keep an eye out for secret entrances.

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Roux: A Myriad of Mysteries

[continuation of previous letter]

At the moment, we have decamped to the caravan for the night. We have uncovered several clues to the fate of Brinewall and its citizens, but much still remains hidden from our sight. Upon our explorations of the castle, we discovered that the guard towers show signs of a great battle fought here many years ago. The Brinewall occupants were no doubt the defenders, but the identity of the aggressors is not yet entirely clear. I also discovered some documents indicating that the castle believed the village was rioting, due to the appearance of fires. They sent out a contingent to investigate, but nothing more was recorded.

We encountered several current inhabitants of the castle; unfortunately, none of them were amenable to negotiation and we were obliged to defeat them. Sophie-tzu keeps wandering into rooms without any regard for the rest of us—if we continue to follow her lead, I fear we shall all end up with the gods before our time. You would say that her role in my life is to teach me patience, which I admit I lack on certain occasions, but this is a difficult task for me. With Lao Rhi’s guidance, I hope I will prevail.

To more important matters, I believe that we have met the one who calls himself “master” of this castle, a yamabushi tengu by the name of Kikonu. What such an individual is doing in this part of the world, I am not sure. He is a very odd sort who insisted that we watch his “play” when we walked in on him, and then proceeded to sic his corby pets on all of us. Highly impolite, particularly since this is not his castle to begin with. Upon our defeat of his minions, he shouted that we were ruining the play and vanished into a dimension door. I expect, however, that we have not seen the last of him.

We also made the acquaintance of a much more agreeable individual, a lyrakien azata by the name of Spivey. She is very friendly, and even healed the wounds we incurred today! It is her job to watch over the graveyard of Brinewall, and she offered her assistance in any way she is able. Teak-tzu invited her to come along with us as we explore the castle, but she seemed unsure about undertaking this task. Understandable, as what we face there will most likely be quite dangerous. In any event, her aid will be most appreciated. She has already told us that we may obtain holy water from the statue in the graveyard, and that the oni Kikonu is possibly the reason for the destruction of Brinewall in the first place. She also told us that he hates elves, but as Shalelu-tzu is not likely to venture near him, this should not pose a dilemma. I shall warn her just in case.

The azata Spivey also most kindly agreed to look at Ameiko-ren to see if she could determine the cause of her affliction. It is her belief that Ameiko-ren is possessed by a spirit. What sort, she was not sure, except that it is not human, and she does not believe that it means Ameiko-ren harm. While this does not exactly set my mind at ease, as she was not sure how to wake Ameiko-ren, it is at least a relief to know that she is not being affected by malign influences. In our exploration of the castle, we will have to find a way to put the spirit to rest. Perhaps if we understand what it is trying to communicate—chiefly by means of riddles—it will be at peace and leave Ameiko-ren. I wish Bastien-rao were here; he was always better at riddles than I. Or perhaps we simply need to expunge the oni Kikonu from Brinewall.

In all my spare moments, I have been studying my magic; I believe we will need all the advantages we can obtain. I have learned several new spells, and believe I finally understand the universal energetic principles enough to use them in an aggressive fashion.

I shall write again soon. In the meantime, please do not trouble yourself to worry, as I am doing everything I can to bring Ameiko-ren back to us.

I remain, your devoted student,
Azelise

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Thoughts from Kaleth

I do not like Birdmen.
I do not like Bigmouthlizard too.

But I like Scaryweirdarms. He is good, plays with me.
Scaryweirdarms is Goodperson.

Birdmen and Bigmouthlizard is Badperson.

Tinywingsgirl is Goodperson too. She stop my hurt.

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Teak's Journal: Notes (6)

We met lizards who told us of their “boss,” someone called Orbakhag? At least, that’s what it sounded like they said. They also said that the crazy play demon (Kikonu?) may be the master of the castle.

Kaleth almost died twice today. In just a few short hours. I don’t like corbies or giant monitor lizards.

We met a little winged girl named Spivey. She’s small enough to sit on people’s shoulders and she’s very cute and entertaining. She’s also helpful and nice.

“Fear is your greatest ally.”
“The key is in the grip of the ten-handed one.”

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6

Note to self: if some weird looking guy asks you to come and watch his play, decline. You’ll probably end up getting ripped apart.

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Isabelle: Peach Letters 22

Dearest mother,

I know it has been some time since I wrote to you. I had no intention of worrying you, but traveling has left me little time to write. I’m sure it can’t be easy not knowing where I am, and I would very much like to tell you, but I know father probably reads these letters without your knowing; I can’t have him coming after me. My search has been unsuccessful so far, and until I find what I’m looking for I won’t bother showing my face in front of him. I already know what he’ll say and I won’t have any part in his plans. Foolish and stubborn as he is, please look after him, without your level head who knows what schemes his mind will concoct. I digress, father isn’t the reason I’m writing to you. In my last letter I spoke of a discovery. I have gained a better understanding now of the techniques and I’m sure with practice I can master them. Truly it is thanks to your tutelage I could reach my current level. I really do miss home. For now though, I am happy and each day I grow stronger. Our paths will cross again.

Sincerely, G.G.

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Sophie: So you had a bird day

I found the castle and stormed it. Yeah, their security was pretty bogus; They had corbies guarding the main gate. Whoever runs this place should go back to siege college. We scaled the walls and took out the noisy birds no problem, thanks to Cortez’s precision tactics. I mean, come on, corbies? They should probably allocate more of that treasure they’re hoarding to the defense budget. It was all going according to plan until the ettercap attacked; he tried to eat Nate. I showed that bastard why they call me the “Hammer”. First I took out his precious spider pet, then I took out his face. After cleaning up the rifraff, Cortez implored us to venture further into the castle…

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Roux: A Convocation of Corbies

Dear Feliu-rhi,

I send my kindest felicitations and blessings for you and your kin, and undertake with eagerness the pleasure of writing your honored self.

I must apologize, but I write you with ill news. Ameiko-ren has fallen ill, and it is not an illness of a natural nature, but rather a magical one. I cannot determine what it is, and nor can anyone else in our caravan. It is most distressing. I believe that it must be related to our current location—it came upon her very suddenly, as soon as we neared Brinewall, and given her apparent ancestral connection to the place, I do not think that it can be coincidence. She is currently under care in the caravan, as safe as she can be under such circumstances. I will find what caused this, and I will help her. We are currently exploring the castle of Brinewall in the hopes of finding some information that may be of use.

We have come across some rather unpleasant creatures already: dire corbies and an ettercap with his pet spider. We defeated the ones which remained to fight us, and I am pleased to report that I acquitted myself quite well. It seems that my training over the past two weeks with Sandru-tzu has been most advantageous. Teak-tzu’s poor thylacine was very badly injured, however; I shall do my best to assist her in keeping an eye on his condition.

The ettercap spoke of a “master” of the castle who apparently is keeping the creatures here under a certain degree of control. (I attempted to get more information out of him, but he was rather occupied attempting to devour Nate-tzu. Highly unpleasant.) This bears further looking into.

I shall continue this letter when I know more.

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