The Forest of Spirits (Alpha Group)


Note to self: possession is actually a thing that happens in real life and isn’t just a campfire story.


Note to self: Keep your guard up but generally mysterious non-human pirates are kind of interesting.

Teak's Journal: Entry (18)

There’s a reason I don’t follow any gods. It’s because nature is absolute. Gods have domains, things they rule over and specialize in, but nature is everywhere and everywhen. No matter what happens, nature is always there and it always will be.

Plants have a life of their own. Most people don’t pay attention, aren’t attuned to it, but I notice. I can feel their life force and their power. They feel in a way that most of us can’t understand, but they do feel. It’s in sensations and temperatures. They always feel when something cuts or breaks off a branch, when a leaf is pulled off.

But they’re resilient. They grow new leaves, new branches, new roots. Even after a long winter, plants grow back, come back to life from dormancy.

They survive.

Even lands ravaged by forest fires or volcano eruptions have new sprouts after a few years; those plants end up being even healthier than in other places!

It’s awe-inspiring, the never-ending cycle of nature. That’s why I’ve stayed in the wilderness for so long: I’m not alone, but I don’t have to worry about people. I always have company in the plants and the animals. As long as you respect the cycle of life and the plants and animals themselves, they respect you.

Besides, plants make for surprisingly good company.

… I’m not looking forward to the trip into these barren lands at all.

Roux: A Variety of Adventures

Our journeys continue.

The date of my birth has come and gone; I am now thirteen years of age, one step closer to being a woman. I do not feel any different, but I suppose time will tell.

I had not expected any sort of notice due to the occasion, but I should have known that Bastien-rao would not let it pass unremarked. He informed the others—-although he seems to have attempted to give them the impression that the day was a civic holiday of some sort—and they set out a most amusing celebration. They all even made me gifts! I was quite touched. Truly, it is an honor to have such loyal friends, even if they can be trouble on occasion.

We came across a witch, whom we defeated—really, I do wish Sophie-sei would not venture into strange places so much. We find enough danger without going to look for it.

We also encountered a most peculiar individual with a ship, who challenged us to a game. At first I was wary, suspecting that it may be the sort of game to steal one’s soul like the tales of Xiu-ai and her thousand silken arrows, but upon his reassurance that he simply wished to be entertained, with no stakes, we acquiesced. It really was quite an interesting game; I shall have to teach it to you when I return, Feliu-rhi. Though it was quite a struggle, we managed to beat him, and in return he gave us a most interesting artifact. It is a cane that can cast several different spells, all of which will be quite useful, I am sure. As I am the only one with the capability or inclination to wield it, it was left in my keeping.

After another fight, we continued on our way. We are making progress, although we still have a long road ahead of us.

Roux: A Cataclysm of Bears

Bears are most unpleasant creatures.

Our journeys north continue. It is difficult to tell whether we are making progress, as everything in this icy landscape looks the same. But Ulf-tzu assures us that we are moving in the right direction.

I am very glad for Suishen-tzu. He keeps off the cold most excellently.


Note to self: graveyards are apparently always dangerous places in this world.

Roux: A Vanishing of Villages

We identified the enemy as the Red Bishop, an obscure servitor of Pazuzu. I will have to undertake further study about this individual. I believe that we have defeated it, but I do not understand why were targeted in the first place.

After fighting the Bishop and defeating him (it?), it seemed that our caravan returned to normal. Our destroyed food reappeared; the damage to the wagons was repaired, and the village around us had completely disappeared.

It is irksome that we have no explanation. I believe the others may be more shaken by the experience than they let on.

Regardless, we shall continue our journey, hopefully with no further unexpected…interruptions. The oni are quite enough to deal with.


Note to self: there is a certain sort of anger that just doesn’t go away.

Teak's Journal: Entry (17)

I’m not talking about this.

Roux: A Village of Fears

I do not like this place.

It seems that something is following us, and it does not have good intentions. I do not know what it is, only that it has glowing red eyes and an unsettling ability to alter people’s minds. Or memories. I’m not sure which.

We noticed it several days ago, following our tracks, appearing at night. Our rations were destroyed—by Shalelu-ren and Haugen-tzu, although it does not seem that they were in control of our actions. I believe it has a way of getting into your mind, this creature. Or force, whatever it may be.

We were required therefore to stop in a town called Motheim to resupply. Ulf-tzu did not remember the town being there the last time he took this path. We were told by the storekeeper that new supplies would be coming in a day, and that we should spend the night in the inn while we wait.

This place—

The people in it bear resemblances, in one way or another, to the dead we know. We encountered a graveyard with bodies in dug-up graves, bodies of those who are not even dead. Nate-rao was in one. Bastien-rao another. And—

Last night, Ameiko-ren and I were visited by the creature. I attempted to speak to it, to divine its motivations or identity, but it simply said that death was coming for us, that we would not leave this place alive. It approached us, laid a hand on our heads, and departed.

Subsequently, Ameiko-ren was terribly distraught. She was convinced that she had killed Bastien-rao the previous night, by accident. But this could not possibly be the case, as he was perfectly fine when we left the caravan for the town, and we have not been back since then. I do not what it wants, this thing, but it is altering our memories.

It is important that there is a definitive record.

All members of the caravan, save for Luma-tzu previously deceased: ALIVE.

We aim to cross the Crown of the World, to set Ameiko-ren on her rightful throne and free Tian Xia from the oni.

The oni are after us. (Could this be one of them? Or an ally of theirs?)

My family is perfectly safe.

Current enemy: UNKNOWN. Shrouded in shadow. Glowing red eyes. Powers to shift thoughts and/or memories in some way.

I need to find out what this thing is, and quickly.


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