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[personal profile] jkmoreno
So yeah, obviously I didn't make good on keeping up with the log entries. Part of that was the darker side of perfectionism: after I made the first one, a buddy suggested I put them up on the store's official page, so I wanted to rewrite what I had to make it look a bit better (and shorter, so as to try and limit the number of tl;dr complaints). I started falling behind when I rewrote, then kept trying to catch up, and that started a vicious cycle. The vicious cycle kept going thanks to the other side of the coin: real life was kicking my ass, and it kept getting both better and worse. Better because I was going out to fun stuff with a new group of awesome people, worse because my work schedule was hitting some sort of epic-level critical mass to where even on my days off, I was too exhausted to think about doing much.

It's kinda funny, since it seems like every time I start a writing project lately, I end up abandoning it because of some good fortune. Last time, I met the girl who would eventually end my time in singles purgatory, and this time I was developing some much-needed social confidence.

But I kept this particular post in mind, and since things are cooling down on all fronts, I figure the time is nice for a little inane hilarity.

It was almost fitting, in a sense, that Father Evendur would pass away when he did. The previous week, everyone in town had gathered to celebrate and commemorate the five-year anniversary of the end of the Abyssal Plague outbreak and the victory over the cult led by the brothers of the dwarven Clan Sabrak. Clan Sabrak had introduced the plague to Easting with the intention of offering all the townspeople as a sacrifice to their dark god, but help had speedily arrived in the form of a few groups of adventurers summoned by the Merchant Council of Iriaebor.

All of these would-be heroes contributed greatly to the downfall of the cultists and the eradication of the disease, but the most instrumental of them was also the most motley. A brutish minotaur who lived only to plunder and murder, a naive and pretentious dragonborn paladin, an elemental sorcerer with an uneven personality, a warlock who seemed to be perpetually under some sort of influence, and a half-elven spiritual advisor who just seemed to be going through the motions. Their disparate backgrounds, personalities, and areas of expertise somehow combined to make them extraordinarily effective.

Clash, Los D. Gayme, Cedric Stormbringer, Tuoroth, and Lucien Lightfellow. They started out as unknowns, they returned as heroes. Nobody in Easting would forget their names.

Their success came with a steep price, though. Tuoroth had not survived the journey, and nobody had offered any explanation as to why. They were rewarded well by the Merchant's Council, but ended up marked by their enemies as the targets of an assassination attempt by a sect of skilled drow assassins. An attempt was made on their lives in Iriaebor mere days after their return, which also ended up endangering many civilian lives. The newly-minted heroes barely survived, thanks primarily to a well-placed tip and some timely intervention from a couple of allied adventurers and a handful of alert city guards. They quickly left the city after that day, and none of them were ever seen around the area again.

However, surely the memorial services for Evendur, one of the most well-respected men of Easting, would merit at least a visit from the people whose help he had requested, who had been assisted by them and assisted them in return. Much to the disappointment of the town, only Lucien showed up.

The intervening years had given much to the half-elf, but had also taken its share as well. The adventuring life had obviously been kind enough to give him a much stronger, healthier looking physique than he had when he first arrived five years ago. It had also been unkind enough to carve new worry lines in his face, making him appear as if he had aged more than a decade in those years. Still, he was polite enough to share a drink with those who wished for his company, and this was how the people of Easting would finally know of the fate of their saviors, and whether the rumors of them having spent their time in hiding from assassination attempts was true.

In the case of CLASH, it was true and false. His own underground contacts, in addition to his intimidating size and strength, ensured that the frequency of attempts on his life quickly petered out. He was at loose ends for several months until, by chance, he reunited with TERRA, an elven swashbuckler. They had first met when she had briefly assisted the group in an assault on the Sunset Shrine, which Clan Sabrak was using as headquarters. They decided to form a partnership, and in the space of the following year they were believed to be responsible for three major bank robberies and the theft of several priceless artifacts. While some might have reveled in the notoriety, it soon began to cause problems for them. This was due to two major factors. The first is that neither of them are terribly inconspicuous, so their presence was immediately known wherever they went. As if that wasn't enough, Terra's highborn affectations tended to call extra attention upon them, and not all of it was friendly. The other factor is that Clash, being incapable of keeping his typical loud and violent nature in check, tended to put everyone who was paying attention on guard.

Soon their attempts at thievery became too difficult to attempt, and they found themselves being run out of town by guardsmen at a quickly rising frequency. Opportunistic thieves guilds in the area soon began committing major crimes, believing correctly that the blame for these would be directed at Clash and Terra first. Everything came to a head when a particularly dimwitted town militia captain thought to try and save his superiors the paperwork needed to apprehend Clash and Terra by rounding up a posse with the intent to ambush them. Unfortunately, ambushing a pair of well-trained and battle-hardened killers with what basically amounts to all of the town's drunks and no-accounts is generally a recipe for failure. By the time Clash and Terra had escaped, the captain along with eight others were killed, thirty-seven more were seriously wounded, and the town suffered tens of thousands of gold pieces worth of property damage and loss. Their whereabouts since then are unknown, and it is rumored that there are three different adventuring companies out hunting for them with the intent to either apprehend or kill, and that even Iriaebor has instructed their patrols to shoot them on sight.

LOS D. GAYME also eventually ceased to be a target for assassination, though he was involved in more than a few incidents before they gave up on him. Surviving these attempts, as well as his services for Easting and Iriaebor, added greatly to his fame. Unfortunately, it also added greatly to the story he spun about his name, which eventually became even more ludicrous than the story of a fisherman experimenting with magically enchanted bait and somehow reeling in a shark. Despite that, he was never short of work, whether it be adventuring or spreading the teachings of his spiritual master. On several occasions, he and Lucien worked together in both regards, though their journeys generally ended up going in opposite directions.

The story of his name was not without its own perils, however. Not long after the assassins stopped coming, would-be duelists, either drunk, hoping to make a name for themselves, or just wanting him to shut up already, started to make life miserable for the dragonborn. Trying to fight a dragonborn at hand-to-hand combat, especially one as good as Los, was about as good of an idea as trying to swallow your own sword, and more than once Los ended up proving that point quite literally. Before long, he got tired of constantly being at odds with everyone, and decided to retire to a secluded monastery to devote himself to the training of the next generation of holy warriors. It is said that one of the most important rituals of his sect involved a particularly elaborate naming ceremony ...

CEDRIC STORMBRINGER was not as lucky as his fellows, as he would be a constant target for assassins. This was likely due to the fact that he was the only one in the group who was not well-trained in hand-to-hand combat. He spent most of the first two years after the end of the plague constantly on the move, fighting off several attempts on his life. His already formidable powers became even stronger, but it was evident that his personality began to become considerably unhinged. It took another year after the assassination attempts stopped before Cedric stopped constantly seeing assassins in whatever shadows he happened to be near, but he gradually began to relax and resume his normal life the best he could.

Unfortunately, this also led to the same conundrum that Los faced, as when he relaxed, he began to become very boastful about his role in the events of the plague outbreak, and began to see the constant attempts on his life and his triumph over them as proof that was the strongest of them all. This caused many adventuring companies to dispense with his services after a short time, and once provoked a massive bar fight in Scorbunel when a patron, listening to these boasts, felt that Cedric was greatly disrespecting his follow adventurers. The fight seemed to trigger a flashback of sorts, as Cedric ended up going down in one punch, then promptly hid in a corner, reportedly fretting over the possibility that someone could sneak up on him and stab him in the back in the middle of the confusion. Despite his fears, he would meet the proverbial end in an open showdown, as a foreign wizard taught Cedric the hard truth: no matter how good you are, there is always someone better. It took Cedric close to six months to fully recover from all the wounds he suffered in that fateful duel, and he was never seen or heard from again. It is believed that he decided to return to the elemental plane he came from, and never again meddle in the world of humans.

The circumstances of TUOROTH's death had never been fully revealed, but Lucien had at least provided the cause: Tuoroth had been engulfed by a magical flame within the Sunset Shrine, one that left no trace of him whatsoever. Cedric had corroborated the possibility of the fact, and a team of Purple Dragon Knights who investigated the Sunset Shrine after the fact had confirmed it. It was later revealed, again by Lucien, that it wasn't the result of an attack; the flames were stationary, and Tuoroth willingly walked into them. It was speculated that he was attempting to use it as teleporter, having observed the elementals use it in that fashion, but Lucien stated that he had observed Tuoroth looking deeply into the flames long after the battle, and thought he had heard Tuoroth talking to the flames before stepping through. Lucien devoted plenty of time attempting to figure out why Tuoroth chose to commit suicide, but his research confirmed what he had suspected from Tuoroth's mannerisims; nobody knew who Tuoroth was, and as far as most of the world was concerned, Tuoroth was not of it until he became a footnote in the history of Iriaebor and Easting.

As for LUCIEN LIGHTFELLOW himself? Despite not having a taste for it, he continued adventuring, as his services in treating the Abyssal Plague led to many more requests for his skills in investigation and the treatment of disease. While the other assassins stopped targeting his fellows due to their combat prowess, Lucien ended up in their good graces purely by chance. He had discovered that one of his would-be assassins was ill with a rare disease. Rather than kill him, Lucien decided to treat the illness, and sent the assassin on his way once he was better. The next time the assassins came to Lucien, it was to request his help treating an outbreak of the very same disease, which he did, and thus gained the trust of the people who were originally trying to kill him. This actually proved to be very useful, as another group of assassins had been hired by someone unrelated to the events of the plague outbreak to kill Lucien himself, but ended up being assassinated themselves.

Freed of the need to constantly run. Lucien settled down long enough to build a home for himself on the Dragon Coast, and ended up forming an adventuring company that became very famous and well-known for their efficiency and good demeanor before inexplicably, but amicably, disbanding after two years. Lucien himself was invited back to the piresthood of his native Aglarond, but turned it down in favor of continuing his research on mundane healing arts. He is currently writing a book in collaboration with three of the greatest healers in the land, with the intent to make it the definitive guide to the identification and treatment of disease.

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jkmoreno

May 2012

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