The Adventuring Journal of K'harra Shustal - Page 4
Common useful Herbs and their Purposes:
- Cluster of stalks, tassels, thin leaves.
Good to assist in the clotting of blood. (Fits the name nicely.)
- Absorbs fluids well to help prevent infection. KEEP DRY.
- Found in places such as the Servos jungle, other
wet lands; white flowers (five petals) with pink and red streaks, broad,
dark leaves. Crush flowers for oil - tea or poultice to help with blood
loss. Root (only fresh!) can produce a syrup good for wounds and general
- Ground creeper, blue flowers. When
crushed or brewed as tea, flowers prevent blood clotting to allow a wound
to be cleaned; effect reversed with other herbs. Also, a good tonic for
the heart and blood.
- Good wound dressing, triangular leaves (from
Servos-native shrub) absorb fluids well. Also soothing to the wound.
- Woody thin stalk, rippled leaves. Fresh leaves
boiled make good soothing poultice, with soporific effect. (Can also be
used as a purge, but only very carefully; induces convulsions and death.
(Note: only use as an absolute final course of action, the side effects
are entirely too nasty.) Brewing leaves can cause hallucinations.)
- Common, culinary. Also repels insects and soothes
- Fleshy leaves - yield sap that makes
excellent burn poultice. Common everywhere. Sometimes in soothing
- Mist Swamps, Servos Jungle. Horn-shaped ghostly
flowers. Good poultice for burns, prevents infections and soothes pain.
Sarfran (Bone Stem):
- Thin cream stem, jagged wide leaves. Boil stem
and leaves to make a broth that helps bones mend. (Take every two days,
with honey to mask the flavor.)
- Broad leaves around a thin, long red
flower. Boil leaves in water or wine to make a counter-poison broth.
Also a mild stimulant.
- Long, wide leaves over fleshy root. Good
for the heart, as an energy boost (in emergencies) and counters
sleep-inducing poisons. Do not overuse, can induce effects rangin from
irritability to irrational terror.
- Common in forests, arrowhead leaves. Dry white
and yellow flowers, grind, and add water to the powder to make a paste.
Paste draws poisons from wounds; especially good against snakebites.
- Silvery leaves, star-shaped flower.
Berries, dark blue. Juice from berries mixed with wine counters poisons.
Be wary of mixing it up with night root; that is a poison. undersides of
the leaves are lighter and berries darker on night root.
General Health, easing of Discomfort
- Common in the Mid-Reach. Boiled petals make a
nice tea, generally soothing and good with honey. Also, counteracts
effects of blood algae, which is, in general, a good thing.
Mynbruje's Balm (Mynbruje's Staff):
- Straight, tall stalks. Open fields, clearings. Bluish flowers. Leaves
boiled into a soothing tea, easing pain and general discomfort. I think I
shall see if I canut collect a goodly deal of this, and not just because
it bears Mynbrujeus name; it seems like it would be a nice thing to have
around next time I wind up sleeping on a rock. (Ow.)
- Small thorn bush, violet flowers. Dried
flowers keep well, make a tea to improve Human eyesight in the dark. Tea
loses potency after a few hours, the dried flowers last for several
months. (Should tell Owl about this one; he would appreciate it I think,
if he does not know about it already.)
- Edible. (More or less.) Boil, strain broth, boil
again to make Adeptus Blood - a hallucinogen, makes taker vulnerable to
illusions and other forms of waking dreams. Sometimes used to see the
future, which is rather a neat trick.
- Edible. Powder from dried caps makes people act
- Hard, brown stalk, black seeds. Seeds can
be chewed or brewed into tea; person taking them becomes single-minded as
an Obsidimen with important and urgent business, but much grumpier.
I figured I might as well take the notes on my lessonings in my journal; I
will keep track of them that way. It is a good, basic knowledge to go by,
and I have a bit more practical work to go with it. Over the course of
the next while, I will be assisting the Questor somewhat in her work,
until she feels that I am competent to use the knowledge I have gained.
- Tristam and Sasquatch have made a challenge to all comers for a battle in
the arena, and the posting has been accepted; one Hawksong Morningblade, a
Windling, and Kaeya Winddancer, a Human. The names are vaguely familiar
to me; it should be an interesting battling to witness at the very least.
Tristam received a message today, he tells us; someone who needs a message
run. We will go tomorrow and investigate.
- This past month has been fairly quiet; I have been learning and playing
and gathering general knowledge. Tristam and Sasquatch's battle was
amusing to see; it took rather a while to finish, mind, but was an
intriguing battle nonetheless to observe. The human woman I remember now;
she wasthe Swordmaster who was speaking when we came into Throal something
near unto a year ago, in the company of K'arkal the Liberator.
This should be fairly simple to do; we are not asking all that much for it
either, as we are only going to deliver messages. The place we are going
is evidently Forge's home town of Honto, so he will be having a bit of a
- The situation is that the merchant who hired us sends messages home
with some frequency. However, the last band he sent off to deliver them
has not yet returned, and he is worried about not only them but his home.
While we are wary of what might be the cause of this absence, we are not
excessively disturbed, and are preparing to leave on the morrow.
I am somewhat disturbed by the nature of this place.
- The village is called Yellowspring, and the people here are overly
friendly. None of them called for any rituals of greeting or any other
such things, and instead feasted us without reason. We have all been
housed on the north side, I note as I write this. I will remain awake for
some time to consider this, to see what might be the treachery here. The
people seem friendly enough, but none of them noted the hint of my playing
to prove their own untaintedness.
Mother Serpent, once again I call upon you to preserve the sane portions of
this your world from the more wilful, malicious, and stupid of your
children. (At least this time it wasn't people in the party of adventurers
I'm a member of!)
- I am a well day's ride from Yellowspring and the neighboring town of
Cherrypit, and it is a goodly distance that is as yet not enough to still
the shifting of my exasperated tail. Why must Namegivers feud? Why do
they refuse to listen to the words of those who choose to end the
destruction and the madness?
- We were awakened to a racket some few hours after I went to sleep; I am
not sure how long it was. Villagers, of assorted races, mounted on horses,
were setting fire to the huts in the northern portion of the place, and
generally making a nuisance of themselves. We drove them back; they ran.
Owl ordered their horses to halt, they did. Their riders fled.
- One of them was killed. We (Owl and I) picked up the dead and gathered
the horses, and rode to the north. There we were greeted with not only
suspicion but outright hostility; my own suggestion of mediation was
rejected. We left the dead one and the horses, returned, and I offered the
same mediation (over pastureland that was over twice that which either town
could have actually used, incidentally) to the other chieftain. He said
that he was a busy man, and that I likely had better things to do myself
than talk to him, and suggested that I run along as if I were no more than
khamorro, or even bare-hatched!
- I will return there, and Mynbruje perhaps will help me guide these poor
folk to the end of their destruction. I have commitment now, that bears
the pressure of time, but this problem rests with me, and I will return.
And then I will tell the man that indeed, I had pressing business before,
but now there is nothing but this dispute to occupy my attention.
It was on the late watch, that Owl and I have, that something happened. I
note this down after packing up my belongings; we will be on the Honto road
in a few minutes.
- I heard a sword drawn, and moved to awaken Auryxos (who, true to what
one might guess of his innermost nature, sleeps like a stone. Mind, I only
say this with the deepest affection, but he is not one like Sasquatch to
take offense at the lightest of T'skrang teasing.) Then an arrow landed in
the fire; I could not quite trace the direction, but launched a flaming one
of my own in the same general vicinity. The others began to waken, and we
moved rapidly towards the source of the threat (a few arrows struck me, but
only as somewhat incidental things; none of them did much harm, and most
brushed off my armor.)
- As it happened, the ones who had accosted us were the remains of the
last band of messengers who had been sent to Honto. They tell us that the
town is occupied by the Grim Legion, a fearsome band of Namegivers who I
only slightly hesitate to call psychotic; they demand the utmost respect of
all they meet, and if that respect does not come, they deem that any who do
not offer it must be Horror-touched.
- Owl left them one horse and some supplies; they will go back with a
message towards Throal when we have a message to send. Now, we go.
February 26 (continued)
Things seem to be more strained here than we were told.
- Mush as that is hard to believe.
- There is a fence around the town; it is placed under interdict of
sorts, and none are allowed to leave the place. There is also a guard
tower there, which is under construction, and, in addition, the sentry
posts are held by a pair of cadavermen. These Horror-spawned constructs
are evidently under the control of the Legionnaires, which leads me to
question their motives in hunting Horrors and their spawn.
- In addition, they have been there for some time; and it would seem to
me, were I to be at my most forthright, that if they were so skilled and
knowledgable in the pursuit of Horrors, they would be well past complete
that mission by now and off to cause trouble to some different village.
- In any case, we will see what we can see and determine what can be
done. We delivered the messages, and will return on the morrow to recieve
And we are not permitted the answers. Even words are not allowed to pass
beyond this border without the almighty permission of the Legion. We are
allowed to know that all the people mentioned are alive and well, and that
no harm has come to them.
- Ridley has been sent to deliver that message to the band of Adepts we
left behind, who will carry it back with them to Throal. We have found an
encampment well away from the town, and are attempting to figure out a way
to get at the truth.
- This will be quite the difficult task.
Owl and the remainder of the group are leaving. I know that much, so that
I may speak the truth when I must give a reason to be returning to the
- (After some debate, we determined that the way to truth cannot be
achieved by little lies; and while any merchant trader (which I was, after
all, studying to be) knows how much or how little of the truth to reveal in
any given situation, the art of not showing all that one knows is one that
is quite definitely of great use to me in this case. Thus, I have a reason
to be returning - the group abandoning us - for Forge and I are both going
in, myself because of the Passion's drive in me, and he because it is his
home - without sure knowledge of whether or not they might return.)
- I am giving this journal and my token to Owl for safekeeping; I would
not want the knowledge of what I am falling into the hands of the Legion.
They would take my skepticism of their righteousness as taint, and the
nature of my Quest as suspect. I cannot allow their knowledge to bend the
aim of the arrow I shoot for truth; therefore I will not tell them this
much. With Mother Serpent's grace, I will have them back soon.
So much, so much, and so few words to spill out of the pen and say the
meaning. I cannot rejoice in my heart, though justice has been served, and
no amount of wailing will pay out the loss that we all bear in our
- That time, I was not there to see him fall
- Caught up in trials not my own, I missed
- I missed the only shot that mattered. Last,
- The final blow, the final tumble back
- And then, a gentle soul put out, the dark
- Dark stone, dark anger, vengeance in the flame
- Of every arrow loosed to drive them back.
- But nothing there, no bringing back the dead
- Amotla shivoam ganai he rides
- The waters still before the sight, and gone
- I turn, and turning see the moment end
- An arrow's flight does not avenge a friend.
- For Auryxos, whose death was as he chose
- To drive away the blight upon the dawn
- May all who fight remember at their ends
- That those who pass those gates go on alone.
It is a poor elegy, but I have not got the words to speak out my meanings.
There was a fight, yes, and we won. I say we won, because we achieved our
goal, but in truth is was a draw; there were no winners to that battle.
- I did not need to be reminded of mortality.
- I remember Ilen, lying on the deck of the boat. I remember seeing the
bandit fling Sa'histar's talon at our feet. I remember even the look on
the face of the one who took my flaming arrow in her chest; she had stabbed
me from behind, but still I remember the look. And I can see the stillness
on his face, the peace, and hope that he can see the world repaired and
made beautiful again, in the images that scatter across Death's Sea.
- I do not know the ways of Obsidimen, but perhaps someday I will ahve
the courage to go there, and to weave them a tale of the one I knew for
such a brief time. It is not in my heart to do so at the moment; but the
time will come when I must embrace that leap and make it, in order to fully
face up to all the courses that jik'harra offers me.
I should write, write it all out and explain what happened. Otherwise, his
passing down the river to the sea is even more senseless than it came to
be, a random tragedy. So I will pour it all out, carefully, onto paper, as
well as my writing can manage it (my arm is a bit stiff from the stab).
- Forge and I entered the village, after a brief conversation with the
gate guard. I immediately fell into conversation with the people, trying
to find myself a place here; I was asked to use my skill at the lute to
distract the people from their unhappiness at being restrained. This
suited me well; if I was to be here for some time, not knowing when my
companions might return, then I ought to settle myself into the life
- This also enabled me to talk to the mother of the girl who the Legion
claimed was the source of the Horror taint. (She was the local physician,
so ostensibly the purpose of my visit was to discuss the healing properties
of any of an assortment of herbs; the selection of which, incidentally, was
occasionally tempting to tuck into the Legionnaires' dinner once I
determined for myself that they were mistaken.) The girl was suddenly, and
without any training as an Adept, as well as inexplicably, mind, gifted
with certain powers - she fished her niece? (I believe that was the word,
but human relations occasionally flummox me) out of a well without any use
of mechanical power. This is rather like some of the Wizard-things I have
seen Sasquatch do, but without training I do not know that it is
- The third day I spoke with the girl herself, and got some information
about the location of a cave, where something spoke to her. (Here I
digress slightly in my narrative to mention what my companions were up to.
Having left us, as they did, they circled around to a new hidden campsite,
and proceeded to ferry messages by the ever-useful Ridley, who left them in
a chimney. I drew up a rather detailed map of the area, including the
location of the girl's cave, and relayed that to them by our winged
courier. They, of course, went and investigated, and found a book that
seemed to speak into their minds in a language none of them could read or
puzzle out. As it turns out, the book had gifted the girl with her
- I also witnessed the entirety of the group of Legionnaires, and relayed
that by the same method. Their leader was Obsidimen, some sort of
spellcaster (I learned, later, to many of our pain, that she was a
Nethermancer. I am beginning to develop an extreme skepticism of that
Discipline as a whole.) who was, evidently, quite mad - she wore hide armor
and a skull of some unknown creature on her head. (Obsidimen evidently
- The group gathered, invaded the town, and settled in to battle the
Legionnaires. Moltaa, the Obsidiman, cast some sort of horrific spell to
strike many of the members of our party. I was stabbed in the back
(rescued by Ridley, and later finished off the attacker in question with an
arrow) and returned to the battle in time to see Auryxos's last moment and
a half, which was followed by Forge doing something (I believe he's picked
up Elementalist magic!) to completely destroy Moltaa. Tristam was, of
course, in the middle of a grand melee, Owl went down quite a few times,
and eventually stayed down, Sasquatch went unconscious.... They eventually
- I got my pendant back from Owl, which didn't impress the Ork who was
left in charge in ths slightest, not that I expected it to. But I wanted
him to know there was a reason for what I did, that I wasn't putting my oar
in for the sheer joy of putting my oar in.
- They left. They left us alone.
- I've written it all down for history's sake, to keep the truth clear in
my own memory. Perhaps, perhaps someday, I will make a song out of it.
And here we are, back in Throal again.
- Tristam is going to bring Auryxos' body back to his liferock. I
considered going, but I am not yet prepared to face that edge of jik'harra.
Kiatsu requires that each necessity be confronted, but each in its turn,
and before I go there I will go to those places which seem to desperately
need the course of my assistance.
- I will go when I have written a song worthy of it all, I think.
I idly wonder why there are idiots. I mean, it would seem to me that no
sane female would ever choose an utter idiot to try to fertilize her eggs,
so where in the name of Shivoam do they come from? (I am not counting
Tristam among these; he has his own redeeming virtues, and is not an idiot
in the deepest sense of the term. He just has to chase his jik'harra
further to satisfy it.)
- A small band (half-dozen or so) of assorted, well, thugs perhaps might
be the best word harassed Owl this evening, a bit after I went to sleep (I
got woken up, and figured I might as well write it down, just because I
object slightly to be woken up by a band of extortionists.) They suggested
that their help might prevent some harm from coming to Owl's tent. I think
the most harm in the area would be from them; in any case I will be staying
in the area instead of going into Throal to play for the next few days.
(More eyes never being a bad idea.)
Tristam has returned. Just thought I'd note it down.
Things are returning to normal, more or less. We encountered an Elf, the
one, incidentally, who bested Forge in a duel a while back. His Name, as
he gives it, is Estrial. He impressed Tristam by actually bloodying him in
a duel (I think that Tristam has an overly narrow realm of things in which
he is impressed.)
- Forge, for his own account, spent the evening sitting in the fire
(practicing something Elementalist, I imagine.) This is, of course,
perfectly typical of things, but I know better now than to laugh. He takes
it so hard. So I will write down my amusement here where it won't irk him;
I really don't feel like dealing with anybody's temper fit.
- I did entirely too well in my practicing today. I was trying things
while ahorse, with the shortbow; that seems to me to be a useful skill to
have, so I was attempting to see it. Somehow, it all worked out very well.
(I tried shooting a coin off a tentpole. It worked, perfectly. And I
wasn't using the True Shot.)
I give up. Sasquatch is.... Why don't I just write it out and see if it
makes sense that way.
- He challenged Estrial to a duel. That might have been interesting
(Warrior versus Wizard being an odd combination that would seem worth the
consideration. Almost like a debate in the halls, where the parties are
not absolutely matched in ability or gesture in discussion.) if he hadn't
decided to play around with a spell that made him look like a hyperactive
rabbit. There was no amusement in it in the slightest, nor even any
challenge. Tristam was heckling him, even. (That was about the only
reason to show up in the first place.)
- I am sorely tempted to write something quietly satirical and hand it
off to a few of my friends in the street-performing realm. That would
serve nicely, I think, and the justice in it amusing. It occurs to me that
that one really needs to learn a bit about T'skrang teasing, and he hasn't
been getting enough of it.... Tristam really ought to educate his brother
a bit better.
- Today I went to see a duel
- A fine old sight to see
- A clash of steel, a flash of light
- A show worthwhile to me.
- A warrior fought within the ring
- A great sword in his hands
- He fearless stood, prepared to face
- A wizard on the sand.
- The pair did circle for a time
- The wizard wove his thread
- And rather than put mind to fight
- He leaped about instead!
- (Who pays to see a rabbit dance?
- Who wants to see him fly?)
- And no amusement came to us;
- I heard a fellow cry:
- "Go fight him like a proper Troll!
- Stand firm and face the fight!"
- But for us all, it was too late
- So sorry was the sight.
- The warrior put up his blade
- Disgusted, like the rest
- And from the stands came catcall cries
- Deriding pointless jest.
- So disappointed did we leave
- Deprived of any show
- And billings of this stupid act
- Better now do we know.
- But sing I will and sing I may
- Of foolish posturing
- The Mighty Hero Jackrabbit
- Lacks better tales to sing.
I think I shall develop a liking to the Elf named Javen. He is a
well-known potter, with an assortment of Troll apprentices. He creates
what is evidently satiric pottery (I didn't get it). However, his sense of
humor and wit is well worthy of any T'skrang. Perhaps someday I will have
a chance to go visit him and have a conversation about such things.
- Owl's tent was slashed (mutterings about stupid people, see the
(flipping back) March 21 entry.) However, that has been repaired, and if
he or I encounter any of those at a later point in time we will have a few
words with them.
Estrial has been taking us on a random tour of taverns. The Shadowmant Inn
was one, that we explored for a while, before the hotheads got bored and
went off in search of more interesting fare. (Once again, and as usual,
- I got a change to look after people's belongings, as I have a habit of
actually being sensible in most given situations.
It's been a busy day, and I am very tired. However, I will write it all
down because it ought to be, and then I will go to bed, as there are things
that I need to worry about in the morning.
- We got contacted by a merchant (Inder) looking for his misplaced
nephew. Evidently, the nephew had been working on something, went missing,
and the piece of shop that he had been building let the rain in, spoiling
some goods. We accepted the job, and went off to investigate. I went to
the boy's mother (Belinda) and asked her about her son Kossol, who was
evidently to her own eyes overworked by her nasty brother. (Mind, the
brother had said that the boy was a lazy layabout, and both of them
certainly believed what they were talking about.)
- After some discussion at the tavern that was Kossol's general place to
visit, we went to investigate the back of the store. We overheard voices,
so I ducked back into the shadows, but the language was not one I know. (I
really do need to learn to speak more of Barsaive's tongues; it would be a
fine assistance in such things.) In any case, Tristam stepped out into the
light, and the woman speaking saw him, and shrieked something. (I was
later told by Owl that what she shrieked was, "Oh no, not another one," in
the Human tongue, and that they had been discussing spies.)
- We got into a fight of sorts, and all of a sudden Ridley came diving
out of nowhere (having heard Tristam shouting fit to wake half of
Bartertown). The Dwarf woman fled, as did the Human. We piled into the
building to explore. (I found some keys in the first room I looked into,
and grabbed a shirt as well. Then I heard Tristam shouting that he'd found
the Dwarf we were looking for, so I went into the basement.)
- I soothed the boy, getting a little of the story out of him (He'd been
following the pretty girl, by which I assume he meant the Dwarf who fled; I
never got a good look at her and in any case these standards of beauty
elude me more than a bit.) Then we sent him off home and did a thorough
search, after which I interrogated the one of the guards who had survived
our initial onslaught.
- I have a gold piece that might identify where they came from. The
Dwarf fled horseback, and the Human flickered into astral space. (I traced
him with an Arrow, so I know which way he was going. The circle that he
left in has been destroyed.)
- I think that's all I need to note down, so I will note it so, and to
bed with me.
I have had the gold piece identified; it is from Iopos. This might explain
the presence of the spellcaster (He was casting both Wizard and
Nethermancer spells, so which might be his Discipline is an unknown
- I have, then, reported my knowledge to a convenient magistrate, and
have been told that I might be called in to speak further on the matter
I was brought by a large Troll to a greater magistrate, and we spoke for a
long time, about what I saw, as well as a few of the more interesting
points of the matter and meaning of justice (for he also Quests for
- I will note this down here; I doubt that anyone will be prying through
my journal any time soon, and in any case it is something that intrigues me
and is also important. He asked me if I might become a sort of liason to
the Throallic government, to provide them with information such as this
when I came across it, and also, possibly, to get the occasional reference
to do something to assist the Throallic people in a more generalized sense.
I accepted, and was given a ring with a strange symbol marked into it,
that seemed to be an Eye.
I got a message from a merchant today that I might want to talk to my
friend the Questor, about something important, so I did, and was given a
message to give to the wizard Hiermon in Haven.
- Haven! Why would I want to go there? I've suggested to Owl that he
might suggest that we go there; I'd rather the idea not come from me, and
in any case I'm not entirely certain about how to suggest it. I know
Tristam and all will go with it enthusiastically; so it won't take much
more than the suggestion, I hope.
- I've also picked up my ring, which is finally finished. I had it set
in my right crest, and it has one of the ice-flyer feathers hanging from it
(which is an odd chilly sensation sometimes, but a rather fine effect.)
When I know enough to weave threads to it, I will, and then it will be set.
We have finished all that we need to do here, and have set off on our
journey. May it be pleasant and uneventful!
A minor impasse has struck us, as we are on the wrong side of the river.
However, we should be able to flag down a ship and win passage with a
properly lit bonfire; I can only hope that it will not cost us too dearly.
Until then, I shall think things over, and possibly write a few of them
down if they seem worth it.
Writing on board the ship; a reasonable fare, a silver a body. it is very
nice to be on the river again, even for so brief a time, and it was another
fine thing to swim yesterday. After all, these things are rare in the life
I have been living of late, and are, well, rather joyous windfalls.
- Kurati doesn't seem to like the crossing; a pity, as she is otherwise a
rather perceptive creature. I do not know what irks her so, but we will
A day's journey out of Haven.
- When we got here, we were greeted as long-lost heroes, or something
such, and then regarded with disappointment. Evidently, the people were
expecting a band of adventurers to clear out some problems they've been
having from the forest to the north. That band was overdue, so we dealt
with the problem. (I'm getting tired of jehuthra, but I'm glad it wasn't
- Tonight, though, we get well fed and rested, and make it to Haven on
The group wanted to visit Hiermon to have him have a look at the amulet
that we found in the jehuthra lair, so that was a convenient excuse to drop
him the message.
- He will research it, and for such a payment.
- He wants us to return the Everliving Flower to the Elven Court in Blood
Wood. (Estrial's jaw nearly hit his midsection at that.)
- I am both honored, impressed, and a bit chilled. I hope that none find
out about the cargo, lest we be perpetually assaulted by brigands. I
wonder who will be the one to carry it; this is something that I should
likely ask the group as a whole.
Continued on next page....
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