Hyperborea Rising

Arcay, Scourge of the Lower Planes
A test overcome

My quest to save my God is nearing its conclusion. Seven weapons of heroes past, seven keys to unlock the underworld. I still do not know why Quetzalcoatl dwells there currently and it concerns me. Unfortunately, there are no answers here in the Prime Material, nor from the Gods above. Instead we must travel to the centre of the world battling strange abominations and a massive dragon that sleeps yet threatens to devour the world whole, such is his size. Although, there’s little we know for certain considering all the information we have comes from that trickster Loki. I don’t understand what he gets from this but I doubt it can be any good for us.

I get ahead of myself, the quest ahead promises to be extremely dangerous and it is uncertain if we are even remotely ready. To test ourselves we are arranging three battles against three Lords of the Lower Planes:

Ashturet, General of Asmodeus. Vicious, violent and cunning.

(?) the Irritable, Balor of the Abyss. A frothing mad beast.

(?), an Olethrodaemon of Abaddon. Tantamount to a walking natural disaster.

Ashutret is the first of our challenges and she proves most crafty. Even arranging the battle was a trap as she attempted to ensnare our selves in the first draft of the contract. Thankfully Lars sent us a lawyer capable of negotiating a much more equitable arrangement. She’s confident, self-assured and rather devious. She dealt with us so politely I scarcely noticed my blessings fading over time. Not enough save her though. She spoke foul blasphemies and threatened to rend Gestr apart but instead it was she who was sundered. I must say that tiger is worthy of his stories. Even if he tells them himself and… overstates some things.

Next is the irritable demon. Unsurprisingly very easy to lure into rash action. Fighting him would prove to be the difficult part. What if I didn’t simply bless my allies? What if I called upon the might of Quetzalcoatl to empower myself to smite this unholy monster? Even with my god imprisoned I feel closer to him than I ever have before. I feel his power coursing through me. Angelic wings sprout from me, their feathers every colour in creation. My soul strengthened, I elevate myself to the status of champion through His power. My spear radiates holy light, Gilgamesh’s legacy weighing heavy in my hands. When empowered so no evil can stand before me, and this stands true for the Balor. He flees in a mixture of fright and furious bewilderment. I do not let him escape. The spear pierces him true and he disappears. Is this power of Gilgamesh’s spear? I do feel stronger now, if only a little. A power foreign to Quetzalcoatl courses through my veins. I question it not.

A similar course of action is planned for the Olethrodaemon and it is similarly successful. Shendo’s arcane lightning seeing the abomination back to it’s cursed home before it could flee onto the material to cause suffering and chaos.

Our test is passed with flying colours. We make our final preparations before heading to the frigid wastes of the southern pole and from there to the centre of our world.

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The chronicles of Emperor Shendo: chapter 3

It is done. The object of my desire and the artefact that I have spent my life searching for; the Crown of the Kobold King is now in my possession. Fits rather snugly on my head to boot. Oh, and it grants me both an immunity to the 5 draconic elements (at various times) and the ability to subjugate the will of other kobolds. The tale of how it finally came to my possession is one best told by the tiger Gestr but I will summarise it as best as I can.
At the end of our last escapade we recovered the soul of Arcay’s snake and it was left to me to bring it and it’s body together again while the others continued the search for the crown. Naturally I succeeded though the creature seemed unhappy with my attempt to draw some of it’s blood for research. Nevertheless I obtained some from the unconscious body and got some of Arcay’s in the process. Waste of time though as neither has a trace of a draconic heritage which will make selling Quetzaquatl to the other kobolds more difficult but not necessarily impossible. Still, they located an area where the crown may have been buried in the north of China and we set off immediately. Unsurprisingly the entire ruin was filled with traps though the initial dozen or so were made more recently by the servants of a local dragon who, believe it or not, charged us 30% of any treasures we found while exploring. Naturally I maintained a level head and calm demeanour and most assuredly did not blow up any nearby Kobold villages. The traps from the time of the old king proved to be more devious from walls made of ooze to poisonous gas released upon attempting to detect magic. The second trap proved to be fatal for Arcay, three chests that took away a sense and released a golem. My breath left the thing a smouldering husk but caught the boy in it’s spread and while I do not believe that I am culpable in his death (being both deaf and blind at the time) I still felt a pang of guilt and remorse. But then he was revived and the feeling soon left leaving me with a deep feeling of anger that I took out on the countryside while spelunking though the locals seemed displeased with this approach, demanding that I pay a fine.
Still, we set off again to finish my quest and after many more traps we came to the king’s throne room with piles of gold and the skeleton of a Kobold with a sword and crown. Upon reaching for it however, the skeleton awoke and attacked me with it’s icy breath. I returned in kind, scorching it with my own and a long battle was waged, culminating with an acidic arrow through the things chest. Now the crown rests upon my head and his sword hangs by my waist and I must now get to the task of establishing an empire. After the coronation of course followed by a few days of feasting to celebrate. I’ll also need to write up a set of laws for citizens to follow, set up a treasury and organise an army but how difficult can all of that be?

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The chronicles of soon-to-be-emperor Shendo: chapter 2
A new imperial pastime is born

It would appear that my new compatriots are more well connected than I had first believed. They are also accompanied by a strange gnome of unknown usefulness. Capable of harnessing some forms of magic but their full capabilities are currently unknown. Further observation is required. Of significantly more importance, they are also aquanted with the king of Hyperborea who is… not quite what I had expected. We had been called to assist him in performing a yearly ritual where he stops time for himself and several young dragons as he travels the world delivering gifts to the children of the world. The strange magic surrounding Hyperborea would allow creatures to threaten his life and so required people to protect him. We agreed as gaining the favour of such a powerful ruler is certainly beneficial for the empire. Thus, we bested the champions of four great creatures of chaos despite losing the scholar and elf boy. It’s fine though as Karzak resurrected them soon after. As a reward we spent the next few centuries travelling with Lars without ageing and has given me the opportunity to see the world in it’s entirety and I have now concluded that the empire is absolutely necessary to fix the problems in the world. Namely the problematic distribution of gold. It must be concentrated in a smaller space, namely under the throne room that I will have constructed.

Before we could continue with my search the elf boy requested that we assist his feathered snake by retrieving his stolen soul. Seemed like a distraction but if it would keep the boy contented it was worth doing. Probably. As it turns out it was in the possession of a god of trickery and so it was decided that the others would travel to Karzak’s domain to negotiate for his release while I would stay and continue my research. It was not long after that they asked if I would join them and other strange people in one of the boy’s native sports. It is a strange and convoluted ball game that involves hitting people and using magic to stop them from scoring points. It was thus decided that we would play against the god and his team of other gods in a months time and so I went to work crafting magical items to assist me. As a side note I have also grown 15 inches in the last month which proved to be advantageous. The game itself was surprisingly enjoyable despite having no idea how points were even scored. I will need to record the rules more in depth so that I can make it the national sport of the empire.

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The chronicles of soon-to-be Emperor Shendo: chapter 1
Burn all the brooms

After many years of research and exploration I have now taken my largest step in creating the magnificent Kobold empire. It started during one of my routine stops at a library, their collection of tomes on dragons and kobolds alike proved to be both large and ineffective. Apparently they also allow just about anyone in as well as I was rudely interrupted by a small group of foreign travellers. Well, I say foreign they did have among them a scholar of Chinese ancestry named Ji Ning I believe. Odd fellow, rarely speaks and can apparently generate beams of energy from his mouth. Should probably check for possible draconic blood ties. He had with him a small elven boy garbed in some form of ritualistic clothing made of feathers. I would come to learn however that he is in fact an adult that was shrunk by magic. He seems to worship some God from an western land that I have not heard of possibly some variety of blue dragon. Should probably investigate but the boy irked me somewhat when he revealed their plight to me. It seemed that they wished to slay the spine dragon that had made it’s den on island off the coast just because it has a habit waking up every few centuries and killing a few hundred peasants. He seemed to take offence to my disinterest in the matter and I in turn grew weary of his presence demanding that he leave me to my research. That is until I was interrupted by the librarian who threw me out with a broom making this the eighth time this month that this is occurred. Mark my words when the empire is founded my first decree will be to burn every broom we find, just pay the servants some extra coin for the added labour.
While outside however an entity familiar to this group of adventurers spoke to me introducing himself as Karzak an undead dracolich and quasi deity. Seemed to be fishing for some kind of applause the way he spoke. Speaking of pompose introductions it seems that the scholar has a talking tiger called Gestr supposedly some great warrior descended from the Gods of another foreign land. While his longwinded introduction did cause me to doze off he is certainly a most capable combatant. There was another individual among them too, a girl with large wings and a pet bird who seemed to gather crowds of adoring fans who led her to leaving on what she called an “extended tour and vacation”. It was at this time that I told them of my plans to recover the crown of the Kobold King and found the glorious empire to which they showed remarkably little interest in. Instead they seemed too preoccupied with their current quest: collecting various weapons of note for reasons that I do not currently know. However, it is quite well known that the previous king had a famed weapon though little is known about the weapon itself. Thus it seems that they have agreed to assist me in my endeavours at least for the time being. The cleric Achlys also seems to have an order of paladins as well who were kind enough to carry my equipment.
It seems that these adventurers have also contracted the services of a drunken captain piloting a Chinese airship. How he acquired one is beyond even my comprehension given how protecive they are of these vessels. Deciding to inspect the ships facilities I discovered that the interior is far larger than expected. Upon my wanderings I even stumbled upon a herd of cattle which I had assumed were part of the vessels pantry. Thus determining the highest quality bovine among them I led it back to the others only to discover that they are part of a delivery. Well, if they didn’t want people assuming they were on the ship’s menu they should have had a sign up saying so. In any case, we arrived at the island soon after with Achlys enchanting Gestr with many potent spells. Deciding to observe the effectiveness of my new parteners I allowed them to take on the being alone while I documented the event. My notes follow:
“Jester is now capable of flight due to Achlys’ enchantments and has now pounced at the dragon’s head. The claws dig deep and the creature is in much pain retaliating with a gust of sonic breath. I have just asked how to properly spell Gestr and will now write so accordingly. Achlys has now gained partial control of the sea water and has now joined Gestr after the latter is pummelled by several of the dragon’s hits. The wounds seem less severe than expected but Achlys seems to have sustained similar wounds out of nowhere. Possibly another enchantment. When asked about the level of injuries sustained his response could be identified as an 8 out of 10. Both are soon hit with another bout of sonic breath with Achlys now deaf but Gestr soon delivers the finishing blow. Overall performance: 7/10 deemed acceptable”
Thus from these observations it would seem that I may have indeed found some capable aquantences though there is indeed room for improvement. Achlys himself seems incapable of actually engaging with an opponent while Gestr, while powerful, is susceptible to injury. Thus my skills in ranged combat should prove a welcome addition. Also, on a side note we did indeed discover a sizeable hoard and I intend to add a portion of it to the imperial treasury once it is founded.

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Chapter 5
Boons and Curses

We decided it was time to make use of the deck that we had been carrying with us for a long time, waiting for the best moment to make use of the boons it would bring us. Everyone daring to make use of the deck was given boons, and there were some curses given out as well. I was given the power to heal at will, but it came with a two-fold challenge, one immediate as a spirit of darkness attacked me, but it was vanquished, but not before bringing a companion to fight Arcay. The second part of the challenge was to steal my voice away, tempering me to let my personality grow even stronger, and it worked out, I’m feeling much more charismatic than I was before. Our adventures continued to the east, until we reached the distant lands of China, the homelands of Ji Ning and my place of birth. I can notice that he has became even less energetic than usual since we got here. I know he has some dark stories from his past, I think it is just that going home brings these memories to the front of his mind. I will do what I can to help him, but this might be something out of my control, something unrelated to me that he has to work out on his own.

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Chapter 4
Starting to get used to writing

After finishing the endeavors of last chapter we decided to return to the surface in order to rest up and prepare ourselves for continued exploration of these ruins. I was still good to go but understanding the limits of some of our party members, surely weighed down by hundreds of copper pieces, we returned to the surface to find a strange man in our camp. He claims to be an artist, painting at most times, no matter the circumstances so I’m leaning towards accepting his identity. As befitting of people of our stature we acted as gracious hosts towards him. After resting up we continued on our adventure underground, this time bringing the newcomer with us as that was his wish. We managed to find the chamber with the spear in it, and it was almost within our grasp, but our nemesis, the evil part of Karzak, had hired a mercenary to take the spear before we could and the slipped away just before we could reach them. But with with our combined wisdom and skills we managed to track the mercenary down, and arranged a meeting with him where we could meet up and make business. Realizing that the man was of little danger to us, and let myself be charmed by his magic. My group was directly willing to start a fight, but in the end we found common ground, and made a good, new friend in the end.

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Chapter 3
Writing is getting a bit easier

After leaving the abode of Nurgle we continued on our original quest, and ended up in the ruins of an abandoned city in which we think we may found our prize. Realizing that none in our party had prepared for a large scale excavation local villagers were hired at a reasonable wage to help us out, and after a few days the building we were most interested in was made available to us. Inside the building was a massive ladder which we climbed down. It was much longer than we were expecting and at the bottom we continued onwards, noting that the materials of this place was not from our plane of existence, we think it comes from one of the many hells. As such we were prepared to fight the hideous fiends from that plane of existance, and we were right to be. We slew hordes of the fiends, finding valuables of all kinds, although I still can’t fully understand why someone in our group thought it was worth the effort to pick up several hundreds of copper coins spread about around the floor.

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Chapter 2
Writing is still hard

Having vanquished the evil aspect of the dracolich Karzak we, after resting up for a suitable amount of time, decided that we could no longer take advantage of the hospitality shown to us, and decided to move onwards. There were some difficulties with the alchemist, and he decided to leave the party in a less than honourable way, but merciful as we were we decided to not go down to his level and let him be. As we were traveling we remembered hearing about a hermit that may have the ability to halt the plague ravaging the country side, and as they had shown us great hospitality we decided to pay them back in whatever way we could. After finding out the exact location of the hermit we moved towards him. We were able to easily bypass the many dangers facing us on the mountain path, on which he lives, due to our many skills. Upon reaching the hut of the Hermit we entered his humble abode and astonished as we saw that the inside was many times larger than the outside, and filled with what looked like diseases and illnesses. In the end we did find the hermit and asked him to stop the plague if possible, we were willing to offer many gifts in exchange of this boon. He revealed himself to be Nurgle, the so called “brother” of Tzeentch, a powerful being we had previously visited on our quest and been rewarded by. Nurgle was willing to help us as long as he was allowed to mark us in his own way. We were not certain about this but the price was worth stopping the plague, so we agreed. I’m not entirily sure what he did to me, aside from giving me a bit of an appearance suitable to his domain I can find no mark left on me.

Gestr

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First try at this "writing" thing by Gestr
This is really difficult with paws

While I still maintain the superiority of oral transmission of knowledge I have been convinced of the usefulness in written knowledge in some cases. This especially comes into play for widespread transmission and spread of knowledge, and as such I will make use of it to spread the most important of knowledge, the story of my adventures as a mortal.
I will start with the last of my many great deeds, the slaying of a fragment of the mighty dracolich and psuedo-deity Karzak, the personification of his worst sides. We noticed the spread of the hideous plague and following raising of the dead that followed it. We decided to take it upon ourselves to stop it. So we looked into it and realized that this fragment, summoned by some fool, was the being behind everything. We went to the headquarters of the sect following this dreaded draconian, and fought our way into it. While traversing this hideous base we tried our best to convert these misguided mortals to a better path and show mercy, and met with some success. Once we got to the heart of the dungeon we faced with the undead monster himself with his most trusted followers, and an fight of epic proportions ensued. I held my own for most of the fight, but in the end I was brought low, but my mighty companions, emboldened by the sight of my defeat, knowing there was no one to stand by them, and Amelia struck the final blow, bringing honour to our party.

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Amelia's journal: entry 4

You know, it hasn’t been that long since I last wrote here and I thought it would take a bit longer for anything really noteworthy to occur. You would think by now that I would have completely dropped all expectations I had when I started travelling with my current companions and the latest events have convinced me to. So, where to start off? Well, it seems that Ratcliffe has completed the private research that has kept him preoccupied over the last few months and according to him he has met his intended goal. What was he trying to do you ask? Well he can now grow an elephant… from a tumour on his person. You would think that little could shock or repulse me by now but there you go. Also it would seem that Shikoba has decided to depart in order to “spread the love” and while I’m not quite sure what he means by that I wish him all the best. Also it seems that Gestr and Ji are currently preoccupied in their studies and I thought it best not to enquire as to the subject of their study, more for the sake of my own mental wellbeing than anything else.
I must say though Ratcliffe certainly wanted to make up for lost time. Before we departed from Gaul he wished to make a quick diversion in search of what he calls a “take out”, which apparently is some form of eatery that sells travelling foods. Given my now… shall we say mixed opinion on food at the present moment myself and Arcay went on ahead to meet Jean. Thus, we set off for Greece in search of more legendary weapons for our great quest which, incidentally, meant a somewhat lengthy voyage with little to do in terms of activities. It was at this time that Ratcliffe offered each of us a sample from his alchemical stocks. He gave Arcay a strange white powder to add to his cocoa which almost immediately had him on the floor complaining of an agonising pain in his chest. It was then that I requested something that could help ease his pain at which point he handed me a vial filled with a strange looking liquid. Deciding to test the effects of this substance first I was first struck bu the utterly foul taste of the stuff… which was immediately replaced with a feeling of searing agony by my shoulder blades. I’m told that I blacked out then but I will admit that I got a surprise when I woke up… with a pair of large BAT WINGS. So at least I’ve learned one thing; never accept anything from Ratcliffe. Also, while I’m on the subject I’ll need to completely replace my current wardrobe with open backed gowns.
So, upon reaching Athens we immediately set off in search of information about he weapon of Heracles but were almost immediately set off course by the sight of a naked man running off to see the city Governor. Naturally we set off in pursuit because of course we did and learned that he had plans for an indoor latrine system similar to those in Hyperborea. It was at this point that Ratcliffe let slip that he had been to Hyperborea and 20 guards circled us. Not wishing to get tangled in a pointless fight I feigned ignorance of the two and managed to back away somewhat. At this point Ratcliffe decided to escalate things by dropping a vial of a most foul smelling substance and engaged the guards. Taking advantage of the confusion I pursued the most reasonable path and ran for the market. It was after acquiring a nice looking gown that I was interrupted by the sound of multiple explosions coming from the Governor’s office, followed by the sight of Ratcliffe and Arcay riding a large flying snake. You know I never in my life thought that I could write that last sentence without it being a work of fiction by there we go. As it turns out they were also being pursued by a force of griffin riders who they somehow managed to elude.
Deciding to try and salvage something from this trip I made my way to the local academy in hopes of finding information on our current quarry but as it turns out that wasn’t meant to be. It turns out the arseholes in this city don’t exactly like girls entering their libraries and turned me away at the door. Utterly aggravated by this point I recieved a message from Arcay that we should regroup at Jean’s ship and, hoping to try and get something from this escapade tried to fly back, only to hit a tree and fall flat on my arse. As if nothing else could go wrong I now have a pair ow wings that I not only can’t show in public for fear that they’ll see me as a bloody demon but they don’t even let me properly fly. Well mark my words I am getting something out of this little adventure so I don’t care how long it takes or how many times I fall on my face I will get these stupid things to work.
Other than that it’s been a pretty uneventful few weeks all things considered.

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