Hyperborea Rising

Arcay's Report to King Lars - 1

Initial Impressions and Arctic Expeditions

I never imagined that such a place like Hyperborea existed or that the king of such a grand city would ever have a job for me personally! The sheer scale, the magic, the weird fire sticks, it’s all so fascinating. I can’t stay long though, I have an important quest!

Anyway, the report. I don’t really know how this is supposed to work so I’m just going to talk about stuff that happened and people we met.

The group of adventurers I’ve been assigned to are a strange bunch to say the least and not all that I’ve found about them is good. I guess I’ll start with Hannibal Ratcliffe as he is who you are most interested in. Ratcliffe in short is an untrustworthy man who unsettles me. He’s makes all these weird sweets and liquids but is really, really pushy when trying to sell them. Like, at the party the king hosted (I’m so sorry about making a scene, the party was really great, nothing wrong with it I’ll explain later) he kept trying to play on Shikoba’s image issues to try and sell these “pretty sweets”. Not to mention that who I assume to be a previous acquaintance literally came up to us and said, “Don’t trust this man”. This would become a recurring event where Ratcliffe would try and play on someone’s insecurities to sell whatever he made that day. It’s honestly really worrying. As for how he acts when adventuring, I think it’s best to say that he succeeds despite himself, which is good maybe? Then there’s Gestr, who is a large talking striped cat. Yes. He can talk impressively well and his speeches sound very inspiring. If only I understood a single word he was saying. My grasp of these eastern languages isn’t the greatest but it seemed like he was talking almost constantly in odd phrasing that I just could not comprehend. From what I could gather though he’s a great warrior who holds honour above all. Then there’s the quiet man who follows the tiger, Ji. Don’t know much about him other than he has a connection to nature.

As for the others that have been assigned to this task, I have no complaints. Shikoba is as lovely as ever and Amelia while quiet is really smart. However, there is one other member of this group of adventurers. I have no idea how this came about but they carry a god with them. An evil god. He calls himself Karzak and he’s a dracolich that burned a great civilisation to the ground. During the party I saw his soul or at least it’s aura. I haven’t seen anything so horrifying and awful in my life. Such a level of evil, I didn’t think it was possible to see such a thing with your eyes. Hence my rather, uh, undignified break down at the party. Once again, really sorry, I totally understand if I’m not invited to more parties. Apparently, they plan to summon him so that they can put him down permanently but I don’t know, they seem very friendly with this being of pure evil. They even have me talking to it as well, although that’s purely because I know Shikoba would want me to give this thing a chance. I’m pretty sure this being is antithetical to the whole “love, not war” thing though.

On an unrelated note, what is wrong with the wastes and the nomads that inhabit it and the gods they worship? I was asking around about Quetzalcoatl and a mysterious hooded old man told me there was a shaman in the wastes that knew everything so I should ask him about Quetzalcoatl. Well I got everyone together because I couldn’t do this alone and I figured it’d make for a great test for the adventurers. We needed to find the place though and ended up bringing along a quite frankly terrifying nomad called Kharn. I don’t think there is a single aspect of Kharn that does not both frighten and confuse me. Oh yeah, the place the shaman was in was apparently an old “desecrated” temple in a mountain range that only “sometimes” exists when “he wants it to”. What? We made it there eventually, even with magic being kind of weird and Ratcliffe using a horde of large rodents to pull his cart instead of properly adapted animals. Not to mention that he tried to reanimate them. Wasn’t having any of that nonsense. Before reaching the temple we had to go through some tribal camp which was populated by warriors clad in metal sporting anything from strange growths to wings to tails and bipedal bestial creatures which were mostly seen cleaving human flesh off roasting spits. The place was so terrible that I was actually very glad Kharn was there to scare the living crap out of anyone who would otherwise have murdered and ate us. We finally entered the temple and it wasn’t much better. Weird altars to strange outside gods, vague figures in our peripheral vision, the place wasn’t right. Further inside we met the shaman… who was the same hooded man from the bar that gave me the tip. He then told us we could each ask him one question. It’s at this point I became aware he was probably one of these outside gods. Can I just let it be known that’s is been a week and I’ve talked with two gods. Neither of them good. Unfortunately the god was being very unhelpful and answering in riddles. I thought I was never going to get Quetzalcoatl’s location out of him until Amelia came up with a question than pinned him down and forced him to answer. I don’t know how I can repay her but I’ll have to come up with something.

But it appears it all came at a price regardless. He changed us. Ratcliffe has a tail, Shikoba has a set of unsettling tatoos, Gestr looks practically demonic and Amelia seems more unresponsive than usual. As for me… I’m thirsty. Really, really thirsty. I don’t know what for but I have a terrible inkling. When I look at people I can practically feel the blood pulsing through their veins. Maybe just a little wouldn’t be that bad…

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Sabda

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