Estin, The Celestial City

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5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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My First Mission
The Sewer Mission

Dear Diary,
I arrived in Hestaria a few days ago, and I have such a mix of emotions. I am excited and nervous to be here, and also missing home very much.

I met Lyle Windarion, the head of the White Dragons, and I am more than a little intimidated by him. I was embarrassed when he asked me about my experience, and I truthfully told him I had none. He put me on a mission with a team: Callicles, Erzaad, and Kai. The mission was in a sewer to investigate a blockage and the disappearance of two people investigating the same thing.

Callicles is a natural leader. She is strong and bold, and I truly admire her. I honestly didn’t like her at first. I began to tell her about myself, and she brushed me aside. But I started to like her during the mission, when she put herself in harm’s way to protect me and our team. I felt safer knowing she was there. After the mission, she told Lyle I did a good job, and I found myself hungering for her approval, and reassured when I knew I had it. I hope that we can become friends.

Erzaad has a big smile and a big heart. I instantly liked him. Of everyone on the team, he was definitely the most welcoming. He fought bravely, and I am looking forward to working with him again and getting to know him better. The only thing that worries me is the source of his power. He mentioned that his abilities came from a demon, and I don’t understand how that could be good.

Kai is someone I could learn to like better as I get to know him. He just seems so immature! He was complaining about his invisibility not working for this creature we fought, he looted the room and tried to lie to me and the rest of our team about it. Although, later, I saw how his Sensai treats him, and realized that I should be kind to him.

On our mission, we went to the sewers, and saw a collapsed bridge. Then, a creature arose from the sewage, made of sewage, oozing and with tentacles trying to grasp at us. I stayed back and fired some arrows, which did little damage. I went closer to the monster to heal Callicles. Later when trying to heal Callicles or myself, I got hit by the tentacles, panicked, and couldn’t complete my spells. I was so nervous and scared. I felt useless when I couldn’t even perform those simple healing spells when it counted. After many attacks, we finally defeated the monster, and I was so relieved we were all still alive. There was a man who appeared around the corner, who dropped an orb. Callicles and Erzaad ran after him, and Kai and I stayed behind to regain our strength and investigate the area. I found in the muck, two full skeletons, newly dead, which I can only assume are the two unfortunate city workers who lost their lives to this creature. We rejoined Callicles and Erzaad, but the mysterious man who dropped the orb was long gone.

After the mission, we told Lyle about the mission, and I’m worried about who that mysterious man was, and what could still be out there. Callicles told me about a fever she had, and I examined her, and determined she had Filth Fever. We went to see a powerful healer, Cade, who gave her a remedy for the Filth Fever. But he also said she had another illness, one that is resistant to magic, indicated by a gray color in the corner of her eyes. We found Erzaad and Kai, and they have the same gray color in their eyes, indicating the same sickness. I am really worried for them, and I wish there was something I could do to help. I talked to Cade, and asked him if I could be an assistant and observe his work as a healer. I am excited to learn all I can from him.

My first mission was frightening, and the monster we fought was disgusting and scary. But I have never felt so much like I’m truly where I belong. Healing Callicles and Kai on that mission was wonderful, knowing that I was giving them strength to carry on. I feel like what I’m doing is worthwhile and important. I am so happy to be here, but I still have so much to learn.

-Erelil

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Training Entry 2113
Sewer Mission

The head of the white dragons called me in for another mission today. I resolutely stood in the center of his office while he instructed me and my companions to investigate the disappearance of two valiant city-workers. I of course agreed.

Upon leaving the office, Erzaad tried to go back in and get the mission parameters from Lyle. Fool, clearly he hasn’t been here long enough to know we get them from the receptionist.

I led the group down to the desk, retrieved the papers, and headed out upon our quest. We reached the sewers, and I immediately leaped in to investigate. Eventually we reached the source of the blockage, which I discerned had been caused by explosives. Erzaad thought they could have been used to clear the wreckage, but I quickly showed him the error of that thought process. Poor kid can’t help it, I suppose. Not enough training. Hmmph.

During my investigation, a smelly and foul creature arose from the depths of the sewage, and began attacking my valiant companions. I immediately utilized my Ki, and vanished. Unfortunately, it appears the creature could still sense my location, and attacked me several times.

TRAINING NOTE: Check with Sensei on methods to remain undetectable to such creatures.

Seeing my Ki was clearly not helping, I simply began hacking at the creature. I also directed the rest of the party to do so as well. Callicles even jumped straight into the muck and began splattering the creature all over the walls. During the fight, both I and Callicles were struck by the creature. The new girl, Erlal?(Check spelling) tried to heal us both, but I valiantly insisted she help Callicles, as I was perfectly fine. After I dealt the finishing blow, some strange man appeared around the corner. After directing Erzaad and Callicles after him, I searched the area.

First I collected all the pieces of the crystal ball he dropped, knowing Lyle would want to examine them. I then told Erial to investigate the remains of the creature for clues, while I found the small man’s hideaway. I found a bag of gems, an encrypted letter, and a dangerous candle holder. I appropriated all these items, and proceeded to collect Elril and head after the rest of my group.

We met Erzaad coming back towards us, and he informed us that Callicles had gotten herself stuck in some form of trap. We followed him back only to find her free, and then both I and Erzaad became caught in the same trap. It must have been very powerful to have snagged someone with as high a mental acuity as I. I am not surprised it snared Erzaad. He is not the brightest.

After investigating the area, I directed all back to the guild, where I ordered showers and led everyone up to Lyle. After turning over the fragments of crystal and the letter, we proceeded to give our report.

I had planned to keep the gems, taking them to my contacts to gain maximum value, before dispersing them among the team, but Lyle asked that I turn them over as well. Makes sense, could have magical residue leading to the perpetrator.

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Training Entry 2145
Sewer Mission Subtext 1

Oddly, Arelil came to visit at the Dojo today. She thought I could have contracted the same disease as Callicles, I of course explained that was impossible, but she seemed quite distraught. Sensei was furious, but I convinced him to let me go with her to put her at ease.

We went to see a healer, where he told us that both Erzaad and I had the same disease. Which he couldn’t say what it was. Personally I think he’s nuts, it’s probably some magical residue or some such nonsense.

He did say that he doesn’t think willpower can cure disease. I told him he was crazy.

TRAINING NOTE: Check with Sensei on ways to explain to the unenlightened.

I then headed back to the Dojo, and had a full training regimen, feeling fine.

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Callicles, Log 1
The Sewer Mission

A few days have passed since my latest assignment into the sewer. Lyle set a party of four to investigate suspicious activity in the sewers and a couple of missing persons. The team worried me right away. Two members were completely unknown to me. One was a very young looking boy with no armor, which right away boded well. When I asked him what he could do his reply struck me as unsure. Honest at least.

The other was a girl who seemed a bit hyperalert. In retrospect, it was probably excitement rather than fear. She was an eager sort. Thankfully, she reported she was a healer. Lack of experience or no, I do appreciate having one around. They without a doubt have a valuable skill-set.

The other member was known to me, but I now realize that familiarity is not a guaranteed comfort. Erzaad. I had only been with him once before, but this man annoys me on deep levels. On our last mission he all at once singlehandedly screwed us and had his idiot-savant luck salvage the mission. I despise unnecessary risk margins and he seems to be the embodiment of such. Though I have to say it goes even further than that. He is so… flippant. His levity seems inappropriate. Does he have no sense of urgency or purpose? He doesn’t seem like he is here to become stronger or to train or to improve. He just wants to be an adventure, just to be one. It angers me so much to see this person be here, having fun, while I am working. It feels like he is not here to do a job or be a professional. He just wants to screw around.

Though, I am mature enough to say that I have not known him too long. Perhaps he does have ambitions. I will admit, he made good decisions while on this mission. Also, I am generally upset and have been for the past few days.

The mission went less than desired. The two missing persons were found dead. This is of course after we had to work to cut down something that decided shit was acceptable in a wardrobe. I had been so agitated by the sewer environment I jumped strait into the slush to try and fell the mucked beast as quickly as possible. I just wanted it and everything around it gone. I wanted out of the sewer at that moment and that thing was all that was stopping me.

Or so I thought. After it faded away (as all shitty soldiers do) a man decided to make himself known. So to do a thorough job I of course had to pursue him. More time to put into the sewer. Really, I have to thank him for laying as many traps as he did. It certainly kept me and Erzaad occupied. I cannot speak for him, but it helped me take my mind away from my surroundings.

Ultimately the man got away. All together we did obtain useful information and will meet with Lyle again to discuss materials we brought back to him. We even obtained more information than we initially thought, though it is not an entirely happy situation.

All members except the healer have contracted some sort of magic resistant condition that Cade could not heal nor recognize. It may be something comparable to what killed the young ruler-to-be. For now I am recovering, but will resume training and work soon. This does not change anything I have resolved to do. If my body says stop, my spirit will scream ‘No’.

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In Deepest Shadow

The beautiful black crane swooped around the cramped room with unhindered grace in the cramped basement. Waves of dim light from the candles flowed in liquid streams along it’s graceful body. With a beak like iron and powerful wings, the creature’s sublime appearance commanded both reverence and terror in equal measure.

And then it died. Midair. Falling in an awkward whirl of feathers to the hard stone floor beneath.

In the shadows on the far side of the room three eyes watched this macabre display with hunger. Once the bird had fallen, the eyes moved forward slowly and confidently. Heads revealed themselves around the eyes – three ferocious dog faces of differing breeds – as soon as they crossed the chalk boundary. A huge, muscled dog’s body appeared next – just one. With grace and majesty it approached the dead crane, sat itself down, and began to tear at the limp body with the right and left heads.

The central head stared right at Seif.

“Hello, Seif.”, it spoke with a deep, smooth voice.

“It’s… good to see you.” Seif nodded back, on his knees beside the circle.

“The pleasure is all mine.” A toothy smile. “Your sermon last week was particularly commendable. You moved at least one sinful man to tears with your eloquence and faith. Such power. Worthy of a Sunspeaker, even…”

“Your presence was most helpful.”

“I know.”

Silence.

The central head joined in the others, ripping at the carcass. It was several moments before the rightmost head looked up from the feast. It spoke with the same smooth, elegant voice.

“And yet I sense you did not summon me here to make an agreement.”

“Ah, no. No, I-”

“Let me guess it. An opportunity to learn yet more from a master of tact?” Another grin, this one more pointed than the last. “No? Perhaps you’ve summoned me for some information only I could provide?”

Seif stayed quiet.

“No.” The beast breathed out slowly. “You’re lonely. My, my, Deacon Seif. So many admirers and supporters and you would turn to me for companionship?"

“Yes. You’ve been so close all these years, willing to lend me your power in exchange for my senses. Such an existence must be quite lonely and I wanted to offer you more. A chance to speak.”

“A noble gesture. A respected priest of Pelor showing mercy and goodness towards a member of the deepest void, held between worlds.” The head paused before returning to it’s dwindling meal, the left head picking up the conversation. Again, smooth and even. “Perhaps the trappings of your faith are rubbing off on you. But no, I think you are lying. You are lonely and I am the only one privy to your methods and pursuits. All alone in the midst of the congregation. Pitiable.”

Seif’s face fell. A pause while the dog took in the figure before him. For once, the heads did not grin.

“I will instead do you a kindness, priest. You may summon me when you wish and I will listen to you. I offer you nothing further. I will not speak to you, if it does not please me. I will stay no longer than normal."

The bird finished, the three headed dog stood once more and turned to leave. The smiles had returned to their faces.

“This mercy I will give you. But I do not make friends.”

And with that, Naberius, the Grinning Hound, stepped from the chalk circle and disappeared, leaving Seif all alone.

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The Powerful Putrid Pooze

“So there we were, strolling down the sewers investigating the case of the missing Hestaria union workers. Having prior experience in the undercity, it was decided that I should take the lead down the dank tunnel. Directly behind me was the Iron Lady herself, ready to strike at the first sign of danger. Kai, constantly alert and silent as a shadow, skulked between Callicles and Erelil, the newcomer excited for her first mission. The air was fetid and pungent; the ground covered in what I assume to be the collective city’s dinner the night before. The atmosphere was suffocating, but our brave party pressed on!”

“Ever vigilant, I kept my sharp senses focused on locating any clues as to the whereabouts of the two men who were sent to repair a blockage in one of the pipes. My imagination went wild with the possibilities. Were they devoured by a swarm of dire rats? Did they discover, and then proceed to fall down, a bottomless pit? Or were they simply just lazy and went home for a nap? The answer soon became clear…”

“As we turned a corner, I spotted the blocked pipe. The archway above had collapsed, damming the sewage flow. We approached the wreckage to inspect it further when suddenly…

Pause for dramatic effect

“A wild pooze appeared!”

The reveal is met with confused looks and raised eyebrows.

“A pooze!”

Crickets

“Y…you know. An ooze… made of poo. In the sewer.”

The mess hall crowd groans.

“No? Fine then. Well anyway, this disgusting tentacled creature rose from the sewage, threatening to absorb our bones, dissolve our skin, and stink up our clothes! Not necessarily in that order…”

“Our team quickly sprung into action! Positioning myself on the high ground, I started attacking one of the beast’s tentacles. I was not about to be hugged by an appendage that smelled and appeared as though it was recently shoved up someone’s”

Some of the guild members attempting to each lunch began to turn green and pushed their trays away.

“Um… nevermind. Moving on.”

“Seeing that the main body of the ooze was wide open, Callicles selflessly jumped into the muck to melee it up close. Don’t worry, she has since showered. Kai, doing what he does best, disappeared from sight and moved into flanking position. Unfortunately, the ooze was able to sense his presence and walloped him something fierce. Callicles, while battling valiantly, also took quite a beating. This putrid pooze was putting up a fight for the annals!

A few immature laughs could be heard from the crowd. Also from Erzaad.

“Erelil, with the precision of a hawk, peppered the creature with arrows. However, she grew worried for the wellbeing of our comrades. Stowing her bow, she ran into the fray to heal Callicles at the expense of her own safety, taking a few slams from the tentacles. It looked painful, but with her aid, our Iron Lady was able to keep on keeping on!”

“Unfortunately, Kai seemed to be in mortal peril. I knew I had to do something fast or our ninja would perform his final disappearing act! Putting all of my strength into one swing of my eldritch glaive, I struck the final blow, cleaving the pooze in twain. It burbled and gurgled before dissolving into a stinky puddle.”

“I was about to help tend to the wounded, but my attention was turned to the sound of shattering glass. A man, who had been watching us, dropped a crystal ball and began sprinting away. Leaving Erelil to heal Kai, Callicles and I bolted off down the tunnel to pursue the man.”

“The rest of the adventure is somewhat of a blur to me. Within the course of several seconds, I stepped on something sharp, tripped over a wire, and was shot full of blow darts before falling into the muck. Apparently our target had prepared several traps for would-be pursuers. Anyway, to make a long story short, he got away. But we didn’t leave empty-handed. We returned to Lyle with the shattered orb, an encrypted letter, and a sack full of gems.”

“After our foray into the gunk and grime, so many questions remain unanswered: Who was this man? Who does he work for? What does the orb do? What does the letter say? And what is this mysterious illness we contracted?”

“….What? Why is everyone backing away?”

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Erelil's Diary 2
The Tavern Mission

Dear Diary,
I just returned from my second mission. I wasn’t able to debrief with Lyle with the rest of the group because I needed some time for myself. I spent several hours crying in my bedroom before even writing this entry. I feel more lost than ever. The team that I admired so much on our last mission seems a lot more morally compromised than I initially thought. It’s one thing to fight a monster together in the sewers. It’s quite another to see my team torturing and killing other human beings.
I was working at Cade’s today, when I completely lost track of time and realized I was late for a briefing with Lyle regarding our next assignment. I met up with the group, and we had a new member joining us, Seif: a cleric for Pelor. I was relieved to have another person of faith on the mission. Seif is very quiet, and has a calming presence about him. There were several times throughout the day where I felt anxious, and he calmed me down. Seif ended up injured and bloodied, and I was nervous about healing him. He said simply, “Do what you were trained to do.” It’s funny how when he was injured, he was the one reassuring me. At another point, Seif said to me, “remember why we are here: to prevent more bloodshed.” I like Seif, and I’m glad he’s a part of the team.
Our mission was at a tavern to gather information. I’ve never been to a tavern before, but I heard this one was more rough and sketchy than other taverns. It was overwhelming. The sounds, the smells, the people. I think the crudest, filthiest men in all Hestaria frequent this tavern, and I was terrified every minute. I went into the bar with Callicles, and everyone turned to look at us, and watched us. I think we were the only females there. I felt like I was on display, and just wanted to shrink into myself. Callicles challenged a man at the bar to a bar game of sorts, which ended with her going off with him, leaving me alone with Erzaad. I was slightly relieved to be with a member of my team, but uncomfortable that it was with Erzaad, the demon boy, who was acting drunk. He put his arm around me, and was way too close for comfort. I suppose he was just acting the part in the tavern to blend in, but I sure didn’t like it. Callicles went outside, and Seif was still outside the building. Then Kai started a fire near the bar! I don’t know what he was doing, but the tavern was clearing out. Erzaad and I explored some rooms upstairs, which gave us no further information. I was searching a room when Seif and Callicles came back inside.
I went downstairs, and was shocked to see a dead man with his throat slashed open and still bleeding, along with another unconscious man lying beside him, and more unconscious men strewn about the tavern. Callicles was injured, and Seif was seriously wounded, and it took all my concentration to focus on the healing when I was shaking after seeing the bleeding corpse. I was even more disturbed when the members of my team tied the unconscious man up, and began questioning him. Erzaad told a story of how Callicles tortured another man, which made me shiver. Callicles hit the man, and threatened him, and I couldn’t stand to watch it. I followed Erzaad and Kai down a trapdoor, and when Callicles joined us, she was covered in blood. The man was tied up, so she clearly killed him when he was unarmed, and defenseless. She must have killed the other men in the bar as well because when we returned, they all had their throats slashed by a greatsword. I knew Callicles was a strong fighter, but I had no idea she was this ruthless and cruel.
We followed a hallway, and entered a small room with three men: one wearing a blindfold and tiger claw gloves, and two others who seemed like henchmen. The men started attacking us, so we fought back. Callicles fought intensely, and Erzaad and Kai fought gallantly. Seif was getting attacked, so I panicked, but still managed to heal him during battle. But when I used my longbow, the blind man kept catching my arrows! Callicles viciously fought and finished off the man, killing him. Seif said a prayer for the departed while I was still in shock.
I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. I joined the adventure guild to help people, to heal people, to make the world a little brighter. After today, I’m worried that this is all too violent for me, and my team members are not as wholesome as I initially thought. I don’t know if I can handle seeing more people die. I know the men that Callicles killed were thugs, but they were human beings too. The only thing that gives me comfort is knowing that my healing skills made a difference. If it weren’t for me, Seif would be dead, and Callicles might have been seriously wounded. I hope I still have what it takes to become a better healer and adventurer. I think I’ll ask to take a couple of weeks off to reflect, to process what happened, and continue studying healing with Cade. Maybe a little time and space is all I need. I pray to the Goddess Ehlonna for guidance.
-Erelil

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Unraveling in the Darkness

The candles danced, freshly lit in the dark basement of Seif’s home. Again, the majestic black crane swooped and dived to rest, ded, in the middle of the chalk seal. Naberius stepped forward to enjoy his snack.

“You look the worse for wear, Seif,” the vestige smiled from the center head as the others began their grisly meal. “You haven’t been found out, have you?”

Seif shuddered.

“Another guildmember knows. A wizard of some repute. She must have noticed the signs.”

“That took no time at all. When will the inquisition arrive?”

“She warned me, but kept my secret safe for the moment. I don’t know what she wants. Bargaining power? I’ll have to watch her carefully.”

“Mmm.” He purred, uncommittedly, before employing all three heads in dismembering the bird carcas.

“I, ah…” Seif began, clearing his throat.

Naberius gave no indication that he had heard a sound as he continued to wolf down bits of meat.

“Lyle called me in for a mission today, though I cannot fathom his intention. The mission called for infiltration – not a priest nor a raiding party. Did he intend me to provide restraint? If so, a bad pact with Dahlver-Nar made that intention folly. The whole thing went awry so quickly.”

Naberius’s hackles rose a little at the other vestige’s name, but quickly returned to normal. Never once did the beast stop eating or even look up at Seif.

“From the very beginning his recklessness pervaded my decisions. At the very door to the tavern I nearly died from gang member’s knives as an orc held me.”

He paused, mulling over his thoughts.

“I had the smallest hope as they began their grisly work that they would succeed and put an end to this farce once and for all. Not this time, though. In the end, I let the orc go with an absolution – his only real crime had been in failing to kill me.”

“Callicles earned her reputation today. I’ve never seen a woman so willing to forsake herself for the sake of the mission. It was causing young Erelil much distress.”

“Oh, if only the elf knew more, she would not think so highly of me. She is out of her depth, a decent young woman in the midst of a band of killers.”

“Kai and Erzaad are cunning young men, eager to seek out the excitement of guild work. Blood and spoils are their daily bread. I can only hope Lyle uses their enthusiasm towards some better end than death.

“In the depths of the structures beneath the whole mission began to unravel. We sent Erelil away – and a good thing too. I fell twice to the weapons of the gang leaders. First the wild sage cut me down, then the stone berzerker. It was only the valiant efforts of Erzaad that saved our group both times. It seemed almost a curse that I woke again after such grievous wounds.”

“Finally, we stepped into the room of the oracle – a possessed, starved young woman chained to the wall. Her soul, captured in a gem at the bottom of a red pool, was recovered by Kai. I was lost in the madness, by that point, and prepared to let the girl die.”

“For saving us, she offered some ‘sanctified’ liquid from the pool. I forgot myself and took it, and promptly fell unconscious. I do not know Blanche’s game, but I can’t help but feel she has done something to me in particular.”

“Lyle was cagey about the greater plan and ordered us to avoid any further involvement. Could he be using the guild for his own ends? Erzaad has convinced the group to make a trip into the sewers to rescue Targan. I’m not convinced that the mission is a good idea, but there are so many questions that need answers, and I feel I must persuade Erelil to withdraw from the guild.”

“Today was a day of great calamity and only chance has brought us alive to the end. Will we be able to form any semblance of a whole after what transpired underneath that tavern?”"

The silence held as Naberius finished the last scraps of flesh. He flashed his usual grin, both amiable and predatory, before turning around and disappearing into the darkness beyond the seal.

Seif did not know what the void between world’s contained but, at this moment, he could not imagine it more tumultuous than the contents of his heart.

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A Moment’s Rest
Callicles After the Tavern

With a heavy ache, Callicles set The Furnace on its wall mount, the last of her battle gear to be taken off of her. Still in the midst of exhaustion and pain, she labored to pull on a basic set of sleeping clothes and let down her hair. These missions were really threatening to push her over her limit. But Callicles was not one to be moved by such.

Despite her body’s screams, she took a seat at her bed’s edge and held her posture as she applied salve to her muscles. With silent dignity and discipline, she resisted just collapsing into the mattress and falling into sleep. Callicles’ brow furrowed slightly as she attended to her abdomen. She lightly traced, feeling her skin turn to scar tissue and then back again as she passed over a thick, horizontal scar left just below her navel some years ago. She then treated her side, which had been severely punctured earlier that day. She lightly grinned, feeling proud to be able to claim that she had taken down an enemy after being harpooned.

When finally ready, she pulled the covers over herself. Everything immediately went black. But only for a while.

Hazed images assaulted her in her sleep, jumbled and without order. Blood, a woman with a grin and blades, a man with a grin and blades, desperate hands scooping back an organ, a voice – a deep and pleasured purr “I always love finding that yes… we really are all pink on the inside”.

Callicles’ eyes snapped open. When nothing but the ceiling beam met her vision, she relaxed, taking in a deep breath to collect herself. It was nothing to be afraid of. Nightmares were familiar, but so too was the fact that the interval of time between them had been lengthening. As she cracked her neck and laid her cheek to the other side of the pillow, Callicles took the time to reason her way back to calmness. It made sense she was having a nightmare. She had come close to death twice just a handful of hours ago. It was understandable that her body was alert and her mind vulnerable to fear. Callicles took in another breath, deep enough to extend her stomach. But, the mission was over. All of the threats dealt with.

With another breath, Cal focused, bringing herself into the present. With a clear mind, she took note of how tense her body was and began working on relaxing it. Over the next half hour, from her feet to her neck, she let the physical manifestations of anxiety fade from her. Her mind was occupied with nothing else but that task. She took another breath.

I’ve let myself get too emotional lately – yelling at Kai, letting my mind seize upon paranoia about Lyle, feeling incompetent after being almost felled. I need to recollect myself. What is legitimate? Which intuition do I need to follow now? Which decision do I want to make?

For a while, Cal laid in the dark thinking to herself. Not having to rush her thoughts, she carefully evaluated her options. Feeling satisfied with her deliberateness, she was even further relaxed, feeling reassured that she could still trust herself.

It is clear I am not yet who I want to be. The Wild Sage. Clearly, that woman was a sadist. Just the kind of target I want to specialize in dealing with. It is true; I am horribly disappointed and angry that I was not able to be responsible for her fall or to be awake when it happened. But in the end, she was killed. Those types being eliminated is my ultimate desire. It should not matter so much to me whose hand it was to do her in. I still need to train, but I will be their guillotine. One day. Even if not today.

And for other matters… Lyle’s behavior was suspicious. I am not merely being reactive and emotional about that. Usually, when people are taken off a case by a superior it is because they are being protected or they have made a horrible mess of things and are no longer trusted. Neither of those things are applicable here. We are already known by the Black Eyes and the guarantee of our safety is now forfeited, especially since we left with the Oracle. Taking us off to protect us would be ineffective. Lyle knows that.

The tavern was made a mess, but with good reason as we have found. Clearing that place is not an issue. Also, Lyle did not seem upset with the report that the tavern was partially burned and gang members were killed. And he is not afraid of letting others know when he is displeased. We got the desired information, felled three strong leaders, and recovered the Oracle. This was not a failure by any means.

It is possible Lyle is attempting to claim responsibility and handle the case alone for personal or emotional reasons. That seems plausible. It seems odd that he wouldn’t just tell us outright that that is why he wanted us to stop, but he did frame this as something he had to do. Still, it seemed abrupt.

Concerning Lyle, I need to merely be on alert rather than convinced of what he may be doing. Of my team members… I should talk to Erelil. She was definitely shaken. As for Erzaad… even though I do not understand his personality, it is clear I do not need to worry over him anymore. I don’t recall Seif being so on edge in other encounters, but this was a tense time. As for finding Targen, the decision has already been made. I might as well sleep. It will be an opportunity to reaffirm my discipline.

I will do everything I can as correctly as I can.

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