Ascensions Gate

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Letters to Home 1
Ramos Sinclair

My Dear Lucille,

Good morrow, cousin. I hope this letter finds you well. I know it has been months since I left to cross the desert. I have not forgotten how mad you were at me and I still implore your understanding. Perhaps you can’t fully understand due to your luck of not sharing my family name though we are of blood. I do not mean that as the insult my brothers so frequently imply, but I need you to know that I have left your company to redeem our blood! It must be so, we cannot live in disgrace any longer. We both know that Marcus and Nicholas care not of honor or good and scoff at my quest. I only regret leaving you with their wicked company.

I did indeed cross the desert with ease, no doubt due to Shalla-dune smiling upon me. Indeed my travels were unchallenged until I reached the Free Cities. It was there that I found conflict! I stumbled upon an ambush, where servants of the Elven King were attacking a Skree and a collection of people. I joined the fray and together we were able to fight off the attack. Joined together by our battle, our party offered aid to the Skree Fahzul. He offered us a chance to earn some gold by aiding him in recovering an artefact known as the Heart of Vermael. Indeed it was rumored to be the heart of that terrible red dragon from the War of Ascension! We agreed, myself and others to prevent the Elven warriors from obtaining it while other members of our party sought only the gold.

We sought out an ancient tomb of one of Karne’s terrible Scions. Her tomb had been desecrated by foul undead and a number of evil creatures had made the tomb their lair. I will say that the battle was foul and exhausting, I myself fell several times. I am thankful for my new friends, without them I would have surely perished. We faced the tormented spirit of the Scion warrior and were able to put her to rest. There we recovered the Heart, only to later be betrayed by Fahzule’s sister! We tracked the foul Skree back to her camp where we slew her, her minions and Brown dragon hatchling! We were able to recover Fahzul and his mate as well as the Heart of Vermaell.

We’ll be leaving before mid-morning and I wanted to quickly write to you. I hope to find a caravan traveling to the Concordant and offer them some gold to bring it to you. I will continue to write to you as I continue on my path. Already my journey has lead me to great trials as well as troubling reflections. Is there some darkness in our blood and not just our name? Lamount Sinclair was a hero, his grandson a scoundrel. Which path is set for me?

Looking to the West,


Letters to Home 2

Dearest Lucille,

Please forgive my delay in writing. I mean to write often, but I have been caught up in a grand adventure! I’m trying to decide where to begin!

After the treachery at the mining facility, we returned to Itoni with the skree. Our first adventure went so well that we decided to form a mercenary group: The Flames of Vengeance. A dramatic name, but one that may be fitting. Fazhul and his mate Jehzarelli own a magic shop in the city and offered us to use it as a home base. It seemed like a good way to earn some coin and, more importantly, renown.

We did not have to wait long for a job. A retainer of the Marquis of Blades, one Sir Miles, came pleading for assistance. His daughter had vanished in the night and he desperately sought her return. A man of good standing, he promised a substantial reward. Truly, rescuing an innocent maiden would be worth it alone of course.

We investigated the disappearance and found a terrible pattern. There had been a string of murders in the district of Itoni close to the home of the wizard Corvex. This strange man was reputed to be a powerful mage and had bizarre powers. He was rumored to be a student of the grand wizard Zazel, a terribly powerful wizard in his own right. The murders were of psychic sensitive youths and all evidence pointed to Corvex being behind them in some way.

During our investigation, we fought a poor man that was in the grip of total madness. We were able to subdue him, but tragically we were unable to save his wife. His mind recovered, the man led us to the sewers of Itoni where we were attacked by a gang of wererats. After a brutal fight, we defeated them and the last remaining rat led us to Corvex’s lair.

We moved into Corvex’s stronghold and encountered terrible, otherworldly horrors. These creatures were beings from the Far Realms that fed on misery and caused madness with a touch. We discovered that Corvex had been summoning these creatures, drawing them from the reaches of the Far Realm by torturing psychic sensitives. I will not describe the manner in which these people were tortured; it was perhaps the worst thing I have ever encountered. We found his journal and from that we gleaned his plan. Corvex sought to draw more and more of these creatures across the barriers between here and the Far Realms. The more creatures he drew, the easier it would be to draw in more powerful entities. Eventually, Corvex planned to summon some deranged god from the Far Realms, one he referred to as The Outsider. We had to stop him!

Corvex was no where to be found in his lair. Through he notes he guessed that he would return to Sir Mile’s house in order to complete his torture of the young girl. We were able to convince the guards to let us in, for Sir Miles was acting very strange. We rushed to his bed chamber and found Corvex there with a host of his creatures. Corvex had enthralled Sir Miles and was at work brutalizing his daughter. Corvex mocked us and immediately attacked us with his beasts. We faced them and destroyed the alien monsters and subdued Sir Miles. Corvex was beaten and he knew it. At his last moment he cried out for assistance. Lord Zazel answered him! The powerful wizard appeared before us and his student. He was maddening to behold, I dare not describe him for my quill may fail me. Apparently disappointed with Corvex, Zazel slew him with a whispering of terrible magic. He said little to us and vanished.

Sir Miles recovered. His daughter is in need of clerical aid. Miles has enough money, she should be restored. I hope so anyway, it would be terrible otherwise. She was innocent of wrong doing and had been the target of a despicable beast. I guess this adventure was half of a success; we saved Sir Miles and perhaps saved Itoni itself. If the girl recovers, I would venture it was a complete success.

Lucille, I hope you are well. Please, keep the home fires burning. Avoid my brothers as much as you can.

Looking to the west,


Letter to Home 3

Dearest Lucille,

Forgive my delay in writing, as you may expect by now, I was on a great quest! Our mercenary company received a call for aid from the small town of Hillborough. It appeared that the orcs of the Blacktooth Grin Clan had been ravaging the countryside, eliminating small hamlets near the town. It looked like Hillborough was next! I must remind you that the Blacktooth Grin Clan was the very same clan that our ancestor betrayed over a century ago.

We investigated the town and discovered that a strange man in Morlian armor was seen before the attacks began. We were able to piece together that the orcs were attacking because they felt that the people of Hillsborough had violated a treaty banning them from having weapons or armor, all because of this Morlian solider. We decided that this man was no doubt part of a larger attachment and we set out to find were the Morlians were. We went to the orcs first in order to plead that they cease their attacks. Unfortunately, the orcs would only grant us an audience with their leader Thorgrak after a brutal trial by combat. We were forced to fight our way through the tribe that was present and we bested them all! I am proud to say that we did not fell any of them fatally and we could speak to the old, blind orc Thorgrak. I must confess my prejudice, because I was amazed by this creature’s wisdom. He understood our plea and believed we could find the Morlians west of his tribe.

We sought out the Morlian force with Thorgrak’s aid and found that it was no small force. A large outpost had been created in the scrublands, no doubt to serve as a starting point for some terrible campaign. We assaulted the outpost and faced dozens of soldiers with several magatech creatures. I must say that things looked grim several times, but we overcame the villains and met their leader, Sergeant Bromier of Mercer. Bromier gloated about his commander’s plans to conquer the land and, though we offered surrender, he fought us brutally. He defeated him and his retinue and the Outpost was ours.

I regret to say that there were no survivors at the Outpost, due to my companion Ghaul Thu’s rage. As a half-ogre, the Morlians committed a lifetime of wrongs to he and his people. It may be his right to revisit this hatred on them at any opportunity. I don’t feel it is my place to stop him, they would likely do worse to us if given the chance. I wish he would stop, but as of yet I don’t think I should step in. Indeed, several of my companions (I dare say all of them) are of vastly different ideologies and have committed acts I would consider bloodthirsty. Dottenlieg relishes in burning is victims to death and no doubt Reesa would gladly shred unarmed men with her claws if they were vile enough. I am wrong to judge these people because my hands are not free of blood and particularly because of what happened on our return to Itoni.
When we returned, I left the party to return to the Blacktooth Grin Clan. I returned alone and sought an audience with Thorgrak. I was granted such and met with him alone. I confessed that my people, the Sinclairs, had done a great wrong to his people and that I was on a great quest to redeem our line in the eyes of the world. I surrendered to his will and told him if he wished to strike me down I would not resist. The blind warrior laughed and appeared pleased. He said it took courage to appear before him in such a manner. He confessed he could not grant me forgiveness to me as it was not his place as a servant of the god once wronged. But he would tell of my courage to all who would listen and how I had “barred my throat” to him for redemption.

When I returned, I was surprised that my companions were upset that I had vanished for several days. I arrogantly lashed out at them saying they wouldn’t understand, but I quickly saw that I was wrong. Ressa is half-dragon for heaven’s sake, and it takes honor to bear the word of a god like Dottenlieg. They were generally concerned for me and understood. I learned a great deal about them and about my quest. Perhaps our honor will not be won by great deeds, but by wisdom.

It’s a start anyway.

Looking to the West,


Letter to Home 4

Dearest Lucille,

I needed to write you this letter before we rush off for another grand adventure. Truly marvelous things are happening! We had returned to Itoni after our adventure with the Black Tooth Grin Clan and were summoned by the famed Marquis of Blades himself. This bizarre aristocrat controls much of the city and our company managers had indebted us to him. We were offered a chance to clear our debt to the Marquis in return for fulfilling a task for him. A foul tribe of gnolls have been attacking caravans outside of the city and the Marquis ordered our company to stop them and eliminate their tribe.

An interesting event occurred with the Marquis. He has been a resident of Itoni for decades (some say longer) and he hides his face behind changing brass masks. This eccentric man is renowned as one of the great swordsmen of the world. I recalled some lore about my ancestor, the great General Sinclair, and was struck my the similarities between the Marquis of Blades and the fabled clockwork swashbuckler of the Mad King Azah. I remind you that the construct claimed to be the greatest swordsman in the world and Lamont challenged him to single combat. As you father often said when regaled us the tales, Lamont defeated his opponent with superior skill and charming bravado. The legend is that King Azah rebuilt the construct and it has been searching the world for a chance to face Lamont Sinclair once again. My family never told this alluring tale, likely out of shame of our fall. As a result, I always dismissed it. Now I think this story has much more merit than I gave it in the past, for the Marquis of Blades recognized my family crest immediately and hinted at knowing Lamont Sinclair. He spoke highly of Lamont, and demanded that I obtain such epic status so that he may face me like my great patriarch. I only hope that when that day comes my blade will be as fast as Lamont’s!

After this encounter, we journeyed to meet an incoming caravan. Several days later we were attacked by a gnoll raiding party! These creatures are horrible beings that revel in slaughter. We defeated them and gleaned the location of their lair. As we entered the tribe’s hideout, we learned that they were connected to the Dragon of the Earth’s cult. I won’t recount the terrible acts these foul beasts were conducting in their temple for fear of the nightmares it would bring. We fought dozens of gnolls and their foul leaders. We rescued two adventures: an orc called Haplo and wild shifter named Xaing Hu. These two joined our group and we continued to purge the hold of the foul gnolls. After eliminating the tribe we discovered the source of their power; they were in the service of Karphaus the Black, the high priest of Ezra the Dragon of the Earth! Using a strange scrying crystal, we contacted the dragon cleric who gloated that we had destroyed only a tribe of rabid gnolls and his designs would still bring ruin to Itoni. Our new shifter companion, Xaing Ho, mocked the dragon’s cowardice and demanded it face us! Karphaus was enraged and betrayed the location of his lair before ending the magical link. I was too shocked for words!

We are now quickly preparing to storm the lair of Karphaus the Black. We must make haste, before the dragon has ample time to prepare for our arrival. I will send word of success when we return. Offer a prayer to Drago for me, I may need some luck on my side!

Looking to the West,


A note of reassignment

Jezarreli, I am sorry. I know we need certain monetary gain from our employees, but i fear for our " A team" I have pulled back the twins, Dott, Jimmy, and Kincad to go make sure everything is ok. I’m sorry my dear but i fear this may be the best. I hope you agree.
Fahzul Ith-Shanni.

Letter to home 5

Dearest Lucille,

I am thankful that I am alive to write you this letter! We have bested Karphaus the Black! We journeyed to the foul dragon’s lair and rescued dozens of slaves that were to be the dragon’s playthings. We sent them on their way to Itoni and ventured into the beast’s cave. The creatures contained within were immensely powerful, Karphaus’s servants alone were taxing to the extreme. We fought through and met a terrible member of dragonkind, an Earthquake dragon called Gargathus. We were barely able to defeat the monster and had to retreat to recover our strength. Unfortunately, Karphaus detected our presence and cut us off at the mouth of the cave. He threaten to kill his prisoners if we did not face him there. Together, weakened but resolute, we fought the wyrm. An amazing and frightening battle was fought, but we overcame the dragon. Taking the beast’s head, we returned to Itoni.

We met with the Marquis of Blades and we were rewarded for our great feat. The Marquis also offered to give me a great prize. He requested my family sword and told me to return in a month’s time. When I did he gave me back my sword, but it had been heavily enchanted. He told me that to be a true rival I would need a master’s blade. I have no doubt now that the Marquis of Blades is the same duelist that Lamount Sinclair face generations ago. I hope that I share Lamount’s victory when I face the Marquis.

In the time being, we built our company. There has been some tension between Rook and Xaing Ho, but that appears to have been resolved privately. A strange Nogrim woman, a reclaimer, has been stalking Rook from the shadows. Rook has not discussed much with me, but I think she as a deeper connection to him than he is letting on. He can keep what secrets he wishes, I’m just ready for whatever is needed.

We are beginning a new contract today. The harbormaster reports that shipments entering Itoni have been being stolen. Some of these cargos there meant to go to the Swords of Aramatheis. We have evidence that the Swords are trying to gain more powerful magitech weapons of war for their company, a dangerous possibility. Information suggests that the thieves are members of the Shadar-kia, a race born of the Shadowfell that live hollow lives. We are leaving tonight to meet the thieves at their lair in a local graveyard.

I hope you are well, Lucille. Your smiling face is one of the only things I truly miss of home.

Looking to the west,


A Note Found in Occupied Itoni

Please someone
If anyone finds this we need help. We’ve remained hidden so far, but everyday they could be getting closer to finding us. Please, we need help and we don’t know how long we can wait.

Reesa - Return to Itony

Reesa settled in to keep watch, feeling tense and vaguely uneasy. Scorch nuzzled his scaly head into her neck and began chewing on her hair. The brass dragonling was trying to comfort her, and probably himself. In a language only they could understand, he said “you are so sad and angry, why?”

She sighed and tried to think of a simple answer, but there was no simple way to explain her heartache and boiling rage. She scratched her fingers on Scorch’s scaly back and replied “some very bad people took over Itony and I am afraid of what may happen to people I care about.”

Scorch stopped chewing and lifted his head toward her face. “Worried about the kids?” he asked. Reesa nodded and felt the anger and sorrow rising up in her stomach. She had been one of the street children of Itony not so many years ago, and now that she had the means, she ran a sort of safe-house for them. Not knowing if they were alive and well was gnawing at her. She wanted to find the Morlian who had orchestrated the invasion of Itony and eviscerate him.

Sensing her distress, Scorch started licking her face. His acidic saliva would have irritated anyone else, but Reesa didn’t even notice. She tried to relax her muscles and think calmly about what needed to be done. Rook was planning to scout near the newly erected city walls for a weakness, and hopefully within a few hours they would be back in the confines of Itony. She wouldn’t be able to check on the kids right away. She knew the others would object to the personal errand and staying together as a group was important. She just hoped that if the kids had fled, Melia had remembered to leave her a note with clues to their location. When she had discussed the emergency plan with the older kids months ago, they hadn’t seemed to understand the importance of it. None of them could have foreseen that the Morlians would launch a full-scale invasion with half a legion of Storm Ravens. Itony was a large city, but had no organized military or city fortifications. 5,000 highly trained troops, arriving on air ships, would have caught them totally off guard. As some of the premier mercenaries in the city, the Flames of Vengeance Company would have been on the front line resisting the attack, which is why the Morlian Lieutenant Commander had lured and trapped them in the Shadowfell, where time had stretched and flowed more slowly. Reesa and her companions had been gone for a month by the time they found a way back into the world. Now, here she sat, staring at the lights of Itony in the distance, waiting for the sun to finish setting so that she and her companions could go exact some vengeance.

Out of the Shadowfell

Rook’s Books 183

I can’t tell you how glad I am to see the sun again. I don’t think the others felt the full weight of the Shadowfell, but then again none of them have had it talking to them. Sometimes it would just be a constant murmuring in the background, but other times it just screams for me to kill. I was just lucky enough that there’s nothing in the Shadowfell really deserving of life, couldn’t say I felt bad killing anything there. Maybe in the Shadowfell, there’s just nothing worth living for never having the chance to live.

That’s why I’m glad to be back, I don’t have to listen to some dark voices jabbering in the background. Even having green grass is a blessing. Fuck, I’d settle for brown rather than the gray of the Shadowfell. I’m not intent on ever going back, though Reesa seemed to be keen on the idea that that was our best way back into Itony. Itony, by the way, wasn’t the way we left it. It is now a city under siege. It’s a city I’m intent on taking back from the Morlians. They think they can fuck with us they have got themselves another thing coming.

The problem with having an army is that they’re pretty impotent without a head. Granted, these folks have got several heads, but keep cuttin’ and eventually they run out. Not much of a plan so far, but it’s a tried and true method, let’s face it, it’s gonna work.

I had scouted out a way into the city, the place had lacked proper perimeter patrol and that was how we lucked out. I mean, we really lucked out, watching the Flames of Vengeance lummox about in the dark was honestly a little embarrassing for me. I really picked out a good spot. Our first agenda was to find the Marquis, see if he was still holed up somewhere and we could perhaps rally up some more forces to aid the cause. The Marquis could apparently hold out so long, being in the shadowfell lost us precious weeks. The Marquis is a fucking crackpot by the way, he left us a duplicate of himself that only Ramos could listen to. Though, I guess you don’t get to be as powerful as the Marquis without being a fucking paranoid crackpot.

Reesa was hit hard with the invasion, I know she’s taking it pretty personal. Hard not to when you’ve got family in there. I know what it’s like to lose that, I can only imagine not knowing is worse. I’m willing to help her out if she’s willing to admit she could use the help. Got to stick together with what you’ve got, and I’ve been through a lot with these guys. Time to put on my shit eating grin


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