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by Mycoder on Jun 26, 2018 at 01:34 AM
I am Kashawn Fo'Durn and this is my diary. If you find this then please return it to me. If I am dead or you can't return it for some other reason then feel free to read it to learn my story.

Foreword
My name is Kashawn Fo'Durn. I am the son of Marie Fo'Durn and Aureon, The Host god of knowledge and order. An oracle told my mother after my birth that I would be a great champion of Aureon and that I would rid the world of many grave threats. I've spent my whole life to date trying to get away from those words and my father. I hate churches and want nothing to do with priests and clerics and the clergy. I've done everything I can to shake my father's shadow from me. I've lied, cheat, stole and many other deplorable deeds. This is my story.

Janara 26, 1002 YK
My mother died today. Disease. The priests couldn't do anything for her. She trusted them to take care of us but they never cared about her, not really, all their attention was on me, the champion of Aureon. All they needed to do was recall one of the High Clerics and she would still be here. I'm leaving tonight, sneaking out. There's nothing left for me here. I heard talk of an airship heading to someplace called Korthos island in a couple days. I think I'll stowaway of that and forget this place altogether.

Janara 29, 1002 YK
Today has been a day. A lot has happened. The airship I had snuck aboard, the Heart of the Wind, was attacked by a white dragon. I was knocked out in the crash and awoke to a Halfling trying to take my coat. According to him, I am the sole survivor of the attack and following crash then he explained that he and his party could get me safely to Korthos Village if I first assisted them in ridding the world of an evil Sahuagin priestess. I heartily agreed and found a stout long stick to defend myself with. In the cave, the Halfling, Jeets, taught me how to disable traps and bypass locks. After defeating the Sahuagin the cleric of their party bestowed me a quarterstaff that will grow in power as I do. I have no idea what that means also in the priestess's treasure we found a mask that imbues the wearer's weapons with shadowy energy which they allowed me to have. I am now safely in the tavern of Korthos Village and the pain of losing Mom has come back. I may continue this adventuring thing to help me forget, and the Host knows this village could use some help.
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by Achara on Nov 17, 2016 at 12:49 PM
A'Chara Springstep

Appearance: Short, slender, and very “built” A'Chara has always been popular, as much because of her constant smile as because of her looks. Her deep, nearly sea-green eyes usually flash with humor or enthusiasm above her pert little nose, which is slightly turned up at the tip. She keeps her ankle-length brown hair braided and pinned up, and most of even her close friends aren't aware of just how full and rich it actually is. The lone exception to this is Miri Evenwood, the closest thing A'Chara has to a sister. The two of them often had sleep-overs when younger, and like A'Chara keeps Miri's secret about her unusual birthmark, Miri keeps A'Chara's secret about her lone vanity; her cascades of silky fine hair.

Personality: Open and friendly with those she knows, her few encounters with strangers have left her wary of them if she is not with one of her friends. Always eager to explore she is usually only a half-step behind Miri when it comes to charging into new situations, although she does sometimes try to think before she acts. Quick and nimble on her feet, she enjoys a good fight, but usually prefers to fire from a slight distance as opposed to closing with a larger, stronger opponent. Her agility gives her an edge when she does have to fight hand-to-hand though, and she will not hesitate to pull her sword when necessary. A born leader, she may not be as charismatic as some, but if she were only a little bit taller she would instill confidence in anyone instead of only in the people who know her well.

A'Chara was born in the tiny hamlet of Hystar, on the edge of the Hullack Forest, just downstream from Thunderstone and not far from the Thunderflow River. She was the only child of Kairwy & A'Nesta Springstep, who had settled in Hystar after their long-ago adventuring days were over. She spent most of her childhood playing and learning the “tricks” of being a locksmith and a tinker from her father. About the time she turned 10, she began to take on babysitting chores around town to help add to her family's meager income from Kairwy's business and A'Nesta's laundry service and rooms to let. She would often watch little Rowan Goodriver and Miri Evenwood, and as they grew up the three became fast friends. A'Chara spent many hours at the Goodriver farm, helping Rowan with the training of the war horses and ponies his father was famous for. Rowan Sr. had been a Purple Dragon Knight, and saw to it that the trio spent part of every day practicing with bow and sword, both on foot and from horseback. The elder Rowan arranged for Juni, as the younger Rowan was affectionately known, and A'Chara to travel as caravan guards together on several occasions, something Miri desperately wanted to join them in, but her father strictly forbade such endeavors as “unlady-like”. The trio did join the local militia together, as all able-bodied young people were expected to do, and between Miri's spellcasting, Juni's sword prowess, and A'Chara's marksmanship they helped clear out many bands of roving orcs raiding down from the Thunder Peaks. The druid Tuathal Talloak was the trio's favorite adult friend and fighting companion, though he always saw himself as their mentor and teacher more than as a friend. When he is not around, they all use their pet name for the druid, “Tuie”, but they try to be careful not to slip when he's near, knowing that the knickname irritates the older man.
The Springstep family never seemed to have much in the way of spare coinage lying about, but they were always happy just to be together enjoying what they did have, a wonderful environment for a young girl to grow up in. The elder Springsteps and Rowan Sr. had been companions long ago, and Kairwy made secret arrangements with his old friend for something special for A'Chara's 25th birthday, the traditional coming-of-age for a halfling. A'Nesta and Kairwy did many small odd jobs for the Goodrivers, and Rowan kept a “credit” account for all the hours A'Chara spent helping to train the warhorses, though she never realized she was doing it for anything but pleasure and to help her friend. When the crop of foals that would be four on that special birthday were born, Sr. selected the one that he felt would be the best of the lot, a long-legged blue roan pony with a large round white star, four white socks, and an odd star-shaped white patch on his belly. Explaining that the pony was earmarked for a halfling owner, he told Juni to make sure that A'Chara handled all of the training on Nimblestep, as the little roan was soon named. From halter breaking to combat training, A'Chara worked day in and day out with Nimble, resulting in a pony who was totally devoted to his future mistress, without either of them being aware of what was to come. When Nimble's barding and saddle were fitted, Sr. had A'Chara sit for the measurements, stating that since a halfling was going to get the finished warpony, who better to have the saddle designed to than another halfling?
On the morning of her 25th birthday, A'Nesta had a new set of hand made leathers for her daughter, and Kairwy gifted her his old crossbow, so lovingly cared for over the years that it still worked like new. Certainly not even expecting this much, she was totally clueless to the final surprise waiting for her when Juni knocked on the door, Nimblestep on a lead rope behind him, fully barded and saddled. Having just been told that morning of where the pony was actually going to end up, Juni couldn't resist keeping the cover story going just a little longer. He told A'Chara that he was to take the pony to his new owner today, and knowing how much she cared for the stallion he thought she might want to spend some time with him before the delivery. With tear-filled eyes she thanked the tall fighter for his kindness, and giving the small stud a kiss on the nose, she then buried her face in his mane and hugged him, fighting the sobs at the thought of never seeing him again. Unable to keep the charade going any longer, Rowan turned and started to walk up the path towards the road. A'Chara, still not “getting it”, yelled after him that he had forgotten Nimble, and Rowan, grinning from ear to ear, replied, “why would I take him? He's been delivered.” Finally understanding what was happening, A'Chara let out a squeal of delight, and not even bothering with a bridle, leaped onto Nimble's back and rode down the street at a full gallop using only the halter and lead, yelling and laughing with joy. Miri, who had learned of the surprise only minutes before Rowan had gone to the Springstep house, was waiting outside her home for her friend, and together with Juni they spent the entire day 'playing' with Nimble. By sunset the pony had been bathed, combed, braided and fussed over so much he was happy to be left alone for the evening.
When Miri came of age a few years after A'Chara, the three young people decided that it was time for them to have their turn at adventuring, and set their sights on raising the money for a charter from the crown. Sitting with Tuathal in the local tavern one late spring evening discussing how best to raise the coin they need, two strangers walked in and approached Mance Lowhill, the proprietor. A'Chara managed to overhear that the extremely tall, almost ghoslty figure wrapped head to tow in a black cloak was an historian “of sorts”, and the human woman escorting him is his assistant, Allindar. Miri, never one to hold back when an idea hit her, approached the assistant and talked her into meeting with the others. After a long discussion, Allindar told them that her master would pay very well for any interesting items procured from the nearby elven ruins. Long a source of mystery in the region, no one in Hystar had even heard of a name associated with the area, but Allindar identified it as the former city of Andar Illithar, abandoned for centuries before the founding of Cormyr. Everyone in the town had been there, most on a dare while still mere children, but lately the area had become much more dangerous, with roving bands of humanoids attacking woodsmen and hunters.
Having decided that this was too good an opportunity to pass up, the four decide to leave at dawn and spend a few days exploring deeper into the ruins than a simple day trip would allow. By noon they had reached the overgrown and partially collapsed walls of the ruin, and set up a base camp in an easily-defended tower. After several small skirmishes with kobolds and goblins, they accidentally stumbled onto a hidden passage leading deep beneath the buildings above. Gearing up for several days underground, they moved through tunnel after tunnel, ever deeper, until they came to a huge brass door. A'Chara found a hidden trigger that worked smoothly, even after all the centuries undisturbed, and they found themselves in a vast open room with walls, floor and ceiling covered with intricate runes. Even the support pillars were inscribed with faintly glowing sigils. To this day, A'Chara doesn't know exactly what happened next, but as she stood in the very center of the room, gazing in awe at the vast chamber, spotless and dustless despite the years of abandonment, she heard Miri exclaim “hey, look what I found”, there was a flash of bright light, and when she could see once more she was in a dilapidated tomb, with none of her friends in sight. After escaping through a partially collapsed drain, she made her way to Stormreach, where she learned she is now in Xen'drik, with no idea of how to return to her homeland, her friends and family, or her beloved pony.

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by Dathedr on Apr 20, 2015 at 05:21 PM
Even with Faerun's ancient thaumaturges and Eberron's cutting edge artificers, our understanding of magic has a gaping hole in it. Why is there such a clear division between Arcane and Divine? They both can achieve similar effects for most occasions, the caster being the sole difference.
Shouldn't there be something that blurs that border? Something, somewhere, where arcane or divine are but technicalities, ephemeral denominations that hold no power?

Thing is, that's a dangerous topic to study. Particularly potent arcanists can stare down minor deities and get away with it. If someone found out their power isn't all that different, just imagine the impact the deities themselves, fueled by their followers' faiths would feel.

A long time ago, a certain scholar known as Ephrenne became fascinated with all magic, and would devote her life to it. In her world's churches, most deities would rather have devout followers and bless them with their own divine magic than a real scholar who would also rather study the arcane arts. Of the exceptions, two of them stood out - Boccob, known by many as the Archmage of the Gods, and Wee Jas, the Ruby Empress.

Even though Boccob was the stronger patron out of the two, he's also known as the Uncaring. For that alone, Ephrenne was attracted to the church of Wee Jas.

Stories are rarely told about your average person, and she was far from average. Quickly climbing the ranks of the church, she was crowned Mystic Theurge - That is, she was proficient with both spell sources. That itself wasn't uncommon in the Stern Lady's cult. What was uncommon about it was she became the youngest person to ever become one.

She had no intentions of ruling the church nor any interest on politics, all she did was researching and understanding more and more of the underlying aspects of magic. So huge her understanding became, along with her loyalty to the Ruby Sorceress, the goddess herself appeared to her. Afterwards, she became Ephrenne, the Chosen of Wee Jas.

Thing is, while on a small scale it's barely perceptible, magic has cause and effect. A lowly wizard evoking a fireball draw some heat away from the elemental plane of fire, while a cleric restoring health to an ally pulls that energy from the positive energy plane. But world-shattering magic has a much more noticeable impact. Or, in this case, world-mending.

From Greyhawk's inhabitants perspective, nothing happened. But in truth, a hole in reality was unraveling, threatening the whole prime material plane's stability. It would take great magic power to hold it together, something a mere mortal couldn't handle. Boccob himself was unfazed - Greyhawk is but one of the many worlds under his influence. The Witch Goddess herself wasn't so lucky.

In a desperate plea, she called out to her Chosen. The gods can't influence a crystal sphere directly, but it would take a deity's full attention to have a chance at restoring order. Her request was simple - Eph had to work as a conduit to her full divine might. That's more power than any mortal could handle, so she probably wouldn't make it.

While most would gladly sacrifice themselves for their whole world to survive, Ephrenne saw this as a blessing - Nobody ever had the chance to channel a god's true might; Even if she dies on the way, that experience alone was worth dying for.

And thus, along this process, she finally understood what blurs the arcane and divine. For most of her life, her faith had been in the Stern Lady, but for a brief moment, she and her goddess became one.

Divine magic comes from one's faith. The belief being so strong that it fuels the reality warping effects. Arcane magic comes from within - It could be said it is an effect of one's faith in himself.

And for this brief moment, Ephrenne was the source of both her powers. She blurred the distinction between arcane and divine, and that hasn't been replicated to date.

And afterwards? The unmaking was prevented, but she paid its toll - Her life was no more, and her soul should have ascended into her goddess' realm, but something different happened. Instead, her soul got split in two, but unbalanced - One half had more negative energy, and the other more positive.

Cast along the multiverse, the negative part found its home amongst the drow of Eberron, where Dathedr was born. She's become a wizard, very talented in the dark arts of necromancy.
Meanwhile, the positive part of her soul ended up in Toril, more specifically amongst the Morninglords, or Sun Elves if you'd rather. With her inclinations towards positive energy, she's become a devout of Amaunator himself, wielding divine light to smite her opponents.

And this is how these two came to be. But as fate would have it, the Spinner of Shadows incident connected the two worlds, but alas, this is a tale for another time.

-----

Author's note - This actually's been on my mind ever since I've rolled my cleric, on the character picking screen they looked a lot like opposites, so I thought I'd just roll with it. Maybe there'll be a part two. Poor Ephrenne.
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by Shishio Makoto on Mar 27, 2015 at 12:02 PM
Shishio Makoto was once an assassin, a "Battousai", or Man-Slayer. He was also the arch-rival of another famous Battousai, Himura Kenshin.

During the war, Shishio formed the deadly strike team known as "The Ten Swords", whose abilities and deeds became the stuff of legend.

As the war neared it's end, he was betrayed. He was paralyzed then set on fire, burned alive. He survived, but all his pores were burned away and he lost his ability to regulate his own body temperature, which constantly rose to their current, inhuman levels.

After the war ended, he became a wanderer. He did not give up killing like some other Man-Slayers did, but instead vowed to do good and help others with his sword, even if it meant taking anothers life.

And that is one thing Shishio Makoto excels at. Killing. Cool, calm, calculating, but filled with a hidden fire... Shishio Makoto is a methodical murderer. But at least now he makes sure that if he is to kill, it is for the right reasons.

~~~~~

During the battle with Himura Kenshin, I was both ruthless and insane. Ever since I was burned alive I was slightly mad, and it culminated during this conflict. I threw my elite followers - the Ten Swords - at him and his companions like fodder, and was hell bent on conquering my homeland and bringing about a new age under my iron fist... and Himura Kenshin had to die to make this happen.

My exploits were documented and chronicled rather well in the animated series named "Rorouni Kenshin". A despicable name for the series, which was only accurate up to the climax of our duel. Everything afterwards was a lie fabricated by the weak to hide their fear of the truth: that Shishio Makoto emerged triumphant and the "hero" had died. The truth is, I did kill my love - Yumi Komagata - in the same thrust that felled Kenshin. I also did spontaneously combust shortly thereafter, and laughed. But the laughter was not insanity come full, but laughter of realization! For it was at this moment that I discovered how to control the fire within me. My power was truly unleashed!

Of course, Yumi's body was consumed by the fire that was my body, and Kenshin's as well. I then began my plot to take over my country... but an emptiness began to grow in me. Some of Kenshin's final words lingered in my ears, and the loss of Yumi at my own hands - while at the time made perfect sense to me - began to eat away at my very being. Perhaps Kenshin was right after all? I had to know. I had to experience what he had... but I could not do it at home. I had become far to infamous to even attempt it... so I left.

I boarded a ship sailing for a new, distant land. Not merely across an ocean, but so distant that no one would know of my past life. A place called Stormreach - a port city along the northern coast of a strange land called Xen'drik - was my destination. Here I would start anew and discover just what it was that Kenshin knew in his heart so profoundly. Here, I hope to truly find myself.

~~~~~

The journey has been long, and there is still a ways to go. There is an unnatural chill in the air, and a strange white bird circles in the distance... it is huge, the size of a dragon, but unlike any dragon I know of. It is coming this way....