Heaven and Earth

Ka Tal the Dragon Slayer
(why didn't Talleria get eaten?)

Well it is about time that I can add ‘Dragon Slayer’ to my title. Ka Tal the Red Dragon Slayer. It does flow nicely. I can still feel my sword sinking in deep as I got both of those deep hits in. Dragon blood spraying in the air, the scream of the beast….those are the moments I live for. And no one died. I must say Benoit, there is something very odd about these three companions. I can’t remember the last time I was around anyone for this long and they didn’t die. Remember my boyhood friend Jatak? We had such good times growing up…that is until the mind flayers got him.

Anyway, good thing we are able to convince Tikka to fly us in her horrendous death trap. I was a bit worried she would side with the Empire and we would be forced to kill her. Then to have someone else try and figure out how to fly! That would have been bad.
Rivermeet was ugly. I wish I never had to see a place like that. Thank goodness my sweet Lenara did not have to see that place. So little nature, and to see our people enslaved. I just wanted to scream! Where is your pride? You must fight to the end! Good thing we met up with Ja’Mama. I could tell right away she was a dawncaller. Taking care of our people. We will meet up again and with her coordination – we will free my people and crush the empire!
The flight to the Elf Kingdom was nice and boring, until that stupid demon showed up. I am all for killing and fighting. But teleporting? That just takes all the fun out of it! At least we killed it before it completely fucked up our ship. Though riding a crashing air ship goes on my list of ‘Least favorite things…EVER!’ I need a suit like Tikka – that was awesome. Super inflated, she could survived just about anything!
I do feel bad for letting Kirinbar go hunting without me. I should have known better. I must have still been tramatized from the crash. Oh, I didn’t see you offering to go Benoit! Lazy lion!
Drow. Now I am not a big fan of your everyday elves, Vyaria is one of the few exceptions. There is just something so flightly about them. But Drow, now you are talking sword time. With their stupid ‘lets make it dark so no one can hit us’ tactics. I really wish I could smell as well as you do Benoit, then I could just leap on them and chop them up. But in the end, we did take them out.
And that led us to the giant tree that Lenara told me about. It was even bigger then she described. I can’t wait for her to join me topside. And that is where mr ‘now I’m dead’ red dragon was. Siting in the giant tree. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with Talleria. Would she get eaten? Hmmmmm…..

Ok, I am back. I know, I know…. I shouldn’t think like that. But seriously – do you remember how she acted at Rivermeet. With me as her ‘bodyguard’. As if. She enjoyed it a little too much!

We did learn that the secret to the Obelisk is in the Angel’s daughters’ mind. And in Queensgate there is a helm to unlock memories. Why is there always some ‘thing’ that we adventurers have to go find? I don’t know either Benoit.

Ka Tal's ongoing conversation with himself
Ka Tal talks to himself more than most...these are snippets that you overhear

I miss my quiet time….moving down the dark tunnels – my sword in my arm. You by my side. My trusty Benoit. You are always there for me. Sneaking up on those unsuspecting evil doers…. And then leaping at them screaming …. Slicing, chopping, stabbing… awash in the blood of my foes.
Things were so much simpler then. There wasn’t this huge amazingly bright ball of flame in the sky, enough to blind you. And so stinking hot. Who knew Kirinbar could smell so bad? You would think druids would have some kind of spell for that. I mean it really isn’t natural. But she hasn’t died yet – that is quite surprising.

And if only that was the worst of it. I thought I hated water, but holy liches that flying contraption driven by that mad midget was almost as bad. Goliath’s are not meant to fly. Seems like everyone else around here can….but it just isn’t right. And who wants to live on a giant floating rock? The mighty Kravaki did not put us here to have us get drunk and stumble off the side of the city! That just isn’t smart!

Did you see the size of that Elk? Who knew there were deer that big? That was a good fight. I didn’t kill it as fast as I should have, but I was still suffering from all that sunshine. Yes, that is my excuse Benoit and I will use it for as long as I need to! I didn’t see you doing anything you good for nothing lion!
As for this new ‘version’ of IO – You know me, I like my religion like I like my beer. It shouldn’t make a lot of noise, and it should make me feel better. Definitely shouldn’t be telling me what I can and can’t do. Or who I can worship or can’t worship. They need to learn a thing or two from our Dawncallers. Lenara knows how to make me feel good….ahhh…the hard rockiness of her skin….the sound of boulders crashing as we made love. I wonder if I will ever get to hear that again. We can’t let these false angels get away with what they are doing! We must stand up for these renegades, we must save our city! But I fear it is going to be a tough journey. In strange places – yes even stranger then we have seen I would bet.

Who knew that there were other Dragon Born? Thank the almighty Kravaki that being incredibly annoying isn’t normal for all of them. And being sacrificed to a Red Dragon – that is no way to go. I hope one of those isn’t wandering around out here.
Lenara told me about the Great Tree – I knew it! It is a sign that we can go home soon. All we need to do is rescue this Tin Man (who makes a man out of tin?), how hard can that be? Then rescue this Matthias guy. Again, how hard? Liberate my fellow Goliaths from the slave mines, and go to the tree. Oh, and we hopefully get to see some Drow. My sword is thirsty.

Kirinbar's Journal

I’m writing this entry from literally the last place in the world I would have expected to be – by the side of a fire surrounded by Killoren who I don’t know who are part of a renegade civilization rebelling against a city in the fucking sky who are ruled over by these angels (who I’m fairly certain aren’t angels) who all worship Io (even though I’m fairly certain that’s not what’s really happening either).

Fuckballs, man, I can’t even begin to conceptualize everything that’s happened. At first glance, these Renegades (who are way more charitable than the “civilized people” who live in their weird-ass sky city) seemed like bad news. They attacked all those innocent people and had a hill giant and a dire elk on their side.

Bad news, right?

But I had a strong, strong feeling that all was not as it seemed at that first battle. My druidic brethren would not attack innocent people, as our regard for life is too strong. And they were able to pass through Talleria’s cleverly-wrought wall of good, so no one truly evil was present.

We decided to accompany the cleric of Io onto the mine cart caravan thing (a bad move, in hindsight), and got sent off to New Ashton. Our poor choice here might have been the influence of the horrible ball of fire in the sky. Blessedly it vanishes every night, but seems to come back every morning without fail. How have these people managed to live in this heat? Blech. I’m sweating in areas I didn’t know I had.

Oh, and you can only get to New Ashton via an airship or some fucking floating transportation sorcery. After much cajoling we got into the airship, which was piloted by a Halfling named Tika – who was at first beguiling with her funny and straight-forward manner, but became less attractive as her acquaintance grew. I believe she has a drinking problem. She is now, in fact, entirely drunk and repeatedly hopping over one of the smaller bonfires, singing “Sex On Fire” really really loudly. You’ve got to be drunk to pilot one of those things.

I don’t trust these fucking angels, including the one in this camp. I sort of wonder if this female is some kind of secret spy the angels have planted among the renegades, left to ripen on the vine until such time as her presence proves most useful. I do not doubt there is a terrible and arcane secret behind their presence in our world, and I do not like the implications of what’s happening. My horns are vibrating in a most displeasing manner around these “angels” and that usually means something bad.

I’ve found myself taking a position of leadership among my companions, as Tallaria is sometimes unwilling to speak to others under her “position,” Ka Tal is more the strong, silent type (emphasis on the silent), and Vyaria has a hard time maintaining eye contact and staying on topic. Not my usual scenario but it could be worse. I could be in charge of a bunch of children, or forced to spend time with elves. Seriously, how annoying are elves? Horchata is doing well on the outer world, amongst the forest and the wind. It pleases me to see her so happy. You know what would make me happy? Some fucking ale. I guess they just don’t make it in the forest. Assholes.

Speaking of ale, holy shit, we found Beorg Hammerforge V, so technically, the true heir to the throne. The group decided as a whole not to divulge too much to him, nor to bring him back to Hammerforge to be king since we’ve got a nice setup as it is. However, my inclination is for all to be right and natural, and it feels right for this innkeeper to assume his rightful place as king. It’s definitely not my call, though, nor would I presume to take such an action on my own.

So now our plan is to get back to New Ashton, find this Matthias dude (who is the only one who can commune with the magic tree – though I have a sneaking suspicious I might be able to, as well), break him out of jail with the help of the ominously named Tin Man, go defeat a bunch of drow (fuck yes!) and then find the magic tree which is supposed to tell us how to get out of this mess.

Better get some sleep. I have a feeling tomorrow’s going to be a long day, exacerbated by the fact that Tika will be flying the airship entirely drunk.

Ka Tal's mental journal

Goliaths don’t write many things down. But Ka Tal does his best to keep a sort of verbal journal. Repeating things to himself. To preserve the memories. You all might hear bits and pieces of this as he commits them to memory

Things do change quickly…it seems like just yesterday that I was out on patrol, moving along the paths surrounding Hammerforge. This last trip I was out with Kirinbar – what an interesting one. Great at hunting and strong with the druidic powers. But the Killoren are a strange lot. Of course all the races but Goliaths are strange. Horchata is cool. Bears have a way about them. Calm and quiet, until riled up that is. Granted not as majestic as the mighty lion, but strong. And Benoit likes Horchata so that means a lot.
It’s nice being around Krinbar, especially since she hasn’t died yet. I need to remember to be nicer to her and appreciate her while she is still alive.
It is about time the council recognizes that Ka Tal is the right Goliath for ruling. Sure they say they just needed a group of non dwarves to investigate the killing of Lord Stonebeard – but I know they just used that as an example to get me from out from under Lo Kag’s grasp. He who leads the mighty Kathaals is a fool and fears that Ka Tal will prove his worth in front of the tribe. And then Ka Tal will take his rightful place as Chieftain.

Playing detective was an interesting diversion – not too unlike stalking the wily Derro. Searching for clues, interrogating suspects. Sure we don’t get to kill and maim, but it was interesting.

Not sure about that prophetess – Talleria…..it is kinda comical how she thought SHE should be in charge. As if. She would die in about 7 minutes if left alone in the Underdark. Not really sure what value she adds to the group. Sure hope I don’t need healing, cause it will be tough to ask her for that.

And Vyaria the winged elf, as if elves weren’t odd enough. Not we have winged ones? What is this world coming to? At least she was helpful in finding that elf Eslie. If we could have only kept Tallereria shut up – it would have gone much quicker. I am thinking everything we do in the future will go smoother if Talleria is gagged. Have to work on that.
Good that we found out the truth about Rex and Krunk. I would have preferred justice by greatsword, but at least there was justice.

The festival was great, I probably shouldn’t have drank so much – but hey – it was time to celebrate. Definitely need to work on my speech making though. Ka Tal is great in so many things, but talking in front of the whole kingdom – that is scary work. Oh sure Benoit, you think you could have done better? Hah!
But then came the biggest earthquake yet – surely it is a sign. It is time to reclaim our world! I can feel it in my bones. Time to leave the darkness and see the wide open sky.
I thought the council summoned us back for that, but they want us to check on an outpost that they haven’t heard of in awhile. Sigh. Ok, need to do that – I have been there and it is worrisome that we haven’t heard back from them.

Now going out to the outpost – that is more my style. Finally away from the crowded city and free to breathe the clean air of the Underdark. Enjoying the peace and quiet.

Weird that umberhulks attacked us on the way there as they did. But nice to feel my blade slicing through them as it should. Way more enjoyable then that stupid black pudding. Now that is just annoying. Slicing something and it just turns into two of them. Then four. Sheesh.

Now what in all the hells is that giant metal golem? Definitely never seen or heard of anything like that before. Wow it is strong. Stronger then Ka Tal even! But of course we were able to defeat it. Ka Tal of course did the most damage to the armored beast. There isn’t metal that can’t be sliced open by my sword!
But where did it come from? And why did it want the skystone? We must find out! And finally we get to go back to the surface. To see what has become of our world after so many many years.
Perhaps I will get to see others like you Benoit!


I will not win this.

The stonechildren treat me more like an infection than a prophet.

Their adore had been replaced with direction. I was part of a small gallimaufry of races:
1 – Kirin, an embodiment of nature.
2 – Ka Tal, a goliath warrior.
3 – Vyaria, a winged elf.
I have never seen an embodiment of nature or a winged elf. Their skills are better than average. Their species deserves research.

The council needed us to find out who killed someone. We did.

The lunacy of gungahls is never ending.

They in turn ignored my posture for an aqueduct. The stonechildren become less and less of use to me.

We were approached again to help. I assume they are grooming us to be an advisory board to the disenfranchised.

This is useless, why am I doing this …

(there are no entries for a while)

They have chosen the Gungahl Advisory Board to head to the surface.

(there are no entries for a while)

(the following is rushed and has scribbles in moments of anger)

WewalkedtoanoutpostFoundtonsofdeadwhocares?IdontgiveafuckThisisallusel(scribble, scribble_) Theoutpostiscomprimised
assholeconstructWhyamIdoingthis?!STUPIDSTUPIDSTUPID (_scribble, scribble

(there is a large ink stain)

Io, Dragonlord, year 3,465 in the Red Season:
I have been asked as a member of the aforementioned friends (she took her time to write “friends”) to explore the surface in pursuit of answers regarding the Skystone.
It will be a wonderful adventure.

(It ends in an Io prayer)
Let those of the scales be strong.
Let those of the flesh be lead by the dragobnbred.
My people of the fang, my people of the tail, my people of the wing and of the fire.
For those that do not understand, heal them by understanding them.
I accept your magic as an extension of your love, Io.
Dragonlord, book 17

'The Reckoning'
(perspective of the event by Goliaths)
Our shamans and dawncallers were quick to divine that Kravaki wanted his chosen people to be safe. Sad we were to say goodbye to the open skies. Tearful were we to leave the mountains we had called home for so long. But too many were dying in the avalanches, the rock slides, the outside world had turned against all living creatures. Forced to go underground, but we have found our place, working with the dwarves, helping keep this area safe. And in return, they have provided us good armor and great weapons. Kathaals (and for that matter, all Goliaths) have never been good at smithing. So it has been the perfect arrangement. But we still yearn for the world as it has been told, passed down from one generation to the next. I wonder what fresh air feels like? What is frost? Is the grass there really green? How odd! What does this mysterious sun really look like? Is it truly the eye of Kravaki? Looking down on the world, seeing everything? If so, why does he allow us to remain underground?

So much was lost to the Reckoning….the time the Gods showed their vengeance. Obviously Kravaki needed to remove the undesirables from the world. To start over with a clean slate. We shall reclaim our rightful place.

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