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  • Cuchuwyn
    Cuchuwyn  18 hours ago

    Necro Night tomorrow (1/26) will start at 8 PM PST (so 3 hours later than usual).

  • FlowerGolem
    FlowerGolem  2 days ago

    Nature's Night starts in less than a hour now. Meet us at the Grove, in Grauer Süden. Send a tell to Lola Brown if you have difficulty to find the place.

  • FlowerGolem
    FlowerGolem  2 days ago

    I will prepare something for Nature's Night today (in 3 hour and a half from now). Kat will continue her plot next Sunday. smile

  • Squidget
    Squidget  2 days ago

    Hey Lily! I've restarted the server, which might help. If you DM me on Discord too I can set up a manual download for you!

  • Kat
    Kat  2 days ago

    I am an idiot. I was going to run Natures Night Sun afternoon but i realise i can't. It's my son's birthday and family tradition is birthday breakfast in bed which totally clashes with the start of natures night. I have let Flower Golem know and fingers crossed she might have something for you. I will do next week!

  • dontyouknow
    dontyouknow  2 days ago

    And welcome!

  • warspingle
    warspingle  2 days ago

    Bummer! Come join the discord, people here might have the answer you're looking for:

    -Clickedy-

  • LilyDew
    LilyDew  2 days ago

    Hi, I'm trying to join this server but I've been trying to download the bits and pieces for a few hours but it keeps disconnecting me, other servers haven't done this. Is there something I need to manually download? Thanks. :3

  • archgrendel
    archgrendel  4 days ago

    No dwarf night tonight! Still getting a handle on my scheduling.

  • Cuchuwyn
    Cuchuwyn  6 days ago

    No Necro Night tonight! We may end up needing to adjust the start time back a few hours to reflect our new jobs/time zones in future weeks, so stay tuned!


Forums
The Island of Thain :: Forums :: In Character Discussion
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Of Fire and Steam: The Journal of an Artificer

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RocketNumber09
9:08:50 pm GMT 10/23/09
RocketNumber09 Registered Member #920 Joined: 10:53:31 pm GMT 11/21/06
Posts: 940
2009 People's Choice — Best IC Thread



I deem it not impossible.
- Dampf Feuer

I have arrived. After a week on the waves (much to my nauseas chagrin), the cargo ship I was traveling on approached the dock. However, it was not be a pleasant arrival. From the north, a pair of black ships appeared on the horizon and sped towards us. An alarm was raised and the guards on board drew weapons. I was handed a cheaply-made mace and a buckler in order to defend myself. Terror seized me — I had never seen combat. I have spent my entire life in the libraries and studies of Neverwinter, and in the forges below her.

Soon, the pirates were upon us. They called out to us from their black ships and sent a volley of arrows and sling bullets our way. A couple of the guards fell with arrows sprouting from them. I clutched my mace in trembling hands. The captain of the cargo ship barked orders and the guards returned fire with crossbows. I am hesitant to admit it, even to these blank pages, but I hid myself. I stole behind a set of crates and cowered there, waiting for it to be over.

The pirates boarded us and the sounds of ringing steel, rending flesh, and dying screams filled my ears and I trembled, beside myself with fear. It was not long before a pirate found me and set upon me with a rapier. I blocked clumsily with the mace and fell backwards, stumbling over the crates. The silver-toothed, grimy-haired pirate pursued me with a growl. In the hectic confusion, I fumbled for the Bulb Flash in my belt (a simple device that can instantly illuminate an area with an infused light spell). I activated the device, blinding the pirate. Acting quickly, I brought the mace into him, crashing the spiked weapon into his rib cage. There was a horrible crunching sound, a wet wheezing, and the pirate collapsed to the deck, choking on his own blood-laced breath.

This unnamed pirate — this dirty, growling assailant — was the first person I'd ever killed. I stood shaking over his body and dropped the bloody mace to the deck. Even now, my hands tremble to think of it, splattering ink here and there across the parchment. Around me, more pirates fell dead, and the survivors retreated to their own vessel across the water, swinging on ropes and climbing over ladders. A shout of victory went up and the guards raised their long-swords to the sky, rattling their shields.

However, the pirates did not get away empty-handed. From my inventory, they stole the tool belt with my wrenches, hammers, pliers, spanners, tweezers, bolt-drivers, and pick-axe. And, to my dismay, they managed to haul away the crate containing the Steam-Powered Mechanized Gear Suit.

I find myself deeply saddened at the loss of the Steam Mech (or Gear Suit). It was an irreplaceable piece of machinery, of which I find myself at a loss to reproduce. However, I deem it not impossible to remake the suit. Below, I have included the rough schematics to the suit.

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I grow tired now. As I write this by candlelight, my eyes threaten to close, drawn together like magnets. In my next entry, I shall discuss the notion of steam power, and my meeting with one Jeri Theed Orman.

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RocketNumber09
9:23:21 am GMT 10/24/09
RocketNumber09 Registered Member #920 Joined: 10:53:31 pm GMT 11/21/06
Posts: 940

Upon arriving on the Island of Thain, unloading what cargo of mine had survived the pirate attack (inventory: a few tools, some clothes, my Spider Lenses, Bulb Flash, Sense Augmenter, and Magnetic Blade Reverser), and seeing to a room at a local establishment known as the Trade and Tackel, I soon met a few of the locals. Some good-spirited adventurers were returning from an excursion of some kind and they all sat in a ring around the fire outside of the Trade and Tackel, in the area known as the Crossroads (note: this fire seems to be a central social hub). One of these adventurers was a man who introduced himself as Jeri Theed Orman. Mr. Orman is an eccentric but seemingly brilliant human male of average height and build, with the thick arms of a smith. He is a craftsman of some renown on the isle (more on this later) and immediately took an interest in my copper pocket watch (which was not seized by the pirates, thank the anvil).

Mr. Orman was fascinated by both the mechanics of the watch (that of a tiny tension rig, with a chain slowly releasing tension in timed increments in order to turn the gears within and, subsequently, the hands of the watch) and the size of the gears, which he deemed to be "tiny." After much discussion of the watch and of my lost suit of armor (see the last entry for details), Mr. Orman rather brashly offered to take me on as his apprentice.

I was a bit taken aback by the offer, but immediately accepted. Mr. Orman seems to command a kind of respect amongst his peers, and the pieces of armor he was wearing at the time of our introduction were finely tempered and of fantastic composition. I have since come to realize that Mr. Orman is a master craftsman, fully deserving of my time and attention. This revelation came when Mr. Orman introduced me to the device known as Heavy Metal, a marvel of design and arcane manipulation. Heavy is a large metal battle-suit, which houses a single passenger (Mr. Orman). It is powered by magic and is subject to energy overload (which leads to a gradual degradation of the device's higher system functions). Heavy Metal is truly the most wondrous thing I have ever seen. I can only hope that my reproduced Gear Suit will match Mr. Orman's battle-suit in sheer quality of workmanship.

For my first task as Mr. Orman's apprentice, I have been tasked with "unmaking." That is, destroying something I have made. The concept behind this is to prepare myself for the harshness of the trade, I think. It will also harden me against my creations, lest they rule over me. In addition, the task is for me to collect materials wherever I can. A good craftsman works with what he has, after all. As such, I have raided the local kobolds for materials.

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In their storage rooms, I have gathered much wood and scrap metal (from their crates, shields, and weapons) and leather (from their slings and armor). Note that the metal is mostly iron. In addition, I have recovered two dozen-or-so nails and bolts (also from the crates). I now seek a forge in order to work these materials down and create something worthwhile to show Mr. Orman. He has mentioned a forge in the capital city of Steinkreis belonging to one Morren (make a note of this). This unsavory work (killing kobolds), however gristly, has paid off in the end nonetheless.

As for the matter of steam-power (which, I might add, Mr. Orman was keenly interested in), I shall quickly explain the mechanics of the steam engine my colleagues and I developed back on the mainland: When water is put to a boil at high temperatures, it evaporates in a mist, commonly called steam. Steam is gaseous and, therefore, rises, as it is lighter than air. When steam is not allowed to rise (i.e. blocked or stopped), it builds up and creates an immense amount of kinetic pressure.

I performed an experiment for Mr. Orman in which I heated the water in my tin canteen beside the Crossroads fire and allowed it to come to a boil. When the water began to evaporate as steam, I replaced the cap of the canteen and allowed the pressure to build up until it blew the cap right off in a magnificent, explosive show of force (note: Mr. Orman was impressed).

Now, imagine placing that same kind of pressure, tenfold, behind the piston of an engine. That is the concept behind steam-power, and the driving force of my Gear Suit.

In my next entry, I will discuss the Circle Defense Forces and my possible association with them.

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RocketNumber09
4:58:43 am GMT 10/26/09
RocketNumber09 Registered Member #920 Joined: 10:53:31 pm GMT 11/21/06
Posts: 940

Weeks have passed since my arrival and still I feel so lost. The island is deceptively large — many of its inhabitants confess to not having seen it from coast to coast. As of yet, I have not wandered far from my initial introduction at Webster's Landing. I have taken a room with one Bence Trade at the Trade and Tackel. The room is small, but it is dry and warm and conducive to study and writing. As of yet, I have no complaints with the arrangement.

I have seen little of Mr. Orman as of late. He, being Lord Commander of the CDF, is busy, naturally. And I, being his apprentice, am tasked with several duties to which I am seeing. However, there is little progress being made in regards to finding a forge. Rumor has it there is a forge, anvil, and well near the Cobblewall Inn, but such a journey would bring me far south. No doubt there are forges in the dwarven city of Hammersong, but it is, of course, also quite a walk. Not to mention I have yet to be admitted within its heavy wooden gates.

I promised to discuss the Circle Defense Forces and my possible association with them. Mr. Orman is Lord Commander of this privately-operated paramilitary organization, which he claims seeks to defend the island from destructive forces (note that the CDF itself might be a destructive force — look into this). Mr. Orman offered me a position within the ranks of the CDF, but I am rightly hesitant. For one, joining a militaristic group is not number one on my to-do list (note: it is also not second, nor third, nor twenty-fifth). However, the intentions of the CDF and of Mr. Orman seem noble enough. Joining the CDF offers many benefits, not least of which is a fine forge and workspace. I will think on the matter as well as investigate further into the organization, its origins, development, and purpose. More on this later.

Since being on the island, I have seen more combat than I have seen in my entire life previously. It is a violent, violent place. Creatures run amok, wreaking havoc. There are wizards and sorcerers looming in every corner. Thayans hold an outpost. There seems to be a hefty handful of Banites, even. Thain appears almost constantly in turmoil (note: perhaps I have uncovered the purpose of the CDF?). Being an inhabitant now, I have been forced to adapt. I carry with me at all times, in addition to my belt of tools and devices, a shabby suit of chainmail, a wooden shield, and the mace which was handed to me on the cargo ship. I have also invested in a heavy wooden crossbow and subsequently modified it to my tastes.

I have killed many things in these past few weeks. Kobolds, goblins, wolves. I helped fell an ogre (note: it was terrifying). I am on edge. I feel my nerves fraying. I am a scientist, damn it all. A man of words and steel and gears and fire. I am not a man of the sword nor of the shield. I have taken up such a task because it is necessary to my continued existence and prosperity, not because it brings me any semblance of joy. This is a wild place, this Thain. Perils abound.

I feel as though I have selected a perfect off-shore location for field-testing.

In my next entry, the hunt for a forge continues.

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RocketNumber09
8:35:24 am GMT 10/26/09
RocketNumber09 Registered Member #920 Joined: 10:53:31 pm GMT 11/21/06
Posts: 940

Breakthroughs this week. Three, actually. Like a fork of lightning striking a kite, running down a metal line, and electrocuting the Lord Commander of a paramilitary group (more on this later), I have experienced what can be best described as a surge of inspiration and clarity. Unsuccessful in my hunt for a suitable forge and workspace, I have simply done without — for now.

My first two devices of note are the Collapsing / Retracting Mace and the Folding Wooden Shield.

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The Collapsing / Retracting Mace (or C/RM) and Folding Wooden Shield (FWS) are both pieces of equipment I have developed and constructed without the use of a forge. Both the C/RM and FWS consist of scavenged materials. The CR/M uses wood and steel from swords and crates, the frame of my old rusty mace, and a few dozen springs (from a cleverly hidden kobold spike trap I came upon in one of their caves). The shield was built using planks and hinges from a kobold storage chest, steel bands from a crate, and several springs. Both devices are easy to store and intuitive to operate. The mace appears as a simple metal rod when not activated, while the shield, when folded, is small enough to slip into one of my belt pouches.

The mace suffered few jamming issues when activated during its field-test on a mob of kobolds. It fared just as well, if not better, than my old mace. Certainly, the fact that the weapon is spring-loaded seemed to faze the kobolds, granting me an opportunity to dispatch them easily. The shield suffered a small number of jams, but none too serious. It was very effective in blocking incoming kobold bullets. I deem it worthy of production.

I will present these two devices to Mr. Orman as evidence of my ingenuity, tireless work ethic, and keen eye for usable materials. I do hope he approves (note: he likely will, but I am keeping my hopes in stoic check).

The third and arguably most exciting device that I have developed and field-tested is the Daylight Reproducing Bulb (DRB). This is an updated version of my old Flash Bulb, which saw its last use during the pirate raid upon my arrival on Thain. I have further augmented the small copper rod, weaving a few arcane runes throughout the mechanical innards. Magic and energy are funneled through the rod when it is activated, gathering in the glass bulb on the end and creating a dazzling, mystifying light (note: user must shield their eyes upon activating the device or risk permanent blindness). The flash of light takes roughly three seconds to charge and reach the bulb, at which point it erupts forth.

I field-tested the DRB this week at the local graveyard and saw fantastic results.

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The flash, which closely simulates daylight, managed to deter two zombies and, later, killed four reanimated skeletons dead on the spot. I am incredibly impressed with the performance of the device and hope to continue field-testing it in various locations. The one downside to the DRB is that each bulb only has about four flashes to it before it shatters completely. The bulbs are easy enough to replace, but take time (note: do not attempt to replace a bulb during combat).

I would be most interested to see how non-undead creatures would react to the device, though I doubt the "reproduced sunlight" would have quite the same effect.

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RocketNumber09
8:36:02 am GMT 10/27/09
RocketNumber09 Registered Member #920 Joined: 10:53:31 pm GMT 11/21/06
Posts: 940

An eventful few days. First and foremost, I have been developing a new device which utilizes and focuses the energy of a cold-stone. I have dubbed the device the Frost Projector, but I might be inclined to change it to something more suitable, such as Climate Controller. Upon fitting the cold-stone in place and activating the device (which caused it to hum quite loudly), I aimed the silver rod away from those present (note: there were several people milling about the Trade and Tackel at the time). Upon firing the device, nothing occurred. Disgruntled, I assumed the Frost Projector had failed its first test. Not so. Moments later, shards of ice plummeted from the sky and barraged the area I had fired upon. Shortly after, there was a brief but fierce snow flurry (note: this same snowfall has been reported as far as Steinkreis).

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Those present were: Orin, a Steward of Hammersong, originally from Mirabar; an elven woman named Celeste, whom I believe is a Keeper; and a black-robed, nasty, foul-hearted woman called Nasmat (more on her later). In addition to these Thain locals, there were also several Brotherhood Guards.

I was exceedingly giddy at the performance of the device, and opted to diminish its energy output and focus the cold-stone's power so as not to overload it and cause another snowfall. Upon doing so, I had the very strange sensation of shrinking, followed by as intense a craving for raw fish as I have ever had, and likely will ever have, in my entire life. This lasted but a moment, and coming out of it, those present alerted me to the fact that I had been, for a brief minute, a penguin. Shortly thereafter, Orin was transformed into a chicken. At this, I quickly deactivated the device — though it was soon clear to me that the Frost Projector was not the cause of these strange occurrences.

Matters only got more out of hand from there. Mr. Orman and a slew of others arrived and inquired about the snowfall. At this point, Nasmat made a racist comment about exploding gnomes. Celeste then attempted to cast a spell, which went horribly, horribly awry. What happened next is certainly a blur to me, but I shall attempt to recount the details of what occurred. The guards assumed that Celeste was casting an offensive spell, and pelted her with arrows. She fell dead (or nearly dead) right before us. A masked figure then ran past and shouted, "Get her!" (or something to that affect — again, my recollections are hazy on this matter). Mr. Orman, a few others, and I set off after the masked man, but it was to no avail. He speedily departed.

At the fire, Nasmat continually accused me of being responsible for the weirdness. I grew tired of her continued, unfounded assumptions and promptly told her so. She went off into her corner and brooded, as she is seemingly want to do. She is a vile woman. Does she not realize that my devices, for the most part, do not utilize magic? My Frost Projector draws no power from the Weave, and therefore had absolutely nothing to do with the strangeness. Why did nobody accuse her, an outspoken Banite, of being responsible? Of course she assumes it was the gnome.

Celeste was thankfully revived and the magicks in the area seemed to return to normal, for which I am very grateful. We are still uncertain as to the origins of these strange events or who was involved, but I feel content with the simple theory that Thain is a strange, hostile place — and that certainly, stranger things have happened.

The next day, I was invited to the Circle Defense Forces headquarters by Mr. Orman to demonstrate my three new devices (see my last entry). The CDF HQ is located near Webster's Landing. The gate seems entirely impassable except for one with a key. Within, there are several forges, anvils, and a beautiful workspace. There are tools and materials in every corner. And here I met Max, Mr. Orman's second battle-suit. Max is another beautiful piece of work, though she was in dire need of repair upon our arrival. Mr. Orman expertly saw to it and then prompted me for a demonstration of my work.

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I showed him the Collapsing / Retracting Mace and the Folding Wooden Shield, both of which he seemed exceedingly pleased with. He asked if I would be able to make a steel version of the FWS, to which I replied, certainly, I could. He praised my use of scavenged materials and ingenuity without a forge. Next, I demonstrated the Daylight Reproducing Bulb. Mr. Orman foolishly opted not to don protective goggles and took a full blast of direct daylight (note: perhaps it was best he feel the full brunt of the device's capabilities?). Mr. Orman commented on the potential of the device, claiming that if its output were furthered, it would be a useful device against vampires. I am inclined to agree.

While at the CDF HQ, Mr. Orman enlisted my help in designing a component for his armor. He desired to fit a hook and length of line into the suit, which he could fire and then retract with a winching system. Together, we devised a rather ingenious (if I do say so myself) single-piston steam engine utilizing Mr. Orman's signature magitech. In place of a burn compartment and boiler, we will be using what Mr. Orman refers to as a "hot plate" in order to generate controlled amounts of steam pressure, which can then be released to launch the hook. It will be retracted by residual steam power using a winching system attached to the back of Mr. Orman's belt.

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RocketNumber09
8:40:55 am GMT 10/28/09
RocketNumber09 Registered Member #920 Joined: 10:53:31 pm GMT 11/21/06
Posts: 940

I have come face-to-face with fear and death and lived. I have seen some of the most terrifying things that exist on this or any other plane, and yet here I sit at my desk, writing. Beside me, my blood-spattered suit of chain rests — rusting. It is torn and coated with grime and ash. My shield bears the raked carvings of claws and fangs and the black scorch-marks of deflected blasts of magic. My mace is all but destroyed, its spikes bent and dulled.

On the road to Davenshire, I met up with a pair of halflings: a female, named Laurie Larkspur; and a male, named Ajay Treebeard. Both were amiable folk and invited me along, as I had never been to Davenshire. We made the trek uneventfully (though we ran into a few ogres and the usual slew of goblins and kobolds along the way). Upon arriving at the Ridge, we were hailed by none other than Orin Stonetooth! Orin was defending the Ridge, along with one Peter Highhill and another hin named Pippie Dabble. We inquired as to what they defended the Ridge against. Orin responded: "Demons."

I have never faced demons before, though I confess to studying them quite extensively at the University of Neverwinter (I studied under the famed adventurer Hans Stuben, whose course, The Abyssal Planes and You: A Journey into the Flames of Otherworld, taught me quite a bit on the subject). But I could have never prepared myself, nor steeled myself, for what awaited us — the horrors that attacked Davenshire were not pictures in a tome. They were not words scribed by thinkers. They were living, breathing abominations with a lust for power as great as their lust for blood.

I offered my services to Orin, as did Laurie and Ajay. Orin, at first, refused — but Peter cut in and found us positions along the Ridge. I set up with my steam-powered auto-crossbow, mounting it on its tripod behind some sandbags. Within moments, the first demon attacked, charging out of the darkness with a great snarl. The creature resembled a large and terrible black toad (note: I think it was a Hezrou). Bolts, bullets, and arrows pelted the creature as it approached. Spells slammed into its slimy hide, and still it came. With shaking hands, I let loose with a barrage of bolts from my auto-crossbow, steam shooting from its exhaust grates as I unloaded an entire belt into the demon. It fell as it reached the bottom of the hill with a terrible, wheezing death knell.

The defenders and I continued guarding the hill long into the night. Rain soaked through our armor. As dawn broke, Orin spoke up. The old dwarf suggested we seek out the demons on their own turf. Terror seized me. The very idea of delving into the darkness in search of the Hezrou and their ilk — I could not stand it. I am a thinker and a scientist — not a soldier. I leaned against my crossbow, willing my heart to slow and my breathing to steady. The party was in agreement. We would hunt the demons down.

"Would you like to stay behind?" Peter asked me as I folded up the tripod-mounted auto-crossbow and gathered my gear. "And guard the hill?"

For a moment, I was tempted. But I have grown fond of this isle and its people — I would not sleep well knowing that I had neglected its defense. "No," I said. "I am coming too."

We descended into the depths of their caves ...

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We fought long and we fought hard. We charged through those dark and foul-smelling caverns and did not let up. I was downed by the lightning spells of the succubus more than a few times. It was a horrible sensation. There would be a flash a light, followed by a seizing, agonizing jolt — and then silence. Complete darkness. It was an empty place of non-thinking and of non-being. I did not think, therefore I was not. I was pulled from this brink of death (or was it death itself?) several times by my comrades. On one occasion, Orin declared that I lacked the "sack" for this kind of work. Undeterred, I set my jaw and followed my companions, eager to prove myself to the grizzled Steward.

We must have journeyed through those winding catacombs, brimming with abyssal creatures of darkness, for days. I checked my copper pocket watch often, and still I lost track of time. We surged through, killing the creatures by dozens. My auto-crossbow fired again and again. And when the bolts ran dry, I pulled the Frost Projector from my belt and ran the cold-stone to empty. When that faltered, I activated my Collapsing / Retracting Mace and Folding Wooden Shield and waded into battle, crying out and rending demonic flesh. We finally reached the bottom of their lair, and came upon a large dais. Energy was collecting around this dais, which was surrounded by old ruins of some kind. I deemed the dais to be a portal — a planar portal, to be exact. It was ringed with Abyssal runes, which I copied to a sheet of parchment and gave to Peter Highhill for safe-keeping (note: follow up on this). Perhaps a translator can shed some light on the demons and their purpose here.

By my best guess, these demons are an advance party for a much larger force. They were a loose coalition made up of Hezrou, Succubus, and their minions. A leader would be necessary for their organization, which leads me to believe that somebody — possibly a Thain native, judging by the already existing ruins — is responsible for their arrival and invasion. I do hope to uncover some truth about their intentions.

We made our way slowly from the cave. The fight out was hard — to be honest, I recall very little about it. But I know that when we broke into the moonlight and I gasped a lungful of fresh air and felt the rain on my skin, I was as happy as I have ever been in my life.

My hands shake still. As I write this, that jolting sensation is recalled by my nerves, and I feel as though I am still there — lying on the cold floor of the caverns, my life seeping out of me, fading into nothing.

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RocketNumber09
4:21:33 am GMT 10/30/09
RocketNumber09 Registered Member #920 Joined: 10:53:31 pm GMT 11/21/06
Posts: 940
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I have taken to an odd hobby. Well, odd perhaps to my colleagues back in Neverwinter. But here on the Island of Thain, I doubt many would question the intent of my many and frequent trips to the local cemetery known as the Necropolis. Lying north of the Crossroads, the Necropolis is a hub of undead activity (note: it seems to be a collecting site of negative energy). Originally, I stumbled upon the cemetery while testing the Daylight Reproducing Bulb. Since then, it has become a regular field-testing site for many other gizmos, such as my Frost Projector.

Recently, I have outfitted myself with a decent suit of chainmail (of much finer quality than that rusty old chain shirt those sailors provided me with). The armor is the work of Morren, a local smithy operating out of Steinkreis, the capital city of the isle. Morren does fine work — it was easy enough for me to adjust the armor to my own particular tastes. I have hemmed it down considerably to suit my frame, reinforced the joints with iron plates, and added a leather under-suit for comfort and added protection against blades.

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Included in my armor is a fine iron helmet, also Morren's work, which I have augmented with a draping of chainmail to protect my neck and shoulders.

I delve often into the local tombs. Strange, I know. It strikes me as quite odd. But it is not so strange after all here on Thain — on several occasions, I have run into parties of adventurers coming the opposite direction. They speak of an evil entity known as the Lady. This Lady of the Tomb seems to hold some sort of sway over the undead here — perhaps she is a necromancer? I know not, and do not care to find out.

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The tombs provide me with a perfect field-testing ground for many of my devices. Consider it — an isolated, interior area, far removed from any towns or settlements. There are test subjects aplenty — conveniently, they are already dead. It is quiet, well-fortified, and perfectly safe. I have grown, almost, to fondness for these tombs. I welcome the skeletons as they come rattling down the hallways at me (and then shatter them with well-timed strikes from my hammer). As the zombies shamble towards me, arms outstretched and rotting flesh stinking of mildew and mold, I smile and pelt them with bolts from my auto-bow.

Indeed, the tombs are my answer to a field-testing site. Perhaps when my Gear Suit is completed, I can test it here.

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A bit of interesting news: Zura, one of the many unpleasant female magic-users that this island teems with, has commissioned me to repair her Songbird. It is a fairly complex music-box that has rusted quite horribly due to the salty sea-air. When activated, the box makes a horrible screeching sound. I fiddled a bit with its configuration, and managed to shatter glass with its unnaturally high pitch (note: look into using sound as a weapon). I am currently in the process of replacing the parts with gears and tumblers from my own collection of parts. I should have it completed within the week, to be returned to Zura promptly.

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RocketNumber09
11:10:40 am GMT 11/01/09
RocketNumber09 Registered Member #920 Joined: 10:53:31 pm GMT 11/21/06
Posts: 940
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I received a letter from the head of my order today. It arrived in the talons of a messenger pigeon. Eisen scrawled the letter hastily, I can tell. Ink from his sloppy quill-work splatters the parchment. The letter inquires as to my progress on the island in field-testing the Steam-Powered Mechanized Gear Suit. I am hesitant to reply promptly, despite the letter bidding me to do so. How do I tell Eisen, the greatest engineer in Neverwinter, that I have lost his — our — masterpiece? We all worked on it together. For months. Years. We toiled over forge and candle. Each of us sweat over it — Eisen, myself, Schraube, Getriebe, Bolzen, Brennen...

Brennen. His name drops like a lead weight into my stomach. The man whom I once called friend. I would daresay I would call him brother. His betrayal still haunts my thoughts. Not a day goes by that I do not dwell heavily on the fall of Brennen. Eisen makes no mention of Brennen in his letter, but I see him lingering there, beneath the neat, hurried script. I see that Eisen too thinks on the problem Brennen presents — particularly if he has managed to track me here to Thain.

What if the pirate attack was not a coincidence? Perhaps it doesn't make sense for pirates to grab the heaviest thing on a cargo ship and lug it away under arrow-fire. I would be lying if I said the thought was a new one — it is entirely possible that Brennen was behind the pirate attack and now has possession of the original Gear Suit.

Gods, I hope not.

But I speak now of dark tidings. And as much as Brennen worries me, much good has transpired in my life as of late. I grow fond of this island of Thain. Perhaps someday I will come to call it home. For now, it is merely a suitable place to live and to grow and to study — many have welcomed me in my oddities and eccentricities. I would daresay I have made friends here.

I have made much progress on my own Gear Suit as well. In the tombs of which I spoke in my last entry, I came upon an old suit of iron plate. I assume it had once belonged to a warrior of some sort. The plate was surprisingly well-preserved. It had rusted little, though much of its sheen had long since left it. I gathered up this suit of plate and dragged it from the tomb with me. I have immediately set to work tempering and re-varnishing, fitting my gears and preparing the armor for the forges and the equipping of a steam-engine.

One problem has arisen, however — that of operating the suit. While my strength and endurance will be greatly augmented by the steam engine, maintaining the great weight and stress of the device will be difficult for one of my disposition. I have been recommended a few remedies for this — local strength-enhancing items sold by one called Guzbee in Davenshire. The items are apparently pricey, but worth the coin.

If I could include these items in the construction of the armor, perhaps I could generate enough strength-augmentation in order to maintain the suit's demands for a longer period of time.

For now, I await Mr. Orman, who has not been seen for a couple of weeks (he seems to be apt to brief disappearances — already, I grow used to it). Once he returns, I will request the use of his forges and his aid in this endeavor. Perhaps I will have my Gear Suit finished in enough time to reply to Eisen — and tell him the suit remains in the right hands.

And not with Brennen.

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RocketNumber09
11:50:33 am GMT 11/04/09
RocketNumber09 Registered Member #920 Joined: 10:53:31 pm GMT 11/21/06
Posts: 940
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It is done.

Well, nearly.

My initial prototype of the Steam-Powered Mechanized Gear Suit is operational and currently undergoing field-testing. A rather ugly and cumbersome piece of work, this MK I Gear Suit is unvarnished and lacks many of the features my final suit will utilize (hydraulic piston boots, wrist-mounted flame-tossers, et cetera). The suit is powered by a large, rear-mounted dual-piston steam-engine. Water is boiled in a large tank and fed through an expansion chamber, where the pressure works the pistons which in turn crank the gears. It expels an incredible amount of steam. The suit is heavy — it takes a considerable amount of exertion to operate. In later, more polished models, the suit will be lighter, more streamlined, and allow for a greater field of motion.

Field-testing thus far has involved the usual subjects (kobolds, undead, and goblins). So far, the Gear Suit has offered me substantial protection while unfortunately restricting movement. I now fight with the strength of steam behind my blows — my strength is greatly augmented. The suit also instills a kind of fear within the lesser denizens of the isle. It helps to that my sealed helm distorts my voice into a menacing, grating sound. Is this a feature or a bug?

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The trouble in Davenshire has reached a head. As Mr. Orman and I work diligently to create the chain shirts and broadswords for the Ridgeshield guards, a large force of mercenary merchants has occupied the town, installing harsh rules and a curfew for all hin and gnome-kind. Most troubling indeed. Several prominent members of the village have been taken hostage, and many are at a loss as to what do. And still the demons attack. Night after night, more fall. And now these mercenary thugs have taken up shop without so much as an uprising. With the militia occupied with demons, and the mayor missing, these brutish invaders are having an easy enough time keeping the village in check.

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Mr. Highhill called a meeting today. I will spare the details (as some of them are highly classified), but most prominently, I have been appointed Chief Engineer of Davenshire and Gizmomancer of the Rightsized. I am both honored and humbled by my appointment into these positions among my kin — and yet these are troubled times, and I assume a weighty mantle. I hope to serve and protect in my new positions to the best of my ability.

Mr. Highhill also presented me with a workspace. More on this later.

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RocketNumber09
10:38:04 pm GMT 11/08/09
RocketNumber09 Registered Member #920 Joined: 10:53:31 pm GMT 11/21/06
Posts: 940
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A week ago, I would have written this entry at my desk in Hobb's workshop. Mr. Orman would likely be dozing with his head on his desk, or rifling through our crates, muttering about Wyvern's Blood. But now, I write by candlelight deep beneath Davenshire, in my makeshift workshop in the converted storage room of the Rightsized's Hidden Halls. The room is large enough, but is not outfitted for forging and crafting.

Why am I here? It is a long, long story. Essentially, what Mr. Orman and I have long feared has occurred — the Tiroth have removed us from Hobb's Odds. I was arrested last night under suspicion of working "against Davenshire" (what a joke it was to hear that coming out of the mouth of the Tirothian captain). I convinced the captain that I was not, in fact, a resister, and so I spent the night in a cold cell for breaking curfew and was released at dawn, finding Mr. Orman and Mr. Highhill waiting for me. Mr. Orman explained that the Tiroth had ordered us to move our operation out of Davenshire — we moved it, but not out of Davenshire.

Mr. Orman cannot stay here. He has already left Davenshire with a large amount of materials. He will set up shop at CDF HQ. I cannot help but be saddened at his departure. These past few months, I have grown quite fond of this strange and slightly eccentric man. I daresay I would consider him to be my friend. I hope he is safe now, back in his command center, surrounded by his creations for company.

Me? I work alone now in the darkness. The flickering candlelight illuminates the dark shapes of the storage containers. I have begun converting this storage room into a workshop and prepare to continue work on the project of outfitting the Ridgeshield against the demons.

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First up was the entrance of the workshop, which is blockaded now with wheelbarrows, carts, and random wooden objects. I have begun clearing out most of it. The wheelbarrow I will keep for hauling wood and metal. The shelves can stay. The rest I intend to feed to my forge. There is also a tent here — its purpose I cannot determine. I will remove it.

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There is a pair of heavy iron cages along one wall. They too will go. There's plenty of storage here — chests, drawers, crates. I will likely keep most of this. There's also a strange glass cylinder, which I will keep and find some use for (perhaps in my lightning exeriments?).

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Also in the storage room are various gizmos and devices. I will sort through this pile and determine what I can use and what I can't (there is a large gizmo in particular that I am interested in working with). There is also a desk back there somewhere that I will utilize.

As for other things, I will need a forge and an avil. The forge-smoke will be routed through the same system as the oven in the kitchen.

I have placed a sign near the front of the workshop, naming it and claiming it for Davenshire and for the hope of a people.

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I toil now. For freedom.

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