Entry 1 Dear Journal, Today was the first day I donned my newly acquired suit. My most skyward appendage has a new military styled freshly cut look to it, that clearly marks me as the other-than fairer sex. To imagine the adding of fabric to one garments in the region between one thighs could change the social construct of ones perceived nature. Whilst my dwarven upraising has been difficult to bare, I had few if any idea, what other human women had to endure. The breath constricting apparatus known commonly as a corsets, that alone are enough to drive a lady to trousers! I’ve now partaken of tobacco along with scotch, at noon mind you, and not an eye was batted. The ale houses I’ve found myself in have been of less repute but still the purses I’ve slit have been of a sufficient volume to keep my well earned academic freedom. A dexterous hand and an attentive mind are quit adequate at manipulating a card game in my favor. With time I’ll gain enough additional coin to be entertained at the lordlings game table.
I have blood on my hands. A creature calling himself man was beating a member of the fairer sex. The violence took place in an alley outside the Hungman Tavern. The patrons of the bar voiced that the situation had occurred before, as Jerry the local flesh vendor, has taken to drink and will most likely beat the pour child until he is exhausted and passes out. This situation was unbearable and need rectification immediately. The Barkeep gave his words of wisdom as I passed, “The hero of Whores finds himself happy for a night, but dead in the morning.”
My remark that “A woman is a lady no matter her profession.” Earned a jeer from several of the more crass drinkers.
“Jerry doesn’t take kindly to the meddling of his afairs by others. He keeps a knife, so watch your throat.” The barkeeps warning now coming into full light. This may well be deathly serious. Undaunted the alley beaconed, for justice awaits. The scent of filth and excrement assailed my olfactory, that combined with the copper tenge of blood in the air. The woman, no older than myself mind you, curled into a ball at the feet of a disgusting little man. Spindle thin legs held a pot bellied torso in place.Something a kin to a two legged cauldron stand.
“Are her squeals bothering you, sir? I would make her apologize but I do believe I broke her jaw. The rest of her is still intact if you prefer the bloodied.” His gap tooth mouth curled into a wide grin. I assume he thought me interested in his wares. He was extremely wrong in gauging my advance, which in turn speaks to the level of inebriation this beast who-would-be-man. When I was younger father always said to go for the throat or groin if you wish to end the fight quickly, but never in honorable combat. This is NOT honorable combat.
Jerry’s gin evaporates as my shen corrects with his squishy pair. I had not even registered that the action had taken place and proceeded to punch this toad of a man in the throat. He had no fight left in him after that punch. I have to admit that human constitution has never been very impressive after spending 17 years among dwarves. Unfortunately for Jerry I had plenty of fight left and a clugden of sorts appeared in my hands somehow. I truly am bewildered by this by memory, none the less, I beat Jerry. I BEAT JERRY. I have never unleashed such fury on another soul as I did in that alley. When I stopped Jerry’s quite breathing assured me that he was alive. That bothered me, that this excrement, should remain among those infused with life. A beggar shifted and for the first time I realized I was still in Darkon, a city, and there may be more eyes on me than I care for. The girl pulled away when I offered my hand. Clearly I must be a better option than Jerry. I then realized I had acquired some of Jerry’s bodily fluid upon my person. As I began to examine the damage I had done to Jerry, the whore ran as if her life depended on whether her assailant could see her legs. I watched her run and again noticed the observations of the beggar. His lack of teeth and taunt expression were hard to read. I waited until our eyes met.
“Did you know Jerry?” I asked as if he might pass by and wasn’t instead of laying at my feet.
Response by Adam
His voice sounds startlingly young.
“Darkness will descend soon if this doesn’t move would you be so inclined to inform me, if it does move please inform. I Jiggle my coin purse giving the promise
Response from Adam
Now I wait for the toothless vagabond to inform me as to whether or not I am a murder. Righteous though I may have been, my lack of restraint. I have bathed and cleaned the blood from my hands but when I look down there it remains.
It would seem that luck is with me this fine eve. The last month has been a series of well-timed games, giving way to several opportunities for collusions and machinations. It’s truly been delicious to learn the games and players as well as one can in such short intervals of time. Questions place in the right space of conversation while cards are on the table gives one quite a tantalizing bit of information. I’ve learned of an expedition to a crypt nearby that has been recently discovered and excavated, in one of my lower social dives. The gentleman in question was of short, and nervous demeanor, seeking to relax his shaken nerves with the company of fellow dreg diggers. He spoke of the supernatural happening during his latest resupply to encampment. I must admit he was very loss with the details, which brings to question the feebleness of this mind. Superstition had long been the safeguard of the unlearned. With sufficient prodding was a necessity to learn the leader of the dig. But alas few dredgers will turn down a free drink, even from a card game opponent. Lord Hal’Badank, given to wild chases of fancy or so my sordid companion informed, had found an ancient tome some time ago. Now he single handedly finances a company of expeditions, intended to find some “whatsit or whatnot” at each location the Lord could decipher from his tome. Whilst this is all very interesting and something to be remembered, the dredger also mentioned that this expedition’s leader was no one to trifle with when cards were of concern. By this point I had cleaned the contents of his pockets quite thoroughly and proceeded to order a round of drinks for the poor sods and left the dredger there with his like.
I could assume that the leader of aforementioned expedition would be several classes above the dredger I had left behind and therefor only a handful of establishments would cater to such tastes. After moving from the original apartments my father had procured for me and establishing a new smaller, squalor of residential living I had freed a much larger sum of liquidity with which I could connect myself to the tethers of this city. Thus I had frequented these establishments often enough to blend and even have a couple friends. In these places one wishes to be part of the scene and not the highlight of the evening. There are people about who have dealings with my father and may recognize me if I lose my wit and draw attention. The human child of a Dwarven house is seldom forgotten by the humans that must entertain or otherwise impress a merchant family such as mine. As I slip in I ask after a gnome of report’. Large mustache that covers most of his face, commonly wears circular wire rimmed glasses. “I’ve heard a card player is in town this day, and I would have a crack at such skill and possibly a good story as well.” I found Sir Gleiam Cobblesorth at the Diamond Unicorn. The proverbial grave robber had clearly found something that had gotten his spirits high, for he was rivaling loudly. The game he lead, was more of a celebration than a contest of wits and demeanor.
The barkeep introduced me as Yori Spirited, left me to charm my way into the game which was dreadfully easy. Considering the state of inebriation these men were in it became increasing difficult not to rob them blind at that table. But, one hand after the other the gnome began to bet unconscionably wild and lost more and more. I quickly realized I was not the only person there who had not partaken of the ample liquors and spirits. This coupled with a sly look from the gentleman to my right and a time to time smirk of the gentleman opposite the gnome, gave a clear indication that tom-foolery was afoot. Then as if struck by lightning a flash of inspiration hit the Sir Cobblesorth. The game was truly now only for those quick of mind and strong of spirit, for this unassuming gnome began to win. Nearly every hand at that. After winning seven hands and procuring all of his losses, he reached for his winnings and a small notebook fell to the tablet. In this particular game that which lands on the table stays on the table, it was to be assumed that the notebook was his new bet. Runes danced across its surface as it bounced and opened. The ink shimmered of lost power, the first words were unknown to me there in the middle of the introduction paragraph a word of power stood out as reaching to me for help.
“Let me loss…” a voice whispered to my minds ear.
The gnome’s tiny fingers reached to retrieve the notebook as soon as he realized what had happened but the mistake had been made.
“As per the rules my good gentleman, if the merchandise touches the tables center and is of value one must treat said merchandise as an initial bet.” The gentleman to my right informs. The devilish look in his eyes gleam with desire and want. There is a quick imperceptible lick of his lips before he corrected himself. Gleiam’s mouth now squeezed into a tight slit where once a smile resided. The gnome now seemed the picture of focus and concentration. Whatever alcohol he had consumed had evaporated from him with those few seconds of language. It would seem for the first time that night this tiny Sir realized he was not among friends but those whom seek to profit from his misfortune. It was not a pleasant thing to watch. The gambit of emotion that flickered across his eyes. Unpleasant indeed, for the very last and sustaining emotion was seething anger. One may also call this emotion rage.
As quick as I blinked my eyes the good Sir had pulled a dagger and stabbed the table and informed the gathered gentry that this was his last hand and that the entirety of the table earnings would not cover the cost of the notebook now resting comfortably in the betting circle. Two more reserved men stepped away from the table. Those two collected what little they had and backed out of the room.
To the everlasting credit of the card dealer he never broke his placid character, not once. Not entirely sure if his ancestry is truly human. Odd the things you notice when such stakes are on the table.
Lip licker placed a jewel encrusted timepiece on the table and pushed everything he had forward. The gaudily decorated thing screamed of decadence and excess. His expression of excitement clear. This was the real game to him.
Rules materialized a ghastly decorated pistol that oozed shadow. It seemed to make the lights dim when brandished. He also pushed all his earnings forward. Quite and solemn. Something in his demeanor suddenly frightened me beyond reason. I quickly put those emotions in check. At which point I produced my father’s golden dagger. Dwarven runes of detection clearly displained, followed by the words “Well my good Sirs I am all in as well. If for nothing else than to say I had a gentleman pull a dagger on me at one of the finest establishments this city has to offer, and I didn’t back down. Perception is everything, or so I’ve been told.”
The dealer decided since there were no bids to be made that each card would be dealt turned up. It would seem that dramatic flair and the ability to slow time were his specialty. For time irrevocably slowed. I could see motes of dust dance in the candle light. I could feel it. The fibers of my being noticed that we would no longer age properly and rejoiced. At this rate we would live forever. When the seventh card had been laid bare on the table, time had been reinvigorated.
I won of course or this entry would be pointless! Victory Is Mine! Now I have these curio’s with which I have no business. But, this notebook. It speaks to me somehow. I’m learning its language rather quickly and believe I will have it translated within the month. Several words of power reside within this tiny tome. Words of power have always fascinated me. They can never be pronounced by one without an aptitude but I can somehow recognize them even understand them, but never have I been able to speak them into existence. The pistol earned me a year’s housing allowance, one less thing to worry over. The timepiece is kept in a safe place for the time I may need such an audacious sign of wealth. This has truly been an exciting week indeed.
It would seem that I have stumbled across an opportunity to possibly save my soul from whatever plagues this notebook and by proxy myself. During a game in the ivory quarter I happened across a halfling lordling, in the hours we spent in what I assumed was distractionary conversation, I learned of his affinity for languages and ancient tomes. Perhaps, he maybe of genuine use. It would truly do my being some good to discuss the matter of this notebook with someone more worldly than myself. He seemed a good natured fellow if not a little boisterous. I informed D’oli that we might have further use of this lordling other than our quick earning by theft. He seemed displeased, having to trust another noble… I have to keep reminding him, I’m no noble. “You smell the part, you act the part…” He’d say. Oddly he’d say it much more eloquently than that, he gives me pause so often in our dealings. I believe him a friend, truly my only friend.
But does he believe me his? I’m sure I can trust him. I offered to found the Martira Bay Explorers Club with Cynbald and will be joining the meeting tomorrow.
The Explores club has been charted and signed and as a founding member I have the privileges befitting that station. Tonight weighs on me heavily, as I have learned somethings about myself that I didn’t previously know. I did not know that an entire manor could be a ghost. I can feel the cold of a ghost passing through me on the street or anywhere else for that matter, but when I entered the club manor, that feel was pervasive. As if instead my person being entered by an ethereal being, I was the offending party. I did not perceive any other sensation that accompanies the dead. Which also puts me at ill ease. It would seem that whatever persists there is strong enough to keep other beings of it ilk at bay. Deductions that I have little experience making but none the less. While this was of course is disconcerting, even more so is the learned fact that I can not discard this ancient and increasingly dreadful Notebook. I have some mental tether to it that disallows the book being away from my person. I believe my faith in my mental exercises may have been misplaced. I learned this all at the behest Cynbald’s. When he reached for the book, fear struck me deep. How could I allow someone else to endure the Archdiocese’s attack, if indeed that was what happened to me. “SEE,” how I could never let someone else see the things that plague me now? Of course I would snatch the book away from him! How do I know that being was an Archdiocese? I have never seen such garments, but I know this is truth in my heart of hearts. The hour grows late and D’oil will be waiting to find our next mark. I doubt any of the other “nobles” that have come slumming down in the gutter where he resides would be as willing as I to roll in those murky waters.
I have found another mark, at first I thought him of merger ends, this one eyed, silver tongued, toad of a man. The illicit detail he gave when describing his last purchase of a thirteen year old girls flesh. Only the most seedily reputed establishment would do such things, according to Madam Marygold. I did not mention this to D’oil for I’m sure robbing him would have been the least of his concerns. There is a streak of justice in that one to be sure. Unfortunately when we followed him to his villa we learned he had much more than we had previously believed and not only that but was entertaining guests. My attempt at entry was quickly rebuffed due to my lack of proper attire. After all, it is unseemly to be seen with a beggar, unless of course, your close to being one yourself. The next time I enter those halls I will be unrecognizable as “that peasant fellow the other day.” I shall act the part and receive the “me’lord” and “pardon sir” as they come. That plan will have to wait as The Club has an assignment. A “lucky stone” of some sort is required by some old money. A preliminary mission with the promise of others to follow. My only real question would be how do I convince D’oil to come AND keep his wit to himself.
This has been something of an uneventful trek into the wide world. We tracked down a sad drunk who lost the stone in a bet to a very, very disgusting man. It always amazes me the shear variance in proportions that humans have. We humans come in all sizes, tall, short, skinny, fat, greasy, broad, thin, lithe, rotund, I could continue, just amazing. Whilst the dwarves are almost always the same size. A little thicker here and there but basically the same. Even the dwarfish women! I did my best to be stealth and observant and placed D’oil where ever I believed it expectable. I have to say I believe the Club companions seemed top notch and with the hired guard we purchased, clearly a force to be reckoned with. Cynbald made short work of the fat mans attempt at gambling, while I watched from the shadows. It would seem the stone isn’t so lucky after all. Once we returned to the Club Manor Cynbald had an idea of how we might work together on the books translation, for my lapses in memory when certain words should be present. We tried to no avail.
Cynbald has informed me that he has had a nightmare unlike any in his life, he described sacrifice which is not unheard of but not to the scale at which the dream book he was reading depicted. Asked him if he had seen a priest in this dream and he told me no. I true relief I assure you. For I don’t think I could bare burden if I had given this curse to someone else. Cynbald inquired further into the dream assault I endured. To which I replied by making an odder fool of myself. I divulged everything and one I had seen in one verbal vomit. It was truly disgrace for someone of my reputation.
I have entered into the heart of darkness this night. A plan was hatched by D’ol and myself, to find the illicit brothel that peddled in flesh too young to purchase. We were to recogneer the establishment and gain friendship with the victims and maybe even stage a rescue. I made use of my connection to Madam Marygold, and was given a location where I might find a whore who may know a few things to my benefit. Alas, no establishment was found and so our original plan faltered. Instead this investigation led me to place of murders and defilement. An abandoned ramshackle home, disuse of many lay plainly on its face. I made sure the streets were clear of any passersby, but could not contain my fury. The ghost of what happened inside could be seen from every crack and crevice. With the knowledge that D’ol was somewhere behind me, I kicked in the front door, dagger brazened, gauntlet worn, cane at the ready. I would surprise and destroy whomever was there to be ended. The building was alight with the terror and frantic screams of desecrated children. No discernible shapes, no individuals, my eyes were awash with tears brought on by rage and fury. Bile urged to be released and I relinquish the contents of my stomach. True thoughts could not be formed in such a place. I had to leave. I had to find whomever did this and exact proper justice. They would know their crime and they would know my vengeance.
I have found myself standing on a dark precipice. My curse of ghostly sight has given me a direct conduit into which one must peer. What I witnessed across deaths vail, filled me with rage. I would act! But, I am impotent in my righteous fury. I misjudged my capability. It was my understanding that an axe to the chest and back could and should kill a man. This misunderstanding of my own skills has brought my mind to a self-reflective mental space, the afore mentioned precipice. I can not help but wonder if I am here alone. In this darker region of my mind? Am I truly in control or am I unwittingly being manipulated into a creature of darkness? The tapping on my mental door has stopped. Did the priest find another way in?
I have the bought dress for Melina laid out on my bed. A bottle of scotch tapped and half empty. A pretty little thing, a reminder perhaps. Only involve those capable or those your willing to lose… Am I willing to lose those around me for the sake of adventures? Could I stop them from this course if I tried? Not likely, I dare say. And what of the delicious freedom I’d loss in doing so.
My moral compass compromised and myself loathing have sent me on an unexpected detour into the arms of Madam Marygold. For reasons unbeknownst me she has doggedly pursued my affections . I find her at the very least intriguing and at most extremely attractive. But, none the less she is a whore. All be it an expensive one and I truly do not wish to add to my expenses. Mayhaps she sees a kindred spirit in me. For I believe her search for freedom is as extensive as my own. With so few options to an unattached woman, she has made a little empire all to herself. While I have slowly secured my own by skulduggery.
Another card game at the Diamond Unicorn which she frequents, led to one too many drink and a private corner conversation. A flirtation which seemed natural, gentle question about the defiled. A knowing furrow of her brow when I precluded the details of that particular horror. I found myself in a room lavishly filled with silken curtains, soft throw pillows and the scent of honeysuckle.
I have never known the touch of a human woman, skilled or unskilled in such matters. Her surprise at my naked body was quickly replaced by a knowing smirk. Needless to say, it was quite the experience.
I recommend such activities for any soul in need of uplifting.