Tales From Carpentaria

Keeper's Story

I have gained knowledge, dangerous knowledge and this will make me a target in the years to come. The most important fact that I pass on to you is the world you live in was created by Vatul. Never heard of him before? That is not surprising since he is a dead god; he was destroyed along with his seat of power. When I took up the mantle of a keeper it was to learn and preserve the history of our world but I did not believe I would learn such secrets. Or what this knowledge would bring down on our world. I do not know who will read this in the future and I cannot tell you what to do with this knowledge but I will advise you share everything you learn from this book sparingly. My part will be long over before I pass on my book, I know I cannot fix everything by myself so if I have left this for you to find. I am depending on you. There will be no grand orders and specific plans I will lay out the history for you and hope that you make the right choices with the knowledge.
~The Author

This story starts with an ignorant world and the stupid choice of a young girl who knew too much for the world’s own good. For the most part Carpentaria lives in peace. Slavery, prostitution, corruption and all those other sins they still but people live around them and the world goes on. In this world I was given a chance to become something more than a small town girl with dreams of adventure. The glove of a keeper chose me; looking back I can see that now at the time it felt like good fortune. I was planting flowers in the garden when my trowel clunked into treasure hidden in the ground. A gray metal glove built of a bracelet like circle around the wrist, attached to a plate that covers the top part of the hand, and fastened to chains that lace up the to the fingers where rings hold it to the hand. This is where I made my first stupid choice, I put the glove on. All of the research and common sense in the world had not occurred to me at the time putting on a magic glove of which I had no idea of the origins was a horrid inspiration. Still I did it though and the glove would not come back off. Those first hours I am not certain what exactly happened. My father claimed he found me slumped over in the garden, eyes open and starting at nothing; he took me up to my bed and called for the clerics. They never figured out what was wrong with me I awoke on my own past the midnight hour. During my brief trance, for lack of a better word, I learned much. I learned exactly what a keeper was; I had become a Keeper of History someone who through the magic of the glove would record the events of my time and then the glove would find another. There were only ever three keepers at a time and through the glove I knew who they were and where they were. I can only assume they became aware of me in those hours as well.

As the glove required of me, I left home a few years later after I had learned to take care of myself with a few spells. Life was grand, for a while, the Keeper’s Glove allowed me access to cities and people I would have never seen before. My hunger for knowledge was quenched for the first years; I was constantly learning new magic and the world of politics opened to me. Any number of nobles would have loved for me to stay at their homes for a season. The prestige of having a Keeper present kept me well fed and clothed but it had its perils all the same. A few wanted to take my glove for themselves having no knowledge of how the glove picked its next companion and I almost lost my hand on two separate occasions. Others did not want me to record their part in history and attempted to do away with me before I learned their secrets. Every time I was in mortal peril the glove would give me knowledge I needed to survive, it wanted me to keep me alive. The Keeper’s Glove gave me another power perfect observation. I could notice things even the most perceptive of rangers would never see and to read body language flawlessly I put this skill to good use, foiling the plans of political murders and toppling a dictator through questioning his Lords but the golden years could not last. In the summer of my 30th year my left hand seized up and the glove informed me in its favored way of a trance that I needed to deposit the history I’d learned into the Keeper’s Stronghold.

With the maps the glove had given me I had little issue making my way far north to the Keeper’s Stronghold. Of those other presences in the back of my head, the other Keepers, one was already waiting in a small town just south of my destination and the other had started their way north as well. It seemed this was a common occurrence in the Keeper’s world and I would not be alone. I was the last to arrive in the town of Heth a predominately human town but many dwarfs lived in the surrounding mountains. Lucas, the first Keeper I met, was a Gnome that radiated power with his quiet ways. He sat cross legged in front of a fire in the local Inn waiting and not even looking up when I entered but he knew I was there. I ate and settled into a plush chair just behind him and finally Lucas acknowledged my presence. Without my asking he explained that I was the Social Keeper meant to live among the high society, while he was the Natural Keeper who lived in the wilds and kept track of the fey. Terra, a burly Half-Orc, joined us soon after and introduced himself, the Common Keeper meant to live the common life and record the importance there. Both had been through a deposit before, in fact Lucas had lived through five before and informed us this would most likely be his last the glove could not keep him alive much longer he was growing too old. A pity I thought at the time, Lucas would have been a good guide better than the scatter thoughts Terra at least. During our week long hike up to the stronghold Terra and Lucas told me more about living with the Keeper’s Glove. I would live longer than anyone else of my species, every thirty years the glove required us to make this trek into nowhere and Terra did not expect to see me at the next pilgrimage. Apparently the Social Keeper was the most likely to die because of the life they lived, the glove would aspire to keep me alive but high society assassins were the best.

The trip to the Keeper’s Stronghold was uneventful until we reached the tallest mountain I had ever seen. As we approached the rocky giant Lucas ducked under an outcropping of rocks and a moment later the mountain side began to recede. Before he could fully stand back up an arrow took him through the left eye, Terra hit the ground not a second later. By pure luck the Half-Orc had flailed an arm up to throw around me and had taken the arrow meant for me. The gloves can protect against so many different attacks but a silent arrow while our backs had been turned was enough to take us out. The receding mountain side had opened up enough for me to slip through before a second arrow could take me out. Sensing the danger the glove gave me a rundown of the inside of the tunnels hidden behind the cave side, I knew were sconces on the walls lay unlit, for my protection, and where every stone was. The barely opened crack of an entrance started to slide closed as soon as I was safely through. Whoever was outside had no way to reach me and then the sconces came to light; illuminating my way through the very long maze of tunnels. Traveling down those tunnels took days and during that time hollowed out spots of my mind that once held Terra and Lucus filled once more. I knew the door had opened as well and whoever had killed them was following me while wearing their gloves.

The Gloves knew that whoever was wearing the other two were not its chosen companions that they had been taken by force. I felt them take wrong turn after wrong turn and one even fell victim to the traps of the labyrinth but he was replaced within the day. Still all the delays the group had kept me far in the lead and I reached the repository long before they did. The doors where large and ornate, they seemed too big to fit in these tunnels but they did and they opened at my approach. From there I traveled into a circular room, with doors ever two feet on the walls, I took the one two to the left of the door directly across from the entrance. Another set of tunnels and the passage ended, well it ended to anyone who did not know to keep walking and then I was in the Keeper’s Inner Chamber. I cannot describe what it looked like in there just that the room itself was angry at the intruders still muking about above and sad at the lost of Terra and Lucas. In its grief, the stronghold offered me a chance to make my second big mistake and I took it. Fearing for the knowledge that would be lost if the intruders broke further into its home the stronghold offered me a chance to take the knowledge and go…

Days later I awoke from a trance and my head hurt so badly even Dwarven Fire Ale never left such an after effect like this before. I had the gloves, all three of them, wearing my own but it hung loose on my hand no longer bound like before and the other two in my pack. I assume the intruders are dead there was enough grime and filth for me to believe that. My mind had been rewritten again, in the center of the stronghold had been the Knowledge Sphere and now it powered my very being in place of my heart. An ugly scar mars my chest but it is a small price to pay for my life and that life will go until the end of time. I am the Knowledge Sphere now and I must find new Keepers for I cannot be both.

- End Chapter 1 –

That time seems so long ago now, when I first became the Sphere and started doing its work being The Keeper of History. At this era, death is a pointless endeavor to think of. I do not die, I cannot be killed by any force in this world and no one will ever stay forever with me. I could say I am lonely but I am not any longer I accepted that truth from the start. Certainly there are people I miss I even surprised myself by weeping for a friend now and then but enough reminiscing.

I should tell you about the War of Dus Mundus. Never heard of it before? I am not surprised by this as the world was lucky to survive what came after. Vatul was the patron deity of our world he was born here and thrived through the worship of its people. There were no other Gods only Vatul and he was the High Lord of Decay. Very few know that every Deity has a patron world where their seat of power is held it is nigh impossible for them to survive if this seat is destroyed and it is what holds the bonds of that world together. Smarter deities spread their power over many worlds and many of the Good Aligned Gods even mix worship on their planes so that if something happens to one of them the others will keep the world intact. Vatul was Greedy and did not do that with this world so before the War of Dus Mundus there had never been a religious war we did not know of anyone else to worship. Outsiders would call us Monotheistic believing in only one creator deity and they would be correct for the most part. I met someone called Ivor of Envoy and he told me of all sorts of things no one of this world could know. He was tall and his skin was sleek with colors that swirled around at random. I soon learned that he was a Riftseeker and his coloring was directly related to his mood and was also part of his communication. He enlightened me to all of the other deities in the planes before he left to look for the Rift. I offered him a glove but he declined saying it would be unlikely he’d ever return. From what Ivor taught me I taught the rest of the world and at first it was a glorious new age. Even though our world was born of evil it did not mean that all of us reveled in chaos and sought after blood. Many converted to the teachings of Bahamut the Just and Melora the Mother of Nature and began erecting temples in their honor, the world was alit with new knowledge and our peaceful world was in fact a happy one. This did not last, there were many how still worshiped Vatul and believed that all of world should, he created this world and no other Gods had a place here. What started out as a debate soon turned into a raging war. The War of Dus Mundus was between those who sought to worship whomever they wished, the Reforms and those who only wanted Vatul, the Traditionalists. The war swept the lands and destroyed them along with their people, the once great land of Carpentaria was ripping itself apart. It was entirely my fault as well had I kept my mouth shut then we all could have kept worshipping Vatul and stayed one country. I didn’t know what to do how to end this war, for all my knowledge I could not take back what I had done. The answer came to me on the battle field in the form of a young Eladrin named Bliss and a seasoned assassin called Rhent. He had brought the girl half way across the world to find me and beg for knowledge I was reluctant to tell anyone anything anymore. Bliss was a wizard but her wild streak has lost her favor among the other wizard especially during this time of war and she was barely able to stand on her own two feet when she appeared to me. She had learned of me during her studies and through a man Rhent had killed, Alonzo the Social Keeper about fourteen years back. They worked on the side of the Reforms and Bliss had found a way to stop some of the fighting. For that she needed a lost spell, well lost to the masses at least, the Barrier Spell all of her texts told her what it was not how it worked. Rhent decided if anyone still knew it; it would be me and protected her through the warzone to my side. I gave her the knowledge she wanted. Within the year the pair had formed a small party with a goliath, a shaman and shifter and together they set up the First Midway Barrier. It was an impressive feat of magic, it ran from one end of the country to the next, so high no one would be able to fly over it and so far below ground the only way through was the Underdark a very deadly place. A wizard on the other side recognized the spell and after digging through his master’s work for two years set up the Second Midway Barrier to run parallel to the first. Both keyed to the homegrounds, if you called home somewhere to the East of the First Midway Barrier then your blood enchanted and could only pass through that barrier, to the West of the Second and you could pass that one. The war only existed in the span of thirty miles between the barriers and a majority of the bloodshed ended. Bliss and her counterpart of the other side were praised as heroes and when they left this world they took the secrets of the Barriers with them. Two thousand years passed before anyone attempted to do anything about the remaining fighting again and the world forgot what they were fighting for.

- End Chapter 2 –

I cannot know anything that someone has not already learned; I knew that Vatul’s seat of power was here because one of his Clerics learned it straight from Vatul himself. No one had ever found where the seat was. Until I met a very excited Wizard in a tavern called The Lion’s Den, he had just learned something no one before him had ever figured out. Through maps and text he had pinpoint the location of the Vatul’s Seat. Arcnite was perhaps a genius and he did not even realize how big of a discovery this was. To him it was interesting data to be cataloged before he moved onto his next endeavor, but to me it was the greatest secret in history. I did not have any gloves to offer him as all three were being used so I crafted a fourth and offered it to Arcnite. I gave him the title of Arcane Keeper and through him many Arcane mysteries came to end, he had an understanding of rituals that no one I had ever met before did. Being of the Witch persuasion I could only just keep up with where his mind could go. Arcnite passed on in his sleep he had been a good friend through the years and passed his glove on to his apprentices but they were not the same and soon left his keep after that.

Many and many years later I was sitting in the Court of King Lorzo on the East Side of the Barrier when a very ragtag group stumbled in the door. Orianna, Theilos, Geese, Velluk and Taena they were covered in mud and claiming they had seen an evil Deity trying to break into our world. Their descriptions reminded me of Vatul and I realized to keep the fragile peace of this side of the Barriers I needed to remove Vatul from the picture altogether, I conspired to kill a God. Taking this ragtag with me I taught them how to get through the Barriers without daring through the Underdark. They were so strange and I enjoyed spending time with them, I miss them greatly and regret their deaths. Nothing like Orianna will exist again she was a Tiefling, an already small race, and used the dwindling magic of the Warlocks. Theilos was a reserved man with who trained animals with great skill. He went on to start a great family one that continued for generations, Theilos was the only one to survive past the Split. Geese and Velluk seemed to have spent much time together before they met the rest of the group and spent much time drunk. Finally Taena had quite a temper for such a small woman and a Cleric. She worship Desna and knew the roads better than anyone I have met. The West Side of the Barrier was a hellhole in every sense of the word, it had Decayed just like the God they worshipped, a God who had been forgotten on the other side of the Barrier. The warzone in-between cared little of Gods and religion so they just fought and never spoke with each other peace would never come to them.

With my knowledge we still had to travel the world back to the Keeper’s Stronghold a place I had not been to in a very long time. The doors no longer stood shut they were open to the world, there was no need for the Stronghold to protect the Knowledge Sphere when it could walk away on two legs. The upper floor before the labyrinth had turned into a den of depravity. The merchant’s of pleasure set up shop selling slaves and women to anyone with the coins and the labyrinth had become a game for the sick. Taking slaves marking them with arcane marks and sending them into the monster invested pits so they could bet on which would die first. My beautiful mountain was in ruins of what it once was and I could not stand for it but during our venture we had caught the eye of a devote cult of Vatul followers. They were chasing us into Stronghold and we could not wait for me to fix the upper levels. Down into the labyrinth we ran only stopping long enough to kill whatever was trying to kill us until we reached those ornate doors. The circular room was still intact it seemed no one ever made it down to this the lowest level of the mountain, which for us was lucky. The seat of Vatul was hidden in center of the room, where the tile did not match up correctly. He had folded over the space keeping the seat safely in plain view but only if you knew to look for it. Between Orianna and myself we ripped open the folded space to what appeared to be a plain stone throne but it hummed with power that no mortal would ever possess. For once it was not me who made the mistake but Theilos while Orianna and I looked through tombs and my knowledge for a way to destroy the throne he sat down in it. That is when we all learned sitting in a God’s seat of power give them a direct line to control you and Vatul now had a direct line to Theilos. The only problem with having a deity in a mortal shell is he is now constrained by mortal laws. All the same it was a GOD in a mortal shell and it was not as if I could snap my fingers and destroy him. The other four held Vatul off long enough for me to set up a ritual Arcnite had devised to use if he needed to vanish another powerful wizard…it required a sacrifice which is why Arcnite had never used it. Orianna, Geese, Velluk and Taena were the sacrifice ripping Vatul out of Theilos and disbursing him into the air with the backlash of destroying his seat of power.

All it took was the lives of four people to break Vatul’s hold on this world there was another effect no one had counted on. Vatul had created Carpentaria and without him it began to crumble. It started as an explosion of light and when I awoke the land had split apart, entire races fell into the seas and others never seemed to exist. The Keeper’s Stronghold was a single mountain standing tall from an endless sea. I sealed up the folded space and dragged Theilos back out of the labyrinth he did not awake until we were back to the upper levels. Most lay dead up here and the rest scrambling for help, I did not help. Theilos had no memory of me or anything for that matter. I soon learned no one had any idea of the age before. I crafted us a boat from magic and soon left Theilos to start a new life were many elves were gathering in the North. He left behind a powerful bloodline and for this I was glad.

- End Chapter 3 –

In that moment the world began to unravel Melora stepped into the void and grasped the threads which is the only reason why our world did not end when Vatul’s Seat was destroyed. Since that day she’s been trying to rebuild as we fall apart. Vatul’s power was to decay and he left that curse upon our world. Darkening our souls and turning heroes into villains and slowly weakening Melora’s hold on the world. I know she has been guiding people into doing the right thing and being her champions. I truly believe if we get enough stability in our world then Melora can build her own Seat of Power and finally save this world

Sir Patrick Henry Douglas III was perfect, he was the Hero had I have been looking for. I met him while he was still a child and saw the potential he had. More than I have ever done before I intervened in this boy’s life and I made sure he became a powerful Lord. One that became the fear of every pirate and ner-do-well out on the open sea and I stood proudly by his side making sure he stayed on the right path. He’ll be one to create a stabile and peaceful world for us but he is only a human man. Humans while versatile age so very quickly and get frail even faster. So I will use my great magic and what I have learned from my old friend Arcnite to create a spell. One that will keep him alive and keep his ship afloat, it should give Patrick the advantage he needs to win his war on depravity. I am going to seal myself inside his fortress and use the Ritual of Mirum Tesla to protect the fortress. I have created five totems and hidden them with people I don’t really trust but they owe me all the same. They are the only way to get through the Mirum Tesla otherwise it is impossible to reach me. I will power this ritual through my core as well as the Eternal Sleep of Opal Guard. Sadly waking me will be almost impossible it will take someone of own blood to do it and it is unlikely any of them will still exist never mind make it inside the fortress. I will likely not wake.

I have been going around intervening on Melora’s behalf such as giving a young elf his first bow…………I have met myself and I have learned the truth. Rafe Westwinds VII you have to wake me up! It has all gone horribly wrong!

- End Chapter 4 –

I promised you I would not be give you instructions but this is very important I cannot just tell you through writing the truth in case this does not properly reach your hands. You should have found this book in the library in the martial arts section I put it there knowing no one but yourself would even look outside of the magic books. At least that’s what I told myself.

Firstly, the group you need to find is a very diverse kind there are two Half-Orcs, a Kalastar, two Humans and an Elf. Others have come and gone from this group and depending on how the next weeks go another may still join. At first they will seem very quiet Do Not Be Fooled, they never shut up. This guise is thanks to Desideratum their Cleric; she has the power of telepathy and is the only female that accompanies them. Dark of hair and skin she is fairly exotic looking, her opinion has much sway over the group’s actions but be warned when I met her she was already descending into the Kalastar madness. The Elven Woodsman, Gunnar, holds very close to the Cleric he may be sweet for her so watch your step around him. For all his good natured smiles he can kill you with a bow before you can cast at him. He reminds me of Theilos even though he talks much more. Another to be wary of is Epos, the giant of a man and Paladin of a God he claims to be St. Curthbert but I haven’t heard that name in so long I thought him to be dead. Old wars have eaten away his mind and I do not believe he is born of this world. When I have time I’ll do more research into this strange man. The most intelligent in the group by far is Wilsifur, I believe he is a Bard but he does not sing or dance like the typical kind. I’ve seen him talk circles around High Mages when he wishes and when I saw him with this group the first time there was something vaguely familiar about him. Kojer and Mord the Half-Orcs, who travel with the group, are like children you constantly need to watch what they are up to and corral them. Kojer, the largest of the pair, is a savage if he is good for anything though it is surviving. He survived for years in the labyrinth. Besides myself he is possible the person who knows it the best. Mord is trained in the style of the quiet fighter and he is good at it. You will not need to worry about him stabbing you while you sleep but do not rely on him for anything but combat you may be disappointed. If the other joins I will leave you word, in a golden vase with emeralds encrusted around the rim you’ll know it when you see it. I have made sure to send them your way. If you stay around the Guild then they should find you I’m fairly certain they’ll make it through the labyrinth.

I left two of the totems in what you refer to as the Guild House now. Down in the Wine Cellar three shelves to the right, top row and space fifth from the left, I know it looks empty. It is not just grab the bottle; that is the first totem. The second is the feather on the Archmage’s Hat. It should be a dark blue color with golden flecks. Get both of them and hold on to them, you can’t get rid of Shell around Henry’s Fortress. The others are in The Court of the Summer Queen, Lilith’s Hold and in the Hoard of the Golden Scale.

In the Wildes the Summer Court of the Fey is located; Titania rules over this Court and owed me a favor. She has a rod carved of oak wood and decorated with a green metal that is the third totem. My favor to her was that she would keep the rod safe until someone comes for it. Not that she will give it away freely to the right person. Seek and audience with her and get the rod back. Try not to make a deal with her you won’t like it in the end.

Up in the North there is a very tiny island called Lilith’s Hold. The sorceress Lilith has been living there for a few thousand years. Try not to make a deal with her either, you’ll like it less. She owed me as well so she’s holding onto an old bow with T.S. carved into the hold. If I remember correctly Lilith will trade if you have something of equal value. Don’t eat any of the animals on her island she’s very protective of them.

Finally, Golden Scale has the last item but he doesn’t know he has it. I snuck into his Treasure Horde and hid a tan colored Satchel with Desna’s symbol on the brass buckle. Good luck getting it out, I can became mist and travel and I doubt you can do that. Once you have all five totems go to Henry’s Fortress and find the five alters set up…watch out for the Dryads. Once there wake me up and I’ll tell you the rest but if you can’t wake me then you still need to end the spell. The world is counting on you; Rafe, find some way to make it work.

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