Disintegrated! Sent to the Afterlife to await judgement by a Disintegrate spell, of all things, ha! A painless and damned impressive death in the line of duty and the service of Good. I don't know whether to be insulted or impressed... Eh, I'll go with impressed. The Afterlife is no place to be miserable and bemoan one's fate, that's my thoughts. Besides, I'm a follower of the Lady of Joy nowadays! (That's Lliira, for the uninitiated, in case anyone ever finds my scribblings and is bored enough to read them.) Now I get to see and write about some more neat experiences. How many Sages have experienced what comes after death and bothered to write about it? After all, there's always the possibility that the others will be able to organise a Resurrection, if they managed to escape... The Lizard was certainly doing a truly astounding job of antagonising them shortly before I got dusted, so I can only hope they decided to be quite rash in their approach to things... Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself. It looks like that spell ate some of my prior pages. That's what I get for using non-magical ink on them, hm? Oh well. I'll write a recap of what has happened since the last update that didn't get eaten by a spell, let's see how far back I lost... Oh dear, that *is* a lot of scribbles now consigned to the cleaners, along with my Prime Material body.
Oh well. I've got time. I'll write while I stroll around and see if I can locate that idiot Archduke who caused so much misery before I Blighted him into jerky. I'd like to see if it's possible to destroy him here too, permanently, so that none of his lackies can Resurrect him and have him be even more of an awful cur as revenge for getting killed. That'd be just his style. The region would really, REALLY suffer with him back and enraged, and as a beacon of Good and joy, this I cannot allow. Hmm, it really is too bad the Lizard isn't here, I'm sure he would love to try eating a soul. He's tried just about everything else...
Let's see... [Ruffles pages] Oh wow, I didn't realise that the journal pages took on the look, feel and smell of whatever was the major theme of that update. That's neat. Now I REALLY hope my journal survives and is read by future generations! Come on Torgos, stop waffling. You've got lots of time, but it's probably not infinite... Deep breath... Not that breathing is required here... Okay. So I'd just created my wonderful Scales of the Suffering Sage. I still wear them proudly, and as a permanent reminder to myself of the harm that can come from doing nothing. I've gone back home to the Vale of Mists in order to start setting up a massive, inter-planar trade hub (I have some very talented friends there when it comes to trade; they will be invaluable in assisting me), and I've really ramped up trade with the Elemental Plane of Air (and my Cloud Giant friend there, Laird Catchaūn Cloudkilt, has substantially
expanded his empire, mostly through hard work and determination, and partly due to very profitable trades with me), and as a result of that, I was able to create some VERY fancy clothes from Thundersheep woo for myself and my friends. These wonderful woolens provide Resistance against all Cold and electrical damage, and when in cold environments such as tundra or mountain blizzards, anyone wearing them doesn't have to worry about exhaustion from the elements. I myself don't have to worry about electrical damage, being completely immune to it, but it comes in very handy for my friends, and the resistance to cold is fantastic. Wearing them in hot environs like a desert would *cause* exhaustion very rapidly though, naturally, so discretion is advised.
It came in very handy indeed on the journey through the mountains that border the Vale of Mists. During that journey, we battled several Yeti, and a Yeti Priest of Auril. We took their horns and pelts as trophies and trade goods, and I accidentally caused an avalanche with the application of a couple of Fireballs to one group of them giving us a lot of trouble. Thankfully, I had a Wall of Force spell available, and was able to quickly cast that and provide us with a protective "V" shape that the oncoming snow flowed around and over while we hid within it.
During our travels, I don't remember precisely when, we've made the acquaintance of a Lizardfolk named Brax. He's a member of the Goldcrest tribe, and is intensely interested in sampling everything he can get his teeth around. One of his Great Hunts was going after a Unicorn, which he turned into very glittery Unicorn Jerky, and took to wearing its skin like a cloak. This turned out to be even worse than some of the ideas I've had (but how was he to know?) - He got himself quite inventively cursed by the Unicorn's patron deity. Now, Lizardfolk are quite emotionless... To the point that emotions in general are a foreign concept to them. They don't feel particularly strongly about anything, and emotions like joy, anger, gratitude, sadness, grief, sorrow, shame, etc... These just aren't on their radar. So imagine his surprise (relatively speaking) when he suddenly found himself in the possession of the twin emotions Grief and Sorrow! He's an immensely practical sort though. Since then, he's undergone his own redemptive arc (which included carrying around a huge menhir stone as penance, which apparently grew lighter over time as he performed acts of redemption), and has now essentially ended up with a full range of emotions, the good and the bad. He's become an absolutely intriguing individual as a result.
The Barbarian, Varen, has also undergone some... personal growth. She was a half-orc, but now she (and indeed her entire tribe) have been changed into a race called the "Volodni
". She's still able to change into her Werewolf form, but this change has given her several elemental resistances, and complete immunity to poisons. Absolutely fascinating.
A major personal change for me is that, in keeping with my shift to a Chaotic Good alignment, I've decided to follow Lliira as my patron. She's the Lady of Joy, and since I've made it my personal mission to bring joy and happiness to the world wherever possible, it made perfect sense for me to be a follower of Lliira, whose modus operandi is likewise the spread of joy and good times. I've always made a point of assisting bards, and gave a bard the Canaith Mandolin I was carrying... just because. Bards bring joy, I like joy, he could make use of it and I could not - What was there to even think about? His expression when he realised what he was holding, that it would never, ever need tuning, and would enhance his Bardic abilities... That was most definitely joy and wonder. Ah, good times indeed. Before this, I was unaligned with any particular deity. I think the expecation was that I would follow Mystra, like most of the other Dragonborn in the Vale of Mists, and although I am definitely magically inclined, I think I like this better.
We've also been to the Elemental Plane of Fire! In our dealings with some wizard merchants, I was able to buy the Crown of Charaxxus, the skull of a Red Dragon which, when worn as a helm, grants complete immunity to Fire damage, and allows me to turn my Breath weapon from a 3d6 lightning-damage cone into an 8d6 fire-damage one. I finally got to test out that ability during the Archduke battle too, and it was wonderful
[The journal briefly detours into discussions on the various benefits of one element over the other in particular situations, and how wearing the Thundersheep clothing into the Plane of Fire would have been a hilariously bad idea.]
The Plane of Fire was a fascinating place. We entered it through a discovered portal in some underground ruins. A clever wizard had created a portal to a lava pool on the Plane of Fire, Stoneshaped a basin around it to contain the lava, and had themselves an always-hot source of lava for the various heating requirements that come with magical studies. I was able to Stoneshape a conduit to safely channel the lava away and reveal the portal itself (it took a while to actually drain, since the portal led to the bottom of a massive obsidian chimney in the Plane of Fire with a small lava pool at the bottom). On the other side of the portal, the sides of the obsidian chimney rose into the far distance, enclosing us entirely, with a very, very bright shining object at the very top, like a miniature sun. Could that be the Elemental Crystal of Fire I'd come to this plane seeking? Surely it wouldn't be so easy to locate one!
Stepping out of the portal (which also involved a change in gravity orientation; now THAT is a weird feeling!), I was able to walk around in the shallow pool of lava without fear due to my amazing helm. The lava was very thick, like superhot molasses, but it was absolutely fun to walk in lava! My companions couldn't do the same (and found it a bit crazy that I'd even try it), because they only have Fire Resistant equipment. Much like the woolen clothes in cold environments, their equipment allows them to exist within extremely hot ones like this without quickly fatiguing, but it doesn't go so far as to allow quiet strolls in the lava like my helm does.
Looking up into the vast expanse of the stone chimney, it quickly became apparent that on our way up, we could probably expect some arachnid company. The entirety of the structure was festooned with glowing Fire Spider webs. The further up they went, the thicker (and larger) they got. At the mention of this, Brax immediately ponders how they would taste, and whether, being Fire Spiders, they're basically already pre-cooked. I must say, I respect his no-nonsense approach to life's problems: Just eat them!