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This is an adventurer's journal (real one written by a PC) from my Mystara campaign... Enjoy or not, if not it's only a delete key away from non-existence...
I force my players to keep their own notes, preserve clues, translate stuff, etc. ... do the rest of the DMs on the list?

Journal of Sard

by Jonathan Nolan

Today I arrived at the Town of Threshold, small compared to my home city of Mirros but seeming full of excitement. I performed at the Juggling Ogre for my supper & board plus a miserly offering from the patrons - mostly workers. I met an interesting companion a newly graduated student of magic from Krakatos who like myself (judging from the hem of his robe) had only recently undergone the shearing ceremony. Perhaps we shall seek fame & fortune together.

Well we have our first job and possibly adventure. My kind host at the Inn told me that my performing costume could easily get me mistaken for a member of the Iron Circle (appears to be the local Thieves' Guild). Apparently deep purple looks a lot like black in the gloom of his Inn. So it being recently past the Day of Dread I set forth to acquire decorations for my costume. My companion of the night before who appears to be going under the name of 'Idiot' (?) is after a magnifying glass to better read a book he has which is written in a tiny script. I tried to grab a glimpse of this missive, and perhaps learn some magic but to no avail.
After purchasing small silver skeletons and a needle and thread (now I appreciate the resources of home) we went in search of a glass. The Darokin's were the best merchants to supply the item but the price was well out of the wizard's league. So we offered a deal~~ find a recently stolen (presumed stolen) barge and merchandise and we could have the glass My friend was about to accept their offer (fool) when I stamped on his foot to silence him.
Only a wizard who has spent years shut up in study would accept a Darokin's first offer. I managed to negotiate the standard finders fee minus the cost price of the glass. Much better.

Fogor Isle. A Ranger by the name of Ruynde should be able to escort us to the area (general) tomorrow.

Well we have gained our reward plus an extra 500 gp for information gathered & here is how.
We went out with the pretence of gathering silver mugwort for the local nature mage who lives in the loggers camp. Id overheard (I don't think by magical means as no ingredients or hand signals were used) two thieves unloading the barge, so we crept into position to watch. A chancellor (later identified as such) was directing them and indicated 4 bales which were to be delivered to his Threshold address then left. A small time later another thief with piercing blue eyes suddenly appeared in the same clearing. He told the 2 others to finish unloading & then sink the barge in the river & swim back to town. He told them that he & his cell (which we knew to be a lie as there were no others except for us around) would deliver the 4 bales. He then started to cast a spell which Id somehow interrupted by concentrating. The wizard tried again & since Id looked exhausted I mimicked a bird call to disrupt the second spell. Growing very angry he sprinkled the area with a yellowish gnome/fairy dust then pulled out a tiny pyramid & started again. Again I called out adding a pixie "tee hee" at the end and again the spell failed. This time he tried to spy us out using some sort of eye spell & when this failed since we were too well hid he threw down a statue yelling "live" and suddenly a huge black mastiff started to track down our hideaway.
Id looked toward the dog but failed to stop it.
It was crashing into our position so I readied my sword and skewered it so although our general area was known we had not broken cover. the wizard pulled out ingredients & started to cast a spell which Id recognised as a fireball. So just before it hit I kicked Id further into the bracken. I tumbled / back flipped in the opposite direction.
the wizard summoned an invisible servant to deliver the goods, donned a cloak of invisibility & walked from the clearing. By disguising myself as a Traladaran peasant I hired a barge & gondolier to take the rest of the goods & us to the Darokin merchants.
We received our reward for the goods & 500gp for the information about the wizard & 4 bales (address which they were delivered to). The Councillor was later found guilty of stealing, etc.
Perhaps not our fortunes made but it was certainly a start.

We then returned to the loggers camp for the 2nd performance (to complete our disguise) where we heard some very distressing news. Magic dead areas have been appearing in the forests ~~~ 30 feet in diameter, similar to those which appeared around Verge 8 years ago, 1006-1007 similar to a 'Gods Dance' effect. In Verge at the same time a party of adventurers were seeking the Temple of the Frog.
Apparently, according to the nature mage Id the areas have had their "Radiance" stripped from them, and it is similar to a wish effect. It is not a natural or spell effect. Id assures of this.
This- this is what fame is made of so we equipped ourselves and left with Ruynde to inspect these areas.

While equipping for the trek a curious thing happened.
I was checking out some shortbows in the loggers camp when I noticed that these were the same bows I had inspected at a Gnome Trader the 2 days before. The bows had to be stolen. I raised the alarm, the thief was detained and found guilty. Mysglor - a Dwarf who is a Highforge representative and trader of some kind then made himself known to me. He rewarded me with a Gnomish kitted shortbow, sturdy Dwarven arrows & a fine Dwarven chainmail. He told me that if I come across any other matters dealing with items from Highforge etc. to see him.

We have been travelling now for some days and our Ranger companion has told us of his life.
Apparently he used to be a wizard and was part of an adventuring group which stumbled across a 'lost city'. This city was filled with a race that looked human but with bald heads and large gentle brown eyes. They were in fact not a gentle people but fought by looking at each other (similar to Id's magic). Ruynde left the group in the city & brought out wondrous items (which he said gradually lost their enchantment). He has been searching for the entrance ever since.

A happy encounter! We are with the forest elves, feasting & drinking & singing.

But an adventure lies between here and my last entry. An adventure which saw the loss of a comrade, the gaining of friends and the finding of an enemy both strange and mysterious.

We reached the newest dead area and Id established that it was caused by a sphere effect. We were going to investigate it further & Ruyndle went off to search for his city. 2 Things occurred while Id was resting he saw a strange man on the hillside with no hair and gentle brown eyes. The man looked at us, patted his Ogre companion whom he sent away and then disappeared into the hillside we heard Ruyndles horn which he said is used only in emergencies. We rushed to the spot and found him gone, a small dead area and an angry Treant. Id determined that Ruyndle was kidnapped by a grey skinned creature with straggly black hair, a bulbous forehead and a monkey type face. the creature was now a very long way away.

We explained ourselves to the Treant who settled down to think. Then an unnatural silence descended on the woods. These silences had been noticed to precede the appearance of the Dead Spots. We sped to the silence to investigate. We found a silver egg floating in the river tethered by a black cord to the riverbank. A hatch on the side was open and a creature similar to the one which kidnapped Ruynde was on the bank.
A battle ensued in which Id and I were victorious and these observations arose from the battle the egg was a vehicle the beings could not speak and used mind magics to communicate the creature wearing a brain helm was the leader & capable of directing all other members of the group the staves the creatures use are dangerous weapons the creatures can in some way direct / affect a person's mind / thoughts when all the crew are dead the egg shuts up & travels back home the leaving of these vehicles causes the dead areas.

We captured one of these beings, a staff and a brain helm. Upon questioning the prisoner we found out more information their world has "mentors" and "oards" (they are the oards) oards serve mentors oards are in some way equivalent to golems Radiance (white light) can stop the travel of the eggs mentors are fighting (still!) the wizards of Blackmoor Oardworld needs the stolen products to survive

Then the elves came with their leader the treekeeper Ethendol and wanted to kill the prisoner. they started to argue with the Treant who could see the importance of our questioning. The prisoner was dying from our poisonous atmosphere & screamed when he saw the elves. Then he died.
Oards don't like Elves.

Another silence descended & the elves rushed off, followed by us & then the Treant. Yet another egg had appeared. The elves called it the "Egg of Coot". Another battle, all Oards killed & the Treant flung the crumpled egg into a dead area, the egg exploded as it failed to travel home.
Talking to the elves revealed "Egg of Coot" once descended on Blackmoor for a fierce battle. Blackmoor won the battle and in doing so lost the war Radiance is a secret power which the elves can call upon from nature My mother is a demigoddess of death ! SHE HAS SOME EXPLAINING TO DO!!

We captured three more staves and 1 more helm. The helm is needed to pilot an egg and it also acts as a "group mind focus" (?)

We now rest & play then we will seek the lost city to answer some questions. These Oards are a threat to the Known World which I feel if left unchecked could bring devastation.

With much honour I now bear the name Elf Friend - "Elfwine".

We returned to the area in which Id had seen the bald man. Unfortunately we were not alone and the ogre which was with the man before started to hunt us.
Surmising that it may have been a door which the man vanished through - an illusion or disguise - I fired a volley of arrows into the hillside. One disappeared. Marking this spot well we ran for the hill, breaking cover and imagining death bearing down on us with every step.
It was indeed a door and we suddenly found ourselves in an ancient complex. Perhaps part of the lost city our companion talked of. the door led to a short passageway which opened into a large room full of adventuring equipment, clothes, etc. but no bodies. It appeared that here brains were going to be of some use.
In the centre of the room was a large pool. A rock bridge extended almost across it, it ended in a pontoon bridge to allow someone to cross the water. There were ruins which appeared to be Hutaakan in origin. Around the edge of the room were 6 jackal-headed statues each with a different sigil. They are spell storers and hitting the sigil will release a spell. Either side of the entryway are huge statues of sitting jackals in sphinx-like poses. Inscriptions in the ancient Traladaran alphabet are on the sides of the guardian jackal statues.
In the water lived some sort of weed monster which can cause you to give up & join them, to die.
After examining the spell storers and killing one of the weed monsters with fire we moved on.
Id could sense a battle ahead and saw remotely the death of a band of people at the claws of a Dragon, a black dragon.
We carefully approached the eye room.
The eyes were in fact a type of stone resembling feldspar, but not. We avoided the dragon and sneaked past. We kept left at the sign telling us to do so. However nothing warned us about the spiders and a horrific battle ensued. Id was poisoned and cocooned up. By using oil & fire on the webs I was able to drag him away and around the corner to the stairs area. There I poured out oil & readied a torch in case they came. I did not yet venture up the stairs as Id had not awoken.

The spiders rushed our camp and after lighting the oil we had to retreat up the stairs and close the doors on them. The stairs led to an older part of the complex and the rooms beyond were serviced by small black capped creatures who were normally invisible. After equipping ourselves we found the settlement which we had been looking for..!

The bald brown-eyed people came to meet us and asked of our reasons for journey. So we explained of our quest to gather information of the Oards and that perhaps the inhabitants of the lost city could help us. They laughed and explained that this settlement was merely an outpost for their race and was most certainly not the lost city our friend had yearned to return to. However they knew of the Oards and would share their information with us.
They confirmed that time travel was used by the creatures to reach us and that by sealing our time stream off we could stop them. This could be achieved by using the Hand of Time found in the Temple of Time. The Hand is an item made by the Immortals and by using it to temporarily disrupt the timestream the mentors' plan would be defeated.
The Hand is sometimes called the "Key of Time" and is in the Temple to the Immortals of Time which is located in the Southern foothills of Darokin. The Hand is a huge golden hand twice the size of a man and is usually found mounted on an elaborate staff. Touching this hand ages you up to a century instantly.
This was all related by one man called Primus the Voice~. They appeared not to need to speak to one another. They were impressed with Id's mind magics and took him to the central building to study. Me they kind of left alone. I learned black cap songs from their helpers and traded with Peltro a Deep Dwarf agent. I got a mug for Mysglor and a newly minted Nithian copper piece as well as a platinum piece with a hill on one side & a war hammer on the other. When the Deep Dwarves saw the staves Id had gained from the Oards they desperately tried to trade for them, calling them "Orishes". We refused.
We started to make our way out of the complex. We made it but only after battling dragon minions and Deep Dwarf agents.
On to Threshold!

Back in Threshold we began preparations to travel to seek the Temple of Time.
We decided to go as traders across the foothills and thus hopefully pass unnoticed but first I researched what I could in Threshold. Id went to the magic school. We only found a fragment mentioning Eltan's Journey and the information that "the eyes of Frostkeep look down on to the temple of time". We had to travel to Frostkeep to solve the cryptic puzzle.
Frostkeep according to local knowledge had become the base for a group of clerics who according to Brother Chan (a wandering monk) were not good. Townsfolk had been disappearing etc. A group of elves camping nearby told us of a lower level to the keep which was used by the monks to dispose of people.

We set out and travelled without incident to the Frostkeep area.

There was a way in, of which we learnt. This way was lower down the mountainside up a flue or chimney in the rock. Our actions and the influence of a local Immortal via a shamaness in the local settlement of Tarnsmere brought the situation to a head and the monks invaded the nearby town. We could not stand idly by and rallying the other traders we battled off the monks and freed the town. Subsequent checking of the keep showed that the monks were worshipping "Larmistal", a devil of the 5th Circle. The men and women of the holy order had strayed far.
We broke the focus and freed the keep, as well as finding our way to the dark temple.


We were given two keys by the people of not Tarnsmere but now Whitemere which helped us greatly.
By the time we were ready for final battle to enter Frostkeep Brother Chan and a champion from Mirros had arrived and they accompanied us.

On our journey to the Temple of Time we discovered that "blue eyes" the wizard rogue from our first adventure was also trying to reach it and was throwing obstacles on our path. He arrived alone at the temple, injured and bleeding.
We met the Lupin guardians and passed without misadventure.

To enter the valley we needed a way to keep back the vegetation - fire worked.
"Unliving guardians sleep / your trust no longer binds you" Red button opens door to the Key.

We briefly imprisoned blue eyes and spoke to him. It turned out he was a wizard from a (not "the" ???) future who was trying to get back by using the Key~. We didn't let him and he escaped back to Threshold.

The Key was used and all was saved... MUCH REJOICING! (& profit, from our trade~!) We have become palatines, protectors of Whitemere and have a base of sorts to call home.
We have both come a long way from the Shearing.
I wonder what fate has in store !!!