The Matriarch’s Journal

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that I was hoping to create entries from the matriarch’s journal rather than simply describing it when the party found it. I did, in fact, do that. I also managed to dig up some nice marbled paper to print it on that I bought years ago. Here I’ve included the text of that journal.

As a note, since this comes from a people about whom the party knows very little, and whose history the party knows little about, I made up the month names and year referents and such as I went along, planning to flesh them out later. Like I said earlier, you don’t need to know everything in advance in order to run a good campaign. I did print this out using a somewhat handwriting-like, elegant font, but I made sure to pick one that wouldn’t be too difficult to read (I don’t like sacrificing utility for appearance).

The second day of Cammisa, in the thirty-third year after the War of Tombs

Five novices have arrived at the temple to begin their training. They have felt the deep Love of the Goddess and been called to Her service. This has been a fine year for us so far, and I have high hopes for the season. The inhabitants of the nearby city still believe us to be “merely” a cult devoted to love, and we have convinced them to give us some privacy for our worship. Those who know what we are shall find us and seek us out, just as these novices have. Hopefully this temple shall abide for some time; I would rather not come into conflict with the worshipers of Aurifar. Their influence seems quite strong here.

The eighth day of Cammisa, in the thirty-third year after the War of Tombs

One of the novices was called to the goddess’ bosom, and his body has been preserved according to our rites. His transition was a holy one, and he has been called to serve Her beyond the grave, so we shall accord him all rites and respects as though he had completed his training. It is rare for the Goddess to take such a liking to one so swiftly, but it does happen. We are blessed to have seen it happen at our temple and within our lifetimes.

The eleventh day of Cammisa, in the thirty-third year after the War of Tombs

I am pleased at the progress of the novices. They listen well and they study hard. At first I thought Kariss’ faith had been shaken by the transition of his dear friend Malaki, but he seems to have come to terms with it. Our gardens do well–we may lack the blessings incurred by the followers of a god of fertility, but we tend our crops with love and that is enough. My second, Temet, has written a new paean to the Goddess, and I believe it to be fine enough for use at a high ceremony.

The eighteenth day of Cammisa, in the thirty-third year after the War of Tombs

Corria arrived yesterday. At first I thought he was merely here to see to family obligations, to pass on a message from his mother or father. I was wrong. Instead he delivered into my care a small iron box, and bade me keep it safe and hidden, where no sunlight could touch it. I know that he would never willingly bring danger here, yet I fear for our safety now. What has he done? Of course I said yes; I owe his family that much.

The twenty-seventh day of Cammisa, in the thirty-third year after the War of Tombs

Something odd has happened. Some of the temple servitors began acting strangely over the last few days. Two crumbled to dust without warning, and another several have disobeyed direct commands. I must research this problem; something isn’t right here.

The second day of Marteia, in the thirty-third year after the War of Tombs

Events have only grown stranger. My attendants have strange dreams in which the Goddess beckons them to her, or in which the temple disappears into mists and sinks beneath the earth. The latter must be a fell portent. I have prayed to the Goddess most fervently but I hear only distant whispers and murmurs in return; no evidence of her attention appears. Why has she chosen this moment to forsake me? Have I offended her in some manner? I must meditate further on this matter.

The sixth day of Marteia, in the thirty-third year after the War of Tombs

My people have fallen ill one by one. Only a few remain untouched by this wasting disease. We cannot discern the nature of this illness, nor affect it in any way. None of the abilities our Goddess grants us have proven effective. This does not bear the mark of Aurifar or of his ilk; disease is not his providence, particularly not of this sort. Yet certainly the Goddess would not afflict her own followers in this manner.

The seventh day of Marteia, in the thirty-third year after the War of Tombs

Kariss died today, and it was not a death the Goddess would approve of. His body has been ravaged in such a way that we cannot possibly preserve him in the manner prescribed by Her. Worse still, as the flesh sloughed off of his bones, his skeleton became animate. He walks as the undead, but not an undead blessed by Evening Glory. I fear this one bears the stench of Nerull, unless I miss my guess. But why would he take an interest in this temple?

The eighth day of Marteia, in the thirty-third year after the War of Tombs

Most of my acolytes and attendants have been made into Nerull’s puppets. I must now suspect the item that Corria asked me to protect, as those minions will not allow me near the place where I hid it. It is time for me to leave; so far I have shown no sign of this illness, and I can only assume the Goddess wishes me to escape its clutches. I will flee to the temple of Tem-Et-Nu to seek aid, and Goddess willing, this temple shall not remain in the hands of Nerull.

I also constructed a random encounter chart of approximately EL2 for the party’s journey. They’re traveling toward a temple to an undead goddess that has been taken over by the minions of a more powerful god of the undead, so it has a few unusual things on it. Since I expect to create new ones as the party levels, however, I didn’t want to make it too large.

1 Dire maggot x 1 “Libris Mortis” p. 95 CR2
2-4 Monstrous centipede, lg. x 1d3+1 “Monster Manual” p. 286 CR1
5-7 Locust swarm x 1 “Monster Manual” p. 238 CR3
8-10 Hyenas x 1d3+1 “Monster Manual” p. 274 CR1
11-13 Leopard x 1 “Monster Manual” p. 274 CR2
14-16 Sailsnake x 1 “Monster Manual 4” p. 124 CR2
17 Corpse/tomb spider broodswarm x 1 “Monster Manual 4” p. 164 CR2
18-19 Carcass eaters x 4-5 “Libris Mortis” p. 91 CR1/2
20 Slaymate x 1 “Libris Mortis” p. 122 CR2
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2 comments on “The Matriarch’s Journal
  1. Scott M says:

    Looks great, both halves, though I don’t actually own MM4 or Libris Mortis, the critters sound fitting.

    Are you planning on having the entries be representative, or was that the whole book they found? It looks great– the effort you put in to prop building is pretty impressive.

  2. I picked up Libris Mortis because of the undead focus of the campaign, and went a little crazy putting some Christmas money into monster manual-type books because I loves me that variety. =) I wanted both to have some critters that were normal and fitting to a temperate wooded setting, but also have some unusual things to aid in the feeling that this really is a new and different, largely unexplored continent. And of course, I wanted the creep factor!

    The entries are a bit of both… which is to say they’re the entirety of the latest set of entries. The journal is actually thicker and goes back farther, but I wanted to start the entries they read just far enough back to give them the flavor of what day-to-day life at the temple was like before things went nuts.

    And thank you! Props are fun. This GM friend of ours (who also happens to be our partner in crime in the T-shirt business) has really inspired me in that department.

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