Book One: Ordered by Gods

Vengeance for the Keeper
Cuthberta Eosularday & Menteselunday

*Found in Frankie's travelling journal
Believed to be recorded under the stars on the beach south of Göesse*

Worst boat ride ... EVER! (continued)

We soon discovered that the boat was going nuts, and we had NO idea how to steer it. For some reason everyone thought I could do something... crazy! This boat was totally retro; no self-respecting tinker would claim to know how to handle such an obsolete creation.

After everyone tried to do their own thing, I took command and remembered what I could from the previous day. Nimbus and I had to browbeat Thalazaar into helping, but we made it work. Thalazaar also noted that there was a boat with a red flag nearby too. Weird!

As we sailed for the shoreline, Thalazaar took off and managed to bring Tiberio then Urban back to consciousness. Urban began to get excited at the state of the boat, and got angry when I told him I was going to head below to repair the ship. I sent Domaldi up and began to get to work on something I had a better idea of doing.

Finally after several hours a friendly vessel from Göesse pulled up and competent sailors boarded to help us. Thalazaar got us together below decks, and brought to our attention that the former captain was going to turn over a clockwork on-board to slavery! I hate to speak ill of the dead, but this was pushing the gyro-phanning threshhold!

That also explained the strange appearance of the boat with the red flag; the captain was going to turn the poor clockwork over to them! Certain things began to make sense. Perhaps this was how Tallim as taken to the Monotheocratic Order!

We opened the container holding the poor clockwork, and I found an operator's manual that a second grade gnome could understand... I was so upset, but this was but a taste of things to come. I spent two hours getting the clockwork working, while everyone went off to do their own thing. At one point the group confronted Urban to determine his innocence. He was obviously not an accomplice, but at one point I was called a "Federation clockwork agent" or some kind of nonsense. I felt sorry for Urban and told him that Thalazaar likes to exaggerate sometimes.

Soon the time came: Calibre came into the world for the first time. My uncle Sparks told me there was no other feeling like it, and now I know. I was so happy for the clockwork! I was so deluded into thinking that I had helped the clockwork avoid being born into slavery...

Calibre greeted me, and called me "master". I regarded the clockwork in confusion, and asked what it's name was. Calibre answered, "My name is Calibre, master. You are the one who activated me, I will follow your orders to the letter".

I began to feel a numbing dread, and began to look through the manual. My eyes began to burn with angry tears as they looked upon the operating instructions for the THRALL MODULE that was implanted. This is absolutely horrible! Calibre was born into the world with a mental disease, and I suddenly had a daunting personal responsibility to set it right. The helplessness I felt at that moment was intense. I did not have the training to do anything about this engineering problem.

After the crowd at Gosse's dock had settled down, Thalazaar loaned a robe, and I asked Calibre to have his lower arms appear to make it have a pot belly, and also let me do all the talking. We made it to the Headman's house, and the group began to question the clockwork. I also met one of the stranger's in town, named Inigo. He seemed friendly enough, but I did not like hearing about how he liked to fight in armies. I have seen more than enough people get hurt already!

After eating some fish stew, I promised Thalazaar I would go shopping for supplies after a quick power nap. Have to recharge the batteries! The village was friendly enough, and no one seemed to mind dealing with a gnome with her tall companion.

Returning back to the Headman's house, the group updated each other of what they found out. A villager reported that the body of one of the villagers washed up on the shore; apparently he was helping the Monotheocratic slavers to bring Calibre into slavery.

We also found out that the sahuagin attacked the boat to sink and 'acquire' a crate, even though the leader did not tell it's soldier that the contents were a clockwork.

Then things got nasty.

Nimbus and Tiberio were not satisfied with their sahuagin interrogation, and wanted Calibre to speak to it. Not wanting to expose the new-born Calibre to the hateful being, I was reluctant to "order" him around to do so. What followed was a lot of nasty jibes of me being a cruel "slaver". I was so upset! I can honestly say that that was the worse insult to me in my entire life.

I eventually got brow beaten enough that I asked Calibre to help out. We went down to the sahuagin's jail, and as a precaution I got my x-bow out in case the nasty beast tried to jump Calibre. Arek told me to put the weapon away. I swore on my honour that I would only respond defensively, but that was not good enough for Arek. Truly depressed, I mumbled to Calibre to "do as the others' asked" and left in tears.

Leaving the headman's hut, I wandered down the south beach and found an abandoned tent. I sat beside it and looked up at the stars, thinking back to better nights in Peppershot. Eventually I opened up the clockwork manual to study it, then managed to barely crawl into the tent before collapsing from the emotional exhaustion of the day.

The next morning I returned to the Headman's hut, not having much to say to my companions. When Calibre heard where we were going, it was against me going to the caves, since it did not want me to go into danger. What a sweetheart! I didn't want to leave Calibre alone in Gosse, so told him that I needed to go because I had to help my companions. Looking back now, I am only full of regret for this poor decision on my part.

My companions and I set off.

*Insertion found with some mud stains*

This is terrible! I brought Calibre along with us to keep the clockwork safe, and now it lies here torn apart by the claws of a troll. I am so thankful that Calibre is not dead! The frustration I find in my inability to repair Calibre has set something off inside of me... I guess this is what my Granpappy meant when he said that your calling in life will find you when you least expect it.

A new purpose fills my being, fueled by anger and frustration. Opening up the clockwork manual I begin to learn what I can about repairing Caliber.

I WILL overcome this challenge... and vow to stuff Caliber's thrall module down the creator's throat!

The Journal of Inigo Tarrega

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