Stamus Contra Malum: 1013 YE

Aftermath
Innelen, 16th (Aug 18) - Nethelen 1st

Aftermath

Innelen, 16th (Aug 18)

The heroes, battered, bloodied, exhausted and had been awake for over 36 hours. Grabbing the three glowing shards that were once the Heart of Sakkara, they holed up in the chamber that used to be the Lady Below’s.

Innelen, 17th – 18th (Aug 19-20)

After a long rest, the party took stock of their situation. They looted the Lady Below’s chamber and learned a great deal about her and the fact she use to follow the orders of someone known as the Master of Secrets. They also discovered where the location of the Black Hare’s Hideout was and where the Ogres came from, the ruins of the Watchtower at Eammon Mór.

The party returned to the Inner Fane and had to fight off a swarm of Abominations. The combined arcane power of Avery and his Henchman, Mornya injured or killed most of them. The rest of the group finished them off.

The party spent the next two days liberating all of the prisoners and stripping everything of value in the temple. The party had discovered that the Lady had ordered all of her Beastmen to aid the Ogre Warlord in his attempt to break Türos Tem.

Innelen, 19th (Aug 21)

The heroes led the freed prisoners out of the hidden temple. The closest settlements was Türos Tem and The Midway Tavern. After a brief discussion the decision was made to head to the fort to see if it still stood or if it had fallen.

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Türos Tem

The party arrived at Türos Tem and saw the aftermath of the Battle of the Red Ford. Mounds of dead beastmen were burning; the town outside of the fort was little more than rubble. The party’s villa was now a smoking ruin.

The Imperial Legion Banners on the fort had been replaced by the banners of the Silver Sword Mercenary Company. There were a number of legionnaires making ready for a march.The Centurion was seen directing everyone.

The party approached him and learned that the empire had won the Battle of the Red Ford, the Beastmen were repulsed. Legate Valerian was wounded and later died from his injuries. Malyn the Misshapen had also passed away, when the party presented the truth about Lady Valerian, the Centurion was shocked until the party showed him her head. The doppelganger had already left heading southwest to Siadanos. A message was sent to arrest it at once.

The party discovered that the entirety of the borderlands was now to be garrisoned by mercenaries in the employ of the Silver Scale Trading Company and Silar Silverhand had been promoted to Legate. The Silver Scale Company was now responsible for the defense of the Border Lands, in return all farming, lumber and mining rights in the borderlands were exclusively owned by the trading company.

A meeting was had later that week as the heroes had to make a decision on what to do with the three shards of the Tablet of Destiny they had acquired. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that they would be split up and taken to three safe locations.

One shard would be taken by Lozen to the island of Themyscira, where the High Temple of Ianna was located. Ivanova would be joining her as would Vilhelmus who would sail them as close as he could.

One shard would be taken by the Avery and Garrick. Using contacts within the New Hellions, they arranged to be escorted into the Kingdom of Canolbrath by Owen the Courtier. They would present the fragment to Illiana, the Queen of Thorns, Immortal Ruler of the Wood Elves.

The last shard would be taken by Oberron to High Forge to be presented to the Vault Lords.

Innelen, 19th – 24th (Aug 21)

The Breaking of the Fellowship

The party left Türos Tem and made their way south to return to the Hastinov Estate. They did not travel this road alone. Many of the villagers who were rescued by the heroes accompanied them. Ivanova had made sure that many of these folks received a portion of the treasure hauled from the temple. With her kindness and the fact that she had personally slain the Lady Below, she had become something of a celebrity, as was the rest of the party.

As they entered the gate of the estate, they were greeted by the Hastinovs and the heroes had come full circle. They had left here five months ago on a quest to discover the source of troubles on the Borderlands. They had overcome many challenges and defeated terrible evil. It was not without a cost. Priestess Genelan, Malyn the Imperial Mage, Atticus the Bard and Brother Merrin had paid for it with their lives, Lukos had given up, and a number of other had died. The Stone of Sakkara had been destroyed forever, but now the Borderlands where in the hands of the Silver Scale Company.

The following day, a great feast was had. The heroes related everything to D’mitri Hastinov. He thankful they had destroyed the evil, but was concerned with the how much power that Silar Silverhand was acquiring.

Nethelen 1st

The party leaves the Hastinov Estate and part ways, promising to meet again in six months at the Hastinov Estate for the Feast of Valentinus.

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The Feast of Valentinus
Genelen, 26th , 1014 YE

The Feast of Valentinus aka The Red Feast

Genelen, 26th , 1014 YE

The Light-Bringers (PC)

The Light-Bringers (NPC)

  • Mornya Morning Star, Spellblade
  • Noelia Nightsong, Nightblade
  • Robyn, Man-At-Arms
  • Sparrow, Man-At-Arms
  • Martin, Man-At-Arms
  • Mock, Man-At-Arms
  • Fred, Porter

The Light-Bringers (Animals)

  • Tycho, Dwarven War Dog
  • Huginn & Muninn, Avery & Garrick’s Familiar’s
  • Titania & Puck, Ivanova Trained Owls

Rendevous at the Hastinov Estate

After spending six months scattered across the Known World pursuing specific goals, the Light-bringers returned to the Hastinov Estate. They had arrived in time to celebrate the Feast of Valentinus together. The celebration was grand as the party members regaled each other and the rest of the Hastinov clan with the tales of their travels. Everyone feasted, drank and danced as minstrels hired by the family played until both moons were high in the sky. During the feast it become clear to many that the family patriarch, Dmitry, was beginning to show signs of his advancing age. He forgot or confused people’s names, and at one point, the aging warrior called for his wife who had passed away several years ago.

After the Feast

After all of the guests had left, everyone retired to their beds to sleep off the copious amounts of wine that had been drunk. It was well after second moonfall when Ivanova was awakened by one of her owls. Getting out of bed, she looked around the villa and did not see anything amiss. However, when she went to look out over the courtyard, she saw a flying carpet swoop down out of the sky and deposit a squad of men dressed in black. She turned to alert the household when she saw ropes drop out of the atrium skylight and more men rappelled down to the ground floor.

Ivanova’s cry alerted many in the household, but the wine was still heavy upon them. A great melee ensued as the intruders beat and dragged everyone out of their beds, binding them. The Light-Bringers were able to eventually fight them off, killing several. As the skirmish continued, a tall dark man cloaked in black and wearing a lion’s mask watched the melee dispassionately.

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After showing that he was still seasoned in combat by killing several of the assailants, Dmitry was trapped in the garden by a four-sided wall of force. Ivanova tried to attack the lion-masked man, but he wielded inhuman speed and strength. The Paladin was literally kicked out of the villa and landed in the courtyard. The rest of the party had killed off the remaining attackers and had gotten the rest of the Hastinovs to safety.

The Demon and the Lion

The party had gathered together in the courtyard to face off with the masked warrior. Ivanova was sure this man was named Leonious, once the leader of the Imperial Zodiac, formerly the emperor’s secret Praetorian Guard. They had been outlawed and supposedly wiped out over a decade ago. A deep booming voice stopped the fighting as another masked man cloaked in crimson floated into the courtyard.

The man was known as The Demon, but once upon a time he had been a mortal man named Brother Selya, a priest of Ammonar, and a member of Dmitry’s old adventuring group, the Crimson Blades. Decades ago he had absorbed the power of a demon that had possessed another Crimson Blade, Fidelias. The demon power had granted Selya unnatural power and life, which had corrupted him into a full demon as years went by.

The Demon and Leonious had come to the Hastinov Estate for two things- the map that Avery had stolen from Silar Silverhand and the scion of Ashlar, a fellow Crimson Blade, who had died during an assault on a Hill Giant Steading. Leonious had already taken the map from Avery and Garrick’s room.

The Demon tried to convince Dmitry to reveal to him the identity of a child he had hidden years ago. He revealed that for the last thirty years he had been secretly killing off the Immortals one by one. He had killed the Great Crone, The Prince, The Forge Father, The Lord of Horses and several lesser-known ones. He also revealed that it was he and not Dmitry who was responsible for killing Zartan Wave Thunder. There were only two immortals left- the Arch Lich and Liliana, the Queen of Thorns.

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The Demon had found the means to strike down the Queen of Thorns; he needed a sacrifice who was a blood relative of the queen. However, all of her living progeny was safely guarded in her forest kingdom behind the powerful barrier known as the Thornwall. The Demon had discovered that Ashlar had been a member of Clan Camran and was also a scion of Liliana. When the Demon had discovered that Ashlar had fathered an illegitimate child with a gypsy woman, who had herself married an elf and had sired a child, he began hunting that child. His search had led him back to his old comrade Dmitry, who had been secretly hiding Ashlar’s grandchild for 20 years.

There Can Only Be One

Dmitry thought about this for a moment and looked at his family, who were outside of the cube of force. He turned to the Demon “After to taking a moment to consider what you have said, I can only tell you this Selya.” The old soldier stood straight and looked his old comrade in the eye. “Fuck You!”

Dmitry held his sword at the ready, standing tall and resembling the warrior he had been 40 years ago. The Demon revealed that he too had a sword of his own. The weapon was of an ancient design and the very air around it seemed to warp and wither. It was Avaritia, one of the seven swords of chaos. Ivanova could feel the power of chaos emitting from it, even through the walls of the magical barrier.

The two former comrades faced off against each other and for a moment all was still. The two then stepped towards each other. Dmitry’s skillfull hand swung his sword at the Demon but the Demon’s blade crashed down as well. Dmitry’s sword shattered into a hundred pieces as the sword of chaos magic tore through it with a howl.

The Demon than reversed his stroke with a flourish and drove it through Dmitry’s chest. Coughing up blood and looking at the sword he was impaled upon, Dmitry smiled at his enemy. “You get nothing.”

The Demon glared at Dmitry. “Death will not protect you,” he snarled as he pulled his sword out of the old man’s chest, intending to rip his ethereal soul out of his body. “I will tear your soul apart and I will find the child”. The Demon pulled forth a crystal orb and Dmitry’s soul was sucked into it. Vilhelmus and Ivanova screamed with grief and rage.

The Cat Who Walked Through Shadows

The black cat who had been quietly watching all of the events in the courtyard moved out of the shadows. As the Lightbringers beat fruitlessly at the cube of force screaming for Dmitry, the cat simply walked through the magical barrier. The Demon sensed its presence immediately.

The cat then surprised everyone when it spoke. “You know Selya, you were an insufferable ass when you were human and becoming a demon has done nothing to improve your disposition.”

“You have no authority here, Shadowcat,” hissed the Demon. “Dmitry is mine and you lack the power to stop me. Not without breaking the covenant. Go back to your shadows.”

“You are both right and wrong, you disgraced excuse for a priest. Under the rules of the covenant, gods may not directly interfere with the life of mortals and yes, you are quite powerful, especially wielding that sword. But you made two mistakes.”

“Your first mistake was killing Dmitry. Souls fall within my domain.”

The cat’s body began to blur and change, and once where a cat stood there was now a beautiful woman wearing a cloak that seemed to be made from the starry sky.

The woman, who had once been a mortal named Nazli and a former Crimson Blade, spoke with a hard edge. “Your second mistake was underestimating me, for I wield a weapon you have failed to account for.”

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The Demon seemed both troubled and bemused. “This sword was forged to kill gods, what could you have that could compare, Shadowcat?”

The Shadowcat smiled wickedly. “I have a pissed-off dwarf with a grudge.” With a flourish of her silken cloak, an old battle-scarred dwarf appeared. He was Oberron Troll-Nose, father of Oberron Bale Eye, former Vault Lord of High Forge, Clan Lord of the Brass Bear Clan, and last surviving member of the Crimson Blades.

A ferocious bellow erupted from the Dwarf as he leveled a strange weapon at the Demon, which discharged a fiery cloud of smoke. “Take that, ya bastard!” Oberron laughed as the Demon howled in agony as his left arm was ripped asunder by the blast. The crystal ball with Dmitry’s soul was flung into the air, from which Shadowcat plucked it and disappeared in a blink. The Demon roared and charged towards the dwarf. Oberron turned his head and could see his son outside the Barrier.

Oberron bellowed to his son, “Ah love you boy, you does me proud and never forget it.” The old dwarf swung his weapon at the Demon once more. “Come on! Have at me!”

Avaritia sliced through the night air and sent forth a blurry wave of hell fire that incinerated the old dwarf, melting his armor and turning his body to ash. The wave of hell fire shattered the magical barrier, knocking everyone down and setting the villa ablaze. The Demon howled and disappeared in a shower of fireflies.

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Ivanova and Vilhelmus scrambled over to their grandfather’s body. Ivanova cradled the old man in her arms and cried as Vilhelmus looked around to see where the enemy had gone. Oberron Bale-Eye crawled over to the pile of dust that had been his father, tears running from all three of his eyes. The sounds of people and shouting could be heard as people from all across the estate came to the villa to see what was happening. Avery and Garrick were clenching their fists, while Lozen looked on the scene with a stricken expression.

The Crimson Blades’ Final Bow

The party took Dmitry’s body and the remains of Oberron outside of the burning villa. The residents of the estate had come out and were doing their best to put out the fire before it consumed the entire villa. The elven brothers had dragged one of the dead assassins out of the villa; Avery and Garrick planned to get some answers. The party was in shock and grief. Their patron and the patriarch of the Hastinov family was dead. Oberron Bale-Eye was deep in dwarven grief as his sire was now gone, and hate entered his heart, hatred for the Demon.

As the sun began to peak above the horizon to the east, a shower of shooting stars could be seen in the pre-dawn sky. A shimmering curtain of stars appeared before the party and out stepped the Shadowcat with two ethereal forms in tow- the souls of Dmitry and Oberron Troll-Nose. Dmitry looked like he did when he had been a young and hale adventurer.

My children, my time here is short and there is much I have to say, so listen carefully. Twenty years ago my brother Borris came across a gypsy caravan that had been attacked; the only survivors were a mother and her baby. The mother was dying and begged Borris to save her daughter, who was the granddaughter to a legendary elven hero named Ashlar. Borris took one look at the red-headed, green-eyed child and knew this to be true. He would take that child and raise her as his own daughter. When my brother died, Lemunda and I took her as our own.

Ivanova, I knew Ashlar well, and I wanted to protect you, allow you to have a normal life. I knew there were people out there who want to use you for their own benefit, people like the Demon or the elven separatists. That is why I never told you who your blood family was. In my mind you are and always will be a Hastinov. Now that you know the truth, you will need to decide what path you will take. The Demon has not figured out who you are yet, but he will eventually. When he does he will come for you and you must be prepared.

Oberron III stepped forth and spoke to his son.

Boy, I meant what I said back there. Weep for me no more. I knew this day would come and I have been ready for it for many years. I ask that you be true to yourself and stand by Ivanova’s side. The Hastinovs and our family have a special bond, one forged in blood and iron.

Oberron III turned to Dmitry and winked. “There could only be one, and it was me, ha!” With that the old dwarf turned and walked back into the shimmering curtain and for a moment the party could see the deck of a ship at sea. The dwarf was greeted by a group on the ship: a male high elf, a female wood elf, and several humans- including a man wearing a crown.

Dmitry bid them all farewell and turned towards the shimmering curtain which parted for him. It revealed a field of golden grain with a villa off in the distance. Running towards Dmitry through the fields was a woman. Her golden hair shined in the sunlight. She was Lemunda, and she had been waiting for day that the man she loved would join her. As the curtain began to close they could see her leaping into Dmitry’s arms. Tears of joy filled both of their eyes as they embraced, finally at peace.

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The Shadowcat turned towards the party.

The winds of fate are blowing with the strength of a gale now. May you find glory and success in the days and months to come, for you will be challenged like you have never been before.

The demi-goddess turned and disappeared, taking the night with her as the first rays of dawn swept over the estate. “Why, why, Great-Uncle?” Ivanova sobbed as she lay over Dmitry’s body. “Why did you not just tell me? Why did you let me hate you? I never knew…” As her words ended in more laments, Vilhelmus turned away bitterly. “I knew you would always be the death of him, Ivanova.” She looked up wordlessly at him, sorrow in her eyes. “I will always be a Hastinov, wherever my path leads me,” she said resolutely, and an understanding passed between them.

That same look resonated around the courtyard, as the Light-bringers realized that their lives would never be the same. Choices were going to have to be made, and not all of them would be easy. But they knew that after all their trials thus far, they would somehow find the strength to go on. For Dmitry, and for the Known World.

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Waking the Dead
Genelen, 27th-Juselen, 1st , 1014 YE

After the party bid farewell to Dmitri, Avery turned to the grim task of getting answers. He grabbed one of the dead assassin and used the power of Calefa to compel the spirit of dead man to answer his questions.

“Where is your base of operation?”

The Temple of the Hooded Serpent in the City of the Crystal Flame

“What are its defenses?”

The temple is an fortress made from stone and crystal and is protected by an army of brethren.

“What was your next operation (target)?”

_We were to take the captives to the Citadel of Fulgrim and turn them over to General Zorn."

The party recognized that the temple was located in the city of Zahara and out of their reach. The Citadel of Fulgrim was a place they never heard of before, the same with General Zorn.

With the funeral for Dmitry and the servants completed the party decided to head to the Black Eagle Fortress, the Hastinov’s have a villa in the city that they could use until they could decide on their next steps.

The 100 Horse Tree

Damien had been spent the better part of a month traveling across the province of Traladar. Along the way he had gotten into a fair number of scrapes with people who were less than pleased with him shining the light of Ammonar on their dark activities. After a scuffle with the guards of a corrupt nobleman ended in bloodshed, he was forced to head west. The stories circulating around the taverns and caravans were that a great deal of trouble had taken place in the northwestern borderlands and a civil war had broken out in the former province of Cappadocia.

On his way towards the borderlands, Damien stopped off at the strangest tree he had ever seen. It was a massive chestnut tree whose boughs spread out so far a 20 wagon caravan could easily rest beneath its branches. Tied to the branches of the tree were hundreds and hundreds of trinkets. When the wind blew, the tree made a magical tinkling sound like a giant wind chime. Damien could see that travelers had made camp under many, many times. There was even a small shrine of the god Naurivus that someone had built.
Damien decided to stop and rest, the sun was soon to set and it was time for evening prayer. After setting up, Damien knelt down upon his old frayed prayer rug and faced west looking to the waning light of the setting sun. Damien prayed and asked for guidance.

What was the will of Ammonar? What did the fiery god of the sun wish of his most humble servant?
A stiff breeze caused the great tree to twinkle and chime filling the air with music. It was when he felt something hit him the head and fall to the ground next to him. Picking up the object, Damien could see it was a crudely hand carved bird, maybe a duck or a swan, that had been tied to the tree with white ribbon. A sign from Ammonar himself!

After a funny but tense exchange, Damien convinced the party he was harmless and would make a great addition to their party.

Black Eagle Fortress, Alpha District, Hastinov Villa

The party sets up shop in the Villa with the latest addition Damien. Vilhelmus bids his comrades adieu and leaves on his ship, his destiny now lay at sea. The rest of party spent the day going through all of the intelligence they gathered over the past several months.

They formulated a plan. They knew the Demon and his compatriots were looking for the lost dwarven vault. They needed to get their first and locate the secret weapons the dwarves had crafted. They would travel north deep in the Alan Tepes Mountains and raid the vault before the demon could. The party had an advantage, Oberron has made copies of all of the maps and the Demon only acquired the one that showed the general location of the vault. The party had another map that showed the location of the vault and in which valley.

Once the planning was done the group headed to a popular local watering hole called The Blue Cauldron located in the market ward, surrounded by shadowed alleys and active marketplaces. The street outside the tavern was filled with the scent of incense and exotic spices. The inn is a two-story timber and brick building, with several leaded glass windows and dwarf-wrought iron tables and chairs. A small dragon’s skull hangs over the hearth. Accommodations consist of a mezzanine with several wooden cots. The inn is unusually noisy, with a band of aggressive rakes chasing wenches.

The group quickly descended into drunken debauchery and much fun was had.

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The next day, the party split up to gather the supplies they needed on the trip. Ivanova and Damien were jumped by a team of Imperial Talons looking to kill Ivanova. A fiery battle ensued that saw the killers defeated and a good portion of the market set a blaze. The party returned to the villa and made preparations to get out of the city.

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The Long Journey Part I
Juselen, 2nd-3rd , 1014 YE

The Long Journey Part I

The party rose early in the morning and made their way down to the docks. They had a hired a number of barges to take them and their horses up river to the Dragon Falls.

The boats left the docks and the party was on their way. They first travel north up the coast to the mouth of the Krysivor River in the Viamar Marshes. The weather was cool with a steady wind blowing and light clouds.Once in the marshes the party came across a large herd of antelope feeding on the fresh green shoots in the marshes. They soon exited the marshes and were entering the Lusaun Forest.

By mid day the party had reach a point where they could go no further with barges. They offloaded and rode north following the river. Sometime later the party had a chance encounter with a pack of hellhounds that quickly overcame.

The Dragon Falls (Base)

By the afternoon they reached the base of the great Dragon Falls to their surprise they discovered a small clan of gnomes had built a settlement at the base of the falls. The gnome had built a lift to the top of the falls and were charging for its use.

The party came to terms with the gnomes and the party made it to the top without incident. Garrick however decided he wanted to go back down to drink with the Gnomes. On his way down, a wyvern attacked the elevator and flew off with the cage with Garrick still in it. The party came to his rescue and killed the Wyvern.

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The party decided to make camp at the top of the fall as it had grown dark already.

The Dragon Falls (Top)

The party woke to the sound of thunder and the crash of lighting, a massive storm had blown in. The party struggled to break camp and get under way. They traveled west to Türos Tem in order to use the ford their to cross the river. The going was tough, the storm was getting fiercer, finally the Oberron suggested they stop off at his hidden cave to take shelter from the storm. As they got close to the cave, Garrick was struck by a bolt of lighting. Then another bolt split a tree which then fell on Garrick.

The Cave That Oberron Built

The party took shelter in the cave and waited for the storm to subside.

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Story Time with Oberron Part 1
The Story of the Light Bringers as told by Oberron IV

Get Inna My Belly!

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We were on the cusp of battle, Garrick’s girlfriend had just showed us we could climb across a layer of the temple. Here we would fight the Lady Below’s champion, a corrupted dragon called Idimmu the Demonic who hid in The Black Ziggurat.

Them bugbears were leading up a buncha prisoners to be sacrificed on this beautiful obsidian altar. Thing was more evil than a goblins left foot, but it was a work of art. Shame we had to destroy it, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

We waited for the right moment, spread out see then we attacked. Some kobolds showed up, but me and my boy Tycho took ‘em out. Then from the Ziggurat Idimmu and his two twins showed up. Didn’t remember hearing about his brothers, peed myself a bit. I thought the feller was just a big kobold.

Damn dragon worshiping rats. Wasn’t sure how we’d take it down, even just one of them. Luckily after a few shots we figured out they were just illusions. But that still left one problem, a tainted looking dragon and a lot of prisoners- wait no, I missed a part. Idimmu breathed some breath thing on them and they all rotted. Nearly killed Vilhelmus.

The next part is where things got interestin’. You ever hear about them warrior woman on that island? Well I travel with one. Lozan the Lioness her name was. I wasn’t much scared of her or respectful minded to her until she done did something wild. Ill never underestimate her again. I don’t know how she did it, but she like tripled in size. Quadrupled even. I ain’t never seen bigger titties in my life. It was glorious. She jumped up at Idimmu, her blades in hand and drove him to the ground. That’s how I learned how badass Bladedancers are, and I aint ever gunna fuck with them."

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The Long Journey Part II
Juselen, 3rd to 5th, 1014 YE

Juselen, 3rd, 1014 YE

Morning

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Damien

It was refreshing to be out of Oberon’s cave. Though grateful for the accommodations, I must admit the place had the rank smell of fetid cheese, filthy dog, and the foul earthy smell of an unclean dwarf. Stepping out of the cavernous fissure I spied the first rays of Ammonar’s grace lighting the east.

I paid my reverence to the Lord of Light, taking a knee and offering up a prayer, “I raise my hand in honor to the Lord of the morning, who rises in glory in the east of the world. Piercer of darkness, illumine my path as I go through my day. Way-shower, illumine my path as I go through my life.”

I rose and then greeted Maximus who was seemingly eager to depart as well and needing no encouragement from me to put distance between us and Oberon’s hovel. Ammonar’s light blessed us that day as we made steady progress under His warming embrace.

Avery

I woke up to in the dwarf’s smelly cave and wished I was elsewhere. I am unsure if the smell was from the cave, the dwarven cheese, or Tyco. I find Oberron’s fruitless efforts to hide its true location amusing to say the least. The smell of the place gives away its location. The new human who has joined us is very odd; Devin, Debra, Dorian, Damien I think his name is? I will be keeping an close eye on him, he seems off.

My brother gave me quite the scare last night when he was struck by lightning, and I am finding it harder to keep him out of trouble. He is my brother however, so I must try.

Ivanova

Finally out of that dratted cave of Oberron’s and into the light.

Fionnghuala, by your grace, I will make it safely to the Forge, where we will reclaim the weapons before the demon does.

Please forgive me if I’m not concentrating on the trek to the forge. I am distracted by this decision before me.

Should I be a Queen, or shall I remain the wayward child of the Hastinov’s? Perhaps both… Is that too selfish, Fionnghuala?

I feel I am ready to be known, to come out of the shadows.

Oberron

I love my cave……..

Mid-Morning

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Damien

We had a chance encounter with one of my fellow countryman on our way to the fords. Thane Godfre, Son of Magnus, recently arrived from the Danelaw, had been lately titled to the land we were currently negotiating.

How wonderful it was to hear the language of my kin! After being told that we were trespassing, I quickly apologized to his lordship informing him that we were also newly arrived to these lands and had no idea that they had been placed under his dominion. After a brief, but delightful conversation, we paid our tax to one of the Thane’s men who was also kind enough to provide us with a passport for our return journey. Ammonar be praised!

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Avery

We spent the morning riding towards Turos Tem so we could all cross the river at the ford nearby. The House of the Silver Scales, a powerful trading house has taken command of the entirety of the border forts. I found the house and its leader Silar to be foul and knee deep in all kinds of devilment.

We were hoping to avoid any run-ins with them, but it seems luck is not on our side. Devin (?) was able to talk to the sellswords that happened upon us and contracted our safe passage for a few silvers. It seems he shares a few things in common with the sellswords known as The Silver Swords— this concerns me.

Being near Turos Tem… Lynara, I miss you. It still hurts, but I will push on for you. I will push on for all the ones I have lost. The fires of my rage will not be quenched but by the blood of my enemies. Their blood will stain the field as your death has forever stained my heart. Selenica will be home to the elves once again, this I swear!

Ivanova

I am praying to you while Damien, the warrior of the sun, speaks a garbled language to an arrogant man. Please don’t let this lead to violence. Enough blood has been spilled.

Oberron

Did I extinguish the stove before I left the cave?

Evening

The party crossed the ford around midday with only a minor mishap. Chilled to the bone they rode deeper into the wilderness before making camp for the day

Afternoon

Ivanova

I decided to follow the path you laid before my feet, and then you sent me Nila.

She could have slaughtered us all where we stood, but instead she gave me my birthright, and a clear choice, and a link to my past.

My ears don’t hurt, but my helm needs to be refitted. I don’t want a crown until I earn it, despite the fawning of the Elves.

Avery

I have made my mind up that I will take care of Chill Wing on my own if it comes to it. Nothing is going to stand in my way. I plan on making you proud mother and father. I can tell the weight of recent events has been intruding on everyone’s minds. For Ivanova I think more so, for she must decide what she is to do. Will she embrace her destiny and her people or chose to ignore her birthright?

Juselen, 5th, 1014 YE

Midday

The party rode deeper into the wilderness. As the midday sun shone down on them, they stopped to take a meal.. It was during their rest that they met a old women gathering herbs and mushrooms from the old forest. Her name was Nila and it was not by chance that they would meet in this time and place. She had been expecting them and gave something to Ivanova that had been taken from her as a baby.

Late Evening

-
Damien
Ammonar’s light began to fade, and as his warmth waned the air took on an all-pervading chill. We established our camp, quickly settling in to the mundane tasks associated with a life on the road. Maximus always comes first, and after stripping him of his tack and harness, I strapped a feed bag on him. I could not help but smile as a look of contentment came to his eyes as he devoured the sweetened oats that were his dinner. I brushed him down, and then checked his hooves.

Satisfied with his condition I partook in the evening meal and settled in for the night checking and cleaning my armor and my sword. I have only known my companions for less than a fortnight, but I am surprised at the utter lack of regard they exhibit for their mounts and oft wonder if it were not for my care, would the creatures ever get fed at all.

As the days toil began to wane conversation began. Dame Ivanova asked how I came to the empire, and unabashed, I told my tale. Upon reaching the climax where I told of my orders from Ammonar — All praise his righteous name! — To slay the demon that burned my orphanage, Ivanova took on a deathly pallor and quickly left the warmth of the fire.

The two elves, Garrick and Avery, which is which I cannot say as I suppose there is truth in the saying that all elves look alike, were quickly at her side. When she returned a brief time later I stood intending to apologize for any discomfort I may have caused. Before I could speak she declared that she was the one who had set fire to the orphanage. She was the one who was ordered by an organization called the Imperial Talons to slaughter the innocents.

Those words – her words – stung me to the bone, and as they settled, anger began to swell within my beast. I slowly reached for my sword intent to strike her down for the crime she had committed. It was Ammonar’s grace who stilled my hand and calmed the rising tide of rage within me. Of course, I thought, Ammonar is truly wise! What better way to slay the Demon than to be united with one who had been blinded by him! Ammonar, with his divine wisdom, had brought us together at this spot – at this exact moment in time – so I could meet an ally to aid in destroying the demon. I drew my sword and drove it into the ground falling to my knee to praise Ammonar. The last rays of Ammonar’s blessed light enveloped the two of us confirming in my mind that we were destined to enact his holy judgement. The demon will die!

Avery

Today the elves have a Queen! Ivanova’s destiny has been revealed to us all. Ivanova after some soul searching has decided to embrace her destiny as the Daughter of the Five Stars. I have pledged my life and my clan to her service. Ivanova has taken my oath of fealty and loyalty and in turn has named me has her Marshall of the North!

Today has been a strange day.

Garrick

Meld naneth a adar, It’s our birthday. For the first time in a long time, it feels worth celebrating.

It’s been a big day. I can’t say why in the event someone who is not me reads this (seriously Avery, I know you read my shit—a few pages are stained with Elven wine and you’re the only person with a bottle left). But it does feel like we’re finally on the path to getting our homeland back, Selenica.

The path is now clear going forward; we have our North Star, forever bright. She had shown a level of trust and faith in me that only my Brother has ever given me. After the events of the past week, I’ve been struggling to be a better person. This will make it easier.

Ivanova

Did you know, Finnoughla? Did you send me these friends, and my people? Did you chose me to be your champion because I’m part elf, and might be a Queen?

Or is my role to find death on this path? To face all the ills of the world and slay demons just to find my redemption in the blood that I have spilled?

Perhaps I will never forgive myself, although the scars are fading. But whatever you have in store for me, I know it is right and if I doubt myself I will put my faith in you instead. And my friends. If even the twins believe in me now, I cannot let them down. Lozen, Oberron, Damien… They have accepted me as Queen. I want to fulfill this destiny, but fear that I do not deserve this boon, this recognition.

Please lend me your strength, Finnoughla. Cover me with your wings. Nurture me like all living creatures. Please do not let the shadows fall over me. Allow me to shine in the light, and to accept my destiny, come what may.

Oberron
I am almost certain I put the stove out before I left….I think…..maybe……

Juselen, 5th, 1014 YE

Morning

Garrick

I was reminded of home today. We’re getting close to the mountains, and the air smells familiar. How it did before it turned to ash. The scent of pine and poplar, it makes me think of home. But still, we’re getting close. We’re closer than we’ve ever been.

Then of course, that made me think about how I never got to say goodbye. I still have the nightmares; the fire, the screams, the blood; my mother warm had growing cold. I wake up and feel Noelia’s warm body pressed against mine. I think she wants to be more than just my henchman, not sure how I feel about that.

We have to deal with some bad people to get there. I hope we’re strong enough because I know what failure means. The New Hellions aren’t going to reclaim our homeland. They’re too busy infighting. It’s all on us—Avery, me, our friends.

There’s so much more I want to tell you, but for the safety of our journey, I can’t. Not yet. Maybe soon. I’ll sure you’ll hear about it, wherever you are, soon enough. Alright. That’s it for me today. I’ve got work to do.

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