King of the Stolen Lands

Miron: Year One

Miron: Year One.

Today festivities were held. We held a celebration earlier because it is the anniversary of this small nation. Families from the north such as mine and Boris’s came down as did a number of other nobles to take part in our activities. My mother, gods bless her came down with a gift to which she described “Fitting of a king”. After a year of ruling along with my friends and allies, I was bestowed a ruler’s crown. Putting the crown on at the ending ceremony was a bit embarrassing but looking out at the citizens in the crowd made me it go away. Looking at all of them gave me pride. The Kingdom of Miron was growing with success and it’s people played a heavy part in that. My first year as a ruler I’ll admit had some rough patches but I think, it will only get better from here. After all, it seemed we started off just fine.

A year ago our party came back to the Greenbelt and set out to establish rule in this unruly land. To unite the lost, inspire the hopeless, help the weak, and punish the dastardly. Getting everything set up sounded easy enough. Well some of it was easy. Talks were for the most part fine. I was extremely fortunate to get Oleg on board as our kingdom treasurer. I felt he would be decent at it on the account he handled a business, so he was used to handling money and setting a budget. Though during the discussions at his post seeing all the degrees of economics he acquired in Rhest, I definitely picked the right man for the job. His wife Svetlana also joined our crew as the Councilor for she understood the people out here better than I and could speak with me about any of their plights.

I talked about the kobolds in the area close by might now like someone encroaching on their territory and only wanted to establish an alignment. I spoke with the Sootscale leader about having the kobolds unified with the kingdom as citizens. He seemed intrigued but was still jaded by past attempts with similar arrangements that never ended up working well. Thankfully Adra was able to communicate with them in the old draconic language to better establish a line of understanding. The chief would only accept if one of his own could serve a position of the kingdom. After meeting with a few of their own, we met Zat who seemed to be a bit of a hero amongst them. He seemed (for a kobold) astute enough to know what he was good at and as such was placed as our Marshall, to survey the outer lands and keep order. Much to Boris’s dismay who kept saying the position was rightfully his because of the connection to his god and nature. The others silently agreed that the thought of Boris running around unchecked dolling out “order” felt uneasy.

I only needed a brief chat with Kurgar about executioner which he said as long as he got paid, he did not mind. Kesten and Akiros already swore allegiance to me and such became my General and Warden respectfully. J’Hod liked the idea of handling the spiritual matters of our kingdom and knew the populous sought faith in The Host, as he took on the roll of High Priest. After much debate amongst others about what to do with Boris, we thought it would be best to appease him with Diplomat. He was the son of a Sword Lord, to whom were helping us. Plus he would only be talking with his mother. It felt like the best possible outcome with the least room for error.

I had a chat with Stoney and Adra on what to name our kingdom and city. It did not take long really to come up with something everyone to like. The nation would be named Miron, after the great hero Tira Miron. Adra pleasantly accepted it and thought it was suitable. I liked it was something that everyone can get behind, a heroic martyr. Our first initial city in which we would built was to be named Halcyon. Something that carried the definition of peace and success. Only a week after everything was settled on who was to handle what, workers, people seeking a new life, others wanting opportunity and Brindol supply carts came to us at Fort Serenity.

I will admit the year was a bit touch and go. Writing down laws, finding which settlements to be built first, getting used to actually being the one in charge One thing that came up early in talks of our laws was subject of prostitution. Me and Stone felt strongly what anyone does with their body is their own right, though if it were to happen, it needs to be kept in check. It would cut down the crime rate, could be taxed and could set it up to make it healthy. So as such One-Eyed Jack, a brothel was erected (hehe) rather quickly. I will admit it was probably not the best thing to build off the bat but Stoney had the finest and sturdiest built brothel I ever seen. People initially were upset. Though when their “employees” settled in, the unrest went quickly as it came (hehe).

During the year a number of events unfolded. After craftsmen and blacksmith shops were built, Kurgar had a fearsome black axe built for his job. Suitably, we changed his title to be our Black Axe. Adra seemed to settle into her role rather well I would assume for I rarely heard her complain. Stonehands was doing a stunning job with city planning and I entrusted every detail for him to handle. Speaking of which a fine brewery was made. Upon hearing he would be seeing it, I sent out a word to the Hammerfist Hold’s to their rulers and his family. Wanting a community tie with The Holds, Stone’s son Mugs came down to run the brewery. It was fantastic to have more family here.

Farms were built up in the surrounding lands. The gold and silver mines nearby were set up to be harvested. An odd thing happened during the year. The kobolds around seemed to be wearing silver flame amulets. Now I think about it, half the time I have seen Adra, she was being followed by two other kobolds…huh. One point an ambitious sounding man by the name of Loy Rezbin came to us saying how much potential the old Tatzlel Ford held for a trade town and went out with others to set up the location. After noticing Adra’s connection with the kobolds and finding out her b-day (through connections up north), me and Stone had a nice present set up for her. The present was a monument was her holding hands with children and kobolds with the saying “Through unity, our goals our met”. For some reason she seemed rather upset. I don’t know why, the statue does more than do her justice.

We eventually started to set up a second town up near Oleg’s trade post, which was called Leveton. Though two unfortunate things happened during the building of the town. The first thing was gypsies moving into a section which we dubbed “Chull’s Hallow”. They could be a potential problem going forward. Though the second thing was terrible. On her way from Halcyon to Leveton our sweet Svetlana was ambushed on the road out. Some unsavory men made an attempt on her life. Fortunately though our kobold legion, Zat’s men, saved her just in time. First instance of a leader getting attacked but also good to know that there are our own surveying the lands.

Most of my ruling though came through with just giving approvals. Handling whatever squabbles would arise. During the whole time all I wanted to do was wander out and go adventuring. From everything that was happening though, it wasn’t needed. Besides the occasional whispers of Falgrim Sneed setting up a pirate gang somewhere, there was not much to survey in our immediate area at the time. Our Inquisitor, Warden, Marshall, Black Axe, and General did a fantastic job of keeping the peace, so not much was to be done.

Though it has been a year now. I sit here in my room reading through the paperwork my cabinet has submitted to me and grow tired from being shut in. Women and wine are good for keeping me entertained but I do miss getting my hands dirty. Hmm…there are bounty claims in this paperwork that Adra and Keston submitted. Well this sounds like a good as a time as any to go back out and check on these things.

Building Blocks

Building Blocks

     So there I was. Standing in the village as it burned to the ground. The sound of men, women and children alike screaming in the summer night. Bodies strewn about, a few still clutching to life begging for mercy before me. There I stood helpless, only one man in the midst of chaos and death unable to prevent all which was going on. I fight through the orc bandits that are causing all of this death. It seems endless. I finally find Darius, slumped against a shopkeep’s wall, with several deep wounds, swords and daggers still impaled in his body. He smiles through his bloody teeth and says “I am done. Go get them for me”. He spends the last of his reserves to toss his cold iron longsword at me and spoke “I’ll be with ya buddy” as the glimmer of life faded from his eyes.

     I awoke from the terrible memory in a cold sweat. To often I recall that terrible night in which I lost a close friend and was unable to stop the destruction of that small village. It haunts me as one of the single moments where I truly felt weak. Useless. Defeated. I could not even save them. How could I have the strength to protect my party plus a new born nation. It all hit me hard as the notion of such responsibility weighed heavily upon me. Darius was right about one thing the night before. I couldn’t do it alone. I would need much help. To rely on others a bit more than I usually would. The start of that, would be my Goddess. I had to do something to show my conviction. To show my utmost loyalty to her, so that I may receive her blessings. So that I may use such blessings to aid those that needed it. Also, to use those blessings to destroy those who threaten the peace.

     When I got out of bed I instructed my family members that I needed their help with an issue. I asked my mother for the old family heirlooms. They were two brands that displayed the sigil of Dol Arrah. Used back before my grandfather’s time in which a few of the House’s clerics and knights would brand themselves to mark for life their devotion. My mother immediately protested against me branding myself, however most of my family was all for it. Some of them, too much for it heh. Stoney just shook his head saying “You be daft boy” as Tira chided me “If you yelp in pain, this doesn’t count”. I told them briefly on how I wanted it done and where. After some moments of debate, the procedure went underway.

     Randof, Stoney, and Reamus held me down to my bedroom chair. My cousin Armont and uncle Gafgarion at the same time, pressed the flaming hot brands of Dol Arrah on to the back of my hands. Excruciating pain surged through me as everything came to a slow crawl and a golden haze came over me. “This is barbaric. I thought this archaic practice was done for” my Goddess spoke. I said to her that I wanted to prove my faith to her, my utmost loyalty. “That is very sweet and thoughtful of you. No matter how silly such a thing might be. You were always loyal to me. You never needed to prove anything”. I snapped out of the haze when all the sudden one of the maids announced that Adra was present. She looked at me and asked what I had done and for why. I simply said I wanted to retain favor to Dol Arrah. Adra said afterwords to me “This is barbaric. I thought this archaic practice was done for”. Word. For. Word. After I stood there for a moment baffled, I simply chuckled it off as we spent the next few moments in a religious debate.

     Shortly after my mother came to inspect the brands but seemed more interested in Adra. She commented on how she held herself with a balance between toughness and elegance. This was going to fast in the direction of my mother asking if this was to be a woman I could court but fortunately for me Adra saw that notion coming as well as we steered my mother away from that topic. Adra came by and wanted to chat on how the kingdom would be taken care of, which I said staying with us for a day would be a start to such talks. Adra looked around at her surroundings for a moment with interest and agreed as mother spoke of having a grand dinner for us prepared.

     The whole day I spoke with Stoney and Adra on what would be needed of them. Stoney mumbled around that if the kingdom had an official armorer to the army but I never heard of such thing. I did bring up how dwarfs are great at making grand, sturdy buildings, that they had a knack for architecture. He sort of scoffed at the idea saying that he only had that was a tad racist and he studied it just enough in basic upbringing. I tried to detail what I wanted built and as to how. Stonehands unhappy with my drawings took over and began to elaborately sketch out a city district and building designs as me and Adra looked on in awe. My mother chuckled as she walked and took a look. She said dwarf basic architecture is by far better than a studied human’s. So after Stoney saw what he drew, what he had, he seemed a bit proud and said he wouldn’t mind helping in that department. We agreed he would be our kingdom’s Master Builder or Byggmesteren as said in the old language.

     Adra went over what her duties to the Church of the Silver Flame were and I tried to think of the best way to utilize said abilities to a position. I brought up that we needed someone behind the scenes to try to root out corruption. Someone who wasn’t really put much into public spot light or needed to lead anyone per se. She seemed fairly interested in the idea and I think joked that she was shocked I didn’t give her the position of “mistress”. My mother came around when she heard that line but quickly batted it away with “I can easily find a mistress. What I do need though is a capable woman like yourself in a job like this”. The discussion went on well into the night and over dinner.

     During dinner when Adra’s ear was not being directed towards my little sister Tira (who had oh so many questions about The Silver Flame and Tira Miron), we went over the last few matters. How I wanted Kesten Garress to lead our military. Since Kesten was shunned and I felt like I developed a certain bond with the man over a small amount of time, I thought he could and would take that position. I brought up how I thought it would be good for Akiros to go forth redeeming himself and become a Warden of sorts. Command the town guard and work in conjunction with Adra and Kesten. Adra wasn’t fond of that idea but I implored that I felt the man deserve a second chance and he could be a valuable asset.

     The talk of Kurgar coming back was held in a bit of a strained conversation but I noted how for all of Kurgar’s flaws, he was at least honest and always completed the task. I noted how I wanted to be a loved and respected ruler but know that sometimes some acts had to be carried out for the sake of good and for the law. Kurgar I wanted to designate as our our Royal Headsman. The priest who helped us out by the name of J’hod I thought would be great for the job of head clergyman for our kingdom. Adra and Stoney thought that was a good idea considering since he was a priest of the host, that it would make it easier for the area to get acclimated since most of them followed the Host as well. Talks of Treasurer and Councilor were brought up and I just threw out Oleg and Svetlana. Mostly cause Oleg ran a business and thought he would be decent with money. Plus Svetlana seemed very kind and sweet so would be good working with the common people. When the matter of what we were to do with Boris came up, I was far to drunk into the family dinner to really come up with any good ideas for him. The rest of the night after that was a bit of a blur as I know at one point Adra left, Stoney started wrestling with my family in the dinner hall, and I started “wrestling” with a few of the housemaids in my bedroom.

     The next morning I was rudely awoken far too early by a housemaid after only so very little sleep. I rose from the pile of women I found in my comfort to see that Adra was looking at me in disgust. She instructed me that I was late on our run. Oh crap, did she mention she wanted that last night…man my head hurt. With a moment of meditation and a slight whisper, my fatigue went away and I was able to concentrate finally. I apologized and said I would be out there soon as I got up to retrieve my pants, wherever they were. Adra blushed and practically ran out of the room as I searched for my lost garments. The maid went on apologizing to me that she didn’t originally want to wake me and instructed that there were ways for her to make up for it. I yelled out to Adra to give me an hour.

     After my impromptu morning interruption and the maids went back to doing their chores, there came a knock at my door. “So help me if the girls are still in there still, you and them will be punished” I heard my mother say outside of my door. I laughed and said that I was clothed and alone. A few moments later my mother and a few other men came into my room holding chests. My mother smiled and informed me that my armor was finally complete. The men opened the chests and inside laid the part of my armor. I had to go on the early morning run with Adra still but I HAD to wear this immediately.

     The armor quality was impeccable all on it’s own. Though what truly made it feel special was the designs laid into the armor. On the front of the armor on the breastplate was a huge engraved itteration of House Fellstorm. In the middle was a giant mountain with a lone wolf howling at the top as several other wolves were at the base of the mountain with a few others running up. The arms were strewn with many carvings of The Host and prominently with that of Dol Arrah with my family crest being on both of the shoulders. On the back at the top between the neck and shoulder blades was a design of half of a human woman with the other half turning into a dragon. This was the representation of Dol Arrah. On the armor she was overlooking a furious woman knight on a valiant steed. Horse bucking in the air, the knight herself raising her sword defiantly to the sky with Dol Arrah looking over her. This knight is the famed Tira Miron.

     After hastily equipping my armor I made my way outside to a very much peeved Adra. She stopped and looked over the armor to much amazement and said it suited me better thought it would slow me down. I didn’t care, I wanted to break this new suit in, so I merely shrugged and said it wouldnt slow me any. I took my time and ran at a decent pace as Adra took off running until she was out of sight. It was nice taking in the sights of Brindol as people waved to me as I passed by. News spread quickly in the city as people knew they were waving to a would be king. After a while I found Adra sweating profusely and out of breath. I laid my hand onto her and brought her back up to my level. This seemed to make her angry. “You are a cheater. It is unfair of what yo do with your gifts” she remarked. This led to yet another religious debate. Mostly involving that she talked how much she didnt believe in my gods and they had no power but was concerned on what I supposedly did with this power from gods that did not exist? All she did was smile and said “Fair enough”. Then, with as much grace and speed, she tripped me onto my ass. She stood over me and laughed saying “I could use whatever gifts I may have to cheat then” and took off running back to my family estate.

     When I finally got back to my estate I held talks with Stone and Adra that I wanted to leave as soon as possible to the Greenbelt to get to everything as quick as possible. Stoney said it would be best so he could survey the land but Adra seemed dismayed and announced that more time in the city resting might be best. I said I wanted no room for error and we were to leave the next day. I had word sent to Boris and Kurgar saying for them to be ready to head out. From then on for the whole day we discussed what the new nation was to be called. All of them were terrible ideas. A name is important. It has to be something that people can agree upon. That speaks of hope and captures your attention. Great of all things to be concerned about right now about, I am more worried about my kingdom’s name. Yea, what a wonderful leader I am going to be.

Stones's Journal #26
I Got My Dick Wet and turtle stew

So it seems that quite a few of my recollections have not been preserved in Cedric’s annals. So I am going to take it upon myself to recreate my musings based on memory of stone and the other’s notations. Though instead of working my way back, and creating a new back log for myself I am going to keep recording going back and post other events when I can create them.

Cedric & Adra seemed to have decreed it time we work on the cities again. Sometimes I wish we stuck to a more stringent schedule, instead of when ever those two fancy with a month. Any way I spent most of the week focused on Tatzlyford. We had a bit of a celebration of the brokering of a deal with the new city and Tiressia.

Between Tiressia helping to save Gem Mugs Bloodbeard agreeing to the opening of a lumber mill and helping designate what trees are okay to be milled, and Lady Eibhilin van Tarsis sending what I thought were a bunch of damn layabouts to build Tatzlyford a park, I was kept busy say the least.

I didn’t have access to my work station but I wanted to make the armor I promised them little fey that visited last time I was in the woods after dealing with the giant. It wasn’t the best of my work, but the stuff should fit the buggers well enough.

After our week of counseling it was time to ride out again. I guess the threat of the trolls was getting enough attention that it was time to do something about them. I’m sick of us not bringing the wagon out when we go to take care of things, and so I shelled out the money for a pony and a cart. I am thinking of naming the pony G.B. short for Good Borris.

We rode out and explored an area we hadn’t been through yet. We found the fishing hole one of the locals told us about. I’m sorry I am not personable to immortalize them in my notes, but I am sure Adra went into detail on them already. Any way besides being a good fishing spot, it is also a terrible place, hell a terrible place to fish at that. A big ol’ turtle had been eating those who fished, while I don’t particularly mind something keeping the Gnome population in check, but I learned that Mugs loves the blackened catfish, so I need for people to be able to fish.

I spiked some dried fish I found onto a rope and I guess fished for the beast. It took a few minutes but the turtle took the bait, Cedric and I pulled the thing ashore, or well we were all wading really, i guess that’s how I got my dick wet.

Cedric and I hacked away at the thing, well I don’t know how much Ced really did, not enough to lure… you know, I am tired of calling it the turtle, or the beast, and “Crackjaw” is just too grand a name for what it was so I am calling it Heinrich. Heinrich wanted my sweet meats. He got a good bite off too before my axe separated his head from his shell. You’ll not my lack of mentioning Adra though out the turtle fight, thats because I take it from Ced the lass was laying in the grass moaning about her back. I understand she goes running in the mornings with Cedric, but the girl needs to learn that a woman needs to be flexible, stones are more pliant that she can be. Anyway, i loaded what was left of Heinrich on the cart.

Oh, one more thing happen which confounds me. In poking around in the nettle and the reeds I found a aquamarine. My first rant about it is what goblin-loving elf got the Galifaran name to a gem, a stone, to be Aqua which means water if you didn’t know…. MARINE another khyber blasted word for water. Calling a stone, A gem waterWATER!

Any way, I was going to toss the stone to Ced, but thank the Flame I decided best to walk it over. Adra investigated the thing and at least this particular waterWATER has a water elemental inside. Which is not apparently the ones that let the big cities have ever flowing faunts etc, but when you break it, the gem, it will drown people for you…. Errr, the water spirit inside drowns people for you, but it likes you. I said that none of that makes a damn lick of sense and we should just sell the thing.

Fate Is A Funny Thing

Fate Is A Funny Thing

     So here I am sitting in my room all alone, tending to my aching hands and contemplating my future. Tomorrow I would set out back into the Greenbelt with my fellow compatriots and establish a new kingdom. A kingdom in which, I was apparently given the right/privilege/burden to rule. Ha, to think. Me as a ruler of a nation? Sir Baron Cedric Fellstorm. Even I think that sounds funny. This is something beyond me, though it still goes along with what I wanted to originally do out in the River Lands.

     A few days ago our group came into Brindol to report in to the Sword Lords regarding our finished task in the Greenbelt. It was nice to be back into a bustling city and not mucking about in the wilderness. Don’t get me wrong, adventuring and traveling about to other lands is fun, though nothing beats what a city can offer. Upon entering Adra broke away from the group with Boris riding after her screaming something inaudible. Kurgar, still sickly from the unicorn meat, went away to an inn to go lay back down. Me and Stoney headed to my family’s estate to say hello.

     It was lovely to return back to the estate, sans the annoying new maid that keeps trying to stop us from coming in. Seriously I must have a chat with mother about this woman. She is touched in the head or something. Besides that minor annoyance, it was great. Me and Stoney were greeted by almost my whole family, (Father, Quincy, Sture and Thessie not present). Stoney was engulfed by my uncle Gafgarion, cousin Armont, and my brother Reamus in a mini brawl as my Mother and sister Tira came and hugged me. After joining in the light melee event and catching up, I asked that me and Stoney go and enjoy a night out on the city.

     Me and him set out to find the most wild and raucous bar, The Broken Stilt and decided to enjoy ourselves in ale and whatever female variety were to visit said establishment. Call me reckless but after recent events, I just wanted to unwind. Most of the night was a blur though for the most part. Well take that back, I do remember having three women on my arm and telling Stone he could pick one. I understand that technically he is still married..or was? I never asked if exiles are automatically divorced. Touchy subject. Anyways he is in a situation in which female companionship would help him.

     After our enthralling night, Stoney, my family and I set out to the meeting with the Sword Lords. Boris and Adra arrived together with Boris looking as cheerful as ever. Adra however looked just as tired and upset as she usually did. I overheard Boris mention something to Adra about being thankful for staying the night and that his mother seemed to like her. What in The Host is going on? Perhaps Adra being hateful towards Boris all that time was sort of a juvenile way of expressing her like for him? No…that cannot be it. Kurgar we did not see at all, most likely still writhing in agony due to that unicorn meat.

     After what seemed to be well over an hour in the chamber of the Sword Lords, my house mate Hasted Garress gave a grand opening speech and acted on behalf of the Sword Lords. We were congratulated on our accomplishments and one by one we were to be rewarded. Now here is the thing that baffled me. Stonehands, Adra and Boris payment if you will made sense. Kurgar’s made ever more sense. Stonehands and Boris given titles, Adra now made a citizen and Kurgar given a heavy lump sum of money (which I said I would hold on to for him). What I was given floored me and I am sure everyone else in the chamber.

     They said to me that I was to be given the title of Baron Fellstorm, the rights to take land out in the Greenbelt and to rule over said land. On top of that they also said they would give us a stipend to start up this new nation. It seems they want to have someone settle out in the riverlands and be a buffer between them and there. I am sure a stupid, nervous smile came over my face in that moment, especially with my family cheering and clapping for me. Boris patted me on the shoulder, Stone mockingly bowed to me. Though Adra just stared in confusion with her jaw dropped in awe. What I would give to read thoughts about now.

     After the whole event I made my way towards my family in which they all embraced me gleefully. My mother looked so happy and said that my father would be so proud. She did like-wise to Stoney as he was beaming up at me. He joked how much fun it could be to introduce me as Baron Fellstorm to everyone now. My family all together cheered me on as Boris came up to the whole group to pay compliments. Half of my family suddenly went dead quiet, weary of what he might do (still tense due to the prior skirmishes). Boris gave me praise that I was to be a leader and offered his services. Though the way he put it, he made it seem forced that a son of a Sword Lord seemed like a necessity. I am sure there could be a place for him, why not?

     I saw Adra at the end of the chamber with a gentleman who was wearing a silver flame pendent, having a heated conversation. Though their voice wasn’t loud, the tone of the man’s voice and Adra’s face was enough to tell the subject at hand was unpleasant. As my uncle was giving out an announcement that a celebration was to take place at our estate, Adra came up to me after he short debate with the other man. She told me, begrudgingly it seemed, that we needed to talk soon but not today, as she apparently needed to clear her head. I did tell her she was fine to stay with my family for the duration of her stay but shook her head repeatedly at the invitation. She then hastily made her way to Boris and his mother. Huh she doesn’t want to hang out with me and my family but will go with Boris? I will never understand the woman.

     The whole night of the party was incredible to say the least. Nobles visited our grounds as my family played great hosts and gave tribute to me. It was all overly flattering and somewhat embarrassing to say the least. I had to mostly chuckle it off although after a few glasses of wine the feeling of humiliation crept away and I began to fancy the added attention at the party. The only downside is that I was also instructed to be on my “best behavior” because of the current company at the party. As the night came to a close, I was sitting in my room looking at the set of armor that I came back with. Though as fine as the Balinor full plate was, it somehow did not feel like it was suited for me. I talked with mother and the rest of the family and they agreed that it would seem better to have something that was more “me” though still of great quality.

     Mother said she would get a nice new armor set that was more fitting of me and I agreed while saying I would like my current armor to go an ardent follow of The Hunt. I do not want to pawn off such a prize for gain so best thing would be to make sure it goes so someone who would appreciate it on more of a spiritual level. Upon hearing of new armor being made, Stoney immediately began to walk and talk with my mother about possible designs and ideas. When I was finally alone I had time to collect my thoughts, sat in my chair, grasped Darius in my hands and asked for his honest assessment events to come.

     At first all I heard was laughing then finally he said I would be a shitty king. Then after a bit more laughing he stopped and said that it was all in jest. He thought my heart would be in the right place for the task but questioned if my head would be. That I did my job as a protector, as a guardian very well. Though as a leader, he did not know. I was never a leader. That I was more or less a lone wolf. I could not disagree with him on that remark, for it was true. He went on to say that as long as I surrounded myself with those I could trust, those that are skilled at specific jobs fit for them, and loyal, that I would be fine. He said if there was a defining trait that would help me is that I have the ability to to get people to like me and see my side of things. It was one of the big reasons we became close friends. I thanked him for his words and lamented that he was not here to help me. Then the same old Darius spoke up and told me “Don’t be a mopey bitch. Plus I am always here, by your side brother”. I put Darius back in his scabbard, rested him gently against the side of the bed and awaited the next day. I would have much to discuss and plan if I were to establish a prosperous kingdom. Truth be told, the thought of all that responsibility..scares me.

Adra's Journal: Session 23
Session 23: Shadows over Leveton

Session 23: “Shadows over Leveton”

From the journal of Adra Kellen:

Sypheros 10, 818
Balinor’s Helm – Tuskwater Lake
Early Morning

Leveton is under siege.

We are on the Balinor’s Helm making our way back to Halcyon to make preparations for the imminent confrontation.

Akiros found us this morning as we broke camp, his usual calm replaced with an overwhelming urgency. Leveton had been taken by Caravel Cisarovna, the older brother of Boris Cisarovna. I needed a minute to recover after he explained that the town was besieged by the two brothers and a small army who were operating out of the Temple of the Elk in the Narlmarshes. Cedric had been a mess since the previous night he had returned sans dwarf and seemed more upset with himself than with Stone. His demeanor changed dramatically when he heard the news. He was quiet and had a focus I had only seen when we were in the middle of combat. In a way it was frightfully unlike Cedric, yet I was strangely comforted by it. I just hope his focus does not become bloodlust. With the recent events Cedric has met in the last few days his resolve will be tested. I do not envy what he will have to do in the coming days. The people will need their Baron and I will do my best to help retake the town from that deviant family.

Sypheros 10, 818
Fort Serenity – Halcyon

We arrived back in town to more evils. The brewery was raided and set aflame this morning shortly after Akiros set sail for us. The town guard reported that a man in elk horns was seen leaving the brewery with Stone’s son, Gems. Witnesses saw the barbarian Kundall along with a black horse attack the elk horned marauder as he fled the city with Gems in tow. We visited Kundall and found him in dire shape. Cedric quickly saw to his wounds and asked for the barbarian to recount what happened. He was unable to tell us much, but before exhaustion took him he pledged he would fight for us when we marched on Leveton.

Kesten had already begun to muster the militia and when we finished with Kundall, he sent Betyn one of his fastest riders north.

Sypheros 10, 818
Fort Serenity – Halcyon

We have heard nothing from our rider. If he had encountered no resistance he would have been back by now. I have an idea what Boris is capable of, but I know nothing of his brother. Cedric had told me his family had seen him during the skirmish up north when the Cisarovna lodge burned. He described a man nothing like Boris. Physically imposing, menacingly dressed in heavy armor carrying a variety of weapons. Having met Boris’ sister, I fear that he may have either divine gifts or some untrained magical talent. I hope that this is not the case. Its bad enough Boris abuses his gifts from his patron, who I am not convinced is the Host or Balinor.

Sypheros 12, 818
Fort Serenity – Halcyon

Our rider was returned this morning. Its settled, the Cisarovna’s die today.

Two riders appeared on the road heading north out of town flying the banner of Cisarovna. I rode out to meet them with my kobold acolytes. As I did, I noticed the two men were holding the ends of ropes tied to Betyn’s arms. He was stripped of clothing and it was clear he was dragged most of the way. He had suffered further wounds suggesting torture. The two men called out for me to stop and they let the man drop to the ground. They snickered that Cedric would send a woman to defend him and later remarked that I was a gift. It took some effort to not kill them where they stood. After much posturing they finally spoke their ‘demands,’ Cedric was to fight ‘Duke Caravel’ for the rights of rulership of all Miron and the rest of the River Lands. No one is to interfere, though I doubt they would honor this. It was clear these men that the Cisarovna’s attracted were criminals and of low moral fiber. I responded to thire lewd and repulsive speech with a threat that shook them to their core. They had nothing else to say and rode off.

As those deviants rode off, I saw to Betyn. He was alive, but wouldn’t be for long. I healed him with the Flame’s gifts and he recovered enough strength to speak. He relayed troop numbers and the layout of their camp. He wasn’t absolutely certain of the numbers as he was stopped before he reached the camp surrounding town, but he guessed they were about 200 strong. If this is true, we may have a hard fight ahead of us. He was brought in front of Caravel who he described as a lunatic in full plate. He believed he was the true ruler of this land and Cedric was his usurper. Caravel had his men beat and humiliate Betyn, all the while Caravel told of how the town of Leveton had become his and how his men had claimed property and women. Oleg and Svetlana were his prisoners and we knew that Gems was Boris’, but Betyn hadn’t seen either.

Kesten and Cedric had mustered the militia. It wasn’t much of fighting force, but it would have to do. There were a total of 56 men, of that number 5 were gnomes (the crew of the Balinor’s Helm), 25 were kobolds, 4 were dwarves, and the rest a mix of humans and half-elves. The Town Guard would remain in Halcyon for defense if our enemy decided to attack when we left.

Cedric is currently speaking to the men who will march with us. He already gave a speech in the center of town which helped calmed the nerves of the citizens. Even when we recover Leveton and our councilors, it will be a long road to recovery after something like this.

Adra's Journal: Session 22
Session 22: A Giant Travail

Session 22: A Giant Travail”

From the journal of Adra Kellen:

Sypheros 9, 818
Late Morning

While I would rather not ride out to meet a giant intent on ruining the countryside, it’s better than the treatment I’m receiving here in town. If the others choose to join, so be it. I would rather not have them fouling up anything else today.

This morning I found a new woman in town with purple hair. She refused to submit her name and reason for her visit, but insisted she see Cedric. So without delay I escorted Cedric’s new ‘guest’ to the fort. I had not returned to the fort last night due to the tainted child that Stone had taken there. Stone and Cedric were very hostile towards me and forbid me from seeing the child. When we arrived at the fort I had the woman wait in the courtyard. I knew Cedric would still be occupied and found him as I usually do. He was not so keen on meeting someone so early, but had become interested as I described her. He quickly dressed and met with the woman while I caught up to Akiros who had stopped in.

I met with Akiros and walked with him on his way back to the jail. He had experienced some difficulty questioning the cultists from the night before and I let him know that I would see to them as soon as I spoke with Jhod.

I stopped in at the brothel where I left the child the night before. The babe was in good spirits and I quickly took it to Jhod before it changed its mood. There I explained the situation and Jhod insisted he take over finding the parents. I always intended he handle the matter, but wanted to warn him of the dangers we may face if these substitute children were permanently stained by this cult’s actions. I knew that he would not hear my solution, so I put it in his hands. I would not be responsible for the mess that may follow in years to come.

After my business with Jhod, I made my way to the jail and found a large crowd outside. It was pay day and the guard were lining up for their monthly wages. Soren was just outside and followed me in. He wanted to see what the fuss was all about, he had heard of what happened the night before and wanted to see the ‘knitting cult’ himself. Akiros had mentioned that the cultists were being difficult, but they were far worse than that. They had been touched by whatever dark thing they worshipped and their minds were failing. Soon their bodies would and nothing could be done for them. I tried to coax out any information that I could, but only received insults and curses. I tried to soothe the woman’s wounds with the Light of the Flame, but it only did harm. The darkness that had taken this woman’s mind had already corrupted her flesh and a healing touch had become a searing pain. Before I could react, the woman burst into flame. I had never quite experienced something like that. It was if she was infused with the same energies that undead are charged with. Cedric came in to find what had happened and admonished me for killing the woman. I tried to explain, but he refused to listen.

On my way back to the fort I encountered a couple kobolds in the employ of Zat. They spoke to me about the threat of a giant to the south and of the trolls that we had been hearing about for months. I wanted a distraction, so I took them to get a late breakfast. We discussed several matters that Zat had brought up to me in the past and I assured them that I would look into this giant threat and the trolls. The giant was on a rampage of sorts seeking Bluewolf Berries. If the giant could be reasoned with we could send him away, otherwise I would make sure he threatens no one again.

Sypheros 9. 818
Abandoned Ferry – South of Miron
Late night

That certainly could have gone better. Cedric and that woman Els is still out there somewhere searching for Stone. For all the trouble that dwarf has caused it would be a relief to hear that Cedric found nothing and he too had given up on the stubborn shit. Alas, Cedric has some disorder that makes him incapable of hating that dwarf.

Els, the woman who sought Cedric this morning, had joined us on the trip. Cedric had returned to the fort as I was gearing up my horse and thought I was giving up and riding out. I informed him of the threat of the giant and his eyes lit up. Stone immediately dropped what he was doing and insisted he come along. Cedric’s new woman companion seemed amused by all of this and was also interested in coming along. So we rode out shortly after the noon hour and arrived at twilight at the site of the giant’s ‘encampment.’

We found the giant sleeping on a hillock, not far from the abandoned ferry we are calling camp tonight. The stench was overwhelming and we approached cautiously, all but Stone anyway. Stone immediately drew his weapons and raced toward the sleeping hulk. Cedric called for Stone to stop, but he persisted. Els spoke up in a language I could only guess was the tongue of the giants. It’s eyes slowly lolled open and called back in a broken combination of its own language and Galifaran. It was surprised to hear that its language spoken and concerned it couldn’t see us. It was clearly drunk and confused, and then it was angry. Stone struck at the giant with his axes and a cry of pain erupted from the massive dumb creature. It stood up and began to engage with Stone who would not give up and purposely ignored Cedric who pleaded with him to stop. Els continued to converse and tried to calm the giant down, hard to do when a dwarf continues to chop at you. I finally entered the fray and fired several arrows between the idiot giant and the moronic dwarf. Els was quickly translating and replying as it continued to bash about Stone. Finally, she convinced the giant that the dwarf was not with us and that we’d like him to help us subdue him. I couldn’t stop grinning, it was too funny. Here we are trying to diplomatically resolve this and Stone, who thought I was out of my mind earlier and the night before for my suggestions, was doing everything he could to kill this drunken idiot of a giant. Finally, Stone broke off his assault and tumbled into the underbrush. We lost sight of him as the twilight began to fade to night. Cedric called out for him to return, but he heard nothing. Els continued to speak with the giant in its language and came to some sort of accord. She made a gesture and the giant began to walk south. When asked what she had done, she sheepishly replied that they came to an agreement and she would honor it. Soren this entire time was just as bewildered as I was.

Cedric and Els remained around the giant’s former roost and searched for Stone as Soren and I made for the Abandoned Ferry. I had no interest in searching for Stone after he nearly ruined our negotiations. While I am not happy that I wasn’t involved in the conversation, when the giant broke into Galifaran he spoke about beer and his desire for more. I could only guess that the agreement relied on the trade of liquor. While I think settling this situation without killing the giant was a good idea, this is a new mess to deal with. The giant will still be around and unless Els plan works we will just have to deal with him again later. Stone has run off, annoyed that we ‘dare associate with giants’ and that he’d ‘never step foot in a town allied with giants’ while Cedric is now looking for him. Again, I don’t know why Cedric allows this to happen. Stone deliberately refused an order from Cedric and could have caused far more harm because of it.

As long as Stone returns before our next council meeting I don’t care what he does or doesn’t do. He and Cedric can have their little spat, but if this jeopardizes the stability of the nation, then Cedric better choose between that dwarf and the safety and wellbeing of Miron.

The Tatzle-Ford and Our Report Back

The Tatzle-Ford and Our Report Back.
     (Author’s Note: Entries from here on out will not be written in novel, chapter form but merely a shorter summary of events. This is because too much time has passed for recollection of what took place and is pretty time consuming. Hope the new format will still be satisfactory.)

     The next day after dealing with the unicorn, our party, sans Kurgar, marched forward into the swampland. Boris during this whole time kept jabbering on how he needed something to hunt so we let him wander off to appease his god’s/his hunt. Just felt bad as Boris left, I caught a glimpse of Panther who looked rather unhappy. Boris had Tuskgutter’s skull attached to the saddle the whole time and seemed to be wearing away and freaking out the poor horse. I wonder how much more the horse would endure.

     After a while traveling, the three of us, (Stone, Adra and I) came to sandy inlets which ran down the river edge and a huge ford. Adra caught of glimpse of what looked to be a log in the water and without hesitation let an arrow fly. Thought it was silly but sure enough moments after a giant Tatzlewyrm came barging out of the river towards us. Luckily there was enough room for us to prepare for the beast. Running out into the open, clanging on my shield to draw it out, we positioned ourselves to bring it down as quick as possible. It worked rather well, Simply baited the monster as Stoney quickly lopped its head off.

     I chuckled as the head rolled forward, still trying to bite me and stopped just inches away from my feet. I thought to myself “This wasn’t so hard, these beasts are not as fearsome as I originally thought”. That notion was put to rest just a second after as I was blindsided by another Tatzlewyrm. It began to squeeze me, snap at me, and the whole time was spewing out toxic fumes from it’s mouth. I did everything I could to wrangle out of its clutches to no avail. Stone and Adra were cautious with their strikes, making sure not to hurt me. I saw as an arrow struck into the beast’s head but it still kept up its assault on me. As a last ditch effort, I managed to turn my blade sideways, using the flat edge, drove the arrow further into it’s skull, finally bringing it down. Ok, clearly the first Tatzlewyrm was the weaker one.

     We stood there gathering ourselves after the fight just marveling at the creatures. Sure enough though, soon as we mention taking the head in for a reward, Boris comes strutting out of the forest. He plopped right down next to the Tatzlewyrm carcass, without hesitation, began skinning it and taking off hunks of its meat. “Sure enough this creature’s meat holds a note worthy texture and a wonderful taste” he said to us as he took it apart. Eating these things did not seem appealing at all, but I was not one to stop Boris from indulging in his unique palate. The rest of us searched amongst the monster’s den seeing if there might be something of note. Stonehands found a jade carving of a nude elf woman, which greatly pleased him. It made me chuckle to see him marveling at the thing. It’s like he never seen a nude elf woman before. Adra was happy to find a map on a dead body buried in the den, which helped detail our area more so.

     As I sifted through, I found what looked to be like a nice cold iron longsword. Not as nice as Darius but still a fine sword. I spent only a few moments inspecting the blade as Boris came up and swiped it from my hands. “Ah yes, this will do just nice. I needed a better blade. The hunt requires the best of weapons” he said. I seemed taken a bit back by the partial rudeness but quickly let it go. He did not seemed to mean to act rude. Plus, the weapon made him happy, so I shrugged my shoulders and departed on from the ford, heading back out to Fort Serenity.

     The next two days were spent traveling through the muck and grime of the swampland. Adra of course, was greatly displeased by this terrain. Though my short time around this women, I would conclude that she is always upset. During this time I tried to stay quiet, lamenting on my thoughts of my family. With everything happening up north, I wanted to find a way to perhaps settle down here and make a safe haven for those that would want to escape the sure to happen civil war. Stoney was worried about me the entire trip back out into the forest. This was because not once, since leaving the fort, did I indulge myself to a drink. He kept jabbering that things would find a way of sorting out. I did not like anything with the arranged marriage. My sister being married off like a bartering chip. Who knows that if would even cease all hostility. I wanted to be prepared just in case.

     In our travel through, we came about a trapper named Grissom who told tales of the riverlands. Adra rolled her eyes through most of the stories, Stoney and Boris listened intently as I sat in silence hearing other things in my head. Darius kept telling me that staying here was stupid and dangerous. These lands were far to harsh to stay in. If that is true, all the more reason to stay here. Something has to be done here right? People here had to live off the land or take from others. This place can be cruel. We thanked Grissom for letting us stay for the night and ventured back towards the plains. We found our way back easily enough.

     Spending two weeks in the forest made the old bandit encampment, turned Fort Serenity, seem very hospitable. Even so, Adra wanted to leave as soon as she arrived. She rather stay at Oleg’s it appears instead of her fellow adventurers. It was a nice week all in all though at the fort. Well except the fact that Kurgar, who found his way back to the fort, was stricken with violent diarrhea and vomiting. Goes to show him he cant be like Boris and eat strange creatures. I got to spent more time surveying the fort, talked with Akiros about his past and Keston about his future.. Stoney looked over the forge they had in the back and kept himself busy enough in there for better part of the week. He tended to reforging the weapons of Keston Garress and his fellow soldiers. Boris, feeling motivated and wanting to feel productive, declared he knew carpentry. He began first by putting back the banister on the stairwell. Yes the very same banister he and I were struck with by the tall, dumb bandit.

     At the end of the week’s time, Adra finally returned to the fort, with a gentleman beside her. The gentleman was Vethel Garress, an agent sent by the Sword Lords to inspect what happened in these lands. My hopes of connecting with a fellow house member was immediately dashed. Though Vethel was a proper military man, he came off as rude to Keston and seemed to take a snobby tone with me. He did not see the potential the lands held. Remarks where thrown around on how Fellstorms where the loyal guard dogs and thanked my family for settling Garress’s matters. I replied in kind thanking him for acknowledging the importance of my family and that we always take care of their problems. Vethel seemed to smile at the last comment as he noted the hint of snarkiness behind the comment. Talking with nobles, you have to know how to strike the fine balance of being respectful and proper. Can’t outright call this man a tool and douche bag.

     As much as I disliked Vethel’s presence, it was very much needed. After his inspection and questioning he seemed rather pleased with our progress. Saying we were far more successful than the previous group, as he watched Kurgar expel fluids and waste from each end. Note to self, make Topper clean that up. He than said since it seemed we completed our goal, that we return immediately to Brindol to report in on our mission to the Sword Lords. Hearing that we were leaving this place, put a bright smile on Adra’s face. She was already marching out, grinning ear to ear, packing up her horse. We all headed back out to Brindol, awaiting whatever rewards were to come. I told the men at the fort that I would return shortly to help setup something for the lands. I just hope my family wouldn’t condemn me even more for staying far from home. I hope they would understand my reasons. As we rode away, leaving Fort Serenity behind, I thought to myself, “How could I make this work?”.

Adra's Journal: Session 21
Session 21: The Knitting Cult

Session 21: “The knitting Cult”

From the journal of Adra Kellen:

Sypheros 8, 818
Late Evening

I’ve been working on this case for hours now. I am still without any solid evidence that points me towards who is responsible for the girl’s disappearance and am without anything that indicates who else may be involved in the cult. If Jinna is a cult member why is she missing? If she was targeted by the cult, why would she have those items? She could have been a newly recruited member that was being indoctrinated and realized her mistake and wanted to leave. Everything suggests that the cult is meeting somewhere in Low Town. The numbers of sigils drawn on buildings are more prominent and I have a fairly good idea of what happens in the city proper.

Tim-Tam and Kev-Kin have brought some interesting news. Apparently, Stonehands has been injured and taken away by someone or something in Low Town.
We’ve gathered at the last place Stone was seen: a warehouse in Low Town owned by Ulren Mogth, the self-proclaimed mayor of Low Town. Akiros and nine of his guards have surrounded the warehouse but there is little sign of anything inside. The puddle of blood in the street is profoundly worrying to Cedric, who is trying hard to hide his concern. Dwarven foot prints lead to the warehouse, but are cut short by a struggle. There the dwarf is dragged off.

After questioning a gnome across the street we find that he knows little more than we do. Mogth owns the warehouse, but had not been around at all that evening. Akiros and his men storm the building and find several crates of illicit goods and other black market items. While illegal, this is not what we came for. Cedric and I have madee our way to Mogth’s home, but Cedric insists on entering alone. I’m left here waiting in foul company. Mogth is nothing more than a labor boss who has found people gullible enough to call him mayor. While we haven’t heard any complaints of misconduct I am sure Akiros will be visiting him concerning what he found in the warehouse.

Cedric returns with news that the warehouse only has three keys, two of which Mogth can personally account for. The third would be in his study which could only be accessed by him or his wife. Though his wife had been at a birthing all day back in the city. The same one we had visited earlier that day. Mogth mentioned his wife normally spends her evening at a sewing circle at the Little Inn here in Low Town.

Well this evening could have ended better. I’m staying in the cellar of the Half-Eaten Wench due to once again being unable to return to the fort due to the others bringing home a monstrosity. I have made my suggestion and have been told to stay away from that hideous creature. Cedric of all people should know that evil can come in all forms and that something as supposedly harmless as a child could harbor something terrible and vile. My concern is that this cult has done this so many times that we may have a much larger problem on our hands. Imagine if this mid-wife was able to replace every child she helped birth. The consequences would be too terrible to even comprehend.

We arrived at the Little Inn, which is a jumble of several smaller establishments that share a common area. Its Low Town’s answer to a proper inn as we have not officially sanctioned one in Halcyon. Upon entering the inn we immediately see a large group of women sewing and knitting. We approach and I call them out for what they are. The women react by denying all accusations. I press the matter until several become far more shaken than the rest. One in particular stands up and furiously denies what I’ve said. I can tell she is moments away from striking me so I verbally push her. She reacts by driving a knitting needle down at me, but I was prepared for this. I parry the attack and drive a knee into her chest and she loses the needle as she tries to strike me again. She attempts to shove me away and I use her moment against her and put her into a grapple. I hold her there as Cedric and several guards try to calm the rest of the crowd. The other women in the circle break and while most of them flee terrified of the scene a few join the fray. Cedric commands everyone to stand down. I release the woman who attacked me as she slips into unconsciousness. We hear shouts from below the floor boards and demand access to the cellar. The moment we reach the cellar a girl comes rushing up the stairs into Cedric’s arms. I figure its Jinna as I continue down into the cellar. In the halls below the inn two women chase after a beaten and bloody dwarf. I fire a few arrows that strike the dwarf’s assailants and the dwarf finishes off the fight. As I approached the dwarf it was clear that it was Stone, though he looked worse than usual and far more serious than I had ever seen him. I laid a hand on him and spoke a prayer to close his wounds. He regained some vitality but was still clearly hurt. He was clearly tortured and those wounds would take more than a prayer to heal. We regrouped and continued deeper into the cellar which became more ceremonial as it opened up into a large circular room. There the mid-wife Malgorzata Niska was clothed in a black smock surrounded by other women in similar dress at a vile altar to their dark god. Upon the altar was a small child, the mid-wife had a crude blade raised and was about to take its life. I didn’t hesitate and sent the mid-wife into the embrace of Dolurrh. Cedric and Stone made short work of the remaining cultists who all seemed to be crazed and attacked until they were unable. The women present were the same that had attended the birthing earlier in the day

After the short skirmish, Cedric rescued the child from the altar and passed the babe to Stone who seemed much more comfortable holding children. The child had an evil aura about him, but this place was most likely responsible for that. I looked through the remaining rooms in the cellar and found a disturbing nursery covered with the symbols of the Churning Chaos. Each crib had an arcane rune carved into it seemingly to channel some foul energy from a central icon drawn on the ceiling and down the walls. A lone child rests in one of the cribs, appearing to be a new born. This cult was doing something to the children that it helped birth. Implanting them with some sort of evil from another plane or worse replacing them. I let Akiros and the guard secure the area. The second child was carried up by one of the guards.

I took two guards with me and I went to the home of the woman who today had just given birth. When I arrived I met some resistance by the father of the new child. I apologized for visiting at such a late hour, but made it clear that he and his wife were in danger. I asked to see his wife and new child, he obliged after some reassurance that this was for his and his new family’s best interest. I explained the situation once I saw the mother and child. The father and mother both refused my reasoning, that their child had been replaced by something foul. I gave the father my pendant of the Silver Flame and asked to place it against the child’s skin. As I expected as soon as the pendant touched the impostor child it left a searing mark on its skin. I called for one of the guard to bring Cedric and the younger child we found. While I admit that things could have been handled slight better than that, I had no time to delay. Cedric arrived shortly after with stone who brought the child. The parents were confused, but finally realized that the thing they held was not theirs. They received their true child and Stone picked up the impostor. Cedric was unhappy with how I handled things and kept me away from the impostor. They intended to bring it back to the fort, while the other infant was still with Akiros and his men. I refused to have the changling or whatever it was brought to the fort, but Cedric insisted.

I visited Akiros, who was already processing the surviving cultists from the inn. I took the child that was in his care to the only women in town that I thought would be up at this hour and would have some experience with children. Once at the brothel I received some puzzled looks and even more perplexing questions, but they agreed to watch the child till morning. I left knowing I would need a place to stay the night and past the Half-Eaten Wench and saw it was still open. Stonemugs was still at the bar and I asked if there was a place to stay and here I am.

Adra's Journal: Session 20
Session 20: The Missing Girl

Session 20: “The missing Girl”

From the journal of Adra Kellen:

Sypheros 7, 818
Early Evening

Arriving back in town after dealing with the Wight was a small comfort. The others wandered off to their various vices and distractions, while I visited the other councilors. Kesten and Akiros were busy with the usual concerns. While we had made great strides since the flood, there were still problems that needed addressing. Zat, while off in the wilds somewhere, had left a note detailing his recent observations: trolls and a giant to the south. We will need to deal with this sooner or later. Kurgar, sent me a crude and vulgar illustration. Apparently, he has nothing but free time as he wanders our small nation.

My evening was interrupted by the priest Alexi. I had just returned to the fort to retire when he came to me with news of a missing girl. He had previously seen to one of the brothel’s girls who had been injured, though he believed that the girl was being abused. The same girl was now missing.

We made a quick inquiry around town and found the small room she rented. Ustes Morvaine owned the building and explained that Jinna, the missing girl, was quiet and kept her business to herself. Even though she worked at the brothel she never brought her work home with her. Though when pressed, Ustes did relay that she had several arguments with a man. He had heard shouting on more than one occasion, but thought nothing of it. He suggested it might have been a love interest, but he wasn’t sure. Jinna does have family in the unincorporated section of town, perhaps they know more.

As we searched the girl’s room, I was made aware how much Oleg had been deceiving me. I had ordered several goods from Brindol and he swore they were unavailable or were too costly for him to order. Yet, as I examined Jinna’s room I found those exact items amongst her things…

I found a personal journal and calendar marking her days spent working and her cycle. Within the journal, I found several letters from Scarrel who it turns out is the Jinna’s brother-in-law. By the letters, it seems he was more than that at some point. The letters ask Jinna to stop and that he was misled. That he ‘always wanted it to be their baby.’ Further letters were written from Jinna to her sister Anja, though they were all unfinished asking about Jinsie, Scarrel and Anja’s daughter. The journal also contained numerous mentions of Cedric, dating as early as six months ago. Apparently Jinna has had a fascination with Cedric since the moment she first saw him. Her fascination may have been the reason she took a job at the brothel.

Knowing that there had to be something more I proceeded to search more thoroughly. I found a small box hidden in her armoire containing a journal, a ragged black smock, and a wooden orb shaped like a bloodshot eye. I knew the symbol as the one that had been appearing around town. The cult of Gyronna was known to be made of scorned women and its influence was thought to lead to instability to wherever it took hold. The journal contained dire and cryptic entries: ‘the plan has worked,’ ‘everything is going how she wants it,’ and ‘have a piece of him with me.’ It’s clear that the girl or her family is involved in this cult operating in town.

Cedric was informed and there are plans to meet with the girl’s family tomorrow.

Sypheros 8, 818
Late Afternoon

It’s clear that something sinister is infusing the town. We had visited Jinna’s family’s home in the unincorporated part of town and found her sister’s husband, Scarrel. He seemed to be an honest and hardworking individual who was looking to rise above his current station. Scarrel’s daughter Jinsie was present and while she was helpful in determining the truth of Scarrel’s words I wanted to know if she had seen or heard anything. I used a technique to listen to the surface thoughts of those I focused on and revealed little more from the girl or the father. What was startling was I heard the voice of some other person, I fear that it may have been some poor soul who was buried nearby. The technique I learned was not meant for that purpose. Speaking to the dead was not the intention, but there it was. I could only hear whispers and could not determine if the voice was male or female, or its age. It was clear though that somewhere close, there was a grave.

Unfortunately, there was no time to search for the soul who spoke to me. We needed to see to the matter at hand. Anja was working with one of the town’s mid-wives and was currently helping with a birthing. We proceeded to the residence of the soon to be parents. The mid-wife Malgorzata Niska was running the birthing like a well-practiced ballet. There were looks of surprise as Cedric walked in, but were soon replaced with scowls as we all were in the mid-wife’s way. She snapped at us to step outside, Alexi offered his services but was refused. We were able to get Anja to follow us out and were able to speak with her. Anja is a cold and bitter woman with something to hide. I was very close to revealing her secret when Cedric called me off. Apparently I was too hostile and was starting to make a scene. Answers sometimes come at a price. I had very little substantial evidence, mostly all circumstantial. Though I swear she has something to do with this cult and the disappearance of her sister.

Adra's Journal: Session 13
Session 13: Nothing Left But Ashes

Session 13: “Nothing Left But Ashes”

From the journal of Adra Kellen:

Rhaan 3rd, 818
East Shore of Candlemere Island
Early Morning

I am not well, this place is tainted and we would be wise to not linger here.

We’ve arrived at the island just before sunrise. The shores had proven too treacherous for the sloop and we made for a clearing in a small dinghy. That’s when we saw the tower looming over the island. We guess that it resides at the center of the island, yet we cannot locate any tracks or trails that lead to it. Once we touched foot on the island, it was clear this place had not been inhabited for decades, maybe centuries. The small beach we landed at was more rock than sand. The jagged and loose stones hindered our footing and made it difficult to even stand without stumbling. We moored the boat to one of the boulders at the shore. Boris and Cedric were the first to step out into the long wild grasses surrounding the shore. They quickly returned to report that the ground gave way to a foul smelling bog and the area was teeming with stinging nettles.

This mystical wolfsbane better be worth it.

Rhaan 5th, 818
Fort Serenity

I’ve found myself back in my room within the fort in Halcyon. My vision is blurred and my head aches. I found a strange geometric scare on my arm, as if I was punctured by something? I’ve seen something similar from electrical discharge, but I can’t be sure. I have no answers for any of this. My face is swollen and tender to the touch; mirrors show an image worse than I actually feel. What in Eberron happened on that island? What of the others? Are they alive? How did I get back?

Something truly terrible must have happened to trigger this lapse in memory. I have looked over my notes and there is nothing but indecipherable gibberish. There are entire pages of my journal that are covered in scribbles. I may have tried to record something, perhaps my sight was an issue? Investigating my room, I found my clothing and gear I had worn the day I stepped onto the island covered in stinging nettles and thorns. My small clothes are covered in some sort of ichor. Horrific. The bath is still holding filthy water from a bath the night before?

I had suffered a slight burn on my left side, reflected in the strange discoloration and scorching of my clothing. My face was covered in small punctures, now closing up. The major cause of swelling had to have been from a reaction to a plant’s toxin. My eyes had suffered the worst from this swelling, that and improper treatment. One of the others must have tried to administer a salve and as per usual failed miserably. Those idiots could have blinded me. On closer inspection of my eyes I could tell they had changed color slightly. That would explain the amnesia. Otherwise I am healthy, albeit terrified of what could have happened.

A message had arrived sometime during my self-examination. It was from Soren. He wishes to speak to me regarding one of his Lions. Apparently she has been acting strange ever since returning from the island. Perhaps, she had a similar experience to mine. It will be difficult to interact with the others, they know nothing of my ability to purge memories. This will require some finesse.


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