Session 7: “A New Task”
From the journal of Adra Kellen:
Lharvion 15, 817
Stone Wyvern – Brindol
I’m not sure exactly how to take this. I have been given another assignment; unfortunately it’s still out here, in the river lands. Under the decree of the Sword Lords of Rhestilor, I, along with the others that set out to explore the Greenbelt have been given the right to rule. We have been granted the right to claim land and with the permission of Rhestilor establish a nation in the unclaimed region of the river lands. Cedric, or should I call him Baron Fellstorm, has been given the authority to create a council to help govern the new nation. I am still speechless.
The day started at the Cisarovna estate. I was eager to leave as my night was spent in memory of the past. My upbringing, my time at the priory, and what brought me to these lands. I managed to wake and depart the premises before anyone stirred. I left a note detailing my early departure and hoped that Ebihelin would understand. It’s so startling that I care what she thinks of me. It’s as if she has some aura about her. Mothers…
I had visited the Stone Wyvern and arranged to stay the evening. I had breakfast at the inn and shortly after made my way to the Razmiran embassy. I can’t say that I was happy to see those incompetent fools. They had a stack of correspondence waiting for me and never once thought to send it to Oleg’s Trading Post. They knew where I was operating from and had even told me that they would send word to Oleg’s if I received new orders. I shared some of my story with the ambassador who could have cared less. Stanis Junto is a career bureaucrat who must have done something frowned upon to be stationed way out here. Stanis is a native Thrane and like me had little appreciation for this land. While he seemed to understand my plight, he was more interested in his own. He shared some news and even had a few newspapers to offer me, even if they were a few months out of date I was eager to read of home.
My letters brought little hope of leaving. I would have started this entry with news of leaving if that was what I received. I had several letters from church officials that were going to review my case. Others were from the office of the cardinal of Razmiran. He had been assigned a new inquisitor and wanted my files on the cases I had worked. Unfortunately for him those records were already sent back to Flamekeep.
As I was reading over my back log of correspondence a messenger boy ran in and asked for me by name. The Sword Lords were to have an assembly today and I was requested. I followed the boy to the chambers of the Sword Lords and waited for my audience. I was still reflecting on my time at the Cisarovna estate and my displeasure of not receiving the news I wanted when Cedric and Stone arrived. They both looked like they had not slept and by the stagger in their walk I could surmise why. Boris arrived shortly after, followed by Kurgar. We were lead into the same chambers where we had originally met. I was eager to know what they planned for us.
Halsted Garess, the scion of House Garess, was introduced and spoke on behalf of the Sword Lords. The group of us was called up to be recognized for our service to the nation of Rhestilor and congratulated for our work in the river lands. Our deeds were read aloud and I observed the small audience that was gathered to stand witness. Several had the look of military officers, while others looked to be nobility of some sort. The reactions to our accomplishments were almost comical. The ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ of the crowd were as if they had rehearsed prior. Cedric and Boris both had their families in attendance. Cedric’s was applauding, while Boris’ remained silent. After the summary of our deeds had been read each of us was called to receive awards.
Cedric was the first to be recognized. He received the title of Baron of the Greenbelt and the right to claim land in the river lands for the creation of a new nation under the auspices of the Sword Lords and the Crown of Rhestilor. Needless to say I was dumbfounded.
I was next called to be awarded for my service. There was some talk of the relationship between Rhestilor and Razmiran, though I could tell it was politically forced. I was granted the title of Citizen of Rhestilor and exempt from the taxes normally associated with the title. Although I had no aspirations for titles or ranks, I thought they could give me something greater than citizenship.
Stonehands received a medal of valor and the title of Sir Dwarf. Little else was said of his origins as his relationship with his homelands is strained. Boris was granted the title of Sir and dubbed Knight of the Empire along with a medal of valor. He was further recognized as the heir to the Cisarovna family. Ebihelin was in attendance and looked pleased, though it was extremely hard to tell.
Kurgar was not in attendance, but had been mentioned by Halsted Garess as being a valuable asset to the expedition to the Greenbelt and would be compensated for his continuing service.
At that point Halsted raised another scroll and proclaimed that we would receive a new charter. This charter entitled us to establish a nation in the Greenbelt under the guidance and support of the nation of Rhestilor. Cedric was appointed Baron and would be charged with gathering a council to assist in forming and maintaining a sovereign nation. I was doing my best to hide my surprise and pure amazement that we were being given this task. Halsted finished his proclamation and adjourned the court.
Cedric was greeted by his family who had also rushed to congratulate Stonehands. Boris exchanged a few words with his mother who then approached me! Ebihelin shared that she had followed my instruction and brought Ilsa to the cathedral of the Sovereign Host to speak with the clergy about finding proper instruction. She warned me that whatever I had heard was to be kept secret and I assured her that I had no intention of doing otherwise. She presented a small box and told me it was a gift for my services. She then made for the exit before speaking with a few politicians that I did not recognize.
The Fellstorms had announced that there would be a celebration at their estate later and extended the invitation to all that were in attendance. Cedric personally invited me, but I politely declined. I had no intention of attending some wild party.
As I left the chambers to return to my inn, I was approached by Stanis who wanted to speak of my new charter I received. He looked at it as a sure way we both could return to civilization. I would help build this nation and he would assist in any way possible, guiding it to be one that was friendly to the Church and Thrane as Razmiran was. I was unclear how that would help me leave this place, but he guaranteed that it would reveal that we had accomplished as much as we could and would better serve church and country if we returned home. He asked if we could discuss matters over dinner. I was still reeling from the news of running a country so I agreed.
Dinner was as pleasant as expected. Stanis was more interested in his own career and his plans for when he returned to Thrane. I kept asking him how I could return, but he was scant on the details and kept assuring me that I would.
On my walk back to the inn, I reached into my pocket and pulled out the small box I was given. I slowly opened it to reveal a small magnifying glass attached to a silver chain. It was small enough to be a pendant, but it seemed to work just fine as a loupe. As I pulled it away from my eye it began to enlarge. It could shift in size on command and was able to reveal even minute details in all sorts of materials. A very interesting gift. I must have looked so odd walking through the street observing the box and the cloth inside it with a hand glass. I had it resize to its original size and clasped it around my neck. I continued to the inn.
So here I sit at my room at the Wyvern. I stayed here when I was in town months ago. It’s certainly better than the accommodations I had at the Cisarovna’s. I’m interested in what the next few days will bring.
Lharvion 16, 817
Fellstorm Estate – Brindol
I had planned to stay at the Wyvern for the duration of my stay in Brindol, however my day took an unexpected turn and here I am at the Fellstorm manor. I should note that I am in my own quarters, alone.
I awoke this morning in good spirits and decided that I take in what Brindol had to offer. After living out of a tent and wearing the same clothing for days at a time I wanted to expand my wardrobe some and purchase a few fineries that I thought I was due. After visiting a seamstress and a cobbler, I decided to spend some time with a cup of tea at a small bistro near the center of town.
After enjoying an hour or so of catching up on the news of the rest of Galifar from two months ago, I decided to take a walk. I was curious as to what kind of estate the Fellstorms maintained and began to walk toward the edge of town. The Fellstorm manor was a few miles from the city limits, it was amongst the dozen or so estates that surrounded Brindol. Once I arrived at the estate I found I needed to prove who I was to some domestic who ambushed me as soon as I entered the courtyard. I had already spoken with the guards at the gate and they informed me that Cedric had notified them of my potential visit. The house maid was not quite satisfied even when I produced my traveling papers and entered the house proper.
When I entered I was immediately aware that my decision to forsake Cedric’s earlier invite was a mistake. The manor was exquisite and adorned like the noble homes I had visited in Cyre and Thrane. I was greeted by another of the house staff who offered to show me to Cedric. I was sure I could have found my way as I heard Cedric yell at another to ‘do it.’ I entered the room just as I saw Cedric held down by several men while two others drove red hot brands down on the back of his hands. Apparently he was now in the habit of self-mutilation. He hardly squirmed and when the smell of burning flesh finally hit me he called for everyone to be off him. He remained with his eyes closed and hands clenching the arms of the chair he sat in for some time. It was as if he was in meditation or deep thought. The house maid had not yet announced me; I think she was terrified of what she saw. I was more confused than disturbed.
I finally announced that I was present and Cedric seemed to snap out of whatever haze he was in. I first asked for an explanation of what he had just done to himself. He claimed he needed to do it to reaffirm his belief in his deity and that ‘Dol Arrah would guide his hands.’ I inspected the still grotesque wounds and sure enough his patron’s holy symbol was now burned into his flesh. I chided him for what he had done and he began to chuckle. Lunatic. I am truly concerned that he may not be in the right state of mind for the task ahead. The man just scarred his flesh by choice.
After several minutes of religious debate Cedric’s mother stepped into the room. Cedric introduced me to her and she was quick to compliment my appearance and that she would be overjoyed if her son would settle down with someone like me…Her questions entered a territory that both Cedric and I began to disagree with and we both steered the conversation toward something else. Ophelia, Cedric’s mother extended an invitation to dinner and I accepted.
Dinner was quite something. I hadn’t been to such a mix of proper dinner and raucous revelry. Stone was present and was the subject of many a joke and the abuse of every child in attendance. Some of the older children and grown men were even taking part in the rough housing. Stone was a different person; he was the loving uncle to these people. It was so strange to see him act that way. I had really never cared to examine Stonehand’s psyche, but he always seemed to be very alone and treated Cedric as a son. The entire Fellstorm clan it seemed was equally part of Stone’s ‘family.’ I wanted to discuss a few matters with Cedric before the night was over, but I quickly learned that it would be impossible to have him hold a conversation when drink was so readily available. Before getting up to leave, Cedric assured me that he would be ready for a run in the morning. I doubt he will even be able to find his bed tonight.
I was about to leave when Ophelia stopped me, she offered one of the guest rooms and I accepted. I was more curious than anything to compare the Cisarovna guest room with what the Fellstorms had to offer. As I am writing this from a comfortable room with an abundance of bed linen I can safely say that the Fellstorms have won this contest.
Lharvion 17, 817
Stone Wyvern – Brindol
I woke early and refreshed. I was surprised I slept through the night without being rudely awakened by the lively party. I heard music and laughter as I fell asleep, but it must have been quiet enough after that. I was eager to get a run in before heading back to town. I had a full day ahead of me and I didn’t want to delay. I got dressed and went to find Cedric. I wasn’t quite sure where his room was, so I asked the scullery maid. She was one of the few house attendants awake at that early hour and was in the process of baking bread. She gave me directions and insisted I find it alone as she had work to do. I wanted to explain that I wasn’t one of his regular callers, but I felt that it wouldn’t matter.
I found the room easily enough, but it appeared empty. The bed was made and it appeared that he was already awake. It was impossible so I returned the maid and asked if she had seen Cedric. She had not seen him and assured me that he was still in his room as he was up until only a few hours ago. I asked if she would kindly show me to his room as I must have visited the wrong room. The bread was just placed in the oven so she obliged. We returned to the same room I had come to earlier and she pointed inside. I told her there wasn’t anyone in there. She rolled her eyes at me and stepped into the room. I had not entered before and had not seen the entire room. The maid walked toward the bed and stood beside it. The bed was between her and the door and so I could not see what she was looking at. I stepped into the room and now saw what she had discovered.
On the far side of the room, the Baron of the Greenbelt was in a pile of pillows and intertwined limbs. I counted three women in the heap of bare flesh, but my count could have been off. The maid prodded Cedric who groggily woke up. I had remained where I was and had no intention of getting any closer to that carnal nest of strewn about clothing and bare bodies. The maid announced I was waiting for him and he sat up and asked for assistance in locating his clothing. Cedric looked extremely tired, but after a moment of holding his hand to his brow he appeared as refreshed as someone who had a full night’s sleep. Paladins…He began to stand and I turned away and stepped back into the hallway. Cedric called out an apology, but pointed out I was in his room. I had no answer. I heard Cedric talking with the maid and shortly after that giggles. I told him I would wait outside in the courtyard.
The smell of slightly over baked bread began to fill the air as Cedric entered the courtyard. Full plate fully buckled and fastened. He wore a different armor than what he found in the forest temple. This armor had his family crest and emblem on the chest and a garish depiction of Tira Miron as Dol Arrah’s champion on the back. I commented that his armor was still too heavy to keep up with me, but he only shrugged in response. After making it half way back to Brindol I was winded. I had run the entire way and waited several minutes for Cedric. He arrived and was no worse off than if he walked wearing common clothing. I announced that using his divine gifts was unfair. He laid a hand on my shoulder and I was instantly refreshed. He argued using the gifts of his patron was not dishonest, so I shared a gift from my faith and tripped him before running off.
I slowed down for Cedric to catch up. We jogged back to Brindol and discussed the plans to return to the Greenbelt when we arrived at the gates. Cedric wants to waste no time and leave tomorrow. While I admire his dedication, I would have preferred to stay a bit longer. It would be nice to stay out of the mud and muck of river lands for a few more days. Cedric once again removed any fatigue from himself and went into town to take care of a few errands before heading back to his estate. I departed and headed back to the inn to get a change of clothes before venturing out to collect the various sundries I had ordered.
Lharvion 25, 817
Oleg’s Trading Post
We arrived at Oleg’s during the middle of the day. Our first order of business was to talk with Oleg and Svetlana to invite them to be a part of our council to rule the nation of Miron. Yes, the nation will be named after the champion who sacrificed herself to bind the demon within the Silver Flame. Cedric ofcourse supports her as Dol Arrah’s champion. While both are true I find her sacrifice and joining with the Flame to be her defining moment and thus more so aligned with the tenants of the Silver Flame.
Regardless, Oleg and Svetlana were discussed on our trip down from Brindol. We all agreed that they would be perfect candidates as members to our council. Oleg’s knowledge of the land and his occupation would serve well as our nation’s treasurer. As it turns out, when we approached Oleg with this idea he revealed far more knowledge and education than I expected. He is perfect for the position.
Svetlana was always seen as the voice of the people. We would be in need of someone who has a deep understanding of the culture and ideology of the people of the river lands. She has shown sympathy and wisdom throughout our time here that embodies the role of counselor.
While it did take some convincing, both accepted their positions. We also wanted to seek out Jhod to offer him the position of high priest. I had accepted this idea, only because the Host is the dominate religion of the land and it would ensure stability. I intend to work with those that seek the Flame’s guidance when we have established our community.
Traveling back to Oleg’s, we had plenty of time to discuss the other roles of our council and Cedric had ideas for each position. Akiros and Kesten were to serve as Warden and General, respectively. I was still wary of Akiros, but he had proven himself thus far and had shown redemption. Kesten was a military man and had no love for his current obligation. He would serve us well. The role of Marshall was not established. We had few leads as to who would fill this role, but knew that it would need to be filled or our lands would remain unprotected. Boris was interested in the role of Marshall, but realized that his knowledge of the land along with his relationship with the Sword Lords would better help him serve as our ambassador. Stonehands would act as our architect and lead our civil engineering. The dwarven tongue calls this person the Byggmesteren. Kurgar was sought to be our enforcer, someone who would follow direct orders and act as our martial hand of the law. My position was a little less forthright. As I am an inquisitor of the Silver Flame, my position would be similar to what I do already. I have been tasked with seeking out corruption within the new government and secretly protecting the nation’s assets.
Lharvion 26, 817
We stopped at the kobold caves on the way back to Fort Serenity. We had decided that we would establish our first settlement at the fort and call it Halcyon. The kobolds had been friendly to us in the past and we wanted to establish a proper treaty before our nation began. Cedric in particular wanted to have the support of Chief Soot-Scale and the rest of the kobolds before expanding into any of the lands. He wanted the kobolds to be under his rule, while the Chief had other ideas.
Chief Soot-Scale had a hard time yielding to Cedric’s wishes. He didn’t like the idea of being subjugated and retold how his people had just recently overthrown an evil overlord who preached similarly to how Cedric was. I finally stepped in to translate into Draconic. Kobolds speak Draconic, but it’s a very simplified and informal dialect. I had studied Draconic as many of our sermons are delivered in it and many masses are performed in high Draconic. The Chief was impressed by how well I spoke ‘the language of the scaled.’ I explained how in my faith it was used for our most important rites and he was extremely interested. I had found a convert in the Chief of the Soot-Scale tribe. Not what I expected, but the Flame does not discriminate as long as all that seek its guidance be true to its message.
After about an hour of speaking to Chief Soot-Scale about the teachings of the Silver Flame we returned to the topic of the kobolds joining our nation. He only agreed to join if one of his most trusted warriors be added to our council. At first Cedric and the others were not interested, but it seemed it was the only way. We were still looking for someone to fill the role of Marshall and while unorthodox, a kobold would be well attuned to that occupation.
We plan to visit the Old Sycamore tomorrow to speak with Zat, one of the Chief’s most trusted warriors and current keeper of the kobold’s newest property. Tonight we continue to ingratiate ourselves with the kobolds. Boris and Cedric are taking to healing wounded hunters that went on a failed attempt to kill Tatzlwyrms. I have begun to translate some of my hymnals to draconic as many kobolds have shown interest in what the Chief and I were discussing earlier.
Lharvion 27, 817
The Old Sycamore
We had a successful visit to the Old Sycamore. Mik Mak, one of the Soot Scale tribes’ best warriors accompanied us to the tree. There we spoke with Zat who took immediate interest, but was extremely wary of our motives. He spoke with Mik Mak at length of what the Chief had to say. I’m not sure he was aware I was able to understand him, but he didn’t seem to care if I did. He accepted our invitation to honor the Chief. We spent the rest of the evening explaining what his role would be.
Lharvion 28, 817
Fort Serenity – Halcyon
We arrived at the fort and met with Akiros, Kesten, and Jhod. We explained our new charter to them and they were all very interested in assisting. All of them had already been groomed by Cedric when he had stayed at the fort in the past. Akiros would be our Warden, Kesten our General, and Jhod the High Priest.
There was a small celebration and ground breaking. Stone went out to the fields surrounding the fort and began to work with Cedric suggesting layout and best areas to place buildings. I thought it was a little premature, but as they were finishing up their surveying we saw the first of several wagons arriving carrying supplies and colonists.