Prophecy

The Call – Vernon

The signs were subtle at first, like a salmon swimming upstream. Then they became more obvious: a warhorse covered in blood, a withe owl flying towards the Northern Sea. The Spirits were summoning the Arcanes. Winter was coming for another one of them. Which Spirit would have its way? Which one of the Arcanes would return to Yggdrasil? These questions, and more, would be answered at the Gathering. Greenstep was on his way, and his Druids were to follow. Vernon must contact the others and travel to the green islands of Kymuria.

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To Crown a King

To all men of honor, adventurers and fortune seekers, the Hierophant of Hemlock gave this message for the bards to spread. After a decade of war, the three Kymri Kings and the Earl of the Firbolgs have agreed on peace terms. One of them shall become High King of Kymuria, like Caractacus once was. Soon, Arcanes will be gathering in our sacred islands. One of them will hear Yggdrasil and name a Hierophant before he passes. The Hierophant will crown the High King. What we are missing is a crown worthy of the charge. Find one! This is the challenge the Hierophant of Hemlock has for you!

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The Whale Hunter

The whale hunter threw another spear at the behemoth. The sea creature, now looking like a giant porcupine, was still fighting for its life, and would be still be for quite some time.

Laynn had a good arm. Like his father, his mother once told him. He did not remember much about him. He was a great warrior he had been told, but that was before the Firbolgs came to his village, killed all the men and enslaved the rest. Now he barely remembered his native thong, for his masters would not allow their thralls to “conspire”.

Laynn and his crew could just take the rowboat and escape to the green island he was born onto, but that would mean leaving his family behind. Women and children were not allowed to join the whale hunt. They were to remain in the Frozen Lands as a guaranty that their fathers and husbands would come back with the precious whale oil and meat in sufficient quantities. The slaves were always the last to eat, and the first to be put to death should their master be displeased.

The Kymri pirates of the Green Islands were not making it easy for them either. They did not have any consideration for their once fellow islanders that had been enslaved. They were after the oil and meet too, and would raid the camp as soon as they’d find it. The sheep lovers did not have the guts to attack the Firbolgs directly, but would find some courage to face poorly armed thralls. What else would you expect from men wearing skirts…

The whale was finally slowing down as the sea was turning red. A few more this season and Laynn and his men would be allowed to go back North to their families.

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Regdar's third letter

Dear Brother,

If my latest adventures are expanding my world a lot, it sure feels smaller by the minute since the events of today.

If these letters make it to you in the order I sent them, the last thing you read would be about the feast Jarlax was throwing in our honor at the Fatespinner’s Inn. Well, Brother, I should have listened to Harask, pack my stuff and just leave.

When we arrived at the Inn, Jarlax and his men were already quite drunk. I refused to eat anything now that I knew what kind of meat the innkeeper was buying… When he noticed it, he brought my friend and I bowls of “the good stuff” so we could eat without raising suspicion.
So we ate and we drank, Jarlax gave us a present in the form of a dog collar. I am so glad Harask was not there, he would not have appreciated the jest… neither did I but what was I to do?
Then all went black. I woke up the next morning, naked, in the middle of the woods with a bunch of the guards that came with Jarlax. Alvito, Mave and Gordo woke up in a farm a little bit closer to the village. I do not know what happened that night exactly, and it’s probably better that way. We walked back to the Village, got dressed and went back to the Inn to find out that all of our stuff was still there, just lying on the floor…

In one of the room we found Aleb hanging by the neck and his daughter… Brother, what they did to his daughter is unspeakable. Both were dead, Aleb probably by his own hand, not able to cope with what happened to his daughter.

Jarlax had left with the bugbear, cleaving two of his men in half in his escape. We learned later that we had been cursed by Valoic, the Wind of the North, because it turned out Aleb had served us one of the guard as a punishment for what they did to his daughter and cannibalism apparently makes you turn into an animal at night… Or a kind of half-animal, half-human creature… Let’s just say Harask was not too keen on hanging out with us after dark.

Alvito said we have to “right” the injustice to reverse the curse, so we set out to follow Jarlax and his men to bring justice to them for what they did to Aleb’s daughter. During the next couple of nights we were attacked by powerful and weird creatures, asking us to join them or die. We defeated them twice, Mave turned into a fox and got killed in the second fight and, for some reason, was brought back to life, the curse seemingly gone.

That morning we got apprehended by a regiment of Next Town guards. The bailiff brought us in jail for the night, just to be sure we would not turn and try to kill them all. I can’t say I blame him. Gordo was able to hide and avoid spending the night in jail while Harask welcomed the warm bed and slept through it all.

I was in a cell with the sheriff of Nextown, who they knew was turning into a wolf at night. Well we both turned that night, but not into wolves, more into a half-wolf form. While talking to him that night, I realized he had a lot to do with what happened to Aleb’s daughter, and was eager to do it again to someone else. Alvito, overhearing our conversation, suggested it might be a good time to try and bring justice upon someone who had done wrong.
So I did.

My first arrow was for Aleb’s daughter, wich is probably why it hit so hard and true. I thought I had killed him but he was a more formidable foe than I expected. I gave a good fight, but I would not be alive if it were not for Alvito who was able to disappear from his cell and reappear next to mine and heal me or Mave that was able to strike the final blow by throwing his javelin through two sets of bars!

Once the sheriff died, we could feel the curse being lifted. It transformed my bracers, Mave’s javelin, Alvito’s windrose and Gordo’s armor, but it seems like we are no longer cursed.
After the battle, the guards restrained Alvito and brought him in the town square to hang him. They blame the Believers for the whole “people turning into wild animals” thing. After they left, Gordo was able to make his way in and get all of us out of there. We made it to the town square thinking we would try to save Alvito, but when they got the rope around his neck, Gordo pointed out how composed and serene he was. Since we saw him disappear and reappear as he wished earlier that day, we figured he might just be able to get out of there by himself and we decided to wait and see what would happen.

Sure enough, he turned into an Owl and just left! We followed him out of the city and he came to us in owl form. When we said we would go North, he just flew due North himself and we haven’t seen him after that.

On our way we came upon a boat on the river, merchants from the East. They make a fortune by selling rare items and magical weapons to competing warlords. They have some very interesting things for sale and we are now trying to decide what we should buy with our limited resources.
We are safe, for now.

I said adventuring with those guys seemed like an interesting idea, well now it’s the only choice I have. I doubt Jarlax will forgive my escape anytime soon and he probably sent people after us when he noticed we were gone. I can’t say I am not happy to finally be free of the warlord, I should have left the ranks a long time ago.

Let’s just hope we will be ready for them when they catch up with us…

Regdar

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Alvito's Prayer

Kneeling on the floor of his cell, Alvito was praying:

“Valoic, Lord of the North, Bringer of Justice, I understand the reasons behind your law. It is there to separate men from beasts and punish those who commit the vilest crime. But what of my companions and myself, who unknowingly ate the flesh of our own kind? What’s the message in this? As far as we knew, we did nothing wrong.

We did nothing… That is our sin. But it is not too late to act. In a world plagued with Evil, the inaction of men of Good amount to complicity. Honour commands us to act against injustice. Bringing Justice to those it was denied to will end the curse. Good men are here to do that, and continue the quest I was on. My Sacrifice will save them, and allow them to accomplish your will."

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The Sentinel

The night was cold. The sentinel was standing guard on the wall of Nextown with fear as his only companion. Sure, he could see the torch of his colleague burning atop the East wall, but what good would it be if the monsters decided to attack him. The Militia was stretched thin ever since Jarlax had taken half of it North to the next Village. The Warlord’s son had returned alone…

…or almost…

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Woodsman's Log - Episode 3

(coming soon)

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Regdar's second letter

Dear Brother,

I trust you remember the stories father used to tell us when we were young. You would sit and listen for hours on end as he would go on about goblins and dragons and sorcerers… I liked the ones about the Paladins, the fierce fighters who were seeking justice for the unfortunates of the world. There seemed to be too much magic and nonsense in the other ones.

Well, brother, I have seen much more goblins and magic in my life as of now than brave men who fight for what’s right!

You read that right, I have seen goblins and magic… And that’s not even the strangest things I’ve seen lately…

We finally decided we should head North with Brother Alvito, he gave us two gold coins for our trouble. I had not seen gold in a long time, my friends either by the looks on their face!
So we went due North and the first night Mave’s fox got taken and they left a note saying they would give the fox back in exchange for the gold. We decided to track the ones who took the fox and found their tracks just disappearing in a small brook. It was a very strange place, the light did not seem to act as light normally does. When we looked at the water it was like looking through the fog to a different place. So we tried splashing water around to see what would happen and it opened some sort of passage to that strange place we were seeing. Not unlike the ones father’s character were always going through to get to strange new lands of wonder and magic…

The Other Side did not feel right. I felt sick and compelled to leave, like that awkward feeling you get when you arrive some place uninvited and unwelcomed. But we carried on and finally found a small group of goblins holding Mave’s fox.

Once again my friends showed amazing courage and skill in battle, and Brother Alvito did some pretty unbelievable feats… I was blinded by one of the goblins by some kind of spell and Alvito just healed my eyes and turned blind himself instead. Fortunately his vision came back soon after. In addition to that little trick, it looks like he can control the wind in some fashion… While I am still not convinced about his religion, I have to admit he is making a strong point with his actions…

But I digress… We killed all of the goblins but one so we could learn more about what was going on.
Turns out they were simply after our gold, they seem to be able to smell it, like dogs smell meat… They wanted to take it to a bugbear so we went and checked that out, since a bugbear, if it existed, would be a fine catch to give Jarlax.

Long story short, we killed the bugbear, got a lot of gold and some items that could definitely be magical. The bugbear’s weapon was some kind of mace that feels like it’s surrounded by a darkness of some sort, and we also found a coin that I wear as a necklace. Call me crazy, but I truly believe this to be a lucky charm of sort, it almost feels like I cannot fail at anything now… Strange feeling, yes, but I am keeping the thing nonetheless.

It’s time for me to head back to the Fatespinner’s Inn. Jarlax is having a reception in our honor for bringing him back a bugbear. To be honest it does not feel right, I do not like the way he speaks to us or his jests about us being his “dogs”… Harask is refusing to come altogether, and I can’t blame him one bit. To be honest, I think it’s better that way, a fight with Jarlax and his men is the last thing I need… Mave and Gordo agreed to come with me, although they do not like the idea at all.

I have half a mind to pack my stuff, tell my friends to do the same, and just leave.
Just as I thought I would not have anything more to do with the Warlord’s business aside from giving the taxes to the Sheriff, here comes Jarlax.

To say all I want is a break would be a lie though, all that adventuring got me craving for more, and these guys are just the right people to seek new adventures with…

But who am I kidding, I’ll just go to the reception and do as I am told.

Regdar

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A Message to the Cardinal

Eminence,

I did as commanded and stopped at the Phoenix’s Court on my way North. Lord Magnus received me with much more honors than my humble station calls for. After crossing so many leagues of war torn and heathen lands, I was amazed by what I saw. The ancient ideal of Paladinhood is reborn at Lord Magnus’s court. True knights, inspired by the words of the Prophet, now pursue the ideals of Courage, Honour and Justice. Lord Magnus Andro and his knights however have a very earthly conception of the Reign. For the Warlord, only total victory can bring peace. His faith is as sharp as the steel of his sword and his convictions fuel a perpetual war with his neighbours. I spoke to the Lord about my pursuers, and he promised to keep an eye out for them. Lord Magnus also invites you take shelter in his lands “until Ensifer’s Throne is retaken”.

After I left the Phoenix’s Court I resumed my journey North. I crossed the domain of the warlord Jarlax, a devil worshiper. I followed your instructions and traveled to the northernmost village of the ancient province of Faenarild. I waited for the guide you said the Winds would put on my way, and might have found many. A group of local monster hunters offered to guide me further North. They are not believers, but they care for each other, a sign that the Winds are gazing down upon them. Hopefully they can help me find and open the vault, as you said my guide would, and the Scriptures can be secured.

I hope that I performed the ritual correctly and that the raven brought this message to you.

Brother Alvito

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Woodsman's Log - Episode 2

(coming soon)

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