Troubling Times

The ashes of Corvus have cooled.
Aper has fallen to Hestrean control.
No word has come from Murilegus in some time.
The Port of New Hope prepares for battle.
Ferre has become a city nation, drawing its civilians to the relative safety of its walls.
Rumors of monsters in the mines have been whispered to any who would hear.
Aquilla has become a refugee site for many Southern Dunelainians.
Canis is bolstering its boarders against increased Orc activity.
Also, prayers have become more powerful. Magic amongst the faithful has increased. The followers of Lethos have taken to spreading the gospel of love across the landscape. The Aishan priests have performed great miracles – curing blindness, cleansing disease, even preventing death.
:With Maugen at war and the queen sequestered in her tower, Kier is overseeing the Kingdom of Cascadon from his seat in Middle City.
But even in Middle City chaos brews. The recent fall of Kadessi has brought many refugees to the city, and the seedy underbelly has swollen with fresh meat.

A Letter to Sinopa Engelram, Edle von Hvikseby

Dear Mother,

I am currently safe, this letter being sent to you from Middle City as I make my way to the Port of New Hope, at which point I fully expect to be no longer safe. I also expect that given the current situation as I have heard it at home, that my misstep with the Aishan artifact has been all but forgotten and no harm has come to the family by my misjudgment.

If you could possibly send word to me to let me know that you and the family are as safe as is to be expected, I would appreciate it: though the situation can change, I do fret, as I know you must worry for me as well. In truth, worry is inevitable, for my traveling companions and I seem to be heading from one danger to another. We have retrieved a sword from the Issen in southern Hestrea that is said to have some power…the Cascadonians name it the Blade of Veritas. It can only be wielded by the pure of heart, so that counts me out, I am afraid, but it is in the hands of my companion, one Jarrod Greyskin who I believe I have mentioned to you before.

I know such a thing sounds fantastical…but perhaps we are living in strange times. My belief is being kneaded and stretched like bread dough. My companions have strange powers the like of which I have not seen, and I have run into more magic in the last month than ever before in my life. Even the gods themselves seem more active…and I confess that I take more thought for them, now…believe me, Mother, when I tell you how unsettled this all makes me, and now, with civil war in Dunelain…one other of my companions is a Hestrean by the name of Frikka, of the Dancing Embers clan. She says that it is not the Hakna Hadra, which as far as I can tell is the end of days, but that mortals are nonetheless trying to bring it to pass.

I do not know if I believe it…but everything seems to be falling to ruin. Cascadon is being picked apart by the Fire Ice Clan of Hestrea- not even the full force of the country- and from within by their own Hound Legion, led by a man who is meant to be dead. I saw the body, Mother, and yet Jamison is leading them…the Mylarans, so long content to nibble at the edges of the borders are said to have destroyed the Dunelainian navy, and eyeing that of Vestrea hungrily, and with Dunelain tearing itself apart…I fear that if we remain divided, the whole of the continent will soon lie under Mylaran rule.

Perhaps I am doomsaying. I hope so. I beg your indulgence- we were present at the fall of Castle Kadessi, and among the dead numbered one of our companions. Do you remember when Prince Savileon joined us for dinner all those years past…? He joined us in Hestrea…and now he is no longer. And yet he is but one of many who lost their lives, and a beautiful place is gone forever, and the senselessness of it all perhaps dulls my eyes to hope. Perhaps it is not as bad as I fear, and you will write back and tell me all is well and my father and brothers are safe at home and our family will simply weather this storm as we have all others.

Perhaps. It has never been said of the Engelrams that we do not know our own minds, and I do not believe, while no one would question our loyalty, that any of us had previously taken thought to what exactly it was that our loyalty was in service to- and I suppose that is now the question facing the whole of Dunelain.

It seems so trivial now, but should the situation improve, it may be worth looking into establishing a trade route into Hestrea. There is currently a refugee camp some little ways into that country, and what furs I saw were excellent. There is a tanner who speaks a little Cascadonian by the name of Phelan, you will also know him by his ivy tattoos. He makes wonderful hangings of cut leather, and could serve as an intermediary if we establish a presence in Laketown. There may be difficulty- we had discovered a group of…I suppose I must term them Havandians, as they claim allegiance to neither the crown of Cascadon nor Dunelain,doing trade within the country, including human trafficking. I can only hope our efforts there and the sad collapse of the castle have put an end to it.

I miss you all terribly. I keep hoping that each time we stop somewhere civilized I will be drowned in a deluge of letters that have piled up in my absence, but then I fear I would be incurably homesick. Perhaps if things settle in Cascadon I can persuade them to Hvikseby so that you might meet those with whom I spend my time, though I do wonder if in meeting them you may think I have gone quite mad.

Ever your faithful son,

A Letter to the Vestrean Royal Family

To their Highnesses, the Royal Family of Vestrea.

Forgive my bluntness, but I know of no pretty way to tell you what I must.

Prince Savileon di Matildi su Vestrea is dead.

It is my understanding that since leaving your country, he had made his way to Corvus to set himself up as an anonymous bard, making his living by his wits and music. The attack upon Corvus, however, sent him into the Hestrean wilderness, which is where we discovered him. He accompanied us to the Issen to retrieve the Blade of Veritas, and though he took grievous injury there, he was still fit to continue on to Kadessi as we made our way back to Cascadon.

Castle Kadessi has fallen to the waters due to an act of sabotage, and the prince with it. He had asked of me to inform you should something of this nature befall him.

I had hoped to never have to fulfill his wishes. I cannot tell you how heavily his death weighs on me, and I offer whatever measure of comfort you may find in it to tell you that his funeral pyre was attended by friends.

Yours in sympathy,
Korbinian Rafael Engelram, Edler von Hvikseby
Mayford’s Men

South - Towards Winter

South – into the driving snow and biting ice of Hestrean. Mayford’s men (Jarrod, Korbl, Treeleaf, and Frikka) rode their horses as far as they could before the snow became too deep for the beasts to continue. On foot, the cold only bit deeper. “Does it get any better?” Korbl asked. As far as Frikka was concerned, this was “like a spring snow.” And she was not incorrect. Fall is only now coming to a close, and as the party heads towards the cold, so do the seasons. One night, about a week into their journey, they came to a small alcove in a mountain, which provided them with some cover. While on watch, Treeleaf had a vision from Zekiel, god of dreams and prophecy. He apologized, and told her that something have to happen. Upon awaking from her vision, Treeleaf was naked, alone, and covered in blood: she had a miscarriage.
Battling hypothermia she managed to get back to the shallow cave where the other’s were sleeping – but they were not alone. Jarrod’s keen sniffer noticed the scent of jerky, which the crew had run out of days ago. Seeing nothing, he flopped down in despair. Korbl, however, noticed that a portion of the rock looked suspiciously cloth like, and upon informing everyone, a cloaked figure leapt out and stabbed THE FUCK out of Jarrod. (OOC, she totes could have killed him if she’d done it as a sneak attack, which she could have. See Richard? I don’t want Jarrod to die.) Treeleaf cast Entangle, which ended up saving the day, as the little ninja girl failed to escape the grasping vines at the most inopportune moment. It is also noteworthy that Jarrod frightened the earth with his justice-ly might. And Korbl’s tossing of his crossbow to Treeleaf also greatly assisted in helping the party generate enough damage to take down the poor little girl who wasn’t evil at all and tomorrow was her 14th birthday and now she’s not going to get the pretty blue dress that her best friend had made for her knowing that it would bring out her eyes beautifully huff.
NOT TO MENTION there were some strange occurrences during the fight. A loud thunder noise rang out several times, corresponding to holes appearing in the bodies of Jarrod and Frikka. After the poor, sweet, young, girl who had her whole life ahead of her was mercilessly beaten to a pulp by a massive blow from Frikka, a penultimate thundering noise brought down a pending avalanche upon, which blocked the cave. The ultimate thundering noise brought Frikka down, nearly killing her. But with the quick work of Jarrod’s healing spells, and Treeleaf’s healing knowledge, Frikka was saved. Also, Treeleaf noted that odd metal bits seemed to be lodged in the holes of Frikka’s body. With some emergency surgery, Treeleaf was able to extract the metal bits. Jarrod’s healing spells on himself were enough to painlessly push out the metal bits lodged in him. (For some OOC knowledge, check out Gunpowder and Flight.)
Now, trapped in the alcove, Korbl looted the body and everyone got some nifty stuff. Also, the word Cinquedeas got tossed around. When the party heard a snap noise come from the dead body of the young girl they had cruely murdered, Treeleaf tied it up, then dismembered it, much to Frikka’s delight. After a few days of digging and hard work, the party used their dungeoneering skills to work their way out of the avalanch without getting themselves crushed. They found Treeleafs tracks… and shreaded remains of her clothing where her boot prints turned into paw prints…. (For some OOC knowledge, check out Werebeasts of Cascadon.)
After setting up camp for the evening, a spark of light caught the party’s attention. Out across the vast expanse of snow, a great fire had been lit. Standing before the flames were the silhouettes of five horses, four of them bearing riders. A few long moments passed, and then the flame was gone as quickly as it had come into being, leaving only blackness.
Hakna Hadra.


The party finally made it to Corvus and made camp on the outskirts of town. Jarrod noticed strange lights and the group tracked them to find an abandoned camp that probably belonged to Archer. This in turn led them to the probable location of the Hawk Legion. Despite Frikka’s disappointment at not finding the source of the lights the party went to the Hawk Legion. There Captain Wetherford had them arrested and was preparing to try them for treason as they had given the cup to the Aishens. With the help of Camille, Korbl’s sneakiness and Frikka rallying the captured Hestrians, they were able to retrieve their weapons and escape as the Hestrians took revenge on the Legion. Jarrod was deeply wounded in the retreat and the group fled south in hopes of finding the Earth Clan of Hestrians in the mountains.

Harvest Festival in Ferre
Discoveries and divinities

The party made it to Ferre and discovered that the city was celebrating the Harvest Festival – a bit late into the season, but not too late yet. Frikka ate fire. Korbl looked at nifty inventions (being followed by Elsker). Treeleaf danced and partied. Jarrod got a room at an inn (followed by a gaggle of onlookers).
Everyone was invited to the University, being as they were unique figures to be studied and learned from.
The party met up with Jarrod and after a brief confusion regarding sleeping arrangements, rested well.
The next day, before going to the University, the party went to the temple of Aisha to meet up with Camille. There it was revealed that the artifact they were taking to Wetherford is actually an ancient artifact of Aisha. It is known as the Chalice of Life.
They handed the chalice over to the Aishans (which was probably for the best considering the Silent and Servant who were present).
Frikka and Treeleaf went to the university, and Jarrod and Korbl went to the temple of Justina. There Jarrod prayed (and I rolled a 100) and his prayers were answered.
He received assurance that justice would be done to Eslker, and that Jarrod had done the right thing with the chalice. He also was warned that something was coming, and he was not ready to face it yet. There was also a vision of a statue holding a sword, and the word Veritas
The party gave lectures and did Q&A’s to interested students and professors. Treeleaf prayed and discovered that she might be pregnant. Frikka and Korbl partied. Jarrod hit the books and learned about the Blade of Veritas. With the help of Korbl and Frikka, they discovered information about the possible location of the blade in the Isen which is Hestrean for Ice Palace.

Are we there yet?
Brief Summary of Getting This Far

Here is a run down of what I remember about what brought us here. I know I gloss over a lot of little details, but the major points are here. However- feel free to remind me of things or suggest things that you feel are important.

Everyone had a dream that sent them to Canis.
Treeleaf went to a temple of Zekiel and had her dream interpreted, and was told about a prophecy.
The party met an injured girl who needed to get to Castle Cascadon.
The party took a side trip to see an execution in Middle City.
There the party discovered that Colonel Jameson is a bad, bad man.
While everyone was busy, the girl ran off.
Once realizing the girl was gone, the party tracked her down and took her to Castle Cascadon, where they found out that she was a princess of Dunelain, engaged to wed the prince.
They also met Jayson Mayford, attache to the prince. He took them to a fancy dinner where Treeleaf got laid, Frikka talked about political ethics and philosophy, and Jarrod had a meeting with Chancellor Vulperian and discovered some unnerving information about The Queen, and her possible involvement with Sesekians and Vietommans.
At some point Jayson Mayford also told the party about a [[Jayson’s Prophecy|prophecy]].
Jarrod wrote a letter to his mentor about the encounter.
Jayson Mayford tasked the team with escorting an artifact of great value to the warfront in Corvus, where the Hestreans are attacking.
They were joined by Körbl, a Dunelainian tasked by the princess of Dunelain to escort the item as well.
Many days passed uneventfully, until the party smelled something off in the distance. The approached it and fought a Carpet Thistle.
They then went to Aper, where they discovered the city was about to be attacked, and met Valiant Fortes.
By taking out the Hestrean Stormcallers, the party helped save the city. Yay!
The party also agreed to help Camille, priestess of Aisha, get to Corvus.
They also took a magic staff belonging to one of the Stormcallers, and a Stormcaller of the Air Clan.
One night while camping, Jarrod destroyed the staff in the campfire, and Frikka was temporarily possessed by… something. She opened a chasm in the ground and talked about “false prophets” and such, then the Stormcaller fell into the chasm, died, and the ground closed up again.
Now fully awake, the part started towards the Hound Legion who were also on the way to Corvus.
The party discovered that Jameson was murdered by someone claiming to be Valiant.
To investigate they went back to Aper. They ran into Pugio Earthman along the way, and he brought them to where Sagitta Archer and Gentian Eric were staying.
The party learned that Gen and Archer had killed Jameson to avenge Valiant’s death.
To make up some lost time, the party decided to take a shortcut through the mountains in Ferre to get to Corvus.
On the way the party fell into or jumped into a cave. Camille agreed to lead the horses to Ferre and meet them there.
In the cave the party fought Tendon Kelp. That night Treeleaf thought she saw something, but no one else saw anything.
The next day the party discovered an ancient Dwarvish temple with a prophecy.
Also, Jarrod used Detect Magic and then shot a magic item being worn by an invisible person.
On the way out of the temple, they found a big cavern and fought a Hydra. While running away, Körbl tackled the invisible guy, who turned out to be Elsker from Northern Dunelain. Jarrod tortured him and found out that Elsker had been hired to observe them.
He relayed some personal information to the party that they may or may not have been personally aware of…
The party eventually made it out of the dungeon with Elsker in tow.


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