Annals of Aldamere

Knock, Knock
Olis, Gretta, Thorne, Gabriel, Geytha

Having been lead by Oisp to the “backdoor” of the slaver compound, the group was on their own and explored for a quiet path through to where Aerik was thought to be held. Passing through the burned remains of an old farmhouse and amid fallen, cracked walls, the party was attacked by some unsettled and horrid spirit—Thorne had called it a cinder wight—which burned Olis with embers as he plunged his spear into the creatures blackened body. Ser Marcel’s shield was able to keep the fire from harming him quite as much. Thankfully, Gretta was able to tend the burns quickly lest they leave the old veteran in sad shape for bringing justice to the slavers.

A collapsed stairwell and the choice of two lower areas unreachable except by climbing lead the party to lower Gabriel down on a rope. The first was a strange statue garden, which quickly became evident to be something else as a horrid lizard creature turned it’s green, baleful eyes at Gabriel. He was able to shake off the magic that had turned the other victims to stone and was hauled to safety by Olis.

After regaining his composure, Gabriel then repelled down into a graveyard and the remainder of the party joined him to force open a door that we presumed might lead into the complex at last. Upon opening the door and exploring a short bit, the party was set up on by a group of the slaver’s Arimspoi guards. A battle ensued, and all but one guard was slain. The final guard was subject to some working of Throne’s will and he assured us that the subject would have no memory of the battle or even many hours prior…

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A Visit to the Undying Court
Ser Marcel, Olis, Thorne, Gabriel

With Father Aerik’s abduction, Ser Marcel was incensed and sought to meet out his Justice. Being in a strange land, however, the Knight was unsure of his standing and therefore first sought an audience with theMaster of Morgiberg.

Ser Marcel’s men, looking to be prepared for the encounter, tracked down a herald familiar with the local custom, Olrik, a mountain of a man who imparted much information with the aid of Olis’s generosity at the tavern. The conversation provided some history and state of politics with the “Undying Master”, and reinforced the fact that the Knight’s Order’s reputation precedes him and unfortunately not positively—the Canon had made a bit of a scene in the city quite recently.

At the appointed time, the company ascended an iron tower in the heights of Morgiberg to meet with Master Vakarn. After some careful diplomacy with Gabriel acting as herald, the Master was impressed with Ser Marcel’s politeness and earnest loyalty to his man, and offered his aid in exchange for a favor. As the proposal involved bringing Justice against both sides of the slaver war, the pact suited Ser Marcel. Further, the nature of Master Vakarn peaked Thorne’s interests as well.

The Master’s servant, a rat-man named Oisp, lead the group to a “backdoor” to the slaver compound where Aerik was being held.

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Lest you wear our your welcome
Ser Marcel, Olis, Gretta, Thorne, Gabriel, Aerik

Tarrying somewhat in Morgiberg, Ser Marcel’s men plied various townsfolk for information on the East and related matters, leading Thorne and Gretta to the home of Dorlan Brooch, The Floating Master, who offered Thorne some insight into his predicament, and offered aid in return for a favor done: retrieving the Riven Key from the Sidell Halls found within the Elmwood. Meanwhile, Ser Marcel and Olis found themselves in the company of Raulo, a travelling minstrel new himself to the Eastern lands. Father Aerik wandered the city in search of some strange markers, while Gabriel worked to decipher a strange scrap of knowledge found in Saint Latimer’s shrine.

After a late night of discussion, it was decided to take up Brooch on his offer, and plans set in motion to leave on the task in earnest in the company of Gethya. However, just before Brooch’s assistant, a ratman, Tinus, arrived, Father Aerik went missing while on an errand, snatched by a local slaver who intended to use him as leverage for some erranding of his own.

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A City of Sin and Iron
Ser Marcel, Olis, Gretta, Thorne, Gabriel, Aerik

Having left the doomed village of Balout, Ser Marcel’s men pressed on towards the destination suggested by Charl, the city of Morgaburg. The travel was grueling but mostly uneventful, although the East holds many dangers for the traveler from secluded black lakes of baleful, unquiet dead to strange magical chains hanging from trees, with the ever present danger of Slavers upon the river.

Arriving at Morgaberg, the company discovered the city to be within the hulk of an ancient stone and iron fortress sitting on an island. Within were markets, slaves, and squalor. Being a city of the East, our contact, the rat-woman Geytha, didn’t not seem completely out of place in the gloomy interior.

Exploring the city, Ser Marcel and Olis perused the work of the smiths, Gretta found supplies for her potions, and Thorne discovered strange tomes of half-forgotten lore, while Aerik and Gabriel discovered some portion of the Solaren Apocrypha in the Shrine of St Latimer. Rumors of violence within the slave market from rival Slaver clans encouraged the party to gather their supplies in some haste with plans of continuing their journey on the morning…

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"Vengeance is mine, I will repay" says the Lord
Olis, Gretta, Thorne, Gabriel, Aerik

The restless dead of Balout sought revenge against Ser Avery‘s sacking of their village, and the source was to be found in the heart of the town hall. Within was found a vengeful spirit and a Revenant Knight. In the name of their pagan goddess, Podago, they intended to slay the Knights of the Red Fish, which is to say Ser Marcel’s Order of Saint Dagon—also known as “Ser not appearing in this journal entry”. Reluctant to bring further suffering upon the fallen priestess, Thorne first attempted to mollify the angry spirit but in the end was forced to a battle of wills for his soul. The veteran Olis and Aerik stood firm against the Knight and his minions with the aid of the faithful hound Borz and Gretta‘s earnest support, while Gabriel invoked the blessing of Saint Belarion to strengthen the party against the assault. Ser Marcel’s men prevailed, but little sense of victory was felt for having merely finished the Canon’s butchery once and for all.

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Go East, Young Knight
Ser Marcel, Thorne, Gabriel, Olis, Father Henges

Having returned the surviving children to Winnownog and rested from the long toils at Mount Bubi, Ser Marcel with the strong urging of Thorne decided to return to see Charl for the promised help with our quests. The troop stopped on the way in Feurgard to rid themselves of various treasures and trinkets, as well as to deliver a proper tithe and for Olis to send a share of his earnings on to his family.

Upon returning to Albugang, Ser Marcels’ men found the Charl’s curse had left… her? him?… in the body of an old crone. The Charl provided a blessed potion that would allow us to interrogate the deceased victims of the Robberbaron’s attacks that we may find some clue as to how to proceed with Ser Marcel’s task.

After some short deliberation, the party set off to the East to seek some way to free the spirit of Thorne’s sister from the power of the rat shaman. The Charl recommended we start our search in Margaburg

After many days travel though muddy terrain, Gabriel found strange tracks which pointed the company to a sacked village of Ballout—the poorly done handywork of Archbishop Phaedra’s Knight, Ser Avery. The spirits and ill-treated corpses did not find their rest…

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Ravings

I find it hard to write. Right or wrong, She’s gone. We’re gone. We aren’t here. “We” isn’t here.

That thing, demon thing, little rat took away the context. My faithful fellows watched and marked me better for his theft. I had less sharp edges. I could be held in the eyes and understood.
Z
I can feel them weighing things. The eyes of their whore god burning into them. But she was not a thing to be set so callously upon the scale cosmic.

Beginning as the thing I would always have but never take, she became what I hadn’t, and then, unknown, what I had to lose. If I let honesty take me, I could admit that I don’t know if it was her or me, or we, that died – then or now. That was rent, that opened as a door. That the dying was important, I’m certain. In her absence should be a perfect her-shaped hole, but isn’t. Can’t sort out I from we from she. Magic was hers, but now mine. Maybe ours. I feel as a cheap spectre riding a stolen frame. Even if ’twere mine to start. The sensation of her absence, a hook in my soul? Where flap the tattered remnants of two who were one, there is no perfect division of self. I am not all I should be, but where I am not, I am her. The parts that are hurt to touch, but touching them is my only strength. Magic.

East screams to be attended and the pious and wise counsel waiting. We must save the grubs of the village of history deniers, the spider-doubters. Only once we have performed this ritual will we be unbound from the constraints of their code. In the midst of this, their madness seems to pass and we break free, only to encounter… can a virus of the mind be spread through the words of an impostor? It’s garments and vestiges are of a piece with ours, it claims to be brother to us, yet whence did it come? Where does it go? After it’s brief touch, the big faith came. Self important lunatics cover’d in the glory of the sacred harlot. In place of their hearts is rot. They preach peace and leave a river of blood behind and care nothing for the tiny lives they ruin or those who’s salvation slid through their fingers like so much ash from a witch’s pyre. There was much bending and scraping. Many words uttered that sounded like hope but meant despair. They are not men, they are dogs and they will return. The world reels back from their passing and the small folk wail. Curse all who inflicted this church upon us. Fuck Thesme.

But up the mount we go, knowing doom waits still. Somehow, amidst it all, a quiet fell. Amidst the silent menace of the struggle with the Chagma: a thing of beauty. A tear in the skin of the world. Portal, passage, perilous and strange. Through it came the limb of god, finally judging them unworthy and I rejoiced. Not for us, but for them. For in that moment, despite their failure, at least they knew. “This is what it means!” For us, that day might never come. Despite the grasping outstretched hands of saints vieing endlessly for our need, none is made clear. Knowing that some is real makes what is not all the more loathsome. What I know is this: there are more worlds than these, and She holds sway in none of them. This is only the start.

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