From whence goes Iderath

A journey undertaken
** GM Update **

Bartholomew is taken aside by Commander Steph and given two quests, to prove his worth to the Fathers army and the Faithful. As a new Hammer, he is to assemble a cadre and command them in the quest to seek the Circlet of Captain Shimah. He and his ill begotten (As far as Commander Steph is concerned) cadre are to seek the location of the grave of Shimah, determine it’s status, and if defiled it is to be cleansed as much as possible, and the artifact recovered.

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Dear Yvonne
A letter from the riverside. (Will)

Dear Yvonne.

I am missing the fire of the Black Sow, and the meals you used to cook so well, as I sit by a camp fire eating what I can only guess is some sort of boot leather. But I am kept warm tonight by the knowledge that I am starting out on my life of service to the gods.
That knowledge, and the fire.
It probably isn’t the boot leather.

Barely a few weeks in the city and I am squired to a holy knight, and dispatched on a quest of great importance to the the Temple. I have met companions unlike any friends the village could offer me, noble citizens only too pleased to aid the Gods, although one does put on a show about payment. If the Domini chose him, he must have been chosen by the All Father.

And tonight I struck my first blow against the hordes of evil! A band of curious, vampiric frogmen called Crispin attacked us from the river!
I say curious because I was curious about them. I don’t think they were that curious about us. I didn’t get a chance to ask. I’ll have to ask my new friends.
Domini Kole blazed with power, and flame, while the blade of the scholar (I still don’t know her name, and I’m afraid to ask. She scares me a little) saved my life against one of the beasts. I didn’t see Rocky anywhere, but later he dragged in a body peppered with arrows, so it proves to me the deadliness of the Riders; not even the shroud of darkness could stop his arrows punching home!
And what can I tell you about the alchemical power of the little creature Tooreen (I think thats his name, his voice is a little muffled.) No herbs I ever picked for the Black Sow’s kitchen ever exploded! I’m rather ashamed to say that when it comes to the powers of my companions, merely cracking the skull of one of the Crispin with my staff seems a little pathetic. But ‘from small beginings’…as the old saying goes.
If this display of holy power and sword-skill is an indication of the future to come, I don’t think our God-given quest is in any real danger!

Oh, I hope you are well. I will return to the village when I can, hopefully with more stories!
The All Father watch over you,
William.

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Diary of a "Solidarity" Soldier
Hibi Roxninger

early summer.

approached by a rider with a message from a Hammer! this is most odd, things like this don’t often happen. The Hammer, a man i have seen around the temple, he has chased me off on occasion (but that is another story). he has asked me to find a “sneaky professional” for a task for the church, very odd, since when did the church require people of dubious means???? of course i had a friendly banter with him about this saying how the church required something stealing and was this an admission that my past as a street urchin could now be forgiven!!!

I knew just the person for the job however, an acquaintance i have known for years another street urchin, strange that!! she may well be able to assist with this unknown quest.

The group is a motley crew if ever i saw one, a warrior priest and his “boy”, a hunchback, a “professional” and a down on his luck soldier. what are we wanted to find and what will we find.

we start off the following morning and travel for several days through tame lands following the river, an evening or so out of the tame lands we are attacked by eight or so creatures from the river, strange creatures, almost froglike with a natural armour, fortunatly we had time to set up an ambush with all making a good account for themselves, even the hunchback with his strange plague mask and odd device on his arm which appears to project concoctions through his glove to great effect. i targeted the leader for dispatch with the bow and made good on the promise, he must have been a great warrior within his tribe as it took six arrows to down him, i had to track him to the river where he was finished off with a final blow.

the only person i have reservations about is the hunchback, is he alchemist, black mage or deamon? with is cloak, hunchback, plague mask and strange habits i don’t know what to make of him. the warrior priest trusts him so i must also.

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Ah Siwmea
Sican Al'tehrin
The fates smile wide onto this one. Two full seasons in this one’s moon quarter hiding and never has any interest caught Sican other than his alchemy. One of this one’s Abby has brought sican a quest of most interest. It has been several dark falls since Sican has met his new caravan. Under the light of the fates Poor, lonely Sican has been placed with two who show kindness to him. A young one, a boy who doesn’t scoff at This one’s beliefs, his stories, or his art. In fact, the young abby, William, show’s interest, ambition, and is eager to help Sican in his “frail” state. The young William would even make a good apprentice, but he appears to be held in word by that one with warm heart. The metal clad one, He stands with warm heart, and strong arm, but Sican will speak up and advise him, he too is young, and he will learn the power of age, and the company of ones caravan. The other is quiet, Sican will have to watch him. This one watched as he took the life of the small walkers without letting them see him. This one killed them, but he let them see him, and stood ready to let them return blood. Sican Will watch him, and be sure not to upset him. Ah, then This one smiles.one of This Ones Siwmea has found him. The young indigo has changed as the sands fall. She is just as skilled as the rumors would let in. Sican is a friend of her family and will happily watch Siwmea, and keep her breathing. This one would not want to anger her father. Sican is aware that he is skilled with what he does, but there are others, and if anything happens to Siwmea, This one worries of the wrath of the Divine. The darkness has fallen three times out of the city. This one worried that without the high walls and the alert gaurd they would surely get him in his sleep. This one is curious, In the city, there are cats, short of everywhere! The small ones that walk on all of their paws don’t worry Sican so much. They may be spies for their walking capturers, so Sican takes them. Every concoction needs a test subject, and cat’s seem to react the same as people. There are not so many cats as Sican had thought in the wild. Luckily he needs no testing here. However, there is one thought that gnaws Sican’s ears. Will this ones captured subjects survive in their cages without food? It burns Sicans conscience lightly, but this one cares not. If they do not pulse with life when Sican returns, he will be fed, If they do, then Sican doesn’t have to catch more. Through either event, Sican is smiled upon!
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Rubes and Boredom
Indigo

Yeahgods. Someone rescue me from rubes and boredom. Three days, or maybe four we have traveled towards our goal. Nothing but conversation and one encounter with repulsive frog men… stupid slimey things were no challenge at all and not one interesting tidbit to forage off them. It was easy really, just let the paladin step up and take the brunt while darkness creeps from behind and makes the killing blows. So much effort to please a god that doesn’t even watch.

I will say that Farmboy is entertaining. Just tell him that those frog things we encountered are called Crispin and are vampiric, lay out an entire tale about who they are, where they come from, their eating and mating habits… just do it in a serious, all knowing voice…. doesn’t matter if you know what you are talking about, he just swallows it whole. Gorgeous. It will be interesting how far I can take it… and how long it will go on before someone calls me on my little stories. I wish Draydon were here to wager with… to wrangle with… to hunt with… I wish I hadn’t had to leave in such a hurry, goodbyes could have been fun. Ah well.

So tomorrow I’m certain we will move onwards, trudging once again up the river towards something, somewhere we are supposed to retrieve. Don’t know. Don’t care. Just so long as certain people forget I exist so I can eventually go home.

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Encounters along the road
** GM Update **

Our travelers continue up river, and camp across the river from the Ruins of River watch. Later they come to a ruined keep, that looks striking blue in the river mist, and decide that this must be the Blue Keep on their map, so they cross the river and travel on. late in the next day, they spy a black cone reaching into the sky, and around its base, sod huts and small humanoids.

Later in the evening, before the mid of night, they are attacked…A huge battle between our 5 travelers and goblins, a Hobgoblin, and a dreaded Redcap! They survive the battle, but there are a few close calls.

Late the following day, they come upon a defiled regolith cairn…

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Disgusting and Painful
Indigo

I was right. More trudgingly boring travel. It perked up a bit when we found a dead rider and his horse, and then when we found the Blue Keep and spent the afternoon crossing the river and drying off again. Well. The drying off bit wasn’t the highlight of my life, but…

However. We began to steer towards D’Karg’s Crag, such a very easy landmark to see, only to have a finger of some sort obstruct us… a cone?… a large rock?… the base of which was surrounded by sod huts occupied by small spindly beings… who decided we needed attacking in the middle of the night. Fair enough I suppose, but did they have to bring a RED CAP with them? Seriously? (No, really… this thing was huge. Had swollen joints, a giant axe and this disgusting red knit hat that sprayed blood and gobbets of gore as he forged into combat. He was truly repulsive… and I do not recommend getting hit by his axe. Ouch. Seriously.) What ever possessed me to saunter up to that thing and take a stab at it I don’t know, but I won’t be making that mistake again, I’ll tell you that for nothing. Ugly Boy starting shouting and spinning and my bowels turned liquid, my heart stopped beating, I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t look away, couldn’t make my legs move only stand, transfixed with terror. It took all I had to simply get air into my lungs, much less hope to make my limbs move. Lucky for me, while I was standing there transfixed with terror Farmboy and the others took him down. I am ashamed at how much that Red Cap scared me… scare is such a gentle word really, to how utterly, despairingly frightened I was. I believe I will carry the marks from it on my soul for the rest of my life… and now that I have named my fear, let us not speak of it again.

We did manage to eventually come out on top… although I’m not sure how. There were 10 or 11 along with Ugly Boy. I suppose there is a benefit to having a Hammer and his little trainee along. I have to admit I was impressed with Farmboy. He waded in and dealt death and destruction in every encounter he had. He made it easy to slip in and do the finishing work…. until Ugly Boy… and Rattie! Rattie ran right up into the thick of thinks with his crazy lightening bolts! If I hadn’t been busy being too scared to move I would have stepped back and marveled!

So now dawn has come after the night finished off quietly… two on watch, one of them me, dreading the appearance of another butt ugly scary but trying to be normal, aloof, mysterious me. The bodies of the goblins were rolled and stacked away from our little camp. The Hammer and Farmboy are doing their devotions, griddle cakes are on the stone, and I am hoping we will be making a large circle around that rock once we move forward again today. I think perhaps I will not be complaining about the dullards of travel… that is, if I can actually think of anything past the bruises on my body and in my soul.

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Letter to Yvonne II
Will the Farmboy.

Dear Yvonne.

Another adventure, another fire-side letter. I have seen, and battled, one of the very legends that impelled me to leave the Emirat, a tale we heard many times from the travelling minstrels and bards you employed.

I was on watch, not long before midnight, when a veritable horde of goblins poured into our camp. Luckily my cries woke my companions (I say ‘cries’ literally; I had been hit twice with arrows. Thankfully the reinforced armour you gave me when I left you protected me, but has prompted some sewing for my nightly duties). These child-like creatures were dispatched with relative ease, and I am proud to say I gave rather a better account of myself than I did against the Crispin, but I had no idea that the goblins were a forerunner for a greater, and I had thought mythical, threat…

The beast towered over me, and wore a gore-soaked hat rammed on its head. If creatures like the Redcap truely watch us from the forests, I am glad I have friends like the Domini, Indigo and Sican Al’Tehrin. Even the prankster Roxninger. While I don’t appreciate his sense of humour, I was glad of his presence. It took all of our combined efforts to slay the legend and its ‘keeper’, a goblin of a sort wielding arcane power. But the Keeper was no match for Sican’s own magic and the arrows of Roxninger, and it too was killed soon after it’s pet.

But I think we all suffered some hurt at the hands of our attackers, none more than Indigo, although I was happy to see her wounds were not as bad as I had first thought.

Tonight we rest and heal our lumps and bumps, and tomorrow we carry on with our quest. But once again, if we can defeat such a monster as the Redcap, I don’t see anything giving us much pause on the way…

The All Father watch over you,
William.

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diary of a Solidarity soldier pt 2
Hibi Roxninger

after about the 4th days walk we camped near the abandoned fort on the river, large and majestic even with its walls collapsing showing evidence of the final days of the fort before the folk moved south towards iderath. during the evening lights were seen around the ruins and some sounds of fighting with the odd shout, talking with izzy about this we decided that spirits and spectres were playing out the battles of the past.

in the evening we decided to play tricks upon the boy, i tied small stoned to his clothing and Izzy told him it was the pixies and that he was to leave food out for them, he believed us for a while and then he tried staying up at night to see them, unfortunatly he caught me and was less than impressed, but it was good while it lasted, must try harder.

several days later we found the next of our markers for the trail another fort ruin with an uneventful river crossing, the next trail marker however was a little more eventful the vipres fang, a large conical tower, a tribe of goblins had moved in with some bigger friends, one was slightly larger at about 4 feet high and threw majic around as if it were stones. there was another with them as well, this other was 8 feet or more tall and spread fear all around this last creature may have been one of the legendary red caps. the battle only lasted a minute or so with the goblins falling easily to arrows and sword alike, the hobgoblin had a very unlucky strike to the throat from an arrow, i am sure it nearly finished him with the one blow, but the hunchback gave a good account of himself and finished the beast. the red cap however was far more dificult to dispatch, cut after cut and arrow after arrow piled into it with little effect until eventually it was worn down and eventually died.

we found the tombs as were described to us and we found that one of them had been desicrated by grave robbers, a quick investigation found a skeleton inside with a broken sword.

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And then I saw his light.
Bartholomew, Aspirant of the All Father

We were attacked again in the dead of night, this time not by frog men, but by small humanoids. My companions and I slew them one by one with little effort, and then I saw it, a huge monstrosity of a creature wielding a large ax. I knew he was sent to test me by the all father to see if I was worthy enough for this quest. The first swing came fast and hard cutting into poor Indigo, she bled quite a bit but continued to fight, this is when I made my move, I swung and landed a solid hit, but it seemed unhindered like I didn’t even phase it. For my companions sakes I had to be more effective than that. A few arrows hit the beast and they obviously hurt it, for it stood to its full height and bellowed angrily as it spun around. William my brave young squire jumped on the beast and wounded it gravely, before quickly being thrown off. It swung yet again wounding me with its ax, a gaping chest wound tore at my focus. That was when it happened in my wounded state I looked within my self for strength, at first there was nothing and then a dim gleaming that quickly grew into a blinding ray, I felt my strength return and the pain dulled. I raised my blade and swung with the strength of the All Father himself, slaying the beast. As a sign of completion of my trial I smashed the creatures skull and sent him to drift in the River of Blood. From that point on the Father strength seems to have stayed with me, so that I may better serve him on the path ahead.

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