The Hero's Journey

Throkriel’s Story

Throkk Longspear was tired and cold to the bone. As he entered the hearth hall of his Earls’
longhouse, he could feel his body yearn for the warmth of the fire and whatever food might
be left in the larder from that evening’s meal. His mind pushed that yearning aside. Such
exquisite luxuries would have to come later. He was a servant, and his duty was to his Lord.
He approached the high table and knelt. Without looking up, he knew Earl Rufas was
drinking. That was what his Lord did this time of night. Throkk also knew the Earl’s son, Sir
Simen, and old adviser, Vennriel, were awake and in attendance. The Earl hated to drink
alone.
A time passed. Throkk cleared his throat.
“My lord.”
“I am aware of you, beast. I am neither blind nor deaf. Make yourself useful and fill my cup.”
The Earl waved away his young page. Throkk stood and took the jug from the boy, who was
clearly grateful to be heading to bed.
Throkk poured the stout into his Earl’s cup. It smelled malty and rich. Throkk thought of the
underfed townsmen who had just rode and fought beside him, and of their families
surviving this harsh winter on little more than stale bread crusts.
“My Lord, the raiders are scattered and long gone. There is no sign of them within six miles.
The breach in the wall is repaired.”
Earl Rufas was a tall, thin man; age turning his dark hair and long moustache to salt and
pepper. He regarded Throkk with blue eyes pale enough to be almost colourless.
“Yes, beast. I see you have returned in one piece. Do you seek gratitude for performing your
function to a minimum standard?”
“No, my Lord. But your men, and more than a few women, who fought and worked beside
me this night…they fought well, my lord, on very little food. This is the third raid they have
seen off this winter. I wonder, my lord, if you might offer some of your stock. Two or three
of your pigs roasted tomorrow eve would bring much cheer and nourish their strength….if I
may be so bold, my lord.”
“If you may be so bold?” The Earl laughed his contempt. “Vennriel, you have taught this
savage too well. He has spent far too much time in your library, and now thinks himself
lettered enough to fancy himself a courtier and advise his Earl on stewardship. You have
foolishly schooled him beyond his station and his nature.”
Vennriel, the elderly half elf, who had first come into the service of the Earl’s great
grandfather, spoke with practiced patience.
“Throkk makes an excellent point, my lord. You have taxed your people robustly now for
three years in the cause of protecting them from winter raids, yet it is the people
themselves who do the protecting. You have provided no arms, no additional guardsmen,
and barely enough sustenance to survive, my lord. It is no small miracle we have not been
overrun.”
“It is no miracle, old fool. It is my stewardship. Are the peasants dying in droves for want of
food? If not, you cannot say they starve. They are hungry, yes. Hungry men fight stay alert.
They fight hard. Feed people too well, they grow fat and lazy, like my idiot son here. My
treasury must grow. If I am ever to pass this shitpit of a town onto a deserving heir, I must
marry again, and I intend to marry well this time. To win a lady I need wealth. A true blood
lady will give me a strong son.”
Sir Simen attempted to interjected. “Father, as your firstborn, my claim…”
“Silence, oaf. Your succession depends on your survival. Once I have another son, any son at
all, you will ride beside my cup-bearing two-legged hound here at every sign of trouble. I’m
quite sure your first real fight will end you. If the savages’ axes don’t find your fat heart,
you’ll likely shit your guts out with fear.”
A pained silence filled the hall.
Throkk spoke, carefully.
“My lord, if you are concerned about Sir Simen’s skill at arms, perhaps I could begin training
him, just as I have trained the townsfolk. He is well built; he has your strength. I’m sure a
little seasoning and schooling will make a fine warrior of…”
“SILENCE, BEAST!” The Earl stood, striking Throkk across the face with his steel goblet.
Throkk looked down, blinking the warm stout from his eyes. The Earl gathered his breath as
the empty cup rattled across the stone floor. “YOU DO NOT ADVISE ME. Not on this. Not on
anything. You are a savage. A beast. A dog kept to chase off wild dogs. I have graciously kept
you and your monstrous sister under the roof of my stables for five years and fed you from
my own larder. Clearly, I have been far too kind. You and the she-beast will leave my lands
tonight, and never return.”
“My lord, this is rash.” Vennriel stood on frail legs, his old back audibly cracking. “Throkk is
the sole reason Thorn Hill has endured safely these last five years. In four generations of
service, I have never known a man-at-arms, a Captain or even a knight so brave and true. To
dismiss his service would be beyond unwise.”
“Beyond unwise, say you? I see.” Earl Rufas walked towards the old man, menacingly. “In
your venerable wisdom, old man, why do you suppose my home has become a nest of
disloyalty and betrayal?” The Earl stepped close to Vennriel, and shock filled the old man’s
face. The Earl stepped back, pulling his bloody dagger from his servant’s belly.
For Throkk Longspear, time stopped for a moment as he watched his beloved mentor
crumple and fall. Throkk went cold, then hot. He could feel the rage of his father’s blood and
the touch of his ancestral god upon him. He stepped to Earl Rufus, seized the right hand
holding the dagger, and punched it into his Lord’s belly. Again. And again. And again.
Throkk came back to his senses. He let his blood-soaked Earl and the dagger fall to the floor.
Throkk knelt next to Vennriel, taking the old man’s hand. He spoke to Sir Simen behind him,
without turning his head.
“I have murdered my lord. There is no fouler crime. I will take my life at your word, but I beg
mercy for my sister and care for Master Vennriel.”
Sir Simen stood beside the kneeling Throkk.
“Ummmm…no. No, I don’t want your life. But you have to go. You and your sister. You must
leave Thorn Hill tonight and never, ever, return.”
Vennriel smiled weakly up at Throkk. “Go, my boy. Go and live. You are good. You are better
than this, than all of this. Go and live and be what you are. Be strong. Be good. Protect.
Provide. Shine as a light of hope.”
“On my life, teacher. On my life.”
*

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Markus Wept
Markus suffers under a less than Generous Hand

Markus bled quietly in the darkness and wept.

He wasn’t ashamed of the tears – they were a cleansing release so he willed them to fall to ease the pain. They wouldn’t kill him… not yet, at least. But they could hurt him, so hurt his body they did. Badly. And so he bled.

They’d hurt his friends when they came for him, for Markus has no doubt that his friends WOULD come for him, and people would die and their songs would end and knowing that also hurt. And so he wept.

But the darkness held him gently and allowed his mind to wander, to remember, to compose, to create. And so while his body lay broken and bleeding, and the tears flowed freely, he soared in the limitless beauty of his imagination.

Weeping. And waiting.

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Garrett; the in-between
The hunt for Markus begins

It seemed that Garrett had been busy.

Everywhere Bon went he heard the whispers. Members of the Generous Hand were under siege.
(Well, maybe they didn’t realise it just yet but they were being assailed by a Halfling with a singular nature – & perhaps an overabundance of energy)
All night he’d listened to the stories; the Hand were being cajoled, pestered, talked-at, flattered, bribed, coaxed & (occasionally) even drunk into insensibility… others were being “hired” for jobs & then unceremoniously beaten into submission. The one constant was that each remembered a crazy little Halfling screaming; “Where’s MARKUS!?” at them.

He knew Garrett, & how he thought; he would hold any & all members of the Hand personally accountable for taking Markus. Believing that even the lowest of functionaries would automatically know exactly where he was being held.

He smiled.

His newer companions would perhaps find it strange to see Garrett like this – his focus being held by anything longer than a minute was unheard of! Never mind that he was just so quiet!

Bon knew better & had seen it before – the signs were clear if you knew how to look. He had watched quietly earlier in the night as resolve hardened in the Halfling’s eyes (after all – in the wild there was no compassion for prey) His little friend was embracing a side of himself rarely seen – he was Hunting. Steeling himself because he thought he would need to hurt people to save his friend.

Then he was gone. Garrett would fire himself headlong at his perceived foe – like one of his arrows – until he provoked a response.
Or, they tired of his pestering & put him down. Either way.

He shifted his cloak tighter around him, changing his face once more.
Perhaps a lighter touch would yield better results in the search for Markus.
With that thought he vanished once more into the crowded tavern, already finessing plans as he went.

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ATTN Sir Gehrigan var Dresdan CONFIDENTIAL EYES ONLY

To Calenglad Arcosius
Archon, Seventh General Directorate (Feloria)

Sir

Hereunder please find appended a summary of my section’s findings and analysis of data submitted regarding your request under Chapter 33. As requested we undertook a number of detailed tests of Sir Gehrigan var Dresdan (hereinafter referred to as the Subject) in an effort to identify the cause and source of his amnesia. While our findings are regrettably inconclusive, we can say with confidence that a wide variety of possible causes for the condition have been eliminated by this process.

The Subject exhibits a memory gap of over five years, broadly correlating to the period from mid-1273 to late 1278. On either side of this time there is an additional period of four to six months wherein the subject evinces numerous smaller gaps.

While trauma, whether physical or psychological, is by far the most common cause of memory loss known to our specialists, the pattern described above does not conform to our current understanding of the effects of such damage. Nevertheless, we are unable to conclusively eliminate this as a potential cause given that even our specialists acknowledge that current understanding is far from complete. Additionally, the subject was (and is) a licensed adventurer, which of course statistically places him at extreme risk of career-related trauma of any description.

His career and history also vastly increases the likelihood of the damage having been magically induced, which would normally be a minimal possibility. This category includes a wide variety of potential causes, but almost all would leave identifiable traces – arcane fingerprints which our testing would reveal. Again, the subject’s chosen lifestyle made this more complicated, as he has clearly been exposed to more and more varied magics than almost anyone in the Empire, but after extensive analysis we have been able to eliminate the majority of magical or supernatural causes.

What remains after the ‘majority’ mentioned above is direct divine intervention. If the subject’s memory alteration was caused by the direct act of a fifth- or sixth-magnitude celestial, it would be undetectable except by a similar entity. It probably will not surprise you to hear that once again, the subject’s status as an adventurer radically increases the likelihood of such an intervention.

Given the above, and taking into consideration the subject’s recorded history, it is our considered opinion that his memory was altered as the result of an encounter with the Archdragon Kalgalath, with whom he and his ‘party’ are known to have had an encounter in mid-to-late 1273. The fact and timing of this encounter with one of the few fifth-magnitude celestials still extant upon this plane makes it by far the most likely source. It is impossible to say with any certainty whether the memory loss was intentional, of course; mere proximity to such a Power can dramatically affect the physical and psychological reality of those exposed in ways that cannot be predicted. Intentional or otherwise, of course, it is beyond any mortal capability to reverse such magic.

In summation, we are able to narrow the probable cause of the Subject’s memory loss to either a) the effects of physical or psychological trauma, or b) direct divine interference, most likely by the Archdragon Kalgalath. Based upon available evidence, the latter is the more likely cause. In view of this my recommendation is as follows:

1) Subject should be referred to the Experimental Arcana section for their evaluation. Arcanist Kastner’s team has recently made some very promising progress in the treatment of brain trauma in conjunction with the churches of Amalthea and Pelor that may be effective.

2) The likelihood of an Archdragon’s involvement invokes General Directive 6. Consequently, recommend NFA this course of investigation.

3) Perhaps the Ninth Directorate should be asked to reconsider the ‘licensed adventurer’ issue. The whole thing seems like an OH&S nightmare.

Erika Jahn
Senior Section Chief
Forensic Arcana Division

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Markus - An Interlude

Markus rubbed his eyes and looked blearily out of the window as the first rays of sunlight kissed the tops of the buildings outside. The second candle had burnt low long ago. He’d been here in the library almost every night since arriving, grabbing a couple of hours sleep when he could but otherwise working with methodical intensity as he pored over manuscript after manuscript in his search.

“Hello Pelor, care to shine some light on the mystery of Gehrigan and his amazing vanishing memory?” he murmured quietly as he watched the dawn turn to day. He waited, listening to the silence but not really expecting a direct reply. Instead he took the moment to still himself and look within his own personal library.

He visualised himself placing everything he’d learnt tonight on a series of shelves, just as he had every other night since meeting his new companions, and traced his fingers lightly over the books and scrolls he’d already placed. Markus was sure the answer would be here somewhere, and if not now then soon.

The absence of part of Gherigan’s memory disturbed him more than he’d admitted to anyone, even Bon. Although Bon probably knew anyway – he had a way of finding and keeping secrets. Markus understood forgetting and the slippery way memory worked, how emotions and the now of things affected how you recalled what has come before. He also knew how the perceived importance or usefulness of something determined the likelihood of its immediate recall. But always there was continuity. And memories made people who they were. So for someone… for Gehrigan to lose a whole period of time, not just forget, was as if someone had stolen part of him… a part of his essence. And so Markus studied and investigated and trawled through his extensive knowledge in the hope he could find the answers and help his new friend.

“What do you think Garrett?” he whispered, glancing at his friend curled up in the corner. Garrett had kept him company on and off and was always enthusiastically willing to help. He encouraged Markus without judgement or understanding and sometimes gave him the impetus to go on. He’d also been extremely helpful in eliminating or confirming various flora and fauna that could have contributed, as well as locales where these things existed. Garrett’s help hadn’t provided the answers Markus sought but Markus was glad of the company.

His mind drifted to his other new-found companions then. To Elrich, the proud Hin paladin who could teach him so much and hopefully share the songs of his people with him. To Gyda, the passionate shield maiden (although the maiden bit was unlikely Markus thought) who was so far away from home and was constantly trying to prove herself. And to Modryn, blessed of Pelor and the miracle of a thousand generations who had so much to learn himself about the nature of his god, his father and himself. He was glad Bon was so insistent that they join paths – there were so many stories here he didn’t know where to begin.

But then he frowned as he contemplated Gehrigan. He was so sure that Gehrigan had been fleeing the ghosts of his childhood that when he met the… ‘normality’ of his family life it had thrown him. Gehrigan was, at his core, a good man with good parents who felt strong family bonds like love and loyalty. There was absolutely nothing to run from. And yet Gehrigan had a massive hole where part of his past should be. And it niggled at Markus like a stone in his boot. So he forwent sleep and pleasure and chased the dragon.

He could hear the castle stirring and knew that his time of quiet was ending so he went over his questions once more, counting each one of on one of his nimble fingers, before waking Garrett and going to break his fast.

“Who would steal part of a man?” Who indeed? Such things didn’t occur by complete accident that often, and Gehrigan showed no signs of physical trauma that one would normally associate with memory loss. So either Gehrigan had an unknown enemy that he had forgotten, Markus surmised, or he had done it to himself.

“What could steal part of a man?” Ahhh that was the question wasn’t it? There were natural beasts that exuded poisons that could do it, or certain herbs, or certain traumas, or creatures steeped in magic, or otherworldly planes, or arcane items, or artifacts of legend, or certain spells and castings… or even the gods. Markus shook his head. Too many
options, too many answers. He needed to do more research and was glad they were intending to head to the capital and the library there.

“Where could one steal part of a man?” This at least he had the beginnings of an answer. Gehrigan had been quite open about his last memory before the blankness and his first memory since. It gave Markus something to work with and he, with Garrett’s help and maps, had already started planning how to get there.
“When was it stolen?” That seemed to be an easy answer, but Markus didn’t know enough about the Who, What and Where of things to be sure. It appeared that Gehrigan had lost his memory and regained it… but what if… if it had happened afterwards? Markus shuddered as he thought about some of the options he’d considered that he hoped hadn’t taken place. High and dangerous arcane like the legendary Wish spell… tentacled dwellers of the deep and dark who could twist and eat your mind… the god of secrets and whispers whose name he would not even think lest he hear, so on to the question of…

“Why?” Markus paused in his reverie, remembering something he’d read or heard somewhere… The Why of things is sometimes the key to everything. Why did Gehrigan have a hole in his memory? What purpose did it serve? Whatever was missing was important – Markus was sure of it. More important than fighting dragons and monsters or making maps or keeping secrets or singing songs. Maybe not more important than being blessed by a god, Markus though wryly, but knowing the gods it is probably all connected.

He stood up and put it all back into his mental library, shook his head to clear the cobwebs, sighed, stretched and yawned. He’d work it out eventually, but for now the food here was plentiful and good and he could hear his belly rumbling. He walked over to his friend and poked him with his foot. “Wake up Garret, my friend. Time for a new adventure. Let’s see where today takes us.”

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Gehrigan in his room

Gehrigan closed the door behind him and surveyed his old room. Nothing had changed in here since he had left for the Academy. He wished he could say the same about himself.

He let out a long, slow breath. It was good to be home. He could not remember the last time he had felt safe since leaving the Heironean Chapter House, back in Dresda, all those years ago.

Death and Pain, Fire and Blood, these things had been his world and in his remaining memories for so long. But the world had just turned upside down for him.

Modryn … his son! … and he had just come to terms with having a daughter, after being raped those long years ago back in Parvaron. He was certain those ‘friends’ were long dead, and good riddance to them.

The events in his father’s study, with Modryn and his Pater, and in the library, with his Mater, replayed again and again in his mind. He couldn’t make it stop.

He set his pack down on the floor, his Shield against his study chair, and removed his armour piece by piece, “Megwen, my mother, attended a Wizards academy,” Modryn’s words left him winded and despairing.

Gehrigan had disappointed his tutors at the Academy, he had lost his friends and memories on another continent, he had failed them too. Fynn and Val, Dordock and Rytlock, he had failed them. Now he had disappointed a son he never knew he had, his Father and Mother would think even less of him, if that was possible.

Gehrigan sat down on his bed. He placed his head in his hands, gave up all responsibility and knightly bearing and began to sob uncontrollably.

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Bon's Prayer

Good evening my lady.
I don’t know if you can hear my prayer, but I need to put some words around my thoughts. You placed me in a position to be in Sir Gehrigan’s company and, at first, I thought this was so that I could see her again. But now I’m wondering if it’s also because of Gehrigan himself. He says he has lost his memory, and that may be true, but it might be that the man he was before is worth forgetting. It seems his former self has badly used two different women, fathering a child from each before leaving them. In each case, there seems to be dark magic involved. It seems an odd coincidence. Is he cursed by some evil warlock? Or was he the one using enchantments to ensorcel and abuse these women? He admits he was once trained at the Academy, so it is possible. The damnable thing of it is that I like the man. He seems such an innocent buffoon around women, and in most company generally, that I cannot but feel some sympathy for him. But is that all a façade? Is he playing me just as I am playing him?
Meanwhile his other companions are also worthy of mention. Like Gehrigan, they also have my admiration, but none of them have a good sense of who they are. Gehrigan’s son, Modryn, is a child being used by Pelor as his avatar. Modryn has a child’s morality and maybe that is exactly what Pelor can utilise. One day some of Gehrigan’s indistinct sense of morals might rub off. Until then, he remains a god-child still working out who he is.
Elrich is the proudest little Halfling I have ever encountered. He’s also the chosen of a god, a Halfling god called Barkley – my knowledge of the gods doesn’t stretch that far. Elrich always seems to be working out the right way to behave, like he would rather be just enjoying the simplicities of life but feels obliged to be uptight about everything, as if he might accidentally disappoint his god if he enjoyed himself.
Gyda is the one woman of the group and a woman like none I have ever met before but even she is a bit lost. She is very much a free spirit but in that freedom I don’t think she knows what her purpose is. I think she busies herself with everyone else’s path so as to avoid thinking about her own. I look forward to discovering more of her.
So maybe they all need saving in some way? Maybe you’ve put me here for all of them? But I’m not sure what that has to do with my vow to you. Either way, you know I will serve your will.
At least I’m with Markus and Garrett again and we are able to watch each other’s back. It is so good to be travelling with friends whom I can trust. I sometimes believe that they in turn trust me – the real me and not just who I pretend to be. One day I may even trust them with that secret. Well Markus at least; it’s just not in Garrett to ever hold a secret. He’s far too honest, and I hold him dearly for it.
Maybe it’s my high regard for Garrett’s friendship that silences my tongue every time he speaks of his beloved. Every time, part of me wants to slap some sense into him and yell at him to go and be with her. If he only knew how blessed he is. If he only understood how much he takes for granted.
But I’m in Dresda now. Did you plan for me to be here? I assume that she is still here. Somewhere. What happens if she sees me? I cannot risk it. It’s foolish for me to even be here. And yet here I am. This is where you’ve brought me. I wonder what I would say to Garrett if he were me now. Would my advice still be the same?
My lady, I don’t know if you can hear my prayer, but right now I’m also a little bit lost. Your guidance would be appreciated.

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The world according to Garrett
episode 1

we have a sprite! they’re sort of quick, don’t say much & are sort of pretty & i always thought they didn’t really exist. but now that I’ve met one i know that’s not true. we had a long conversation while we were on the train. they’re really friendly when they don’t disappear to do other secret sprite-y things.
we went on a train! (totally not as exciting as an airship) i didn’t get to drive this one, but we went really fast. we had to sit still for aaages (that was hard) but that gave me time to sleep & talk to my friends and make new friends and talk to them & then we stopped at new places i hadn’t never been to before. that was exciting for a while.
then we went to Gherrigan’s house! well, we never really made it that far. but he was telling me all about it. stories involving his sister who is in charge (& she’s not allowed to talk to Gida while she’s busy or was that only when she’s busy? i forget) & he has a brother & a Dad, but he says he was dead & everyone thought he was dead when he wasn’t. i think he was running away, but now he’s going home so i guess that’s okay – but then he said he had two other groups of friends that got killed as well, & now we’re the third group of friends, & what happens if we die as well!? he’ll have no friends again… but then one night while we were at the inn & we were asleep someone killed someone & cut off their ears & eyes. i think that that would have hurt up until the part where he was killed. but we chased them because you can’t do that sort of stuff & not expect to get in trouble. i was pretty upset by it, i don’t like it when people kill people for no reason. but I found which way they went.
we have two Paladins! paladins are funny. they don’t seem to get upset like normal people. they seem to be super polite to people who are bad, & are really nasty to nice people (the po po).
they argue a lot. they say things like “oh no Elrich, you can take the lead. i’ll just stand here quietly & insult everyone & then when you do it wrong I’ll point out your failed tactics in front of the bad-guys”… boy i nearly pee’d myself laughing <giggle> but i was hiding in a tree & didn’t want to give myself away. <hee> its still funny!
but i guess their tactics worked because it made the bad guys so angry that they attacked them.
Assassins are bad! one absolutely stabbed Gherrigan. but it must not have hurt much because his eyes never went red…

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Storm and Fury
A battle of survival against a Celestial Vampire

The “Nail” and Abraxas [vampire boy] had an explosive intercourse, Modrynn being extinguished at that point set the tone for the fight.
When the dust cleared, the characters started to pick themselves up to continue their fight against the “Lord of Darkness”. Gyda tackled the guy and Dordok went in, Scimitar swinging. Gehrigan recovere dnext and began to pray to Heironeous ??? Abraxas let out some weird “Howl of Horror TM” which frightened Gehrigan, paralyzed Dordok, and left only Gyda to continue the fight. Abraxas faceplanted Gyda into the floor which smashed her through the already damaged structure and down two floors into the foyer area.
Ogradynn, Cosime, and Rytlock had recovered by this stage and made their way downstairs to assist their comrades. Brandt re-animated and leapt downstairs to assist “The Master of the Night” against his former allies. Dordok’s shield was shattered by a blow from “The Dark Celestial” but this did not deter him from doing his best to aid Rytlock and Gyda in the melee. Gyda managed to even bite the “Night that lives”.
Gehrigan could not shake the frighening howl which made him pray all the harder.

“My lord god, please hear my prayer.
I left your path, in my arrogance deciding I could do more good as a leader of warriors. I have failed.
I beseech you to assist us, not for our lives,, but we cannot let the “Nail” fall into the hands of this evil creature. Without magical defences to stop it, this whole world would be in danger."

The storm outside raged in symbiotic relationship with the battle inside. The more fierce the combat became, the more the lightning flashed, thunder roared, and rain pummelled down.
Then, the storm stopped. An intense column of radiant light struck down from above, through the hole in the roof and down through the torn apart levels of the house, focusing on the shattered, burnt husk of Modrynn, Abraxas, and those around them. Ogradynn and Rytlock felt their sources of power returned, alongside Modrynn’s armour a young, glowing, naked boy appeared, and Gehrigan’s fear was gone.
Gehrigan got to his feet and then leapt down at “The Lord of Death” with StarFang ahead of him. He cut Abraxas deeply and rejoined the fight.
“The creator of Thralls” summoned shapes of darkness from the floor to do his bidding, Rytlock made a prayer to the lord of light and banished the darkness, also inflicting damage upon “The Ancient Horror”.
Cosime fought Brandt, Ogradynn cast protection spells on Dordok, and magic missiles into Brandt and “The Darkness that lives”. Elrich held the torch.
“The Wearer of Skins” had had enough, he reached into Dordok’s chest and crushed his heart, Dordok had breath for one last cry of “CatherineDennis” before his soul was consumed by “The Eater of Souls”. Gyda screamed in fury, SHE was the one who must die in battle, Gyda would not have that honour stolen from her.
Rytlock screamed, “No more, I will take no more,” and focused all of the divine power at his disposal inwards, the Lord of Light’s flame fed on the dwarven fuel source and a mighty radiant heat erupted blinding everyone present, when they could see again Rytlock was gone and so was Abraxas. Brandt and Dordok’s re-animated bodies hit the floor.
Ogradynn could tell that Abraxas was still alive but his spells could not track the “The master of Beasts”.
Ogradynn assured the group that Rytlock’s sacrifice had freed Dordok and Brandt’s souls to continue their path to the afterlife.
They picked themselves up and went to the young form of the new Modrynn. The “Nail” had freed him of his pact and his death had ended it for good. The lord of light had chosen to send him back to help in this momentous battle.
The group gathered up their fallen friends’ bodies and carried them out to the stables, placing their worldly possessions with them. For Rytlock they had only his hammer and shield for there was no body to find.
They all spoke last words for their fallen companions and then each threw a lit torch into the pyre, igniting the stables and their companions remains.

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Fairloch, once more
Sice last I wrote to you Helian

Dear Helian,
I have been unable to write for some time, my adventuring group has been held prisoner in a Wizard’s tower after a failed rescue attempt. The more things change …
We had been approached by Sir Eamon Mallory, the Chief Bailiff of Fairloch, to accompany the elven trader Thelindelar on a journey to a stronghold named Strayhold in the Khadeshi confederation to investigate Orcish intentions towards the Empire, due to a recent spate of covert incursions by mercenaries hired by the Triple-Scar clan.
I ran into my former squire, Teanik, along with other former associates, Roland and Jorge. I was taken aback by a very seductive young lady jumping into my lap at a tavern, but she was even more surprised when she realised I didn’t remember any of them. I still have so many holes, more questions than answers, it would drive me to despair if I couldn’t keep busy.
Our more social party members managed to dig up rumours of a Triple-Scar Upper echelon meeting occurring at one of their mines many hours travel from Strayhold. We set out to try and determine their intentions and got involved in a slave revolt at the mine lead by Tianik and her cronies who were there looking for a particular missing person. They had no luck but joined us in defending the mine from an early arriving force of Triple-Scars. We couldn’t get the slaves away before the main force of Scars arrived so prepared to fight hard and drive them away.
We ended up being challenged by an Ogre Sorceress who was the chieftess of the Triple Scars, we had almost defeated her when some crazy wizard created an earthquake which caused us to fall into ancient tunnels beneath the mountain and scattered our party through the catacombs.
We all managed to come together whilst allying with some of the missing Orcs. We faced down a Hydra before meeting up with the Ogress again. My friend Fynn made a deal with her to buy the freed slaves and have safe passage out of Khadesh. Fynn and I wnet back to Strayhold to collect Thelindelar while the rest of our party and the freed folk walked back to the Empire.
Fynn and I reached Stray hold and found that the local wizard Catharandamus had arranged to have Thelindelar taken to his tower. She had not returned. Fynn organised for a magical message to be sent to Val and we requested the rest of our group as reinforcements.
Val, Dordock, Elrich and Rytlock met us in Strayhold and we began to find out more about Catharandamus and his tower. I was foolish and headstrong and was brought to the barracks of the local peacekeepers who went by the name The Golden Suns. I earnt my freedom and learnt my lesson.
Fynn arranged a meeting with the wizard’s apprentice, Cosime, and she met with us so we could arrange an equitable trade. Unfortunately, her master wasn’t interested in our magical trinkets and so turned us down, Fynn let Cosime know that it wasn’t the end of our conversation.
The group worked out where a back entry was into the tower and so we entered, with our new ally Gyda – a beautiful primal warrior.
We had no idea how many forces would be arrayed against us in this hellish tower. There were a platoon of Golden Sun troops, metal men, knights made of eyeballs, fire beasts, and many other enemies. We beat most of them but wore ourselves out. Our last stand was in an underground library. I was taken out by a magical cone of cold and woke up in a cell.
They tortured us mercilessly, allowing us little rest, and kept us confude and addled. If not for the bravery of two apprentices of the tower, we would have been subsumed into their horrible simulacrums. We found out from one of our rescuers, Oggradyn, that Val and Fynn had both been killed in our final stand. I feel that I am cursed to constantly see my friends fall around me.
Oggradyn is a dwarvish mortician while Modryn is a magic-using warrior. They had found out about the experiments and horrors being committed by the 4 leaders of the tower, that’s right Catharandamus was the face for even more magic-users. WE gathered up weapons and armour and then hunted down the wizards who were present.
We destroyed two of the Quadvirate, but Catharandamus and the Orc Sorceror were not home. We destroyed all the horrors and escaped the tower.
We rested back at a local tavern and then in the morning set out to return to Fairloch.
We got out of town and headed back to fairloch, meeting refugees from Newbridge on the way. Orcs had invaded and had razed the town, we escorted them to safety and then snuck closer to fairloch.
It was under seige but luckily we also cook, rytlock cast a waterwalk spell that night and we followed the lake into town.
We are now planning to ride 100 miles to Marr’s Hill , the nearest imperial garrison , to get reinforcements to break the siege.

I will no doubt see you soon
Yours Sincerely
Regan

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