Banestorm

Orcs....
Death of a Djini

So we killed a Djinii…

We had a long discussion about religion

The Sauiran is amazing. We went into the city… Zarro and the saurian fought the basilisk. Killing it. I harvested the basilisk.

We realized this was the ground zero of the Banestorm..

The lizard kills him in the eye…. The dwarf wakes up and claims the Yammerpells are tools.

Convinced the Orcs to follow us by wearing the leader’s body.

We have the garland at the end of September… But we moved ahead quickly.

Busy times.

We killed an Djinni, a basilisk, a dwarf, and got in with the Orcs…

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The Long Walk
crossing the desert...

I have saved a bottle.

It is the finest pear wine, the pears are difficult to grow in the great forest and the fruit takes years to mature. To keep the effervescent sweetness, oh so subtle, and have it infused with sparkling water, with the slightest taste of home.

I also have a rosé, bubbly again, I do like bubbles, that I was going to cultivate on my lands. The first crop came in before I was rudely dispossessed and I was able to hold onto a bottle.

I will sit and enjoy these drinks shortly.

Before we left I sat and my mind and thoughts coalesced and I understood how the tree cities were made. I wrote it down, and gave it to the People. I also told them of my adventures and the horror in the northern forest. (As well as the Evil role they tried to seduce me into.)

Some of the People will stay and fight, some will build new cities, some will flee to other-Yrth…

I will sit and enjoy my wines, annotate my book and gather my thoughts… because soon we head into this abandoned city in the desert, that is not so abandoned anymore.

If I do not survive I will be saddened that the Providence of Qunitas will not have a silent protector, that my Master will not soon be saved and that my friends will be left alone. I will miss the long life that could avwait… But i will have written my book, enjoyed my wine and be prepared for what is to come.

I dearly love this life, but now we go to challenge the Orcs and life is not certain.

I will enjoy this wine.

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Our Band
in which M'tan refers to himself in the third person for, hopefully, the final time

Well, this has been a time.

My “adventures” in Caithness (as least as a member of the royals) has come to an end and I’m better for it.

I was so angry at the King and my companions that I was not one of them. Then I was angry that since I was not one of them they did not respect me. In fact, when I pause and reflect (a newer attempt for me, I fully admit) I realize two things.

First, they did amazingly with me. Their backgrounds scream that they reject me, an alien creature with what they would consider to Devil powers, on site and yet for years they accepted me. Even at the very end, the King did right by me in his way and ousted the Slaver (By the Eternal it is sad that my friend went down that path… nothing is lower than slavery.) and left my haven for demi-humans, up to and including the addition of my “son” inheriting the land of Quintus.

Second, I still love them. Their passion and urgency is everything I wanted from my own people and did not get. For ill or wise, I will always work to help Caithness and keep her free for the hated Empire.

I have met wonderful new companions! A Lizard Man Gladiator, what an amazing person he seems to be. I am lucky to travel with him. Also, a Gnomish diplomat, she also brings amazing skills, personality and integrity to her work. As the humans say, one door closes another opens. I am excited to see more of this world. We are to cross the ocean of Magic dead sand! While I will be like an infant I am so excited to see this! As I’ve written before, growing up I did not believe in humans… but the thought of a Magic Dead ocean of sand was the highest flight of fancy I could imagine.

Already we have had some adventures, we traveled for months to the South to discover why some Lizard Men were invading. It turns our the huge Orc migration of a thousand years is upon us. Now we must decide whether to warn the humans or not (my elven brethren say no, but I know that will do all I can to help Caithness.)

There was an assassin who tried to kill me, that my companions dealt with. After being beaten in tough combat I accepted his surrender and traded his life for a period of loyal service. I know and regret that his caused the Great Lizard distress. We shall see, but life is s short (even for elves – when they actually live it) and I would rather trust and love, then always assume the worst, even of my assassin. (Mind you, I am not a complete fool and I will keep my magic on him until we are all sure as a group.

Next, warn Caithness, cross the desert to find the Great Lizard’s homeland and push on to the Castle to liberate it and find my Master, Lluesetriene R’taktal Daarangelikine.

(Note: some credit my Master with a difficult exuberance for abandoning me – while that may be true, I suspect the urgency was so great for the survival of us all that he had to go. And knowing what I know now, I believe that he could live yet, hidden in a plant.)

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The elf must simply be pompous.
Duty, honor, integrity, code.

The elf must simply be pompous. This was the thought that Simver kept rolling back to in his mind, try as he might to suss out an alternative answer. In the short time he had spent with the elf, he had shown himself to be neither naive nor desperate. Neither craven nor crazed. Any of those would have been explanation enough for his actions he supposed. But in their absence only one conclusion could remain, and that conclusion was that the elf must simply be deluded to believe that he could definitively control his would-be assassin.

In his life as a gladiator, Simver had been called many things, most of which he did not care to remember. Mercenary, killer, villain, thug. He knew these things not to be true because he lived by a code. Duty, honor, integrity, respect. Simver knew that these were the only true currency that could be trusted. The only currency that mattered in the end. A true assassin however knew no code. He was simply a killer who could be bought by the person with the most gold. A self serving profiteer whose allegiance went to the highest bidder. To be sure, the elf had made a mistake in letting this man live. There was simply too much risk in letting a wild card like this remain part of the fragile equation that comprised this motley group. But it was a mistake that could be corrected. And Simver knew that correction was part of what he did best.

Picking the right moment was paramount. Simver knew from experience that the hours past midnight were a suckers bet. It was actually the hours just before dawn that were perfect purchase for errands such as this. He concentrated his focus and mumbled the secret prayer he had been taught that allowed him to be alerted if someone undesirable approached without his knowledge. Then he slipped through the door and silently closed it behind him. With a press of his thumb on the lock hole, he magically sealed the door, locking him and his target safely inside. He moved across the room, determined to complete his task quickly. He did not want to give this man more consequence than he deserved.

As he approached the sleeping assassin in the dark, he almost felt sorry for the man. He lay fast asleep on a pile of straw. The shoulder of his good arm was hunched up under his chin as a make shift pillow while the other mangled arm that Simver had hacked off awkwardly slumped off to one side. Oh well, no matter. There was work to be done.

As Simver moved in to place his knife on the mans throat, he noticed something he had not noticed before. Peeking out from under the mans shirt collar was the tell tale sign of a familiar looking scar. A symbol Simver had seen before and knew all too well. It was a branding of the Principate. A mark denoting noxii status of the gladiatorial.

How could this be, he thought. This man was surely no gladiator, was he? Confused, Simver quietly sheathed his knife and backtracked out of the room.

Back in his bed, Simver’s mind raced trying to piece together what had just happened. Did he know this man? Had he fought against him? Or even more horrifying a thought, had he fought along side him? Was this man tracking him or was this all simply a freakish coincidence? How could he have been so wrong in judging this mans character? Or was he wrong? Too many questions, not enough answers. Simver did not know what to think. Duty, honor, integrity, code. These were the only things he knew for sure as he lay three in a cold sweat, listening to the morning rooster crow. Duty, honor, integrity, code.

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M'tan's Departure - Entry the 30th
Letters to My Lord

(Written in the Lords Latin on Vellum)

An Open Letter to My Lord,

You are a Cad and I despise your betrayal.

You deserve the Hospitallers you get. Why did you fight so hard against them?

God Help Us All.

In Jesus Christ’s name, the Great Redeemer and the Messiah of Israel,
Lord Quintas

(Written as a Private Letter)

I write this in a state of despair. I have just been turned out. Everything I have done seems to have been thown away.

Then I looked to my Garden. I always grow a wild garden and watch it. Now I have learned to watch it.

What is an Enemy?

- Someone who desires your end for no other reason than for your end.

What is an Ally?

- Someone who’s interests are aligned with yours, for a specific (or multiple) defined instances.

What is a Reliable Ally?

- Someone who communicates with you when your interests are becoming mis-aligned.

What is an Unreliable Ally?

- Someone who does not communicate with you when you interests are becoming mis-aligned.

What is a Fool?

- Someone who mistakes an Ally for a Friend and does not believe an Ally could be Unreliable.

What is a Greater Fool?

- Someone who thinks a Fool is incapable of learning.

What is a Cause for Caution

- Someone who relied on a Magical Power he does not control.
- Someone who then replaced it with a Temporal Power his family had already failed to control.

God Help Us All.

In Jesus Christ’s name, the Great Redeemer and the Messiah of Israel,
Lord Quintas

(Written in Invisible Ink, keyed to his touch)

Lord,

This Fool once thought you to be his Lord and Friend. As time went on, I believed you to be his Ally. After your betrayal I, initially thought you were my Enemy. I no longer think this, I now hope you may have the potential to be an Unreliable Ally.

Give me my wealth, my people (the halflings and those humans who are would be persecuted because of their association with me), and the forest, The Western Forests (Obviously I will not secure them for you now, in fact the elven troops I spend years raising should be a factor you strongly consider) Of course, I do not my old lands, cease them in a sign of strength, I pray (I do) that it helps you in your slow surrender to the Church – and I will give you what you desire, my retirement (you may celebrate it as my Death) – unless you cross the Forest Line. Then there will be a Cause for Caution.

I built tall trees and abundant crops because I was young and foolish. I desired to display my most basic of tricks. I desired to help all living things. That desire no longer lives in me.

I want to live in my forest with my citizens (expel them because of me) – I will (in another guise) continue to support me. Deny me and there will be blood to pay, I am still young, and I am still foolish.

If harm comes to Aziz or any of those who have sworn loyalty to me, we are at War. Instead of that you could banish my vassals to the Western Wood, I will take them in without publicity or malice. No one will fault you, in fact, the Hospitallers may praise you for it. You taught me both the holiness of the feudal vow, and the lie of it. I choose to stay true to it and I hold you, my Lord, to stay true to that part, at least.

You sought, and failed to prevent a Civil War. I turned the tide.

But imagine if the War you tried so hard to avoid doesn’t come from the people. What if it came from the Plants. The Earth. The Water. Worse yet, from a foolish youth that you have taken advantage of – imagine if that youthful excess was moved against you. You’ve seen it. I did it for all your defenses. Take my title, take my lands, take (to the public) my life – give me my serfs, my émigrés’, my wealth and will leave you. Remember the joy we felt when the walls came down and the plants ate our enemies. That was Just. Let us agree to never meet again and be on the side of Justice.

God Help Us All.

In Jesus Christ’s name, the Great Redeemer and the Messiah of Israel,
Your Fool,
M’tan

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M'tan's Travels - entry the twenty sixth

Humans. Betrayed by the King, declared an enemy of the state.

After all I have done for them, their Church turned them against me.

My “brothers” say I’m a young elf and unable to understand humans truly. I understand them. And I will make those who have betrayed me pay. Those who are my friends, they will remain my friends.

But I will haunt the lines of those who caused this betrayal, and soon this land will be One Forest and the humans who betrayed me will beg for their lives.

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M'tan's travels - entry the twenty fifth

Old friends to re-meet and new people with particular habits.

The Parliament continues and, joy of Joys, old friends return! Fuzzytop Pathtreader has returned full of Magical knowledge! What a wonderful development. Additionally, dear old contentious Joshua Tariq Aziz (Aziz) turned up with and interesting brown human. I heard they came in many colors, but I didn’t really know it. I love their pageantry, like the birds of the Deep Forest with different plumage!

We met the Elf who build a wonderful preserve in town, his creations are truly masterworks and I hope to learn from him. Again I’m presented with this damnable prophesy (certainally I cand never return to the Poisoned Forest in case I am the one who brings this alien entity into the world. I learned that the Lady Lleroflyn is a dark elf and that the people at the dinner were destined to become the Chantry of the Land. Neat! I’ve never been around so many other practitioners. Everyone seemed to agree to give it a go. Now it’s back to the business at hand, the Parliament and the Vote! Here’s the numbers as I see them now:

YES

Harkwood – Lleroflyn (wife of Baron Fenmarc) – OURS – dark elves there help against infection and that Blythe had fallen to the LizardMen – Lizard Men are all over the Western Forest – potion for potence
Lady Bronwyn – Durham (gave the King a plaebo) – Count on this vote
King – count on this vote’
Wallace – our beloved friend
Donlis – Lord Marsden – caught for tax evasion (pirates)
Dearwood – Dame Loraina
M’tan – I will certainally vote for my own bill.
Oakwood – Baron Brance

UNKNOWN

Denton – Baron Cabble – helped prevent the Civil War from re-occuring – (Lord Wallace in money) – racist about Elves
Ferrier – Baron Nabbick
Fordham – Sir Berd
Redhall – Lord Lathan Redbeard
Simonton – Lord Walton
Sterling – Lord Town
Tacitus – Baron Elohar

NO

Photius – Archbishop Siccius
Lerinin

Addendum: An assassin almost killed me, the fire mage burned the guy, I then grabbed him and put him in the tree. Everyone helped keep me alive. Very kind! Now I’m poisoned.

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M'tan's travels - entry the twenty fourth

By God, this new Parliament is fun! I can see why the humans love their politics. It moves so fast and influences to much. It’s wildly inefficient and in no way leads to slow considered decisions, but how exhilarating it is.

We have an Act before the Parliament the, Act in the Defense of Caithness that the Knight and I are willing to pass. What fun! I hope we will.

Aside from fun, if we don’t well likely lose our lands to Orcish Invasion, which is less than ideal.

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Happenings

Azizabad is on its way. We’ve managed to free the quarry slaves and built up the town. We’ve discovered an iron deposit, which is bringing great wealth to the region.

Now we celebrate the End of the War.

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M'tan's travels - entry the twenty third

We have the bowl. The artifact that controls the horror.

Thankfully the Elves from Harkwood saved us from the troops of Nanius, 30 elite elven troops were able to easily sway the battle in our favor. Thank the Eternal God for them.

It was our combined forces which allowed us to take the castle.

After the battle, I ordered a Fire brigade, a heal brigade and a rescue brigade

(Grezelda, insane as per normal left her clothes on, but weirdly, trys to blow out fire.

The crews are putting the fire out, while Grezelda thinks its her.

Carthage talks to Barry’thren, Woodsman of Lord Wallace about the Prophecy concerning me.

Meanwhile, Grezelda trys to recruit helpers – a 10 year old and a 12 year old – help her out. They think she’s amazing while the other villagers find her touched.

Barry’s wife had a vision – so he’s been traveling – spending time in the woods outside of here, when they saw the battle begin, that’s when they decided it was time to act.

Fuzzy, is healing people to help out. As usual, she’s an amazing mage and person.

Aziz hides in the kitchen, he can head out and direct workers as necessary, but he chooses to defend the kitchen against potential hidden defenses.

Carthage, “Is the Kitchen safe?” Aziz “The kitchen is safe.”

Carthage and Barry talks about vision, it’s of me being taken to the Dark Forest and serving them. Not a pleasant picture.

Aziz asks about pythons in the divinations – and in the elven prophecy – Barry says there are a lot of things about snakes – will not tell elven secrets, unless he considers a life of service to the elven tribes.

Aziz, says, “I’ll divuldge my secrets to you.”

He again offers to come to the Great Forest and prove his devotion to learning such prophecies.

1/3 were wounded on both sides – 100 – we had 15 wounded and 5 dead

Of the 10 hospitallers – all are fine – but the commander is severly wounded

On the Nanius side – 12 remain

Fuzzy stabailized all but 3 – they need regeneration – she cast regen successfully on a soldier – his arm will regrow.

She passes out, Fuzzy naps, Grezelda finds high ground and goes up into the tower. She’s sure she will see the Spider Horse when she comes.

Where the Lord announces the agreement I sign a song of encouragement.

Time passes – 4 hours – people drift off – very depressed – bad temper – we are coming down off the drugs.

People had to die, we’ll never find a cure, they’ll have to be slaughtered. – This is the bed temper I find myself.

I Sleep.

Everyone is nasty, thankfully I miss it..

Carthage destorys all the Moon Cakes.

Grezelda tries to find some, but they’ve been destroyed, so she has some wine instead.

Hospitallers have taken the guard.

I wake up – happy and sober.

Carthage sings cry me a river, while we were in our tents

I saw a giant python.

I wake up Wake up in the Great Hall.

Get food for Fuzzy and one for her wonderful dog.

Barry tells us that the Beast is from another world – his understanding is that the Banestorm didn’t bring them here – Elven cults worshipped similar beasts – the thing in the Blackwoods were brought here by the Defenders or humans.

These demons have been here since recorded evlen history.

Similar cults worshipped this on Earth that were brought from the Banestorm.

I talk to Marsden while Fuzzy heals the rest

We talk to the Reeve – to coordinate security – Reeve Phabius – Fuzzy goes to heal the reeve – big ass caulifolower – heals the Reeve – Fuzzy asks how he got infected. He’s had it for serveral years – wife comes over – stooped over with huge caulifower – He falls to her feet thanking her – we do a census of who is infected – we know that if we sent a crow to Phodius the clergy would come help – send help note to the archbishop

Marsden agrees to support for Lord Wallace as head of Parliment

Oil – from town – 4 barrels of oil we can use in the upcoming battle.

Fuzzy talks to Oxen and he comes along.

we have 1 warhorse, 3 riding horses

When we investigate, we find the Hospitallers are gone.

We travel to Armand – Reeve seems distracted.

It takes 1 day to get to Armond.

Barry says the cauliflower is a pre-form of the tranformation

It can exist in many populations (when last Elves saw it, it was 1500 years ago)

The forms are chosen by the priests of the cult – horses, cows (beast of food) and darkness

“The grower of the tree in the west will return to the Black woods and with the black arbor – destory the world” – That’s the line of the prophecy that seems to be about me.

Two runners head out to get witch texts from the town we just took.

Heal people all day – Fuzzy heals 8 people cured from the NOrth – healed

Refugees – 20 in Armand

15 humans, 5 halflings

They are Oakwood refugees, we let them know that we’ll save them and that they are welcome in our lands.

I do an excellent Public speaking and the refugees decide to come with and the troops to stick with us.

2 woodworkers came up ask about land – Aziz, he let’s them know that they are welcome to come with families

We get our plan in order.

The torches are prepped and we are ready.

Concentrate on the thing – I’m connected to it so after Aziz trys to activate it we realize it has to be me. I take it in my hand and fear explodes into my brain I have a vision of flying above all these lands but I don’t see trees and forest instead I see a landscape which is twisted, my world drops away.

Where are you from, I ask – not from here, it replies – there is an unintelligible string of syllables. I have no idea what it says.

This world needs to be transformed – in the name of the “unknown” (The Great Arbor)

I ask if it is Odins horse – I don’t know what Odin is, it replies.

The Moon is waning, it is 2 nights after the full moon. The creature comes.

We do a lot of damage from the Balistia’s. We then do a ton of damage with the fire.

I feel pain – I faint.

Area totally on fire, I have fallen, Aziz pulls me out.

Carthage fails at holding it.

Burns down terribly. Our plan seems to be working.

The creature tries to fly away, but its wings are burned away… again it tries to fly…

It collapses and dies – big splash of oil – disgusting smell of burining ichor – it’s dead – black smoke everywhere.

There are 15 – 20 guys are passed out from seeing it.

Inspire the troops – elves – I seem to have found my voice. It reinspires the elves and troops.

I grant Freeman status to the serfs of Armand who decide to come with us. I was riding the victory. Ah well, freemen will mean trade.

We Wait for refugees – 3 days to get the refugess

6 days to Donlis – take time to meet the people – talk with serfs, now freemen

The Knight and Fuzzy scouts and hunts.

We get to Donlis – it is very marshy – we camp in the northern part of town

We send a Page in, with notice that we want to expidte our departure – to Lord Marsden

He agrees to see us in the evening

We camp and we wait.

Aziz, talks to a merchant finds out its 4p per ton per day = 840p = 3360f = (boat food = 8400 f) – food from Simonton to Wallace – 42 days of food (@1 meal a day 6300f)

We have dinner wtih the Baron. I ask how’s the family is doing?

I sing a song, but it is not as good as I hoped.

I unsuccessfuly negotiate with Guy – it takes a long time. He suggests I deal with a Jew.

I go back to camp and there is a Jew there.

We negotiate and all the Jew wants is land. I agree.

It turns our that this Jew is unliked. THe ur-baron Jew is surprised that I agree.

80 caithness guys accompany us.

Get to docks – make it to Simonton in 7 days – August 31.

Lord Walton and Lord Simonton get messages – the Elfs leave

Wallace at 10/1 – Azizabad – is in bad repair – 1 year gone – with very few people

I inspire people – reminding them that this is Caithness and that there is huge reward for hard work and determination – our muscle, sweat, blood, tears will build our area to greatness.

His voice is corse but his mind is stong – is one of the great things I say about Aziz that resonates with the crowd.

I leave with my people and get to the Woods. They are in bad repair as well.

This will take time.

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