Banestorm

Letter from M'tan

(A letter was sent from M’tan to his tribe in the Deep Forest. A wandering bard took half payment to deliver it. He equipped him with a letter of safe passage. It is written in Elvish. (calligraphy default roll made by 4) It is a request for immigrants. Just like the letter from Lady Wallace, Bailiff of Wallace ) this invites people to show up a year and a day after the writing of the letter.)

Well met, my tribe, Ti’al Qu’i’ntis.

This letter is from your wandering son, M’tan Eglentrans. I hope the years have been kind since last I say you, and the Great Forest.

Although I did not leave long ago, only a handful of years, I believe I have grown in both wisdom, and more importantly, understanding my love of the Great Forest.

Humans are real! And they are everywhere. Sadly, the manner in which they live is not conducive to the life of the Forest. When I left I, shamefully, was filled with anger and rage that our mother, the Eternal Forest had been compromised and we seemed to be doing nothing to stop it. Also, it initially seemed to me that the humans were just as bad as the hated Orcs, raping the Earth with no caring for things living. Tearing down the forest to build man-caves with and, the legends were true, burning it for heat during the winter months. Not even the dead fallen trees, they actually cut down living, healthy trees…

I had adventures and grew to know the humans. Over time I realized they were fearful of us, and knew nothing of the power of the Land. I began to help them, growing crops, growing homes, enriching the wood and earth (I have learned some of the secrets of Earth now as well.) I learned their languages and their religion – with one great goal in mind, to regrow part of the great forest and teach humans to be the stewards of the Land. Maybe, should we someday disappear from Y’rth, and we have taken the time to teach them, they will protect the Forest as much as we do. In thanks of my service to them, they “gave” me a portion of land, which is mine to protect and populate.

To that end, I am seeking bold immigrants. People who love the Forest and who are willing to face the humans, live by their rules and their ways, for the express purpose of helping the forest. Specifically, I am seeking any elf (not Dark, mind…) who has the strength of purpose to live among them. In addition, I ask you to pass my request on to other of the Sylvan folk.

I would be happy to welcome:

Elfs – of any tribe

Centaurs – particularly sages who desire to study humans – to them I can provide a field in the sky – near the humans, but safely distant from them

Ellyllon – I would be honored if the Queen would consider sending some of her subjects to my realm, where in I would be happy to grow an Oak of truly noble proportions

Exalted Horse – Please let it be known among the Noble Equine that I would be honored to be considered for friendship and partnership in protecting the Wilds

Fauns – how can I protect the Forest without the assistance of the Passionate Fauns, a small family or families would be most welcome.

Giant – a friendly Giant who grow tired of the Forest would be welcome as well, I would be happy to build up a small mountain for you to call your own

Leprechauns – a small group of Leprechauns would be most welcome. In the roots of my trees are the homes for halflings, but in the roots themselves and entire village could live and grow. Also, the fine cloth you make would be very welcome.

Wildmen – I know how hard it is for the noble Wildmen to survive without Forests, I also know your trust in us runs deep. If a group of you needs more room, I would be happy for you to grow in this Forest

Unicorns – the forest area I have been given to protect is 1200 acres, so a Unicorn could make a good life here and help to grow the Forest

Dryads – I have grow 17 great trees, none who possess the soul of a Dryad, if there are those among you who have lost your trees, and yet somehow survive, please come, you will be welcomed

I invite you all to come and help this forest grow. I ask you to bring your patience with humans and your genuine desire to make the Forest larger and Y’rth a greater place to live.

To my tribe, I wish you the best and should you require or desire anything, please let me know by way of a return letter with this bard.

All my best, M’tan Eglentrans Ti’al Qu’i’ntis

View
Letter from Lady Wallace

Letters were sent to the rulers of the friendly lordships and to the major local trade centers; Photius and New Jerusalem. Upon the request of Aziz, a copy was sent to al-Wazif. These letters were not sent wide, but to the contacts ofLady Wallace, Bailiff of Wallace They requested possible Journeymen or surplus population with skills. Like the dwarfs, immigrants were asked to show up in the same time-frame. A year and a month after the writing of the letter. The positions requested were:

Shoemaker

Furrier

Tailor

Barber

Jeweler

Old Clothes Merchant

Pastry Cook

Wine Merchant

Pot Makers

Saddlers

Purse Makers

Wood Seller

Magic Dealer

Bookbinder

Beer Seller

Buckle Maker

Plasterers

Spice Merchant

Blacksmith

Doctor

Rope Maker

Sculptor

Rug Maker

Harness Maker

Hay Merchant

Cutter – hair cutter & surgeon

Glove Maker

Wood Carver

Bookseller

Illuminator

Maidservants

Tavern Master

Innkeeper

Masons

Carpenters

Weavers

Chandlers – candle makers

Mercers – general merchants

Needle Makers

Haberdashers – odds & ends

Cooper

Baker

Water Carriers

Scabbard Makers

Chicken Butchers

Butchers

Fishmonger

Painters

Roofer

Locksmith

Tanner

Copyist

Bleacher

Scribe

and most importantly,

Farmers – Serfs

View
M'tan's travels - entry the eleventh

The halfling told the tale well, until she fell in into the sweet embrace of Sleep. After leaving Aziz’s land we travelled to mine, where I identified the area I will grow my tree city. I created and grew the initial sequoias. We discussed employment with the men and now we have our Sheriff and or Warden! Huzzah! Then we returned home to Wallace!

Of minor note, on the fountain in Tariqabad the inscription reads, “The towne of Tariqabad, property of Lord Wallace protected by Joshua Tariq Aziz Stonemason.”

Now, it’s time to build.

View
**A thick, red leather notebook part II**

The Personal Adventures of Halfling Scout and Brave Adventurer Fuzzytop Pathtreader

Woke early and broke fast with the Lord. He fed us heartily on hard boiled eggs, a scrumptious large ham, fresh bread with luscious bacon fat spread and thick, dark coffee. Somehow I managed to contain my hunger so as not to call attention to myself, but secretly I could have eaten the whole ham.

The Lord thanked us for helping track down the traitors. He is very concerned that the Hospitalers are involved. They sound like a nasty group. He offered to give us land in exchange for becoming his vassals. I’m not exactly sure what it means to be a vassal of a Lord, but it sounds like I would have to live among the tall folk and I don’t know that I would like that as an every day sort of thing.

Someone named Lord Drogo was announced and the Lord quickly left. He sent us to visit two knights in charge of fortifications.

I convinced Mr. M’tan to accompany me to the tent where I confided that I could heal his arm. Luckily, he had the power stone that I needed to cast the regeneration spell. His arm began to itch and tingle. In a month it will have grown back completely.

We then went to plan for the coming attack with the two knights. We decided to build a wall around the city. We would need the help of all citizens to build it as fast as possible. Mr. M’Tan used his magic to turn the Keep to iron.

I was so tired from all the healing and the planning that I decided to take a short nap.

The Battle of Orc Hill: Never in all my days have I seen so many orcs at once. We snuck up underneath them through the tunnels. Mr. M’tan used his magics to rain down stones on their heads above. I snuck outside and spotted the evil dwarves. They were commanding the orcs. M’tan cast his spells and their evil deeds ceased forever more. Hooray for defeat over the evils of this land.

The citizens of Wallace and their Lord honored us for saving the town from the orcs. The Lord offered many flattering gifts, but I prefer to keep to myself. Folks don’t tend to be as understanding if they learn too much about my past.

The orcs we fought in the great battle had vials around their necks. Upon close inspection, it was found to be a zombie potion. They intended to catapult the orcs over the walls and turn those dear folk of Wallace into zombies! The next morning, we returned to the battlefield to collect the vials from the corpses. The bottles remind me of my father saying that a group of heretics and necromancers in Lake Styx were known to make potions. However, in all my studies of the magics I have never heard of someone bottling a zombie spell. That sort of thing is too evil for this world and could tip the balance for all.

My dear Fafner has returned! Just before I met the human and the elf, Fafner and I were separated. I crossed an old rickety bridge that spanned a deep canyon. He started out behind me, but the wood began to crack and bend beneath his paws. We both feared the boards would give way beneath him so I sent him back to the other side. It took him a few weeks to find a way around, but I knew he would come back. He’s such a good dog. I missed him so.

When he found me, I was heading out to the Tolo house for dinner. As I hurried along the road from the Keep he tackled me and pinned me to the ground. A joyous greeting it was. He licked my face and breathed his doggy breath all over me. My eyes filled with tears of joy as I hugged him and praised the good Lord for helping him find his way back to me.

Fafner and I continued down the road to join Mr. Tolo and his wife for supper. It does feel nice to be among my own folk again. I felt at home in the cozy house filled with delicious smells. Mrs. Tolo’s marmalade thumbprints were my favorite. Fafner rather preferred the bones from our pork chops. After the meal we chatted around the table drinking ale and passing around M’Tan’s tobacco. Mr. Tolo overindulged and tipped over on to the floor. A lovely evening!

The Lord granted Mr. Aziz and Mr. M’Tan land as thanks for their great deeds in the Battle of Orc Hill. So, we set off to find those lands.

Along the way, we stopped in a general store owned by a dwarf. There we resupplied. I got some delicious dwarven jerky, which proved to be a tasty treat!

The tall folk talked to the merchant for a long time. He was very surprised to hear that dwarves were mixed up with orcs. I don’t blame him. Orcs are dirty, deceitful monsters. Once Mr. M’Tan told him that we were the heros of the Battle of Orc Hill and that he had turned the Keep in Wallace to iron, the dwarf began to see us with new eyes. He said that killing dwarves was normally a serious offense for the dwarf council, however they were interested in the elf’s magic. The dwarves have prided themselves on building the strongest keeps in the lands. The elf’s magic could aid them (and compete with them).

I am cautious in my dealings with dwarves. I have never found dwarves to be the friendliest of people. They tend to be gruff and enterprising. They don’t take the time to enjoy the wonders of the world. I fear that something evil is brewing between the dwarves and the orcs. Honestly, I don’t really trust them.

Mr. Aziz’s land was out near the desert. It is a large flat area, with good access to ground water. Mr. M’Tan and Mr. Aziz combined their powers to build a beautiful fountain and grassy square lined with redwood trees. Someday, this fountain will be the center of Turiqabad, a bustling town.

We hired some mercenaries in Wallace for additional protection. Mr. Jason and Mr. Ben are nice fellows. They were awestruck when they witnessed the amazing magics of Mr. M’Tan. He invited them to become the first citizens of Turiqabad, and offered them positions as the head of the guard. Mr. Aziz, being more skeptical in nature, suggested that they prove themselves before being named the head of his new guard. The mercenaries accepted his challenge, professing their loyalty and wondering at the magic powers the elf possesses.

Mr. Jason, then alerted us to an orc scout who had appeared on the road in the distance. When the orc reached the fountain, we attacked and killed him. The dirty beast was carrying several potions, including one that exploded as a fireball when thrown. Who is giving these potions to the orcs? I have never seen such magics made into potions. And orcs are certainly not intelligent enough to perform these alchemies themselves. Mr. M’Tan kept the potion for further study.

We were dirty and bloody from the battle and in dire need of a bath. Mr. M’Tan, not being the patient sort, decided to build a great bath complex right then. Mr. Aziz told him how to build a tepidarium, some fancy talk folk name for an artificial pond. Mr. M’Tan used his magics to move the earth into the shape of a large pool, and then turned it to stone.

They then debated various ways to heat the pond. There was no wood lying around, so the elf had to conjur up some bushes to burn. They waited for the water to heat up, but I quickly stripped off my dirty clothes and jumped into the water. The cool fresh water soothed my tired soul and washed the dirty orc and mud away. I splashed about with Fafner. We love swimming.

After our swim, I was very tired. The elf and the human wanted to continue on to Mr. M’Tan’s land. Fafner bent down and I climbed up on his back. I slept soundly as he carried me through the night to the elf’s new home.

View
M'tan's travels - entry the tenth
The night of double 3's

We went to War.

With the Orcs upon us, we decided to help. It was a much longer affair than we initially intended.

The Orcs were much, much more organized that we originally thought. They acted as if they were led by a General rather than the anarchistic behavior they usually engage in. I was going to help using spells, but the Orcs began lobbing diseased, burning carcasses across the town wall.

Joshua and I talked, initially the plan was for me to use my spells to dig out a tunnel wide enough for the city troops to head down. We quickly realized that this would not practical, as my health would give our far too quickly. Instead, using his engineering skills and my spell casting we began to tunnel. We were to go under the town and, theoretically, across the hill, coming up behind the troops to get vital intelligence about the Orc army. We set out across town when we ran into our first surprise, [[:Fat Ray | Fat Ray]] has a basement in his Inn with tunnels going all over town. Apparently his establishment is the hub of the local “Guild.” (Initially, in a state of paranoia, I thought the basement we stumbled into were Orchish sappers.

This is before I realized that a full size tunnel was a mistake, so when we got to his basement, we heard him through the dirt, so we ran all the way back through the tunnel we had built and went and talked with him directly. We disagreed about many things, but in the end, we promised we would not reveal his secret and we returned to our tunnel (this time through the wall.) This is when we determined that our, “full size tunnel” plan was a mistake. We then started building a small, narrow tunnel to get through the hill quicker. I used my spell craft to move the earth, then Joshua Tariq Aziz would determine where to support the tunnel, at which time I would reenforce the tunnel with spell stone.

We did this for quite some time, until, at long last, we got to the other side of the hill… or almost… we had just about come out directly inside enemy lines. He figured out how much further we had to go and we dug again. After another 100 yards we came up, concealed the entrance, using my Plant spells and took a look. What we saw, shocked us to the very core.

The Orcs were ten times the size we suspected. With catapults, good weapons and a Dwarf leading them. A Dwarf!!! They hate the Orcs?

We returned to the tunnel and desperately tried to think of another plan. We knew that if we did not act, this army would crush our adopted town. The plan we came up with was indeed desperate. Joshua Tariq Aziz mapped the area and I cast more spells. We were going to dig under the catapults and destroy them, swallow them up into large sinkholes. We thought if we did this it would cripple the army. Against our wall, the army stool no chance, it was only with the damnable catapults that they had any chance of breaching the wall.

Hours and hours went by, we took down, one, two, then three. By the end of the night we had destroyed all of the catapults and broken the resolve of the army. Orcs scattered like… well, Orcs. The army in Wallace saw this happening and were able to come out and reign down destruction on those that remained.

Joshua Tariq Aziz and I saved Wallace.

We returned and saw the destruction in Wallace (the Inn and all by it were gone.)

Fuzzytop Pathtreader had woken up, so we returned to the Iron Castle and she got out some food and beer. We sat and drank and ate and enjoyed our victory.

View
Excavation

It seems Grandfather knew plenty about sapping and other combat techniques in mining.

This might come in handy with the orcs.

They seem to have learned some things about siege weapons, military science, necromancy and mining.

These orcs are a curious mix to the situation.

View
M'tan's travels - entry the ninth

So, ah, the Inquisition. Turns out, they were after all of us all along.

Joshua was able to slip out for the time he requires alone before everyone was served with their summons.

It’s amazing that this entire exercise was a large effort on the Curia’s part to prove our magic was, “evil.” THus making the Iron Fortress an UnHoly Thing, which everyone could get behind, probably resulting in the excommunication of the Lord. Luckliy we were able to work with the Goblin Mage to build us a numbing necklace. To build the necklace we needed two special ingredients, on of which I created through magic and the other we (Fuzzy, Joshua & I) snuck out of town and behind enemy lines to go an find. We happened upon the area where this plant grew. It was an amazing regular mana area, s perfect place to grow a tree and build some magical defenses. We set up camp for the night, put a pig on a spit (which we concealed using a plant chimney), prepared an alarm spell and went to sleep.

After almost a full night’s sleep the alarm went off and we spied an Orc. This was the second Orc we’d seen in so many visits to the woods. I had a feeling that this did not bode well. Not wanting to have yet another limb severed I waited, preparing a spell, I had to cast it twice, almost depleting my reserve of, well, reserves, but I was lucky and in the powerful mana area, my spell worked better than I could have hoped. A nearby tree devoured the Orc. Orc Tree will mark the spot for where we hope to build our home in the sky.

We enjoyed the pig that had been roasting all night and snuck back into town. We quickly delivered the ingredient to the Mage and he began his work.

The next morning we were served our summons and told to report at our earliest convenience. I almost went right to the trial, I was so upset, luckily I remembered to go get my bracelet first. I dressed in my elven best, put the bracelet in my person and went to trial.

The building itself was freshly build, I was taken in, asked to confess, and when I refused I was, “put to The Question.” It turns our the Human idea of Questioning involves horrific torture. Thankfully the bracelet did it’s work and, while incredibly uncomfortable, I was able to survive the 45 minutes of torture. The torturers seemed surprised (not as much as I was when I removed the bracelet, when the pain slammed into me like an iron fist pummeling me about the entire body.)

Next to go was Jsohua, who also “passed” which was a huge point of consternation to the representative of the Curia.

When he got done we returned to the castle. We discussed the fact that my priest had been summoned to the Question and we were concerned that if he was found wanting, my conversion would not be valid. We decided to try to get him to wear the bracelet, or otherwise hide it on his person. We went to the Church and we were horrified to discover that in his zeal, he had decided to go and face the Question alone.

With great speed, Fuzzy and we got to the courthouse and Fuzzy was able to sequester herself among the beams, where she cast the same numbing spell on the Priest. We were lucky as he was about to enter the most severe torturing of all of us. She kept her spell strong and he was able to make it through the pain. (Afterwards, he confessed to me that he did not understand why God would spare him the pain as he was guilty of some of the transgressions he was accused of, I let him know that while I did not know why, he should be thankful and use this as a call to thoughtfulness.) He got out and we took him to get him healed (his arms were fully wrenched from their sockets.

We returned to the castle where we met with the Lord and Lady and we were in a very congratulatory mood when the horizon flooded with despicable Orcs. The very knights outside preparing to attack us were let in to save their lives. Now we face down an Orc Horde which had the where with all to cross the Great Desert…

View
M'tan's travels - entry the eigth

Outline

The Lord and Lady thank us. The Chamberlain arrives and informs the Lord and Lady of the arrival of Sir Drago. (The Lord is much more interested in this portion of his leadership.) He apologizes for being disinterested before, thanks us for our help against the siege.

When I go to the courtyard, Fuzzy calls me into the tent and casts regeneration on my arm.

We figure out that 3 people would have ransacked the Bush.

Meet with Goblin Mage, Reeve and Lady Sophie.

The Mage gives me a 10pt. stone and the Mages spell book – it has all spells from the Fire College. Study it briefly.

Return to the Hal. The Lord, Lady, Goblin Mage, Reeve and Lady Sophie, Sir Drago a- disturbing news from the Bishop – any spells cast by a non-Christian will be considered heresy by the Curia and cause for excommunication.

Talk to Reeve, get concessions for the other characters in case I am killed.

Talk to the priest about helping the serfs.

Covert -> Baptism -> Act of Contrition

Party – goes on until all hours of the morning – I go to bed.

Get up and go to church.

Ask for 100 volunteers – get an enthusiastic response.

The Bishop is upset because there was no pre-approval for the conversion – but it stands.

Meet with Inquisitor – greetings – walked with Joshua – Inquisitor said he was looking for trouble.

Frequently ate breakfast with the Inquisitor – we share a passion for helping the poor. He seems very interested in Joshua.

Questions me, then Joshua – especially an absence of his for a period of 2 weeks.

We save a picture of the aqueduct, suprisingly good.

The construction lasts from April 22 to June 4.

June 5 – Lord visits.

Joshua to be put on trial – Sunday the 11th.

The keep now has Walls of Iron 9’ X 1 1/2”

View
M'tan's travels - entry the seventh

So, onto it.

We were moved into the Keep after the combat.

I was feeling a bit put off with the removal of my arm, so I agreed with the suggestion that we all stay in the keep. The halfling Mage erected a tent in the Keep’s main area and invited me to attend her. At the time, I was unaware of Her Magus status and her desire to assist me. (see entry, the sixth) so I told her I would meet with her the next day and I went and sought solace with Elsa. She is a wonderful woman with whom I spent a part of the night, she then left after our cohngicil affair.

It turns our that was a good thing as the next morning Chamberlain Stevens came down and insisted that we attend the breaking of the morning fast with the Lord. I agreed, but requested to check the Bush first. The Chamberlain agreed, but only with me under escort, which, due to recent events, I was more than happy to agree to. After getting the guard together, we headed to the Bush.

They ransacked the Bush. The anger I felt at this was nothing like the misplaced anger I felt with the Humans. They Hurt something Living. Then I went to see my Guest. Dead. He was Murdered in the place I had promised him Sanctuary. I now owe a debt to his family. A debt I must pay. Damn them. The Guards were there, I brought them in and they were off to inform the Reeve.

The idiot ransackers were unfamiliar with Elven hiding places, so I was able to retrieve my money and some of my valuables.

They also destroyed my Garden. This was for them, for the wonderful mistreated Humans who are so appreciative to get some food that gives them nutrients. The destruction of the Garden (not my Garden, the Garden) wss the event that made me Join the Civil War.

I cast a Bless Plant on both the Bush and the Garden (in case I could not return)

The Guards went to Martin and I was instructed to attend the breaking of the Fast with the Lord and Lady. Which I did.

View
M'tan's travels - entry the sixth

(translated from the Elvish)

My arm is back and with it, my resolve to win the humans over through patience and persuasion.

First things first. The halfling has powerful magic. The ability to regrow a limb is, by not means, minor magic. She wishes it to remain a secret though. This is not a problem now, but could become so in the future. I can imagine a time when one of the humans needs a healing spell which they think I can provide. I will need to this with my fellow Magus further. She seems to hide behind a veneer of geniality and caricature. But no one learns that much of the Arts without serious study. Assuming we make it through the upcoming trial I’ll have to have that discussion with her. But I get ahead of myself.

When last I wrote it was with my left hand, due to the fact that my arm had been severed by a member of a knightly order. My entry was selfish and shallow. It expressed much of my disgust with Humanity in its basest form. What it showed was that I was still a young elf, full of anger and lacking in the wisdom I can, on infrequent occasion, posses. What is the important driving goal of my life? To help save the forest. There are two ways to go about that, to attempt to destroy the humans (this exact tactic is, if legends are correct, what brought them here in the first place, giving us the Banestorm) or join with them, and influence them using our strength (our unaging) to give us the opportunity to influence them on a generational scale. To do this, I have joined them. One small faction, in one small area. But in the short time I have been with them, I have already had to opportunity to influence them, and have grown a small part of the forest. I have even been able to be honest with them that this is my goal. As long as I keep my actual goals in mind, and remember that they are mortal creatures, my anger should remain in check.

Long ago, when my Master was alive, he warned me about living with humans. He thought that they could be wonderful to behold, but they tended to drive Elf’s a bit mad. He warned that unless me guarded against it, their quickness of thought would infect us, causing us to forget the very things which let us survive in the face of so many hostile races. I now know for certain that this is a true danger which I must vigilantly guard against. Mind you, his association with the humans seems to have cost him his life. Now that I have calmed myself, I can make pledges with sense and propriety.

I pledge to go to Castle Defiant, destroy the Orcish infestation (or make peace with them… perhaps that is the way) and find my Masters remains.

That is a good pledge. One with Truth and Substance behind it. And one without the Human urgency behind it. If my Master is dead, then immediacy does nothing for him. If he is not, then, as one of the most powerful Mages I have ever known, he will survive until I can arrive to help him (else his insistence that I become a Diviner be proved correct!)

But onto recent happenings. Months have passed and many things have transpired. What drove me to convert to the Christ’s religion? Why do I find myself aligned with a faction, truly? What drives me to spend my Talent here, and for these folk?

Friendship. I love these short lived people. The loss of my arm, along with the grievances far to much to retell against the other Humans of this tribe drive me to them. Plus, now that I know them (not that I will ever truly know them) I understand how difficult it was to accept me as much as they have. And here is what is important. I have done them great martial service. And, even when I (the Eternal, forfend) suggested removing some of the Forest for defense… they disagreed, knowing my passion for it. Perhaps I am being easily manipulated, but… even if I am, the Forest will live forever, I am but its servant.

I meander in my thoughts!!!

Sex is had! Murder stalks the Town! The King’s agents infest our town, destroyed the bush, the Garden and murdered my guest. These are a bit of the evil that struck!!!

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.