We took the Castle

Our urgency was there. The plan worked and we took the castle. It does not really seem like we could have, especially since the deck was stacked against us. We fought and we killed and we pushed our way in. There was death, and pain, and hard choices made (one that hurt my Master.) But, through the pain and the blood and the combat we persevered and won.

That said, it turns out they did not really have a problem with us. They were here to stop the horror in the Black Forest.

Hmm. That was. Unfortunate. (happily they cured us of the Ray-Di-A-Tion! So that was good.)

The castle is ours. Hurray? Our troops head here now and we will be able to rule the land and build for a brighter tomorrow. But, of course, we also could have just swung by and had a chat.

Live and Learn!

The Creatures from Another Plane (once we started to chat with them) were interested in my particular background and took some powerful magic (spit and flesh) to deal with the Thing In The Forest. The spell was called De-en-ay, or a component… I am not sure which.

The Seigebreaker wants to head into the Djini Lands to get right at the Emporer. The Lizard (maybe) is ready to grow his pack, the Gnome… well I do not know where she wants to go from here.

I have a debt to pay. An army to build and a land to free, for my old friend (sure he was mercurial –but he WAS a human and he tried to save my lands in the end.) I will build the Orc Legion, assemble the Armies, travel to the Djini Lands to find Ancient Magics, travel the Lands to find Ally’s against the blight to the North and descend upon Caithness to reinstall the true Royal Family… and in so doing, shatter the Empire, Cleanse the Black Forest and rid this World of it’s Demon Master and one particularly odious half-orc.

Also, I will buy some new clothes. And grab a knosh.

Then, the Empire Will Burn!

A Savage and a Curiosity
An incredibly brief chat with a City Elf

I am reasonably sure that we each thought the other was the Savage.

I met a City Elf(?), a Gold Elf(?), and Elf that had Left The Forest, Ate Other Entities and Lives as Human. (This from me, a Elf who is fascinated by them, lives among them, counts them as his friends, but who could never fathom devouring another creature or using wood that had not been offered by the Forest.)

We went to an Inn in “Elf-Town” and met some Elfs from the West, Elf’s whose clothing made mind appear as plain as humans appear to us in the Great Wood. He mistook me for an Elf from further West (he definitely had disdain in his voice when he thought this.) When he discovered I was from the Great Forest, I became a Curiosity.

The younger me would have never put up with his absurd attitude, but as I looked into his gaze, I realized I was looking at a creature who I was related to, but who I did not understand at all. Someone thousands of years old. How do I begin to relate to that length of lifespan? I suppose by the time I reach 1000 years (if I am so lucky) and I have seen generation after generation of humans live and die, empires rise and fall and those I love die and come alive again in their descendants. Perhaps then I will be able to relate to this creature…. at least that was my thought as we had a fscinating discussion that included Theology (his God versus the Eternal, (he suggested that my religion was a primitive reaction to the real reaction that grew up after the Banestorm), Cosmology (the greater reality of the Mutliverse), Fashion (why their Magic is much more realized) and then Love, Lust and Obsession…

He didn’t realize that he was talking about Obsession, but I did. Suddenly I could relate to him. This ennui filled, intelligent, disinterested creature – whose race had disdain for his own traditions, who did not care that he ate other entities. This one, who almost seduced me with his dapper nonchalance, he who had lived for thousands of years, he was still obsessed over a girl who did not want him. She wanted something else, not him. And he would not admit it. I can relate to this pettiness. I can relate to this impulse. I can relate to this level of personal denial.
It is now my thesis that we cannot live our long, eternal lives, without a deep, meaningful and magical connection to an even more Elemental and Eternal Force, Nature Herself._

He told us she was taken by Slavers, a Dwarf. It was clear that this was Self-Deception that only an Eternal Entity could tell himself. One that never had to face the harsh reality of quick Death, so could afford to lie to himself without the bill ever coming due. A Human or Orc does not have that luxury. Even if they never deal with their own Deceptions, they have to live with them. It’s not Free the way it is for an unconnected Eternal.

We agreed to go see if she needed rescuing. Before I sound like I have disdain for them, let me clarify. I was happy to see that after thousands of years, basic emotions and lusts and loves lived on. I felt sorry for the individual, but ecstatic that this could survive.

Also any race who could make such clothing was surely beloved in this Grand Multiverse, so I put in a very large order! I am excited to be the best dressed Elf in the East.

We traveled North and found the Slavers Camp. We fought them, the Lizards and the Gnome are able fighters and my spells helped turn the day. (Although an arrow right across my cheek startled me awake and reminded me that we all can lose this precious gift of Live, Eternal or no!)

There we met the Female. The Point of Attraction. An even older Elf with a level of Magnificence that I have never encountered. She near drove me to Despair. She cared nothing for life, held Slaves and would do anything to Feel… I thought. In fact, all she craved was Death.

After the combat, we talked, and we discovered her Perversions (not any one practice – but her genuine loss of Love for Life) and bartered against them. By the end, we agreed that the Lizard would End Her if she helped us. She gave us her young Lizards, and although our Lizard was reluctant to take the young, he ended up agreeing.

I am so pleased. He will make an amazing Chief and will have saved 8 Souls from the Damnation of Slavery.

We summoned our troops, they head up to join us at the (now old Slavers hideout) – but, Oh, By the Eternal, if there is one Fate to Guard against. It is the Destruction of a Soul that I see in that poor Eternal Elf’s eyes…

(The human, Seigebreaker, he likes to stay in his Cups. Amazing man, but such a heavy drinker… I worry for him.)

Now, to take the Castle, raise some Lizards and save the town!

Everything Old is New Again

Do all creatures act younger the closer they get to their parent figure?

My Master – Villenshin’ lec-tra ’nel – is close. He is the mind controlling (or being controlled by) the entity in the Castle.

We crossed the river and traveled for day, finally getting to a (mostly) human settlement. (We left my assassin behind to mind the Orc troops.) We met and helped some human ferrymen (the gnome fixed the younger one’s polio and then healed the mouth of the elder) and chatted with their Lizard Men workers.

When we got to town I reverted to my need to help improve the plight of the humans. We fixed up an in (horribly noticeably) and healed the populace (there was dangerous red mold throughout the whole town). It was like I was back in Caithness, helping the downtrodden out of some need (to be loved? respected? something else?)

Of course some local mages were aware and came to fetch us to the castle. This offended me mortally and I tried to tree on of them. This did not work as they had some real powers of their own. We talked, the situation seemed to de-escalate. But as they left I got that near human rage that followed me through Caithness in the early years, so I turned one of them to stone. Then, I went with the Lizards and destroyed the guards in the town with a Hail of Stones.

It’s like I was acting out knowing a difficult situation was near (seeing my, for all intensive purposes, father and knowing he would not be well.) Now I have committed us to a path of direct confrontation (or at least direct contact) that I pray to the Eternal will not cause my friends harm.

(You know, I do think they are friends.)

Am I just acting out? Do I sense the End? Am I just scared to see what has happened. I write this with great trepidation. Its’ off to see the Master.

The Green....
Magic Returns

Magic returns to the world….

Crossing into the OrcLands should have been horrible. It should have caused me fear and moral trepidation (and truly it did) but by the Eternal it was a joy to feel Magic return and feel the Power course through my veins again!

Before we crossed I feared all was lost. Asset we’re preparing to leave the city, Templars arrived. We prepared defenses though the abandoned city, knowing that they would not likely hold. The gnome went out with the Lizard at her back and there they met none other than Jordan Seigebreaker (who the Lizard knew!)

He had come for the engine and was dispirited to discover that we had destroyed it. After much discussion we discovered that he wanted it to assassinate the Emperor, and he the Emporer’s Hand!

Over time I confided in him my relation to the Black Forest and my fear of losing my Self. The honesty with which we approached the situation appealed to him – that along with his desperation caused him to partner with us and soon he and his men had joined us.

Now we press on to free Castle Black then to find help among the Lands to the South. Glory and Death await, but for now, I can feel the Green again. And She is Sweet.

The Wealth and Power of the Ancient Nations
(Keep or destroy)

The desert is long and difficult.

The Orcs are hard to control (but getting easier – I suspect this Elf / Orc issue is simply speicism, like the humans hatred of other skin tones or the Orcs hatred of other clans.)

We are preparing to move out, enter the OrcLands and begin our assault on the Castle. The party is ready and I am excited to return to Mana filled lands, for good or for ill. It’s felt like a piece of me has been missing now for months and months.

Before I leave though I want to record my thoughts about the destruction of a major artifact. We searched for and found a major, world changing artifact (the one that helped cause the Banestorm.)

It could have helped us take Castle Defiant. Helped me rebuild the Elven Nations to Greatness. Helped push back the Thing in the Forest. Just helped.

Instead we broke them down into PowerStones (and looted a lot of the building). Better to take that power away, it clearly corrupts.

But so much potential to help… ah well… to the Castle.

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…

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.

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.)

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.

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)


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,


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