Banestorm

REPORT FOOTNOTE
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Field Report Update
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The Tripartite Pact
in which it seems like old friends meet after a great deal of time, even though little has passed

A plan emerges.

But before that the evening began with us talking… nothing special, we actually descended into reminiscing and telling tales of our actions long before we met. Who we were, how we got to be who we are. We had all heard the stories before, but the hard days we recently experience made it feel like years had passed.

But we passed from idle remembrances of times long ago to the more recent past – first the state of the “Castle” – just two standing towers, only one with an entrance. In the few months that had passed I grew the plants around the ‘tower with an entrance’ and grew tree bridges between the ‘tower without an entrance’. After talking for a bit more we decided to investigate and discovered the remains of the original defenders… including the lost Lord and his family. We would give them a Christian burial, but I kept the ring and a symbol of all they had done.

During the intervening months I had raised the earth between the various Orc tribes to keep them separated as Zarro had been advising that the tribes were becoming unhappy an discontented. So we sat down and had the talk about the very visceral reality of the Orc tribes surrounding Castle Defiant and what we hoped for our future.

My plan was to breed the Orcs for strength but not savagery – not taking away from them who they are, but building a more sustainable future – ending the cycle of swarm, destroy, decimate (and be decimated) and then begin again. The Diplomat’s had grave concerns about an analogy to a race of distant humans (she learned a great deal about the Multiverse from the Outsiders – she should write that down… I will discuss that with her) called “Nativ Aamerikans” who were abused by others of their tribe with different skin colors (I have seen the same affliction among the humans here…. very depressing to watch… and I am, literally, from a tribal culture). We had intelligent, passionate discussions about it. Then we shifted and chatted with Simver Athiz about his desires. His core concern was the care of his creche. He was not greatly concerned about the Orcs and favored a violent resolution to those matters.

We then decided to break our desires down and form us a Mages Circle of Real Power.

My desire was to bring Orcs to civilization, though the process be hard

The Serpent desired a home and protection for his Creche, which we agreed to support him in doing (offering the idea of the lost Elven City we began excavation on

The Diplomat was concerned for our Souls and wanted us to be sure that we did not erase what was precious about those we ruled.

(Seigebreaker was very drunk and seemed only to want more drink.)

With more reports from Zarro of unrest we decided a show of force would be tried to control the Orcs in the short term. I called the plants, grabbed some leader by leader and we attempted to sway the Orcs. With one we got lucky and the Orcs responded better than we could have hoped, falling into line in an impressive display of subservience.

Our pact was born… Now let us execute it honorably…

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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