Sunday, 22 November 2015

Kampi's Saga - Lh'qelts & Samhain

Boo! It's another instalment of Kampi's Saga! As a bonus treat for this past much belated-Hallowe'en and that your costumes were oh so scary, it's a pair of some of the final events combined into a single post! Huzzah!

Actually it's mostly because Kampi himself only made relatively short appearances in Dagger Deep both days; I myself spent the majority of time as other characters, so it seemed logical to try and compress the two entries. At least they give me an excuse to do a minor image dump and stretch out the IC details. Enjoy!

The fourth Day of Wodin
Month of Wine
Local Year 5315

Runes: Wunjo
Divine Association: Valfreyja, the Lady of the Slain
Literal Meanings: Joy
Interpretations: Comfort
  • Right-side: Affection, Ecstasy, Harmony
  • Inverted: Desire, Loneliness, Sorrow

The morning of this day was most uneventful; at least it was when I was present in town for my Watch shift. Being the only member present early day, I made the rounds; the town was sparsely populated. Though I should've been thankful for the quiet, I couldn't help but feel a sense of boredom: I suppose I'm used to something always occurring in this town; was it wrong for me to have thought such a thing? It makes me sound like a one of the many recent arrivals, searching for adventure and glory, desiring coin and fame.

Speaking of newcomers, Prince Corbin waved me over to introduce me to a young woman named Levi, who was vaguely interested in joining the Watch. As I showed her about the town and detailed to her the duties of the Watch, I inquired to her reasoning to coming to such a benighted place:

Her taciturn answers led me to presume she came here solely for the reasons I expressed above. I would be lying if I was hoping her interest in the Watch seemed more than the pursuit of steady income, though I cannot fault her for that: everyone has to eat, and being a member of the Watch, though at times tedious, frustrating, or downright dangerous, is at least one of the few legitimate ways to earn one's keep in this frontier. She did comment on my supposed trustworthiness, though I am unsure if that was meant as a compliment or slight, now that I think back upon it. We soon parted ways, and I later found she made some coin working as a body guard for Corbin.

I briefly talked with Sheriff Ayla, whom, along with her fellow follower of Lanthar, the dwarf Burrd, were the only members of the Watch present that day. During our talk, I happened to see a lady searching vainly in distress; I inquired if she had a concern and she told me of a man desperately calling from the church of Cheeba for the mage Erasmus. I bid her to lead me to him and she did; there, lying on his back within a drawn magical circle framed by the sunlight pouring through the round window inlaid with the five-pointed star of their deity, was the paladin known as Jackal.

When I inquired to his state of duress he told me that Shar (apparently some sort of malicious goddess?) had bewitched his right arm, and he had hoped that by the blessed light of his goddess Cheeba, it would be driven from his body. Unfortunately the ritual served only to aggravate the possessed limb, causing to act beyond it's owners' will. Jackal beseeched us to find the fellow Cheebite Erasmus.

The druid Nash, newcomers Garguth and Heinrich Hammerfell, and Sunset.
The young lady I and scoured town, searching and inquiring about the mage's whereabouts. Upon entering into the tavern, the elven cleric Sunset made to introduce me to a pair of men I did not recognize, but I had to unfortunately interrupt her for my current task was of greater import. We learned that supposedly Eramus left town some time ago, we returned to Jackal with the unfortunate news.

Since his friend could not be found, he bid drag him out of the circle which he was bound; we did so, though I was wary of any untoward actions on the paladin's behalf. But he seemed fine beyond his understandable vexation as we escorted him back to town. Soon after we parted ways I ran into the very person we were searching for, Erasmus, and quickly led him to Jackal; I left the two Cheebites to their business so I could return to my own.

Soon afterwards I once again encountered Sunset and after apologizing for my curtness earlier I was able to devote my undivided attention to her; she resumed to introduce one of the individuals that was present with her in the tavern; an old 'friend': he was a stern-looking man dressed mostly in black with matching cape done in violet trim. He bore a thin, sharp moustache upon his unsmiling face and a thrice-cornered hat upon his head; a worn flanged mace hung from his belt. He introduced himself as Heinrich Hammerfell, an old acquaintance of Sunset's and a hunter of witches from their shared land.

He inquired intently to my profession and upon hearing my answer made a disparaging comment that this town appeared to be filled with naught but "herbalists" and "layfolk". He began to go on at length, much to her chagrin, about some of their past history together, namely a song sung in her 'honour'. Though I did not enjoy how he did not to give Sunset the chance to speak most of the time, guiltily I must admit I did enjoy furthering her embarrassment by requesting the song transcribed into my own handbook:
'Sunset Steelwolf, going on adventures in Galerion.
There's owlbears & direwolves, & even a troll;
Through good times and bad times, OH she'll be there for you!
Because she's Sunset Steelwolf,
going on adventures in Galerion!'
(This final line was to be repeated twice, with emphasis on the end)
As Heinrich was scribing this down, the misanthrope Balthier had inserted himself into the conversation and after the two men argued the semantics of equestrianism, Balthier casually announced how he grew tired of their dialogue and as he took his leave how intended to relieve his boredom with murder.

Balthier might have been intentionally seeking my ire with those words, but I wasn't about to leave it to chance; I followed him into nearby Fort Rowanoak, heedless of Sunsets words of concern or the fact that Heinrich still had my book.

Once I stepped boldly as I could manage through the gateway, I saw Balthier talking with the Mitrite Ariha and a princess of Ter'Solma commonly known as Sparrow. I had heard this Sparrow had made it known in the past that Balthier had slain her several times without provocation and I saw that his coming here could bare similar intent. An awkward tension filled the air; Balthier flat out mocked me saying that I was here to 'be a guard'; I tried to brush aside his derision by claiming I only wished to speak with Ariha.

I then tried to engage the late Marcus' former apprentice, inquiring of her well-being; her reply was stilted. It was painfully obvious our dialogue was forced, but that was little import to me, I hoped that my unexpected presence would keep Balthier from any action, or at least reconsidering any. Fortunately Sunset and Heinrich entered the fortification a few uneasy heartbeats and the situation was defused; as we all collectively left Rowanoak and went our separate ways, just after Heinrich returned my book, Balthier commented to me that he'd willing be taken to gaol, but only provided he was politely requested to do so.

I suspect this was more mockery on his part; faint rumour has spread that the supposed lasting death attempt on him months ago, allegedly by the previous Captain of the Watch, Wolfgang Krieger, (which led to him being stripped of his position), was all just a ploy by the now ex-sheriff, Balthier. Even if no longer of that position, I believe Balthier could would undoubtedly wield his wide influence against me if I incarcerated him without 'valid' reason.

In the meantime, I'll continue to keep a weather-eye upon him and thwart any harm he can cause, with my very life if need be. Such is duty. The princess Sparrow seemed to care little that another attempt on her life may have been foiled. It's easy to see how many view those in nobility as discourteous and impudent. Again, such is duty.

As the day grew on and I was forced to leave the region on personal business outside of Uberland, apparently (as it want to occur during my absence) a great multitude of hosts descended upon Dagger Deep; accounts tell of an abyssal force under the command of Yog'So'thoth, along with a barbarian hoard, countless crazed figures, an undead scourge, and even disgruntled fairy-folk, all with their own intent.

It seems I'd inadvertently avoided what the fates had prepared for me to relieve my boredom.

Praise be that the township had endured that combined storm, though I heard the brazen pirate Abbott met his final end that day, having his soul destroyed by the walking krake, Yog'So'Thoth. I have wrote in the past that I didn't particularly like Abbott, though I do not wish to speak ill of him, but he is another reminder that fatality does exist in this relatively deathless land.

The remainder of my evening was spent mostly by my lonesome in the tavern; Levi visited briefly to talk. Then a rampant feastling from the abyssal force began to cause trouble around the sparsely populated streets until Elora captured it with magic and bound in the stocks, where we questioned it; apparently it had grown disfranchised in its lot and longed for freedom, but it still had instincts from mischievous to murderous. We placed it in a magical slumber and locked it within the gaol, where it remained until an odd fellow from the far east awoke it with intent to question it further and it escaped.

I warned the eastern warrior that aiding in the escape of a prisoner from gaol is a minor offence of the law, and in the collective surprise of all present, he sought forgiveness by taking his own head with a single deft swing of his sword. Eventually the remainder of us managed to banish the creature and restored the warrior to life.

I decided not to lay charges against him, for his brazen... apology.

The first Day of Thonar
Month of Slaughter
Local Year 5315

Runes: Hagalaz
Divine Association: Thrymir, sire of the jötnar.
Literal Meanings: Hail
Interpretations: Hardship
  • Right-side: Confrontation, Emotion, Tempering
  • Inverted: Disaster, Frustration, Wrath

After a week spent back at Helm's Deep, I returned for the local Samhain tradition (pronunciations varied, but I was told it was as 'sah-win'), a revered day somewhat similar to the Vetrnætr or the Winter Nights festival of my homeland; it marks the beginning of our winter season (in nordtheim, we only have two seasons: winter and summer), the start of a new year, and it is also the day the All-Father Wodin is believed to embark with his host in a Wild Hunt throughout the nine worlds. Also like Vetrnætr, during Samhain it is believed the borders between the worlds are at there weakest, allowing spirits and creatures to freely roam Midgard. Here, it was a strange day to say the least, for the parts I was present for.

Making my usual Watch rounds, I happened upon a man in the tavern, face down on a table and dead to the world; at first I thought him a passed out reveller from the night before, but he was unresponsive to my attempts to rouse him and I found his flesh cold and that noticeable odour became apparent. I notified the barkeep and after she checked his belongings for 'any clues to identity' she asked me to keep my blade easy to draw should he prove violent; she restored him to life.

Once returned, he seemed grateful to find himself in somewhat friendly surroundings and company, and after inquiring to the date, he told me that the last thing he recalled was being slain by undead over a fortnight past. Somebody must've been kind enough to deposit his corpse in the bar, else it might have been worn away completely by the elements and the tenuous link to his spirit be lost. He sincerely thanked me and we parted ways.

Just as I returned to my concerns, a commotion brought me to the temple district, where an alarming sight befell my eyes: a throng began to gather around the priestess of Ithus, Sprig, who bore great wounds. It was soon ascertained she was unable to speak; I offered my daybook for her to scribe her answers to the questions asked of her as Persius began to treat her wounds. I lent my Watch sash as a makeshift bandage.

Despite her harmed and mute form, she assured everyone that she was fine; her state was brought about by the cruel hands for Northbrook, where she was kept prisoner since I last saw her. She, along with a few fellow members of her 'family', the Wild Ones, endured deprivation and torture until several escaped; apparently Northbrook demanded the return or whereabouts of their missing Cardinal, whom we removed during their last engagement with us.

I was practically beside myself with grief and rage. Though I was relieved beyond measure that Sprig had returned to us, the state the godless monsters of Northbrook left her in was almost too much for me to bare. Sprig's bright personage had always cleared away clouds that oft gathered around my thoughts, but seeing her like that caused a mist of anger cloud my mind; I bit my lip until it bled, caring not the pain it caused.

During a one-sided conversation with the witchhunter Xander, whom had apparently returned from his long absence at the bottom of a cask, the herbalist Nash brought word that the mage Boz, who was also captive of Northbrook, had placed her under a magical slumber, fully unprovoked. It was quickly presumed that he may still be under the influence of the powers of Northbrook, and Sprig, at our protestations, resolutely set off in pursuit of the rogue caster.

I followed the band as we searched the lengths and breaths of the surround lands; though I had a duty to the Watch and town, I was oathbound to Sprig for all that she has done since we first met just over a year ago. Try as we did, we found no sign of Boz, and once we returned back to the village I bade Sprig to rest, for such activity would surely aggravate her wounds. After some talk it was soon decided that she would return to the Wild Ones' camp under the aid of Brynn. We parted ways and I silently vowed to keep a watchful eye for Boz as I returned to my duties.

During a brief moment during the concern for Sprig, her fellow Ithusian, Hector,
handed to me a parchment map of the township that he had compiled at my request.

Sometime following those personal events, things began to become... odd to say the least. First I had to eject two strangely dressed women from the royal court on the grounds they were not nobility. They were looking for a place to have a 'T' party and inquired about a Red Queen (whom I thought they meant Lady Pain, consort to the Red King), but they clarified about an ladyship of hearts or something similar. I told them I knew not to whom they were referring to and set them on their way.

Later, as I was in rumination by the crier's post and even stranger dressed man inquired to me: an odd, broad hat was upon his head, from underneath it's brim glittered two devious eyes; he was fully clad in a coat of wan fur that hung to his knees, and in each arm he bore a most unwholsum looking newborn.

In a voice that I could help but not liken to a sheet of embroidered silk covering a hidden serpent, he asked if I was eager to see and join in the upcoming festivities. I inquired of what he was talking about, to which he replied that soon many folk in his employ (a 'karn-ev-all') were to arrive in town and delight its inhabitants with amusements, japes, and thrills, all at the behest of King Willumarius. During our discussion the troupe he was describing began to arrive enmass; when I heard and saw that this group contained "controlled" reanimated corpses and skeletons, my mind could not help but leap to the laws related to the accidental/purposeful release of undead in town.

Two members of the Wild Ones, who had the exact same thought, found me; they were charged with the defence of the town outside of it's borders, but it seemed that I was the only guardsman present so I took it upon myself to verify the sly man's claims with the King, who was present; (un)fortunately, their presence was indeed granted by the Red King and thus his word was above the written law.

I had watched them carefully, until a commotion drew me away to the outskirts of town, where a large crowd was being led to three incredible creatures. The being which led us, was in itself, a curious sight: it had a form vaguely of a man, but glowed with a azure light and was featureless aside from a gnomish moustache where it's face would have been. It wore a garish coat and hat that I somehow recognized, along with it's name: Sebille.

I feel I couldn't sufficiently describe those three bizarre creatures if I tried, so instead I shall refer you to a composition I've acquired:

Though massive in size, towering over us two-legged folk, Sebille proclaimed that they would do no harm to us if we did no harm upon them; their stilted, lumbering gait coupled with their seemingly docile nature leant credence to the blue being's belief. He further said that these creatures may provide the key to discovering the whereabouts of his lost friend, Renshaw, a mage whom I am only familiar with on second-hand account.

At Sebille's behest, the lot of us escorted the Spirit-Walkers as they were called, along their winding journey through the local lands, which ended up going through the town itself to the mystical circle of wood-henge. It was rather worrisome that either certain residents of Dagger Deep or the visiting troupe might take violent action towards these creatures but if there was the intent, perhaps the size of our protective force combined with calming nature of the beasts ensured such did not occur.

Once in wood-henge, with a captive audience surrounding it, Sebille, with the aid of several willing volunteers, enacted some sort of ritual to appeal to the Spirit-Walkers to reveal the whereabouts of Renshaw. Upon reaching it's climax, one of the creatures made a great cry; it's form twisted and shuddered; it seemed that it began to come apart, but where it's forelimb was, a comparatively small man-like arm remained; it's sweeping neck and hunched back gave way to the head and torso of the sought elf-mage, Renshaw.

After the shock and elation had passed, Renshaw related whilst extracting himself further from the form of the Spirit-Walker with the aid of his friends, how he managed to escape his captors by shifting his form and joining this herd of creatures, but by doing so became trapped within the condition. It was only through the fortunate turn of events that transpired he was able to unconsciously make his way back to those who could help him.

Not attempting to seem comparable to the ordeals other's have endured as of late, after I had helped see the remaining two Spirit-Walkers safely to the outskirts of the realm, I was overcome with exhaustion from all the events I witnessed that day and chose to retire to my quiet camp.

I'm sure others spent the remainder of their Samhain celebrating, through I'm strange events did not cease to occur when I left.

I must prepare myself for the upcoming season; some large decisions lay ahead of me.

Praise Be To The Æsir

~Ref 'Kampi' Vandillson

Friday, 16 October 2015

Kampi's Saga - What Was Lost

Kampi's Saga. Need I say more?

We're into the final stretch of Medieval Chaos' season and this mission was probably one of the best I've had this year; Kampi went hard and I was sore for days following so I knew it was good. Kudos to Devon for organizing it!

The first Day of the Moon 
Month of Wine 
Local Year 5315 

Rune: Gebo 
Divine Association: Lokki, the Trickster. 
Literal Meaning: Gift 
Interpretations: Exchange, Giving, Receiving 
  • Right-side: Aid, Generosity, Sacrifice 
  • Inverted: Burden, Debt, Obligation

This past seventh day, the dire armies of Northbrook returned with a vengeance, and only through our combined effort did we manage to defeat them. It was only by a timely warning were we able to attempt to bulwark the town and gather our forces before we clashed.

The hours before the indication of this looming threat were calm, as they often are before adversity. Some days prior, I received a message from an old friend requesting aid and I felt obliged to help; they begged me to keep the reasons for their request secret, so I have refrained from mentioning them by name in my journal on the slight chance it falls into undesired hands.

Whilst I prepared what was asked of me, nearby in the holy grounds of Ithus, Relan (whom had recently been appointed Regent by proclamation of King Willumarius, much to the bishop's chagrin) was discussing things with a new arrival: Brother Hector; he was a pilgrim of sorts from a far off abbey that worshiped Ithus. I had no idea that Relan's faith stretched that far beyond Arrakis.

Brother Hector and Ayla sparring with an neophyte.
Hector appeared to be an honourable man; quite vehement in his faith to Ithus, though it seemed that he and Relan differed on certain thoughts concerning the nature of their beliefs. Nevertheless, it was welcome to have another friend belonging to the saffron-hued church and another fervent warrior to stand shoulder to shoulder with in battle.

After handing over the requested preparations and sharing a few sparse words, I began my Watch duties. After personally making the effort of recording the listed laws into my journal for convenient reference, Captain Milo had me retrieve the javelins left in the moat outside Fort Rowanoak and restock the ballistae. 

I must say I did not enjoy trudging through the swampy moat but I turned down the offer given that Milo could send the jötnar to assist me; they mean well but somehow I believed their feebleminds would only serve to further vex the task. Regardless, this was a job that had to be done, especially since this folk of this town are too focused upon their own to give a thought to upkeep or defence.

Sometime after completing that assignment, my sight fell upon a bound individual being roughly 'escorted' into town from the Northwest road by two Hrognites: Abbott and Theos.

Once within the town's limits, they began to torture the crazed man, proclaiming that since he was a follower of Northbrook (that in itself was a major offence), by our laws they were free to offend him as they saw fit ("during wartime, citizens are permitted to perform major offences against recognized enemies of Dagger Deep."); though allowed, I did not approve of their cruel methods, nor that they were quite willing to perform them in public view. Hrogn rightfully has their reputation for barbarism by such deeds.

After a particularly distasteful inquiry, the desired information was extracted and the gathered crowd spread the news: the man was an advanced scout for a force of Northbrook over a throng in size and not more than an hour or so from the Deep.

Though the town lacked direct leadership that day (no nobility was present; not even the newly appointed Hand, the dwarf Ivar Ironsinger; apparently King Willumarius found the successor of the late Marcus unfit for the role. It was said Ivar was south in Helm's Deep attending to his new appointments and making preparations for some sort of Order he's developing), several members did their best to rally the townsfolk for battle and bolster our meagre defences.

The cleric Phoxx and I set to the task of erecting makeshift barricades at the North and West gates of town, both of which sorely lacked any sort of gate; with aid we hastily constructed rather solid barriers from the materials at hand. The Southern and Eastern gates we had clever folk set up hidden hazards if any foes were to advance via those routes. In fact, just after I finished requesting a boorish trapper to attend to the Eastern gate, I ran afoul of a hidden device that slashed into my maille whilst I was scouting through that gate for any sign of the enemy. Luckily my armour kept me from being wounded, but unfortunately I had not the time to have it repaired before we began to hear the beating of Northbrook's war-drums.

Northbrook approaches.
Our enemy host marched relentlessly towards the town from the West, and perhaps after seeing that gateway blocked, they proceeded around to the North gate. Their formation was brutally efficient, for not even our archers succeeded on disrupting their lines before they crashed upon our bulwark. Our makeshift wall was successful in slowing their advance, but the way we had to construct it meant we could not easily repel the invaders; gradually, with significant loss, they scaled it and joined us in close combat.

After a valiant battle we managed to defeat the first wave of their forces, during which we managed to capture and remove one of their cardinal leaders. The removal of such a key figure so early into their invasion was most likely quite a blow to their morale and hampered their war effort; unfortunately not as much as we hoped, for Northbrook soon pressed a second advance, this time dividing their focus between the North and West gates.

Caught in a pincher, our forces were nearly routed, but our foe withdrew apparently seeking something beyond our mere destruction.

After regrouping we took stock of our situation: rumour had spread that Northbrook was here seeking a brand of vast power; a piece of a map that was recovered off of one of their warriors leant credence to this and it was believed the location they headed for next was the fire portal. There was disagreement on the next course of action: some (mostly Hrogn) called not to lose any time pursuing the enemy and whilst others thought it best to remain in town and gather our strength. I initially felt it was my duty as an active member of the Watch, to stay and help organize a plan. 

But after hearing that Hrogn was outnumbered and in need of aid, I set off with a few others including Hector with intent to render assistance, but after trudging across the plains to the distant jeers and insults hurled at us by Northbrook and seeing that the scant force of Hrogn had become undead thralls, it became clear to the Brother of Ithus and myself that at best we could stall the enemy by sacrificing our lives in hope that the main force would follow our example.

We brought low a few aptrgangr by both conviction and steel, but the tide of their warriors soon washed over us and we fell.

I do not how much time had passed before Relan's familiar touch pulled me from the grey realm, but I was again on my feet, sword in hand, singing death to those who sought to harm whom that I cared for. We plunged in and out of battle until the sun began to sink beyond the horizon. We travelled the lengths and breadths of the realm, trying to prevent Northbrook from achieving their goal; to be truthful, it felt like a hopeless task, for our forces were scattered, our information unclear, and our strength fleeting. We had but fleeting torch light to see clearly by.

Things began to proceed in our favour when we successfully caught their sizeable force in a pincher at Galadriel's, soundly defeated them, and afterwards recovered the relic they sought: a wicked sword that drained both the essence and life-force from those who openly wielded it. Theos of Hrogn now possesses it, and has vowed to those who demanded its destruction that he would carry it only until the remainder of the Wretched Court of Northbrook are destroyed. 

Let's hope that promise is kept, for he who breaks a solemn oath is nidth and his spirit bound to suffer in Náströnd, inside the depths of Helheim.

With their forces shattered and their leadership broken, the remaining forces of our rival fled back North. The folk of Dagger Deep were once again victorious.

Exhausted from the day's ordeals, I sated my hunger with a bowl of stone soup from the trading shop Strange Things From Strange Lands, brewed by its proprietor, the wood elf Elora. Just as we (Myself, Relan, Claudia, Elora and her half-tree(?) son, Seyden) were discussing various things, a far off wail drew Relan and myself, along with other curious folk, from the comforting lighted areas of town to the tall ranges of Calen Tor.

There we came upon a scene of late carnage: a small encampment lay in ruin and there were few scant remains of the previous inhabitants. We estimated that the disturbance that occurred here was not recent but couldn't be older than a week or so at the most. Above all these grim sights, the most unsettling thing seen was an the insubstantial form of a man: similar to a wraith in incorporealness but neither did it bare the dark and distorted visage common to such beings, nor did the emotion that palpably radiated be not anger, but sorrow. It did no harm upon us, even when we attempted and failed to touch it; it just lingered.

This apparition muttered unintelligible things before and when we hauled the corpses back to town, where we hoped that through Relan's miracles the affliction that prevented their rejuvenation could be removed. After a brief session of prayer to Ithus, we returned to see the bodies had been placed outside of the bar; another nearby event that drew my attention, but I saw that Watch Captain Milo was present so I decided not to investigate it at the time. 

Back to where we had moved the bodies away from that turbulent scene, Relan was having no luck restoring life to them, but the improved illumination allowed us to better discern their condition: all but one showed severe deterioration; the one that didn't had a deep, bloody cavity in the centre of his chest. The spectre lingered closest to this body above the others, and we suspected some sort of connection. Through faint words it whispered to Relan, he and a small party darted back into the fields of Calen Tor in search of something they believed they missed.

Soon Relan returned, carrying a small object he claimed was incredibly hot; when he dropped it into my gauntleted hands I felt that he was indeed correct about its heat: it burned like a ember and it's weight and hardness was like a stone, but was in the shape of a heart. After quickly making the association I returned the blistering object to the chest cavity of the corpse.

With a great cry of pain the corpse sprang to life; it ranted and raved as Relan attempted to calm and question it. I did not consider myself to be helpful in such matters, given Relan's better way with speech than I, so during that time I chose to join myself in the other concern: 

Abbott and some other folk had confined an individual in the stockade; one whom they claimed was a mad experiment from Anhk. I was willing to be lenient earlier this day when that prisoner was a follower of Northbrook, but as I gathered this man had not broken any local laws and he was being unjustly held and tortured by Abbott and his entourage; personal vendettas are not to be settled in such a way. Just as Milo and I made to cease this unruly affair, the bound individual vanished without a trace.

Having finished with his consoling of the once dead man with the burning heart, whom was discovered to be the hirebrand Duggan, Relan soon joined the perplexed crowd that was beginning to disperse from around the now empty stockade. Vexed and exhausted, I must admit I vocally expressed my displeasure in a most unbecoming way and declared myself off-duty for the remainder of the night. 

As much as I desired a drink (or several) I felt I needed to be alone, so I said my farewells to my mentor and my captain, who respectively expressed their appreciation for my devotion and dedication that day; Milo even stated that I was due for promotion to senior guardsman.

With that, I returned to my nearby camp and fell into a deep slumber.

Praise Be To The Æsir

Ref 'Kampi' Vandillson

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Kampi's Saga - Time Old Question

Skol! It's Kampi's Saga!

The Saturday prior to the last was his first full mission as an newly appointed acolyte. Though I tested and initially failed his full guild test two weeks prior on a misinterpretation of a particular ruling, the Executive Council deliberated upon the unclear rule and decided to reverse the reason for failure a few days following. So without pomp, Kampi passed and became an acolyte! It only took him a year since arriving at Dagger Deep, but for him (me) the journey is more important than the destination.

Since I'd been training with armour and my shield for quite a while it didn't feel like a huge shift for me; Kampi just has a higher survivability rate now in battle and has a few new useful spells to make him a more effective ally.

Anyway, enough of this, on to the entry:

The fifth Day of Wodin
Month of Autumn
Local Year 5315

Rune: Kenaz
Divine Association: Surtur, the Black.
Literal Meaning: Torch/Ulcer
Interpretations: Potential, Change, Mortality
  • Right-side: Vitality, Guidance, Revelation
  • Inverted: Pain, Delusion, Sickness

It seems the Æsir, in their wisdom, have decided to grant me the powers belonging to a faithful acolyte, for several days prior I exercised them as best I could during the concerns of the day.

It was my first full day performing as a member of the townguard; wearing my hip a sash bearing the azure and ivory fields of the settlement of Dagger Deep, I strode into town carrying copies of the Village Peasant's latest periodical, as I was instructed to do as my first duty. After an attempt to distribute them to a scant and uninterested populace, I left them at the tavern.

Following that I was met by a perhaps overly-friendly elder whom I did not recognize as a local, who was muttering something incomprehensible; and soon after we parted ways I began to feel tired and ill. Nash the druid was also feeling unwell after meeting with him and after witnessing the mage Serenity alleviating her illness through magic, I also petitioned for her aid, and a short time later I began to feel my hale self again.

The old man who was spreading about a malady apparently met a violent end, and after some discussion, members of the Watch still unwell offered to move his body to the gaol until a priest was able to cure and return him to life; thus preventing the disease from further propagating. I should be more cautious with the offered hands that I grasp, but I do believe it also goes along way to be polite.

Captain Milo
Eventually I was called to a meet with my fellow guardsfolk that were also present and on duty; our Captain of the Watch, Milo, ran introductions between the guardsmen and his lieutenant Kalabar. I had brief dealing months ago with this somewhat shady character, his motivation seems that of primarily greed; I wouldn't be surprised if was using the watch to his own gains; ordering patrols in certain locals, etc. I shouldn't state such feelings though as its beyond my station and purview of our Captain.

Lieutenant Kalabar
Before we were stationed throughout the town to our watches, Milo tested our mettle in the sparring ring. Apparently my martial prowess must have been satisfactory, for I was briefly tasked to practice with fellow guard Ayla, who is rather timid in physical confrontations.

Ayla, Priestess of Lanthar
After practice, we were assigned to our posts; mine was the temple district, the northwestern fields and sparring ring, and the town limits bordering the barony of Calen Tor. My watch was uneventful for the first half; I passed most of it watching the comings and goings from the criers' rostrum.

Two friendly, but rather dimwitted jötnar, Stump and Rock, were tasked to watch from the town's walls; their giant voices carried far as they made inane observations and struck up conversations with the townsfolk. They're about as keen as their namesakes, but I'm glad we're able to harness their strength for the good of the Watch.

Stump and Rock, jötnar of the Derprock Tribe.
I learnt the week prior that the Watch was attempting to contain another potential outbreak stemming from a hooded devotee of the one of the profane Chaos Gods that are allowed to be worshipped here at the Deep. Despite knowingly infecting those he came into contact with, the Watch was apparently powerless to do anything about it because it wasn't breaking any of the listed laws. This came to concern again this day:

Kalabar called the guards together on a task that needed performing: we were to enter the unholy church of the Undivided and bring the hooded individual to quarantine in the gaol, with intent to protect the townfolk from further plague. Guarding the entrance to the grounds, I didn't witness the events that occurred inside: apparently after claiming our intention of arrest, fellow watchmen Rycen, perhaps too overeager, slit the fanatic's throat with the intent that we carry his body to lock-up, where it would be tended to by Relan (who was now under the employ of the Watch to stem the possible spread of disease).

A fellow chaos disciple arrived soon afterwards and demanded entrance to his pit place of worship; having no reason to deny him, I let him enter. After his demands were made, he attempted to restore life to his compatriot, but was magically Silenced by Kalabar. To contain the sickness, again the ill were tasked to gradually carry the body to the gaol; we managed to make it to the front door when the other fanatic returned with the Sheriff Balthier and a heated argument began between all present.

In the end Relan restored the body to life, but not before he cured him of his contagions. Once back amongst the living he loudly proclaimed he was 'unclean' in the eyes of his god, and hurried back to his church, presumably to 'anoint' himself with the disease ridden filth strewn about that vile place. I try to keep an open mind about other faiths, but the practices of that one seem most unwholesome.

The pair desired to press assault/murder charges against the Watch, particularly Rycen, but the Watch maintained that those present were acting under Kalabar's orders, who conveniently slipped off before the discussion to a head. I soon grew weary and frustrated at the squabbling, blame, and confusion: I resumed my watch to calm myself; how I longed for a drink.

A distraught Ayla later found me with her watch sash in hand; as she handed it over to me she professed how she believed she could not willing follow morally dubious leadership nor be part of an inefficient, possibility corrupt, organization that is meant to protect the township. I had little to say in reply, for the same thoughts were crossing my own mind.

I barely had time to consider this turn of events, when the seemingly-immortal being calling himself Alexandros (who was last seen a fortnight prior) arrived into town with a mixed retinue of individuals calling themselves the Exorcists. Alexandros' team consisted of two powerful fighting men, a bound fire elemental, and a half-demon girl referred to as a Tiefling. He grimly announced to the town that millennia-old rivals, the demon sorcerer Nepxar and the necromancer Deimin, had chosen our local realm (flush with natural resources, magical energy, and fresh souls), as their battleground, far from the homelands of Exorcists.

Unfortunately, the only thing that these two hate more than each other, is Alexandros and his Exorcists, and the folk of Dagger Deep were soon caught in the middle of a time old feud as the raging demons of Nepxar slaughtered indiscriminately as Deimin used the slain to bolster the ranks of his undead army.

Casters of magic soon discovered that spells used to control demons and the undead respectively did not work in the presence of these powerful beings; though my meagre channelling of faith did function at banishing lowly aptrgangr, more powerful (and plentiful) forms of undead were beyond my capability. I had to rely more on my mettle and faith in the Æsir to see me through that day.

A long and chaotic battle ensued. Through means that I do not fully understand, nor do I frankly care at this point in time, apparently with the townsfolks' aid, the Exorcists managed to banish both the demon lord and the necromancer from our realm; though apparently Alexandros and his team are stuck here, far from their home, which they claim is on the other side of the known world.

I thank Alexandros and his allies for their help against these two threats and wish him the best on their long journey home.

That evening I intended to spend recovering from the day's exhaustion with a good meal and much drink, but outside the tavern I learned to my surprise that Ayla, whilst undoubtedly expressing her apprehension about the earlier events to Balthier, was unexpected appointed by him as his replacement as Sheriff. Looks like Ayla will remain apart of the Watch for at least a little longer. This makes me glad, it can use more decent people with strong morals; gives me hope that what we do is for the good of all.

I remember little else of that night, I should perhaps cut down on the amount I drink when I'm with my mentor brother Relan.


Praise Be To The Æsir

Ref 'Kampi' Vandillson

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Kampi's Saga: Rumour Quest - Scenarios

If you don't know by now what this is, it's another entry in Kampi's Saga. The format of the Saturday before last was a little bit different than our usual single mission-plot structure, as it was the testing ground for a series of 'scenarios', smaller plots run by individual GMs and their NPC teams.

Aside from enjoying the day overall and the scenarios Kampi got swept up in, I personally feel that the concept of multiple lesser stories unfolding more interesting than the more common one large plot; it presents more of a living world and gives PCs a variety of events to choose from to incorporate themselves in.

I hope to see 'scenarios' more regular thing, even if its a single one tacked onto a regular mission or perhaps a tournament day. As for this past Saturday, I gave myself a tiny break from MC.

The second Day of the Moon
Month of Autumn
Local Year 5315

Rune: Raido
Divine Association: Signá, the Leader of the Valkyrja
Literal Meaning: Ride
Interpretations: Journey, Movement, Transition
  • Right-side: Beginning, Evolution, Progression
  • Inverted: Ending, Stagnation, Termination

Once again my faith has been tested.

Once again I was shown wanting by the gods I follow.

I am beginning to feel that no matter how strong my devotion, how much I strive to do the correct thing, perhaps I shall never be able to the ideal follower.

I began that day in Dagger Deep, as always, prepared for whatever dire events were to come. After weeks of practising and training with it, I finally carried my personal roundshield, engraved with the protective runes algiz, the rune of the goddess Brynhilda, the Shield-Maiden. May she sanctify it to ward me from the strikes of my foe.

As the quiet day progressed I began to feel imbued with confidence in my own ability and vigour, my mind filled with familiar revelations, and the vessel of my soul filled beyond its normal bounds.

I was ready to prove myself.

Events unfolded slowly before they became a cascade:

I was finally able to follow up on the invitation I was garnered over a fortnight past to join the Town Guard. The Mare was present that day and he directed me to the Captain of the Guard, Milo, who had recently returned from being abroad for some time. With several recruits, he went over the standard rules of the Guard and the laws we are expected in keep.

Odd fae-folk began to appear in the township; It was amusing to witness that the gallant fighter Ajax, so quick to boast of his deeds hunting sizeable beasts by his lonesome, was even quicker to flee the presence of a small fairy. Many say his apprehension stems from having his sex briefly altered from ingesting their lark food as a gift.

Rumours eventually began to trickle into town of some sort wight raising undead creatures out by the river Galadriel; just as Ajax and I were having a discussion of risking ones' life for the safety of others and undead were the used example. Kalliades of the Wild Ones was mustering a scout force to check the veracity of these rumours; I volunteered, and with a bit of goading, Ajax joined with us.

As a small party, we trekked all the way out to the elven river but encountered nothing but one individual during our travels: an accented man calling himself Alexandros, who claimed to be a member of a moral order called the Exorists. He questioned about the lay of the local lands and any sovereignty they belonged to, expounding he very recently arrived unto this land. We permitted him to accompany us since he seemed no immediate threat, through we watched him closely.

The woodland by the river appeared bereft of reports of undead; we broke off into small groups to search the surrounding land for any signs. Ajax pointed out sections of upturned soil and bent foliage, but he believed they were dated; perhaps there is some truth to his abilities as a keen hunter despite his boasting.

As the pair of us thoroughly scouted the riverbank, we quickly responded to shouts of alarm. Once we had burst through the thicket, we saw a shambling force of undead monstrosities pursuing members of our company southerly, led by a animated corpse that practically radiated magic: a lich. We opted to loop around and attempt to regroup with our allies in lower Ork's Field. When we did, the group soon found ourselves becoming potentially trapped between the undead force in front of us and an antagonistic band of ork and goblinoid beings approaching from our rear.

A handful of us withdrew to a more defensible position, whilst those who lacked in such tactical insight, such as a pair of dimwitted jötunn, lumbered off in search the stones they had thrown. Despite meeting otherwise, some are still prosaic examples of their race.

After we narrowly avoided a violent encounter we rejoined the remainder of the friendly forces in town before we became caught with a vice between the onslaught of the undead forces and the marauding band of goblins demanding the whereabouts of 'Ogesh'.

After both groups had continued on their way, leaving many slain, we regrouped and decided that if we could obtain this 'Ogesh' (which we believed to be a sword of some sort given witnesses related seeing the 'skins rifle through the weapons of the fallen), we could perhaps use that as bargaining leverage to gain their assistance against the lich and his undead force.

During our quest for 'Ogesh', we decided send off a small scout force to search the deeper wilderness to the river; I joined the pair of Wild Ones selected for the task: Kalliades, whose soul was successfully recovered and returned to it's mortal vessel following the ritual fortnight prior, and Mortenkien, a 'witch hunter' in the service of the Wild Ones.

There was little time for conversation as our time together was travelling steadily and silently through the wilds; we encountered few friendly parties and staved off altercations with several unfriendly, but we were ultimately unsuccessful in discovering more information on the details or whereabouts 'Ogesh'.

When we returned to town just in time to bolster our allies during a conflict, we soon learned 'Ogesh' was a dagger the orks desired to complete a savage ritual of their own, which they succeeded in doing once they forcefully acquired the athame from an elderly bearded traveller (possibly Wodin in disguise?); given the folk of Dagger Deep were also busy with the undead scourge and other diversions, I'm sure they were unable to prevent them from doing so.

After much trial and tribulation, we routed the lich and his lifeless army; as before, when the threats to the Deep had been quelled, the abilities and confidence granted to me by the Æsir ebbed from my body, mind, and soul as exhaustion and doubt replaced them.

In my devotions that evening, I felt much... contempt and indecision; I recounted the actions of the day I performed, seeking the reason why. I had attempted to channel more fervour in the deeds I performed in the name of my gods and I felt I never faltered in my faith to them, yet still I had spurned them.

At last the epiphany came to me: unlike other deities, whose followers believe them to the highest embodiment of all that is physical, emotional, and spiritual, the Æsir (as related to my kin from the tales and sagas), their ardour reflects that of mortals; they are not stoic and indifferent, but passionate and prone to the same foibles as those born in the realms of Midgard. Other faiths would proclaim such sayings as some form of sacrilege; within my own creed I feel it is not.

In how this relates to the recent events is thus: I sensed that my deities felt that I was unfaithful when I received grace from outside of their domain; a blessing upon my blade, fully unbidden in actuality, from my mentor Relan in the name of his god, Ithus.

Though blessed by another god, that blade was wielded righteously and did true by this servant in the name of the Æsir. I respect Relan and his deity too much to cast aside their assistance just because I think some my consider such aid to be unfaithful to my own gods. I had learned that lesson before; despite initial reluctance I was even willing to eventually garner the divine boon proffered by the unsure alliance that was struct with high priestess of the Morrigan.

I understand if the Æsir forbid that I trust in trinkets enchanted with lesser forms of magic, but I will not forsake divine favour granted by other faiths in my duty, just as I would not keep my own gifts from my allies because of their own beliefs do not necessarily conform with my own.

The folk of Dagger Deep are a varied lot in race, culture, and creed; if it were of sufficient size, I would compare it to the fabled city Miklagard in its sheer cosmopolitan depth. I feel now that perhaps the best way to keep faith is to be willing to adapt and aid others.

If the Æsir continue to lose faith in me as their loyal servant, I shall endeavour to keep my faith in them, even if it is by another pursuit.

I wonder if Ajax is looking for an apprentice, I am interested in possibly continuing my martial studies...

Praise Be To The Æsir

-Ref 'Kampi' Vandillson