Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Kampi's Saga: Information Gathering

Compared to last week's entry, this entry of Kampi's Saga, is somewhat shorter since I was NPCing most of this mission and Kampi was only present pre- and post- mission, though he does relate several unfortunate turns of events.

The third Day of Wodin
Month of the Harvest
Local Year 5315

Rune: Ansuz
Divine Association: Wodin, the All-Father
Literal Meaning: a god
Interpretations: Communication, Divinity, Wisdom
  • Right-side: Blessings, Inspiration, Insight
  • Inverted: Illusions, Manipulation, Misinterpretation

Four days past, the legendary holy warrior, Marcus Quintus Titus, departed from this mortal realm.

Dentellai "Ravensfuri" Imladrim, Princess of Ter'Solma, cradling the head of the late Marcus.

As I have been told by many, Marcus was noble soldier in the service of his god and his liege, whose reputation far preceded himself. I deeply regret missing my chance ever meeting this man face to face; I was given a opportunity that very day when both the paladin of Cheeba, Seremen, and the Mare of the town both approached me on separate occasions with the inquiry of myself being employed in the town guard (which saw very few of since my return; their numbers before then were dwindling).

Though I was am quite honoured to have been singled out for the duty of keeping order in that somewhat benighted town, I had already failed myself as a reliable individual by putting off my intended meeting with the Hand of King Wilumarius until after I had returned from what was to be a brief journey to Uberland with my friend Seppo.

When I finally returned later than expected, I soon heard the terrible news of his untimely passing from my best friend Tobias. I had missed my chance to meet with a legend by my foolish decision to briefly postpone that meeting. A harsh lesson to learn.

Unsurprisingly, many around me are aggrieved from the news of his passing, and all that I am able to do is give feeble support; I cannot even begin to fathom the sorrow of those closest to him, having never met him myself. I am unsure if it is by my own actions or just fated that I may always remain an outsider in this land; a mere observer of events or hearing them second-hand.

My mentor, Relan, was once his apprentice; I can tell he was still somewhat in shock by the revelation. I have only witnessed him being fully emotional once since I've known him in our relatively short time together, but when he rambled to me late that evening, his steady rational tone belied hints of deep mourning. His concerns touched upon the final destination of Marcus' soul when it was driven from his vessel: hopefully to a much deserved rest with his god Mitra, and not being wrongly cursed to the Abyss. Relan, seeker and obtainer of knowledge, has heard rumours of either.

He also touched upon his concern of recent news of Marcus' lost son; once believed to be dead, he still may live. Though Marcus denied this Gaius of being his real son, Relan states he feels compelled to find him if the rumour of his survival proves true, and take him as his ward in belief that there was a small part of Marcus who still held hope that it was his son.

The pair of us, during our late night rumination, met with the final apprentice of the late paladin, Ariha, who was deep in morning, listlessly bearing the steel helm of her master. My offer of deepest condolences sounded hollow and meaningless when it left my lips. She, as the prophet of her faith and the now lone Mitrite, relayed to Relan that she felt Marcus' soul had gone to Mitra, but she expressed her dismay at the prospect of that Gaius may still live, for it would dishearten Marcus not to see both his wife and their son in Elysium (the afterlife Mitrites believe in).

How did this whole tragedy occur? I should start with the beginning of the days events...

I arrived to Dagger Deep with my friend Seppo in tow, who had been from these lands nearly as long I had. He was still quite reticent journeying here after the savage attacks he suffered last time by were-creatures, but I promised I would do my best to safeguard him whilst he discovered what had happened to the shop he shared with his business partner Claudia.

As I strode into the Deep, I was greeted by a young elven girl I had not seen since I had left over two months ago. It warmed my heart to see the shining face and receive the lovingly embrace Sprig after all that time apart. After a few pleasantries were exchanged, I briefly departed to attend to Seppo's errand.

Speaking with the seamstress Azreal (whose business now dwelt in the shop), she sheepishly claimed that Claudia was 'gone'. Easily knowing that she wasn't telling the whole truth, I pressed her further and she told the answers I bore would be answered by the new barkeep.

When I later encountered this alewife, I quickly discovered she was again my old acquaintance Talon in another guise, this time as 'Takumura'; a name which she claimed was a family title. Whether this claim is actually getting closer to the truth of her heritage or yet another façade, I have yet to tell. Regardless, I left Seppo, who was kind enough to repair my right vambrace with a crude tools he had available (a testament to his skill as a craftsman) to sort the business details out with his (former?) partner whilst I met and talked again with Sprig; we were soon joined by Relan.

The discussion between us soon turned to one of concern over the nature of 'Infernal' and 'Abyssal' mana, which Relan had confused during our previous talks but now explained in full: This Infernal mana, as it is now known, is a parasitic threat to divine casters, as it relentlessly consumes the energy granted by the deities to their agents, neither side being able to sever the link. Abyssal mana was what certain beings hailing from the Abyss used to fuel their spells, concentrated within crystalline shards.

As our conversation came to an end, I saw a familiar face: It was that of Elfranco, young adherent to the god Thor (not the bloodthirsty deity known as Korne, but the true Guardian of Midgard). Since my time away, I was delighted to hear he had begun tutelage under a new teacher, though I was somewhat disconcerted he still seemed rather meek in his convictions and admitted he knew very little about the faith of his new master, whom he only knew as a woman named 'Scout', a name I did not recognize.

After a philosophic discussion where I attempted to engage Elfranco's contemplation, using the lessons I recently learned from events of the previous week, we joined in on a teaching Relan was giving in divine runes. From there we parted briefly was until we unexpected met again outside the court when Relan had inquiries with Marcus. There, below the high steps of the court, I learned that Elfranco's mentor, this 'Scout', was actually Marcus' apprentice, Ariha. Surely, the Norns had woven together the strands of all the fates present.

Ariha, the last apprentice of Marcus and the sole remaining Mitrite.

Perhaps revealing a certain reluctance at feeling unprepared for taking upon an apprentice of her own, she relayed to Elfranco he was welcome if he felt it more appropriate to study under me; overhearing this, I politely injected I was still under tutelage to Relan myself and would be unable to do so even if Elfranco wished it: Though he is a follower of one of the Æsir, I feel that both these somewhat insecure souls might learn from each other.

Relan and I made to depart from the town, for he desired to continue his research into the foreboding events, and I promised to escort Seppo to Uberland whilst he retrieved some of his smithing equipment. When we was taking our leave, that was when the enquiries to my possible enlistment in the town guard were made and I made my regretful decision not to follow up on them and personally meet with the legendary soul now lost to us.

When I returned at last with Seppo, it had already grown dark. Our late journey back from Uberland had been further delayed on the account the sole of my boot had become dislodged, impeding our progress, forcing us to halt and affect limited repairs upon it.

Seppo generously offered buy me a meal and I acquired at the C&A for us; I then took a seat with Tobias and his friend Sigmund and they recanted to me the dire events I had missed during my absence:

A host of therianthropes, led by their progenitor Silverfang, came into town with an elven female named Nym. Soon after, a group consisting of prominent members of the Black Rose (Kroth, Dimitri, Pter), along with a small escorting force, entered the surrounding lands and sent a diplomatic envoy to treat with the citizens and their visitors. They stated their intentions were peaceful to the folk of Dagger Deep but they demanded that Nym be handed over to them. To prevent escalating hostilities between the Black Rose and Silverfangs' pack, it was agreed no fighting was to take place within the gates of the town. In attempt to gain the good graces of some of the townsfolk, the Black Rose further agreed to aid in solving a recent clutch of demons that were terrorizing the realm.

Eventually, the Black Rose and the therianthropes moved their respective groups to Ork's Field, just outside of the entrance to Dark Wood and a long dialogue commenced between them. The Black Rose demanded Nym, whom they claimed placed the original curse upon their lord Sakacuron (then known as Zechariah) eons ago that drove him to obtain his lost true love, Lillian, and thus was the true cause of all the tragedy that ensued.

Pter, the executioner of Marcus, surrounded by forces of the Black Rose.
Silverfang countered that since her reappearance, Nym has done nothing but aid the unfortunate, whereas the Black Rose have been aggressively preying upon the region for the past several months and that their service to the dark lord is one of fear, not respect. After a rather drawn out exchange, the two forces finally came to blows, with many of the citizens of Dagger Deep allying with therianthropes: The Black Rose was vastly outnumbered in force and after a few more desperate appeals, they were driven to rout from this land.

During that time, two major things were said to occur:

First, the ancient spirit Dimitri met with Nym and in a surprising turn, through strong words, clever deception, and/or powerful magic, changed his allegiance from the Black Rose to Nym, and aided in driving out his former allies. He was also heard to proclaim that together they would rebuild a noble holy order called the Blazing Sun, which was what the Black Rose was originally before it was corrupted.

Such news I find difficult to believe and even if it is true, it'll be a cold day in muspelheim if I ever fully trust that blackguard.

The second, far more tragic event of that day concerned the nature of the death of Marcus.

I was told that Pter, the one-armed declaimer of the Black Rose, returned to town during the commotion where he met with the Mitrite. The details are lost to me, for I was and have been coming to terms with very shock of the event and did not inquire, but from what little I've gathered, witnesses to the event said Marcus willingly had his soul ripped from his earthly vessel by Pter. Speculation abounds on the hereafter of his spirit, whether Pter damned him to the Abyss or granted him mercy by sending it to the Elysian Fields.

It's difficult to imagine that any of high members of the Black Rose could show mercy, but I'm sure that all who loved and/or respected the man hope and pray he now rests in piece in his deserving afterlife. I know I do.

Again, I wish I had a chance to meet that man. Of the threads of fate that I'm intertwined with, ours was never meant to cross.

With that, I have nothing more to write beyond this small measure which I honour him:

Sola Fide

-Ref ' Kampi' Vandillson

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