Kingmaker "the stolen lands"

4th of Pharast 4714 AD

The Fall

The course of true love never did run smooth. – William Shakespeare

”They are dead, Henry.”
A sharp pain as his heart shattered, a silent roar of despair – then the calm clearness of oblivion. Erin watched the sorrow that slipped away and was replaced by adamant determination. She tried to take his hands, but he pulled away from her. He did not utter a word, but his attitude spoke for itself. Henry Scaletti did not need the comfort of his queen, and her wet eyes and hazy voice appalled him. What right had she to grief? It was his wife… his children. For a second the world spun with raging speed and the pain became so overwhelming that he feared it would burst right out of him. The second passed and so did the emotions.
“Thank you for informing me, mylady. I will go speak to the priest. He can raise them,” the knight declared with stoic calm.
“They are gone, Henry. There is nothing left. The house exploded. Let them rest,” Erin pleaded. Henry sent her a scrutinising glare then pushed past her and left the garrison’s training grounds. She turned around and watched him until he disappeared from her sight. A broken man filled with all the wicked zealousness that only love could inspire. “I am so sorry, Henry,” she whispered and dried her eyes. “But it was the right thing to do.”

Barim was working in the cathedral’s garden alongside some of the acolytes. It was manual labour and it was most certainly not expected of the high priest of Natuska to take part of it, but he liked to do so. It helped him clear his mind and it gave him a chance to get to know his acolytes. It was important for him to show them that he thought of each and everyone of them as being important. Because they all had their role to play in the Riverlight community. Furthermore, he also loved to see the plants grow. He was deeply fascinated by the new life that sprouted forth from the ground, the process of how even the smallest seed could grow into a beautiful and strong tree. He was content when he worked out here and his past seemed far far away and unreal. Like a nightmare from one’s childhood.
Suddenly a shadow fell over him. He looked up and squinted his eyes against the blinding white rays of spring’s first sun. “Da’gorand, can I speak to you privately?” Barim could still not make out the dark face, but the voice was clearly Henry’s, though it sounded slightly strange. “Of course, Henry,” the cleric smiled and rose, wiping his dirty hands off in his brown kirtle.
Barim led his colleague into the cathedral. It was all but devoid of people. Barim had made it a matter of honour that the clerics and acolytes primarily should make relief work when not preoccupied with sermons or prayers. Thus it was an easy task to find an empty part of the enormous building.
“What troubles you, sir Henry?” Barim asked mildly.
“Lily and the children are dead.”
All colour rushed away from the cleric’s face. He did not know what was more horrible; the tragedy or Henry’s complete and insensitive ease. He found himself dumbstruck and it took a moment for him to regain the capacity to speak.
“I… I am sorry for your loss, Henry.”
“Don’t be! You are going to raise them,” the knight replied matter-of-factly while his eyes bored into Barim’s. That, however, was a fight he could not win. Barim had gained wisdom and experience from a long life filled with hardships, troubles and challenges, and there was no chance that he would be intimidated by a man, who had barely left his adolescence. Barim’s expression shifted from deep-felt compassion to match the stoicism of Henry’s.
“I will ask Erastil if he deems it right to bring back Lily, but I will not risk the ritual on the children,” he stated flatly and crossed his arms resolutely.
Deep red flowers of anger sprouted all over Henry’s face.
“Why not?” he hissed through clenched teeth and mustered all his will not to punch the obnoxious priest in the face.
“Because it is a dangerous and painful process. Of all people you ought to know that,” Barim retorted in a calm but stern voice. “If it does not destroy their bodies it will most likely crush their souls, and I will not be the instigator of that.”
“They are strong kids,” Henry countered without pause, but Barim saw the panic and desperation rising in his companion’s eyes.
“This is not up for discussion, Henry. I will ask for Erastil’s guidance about Lily, but you will have to let Belle and Alistair at peace.” His tone of voice was gentler now, but left no doubt about his firm conviction. Henry’s head dropped with a grim look of acceptance and he stood still for a moment, trying to understand the unfathomable. With an angry gesture he dried a single tear from his eye with the back of his hand. “Lily then,” he agreed and turned around on his heels and left the place of worship with firm strides. Barim followed him with his eyes. Sun streamed in through the cathedral’s immense gates and as Henry went through them he cast a shadow that made him look like a giant. Yet, he is only a man, Barim concluded thoughtfully. He lit three lights and stood watching them for a long time. He pondered where this fork in the road would lead Henry – possibly all of them.

Alyssa was cleaning the banisters of Castle Riverlight. It was dreary beyond imagination and her back hurt like hell. She had done it every day for the last week. Normally they would be more or take turns, but she had talked back to Old Eliza in the kitchen and this was her punishment. “That fat, old, nasty wench,” the girl muttered under her breath and rubbed hard on a particularly stubborn spot. The only good thing was that she sometimes caught a glimpse of the new king in the halls or on the stairs. He was so handsome. And he always smiled nicely – when he noticed her. The sheer memory made her blush and smirk. Perhaps if she played her cards right, she wouldn’t have to clean this castle for the rest of her life. Erin Surtova was getting old after all. Could she even conceive anymore? The queen had used her youth chasing bandits and monsters in forests and swamps, and her prime with a man who had hated her more than she him. Alyssa shook her head and rose to straighten her back. She would never have acted that foolishly. Her parents had made it very clear to her that it was a woman’s holy duty to stay at home and please her husband. Obviously, the queen had not received these instructions. In the middle of her line of thoughts Alyssa noticed something rather odd a little down the walkway. A semi-transparent globe or opening seemed to appear and distort the surroundings, flickering like the horizon on a hot summer’s day. Suddenly a figure emerged from the spectacle. Alyssa watched it with wide eyes and open mouth. She wanted to scream and run, but her body would not move. Seconds later her brain recognised Daniel Orlovsky and the terror turned into amazement. He walked past her, sending her a dazzling smile and a wink while letting a hand run through his long, almost silver-like hair. The girl instantly blushed and cast down her eyes. She knew the reputation of the head wizard very well.

Daniel chuckled a little and looked back over his shoulder to see the baffled maid again before he turned down the corridor to Erin’s chambers. It was one of his small pleasures to surprise, startle and perhaps even scare a little with his magic. He knocked on her door and entered. She was sitting in one of the deep windowsills at the far end of her antechamber, surveying Riverlight’s waterfront. She did not even turn around to look at him. He furrowed his brow slightly. He had expected to be chided, as he had not awaited an answer before entering.
“Most magnificent queen, I am at your service,” he declared flamboyantly and walked towards her. “Daniel – I have dire news,” she replied still not moving. The wrinkle in his forehead deepened as he moved the rest of the way up to her. “What is it?” he asked and looked down at her. Finally she turned her head and looked at him. Her eyes were red and swollen. “Lily and the children are dead… and so is Akiros,” she snivelled. At first he just looked at her in disbelief, then a smirk started spreading upon his lips and nonchalantly he leaned against the stonewall and looked at her with mirth in his eyes. “Lily and Akiros, you say,” he mused.
“Do you find this funny?” she snapped at him, anger welling into her eyes.
“Please, Erin. Do not try to fool me. I knew about them. I am your spymaster after all, remember?”
“They are dead,” she said emphasising every word, but without a single sob or tear now.
“If I remember correctly, you had a private meeting with Akiros yesterday while the rest of us were taking care of the well-being of your kingdom, my queen,” Daniel reminded her with delight.
“I was ill, but Akiros had matters that I needed be informed about,” she replied and looked out of the window with a sullen expression.
“You have never missed a council meeting no matter what condition you were in, so my educated guess is that either you and Akiros are lovers, which I find highly unlikely that Jhofré would cover up for you, or you planned with our beloved warden how he might escape with his lover, who, until recently at least, was Lily Scaletti,” he ended his insightful analysis looking most satisfied with himself. Erin suppressed a smile. It was unfortunate that Daniel had figured out the truth, but after all it was his job and he was very good at it – and never did he neglect to deliver his points with style and wit.
“Since when are you on first name terms with your King,” she pouted in mock discontent and looked up at him once again.
He cocked his head coyly: “Since we became lovers.”
Erin’s eyes darkened immediately: “Your sense of humour is distasteful, Orlovsky.”
“And my wit unequalled,” he riposted.
“As is your self-satisfaction.”
He shrugged. It was true, but a truth he was comfortable with.
“I am going to call the council together. A great personal tragedy has befallen us, but the kingdom must not suffer from it. We need to instate two new councillors as quick as possible. And you, Daniel Orlovsky, better keep your wild theories to yourself,” Erin warned him and slid down from the window.
“Sure,” he agreed with a shrug to indicate his indifference.
“Please leave me. I have business to attend to,” she ordered and waved her hand dismissingly. He walked towards the door without further insults to the Surtova. However, as he reached it he turned around. “You know Erin. No matter what you did, it was Henry who failed his family.”
“I know, Daniel. It was the right thing to do… it still just feels… I hope they will be happy… that we all will,” the last part of her sentence was barely a whisper.
“Yeah well. I just wanted to say that you shouldn’t be too harsh on yourself … Sometimes you make me worry that you actually do have a heart,” Daniel said with a wry smile and slipped out the door.

The street was bustling with activity. Everything was ordinary. Except for the burnt down mansion. Some stopped and stared at him, others whispered about him under their breaths to one another, and some simply looked away and hurried by. He noticed all of it, yet none of it. Henry saw and disbelieved. How could this have happened? Why him? Why his family? What had he ever done to deserve this fate? He stepped through the outer gates and into the mansion’s courtyard. The fountain in the middle still sprouted cascades of water. Cobblestones in different colours formed intricate patterns in the yard. Bushes, small trees and flowers thrived and stood orderly in their beds. Everything was so incredible perfect – but the ruins. He stepped up to the front door and placed his hand against it. Rather than opening, it fell with a loud crash. Everything stopped for a split second out in the street… then returned to the state of ordinary everyday business.
Henry realised that the outer walls might have weathered the fire somewhat, but the interior of the mansion was close to utterly destroyed. He realised, too, that he had difficulty recreating the surroundings in his mind. This was his home, or used to be at least, but he had barely any memories from the place. It had all been ripped from him before he had had a chance to know it. And why? Because Lily had stashed her potions and alchemical supplies at home. It was the only plausible explanation for the fire’s intensity and following explosion. For all of this destruction. She had been utterly selfish all the time. Every time he had strayed from the path, it had been because of her. Her and her damnable mother. He had broken his word of honour to save her from Jhod, had cursed another man’s family and instigated an entire plague in Riverlight because she just had to have an Elven relic. He had loved her and the children unconditionally, and how had she repaid him? She had taken everything! With a roar he hammered his hand into a still standing stonewall. Small rubbles and dust trickled down due to the impact. He placed his forehead against the wall. It was still warm. Why, why, why? Suddenly he could hear Varn’s taunting words clear as crystal within his head. “You have a split focus, Henry. You cannot be family man and rule a kingdom. Your perspective can never be true.” Varn or not, he had been right. But not anymore. Henry knew exactly who he was and what he should do now. Mourning a single family was pointless when an entire kingdom depended on his leadership. He would return to the training of his troops as soon as he had informed Barim that he should not bother bringing Lily back. He would just slay her again. She did not deserve to live after all that she had done. He would never forgive her that she had taken his children with her.
Resolutely, Henry left the ruins of his home, life and love.

Barim sat in his private quarters of the cathedral. He rolled his holy symbol between his fingers. Back and forth continuously. Several deep furrows in his forehead and an absent expression in his eyes revealed that he was deep in thoughts. He had communed with Erastil about Akiros Ismort’s fate. If he should try to bring the fallen paladin back to life. If he had redeemed himself enough to be greeted by the deity once again. The answer had been far from straight, but it had revealed something truly surprising. Akiros seemed to be very much alive, though living another life. He did not know what exactly had been going on, but lies and deceit were clearly part of it. Barim sighed deeply and shook his head. Relationships were disintegrating at a rapid pace at the moment and he did not like that one bit. What threatened one, threatened all. Once again it seemed to befall him to keep their small community together. And it had to be kept together at any price since it was crucial to the greater community of Natuska.
There was a knock on the door.
One of the acolytes, Gaelen, entered. “Your presence is requested at the castle, revered high priest Da’gorand. It is a council assembly, I am informed.”
“Thank you, Gaelen,” Barim replied kindly and rose. Perhaps the meeting would shed some light onto the day’s mysteries and secrets. But most likely not, he thought to himself as he tossed his cloak around his shoulders and left for Castle Riverlight.


Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

- Friederich Nietzsche

She lay screaming. And crying. Screaming. She seemed small, pale and vulnerable in the big bed wearing a white night gown with her golden hair streaming down her shoulders and chest. Tears and sweat trickled down her forehead and cheeks. She could not stop screaming and she could not wake up. She could not see. The birds – they were everywhere. Their beaks picking her gray eyes from her lifeless body. But she could feel everything. She was paralysed and the world was distorted and dancing before her and then she could see no longer. Until a new image appeared through half-open eyes and dizziness. The light came from another place, through water. So… so dark. It was cold and damp. And a taste, something filled her mouth – dirt – dust. She could feel the enormous pressure surround her body, submerged in earth. Something heavy on her chest. No, she could see, but it was black and shiny – the raven. It blinked and the world changed. She was at the beginning and the dead girl hung from the tree and croaked with joy, “there is no law here”. And she dropped with that horrible sound of her neck snapping like a dried twig under one’s feet. But her dead black eyes still stared – filled with condemnation and malice. She felt how she was sucked into this abyss and her white face disappeared in anguish and blackness, but still she screamed… She was lost, free-falling in nothingness, disappearing. Then something clasped her shoulders and heaved her upwards. Soft feathers caressed her face and with each stroke the fear disappeared. She could breathe again and with a gasp she let air surge through her lungs, and slowly opened her eyes. A single light in the dark. The face of her maid glowed in the flickering flame of the oil lamp. She narrowed her eyes and made out more silhouettes. Kundal’s huge frame, Daniel’s coldly appraising eyes and Gurul’s bared gleaming teeth. “Are you okay?” she heard Travin’s voice. “It was but a nightmare,” she stammered, trying to control her quivering voice. “I’m sorry I awoke you. Go back to bed. I’m fine.” Nothing happened. They all stood perfectly inanimated for seconds. Finally, Daniel turned around and left. “Come on boy,” Travin called. Gurul growled low and threatingly, then heeded his master’s call. Her maid turned away with the light, paused and looked at Kundal who did not twitch, but simply stared suspiciously into the dark. “Leave Kundal! The Duchess has had a hard time, she needs to rest.” Kundal let his gaze drop to mylady who nodded. “We are here if you need us,” he assured her and left. The maid closed the door behind them and everything was dark and silent again. “I died,” she whispered under her breath, barely aware of the warm tears that moisted her eyes anew. “It was just a nightmare,” he whispered and pressed his lips against her forehead. “Sleep!” She sank into the embrace of her pillows, but when morning’s first golden rays slipped in through the windows, her eyes were still wide open for fear of the reaper in the dark.

Erastus-Adoran 4711

A Matter Most Mysterious

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

- Psalm 23:4

“… and so, I am afraid, it falls to you to investigate the mystery of Varnhold,” Sasha read aloud with her crystal-like voice. She had just been inaugurated as Natuska’s grand diplomat and already a pressing matter had arrived at her office desk. It carried the seal of the Swordlords. It was important. And urgent. No one had heard from their neighbour kingdom since Falcus Varn had visited Riverlight about a month ago. Messengers went missing. Sasha felt a shiver down her spine. She had experienced a lot. Seen battles. Heard cries of pain and death from brave men and friends. Fought vicious demons and sent them back to their hell holes. But this silence, this mystery of nothingness scared her slightly. And the heavens’ would know that she hadn’t felt that emotion for years. She looked up from the parchment. Beheld the rest of the council. The Duchess yawned and stretched like a lazy cat. But Sasha didn’t buy her bluff. If she appeared that disinterested, she was very interested. Sasha had of course heard the rumours running wild within the castle’s walls – that the Duchess wasn’t happy about her future marriage to Falcus Varn. More vicious rumours told that she disliked him becomes he took no interest in her. That he had been forced by his father to marry her. That he had been unaware and felt tricked. Perhaps he even had a true love somewhere else. Sasha at least knew that the maidens’ stories and fantasies were tantalising and untrue… Yet, also that the Duchess only wore her impressive engagement ring when officials from the Nomen Heights came by.
She let her eyes wander on. Oleg, the treasurer, seemed as always out of place when he wasn’t positioned behind his great oak table with stacks of paper in the castle’s dungeon. He had a slightly sour expression on his face – probably because he thought he was wasting time sitting here, and time was money. High Priest Dagorand watched the Duchess – not to pry a course of action from her, Sasha mused, but to estimate her reaction as well. Lily, or rather Magister Scaletti, was lean and relaxed, radiating the majestic indifference of a lioness though she had recently given birth to her and Henry’s daughter, Belle Scaletti. And she wasn’t bluffing – she truly was disinterested in this affair. Fighting and fool-hearted adventures she left to her husband. He on the other hand was deeply fascinated and did not miss the opportunity to point out that Natuska really did need a standing army… or at least walls around Riverlight. Whatever threatened Varnhold could soon enough be a problem to Natuska as well. Daniel Orlovsky, a man who had not forgotten the ruthless squalor and eloquent poison of Restov, agreed with him, but was also very concerned with the cleansing of the Candlemere island. After all, a tower had to be built out there. For him, of course. Sasha didn’t really see how either discussion furthered the situation at hand. Nor did Dagorand apparently. “We will of course investigate. After all, a problem in The Nomen Heights, as Henry pointed out, could easily spread to Natuska, and that would be unfortunate as we have just stabilised our own political as well as civil order,” he said. Sasha was impressed with the cleric’s ability to put things straight with few words and immense certainty. When the others lost themselves in mind games and speculations he would cut through, see the goal and dictate a course of action. And often the rest of the council would acknowledge his wisdom and heed it. This time was no exception. “We should decide on a temporary constellation of the remaining council,” Master Mongrym continued Dagorand’s line of reasoning. Sasha always found it amusing that the small halfling was called Master – at least by the Duchess. But it was catchy. Rumours, again, had it that the High Counsellor of Natuska had once been a dwarf. Sasha knew that powerful magic capable of performing such miracles did exist, but still the story seemed farfetched.
“A temporary leader should be constituted while your Highness is absent,” Akiros put in directed at Erin.
“Yes,” Sir Henry agreed. “It seems only prudent that Lily should take Erin’s place while we’re away. After all, she’s the only noble of the remaining.” Sasha thought that even Akiros Ismort’s perpetually stern composure became sterner at that proposal. She wasn’t fond of the Marshall and former Erastil paladin. Something had broken inside of him and he seemed dangerous and unpredictable. But he was one of the Duchess’ favourites and it was unlikely that he would leave the council in near future, so she had to learn to cooperate with him.
“You only want her there because she is your wife. She’s a poor substitute,” Orlovsky spit back at Henry.
“Besides Lily has Belle to look after,” Dagorand quickly put in to appease the imminent confrontation.
Henry looked angered, but held his tongue as he discovered the smirk on Lily’s lips. She was very happy not being appointed with anything. Sasha smiled slightly at the play unfolding before her eyes.
“Sasha should take over while Erin is away,” Daniel suggested rather off-handedly. Sasha stopped smiling. As none seemed to disagree, he continued:
“All in favour?” Nine hands were raised. “Sasha will be the substitute leader of Natuska then,” the wizard continued and concluded.
“We should set out by the first of Adoran. That will give us time enough to get supplies for the journey,” Sir Henry proposed. “No, that’s a rest day. We will have to wait until the second,” Dagorand noted. “Are ye mad?” Master Mongrym almost yelled with great indignation. “Ye don’t begin no thing on a Moon Day! Any fool could tell ye that, me good priest.” Suddenly Sasha wasn’t so sure about the halfling’s heritage anymore.
“We will leave on the third,” the Duchess stated flatly and rose. “I’m sure a day or two extra won’t matter to the citizens of Varnhold.”

A fortnight later they set out as they had done for many years now. But there seemed to be an air of eeriness over them. None liked the implications of the Varnhold letter. None dared to think of the horrors awaiting them to the South-East. And for the first time most of them felt they left a great lot behind in Riverlight. Yet, it did feel right to be back on the road. Good to sit around a campfire and laugh as if heavy responsibilities did not weigh down their shoulders. But sometimes, when the conversation quieted, and the fire’s light became ruthless in its revelation they could mirror their faces in each others’, and it was plain to all that they looked ten years older than the three they ought. Natuska had taken its toll and now it seemed that an even greater sacrifice would have to be made.

The mountains outlining Varnhold finally rose in the horizon one evening. They were beautiful and the sun coloured them golden. The road leading through the pass seemed to be made of red copper. It was a beautiful sight. Delicate as a dream, Erin thought to herself.
“A day and a half and we should be there,” Travin said as he looked to the mountains hands resting on his hips.
“A day and a half to see if it is a dream or a nightmare,” Erin said with distant worry.
“We should probably hope for the last,” Barim laughed. “We’re more accustomed to that.” But despite the humour his voice trembled ever so slightly. Luckily, only Henry noticed. The rest smiled and continued.

Varnhold was silent as the grave. No people, no animals, no sounds – nothing. “This is quaint,” Henry muttered and stopped Lucky in front of a farm. He knocked on the door, but there was no reply. He opened the door and the stench that hit him and the thousand flies that rolled over him in massive waves made him vomit. Death had settled in the house. Henry was too sick to investigate, but Travin was more accustomed to the entropy of Mother Nature. He walked into the small farm and looked around. Except for the amount of flies and reek of decay due to a dead cow in the kitchen everything occurred extremely tidy. A cup with a bit of water and a bowl with now dried food stood on a table. The spoon lay next to it. Apparently someone had walked out on his or her last supper. Travin knitted his brow in a thoughtful and worried expression and left the building.

“Let us get to the other side of the river. Maybe people have gathered in the inn or temple over there. Perhaps they have even evacuated at the garrison,” Daniel suggested.

Barim carefully observed the water moving beneath him. He was glad that it was not his, but the horse’s legs that were submerged beneath the mirroring surface. The abandoned city in its serene and ominous silence caused him to feel uncomfortable. The horse seemed nervous as well. Its ears shifted direction constantly to catch sounds that were not there. Barim’s glance fell on a farm on the opposite side of the river. A literal army of black crows covered the roof. Alive, but still as a grave. Then the surroundings changed suddenly. Under him his horse plummeted downwards with a shrill neigh, and immediately Barim felt the cold water enclose him from his torso and downwards. The water around him turned red and sped down the stream. The horse was completely still and on its flanks, Barim could glimpse wooden stakes protruding from a crafted hole. Traps against centaurs, his brain concluded despite the million chaotic thoughts rampaging through his mind due to the chock.
“Throw him a rope, Henry,” he heard Erin order anxiously somewhere in front of him. “Are you alright, Dagorand?” Daniel cried out from the opposite side of the shore. It became clear to Barim that he was paralysed by chock and fear. “Catch the rope, priest. I’ll drag you in. Just don’t step on the bottom,” Henry called to him and threw a rope. It took a few tries for Barim to catch the lifeline. When Henry finally got him to the shore, Erin and Travin had been searching the nearby ground and found two additional pit traps. “Them folk sure don’t like centaurs here arounds,” Travin muttered grimly. Barim simply nodded sternly.

This observation was confirmed by a found in one of the houses – the tannery. Several hides in different stages of completion and decaying were stretched over frames. A couple of them were especially big. “Ohh,” Daniel exclaimed when he saw them. “What?” Barim asked. “These are not hides from animals. They’re from centaurs,” Daniel answered and cleared his throat, clearly upset by the fact. Barim simply shook his head in sheer disbelief.

Erin had walked a little away from the others. They were searching the tanner’s tools, but it seemed futile that they should all do that, so she had decided to look through another part of the building. And she wanted to be alone. Thoughts were swirling through her mind. What has happened? Who has caused it? We need more clues. Where is everybody? Dead? No, that is too horrible. What about Meghran? Falcus? Why have you been so horrible to him? Because he is arrogant and loaths me. But he is just an unhappy boy being forced into a marriage. And what about me? You chose it, however reluctantly. And for arrogance – you called him a boy. You accepted Meghran’s offer of peace and cooperation with his son as the currency. I didn’t know, I didn’t. I thought he knew about it. That changes a detail not the picture. It’s not fair. He doesn’t like me. You are not very likeable.
Reason and feeling duelled fiercely while Erin absent-mindedly walked further into the building. She entered an odd hall with several doors and a ladder. Her feet and not head chose the latter. Slowly she ascended while trying to assess whether her behaviour and attitude were childish, unforgivable, justifiable or just common. “Why can nothing be simple?” she sourly pouted aloud just as she reached the top of the ladder. The sight revealed before her eyes immediately got her attention. The hayloft itself was normal enough, but there was nothing common about the number of its eerie looking inhabitants. Erin stared at the massive amounts of crows with eyes wide open. She couldn’t help but gasp loudly in amazement and surprise. There must be hundreds – probably scavengers. After all they had survived, hadn’t they? One of them turned its head and stared at her with an unblinking black eye. Then another, then a third… They started croaking in union – intimidating and menacingly. Before she could even think of getting down, they took to their wings with a unanimous shriek and swarmed over her as a black tide of disaster. Their beaks and feathers were everywhere. She tried to fend them off with one hand while attempting to climb down with the other. Suddenly one got between her arm and face and started hacking furiously at her. The pain was unfathomable when its beak sank into the softness of her left eye. Reflexive she pushed the bird away with force enough for it to hit the wall and break its neck. But the movement had left her face unprotected and new crows attacked relentlessly. Sharp beaks pounded down on her and left nasty wounds on her forehead, cheeks, scalp, everywhere. In sheer panic she brought up her other hand to protect herself, but it was too late. From her right side one of the devils attacked and went straight for her gray, sparkling and watery eye. She screamed in agony and fear and yet another swarm flew into her as if they were trying to pass through her. She fell to the hard stone floor, blind and with hot, red tears pouring down her cheeks.

Henry looked up. Was that a scream? Then he heard it again. Much louder, much more desperate. Orlovsky had already passed him before he got moving. Behind him he could hear the priest and halfling move too. Something in that scream prompted all of them to act with more haste than normally. Henry drew his sword while running.

Daniel stopped abruptly as he entered the hallway. First he couldn’t identify what he was looking at. Blackness swirled around Erin who had coiled up on the floor, trying to shield herself against the darkness.
“Erin, this way,” he cried out while he drew a wand made of delicate ash wood. A second later he was waving it in intricate patterns and called out strange and mesmerising words. The words prompted Erin to act. She was trained in basic arcane arts and knew what was about to happen. If she got hit, the birds would be the least of her problems. She rolled to her stomach and scrambled to her feet. The hair on her arms and head was rising – the air was already filled with electric charges. She stumbled towards the wizard’s voice. He stopped his incantation. She leaped and curled into a rolling dodge, getting to safety behind him.
The devastating bolt of intense electricity filled the entire hall in a roaring and bright white dance of sparkling discharges. Daniel shut the door close and spun around. Travin was in the process of casting a spell. Wind was picking up around them rapidly and tools already flew around them in a wide circle. Within seconds it was a regular tornado that destroyed everything outside its calm eye. They could glance the angry birds that aimlessly and futilely threw themselves into the storm and got ripped apart as a consequence. Barim picked up Erin, who pressed her hands hard against her eyes and cried in utter terror: “They took my eyes, they took my eyes”, while blood continued to stream through her fingers.
“Erin, stop! You’re only making it worse. I need to look at it,” Barim explained in the most calm voice he could muster and took a firm grip around her wrists, forcing her to remove her hands. With his thumbs he gently lifted her eyelids in turn and examined the damage. He looked at the others. “We need to get somewhere safe immediately where I can start treating her wounds.”
“The inn is just across the street. I think it’s our best chance,” Daniel replied and retrieved a winter blanket from his backpack. “Can you cover us? Then I’ll get Erin over there.” Henry nodded. Barim closed his eyes for a second and whispered a prayer under his breath. His skin darkened and hardened. Then it sprouted into brambles and thorns. “I’m ready,” he said. “So am I,” a dry and crackling voice pronounced. The hafling had transformed into the purest of fire.

Daniel watched his three companions bravely charging through the wind wall out into the open courtyard under a sky filled with frenzied crows. He turned to Erin, who now only sobbed relatively controlled. “We have to make a run for it, Surtova. I’ll support you, okay?” he said softly and put the blanket over their heads and then his one arm around her waist. She nodded and put her arm around his neck. “Let’s do this.” He led her to the edge of the protective wall.

Henry was in the saddle within a blink of an eye, meanwhile slicing down three attackers flying too close by him. Barim swung wildly around himself with his mace. The crowd was almost all but too dense to avoid his blows, but those few who did impaled themselves on the long, sharp thorns of his body. Travin roared as a hungry and all-consuming fire and sent out pulses of extreme heat. All around him, crows dropped in his aura of pure destruction. The sudden and powerful assault made the immediate pack of crows soar upwards and scatter against the gray sky. Daniel knew that now was their chance – before the birds returned, empowered by their rage. “Now!” he bellowed and started running his grip tight around Erin. She followed with surprising ease her blindness taken into consideration. His own sight was extremely hampered as well due to the blanket, but at least he could see the ground beneath his feet. Above him he could hear the angry screams of crows charging back in flight. A moment later, Henry cried out in anger and disbelief.

He found it hard to believe. The warm and wet pain. The inability to see. Not a moment too soon, he caught the sound of the deep and nefarious croaking approaching his left flank. Instinctively he raised his shield to cover his upper torso and head. The heavy impact made his arm buckle slightly. He felt something hit his leg – a sack filled with fluids – then he heard the bump as it reached the ground. He had to get away from the open field. “Lucky, follow Daniel,” he leaned forward and commanded his horse and trusted companion. Lucky understood and hasted after the wizard with a speed extremely uncomfortable to its blind rider.

They had stopped attacking the roaring column of bright death. Some were chasing the fleeing group, but others had turned their attention wholly towards the thorned man. His spikes proved less and less effective by the second. Thorns had snapped off and some were simply too filled with dead carcases to do any damage. And they started getting heavy too – heavier for each swing of the mace.
“Run. I’ll keep them occupied,” Travin encouraged him. The priest nodded and started moving in a controlled pace. Apparently, the halfling did keep them at bay because none stroke down upon him.

Travin praised mother nature for their luck of dumb birds. As long as he agitated them they seemed to forget everything about the others. At his side Gurul happily lunged himself at the flying menace. Sometimes he even succeeded at catching one between his huge paws. Without hesitation, he would bite their heads off. Travin was mighty proud. Suddenly the entire crowd spiralled to the sky with a shriek that sounded like the laughter of an old hag. The swarm flew high and then dived towards the fleeing cleric. They wrapped themselves around him as a wail around a dancer, and hid him completely before they soared upwards again with the same grace of flight. Barim staggered blindly around, then fell to his knees and forward. He used one hand to steady himself against the ground, while he pressed the other against his face. In the sky Travin could see the birds starting to turn so that they might strike down again. Barim did not look like he would withstand another hit by the crowd. Travin dashed towards his companion while transforming back to his natural form with every stride. “Get up. Get up,” he screamed and tried to support Barim as well as his height allowed him. Together they ran towards the inn, Barim having difficulty seeing because of the blood pouring into his eyes from the scratches and wounds the birds had inflicted all over his body and face. Daniel signalled panickingly from the inn’s doorway that they should hurry. From his vantage point he could see the rolling wave of blackness getting closer and closer. Unceremoniously, Travin pushed Barim in through the opening with both of his hands planted solidly in the cleric’s lower back. He fell head first onto the wooden and rough planks of the inn floor closely followed by the druid and 300 pounds of black bear. Daniel slammed the door shot and put his back against it. When the enraged crows crashed into the door it sounded like the thundering of giant hailstones and Daniel had to use considerable strength to hold the door. Several moments later the siege stopped and Daniel could breathe easily again and assess the situation. Erin had finally stopped screaming and now sat literately staring blankly into thin air. The blood had ceased running from her eye sockets and had instead hardened in streams down her cheeks. Her golden hair had escaped their braiding and encased her delicate face. Daniel could not help think that she was the perfect image of loss – painstakingly beautiful in flesh and blood, but without a soul. Serene, mortal and deeply wounded. Barim moaned quietly from his place on the floor. He had only managed to roll onto his back and his left arm rested gently over his face. His wounds were very fresh and blood still trickled from the corners of his eyes to his ears and temples and into his hair. Henry had managed to feel his way to a chair and had sat down with his forehead resting against his palms. He thought of Lily and Belle. Right now he missed them so much. He could almost feel Lily’s soft hands against his hurting eyes and soothing words whispered into his ears. He smiled at the thought at it actually made him feel slightly better off.
“Travin,” Barim hoarsely called from the floor. “Yes,” the druid replied and kneeled beside his companion. “You have to cleanse and apply salves to our eyes if we are not to lose sight. You should find everything you need in my backpack,” Travin nodded and stood up. “You should try to find out what has happened here while I tend to their wounds,” the hafling dictated to Daniel. “Indeed,” the wizard sighed and barred the door. Then he trotted up the stairs of the inn with heavy steps. This was surely not to be an easily accomplished task. And where in the nine hells was everybody?

He did not return until early in the morning. His eyes were hollow and sunken with fatigue. He placed a heavy tome on the big oak table the others were seated around. He fell into a chair with a disparaging look and started running his hand through his beard. Travin looked at him and the others turned their heads in the direction of the sounds. They looked ridiculous and helpless with their heads wrapped in linen to shield their eyes. “All I can gather is that they found a bracelet from a tomb or something like that. Probably belonging to someone named Vordakai – by the guess of a Restovian scholar, an ancient centaur god. And then this word “Nomen”. My guess is that it is simply related to the area. At least I have found no evidence to imply anything else,” he concluded with a heavy sigh and closed his eyes. Almost immediately he started to drift away, but Travin’s voice chased away the peaceful slumber. “I guess our only option is to make contact with the centaur tribes nearby then. Perhaps they will know more of this mystery. I believe out blind mice will be ready tomorrow morning.” “Yes, the centaurs. They will probably be thrilled to see us. How many years is it that Meghran Varn has warred against them now? Not to mention that his citizens have made hides of their neighbours’ skins,” Daniel replied with a rhetorical questioned and thrust his head backwards, staring into the ceiling. This better be worth their while because it would be exceedingly troublesome.

The Varnhold Vanishing

And so it was, high upon the Torres and well above the Vale’s Stairs, where rises the high water a stony isle of dire report. Known as Vordakai’s Island to those that do live thereabout, some legen of its name doth come down through the locals. For they speak of a guardian that doth destroy all who would set foot upon its accursed shores. They did name no fewer than a twelvecount of their hero-knights who had left their bones upon its rocky shores over the years after having tested their mettle against its dread warden, ’til none would any longer go there for fear of its hidden terrors. And the name of this terror was given unto this island.

…It was on one of these jurneys that he discovered the site of Vordakai’s tomb and crossed the waters of the little sellen on a folding boat. On the Island he located wards designed to prevent intrusion and grasped somthing of their dire nature. He was about to turn back when he Glimpsed a cache of treasure just a short way down the corridor leading into the tomb. Greed forced aside common sense, abd he crept inside to investigate- but as he did, he felt the ancient warding go off. Pausing only to snatch a single jade bracelet, he fled the tomb and retreated Back across the river.

…he hurrried back to Varnhold with the bracelet and adjusted his tale to say he had found it on the river bank, hoping to hide his lack of judgement…. but the triggering of the wards had awoken somthing from an ageless slumber, faced with a new world of wonder, the undead cyclope set about tracking the thief back to the settlement of varnhold. Unleasing anchint magic of the Occolus of abbadon, it emptied the settlement of its inhabitants in a single night of horror.

26th to 29th of Desnus 4708 AR

The Curious Case of Master Mongrym

Everything possessed the power to transform itself, or else, and what meant more, to be transformed. – Wallace Stevens

Travin felt his blood pumping within his veins. The beating rhythm from within echoed in his ears. And from outside the heavy rain pounded down on him, rebouncing as soon as it hit the stones of the castle’s barricades. Lightning flashed from the ominous night sky, making it possible to see one’s surroundings, though distortedly. Somewhere to his left, Gurul roared and charged forward, ascending the outdoor staircase in one powerful jump, preparing to sink his teeth into the flesh of the grinning atrocity that stood at the top. Through a haze Travin heard the others yell below him and he recognised the soft sound of arrows being released – the snap as they settled in the ground close behind him as well. One, two, three, he counted as he ascended, the menacingly sharp scythe raised above his head in his stretched arms. The dwarf felt battle prowess and balance surge through his hole body. “Nature give me strength, Nature guide my aim,” he whispered under his breath, and fixated his eyes on the giant in front of him, just in time to see it bash in Gurul’s head with its massive, iron spiked club and a vehemently cruel yet stupid grin. Travin was hardly aware of the splash of warm blood that hit his face and neck. Sheer rage was the only imminent sensation in his mind as he threw himself at the giant monster. Slightly surprised the big man stumbled a few steps backwards as the infuriated dwarf attacked, but he managed to get his club between his own head and the curved blade. However, he only held the club in one hand while Travin used both. The dwarf was quick to use his advantage and considerably smaller height, but equal strength. He pulled down and made himself as heavy as possible. The giant wouldn’t let go of his weapon though, and was instead forced downwards. Travin reacted quickly and bashed the pommel and upper edge of the scythe’s blade into the face of his opponent, who stumbled backwards once more, his hands covering his injured face. Travin took advantage of the situation and swung the scythe across the torso and right leg of the giant, inflicting grievous wounds. Blood and fat welled out of them, but it was speeded away with the furious rain. The giant man fell to his knees, still with his hands in front of him. Travin lined up a final blow, but then the giant let his hands fall down, and he looked up at travin with slumped shoulders. “mercy,” he stammered with blood and water running down his face. “Auch sorry – mercy,” he cried and his eyes were filled with sadness and loneliness. Travin held the killing blow back for a moment while thoughts and emotions flew through his mind. Could he trust him, if he showed merci? Was he a creature fit to live? How much hurt and suffering had he caused, and how much would he cause in the future? He had perhaps killed Gurul. A life for a life. The scythe speedily descended and severed the giant’s head from its shoulders in a single, fluent strike. A low thump was heard when the head hit the ground and rolled a little away from its former body. Travin felt a sting of wrongness in his heart, and the rage seemed to seethe out of him. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed that Barim had stopped and stared at him in disbelief. Travin could imagine very vividly what his ally and friend was thinking in that moment, and the wrongness turned into shame. Then an arrow settled in the hides of his armour, and he realised that he was still in the middle of a battle. He caught sight of the archer standing on a bridge just to his left. He charged the archer, who nervously tried to get a new arrow stringed. Certain of his victory Travin raised his weapon once again to strike his new opponent dead. But the rain was heavy indeed and the wooden bridge had become slippery. Despite his physiologic stability, he became unbalanced, and tumbled forward as he attacked the archer with a powerful swing of the scythe. The latter, however, was quick to take advantage of the dwarf’s uncontrolled movements and took a step backwards, barely getting out of harm’s way. The miss caused Travin to continue his swing far wider than he should and consequently he slipped and landed on his own weapon. Too easily the keen blade sliced through his back and its tip protruded from his stomach. Yet the pain doesn’t seem so bad, Travin mused while a bolt of lightning flashed across the sky leaving nothing but utter darkness. The open glossy eyes of Travin Mongrym gazed into the emptiness of death.

The next time Travin’s eyes perceived something again, he was looking up at a beautiful blue summer’s sky with fleecy, white clouds. Underneath him he could feel the soft moss and smell the wonderful scent of green grass and flowers – hear the sound of bees lazily flying around and birds twittering, feel the warmth of the sun invigorating him. He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt such a freshness. It was not just in his mind, his body too felt new. Like a newborn baby, he thought smilingly and lay completely still, afraid of stirring this most wonderful dream. “How good that you are finally awake,” the voice of the Orlovsky cut through the perfect tranquillity and harmony. Travin turned his head and saw the wizard sitting on a nearby tree trunk. “What are you doing in my dreams?” the dwarf mumbled though in truth, he was glad to see a familiar face. Daniel chuckled. “I am afraid this is not a dream, Mongrym,” he said and rose, a big mirror in his hand. “You should take a look in it,” Daniel said and presented it to Mongrym with a sudden seriousness in his voice. Travin sat up and took the mirror watching Daniel suspiciously. Then he confronted the mirror image and a startled roar left his mouth. “Are you playing tricks on me, damnable wizard?” he shouted with a voice that suddenly struck him as much lighter than it ought to. “This is not me,” he continued and clambered to his feet. Why was the Orlovsky suddenly so tall? “You died and I had to get you raised,” Daniel explained and waved his hands apologetically in front of himself. “I had Jhod use druidic magic on you,” he added. Travin looked at the wizard for several moments. “Hm, I see. I guess this is the will of Nature then,” he said and looked into the mirror again. His face had become small and delicately shaped, without a single scar or hair. He then looked at his hands and feet that had become equally small and fine. His height and weight was diminished considerably, and instead of a heavy and stable corpus he now felt nimble though more fragile. “I’m afraid that your equipment doesn’t suit you any more, but we will of course get something new for you as soon as we get back to Oleg’s place. Right now we have to get back and get the others though,” Daniel explained, clearly relaxed now that Travin had taken the news so well. “Where are they anyway?” Travin asked.
“Still at the fortress.”
“Well, Henry and Erin got bitten by a werewolf and we will have to contain them until full moon to see if they are infected.”
“Hm, better get moving then.”
“Yes,” Daniel replied and started walking towards their horses that grassed nearby. The halfling followed a concerned look on his face.
“Do you think they will laugh at me?” he finally asked. Daniel couldn’t help smiling a little. “Probably.”
“Hmpf,” Travin grumbled. “Damnable humans.” Daniel’s smile broadened. Obviously, the halfling was still very much a dwarf.

26th of Gozran-1st of Desnus 4710 AR

“Henry Scaletti and Old Bell” or
“The Story of how Henry made deals with Devils”

“… As long as it is possible, he should not stray from the good, but he should know how to enter into evil when necessity commands.”

- Niccolò Machiavelli

Henry could feel the sweat of guilt and fear pouring down his forehead and temples as he rode through the moonlit forest. The branches and newly sprung leaves seemed to use his pale face as a background for their own shadow play. What had he done? When he tried to remember, tried to make his mind focus everything seemed dreamlike… or rather – nightmarish. But the bundle in his lap, which felt heavier than it probably was, reminded him that his actions had been very real – and the consequences would be equally vivid. He wiped his wet forehead with the back of his hand. He felt feverish and cold even though it was a particularly warm spring night. And the horrible, thick taste of the old hag’s tea was still in his mouth. What was even in it, he thought for a second and the answers his fantasy conjured up made his stomach turn. Why had he done it? Those damnable idiots. Too caught up in their politics to do something meaningful. He could hear their voices inside his head…

“We cannot just kill him outright! We will make a martyr of him,” Daniel hissed and pointed his finger at Akiros who sat opposite him in the great throne room. “Then you figure something out, wizard,” the latter retorted with a snarl and hammered his hand down into the large oak table that separated them. “Please, this is not the time to lose our heads,” Erin coolly reminded them from her place at the table’s end. “We will simply have to give him a fair trial. It can be done no other way,” Barim decided, sitting straight in his chair, not a doubt on his face or in voice. “I respect your integrity, Barim, but it would be handing him the victory. He has already swayed the citizens against us with his eloquent speeches, and he will easily win a trial if we have no evidence against him. We need to know more. Who is he? What does he want? Who has sent him?” Erin said looking at the Erastil priest. “Well, how will you get them, your highness?” Daniel asked and leaned forward in his seat, his voice filled with spite. “We have been questioning him for three days, and learnt nothing!”. “Let me get the answers, Baronesse,” Akiros interfered. Henry felt no desire to look at the general. He knew his gaze would be filled with the icy coldness of devotion and anger. The former paladin seemed to radiate an aura of uneasiness, Henry thought while he let his eyes wander over the faces of the present council members. Daniel seemed to relax as he nodded his consent, Barim’s face was tight, his jaw vibrating slightly, but he didn’t object, Travin seemed far off in thoughts and hadn’t uttered a word during the meeting, Erin seemed to study Akiros’s face for a moment, then nodded her consent as well. “Very well,” Henry heard himself say as he rose from his chair. “That is the plan then.” But he knew that torture wouldn’t work on Gregory. The man was too zealous in his hunt for chaos to let a few broken bones stop him.

And thus Henry had left the throne room and walked to the stables where he had saddled Lucky and set the course for Old Bell’s cottage. And now he was here – on his way back from the witch, burdened by a deed halfway done. The image of her grotesque, green face was chiselled out in his mind. “Henry Scaletti, the great sword lord of Riverlight. How good it is to see you again so soon,” she had croaked for a welcome. Had she mucked him? Or had her greeting been sincere? “I have a problem, and… I require your aid, madam,” he had answered her while he hesitantly slided down from Lucky’s back. As she had stood there, withered and bent, in the remaining rays of daylight rocking slightly to and fro, her lips had spread in a knowing smile, revealing black, broken and lacking teeth “Oh but Henry, dear Henry, dearest Henry, of course you do. Please come into my humble abode.” Why had her repetition of his name sounded like an incantation? “I prefer waiting outside,” he managed to state calmly. “As you please, young man. Then do tell me about the nature of your distress,” she blinked, not at all fooled by his composure. “His name is Gregory. He is a scoundrel and an agitator, devoted to creating strife and chaos within our midst. His falsehoods are making the people despise us. Soon they will rebel if his silvered tongue isn’t removed from the cavity of lies in which it dwells, but never seems to rest,” Henry thundered, himself surprised of the increasing power and ire in his voice. Old Bell cackled and pressed her hands against her stomach. “Dear boy – lively lectures on dirty deeds won’t save your soul.” Simultaneously, anger and fear welled up in Henry at her words. “Name your price,” he commanded pulling himself together. “Your first born,” she replied, devilish cunning and scrutiny in her eyes. “No,” he refused point blank. He was regaining control now. He had entered this state of mind that filled him with stoic ease and determination. He had to make this deal, and he would, but not at her unlimited pleasure. “What do you propose then?” she asked sharply, not liking the sudden confidence that had settled over him. “You will get a shop and a house in the city from where you may sell your potions. We will begin the construction at the beginning of Gozran,” he offered looking down at the old witch. She tapped her hooked nose with a long, mould infested nail while considering the offer. Then she looked up at him with a smirk. “Very well then. Let me make you some tea. It will be a long wait out here.” She turned around and hobbled into the bleak darkness of her cottage. Henry thought that the door opening looked like a greedy mouth that would swallow any intruders body and soul.

The sun sank completely into its watery bed in Candlemere Lake, and yet Bell hadn’t returned. But occasionally Henry could hear her voice speaking in strange tongues and at one point he even caught a sulphurous smell protruding from inside the cottage. Finally she reappeared in the scarcely lit door opening, an object in her hand. She held it towards him and he stepped forward to receive it, but winced as he saw what it was – a grotesquely deformed doll made of skin and leather pieces with crude stitches for eyes and mouth. Its belly was cut open revealing hay as its stuffing. Henry stared at it in disbelief. Again reality hit him right between his eyes. Old Bell grabbed him by the chin and looked straight into his eyes. “You get some of his blood and hair. Then you put it into the doll and stitch it together – and bury it in graveyard soil before the sunlight hits it,” she explained slowly not letting go of his chin until he nodded his understanding. “Good boy,” she clapped his cheek and put the doll in his hand.

He did everything minutely as she had instructed, but he felt animated as he did so. He kept away from the others, not wanting them to know. And the day of the trial, he excused himself with important matters that required his immediate attention. None but Barim seemed to notice his quaint behaviour, but the cleric didn’t speak up, and for this Henry was grateful. Gregory was convicted and banished from the lands, and an air of relief settled in the castle’s halls. “How did it go?” he asked Erin as he returned from his ‘duties’. “Marvellous,” she chuckled “everything worked like a charm.” He could have strangled her for her unwitting remark, but he managed to smile and congratulate her instead.

Early next morning he went to see Oleg in the treasury to inform him of the building plans. “An alchemist’s shop?” the still crude man asked slightly surprised. “Yes, it will have to be ready first thing next month,” Henry confirmed. Oleg leaned back in his big chair watching the cavalier in front of him. “We don’t have no money until next month for such a construction.” Henry froze solid in his tracks. He was getting real tired of receiving beatings from reality.

“Bell, I’m real sorry, but it seems that we will have to wait another month starting constructing the shop. The trial was expensive and we’re running low on resources,” he explained with a light shiver as he once more stood in front of the old witch. She shrugged. “I know Henry. I always knew,” she stressed the last word. Henry looked surprised at her. “It is of course all right, Henry,” she continued and put her hand on his arm. “You will just have to do me one small favour in return for the delay.” “I’m listening,” the young man said suspiciously. “I so yearn for grand children, Henry. And you will help me get them. Tomorrow, my daughter, Lily, arrives in wonderful Riverlight. She will come to you and under the watchful eyes of Erastil the two of you will fulfil my greatest desire…”

The Riverlight Account


Det nye Barondømme lider under små start vanskeligheder, og udviklingen går langsomt igennem hele året.

Blandt de større begivenheder i løbet af året kan nævnes:

  • en lokal mand og hans kone(Loy Rezbin) beder om Baronessens velsignelse til at starte byggeriet af en landsby i Narlmashen, (Tazzleford).
  • En gruppe af Gnomer fra Restov har besluttet at kortlægge det nordlige Greenbelt. (deres leder rekuteres sener som Riverlights Marshal)
  • En gruppe af lokale skovhuggere kommer i problemer med en Nixie i skoven, da de forsøger at fælde hendes lund af 200 år gamle træer(situationen løses med løftet om at Baronessens folk vil udbeder skaden)
  • En lokal knægt på 14år forsvinder fra landsbyen Fangthorp, hvis Tig Tannersen findes i live vil det styrke den lokale moral.
  • Der er et skift i lederskabet af Riverlight og Jhod indsættes som landets høj præst
  • Riverlight fejre 1års dag ved Riverlight festivalen



  • Gozran-Sarenith: udviklingen er vendt og byen kan grundlægge sin første mølle og udvide landet med 2 nye landbrugsområder samt en flere mil landevej.
  • Erastus: Riverlight får sin første Generalstore , men glæden er kortvarig, da rygter om trolde mod syd giver anledning til en del uro hos de lokale bønder(2UR)
    Arodus: Det besluttes at oprette en park hvor byens borgere kan nyde den lokale natur og glemme deres bekymringer for en stund, dette tiltag skal bidrage til at lede befolkningens opmærksomhed væk fra rygterne om trolde. Samme måned erklære en lille lokal fiskerlandsby troskab til Baronessen, i håbet om at Riverlight fæstningen vil yde dem beskyttelse mod eventuelle troldeangreb.
  • Rova-Lamashan: Rygterne om trolde bliver ved med at komme ind fra syd, og Baronessens tilsyneladende uvilige til at gøre noget ved problemet giver en del utilfredshed i de små byer omkring Riverlight. Byggeriet fortsætter dog ufortrødent og Riverlight kan grudlægge sit første rådhus og en del nye huse.
  • Neth-Kuthona: Et økonomisk boom rammer Nartuska, rygterne om trolde ser ud til at være gået i sig selv, som året nærmer sig sin udgang, riget udvides og nye farme grundlægges, handelsvejen udvides mod vest indtil den støder til den sydlige handelsvej fra Restov, Brevoy sender nye stipendier i andledning af den nye handelsrute og dette giver anledning til grundlæggelsen af en havn, losseplads samt nye beboelser.

4710 Ar:

  • Abadius-Calistril: vinteren har måske gjort det af med de lokale trolde, og der bygges og udvides som aldrig før. Byen får sin første kro og Barak samt nye beboelses kvarterer. Den nye kro giver dog anledning til en fejde mellem Jhod’s puritanske tilhængere og familien der ejer den nye kro.
  • Pharast: Den nye kro giver så meget handel i byen, at en betydelig donation til skatteopkræverne er mulig, og selv Jhod må indrømme, at han gik over stregen.
    Alt er dog ikke fryd og gammen, og med den første forårsmåned vender rygterne om trolde tilbage, samtidig oplever Riverlight sine første mord… og alt tyder på, at det er en varulv, der er på spil. Riverlights ledende personer tager sagen i egen hånd og påbegynder undersøgelser af mordene, hvilket hurtigt leder dem til den lokale kro, hvor en barbar ved navn Kundell hurtigt bliver hovedmistænkt efter en af de myrdedes øreringe findes på hans værelse. Han benægter dog al kendskab til mordene, men overtales til at tage med tilbage til slottet. For at undgå lynchstemning i byen, lader man befolkningen vide, at han er hovedvidne i sagen. Efter test på slottet fastslås det, at han er varulv. Da rådet i overvejende grad ikke mener, man kan erklære en mand, der ulykkeligvis er blevet ramt af en farlig sygdom, for skyldig, bringes Jhod til fangen, hvor han bruger sin præstelige evner til at helbrede Kundell. Erin erklærer over for befolkningen, at sagen er opklaret takket være Kundell og Counsilor Mongrym. Det var ‘blot’ ulveangreb, og Mongrym har fanget ulveflokken. Derudover loves en offentlig begravelse for de to dræbte, hvor byens nye kirkegård også vil blive indviet.

Baroniet annekterer Tazzleford, samt mere landjord nær Oleg’s Trading Post. Borgmester Rezbin udtrykker ønske om at få bybolig i Riverlight.

Udover rygter om trolde, er der nu også en warg-flok, som nogle fangere gerne vil have fjernet inden de begynder at tage mennesker i byerne. Baronessens folk bestemmer, at det er på tide, at gøre noget ved disse problemer. Den første nat efter deres udrejse andgribes de af wargerne, og efter en ikke helt ufarlig kamp, er wargerne tilintetgjort. Alle medlemmer af ekspeditionen er enige om, at det er hårdt at være tilbage i den rå natur.

Efter et par dage, når de til det lille fiskerleje, hvis beboere havde svoret baronessen troskab til gengæld for beskyttelse. Det er dog åbenbart, at baronessens folk ikke har overholdt deres del af aftalen, da byen er ødelagt og forladt med undtagelse af en enkelt fisker. Gruppen beklager tabet af byen, og hjælper fiskeren af med en besværlig hookjaw, der har besat hans båd. Ligeledes lover de at prøve at finde ud af, hvad der er sket med lejets beboere.

I jagten på trolde, støder gruppen ind i en voldsomt alkoholiseret hill giant. Mens Barim og Daniel drikker den mere fuld, lykkes det med lethed Erin at stjæle et kort. Det er dog uvist, hvad det egentlig skal afbillede. Da gianten ikke lader til at være synderligt agressiv, nøjes gruppen med at sende den i modsat retning af deres riges grænser.

De fortsætter rundt om Candlemere Lake, hvor de bl.a. observerer nattelig, overnaturlig aktivitet ude på øen i søen. Ligeledes finder de de sorte svampe Old Bell er så interesseret i. Travin går lystigt i gang med at plukke og opdager ikke den meget store, meget vrede plante, han får forstyrret i sin svampejagt. Planten er tilsyneladende kun sårbar over for ild, og Daniel må bruge al sin mest potente magi for at slå den ihjel, mens resten af gruppen afleder den med tæsk imens den forsøger at æde dem på skift.

Gruppen har nu været på troldejagt i en uge uden at have fundet dem, og beslutter, at de er nødt til at tage tilbage til Riverlight for at varetage deres officielle pligter. På vejen afleverer de svampene hos Old Bell.

Tilbage i Riverlight Castle møder de en oprevet Akiros. En demagog ved navn Gregory har slået sig ned i byen, og spreder en fjendsk stemning blandt byens borgere ved at påpege alt det dårlige byens ledere har gjort. Anklagerne lader til at være en blanding af løgne og fordrejede sandheder. Ligeledes er Jhod rejst ud til templet i skoven med alle sine tilhængere, hvilket effektivt kun efter Svetlana, Oleg og Akiros tilbage af regeringsstaben. Hvordan skal problemet løses? Arrest, udfordring, mord, tæsk og trusler? Forholdet til befolkningen må ikke skades, samtidig er en retfærdig rettergang risikabel, fordi Gregory er så veltalende. Men han kan heller ikke få lov til at fortsætte med at oppiske en statsfjendtlig stemning i byen. Til sidst sendes Akiros af sted for at tilfangetage ham for at opfordre til uromageri. Straffen er fem dage i kachotten (aka skattekammeret). Kabinetsmedlemmerne arbejder på højtryk for at finde noget på manden eller finde ud af hvad hans motiver er, men intet giver resultater, og imens nærmer dagen for Gregorys rettergang sig. Henry tager en rask beslutning og opsøger Old Bell natten inden rettergangen. Hun lover at ordne deres problem, hvis hun til gengæld bare får en butik inde i byen. Henry indvilliger i aftalen, og rettergangen går let som en leg. Gregory dømmes for statsfjendtlig virksomhed, espionage mm. og fratages alle ejendele, hvorefter han smides uden for bymuren med besked om, at hans eventuelle tilbagevenden til riget vil resultere i dødsstraf. Henry bliver dog noget bleg, da Oleg fortæller ham, at byen ikke har råd til en alkymistbutik endnu.

  • Gozran: Henry må tilbage til Old Bell og fortælle, at han ikke kan give hende en butik før Desnus oprinder. Mao. kan han ikke opholde sin del af aftalen. Bell er dog forstående, og siger at Henry blot skal sørge for at gøre hendes datter, Lily, gravid, når hun ankommer den anden i måneden. Lily kan så også drive butikken, når den står klar. Henry er betænkelig ved aftalen, men tør ikke trodse den gamle heks. Dagen efter notificeres han ved daggry, om at en ung kvinde venter på ham i slottets kirke. Han mødes med Lily, og i Erastils helligdom foretages den ritualistiske undfangelse. Slottets beboere er fascinerede over den mystiske, unge kvindes tilstedeværelse, men interessen slår dog over i mild irritation over de elskendes adfærd som måneden skrider frem.

Den tredje i måneden blomstrer hele riget i et væld af smukke planter, og dette tolkes af befolkningen som et godt tegn.

Den fjerde fejres Grand Diplomat Barim Da’gorands 30-års fødselsdag.

Den tiende fejres Baronesse Erin Surtovas 21-års fødselsdag.

  • Desnus: Lilys nye alkymistbutik og hus står færdige, og hun flytter ud af slottet.

Gruppen tager ud for at finde de frygtede trolde, der bliver ved med at skabe urolighed i riget. De finder dog ikke troldene, men i stedet en gammel, tosset mand og hans leopard. Det kommer til kamp og han dør. Efterforskning i mandens ‘hjem’, et hult træ, indikerer at det er gamle Bukkens bror.

De fortsætter længere ind i skoven, hvor de finder en lizard village. Statslederne vurderer, at disse lizard kan blive et problem for deres rige senere og angriber derfor. Kampen er hård, men tilsidst har gruppen kæmpet alle fjenderne ned. I et telt finder de Tik Tanner, der har været forsvundet i to år. De vender tilbage til Riverlight og overlader Tik til Jhod. Erin indskærper over for præsten, at drengen ikke må flyttes uden, at lederne eller Akiros notificeres herom. I Riverlight venter der også breve fra bl.a. Sootscale-klanen om fredsforhandlinger og Meghran Varn fra Nomen Heights, der gerne vil sende en ambassadør for at besøge Riverlight.

Gruppen drager endnu en gang ud for at finde troldene, og denne gang lykkes det. Troldene besejres, og en del byggematerialer bliver slæbt med hjem til Riverlight.

Da de er tilbage, viser det sig, at Jhod alligevel er taget af sted med Tik uden at give Akiros besked. Denne er sat efter præsten, men gruppen må kalde rigets marshall hjem, da han skal stå for beskyttelse af Varnholds udsending. Det næste stykke tid går med forberedelser til besøget.

  • Sarenith: Falcus Varn, søn af Meghran, ankommer til byen med et større følge. Barim sidder i møde med diplomaterne og vender senere tilbage til det resterende råd for at fortælle, at der er blevet fremsat tilbud om ægteskab mellem Erin og Falcus. Efter længere debat bliver medlemmerne enige om, at fordelene er for store til at afslå. Under aftenens festligheder deklarerer Barim forlovelsen, der dog lader til at komme noget bag på Falcus. Han bevarer dog fatningen, men luften mellem ham og Erin er derefter temmelig kølig.

Dagen efter rejser Varn-følget meget pludseligt, og Henry presses af de andre til at fri til Lily igen, og hun accepterer. Efterfølgende tager de ud til Sootscale-klanen for at forhandle. Det tager en lille uges tid, og da gruppen kommer tilbage til Riverlight er helvedet brudt løs. Der har været angreb. En kæmpe owlbear har angrebet byen, skadet Akiros alvorligt, og tilsyneladende er Lily blevet kidnappet. Det lykkes Barim at redde Akiros og de andre tilskadekomne, der stadig er i live. Rådet er enige om, at det må være Jhod der står bag alle ulykkerne, men samtidig er de også nødt til at finde owlbearen, så den ikke anretter mere skade. De følger den mod syd, hvor den åbenbart deler sin hule sammen med en masse andre naturlige monstre. Alle bliver de dog udryddet, og gruppen vender tilbage til Riverlight blot for at ride ud mod templet i skoven. På vejen møder de farmere, der fortæller at flere kvinder og børn er blevet kidnappet. Ude i skoven overraskes gruppen af Jhod og hans tilhængere, som dog ikke længere lader til at være Erastil-tilbedere. Jhod går med til at udlevere Lily, hvis gruppen til gengæld lover ikke at komme tilbage. Henry indgår aftalen, men angriber alligevel så snart Lily er i sikkerhed. Jhod og hans mænd undslipper dog, og gruppen bliver enige om at forlade området og håbe på, at problemet går i sig selv.

Sidst på måneden besluttes det, at Lily skal overtage Svetlanas erhverv som magistrate. Barim overgår til high priest, og Sasha Torkatla, en paladin fra Tazzlefort, udnævnes til grand diplomat.

  • Erastus: D. 3. bliver Lily og Henry viet.

D. 4. er det Riverlight Festival, hvor Henry bl.a. bliver slået til ridder.

Barim og Travin tager ud i skoven for at genplante de træer, der tidligere blev fældet. Dette forsoner nixien, der til gengæld lover at patruljere rigets floder.

Senere tager hele gruppen ud til dryaden Teresia for at finde ud af mere om temple of the elk. Hun er dog fortvivlet over en blight, der breder sig i skoven, og de lover at hjælpe hende af med problemet. Dette viser sig at være et stort, sort træ med røde blade. Træet slås ihjel med relativ lethed. Tilbage hos Teresia møder de en faun, der fortæller om onde feys længere inde i skoven i de gamle elverruiner. De onde feys har åbenbart bortført skovhuggere, hvis blod de dræner. Derudover giver han dem gaver fra Teresia.

  • Arodus: Måneden går med at udbygge Natuska og dets byer. Daniel tager til Varnhold som udsending, hvor han keder Meghran ihjel med hans fascintion af thessalonian ruiner og drager.
  • Rova: Daniel vender hjem. Riget udvides og forbedres. Alt lader til at være i fremgang, og alle trives.
  • Lamashan, Neth og Kuthona: Riget udvides. Tazzlefort får et tempel til Iomedae og Erastil, mens Riverlight får en markedsplads.

4711 AR

  • Abadius: Riget er nu så stort, at Erin kan kalde sig selv Duchess Surtova.

D. 3. fødes Belle Scaletti.

  • Calistril, Pharast, Gozran: Intet af betydning hænder.
  • Desnus: Falcus Varn kommer på besøg som symbolsk handling på, at Natuska og Varnhold nu er knyttet sammen via vej.
  • Sarenith: Shrine til Guruum opføres i Tazzlefort.
  • Erastus: Midt i måneden modtager rådet brev fra Restovs Swordlord, Jamandhi Aldori, om, at man ikke har hørt noget fra Varnhold længe, og budbringere dertil er endda forsvundet. Aldori beder Riverlights ledere om at undersøge sagen, da han ikke selv kan tage dertil pga. det politisk urolige klima i Restov.
The new kingdom

 074 Udfyld gerne med nogle få noter omkring jeres nye land… Navn osv.

Exploration of the Greenbelt part2
the stag lord Dead or Alive!

Charter 2


Exploration of the greenbelt
north eastern part of the stolen lands

Restov Charter:

Charter 1

Explored land

Explored area1

området der er udforsket indtil nu.

Jhod Kavken(priest of Erestil)


Kobolt and Mite

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