A Moment of Calm Amidst a Sea of Chaos

Dear Cherkanan,

Does this letter arrive too soon after my last? Does it arrive too late? I am not very experienced in letter-writing. My fellow friends in CrIsis seem to write and receive letters almost every day. But they also have so many important powerful people to write. They write missives destined to alter the course of world events. I write to friends and hope they are doing well.

I hope you are doing well. It has been five days since I last wrote you. I can scarcely believe it. So much has happened! We arrived at Y-Oda on the 27th of Majestic. The Wolven Empire welcomed and extended their protection to all of CrIsis. Then through the actions of Xerx’ses, The Nameless Man, and Grignak the God Bes has returned to the Gods of Light.

We stayed in Y-Oda only one day. While there I visited the majestic Library of Bletherad. It was amazing! Sadly one day was not nearly enough time to explore the library. I was greatly overwhelmed by the volume of books. Was the sight of a Kankoran in a library something which amused those who saw me? Two years ago I would have found that thought amusing as well. I searched for the entire day but did not find any more books by Millenkosh. I asked the venerable Malkin if he could look in my stead. If he had the time. I don’t think he will for a while though.

I hope you can forgive me for breaking your confidence with me. Something we said in conversation to him at dinner made Malkin become concerned about Lictalon that evening. He left us to do more research into the matter. Before we left Y-Oda I shared with him the information which you showed and confided to me. About what seemed to be Mistress Korath‘s history with the legendary wizard. Malkin has great discretion. I trust him to keep that knowledge private. I thought it might prove useful or helpful in his research. In light of more recent events I am glad I did it. I hope you are not angry with me.

The Shield of Light has a plan to avoid the Eastern Territory‘s northern blockade. But CrIsis will not sail with them when they leave. On the morning of the 29th of Majestic we traveled through magic to the wilderness near Yggdrasil. Here we have been fighting wave after wave of undead. Human and Wolfen corpses alike. And they are strong! The skill which these undead soldiers possess in combat has made our trek much deadlier than anticipated. They do not fight with the blank stares and slow reactions of legend. They fight as the seasoned war veterans they once were.

Two days we spent traveling and fighting. We found a grotesque mound of flesh and body parts. The undead were methodically building upon it and adding to it. I was able to divine it’s purpose. The mound was part of a massive magical circle which would activate in a matter of days. The necromancer Steve could then enact his heinous plan to overwhelm the living with an endless army of the undead. Father Indaris wanted to exorcise the evil of this construction and I agreed. But destroying that mound with all the undead around and still working on it seemed futile. To stop this we realized must confront and stop the Wraith.

You likely already know of this next part. During our travel I suddenly felt a wrongness wash over the world. I do not know how better to describe it. I could not explain it to CrIsis. Soon thereafter they received several letters from allies and friends across the world. These missives informed us of Lictalon and his compel of all the Elves of the world. Including many which are our friends. I know guild members such as Rincewind fell victim to this mental violation. Do you think Mistress Korath resisted the call? I wonder if the wards which protected the Internalist tower preserved against this act?

I have a friend who went into one of those cities the Elves were called to. Renvin. While on Y-Oda Malkin had told us of rumors surrounding Lictalon’s return to Phi and Renvin. How no-one who entered those cities were heard from again. That night my curiosity and concern overtook me. I reached out to receive psychic flashes of her current welfare. I saw her chained as a slave to a machine of some kind. Pushing a wheel with others. I could not fathom the machine’s true size nor its purpose.

My vision was interrupted by a powerful voice. It painfully warned me away before the visions ended. That was a few days ago, before Lictalon called the Elves to him. I worry what this means for the world. Selfishly and ashamedly I worry what this means for my friend Moli. But I have digressed. My mind is disordered and my thoughts jumbled. That is because the events of this past night weigh heavily upon me.

Ursus led us through the wilderness with impressive skill. If not for the walking dead suffusing these wilds I suspect he and I would have felt very much at home. We arrived in view of the fortress city of Yggdrasil after nightfall on the 30th of Majestic. Ursus had an idea to scout the perimeter walls. But we needed rest. I volunteered to scout by sending an unassuming animal to survey the perimeter. I would link our senses so I saw what it saw. Heard what it heard. In that way CrIsis could rest safely and the scouting could get done.

I have since been informed that the creature which I found and sent out was called an “Eye Killer.” It had the head of an owl, the front body and legs of a coyote, and the rest of its body was like a snake’s. I have not encountered such a creature before. A nearby line of power blocked my ability to sense evil creatures so I did not sense its evil. When I linked with the creature I did not catch that it spoke to me with malevolent intelligence. It wanted to hunt and feed as it went around the city. Of course I gave it permission. I did not know this creature hunted people.

This terrible mistake cost a person their life. As the creature went around the perimeter it spied a Human in hiding. This Human scout was caught completely off guard by the hungry predator. With horror I watched the creature immobilize the Human. It then killed him and fed itself. All of this I watched and felt through our linked senses. There was nothing I could do. Once it was satisfied the creature completed circling the perimeter and returned.

I felt sick. I still feel sick. The creature asked permission to attack CrIsis as well. To feed even more. One Human would not sate this beast. With forceful anger I sent it away. CrIsis seemed unperturbed by these events when I told them. I described the symbols which the Human had worn and The Nameless Man identified them as the symbols of the Duke of Llorn. He has lost a good scout tonight. There is no chance to bring him back. The undead scour the area constantly looking for anything living or dead. Whatever they find they take in accordance with their master’s dark desires.

Grignak was able to work one of his chants on everyone else in CrIsis. This allowed them the benefits of a full night’s sleep in less than the span of an hour. I refused his offer to me though. I did not want to peacefully sleep and dream. Not after what I was party to tonight. Instead I meditated and prayed to Apis. Nature has always been a dangerous and wonderful. But this felt evil. Was what happened tonight just another part of the terrifying beauty of nature? Or has this necromancer so thoroughly corrupted the natural order that even Apis’ great works are suffering?

My failure to learn anything about the city from the Eye Killer’s travels forced Ursus and The Nameless Man to personally scout the city walls up close. They left early on this morning of the 1st of Corg. The sun still had not begun to rise in the sky when the city became a bustle of activity and noise. “Intruders!” “CrIsis!” Those were some of their cries into the night. Ursus and The Nameless Man had been seen. The rest of CrIsis began to cautiously panic. Had our friends been caught? Where did they go if they ran away?

They forgot that I could help in this instance. Sometimes I must remind myself that they do not know my gifts as well as I do. I reminded them that I could answer their questions if they wished. Of course they did. I reached out and sensed our two companions running away. I told the others the direction then we hurriedly and carefully chased after them. Eventually they stopped and we caught up. I am glad we came after them! Ursus was attacked by painful arrows designed specifically to hurt someone such as himself. We have hidden ourselves away. If the search parties find us we will fight together.

I will write again when time permits. May the grace of the gods keep you safe and well.

Silent Dream. of Dream Lake. and of CrIsis.

Note: This letter was written in Elven, on parchment paper, early in the morning of the 1st day of Corg, in the seventy-second year of the Great Wolfen Empire.

Image Credits:
Cherkanan: AZ_Rune
Purple Portal: Aphmau Gaming Wiki
Army of Undead: Samarskiy
Owl: oO-Rein-Oo

 

4 Responses to “A Moment of Calm Amidst a Sea of Chaos

  • It’s interesting watching Dream trying to keep a healthy distance while attempting to develop a relationship in war time. It was very enjoyable to read.

  • My favorite part of the log is the eye killer section- you can feel Dream’s revulsion- well done!

    • Dream’s torn between the revulsion of what happened (especially having had to witness it all from a first person perspective) and the knowledge that nature does things like this – it’s “natural.” His big concern is in not knowing anything about the Eye Killer. Are they inherently evil? Do they kill for fun? If the same scene had played out but it was a mountain lion instead that killed and ate the soldier Dream would’ve been similarly disturbed by the act, but much less torn up about it afterwards.

  • One quote comes to mind:

    “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile”

    War and combat makes us Brothers in Blood.

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