Letter From Haven

Dear Nath-

By now you will be in the Disputed Lands scouting for wood. Hopefully you will be able to locate some yellowwood good enough for arrows again, for that last batch you made were absolutely beautiful. I certainly wouldn’t mind shooting some of those again.

Hint hint.

I expect we will be heading south towards Timiro soon. Perhaps you can meet with us, and we can travel together for a ways. I’d like that.

I’m not sure how I feel about everything that has happened here in Haven. Things have changed dramatically in just a few days.

Of course our arrival was an annoying matter of much pomp and circumstance. I do not blame the populace for their hero worship; had I met the Defilers, I probably would have acted the same. Nevertheless, I remain uncomfortable with the attention. I am but a simple man whom Isis has allowed to witness extraordinary events, and I feel more humbled than elevated by this.

Bah, enough.

We had met with Bishop Nodeki to discuss the political situation and see what we could do to help. No sooner had we begun our meeting when an underling announced the arrival of Mekva, champion of Rurga, prominent agitator for war with the Wolfen, and the person I anticipated to be the chief pain in our butt while we were here. We hadn’t even mentioned her name yet, much less discussed what to do about her.

“Well,” I thought,” we’ll just have to play this one by ear.”

Immediately we met her outside the Antes Temple, she issued a challenge of single combat to Gavin, and began to insult us, Ra, then the rest of the Gods. I remarked that in order for her to get to Gavin, she would have to get through me first, as Ra had appointed me Gavin’s bodyguard, and she immediately offered to fight me in Gavin’s stead!

I really wanted to face this rude elfling, so I pulled Gavin aside to discuss the matter with him. In the end, though, he was determined to take up her gauge and defend the honor of his God. As Ra had specifically ordered me to protect him from assassins and not challenges to single combat, I relinquished my claim.

I hope Ra will be understanding when I see Him next.

So Gavin accepted the challenge, and Mekva offered terms of “to the first real blood, using only the gifts your God has given you.”

Well, that was too good to pass up, so Ferrel immediately began exploring the terms in minute detail, and I was not far behind, asking “What constitutes a gift?” “Everything we have is a gift from the Gods!” and other such needling questions until Mekva became frustrated and announced:

“Enough of this! I will see you all on the field of battle tomorrow!”

“So you challenge us all to battle?” I said. “We accept!”

“I am here to fight the one called by Ra!” she snarled.

I responded, “Depending on how you look at it, it could be said we were all called by Ra, for He leads us, and we all follow Him.”

Immediately, I was struck by lightning.

Every muscle in my body convulsed such that I was convinced that my body would tear itself apart, and i noticed an unusual metallic taste in my mouth not unlike what I imagine it would be like to suck on an anvil.

I had pushed a God too far, but which God? There are many things I never want to feel again; knowing I had offended a God, but not knowing which one tops the list.

“Very well, I will face you all on the field of battle tomorrow,” Mekva snarled as she left.

We went back into the Temple, and I was immediately healed. Clearly, it was Rurga I had offended, which was fine by me. As long as MY Gods are pleased with me, I am doing fine.

The next morning, we arrived at the amphitheater to find everyone in Haven and their pets had shown up to witness the Champions of the Gods do battle one upon the other.

Mekva wasted no time in attempting to bring the crowd to her side, loudly calling out:

“Behold the cowardice of Ra: He is afraid to face me in single combat, and so sends the whole group!”

First the lightning, now this? I had had enough.

I stepped forward and pointed at Mekva. “Liar! You challenged us all, and we accepted!” I pointed at the sky and cried, “Hear me now, Rurga! I spoke the truth, and you smote me; your champion lies, and yet you do nothing! I thought you were a God of Truth!”

No sooner had the words left my mouth when Mekva burst into ashes, and Rurga appeared in her place.

I bowed and greeted Her in the name of My Lady.

Clearly pissed, Rurga agreed that She would no longer twist our activities to compliment Her attempts to agitate for war with the Wolfen but then commanded us to leave Haven, and never involve ourselves in her affairs again.

Like I’m going to obey a Goddess who has set her hand against my Goddess in any way.

Once Rurga left, I hefted Thor-ak into the air and proclaimed,” Behold! The Light!”

The stadium, of course, erupted in cheers.

As we attempted to make our way back to our inn, Gavin was approached by group of Ra worshipers who invited him to a secret meeting tomorrow night. As Gavin’s bodyguard, they agreed to allow me to attend as well. This should be interesting.

This morning, we breakfasted with the Bishop and her councilors; a Ramen named Thabu, and a jinn named Zizean. The jinn immediately began to taunt us and, after some few minutes, asked me what our intentions were concerning the finger of Osiris. I told him to “Abra-ca-shut up,” which seemed to offend him for some reason, and he stormed off.

Once the jinn was gone, we spent a few minutes discussing where we were going to go next with the Bishop and Thabu before Bishop Nodeki invited us to go speak to the delegates that had been sent by the Wolfen Empire and the Eastern Territories to try to find the peace.

I addressed the two sides, discussing my life, my services to the Eastern Territories and my great respect for the Wolfen people as a whole. I went on to assert that this war was against Isis’ will, and expressed my fervent belief that we all, wolfen and human, had the capacity to live together in harmony.

It became apparent rather quickly that my speech was lost on these so-called “diplomats,” as neither side had come prepared to actually pursue peace, but rather sought to avenge perceived slights, inflame their hatreds and prejudices, and in any way possible prove they had the biggest penis in each side’s ongoing pursuit for ownership of the Disputed Lands.

I was about to wash my hands of them completely, when Drauka, whose people live in the Disputed Lands, stepped forward to deliver an impassioned plea that the delegates consider what war would do to those who were unrepresented at the meeting, but actually lived on the land they were fighting about.

His speech also landed on deaf ears, which was sad because I felt he had a good point.

To a man (and centaur), we rebuked the entire assembly for their petty childishness and lack of perspective, then sent them back home in shame.

These people, and the many just like them who inhabit this world, will be the death of us all.

Tonight, for the secret meeting, Gavin and I made our way to the temple of Bennu, which surprised me because we were meeting with worshipers of Ra. I can’t really discuss what happened at the meeting, but I can mention a few things which are a matter of public record, or can otherwise be easily discovered.

It’s a matter of public record that, on the docks tonight, someone forced open the door to a storehouse full of money. Nothing was stolen, and no further action has been taken.

It is also a matter of public record that soldiers responding to the alarm interrupted a battle involving Gavin, me and eight minions of Set in a warehouse down the street from the aforementioned storehouse.

It is also a matter of public record that Gavin, along with six of these minions, were asleep on the floor, and the wizard responsible had fled, when the soldiers arrived

It is also a matter of public record that this fight resulted in the capture of 6 minions of Set, the death of a barbarian at my hands, and a swift trip to the Antes Temple for healing as I was hurting in a bad way.

It can easily be discovered that an armed group escorting Gavin and I had a short, friendly encounter with a Guard in New Haven.

It may or may not be a matter of public record that a statue of Set in a place known simply as “The Den” was pulled over, blocking a secret entrance that was below it.

It is not a matter of public record, but I am comfortable saying that somebody (ahem) may have taken the opportunity to show his utter contempt for Anubis by urinating on a statue of him shortly before the statue of Set met with its fate.

Whatever excitement Gavin and I may, or may not, have been feeling was destroyed immediately when we returned to the inn to discover that Drauka had killed himself. In a note left behind, he confessed entering into an agreement to allow a jinn to accompany us, and when he tried to back out he discovered that the stakes were rather higher than what he had anticipated. Rather than come clean so we could handle this together as a group, he decided instead to commit suicide someplace where we couldn’t recover his body and try to bring him back.

This disturbs me greatly. Not only that he made such an agreement, but that he didn’t turn to the rest of us for help.

None of this should ever have happened. This is my fault entirely.

The others elected me to be their leader, therefore I should be making a greater effort to reach out to each of them, to make them feel included.

To see they feel that they belong.

I have failed Drauka, and in failing him, I have failed us all.

I must not fail again.

Written by Cava on 17 Majestic, Dominion 341.

Picture by our own PandaJester.

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