Nara to Nothing

30th of Pegasus
Dear Father Philip-
What a hectic time it has been, but thankfully we had time to party and cleanse ourselves. We had just finished the award ceremonies, you would think that someone had been made king by the noise the crowd had been making, and there were people, music and food everywhere, and the end of the ceremony was stupendous, I can’t think of another word, somebody spent a lot of money for that bit of entertainment, but the noise was getting to me, so I decided to head to the beach where the miracle occurred, the others decided that since everything hadn’t gone the way the dark wanted it to we were probably still in danger, albeit only small. So we all went, there was now a shrine to the gods of light where Lady Isis had shown herself. I decided to leave a small offerering in the sand under the shrine, and whilst I was doing this a priest, Pastor Vertan I believe, came up to me and mentioned that the church had purchased this rude home from the owners, and now was converting into a small temple, and that I could give my donations there. What a change 3 days had made, I looked up from my reverie and noted that others, a lot of them, had joined our celebrations, I felt a moment of jealousy that I quickly smothered, Isis was for all, not just Crisis. Music and story tellers started their acts here and there, a puppet master quickly had some children enthralled with his puppets fighting against the dark, (the puppet that looked like Overkill was quite funny in his mini chainmail).
Ja’Deir and Tyvernos looked as if they were enjoying themselves and best of all, a little girl went up to Xerx’ses and asked if he gave milk like her cow daisy did, and did the horns come off and if they do can she have one. After her some more children came up and asked him questions until eventually the adults did as well, everyone seemed to want to touch and talk to him, luckily he took it all in good humour, telling them stories and answering questions. After I made my donations to the church I sat down again at the front of the dwelling, looking out over the sea. The Pastor came up to me and asked if I could getCrIsis to do a signing, as apparently we were now fairly popular with the local crowd, so I asked and they agreed, and we spent the next 5-10 hours signing things, I must of used 50gp in ink just by myself. As I had had a long day I decided to retire early, knowing the others would likely want to continue, I informed them that I was heading to bed and Xerx’ses decided that he wanted some rest time early as well and would go with me. I left my pen with the Pastor and massaged my numb hand and we left just before midnight. On the way back suddenly the towns bells were ringing and a heap of laughing and squealing children came running out of the buildings, and I remembered something that was in the back of my mind, Tonight was the festival of Taut, where kids run amok and splot, sure enough I had been hit by a soft and squidgy squash.

This one was ultrasoft, smelly and full of rotten flesh and must have been prepared yesterday or the day before. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the mood, thinking that more nefarious things could be covered by this Xerx’ses used his magic to change into a gryphon, he then picked me up, roared at the children which made them run, squealing even louder and launched himself into the air. This was a lot less comfortable then flying around as a seagull I will say and we made it back to Elanu‘s without further incident, that occurred as we approached as some overexcited guards took some potshots at us as we were landing, and yet again Xerx’ses handled himself well, dropping me smoothly to the ground and changing into a little bird to dodge the arrows, which stopped when they recognised us. They were very apologetic but it irritated me, they got some shots off at us coming in to land, but didn’t seem to be around when the place was attacked. I gave them a curt goodnight and headed into the mansion. I then said goodnight to Xerx’ses, who looked just as tired as me and we went to bed.

The next morning I awoke, feeling a little out of sorts but otherwise happy, and I went down to the break fast table to see everyone else up and at least mobile. We sat down and started breakfast and there was a bell, a message boy from the Gold Coast Trading Company had arrived, I was hoping from Father Phillip, who would have answers for a few of my question. Caution however said to at least check the thing out first so I checked it, so did Xerx’ses and Jadeir, and it came of clean. I tore the message open and started to read it in my eagerness, not recognising that the paper was different, and the writing style strange.
It was a ransom note
The Dark had taken Nara, and sent me the earrings to prove it.
I blinked and read the note again, then tipped the earrings out into my hand, a tear came to my eye, and I thought of Nara, with buttons sewn over her eyes. I felt a burning sensation wash through me, my hands were shaking and tears fell freely from my eyes. I passed the message to the others and they got shocked looks on their faces. Overkill or Xerx’ses put his hand on my shoulder, which I shrugged off. I grabbed my things and told everyone I was heading down to the church, they all, with worried looks on their faces collected their gear as well, and hurried after me. I could barely hear their voices on the way to the church, the Dark dared to do this, dared. I would show them. I heard Xerx’ses and Overkill saying something about not being able to help our loved ones and I replied, We are here helping Isis return her loved one, surely she wouldn’t begrudge us helping our own as long as it doesn’t interfere with our mission. I knew this day would come and I did the only thing I could think of. The only person I trusted to return Nala and my friends loved ones was . . . me.
On the way to the church I noticed that a furtive, secretive fellow seemed to be following me. In a burst of anger I went down a deserted alleyway, and waited, Sure enough the furtive robed figure followed me, so I ducked out of hiding and walked directly at him with my weapons drawn and an expression of hatred on my face. Drop your weapons or die scum was the only warning I gave him. thankfully I gave him one because when he lifted the hood, it was Sir Quixus. He wanted to rejoin us but also wanted to stay hidden because of what was going on. I shook his hand and nodded, my happiness at seeing him drying up like water in the Baalgor. I explained what had happned and he nodded, he then dropped back behind us again to to help out with any other followers.
I went into the church, ignored the poor Pastor, whom once he saw the expression on my face decided to leave us alone. I picked up a candle, placed it on the floor at the feet of the statue of Isis and prayed.
Passion of Isis, sanctify me
Strength of Isis, save me
Blood of iSIS, inebriate me
Water from the hands of Isis, wash me
Gaze of Isis, strengthen me
O good good lady, hear me
within your wounds, hide me
let me never be separated from you
and from the evil one, protect me
at the hour of my death, call me and bid me to come to you that with your priests, I may praise you forever and ever. Amen.

and I called upon the Power of Isis, to help me. Not others, not the mission, but me.
and she answered.
I opened my eyes, and in front of me stood myself. I looked at myself and said “You know what to do”. I nodded and walked out of the temple with purpose. Jadeir came running in and said to Xerx’ses that I had just left and should he follow, and then saw me. He looked outside, then looked back to me and shook my head. I gave him a feral grin and said I have done that which I can, let us pray, and I knelt and prayed.

all day
then all night
and then all day and night again.
then on sunup on the next day said my last prayer

Be merciful to me, O My Lady of the Greatest Heart,
because of your constant love.
Because of your great mercy
wipe away my sins!
Wash away all my evil
and make me clean from my sin!
I recognize my faults;
I am always conscious of my sins.
I have sinned against you
and done what you consider wrong.
So you are right in judging me;
you are justified in condemning me.
I have been wrong from the day I was born;
from the time I was conceived, I have sinned.
Sincerity and truth are what you require;
fill my mind with your wisdom.
My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O She of the Greatest Heart;
I hope you will not reject a humble and repentant heart.

I then stood, stumbled slightly as I walked to the water font, and had my first drink for a day and a half.
I said now that that’s settled we should continue, so we all left the little temple and headed for Elanu’s.
On the way wer were briefly interrupted by a largish man, who seemed to be using his child as a distraction or thief for the guards, but the guard’s capture the child and warn the father to stop. He raises his hands and in the right one is a silver skull. Xerx’ses stomped over, grabbed the skull, said mine. Roared in his face until the man wet himself, pulled the skull out of his hands gently and stomped back to us. I shrugged, it wasn’t a follower of the dark that I could see, otherwise I would be slitting his throat with the sisters. Xerx’ses looked happy with his find, didn’t seem to want to do anything else to the guy, who was already making himself scarce, so we continued on to Elanu’s.

Elanu was still depressed, but looking a lot calmer. We approached him about getting to Wisdom and he eyed me like I was going to run of and do something stupid, so I bowed elegantly to him to show him that I had regained my senses, but that I would happily dismember those involved in the abduction of Nara. I would then tie their limbs back onto their arms with their intestines and resurrect them, so I could then torture them to death so I could resurrect them and then cause them some pain and grief. I stopped thinking about it as my fists had clenched again and I was thinking of invading Cynopolis with the sun used as a battering ram, and then we find that Greminor has been taken, during the Festival of Taut most likely. Overkill stomped around a bit in distress but as there is nothing we can really do about it we decide to take Elanu up on the offer of a wagon for the ride to Wisdom for the magic trials. It takes about 2 hours to get fully ready, in which time Overkill and I tend to avoid each other. There are lots of emotions that can be shared, rage isn’t one of them.

After the fitting of the wagon we all descended down to the wagon, and with Xerx’ses driving it only takes us about 7 days to make it, in that time we are left alone, and the only traffic we see is that which overtakes us on the way to the pageant that is the Wisdom magic trials. Other then the first night. Overkill pulled out an ancient leather book (I think it might be orc skin) and pulled out a quill, and wrote something in dwarven in it. I think it might have been the ancient dwarven book of grudges, and that something bad was going to befall the person who stole Greminor, but when I asked him about it he only grunted in response. It certainly was intriguing.
We made it to wisdom late on the 9th of Taut. Xerx’ses lead us to the Tri-Arcanum Guild, the place that left those magical tracking things in Crisis’s stuff, which I still think was wrong of them to do without asking. Tyvernos trotted in like he owned the place, and it seemed as if he did, and the Matron of the house treated him like he was, I don’t know what because they disappeared into his room and didn’t come out again, but I did hear laughter and other noises coming from in there so they both seemed to be enjoying themselves. Jadeir and Overkill headed off to find a temple and Xerx’ses and I stayed to try and get some rest.

While we were waiting Xerx’ses and I got to talking about the issue of our items going wandering, so Xerx’ses thought that people here could help. Tyvernos by then had finished his business and had entered into the chat at the end of it and said that he was going to visit one of the masters of the house, I thought I should go along and ask, and Tyvernos didn’t seem to mind that at all. We went up some (as in a lot) of stairs and down some musty corridors lit by magelight until we came to a fairly standard door and he knocked, and an older voice commanded us to enter, which we did. Inside was Master Wesvon Mardeen, we talked for about a minute, and he said something about me being a serious young individual, then reached into his desk and pulled out a decanter and some glasses, which I declined but Tyvernos was all in. Master Wesvon poured the gnome a pint of something and they started chatting about which wenches that were currently in the place would give er umm help out with things. I hmmd a little, then coughed, for which Master Wesvon gave me a cup of Elven wine to help with, until I asked him outright about marking our things, which Tyvernos then said that we needed our items marked. Master Wesvon waved the question away like it was an irritating fly, but did say he would get someone to fix the problem for us. He then got my measurements for a robe for me, then told me that I shouldn’t be so serious and said that I should probably go because him and Tyvernos were going to discuss strategies for the Magic Trials. As I left I saw Master Wesvon raise his hand and a keg of dwarven spirits floated out of the closet and headed towards him. I ducked my head and went outside as quick as I could.
The next week is a bit of a blur, partly because of the party we had, it was a very big party.

While others were doing some serious things related to the Quest, Jadeir came up with a good idea.He had all of Crisis working in a Tavern exclusively for the tavernkeeper as a draw card and we would use our various talents to keep the crowd entertained. I decided that my drawing skills would be best so I drew caracitures of people heads on Xerx’ses or Overkill’s body (some wanted us others too). The others used their skills that they were best at, and I found that after a week of hard work my rage had subsided somewhat, and that we seemed to be a hit. The Tavern was full constantly and I drew until my hand ached. We managed to make a fair bit of money from the whole endeavour. After the awards ceremony and the winners decided, we got our things marked by the diabolist and decided to head off. Master Wesvon and Master Kel-ed came down to see us off. I got given my guild Robe and Tyvernos got a tearful farewell from Matron Christine. Master Keled talked to Xerx’ses about the accursed rune weapons that had been left on Rogtilda, and Xerx’ses agreed, after talking to us, to hand one over. Master Keled supplied some teleportation scrolls and Xerx’ses was gone, to reappear a short time later with bad news. The weapons had been taken, and people had vanished from the cleaning/repair crew. Master Keled looked disappointed, but not surprised, after that dismal failure on our behalf we all trooped back onto the wagon and headed back to New Crests.

About the 27th we arrived back at New Crests, the guards scurried around a bit as we got close and the reason why was very apparent, somehow Greminor had been found while we were away, and the Guards kept the weapon for Overkills return. Overkills smile returned slightly as he inspected and then sheathed it. We waved happily to the guards as we went into New Crests and was just waiting to get back to Elanu’s. When we arrived the guards didn’t let us in, mentioning that Mikala had returned, and they had been ordered to let none pass until they had sorted things out. I thought this suspicious but we decided to leave and come back later. No point in including ourselves into an argument if we didn’t have too. We headed down to Rogtilda’s on the wagon and got ambushed. It was a good one too, Xerx’ses was puzzling out why someone was bouncing arrows off him and whether they had fatal intent when we got attacked. It was brutal and vicious as Crisis had some anger issues to work out. After we managed to mostly get out of the wagon Overkill again showed his prowess with a sword, and Tyvernos even prevented the enemy from gaining entrance to the wagon with the quick thinking, slamming the door into his assailants sword, and wedging it just long enough for Overkill to solve all the problems of living for the fellow. We managed to overpower one of the attackers, but yet again he escapes us the only way they can. We finally make it to the docks and when the docks workers get over the excitement of Crisis being with them, they put their back into the work of getting Rogtilda back into the water, whilst we retired to a nearby tavern to watch. After a quick talk we manage to patch together that Elanu knew about the weapons being stolen, but he had forgotten to tell us, I know that he was under stress but forgetting to tell us that a bunch of weapons that had the power to level New Crests had been taken was getting unbelievable, he would want to have a good excuse for that one when we see him next. Over the next few hours we debated on what to do, and it seemed that the Great Wooly Dragon would be a good next target. There was a bit of dissension because a couple of us didn’t want to leave Elanu and Mikala the way we were going to, but Xerx’ses put it best.

We aren’t here to save the world and right all the wrongs, we have a mission and we should stick to it.
Thinking of rescuing Nara may have been colouring my thinking a lot, so after the debate was over we decided to head to the Floenry Isles, and it was as if the gods had smiled upon us. No pirates, dragons or evil ordained comets. Just a peaceful sailing trip to the isles at the southern end of the world.

Knitted into Overkills jumper on the 22nd of Od by Indaris Excellar

Picture from the mail online newspaper
Picture from Harry Potter
Picture from and wikipedia

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