The Enemy Within

“Is it living, or just existence?”

Entry #224

We had a harrowing encounter today on the 2nd of Grekar. Torrun and Ursus were on watch above decks. Heebo was helming the Shield of Light. Out of nowhere the ship was silently boarded by countless Zaranceti! As soon as Torrun spotted them the alarm was raised. Heebo executed a maneuver with the ship to help wake and alert everyone. The three of them began fighting a desperate battle. But all hands needed to be on deck for this.

The rest of us roused quickly and ran above deck. Grignak was the first to arrive to help. He was naked as the day he was born. He was armed with a sword in each hand. Willy exited his room quickly on Black Thunder. They took to the skies and cast air magic to blow or blast the invaders off the ship. Merkl and I arrived last. We joined in the battle to repel these boarders.

Ursus seemed to relish in this fight. He had reverted to Human form to wield Mr. Tooth. By the time this fight was ended he was covered in their blood. There was a moment it looked like he might dive into the ocean to follow the fleeing survivors. At the last moment though it appeared as if he regained control. Still covered in the blood of his enemies he walked back to resume his watch position. Everyone else who came up to help went back below decks. I asked if I should remain above with them. Torrun and Heebo told me that wasn’t necessary.

There must have been over a hundred of the monsters. The deck of the ship was so casually covered in their blood and their dead. The water was full of their grisly chum. Sharks followed our ship for miles after. It all served as a grim reminder of the focus we all have these days as we near the end of this quest.


Entry #225

Today was the 3rd of Grekar. Tonight we arrived in Caer Itom. The Emperor’s Guard met us at the docks. They secured the ship for us to keep it safe. They will guard it with their lives so we can treat the crew to a night in an grand inn. We bought every room in that place. The evening quickly turned into a grand party.

On our way to this inn we spied a news flier which raved about Willy’s concert in Sekti-Abtu. The author called it “the concert of the millennia.” Both Willy and Torrun seemed a little bothered by how much it focused on Torrun’s shirtless acts. Torrun’s worries compounded when an Eagle arrived to deliver a letter. He was relieved when it turned out to be for me.

Tomorrow we will visit Gabriel


Entry #226

Today was the 4th of Grekar. Torrun received a letter of his own by Eagle at dawn. It was not from the only person I suspect he fears. Grignak said a prayer to in order to ask the Gods who was watching over us this month. This is what he prayed.

“Oh, Gods, Light of the world, I, Your Priest, come before You in humility to inquire as to our watchman this month, that we might prepare to You sacrifices in Your name. We thank all the Gods for their service, and offer up our obedience to You. We thank the Gods for our safe trip to Caer Itom. We thank You for the gift of affluence given to us by the pontiff. We thank You for the weather that has blessed us. We thank You for our allies, and also for our foes. Strong foes build a strong force. In all Your names, Amon Ra.”

For his prayer he received the knowledge that Great Apis watched over us this month. I find that very appropriate since Her festival is later this month. I wonder where we will be during that time? Wherever we are, I hope we are able to celebrate it.

Together the six of us headed out to visit Gabriel. Tiny, Heebo, and Walrus accompanied us. If the Gods would have them fight with us then they deserved to be equally prepared.

Gabriel was very polite and accommodating. I suspect the chest of coins Grignak brought with him played a big part in that. Thanks to Torrun’s foresight and planning we each received a magical bracelet which would allow us to “see the unseeable.” Or more specifically it would allow us to see the spirits of our former allies in Cynopolis. Gabriel examined all our weapons. He clarified some of the information we had been previously told. He also determined there were things he could do which were beyond Azariel‘s capabilities. He could enchant those weapons which Azariel said could not work so that they would affect those protected in Cynopolis from normal weapons!

Curiously Gabriel would not do anything with Mr. Tooth. He declared the knife would not work on any of our enemies in Cynopolis and refused to work with it. He wouldn’t even answer any of Ursus’ questions about it. Once we left I told Ursus I could take him to another Alchemist in this city I met previously. Perhaps that person could help.

Gabriel did surprise Willy by offering him a Lightbringer Grappling Hook he just happened to have on hand. Willy accepted it but I do not think it was a gift. I saw Gabriel’s eyes dart to the chest of coins Grignak carried. Willy was pleased with this weapon though. He was even told by Gabriel that he could name it. Willy accepted the grapple. I do not know what he decided to name it.

I asked the master Alchemist if there were other things we could ask of him. He said to ask so I did. I asked if he could do a couple things on the Shield of Light. Our chest for group funds needed to have its wards updated so all of Crisis could access it safely. I also felt that the Shield of Light should have some sort of magical circles on it which the crew could use to protect themselves. This was important since the Pontiff said the Dark agreed not to damage the ship but did not say anything about the good people who crew it. Gabriel agreed without much thought. It seemed these were banal tasks to one such as he.

Willy invited Gabriel to a private concert he was planning on the 12th of Grekar. This would be a smaller concert just for special friends of CrIsis. Gabriel was sure he would be done with the weapons by then and would attend. When he found out Willy would have a public concert on the 13th as well he said he would be there too. Willy then talked with Gabriel about my vision. Gabriel took him aside and did some things I was not privy to. But once they returned Willy told me he had a vision!

He saw all of us running away with urgency on a beach. There were many enemies following us. Weapons were being thrown at us. Then a giant bird swooped in and literally dove into the sand under Willy. When it came back up he was on the bird’s back. The bird lifted off to fly away and grabbed the rest of us in its massive talons. Willy smiled and said he heard me yell “not again!” I shuddered in response – if this vision came to be I definitely did not look forward to experiencing that again.

Gabriel collected from us all of our weapons he needed to modify. He told us to leave him now and return in seven days.


Entry #227

…introduced Ursus to the Alchemist Efren Clough. Ursus handed him Mr. Tooth. He asked if Efren could tell him anything about it. Efren looked at the weapon with some recognition. He told Ursus he did not know a lot about it but he could try and answer some questions. “Why does he hate dragons so much?” Ursus asked that question first. Efren was able to tell us that the last three possessors of Defiance’ Tooth all died facing dragons. “Is he a real dragon’s tooth?” Ursus asked that question next. Efren took some time to examine the dagger before answering. “Yes, he appears to be.” That was what Efren told him. Ursus asked the Alchemist if there was any more information. Efren told him he wasn’t able to give him any more information than that. Ursus took Mr. Tooth back and together we…


Entry #231

…helped another young one realize their psionic gifts. It seems like there’s so many in this city! It’s a strange feeling to sense when a person is at that edge. Once I find them, it’s easy enough to guide them over it. It comes very naturally.

When I walk this city with my friends I take time to experience it as a Kankoran, a Dwarf, and as a Goblin. The ways in which I am received are striking. I find I am most accepted when I walk around in the Dwarven form which the Gods once bestowed upon me. I do remember the words of Sxeb Kebuzt.


Entry #233

Today was the 11th of Grekar. We visited Gabriel to pick up our weapons. As promised he had enchanted each one to be usable against the enemies we will face in Cynopolis. I thought for a moment about Hades. I decided not to bring it up. We should have a chance to address those issues once we return.

I asked Gabriel if there were talismen or scrolls which could make the user invisible in way a that was superior to normal invisibility. Grignak also spoke up with his own idea that Azariel wasn’t able to realize – a way to become invisible only to those who are themselves invisible. Gabriel considered his request. He knew we were talking about the former members of CrIsis. He wasn’t sure if it was possible.

Merkl and Grignak both bolstered his confidence to help convince him to try. “Zavik, write this down. Gabriel is better than Greminor. Merkl declared that loudly to all of our shock. “Out of all the Alchemists I’ve ever med, Gabriel is the best.” Grignak followed up Merkl’s statement by announcing that. Grignak also offered to help by praying to the Gods with him for success. These statements all seemed to help convince Gabriel to try and make the potion Grignak requested.

Gabriel said it would take several days. He would not start until after the concerts. He wanted to attend both first.


Entry #233

Today was the 12th of Grekar. The first of Willy’s concerts was very fun. Emperor Itomas was there. Gabriel was there. Father Donal was there. Other priests were there. Many nobles were there. Most surprising of all was that Willy’s family rode on eagles of their own to be there! His mother, bothers, sisters… and two women his mother wanted him to meet. We asked Willy why his father wasn’t there. He told us his dad never believed in his music.

Willy’s mother introduced Willy to the two girls she brought with her. She wanted him to meet them. She completely ignored Kitty. The two girl’s names were Anna and Ana. Once Willy saw Anna he ignored Kitty too. When the concert started Willy invited Anna to come sing with him and not Kitty.

Kitty didn’t like that! She came up on stage too. The two girls sang together. Each was trying to out-sing the other. They both took turns singing lyrics to the song. What they sang was directed more towards the other girl than to the crowd. Sometimes they sang in chorus but each tried to out-sing the other. It was a wild performance. Willy just played his guitar in the middle of it all. I think he enjoyed this. I wondered briefly why something like this wasn’t more common – people competing against each other through singing.

 

Kitty was definitely the better singer out of the two of them. By the time the song finished Willy seemed to agree. He motioned for a guard to remove Anna from the stage. Not just from the stage but from the concert itself as well. Willy’s mom ran after them – she looked like she was ready to beat up that guard. With the next song Willy tried to smile at Kitty but she gave him an angry look before singing. They performed several of his strangely catchy songs together.

Finally Willy played his last song and bowed to the crowd. There was rousing applause. Emperor Itomas walked onto the stage next to Willy. He addressed the crowd. “I wish to personally endorse CrIsis upon their trip to Cynopolis to defeat the evils they face. If that means my treaties with Cynopolis are null and void because of this then so be it! For I shall back CrIsis until the end of days.” Itomas said all that to the assembled crowd.

Merkl led the cheers by jumping up and down. “Yay, Itomas, the greatest ruler in the world!” That was what Merkl was shouting. The Emperor asked if he would entertain the crowd now that Willy was done. He emphatically agreed. Willy went to catch up with his family and gave Merkl the stage. I haven’t seen many of Merkl’s performances but I think this one was the best he ever pulled off. He definitely aced it!

At the end of Merkl’s performance Emperor Itomas told us that he would have a flotilla of Western Empire frigates to accompany us to Cynopolis and back. He then leaned in close and whispered something very shocking to Merkl. I was in my Kankoran form so I could barely hear the quiet words. “And if things go bad I’ll send a Demon Black Ship.” But I can’t even write them here. I don’t think it was something that should be recorded or shared.


Entry #234

Today was the 13th of Grekar. We spent the day preparing for Willy’s public concert in Caer Itom’s main fighting arena. The crowd that showed up looked to be almost as big as the crowd we had in Sekti-Abtu. I used my powers to help him with displays of fire again and other visual effects.

Willy played his songs. The crowd loved it. In the middle of one of his songs he was enveloped in a glow of light. I swear this was not my doing. He rose up into the air while glowing. That was also not my doing. I could feel the power of the Gods at work here. Willy didn’t miss a note on his guitar the whole time. Suddenly the glow intensified and Willy ascended to demigodhood! It was an amazing sight to behold. And almost all of Caer Itom were witness to it…


Entry #236

Today was the 15th of Grekar. Grignak is still helping Gabriel to make those potions. Gabriel said if it works they should be ready on the 21st.

We were reminded today that our annual guild fees were due on the Equinox. As a group we decided to use the our group funds to pay this cost for those of us who needed it. We were sure to set up the requisite donation through the Gold Coast to continue our standing as honored members.

While we were at the Gold Coast I cashed in my Gold Coast note for Old Kingdom Coins. There were plenty around now due to our purchases with Gabriel. This was a small goal of mine for some time now and I was glad to finally be able to achieve it.


Entry #238

…Festival of Great Apis! Since Grignak was busy Torrun suggested we celebrate with Father Donal. I was glad to be able to devote myself to Great Apis and Her works today. At the feast Father Donal asked me if I would lead the prayer to honor Great Apis. I was flattered. In reply…


Entry #241

Today was the 21st of Grekar. Gabriel was able to make eight of those potions that Grignak asked for. He told us they should render us invisible to those blessed by Anubis – such as the former members of CrIsis guarding Cynopolis. Gabriel let us know that he wasn’t certain about these potions. They may all work, or only some of them may work. We thanked him.

I also thanked him by making more purchases. I recalled a potion which we used up North sometimes to escape danger while scouting. It allowed the user to run on the wind at speeds faster then they could usually manage. Gabriel had two dozen of these potions and I bought them all.

My final purchase from him was a band of rare enchanted Idrantine. Though expensive this would allow me to store mental energy much like the foul bracelet Carl gave me. But this item would not have any of those scoundrel’s strings attached. Willy and Grignak both were able to secure some coveted Gantrium jewelry. Grignak’s choice was especially weird – not because of the type of jewelry he requested, but because it was actually available.


Entry #242

Today was the 22nd of Grekar. We said our goodbyes and thank-yous. Emperor Itomas gave us another map of Cynopolis. Jershon had already made a copy of my map. Now we had three. I feel this was a safe number.

Once we were out to sea with the Western Empire ships flanking us I talked privately with Jershon. I know Cynopolis is dangerous. I gave him a letter to give to CrIsis if I should not return with them. He hoped he wouldn’t need to give it to them. I thanked him and said I hoped that too.

I asked CrIsis to gather in the chapel for a meeting. Once they were all there I had a somber conversation with them all. I reminded them that if any of us died in Cynopolis our spirits would become servants of Anubis. Because of this I wanted to tell them ways in which they could overcome me if I ever became their enemy. I did not want to be a burden to them if I were to die. I laid out all my tactics and how they could overcome them. This caused others in CrIsis to open up similarly. We talked for a long time about this. It was a grave conversation and mood but it needed to be done.


Entry #244

Today is the 26th of Grekar. We arrived at the island of Cynopolis. All our preparations were ready. Heebo, Walrus, and Tiny joined us in landing on the beach. Immediately we were beset by Lady Isis‘ former champions. With a heavy heart we were forced to face and defeat Asher, Bexx, Drauka, Vandur, Mack, Raulf, and tiny Hannah. It was a tough fight but we prevailed.

I wish there had been a way to avoid this fight. Or even better, a way to free these champions of light from the clutches of Anubis. But the Pontiff made it clear that there was nothing left of their former selves. We needed to be strong to overcome them. It did not stop me from being saddened by each one of their defeats.

The potions to be invisible Gabriel made for us were not as effective as we hoped they would be. But I believe the bracelets he provided and the enchantments he laid upon our weapons saved our lives. We are recovering now as best we can. I took this quick moment to record our progress. But we will press on soon. The longer we stay, the more danger we invite.


Note: These excerpts are from Silent Dream’s journal. They were written in Elven, on parchment paper between the 2nd through the 26th of Grekar, in the seventy-third year of the Great Wolfen Empire and the second year of the Kingdom of Koris Gwaisol.

Image Credits:
B-Rabit
Elder Scrolls Wiki
Tim Baker
Carpe Diem

Music Credits:
The Enemy Within (Part I of Fear) by Rush

 

6 Responses to “The Enemy Within

  • “To you, is it movement or is it action?
    Is it contact or just reaction?
    And you… revolution or just resistance?
    Is it living, or just existence?
    Yeah, you! It takes a little more persistence
    To get up and go the distance”

  • We can call the singing competition Western Idol, just saying!

  • Love the Rush references, and the great detail- well done!

  • Lol, I agree.
    Also when its mentioned that Heebo executed a maneuver with the ship to help wake and alert everyone, my imagination thinks he picked it up and run off with it ? 😉

  • “Ursus seemed to relish in this fight” This sentence doesn’t even BEGIN to describe how Ursus was during this fight…just sayin’

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