What Is A Hero?

| Reader Note: This has been
| sent to Brother Malkin.
| At the at the Library of Bletherad.

Good Master Chronicler of Light,,

~ The 14th of GREKAR ~

Have you ever been pulled in so many directions by groups that feel their cause justified enough to threaten you with death should you elect to abstain? My time in the Western lands of the good Emperor, Itomas the II has taught me he cannot be judged for every citizen under his banner when they elect to act upon their own faction’s attempt to earn favor with their ruler. Master Azariel would roll over laughing if he read this revelation. The Emperor is hampered by the size of his empire, and I know it’s girth for I have sailed from it’s eastern to western edge. In order to manage it one must trust in others to share a vision of a better tomorrow, however, mortals – such as we are – often fall short of the trust others place in us.

Yesterday, on the 13th, a ship with black sails and apparently no one manning it attacked us. Claiming to be from Western Empire it was able to withstand my magical onslaught to get just inside our meager ballista’s range and send us pigeon messages to three aboard Rogtilda. The contents I have scrawled in a poor imitation of a scroll with its words in the image for effect. This is the example about trust in others, for I doubt the Emperor told this group/faction, “Please go forth and threaten those we seek aid from with violence and death.” There must be more effective means of discourse than the expense to sail a ship half way around the known world attack your target ship and then say, “Okay, we’re serious come help us or we are coming back to and we will really be mad!”

Talk about missing the boat! Well, I have spent enough ink upon radicals and sub factions of the Western Empire’s military/political power structure. For all I know this could have been an antagonist group from the Middle Kingdoms.

Today, well, today was surreal to say the least and a tidal wave of revelations regarding the state of the world and our status as heroes!?! The 14th was a beautiful day I started to remember these waters the closer we got to New Crests. With mild concern regarding the prior crab-like people that attacked us months ago, I had Master Jershon mention it to Eyes. Yet, they made no visible sign and thank the Pantheon of Light for small blessings. Eyes called out the sighting of land as the ‘Eye of Ra‘ was dropping behind the western horizon. We docked just after nightfall.

As Master Jershon was pulling into the inner paddock of piers Master NoName brought it to our attention their were warships from the Middle Kingdoms of the Western Empire, Bizantium, Haven, and Llorn in their own docks. He mentioned a pair of ships he has never seen before and no one among the crew proffered up any answers so into the unknown category they will go. I will have to ask Father Indaris to sketch them on the morrow. Now I had waited on board with Master Ursus because at night he changes in a rather large bear. Have I seen to many creatures of the undead, demons, deevils, and other monsters to simply care about another shapechanger? The Gods of Light chose him and they chose me so who am I to say anything or be shocked by his inclusion. As I digress, sheesh. ‘Pigeons Spells’ were used to inform the Master Elanu Groff of our arrival and I had a bear with me. Given Master Tyvernos riding of Otto most people probably though he was my steed! HAHAHA! I made a joke!

Just before I was about to leave a the Gods of Light saw the need to drop a friend of yours in my room, Brother Ley-Rhy. It is not often I have Elves appear out of thin air in my room and I wonder if their is a sense of ennui that is coming to overtake my surprise being on a quest where I meet GODS!!!! While his speech can drone in a tedious fashion. . .

You know, I just looked around to make sure the Book of A’zad was not flying at my head.

. . .the good brother is unfailingly polite and courteous. As the events of this evening began to roll on a few of us were poor in reciprocation of such courtesies to the good Monk. Hopefully to put your mind at rest Brother Ley-Rhy is coming with us to the Library of Bletherad. Well I am sure the others will send in their notes about how Mistress Hannah and Master Ja’Deir ended up on the Haven ship and ran into Bishop Rose Nodeki. This is how they ended heading to the Groff Estates (more on this later). Or, perhaps how Father Indaris and Master NoName went looking for adventure and information in all the wrong places. Brother Ley-Rhy expressed being tired so I scooped him up and laid him in my bed. I was not going to be needing it and after Rogtilda vouched for him I had no trust issues. Just then Ursus – in his bear form – came wandering into my room and spooked Brother Ley-Rhy very briefly. We left the monk to rest and then comes the joke.

Yes the joke.

So the Minotaur Captain tells his crew that he left a monk in his bed so the monk may sleep.

The crew looks shocked and says to the Minotaur Captain they didn’t even notice me sneak off, get a monk, sneak back on board and sleep with said monk.

It gets better . . .

The same crew debates the captain’s alleged mating congress with a frocked member of the clergy.

Half the crew thinks me platonic and half thinks I mated the monk.

Then comes the deciding question to which the Minotaur Captain was to stupid to avoid.

Crew, “Is the Monk an Elf?”

Minotaur Captain, “Practice mating with an elf one time and NO ONE lets you forget it.”

Crew, “Well?”

Minotaur Captain face in palm of hand, “Yes.”

Money exchanges hands at this point and Master Ursus is laughing behind me as we walk down the dock mentioning he could have given me more time! UGH!!!!!

Well the street only clears enough to let Ursus and I pass as people watch from the sides and not so hushed cries of “The Golden One!” Echo forth and soon we have a crowd following us. I take my gauntlet off and hold up my hand bearing the rings on two of my three fingers and thumb. The streets go wild and I am sure within the hour everyone in New Crests will know we are in town whether they wish it or no. Once we arrived at the Groff Estates and met the Mayor again I fired off ‘Pigeons Spells’ to the good Father as to our location. Little did we realize that Brother Ley-Rhy had followed us and was known to the Mayor as well.

I genuinely, without sarcasm, hope your days are going good for I am trying to forget the Assassin’s Farce that we just left! I promise to touch on my titular thought of what is a hero before I close this missive but add this part to the list of exhibits. We just got back to Rogtilda from the Groff Estates where I was privileged to be witness to the greatness of the estate’s noble family once again. Mayor Elanu Groff, head of the Gold Coast Trading Company had put together trade talks hoping to do what I find so astounding among the age post Great War.

He wanted to use peaceful means to settle world wide problems!!!

CrIsis alerted the great Mayor to some problems within the city when we learned about the attendance of Emperor Itomas!! Yes we saw him in person and foiled the assassination plot on his life! Again I promise to get to the title of this missive this is just more exhibits if you will. After getting everyone to stop pointing fingers and some of the dignitaries left found more attempts to kill those in attendance. What has my horns in a knot is we will never know how many assassins were actually at that dinner!?!?!?!?!? After the stragglers tried to get us to avoid our quest and help them negotiate we shut down the talks because we are not ambassadors trained in diplomacy. I think the only good idea we came up with was making the “Disputed Lands” in the east its own Kingdom! It could then be a buffer between the Wolfen and the Hoomans.

Alas, tomorrow is another busy day, I have to arrange to have Rogtilda pulled into the dry dock. I have to talk to the local earth warlocks if any are to be found here, otherwise I will have to wait till we get to the Tri-Arcanum Guild in Wisdom. Then speak to Master Wesvon Mardeen about funeral rights for Roggan as his spirit is finally passing on. Which means Kom’var will replace the golem defender that would appear when everyone was off the ship. I have been trying to quietly prepare for this sad, sad day. However, nothing will prepare me for the day when I walk aboard my ship and no longer hear, “Hi Cow Man!!!”

Once in Wisdom, CrIsis, must:
A) Meet with Bishop Rose to aid her request.
B) Visit the branch of the Royal College of Navigation located there. I would write more about why we are going but as the good, Master Chronicler of Light, knows even if I did you would have to edit it out of the books. May the fires that once burn books sear the souls of those that would hamper the light of knowledge.

To close this I will leave you with heroes and let the reader come to their own conclusion.

Empress Jesslyn, for making a Koblod a vassal and inspiring me.
King Guy, for freeing slaves and working on forging a nation of freedom.
Mayor Elanu Groff, for trying to get the nations of the world to settle disputes with a quill and not a blade.
Brother Ley-Rhy, for tirelessly searching lore for facts no one remembers, but shares them to promote knowledge and understanding without reward to himself.
Brother Malkin, a monk at the Library of Bletherad that has helped us with research so we can rebuild Osiris!
Bishop Rose Nodeki, for trying to prevent the SECOND ELF-DWARF WAR, only this time it will be the WOLFEN-HOOMAN WAR!

In their shadows I stand in awe and strive to stand with them in the light of goodness.

Etrinus Fortem,

Xerx’ses Goldenhorn,
War Wizard of CrIsis,
aka: Captain Osric Orghallar of Rogtilda

>> Written by Xerx’ses Goldenhorn, written at night upon the wee morning hours of the 15th of Grekar, 71st Year of the Wolfen Empire, 3rd year of King Guy the First of the Timiro Kingdom, 344 year of the Dominion of Man, and 24th Year of the Western Emperor Voelkian Itomas II. <<

All art by AZ_Rune.


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