Where is the Road That Takes Us to Bizantium?

Can your walls repel the tide of change?

Entry #49

Today was the 8th of Selestra. It was the anniversary of CrIsis as a group. After our lunch Grignak said a prayer of thanks to the Gods. “O Gods of Light, blessed be agreement that you placed down for CrIsis on this day of its anniversary. Thank you for all that it has protected us even as it does make our lives more difficult that we might strive to be better. Amen-Ra.” That was the prayer which Grignak said.

The beautiful Nimaya is leading us through these dense woods back to see Stonelogger. She believes he will have a contact who can take us to Bizantium.


Entry #52

Today was the 11th of Selestra. We still have many days of travel ahead of us. Nimaya is making sure our journey avoids the Shadow Colonies which are hostile to us. She told me they are the Seven Sisters, Jocatha, Deridan, and Adira. Today The Nameless Man received a letter from his Teacher. It seems The Nameless Man wrote to him after all.

The Nameless Man has been quieter than usual as we travel. I am worried that our reaction to the zombies he created may justify his silence to CrIsis about his curse. I wish I could help him more. I hope he can be helped.


Entry #53

Today was the 12th of Selestra. Today was Grignak’s birthday! Ursus and I spent a good amount of time hunting. Torrun then made up a delicious feast. I could help him a little but I’m not a professional like him. At dinner Merkl sang an interesting song for him.

Nimaya has been very friendly with me ever since we reunited. I help her to worship Bast almost every night. I wonder if this helps her with her grief over Xerx’ses? I should ask her but I do not know how to properly bring it up. Also I am not good at talking with Elves. I will continue to be here for her as she needs. This was important to both Xerx’ses and Grignak.


Entry #56

Today was the 15th of Selestra. A letter arrived for us from King Guy. As citizens of Timiro we must pay our share of taxes. This letter was sent to us as a gentle reminder of that. But as citizens of The Wolven Empire we do not have to pay taxes to them… Or should we have been paying taxes? Have we merely been ignorant of this?


Entry #60

Today was the 19th of Selestra. We have avoided many patrols of soldiers to make it to Stonelogger. We greeted each other warmly. Then we asked if he could help us get to Bizantium. It turned out we were right to visit him and ask this. I should say Nimaya was right. He knows a captain who can take us there. We will need to be transported in secret but that is okay with us. We wish to arrive in secret. Fala may know we are on our way but she doesn’t need to know exactly when.

Tonight Grignak began a new ritual prayer to Osiris. He held the Left Eye of Osiris in his hands. He gave a genuine prayer of thanks for all the wonders we received during the day. He ended the prayer with a request. “Send upon me, thy servant, knowledge of how best to put Your Eye into use.” That was his request. He says he will make a similar prayer every night from now on. I wonder if Grignak was always this fervent to the Gods? Did we we just not notice while Indaris was around? Or has he increased his fervor ever since Indaris left?


Entry #61

Today is the~~~~~

Today we~~~

Writing on this boat is difficu~~~~~~

It is very cramped h~~~~


Entry #62

The last few days it has been difficult to write. It is now evening of the 23rd of Selestra. We have arrived in Bizantium. On the 20th we set out from Stonelogger’s to meet the ship captain who would help us. His name was Burcee Laird. He was the captain of a large Brigantine ship called Sulda. I am comfortable writing this because I know the writer of the Books of CrIsis will not endanger that man by publishing his name or ship name. Burcee endangered his livelihood to transport us to Bizantium at great risk to himself.

We sent two letters before we we boarded the Sulda. Grignak sent one was to the Pontiff U’Selekma. He informed the Pontiff that he was now the priest of CrIsis. He then requested that the Pontiff hold any letters to us temporarily while we were hidden aboard the vessel. We would let him know when we could safely receive pigeons again. The second letter was a response to King Guy which Torrun sent. We acknowledged our financial obligation to the kingdom of Timiro but requested that we have more time to send the requisite funds.

Once those letters were sent Nimaya asked to come with us. I told her it would be very dangerous. She was willing to come and face that danger with us. We accepted her help. I am glad the rest of CrIsis didn’t have an issue. I enjoy her company. A shiphand who preferred to remain anonymous then ushered us onboard the Sulda. He showed us the hidden place where we would spend the trip. There we would remain in cramped isolation but safely hidden from the rest of the crew. Shortly thereafter we felt the ship set sail.

On the morning of the 21st Grignak directed us all one at a time to read a scroll he composed. This was in observance of the Festival of Ra. Here is what it said.

Read this. Think on the words. Pass to another member of CrIsis.

Grat Ra, Son of Palladium.
Great Ra, Light of Life.
Great Ra, Granter of Inquiries.
Hear us in our silent thoughts as we celebrate Your Day here in this ship.
Hear us Lord Ra as we continue on the journey to restore Osiris.
We dedicate ourselves again to this quest here within the month wherein the Agreement was signed.
We recognize all that has been done for us by You in this past year.
And recognize that we do not even begin to deserve all that You have condescended to present to us.
As the wave bears us up, so has Your Will lifted our burdens.
As the wind moves us forward, so too has Your Light dispelled the darkness.
We dedicate this day to You in silence.
Amen-Ra.

We all read the scroll. We spent Ra’s day in silent contemplation. It was only later that we were told it was Torrun’s birthday as well that day! I hope we can find a chance to celebrate it with him soon after this business with Fala is done. I don’t wish him to think he isn’t accepted as a member of CrIsis or as a friend.

This morning I noticed that Ursus looked like he might go stir-crazy. I gave him the remainder of my parchments so he could make up more Pamphlets of Khonshu. That seemed to help. I gave up trying to write in my journal during that trip but Ursus was willing to keep at it. The cramped conditions made it too difficult for me to be comfortably legible. The ship was boarded and checked as it pulled into Bizantium. We hid and remained undiscovered. The ship docked and unloaded. We were then brought out to the docks secretly that evening.

We found ourselves on the busy docks of Bizantium City. We saw countless trebuchets, catapults and ballistas facing the harbor. Ursus, The Nameless Man, Grignak and I all disguised ourselves in various ways to pass through the city undetected. We headed towards the castle and Fala. We came to a checkpoint where guards screened those continuing towards the castle. Most people were turned away. We haphazardly incited a riot which allowed us the ability to slip pass them. I disarmed the guards as we passed to prevent them from slaughtering the frustrated citizens we riled up.

We took advantage of an unnatural fog which blanketed the area to reach the castle walls. It is here that we wait. We are formulating our plan to enter the castle and depose Fala. Both Grignak and I have received a vision of the throne room which we have shared with CrIsis. We will make our strike soon. We will stay true to our word and clear the way for Minischmee to return to power.


Entry #63

It is still the 23rd of Selestra. We overcame the castle wall. I cannot say how. Even in my private records I must respect the secrets I have been entrusted with. Our trek through the castle itself met with little resistance. This is through no fault of the guards. Though they were skilled CrIsis outmatched them this day. We found a secret passage which would take us directly to the throne room. We entered and prepared for battle before we exited. Then we stepped into the throne room and faced our quarry.

The room was exactly as our visions had shown us. Guards lined the walls of the room. Fala herself sat with the current king. Surrounding her were Necromancers, Trolls, and Giants. Those close to her enjoyed the temporary sanctuary of an unknown magical circle. We attacked fast. I announced that our reason to be there was to depose the evil creature calling itself Fala. Any who valued their lives could flee.

I was pleased to see some guards took advantage of this mercy. The current king sitting next to Fala began to talk. He slurred his words as if drunk. What he said made little sense. “There shall be justice for Bizantium. Bizantium is the greatest country in all of Palladium. There is no power like Bizantium sea power.” Those were things he said. Fala stood up and spoke to us. “Oh, how quaint. You thought that by bringing down a wall you’d take my kingdom from me? You have no idea what you’re dealing with.” Then she changed into her real demonic form. She began casting magic.

We began to cut through the soldiers and others who chose to remain. Torrun and Ursus began a competition on how many enemies each of them could defeat. This contest seemed to significantly improve Torrun’s combat abilities. Finally we witnessed the true strength of our new Dwarven friend. He and Ursus would have a tough challenge. Fala completed the casting of her foul magic. The spell was focused upon The Nameless Man. He must not have resisted for his attacks afterwards became uncoordinated and erratic. He hurt himself as he succumbed to the whims of the magic.

Grignak had stayed back once he entered so he could prepare a special magical scroll he held in reserve just for Fala. Yet as we fought I noticed that the magic circle protecting Fala was stopping all of our attacks from crossing its border. It even grew at one point to surround more of Fala’s allies. Would it stop Grignak’s magic too? That was what I began to wonder. The circle did not stop Torrun from powerfully tossing one of the giants trapped by Heebo‘s net into the circle and crushing a Necromancer. Yet I did not want to take that chance. I extended my will to interfere with and disrupt the magical energies of the circle. It was only due to luck that I barely succeeded.

With relief I saw the glowing lines and runes of the circle fail. The energy of the entire construct died out in a cascading ripple fashion from where I launched my psychic assault. In moments the circle was powerless and impotent. Was this the only path of psychic advancement left open to me? I had no time to think upon that. I heard the triumphant shout of Grignak’s voice as he finished reading the spell scroll. He appeared pleased upon its completion though there was no obvious effect.

“Just wait.” That was what his attitude seemed to suggest. We didn’t have to wait long…

TO BE CONTINUED…

 


Note: These are select excerpts from Silent Dream’s journal. They were written in Elven between the 8th and 23rd of Selestra, in the seventy-second year of the Great Wolfen Empire.


Image Credits:
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8 Responses to “Where is the Road That Takes Us to Bizantium?

  • I dig the journal entry style and it is clear the struggle of growth that he is experiencing and yet is unhappy with his choices. I am not sure if it is reluctance, or regret that spurns the sadness about his life path. Sadly it appears he does not have the time he wishes to contemplate about his decisions. Yet, I wonder if given the time would he actually come to a resolution? Even if he did would he then finally act or contemplate the answer because of a lack of confidence in himself to perform a good deed?

    • All good questions. I hope to deliver satisfactory answers in future logs. Dream needs to think hard on what this simple change really means. He’s had some opportunity in our travels but it’s poorly reflected in the logs to date.

  • Love how Dream’s lack of confidence and surety comes through.

  • It’s not really mentioned in the log, but my session notes never indicated that we wrote the Pontiff back once we arrived to say we could receive pigeons now. Once the Fala battle is over we should really do that.

  • I also like the simple touches
    like how difficult it would be to write on a boat

    It will be interesting to see how silent acts when he is sure of himself. The world will tremble at his coming, well it probably already does that because he is with crisis and lots of things tremble when grignak comes anywhere.
    Maybe I should say Silent has the power to change the world should he desire. All he needs is confidence in himself.

  • Growth comes for all CrIsis members…eventually. Dream is just the latest proof of that.

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