One: Ordered by Gods
The Journey of Inigo Tarrega
Being a Summary of Inigo's Travel Journal
Sailing from Amitlan (40 days)
Motivated by a search for personal fortune and the dream of reuniting his shattered family, Inigo leaves Corona. A long monotonous journey from Amitlan costs Inigo most of his purse. The ship stops briefly in Hespan. Sailing to the Mazari, it must avoid Feraln Elf pirates, a scourge of those waters. He grew up being terrified by, and then terrifying his siblings with, bedtime stories of these bloodthirsty and merciless scoundrels. He arrives in Divinity deeply indebted.
Coast of Divinity (15 days)
Inigo is broke, he runs up more debts and looks for honest work but soon realizes there is no such thing in Divinity. After a couple of weeks of falling deeper into debt, he steals away in the middle of the night to avoid getting sold into slavery or worse!
The Dream Road (10 days)
Inigo moved to the next town, a small decrepit village with a large "Dream herd" (people used to farm the drug Dream) in a warehouse outside town. Only a minimum effort is made to hide them. It was well guarded by non-uniformed toughs. He decided to keep moving. He moved north and east into the interior, eventually reaching a larger city, Dekassegi, where troops were mustering.
Guardians (30 days)
The Divine Guardians, what passes for a military in Divinity, press ganged Inigo into their militia and Inigo found himself shipped into the hills. He does not completely grasp the politics of the conflict in which they are engaged, but the Sgt. tells him to "fight who I bloody well tell you to fight." Rather than fight, however, Inigo actually spends five weeks marching in the jungle, looking for so-called "freedom fighters" who use the Dream trade to fuel their "Hobbit-addled revolution." Even though they have yet to encounter any enemy other than themselves, there are food and water shortages, daily casualties, and several outbreaks. Inigo, meanwhile, wonders why the militia does not go back to that small town with the Dream herd he passed if they want so badly to deliver a blow to the Dream trade. A revolt is brewing in the militia ranks. Late one night, Inigo awoke amidst a mutiny All the officers were dead. Taking what he could from the stores, he escaped in the ensuing chaos, but into what?
Army of Divinity (RAD) (90+ days)
Inigo spent three days alone in the jungle before being caught by a group of freedom fighters, the Revolutionary Army of Divinity (RAD). This was probably the same group the militia was looking for. He surrenders and exchanges what little knowledge he has of the Divine Guardians movements, with several creative embellishments, for his life. The freedom fighters of RAD argue whether to use Inigo as dreamstock, but he killed the first man who tried to come at him to that end. Suddenly finding a vacancy in their ranks, RAD decided Inigo would probably be more useful alive. They threatened to feed him Dream to make him more suggestible, which in itself was suggestible enough for Inigo and he suddenly became much more accommodating. In fact, their are few Dream addicts amongst RAD's ranks and they frown on its use.
He joined their cause to save his skin, and learned more and saw more than he wished he ever had. The freedom fighters are fighting both the government backed Dream Cartels and their private armies as well as the Divine Guardians. They smuggle Dream into the Sunterranse Federation through openings in the Wall of the Righteous in the Monotheocrate Order. Most "Dreamstock" are peasants, slaves, kidnap victims, captured soldiers, etc.
The Monotheocrate Order (12 days)
Border skirmishes have been occurring between Divinity and the Monotheocrate Order for weeks, everyone expects a full scale war to break out soon. Sometimes its seems as though RAD Fronts fight anyone they can find, even one another. Inigo eventually gets picked to guard a shipment from the Order into the Federation. He sees it as an opportunity to escape this madness and he waits. The opportunity does not present itself at the Wall. After he makes the shipment and picks up supplies and cash in return, he makes his way back to Divinity, dispondent. The Order invaded Divinity a few days ago so the patrols are running thick and fast. Soldiers are evrywhere. That night, Inigo surreptitiously attracts a patrol of Janissaries of the One (Monotheocrate Order's slave soldiers) to the RAD campsite during his watch. They finish the sleeping camp quickly and Inigo makes his way back to the secret passage beneath and through the Wall. It is not exactly an honourable thing to do, but he is completely untroubled by this - "TO THEIR DEMENTED, LONELY GOD WITH THEM ALL," is written in bold letters in his journal.
The Federation (26 Days)
Inigo has never seen so many different kinds of people before! Since arriving in the Federation, he has met Hobbits, Gnomes, Dwarves and even a Clockwork! He had seen the others in places like Cudinamarca, though he had never spoken to them, but he had only heard of Clockworks and hardly believed the stories of the mechanical men, let alone believed that they were considered "citizens" in the Federation, and not property! Orcs, Half-Orcs and Goblins, as well as other creatures walk freely about their business and behave in a civilized manner he couldn't have imagined. He had seen these creatures fight in the arenas and at the circuses, after all.
The only Elves and half-elves he ever knew (besides Aethlyr) were slaves. In the Federation, he sees them as administrators, leaders and freemen, though by their scars and tattoos, it was easy to see that many (mostly humans, half-elves and half-orcs) had once been slaves themselves. Instead of hiding their marks with shame, however, they walked with a baffling pride. As he traveled, he began to grasp how the Federation seemed to have become so powerful and wealthy so quickly - their is no single overarching ancient tradition here - everything is innovation, pragmatism and entrepreneurship. These folk do what they must to thrive and survive, but not at the expense of one another. Inigo cannot help but be impressed.
The towns are much more orderly and relatively safe; the economy, fairly strong; the people, decent and trusting; and the authorities, competent and honest; the contrast with Divinity and even Corona in Amitaln couldn't be more striking. Still, the roads between towns and the wilderness are filled with dangers, and Men of Honour, such as Inigo, can find honest work. Inigo manages to find work as a sell-sword for merchants on the High Wall Road that runs through the mountains of Lake Range parallel to the Wall of the Righteous. He spends several weeks travelling back and forth along its length, earning his keep and making a modest living and wondering what to do next.
The Order of St.Cuthbert (8 Days)
In Huygens, Inigo has the chance to meet some of the red clad priests of St.Cuthbert. He remembered having heard them proselytizing and giving out food and silverleaf weed (to ease the pain of Dream addiction) to worthless addicts in Cundinamarca. Back then he thought them naive wags, now he is impressed by their righteousness. They don't just talk, they listen as well. He strikes up a friendship with one of them, Hipparachus, who happens to speak Hespanic. His Order is helping to ease the suffering caused by an outbreak of Withering (a baffling magic resistant plague) that has struck some of the local communities. By travelling with the Priest, Inigo is able to avoid being press-ganged into the Sunterranse Legionnaires a couple of times. The Federation, he learns, is fighting its own battles - a Horde of marauding Brutes has invaded from the Wilderlands.
As Inigo and the priest of Cuthbert travel together, he tells him a great deal about the Eye of Independence Eclipse (he remembers it having been called the Eye of Corona), when the two moons of Sentar pass in front of each other. Many of the Order of St. Cuthbert are meeting in Riot's Gate for the event, and encouraging others to go to the fabled mountain top city of the Dwarves as well. The view from there is supposed to be unrivaled, "Though our old mountain top temple above Lake Sular that we gifted unto the Lunar Elves, is a close second," Hipparachus comments.
This attracted Inigo's attention because of his mentor Aethlyr. He learned that the Lunar Elves have a secret cloister above Lake Sular, in the Wilderlands, beyond Federation territory. It is the best news he has heard in an Age.
The Eye of Independence
Hipparachus tries to convince Inigo to come to Riot's Gate, even pushes a little more than he seems comfortable doing, but Inigo is determined to seek out the Lunar Elven Temple. They part ways at Telemar on Lake Dakar, where Hipparachus catches a ship and bids him journey to Riot's Gate one last time. Again, Inigo declines, thopugh he assures the priest his path will eventually lead to the capital, for he apparently has some personal feud to settle with none other than the Vice Chancellor of the Federation, Diego de la Espada.
They have travelled together only 8 days, but Inigo knows he will miss the priest's company. There is something noble about him that Inigo admires, and he is the closest thing to a friend Inigo has encountered since leaving Amitlan. A merchant vessel takes Inigo as far as Dunwater for a pittance and from there he catches a small fishing boat on Lake Dakar to Göesse. To Inigo it would seem it is the shortest distance to the Lunar Elven Temple. It is not long after his arrival in Göesse that he realizes he probably made a mistake.
Arrival in Göesse (4 days)
Inigo arrived in Göesse, a backwater fishing village, with a small community hall built by the Federation and the Order of Plentok Veris, the patron deity of the Federation. He is surprised to see two men from the Monotheocrate Order here trying desperately to fit in. Although many of the locals are of the same ethnic stock, the pair sticks out badly but they seem to be waiting for something. The locals ignore them as best they can, more out of fear than respect. "We don't want no trouble," ought to be the town motto, and the fisherman stubbornly focus on their daily chores and petty personal dramas, oblivious to the dangers surrounding them.
The Magic ran out the day after he arrived, so he is told. It is the talk of the Thorpe, though the impact seems to have been small: the sermon from the priest of Plentok Veris lacked its usual light show, which apparently was "really something to see," according to the townsfolk. "Artemis, Get me out of here!" Inigo wrote.
Though it is not Inigo's business, he is curious and decides to watch the Theonean agents (the dudes from the Order). They seem to be waiting for something. It takes them a couple of days to notice Inigo noticing them. That bothers them but they sit tight. Inigo thinks of buying them drinks, just to see if their cover will allow them to imbibe what they are not permitted to do in their own land.
Inigo is waiting for a boat or something himself. The Nocturnal Temple of the Lunar Elves is still far away, and the wilderness road out of Göesse is too dangerous. Besides, he again has no money. He is exhausted from travelling as far as he has, and the road only stretches further on. He muses, has it really been nearly a year since he left home!?
Inigo notes rumours of a nearby cave and a brave knight who died there fighting several trolls. Perhaps there was some treasure to be gained there. Judging from the talk he'd heard and maps he'd seen in roadside taverns since he arrived here, even within the Federation, the wilderness was riddled with ruins from the age of the Mazarean Empire, to say nothing of those from ages before and since. Perhaps one of these locations has not yet been looted too thoroughly!
Inigo hears the announcement for the arrival a ship in peril arriving into port. If nothing else this should provide some entertainment, if not some work…
And so his journal ends.
Inigo's Adventures in Göesse Continue!