One: Ordered by Gods
Blood in the Marsh
Cuthberta Mentefreeday, Mentesularday, Claireselunday & Clairedakarday
We prepared camp after the battle and some forage for food and water. As I swore, I cut off the heads of the ogres and put them on stakes to warn the Others of their folly in attacking us.
As we sleep, Skeletons and their leader, a Sword Wraith, attack us. Calibre got damaged early but continued to fight. I tried to channel the Power of Heironeous to drive them off and was unable. I could feel the Power flow through me but as it left I felt something sickening. It was almost as if an evil force was channelled upon me. Possibly it was the Swordwraith, or maybe it was the One between Heironeous and me. As the battle raged, I tried again but could not focus enough. That was went Arek showed us and our enemies how it is truly done: Arek channelled the Might of Moradin through Unity and his holy light destroyed the skeletons. I felt the holy burning and charged out of the cave. I needed no armour or clothes for my Faith surrounded me. As my companions surrounded the surviving Wraith, I became the Justice of Heironeous and struck. "By my Father's sword, I am the Light from which you cannot hide", I yelled as I struck the foulness of its evil flesh. As the battle ended, we tended to our wounded and returned to sleep.
At dawn we awake and prepare for our day of travels. We found that the Ogre has escaped. I return to prayer to contemplate my Choices. The purest form of the Lumina teaches that we must utterly destroy our enemy but the Keepers Law states that justice cannot be issued from the end of a sword. The Second Rule states all Sentients deserve Justice and the Fifth, that the Ends do not Justify the Means. A fallen foe must be given quarter. It is so confusing! Mother was the Scholar, not I. That Ogre will likely join another tribe and spread more evil. My Father was right that the choice is not clear. In my humility I see the answer for today: while I can channel the power of Heironeous to heal, I cannot give Life only Death. My motives must be clear when I take a life for I cannot repair a mistake. I am too small to know what part my Foes have in the Grand Scheme, much less my own. I will continue to live by my Father's Rules, those of the Keepers, because since his Death, that is all I have left of him. Possibly by the time I can wield my Father's Sword, I will be enough of a Man to see my Path.
Inigo tracked the skeletons to their lair to determine why the Ogres were camped so near so many barrows but no solution was found. We break camp and walk east to a cliff edge. It formed part of an oxbow from the main river. Tiberio spoke to Tyconderoga and she scouts for us and finds ruins. As it was near the end of the day, we camp. Pelu continued to hold up under the heavy load in his usual way, like an Ass.
We broke camp and walked to the ruins. They were three stone pillars as tall as the trees and ornately carved. Arek determined that they were Steel Stone: one perfectly smooth, one carved in orderly and complex patterns and the last is chaotic and complex. These clearly represented the Pillars of Sentar for some ancient people: the bases of the pillars were marked in Bakare. Nimbus told us that the Elves spoke of a Fourth pillar and he said that he felt the power of Sentar here. He went between the pillars and meditated in the Point of Power. We found that around the pillars were Bakare numbers in a ring as I investigated them, Inigo ran off. I followed out of instinct and saw that he was chasing lizardmen of some kind hidden in the trees. My first thought was of Saughin but we were too far from the Lake. I was falling behind but I saw them attack him and he quickly struck them down. In a flash, their clothes and weapons become familiar, Lizardmen of the Suzeranty. I yell for them to stop fighting as I reach him: they are locals not assailants.
A dozen emerged from the woods and their leader yelled, "Get back Federation. He killed two of ours, we must kill him. There will be War for the Truce is broken." I lower my Sword and tried to convince them not to attack. A War with the Federation and the Suzeranty would be devastating to both now and would only play into the hands of the Order. I convinced the Lizardmen not to attack and they demanded that Inigo stands trial. I offered to speak on his behalf and we went to their city to face their Justice unarmed. The rest of my Companions left the Suzeranty to await our return as Nimbus was in an unwakable trance.
We were taken to the Lizard City to go their Court. We spent the entire day in preparation among these Lawful people. They did not molest or harm us in any way.
We were taken to their Court. This consisted of their leader, Kausat and his advisors. I spoke of that day's events and the mistakes and conspiracies that surround us all. I must regret my Failure, for the Decision of the Court was that that Inigo had to die for his crimes and I demanded to stand for that charge as well. Both Inigo and Kausat told me they would not allow that. We were taken away to collect our feeble belongings. Then Kausat came to us and told us that his people were being killed, something was Hunting the Night, something from the Temple of Sss'Raast. They were not going to kill Inigo but instead enslave him. I would not tolerate that and spoke out again. Amid my denials, Inigo offered to Quest to find and destroy that which Hunted the Night. Kausat smiled, nodded and left.
At dawn, three Lizardmen priests dragged Inigo away to their Temple. They cast a spell on him that marked and compelled him by their god, Semuanya, to protect the tribe and destroy that which Hunted the Night. They returned us unharmed to the Pillars while explaining the situation. Warriors from many villages in the entire area were being killed and disappearing. It was a powerful and strange foe for which they had no defence. We rejoined our companions at the Pillars and told our story as we set up camp. We would continue to the East according to the Map, certain that it was related to this new Evil.
Frankie thinks the gnomgineered schema is jiggered...