They say that the Western Empire is the cradle of Humanity, where the light of humanity started to shine. Where humans crawled out of the filth and muck and tried to transform ourselves from uncivilised barbarians to a Cultured and learned society.
And it’s apparently where we want to send ourselves back to. On the way here we came across a Demon Blackship, and it tried to stop us.
We escaped from it without finding much about it but it means that the Western Empire has once again started building Demon Black Ships, against the treaty they signed to never do this again, this is troubling news as it means the Emperor’s Imperialistic ambitions are starting to flow over, or there is a rebellious faction that the Emperor can’t control and they are building them. Both are troubling as they are precursors to outright war with the other civilised peoples, as not building them was part of the treatise they signed. As you know a few CrIsis members come from the Western Empire so this could be testing for them if they have to fight against their people and Leaders, maybe using Azariel’s and Caminata’s influence here with Crisis’s own brand of diplomacy we could gather together an army to deal with Çynopolis.
However we may have come across potential allies in unlikely places, but let me explain.
16th of Set
We get mobbed in Caer Itom and the Finger of Osiris gets stolen from us, just as we were about to get, ermm, lets say dangerous we got a letter from a person called Mangy Carl, and that if we ever want tot see the finger again it would be in our best interests to meet him in Syrefald as soon as possible, we mulled over this and decided that rather then destroying the city brick by brick, fighting off the Western Empire’s Armies and Demon Hordes we might wait until we really really had to, So we got our things together and decided to head to Syrefald. Lady Caminata wanted to try fly there but the Western Empire has a tax on flying, and you need to pay this before doing so, and the line was enormous, and we waited but it closed before we got in, So we decided to go with the Wagon and Carriage Idea, which has worked out fairly well as Master Azariel has a whole heap off odds and ends that he carry’s with himself now. The Carriage was set to go the next morning so we loaded up the carriage and moved to Syrefald, city that is, Meat Markets and Monsters.
Leaving Caer Itom we got taxed, entering Syrefald we got taxed, as I feel that this money will be making its way into the hands of those who make the Demon Blackships we need to avoid handing any more money over to the Imperial agencies we come across, as I don’t feel like fighting things that I helped pay to arm and armour, as the tax on the net worth of our group would be millions, not to mention I never really liked the Western Empire, but the fact that the Demon Blackships are about means that I feel justified in any of the the destruction of property that I feel is going to happen here eventually because of it. I feel pity for the commoners, as they will feel the brunt of things when they go awry, s on the whole seem to be a decent people who could fit in at home and the Eastern Territories, It just seems that the place is highly corrupt, so it corrupts those that live here. However Azariel manage to sail the sea of shady deals and return with a horse drawn carriage and a wagon, this was need for all those extra items that constituted as part of his cover here, so we were going to be traveling in high style.
The trip to Syrefald was uneventful, the roads were OK and the weather was quite bearable with the help of the carriage we were traveling in, compared to some of the mud tracked jungles we have traveled through this was relaxing. As the taxes are seem high in the area you would expect the roads to be in better condition, if not made of gold and honey, but they were barely maintained so somehow i feel these high fees end up in the local lords pockets. Timiro might end up at war with these people, which would be devastating to both sides, but if the Black Ships are about something has to be done about them before they get too numerous. I know Timiro has issues with slavery, but this place is dangerous for those who aren’t of the fairer races. My friends tell me though the further East you travel the better it gets, so we are going to have to travel to the Vequerrel Woodlands to see if I can change my mind that the Western Empire needs to be burnt to the ground to get rid of the infection that is here ideas.
Syrefald is a Terraced City snuggled up into the mountains like a tick sucking the blood from a boil, I know that sounds harsh but this place is getting to me.
We get taxed going in, but manage to only pay the bribe to the gatekeepers, who only ask why we are there. When Sir Osric (no relation to the Palladin of the Sun God, as its actually Xerx’ses who has decided to flesh out his Human alter ego) replied that we were looking for a business associate, who seemed to be missing, he handed us a form saying that even though it says to hand it into the Guild, it would be best to take it to Bogan’s Meat Market.
This was the first nice person we have come across that we didn’t bring with ourselves. We slowly rolled into the city, looking for anything that would lead us to our destaination so Master Burlap asked the nearest person about directions to the meat market, this person went white, and then ran off as fast as his feet could take him. That obviously didn’t bode real well for our eventual destination, so we tried to follow Cami’s nose, until we came to a laundrette that Cami thought was a front for unsavoury types and Burlap tried yet again to get some information out of another person, there was a fight, as both Burlap and the stranger he was questioning seemed fairly rambunctious and almost immediately the crossroads filled up with a thoroughly unpleasant odour, so as Burlap recovered we traveled further on through this unpleasant area until we made it to Darla’s Darling Doxies, the doorman was small, but seemed to have a very over inflated sense of self importance that i thought Sir Osric might have had issue with, but we managed to make it in unmolested by the people that is, the weather had opened up and hailstone the size of duck eggs and bigger started falling from the sky, it actually killed
someone who didn’t have the fortune of being inside so we dragged him into safety, but his head had been split like a melon. I tried to resurrect him and the Ladies Grace flowed through me unimpeded and he lived again". We split up and poked around the room a bit until one of the others managed to provoke a reaction from the Mistress of the Soiled Doves, who in turn pointed us through a hidden doorway down into an underground bar that looked at first look to be fairly unremarkable with smoke and meat and other smells crossing the room.
Oathbringer almost brought the whole thing to an end when she screamed out “DEMONS, KILL ALL THE FILTHY UNBEINGS” and I instinctively grabbed at at my weapons, but Sir Osric hadn’t even twitched, so I looked around more carefully and noticed then that the room was actually full of monsters, and some of them were actually quite close.
Sir Osric got talking to a Raksasha who seemed to be looking for a fight, so Xerx’ses disrobed then and there, and changed back into his Minotaur form, getting wolf whistles and cat calls from across the room, this was indeed a very odd sort of ambush. However Mangy Carl was eventually pointed out to us, he was certainly well named and had a drink in each hand that was wrapped around 2 ladies, whom if had put all their clothes in my hand would barely cover it, they were dirty and had lost looking eyes but Mangy Carl seemed to not notice. He started talking fairly quickly when he noticed that Xerx’ses anger seemed to be coming through. Apparently he has quit ReSet and decided to follow his on way, which at this stage involved stealing the finger from reset who stole it from us in the first place to show us that it wasn’t just good people who were on our side, and to my surprise he raised his cup and said very loudly “To Crisis” and everyone else in the room started chanting “Crisis, Crisis, Crisis”. This took me aback, normally I would be trying to destroy a good half the occupants of this room, I looked across to a more normal looking Lady who was calling out our names and she smiled, and she licked her lips with her forked tongue and smiled a promise of much delight. I had shifted myself to Xerx’ses back, noting that the others had done the same as the monsters had crowded in and were still chanting Crisis. Mangy Carl waved his hand and the room went quiet and he said “I fully intent to give you the finger, but for my trouble I have decided to put on a show for my, ahem, friends here, and to show that you are worthy. In this place is a maze that will test your wit and skill, and at the end is the finger. Make your way through the maze and I will give you the finger”. That seemed fairly straight forward to me, in fact way to straight forward, but he waved his hand and things shook and moved and a pool appeared, were one poor kobold fell in, and yet again the Grace of The Lady flowed through me and after Asher had fished him from the pool he lived again too. Did this mean The Lady approved of what was happening, I hoped so. Mangy Carl certainly has changed his outlook on life, leaving Reset, then backstabbing them by stealing the finger from one of their people after they stole it from us, and then sort of selling it back to us, maybe he realised that the only place you end up when working with the Dark is dead. It does pose a quandary, how much can we trust him, is this all some sort of trap with Reset at its helm, but having been in the circle of evil means he knows things that could certainly help us, but we are going to have to keep a close eye on him. I gathered my thoughts as we headed into the maze, I felt that this should be OK because usually the biggest problem with a maze is the minotaur at the end, and I’m pretty sure we have the biggest baddest minotaur around, backed up by two power casters, Asher and Azariel, with a druid and a priest to round it out, and a chaos mage(not sure what else to call his brand of magic) to put a spin on the dice at the end.
Apparently Xerx’ses and Burlap the IWonder mage (I wonder what the hell he’s going to do next) had a test of strength, and Asher had a test of speed, that little Kobold has more surprises up his sleeves than I first thought. Caminata and I had what I guess was the test of intellect and had riddles to answer before the door would open, the first was a little odd, maybe it would have made more sense if I had lived at the right era, but Caminata got it right, and I managed to get the second one right, as it reminded me of a joke Overkill once told me in a bar in Lopan after he had polished off 4 kegs of dwarven ale. Once we had them all right a new door appeared and opened, heartened by our success we moved into the next area, and came across what I would call the test of Morality, A knight had 3 people in manacles as the master of the House had been murdered, and we had to figure out whodunnit. There was the Butler, the Son and a Thief who had broken in during the night and had been consequentially captured because of the uproar of the Murder, this made me think that the thief, even though he was the odd one out, was not the murderer. We looked around for clues and we found a will stating that the son would inherit everything, so he was high up on my list of suspects. The Butler mentioned during his questioning that both the master of the house and the son used to beat him, which was another really good motive, but all in all it seemed that the people in this household almost deserved each other as I think the Butler did it The real problem was we were never going to find any evidence that would stand up in a court so it turned out that Asher and Xerx’ses had the best answer, as we were supposed to get all these clues together and decipher who the bad murderer was and execute him. The answer from those 2 was “We aren’t going to execute people based on some flimsy evidence we scrape together” and I agreed. Mangy Carl must have some funny ideas about who we are, but after we all agreed that we weren’t going to engage this riddle or puzzle we moved on through the next door, surprisingly it let us through, and it opened into a corridor, at the end of the corridor there was a mirror which I assumed would show us something and it would come true, so I tried to outwit it and walked walked backwards up to it, and then through it, apparently there was now a bad version of wither me or Asher, who had followed right behind
The next one riddle now we have been told that one of us was a bad version of ourselves and that we had to fight one of the others, and I get to face off against Asher, I will send this message now just in case, and hopefully it gets through.
Sent during Mangy Carls test byIndaris Excellar
P.S Im going to think about the Obelisk issue a little more.