19th of Pegasus
Dear Father Philip-
I have very sad news to pass on. Overkill’s daughter whom had been taken by the followers of darkness, has been killed and sent to us to try and turn us from our course. Thankfully Overkill has been able to put his grief and rage aside while we have been doing the Trials. I was hoping that you might be able to start organising a shrine to those who fell in the War against Evil. Isis also made an appearance herself, and it was a wondrous thing, I think she may have known what was coming and was trying to give us something, but I’ll start at the start.
19th Pegasus – Midday
Mikala was just getting us invited to tea at the Mayor’s house so we could pass on that which we knew, and to ask questions about the upcoming games. We touched on things that I barely have knowledge of, which is a situation that I will try to remedy. Things like the Defilers joined the games a thousand years ago to fight in a similar fight against evil. (Lord Mikala is from the Defilers, what august company CrIsis keeps). We decided what we were going to do in the games and others orders of business. New Crests has a shrine to CrIsis. With the welcome we got here I almost wouldn’t have believed it but at the beach there is a Shrine where a previous member joined. I wonder how many heroes has fallen by the wayside during this. After that was all sorted we retired for the evening to get up early on the morn to get what helpful tool we could come up with, and my maudlin thoughts the night before made me think of Nara so I decided to get her something as well.
We wandered around almost aimlessly, but New Crests is a very clean town.
The populace obviously takes pride in their whitewashed island city. The paving was firm and well maintained, and they had small groups of people cleaning. This would certainly make Aracho a much more seemly place to live. Some of the roads have trees down the centre, and there are little shops selling various drinks, all in all a relaxing place, but still somehow busy. The goods from the north were cheaper then what i was used to but as its likely that I’m going to be heading more north I thought I would wait and try and find something unique for you. After about an hour of meandering down the sunlit streets we came across a fine dwarf smith. I browsed through his wares and selected what I thought was an average quality Flamberge from him for my part in the fighting in the Trials, but Overkill assures me that i got the much netter end of the deal as it is exceptional quality. While i was at that the others got what other little knick knacks they needed, and when we were finished the Smith mentioned that he wanted some Jade Green Emeralds from the mountains of the Land of the Damned, and he was strangely intense about it. Truly I have no issue with it if I do end up there but it certainly aroused my curiosity but he would say no more, truly if I hadn’t had such urgent business he might have even convinced me to travel there but it wasn’t to be, so afterwards I we found a gem merchant on my urgings to get some earrings for Nara. The gem merchant was irritating to say the least, the earrings were way overpriced and there was nothing else that I really wanted and eventually the Gem Merchant got on Xerx’ses nerves enough that I thought we were about to get the Minotaurs 10 quick tips on kebabing a dwarf, but all Xerx’ses did was turn into a Bird and fly back to the Mayors house. I wanted to punch him in the face so that was very controlled of Xerx’ses. One day he will vent his anger in one fell swoop and woe betide him who has done so, but that’s when the Dwarf surprised us all by calling out thief, saying that the minotaur had stolen a gem. The watch appeared very quickly and took the side of the gem merchant, who was a merchant of high repute so those of us left behind were thrown into Jail. Luckily not all of us went shopping and Xerx’ses had gone back. So we languished in the cell, the cell wasn’t really all that unpleasant as I imagine lots of dungeons are and we were treated mostly with respect. A couple hours later we got a visit from our friends. It was all so wrong, we had done nothing yet here we were in jail on the word of a respected local. I wasn’t quite angry enough to do anything yet, and I didn’t want to bring Isis’s name into disrespect here so I held my tongue. We were advised that we would be seen in court the next day. I warned Xerxs’es that I thought someone else might have planted the gem on us and that we probably should search our things. Our friends left when they had to and the remainder of us spent an uncomfortable night in the cell. The next morning Xerx’ses visits and tells us Jailbirds that a gem was indeed hidden, on his magically disguised personage no less, but apparently him and Jadeir had talked to Mikala and the seneschal and had arranged one of the best lawyers in the city for us.
The Hour came and we were escorted to the Courthouse, and it was packed. Apparently we had made the local news and was now a very strong crowd was thronged about the place. All the seats were taken also as we sat.
I know we need laws but really, the strange and archaic rituals of law that we go though to get said laws enforced must have to look silly to others, but here we are next to men with wigs and funny hats and things,.
The case proceeded as expected with the Dwarven Gemsmith bringing his complaints against us and our defence attorney showing how it couldn’t have been us. But the spectacular time came when they got some forensic magic users to reconstruct the crime, and it showed clearly the Dwarven Gem merchant flicking the “stolen” gem onto Xerx’ses with a dexterity I wouldn’t have thought possible for an old Dwarf. This apparently wasn’t the plan as the Defences forensic mage called out in dismay as I’m guessing the prosecutions mage was better and got a correct non-forged version. The Prosecutions forensic mage gabled something like forgive me dark master and ran from the courts, slamming the door behind him and the echoes of this joined in with a roll of foreboding thunder that echoed through the room. This seemed like a well orchestrated plan, so I mentioned to the Judge that the Gem merchant was probably in danger, and that he might be better be better off in the hands of the temple. He agreed with (I don’t think he likes me very much, I had given a few more words of my wisdom earlier and he reprimanded me) this idea thankfully and put him into protective custody. We had gathered a fair few followers and a lot of people seemed surprised that we had one. I’m sure that if we looked in to people who had bet heavily against us we would find some of or enemies, but now was a time for celebration, so we took it down to the shrine where Gavin and Rell joined Crisis oh so long ago. We started a big group prayer there and to our surprise Isis herself turned up. My mind flip flopped and my jaw locked, not a good thing for a priest, and the gnome barely stopped talking and she kissed him for it with a smile. She gave words of wisdom to us all, and then she gave us her benefaction as well, and it was like the sun rising on a quiet frosty field. Warmth enfolded me and I was relaxed and happy. I noticed that a second sun had appeared in the sky and that all the people who had followed us to the shrine were now on their knees and off in the distance serving lads and lasses were bringing out trestles and cloths and foods and drinks. Someone started up a tune on one of those dwarven pipebag things and sung about the Glory of the Gods. Then it was all merry tunes and flutes and singing and beer and wine. The night was great for everybody.
Unbeknownst to us Overkill had retired to find a package waiting for him, and as I’m customarily an early riser I found him outside in the hall his eyes red with rage and anger, pain and suffering.
I immediately put my hand to weapon and started to look for other threats but his eyes never left the package.
and then I got it
the package was the size of a small child, a small dwarven child.
A chill ran down my spine as my mind formed, and then shied away from what could possibly be in the box. They wouldn’t have dared, surely they wouldn’t have dared. A human might respond to their wishes with a ploy like this but all a dwarf is going to do is rage and then attempt to kill them, there won’t be any Parlay. There won’t be any trading of prisoners or talks at a peace table. There will only be one angry dwarf – with an axe. This meant war, and I hoped that this wouldn’t enrage Overkill to the point of madness. Haven’t they heard of the legendary Dwarven books of Grudges.
I called out to the others and they mentioned that this had happened before and it had been explosive. We mentioned that to the Seneschal what was happening and he arranged a carriage for us. We quickly got the package and Overkill in and headed for the bridges back to the mainland. After about half an hour we found a quiet grove and took the package out. Not knowing what to expect I consecrated the ground.
We discussed quickly what to do and the brave Ashada volunteered to check the packages psychic emanations for traps and the like, but it seemed to be just a package.
Overkill then carefully laid the package out on the ground and opened it gingerly.
Inside was his daughter, his only daughter that he hadn’t even met yet. Hadn’t carried her on his back, or showed her his skills at the forge, or any of the wonders of the world at large, and what worse she had been buried alive, with buttons sewn over her eyes.
Overkill screamed his grief and rage to the skies, a time like this there should have been rain and lightning and thunder, not blue skies and white innocent clouds. Overkill started thrashing around and beating at the ground with his fists until they bloodied. Xerx’ses, not worrying about the damage Overkill could do grabbed his friend and held him from hurting himself until Jadeir could restrain him. Once held the fight went out Overkills eyes, they were flat and listless. Jadier then said he could try to attune himself to the child and might be able to read her last moments so we could identify the torturers, but there was some great risk to himself, so we discussed it quickly but it seemed like in the event of something bad happening the Forensic Mage who helped us in the courts could possible help him, so we let him go for it. I don’t know what he sensed and I don’t want to know. He gouged furrows of dirt with his hands spasmodically and then gasped loudly, as if he was drowning and was trying to fill his lungs with air. He then went limp and looked at us with tears falling unashamedly down his cheeks. He could identify the monster that did this. This was good enough for me.
I then called on the Power of Isis to remedy this great wrong, and there was no answer, no connection to the Holy. Just a feeling of despair that I had failed one of my friends. Thinking about it though the last hours of his child would have been an abomination, and I believe that Lady Isis didn’t return the child as a boon to the child, as those memories would have haunted her forever.
I then cleaned and blessed the body and prepared her for burial. I took the things she had been dressed in and burned them, and covered her in my cloak. We then took her to the carriage and traveled to the docks.
We found a likely boat as Rogtilda being put in drydock and headed down to it. The owner looked to be a fisherman who had just come in and was about to tell us to leave when he saw what Master Overkill was carrying and he called out some terse orders and things were cleaned up, and the funeral procession climbed aboard. We then sailed out past the harbour, I said the Last Rites, which seemed to be engulfed by the dark pit of silence that Overkill had become. Then suddenly Overkill started a despondent dirge to his dead daughter and we all listened in silence. There was no wind and the sea birds were strangely absent. Even the waves of the sea were muted during his song. When he finished we rowed back to shore, unsure what to do.
We took him back to our current abode and let him rest, with each of us taking turns to watch him during the night, hoping he would call a blood feud and head out into the night looking for stark and vengeance.
The next day we awoke, and the Breakfast table, that should have been humming with our laughs and boasts of the coming days events was quiet, until Overkill came down for breakfast and made a simple statement
“They shall pay”
and then started having breakfast and talking like nothing happened. What control he has to put personal tragedy aside and keep working for the gods, knowing that this could also happen to his wife.
Let’s just say I’m happy not to be them when Overkill finds them, though I doubt he will be chastising them alone.
The next couple of days were taken up by the Trials, Overkill seemed to gain strength from his vow of vengeance and did the best out of all the CrIsis members, I think he did it because this was the very thing the forces of evil was trying to stop him from doing.
We had a bit of a mixup at the start, what with taking things onto the field we shouldn’t, not getting the right things to enter and getting the bill which Mikala covered for us as the Gold Coast Trading Company were our sponsors, but after 3 days Overkill has the second most points with a couple days to go. There is nothing like watching a dwarf row I tell you, and if the times hadn’t been as dour I would have teased him about it too.
Overkill made the 1 man and 4 man sweep (I helped in the 2 man but we were out done. the competition is incredible)
In the Pentathlon, I bombed out of the long jump but Xerx’ses made a good showing but even he was outdone by another competitor. Some of these guys are really, really good. It’s like they practiced and everything.
By the end of the 27’th of Pegasus the scores were
Some guy called Joe with 20 points
Overkill has 16
Xerx’ses has 15
Myself, I have 12 – I surprised myself and did better than I thought I would.
P.S. I am thinking of starting a remembrance shrine for the fallen heroes of this quest if you can think of anywhere that is a good place to position it.
Also I have found out about a certain item that was once used by the Defiler know as Perfone. It is a mace and seems to be very handy against creatures of the Old Ones. Would you please check the church library for any information you can find and pass it on to the Gold Coast Trading Company as they should be able to get that information to me.
Yours In Faith and friendship
Jotted down by Indaris the evening of pegasus 27th during the trials.
Burning Viking ship from1958’s The Viking movie