The Eye of Rholdroth

On Witches and Wenches
Day Six of the Chronicle of Tirnel

Having at last struck down the fiends that dared ambush her companions, Tirnel found herself reunited with Johan, Jenelle, and Dasyra. Though their method for disposing of the fresh corpses met with her distaste — potato sacks left in the open for prying eyes to see — she held her tongue that they might continue toward their objective: the house of healing.

Stepping inside the dimly lit residence, the band were greeted by several of the rescued victims of the ghoul attack Tirnel’s companions had interrupted on the road and by the woman who had taken it upon herself to bring them back to health. There was much discussion of prophecy and Johan’s importance which, to be perfectly frank, Tirnel neither comprehended nor gave much thought. There finally emerged, however, a new quest from that morass of obtuse conversation: to find interpreters to better understand the prophecy, Johan and the rest would have to travel to Ambercross in the wetlands of southern Ontalar and seek out a pair of seers. Giving the healer a final reassurance of Johan’s safety, Tirnel and the rest bade her goodbye.

Returning to the market district, Johan and Jenelle sought out the merchant who had offered them employment previously as caravan guards and negotiated a sizable retainer. Tirnel, her mind on other matters, paid these negotiations their due attention and swiftly made her way to the Drowned Beaver Tavern. Partaking of the fruit of the vine, she engaged the half-elven proprietor in a most… subtle conversation. It was common knowledge that as one traveled south the reception of most humans to most elves would dim, and so unwilling to relinquish her great dignity Tirnel sought another means to enter Ambercross and points beyond. The publican gave her the name of one Brekkon Gladdenstone in that city, and instructed her to introduce herself with the imprimatur of Jenonna, promising that he would be able to assist the elf given the right incentive.

Sadly, our heroine was less attuned to the practices of subterfuge than she had thought, and found her purse light of coin when the time came to settle her accounts with the tavern’s mistress. Tirnel is assured of enough coin come daybreak to more than compensate the woman, but will eager whispers find unfriendly ears before the payment is rendered? That, my readers, must wait for the next edition of Brother Maynard’s “Chronicle of Tirnel, Dervish of the North.”

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-Collected excerpts from Jenelle Ette's personal journal 4-

We made it to Mosshaven without too much incident, though the trip was somewhat hazardous in the dark. If we are going to travel much, we’ll need to get Johan some lessons.

When we arrived we were directed by a rather gruff guard to the Hunter’s Lodge, what passes for an inn in the town. A strange healer, Zirstina, arrived to help the two wounded we brought from the forest.

The healer that was brought to the Hunter’s Lodge was unorthodox. One of the men that must be affiliated with the inn called her a witch. I sensed no evil within her or anyone else.

Apparently the kingdom is gearing up for war. Lothu is amassing its forces to bring force against barbarians. Strange that such a thing could brew up so quickly. I have not been gone that long…have I?

We took our rest soon after, though Johan shared with us a few of his thoughts. He wondered if his father sewing his oats was a plan to spread the bloodline to ensure that it survived for a time of need. He felt that his blood line would be important in defeating the blight. Regardless of whether this is true or not he should be kept safe.

While we broke our fast, we saw another group of “adventurers” for a lack of a better term. I don’t use the name for our group, as it seems less….less than we are.

Trehorn Felderson the owner of the Felderson logging company seemed to have hired the group and Johan had the idea for us to help escort the caravan.

Two less savory types walked into the inn and Johan spoke with them to gather information. Johan mentioned the name Zanendithas the Falcon, after speaking with them. Apparently he’s the leader of the orcs.

One of the adventurers commented on a priestess of Saerenrae traveling from Springdale to Dawngarde (which lays west of Ambercross). Apparently she was in a hurry. He said her name was Willow. Then again I’m happy to hear that she is safe. If the rumors are true, however, then Springdale has likely been attacked and burned. A sad tiding to be sure. I worry about Johan’s reaction.

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-Collected excerpts from Jenelle Ette's personal journal 3-

It was a difficult decision. My heart desired to go after the visions of my sister amongst the orcs. It would not have been completely selfish as the orcs in the vision were rampaging across the lands. However, the Blight seems to be the much greater danger.

I spoke with one of the halfling priestesses of Sarenrae. Rhiyr’s Lady knew of the Blight’s existence prior to it appearing. She was not able to speak to the King, but a lackey of the king. Her pleas to the church also fell on deaf ears. This tale speaks of corruption within both the Church and the Kingdom. While the Kingdom comes as no surprise based upon what I have seen outside the capital, the Church sits more heavily upon me. How are we to route out this corruption. Is it hidden from my ability to sense evil? I shall have to test this out.

We have decided to make our way to Lothu. It will prove a dangerous course, but I do not believe I am yet known to be an ally of Johan, the rightful king by blood. If I am wrong, however, I could be bringing us into great danger. We need to be able to fight this disease brought on by the Blight, however, so I believe our course to be the best action. We must find knowledge of this elixir and then we must search out the ingredients, including the tear of a golden dragon. Perhaps some were saved from the previous Blights.

Johan seems to be acting much more gentlemanly, for the most part, of late. I think seeing his mentor suffer has brought on a sense of responsibility. I fear we shall have many more sights of suffering to enhance that sense. I hope not only he, but I am strong enough to survive without breaking under the burden we lift upon our shoulders. I will not speak ill to him of his actions, other than some gentle ribbing, but instead will endeavor to act in all ways as an example. My journal seems to be making him out to be worse than he is, however. He is a teenage male, full of the lusts of that age. It could dull with time, and it is a great burden he bears at such a young age. We will all have to grow up quickly.

Our companion Tirnel seems to have been sent off on a mission. I had hoped she would come with us on our trip, but I am sure whatever errand the Queen has sent her on is worthwhile.

Deysera has joined us on our trip. She is quite skilled with her bow, and she seems a noble sort, so she is quite welcome. I do have some fear that she seeks adventure a bit too stridently and doesn’t quite understand that this trip is likely to prove grim and deadly. I know that I will likely give my life in serving Sarenrae’s will. I hope she is equally prepared.

The trip went quickly, especially under the hooves of the fine elven bred horses that were gifted to us. I have also been gifted a fine breastplate. I will have to think of a suitable thank you gift for the Queen at some point. Though I long to earn my full plate, it is a fine piece indeed.

In the plains we came upon a band of centaurs. Deysera seemed to believe they were bandits, but am most pleased that Johan’s first instinct was not to attack but to reason with the creatures. Though they were mistrustful of us, they escorted us through their territory with no violence offered. I only wish we could have shown them clearly our honor so they would not think ill of all humans.

We make for the capital by way of the river, foregoing traveling along the roads. This way should be quicker and less populated. I do not believe Johan’s countenance is well known, yet, but it is best to be safer. I have informed both Johan and especially Deysera that they will likely have to pose as servants to my house to travel freely in the kingdom without notice and harassment. Though the House of Ette’ does not carry the favor of the King as it once did, it is still a well respected noble house. The common soldiers of the Kingdom know we fight at their side and do not turn our noses at combat and labor like many of the nobility. That should count for something.

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-Collected excerpts from Jenelle Ette's personal journal 2-

Our goal….Induin an elven city hidden within the woods. Indeed, hidden within a maze of puzzles and filled with traps. I will admit to finding us lucky to have a guide as I myself have never truly been one for puzzles.

Another joined us as a guide, Tirnel, an elf. Hair the color of flame and a very large sword. She seems quite formidable and steady. After speaking with her, I enjoy her sense of humor. She enjoys teasing Johan, which is good. I fear the boy’s ego may grow out of control, but am uncomfortable with being negative toward him. It could bode well for my Order and my family.

We were set upon by a swarm of insects and then some evil thieving creatures that I could not identify.

The Pool of Dreams showed me something:

I saw a great expanse of desert with something shimmering within a giant skeleton. Perhaps this is a weapon that the elven queen Salihn spoke of? Perhaps it is something else. Could this have been the body of the last dracolich?

Orcs, a horde. Many of them, doing what orcs do best, destroy things. But my sister rode alongside them, fighting. Could it be that they did not kill her, but instead stole her and twisted her mind to evil?! How cruel a fate…most of all to her but to my family and I as well. I shall have to investigate. If it is true and orcs are on the rise, this could bode ill for facing the coming blight. I saw a priestess of Sarenrae being sacrificed. My motivation to track down this foretelling is high.

I have been told that this vision is as things could be, or are. I know not if this is true, but what if…

We were welcomed in the elven city of Induin and were brought to a great feast filled with dancing and other….gaiety. I politely thanked the Queen and King for their hospitality and indeed, the food was fine. I did not partake in the dancing, though Johan went off to…be gay…with a lady half-elf. Such behavior is not truly fit for one that would be king, but it is not my place to judge. I worry for the future of our kingdom, will Johan be a better king than Wilhem Velstrom? Time will tell.

In the morning we were treated to breakfast but then saw the first signs of disease associated with the Blight. A priestess of Saerenrae was there in the city, odd enough, being tended by halfling priestesses of the Everlight. If given the chance I shall have to ask about this oddity.

Tirnel is being sent with us! She shall make a fine companion in our travels, if we can decide where it is we shall go. Do we search for the beginnings of the blight? Do we search for this weapon to be wielded against the Blight and dracolich? What of the orcs? Ghendralin is a concern as well, though it is so far away.

I shall leave an update with the priestesses of Saerenrae about my whereabouts and plans. I hope Willow made it back to the capital safely.

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-Collected excerpts from Jenelle Ette's personal journal-

Willow and I walked into the village. It was interesting to see how she opened up as we travelled farther from the city. It made me want to question her to figure out why. I’m very curious as to why she decided to come spread the word of the Everlight if she is uncomfortable around others. Or perhaps there is something in the city she flees? There may be something to that thought, but she was once again lacking in confidence when we reached our first village. I may not get to find out, however, due to the events that transpired rather quickly after our arrival.

The town itself was refreshing, though the people were rather wary of us. I cannot say that they have no right to their grievances as I saw the signs of road neglect on our travels. Also the taxation rate does seem rather high. I wonder if my Father pays such high rates, or if nobles all pay equal rates for that matter. I think it wiser that I keep these questions to myself…for now.

The hospitality of the fine folks of the village was excellent and I hope to visit again under more favorable circumstances. Our visit was cut short by an explosion and the absense of a young male named Johan. Hurrying to see what had transpired we found a rather crispy body with a skull emblem on the tunic. Worrisome! I shall have to figure out what this emblam stands for, for I do not know. Neither did Willow it seems. Perhaps paying more attention in my scholarly studies would have helped.

A ghoul and my first true combat! One of the teenage sons of the village had been turned into a ghoul. My heart ached from the loss of such a young and innocent life. Calling out a family battle cry against the undead and my Goddess’ name I charged in while drawing my sword. Sarenrae truly guided the swing of my sword as I cleaved the dark creature in twain. I had honestly thought that I would meet my end at the evil thing’s tainted claws.

I did not have much time to dwell upon the fight, for the sound of more ith hounds rent the air. I begged a tracker to take Willow safely back to the city and the loaning of a horse that I might hurry to the sound of the howls. I was on my way swiftly…

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Where the Story Stands
The Beginning

As Johan made his way to the hutt to speak to the hermit, he overheard a heated discussion between his friend and a stranger, a tall man by the name Uloisi. As he approached, he heard them arguing over a “boy”…something he perceived to be him. When the elf turned away from Rhyir, he caught sight of the boy outside the window. Immediately, the hermit, Rhyir called out to him but Johan ran from them.

Unsure just what he witnessed, he took off in a dead run back toward his family’s homestead…only to come face to face with a bounty hunter and his trained dogs. Before the man could give the man the command to attack, Johan’s quick thinking brought to mind a spell he had learned. He summoned the words and song to a powerful sleep spell that quickly subdued them. Hot on his trail Uloisi and Rhyir followed and saw his work. The pair could not let this man and his dogs live. They assured him that they would track him down again. Once the bounty hunter was dealt with, they tried to instill in the boy the danger he was in. He needed to listen to them. Angry that the dogs had to die too, Johan reluctantly agreed to go back to the hut.

It was then he learned that the family who had been raising him was not his real family. His mother, Shayonnae, had given him up long ago for his protection. His father, King Ronin Lothukor had stopped in her village and spent the night with her. She bore the child in secrecy and gave him up to Rhyir so he could be hidden. Rhyir and Uloisi have watched over the boy ever since. Insistent that the boy have a somewhat normal life, Rhyir was the only one who had direct contact with him.

Uloisi tells Johan he has no choice now, he has to leave his family behind and come with him to be trained. There were things happening that he did not know about; and, he was not ready to face what was coming. If he refused, it meant he put his family and the whole village at risk. Johan reluctantly agreed and helped Rhyir pack his things. While they packed, the elf cast spells upon the cabin and sealed it.

The trio left and headed for the elven lands……

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