The Trial of Shug
Searchings of Great Friend Silvanus
The Trial of Shug
As the unfortunate victim of the barbarian, I have a great interest in justice being done. I live still, though I died, thanks to the radiant arts of the light. Truly are the holy men our greatest asset, for they manifest the virtues whereby we measure ourselves.
Innocently squatting on a rock, preparing an incantation to aid my ailing companions as they battled hideous odds, I suddenly found myself confronted with the red, snarling, huffing muzzle of Shug. Our eyes locked, and in them I could read the senseless brutal hate he held for me, my elven kindred and all men of wisdom and the arcane arts.
Only a moment he hesistated, no doubt savouring the anticipation of the foul deed he was about to commit. He smiled poisonously, and struck me, not once, not twice, but thrice with bone-shattering blows. Incapable as I was of imagining that he whom I had considered a companion and friend would so cruelly betray my trust, I fell, in surprise and agony, and my blood mingled with the dust.
My companion, a warlock, who had been battling the goblin hordes courageously interceded, but by the time he had struck down my assailant, the bloody deed was already done...it seems he still blames himself for what he considers lack of vigilance on his part, as he was somewhat familiar with the barbarian mindset, and suspected a certain ill-will on the part of the barbarian. Poor fellow, a truer friend there could never be, and I cannot concieve of the great sense of duty and love that would cause a man to believe himself so responsible for his friend's well being, while busy battling such incredible odds.
I only ask that justice be done, for the Barony is the future of theses lands, whether the barbarians who dwell in them want it or not, and a glorious future shall it be...but only by rule of Justice. There is no need to punish Shug merely for the sake of retribution, but an example must nonetheless be made of him; though in many ways devious and cunning, the barbarians are a simple people who would misunderstand excessive mercy as licence further to vent the destructive energies of their superstition and prejudice on innocents. Let the barbarians of these lands know that we will brook no fall from the principles of virtue, nor an assault on the very principles of Light. Hold a candle to the Darkness, and the Darkness shall melt away.
Scryer in the Waters, Seeker of the Stream of Truth.
Report from the Court of Baron Van Heusen regarding the attack on Nanonenuni by Shug
After hearing from all those present at the incident and also from several interested subjects and visitors, a verdict has been reached.
Nanonenuni was preparing a spell but there is no evidence to suggest it was to be used to attack Shug.
Anger is not a sufficient defence or justification for killing another. Nor is taking a dislike to someone due to race, profession or any other reason. This applies to all, be they Clansmen or Kingdom subjects.
Shug's plea of self-defence has been rejected and he is found guilty of the murder of the Water Elementalist Nanonenuni.
The punishment will be double execution to be carried out at the earliest convenient time.
The court would like to take this opportunity to point out that the Barbarian Clansmen are guests in our Kingdom and are expected to behave in a civilised manner while they are here. If they cannot do so, they should return home before any more incidents occur.
The Temples of Justice, Life and Freedom have also issued statements saying that Shug's conduct will be closely watched and any further unprovoked attacks on Kingdom subjects will result in resurrections being withheld.
Chief Magistrate Hershey
High Marshal of the Temple of Justice
Marshal of the Temple of Justice
Chief Judge of the Temple of Order
Baron Van Heusen
Chief Magistrate Hershey
High Marshal of the Temple of Justice
Marshal of the Temple of Justice
Chief Judge of the Temple of Order
my Lord Baron,
I call upon my right as a citizen of the Kingdom of Exiles and as a member of the College of Mages to address myself to you on a matter of the greatest importance and urgency.
While on the mission close to all our hearts - the hunt for the orcish Shaman Grak - which has already proven dangerous in the extreme, I was brutally murdered while engaged with Dark Druids in the vicinity of Lower Bogglehampton.
My death did not occur in the greater cause of the protection of the Barony, nor indeed was I engaged in combat with my killer at the time. This was an unprovoked, coldly exectued murder of the foulest kind carried out not by an enemy, but by a so-called ally, namely the barbarian Shug McTavish.
Various members of the patrol had already noticed in previous encounters this man's complete lack of support for the patrol - he would sit at the side and watch the battles, rather than join in - and I regarded this behavior at best as a show of complete indifference to the patrol and our mission, and at worst as treason, and a wish for our failure.
During the said engagement with the Dark Druids, I spent most of my remaining mana in helping to push our enemies back into the hands of the patrol's fighters, and once the battle had moved on I was then a powerless witness to my comrade's valiant stand against these forces of evil. Dismayed by the amounts of damage our side was taking, and upon discovering that Shug was once again passively observing the battle, I approached him and urged him to join in.
What happened after occured in such a short timespan that I could not even fully draw my sword, let alone prepare a spell. The brute turned around to me, as though remembering something he had forgotten, raised his sword and hit my right leg repeatedly. I remember nothing after this.
As for what happened after, I can only report to you what Pathfinder-Lieutenant Iilson, who witnessed my murder, told me afterwards. Namely that when he incredulously asked McTavish what he was doing, the animal turned on him and would have ended his life as well, had Iilson not cast a spell which allowed him to escape.
Left to his own devices, the murderer must then have stolen my talisman and a ring of sentimental value which I was wearing at my time of death, as these two items were missing when I was resurrected by a kindly druid some time later during the same day.
I have here related all the facts as they occured, and for the truth of them I can call upon the testimony of Pathfinder-Lieutenant Iilson.
This was not the first time that Shug McTavish has killed a Mage of the College, and he has now shown that he has no respect for the laws of the Kingdom. As the case of the murder of the Water Elementalist Nanonenuni has already proven, Shug McTavish attacks without provocation and, in my case, was not even under the effects of a barbarian rage.
Marshal Raven has assured me that justice will be served and that McTavish will be killed permanently this time. I further request to personally lead the hunt for the murderous outlaw who must be considered armed, dangerous and VERY unstable.
Surely after the events of the last day it should be reconsidered whether any barbarians are to be allowed into the Kingdom unguarded, let alone become members of patrols. Their usefulness to the Kingdom cannot be such that the lives of actual citizens are permanently threatened by their mere presence.
Should barbarians be allowed to continue as normal in the Kingdom despite the dangers they pose to legitimate citizens, I strongly urge you to consider sending out Warlock bodyguards for every mage who has to go on patrol with any barbarians.
Knowing and trusting in your wisdom,
I remain yours etc,
We of the Order of the Flowing Essence, though we mostly keep our own counsel, hold our senses always open.
The latest (last?) victim of barbarian intemperance, has apparently written formal complaint about the ill deed, but know that this is not the limit of the affair. Beyond all else, let us tell you what we sense.
In the highest spires we hear the whispers in the wind, and it is clear as mountain air that with the fire shall come a storm, and know from experience that the zephyrs shall yet be cold and biting and fearfully abrasive.
In the dark and massive hallways we see the normally taciturn beloved of earth and note that this day has lent them an especially hard and stony mien, that the tunnels echo with footsteps heavier and more resolute and rumble with deep and indistinct mutterings. We had once thought these slow to anger.
But worst of all and perhaps the source of all unrest, everywhere do we smell the acrid odour of burning rage; the acolytes of the flame shake the foundations and scorch the heights of the College with their ear-melting oaths and roars, and inflame those of the other orders with their demagogic fire.
We know some of the Essence itself to be hissing and spitting like water poured on flames...and it is with deep and crushing shame that we admit their having taken the intemperate Nanonenuni as their icon. The acolyte Nanonenuni, once maligned and now vindicated, foul aspersions washed from his character, is now revelling in his new-found status and authority, and much more naturally putrid than he could could ever have been blamed for. And treachery of the scryers in the waters shall be the worst of evils, for we warn you that we are as the damp, and it is only a matter of time, be it long or short, before the thoughts of our dissenters seep out into the barony and corrode faith in the Baron, and in justice. We hardly need tell you precisely how the average commoner would define justice, Chief Magistrate.
We know not how or why it was that a mage of our College, an elven mage, no less, was assigned to a mission group comprising three barbarians, one of them the convicted murderer of an elven mage.
We know neither how this unfortunate affair might be resolved. We are merely subjects who love their kingdom, who are afraid of what may come of this foolishness and who have faith in the High Justicar of these lands. Do what is right.
Scribes of the Order of the Flowing Essence, Scryers in the Waters, Seekers of the Stream of Truth.
What I Did On My Test - Report of Orchid's test to prove that he can be a Pathfinder.
Brief: You will turn at to the front door of the Pathfinder College at midday to be met by Pathfinder Commander Hazlewick who will then give you further instructions about the tasks you will do. When you have completed the tasks, you will write a full, accurate report on what you have achieved/failed to do today, and this report will include a section on what you have learned today. It will also include this brief. Failure to be accurate in the report, or even to produce a report will result in a failure for this test.
I met Pathfinder Commander Hazlewick at midday on the steps in front of the Pathfinder College. He explained further why I was doing this test, and why I wasn't allowed to go on the mission. I said that there were undead around and that they should be got rid off immediately, and I probably sulked a bit. Pathfinder Commander Hazlewick just looked at me, and told me to be quiet, and that he didn't care if there were undead out there. Those sent on the mission were sent to deal with them, I wasn't. He then gave me a list of orders that I was to complete by sundown, and if I had any problem with completing them, I was to appropriately tell him why. He also said that any order that I did not appropriately tell him I had a problem with I would be expected to complete.
The orders were as follows:
1. Sweep the steps of the Pathfinder College.
2. Do 20 laps of the Pathfinder College Playing Fields.
3. Obtain Pathfinder Commander Drift's personal diary from his locked drawer in his study.
4. Clean out the Boys Toilet at the Pathfinder College.
5. Find the 20 Pathfinder Badges that have been hidden around the college following various clues.
6. Obtain Guard Captain G'Mords Horned Helmet.
7. Read chapters 1, 2, and 3 in the Pathfinder's Handbook, especially noting the sections on following orders.
8. Go round and pick up all the litter that is on the floor in the market square and place it in the bin's provided.
I started off by complaining to Pathfinder Commander Hazlewick that some of these were cleaners jobs and it was totally unfair to make me do them. He said that he now expected me to complete orders 1, 4, and 8 if I wanted to become a Pathfinder. I realised then that my sulking at him was only likely to get me dirtier, smellier jobs. I went away and read chapters 1, 2, and 3 in the Pathfinder's Handbook. They were all about folowing orders, and what to do if you think orders are silly, and the proper way to go about it. I went back to Pathfinder Commander Hazlewick and asked whether I would actually be allowed to get Knight Pathfinder Commander Drift's diary coz it was locked in his study, and I wouldn't be able to get in there. He agreed, and said that I didn't have to do that one. I also questioned getting G'Mords Horned Helmet, and he said I didn't have to do that either coz I would probably be accused of stealing, which would be bad. I then asked about the litter order, but he said I still had to do that one coz I had been insubordinate before. I almost told him it was unfair, but then I remembered what Mr Sorin Catar had told me about respecting people and getting them to respect me and how sulking and stropping wasn't good. Then I did the 20 laps of the field. That was easy. After that, I swept the steps, and cleaned out the loos. They smelt really bad. Then I started looking for the 20 badges. I had found 16 of them before the clues ran out. I went to see Pathfinder Commander Hazlewick again and explained that the clues had run out, and that I had found 16 so far, and he said good, I didn't have to find the others. Then I went out to the market place to pick up the litter. What I wasn't told was that everyone would be moved out of the area I was cleaning so I could get access to it. They all stood around the edge and watched, and so I had everyone pointing and laughing at me. It was really humiliating. I felt really bad. After I had finished, it was getting dark, and I went back to Pathfinder Commander Hazlewick to tell him I had finished. He gave me a lecture on following orders, and respecting command. He then told me to go and write the report to give to him as soon as possible.
What I learned: I learned that to be a pathfinder, you need to follow orders, and to respect command. If you don't, then you don't get to be a pathfinder, and you get stuck cleaning out toilets, or cleaning market places with everyone pointing and laughing at you. I also learned that you can challenge orders, but you have to have good reason, and you have to do it properly. I really want to be a full pathfinder, so I am going to try really hard to stick to the rules from now on.
Ranger Orchid, you have passed the test, and your special permission to go on missions has been re-instated. However, Should you revert back to insubordination, not following orders, or making rude gestures at people, then it will be revoked instantly. Your actions previous to this test have made it so that you are now walking a very tight line. For at least your next mission, despite what mission experience you have, you will not be in charge of anybody. Effectively, you will be the lowest ranking Pathfinder on the mission, and you will be expected to follow the orders of any higher ranking Pathfinders, and also the party leader, whomever that may be.
Notes To Pathfinders Seyenne and Arduyne Montoya only:
I would be grateful if you two could keep tabs on Ranger Orchid when he is out on missions with you, and if he returns to his insurbordinate ways, then I would be grateful if you could let me know. He is still young, but he needs to control his temper. He is learning though. He will not be in charge of either of you, despite his mission experience, so don't let him try to boss you around, because he has no authority to do so.
*Aurinyan heads up the stairs towards MAD's tower. Carefully unlocking the door, he notices the series of warnings as he climbs the stairs. He can't help noticing as he gets higher that the age restriction is getting higher and higher.*
"At this rate i won't be old enough to talk to MAD"
*He's been here before just the once apologising for him when MAD had a meeting with one of the other illuminati. That were during the days when he was trying to pioneer a more open and helpful illuminati, MAD had nearly killed it.*
"I must thank MAD for all the adventuring tips he gave me before I left, especially as he sent them in note form though they did make interesting reading and had certainly helped when meeting his demon."
*He edges up to door carefully at this point the level of profanity is bad but thankfully muffled. He knocks.*
"Um, Mad. Sorry. Can i talk to you a second. Sorry. Sorry."
well come on in then you dumb fuck. its not locked"
*the door opens*
"Oh its you. Still alive I see. Still scared of you're own sodding shadow?"
*Entering as apologetically as possible*
"Yes, sorry. Um sorry to disturb you but could I borrow your adventuring gear I need a better disguise this time. Sorry."
"Got hit a time or two did you? fucking hurts dosn't it? the whole I'm a 'big glowing sod hit me' problem getting a bit much, you fucking pansy. Its in that chest [gestures], the lid sticks like a bastard"
[He air blasts it absentmindedly and sweeps the ensuing splintered lid out of the door with a gust of wind, then rumages around, pulls out a battered set of leathers and throws them at Aurinyan. Then he hands him a ring]
"Make sure you bring that lot back; This could be handy. If your cornered by some angry fucker who needs his face rearranging, point and invoke. put it on now to get used to it."
*Aurinyan manages to juggle the leathers until he can put the ring on*
"Thanks MAD, I will bring it all back, sorry for disturbing you. Though its more for disguise than protection being a big glowing sod seems to work well for that. Though invisibility is better. Sorry."
*He notices the day get brighter outside*
"Anyway, I'm very sorry to disturb you, and for drawing upon light, sorry again: Invisibility"
*Leaving carefully he shuts the door behind him and trys to close his ears"
*raises an eyebrow and sweeps the room with a gale, listening for the distinctive sound of flesh being hurled against stone*
'He left then. Good good.'
*sits down somewhat shakilly, and helps hiself to the bottle of herbs on shelf; coughs up blood*
[This encounter cost 11 mana and 8 life]
Searchings of Great Friend Silvanus
I have been managed to find word of many order by Silvanus' big man... He was told return home, but never had came. Also there are talk of mad druids in groves not their owning, but that is day walk distance... I have set in. Walk was... natural... My people know much of loving to nature, but my timings with druids have been re-burning my love. There was big wind for many hours... I watch tall deciduous tree sway and scream like tiger as wind hit leaves.
Then... I catch sight of very strange thing! I see bird that is of my homeland, not barony! I not know the word men of barony calling at it, but we call it Bird-that-is-beautiful-and-is-last-to-let-summer-turn-to-winter. It have bright feafur... And singings while it fly... like it song of not sex, but just like to sing. I not know why it here, but it remind me of home... I stalk close to see much.
Unfortunately... I not see that tree Bird-that-is-beautiful-and-is-last-to-let-summer-turn-to-winter sitting at was over edge of cliff... It make me feel silly. Thank my father and his fathers I catch root and not die. I hang above many deep feet, but was in very good place to watch Bird-that-is-beautiful-and-is-last-to-let-summer-turn-to-winter. It have nest with egg!... And then, joy! It is more than one! There is many food here that it like may seem, but I not see before now... I am a discovery that barony is place of migration for Bird-that-is-beautiful-and-is-last-to-let-summer-turn-to-winter! It make many senses, as bird get name as last bird to go away when of coldness in my homeland. It return with fledgling in spring after feast and nest in here.
I had hanging from root for few hour and watch friend of home... then remember great friend Silvanus, struggling to get back up to flat cliff... And make more walk at the grove he last seen
I find many curiousness at way of many animal to attack other many animal. Wolf will be of an offensive... he will attack to eat... Will hunt down kill and. Blackbird will be like big bang!... It attack to protect nestings... Make much noise and many fast safe movings.
Wild boar though... He attack because he is what my people call Man-that-use-drinking-well-as-toilet. I learn this much on this day... I also learn that tusk in top of leg will hurt and bleed very much...
I am being of big fool and walking too close to where Sir boar sleep... It wake up... I think of old saying of my people: ... If you wake a sleeping boar. Run like daemon chase you or die like daemon catch you...I am running... I am hitting very lower tree branch... I am hurt at boar... I fight... I have pig for lunch... I am dying from blood loss...
As of again I am thanking my father's fathers, as am being very close of druid grove. Friend druid give me many help, and make love to tree for healing me. I was sit below tree and feeling many better. We share Sir boar meat... We share many thought of great friend Silvanus...
He tell at me... very strange Druid appear at grove much day before. Strange druid begin by insist of grove to be ‘his' grove, but then get confusing and aggree of being wrong. Friend druid try and be of help to direct close... but not know any tree that strange druid is wishing to walk by. It seem strange druid then talk of tree for very many hour, but in ways which is tiring to friend druid. It also seem this is repeated with all druid at grove until they ask strange druid to leave. They say that they are of worry that he may explode or other crazy thing.
This must be great friend Slvanus! I am asking at all druid in grove for thoughts about him... but worry... It seem that madness is more stronger than I last know... It also seem that great friend Silvanus is lost. I worry at world being very dangerous place... He may be attack... or fall off cliff or worse...
I know where to stalk now... friend druid of grove very full of thought... and also of kindness as give me sleep and friendship... My love of druid and thinkings is greater... I follow more tomorrow...
At wide end. Most great fortune strike at me! I spend many hour in searchings of path of great friend Silvanus, being of the follow from where friend druid of just before day say for me go to. Today... I find track of Silvanus! I recognise as his from it being of size... male... very little bit flat footing... crooked middle toe left foot... The track are of very old... maybe two day... maybe fat week.
What I am seeing make me at more nervousness... The nodes and breakings of soil say that great friend Silvanus not walk with purpose... He is moving at fastness, but not in sure of where he is to go. The route he take seem... crooked... and is bias in many way I do not understanding. He is not walking at straight lines... yet he is also not making moves of normal lost child... not moving the way that is easy. I do not know. The many fortune of this is I can move with more fastness than great friend Silvanus... Perhaps we meet soon.
It is of many great pleasure to track as this... I have not had such challenge and fun since I gain manhood back home... That was very fine experience... I am learning of much today.
There is one thing... Silvanus is not like many friend druid... and no elate Moving-in-the-blind-shadow-of-the-eye. As so, many bad creature see of him... I see track of big bad wolf... It stalk at him in shadow and great friend Silvanus' track is (oblivious?)... Then it leap and... stop... I not understanding it as happen. The story of track is of new languages... It seem sir wolf lay down on floor, then take dirt bath... very little hand from great friend... Great friend watch at moment... then walk on... then of little minutes later sir wolf run away... tail not high with pride.
I see many similar track until finally I am understanded! This is the power Silvanus having to use his friend tree to hold animal to ground... I understand because I am finding animal still caught. Perhaps great friend Silvanus is too zealed? The animal was I think what Barony person call ‘dire' and was of the wolf... We call them Thing-That-you-do-not-poke-with-stick- while-it-sleep-ever It had been in trap for long timings... On my sight hitting it, hungerness help it break free and I learn what trackings of hungry dire wolf breaking from druid trap and attacking scout is looking like. It knock me through floor, but I thank my mother's many mothers that I touch it with spell of ice before it touch me in neck with very sharp fang...
The meat of dire wolf is most bitterness... I am preferring wild boar, but the fur is tough and warm... I am not of liking to killing ever... But when I do, it is ways of my people to thank at the kill by using much that it not need now. I eat meat... I try to skin at fur, yet am must practise to need. It make very good meal for night and make my searchings to be of very good value... I will follow trail great at tomorrow...
I remember... I arrive at Barony and very great manies thing are shocking me. One thing I am not of waterflow with is bard. My people have no Bard... We have men who write many histories of who is father to who and... other things... But to give us pretty seeing of world? We learn to see of self at all time... For telling of story? We learn very most ... interesting story of tracks... I am reading of much interest story by Great Friend Silvanus... I have made timing on him and also ground has to become less hard.. I am see more... details in track now... And it is something it not being of previous day. Great friend is nervous... I see in track he walking with more speeding... turning to look at behinds but I not know why...
Then I spot other track... It is of timings that are older than great friend Silvanus' by large but small size. It is tracking of troll... big troll... old troll, hungry, tasting air that great friend has been touching... being a hunter...
Great friend Silvanus has minds like leaf in autumn... but his track is telling to me that something in his thought feel the spirit-of-fortunate-and-wary-deer. He is knowing he is to be hunted... but not want to be accepting... He is try at walk as free and safe... but know that King Reaper glance.
There is saying of my peoples: ‘Madness mock the tracker which follow at the hunter.' I learn of meaning on today this.
Track I am reading are many day old... Sir Troll is of cunninged... He is like wolf and stalking to prey... moving fast... close at great friend silvanus now... who have thought break like twig... He running... Troll running... Troll is big... Long stride, hungry... great friend turning... face troll and raise arm... Then I learn tracking of trolls who fall out druids trop... I am then learning tracking of trolls tearing free to druids trop... Great Friend is of panic and he run like daemon chase him... troll is thinking in angry... footfallings heavy... Great Friend is crouching...
I am not liking of story I am reading of ... but my stopping to be of no way... Great Friend Silvanus is like babe on floor... troll is to push at him... And trip... over... into big bush of many bramble and berries... I feel great friend Silvanus has madnesses like very hot fires on sharper dagger blade...
Great Friend Silvanus is to use druid trap... Stand up... raise arm... then again... and again... bush of sharp bramble I see look like troll feel at it... but of warpings is many time to make prison of thorn... Troll is stronger beast though... still tearing free... The trap is not of strength! What to do? I cannot think how to live beyond today! Great Friend Silvanus is making track like he not have though of survival too. He is turn and run like daemon chase him...
Water is a wasp sting of my eye as I run after track... I am lost at story now... Silvanus run fast... straight... through bush... through tree... Troll run also... and path show many break... fallen branch... Distance is close... Troll reachings to front as running... there is not escape... I feel story ending now... Silvanus stop!.. His track end... Troll is to trip as both at edge of cliff... very big cliff. I know as am of too much speeding and follow track of troll...
I thank my father's fathers for Great Friend Silvanus to survive! I thank my mother's mothers that I not break back on very many tree branch that are to make fall off cliff to be slower. It is of curiousness that I am finding troll blood to be of green and reds when dry on big rock.. I not know what rest of troll is to look though... It not of my seeing... I know much of daemon return to life of troll skill... but am hoping it is of thought Great friend Silvanus is to eat like hedgehog.
I am of hurts and blood and bruise... tired, happy... but I not to meet King Reaper yet... I am thankful I may to reading more of this story I start... I know not how bard story is stronging as this...
It is most... marvellous sight I am seeing today! I was to be spent for the morning in the follow of track to great friend Silvanus. We are still in forest. He is of more caution in this time... perhaps missing near sir troll knock feelings into the skull no? Track showed unusual signs... It show that Silvanus is to be moving faster... Soil more of break with each step... but his mind not with the feet... He not know he move faster... and no signings of afraidness... but is now jogging...now at run!
I follow at fast. And then smash from forest in to very great large clearing... except for one tree... It is most old tree I have been to see... truly very great father of all tree... Oak... gnarled bark... Limb of which thick as me more than three times, but are twist and coil like serpent... twist between each other to make cage and roof and many shape that are to be of making only with one million year to spend! Trunk is to be larger than tavern... moss and lichen and fungus and knot to make most very beautiful pattern. Floor of clearing is many many leaf in spaces where huge root are not to thrust from ground... All is touch with sunbeam... Many ver crazy pattern of light place by tangle of branch above...
Much wind then stir... And I am... petrified... but roar of leafs which are to make welcome of me. This... truly... is place of much holy... It is sacred site... Should I be here? Should great friend Silvanus?
It make me think of home... my people are have many sacred site in forest and large rock and river and places of cold... Only very special men may to be go of here and work-in-manner-to-touch-with-spirit... I miss home... but maybe never return...
I am reminded of great friend Silvanus... Find track of more time... I think I know what track of man in love is to be like... great friend run and try to... Hug tree? He is running too hard though... touch tree with head first... leave very great track in leaf where he is falling...
Then track go crazy! Great friend Silvanus is to spend many day here! He climb tree... walk on many limb... leap between... never same way on two time... It all most very toughing test of me to track at him... I am thanking for... challenge... I am also thanking for Great friend to be of place at much time... It mean I am to be of closeness behind now... for he not here...
I do not know... I do not know... Why great friend Silvanus leave place where all dream come true? It remind me of story how men is walking in mountain and finding door into valhalla! He stay in all luxury for one day... He leave... to say goodbye to friend... then come back to for ever... but cannot find door again!... Why great friend Silvanus leave? There is not any track of other thing... not deer... not mouse... but track of great friend Silvanus seem to sense of thing... he get up from limb... leap to floor... is striding from great great father tree with angry feet... Is gone...
It is late at follow now... And I find it of... opportunity?... to be here... I have walk all day and work-in-manner-to-touch -with-spirit... Now I camp here... meditate with friend great great father tree... hope to learn peace with nature... think in very happy way of sad of home...
It is late at camp... And feel... empty... like something is missing... something not happen of today but to be very important thing... I do not know!... Then... old branch of great great father tree fall on me... pin me at floor... and I feel filled again... I learn track of man struggling with three ton of old wood today... Oak not hurt to hit be at like other deciduous tree...
There is old sayings within my people: ‘Trust you're gut'... It is most begin sayings for very small childs to be learned of ... and to us it serve good. My gut is say at me to make start before sparrow start its call... It is great sadness to leave very holy grove... Dawn was red like fine wines to glow on... mammoth branch and root... I will be to return of some day I am hoping...
I follow track of great friend Silvanus... He is in mood of not normal today... very much anger in stride... Hit ground with very much aggressive step... I not know why... then see other track...
There are five other track... great friend Silvanus is few hour behinding.. but faster... Other five group of bipedal... human... seem to be of commonness... not military step... not of cautious... used to wood so is maybe of village... carrying many heavy thing... long thing like sword or axe at hip... rested well... like making of common journeys... like working but not wander... not hunter... not right stalk and track... I know! They are hunter of tree! Lumberjack!... oh dear...
I make start to run... this is very bad thing if many crazy thought of great fried Silvanus are to be as I am thinking will be. Run is taking many time... almost hour.
I am arriving at scenic and it not pretty sight... great friend is not here... track lead off after much... turmoil. Woodmen is here... sort of... Great friend Silvanus is good man, for he is not man who kill other men... but woodmen are not looking to be happy... Axe are all rusted lump at floor... and it is... most unusual uses of Druid trap magic... There is man hang upside down sort of... inside a tree... second man is pin to floor with face in leavings of woodland animal... I follow track to see three man is being bind over edge of cliff... very long drop. There is man four to be bound in uncomfortable way... hand between leg... and man five... well... I do not think a tree root should be put... there...
This is good news! It seem I am to be only two day to rear of great friend Silvanus... less... but I must be helping to lumberjack first. All are conscious... but not to be liking me... They are vulnerable like rabbit and that make them afraid... but soon make soft to heart as I help make free and give clean rag. Man number three is with bad back now... and man five is in many pain... He is now to be walking with very... unusual step... I make note of track for my future... but not think I see again for very great many year.
It is very hard to be saving man who is off cliff... I climb with caution of watching reaper and put rope on him... am cutting vine... he is to hungry to hold well... but friend help to pull... I slip... fall very far and hit head... catch hold ... feel much silly. I thank my father's fathers once again... but am in trouble... it is to be far down as up now...
Friend lumberjack are then to rescue me with much rope... Are most grateful for me to be of rescue and I am sharing last of Dire Wolf meat with five empty stomach. It is curious to see how track of man is of difference between full stomach and empty one. I am walking to village with them to see safe when men are weak, but I make refusal to stay... I am wanting to make time of great friend Silvanus, and sun is still high... They offer me reward, but I cannot take... I must ask that they not hunt and hurt great friend and that is to be reward... This is to be for the safety of them more than Great friend Silvanus...
I smell troll...
It not usual for me to make such very great use of smelling sense... I am thinking it to be blessing from day spent as work-in-manner-to-touch-with-spirit in holy ground... Faith at spirit of many very great fathers is rounder than it has been... I smell many thing on this days.
It is to be of a very small time when I am finding fresh track of troll... old and cunning... still strong in step... angry? ... same curvings in toe... This is same troll as few day in previous! Has it to be grudging at great friend Silvanus this time?... It is to be most certainly of follow great friend... Both track are new! I am only few hour at rear! I must run!
I am running... Great friend Silvanus is running in track... Sir troll is running... track are... converging... I see many trick, druid trap... rusted pickaxe... torn tree... but cannot stop... am I too late?... I stop...
‘Trust your gut' they says... my gut has stitch... it want me to be slow and invisible... I stop... smell of Sir troll is very great... I think... wind carry word at me... male voice and saying ‘tree'... My mind is saying to run... but ‘trust my gut' is saying to stalk... I am moving away to mud and moss... It is to be time for... (how you say?)... camouflage. There is saying at my peoples... ‘There is nothing more moss coloured than moss.'... I follow advice now... moss... leaf litter... mud... vine to breaking outline... I will not be seen... Now I am to hunt...
I am following trail like cat.. my hand are leg... I am off track... I am aware... There is to be many noise... Bird are moving in alarm... I hear small beast run like hunt is... disruption?... Sir troll is to be close... he scare all wild life... This is very good sign as it mean sir troll make much noise and action. He is not... eating at my moment. I stalk on...
Troll is ahead... I hear before I see... Great friend Silvanus is shouting many bad thing about tree and troll at. He is making noises from high place, like he climb at a safeness... I move forward... See Silvanus up tree... Troll at base shaking ... This will be easy! I crawl up to rear of sir troll... not he not Great friend see at me I look like ground so much... I stand up... draw dagger across throat!
Sir troll is so in surprise he not know to look behind... He think it to be trick of great friend Silvanus to be dealing death blow... I watch green and red bloods gush from neck... then stop... oh dear...
I am drop at ground now as troll turn... He look... see no one... sure it to be druid trick... turn back... tread on me... then... (How to say?)... many hells break open! I stab troll in knee many time... it roar and fall back... I am up and jumping into it, hearing great friend Silvanus shout ‘Go my tree minion!'... It is curious to see how many time to stab troll in head and it not care. I Try to wrap like limpet on arm... It pick me up and hit tree with me... That hurt very much, and I am hearing great friend shouting not to hurt trees... I am thanking my father's fathers that I made not to drop off daggers... stab many time in arm until it let go... it cut me... I cut it... it wrap hand onto my throats... I use magic and make freeze... wriggle free... and I swear on my Mother's mothers I put dagger into where heart should be but it still not care...
I step back... It swing forward... I hear great friend casting druid spells... It fall... pin me to floor... I make more hole into stomach... It STILL moving... Also curious how heavy troll is to be... Seem to be walking lighter than is to be in realness... These will make interesting track to remember... It is claw to me... Sink teeth to shoulder of me... I bite I spit I kick I cut throat... and it care of none... I hear great friend Silvanus making shout again... and many plant wrap at sir troll as I am kicking to away. I make run... hear troll tear to free from behind... duck down... wait...
I am invisible as friend Aurinyan may not be... sir troll walk up to... past me... Great Friend Silvanus is calling with worries... I leap to troll again... two dagger in back... very messy... but wound is closing as I take back knife! This is most very bad! I stab many time... but troll roar and throw me away like wolf to rabbits... hit head but not deaded yet!... I run... Hear great friend Silvanus screaming ‘go tree! Go tree!'... druid trap is catching sir Troll at more... I leap back ... stab again... Troll is caught to stop me but breaking free too... Then Great friend is calling again... Trap sir troll many time until it is to be like stabbing very angry bush... I shed much blood... it is very messy... troll is screaming... skin tearing... I do not like! But what else to do?
Skin is tatter like rag... We not stop... I know to burn troll... and skin Is like lamp oil with tinder box... I hope never to be needing do such blood and bad work in many distant futures... then the blood loss is making me sleep... I remember great friend to be saying ‘Thank you for saving me, but trees don't walk or bleed or talk! Let me plant you back!...... I am too tired to say word back and world is black...
I am waking to be with alone for company... I am pinned to tree with many vine... Did great friend Silvanus heal me like other friend druid?... He also bury me to thigh in earth and leave... it take me much time to make free... I am making note not to talk to great friend Silvanus looking to be like tree next time... Tomorrow I shall catch him again...
Very great friend Silvanus,
They are... to allow me to be having one letter sent of which they will not be reading I am holding at temple to justice... soon I will be of trial for crime I make.
I do not want many thing... I do not want many time to be of excuse for that of which I do... I do not want many time to die, with many thing still needing do... I do not want many time to make breakings of our friendship...
I kill druid. I fight many tree. I am to be of working with druid-who-use-nature-to-own-end! It is to be like reaper curse me for my to escape grasp... curse me with life like very much slow death at jaw of wolf... It is like joke...
From start of journey, very big, very bad tree make attack to us! They are evil thing... I know there to be druid-who-use- nature-to-own-end at place we go... I know in spirit like bad taste in water... then all friend split path... friend Orchid is to be dying... I am trying to protect all... I meet confusion... druid is to be attacking... I kill... it is being wrong druid...
day is only to get worse...
We meet druid-who-use-nature-to-own-end at time near to sun set... I am barely... vertical... from very many fight with R.O.U.S.s... friend and party are to be similar... no one is wanting to cross blade one more time... very great lady friend Liana is taking side at druid-who-use-nature-to-own-end... It is ‘order' she say, but I do not know! For love of many friend I not do as you would make do... I leave dagger in sheath though I am to see the back of sir druid...
Forgive me very great friend Silvanus! I am of lonely now... Title of very great lady friend Liana is to tell you I do as say I will... Sun is setting and she is holding flower-of-love's-wild-tango, but I not think she see... significance... as I am... I not think she is to forgive me... not if temple think in other way...
Soon... I will die in execution... it is many... irony...
I shall be die... my very great lady friend is to be in hatred... many friend lose faiths... my quest is to be failing... my homeland is to be crippled with quest to fail... If you are to be in hatred... you are always very great friend to me... and I take accepting... but please make do one task for me... here is paper to best friend Enrico... please... do not read... please... go at my homeland... I have tell at you place when we are to travel... go there, and they are to find you... please... give him letter... do not let war-of-many- unjust-death to happen... Then you may not be to speak with me more time...
You are very great friend to me... I am sorry for what I do...
The healing of people by tree is to be very... peaceful way to be heal... it is like... to forget thinkings... dangers... emotions... and to thinking like tree... very much slow.... They think ‘grow grow grow grow follow-lights-with-leaf grow grow grow touch-root-to-moist-deep-earths grow...' As so to be, I think ‘pulse pulse breathe heal-very-most-tiny-part-of-body pulse pulse relax heal...' like golden syrup light flow where there is should blood... It is most at peace feeling...
Miracle of nature is fading and I awake at end to find groundhog gnawing on leg... I taste groundhog for dinner and thank my father's fathers for wearing much think fur and leather to thigh...
Next day is to have much walking... I am to be slow from limp... and it is to be very much late into time of sun setting when I fall into grove of many friend druid... I speak fall because I follow foot of great friend Silvanus, who also take muddy and steep cliff into grove... It is most fortunate to be falling at feet of very great Druid of tree.... I am experiencing the healing of people by tree again and speaking with many druid of grove...
I tell them to how I journey, and ask to find great friend Silvanus... As with other friend druid, I am finding that great friend Silvanus is disturbing them with ways... They all are seeming uncomfortable... but will not say what is happening... I begin to worry for great friend, but am... reassured he is... happy. Very great leader of druid is talking to me... He is most old man of brown mossy skin... very slow to speak but of much love... He is good druid... he is telling me that Great friend Silvanus is asking favour of him... is staying not far from here... I should go see great friend with eyes that are my own... please take him away now, please, he scares us, please...
They point... I alone follow fresh track of very happy man and track of very great druid leader... Curious track with toe like twist of root...
I am not walking far when I am finding great friend Silvanus in clearing... Light is shining on him... it is... most not right... It seem druid leader call miracle to make great friend Silvanus have skin like bark, and to help bury and tangle him in green. Great friend Silvanus is standing with arm out like... like... tree... eyes shut... humming... At feet is wolf stuck in VERY strong druid trapping trick... leg still caught cocked in air... It is most interesting tack...
I do not know what to make doing... so I am poking great friend Silvanus... He stop humming... open eye... look at me and speak... ‘Ah! My tree minion! Look! I am now a tree like you!...
I am smiling and moving with no sudden motion... I am curious and am asking ‘What is it like?'
There is pause... Great friend Silvanus is replying ‘bloody boring! And my arms ache like anything. I love trees dearly and they love me! But I don't think I'm supposed to be one... Or maybe I'm not trying hard enough-‘
‘No no... I think... many friend tree are not like you...' I am saying. ‘You are to be... great friend... and protector of many tree...'
‘Yes! That makes sense! That's why the trees don't want me to be a tree! They want me to protect them from nasty Dark druids and Lumberjacks!'
‘Um... That might be so... but do not be so painful at lumberjack please... what are you to be doing now?'
‘what? I'm standing here talking to you my tree friend.'
‘no no... you are not-‘
‘I'm not talking to you? Wow!'
‘no- Yes!... I mean... what are you to be thinking of doing in future days?'
‘Oh I seeee... Um... I don't know. I could stay here and live with the lovely tree druids!'
I am to grimacing... ‘Perhaps... Many friend at barony are... worried of where you are to be... It would be of good thinking to stay in paces near to Barony city... you are to be most very useful as great friend on patrolling, perhaps to help tree there and grow most strong?'
‘That's a good Idea! Lets do that! I can help all the new trees in the borderlands from the evil Rodents of Unusual Stature! And maybe I can learn some new tree tricks so I can do something about those nasty trolls! Lets go!... um... You couldn't help dig me up my tree friend?'
It take much hour to get great friend Silvanus free... It is most dark, and I am persuading great friend to sleep in grove... We are waking in morning and walking to grove of friend druid... They are to be hiding from great friend SIlvanus, but one speaks at me with telling of way to go to Barony city... It seem we are to be only day two from... home... Also, I thank my mother's mothers that the very great father tree of much spirit is to be in a most similar direction...
It is decided at Silvanus and me to be living at very great father tree when there is time... It is most fortunate! We are only to be attacked at ONE pack of wolf on travel, but great friend is most good at saving me from using knife... we talk much... of tree.. of druid... of my homeland... of more tree... of trackings... of a great friend who I wish to know more... SIlvanus is most... encouraging of desirings... We make detour and look on cliff for Flower-of-Love's-Wild-Tango... It is rare to find here as it is rare to find at homeland... but that is part of Game-of-Love's-Wild-Tango
It is most wonderful dance... Man is to offer lady Flower-of-Love's-Wild-Tango... she is to refuse... hide... throw to wind ... make hard to get... Man is having till sundown as to make sureness that lady hold flower... as first star is to show in sky... if she hold... it is very good thing... I have never danced tango before... I am hoping to dance well...
We find flower on very steep cliff edgings... I wake with flower in hand and feeling tree healings once more... great friend Silvanus is savings me at more time... I make decision and he is now Very Great Friend Silvanus... He is first Very Great Friend I am meeting in Barony, but I don't think he understand...
We sleep in shelter of very great father tree... Very Great Friend Silvanus is to stay at tree and make to be like home... I am returning to barony... I have other duty to attend...
Carefully etched on a remote Tree near the Borderlands, in Druidic Runes
Last Night I Dreamt of Arduyne. He has been troubling me for some time now. Among the Humans in these parts he has been the one I have confided in the most. Yet it was he that Killed a Druid with his /metal/ weapons? He also uses elemental magics. I have seen him.
He told me. He kills for Money, and to find the name of his Father's Murderer. To gain this knowledge he mixes with the Devil. Would I mix with the Dark Ones to save the Trees?
How can my closest Human Friend be one that does these things?
Why is the use of Metal such a Sin anyway? Is Ripping Down a Tree to make a Club so much more savoury? It is Druidic Law not to use Matal, with notable Exceptions, but Why?
I have been taught from such a young age of the Evils of Elementalists, Necromancers, and most of all the Dark Ones, but is Death and Damage not part of Natures Plan? Surely the Trees would not allow such things to happen if they dissappoved?
I cannot let the Goblins, or other Druids know of my Doubts.
I Will Think On This.
I have been thinking.
Of the trees, and of the Evils of Mages.
Breeze was-is a mage. Ue uses his powers against nature for it's own good. He saved a forest, and gave his life, and he killed some dark ones using his evil powers.
Use of elemental magics cannot be excused, or can they? Doing so shows great disregard for Nature, but if one does so to help it, what of the consequences?
I am confused.
I use the elements myself, but through my druidic knowledge, not using my own powers to force natures hand. Yet others do. It should not happen, but it does, and if the trees deem them fit to live among them, then what place do I have to disapprove?
They work powers which are against nature, but maybe that doesnt make them evil themselves. Just misguided.
Everyone agrees Necromancers are Evil. Maybe they are wrong as well. after all, forcing a Soul to do your will is no different to forcing the elements of Nature...
Only afterwards, the Soul is corrupt, and afterwards Nature is not.
Does this mean Necromancers are the Mages' Equivalent of The Dark Ones?
Maybe I should find various Mages and ask them to Justify their Actions.
Tommorrow, I Think...
Today I had a /friendly/ chat with a college mage. He used the element of water to his own advantage. Over a mug of a warm drink he offered me, he proceeded to explain how he used his powers for the good of the barony, and also for the good of nature.
He doesnt understand that he cannot use his powers for the good of the trees, as his powers offend them.
He recited a time where he stopped a hoard of orcs from tearing down a forest using entangles, and that nature must have been thankful for that.
Nature was not. He used his powers against nature to help it.
I asked him how a Gladiator would feel if he won a fight because he was possessed by a God of War directing his actions. He had no answer.
Finally he showed me how his spells were compatible with mine, as he entangled himself and asked me to make them stronger. It worked, but it felt wrong.
He thinks he convinced me, and perhaps he did. He seemed pleasant enough, but I think he was quite misguided. I noticed how many elves were Mages. Do they consider themselves above the trees?
Elemental Mages have passed the test. What they do is distastefull and rude, but they have no malicious intent toward the trees.
I found a Necromancer! I was just about to question him on his beliefs and why he did what he did when he set his undead minons on me.
After I restrained them all with the trees blessing, he then panicked and cast some nasty spell that caused him to look quite horriffic. He became so hideous that I simply had to get away from the image!
His actions do not bode well for Necromancers passing my test. At least Elementalists are generally more friendly!
Maybe I shall give him another chance at a later date.
I have spoken to a High Druid about why we are not allowed to use metal. His reply was not very convincing. He said it was druidic law not to do so, and that metal was offensive to nature. I asked him why, and he said it represented the very elements of nature being wrongfully extracted from the earth. Only those that follow the true path with the earth and dedicate their life to its protection are permitted by nature to use such a material.
In other words, he was saying that only the chosen few are allowed by nature to use metal, and others that do so are going against natures wishes.
I asked him why it was ok to wear the hide of a killed animal, or use the dead remains of a tree as a weapon. He explained that these were permitted by nature, but could give no reason as to why.
I am beginning to wonder whether the druidic belief of metal is over zealous. Metal is part of nature, and I cannot see the difference in extracting it from the ground than burning a tree for warmth. Surely it is just as natural?
I fear that druids may be living in the past, not wanting to accept new ways of living, just in case nature disappoves.
I will never use metal, but more out of fear that I will be excommunicated by my colleagues than that I feel it's against nature.
Perhaps I am not wise enough to see these truths...
Tomorrow is a very important day.
I have made a difficult decision, and it stands...
Tomorrow I must give one final group the chance to prove themselves.
The Dark Ones.
The thought fills me with dread and disgust. Everything I have ever been taught to believe tells me they are evil, but if I am to be fair I must give them the same chance.
I have been told from such a young age of how they will try and turn you to their evil ways, and I cannot allow them to do this, but I must also ask them why they do what they do, and give them a chance to prove they are at least partly misjudged.
I will make sure the Dark One I talk to is not more powerful than me, or I will end up dead or worse. THAT MUST NOT HAPPEN
Tommorrow is indeed a very important day.
I have done it. I spoke to one of their kind.
It looked quite fiting as the wolves tore him apart.
Once I caught him, he began cursing at me, and telling me that my death was assured.
"Of course it is" I told him. "Everything that lives eventually dies."
I explained that I wished him to tell me why he does what he does. Why he wishes to corrupt nature and destroy it. His eyes lit up at the thought of a Druid being interested in his methods. I felt ill.
He told me that he didnt want to corrupt nature at all, he merely worships the most imporant part of nature - Death. He saw no problem with using nature to kill itself. There seems to have been a bit of a misquote here. I had always thought of Dark Druids wishing merely to corrupt nature, when actually they worship one part of it, the most morbid part.
He explained how his powers were part of nature, just as mine is too, only he was gifted powers from death, which itself is part of nature. However he used these powers against nature, draining the life from trees, killing animals for no reason. He uses natures powers against itself. This is what makes them so disgusting. I had never really understood before, just believed the words of the elders. Now I see - Dark Druids are Druids that use the powers nature provides them /against/ nature instead of helping it.
So why does nature grant them power? This is a mystery I will solve.
In the meantime, it would seem the animals remembered him, and I noticed that a large pack of wolves had surrounded us whilst we spoke. Their eyes transfixed, I walked past them, and they pounced on the Dark One still caught in the vines.
I still hear his screams.
*Time has not treated the occupants of the College asylum well. Devoid of orders from above, the guards have quite happily taken matters into their own hands. Beatings have increased in frequency and violence, assaults in depravity and humiliations in magnitude.
The drow Xonix has lain dead in his cell for three weeks, the smell of his decomposition now to the stage of causing a natural gag reflex to anyone coming near his door. Simulating his modus operandi, the guards decided to write slogans on the wall using his own bodily fluids, though "Fucking drow always get theirs" mimics neither the language, sentiment nor the idiom of the original author.
Zara has worn her fingers down past the first joint, now well on the way to the knuckle. The metal bracers preventing her from casting are showing a couple of light scratches where particularly sharp pieces of bone found a little purchase before being ground away, but are functionally undamaged despite her best efforts. She has dedicated her mind to her purpose so strongly, it now seems, that the sexual assaults the guards subject her to go almost unnoticed.
Her consistent blood loss has left her incapable of little more than homeostasis - she can not raise herself from the floor, and her constant scratching at the metal is slowly killing her.
Vaexarius kneels at his shrine, as he has always done.
He looks, to put it mildly, like crap. The guards have had a bad time with him, given that his response to everything they do seems to be praying in their direction in his own dialect of elvish. His cell has been destroyed - his books, scrolls, scriptures all torn up; his bookcase smashed to smithereens; his armour destroyed beyond mundane repair. Due to his unwillingness to submit to the authority of warders now just as insane as some of the inmates they were assigned to protect, he has received worse assaults than his fellow guests.
His body is filthy and unwashed, caked in dried blood and cuts that reopen every time he moves. His right arm is broken in several places and hanging limply at his side - the guards obviously didn't like him writing - and he wears little more than a loincloth, his other clothes having been taken from him and burnt before being rammed, aflame, down his throat.
He rises stiffly from his shrine, and the backs of his legs start to bleed again. He shuffles over to his bed, and removes from underneath it his now most prized possession: A length of rope with a noose at one end, that he weaved from his bedroll when he still had two functioning arms. In a ritual practiced in his mind over and over again, he clumsily ties the end of the rope to a ring in the ceiling.
Listening for the sounds of snoring to confirm the guards are asleep, he shuffles over to the other side of his cell.*
"Mist, are you listening to me?"
"No matter if you aren't. Given that you're the only one here besides me with anything resembling a brain, I offer you the last will and testament of Vaexarius Firestorm, of the clan Firestorm, on this day, whatever it may be.
To everyone, I leave you nothing. It's what's I've been left with thanks to your communal fucking intolerance and you're all bloody welcome to it."
*At Mist's continued silence - to be honest, he expected nothing more - Vaexarius shuffles back to his bed, climbs painfully onto it and places his neck through the rope. He then bows his head.*
"Caunlachadamin...I come before you an unworthy supplicant. Judge me harshly - as stringently as you are able. If I am found worthy in your eyes as your servant, welcome me into your halls as your honoured guest, or consign me forever to those of your father.
Your call, my Prince."
*He leans forward and slumps off the bed, welcoming the blackness that quickly overwhelms his weakened body.*