Cific Watchwolf

PLAYED BY: Jake Segor

CONTACT INFO: Cardica1@aol.com

CHARACTER NAME: Cific Watchwolf

GENDER: Male

CLASS: Rogue

AGE: Near thirty

RACE: Ulven

KNOWN SKILLS:

Thrusting
Archery
Armor
Toughness
Lore:ulven
Resources: gather information
First aid
Lore:syndar
Pull arrow

BIO / BACKGROUND HISTORY:

-The following writings were scribbled out on parchment placed above scrolls, books, and small trinkets in an unmarked box-

I am writing this in late May of the year 268 because after various events I have come to realize how frail and short life can be.

If you have found this cache, I pray that you use its contents for the good of Mardrun and its people. Enclosed are various documents, artifacts, and other forms of unearthed lore, most of which was found in the last three months. My purpose for keeping these has been to study them and uncover the true nature of the secrets they held, for I am, or at least was, a Truthseeker. My name is Cific Watchwolf and at the time of writing this I am 27 and have not held the title of Truthseeker for very long. Below I will share my personal story in hopes that it will help you grasp the worth of the documents enclosed and the worth of the sacrifices made to obtain them.

I was born in the winter of 241 to a small family residing in the middle of the Watchwolves of Luna’s territory. My father was a carpenter and my mother had mastered various crafts from seamstress to basket weaving, whatever needed to be done at the time. I have an older sister, Gisela, who is very protective of me. When I was born, I came too early. I’ve been told I was very small and didn’t scream or put up much fight. Because of this I was not a strong child and developed slower in my infancy than others, this lead to my mother and sister’s protective natures toward me, my father detested it. At the age of 4 I still had trouble walking on my own. I would often trip or become tired, my earliest memories are of my sister holding my hand and arm to make sure I wouldn’t hurt myself. And of my father yelling at her that I should be able to walk on my own.

By 7 I was far more mobile, able to walk and sometimes run but not able to keep up with other children of my age. They would often mock me because of this but my mother would always tell me that I would grow still and not to be discouraged. She was kind and gentle, always there to help myself or Gisela. I spent most of my 8th year bedridden from a sickness to my chest and it was rare for her to be away from home for too long during this. While I couldn’t leave the bed, she taught me the basics of how to read and write. It was tedious but with nothing better to do, I had latched on to it. She even found me a book of my favorite story of the Sun Horse and Moon Horse, which I have also left in this case of documents. After some time, a Daughter of Gaia with knowledge in medicine visited to attempt to heal me. She was able to supply some medicines to ease my breathing but said that my chest may not have developed fully on the inside. Her suggestion was to move somewhere with cooler air, preferably to the coast. My father did not like that.

We did not move then, my father established himself as a carpenter in the area and would not give up all he had built. At this point in my life I could tell that he hated me. When he would drink, which became more and more common, I would hear him talk to others about how he wished he had a real son who could carry on his trade or bring some type of honor. His words hurt worse than my young deformed chest. I wanted to know why Gaia would permit for someone to be born like me and I wanted to prove my father wrong. Though I was only a child I wanted to toughen myself and become stronger, but any attempts I made at this were futile. I still couldn’t keep up with others, after almost a year in bed I felt even further behind. He saw that I was trying to be tougher, or at least he saw that I was failing at it. One night he came home in a drunken stupor, I was home alone as Gisela and our mother were out helping with some project or another in our village. He came home as I was reading my favorite book, and that disgusted him. He never spoke to me much but that night he felt he should tell me that I spent too much time reading, that I wouldn’t become a good son that way. His words brought me to tears. My tears brought his belt across my face. And then his fist. And then he said he would fix me. Then the door opened and Gisela tackled him. I still have a scar on my chest from where his knife met my ribs. We moved out to the coast the next day without him and to this day, I do not know his fate nor is it something I’d care to learn of.

We left abruptly but found a good home with other Watchwolves. I don’t know if they knew our story and held some form of empathy or if they respected my mother traveling with almost nothing but her pups. Once we had settled one thing did become clear, the sea laced air was freeing. It labored me much less and I could move more freely. I spent every day walking the coast, even in the winter months when the water droplets would freeze to my clothes like small beads. I was inseparable from the water and learned to swim as soon as summer came around. My mother had crafted a net for me and told me to collect fish if I was going to be away from home this much. Fish are incredibly swift, they proved nearly impossible to catch but I refused to let her down. After weeks upon weeks of attempts I had finally caught a small trout in a river that lead into the sea. And days after that I caught a bass, and then the very next day I had caught another.

Over the next 10 years I would continue doing this, only now I would bring home baskets of fish and even cook them. At some point an older Watchwolf who had seen me out every day taught me how to use a spear. Spear fishing was different, to this day it makes me feel like a crane wading in water quietly before plunging its beak in to catch a frog. Aside from fish, I would spend my time continuing to read, write, and study. I became engrossed in the stories of other Watchwolves, those on the coast had kept their eyes toward the sea to watch for the Great Calamity that was prophesied to come. I grew more curious with each story that I heard. When lore speakers would visit I would ask them so many questions about stories of old, fabled heroes, mythical creatures and places like horses and the Outlands. At some point during this time, I knew that reading and studying wasn’t enough and that I wanted to find these things out on my own.

Then the calamity may have came. Boats from across the sea landed on our shores. Tensions became high as these new beings, soon to be called Humans and Syndar took to our lands. It was encouraged that anyone who could learn to fight, should, in case you needed to defend yourself. I thought myself unable to, but was surprised to find that over the years of swimming and running on the shore, my chest didn’t ache in the ways that it used to. Maybe Gaia had planned for this all along. I still could not keep up with trained warriors, but I also didn’t drag behind others for once.

The rest of this story is well documented in other places, so I do not feel I need to tell all of it. When the wars broke out, Grimward had taken our land in a way. They respected the Watchwolves of Luna and our culture and allowed us to continue the sacred duty of watching the shore in exchange for our favored neutrality. Words eventually spread that the war between Ulven over the fate of the colonists was over. Other words found their way in throughout this of how dishonorable these colonists were. Males who would cast magic, greatly selfish individuals building cities, and so on. It was rare to see them on our lands because of the reach of Grimward’s territory, and when they did they were guests with purpose. Many deemed that they were not the calamity we had been watching for, but I think some still wonder if they are. I may have thought that until recently as well.

Years continued to pass by. More words travel in and I continue to listen to them. They no longer come from lorespeakers. Instead the words tell that the lorespeakers lied to us, hid our own history. For the first time the waves can’t calm me. The ideas that I had built my life and identity around suddenly have lost their credibility. Even my favorite childhood book might have been no more than some type of diversion from the truth. One night, I swore under Luna’s light that I would find the real truth and spread it to all of Mardrun

My calling was that of a Truthseeker. I spent more time reading, preparing myself for travels. The thought of leaving this coast that had given me so much life was frightening. Gisela was the one to eventually push me, she has always had a way of reading my hesitations. Word had been spreading that something big would be happening come spring, and so I rushed to gain the mantle, and to my surprise I was allowed it with very little hesitation.

Mid-March, 268

I’ve become a Truthseeker and on this day I wear the Thorn rune over my right eye, praying that Luna may protect my path. A noble and scholar of New Hope, Arragones, had divined spots worth investigating to find the true nature of the Dirge. She claims that her people had been here before as well. I do not trust her words, but they are necessary.

I was given a great honor to hold onto an ancient relic, vital to opening a cache of lorespeaker information. Keys to facilitate the tablet were hidden all over, we required help to find them so many were granted guest rights to come on our lands and help search.

Our camp was full of humans and syndar. They dressed, looked, and acted odd. Remembering their presence that day brings back feelings of sickness to my stomach. Of these visitors only three are Ulven. Two from Grimward eased my anxiety that the colonists would do harm, one Grimward warrior could cut down ten of them. At least that’s what I thought then. The third was another Truthseeker by the name of Audhild Spiritclaw. She must have been guided by Luna herself to be here, my mind was at ease quickly after we met. She told me stories about many of the colonists who were there and why I could trust them. I took her word and it proved true. She introduced me to many, notably Alestear and his group. I also met one of the most curious people to date, her name was Shin and she was a scholar for this Arragones, she was incredibly excitable but still intelligent. Even though she was a syndar, the care in her eyes was so clear, just like my mother’s eyes.

All of them aided the cause, even the Rangers, who earned a poor name with our people, proved reliable. I wish I could say the same for my own.

I could feel the tension in the other members of my pack. They trusted our guests less than I did. When the first search mission went out, they turned and attacked them from behind, breaking guest rights, breaking their own honor. A man named James fled from that fight with use of magic and told us that they took on a new honor, that of the lorespeaker’s oath. My stomach sank. The guests returned and Audhild handed me the key they found. I had no way to process this. I couldn’t trust my own pack, I had to put my full trust into complete strangers. I wanted a lorespeaker back alive, to question them, and to prevent their death. That didn’t happen, they chose suicide over capture. Had it not been for Gisela watching me, I would have gotten sick at that word.

The keys were found, the cache was unlocked, three mana stones were recovered, and many lorespeakers died. My mind was put into a squall of sadness and rage. This was worsened when the cache itself was found to be not an ancient Ulven artifact, but instead Syndar. And inside was evidence that they had brought their gods of the Sun and Moon to us, and that they had commit various atrocities.

That night I packed all of the things I needed and left my home, the sea shore just didn’t smell the same anymore.

April, 268

I was not well. It was my chest. This day I wear the Algiz rune reversed. I will admit now that my mission was clouded by anger for the lorespeakers and the syndar. The illness in my chest was not my breathing, it was my anger.

We had heard of walking ghosts in the great forest and that another location was divined in this spot. Gisela came with me, probably the only reason I maintained some composure. Alestear, Shin, James, Aethelwulf, and other familiar faces were there. Most of which I found some form of trust for, weather it shown through my anger or not. I did not understand most of what we were doing that day, it involved mana and it’s flow, concepts that are foreign to me. Shin attempted to explain it but talked too fast, so eventually Alestear made it more understandable. He seems different than he did a month ago, humbled almost. We talked personally and for a moment my anger faded. Weather I knew it or not then, my opinions began to change about many things that day.

We found the point we were looking for and sent many of the walking ghosts on their journey. The point was a thing called a pylon. Some type of convoluted magical device that was not working properly. I wanted it studied, taken from that spot so we could learn about it. My anger clouded my judgment, in hindsight it needed to be destroyed right then. In the moment I was furious that my lead was destroyed. Later that day in my anger I was cruel in conversations with Shin and her scribe Elegast. Shin’s eyes looked sad, that look will haunt me forever. I am not my father.

I wandered for a good amount of time. I asked Gisela to go back home and check on our mother. I found myself wandering to New Hope, to Key’s Crossing. The city was different than anything I had seen. I spent a week there interviewing people, asking the stories of Faedrun. These people have seen so much worse than we have.

May, 268

As I write about this, the wounds are still fresh. My chest hurts worse than it ever has in my life. I have not slept in 2 days and when I do, all I hear is the scream or the sobbing or his voice. Rialvis. He never said that was actually his name but I refuse to call him otherwise.

I wear the Ehwaz rune on this day, extending my trust and accepting it in turn. We took a boat here, the fact that I got on it was a showing of trust alone. On deck I was happy to see Audhild, Alestear, and others, though I did not have what you would call sea legs yet. Out of fear of getting ill on a friend, I stayed below deck until we landed. Gisela once again traveled with me, and while I appreciated having someone to aid with my seasickness I continued to worry that I was putting her in harm’s way. Once there, I shared many greetings. So many were willing to put themselves on the line to find the cache of information that was here.

We wasted no time in going out and finding the Luna cache, which shortly after, lead to finding him. He seemed mentally ill. Speaking in circles and making demands. He knows things and his knowledge is alluring. I did not want to admit how much I wanted to give Rialvis so that I could learn the things he would speak of. And I’m thankful now that I didn’t.

We bartered with him. He wanted to come to our camp until nightfall. I did not know how to act around him, all I could think to do is to offer him food. He spoke with many, and made dark deals with some. His presence brought out sides of us we had never looked at before.

Audhild. Alestear. Shin.

I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know. My body and my mouth moved on it’s own at times. At a later date, I’ll write a journal with more specifics on the events that day. I found more truth than I was looking for in that moment, but it took until the next day for me to realize that.

We opened the Luna cache. But at what cost.

The next day we begin hunting for the clues to lead to the Sol cache. I wore the dagaz rune for many reasons that day. My chest was not the only one unwell that day. The guilt we all carried was palpable. Each clue we find contains information in it, notes from ancient syndar. Personal notes. They thought so highly of themselves, as if they were gods. Each one infuriates me. On our final trek we’re set upon by mordok. The conditions are harsh and as time burns away, tensions grow. James tries to flee with magic in the midst of a fight, Audhild curses him, a man from New Hope is chased down by mordok, my bow is broken, another man almost loses his leg. Everyone is hurt, and the search is abandoned. The walk back is tense. I try to offer support to Audhild who is angered over the loss, but I’m just as distraught on the inside. Then James comes over. He has words with Audhild and pulls his blade out. I try to talk him down. He swings his blade towards her I realize the truth I’ve found in the swamp, and step in front of his blade.

That truth was two part. It was that we will never be able to grow and learn if we stand divided. And that along these three months home stopped being a place, but the people I was with. As his blade cracked my rusted chainmail and cut my arm, I could swear I smelled the sea.

Now, as I finish writing this I have decided on my next paths. Questions that must be answered.

Who gave the Watchwolves their task? Was it the ancient syndar? Have we been nothing but tools for them this entire time? I will find this answer.

What connection do the lorespeakers have to all of this? Why would other Ulven want this concealed? I will find this answer.

Arragones made dealings with the demon Rialvis. He had said that she had common interests with him. I will make her answer for this. And for Shin.

Three months ago I never would have written this, and would never have trusted an unknown recipient with what I am about to ask. If I am no longer able to answer these questions, I am trusting that you will take the life I have described into consideration and finish them in my stead.

-Cific Watchwolf, Truthseeker

Margaret “Mag” Feldman

PLAYED BY: Tamara Carlson

CONTACT INFO: Tamara Carlson – reluctantdebater@hotmail.com

CHARACTER NAME: Margaret “Mag” Feldman

GENDER: Female

CLASS: Rogue

AGE: 46

RACE: Human

HAIR: Brown, going gray in some places

EYES: Blue

OCCUPATION: Healer and Midwife

KNOWN SKILLS: Mag is generally known to be a healer and midwife, but she also dabbles in sewing to make ends meet.

BIRTHPLACE: Kingdom of Aldoria, Faedrun

APPEARANCE: Mag is a rotund woman in her middle age. Parts of her brown hair are starting to turn gray and she loves to point out that she is “getting on in years” even though she is not that old yet.

NOTABLE TRAITS: Portly and commonly smells like alcohol. RELATIONSHIPS: Mag generally doesn’t have close relationships with others, but is fond of the Phoenix, since they commonly carry alcohol and will sell it to her. Her sharp tongue tends to drive other people away.

RUMORS: It is commonly known, and less a rumor than a fact, that Mag is an alcoholic. Some people say that Mag occasionally lets her patients die just so that she can sell their belongings for more alcohol. It is rumored that she has gone a little “mad” since her husband and young son were killed by Mordok.

BIO / BACKGROUND HISTORY:

Mag was born in the Kingdom of Aldoria, to a family of middle class merchants. Unlike the rest of her family, Mag did not show an interest in the merchant trade and instead became a skilled healer and midwife. When the new land of Mardrun was discovered, she volunteered to join the colony and was quickly accepted.

A few years later, she met her husband, Richard Feldman, who was from the Kingdom of Vandregon. His family had stayed and tried to survive, but eventually fled in 254. While he started out sweet, her husband was an arrogant man and became verbally abusive after their marriage. He would commonly call Mag a coward for leaving Faedrun at the first opportunity. He would question her every time she came back from attending a birth, convinced she was cheating on him. When Mag had finally made up her mind to leave, she realized she was pregnant.

With the birth of Anthony in 256, Richard made his wife and son move with him outside of the walls of their village. He claimed he needed to have more space for the farm that would be his legacy for his son. Mag was against the move, knowing more than her husband about the risks of living in Mardrun. Richard ignored her.

In 262, while Mag was assisting a birth in the village, her husband and son were slain in their home. The damage done to the bodies made it clear that this was a Mordok attack. Mag took to drinking heavily to deal with the death of her young son, which she blames on his father’s arrogance in desiring to leave the safety of the village.

Since then, Mag has been traveling and offering support as a healer, for a price. She rarely does anything out of the goodness of her heart anymore, but will do what she can to earn a little extra coin for alcohol.

SECRET INFO: Any secrets that Mag might have had have long since been told to barkeeps in any village she enters.

May 268

The land of Mardrun is finally getting sun and warmth after many months of snow and rain, and with that weather is an increase of activity all across her lands.

 

In the colonies, delegates and representatives leave in droves from the City-State of New Hope and Davan’s Hold. Their destinations are the many outlying settlements, and their mission to bring them together and solidify their colony’s respective lands. Many leave the Gates of New Hope and half as many leave the safety of the walls of Davan’s Hold in hopes of achieving this mission.

 

From New Aldoria the IDS Resilience sets sail and begins her service under Dutchess  Madeline d’Argent. A massive galley that can sport nearly 200 crew and plenty of room for transporting cargo or soldiers all over Mardrun. Many are very impressed and curious about what future plans await this wonderful ship and its crew.

 

To the North in Serai, we turn our attention again to the remnants of the Fist. A report from a Clan Shattered Spear outpost states that only five members came walking to them, with three others on a small wagon. Their armor and bodies were noted to have been in tatters and in ribbons, those alive barely able to stand. After they were fed and given medical treatment, it was discovered they were faced with a large and well trained mordok force. It seems those who are alive are only alive because they were able to just barely survive the onslaught of death and screams. They are now in the Clan Shattered Spear lands being treated and cared for maims, wounds, malnourishment, and trench foot.

 

Talks between the clans continue this month, nothing out of the ordinary except for an incident at a Clan Whiteoak and Axehound meeting. Two chieftains got into a fist fight over a past incident during the Ulven Civil War. Those there were able to break up the fight before it became too out of hand, and removed from the meeting sight. Both  parties then continued their discussions on the idea that Pack Redwind proposed last fall, both realizing the long road ahead of them if such an ideal is to come to be reality.

 

Banditry seems to be increasing further in the lands around Davan’s Hold and near the Pass. Many are curious how the Council of Six of the City-State of New Hope and the Council of Three in Davan’s Hold will respond as merchant guilds and companies are losing more and more money every day. Many are demanding a force be sent in to start removing and slaying the bandits in the area, and many are growing eager for the issue to be resolved sooner rather than later.

April 268

The past month, much and more has been discovered by the expeditions, however there are many happenings and gears in motion in the world.

 

To the North, along the Shield of Mardrun, the remnants of the former Order of the Fist continues their penance crusade. For months they have been spotted fighting Mordok with a religious fervor that even seems to scare some of their numerous foes. However, they have been noted to be working themselves to the bone, slowly wearing down in both body and mind. They were last seen taking back Serai from a small group of Mordok that stationed there.

 

It seems that the Ulven Clans are a bustle of activity, mostly in the political sense, after the reveal of the Ironward Alliance. It seems multiple clans are in the process of beginning to garner the same idea, Shattered Spear and Whiteoak, Nightriver and Goldenfield, Whiteoak and Axehound, and more. It seems the political stage of the Ulven will be the main focus for a couple more months to come.

 

However, there is one Clan that is in talks with nobody at the moment, Clan Squallborn.. The clan seems to be trying to handle the internal strife within its borders after the harsh winter nearly brought it to its knees. Rumor has it that its neighboring clans are eyeing up Squallborn for possible expansion.

 

Around the colonies, merchant and trade guilds are growing restless as the bandit issue continues to grow. Many have lost considerable amounts over the winter and spring months, and they are not seeing any action on resolving the issue. Lictor Mary cul Tricuspis has spoken and said that she will be focusing New Hope guards and forces into reinforcing the main roads in the City-State and warns Merchants that if they are planning to leave the area that they should hire well trained guards until New Hope can resolve the situation.

 

In Aylin’s Reach the people are becoming increasingly pleased with their expanding city and villages. The portside city is growing in size and count faster and faster as new shops and services appear. As of this past month an tavern, a labor guild, and a lictor courts have been erected. It seems that the Prince and his advisors are not slowing their pace either, for it is rumored that many more plans for the Reach lie in the works.

May 18th and 19th 2019 – Dirge Swamp Expedition

Story Event Info

 

After intense and bloody fighting, the threat of the undead has been cleared from the forest after it was confirmed that this area was attracting all of them to it. Why is still unknown, but hunters have reported seeing no additional hungry ghosts after the combined forces helping the expedition moved to put them down for good. What was discovered at this location was an ancient Syndar device, called a “Pylon”, that had apparently been damaged and had been influencing the mana in the area. Records kept near the Pylon indicated that it was once part of a vast network and that in it’s prime it would have been connected to neighboring pylons. With the undead laid to rest and the odd nature of the mana stream fully researched before the Pylon was destroyed, Arragones’ scholars were able to reference the new notes and logs, as well as some of the magical readings taken in April, and triangulate the location of this “neighbor pylon.” Following on revelations uncovered by the researchers and adventurers during their expedition into the Great Forest, Celestial Arragones’ scholars have located another area of interest.

 

Upon arrival the scholars were unable to find any traces of the ancient Syndar artifact. Much to their surprise; however, they found a small locked chest that contained another series of notes and ciphers that pointed to another ancient Syndar Cache of some sort. Unfortunately the location indicated stood deep within the western reaches of the Dirge Swamp. Examining the location noted in these texts coincides with the estimated location of the Scholar’s previous divination ritual; whatever is out in the Swamp in that area is connected.

 

Arragones’ and her scholars have again asked for volunteers to help on this Dirge Swamp Expedition. Duchess Madeline d’Argent has stepped forth and pledged resources to assist this expedition with a full security detail, support wagons, and scouting forces to help navigate this area of the swamp. With the lack of mordok forces, presumably due to heavy losses during the war throughout the winter, this could be a narrow window to get into the swamp, setup camp, and secure more knowledge. However, the remote location of this forward camp being setup means that should the Expedition run into danger, their will be no reinforcements coming to aid them… they are on their own.

 

Event Summary

 

Upon arrival the first day the scholar and her team informed th expedition that the cache found in the swamp required a reclament scholar to open. It was made known that a reclament had sent word to Celestial Aragones as Rialvis. It was said he would make contact and produce the reclament tool as proof of his claim. Many of the assembled group had headed out to the cache location to inspect it and the surrounding area. It was at this time the the red eyed syndar made himself known to the group and introduced himself as Rialvis the reclament scholar. He was promised safety and brought back to the camp to discuss his terms for aid.

 

While in the camp it was made known that he knew what was in the cache and that he requested a small piece of the contents for himself with no questions being asked to know what it is. This was agreed upon by the scholar. Rialvis the red eyes spent time talking to the camp members and offering to trade knowledge if they had something of value. He had offered one question for free and another the Celestial’s scholar traded her magic for. As night fell a group was gathered and included the red eyed syndar. They got to the cache and were able to open it and the red eyes retrieved his portion. Before much else could be done a blood curdling scream was heard that caused even the mordok to show fear. The mordok and the red eyes fled and the party made a hasty retreat back to the outpost with the cache. Once opened and examined it turned out the cache, known as the luna cache, had only a few notes, a key, and talked of a final research cache. This second cache, referred to as the sol cache, must be found before sundown the next day or its contents would be permanently destroyed. It was determined more important to get camp defenses set up and deal with the rest of the cache the next morning.

 

At the break of day the camp came together to fully examine the Luna cache. It contained a puzzle key as well as notes speaking on a number of three more keys needed to unlock the sol cache. The luna cache also contained the location of the first key which was contained in a research teams private cache. A party was assembled and found the first cache which lead to the second which in turn lead to the third. After all three were found all of their notes were assembled and the location for the sol cache was determined. A party was assembled and went out in search of the cache but they were beset upon by mordok. The party searched for what must have seemed hours but to no avail. The party returned to the camp with barely enough time to pack up and reach the boat.

 

 

From the libraries of the illustrious Celestial Arragones,

 

Her Grace, Celestial Arragones as well as ourselves, her illustrious scholars, were quite saddened to hear of the loss of the second cache that was mentioned in the notes of the Luna cache. That being said we were all fortunate enough that the Reclament scholar was knowledgeable in many of the areas in which questions were raised. Rialvis’ notes were sent to us and compiled with some of the information we already possessed.

 

To the question of the origins of the swamp; it has been reasoned that it was created as an incidental byproduct of the experiments of the ancient Syndar that had come to Mardrun. We know that these experiments and subsequent calamity had much to do with the nature of divinity, however; the information we had gathered lacked specificity towards the exact nature of the aforementioned experiments. More knowledge in this area may be able to be uncovered with further investigation.

 

Refarding the cause of the Siphoning which has long plagued our people; much has been learned on the nature of mana and this new knowledge has been able to be correlated with the notes sent from the Reclament scholar, Rialvis. Mana has been shown to be able to be destroyed and warped beyond use and recognition. This has been noted to be caused by those casters who have unlocked a practical and working knowledge of both the divine and arcane schools of magic. Known as “Witch Magic,” this ability seems to be antithetical to the continued stability of the mana stream.

 

To the question of what exists north of the Dirge Swamp in the area known as The Outlands; the Reclament Scholar has reported that he has been north of the Dirge and has witnessed what is contained in the strange northern lands. He wrote of a lost colony of Syndar that have had a calamity worse than that of the worst punishments doled out by and to our people. A second group that was mentioned in his notes was that of an Ulven clan which he referred to with a previously unknown name of Clan Stonetooth. Lastly he made mention of a city of the Mordok which he referred to as Amor’dacca. He says that this city only for the “chosen Mordok” and that they are “called north.”

 

The information gained on this expedition was an astounding triumph however it is greatly unfortunate to think that some of this information may have been expanded on further if only the notes of the Sol cache had been uncovered.

 

Compiled by the scholars of the esteemed Celestial Arragones.

April 20th, 2019 – Great Forest Expedition

Story Event Info

 

Worried about overstaying their “welcome” in Clan Grimward territory, the expeditionary forces made haste to leave and returned to the City-State of Newhope.

 

After the successful completion of the first expedition into Watchwolf territory, Celestial Arragones’ scholars have deciphered some of the texts and, as promised, the information was made public. Within those texts show proof that Syndar had indeed visited Mardrun in the past and seem to have had some sort of hand in the shaping of the Ulven as they are today. The public outrage of these texts being denounced in February has seem to have grown in volume as more and more Ulven find these “truths” and “evidence” hard to believe. While some answers are found, more questions remain. One aspect that has been unsettling is the sudden and coordinated appearance of Ulven that claimed allegiance to the Lorespeakers and their cause, refusing to back down even when up against suicidal odds. Dozens of Ulven lay dead after repeated attempts to stop the Research Team and their allies failed. What the Lorespeaker’s true agenda in this is still unknown.

 

Now, the Celestial’s scholars have pointed at the second area of note which is deep within the Great Forest of Mardrun. Something inside the Great Forest has shown up during the divination rituals of the Scholars of the City-State. The southern region of the Great Forest was host to a bloody campaign as Mordok forces pushed into Clan Riverhead territory several years ago. Wayward villages or remote settlements in the Forest were massacred or pushed away from their homelands. Although the survivors were absorbed into several Clans, existing Riverhead Ulven to this day have been concerned about the dead left behind in their former territory and have been more vocal since others have joined them in this concern due to the end of the battles of the War in the Dirge.

 

The concern to properly put to rest the fallen Ulven combined with increasing reports of walking corpses and hungry ghosts in the forest also combined with the strange magics being detected with the Great Forest have many speculating that something abnormal is going on this side of the border to the Dirge Swamp.

 

Event Summary

 

The Celestial’s team and a number of allies went into the Great Forest to uncover the meaning behind the anomalous readings of the area. Armed with the notes and locations found out from the divination ritual and a rediscovered tool for reading into the mana stream the Celestial’s scholars began their research.

 

It was a difficult start to the expedition with the threat of the undead looming. Luckily the many allies had come along to help deterring or destroying the restless dead. The scholar’s team was able to take readings of the mana flow in the area from a number of points of interest. During the day some sort of device had been discovered and reported to the scholar. A team was assembled and sent to investigate the object. It was determined that this device was left here by the ancient Syndar and was designed to draw in some form of mana but it had broken at some point in history and was reaching a catastrophic state. It was decided on by the investigating team that it must be destroyed before it caused a bigger problem. It was also discovered that a corruption idol had been set up in the area by some of the Mordok and a team was organized to dispatch this threat as well.

 

In the end the research mission was a resounding success for all of those involved. Celestial Arragones has promised the quick dissemination of the information brought back by her scholars.

 

From the libraries of the illustrious Celestial Arragones,

We would like to start this proclamation with giving many thanks and our appreciation to  those who gave their time and dedication to uncovering the anomaly within the Great Forest. With everyone’s aid given to helping our scholars and the readings taken by them we have been able to determine that this area of the Great Forest has been flooded by a deformed and broken version of mana. We have not determined what has caused this malformation but it seems that this mana is not naturally drawn into the mana stream. The Syndar device found in the forest that seems to be referred to as a Pylon appears to have been created to collect this broken down mana and store it for some purpose. We have run some smaller tests and determined that this malformed and broken mana does seem to exist in many areas of Mardrun. This is concerning to us as whatever may be causing this deformation most likely is adding to the Siphoning that has been plaguing us all for quite some time.   

 

Compiled by the scholars of the esteemed Celestial Arragones.

March 23rd 2019 – Watchwolf Village Adventure Event

Story Event Info

After last month’s political assembly, all of Mardrun is abuzz with rumors as to what is going on. Could the revelation of Celestial Arragones, that Syndar had visited Mardrun long ago, be true? While some draw correlation between events such as a common knowledge and existing similar symbolisms, a cry of outrage has erupted by some of the Ulven people. Not only has their recent history been shattered by the arrival of the colonists and the proof of the Lorespeaker Conspiracy, this new revelation again questions the history of the Ulven people. Several loud voices have begun to question these theories and have called for others to denounce them.

However, what is true is the existence of some undeniable evidence and places that have been noted as holding some sort of importance. Research of ancient Ulven texts point towards a “cache” of importance in the western Watchwolf territory. A Research Expedition is being put together to travel to the area detailed by Celestial Arragones and her scholars. A hawk has been sent to a local Chieftain to try to see if they will cooperate and they have agreed; this cache is actually something their people have kept hidden for a very long time, but they have not been able to possess the ability to open it.

The Watchwolves seem intent on helping in any way that they can. Considering the guarding of this cache a part of the former Clan’s sacred duties to the Ulven people, they feel that they must help in discovering what it could mean. They have replied via hawk to the Celestial’s scholars that they know the location of this cache and that it is cryptic, difficult to understand, and has several security functions that suggest tampering with it is dangerous. Rumor has it that not every Watchwolf is viewing the hosting of this expedition favorably; it seems that some of them have mixed feelings on how the Ulven Civil War turned out.

Unfortunately, the previous territories of the Watchwolves of Luna were conquered by Clan Grimward during the Ulven Civil War. Exploring this location of note would mean walking straight into Clan Grimward territory. The Watchwolf Chieftain who has pledged to help is attempting to stall local Clan Grimward concerns about colonists in their lands and have given “guest rights” to the Research Expedition. While this may keep most of Clan Grimward’s forces at bay, it is only a matter of time before the Watchwolves can no longer hold back ambitious Grimward Chieftains who may wish to confront the Expedition or get involved in what is going on in the Clan’s territories.

It is a race against time to discover the answers that could gain access to the cache.

After Event Summary

The beginning of the day was tense as the two sides of the Watchwolves interacted with the colonists. Few words were shared, but many actions were taken as the group of adventurers helped the Truthseeker as well as the Researcher from Celestial Arragones.  Many came lightly equipped, expecting the expedition to help open this Lorespeaker cache to not carry many martial threats, but rather came with the power of knowledge and magic to help discover what truths have been hidden for countless years. Rituals were completed in time to divine the location of the long lost keys, rituals that seemed only to speak themselves to the most powerful of the Syndar ritualists. The tablet that had lain dormant in the protection of the Watchwolves for generations, came alive in the presence of the Syndar.

In the outing to locate the first of the three missing keys, the land proved itself to be more hazardous than anticipated. Icy water stood in many areas of the landscape, sitting above the ankle at it’s shallow points, and well up to the waist as it grew deeper.  Many bodies were soaked with the land’s icy chill and all could feel it penetrate deep to their bones. However, they persevered and headed towards the first divined area of where one of the keys  was hidden.  It was then that they were set upon by Lorespeakers and those sworn or indebted to them. Words were had, but it eventually came to combat as the Lorespeaker agents descended upon the group. While there were no major injuries other than some dented armor and some light wounds, it was now clear that the expedition became more dangerous than anticipated.

When the location of the second key was divined, the adventurers took to the trails with a more martial mindset. The Lorespeaker agents again struck out with ferocity and determination. Through the pointed efforts of the adventurers and researchers, the key was located and the antagonizing forces were held back long enough to allow everyone to escape, though they did so along the shortest path available to them,  through thigh high icy cold water.

The third outing was one of frustration for both the researchers and those protecting them from the Lorespeaker forces. However, time, grit, and patience prevailed, and the third piece of the puzzle was finally discovered and then quickly returned to the encampment so that it could be examined and worked into the puzzle so that the cache could be opened. Through the combined efforts of the Ulven and Syndar people, with a degree of aid from their Human counterparts, portions of the puzzle were translated and the meanings of the riddles that obscured the placement and orientation of the keys were uncovered. Together in a ritual, a Syndar and two Ulven worked in tandem to unlock the tablet.

The Truthseeker thanked the adventurers for their help and announced that he would be returning to his village immediately to be sure that the tablet was kept safe. Several people volunteered to escort him home for both his and the tablet’s safety. As they made their preparations to exit the camp a call came from the edge of the outpost.  Several agents of the Lorespeaker forces pressed through the deep water descended upon the encampment and began to attack in earnest in hopes of stopping those who wished to dig up a past they thought best left buried. The Researcher and Truthseeker were able to escape unharmed with the puzzle and get to the location of the cache.  While the rest of the encampment fought hard to kill the Lorespeakers that rushed them. There were some more wounds taken, but no one heard the call of the afterlife just yet, the day was won.

As for the cache itself, the Researcher was rather shocked, for after some quick glances and very cursory research, came to the realization that this cache was Syndar in origin rather than Ulven as previously thought. Within were some very delicate and ancient scrolls and notes left by whatever Syndar came to this land, and within these notes were some odd mentions of their activities, though they were often vague on details, they offered much insight into their motives..

Most of the notes seemed to be detailing various readings of arcane energies, but one set of pages seemed to be the most prominent. Though the scroll was in rough shape from it’s years spent in the cache, Arragones’ researchers were able to clean and translate most of the text.:

Siala Kai nu, Children of Solar and Lunara, to the land we have named Mardrun.

On this small and distant land, you will find much that will bring you curiosity the same as we have. We have le_________    ____ these brief notes on ____ _____ _ ______ ____ and our reasons for doing so. It is our sincerest hope that our notes here will help you to find your bearings on what must look to you to be a savage and untamed land. Once you are properly oriented we hope to see you. Recent breakthroughs in our research have caused us to call all of our people to our Northern _______ _______, near to what we have come to call The  ___xus. I could not start to explain my excitement to share the fruits of our labors with you, brothers and sisters. That time, however has not yet come. Take our words and see us soon.

When we first arrived on this land we were unsure what we would encounter. We did not assume that there would be other sentient beings here, but on that note we were quickly proven wrong. The native peoples of these lands, whom we found refer to themselves as the Ulven, are entirely different from us. And we have found them as a people fascinating in multiple aspects. 

First most is their noted ability to channel both Arcane and Divine energies. Our people have made attempts to research how they do this, but through questions and observations we have not been able to determine how it is that they accomplish this feat. It seems as though these people don’t see a difference in the schools of magic. All magic is simply magic to them. This is fascinating, if not frustrating.

Secondly their physiology, it seems to have adapted to become extremely resilient to the venomous fauna and many poisonous flora on this land, so if they do become stricken with aliment, it is either shortened or the effects seem to take longer to begin their cycle. After some _____ on _____ we have discovered that the liver secretes ________ ______ than our Syndar kind. Which allows for ______ ____ of the foreign____. Also the blood seems to be ____ ___ _______ ___  than what we anticipated, which may explain it’s ability to endure venom.  They are a hardy people through and through and what they lack in civilization and proper culture, they make up for with strength of both body and will.

As a society it seems that they are very similar to our lesser Feral kin, tribal and primitive in their actions and structure. They have yet to _____ ______ ___  _____ with magic but have the potential to do so. They seem to follow a high priestess, or some sort of a female shaman, that is then followed by a chieftain. Together these two help guide their tribe through the wilds and survive. They seemed to have structured themselves in to “clans” and smaller groups within which they call “packs.”  It seems to be a society of the strongest leads their “clan” and makes decisions for that clan. Some clans have been noted to have a new Clan Leader every fortnight. Overall this seems to be a culture where the one who is most powerful has the right to lead their people. Physical strength determines the rightful chieftain and spiritual strength determines the most rightful priestess.

As for their religion we have found that the belief of the Ulven people is quite malleable. Gods are not set in stone and it seems that stories and words can easily shape and define their religions. The pack that you are no doubt surrounded by now has taken a strong liking to our gods, Solar and Lunara. It was through sharing our gods with them we were able to bridge the culture gap between our people and settle into a friendly relationship. That is not to say that the Ulven did not have their own divinity when we arrived. We have found that they have belief in _ _____ who ______ the important aspects of life and death. Life, Death, and ______. We have found this fascinating, their beliefs…their malleability, it has great potential for helping in our desires to help the Syndar.  We can expand more on this at our northern research station. Things have quickly grown incredibly interesting.

As you may know: Our Reason for being here is a simple desire, with complex questions and even more complex potential answers. Simply put; we are seeking to end the Syphoning. We discovered this land through an oddity in a divination ritual while on Faedrun. A ritual was developed by a team of Reclaimant Scholars to pin-point areas where the Siphoning seemed to be strongest. Upon completion this ritual did not point to any known lands or areas of Faedrun, instead it continually pointed far out into the seas off the eastern coasts. Given that there was no known land to the east in the ocean, the majority of scholars assumed that there must have been a mistake somewhere in the ritual itself. This one, along with my research team believed that there was a reason we were being aimed this direction. Though we were ridiculed for our choice we prepared our supplies and chartered passage eastward. Our colleagues maligned our efforts and hardly anyone came to the docks to see us off.. We sailed eastward and landed on a beach near this spot and found this land to be untouched by our people and our gods. The Ulven that we met did not have a name for this land, seeming confused by the question itself. We named this land Mardrun, or in trade speech: The Untouched Land.

After we had settled and made friends with the Ulven race we set into our research of the siphoning. It seemed as though ___ _____ _____ _____ was a major factor in leading to the siphoning itself. We explained this to our new Ulven friends and through their help developed a sort of pylon that was capable of reclaiming the mana that was being lost to the Siphoning. We found that one pylon would not be enough and instead we would have to build a network of these pylons, all linked, all looking to draw in this lost mana so that we could find a way of returning it to the mana stream. We as a way to test our hypothesis we set up a network in the north-central area of the continent. The southern most pylon was placed near a massive freshwater lake in a forest of large trees. The northern most pylon was placed nearly at the north most point of the continent, when you arrive at our station we will happily show you how it functions. We are ecstatic to say that our pylons seem to be functioning almost exactly as we had intended. We have reclaimed lost mana and we have sent it to the ___xus. This breakthrough has lead to a new  thoughts and new ideas, all of which more grand than the last, and all so very well within our reach. This is why we have recalled all of our scholars to our Northern ______ ______. This one simply cannot wait to share the fruits of our continued research with you and hopes that this small taste has stoked your curiosity.

This one does apologize for the lack of thorough explanation, however we can only fit so much in this cache and the glorious extent of our progress really must be seen to be properly understood. So much has happened in such a short period of time. Take time to orient yourself on Mardrun, but then please come north, and we will reveal so much more to you on our plans and efforts to elevate our people.

May Solar and Lunara bless you and your travels north,

In their pen and hand,

Celestial Galwarchanar, High Arcanus, Prime Scholar of Mardrun, Bringer of Divinity, Ulven Friend

February 16th, 2019 – Newhope City-State Gathering Event

Story Info

A deep winter cold has settled into Mardrun, bringing an end to a brutal campaign to the north. Multiple ulven clans were involved in the first ever Dirge Swamp War and after heavy fighting and a coordinated retreat those forces have either returned home or have been stationed at the outposts in the Shield of Mardrun. It is estimated that almost two thousand ulven died in the war but an even greater number of mordok were slain. At this time, the mordok army in the Dirge have not pushed to the Shield of Mardrun and seemed to have simply faded back into the swamp.

Far to the south, the City-State of Newhope is going to be hosting an assembly styled political gathering and dinner. The City-State Council is already starting to plan what they will be doing and what they will be involved in for the upcoming year. Representatives, nobles, and people of note are being invited to this assembly. A gathering like this is a step above a public assembly, similar to what you would see in smaller villages, and a step below a swanky and exclusive political affair. Colonial and Clan representatives will be in attendance to talk to visitors and discuss all sorts of important topics and work towards their agendas. Those planning to attend would be wise to pay attention to customs, manner of dress, and avoid any social faux pas while interacting with others.

Their are two major topics rumored to be talked about at this gathering. The first being that a diplomat from Clan Grimward will be in attendance to talk about life on Mardrun after the Dirge Swamp War. The second being that a representative from Duchess Arragones will be in attendance to discuss a major breakthrough in magical research. Many believe this was due to the breakthroughs and focus last year on different magical projects and the successful evacuation of the scholars of Serai.

After a year of mobilization to war and a harrowing series of battles in the Dirge Swamp, the people of Mardrun look forward to seeing what agendas are on the minds of the different groups. Although seen as boring or stuffy to some of the more adventurous type, these assemblies can be critically important to digging for information, making yourself or your factions known to important parties, or learning what different groups are looking into.

After Event Summary

During the dinner, time was opened up for those in attendance to speak on news of the lands.  Celestial Arragones herself spoke of some new information that had been learned of Mardrun’s history. She says that her researchers are confident that the Syndar have visited Mardrun long ago in the past and that the Dirge Swamp is some sort of unnatural phenomenon. What does this mean other than open up more questions than answer existing ones? The Council member is pushing for expeditions in the near future to seek out some “areas of note” that they have become aware of, possibly to hunt down more answers.

Khulgar Graytide announced that Clans Grimward and Ironmound were coming together to form an alliance for prosperity and defense of each other, aptly named the Ironward Alliance. Ideas for the future of the Shield were put forward but no hard decisions were made. Tensions between Clan Grimward and Clan Stormjarl representatives came to a head, but representatives for both sides seemed intent on pushing for their views to be heard and acknowledged. Whether this boils over into (more) open conflict remains to be seen.

The rest of the dinner went without a hitch as those in attendance ate and shared stories and ideas for the future.

January 27th, 2019 – War in the Dirge Event

Story Info

As the final horns bellow and the sounds of combat die down from the previous month’s battle, the Ulven forces and their allies find themselves on blood soaked snow and frozen ground. After struggling to keep routes open for warriors and supply carts to freely move, the mordok forces opposing the Ulven army seemed to dominate the perimeters. Warriors and adventurers alike fought and died in the swamp trying to oppose them and it appeared the mordok would solidify their hold of the area.

In a desperate move to try to turn the tide of battle, the Clan Steinjottun warpack and their allied forces chose to draw out as many mordok as possible to their section of the camp’s perimeter defenses. This bold gamble paid off as wave upon wave of frenzied mordok, led again by this new mordok figure, broke upon the defenses of the outpost. Failure would result in their entire camp being massacred which steeled the resolve and pushed the defenders to fight and endure whatever the mordok could throw at them. The battle was over and the mordok were driven back after suffering staggering casualties.

With this victory came reports that the Ulven army was able to decisively defeat mordok forces on a number of other fronts of the battle. Instead of finding themselves on losing footing and unsure of the fate of the Ulven army in the swamp, the Ulven forces and their allies find themselves back on even ground against the mordok. Controlled but heated arguments have broken out among several Ulven leaders in the camp. One side is pushing for the Ulven to take advantage of this victory and push hard against mordok forces which, if successful, could crush the largest mordok threat ever known and put an end to the war for now. This would also allow the Ulven army the chance to properly put to rest countless Ulven dead that have yet to be recovered. The other side is pushing for using this breathing room to coordinate supplies and wounded and get back to the Shield of Mardrun before the Ulven army finds itself cut off and overrun. This would give ground to the mordok but it would allow the remaining Ulven forces to survive to fight another day.

Both sides have merit and they have enough followers to make it a stalemate. In an effort to recognize the bravery and honor gained by fighting alongside the Ulven in the Dirge Swamp, the leaders have allowed the adventurers and allies stationed at the camp to cast the tie-breaking decision on whether to push or regroup. The fate of the end of of the Dirge Swamp War lies with the allied forces stationed inside the Ulven army’s camp.

To make matters even more complicated, the fighting and the movement of the two armies has brought them dangerously close to the settlement of Serai. Former home to Bos Mezar, these May’Kar Dominion settlers had created their settlement far to the north and find themselves on the wrong side of the Shield of Mardrun. After receiving word that the mordok army is much larger than previously anticipated and at the urging of several colonial and faction leaders, the Mayor of Serai has ordered the settlement to be evacuated. Without help it could mean that the settlement is overrun and the seventy or so settlers killed by the mordok forces. However, this will take time and allied forces will need to make the choice to pledge critical resources to helping them or not. The Mayor has sent a messenger to the Ulven forces asking for help, even offering a reward of coin or pledging scholarly research should those documents survive the evacuation.

After Event Summary

The Dirge Swamp War has drawn to a close. After a tense stalemate between the Clans and Warleaders of the army was going nowhere, it was put to those at the forward command to cast the deciding vote…. push into the swamp and defeat the mordok or fall back to the Shield of Mardrun. After a narrow vote for falling back to the Shield winning out, different groups in attendance began springing to action. Several missions went out, wounded were triaged, tactics were discussed over the war map, and the people of Serai were comforted with the knowledge that they would be taken care of.

As time was running out as a large mordok force was approaching Serai, the final missions were concluded. The Serai people were all escorted to safety including their possessions and their research and have pledged their knowledge and skill to magical projects in the future. After a daring and almost suicidal mission was conducted that took on an overwhelming mordok force, the Shaman from last year was sighted and driven back despite heavy losses. This allowed the Ulven army forces to take on the mordok assaulting them and open up a path to safely return to the Shield of Mardrun.

What happens next is anyone’s guess as the war draws to a close.

March 268

Spring is here, but it seems the icy grip of winter is extremely reluctant to release the world just yet. The citizens of Mardrun slowly are clawing their way out of their snow covered huts and retaking the world.

 

In the north, the remnants of the former Order of the Fist have been fighting hard and long along the Shield. Many among the patrols that make up the shield notice that these devoted warriors are camping in canvas tents, wearing thick furs and hides under and over their chain and plate. Day by day they wake up, don their gear, and fight off a group of mordok. Each time they become a little more injured, and a little more wounded, and a little thinner. When a small patrol from Nightriver approached and offered them some spare food, they gladly took only what was offered and fed it to those who needed it to most, down to those who needed it least. Many are curious if they will even survive this crusade, or as some ulven are calling it, a death march.

 

Word from Davin’s Hold is that a freshly formed unit of Vandregonian’s, and they are continuing their training into soldiers who can effectively use a shield wall. Some others within the unit are working on scouting, and others are working on becoming marksmen with bow and crossbow. Whatever their desire, this unit that is forming is quickly gaining form, and may be the start of a slow and return of the Vandregonian preasense on Mardrun.

 

The researcher’s in the Celestial Arragones’ library are all a blaze with more questions than they have answers for with the reveal of the Syndar cache. What did they exactly research and why on the ulven? Where did they go? What northern research site? These seem to be the main questions that continue to float around the library as scribes, scholars, researchers, and many others focus madly on finding out the answers.

 

Clan Stormjarl seems to have taken up defensive positions along its borders and coastlines. Many Jarl’s and Hersir’s are scrambling to get organized and prepare for a possible retaliation against them due to the many raids taken against their Northern Grimward foes. Other clan’s have voiced that Clan Stormjarl may be reaping what they sowed. Others are secretly hoping that they succeed and hold off or even get away with what they did. Only a few clans simply don’t care, rather focusing on their own problems.

 

In the Pass in the Great Wolf Hackles, a name is being whispered, some with reverience, others in fear. It seems the Dread Pirate Captain Morty has assembled small band of bandits and loyal followers and have built up a sizable amount of supplies over the winter’s raids. Slowly other bandit parties and bands are recognizing the infamous name and figure a the head of this new venture, some are even rumored to be offering alliances. However, to true number of supporters that Captain Morty has at his beck and call is unknown.

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