Terres des Légendes

Le repos d'Elana
Les mémoires de Dakan, sinsear

Le problème avec les esprits c’est qu’ils vivent dans le passé. Ils ne peuvent oublier ce qu’ils étaient dans la vie et, dans certains cas, encore moins comment celle-ci s’est terminée. Certes, un sinsear peut guider les esprits qui demeurent dans ce monde et les aider à exister en paix avec leur sort, mais un esprit frustré et sans encadrement, ça, c’est souvent une cause perdue. Je ne sais pas pourquoi j’espérais que les choses tournent autrement avec Elana, peut-être était-ce pour épargner Sarania, mais je n’aurais pas dû être surpris quand les choses tournèrent au pire.

Je voudrais dire qu’Elana refusa de nous écouter, mais ce ne serait pas tout à fait vrai. Ce à quoi nous faisions face n’était pas vraiment la jeune elf et cette chose pleine de rage n’aurait pas su comment écouter. Heureusement, dans sa colère, cette pauvre réflexion d’Elana avait su s’accaparer d’une certaine corporalité ce qui nous donna un angle d’attaque. Grâce aux efforts surhumains de tous les membres du groupe, y compris notre nouveau compagnon Balasar, nous parvinrent à l’affaiblir et, dans un instant de brillance, Sarania suggéra de lui remettre son armure. Ceci su finalement apaiser la sœur cadette et je pu éprouver quelques millisecondes de sérénité y voyant la fin de mon implication.

Évidemment, ce n’était pas le cas. L’esprit d’Elana, épuisé, allait quitter le monde quand sa sœur m’interpella. Le destin d’Elana n’était pas accompli. Elle devait rester parmi nous, mais elle aurait besoin de mon aide. Son esprit aurait besoin d’une ancre. Sarania et la fainte voix d’Elana me donnèrent des instructions et grâce aux herbes et outils mystiques toujours dans le vieux camp de la « sorcière », je pu « attacher » l’esprit d’Elana à l’armure créée par sa sœur. Le rituel ne me semblait pas trop différent de celui utiliser par mon maître pour enchanter certains totems et, avec les notes que je puis prendre, je crois que je pourrais en recréer une version plus simple qui ne nécessiterait pas l’entrelacement émotionnel et spirituel des deux sœurs. Quant à celles-ci, une fois bien installées dans mon armure, elles ne prirent pas trop de temps à me faire part de leur désir. L’une veut revenir à la vie et l’autre que j’aille en Érevorn visiter leur autre sœur.

Heureusement, le baron Aldred, lui, ne nous demande que d’aller à Clyster et d’apporter la justice à cet ignoble Gorki.


The Elven awakening part II

«Since time immemorial, the House of Hirinir had been conservator and protector of the forest. My family was amongst the few that had always remained true to the old ways. For centuries, we had been looked upon with derision by the other families but we performed our duties unwaveringly. Times had changed… and now our bretheren looked to us for our aid…

But we were unready. They were far too few of us. The task at hand seemed impossible.

My parents volunteered to journey to the Oracle atop the mount Palator to implore the gods for their pardon and seek their guidance. This was a difficult expedition, fraught with perils, during which my father gave his life to protect my mother. She carried on, nevertheless, until she finally reached the shrine.

The oracle received her and heard her plea. They prayed together for 40 days and 40 nights, but the gods remained silent. On the 41st day, the oracle addressed my mother, channeling their answer:

Noble Hirinir,
Our hearts bleed at your sacrifice.
You will bear a daugther bearing our marks,
who will unite all our children under one banner
and usher a new era of enlightment.

With these words, she returned the court of Hil-Ganduil. Our lord summoned his peers so that my mother could share with them the oracle’s revelation. The news was received with guarded enthousiasm by most and with suspicion by some. Our people are divided by clan lines, even with the situation being as it is, many were many not ready to bow to the offspring of a minor House.

My mother’s pregnency was overseen by our best medicus. Sadly, when the time came, their trade could only do so much. It was an extremely difficult labour, as if the gods were testing my mother one last time. The medicus realized they could save only one, the child or the mother, or risk losing both. They gave my mother the choice, who, without any hesitations, ordered them to save her child.

The babe bore three birth marks on her back, a moon, a leaf and a diamond. Morkaan, Lahmfada and Kernanu had chosen her to lead our people.

With her last breath, my mother named her daugther… Elana.

We mourned the passing of an heroine and celebrated the birth of another.»

The Elven awakening part I

She was not capricious and demanding as spirits often can be, her even temper constrasting greatly with the shenanigans of Durnik, Durkon and Mellienas. She was level-headed and wise beyond her years. Always of good counsel when Dakan communed with the spirits for guidance, he came to trust her opinions the most. She was a valuable ally in the field of battle, her warding presence had made the difference between life and death on more than one occasions. Dakan knew that Sinsears should not befriend with the spirits they act as intermediary for, but, deep in his heart, he found Sarania’s companionship to be… comforting.

Having earned Dakan trust and esteem, Sarania was ready to share with him the plight of her people and the story of her family.

«When the Selentine Empire marched westward with its innumerable legions, our ancestors wisely chose to bow to the juggernaut rather than be destroyed in a futile conflict. The Empire proved to be benevolant to its obedient subjects. We paid homage to the Selentine emperor and we were allowed self-rule. The Selentine soldiers never ventured in our forest, but their merchants soon became a common sight. They had an endless hunger for our crafts and the lure for wealth quickly became irresistible. We abandonned the ways of nature for the pursuit of material gain. Hunters became lumberjacks, warriors became traders, druids became apothecaries, countless others became fletchers, leatherworkers and blacksmiths. While trade with the Empire made us prosperous, it made us dependant, and by the time the Empire fell, we could no longer feed ourselves on our own without man’s grain.

The Algandian kingdom rose from the ashes of the empire’s holdings in the region. Bound by necessity, we tied our destiny to the new kingdom. We paid homage to the Algandian king, in the same manner we used to celebrate the Selentine emperor. Throught the centuries the kingdom grew and flourished while our culture continued its decline. It decayed to the point that we adopted the language of the algandians and forgot our own. Now other than druids, wizards and other erudites, few speak Lughwyd, the language of our forefathers.

We were astray, but we continued to honor of our gods even after we stopped abiding by their ethos. Our faith was one of the last links with what we once were and we clinged to it adamantly. Our algandians friend respected our faith and did not seek to proselytize the word of the One God in our land. Their attitude toward us shifted, however, when the King Vergang launched the crusades to reclaim the holy lands. A new religious zeal inflamed the kingdom, a zeal that was stroked further both by the initial success of the crusaders and their following setbacks. A few vocal firebrand preachers started to label us as heathen. Under their influence our religion begun to draw suspicion, and while it was still tolerated far and wide, it was no longer respected like it used to.

It was just a matter of time before disaster struck. Incited by the sermon of a fanatic priest, a riotous mob dragged a group of sixteen elven merchants in the street of Carlind and hanged them like criminals. The event was traumatic for us, while he Algandian king punished those responsible, compensated the families and apologized profusely, this could not abate this unbearable feeling of powerlessness that we collectively felt. Our people, as one, had an epiphany: For a thousand year we have been the vassal of man. We had let our relationship with them sap us of our vigor. If something was not done now, we would fade from history with nary a whimper.

We had, at long last, awoken from our slumber.»

The winds of change

A lifetime of counselling made Dakan sensitive to the subtle clues hinting at someone state of mind. Dravis was being his silent self, but Dakan knew something was troubling him. He had felt an uneasyness during their return trip from the holy lands. Dakan had asked him a couple of time if everything was alright but Dravis always the loner, prefered to keep his worries to himself.

But Dravis needed not to say a word, Dakan knew exactly how he felt.

You will bring about the coronation of three royal heads…

Sharizeh’s word, ecthed in his mind…

friends and foes, be them living or dead, will heed your call and fight at your side…

These words like a curse…

when the fate of all creation hang in the balance…

He too had felt overwhelmed by them. He too had considered, if only for a moment, escaping the burden of this destiny forced upon them.

Dravis wanted a way out.

When his friend shared the news, Dakan was saddened but not surprised.

Dravis had asked for the Leper to provide him with a new assignment, a request that was granted. He was to become tutor and bodyguard to Baron Aldred’s son Alméric in replacement of Grisson who had died during the assault of the Kobold stronghold.

Dakan had no idea of what fate had in store for him and the rest of the ‘Kingmakers’. He was certain, however, that they would come to miss his friend’s sword in face of the perils ahead.

As Sharizeh sits by the fire, a sudden gust blows her hood off. The wind brushing against the mountain slopes emits a sound not unlike a moan. Her eyes narrow, as she pay attention to this sign and tries to interpret it. The old witch leans and grasps a handfull of sand. She raises her hand and slowly untighten her grip letting its content get scattered northward.

«The winds of change… A new champion has been chosen.»

The witch, disappointed, shakes her head has she reaches for her cloak’s pocket. She pulls a Tarot card and tosses it in the fire without looking at it.

«He was the only one of the four who did not defeat his worst fear. He was unready for what is to come…»

The Strenght card quickly chars and turns to ash before being dispersed by the wind.

Nosson's triumph

As the thunderous applause resounds in the theather, a red-faced Gorki leaves the scene quietly, seething, followed by his cronies. Sengod the Enchanter remains in his seat, alone, pensive. Down below, in the very first row, Ward and Minax are clapping their hands as the actors do a final bow. Ward leans to Minax and address her in the language of her homeland: «The desperate man will always have the deeper pockets! He might show himself more reasonable now.» At this thought, Minax half-smiles, mischievously.

«A little help here!».

Backstage the group find Dravis holding down Takander and a dragonborn face first on the ground. The last «fake» bodyguard managed to flee but at least Dravis managed to keep the most important prisoners from escaping. Hélérinna informs you that the bodyguards were a present from a conserned admirer identifying himself in his letters to her as «Kreab». «Kreab?» say Brocc thinking a moment, rearranging the letters in his mind. «Baker’s work no doubt, Gorki’s right hand man.»

It was later revealed that the real Fustian had been killed about month ago and the changeling assuming his persona to get into Nosson’s play. «Fustian was a career actor, I should have suspected something was afoot when he had trouble learning his lines… having stage fright was unlike him too…» reflects Nosson.

The play was a success. The only blemish was the the action in the final battle was judged by the audience as confused and overly violent but Nosson «fixed» this for the following representations. Some of the backup actors he had hired to fool Gorki would actually get to act in the play afterall in replacement of the slains traveling band. Nosson also made a few changes to the story based on the ad-lib work of Verruckt and Brocc. In the definitive version of the story, Laurelian calls upon the power of the Forgotten to aid him in his battle with Melineas. Nosson also made some change to the second battle with the Forgotten to better explain how he shackles them to his will. Doron also gets a bigger role in the final battle where he gets additional lines and saves his son in extremis from the blade of his rival.

The most important change, however, was Sypha’s death being now considered «canon». Nosson had wavered back and forth between a happy and a tragic ending initially settling for former fearing the public reaction since he is mostly known for his comedic plays. It turns out Nosson’s fear were unfounded. Sypha’s death scene was considered the highlight of the play and many considered Hélérinna’s flawless portrayal of the elven princess as her best role yet.

The three week acting schedule is pretty gruelling. The troupe do a repesentation each day, performing twice on Sundays and Saturdays. The theather was full for most of the run, with many people going to see the play more than once. Going in the third week, the attendance slowly started to receed but never dipped below 80% of the theather capacity. Nosson was saved from bankrupty (once more!) and was able to meet all his obligations towards his actors and various creditors.

While he readily admits the fact that Verruckt had the perfect physique for the role and values his quick wit that helped him refined the play’s text, Nosson feels he needs a better connection between the leads to take Sypha et Laurelian to the next level. The playright will give Akron a shot as Laurelian. Nosson is in the know to the fact the young man is Hélérinna current lover and he hopes to use that chemistry to create magic on stage. While Akron’s is still a neophyte thespian, Nosson believes with the right coaching he could be ideal for the role.

In Brocc, Nosson found the acting fire lacking in Verruckt. Nosson sense that the young gnome has right attitude to be a successful actor. While Nosson laments that his limp would limit his role possiblities, he says that it could actually be an asset in some of his comedies. Should he gets bored of adventuring, Nosson assures him that he can always find a home at «l’Illustre Théatre» and should he ever make the career change, Nosson promised Brocc that he will write a play specificly for him as lead.

Nosson is thinking of getting this new act on the road for a bit after the run in Clyster is over. There has been some interest for the play in Ongus… A little trip out of the town has also as the added benefit to give the Baron’s men some time to deal with this whole Gorki situation…

Les derniers jours de l'Espérance

Dakan trouva dans la cabine du capitaine le journal de bord de Hiéronymus Vant. Écrite en baquile (Brocc peut en faire la traduction), les dernières pages relate le tragique sort de l’équipage de l’ Espérance.

16 Juin 142
Un navire mercanien nous suit à la trace depuis deux jours déjà. J’ai pris la décision de m’éloigner des côtes afin de profiter de vents favorable. Malgré tout, nous arrivons pas à le distancer. Les augures indiques de forts vent pour demain, nous aurons peut-être une autre chance de nous échapper.

20 Juin 142
Les vents nous ont effectivement permit d’échapper aux mercaniens mais à quel prix? Nous fument pris dans une tempête d’une rare violence qui dura sans relâche pendant trois long jours. Nous avons dérivé l’ouest jusqu’à une chaîne d’île qui n’apparait pas sur aucune carte. Le navire à subit des dégâts significatif demanderont des travaux de réfection majeurs. Malgré tout, le moral des hommes en bon dans les circonstances.

4 Aout 142
Le gros des dégâts a été réparé. Nous attendons toujours des vents favorable pour tenter de rejoindre l’Elleslande. A ce stade ci, n’importe quel vent serait le bienvenue, puisque c’est le calme plat depuis notre arrivé. Pas même la moindre brise. La mer est lisse comme la surface d’un miroir.

Les iles environnantes ne peuvent nous fournir aucune sustentation. On n’y trouve aucun signe de vie, que des roches et du sable et de la brume en n’en plus savoir quoi en faire. Nous devons nous fier seulement à nos vives qui s’épuise rapidement malgré leur rationnement. Il nous reste tout au plus semaine de biscuit sec et de porc salé. Au moins, avec notre cargaison de vin, nous ne risquons pas de mourir de soif.

11 Aout 142
Nous sommes à court de vives. Dialko et Latumofis se sont risqué sur une des iles à la recherche de nourriture mais sont toujours pas revenu. La tension est palpable dans l’équipage.

18 Aout 142
Ayant perdu espoir de voir le vent se lever, nous avons commencer à cannibaliser le navire afin de nous façonner des rames de fortune. Dans le fond de mon âme je sais que nous somme tous déjà mort. Nous ne sommes pas assez nombreux pour espéré lutter contre les courants qui nous attende plus loin au large de ces îles. Même en jetant la cargaison par dessus bord cela n’y changerait rien. Je laisse les hommes s’attacher à ce mince espoir afin d’évité qu’il ne désespère complétement et perde la raison. Désormais, seule une intervention divine peut nous sauvé.

26 Aout 142
Janus, le dieu des voyages, nous maudit! La tempête a aussi emporté le navire mercanien dans cet archipel damné! Ces barbares nous ont pris en chasse.

27 Aout 142
Nous sommes a bout de souffle. Huit de mes hommes sont mort de faim et d’épuisement au cour des dernière heures. Le navire mercanien continu de gagner du terrain. Notre seul espoir est que leur équipage meurt de faim avant nous.

28 Aout 142
Ça y est. J’entend leurs cris. Ils arrivent.

Tidings from Lobra

Hasan my brother,

Good fortune shines on us!

The adventurers had enlisted the aid of Tristan to make a show of force at the border to spring their trap on Isaf. They should have known better than involve that fool! It was of foolish of them to think he would resist a chance to smite the Tahashims! I knew an opportunity would arise to get within striking distance in the confusion of battle. I did not squander my chance. Retribution came through my blade, the beast has fallen! The soul of our fallen brothers can now rest in peace, they have been avenged!

Now our friend Runalf might not be happy with the turns of events… ah! It’s too late for him to have regrets. If he expresses discontentment, mollify him by saying that at the moment Tristan crossed the ford, the war was unavoidable and that he is better off with Tristan out of the picture to handle what follows. Also make sure to point out that our service will prove invaluable in the coming conflict. However, should you think he is wavering or that he is considering turning on us, remind him that he has blood on his hands. It would most unfortunate if evidence incriminating him in the assassination fell in the wrong hands…

I leave tomorow for Alaflak. I will be travelling in the same ship that saw my servitude. Would you believe it my brother? I am certain my second stay aboard it will be more enjoyable! I acquired the ship from the adventurers, entincing them to part with it for a small fortune and the opportunity for one of them to be blessed by Akabaah’s wisdom. Dakan, the dwarf, accepted to go through the ritual. The old dwarf is getting more than he bargained for. Tell the knights to place a bounty on him. In his death, he will bear our mark and they will have their «proof» of his involvement in the assassination of Tristan.

Let our enemies quake with fear, for fate marches with us!


Les périlleuses principautés
Les mémoires de Dakan, sinsear

De toute évidence, Freya ne m’a pas créé pour être skald. Je dois accepter que ce recueil incomplet ne servira jamais d’épopée, mais peut-être pourra-t-il tout de même édifier celui ou celle qui en héritera un jour. Et c’est dans cet esprit que j’aimerais débuter cette entrée avec un avertissement : n’allez pas en terre Tahashim.

Venus pour faire un simple échange pré-arrangé, nous y avons perdu un compagnon, [[In the shadow of the Jörmunsul… | ramené par la grâce divine]], nous y avons été forcés à mener une armée d’orcs, de gnolls et de trolls et nous y avons inconsciemment facilité un assassinat et la guerre résultante. Sans compter que nous y avons aussi été victime d’un vol audacieux.

Tout d’abord, la mort de Brocc. Pendant notre séjour chez les chevaliers de la chappelle, Brocc, qui s’était trouvé dans la chambre de Sire Tristan, un pieu zélé et belliqueux, fut accidentellement pris pour cible par des assassin marijahs à la recherche du chevalier. Quoique les prêtres de l’ordre purent le réanimer, s’en fut la fin de notre collaboration. J’avais et j’ai toujours de sérieux doutes que des membres de l’ordre aient originalement orchestré l’attentat.

Suite à cette histoire malheureuse, nous nous rendîmes chez Isaf al-Barraka, le seigneur Tahashim en possession de Brynna, la femme de Balin. Nous y apprîmes qu’elle avait eu un fils de Balin peu de temps après leur séparation et qu’Isaf n’était pas prêt à compléter l’entente entamée. Il nous fit une offre alternative, entièrement démesurée : lui donner les deux milles pièces d’or, tuer une puissante sorcière trolle, Sharizeh, et en libérer sa femme préférée pour qu’il daigne peut-être libérer Brynna. Il était évident que Brynna était malheureuse, qu’elle voudrait sauver son fils et qu’Isaf, sous les conseils du perfide Ridaq, essaierait de profiter de nous au maximum. C’est à ce moment que je suggérai la possibilité de trahir Isaf au lieu, c’est à dire nous allier aux trolls contre Isaf. Quoique c’était mon idée, j’en avais toujours des doutes jusqu`à ce que je rencontre Dhali et Sharizeh. En tout et pour tout, je ne suis peut-être pas fier de ce qui s’est passé ici, mais je crois tout de même que, si ce n’était de notre fidèle compagnon Korut, nos actions n’auraient qu’accélérer un conflit existant tout en nous permettant de secourir plusieurs captifs. Aux moins, les seules victimes au combat de la vieille tour furent des guerriers.

Finalement, nous en arrivons à Korut: Korut le rescapé, Korut l’interprète, Korut l’assassin. Effectivement, Korut, un marijah, se servit de la bataille de la vieille tour pour atteindre et assassiner Tristan tout en laissant son ou ses employeurs nous refiler le blâme, faisant de nous, de Guillaume et de Brynna, des criminels et, au grand dâme de Verruckt, nous coûtant notre navire. Quelque chose me dit par contre que nos maux seront insignifiants comparativiment au mal que ce meurtre apportera a cette région. Suite à la bataille, Korut nous approcha et nous offra de nous aider à éviter la justice qui pourrait s’abattre sur nous. Malgré mon dégout, je fus tenter de profiter de l’opportunité et de me laver les mains de ces périlleuses principautés, mais il restait un problème.

“Korut, vos condisciples et vous pouvez-vous nous assurer qu’il n’adviendra pas de mal au capitaine Garfas? Je crois que c’est le moindre que vous ne lui deviez suite à son rôle central lors de votre secours maritime.”


PS: Je fut impressionné par l’intelligence et le pouvoir de la sorcière Sharizeh et en garde une mémoire plutôt positive, mais, lors de notre dernière rencontre, celle-ci nous fit une prédiction qui avait tout d’une malédiction.

Korut's offer

A figure on a horse is advancing toward your positions and stops about 60m in front of the group. You recognize Korut, your former translator, now back in his Tahashim clothing.

«I come here as a friend.» shouts Korut, raising his right hand in greeting.

Sir Guillaume bursts in anger at the mere sight of the man, drawing his sword before you can reply: «You perfidious Tahashim! How dare you come taunt us! Wait until I get my hands on you, I will slice your neck where you stand!»

Korut, stays calm:
«Do not make a step further or you will lose your last chance to leave this land alive. Right now I am your last friend on both side of the frontier. Before sundown, the Capellan Knights will seize your ship, imprison Garfas and everyone related to you. Your innocence is of little consequence since they will judge you guilty by association. You would make convenient scapegoats for those willing to deflect their own involvement in the matter.

It is ironic that Sir Tristan will finally have the war he was itching for but that he won’t be there to partake in it! Both sides are up in arms as we speak. Let them fight it out a thousand years if it pleases them! While they are busy in their futile contest, we will thrive and grow.»

Sir Guillaume, red faced, lashes out:
«Murderer, assassin! How can you rejoice when your actions will cause the death of thousands!»

Korut replies:
«We are portrayed as assassins, thiefs and cutthroats. Nothing could be further from the truth. Did you know the first marijahs were peaceful scholars? It our belief that the injunctions of the Celestial Father are accessible to rational thought and inquiry: that because knowledge is derived from reason, reason is the “final arbiter” in distinguishing right from wrong. Akabaah was a learned man, but he was just a man. The Codex was created as his interpretation of God’s will and as great and wise he was, it is foolish to holds his words as unshakable dogma. For truth lies not in scriptures, but in the quest for knowledge itself. It is something that constantly changes and renews itself.

Now tell me, are these the words of a zealot, a murderer, a vile oppresor?

We challenged accepted doctrine and that proved unbearable to the powers that be. Our breathen are persecuted and forced to live in the shadows because of their beliefs. Yes the first marijahs were scholars, but now we are scholars and warriors! We are only returning the favor to those that wishes us harm and we will gladly feast on those who would subdue us!»

Korut tosses a bunch of sashes on the ground.
«Take these sashes, cut them into ribbons and blindfold yourself. I will use a magical scroll to teleport you to our Lobra hideout, you can all make your escape before the sun is set.»

A Soft Spot in Verruckt's hearth

Walking back toward the cavalier, Verruckt meditate on the events of the recents days:

“We have accomplish so much, rescuying Balin’s wife and son, rescued some prisoners of the orc and troll army, set Isaf in a trap and spring it – and it worked!

Wow, so much done but I feel something is missing, I am glad to have help in Iasf demise, no actually I am proud of it, it couldn’t have been better, well maybe yes it could have…

Of course, I don’t have more shinny tiggling coins of gold to show for it… but I think it was worht not have more to see Isaf’s face.

But, wait, we will have more gold soon, we still didn’t receive the spoil of selling that ship a few weeks ago, yessss, shinny tiggling coins coming soon !!! And soon I will be out of this misery of a country, they can all burn to hell if you’d ask me…

Anyway, almost at that Sir don’t remenber his name, I just me more trouble at the horizon and certtainly not enough goldy and platinumny for my liking… ho well, here goes another adventure…"


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