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entry May 23 2022, 06:25 PM
The joy of lifting a long settled curse is never to be underestimated and I awoke this morning still bathing in such a feeling having successfully lifted the Kyoto family curse this past day. As before I traveled to the Half Way house but tragically the senior Kyoto I met before has passed on and his young son was there in his stead. He was clearly suffering from the effects of the ageing curse and despite being younger than Yomi appeared older than Yorso. A most troubling development.

My companions were a motley bunch, Karsh in his next incarnation; Cathbad a druidic sinner but, I hope, one who can be persuaded to our faith; Dalron of very ill repute and, dare I say, a miscreant; Rashid a very strange genie and Sparek a not entirely sane fairy. Thanks to the bargain I struck with Muttley some time ago we were able to skip the preliminaries and travel directly to the start of the third floor of the testing grounds.

Our first challenge was to get in the accursed place and satisfy the spirit guarding the entrance that we were worthy to enter. All he wanted to hear was that we were there to make a blade of creation but it took us several primal heartbeats to work that out. Before long we found ourselves with a translation issue. Dalron has clearly been spending too long with his nose in legal treatises rather than mana glyphs and this took a disastrously long time to sort out. Poor Cathbad was taking a ferocious pounding until Karsh at my suggestion called to reset the floor. Second time around we were much more efficient in reading through the tiresome riddles.

A wishing well in disarray was not far off and to rebuild it we needed to tempt a gnome, salamander and undine to it each within 30 seconds of each other. The undine and salamander just wished to kill each other so this was a tiresome task until someone came up with the idea of walling them off as we dealt with it step by step.

I then befriended 3 brothers who we needed to kill which meant I was not hugely helpful for that test and then discovered the source of the curse. A void lord entrapped in a warding which was empowered by the sacrifice of the Kyoto family. The warding was weakening and drawing upon the family greatly to keep itself up and that explains the speed of the ageing. We had previously been approached by an assassin called Isaac who was known to Karsh who had offered to deal with this void lord. For my own view it was obvious that we had little option but to call upon Isaac's aid but it took my companions several primal heartbeats to realise the wisdom of my words.

A handful of minor tests lay in our way but we were able to defeat them (although Cathbad fell whilst I was consulting with Talthar in heaven) and complete the floor.

I hope to be able to return next month for the fourth floor.

entry May 18 2022, 06:27 PM
What a treat to awake in my cell in the Cathedral after a day spent spreading the light of the one true faith to Razcar. A day spent with my old companions is always special but to be able to combine it with time spent with some of the newer adherents to our faith was a real treat.

I had hoped we would be able to travel to the void and locate the missing treatise but She had suborned much of our work on Razcar and our day was spent repelling lizard men (one of which had a most surprising caress) and their minions who had tainted the Elbrimian shrine. We were sorely pressed and much spiritual power was spent not only dealing with the rituals set up against us but also simply maintaining life itself.

Having removed the foul taint news reached us that the villagers of Hope were being put to the sword so we set off to rescue them. The wardings on the village had been strongly enhanced from our last visit and the undead patrolling the are were similarly brutal. Had it not been for Quintus's remarkable ability to deal with Corpses we would not I feel have been able to fend them off.

Once inside the village we were beset with undead and spirits of harm which sorely taxed us. Having cleared much of the village we set about consecrating a new shrine to hold the village safe. With 8 of us tied up on that ritual Niklaus, Mercy and our new Alfar friend were hard pressed to keep the foul fiends away from us but with some help from Quintus and my new trinket we were able to repel them for just long enough to complete the ritual.

The village was not however clear and the last few nests of undeath had to be cleared out. They may have been in retreat but they remained potent. Galdor had to retreat to heaven, I went to consult with Talthar and Quintus fell. By now our powers were sorely taxed and I was bereft of any spiritual power, fortunately Solaris was able to restore Quintus to the fray.

The village cleared we withdrew to the shrine and thence to the Cathedral albeit bumping into our old adversary the Storm Child on the way. He is a challenge for another day.

Much work is required between now and our next foray to Razcar and beyond to ensure the Light Shall Shine Forth Forever.

Now to sneak back to Telmen's Slope and return Ar to her chest. I am sure Harpell will not notice.

entry Apr 10 2022, 07:45 PM
It is good to awake in my old cell at the Cathedral albeit I must return to Telmen's Slope tonight.

Having answered a call from Galdor yesterday a group of us (Solaris, Tai, Penny, Harpell, Delphi, Nanimo (a new member of the faith) and, gloriously, the Messiah himself) set off into the environs of Alguz to deal with a demonic threat to Primus deriving from the Council of Eight.

Having entered a cave system we quickly identified that the threat was located behind a thrice locked ritual warding and having reached it without too much delay thanks to Nanimo's exceptional skill at dealing with barriers we set about unlocking the rituals.

Whilst they were well protected (demons delivering Soul Lance by blow was mildly alarming but with Delphi's Stronghold to protect the weaker members of our party Harpell, Tai and I dealt with them easily enough) we quickly and efficiently picked the lock as it were.

A quick break for the mortals to eat and we were off through the warding to deal with the real task at hand.

Our first challenge was the area being covered by a Lack of Faith miracle but Solaris has a splendid bag of tricks and was able to deal with that whilst Nanimo put paid to a demon obsessed with taunting Harpell.

Once into the main area we quickly found 6 rituals and a mighty warding. The six were clearly tied in some way to our faith each referring to a Shadow and Holy day of an Aspect. The Aspect of Subtlety was the one missing but after some further careful searching it was located hidden away.

Solaris and I resolved to deal with the rituals which required us first to empower each of the rituals by reference to our Shadow Days (in calender order) and then empower them by reference to our Holy days (again in calendar order).

Of course the order was of no moment the days being so well known to each of us but I confess the true meaning of many of the days has passed into myth nowadays so we were fortunate indeed that Penny had Thor's book in her bag.

As we dealt with each ritual we empowered the demons infesting the area so speed was of some import. We are blessed to have some of the finest warriors (and the finest purveyor of the spirit bolt miracle) in our faith and they fought for hours to keep the demons off our backs as we worked through the various rituals although sadly Delphi fell at one stage.

Many of them required multiple ritual steps and, whilst I did lose count, between us we dealt with nearly 30 rituals. I must not forget the geas placed upon me by Solaris to make a secret gift of total heal scrolls to Tai as part of the ritual to deal with the Day of Lies nor the oath that he and I swore to each other as part of the ritual to deal with the Day of the Fallen.

Having opened up the next portal we identified that it was shielded by 7 major wards of power which could be taken down by casting one miracle of each of the miracles available to a novitiate of the faith. Fortunately my Scriptures are organised enough to enable us to deal with that without too much trouble.

Within we found the object of our quest. A demon who was protected behind many shells. I took down one of the first and an avenging spirit lashed out at me and left me unconscious for the rest of the fight but when I awoke the task was done.

A most convivial evening back at the Cathedral followed and now I must return to Telmen's Slope and replace Ar before Harpell realises I brought her with me.

entry Mar 28 2022, 04:48 PM
I am now certain that our seclusion in this Abbey is not good for Harpell. He is now actively working to contribute to Sirac's vanity project. Surely no one can fall for this, "the only way to save the Exostance is to build a giant statue of me" nonsense!

I mean even if it was genuine I cannot believe that placing some glorious relic of the one true faith crafted by the inestimable Radiant with some knick knack of the Michaelian sect or, Talthar forfend, a fetish of Tryst could ever be the right thing.

I cannot support Harpell in this endeavour. I may need to return to my missionary work somewhere far away. Now how to sneak Ar out without Harpell noticing.

entry Mar 25 2022, 10:17 AM
By Talthar it is good to be back in the abbey; what a day I had yesterday. Having answered the mercenary call to assist a trading house of Amlas I found myself with Asgrimm (he really does need to eat more) and 4 individuals I had not met before. Karsh and Yuri who were both from Amlas; Joe who was clearly quite quite mad and Sonasello who I had at least heard of. I was surprised that he was referred to as a foul undead fiend by my colleagues as he did not appear to be to my inspection, I can only assume it was some form of humorous in joke.

Our charge was to locate and enter some testing grounds in a Volcano in Ishma which the house sought for its glory. It struck me as a rather shabby task but needs must when the collection plate runs low.

We set off first to Tartovia to seek a key of some form to enable us to enter the testing grounds. Thanks to Sonasello who has some rank or authority in those parts we were able to make good progress (although my companions did manage to find time to engage in a bar brawl) and having spoken to the local Baron identified that the key was held by some fanatics of balance. I suspect he had entrusted it to them to encourage us to destroy them.

Their lair was covered by a very powerful ward of interdiction which rendered me (but not my companions) immune to miracles of any sort which it must be said left me alarmingly vulnerable. Thanks, however, to some divine intervention (praise be to Talthar) I was dashed away to consult with Talthar before falling to their attacks. Whilst away my companions were able to secure the scales of balance which were the key we needed.

A quick hop to the jungles of Ishma was next and having hacked through the jungle and its denizens we reached the volcano and were able to enter it and descend by a cunning mechanism to deep in its bowels. Some lava beasts (some of extraordinary strength) blocked our way as we descended on foot through 3 more levels before finally reaching the entrance.

A mildly unpleasant individual who appeared to be subject to an unusual curse that caused him to see us all as fly larvae met us and revealed the challenge we needed to face to proceed through the levels of the testing grounds.

I will not record here the details as I have a separate note but there were some mighty challenges for us and without the fighting abilities of Asgrimm, Karsh and Yuri and the sneaking of Joe we would have been lost. I regret that I fell to a brutal attack launched by a doppelganger of Sonasello but Asgrimm (after some difficulty I gather in making my lighting device work to get the candles ready) was able to restore me to life. We reached the end of the second level but sadly failed it when Sonasello departed the final fight not appreciating that would cause us to fail. I confess as the individual we were fighting was hitting with the strength of 24 normal men had Sonasello not caused us to fail I would have departed very swiftly after causing us to fail.

I recovered however after this all an interesting trinket which should cause disarray in undead ranks.

After a very pleasant evening with Joe and Sonasello in a local tavern I recalled to the abbey and my task of guarding Ar. I fancy I noted a tone of wistfulness when speaking to her, I think she missed me.

entry Feb 21 2022, 07:56 PM
I confess that I did rather assume the summons from Herbert Thoughtgood for Tarquin and I would be a waste of our time (indeed I did fear it was some strategem to get me away from Telmen's Slope and leave Ar exposed with just Harpell to protect her; I took her with me to ensure her safety) but how wrong I was. He had remarkably located elements of Razcar in which, he surmised, the Aspects might still remain trapped. His researches in the cathedral had located both a Rite of Transportation and a Rite of Consecration.

Having sanctified the Rite of Transportation with fire and incense Tarquin and I led a band to Razcar itself. I could not believe we were returning after so very many years but my joy was short lived as it was clear on arrival that her whose name I shall not mention had obtained great power over the realm. We arrived at a shrine to Cope. As far as we could discern a mis-spelling sometime over the last few decades had led to some confusion. Over such matters would other faiths (St Michael) tear themselves apart on doctrinal niceties but when you worship the one true god such points are irrelevant.

We fought our way through various horrors including lizardmen (oh the memories) to a township called Swampville. We were horrified to discover that they only kept the predations of the lizardmen at bay by making regular monthly sacrifices. They had clearly lost hope and were falling into deep despair. The armies of the lizardmen were too much for us to take on there and then but we will return. It was a sad moment to have to leave them but I believe we left in them the spark of hope that we would return. I believe Yorso is already planning to return.

We were able to reconsecrate a minor altar to Talthar in the mountains above Swampville before pressing on deeper into Razcar.

From the hills we could see a village surrounded by two wardings clearly laid down by her whose name I shall not mention and so we set off to the village. The wardings themselves were powerfully set the outermost being an unholy Greater Ward and the inner some complex undead generator. Of course no matter how devious her plans and wardings might be Hope always finds the way and we were able to pass through and into the village (called Hope).

The populace were, as with Swampville, bereft of hope itself and under some influence from her but again it was clear that we were not in a position then to deal with it and so we pressed on through the village (and back out across the wardings) towards an obvious shrine in the foot hills beyond.

Our way was obstructed by a rag tag collection of undead, spirits of causing and malice priests who were shown the error of their ways. As we reached the shrine itself we came under attach from a variety of powerful undead seemingly being generated so I donned the Cloak of Turquiel and headed in amongst them to locate the various generators. In my searches I stumbled across the centre of the shrine and Aven be praised Elbrime himself. As is to be expected Elbrime was in a temper and I fear his temper was not improved when rather than staying and talking I made my apologies and hurried off in search of generators. I thought it would be better, in any event, for his Emissary to be the first to speak with him after all these years.

I have not had time to catch up with Tarquin about his conversations with Elbrime but there followed a most drawn out Rite of Consecration as Galdor and 7 others sought to re-consecrate the shrine. We were not however left in peace with this task as malice priests and their minions tumbled out of the hills to assail us. Within a very short time both Tarquin and Quintus had been laid low and Oliver had scooped them up and taken them off for afternoon tea leaving Auralious, Niklaus and I to fend off the horde. Suffice to say we succeeded in keeping them off long enough for Galdor to complete the ritual although I might encourage him to practice and see if he can shave some time off his ritualising for next time.

Elbrime was released from his torpor and began to re-empower himself and having ascertained that time was required for him to regain his former power and having bid farewell to Tarquin who had resolved to remain behind I Word of Recalled us back to the Cathedral and have now returned to Telmen's Slope. I am sure Harpell will be delighted to hear of the discovery of a taller balder version of himself.

entry Feb 7 2022, 12:55 PM
What a remarkable few weeks it has been since returning from our trip to Three Roads Winding; after much initial excitement at the Cathedral on our return Harpell and I resolved to withdraw from Alguz with the tile in which Arala'thaelan is imprisoned. We took this decision following a remarkable upswell in fecundity in Alguz; clearly her power of renewal was seeping out and we wished to be away from the populace should the Crone or her tile come to find her sister.

Having now been up in the hills for some time with just Harpell for company I would normally be exhausted but it is clear that Arala'thaelan's inexhaustible power of Renewal has kept me going. She and I have spoken at length (often without the Illuminators whom Harpell wishes to record her every word) and it is clear that she is a remarkable woman and clearly in some way tied to our own Aspect of Renewal. I am convinced that our task must be to release her and the innocents who are trapped in the tile with her. I know not what will be required to achieve her release but have been sending her some of my power so she may explore how she might escape if we cannot release her. I am fortunate that Harpell is too busy being rude to Yorso to notice.

I have it seems persuaded Harpell (who has taken charge for the time being as Aven is too engaged with matters on a higher level) that our next move must be to track down the Archivist who should be able to shed light on Arala'thaelan and how she may be released. I suspect we may need to return to Schottenheim to release the smith trapped there to seek his aid in that task but we shall see.

In the meantime I shall organise a field trip for some of the junior members of the faith so that Harpell does not think I have become obsessed with Arala'thaelan's release

entry Jan 17 2022, 05:17 PM
A very interesting day down in Scarlene yesterday with my brothers and sister in faith. Friar Arlo of the Hopeful Rings sent us word of further oddities suggesting our ancient enemy was up to her old mischief up in the Gilmedean Hills and in particular around the village of Three Roads Winding so under the care of Harpell a select group of us headed down to see what we could find. Sadly Radiant was taken ill before we could leave and Penny and Aven had to stay behind to nurse him back to health in the Sanatorium which left us a touch depleted in numbers but, as Tarquin might say, in Adversity comes Hope.

Our investigations began at a small temple of Talthar. I think most of us anticipated that it would be revealed to be a fake temple populated by the minions of Malice but to our pleasant surprise the local priests (led by Harmony) were indeed followers of the one true faith. Our searches discovered, however, a secret door in the undercroft which led us into much confusion.

The Aspect of Anti-Subtlety as we chose to call it had us struggling with our comms and scrying for much of the day but thanks to Yorso and, it must be said, a very healthy dose of spirits being spent on communication miracles we were able to make sure but steady progress. It seems that our enemy has devised numerous means of attacking priests dedicated to specific aspects of our faith. My devotion to hope undivided and each of our Aspects saw me therefore feeling somewhat reliant on the Aspect of Adversity. Indeed she had created some foul undead that struck me harder and for entirely uncurable damage just for being dedicated to Renewal. I found myself injured over half of my life and incapable of healing very early on. Fortunately thanks to the Blessings of the Aspect of Renewal and the Renewal miracle I was, eventually, able to recover. Egor eventually dealt with this by applying a Hand of Purity to the generator. This was bold as our scrying suggested it was a level 58 undead. We, rightly, guesses we were being misled but even so Tarquin and I invested considerable power to enhance Egor to give him the best chance of surviving.

We then traveled deeper into the undercroft by a transportation device that only allowed 2 of us to travel at once and with no obvious means of communication to confirm the destination was clear (arriving if it was not was very bad indeed) but thanks to Shard we found a way to communicate and get through.

In the deepest part we located a pentagram which having lost Ezekiel, Solaris and Harpell to a trap Olive, Yorso and I worked out how to deal with. It was clearly linked to a prison and the prisoner was able to whisper to us her desires to be free.

Having dealt with that Solaris, Tarquin and I pretended to eat so that the mortals would not feel uncomfortable whilst they had their luncheon and having deciphered some very confusing writings were able to learn more of our next steps. We headed into the hills to find the witch known as Sandalath. We found her hut and her body which had been slayered but I was able to restore her to life. She was clearly terrified of her ordeal but Tarquin being Tarquin he laid the charm on thick and before long she was on our side.

We learned that our foes had travelled to a prison cut into the side of the hill and set off in pursuit. On the way we met two bewitched trolls who after we had released them from the entrancement were able to guide us on. The prison itself was a mirror realm consisting of 5 sub-realms all of which needed to be dealt with in under an hour. I confess the details passed me by save for an unfortunate incident when Tarquin's light nearly blew us all to pieces when it triggered a most unamusing magical explosion and having to deal with a Death Knight which, I confess, I made rather a hash of.

We reached the centre of the prison and Egor, not to be outdone by Tarquin, charmed the guard into accepting us as friends and let us depart with the tile which acted as the prison for the Maiden of the Triune.

We have returned to the Cathedral to try and discern what to do next and, in particular, whether we should release her or not.

We have much to do.

entry Dec 14 2021, 08:47 AM
Well this is extraordinary. I returned to my cell after vespers to find it ransacked. I have carefully been through everything and the only item that appears to be missing is that Ogre's bracelet. Very mysterious. There was also a faint smell of goat lingering in the air.

This seems too important to leave unresolved so I shall investigate here and leave others to answer the Empire's call. I shall enjoy spending all of Winter's Fall at the cathedral.

Now if only there was a clue to start to work from.

entry Dec 12 2021, 07:37 PM
Much rejoicing in the Cathedral this morning as snow fell upon the grounds so we may now mark Winter's Fall. Our Renewal priests are busy with their devotions and remembrances. I have seen Yorso and Galdor in close consultation. No doubt planning something for our trip to assist with the Empire next Starsday.

My devotions to mark the festival were disturbed shortly after luncheon by news from the front gate that I had a visitor. I attended upon the most extraordinarily fat ogre (I can only assume that he does not share a dietitian with Asgrimm) surrounded by a veritable host of goats. I suspect that many of them will have been in his pot by sundown. He handed me a bracelet and between his barely intelligible grunts I discerned that he wants me to take it next Starsday and hand it to one of the Imperials. Who I know not but Talthar will light the way I am sure.

When I told him he could go round the back of the kitchens and empty the slop buckets I saw tears in his eyes.

A most unusual day.

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