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entry Oct 25 2021, 08:45 AM
After my experiences last week with the slightly mad Serin Talthar saw fit to reward my diplomacy by elevating me to the first rank of his ArchAngels. I am truely blessed and thank Talthar for the subtle trials they set for me.

Having made my way back from Scarlene to Alguz I was somewhat tested by the news that we were wanted in Scarlene. The road to Scarlene is not the most interesting I have had to tread 4 times in a week (although I hear tell of an Ogre who had to make his way up and down a ghoul tunnel 4 times in an evening so against his tribulations I cannot complain).

We met in the Hopeful Rings a small friary dedicated to our faith on the outskirts and I was delighted to be in the company of Harpell, Delphi, Yorso, Radiant, Solaris, Auralious, Selgard, Egor, Oliver and Tai for our quest. The friar met us with troubling news of a series of unexplained deaths. He was clearly a resourceful chap (as one would hope from a friar of the faith) and his enquiries had already suggested that the source of the trouble might be some ruins in the baronies.

With hope in our hearts and blessed under a Rite of Talthar we set off to see what might be done. Much of our morning was spent forcing our way through the ruins of an old magiarchal prison dealing with very many undead which we were very pleased to renew with extreme prejudice. With Tai, Radiant and Harpell in fine fighting form we made swift work of the challenges including a lich. We were able to recover the bodies of 3 adventures who had passed that way before and been raised as undead and to save them from eternal damnation. It was apparent then there had been an escape from the prison and the escapee was in some way linked to the deaths.

After some quick sustenance we set off in pursuit of the clues we had picked up as to the escapee. As ever we followed those clues wherever they took us which included into a local baron's hold. He was very well guarded and we were sorely taxed in breaching them and poor Selgard fell whilst I lost a leg to the fighting.

As we delved deeper we discovered clear traces of the worship of she whose name I will not say and demons apparently dedicated to her. It is clear that our long held belief that we had cleared this world of her influence was tragically wrong. I was able to speak with 3 adepts who, I believe, had been tricked into the faith and were not true believers (much like the poor souls we met in Starling) and was able to persuade them to cast off their raiments of malice. I fear Radiant mis-understood their actions and attacked them. I chose to stand with my brother rather than with my new friends and paid a heavy price for that choice.

I was able to deal with some demons through the cleansing power of holy fire although ended up unconscious and some way back having left the banner behind to stand in the front line for a moment. Finally we came to a shrine to malice and the leader of the local "faith". I sense he was an adherent of the ring that opposes subtlety. He was well guarded and warded and a brutal fight broke out but as one would expect he lacked the moral fibre to make a stand and fled. Next time we will have him, next time.

entry Oct 17 2021, 08:14 PM
What a surprising day I had yesterday. At Aven's request I answered a call from Scarlene to help investigate an ostensibly goodly new church which was suspected of being a front for some very naughty boys and girls no doubt in light of my recent experience down on Starling he felt I could bring something to the party.

I was somewhat surprised at meeting up at the Preacher's Pint tavern by the rather motley crew that had also answered the call. Asgrimm a surprisingly skinny Ogre and a, frankly, Psychotic young lady going by the name of Serin being the "highlights". Serin seems to labour under an alarming psychosis and believes she is a vampire, I knew she would need to be looked after if she was to have a hope of surviving. I was touched when she asked me to cast the Rite of Talthar as, no doubt, she wished to be bathed in holy light - deep down she must know her psychosis is just that.

With Saladin and Asgrimm as a solid front row and Secret as a very fine scout we had the bones of a solid party to assist me in my task.

It quickly became apparent that the church was indeed a front and we were soon confronting demons and other n'er do wells with gay abandon.

Whoever was behind the nefarious scheme was very well versed in the arts of warding and I lost count of the number of them we had to puzzle out and deal with. Hive (a very strange group of creatures) was most helpful with many of them although the Mantic Invisibility miracle served me very well as well.

Despite our adversaries best efforts (including some demons hitting with the strength of 15 men who I only survived thanks to Thor's sword and a snap cast Spirit Form miracle and an assassin hitting with the strength of 13 men who I only survived thanks to the Prayer of Renewal in Adversity) we eventually found the source of the demonic incursion which I dealt with and, once again, saved the day.

An interesting experience. I confess I look forward to being back with the church next week.

entry Sep 27 2021, 07:40 PM
It is good to be back safely in my cell at the Cathedral after my extended trip to Starling in Murmurburg. My mind is already fading of many of the details of the last few days so I must hasten to jot down my thoughts, recollections and impressions.

After a couple of days of seeking ways out of my legal difficulties my investigations finally revealed to me that she whose name I will not mention was behind the false faith of "hope" that had been brought to this land but the Barony's difficulties ran much deeper than that with a variety of evil factions vying, it seemed, to make merry and take control of the area in light of the power vacuum caused by the Baron's death (a subject to which I will return). Fortunately a veritable host of the great and the good of our land had journeyed to Starling so despite the numerous threats I was ever hopeful that we would overcome (and with my brothers Tarquin, Tai, Solaris, Radiant (although as ever with Radiant having spotted some interesting metal he was off chatting to blacksmiths and hitting anvils for much of the time) and Yomi (to make the tea) it was close to a racing certainty that we would, once again, save the day).

Once again I was struck by the subtle feeling that Talthar had sent someone to watch over us (or at least he had granted me some more power) as we set out.

A day of slaughtering demons (they cannot have been very interesting as I forget the details); Cindermen and their Baelfire and priests of she who I will not mention followed as we tracked down various ritual artifacts that our numerous scryers had discerned would be useful (indeed I must have been channeling my inner Yorso as I seem to have come home with the Hammer of Sundering being one of the said artifacts). Tarquin got himself into similar legal difficulties as I whilst Yomi's rage at the presence of her worshipers momentarily blinded him to the innocence of those they were deceiving. Talthar set him on a path of penance. I confess I was most concerned that he would not find the right steps and spent much time scrying about it but I should, as ever, have been more hopeful.

During they day I had identified that Altwhistle Starling had died some 3 years previously in a ritual designed to bind him and the land together. The ritual had gone disastrously wrong when it was interrupted by someone or something but the details were beyond my skill. We knew we had to somehow restore him if, for no other reason, the realisation that Tarquin stood no chance if the Alderman was his judge.

During the day whilst out I realised that Tarquin had full control of the situation and so headed back to the Manse where we were based to check that all was well with our more junior travelling companions. I was perplexed by the look of guilt (or was it shame) (although Cori's expression was hard to read through his luxuriant ginger beard) as I approached them although when the truth came tumbling out that they had done a deal with the worshippers of she whose name I will not mention all was laid bare. By Talthar's grace I remained serene in the face of this provocation and when the circumstances were explained in full I had to accept that there was a subtle logic to the accord they had struck which was little more than a very temporary truce. I will not sit in judgment over Tai for this decision; he was on the spot and had to make the call; I have no doubt that Talthar guided his decision.

With his body located we sought to curry as much Talthari favour as possible and we all took part in the Rite to restore him to life. Tarquin, Yomi and I then faced a most uncomfortable judicial experience in the face of Dinistriwr Gobaith the foul high priest of Malice (who thanks to the accords and by the diplomacy that Talthar's grace brought to me I was able to resist the urge to redeem with extreme prejudice). My hopes that the Baron might be a fairer judge than his Alderman were dashed - no doubt part of the deceiver's plan but possibly due to Bryan hiding in a wall ready to assassinate redeem with extreme prejudice Dinistriwr Gobaith - and I was convicted in what would be an insult to Kangeroos to describe as a Kangeroo court although I must be fair to the Baron and record that we had identified that he was subject to evil control from 5 foul creatures.

Within moments of my conviction the court was thrown into disarray and we were assailed by these 5 foul creatures. They were undead of extraordinary power and they taxed us mightily. Poor Yomi somehow got distracted from his kettle and tea pot and was struck down and had to be restored; I eventually found him many hundreds of yards away in the woods with Cori watching over him. Thanks to the courage of my companions, the fighting skill of Martin and the light of the Holy Banner we eventually prevailed.

A new day dawned and we knew the task ahead was to track down and locate the leaders of the various factions and persuade them (having cleansed them of corruption as necessary) to attend a council that evening with the Baron to decide upon the right course to best restore the Barony to its rightful place. I spent much of the day in my true Angelic form before acquiring an artifact (more Yorsi channeling) from Isaac which granted me the power to, as he explained it to me, mass cast miracles. I am not sure whether it was the effect of the Demons of Forgettance but all it seemed to do was give me the ability to miss-cast miracles. Despite my best efforts we did manage to persuade all 6 to attend the council that evening.

The council meeting was a slightly disjointed affair for me as I had to attend, with Tarquin and Quethbert, to a brief trip to rescue the soul of a lost hero in a tower. There were 7 such heroes and we had split our party into 7 groups of 3 to attend to the task. We were the 6th group and the first 5 groups met with little resistance. I can only speculate why we met somewhat stiffer opposition as might be measured by our use of 2 Holy Words, 6 Total Heal miracles and 14 Spirit Bolt miracles but we managed to overcome the adversity and recovered the soul.

Somewhat to my surprise on our return the council had moved in a way I had not expected and the decision had been taken that Jonas would marry Valley (the place spirit of the Barony). Isaac performed a lovely ritual which fair brought a tear to my eye at the sight of such unity and the hope we were bringing to the Barony and all its people.

It must be recorded that Quethbert took the sight of his master tying himself to another in somewhat less good humour.

After much late night revelry to mark the union I withdrew to the temporary temple of Talthar for the night.

Overnight the Manse suffered some plumbing catastrophe so we were obliged to put our shoulders to the wheel prior to the mortals breaking their fast. After some minor works to help reset the Barony the mortals amongst us were able to break their fast. As is usual I pretended to eat to ensure the mortals did not feel uncomfortable. A number of them commented on the increasing golden power seeming to shine out of me.

As usual we split our group to our tasks and the Taltharis amongst us headed off to deal with a ritual of Despair. After some struggling through some rather wryly named undead (Harpell's favourite sort) we came across the foul rite. Despite Bradley's efforts to distract us from the task of translating 7 scrolls of foul nonsense of Malice we set about our counter-ritual. As is to be expected the forces of she whose name I will not mention was no match for the forces of Hope and we dealt with it all with very little fuss.

Our final task was to finally defeat the Demons of Forgettance. Thanks to Jonas who cast a rite rendering most of us immune to the Demons' main ability this proved to be somewhat less challenging than it might have been. As the Demon first appeared the power of Talthar poured into me and I burst into holy flames; I remember little of that time save seeing Pip run (and run and run) from danger. When they had burnt out nearly 10 minutes later I was completely drained spiritually. I have not been the same since and could barely find the power to recall us to the Cathedral once we had taken down the temporary temple.

I remain unclear why my powers are still so weak. I have asked Talthar and it is clear that I must simply have hope and his radiance will be restored to me and more soon.

I am convinced Starling will turn to Talthar now and it will be as a further anchor to our faith in the Baronies. We will need to deal with Dinistriwr Gobaith soon, for reasons I find unclear I hope that Quintus can land the killing blow.

I cannot end this entry without noting the fine companions I traveled with even the members of the Michaelean sect were, when they were not schisming, fine travelling companions. I hope they shall see the true light soon. It would be invidious to single out one individual but for me the heroic quantity of limoncella consumed marked out Azariel as a true hero amongst heroes.

entry Sep 9 2021, 11:26 AM
I write this with one eye out for the local town guards who for reasons I do not fathom seem determined to bring me before what passes for justice in this town. I arrived here a couple of days ago with Yomi and Tai (and Solaris joined us later) (I must speak with them when a moment allows as I felt more spiritually powerful than I would have expected and yet neither, as far as I could tell, has an allied angel - most strange) to find a whole host of other mercenaries in town also, it seems, similarly summoned by various means. Between us all we appeared to have various pieces (7 somewhat inspiringly) of a map of the local environs and it was clear that there are some serious difficulties hereabouts. I will defer putting to paper the details as I suspect I have a lot more to learn but we spent an interesting day addressing some of the more immediate concerns.

Of first concern was the identification of a shrine to hope. I was obviously intrigued and even more so when I saw quite how striking was the local priest's resemblance to the Messiah but having listened to his rantings it was tragically clear that he followed some foul heretical twisting of our faith. I resisted the urge to put him to the fire but was then attacked by some demons (that we have since learnt are dedicated to the Destroyer) and struck him down as their ally. It has since been suggested I may have been wrong and I await the answers to my prayers to clarify. The local guards were in a high state of clearly unjustified outrage at my righteous act but to avoid a scene I agreed to go with them. Jonas was able to negotiate my temporary release on my parole so we can at least complete whatever our task is before having to justify my actions. I have submitted a statement to the local elders and assume that will satisfy them.

Thereafter I traveled with Yomi and others exploring some of the issues. He is certainly a fine swordsman and when his blood is up he showed himself well able to cut through our foes. Thanks to the Rite of Talthar and my understanding of spirits we were able to make relatively short work of the challenges that faced us. I should note that Nordri (ostensibly a devotee of the Michaelean sect) was a fine companion. I have no doubt he will come over to the true faith in time.

After some quick vittals back at the town I headed back out with Tai to seek an audience with an ancestor of the local ruler in his barrow. We were badly beset by the barrow's defences and defenders and brave Tai fell to the blows of some fell barrow wights (who seemed to be unafraid of day light). With Talthar's aid I was able to restore him to life however. A foul well of evil beset our progress thereafter but I was able to cap it off with a Rite fortunately, for reasons I do not fully understand, the denizens of the barrow left me unbothered as I cast it.

Deep in the barrow we identified a foul rite and a brave soul called Lo'Thian investigated it alone (with some help from Pip the fiercesome mouse). By his account there was a lich deep in the barrow concerned that his descendant Altwhistle was neglecting his duties. As I understand matters if we are to help stabilise this land we need to persuade Altwhistle to return to his duties (whatever those might be).

We returned to the town and met up with the rest of our companions who had been dealing with a demonic infestation for, I assumed, tea and medals but before we could relax the valley descended into the nacht and we had to head out to stabilise matters which, fortunately, seemed to be relatively straightforward or, at least, I was able to focus on hitting things whilst those who understood our task got on with it. Then it was time for tea.

There are clearly many further tasks here for us to complete and it is reassuring to be in the company of many obviously excellent mercenaries. Tarquin has sent word that he is on his way with others of the faith which can only improve matters.

entry Jul 13 2021, 06:13 PM
Much interest at the Cathedral this morning when an angel of Talthar wearing winged sandals materialised during Matins and made his way to my cell with a new banner pole fresh from Talthar himself. Yorso will be pleased as I fear he has been concerned despite my protestation that he should not blame himself.

Now I must find the prayers to fully activate the pole in time for our next adventure.

entry Jul 5 2021, 09:03 AM
At last after far too long cooped up in Cathedral we ventured out to right wrongs and bring the light of Talthar into dark places.

Aven, Harpell, Galdor, Tarquin, Yorso and I set off to perform one set of tasks whilst Penny took another group (Radiant, Oliver, Delphi, Quintus and Zaferius). Egor had meant to travel but was laid low by some mysterious illness (let us hope not the work of Pep) and spent the day in the Sanitorium. I was able to bless us all with the Prayer of Unity and to share the Blessings of the Diplomatic Aspect with them all before we departed on our tasks and thanks to a miracle I was only able to finally locate in the library moments before we met up called "An Ally in Unity" was confident that with Aven's gift of spirits I would be able to maintain the Prayer of Unity for us all throughout our travels.

As I write this I have heard little of Penny's group save that Radiant fell but I believe they achieved their tasks or at least they believe they did.

Thanks to a mystical transportation device we were able to short cut a great deal of walking and made our way to Kasnia. We were fore-warned that the area had fallen into a well of despair but even so the depressing feel on our arrival was surprising to me. It felt like the old days before my missionary work when we fought the evil of Valcoma and her foul followers but I quickly put that out of my mind as we all know (or thought we knew) that faith has been cast asunder. We were able to cure a number of wandering peons and send them on their way, no doubt they will spread the holy word, before reaching a foul keep which was clearly the centre of the problem.

Having despatched some trolls guarding the keep Harpell triggered a wave of curses as we entered which for reasons unclear to me only affected me but thanks to Yorso we were not unduly troubled by them and were able to make our way into the keep that was sinking into a foul swamp that was clearly the heart of the problem.

We fought our way through some pesky undines; an alarming statue and a vast number of strange spiritual creatures (and were lucky not to lose Galdor to one of their number but fortunately I was able to dash to his aid) before meeting what appeared to be scarecrows with enormous pumpkin heads. I felt this was a sensible moment to ensure that we were not attacked from the rear confident that Tarquin and Harpell would be able to deal with them which after much kerfuffle they did.

A demonic shrine was our next challenge but that was quickly put to the sword and mace but much to our astonishment it was clear that this keep was a stronghold of Malice. Harpell was so taken with shock at this news he uttered the foul name of Valcoma which, it appears, operated as an Unholy word whilst in the keep. It laid us all, bar Harpell and Aven, low.

Pressing on Yorso demonstrated his true talents with the Voice of Power miracle saving us from having to fight many individuals before we became bogged down on a series of tricky wardings. Harpell being Harpell explored them by stepping over them although I was able to put to use the Identify Spirit scroll I located in the works of Tom Bola. Aven, Tarquin and Harpell located and dealt with a Rite of the Bane God but the feelings of despair were now close to over-whelming. We pushed on through seeking to find the heart of the despair which we eventually located. Tarquin and I found, however, a most beautiful and alluring woman. Despite Tarquin's best efforts it was clear to me that it was my cassock she wished to lift. But Harpell being Harpell he spoiled everything and slew. To add to my frustration Harpell then felt the need to utter the unholy word; laying me low again.

I cleansed the altar of despair with a Rite of Talthar and we felt that our task was done but fortunately I utilised my Talisman of Communication before we rushed off and we realised there was still more work to be done.

We felled an anti-paladin and some foul Barrow Warriors before discovering a truly foul beast with extreme control over causing miracles. Had it not been for the Prayer of Unity I know I would have fallen and I fear Galdor and Yorso may also have suffered that fate. To add insult to injury it had a returner of Touch of Death but Harpell much to our surprise was able to catch it with a Restore Life miracle. Our task complete we used the transportation device and turned up in Ishma.

It seems that Harpell spent some time in Ishma whilst I was on my missionary work and we were met there with a real Harpell sycophant. Of course it is normal for people to be impressed by the impressive but even so the level of devotion to Harpell from a non-believer was an eye opener.

We were led to a shrine to Talthar and it was apparent that the altar spirit had been attacked in some way but we were able to deal with that thanks to the blessings of my colleagues and their prayers. I was at this stage in a state of serenity having cast the Prayer of Serenity and so not able to assist.

We located a hole into some catacombs under the temple and headed down to see what we could find. What we found were some very challenging undead creatures which required us to despatch 6 generators in turn. I had to call upon the Blessings of the Aspect of Subtlety to enable me to move unseen as I had little defence to their attacks of freeze and paralysis but Yorso was caught by one and I had to fly to his rescue. By this stage I was very low on spirits but was able to keep just enough Spirit Shields in place that I did not fall to their blows and eventually we dealt with the generators and were able to relax momentarily. Even Harpell was exhausted by the fight.

As we passed further into the catacombs we met some worshippers of the Pep pantheon but Aven assessed that our job was done and that we would return to the Cathedral. Harpell seemed unconvinced but clearly as Aven is infallible Harpell was wrong. To ensure that Aven was not acting on less than full information I was able to scout ahead beyond them and located two large angels who seemed very unpleased to see me. Even with this news Aven was satisfied that our task was complete and we returned to the Cathedral. When we arrived Harpell was nowhere to be seen. He had refused Aven's summons!

I sought Aven's permission to return to Ishma to find and force Harpell to return but the transportation device was bereft of further power.

It has been a strange few hours in the Cathedral since our return. Aven seems so disappointed at Harpell.

When I prayed to Talthar tonight I felt his presence and I am sure that he whispered to me. His words were hard to grasp but I sense he has some purpose for me that will be revealed before this year is out.

entry Jun 4 2021, 10:36 AM
Having set out on the journey laid down for me by Talthar I was passing through Halgar yesterday when news of disorder reached my ears and as I passed through a square a panicked citizen dropped a flyer as he passed me calling for the aid of mercenaries and promising payment. Following Aven's recent comments about the state of the Church coffers I realised where my duty lay and followed the instructions on the flyer to the meeting.

I met there with a number of other mercenaries to learn of the trouble besetting Halgar which seemed to be serious with many dead guards and citizens. It appeared that two powerful beings were playing havoc. I agreed to join Cathbad, Theodore, Narstar and Fabadon to pursue the one that had headed to the Treasury (bearing in mind again Aven's comments re the Church coffers). We met many unusual undead along the way but thanks to the Rite of Talthar Theodore was able to dismiss many of them without causing us much trouble. We ended up in the vaults of the Church of Dead Heroes but before we could challenge the villain (who was a very powerful Lich) he disappeared.

Thanks to the scrying of my colleagues we were able to learn his destination an island called Mourat. Fabadon showed great skill in getting us all there. We were able to avoid harming any of the natives although Cathbad managed to accidentally kill himself. I am sure I could have saved him had I thought quickly enough but in the panic I let him down. After many tiresome challenges of skill, wit and violence we were able to pierce the inner sanctum of the Lich and disrupt his endeavours and slay him. I confess I came close to death many times in that fight!

Very much a learning experience for me and I look forward to travelling with these fellows again.

entry Jun 1 2021, 01:09 PM
What joy there is to be had in the light of Talthar. Last night Talthar himself came to me in a vision and revealed to me that I am to ascend to heaven itself as an ArchAngel of the faith before this year is spent provided I can prove myself worthy. I am charged with travelling twice this month to take on the power of Ruin and despite it being clear to my mortal self that the challenge is too great for one of my experiences I know that with the light of Talthar guiding me I shall win through.

That said I shall be praying extra hard these next few days.

entry Mar 21 2021, 01:20 PM
As we approach the Day of Fracturing I feel so blessed that despite the stresses of being locked up in the Cathedral for months on end with my brothers and sisters in the faith I remain devoted to them all (well apart from Gravain obviously). Despite the disappointment at Aven's announcement that we must delay our next crusade to 3 Jurrie I remain excited at the prospect of bringing the light of our faith to the unworthy with, as Galdor might say, extreme prejudice.

The extra time will come in handy I am sure, my researches in the library and prayers in the chapel are continuing to bear fruit and with the extra time soon I shall appear as an apple tree in autumn.

entry Feb 11 2021, 01:23 PM
Much rejoicing in the cathedral today as it is the Messiah's birthday. The day for me began very early awoken by a dog barking in the cloisters which seems to have been abandoned. I have taken it upon myself to keep it safe until its owner can be identified and I enjoyed a splendid stroll around the city before matins with the little tyke.

Despite it being his birthday the Messiah is not resting and he has taken himself off into the city to tend to the poor, ill and hungry. He is expected back past vespers; his dedication to the cause is an inspiration to us all.

May he spend many more birthdays providing such leadership.

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