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> Report from 27th Mai
Christine
post Jun 6 2017, 10:12 AM
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Inquisitor Wilton and others

Apologies for the slight delay, and here’s the report of our actions in Port Miere on the 27th of Mai.

I’ve left out some speculation about our mystery correspondent, because we were reminded by Achramas that she shouldn’t be told everything as Louhi can scry about her, and I think discretion about some things is advisable – I suspect the people who know what I’m talking about know what I mean, and we can talk about that when next we meet.

Translations of the paperwork we found (letters passing between the Chosen Five) are at the end of this report, with the exception of the letter from Louhi to Achramas, which we gave to her and I have summarised at the relevant point.

We had decided to deal with the four anomalies outside the Citadel, other than the Shrine of the Netter. These were the Lighthouse, the Reaver Ship and one each in the docks and the slums.

We met up in the waystation, fortunately this time not being attacked by Louhi’s followers. After consulting the map to look at the anomalies, I got an impression from the slum anomaly of blood and power being sucked away into nothingness and someone to whom I had a link (Achramas) being in a great deal of pain but still alive. We left to deal with this as a matter of urgency, encountering some of the local Watch and masked followers of Louhi / Certizal on the way, who we killed after a brief stand-off.

The slum building was magically warded, and inside we were assailed by a great number of undead reavers (Tortured or Tormented Reaver, rank 5, I think, although it probably isn’t relevant any more). The majority of us fought the undead reavers whilst myself and Dusk looked at the rite we found within, containing the dead body of Ilmater of the Chosen Five. She had been lured to the anomaly by Louhi and ritually murdered, using a pre-prepared ritual which sucked her power and life from her. She could perhaps have been restored to life, having had vitae, but every part of her was gone and had been consumed. It is possible I might be able to do something if we can get her soul and power back from Louhi, but I am far from confident.

Louhi had placed empowered objects in the rite, each signifying a power to which he had some connection. The majority of these were related to Certizal, one of them having a wisp of the black ribbon which we found previously, which is an evil divine being whose name we do not know, which corrupts in order to survive. It is not the same as Certizal, which corrupts for power, but it was not unexpected to find them in the same place. There was also an object related to an entity called The Watcher of Ages, about which we could also find out nothing. It may be some research can yield a clue on this, but at present we have nothing.

Once he had killed Ilmater, Louhi had used her air magic power to teleport himself away.

Having done all we could to investigate the rite, which was not the anomaly, we ventured into the building’s cellar. Here we found 5 potent undead, which had been formed from beggars (Kallah I imagine, given their link to the city) – each had a name which was required to be used to dismiss them from a separate focal object, with a backlash on each occasion. With this done the anomaly was resolved, and returning to the upper level we finally worked out that the undead reavers were being resummoned. We found the rite doing so, the focus of which was a low-ranking undead spirit, which when banished lashed out with a death vengeance. At the centre of the rite we found a letter from Louhi to Achramas, presumably written in the expectation that she would come looking for Ilmater.

The letter was all rather gloaty evil, in the way that ought to act as a sign to anyone sane that they’ve really lost the plot. It’s the other end of the spectrum from writing out one’s musings on unrequited love for public consumption, and no more to be encouraged. Broadly he told Achramas that he had killed Ilmater and was going to kill her, and alluded to his belief that she was devoted to Asa Volki as himself (the reaver wearing the mantle of the Trickster) rather than as his mantle of the Reaver God. He seems incredibly bitter about this, as though she has betrayed them all by doing this.

We made our way across the docks to the warehouse which held the anomaly, which had oddly on the map appeared to show a forest. In order to resolve the anomaly we had to enter into it, which transported us to the Broken Lands, where we found a Farfolk Reed named the Wolverine Hunters. They had been trying to survive in the area and were broadly reasonable, allowing us to speak with their totem and agreeing that if we could pass their challenge they would assist us in resolving the anomaly. Of interest was the fact that their Reedfather, although in no way breaking the hospitality of their camp, made it clear that he thought that all the gods needed to be removed as only outside of the gaze of the gods could people grow strong as they had done. Hopefully he will move on from that idea, or it will be the Shadowed Wrath all over again and that didn’t end well for them.

The challenge was to fight the Reed’s champions, who would fight us to the point of their death and then be transported out of the area to safety. We did this for some time, with them using psychic powers and force of arms against us, but fighting fairly whilst doing so. Unfortunately Kiwi fell in the fight. We then realised we had to go and hunt down more of their champions, which was a fierce fight. Having dispatched the champion we met the Wolverine totem again, who tore out her heart and gave it to us, as a thing representing the focus. In order to shut the rift we needed to travel back and use magic representing the Miere side of the rift, at the same time as one of us (Morgan) used the heart on the Broken Lands side. This we did, Morgan was able to transport himself to us once the rift was closed, and Isaac restored Kiwi.

With the second anomaly resolved we went back to the waystation, and decided that as most of our front line had to depart halfway through the afternoon we would go and deal with the Reaver Ship first. To do so we needed to speak to Achramas, who as she had cast some sort of druidic bond evocation on me I was able to locate, which is a little disconcerting. She was along the coast a way, weakened and hurt by what had happened to Ilmater. We spoke to her and gave her the letter from Louhi. Achramas confirmed that Louhi wasn’t wrong in his beliefs about her loyalties, not that any of us thought he was, but pointed out that we should perhaps not discuss everything with her. She believed she would be able to transport herself away, and had warned Mielikki and Tapio about what Louhi was doing.

She explained that the ship where the anomaly was situated was Tapio’s ship, but that he had not been back there since before the Dawn as it reminded him of things he would rather not remember. In a bit of a hurry, we made our way to the docks and onto the ship, which had a distinct and unpleasant feeling. Trying to gain any impression of the area filled one with fear to the point of madness, and there was an extremely dangerous ward which would, if touched, have transported people to the Island where the Chosen Five had been abandoned as children. This seemed to be full of not just things best not thought about, but Things Which Should Not Be Thought Upon, of the sanity-breaking tentacle waving variety. We avoided going there, thanks to Lucien doing something clever with the warding, and were able to make our way onto the ship.

Inside the ship there were a number of undead and curious thing from the captain (Tapio’s) chambers, which were locked with a key held by a piratical undead first mate. To our regret, Lucien was killed in a fight with some elemental creatures that could only be slain by light magics, and having exhausted all his vitae was unable to be returned – being well aware that as a mercenary he was effectively immortal he took this very well and assured us he would return in a couple of weeks. At his request I took his body to the Church of Talthar afterwards – I asked if they wanted to let the mercenary community as a whole know of Lucien’s demise but so far they have not said anything, for which I imagine they must have good reason (probably that it seems a little unnecessary if he’ll be walking among them in a few days).

In Tapio’s chambers we found some correspondence, which was not immediately relevant but is interesting, and which I have copied below.

Finally, with our number depleted by the loss of Lucien and the departure of others, we headed to the Lighthouse. On the map this had given an impression of drawing people who were lost to it, but stronger than it had done so before. It was as though the anomaly was causing it to fulfil its original function, but to such an extent that people were being drawn in and trapped. This impression persisted when we got to the Lighthouse, finding echoes of those in Miere who had been pulled there. These were not real and were hostile to us for trapping them.

Amongst the inhabitants of the Lighthouse’s number we found some demons, and an angel named Alinafe, who we were able to rescue. Alinafe had been created by his god, Chisomo, from some otherworldly place who was now dead. Chisomo had been a god of small charities and good deeds, oddly his demise had not caused Alinafe to either cease to exist or go mad; we were able to convince him to carry out his god’s will in Port Miere by helping the populace there, which is hopefully all to the good.

In the centre of the Lighthouse was the Light itself, which was a collection of ritual objects in between which the power needed to be rebalanced. Dusk dealt with this, whilst the rest of us (mostly Morgan) fought the large sprite creatures defending the Light. Once the Light had been rebalanced, the Lighthouse settled into its normal rather than over-zealous function, and the anomaly resolved.

I believe that Inquisitor Wilton has already updated the anomaly list elsewhere in these chambers, and that mercenaries are being hired by an Inquisitor Grey to deal with the second tier of anomalies this Starsday. I have commented on that elsewhere.


Two further thoughts to conclude -

My view remains that our best (maybe only) argument to use to reason with Louhi is that he has been tricked by Certizal into killing the others of the Chosen Five, who are basically his family. Louhi’s correspondence to Tapio and Achramas shows he viewed leaving the service of the Reaver God as a betrayal of their family, yet he did the same thing. The letters show us that he chose to give up his form and nature as an alfari for power when he gave himself over to Certizal (before the Dawn), and became some sort of ascended being; “Exalted Darkness”, I don’t know the facts of it but I’m thinking of it as some sort of divine agent – a created angel / abashai rather than the corrupted ones Certizal otherwise uses. Since his death and resurrection by Achramas he has lost that – Achramas said he was extremely interested to know how she had been given back form after being transformed into the spear, which was why she was so cryptic in her letter to us (and he needs to go on not knowing that). He wants to get the form he was given by Certizal back, and believes that he needs to kill the other 4 to gain that power. It seems unlikely that if a god did something like that once it can’t do it again – I believe Certizal is making Louhi believe he has to do this as a final act of corruption, causing him to murder his family. In fact, if Certizal is corruption for power, it’s hard to think how it could choose not to do that.

We might perhaps be able to explain this to Louhi, and convince him that he is being manipulated. This absolutely does not change my view about whether he deserves to die for what he has done, or the view of the surviving 3 on that issue, but if we’re looking for a way to get him to stop for long enough to catch / kill him, or need an angle to use at some point in our dealings with him, this is one of the few things that present themselves to me. We can also possibly convince one of the remaining 3 to act as a lure to find Louhi, as we know he is hunting them, but that is a thought for another day.

Secondly and finally, we have confirmed that the Citadel anomalies can be dealt with one by one without disturbing the others, so it seems to me that we should make a start on resolving those that we can (all of them bar the ritual chamber, for which we need Louhi in some form). If we are meeting later this month, we can make a start on those bar the cellar, which are : -

Anomaly #3

Location: The Citadel, Entrance
Nature: Planar Weakness
Notes: The forces of the Reaver Lord have been observed mounting a defence against a demonic incursion at this location.

Anomalies #4-10

Location: The Citadel, Interior
Nature: Varied
Notes: It is clear that these anomalies are linked to one another in some manner. They are primarily instances of Secundal reflections - however they bear elements of other phenomena. It is recommended that they are investigated as a set.

Anomaly #11

Location: The Citadel, Courtyard
Nature: Unknown
Notes: Anyone attempting to investigate this anomaly via the map becomes suddenly incapable of breath, in the manner of a Drown spell. This effect is permanent until dispelled. Caution is advised in the event of further investigation.

Anomaly #12

Location: The Citadel, Exterior
Nature: Planar Weakness
Notes: The City Watch have been observed mounting a defence against an incursion of elemental beings at this location.

I would suggest we start with #12 and #3 to give some respite to the Reaver and Watch forces there (and because they are likely on the way), then move on to #4-10 as a set, if time permits and Inquisitor Wilton thinks this practical.

Comments and thoughts from everyone else appreciated, as always. If Dusk could have a look at the correspondence just to see if he can get a view of the nature of those who wrote it, that might be interesting.

Liara



Correspondence between the Chosen Five recovered from Tapio’s ship.

Tapio

You shall endure.

I imagine by now that Mielikki has sent the command to gather at the city. I am already a few days away. I have made the visit we discuss. She has made no comment, as she is wont to do now she has been stolen from us. You are recoiling, no doubt, from my blasphemy. Know that I have said this to His face as well. He understands. He has taken from me something that I prized above all save the rest of you. But I, too, shall endure. I am eternal.

Louhi



[I think the He in this is the Reaver God, but it might be Certizal. At this point the one was controlling the other anyway, so the difference may not be material. It is possible that Louhi went over to Certizal in part because Achramas was taken and transformed into the spear by the Reaver God / Asa, or because he worked out that she served Asa not the Reaver God and was terribly betrayed by this. That said, I think one can get too worried about why bad people do bad things, when the real issue is stopping them from doing them to people who aren’t bad people. A tragic past does not grant someone a free pass to be a dick to others for the rest of their life.]



Brother

You shall endure.

We are to move the ships to the coast by the dawn of the next Full Moon. Ilmatar will ensure that the winds are on our side, as will the Deep Lord – this should enable you to reach us before the week is up.

It will be good to see you again.

M

[Mielikki to Tapio, I believe. Interesting that Mielikki and Louhi use the same phrases in their letters.]



Brother

We are eternal in the eyes of the Lord.

I do not like it either, but it is the command from the Black Ship. There is no option but to remain within the city until the Dawn. Then this will be done and over, and we may return to the seas.

There is something else you should know. Louhi has been granted a boon from our Lord’s new ally. He reminds me of the slender shadows. The thought that he has given up his rightful form angers me – but it has made him smile. I have not seen him smile since the Ascension.

Perhaps it is a final victory over his foolish heart.

M

[Mielikki to Tapio – I suspect the Ascension is the process by which they became the Chosen Five]



Tapio

We are eternal in the eyes of the Lord.

Do not concern yourself with me. What I do I do for our Lord, and for the victorious future He has laid before us. Think of the glory that we shall gain, that we shall bring to our people, when all of this is over. We shall be the Reavers who sacked a city – who fought against the Empire and won.

Tell me that isn’t worth a little sacrifice.

Louhi

[Reading this it seems that Louhi, like a lot of people, sees himself as doing bad things for the right reasons, at least initially. He might be lying to Tapio, but at this point I don’t think so.]



Brother

We are eternal in the eyes of the Lord.

I return this to you with your eagle, as promised. He has kept me company these long weeks, and I am grateful for it. It’s not the same as having you by my side, but it is a comfort of sorts.

Our Lord has come to visit me in person, as I know He has with you. To be in His presence again, after all these years, is a reminder of a weakness I had thought myself past.

There is no purpose to this letter. It is foolish, a fool’s errand for a fool’s sake. But it is months now since I have seen any of you, and I am not made for loneliness.

I wonder, sometimes, if that is how Achramas feels.

M

[Mielikki to Tapio. They were broadly all fairly terribly treated by their god, but then he is / was the Reaver God / Trickster. Probably best we never mention to Mielikki that we read his private correspondence.]



Tappy

Miss you

Illy

[Ilmater to Tapio]



Tappy

This is tedious is it time to go home yet or not home but you know somewhere that isn’t a city because I hate cities.

Seriously I just want to go back on the ships and home ugh.

Illy

[Ilmater comes across as rather child-like in her correspondence, but then I never spoke to her whilst she was alive so couldn’t say. If I had to engage in the dangerous practice of assessing character from three scraps of paper, I’d say she was probably that way as a result of the horrors of the Island, likely the easiest to fool and most trusting of the Five, and thus the easiest for Louhi to trap and kill]



Tappy

I went back to the halls.

I know we’re not meant to but I really wanted to talk to her do you ever get like that when you just miss her?

She says hello in the way that she does now at least not sure she even feels anything anymore.

Sometimes I wonder whether its worth it what she did I wish understood it everytime I ask she just says that I’ll understand one day.

She said Louhi came to see her a few weeks ago to tell her about you know how apparently he won’t stop raving about him I don’t get what all the fuss is about anyway I’ll see you soon munchkin.

Illy

[I suspect “you know how” is “you know who”. But whether you know who is Certizal is unclear]
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dnsmantra
post Jun 6 2017, 12:29 PM
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I think those anomalies make sense to target.

Dusk
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ethuil
post Jun 11 2017, 10:52 AM
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My thanks once more for a thoroughly detailed report. This past month has represented a great deal of progress in saving Miere and I am relieved to say we are much more on track than we were.

It seems logical to me that you tackle the grouped anomalies together, and given the nature of the incursion anomalies I am confident in your ability to attend to them all in a single day.

A revised status on the city as a whole will be made available to all of you tomorrow at the latest. We have received some updates on a number of them given the recent hunt for and culling of the followers of SoFE in the city.

Inquisitor Wilton


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