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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.

 
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