THE DAWNS CRUSADE
The Writings of Kaerless – Elf Nethermancer
9th of Charassa:
We were met from the scarecrow creatures abode by a group of villagers, though as we appeared they seemed to lose focus, some were dropping to their knees and others staring blankly into the fields as they saw us.
We took these lost fools back to the village, checking on the children we had left, and seeing to the wounded, much as I would have liked to teach these fools a lesson, it appears their own daemons had come back to Haunt them. We spoke to the elder of the village, Terith Kembon the only one who seemed able to communicate at this time, and found out just what these people had done to survive.
Over the last 400 years they have sacrificed near on 5000 children to this Horror, for its protections, each child laid to rest beneath the corn, they bred just to gain its protection, with nearly every child being sacrificed to it, and each parent providing it their life’s work, their children, to its hungry maw. No wonder they look so shocked and stare into these fields.
We also learned from Susel Emith that this place was called “Harrow Field” and she told us a tail of how they had succumbed to this horrors grasp.
She explained that many years ago now when the scourge started that the little secluded village had little money and that many of the young, sick or elderly couldn’t make the trip to the kaers and many didn’t believe the scourge was real and stayed behind in the village
It was at that point that the village was struck down by some mysterious illness and horrors were spotted roaming the lands nearby. The village panicked several people died of sickness and several horror attacks happened when suddenly a glowing human figure appeared and told the villagers she was the passion Jaspree and that she would save our farming village
She told our people that she would magically bless our wheat fields so that no horror could pass but such a thing would come with a price and that such powerful magic’s need to be fed by life energy to keep them alive. In a state of desperation and trusting the passion Jaspree our people agreed and even built a shrine in Jaspree’s honour. However they were deceived
The person in front of them was not Jaspree but was a foul and twisted horror that was using dark tricky magic’s on their minds. However trusting the passion in front of them the villagers followed blindly and shortly after people began to recover from the sickness that had seeped through the village and the horror attacks stopped
I was not there myself obviously but did hear stories from my grandparents that several scouts were sent out of the village and beyond the wheat fields, only two were ever sent and by all accounts one of them stumbled back into the village with no skin and died shortly after, the other came back several hours later screaming uncontrollably and trying to knock himself unconscious, he only repeated one word over and over again…….. Demons, he died later that night
The people were horrified but no horror passed our wheat fields, the people got better, the horror attacks stopped and all was well for that first year until the horror once again returned to our people. On that dark day the horror disguised in passion form told our people that the fields would need blood to keep the magic in them alive and that each year 13 children must be killed and buried under the wheat field (at this point the women starts crying) and tries to explain more
She explained that at first the residents refused saying the price was too high and unthinkable, however a few weeks after that several horrors managed to break through the wheat fields and killed several residents before been killed. The village once again panicked and after much dark discussion and fear the resident gave in trusting the passion Jaspree. Once this happened however they had fully opened their minds to the horror and the first of the 13 children were killed and buried under the wheat fields
From there the horror tuck over their minds and each year people were breeding just so their babies could be taken away and slaughtered to the foul demon. That was nearly 400 years ago now and the horror has claimed virtually all of our children since only leaving enough to breed.
At this she began to cry and we started to realise the magnitude of their plight. That if this corrupted village has been here since before the scourge and has been sacrificing children each year. Then out there buried under the wheat fields is the bodies of over 5000 children all claimed by this foul horror. We now better understand why the residents are crying uncontrollably and others are staring out into the fields frozen and horrified.
Some time passed as we tried to comfort the villagers when eventually they approached us and thanked us for freeing them from the horror. They then asked for another favour and handed us several letters and asked if we can take them back to the farming zone where they can be sent on from there. Looking over the letters we see that they are letters requesting help and support.
As the others moved around and searched the village, cleared the shrine, and took care of those we injured, I collected all the able bodied who wore the red robes of this horror, and took them to the fire. Whilst these robes were undoubtedly the most expensive items these villagers owned, they were more than happy to set them alight by throwing them into the flames, cleansing what they can of this horrors taint from them.
10th of Charassa:
At dawn the next day myself and my comrades from The Circle of Light moved to the graveyard, for me it was a test, to see if I could speak to any spirits that may remain and set them at ease, though it appears this Horror not only took the lives of the children, but also drained the spirits of the dead, all bar one place, one stone tomb that stood apart from the others by its ornamentation.
Within this tomb we found pictograms of mountains, falling to corruption and taint, pictures of a weapon, a great axe, that would split the very fabric of the world open, and a tomb, within which lay the long dead body of a dwarf, covered by a stone shield, Rastan took etchings of this, as did Jace, though he had to be put into his place as he attempted to steal two wayfarer gold coins placed in the dwarfs empty sockets. We left the tomb sealed, so that others who come across it would not know we had been there, even though these villagers have no Idea what is there.
That day we helped fortify the stronger buildings within the village, trained with some of the able bodied whom we donated weapons and some armour we had found in Kaer En’Faden Loki and saw the stone mason. What little he was of that skill, and provided him with copies of the runes I had from Cethin. The day went quickly, and we decided to take our leave the next morning, carrying letters of aid to the farming belt, for Barter Town and Throal.
11th to 15th of Charassa:
Our journey back was uneventful, apart from the finding of a large stag, which will feed this group well, and whilst I hate the idea of waste, and the death of such a magnificent creature, the change from trail rations was welcome, Even if Gron was now eating bark to sustain himself.
15th of Charassa:
We reached Cethin midmorning, to cheers from the crowd of guards around the gate, whom I gave a leg of venison too. Only to be met inside by another group of adepts, who outshone us as the sun outshines the moon during the day; they called themselves The Dawn’s Crusade.
Abruptly they asked us about our previous challenges, the defence of Cethin that had first formed our group, and where we went when we left to track these foul Gribblies (I sense a note of distaste in their use of the name I gave them). These fellows were as far above us, as we were above those villagers, and whilst they seemed to want our help, it was obvious it was not a pleasant request they made, but an order. We were to meet back at the tavern where I now write this entry, awaiting my fellow adventures, in the company of these lords of battle. They deign to talk little, but seem interested in what we have found so far, and I share with them the book we first found in the mine, and show them several ears of corn from the horrors feast fields.
I had already completed my shopping, long before I reached the bar, and wondered what is keeping the others, but my question was soon answered when Gron returned carrying enough food and blankets to feed the 300. Shortly to be followed by Kaarath and Jace, who had been to see the fool and left with him the magical items we had found so far that of which we know nothing.
The leader of this new group is called Ze’Vian, and he brought tidings that the attack we helped repel was not an isolated incident, they too had tracked these Gribblies back to their nest, to the south of Cethin, but this was another place, somewhere we hadn’t been, but sounded as if we knew it. They proposed we join them heading back to the mine, and to see what else we can find, and learn from these mighty adepts would be a chance not to be missed.
19th of Charassa – On the road again:
Again we travelled for days, each day this travelling group, or maybe circus, for a strange site we must have made, would learn from each other, whilst all we could show them was where we had camped and details of the mine, they shared with us skills we had not thought possible. For me it was a humbling experience, but something I shall not write about here, suffice to say it will be something I will employ in future when the need arises.
When we reached the mine, it looked much as we had left it, and as we delved underground again it was with a sense of caution, wondering what we could have missed, were our explanations not enough, or did they just want to see with their own eyes?
In one of the many chambers the scout, Vaden Trueshot shouted they had found it, the same thing they had found at the mine they had also dealt with. Egg shells, hatched and smashed, too easy for us to miss, but Vaden’s talent brought them out of the murk and into light. The reason this group had asked our help was because they had found something much like this elsewhere, and needed to confirm if it was isolated or planted. Leaving the mine, again to be in daylight, Vaden found tracks, ours and beneath them others. These had been missed before, I do not know how, as they were obvious once we could see them, leading off into the west.
That night camping within sight of the mine was a strange affair, it appeared that that The Dawns Crusade at last trusted us, maybe they thought that we had something to do with these Gribblies, but no longer it seemed. They asked if we would join them, in tracking these foot prints. Vaden was sure there were 7 or 8 name givers to follow. The prints were too broad for elf, too shallow for Obsidimen or Troll, to narrow for Dwarf or Ork, too Human for T’skrang and too large for Windling. Leaving the fact that these could only be human. Of course we accepted, and our journey begins again in the morning.
25th of Charassa – Mornings light:
Again I have been remiss in the upkeep of this journal; we arrived back in Cethin today, alongside our new comrades The Dawn’s Crusade, after a mighty battle, and maybe one step closer to finding out who has been bedding these horror nests into the old mines of the farming belt.
We fought Horrors, too many to count, and if it was not for good fortune and planning things would have gone badly, luckily our old trick with fire and flame helped, that and a useful element of true fire Jace discovered. We cleared another mine, Gron again charged the largest creature he could find, maybe he has a death wish (and this could be useful in the future). The Nethermancer Irakus Dem showed powers I have never seen before, as he chocked a score of horrors with his breath only.
To say I have a death wish is so far from the truth, I do not fear death and I know that the path I have followed that death may come to me quicker than for most adepts, but nor am I foolish with my life. I treasure all life except those of the horrors if you can call them living. Why I attack the biggest beasts in the fray is obvious, they are the ones that can do the most harm to my friends so it is wiser to risk attacking them first and get rid of the obvious threat they pose. Than to try and slay the smaller foes and risk greater harm coming from the superior enemy. If by doing this I someday die but my friends survive then I will have succeeded.
Gron – Obsidimen Horror Stalker
After the battle was won, Jace was schooled in the art of picking locks by the thief Dimiss Nigthstep when an old safe was found, carrying yet more coin and stone, which I gladly took my share of, yet still do not understand how something so useless can be worth so much.
We also found something that may lead us, or The Dawn’s Crusade, to these fools playing with constructs.
I do not recognise it, but maybe others will, so I keep a copy of this within the journal, if the need ever arises.
26th of Charassa – A new light:
We have trained now, each with our respective masters for over 2 weeks, whilst I feel exhausted, I also feel a new power, and to add to that the items we discovered also hold great power and mystery. The fool wizard has a use it appears and deep pockets if the Windlings tale is to be believed. Between myself, Rastin, Kaarath & Jace we each carry a magic item. I would include Gron in this, but all he holds is a cooking pot, but he seems happy with this arrangement.
The fool also provided us with a translation of the Dwarf glyphs on his burial shield, which reads as follows:
“Into Skytha we go”
“Into the Battle Bellow”
“Into the deep, where only the darkness sleeps”
Here lies Valus Rarg hero of Skytha:
“My heart is heavy within my chest, our great homeland of Skytha has fallen under attack and been overrun by demons and monsters that we have never seen before, these foul beasts are as black as the night itself and now lurk deep within the tunnels and mines, the people are scared”
“The magic users cannot understand, this great Scourge they speak off is not suppose to start for another 100 years but here in the mountains these foul demons flow into the mines like a river and we have lost thousands of men trying to stop them”
“The order has been given now, the full evacuation of the entire kingdom has began, its chaos we just haven’t got time to move all of the wealth and people out of the strongholds and these horrors plague us every day, it’s getting worse now, I’m not sure how much longer we can hold out but we must stand firm until the weapon is ready”
“We have put everything into that axe, all of our anger and pain, all our hurt and suffering, our very blood and all of our rage, we have poured away our very dreams and hopes into that weapon in hope that one day we brave souls of Skytha will be remembered. Some say it is the most powerful weapon that our kingdom has ever created but one thing is for sure, it will be the very last weapon ever made in the great forge of Skytha, the last weapon to ever see the halls of the Dwarven lords”
“I cannot understand what is taking them so long even the most powerful axe should have been completed weeks ago, for now all we can do is prepare for the journey ahead, many flee South towards the Throal mountains, others North towards the Caucavic region, our entire kingdom is been abandoned but one day we will take it back”
“If you are reading this then help us, help Skytha and the halls of the Dwarven lords shall be forever, your brother”
“Long live Skytha”
“Long live Engia”
“Taken from the journal of Valus Rarg
He could not provide further details, and it appears he has no knowledge of dwarfs in the Caucavic region, nor of this “Engia”
It looks as if we have a new challenge to face, but I must admit I feel trepidation, not because the thought of this axe brings a red hue to Gron features, but because I am no closer to finding the answers I need, yet I have only been in this world above ground for less than they term a year, and apparently bar injury or death I have many more of these in my future, so perhaps all is not lost.