Legendry of Great Arms & Fabulous Heroes

Bryant Heraldry
Needfest 5

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A Gift from Persa

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From the mouth a babe
Sunsebb 25

How do I even begin writing about what just happened…

I went to seek guidance from the priest of the Old Faith – Auroch and Ruuk accompanied me because the Temple is in the unreclaimed area. It makes me sad when I see the living conditions of the people in this district. The war was over more than 100-years ago, persists in the the same state of destruction…or maybe not, I find it hard to imagine what it must have looked like by the end of the war. Better yet, what must it have looked like before the war. The building there betray a type of elegance that doesn’t really exist in Critwall anymore. The church for instance, has a footprint of solid marble, and the steeple over the two bronze carved doors of the entrance still has the original round-stained glass fresco, and the alabaster benches, though chipped at the edges, still stand in a single column on each side of a wide aisle leading to a large basin of silver water; the back and side walls around perimeter are all demolished, some of the remaining bricks just lie in heaps ready to be carried away. The priest greeted us when he saw us approaching him, and listened carefully as I explained the trouble of my family, and my petition. After so long trying to find the words to express my feelings in the clarity, that I feel a priest deserves, his response was to admit his own inability to answer with a worthy answer, and suggested we appeal to the gods of the Old Faith.

I have to admit, the priest surprised me so much with his humility, I thought I expected a big display when he called upon his gods, but nothing happened…yet. I purposefully left out the three kids we saw as we came though the unreclaimed area, they were out playing a game of tag before, as they were on our way back out, when I was complaining that the trip was a wasted effort. Just then the three kids came running, stopped not even 10-feet in front of us so that we would have run into them if we had not stopped. They turned to us – to me – and looking me in the eyes they said with one voice, “seek the grave of your ancestor,” and they ran off…

I guess I’m seeking the grave of my ancestor…now to find out where that even is.

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What shall be our fate?
Sunsebb 25

Mom and Dad were found guilty of crimes against Hope today; specifically, Kidnapping, Unlawful Imprisonment, Torture, and Conspiring to Humiliate or Defame. That means its up to me to determine what comes of the Bryant family name…To be honest, I’m not very certain that I even want to clear the our name, or leave this as a dark blot in our family history. Actually, Its something that I have been considering since they were arrested, and I still have not come to a conclusion as to what to do yet.

Auroch suggested that I should talk to a “Father-figure”; I thought he meant Alfred at first, but it seems there’s a little religiosity behind his words…He meant a priest. I suppose it wasn’t a bad suggestion, we’ll make way for the Temple of the Old Faith shortly, and I’ll return here with an answer, hopefully.

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Hope
Sunsebb 21

This is going to be a short entry. A lot happened that I just don’t feel like writing about. I’m still in disbelief about how far my family has fallen…

We arrived in Critwall a week ago, and I was turned away at first. The guys I hired to escort me back though (I’m really glad to have them around right now), they contrived a way to get into the house so I can confront my parents. Their plan mostly worked, until Bethany found us in a side room talking to Alfred, and saw to it that we were separated, and that I was locked in my room. By the time I got out (all thanks goes to Persa), the party had already come to an abrupt end when the Auroch was on the verge of killing my Father… I wish he would have. They held Hope prisoner. They tortured her. They were using her for their own games and entertainment. When I saw he again with the manacles on her ankles, I wanted to kill him myself. Thanks to Desmond, my parents, and many of the guest were arrested and are awaiting judgment. Either way, my family’s reputation has been irreparably besmirched; and I alone am left to determine the fate of my family estate. I’m so lost, I don’t know what to do. For Hope’s sake, I just hope Desmond can finally hold to his convictions, and honestly testify against my parents

I’m so sorry Hope. I should have never left you in Critwall alone.

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The Road to Critwall
Sunsebb 14

It has been a while since last I wrote in this journal. It seems like my entries are getting further and further apart. In no way trying to excuse myself, I’m learning so much from my new companions. It’s pretty amazing how four people from different backgrounds can come together like these four have.

Though I have known him the longest – he was the one that received me in the Temple of Kord when I arrived at Alhaster looking for my brother – Rukk is still the most mysterious of the companions. Ten days now we’ve been on the road to Critwall, and he spends the most of his time in silent meditation, just rocking back and forth with the cart on the road. I remember the first time I watched his meditation back in the Temple of Kord when he was also trying to teach me (I watched him through a winking eye) I was certain he was sleeping! Now on the road his mediation doesn’t change at all. Right when I thought he had fallen asleep again, he suddenly leapt to his feet and alighted from the moving wagon, and stood where he landed as we left him in the dust. I think everyone was pretty surprised when they saw it, but the driver must have also been dozing a little because he didn’t respond to our calls to stop the wagon. Looking back we saw that Rukk was engaging in something that looked like a sort of martial dance, kicking and turning in avoidance of invisible enemies, then suddenly leaping and twisting through the air in a whirlwind of fists and feet, he landed on the ball of his feet and, not for a moment stopping, sprung into an alacritous run, continuing to evade and attack the phantoms as he went and entirely outpaced the rest of us in the wagon! He stopped his run a distance ahead of the carriage, and rhythmically pushed against the last of his false-targets, bowed. and (when we had caught up to him) stepped back up onto the moving cart, took his place among us, folded his feet, and started his silent mediation anew. His devotion to his art and his religion is something that I thought were only fabrications of entertainers told to children and the weak minded – something my own family never allowed me to take part of when the troupe came to town. However, its that he is approachable even during his deepest or most intense meditation; he always response with kindness to my questions, and answers me, treating me as a person, instead of a child… Maybe I’m wrong about him being very mysterious; what it really is, is genuity and kindness. Now that I’ve written so much about Rukk, I feel at a loss for what to say about the others…

I’m most curious about Auroch’s past. Apparently, the dwarf served as a medic for the Knights of the Holy Shielding during the last years of the Greyhawk wars (that he keeps pretty silent about, except to refer to the war in name every now and again). Auroch doesn’t appear to be that old though, even for dwarven standards. He must have served while still in his youth; he was likely born into it. I can’t imagine what the war must have been like for him. What sort of things must he have seen. He says that one day he’d like to build a hospital to treat people on a bigger scale than what a town healer can perform. I imagine his goal comes with an unspoken follow-up, like, “in the case of another war. That we are better prepared. That we can save more.” Auroch has a good heart; my dad would say, “it bleeds”, and would warn me against people like that, saying they are one cause away from endangering their companions. I’m not sure I exactly disagree with his logic, but it feels wrong to run when good can be done. One day, I hope to have the sort of resolve that he (Auroch) has.

Of all the companions, Persa is probably the easiest to read. Its clear that she wants people to think that she has it together, and like a bully, tries to make herself bigger than she is, stronger, and smarter than everyone else; but inwardly is stricken with issues of self-confidence. I can tell she hates me. To be honest, I think I like her the most, because I identify with her. She’ll probably read this later…

Sorin of the Clouded Peak is another weird companion (not in a bad way of course). Granted, the knowledge of Genasi that Alfred taught me is very limited, Sorin acts so immature, albeit his knowledge of the wild is much more developed; he goes off on his own a lot without regard for the rest of the party. I’m sure I’m not alone in my assessment of his character, but I fear that one day he’s going to injure himself badly and no one is going to be able to reach him. That all is so negative though, what I like most about Sorin is also that he’s so carefree. The young(?) genasi often serves as scout and survivalist for the companions, spending most of the time on our journey out on his own, and making frequent stops to report back to our driver (speaking of the driver, more on him next) and the other companions about what to expect. He often returns with the bounty of the woods, and a teeth-baring smile; it’s like nothing bothers the guy, ever. How does he do it?

Our driver is a Goliath that goes by the name Norm. He’s something else to be sure. The other day we were caught in a bandit’s trap (I think the goliath saw it coming before any of the rest of us), he passed the reigns off to Sorin and leapt from the wagon and grabbed the skull of two bandits baring our path and smashed them together, incapacitating both in one move. I’m sure all the other companions feel that Norm is a beast of a man, and is just as curious as I am about his gritty fighting style; I wonder if they have also noticed that he always pulls his cowl over his head as we pull into town, and never remains in the open long if we’re staying the night, like he did back at King’s Inn.

It sure is cold. I miss the hearth back at home, but I’m getting pretty nervous about it too.

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Cloudy Peak Adventuring, Co.
Ready'reat 28

They’re back! And it’s official, they have their own adventuring company, sponsored by the mine owner! Everything seems so different about them now they are professionals. They even have their own coach and driver- a tall and mysterious greatsword weilding stranger. Perseverance explained the terms of the sponsorship includes full support of the party by the mine owner, (including work leads, professional contacts, equipment, and repairs) at a cost of 1000 gold, paid annually when their contract with Namen (the mine owner) is renewed, and the ability to call on their services as required. Its seems my pride in them was well placed. It will be a sad day when we have to part ways.

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Uncertain future
Ready'reat 24

This morning I asked Rukk, and the others, if they would escort me to Critwall. I was overjoyed to hear that they would. Even the dwarf, whose only reason to come along is the love of travel, said they he would accompany me. Alas, the feeling was not to last: they have all deserted me in favor of fame. Starting at the docks where they recovered Slade shield last week, Perseverance heard of “red-skinned devils” infesting the mines. Today, the docks were flooded with miners seeking work, and all of Alhaster is in an uproar because of it. The companions then decided that was more urgent to get the miners back to work, so they left with the promise that when they return they will accompany me back to Critwall. I suppose I can’t blame them. I think I’ve heard them joking from time to time about being heroes, at least, I thought they were joking. But If I’m going to have them along, I need to accept that they have other motivations driving them than what I have for myself. So, I hope they are successful, and do return quickly. As little as I know about devils, I hope they are not biting off more than they can chew… Slade, if you can hear me, please accompany the companions I have chosen, and keep them safe.

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Slade
Ready'reat 18

I never would have thought it possible. It seem that Alfred left so much out from my lessons… If I had just a little more knowledge ahead of time, I am certain I would not have been so quick to give up. I suppose I should say what it is that I’m speaking of…It’s Slade. I spoke with him, or his ghost anyway; but still I spoke with him.

That lady – the tiefling that pulled me back from the edge (very nearly, literally), I suppose I should honor her by using her name, Perseverance – suggested it to me the other day, as I wrote. I should be honest- at first I thought it was a fools idea reserved for necromancers to call on the spirits of the dead, but I was quite surprised to learn that this is a common service offered by the temples and their priests, likely used by wealthy beneficiaries to resolve issues of inheritance in the case of disagreement.

Speaking of being disagreeable: We did run into some trouble at the outset. I’m not sure what happened between the temple and Perseverance – its not really any of my business – but it sounds like Perseverance, or her Genasi (boyfriend?), had a disagreement with the temple priest over money they owe (or not owe); We were thus turned away, including myself because I had them in my company. Fortunately for us, at the temple of Kord where Rukk serves, there was a Shield Knight passing through that had in his possession the scrolls that we needed, and the ability to use them. We were successful to convince him to part with his possessions and accompany me to the grave that Slade – or Father Bryant (as He is so named in Alhaster) – was lain, and raise up his spirit.

Speaking with Slade was…strange, and somewhat of a landmark for me. Perhaps it just will take time to sink in. Alfred has told me so many stories of Slade when he was young. How he was the “apple of my mother’s eye” and how he quickly stole the hearts of the people in Critwall. I always wondered if it was maybe Slade, and not my parents that gave my family the influence that it holds back at that walled-city. Ha! I miss Alfred’s lessons, and how he used to call places by the names they had when the Flaness was young.

The circumstances of Slade’s murder is to be pitied. According to his account, he traveled with his killer. It does not seem to me that they were friends or traveling companions. More like, the one was in need, Slade flew to his aid and was slain because of it. I don’t know more about the circumstances, I wish I had thought to ask at the time. I just remember him telling me that the man pointed at him and he cursed him to “die”, and he was no more. A few of the companions that I brought along to the cemetery remarked at this information that this was a ancient spell known only by the most powerful of mages. I supposed I was a little distracted at this information, that I almost forgot to ask the one question that I came to ask, but was quickly reminded by the Dwarf to ask the question before the spell ends.

His answer was so simple that it almost need not been asked: bring the shield Home to be set on the wall. With that the spell ended, his spirit fading back into the ether, leaving me no chance to ask the only question left burning on my mind: what does a mage so powerful desire that he would kill a man that has no ill-will toward him?

Post-Script- I nearly forgot to mention: the shield was taken by a ne’er-do-good grave robber! We saw the churl with the shield slung over his shoulder with a pack of what I can only imagine was full of other pilfered trinkets, exiting the catacombs while we were entering to speak with Slade. Fortunately, the companions I brought along were able to track the man back to the docks, and recover the shield without any loss of life. I should add last of all, that I’m beginning to feel a sense of pride in the mish mash party I seem to have put together…(not that it was me that put the party together, but that they all worked so well together to come to my aid). I think I’m going to ask them to accompany me to Critwall…

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Plan B
Ready'reat 15

I have a lot of regrets about these past few weeks. I shamed my family. I set out on a fool’s journey, and landed in a place where no one is meticulous. Half of the people here are unhappy and the other half are their benefactors. Perhaps I shouldn’t be too hard on the town…

I met a kindly monk yesterday while waiting for Slade – or what ended as “news about Slade”. At first Rukk (that’s the monk’s name), put me in my place – I suppose I was maybe a little confrontational when I first arrived at the temple; But then apparently seeing the shock on my face being corrected by an orc, he took me under his wing to show me around the temple and teach me of his god, while waiting for Slade to arrive. We even trained a little, but I could tell he was holding back, so I held back too- Alfred never held back. I kind of miss him.

I almost made a stupid mistake when I found out about Slade… When I first heard the news, I couldn’t believe it. I was stunned. Confused, and in denial. I had not even met him, but he was my older brother- I guess more importantly I saw him as my only was home, and then that way was snatched up out of my grasp, and I was left hopeless. So I ran as hard as I could, intending to throw myself from the cliffs of the Dyv. Fortunately, I didn’t make it that far, as my new friend had an idea, a Plan B. To be honest, I have my doubts that its going to work. But at this point, I think maybe I realize that I’m out of options and I’m willing to go along…

For how long I wonder?

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