The following is a fragment of the journal of the wizard Celedor, recovered and transcribed by the scribes of the Great Library of Throal
As we ascended the stairwell, I could hear clearly the sounds of close quarters combat, and just as I followed the prisoner through to the central guard room, a deathly piercing alarm was heard, accompanied by cries of “Invasion!” and “Run for your lives!”. I this confusion, the remaining guards fled, and that dolt N’Wad continued to pursue them! I, of course, being a wizard of not inconsiderable wisdom realised that this must have been an illusion. Well, I didn’t realise just then, but certainly sooner than the rest of them! Except perhaps T’Lin. But then what use is she anyway, if she can’t see through these things? It was certainly not long after we managed to pursuade N’Wad not to vault over the gate into the inner city, after the guard captain, that we emerged in the street, regrouping in the alleyway where N’Wad had so bluntly disposed of the second guardsman, in order to guarantee my entry to the guard tower, with not a siren to be heard.
It was at this point that we were approached by a moustachioed man claiming to be an agent of Lormando. His name was Ricardo, and it seems that he was the adept responsible for covering our escape. I suppose his little smoke-and-mirror trick was somewhat useful, but one can hardly respect a discipline that simply relies on parlour tricks and silly games. We were also introduced to the 2 prisoners that we had just broken free (in no small way thanks to me and my quick thinking – Celedor saves the day once again). They are Skyara, a fellow elf, and some sort of martial adept, and Porros, a windling who professed to be a thief. I must always remember to keep an eye on my concealed coin pouch when he is around. After N’Wad knocked out the guard he had tied up earlier (T’Lin wouldn’t allow him to be killed) we stole away in the dead of the night, quiet as a fox.
The next morning, having made it back to the Gilded Lily without incident, we made our way to Lormando’s War Room, in order to report the success of our mission in freeing his captured agents. The room distinctly lacking the prescence of said spymaster, I began to use my time constructively, beginning some fascinating study of Theran politics and diplomacy from books in Lormando’s collection. I did notice, however, that T’lin was looking rather the worse for wear – the product, no doubt, of a bad night’s sleep. I can’t imagine why, I slept extremely well, owing probably to the fact that a wizard’s mind works tirelessly during the waking hours, thus it is important to properly train and discipline one’s mind completely, so that as soon as it is time to rest, the mind gently succumbs to the splendour of restful sleep. It is of the utmost importance, and one of the things I take the most seriously about my discipline.
After some time, Lormando decided to grace us with his prescence, and in the absence of another mission, N’Wad decided that we should find Captain Farsight, who had not been seen since the previous evening when we left the Lily for the Guard Tower. Poor N’Wad, I believe, is driven by some sort of silly code of honour, or perhaps is even smitten somewhat with Farsight. Despite all assurances that she is capable of taking care of herself, it was decided that we should attempt to look for her in the dockyards. Firstly, though, we required to aquire some Theran clothing, in order to disguise ourselves properly.
Thus, we made our way towards the Residential Quarter. The guards at the gate attempted to hinder our progress through, but I, using my keen intellect and understanding of magical principle, talked our way into the quarter. It was at this point that we were required to gove aliases, and so it was that [ sperethial characters are difficult to translate into the throalic tongue, so this section is untranslatable ], ‘Gandalf the Grey’ (N’Wad) and T’Gl (T’Lin) accessed the Residential Quarter. The buildings there were ramshackle, poor and run-down. The (mostly human) people avoided us as though we were plague-ridden, and we found no help with directions. It was generally an unpleasant place to be.
After not long, we were met by a gang of 6, who halted our progress into the quarter and demanded we leave, threatening us with violence. I, as a resonable person, used my magical abilities to attempt to convince them to let us be, but to no avail. Eventually I resorted to practising the Theran diplomacy I had researched (As sinister as that sounds, it less about deftly stabbing your opponent, and more to do with playing the sycophant and attempting to use very subtle conversation to steer a negotiation behind veiled words – something which is a suitable challenge for one of my considerable intellect), but still they did not budge an inch. We were soon after escorted back to the Merchant’s Quarter by the city guard, thankfully avoiding bloodshed, but without having purchased any Theran Clothing.
Making our way to the dockyard, T’Lin discovered and read aloud for us some Theran propaganda, it would appear that Thera is appealing to the people of Travar to throw off the shackles of Throalic oppression, or something to that effect. Utter lies, clearly, but you can’t expect the common namegiver to be at all reasonable with these things. Apon approaching the dockyards, we found that they had been closed, but we did confirm that Farsight was inside. We decided to leave her a message, from [ untranslatable ], and make our way back to the Lily.
Here were found several technical notes on what appears to be magical theory. Being irrelevant to the narrative of the journal entry, they have been omitted here
It has been an interesting night. Apon our arrival back at the Gilded Lily, Lormando issued us with new orders. It would appear that Porros, the windling thief, had been spying on the local rulers, the magistrates, before being captured. He had discovered some sort of secret, sinister plot within their ranks. It was discovered that, in some contrived way, there was a small cult of Vestrial, posing (or actually working as – I never clarified this point) as Theran spies, posing as a cult. The cult members could be recognised by a tattoo on their forearm. As ridiculous at that sounds, it got worse. They apparently planned to perform a secret ritual to release a great horror (“Y’psnarret” or something) from the legendary Scimitar of K’Tenshin – a powerful and ancient artifact that was resident in the temple of Vestrial in the Merchant’s Quarter. The ritual was to be performed that very night, at midnight, and that was the time that we were to strike. Seeing through this dangerous logic, I pointed out the obvious – that it would be far better to sneak into the temple early, and to set up an ambush to catch out the (dozen or so) cult members before they even begin to attempt to release a horror apon the city. My idea caught on, naturally, and so we left after dark, around 10pm, disguised in the robes of Vestrial-worshippers. We, the survivors of Nerrok, were accompanied by Skyara, Porros and Ricardo.
As we approached the temple, we noticed 2 hooded figures in the doorway – the cult members had arrived early!. These were quickly dispatched by Skyara, and we moved into the ante-chamber of the temple. We discovered that the entire temple was full of Vestrial-worshippers, and a ritual had already begun. It was at this point that I, in a moment of great tension and shock, realised that these were perhaps honest members of the Temple of Vestrial, and not the cult members that we were expecting 2 hours from now. It was, I must say, a shameful moment. Still, we needed to verify the identities of these people, and the corpses of the doormen did bear tattoos on their forearms. Making sure my robe obscured me, I moved out onto the floor of the temple and attempted to converse with the members there. After some awkward questions, I came across a brilliant plan, and convinced the assembley that we (N’Wad and myself) were simple pilgrims, and wished to worship Vestrial before the Scimitar of K’Tenshin. This afforded me the opportunity to gaze apon the scimitar in astral space. It was an ancient and very powerful weapon, but I could find no trace of horror corruption. This was, of course, no indication that there was no horror bound to it, and we certainly couldn’t take chances. We were rushed out by the temple members, as they were preparing for a ritual, and so we decided to act, and assume that these were the correct targets, a decision which may yet come to haunt us. The plan was then hatched, and executed. T’Lin and I hid in the dark corners of the temple, Skyara and Ricardo waited in the ante chamber for our signal, and Porros went to the open roof and hung around, waiting for the right moment. N’Wad, under cover of invisibility provided by Ricardo, snuck (unbelievably well for one of his race and discipline!) behind the chief worshipper at the dais upon which the scimitar sat, and executed a perfect “Troll Spear”, his signature move, and the leader collapsed, dead, upon the stone altar. At this point, chaos broke out, and in following fight, all of the occupants of the temple were slaughtered mercilessly. I did not contribute much to the combat, my concentration shaken by moral dilemmas.
After the slaughter, I took the Scimitar in my cloak, and Ricardo disguised one of N’Wad’s daggers as a replica, in order to disguise the fact it had been stolen. We left behind Porros to keep a lookout for us, to make sure we had the right target. Unfortunately, in our haste to return to the Lily, we failed to leave behind some evidence to implicate Therans in the seemingly brutal slaughter of innocent monks.
After giving the scimitar to Lormando, we retired to our bedchambers and rested.
This morning, we awoke to the sounds of an angry mob, and breaking glass. This was, in fact, an astute observation, as there was an angry mob outside the Gilded Lily, breaking glass and throwing vegetables. A few city guardsmen protected the entrance to the tavern, but the crowd looked vicious. We decided to speak to them, to alleviate their fears. After N’Wad failed to calm them down with his speech (who’d have guessed?) I composed, with the aid of a little magic, a stirring and deeply felt speech, attempting to counter the influence of the Theran propaganda amonst the Travarians, and hoping to stir some sentiment of partnership with Throal. This was somewhat successful, in that some of the crowd began to mutter amongst themselves, but was also not as successful as I had hoped – a pumpkin flew out of the midst of them, stiking me from my perch on the steps of the Lily. After N’Wad attempted to laugh heartily at them, they quickly dispersed, maybe because they were calmed, maybe because the 10 foot tall horned beast with the big swords roared at them in what can barely be called an attempt at heartening laughter.
Back in the Lily, Lormando congratulated us on forcing the Theran hand in making hasty moves for the taking of Travar. He revealed to us the plans for a meeting between the magistrates of Travar, and J’Carr, a Theran diplomat and spy. It was made clear to us that J’Carr intends to bring in a fortress ship to ready a pre-invasion of Travar. If this were to happen, we would not be able to stop them, and so we were instructed to kill J’Carr before this meeting commences. We were given poison, and told J’Carr’s itinerary, as the meeting is tonight we will have to prepare quickly. I am not sure anymore if I trust Lormando – I wish to investigate this matter a little further before we simply act on these orders. The next few days shall prove to be interesting, no doubt…
end of excerpt