Author Topic: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere  (Read 4433 times)

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Offline X-Medoere & RCS/KE (Thorsten)

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The following is from Kaven's meeting with RW. It is a mail-thread copied unto the board, so bear that in mind as you read it. I keep each mail in a seperate post (in order to keep RW and Kaven separated and help avoid confusion), other than that I have altered nothing.



Kaven splashed water on his face and looked into the polished steel mirror. Dressed as he where in ragged peasants clothes he felt rather certain that few who did not know him personally would be able to point him out on the streets. Gone was the long golden locks that had been the envy of many a lady in the courts of Anuire, and stubble now shadowing his cheeks and giving him a rather gaunt expression, it was a somewhat different man that looked back at him.

He had been in Ilien for a bit more than a week now, experiencing first hand the mixed sensations of the populace under siege and under oppression. Most where desolate in one way or another. Resigned to whatever fate would befall them. Outside their walls was a foe who plundered and raided freely. Kaven tried to put it out of his mind that his men where amongst those that had been know to raid. But inside the city, the very soldiers that should be protecting the populace from that outside threat where busying themselves with keeping their own special brand of peace. Rape, Kaven had heard, had happened on more than one occasion as troopers, drunk on power and alcohol both, had asserted their rights over some tavern maid or helpless girl in the streets. Those few who had attempted to oppose the brutal methods of the military had more often than not found themselves accused of various crimes, most of them false Kaven imagined but that mattered little when a man holding a sword and thus ultimately the law in the city at present, decided you where opposing the the will of the Countess or, even worse, aiding the enemy.

The baron-in-hiding ran a hand through his close-cropped hair, as much to comb it into some semblance of order as to remove the dust and sweat from his last trip outside his little sanctuary. The sun had been baking down on the city with little remorse after that day of wild rain, which did little to ease the minds of the population. He had been planning to ask a peddler on the street about the Speaker and this temple of the one true god earlier that day, but had come to other thoughts as a patrol of soldiers rounded the corner, and marched down the street. Instead he had bought a poorly mended pot, at an overprice as well and he had no real use for it, but at least the armsmen hadn't glanced twice in his direction, seeing the peasant instead of the High Priest of the RCS. Hardly surprising, Kaven thought to himself. It had been days since he had last bathed or scrubbed at the grime and dust that was settling on him as surely as on every other commoner in Ilien. It wasn't a disguise in the sense you heard of in the tales of rogues and assassins who could don another persona as a set of spare clothes, he simply stank as them, sweated as them and toiled as them.

He let a finger trace one of the many scars he carried. He wasn't comely in the sense he one had been - a pretty youth with fair skin from the courts of Diemed. The wars and struggles had dragged that out of him. He knew many still considered him handsome, but it was a more rugged handsomeness now. His skin had been weathered by constant exposure to the elements, his hands callused by extensive use of sword and axe. Without the clothes and perfumes of nobility he was not all that different from the common man. His body was perhaps more toned, he was slightly higher as well - the results of a good breed with proper meals, but if he hunkered a bit and kept the baggy clothes that would not be all that noticeable. And in any case his stink would keep people from getting close enough to notice.
His eyes, however. Kaven found himself staring at his own eyes till they began to water. There was no hiding those blue eyes, sparking with defiance. The same eyes his uncle had, he knew. A rare enough trait on the south coast in itself, where most men had dark eyes, but he knew that when he looked at folk, more often than not it was them who glanced away first. He'd have to work to keep that in check.
Well, a lowly poor stinking peasant would more likely than not stare at the ground more than at the faces of people. Keep his gaze lowered, and he should be able to get by. As long as people did not suspect his presence, he would be able to manage.

Taking a deep breath he managed to tear himself away from his reflection and stood up straight to glance outside. The sun was setting he could see. The shadows growing longer by the minute. That meant that Janosh would be home soon, bringing what dinner he managed to scrape together. Kaven guessed that some kind of broth with stale bread on the side would be on the menu. He sighed. He missed the meals at court, that much he would readily admit. He had given what coin he had to the priest, knowing full well that someone would question the man he was trying to masquerade as, if he ran around with that much coin on him.
He snorted with amusement. "Much"... it was nothing really, but it could get a man far on second-hand bread and basic meals for some time at least. The siege had meant an increase in the price of even the most basic materials, and even though Janosh the meek RCS priest had given all he had freely when Kaven had shown up at his door, hiding from the Ilienese military. Since the temples had been closed and congregations forbidden, the priest had had more than enough to do, walking from house to house, ministering to the ruornites in their family. It made Kaven strangely proud. A silent act of defiance. If the priest could not speak to the masses, they would speak to the individual. It was arduous work, and Janosh showed obvious signs of weariness when he came back to the cottage each evening.

He had held his promise to the High Priest, and told no one of his presence in the city, nor how Kaven had hammered him up in the early hours of the morning, drenched in blood and sweat. Kaven had resorted to help the man as best he could, to repay this man for his kindness, and help him even as he helped the oppressed populace. He had cooked for the man, something that had almost horrified Janosh - to be waited on by the High Priest of his faith was unthinkable - but Kaven had pressed his will and gotten his way and had served food such as he had been used to on his campaigns. Stews mostly. And broth, hard cheese and bread to sop up the remains so as little as possible was left in the bowl.

Perhaps tomorrow he would go to the small chapel dedicated to Saint Egris, or venture a bit closer to the castle. He was still concerned about the fate of those that had not followed him out. Ser Estevan, a drunken braggart as he may be Kaven still idolized the man for his skill and dedication to his own agenda and cause. Orthien Tane, the Guildmaster, whom he had come to respect if nothing else, in spite of his questionable methods. The man was a patriot if nothing else. And Duke Hierele... where had he gone? Had he escaped the city?
Hearing the latch on the door click, as Janosh slid in his key and turned, Kaven gave up his brooding and turned to prepare the meals and engage in one of their many whispered conversations about the conditions of the faithful in Ilien, and their future...
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 10:23:40 am by X-Medoere & RCS/KE (Thorsten) »

Offline X-Medoere & RCS/KE (Thorsten)

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 10:20:42 am »
Janosh returns, but he is not alone. He addresses you by whatever name you have assumed for the occasion:

"I have found a preacher that was willing to come with me home when he heard of your interest in the One God. I will prepare the evening meal while you talk."

With that he carries his bundle to the smallish kitchen.

The preacher wears the hooded robe of an RCS priest. You have heard that they had found converts, but not that any of the priests had fallen to heresy. Maybe it shouldn't have come as a surprise; these are difficult times. The state faith against the mage-countess. That was bound to cause confusion in the ranks.

"It is good that we finally meet. There is much to speak of. But let us begin by easing your fears. The One God is not Azrai reborn with a new name. The One God is a benevolent God. He can be stern when warranted, but he is just and wise. The One God has not come supplant your gods.

Whether or not you want to believe this or not - it is true. The One speaks no falsehood. But whether or not you want to believe is still important, not because it will affect the truthfulness of the fact, but because it will matter for the fate of so many souls in the years to come.

So I ask that you listen. Be prejudice f you like, but let nor zeal get the better of reason. Because if you do, you will be condemning many that could have been saved to a fate worse than death."

He removes his hood - to reveal a deeply tanned face, darkly intense eyes, and a shaven head covered by tattoos. I could have been any southern sorcerer of course, but the man has a presence that cannot be refuted - it is the Red Wind.

"And I am not the wicked man that I once was. I no longer walk in the darkness, but in the light. The One God has spoken to me, has saved my hollow soul, and now I am his Speaker. The task was given to me when He chose to reveal himself to the world - it is up to me to spread His word, so that Man can be saved from the soulless fate that awaits in the shadows."

He hastens to add, In case you have a fit or something:

"And I have come now, at this place and at this time, because here and now is where the future is decided. I am not here for the petty wars, the greed, or the stupidity of those who should be noble. I am here to set aright what is to come."
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 10:40:44 am by X-Medoere & RCS/KE (Thorsten) »

Offline X-Medoere & RCS/KE (Thorsten)

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 10:21:00 am »
Kaven sits with a stern set to his face, as he listens. After the Red Wind/Speaker has spoken his piece, he continues to sit for a good time in silence, eyes never leaving the man.
"Speaker... you know there can be little love lost between us. Your God may have deemed to absolve you of the crimes of your past, but my Gods, I believe, have not."

He takes a deep breath.
"I will not lift a hand against you in this place. I am a guest in a humble mans home as much as you, but you must by now know what my intentions for coming here was and who I am. I see you do.
If you believe yourself free of any taint, I ask that you let me see you through the powers granted me by the Lawmaker. If you truly are unsullied by the evil that seems to permeate this place and Haelyn sees it so, then we can talk. If not, we have nothing further to debate."

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 10:21:17 am »
"There you are wrong. Because your gods are also my gods. If the One God has saved me, surely they recognize it? It is the clergy you are not so sure about...there you will find many doubters and naysayers, I am sure.

Go ahead, I have nothing to hide. My hands are clean of any evil and my soul and my blood are pure..."

He does not register as evil. Nor can you, with your powers, see if he's up to any trickery. But he is, quite clearly, a very dangerous many to listen to for very long...and you don't think it is magic.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 10:41:15 am by X-Medoere & RCS/KE (Thorsten) »

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 10:21:30 am »
"I'm pretty sure about the clergy. But then much is not as it has been as of late." He pauses, then nods to himself.
"You do not exude evil, Speaker, and my prayers to Ruornil has left me with the distinct impression that the Red Wind is dead to the world - even with you sitting here before me. That is good enough for me.
I will hear you and speak with you... starting with how my gods can be your gods as well. Do you serve One of Many, for it seems to me that the mere notion of this One God of yours seems to diminish their status as a pantheon."

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 10:21:43 am »
He smiles

"How it can be? It can be because men do not know everything, but steadily seek to learn. It can be because the parts continue to be parts, even if you put them together. It can be because the one has always been, but we have been too blind too see the whole, we ignorant little men.

I will tell you a simple parable, one more suited for the common folk, but descriptive nonetheless: If a craftsman takes all the parts that make up a wagon - the wheels, the axles, the boogie, and so on...and makes a wagon. It is now a wagon, but the wheels remain wheels...only now they have a greater purpose. Now, imagine you had never even seen a wagon before and could not understand what use to put it to; then you would perhaps still recognize the parts and make use for them. But it would still be a wagon, and when you realized what it could do for you you would be angry with yourself for making firewood of the wood and carrying home the iron loops on your back!

That is how it is with man, 'your' Gods, and 'my' God."

Janosh serves you some wine and surprisingly good bread.

"But you are right of course...you are too educated and too wise not to understand that the parable also tells of the downfall of the old and the advent of the new. So yes, in time, when more people have recognized the One, then his various aspects will fade in prominence. But it will not be this year, or even in our lifetime...

...and even when it comes, will it be a bad thing? Fade does not equal disappear...there will still be room for nobility and warfare, moon and magic...only now they will be united in purpose, rather than fractures and in opposition.

So we both know that there will be opposition...some from the small-folk...out of tradition and fear of the unknown, but mostly from those who stand to loose temporal power and wealth."
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 10:41:29 am by X-Medoere & RCS/KE (Thorsten) »

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 10:23:55 am »
Kaven seems to have issues grasping some of this, his brow furrowing. "If I understand you correctly, you would claim that all the gods are One? That he is the gathering of the Celestial Nine and Infernal Two, in unity? And Azrai?

We know our gods and love them. They fought besides us at Deismaar, their blood flows in our veins still. We fought fiercely on either side, hating and loathing the other. Do you tell me now that this One God was all the deities in that battle? That he choose to battle himself and shatter the world and all but destroy part of himself? That is asking me to believe a lot, Speaker. Why would the wagon work against itself?"

He pauses.
"Is this why you bring chaos to Ilien? Because you believe us to have chopped up this proverbial wagon for it's lesser parts and fail to see the whole of it?"

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2013, 10:24:08 am »
"In a sense I am. But that is only part of it. The One God is much bigger than that. The One has always been and always be, and in the final sense he IS everything, not just a God to be worshiped, but literally everything. You, me, every grain of sand. We are all part of the One. It was always thus...but we never did see, because we were not ready..."

He pauses for a while.

"Not everything about the One is easy to understand. Not everything appeals to the common mind...he is not good or evil. It is as you say...he is both. How could it be any other way when you look at man and recognize that we were made in His image? Men are not evil or good. We are both. But not necessarily in equal measure...most people would live in contentment and peace, if given the chance...and so it is with the One.

He is benevolent, but he is not perfect. He is omnipotent and omnipresent, but not without flaws. If he were the world would not exist, we would not exists...it would be stagnation and stasis...we are what we are because we are only nearly perfect...just barely flawed."

You sense there is more, but he stops before it gets too esoteric.

"No-one will demanding that you stop loving your gods or honoring your ancestors. Why would the One want that? We've know him in other forms and names, but we have still known. The first men knew him as shapes in the dirt or as the power behind the life-giving waters of the desert. Later they called him Titan and ascribed to him power over the physical world. Yet later, in my day, then named him God and fought each other over which aspect was 'true' and which was not. Then came Deismaar and the true gods were replaced by their mortal heir...creating a strain of quasi-gods we call scions...but I digress...we've know Him by many names, but he has always been the same...

So by all means, continue to honor your gods...but know that you've been given the greatest gift - if you dare open your soul you will know the One for what he truly is."

The food arrives.

"And honestly truly, I did not make this - Ilien - come to pass. There are other, more sinister, forces at work here. A darkness that reaches across time to undo the future that must come. That is why I am here, prematurely, to stop this from happening."

He laughs a little.

"I certainly did not make Gerladine rebel. I did bring no army here. I did not send assassins. I'm not the ghost stalking the halls, dreaming of old glories. And I am not the one who is tearing the law of space and time to shreds.

All I did was seize the opportunity. Extend a hand in friendship...to secure my passage here.

Kaven...this is where the end begins."
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 10:41:42 am by X-Medoere & RCS/KE (Thorsten) »

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2013, 10:24:20 am »
"The plagues? The perverse attempts to control the minds of men and turn them against those they love? The fleet in the harbor? That was not you?"
Kaven's eyes linger on the lips of the Speaker. "I sought to end all that, and had you pegged as the culprit, which is why I left, blade in hand, to seek you out. I desire nothing but peace for the region, would that I could turn my swords to plowshares but there are transgression that cannot be overlooked.

You speak fine words of contentment and peace for all. Of a god who flows through everything - and it almost sounds to me more like you describe the flow of the mebhaighl, Speaker - but you must realize that this is not for the foreseeable future. We..." he spreads his arm to suggest that he means all the people of Ilien, even Anuire "... cannot accept that so readily. I, myself, am only hearing you out as it is, because I know there is the vaguest possibility of truth in your words, however insane they sound."

He shakes his head slightly, still looking at the man in front of him.
"I am a paladin dedicated to Haelyn, Speaker, as you will know... yet I serve the people of Ruornil as their High Priest, in spite what scriptures may think and say of that.
I have come to learn through this special bond, that to the Silver Prince it does not matter that I call another god my patron, I am still blessed with his love and allowed to serve him, just as I am embraced by the Lawmaker. It is this knowledge and love that cross boundaries the holy men suggest should not be able to be crossed, that make me hear you out..."

He exhales slowly, uneasy.
"What end?"

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2013, 10:24:30 am »
”The fleet is entirely my doing, as well you know. It belongs to the Satrap of Eustan, a city-state to the far south. And yes, before you ask, the One God has a following there. It was my way of gaining entry here…you helped foil my last try remember? The one where I tried sneaking into the city to learn more…
 
Now I’ve heard that Ilien – and Medoere – has been plagued by disease in the past…that may well be related to the closeness of the Shadow World…although in Ilien’s case I think it has rather more to do with too many people and too little sanitation. But I assure you; I have nothing to do with that, and there have been no plagues here while I’ve been here. Even during the siege we have been lucky enough to avoid it within the walls.
 
And you forget that Countess Geraldine is a sorceress. It was she that turned the loyalty of the Ghiestan commander…after she read from his mind the treachery he had planned. I warned her about that her though, for I could not understand what Duke Hiriele, so friendly to Diem, had to gain by helping her out. It made no sense at all. So it was one man, and that man was planning to turn on her. He had it coming. So quit whining about that please.”
 
Long pause
 
“The end of all things of course! That is the reason why the One has revealed himself now, at this time. The eye of the Unmaker is upon Ilien…and much hangs in the balance.”
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 10:41:55 am by X-Medoere & RCS/KE (Thorsten) »

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2013, 10:24:59 am »
Kaven shakes his head gravely. "Those are not the events I speak of, Speaker. The RCS have twarted attempts at plageuing the besiegers through magic, and countered at the last instance a spell cast by a fullblown archmage... Which attempted to brainwash the mind of hundreds of Diemeans and force them to kill the Archduke in his sleep..."

He pauses.
"I am aware of el-Mesirs actions, and she will answer for them in time, but this was not her, and I came here to confront the culprit!"

Calming slightly he adds.
"I know nothing of this 'unmaker', Speaker. And I would be wary of hearing things regarding unknown entities from one who used the shadowworld and Black Galley raiders as his tools..." 

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2013, 10:25:09 am »
He looks at you for a while
 
“I know of no magical plague during my stay here…and if Dieman warriors where charmed and nearly killed their liege…I must applaud the Countess. She is much more resourceful than I had expected…her skills are quite astounding for one as young as her.”
 
When he sees your expressions he smiles a little
 
“Come come Kaven, though you might not like magic, the Archduke attacked a well-know mage. What did he expect? For her to meet him in chivalrous single combat? Now you are being daft. Of course she uses the resource at her disposal. I’m not sure it’s even illegal? Certainly not under Ilienese law…in the defense of the realm and all that. Perhaps it is I who should be wary of listening to you…you wear the veneer of a paladin and a noble, let you would cover your colours and murder a woman?”
 
He makes ready to leave.
 
“You do not need to believe or even listen. That is your prerogative. But you live in interesting times and you will be given the opportunity to make real choices, something few men real have. I do not think small-mindedness will serve you here.”
 
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 10:42:06 am by X-Medoere & RCS/KE (Thorsten) »

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2013, 10:25:17 am »
"Though it was probably part in my recent defeat, I have never once hiden my colours, Speaker. I take pride in them, and will not stab anyone from behind..." he seems disgusted at the idea.
"And she was not the caster of such spells. My communions with Rournil has cleared that. It was the *other* wizard I was seeking... I believed him or her the reason for much of Iliens issues. First I thought it the ghost of the old count, whom Geraldine aparently takes advice from... And then I thought it was you, Speaker. Now I am not so sure..."

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 10:25:28 am »
”And yet you, a paragon of the noble and the holy, was willing to walk with men of dubious honour – Duke Diem who has turned out to be a thieving git, Ghorien Hiriele the treacherous, Ortien Tane the murdered – to do deeds that no good man should contemplate. Even I knew that the ends did not justify the means…I just didn’t care…you should be better than that.
 
Anyhow, seeing as you know of the Ghost…yes, there is a very potent – and at times very malign spirit – here in Ilien. Actually there may be more than one, or several ones combined into one gestalt…could be one or more of the dead counts, bound by blood and magic to this place, but no matter. I had also believed this ghost to be source of Ilien’s evils…but now I am not so sure. I think that it watches over Gerladine, guides her hands and her magic, guards Ilien. That sort of thing. But now I am not so sure. I’ve seen it ward and repair the weave…now why would it do that? I tried talking to it, but then it flew into an insane rage and I had to leave it be…
 
…but no, I do not think it’s responsible. Someone else is. Someone present when last I was here. Perhaps the Sword Mage – she’s allied to Gerladine, and I know that the Ghost attacked her when last she visited the city…near killed her I heard. Or maybe it was the Iron Rider…I’ve heard dark rumours about him. Or one of the priests…you had one with you that knew too much of shadow-craft…might even be the Pontiff. I do not know.”
 
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 10:42:28 am by X-Medoere & RCS/KE (Thorsten) »

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Re: Adventure #66 The Wrath of Red Wind (extended edition) - Medoere
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2013, 10:25:38 am »
Kaven gives a half-pained look. "The ends must justify the means, Speaker. We need peace, before everything resolves into a maelstrom.

Patriarch Baerelen was my friend, just as Archduke Diem is my liege. I will speake no ill of either, and hear none as well."

He pauses.
"It is by Geraldine's own hand that I have heard that this... or these Ghosts meddle with the veil.  And if it guides her hand, they do a poor job."