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Winters End – S020 – Kalista’s Journal

Day 91 – Sipran Keep – Battle with the Sword Demon

Blood and bone fell to the demon and its blade, and soon so did I. When I awoke, Don had just poured an oil of curing over my blood-soaked body. The others were stable, but barely alive – fate had intervened and we lived this day, and yet could hear the beast making its way deeper into the castle.

I managed to heal the others a bit and used more of the curing oils we had left to heal those I did not have the magic for. We left… making our way out of the place, we entered the dining hall, hearing voices “Jonas said it would be waiting here for us…”

By the Saint, I thought, have I been duped again?

“It is I Kalista, “ I called out, one solider peeked into the room and then whispered back to others – “It’s the villagers from the Tomb” – we then heard them scurry off and we followed, slowly leaving the keep.

Down the road we encountered them again – the entire group of the Church – Jonas, Malervictis, Thiridia and the others. We spoke briefly and they went passed us to the keep, I cast a spell just as they were out of visual range – my book, the book of Fimble Winter my friend’s had intrusted to me, was gone. I still did not feel the need to tell them though. It was not important now, not while we were so injured.

Luckily the Scours let us be, for they could have easily killed us if they thought there were need – and, perhaps if I had not given them the book earlier, that is what they would have done.

We returned to the inn to much agasp attention – people were shocked at the sight of us, shocked more at our story. Soon I managed to rest and meditate, regaining some of my power. Healed everyone a little.

Felghanis had said a possie went to the Keep with the large woman.. Deldra…  suggesting they should burn it down.

Sigh.  What little minds have these people – still I think those of Felk Bay would have acted the same way – giving the circumstances.

I healed everyone a little, and Anier a bit more – he had been to see Lim, who had stitched his arm on – suggesting that if she had the clams she could heal it properly.

I bathed, washed out my clothes, and my hair. Blood, my own and that of my friends stung my tongue. We almost lost them all. We almost all lost – and it is Felghanis’s fault. Truly it is.  That necromancer never stops to think his actions through. Never hesitates even in the face of great threat – we should have never ever entered the keep. It was foolish and outright dumb. Still, I feel this will not be the last time that the boys lead me into great danger, and nor will it be the last time that I follow them blindly.

Dumb? Blindness? Blind love? Love?  Perhaps. In a way I love them all.

Felghanis and I share a common thread – that of knowledge seeking

Don and I … I think we share a common love – that for nature even those his leans more towards the Fey of which I have limited knowledge.

The Dwarves? I think we share honour and kindred friendship. Friendship borne of battle and blood.

Sigh. And what of the Saint and the Church? Sigh… Of that I have no decisions yet.

Day 92

The sun gleamed sharply through the cracks in the window-shutters. It was a nice feeling as woke up, feeling a bit more rested than before. I sat at a small table in my room, stoking up my personal fire a bit to warm the place a bit more. I looked over my book, struggling to focus as the ink looked like the blood of the dead, and broken bodies, hands, clawing at me.

I shut it.  Closed my eyes as tears stung my face. I could still smell it, taste it. Hear its echoing voice. The demon. It was a sword-demon, of the Pale of War I guess. The kind that cursed the wretch Goron. Made him insane, crazy enough to steal from us – or attempt to.

Looked at my book again, more, the spell-structures I had been working on over the last weeks seemed to make more sense – little errors preventing the spell from working, now they work fine. Protectus Evilus. If only I had that before we fought the Demon…

Came down stairs and sat quietly at the table while we all ate breakfast.

A moment later, Lord Tovran guards came in. I sighed again, thinking what now?

Lord Tovran had called for Felghanis and his companions. Interesting. We obeyed the request, even though I was reluctant at any more excitement today. We went back to the Siran Keep – blood still stained the snow where the gates had been smashed in – it was been removed.

A large tent had been erected in the court yard, and Lord Tovran sat there. He greeted us, and then held for an Iron flask with a wax stopper. It was adorned with runes – arcane runes.

“My Lord, “ I began,  “I can cast some spells on it to aid in its identification…”

He nodded, “Proceed”

I called forth the words and held my fingers in the correct sigma-form of Divination – Detectus Magikas. The whispered words seemed to be picked up in my own steam-like breath and touched the vessel, making it glow – the runes a silver blue, dull as if spent as I noted the crack.

“By the saint, “ I shuddered, “its the source of the Demon” – Felghanis concluded.

“Where was it found my Lord? Can you show us?”

My worst fears were answered as his men pointed out a spot on the road, and Don discovered the tracks – five people. It must have been the Scours.

“No, “ I burst out, “ what have they done?”

The others looked at me, and I continued “My Lord, there are books, books of Fimble Wynter said to contain the rituals to create a never ending frozen waste land, or to stop it completely… Lady Sirpan’s ancestors were given one by Kentos. The church had found one, and I gave them the one we had…”

“WHAT?!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Felghanis shot at me

“What in the worlds name made you do that?” he screamed as he stormed off – for a moment I thought he would shove me to the ground as he cursed and cussed in the gutteral draconic tongue

“Make him shut up that awful sound” Tovran said

I sighed.

“The church is after the third My Lord. Lady Sipran had a .. a gate… a portal to get to Stonecrest where it is kept.”

He nodded.

“May I have your permission to enter the Keep to find it? It is possibly that the Lady used it to escape. Possible too that the vessel only summoned the beast – and if so, it could not stay here for too long…”

“You must swear an Oath of secrecy and Silence. You can not tell anyone what I am about to show you.”

I nodded. “I swear”

“A lot of good that is with us!” Felghanis shot back at me.

That did not seem to go down well with the Lord and he simply stated, “If you do not swear the Oath then you cannot come.”

I swore the oath to him, and so did the rest of my… companions…

He led us deep within the Keep to the Library – a dozen books or more on shelves, and torn silk hanging from the rafters.  “Many yards of silk, “I muttered…

Upon one wall was a stone-archway and as we neared it it seemed to shimmer.

“The power of the Gate is only momentary. That is, once you step through it will be some time before you can return.”

“I am willing to do this, but first I need an hour.”

I meditated again while the others re-equipped themselves with shields offered by Lord Tovran. Soon we were ready and I looked at Anier.

“Duty first.” He responded

“Thank you. I swear to you once we are done here, I will do what ever I can to have you arm repaired and healed, my friend.”

He nodded again and I stepped into the Gate.

It felt like a thousand streams of light rushed passed me as I was pulled along and flung into another room. The light had a pinkish glow and then I saw his body, Goron, as I stepped forward.

The others streamed in behind me.

Fel cast a hideous speak with Dead spell on Goron. Alas, we did not discuss our questions and I felt the opportunity to question him was wasted. Still we learned that the Scour Jonas had the bottle that contained the Demon. Other than that, nothing.

Don studied the wounds and tracks. Others came through here, and the Demon seemed to vanish here as well. That at least is a good thing.

Cast Locate Object and found nothing about the books in this room. Hundreds of books on shelves. Celestial markings on the walls. “Stonecrest Library”

The door too.

Davinus – Wisdom of Kiltayre (Kentos’s Lord)

Branner Marquis of High West Fief

Page Spine Tome – Volumes of Knowledge beyond Life

Stone Crest Library

…I could feel, or hear a distant, dull thrumming….

I opened the door at the same time Felghanis did as well, our hands touching – and even while gloved I felt a cold chill as he looked into my eyes.

Part of me feared him. Feared what he was becoming.

The door, as soon as it was opened, we could hear muffled sounds and voices. Could see into a larger room – tables, books, many strange people – strange Ilk?

I entered and so did Ghanis, feeling the pull like a force pulling us in and pushing us out again. Don and the dwarves hesitated – It’s ok…

They finally came in feeling just as we did, disorientated and amazed.

Here we spoke to people, and met Branighan he said his mother was an angel and his father an archon – somehow that made him free.

He cast a spell, warning everyone else what he was doing who seemed to tense up – and finally said “My dear.. you all should not be here”

We discussed what and why we were here and he spoke to a librarian who looked much like the other … in fact they were the same … and yet more than one existed but were one and the same.. and.. what? That’s Impossible… I said realising after where I was.

Branighan said finally, I will go out and find the people you seek – He cast a detect thoughts and shook his head almost in disgust at Ghanis before turning it on me – we were willing to accept it so he had more ‘ability’ or knowledge to find them and the book.

He warned us – do not leave the library. There are those out there who are not so willing to be pleasant.

With that he left…

All of us seemed to get involved in books and reading. Even the dwarves.

Ghanis was approached by an odd man.  After a brief discussion, Fel came back to us and said the man had told him the Scours had come and gone to some Hotel, and soon after so did the Sipran survivors… After?  Really?

We must go and help her… I sad with haste, the others managed to sway my decision. Its been hours, let us wait..

I conceded and went back to the books, looking over some spells in my own tome while reading notes on alto-mana-waves and ley lines.

I sighed at the lack of my knowledge just as Branighan returned – “They have left the city, via the North Gate. Its bothersome as they may not find their way out again.”

I sighed again.

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