Gathering of An Army

What else stirs in the fractured mind...

“Well this is a new place, Loviatar. Are we to play hide and seek so my torment is mental and the anticipation of torture, or is this time physical and he is here to break my body, and he just doesn’t realize you have sent me to him yet? I shall find out eventually, but for now what he can’t find, he can’t torture.”

While the black armored figure was distracted watching a strange image floating in the air, Samuel quickly ran out of the tunnel and to the edge of the island. Looking down from the edge, all he could see was blackness. He knew he couldn’t die, his mind and body had been broken enough times to know that she would just have a minion heal him again if he actually managed to succeed in suicide. He glanced over his shoulder at the stoic figure and knew that eventually, probably any second now, he would turn around and see him, and then the torture would begin. Samuel did not want this and the only other thing on this island was a cage, which he did not particularly want to be stuck in, so he did the only thing left. He jumped.

He seemed to fall forever. He didn’t need to eat or sleep, being dead and all, so the time falling was almost peaceful. Almost. At the back of his mind, he always thought of Her. His eternal tormentor, Loviatar. He was constantly expecting her, or more than likely one of her minions, to swoop down and drag him back to a new torture that they had thought up. While he fell his mind drifted. He thought of all the pains he had been through. The physical ones were easy by now. The psychological ones were much worse. He had been here so long that he couldn’t even remember a time before the pain. Some days he wished he knew why he was here, most days he was happy that he didn’t.

He heard stories from other prisoners every once in a while. Their stories were awful. Most were evil men who made deals for power, and were now serving out the sentence of their horrible bargains. Some were sad stories of decent folk who just didn’t know any better. The worst were the ones who suffered now because they had wanted to save loved ones. Like a man he spoke to from time to time named Samuel. That man had given up his very soul in order to save his wife and children, and before he was allowed to die, he was forced to watch them suffer a terrible and slow death.

No, Samuel was glad that he could not remember his life, or even his name, before the pain.

He fell for what seemed like years, decades even. He saw nothing except utter blackness, though he thought he heard people talking every now and then. Probably that black armored figure torturing someone, for all he could hear were muffled voices and loud grunts. Probably not though. He must be miles from that lonely island in the darkness and the sounds always came from a short distance away. Suddenly a scream pierced the darkness. It startled him so much, and was so close behind him, that for the first time since his dive, he looked up towards where he came from. To his amazement, he found the same lonely island floating just 30 feet behind him. To his utter disbelief, the island ever so slowly moved closer with just him wishing to move closer to it. It almost felt like swimming through water, and for the briefest of moments, Samuel remembered being a small boy swimming in a lake. But the memory was gone before it even fully formed, and did nothing more than confuse him.

As he approached, he heard two men talking, arguing, fall silent for a time, then argue again. He guessed one was his black armored torturer. When he was close enough, Samuel reached up and grabbed the ledge with his two fully functional arms. He could just barely remember a time when Loviatar personally burned off his right arm as payment. Payment for what, he could not remember. He didn’t know if Loviatar had given him his arm back as a reward, which he doubted, or just so her torturers would have another limb to break and bend, but he barely gave it a thought these days. He gave it a thought now simply because he was shocked by what he saw on the island.

The two men argued for quite some time while Samuel clung to the edge of the island. They looked remarkably alike and both were missing their right arm. They seemed to be arguing about the nonexistent arm because they kept looking at where it should have been. It caused Samuel to glance down at his own arm and wonder if Loviatar had taken theirs as well. Nowhere in sight was the black armored figure, but Samuel would take no chances that this wasn’t just another trick so he stayed where he was, hidden from view as best he could. And he was glad he did for suddenly one of the figures, the one named Rusk, formed a glowing blue sword in his remaining hand and, shortly after, the other one, the one called Marian, formed a red hammer in his.

Samuel was starting to get worried. In his experience, minions formed weapons just before they tortured you. He was about to let go and float away, when they suddenly smiled and started swinging at each other. Is this where the minions of Loviatar came to train? Samuel wasn’t certain, but they kept it up for hours. Suddenly Rusk landed a blow on Marian’s side, or at least so Samuel thought. There wasn’t the sickening sound of flesh ripping that he had heard so often, but instead the sound of metal on metal. Before Samuel’s eyes, a black patch spread from Marian’s side to cover his entire body in black armor. And suddenly Samuel knew that his tormentor had never left. As he tried to figure out what was going on, he noticed that the one named Rusk suddenly glowed blue and seemed to move faster than he could follow. They both seemed extremely happy to be able to do this, but did not seem to be surprised when it happened. They laughed and joked while continuing to try to kill each other. Watching these minions train to become better servants of Loviatar made him sick. They enjoyed it far too much. They were probably thinking of all the poor souls that they would torture in the name of their wicked goddess.

This training went on for a long time, days it seemed to Samuel as he still clung to the edge of the island. Suddenly out of the corner of his eye, he caught the same floating image that Marian had been watching when Samuel first arrived. It had a startling effect on the two combatants. Weapons fell from numb fingers. All thoughts of combat seemed to stop as they both turned and stared at the image. It looked different to Samuel, blurry. Then he noticed the tunnel suddenly appear. The tunnel! He had completely forgotten about it, hadn’t even noticed it had been missing. Rusk and Marian shared some words, something about hand holding, a snake attack. Some of it made less sense to Samuel. Something about being a whole person. Looking at them and their surroundings, he almost laughed. The laughter never came though. He thought he heard something about honor. That froze him. What did the servants of Loviatar, that sham of a goddess, know about honor? He didn’t know anything about his past life, or even his name, but he knew more about honor than any of them.

After a quick handshake, Rusk ran off towards the tunnel, and Marian walked towards the cage. Samuel watched as Marian sank down inside the cage as the tunnel disappeared from view and, as the image became sharper, Marian whispered something that Samuel could barely hear. The only word he definitely heard was “son”. Samuel looked back at the sharpening image as he heard a voice float down from it, “You’re awake. Welcome back to the land of the living, Private.” Samuel’s eyes snapped back to Marian at the mention of those words, but all he saw was black smoke being blown in to nothing.

The land of the living?! The same thought reverberated through Samuel’s mind. If that tunnel led to the land of the living, he would be free finally. It was gone now, but it returned once before, and Samuel was patient. After what seemed like hours, the tunnel suddenly spiraled into existence once more. Samuel didn’t care if it was a trick or not, if there was even a chance he had to take it. He pushed himself up on to the island and slowly stepped forward. Still not seeing any sign of Marian, Samuel started sprinting towards the tunnel, his only thought on freedom. He took one last look back at the cage and when he turned around he saw blackness starting to form near the mouth of the tunnel. It was still only smoke when he ran past it, but suddenly a chainmail covered hand shot out of the smoke and threw Samuel back.

“And just where the hell do you think you’re going? And who the fuck are you?!”

Samuel looked up from the flat of his back to see Marian standing over him wielding an impressive red hammer. He had seen enough of that weapon to know what it could do, but he had also experienced every torture that an immortal goddess could think of, and that tunnel was his one chance of escape.

“….Get….out….of…my..way!”

They were the first words he had spoken in longer than he could remember. They started slow, but sped up quickly.

“I need to get out, and you better call more of your brethren because one servant of Loviatar isn’t enough to stop me this time. Do your worst, filth, I’ve had worse.”

Marian looked at him curiously. “I have no idea who Loviatar is, but I know that I’m no servant of his. I ask again, who the hell are you?” When there was clearly no verbal response coming, only this unnamed intruder trying with all his might to get past him, Marian grabbed him by the arm and dragged him, kicking and screaming, to the cage of black smoke. “You may have had worse, but that doesn’t change the fact that you aren’t getting past me. I failed him once, it won’t happen again.”

After a few hours of questioning, Marian finally gave up. His prisoner would give no information, no matter how nice or how angry he was. All he did was slam his body against the bars, or sit idly in the cage staring at him. He had a glimmer of insanity in his eyes that Marian could not get past. He would break eventually, but in the meantime, Marian would not waste any more time when he could be more enjoying himself watching as his son lived his life.

As time passed, Samuel grew used to his new cage. He wasn’t tortured per se, just stuck in a cage with nothing to do and nowhere to go. His new tormentor must be new and didn’t seem to have all the tricks that his old ones did. He spent his days staring up at the image of the living world. The people in the image kept using the name Rusk, and Samuel eventually learned that what he was viewing was the world seen through the eyes of Rusk. The tunnel was still there, and he was patient. He could wait. Marian seemed distraught by how much Rusk wanted him to come back. Marian was distracted. He would falter. And when he did, Samuel would have his chance.

The day was as any other, Samuel sat calmly in his cage, staring at the living world. Marian sat with his back to Samuel and the cage, also watching the living world. Marian was done with Samuel. He never spoke anymore, simply sat in the cage. There was no way to get information out of a person who, according to him, had been tortured by all manner of creature, including a god. That cage was impenetrable, Marian himself had spent enough time behind it to know that much. So until he wanted to talk, Marian ignored him. So this is how they spent their days, both watching the window, neither saying anything to each other.

Marian didn’t much like what he was seeing today though. Rusk had been trying everything in his power to get Marian to show himself, and recently had located an alchemist’s shop. Rusk bought a good number of fireworks and was burning them in the shape of a hammer, in order to simulate Marian’s own hammer and tempt him to come back. It wasn’t working. Marian would not come back. Rusk needed to live his own life. And then it hit him, literally. A balled up fist hit the back of Marian’s head, knocking him to the ground. He hadn’t worn his armor for a while, didn’t quite see the point really, and that was his downfall.

He rolled on to his side as his prisoner ran past. Instinctually, he kicked out with his foot catching Samuel in the shin. He leapt up, forming his armor as he went, and fell on Samuel. Keeping a firm hold on Samuel, Marian started back towards the cage, but stopped when he noticed the large gaps in the bars.

“So that’s how you got out. Rusk’s desire for us to be together is actually making the cage disappear. Looks like I’ll need to figure out something new to do with you.”

Marian walked Samuel over to the cage, but instead of putting him inside; he leaned him against the remaining bars and forced him into a sitting position. He took a few of the remaining bars and twisted them around Samuel’s arms, effectively pinning him to the cage, for now.

“Here you will stay until you decide to talk. I am no servant of Loviatar, whoever he is. Besides, everyone knows the gods left this plane eons ago.”

“Liar! Loviatar is a goddess. Your goddess. And she has held me prisoner, torturing me for centuries, possibly longer. I do not know my name, or why I am here. That was taken from me, as it is taken from all eventually. I have no information for you to torture out of me that your friends have not taken years ago. I do not know if that tunnel truly leads to the living world, but I will find out. And when I arrive I will torture all your evil brethren until I am certain it is the real world I have finally returned to, and then I will torture them more to pay for what your repulsive goddess has done to me. I have learned patience over the millennia, and nothing you can do will stop me. If what you say is true, that the gods did indeed leave that plane, then she can never get to me again. I will do everything in my power to get there and nothing you, or anyone else, can prevent that from happening, or from getting me to leave once I arrive. I have patience and your cage is weakening.”

Marian involuntarily stepped back. There was nothing he could say or do to make this creature see reason. With Rusk’s resolve, and thus the cage, weakening, Marian would not be able to keep Samuel out indefinitely, but if he didn’t, everyone his son cared about was doomed to a slow painful death by this madman. Whoever Loviatar is, he was glad he at least didn’t have to worry about her. But for now, he must stand as a sentinel. He must never let his guard down again. And must never give in to temptation and view the images floating in the air behind him.

More bars were disappearing all the time. Over the last few months, at least listening to the voices coming through the window since he could not look at them, Rusk seemed to have partially given up on his quest to bring Marian back. But then why were the bars still disappearing? He had already had to move Samuel twice to new bars and if it kept going at this rate, soon there wouldn’t be any bars left.

An explosion caused the image to reappear. Rusk was awake, and Samuel was staring intently at the image. His captor may not be able to look at the window, but there was nothing stopping him. He watched as Rusk raced through the snow towards the village where his precious friends stayed. He would be there if he didn’t bother with that so called goddess Desna. That always confused Samuel. If the gods had all left the plane, why did Rusk follow this supposed goddess Desna? Unless Marian had lied and the gods were alive and well. That must be it. Loviatar was still there. She was simply going by a different name to trick people. So all these supposed followers of Desna were secretly following the teachings of Loviatar. That would make sense. Who else would torture and imprison innocent butterflies? Oh, the village was on fire. This could be an auspicious day. A day Samuel had patiently waited for.

“Your son’s friends do not fare well. The village is burning. Oh and the little one can make water. How interesting. I wonder if she can still do that while she is burning alive. Time will tell.” Come on, look. “Looks like I won’t have many of Loviatar’s admirers to torture once those flames do their job.”

Marian turned for the briefest moment to see what was happening, and if Shai really was in danger. In that moment, Samuel lived up to his promise of patience. The last of the bars gave way and the fire surrounding Rusk seemed to give Samuel strength as he knocked Marian over and sprinted for the tunnel. Marian was on his feet in an instant and did what he never thought he would. He used Rusk’s version of the armor to gain extra speed and race past Samuel. As they got toward the tunnel, Marian reactivated his armor to gain the strength needed to throw Samuel back to where the cage would once again be in a moment, turned back on Rusk’s armor, and sprinted with all speed down the tunnel. He knew he had to get there before Samuel moved. Get the cage back up before Rusk arrived and was over taken by a foe he knew nothing about, or even knew existed.

Samuel slammed on to the ground where the cage was, and knew that he had to move before that retched spawn of Loviatar was able to form it again. He jumped up and rolled forward, right as Rusk was being propelled down the tunnel directly at him. Now was his chance. Marian would never know, and Rusk was too clueless to stop him. As Rusk stumbled forth from the tunnel, he was suddenly grabbed and thrown forward. Being disoriented from the transfer back, he didn’t quite know what was happening but he felt himself get pushed again from behind and then slammed to the ground. When he was finally able to shake his head clear, he found himself back in the black smoke cage he thought he would never see again. When he peered through the bars, his confusion only grew as he saw someone other than Marian on the other side.

“Hello Rusk. I’d tell you my name, but I don’t know what it is! HA. You are now my prisoner, as your fellow follower of Loviatar, Marian, once held me. HAHA! He didn’t have the stomach to get information out of someone, but I do. And since that tunnel won’t reappear for quite some time, you’ll tell me everything I want to know, and more. And then, if you tell me everything I want to know, maybe I’ll spare your friends from the same fate.” A smile slowly spread over Samuel’s face, as a look of fear spread over Rusk’s. Thanks to Marian, the bars were indeed strong.

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Edicts and Adversaries
Session 36/37

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla, dated the 30th of Arodus…

With the recent events, the council has requested an increased military presence throughout the town, as well as formal curfews, trade regulations, and residency to be regulated by the military. Residence of Newhold will apply for paperwork that will deem them official citizens of Newhold, which will be needed to leave and enter the town. Tradesmen will also need additional paperwork to bring goods in and out of the town, as well as pay a tax on goods sold to cover the increased expenditure of guards and time required at gate posts.

The council has also requested that we send soldiers into the woods to search down the hobgoblins that entered Newhold. My suggestion was to instead send a group of contracted individuals who would not put a tax on our already exhausted and expended military presence within the town. I showed them documentation from Derefeld explaining that this particular group was very helpful in ending a slew of bandit attacks on their settlement as well as merchant wagons going to and from their area. They agreed and I will be speaking with Mr. McKeon to come to an agreement.

Information gathered over the last several months from farmers and merchants will possibly assist them in tracking down this group of attackers.

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The Best Laid Plans
Session 35

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla, dated the 27th of Arodus…

Reports have come in from throughout Newhold of the events from the following night. At just around midnight, a call rang out from a local businessman – a Mr. Marlan Evenor of Evenor’s Manufacturings – that he was being robbed. Guards responded in force and witnessed something fleeing the area. Initial accounts were of something brightly colored moving at impressive speeds from the shop and weaving throughout the tents and structures. While they claimed that it seemed to glow, the object evaded their capture and was soon lost. After this time, it was also reported that a hobgoblin was sighted by the guards of the eastern gate running from the town. How or when he entered Newhold is a mystery that will be investigated and must be solved.

Several other shops had been broken into or vandalized, though none had been reported until the next morning when their owner’s arrived to open for business.

Another event was not reported until the earning morning hours, when a guard was approached by a few townsfolk who reported that a few businesses had not opened; in particular Loaves & Leavenings, Aldren’s Butchery, and Willy’s Wicks. It was not until an hour or so afterwards that the bodies of William Harving, Aldren Liverston, Durran Gargus, and Jon Matthis were found within the home of Mr. Harving above his shop. It has been our conclusion that the breaking and entering and murders were done by the same individuals, and said vandals were in fact a group of hobgoblins that had managed to sneak into our town unnoticed.

From the personal journal of Warren Padilla, dated Arodus 27…

Holy shit, Gods damn us all. Ro’Dash’s planned worked – for the most part – and let’s just hope that we can return to normal after this whole shitstorm has been put to rest. I’d just like everything to go back to paperwork and training, and not have to deal with all of these damned shift reports and extra guard duties.

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Unsettling News
Session 34

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla, dated the 24th of Arodus…

The former soldier known as Ro’Dash has been useful in pulling information from the hobgoblin captive as of late. We are noting all of the information that we have gathered, which will be included in a final report once we are able to piece together all of the information into something useful for our defensive – and possibly offensive – needs.

Additionally, with the recent events within the town, we have increased guard posts within Newhold from dawn to dusk. Our hope is that with an increased military presence we will be able to decrease the threat of harm to those wandering about the streets. Included will be a request for each person to stay within their dwellings or keep their time spent on the roads to a minimum. While we cannot force people to stay inside, we can suggest that they do so for their own safety until this situation is resolved.

From the personal journal of Warren Padilla, dated Arodus 24…

After speaking with Tarik Barros and Ro’Dash, it’s been determined that we both need to take out this group of turncoats as well as leading blame away from the military or any of it’s associates. After talking with the hobgoblin, Ro’Dash has come up with the plan (which he’s agreed with) of having the hobgoblin take the blame for the deaths. This will not only allow me to get rid of this prisoner that’s just been a distraction to the men, but also give us a way to cast blame on some spectral force outside of the town. Two birds, one stone and all that.

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Big Trouble in Little Newhold
Session 33

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla, dated the 16th of Arodus…

As notice had informed us, the First Legion marched into our settlement today and will be resupplying and resting outside of Newhold for the night. They are apparently making their way further north to explore and settle additional territories. From what I have been told, the Fourth Legion is now the only force left in Langen proper, though from accounts there is currently in development a new Fifth Legion so that 1st Gen. Alvaredo may join the ranks of the Highlands.

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla, dated the 21th of Arodus…

It has been reported to me that the one who calls himself Ro’Dash was assaulted several days ago by a group of unknown assailants in the midst of the night. From his account, he was held hostage within the basement of the candle shop, finally being able to escape his captor; evidence left to back up his statement is the broken shop window which he says he made his escape through. However, Mr. Harving – the owner of Willy’s Wicks Candle Shop – is saying that the window was broken by some hooligan youths around dusk. In response as to why he had not reported this, Mr. Harving said that he had not spotted the assailants and therefore did not see a need to report it, as there was no one to report. By the time my officers had arrived at the shop, the glass had been cleaned and the window boarded up.

None the less, an escort for Ro’Dash and his associates was given for their return to the inn as a precaution.

From the personal journal of Warren Padilla, dated Arodus 22…

McKeon and Shai have spoken with me, and apparently I wasn’t clear enough in my discussion with the young oracle. However, she has apparently spoken with her comrades and Rusk has cleared things up for her.

They’ve also spoken with me about this apparent ring of terrorists and defectors within our town, which stretches from tradesmen to my own soldiers. At this point, I’m keeping things off the record since we have no clue how far up this conspiracy goes, but thanks to Falltu we have an idea of some of the soldiers involved. In regards to the group who assaulted Ro’Dash, we have no real way to figure out who it was. The guard who was supposed to be patrolling the area was one of the soldiers which Falltu listed, so that is most likely the reasoning behind our lack of information. They did apparently steal Ro’Dash’s weapon though – a pair of knives attached by a chain – which is rare enough that, if we were to find it, surely that person was associated with the group in question.

I have a few men who I believe I can trust, though I’ll be doing my research without overtly sharing the information with them. Meanwhile, my mercenaries will be performing their own investigation and reporting to me anything they discover.

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Seriously, Bandits
Session 32

From the logs of Gregor Dereling, dated Arodus 13th…

A group of soldiers from Newhold settlement wandered into our establishment just before gate closing this evening. They claimed to have dispatched of a dozen or more bandits on their travels here. Seeing how we have even been having issues tracking down this nuisance, so perhaps at the least they will provide us with a suitable enough track to our enemy that we will be able to take them out once and for all.

From the logs of Gregor Dereling, dated Arodus 15th…

Above even the highest of expectations, this group of rag-tag soldiers – accompanied by a small girl – were not only able to track down the bandits, but also able to dispatch of their leader and return many stolen goods back to us. Their leader, though lacking tact, was very impactful in their return, presenting a spear full of heads from the bandits. A cart full of grains, dry goods, and raw materials was returned to us, and we will be returning to their encampment to retrieve the goods that they were not able to bring back with them.

a generous sum of coin has been collected from the treasuries and tradesmen in the town who benefited greatly from the return of their materials so that we may provide them with a fund for their generous and commendable actions.

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Assisting Afar
Session 31

From the diary of Skittels, dated Arodus 9…

Dear diary,

I am hoping that all of this work I put into this amazing masterpiece of mechanika will not be in vane, though I do not know why I thought that four ex-soldiers would be able to scrounge up enough coin to pay for this magnificent appendage. However I do believe that I offered them a fair deal.

Recently, I have not heard notice from Prush in Derefeld. This is an issue since he is in possession of blueprints of my current work, along with many other prototypes currently in pre-development. If these were to fall into the wrong hands, I fear what could be devel Luckily, there is no other person who is capable of producing mechanika on such a scale as myself in these parts. The only one I’ve heard of that may even be capable of reading such artistry goes by the name of Hammerfoot, though I have only heard of his work from the eastern shores and not actually been able to lay my eyes upon any results of his profession.

Let us hope that my friend’s expedition is a successful one and that they will return safely with good news at hand.

From the personal journal of Warren Padilla, dated Arodus 12…

It’s been almost a month, and not only is Matthis still blabbering about the military and council, but now Shai and her lackeys have skipped town. Apparently, she was not the one that I could entrust with such a time sensitive matter. And while I would love to walk out there right now and slit that little fat bastard’s throat, any aggression from the army would surely only provoke the masses. We are almost assuredly royally fucked at this point.

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Progression
Session 30

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla, dated the 8th of Serenith…

With the recent issue concerning our farmlands to the north and the eminent food shortage that will come of it, the council feels that it will be most beneficial to the settlement if we local a new land source for planting. To that end, I have decided to dispatch a handful of groups to the surrounding areas in search of fertile grounds. These groups will be assessed later today and will be assigned their territory by the following.

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla, dated the 14th of Serenith…

Reports have come in from 4 groups that had been dispatched, two with positive results for clear land and samples for fertility. However one group has not yet returned, though the council is inclined to move ahead with the formation of new farmlands based on the current samples; the missing group at this point is presumed dead.

In other events, we have had recent disturbances in the town square and around the barracks this day and the last. The man inciting such rabble appears to be a man by the name of Jon Matthis; a baker within the settlement. Thus far, his attempts to dissuade the people from their current philosophical alignment has had only minor effect, though he does seem to be picking up sway within Newhold.

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla, dated the 18th of Serenith…

The report from the final group arrived late last night, though with an incomplete map and no samples to speak of. They did chart a few rivers and what appears to be a rather angry ferret though. I requested that Specialist Pillman reimburse them for their troubles, though only for any possible foodstuffs or necessities that may have been used during their little expedition.

From the personal journal of Warren Padilla, dated Sarenith 18…

I do believe that our former oracle might finally come to some use. I have requested that she eliminate this Matthis fellow to ensure that no more resentment and hostility is built up against the military and the council. I hope that my trust has been placed properly and that she can solve this problem before it escalates.

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Freedom of Movement
Session 29

From the official journal of Major Lieutenant Harrold Trumble, dated the 1st of Sarenith…

Following their return to Newhold, the former guard unit of Shai has been offered a demotion, though from what 1st Gen. Padilla has told me they instead offered their resignation from the military. At this moment, her former guards have been released from our custody while the location of Shai is unknown. However, seeing how at this point there was no laws broken or harm done to any soldiers or citizens, her whereabouts or well being are inconsequential to us from this moment on.

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla, dated the 1st of Sarenith…

After a brief discussion with McKeon, Ro’Dash, Barros, and Arfen, it has been decided that they will be leaving the ranks of the military to pursue their own endeavors within the settlement.

From the personal journal of Warren Padilla, dated Sarenith 1…

I’ve talked with the former guards of the former Oracle and decided that it could be beneficial to us all if they worked in a more unofficial and as-needed capacity. Their services will be called on whenever I don’t feel the need to put my own men at risk. I’ve offered them a relatively low stipend for their troubles, a measly 5 silver each per job, which will be kept off the books in an official capacity and simply marked down as a market expenditure. I’m certainly interested to see where this collaboration goes and precisely how long they’ll survive without the roof of the military over their heads.

From the personal journal of Warren Padilla, dated Sarenith 3…

The 1st chance for our little merc group popped up, when I sent them to scope out some possible issues with orcs in the western farmlands. Quite late in the night, they returned with literally the heads of their enemies, though instead of orcs they turned out to be hobbs. They also returned with a prisoner who is now being kept underneath the barracks for further interrogation. Ro’Dash has shown a particular interest in speaking with this goblin, and while I’m inclined to let him I’m also weary that he’ll feel a need to help those which he shares blood with. I’ll most definitely have an extra eye kept on him while this creature is settled in our custody.

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Running Away
Session 28

From the official journal of Rear Captain Ambrose Bair, dated the 12th of Desnus…

An incident involving the Oracle occurred today at the northern gates around noon time, according to privates Huff and Bowers. Not wanting to risk the “wrath of the Oracle” – as stated in their notes – they instead risked letting her leave the boundaries of Newhold, though taking some security in the fact that two of her litter guards were accompanying her. However, private Huff was ordered by one of said guards to locate and inform any of the Principle guards that he could, thus returning with the majority of said soldiers. In his notes, Bowers states that, after well over an hour, the Oracle did eventually return with Principles McKeon, Ro’Dash, and Barros. No further incident followed this.

From the official journal of First General Warren Padilla, dated the 13th of Desnus…

I have been informed by Cpt Bair that the Oracle and his principle guardians made an unscheduled departure from our settlement this afternoon, despite my rejections of such a journey by officer McKeon just one day prior. I have a general concept of where they may have traveled, however at this moment in time I do not have the manpower nor the will to send soldiers to rescue them from their own stupidity locate and return the Oracle to Newhold. However, I have been informed by Mj Lt Trumble that there will be severe repercussions for their actions, and apparently Cpt Peter and Thornhill are to be at the ready for their return.

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