Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Sigrid's Journal 5 - Unwashed, Lying Pirates


Secondmonth 16 (continued)

Soern finally decided to join the ranks of the living once again. I think he has done all the scrying and loresight he can on the stones and the sword. The stones are simple enough magical items. The sword (Aur Xica) has a story all it's own, but I will explain that later on in this entry. The group decided to let me wield it, though Soern did almost attack me when I had asked to take it. He's a little overprotective of his magical curiosities I think.

After our break on the ship, we decided to pay a visit to the Mevarin household. By “we”, I mean Blank, Soern and I. It had been decided that Rellik should stay with Mark and “protect the Ocean's Blade”. Not that the ship needs much protecting. I mean, it's so small and rickety, I wouldn't think anyone would really bother it. The real purpose of leaving Rellik behind was to avoid any... complications with our conversation with Mischa. Complications like, oh, I don't know, her death? I really don't think I can let him kill her. I'm supposed to prevent such unjustices from occurring. At least Baern knew he was going into a fight, and that sometimes fights can go badly... no, no.. I am NOT justifying myself with this one. The fight was rigged. Baern was tricked. I could have warned him. I should have warned him. I am just as guilty as Rellik and Blank. If I allow Rellik to kill Mischa, then I will again be responsible for an unjust death. But if I stop him, I will be betraying Rellik... and Blank and Soern too. I don't know if I can do that... I don't know what I should do.

More to the point, we went to the Mevarin household and were greeted by a crotchety old butler who was convinced that we were pirates, because we were “unwashed”. Unwashed? I just went to a bathhouse this morning, by Malleus' Beard! It is no matter. The old man is clearly suffering from senility, as he decided that the only one of the three of us that was definitely not a pirate was Blank. I fail to see the humour in the irony. After much ranting about pirates, he allowed us in to speak with Mischa.

Mischa was pleasant and very calm and collected for someone whose father was just murdered. Almost too calm... We learned no new information speaking to Mischa, but she did allow us to look through her father's research papers. We found this magnificent black and gold document which Soern managed to translate a little of. He says it seems to be an announcement involving Ozymadius and the installation of a Champion named Dyeza Tazhiren. That was all he could figure out, but he made a careful copy of the paper for reference later (and perhaps a more detailed translation from a loremaster). Dyeza Tazhiren: Ozymandius' Champion. Perhaps Dyeza's tomb was the sidetomb we found off of Ozymandius'.

We left the Mevarin household, much to the relief of the Butler, and decided to go to the Black Angle. Blank needed to collect the magical item he had ordered from Cer-Athane. Blank also said, “Soern has never been to the Black Angle, and he really should.” Soern thought this was a great idea, so off we went. The Black Angle was the same as I remembered it. Very... taverny... Cer-Athane was sitting at the bar with Tillienne, the shadowy-looking man in the corner didn't look like he had moved an inch, and Gannen was at his normal table (sans Mazquar today). Gannen looked up at us when we entered and nodded a silent hello. Blank and Soern went to the Bar to talk to Cer-Athane, and I followed, taking the opportunity to have a glass of ale. When Cer-Athane presented Blank with his magical wise headband, I couldn't help but smile. It was adorned with various feathers. It was actually quite pretty, though it lost a lot of its beauty once Blank put it on his head. Perhaps I will have to order some sort of magical item from Cer-Athane.

I glanced over at Gannen once or twice and noticed that he was still staring at us. Well, not actually us, just me. Gannen was staring at me. I had no idea why. Had he just noticed that I was female or something? I finally got annoyed enough to get up and go over and ask him if he had a problem. His only reply was, “Where did you get that sword?” So, he hadn't been staring at me, he had been staring at the Aur Xica. I suppose that's probably a good thing. I sat down and talked to him a little bit about the Aur Xica. He wouldn't divulge why he knew about it, and I didn't learn anything that Soern hadn't told me earlier, but it was a pleasant conversation nonetheless. I guess this is as good a time as any to write down all I know about the Aur Xica thus far.

The Aur Xica is the blade of the Champion of the Hor Quan empire. It was created at the begininning of the empire and was wielded by the Kings' Champions for hundreds of years. It is credited with keeping the empire peaceful. We know of only one King and one Champion by name thus far. Dyeza Tazhiren was King Ozymandius' Champion, but whether Dyeza was the last Champion of the Hor Quan Empire is unknown to us. At the beginning of the Dramojh War (which would destroy the Hor Quan Empire), the High Priest Tai Faren took it upon himself to hide the sword. No one knew of its whereabouts until now, when we accidentally stumbled upon it. The power within the sword has been locked. The secret to unlock it is somewhere within the Temple of the Hor Quan. The only clue we have to find the Temple is the guiding light in Ozymandius' tomb. Also, the sword is intelligent. It doesn't talk, but it is empathetic.

I do remember a Knight-Mistress of mine telling us Squires about the Hor Quan Empire. I didn't pay much attention. History wasn't terribly exciting to me at that point in my life. Why would I pay attention in Academics when I could think about Weapon's Training instead? All I really remember is that the Hor Quan Empire had nothing to do with the Diamond Throne OR the Dramojh (except the whole “getting slaughtered by them” thing), so they were obviously awesome. I was so dumb back then. Being non-Diamond Throne and non-Dramojh does not automatically make one “awesome”, though the reverse is true. Being supportive of the Diamond Throne or a Dramojh does make one decidedly un-awesome.

But I digress... After leaving the Black Angle, we headed back to the docks, only to meet up with James. He was being bothered by some rather gruff looking pirate-types, and I ended up interfering before they hurt the poor boy. They muttered to Blank that Illium had warned them about them and then they hurried off. It was too bad really, I wanted fight them and teach them a lesson. After a long, drawn-out conversation with James, I gave him some gold and sent him about his way, reminding him to stay out of trouble. Blank seems to think I encourage the boy. Oh well. At least his blood won't be on my hands.

When we arrived at the docks, we noticed a large ship with a full crew setting sail. The sails on it were black and red, and the crew was singing rather crude songs. They were the most stereotypical pirates I had ever seen. We hurried back onto the ship and Blank started barking orders to set sail. We were on the chase. Chasing someone in a sailboat isn't nearly as exciting as running after them on foot, but it was kind of exhilarating. The only thing was, we the distance between us and them never decreased. We were going the same speed as them. We kept this up for hours, following them up the rocky coast. As dusk settled in, so did the fog. It was thick and sudden. One second it was clear, and then the next second, I could barely see the deck from the crow's nest. I was concerned that we were going to hit a rock with such terrible visibility, but Blank, Mark, and Soern were extremely careful. We cleared the fog as quickly as we had entered it. It was a little disorienting. We seemed to be in a completely different place than we had entered the fog in, though that couldn't have been more than a quarter bell ago. What sort of magic is this? Could a sea witch summon up such fog? We searched around for the pirate ship for a while longer, but finally gave up. We had been outsmarted and outmagiced. I requested that Blank set a course for my Order's island, and I decided to put Rellik on guard duty so I could get some sleep.


Secondmonth 17

I wish winter would end. There was a minor ice storm today that will slightly delay our journey. I accidentally made a remark to Blank today along the lines of “I hate stupid ice.” (though my actual comment was a little more explicit), and I got a rather “cold” glare from him. I had forgotten about the whole Ice Witch thing. Oops.


Secondmonth 18

The icestorm has stopped. The winds are favorable and we should reach the Order early tomorrow morning.


Secondmonth 19

We arrived at the Order Chapterhouse midmorning. Soern, Rellik, Blank, Mark and I spent some time in the guildhall drinking before Lord Morek called for me.

I told Lord Morek that I didn't believe that Soern or Blank were any threat to the Order. I also informed him that I didn't think Rellik or his organization were a threat to us either, at the moment. If these assassins were to turn their eyes to us, there may be trouble, but at the moment, all is well. We also discussed the Aur Xica and the Hor Quan. He would like me to explore the Temple of the Hor Quan, if we can find it, and report back to him. The only new information he could tell me about the Hor Quan was a rumour of a possible heir, a descendant of the last King, or of the last Champion. Lord Morek will send a message to the Eye of the Axe Loremasters requesting more information on the Hor Quan.

We set sail again this afternoon. I believe our next stop will be the Temple of the Hor Quan, if we should be so lucky as to find it.


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