Pa'Aerth

The path is clear...

End of August, European Calendar; Khoiak Waxing, last day of Inundation, Stygian Civil Calendar

If my calculations are correct, in Stygia, the coming dawn marks the end of Inundation, the start of the longer days of Tobi and the onset of Going Forth. It is the time to plant…to place the seeds that you will grow in the season ahead so that you achieve your needs and desires by Pakhon, the time low water and harvesting.

I do not see the situation here as much different. Until the passing of recent days, members of our group have looked passively upon the rising waters around us. They have held seeds in hand, instead of securing them deep in the soil beneath the Styx so that they might grow…and bear fruit in our time of need…our once mighty band held seeds in hand, dawdled, and looked about to others for assurance that their lack of decisive action was acceptable.

When called to task for preparations, many fell to doing so without hesitation. We made quick work of key planning elements and now find ourselves in a state of low readiness. We have the essentials…rally points, rendezvous plans, and high guidance for the days ahead.  

In all of this, I have concluded that among my companions, I alone must truly recall the nature of war at this scale. Much like memories of past glories and greatness…it appears that they have been spared the dark memories of war that yet find root in my mind. I wonder at the meaning of this. How could such things ever pass from grasp? What is it about me that has caused these memories to find stronger purchase and not fade into nothingness as with the others?

No matter! War is upon us. The city is abuzz with knowledge that battle is but days away. Those with something to lose have fled the city and those that remain either do so out of duty, enterprise, or folly.

For me..it is a bit of each. It is my intention that we utilize the coming conflict to our greatest advantage. While I can not harbor the thought of advancing the cause of the Many…I will gladly set them on a path that places them in conflict with the might of the Deceiver.  It would be a great coup to find them both bleeding out into the soil of this accursed prison. The howling madness of chaos intertwined with the grandiose delusion of the false Creator…two kinsmen, embracing after long separation amid a backdrop of blood, death, fire and ruin.

It is a regret that our lady friends have turned to the road ahead. Merisel and Inali will be spared the lessons that we learn here…and they will not bear witness to our deeds. Perhaps this is best. Many that remain will stand witness and still not fully comprehend the path that we must follow. To me, the path is clear…and those that find themselves a hindrance will find respite among the fallen.

As it is willed, so shall it be. Adula Sutekh!

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Avignon: Trying to Turn the Orc Tide

August 26, 1208 SA

The air is filled with rumors of the oncoming horde. Word on the street is that the horde of orcs have met with Avignon’s advanced scouts and are about a week away from the city. Prices within the city have tripled since you first entered town.

From Marseille has come Lord Marsh Chopin.

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Readying for War

The obsidian serpent pulsed angry and red. To the eyes of the devotees, its raised head, ever ready to strike, wavered sinuously in the heat of the brazier.   

“Yvulglath syha’h xadishtu lw’nafh hilyaa naf’lyght,” came the words slow and calm from Erebus’ lips as he signaled the young Stygian warrior to approach him.

The warrior, like so many mercenary Stygians, was an archer. His bow, unstrung, was secured to his back and a reed quiver, filled with the red and black plummed implements  of his trade, was belted snugly at his hip. A fierce and intense blue radiated from the warrior’s kohl darkened eyes. His name was Huda Naguib and he was glad for this opportunity to worship his god in a place so far from his birth.

Hands raised in supplication, Huda approached the portable altar. Erebus took the young warrior’s left hand and guided it directly over the glowing snake.  Erebus then placed the silver blade of an ornate ritual dagger firmly against the warrior’s palm and invoked, “Y’ai xuh hroneth, Huda!. Adula Sutekh!  

“Xuh nwnyth!  Adula Sutekh!,” Huda replied to make it clear to all that his offering was made of his own free will.

XEOZAS NASTAHNDA WECAT KEOSAN!,” Erebus continued and pulled the dagger swiftly across the outstretched  palm of the warrior. The dagger bit into flesh with practiced ease and released the blood offering.

An audible hiss erupted from the glowing snake as the blood made contact.

Fist clenched, as was custom, Huda stepped back from the altar and allowed the next devotee to approach. As such, the procession continued until all supplicants had honored Sutekh Djet with offerings of blood and faith.  

An iron-heavy scent wafted from the brazier and mixed with the intoxicating odor of ritual incense. Erebus inhaled. The smell reminded him of long distant days when he had prepared for war as a supplicant and had offered his own blood instead of collecting the blood of others. The smell made him crave the opportunity to wade into battle. To crush his enemy beneath the weight of his assault. To honor Lord Set with those that fell before him.

The enemy was coming and the ancient Stygian god of War and Vengeance hungered for his share of their blood and pain. With this realization, something feral and primal stirred deep within Erebus. Visions or war filled his mind. Scenes of mass death and incredible destruction washed over him.

It was clear to Erebus that although he chose to remain silent and unknown in this place, his god had accepted the offering.

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Time well spent
Avari's Thoughts

Avari ponders…

So we begin by finally setting to the task of creating an exit strategy from this accursed place. We will find a rally point outside of the and secure a place to launch our next action. Our resources have been fortified and all articles have been secured so that we can leave at any time without hesitation. Alas we are forming into a cohesive group.

Avignon bridge.jpg

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A Sunny Summer Day in Avignon
The Gray Hand Prepares for War

Monday, August 22, 1208 SA

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The time has come...

Late August, European Calendar; Khoiak Waning, 4th month of Inundation, Stygian Civil Calendar

As with many times in the past, Holy Week devotions have proven to have been transformative.  Spoken words always carry weight and power – and when properly chosen…they can undo the inertia of petty discomforts and the trivial hindrances that can pull focus away from committed tasks.

So it is with my words. Their strength and meaning, while lost on my companions, have not been missed by the Lord of Dark. Words so spoken in Holy Devotions put voice to offerings for the coming season and form an Oathbond between servant and Master.

My words now rest in the memory of Lord Set and my actions will be judged against them. I will not be found wonting.

It is now time to become more focused on the trail ahead. Bringing a god to heel proved difficult when we were many in number and at the height of our power. Now, we are a scant fraction of our former selves…and not only are we separated and at cross purpose with our former companions…we fight among ourselves. The sundered portions of our ka seek one another out for the purpose of consumption. These facts add more than mere variety to the nature and severity of our term in this prison…they give cause to casting suspicion on any and all we encounter – even those among the Faithful.  

In ancient teachings, the Darwishi Gaur stated that hardship exists only for the weak. The weak struggle because they cannot rise above the trials of the moment. In contrast, those with the strength to do so do not bend a knee to their troubles…they overcome the challenges before them. This behavior has always been the basis for rule and reign. In the realms of both men and beasts…the strong rise up on the backs of their lessers.

Esoteric studies teach that Strength is found at the point where CLARITY OF PURPOSE meets FORCE OF WILL. Clarity of Purpose allows one to pass effortlessly through situations and scenarios that do not afford benefit while maintaining the awareness to seize those opportunities that will afford advantage. And where Clarity of Purpose both armors and nourishes the mind and spirit, its counterpart, Force of Will, seeks control of physical flesh.

I will no longer be held back by the circumstances that have brought me here. Nor will I bow to those who currently hold sway in this prison. There was…and will be…a time when the mongrels that populate this place will tremble at the names through which my deeds are known.

The coming battles swell with the opportunity to begin anew. From this I will rise to glorify Lord Set and become Erebus Typhon once again!

Yweso wecat keoso. Xunewe athanatos nywe zumquros rurom veverator.
Xunewe athanatos nywe zumquros rurom orary ysgewot zuy Gururogos!.
Menhatoy dywethorosto veverator zuy zebethoos
Ysech yweso xroroseth xoneo koxese pioth oxas zaegos.
ADULA SUTEKH DJET! XEOZAS NASTAHNDA WECAT KEOSAN!

[Translation:

As I will, it shall be. With blood and fire I will mark my path.
With blood and fire I call the Render of the Veil
I command clearance of the path before me
That I may sweep away all that would hinder progress

Praise the Lord of War! In his name, it will be done!]

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Avignon - The Horde Approaches - Scouts, Part II

Sunday, August 21, 1208 SA

Transported into the hills beyond Bollène to intercept one of the roaming orc and worg scout groups.

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Avignon - The Horde Approaches - Scouts
Brother Marcel Returns

Saturday, August 20, 1208 SA

Brother Marcel….

word of the approaching hoard and the fall of the town of Bollène.

Return on the morrow at 6 o’clock to go against the scouts to capture one of the leaders.

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Avignon - Manning the Walls - Part II

August 15 – August 19, 1208 SA

Each night the few members of the Queen’s Guard are joined by the Battling Eyes and the Gray hand to continue their nightly watches upon the wall guarding Port Limbert at the beginning of the Third Watch.

During the day the group explores the city, does research at the Bibliotheque Avignon, enjoys the serenity of the great park, or other activities.

On August 18th, the posters advertising the desire to bolster the ranks of the Gray Hand are posted about Avignon.

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Avignon - Manning The Walls

Sunday, August 14, 1208 SA

Captain Edmond Beauson of the Queen’s Guard, blinks a lot, silky curly hair the color of red brick, cream colored skin. Leader at the Port Limbert gate on the walls of the city.

The Gray Hand was asked to report to Port Limbert at the start of third watch to fulfill the requirements of their commission as a mercenary band serving the Queen.

Joined on the walls by the “Battling Eyes” on the wall. The “Battling Eyes” are led by Nikola Sepp. These mercenaries all cary pikes and long boys.

After the first night on the wall, Kael Sylali suggest that they go to the Silver Helm boarding house for food and merriment. The Silver Helm is run by the Agirya, a whitty and charming female elf. She and Kael seem to be very familiar with each other. Agirya reaches out to Erebus Typhon to lighten his mood and even creates a story on the spot to the delight of the patrons of the Silver Helm.

Monday, August 15, 1208 SA

The Gray Hand spends their second night on the wall at Port Limbert…

That night Erebus egages Oliver, Inali and Merisel in that night’s worship to Set.

Erebus and Connor hire a scribe to put out posters soliciting mercenaries to join the Gray Hand. The scribe will have the posters available on August 18th.

Merisel manages to convert the raw mithral ore into coins and distributes the coins with the other members of the Gray Hand. The group uses the Avignon Exchange to create a letter of credit. For a 1% fee the group deposits their funds and secures a 10 × 10 storage locker within the Avignon Exchange.

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