Melancholy. (Osanna’s journal pt 7)

Magnimar.  Our sojourn to the City of Monuments stirred great emotions in me.  Sadness, sorrow, and anger.   The innocent are starving and dying because corruption has a tight stranglehold on the city.  And why?  The bureaucrats are rich and fat off of the gold that is undoubtedly funneled to them by this Sczarni family.  Equally culpable are these Hell Knights who are allegedly the backbone of Magnimar’s law enforcement.  They know.  They know and they do nothing.  Even more egregious is that some among them, their commander included, follow the path of The Inheritor.  And they still do nothing.  I find that the more and more that I deal with this organization that touts faux strength and controls via intimidation and an iron grip, the more I see weakness and complacency.

Additionally, Sarenrae’s light has been snuffed out here.  Her church and shrine are dusty, run-down, and abandoned.  All that was left of her worship was an overgrown garden and the three sad, makeshift tombstones of her clerics that were no doubt assassinated for attempting to bring the light to where it is sorely needed.

What angers me the most is that I can do no good here.  I cannot fight them alone.  The only other Sarenite left in this festering city is locked away in “The Hells” unduly punished for a crime while staying true to Her path.  This will not stand.  I will free him and he will return with me to Sandpoint.  Inside this man is the brightly burning soul of a true believer encased in the body of a well-muscled Shoanti.  He will serve Her well and it will be my privilege to guide him along the path.

Darker Tidings. Xander’s Journal Pt. 6

My father is alive!  Not exactly, well, sort of. 

I’m not crazy! Yet to be seen. 

I don’t know if I can believe it.  Believe it.  I’m here to stay.

He’s been trapped in this weapon for decades, unable to let us know. Still not sure about how that happened. 

Mother was waiting for me when I got home.  She had a pile of books that I had never seen, and stacks of papers covered with the symbol on those underground statues.   She could barely keep from crying at first, and later so could I.  None of that, now. Not the time or place.

I have to tell everyone, or at least Osanna and Ko.  This is incredible, and dangerous.  What have we stumbled into?  This whole region must be riddled with these ruins.  Some of the things she said are so hard to understand, but they also explain so much.   That’s why the symbol seemed so familiar, and I couldn’t place it.   But the actual statue was wrong, the one we found had a male figure, same book and star though…

I have to spend some time with Quint.  He’s got to teach me how to translate this.  Especially now.  I have to learn how to break the curse.  Otherwise Mother…. Don’t even think about it.  It will never happen.  We’ll break the curse before that ever happens.

Luckily, with the extra help Hemlock found, we should have a breather.  Although having Hellknights here is troubling.  I wish it had been Osanna instead who sent for reinforcements.

Hopefully, I will have some time to figure out more of these translations, and study the ring and amulet that we found down there.  This is a strange and ancient magic, and doesn’t seem to follow the normal rules.  Mother said she has already sought out various divine attempts, to no avail.  It doesn’t match any of the arcane schools either, or more, it seems to match several at once, in a blend that won’t normally work together.

At this point, I wish I could trust Hathus.  Our issues aside, if he knows anything that could help Mother, I want to know, but what Nualia said, if there’s the slightest chance she was right… You could let me handle it.  I would get the truth out of him.  He’s weak and mentally unstable, it wouldn’t take much to push it til it snapped.  NO!  Osanna told me about Nualia, and chasing down the wizard who had already left the fight.  That NEVER happens again, do you hear me?   If you say so.  Just know, this curse will be ended.  With you or without you, I will never rest until it is done.

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A letter home. (Osanna’s journal pt 6)

Osanna lights a candle at her humble desk and closes her eyes to meditate for a few moments in order to clear her mind.  She then begins penning the letter on the finest parchment available to her in the flowing and beautiful right-to-left script of her homeland.

 Honored Caliph-

I am pleased to inform you that I have arrived at far away Sandpoint whole and hale.  The town is small, rustic, and quaint when compared to the shining spires, minarets, bazaars, and well-paved and traveled streets of our homeland.  The people here are a conglomerate of travelers from various nations and ethnicities.  Varisians, Chelaxians, and Shoanti “barbarians” comprise the human denizens.  And of course, there are small showings of dwarves, elves, and halflings.  What pleases me is that they are all, at least most of them “salt of the earth.”  Hard working, respectful, fun-loving, and pious in varying degrees.

The local temple is newly constructed and venerates Desna as its patron deity.  There are, however, shrines to the deities of good-natured ideologies.  The worship of Sarenrae is this town was limited to her shrine and a handful of worshippers that only intermittently paid their respects.  Suffice it to say I found the situation wanting.  I will, however, willingly admit that the decision that you and the high cleric arrived at to send me here was a sound one on two fronts.  The light of her faith must grow here in this largely unsettled land, and the people of Sandpoint needed both her sword arm and healing hand desperately.  As The Evenlight is likely preoccupied with larger affairs, she sent me.  I am truly honored.

Much has happened since my arrival.  I had barely brushed the dust from my boots when goblins assaulted the town.  After the attack was thwarted, further investigation shed light upon a burgeoning cult of Lamashtu pulling the puppet strings of the goblins.  Per The Code, I rallied allies and we smote the heretics.  We cleansed her filthy shrines.  We killed their demon-infested cult leader.  An aasimar.  How blasphemous to waste such a precious gift?!  I marred their unholy symbols and placed them at the feet of Sarenrae at her shine.  The people can now live their lives and worship in peace.  Her worshippers, not including me, are numbered at now more than 20.  Gods be good, that number will continue to grow.  All is now as it should be.

Aside from my duties, I’ve managed to find a bit of joy in what little personal time I’ve been afforded.  There was an annual Desnan festival being held in town just shortly after I arrived.  The townsfolk hold several events for mirth and friendly competition annually.  I elected to participate in the “Ogre Stomp,” in which the contestant stamps down mightily upon a wooden platform in order to see who among the participants can launch the attached bell farthest up the pole.  Ideally, one’s goal is to stamp hard enough so that the propelled bell strikes the second bell at the top of the pole.  You’d be proud to know that I broke the event by launching the bell completely off of the pole.  Many young, burly men hung their heads in shame or gawked with open mouths.  I truly believe that the whole sight would have amused you to no end.  I’ve since purchased that bell as a memento.

Lastly, do not fret.  I’ve found myself in strong company and in the midst of good people.  Though, I will say that the compatriots I’ve found are quite the motley crew.  It would also seem that I’ve earned the company of a squire of sorts.  That’s a story that will have to wait for another day.  Above all else father, I want you to know that I love you and I miss both you and the time we spent together.  Please give my well-wishes to our family and to the high cleric back at the Temple of the Light.  I will patiently await your correspondence should you find time while managing all of Qadira.  Yes, I was giggling while I wrote that.

Yours with Love,

Osanna

Osanna rolls the letter, pours wax upon the edge, and seals it with her signet ring bearing the crossed swords of Qadira.