Right Where I Belong. (Osanna’s Journal Part 12)

Gambling.  Drugs.  Prostitution.  Alcohol.  The roots of greed’s corruption run deep here.  Many have likely willingly sacrificed a portion of their souls and one young man, a Black Arrow, has all but paid the ultimate price for his transgressions.  We arrived to Turtleback Ferry only to discover that a fair number of the populace had given into vice and frequented this “Paradise” pleasure barge that had recently been sunk.  Apparently, they were branded with the Sihedron if they were frequent members.  We later discovered an extensive list of the corrupted in the possession of another lamia matriarch.  Another obviously older and more powerful lamia matriarch, the apparent sister of the one we slew on the clock tower in Magnimar.   She attempted to corrupt Ko’s mind by adopting the visage of his lost love before Samael and I intervened.  By all the Gods she is strong.  I can say without any ego that I dealt her the most resounding blow that I’ve ever delivered and yet she did not fall.  She used her magic to elude my wrath and now she is on the run.  She’s running scared.  We will meet again and when we do she will not forestall my judgment.  She has many crimes to answer for.

Truly, Varisia has no shortage of small towns in jeopardy of being obliterated by freakish servants of the evil deities or corrupt wielders of eldritch powers long since passed.  The elderly mayor and cleric of Erastil alerted us of the presence of a large ogrekin family that was a short distance away who had been harboring what remained of the all but slain Black Arrows organization responsible for safeguarding Ft. Rannick and warding the countryside from giant incursions.  To say that the site was abhorrent is an understatement.  The sights and smells from that place will truly haunt me for the rest of my days, be they long if She wills it.  We saved three.  One is all but lost.  I will see to him upon our return from securing the fort.  If he was influenced by the lamia’s foul magic, then I believe that his soul is still intact and that he can be guided to walk a better road.

Yet, despite all of the gloom and apparent boundless evil, there is light and hope.  The lot of us planned and successfully executed a plan to stymie the ogres’ numbers and infiltrate the keep in order to engage their chieftain.  It was flawlessly executed, in fact.  I’m overjoyed to know now that, at long last, there is a deep and enduring trust between the five of us and the notion that the needs of the many now stand head and shoulders above the needs of the one is tantamount.  Should I live to see Father again, I must thank him.  He sent me here to this place to fight beside these people, and I am right where I belong.

Charnel House. (Xander’s Journal pt. 10)

I don’t even know where to begin.  This town let this go on for years, who could do that?  The Grall family is dead, at least I hope so.

They deserved it.  There’s a special place in the Pit reserved for them.  The fact that someone hadn’t done this already makes me question the omniscience of all the goodly gods, Erastil above all since it was literally in his backyard.  And their devotees strength of will.

We saved three, one of which was semi-responsible for the capture of his squad.  Magical compulsion I understand, but still.  What happened to those others makes me almost ok with letting the Hellknights have him.

Tomorrow we go to the Fort, to see if there are any survivors, and try to put down the ogres who did this.  And worse, I think it’s possible another one of those other things, the Lamia-special whatevers.

I thought I lived in a good place.  It was small, but fairly quiet.  Now, it seems like the entire countryside is riddled with evil and depravity.  Everywhere we turn, an even bigger and more twisted monster.

It’s enough to drive someone to drink.  Or worse.