Another Day, Another Demon-Spawn (Xander’s Journal pt 14)

What a whirlwind fortnight it has been.

We cleared the temple site Osanna bought in Magnimmar, apparently it was a stronghold of one of the Runelords in the past.

The runelord of gluttony, who was also a huge fan of the Necromancy school.

We found a twisted spellbook, and even more twisted treatises on some of the more esoteric reaches of necromantic theory.

Bill and I translated the books, (it is odd working beside him after Hathus, they have the same arrogance, but Bill is much more learned in the ways of magic) and I believe it has unlocked a new level of understanding within myself at least.  I feel like I can almost grasp some things that I had only heard of before.  It was rather draining though, and the others are worried that we might have overstepped our understanding.

If this gives me insights into the blending of magics that the Runelords managed in ages past, seamlessly combining spells and effects that normally resist or interfere with each other, perhaps it can give me a grasp on the powers that have cursed my parents, and Ko, so that I might find a way to break the curse.  If it is, it is well worth the price paid.

Osanna’s sister (half-sister?) or such was also sealed down there apparently, by their mother who was … something.  I’m sure we’ll meet again, and this time I will find a way to overcome her magical protections.

Now, if only our plans to defend Sandpoint work, Stone Giants and a Dragon?  I hope we’re up for it.

Victory Is a Hell of a Drug (Osanna’s Journal Part 15)

Osanna watches the stone giant lumber off to the north and east, and then surveys the massive pile of stone giant corpses after the battle.  She watches Bill for a moment as he curiously measures the dimensions of their bodies, cocks an eyebrow, and walks towards the Rusty Dragon.

I am reminded, here and now, of the folly of hubris.  I’ve seen an alarming overabundance of it since I arrived here in the west.  It is true that pride is deadliest of the seven sins.  There’s no arguing that point.  And yet, I am grateful for it.  It has fed to me….to us…countless victories over enemies that have always been markedly more powerful than me and my companions.  And we have grown stronger from it.  This entire campaign has been against greed, or so we have been led to believe.  But what if our true enemy is pride, not greed?  I shall have to ponder this further.

I sense a shift in me.  Never have the Sarenites reveled in war or relished its aftermath.  We know that it is a last resort and a clean sword stroke when needed, but I find that I’m growing more comfortable with the idea of it.  Once this would have sickened me, but now…now I look to the east to this dark Jorgenfist, for that is undoubtedly where our path will take us, and I cannot help but smile.  This chosen-born of the stone giants has the audacity to believe that he can rule over his ilk, over the free people of Varisia, and over me.  He will soon discover that only She may command me, and to no other do I bend the knee.

I feel as though I’ve begun walking down a darker road, and no doubt the emergence of my sister has set me to walking it.  The monster we share as a mother has left her mark upon us both, but we are not mindless nor are we obliged to carry out her designs.  For my sister, for both of us, there would be no greater insult to her than to band together.   Share our love.  Laugh together.  Heal together.  Hunt together.  When we kill that monster we free each other from her madness and me from my oath.

The constant threat of my sister’s reappearance with murderous intent has set me on edge.  It saddened me at first, but now…now I welcome it.  It is competitive in nature.  I’m on my toes.  I’m more prepared.  A bit faster.  A bit more alert.  Much more resolute.  There is no doubt in my mind that we will have another reunion.  I pray that she can and will be reasoned with and that we can take her alive.  But she should make no mistake.  If it comes to blades she will not find me to be easy prey.  And though it would forever wound me, I will put her down if there is no other way.

Osanna looks into a puddle of water and sees black veins along her neck and flawless face.

Not again…

The Price of Freedom

Is this truly the price of freedom?

We forced Hathus to come with us to the remote reaches of Varisia. True, he wanted away from Sandpoint, but I doubt Turtleback Ferry and Fort Rannick would have been his first choice had he been given a say in the matter of where he went. Sir Thrune and Lady Osanna insisted on him accompanying us, however, until the matter of his involvement in the fire that burned the shrine in Sandpoint to the ground fire years ago was resolved. Now he is gone, and we may never know the truth.

He wanted to be a hero. The people of Sandpoint thought of him as one, at least until recently, and he was determined to rightfully earn that title. His actions in the battle against the stone giant necromancer may well have saved the rest of us – and the people of Sandpoint, if we can make it back there in time to prepare for the incoming giant army that approaches – and if that does not make him a hero, I do not know what will.

But was it worth the cost? If we have to resort to forcing unwitting heroes to join our cause, are we really any better than those who seek to oppress us?