Author Topic: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward  (Read 1612 times)

SwordChucks

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Tucked away inside an adventurers pack amidst a mesh-mash of herbs, weapons, and other paraphernalia is an old black leather-bound journal, herein are its contents:

The Journal of Aeric Sunward - Paladin of Kelemvor
Eyune 8th 776 BC


With recent events unfolding as they have, I would be remiss if I did not at least attempt write down my thoughts and musings on the events, friendships and actions I have taken since the mists dragged me from my home in Baldur's Gate to this world where the supernatural hold sway over nearly every part of life.  I have made allies here that I don't think I can ever forget; J'styn, Adan, and of course Ramon.  With the events that nearly drained my life and blood in the sewers, I feel a journal is absolutely more important then ever. Perhaps I have made my first enemy?


A bit about myself. I was born in the in the small farming town of Beregost to a family of wheat farmers. My family was not wealthy but neither were we destitute. It was a simple life.  My Uncle Rikard had years ago left for the clergy of Kelemvor in the city of Baldur's Gate but would occasionally return to visit with the family. He was a large man, friendly and stoic. I knew little of the Lord Kelemvor at that time in my life and certainly would have never expected that the Judge of the Dead would one day call on me to act as his sword.

It was at the age of 17 that my Father took ill and passed away. My Uncle returned to conduct the ceremony and it was decided by my older brother that I would follow in his footsteps as a clergyman.  Suffice to say I was not excited at this prospect.  My older brother had taken a wife, and the family farm would fall to him, so I had little choice but to either take to the road or join the clergy.  I nearly snuck out the night before, pack in hand, such was my derision to join the priesthood. If I wasn't to be a farmer, then perhaps an adventurer.   

As such, I started my life following my Uncle as a steward and assistant of sorts. The plan was to spend a year on the road with him, observe his vocation and eventually return to the Gate for induction.  I spent many days and nights attending funerals at many of the outlying towns.  I wont lie. It was awful.  Imagine yourself a young man, traveling all day to interesting and exciting places, only to spend your time there in silent reverie or performing rituals for the passing.  I'm pretty sure my Uncle wanted to drop me off at some local tavern with the number of times that I would complain about the duties.

It was the summer of my 18th year when I finally understood Kelemvor, what he meant and the importance of his duties.  It is a story I wont long forget, it's something I keep in the back of my mind and turn to when I doubt, it keeps me strong in the faith, no matter where I am...

But that I will recant for another time. I think Misty is at the tavern, I would very much like to go and speak with her some more.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2021, 11:06:43 AM by SwordChucks »

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Re: Trials and Tribulations: A Journal of my time in Barovia.
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2021, 10:53:43 AM »
Written on the inside page of the journal

Kelemvor, hear me as I come before you
I greet the sun, and remember those who have gone before.
Guide me, as you guide the dead.
Remember me, as you remember the dead.
As I remember those who have gone before,
Let my words reach them, so they know they are not forgotten.
Teach me, so I may guide others.
Lift me up, so I may reflect your glory.
Grant me the gift of your wisdom,
So I may be your messenger today.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 01:38:38 PM by SpaceGhost »

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Re: Trials and Tribulations: A Journal of my time in Barovia.
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2021, 01:42:34 PM »
A sketch of dandelions drawn on a subsequent page of the journal


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Re: Aeric Sunward: A Journal
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2021, 10:06:26 AM »


Eyune 9th 776 BC

I haven't committed to this journal yet the tale of my encounter with the self proclaimed "Night Master". I am not even certain if I wish to. When I came up out of the sewer, near death, drained of blood, I had been asked to recant the tale so many times that I felt as though it had burned itself in my memory. I would prefer not to recount it again, at least not now.

But where was I?  Ah yes, my Uncle.

The Western Heartlands are dotted with numerous small farming villages and communities, and it was my Uncles duty to serve them as an undertaker of sorts.  The lives of farm folk are not as exciting as say, a Harper, or Purple Dragon Knight, but their lives have meaning, as do their deaths. As time passed I began to understand the solace that my Uncle would bring to these folks. Helping them understand that death is not to be feared, but accepted as the next step in a journey that is endless.  To the dying he would anoint their heads in ceremonial oil, and pray for a simple and painless passing. For the dead, he would place two coins upon their eyes to see them along into the afterlife. A ritual I have noticed Ramon performs as well.

It was the village of Elk River, and the summer heat was staggering. We had just walked into town, and were surprised at the silence.  We had been to Elk River numerous times before and the people there had come to appreciate and welcome us. This day was different. The town was silent, not even a cat or dog stirred the deathly stillness.  We wandered about at least 15 minutes, going from storefront to storefront, from house to house, trying to find any sign of life.

We did eventually find something. Only it was not life.

The door to a a carriage house owned by the mayor near his modest but larger estate creaked and groaned as something within tried to free itself.  A strange odor of rotten meat filed our nostrils as we neared the building. My Uncle, normally quiet and stoic, seemed to suddenly take on a different persona. His eyes narrowed, and his face formed into a scowl. In the year I had traveled with him, he would have hanging at his side, a small metal mace. I had never seem him wield it, but today, this large quiet man took the weapon in his hands and with a prayer, set it alight with a holy flame.

He told me to stay back, and moved towards the carriage house door. With a swing from his mace the lock  broke and from within the sounds of moans and grunts suddenly increased in pitch as the doors swung outwards and a horde of living corpses shambled out. The resident of Elk River.  My Uncle was ready for them.

His first swing of the mace decimated the first abomination that came out. The subsequent attacks, set fire to and eradicated many more. At one point I though he would be overwhelmed, but with a roar to the heavens, a force of divine energy echoed from him, and terrified the living dead if it did not outright destroy them.  The good work was done in 5 minutes, and the carriage house was cleared.  We found the few remaining survivors of the town hidden in a room above the carriage house and were informed that a strange man had passed through but a week prior to our arrival. This man had offered the mayor potions and poultices that he had said could extend his life. It seemed they worked, just not as the mayor intended.  A Necromancer had been at work here promising eternal life. I  guess he kept his promise.

My uncle and I spent the rest of our time in Elk River, burying the corpses of the risen dead.  Anointing them and putting them to final rest. He never spoke a word to me about what happened after we left the town.  But beneath his stoic demeanor I could tell it had bothered him.  We knew those people. We knew the sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, grandparents.  They were simple folk, good folk, just trying to make it by, and due to the machinations of some foul necromancer they had been forced into the next life before their time.   I understood at last the role we played as servants of Kelemvor, not just as clergy of the faith, but defenders of the living in the face of such evil.

I promised myself I would never take our duties for granted again, be they conducting a funeral or putting to rest a risen dead.

[scribbled hastily at the bottom]
On a side note. I think I really screwed up in the crypts today.  Misty fell, and I don't think I managed the group as I should have.. but that is for another day.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 12:42:03 PM by SwordChucks »

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Re: Aeric Sunward: A Journal
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2021, 01:13:22 PM »
A sketch on a subsequent page of the journal




Eyune 16th 776 BC


I haven't had much time to think least of all write. Not since meeting Kaz.  She is fast becoming all I can think about.  She had been at the Inn the night the Sirus defeated me and fed from me.  Misty, being so loud and exuberant had drawn my focus to her. While I certainly appreciate who Misty is, and the lightness she brings to Barovia, I feel I suffered from a patients syndrome of falling for their nurse.   After an awkward chat at the cemetery it was settled, we walked away friends and I was glad for it.

But Kaz.

Kaz; beautiful, funny, smart, ginger (cant be perfect - hope she never reads this) .. What more could you ask for. This amazing woman was right under my nose for a while before i realized I was having feelings for her.  I never had time for this before.  I recall kisses shared in a barn as a child with the neighbor girl, but nothing like this. Who had time? Between traveling with my uncle, and my time at the temple in Baldur's Gate, it was dedication to the Judge and not much else.

Ramon believes it to be a distraction, but she is so much more then that. She carries my heart with her when we are apart, and when I am with her, she is all I can see.  Her kind are long lived, so I don't know what will happen in the future, perhaps she will grow bored of me, I don't know, but I know that right now, she has my heart and soul as hers. Oddly, she told me Juline gave her a shield, something about that makes me feel good.

She has a secret though. About her past.  I don't know what it is... but I know what it feels like to carry a burden. Their isn't a day that I don't take a moment to pray for Ser Jorath. I am lucky that I had allies who helped me through such. 

Even so, the past is a burden that is not easily shed and I will never forget the night the mists took me. One day I will tell her about it. Perhaps it may help her open up about her own past.


« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 01:15:46 PM by SwordChucks »

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Re: Aeric Sunward: A Journal
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2021, 03:20:37 PM »

A sketch depicting the symbol of Kelemvor is drawn on opposite page

Eyune 17th 776BC
(This page has multiple attempts at a start, each crossed out but eventually the writer seems to have focused his thoughts)

Ser Jeroth. You never said a kind work. You never smiled. Each day at dawn your benedictions and at night your rest. You were loyal to your duty, and to our Lord Kelemvor. In death, as I believe you to be now, I know you have been led to the next part of the journey with a light soul. You were the quintessential Doom Guide and May the Judge guide you down the corridors of the grey city to your everlasting peace.  You will not be forgotten.

I. I have fraternized, I have smiled and laughed like a fool, in a world where there is nothing but black.  Their are no happy endings in Barovia. How did I forget this.   He has taken my Kaz.  His power, again to much.  I did not want to engage him, but she was drawn to him.  I could not turn her away, and now he has her.

This has been my folly from the start. Falling in love with her has betrayed me. In that moment when she stood there.. I didn't care about anyone else but her.  Let him kill the rest, so long as she lived. 

She has gone off with him. I believe her to be in his thrall...  I dread to think what else it could be.  Therefore I must do what i should have done from the begining. Recommit myself to the Judge of the Damned as was intended.  There will no longer be a knight in bright armor, but a grim knight who will obey his lords commands unto death.  I must purge these feelings if I am to get through this, and certainly if there will ever be a chance to save Kas. I don't know if I can return from this.

In the name of the judge, I repent upon my sins and frailties and rededicate to you my lord Kelemvor.

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Re: Aeric Sunward: A Journal
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2021, 11:40:55 PM »



Quote
Avgust 29


It has been to long since I have captured my thoughts in this journal. Much has changed in my life since my last entry. I am no longer entangled in any romantic pursuits and it is for the better. They were a dangerous distraction, caused no end of heartache and frankly between improving my own skills in Herbing and Alchemy alongside the pursuit of night creatures any significant other would be only second. 

It is not my intent to record my investigations here, I'll leave that for my logbook at the Kinship, but perhaps more how these investigations have impacted me..

Of most recent concern is the Wight Lucian.. I am hopeful that the poor creature is cursed, but my own knowledge of Wight's and confirmation from Ophelia would tell me otherwise.  I never recounted them before but since the start of this investigation, the nightmares which plagued me early on of Ser Jeroth have returned.  They seemed to start shortly after visiting the Rauni in Vallaki.

A long dark stone hallway.. decayed hands reaching out from broken portions of the masonry. I see Jeroth ahead of me, running through them, urging me to follow, but I cannot, either because of fear or the claws holding me back, I am trapped and unable to aid my mentor...

There is a sense of urgency to them this time.  I don't know if I am running to my death or from it, and while I trust in Kelemvor I worry that a fear of death may have crept into my mind. The Core, always the core, the same yet different.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2021, 11:56:33 AM by SwordChucks »

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Re: Aeric Sunward: A Journal
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2021, 11:32:05 AM »


Quote
Octyavr 5

I have been tested, and found wanting. Though the will is there, the body is not yet prepared to battle the creatures of the Noapte.
Lucian [scratched out]  The Wight, felled me at the gates of Krezek, and my death allowed him and his army of Darklings to wreak havoc on the people of the outpost.

For a moment, it seemed his salvation might be at hand, that he would forgive himself, and allow Liss to offer him the peace he deserved, but what I think to be a Vistani spirit stole the heirloom of his mother, his rage was inconsolable, the dark power that emanated from the Ritual spot was staggering... when he wandered in, I knew Lucian was no more.

The Thrice Cursed Wight, has made his choice to further the designs of his wretched mother and eradicate the Vistani that cast her out. 

He must be stopped. 

The vision the Rauni showed me... His eyes glowing red, as he murdered man, woman and child without mercy or care, this CANNOT come to pass.

I must try and gather who I can and hunt down this abomination until he is put back into the earth. 

These are blighted times but Kelemvors will be done.
[/size]
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 02:12:02 PM by SwordChucks »

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Re: Aeric Sunward: A Journal
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2021, 11:56:58 PM »


Neyavr 19th

Quote
I was asked tonight about what happened when I was misted here. This was a story I had told once, long ago, and had filed away in my mind as a distant memory.
Ser Jeroth my Knight, I cannot nor will not forget you, as you drive my actions daily, but the memory has become distant. Therefore I shall commit it to paper that there be a record of his sacrifice.

The ceremony of induction seemed to go by so quick. I had served as a squire to Ser Jeroth for several years after the gifts of Kelemvor began to Manifest. My uncle would come to visit me occasionally, but much of my time was spent in martial training, and learning the strategies involved in fighting the dead.

The night I was misted, my first mission had been granted to me. Rumors' of abductions in the noble quarter. A recently unearthed crypt (happened more often then one would think in a city as old as Baldur's Gate) Ser Jeroth and myself were sent to investigate. We thought it might be a Wight, or perhaps a Ghoul on the loose. I wish I could say that had been the case.

We approached at night, and perhaps that was our folly, but perhaps it had made no difference either in the outcome.  The walls of the crypt were old and cracked. skeletons and the remains of the ancient dead in small plots on the wall.  As we traveled down deeper we saw glyphs of whatever peoples had built the place.

An hour down, and nothing much of interest had happened.  That was until we came into the main room. A huge antechamber, it appeared to be some manner of ritual room. The smell was awful, but it only after we relit our torches did we see where it had come from..  Bodies, pieces of bodies, arms, legs, torsos... cut to pieces and thrown about with nearly no regard  lay everywhere.  Cages filled with bloated rotting corpses..  we didn't think there was a person alive, until we heard the crying.  A cage filled with several small children. Of course we released them as quickly as we could. We prepared to head back topside, but whatever fiend had created this place, had clearly been prepared for an incursion.

Before we knew it, we were surrounded by the dead.  Ser Jeroth raged against them, we both did.. but to no avail. Zombies Skeletons assailed from every direction.

Before I knew it, he had called for a withdrawal, I grabbed the children and we moved deeper into the tunnels, the sound of the hungering dead close at our heels.  I remember the sense of dread I felt as the way became narrower and narrower, eventually we were forced to move one at a time. Ahead of us, appeared what looked to be the entrance to a mausoleum. I remember pushing against the door with him, and that sudden sense of relief as it budged, but it had take to long to open The creature were piling into the narrow space..  this was when Jeroth pushed me into the door with the children.

"Go, warn others" were his last words to me as he shut the stone door behind me, I could hear him draw his sword, and the sound of combat... I had no choice but to run, and I did.. I remember trying to hold on to the hands of one of the smallest children, but the mist.. it grew thick.. so thiick I could no longer see what was in front of me..

I remember waking up in Barovia near the Vistani, no children, no Ser Jeroth. 

I do not wish to recollect on this further.


« Last Edit: November 21, 2021, 11:04:01 PM by SwordChucks »

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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2021, 11:25:45 AM »
Quote


Dekavr 13 776

On Lucian:

The Wight's suffering has at long last come to an end.  He is now, no more then a pile of ashes and memories. To some those memories are bittersweet, such as Liss. To others, filled with pain, such as Estel. Nevertheless it is over.

His ending came, where the journey that brought him into shadow began - The Vistani camp in the mists. The vow I took to guard Vadoma, fulfilled, and I will forever own the fact that I sent her away and replaced her with a double to ensure her safety.  Lucian, I pity more then most of the night creatures, but I found myself empathizing with him and his plight over the people who he caused a great deal of harm to. Would I do it again? Yes. 

Lucian had his chance for redemption with Liss, and refused it. Now it was a matter of his ending. I was gladdened that in the end, he did in fact go peaceably and that he chose a true death over more bloodshed.  I am equally thankful for my allies, Adan, Ramon, J'ystn .. each of them came to my side when I called.  Estel.. I would have preferred she had not been present, but... I also think she needed this.

More then anything, I find myself contemplating on the creature that was the man Lucian.  He sacrificed himself for others, and his reward?  Undeath claimed him, and stole his heart. 

I am beginning to understand the true nature of the Core, this is a dread realm, where hope lies dead in a ditch somewhere along the road from Vallaki to the Barovian Village.   It has been so long since I felt the presence of the Judge, I have forgotten the surety that it would give me. I move now on blind faith, and the knowledge his gifts still course through me.   

But I grow weary.

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known
- AS
« Last Edit: December 16, 2021, 02:29:28 PM by SwordChucks »

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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2021, 02:37:42 PM »


Dekavr 16 776

Quote
Coward.  Coward?  The nerve of this half blood Vistani to so thoughtlessly and callously utter that word.  Where was she when Lucian passed through the gates of Krezek outpost and only I stood to try and stop him?  Where was she when he assaulted Estel, and left her corpse in a flop house in Vallaki?

I took an oath by Vadoma to protect her, and when the option to hide her came up, I took it.  Lucian had made his desire known to me, and whatever closure he wanted with her, his time for it had passed.  I had gathered more then enough allies to end him, and even then, he was still allowed to say his peace.

Well, we spoke. This girl Zaya and myself and her mind wont be swayed, but frankly neither will mine.  It was she that Lucian bequeathed his swords to, and while I should most likely distrust her, I do not have it in me to deal with anymore of his fallout. A note to myself - she seems to suffer from some affliciton, but I am not certain what.

There is word now of greater threats, vampires, Soth, a crown.. the dread realm allows for now respite from the terror it creates.
[/size]


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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2023, 12:04:00 AM »
Yinvar 21 777


Quote
I am hesitant to pick up this quill and again set my thoughts to paper. Having recently escaped Darkon, I find my mind to be addled and my memories returning in jumps and starts.  I remember leaving though. I remember making the choice to leave. I told no-one, just picked up my sword and left. It has been nearly a year since I stepped foot in Barovia, and it might have been longer had I not joined a trade caravan as a guard. The rumors' are true, and those who go to Darkon quickly forget who they are, or who they were. Of course, that is what I was looking for.

Most of the folk I knew are gone, or at least I haven't seen them, and I suppose that is for the better. I will have to return my Kinship key as well, I have no desire to belong to any groups any longer.  I find myself no better off then a year ago. I question my faith, I question myself, I question my choices.  Lucian deserved better. He deserved closure, and instead he got death, and yes that death was merciful for what he was, but as a man his life was marked by pain, and it was that pain that brought him back, but he deserved closure. 

For now, I am content to just be a nameless face amongst the masses that seem to gather outside the temple of light.  I saw Ophelia the other day, perhaps she didn't recognize me, or didn't care, but all the better.  Solitude is an ally these days.

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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2023, 10:15:38 AM »
Yinvar 23 777



Quote
Ljot stands upon the stage and sings the sing about her people coming down the mountain to raid, but needing to barter with a giant first.  A beautiful young skald, I cannot deny that she is passing pleasing to the eye, but more so her song soothes a weary soul.  "Coming down the mountain" she sings.  I am, I believe coming down the mountain myself at last.  A year lost.  The rumors' of Darkons magic were true, you do forget yourself.

I had been living as a caravan guard, thinking myself a citizen of that country for nearly a year. All memories of Aeric Sunward gone.  I had a new name, a new life, and time permitting gods know what else.  I desperately wanted to escape myself, escape my faith, escape my allies and Darkons magic fit the bill. Only when I returned all these memories came crashing back at once. What I hoped to obscure rained down on my psyche.  I have been wrestling with these suppressed thoughts over a week now, and while seeing old friends like Melian (Who has truly come into her own) have certainly helped.  I cannot help but feel that all we do is pointless. The constant hunt of the creatures of the Noapte, it will never end here, we will never make a difference.

Kelemvor continues to grace me with his gifts, but I question my worthiness to wield them.

-Aeric [/size][/size]

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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2023, 02:20:52 PM »
Yinvar 28 777

Quote
The days have been quiet, mostly.  Oh but the nights; Rumor's abound of Vrolock, Cults, Black Counts and other such terrors of the Old Night.  I remain vigilant, have been begun asking about regarding this angel of salvation, but as of yet I still feel unsteady.  The other night Asariel was kind enough to take me on a hunt, exterminating Wererats in the village. Fruitful, but it still hasn't cured me of this lingering apathy.

That said, I was overjoyed to discover Isabel was still lingering about Vallaki!  She was a friend from my earliest days here, before I was even in the kinship! Apparently she is also an acquaintance of Ljots (Whom gave us another impromptu performance at the Ladies Rest).  It was good to see her and wax nostalgic about the old days. Of course, brooding donkey that I am, I begin remembering the faces I know I won't see again.  Folks with whom I had a brief friendship but were lost the mists for any number of reasons.  It's odd that I still remember the Half Orc, taken in the sewers by... something, from the second day I arrived in Vallaki.

Never the less, Ljot hugged me. I enjoyed that. It is not often I allow myself to enjoy close contact with people I care about.  I should work on this.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2023, 11:56:08 AM by SwordChucks »

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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2023, 12:13:11 PM »
Yinvar 30 777

Quote
Work beckons once again.  I find myself again investigating the various disturbances and goings on in the core.  An Angel seeking acolytes. This could be good, this could be something else. I have met with them, and they seem earnest. I certainly hope they are.

I'll admit a certain level of frustration wandering about Vallaki again that I haven't felt since I was newly misted.  Rude folk so absorbed in their petty nonsense they can make no time for anyone else.  Imagine being rebuked for saying "Hello" by other outlanders no less!  Well, I was made of sterner stuff once, I can be so again. Luckily there are kind people open to making friends; my allies in the Kinship, old faces I have not seen in a while, Ljot, of course, is disarmingly good natured. 

Speaking of Ljot; We went for a walk the other day to a meadow I like to spend time in meditating or just thinking. I thought she may enjoy the peace and quiet it brings. She shared a bit of history about herself, and apparently something that may have created a bit of a gulf between us. Her past as a raider.  I had some inkling of this from when we first met, but to be fair, I may have turned a blind eye to it, as she truly is someone with a good heart.   But she shared her concerns over what she has heard of other Paladins, which is fair.  Some Holy Knights especially those of Helm, Tyr, Torm are prepared to smite any and every perceived foe in their line of sight.

This is not my role however.  I am a servant of the Judge, and while he expects I conduct myself properly, abide just laws, defend the week. Above all is the quest to lessen the fear of death to the living, and to eradicate the blight of undeath that plagues this world or any world.   Of course, this doesn't mean I would look away if Ljot were to suddenly decide to burn Vallaki down to the group. So I told her the same thing I told Juline. If you wish to travel with me, I expect your actions to be tempered by kindness and justice. But regardless of that, I will not judge a woman who clearly wants to change her future, and set aside a more violent past.

Many Paladins are known to take on quests .. sometimes for magical weapons, to slay an enemy, sometimes it is a quest of the self. Ljot is on her own journey. Who she wants to be. I would rather be a guide then a hindrance on her path.

I have found myself at the mist camp now. I am not normally comfortable here, but getting away from Vallaki now and again is refreshing.

-Aeric

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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2023, 02:59:40 PM »


Yinvar 31 777

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Here I sit, in the keep of the dyad a warm fire burning in front of me, an ale by my side, and yet I feel no contentment. Darkon's curse still embraces me, though I am able to put a good on in front of others. I lived a whole other life, or thereabouts.  Aye, I have told old friends I thought myself a Caravan guard, but that was not the whole story.

I was in Neblus. Lost, alone, my mind was resistant to whatever was happening to me. It was then that the brothers saw me. One recognized the Skeletal Hand and Scales of Kelemvor and he beckoned me to him.  The Eternal Order.  They were making a pilgrimage to the a place called the Necropolis, once the city Il Iluk.  While they would not dare enter the city, they would go close to its borders to offer prayer and sacrifice that the dead may rest again.   Foolish or not, prayers to the dead felt more at home to me then anything else, so I joined them. The road was long, and beset by all manner of creatures, but as we neared, the number of undead we had to fight off became ungainly.

I had never seen such a place. A city of the dead, and while we lingered only on its borders did I truly understand the Orders belief that they must be placated in order to stop them.  The people in this land have begun to abandon the Order as well. Since the Requiem, their faith in the order has waned and terror that the dead will once again reclaim their home has intensified.

I left that place shattered. Had my faith in Kelemvor been wrong all this time?  We cannot stop the eventual return of the world to the dead, after all, "all that lives will one day die" can we only delay it for a time.   I was steeped in these thoughts for  some time. The curse taking hold brought me more and more often to the Orders temples.  They offered a solace, but not a solution.  Had I been a member of the order, would Lucian have received his true reward. I asked myself this daily. I spoke with one of the brothers on it, and he seemed convinced the Lucian was done a disserve by not allowing him to speak with the Rauni.

The fear of the Hour of the Ascension seems to permeate most of the faithful here, and while the order serves a purpose I wonder if these men and women are the right ones to fulfil it. On more then one occasion I saw them take coin or favors for blessings. One particularly vile older cleric apparently bedded multiple young women in city, and was eventually cast out for his transgression, although the Order did in fact seek to obfuscate it as much as possible. Besides this, it feels as if this organization has fractured. The Requiem has done a number on their faithful and each church seems to operate isolated from the others. I went to them looking for answers.. and instead I found mists as thick as though in Barovia.

Until I met Gaspar the Ezrite... this tale for another day though.
Aeric
« Last Edit: February 01, 2023, 12:21:49 PM by SwordChucks »

SwordChucks

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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2023, 12:45:19 PM »




Gaspar. What can one say about such a fine fellow. He saw me for what I was at that time; Depressed, empty, alone, and yet instead of walking by as so many in this world are ought to do, he helped me up.  By this time the curse of Darkon had fully seeped into my persona. Barovia was a distant memory, obviously I had relations there, but Darkon had been and was my home. The gifts bestowed upon me by Kelemvor, I had simply forgotten how to use.  I made some coin from serving as a Caravan guard, enough to keep me in my drink, but always something nagged at my soul, a failure, a treachery I committed against an innocent. The Eternal Order wished to conscript me and feed upon anguish, but Gaspar, again, he became a friend.

A young Warden, part of a larger gathering of Ezras faithful from Mordent he and his allies were traveling Darkon bringing the word of the faith. The Lady of the Mist.. She who spoke to them and in turn was spoken to. She who only sought to protect the faithful from horror unimaginable. Gaspar would spend weeks with me, meeting for lunch or drinks, and teach me what he could about the faith.  I was never the best scholar but Ezra more and more sounded like an honorable woman and worthy of devotion. What is a Paladins life if not sacrifice for others or something greater then him or her.

Nevertheless, here I am now back in Barovia. I see a path ahead of me and pehaps a choice I may need to make. But this has been to much think about tonight. Instead I shall extinguish this candle and rest.

Aeric Sunward Fivral 1 777

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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2023, 09:19:10 PM »
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It has been an interesting few days. Between attacks by Necromancers, Angelic cults and other happenings, I have actually managed to find time to meet with an Ezrite Toret.

Matthew. 

We spent a good deal of time discussing the faith, I shared with him some of my doubts in my own. He was a kind man, and shared with me the guidance that Ezra offers. But reminded me, it was for me to come to her, if I was to be saved. I am still not certain about anything, but I will never blaspheme the Wardens, they are good men and women who are true to their faith and their goddess.

Ophelia.

She spent the night with me outside the temple, in the rain no less. Listening to me speak of Lucian, my doubts and a hundred other things. There is something about that woman that makes it so hard to disagree with her logic no matter how hard I tried. My spirits were certainly uplifted after our conversation and I am meeting with her to discuss some of her beliefs about the core.  She is a beautiful and kind woman and I am happy to know her.

Ramon.

At long last. I expected disappointment but instead he was happy to see me. He brought me to the temple, told me we could discuss my role in the church anon.  Ramon is/was my mentor and I owe that man a lot. That he welcomes me back with open arms is a relief I did not expect.

Well, this is what I have time for tonight. I am going to have dinner with Ellavyra, a fellow in the kinship, I hope I don't make a fool of myself, she carries herself with a noble posture and my own upbringing stands out sometimes.

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Aeric Sunward Fivral 4 777
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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2023, 10:58:02 AM »
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I am impulsive.

She is beautiful, intelligent, self reliant, adventurous, traits that are all to appealing to me, to anyone really.  I literally blurted out my feelings without even thinking, asking that I be allowed to her court her and see what comes of it. She said yes.   The work of Kelemvor can make one quickly forget the joys of living and life, but this has reawakened those feelings. To some degree, even helped me with the doubts I have had of late.   Nevertheless...

I am impulsive.

On a side note, while an aborted attempt at the Winter Palace seems to be the norm for my ventures there, I had the pleasure of venturing with some capable comrades. A few from the Kinship (Ella, and Lee) and some new allies. Eskel, Whicket, and of course Amarissa. A fine journey regardless of outcome.




Aeric Sunward, Fivral 8 777
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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2023, 09:13:55 AM »
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Give me Wight, Lich, Lycanthrope, even a Vampire to deal with and I can keep my composure as well as a chosen of Helm.
One red headed Suneite and I'm spouting poetry like a schoolboy's who discovered his first crush.
I am beginning to annoy myself. Meanwhile, she is a figure of absolute grace and composure. Calm, collected thoughtful and kind. 

I wish to gift her something worthy of her abilities and skills, but I do not know what; meanwhile she has blessed me with holy relics befitting a Knight of Kelemvor.  I could care less about the gifts though, and would trade them for just another hour of her time..  and, there I go again.

On a side note: I think I am done with excursions to the Winter Palace. The fates seem decided I should not go. So unless a friend or allies asks it of me, it will be the Mist Camp for me with Amarissa.

Besides my own lovestruck nonsense, there are some true threats to be concerned with. A Lich seems to have caused trouble between some allies in the kinship; Roland and Liarial. Certainly we need to learn more about this creature, but no infernal creature of the note should come between good people.

I was reminded of a verse I heard a bard present when I was young back in the Gate. Being around her has brought it back to the forefront of my memory and I would commit it to these pages that I do not forget it again.

"But if each day, each hour you feel
that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness
if each day a flower climbs up to your lips to seek me
ah my love, ah my own
in me all that fire is repeated
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten
my love feeds on your love, beloved and as long as you live
it will be in your arms
without leaving mine."

Aeric Sunward, Fivral 9 777
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« Last Edit: February 09, 2023, 09:17:24 AM by SwordChucks »

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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2023, 10:21:20 PM »
It's early morning, I'm writing this by candlelight. Riss still sleeps in the next room.  An empty cup of her tea left out on the table.  I should by her some lilies and put them in a vase.

The nightmare came back, but it was different somehow. Jeroth was distant, I couldn't reach him, nor he me, but the screams, the creatures, they were dull, mute almost. Instead he looked at me, and watched as I walked away.  There was no terror or fright just acceptance. I would be moving on without him. 

I want to take her for a walk in the morning, along the shore, it is my favorite thing to do since coming to Port. I could sit and stare at the ocean for hours, completely lose myself in it, but then I look at her, and I realize I am already lost in her eyes.  I never expected this. 

There is still the work, there is always the work, Kelemvor can forgive me a brief respite though, even Ramon said I should enjoy life, as it makes death that much more relevant. 
She makes life that much more relevant.

SwordChucks

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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2023, 10:44:41 AM »
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Amarissa was mess tonight.

She was tired, stunk of the ocean, and literally passed out the moment she came in through the door. I tidied up after her, and in the morning, Iíll draw her a hot bath.  I hate to admit I have been a bit derelict in my duties of late. Putting the sword down for a brief respite has been cathartic, but perhaps a bit too much.  Rissa still spends her time travelling the core for her business for the expereince, and Iíll admit the urge to adventure pecks at my soul, but I have needed this. I have never slept better; I have never felt better. This feels like a real life, and being with her makes me think of what I could have had had Kelemvor not chosen me.  That said, a Necrobane has his duties, and Port certainly has its problem with the dead, and the living.

Still. I feel a bit guilty, like I am abandoning her.  She has become the most important thing In my life, if something happened to her, I donít know what I would do. (There are several ink blots on the page as if the writer stopped and allowed the quill to drip on the parchment)
She is beautiful when she sleeps, even if she is a mess.  I need to take up sketching again.


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Re: The Long Dark Night - Travels in the Core by Aeric Sunward
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2023, 09:26:00 AM »
Mai 15

She breathes in.

Itís near midnight. Sheís sleeping peacefully. Her red hair brilliant even in the dim candlelight, her skin the color of fine porcelain, you would never guess so much power resides inside her. All that power, and a fool like me filled her with dread at the thought that I may have been felled to yet another beast of the old night.

She breathes out.

She is everything to me.  She accepted my proposal, although we havenít really set a time, just some amorphous date in the future. Our lifestyle, the lifestyle I introduced her to, doesnít always allow for long term thinking. I do know that every day with her, is like a living dream. Her beauty, her heart, I would disavow everything if she asked it of me, but she never would.

She breathes in.

She is my wisdom, she is my heart and my valor, she empowers me in battle, she heals me when I am weak. With her I am complete, without her I am a broken mirror. I would protect her from the world, but to do that would be to keep her In a bottle and she is a wild rose deserving of the blue sky and fresh air.

She Breathes out.

The look of her, the tears, her body shaking in fear and shock, it rocked me.  She deserves joy and love, not terror and fear, but nevertheless she is a warrior, proud and valiant and ever courageous. There are knights that could learn from her valor, I am one of them.

She Breathes in.

I get back into the musky hay filled mattress courtesy of the ladiesí rest, I wrap my arms around her she pushes herself back into me allowing me to hold her closer. I am content. That the whole world would disappear and we could stay like this forever would be the only wish I could ever want.

She Breathes out.