You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: Willem's Journal  (Read 489 times)

HouseOfLament

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Willem's Journal
« on: October 29, 2023, 09:49:09 AM »
The journal often has elaborate drawings in the margins, generally nautical themed or matching the subject matter.
Such content is clarified OOCly in italics.

*****

Page 1
Margin art: Tree branches resembling an oak with embellishments such as berries throughout.  The branches transition between typical appearances for the four seasons and back again in a cycle.

Meditations on Concordance: The Isochrone is the wisest among us, embodying the strengths and lessons of each season as the situation demands.  The holy title derives ironically from High Cordovan, alluding to uniform periods of synchronicity.  Compassion will be the best course of action one day and wrath the next.  A time to plan, a time to endure, and then a time to prevail. 

The matter at hand: my lover and I find ourselves separated from our entourage in a dangerous, backward land.  Monsters are apparently real, and our lives are as disposable as any refugee.  There is no shortage of misplaced mercenaries.  Some of them are potential allies while others are certainly threats. 

It is the year 778 by the Barovian calendar.  Barovia itself is a mud hovel whose citizens are just as aggressively superstitious as they are no-nonsense.  It is ruled by Count Strahd von Zarovich, whose law is enforced in brutal and uncompromising fashion.  The refugees find ourselves in Vallaki, a grey monument to order and melancholy where those with coin might find some few modest amenities.  I have travelled to two nearby villages.  Krofburg, nestled up in the mountains, shows signs of recent expansion: a tent city presumably for laborers can be found outside the original village walls.  Quite a few hideous wretches -- they often seem like walking alchemical accidents -- work and take refuge here.  The nearby village of Krezk is humble and quaint, though there is evidence of a terrible battle fought here not too long ago.  It may have been a strategic holding at some point.

I have witnessed a variety of monstrous threats.  Neuri: bipedal wolf-beasts who excel at senseless murder of civilian and mercenary alike.  An unknown creature of shadow has been encountered in the crypts beneath the Morninglordan temple -- it is extremely dangerous.  Further investigation is required.  The old man will be pleased to receive such unusual and esoteric knowledge upon our return to House Moran.
Discord: Delawhere

Current:

Dementlieu: Willem van der Hoot, Outlander Beguiler
Barovia: Oliver Blumfeld, Mordentish Shaman

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HouseOfLament

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Re: Willem's Journal
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2023, 02:12:26 PM »
Page 2
Margin art: a ship sails across the three margins that do not border the binding.  The vessels, one of which is armed with cannons, are surely the creations of a renaissance era domain.

Meditations on Lady Niomae and Her Spring: It is best to embrace the tumultuous circumstances as a new beginning.  There is no clear and obvious way home, and regardless, Ezekiel wishes to stay.  His eyes are alight each day as he discusses some new fascination or intrigue.  All of this must be approached as an exciting opportunity.  Anything less would be disrespectful to my family's history.

The Cordovans took our land, and so the Lakoi took the sea.

They forced us to take family names in their tradition, and so we made up ridiculous ones such as van der Hoot.

They took everything Vrederic, first of our name, had and so he stole one of their ships and much more.

The first of our name once had the wealth of kings, and managed to squander it in impressive fashion before he reached his death bed.

There is no such thing as circumstance backing us into a corner.  There is always a way forward.  Endings only make room for beginnings.

Shall I acquire (not necessarily purchase) a vessel of my own?  Continue to reclaim artefacts from deep underground?  Something else entirely?  Ezekiel opines whimsically about the Inquisitors and the safety they provide but I am glad to be beyond their reach.  It seems a shame -- a waste of opportunity -- to default back into the comforts of normalcy.  This time could be anything for us.

Thank you, Niomae, for this new beginning.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2023, 08:34:05 AM by HouseOfLament »
Discord: Delawhere

Current:

Dementlieu: Willem van der Hoot, Outlander Beguiler
Barovia: Oliver Blumfeld, Mordentish Shaman

Previous: Anton Durand, Ezrite Cleric of the Fekete Sereg

HouseOfLament

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Re: Willem's Journal
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2023, 09:56:21 AM »
Page 3
Margin art: nude men and women competing in sports or armed combat.  The center of each margin features a radiant sun.

Meditations on Lord Luscient and His Summer: the angry mob is summer's child and I have seen more than one during my time here.  Luscient's heat is overwhelming, even oppressive.  It agitates, angers -- and compels us towards action.  And so even negative experiences and circumstances can be turned towards a beneficial end.

Just as dozens of ants can overwhelm a grasshopper, a mob can defeat a greater foe.

I personally seen why one such mob formed.  I barely escaped the roadside massacre.  I encountered an undead warrior in jaguar themed armor, embellished with many colorful feathers.  He slew everyone he encountered, and I saw many bodies strewn about, some missing heads. Three in particular were neatly lined up for unknown purpose, likely occult in nature.  Heroes eventually came and they too were defeated. 

The mob was the only way forward.  How many more times will I encounter this?

These people are overwhelmed.  Agitated and angry.  Yet it is not the summer's doing.  The land itself is evil.  A man from a company can be lost to the mountains, only to rise on his own accord and seek out his former companions to cut them down in revenge.  I hear whispers it is the very Mists that took us away from Cordova which are responsible for these dark phenomena.

Sadly, I have always been for Memnos.  I ought to reflect often on Luscient, lest I fail to act when it is necessary.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2023, 09:59:18 AM by HouseOfLament »
Discord: Delawhere

Current:

Dementlieu: Willem van der Hoot, Outlander Beguiler
Barovia: Oliver Blumfeld, Mordentish Shaman

Previous: Anton Durand, Ezrite Cleric of the Fekete Sereg

HouseOfLament

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Re: Willem's Journal
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2023, 11:17:57 AM »
Page 4
Margin art: scenes of harvest, embellished with multicolor leaves

Meditations on Lord Memnos and His Autumn: there is a curious contrast to the final statement in my previous meditation and the drawings upon this page.  Memnos directs us to work diligently and hard to ensure we have all that is needed to survive Faergol's Winter.  Yet the seasons are all-encompassing concepts, and their facets can be contradictory.  I have always been drawn to the aspect of Memnos that preserves knowledge.  There were once raiders with a bloody harvest of their own, just as loyal to Memnos as myself or the diligent laborer. 

Knowledge is a sword and a shield in this place.  This terrible place where rotting corpses hung by the neck can appear on the road after sunset, and where both the corpses and the ropes can suddenly reach out for passersby.  What compels them so?  A spider creature apparently was able to manipulate others into serving it.  How?  Why?  I wonder what these first interludes might have been like.  Is there a progression to the horror, akin to the slowly raising temperature of a pot over a fire?

Clearly it is possible to have a dialogue with monsters.  I become more convinced with each day that it is useful to have such conversations and write the true nature of things -- even if many of them will misdirect and lie.  It seems that in order to be effective, I must familiarize myself with alienism.  It is a curious body of knowledge, not conceived of in my homeland. 
Discord: Delawhere

Current:

Dementlieu: Willem van der Hoot, Outlander Beguiler
Barovia: Oliver Blumfeld, Mordentish Shaman

Previous: Anton Durand, Ezrite Cleric of the Fekete Sereg

HouseOfLament

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Re: Willem's Journal
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2023, 09:00:49 AM »
Page 5
Margin art: the Balinoks, with winter themed embellishments near suspension bridges

Meditations on Lady Faergol and Her Winter: there are kind interpretations of Winter's harshness, that the things we endure are only meant to make us stronger.  Where would we be without challenges?  The Outlanders are generally drawn to such things quite naturally.

I find only cruelty here.  I wish to avoid Winter by hibernating.  Is that not a natural response..?  Invisibility and enhanced speed have always served me well in the face of this place's twisted dangers.  Others face things head on and I have seen an abundance of corpses.  I try to save these nameless Outlanders when they're seriously injured in the field, and I deal with obstacles they can not.  I help them face Winter and all that must be endured in my own way.

Others embrace it.  Ezekiel is naturally drawn to those who would have called themselves Winter's children back on the isles.  The Caliban who dwell underground, the so-called Banites from another realm who praise tyranny itself, the Grey City's guards who now work to ensure the Outlanders fear them.    For my own part, I can not be as the Isochrone if I am not willing to absorb what wisdom I may while in their presence.  They are all certainly capable in ways Luscient's Outlander mobs can never hope to achieve.
Discord: Delawhere

Current:

Dementlieu: Willem van der Hoot, Outlander Beguiler
Barovia: Oliver Blumfeld, Mordentish Shaman

Previous: Anton Durand, Ezrite Cleric of the Fekete Sereg

HouseOfLament

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Re: Willem's Journal
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2023, 08:22:22 AM »
Page 6
Margin art: anatomical drawings of limbs that take up large lengths of the margin, embellished with bandages that have been defiantly folded into non-Euclidian patterns

Meditations on the Future: I have accepted a scholarship to attend the Dementlieuse University's program for medicine, and will be practicing under supervision for a time in Port-a-Lucine's slum at the behest of a well-meaning charity, Lanterne d'Espoir.  This place is much more Cordovan in nature.  They have firearms and contract law.  I have witnessed the dissection of a Human brain. 

I feel like I could barely keep up.  Ezekiel made it seem so simple as always.  It is strange then, that I am the one who would leap at this opportunity.  He wishes to live in Barovia, and continues to make decisions that jeopardize my future.  I have considered returning the ring he gave me.  He is naturally captivating, yet sometimes reminds me of everything that I detest about our homeland.  Is he the one who can only be wed to his Great Work..?  Or am I?
Maybe it is both.  We can hardly be wed if we are to live in different lands.
Discord: Delawhere

Current:

Dementlieu: Willem van der Hoot, Outlander Beguiler
Barovia: Oliver Blumfeld, Mordentish Shaman

Previous: Anton Durand, Ezrite Cleric of the Fekete Sereg