Diary 1626

Diaries of Xenofos


1626 Sea Season, Harmony week Fireday

Nochet – Clan Saiciae unmasks a nefarious plot by Lunars infiltrated in the City. Together with royal troops a mixed clan warband led by Varanis Saiciae flushes the henchmen out of former royal palazzo. Yanafal Tarnils Scimitar Onjurelius is spotted fleeing through unholy means.

Scimitar Onjurelius spotted in Nochet is likely to hail from clan Eelariash and thus connected to heroine Jar-Eel Razoress, Sor-Eel – formerly of Pavis, and perhaps to Tarshite house Phargentes. At this time – though conjecture – it is relatively safe to assume he is indeed a Scimitar for his equipage of iron and skill both in arms and magical capabilites seemed to surpass those of a mere initiate.

Slightly later addition: Scimitar seems to have been on a mission to hamper efforts of a mixed group of adventurers seeking cure for magical ailment of Prince of Sartar. Clan Saiciae was involved before through involvement of Irillo, of Issaries , Mellia, of white Ladies and Dormal. Benevolent Grandmother has decided to add support to these efforts by sending Varanis, of Vinga and current author along to North.

Undated Fragment

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

I wake up to slow rhytmic pulse of gigantic wings that makes my heart race and seems to bind my breathing. When I sit up there is nothing but distant sound of running stream and distant nocturnal birds. There is faint smell of unfamiliar flowers and night dew in the air mixed with the smoke of the fire tended. I go back to sleep but when I close my eyes the pulsating sound returns and I know I will not be sleeping for rest of the night.


Undated Fragment

On the Road to Boldhome. Varanis of Clan Saiciae retrieves evidence of Lunar intrigue from a ornate box placed on an outdoor altar by a black standing stone marked with plant and fertility runes, despite attempted meddling by barbarians Serala and Berra, with assistance of Dormal. Said box was marked with Moon runes and contained Lunar orders to their local agents in the area and of troop movements together with a sizeable fortune in Wheels. Wise negotiating by Mellia of Saiciae held local Aldryami at bay while, Irillo, also of Saiciae pacified unruly mob of Sartar peasants.

Meaning of this find would indicate rather flagrant Lunar activity in the area. Leaving secret messages and not unremarkable monetary assets marked openly with Moon runes would suggest the operators have had implicit trust in remoteness of the location and local superstition against the standing stone. The find was made when normal route was closed because of flooded bridge so their trust might have actually not been that unreasonable. Language of messages would also suggest presence of operator literate in New Pelorian, skill not totally unknown in Sartar due to former occupation, but not present in every village.

The box could also have been an elaborate hoax, designed to feed us false information, decorated with false leads. However that would have required the makers of the trap been aware of our groups current location and the state of the route. Nevertheless current author is happier if some of the information gathered can be verified by independent sources.

Short Study On Clan and Honor, undated

IT is widely maintained that honor is just a function of a person’s own conduct. This is, of course, gross simplification – it refuses to acknowledge that a person’s honor is irrefutably tied to their reputation. Moreover a person’s honor and reputation are – with perhaps the exception of Humakti and Eurmali – tied to the collective honor of their clan.

No man walks alone – his heritage, the meritorious and foul deeds of his ancestors, his cousins and relatives and even other associates reflect to his honor. And what one man does or does not do reflects to the reputation and honor of his clan and other associates. Thus the error of one man is the error of a clan – unless the clan takes action to rectify the mistake, or in more dire cases punish the wrongdoer.

But it is not enough to travel without succumbing to dishonorable acts oneself. If one accepts humiliations or wrongdoings of others, one allows disrespect and one’s honor is diminished. Weak individuals and clans may out of necessity sometimes have to accept this as inevitable. Those following the paths of Harmony and Earth should strive not to do so. For an insult to one of the clan is an insult to all and disrespect thus shown weakens the clan as a whole. It is also insult to one’s ancestors. If possible restitution should be gained without resorting to violence, but sometimes balance can only be achieved through bloodshed. This is unfortunate for such vendettas by nature have tendency to spiral larger and more harmful. Thus the Great houses have learned the value of Courtesy and respect in their mutual dealings.

Private journal. 1626, Sea Season, Fertility Week, Fireday

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Lady has been informed that possible revenge must wait. We are under hospitality and attacking other guests would be most unrefined. I am afraid she did not take it well. I have warned Berra to refrain from further acts of disrespect. I hope she heeds the warning so things don’t spiral out of control.

1626, Sea Season, Fertility Week, Fireday to Godday

Varanis Saiciae and her companions arrived to Boldhome and in an interview with windpriest Tennebris agreed to take part in a Heroquest aimed at reviving Prince Kallyr of her slumber. Mellia, White lady of Saiciae acting as Chalana Arroy, triply blessed, with assistance of Dormal of Saiciae as Eurmal the Trickster, present author as Lhankor Mhy and one Serala as Yelmalio, convinced Humakt – in form of Wolf – portrayed by Berra Jarang’s daughter that Voria – the sleeping Prince Kallyr was – in truth not dead, but only sleeping and should be released to the land of the living. In recognition of these remarkable deeds lady Varanis was recognized as kinswoman by Prince Kallyr and together with her companions granted symbolic fiefs in Colymar.

Private Journal 1626, Sea Season, Stasis Week, Freezeday

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Researching markings on the armour of V after someone had been copying them. Dormal has theory Tennebris tried to recognize or recognized V at throne room. Markings indicate Colymari provenance though with iconographic references to Hon-Eel – giving raise to doubts too horrifying to contemplate. No sources on Berra of Colymar, further studies in archives of Clearwine would be required. The other Berra interrupted my studies to ask some questions. It would be lamentable if V pursues strict revenge, but that may be unavoidable.

Undated Fragment1Handwriting is slightly unclear. Likely from Private Journal.

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Told V she has to act now or desist from exacting revenge. V told she has gotten satisfaction from B and S. Under circumstances such unprecedented and unexpected leniency from V is more prudent than I could expect. I am relieved, however weak that is from me. No direct attack so far. K may be hoping for L to take action on her behalf. V must tread very carefully now. —- Natives seem confused on our arrival. No immediate ambush has been set here. Berra hails from village and seems genuinely happy to return. I don’t think she is party to sinister plans, but I don’t trust her loyalties entirely. If forced to choose between K and V her loyalty might be with K. Yet I can not warn V for risk of breaking possible trust between them. The nomads are shedding their grants like dust from riding garments, shedding their obligations as deftly. They may – on a whim – back up V, but for how long before something else takes their fancy. V probably needs to rely on natives if she wants to settle herself here. How she can placate L . I don’t know.


1626, Sea Season, Stasis Week, Clayday to Wildday

Lady Varanis discourses with people of Blue Tree clan living in area she has been granted lands by Prince Kallyr and accepts to go through barbaric rites to make them her people. Some of her companions follow the same rituals and in so doing unmask a intrigue of Chaos against which a raid is prepared.

1626, Sea Season, Stasis Week, Wildday onwards

Lady Varanis leads a successful raid against foul Chaos in headwaters of Jenath Minar that flows to the Creek. Her kinswoman the fair healer Mellia, with divine aid of Chalana Arroin purified the waters again. With wise leadership of Lady Varanis, the hill these waters flow from was burned and purified by Blue Tree Clan of natives.

Discoursing with the Clan Ring Lady Varanis, after hearing the counsel of sweet Mellia, decides to use lands granted to her in area occupied by tribe Malani for upkeep of Chalana Arroin temple. Visiting the Green Fish Clan of Malani she persuades them of justness of this action and frees them from yoke of perpetuating Lunar injustice,2 Grants would technically been given in name of Prince of Sartar even in occupation time. rejoicing of their chance to regain honor in service to kingdom of Sartar.3 Clearly showing power of Esrolian rhetorical education over unschooled barbarian mind.

Sea Season, Stasis Week, Wildday

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

It appears that V is set on staying here and decided to go through clan initiation. That is probably least bad of all alternatives. It will tie the locals to her – in worst case making them also targets of royal displeasure, but for superstitious reasons they wished to proceed with haste. Mellia is also thinking of settling down. Alarming incident between Mellia and Berra. Not quite certain what happened, but the Humakti drew blade on our healer, who had to put her in sleep. I was almost certain of Berra not being on Kallyrs errand, but this cast my mind to doubt again. When I warned her after she laid her hands on V earlier I specifically said how good it was she did not draw a blade. So this looks like she specifically wants to escalate things. Yet I saw no malice in her when she woke up. She is either most devious little assassin imaginable or as she said genuinely possessed at the time. Mellia confirmed there was a spirit battle going on so that is even likely, but I must not let my guard drop. Dl and I seem a bit shifty and unwilling to cast their fate together with these lands. I can perfectly understand that, since there is rumor of war and attitude of the two Queens remains very much in doubt. Information of local lawgiver was less than adequate. I have decided not to go native at this point, for I prefer not to tie myself to Kallyr or Leika directly.

(I was somewhat moved by Berras invitation to do so, it seemed sincere. But I was really surprised by Grazelanders and Praxians embracing the initiation, perhaps it means social raise from mere herders to peasants for them though that is not what I would have expected the attitude of nomads to be. Or perhaps they just don’t take clan that seriously and new tattoo is just one more bauble among their magic trinkets.)

I have promised to aid V though, and will offer her this formally if a chance presents itself. Her reputation is not hurt by having sworn warriors, if I asses barbarian mentality correctly, and my own interaction with natives will be easier with a formal tie to a local – though adopted – leader. It might also help V to find her feet as a leader. She has all the makings but seems to vacillate unduly.

Sea Season, Movement Week, 1626

written in Fazzur-cypher C becomes A, D becomes B etc…

Weird commotion followed the initiation and alarm went up that Rajar, the Uroxi, was at headwaters of the river flowing through the settlement. We rode to the place, somewhat alarmed by rising smoke, and met with – for some reasons naked – Uroxi who gesticulated wildly and explained something of chaos. The Unicorn rider, who I suspect of being some kind of shaman, could confirm that area uphill towards the burned cottage was crawling with disease spirits. After waiting for some axes and armour to be brought to Rajar we proceeded uphill where Lhankor Mhys vision revealed two monstrous creatures lurking. These were dispatched without delay – the barbarians are efficient in that, I must say. Other one was clearly of Goatkin species, other one perhaps mutated. Corpses were burned together with most of the hill. V showed good leadership both in the action and aftermath.

(Sidenote: suggestion of using slaves or serfs for crude labor was met by incredulity from B. who started a small lecture on how in this undeveloped society social distinction between peasants and free men is not as clear as in Esrolia. I must remember and take this into account this if I have interactions with “free peasants”. )

Discussions with Clan ring were satisfactory. The elders seemed content to follow lead of Varanis in matter of location of lands to support the temple of Chalana Arroy. These would be the hides granted on area held by neighboring clan Green Fish, of tribe Malani, under dispute. They have been granted to the Green Fish during the occupation. Though there is no legal unclarity of their status now, having been granted by current Prince of Sartar, transferring possession from one tribe to another may cause ill feelings. The local BT clan, not too strong in moral fibre I am afraid, though posturing valiantly seemed quite happy to find a face saving solution to this conundrum.

((What is more astonishing, Varanis managed to sell the idea at the hall of Green Fish chief. One amazing feat of rhetorhics that was. She used every trick in the book of old Sofistis and some totally novel ones and played their minds like a well worn cithara. At the end of speech there was no dry eye in the hall. Even I, who feel no loyalty to Sartar, nor its so called freedom, was moved to point of being ready to march against its enemies immediately if called.

Though we have tarried in our way to Clearwine that may be a blessing in disguise. Instead of just informing Queen of Princes dictat V can tell of chaos struck back, holdings of Colymar widened and locals co-operative. It may not be diplomatic to put L in front of a fact, but success and duty to the people of the clan and tribe might make this more palatable.

Lady Varanis had her position as landholder confirmed by Queen Leika of Colymar.

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

In Fazzur cypher: Cousin seems to have avoided worst of political rocks. The barbarity of this place is astonishing. Though poison might be used in Esrolia, possibility of serving it in welcoming toast of hospitality was unimaginable to me. Not so to Berra, though implication was not necessarily taken with good grace. She is a cypher herself, though she seems to have attached herself to V as reliably as a barbarian can be expected to be. Weird combination of competence, cynicism and innocence that lady combined with casual brutality and lack of manners, yet I find her oddly sympathetic. Perhaps more important than my personal likes or dislikes would be that V trusts her, and can as far as I can perceive, trust her – though she at times seems more interested of glorious death than survival. Yet, who can blame her, shadow of batwings is over the moon and wind carries the sound of dragons’ wings.

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Tall and wide stood skyclad Uroxi with axe in hard hands to wide skies
bellowed out loud his rage, to challenge dire enemy
Through the pines, strode Rajar, with Death him leading forward
to mountainside to headwaters high to nest of filthy chaos most foul
Javelin now flew and arrow, swift and accurate shaft
Struck swords and swung axe, fell goatkin, fell its servant bear
From hillside once green flowed waters once sweet now with sickness bitter
By Arroins grace overflowing, purified by spirits hale

Private Journal, Undated4It has been posited that Xenofos wrote this in honour of the famed Humakti, Berra Jarang’s Daughter, but given his known commentary on the barbarian warrior, it seems highly unlikely.

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Swordswoman
Tarry not behind when host forward brave marches in haste
to face uncertain fate, to brave an unknown foe
Walk boldly, carrying shield stout, sword bright and gleaming in hand
To bloody and red harvest all ready and eager go.

Undated Fragment5The attribution of this work to the Scholar Xenofos has been called into question. It fits neither his style, nor does it seem to have a place within the body of his collected works.

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Elegy, or Lament for City of Wonders

Oh city of Pharaoh, oh pride of Kethaela
wondrous pearl of Mirrorsea, City of Wonders

Thy tall Spires have fallen down, reach no more towards the clear skies
The Golden dome shines no more, tarnished and dull is its high roof
Empty is the bowl of Whirlwinds of Sylphs playful
Broken and open are chambers of Stygian basement
their shades have fled the marred twilight

where is now constant Watch, that band ever-vigilant,
who can hear Silver Dog, hacked to pieces to pay for a pint of ale and a wench
Innocence has been lost, Sisters bound and imprisoned
The Red Shift Servants have dispersed, their duties left for evermore
boats of blind Fishermen were broken and ply the bay no more

Who has done this to thee O city of Belintar, ornament of the Loon Island
The treacherous Moon? Tempestuous Orlanth? Waves of mighty Magasta?
Moon it was that brought down the Pharaoh with its guiles,
Sea brought the destruction, on sleek Sea horses raven feeders
Inconstant Air showed it the way; thine own ally Broyan led in Harrek and the Seawolves

Cursed are these times, when warm Earth must ally to barren Death,
woe the friend found faithless, vain Vingkotling of Whitewall
woe the beautiful city, city of wonders, pride of Kethaela
desolate and quiet are thy streets and markets,
Pharaoh is no more and his city with him now is lost.

Sea Season 1626, Green Fish Tula

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Varanis, looking at airy abode Chalana Arroys.
From afar hooves heard, arriving heralds of woe
Arrived horseman, messenger of war, Malanis’ man
of goatkins evil spake, marauders, horrible foe
Heeded the call of Green Fish clan fair Varanis Vingan
Saddled up her mount, followed in armour bright
Two hands of men brave, Saronils warriors all
To action ardent elated by fiery Varanis Vingan
In hands bronzeheaded spears, oakwardens brightclored in their backs

Undated Fragment

Lady Varanis lead expedition to lands of Green Fish Clan to aid in containing incursion of Chaos. Encouraging barbarian fyrd and followed by trusty band of companions she uncovered chaotic plot to grow large amount of hazia, lair of burrowing rock eating crablike monsters, chaotic temple and their crazed human priest. Thanks to cool head and magic stregth of Mellia, White healer a errant jackobear encountered was promptly despatched. Some evidence of Thanatari presence was uncovered but so far nature of this cult by our Praxian informant is limited to epiteth The Hungry one. Further literary studies are required to ascertain the exact nature of this vanquished threat. The originally reported broo band had departed before our arrival so patrolling of the lands is still required.

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

In Fazzur cypher:
Weird experience to descend into a certain trap. With cold feeling of horror creeping to the very marrow of my bones from being in unnatural burrow of nameless horror, yet gaining some kind of solace from being surrounded the vast weight of Ernalda all around. V is impetuous yet she tries to bridle herself to reasonable bounds. Rajar and his axes are horrifying to witness but very good to have when chaos is afoot.

Fire Season, Harmony Week, Waterday 1626

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Toast

Now is time for libations
time to toast gods and heroes
time to drink for friends and enemies
so bring an amphora and the mixer

time to remember rosy cheeks of Voria
time to rest weary head on Ernaldas bosom
time to pour a cup to Ty Kora Tek
I will mix a heady draught for gods

time to toast Issaries with clear wine
time to pour Urox a frothy ale
time to toast warm Yelmalio
let’s drink deep to loyal friends

toast to fair Varanis redheaded
toast to sweet Mellia in her flowing whites
toast to grim Berra with her trusty sword
empty the cup to remember heroes

time to drink to famed Starbrow the just
time to toast Tennebris the straight
time to drink to Eril @@ @@so honourable
and cast the bitter lees to the winds

Fire Season, Harmony Week, Waterday 1626

Written with poor handwriting into private diary

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

At the moonlight

Low is the crescent over the hills
Silvery sand is running to its end,
dropping one by one
like pearls from a broken string.

Warm breath carries from the cot
Wine has turned ash in my mouth
nearing is the cold dawn
of land barbarous and foreign
6Alleyn (Amb. 43) opines this would be a conceptual and literal dawn, having Xenofos afraid of the rise of Sartar, rather than the cold melancholy of a Sartarite Dawn. Given the time of year, ‘cold’ is an odd word for temperature, says he..

Fire Season, Harmony Week, Day illegible, 1626

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

To sleep, without dreams
in cool halls of Ty Kora Tek
I have heard the call,
Looked at the cool edge of the knife
I will not go
Not for mere dread
not for desperation
Not while soil is dewy and fragrant,
not while nightingale sings

To flee, without purpose
to the silent halls
I have refused – and will,
To descend the abyss for loyalty
I shrink not
to pass those sable shores
to fulfill obligations
and with the head held high
enter even while nightingale sings

Fire season, harmony week waterday 1626

Dame Varanis of Sartar with solemn wow undertakes a quest to lit flame for Prince Kallyr of Sartar. (I should probably not copy this into temple archives just yet. )

1626, Fire Season, Stasis Week, Windsday

Dame Varanis of Colymar and Sartar had arranged to meet her retinue at Wilmskirk. When arriving there she was reported by sword D’Val that Dagger Berra Jarang’s daughter had set out to meet her on the road. Gathering her retinue she explored the road west of Wilmskirk ending up at Greyrock fall where they heroically averted a Telmori cattle raid. Hearing villagers had lost a genteel youth and search party sent earlier, noble scion of house Saiciae agreed to seek the youth as part of her quest. With wolves of Nala Yelornan leading the group they encountered infirm old Telmori who confessed his tribe was raiding Greyrock lands. Honorably sparing the elderly savage dame Varanis agreed to show mercy if finding his relatives. Tracks leading to headwaters of salty creek that flow past Greyrock Fall the group encountered in a cave the errant savages who confessed their cattle raid and pleaded help in facing dark terrors of death lurking deeper in the forbidding crevice.

Undaunted our heroes marched forward, met by horde of death shambling forward. Behind them emerged grotesque visage of Zorak Zoran Death lord whose name shall not be honored by mention, holding Berra bound in leaden shackles. Under the light of Yelm summoned to the abyss by Serala of Horsepeople Zorak Zorani shuddered and shamefully attempted to hide. The undead tide broke on shieldwall like squall of Magasta on piers of Diros island. Led by ardent Varanis leaping through air and powerful Rajar charging like the Bull the foul troll was bested, with even Berra managing to break her bounds and letting her bright blade bite. With craven fear the abomination disappeared when its foul magicks failed it. Deeper in the caves the lost youth was found, beyond narrowest of passages in chamber of ancient beauty and holiness. Having finished their business of finding Berra and the lost youth Varanis and her retinue travelled to Wilsmkirk and Boldhome to reconsider their approach to task she had undertaken for her Prince.

1626, Fire Season, Stasis Week, Windsday

(private diary Fazzur code)

Is one overly reckless lady not enough to drive me mad. With all the talk of discipline one would have thought she would not start deviating from agreements, especially not, when traversing paths of heroes. We found her in the end, but it took time. Time measured in pain and broken bones, time in abyss and foul darkness. I should try to analyze what this means for V’s quest, but I keep seeing that brute tossing her like a ragdoll.

1626, Fire Season, Movement Week, Waterday

(private diary Fazzur code)

We are a bunch of rods. Together strong even though individual rods bend to shape of all. If a rod is crooked it can only be bound to outside lest it cause disorder. When rod is dry it will break if the bunch is bent? When rod is rotten and mouldy it must be burned so others don’t get contaminated.

1626, Fire Season, Stasis Week, Godday to Movement Week, Clayday

After defeating the Zorak Zorani Dame Varanis and her entourage recuperated and took council at Boldhome, empty because royal host had marched north.7What is not said is probably more important than what gets said

Private diary, undated, without a name

In the red sky, arose the billowing column of black smoke
In the streets paved white overflowed the crimson flood

Undated
Fazzur Code

Red haze, white anger. Protection binds my hand, but if not, would I act?
Do I shirk from honor? From truth? No counsel from the blade.
Roll of Doom, roll call of Death. So brave, so futile.
Red and green are smudged by blues and greys and blacks.

Private diary, undated, without a name

Prince

He crossed the threshold first, many more followed
Humakt bowed his head, Ty Kora Tek wept
8Grasschen (2004) calls this, ‘Weird collusion of two different cults of dead. With neither deity behaving believably.’

Private diary entry, on Vellum

Starts in Fazzur code.
The Sword seems more and more ruthless. I suppose he took his separation from his unti as equivalent of death and that gives him, in his narrow and twisted mind right to demand same sacrifice from anyone that might be on his way. Truly frightening behaviour. I said to V he is twisting the Truth. Yet when I thought furhther I could not say he was lying anywhere. Still he has crossed borders of honor for expediency. I mgiht understand the temptation but if we resist with all means what differs us anymore from our enemies?

handwriting is getting worse, still in code
Wings of Dragon or wings of Bat. Neither is right. Should the relics see daylight. If I could make sure they would be hidden forever I would, but can we take risk they resurface in wrong hands? The wings. Erillo is silvery. Is that Moonglow or pyres of Bolddhome? Harsalter, separated. Andrin, separated. Jarang, separated. Farnan, separated. Saronil, separated…. The pulse, the pulse. Berra smiles, but her face is skull with maggots. Scales make a dry sound on stone. The wings are beating. Varanis is walking into darkness. I can’t move my feet. There is a huge troll with fiery eyes lurrrrking in the corner. Is Dormal glowing red?

in very bad script, uncoded
beautiful when a brave man of the front ranks
falls and dies the wings the wings dont loook into the eye the eye eye

Fire season Movement week Clayday to Illusion week Fireday.

Dame Varanis led an expedition to return relics of Boldhome Humakti temple hidden during the fall of Boldhome from Boldhome to Wilmskirk and Cinder Fox tula in lands of Sambari tribe.

Irillo of Saiciae and Berra Jarangs daughter were instrumental in bringing this quest to succesful end, Irillo with his vision and Berra with her skill with sword confronting a demon of foulest pits.

At this time news of Prince Kallyr’s apparent death was brought to Varanis, who mourned the loss.

When by efforts of Unicornwitch Nala, White Lady Mellia and Stormvoice Tennebris it was found out that the Prince was, in Truth not dead but entangled in foul Lunar magicks, dame Varaena seeked council from her god and her companions and determined to set on Hero quest to release her Prince and the Flame of Sartar.

Fire season, Illusion Week,

Diary, Fazzur-code

That ride was not something I wish to relive in a hurry. Jaldis probably was right and I should have slept more.

But I could not, so I took the risk knowingly and pushed through exhaustion and heat. Turns out she was not in the marsh this was not as urgent as I thought.
Eerily like Eril that Venlar. Quite likeable though, and very smart.
I wonder if that herb leaves aftereffects? She warned of them being possible, but I have not felt anything remarkable so far.
Apart from feeling remarkably stupid.


Fire season, Illusion Week, Fireday

private diary Fazzur code

The accursed things are by temple of Humakti now. That episode of shared madness, deceit and mockery of Truth should be over now. Irillo paid a ghastly price it seems, I hope Eril suffered at least as much. Berra seems to be on the mend – once again Windtooth bit hard, even when wielded by her left hand. I should be happy and relieved, but news of Kallyr’s death weighs heavily.

Not because of any love I would feel for Starbrow, but for consequences this bears to Varanis. She has made it clear she does not want the throne, but she is of Sartar’s blood. One of two I know of.
And since White Bull is safely away and has army of his own, the one that could be attempted to use as a pawn by petty impostors, or seen as threat and target of assassination attempts.

Things would not necessarily look so grim, were Tennebris in control of overall situation, (though he would not be looking for good of Varanis, but good of this barbarian land) but he has succumbed to almost catatonic state of mourning. On a positive note, Lunars allegedly suffered a major defeat also, so military coup by them is not imminent.

Still Fireday, Still code

That was unexpected. No-one had tried to analyze magic on Prince fallen to magical attack by the Lunars… The deceiving magick seems to have been illusion, at least the corpse vanished when Tennebris used Orlanths power to tear that veil of deception. So it would seem she might not be entirely dead. With answer that she walks path of heroes, she has decided to launch into the quest in rather grisly way. With Colymar in town support for this quest might be in question though she cannot possibly resist it publicly. Well she could call it fools hope, or deception through hiding of the body, but those sound like risky opinions to state out loud. But we can not really expect support from her either – I think. What that greybearded sycophant thinks of this I cannot really fathom. It may be necessary to study lightbringer quest further and that cannot be done entirely in secret.

Still we must prepare and recuperate and that will take some time. I hope she will not try to actively stop us, but we must be on our guard. She is dreadfully determined. I doubt wisdom of this course of action, but there is a chance and she has assured me she does not do this as charge to flee life. I don’t think it is right to try and stop her, but I do not really trust that murderous deceiver either.

Letter to Yehna

To Yehna daughter of Jarang, of Blue Tree clan from Xenofos Saiciae Greetings,
may you and yours remain blessed by Ernalda. With permission of your sister Berra I would ask you a favor of collecting the rents due my holding as my representative if I am unable to come in person. It is possible travels of my lady Varaena may hinder us returning there in time. For your trouble I would ask you to take quarter of the yearly income to yourself. Should I never return give rest to the temple of Ernalda and make offering of a hog for prosperity of the village. Thank You.
Yours, Xenofos of Saiciae, thegn of Varaena of Blue Tree.

Fire Season, Illusion Week, Fireday

Companions of Dame Varanis of Sartar, foremost among them Mellia of Saiciae examine the lifeless form of Prince of Sartar deemed to be beyond help of healing.
Proving healing does not work and that weird magicks of deception are at work they disclose this to chief priest Tennebris, who roused from his griefstricken stupor manages to dispel these foul enchantments.
Fortified with wisdom of Vinga Varanis vows to bring back the Prince from Hell by invoking the Lightbringers quest.

Fire Season, Truth Week, Godday
Her actions precipitated by queen Leika burning a pyre for Prince, Dame Varanis descends to Underworld as Orlanth with assistance of Eril, Sword of Humakt. She is accompanied by Lady Mellia as Chalana Arroy, lord Xenofos as Lhankor Mhy, good Irillo as Issaries, honest Salid as Fleshman, mysterious Nala of Unicorntribe as Ginna Jar and Dormal as Eurmal.
Facing untold horrors she reaches halls of Humakt, reaches accord with Dead Yelm and bound by Great compromise returns victorious.
Kallyr returned lights the Flame of Sartar thus fulfilling dame Vareena’s vow to bring forth return of her ancestor’s worldly manifestation and Sartar rejoices.

Diary Fazzur code – sketch of report to Varanis and High Priest

It seems clear that Kallyrs’ weird status as Dead Yelm was caused by Lunar Magicks, the exact nature of which will probably remain forever a mystery, since Tennebris dispelled it before further study was made. Why no divination or analysis of precise status of the Prince of made before she was carried in state to the palace is also quite intriguing. Perhaps we must blame the shock of healing and resurrection failing to restore her health to this glaring omission.

Divination by Varanis served to release information of location of Kallyrs spirit how this eluded her enemies is yet another mystery.

We encountered no mythical Lunar opposition on our quest, nor was their any visible attempt to tamper with the quest in material world that I am aware of. It might be that lighting of the pyre by Leika of Colymar served as decoy – convincing possible Lunar spies that not concerted effort to save the Prince was underway thus securing freedom of operation to Varanis and her heroband. This – in itself perhaps a tad rash – action may thus have been important in freeing Prince Kallyr from Hell.

The lighting of the Flame has made Kallyr’s position in relation to achieving status of King of Sartar stronger than it has ever been before. Half Boldhome saw how she herself lit the pyre. This is something none of her competitors can take away from her or deny. (I am thinking of Argrath and Leika here.) At the same time it – in my opinion – relieved her of any risk of having Varanis as competitor instead of loyal follower. Varanis was able to fulfil her vow without overstepping her Prince in quest for throne which suits her own wishes and ambitions in excellent way.

As a Lunar plot these events have had mixed results. Aim to get rid of Kallyr was ambitious, but that clearly failed, with repercussion of having the Flame of Sartar lit, which cannot be good by any Lunar measure. Thus hopefully the instigator of this plot will face dire consequences from her or his superiors. This however is speculation that cannot be verified. Some tension between Kallyr and Leika may result – if both ladies have the patience to return to diplomacy our Lunar enemies may perhaps not gain advantage of this. But this is beyond my or my liege lady’s power to order. We may only hope that reason prevails and advice towards such measures if questioned for opinion.

Xenofos of Saicia

Unknown Date

The following variant of old Sartarite ballad was collected by Xenofos Saicae at Wilmskirk 1626
The informant was observed in natural performance situation, unaware of the scholars presence.
Melody is old Hendreikiland-tune, well known with different words and sometimes played with Orlanthipipes.

[[[ephemera:sweet-saiciae-vareen|See song]]]

Town in question varies, both Carse and Nochet are sometimes mentioned. Usually song praises female beauty. Though with well groomed Esrolians epithet pretty is technically correct, the barbarian singer may have tried to use the allusion as hint of effeminacy of Esrolian male population to underline the otherness and foreign character of Vareen.

Song is usually sung with from first person perspective. Changing protagonist to third person and making her a lady changes the tone of whole piece. The active person is not named at first, fleeing from her rebellion could be an unpolite, and untrue, reference to either Leika Ballista of Colymar or Kallyr Starbrow of Sartar. Refrain and context of performance would make it possible to posit that the the songwriter, term used here loosely, has probably meant that “she” is Kallyr. Now whether this identification should hold true to identity of “troublemaker” is unclear by lyrics alone.

The lyrics themselves are quite a jumble, suggestions of lewdness are limited to wiggling of bottoms and skirts, however gesturing during the performance suggest rather explicit undertones, specifically when refrain is sung and also when goddes Vinga and even more vulgarly when god Eurmal is mentioned in the lyrics. Mentions of Vareens death are a mystery since at the time of collection the lady was and is living, young and healthy.

Technically, as a poem the song is a bit lacking, likewise in accuracy, but performer added certain rustic charm to his performance by enthusiasm no doubt augmented by liberal consumption of beer. Song is too crude to be work of professional bard like Torograi and as propaganda it could be seen as a bit embarrassing to queen of Colymar showing lack of control of her mentally less blessed subjects.

1626, Earth Season, Disorder week Fireday to Death week Clayday

Thane Varanis of Sartar and Saiciae receives thanks from Prince of Sartar.
Wishing to settle some family matters of her cousin she decides to travel back to Nochet with her entourage.
Enroute dame Mellia of Chalana Arroy admits a patient who is to be transported carefully to expert care in Nochet.
Berra of Humakti had political discussion at Wilmskirk ending with a rather pointed argument.
Enroute from Whitewall to Carse some hazia smugglers were apprehended and contraband destroyed.
On crossing Carse-Nochet Varanis discouraged a pirateship from disturbing her passage.
Together with Mellias patient and friend Varanis’ party arrived in Nochet to be warmly embraced by Saiciae hospitality.

1626, Fire Season, Truth Week

Not to be copied to Temple Archives


[[include heroquests:the-lightbringers]]


1626, Earth Season, Death Week, Clayday

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Alone are thou, man, in center of everything, alone
alone are thou born, alone shall thou once leave
A step, or two thou thinks to walk abreast another one
but lo! he has passed thee or lags behind already.9(original author V.A.Koskenniemi. Trans. Xenofos)

Godday, Fertility week, Earth Season

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Private diary, Fazzur code

It seems Varanis has created quite a stir in Nochet high society. Poems, serenades. These things should be quite harmless since men? involved are not using any proper intermediaries.

Mellia wanted to discuss the matters and told me some of the rumours regarding the earlier music. Since the musician himself did not know his employer they are entirely baseless, but that does not stop them from spreading nevertheless. I am a tad worried that her making inquiries may fan the flames of gossip further. I tried to warn her, but ladies of Saiciae are not likely to heed male advice.

Clayday, Fertility week Earth season. Yelm sinking

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Fazzur code. With some mistakes.

That was a confusing conversation. The easiest thing to address is that she does not understand requirements of honor and thinks Varanis could just order noblemen maimed or killed by guards. Fascinating how someone so well versed in art of sword can be so ignorant of proper etiquette and decorum required for it. Though she did help me as friend in best possible way during my first encounter. Of which I need to remember to thank her properly. I don’t remember if I have said it out loud.

But I am letting my quill wander. It seems likely I failed to convince her. It was a consciously taken risk but I notice that failure has stronger effect on my feelings than I thought likely. That is disturbing – and confusing. As I logically and scrupulously honestly explained there is no way I could marry her and our discussions have made it eminently clear likelyhood of her choosing me as lover is not there. So why should I feel rejected when she affirms things are indeed as I explained?

Is it possible I have entertained different hopes and refused to accept the truth to myself? I don’t think I can refuse to accept that conclusion, though it does not offer the solace of logical truth in Lhankor Mhy sense. At this point I am afraid to trust on logic and just have to accept what feeling in my liver tells me.

What now? To summarize something that was not asked was offered, despite warning to contrary – and rejected. It was offered free of any attached conditions. I must make sure that word remains true in rejection as well as I imagined it would have been in acceptance and not make a liar of myself.

Windsday, Fertility week, Earth season

Debt to Unicorn witch paid. She got the information she was looking for from the Library.

Windsday, Fertility week Earth season

Not to be copied to Temple Archives.

Not encoded.

Oh, Yelm, sinking like heart of Xenofos,
vanishing behind mountains of the west
Where will your path take you, will you return
And will Xenofos see his heart again?

Fireday Night, Fertility week, Earth Season

Not to be copied to Temple Archives.

Not encoded.

Xenofos, You are a fool
She does not love you
and said that before
You lied to yourself
when you said you don’t hope
She did not break your heart
you did it yourself
Xenofos, You are a fool.

Earth Season, Fertility Week, Wildday

Lady Varanis Saiciae, with her retinue assisted a lesser house in tracking down slayer of one of their notables and brought down his lair in the slums.

Undated, some time after Holy Week

Not to be copied to Temple Archives

Fazzur code, private diary

Case of Rillo seems pretty clear even when we don’t have conclusive connection between the blade on the street and one comissioning the deed.
Like I said in conversation to Berra, I can’t help but feeling some pity for Kesten Hulta. Seemed like a decent chap despite being a Hulta. Even with our help he failed to find out and make known who murdered his lord. And in the process he unearthed so much dirt on Rillo that made it pretty obvious deed was a matter inside the house, a stain on house honour and reputation and can not really be investigated further. I can only imagine, but think it would rankle both his sense of Truth and Honor. Maybe it is a consolation for him that he got to expose the boor to his Grandmother. And with Rillo resurrected matter is concluded though not really satisfactorily.

Earth Season, Stasis Week, Windsday to Godday

Lady Varanis is falsely accused by the house Hulta of abducting a maiden. She with proves these accusations false with aid of her companions by saving the green eyed Lenta from mysterious villains through great tribulations and danger, braving perils of the Marsh, Sea and Fire. Brave Irillo slays a fearsome Aquatic troll and Rajar untold chaotic horror.
Queen Samastina declares the accusations void but mercifully does not punish the Hulta for them since the deception of the villains was clearly too delicate for them to comprehend.

Diary, Fazzur-code

Still exhausted from that romp.

I wonder about her. Everything does not seem to be as it should. Am I just imagining things or is she avoiding the truth.
Am I avoiding the truth, I was quite scared for her at one point but she turned out in pretty decent shape.
My wandering thoughts seem to make certain things pretty obvious. It could be that I am imagining things, but there remains very little doubt of my own reactions, however illogical…


Earth Season, Illusion Week, Freeze Day
Private diary, Fazzur code

So Varanis saw, what I was not ready to see myself yet. Apparently she knows me better than I do myself. Question is what now. Chief priest told me the answer to question lies maybe in Pavis. But Jaldis did not ask me any question, nor did Chief Priest say tell me what it was. I need to ask him for clarification – as grating as that is. I was too confused when he said Pavis to make think clearly. Was I too glad of an excuse to got to Pavis? Perhaps. But that is what it would be – an excuse. I have duties here even if V. told me I should perhaps follow her to Pavis. I am tempted, that is true. I have also given my word, and that is more important then following an enchanting smile like will o wisp of a marsh. I also need to talk with V and find out what she is planning to do.

Earth Season, Illusion Week, Water Day

Private diary

Through the shadows fled she like a gazelle scared
To flight driven by the wounding silvery words flow.

I will not set nets, I have called away the drivers
a long vigil by watering hole is all that remains.

Private diary, in Fazzur code

Concentrate on Truth. That would seem to be most important thing now. Don’t hide things that need to be said. But say not things that may change. And what you have sworn, remember. Let it not be said that you speak one thing and do the other.

Dark Season, Disorder Week, Wildday

In these days restlessness came upon Lady Varanis who decided to travel to Prax and Pavis to see if she could advance the cause of common fight against the Empire and – perhaps to renew her old alliance with the Prince of that city.

In the town she was attacked by members of cult of Black Fang and disenchanted with the decay of this settlement followed advice of her Humakti and Stormbull companions and trekked to the plains.

Private diary, in Fazzur code

Empty worrying is fruitless. In that she spoke the Truth. What to make of rest of that discussion I don’t quite know. Compassion and sympathy? Yes. References to carnal desires unclear. They seem illogical and out of place in light of her earlier statements. Time will tell I suppose.

Private diary, in Fazzur code

Heat and deadly reputation of Praxian desert seem wildly exaggerated. It can not be gainsayed though that during the early morning watch little watch fire and good riding cloak are hardly enough to ward the bite of the wind, ones thoughts may become weirdly errant and warmth is in distant dreams.

Dark Season, Waterday of Death Week.

Dame Varanis of Saiciae travels in Praxian wilds with her entourage and purifies an abandoned village of infestation of Chaos with most straightforward tactics, slaying foul scorpionman Queen with cleansing fire of righteous anger in her blade. With her were Rajar Chaoskiller of the Do-Mino10Weavers of Straw Bison clan and her Humakti friend and kinswoman Berra.

Private diary, in Fazzur code

I seem to get hardly anything written these days. If I don’t concentrate my eyes seem to wander of their own accord. Yet I am weirdly at peace. Which reminds me, I may need to talk with Varanis. She is showing what I think is bad tactical judgment, putting others into danger needlessly. Or putting herself into position where others have choice of putting themselves into danger just to save her. This time it went well, but if dice are thrown long enough – sooner or later a pair of ones shows up.

Private diary, in Fazzur code

I’ll write it down before it vanishes. Though it still makes little sense, it felt more real than some other dreams. The stranger had his head and face covered when he rode over the plain on a sable. His voice was familiar, mocking in tone. As he was asking for Berra, Daughter of Jarang sky went black, and I am not sure if we were in Prax anymore. Varanis challenged him, or was it her, to tell why he would want that knowledge. And he laughed with a very familiar laugh and said little birds had sung of a sword carried by the little Sartarite and he was willing to challenge her to fight and show if she was good enough to carry it. At that point Berra stepped forward from the shadows, lit by lightning but her answer was drowned by voice of the thunder. And then I woke up…

Darkseason, Death week, Wildday

Dame Varanis is involved in a most curious hero quest to return Death to Humakt. In the process she and her companions fight chaotic antropofagi in plains of Prax.

Private diary

Thank Ernalda they are both alive and there was no need for the fight I sorely feared.

Undated Fragments

Boldly I raised my voice with Truth to pierce the fog of battle
I could not see clearly, light of Truth was from me hidden

I could not see the the enemy, Truth has become blurred
has Lhankor Mhy forbidden me his wisdom.

There were no lies in my words nor did guile reside in my heart.
Yet with Truths alone, an illusion false I weaved.

Uleria, a goddess most terrible and cruel you are sometimes
melting a heart like the warm breeze of Sea season

A toast to our hostess, a pride to Straw weavers and to this yurt
Let us drain the cup for her gray eyes and warm smile
Let her herd thrive, may her hearth never grow cold

undated fragment
Ty Kora Tek, Mistress of the silent house
take us into you abode when our time comes
guard as and ward us
and do not let us go astray

Private diary/Fazzur code
I am numb. A bit like after the Rise. We are all alive but that was really close.
End in battle is not very noble, more often dirty ugly and can take a long time. But it is natural unlike the apparitions we faced today. If I could leave my armour and sword I would. But that cannot be. Not in this world.


1626 Storm Season, Disorder week, Fireday Prax
After clashing with Impala riding bandits and witnessing the appearance of Eternal battle Dame Varanis and her companions bid farewell to Khan of all Bisonriders and rode South. They were joined by Suuraki of High Llamas, Valseena of Bison Tribe, cousin of Rajar, and Toras a Rhino rider and follower of Storm Bull Khan Venna.

Private diary/Fazzur code
That did not go too well. I knew I was not going to stay, even if these peaceful days make one think of that possibility. But that is just a mirage. Like an oasis traveller sees in the desert. I could not marry her if I did stay and I am sworn to follow Varanis anyway. Again, I spoke only true things. I wished they would alleviate her pain, but it seems I was wrong.

Private diary/ Fazzur code
Still muddled. Like riding in a haze. It is like Stripey’s hooves echo her name.
Sounds like start of romantic song. I met a dark-haired bison girl…
Varanis asked a pertinent question I must say. Possibility of child did not occur to me.
A blessing of Ernalda certainly if it would. And would bring uncertainty. If there is one I hope she’ll be as beautiful as her mother. It is good she knows my wishes if that ring needs to be used for identification. I hope that is not needed. I wished to leave a memento when I felt I left a small part of my heart. Way smaller than she deserves. Sounds like poetic drivel of worse type when written out. Better I did not say that to her or Varanis.
I do miss her. But I think she has it way worse so I have no right to complain. Just be thankful for what I got.

undated
Outside of Pavis, “Bout four days ride west of there
She’s got a yurt
In the middle of nowhere
You wonder where her man went, you wonder if she minds
She can weave a spell upon you with any song she sings.

Oh, she’s a desert flowers, growing free and wild
Her beauty seems so fragile, fragile as a child
And you wanna take her with you
But you know she must remain
So you leave her wishing you could turn yourself into the rain
Turn yourself into the rain, turn yourself into the rain
You leave her wishing you could turn yourself into the rain
11 orig. Desert flower, Joshua Kadison, chopped and modified

Private diary/ Fazzur code
Sleep did not come easy after watch. I lay there awake afraid to hear that howling wind. She saw through my attempt to cast the fear aside. It is not just separation I am bad at. Face it Xenofos, you are a coward. There were others in that storm. They do not fear like you do. They don’t wake up cowered in cold sweat of terror. What use will you be as a warrior if you tremble with fear of what has passed. How will you fulfill your oath if you can not lose your fear.

The retinue of dame Varanis meets and slays a Aquatic draconic monster before unseen in Prax. Ernalda have mercy on us.

Private diary/Fazzur code
More nightmares. Draconic this time. At least there is variety… Hollow consolation that one.
Her company was quite soothing today. Even if she was quite inquisitive at times. I do think she meant well. It was merciful of her not to force me lay my fears out bare. That shame would have been bitter. She probably knows anyway. I need to meditate on what she said.

Private journal, not coded.
Sought after is Uleria among the
Gods, extraordinary is her station,
Respected is her word, it is
supreme over them.
Uleria among the Gods,
extraordinary is her station.
Respected is her word, it is
supreme over them.12 modified from a first Dynasty Babylonian text, circa 1600 BC

Private journal, Fazzur code
More questions.
Nothing I would care to answer to.
I do feel lighter after talking with the priestess.
Now I just want to leave this place. She left already and cousins are at their temples.
Well, a change indeed when it is I whose heels are burning.

Private journal, Fazzur code
My feelings are mixed. I am happy she avoided a potentially fatal encounter. I am enraged by the base insults. And I am unhappy she thought it acceptable to use deception to avoid fighting. She had good reasons, yes. Technically she did not lie, yes. But intent was deception. And while she thinks she shamed her opponent she was the one who stooped to trickery and that did not bring her any glory. Even when her opponent was a base cad.

Man on a sable? Coming for the sword? I am reminded of a dream I had weeks ago. Am I going mad? Is the Moon getting me with it’s Illusions.

1626 late Storm Season Prax

After meeting up with her cousin Mellia of Chalana Arroy dame Varanis spent some time in devotion at Paps, making new covenant with Orlanth Rex. She and her companions left Paps promptly to attend seasonal service at the Block and continued their way towards Sartar smiting chaos if it would attempt to hinder them.

Private journal, Fazzur code
Still in Prax. Not sure of the day anymore. How did that happen? Merciful Imarja, how scared I was. I did not dare to tarry for a moment lest I freeze or run away.
And afterwards… Both of them hurt in a weird and painful way, very Air robbed from them. Why are we here? What is the point? This is not Esrolia, not even Sartar. Land infested by foul chaos, desolate. With only small patches of life or beuty. How utterly pointless it would have been if they had died here, fighting some nameless horror. Though, truth be told, most deaths by arms matter very little and have very little resembling glory or dignity.

1626 late Storm Season, Sartar

Arriving at Sartar dame Varanis found out the land was threatened by Lunars again and suffered from internal divisions. Worried by these developments she hurried to Boldhome to offer her services to Prince Kallyr again.

Private journal, Fazzur code
I can feel the pulse of it inside my head. It feels like that mountain is leaning on my shoulders and pushing me down. She was trying to distract me. That much seems obvious. I suppose that is not the only obvious thing around here. Kind of sweet from her to not rub my face in that. Quite embarrassing at the same time. But with that place there I did not even have strength to be ashamed. Comforting. Maybe I am past caring how things look as long as she is around.

Rajar angered Varanis totally. It appears he did not take Varanis’ polite comments quite as reasonably as we thought. Or maybe it just took that much time for thoughts to form up in that huge skull. I am probably unfair, I should not let his lack of manners and outlook deceive myself. There is cunning inside that horned helmet even if it sometimes seems he thinks straight charge is the solution to any problem. And he values White Bull over any friendship it seems. That is not wrong in itself but may prove awkward at some point.

They are still coughing on other side of the fire. Not quite as much as before. They say they are healing, I hope they are right. What an utterly horrible, horrible way to die.

Sacred Time, 1626. Fazzur code, private diary.
I did not realize how tired I was. Now I can not quite fathom how I kept going for so long. Time will tell if this was just temporary respite or start of something else. I feel different, but it is way too early to tell. I am mildly surprised and amused that this took place in Boldhome. Like my life was bound with Sartar. Which I guess it is after giving my word to her, for it seems ordained her life and fate are bound to this untamed and not quite friendly land. Land of feuds and petty bickering. But also land that grows heroes and wild roses. Thorny and low, but with flowers beautiful to look at and sweet to senses. She is from Esrolia though. So soothing to hear that northern dialect again. The place was never my home, but time there was simple and in a way happy.