Janus Entry 9

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89 Autumn, 2978

The reports from this morning told us that we’d lost over fifty brave souls between the Dawn Watch and the Daggers of Light. The fighting around the garrison had gone particularly poorly for our side. Luxandra had been captured and was being held at the garrison by Rafar Illisthor, who still commanded over fifty remaining Boneguard. Additionally, Willow and fifteen other soldiers, all of whom had been struck by Heaven Knight blades, had not regained consciousness. In fact, their condition seemed worse. Kyana had rededicated the Church of the Moon to our cause and the main chapel was being used as an impromptu quarantine site.

After we finished discussing these reports, a paladin entered with a letter penned by Illisthor, congratulating Garion for his victory in capturing the city. He issued a challenge of single combat, and Honorable Hazard Ro could not refuse. The stakes were high: control of the city of Zeal. If Garion won, Illisthor would release Luxandra, our valued lieutenant and leave the city (assuming he still lived). If Illisthor won, however, Garion would relinquish his claim on Zeal and the Dawn Watch would leave instead. Miranda tried to counsel a strike on the garrison to extract Luxandra ourselves, but Garion felt it would be too risky, and I quite liked the drama of the challenge.

Besides, if Illisthor was as honorable and skilled as his reputation suggested, perhaps he could be persuaded to fight for us.

. . .

Unlike so many others, I actually got a good night’s rest and woke feeling considerably. Kyana and Miranda had stationed themselves at the church with the sick and wounded, while I stayed at Lord Oldguart’s manor, to manage the flow of reports coming in and out from our scouts. Garion pulled me aside for a few minutes to ask me to speak with as many of the captured Bone Guard as I could to see if they would be willing to join our cause. He told me that he would also be using the paladins to seek out those with villainous hearts. I agreed to try.

. . .

I came to the church with lunch for the clerics and found that Cecil had come to Zeal. Fortuitous timing, indeed! Why couldn’t he have showed up yesterday?! We exchanged pleasantries, and he told me the latest news from realms outside of Zeal, including Lothanewai, Sadire, Helvada, and Solis. He informed me not to move close to the wounded in the church, as he had put them in a stasis field so that their condition would not worsen. He said it would not save them, but it would buy them some time while we sought a cure. The Reaper Plague, as it was being called, had apparently first presented in Helvada, bringing about the death of the king and all of his heirs, and putting the current Steward on his deathbed. As such, the warrior nation was on the verge of civil war as its strongest generals vied for the crown.

While all of this was very interesting, we still had the issue of the remaining three werewolf lords stalking the ruined sections of the city. So, once we’d reconvened and Garion had a chance to speak with Cecil as well, we went wolf-hunting. We found one of the demons devouring a woman’s corpse in what had once been an alley, when the buildings surrounding it had still stood. I summoned a bright magical light and we began our attack. It howled for its allies, and they arrived moments after we’d slain the first, but they were not up to the task of dealing with the Liberators of Zeal. Hmm… That’s not a bad moniker. I shall have to suggest it to the group.

. . .

When we returned, we found that Illisthor had set the time and venue for the circle dance tomorrow morning in front of the garrison. Garion went to speak with the Prophet of Winter, and her cryptic responses to his questions led him to a curious conclusion. Apparently, the cure to the Reaper Plague is somehow linked to securing peace in Helvada. The only way to stop the civil war would be for someone with proof of royal heritage or possession of the Spear of Destiny to lay claim to the throne. The generals would be forced to recognize that man’s right of rulership, and thoughts of warring among one another would flee. Unfortunately for us, we don’t know anyone of royal heritage and the Lich-King Razel has the Spear of Destiny in Solis.

I caught myself handling the trinket Willow gave to me yesterday and thinking way too much. Therefore, I’m going to get drunk and pass out in my room at Lord Oldguart’s manor. Garion came to get me, wanting to talk more about what the prophet had told him, but I waved him off, not feeling up to another one of our circular arguments. Besides, he may get killed tomorrow, and our breath would then be wasted.

90 Autumn, 2978

We gathered up for the duel bright and early this morning. Garion and Illisthor exchanged pleasantries then began to draw their dueling circle. It was an intense and terrifying exchange of martial power, I’m sure. I was hungover, so I didn’t pay all that close attention, even though Garion’s life and our very future hung in the balance. Meh.

In the end Rafar Illisthor, the shadow elf Master of the Tiger style of circle dancing, admitted defeat and offered his blade to Hazard Ro, the duelist sign of submission. When he stood and began to gather his men, I asked him if he would fight for us. I pointed out that he was a capable commander and that our cause could make sure that such skills as he possessed were put to more noble pursuits, now that such a thing was possible. Between Garion’s personal charisma and my own silver tongue, he was doomed to join us the moment we decided to take back the city.

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Janus Entry 9

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