Tanner Holmraf’s Introductions
< CY 9163, Month 10, Day 26 >
Sira Tanner bears a letter of greetings from Christianna and his credentials as the Duke’s herald (assistant only, but still official). Tanner claims to be here officially researching the conditions in Bar-Innis and getting interviews of those involved in the civil war. He proclaims quite boldly that the Duke is finally turning west and is tired of the situation going on as long as it has. He has actually won his campaign in the northeast against the Merchant Cities, and is now staying in the field as a precaution for next year’s campaign season only; he does not have to and was hoping the civil war would sort itself out by now. Since it has not, he is stepping in to use it to his benefit. Tanner’s charge is to turn the situation in Bar-Innis to the Duke’s advantage somehow. To that end he has dealt with Christianna and he says that she has ‘confessed everything to him’ and he he presents a letter from her which reads: “Gallants and allied fellows: I have entreated on Dierdre’s behalf directly with Sira Tanner Holmraf. In securing the Duke’s support for Dierdre and her child Cyseley – technically the first born of both Berithor and Diedre, I have committed the Gallants as resource to be used as the Duke’s herald best sees fit. I understand that you have commitments which will keep you there for some time to come, but i expect that i will not need to directly until late spring; the first week of June most likely, when the campaign season starts again. This coming year will be the one in which the fate of the people of Bar-Innis and perhaps the entirely of Dunstrand is decided. You have the gratitude of myself and the lords of the Riverdans. [signed] Christianna Voneles” – You look up, not at all comfortable with the turn of events, though Sira Tanner smiles disarmingly. He says “I thank you for not telling ‘Bull’ ”/campaigns/dunstrand-rising/characters/bull-swansen" class=“wiki-content-link”>Swansen of his recent promotion and the assistance you gave in securing the Mayor’s son. The victory will be attributable to him, not the Gallants and for this i thank you. Once you have had your hand here at attacking the Umbakians in Dwindor Swamp, i would ask you to travel hastily and in disguise to the east in the hills and to the Barony of Lievenshire. Once there, go to Mereth’s Bend in Danwich Downs and seek the tavern named ’Fiddler’s Jig’. You will work with a man there known as Philmore to sew some seeds of political unrest. I will be honest, it is not within any legal bounds you will be operating and you should go under some disguise. The Duke wishes the the ‘Baron’ of Lievenshire to look bad. The jobs planned are to intercept a small tax shipment from Raymore in Danwich Downs; the proceeds of which will go half to the Gallants, half to Christianna. Secondly a couple acts of banditry performed in Devlong hamlet and a merchant robbing at The Winter’s Cloud Inn in Corunshire will make the ‘Baron’ look suitably inept. A kidnapping as well, specifically a member of the Wiley family of Heathsted (locally important) after all else will surely cause the people and the new lords of Lievenshire will petition the Duke to remove the Baron and install a new family in power. When done, the group needs to be seen heading southeast. Philmore will have all the details ironed out when you arrive."
There is a lot of lively discussion after he leaves. You also feel a lethargy creep over you – especially those who returned from the north. You find your appetite disturbed – as it is shrinking (except Taer’s!).
Holmraf Tries to Leave Braddon Bog
< CY 9163, Month 10, Day 27 >
I have just come to report to you that I have tried to ride forth and be out of the area before nightfall and i have not been able to do it. AS i reached a point about 4 or 5km distant, the buzzing in my head got to unbearable levels and i fell off my horse. I could not mount or leave. After several failed attempts, i crawled back the road and lured my horse back – which seemed unaffected (or not nearly AS affected). I made it back here as fast as i can – it seems i am as stuck as everyone else. It seems our fate is intertwined even more than i anticipated… i go to take my rest – my head still aches and i am weak… but strangely barely hungry. This entrapment is most foul… i’m not sure how much help i can be in solving this dilemma, but my door is open should you need to speak to me. Also note that if for any reason, my death occurs, you should know in the strictest of confidence that Dierdre will never see the rulership of Bar-Innis herself. She has played far too dangerous a game and the Duke will not let her keep any titles other than regent (and likely not that). Berithor’s family lands will be kept and granted to the child, but nothing for Dierdre herself. This knowledge cannot get back to Christianna or Dierdre – you must all swear upon your loyal to the Duke to keep silent about this.
[Geri] (After Tanner leaves…) “It seems our fate is intertwined even more than i anticipated” – what a nice of of saying “Oh damn, i did not really want to have to depend on you louts, but i suppose i’ll have to let you rescue me from this carfluffled situation by jove”. Lets get to this, i feel very strange and the rest of you are not eating nearly enough since we got here. Relb goes to question folks on the possibilities of Umbakian soldier sitings. He gets the same vague reports Geri and Gide tracked down. There’s some signs of camp sites, but no strangers. A cursory tracking check around the town revelas no evidence – especially of any Silver Talent Knights or their ilk. Geraldine and Xarharan spend a half day burning through their magical energies in an attempt to locate any specific sources – nothing shows up despite long and repeated attempts. Its going to take moving away from the safety of the town and nearby pastures and fields to unlock the secret of what is going on. With Taqwill at least three days behind you, you wont know if the warning worked until he does NOT arrive. Things begin to seem strange… once again the sense of time appears to falter, though none in the village feel it, there are mutterings that bringing in the dragon boat has cursed the town even more. Bull Swansen spends his waking hour placating the townsfolk – livestock are behaving strangely, no one can leave, and there are small swarms of flies pestering those working in the fields… the superstitious peasants are getting nervous.
The first one to mention a distinct recurring dream is Geri. She is obviously probing for any others to put forward their own strange experiences. About 2 months ago she had a dream. She thought nothing of it, but then it happened again a month ago. For the next three weeks it happened once a week… and now its happening every third night or thereabouts. She hears a voice calling her name.. a lilting soft voice, with chimes in the background. She smells a dry, aged flavor – not decay, but the smell of forbidden ancient pathways long un-tread. She says she can taste danger and fear. Hesitantly, all the group reveals they have been having a similar experience in the same time frame. The discussion leads to talk of Anwin, but Geri and Xar both feel that he is not connected. “The dreams are not nightmares”, says Geri, “And that’s in our favor. If it continues to happen, i will cast a star reading for each of us to divine either the cause or perhaps even the message if there be one.”