18
Jun
14

Hârn: Genisis – Entry 25

HÂRN: GENISIS – ENTRY 25
PREVIOUS: HÂRN: GENISIS – ENTRY 24
NEXT: HÂRN: GENISIS – ENTRY 26

17th of Azura in the year 720 TR

After a day of rest in Ammon, we set out on the road again. The clerics of Peoni did their best to treat my wounds, I have no doubt they will heal much quicker as a result, but my head still throbs from the crushing blow we received. The townspeople spent much of the time picking up from the destruction and looting of their town. I overheard that the blacksmith in particular suffered as they looted many of his tools and goods in the attack.

Travel to Degong, the small Chantry at the foot of Mount Galatia was treacherous at best, but we did not run into any further assassins or wild threats. While I’m sure the break was welcome, the chill wind and rough road was not. I have spent little of my life this high in the frigid mountains and it does not not suit me.

Several of our regular group were unable to make it to game due to schedule conflicts. This left those who could make it to fill some time until the next game when we could set off up Mount Galatia.

Most were quiet during the several days of travel. The Shek-Pvar rode in the back of our cart with Spar Daymar, discussing the finer points of their convocations and preparing new spells to enhance our defenses after the last battle. The Cleric of Siem and Mai-Lin spent the time quietly observing the new plants and nature in the region. Even Echo has spared me few words, keeping to himself mostly.

He does not seem to have fared well after the battle and does not seem to be sleeping, though I have not seen any significant injuries. He clutches Conquest’s sword as if prepared for an imminent attack. Only Merrick seems content to chatter boisterously with whomever will listen. Without Echo’s heavy handed guidance, he and I have shared numerous conversations about our lives and our adventures on Hârn as well as Genisis.

In Degong, we found a small, but well equipped town outside of the small Chantry. Spar, Mai-Lin and Falcon headed for the stores to replenish our supplies while the Shek-Pvar left for the Chantry to take advantage of its attunement rooms for their research. At their request, we will be spending several more days here to recuperate from our wounds and complete their research before scaling the mountain.

Several temples to the various gods are scattered about the town, including one dedicated to Larani which Echo retires to, leaving me once again to my own devices. It feels good to be trusted like a human being again, even though it may only be his lack of sleep making him foolish. I accompanied Merrick to the blacksmiths to sell a number of smithing tools and armor he had apparently acquired in trade during our trip.

We set out to explore the town, Merrick was particularly interested in the shops and residences of the town, commenting on each building’s architectural features and noting valuable wares for sale. As we approached the edge of town, my collar constricted slightly, a none too subtle reminder of the leash I was still on.

Returning to the inn, we passed a tavern on the edge of town and a feeling came over me. It felt familiar, exhilarating and terrifying all at once. I couldn’t place it, but the Voice immediately took notice, urging me indoors. I turned away and continued on with Merrick, pausing only momentarily to take note of the tavern’s name, The Burning Pitch.

18th of Azura in the year 720 TR

I rose early, though I found Merrick was already making his way about the inn where we had stayed for the night. His awareness of my activities didn’t bother me, though the one I was concerned of, Echo, was also not about. The bed in our room lay untouched, indicating he had not returned.

Merrick told me later that a priestess of the Larani church had arrived with Echo’s gear and inquired as to the Cleric’s condition. Apparently he passed out at the church from fatigue and running a fever. They were caring for him and allowing him to rest, though he refused to part with either his armor or his weapon. Not unusual for a warrior, that is to be sure.

I left the inn before the others awoke, making my way back through the town to the tavern I had passed the night before, The Burning Pitch, and made my way inside. Even this early in the morning, I was surprised to find an assortment of individuals around the establishment. I took an ale and sat back to watch, trying to place my finger on the sensations we had felt before.

I noticed several men coming and going through a back door, likely leading to the cellar, though they did not appear to work there. Finally, I made my move, striding for the door, though I was stopped short by a large man, a bouncer of sorts. He demanded to know my interest in the cellar. I positioned myself casually near a chair, at an angle to knock him down the stairs should it become necessary before I replied.

To be fair, I myself wasn’t sure what brought me this way, but I managed to convince him well enough and he disappeared to gather approval from whatever man ran this place before leading me downstairs. In the cellar, to my surprise, I found an alter and burning braziers and incense floating in the air. Several other men appeared to be praying before a flat stone, large enough to lay a full size man upon.

My guide gave me a strange look when I inquired as to who the alter was constructed for, but he told me. The Lord of Fire. The Great One. Suddenly my weeks of travel, the visions and the dreams, they all made sense.

I spoke with the man at length. They hid with their alter under this tavern, worshiping in secret while those that hunted them, the Church of Larani, walked above ground in the light. These men, many of them clearly strong and capable warriors, were reduced to huddling in this dank basement in the worship of their lord, waiting and praying for a sign. A savior. A champion.

I am still unsure of my own role, but clearly our needs align. I will not be reduced to praying for help in this hole, but I cannot yet say that I am the champion they seek. Echo and the damned rod he carriers still bar my path. For now, I must journey to the peak of Mount Galatia, the highest point in all of Genisis my informant tells me. Legends say it is the place in the world closest to the gods above, that they might scoop you up to reward your service or vanquish you for your arrogance on the same, lonely peak.

Perhaps the journey will teach me what else I need to know. Perhaps getting closer to the Great One will reveal his true purpose. I resolved to return, instructing him to begin preparations to oust the servants of Larani. I stepped forward and laid my sword upon the alter, a sacrifice of sorts, a gesture of my commitment to return to this town and see His will done. I returned to my party, clearer of mind and more myself than I have felt in the last two months. Even the Other has grown silent, either in agreement of our purpose or fear of the Great One.

22nd of Azura in the year 720 TR

It is strange to find myself here, in this place. As if coming out of a long fog I find myself in a new place, in a new body but with old friends. It is only barely that I can recall the voice of the Other and the rage of the Berserker that once battled me. It would seem a distant, hazy dream if not for where I find myself now.

Agrik has indeed seen fit to deliver me through his divine grace as, through a mirror, I look back on a body familiar but not my own. From what I have gathered, my brother Aurelius was brought to this land by a Cleric of Larani, a cleric who became possessed and corrupted by the sword of true warrior.

My compatriots planned to set out on their pilgrimage up the mountain today, but when they went to check upon their holy warrior, they found he had rebelled against the priests caring for him and abducted a child as hostage. We arrived to find him on the edge of a cliff with the boy.

They say he was driven mad by the corrupting influence of the sword, though perhaps its power simply opened his eyes to the weak willed god he served that drove him mad. He demanded his supplies and horse, sending me to retrieve them. I have no doubt I would have but the man, Merrick, produced the rod he had used to control me. Apparently he had obtained it in the last few days.

I do remember, vividly, the laughter. At first I was sure such maniacal glee must have come from another, but the others assure me it was I who was chortling as I took the rod in my own hand. The Fallen Cleric in of Larani tried to battle me, but he was no match for the raw strength of this body Agrik has graced me with.

He begged for his life and I clearly remembered my last words to him as my axe sank deep into his chest. “No pity. No fear. No remorse.” Then I threw his body from the cliff edge into the ravine below and smashed the rod used to control me.

Quite unexpectedly, both to the players and somewhat to the GM, we ended up dispatching the character of Echo during this session. I gather she expected it wouldn’t come to a head until the next session, but as things rolled it naturally turned in that direction.

Both the player and GM have been working for awhile to slowly write out his character as he transitioned into Merrick. His death at Scaurus’ hands, awarding him his freedom, seemed an appropriate place as any. His player did a great job of playing up his haughty religious zeal, grating against the other players in many cases, and his slow decent into a means justify the ends mentality that resulted in his downward spiral and corruption as well as leaving the rest of the party happy that he was eventually gone.

For me, the result was that Ran regained dominate control of the shared body and most of his memories from his previous life, as though picking up from the day of his death. What that ultimately means for him and what connection he still has with Agrik remains to be seen.

Now I am free, there is much to do. I will accompany those who have traveled with me so far to the top of Mount Galatia, to complete whatever deeds this Cleric, Spar Daymar, needs done. It will allow me to size up the companions I now find myself with and determine if they will be of value to Agrik’s cause. Talon and Mai Lin can be trusted, though I am still wary of Marcus. Falcon fancies himself a healer, which could be of use. Merrick is of particular interest as I learn more about him and remember more of our travels. I believe he could be an especially useful asset to the cause.

When I return, Agrik’s vengeance will be brought to this town and the remnants of Larani’s church will be brought low and its people freed of her weakening influence.

PREVIOUS: HÂRN: GENISIS – ENTRY 24
NEXT: HÂRN: GENISIS – ENTRY 26
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