To High Watcher Roderick

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D4wN
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To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:21 pm

I apologise not writing to you sooner. This journey you sent me on did not quite go as expected.

I remember how I got here, I remember how it all started. To this day thinking about how I lost my unit, how I lost my friends and how they believed in me. And I’ve let them all down.

You gave me my Purification. One I didn’t deserve. Had it been me in your position? Excommunication would have been the only option for me. But I owe you my life and always will. And I will not let a second chance go to waste.

I met an incredible woman, Sadie Hasper. A battle mage of Helm. She used to be a guard in the Nomad. A local inn here in a small city named Cordor. She started this group called The Order of the Stranger. Only a small group really, but they serve under the tenets of Helm and were supported by the Triad. Her objective to restore the Triad and the faith of Helm fully to this island. Not a small task.

She named me High Watcher of this island as there was no one else here representing His faith. An honour I could not have imagined to be bestowed on me so quickly or at my age.

The Order was instrumental in the defeat of a powerful fiend in Cordor. I’ve fought against the fiend and traced him into hell itself. Only in the beginnings of my retraining. The Order stood strong in the defence of a beautiful logging town in the mountains called Guldorand. They were attacked by an Archfey. There are many more great deeds they performed. Too many to mention right now. And I’ve been part of all that.

I wonder what else this journey will bring...
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:12 am

My new role as High Watcher so far does not seem much different from what I was before. I try to aid those in need, I help the Order in their patrols, I watch over the inns and holy sites in service of the Oath I took when joining the Order. The oath I took to Helm himself protecting the young, innocent, injured and weak. But what is a High Watcher without a Church? What is a High Watcher without others who follow His faith?

Sadie was named Baroness. Baroness of Castle Gloom. She has offered her new home to me to use as a Church. It has suddenly become real, suddenly there is no more hiding. What am I to do? I am now High Watcher with a Church, everyone is watching. Everyone will know I am a fraud, everyone will know what I did and how I got here.

You sent me here, and you set me this exact task. I had not expected to meet someone like Sadie. A friend, an example and now.. an enabler. I'm not sure what I expected. Perhaps to complete my training first, to gain a few years, to experience all that Arelith has to offer. Maybe I could start to help someone else start a Church of Helm down the track. When I felt I was ready.. I was not ready now.

I recently met someone in similar shoes to me now. Baldric Pyecroft, Paladin of Torm. We've become good friends and he means a lot to me. Since Sadie is now Baroness, no longer can she be the leader of the Order of the Stranger. She has given this task to Baldric until someone else steps forward. He too, like me, feels he is not worthy of leading people. He too, like me feels perhaps like an imposter. I feel it has created a bond between us. I trust him with my life and I feel we owe it to each other to help each other through this.

Perhaps Baldric will have an even harder task. I am to establish something new, but he is to maintain something truly special. Something truly worthy. Something we both care passionately about. We are both only at the beginnings of our journey, but I know he and I will grow alongside each other. We will fight to defend those who cannot defend themselves. We will inspire those who seek to do the same, we will fight for a better Arelith. For the next generations..
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:29 am

You are like a father to me, and since I won't be able to share this with anyone else I will with you and look to you for guidance.

I was asked to a ball in Bendir today. Bendir is an Earthkin village on the island. I've never been asked to a ball before. His name is Percival Godfred Corbyn. Not only is he a Helmite, he's a noble. I must admit it came as a surprise. What would people think, going to a ball like that with another Helmite. When I'm supposed to be his High Watcher? I'm sure you would disapprove. He convinced me though, it was hard to say no to him.

Not only have I not been to a ball such as this before, I was told I needed to get a dress. I cannot even remember the last time I wore a dress to anything. Thankfully someone made one for me. I felt ridiculous. But the ball itself was actually quite fun. There was perhaps not as much music or dancing as I had expected, but it was nice to see everyone there and not be glued to a desk writing reports.

A woman from a cold land called Skal seemed to have some trouble with a spell that plagued her from a long time ago. I called upon Helm's divine power to cure her. More and more I have found myself to be curing innocents of strange ailments. Shadows, strange curses and ancient spells. Perhaps my healing abilities are getting stronger, perhaps my connection with Helm is.

This man, Percival... He is different, enchanting, kind and I think I might like him more than I should. These feelings are not totally new to me, but they are new to me in the position I now find myself in. I cannot have a relationship with him, it will interfere with both our duties. His as the Commander of the Cordor Guard, mine with the Order of the Stranger and the Church. I have too much on my plate, too much to think about and too much that threatens the innocent. This will only cause distractions, it will make the Church look weak. I know what you would tell me if you were here, I know what must be done.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:16 am

It has been some time again since my last letter to you. So much has happened, but none of it as difficult as what I am about to share with you now.

Baldric came to me not long ago and spoke to me in confidence. He did this once before when he shared with me a secret I swore to protect for the rest of my life. A deed that I allowed him to redeem himself for by Rite of Purification. I will not go into those details as I have sworn not to, but his the Purification meant for him to continue as leader of The Order of the Stranger until the day he would perish or otherwise be incapable of performing his duties. It seems this day has now fallen upon him sooner then expected, sooner then it should for someone of his age and someone of such a kind heart.

Baldric told me he had "the dream". As you know, it comes to those of Torm who's time will soon come. He told me about his concerns and we had a long conversation in Castle Gloom where the Church resides now on Arelith. Rarely have I felt my heart so saddened knowing one's time may come any day. I will watch him carefully from now on. I will do everything I can to protect him from harm for he is a beacon to those around him. Those who trust and believe in him.

With Sadie having stepped down, I rarely see her nor Rhael anymore. I cannot bare to lose another friend. Especially not like this.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:14 am

A powerful warlock plagues The Order and all of Arelith. Had I known back then what she was.. No.. I was not strong enough, it would have been suicide. She goes by the name Neli Ore. The Order has investigated her skill level and her motivations and her key goal at present seems to be to find a spirit named Weston Cain, a former Paladin. He is believed to possess the knowledge to break all bonded spirits from the First Abyssal Layer, setting them free and putting them to rest.

The Lord of this layer, who shall not be named, is trying to prevent this and is seeking Weston Cain to ensure this information is not extracted by anyone else. It is believed that there are four spirits who have previously communed with Cain. The Lord of the Plane has called forth his servants to seek out these spirits. An alliance of Warlocks is said to be scouring the lands for these spirits. It is of the utmost importance that we support Cordor in finding these spirits and learn the ceremony to free them before the servants of the Dark Lord do.

The first spirit is known to us as Koljard. He will only share the knowledge he possesses if we cure a woman by the name of Amelia Cartwright who has been touched with a curse only a Helmite Priest can cure. At this point I was the only one on the island. We were to find this woman so that we could fulfil our duty and remain one step ahead of the Abyssal Lord and Ore.

We never found her. I do not know what became of her. We did however find the second spirit in the Secluded Glave in Arelith Forest. We were to dispatch of a powerful Necromancer in the Cordor graveyard. One so vile, one so powerful it had the strength to raise all the dead in Cordor at once. A priest of Sehanine would be required to complete a ritual. None better suited then Rhael Silverwind of course. I stood by him, The Order stood by him as we went to find the necromancer and tried to defeat him. I lend all my strength to Rhael so he may not falter. Our test was a one on one combat against an Ancient and long dead king. Of course, none other then Baldric Pyecroft stepped forward as our champion. Was this is? Was this the dream? Every fibre of my being wanted to tell him to stand down, wanted to send someone in his stead. I was not ready to lose him. But this was not that day. Baldric stood victoreous against the Ancient King. It could not even touch him before he fell. Our deal was to let the Necromancer live should we defeat the Ancient King, an agreement made by Rhael, but none other. A deal none the less. It did not stop Baldric however to pierce the Necromancer swiftly with his sword and send them to their death.

We were gifted a powerful sword by the Ancient King for defeating it. A sword that has been hidden away until we can find the other artefacts. We've learnt from the spirit in the Glave that all four artefacts are needed for us to succeed. We know Ore has one, we know we have one. We know Amelia is the key to the third and we've yet to find the fourth.

Will this nightmare ever come to an end? Will we ever succeed in setting these souls free? Will we ever defeat Ore and her Lord of the Abyss? I do not know. But I do know that with the aid of The Order, Rhael Silverwind and the blessings of Helm we will stand a chance.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:26 am

We continued to fight against Ore and her followers. We continued to fight for the people of Arelith and to set free the souls held by the Abyss. But the day was finally here. Ore must have known we were a force to be reckoned with and she knew exactly where to strike at us. My heart weeps for Tug. It weeps for Arelith and the future of The Order. He is gone... She took his life, Ore took Baldric's life. Gone forever, his soul I cannot reach. His spirit I cannot sense. Our Oathkeeper taken from us. My friend... gone forever.

There is no time to mourn him. I cannot betray my feelings to anyone. Now is the time to step up, now is the time to take the reigns. For The Order. For Tug, she needs me now more then ever. Her mentor, her example and her leader taken from her. They are lost without him and although I could never replace him I have a duty to keep The Order going.

It is my duty to set direction and to keep them safe until someone else steps forward. But who? The only other person who was there from the start was Damian. And he's been on the mainland for a long time. Sadie stepped down, a Baroness of Castle Gloom now. Ties to Brogendenstein, the dwarven settlement. There is no one else. Not yet.

Am I really fit to lead The Order and operate my Church at the same time? How did it come to this, how did I get here? I'm not ready for this. But I must be ready. For Tug and for the others. For Arelith. I can do this. For Sadie, Baldric, Rhael and for Helm. I can do this... I MUST do this.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:03 am

Aura was there. She witnessed the whole thing. I don't know what to say to her, I don't know how to help her. I believe she feels this is somehow her fault. Her hatred for Ore rightfully so, even further increased. After performing the ritual for Aura in Celestia itself, removing any possibilities of remnants of a pact with Ore from both herself and Kent DeLocke, she had reason enough to despise her. But to watch your Oathkeeper and friend be slain like that... I cannot even imagine what she must be going through.

I worry for her, but she is strong also. I believe her to have great potential and to be a formiddable leader some day. I find often people underestimate the hin folk. I have learnt from spending time in Bendir and with several of them recently joining the Order however, that very few possess the courage and determination of the Earthkin. I believe there is much we can learn from them. Seeing how the community works together, how each supports each other. How each take responsibility for their town and the people who live there. Not many settlements run as efficiently and peacefully as Bendir. Something I believe most settlements should strive towards.

Perhaps Aura is the answer to my lack of time and life full of responsibilities. Either her or Damian. Damian still has been on the mainland a lot. And I worry for The Order that an absent leader might be worse then no leader at all. I still wonder what to do, but I know that I will become a lot busier then I already am and I don't know how much longer I can maintain this. I've been living off food rations and about three to four hours of sleep a night. It's starting to get to me. I've felt myself making bad judgement calls and struggling to make decisions.

Recently someone new asked to join The Order. Someone who has changed my life, someone who has turned my world upside down. Elaria, an Invoker of Jergal and.. a Palemaster. Before you send your soldiers of Helm towards Arelith, hear me out. I've always though any animator I would meet should instantly meet their end. But there was something different about this one, something that made me want to hear her story. Elaria has performed great deeds. She was at the front of many a battle against those who sought to harm the innocent. I only had her word for that and a record of deeds. She however made no hostile action towards me and I decided to take her through a standard interview of the Order. With who and what she was, it would not be so simple. I told her I needed time. I told her I needed her to prove herself to me. I would create my own record of deeds and see her true intentions.

Is this another example of my poor judgement skills through lack of sleep? Perhaps, but I need you to trust me for now. I need you to let me succeed or fail on my own. It is my responsibility and my lesson to learn.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:29 am

It's been some time and I apologise not writing to you for a time. Managing the Church and the Order has been difficult, but I think I am starting to feel more at ease. I've started delegating more and more and it turns out my decision on Elaria has indeed proven to be the right one.

She agreed to taking a Mark of Justice. It was placed upon her person by Aura. It was interesting to watch indeed as Elaria agreed to it without any doubt. This was to ensure we would be notified should she try to animate the dead, which she had agreed to not to do whilst in service of the Order. In addition, the Mark would serve to aid her in her trial to have her pariah status removed in Cordor. She has done so well, she has yet again people who owe their lives to her bravery. Damian was there also when her mark was placed, a rare visit indeed.

I still do not feel comfortable about handing it over to him, I've written a full handover document. The more I wrote down, the more my plans for the Order grew. I could do so much with this group of passionate people. Should I perhaps make it official and turn the Order into what it was meant to be? A true military extension of the Church of Helm? Perhaps, or should I continue to run them side by side? Keeping the Order truly neutral, but working alongside each other with the same mission?

Damian is too busy. He shouldn't need to feel the burden of this when he clearly has other duties. I think I'm ready, I can do this. With the help of Aura and Tug and the rest of the Strangers. I can continue Sadie's legacy. I have plans to expand our presence beyond just Cordor. We have become too tied. We have become too involved. There are others who need our aid, others who depends on us. Guldorand, the roads, Bendir.. Our allies, our friends. I have made my decision, I will continue to lead the Strangers, I will continue to grow it and I will continue to groom those who wish to do good for the people and this island.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:42 am

A lingering feeling of self-doubt, just for a moment. But a moment was all it took. What happened? I thought I was ready for this, but my insecurities came back in strong force. I am no longer Oathkeeper of the Strangers.

I had hoped she would have offered me her support, instead Aura jumped at the opportunity to lead the Order herself. I know she would make a great leader and she would continue to grow it. But I had so many plans, so much I wanted to do and achieve. I had mentally prepared myself for this task, I was ready.

It goes to show how a single moment of self-doubt can have such a big impact. My previous experiences still seem to hunt me. The day I lost my unit, the day I failed them. The day you sent me to Arelith on my Ritual of Purification. Feelings and emotions, even subconciously, can be detrimental to making decisions that determine which branch in your path to take. If you do not decide, your path will be chosen for you. This I learnt today.

Now, a new path begins for me. I've recently obtained a temple in Cordor. I managed to collect enough coin for it. It used to be a temple of Ilmater, tended to by Clemency one of the Triad's members who endorsed the Order. Perhaps a sign? The Temple is now a Church of Helm as well as a house of the Triad. The Almshouse and Orphanage of Cordor are directly linked and the funds pay for their upkeep, food, education and healing supplies. I feel this gives me purspose, meaning even. I've grown fond of the children in my care. Perhaps I might focus on education for the children and building new relationship, just as High Watcher of Helm.

We'll see where this road leads me, what new people I will meet. I feel there is much still on this island I have yet to see. The Order is now in someone else's hand, I will continue to support them of course. They will always have a special place in my heart, Sadie's legacy. I will have to find a way to source funds for them to help equip their new members. I will have to think about this.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:45 am

I've met a new Helmite, an interesting man with great potential I believe. I've spoken my first Ritual of Purification upon a man named Jensen Whisper. They said I was too harsh. Perhaps I was, but he had abandoned his friend in the desert retreating from a threat before his friend did. This I cannot let stand, we are sworn to protect others and in that he had failed. We scoured the desert looking for him, but were unable to locate him. At the end I tasked Jensen with the duty of guarding his friends for several tenday as well as guarding the township of Bendir. He was not to engage in any other duties, but were his friends completing contracts he was to go with them to ensure their safety. Otherwise he was bound to Bendir to guard them.

Bendir had just experienced numerous Underdark attacks and as such the task could be a dangerous one. But as a Helmite he would complete it without complaint.

Jensen has come very far. He has proven himself a worthy follower. We all make mistakes, and this was his to make. I am sure it will not be the last one either. But I need allies and followers by my side. The Church is to grow, I cannot do this alone. I need skilled people such as Jensen. And others, I need to spread word of Helm's faith. For now, it is just me and Luna. After a recent experience with the Order it seems Luna has little interest hanging around Cordor. I've not seen her for a long time. I hope that whatever she is doing she is doing good in His name, protecting the innocent. I miss her. I truly feel alone right now. Me and one big Church. What am I to do? How will I get word out? A Church is not a church just with a High Watcher. I must grow. I must find allies and those who will support me. I must spread His faith.

What have you done.. Why have you given me this task? You should have known I was not ready for this. You should have known I am not a leader. I should not complain. This is my purification. I will not let you down.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:13 am

The Church grows more every day. I do not understand where they all came from, but I am truly glad and honoured. Not only do my allies grow in number, but actual followers of Helm seem attracted to what I am trying to achieve.

Jensen Whisper you know. A strong and I must admit handsome man. He certainly sparks my interest, but I will not make that mistake a second time. I have to keep this strictly professional and push my feelings away. In fact, I believe I will remain on my own for some time so that I may focus on the tasks ahead and give everything to Him.

An intriguing man has recently arrived on the island too. He has not yet sworn an oath to this Church, but he is a devout. Aurin Guirain. His methods differ vastly from my own, but he follows the same dogma. He's had some unfortunate run ins already with a goblin from the Underdark named Scabface. He seems determined to remove this pest on his own accord. I advised against it as Aurin is still in training and Scabface an incredible foe. I've seen him fell many experienced warrior and is not to be underestimated. He has become a bane upon the surface and has made it a sport it seems to hunt and enslave the innocent. But something in me tells me when Aurin sets his gaze upon something, he will certainly not let go.

Geralt Duskwood, a long time follower of Helm. Someone who has lived in Cordor for a long time also and seems to be married into one of the most powerful noblehouses in Cordor, the Waynolts. He seems an experienced veteran and I am sure glad to have him by my side.

Luna Nutcracker is a hin who lives in the Earthkin village of Bendir. She is a cleric with great combat skills. She has a great fire in her heart that burns brightly. She is passionate and wishes to take action. I need people like this. With terrors such as Scabface and Neli Ore I can think of no one better to have at my side.

Most recently two new clerics of Helm arrived on the island. Both hin. I never realised there were so many hin who followed His faith. Tavi and Zinnestro also both live in Bendir. I've not had the chance to spend a great deal of time with them but I look forward to getting to know both of them better.

And Nora, a paladin of Helm. Also a hin. Again someone I've not spent a lot of time with. But hopefully this will change.

I hope more will come, but I am grateful already for those who have joined my cause. Helmites and allies alike. I do not know why, but I feel in my gut something is coming and I need to be prepared for whatever it is.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:45 pm

More have come to my aid. Our latest member one who followed Kelemvor. He came to Arelith lost and without purpose and a terrible story that is not mine to tell. I took him under my wing to guide him and help him navigate to a new path. He must have felt a strong connection to Helm. Sergor, a man of lost faith, but I see in his heart he is a good man. A man in pain, a man suffering. He decided his path lay with Helm, with the Church. He has quickly become one of my most trusted and devout members. One day I believe he would make a great High Watcher. But he still has much to learn.

One other also joined, this man I find hard to read. Like Aurin he seems to have different morals. The same goals, just different methods. He is one of us and therefor I will treat him as such. But like Aurin I believe Konstantin may one day pose challenges. But that will be a problem for another day.

We have spent much time recently training. Sparring with each other in the arena and taking arms to complete tasks for the Radiant Heart, the Auxhillary here. We must continue our training if we are to stand against the forces of the Abyss and the Underdark. We must continue to improve our equipment and raise funds to help us do so. We have joined more closely together with the Mystran Inquisition and the Order of the Stranger. Who would have ever thought that factions of Helm could fight against evil side by side with Mystrans. I'm not even sure how I feel about this all. But with everything else, the Mystrans seem the least of our problems and they share our goals. For now an alliance seems the right thing to do. I get along well with the head of the Inquisition, Kent DeLocké. An interesting man who has been on this island for a long time. He has a lot of wisdom to share but seems more interested in dinners then discussing business. I'm unsure of what to make of him.

Aura and Tug are doing well with the Order. It is still growing and they are making a good name for themselves. I am so proud to see how far they've come. Especially Tug. She seemed so lost after Baldric's passing but she is proving to be an incredible leader and has seemed to grow quite a following of admirers around her. She is certainly loved by many and the island would be a much darker place without her.

But The Order and the Church are getting stuck to Cordor. We both physically have quarters here. I am a citizen of Cordor, yet I do not feel like one. I serve Cordor yes, but I serve the island. Political struggles and other problems have kept me bound to Cordor mostly. But I must expand yet again. Bendir needs me also as does Guldorand. I have wish to meet Lord Kael'avin of Darrowdeep and discuss an alliance with him. What of Sibayad? I've not spent much time there. An interesting settlement under the lead of house Von Brandt. I'm unsure what to make of them. I've heard many rumours about them, but most do not seem to be true. They seem traders first and foremost. I should spend more time in Sibayad.

Finally, another interesting woman has entered my life. Dregan Densular, Voice of Myon. She is a diplomat. And Myon certainly needs one. Its Coronal a fierce elven woman named Anaria. She has a short fuse, however it seems Dregan has a certain calming effect on her allowing the Coronal to return to logic and reason. It's almost like magic to see Dregan get through to her. Dregan is also an incredible scout and treads to dark and dangerous places. We recently went on a trip where one of my spells had a bad effect and I accidentally hit Dregan as she turned to ashes before my eyes. I returned her from the wall, but what came after did not result in her wrath upon me. Instead, it created the most unlikely and unusual friendship. Sometimes I still wonder how she was ever able to forgive me. I hope to spend more time with her and get to know her. She can become a powerful ally to the Church. But as a person she is very interesting also. I'm amazed at how long elves live and the stories they collect through their lifetime. I can't wait to hear as many as I can fit into mine.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:38 am

Dregan and I have grown closer. I certainly tried to resist this for a long time and push any feelings I had away. I'm forever busy, if it isn't patrols, it's paperwork. If it's not paperwork, it's rituals or building relationships. Or planning for the battles ahead. Work seems to never stop. I truly cannot afford the time to be distracted by my feelings for another. Besides, I've never had such feelings towards another woman before. Or an elf even. It all seems foreign to me. How can I be sure that my feelings towards her aren't simply because I feel lonely? She is persistent, she truly is. She manages to have a certain effect on me too. She is one of the few people who seems to be able to make me relax. I trust her with all my heart. When I'm with her I finally forget about all that troubles me. She makes me happy. Then why am I resisting this so much? Why can I not seem to allow myself happiness?

I know I have need to expand the Church. Now that we have grown so much I can no longer afford to manage this on my own. I was right, Jensen Whisper is an incredible man with so much potential. People seem ready to follow him as they do me. I've spoken with him about making him the leader of the military division of the Church. He seemed unsure of his own capabilities and seemed to lack the confidence. But I truly believe he can do it and I have placed my faith in him to structure this however he sees fit. He will be in charge of growing the division, naming it, setting goals and objectives and anything else.

I've yet to speak to Aurin about my plans for him. I'm unsure whether he will accept my offer for the job I have in mind for him. Only time will tell I suppose. Many people seem to distrust him and I can understand why. They do not know what to make of him. I know exactly what fuels him, what drives him and what motivates him. I partially share in his ideals, but this is not a world where he will be respected for them. I know this, I just don't know that he does. Even if he does, I doubt he would care. Aurin will continue to do what he must and as he does so, he will continue to serve Helm's tenets in his own ways no matter what others think of him. I know he will be a problem. I respect him, I fear him. His comments to me at time bordering insubordination, but I cannot be angered with him for I need him and his skills in the times to come. I feel I am dependent on him.

Sergor has come such a long way. He's learnt so much of Helm's ways. He's become strong and he seems to have a way to connect with people quickly too. I know that in time he could make a good Overblade. Stand in for times I am not around or help share duties with me when I am otherwise occupied. I'll need to expose him a bit more to politics and ensure that people know who he is and that they can reach out to him when needed. Perhaps one day, should anything happen to me he will be able to replace me and the Church may live on. Truly, that is all I wish. That Helm will once more be respected and valued. That all those on Arelith may learn his value and that he will continue to do good for all those on the island.

We will fight whatever comes for us. We will protect the innocent, injured, weak and poor. The innocent... I am devoted to Helm beyond doubt. For any feelings I try to repress, any feelings that confuse me, my feelings for Him are true and certain. There is no doubt in my mind that He means everything to me. But lately, I have been wondering... What truly defines one being innocent? Is it the innocence of a child? Is the innocent of those who cannot fend for themselves? Or are those who had choices thrust upon them through terrible life events and turned to darkness considered innocent? Are those who fight back for their beliefs and protect others considered innocent? Am I innocent? This part confuses me. It was always so clear to me when I arrived here, but now.. I have placed a Palemaster under my protection, a half Sharran, an Underdarker and an Ilmateri. And out of these four it was the Ilmateri that betrayed my trust. It was the Ilmateri who endangered the lives of others. It was the Ilmateri who attacked and tried to kill the Vice-Chancellor of Cordor. He is angered, this man a Tyran, an Aasimar. His name is Aremis Keidos. He is very angered and I cannot blame him. I have placed a reward up for Marton Cain's arrest so that he may receive a fair trial as is our custom. They are to deliver him to me alive and unharmed. I am ready to accept whatever punishment or judgement Aremis has planned for me. Although Marton was never officially under my protection, he wanted a job. A chance to re-integrate into society. I gave him a job at the temple, a bed to sleep in and food on his plate. He was my responsibility and I have failed in my duty to protect others.

Failed... there is this word again..
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:26 pm

Charlotte Crowe, priestess of Asmodeus. She originally was a member of Sadie’s castle Gloom. She was good friends with Kent. I must admit I never knew her as well as I would have liked. Especially since I believe I may have attempted to try and keep her from the path she landed on. I’ve learnt in my time on Arelith that we all have choices to make, but sometimes our choices don’t seem like they are ours to make. They are influenced by other people’s actions. And when we see no other way out, we believe the choice we ended up making was the only one left. Charlotte still had choices, but for her she could only see one. On a day she was training with Kent and returned to the sunlight she was spotted with what was allegedly a devil. They got reprimanded for it, threatened. Maybe even killed, I cannot remember. I know Kent fought hard after this to rebuild his reputation. Charlotte could have also. But she chose not to. She chose the darkness and started a life in the dark. She ended up leading an infernal faction named The Iron Brand. To be truthful, they don’t seem like a threat to us. We rarely hear from them other then an occasional poetic note about tyrannic hands. People don’t pay it a mind really. Sometimes the best response is no response at all.

As quiet as the Iron Brand was, I received a message one day from Kent. It was urgent and I needed to come to Gloom. I was talking with Dregan and asked her to come with me. When we got to Gloom he hastily explained something about a shadow ritual and summoning Charlotte. The idea was to send her to some magical prison and I think to use magic to return her to her old self. She was once a good person I was told. Once a light, no darkness. If there was a chance to help someone turn back to the light then I would gladly help. I do not pretend to understand the Arcane arts. Especially not those involving shadow magic. I was hesitant. In my gut I knew this was a bad idea and I didn’t want anything to do with shadow magic. But Kent seemed certain he would succeed and couldn’t do it without my divine powers to fuel him. I have a hard time saying no, especially to friends. So I agreed to help him bring his friend back. Despite the risks.

The ritual was one of the most draining I’ve ever performed. I felt the light ripped from me, the darkness growing. I felt every part of my body and mind resisting and my power and strength drained from me. And then suddenly... the ritual failed. She was not sent away. She resisted. Why did she resist! Asmodeus was too strong. She was too far gone. This was a mistake.

Blood and fire. As I stared down the wound near my stomach in disbelief watching her hellfire spear sent through my body. Blood gushing, fire raging pain. And then... she was gone. Dregan acted as only Dregan could have. I’ve not seen anyone faster then her. Charlotte was dead on the floor, two arrows was all it took. What happened next I do not know. I collapsed the world went dark. I was ready to meet Helm. For Him to safely guard me to my final resting place. For Him to watch over me. But it was Dregan who nursed me back to life. She helped me fight a horrible fever, she cared for the wound. She held me, cared for me. If she’d not been there that day I would have died.

Charlotte is dead. We never meant for this to happen. None of us did. Had she not resisted, had she not pierced my body with that spear. Life could have been different for her. I feel regret and remorse. Maybe even guilt. Living a lifestyle under the shackles of Asmodeus may not seem like a life to me. But what if she was happy? What if she had people who loved her and cared for her? What if she loved people? I have a job to defend the weak, poor, innocent and injured. She was none of those things, but she also didn’t appear a threat to any.

I wish Kent never called for me that day. But knowing him he may have attempted this on his own. Things could have ended very differently. Way worse. At least he will live now. Charlotte may have escaped and in her rage done far worse things.

At the very least we removed another soldier from the Infernalist battleground. I hope she finds peace. Wherever she is...
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:26 am

You must forgive me. I realise it has been a long time since my last letter, but my world has dipped into chaos after what happened with Charlotte.

I have decided to give Dregan and I a chance for happiness together. It doesn't matter however whether I wish us to be happy together or not. It seems the events past have put a target on both our backs. After Charlotte passed, part of her body remained on this plane of existence. She was buried and I thought that would have been the end of that. But it was not so. A white haired woman named Jezebel Kingsley sent for me one day to meet with her in Sibayad. I had never heard of this woman's name and did not know who she was. That single meeting changed my whole life. She was Charlotte's lover and demanded that we turn her remains over to her. I did not owe this woman anything, yet I felt for her loss. I agreed to do what I could so that she may give Charlotte an appropriate final resting place and that she might find closure. Dregan convinced me that handing over the remains as is was too risky. We prepared for another extensive ritual, but this time it was a ritual of nature and divine magics. We separated Charlotte's essences so she may never return to this plane and prevent that her remains be used for something terrible. Our magic combined divided what Charlotte once was and what she had become just before her death. The ritual took much out of us and the wound caused by the spear opened up again. Dregan by my side however we managed to complete the ritual successfully and I was healed.

The ashes were returned to Jezebel in good faith and I had perhaps hoped that finally this then would be the end of this sad story. However, once more it was not meant to be. Charlotte was apprentice to a woman named Sydney Harrow. The day I walked away from Aurin as he was to return Charlotte's ashes to Jezebel I had never met this woman. I had seen her names in reports, but to that day she was no threat to me or anyone else on the Surface as far as I was aware. It would turn out this Sydney Harrow would become my greatest enemy and greatest challenge yet. She knew my weaknesses, every single one of them and used them against me.

My story with Sydney really started when I received word from a speedy that someone named “The Advocate” had captured the monk Amadeo and held him hostage. I was to come alone to the Nexus Falls or they would take him to the Underdark for torture. When I arrived, I learnt the Advocate’s real name was Sydney Harrow. She was accompanied by Jezebel Kingsley as well as an imp with a Balor and another who’s name I do not know.

Harrow told me she called me for the murder of her apprentice. Not because she cared for Charlotte, but because an attack on her apprentice was an attack on herself and I should be made an example of. She told me she would cover the hills of Minmir in the blood of the innocent, she would hunt all those I care for if I were not to go with them and allow them to punish me for my actions. She said she'd even allow me to return Amadeo from the dead and she would let him go if I agreed. I was surrounded by them, unarmed and unwarded with Amadeo by my side weakened from his death after I returned him from the wall. And thus, I gave my word to Harrow I would go with her to the Underdark to ensure the safety of others. As I did not have any leyline connections to the Underdark they would summon me. Harrow stepped through as did another. It was just me, Jezebel and the imp left.

As soon as Harrow stepped through the leyline many came from many settlements. They threated to go to war over me should I go with them. More blood would be spilled. And thus.. I broke my word to Harrow in the hopes to stop blood being spilled that day. And I did, but only for that day. The Vice-Chancellor accused me of making a deal with an infernalist, the look in Dregan's eyes of.. disappointment perhaps? Anger? Scathing words by Myon of being a selfish martyr. For what? Going with them and letting them punish me? My pain and suffering means nothing when I have a chance to protect the weak, injured, innocent and poor and those I love. I would endure a thousand hells to protect the people of Arelith. And as I have learnt in all my lessons in the Church of Helm, infernalists always keep their word. Sydney would have left the innocent alone as she promised, she would have left Dregan and Kent alone as she promised and anyone else I cared for. I know this in my gut. What I also learnt in the Church is we never betray someone's trust. No matter who they are. That day however, I broke one of Helm's most sacred tenets. I broke my word to Harrow.

I had full intentions to still hand myself over to her when everyone had calmed down. She was not however willing to give me that chance. It was then I saw her true powers as she collected a huge force from the Underdark. What happened next is still too recent, too raw. I need time to process. At least I am still alive as are my friends and my loved one.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:48 pm

Sydney Harrow… An Infernalist of great strength and cunning. I never underestimate my enemies, and I will certainly not underestimate her. But I still know too little about this woman. What are her true strengths and weaknesses? I’ve seen her able to rally many to her side. So many that in fact, recently she managed to capture me. Not only me, but my friends and allies who were unfortunate enough to stand by my side that day.

We heard there were two Underdarkers spotted in the forest. A few of us went to the forest to ensure its safety. I know the people of Myon live there as do the Heartwood Druids. I wanted to ensure their protection. Especially after I heard the name of one of these Underdarkers. Krom. He is a vile Underdarker. Only a few months ago he walked into Cordor with his flaming sword just to draw out a few strong opponents and fight them. Jensen and I felled him, but not before he took down three others. What is this creature’s game? He doesn’t seem to have a plan of any kind. Either way, we managed to track him down after Hospitality found they were hidden in the Half-Breed orc camp. Not only hidden, but this creature Krom had a house there.

Valks stood atop the hill, conversing with us. A cunning kobold as he kept us distracted whilst Krom snuck up behind us. What followed next was a big and bloody battle as some of Krom’s, or perhaps Valks’ friends were hidden in the dark. To be truthful? I’m not sure what we expected showing up there. I don’t even truly know what our objective was. I had not wished for battle that day, but as I have learnt in the Watchers over the Fallen, we are often not given that choice. In the end we won. I decided to bring back Valks from the walls of Kelemvor. I’m not even sure why. I just wanted to know what he could tell us about Krom and Sydney. I wanted to learn more about her. I found myself filled with an uncharacteristic rage. I wanted to hurt Valks, make him talk. But Warden Tug... Good Tug, she defended the Kobold with her own body. No matter the hurt they had put her through, no matter what he was. I was frozen... This fierce and determined woman, how she would throw away her own life for that of a Kobold. Why?

During my confusion Valks was summoned and he escaped. My anger returned, but I managed to control it as I saw to Tug. I wanted to understand why she stood in his defence after what they did to her. We should have taken the conversation elsewhere; we should have fled. Suddenly out of nowhere there she was. Harrow. Her power extended to aligning even the Infernalists and the Abyssalists. Pit Fiends and Balors, side by side. I had never seen anything like it before. And there… a vile looking Drow. I’d heard so much about him. It could only be Lavok Xun’viir. As I looked to my side, I saw Dregan’s determined face. Lavok was known for enjoying the torture of elves. On my other side, Sergor handed me a potion of attunement and told me to drink it. Others said the same. They were here for me, they told me to flee. To abandon my friends. My loved one. I stared at the potion in my hand. Tera, Dregan, Tug. They all told me to drink it. I found myself in a nightmare. And I found myself yet again choosing incorrectly. I took the potion. But the enemy were prepared and magically ensured there was no way out. The potion failed. And they saw my attempt to escape as a hostile act. What followed next was a bloody battle. All who stood by my side felled. I died. I woke up in the one place I had hoped to never see. Andunor… The city of the Underdarkers. Everyone else was gone. Dregan was gone, I found myself alone surrounded by these Underdarkers. Many of whom I did not know their faces. I was pushed along, away. I don’t know where they had intended to take me. But as we continued to walk, I felt a pull. A friendly pull. I was too weak to resist it. I probably should have; this was my chance to atone breaking my word to Harrow. Besides, I didn’t want to leave not knowing where my friends and allies were.

I found myself back in Cordor. Aika drained and exhausted. One by one every single one that was captured had been returned by this woman who once betrayed my trust. A woman who had been pariah’d from Cordor. People keep surprising me on this island in unexpected ways. Dregan returned to me, wounded and afraid. But alive. As I held her in my arms, I knew there was no turning back. I knew Harrow and I would never turn away from each other. We were destined to be each other’s enemies. As I looked down on Dregan she looked so vulnerable. I would do whatever it took to bring Harrow down…
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:57 am

I seem to have angered the Vice-Chancellor one too many times. He said I made “a deal” with Harrow when I gave her my word that I would go with her so that she would not hurt the innocent or those I loved, Kent and Dregan. This was the final straw for him. Bringing under my protection a Palemaster, and an Ilmateri betrayer who tried to kill the Vice-Chancellor and now this. He wouldn’t listen. I told him why I did what I did. I tried to explain that they would only try to humiliate me and make me suffer. They had given their word I would not be enslaved nor killed. I would come back, broken yes... But alive. This was a small price to pay for the safety of the innocents she threatened to kill if I did not go with her.

There would be a trial for my actions and decisions. I was ready to face whatever punishment the Vice-Chancellor had in mind for me. It was confusing when suddenly the trial turned into a hearing instead. Aremis made the announcement at the beginning. It was merely a court case to allow me to explain myself and teach me a lesson. To teach everyone a lesson that there are consequences for our actions. I’m unsure if Aremis backtracked due to the number of supporters I had or if this was always his plan. I was prepared for exile or public shaming. This however, I was not prepared for. I was perplexed to say the least, but regardless I would do what I could to defend my decisions and actions.

Elaria, a Palemaster placed under my protection when she was still pariah in Cordor. Just because I place her under my protection does not however mean that she or I for that matter, are exempt from the law. I tried to explain this. My protection does not supersede her being pariah. Had she chosen to come into Cordor and had been slain I could have done nothing about it. It was however the protection for any such area Elaria was not pariah or exiled. Taking her under my protection however protected her from the likes of Anaria at least who would only try to harm her for what she was, pushing her towards the Underark. This decision I made as a church, a religious stand-alone body, not as citizen of Cordor.

Then Marton Cain, the Ilmateri. I did not place him under my protection, I only gave him a place to sleep, a job and food on his plate. After I heard what he had done, I placed a warrant for his arrest so that he may face a fair trial for his actions and receive punishment. I offered a hundred thousand gold coins, yet none came forward. And here I was, in the Cordor court room receiving a hearing for this man’s actions I was deemed responsible for only because I gave him a job and a chance for a new life after his enslavement.

Finally, the deal with Harrow. Aremis said I made this “deal” against the will of those I made it for. Of course, they wouldn’t have agreed. These people are my loved ones. They would have never let me go with her. But this wasn’t about getting their consent. A Tyrran wouldn’t understand what a Helmite would do to keep the people around them safe from harm.

I was ready to hear their judgement. Whatever punishment they had in mind for me. I calmly explained my reasoning for my decisions. I had others speak on my behalf. At the end? No trial, yet judgement was spoken by High Justice Hospitality. A fair woman I suppose. I was to inform Cordor of any decisions or intended actions or any information that would involve them. They still don’t get it. Decisions I make on behalf of the church are of no concern to Cordor. My protection does not forfeit pariah status, who I hire into the staff of the church or Almshouse is of no concern to them. But when Cordor is in danger or threatened I will inform them as I always have.

I was uncertain about the point of this hearing in the end. But at least now everyone has heard my side of the story. Whether that is enough for people to understand my decisions or the actions I took I cannot say, but I was warmed to see how many came to show me their support. I am truly blessed with how many friends and allies I have built over the years and I feel immense gratitude for each of them.
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Re: To High Watcher Roderick

Post by D4wN » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:40 pm

A new enemy has entered the playing field. As I stood in conversation in front of the Arcane Tower with my advisor, Berenor Silver-Wind, we were interrupted by a brown robed man who demanded that Berenor go with him to receive some sort of punishment. I had never met this man and had no idea to what he was referring. Berenor equally seemed uncertain. My gut told me whoever this person was in front of us, was not to be underestimated. Berenor and I quietly discussed escape tactics whilst trying to delay the inevitable. But before we could follow through on those a Balor appeared out of nowhere behind us. It was a matter of seconds before we both found ourselves beyond the wall.

I do not remember much after this. But I do remember that I started making my way back to the light when I received a speedy that Berenor was safe in Cordor and required my aid. These speedies really do go everywhere. I almost made it back when I felt a pull I could not resist. I woke up in an area that gave me the chills. The robed man revealed himself to be a man named Bjorn Frostcloak. He called himself a leader of some sort. An Abyssalist. My mind felt foggy to say the least. He told me I was in the Abyss, his Balor picked me up and carried me to a cell where they locked me up.

There were two women there. One I caught the name of. A woman named Keph, accused of being a Sharran by my friend Kent DeLocké. I’ve had this confirmed by another. They asked me a few questions about Harrow’s beef with me and about Neli Ore. All which I refused to answer. They kept asking and I kept refusing. It was then they threw endless curses and mind affecting spells at me. I resisted all of them, until I could no longer bare it. I was still weak from death.

They cracked my mind and I’m ashamed to admit I gave them a small bit of information on my knowledge of Neli Ore before I was able to break their grasp again. Thanks to a brave and caring hin from Bendir named Flippa, I still had some attunement potions on me, which saved my life as I uncorked one and escaped to the Shadowplane. From there I managed to flee back to Cordor. A vision of Keph appeared, I crawled up into a corner like a child. Afraid and weak. I look back on that moment with disgust and disappointment.

Nightmares still haunt my sleep. They keep me awake my mind still foggy. I forget things. Names, faces, events. People stare at me oddly when I ask them to introduce themselves again. It is not for lack of trying. They did something to my mind. So far it only seems to be my short-term memory that is affected. I pray to Helm it stays that way.
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