Calen's Journal Entry 1
We arrived in Montaigne the night before this flawed plan. We pressed hard to arrive in the city in time for celebrations, and did so, with some small time to spare for it. Taken in by a kind family, we were treated well enough by their gracious hospitality. After some more charlatanry from The Accursed, I led the troupe of our band and their family in prayers before we all bunked down for the night properly. On the dark of the morrow, we left to find purpose of ourselves to serve the Sorrows proper.
This purpose led us to cause, for we put our services nobly forward during services at the small parish and in doing so found great concern hidden within, treacherously breaching the sanctity of the Great Church. Dorak overheard the priest of the Parish, Father Jerome, discussing with a Thean terrorist a plot to abscond seven children from their orphanage, which was run by the church and resided next door.
A plan was devised by our intrepid bunch then to perform an ambush. We were to wait for the thieves after dark fell, assured the thieves would strike late in the night. How mistaken we were to be. By nightfall, it had resulted that the children were already poisoned, the clergy struck down and the kidnappers already absconced with the children. Our hubris, our presumption of knowing them better, resulted in death and misery.
In the doing, we learned later, Father Jerome was slain. The town guard prepared their own intervention, their watch beginning later than even ours – neither of us accurate in the boldness of these beasts disguised as men. Mistaken purpose allayed us for some time, and required deception on my part, to my great regret, and only through our complete and total bungling did we manage to help the children.
The criminals had predicted our every move it seemed, as our confusion, our compromise of each other’s plans, our loud and raucous idiocy, were the cover they used. Aware that they had pursuants, it seemed they waited for us to charge the orphanage, which would distract us well, and it allowed them to steal away into the night. If it were not for Khypriss, we never would have known.
Khypriss, posted as watch, came to gather us to make chase. To aid in pursuit, I doubled back for Terak and recovered the distance, with Falco astride. To the gates I raced as two caravans were making to leave. Having no time to have Falco disembark, I moved to cage in the horses of the lead caravan. The horses halted, as Terak ensured their compliance, and for it, I received a mighty strike from a man within the caravan’s company.
Immediately, clearly, we knew it was the bandits – despite our foolishness and presumption, it was not too late to save the children, praise the Gods.
The band descended alongside the guards while Falco and I enchanted arms for battle; the children were saved in the span of events, although many died by our action and inaction both. Six in total died; one child of poison, one guard who sought to stop them, Father Jerome and his niece – whom the Thean had used as leverage to force Jerome’s apparent compliance, and lastly two of those the Thean had hired to do the dirty work.
The Thean himself escaped ahead due to our idiocy, with all the funds the orphanage had accrued. His trail is broad and we must press onward, unable to give chase. Seven children saved, fiends who saw the light in the redemption of their souls by way of receiving their Gift, and heroism seen in the hearts of my allies to warm me even towards The Accursed to some degree. The suffering was great in this month of Sorrows, but even so there is light.
Our travel was held by a day, but it is my desire that hope was placed towards Khypriss’s will to reclaim her land, within these people, when she spoke of her continuing purpose.
We press on tomorrow and I pray we meet the day with such honor and integrity as displayed today on the rest of our travels to come.