The Night Wars

The backside of the war
** Drusan Blynn **

{Translated from the Zhander}

This true man woman is different than any I have met, from either land. I do not truly understand the Sun Rider she follows, but it must be part of the All Fathers Army who find it blasphemous to fight under the Mothers Moon…

Slowly the words of this land come back to me. And I confide in this woman like a sister or spouse. Only fitting when you have spilled blood together I think. Her body is firm, and her hair the color of the mountain folk. I have spoken to her about why I must have the folio that Montoku was to bring me. She sees the creatures as the blight that the war brought, but fears that we will not be strong enough to deal with what we may encounter within the tunnels. I fear I agree. I must recap…

We came upon a place she calls the Dawn Caves, after we found a somehow trapped tent that was made to look as a stone. Beneath it were Goblins…but when I called to the power of all, it struck not just me, but her as well, and the power left me stung with no result… We fought these goblins, who seemed blinded in the sun, easily.

Then, we explored the caves, finding one that had been altered with a plaster, and ending in one above the shelf, lined with moss and something like baby’s lace. We watched unto night, and just as she was about to descend to see what else we could see, two of the hound-men and a goblin came out with leather buckets to collect the rain water. As we watched, the goblin kicked and shouted at them while they brought more buckets, and then a sail cloth to gather the water. I could not hear his words due to the wind, rain and thunder.

We watched a while, and then she woke me to a raiding party, similar, but not the same as we saw leave earlier, with several human children being dragged along…This she could not abide, so I fired a bolt at the ork, and she called in her words, and flung the massive mattock she carries. (I’ve not seen her use it except in greeting ritual, so perhaps she always throws it?) The ork was knocked to the ground, and she slid down the rope, laying into the goblins, shouting in the marching words. She slew several, but her arm was broken sometime during the battle, but the break seems clean. I shot several, but did not seem to have any great effect, so I attempted to call out the numbness that I can send, but again, the mana failed me.

Once they were slain, she took the children and led them away…I gathered the bags and the weapons of the fallen…dropping the weapons while catching up. Within their belongings, I found a thick grey paste in ceramic jars like the clear fluid I had found before, a dozen darts, and soggy bread with signs of this grey paste in it…

I think we are returning to The Sign of the Golden Swan to have soldiers dispatched to these caves.

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A fight worhty of ballads?
** GM Update **

5th day of the Moon of the Snake,Year of the Dog, Star of the Cock

After the stone collecting figure departed, around dawn, the pair went to see what they could see during the day. The explored the entrances of the caves, holing up in one of the overlooking caves. Early in the evening, even before the sun was fully set, a party of orks and goblins headed out with some of the small hound men with them.

By mid of night, a thunderstorm settled into the mountain range, and a goblin and two hound men began collecting rain water. Shortly thereafter, a party of these creatures returned, with a coffle of children. This was too much for Asuka who threw herself into combat, blessed by the All Fathers might hand.

After the battle, they released the children and took them away…learning late in the night that they had been poisoned with something that seemed to take their will away…and that they claim to be from one oft he rice farms north of the caves…

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A large, loud visitor
Nakamura

Ho ho! We spent a good portion of the night watching a giant or ogre dig and root around in the cave mouths. He seemed to find something he wanted because he made earnest work of beating his way in. Beating the entrance with rocks to make it large enough, scrabbling around and climbing in to the point just his feet were dangling out. At some point I fell asleep, and White watched him carve a long pillar of stone. But. When he was done, shortly before dawn, he just tossed it and wandered off. We have no clue what that was about or if the fella will return tonight. We will endeavor to not be in a cave entrance come nightfall tomorrow… just in case…

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Dawn's Caves
Nakamura

Towards the end of the day I could see where we were headed. Straight towards a cliff face full of holes known as The Dawn or Bandit Caves. We stopped short, making a cold camp and spent a quiet night in rest. Come dawn we moved closer only to discover an odd tent that looked like a rock! It had us fooled for a while, but the pegs around the outside were the final give away. Within were four goblins that were sleepy and befuddled and easily taken care of.

From there we moved to the ridge of the slope down to the slate shelf that held most of the cave openings. On the lee of the ridge we have built a blind and are stomach down on the grass watching for any activity. I don’t expect much until the sun goes down, but using the light of the evening we can see which openings seem to have traffic, which will prove useful when it comes time to approach.

We are taking turns dozing and watching, this quiet man and me. Well, I’m dozing. He does not seem to need much sleep at all. White tells me it is his elven blood that keeps him awake so much and as I have little experience with his kind I must take him at his word. Odd but nice to be able to sleep most of the night instead of losing half to a watch. He is an odd one, often intense, but just as often almost childlike. He is comfortable to be silent with. Something I like very much. He has revealed bits and pieces of himself over the past few days and I am finding it an interesting puzzle to unfold. Born here in the Zamidan his family traveled to the Loh where having a bit of talent for magic he was apprenticed to, from what I can glean from his scarce descriptions, a very grumpy, mean old man. He is very intent on retrieving the book.

It is warm and a little muggy under this blind. I can smell the grasses crushed beneath us, and the tang of the sap from the bushes we have used to create our cover. It reminds me of summers spent dozing the hot, humid afternoons away in my mother’s arbor. The vines that grew over the woodwork rustled gently in the breeze if we were lucky, but they always gave off an odd, sharp tang. I miss my parents. I understand why they did finally leave the place that had been my entire world, but I am still a bit angry at being abandoned. Okay. So I really wasn’t abandoned. But sometimes, when I’m tired, or heart sick or in pain it is easy to feel sorry for myself.

The light is fading now, and we can see faint torch light flicker past two of the entrances. Gotchya you little blights.

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Arrival at the Caves of Dawn
** GM Update **

4th day of the Moon of the Snake,Year of the Dog, Star of the Cock

From the goblin fight, with the All Fathers healing gifts, they were able to travel on the next morning, arriving near the Bandit Caves, a.k.a. the Dawn Caves. Here they found a “tent” camouflaged as a stone, quickly dispatching the three goblin residents in the misty sunlight. After spending the afternoon making a blind, they observed the caves into the night. Shortly before night fall, stones rained and a hulking figure clambered into view. It spent time looking for something and dug into one of the caves…

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Getting started
Nakamura

When I left the Sun Rider’s outpost, my training complete, vows taken, Leader Umakaze tasked me with keeping a journal. “Your deeds to come will play a profound role in the journey of humanity through its brief, brilliant time under the sun. Mark them, track them, set down your thoughts, your observations and the details of your life. Sometime, somewhere by the warming light of our Father’s sun, they will bring hope and knowledge. Promise me you will do this.” There was little I could do but accept the leather bound volume wrapped in waxed canvas, flat pockets full of brushes and cakes of ink, and promise that I would do my best.

It is beyond time that I should begin to keep that promise.

I have wandered for a time, helping where defense was needed, moving on to another stronghold when things became quiet again, waiting, I think, for something to tell me what to do or where to go. The conflict with our night enemies seems to be slowing, even coming to a stand still. If there was a greater design in all of it, we have failed to experience it here in our little corner of the island. Looking for the next place to be, I found myself at the Sign of the Golden Swan, where there is still food, a bit of watered beer. The quiet night I expected was interrupted by undead trying to breach the door, and then, a strange visitor waiting for a tea mistress, who, when she arrived, did so on a sledge, already having gone to meet her gods.

This visitor piqued my interest for several reasons. One, he was foreign, speaking a language from across the waters, two, he is half elven and three, he was waiting for a book of magic… being delivered by an unlikely courier. I have attached myself to him, “white” as he has bid me call him and we have headed along the tea trails to try to recover, if possible, said book. We found that attack site easily enough, however there was nothing of value left, except for a trail leading away of something heavy being carried and dragged. In the hopes that whatever was dragged away contains his book, White has chosen to continue on. I am still curious about this fellow, but most important, if there is a nest of goblins in the area it must be found and cleared.

We followed the trail for the rest of the following day, stopping at one of the fortified tea plantations for water and news, and then camping rough, only to be set upon by a group of stinking little goblins that really did a number on us, I’m slightly ashamed to admit. One got an incredibly lucky blow and opened a vein in my leg. Bleeding like that will certainly slow a person down. White accounted himself well, after, fire flaring, that I think was thrown by him, he stepped up into the combat and held his own. We are both sorely wounded however, and I made use of my blessed sun to aid in our healing.

The sun has risen as once again I knew it would, although it is so hazy and overcast one almost must take it on faith that that great orb moves through the sky once again, and although battered and bruised we are no longer bleeding and feel we can continue on, so. Once again we follow the odd dragging trail further into the woods and the hills.

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Another Death, another loss
Drusan's observations...

Translated from Zhander
I had been waiting at the “Sign of the Golden Swan,” and was beginning to wonder if I had the words wrong and was at the wrong place. After several days, a female High man arrived. She carried a war mattock, and large sword, wearing a chain shirt and a tabard with a demi-sun. The following night, a small cadre of undead attacked the fortified inn, and the two soldiers, the female and I all fought. After the battle, she performed ritual with part from the University, but totally in a single religious tongue that sounded like a marching cadence. Of course, the University is fractured here, perhaps for the best… The next day, tragedy struck…another group of soldiers brought the body of the Tea Mistress…she had been slain. And, the female, a Hammer, but not of the University, granted permission to search her, but she did not bear the compendium…

I and the Hammer went to see if it was yet at the site of the attack. We found it, and an ox, apparently poisoned, and butchered, as well as two armed men. The wagon was turned when the ox fell. There was sign that something was taken away, probably quite heavy, as it was dragged as often as carried. We followed the tracks, nearing a fortified area that was a tea plantation. Late at night of that night, we were set upon by goblins of some description, and I lost a great deal of blood, losing wakefulness after one of them departed…I woke later to the magical ministrations of the Hammer. She uses one of the aspects of magic associated with the gods. Certainly she is unaware of her limits.

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A book from the Tea Mistress
*GM Update"

1st day of the Moon of the Snake,Year of the Dog, Star of the Cock

Nakamuraspoke to the half-elf, who calls himself White. He is not completely fluent in Danvari, nor Grey Elvish. It turns out he was waiting for a Mistress of Tea from Naru, to bring him a book.

Montoku, the Tea Mistress, is brought in by soldiers. They found her a couple of hours up the tea track, along with her cart and guards. White is upset by this, and the Hammer of the Sun Rider offered to join him. They traveled, found the cart, and a partly butchered ox. They took and cooked some of the meet, watched as a couple of wolves gorges themselves, and continued, following a track of something dragged from the cart.

After a day of following, they encounter a bear, and made camp so as not to bother it. Late in the night, they were set upon by goblins, which they drove off.

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A New Begining, again

28th day of the Moon of the Ox,Year of the Dog, Star of the Cock

Nakamurafinds herself at The Sign of the Golden Swan, a fortified tavern north of Naru. Late into the night, there is an attack by zombies…The two soldiers of the Shouting Fox and a HalfElf in a tattered cloak joined in the fight as well…

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The Knight Mondan and the March Begins

27th day of the Moon of the Goat,Year of the Dog, Star of the Cock

Auremelia has an encounter with the Hound Kodan, Michikazu and the Knight Mondan of the White Ward, Hammer Tsunamu. Michikazu seemed disappointed in her decision, while Tsunamu seemed not to have changed his contemptuous attitude.

1st day of the Moon of the Spider,Year of the Dog, Star of the Cock

Leaving the manse in full dress and make-up, arrives at the temple a candlemark or so before dawn. Chained to the gates of the temple, two men and a woman. One of the men had seemingly shouted himself hoarse. At dawn, for the first time in days, the temple drums were quiet. After a short service, and the sacrifice of the three prisoners, the All Fathers General on the World mounted a golden and iron carriage led by two bulls…and the march begins…

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