Lands of Turmoil, or The victors are not always heroes.

The Long Night

Tonight begins the long night – a night to morn, weep, and accept our sorrows. It is the darkness incarnate as our Lady was slain, the Ravens fled, and the city besieged.

The city will fall soon. The guards are most likely dead as I write this, giving their lives so we could get out.

And I run with everyone else, but I am not some refugee, nor some scared mercenary. I was, no I am her Lady’s sworn sword. I shall avenge her.

I shall find her, and prune the accursed Liahan tree – she shall pay – for if the blade wasn’t her’s it was her that facilitated it. Exiles from Liaha – cast out from Strata, a perfect excuse to travel, to plan, and more. Nyia – I shall remember that name, and your face – those piercing blue eyes, the brilliant hair.

I could have stopped her, I should have stopped her as she rushed into the Lady’s chambers. The panic on Nyia’s face – a look more practiced than any those of Mellus could master.

I let her walk out, past me, with a weary look and a smile for me. She smiled at me, after what she had just done. The ice that must run through her veins, for there were no others in the room, and there was not time between her closing the door, and my entry… and seeing her like that… facedown, bleeding, dead on a pile of missives. The black dagger still in her back.

I carry that dagger now, for I shall return it to whom it belongs.

Tears of the Bard
Journal of the head bard of Greenbank

Greenbank, the city of dark stone, and of the Raven Queen has seen hardship.

The ravens have fled. In a flight they left with a noise that woke the city at night. The first to leave were the city’s namesakes. The black birds that perch on our roofs, guard our crops, and are here to watch over us.

After the living birds left, the city wept, as the statues, the reliefs, and friezes and more took shape and form, and then took flight.

The city was left bereft of its namesake, and it was left without a raven within.

It wasn’t until later that we realized what the signs meant. The Lady of Ravens was though to have fled breaking the covenant with the creatures that protected our city. If only we were so lucky, the Lady of Ravens, our Raven Queen, has died.

The assassination was skillful, smooth, and disasterous. The armies march down the city, as the city lies bereft of its protectors, and our guards are shaken as they man the walls. People flee by the thousands onto the lake on anything that may float.

I ask that Mellus grant us her tears, and muddy the roads. Let them, let us have a moment to mourn our Queen before we leave into the darkness of the night across the depths and darkness of Lake Dracun.

May Mellus have mercy on us,

Master of the Voice Rela

Words found on a dead messenger
A letter from Darat - head of the sages guild in Tridrake

Your Highness,

It is with great displeasure that I pen this missive. I have directed our sages and scribes to delve into the archives and speak with the Temples of Mellus about what you seek.

Unfortunately we have no records that are of any use.

There was no prophecy about the events of the last several years, nor about a way to defend or defeat the people from the east. I had my people search for information about the Morlans, the Liahans, and even the Takeadans. There was little that I’m sure your military advisors do not already know.

If the efforts of the recent years have been of divine, or supernatural, origin it has been carefully disguised. I don’t believe that it has such spark, instead it seems to be a collection of very bad decisions by those who lead Liaha that has destabilized the entire region.

I shall endeavour to speak with you in person shortly, but I must take proper precautions, so I have sent this by fastest messenger possible.

Yours sincerely,

Darat – Headmaster of Tridrake Sages

On "The War" by one Acyth - sage of Stonehold

Much has changed in a short time.

It was not that long ago in an old man’s lifetime that there was a church devoted to craftsmen and learning that held prominence in Liaha, and the kingdom was at relative peace.

Then the world changed. Dragons returned, and the traditions to hunt such majestic beasts returned with them. The temples of Forge had a hand in their return, and due to this the church was outlawed with priests fleeing or imprisoned.

Such upheaval did not go unnoticed; agents of Morlan and Takeda acted – first with violence in the city of Gateway, and later with an invasion of horse warriors from the north.

The past five years were the worst. With Siegus and Northgate falling to Morlan, and the port of Gateway, at best, a freeport and no longer calling itself part of Liaha. The military has fought valiantly, but against foes who bring ashore golems of iron and steel, and horse nomads who have, somehow, found and tamed flying horses – it has changed the balance. Fighting on multiple fronts has changed the country, and the people.

There will be countless books and stories about how the battles were won and lost, but instead I tell the story of the people. And how they were lost. A kingdom who once had a dragon as its crest chased them and the gods from its lands. It is a land, and people who have chased the magic, the divine, from their lives at a time when it was needed the most.

It may have been this toll that wrung heavily over Savan Tridegen, as he appeared to age heavily, and quickly before his passing. The children fight over the once great Liahan kingdom, and who should rule next.

Will Liaha find divine favor and return to a place of prominence, slowly rebuild into the power and glory it once had, or will it too, be absorbed and lost like so many empires before it. This is the story I chronicle, this is what an old man writes – I only hope I live long enough to see the end of my tale.

Journal of Lady Athis

The dragons seemed to be a turning point.

They were lost the annuls of history, and had returned. They were travelers tales, they were something that happened far away. Then they appeared in our country, and in our city.

We thought the dragons were the blight on the landscape, the trouble that we feared.

How little we knew.

There were adventurers that arrived in town looking for fame and glory and group after group went to try and deal with the dragons. One of them must have succeeded, because the dragons were gone that summer.

What we didn’t know, or didn’t realize was the dragons were not the problem that we need worry about. It was trimming the bloated tree of local nobles, pruning off the dead weight from diseased branches.

If the dragon was a deterrent, or a victim, like us – I’m not entirely sure. What I do know is that one of the adventurers that arrived to take out the dragon, and there is much speculation on which one it was – also had among their number one who released Amalus’es wrath upon the countryside.

The undead have made their way to our roads, to our cities. The farmers are in peril, and the army, the guard, and the mercenaries are stretched thin. Tynerion’s forces long since traveled east, and they recruit still.

We still see the dead walk, but in far fewer numbers, but now there are reports of a new menace that walks the world coming from the same husk of a cursed city – metal statures, or metal men that attack the dead, the orcs that flee before the dead, and even the men who stand against both the orcs and the undead.

We hear reports of these metal men, and their number is only said to increase, and they are said to be moving this way.

It is in these moments that I have a heavy chuckle, and wish for only days that we feared because of the return of dragons.

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