Vile Shadows

The Day the Storm Began
Side-Story Event

Eyre 29, 1423

Dark clouds covered the midday sun as thunder roared overhead and the heavy rain crashed against his as he knelt there in the grass. The red cloak he wore was soaked with water and barely covering his shoulders. His black hair was wet and stuck defiantly against his face as the water dripped down the wet tracks formed on his cheeks. Lightning arched out from the dark gray clouds hovering in the sky, as though they were threatening him. The thunder grumbled angrily once more in the distance as he slowly rose up from his kneeling position.

Casting his dark green eyes toward the clouds, he pleaded silently to the storm, asking it to take his life so that he could see her again. A bolt of blue lashed out from the cloud, crashing into the soggy field in front of him. “Please,” he muttered, stretching his arms out to his sides. The silver ring he wore on his left ring finger glinted brightly despite the storm as he pleaded again, with all his heart. The storm struck again, this time a little closer. He closed his eyes and waited for the next bolt to take him. A weak smile crept onto his face as he remembered the way she smiled at him. He remembered every minute he had spent with her since her father had taken him in, treating him as his though he were his own son. He recalled the day when he had first asked her to dinner. He thought of the first time they had made love. He could clearly see in his mind the look on her face when he asked her to marry him. He stood this way for what seemed like an hour, but the lightning refused to strike him down.

Tears welling in his eyes, he roared at the storm, “Take my life, damn you! I don’t want it anymore!” His voice grew silent and full of dread, “I can’t live this way. Not without her.” His rage overtook him. Opening his eyes as wide as he could, he thrust his palms skyward. “Kill me!” he demanded, calling upon his mastery of the arcane to force the storm into action. He gouged at the sky with his fingertips, ripping a bolt of lightning from the heart of the clouds above and wrenched it toward himself, only to have it strike just a few feet in front of him. He tried again and again until he was too exhausted to even be frustrated.

As he lay there, gritting his teeth and holding back his tears, the sky began to clear and he could hear something. It was a very familiar melody. It took only a few moments for him to realize that the sound was coming from his coat pocket. Reaching inside, he found a small music box. It was playing a gentle tune. The same tune that Branwen had hummed to him so many times before. In the back of his mind, he could hear her soft voice speaking to him, “Don’t give up so easily, Eiremis. It’s unbecoming of you.”

He eyes hurt from the strain of holding them open and his heart was pounding. He looked around frantically, trying to make himself believe that Branwen was near him, but she was nowhere to be found. At last, his eyes came to rest upon a familiar form. It was a raven with a scar across its right eye. The same raven he’d seen the night Branwen was murdered. It pecked at the ground, pausing only long enough to return Eiremis’ gaze. Eiremis rose to his feet and took a step toward it, only for it to lock gazes with him and fly away.

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Welcome to Inginmoor
Before you there are several notices posted on the town greeting sign....

Inginmoor is a small crossroad town that is frequent to traders and merchants traveling between city-states and Estus. There are several notices on the town’s greeting sign. Some appear to have been there for awhile but one seems brand new. You get closer to investigate the notes… (As of now there is a 90% likelihood of the campaign beginning in this town. You would most likely be traveling and have stopped here, or come up with another reason and let me know.)

Welcome to Inginmoor

Attention: Important notice for all newcomers

First off, if ye be an elf, dwarf, or caliban, yer best off jus’ heading back the way you came. The town don’t want nothing to do with your kind, so YER NOT WELCOME! Secondly, if you happen to dabble in the dark arts of magic don’ be showing yer fancy powers off here. Those from the church of Lenus already condemn it, so we don’t want any trouble brought upon the town. Third, if you are a priest or something along them lines, we really don’t need ya preaching to us about it, so keep yer religion to yerself.

Warning to travelers

There have been reports of bandits harassing some of the merchants and traders traveling the roads to Friedland and Pampenos. If yer traveling with goods or expensive things, watch yerself out there. The town doesn’t have the capabilities to clear the roads. Take it up with Friedland and Pampenos.

WARNING

CAREFUL WHEN TRAVELING AT NIGHT! A FEW OF THE TOWNSPEOPLE HAVE GONE MISSING! SOME PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TAKEN FROM THEIR HOMES! THOSE MISSING WERE LAST SEEN ON THE STREETS DURING LATE HOURS! THERE HAVE BEEN NO CLUES AS TO WHAT THE CAUSE COULD BE, BUT AN INVESTIGATION IS UNDERWAY!

Population – 983

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Stopover in Inginmoor
Eiremis' Journal

Nymm 17, 1423

Late Afternoon

I have finally made it to Inginmoor after one month’s march from Zede’s home. I arrived shortly after noon and, having read the notices posted just outside of town, have come to the conclusion that the locals are not terribly fond of arcanists. As such, I will have to make sure I keep my powers hidden from the public eye. If the general paranoia and spurn of the local church were not enough, there have been several mysterious disappearances throughout the town. Which, inevitably, the church will blame on some arcane occurance ignited by some villainous being masquerading among us. I would rather not be burned at the stake if I can help it.

I have arranged for a room here at the local inn. I did not see a sign outside, so I am unsure of the place’s name. Nevertheless, it is a nice place, considering they are only charging me eight silvers for a warm bed and a good meal each day. I will probably spend a few days here at the very least—long enough to catch up on my sleep and get a few real meals in my stomach for a change.

-Eir

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Dreaming Awake
Eiremis' Journal

Nymm 18, 1423

Before Dawn

The sun has been down for many hours, yet I am still restless. I cannot close my eyes without seeing Branwen in my mind’s eye. It is as though I can still feel her presence by my side. That matchless beauty that I could never hope to replicate in my drawings. The way her blonde hair flowed effortlessly down her back. I find myself smiling whenever I think of how she would subconsciously adjust her glasses on the bridge of her nose. It is truly unbearable sometimes.

For the sake of their souls, I hope the ones who committed this crime against us pray for their safety every night. The last remaining threads of my sanity may very well break if I ever lay eyes upon them.

-Eir

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Social Commentary
From the collected writings of Ambrose Morgan

Today I arrived in the town of Inginmoor. It is a quaint town, and the sign at the town’s edge tells me I have picked a good place to begin my travels. I wonder if Sir Ward would agree? It is a nice day, and the trip was only a little daunting. I must purchase a horse. Despite the heat, I have taken my mentor’s advice and worn a cloak. While I am sure it makes me no less suspicious, I was told that this would be better than announcing loudly my profession.

I heard of this town of Inginmoor while walking the streets of Kingdale. Rumors of disappearances do not sit well with me. I remember, some years back, a number of the boys I was friends with went missing. Never heard from them again. I do not wish to see others done the same way. The aforementioned sign proved these rumors to be true. I am eager to begin my work.

While it is of little problem to myself, this town seems to be populated by bigots. I understand the mistrust in the world, and to share your trust with someone so different from yourself is truly a challenge. But how will things ever get better, if we build the foundation of the world upon hate?

I am sure Ezra will guide me in the correct path.

Ambrose Morgan

Nymm 18, 1423

Penmanship improving. Must continue to write. Sir Ward would scold me if my hand writing deteriorated.

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Boy and Dog
Eiremis' Journal

Nymm 18, 1423

Late Afternoon

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Inginmoor
From the collected writings of Ambrose Morgan

Where to begin? I suppose I should start with the pleasantries. Ward would not approve, but he also says that you must remain civil.

I met a few strangers today, who I think I will be traveling with. There is the musician, ‘The Great Warwick’. I do not believe that this title was granted upon him, but for a professional name it seems to do him justice. His music is pleasant, his manner acceptable, and his..penchant for the town’s ladies seems to be quite developed.

Next, the cleric Faylor. I can not place his accent, for his country of origin is unheard of to me. He is a good man, fond of ale and friendship, and I believe his values to coincide with my own. I suspect we will get on well.

There is another man, by the name of Zack, whom I know little about. I overheard one of the others mention something about him looking for his wife, and I hope to help him if that is the case. While he has yet to state his profession, I suspect him to follow a line of work similar to my old life. His dress and choice of weapons would suggest it.

Last of the men I met in the inn tonight is a brooding man by the name of Eiremas. I do not know his type, though I later found him to be proficient in the magic arts. I am unsure of how to handle him. Ward has few negative comments on spell weavers, other than that many of them are not to be trusted. Will Eiremas prove to be such a man?

I also met a lovely woman by the name of Fiona, but.. later she would come to a tragic end. My reaction to that event is less than admirable, but I have never been faced with such a thing before. I resolve to strengthen my heart against such atrocities in the future.

While staying at her home, which she had graciously offered to me after a small scuffle in the bar, I heard a noise in the night. I went to investigate, assuring Fiona I would return soon. I would return, of course, but..I find her dead later. The cause of which are two..undead..abominations. My new companions and I made quick work of them.

Our investigations led us to the house of a man, Gregor, who seems to be implicated in this whole mess. I did not get a confession, but his mannerisms certainly indicate guilt. In his home, we found a journal, that led us to the source of this town’s evils.

Deep within some sort of underground lair, we found more of the undead we’d faced previously. At one point there was some kind of floating brain, which nearly killed Zack. Faylor was gracious enough to heal the man.

Marius escaped. I am not pleased by this. I will find him again.

Upon returning to town, the guards made it clear we were not welcome here once we mentioned the necromancer’s name. The others were content to leave- I demanded answers. A new addition to our group for the evening, a man known as ‘Id’, chose to stand by my side. Faylor and Eiremas would add themselves as well. I sought to subdue them, so that I might question them and understand the cause of their sudden violence and refusal to cooperate. Id.. he killed one of the men. I will have to speak with him about this. Ward’s laws demand him brought to justice for killing an innocent, but.. given the situation and what the man had been through, I am hesitant to commit him to another cage so soon.

The head guard kills himself in the end, after a clever intervention on Eiremas’ part lets us settle the conflict without further bloodshed. I do not know why, but I mourn for his family. I did not wish to have the townspeople killed by this act- I may have made the wrong choice in this matter, and I hope that I can forgive myself. Ezra, was I right?

We have a few additional books to read through. I hope they shed some light upon our situation. For now, Marius is the best lead I have on the corruption in this land, and I will follow that lead as best as possible.

Ambrose Morgan

Nymm 18, 1423

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Inginmoor's Shadows
Eiremis' Journal

Nymm 19, 1423

Noon

As I sit at the foot of my bed here at the Hart’s Cross inn, doing my best to treat the wounds I sustained in last night’s activities, I find myself examining the details of the last twenty hours with great scrutiny. The terrible things I saw last night only work to remind me of my own mortality. If not for the generosity of the people I met yesterday, I might have very well been a dead man. I will have to think of a way to repay my new-found allies in the future.

Although Marius managed to escape, the two journals that my associates found while we were searching through his home should prove useful in finding out more about him. The journal discovered in his bedroom was filled with entries about how he had been paying the town guard to keep quiet while he whisked away townspeople in the night using the abominations he had created. It seems that he had managed to gain some sort of sway over the townspeople, which is supposedly part of some grand experiment.

I have already related my findings to Ambrose Morgan, though I think he harbors a distrust for me and my abilities—something for which I cannot blame him, given the situation—out of all of us, he seems the most trustworthy.

The man we freed from Marius’ holding chamber is another story, however. This “Id” appears to have a sort of blood lust about him. I can sense that he possesses arcane powers of his own, but I do not think that will be enough to foster a kinship between us, and, although they were corrupt, Id’s murdering of one of the guards was unsettling.

I am unsure of what the rest of the day holds for me, but it is my opinion that we leave Inginmoor before nightfall. I doubt that the guards will take kindly to the death of their captain, no matter what the circumstances may be.

-Eir

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The Journey to Friedland
Eiremis' Journal

Nymm 21, 1423

Late Afternoon

I managed to decipher the code in the second of the two journals we found in Marius’ lair in Inginmoor. It was filled with all manner of notes about his gruesome experiments, everything from implanting necrotic cysts within the bodies of his victims to replacing entire limbs with those harvested from the dead. His thoughts about the progress of his experiments are fairly explicit, so I will not repeat them here.

In addition to all of this, the journal made several references to a house he owns in Friedland, which led to the departure of myself and my allies from Inginmoor. A good decision in my opinion. There was also mention of a city called Nacenium in Themis, where Marius talked about the possibility of making contacts in the area and trying to set up experiments there as well. Ultimately, we decided to go to Friedland first, as the trip would be much shorter—a mere five-day on foot, as opposed to the two and a half weeks it would take to reach Nacenium.

The six of us have yet to find much common ground outside of the events that have transpired around us the past few days, meaning that we spent entirely too much time debating on our travel plans. Nevertheless, we eventually made our way out of Inginmoor with several pounds of food and a donkey, that I have named Edmund, in tow.

Just today, we met a man from Kingdale by the name of Clinton Hartford, a traveling merchant on his way to Friedland to sell some interesting carvings of chickens. A few of my compatriots bought a chicken for themselves, which I suppose assisted in the befriending of Mister Hartford. Out of curiosity I asked him if he knew of my father-in-law, Argus Weaver, but he did not, apparently.

Eventually, my compatriots, Mister Hartford, and I stopped in at a small inn off the trade road: the Well Inn.

-Eir

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The Well Inn

“He who does not punish evil commands it to be done.” Leonardo da Vinci

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