Kingdom of Arboria, Year 3, Month 6
Narzeth is stranger (if that's even possible) and angrier now that he's back. Not that he flies into a rage or anything; more that he harbors a smoldering resentment at the world in general that no one can quite pin down. Which brings me to the Eye.
Remember the Eye? The one we recovered from the insane cyclops atrocity? Gelros had it locked away (I'm not even sure quite where, to be honest), but Narzeth found it, and stole it. This happened while I was away on patrol, but Gelros got wind of it shortly after I returned. He summoned the rest of the core ruling cadre and we confronted Narzeth in his tower.
Here's where it gets just weird. Narzeth was there, examining the eye. He didn't pretend that he hadn't stolen it, or try to hide it, or anything. He simply said, "I need it." Gelros: "Why?" Narzeth: "I don't know. I just need it." So, yeah, this sparked a debate.
Gelros was dead set against it, but as we talked through it some things became slightly more clear. First, Shella believes Narzeth is telling the truth. Shella can smell a lie at a hundred paces with the wind at her back, but she says Narzeth his telling the truth: he is sure that he needs it, and he doesn't know why. He's under some strange compulsion to take and use the Eye, and he's being very straightforward about it. Narzeth actually threatened to kill anyone who kept him from using it, or to die trying. He sounded almost apologetic.
Second, there may be hope for the vile thing. I'm not so much into this good/evil morality struggle (although some things are just wrong), but the Eye is clearly powerful and could be a valuable asset. The fear is that it will corrupt Narzeth. (It seems to have driven its last owner insane.) But Shella thinks he, and we, can control it. She and Jaric discussed at length a magic spell that variously seems to go by the names "geas" or "quest"; this spell can compel an individual's behavior in powerful ways. Something about the gods blah blah. Shella suggested that Narzeth voluntarily submit to a geas, in which he promises to never use the powers of the eye to harm the kingdom or it's citizens in any way or he'll be forced to remove his own eye. Narzeth agreed to this.
Jaric still needed convincing. At this point, I suggested (naively maybe?) that maybe we should just redeem the Eye. After all, Jaric is big into displaying the power of his deity right now and she's apparently big into redemption. There was a moment of silence in which everyone stared at me in a slightly different way. Shella: impassive. Narzeth: pleading, longing. Jaric: incredulity, fading into genuine enthusiasm. Gelros: pity for my ignorance. Kris just looked bored. Then there was a lot of heated, overlapping discussion, most of which involved religion and magic. Finally, Jaric agreed. Huh.
There was a ceremony, of sorts. Narzeth voluntarily stripped himself of all magical defenses, as Gelros watched. Jaric cast the spell, obligating Narzeth to use the Eye only in the service of Arboria and its citizens. I filed my nails. Then Narzeth lifted the Eye and placed it in his empty socket. It fit like it was intended to be there. Who knows; maybe it was.
Also Bandit's Rest
Oh, and as an aside, the Lady Quintessa Maray is now friends with the world.
Kingdom of Arboria, Year 3, Month 7
This Eye thing is done, and Narzeth seems about the same. (You know: creepy and slightly deranged, with a twist of lovable.) While I was making wine at the farm, Shella was doing some research on the materials she brought back from Drelev. Now she is dead set on following the barbarian horde off to the ruins they found and recovering something there. She won't say what. (I'm not sure she knows.)
So, off we go to scout the lands to the east. We crossed the Hooktongue Slough uneventfully yesterday and disembarked. Whereever the corpse of its namesake went, it isn't bothering us just now. There was some other strangeness, though. Traveling along yesterday evening, we heard the sounds of struggle from an islet just offshore. Kris investigated, finding nothing at first. Then, we all heard sounds of a woman screaming and falling in the water.
Kris followed, to rescue her… and was promptly attacked. I didn't get a great look, but let's call it a badger-shrew. It had claws, a strange snout, and a tail with a grasping hand, which it used to drag Kris underwater, apparently in an attempt to eat him? There were some moments of confusion while we all scrambled to figure out where Kris was and what was happening, but eventually Shella and a shark (shark!) that Jaric summoned gave chase and drove it off. We let it go. Note to self: don't believe your ears out here in the swamp.
Poor shark. I'm pretty sure sharks aren't meant to swim in fresh water, or swamps. That was probably unpleasant for it.
- Explore hex (4,-1) (150 XP)
- Explore hex (4,-2) (150 XP)
- Drive off the aquatic badger-shrew (3,200 XP)
- Explore hex (4,-3) (150 XP)
None, unless you count the evil Eye.