16th of Rova (11th year of the reign of Noleski Surtova)
I died… I died around a smoldering campfire at the moss encrusted hands of some magical abomination. I died for no good cause serving no great work. We were simply traveling back to Karlsburg after a pair of minor battles with the Lizard folk and the Treant guarding their lair.
I am now alive thanks to the efforts of my friend and Lord, confined to bed for at least another day or two as I complete the healing process started by the re-tethering of my soul to my body. The irony that the act was done by the Abadarian bishop is not lost on me nor have I been lax even while resting; I have already arranged for the diamond dust needed to complete my restoration. My Lord stands watch as if something or someone may come for me. Perhaps he is right and perhaps it is simply an over active imagination. An imagination that has given me some vivid dreams.
In my dreams I come to myself standing alone in a misty hall littered with the dusty treasures of ages past. Swords, shields armor and weapons of a hundred nations across countless ages. As I speak the words of a light spell the floating fires of the magic I invoke swirl into a glowing orb at the end of my staff (my words are fire). I stride purposefully down the corridor hoping to find something or someone that could explain where I was and how I had gotten there. More junk and debris of the ages litter the path as my mist shrouded journey takes me past items beyond value some casually tossed into corners and other stacked neatly and placed precisely. My heart catches in my throat as I step out onto a balcony looking down out over a grand concourse. I the far distance I can see vague outlines of clockwork perfection. The mists veiling and unveiling different parts as I gaze outwards. In the near distance towering above the figures around it there is a giant greedily swallowing what looks to be wailing figures that it is plucking from spaces between spaces in the air around it. Other small figures work ceaselessly inspecting random items as they are delivered by figures marching in lock step towards the shapes in the distance. Once the items are inspected some are added to various piles that form a geometric pattern around the giant while others take older items in an unending stream away for unknown purposes; as I tried to get closer to better examine these happenings it seemed as if I was walking in circles unable to get closer, lost in a maze with invisible walls.
I know now that the Gentle Repose spell was keeping my soul on a short tether while my Lord Karl raced to Restov. The images in my dreams were just my mind making sense of the chaos of the astral plane. I spend much of my day knowing not whether to laugh or cry. The air smells sweeter the light is brighter and I have a strange sense of well being, the euphoria of being given a second chance I suppose. At the same time I want to weep for I failed my lord and paid the ultimate price something I have half seriously joked about for years.
19th of Rova (in the 12th year of the reign of Noleski Surtova)
Von Beckendorf has been the bearer of glad tidings although I am very suspicious of the “need” for myself and my companions to head out into the apparently abandoned wastes of Varnburg. Still, Baron Von Allegmund is being elevated to the status of Count. His growth in status is once again part of what I see as the master plan. The greater glory of the Von Allegmunds perhaps ending as the eventual Imperial Prince of the South Mark and in the due course of time perhaps a title for myself, nothing big a simple landed knighthood to pass on to my heirs. Sir Eisenberg has a nice ring to it after all.
27th of Rova (in the 12th year of the reign of Noleski Surtova)
With the Ladies Zeleny and Vaszilla by my side we journeyed into the Tors of Levnie. Two of the War Wolves accompany us I just hope that this is enough. In order to get a better view of things we went through the pass and made the first of many unsettling discoveries. The way station that Baron Chomkov had built was abandoned empty and unmolested as if the guardsmen and workers had simply walked away from it all. The second discovery that shook me was the Orc tribes of Western Iobaria had nothing to do with the disappearances. We noticed three of them on the far side of the pass observing the city of Varnburg. Trying desperately to pin down the Orcs and the reason for their presence I quickly grabbed the ladies and stepped through dimensions. the gate opened directly on the edge of the cliff face. stepping boldly through we spoke with the Orcs and abiding by Von Beckendorf’s direction, stayed our hands and did not immediately start hostilities. The savages were well spoken for their kind and quickly confirmed they were as confused as we by the disappearance of all the townsfolk. Upon our return the War Wolves were upset we didn’t strike them down after our parlay but our word is our bond especially in the ongoing light of the mystery we investigate. The lack of real carnage we see lends credence to the Orc’s words.
28th of Rova (in the 12th year of the reign of Noleski Surtova)
The next day we ventured into the town proper coming down from the pass. At the ford we encountered further signs of just how wrong things were in this place. A feral boar was loose within one of the farmsteads and many lesser animals had starved to death. It was as if no one had tended to them in weeks. The next sign of trouble found us in Varnburg ford. There was a Chuul hidden in a deeper part of the river that attacked us as we made crossing. The abomination set us back on our heals at first but it was quickly dispatched. At that point our luck turned against us and the War Wolf Ostrick fell victim to a clever trap placed dead center of the roadway and filled with spikes. Pierced in a half dozen places he died instantly. Understrength and with one of our band already slain we chose discretion and moved quickly to Fort Serenko and then on to Leveton.
Once reunited with the Sorcerous Alchemist Drogov we then continued on to rally in Karlsburg with the now Count Von Allegmund. I wonder how fiercely that will still in the old man’s throat. We quickly moved to confirm suspicions of Fey involvement with the Old Willow. The answers he gave made all of us even more nervous than before. Demi-gods were not meant to roam the face of Golarian and I begin to fear that my fires and the Count’s cold steel will not be enough, even with our allies to guard our backs.
A week’s hard ride had us once again in Varnburg and still no sign of the being or beings responsible for the disappearances. What we did find was a Spriggan caught in the amber clutches of a sepia snake sigil. It seems that the absence of human influence in the region was starting to draw out malicious fey and other beings. The remainder of our search was uneventful until we reached the keep. Baron Chomkov’s residence was now the base of operations for a band of Spriggans. A dozen of them had set up residence and were more than willing to fight for it. Luckily for me the Lady Zeleny was there to quickly restore me after one of them grew to the size of an Ogre and struck me out of the sky as I hovered over the battlefield. I almost died again. Perhaps a message from Pharasma? She seems intent on claiming me and sending me on to my reward. I must have some unfinished business as fate and my companions keep saving me from that next stage of my journey. Even Lord Karl was not free from peril as the damned death traps these foul miscreants love made a fair pass at his life. Luckily, both Dietrich and the Lady Zeleny were on hand to restore him and in the end we slew or drove off all of the Spriggans.