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1St Day Of The Month Of Feasthall In The Year 440

Posted by Mordryth , 11 February 2014 · 629 views

The warning about the horns did very little to alleviate their sudden and invasive blasts.  My head feels like is shrank in size, forcing my skull out through my eyes and ears!  I stumble to the window and open it. Immediately my eyes are attacked by a blinding searing light. As I take in my surroundings the painful drilling in my scalp subsides to a dull ache that pulsates with my heart and ears.
    I can see that the parade that opens the festival passes right below the windows at the inn.  The festival is in full swing, even this early in the morning.  Slowly I shuffle back to my bed and pull out my pack.  I grab my other set of clothes and put them on.  Luckily these are in much better repair than the outfit I had on yesterday.  Once I feel I am presentable I descend to the common room again, where a very energetic Cham is anxious to experience the festivities of the day.  As the rest of us assemble, Cham can barely contain his exuberance.  He really dose want all of us to enjoy the day in the same sugar-rushed fashion that he does.
    We all grab a quick bite to eat, then we head out into the mob.  The festival is quite the undertaking.  It does seem to encompass the whole city.  From our starting vantage in upper most ring, the city looks like a sea of motley colors, and a cacophony of instruments. There are people everywhere doing almost everything! There are dancers, and acrobats, and musicians all over!  I am amazed as I watch an elven contortionist.  I watch transfixed as he bends his body in unnatural ways, and into positions that look only possible through magic!  As we move down another avenue, we are surrounded by several belly dancers, all gyrating and swaying in time to the music.
    After several hours, and quite a few questionable foods, the main ceremony is commencing down on the docks.  As we watch there seems to be something amiss down there.  Before we can move there are flash pots that go off, and a thick smoke emanates from a multitude of braziers.  As the smoke fills my lungs, I feel different. Like the wine, but less liquidly.  Trying to remember is difficult as well. My thought of the moments are still hazy and there are things that I do not recall.
    I remember being knocked over by Nagmar as he barreled past.  The next thing I remember is being pulled down the street by Opal, or with Opal.  Maybe we were both being pulled?  Something must have been quite funny though, because I do recall both of us laughing hysterically at something. I think we were being moved in the direction of the others.  Was Kern really dancing a jig?  Then a hazy bit about drums. Oh Opal asked if the drums we were hearing had magical properties. Or did she ask about the smoke?
    I remember the sound of the drums. I felt compelled to follow them.  Even when I was doing something else I could feel the desire to follow the drummers.  That was when Opal chugged down something from her pouch, and then forced the same thing down my throat.  I could feel the fog lifting, but not completely.  I found thinking difficult if I spent more time on it.  So planning was nonexistent.  We were moving back up the city instead of down.  I do not know if we were always moving in that direction, or if we switched at some point.
    We encountered Nagmar again, he was leaping into a cart with a man playing the kettle drums.  Nagmar killed the drummer and moved to another one.  I could feel the pull of the rhythm stop.  Seeing the drums now empty, I rush over to the cart and climb up.  I cast a quick glance over the crowd, at the time I do recall thinking of them as an audience. I then proceeded to pound on the drums, making nothing that even a lunatic could call music.  The barrage had no real effect, and the rest of the party dispatched all but one of the drummers.
    The lone drummer was brought to our position by the drum cart.  We were then introduced to Captain Aria, who was in charge of putting the city back together.  With her aid we integrated the prisoner.  That was when we found out that the drummers were part of the cult of the raven, and this was a recruitment drive.  The petrified musician could tell us no more, not even were they were going to bring the brain addled masses.  A quick search of the other drummers revealed they all had tattoos marking them as cult members.
Nagmar did not take this lightly.  He seemed more enraged than usual.  He turned his aggressions on the lone prisoner.  He handed the quivering man a dagger and instructed him to remove the tattoo from his arm.  The prisoner takes the dagger to his arm and proceeds to cut the skin from his arm, until he passes out anyway.  Unbelievable.  I cut off one tiny finger during an interrogation and I get months of grief about it.  Nagmar has someone cut off his own arm and no one even blinks! How is that fair?  One thing is certain though, Nagmar would make an excellent general, leading my troops with persuasion and intimidation.
    We returned to the inn to make our strategies, and plan our next move.  After some discussion we realized that it was very likely the city dwellers were being driven to their deaths.  That they would have been taken the 4 day journey from here to the place where the Raven lies bound, like his brother.  I believe it is further possible that they would have been part of a large ritual to unbind the raven.  This is not good news, but Nagmar takes it better than I would have expected.
    The news of our involvement in saving the town has spread.  The inn is now crowded and teeming with people wishing to thank, and adore us.  Our rooms have been paid for, and all of our drinks are, as the phrase goes, on the house.  As delightful as this news is, our upcoming task is keeping us in more of a somber frame of mind.  That is not to say that some revelry cannot be found.  I liberate a bottle of wine from the bartender on my way to the stairs.  I search the room for any sign of Meren before retiring for the night.  To my sorrow I do not see him, but there are a few other lads here that make me retire more quickly.  Alone in my room, I calm myself and go about memorizing some spells for our journey tomorrow.  Once done I pack my gear and stow it within easy reach.  I get the feeling that the earlier we leave, the better.
Once everything is in order, I get comfortable in bed and fall into a rough slumber.  My dreams assault me, changing fast from one to another.  What seems a tranquil setting quickly turns turbulent as images and fantasies collide. As one setting fades, I see my uncles face, clear as day.  He has his contemptuous smirk upon his face as he looks me over.  His eye’s narrow as he asks me if I still have the box.  Feeling dazed I answer him that I do not possess the artifact but it is Nagmar who is charged with its keeping.  He commands me to obtain the box.  I tell him that I will do so, the rest is black.

Mordryth Pendreic

March 2017

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