PnP:Liberation of Osoerde Turn Seven

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Translated from the Shadow Cant of the Velvet Night

Dear Rudolph,

This garden is truly a cursed place! Is there nothing but evil growing here? After our moment of solace, we pressed on into the next section that was our last barrier before entering the tower. A massive fountain or seemingly pure, clear water dominated the courtyard there, and more guard towers for the forces that once called this place home. It did not take long for more horrors to emerge though, a pair of flame cloaked spirits much like the one that nearly killed me. But the monstrosity that they flanked was like nothing I have ever seen before... It appeared to be a massive man constructed of the corpses of poor unfortunates who met their fates here in this endless ancient war between men and elves. But its head looked like a normal man, which was far more unsettling. And unlike the other horrors we have faced, it was capable of speech.

It addressed us and called out our "trespass" on their battlefield, and gave its name as something like "Voisin." The poor soul was once the commander of the human forces that invaded the wizard's tower, but the mage had turned him into this creature by merging the bodies of his own troops. William and I attempted to reason with the man we hoped remained inside, and for a moment it seemed like he would actually waver and listen to some reason. I had told him that we had a way to stop their curse, carried in the blood of our elven companions, but the wraiths by his side whispered venom into his ears and his rage won out! He instantly was filled with great rage, far more fearsome than any I had seen fill Varg, and they set upon us. But fortune had smiled on us this time, for Varg himself emerged from the gardens behind us with his own bellow to match that of the abomination.

The battle was fierce and swift, and once again the blade of Eloéle's Kiss proved to be a lifesaver. Between it, the mystic fires of William, and the ancient blade that Varg now wielded, we managed to send Voisin back to the grave again. The wraiths were cut down just as quick, perhaps fueled by our own anger at whatever would create a place such as this. But our wills sagged as we recovered from this latest battle, and we sought out a place to rest and recover our strength. We found a lookout tower high above the skeletal trees inside one of the guard houses, and we climbed up to make a quick camp. Cerin and Ardeena kept watch with their keen eyes, and I tried to get a fitful sleep.

Again there were dreams of this place, and its dark past. I saw the wizard again, crafting a glowing circle of magic to bring forth... something. A massive creature cloaked in the fires of hell, a demonic servant conjured from dark magics and desperation. The wizard made a silent pact with the thing and sent it out to ravage his enemies at the gate, and I saw its terrible wrath as it tore through trained warriors like they were parchment. Then it turned on the elves who summoned it, and even the wizard could not lay it low. It plucked his heart from his chest as easily as an apple from a tree, but the wizard was not allowed to die. I then heard its voice in my head, telling the wizard that he and the two armies would fight an eternal battle for the demon's amusement. At each new moon, the dead would rise again and again until the demon grew bored. And I saw years... centuries of battles pass by as the demon looked on. Until one day it finally tired of watching, but it would not release the tortured souls from their curse out of cruelty. Only those who were not part of their armies could bring them final peace. Does that mean the horrors we have slain will stay dead?

My rest was not soothing, which did not surprise me in this place, but I was not alone in my dream. William and Ardeena said they believe now that the demon plucked this tower from the world and placed it in Shadow, and we are now there with them. We hope that by pushing on to the lair of the wizard, that we can not only end this curse, but also not become part of it ourselves!

I am taking a quick moment to jot down some more of our struggles to you, perhaps in hope that I will have a chance to get this message to you. We have entered the tower, and were confronted by the skeletal guardian elves that once defended it. They were no match for our combined strength, and we climbed up to the next level to seek out the wizard that once called this place home. I write now in the remains of a bedroom, my companions occupied in searching through the remnants of those that once called this place home. I feel a sense of dread filling me, and I think we are close now to the lair of the wizard. With luck, we will soon be free of this place and back to the familiar trees of the Aerenwode. As much of a threat as Raenech and the Hound seemed before, after facing the horrors here I think they will not seem as intimidating when we return.

Lungs burning, cloud of poison... Wizard... so strong... Lisbeth...

Harker Graywind

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