It is the 17th of Newyear, Lothian has been alive (again) for three days now, and the party is currently enjoying a well-deserved break.
In the wake of Lothian’s death and resurrection, he has chosen the followers he has deemed worthy of representing his name in the world and restored them to life. Notably, Emperor Rehoboth was not among this group. Finding herself the highest-ranking member of the church hierarchy alive, Sister Mara Von Witten has announced through the city broadsheets that a terrible calamity befell the expedition sent to investigate the meteorite that fell to earth just a few short weeks ago, though she certainly didn’t divulge every detail of the event. In response to this tragedy, she has declared that the church must have lost its way, at least to a certain extent, or their god would not have allowed such an awful thing to happen.
Sister Mara has ordered that the church assume a more sensible role in the world. Although Lothian is the most worshipped god in the empire of Tarsis, he is not the only god held dear, especially not in Ptolus, and it is time for the church to acknowledge this and be more respectful of other organizations. Because of this, the church of Lothian plans to start an interfaith council that all faiths are welcome to send representatives to. Her goal with this council is to more fairly represent the interests of all faiths in the religious affairs of the city.
Kalerecent has also returned, and in style. The man seems more confident and has a greater presence; he gives off a radiant light wherever he goes. In these uncertain times, his very presence restores hope to the faithful, so he has taken it upon himself to visit all corners of the city in the past few days. In private conversations with Trendel, Sister Mara has confided that she believes Lothian chose Kalerecent as his representative in the mortal world.
In other news, the hastily-organized Challenge of Champions event to raise funds for the rebuilding of the South Market is only three days away. Hundreds of groups have already signed up and thousands of spectators have purchased tickets for admission. Commissar Igor Urnst, sensing an opportunity to bring more participants and audience members to the event, has paid the entry fee for our party out of his own pocket. When challenged by Bruce as to why we should bother to show up, he smirked and muttered something under his breath about ignoring past indiscretions.
Trendel has received word from Helmut that he is closing in on the Staves of Ghul. He says that Trendel’s former companions have proven themselves capable adventurers and “colorful” company. As of this sending, his group is about to enter an old mine complex where he believes the staves have come to rest. Of course, the mines are infested with orcs, but Helmut isn’t worried. Hyglik says hi.
Speaking of orcs, a small group of them have arrived in the city under the banner of the Clan of Embers asking to establish an embassy. Alistar and his allies do not seem thrilled about this, but Commissar Urnst has welcomed them warmly. A messenger from the group brought greetings from Kworhelm and Tak. Both of them are happy with the progress their fledgling nation has made. Evidently, orcs can prove quite industrious when they set their minds to it; whole towns have sprung up in the course of a few short months. If we ever have time, they encourage our party to visit them to be received as honored guests.
Not all the news has been positive. Ignignokt has received word through the Killraven network that the gang war between the Balacazars and Killravens has resumed after its temporary hiatus. While open fighting in the streets has not resumed yet, many lower-rung enforcers are failing to report in after their duties, only to be found dead in the streets. Ignignokt and Bruce’s people have reported a number of attacks as well, though they have fared better in light of their tendency to travel in groups. Recruitment has stepped up in earnest across the city to allow for larger parties, especially at night.
While Bruce does not sleep a great deal, his few hours a night have been interrupted by constant nightmares. One of the recurring dreams he experiences involves a familiar knight pinning him up against a wall, cutting off one ear, then the other, then his nose. This continues until Bruce is startled awake by a sword driven through his heart, only to find himself safe and secure in his own quarters. However, he feels weakened and sickened every day.
Our party’s close encounter with a god seems to have left a mark on everyone. In a rare moment of self-doubt, Bruce, Ignignokt and Therek openly discussed whether or not it was right of them to take advantage of others as they have thus far. The discussion concluded with Bruce arguing that the truly defenseless don’t have anything worth stealing, Ignignokt adding that they typically don’t have worthwhile rewards on their heads, and Therek stating that they’re just not as fun to kill. With a collective grunt, the moment seems to have passed, but the slightest hint of doubt still remains in all their eyes. The future should indeed be interesting.