Campaign Journal #10
A Record of Events by Uriah Orlok
Moraday, Aprantus 10, 1017 A.G.
When cooler heads prevail…
At an hour not becoming for decent folks heading to a tavern, the four of us headed to the Silver Unicorn because of an exception: attending a trial. Other citizens were on their way as well, hoping to acquire a bit of gossip before tending to their professions. My three companions went to the far side of the inn’s first floor and sat at a table. I, on the other hand, stood facing the central between the manacled Aydenor and those responsible for his fate. Aydenor had already been locked up longer than he had spent free in Fallcrest, but he looked strong as resolute. His defendant was the dragonborn Katuun Opokor and there to prosecute him was High Priest Ressilmae Starlight of the Moonsong Temple. Based on sampling Aydenor’s writings, I would have thought Ressilmae—an old friend of Aydenor’s father, Sydenor—would be defending the young half-elf and not seeking his death.
The jury of Aydenor’s peers, according to Faren, sat assembled near the inn’s kitchens. Yet they were hardly peers in the sense that they weren’t adventurers, weren’t of Aydenor’s home, and they didn’t all look to be the educated type. In fact, many of the inn’s patrons seemed to be there for another excuse to drink. Sure, I favored a decent ale, wine, or the new taste of Ungus’ Stonevein Stout, but not until the evening meal and the day’s work was done. Ungus though, perhaps because of his dwarven nature, was happy to throw back a mug or two before proceedings got underway. Why Faren did not include me in this drunken citizens’ tribunal is something I will probably be left to ponder while counting down the days until the position of Lord Warden is in more capable hands. More noble hands.
As Ressilmae urged those who could decide the half-elf’s fate for Aydenor to be put to death, I gauged the room and the second-floor balcony. About half of them were with Ressilmae. Aydenor caught my attention as he mouthed a prayer to Sehaninie. It was then Katuun’s turn to speak and he argued a case of temporary insanity based upon repeated trips to the Elemental Chaos. If Aydenor was given leniency then he could work on repairing Fallcrest’s southern wall. Next Faren motioned for those who were willing to give their testimonies after Faren did himself. Tobolar spoke, Sergeant Murgeddin next, and then others like the Nentir Inn’s innkeeper. Among those who came forth to give their testimony, there were two people I didn’t know—Gorelick, a tiefling rogue and a roguish looking man named Tow. Mari informed me after that they were two of those I saw fleeing the Septarch’s tower when I arrived there the first time. Peli and Mari were allowed to speak on Aydenor’s behalf too, but I sensed that Mari had more to say if Faren had given her opportunity to. I, however, wasn’t asked to speak at all despite knowing some of Aydenor’s firsthand accounts.
The jury went away to determine their verdict. Aydenor looked resolute and had a vacant stare across the room as if he was deciding what to do if the jury wished for his death like the unmerciful Ressilmae. As if sensing my eyes upon him, Aydenor looked at me without turning his head. I gave him a wink and then his eyes went back to the jury that came out to resume their seats. They decided that Aydenor, while guilty of the offense of beheading a possessed little Halfling, he would be put to work for a time of seven years, five if he exhibited good behavior, of hard labor on a chain-gang working to make repairs on Fallcrest’s wall and whatever else was required. Ressilmae was livid while at least Mari and myself breathed sighs of relief. There was movement to escort a relieved Aydenor out of the inn when the double doors burst open to allow entry of a disconcerting sight.
To the surprise of everyone in the room, the Avandra-Tress from Aydenor’s journals was late for the trial, or maybe they were surprised because she attended at all in such a state. Avandra-Tress was holding an ugly little Halfling girl’s head and I could see the cut Aydenor’s blade had made was a clean one at least. For the priests and clerics to work their magic on this Tress would likely be for their own demise if the actions of Avandra-Tress are a reflection of her more consistent character. I overcame my surprise to hear Avandra-Tress say in a multitonal voice that, being an aspect of the goddess of luck and chance, she wanted her own justice. Only the true adventurers in the room would truly decide Aydenor’s fate. She started wailing and everyone except the Company of the Golden Horn resisted the affects. Everyone else was curled up on the floor and holding their ears.
Avandra-Tress summoned four demons of a lesser variety, demon scavengers I believed, to battle us. If we could defeat them Aydenor would go free, but if we failed then he would be put to eternal torture and torment. Thankfully, I already had my proper staff out and gave a chill to the closet one. Another one near it charged at me with its massive maw, but missed. The other two demons tried to attack Ungus, but the old dwarf is more nimble than he looked. Peli loosed two firestorm arrows on the demons in front of Ungus after he fey-stepped to the landing above the stairs. The arrows’ effect also burned Ungus a bit. Ungus then produced another pillar of light to push the demons back from us; two of which almost fell into the pit in the center of the room. Mari, sword in her hands, hopped on the table to miss her swing at the demon nearest her.
A blue bolt of energy stuck the demon I slowed previously and I gave his nearest ally a chill too. The first one to be chilled shook of the effects and charged at me, but couldn’t hit me. The same thing happened with his currently chilled friend. Ungus had similar results with the demons near him. However he returned the favor by being unable to damage the demons at all. Mari swung again at the demon she missed and demon blood was spilt.
With all of the demons so close I couldn’t resist unleashing a blast of fire upon them, killing two of them. It was my turn to deal fire damage to an unintended target, Katuun. Still, being a dragonborn I felt that a little fire wouldn’t kill him outright. The same two demons as before attacked me again, but only one’s teeth got caught in my robes. Peli shot from the safety of the stairs and killed the demon in front of Ungus. Then he shot the remaining one in front of Ungus and myself. Seizing the moment this time, Ungus bathed this demon in radiant light and killed it. Our justice done, Avandra-Tress had no choice but to release Aydenor…not that I believed anything a mere aspect of a lesser goddess said.
Avandra-Tress ceased her wailing and everyone in the room returned to their feet. She shattered the manacles that had bound Aydenor’s hands and feet then said to everyone present that Aydenor is resolved of his crimes. Then the demonic-looking little thing left the tavern. Ungus saw to Katuun’s burns and they had a little exchange between them. Mari hugged Aydenor despite her often-expressed disappoint with his actions. She said that he shouldn’t do anything reckless and to stay out of trouble. Aydenor got Faren’s attention and said that he would be willing to work for Fallcrest’s aid as a free man as that is what he set out to do in the first place. Faren had opposing ideas to what a sturdy adventurer suggested, the least surprising part of the day. The Lord Warden said he could pay Aydenor to escort masons and builders from Hammerfast during their travels and such. These, likely dwarven, workers would assist with the southern wall and Vanamere’s Tower, southwest of the Cloak Wood. Aydenor agreed to this new task and left with Faren to probably get his equipment back.
Ressilmae, still made despite seeing a diminished member of the divine’s justice, left in a huff back to the unfortunate orphans in the Moonsong Temple and hopefully he would refrain from politics for a long while at least. Our Company separated ways nearly upon exiting the Inn, with Ungus and I headed back to the tower. I didn’t ask what Peli or Mari would be doing, but I didn’t want to intrude. I would have liked to offer them quarters in the Septarch’s Tower, but there was still some pleasantries I wanted put in place there before giving them their own rooms. I assumed that as long as Ungus could be surrounded by the unique green stone of the tower and have access to a brewing station that he would be happy in the same place as me. Perhaps another day I will offer my other companions such a residence with me.
The Septarch’s Tower was once home to a mage’s guild, so it was one of my goals to fill it with life again. I imagine that its builders would have wanted it that way. The Company of the Golden Horn, while not my desire to fight under such a name, could have a home as a unit. A unit, its people, is what I gladly fight and bleed for.