Monday, May 8, 2017

From the Journal of Magnus Sedrig, Session 9

Towerday the 2nd of Redfall 890 TA - Afternoon

I was rudely shaken awake by a messenger. Apparently Fergus Redguard had requested my presence at a meeting of some sort, and it has very important that I attended. I still hadn’t fully recovered from the previous day's exertions but given the current fragile situation it seemed sensible to assist my new allies in any way possible. Rest can come later.

The meeting was a discreet affair, Fergus had gathered the military leaders of the northern houses to assure their loyalty to the true king Vijur and convince them the Duke was not worthy of support. I agreed with most of what was said, and so kept quiet until the Eredane Compact was mentioned. This was my cue to give the now well-practiced spiel about how Izrador would soon return and we must be ready to unite against him, the Duke’s refusal to recognize the compact put the security of the nation in jeopardy. I was taken more seriously this time, in part due the presence of Kylar Dale and Fergus, but also because I had an actual living breathing member of the Caransil standing right there next to me. Lensa has refused to leave my side since our reunion and received a few curious glances, it’s hard to remember that most men have never seen an Elf.

With the exception of house Esben, who I believe Fergus has been feuding with since killing their assassin at the feast, most of the lords seemed to be swayed to our side. The meeting dissolved, and afterwards I offered to assist Fergus in any way he saw fit. The duel was only a few hours away, and I really would have preferred he win. Fergus asked if I could make his voice more impressive, so I conjured up a quick enhancement spell to amplify his already impressive bellow.

All too quickly, it was time for the Duel. I took my place in the crowd gathering in the great arena, next to my father. The assembled spectators waited in quiet tension as Redguard procession made it’s way through the city, the obnoxious squawking of their pipe band growing slowly louder. Vijur, the Duke and Sharif Ka’Mael were visibly arguing about… something, which was very curious. Finally, Fergus arrived at the head of his parade and the Duke immediately began spouting orders. I don’t recall the exact words: the Duke was abdicating,Vijur would rule alone as the sole monarch and Fergus was to be arrested for treason! I don’t know how, but someone got to Vijur, convinced him to turn on Fergus. I suspected he might have been ensorcelled by a Galdr, but he didn’t seem to bear the telltale signs of magical influence. The Sharif was furious, ranting about honour and such things to Arik, clearly the man had been hoping for a fight and didn’t approve of this sudden change of plans.

Obviously, Fergus wasn’t going to just surrender himself and he was protected by dozens of his own men. Not enough to win a direct bloody conflict, but enough to cause hesitation, no one wants to be the first to charge a Huscarl shield wall. Fergus took the opportunity to throw himself into another one of his epic speeches. It was a long one, so for brevity's sake I will summarize: the Duke is a puppet of Lord Esben, Lord Esben is the true power behind the throne and has been manipulating events to suit his own selfish ends, Fergus has proof of these claims and house Reguard is the only house that can lead the Dorn through the troubles to come. With Vijur’s consent obviously.

Perhaps it was my magic, perhaps it was natural charisma, probably a bit of both.  The Lords of Dorn  absorbed his words and a general murmur of agreement began to emerge, punctuated by the occasional “here here” and “yeah!”. Even Vijur was convinced, and humbly agreed to honour the original arrangement with House Redguard. When it was clear the tables had turned, the Duke began to make a move, attempting to slip away. Before he got very far the Sharif was upon him, blocking the coward’s retreat. The Duke was decapitated in one swift slice from the Sharif’s blade, but Vijur reacted instantly, seemingly on instinct, and drove his magical blade Wyrmclaw through the Sharif’s chest in retaliation!

The Sharif slid off the sword and fell to the floor, immediately Arik was at his side. He held his brother in his arms, desperately pleading for help as a circle of shocked nobles formed. Vijur demanded “help this man!”, the guilt of his rash action audible in the higher pitch of his voice. I pushed my way through the crowd to the fallen man, Lensa following close behind. Together, with the assembled court Galdrs, we tried to cease the influence of Wymrclaw’s powerful magic as the Sharif’s wound blackened and spoiled. I channeled every scrap of Aedra I could muster into fighting that magic, the effort drained me and my assistants to the verge of unconsciousness but eventually we proved no match for such power. Our magic failed, and the Sharif was dead.

I feel guilty for failing to save Arik’s brother, but today’s events will have a positive influence on the kingdom going forward. We have a strong, honourable family in control of the throne, backed by the legitimate heir. We are finally free from the Duke’s influence, and the puppet master Esben is exposed. Control of the Sarcoasan war host has fallen to Arik, a much cooler headed and sensible man than his late Brother. We have a long way to go, but it is a start.

Over the coming months, I must set about the task of negotiating an alliance between the Dorn, the Sacrosans and the Caransil. I must also carefully the Black Mirror, to ascertain if it can be destroyed or contained or even used against its master. We must be prepared for the return of the shadow!