Age of the Imperium

Le Journal de Radrael
Entrée 1

Introduction
To whom may find this journal, it chronicles various journeys and quests undertaken by myself and a few fellow adventurers. If you find this journal soon after our demise, I urge you to carry out our unfinished mission, or to find someone who will, for the success of said mission may save many lives.

I am Father Radrael, an orphan raised by the temple of Saint-Cuthbert to be a member of the Order of the Emaculate blade, a group of witch-hunters of sorts, dedicated to protecting civilization from various corrupting inflences, from dangerous spellcasters to demons and the cults surrounding them.

It began on the boat to the new world, to a small village by the name of Orlan, for which me and my companions had heard rumors of strange events, kidnappings and modification in the behaviour of some of the villagers, we opted to investigate and this is how our adventure began.

The Group
Sister Ayvlys, Neutral Evil Human Cleric of Nerull : Sometimes, the best way to deal with crazed heretics is to have one well controlled on your side. Sister Ayvlys proved invaluable, especially given her surprising willingness to help eventhough her dedication to the god of death and murder is unrivaled. She repeats to us that nothing brings quite has much death has a group of adventurers, thus, she earns her god’s favor by keeping our party alive. An interesting philosophy, one that I will not disagree with given her extraordinary skills has a healer.

Note : Ayvlys died in a goblin attack on May 23rd, year 525, Age of the Imperium, and made it clear that she did not desire resurection beforehand.

Rolan the Mountaineer, Neutral Good Human Ranger: A dirty bearded monstrosity, in my opinion. Useful, but dirty. Mister Rolan is one of those rangers. For a people reknown for their efficiency and survival instinct, it seems strange to me that this man is so unpractical at times. He is, though, a valuable ally if one can keep him away from decision-making, for his axe strikes true and I have never seen a man stay standing after enduring so much punishment as this one.

Father Ulphir Arkonnen, Chaotic Good Dwarf Cleric of Thor : Father Arkonnen is an interesting character indeed. He had fallen off our ship during a storm, prior to our arrival to Orlan and yet found his way, through superhuman swimming skills or sheer luck, to reach us yet again, a few days after our own arrival. Dwarven toughness is not to be underestimated. His devotion to his god seems strongly rivalled by his devotion to fine wine and craftsmanship, but I am told that it is a typically dwarf way of life. In any case, he is an invaluable healer to our party and stays docile when drunk.

Claerun, Chaotic Neutral elven fighter/mage : The elven spellswords are known to be terrifying opponents and although this one is frail and rather unreliable, he can be extremely useful if kept entertained. His spells have saved our lives a few times already and his swordplay is impressive, possibly better than my own.

Note : Claerun somehow saved our lives, single-handedly fending off 10 or so goblins after an abushed left the rest of us dead or unconscious. He must somehow be rewarded.

Leigh, Chaotic Good elven fighter/mage : A clumsy swordsman and a wizard, or so I hear, but I have yet to see him thrive. A silent man who quips during combat. Seems an ineficient strategy, yet I hear many soldiers smack-talk during battle, it is harmless. He follows orders.

Milo Welby-Took, Halfling fighter/thief : An extremely agile fighter, I find that we make quite a team. He seems adept at hiding and finding traps, maybe better trained in those skills than myself. I have seen this little creature almost single-handedly take down a juvenile ogre in a few seconds with a pair of daggers. An impressive feat, I would do well to stay on good terms with him.

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Le journal de Radrael
Entrée 2

May 20th, year 525, Age of the Imperium
Our arrival in town was rather uneventful, if not for the villagers being suspiscious and children running away at the sight of our strange party (which could easily be blamed on my own looks, people often fear half-orcs). We are accompanied by a gigantic warrior maiden who’s name escapes me for now. Our first decision in the city is to spread out and find a comfortable space where one would sleep for a few weeks. I decide to go straight to the local temple, a church to the goddess Merika, Lady of Agriculture.

The high priestess of the temple seemed to me as unusually tense at my arrival, refusing to let me visit her temple, and not letting me ask for a safe place for me and my companions to rest for the first days of our journey. It seemed strange for a church devoted to the well-being of the community to refuse to host a few envoys sent to safeguard said community, but I was ill-versed in the customs of the area, thus refrained from insisting.

We chose a local inn, The Golden Grain, over the other inn of the village, The Sleeping Serpent, if only for the Golden Grain being a little less dingy, choice which would be revealed a terrible mistake later that night.

We splitted up to go to our room, the men in one, the women in the other, and opted to go to bed early after our long trip. We had yet decided to have guard rounds done, given the strange events in the village happening lately.

Claerun realized, after a few hours, that the women, who had the first round, did not come back to wake us up after a few hours. Upon investigating their rooms, we found nothing but a lone rock of very little interest in the middle of the room. Upon searching the village, at night, for clues regarding the dissappearance, we met with 2 elves suspecting cult activities in the town’s church. These same two elves told us about the Golden Grain Inn being infested with cultists. After much debate whether we could trust the elves or not, our group decided that the information given by the elves was our only lead.

We thus decided to sneak in the inn’s basement and see if we could not find our companions. Our trip to the cellars was eventful indeed. We captured and liberated a cult assassin, apparently still sane and trying to run from the cult (but not after requisitioning a very fine suit of leather armor), found our companions and explored a strange network of caves, invaded by a few undead creatures (ghouls) and a pair of gigantic snakes. The exploration of the cave network went incredibly well, with no more damage than a scratch sustained by Rolan. It is though a shame to have lost the equipement of both Ayvlys and the warrior maiden (her elven chainmail would have been quite useful, one would admit).

We managed to get out of the inn after a minor scuffle and after taking the inn-keeper’s chest, with a cultist prisoner, no less, and lucky for ourselves, no one of the villagers who saw us raid The Golden Grain survived, making an extended stay at the village significantly easier*.

Two details should be noted of this first expedition in dangerous territory.

1- We have found, under the inn, a large ivory statue of a creature part-woman, part-snake. We could not carry it out of the inn, but we will have to come back, the fortune the statue is most likely worth would undoubtably be a boon to our work.

2- We are fighting a cult of a goddess known has Explicita, who’s attributes, other than her affinity for reptiles, are yet unknown. Her followers, up until now, seem completely fanatical, resisting torture with little difficulty (claiming it brings them ‘’Closer to their gods’’). This leads me to believe something brainwashed the cultist. Yet, considering it was too dangerous to let our prisoner go, we opted to leave him tied, alone, in the forest. It proved the safest route and preserved the moral of our less practical members. The cultist was eaten by wolves.

May 21st to 23rd, year 525, Age of the Imperium

These few next pages are stained with blood

Ayvlys identified the leader of her kidnappers to be the high priestess of Merika, this being our main lead from a truly respectable source (although some would disagree). Our elven allies seemed to agree with our suspicions and sent us to meet with the town mayor, who although very hospitable, seemed to know very little about his own town, suspecting a local hermit, the old Ramnet, to be heading the cult. After investigating this Ramnet, we’ve discovered him to be a kindly retired adventurer, and undoubtably one of the most helpful local yet met. The warrior maiden who had helped us during the first day of our arrival did not follow us this time.

Our next step was to investigate a ruined old tavern, destroyed some time back has a result of degenerate bar brawl. The investigation was indeed fruitful, for we’ve uncovered a nest of slimy reptilian creatures, troglodytes, who apparently often visited the temple of Merika. After dispatching them very quickly, thanks to a timely spell by Clearun, we had more than enough proof to justify attacking the temple. We waited day and went up to the temple after nightfall.

We opted to climb the wall behind the temple and try to surprise any potential guards. After going up the wall, we climbed a shed and dispatched 5 guards and two pet wolves. Both myself and Sister Ayvlys were wounded after the short battle (she was thrown a knife, and I was bitten by one of the wolves), but we were both quickly back on our feet.

Exploring the temple proved harder on some of my colleagues of lesser moral fiber (or lesser intelligence) for some had to fight against themself to not defile the temple, seeing quite a few beautiful statuettes inside, but the three religiously inclined individual of our group managed with little difficulty to dissuade them. One would not want to make himself enemy to the gods of foodstuff if one every wants to eat fresh food again.

We encountered the priestess again, clad from head to toe in armor, armed and sporting an amulet shaped like a snake. Not willing to let her speak her foul prayers or even wait to see if there was logic behind the madwoman’s actions. Having surprised her, I quickly dispatched her with a well aimed piercing of the neck. A ring was found, identified to be a ring of armor. We opted to give it to Claerun, given his lack of endurance.

Further in the temple, we found a small cohort of strange men with fists of iron, who tried to kill us without weapons. Obviously, the idea of wailing on an armored man with one’s fist is ridiculous, but they still managed to give us some degree of trouble.

The party found a trap door under a prayer mat, in a small prayer room, but being out of ressources and wounded, we opted to barricade the trap door and explore the top floor, and establish a camp there until we can regroup and regain our strength. Upon going upstairs, we fell upon a room surrounded with upright skeletons, unmoving. Obviously suspiscious, Sister Ayvlis and Father Arkonnen entered the room, bradishing their respective marks of faith and seemingly intimidating the 8 skeletons in covering piles of bones. Destroying these abominations was afterwards, a simple task for Claerun, Rolan and myself.

Upon pushing further in the second floor, we were ambushed by a host of goblins, hiding behind a secret door that we seemed to have missed and we were quickly overwhelmed. The battle was a disaster, I was quickly knocked unconscious, losing 2 fingers off of my left hand in the process. So were Father Arkonnen and Rolan. Sister Ayvlys did not share our luck and was killed by the greenskinned devils. Somehow, Claerun single-handedly fought off and fell the goblins, stopped our wounds from making us bleed out and dragged us into the room of the now dead goblins, which was safely behind a secret door.

As I write this journal, I lay uncomfortably against one of the walls of this room, barely alive, waiting for Father Arkonnen to be granted healing powers by his god, and hopefully make us fit for battle before more cultists enter the monastery.

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Le journal de Radrael
Entrée 3

27 mai, ère de l’Imperium

Ayvlys est morte depuis cela quelques jours, et depuis, nous avons, avec succès, vidé le temple de Mérika de présence hérétique (bien qu’un ménage y sera nécessaire, ainsi qu’une session de purification de chaque recoin du temple).

Nous y avons rencontré, de plus, deux nouveaux compagnons de voyage, qui attendait patiemment leur mort, par torture par la main des cultistes. Milo Welby-Took et l’elf connu sous le nom de Leigh se sont tout deux trouvez digne de confiance. Ils ont participé à la libération du temple et nous ont joins dans nos efforts de démentellement du culte à Explicita.

Nous avons ensuite voyager avec le vieillard Ramnet vers un marais à quelques jours du village et y avons trouvez une tanière, probablement creusé par les cultistes et leurs alliés monstrueux.

Nous avons eu l’occasion d’y faire une première expédition, durant laquelle nous avons combattu une vingtaine de villageois corrompus, quelques une des créatures écaillées rencontrés plus tôt (Si je n’m’abuse, des troglodytes), ainsi qu’une créature mi-femme, mi-chauve-souris avec un chant hypnotique. Heureusement, nous n’avons toujours pas perdu de membre additionnel de notre compagnie.

Arkonnen semble me regarder d’un air étrange. Peut-être suis-je frappé de paranoia…

Note : Nous avons trouvez une fillette dans le temple de Mérika. Elle à tué un homme d’une vitalité surprenante. Elle ferait une addition parfaite à l’ordre de la lâme immaculée, et risque d’avoir peine à vivre dans un village emplis de gens qui ont essayé de la corrompre, et probablement de la torturer.

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Milo-Welby's Letter

Bonjour à tous les Took!

Premièrement, le voyage c’est bien passé! On a pas subit d’attaques et pas de grosses tempêtes. Le seul problème c’était la nourriture. Elle était pas extra et en trop petite quantité. Une chance que j’avais une grosse provision de tes gâteaux tante Thérèse. Sur le bateau, j’ai entendu toute sorte de rumeur concernant la ville où je débarque. Des rumeurs de sorciers maléfiques, de vampires, de possessions et de monstre qui fait peur aux crocodiles. Je me suis aussi trouvé un coéquipier, Leigh un mage-guerrier elfique.

Après quelques investigations, on a bien vu que certains gens agissaient bizarrement et qu’il y avait quelque chose de louche avec l’église. Mais il était tard, et on a donc choisit entre les deux auberges, l’épie d’or qui avaient l’air plus accueillant que le serpent endormie. Grosse erreur! On se fait réveiller par une pluie de coup juste avant de sombrer dans l’inconscience. Quand on revient à nous, on est attaché sur des tables dans une chambre de torture, à l’intérieur du temple! (mais ça on le savait pas encore…) On était entouré de cultistes qui nous ont assuré qu’on serait bientôt des leurs. Nous sommes restés longtemps seul et sans nourriture. Quelques après avoir entendu plusieurs cries de douleurs, on demi-orc est entré, pour nous libérer. Étrangement…. c’est un prêtre de St-Cuthbert nommé Radrael. Il fait partie d’un groupe d’aventurier eux aussi intéressé à régler les problèmes du village. Les autres sont Roland, un forestier humain, Arkonnen, un prêtre de Thor nain, Caelun, un autre mage-guerrier elfique. Nous nous sommes joins à eux pour finir de nettoyer le temple… et trouver deux statues gigantesques en ivoire et obsidienne, qui doivent plusieurs milliers de pièces d’or! Moi et Radrael sommes partie en éclaireur (étrangement discret pour un demi-orc et meurtrier pour un prêtre) pour tomber face à face avec un ogre. Vous auriez du voir ça, il était gigantesque! Au moins cinq halflings de haut. Père Radrael fonce sur le côté et le distrait d’un coup à la jambe. Le temps de faire mes preuves est venu! Prenant mon élan, je fonce direct sur l’immense monstre, saute sur son genou pour me propulser plus haut et prenant appuie avec ma première dague, je m’élève pour le frapper en plein dans l’œil de l’autre dague. Et c’est la chute du géant. C’était particulièrement héroïque de ma part, en toute modestie.

On a eu quelque repos à l’auberge du serpent endormie qui était de tellement meilleure qualité. Et son vin! Le meilleur que j’ai jamais gouté, même celui d’oncle Terry (désolé Oncle Terry). En fait, j’en ai joins __ bouteilles pour vous les faires apprécier. Mais gardez-les pour une bonne occasion! Comme le 164ième anniversaire de grand-mère Rosalie, notre première aventurière de la famille! Avec l’herbe à pipe du vieux Tom et des bons pains aux pommes et cannelles, ça va être le paradis.

De retour à l’aventure, nous avons été demander de l’aide au sorcier, qui finalement n’était pas maléfique. Grâce à son familier, on a pus suivre la piste des cultistes dans leur repère secret, sous les marécages. S’ensuivit des attaques contre des villageois possédés, des crocodiles, des slimes et une femme ailée à la voie enchanteresse (ce qui n’est vraiment pas le cas de son physique monstrueux). Après mainte blessures, Arkonnen est à cours de sort de guérissons (jamais été aussi content de voir des éclairs!) et nous avons du nous barricader dans une pièce d’inventaire trouvé sur place pour se reposer. J’ai d’ailleurs profité de cette pause pour commencer à rédiger cette lettre.

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Milo-Welby's Letter (part 2)

Et nous avons continué l’exploration du donjon, qui était un gigantesque labyrinthe. Même avec la carte que Caelun a dessinée au fur et à mesure, on avait de la difficulté à savoir où on était. On a rencontré des araignées, des serpents et des mille-pattes, tous venimeux. Plusieurs de mes compagnons y seraient restés si ce n’était de l’expertise de Radrael dans les poisons. (D’ailleurs, cette grande connaissance en plus de l’absence totale de sort divin me laisse croire que cette histoire de prêtre est peut-être simplement une couverture…) Un anaconda a tenté de me manger et aurait probablement réussit si ce n’était de mes amis, et surtout Arkonnen sans qui j’aurais eu à me déplacer comme un serpent le reste de ma vie. Pourquoi est-ce que toutes les autres races choisissent ce qui est plus petit? Devant un festin, nous, on se bat toujours pour la plus grosse part, non?

On a eu à combattre un templier maléfique et deux assassins, ce qui était clairement le combat pour l’enjeu le plus important : des lits! C’était tellement plus confortable pour récupéré entre les combats et laisser le temps aux incantateurs de reprendre leur sorts. Tout au long de cette aventure, on a trouvé plusieurs coffres remplies de pièces, pierres précieuses et de bijoux. Et on a sauvé deux villageois qui étaient enfermés depuis des jours! On a aussi vu une sorte de vampire-zombie qui a fait fuir en un instant tout le monde sauf moi et Radrael.

Le sous-terrain était aussi la résidence d’un clan de troglodyte (homme-lézard maléfique à l’odeur de pourriture) éleveur de serpent. Le vieux sorcier a finalement été utile en lançant une trainée de foudre qui en a tué plusieurs. À six, nous en avons vaincue une trentaine, en plus d’empêcher des centaines de voir le jour.

S’ensuivie un combat épique contre le grand prêtre d’Explissita! Quoique peu dangereux à lui seul, il était accompagné d’un mort-vivant extrêmement puissant. Il a volé l’énergie vital du nain et enduré une quantité indécente de coup. Heureusement, Roland l’a occupé à lui seul pendant qu’on a détruit le prêtre et a fait montre d’une robustesse extraordinaire dans la suite du combat, avec l’aide d’Arkonnen qui bloquait coup sur coup.

Pour finir, Explissita nous a attaqués. Elle nous aurait détruit d’un boule de feu si ce n’était du sorcier, et d’un regard elle m’a contrôlé. Malgré tous ses pouvoirs de déesse, mes compagnons en sont venus à bout en l’attaquant de toute part le plus rapidement possible. Les lourdes pertes du village enfin vengées et les villageois ayant récupérés leurs esprits, nous avons pris quelques jours de repos au serpent endormi.

Joint à la lettre, voici une bonne partie de ma part, pour aider le village à rembourser les dettes récoltées l’an passé et pouvoir racheter les troupeaux, en espérant ne pas être victime d’une autre épidémie. Je vous réécris après ma prochaine aventure et continuez de profiter de la vie!

Milo-Welby Took, second aventurié de la famille.

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