The Citadel

Fourth Mission (15)
The Orc Cave

Having performed competently in the last mission (despite their behavior afterwards) it was ruled that my group would be the best to eliminate a group of orcs settling in a cave east of The Citadel. What the hierarchy asked for was complete elimination of the residing orcs, which may have come down to absolute genocide. However, this ended up not being the case.

Six of my Slayers were present. Ulfgar was absent, and the half-ogre had been removed. They took the mission with their usual pertinence, saying multiple times, if I remember, “So you just want us to kill a lot of things?”

The cave was not very far away, halfway between here and Pondswater. This was good, as we are now in the thawing season, and a long journey would be troublesome. Once the group reached the cave, it was ruled that Julius would set traps out in the entrance, and then yell, and see if the orcs came running into them. He did this, but there was no response. After waiting, they continued on into the cave.

Unfortunately, a group of icicles were rigged to fall on any invaders shortly past the entrance. The group was barraged with sharp shards of ice, and severely injured. It was only due to Gonson’s healing that they were able to continue.

Moving on, they stepped onto the ice and rock bridge over a lake of coldfire. I had explained coldfire to them before, and the severity of its effects. A group of orcs had lain in wait, and charged the party. One of these orcs managed to push Zayn off of the bridge, and for a second it was believed he had fallen into the coldfire below. However, he landed on a pillar of ice sticking out from the mass, and survived.

However, otherwise, the group managed to defeat the orcs without any trouble, and Zayn was pulled up with a rope tied around his waist. They moved on through the cave, and any injuries they had sustained were healed yet again.

As they reached a makeshift armory, they ran into another group of orcs. These ones were higher in number and better trained, and gave them much more trouble. In the ensuing conflict, Gonson’s healing spells were expended. After the orcs were defeated, it was ruled, against Kridon’s protestations, that the group would wait for Gonson to meditate, and then pray, to recover his spells.

As Gonson was meditating, two hours passed before the Orc Chieftain walked into the armory. He was not stealthy, and the group heard him and ambushed him. Despite his powerful equipment, he did not stand a chance. He was interrogated, and revealed to the group that he had evacuated the women and children before they had caught him, laughing. Kain tried to persuade him to be peaceful, but this kind of negotiation was past him, and he responded by spitting in Kain’s face.

The group captured the orc chieftain alive, and brought him back to The Citadel. As with other Orcs, all attempts at negotiation were quashed. The orcs care about their own clan, and wish to fight everything else. Trying to ask them to be peaceful is going against their very nature. The Chieftain was executed only hours after his capture. Kain tried to negotiate with him one more time, but this was fruitless.

Unfortunately, the mission was considered a failure. The group killed the entire orc warforce, though, and was given half-payment. I believe that this was not one of their better missions, but they are still competent enough to be trusted with important things in the future.

-High Priest, Novy Poradie

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Third Mission (14)
The Wendigo

Well, we have a group of Standard Slayers now, and it was officially decreed that they should begin with a mission that is undoubtedly a Standard Slayer duty.

We were joined by additional new Standard Slayers, Rin, a cat-woman, Gonson, another half-elf priest, and Tzeech (I will assume I am spelling that right) a Half-Ogre who is the brother of “Corn!”. Tzeech was not as bad as “Corn!”, but his behavior in the mission was still questionable.

Before the start of the mission, Julius approached me again about removing all nonhumans from the group. He has been doing so quite frequently lately. His sentiment is not shared among any of the other members, particularly since the actual group is half non-human, and Kain…well..after his “transformation” I’m really not sure whether to consider him a human either.

The monster that needed to be slain this time was a Wendigo. In a village of Slabí to the east of The Citadel. It was ruled that having a group of eight would make the mission successful. However, these Slayers have just been promoted, and I was worried that there would be casualties.

Thankfully, that was not the case. Through proper planning, they were able to do it.

The first conflict of this mission was ethical. The hierarchy had ruled that the quickest way to dispel the Wendigo, insuring the minimal amount of Slayer casualties, was to slaughter the village and starve it. I was horrified by this decision, but it is the way of The Citadel. Julius, for one, seemed absolutely fine with this, as did several other members of the group. However, Kain did not approve, and this conflict was evident even before the group had left.

They began their journey east. We were, unfortunately, in what is referred to as the “pinnacle” season, the time when the weather of Winter is at its worst, in the last two or so months of the season. This greatly impeded their progress.

At some point in the journey, the group was attacked by Feral Yowlers, altered creatures who have spread across Zverák after the fall of Maják. The fight was tedious, but the Yowlers were defeated. The group then moved on to the village.

Unfortunately, as they reached it, a blizzard struck. They could hardly move against the winds, and were collapsed against the ground. Thankfully, some of the villagers came and pried them away from the snow, bringing them to one of the village’s “tall-huts” as they are called. The group was introduced to this different breed of Slabi, a people who believed themselves descended from an ancient group of humans native to Zverak.

The man who spoke to them was the Shaman of the village, a man gifted in spiritual magic. He told them of the Wendigo, and how it had once been one of the members of their community. He then told them about Wendigos in general. The group confessed what their original intention had been, to kill all the members of the village, and the shaman lied to them in telling them that it would not work. At the time, however, they accepted it. The shaman then asked them to take his hand, and link together, so that he may show them something. The first to hold his hand was stunned, and was taken aback. Gonson was shocked by this, and severed the connection by beating the linked hands apart. However, the Shaman appealed to his spiritual nature as a Cleric, and had him his his hand as well.

Those who did so saw a vision, a story of how the Wendigos supposedly had originally began. It was strange, and seemed improbable at best. Supposedly, in this vision, an ancient man and woman formed a family. They were loved by the Spirits. But then, a harsh winter came, and the man buried some of his family hoping that they would regrow as plants, and he could eat them. The Spirits saw this and cursed the man, so that he would only be able to eat his fellow man.

I am not the person to approach with for verification of this vision. However, I believe that note of it should be taken, and it should be analyzed as to exactly how it was either created or preserved.

With the help of the shaman and the village Chief, a plan was made to apprehend the Wendigo. First, they would wait out the blizzard. Gonson announced that he had the power to remove curses. And it was decided that they would use this to restore the cursed man to normal. Kain, apparently, outright threatened the group if they attacked and killed the villagers. For this reason, it was decided that the group would use a volunteer from the village to call the Wendigo over to a trap, set by Julius, and that Gonson would go to it and remove the curse on it.

With that plan established, a volunteer was decided on from amongst the villagers. It ended up being the brother of the man who had become the Wendigo. He volunteered knowing he would probably not survive. However, he was motivated to save the life of his brother. Kain, hoping that he would be able to help the man survive, volunteered to help him draw the Wendigo in. Meanwhile, all the other villagers were kept in the Shaman’s hut.

After the blizzard ended, they spent a day preparing, and from there decided to sleep one last night.

Over the night, a number of members of the group had a dream in which a woman was telling them that the removal of the curse would not work, and that the only way for them to destroy the Wendigo would be to starve it by killing the villagers. In the morning, they talked to the shaman about this dream, and he strongly cautioned them not to trust it, saying that it was evil.

Unsure of what this dream had meant, or whether to trust the shaman, they decided to simply proceed with their plan.

Kain (flying on magical wings) and the villager wandered away while the other members of the party lied in wait. Two dart traps and a bear trap were set in an alley between two huts, and Gonson was waiting behind the bear trap.

The Wendigo emerged. And as it did, it devoured its former brother in seconds. Kain fought the creature briefly, but was knocked out of the air by a massive volley of snow thrown from its arm. Thankfully, he took only minor injuries, and leapt back up into the air, flying away. The wendigo, in a fury, chased him down. It was eventually hit by one of the darts from the trap, and then caught in a bear trap. Gonson, invisible, came up to the creature and cast Remove Curse on it. It worked, and what had once been a monster was now a naked, bloodstained man with an injured foot.

They brought the man back to the shaman, who set to work to physically and psychologically rejuvenate him. He spoke strange, soothing words that members of the group that spoke Slabi faintly understand. When asked on the source of these words, he told them that many of the Slabi believed that there was a civilization, a hidden city, far away, where they would be safe. It was a rumor, nothing more than a story. However, it gave the villagers hope, and hope was currently what the man needed.

The group came back to me, and told me of all of this, and it is quite strange. There are many foggy details still about this mission, and many things that need to be discussed. Above all I am glad that there were no Slayer casualties, and I am glad that the group found a perfectly viable solution without killing the villagers.

It seems that, despite all appearances, the current group is behaving competently. I am quite proud, and I feel that we may be able to trust them with more in the future.

-High Priest, Novy Poradie

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Promotion Mission (13)
The escort of the priest

It is with a profound sense of pride (and measured regret) that I promote the group of Slayers I am in charge of from Novice to Standard Slayers. I will not lie, and state that the majority of them are remotely competent, (or in some cases, possess any kind of intellect), however, we need as many Slayers in high ranks as we can get.

Our group was composed of Julius, Cosette, Ulfgar (finally back), Jorge, Kridon, and three new members: Kain, Zayn, and Mynus. The group’s mission was to escort a priest on part of her pilgrimage to become a high priest. The woman in question was named Zherda, and she left me with a strong unfavorable recommendation for the group.

Unfortunately, shortly after setting out, they were attacked by a Remorhaz. They managed to kill the creature, but not before it had swallowed Cosette. She was cut out of its stomach, but was, unfortunately, dead. Apparently, Kain somehow called for a Silver Dragon, which came and took Cosette’s body back to the Citadel. (Our archers panicked. The dragon did not even take them seriously)

The group continued their journey North, and stopped off at Coldrock. Chaos ensued. I would recommend that Mynus not be allowed in any difficult situations, where emptying ones bladder into something vital would have a strong negative effect.

In all this chaos, the group learned that the village had been beset by Halfling thieves, and that their winter storage was at risk. After a brief discussion, they decided that continuing their mission was their first priority, and that if they could help the villagers on the way back, they would.

So, they continued north, into the small alcove where the Severu altar was located. The problem, they discovered, was that the area was also occupied by halflings. Julius managed to disarm their traps, and negotiate with them, by speaking their language. Apparently, he spoke to the Halflings of some sort of cooperation with The Citadel. I do not fully understand what this would entail, and perhaps he should be questioned on it.

Zherda turned to the altar and performed the ritual, and the group left the Halflings.

When they came back to Coldrock, chaos ensued again. Amongst the confusion, I have been told that Jorge burned down one of the Slabi food storages overnight. The villagers were furious, and attacked him. The only way they were stopped was when Kain breathed fire on them, causing some to run away and others to be severely injured. The group then healed the injured Slabi, so that they would not die, and left.

In the middle of the night, however, Jorge’s throat was slit. The explanation given was that it was one of the villagers. I am unsure of this, but I cannot find any other motive.

And so, two members down, and having embarassed themselves in front of a soon-to-be high priest, they returned to me.

I have promoted them to Standard Slayers.

I want you to understand that our need of higher ranked Slayers is desperate. I know that some of them are not qualified. If you view my actions as shameful, that is fine. I am, after all, submitting this to the hierarchy. At any time, you have the power to revoke their status. I know that after this they will be on thin ice. I am willing to accept that, and I will take them as my responsibility.

I apologize sincerely for my dishonor.

-High Priest, Novy Poradie

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First Mission (12)
The Abandoned Village

With the casualties we faced after the Spirit attack, as well of the disorganization of The Citadel in general, it was necessary to form a new group from the remains of the previous. With that having been noted, I am building a new, larger group, taking many of the Slayers that were in Czislo’s group, and adding in a few new members.

The two additions that I have picked (for now) are “Corn!” (it was insisted that I place the exclamation point at the end of his name) and Gruush Bronzebeard. Both of them are unfortunately rejects due to their nonhuman nature. Gruush is not just a Dwarf, but a cleric of the dwarven god, Moradin. “Corn!” is a half-ogre…and has a limited intelligence.

Other than that, my group is made up of Cosette, Julius, Kridon, and Jorge, the four Slayers who remain from Czislo’s group.

Their mission was to travel to a village that a group of Slayers had been sent to earlier. Specifically, they were trying to finish the mission, find any remaining Slayers, and bring them back.

There seemed to be problems immediately, as “Corn!” could not seem to socialize with the rest of the group properly. I have heard that he is, to put it quite bluntly: unintelligent, even for a Half-ogre. (The circumstances of how a half-ogre would be created are best left to the imagination) I was warned by the priest watching over him that he requires constant supervision. I was hoping that the group of Slayers nearby would be enough to do this. I may have been wrong.

They started their journey to the northwestern mountains, the two largest of which we refer to as “little brother” and “big brother”. The mountains are separated by a powerful river that cascades into a waterfall for most of the year. However, now, in the middle of winter, it is frozen over.

The first choice the group had to make was between going over the mountain, or going around the mountain. The former would be quicker, but the latter would be safer. Knowing that their own safety was the first priority, the group went around the mountain, and soon arrived at the village.

Unfortunately, while many of the houses were still in good condition, they were abandoned. Extensive searching began, and revealed nothing other than some rotten meat (which “Corn!”, apparently, was willing to eat) until a beautiful woman was found hiding under a bed. She was questioned. Her name was, apparently, Ria, and she was the last Slabym remaining of the original villagers. She was surviving only because she had hid. Apparently, the Slayers who had come before had been killed by an invisible force that had come up behind them and slaughtered them. It had also killed the villagers, one by one, until none were left. Finally, Ria warned the group not to go into the basement of the former chieftain’s house.

Now with an idea of what they were looking for, they searched the rest of the houses. A magical rope was found, and Ria confirmed that it had belonged to the Slayers. They turned their attention toward the chieftain’s house next, and Ria again warned them not to go into the basement. She told them that a bunch of bodies had been burned down there, and that the results were disgusting.

Their response was simple: “Corn!” completely dismantled the house, to the point where he peeled away the floor. Below, they could clearly see the basement. It was filled with ashes, as Ria had said, but there were three intact bodies there. Strangely enough, these bodies had Slayer Cloaks. The group went down to search, and were attacked by the bodies as they animated, revealing themselves to be undead. Thankfully, due to there being two Clerics in the group, the monsters were dispatched fairly easily. After this, the group looted the chest in the basement, took the Slayer cloaks as proof of the previous Slayers, and questioned Ria on why they would be down there, as well as why they would burn bodies in a basement. Ria told them she did not know, and seemed as confused as they were.

To celebrate defeating the monsters, Gruush conjured several gallons of ale.

Yes, this IS heavily forbidden. Gruush is new to The Citadel.

Anyway, he went on to share this ale with “Corn!” and while “Corn!” was not effected by it, Gruush became extremely drunk.

After drinking, it was suggested that the group should climb the mountain, and set off an avalanche. If they did so, it would hopefully destroy whatever monster occupied the village…as well as what was left of the village itself.

So, the group began their dangerous climb up the mountain. “Corn!”, with his massive strength, was able to easily scale the natural walls of the cliffs. Julius attempted, several times, to throw up the magical rope he had found and do the same. He failed several times, and then finally managed to throw the rope onto the cliff, and yelled to “Corn!” to grab it. After confirming that the rope belonged to Julius, “Corn!” dropped it back down to give it back to him.

This was the point when I realized that “Corn!” was not suited for future missions.

Eventually, Julius managed to throw the rope up again, and when he did he convinced “Corn!” to grab it, and told him to pull him up. “Corn!” jerked on the rope and, with his massive strength, proceeded to not just pull Julius up, but pull him up with such a high velocity that he landed face-first in the snow of the mountains. From there, Julius helped “Corn!” figure out how to pull the rest of the members of the group up without injuring them. They then continued to scale up the mountain in much the same way.

Finally, when they had gotten above a large amount of loose snow, “Corn!” roared. A huge wave of snow came down and went over the village. The group decided that if there had been a monster still in the village, it wasn’t there anymore, and left to return to The Citadel.

On the way back, as they talked to Ria, they discovered that, in her culture, it was custom for her to engage in sexual acts with a man if he had saved her. (The Slabí are not an advanced people) She soon became aggressive in insisting that this needed to be carried out, but surprisingly, many members of the group were reluctant. Finally, Gruush decided that he would do it, as he was just drunk enough to have no qualms about doing so.

However, just as he decided this, the supposed invisible enemy appeared, and attempted to attack Julius. The creature did practically no damage as it was fought off, and killed with ease due to the massively powerful attacks of “Corn!”. From there, the group was satisfied, as they were sure they had dispatched their foe.

However, when Gruush went into his tent with Ria, she revealed herself as a Succubus, and attempted to seduce him. He managed to resist her lure, and ran out into the snow, where he collapsed. The rest of the group attacked the tent, and the creature focused all of its energy on escaping.

From here, the Slayers returned to The Citadel.

All in all, I will not be sending out “Corn!” again, though he is a useful asset, his lack of intellectual thought could hinder the group when more subtle approaches are needed. I recommend that he remain on The Citadel to take on a permanent defense-duty. If we are attacked again, his ability to fight well will be of some use.

In addition, I would like to recommend this group being promoted to Standard Slayers, and I would request that other novice Slayers who will put themselves forward be sent to me. We need more novice Slayers moved forward, and Jorge, Julius, and Cosette have proven themselves by helping to save The Citadel, if nothing else.

I look forward to your judgement on the matter, fellows of the hierarchy.

-High Priest, Novy Poradie

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The Attack on The Citadel (11)
Returning to the log of Novy Poradie

It’s quite strange how we become accustomed to relative safety, even here. From time to time, however, it becomes necessary for fate to shake some fear into us. Less than a month ago, I was attacked by one of my own Slayers. My survival was nothing short of a miracle.

After this, I had thought that the gods would at least give us a wide cushion before something equally horrible happened again. In a sense, I was right. What has recently occurred is not even on the level of that atrocity…it is far worse.

We have been attacked by a Spirit.

On the morning of January 9th, we were attacked by what seemed like an army of creatures made out of the walls of The Citadel. The sixth and fourth rings were targeted. Thankfully, we suffered very few casualties of children. A large group of expert Slayers managed to get to the sixth ring and hold off any of the creatures that would have attacked them. Unfortunately, for this reason, their assistance did not benefit the other Slayers in the fourth ring, and we suffered massive casualties.

Amongst the smaller, individual skirmishes, Czislo’s group of Slayers ended up being our true saviors. After fighting multiple groups of elementals, they had a chance encounter with Pendar, a brilliant mind in the research division. He had apprehended a magical orb that allowed him to shift the ground and earth with immense power. And…

It should be noted that information from here is extremely confidential. This may only be read by the High Priests, the Panov, or other appropriately high ranking Citadel members.

…He wished to use this orb on The Citadel’s sigil. The results would be (and were) catastrophic, but it would save The Citadel.

The group was heavily injured, and tired, but it was their only chance, as well as our only chance, so they had to take it.

There is great controversy over Pendar’s choice in giving this information to novice Slayers. There is also controversy over how, exactly, he knew how to use the sigil, as it is information that is not intended for common researchers. I believe that we must look past this, however, as the very fact that these rules were broken is what saved us.

The group managed to get to The Citadel’s upper ring, where Pendar prepared the necessary steps for the ritual. He warned the group not to allow any of the elementals to come close. At first, only small creatures confronted them, but the spirit soon became aware of their presence, and what they were doing, and a massive elemental emerged. Pendar demanded that the group do what they could to hold it off, but of the four slayers, only Magnus charged. The elemental crushed him, and his body was destroyed beyond recognition, as we have still not found it. However, his sacrifice gave Pendar enough time. Just as the being tried to enter the sigil, the spell activated. The Spirit was shoved out of the Citadel, as the Citadel itself was shoved in every direction. The floors were tossed up, the walls were skewed, important objects were badly damaged. However, the Spirit was removed.

Afterwards, there was a meeting involving the High Priests and the Panov. Casualties were accounted for, and we came to a morose conclusion: We had been attacked by a single Spirit, and not a very strong one. Our entire society could be destroyed, in the blink of an instant, by one being. Pendar, who was alive, but very injured from using magic more powerful than he could handle, informed us of all the events. The three Slayers were simultaneously honored (for saving the Citadel) and reviled (For refusing to charge in the face of danger). In the end, we felt that their benefits outweighed their failures, and we rewarded them. Magnus, on the other hand, was greatly honored, and was posthumously changed to a standard Slayer.

We have lost over a hundred and fifty members of The Citadel. More than eighty of those were Slayers. We have suffered a hit, and a bad one. I have recently received news that I am to build a new group. The three novice Slayers who did not fight the great elemental have been all-but shoved onto me, not that I mind. I believe that the mere fact that they saved us makes them worthy of some respect, and that they may have some potential. I will have to look amongst those remaining to find the other members of my group. I hope to find a good mix of Slayers. Our enemies will see that, after such a powerful attack, we are still strong.

-High Priest, Nový Poradie

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First Mission (10)
The Curse of Magic

Perhaps I should start my log by recalling the unsettling events several weeks ago.

On December 15th, an elven slayer attempted to assassinate the High Priest, Novy Poradie. Novy was severely injured, but was saved just in time. Meanwhile, the slayer was brutally stabbed to death. His name has been posthumously removed from the list of slayers, and I am not allowed to write it here. He will be forgotten as he should, and all who know of him will remember him only by his dishonor.

In light of the majority of the members of Novy’s former group either being dead or no longer among the slayers, it was disbanded. I have been assigned two of its remnants, Ulfgar the dwarf and the gigantic Magnus. Ulfgar was not required for this mission, but I will deploy him when he is needed.

In addition to Magnus and Ulfgar, our new Slayers were [[Julius]], a stealth specialist who I have not noticed amongst the Slayers until now, Cosette, an elven wizard…with the strange lack of empathy that we have found to befit elves, [[Jorge]], a half-elven Cleric of Žart, and Kridon, an agile fighter.

Naturally, the number of nonhumans in the group concerns me, but as for now it has not led to any direct harm.

The group’s mission was to travel to Waterbreak, a settlement of Slabí on the edge of the southern lake. Apparently their journey was long, and mostly dull. Other than running into a stray snowdancing fey who made them temporarily lose their way, they moved briskly along. Perhaps slower than I would have liked, but they reached the area in time nonetheless.

Once they reached the village, they spoke to the man in charge. He did not know of the orc attacks, and was horrified by the Slayers’ message that they would be coming. The Slayers made a defense plan, setting up a wooden fiery brazier near the end of the village, and attempting to dig a tunnel in the snow for the women and children to hide in. The first plan worked, the second plan was limited by the packed nature of the snow.

Meanwhile, Julius asked the village leader if he had known anyone who had magic in the village. The leader informed him that he did not, and he was glad he did not. When he had been a child, a relative of his had been killed by the village, who hated and feared her, when it was discovered that she had magic.

That night, the orcs attacked. They used a spell of darkness to help them invade, but were ultimately, and fairly easily, undone by the Slayers. In the midst of the conflict, however, the village leader’s daughter came out from her hut, and shot an extremely powerful spell at one of the orcs, killing it instantly. Now physically exhausted, she passed out.

The group brought the unconscious girl to her father, and after a debate amongst themselves decided that they would take her back to The Citadel. Every Slayer except for Kridon agreed that this was the right course of action.

The girl’s father, naturally, did not approve. He got into a heated argument with the Slayers, but there was nothing he could do, and they used the evidence that he himself had given them: the last mage in this village had been killed. It was only a matter of time until the villagers discovered and killed the girl. The father reluctantly said goodbye…and spoke some strange words to his daughter. Jorge went back inside and questioned the father on what those words may have been. He tried to negotiate, and even barter, but the man would not give him the information. Eventually, he just let it go, and the group left, returning to The Citadel.

Kridon, it seems, formed some kind of friendship with the girl on his way back to The Citadel. I have heard that he was greatly troubled by her recent, unfortunate disappearance. In closing, I can only say that we needed more mages, and I cannot help but wonder what happened to that girl.

High Priest, Czislo Amerie

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Ninth Mission
The Slayer Rebellion

On December 10th I brought The Slayers to my office for what I thought would be a simple mission. In the orc attack a month and a half prior, the group of Slayers from Coldrock had not returned. Naturally, the conclusion the Citadel drew was that the Slayers and the town had been killed. It was agreed that I would send a group of Slayers to Coldrock to recover The Slayers (or their bodies) and discover what, exactly, had befallen the town.

Of course, it is rarely so simple.

The first opposition was the weather. In a series of fierce snowstorms, twenty feet of snow had piled up on the ground. Rivers were frozen over and covered. The taiga forest surrounding The Citadel had turned into an elevated plane of ice. The snow had been shoveled out of the way of the gate, thankfully. However, the Slayers had to endure trudging across the ice. Thankfully, the snow was packed enough by this point that it was passable. However, it turned what would normally be a day trip into an almost two-day one. Overnight, it snowed heavily, and the group was attacked by Ghasts. In the scuffle, their tents were destroyed, and several of them were almost killed.

Thankfully, they reached Coldrock with no other problems, though once they did, late the next day, they saw a man dressed in armor too well-made to be a Slabí. When the group entered the town, they were shocked to find that the group of Slayers they were searching for was still alive and well. Not only that, but they had chosen to stay here. Jacobin, the leader, had ruled that it was more important for the group to stay at Coldrock and defend the villagers from any further threats, against the Citadel’s orders. The motivation seemed to be a desire to protect the Slabí, rather than kill the monsters.

I am often demeaned for being an idealist, and even I will admit that this is foolish. The group’s heart may have been in the right place, but their tactical methodology was foolish at best. How are we ever supposed to control groups of Slayers who are spread out across dozens of villages with no real home base? How are we even supposed to know whether they succeed or fail? Our control over Slayers is already loose, but we cannot have it that loose.

This is where argument broke out. Through force of persuasion, my group of Slayers tried to negotiate with the other group. They were shrewd and aggressive, and forced Jacobin to agree that he would come back with them. Though there was always something evasive in him. Edreck, another member of the group, seemed to understand that they needed to return, while the wizard Minata greatly opposed it, perhaps due to her Slabí heritage, greatly opposed it. In negotiations, It was mentioned that the group did not know how Dragan, the Cleric (who was not present) would take it. He was supposedly their most extreme member when it came to protecting the Slabí.

However, when it was brought up that they should leave now, the other group of Slayers pointed out that there was a Cave Troll nearby that they could not fight off.

This is another example of their flawed method. A regular-sized group of novice Slayers cannot handle a Cave Troll. If my group had not shown up, there would have been nothing they could have done.

It was agreed that they would attempt to kill the Troll in the morning, with double the number of Slayers, it would be possible.

Supposedly, in the night, Zherro, the warlock, conveyed that he was not on the side of Jacobin’s treacherous group, and that he had feigned loyalty to them so as not to put himself in danger.

The next morning, the group entered the Cave Troll’s lair. They faced off against the monster, and defeated it with only one casualty. It was, of course, extremely powerful. However, through sheer numbers, they managed to defeat it while only suffering one casualty, the half-orc barbarian Grob.

After the cave Troll was slain, its cave was searched and treasure was found. This treasure, however, was not shared between the two groups of Slayers. My group hogged it all to themselves. Of course I am not proud of this, but I hold no allusions about the nobility of Slayers.

From here, the group chose to return. Dragan, apparently, disappeared in the night. His group spent a solid amount of time searching for him, but from there they gave up and decided to come back to The Citadel.

As I am writing this now, the trial for the actions of the Slayers has passed. Jacobin has had his Slayer status removed, Zherro and Edreck have been suspended from duty for six months, and Minata has been sentenced to death for seducing her leader in order to compromise his judgement.

Sometimes, I am not sure if The Citadel is right or wrong. However, in issues like this I tend to side with it more than one would think. It is unfortunate that it had to end this way. Executing Slayers is never an event to be cherished, and always tempts one to ask the question of whether we are wasting especially precious human resources. However, it is to make an example, and to promote better behavior on all fronts.

Minata and Jacobin’s relationship also brings forth another question: What should be done with the Slayer in love? Short term, love and sexuality are things that The Citadel scoffs at. They are distractions that break discipline, and are dangerous to our structure. However, sexuality, at least, is necessary for reproduction. Relationships in The Citadel usually result in quick marriages, and almost immediate pregnancy. However, Slayers are taught to stay away from anything that would distract them too much from their duties. Long-term, reproduction is, of course, necessary. So I cannot help but wonder concerning this: how are we to treat it?

Perhaps that is a question to be answered later. For now, I applaud the flexibility of my group, and while there will be some adjustments to it due to Parolles returning to the scouts, and Priscus to the crafters, I hope that it continues to remain as solid and formidable as it was.

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Eighth Mission
The Black Labs of Majak

When The Slayers came to my office on November 16th, they were surprised to find that it was not Orcs they would be facing. Rather, a series of disappearances had been taking place in Settel again. Most of them groaned, and it was suggested that the citizens should move to a different area, instead of the Slayers continuing to need to protect them. Do not fear, for I did as I should and warned them that such words would lead to strict or consequences.

All we knew from our scouts was that creatures had been coming into the village, possibly undead ones, and taking slabí dead or alive. We did not know the reason, or what was truly going on. That was what the Slayers had to learn.

Sensing a difficult mission, we sent a group of seven Slayers out, the usual group (without Friedrich, who is now considered worrisome for his fraternization with Sprits) in addition to Astartes, and new group member, a half-even Warmage named Veren. Unfortunately, on the way to the village, a white dragon attacked, and Astartes died before even reaching Settel. Priscus was severely injured, but he was healed.

The group reached the village and quickly learned that most of the disappearances had been blamed Antonin, a sorcerer, by the villagers, who was the first to disappear. Furthermore, he had wandered into the forest himself, which only increased suspicion. The group decided to go to the man’s house, where they found his wife. She was at first reluctant to speak to them, but they forced themselves in, and Halien interrogated her. He learned that in the forest, there was an abandoned Majak lab that her husband had found, and lately he had not come back from it. Meanwhile, Parolles and Priscus searched the house. They found a ring, which Priscus discovered was magical, and helped one in searching. The woman demanded the ring back, telling them that her husband had made it for her. However, she was ignored, and Halien told her that it was advance payment for finding her husband.

The next morning, the group left for the building. Even with the woman’s vague directions, they discovered it fairly easily. Halien found a magical trap near the entrance, and with some trouble they managed to enter.

In the first room of the lab, there were two doors. The one to the left had been opened, and the lock was discarded by it. The one to the right was still locked. At first, the group chose the unlocked one. They wandered into a room filled with long tables and discarded alchemical supplies. Outside of their light, creatures moved in the shadows. After searching for potions that were still functional, they moved on to the next room.

Here, Magnus threw his sword, lit with magic, to the end of the hallway. However, halfway through its trajectory, it stopped, turned around, and came flying back at him. From there, Parolles and Veren were grabbed by a malevolent force and flung across the room, outside of the light. The shadows that had demanded their souls before came to Veren and drained him of his strength, while Parolles was able to run away. Priscus lit up the room with a fire spell, and the group fought off the shadow creatures. However, Veren was drained. They determined it best to leave the area and come back when he was recovered.

Five days later, they returned to the complex and found that the trap had been reset. After disabling it, they took the other door, and walked into another room filled with abandoned alchemical supplies. Other than two eye-spaced holes, nothing was a threat here. However, in the next room they discovered a Haunting Trap that made them become extremely depressed and hopeless. Here, a giant skeleton-like creature, identified as a Boneclaw, emerged and attempted to kill them. Thankfully, it was fought off fairly easily, and the group moved on to the next room.

It is worth noting that they discovered something of interest in this place. In a room roughly in the center of the complex, holding tanks containing enormous numbers of perfectly preserved dead bodies were still maintained. We do not know what kind of technology Majakians had. However, it is disturbing how they used it.

Finally, the group moved on to the final room, where they faced the sorcerer who had left the village. However, they also witnessed something surprising: near the end of the room was a disturbing golden idol. The sorcerer, who was deteriorated mentally and physically, seemed to hold some kind of fascination for it.

After trying to talk him down, and making him drop his guard, Halien fired two arrows. He was injured, and the battle began. The sorcerer started by summoning an undead abomination, and made it distract the group while he defended himself. His fatal error, however, was that his shield could not defend against the magic weapons of the Slayers, and he was defeated. After a discussion over whether he would be spared, Magnus killed him.

The group then discussed what should be done with the idol. At first, Magnus beat it with a small tree he had carried into the building. However, it showed no sign of damage. Somehow, it was established that the best idea was to tie a rope around it (without touching it) and pull it off of the ledge it was perched on. However, after falling twenty three feet, it showed no signs of damage. The Slayers dragged it back to The Citadel on a rope, and presented it to a High Priest, who told them that their best option was to place it in the research division and leave it there for now.

Recently, I have seen it, and the very image of it haunts me. Perhaps I am not in any position to recommend actions taken, but I believe that we are dealing with things best left alone here. Given what the idol did to that sorcerer, and its indestructible nature, I believe that it should be locked up and abandoned, never allowed to see the light of day.

Though I doubt anyone will listen.

-High Priest, Novy Poradie.

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Seventh Mission
Svätyne and the Orcs

In the novice Slayers’ last mission, it was reported that there was a village that had been attacked by giants, and had forced the surviving inhabitants to flee. I passed this on, of course, and a group of more experienced Slayers were sent to take care of it.

Unfortunately, after the giant threat had been eliminated, the group faced a large number of orcs coming down from the mountains. Wounded and having suffered casualties, they could not fight them, and instead fled.

Thankfully, the orcs were on foot, and the news reached The Citadel fairly quickly. As soon as it did, we acted in the way we were always told to: sizable groups of Slayers sent to every Slabým village that was a likely attack spot for them. I decided it was a good mission for my group of Slayers to get their feet wet with orc-fighting, and sent them to Hillfoot, a town they were familiar with, and the one most likely to endure minimal attack.

I turned out to be wrong.

When the group left The Citadel, it made haste. Snowfall, as well as snow on the ground, slowed them down. But they still reached their destination in good time. However, when they finally arrived, they were surprised to see Svätyne banners on the sides of the wall that they, themselves, had helped build. Confused, the Slayers went to one of the farms outside of the main town, and asked the inhabitants what had happened. The answer they received was surprising: the Svätyne guard had come, and annexed Hillfoot via forceful declaration that it belonged to them. When the farmer was informed of the orcs, he panicked, and brought his family with him toward the gate. The slayers were offered to come as well.

When the slayers reached the gate, it apparently took quite a while for the guard to open for them. Even after that, they asked repetitive questions of the Slayers before they had their leader open the gate. Being close-minded, as they typically are, they would not listen to The Slayers concerning the orcs, and had trouble even believing them. Still, they fortified their defenses, and their scouts later returned and revealed that we were, in fact, right. And not only so. According to the scouts, around twenty-five orcs were headed for the village. With no choice, and mutual survival as the motivator, the Slayers formed and alliance with the Svätyne guard, and the two groups agreed to hold the line together.

While this was going on, the Slayers observed the town. Some of the Slabí were extremely stressed, and showed signs of being subjugated. Others, on the other hand, believed that they would become citizens of Svätyne, and would be much safer. It is unclear, even to me, what the town’s future will hold, but I will write on that topic further down.

In a well thought out strategy, the group decided to make a bonfire in the center of a field, and hold the orcs off there. Scouts climbed on top of buildings to serve as archers, and a group of Soldiers and Clerics stood around the fire, drawing the orcs toward it to take advantage of their contempt for light.

When the orcs showed up, hopelessness was apparently the first reaction. The group’s number was almost doubled, and the enemy soldiers were hulking, roaring white masses covered in red body-paint. The leader pointed forward, and the battle began.

Despite all odds, and with minimal casualties, the Slayers emerged victorious. Injuries were endured, but due to the Svätyne clerics, few of them were fatal, and none of them were fatal to Slayers. In the conflict, a Slabí farmhouse was destroyed with fire magic, but the damage was minimal in comparison to what the orcs would have done.

The Svätyne guard thanked the Slayers, but were cold as usual. When the group returned to me, Ulfgar suggested that this could be the beginning of an alliance between the two powers. Clearly, with all respect to him, he has not spent long talking to the guard. They are cowardly, and callous to the needs of others, taking only the actions that keep them safe. They would allow the Slabí to entirely die out if it involved them not lifting a finger.

I am unsure, and uneasy, about the fate of Hillfoot. My first guess it that most of the original villagers will become serfs or slaves, and that the settlement will expand to become a larger power. I cannot assume, however. It has been long since we spoke to the leaders of Svätyne, and it is possible things have changed. (if they are expanding outward, things have changed quite a bit) I would request a scout to have a permanent residence within the Hillfoot area, and to report what he sees happening every few weeks. This could be advantageous or disadvantageous to us, and we must be aware of its full effects.

-High Priest, Nový Poradie

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Sixth Mission
The Love of Beasts

On October 13th, The Slayers came before me again. Their mission, even to me, seemed standard: Go to the village of Riverwood, and kill the wolves that had been attacking. It seems that it ended up being far more complicated than I had anticipated. Kaja had been removed this mission, and was replaced by two new Slayers: Astartes, an elf, and Ulfgar, a Dwarf. The addition of these members makes the group a strange amalgam of races, but hopefully it will not obstruct any attempts at diplomacy. The travel was easy enough. It involved the Slayers returning to Hillfoot, a place they had been before, and going beyond into the forest. The first complication arose when a storm broke overnight. The following day, the Slayers ran into a traveling group of Slabí from a village that had been destroyed by giants. It was decided that the Slabí would be led to Hillfoot, where they would be dropped off. This went well, until the next day, when the group was attacked by great birds. Several Slabí were killed, and Astartes was almost killed, but thankfully survived, albeit with a large facial scar. The villagers were led to Hillfoot, where they were set to stay. The group also chose to stay in the village overnight. There, they had a run-in with Berret Kren, one of the doppelganger suspects of their third mission. Berret eventually managed to get gold from the Slayers, and tried to use that gold for the purpose of womanizing. However, Halien stalked him, and interrupted him and his would-be lover in the middle of their tryst. There was a skirmish and confusion as Ulfgar was convinced that the man had raped the girl. He beat him to unconsciousness, and left him lying half-naked in the center of the village. In the middle of the night, something slit Berret’s throat. The whole community was left in a panic, and the Slayers slipped away. They traveled through the forest until they reached Riverwood, a very small village, even by Slabí standards. It was made up of only around six families. The group first ran into two children: Kvetina and Zhont. Both of the children seemed nervous around the Slayers, especially Zhont, who was outright angry at them. The group was persistent in trying to negotiate, but in the end they only ended up getting the name of the most respected member of the village. This was Dôm, the man who had built the bridge going over the river. They questioned him repetitively, and found a few things: namely that the bridge was a choke-point, that the wolves had a chance of coming every night, and that there was a large number of them, in addition to a larger, much more menacing wolf leading the pack. The group proceeded to set traps along the bridge, giving the villagers who lived on the wolves’ side of the river temporary settlements on the other side. As they did, they searched throughout the destroyed houses, and Priscus Primoris identified the fact that one of the houses had been destroyed from the inside, instead of from the outside. Furthermore, this was the house that Kvetina had previously lived in. Furthermore, the group had noticed that Zhont and Kvetina had been acting suspiciously this whole time. They took Kvetina aside and interrogated her, much against the will of Zhont, who fought them. As Kvetina was interrogated, she grew increasingly emotional. Zhont, who was being held by Ulfgar, demanded that he let him go, as if he didn’t it meant danger for them all. Ulfgar dropped Zhont harshly onto the ground. Kvetina transformed, becoming a humongous wolf, and attempted to run away, but was riddled with arrows and spells, in addition to a critical blow dealt by Magnus. Astartes finished her, stabbing her in the heart. A group of wolves attacked next in vain attempt to save or avenge their master. They were defeated easily by a combination of traps and magic. The next day, the villagers were horrified by what had happened to Kvetina…but understood that she had been a werewolf, and that it had been necessary…at least…most of them did. Zhont, in blind anger, grabbed a metal bar and charged at Halien with it. Halien shot two arrows without hesitation, and killed the boy instantly. The villagers were horrified, but there was nothing they could do. The slayers dug graves for the children, out of respect, and buried them together. Next, the Slayers convinced the people to leave Riverwood, and go to live in Hillfoot. This was, perhaps, a good idea. With the Slabí consolidated, it will be easier to defend them from Orcs. The group led the villagers to the town themselves, and spent an extra day helping them build a quick and functional wall. The death of the children was regrettable, especially Zhont, but I cannot expect to criticize or change the actions of the Slayer who made the choice. After all, The Citadel would disagree.

-High Priest, Nový Poradie

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