The Citadel

Eighth Mission (19)
The Ent Seed

This mission, I was forced to send my Slayers out with little information. We did not know where they were going, and while we knew what they were looking for, we did not know what it actually was.

A group of Slayers sent by another priest had found a green orb in the forest. They sent a messaqe using a spell, saying that they had identified it, and apparently it was something extremely powerful. However, that was the end of their message. We had been eagerly awaiting their arrival…but they had not returned. Naturally, The Citadel was very frustrated by this.

My group was called on to follow through. First, they were to find out what the orb was, and if possible bring it back. In order to better locate the orb, we sent the Scout Parolles Zeno with them. Priscus Primoris was called forth to attend this mission, as he had created some kind of robotic hydra that needed to be tested.

All The Slayers had to go off of was the last place the other group had identified themselves as being, near one of the corners of the thick river. With little to go off of, they started venturing south. As they traveled along the banks of the river, they encountered a swarm of small fairies that demanded they play with them. The swarm seemed friendly at first, but the group was cautious. Parolles, knowing how to speak Sylvan, communicated with them and asked them what they wanted. In between the games of throwing acorns around, the fey mentioned that they wanted to play forever, and that the last people they had played with had wanted to stop playing, and that they had gotten angry and…killed them? That was what the general gist of the message was, at least.

Gonson created an image of the group leaving, and while the fey were distracted Priscus cast haste, and everyone ran from the creatures, then hid far away. Priscus, curious about whether the fey were coming after them, sent his Dove familiar to spy. Unfortunately, the dove was noticed, and the angry fairies killed it, then followed the general direction it had been running to reach the group.

Everyone ran away, and managed to retreat as the fey attacked Priscus’s mechanical hydra. Thankfully, even a thousand tearing hands can do little to adamantium plating. The hydra ran into the river, then submerged itself. The group argued about whether to leave the Hydra behind or not, but as they argued it emerged from the river, and they decided to forge on.

The group ventured west, where, hopefully, they would not be near the river. However, they still lacked any idea of where they were supposed to go. As they traveled, every member of the group except for Rin and Parolles was suddenly captivated by a strange noise, which they described as the most beautiful thing they ever heard. Despite Rin and Parolles trying to fight them, they were led to a fey ring, best described as a ring of soil surrounded by mushrooms filled with powerful magical effects. Neither WAR nor Gonson nor Kridon suffered any ill effects, and instead started speaking to the Pixies surrounding the ring. WAR started tearing mushrooms out around the circle, and the Pixies grew angry, demanding he put them back. Eventually, he did so, and the Slayers started questioning the Pixies about the green orb. Unfortunately, none of them knew about it.

As this was going on, Priscus entered the ring and immediately transformed into a toad. His party members could do nothing but stare. They asked the Pixies to change him back, but were told that they could do nothing. All of the sudden the pixies fled, and Shanara appeared again. She asked the group why they were in the forest, and upon being told about the green orb, informed them that a Nymph took it, expressing some level of disdain. Still, however, she told them where the nymph was, and then transformed Priscus back into a human. The problem was, she could only transform him into a human, not the same human. So it was that Priscus transformed into a toad which transformed into Jack, the random Slabi with no idea what was going on.

After being told where the Nymph was, the group headed in that direction. However, they did not find a nymph right away. Instead, they found a group of Satyrs, who were loud, boisterous, and planning a party…pretty much as Satyrs always are. With no other leads, the group celebrated with the Satyrs.

Thankfully, none of the Slayers drunk too much alcohol…except for Jack…but whether or not Jack counts as a Slayer is not a question I want to get into. A Satyr apparently took the drunken Jack aside to attempt to fornicate with him. Thankfully, Gonson prevented this from happening, but could not prevent Jack from vomiting and urinating.

During the party, Parolles noticed a drunken Satyr talking about Massandra, a name he did not recognize, before another Satyr shushed him. In the morning, Parolles approached this Satyr, and asked him who this was. He responded angrily, but after an aggressive inquiry he pointed Parolles to the Satyrs’ leader. The leader told the Slayers that she was a nymph, and that if they promised to do nothing wrong, he would let them talk to her. However, if they took any aggressive action, the satyrs would attack.

When the Nymph emerged, the group closed their eyes, knowing that they could be blinded if she wished it. She told them that she would not give them the orb, however, they could learn of its purpose if they did something for her. Some of her sisters had been attacked by giants recently, and that all the nymphs felt threatened. If the group attacked the giants and killed them, she would tell them what the orb was. The group agreed, and headed toward the cave she pointed them to.

When they reached the area, they found that they were at a cave of Ettins. Inside was a group of three two-headed giants worshipping a bear. The party fought them, and with the help of Priscus’s hydra, modified to listen to the commands of anyone, they defeated them.

Meanwhile, Jack was staying with the Satyrs. He crafted a spoon, and then took a nap. The Satyrs had a party, and he got drunk again.

The group came back the Nymph after slaying the giants, and she showed them the orb, telling them that it was an ent seed, and that it was useless to The Citadel. She then told them that if they did one final favor for her, she could turn Jack back into Priscus. The seed needed to be planted, in a Fey Ring, and thankfully, the group knew of one. She could not do it, as she and the Satyrs were bound to the fey pool. However, they could. IF they did it for her, they would be aided by any Nymph they met in the future. If they did not, they would become their enemy.

The group decided that they would do so, and planted the seed. As they did, it released enough power that the Nymph turned Jack back into Priscus. From here, the group said their thanks, and departed. They had one last encounter with Shanara before they left the forest, and she admitted to them that she hated Nymphs.

I know that the Slayers did not return the Ent seed to The Citadel. However, Nymphs could be a valuable, if not entirely trustworthy, ally to them. And at least Priscus was transformed back into himself. We need all the people we can get.

-High Priest, Novy Poradie

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Seventh Mission (18)
The Pixies of the forest

The group went on their first mission into the forest recently. Their goal was to find a group of children who had been kidnapped by Pixies from Suthertree, a Slabi settlement. Thanks to the Portal Stone, Suthertree was fairly easy to reach, and the group was exposed to the Slabi culture of the forest. The people here do not speak common, and many of the members of the group had a hard time speaking to them. They learned, however, that these people were extremely religious, and some of them, a little disturbingly, took the capture of their children in stride. The group spoke to the mayor, and to a friendly villager, and learned that the Pixies had taken the children south, along the river. A group of slabi had gone after them, but had not come back. The Slayers headed that direction, and after traveling for a considerable time met a man by a tree. The man told them that he was one of the slabi who had tried to rescue the children, but he and his group had failed to do this, and had instead tried to steal the Pixies’ treasure. The treasure was apparently back behind him if the group wanted it. WAR cauterized the man’s wound with a heated sword, and then checked the pile of treasure back behind the man. Unfortunately, the treasure was an illusion, and WAR fell into a pit of spikes. The man transformed back into a Pixie, and then disappeared. Thankfully, WAR was not significantly damaged, and removed himself.

In the night, Pixies swarmed the group’s campsite and started talking to them. The Pixies were eccentric, immature, and endlessly humorous, with no regard for human life. They made members of the group dance incessantly, and shot arrows of sleep, but eventually left when they grew bored.

Shortly after, they ran into their bizarre fey friend, Shanara, who seemed very offended at Parolles speaking Sylvan to her. She threatened him if he even glanced up her dress…for whatever reason. The interaction with her was strange. And she ended up even speaking to WAR briefly…what about, I don’t know. But their conversation partially concerned the Pixies, and she confessed that she did not like them.

Finally, they reached the Pixie camp, where the Pixies were holding the children. The interaction that followed was beyond bizarre. The Pixies were keeping the children in a large jar, having shrunk them. They demanded that they play a game, but couldn’t agree on which game to play. Eventually, the Pixies released the children, and said that they would play a game with the party. In the confusion that followed, the Pixies all killed each other until there was only one of them left…who promptly turned and flew away. The Slayers had…saved the children?

Anyway, as they headed back, they were attacked by a group of giant spiders. Thankfully, these were easily defeated, and the children were returned to the village.

All in all, this mission went well. We are lucky that these Slayers have yet to encounter the incredible danger that lurks within this forest, or at least encounter it in a way that is hostile to them. We can only hope that they are able to ease into this, and not outright die like so many of the other Slayers we have seen before.

-High Priest, Novy Poradie

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Sixth Mission (17)
The Journey to the Forest

Seeing as how they have been Standard Slayers for multiple missions, and they have performed…competently, I decided that it was time for my group to venture south, to protect the Slabí villages formed outside of the valley. For now, The Pánov have ruled that these settlements are still vital need to be protected, as humanity should not be trapped within the gulch.

As we all know, the first step to taking part in this missions is to activate the Portal Stone of the forest. This was the objective of our mission. Rin was not readily available, unfortunately, and I will arrange for her to activate the portal stone herself before any missions within the forest take place, and Kain, having fled The Citadel, was also unavailable. However, I was sent a new recruit, a being known only as WAR. Many of the group members were uneasy about the creature, if it can even be called that, and stayed uneasy about it throughout the mission. I, myself, am not entirely sure what it is.

In the briefing, I gave the group a folding boat and instructions on how to get to where they needed to be. Before leaving, Julius had the magical rope from a few missions prior identified. Apparently, is was a magical rope that would obey his every command.

So the group set forth through the valley. Thankfully, the thawing season was ending, and the worst they had to deal with was slush and mud. Unfortunately, I must report that WAR showed a strange disrespect for the other Slayers, and managed to scare their horses into fleeing simply by glaring at them. The group was scrambled, and thankfully managed to reorganize themselves, still, if they had been attacked during this, the results would have been disastrous.

They were attacked, however, the next day, by a group of Carnage Demons. Thankfully they were not powerful, and were easily dispatched by the party. However, further on in the forest they found a hastily built hut, containing a slaughtered family. Within the hut they found an amulet and a sword, both with strange eye-symbols on them. When tested for magic, they found no evidence of it on the amulet, but a powerful aura on the sword. Not knowing exactly what the symbol meant, they packed away both, and continued on.

After a few more days of travel, the group ran into a gnome burrow, which had probably once been built underneath the snow, but was now no longer hidden. Just as they encountered this den, the occupying gnome himself opened the door, and ran out, carrying a bag of goods. Most of the group took up chase, while Gonson stayed behind. As expected, they quickly caught up to the gnome, however, as soon as they did, they found that he was an illusion. Gonson, staying at the gnome den, spotted the real one leaving, and ran after him. Once again, a horse can easily outrun a short man with stubby legs, and Gonson tackled the gnome. The rest of the group arrived in time to see the two of them struggling on the ground, and everyone else joined in. They apprehended the Gnome and tied him up. He began to make negotiations, to which the group was cynical. They found four magical items in his bag, and he warned them that these were not properly made. However, he told them, there was something better. Cautiously, they followed them into his house, and he showed them what was apparently a stone that transformed into whatever gem they wanted it to be. They had the opportunity to sell this thing back to The Citadel for an unimaginable sum of money. Say what you like about these Slayers, but they did not accept the offer, and decided instead that the Gnome himself would be more valuable. So, they kidnapped him, and brought him with them.

As they moved south, they continued to harass the gnome, at some point forcing him to urinate while they held him above the ground from his hair. I, personally, don’t feel proud of the cruelty the group showed, but clearly within The Citadel this was not a problem.

Eventually, they reached the lake, where they activated the folding boat, and moved south across the water. Eventually, they ventured into the river, where the currents became rapid. They encountered ice floes, here, and slowed down or avoided them. Unfortunately, this became more difficult when they were attacked by a strange monster with a massive number of tentacles. The fight was long, and difficult, and during it Zayn was seriously injured. Thankfully, however, they eventually defeated it…only to almost run into the mountains on the edge of the river. After quickly turning the boat, they went the rest of the way down the river.

Finally, the group arrived in the forest. They folded the boat back up and traveled along the mountains. On the edge of the forest, as they wandered, Gonson decided to throw dirt at a tree.

I am not making this up.

He threw dirt at one of the trees. This tree and the tree next to it, with their roots, then formed a massive clot of dirt, and threw it at him. He was plastered to the ground, but thankfully alive. The rest of the group dragged him away. As they continued to travel through the forest, however, they encountered a strange woman sitting on a tree. Her skin and hair were pure white, and her eyes were bright red. Her speech was abrupt and random, and she would frequently call them rude and tell them she might eat them. Eventually, she introduced herself as Shanara, and told them that she would be their friend. The implications of this are uncertain.

Finally, they encountered the Portal Stone. Here, they injected their blood into the symbol so that they could teleport back to The Citadel. However, unfortunately, they realized that the Gnome they had been planning on bringing back did not have his blood in the Citadel fountain. Therefore, there was no way for him to come through. The discussion on what to do with him was short, Julius decided that he would kill him, and did so with no hesitation. Zayn prepared to cast a spell, but WAR interrupted this by grabbing him, and knocked Zayn unconscious. The group moved through the portal and returned to The Citadel.

As I write this, a trial will take place for Zayn. Several of the Slayers are disgruntled about Julius’s behavior. I am inclined to agree with them, though it certainly was not alright for Zayn to cast a spell on a fellow Slayer. After the results of this trial, we will see what the future of this group will be.

-High Priest, Novy Poradie

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Fifth Mission (16)
The negotiations with Svatyne

In light of what has occurred, I would like to apologize sincerely.

However, I would also like to recommend that less easily intimidated Scouts are sent out on missions in the future. Yes, a group of Slayers negotiated with the current head of the Koslod family. And yes, said group of Slayers was what has become increasingly known as “Novy’s tribe of freaks”, but this would not have occurred if the Scout appointed had not been stunned and broken down by Vari Koslod. These diplomatic scouts should be more carefully chosen in the future.

Regardless, what happened happened, and for the most part my Slayers did what they were supposed to do. Their mission was to escort the scout, Ervad, to Svatyne, where he would hopefully negotiate with the reigning monarch Miro Koslod, and find out why Svatyne was expanding.

Their journey was made difficult by the fact that the thawing season was underway, at the time, and ice and snow melting created a slush that was difficult to move through. White oozes were a constant threat, and they were attacked on their journey, thankfully making it through with no casualties. After a week of travel, the group reached Hillfoot, or the town that had once been Hillfoot.

To confirm Ervad’s report, if it is stated the same way: The Slabi are in a state of indentured servitude, perhaps closer to slavery, in the territories that formerly belonged to them. They are kept safe by walls around what used to be simple villages of huts. Their labor helps Svatyne to strengthen the defenses of its new outposts.

Some of my Slayers, I will admit, had problems with this. Kain, due to his draconic culture, did not believe in the concept of slavery. Negotiations with the new mayor of Hillfoot were tentative for this reason. Ervad had to do everything he could to stop a conflict from breaking out.

Thankfully, it was managed, and the group moved the rest of the way to Svatyne being escorted along with a group of merchants. Julius made fast friends with a human merchant…much to Kain’s dismay.

Upon reaching Svatyne, the group was forced to discard their weapons. Julius apparently concealed daggers in the saddlebags, which was a smart move, but ended up being unnecessary. There was no time to see the sights, or opportunity to get into a fight, as the group headed straight to the lord’s castle. They finally came across the new lord, Vari Koslod, and learned some interesting things.

Miro Koslod is dead. His son, Vari, has taken the throne. Vari is expanding Svatyne’s borders, and plans on stretching an empire across Zverak. Naturally, this has been attempted before. However, in earlier days, we had an alliance with Svatyne. Now, there is no alliance, and the country is intending on taking us over as well. Ervad was overwhelmed by this information, as well as Vari’s intimidating presence, and could not negotiate. The group was forced to step in, as Vari requested it himself. Kain, apparently, did most of the negotiating. Julius did not approve of his insinuations, but the lord accepted his terms. These suggested terms will be mentioned shortly.

It should be noted that when the group came back, Kain was insistent on seeing the Revered Maiden. However, she was busy, for a long time….today, he came into my office and informed me that he was leaving The Citadel.

At this point, I am down a Slayer, and one of the better ones. Kain left in a huff of impatience and irritability. The Revered Maiden managed to talk to Panov out of punishing him for his last, if brief, desertion, but I have no doubt that if he ever returns from this indefinite absence, he will be executed. Not that he wouldn’t deserve it. Like a coward, he fled back to his dragon cave where he wouldn’t have to bear the weight of making a difference. Meanwhile, more of that weight has been placed on the shoulders of those of us who are still willing to fight.

I wonder what the Revered Maiden would say, after fighting to keep him here.

But I digress, the suggestion appointed to me was as such: In terms of negotiations, we should offer to give Svatyne access to our golems. Without, however, the knowledge of how to build them. These golems would soon become an integral part of their civilization’s construction and defense, however, Svatyne’s lack of magical knowledge would leave them reliant on us.

The judgment of this proposal I leave to the hierarchy. I would appreciate it if you were to read it before you simply dismissed it.

-High Priest, Novy Poradie

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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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