Creed Encampments and Candle Portals

A brief letter arrives at Rydelia Fayn's desk, bearing the personal seal of Nial the Ranger

Commander-

It seems that the fortresses located by Sulovir II were just the beginning of things. As you and I noted, there were a few Skeleton Archers that we swiftly dispatched near Marali, to say nothing of the grove of Bracken surrounding a particularly dangerous Ancient Bracken. Yet those foes seemed reasonable in number.

In recent days, however, we have discovered several more groups, most notably those of Liches and potentially Wraiths.

First, the Skeleton Archers. Shuab, Sulovir, and myself discovered them on the Marali Peninsula a few weeks ago. They proved less than a fair fight, and our party spent the better part of the next day marching to Duldrus to clear other fortresses. We found none besides the initial.

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Then, merely a few days ago, I received word from Nedved II that Amere and Shuab had reported multiple Liches to the S-SW of Marali. I was quick to help him locate them, but along the way, we stumbled upon a second gathering of Creed forces, one that certainly involved at least a trio of Skeleton Archers and possibly more than one Wraith.

Since we were hoping to aid our companions--who were in dire straights, indeed, with several of their number in grey--we decided to press onward to the Liches and recover the fallen members of our entourage. We managed to pick up Gladash and Shuab, and the four of us proceeded to the Lich Fortress, which was guarded by several Bone Mages and Blink Hounds.

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I will spare you a depiction of the dishonorable tactics we employed, but I will also not ask forgiveness. In times of great need with so few allies, we must all make compromises, and several occurred while we attempted to dispatch four Liches, one at a time. It was a long and harrowing fight, punctuated by a moment of raw terror as one injured Lich sought revenge on a stealthy Gladash, far from the predictable slashes of my blade or parries with my shield.

In time, however, we cleared them out but found neither note nor Chest within their accursed dwelling. In fact, the lack of some sort of documentation or supplies suggests that the Liches were a secondary concern to the Creed. Which brings me back to the encampment of Skeleton Archers and Wraiths...

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Commander, it was gone, minus a half dozen Logs and a strange circle of Candles. Shuab seemed to believe the latter was being a Portal. It seemed that while we were intently focused on whittling down the Liches, the Creed was transporting Undead and supplies through one of their Portals.

Although I initially wanted to say that I was confident we picked the more malevolent threat to handle, I am less certain in my later pensive moments. Skeletal Archers may be something of a threat in high numbers, but I doubt more than half a dozen escaped through the Portal. I saw very likely signs of one Wraith--and there were certainly possibly others--but even that or those do not concern me as Liches.

No, it is the potential supplies that the Creed moved through the Portal that give me the gravest cause for concern. Who knows what magical or occult artifacts they transferred while we were fighting the Liches? We may be fighting a Creed lacking Undead allies in great numbers but significantly more well-equipped than before.

I would like to hear your thoughts, and please do not hesitate to tell me of any information the Maralian Scouts have gathered. Naturally, it would be a salve if I were mistaken in my estimate of their item reserves, but I do not anticipate it being thus.

This encampment and Candle Portal was at approximately 1300 N x 1350 E. I do not know if it warrants further investigation, as the Candles seemed to be extinguished by the win, but I thought I should mention it all the same.

Take care of yourself and those closest to you, Commander.

-Nial the Ranger, Lieutenant

Comments

  • Lieutenant Nial,

    Thank you for your thorough report. Though we enjoyed a string of swift and decisive victories in the first days of the campaign, the Creed seems to be getting wise to our tactics. The Scouts’ latest reports suggest that we have taken some heavier losses in the field in recent days. But make no mistake, we will still win this campaign.

    As for the dignity of your tactics, there is no shame! You made short work of a physically superior foe, and your actions are to be commended. So too, I must note, are the actions of the ambassadors from Mirith, who have assisted in at least three separate sorties. I trust you will continue to accord them with all due honors and formalities while they continue to spend time in our city and amongst our ranks. As for the Dame Shuab’s suspicions about the candles, I am inclined to believe she is correct. She volunteered some important information during a meeting with myself, Sir Sulovir Lichslayer the Second, and Mother Altaira Mei; information regarding an entirely different encounter involving candles, mercenaries, an attempted assassination, and a disturbing note signed by a certain “M”. I am of course declining to commit the specific details of all of the above to paper, as well as my speculations on the conjectured supplies.

    I look forward to seeing you again soon. May you continue to prosper under the Harvest Moon!

    Marali Prevails,
    Commander Rydelia Fayn
  • An even briefer note arrives at Fayn's desk:

    Commander-

    I am sorry to hear the news about one of our Scouts being executed, his remains desecrated. We must destroy the Creed at all costs and remain wary in the interim. Personally, I feel some measure of responsibility for this, as it was I who suggested the Maralian Scouts extend their patrols to locate more gatherings of enemy forces. In light of this recent horror, however, I would advise the Scouts to travel in pairs or trios. Even though they may cover less ground, I think they would be risking considerably less.

    I also need to report a Creed Fortress that appeared unoccupied. Although the scent of Undead was rank on the surrounding area, the fort itself was unoccupied. I may be wrong, but it seems it was still in the process of being constructed, if the Logs lying about tell anything.

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    Shuab, Sulovir II, Ryen, Lillium, and myself also cleared out a Fortress filled to the brim with Wraiths. Due to the intensity of the battles outside of the fort, I did not manage to sketch any of the combatants during the skirmishes; however, I did draw my best recollection of the fortress's construction and marked its location.

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    Finally, the above companions and I also located and dispatched a gathering of Skeleton Archers and Bone Mages within the rock walls of the Dragon's Mouth, to the northeast of the Tree Maze. I believe I sighted a Dragon, but it had vanished by the time we rid the area of Undead. If I may be so bold, this suggests a potential alliance between Dragons and the Creed. Dire news, indeed.

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