The Order of Mercaerin
306 S.Y. -- Skara
A report of the battle against the Orders on Wednesday eve was posted in the Citizens' Forum of Skara Brae last eve
Vendui' to all!
This eve, M'Lord West lead the Federation to a great victory! We have recovered the defector, and have slain a few of the Order. Through the thieves, the murders, and the Order, the elves have prevailed along side their allies! Where to begin, there is so much to tell!
We began the eve meeting with our PAWS allies, escorting a wandering healer to the Ranger Hall. M'Lord bid welcome to his friends in SWG, but had to move quickly, as the vultures were massing to pick the remains of the fallen. Wolvesbane asked M'Lord to meet with Dux, to ensure that all the planes were laid out in perfect order. He complied, and rode off the meet their allies in the Chamber of Virtues, where no thief would dare travel.
M'Lord rushed off to meet the elves, and other allies which were massing in great numbers by his office in Trinsic. Brother Zeo has brought 4 fierce warriors from the furthest reaches to aid in the assault, and they were most welcomed. August ran over the plans yet again, and began to pair off the elves in three's. When all was set, they began to move toward the Old Skara Dock, when a call sang through the air!
The Order, ever crafty, had attacked early. They sought to slaughter the Elven sentries before the main forces arrived. The elves held the battle lines well, and M'Lord's forces were quick in coming. The wolves were there to greet them, blades dripping with the blood and sinew of Order scoundrels!
The battle carried on for some time, until Selrac Ca'rek was spotted. He had forged a much-guarded alliance with the Federation, promising to slay the leaders of the Order in return for Sanctuary. True to his word to August the night before, he did attack and slay Lord Lothair, one leader of the Order. Lord Zar'el, for some odd reason, recalled away almost as soon as the elves attacked. It matters naut, however, as he shall be found and slain. During the attack, M'Lord lost their new ally in the Frey. Desperately, fearing for his safety, M'Lord searched for Lord Selrac. He was aided by Lord Sam, of the Skara Brea Gentry, to a semi-secluded location. Lord West quickly opened the gate to safety, as the other began to lay down ruse gates to trick any that wished to follow.
When they arrived, they realized they were naut alone. Some of the crowd has managed their way into the gate, including some of the thieves. Fearing again for the safety of their comrade, August handed off his only rune to the secondary safe house. Selrac recalled to the location, as August made his way back to find the other commanders of the Forces. Joined by the heads of DWJ, EKR, SWG, EVR, and some honor guard, all went to the secluded location. It was here they gave sanctuary, and thanked their guest greatly. He was lead into the guest bedchamber of the home, and his nightmare was tied to the rail. With only the leaders present, the guest asked that he be allowed to sleep, as the battle had drained him much. All granted his wishes, and agreed to return on the morrow to listen to him speak. It seems there is a great story to be relayed to the leaders, and I shall be present to relay this information to all on the morrow.
Tonight was a great mile stone for the forces of good. M'Lord was given the head of a lesser Order member, and received word others has been slain. Selrac did slay the fiend Lothair, and has weakened the Order's leadership by one. The tides seem to be turning in favor of the elves, the wolves, and the humans. The fates have finally smiled on the weary warriors. I shall report again on the morrow, as Lord Selrac begins to unravel the mystery.
306 S.Y. -- Skara
It was quiet, other than troubles between the Rangers and Orks of Kor, but it is another story.
Earlier this eve, several people were seen chasing after a raven on streets of Skara Brae. They ran after it, and went outside town. Later, Locksley, a member of the Kindred, told me that the bird was a messenger from Selrac Ca'rek who had defected from the Orders of Mercaerin.
Locksley took me to the bird's nest in mainland, just southwest from Lady Sam's shop. Gems, coins and other trinkets were scattered around the tree. It looks like an ordinary raven's nest. Acceding to Locksley, he, his guildmaster Carnifex, and Aster found it and a message laid on the ground. It says that "Caw is a devoted pet and friend. I may be sending him with messages as need arises."
Oneof the leaders of Mercaerin, Lothair, was slain by Selrac on Wednesday, but Zar'el and Lady Kiri are still alive. Our town is still exposed to the menace. Selrac promised us to aid, and his next message is awaited.
306 S.Y. -- Skara
"Many years ago, I wandered the streets of Trinsic, young, alone and abandoned by my parents. I know not why they did this, only that I lived day to day from whatever I could find. One morning, with hunger gnawing at my spine, I lifted the purse of a Paladin for the gold contained in it
"They also slowly started to teach me of the skills that a Paladin requires. I excelled in their Arts and Skills, becoming one of their better warriors. However, for everything that they offered, they could not provide one thing that I craved. Acceptance for who I was, not what I was. They saw the young waif from the streets, not the man I had grown to be. To try to increase my stature and gain that acceptance and took to issuing challenges and accepting duels. Because of my skill with the more deadly herbs, I never lost a duel. And it was that that brought me to the attention of Zar'el and the Order.
"The Order of Mercaerin is an old and honored Order within the Paladin's Guild. If there was trouble beyond the power of the regular Paladins, the Order of Mercaerin was called in to dispense with that trouble. Lords Zar'el and Lothair, two of the Orders main Paladins lead the excursion into the new lands to investigate the appearance of the Ophidians and Terathians. They were gone with many Paladins and for many months.
"Naught was heard from them for quite some time. Just when their superiors started to think acout sending another group to find out what had happened to them, just Zar'el and Lothair returned. They came back injured and said the rest of their force was dead. They returned with artifacts, but kept one, a book, as was their right. It wasn't until later that it was found out the tome was one of great evil and power.
"Minax appeared approximately 1 year later. It was then that Lothair and Zar'el vanished.
"The tome slowly corrupts the user, hence the white skin and great power. The presence of the Virtues slowed the corruption, but with the coming of Minax and her corruption of the Shrines, the Virtues no longer protected Zar'el nor Lothair. The tome also contained the knowledge of the spell that I cast on Lothair. When the corruption of Zar'el and Lothair pressed harder upon them, they came here. It was then that they decided to take over the Lands, and recruit others for their goals.
"In the midst of my dueling, Zar'el came to me with promises of power and acceptance the things I craved most in this life. For a while, they provided what they offered, but at great cost to myself as you can see by my white skin and lack of hair. But that is the smallest of prices. It was their test of loyalty to the Order that turned me that I must murder others with the advantages given to me by my stuy of the Tome.
"One of the things that will aid in the destruction of the Order is the destruction of their Tome."
(A question was asked about the Location of this Tome)
"I would guess that they have moved it, knowing what I know of it and desiring to keep it safe.
"Another thing is to press them at their weak points. They are a proud lot and think themselves invulnerable. With their recent losses in battle, that knowledge has been shaken. Plus, the loss of Lothair will have shaken them badly. I think that for a time, they will withdraw and regroup.
"It was rumored within the Order that Kiri and Lothair were lovers. Perhaps. but like personalities attract like.
"Their pride is one of their greatest weaknesses, another is their overcondifence.
"The Order kept their lair in the Terathian Keep, but I would hazard to guess that they have since moved it."
--Why has the Order chosen Skara as their first target?
"Again, their overconfidence. It is an island city, easily defended. If they could break through the defenses and get in town. Then, there were lies told to them. And they deluded themselves. Also, the 0ther cities put up little to no resistance. And they desired the challenge. That Skara would be the hardest city to take.
"The hardest blows have been struck. Zar'el is in hiding and Lothair is dead. I thank you for your part in my aid.
"I fear there is little more information that I can offer. However, I will use some contacts I have to gather more information."
--Will the virtues still slow them down?
"Yes, the Virtues will definitely slow them and make them weaker."
--What is the Order's ultimate goal, Selrac?
"Nothing less than to supplant Minax and dominate this world."
306 S.Y. -- Skara
Before I begin, gentle reader, please allow me to make an introduction. My name is Gabriel Silverwind, and I am a humble alchemist and researcher by trade. I am normally found studying in the Lycaeum, but when I heard of the events pertaining to the Order of Mercaerin, I left the comfort of the Lycaeum and traveled to the Skara Brae of Felucca to investigate.
My first visit to the battlegrounds was a sight that will remain in my mind for all eternity. The bodies of the dead and undead were cast about as though a child had scattered his toys. The once fertile fields were drenched with blood. It would seem that the only happy creatures were the crows and vultures, as they feasted and grew fat from the rewards of the Order's efforts. I looked upon the carnage and thought that this must stop!
While I walked amongst the carnage, offering aid where I could, I heard names being mentioned. Zar'el Darkan, Lothair Maltus, Kiri De'Velthun, Selrac Ca'rek. It was this last name that caught my ear the most, for the worthy defenders spoke of his apparent reluctance to kill the defenders. I spoke to Sam, Chancellor of Skara Brae and August West for a short time and promised to look into the Order further.
It was with that in mind that I traveled to Trinsic to look into the history of the Order, and the background of Selrac in particular. After looking through the records of the Paladin's Guild, I discovered that Selrac was an orphan, taken in by the Guild and trained by them. Selrac excelled in that training, but yearned for acceptance and power, something that he could not be given by the parents that had abandoned him. He engaged in questionable duels, killing more and more. It was said that he never lost a duel, and appears that he used poisons in some of them. It was these duels that brought the attention of the Order and there were rumors of Zar'el appearing in Trinsic. Soon after, Selrac disappeared.
Hastily, I returned to Skara Brae and passed this information along, then departed with the advice that Selrac might feel as though he is in over his head and desires redemption.
When I returned to the Docks last eve, I was surprised to hear of the events of the eve. A few nights past, Selrac had secretly met with Lord West and arranged a deal. He would slay Lothair and Zar'el using a potent spell, in return for safe haven from the Order. Last night, the Order attacked the Docks again and most of the Order was present, however, conspicuously absent was Zar'el. The defenders, weakening the morale of the remainder, felled some of the lesser members of the Order.
During a lull in the battle, Selrac asked Lothair of Zar'el's whereabouts, Lothair said that Zar'el had heard rumors of something amiss and deigned to be elsewhere. Yelling a combination of Words of Power not heard before, Selrac cast a spell with spectacular effects and weakened Lothair near unto death. One of the defenders cast the final spell that dropped Lothair to the dirt. Weakened by the efforts of casting the spell, Selrac took to flight with Kiri De'Velthun and the Order in hard chase.
After a running battle that lasted many minutes, Selrac lost the vengeful Order members and returned to the Docks. The defenders held to their portion of the bargain. After a few muttered words, Selrac cast a spell and vanished, followed by the primaries in the Skara defense.
The following information I have gotten second hand. Apparently, Lords West, Dux Morningstar and Wolvesbane, along with other members of the defense, brought Selrac to a safe haven somewhere to the northeast. After many thanks from both parties, Selrac begged leave to rest, as the spell that weakened Lothair drained him mightily. He promised to return this evening with information on the Order and efforts that may be taken to wipe them from the face of Felucca.
I apologize that I was not able to get portraits, as it is rather hard to paint them in the midst of a battle, and oft, artists are targeted by spell and sword before others for some odd reason.
306 S.Y. -- Skara
Hail to you all. My name is Kelrin Nabri, a new reporter here, and the story I am about to present is something that will amaze you all! A couple of nights ago a few warriors were adventuring within the Terathan Keep when they stumbled upon a blackened area. From their reports it seems that the entire place had been burned out, for all that remained were a few charred books. One book in particular, however, the warriors read with great interest.
Apparently they had discovered a journal written by a certain Lord Zar fel Darkan. Unfortunately most of the journal was ruined and barely legible, save for the final few pages. As a reporter, I felt it my duty to share this information with the world at large, and so I present here the remaining excerpts from the journal of Lord Zar fel Darkan :
It does indeed seem to be a dark time for the realm of Britannia. As has been revealed elsewhere, Lothair was killed in battle by Selrac - but it seems that this Zarfel has discovered a means to resurrect his fallen comrade. Let us hope he does not succeed, for if successful he will surely threaten our great realm once again.
Another note, which confused me greatly, is the mention of a mage named Mercaerin. Who is this mage and what purpose does he serve? Is he dead or alive? I do not know the answers to these questions, but it does bring another mystery to this Order.
Tis my greatest hope that I shall discover the answers to these vital questions, or, at the least, that I can pass on to the populace of Britannia the knowledge of others, that we might all be safe from such evil in the future.
306 S.Y. -- Skara
It was rumored that a battle among factions in town last eve was rather harsh, so I stayed in my kitchen and baked some bread. While I was baking a friend of mine informed me that Lord Elex May was around and that he might have a new clue about the Order after his investigation of old books.
I immediately decided to visit Lady Tasina's shop as I knew that he was a good friend of hers, but I only found Halina and Jackalblade talking there. There was no skirmish of factions which seemed to annoy Tasina these days, nor herself. We together headed to Joh's, through Halina's moongate to look for Elex. It was not a hard quest. He was sitting at a table in Joh's with Lady Sam. After a brief greeting, we joined the conversation.
Unfortunately, we could not hear any new clues about the Order from Elex. In our conversation, however, there was something that caught my ear. Elex said, "Evidently, the taint can be undone... It is much preferable that Lothair and Zar'el be cleansed instead of killed." Could it really be possible? Only heaven knows. If I am allowed, I would hope so. Although I could not confirm this point, his investigation of the Order could have something to do with the way of cleansing the taint of lords, if he believes his own words.
Lord Elex May is going to attend the meeting of the Elven Federation this evening along with Lady Sam of Skara Brae. It is our hope that the Federation would listen to him, for as Elex and Lady Sam said, "If Skara Brae falls, then the Order has a real base" and "the rest of the land is in real danger to say the least."
Feb. 17 -- Skara
Vendui' To Everyone!
Last evening, M'Lord West was called upon again to lead the forces of the Elven Federation and their allies into battle against the Order. There has been much controversy over main points in this ongoing battle, as no tactic seems to fully work. Tonight, Zar'el Darak sought to return Lothair from the Grey Plane, and the elves tried to put a stop to it.
The evening began in the mists of fierce storms throughout the land. The rain beat so hard on the ground, all was forced to seek shelter in their homes for safety. Thunder and lightning struck all around the hallowed woods of the elven, disrupting their teleportation magic and spell casting. Nothing could be done but wait.
After what seemed like ages, the skies cleared enough to begin preparations for battle. A few of the elves had been lucky enough to escape the storm, and were already awaiting the forces at the staging area in Moonglow. M'Lord quickly collected the forces, and began to move towards the Telescope in olde' Glow. A sort of excitement and electricity could be felt by all, as they began to move in a great force to their destined meeting with Selrac.
When we arrived, and were immediately greeted by the Orks of Kor! Kor had sent his minions to guard the ceremony, and Selrac had warned that such a tactic would be used. The foul creatures flung themselves into combat, with little regard for personal safety or well being! The elves fought along side their ally, all the while trying to reach the Shrine to stop Zar'el. It seemed wave after wave of Ork and Order came at the elves, but nothing could stop them!
August was the first to make it to the Shrine. He was greeted by a team of Orkish Bloodlusters, and Zar'el himself. August fired off a spell, but was quickly "Clomped" by hoard. Before falling into unconscious, Zar'el informed M'Lord he had been too late, the ceremony was complete! These were the last words he heard before the blackness took over his mind.
Keeper Corum was quick to revive M'Lord from his state. West sprang to his feat, and began to issue the orders to protect Selrac! Zar'el knew who had lead the Federation forces to the site, and intended to send him to meet his maker. M'Lord rushed arround the battlefield, looking for the ally, and found him in the middle of an orkish clomping. He was fighting Zar'el fiercely, and the insults flew with every strike of his blade! A group of elven had also assembled around the melee, healing and protecting Sel'rac. The hoard noticed this, and turned their attention to the elves. After what seemed like ages, Zar'el gave the order to retreat.
Gates were opened, the undead attacked, and the Federation fought onward! M'Lord was fully prepared for the retreat, and had spoken to Lord Dux prior to the event. The elves, wolves, and rangers were quickly assembled, and gates were opened. We ran into the glowing portals, straight into the fouls smelling Ork mines! The element of surprise was ours, as we began to fight anew Again the battle raged, and the tide definitely turned to the Federation. The Order was beaten back, and was forced to recall to their camp. After the pull out, the formidable Federation quickly dispatched the Orks. Orders were give to once again form up, as brother Sarsipius began to open gates home.
In the process of transit, Dux, Wolvesbane, and August were left to speak. Dux asked if Lothair had been raised, and August frowned as he replied. All thought on this a bit, and then the question was raised, "What of Selrac?". None of the three had an answer to this, but all seemed a bit grim. Selrac was their ally, and he had fought by their side. In a seeming answer to their question, the area filled with ravens. All three of the men's eyes lit up, and one raven in particular squawked at them, Selrac's messenger They watched the raven for a bit, and then he flew on. If nothing else, they took this as a sign their friend had survived. When it flew out of sight, the three returned to their awaiting forces.
306 S.Y. -- Skara
The battlefield was covered with the bodies of the fallen. Blood and the smell of death was everywhere. The armies of the Federation and her allies had been victorious this day, or had they?
A few days earlier the Federation and her allies were told of this pursuit of Zar'el Darkan by the one whom the Order of Mercaerin branded a traitor, Selrac Ca'rek. With this newfound friend, one of the leaders of the Federation, August West, hoped that a weakness could be found to defeat the Mercaerin. First though, Zar'el had to be stopped from casting the spell and resurrecting his fallen comrade, Lothair Maltus.
The Federation went out to the Telescope near Moonglow and thereupon found Selrac awaiting them. With a few quick words Selrac informed the group that he discovered that the ritual was going to take place at the Shrine of Spirituality. With much haste the Federation moved quickly through a mystical gate created by Selrac, just north of the Shrine. Upon arriving though, they knew not what to expect.
Venturing slowly forward, the Federation was suddenly assaulted by the Order of Mercaerin and another threat, the Orcs of Kor. Surprised by the ferocity of the orcs, the front lines of the Federation fell. The Mercaerin soldiers soon followed and the battle was on. Though their enemies fought bitterly, a few groups of the Federation broke through and headed towards the Shrine.
Meanwhile the sounds of an enchantment were heard above the din, slowly at first and then louder. It was difficult to hear who was chanting but in the distance the form of Zar'el Darkan could be seen upon his horse and the ghostly form of Lothair Maltus floating above the Shrine. A glimmering appeared on each of them and between them, though what it meant was unclear. "Vas An Corp!" Zar'el spoke with a commanding voice and the apparition of Lothair took bodily form. Lothair was alive! No sooner had the spell been finished that Zar'el quickly ordered a few Mercaerin's to escort Lothair to safety due to Lothair's weakened state.
Upon seeing that Lothair was safe, Zar'el Darkan headed towards the battlefield and was beset by a Federation force. "You are too late," Zar'el stated as he sneered at the group of warriors. "Soon, very soon, Lothair shall again ride and help finish what was started." Upon speaking those words, Zar'el looked towards August West, "Where is the traitor, Selrac?" Before August could respond, the Orks of Kor attacked the party, led by Kog and Brak. Soon nothing was left but the dead or the dying as Zar'el rode across the broken bodies searching for his prey - and find him he did! With a speed born of fury Zar'el rode down upon Selrac and the two engaged in battle. While these two fought, other battles were being waged between the Federation forces and the Mercaerin. Here and there small groups of the Orcs of Kor did what they could to help and help they did in defending Zar'el from numerous Federation attacks.
After what seemed like an eternity, Zar'el gave the orders for the Mercaerin and the Orcs of Kor to withdraw from the field, their goal had been accomplished. Gates soon appeared into which the Mercearin retreated with the orcs and the undead were summoned to cover their retreat. The Federation made quick work of these mindless beings and began to help their fallen. Death and destruction were everywhere, but in the end the Federation had chased the Mercaerin off. But did they win? That remains the question. Yes, they were able to defeat and chase off the Mercaerin but they failed to stop the resurrection of Lothair. What will happen now with Lothair again dwelling within the realm? Only time will tell but I am afraid things do not look good.
Upon writing up this account I did receive word that the Federation mounted a surprise attack upon the Orcs of Kor and the Mercaerin at the Orc Mines. Whether it was successful or not I do not know at this time. Let us hope it was. As for Selrac, it seems he has all but disappeared and has not been seen since leaving the battlefield. Is he dead or alive? It is hard to say but it is indeed a mystery.