The Order of Mercaerin
306 S.Y. -- Skara
Skara Brae and perhaps all of Sosaria seem to have a new enemy that has already left much bloodshed and death in their wake. Calhoun and Rowan were but two of the many who have fallen under this mysterious group's powerful might. They have visited their wrath on the Freehold of Skara Brae the last couple of nights and it is very likely that they will strike again. Who are these mysterious warriors and mages? What do the want? These are questions that we must discover, but some information was found out from some of the party themselves.
At the Town Hall meeting Saturday night, three of their number spoke. Lord Zar'el Darkan, Lady Kiri De'Velthun and Lord Lothair Maltus, all astride breathtaking nightmares and each branded as murderers in the Realm. The two men were noticeably grandmaster mages, the woman being an archer.
Perhaps the terms men and women should be applied cautiously for these seem to be no mere mortals. Their skin was as white as an ice fiend and early reports suggest that no weapon of any material nor magic spells could harm them. The brave Malgan T'brie went sword to sword with one of their warriors and saw no reaction, while other valiant fighters fell easily by the arrows of these foul beings. One of their number, Zar'el, said that this new Order of Mercaerin would "grind all opposition in this realm held sway by the Virtues," and Lothair exclaimed that any who would oppose them "will face eternal fate if not joined to them."
It is still uncertain as to what their ultimate goals are or what weaknesses, if any, they have. All who encounter them are encouraged to relay any information that might be useful to members of the Freehold council. Only working together, can we overcome this new adversary.
306 S.Y. -- Skara
a splendid eve, all was going well. Bethany had opened the Sheck, everyone
was gathering for ale and crebs. Although a bit of fear was still haunting
the citizens, because the Order of Mercaerin had been seen earlier that
night. Some of us were hoping they would show up, so maybe they would
tell us their terms. But sadly, they did much more than that.
306 S.Y. -- Skara
Last night I once again returned to Joh's Creb Shak, hoping to discover a little more information about this Order of Mercaerin. For quite some time, it was relatively quiet, and the others that were also waiting at the Creb Shak, and myself, shared some interesting and enjoyable conversations for a little while, and at one point I even entertained the thought that maybe the Order had had enough, and weren't going to return. However, this belief didn't last long.
They came upon us in a rush, and soon almost all the defenders were either dead or hiding. Perhaps if the attack had been like the previous nights, we would have lasted longer, however there was one large difference. There were two more Mercaerin along with them, each just as Dark and Sinister as the formerly known three. The two newcomers were Lord Justinian Dreidel, and Lord Selrac Ca'rek. Something I noticed about the ladder was that he wasn't a Murderer, instead just a criminal. I didn't have long to ponder this however, as I was soon lying dead on the blood drenched ground, along with the rest of the defenders.
After about 20 minutes of this, the Murderers grew tired of killing us, and slowly retreated up the street. We followed them for a while, until we got to the crossroads, where they summoned a vast number of Lichs and then all recalled. We were left killing the undead mages, then trying to figure out what to do next.
I retired after this, and I'm not quite sure if they attacked again last night. I certainly hope they didn't, after the brutal massacre we suffered, I hope they at least left us one night to rest.
A few side notes. One, apparently Lord Lothair Maltus is their leader, as all of them take his orders. The newcomer, Selrac, is also much more talkative then the rest ever were, as well as him not being a murderer, leads a few to believe he is not actually a member of the Order, but instead some sort of Servant. As I previously mentioned, the Lady De'Velthun seems to be the weakest of them so far, and so I would advise all future warriors to focus their attacks on her, perhaps in killing one of them we can learn a secret to kill them all?
As they were killing us, they kept telling us this was what we got for telling lies about them. Apparently, they were referring to a reporter for the Chimera making up a story about them. I doubt the validity behind this reason however, because they were killing the citizens of Skara Brae before she ever wrote that story. Perhaps they are trying to moralize their attacks? Either way, I would strongly advise against saying any falsities about them for awhile.
Dain II also informed me last night that he has seen the Order of Mercaerin in Shame before, killing a few innocent adventurers. This once again leads me to believe they call Shame Home; however where they dwell exactly within its dark caves is still a mystery. Once again, this is just going on word of mouth, I have yet to see them there personally.
I will try to return to the Creb Shak tonight. I would ask all who read this to also make their way there, it is along the road leading south of Skara Brae, from the docks. I am almost sure the Murderers will attack again, and we need more defenders.
306 S.Y. -- Skara
I had arrived just in time to accompany the adventurers to the Orc Fort, where we found a few Orcs who told us that the Dread Lords and Lady had come through earlier, and had apparently said they were headed to Shame. They had also dropped a book titled "Mercaerin," which was written by Lothar Maltus. However it had no text inside, at least none that they could see. They weren't willing to part with the book, claiming it for Orc Property.
However, refusing to be discouraged, a fellow adventurer and myself headed to Shame, and journeyed all the way to the depths of it, attempting to find a trace or trail that would tell us the three Murderers had come by before. We found no such thing though, instead only coming across a lot of creatures that are native to Shame. Discouraged, we headed back to the Creb Shak to rendezvous with the other citizens of Skara.
After a few minutes, someone pointed out that there was a post on the Message Board that had been left by Zar'el Darkan, entitled, "A Warning." Darkan was a member of the Order, which had been attacking, and in the warning he informed all those who read thatc
"A time has come for Order to come into this Chaotic Land. And for that Order to prevail, deathcmust come tocmany."
He signed it only Zar'el Darkan, Order of Mercaerin. I was just pondering this as two of the three known Murderers arrived, once again on their mares, and set about killing the defenders.
However, they began to grow tired of playing with us, and after a few more minutes of being frozen constantly, they returned to what they only called their, "base," leaving minions of undead behind to continue the harassment for just a few more minutes.
After this I called it a night, however I'll note a few more things, which I observed last night.
One, their skin was frightfully pale, as was mentioned in a previous article. This leads me to think, as well as many of the other defenders, that they dwell in a home where the sun does not reach their skin, possibly a dungeon. The Orcs insist that they dwell in Shame, even though I saw no evidence to support this. Also, when they attacked the second time last night, the Dread Lady Kiri De'Velthun was not among them. Rumours are she was hurt badly in an earlier attack. Perhaps her wounds proved fatal and she is no longer among the living, if she ever was. These are all merely theories though, I shall return to the Creb Shak once again tonight to try to learn a little more.
Order of Mercaerin
and Orcs of Kor
Past meetings with the Orcs of Kor and the Order of Mercaerin have not gone well. Kor the Orc King has tried to make the Order, realize that they will need help in their war against the humans. The Order have typically replied, to Kor's attempts to parlay, with poison fields and energy bolts.
Knowing that the Order would be heavily damaging the forces of those who resisted them, Kor had begun discussions, with all evil beings that share Kor's outlook on the human mence, to form a unique alliance, a "Dark Dominion". According to Kor's plans, the Dark Dominion will begin arising as a new threat to the human population, as Demons, Undead, Drow and Orcs fight together.
The Order of Mercaerin recently had a significant set back in Skara Brae, and one of its Lords were slain. Although the Order will not acknowledge that they have under-estimated the strength and number of the humans, it seems that their actions may speak clearer.
The Order of Mercaerin attended the Lands of Kor last evening, to parlay with the Orc King. Kor, expecting an attack, quickly had the orcs surround the three Lords of the Order.
The Lords did not attack the Orcs, but several humans decided to temp their fate, and were quickly destroyed. Kor decided to listen to them. Lord Zar'el Darkan, brought forth a proposal to Kor.
Darkan proposed a non-aggression pact. Neither side would attack each other, until the pact is declared null and void. Several promises of actions were discussed, and finally the deal was sealed in an Orcish Bloodletting ritual. Darkan turned to Kor and warned him, that it was simply an agreement of actions, and dared Kor not to treat it as an alliance. Darkan clearly showed he had no liking of orcs, but the pact was simply a means to getting things done. Darkan also acknowledged that he had heard of Kor's plans in forming the Dark Dominion. (Most likely it was this very reason that made him come, knowing that a great force such as the Dark Dominion could indeed pose a great threat to him.)
306 S.Y. -- Skara
This last eve (Saturday night) was nothing new. As usual, the Order of Mercaerin wrecked havoc on our, for what was once, pleasant city.
Lately, the Order hath been bringing smaller troops with them. They are weak, and mountless. Who are these new commers to the Order? Are they meer apprentices? Or perhaps New Recruits? We do not yet know, but we do know that they have all died when they came to our Freehold. Perhaps this will show the Mercaerins that we mean business.
He introduced himself, and then later met I and a few others at the Great Horns Tavern for supper. He told us about his many adventures, such as the tale of the vile wench, Suzonne, and her minions.
After cider and warm legs of lamb, we started talking about the Order, and what he knows of them. He says that rumor has it, that they definately have a home IN a dungeon. He is not sure which, but he definately knows the rumors of Shame are false.
Thus, perhaps.. we finally get some answers. Let us pray these next nights do not bring too much destruction. As always, Luck from everyone from the Skara Brae Chimera.
306 S.Y. -- Skara
The Mercaerin: Origins
My name is Elex May, a War Paladin of Honor. I've served a long time, and fought through the first great battles of our war with Minax, but I am shocked the deepest now. Stuck in Trammel on official duty, I was unaware of the extent of the damage that this Order of Mercaerin has been causing. I was told, in the Great Horns Tavern, that several murderers were stirring things up. I thought nothing of it, until the names Lothair Maltus and Zar'el Darkan were mentioned.
Lothair Maltus and Zar'el Darkan, I'm sad to say, were Paladins. Good ones, too. In fact, it has been disputed that the two of them were the best warriors we ever had. Their skill was legendary. Lothair was a master of combat, and could enter a sort of controlled berserker rage, if that can be understood. Zar'el was a cool, calculating man, and almost never missed a strike.
About a year before the arrival of Minax, the two of them were selected to lead an expedition into the Lost Lands and mount an attack against the Terathans within their Keep. Of course, they did this without qualm. I didn't have much time to think on it, as I was deep in study at the time, but rumors flew of them being dead when the target date for their arrival passed. A week after they were expected home, they returned. They were bloodied, and I hear near death, but alive. The entire strike team that accompanied them died. I cannot begin to imagine what happened to them in the Lost Lands, though I often wonder.
Lothair and Zar'el became more secretive after this, though neither was very talkative in the first place. I never saw them regularly, but just before the Minax invaded they seemed to be more active and visible. I had been transferred to Vesper, and fought there, though the tales of their valor in defending Trinsic are still told. Whatever experience they faced, it improved their already legendary skill.
Soon after the recapture of Trinsic was accomplished, they simply vanished. No one knew what happened, or where they went, but their quarters were empty one morning, and they were never to be seen again. Or so we thought.
News of their return has sent me into deep thought. It is unlikely that a Paladin should ever fall, especially as far as they have...but for some reason it has happened. I urge everyone to stay away from where they have been known to strike ? or, at the least, to come heavily armed. From the reports I have heard, their skills have not dwindled in the slightest since the year of their disappearance.
Honor protect and guide thy path,
306 S.Y. -- Skara
Vendui' To All!
This eve, I had the distinct pleasure of leading yet another probe force of the Federation. Our new allies accompanied us, SWG, which also showed in force. I gathered us all at the stated time, and we moved into position to defend the besieged city of Skara Brea.
As we took our positions, we were followed by a small group of bandits, who sought to gain from a fallen elf. We huddled close, and used our blades to keep them at bay. In moments, the legions of the undead poured into us, sending our units in to battle. We slew everything in our paths, though for each one that fell, another rose to take it's place. They fought with honor, they fought with pride, and they fought like Elven!
When the last of the Hell Spawn fell, the Order arrived. Our numbers regrouped, and began to let fly at the Daemons. Alas, our superior numbers were sliced through like warm bread, and our bodies picked clean by the wharf rats. All had seemed lost.
In a desperate attempt to free mine Elven from this plague, I spoke to the Lady riding in the Order. I beseeched her to have audience, but she would not hear of it. I closed mine eyes, and began to cling to me death shroud for protection. I felt only the air rush by, as she rode past.
Recovering from the experience, I chased down another of their numbers. Fearing for my life, I held my hands up in a sign of peace. He batted them down, and prepared to strike. I begged again for audience, he stopped. Shaken in body, though not in spirit, I begged for audience. He muttered only "Speak to Zar'el Darak". Though I tried to question him further, he disappeared on the winds. All again seemed lost.
I prepared the elves for departure, when the winds whispered to me. "I shall meet thee, Leader of the Elven. Come to the Ranger Hall, and come alone! I quickly commanded my forces back to our homes, though they begged to stay by my side. I knew I could not say why I was staying, only that I must make sure they were safe.
Escorting the last elf through the gates, I proceeded to the Ranger Hall. I was met then by the leader himself, Zar'el Darak! Though every bone in mine Elven body said flee, my resolve again took hold. I questioned him directly as to the reason for the attacks. His answers were most interesting indeed. He spoke of the Order being wronged in some fashion, though no mention of how or why. He continued to say that the town must be "cleansed of filth", and that only then would peace be realized.
I could not seem to get an answer to my question, as Zar'el was as elusive as in battle. He spoke to me about the manner of fighting, and issued me a warning. He told me that the thieves and the wharf rats, feasting on our possessions, would be destroyed first. This was by no means a treaty, but simply the way of things.
On the subject of combat, he asked we adhere to the Honor Code of old, in that we naut fight while hidden in death's robe. Again, this might mean that our fallen may recover their possession, but there was no such promise made. I agreed to this point, as a representative of the Elven Federation, for it was the proper way. Fallen warriors must first dress and shed deaths token before continuing to battle.
"We will end this, M'Lord, one way or the others. Should thee seek peace, we shall be thy emissaries. Should thee seek death, we shall be thy escorts into Hades. We shall see the end, fates be damned, either way. That is the word from the Elven, and our word is honor."
Zar'el again snickered, and promised to see us in battle again. He promised that all would end, when he would ride through the city, restoring his order. Calhoun and myself, left alone, pondered this though, and shuddered at the vision. We bid each other Aluve', know we would be back again on the morrow.
306 S.Y. -- Skara
Vendui' my elves and allie!
Let this message be sent out on the four winds, the elves have made progress! Last eve, we gathered at Skara Brea to meet the Order in battle. We gathered at mine office, trying to fine tune our group tactics, when I recieved the message the Fiends showed early! I gave the call to arms, and we rode off!
Once we arrived on the docks, I told the elves naut to attack unless attacked. This was to give the Order a chance for peaceful settlement of this war, but it was to no avail. I was promptly attacked, and my peace efforts had failed. M'Lady Jasmine brought my sould back from the dead, and to my corpse I went.
After reequiping, and dressing fully for battle, I stood renewed on the dock. I caught the attention of Zar'el (or at least I thought I did), and spoke "So be it". Quickly, the order to slay any and all Order fiends was given! The elves will naut be triffled with!
The battle was most heated, but it seemd two of their weaker link thought it too warm. The elves chased down, and did slay Sonec Shu. His body was carved up by an unknown party, and his torso was given to me as a token of our accomplishment. The Order had begun to fall back, when a pigeon landed on mine shoulder.
Twas our allies, SWG, which sought out the elves. It seems they had chased, and did slay, the evil Albert Kronin! They howled in victory, and sent pigeons to the Federation so we might share their victory! The Order retreated, leaving their dead to be a banquet for the worms.
I was proud of everyone there last eve. We had more support from the local citizens last eve, including the Rangers who have always been present. Our wolfish allies have been a huge support, and there worth shined bright last eve. And the elves showed, from all the Federation, from the Leaders of EVR, to the brave Olly of AOE (ELF's new recruitment stone). I was most pleased!
This victory, though partial, is one step closer to winning the war. We are refining, and tuning our group tactic, which have been increasing a bit, and I am sure this will ensure our victory. I once again issue this proclaimation. Zar'el, if thee are listening, give up this futile attempt. I would much rather find peaceful resolve, then this mindless slaughter. This weekend, I go to the Shrine of Honor to reflect on this past week, I urge thee to do the same. The elves will come noless, and we shall see an end to this, one way or another!
For the Honor of
the Elven Realm,
306 S.Y. -- Skara
I had the chance to follow M'Lord the other day, and I followed along to aid him. His day was most strange, and he saw many a thing out of sorts. His adventures took him through old Skara Brea, the town he has sworn to protect.
His brother, Fenrir, met August in the Ranger Hall. The two were stunned to see the hall was in disarray! The Tables were broken, the Ranger Manual was out of sorts, and a strange message was found on the general board. August checked the book shelves, and found many a strange tomb. He asked his brother to fetch a locksmith, and continued to investigate.
While in the process of reading, he was attacked savagely by a Zebediah. He did naut know if this fiend was a product of the turmoil, or a simple lowly scoundrel needing punishment. He went off to revive his spirit, finding that Fenrir had been called away on business.
Hereafter, M'Lord went to his office, and gathered the Elven for battle. Today's battle was fought much better then those past, and they fell two of the Order! Though M'Lord pleaded with Zar'el to end this slaughter, the Order rode off without a word.
After the battle, August kept an Honor Guard to escort him once again to the Hall. It seemed all had been put right, and the message was gone from sight. He met with his old friend, Calhoun of the Rangers of Skara Brae to discuss the matter. Before the Ranger came, however, M'Lord was once again graced with an old friend, Antonio! They exchanged greetings, but his friend rushes August to the office, there is much to be said!
It seems the previous night, one of the Order challenged him to a Duel. This was but a ruse, in order that the two might speak in private. Antonio followed the fiend to a field, and spoke plainly with him. It was found the man was taken by Paladins, and trained as a boy. As the man grew, he began to take many a foolish fight, for the mere thrill of it.
When the Order came about, they recruited this man easily, as the quest for power was insatiable. He rode with the fiend, and his need for power grew. For some reason, the Paladin has become disenchanted, and has considered removing himself from the Order. Antonio offered sanctuary to this Paladin, though he will think on it. M'Lord would naut tell me his name, as he is protecting the would be informant. Mayhap the Federation has found the break it needs.
This information was relayed to Calhoun, and all left to have a drink at the Shattered Skull. There was an enjoyable encounter with The Mockers, which left both sides with a bit of understanding. Make no mistake, they are no allies, nor friends, but each other saw a bit of Honor. M'Lord ended the eve at his office, reflecting on the days past. He bid me Aluve', and promised to return on Monday to take to the problem anew.
In Service to August
306 S.Y. -- Skara
A pact between the Order of Mercaerdin and the PLO has been reached.
After hearing word the Priestess of Lolth Organization's ally, the Orcs of Kor , and a potential ally, the City of the Damned , reached a non-aggressive pact with the Order of the Mercaerdin. Johnny the Boy dispatched Hawk Silverleaf to Skara Brae with orders to watch and learn, and if possible, seek the same agreement as their allies had with the Order.
Upon reaching Skara Brae, Hawk spent many days observing the Order actions. He watched as the Order waged large battles with forces that were organized to defend Skara. Last evening, as the forces of the Order and Skara's defenders waged battle again, Hawk spotted Zar'el Darkan among the chaos and moved to where he hoped to get a chance to speak with him. After watching Zar'el and his minions dispatch a few elves and humans with ease, Hawk approached him and asked for an audience. Zar'el told Hawk to meet him shortly in the city where the dead meet. Hawk looked around at the carnage and all the dead bodies of Skara's defenders and chuckled to himself. He thought soon Skara will be the city of the dead as spirits will fill the streets wailing for somone to bring them life.
Hmm, despite the Order's recent loss's, they are still forming a dark alliance of sorts. This doth not bode well.