A message comes in the descending night.
The story begins as another ends.
Sir, friend, and father you were all to me.
A passing to more calm and peaceful days.
You’ll find no religious zealot in me.
But these are the origins of the tale.
I invoke Aroden, The Last Azlant.
Or whomever rests in the fabric of
the voids, attentive to these great events.
I must travel north, to my old homeland.
It is the will of his will that draws me;
That consumes my thoughts and engenders fear.
Why? What cause? And to whom do we give blame?
It is a long and lonely journey there.
The night is deep and the wind howls with pain.
More death now permeates Ustalav’s flesh.
I have returned because I must, Lastwall.
I am the guard, the barrier, their wall.
Unscathed, I reach the town where ravens grow.
It is dark, damp, heavy with the weight of fear.
Why be a citizen, a denizen
In such a cold, grim, and scarred village?
Alone, I ride to a familiar site.
The former home of Petros Lorrimor.
A knock, rap, and a thump on the portal.
A woman in decorative armor -
pledged to Iomedae – answers the door.
Kendra Lorrimor floats from room to room.
Inside, in the study, the coffin resides.
Amongst books, notes, and treasures, Petros lays.
His face broken, a simulacrum – pray.
I sit to prepare my words of comfort.
I sit alone, waiting for the others.
An unfit Andoran man soon arrives
And goes about talking to the women.
I ignore them but I don’t hide my ears.
A rude man with a firearm enters,
leaving dirt, mud, and debris on the floors.
A solemn priest of Pharasma appears,
speaks few words but makes a strong impression.
Lorrimor always kept strange company,
but this coterie still surprises me.
Few more strangers arrive to pay respects;
there are less than there should be for Petros.
Respect and praise followed this man’s vitae.
Pallbearers, the five of us are to be.
The individuals mentioned above,
and me, to carry the dead to his stone.
The coffin is heavy; heavy on me.
The procession of the dispossessed comes.
Through the Restlands we walked; a death parade.
We march in silence, the Pharasmite leads.
Others walk alongside us, their heads bowed
as my tears quietly fall on the path.
We are halted by a mob of dim fools
Shouting false words about Petros’s life.
Necromancer and demonologist;
Why fear these titles if the man is dead?
Silence them hastily, no death this day.
My intentions are not to kill these men;
I do not, ensuring spells and attacks
Are rebuffed with assaults on their simple minds.
The fight ends soon; no more death on this day.
The burial continues with respects.
Most speak with praise, though disrespect remains.
The eulogy from the priest strikes true
to the hearts and minds of those listening.
Concluding ceremonies involve the
unfurling of the will of Lorrimor.
The five pallbearers, bound by this paper
Are given five books which must be taken
To Lepidstadt thirty moons from today.
Umbral Leaves – a treatise of pain when touched.
I am drained and overcome by my blood.
Faint, I read what remains of Lorrimor.
A diary details why we are here.
We are inheritors to his many tales.
Whispers trying to raise their voices to
a roar – one which must be subdued, silenced.
But nay, time must pass for revelations
to emerge and we must protect Kendra.
This is only the beginning for us.
Choices will be made and who shall we trust?