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The Kalid

Cold Moon 10 AR, Maegnor Swamp. Wearing the colours of the Alliance for the first time, I was present upon a mission whereby we were to prevent two towerless tribes from joining the Kalid and forming a new Legion. This we did – however during that mission there were a number of dramatic developments. Firstly, the White Retreat was declared a Monarchy under King Michel Rol-Dantigh, and a Royal Court was to be formed to receive ambassadors from other towers. Another was the statement from the Kalid ambassador, Dieter Kotlar, who offered the Alliance to become two Legions under the Kalid Nation. This offer was then summarily rejected.

Hunting Moon 11 AR, Shadowdells. It was arranged for us to submit to testing by the different Cabiti Legions as to “assess our suitability” for joining the Kalid Nation. Those present were as follows:

White Retreat: Veteran Kal, Spiritual Warrior of the Order of King Michel (Party Leader); Khortaz, Humacti Priest; Luke, Humacti Priest; Caradac, Seeker; Harry, Seeker;

Wolfhold: Kevralyn Soulfire, 11th Wizard of House Tumdurgul; Puke, Reaper; Gravesong, Veteran of the Iron Guard;

Valley Alliance: Alabrion, Wizard of the Temple of Earth Magic; Dretch, Yellow/Blue/Grey Mage; Suliman, Hospitaller; Lupus, Grey Gauntlet Priest; Tsika, Grey Gauntlet; Wheech, Druid; Taigan, Warrior and Aspirant Druid.


Background

The Kalid are made up of a number of Legions: the trueblood Legions – where you will find the Nehem’Sen -, and the Cabiti (non-trueblood) Legions. Their “Office for Immigration” handles enquiries to form new Legions underneath the auspices of the Kalid, this includes those from other Planes. Those who join the Kalid are said to be allowed to ‘keep’ their existing cultures. Kalid policy includes that if those who are to be tested, or indeed those of the Kalid, are killed by the towerless, then the towerless can make a claim to join the Kalid by presenting the colours taken as proof. I believe that the tests which we were set are a reflection on the skills valued, according to each particular Legion of the Kalid.

Approaching the Camp

As we made our way towards the Dai-fah-Dyne camp, West of the Matted Breaks, we were first attacked by a group of towerless, and then engaged with a number of Easterlings who were interested in acquiring our services as slaves. A message was taken from one of their number, the seal was trapped so that only the correct addressee could open it, causing Taigan to collapse, close to death. Upon arriving at the camp we were disappointed to find Dai-fah-Dyne hospitality reaching a new low, whereby they wished to charge us for the use of drinking vessels apparently left by the Easterlings, although Suliman eventually convinced them otherwise.

 

Tower of Day And Night

The Valdemar Heralds. We were visited in the camp by Xavier (human), representative of the Kalid Valdemar Herald Legion. He passed us three scrolls in power runes, one of which held the correct directions to a location which held further instructions, which we were to then follow. The gentleman seemed affable enough when engaged in conversation. After he had left, we translated the scrolls and indeed, only one seemed to possess sensible directions (interestingly enough, one of the false ones possessed a reference to the Shadow Glade).

We followed these (attacked en-route by more towerless shouting “give us your colours”) and they led to a cave where dwelt within a large Xenos construct, that we later found to have been created by the High Enchanter Eucleidas. We determined it recognised as having unlevelled magic upon it, I identified it to discover “a spark to grant it life, a breath to grant it movement”. A gust of wind & shocking grasp spell did indeed stir the creation into motion. It presented us with a set of letters, written by Xavier, which we were to direct to the appropriate addressees: “keeper of the flame contract”, “priestess”, “supplicant”, “mistress”, “purse-keeper”, “maker of the test construct”, and so forth.

The Dai-fah-Dyne

Night passed, and so began the next day where we were met in our camp by “The Bey” – Faruk Galani Bey of the Galani Tribe, Graduate of the Grey College of Collegiate Elementa (Western Tower of the Wizards Concillium), who serves the Exalted Sultana Mahod Imhraine of the Ruling Crescent, Lady of the Running Wave, Sheikh of the Imhraine Tribe, Mistress of the Western Marches. He was the Dai-fah-Dyne ambassador to the Kalid and wished us to escort him to the Ambassador’s meeting that would be held soon after.

He told me that the Dai-fah-Dyne were a nomadic people who wandered the deserts before they came to Orin Rakatha, and that the Exalted Sultana had only just come of age (a few years ago).

The Bey also said that it was not just other towers, but those from other planes who were coming to do these tests. He had resided for 18 years in this area, but had recently been displaced to the camp at which we were staying, rather than the Twilight Grove waystation. Unsurprisingly he was rather unhappy at this, saying that he found the waystation more comfortable, and that he could not fathom why he had fallen from favour – “it must have been a recent slight that I was unaware of”.

We departed in his company, coming across a group of monks known as the Kithane, who were one of those afore-mentioned extra-planar competitors for a place within the Kalid. We killed them.

The Valdemar Swordsworn Legion. We were met further up the path by a group of the Valdemar Swordsworn Legion, who had formed up and issued us a martial challenge. Again, this group appeared to be fully human. We fought them and killed them all, save the leader who wished to report the result of this test. The Swordsworn group fought in a similar (save more organised) style to general Valley groups – with 2 healers at the back, and a line of warriors at the front who were all calling upon “the sword of evil” to channel lay evil power invocations through their Swords. They had also chosen a strategically-sound position from which to initiate the fight. I do not recall the use of any magic on their part.

The Ambassador’s Meeting

While recovering, we were met by Eren of the Pathfinders who was present at the ambassadorial meeting, and told us of its nearby location. We arrived there to find a number of dignatories from various towers:

 

  • Marina NightBlight, 1st Priestess of House Agraathan, 3rd in Line to the Throne of Annach Morannonil.
  • Meridan, Ambassador to the Labyrinth of Xenos (as with “number 5”, another Xenos ambassador I have met, he had a gold face). Looking to the hive mind, he passed on a personal message from High Enchanter Eucleidas to the Alliance, saying that the work and co-operation with the Ritual of Ashes is something that benefits both our Towers.
  • Judge Sendirkat of the Shadowsfall, who said that both the Valley and the Kalid are under scrutiny as they are both increasingly engaged in frequent breaches of the Laws of Orin Rakatha. He also said that the will of the mystics has now been made known (presumably with reference to the closure of the Azad-An Tower) and a reckoning is in the offing.
  • Myrcartor, a Saldorian of the Brotherhood of Strength and Steel. He asked our enquiring Humacti Priest Khortaz to kneel before him and “be purified”.
  • Minith, a Morgothian, who had just agreed to purchase 114 slaves from the Easterlings for between 4000 and 5000 Gests.
  • Mistress Pelgrimm (Easterling), Follower of Khamûl, Ambassador to the Oasis of Souls and slave trader. Apparently slaves can be bought for as low as 30 Gests.
  • Rionso, Assistant Bursar to the Kalid, of the Red College (we believe) of the Wizards Concillium. It was reported that he was expecting something else from us, although we knew not what.
  • Leolas of the Reader. He handed to us 3 sealed envelopes addressed to our Tower Leaders. His colleague Alberto Serrulian, Master Craftsman of the Caravan, has recently purchased the Twilight Grove waystation.

 

Tower of the Hunt

We were under the impression before-hand that there was some tension between the Cabiti Legions in this tower. Indeed, the Crimson Feast representative was most unimpressed with the test that the Children of the Brood set (although they had earlier agreed that this would be the case), deciding to return with a tougher challenge in his eyes.

Those present were:

 

  • Captain Munrock of the Crimson Hearts (elite warriors) of the Crimson Feast.
  • The Raven Kabooti of the Stone Panthers Legion.
  • Dukron of the Children of the Brood.

Children of the Brood. Dukron (human) brought with her seven cross-bred animals which we were to locate and bring back their heads within the passing of one hour. She released them only for a few eager Valley members to immediately give chase, despite that her instructions had included waiting until she gave notice to do so. We set off in small groups which changed fluidly according to the pace (and not skills) of those within. As it was, 2 wizards and a mage ended up taking on one venomous creature, but we killed it. Returning, we found that we had killed six of the required seven.

Stone Panther. He was there in an observatory capacity; he said that the Kalid had taught his Legion many things, including speech.

Crimson Feast. Returning with a group of his warriors and an unfeasibly large sword, Captain Munrock challenged us to a fight. As this is what the Valley would appear to be best at, we won, slaying them all.

 

Tower of Thorns

Steelwind Legion. We were met by two of their Legion, one who announced himself as Yomitaka Anutza, Veteran of the Steelwind – to be addressed as Yomitaka Sama (anything else being dishonourable). He was sending in his place Kamusa Adjudicator, who was to be addressed, similarly, as Kamu Sama. Their tests were to be of courage and honour. As Kal had anticipated, they decried the use of a shield as dishonourable, preferring to use two swords.

Guided by Kamu Sama – who with horns upon his brow was most definitely not human -, we proceeded to the location (meeting more Kithane monks of the Blue Cloud along the way) where we were issued three challenges of one-on-one combat, by a warrior, by “the wizard of four winds”, and by an evil priest. Kamu Sama enquired as to why we were taking so long to decide who to use, and seemed impressed on being informed that there were many volunteers, commenting that the opposite had tended to be the case with other Kalid test candidates. He also indicated that the preferred elements of the Steelwind are (unsurprisingly) grey and blue – indeed, the wizard summoned a blue elemental to fight on her behalf; the priest used an undead creature.

Taigan, myself, and Harry the Seeker then each individually took up the challenge of courage and honour, and I am pleased to say that the Steelwind later adjudged us to have successfully passed their test. Taigan was additionally accorded a rank within the Steelwind, and given an empowered sword as his own.

Earthwarp Legion. We had earlier been visited by Holm Milavi (human), a Master in the Voice of Thunder Sect of the Earthwarp. Other Sects in the Earthwarp include the Pulse Sect, and Choking Vine, although he was not willing to talk about these others – I gather that there is some rivalry between them. Their test was an actual mission for the Kalid Earthwarp – in the local vicinity, they have become aware of a dryad, and they wished for a number of people to speak with this creature, present a good face for the Kalid, and persuade the dryad to join the Kalid. Continuing down the path, we came across the dryad and her entourage of colourful goblin-like creatures. The males in the party then refused to approach the dryad, as they believed that they would be charmed by her presence (as it transpired, she believed that men were very unreliable), so myself and Dretch went to speak to her. The dryad – named Lovely, apparently – seemed to possess the mental capacity of a small human child. Our conversation was interrupted by goblin distress at a nearby fire. Being a kind nature-loving, fire-hating people, we offered to put the fire out for her. She bound herself to Dretch so that she could be later summoned (by the repetition of her name 10 times) and we proceeded to where the fire was. As it turned out, a group of towerless had with them a fire elemental that was starting a large number of fires in the area, so we destroyed them all. Returning to the camp, Dretch summoned the dryad who seemed pleased at the outcome.

 

The Shrouded Tower

Dothloadass and the Shadowlord Legion. Having just finished my mnemonic, seconds later an Elserri Shadowlord sprinted into the camp and mass shadow-shifted the entire party (despite that we were spread over a large range of at least 80 feet) to a magically-constructed sub-plane. There we found another from the Dothloadass Legion who said that the Shadowlord (one of the elves of dawn and dusk, by all appearances) had created this area where the normal laws of Orin Rakatha would not apply. Our means of return was bound to retrieving objects from animate undead – as we attacked, we found that one skeleton was affected by magic, another by power, and yet another by sharp weapons – all indeed quite contrary to our regular expectations.

We removed a trapped box, which contained three solutions to a puzzle (carefully extracted by the scout Harry), and the means by which to fulfil the puzzles. The peace was suddenly shattered by the furious ranting of Taigan, who was understandably distressed that no-one had noticed that he was missing (one of the undead had frozen him with fear). The puzzles were completed by three separate groups – each completion returning those involved to the camp – although the Shadowlord apparently considered summoning some shades to entertain us at one point.

The Dothloadass representative commented that our teamwork and “care for your comrades” had been noted, before leaving.

 

The Kithane

The next morn, we were disturbed by Alabrion shouting that we had three minutes to arise. Exiting the tent, I observed a row of Kithane monks arrayed against us. The fight began without the assistance of the more tardy among us; as some had before, these monks all fought with their fists – and could deliver evil invocations and black magic spells.

After they were dispatched, we then faced some more towerless.

I was casting a large fireblade, when I believe a Commodore of the Kithane people arrived, flanked by a large group of monks. Apparently his race would be condemned to death upon their Plane if they could not join the Kalid. We killed them all.


Results. I am told that the following Legions assessed us as suitable to join the Kalid: the Valdemar Swordsworn Legion, the Crimson Feast, the Earthwarp and the Steelwind. Overall, two towers abstained from any decision, the Tower of Thorns thought we were acceptable, and those of the Shrouded Tower declined (despite that we had successfully completed their tasks as they were presented).

Notes. We encountered none of the Shukrul Akbari Legion – their Legion Commander being the Azad-An defector Athlung Halle, named Hero of the Shrouded Tower. The Kalid declined to comment how many of the former Hold of the Azad-An had joined under this Legion.


By my hand,

Eymeric’Dir Kevralyn Soulfire
11th Wizard of House Tumdurgul
4th in Line to the Throne of Annach Morannonil

 

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