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A Bloodstained Letter


Started by Thorfinn
Post #131202
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Edwain Hoft, Interrogator to Lord Kastus Sardor in the year 299 of the Second Era, Greetings.

My Lord, it is my sad duty to inform you of the death of Knight-Gallant Tristeyn Malovald. His body was discovered along the northern road last week. I was called to identify our fallen brother and thus am the bearer of this ill news. His body has been returned to his families estate, may the Eight accept his noble soul into the bounties of Aetherius. Enclosed is his final report, found on his person. Please excuse the blood stains, but I believed you would wish to see it as written in our brother’s hand, not transcribed. He was slain by an arrow lodged in his hip, and there were signs of a further struggle, and that his person and affects were turned over by those seeking gold. The constables say he is not the first to die this way in the forest. An ignoble end to a tireless enemy of devilry.


Tristeyn Malovald, Knight Gallant of the Argent Priory, reporting to Varrik Sardor, Argent Marshal by the Grace of the Eight.

You tasked me to investigate the villages of Greystone and Altheulf’s Croft, and the keep at Forstane, the home of Lady Lysette Virot. Reports abounded to those of us who do such work of evildoing in the northern Gavauden Forrest, the drinking of blood in fel rituals and the befouling of the houses of prayer stood not least among these tidings. Word that the castle of the Virot family was garrisoned with undead raised at her command reached us from often reliable sources. Given the many similar rumours of old that seem to cling to this holding I endeavored to travel there with all speed. For many hundreds of years, the same allegations have circulated amongst the peasantry in Ferrun. I will begin with a brief report on the disposition of the lands held by Lady Lysette, to better illuminate my findings.

The Hundred of West Gavauden ruled by the Virot family is situated between the coast of northern High Rock and the Gavauden Forrest. The forest itself runs from Farrun to Evermore, north to south, on the western sides of the north road. Its proximity to the Reach has ever darkened its repute, and it is the home of Goblins and Centaurs in some few numbers. An isolated place, the holding of West Gavauden is not more than a few leagues around, one of many such divisions that run the length and breadth of the forest and coast, ruled all by minor nobility. The village of Altheulf’s Croft is situated along the banks of a stream flowing toward the sea, and travelling the main path through the forest from the North Road will take you to it. Its lies close to the eastern boundaries of the Hundred. A few dozen families abide, replete with blacksmith and inn, and the forest around them has been cleared and crops are grown. Some of its denizens hunt the forest edges too, and fish the river. They send a tithe to the Virots of farmed, fished and hunted produce. A few miles to the west lays the ruins of a Daedric shrine to which of those dark beings they knew not. It is avoided by all. Northward and on the coast, Greystone is a mining and fishing settlement situated in a rocky dwell to protect it from the frequent sea storms, here the trees lessen and grow thin and frail. Its mine yields iron and had been known to produce quicksilver seams in its past. Beyond fish, it relies on food from Altheulf's Croft, for the ground is not fertile. To the Virots they send iron and fish. Finally, well removed by a good two leagues of twisted pathways through forest and then hills from the aforementioned settlement, Forstane, the Virot keep lies on a small barren plateau set into the side of a river valley beside the sea. To approach from the north one must brave the pathless mountain, from the south a winding pathway and river crossing. The keep itself is a tall tower and outbuildings, a circular wall protecting them.

I undertook the role of travelling minstrel and arrived in Altheulf’s Croft on Fredas, the 19th day of Sun’s Dusk. I searched the village and spoke to the locals in the Alehouse. As do most peasants, they accepted their servility placidly and seemed to me not at all to give heed to the whisperings of dark deeds. They scorned the locale’s dark repute as mere foolish rumour mongering, birthed from fear of the forest on their doorstep. I am not inclined to disagree; the journey filled me with despondency and oft times with dread. But they freely talk of the corruption nestling in the courts of Farrun and Jehanna, and the dark rituals of the nobility there in pursuit of power. Idle talk, but perhaps we should turn some attention to a Lady Elyne Dault in court at Jehanna, who I heard it told consorts with fiends from a dark plane of Oblivion. But in the matter of Altheulf’s Croft, on my word and the grace of the Eight I sensed no malevolence.

I betook myself to Greystone and there spoke with many men and women of good repute and piety. Here I found a house of prayer devoted to Stendarr, well maintained by the freely given gifts of the Lady Lysette. Surly though the lowly seemed in this grey, grave place, they attend to their piety well. I went amongst them for two days, listening to words spoke over ale and the sour wine they drink. I heard nothing but the common fears, of a harsh winter and a rough sea. They spoke well of Lady Lysette and her lord husband, Arius Valens, latterly of Anticlere. He is the cousin of Lord Bartolme of Spinfells, a pious and devoutly man. But nothing was said of wrongdoing, nothing at all. I walked the foreboding paths to Forstane, and was welcomed there, for their own singer had passed away and so they had been without music for some months. Few are willing to brave the forest paths in winter to come to such a lowly position. I continued my affected role and played both for the soldierly, all of whom walked among the living, and for the servants and their families. I listened with due care, learning only that the Lady maintains at her own cost a shrine to our very own godly patron, Arkay, within sight of the castle, and that she is a goodly mistress. Their greatest complaints lay in the frequent absence of Lord Arius, for he maintains lands in his native Colovia and oft rides to those estates in order to see to their ruling. They asserted that it was not seemly for him to be so often from home. We know that the common folk love to grouse and grumble about such things, usually without good cause.

When that master of the keep learned of my presence in the guardroom he came down from his rooms and ate with his men, well at ease, in order to hear me play. His nature is open and without guile, and I could sense no evil. I cast my spells of detection, and about his person no hint of undeath was to be discovered. Once he had listened to me play a while he came and frankly asked that I remain for the winter, to play for his household. He is not, I suggest to your lordship, a man we need further suspect of evil, nor his good lady wife, Lysette Virot. And when I uttered concern about the dark nature of the Hundred and its dark history, he earnestly set me to rights, which I have recorded here, for they offer a plausible explanation for the long life of the rumours we hear.

Altheulf Virot, the first lord in the Hundred, was gifted his land after defeating a dark and unholy knight who ruled it in the early Second era. The knight’s name I recognised from our own records, Declain Beriard. He was a lesser mischief which troubled the lords of Ferrun, though I would be indebted to your lordship should you have these rememberings confirmed. Anyway, Declain was a vampire, long lived and malevolent, and thus the dark suggestions concerning Forstan and what would later become Altheulf’s Croft originate before Lady Lysette’s sires came to rule. She is besmirched by the evils of the darkness her forefathers banished. Another rumour, which concerns the dark hued armour worn by her men at arms, states that no goodly man would garb himself so. But the tradition has ever been so in her family, to wear dyed black armour, indeed her forefathers recovered a great heirloom, a scepter forged from dark ebony, which she has to this day. The sable eight pointed star on gules background is their coat of arms. A part, then, of her heritage and not the demarcation of a black heart.

The Lady Lysette herself then came down among her servants to find her husband, and earnestly repeated his offer that I should stay the winter and play for them. About her too, my circumspect spells found no hint of corruption. I declined this offer, my duty to godly Arkay alone, and she departed without offense or anger, but troubled herself to warn me of banditry who have taken to the Gavauden Forest for the winter months, and also told me worrisome tidings, namely that werecreatures have been told to roam the forest of late. Their calls have echoed across the woods, and the peasantry daub Cannis root upon their threshold. She and her lord husband bade me have care on my onward journey.

Thus ends my report on the malignancy of the Virot Hundred in the Gavaulden Forest, no malignancy at all, but a goodly lord and lady ruling over goodly folk. On my own skills as an interrogator I could uncover no evil but the darkly specific rumours concerning the Lady Elyne Dault of Farrun, and the possible presence of werebeasts. The goodly lady did own that it was on account of rumor that she gave me that warning, she has not seen such creatues with her own two eyes. I shall return to the forest paths and investigate. I first will give this humble report to our cohort, Edwain Hoft, for him to send to you by courier. May Arkay among the Eight keep us ever in his sight.
This post was last modified: March 13th 2014, 04:42 AM by Thorfinn




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I love it, Thorfinn. Dat cliffhanger ;)




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Great work! I enjoyed reading it :)


The Archmage of the council of Arcanea.

We are openly recruiting, any Roleplayers in the Covenant who are looking for a Guild, this is the Guild for you http://www.tesof.com/topic-the-council-o...ying-guild
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(February 3rd 2014, 09:21 AM)Triskele Wrote: I love it, Thorfinn. Dat cliffhanger ;)

(February 3rd 2014, 12:21 PM)Archmage Alator Wrote: Great work! I enjoyed reading it :)

Thanks. A bit of background for another character I've working on.




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