The Widow Harun

Lavinia's Diary: End of Days

We have finally made it to town in Durpar. But something is not right. There is Chaos everywhere. Mass looting with dead bodies lying on the ground everywhere. Many buildings are on fire while several others have already burned to the ground.

It takes about an hour or more to gather some information about what is going on. It seems the Prophecy about 1427 was coming true. It was always believed that only the religious fanatics actually believed it. Apparently people from all over had come to town while on the run from other areas. They had seen a wall of darkness slowly making its way across the lands.

The end of the world was making its way across the land everywhere. No amount of magic could stop it. Running would only run you to another wall of darkness.

It was decided to go down to the coast and have a picnic on the beach and wait for this wall of darkness to come. We eat and drank and did the best we could to lift our spirits.

We can see it. A Giant wall of blackness. There is no sound. All the animals are running. Even our own horse’s have bolted and run away. There is no destruction. Things just seem to disappear into the darkness.

It is coming closer. I’m afraid! What will happen when

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Lavinia's Diary: Who Me?

We hadn’t traveled far when night fell. We meet another Halfling who told us that “Ghosts” had been spotted in the woods we were traveling. That night while sleeping these “Ghosts” attacked us. I was quickly knocked out cold. I got the following from Kerri after they were run off. They were not “Ghosts” but halflings of some Ghost clan (as best my foggy mind recalls). They wanted ME! Some sort of Prophecy they had said. How did they even know i was here? I haven’t been here long or done anything to bring attention to me. Great, now i have “Ghosts” that want my hide. Well it’s mine and they can’t have it!

Some nasty thunderstorm forced us to find shelter. Problem was it was already inhabited, and they did not want to share. I felt bad for them! It seemed they never did stand a chance. Need to find a way to make it up to them. Perhaps on the way back home we can seek them out and solve this unintentional confrontation.

Later we came across a good sized river (not very deep or wide though) and the Khan decided we should follow it along it’s bank. It felt good to have the wind whip across the river and into our faces. It was refreshing (nice choice by the Khan). Quiet and peaceful. But it was not to last. Some roaming mercenaries came along and attacked us. I tried something i thought up a few days ago. I conjured up a Hippogriff and had it try to attack and grapple one of the riders. Then fly him high up into the air and drop him. See if a fat heavy man wearing heavy armor with no wings can fly?!! But it didn’t work. Twice! Phooey!

Then we meet more “Werewolf Barbarians”. These “things” really are everywhere. They partied, eating and drinking for 2 whole days. They talked the Khan into a wrestling match (men!?). The other guy lost. I don’t think the Khan moved so much as a foot while the other guy danced around like some ballerina. They seemed most impressed by this “rock like” effect.

And they seem to like gambling. Throwing around money like confetti in the wind. The horse that the Khan rides was victorious again (i think they said he was undefeated so far). I’m told Glouris is famous. Is this a good thing?

I could learn to hate Ghosts! Hope i don’t see any more of them in my lifetime.

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Raid on Dambrath (Results)

Kerri and Stedd are now Druid 4 and Ranger 4, respectively, making them 6 HD creatures of ECL 8. Balud is now a natural werewolf Fighter 3, making him a 5 HD creature of ECL 8.

The Raptorans resumed play on Fourthday, 14 Kythorn, while recuperating in the town of Axum in Gezer, when they began planning a raid on the horse ranchers of the northern border march of Dambrath. The Raptorans had become intrigued by the valuable Dambraai horses held by the Crinti in the area, and the scattered population of this region plus the tradition of cross-border raiding led them to conceive an interest in rustling. Balud was excited by the idea and left immediately to spread the word and gather volunteers from among his Shaaran Hyena tribe countrymen.

Meanwhile the Raptorans were given farewell gifts by their Gezerite hosts: a Gezerite Cross from Adam of Gezer, a pair of Bird Tokens from Menes and a pair of Potions of Sanctuary from the pilgrim women of Axum. The Raptorans also purchased trade quantities of Gezerite coffee.

On their way across The Shaar they encountered a group of nomadic pilgrims of Teylas on their way to Blaskaltar for the celebration at Midsummer. They camped and traded with these people, learning about their religion and being given scrolls as parting gifts by their clerics. The Raptorans are now familiar with Teylas as a potential patron.

On Secondday 22 Kythorn the Raptorans arrived at the monastery of Shabab, where they rendezvoused with Balud and the raiders he had gathered. The raiders spent the night in the canyons of the monastery, and at the evening meal the Raptorans were told by Isaac of Gezer about a secret way south through the mountains, which would allow them to approach Dambrath through the pleasant, forested foothills of the northern Luirwood instead of across the closely watched open plains. A monk led them through the passage the following morning.

On Seventhday 27 Kythorn, after travelling only a day through this country, they encountered Nola Treesong, the powerful Halfling Druid in control of the area. The Raptorans befriended her and agreed to her request to return there after the raid. In return she teleported the party of raiders straight to their target: Rhivaun Ranch, where a valuable pedigreed Dambraai named Glouris is being kept.

At the ranch the raiders killed many Crinti overseers, freed many of the Arkaiun ranch hands from their servitude, and rustled over a hundred horses including Glouris, though in order to capture his breeding book and prevent pursuit they were obliged to chase the survivors to a tower nearby, where they laid siege and eventually broke through, slaughtering everyone inside including a visiting Drow of T’lindhet. They then escaped to The Southern Luirwood nearby and thence north back to Nola Treesong, who permitted the Raptorans and the raiders to remain in her domain permanently. They returned on Firstday, 1 Flamerule.

Division of the spoils ensued, with large amounts of cash and treasure for the Raptorans, while news traveled fast across The Shaar and elsewhere about the successful raid. On Eighthday, 8 Flamerule, Batu sent messengers to them with congratulations, bringing Sheik of Sheiks as a gift, in the hope that they could be convinced to auction Glouris, but the Raptorans chose to keep him.

After leveling, Stedd took the Leadership feat and founded The Ordu of Stedd Khan from the remaining raiders and the captured horses. By the first of Eleasias, the Raptorans are Khans with their own base in the territory granted by Nola Treesong.

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Lavinia's Diary: Naming Day

My beautiful, brave and fearless pony (he saved me from the barbarians) needs a name before we go shopping. I can’t do this alone, so I decide to include him in his naming (no living family members are available). I bring the paint, powder, incense sticks, a candle and some fresh spring water for the ceremony. First I release him from being held in place, freeing him to move as he pleases. I light the candle to frighten away any evil spirits. Then I light the incense stick to fill the air with good fortune. Next I begin singing while I spread the powder over certain sections of his body (didn’t have enough to do his whole body). Then I start chanting while I apply the paint that will display his name (using the symbols from home). RANKUAIRONG. Ran is his surname that everyone can call him. Kuai is his given name, and means rapid, quick, speedy, fast. Rong is also part of his given name, and means glorious. Then I bury a coin (one of the precious few I still have from home) at the site I chose for the ceremony. This will give him good luck every time he steps on ground when he travels. Finally a quick drink of the spring water to spread the Karma through out his body (he actually drank the water easily when offered, a good sign). Then I hugged him and kissed him and applied one of my tears to his head, just below his left eye (so he can see the ancient spirits of his ancestors). Finally I whisper into his ear that we will take care of each other in our travels.

We are both ready now. Time to go buy some SHOES!

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Lavinia's Diary: Heaven! I'm in Heaven!

I was busy packing for my shopping trip when Ursa stopped by to wish me well. She also gave me a jar filled with some ointment. She said i should only use it once or occasionally twice a week at most. More then that and it might turn me into an “interesting color”.?? It is suppose to help with the itching of these barbarian clothes. She said she got it from someone called Nola Treesong. As soon as Ursa was gone, i stripped and applied some of the ointment she gave me. I didn’t really feel any different at first. Thinking Ursa had overestimated this Nola Treesong person. But about an hour later, HEAVEN I’M IN HEAVEN!! I don’t know who this Nola Treesong is, but i could kiss her. This stuff is fantastic! Maybe, just maybe, there is one person around here who isn’t a barbarian. I need to meet this Nola Treesong when i get back. We have a lot to talk about. Heaven I’m in heaven. Now i just need some SHOES!

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Lavinia's Diary: Shopping

I’m told the Khan, his sister and the barbarian Balud are going to Semphar to do some trading. I leap at the chance to go along (i practically invited myself). I’d give my left leg for some silk! The stuff these barbarians wear ITCHES! It’s giving me a rash and driving me MAD! I know from home that Semphar is one of the few locations where trade between us and the barbarians is allowed to take place. I may even find some REAL SHOES! I’m told it is far away and will take weeks to get there and back, and may be dangerous. I’m not listening! All i see is SILK and some trinkets from home. GOD, this is going to be Sooooo Good! Besides, my handsome, beautiful Pony will save me from these dangers. I’m one lucky girl to have found him. (thank you Grandfather) I need to give him a name. Will have to work on that.

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Lavinia's Diary: The Bad Time

I’ve kept to myself for what seems like weeks now. The others have not bothered me. I’ve not been asked or called to do anything. Perhaps they are hoping i will leave?

I overheard them talking. About how outsiders don’t understand them. That being a werewolf is an honored existence dating back hundreds of years. That they had overcome the mad days of when they would turn into rampaging mindless monsters. Now they see the “affliction” as a blessing. It gives them a strength that others can’t understand. That there are hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of them in the land of the Barbarians.

I dared not approach the Khan about his being a Monster, let alone a barbarian. His sister might be a good choice, but decided against this also. So i went to Tennai to talk about “werewolves”. He explained a lot. Most of which I’m sure is not the total truth. The truth is a 3 edged sword. There is my truth, your truth and the truth. I took what Tennai told me (his truth) and went to Trigaki and Ursa to get their truth.

It’s been decided! I’m going to convert all of them (werewolves) to see the benefits of Chung Tao. I’m going to double my efforts with the Khan. I’m going to save his sole, and that of the others, or die trying. Failure at this is no longer an option. I must succeed, i will succeed!

May Chung Tao and my belief that Great Grandfather knew about this already, and give me strength. I will make them both proud of me!!

Time to get started.

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Lavinia's Diary: A Test

It was decided it was time to go out hunting. Nothing big should be taken. They don’t want to thin out the woods of all the good game, so these hunts are done sparingly. I volunteer to help, maybe my magic may be beneficial. They don’t seem impressed, they say they have done this for years without such help, but still i can come. Maybe “I” will learn something!? I’ll show them something!

Once again we are to use this new “battle language”. I hear the bird call that tells me where to go. When i get there, there are 3 large “dogs” and this poor little pig, squealing and grunting. We did not leave with any dogs, so i shot one of the dogs with my magic missile. You would have thought the sky was falling. I was yelled at and scolded not to do that again. The “dogs” were with us. They were after the hairy little pig with the big teeth.

Dear God, the “dogs” turned into people right in front of my eyes! It’s explained that they are Werewolves! MONSTERS!? Not only that but close to half the camp are these Monsters. Not just Barbarians, but Monster Barbarians. Worse, my new clan leader (they call him Khan here) is also a Barbarian Monster. And so is his Sister!

Dear God, what do i do now. I returned back to camp with the others in silence. I didn’t listen or talk with anyone the whole time.

Dear God, what do i do now???

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Lavinia's Diary: Work, Work and Still More Work

Work, work and still more work:

My new Khan is going to have us all go east into the woods of Lluirwood. Trigaki and Ursa have said it is infested with “monsters”. They make these “monsters” sound worse then Barbarians, we will see. He wants us to split up into groups, squads he calls them, and hunt one down using this new “battle language” he and the barbarian Balud are working on. He says we need the practice. It is a strange thing this “battle language”. It is full of hand gestures and bird calls. Each one means a different thing and seems dependent on where you are and where you want you or others to go. Balud teaches us the hand gestures while Trigaki and Ursa teach us these bird calls. Trigaki and Ursa say I’m a natural, whatever that is. While Balud tells me i have 10 thumbs (stupid barbarian, what does he know). The entire experience has me on tippy toes waiting for something to jump out and bite me. I can hear my own heart beating. I must be the loudest thing out here!

I hear a bird call. This tells me someone about 150 feet at about 10 o’clock (clock?) has found something. Our squad moves up to assist. It’s just a spider, BUT IT’S THE SIZE OF A YURT!! Of course being I’m only 3 feet tall it sure looks like the size of a Yurt. I quickly move to where my spell will affect the most of us, and cast HASTE. Let’s see that stupid spider handle that! Then i blast it with my Magic Missles. Just when i think it will never, ever die, Tennai and his squad show up and Tennai leaps up onto it’s back and pounds the crap out of it, literally. Tennai is our HERO! He killed the stupid spider! We are all whooping it up, making lots of noise, when party pooper Barbarian Balud shows up and tells us to quite down. There may be more of them. MORE OF THEM? We all quickly head back to camp where there will be a “BBQ Party”? tonight to celebrate. Tennai is our Hero. I could learn to like these “BBQ Parties”! Please God, tell me I’m not turning into a Barbarian!?

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Lavinia's Diary: Where Next?

Dear Diary, you and i are going to be good friends. So I’ll start with my past. I lived in a coastal city in the East Wai Provence of Shou Lung. I was high up in the small lonely mountain range just west of town. I had decided to do a cleansing of my spirit and talk with the ancient spirits of my family. During a short break (a girl has to eat) I watched as the Tsunami waves come in from the sea and destroy everything! Killing everyone. Following this nightmare i spent weeks up in the mountain fasting (wasn’t really hungry anyway) crying myself to sleep at night. I was tired. I had lost everything and everyone! My clan was the largest and most powerful family in the Provence. I was ready to die when i had a vision. A Great Grandfather from long ago appeared to me and told me to take a ship and go south. Get off where you want to when it feels right and find my destiny.

This at first scarred the crap out of me. LEAVE HOME!?? To the south are the Tuigan BARBARIANS! What could barbarians possibly teach me? My destiny is to live with and become a barbarian? This can’t be right! I stayed in the mountain for 2 more weeks, thinking through what Great Grandfather had said. Maybe it is not that I’m to become a barbarian but to teach the barbarians to be civilized? Show them the true way to live. Great Grandfather would not lead me astray. His Wisdom is not to be tossed aside like some used blanket so easily. Still ….. ?

I decided to go north to the Capital city of the Provence to find a ship for transport to the south. None of the ship captains i talked with would go anywhere near the barbarians. They told me i was mad to think such things. Then i came across a barbarian trader who was being forced to leave port. He had come to trade but had stayed too long for the Government to put up with. A BARBARIAN ship! Filled with BARBARIANS! Oh god!

Ship life was a mix of amazing sights and a living hell! I saw things i had not seen before except in drawings. The ship stopped at many ports and i got off at each one to look around. All were filled with nasty, foul BARBARIANS? Today is a major city called Beluir. It is filled with Halflings like myself! Amazing! Just Barbarian hallflings. In town there was talk everywhere of horse rustlers. They had stolen hundreds, no, thousands of horses and had fled to the barbarian lands to the north. Something that had not happened in a very, very long time. There seemed to be conflicts about this single action. Some said they were horse thieves and should be hung. Most talked about it being a bold action reminiscent of the early Khans (in ages past? and what is a Khan?). With this many halflings it seemed right to get off the ship in Beluir. Finding these thieves also felt right (with the wind whipping through the city i could almost hear Great Grandfather talking to me, urging me on). To get out of the city to find these “thieves?” I bought a horse (and a fine Pony he is too) and headed north. I was 2 1/2 days outside of the city when i ran into trouble. Some heavily armored human on a big horse (i learned later it was called a Dambraai). I cast Haste on myself and my new Pony. Then a couple of Summon Monster 3 to slow him down while we ran away. We fled north into the woods (called Luiren). Here we came across a Halfling Druid Marchwarden of Nola Treesong. After 2 days of rest and conversation with the Druid it was suggested that we seek out the New Khan of the area, Stedd. A WINGED HUMAN?? How could this be? Not the typical BARBARIAN I had been told about all my life. Again, what is a Khan?

There are 2 WINGED HUMAN BARBARIANS!! Brother and sister. Looking for their long lost clan. We spent the day and well into the night talking. The next morning while staring at the Toadsquat Mountains, there was this little wisp of cloud, all alone, rise up into the mountain. And just for a brief moment i could swear i saw the face of Great Grandfather in the cloud smiling down on me.

This was the place. HOME!

Within the Ordu:

There is now a great debate. The benefits of Teriq Dede, Sheela Peryroyl, Teylas (or Etugen), and Chung Tao.

Each day i preach the benefits of Chung Tao (The Way). So far i don’t seem to be making any headway with the Monk (he is steadfastly Teriq Dede), but he is listening at least (though i think he is just being polite). The Druids (Sheela Peryroyl), are also being kind in listening but they can’t seem to see. The Tuigan and Arkaiun are also listening. Being more nomadic then the others they are listening a little more then the others. I think I’m converting them, little by little. This may take some time but i may yet succeed.

As for the Khans sister, she also is listening (interesting lady), yet i don’t see myself converting her anytime soon. But, i have time.

As for the Khan, he is listening more then the others and is even asking questions (a Barbarian with questions!). I spends most of my time with him. Perhaps in time he will come around to see the benefits of Chung Tao. I cannot give up. He could be my first BARBARIAN convert to being civilized! I will prove to my ancestors (and myself) that this is the right path. This is “The Way”.

Life here is harder then it was back home. So much work to do! My family clan had servants to do all this work. This is hard work, but i will prove to the others that i can do it. And my skills in Magic and Alchemy are unrivaled here in this “Clan”. There is a feeling of being wanted and needed (even if they are not listening to the teachings of Chung Tao, … Yet!)

Some day in the future i will go high up into the Toadsquat Mountains and talk with the ancient spirits of my old family. I will make them proud of me.

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