Trees of Prophecy
Gias Journal 3
The Journal of Gias Marcallas, Third Entry
Well, things don’t always work out how you plan. We had not yet turned to put the alter behind us, when a squad of heavily armed guards reached the summit and demanded we allow ourselves to be arrested and marched back to the capitol.
The leader of the guards had his orders directly from Ivoxam, the High Priest himself. And to have reached the mountain summit when they did, I correctly deduced that this was Ivoxam’s intention all along.
We defended ourselves from the guards who were little more than flunkies with swords. Their leader was more formidable but he was weakened by a surprise visitor, Isolde’s brother, a rogue named Jeremiah. Jeremiah fell to the guard captain but had weakened him to the point that our combined strength forced him to submit. After reviving Jeremiah, we interrogated the captain and learned of Ivoxam’s intentions.
Which wasn’t at all shocking compared to the fate Maldora had planned for the guard captain. If it were not for my intervention, he’d be a pulpy mess at the bottom of the cliff. Though, I blame her upbringing more than her true nature, Maldora certainly has a mean streak. I hope matters in the future do not come down to her actions versus my conscience.
In the end we left the captain tied to a tree. Surely his superiors would send help for him. We returned to the palace secretly with Jeremiah’s help and sought that the Queen bring Ivoxam to justice for entrapping us.
In court we disputed the charges as best we could but none of them proved false. It is our misfortune that this entire culture has developed to hate and fear the races and cultures of this continent. Celthalion a native of the land, Maldora with her demonic lineage and use of magic, and all of us with our worship of the old gods. There is no bargaining with these people. It is either their ways or no way at all. I fear we could never learn to coexist. Even I, who is of Zanthian heritage, for my life is now devoted to Acna, and they would never let me have any measure of peace.
The Queen was obviously disappointed at the revelation that we are heretics under their law. I don’t see why this wasn’t clear to her before we were sent to their sacred shrine. Upon going to question the Oracle, Ivoxam discovered evidence that supported the Oracle’s consorting with the kingdom of Silsarcia.
The Queen proposed a compromise to Ivoxam. In return for setting out to bring the Oracle back from her secret cave where she consorted with the enemy, and denouncing our gods in order to convert to their gods, Ivoxam would agree to let our charges drop and persecute us no further. He reluctantly agreed as did we, though I suspect not one among us intended to set foot in that palace again if we could help it. I still believe the Queen is a worthy ruler. Were it not for her culture’s laws against our gods, I would have gladly pledged her my loyalty and fought in her name.
Before setting out to find the oracle we performed the ritual of Odins Obscuring that we had discovered at Odin’s shrine on the mountain. Immediately it was as if three beings, two malign and one friendly, could no longer be sensed among us. This ritual, designed to protect the caster from the scrying of outside powers, revealed to us that clearly there were those out there interested, even worried by our actions. Perhaps we are on the right path to find the culprit behind the destruction of Thor’s Point.
We set out to find the oracle, deep in the swamps. How the old gal got around in such difficult terrain certainly impressed me. She is a woman of power despite her apparent age and senility. We were attacked by a small swarm of huge insects, lead by a much larger insect bearing a crown. This time, I succeeded in protecting my comrades while we fought and no one fell. We dispatched the swarm and proceeded to the cave.
The Oracle greeted us warmly. Apparently this was all part of her plan to free us from the Zanthians. She told us the history of West Zanthia’s intrusion on the continent and it’s plans to envelope the whole of the native cultures in order to convert them in the name of the mortal gods. She revealed to us Ivoxam’s treachery and assured us that her conspirators in the Silsarcian Empire were not to blame for Thor’s Point. In fact, they had reason to believe the being Aganazzor the Scorcher was behind the atrocity.
If that wasn’t enough, Celthalion’s parents appeared. It was revealed that Celthalion’s village had migrated to the Silsarcian Empire long ago. The Oracle asked us if we would come back to Silsarcia with them and join them in hunting down Aganazzor to stop his rebellion.
Maldora instantly took to the cause, clearly she felt more at home with these people and her apparent disgust with the Zanthian’s shows through. Celthalion was basking in his parents praise and I don’t think there is a power in the Realm that could stop him from joining their cause.
For Xander and I, the decision was a bit more difficult. We are creatures of the Zanthian Empire by birth. We trace our lineage to those loyal to Zanthia, who worship their gods. I long ago made my decision to live outside their laws. I feel it was my destiny that lead me to Acna and to side with the people of this land.
I will go to Silsarcia. And I will bring Aganazzor to answer for his actions. I will find out if he is the one, and he will pay for it.