Lost Lore - Iolanna's Journal

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Lost Lore - Iolanna's Journal

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(Murmurs of Nature - Iolanna's Journal 01)

“It’s interesting how abruptly I fell out of the habit of writing; my last journal was as much pages of plants and their uses, as it was filled with my own thoughts. Perhaps that knowledge just became so sealed in my head, I had no use for it anymore.

But there’s more to learn now, more words and ways, an infinite history and future’s worth. I started this path almost entirely alone if not for Doran. I wouldn’t wish the same on any other young Druid. So… I will write, even if it’s for posterity. The Druidic secrets handed down I must hide somewhere else, they are not mine alone to share. But methods I uncover myself, successful or not…? Best keep those organised here.”
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Iolanna: High Druidess of the Green Enclave, Arch of the Crescent Moon, Druid of Greenest, Faithful of Eldath

Elle Avery: Radiant Heart FNG, Cleric of Tamara and lover of Crossbows

Daigon: Guardsman of the Rocky Creek Trading Company
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Re: Lost Lore - Iolanna's Journal

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"Realigning and Balancing the Body

I don't know if this will work.

All theory I run through in my mind says it can, it should, but then Our magic is... not always ruled by logic. It pulses and breathes and beats with an entire world of living things, and has such a higher demand on will, on the Connection.

To take one ancient ritual, the joined prayer that can wrench acres of land back into balance, to heal it after natural or supernatural catastrophe, and transform that power to a human body instead? Then... even the most ancient of prayers and traditions had to be started from somewhere, said for the first time by someone.

I'm meandering. The burns made by the Balors weapons carry an Abyssal curse in them that no traditional means can quite heal and the fester on the soul as much as they burn the body. I repaired the primary wound on Flint's leg - a cut to the bone from knee to hip, needing the muscle realigned before healing - but from what I understand he's suffered the worst from the curse the wound festers with. Ashenie has been his primary carer since which means he is in good hands, and my focus could move to Ashling, her wound a puncture through the chest.

Snow-sleeping has evidently helped her, and Emmanuel has been almost constant at her side. But all the poultices and holy water bathing and consecrations ultimately cannot remove the cause of the pain.

Natariel uncovered the cause, that the curses themselves are linked to the weapons that made the wounds. Destroy them, transform them, is likely the best way to lift the curse but the mission to do so could only endanger more lives and antagonise more enemies. So... if another way can be made, I need to at least try...

Right?

It's intolerable to see Ashling's heart burn out of her chest...

The Fire of the body lives in the stomach, the diaphragm, that very central chakra. It is the source of our strength, confidence, power; is it no wonder then this fire curse sears at the soul and imbalances the mind?

The activated runes draw the excess of one element and fortify the lesser in the land; the first part of the ritual will not need much changed much, a communion with nature, and blessing of the runes, then aligning on the body rather than pressing to the ground. The invocation alone will need to be re-written to ask for the proper action;

We, each born of nature's womb,
And grow along with springtime's bloom,
To summer, fall, and winter's tomb,
Let the life of this servant awake.

Let the blood and veins be pure,
Bone and flesh made to endure,
As river, as stone, clean once more,
Let the life of this servant awake.

Breath expanding, voice discerning,
May the will be strong, and spirit returning,
As wild winds and fire burning,
Let the life of this servant awake.


This could hold the body in a state of health and equilibrium, weakening the effect of the curse, laying it bare, and Gods willing allow it to be lifted or severed from its connection to the weapon that made it. For that, I will need Natariel or Ashenie to answer the nuances of lifting the curse itself; when that is known, I will amend here.

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Iolanna: High Druidess of the Green Enclave, Arch of the Crescent Moon, Druid of Greenest, Faithful of Eldath

Elle Avery: Radiant Heart FNG, Cleric of Tamara and lover of Crossbows

Daigon: Guardsman of the Rocky Creek Trading Company
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Re: Lost Lore - Iolanna's Journal

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The next slip of paper is added as an addendum;


The sword has been acquired, and Ashenie has told me of how she plans to purify it. I am fearful for her... but for all her gentleness, I have the feeling she's not the sort to budge from such a decision. I will do what I can to help her after; there will surely be more healers present to preserve her life.

The damned sword is bigger than she is. Ilmater... be with your servant, and keep her safe. Eldath, please guard her heart from fear.

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Iolanna: High Druidess of the Green Enclave, Arch of the Crescent Moon, Druid of Greenest, Faithful of Eldath

Elle Avery: Radiant Heart FNG, Cleric of Tamara and lover of Crossbows

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Re: Lost Lore - Iolanna's Journal

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It worked... how much of it was needed or not, I cannot say, we took all precautions needed after all, threw everything we had at it. Ashling refused - discomfort about the Halls. Flint couldn't be found. But Oth and Mary are completely fine. My only worry is that this all came too late; we'd hoped that if we sent warning soon enough, more violence and bloodshed could be avoided, no foolish risks would be taken in search of a cure we already have.

Too late. We saw what we saw in the vision, because those wheels were already in motion... Emmanuel has made an agreement with Icehaup though, as much for the Dragon's protect as for the Coast's. He and Natariel have been studying my notes about the rituals, and we have discussed it at length. I do not think we will have the means to reverse the energy of the Blade as Ashenie did; our faith, our magic, does not manifest in quite the same way. However, we are Keepers of the balance, of this plane; the Blade's magic is an intrusive, outside force. Ours might be the ability to banish it, negate it, bring it to equilibrium.

I don't know. It's all theory, again and again.

But the Spring Equinox is coming, and it will be upon us soon. I would much rather forgo the festivities to instead harness the power of that Holy Day and cleanse another blade. Gods know, Ashenie could never endure the process again.

I wonder though... if the Crone's Mortar, or Thornshield, will be of any use...

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Iolanna: High Druidess of the Green Enclave, Arch of the Crescent Moon, Druid of Greenest, Faithful of Eldath

Elle Avery: Radiant Heart FNG, Cleric of Tamara and lover of Crossbows

Daigon: Guardsman of the Rocky Creek Trading Company
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Re: Lost Lore - Iolanna's Journal

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Every dawn, I've welcomed the sun a moment earlier. I've watched where it rises around the standing stones, watched where the shadows fell. Today the sun rises and will hold in perfect balance with night.

The equinox.

Just as it was in Autumn... I can feel the energy pulling and pushing, strained somehow. Perhaps it's my own anxiety, knowing what is coming with the Balors, the White Dragon.

On the spring equinox, the world stands on the precipice of something new bursting forth, the next seed erupting, the next egg hatching. And while I try to think of the joy of First Feast, I know we will have a much greater task on this Holy day than mere celebrations.



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Iolanna: High Druidess of the Green Enclave, Arch of the Crescent Moon, Druid of Greenest, Faithful of Eldath

Elle Avery: Radiant Heart FNG, Cleric of Tamara and lover of Crossbows

Daigon: Guardsman of the Rocky Creek Trading Company
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Re: Lost Lore - Iolanna's Journal

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All that anticipation in the days leading to the equinox was justified, as it turns out. And has since given me much to think on...

So strange it would start with such a celebration as the First Feast; all came together as expected and so many joined the celebrations, that even the Fae made themselves seen, the creatures came to listen. I could have stayed through day and moonless night... then a sending from Azariah. I won't lay blame on her, I am just grateful she reached out for mine and Aiden's aid. For House Vale's aid, come to think of it, as Val was there too, already waiting with her. She's a determined and hard-willed woman which can be a double edged sword.

At least this time she did not try to disable traps with her face. Though how that actually worked the first time I will always wonder about... lucky Oth?

This was the first I'd seen of Flint and Carah for so long, too... not since the night the Balors first attacked in House Darius. Flint is determined to walk on that leg, and I am used to seeing Ashling hide her burns that I could see how much he buried the pain. He could have them cured already, surely Ashenie had told him... why he chooses to continue in pain, I do not know yet.

Seeing Carah was like seeing a phantom, all I've heard of her is what Emmanuel was willing to share. It seemed kinder to give her space. I don't think trust comes so easily to her these days. Az had the foresight to ask Ashenie's help; she had been treating Flint I believe and has become invested in his well being. Tarina and Lucia completed out numbers, and even so it was not until we were all gathered I learned the purpose of the gathering.

A weapon, of course... a 'Balor Slaying Sword', lost to Dwarven ruins and something Flint will use to satiate his blood thirst. And that was how I came to spend the better part of the First Feast buried in ruins and fending off undead... perhaps it is better that sword is in the hands of someone who can use it to defend the Coast. Granted, Flint's mind did not seem to differentiate between protecting, and slaughtering.

Eldath... I ask you to be with him in these times, and ready when the violence ends. That rage is burned into his soul, I do not know he will be able to free himself of it while the means of destruction are literally in his hands.

There were waning hours of the Equinox left and I was able to still work with Emmanuel to imbue the runestones. Gemstones. I'd felt that energy building in my blood all week, and I'm grateful we didn't let the opportunity to harness it to go to waste.

Though... performing the incantations with Emmanuel brought the sort of wholeness only casting can, I feel now a rather acute sadness... an awareness that though our magic united is strong, there could have - should have been more kin there.

I miss my sisters.

Our circle was short lived, but it was ours. We... resonated. I will not begrudge them, the tides of life carried them elsewhere, Sarisay to the sea, Menolly to solitude. Our paths converged for a reason and once again, needed to fray.

I've made peace with it. But I miss them. All I can do now is take what we learned, what be built, what we hoped for, and carry on. Spring is sprung, the egg has hatched, the saplings have been freed from frozen ground. I suppose my own life too stands full again with potential.

Perhaps it's this loneliness that helped me reach out to Taka? Our paths crossed unexpectedly upon the Uldoon Trail, and perhaps it is because that is part of my domain I felt a little more at ease to speak with him. He's a formidable thing, after all, and between his God and his... contention with Emmanuel, it never quite occurred to me to reach out.

He's felt isolated too... and has been struggling with an aspect of his magic. I will need to investigate that all further i think, it's a unique problem I've not encountered before but it's as if the answer is niggling in the back of my brain. Ytarya too asked me to meditate on a problem her mate is having, though I am not very familiar with the physiology of Genasi. But the manifestation of elements... maybe moreso. Either way I must help them.

I... might owe Taka that much anyway; he never knew of the prophecy about the Balors and the White Dragon, the threat they were bringing to the Cloud Peaks and of course he was angry. That's his domain, his home, and... I think he might have had a right to know, a choice to be there to protect it. Perhaps I should not have told him without first figuring out my words but I cannot hide the fact I have been in a fight.

I don't know what to do about the bruises... I was hit, and healed, and hit, and healed, and now just resting and adding poultices. I've never been in a battle like that, never had the resilience of my Dragon form so tested... I think this is how literal shields must feel. Struck and beaten over and over... how does Lord Aaron abide it? No... I know how. Because you are not thinking of the blows, you are thinking of the people behind you who are helping you stay alive while you shield them. You think of the fallen people, and know you have to stay standing long enough for them to be retrieved and saved. I don't remember feeling the weakness and pain until the last of those undead were scrubbed out, and the reinforcements from the Halls and Lathander's temple had arrived.

I'm not made for battle... and right now, I feel like an over-tenderised bit of steak. No, think of the good. The expedition was successful, we thwarted the prophecy; the White Dragon was not consumed by the Balor Lythira, and Garganix didn't win Lythira's sword in that deal.

The sword is secure. And we will have the means to banish its power, and return it to Icehauptannarthanys.

I think when this is all said and done, I will take time to tend to the forests properly. Remove the relics of civilisation, plant trees where they have been torn out... or even ask Natariel if she would like to expand her herb garden a little. I have seen more battle than I can possibly justify. Now is the time to nurture.

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Iolanna: High Druidess of the Green Enclave, Arch of the Crescent Moon, Druid of Greenest, Faithful of Eldath

Elle Avery: Radiant Heart FNG, Cleric of Tamara and lover of Crossbows

Daigon: Guardsman of the Rocky Creek Trading Company
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Re: Lost Lore - Iolanna's Journal

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Nalissa / Ytarya
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Iolanna: High Druidess of the Green Enclave, Arch of the Crescent Moon, Druid of Greenest, Faithful of Eldath

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Re: Lost Lore - Iolanna's Journal

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"I wonder sometimes at the magic of spirits. I know we invoke their power, call on them. But speaking with them is another thing entirely. It's not the same as undead, ghosts, hauntings. They are beings so much more encompassing in essence... reflected in the world. or, maybe the world is reflected in them, I hardly know.

Given their powers of divination I think surely they exist beyond time, too; or maybe, at every moment in time, we can only see them as they are in the moment we exist in."


Iolanna paused a moment and rested back against the stone wall of the cave's mouth. Just beyond it the world washed grey in the springtime rain, drenching the dark forest with cold, so the druidess tucked her bare feet under the massive brown bear that dozed opposite her. After a moment's reflection, she resumed writing.

"I've met two recently who commune with these spirits... Brianna of the Naskmari Caravan, and Ceraldor of the Blackbark Clan. I haven't crossed paths with Ceraldor since but I hope he is well in the Misty forest. Leaving there is not easy of late. I really thought him a druid at first, he appeared wilder still than most I have seen, save perhaps Taka... Note to myself: spy on Taka's shoulder and see if it heals or festers, he refuses to tend to injuries as he should...

Ceraldor had a gentleness in his way I appreciated. He had the usual reserve our kind do but beneath it a leaning to calm and introspection that I suspect civilised people don't see under his wild appearance. Comfortable as I am in the shape of a doe, I often learn a little of a person when meeting them in that way. Ceraldor stowed his bow. He stayed with me a little while at Silvanus' shrine as part of the Equinox preparations, and shared knowledge about his own traditions, back in those strange and hidden clans in the deepest parts of the forests.

That meeting was entirely before the Equinox, for all I know the shaman as moved on from this Domain. It always feels such a missed chance when such do, but, that is the way of nomads, is it not? Or in all likelihood I pry far too much into their thoughts and traditions and feelings. Maybe one day I will make up for it.

Brianna was the other I happened across, but she was born of the same sort of society Arturi was. A wanderer, one from the caravans. I didn't find out what separated her from them, but I did get to see some of her divination. Before she and I were met properly, actually, she drew a card for me. A simple way of discerning something about a person, to see them, draw their card, and take that insight provided. My card drawn was 'harmony'; not too surprising in hindsight, but speaks I suppose to the usefulness of whatever spirit guided her fingers to that card, or helped her interpret the specific meaning in that case.

She seemed an anxious sort, though it could have been the closeness to town. I learned from her, people often have other spirits and energies crowding them, dragged along with them, till a crowd of ten feels more like a crowd of thirty to her. It's no small wonder then that she can't stand a city.

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Reflecting on this, I think I will cross paths if not with them, then more wildlings. I sense a return of pattern, of cycle... another druid, Yarin, has come to the coast and has taken up with En Dharasha. Menolly has come back from her long journey and hibernation. Still quiet, but she will be joining us in a Chauntean blessing. And, to conclude that note, Rowan.

It's strange to think another sister belonged to Greenest so long and I wasn't aware of it; some part in my mind had guessed she was a cleric, a farmer, a ranger even. But Chauntea too has her Druids, and Rowan has the magic, the language, a Druidess of cultivation whose connection to nature forged by her hard labouring and dedication.

We have made the decision to bless the ruined crops of the Gate's farmlands, though we cannot take credit for the idea itself. High Lady Alyssia requested it of me first... and who better to consult on such things as Chauntea?


She paused a moment at a twinge of frustration, wondering if Alyssia had heard anything back from the Dukes, the Houses. By now it didn't seem likely... ordinarily such a gift of magic, such an act for the benefit of city folk would not be done without an exchange. A squared mile of flourishing crops yielding twice what the land should for an entire year... in return, they had asked an equal space of wildland to be declared protected under Duchal law.

But it had been many weeks now since the famine began to be felt, and though all worked desperately to give relief, the fact remained that the Gate could not produce its own food for its people. It was a deadly drain on resources, and added only to the riled citizens ire when they began chasing down Teiflings and warlocks as their scapegoats. Alyssia had felt the anxiety of delay first, and eventually, Iolanna too put it to Rowan, Emmanuel, Menolly, that such a disaster could not bear waiting.


"I don't know if the Dukes will agree to the request. At worst, there will be a moral debt that may one day be called upon when it's needed... but my sisters and brother are in agreement. Menolly asked no other question. Rowan's willingness was never once in doubt. Even Emmanuel owned, though we have no obligation to give a gift of this great magic, it doesn't follow that we shouldn't do it. He doesn't have faith in the city to repay or even remember, but then, I do not think the farmers will forget. They will see too, that Chauntea did not forget her faithful either.

It is better to nourish and nurture their lands, than wait for the starving population to raid further and further into ours for animals to hunt and lumber to sell. If all goes well, Greengrass will be as good and holy a day as the Equinox was.

Before then is one more celebration I must attend though... Aiden's resignation from House Vale was at last accepted by Osric, and they mean to give him a farewell party. Aiden's feelings are understandably mixed as are my own. I think they expected I would up and leave alongside Aiden, and I can see why; I'd never have thought of being part of any House if not for my mate, my Ahtt'ogit. But, I am one of their number, and they my friends.

There will be questions of judgement ahead, to be sure... I have a suspicion about what course of action Dral wishes to take regarding the bounty. He understands my position; indeed he must have expected it well before I gave it voice.

What a troublesome peacemaker I must be to them... not that they have or would give me grief for such. They are all are better people than they might think themselves, and I do not much like the idea of giving up my position to help in their care and wellness just yet.

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Iolanna: High Druidess of the Green Enclave, Arch of the Crescent Moon, Druid of Greenest, Faithful of Eldath

Elle Avery: Radiant Heart FNG, Cleric of Tamara and lover of Crossbows

Daigon: Guardsman of the Rocky Creek Trading Company
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Re: Lost Lore - Iolanna's Journal

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Iolanna had perched herself in the boughs of a huge apple tree, shrouded by the flourishing blossoms; watching them fall and twist in the air was calming, and helped her sort her thoughts enough as she decided to put them down onto paper. She turned through to a new page of her journal, etching and entry down.

I watch our work with admiration and pride, and am glad for the kindess and happiness shown by the farmers as they tend their beloved lands... it's the only thing that really keeps this agitation about the Dukes at bay.

Alyssia had her reply from them. They thanks us for our work, and politely informed us that no changes to their own lands would be made. It was, in short, the most polite "F* you, got mine" that I have ever read.

I do not think I am angry... not really. To be angry, I would have to have been surprised or shocked by their inaction. I think, rather, I am disappointed. We tried for so long to speak with them, to get some sort of a reply regarding the crisis that was starving the city... no, the Dukes knew to just wait. Wait for people to do the right thing and solve the problem.

They didn't ask us to revive and save the farmlands, I must remind myself of that. It was ultimately a gift, a favour to their people. Though they knew that we hoped for something to even the balance in exchange. But nothing was offered, there was no greater gesture than a scrap of a letter sent to the Halls. The Dukes are not stupid people; they would have known that Druidic magic needs some sort of an exchange if it is being used in service of civilisation.

What have they done, truly, to save their people? Why was it that one solitary year of destroyed crops caused such a chaotic food shortage? Why is it that it is all the goodness of Houses and Outsiders that are taking care of their people?

I know the conclusion I must come to, regarding the Dukes, and Bauldr's Gate. I also know, however, that this cannot come from a place of spite, but one of calm, of reason, and of acceptance.

My magic does not belong to me.

The magic is a primal force, a gift of Nature. As a druid, I have this magic in order to serve nature.

The Dukes of Bauldr's Gate have just shown their disrespect and disregard for the wilds that birth so much life, for the power of the wilds that restored their farmlands. Their hearts may change and I hope they do, but for now, they have made their opinion of my kindred known.

I am a servant of Nature. I must not use the power it gives me to help those who are not friends of the Wilds. It is tantamount to a cleric acting agaisnt the will of their God.

Eldath, please help me guard my heart from bitterness, and bear the Dukes no more ill thoughts. Aid me also to inaction; they can receive no more favours. I will do as I should, and let the city-folk be about their business, and keep my energy for protecting Your glades, Your rivers, Your mountains.


She paused, hand hovering over the page. After a beat she added as if a mental note to herself.


I think I will need to speak with Osric about my place within House Vale.
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Iolanna: High Druidess of the Green Enclave, Arch of the Crescent Moon, Druid of Greenest, Faithful of Eldath

Elle Avery: Radiant Heart FNG, Cleric of Tamara and lover of Crossbows

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Re: Lost Lore - Iolanna's Journal

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10 Mirtul 1357

Flaming Fist hunting party in the Cloakwood, targeting game only. Unusual occurance and they are taking dangerously high numbers, particularly for spring time. Recovering and relocating where possible. Following are convalecsing at the den.

Fawn, male
Orphaned
  • One of the first born of the season, I estimate three weeks of age. Beginning to wean but still at least two months away from being able to forage independant. I am hoping when the doe is recovered she'll be willing to take him on along with her own fawn.
  • Mashed forage, goats milk. Aiden being very helpful with the constant feeding.


Fawn, female
Cared for while dam convalesces.
  • Estimate less than two weeks old, so unwise to feed forage for at least one more week. Still requires toileting. Will encourage nursing again when dam is better recovered. Goat's milk in meantime.


Doe
Arrow injury, gut.
  • Broadhead arrow struck through her right side, tip of arrow broke skin on the left. Strode to den before attempting removal. Cut free from LHS. Damage to the liver and peirced through gut. Internal wounds closed with healing spell but infection from ruptured gut persists.
  • No damage to reproductive organs, though the doe is currently lactating. Due to injury, not nursing so well, massage to help prevent mastitis. Treating with birthwort, cantherellous.


Rabbit, female
Broken LHL, left hip disloacted. Snare
  • Snow sleep used in order to set leg and hip, regeneration magic to watch for correct healing. Appears to be doing well, keeping confined till fully weight bearing.


Red grouse, male
Puncture right pectoral, stunned, broken wing.
  • Managed to recover before hunting dogs did. Snow Sleep to set wing, regeneration spell to watch for correct healing. All seems to be in order but doesn't look like he will fly again. Perhaps should have let them have this one; if he cannot fly he will be easy game for anything and unlikely to attract a mate next spring. Better to satisfy a fox's hunger than a human's greed, though. Watch.


Stag
Arrow injury, RHL
  • Yearling. No arterial hit but broadhead lodged deep in muscle. Dreamward to sedate and ease pain before cutting arrowhead out. Recovered well with healing magic, will move him to the Grove tomorrow. Chance for abscess to form. Watch.


Boar
Multiple arrow and spear injuries, but he's built like a brick barn.
  • Arrows lodged RH shoulder, hip. Large cut across chest and ribs, likely spear that glanced off his rib cage. Blood on his tusks - he injured one of the hunters in escape? Snow sleep used to sedate, arrows cut out, poultices to draw out infection. Sutured cut over rib cage and healing with regeneration spell. Dreamward to keep him calm while he recovers. Belligerent thing but in his prime.



11 Mirtul 1357

Emmanuel tells me the Flaming Fist returned to the forest - one of their soldiers had gone missing in the hunts previously. They were escorted in and out, but now, there are more troubling signs. More gnolls have moved in, birds are flying south out of season, and an established wolf pack has moved on, no signs left to track them with all the skirmishes happening.

Best not return the animals back to the Cloakwood till we find out what's going on. May be space for them in the Grove and Greenfields when they're ready to go.

Flaming Fist corpses left at our Standing Stones, and gnoll corpses littered all around the Cloakwood. This whole place is getting far too corpse-y for my liking. Must get them buried and grown; too much carrion for even the crows to finish and it's just inviting disease in.
Iolanna: High Druidess of the Green Enclave, Arch of the Crescent Moon, Druid of Greenest, Faithful of Eldath

Elle Avery: Radiant Heart FNG, Cleric of Tamara and lover of Crossbows

Daigon: Guardsman of the Rocky Creek Trading Company
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