The Greater Evil
By Dartanian Lestor in Dark Ages
I write this in secret, in an underground mine on the outskirts of Suomi. I distribute it in secret too, for fear of what may be gleaned from these pages within. If the Loures council is smart, they would not lay a finger on a well-respected aisling and prominent official, but one can never be too cautious. What I write could well be considered treason. Indeed, I do not know if His Majesty Bruce even has any involvement in what I have to say. But I digress. In truth, I fear the repercussions these actions may have, but I feel the public, mundane and aisling alike, should know what I have thought..
Holy War: The Entreaty
It is around the time of the Entreaty that this all started. I hadnt thought much of it at that time but I did think the whole situation quite confusing. First of all, the Grimloks, a race we had never heard of before although we lived right in their region, less than a days travel away, called upon us for help. Whats more, the ones responsible for driving them out of their homes was a known aggressor, the goblin tribes. Not only did we have a plea for help made to all of us, but it was a common enemy. It seemed like a perfect choice, too perfect. Ive never liked to get involved in things that glitter so obviously (a rogue skill if there ever was one) and learning later it was a holy war from the priestess, that decided it for me. In the true spirit of Fiosachd, I let luck decide that war, not me.
But then, some new information was brought into light. Cyril, the court council leader, made a public announcement forbidding any involvement with the holy war. Although Id chosen not to get involved in the first place, I found this odd at first. In fact, I agreed with their decision at first. After all, this is what I had followed all along. The more I thought on it, the more it didnt fit. If aislings werent involved, it was obvious that the Grimloks would be slaughtered. Loures would have had us stand by and watch this happen. They reprimanded us for saving a race so rare, we had not seen their likes before in all of Temuair. He dared to call us "mutants" as well. In truth, now I think Loures might have been trying to cover themselves. Notice that the Goblin Chieftain prefers to be outside while the Grimloks remain inside? It is very possible that the Chieftain awaited weaponry being shipped from Loures. It would be quite easier to reach them outside and in secret meeting rather than inside the caverns with Grimlok swarming about. Furthermore, whether Loures provided weapons or not, if aislings had not interfered, the Grimlok would be dead. I fear that Loures may have known about them and intended this. Loures may be guilty of genocide and aiding the goblins towards their darker ends.
Undine Under Siege: The Sacrifice
Most of these theories came after, but they were definitely built-up to. At the time, I had little trouble with Louress actions during the Entreaty at first. After all, I had agreed with them. The first time I would disagree with their decision, but far from the last, would be the Sacrifice. All this started with a dream and then invasion. Hesperos, Danaan rest his soul, was the noble bard of Undine to first see the kobold coming and the children of Undine kidnapped. The Entreaty I could sit by because no one was hurt unless they actively got involved into it, and the two races that would get hurt were at war with each other, so it is to be expected. This was unforgivable. Not only mere children, but our own peaceful village of Undine. Id resolved meself to help.
Then Loures again stepped in, with Cyril in the lead. "Arms are forbidden in Undine," they said. "We wish to protect against an uprising," they said. "Well take care of the kobold situation," they said. What madness was this? Undine, first of all, was a very peaceful village. None of the mundanes I spoke with had their lives dramatically altered by Loures occupation, except maybe higher taxes. Further more, some people in Undine sell arms and weaponry, so banning any arms to prevent an uprising is ridiculous in its own right. Also, I had never seen a Louresian soldier out trying to rescue the Undine children. Loures was not trying to prevent an uprising. They were trying to get rid of a new generation of possible traitors and rebels. I grumbled and hide the blade I carried as best I could, as I could do much damage to the creatures without it. I heard of a friend who was even denied passage with a simple stick in his hands.
In the end, Hesperos needed to sacrifice himself to save his own child. I believed Id seen the area she was speaking of where she hid, I thought I heard muffled screams, and kicked myself for not investigating further. I go at least once a moon there to play me lute for her and see if I can cheer her up for the loss of her dad. I was fond of Hesperos...If not for Louress actions, he might still be around...
Swamp Rose: The Pact
I was still hurt and confused over the actions that occurred in Undine, but I pulled meself together when I heard of this Pact. Whatever personal dislike I might have had for Cyril, I wanted to save his daughter who suffered a plague from the Loures sewers clogging. I went down to investigate, taking the advice from Jay to impale an anemone and try and loosen the clog. I was not prepared for what lied ahead though. The stench was horrid as I went down into the old well, and I found a rotten corpse blocking the flow of water. I had to plug my nose and still felt nauseous from the intoxicating stench. In his hands was a letter but it was so decayed that I could not make out much of the lettering.
I didnt speak to the Loures council about the body though. Truth be told, I think they might be responsible for putting it there. One word on the letter seemed to be scratched as "Loures" and another possibly "Cyril," but I do not like to go on hearsay. When I heard yet another race was found, I was shocked, but later it turned out to be a good experience. I spent a while with the Mukul researching my wifes illness. Yet I wrote earlier that the Mukul god of Natesh might very well be Chadul. If this is the case, why would Loures wish to help them? If they did not, Natesh plagued many places with dubhaimid-like creatures because he was not appeased. Was not Loures put in charge by the Mukul to make the sacrifice in exchange for picking these flowers? If this were true, it is obvious Natesh was not appeased for quite some time and Loures has much to answer for. If it be not true, then I know not who to blame. Cyril met his demise through his actions. A horrible, bloody demise, rotting with the stench of the sewers. Although I had no like for Cyril, it was a shame to see him go like this.
Assassins in Loures: The Torn Note
A lesser-known event that happened recently was one that I called "The torn note." As I said before, after I had found the new race in Mehadi and their vast knowledge of floral medicine, I thought they might help me with a cure for the condition me wife had suffered from about three Deochs ago.
Odd as it may seem, we had encountered a scorpion in the East Woodlands, larger than an ordinary scorpion. It caught us by surprise definitely, since we expected their kind to be trapped in the crypts. I was the first to come out of it and tried me best to fend it off, but with little hope. It swung its great tail and gashed me wife, Kalasin Ninde-Lestor, across the arm, then skittered away. I thought the ordeal was over until poor Kali collapsed in a heap. From that mutant scorpions sting, she suffered a comatose state that lasted near two deochs. I found a lute later and practiced by her side, taking care of her every day until she recovered.
That was all that happened for the two deochs. When I heard of this race, I stayed with them for some time, telling them the symptoms me wife had suffered. I also told the Alchemistry Guild of Loures the same story, hoping that one of them might find a cure. That fateful day, I saw a young Mukul running towards me in Piet with a note in his hand, yelling for me to stop. They never leave the swamps, so I knew what he had to say was vitally important. The lad never reached me, as a crossbow bolt had been shot through his chest a few steps away. It was a torn letter, but the message was cure. The Mukul and Alchemistry Guild together had found a cure. I went to the Alchemistry Guild to try and decipher the torn portion, only to find that they had all been murdered as well.
Someone in Loures did not want me to receive that letter or find the cure. I studied and with the help of the faithful, well-renowned Aisling herbalist, Chloe, I found the cure. But the murder still made me wonder.
Tying it all together and the Eulogy
I do not believe these incidence so far to be isolated. There is an interweaving web that must connect them. This theory is what all these have been building to. It may be called treasonous, but I would willingly retract it if Loures could prove me wrong. If harm may come to me, so be it. Their rashness would prove me right in the minds of the people, whether they be guilty or innocent. If what I say is true, then Loures has betrayed the people it swears to protect. If what I say is false, then it is simply an intriguing tale, nothing more.
Here is the theory I hold for what happened. Some of it is me own theory and some of it is pooled from the words that Jean had told us in the Eulogy. I was thinking of this long before then, though. It is simply a theory, so treat it as such, but it would explain a lot and Loures would have much to answer for if it be truth:
Loures strives for power. They wish to revive their own Pact of Anaman and grant themselves a 1000-year lifespan. In order to give themselves this, however, they first must resurrect Chadul. Loures has shown many actions that shows that they wish to gather power. They wished to commit genocide on an ancient race, the Grimlok, in order to confiscate an ancient artifact of Aosdan origin, as well as silence the only other who knew of the items power and existence, the assistant librarian, Marlin. The Council wished him executed, but Cyril stopped them and only had the man imprisoned. This did not work as the word leaked and the aislings supported the Grimlok, thwarting the Louresian Councils plans.
Next, Loures troops aide the kobolds attempt to "sacrifice a pure soul at the largest magical hexagram in Temuair." The children of Undine was a way to get rid of future rebellion, but it was also a spell of summoning. Possibly with the Calling Stone, they might have wished to summon Chadul through this method and attempted to stop aisling interference again. This too failed, and the children were rescued, but not without consequences. There were simply too many to find.
Then Loures made a pact with the Mukul to gather flowers to help achieve mortality. They said they needed the Tulsi flowers, but I found from the Mukul and Jean that that was mostly poisonous to human kind. Jacqueline needed the Sevti flower to get better. So the Tulsi too was a quest for a prolonged lifespan. We know it never reached Natesh because he was disturbed from his slumber, and dubhaimid roamed the lands. Cyril sensed this coming and did not want to see a mass of death for their cause as had been seen in the Sacrifice. He begged for the Council to reconsider their actions. The Council, though, had grown bolder and saw Cyrils actions as weak and cowardly. They proceeded to beat him mercilessly and left him for dead. The servant later found his body lying there, a lifeless shell of a once great councilor.
They had gotten their hands on some Tulsi before, about Deoch 6. They were not certain what the flower would do, so they had to test it. They sent servants into the Mileth Crypts to fetch a scorpion as a test subject. They captured it and fed it the Tulsi. They hadnt expected the change though. The scorpion grew and broke the ropes that held it. It slashed its tail, gouging out the heart of one of the council members. It then escaped deep in the woodlands to attack poor Kali and put her in that coma. They dumped the council members body in the sewers, where they thought no one would find it. Until the sewers got clogged. The Alchemist Guild of Loures had heard some of this story and were beginning to piece it together. The Council couldnt stand for that and thus had them all killed, along with the Mukul that brought the note to me.
The Anaman Avatars viewed during the Eulogy were called by the Louresian Council to dispose of any aislings who might further interfere with their quest for immortality and Chaduls awakening. The dubhaimid ran rampant as the Council tried to summon him. Jean noticed this and that is why he sent the plea out to aislingkind.
This is all simple speculation and theory, yet the pieces all fit. Loures actions, regardless of this theory, were rash and put them under a lot of suspicion.
I sincerely hope that Loures can prove these theories wrong. All this could too have gone on behind the kings back. There will be inquires, Im sure, as well as uneasiness. The truth, however, must be found, no matter how ugly it may be. I merely hold a torch up into the darkness of deceit.
~Written and distributed in the outskirts of Suomi
Collaborated from theories stated by Jean of Loures, mundane gossip, and speculations from Dartanian Lestor