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03/13/2021, A Return to Service

I believe the Baron recalled me to service because I was adrift at the loss of my wife, Valynn. He was right. The Baron is always right.

The good news is that serving Therengia means there is always a fight somewhere, against someone. Today is no different.

The current issue which impacts Theren is a "parlay" with a pirate group led by Srinoja. Srinoja looted goods from Riverhaven recently and we fought her off without much effort, but not before she made off with goods and continued her harassment of Therengia citizens. The pirates are important because they apparently have an arrangement with the dread Lich that occupies Basalt Isle. Further, the Lich has made war or at least interfered greatly with trade among the islands. To this end, a trade group (House Moghlin) retained the services of Khoheke in order to help defend the trade routes. Khoheke is seeking a holy weapon to affix to his ships in order to defend the trade route.

The summary above is the summary of a soldier, which means I don't really care and certain details may be wrong. I care that pirates raided a Therengian town. Everything beyond that is for the mages and diplomats to figure out. I also care that most of this ballet is being set in motion by a necromancer named Zauldin, who is probably moving pieces around on a chess board in order to settle a score with the Lich on the bloody island. That concern I will save for my next Journal entry.

Navesi's husband, a man named Saragos seems to be the fulcrum of communication with the pirates and a request for a parlay was issued, received and a meeting arranged. I sat through the various meetings and decided fairly quickly that Sir Erieck was more equiped than I to express Therengian interests. I really just need to know where and when to make arrangements.

The parlay was to be held on possibly the worst tactical place I can think of...the remote beach on Hara. Black sand, nasty cliffs, secret passages...yes, a horrible place to plan a battle. But, plan we did. A townhall was held and Therengians wanted blood and Zolurenites wanted to talk. I could have written that in advance and saved everyone the time of the meeting of course.

The Therengian team launched on the Slave and outlined the plan while at sea. The combat team would be led by Sir Aaiyaah and the triage unit would be led by Kammae. I cannot be more proud of my Therengian's than on the ship ride. We were a good group, an organized many old friends with whom I have fought many battles...and so many new friends that I met.

The plan was pretty simple. Set up triage (the most important aspect of an upcoming battle I believe), protect triage and set up the combat force. The combat force was led on the sands by Sir Kenamer (he had the non-Therengian group) and Sir Aaiyaah would hide with the Therengians on the Slave.

The parlay happened, some vague references to refraining from attacking were given by the pirates and they left. Then, the necromancers and their crew attacked Sir Kenamer's combat unit on the sands. Sir Aaiyaah led our group and we hit them from the flank. They were out-flanked and out-numbered, although they fought hard. A few days later, the necromancer Agalea found me and we fought outside of Dokt's. She is a strong opponent, a good fighter and a smart fighter...despite her chaotic nature. I was bested in the field after a prolonged fight. Chadatru favored me, I rose again to learn and fight again.

Now, Khoheke desires a meeting on Ratha. I suspect Zauldin pulls strings and we dance like puppets, but we will go. Maybe this will lead to the downfall of the Lich.

I end this Journal entry sitting next to the statute of the Huntress. I placed a Therengian rose in her basin and shed a tear for my loss of Valynn. This was her favorite place. I spoke to her about meeting a lady, one that I desire to get to know better. The Huntress gazed at me and refreshed my soul. I take this as a sign that Valynn desires me to move be seek and secure companionship if it can be found. More, she desires me to continue to serve Therengia.

Note: As I write these Journals my desire is to provide information that may be fodder for RP. Please feel free to use any of this information as a conversation starter with Madigan. Also, I desire to recognize people that may not be in the RP limelight all the I hope to name many of you as often as I can.


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A Paladin is Holy.

He seeks to do that which pleases his god in all manners of the Code, and knows that the purity of his soul has a profound impact on the abilities the gods bless him with.

I have spent the last many years studying Emille The Fist's Tomb in Forfedhar. My Journal has sorely missed me and I am inspired to return to civilization to write again. I did not solve the mystery of Emille but the solitude drew me closer to Chadatru and forged a stronger bond between myself and the Code.

I was very pleased to hear about two of my former squires upon my return. Sir Hebion excels and does well. He still honors the Code and I was able to participate in a Squire Ceremony, much to my pleasure. Although, I know not how Hebion will teach the Code from Shard without a moat nearby. I was also pleased that Sir Kenamer still serves the Code and still holds the soulstone of Sir Storym. The story of how he earned that soulstone is one that should be shared again.

I met Stelling, a bard of Theren upon my return. I asked Stelling if he would help me to sponsor a performance in Therenborough and he agreed. Theren bards have a long and wonderful history of fine performances in Theren. Not to mention some of my greatest friends and foes are/were bards (Leilond and Nystarn respectively).

Although I will write more about this in the future, I was so very pleased to see many old and wonderful friends such as Traim, Mazrian, Karthor, Liurilias, Aaiyaah, Baelor, Adakin and so many more.

Maybe I am young enough to still serve Theren.


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03/26/2013, Too Strong

A Paladin is a Leader in righteous combat.

When it is necessary to fight, the Paladin will seek to guide and inspire his comrades, taking a forward position in the battle and facing the foe boldly. A Paladin does not hide from his foe or sneak about.

Bloody young soldiers. On the practice field today I missed two attacks. The young soldiers pulled their swings so as not to hurt me. I saw the "he is getting old" in their eyes. Wait until I get those two into a real fight. Come to think of it, if I am losing a step I probably want both of those young pups next to me in a real fight.

After a pitiful attack on Crossing today by the Elapzi irregulars, Liurilias and Sendithu visited with me about news from Ilithi. Apparently a local crime family has decided to wage war on Theren. What else is new? I am not sure things would feel normal in Theren unless some malcontent family was upset at the Baron.

We were just wrapping up our conversation when the Necrolord Zerreck made his presence known on the gweth. I am startled a necomancer would be so bold. The Code required a challenge to such a thing and Liurilias, Sendithu and I went north to meet the challenge. Gads has Zerreck grown strong. It took three of us to contain him, but ultimately it was the arrival of the Military Advisor Vinjince and his assistance to remove the taint from Zoluren.

Ware this necrolord.


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05/02/2012, Squire Hebion Series 2

A Soldier's Lament

Sometimes I sense myself standing still as time, people, places and things move quickly around me. I turn my head to see the faces on my comrade next to me shifting (Teilnsar, Salamae, Storym, Woodie, Chasitee). I look across the field of battle and see the banners change in a blur (Dread Pirates, Red Sashes, Gypsies, Hing, Black Foxes, Goose, Gorbesh, Elpazi, Sorrow, Orcs). I look down and see dead and dying, blurring as they are replaced by new dead and fallen. I look around and there is constant change, yet I stand still it seems in these visions...or maybe dreams?

Yet, my eyes focus on a few individuals and people, The Watch and those old members Lyathe, Mordibar, Torg, Zrxa, Erieck, Snales, Valynn and the others that have served so long. I see them too looking about, squinting at the changing people, changing opponents...changing everything. On my left side (a place where the Squire is duty bound to be at all costs) is a body with the shifting faces of all my old Squires.

The dream bothers me. It invokes a sense of change and movement that I can not control. To this end, I have offered my Squire Hebion a place to serve long term should he have it. That position is Sir Hebion, Knight of the Silver Dragon. Formally, I am asking Squire Hebion into service under my device, the Silver Dragon. I have never offered anyone service beyond the term of a Squire, but I desire stability and familiar faces. Upon his upcoming graduation, I hope he accepts my invitation, as it would be good to see my device on a deserving citizen.

Of change, I see little other than a re-turning of the wheel. In particular, Chamberlain Isleif discussed recent allegations heard from some individuals in Shard against Theren. Chamberlain Isleif ordered all Therengians to ignore such rubbish, and such order was well received.

I recently traveled to Shard, as I am want to do on occasion. I enjoy visiting my many friends in Ilithi. I also continue to seek out the criminal Ralel, who escaped from his imprisonment and trial so many years ago. One day, I hope to catch him out of the Mountain and return him to justice.

On my last visit, I also had chance to speak to Pharstar. He is a member of a Leth Trading House and tends to know the rumors of the day and the local gossip. Pharstar alluded to certain "whispers" spoken in the right ear of Theren in order to keep tensions high between Ilithi and Theren. This, as Pharstar, recognized was and is good for trader business. As always, the pen is mightier than the sword...or in this instance, the whisper.


P.S. Hebion's graduation will be this Thursday after the Northern Watch Spars. I trust we will end them a tad bit earlier to knock out the ceremony.

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02/06/2012, Squire Hebion Series 1

A Paladin is Loyal.

He does not betray his god, his liege-lord, his guild, his family, or his friends.

Frowning, I noticed my journal gathering dust at the bottom of my personal baggage alongside that dragon lighter that has eluded me for some time. I recently took on another Squire, Hebion. Attending his oath ceremony was Sir Granyt and Sir Uthgaar, to whom I am grateful that they would make the personal sacrifice of time to help train another aspiring paladin.

Honestly I feel very much the failure with my attempt to squire young paladins. Of the 17 or so I have taken over the years, very few complete the time with me and honor their oaths. Of the ones that are released from their oaths, fewer still remain to walk among my guild.

The Code is harsh and is unforgiving. If the Code is too hard for our guild to follow then do we honor Syal and the founding members of our guild? Are we even following the correct Code?

On the personal front, I have fought more these last months than I have fought in many years. And, I must admit, I have been humbled by my performaces against both friend and foe alike. Try as I might, I can not overcome or even present a challenge to my friend Leilond and I am still honored he spars me for I do not feel worthy of even that honor. My friend Squanto, who is a blaze of pink when I fight him, is a mighty opponent and I hold him in the highest esteem both personally and for his prowess in battle.

My duty required that I fight my old friend Traim yet again but my heart was not in the fight. Traim's wife was insulted by a Therengian citizen and Traim killed the oaf. Since Traim is banned from the province, I had to engage him for the act. I was struck down by Traim's prolific skill with magic. The Code is cruel at times as I have mentioned.

My friend Sebestyen is the new Commander of the ODS. I can not think of a better person for the job and a steadier hand to hold the till straight during a rough time for that old, and honorable order. The ODS is in the current and wafting about somewhat because of the ruling against Drexella. I hope that my old Guildbrother can place a firm hand on the till so to speak.

I believe that is all my hand can pen this day. I still have much to discuss, as the visions of the Bonding have returned. If I can put them to paper I shall endeavor to do so.


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01/05/2012, Expectations

A Paladin is Honest.

He will not lie or otherwise seek to deceive a person. A Paladin does not cheat or seek to take unfair advantage in his dealings with others.

Expectations. The term is better described in my opinion as a person. In fact, a mother-in-law seems to fit the bill most appropriately. Expectations. Sometimes she drives you and sometimes she deflates you. She sits on your shoulder and whispers sweet things in your ear to entice you to an action or sometimes she screams curses in your ear to entice you to action or inaction. As with a mother-in-law it sees many faults in what you do and as you achieve goals, she merely raises the bar to a new level.

The callous cat call of "I thought you would be tougher", the indignant retort of "The all too noble Madigan fails to...", the accusatory "Why are you not here to help defend Theren?" and the humility of the "My father spoke so highly of you, I thought you would be better at...".

A lengthy introduction to the main point of this Journal Entry. I have for many years carried a ring on my person. Ten years to be precise. I always envisioned a perfect setting with which to ask this elf to become a formal bride. She is a ranger and a most beautiful one at that. The place, the words...everything must be perfect to meet the expectations I have in my mind that I believe she requires.

As with many other times, I failed my mother-in-law this time. On a small road outside the northeast gate of the ugly city of River Crossing, I asked Valynn to marry me. The words were mumbled, the ring was presented bluntly and the setting...well let's just say the mother-in-law was screaming in my ear.

As with one's old friends, my maite accepted my common soldier's blunderings and looked past the flaws and accepted my intent. Expectations. I suppose Valynn taught me at that moment that Expectations are merely in one's mind. The only Expectations that need be fulfilled are those that cut to the core of a person without the veil of someone else's version of Expectations.


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12/20/2011, Valkrin

<<A Paladin supports and defends Good and opposes Evil.

I drank tonight. A lot. Anger, frustration, anxiety, hope, renewal...emotions that I seldom if ever express, feel or even understand. I am a soldier. I follow orders to the best of my ability and lead to the best of my ability if called into that position. Simple, direct..without emotion always directed by the Code. The Code doesn't allow emotion, it only allows logic and the application of the Code to a set of facts. For the facts I am about to record, I could only find the one line in the Code that applies. The shortest line, although the most complex in application.

Valkrin. I served House Hedeon about one-third of my life with so many fine people that recounting a few does disservice to the many. I was Champion of Lady Hanah, daughter to Valkrin and heir to House Hedeon before she was disowned by her father. Hanah directed the heavy lifting to become an Order. She, above all others, formed the Guard as it exists today in my humble opinion. On the cusp of formal recognition, she was tossed aside by Valkrin. Valkrin did this to many people, Erieck, Lilea, Teilnsar, Aaiyaah...myself. He caused so much pain and anger in the Guard and many fine people.

Valkrin is a necromancer. Saying those words still leaves me a bit stunned. I should feel..."just" or "noble" in my dislike of the him or it now that Valkrin admitted himself a necromancer?

The story I suppose should be written here to explain the ramblings above. Valkrin returned to Therengia and attempted to regain his title of "Lord Valkrin". The Guard, or so it appeared, embraced him and this caused me great distress. I was interviewed by Zynara about Valkrin and was, as you might suspect, very leery of him and said as much. Valkrin was to be announced to Lord Trigomas and potentially to the Baron. Valkrin seemed to have captured the adoration of a young officer of the Guard. These same acts were consistent with his past, and I feared greatly for the Guard because his past acts always resulted in bad things happening.

I was called two days ago to a meeting with my old and good friend Aaiyaah where I learned that Zynara had discovered proof that Valkrin was a necromancer. We collectively planned to confront him during his next "lecture" on his version of history. Aaiyaah laid the trap well and sprung it nicely. Ultimately, Valkrin admitted he was a necromancer. I think at first we all wanted to kill him. To invoke vengence for years of pain caused by this man seemed, at first like sweet revenge and justice served.

But, as I stood there watching Valkrin fumble with the latch to a door and slink away...I just felt pity. Valkrin's permanent exit was much like his previous exits, a dishonorable man slinking away when things didn't go his way. Goodbye Valkrin and may House Hedeon and the Guard erase you from their memories and write a long and storied history of honor and valor.


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12/11/2011, Return of the Princess

A Paladin is a Protector.

He will seek to prevent harm to the innocent and will place himself at risk in order to accomplish this if need be.

The element of surprise is a key principal in a battle either on a tactical level or a strategic level. Thus was the core principal of the mission to return the Princess to the desert. For us regular soldiers, the surprise is not disclosed and for good reason so as not to tip off the enemy. Prior to this mission I was informed that the Outcasts did not want me around the Princess during her return escort. Offensive, but not unexpected as I have killed many Outcasts during my service to Theren and I would kill more if ordered to do so.

I arrived at the assembly area in a rather lazy mood (which, I must add I should know better) believing I would be counting the roses in the Keep garden during the majority of this mission. The Assembly Area was attacked and...well, as many old campaigners know the best plan usually goes to Phelim after the first arrow is loosed. Thus I found myself leading the first triage unit to its location with the indominable Lyathe in charge. Our scouts were Jassarian and Eiysa, and a contingent of Theren Guard members.

Our advance party was attacked and I was killed by Ipkin. Chadatru found grace on me and I was able to rise yet again and enjoin the fight once more. A considerable battle took place at the first triage location as it ebbed back and forth. Ultimately, I fell again..this time from the hidden arrow of Algeion. As I rose from that encounter, I found myself on Mer'Kresh through the feal dark magic of the moon mage guild (which, I must add always gives me the willies). Exhaling...I was fairly determined that I was too old for these types of engagements.

By the time I was returned to the fight (yet again by this odd magic wearing off of me), I heard the announcement that the Princess was secreted to the desert while we had been fighting the evil forces. We moved our triage team back to Theren and enjoined the enraged enemy again. Better formed and not spread thin, we put up a substantial fight. Andorell, Worrclan, the Commander and many others joined together and had good success...downing many of the enemies. The tide of the battle ebbed back and forth. I died to Latathi as my chest was burned shield seemingly useless against such quick magic and I also fell to the hidden arrow of Algeion. In return, we smote Latathi more than a few times, Ipkin, Tsaru...yet, we were unable to fell Algeion who's skill eluded us.

As the battle slowly burned out as the fighters tired from the battle, Zynara approached me with a request from Valkrin to meet with me. Of course I denied his request. I can think of no other person I respect less and who holds less honor than Valkrin. Simply being among him allows his dishonor, deceit and lies seep from his body and attempt to entangle all those that may stand by, with or among him. I would venture to say that my distaste for politics and politicians comes directly from experiences with Valkrin. Most unbecoming.


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12/01/2011, Memories

<preA Paladin is Loyal.

He does not betray his god, his liege-lord, his guild, his family, or his friends.</pre>

My memory flashes to a point in time in my life that I have not recalled in many years, House Thistlebriar and House Hedeon. Two minor Houses seldom (if ever) recognized by the Morzindaen. The age old feud began with House Thistlebriar attacking and killing members of House Hedeon during a social event party in Therenborough. When I arrived in Theren, Sir Erieck, Dame Salamae and Sir Storym all served under or for House Hedeon and all three taught me how to be a paladin. Although there were other paladins that influenced me, those were my three primary mentors.

For his outstanding service, Sir Storym received a soulstone and when he died it was passed to Dame Salamae, who in turn passed it to me. When I received it the "maelstorm" of black and white no longer clashed inside the gem, but was replaced by a smooth surface runed with the essence of a paladin who "has long stood vigil over a soul". It is a special item for me, as it was given to Sir Storym by the Baron and entrusted to me to pass along to a worthy paladin.

Although there have been many deserving paladins, I held firm to the belief that the spirit of Storym and Salamae would speak to me when the right one was in my presence. I found that paladin just yesterday.

As the Brigades were meeting on the battle plan to deliver the Princess to the Outcasts, the Arkarms invaded Theren and Rossmans. The Commander asked that I keep them at bay as well as I might so that the battle plan could be discussed, confirmed and approved. When I stood, everyone knew or suspected (as did I) that this mission would result in my death and (assuming Chadatru still granted me his favor) probably many deaths. The purpose was simply to delay them until such time as we could form the units and give a good fight. I stood, adjusted my armor and started to march out the door to do my duty. Sir Kenamer stood as well and asked to join me. Frankly, that act took me by surprise. Sir Kenamer I knew only slightly but from what I knew and heard he was a good Therengian but not of the fighting strength to fully fight on the front line. "You know we will both die more than once, yes?" I told him directly. "Yes. Let me get some spells up." he responded.

I was proud to lead our small force to the fight and inspired by Sir Kenamer. We did well and succeeded in our mission, much to the efforts of this companion paladin who stood proudly and walked into the fight.

Later I found Sir Kenamer and presented to him Storym's soulstone, now attached to a heavy gold chain. I feel confident that Storym and Salamae are smiling today knowing that a fine paladin watches over their spirit which is not lost. I am also proud I have complied with my obligations to them under the Code. A Paladin is Loyal, especially to his friends. May their spirits guide you Sir Kenamer as they have mine all these years.


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11/16/2011, Symbols

A Paladin is a Leader in righteous combat.

When it is necessary to fight, the Paladin will seek to guide and inspire his comrades, taking a forward position in the battle and facing the foe boldly. A Paladin does not hide from his foe or sneak about.

Symbols are powerful things. Wren was a symbol of our fight against the Gorbesh. Stone Clan and the Book of Power were symbols of our opposition to Sorrow and his forces. We, as soldiers, rally to a point on a battlefield from which we draw mutual energy, vigor and the will to continue to fight. The Black Tower on a Field of Blue...the symbol of Theren. The Tower surrounded by White Roses...the symbol of the Northern Watch. All incite loyalty and a sense of duty. Symbols...focus our attention on the matters at hand and the requirements placed on us by those symbols.

Symbols are ideas. The physical manifestation of a collection of ideas and beliefs.

A duel is a symbol. A symbol of dispute...and resolution. A symbol of finality to a situation which must be resolved.

My duel, a symbol to put this childish issue of a poorly worded invitation to bed. It mattered little who won or how it was conducted. I believe that the positive consequences of simply having it puts both provinces at ease with the situation and maybe, just maybe allow those craftsman of the poor wording on parchment a pause to think more clearly before they indulge their childish desires and quips.

I rage at the idea that ignorant individuals have placed me in the position of fighting a person I admire and respect. I rage that as a Commander, my friend must also stand for this duel. I rage that ignorant individuals can not comprehend the consequences of their actions beyond the instant gratification of writing poorly chosen words on parchment. I rage at the childish behavior surrounding the delivery to me personally of something only worthy of a child's fancy and insult.

I do not rage at the celebration of someone that an enemy has taken a loss. That...yes, now that I understand. Frankly, I too secretly toasted the return of the Outcast Princess Macja. I hold little love or affection for the Outcasts. I have and will honor my oath to Therengia regarding their status in relation to Theren, but I will easily (more easily) draw my sword and lead the first wave into their ranks.

Bah, my emotions get the better of me in this entry. Forgive me reader (whomever may hold this one day), for I should be above my emotions on this issue. On to more mundane things.

I returned to Therengian today to run the Gauntlet for a worthy recruit of the Watch. This recruit is a young moon mage, who I think has great potential. She has served the Watch well in her time as a recruit, and I find much honor in her becoming my sister-in-arms in service to the Watch and Theren.

Also upon my return, I sought out the Chamberlain and the Advisor who were discussing Evro. Evro is a local citizen that has made some unfortunate decisions. The Advisor informed me (and others) that by order of the Chamberlain, Evro was to be ignored and treated as a loon..or maybe idiot. I can not recall exactly which.

The Advisor also informed us that the Princess will return to the desert "soon" and that Drexella's trial is "soon". Lord Trigomas apparently will preside. I will have more thoughts on this later.

Ahh...yes. Mordibar purchased me some boots at the festival. Mordibar believes this to be the last thing necessary for a wedding date. Maybe...


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10/20/2011, Squire Stormont Series 3

A Paladin is Just and works to promote and enforce Justice and the Law.

If a Paladin does not agree with a law, he must still respect it and should work to change it rather than disregarding it. The only exception to this is if the Paladin believes the law to be truly Evil. In this instance, the Paladin must follow the dictates of his conscience.

My memories go back to standing around a campaign map in the Spire with other Commanders and leaders. The plan was simple: (1) send in a scout team inside the Spire to occupy the entire floor, (2) gate a triage unit inside the Spire to set up an advance triage and (3) drop three paladins in the main floor to banner the entire first floor and finally (4) defeat the Dragon Priests. The goal was to get our dead back in the fight quicker than they could get their dead back into the fight.

The plan worked and ended the Crusade, for the defenders turned over the menace that the Temple sought. Of course, my old friend and foe across the Crusade field gives a different version of the end of the Crusade.

Thus I am drawn into the present as last night myself and the Squire went to visit Taghz. Taghz and I have been friends and opponents for many years. He was an elder when I joined the guild and I hold him in high esteem. Don't get me wrong, we have fought many times as our oaths are opposite on most occasions. Regardless, Taghz is the most knowledgeable person I know concerning the Dragon Priests. This is the purpose for which I want the Squire to meet Taghz.

The conversation was interesting as always. I learned from Taghz (which I did not know previously) that he at one time followed Peri'el until he learned that followers of the Thirteen murdered his family. I did know that Taghz does not following the beliefs of the Dzree followers but follows the original intent (as he describes) which requires worship and placation to keep the Dragon at bay. I am sure my brief description does not do justice to the depth of Taghz' knowledge, but it will suffice for my humble journal.

Ultimately the Squire led to the question of why Taghz and I fight one another. Taghz' point of view is that he is protecting the innocent worshipers of the Dragon (thus protecting his family so to speak), whereas my view is that I am following my oaths and bound to the Code. The Squire asked "Madigan, did you feel your order was truely just?" My response was naturally, "Does the Code require an order to be Just?"

This question and response will lead to the next lesson on the Code. Many Squires turn from the Code at this point. The Code is a jealous lady and she will require absolute obedience, as do I in following the Code. For some, this goes against the very nature of their being, whereas for me it is my follow the Code to the letter to the best of my ability. Such certainty in my life gives me comfort, but it raises the most serious issue that can be found in the Code. Be careful to whom you give your oaths, for you are bound by your oaths forever until released.

This is the core reason why one's word and oath have meaning. Without meaning to an oath...your words waste in the wind.


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A Paladin is a Leader in righteous combat.

When it is necessary to fight, the Paladin will seek to guide and inspire his comrades, taking a forward position in the battle and facing the foe boldly. A Paladin does not hide from his foe or sneak about.

As I hover over my dead corpse I think that I am just too bloody old to be doing this stuff anymore. The sight is familiar and has been repeated hundreds of times...Mordibar healing my dead body and a dutiful cleric raising me based on the favor of Chadatru (in this instance, one Altru who I should endeavor to get to know better). The empath and the cleric both looking over their shoulders trying to get me up and back in the fight as quickly as possible, and hoping not to die in the process.

The mantra of duty, honor..courage seem to ring a bit hollow as I lumber to my feet, still wobbling from the hole in my chest delivered by Latathi. Commander Marsais snaps into my head with a "Let's go!" over our commo rings. Zrxa, Torgralian, Worrclan, Drexella, Mordibar and others form up and pump me full of spells and remind everyone of the basic battle plan. Zynara and other members of the scout team shout location updates into my head as the fog of death lifts from my brain.

Yes....this is why we fight. Ohh have no doubt we fight to honor our oaths to Therengia, but the overarching oath seems distant when you are in the actual fight. In the fight, we fight for the person next to us. We fight because we will not fail the members fighting with us. We fight for honor, the honor of knowing all of us stood when others were craven. We fight to be part of something larger than ourselves. Our currency is honor, not 20 silver pieces paid in a dark alley.

Yet again, there is little knowledge of why our foes are present in Langenfirth. Miir, Latathi, Ipkin, Zamn, Tsaru, Hackett, Zerrack and others are all formidable opponents in and of themselves alone. Combined...the challenge was extreme to say the least. The tactics...typical. Hide, sneak, Sometimes we catch them, sometimes not. Sometimes one of ours fall, sometimes one of theirs. Have no doubt I respect my enemy and understand the tactic, and we sometimes must employ similar tactics to counter although I can not participate in hiding from my enemy as it violates the Code.

I do not respect however the act of killing an opponent while he is touching his or her Immortal to receive a return to this world. One of our opponents killed a Therengian in the Temple. There is no honor in this act.


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10/04/2011, Squire Stormont Series 2

A Paladin is a Protector.

He will seek to prevent harm to the innocent and will place himself at risk in order to accomplish this if need be.

Some say this is one of the most direct and straight forward portions of the Code. It seems so very simple...protect the innocent and sacrifice yourself to do so if necessary. Who is innocent? Who determines innocence? Must you use violence? At what point are you compelled to act if you are still unsure? Does this provision make you a constable of the lands? If your lord-liege orders you to stay out of the conflict, which Code provision controls...A Paladin is Loyal or A Paladin is a Protector?

These questions, along with personal examples formed the basis for the second Code session with the Squire. Stormont did an admirable job working through what appears to be a straight forward provision and did honor upon himself with his responses and thoughtful questions.

On other matters, I fear for the reputation of Therengia or maybe my own honor. At one time in my life, a Therengian was viewed as a person always with honor, a member of this world to be respected and admired. The last two trips I have taken to Crossing, I was slapped by people that I did not even know or old friends that have grown...odd. Korsik a friend from many years back (and once of a different guild) attacked me, but frankly I do not know why. On another occasion a moonmage by the name of Darkeno slapped my helm.

Have I lost so much honor as to warrant such welcomes? Conflict finds me and my old Therengian friends, this is true and has always been true. Yet, there was honor among us and our enemies. I find little anymore, and I contemplate if mayhaps I have changed so that in the eyes of my opponents, I no longer have earned such honor?

The evening ended with an attack of Mordibar. The Commander and I engaged the mercenaries in Rossmans, along with others. Nicoly Rossman appeared and helped with the fight, although was killed by an attacker named Tsaru who obviously has some skill with a ranged weapon. I got a huge chuckle from Drexella killing Latathi with her crossbow, and that was the highlight of the fight from my perspective. Not that she is bad in combat, it is just not something I expected to see that evening.

Ultimately, I fear the root of my unease came to light after the end of the fighting. Therengians fighting Therengians, showing no respect for each other and showing no respect in the manner with which we should deal with our internal conflicts. Confrontations among friends will happen, and can be handled honorably with a duel witnessed by mutual friends. Snipping at each other like little dogs barking over the last nub of bone is unbecoming and shows ill of our honor as Therengians.

Maybe, going back to my question of honor, my honor is so entwined with Therengia that these snipping lapdogs are tainting me and other old, long-standing Therengians? Mayhaps this is the root of my unease? Or maybe my light has faded and I must work harder to honor my oaths?


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09/29/2011, Visiting the Outcasts

A Paladin is a Leader in righteous combat.

When it is necessary to fight, the Paladin will seek to guide and inspire his comrades, taking a forward position in the battle and facing the foe boldly. A Paladin does not hide from his foe or sneak about.

The bloody Outcasts. Yesterday evening after the Watch spars we spend some time discussing the upcoming Escort Mission where the Advisor is traveling to the Outcasts to inform them about Princess Macja (I wonder if she is still a Baroness until given back..?). The Escort will consist of two members of each brigade and ideally manned by younger members of the units. I applaud the inclusion of the younger members of the units because military members only gain experience and wisdom by...well doing and leading. This is an excellent opportunity for those members to represent Therengia.

While discussing the mission with Commander Marsais, I must admit that I do not envy his duty in this mission. Common speculation is that King Raenilar will kill the Advisor when she delivers the news. The only guidance thus far to Commander Marsais (and others) comes from Marshal Amlach you simply states "Don't start a war". As you may imagine, the discussion revolved around "So, what are we going to do? Sit there and watch him kill her or otherwise treat a representative of Therengia poorly?" Drexella has experience with the Outcasts and offered the opinion that it may be a very peaceful situation, and we all hope that is the case. However, as any good commander should do, Marsais was contemplating "what if" and the worst case situation. My dear friend Mordibar (and I think Drexella, although the hour was late and I may be wrong) thought it best to limit the damage to one death, raise the Advisor and go along with the business of the day.

This situation places a Commander in the worst possible situation. Don't start a war, honor your oath, escort and protect the Advisor. Which of these overrules and controls the situation? How does one honor the Code and an oath, yet abide while the oath is shattered in front of them? Are we craven in the face of the Outcasts...are we viewed as such even if we are not? I fear I would not handle the situation well at all, and I am thankful more experienced politicians will be in the group. I believe however that I (and some other Watch members) will be assembled near the barge in case our Commander needs to fight his way out of the situation. I am fairly certain this will require more than one turn in the moat for me personally, but hopefully I can avoid an order not to do this. A patrol around that area is long overdue regardless.

Squire Stormont progresses nicely. He had is first series of spars and presented himself in a commendable manner, showing good initiative and skills for his age. I believe he will give much to Therengia and my guild. The youth of a Squire brings a spring in my step and allows my eyes to see the Light with more focus and determination. The secret of my service to Squires is that they give me far more than I ever give them.

The spar sessions were enjoyable and I had fine matches with my friends Vinjince and Liuri, both formidable opponents.


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09/26/2011, Squire Stormont Series 1

A Paladin is Honest

This is only the second time that I have taken on two Squires at one time. Generally, I am very reluctant to accept two Squires just because of the time constraints and effort it takes to properly train a Squire. Squire Stormont is a very interesting young paladin for whom I have high hopes of success, and he happens to be a family member of two Therengians I hold in high esteem. The ceremony was well attended and Sir Sebestyen and Sir Baelor agreed to be the oathholders for Squire Stormont. This will be the first time that Sir Baelor has taken on the responsibility of teaching a Squire, so I am very interested how his training methods can be incorporated into a Squire's learning.

As you might suspect, the ceremony begins with the recitation of the Paladin Code and then the giving and receiving of oaths. Oaths are unbreakable ties for a paladin and are only given in extreme circumstances, for, they can be life-altering events in a paladin's life. The Squire's first tasks were to find the Code, return with the location of the Code and recite it word for word. The Squire did a commendable job in reciting the Code, but failed to inform me the exact location where he found it which...well naturally resulted in his first visit to the Moat.

It seems however to my dismay that word has spread about the Moat and the Squire was prepared with a towel so that he didn't reek or drip all over Chadatru's Chapel upon his return. Honestly, this showed great initiative and hopefully is a prelude to the promise of this young paladin.

The second session on the Code surrounded the application of the Squires Oath to me under the Code. The Code applies by virtue of the A Paladin is Honest and A Paladin is Loyal. The Squire did an excellent job pointing out and applying the applicable Code provisions to the oath he gave me. We ended the session with my maite, Valynn and a fine discussion on whether showing an enemy respect somehow violates an Oath or the Code.

My search for my other Squire continues, but with little information and fewer leads on his whereabouts. I fear for Zissren and hope to find him soon.


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09/23/2011, An Outcast Wife - Literally

A Paladin is Loyal

I never feel that comfortable on the royal dais. The process itself is not that complicated, you arrive, you kneel, you stand and you be quiet (although, today for some reason my knees did not obey be that quickly as I was the last to kneel). Ideally you stand fast and listen, responding to any questions presented. Naturally a wound I received en route to the audience decided to open up and I bled a bit on the dais. I must say it was a bit symbolic of my service and blood shed for Theren. I suppose in some form or fashion I have always bled on the dais.

The audience was short and to the point (which tend to be the best kind of audiences). Baron Theren announced that his wife, Macja was "mad" and he was returning her to King Raenilar and tasked the Advisor to hold a meeting with the King of the Outcasts. So, the Outcast wife is now truly an Outcast or so it seems.

I suspect this means war. I can not imagine King Raenilar accepting such a slight to his honor without violence or some for of restitution. Ahh, the life of a soldier is never dull or so it seems.


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09/19/2011, Zissren - The Lost Squire

A Paladin is Loyal

It has been many months since I gave Squire Zissren his last mission and I have not heard any report from him. His last mission was to seek out Advisor Leucius and then go seek out the hidden tomb of Emily the Fist. I have traveled a few times to Shard and to Hib, but to date no sign of the Squire. I fear the worst for the young man and I have sought out the assistance of my friends to form a search party. Hopefully, I can find the Squire or at least return his remains to his family in the event he has fallen.

I recently met with my old friends Drexella and Sebestyen. Drexella asked that I consider taking on a another squire. Although I have only trained two squires on one occasion, I felt this young man may be a worthy squire. Of course, they all seem to start off very interested and eager. Ahh, the adventure of youth. I do wish I could bottle that enthusiasm!


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09/15/2011, The Death of an Heir

Journal Madigan (The Death of an Heir) on 09/15/2011 12:32 PM EDT Links-arrows 1459 Reply Reply A Paladin is a Leader in righteous combat.

When it is necessary to fight, the Paladin will seek to guide and inspire his comrades, taking a forward position in the battle and facing the foe boldly. A Paladin does not hide from his foe or sneak about.

Mer'Kresh. I can not think of a more isolated place for a servant of oaths. My days revolve around the tedium of attack, kill, gather a skin, block and rest..then repeat. Do I break my oaths simply by existing in this tedium? How am I serving Therengia here? The answers are obvious, yet I continue this existence all the while knowing that I am not truly honoring my oaths and I am shamed by that fact. To add to my despair, I am craven for not simply leaving. I justify the tedium by the voice of Botolf whispering in my ear "You must be here to further your training." Botolf is a liar, will always be a liar and upholds those that lie. That statement is not an indictment of Botolf, for he balances Rutilor but it makes me feel no better.

Thus was my mindset when Theren's Heir died...and then died again. The shame of having to board The Slave and sail "home" burned like a long simmering coal waiting for air to ignite. Ogdaro killed the Heir..twice at a party. A most unbecoming attack on an unarmed man and I think Idon would not approve such things...well maybe stealing a wench on the way out, but not the dishonorable attack.

Thus I arrived and learned by reports that Ogdaro had been killed by Coenrad and again by Therengians. With the help of Commander Worrclan, we sought another draft of justice and attacked Ogdaro when we found him in Dirge. The connection of Dirge and Botolf was not lost on me, and further stoked the coal embers of my oaths.

When we gathered for our reports in the Keep, a citizen named Evro had purchased the return of Ogdaro (by a summons of a moon mage named Latathi) to the Keep, wherein Ogdaro was slain again by the Heir. I must say I was very impressed that Ogdaro got off a throw of a pitchfork and killed a Therengian before his death. Later my maite Valynn was attacked and slain by a person named Algeion (or Algion or Alegion...there are many similarly named and I can not keep them straight). I of course rushed to her aid into the ambush and was also slain by Algeion. A well placed ambush and I could only tip my hat to the ambush.

So, Botolf continues to whisper in my ear and I find myself my isolation.


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08/30/2011, Hrethgar

A Paladin is Loyal.

Memories are precious things. I would suggest they are the fortitude that strengthens our spirits when all is not right. Memories draw us to lessons learned, friends long-ago gone, adventures won or lost and oaths fulfilled with honor. I sometimes do my Squires a disservice in that our close relationship severs in an abrupt and startling way when they are released from their Squire oath to me. Many find this revelation startling and sometimes I think many wander the lands simply because they are not prepared to be alone in such an abrupt fashion. Do I truly honor the Code by the sudden ending of such a close relationship? Is the conclusion to learning so clean that I have failed to honor "A Paladin is Loyal"? I must ponder this question more.

The ring I hold in my hand belonged to my once Squire Hrethgar. I was fortunate enough to be at an auction when it was put for sale. Ienna was kind enough to inform me that it belonged to Hrethgar, and I of course purchased the ring. It is a simple thing made of less than masterful creation holding a small cambrinth stone. A beginners ring to learn magic, nothing more, nothing less. Yet, the ring brings back fond memories of Hrethgar.

As for my current Squire, Zissren...I fear he may have fallen to ill-end attempting my last directive to him. He was directed to find Leucius for a discussion on Ilithi politics and then we would venture to find the hidden tomb of Emily the Fist. I have not seen him since I issued the mission for him in Riverhaven.

Does the Code give any guidance to me as I gaze upon this ring? I believe "A Paladin is Loyal" means to hold the memory of our former guildbrothers and guildsisters close to our chest and secure their memories as best as we may. For me, this small ring may be something I pass to a new Squire at some point. I think it would make for a good class and lesson to impart a bit of tangible history with a Squire.

As for my visions, they have returned. The Bonding is....rather not what I thought and too much to explain in this entry.


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07/08/2011, Squire Ziss Series 6

Hah! That is great! I will also say that Valynn plays a very scary and mean upset sorta-wife. Just was the situation (in scene format)

Scene 1 - The Post Curtain Exultation

Madigan sheds his sweat soaked clothes back stage and changes into something decent for the lobby. A bounce in his step announces his self-satisfaction in making it through the play alive.

Crowd - "Hey! Wow, what a surprise Madigan...we had no idea. Huzzah, huzzah!"

Madigan nods thanks more in gratitude that it is over than any true sense of accomplishment in a job done half as well as the actual professional actors in the performance. He beams as he looks upon his beloved. Moving closer to her, he leans forward for a well-earned kiss.

Valynn takes two steps to the side and cuts her eyes at Madigan.

Madigan's lips part and slowly his jaw opens to a "who me?". A look of bewilderment crosses his face as he says "Ahh, hey Val."

Valynn pointedly ignores Madigan and makes small talk, while shuffling closer to the exit.

Madigan responds with a typical male "What did I do?" in a dead pan, "I know what I did, but I am hoping you don't know" voice.

Valynn flashes her eyes at Madigan as she leaves the lobby with Madigan quickly on her heels only to find the ranger "magically" gone just outside the door.

Scene 2 - At Home or "Is it hot in here"

Valynn stands by the fireplace tapping her foot, arms crossed. Madigan still looking at her in puzzlement ends his sentence "...but it was in the script Val."

Valynn changes nothing she is doing. Madigan wearily stands and moves to the closet to remove his clothes for bed. Valynn clears her throat.

Madigan in the middle of removing his shirt says in a muffled tone while the shirt is half way over his head "Wow, am I tired."

Valynn responds "I recall you having extra uniforms in the barracks, yes?"

Madigan freezes as if sensing danger...and says slowly "Yes..."

Valynn "Then, I think you loook smart in a BARRACKS uniform". Madigan blinks for a moment and then an almost visible lightbulb appears above his head "Ahh, yes...right. It has been a while since I visited the barracks."

Valynn turns her back as Madigan walks out the door. Closing the door a loud thump can be heard on the other side of the door as something...very heavy hits the door just as it closes.

Scene 3 - Inspection

Madigan's posture improves as he approaches the barracks door. Wanting to catch some young paladins in the act of something wrong, he slams open the door yelling "On your feet troopers!" Twenty-one backs lock at the same time, in different states of dress and behavior. Madigan strides down the middle of the barracks eyeing everyone as he passes. At the end of the barracks is a small room set aside for the old paladin. Just as he enters, air-kissing sounds can be heard as he closes his door.

Madigan says slowly "Gads"



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07/08/2011, Squire Ziss Series 5

A Paladin Faces His Foe

The Squire had the task of seeking out his oathholder, Kattena to discuss the Code and the controversy surrounding Oane. The intent in this discussion was to provide full disclosure to the Squire that the one thing, the only thing I teach (the Code) has been called into question as being the "True Code". The hope was to allow the Squire a time to critically reflect on his decision to Squire under a object and guide which has been called into question. As you might imagine, this led to a series of excellent questions about the history of the Paladin guild, Oane, Beren and the Bonding.

I am grateful to Kattena for taking her duties seriously and accepting the joint responsibility of educating the Squire. I am always humbled by the effort put forth by the oathholders and their dedication to the Squire.

After the session, the Squire joined me in the joint exercise against the dreadful orcs that inhabit Rossman's old manor. I was very proud of the Therengians that showed up to support the venture and we all killed many orcs and had a few glimpses of Viggu, although we did not get him this time. If ever that happens, I hope we celebrate the victory jointly and with great vigor.

The Squire died, which was to be expected in light of the hard fighting. This gave him an opportunity to see and experience what I consider to be the best triage in the lands. The militia units may squabble a bit from time to time, but our support folks know how to do their business.

His next task is to seek out Drexella, and old friend, who will tell him about Therengia and the history of Therengia politics. She has done this numerous times for my Squires and I really need to recognize her in a more formal manner. Maybe I will host her and my good friend Seb for dinner.

I could not conclude this Entry without acknowledging the jibs and taunts from the barracks. Alas, I committed to play a role in a performance in Shard. I must say the experience was daunting and I felt like a green recruit facing his first cavalry charge when I walked on the stage. The most unfortunate aspect was a particular steamy scene where I was required to...well...yes kiss Synamon (who played a female actress). To say that Valynn was not pleased is like saying the sky is blue. So, here I sit in the barracks...banned from the bed and comfort of my maite. I tried walking the moat, but apparently military admonishment is not the same as that of your maite, an elven maite at that. Why do elves have such long memories?

I must say that the other paladins in the barracks are most unbecoming. When I find the trooper that made those kissing noises as I entered the barracks...well, let's say the moat will be clean.


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06/29/2011, Squire Ziss Series 4

A Paladin supports Good and opposes Evil.

The first line of the Code is typically where most Squires desire to start their sessions. The concept of being Good tends to draw most to our guild. Good in each of their minds may mean being helpful or assisting those in need (the concept that drew me to our guild), for others it is the rage and satisfaction of doing Rutilor's justice and raising the sword above Evil.

The answer is easy of course, "we" are Good and "they" are Evil! After a trip to the moat, the discussion returns to "what is Evil" and "what is Good" and who decides that particular issue? Do the Immortals decide Good and Evil? If so, would Chadatru's concept vary from Asketi's? Although I, of course, would not presume to know the minds or will of the Immortals...I am fairly confident that they all disagree on what is Good and what is Evil.

To help answer this question, I commissioned a painting for my home for this particular lesson. The painting depicts a fearsome beast dead, on the ground with a willowy woman shouldering a longbow draped over the beast's body. The woman is obviously distraught. Standing above them is a paladin clutching a broken soulstone to his bowed forehead, his sword held by his fingertips limply at his side. Frustration, anguish and something else (maybe anger) is frozen on his face in the painting.

The superficial answer given in the painting is that a paladin should not be so quick to judge "Good vs. Evil" or "Right vs. Wrong"...or that you should "think before you leap". Those are core lessons I try to impose with the painting. However, this particular Squire answered in a most unexpected manner. He said something similar to "This reflects years of abuse of this Paladin's soul." Frankly, I was caught off guard. My simple lessons I have taught many years was turned upside down and the master became the student for this moment in time. Yes, I think the Squire was correct...there is more to the painting than the superficial lesson of good vs. evil.

This lesson also called into focus many issues that swirl around my beloved Therengia presently. Without directive from the Baron, who is any Therengian to threaten or actually put someone on a "List"? Maybe we should not be so quick to defend those in our ranks and look internally before we look externally.


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06/24/2011, Squire Ziss Series 3

A Paladin Is Loyal

The "A Paladin Is Loyal" session revolves around the story of Sir Jadewater I and Ferdahl Corik. As many recall, Ferdahl Corik commanded Sir Jadewater I to take the Ilithian army and confront Lanival's forces as they marched on Shard. An interesting story found in "The History of Jadewater" (I believe I recalled the name of the book correctly). Sir Jadewater advised against the action knowing that the Ilithian force was simply not up to the task. Corik would hear none of the logic and told him to take the field.

Sir Jadewater took the field, but when standing across the field viewing Lanival's army, he despaired because of the lives that would be lost. Ultimately, Sir Jadewater decided to challenge the Champion of Lanival's army to a personal duel, winner take all. Sir Jadewater lost and his army surrendered and thus is the story of how Ilithi joined Lanival.

Did Sir Jadewater violate his loyalty and oath to his liege lord, Ferdahl Corik? The Squire did an admirable job of applying the Code to the situation but still lacks the breadth of understanding to fully incorporate the Code into an answer. It will be an interesting question to revisit in later sessions. My friend Liurilias spoke from the Book of Chadatru prior to the Squire's session, to which I am grateful. The Book is significant to the paladin guild in many ways, some of which maybe I will write in this journal.

A disturbing event happened during our session however. While in Theren Keep, in the Temple of Chadatru, all that were present heard the screams of someone in the Keep. Lord Isleif insinuated that a member of the Court and possible a Lord my soldier's terms...losing his mind. I fear it is Lord Larohold Trigomas, the Hand.

At the Northern Watch spars, Court Advisor Valkri presented a petition for Totenus to speak with the Baron. That petition was denied of course as it would be unbecoming for the Baron to meet with such a purveyor of evil.

For now, the aging of the Hand makes me feel old and I wonder as to my place in things anymore. I feel that my presence weighs down those younger and new generation leaders. Do I raise the answer to the same old problems, because I and others have seen them before or do I let them linger so that the same old problems teach the same lessons that we, as a people, still do not learn?

On a lighter note, I had the honor of sparring my friend Pendus. I think I gave him a bit of a startle in the beginning, but fell to his extraordinary ability. Honors to my friend for a good spar.


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06/14/2011, Squire Ziss Series 2

The Moat and "A Paladin is Honest".

The instructions to a new Squire are always the same after the oath, "Your first task is to find the Code, then return to me and recite the Code. Then we will begin your lessons." Each new Squire ends up in the Moat at the first session. Why? They always fail to fully recite the Code, all of them. When I send them to the Moat the reason is always the same. "The Code requires an exact and unwavering compliance. Your recital is incomplete and therefore your ability to follow the Code at this time is incomplete. Two turns in the Moat, and then return to me when you can and are willing to recite the Code." Or, words to that effect.

The first lesson is the most critical as is the first task. I teach the only thing I know to a Squire, and that is the Code and the absolute faith in the Code to direct my path. I do not view the Code as a guideline, but as an absolute statement from the Guild as to the path we must follow. Thus, I teach a Squire. I will admit that it always gives me a bit of a chuckle when a Squire is first sent to the Moat, as I am not sure they believed walking the Moat was a true option.

Once the Code was properly recited, then I let the Squire choose the first lesson by virtue of their questions. This particular Squire surprised me with an opening statement of "I do not see how the Code is difficult, it is very clear and to the point." That was the first time a Squire expressed such a straight forward approach to the Code. I believe that view was shattered with the question of "If I am to always tell the truth, what happens when I am asked to betray you Madigan if the truth would betray you in some fashion?"

Such question naturally puts two points of the Code at issue, the duty to be Honest and the duty of Loyalty to certain person by virtue of your relationships or an oath. I thought the Squire did an admirable job of identifying the Code provisions and coming to a conclusion through the Code.

An interesting young Squire that I am sure will fill the next two years with much enjoyment as I watch him grow into the Code, or grow away from the Code...either way.

On an unrelated note, it seems that Ternith has left the province of Therengia and a petition was submitted to the Baron for his reinstatement. I am happy with this update, as that is the most honorable method of approaching the situation in my opinion. I wish him luck on his petition.


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06/12/2011, Squire Ziss Series 1

Not surprisingly I found my journal in the bottom of my travel pack rather dusty. My visions of the Bonding have ceased where I left them at my last entry. Who knows if they were simply the strange dreams of a man approaching the end of his career or maybe (if they had meaning) maybe I was deemed not worthy to carry the trust of our Founders and such trust has moved to another, younger carrier of the Paladin Standard?

I have taken a new Squire. This will be the Fourteenth squire I have taken, Seven of which completed their training. He is the first S'kra Mur that has come into my service. He is young, much too young to squire but maybe through his youth I again find my youth? The first task (as always) for my Squire is to find the Code, return to me with the location and recite the Code. Every learning sessions after, the Squire will begin the session by reciting the Code. Thus the young Squire left his Oathtaking on his first task.

Firegard and Kattena graciously agreed to be the Squire's Oathbearer and witnessed the ceremony. I am always honored and humbled that my guildbrothers and guildsisters take their role of Oathbearer very seriously. Firegard is a S'kra Mur, so I hope Firegard can teach the Squire something of his history. Kattena will be good in that she can teach the Squire the potential inaccuracy of the Code and that it is currently called into question.

I found myself quite amused when I took the Squire to show him the Moat. I believe he said words to the effect of "Madigan, why would you bring me to this nasty place?". I chuckled and then explained that this is where he is punished if he fails in his lessons or tasks. As I get older, I find this same conversation with each Squire funnier each time. There is something to be said about growing old and enjoying the smaller things in life.

Therengia...well, Therengia still seethes with its undercurrent of various drama in some form or fashion. Maybe my training exile on M'riss and Mer'Kresh is not so bad after all? I write that as tongue-in-cheek as one can infer such on parchment in this journal. Valkri seems to be doing an admirable job as Advisor, and seems to have the right demeanor for the position. I do not envy her duties, but I envy the patience that she displays daily.

Recently I arrived in Langenfirth to see the Traitor Ternith standing there displaying the colors of the Theren Guard. Ternith, as you may recall, has both a good and bad history with Theren. He and I were very close at one time as we fought Sorrow's soldiers for many years together. Yet, Ternith turned traitor and was banned from Theren for various actions. The most horrible of which was his attack on Therengians at the peace discussions hosted by the Sisters of Ain Gazal attended by Baron Gyfford and the Ferdahl.

I failed in my duty almost immediately, as I sought out first the Speaker of the Theren Guard to discuss the matter instead of demanding he leave and forcing his removal if he refused. He seemed not concerned to my surprise. I then informed him that I would have to send petition to the Baron on the matter and enforce the law. Ultimately, I made demand on Ternith that he leave Therengia. A member of the Guard asked that I not force Ternith to leave and I agreed under the condition that a petition be made to the Baron asking for his ban to be lifted and that an officer of the Guard give an Oath warranting Ternith's good conduct. I have yet to confirm a petition was filed and I have yet to receive an oath. However, I have little concern in both these regards as the Guard is an honorable, and old order of Theren.

I am however curious how the Baron will receive Ternith's petition and the fact he is currently a member of the Guard and by their leave, allowed to remain in Theren. Petitions have been presented by various citizens to be removed from the List, and always the condition is that they not remain in Theren and all such petitions (to my knowledge) have been summarily dismissed. Historically, there have been two citizens in similar situations as Ternith that have petitioned for reinstatement (Galren and Mazrian) and (if I recall correctly) both were denied. Both Mazrian and Galren served honorably during a time, and then were banned for reasons including attacking and killing Therengian citizens.

I do not envy the heavy burden of judgment on this issue. I believe that everyone should be empowered with the right of redemption. However, I believe more strongly in the law and justice, in that every man and woman be judged equally. At this moment in time, Ternith is treated differently than the other citizens I am required to remove from Therengia by death or other means. Why should I not kill Ternith and drag him through a moongate out of the province? Have I sullied my honor in allowing the Guard to influence my decision not to strictly enforce the rule, word and law of Baron Gyfford?

Too much to ponder for me this day.


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02/27/2011, Syal Series 3

The Song of Peri'el

This dream began unlike the others, as I seemed an outsider that approached a group of people in mid conversation...

"No, Therengia was nothing like it exists now. Falstad was just 19 when I first met him and in a remote camp with his dwarven allies. They were a pitiful sight. Once mighty Therengia living in the remote forts of the hills." Syal lectured as he sat on the now familiar stone benches by the gate to the paladin graveyard.

Csilla stood at his side, her armor gleaming with its radiant polish. Her profile was elven to the core, the sharp angles of her face distinct with the profile of her face as she faced the man in plate that sat across from Syal.

Syal was in his typical long robe. Glints of armor exposed with the various folds of his robe and a plain leather sheath jutted out behind the bench.

The knight...was me. I looked...older than I anticipated. Of course, I suppose we all think we are younger than we really are. My always silver hair dulled with age, the smile wrinkles around my eyes were much more distinct. The only redeeming factor was my tan from long days on the islands hunting.

Syal gives a low laugh as he leans back restating "Yes, Falstad. He was very lost. I doubt he believed me when I told him that we were called to serve the Immortals and that we must fight the Dragon Priests. I am sure he thought I was mad, and we were all crazy. But, he was in no position to turn down our help that was offered."

"You swore service to Therengia?" Madigan asked as he adjusted his armor.

"No, nor were we asked to swear service. We only offered to fight the Dragon Priests, which I believe was enough." Syal responded.

Csilla paced around the two men to another bench "Madigan, Syal and I were distracted most times by the Immortals as they all attempted to talk and direct us with visions. Peri'el was the most anxious. Her visions would stun me for some time and made my interactions with others...well confusing and uncomfortable. She was very scared that her song would fail, or that Dzree would halt her song."

Csilla gazed up continuing her discussion "Peri'el called me, she is my patron." Madigan looked up surprised, "Peri'el? I thought we served all the Immortals?"

"We do. That is the result of the Bonding." Syal snapped back into the conversation.

" both said you were called individually and you each have a patron. Do each of you serve all the Immortals?" My visage looked shaken as "I" hovered around the outside of the group in my dream form.

"Madigan, the Immortals needed warriors to fight against the release of the World Dragon. How do you suppose they went about getting those warriors?" Syal twisted his mouth a bit as if frustrated.

"The clerics I would think...or they could simply reach out to a person like they did Csilla here." Maidgan gestured at Csilla.

"And, have a bunch of half-mad warriors running around because they communicated directly with an Immortal?" Syal gazed to Csilla. "No Madigan, that contact almost killed Csilla and she did not function well at all until I came upon her. No, the Immortals needed a conduit through which to make their callings." Syal grinned in a deadpan manner. "I was the lucky fellow selected, or so it seems."

"But...cleri.." Madigan began but was cut off by Csilla. "Clerics are the worshipers of the divine, but they do it in the aggregate and for the purpose of worship. We are called to a task, a certain chore or a certain militant purpose." Csilla gazed to the gate marking the dark shapes pushing against the threshhold.

Frowning she drew her sword and started toward the gate "Syal, we must return to the fight...they are growing stronger." Syal snapped his eyes to the gate then back to Madigan "You must learn quickly, as we can not hold this place of paladin souls forever."

Madigan began to rise, but then as if noticing me for the first time said "What are you doing here?"

I snapped awake and gazed into the darkness of the night as I slept under the stars.


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02/23/2011, Syal Series 2

Defending the Souls

The Paladin Graveyard (which I have dubbed this place) looked exactly the same as my last visit. The sun setting on the horizon cast an amber sheen on the low hanging fog that hovered waist high in the enclosed field. The top of each tombstone marker jutted a few inches above the smog which kissed the armored greaves I wore around me legs.

Did I really see Syal when I last visited here in my dream? Who was the stunning woman that was with him and could it be Csilla? Am I going mad or is the stress of an upcoming wedding making me have these dreams.

Instead of a further examination of the markers, I decided to make a circuit around the field. The barrier of the field was a low wall constructed of what appeared to be lose rocks from the surrounding countryside, affixed together with good mortar. The wall was well constructed and only defaced with the natural effects of nature. I trained my gaze over the wall, and was surprised. The low hanging fog filtered across the landscape as far as the eye could see in the dimming light. On one end of the graveyard I saw flashes of light burst in and out of the fog, illuminating it periodically as if there was a small thundercloud on a dark night.

I moved swiftly to the area and that is where I found Syal. He was standing just outside a gated entrance to the graveyard and was fighting dark shapes that tempted to swarm about him. He glanced back at me with his crazed look again. His gaze suggested "don't just stand there you idiot" so I drew my sword and moved forward. Now, this was a part of the dream I could understand. Fight, follow orders, engage the enemy.

I was startled when I stopped dead in my tracks at the gate entrance. Strive as I might, I could not push through the invisible barrier. Syal glanced back at me and a deep sorrow pervaded his facial expression.

I banged my fists against invisible barrier and wilted under the accusing glare...until a smart slap on my backside drew my attention behind me. The lady knight had slapped me on the butt with her sword as she passed by. I twirled until I turned fully around to track her as she passed me. She glanced over her shoulder and said coyly "You can not go here Madigan so don't hurt your fists on Syal's barrier."

So, I stood there like a worthless frog on a stump. Their fight was amazing. Syal's brute strength combined with the lady knight's graceful protection of his flank and back. Shadowy figures approached them from behind, yet spells diverted or deflected their attacks back on the attackers. They both used some familiar spells to me, spells that smited the hordes that surrounded them to give them space to continue the fight. Other spells, I did not know. Spells that prevented undisclosed attacks, diverted attacks and something that seemed to absorb the energy of spells cast against them.

Finally, the lady knight touched Syal's shoulder and said "Enough today maite. They will always be here. Let us find a true solution and maybe our visitor is the answer." With that, Syal waved his hand and a calm came over his small area and they moved back within the gate. As they walked towards me, I saw the shapes form against the gate...clawing, pushing, proding.

"What in the blazes are those things and why could I not get to your side Sir?"

Syal glared at me with the old wild fire in his eyes. "You can not leave here because you do not yet understand. None of you understand and therefore none of you can help."

The lady knight placed a hand oh Syal's forearm and the calm returned to him. She gestured for us to a small area with large stones near the gate, barely visible in the continuing fog.

"Madigan, you must discover the path before any guidance can be provided and before you and your brothers and sisters can help." she intoned in a very kind voice, but filled with a wry smile.

"Who do you serve?" Syal asked abruptly.

"I serve Therengia." I responded automatically.

Syal shook his head and a sense of sadness crossed his face. "Madigan, you and your brothers and sisters are diverted from our purpose. You, maybe by no fault of your own, have strayed from the path envisioned by the Immortals."

"How did you enter the Immortals service?", he asked with authority.

"I joined the Paladin guild in Rivercrossing," I said plainly. He grunted and responded "Joined, yes I suppose. Were you not called to service?" he ended with a retort.

Unable to answer the question immediately, a sudden thought came to me, and I looked at the lady knight "Are you Csilla?" She smiled a beautiful smile, "Why yes, who else would I be Madigan?"

"Aren't you dead...why are you both here..why am I here?" I responded with obvious confusion.

She stared frankly at me "Syal defends the souls of paladins who are not properly bonded. He sacrifices his ability to be by his patrons side to stand with his brothers and sisters that attempt to follow his path and through him the will of the Immortals." She gazed about the graveyard, "This is our fortress against evil that would take those souls for foul things." Pain crossed her face, "We desire to go to our patrons and yet, we are the only conduit for the bond at this we remain with our vigil over our brothers and sisters to keep safe their souls."

"M'lady, I thought you were....well...burdened during your life." I said with as much courtesy as I could inject in the question.

She laughed a ringing note that echoed in the graveyard "Here our discussions with the Immortals are clear and not through visions. In my mortal life...well I did not see or understand the visions. It was confusing."

With that they stood and wavered..."But, what do I need to do?" I called after them. Syal glared over his shoulder and responded "Determine who you serve." Csilla smiled at me and said "And, marry that pretty elf...we do love humans you know?"

With that, I found myself back in the common soldiers barracks. The other soldiers staring at me as I was sitting on my bed in the dead of night.


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02/22/2011, Syal Series 1

A Paladin Graveyard

Soldier's dreams are encumbered with the weight of the actions they take on behalf of their oaths. Dreams...they make us pace at night, they fill us with burdens of our past actions.

Recently, my dreams are filled with...I do not know what, nor do I think I can adequately explain them with enough detail for you to understand. They disturb me. They shake the core of my foundations in my guild, my beliefs and my faith in many things.

I will try to accurately recount these dreams so that maybe you, the reader can make use or sense of them. Selfishly, I hope that writing them down will remove them from my memory or help me make sense of them.

To the dream:

I was walking at dusk, noting the last wink of the sun as it slid down the horizon. Shadows lengthened along small field I found myself within. The field was surrounded by a low, stone wall covered with small patches of bright green moss. A waist-high haze, or fog covered the field with dark, gray tendrils dipped to touch the unkempt grass at various spots.

I was in my field armor, worn smooth with many notches and scrapes from many years of use. The leather straps made small protests as the moisture of the fog seeped into the fittings. Removing my helm, I noticed...small islands protruding from the low hanging fog.

These small protrusions seemed to be the tops of wooden stakes as I walked among them. Touching the top of each as I progressed through the small field, they were irregularly spaced...almost in a haphazard fashion. Kneeling, I removed my helm to examine one. Words were scratched into the dark, wet wood. Running my fingers along the first monument...the words "Violet" were carved shallowly into the wood..almost as if a child had carved her name in the side of a tree. Blinking, I moved quickly to the next stake..."Portense", the next "Redtail"...and so forth. I can not recount fully all the names, but the memory of the tips of all the stakes protruding from the smog made a lump form in my belly. The same lump I always get when I return to a battlefield and start looking for friends that have been slain. Hoping to find them if they were dead...but hoping also not to find them, for obvious reasons.

I did not notice the man that was near me until he screamed at me, such was my attention on the markers.

"They don't understand!" the voice rang through the field and startled me to draw my sword.

Dropping my helm, I rounded on the cloaked figure with my sword drawn. "Announce yourself sir!", I responded with the trained challenge of a guard on duty. At least I remembered some form of training, even in a dream.

The eyes were the first thing that held my attention. They flared with a fire. Of madness, of a god...I do not know...they transfixed me. I could not move, lower my sword or even form conscious thought. I was frozen.

Sweeping his arm gesturing to the markers, he stared into my soul. "They do not understand how to finish their journey. And, lost man, you do not know how to even begin your journey." Then he advanced on me. For the first I noticed the plate armor under the cloak and his hand moving to a sword hilt. His eyes still held my frozen body in check seemed to stare through me. He stopped not far from me at the sound of a voice from behind me.

"Syal, he knows no better. Calm yourself maite." A clear melodic voice rang from behind my right ear. A knight glided past my right arm. Ohh, a magnificent knight in armor that hurt your eyes to behold, shined to a mirror finish...a radiant air hovered over this dominating presence. I could see the side of her uncovered face as she came to the side of the cloaked man. She was clearly elven, and very familiar to my Valynn it took my heart.

Placing her hand on the cloaked man's shoulder, she said lightly as she glanced at me, "This is our first one that has arrived alive Syal, do not scare him away. They do not understand maite, and we can not return to teach them. Slowly maite...slowly." As soon as the hand touched his shoulder, an immediate change came over the cloaked man. His eyes focused, the lines in his face softened and (most importantly for me) he stopped advancing.

Syal. Syal? Syal! Resorting to my typical soldier training which states 'If you don't know what to do, keep your mouth shut and wait on orders.' So, I stared at the man called Syal. I am not sure I could have said anything had I even had something I thought to say. Bloody Syal?

Facing the female knight, Syal said in a voice very much unlike his former voice, "Yes, you are right maite." Turning to me he simply said "Madigan, until you and your brothers and sisters find the right path, you will all through this place and go no farther. The bonding is for naught unless you apply the gift for which it was given."

"What gift...what is this place..", I started to reply. Then, as suddenly as I entered the dream I was awake.

Every night since, I have dreamed of things I thought long lost, impossible or even heresy. I do not know what these dreams mean, or even if they have meaning.

On an unrelated note, I am planning a wedding. For whom...well we shall need to find out in later journal entries.


OOC NOTE: Basically, I am writing my version of the history of the guild and the meaning of the "bonding". Since I am putting it in the light of various dreams, the content can be discounted or used at the leisure of individuals or the GM's. I have (I hope) an interesting theory on the "bonding" and some gaps in the scarce history of the guild. To the extent anyone notices plain mistakes or disconnects with actual recorded history, please take the time to drop me an email so I can correct as best as I can.

Sorry for the length of the post, just let me know if this project starts getting stupid or mundane.

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For Whom Does the Bell Toll?

Soldier's don't talk of death often or at all if we can help it. Talking of death seems to awaken Urrem'tier without justification or warrant...I don't think that Immortal likes to be bothered without just cause. So, we soldiers pray to our chosen and gather favors like a child would collect flowers in the spring.

Why do we do this? From a normal person's practical standpoint, it is pragmatic and right. From a soldier's practical viewpoint, it is insurance against Commanders who would toss you carelessly into harms way. Luckily, my current Commander has a great deal of common sense and perspective. That is not always the case, and it is not always the case for those above field commanders.

For whom does the bell toll when it is time to fight? It is, of course, seldom the person that orders the violence. It is most often the common soldier and the people that are surrounding the violence, yet not involved.

Thus, I found myself at a common place. A potential confrontation during a time that was inappropriate for battle standing with a seasoned Commander, a green Advisor, many non-Therengians, on foreign soil and a whole lot of tension.

As another soldier said to me that night "Well, this is like a dog trying to hump a cat, being directed by a parrot with a crowd of spectators waiting to judge them all." (I will apologize should any Lady read this journal, but sometimes soldiers speak fairly frankly).

So, there I was with a group of Therengians, Ilithians, Inquisitors and other citizens with necromancers shining mirrors upon us, a known Necromancer Supporter Asrion in our mist and an Advisor believing we were on Theren soil (implying of course that we should bloody start killing people) and we just finished battle with a the necromancer Lhars.

The dog, the cat, the parrot and the spectators...the roles are filled by the same people, just the names change.

But, good sense played out this evening, for which I am grateful. The opening of the Muspar'i cleric guild, before the new guild leader was not the place for a fight of this nature. As one old Therengian friend said, "There is a time and place for everything." The green Advisor did not press the issue, the seasoned Commander kept his head and old Court members stayed itchy sword hands with calm resolve. The bell did not toll for anyone this day, for it was not the proper time or place to ring the to speak.

I will also record in this Journal that I spoke with Asrion upon my return to Therengia. He is concerned that infamy will follow someone on the List without due process or petition, and maybe wrongfully so. I agree with his assessment in that absolute proof must be had before the so-called List is invoked. I will also note that I am glad Asrion will seek petition with the Baron for his removal. I know not of his past conduct, but I believe every man and woman should have the right to stand before their judge and state their case.

Finally, I was able to spend time with Valynn who continues to amaze me in so many ways. A truly remarkable woman, too good for me...but that is for a journal entry of its own.


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A soldier makes lists to remind ourselves of things that should be done and the order with which they should be accomplished. Government officials make lists to condemn people or things. I am amazed at the power of a pen. The figures and characters writ on a piece of paper of power that surpasses that of steel and muscle.

Thus, a list is born by ink and paper and enforced by steel and muscle. A while ago I represented the Watch in our weekly training session wherein Asrion, who is somewhat known to me, appeared. Alas, he is on a list of necromancer supporters. I questioned him and he denied the accusations of the list (I speak of the list as it is a person, for this list seems to have a life). Asrion denied the accusation, and since I did not know how he came to be on the list, allowed him to remain.

Mordibar and Lyathe received a visit from the spy Coenrad who informed them that he vouched for Asrion being a necromancer supporter and we were ordered to have him removed.

Last evening, Asrion appeared and was asked to leave and then engaged. There were three of us and one of him, and he was not prepared. The outcome was predictable under those circumstances. I had an opportunity to speak with Asrion and informed him that he would need to petition the Baron and that if wanted we could meet again if he felt his honor needed to be satisfied, which would be proper in my mind.

So, the List...a thing that is writ by aristocrats and enforced by soldiers. Apparently, a List is a dangerous thing and the wielders of a pen should understand that it is flesh and blood, not pen and ink that enforce the List.


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I have decided to renew my efforts with my journal. I would say my lack of entries is a direct reflection on a bit of lost direction in my personal life. I find myself, for the first time, adrift on an island with few close friends and Therengians. It is curious how a place of cold, grey stone and armor can feel so comforting when one is deprived of their constant companionship.

As I have written in this journal, I once purchased a horse from a Horse Broker, Ishtvan. I petitioned His Grace to review the conduct of this Ishtvan because he (Ishtvan) failed to deliver the horse as promised. Amazingly enough, a horse of the exact same breed was discovered after an ambush and delivered to Therengia in search of an owner. I made my petition, and was granted ownership of this fine animal. I suspect that my other paladin infantry companions will make jest of my stiff posture on such a grand beast, but alas I shall give it a good go.

Yet, I find myself lost and unusually suspect of direction. Partially because of this unnaturally warm island I train upon now, but mostly for lack of Therengian companionship.

Commander Marsais has assumed command of the Watch. I can think of no better person for the role, and he brings much honor to the Watch and to Therengia. We have also brought on some outstanding recruits as of late, Dierik, Rambliin and Martyre come immediately to mind. Valkri has assumed the mantle of Court Advisor. I think she will do very well in this role, and I wish her the best of luck for a job that is very demanding.

The traitor Oane was finally put in chains, and I am curious when the Council will set forth his trial? The longer they delay, the more fire they throw on the fire of conspiracy that already blazes in the heart of many of my peers and guildmates. It is unbecoming to delay a fair trial to a paladin. I can say this no more directly or with more vigor.

I have had odd dreams of late, as if my guilds past is reaching to me. I must admit, this is the main reason I have started writing this journal again. I seem to recall my dreams of the guild but for a short time... then they are lost to me.

Yes journal, I have not asked Valynn to marry me as of yet. Most unbecoming of me, but in my mind it diminishes what we have. A bond that needs no real symbol or affirmation. It honor. It stands on its own without need for acknowledgment or confirmation. Mordi would make me eat those words if I expressed them outloud.

"Deeds Above Words"


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These are the times that try our souls. The acid upon the armor of my guild's fundamental belief in our history, our Code and the tenants by which we operate. Oane. Who is Oane? A researcher? A traitor? Both?

The council has issued its orders to apprehend Oane, and how can I refuse such order or ignore it either passively or actively? Obviously I can not, so I endeavor to capture Oane and return the paladin to the custody of a guildleader. And, that finds me back in Shard which appears to be the place of Oane's likely appearance once he comes out of hiding.

Yes, I fear these allegations will try the soul of my guild. Already paladins have failed to uphold the order of the council and let Oane walk free. But, there are embers to their hesitation. Sir Darius received them shortly after their refusal, and (if accounts are true) let them leave in peace...and even hinted at more sinister happenings. Try our souls.

I do report some good news to this journal. My squires Xalahai and Xalfirie are prepared for graduation. I can not think of two better squires I have trained. Yet...did I train them under the correct Code?

Maybe this Oane and the Council try my soul?


P.S. My apologies to you Thomas Paine fans out there. "Try our souls" is a pure rip off of some of his writings. Although, I thought appropriate for this Journal entry.

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