Nightmares of Nerath
Journal from Kaidis' ship
a series of journal entries from an unnamed Nerathi guard of Ambassador Kaidis
I am writing the words which I cannot speak, for these Barbarians are intolerable! It is hard to believe that they were once part of the Empire. The fools openly mock our attire and way we talk, yet they wear the foulest smelling furs I have ever seen, and communicate in a series of grunts. I grow weary of seeing them swagger around in blissful ignorance of the world outside their hold. The sooner the negotiations end so that I may return home, the better.
The Ambassador’s attempts to negotiate terms for the forming of a new Nerath military force backed by Chieftain Woldred’s warriors have fallen through. I stood guard during the meeting, and it was an animated discussion to behold! Wolfred somehow believes that he owes Therund and Nerath nothing. I am not surprised that he would choose to turn against his betters in this way, given their twisted sense of honour. But, the sad fact is that this single tribe, with its fairly modest 1000 warriors, is probably greater than any current single army under the Nerath banner.
The Ambassador remains hopeful that his time in Selduria will not go to waste. Tostig, our guide to the Harthia forests, revealed himself to be a representative of a rival Seldurian tribe.
He is sympathetic to our cause, and has brokered a meeting with someone who he claims has the military might we seek. The meeting is to take place later this night at Tostig’s stables.
I have convinced the rest of the men that what we about to do is the right choice to make. The Empire of Nerath is long dead. We were fools to believe there was a chance of it returning to its former might. Instead, corpulent fools like Baron Peranon cling on to the remnants of a glory that was only deserving of their grandfathers. Ambassador Kaidis insists we will no longer be the lap dogs of weak Nerathi heirs.
The Karkothi War-thane showed us a vision through a crystal sphere, displaying the armies they have amassed. I have fought in many wars, and have never seen anything of this magnitude. Although I was sceptical, Kaidis is convinced that this was a true reflection of the Karkothi army, and not simply an illusion.
We have begun our voyage back to Moonstair. Word has reached us that Moonstair has come under attack by the forces of Skalmad, the troll chieftain. How typical that our ‘empire’ finds itself at the mercy of such a creature.
Kaidis insists that this will provide the perfect cover for us to make our preparations in the town. Provided the town prevails, it may hasten the Baron’s visit to the region, so time is of the essence.
The Karkothi cultists that share our voyage leave me a little nervous. Although, at first meeing they seemed to be no different than your average Nerathian, the longer I spent with them the more I notice our differences.
The cursed Kuo Toa are all over this river. Kaidis believes that they fight for the troll Skalmad, and is unconcerned by them. Had it not been for the Karkothi aboard, then I fear we may not have been able to fight them off. Eardwulf, the bodyguard assigned to Kaidis, fights with the fury of an Owlbear! The man hasn’t left Kaidis’ side since Selduria. When he isn’t protecting Kaidis, he studies through the ancient Karkothi texts with him like a surrogate teacher.
Sadly, Broylans and Sarson both fell at the hands of the Kuo Toa. The Karkothi have taken their bodies and dumped them overboard. May Kord guide them to their final battlefield.
Skalmad is dead and the docks have been reopened. A group of adventurers from Overlook were responsible for the deed, and are due to return from the Feywild within two days. As expected, the Baron himself is on his way to hold a celebratory feast with the victors. My men and I are to immediately sail north to Oglak’s camp and hand him the instructions and initial fee for his ‘diversion attack’. Of course, the fool has no idea of our true plans, and Kaidis expects him to end up sharing the same fate of his former master. As the kidnapping takes place, my men and I are to stay on stand by, across the river in case something goes awry.
It is accomplished! The Baron’s son is now in Karkothi hands. We managed to drag Kaidis into the boat away from the docks, and now we head back to Selduria. Kaidis tells us that Eardwulf bravely sacrificed himself to save him. This is a form of honour rarely seen in Nerath, and we would do well to remember this heroic act.
Our patron has alerted us that we are being followed by the ‘Heroes Of Overlook’, and has instructed Kaidis to visit the coastal town of Pelarbin where we might find an ally of his who can help us with our problem. He was very insistent that these adventurers should not be killed. Well, at least not ALL of them.
We have left Pelarbin, and return on our journey, but the men which stayed aboard, contracted skin-rot during the three hours I spent in Pelarbin. They’re currently in isolation so that it doesn’t spread to the rest of us.
Betrayal! Kaidis, that coward, has sealed our fates. He is content to fly to Selduria on the back of his new ‘Dragon friend’, whilst the rest of are transformed into the skeletal minions of the Karkothi. The crew that contracted ‘skin-rot’ were in fact murdered as the rest of us were away from the ship. Kaidis has now brought them back as skeletons and undead creatures so vile that I dare not describe them. Even Broylans and Sarson are amongst them. The three of us left have sealed ourselves in this lower deck. It won’t be long before they break through. We will have to fight for our very souls, as they will surely transform us in the same monstrous way.
How could I turn my back on Nerath like this? Perhaps I deserve this fate, but knowing I convinced my men to follow me down this dark path weighs heavy on my very soul. Kord, forgive my foolishness!
The tattered journal contains multiple entries, which although undated, appear to be events from the past month.