The World of DaNar

The Past, the Present, and the Dead

Journal entry by Ser Seifer

The days at the White Spire seemed to linger. In reality it had only been a couple days, but in my head it felt as though I had been there for months.

This “Master of the Spire” has me intrigued and cautious at the same time. The more I learn, the more I am wary of the magics and mysteries of this godless land. The drow captive was my newest lead to learn about these artifacts and the magical points of the Wildlands. I knew she had answers, but would she tell me, a surface elf? She was not at all like Sorscha. She was full of anger and malice that I could tangibly feel. Perhaps the “Master” of this spire could help me in the answers I seek.

The time I had spent with “the Master” was full of insight and also of despair. He talked of the fall of his empire and how he was prepared for it. It was soon after that conversation that I began having the dreams. Dreams of my past. Dreams of my memories that I had never talked about. Dreams of the dead. These dreams consumed me. It was as if I was actually reliving my memories for the first time. The fall of Brunswick and all the destruction and death that came with it.

- (100 years ago, the Throne room of Astera, the Royal Compound in the City of Brunswick, capital of the Kingdom of Brunswick) –

Magistar Terojin Nightstar stood before Queen Elandra. The Mages had of late been on their own agenda, causing disruption in the courts over issues that hindered or hurt our kingdom’s relations with the neighboring countries. They had been wasting resources and misusing the Queen’s name in trying to locate an artifact that was lost millennia ago. They claimed it was all in the name of strengthening the kingdom and furthering our citizens lives. I stood down the line from the throne. I was back in my Kingsguard (now Queensguard) ceremonial armor. I could feel it; the weight, the metal, all of it. This was no ordinary dream.

Though we numbered 100 strong, the Queensguard were seperated into 4 companies, numbering 25 each. Each company was lead by a knight-captain, except for the 1st company. The 1st company were the elite Queensguard, lead by knight-commander Mareck Sollend. I had only worked my way into the 2nd company in my 50 years as Queensguard. Knight-Captain Throndrak Nilus was head of the 2nd company. He was a man known to be close with the Mages and was the only Queensguard to wear and wield 2 swords, both too cumbersome for any normal soldier to wield in one hand easily. There he stood, next to the Queen, as Nightstar spoke his silver tongued words.

Though the words were muddled in my memory, I heard them as clear as day in the dream. “My Queen,” as he bowed with a smirk on his face and distractions on his tongue, " we humbly ask that you review these accusations. We at the Conclave only want what is best for Brunswick, and we feel as though your decrees limiting the Mage Conclave are only inhibiting our progress."

Recently, Queen Elandra had decreed that the Conclave must only act with council approval and thus, only do as much as the Queen’s council approved. This, of course, caused aggravation between the Queen and the Conclave.

As the dream continued, I was next in the barracks, a few days after the meeting with Nightstar. Throndrak was addressing the 2nd company. He spoke of a recent event where mages were sent on “expeditions” with Queensguard into the frontier lands known as “The Aegis lands”. The Aegis lands are the area separating the Small Kingdoms from the barbarian lands to the North and East. Normally, no one ventures into those lands on expeditions because the indigenous wildlife is aggressive and tainted. How they were tainted, no one knows.

The Queensguard are not an expeditionary force at all, but can accompany an individual of high standing with the council. Usually the 3rd and 4th companies are used in this manor, but this time it was only the 1st company. This was highly unusual but not the most disturbing thing about the briefing. Throndrak went on to state that there were casualties involved and that members of the 2nd would fill the ranks.

Weeks went by and these events continued. Weeks turned to months. Months turned into years. Members of the 2nd kept filling the ranks of those lost from the 1st, but it seemed only select members were chosen and not the highest in the ranks. The same went for those filling the ranks of the 2nd. This troubled Knight-Commander Mareck. He ordered an investigation into the expedition casualties and to the way Queensguard were picked to fill ranks. The investigation was being conducted by the Queen’s intelligence wing of the council.

Which lead to the events three years ago, in the year of our Queen 389. A lifetime ago.

Weeks of investigation and member interviews revealed disturbing news, but I would not hear it for years to come. Almost as soon as the investigation got underway, things took a drastic change for the worse. The conclave called for a meeting with the Queen and the council. 2nd company was on duty, so we were in the throne room before anyone else arrived. The Mages arrived with Nightstar in the lead. Surprisingly, the 1st company was accompanying them but the Knight-Commander was not with them. Knight-Captain Throndrak seemed unfazed by the sight of the 1st company with the mages, but I could feel the tension and confusion in my fellow Queensguard.

Magister Nightstar spoke first, and what came next will forever be burned into my memory. “Queen Elandra, on behalf of the Mage’s Conclave, I am here to declare that we are no longer operating under your authority. From this day forward, Brunswick’s Conclave of mages will be its own entity, and we do not support the current course this regime takes.”

My fellow knights gripped tighter to their ceremonial glaives. The Knight’s glaive was the weapon of choice for the Queensguard. The knights of the 1st company did not have their glaives with them, but swords and weapons were drawn upon entering the room. Queen Elandra simply stared at the Magister as he turned after speaking and left the throne room, taking the 1st company with him.

The next few weeks would be the most painful and hardest times of my life. The day after the Conclave declared secession from the Queen, events would happen that would change Brunswick forever. That evening the council was in session to discuss the mages and what was to be done. Sadly, those members never left that chamber. The Mages Conclave declared open revolt that night. They waited for the council to gather and in extravagant manner, destroyed the council chamber with magic. The explosion could be heard throughout the city.
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Those Queensguard not already on duty gathered equipment and set out into the city to investigate and quell the threat. We were met with what can only be described as beings not of this plane. Beings summoned by mages to keep us distracted from our goal. Sensing something far more sinister at work, I fought my way to the castle. Monsters, mages, and extra-planar beings all fell as my rage was unleashed. At last, I made it to the castle. After fighting my way through the gates, I was met with little resistance. What I was met with was far worse. Bodies. Bodies of my fellow Queens guard. Members of the 2nd and some of the 1st company lay broken and dismembered in the halls.

As I approached the throne room, my body was overwhelmed by fear and despair. I was alone, outnumbered, and out matched. The next few seconds will stay with me as nightmares forever. Standing in the hallway before the throne room, I saw it all. My Queen, my charge, my lady, was on her knees surrounded by Nightstar, Knight-Captain Throndrak, members of the 1st company (in newly fashioned red uniforms with black masks), along with mages from the Conclave. Nightstar was yelling at my Queen, demanding her surrender and, if not, her death. Her next action set my mind on it’s current course. She was so stoic, so composed, true royalty. She just replied, “Honor and truth do not surrender to the likes of evil and corruption.” With a simple node of his head, Nightstar signaled to Throndrak to do the deed. The man who was my leader, my idol, the man whose prowess with the blade I envied, with a single swing of his blade ended the life of my Queen.

I stood frozen with fear and disgust. My body could not, would not move. I was disappointed in myself. I, Ser Seifer Garrow was too scared to move and had failed in my vows to protect the Queen. After Throndrak killed Queen Elandra, he turned to face the side of the throne room that was hidden from my sight. Nightstar addressed what I could only assume were captives of the Queensguard. He gave them an ultimatum: Join him, or die like Elandra. He stated that the Queensguard were hereby dissolved, and those who did not join would be exiles or stand to be executed. Already a disappointment, I fled. I left my home, my belongings, my family inheritance, and fled the city.

In the middle of the night, I traveled by foot to the next town of Solara. There I would complete my exile and leave my country behind. With what little coin I had on me, I bought plain traveling clothes. I buried my Queensguard armor in a chest on the outskirts of the city, keeping my sword, and vowing to use it to end the life of Nightstar. I then purchased passage to the border. So began my story of exile.

After I reached the border, I sold myself as a guard for caravans going North. Months passed doing this type of work. One day a courier gave me a letter that would spark light back into my soul and start me on the next chapter of my story. The letter was from Knight-Commander Mareck. He too, had fled the capital and was living on the border of Brunswick, waiting for the day to strike back at Terojin Nightstar and his regime of evil. The letter told me of a man who wandered the border of Brunswick, slaying mages looking to enter into the country to join the Conclave.

I found the man. Slayer Xon is all he allowed me to call him. I spent weeks with him learning his ways and his technique to killing mages. We traveled the border for months, killing mages and escorting caravans. Not once did I hear from Knight-Commander Mareck after the initial letter. During my time with Xon, he told me of a land with countless legends of mage warriors and artifacts used against magic. I knew this was were I was supposed to go. Not wasting any time, I gathered my things and with only a direction and few caravans traveling to the area, I set off.

All of these memories came in a series of dreams, and not all at once. The last dream I remembered was that of my first few days in the Wildlands. The rain and wind felt fresh on my face as if it just happened yesterday; finding a trail of bodies and following them to a ruined city. From there my story began with The Watchmen.

Waking from that most recent dream, I was soaked with sweat, or perhaps it was the rain from my dream. All I know is that once I awoke, I heard a voice that echoed in my head, " Well, well, now, Isn’t that interesting?"

Comments

Originally posted May 11, 2018 but date edited on 5/24/18 to an earlier date to fit adventure log chronology into story line chronology.

DamonRobison

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