The Legend of the Angelic Dragoness

Session XVI: "To lead, is to be alone..."

Oathday, Kuthona 7th, 4711

Kuthona 7th “Toilday”, of the Year 4711

Tavern: The Hoist, Roderick’s Cove
I had intended to sleep for just a little, but I underestimated my tiredness. In fact, I fell asleep right in the middle of writing my last diary entry. I would finish the thought now, but at this point I have no memory of what I was thinking.

So, it must have been 3 hours after noon when I rose. I changed my clothes and took my laundry down to Oryanna. Her change in manner alarmed me. Although she has treated me with great respect since I healed her and fought off the demon who attacked her, she now has become in great awe of me, and her manner towards ‘The Duchess’ is impermeable and formal, whilst her attitude before was more friendly. I did note that she seemed in good spirits –the apparent confidence and morale boost that my appointment has brought to the city is, at least, a fine thing. I went straight to the stables to bid Loreena and Nilluvian goodbye. They travel to the city of Augustana in Andoria, and it is doubtful that I will see Loreena again. I made the request, on behalf of the city, for grain or foodstuffs. I hope that Loreena’s father proves a generous man.

My next wish was to go down to Derek and ask him of the nobles and the situation of the town. I intend to hold a court soon; nothing about my ascension to power has been traditional, and I feel it is important to share my willingness to rule and my vision for the future with those who would call themselves noble. Later I must meet the nobles themselves, interview them, and ask them personally to attend, but first I will speak to Derek. I never hear better sense from anyone but him.

On a whim, and perhaps because I was feeling a little lonely, I decided to take the scenic route to Derek’s quarters, and to descend via the temple. The building was more beautiful than I remembered, and the warm light of the late afternoon radiated through the skylights, making the marble glow white. I was taken with some of the fresco panels, and stopped to have a better look. They depict many things; angels with trumpets – some even look a little like me – bending from heaven, though their skin has bubbled and flaked in places where the frescos are in need of restoration.

And there, nonchalantly in a corner, was a picture of the bay of Roderick’s Cove. I almost didn’t recognise it. The crystal-blue waters looked significantly more inviting than the stern, grey waves which I have seen there – perhaps the season makes a difference as to their colour – and rising up within the bay, where the central guard tower now stands, stood a magnificent tower, six times the height of those around it. I stopped short. That structure certainly does not stand there now, and yet the cathedral and those towers are both of Thessalonian construction, probably from around the same time. My next thought was that there must have been some change in water level; after all, the top of the tower, with its strange network of arches and columns, looked identical to the one I had seen in Roderick’s Cove from a distance. Checking with other points along the coast, though, the water seemed to have remained constant all this time. If the tower was the same basic structure, something had happened to shrink it to 1/6 of the size.

I looked at the other frescos, to see if they shed some light on the situation, but though there seemed to be many stories about the city, and practically everything else, painted on the walls, I could make sense of few of them. When I finally get time, I will need to hire a team of historians and craftsmen to document and restore these frescoes – they may provide vital clues to details and history of the Thessalonian structures in this area.

After spending some time praying here – after all, a building this light and beautiful seems an appropriate house for Shelyn – I made my way down to the interim level. I explored briefly, to see that everything was in order there, and continued on to the forge. It was very busy down there – unsurprising, I suppose, since I had sent a large group of people into an unfamiliar environment. I spent a few minutes speaking with Uldern. It seems news travels fast for he, too, greeted me as ‘your grace’. He seems happy in his work and with the mine, though he requested more space for the villagers I had sent. I offered for him to use the upper levels of the complex, and the temple. It remains warm in there and, frankly, I can’t think of anywhere more wondrous to sleep.

I passed through to Derek’s chambers, knocking on the door. When I entered, Derek stood immediately and scraped the ground with his bow. Honestly, one would imagine that the floor was made of gold, the way people keep staring at it in my presence. I had caught him in the middle of working on the books, so I resolved to take up as little of his time as possible. I mentioned first that I was intending to hold court, and his immediate comment was that he desperately wants to see how I’m going to deal with everyone asking me questions. Since that was somewhat my concern as well, I asked him to tell me more about the nobles in the city.

Of Baronet Asimus Thornbridge, Derek told me yet again of his takeover of the city 20 years ago, following the city’s revolt against Riddleport for independence. During this time, Riddleport was also in midst of internal strife (which I gather, at that time, was frequently the case), and Roderick’s Cove made itself trouble enough that to hold on to that it was no longer worthy. It is worth noting that, with the changes I plan to instigate here, Roderick’s Cove may become a more tempting prize for Riddlesport, and I will have to augment the city’s defences, particularly the cove, if we are to hope to hold onto our independence. Interestingly, Asimus held noble status and a title even under Riddleport rule – he is an old noble and is used to being afforded courtesy. I must ensure that he is not offended by my supercedence of his authority. His wife, Baronetess Aileyn Thornbridge, took her title by marriage.

Of Baronet Guyron Swordwhite, I learned that he was the owner of two estates outside the city until recently, though it cannot currently be known whether those estates still stand since the Orc raiding parties were situated extremely close to them.

I learnt less of Lady Mesma Thickwood than of her late husband, Sir Mayden Thickwood. He was a knight of the Cheliax empire, though he remained in Varisia after the Cheliax Empire withdrew. Sir Thickwood was respected by the current overlord of Riddleport, a man called Gaston Cromarcky, and also by his peers.

Of Gaston Cromarcky, the leader of Riddleport, I learned that he used to be a pirate captain; under his 30yrs of leadership he seems to have stabilised Riddleport – according to everything I can discover he is open to diplomacy, and an exceptional gambler.

I further asked Dereck if he had any aspirations to the nobility himself. He told me with a smile that he “wouldn’t mind”. I also informed him about the frescos up in the temple, and the discovery I had made about the central cove tower. Finally, I asked him to add to his list of tasks the removal of the precious items from the lake upstairs. I may give them to the city to restock the civic coffers – they are the remnants of many dead men who entered the forge and, in a way, their presence saddens me, and is a testament to their lost lives. Giving their wealth to the city will, I believe, be a fitting memorial, since I have no way of knowing who they were.

Leaving Derek to his bookkeeping, I headed towards the town hall. It was my intention to have an informal interview with the Mayor, to discuss the city and the method he had ruled it for the past 20 years. The door was opened by a servant who fetched her mistress, Aileyn Thornbridge. There was, again, a significant formalisation of her manner towards me, though she ever observed propriety. After some pleasantries and discussing the state of the weaving initiative – it still remains in a good way, and I saw the women who were working there seemed cheerful and in good spirits – Baronetess Thornbridge informed me that the mayor is ‘indisposed’. Apparently he is depressed and in bad shape – he hasn’t even washed for the past four days. Her manner, however, seemed to be positive and upbeat – it was clear that she is convinced that I am the solution for the problems in the city. I hope she proves correct.

It was early evening, and dark as I left the town hall, making what I am coming to think of as my ‘daily rounds’, and walked towards the guardhouse. Zao was sitting in the guard room – morale seems to be increased; he attributes this to the fact that people now have someone to look up to, but also let slip that Arietta has been walking the wall and ‘raising spirits’ – I would be astonished if her personal charms did not have had more local impact than my political acumen. No cold-weather garments have yet come from the women, but Lady Aileyn reports that the first will be ready shortly.

Heading back to the inn, I ordered something to eat and passed a few minutes with Oryanna. Again, her marked change in manner was disturbing. I can only hope that as time goes on people will become less formal towards me – though they mean it as respect, there is a distance between us now which leaves me cold and lonely. In Abken I was feared and respected – the feeling is not dissimilar to what I experience now. There at least I had a training grounds to flee to, lessons to complete and masters to guide me. Still, I must allow my work to keep me busy. Oryanna informed me that there was a short archery training session this morning – though there are no excellent marksmen in the militia, and few can hold their own, and Arietta’s improvements on the bows are helping.

And thus I am sitting now in the tavern, with my stew, brown bread and beer. It is around 8.30 in the evening and pretty quiet here – just a few old men grumbling and comparing old stories; I’m keeping one eye on the door for Morden, Arietta or anyone else I know, but no one has come in so far. I miss Ellesar. His companionship was quiet, but he was friendly, kind, wise. He was like Thror and Balin in many ways – with them, my mentors, I never felt alone. The time in Abken was not so bad after a while, having known little else – time accustoms one to all things – but now, after Ellesar, this loneliness seems worse. Still, time accustoms one to all things. I believe I will go pray for a while.



Kuthona 7th “Toilday”, of the Year 4711
Tavern: The Hoist, Roderick’s Cove

I had intended to sleep for just a little, but I underestimated my tiredness. In fact, I fell asleep right in the middle of writing my last diary entry. I would finish the thought now, but at this point I have no memory of what I was thinking.

So, it must have been 3 hours after noon when I rose. I changed my clothes and took my laundry down to Oryanna. Her change in manner alarmed me. Although she has treated me with great respect since I healed her and fought off the demon who attacked her, she now has become in great awe of me, and her manner towards ‘The Duchess’ is impermeable and formal, whilst her attitude before was more friendly. I did note that she seemed in good spirits –the apparent confidence and morale boost that my appointment has brought to the city is, at least, a fine thing. I went straight to the stables to bid Loreena and Nilluvian goodbye. They travel to the city of Augustana in Andoria, and it is doubtful that I will see Loreena again. I made the request, on behalf of the city, for grain or foodstuffs. I hope that Loreena’s father proves a generous man.

My next wish was to go down to Derek and ask him of the nobles and the situation of the town. I intend to hold a court soon; nothing about my ascension to power has been traditional, and I feel it is important to share my willingness to rule and my vision for the future with those who would call themselves noble. Later I must meet the nobles themselves, interview them, and ask them personally to attend, but first I will speak to Derek. I never hear better sense from anyone but him.

On a whim, and perhaps because I was feeling a little lonely, I decided to take the scenic route to Derek’s quarters, and to descend via the temple. The building was more beautiful than I remembered, and the warm light of the late afternoon radiated through the skylights, making the marble glow white. I was taken with some of the fresco panels, and stopped to have a better look. They depict many things; angels with trumpets – some even look a little like me – bending from heaven, though their skin has bubbled and flaked in places where the frescos are in need of restoration.

And there, nonchalantly in a corner, was a picture of the bay of Roderick’s Cove. I almost didn’t recognise it. The crystal-blue waters looked significantly more inviting than the stern, grey waves which I have seen there – perhaps the season makes a difference as to their colour – and rising up within the bay, where the central guard tower now stands, stood a magnificent tower, six times the height of those around it. I stopped short. That structure certainly does not stand there now, and yet the cathedral and those towers are both of Thessalonian construction, probably from around the same time. My next thought was that there must have been some change in water level; after all, the top of the tower, with its strange network of arches and columns, looked identical to the one I had seen in Roderick’s Cove from a distance. Checking with other points along the coast, though, the water seemed to have remained constant all this time. If the tower was the same basic structure, something had happened to shrink it to 1/6 of the size.

I looked at the other frescos, to see if they shed some light on the situation, but though there seemed to be many stories about the city, and practically everything else, painted on the walls, I could make sense of few of them. When I finally get time, I will need to hire a team of historians and craftsmen to document and restore these frescoes – they may provide vital clues to details and history of the Thessalonian structures in this area.

After spending some time praying here – after all, a building this light and beautiful seems an appropriate house for Shelyn – I made my way down to the interim level. I explored briefly, to see that everything was in order there, and continued on to the forge. It was very busy down there – unsurprising, I suppose, since I had sent a large group of people into an unfamiliar environment. I spent a few minutes speaking with Uldern. It seems news travels fast for he, too, greeted me as ‘your grace’. He seems happy in his work and with the mine, though he requested more space for the villagers I had sent. I offered for him to use the upper levels of the complex, and the temple. It remains warm in there and, frankly, I can’t think of anywhere more wondrous to sleep.

I passed through to Derek’s chambers, knocking on the door. When I entered, Derek stood immediately and scraped the ground with his bow. Honestly, one would imagine that the floor was made of gold, the way people keep staring at it in my presence. I had caught him in the middle of working on the books, so I resolved to take up as little of his time as possible. I mentioned first that I was intending to hold court, and his immediate comment was that he desperately wants to see how I’m going to deal with everyone asking me questions. Since that was somewhat my concern as well, I asked him to tell me more about the nobles in the city.

Of Baronet Asimus Thornbridge, Derek told me yet again of his takeover of the city 20 years ago, following the city’s revolt against Riddleport for independence. During this time, Riddleport was also in midst of internal strife (which I gather, at that time, was frequently the case), and Roderick’s Cove made itself trouble enough that to hold on to that it was no longer worthy. It is worth noting that, with the changes I plan to instigate here, Roderick’s Cove may become a more tempting prize for Riddlesport, and I will have to augment the city’s defences, particularly the cove, if we are to hope to hold onto our independence. Interestingly, Asimus held noble status and a title even under Riddleport rule – he is an old noble and is used to being afforded courtesy. I must ensure that he is not offended by my supercedence of his authority. His wife, Baronetess Aileyn Thornbridge, took her title by marriage.

Of Baronet Guyron Swordwhite, I learned that he was the owner of two estates outside the city until recently, though it cannot currently be known whether those estates still stand since the Orc raiding parties were situated extremely close to them.

I learnt less of Lady Mesma Thickwood than of her late husband, Sir Mayden Thickwood. He was a knight of the Cheliax empire, though he remained in Varisia after the Cheliax Empire withdrew. Sir Thickwood was respected by the current overlord of Riddleport, a man called Gaston Cromarcky, and also by his peers.

Of Gaston Cromarcky, the leader of Riddleport, I learned that he used to be a pirate captain; under his 30yrs of leadership he seems to have stabilised Riddleport – according to everything I can discover he is open to diplomacy, and an exceptional gambler.

I further asked Dereck if he had any aspirations to the nobility himself. He told me with a smile that he “wouldn’t mind”. I also informed him about the frescos up in the temple, and the discovery I had made about the central cove tower. Finally, I asked him to add to his list of tasks the removal of the precious items from the lake upstairs. I may give them to the city to restock the civic coffers – they are the remnants of many dead men who entered the forge and, in a way, their presence saddens me, and is a testament to their lost lives. Giving their wealth to the city will, I believe, be a fitting memorial, since I have no way of knowing who they were.

Leaving Derek to his bookkeeping, I headed towards the town hall. It was my intention to have an informal interview with the Mayor, to discuss the city and the method he had ruled it for the past 20 years. The door was opened by a servant who fetched her mistress, Aileyn Thornbridge. There was, again, a significant formalisation of her manner towards me, though she ever observed propriety. After some pleasantries and discussing the state of the weaving initiative – it still remains in a good way, and I saw the women who were working there seemed cheerful and in good spirits – Baronetess Thornbridge informed me that the mayor is ‘indisposed’. Apparently he is depressed and in bad shape – he hasn’t even washed for the past four days. Her manner, however, seemed to be positive and upbeat – it was clear that she is convinced that I am the solution for the problems in the city. I hope she proves correct.

It was early evening, and dark as I left the town hall, making what I am coming to think of as my ‘daily rounds’, and walked towards the guardhouse. Zao was sitting in the guard room – morale seems to be increased; he attributes this to the fact that people now have someone to look up to, but also let slip that Arietta has been walking the wall and ‘raising spirits’ – I would be astonished if her personal charms did not have had more local impact than my political acumen. No cold-weather garments have yet come from the women, but Lady Aileyn reports that the first will be ready shortly.

Heading back to the inn, I ordered something to eat and passed a few minutes with Oryanna. Again, her marked change in manner was disturbing. I can only hope that as time goes on people will become less formal towards me – though they mean it as respect, there is a distance between us now which leaves me cold and lonely. In Abken I was feared and respected – the feeling is not dissimilar to what I experience now. There at least I had a training grounds to flee to, lessons to complete and masters to guide me. Still, I must allow my work to keep me busy. Oryanna informed me that there was a short archery training session this morning – though there are no excellent marksmen in the militia, and few can hold their own, and Arietta’s improvements on the bows are helping.

And thus I am sitting now in the tavern, with my stew, brown bread and beer. It is around 8.30 in the evening and pretty quiet here – just a few old men grumbling and comparing old stories; I’m keeping one eye on the door for Morden, Arietta or anyone else I know, but no one has come in so far. I miss Ellesar. His companionship was quiet, but he was friendly, kind, wise. He was like Thror and Balin in many ways – with them, my mentors, I never felt alone. The time in Abken was not so bad after a while, having known little else – time accustoms one to all things – but now, after Ellesar, this loneliness seems worse. Still, time accustoms one to all things. I believe I will go pray for a while.

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