Dear Diary…vision quest

18 Flocktime

Lovely sunrise over the mountains this morning.

Mikael and Arch Druid Talifen have more-or-less healed up this morning…still sore, though. I think they’ve both done some thinking, and the Arch Druid says he likes Mikael’s dedication and strength (even though he couldn’t quite take him down). Apparently there’s an option for Mikael to “side-step” the position of Arch-Druid in the hierarchy, and focus on reaching the next level of his abilities without the responsibilities that heading up the Order would involve. Arch Druid Talifen said a “storm” is brewing, and it might be helpful to have someone of Mikael’s strength, even if he can’t be one of the Three for Obed-Hai.

Mikael is off to pray about it overnight, so I guess we’ll see what Obed-Hai thinks. Sounds like if Mikael avoids the responsibilities of the Order, he’ll also lose some of the Order’s privileges…but that’s only fair.

Leomus says she and Hansi and No-Buckle would be happy to stay with Mikael…makes sense, I guess, when their previous master was working “outside” the hierarchy, so to speak (not for the benefit of people, though). Mikael seems to think they’re coming along nicely, and I think he wants to keep teaching them. He also said Arch Druid Talifen has been doing such a good job for such a long time, it seems a shame to mess that up…especially when Mikael’s destiny seems to lie elsewhere.

Bornthene said something about Lea “appreciating” Mikael’s company, but I couldn’t hear all of it because she tried to whack him with her staff, and he ran off laughing before he finished.

We found one of the dwarves who is pleased to make shoes for Chestnut and Madam Whinny.


Ezekiel has entrusted that pile of adamantite we found to some of the dwarves for making armor for Haven. He says it’s about time he wore armor he didn’t steal…(though that doesn’t entirely apply to this, either). Lydia says he wants to match his “sweetie.” He said he’ll order me a new shield, so that will be nice…and Mikael asked for a bronze buckle or some kind of plaque to go on his armor so he’ll match everyone else wearing the symbol of Haven: a ram’s head (like the mace). Ez could have mixed in the briar-rose Aliana has been wearing, but maybe he decided simple was better.


Master Vol said if we built a tower and roost for griffin riders, the Grand Duke could have a messenger standing by, in case we needed to send an alert from this frontier. I’m so excited! I’ve never seen a griffin, certainly not up close. What kind of man could tame and ride one?


The Caravan set off today. It makes quite an impressive line of wagons and carts, and I’m glad they have so many soldiers to discourage thieves. The Duchy is about to get stronger!

Two of the dwarves from Deepholm stayed who weren’t part of the building crew. When I met them, they were hiding behind Ezekiel, looking out at me – which is difficult, since they wear armor, and even suited up, he’s not as wide as they are. He said they want to hang out with me, so I wonder if this is a thing now.

Their names are Agni and Ragni (which will not be confusing at all), and they got over their shyness pretty quickly when we went to meet the centaurs and the dragons. They seem to get along with Madam Whinny quite well.

Ragni told us a story tonight about fighting goblins in their tunnels back home. Then Madam Whinny told about when worgs were attacking the centaur tribe, cutting off their trade routes with other people, and Sirion helped them fight them off. Then he took Chestnut and Whinny to help him track the worgs to their lair, and they wiped them out.

Then everybody wanted to know where the dragons came from, so I told the story how we fought Fang and Belch’s parents, and that’s why Heiron has manly scars on his face, now. And Ezekiel and Raven wanted to give the dragon babies a chance to choose better than their parents…and we’re still waiting to see how that turns out.


We finally have the foundation of a keep – secure enough that Ez and Lydia think we can transfer our vault from Veluna (or at least begin to). So Lydia set up her mirror, and sent some of us to Veluna.

While I was in the big city, I found a shop with healing potions. After all, the “cleric-types” are often busy with their own things these days, and you never know what you might come across on a patrol in the mountains…fire giants, dragons, who knows. (Also it’s about time I liquefied some of my assets…) So I bought one for each of my new friends, in case of emergencies.

When we got back, I heard Raven and Ezekiel have learned what Raven needs to do to prove he is growing in strength (monks are like druids that way). A couple Bakluni religions both claim to serve Al-Akbar, who is a servant of Al-Azram (Ez seems to think he’s a decent one). Ezekiel gave us a surprisingly succinct explanation from his readings – the “Followers of the True Faith” follow the Grand Mufti of the Yattles, and the “Followers of the Exalted Faith” follow the Caliph of Exbere…only they both insist the other group is abusing its authority or misfollowing the deity or something. So Raven must choose, based on the principles of the “One you serve,” which faction he wants to validate by beating up their monk. (I always knew monks were weird.)

We all got out the various maps we’ve collected over the years, and finally found the places in question (we think). Looks like if Lydia sends us Mitrik, we can head north through Ket, between the big mountain ranges, to Tusmit, then Ekbir (after checking the temple libraries for any more info).

I say “we” because Ezekiel all but said my Skills would be much appreciated, and they would really like my Help. And I guess I’m a sucker for feeling needed.

Keom and Ronhass are coming, too, as is only right, and Chestnut and Whinny just brightened up when I said I could really use their help watching the dragons and protecting the valley while we’re gone.

Lydia says she’s coming, too. I think Heiron is worried about her – but she pointed out we need someone smart and dependable to manage the hustle and bustle back here – and besides, Aliana is coming, so she’ll surely be safe. I certainly hope so…we’re not exactly heading into allied territory.

Lady Guderwinda seems worried, too, but all Aliana’s retainers will have Dree here to help them fit into the routine.


When we arrived in Mitrik we headed to the Cathedral of Rao, where they have a beautiful and (I’m told) informative library. Keom and I got a little side-tracked in the dragon section (one book was stuffed with outrageous pictures that I sincerely hope are mostly imagination), but the others found material more to-the-point.

It seems the whole split comes down to some sacred artifacts – a cup and a talisman that Al-Azram gave to Al-Akbar for “healing” the Bakluni people. But the artifacts were stolen by “elves as tall as men” who escaped on eagles, and when the Caliph blamed the Mufti for not properly protecting the relics, the Mufti left the territory and formed the “True Faith” (maybe he was also exiled, I’m not entirely sure).

Ezekiel and Raven also made an appointment with a scholar who’s made a specialty of these things – but Aliana went to buy us horses for the journey ahead. She insists she knows the most about horses, even though Raven can talk to them, and I guess it is part of her job.

Father Gren corroborated the story of the artifacts, and offered Ez and Raven letters of introduction to the Caliph (so they can hear the story closer to the source. It’s been several hundred years, so unless we find any elves from that area, we won’t get first-hand accounts). He also mentioned a priest of the Exalted Faith visiting Mitrik at this time, and promised to connect us if he could find him.


Brother Ekbarkad found us at dinner in the inn. He says he’s looking for the relics, and seemed understandably disappointed that we hadn’t heard anything about them – but then he was more than willing to explain his faith to us.

He says the teachings of Al-Akbar focus on Duty, Dignity, Faithfulness, and Guardianship…and that Al-Akbar has not claimed full god-hood (only demi-god-hood) out of humility (Ez seems pleased).

Br. Ekbarkad told us basically the same story about the theft of the relics. He says the followers of the “True Faith” rebelled against the proper authority of the Caliph, and the Mufti was at fault for not safe-guarding the relics.

I didn’t catch all he said, since his accent was pretty thick, but he seemed like a decent fellow. Now we just need to hear the other side of the argument, and Raven needs to decide who he thinks is more worthy (he asked me if the Brother was lying, and I said if he was, he was lying the whole time, since his voice never changed pitch. Reminds me I should swap out rings before we hit the road; protection will probably be more important than lie-detection in the wilds).

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