War of the Burning Sky

Orvas' Journal (Page 19)

That victory feeling isn’t going away.
I took part in a battle. I stood in a line with an army and we won.
It wasn’t like I thought it would be.
We’ve been assigned to attend Lord Gallo when he goes to Bresk to treat with King Steppengard. If all goes well we should have the country unified in time for the invasion.
I’m a knight now. Sir Orvas Hurt of Gatepass, Shield of Dassen and Wielder of the Living Blade of Innenotdir. I understand it’s significance, and I know that it is a great honour and will no doubt be useful in proving our worth, but the title feels empty in light of everything that’s happened, and everything that no doubt will.

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Orvas' Journal (Page 18)

Well that was. Certainly something.
Remember when I talked about winning earlier? That was the feeling I was talking about. I mean, we just tore those catapults to shreds! Wow! I’m still high of the adrenaline of the destruction and also Rand can shoot lightning?
I thought he had a ring of fire. Now, I may not be a magic expert, but I know the difference between fire and sky. Maybe he was channeling Vola’s energy? But that still doesn’t make sense. Whatever, I’m sure it’ll be explained.
I think we’re doing well so far. I know that was just the first engagement, but with that much of a head start, how can we lose?

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Vola's Journal, page ???

For the first time in a long time, I feel sure in what we are doing. I can’t explain the feeling, but I know the spirits are on our side this time. I can feel them in my magic, strong and powerful and resolute, more so than I am. I have been filled with an emptiness since we fled Gate Pass, with anger and bitterness and sadness, and to feel in control is something I have missed.
I feared, briefly, that I was letting my anger control me, in letting the white hot lightning crackle from my fingertips. I feel these booming, inescapable thunderclaps of rage explode inside me when I see the brutality and injustice of this cruel and merciless world we’re in. But the spirits would not allow me to take the wrong path, and they would not allow me to harness this much power if it was not their will. So I must be doing the right thing. I have never felt more comforted, more relieved, than I did standing in the midst of a harsh storm of my own making, the warmth of the lightning encasing me, and the triumphant faces of my companions around me. I am in control. Please, for once, let me be in control.

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Shey's Diary, Page Thirteen

That went surprisingly well, to be honest. I mean, I don’t doubt the combative prowess of my companions, but that more or less went off without a hitch, which seems uncharacteristically lucky knowing us.

I mean, we could return to Gallo’s Fend only to find it burnt to the ground by a similar but more cocksure assault from the enemies, but perhaps optimism is the better position at this point.

Either way, that seems to be the enemies best siege weaponry out of commission, which might increase the chances of us surviving the extended siege on two fronts that this might become. I worry what this constant threat of death and bloodshed is doing to me, but there is only one way to proceed: forward. And that is the way that I will keep going in.

So long as I don’t look down and see how deep the blood I’m wading through runs.

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Orvas' Journal (Page 17)

I think it might almost be go time.
We have a front: Gallo’s Fend.
We have allies: Lady Timor & Lord Dashgoban. Each has sent a respectable force to our defense, though I am most curious about the Lady’s force.
We have a goal: Protect Dassen from Ragesia, secure their support.
We have an immediate foe: King Steppengard.
I don’t want to fight a war. I want to go home to my safe unmolested town.
But. I will admit to being a little excited that I may just be on the winning side for once. At least for this one fight.

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Shey's Diary, Page Twelve
Even Shey's lost track of what they're writing

So here we are, some ragtag group of weary wanderers waiting woefully for wrathful warriors to weight down upon us. The Mountain air forging frigid footsteps, forgotten fires frozen from furious flurries, fangs of formless, faceless, fiendish foes fingering forethought.

Forward footmen fidgeting fearfully. Fissured families falter, faint footfalls from faithful farmer’s fields. Flighty firebugs fling forceful fragile firkins, freeing flames falling for fostered forts.

Valiant vanguards verse vengeful villains, voracious violence vowed verging. vampiric volleys violating veterans vitality.

Vagrant vagabonds view vicious vehicles, veiled victors vaulting. Viscous victual vetted. Voiceless villagers vexed vapers.

And here we are, right in the middle of it.

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Orvas' Journal (Page 16)

At this point, time is of the absolute essence. It is also, for the moment, one of the only things we have.

In two days, the Ragesia army is going to know that we know they’re here. We have until then to get ready for them. We had thought that they would have to wait until the thaw. They don’t. We need to get moving now. If I had my way, we’d have left already.

We have our proof, our task here is complete. The next step is to bring it south. Maybe we could even use it to stop King Steppengard, though I’m not holding my breath on that one.

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Shey's Diary, Page Eleven
A poem

Blood begets blood,
Waiting for the thaw,
The ice holds back a crimson flood,
They gnash their teeth and start to claw,
Drowns worker’s fields to viscous mud,
Whips clasped in pretty hands bourgeois,
And hammers down a coffin’s stud,
That strike like strings that archers draw,
I feel them now circle above,
War is taught, and love forgotten,
The battlefield their only love,
But still we march and oh so often,
They wait and watch the warlord’s dove,
And warlike words so cheaply boughten,
Then round the corpses push and shove,
How quickly childish hearts turn rotten,
And with an end of dying words,
The author’s mind is become birds

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Vola's journal, page eleven

I am no longer surprised when I hear of more war. It is expected, isn’t it? Violence, and corruption, and grief, and revenge: they are a vicious cycle, and when one flame is lit it warms the air around it until they all catch. Lord Steppengard marches towards our current position, intent on warring against Dakersfather. He believes him to have killed his family, and we honestly have no evidence to the contrary, despite Dakers’ word. I do trust Dakers’, but he has been away from home for a long time.
Ragesia is inching ever closer, their forces held back by only the snow and bitter cold.
I am tired, so tired. Our travel has taken much out of me, and I long for comfort and rest. There is work to be done, however, and wars to win. May the spirits grant me guidance.

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Orvas' Journal (Page 15)

This Lord Gallo person seems a good fellow. I’m getting ahead of myself.

We managed to escape on horseback pretty successfully. There were riders behind us, but they didn’t seem to catch up. We found a forest that Dakers said was where they harvest pitch. Well let me tell you, it’s certainly a good place for it; the place was literally dripping with the stuff. After my companions had one of their, now almost routine, episodes of speaking in tongues, we got through unhurt, though very sticky.

Commander Heritage met us on the other side. (Was he waiting for us?) After a few more days of riding, we made it to a wonderfully defended fortification.
Now comes the difficult part.

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