Rising Passions

Apassionata

I may be turning into a grumpy old man

It has been an interesting few days. Most name-givers live their entire lives without once personally seeing a Passion and would consider meeting one a great blessing. Between all the Stormwarriors, we have encountered 7 Passions within a week.
We probably should be feeling honoured.

We did learn quite a few things, however.
One thing we learnt is that the Passions can change over time. For example, Astendar used to be the Passion of obsessive stalking and now is the Passion of being up one’s own arse.

But I am jumping ahead.
We had travelled to Ustrecht because my brothers had received dreams from their Passions requesting a meeting in that cursed city. Olaf and Throvald wanted to go there and retrieve the Blodwall anyway, so we all consented to go.

Unsurprisingly, I had not dreamed of a Passion. My dream was far more confusing. I dreamt I was in some cavern containing a pool of glowing energy. When my hand touched the pool, my arms turned to tentacles. A reference to Ristul perhaps? I don’t know.

When we reached Ustrecht we found an armed encampment of followers of Garlen who had been defending a quarter of the city from followers of Raggok for many years. It turned out that Ustrecht had originally been dedicated to several passions: Garlen in the west, Lochost in the south, Raggok in the east and Thystonius in the centre. Since the kaers opened, followers of Garlen have been defending her quarter against the minions of Raggok to protect an important book of heroes.
They were not happy to hear of Raggok’s ultimatum.

Mitch discovered the hard way that Raggok was present in person. While I applaud his refusal to treat with such a vile creature, I do wish he not imperil his health by refusing so antagonistically.
It is lucky we were due to meet Garlen anyway.

While waiting for the appointed time of meeting, we retrieved the Bloodwall. The task was difficult for us but we succeeded, fulfilling the promises Olaf and Thorvald had made those years ago.
Defeating the horror at the centre of the city did have the side effect of making the position of Garlen’s followers untenable, so we vowed to see the sacred tome the were guarding to safety and to aid in their evacuation.

We also hunted down a family of hydras, as we hope to be able to use one of their severed heads as a gift for whichever dragon deigns to answer my request for a meeting. I am particularly disappointed in Mountainshadow. He was incensed when we did not consult him on the world changing events we were involved in. Now that more world changing events occurred and we want to consult him, he is silent. Why does the consistency of a being’s actions appear to be inversely proportional to its power?

Finally, the time of the meeting arrived. After some tense negotiation, we got agreement of Garlen’s followers (both locals and Mitch’s men) to give us privacy in the cellar of their headquarters.
We met with Upandal, Mynbruje, Garlen and Astendar.
They told us many things:

We learnt that Astendar had once upon a time stalked a woman named Destiny who had the gift of foresight, that he had recorded many of her prophesies and that based on his interpretation of those he had been working against the Stormwarriors.

We learnt that Lochost had freed Death and was then slain by him. Death is now hunting for the other Passions.

We learnt that using a Trinity Sword weakens a passion and makes it vulnerable.

We learnt that Upandal, Mynbruje, Garlen and Astendar are hiding from Death in Mynbruje’s astral realm. The Passions asked us to bring word to the other Passions of the danger and the safe haven.

We learnt that the Stormwarriors and some others like us stand a little apart from the fabric of fate, loose threads, and that this makes us dangerous to many others.

We were told of the sealed entrance to Death’s prison and asked to inspect it as it could possibly be used to imprison Death again.

After asking Astendar to leave and gaining the promise of secrecy from the others, we revealed the Aspect of Destiny and learned that it indeed contains the trapped essence of a woman named Destiny. Destiny can help Reish ask Mynbruje for a meeting.

The passions agreed to take the Tome guarded upstairs along with its most devout defender, Torvesh, and the grievously wounded Mitch back to Mynbruje’s realm as they took their leave.
We began evacuating Garlen’s followers immediately.

One member of the camp, Sharon, was very insistent on remaining with us. I became suspicious and observed her pattern in astral space. It was the most incredible thing I had ever seen. A pattern of great power and complexity was cunningly and carefully hidden within Sharon’s. I challenged her on it and she tried to leave. When we stopped her, she changed. The pattern inside her turned out to be Dis who broke free from her, killing her instantly. We were disheartened to see Dis wield a Trinity Sword. He attacked Reish with a spell so terrible that I ran without thinking about it. I cannot recall deciding to, or even starting to, run. I just found myself running through ruined Ustrecht.

Eventually I regained control over my body and managed to find Reish and Olaf. We decided to cloak ourselves in illusion and fly high above the city to scout out what Dis was up to.
We did not have to wait long. Raggok’s mob, with the mad passion at the front, surged into what had been Garlen’s camp. Raggok and his most trusted minions descended into the cellar where we had our meeting. Dis sprang from hiding, used the Trinity Sword to enslave Raggok and his most trusted followers and disappeared with them.

This is not a good development. Now two of the mad passions will effectively work towards exactly the same goals in unison. Grave tidings, indeed.

We found Thorvald who had been conversing with Tystonius. Unsurprisingly the Passion of Bravery, Challenge and Conflict choose not to hide from Death.

A last task to be undertaking before leaving Ustrecht was to retrieve Mitch’s quiver from Doramus, the questor of Raggok as we could not leave one of Mitch’s pattern items in the hands of his least favourite passion. Fortunately, most of Raggok’s minions were over at Garlen’s place so Reish and Thorvald got in and out without difficulty.

We travelled to Jaspree’s astral glade to warn him of the danger he is in and he turned out to be just as annoying to talk to as all the other Passions.
When didn’t believe us and pretty much called us liars to our faces, I was tempted to tell him that I didn’t care what he belived and if he wanted to hang around until the day he woke up with a Trinity Sword rammed up his backside, that was fine by me. But I held my tongue.
Reish had to call Mynbruje to convince him of the veracity of our tale.

However we did find out that Reish can only use the Aspect of Destiny to call Mynbruje to him, not to send messages, so this was the first Mynbruje heard of RRaggok’s capture by Dis. She was as perturbed as we are.

As I am writing this, we are sailing towards Death’s door.

If that investigation is successful, I feel we should travel to Elianar Messias’ old monastery which is in this corner of Barsaive. The mirror through which I received his blessing for the Shadow Staff may let me communicate with him where the Ghost master ritual did not.
He should be able to answer many questions about the nature of the world, the level of magic, horrors and Ristul that we need answer to.

Arristan

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