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  1. These are the Journals of the Scribe Ione, Librarian of Jhelom, concerning the event's surrounding the mysterious curses afflicting various Nobles of Britannia, seemingly centered on Skara Brae, beginning in the year 370.

    The recent troubles in Skara Brae were only brought to my attention during a visit to the great Library of Spiritwood. Whilst there I chanced upon a book describing how a cure was found for their leader Duke Pad O'Lion after he had become subject to a sudden case of deafness. After further reading of this tome it appeared that Duke O'Lion had been struck by a curse of some form. Tracing back the event's surrounding the aforementioned curse has enabled me to piece together this much of the story so far...

    Towards the middle of the year 370, a grand feast hosted by Baron Dale Underwood of Skara Brae took place in the Shattered Skull Tavern within the Barony of Skara . Present were the Britannia Guards, Rangers charged with the protection of the city and under the command of Cardinal Moses, along with members of the nearby community of Spiritwood led prominently by the Duke and his wife Lady Jordan. It would appear that the feast was also attended by various citizens of Vesper, including Baron Twothumb himself, and also a mysterious group known as the Darkcloaks. Wether these last two sets of people were actually invited is a point as of yet unknown. Given the previous history between the Britannia Guards and Vesper, and also the Britannia Guards and the Darkcloaks it would be understandable to assume that they were not. Apparently, part of the celebration involved a story from a Minstrel, during which he presented gifts to some of those present. From the reports I have seen in Spiritwood the items were as follows. Baron Underwood of Skara Brae was gifted an old book. To Sir Pad O'Lion of Spiritwood was given a jar of beeswax. A girl from the Darkcloaks, who upon further research I discovered was called Gwen, received a sword. Finally, Baron Twothumb of Vesper was presented with a small statue.

    It seems that soon after the point Baron Twothumb received the statue he turned to stone. From this moment accurate reports from the feast are vague in the extreme. Captain Volchak of Vesper appears to have taken command of the Vesparian troops present and attempted to protect Baron Twothumb along with finding a culprit for the curse. The Britannia Guards became concerned with the well being of Baron Underwood and removed him to a back room of the building. Members of the Custodes Fati from Spiritwood tried to discover what affliction was plaguing Sir Pad as he had become unresponsive to their words and seemed scared of what was going on around him. While all this was occurring the Darkcloaks had quietly left the building along with their 'gift'...

    (to be continued...)
  2. (continuing the Journals of Ione...)

    It would appear that a couple of night's after the feast was held in Skara Brae, Cardinal Moses called together a meeting of the groups involved in order that they should assist one another in lifting their respective curses.

    At the allotted time, members of the Britannia Guards, the Custodes Fati of Spiritwood, the Darkcloaks, along with representatives of Kha, Kaldor and Vesper gathered in the town hall of Skara Brae. The meeting began with much bickering from the Vesparians, each of them taking turns accusing the others of perpetuating a Loyalist plot against their city. After tiring of this Cardinal Moses managed to call the meeting to order. In turn he asked the leaders who were present and still capable, to stand and tell of how the individual curses had affected them.

    The curse affecting Baron Twothumb of Vesper did not take much explaining by Captains Hanse and Volchak as his stone figure still stood in Skara Brae. Lady Jordan of Spiritwood related that Duke Pad O'Lion had been struck deaf and that she was concerned for his well being as his official engagement's were suffering. Seriya, a girl who seemed too young to speak for the Darkcloaks, informed everyone about Gwen of their number becoming increasingly irrational and blaming the Skaran's for hurting her and wishing harm on them in return. Finally, Cardinal Moses told of Baron
    Underwood's loss of strength and sudden frailty.

    One useful piece of information came to light, that of the tale told by the strange Minstrel at the feast. I have included a copy here...

    "Greetings leaders of Britannia!
    I'm bring gifts from my Master as thanks for your efforts in bringing peace and prosperity to the lands. I also come before you to tell you tales of other leaders in hope you may learn something from their fate. The four Kings I speak of ruled lands far away, but their lives can teach all of you humility and wisdom.

    The first King was the father of triplets, each one heir to the throne, and each believing they had the right to take the throne from their father. They bickered and argued over this from the moment they could talk. Fighting and screaming at each other, the King shouting at his sons to be silent. He would decide who would be King. But it soon became clear that the King would live to be 100, if not more. So the Princes decided to deal with him for once and for all. They broke into their fathers bedchamber at night, and first poured hot, melted wax into his ears, so he could not hear them argue. Then into his eyes, so he could not see them fight, and then into his mouth, so he could not tell them to stop.

    The second King was much the same as the first. His voice was heard throughout the halls of his palace, telling those who served him exactly what he thought of them. His courtiers feared his lashing tongue so much that when his enemies besieged the palace no-one would tell him, for fear of punishment. On the rubble of the castle the conquerors built a statue of the king, so his former subjects might finally get a word in.

    The third King wished to be the wisest of all kings. The pursuit of knowledge led him away from his loved ones, to the libraries and schools of the world. Spending months alone reading and learning, and soon he was regarded as the wisest in all the land. As he grew older there was soon little he did not know, but still he dedicated his life to study, alone in his chambers, turning away all guests, until finally his final guest arrived, to find instead of a King, a pile of bones.

    The fourth King was the bravest warrior in the land, his greatest foe a hellish demon who bore a sword that could take life and give life. Touching the sword would make a man immortal, but not invulnerable, as many people touched the sword and failed to live. The King sent armies against his foe, and all were slain, so alone the King stood against his enemy. They fought for days until the King came close, and saw his chance. He struck at his enemy, giving a mortal wound, but his enemy struck back, and impaled the King like an insect. When they found the King he was alive, pinned to the floor like a bug, His foe nothing but dust."

    Once this story had been related to those present a discussion began on the best course of action to take next. After much argument and mutual mistrust of the ideas presented, a plan was agreed that the gifts and a copy of the story would be taken to the Univeristy in Spiritwood the next night for study by the scholars there.

    At this point the meeting broke down when the Darkcloaks girl Gwen appeared and began threatening everyone present. The Darkcloaks formed a protective ring around her while her 'mate', a half-Orc by the name of Gorbash, attempted to calm her down. In the ensuing scuffle Seriya of the Darkcloaks was knocked unconscious by others of her group. Shouting at everyone else in the room to leave the Darkcloaks created a magical gate to remove Gwen from Skara Brae. By this time it seems that the others present had endured enough and drifted away from the town hall...

    (yet more to come...)