2000-09-03: The Truth Revealed

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Catskills Edition

The Truth Revealed

Author: Erik Valstrom Published: September 3, 2000

In all my time as one who searches far and wide for stories which convey at least a tiny essence of truth, interest, or intrigue, I have seldom found one to stupefy or horrify me as this one has. I speak of the Kire Curse.

Everything that Beechel Kire, his friends, and myself had learned about the nature of the curse, its intent, and possibly its instigator, pointed to an obscure mystic named Anton Wyrgant. It was this Anton who boldly strode into Castle British Library and uttered what seemed to be threats against him. Beechel approached me and asked me to help find where this man lived or places he frequented. Having diverse but reliable contacts and informants throughout Sosaria, I was able to do just that. I let Beechel know that Anton would be paying a visit soon to the Shrine of Justice on the Trammel facet, that he was indeed a devotee of the Virtue, Justice. Beechel was delighted to learn this and said he would discuss it with his friends. Knowing I would not want to miss a moment of it, I attached an informant to follow them unobserved. Most of what transpired of the affair comes to me by word of mouth from him, a trusted source, yet I can scarcely believe it all.

Beechel met with his friend, Telos Gralia, at the Brazen Monkey Tavern. There were others in attendance, all seeking to help find answers to the farmer's dilemma or help in some way. They were quite ready to aid him. They prepared themselves and gated, first to Trammel, and thence to the Shrine of Justice, to lay in wait, hidden, for Anton to appear. They had not long to wait.

Anton arrived and began praying. Some of those hidden were unable to remain so, and quietly exited, as if being worshippers to the Shrine like Anton. The mystic gave no heed to them, luckily, but began his prayers. Close enough outside to hear, my informant revealed that Anton said he was thankful to Justice that it had been served against the Kires, and that it was time for the curse to be lifted. Upon hearing that, Beechel could contain himself no longer, and literally leaped from his hiding place to confront Anton, demanding answers. Anton replied that he was justified in seeking that justice be meted out against the Kires for their crimes. Beechel demanded proof, whereupon Anton threw down a book at his feet. The book was a Testament of Eric Sundweld, and contained damning evidence against Stanton Kire, Beechel's great-grandfather. In the confused melee that followed shortly thereafter, my informant was able to get a glimpse of the writing therein , which I was able to reproduce as precisely as possible. If the testimony be true, there is little doubt that Stanton did indeed brutally murder the Sundwelds after being frustrated in his claims against their land.

This was more than Beechel could endure. He began raving, hurling accusations of forgery against Anton, who calmly denied them. Finally, in a foolish fit of unbridled anger, Beechel struck the Shrine's Emblem with his staff several times. In an instant it seemed as the ground itself began coming alive.. corpsers and reapers sprouted all around the Srhine.. the howling of dire wolves began...giant spiders and elementals appeared and attacked those at the Shrine as if summoned by Justice itself. In shock and terror, Beechel fled from the Shrine and disappeared into the forest before anyone could stop him.

A battle raged at the Shrine for some time as discussions continued between Beechel's friends and the mystic. I found Anton later and spoke with him briefly, for my informant fled for his life when the battle began. Little was settled except that Anton had believed Beechel knew about Stanton's crime but hid it and enjoyed its fruits. He admitted he was too hasty in his judgment against Beechel, but he had only wished for Justice to be served against the Kires. "I did not know how severe the punishment would be, or how long it would go on," he told me, "but I knew it had been enough. I had come several times to the Shrine to pray for its cessation, but it continued. I thought I would try again. I failed to realize that Justice, when invoked, has no master, but deals impassively as it sees fit. I now know that everything is out of my hands and I have no idea what might have been loosed as a result."

What was "loosed" was an apparent madness upon Beechel. After the attacks ceased, and his friends along with Anton returned to the Brazen Monkey, they found him wandering half-naked in his field spouting gibberish. Anton's attempts to console him were met with venom and hatred.. Beechel lunged at his throat to kill him, but was stopped. More creatures appeared, reapers and dire wolves, and at the sight of these, Beechel again fled.

After calling guards to help them dispatch this latest menace, and losing Beechel again, the friends decided to return to Yew to the farmhouse where his wife was staying. The news of her husband's sad condition broke her heart, but it was a small thing compared to the emotion that seized her upon the sudden arrival of him in his deranged and disheveled state! Talking sense to him being utterly futile, she nevertheless got him into bed for much-needed rest.

I found him today back at his farmhouse. Yet this is not the Beechel I knew. He viewed me as a complete stranger.. almost an intruder, but certainly no friend. He was polishing a suit of verite plate armor and a halberd lay nearby, all of which he claimed were his. Never one to tarry long in the company of madmen, I excused myself and left quickly.

I know neither what has or what will become of my friend. I know he has friends who can help him and I ask them to do what they may. Perhaps the curse is ended with this madness. Perhaps that was the intent all along, I do not know. Yet I plead with those who care about him to do all they can to help restore his sanity. So shall I.

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