Sart’s Journal, 3rd of Pharast, 4708
I have much to write about an invitation, a mysterious people, cards of fate and a battle. It was all an unexpected turn for me and my traveling companion, Rohan.
I thought we would have several days yet before reaching the River Kingdoms, but we wound up in the River Kingdoms sooner than expected. A mysterious invitation given to us in a tavern turned out to be a magical portal of sorts, that and more. I didn’t get a good look at the face of the woman that handed the invitation to me. Her tattooed and aged hand caught my eye. I don’t believe I will ever forget the smell of her perfume, however. To me it was the very perfume of mystery.
The invitations instructed us to view them under moonlight. Rohan and I gathered by the animals to read our cards. A strange light enveloped, altering our invitations into cards and trasporting us many miles away. There we met with another invitee, a half-elf by name of Etienne. My dog Falingus caught the sound of something and took off. We followed him to a Varisian camp, where many Varisian women were making music and dancing.
A short varisian man named Alberto met as at the edge of the camp, apparently expecting us. The Varisian man bade us wait and we would soon have an audience with their leader, Tiodora. Falingus had already settled in with a young Varisian girl Alberto introduced as Lunetta. Falingus seemed to sense no danger. I handed over my horse and mule to the care of the Varisians and we joined in the merry making. Curiously, other than our greeter, all we saw were Varisian women and children.
After some merry making we finally met with the wizened leader of the Varisians, Tiodora. That woman really knows how to make an entrance. After her grand entrance at the height of the merry making, she invited us into her wagon and offered us seats. She told us that we were selected by fate, and she believed it would be our task to safeguard a special deck of fortune telling cards, the original Harrow deck. I fear I have forgotten some of the details, but here is what I recall.
We were told the deck was highly magical and a sacred gift from Desna to a priestess of Tiodora’s clan. The deck was eventually scattered when a greedy Varisian leader tried to misuse them, but sometimes evil people have found out about the deck and have tried to gather the cards for their own evil ends.
She said the cards we were given as invitation were some of those original cards and that they had chosen us. They had some special gift to bestow upon us. As we gazed upon them some special symbols arose from the cards and tattooed themselves to our skin and we were each imbued with some special power. My tattoo is, not surprisingly, in the form of a dragon.
I can’t say I really understood it all, but before we could get more details, a man entered and informed Tiodora that they were under attack. We offered our blades to help defend them. We were asked to follow a member of their group, Marcello. Marcello told us a group of bandits had noticed the Varisian camp earlier and had come back with many men to attack it. He believed most of the bandits would go down easily, to archers they had positioned on the wagons, but there were three leaders that we might need to confront, a fighter type, a sorcerer and an archer.
We did find these men, and fought with them, suffering some severe wounds, but we were mostly victorious. The archer escaped. Odd to sum it all up that way. It was my first real battle on my own. In battle before I was under the charge of the Lady’s riders and I watched more than I fought. To fight in a righteous battle is something I wanted badly, and yet the experience was not what I expected. The rush of battle came upon me, and while the events seemed crystal clear to me at the time, now it is a blur. We fought, we won, we protected the innocent. We will fight again.