The Death Of Olethea


Written by a player:

Rock Valley? I've been there, sure, but I don't like it. Why was I there? Well, the Jalian Triarchus case has been preying on my mind. Out in the frontier the social customs of Iridine have probably adapted to local contingencies. I'd never go to Monlon expecting to talk to the Governor, but I thought I might be able to ask Calastor Triarchus a couple of questions.

No such luck. But other things happened, that made the hike well worth the effort. Centurion Martennus called for Olethea — the woman who'd been trying to capture a morleus — and a group of soldiers, militiamen, and random citizens mustered at the Rock Valley fort.

It seems there'd been rumors of the tribes having a meeting. Martennus knew Olethea was a clever hunter who knew the land and could maybe find out something. And she was willing, for enough coin.

We followed Olethea, a ragtag bunch of Iridinians without half a brain among us. That's how I felt, anyway, so out of my element was I. But Olethea was right at home, and we trailed after her along paths that might have been made by goats, to look at them.

Eventually we found the place Olethea wanted. A steep rocky place with a large boulder overlooking a deep gorge. And there, down there in the gorge, the barbarians were assembled.

The bonfire crackled and sent up sparks and strange shadows. A giant wearing a bear head, a scarecrow with a wolf's head, men with their bodies painted green or blue. They were down there, nightmare barbarians, drums and all. They seemed to be fighting each other. We crouched quietly behind the boulder with Olethea.

Then the bear-head rumbled (such an altitonant voice he had!) "Enough of this quarreling. You all know why we're here." And the fighting barbarians quit, and listened to him. Beside me, Olethea breathed, "Gronir." I remembered the barbarian who had been torn apart by esecarnii at the games. He kept saying it was all a mistake, he was there to warn us that "Gronir comes." And the snide joke Maera, the Steward's retainer, made of it: "Groan-Air".

But the real man was down in the gorge below me, and I was spying on him with a bunch of people I barely knew.

They were in agreement, these barbarians. Gronir of the Brak Taul with his bear head, Berkl with his wolf, Kronas the Aziri, Markel the Lokeen. Only Tyrlindax of the Nehal was not there, and the ones gathered expressed a willingness to kill the Nehal chieftain rather than let their "common enemy" triumph.

They looked over maps and pointed out how poorly fortified our outlying towns are. What, do the barbarians want to conquer Blackvine, I thought, stunned.

But then… someone moved, a rock fell, something. The Kenags became wary. I knew it was time to run, and I only knew one way out — the way I'd come. Other people might possibly accuse me of a lack of heroism, but I'd heard what I needed and I wanted out fast. I ran.

Later, I learned that my fellow Iridinians escaped and returned to the Legio fort. Olethea, however, was killed — shot from outside the fort with a poisoned arrow.

Everything I learn tells me that the more I know, the more trouble I'm in.

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