Imed Entry 0
Saint Zariel’s Day, 2/3
To Your Most Divine Baroness, Amelia of the North, Flower of the Fields,
I regret that I cannot bring my annual report in person at this time, but it is my hope that this letter will explain my diversion from procedure.
Thus far, the winters here in Rolth are typically very mild, with hardly a single frost to mark their passing, though of course, there is limited food growth, as well. This winter has been quite peculiar in that we are, as I write, in the midst of a slight chill. There is enough snow to make my armor feel like ice and not metal. Barely two centimeters, but it’s enough to unsettle the village.
Still, I patrol ever more vigilantly, as does the militia my wife and I have helped train, lest the timidity of the people of Rolth embolden our orc neighbors. Already, the farm so kindly permitted to my wife and I by Your Most Divine Baroness, being closest to orc lands, has been beset by no less than five separate raiding parties in this past half year since my last written message.
They will never muster their forces, of course, and even if they should, we are more than equipped to handle it. Never has the faith here been stronger. They were low in spirits when I was first sent here, but now they know Saint Amira will never leave them.
In that vein of thought, I feel this village is more than able to handle some time without a member of the Wings of Hope. My reasoning for finding such a time necessary is forthcoming.
The roads, as I am sure you are aware, are quite a distance from the heart of the village (which is not much in and of itself – a tavern, a small church, the smith, and a pair of shops), which is busy now that there is less to do in the fields. Anyone wishing to visit must cross several acres of pure land, and hardly a tree save for the small orchard. Even in the winter, the orchard is a comfort to pass by, and so that is the route I take on my way into the village.
My family has become very close to the villagers; we are practically one among them in the many years we’ve spent here. What began as a way of gathering news and hearing of any problems or incursions near anyone’s home is now a meeting with friends. I am no stranger to the tavern, in all honesty, though I stop fights rather than start them. They are kind people, strong of heart and mind and spirit, and most especially of faith. My daughter plays with their children and they all play well and fair. My wife, too, gets along well despite her fears that she would be unable to fit in. I am more than grateful that I have been sent here.
I say all these things because it must be understood that I would not abandon my duty unless Saint Amira Herself bade me to, and I believe She has.
Upon my return from my daily patrols on the roads, I paused at the trees, as usual, to ensure all is quiet in the area. But when I intended to start again, a glow caught my eye.
There is no way for anything to have escaped my notice, and nothing moves so quickly as to cross acres of land in an instant. What is left to me is either magic, divine or arcane, or insanity. I firmly believe it is the former. As I turned, I saw a chalice on the trunk of a tree that had caught an infestation last harvest. The Chalice.
Needless to say, I was bewildered and approached with caution, but the sheer warmth emanating from it was comforting and my caution turned to wonder. It was golden, shining, and visibly aged, in spite of its polishing. Truly it was beautiful. I looked into it. The liquid was opaque and smoky. I felt as though I were looking through a fog. After a moment, it began to clear and I could see a keep, strong and enduring. Beyond it, hills, with entrances to caves.
I reached for the Chalice, hoping that I could better understand more about the location I was being shown, but once by my reach, a gentle, warm light bloomed from within it and seemed to swallow it. It was gone.
As I write this letter, some time has passed since I encountered this sacred object, and I can still feel its warmth. It is filled with hope – hope that I am able to do what I am meant to do. I believe I am meant to visit this place. It is a message, a sign.
At the time, I did not know where it was, I was too bewildered to think clearly. But I have since spoken to a friend in the village, who has an extensive collection of maps. I searched the holy sites first, and it is obviously no other than the Chrysomer Caves, which the Lady visited before the gods Turned Away. That rings true with the feeling – there is a sense of loss, as well as hope.
This is my tale, milady, and it is as true as I remember it being. The only falsities that may occur would be due to my own surprise that one so low as me might be addressed by the Lady Herself, or if I am possessed by madness or an evil in writing this letter. Please understand that were I not convinced this is from Saint Amira directly, I would not leave my duty and wife and daughter behind for this. For this to occur on a Saint’s day is no coincidence, in my mind.
I have left instructions with my wife to watch over the village, for she is as capable as I, in her own way. I will maintain contact with the Wings and with my wife to relay what has happened. Should I perish for some reason – any journey carries such a risk – know that my journal is with me. I will record all I can.
Saints watch over you,
Imed Brosch, Knight of the Wings of Hope