(This is my perspective of the Rites of Spring)
For what seemed to be the first time in this realm, I was happy. For the first half, at least.
The Rites of Spring started without a hitch, with new friends and laughter throughout the camp. We ate, we drank, and we told tales of heroism and adventure throughout the entire night. It seemed that many of us that were invited here from Commander McKragg were also portal travelers, the term I started using for anyone not native to this realm. I’ve met so many people there, and reunited with some friend that I made months ago when I first arrived on this plane.
It was here that I met Sir Gareyth, a holy Paladin whose religion near mirrored my own. We talked for a while of travels and beliefs and did question why I traveled with a Necromancer. I told him that I trusted Geth, which understandably gave Sir Gareyth some pause, but he left it for now. Afterwards, I let Geth know that he was already gaining attention at camp. He laughed.
The second day started well enough. Woke up late, ate a hearty breakfast, then sparred before the official tournaments began. Friends Grisson and Kailos took to instructing the younger visitors for basic combat techniques, and I took turns sparring with them, Gets, the brothers Garron and Wade. I planned to enter all tournaments. I knew I wouldn’t win any, not with all these actual warriors around, but it was nice to show off some of the basic training I’ve had as a Cleric. I faired well in many of them, getting into the semi-finals in some, but no awards to me. I even got to shoot a bow for the first time, with Arion the Bard calling me a natural. Tis a useful skill, I may purchase a bow when I next have coin.
I was having fun, but it wasn’t meant to last.
I found out about a demonic possession that happened earlier that day to my friend Grisson. After talking with him, we decided to seek Sir Gareyth’s council. I’ve grown to respect the man for his righteous beliefs and chivalrous demeanor, and I thought he could help him. Grisson shared a harrowing tale of his childhood, full of abuse and occultism, which I will not get into detail here. Sir Gareyth listened, and after a prayer was given he invited Grisson and I to become his squires, where he would teach us of his religion and ways. We both left to think on it, and to this day I do not know what Grisson decided. I was on the fence. Though I liked the idea of learning from a man to become a knight, those goals were never mine. I mainly wanted to gain my magic back, and to help as a proper healer again.
Since being here I’ve felt less and less of a Cleric, which I claimed to be to all who asked. In my darker moments, I felt like a fraud.
Later in the evening, during a light drizzle, a ritual was held by the Sentinels. The Sentinels are a group of magic users who have been tasked to discern the magical properties of the orb in their position. I was naturally curious about this, having an orb myself, and wondering what another one looked like. They placed a ward around the grove to protect us, and each of the four Sentinels had a protector. I nodded to my friends Sir Gareyth and Kailos, who were both protectors on the opposite side of the barrier. The others were Xoticus, who taught me of this world’s magics, and Sir Ceannric MacEoghn, a physically imposing man who earlier fought in the Champion’s tourney in fierce black armor. The only Sentinels that I have met during my time here were Arion the Bard and Magi Laya, the others were strangers to me.
The attack happened quickly after the ritual. Orcs from the woods ambushed the onlookers while two of the Sentinels fainted from the ritual. Luckily I’d brought my mace, and turned to defend the others. We held them back, slaughtering the Orcs as they came. The Sentinels recovered, and they and their apprentices healed the wounded. I assisted with the destruction of the Orcs’ bodies while others went to find their camp in the woods. The large group returned with a chest containing many dark things, including orc relics, a magical heart, an entire skeleton, and a puzzle box which, after being solved, contained an encrypted message to the Orcs from some unknown person.
I was asked by Sir Gareyth to watch over the young interpreters while they decipher the letter. I guarded them for over an hour until they were completed, and the others were gathered for its reading. It seems that the leader of this band of Orcs, known by the name of Shagrash the Vile, was tasked by an unknown hand to reclaim the orb that the Winter Council has found, the one used during that night’s ritual and now missing. There were many arguments as to what the rest of the message meant, and the following morning we set off on our own paths.
I know not where my new companions went, but I wish them the best in their journeys. Hopefully I’ll see them during the summer. Geth and I packed our bags, and headed back east to find another way to restore our lost magics