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Saava Blackrose, the Unbroken
Jul 11, 2021
In Roleplaying
I cannot believe what has transpired, but the evidence suggests I must. Therefore, I shall transcribe recent events here to affirm their reality. Perhaps then I can assess my situation with a full perspective, though I can only imagine one outcome regardless of how thoroughly I consider my potential courses of action. To begin at the beginning, I found time to return home after the Sanguine Order’s victory over the vampire Alistaire. As I made my way into the upper city, I noticed anomalous behavior. There were fewer guards than expected, and many well-lit areas had been dimmed. It seemed likely that these facts - combined with the scent of sweat and fear in the air - were more likely connected than not. I was confident, however, and moved plainly to Luima’s chambers. I had brought her a simple necklace; no great ornament for a lady of her station, but I hoped it would remind her of times we shared before the demons as I wandered Osterra. I did not have a chance to present her this gift, however, as screams from her quarters connected my previous notes into a simple truth: my sister was being attacked. I rushed through the corridors of the keep with sword in hand and crashed through the sealed doors to her room at full speed. Thankfully, the intruders were not expecting my interference. The doors, while locked, had not been barred to prevent forced entry. My arrival knocked one of the robed figures within Luima’s room to the ground. An upward stroke ended his life and raised my sword to a high guard in a single motion. I leaned back to prepare a lunge, but as I did so, the intruders leapt from the window to their deaths rather than be captured or slain in combat. Luima collapsed to the floor, and after confirming she was uninjured I called for the guards. The Captain of Kair’s city guard Willem rushed into the room with sword drawn, but clearly groggy. In retrospect, perhaps this was an act It was determined by Lord Blackrose, at my suggestion, that we should throw a feast to celebrate Luima to spite the kidnappers. Additionally, I would invite a handful of Outlanders with whom I had contact during my travels. With only the four of us in the know, Luima was to be sequestered in the Lord and Lady’s chambers in secret and her role at the party to be assumed by Jay Cindersky, an outlander whose background and appearance lent perfectly to this plan. She would be paraded about in public sight at an indefensible location - a prime opportunity for a kidnapping. And, when the kidnappers returned to life and chose to strike - prepared for my presence - they would be caught off guard by a handful of trained warriors and an armed body double who knew their intent. For the first time, the Gardens of Kair were opened to outlanders. A feast was had, much to the chagrin of my Lord Father, and things were suspiciously calm. After the feast, a number of competitions were had. As the duelist’s tourney ended, a haggard guardsman entered the party and pleaded for assistance in slaying a creature attacking farms at the city’s edge. We did not expect the betrayal of our guards, and as such the outlanders rallied to slay the creature with the Lord’s blessing. No sooner than they had departed, however, the kidnappers struck! I feigned defeat after receiving minor wounds, but given the lapse in my memory I was slain in my act by a zealous member of this cult. The outlanders returned triumphant from their excursion, but found chaos upon their return. A trio of dryads, sent on behalf of the Grove, had fortunately transformed into trees to survive the attack and sent the outlanders in pursuit of my ‘sister.’ They followed Jay’s trail to a sewer entrance, where the body of Captain Willem lay dead. Jay explained that the kidnappers were guardsmen in disguise, following their captain in a coup d’etat. Jay had killed Willem with a hidden dagger before concealing herself nearby. As they prepared to return, however, the outlanders spotted some familiar tracks; the monster they had killed was an abomination from another world, a mass of eyes and mouths and tentacles oozing slime. That same slime led back into the sewer entrance. Following the tunnels beneath Kair led them to a broken wall into the dungeon beneath the keep, and a chamber of which I will not speak. When Willem, who is no longer captain for obvious reasons, returned from the grave, he chose to speak with them in the hopes it would buy his release. He told them that the chamber in which they stood was the secret of House Blackrose. He told them that generation after generation, there were only two members of the House. As I was brought into the chamber to speak with Willem, he told them that the eyes of House Blackrose never changed, because they used otherworldly magic to steal the bodies of their children and extend their own lives. He revealed that this chamber was the source of their power, and had magic far beyond their horrific immortality. And he spoke the truth. The paintings I have seen all my life shared the same gaze. Generation after generation for over three centuries, the eyes have always been the same. The eyes of Lord Leofric and Lady Meryld of House Blackrose. Willem learned this secret from his father, who served House Blackrose before his son. The parents had been the same, but the children were vibrant and youthful. Then, one day, the parents disappeared and the children became calm and deliberate. As if they had become their parents. Willem dedicated his life to discovering the truth behind House Blackrose, and rose to Captain of the Guard through his dedication. He searched beneath the keep until he found the chamber containing that which I am loathe to describe: the Black Rose Altar. I said above I would not describe this accursed thing, but in case its ilk should be discovered elsewhere, I will make plain what I saw. In the center of a chamber, lit only by what we could bring, sat a stone circle. It was raised to just below my waist, and within it sat two concentric circles, each smaller and lower than the outer ring. Upon the slate-grey surfaces were layers of congealed blood. I do not know how many souls were offered to this abomination, but there was more deeply layered blood than I have ever seen before. In the innermost circle, a flat stone at the bottom, there was a set of runes carved upon the stone. They radiated foul magics, and between them lay the lines of a rose, painted black upon the grey stone. I killed Willem where he stood when he had explained the truth. It helped nothing, but I don’t regret it. What does that say about me? And why did they choose me? I was told my parents died when I was young, but should they not have returned soon after? Why were they different? Why was it their time, and not anyone else’s? I know the answer. I know all the answers to all these questions, and I wrote this entry to put it to paper where I can’t hide from it any longer. My parents were either murdered by Leofric and Meryld, or they were sacrificed by them. The reason other cities reacted differently when battles to the death were at hand is because they aren’t bound to immortality the way I am. The way we are. Perhaps the outlanders are right, and it’s the Everwar that keeps us returning to this world. It would explain the vampires, the shadows, the undead that witless necromancer creates. Which means I’ve ended more lives than I can fathom. I’ve become accustomed to death, because for me it’s no more than a momentary abatement of reality. What if we don’t remember our deaths because whatever gods bring us back don’t want us to turn and flee at the prospect of dying again? I was stolen by House Blackrose to be Leofric’s next vessel. My sister was to be Meryld’s. Now she and her parents are missing. I will not allow it. The people of Kair, of all Osterra, must know the evil that hid in their midst. Luima must be set free from her accursed fate. House Blackrose made me who I am. I was so desperate to earn what they’d given me. I became a killer on their behalf. Swallowed half-truths eagerly, without question, all to please a pair of monsters. But that’s okay. It’s all fine. Because the Sanguine Order kills monsters.
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Saava Blackrose, the Unbroken
Jul 09, 2021
In Roleplaying
A successful hunt! Grandmaster Artorias’ new organization, the Sanguine Order, slew a vampire with a helping hand from a team of adventurers. We arrived in a small hamlet around midday, and by the evening had gathered what information we could from the locals. A creature had been taking able-bodied workers in the night and leaving remains on well-worn trails. Given the frequency of the disappearances, the Grandmaster decided to recruit some adventurers passing through the village. We rallied before dusk and set off to hunt for the creature. We found skulls stripped of flesh and too recent to have been cleaned by insects, then bloody chains discarded from an attempted escape. We knew that this creature was too precise to be a lycanthrope, too intelligent to be a wraith or great spider. As we pressed on, a clearing revealed a number of humans under the creature’s thrall, guarding a chalice on the forest floor. They did not react well to our arrival, and were struck down swiftly. When we searched their bodies, however, we found silver coins aplenty - almost as if our prey had been snatching it away from wherever they could. This gave Grandmaster Artorias an idea, and examination of the chalice proved wise. They had acquired a Forge Chalice, an old artifact from before the cataclysm! Using arcane runes, the chalice heated the silver to its melting point in a matter of moments. We used the silver to coat one of the adventurers’ weapons, as a pair of vampire spawn had revealed the nature of our prey. To acquire this much silver, however, we had to slay more thralls and the spawn which attacked us in an ambush. They had begun turning a man taken from the village and left him in our path as bait. We remained wary enough to not be caught entirely off guard when they burst from cover, but had to kill the man as he turned. Following the source of our attackers, we located a door inscribed with runes. Our best translation told us that the doors would open if blood was shed unwillingly, and an offering of blood pushed aside the stone which blocked our way. Face to face with our foe at long last, we steeled ourselves in the vampire’s great hall and struck down his servants. Finally, with silver in hand, our band of heroes slew the vampire in his lair. The creature was fierce and nigh invulnerable to steel weapons, but fell quickly to moonlight’s metal. Our party suffered casualties, but triumphed together. This was no small feat, we would find, as the order of the silver sword - a cadre of monster hunters like ourselves - was destroyed by this very vampire. Grandmaster Artorias proclaimed that we would take their sigil, albeit modified, as our own in a show of respect to those who came before us. We could not stop the vampire from enthralling some of the village’s people. We have not slain Orzalon, nor his henchmen, nor ended the demonic incursion. But we killed a monster, saved a village, and honored the memory of fallen warriors. I feel better for having done some good.
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Saava Blackrose, the Unbroken
Jul 02, 2020
In Roleplaying
It appears that my new profession suits me quite well. In my apprenticeship to Artorias, I have travelled more than I thought possible in this realm of ours. After their war with the Order, the Guild of the Black Sky has resumed their expansion into less settled regions of Osterra. While I’m not sure my lord and lady will be overly fond of this foreign incursion, the Guild’s focus on trade is likely to bring much-needed relief to Kair. Furthermore, their treatment of natives is peaceful and mutually beneficial, in part due to my assistance with negotiations. Perhaps it is my old station which yields such positive results, as few in proximity to Kair can claim full independence from my lord’s city. Regardless, I came along with Artorias’ guildmates to serve as a negotiator and a guide, and I believe I’ve done my part in aiding their journey North. I did not expect to be paid for this endeavor, as in Kair, apprentices are not paid in coin. It appears that customs are different in my new line of work, as I was reminded that the first priority of every witcher is payment. How far this leads me from my role as my lord’s ward. I hope Luima fares better than when last we spoke. It has been several months since I last laid eyes upon my sister, and I have not the heart to depart from my mission to return home. I feel guilty, but I believe the scars upon my soul have begun to heal. Is it possible she feels the same? Has time begun to work its magic upon us both? Regardless, my journey continues. I will acquire the power I must to destroy Orzalon. I suppose there is no harm in creating a new life for myself in the process.
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Saava Blackrose, the Unbroken
Feb 25, 2020
In Roleplaying
While my quest has yet to bear fruit, I have made progress since the Winter Council. My meeting with the Witcher Artorias was quite a fortunate one-I managed to convince him, after rather lengthy discussions about the ethics of his profession and state of being, to make me his pupil. Given my background, the first part of this was the Trial of the Grasses. My understanding of this is incomplete, as I am neither an alchemist nor a mage. What I gleaned is that the Trial causes mutation in one's body to enhance a Witcher's physical prowess to the end of hunting monsters more efficiently. My first attempt failed, and upon my death I lost all memory of the trials. This is just as well, as my second and final attempt was almost certainly the second most painful thing I've ever experienced. I am loathe to describe my experience in detail, as it would likely horrify any unlucky enough to read my account. Suffice to say, I understand why Artorias was reluctant to inflict this upon anyone who possessed other options. I do not regret my decision. While I am still adjusting to my mutations-and the concept that I now have mutations-the changes have been considerable. I can feel my body's pauses as I fail to react with the speed I have acquired. Things which would have caused me strain before now roll off like a mountain stream, and my perceptive abilities have increased considerably. I did not realize how loud the din of battle was until it was impossible for me to tune it out. It is fortunate that my changes occured as they did, as I was put to the test rather quickly. The scouting party which ventured into the blasted lands called for additional aid in dealing with the undead hordes which plagued the temple. They called upon the factions for support, the wisdom of which I still question, and black sky sent Artorias. I followed as part of my training. I have ventured to the edges of the blasted lands before, so the experience was not entirely alien to me. This did not make it pleasant. Our path was blocked by a smattering of skeletons and strange creatures called "Shadows." Thankfully, despite my inability to cast light, our party was well-equipped and pushed through with little resistance. This was not to last. Accompanied already by the lich Malakor, our group was led by a member of the Caste named Dimah. He led from the front, as one should, and appears to be skilled at disarming traps. We picked up an entity which called itself "the Bonecat." It sought revenge against Malakor for a slight yet unknown, but quickly went mad at the sight of Geth lurking in the swamps. I suspect we shall see this creature again soon. Not long after crossing a river of acid our journey ground to a near standstill. The undead hordes became thicker and stronger, perhaps granted greater power by the storm which swirled over the temple. I came close to death twice, but was successfully healed before death claimed me. I've never been so thankful that my throwing knives are heavier than most. As we reached the temple proper, a pair of Death Knights blocked the way. They proved extremely resilient to physical injury but without a holy weapon on hand we triumphed through grit rather than preparedness. I slew one with the aid of the Jarl of White Raven, though he would soon fall to the horde thereafter. It was in no small part due to luck and my tutor that I survived the encounter, as Artorias' light spell kept away the swarms of shadows which threatened us within the temple. Our clerics chanted a prayer to summon the Sword of Sylvia, but it was not to be found on that day. Instead, we found a map which would lead us through the catacombs to the sword's true resting place. It frustrates me unspeakably that I cannot wield the sword we seek. To have my revenge denied not by my own failures but by fate is troublesome, but I will wait. I trust the warriors of Osterra to wield this weapon well, even if it is beyond my grasp. My search cannot slow, however. Orzalon will die, and I WILL hold the blade which sends his wretched soul screaming into the void as he does.
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Saava Blackrose, the Unbroken
Jan 29, 2020
In Roleplaying
The secret is holy weapons. Apparently the plagues of Festar hit Nova Regnus harder than we believed, and it was only with a healing amulet that their spread was controlled after Festar’s death. A pair of holy weapons were used in the battle against Festar, allegedly the weakest of Orzalon’s lieutenants on the battlefield. One belongs to a warrior from Grimfrost by the name of Uldren. Where the other lies, I am unsure. A third-the one I wielded for a moment-was discovered by Siegfried in the Illithid’s shelter. I should be relieved. They can be killed as I suspected, and the power to do so lies with the people of Osterra. And yet, this brings me neither peace nor joy. I still see him when I shut my eyes. Sleep remains elusive and I often wake in shakes, clutching whatever weapon lay within my reach. So long as he lives, the scars he gave me open in my nightmares. I dare not think long on what Luima experiences now. Poor sister. As the feast drew to a close, I did find one additional possibility. The lore keeper of Black Sky, Artorias, is not the man he seems. He is a mutant, a monster hunter in his old world. He told me that witchers, as they are known, are mutated by alchemic formulae to better slay their quarry. They have enhanced strength and speed as well as heightened senses. Should he acquiesce, I hope to undergo the same mutation as he and his fellows. He insists that the process is too dangerous, but Osterra is not his home. I will die as many times as I must to kill Orzalon. No risk is so great I would avoid it in my pursuit of his punishment.
Saava's Notes (part 1) content media
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Saava Blackrose, the Unbroken

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