Heroes and Heroines
Live Action Roleplaying
Post-mission report - Solomon - 23 Lupria 8973,Ta - personal report to The Sentinels of the Way
The fragment of Hepath which identifies itself as Legion has spent months influencing senior members of the Tharsien Empire, though his influence does not yet extend to the Emperor Nero himself. His stated intent is to get as many people as possible using the stones, and hence available for his study.
This intent is exhibited in an attempt to foment war between the empire and the protectorate,
encouraging large numbers of troops to be transported through the travel stones.
The Legion fragment’s influence around the travelling stone at Freefall Manor appears quite extensive, though apparently restricted to bandits, goblins and the like.
For the short term, the danger of conflict between the Empire and the Protectorate has been reduced, however the ongoing influence of the Legion Hepath fragment on the Empire should remain a concern.
The Legion hepath fragment may be entering a phase of more active interference with the protectorate, as well as increasing its influence within the empire it may attempt similar actions against other nations connected to the travelling stones.
Both the Hepath fragment known as Abyss, and the auxiliary Broken are currently held by the Legion fragment in the travel stones network.
There is already a flow of peasants from the Freefall area to the Empire, this is likely to prove problematic if it continues.
A current point of conflict is the Empire’s use of slavery, Protectorate understanding of slavery is restricted to areas with very different approaches to slavery. This difference is likely to be a point of conflict, especially with the extremist elements associated with the good guild.
It may be advantageous in the short term to limit general contact with the Imperial enclave, but this will be interpreted as interference with trade if it continues without justification for an extended period.
It became apparent that the lay power incantations of which I am currently capable of casting are becoming insufficient to protect my comrades against the opposition we now face, I therefore ask that I be granted the opportunity to learn incantations beyond the fourth rank.
If possible, I would also ask that my amulet of Cure Mortal Wounds be recharged, as it has only a single incantation remaining of the 5 it can hold, I will of course absorb any costs as necessry.
I also request permission to carry out research using any information the guild holds, or has access to, on Hepaths, particularly the fragmented being inhabiting the travelling stone in the vicinity of Freefall Manor. I confess to both an esoteric and personal interest in the matter, an enmity has developed between myself and the hepath fragment Legion. That aside, I believe that the risk presented by the imbalanced hepath fragments has increased with the arrival of the Empire into the travelling stone network, and that it is in the interest of Balance that the hepath be restored.
It is my belief that the mission achieved its primary objective, and that all auxiliaries represented the protectorate to the best of their abilities. There were times when decisions were made which may have contravened the written laws of the protectorate. If such is the case, it was done with the greater interest of the protectorate in mind, and I stand behind, and accept full responsibility for any actions taken by, any member of this mission.
Initial travel was uneventful until we reached the environs of Freefall manor, when we came under attack from a number of chaos creatures, which were successfully defeated using a well organised strategy which we unfortunately failed to maintain throughout subsequent combat encounters.
The presence of chaos creatures initially lead me to consider the possible presence of a chaos portal similar to that by which I arrived in the protectorate. Questioning of local residents subsequently suggested this to be erroneous, there being no sign of such a portal.
We rapidly gained intelligence of two forces camped in the vicinity of the travelling stone, one being a small bandit group, the second quickly identified as being the troops of Senator Cyprian. A representative of the senator was present, along with the Hepath fragment that identifies itself as Legion. It was immediately obvious that the Legion fragment was involved with, and was subtly influencing the Imperial stance.
Arrangements were made to meet the Senator the following morning to answer his concerns.
That morning the Legion fragment returned, it appears he has (or at least professes) a weakness for the local cuisine. His smug arrogance remains his main weakness however, and one that resulted in him providing considerable information regarding his intentions.
As advised in our briefing we managed to obtain a suitable gift, consisting of two bottles of wine from the local monastery, to be presented to the Senator, though the cost somewhat exceeded the 5 dragon budget.
Despite care being taken (clearly insufficient), the wine was stolen by a trio of bandits posing as peasants, it appears likely that this action was instigated by the Legion fragment. When the wine was recovered it was from the corpse of one of the bandits apparently killed by a female goblin, who gave an obvious pseudonym. The goblin was found to have a phial in her possession, and one of the bottles of wine had clearly been tampered with. It was later confirmed that the phial contained a pain-inducing blade-venom, probably not enough to kill but certainly enough to make a poisoning attempt seem obvious. It is assumed that this was an attempt on the part of the Legion hepath fragment to make it appear that the protectorate had made an attempt on his life.
The meeting with Senator Cyprian was… frustrating. The evidence he presented was, as stated in his original missive, that a number of Imperial citizens had been abducted and then tortured by men wearing protectorate legion tabards. He also produced one of the victims, who, at least on the face of it, appeared to be genuine. From the discussions it was clear that senator Cyprian would accept nothing short of solid proof that the protectorate was not involved. Things were further complicated by the presence of the Legion fragment who was clearly intent on sabotaging any possible negotiations between the Empire and the Protectorate.
During our meeting we discovered that the Legion fragment had been dealing with the Empire for a period of approximately six months, given the fragments normal modus operandi it seems probable that an Imperial citizen stumbled upon a travelling stone and was captured by the fragment. The knowledge gained giving the Legion fragment the idea of encouraging imperial use of the travelling stone network in order to provide further subjects for study. His obvious intent to foment war between the Protectorate and the Empire would result in extensive military forces / study subjects potentially being brought through the travelling stone network.
Senator Cyprian stated that the Legion fragment was known in the empire as the Warden of the stones, and that it was he that had been guiding the empire through the travelling stone network. It is clear that, unaware of the risks inherent in using the stone network, the empire see it as a major resource for expanding the trade, culture, and potentially military reach of the empire.Whilst I cannot recall if it was specifically mentioned, it seems certain that it was the Legion fragment which identified the torturers as members of the protectorate legion - it is certain that it was Legion who guided Cyprian’s force to the freefall stone.
The Legion Hepath fragment appears to have been abducting further imperial soldiers since the arrival of the Imperial representatives, certainly individuals have gone missing in the area.
At the end of the meeting the Senator granted us time to talk with the legionaries. As my son was amongst the legionaries I took the opportunity to speak at length with him, I must therefore leave any further assessment of the legionaries to others.
Whilst we attempted to form a plan which would satisfy the Senator as to the innocence of the protectorate, we were unable to reach a satisfactory plan, due to the nature of the evidence and the lack of any trail, other than through the hepath fragment, to the perpetrators.
An alternative approach, attempting to discredit the Legion fragment, was settled upon, Broken hoped that his ties with one of the other fragments, Abyss, would prove of benefit. Whilst the mechanism is unclear, it appears that his hopes were indeed realised, with two of the Protectorate-friendly fragments, Abyss and Myriad, arrived.
It was apparent that Myriad had been hiding Abyss from the Legion fragment since the events of Monsaba, nevertheless, they were both prepared to assist us, despite concerns for Abyss’ safety.
At the meeting, Senator Cyprian produced a letter of empowerment from Emperor Nero, which outlined the extent to which the emperor would back Cyprian. This included exclusive control of the travelling stone and surrounding area under Imperial law, backed by military fortifications and permanent military presence. Whilst the Senator made it quite clear that he had authority to suspend or implement actions up to and including, the full military occupation, the wording of the letter alone was enough to cause a certain amount of consternation amongst my fellow auxiliaries.
The best attempts of Myriad and Legion were insufficient to persuade the senator of the Legion fragments inherent untrustworthiness, however we managed to calm the situation sufficiently, and raise sufficient doubt for the senator to grant us time to present the letter to the protectorate for a proper diplomatic response to be considered.
A further element of the Legion fragment’s plan came to light later that evening when a legionary ran in to inform us that protectorate legionaries were being attacked by forces wearing red sashes - this being part of the Imperial uniform. We followed the legionary, only to find him murdered and stripped.
The legionary was resurrected, and it appears that he had been trapped in the stone for almost a full quarter, he had been told to pass on his message to as many auxiliaries as he could. It is uncertain when the message was meant to be delivered now or, in my opinion, when the legionary was taken into the stone. Either way it appears likely that this was a plan on the part of the Legion fragment to trigger an attack by protectorate forces against the Imperial mission.
Whilst the legionary has no memory of the time he spent in the stone’s plane, it can be hoped that he may recover some of his memories as he heals.
Plans to attempt to disrupt the fragment’s plans by releasing the imperial citizens he held prisoner within the stone’s plane were spoiled due to the ability of each of the fragments ability
to know what is known by any of the others if they are in close proximity, though the precise range of this ability is not clear.
That evening, the Legion fragment returned to the inn with the intent to take Abyss and Myriad back with him. Certain negotiations took place, to which I was not party, and Abyss returned through the stone with him, apparently of her own free will.
The following morning before we began our return to the Keep, Legion returned with a number of followers, they carried out an attack on our party, Legion particularly seeming to target Broken, at one point apparently releasing more of Broken’s forgotten memories and power, something which had previously been discussed with both Myriad and Abyss, the latter of whom appears to be responsible for suppressing his memories in the first place. Subsequent to this action, the Legion fragment exerted some form of glamour on Broken turning him to his own servant. It appears that concerted magical and power attacks almost destroyed the Legion fragments physical form before Broken healed him and the two returned to the gate. It was shortly after this that a legion patrol arrived to investigate information passed on to them by a peasant seeking to join the mistwalkers. After reporting to the legionaries, we returned to the keep.