Dreams of the Yellow King – Part 17

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Diary of Costian Raduva, Part 17 – The Isle of Arenway

The day passed uneventfully on the Sellen Starling as we sailed down to the Isle of Arenway, a refuge of the Green Faith. Our captain noted that there were fewer trading ships here than usual, but the docks were heaving with people in either tattered well worn robes, or travel stained and battle hardened leathers and hides. It seemed that we had visited in the middle of a convocation of druids and rangers.

The Isle of Arenway

Disembarking, we were presented with two important options – either the Heron and Eel, or the Woodsman’s Friend. Hoping for a meal of meat rather than fish, we headed to the latter where an ever-cooking stew of meat was on offer.

Neither the inn keeper nor clientele knew much about the gathering of druids though. Druids were common here, but there were a lot more here than would normally be the case. As far as they knew, there was some important meeting going on, but the nature of that meeting wasn’t common knowledge and the dates didn’t coincide with any of the normal holy events of the Green Faith.

After finishing our stew, we headed over to the Heron and Eel, which seemed to be full of armed and armoured folk who had a rangery look about them.

We purchased a table of them beer, who informed us that some of the Sacred Groves in the Verduran Forest had come under some form of attack, which was causing them to become corrupted. They are unwilling to provide us with more information though, since the nature of actual events seemed to be being kept under wraps. At this point Inquisitor Gregor got out his painting of Count Haserton Lowls and asked them whether they had seen the fellow.  Surprisingly, they had, and like others who had done so seemed to have had a bad experience with him. He had upset the druids, and been kicked off the Isle. Apparently, the druids want him arrested and put in a wickerman if he is seen again. We explained that we were also hunting Lowls, and asked whether it would be possible to speak to someone in authority who knew of the druid’s reason for disliking him so much.

Ogedei, Druid

We spent the night on-board the Starling, and were woken by the arrival of a very wizened old druid and a couple of rangers, who invited us to break our fast with him.

He introduced himself as Ogedei, and was interested in borrowing the painting of Count Lowls in order to make some copies of it. Apparently when we came here he tried to take the Book of the Trees, which is a living scroll which contains the collective wisdom of the groves. Unfortunately they didn’t realise what his intents were until after he was driven out – initially they just thought he was trespassing in their sacred places.

We told Ogedei some of our past – at least that of it which we remembered. That we had woken in the insane asylum with no memory of how we got there, that we had discovered that Count Lowls had taken our memories and sold us as slaves to traders in the dreamlands, and that now we were trying to repeat his steps in order to find the Mad Poet and thereby find, and stop, Count Lowls.

We knew that Lowls was in league with Xhamen-Dor, the god of decay and parasites, and it seems that the same god is responsible for the corruption of the groves. The druids believe that the groves reflect the health of Golarion, and that the world is in peril. Xhamen-Dor destroys worlds, and feeds them to Carcosa, an alien city that is an engine for making gods, on a planet that is the home of the Great Old One who cannot be named.

Ogedei showed us an illusion of Carcosa – a city with two black suns on the shores of a lake. The buildings reminded us of the city where we ran from the Tattered Man shortly before waking in the asylum. The druid said that he believed Lowls to be a puppet of Xhamen-Dor, who was trying to consume the world into undeath.

The druids were willing to aid us in our quest to find and stop Count Lowls, and would try to provide us help in the future through their network of the Green Faith.  If we could keep them updated on our progress, then should we fail someone else would be able to replace us.

They also gifted us with some items of magic from their stores, and offered to tattoo us with marks that would provide us with minor elemental powers and also identify us to agents of the Green Faith. We accepted their offers graciously, and promised to provide them with updates as and when we could.

It has been a while since our journey began, and the discussions with the druids of Arenway reminded us of some details of our journey we had forgotten. It would probably be an idea if we were to re-examine our old notes to refresh our memories of these events before we reach our destination of Katheer in Qadira.

Samuel Penn