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HedgeHug

Lament of a Vulture

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[!] On a calm and lonely night, in the year 1711, few goblin figures tread into the major cities to hang messages on the public notice boards. They act in silence, with a certain sense of dread about them. And as swiftly as they had come, they leave the premises again - hiding in the shadows of the night. On the top of the parchment so eloquently written sits the seal of a vulture, and a fingerprint pressed in blood. [!]

 

In a cavern deep with candlelight, this be the words I silently write. I, Shagarath, a lonely spirit entrapped in an ancient mortal body - residing on this plane only in devotion to the Great Spirits of Old. My name may be both revered and hated, but let it be known to all that walk this mortal plane and all that read this. That I serve no other than the Spirits and their sacred word. It is thus that I lived my life according to Their word, as spoken to me by Them: The Spirits we Praise and Fear.

 

“Afar’Ilzgul, Lup’Ilzgul”

 

Revered and Hated, I am - as I am Old. And it has taken me time to find meaning in my old age. In communion with the spirits I have made up my mind, and seek to relieve myself of my mortal ballast. It is time for me to go.

 

These words be public - may they be carried across the realm with my Legacy. The Legacy of Shagarath. The Old and Decayed Vulture.

 

In this I will speak of truths that I have rarely shared openly. For their weight are a burden upon any one’s mind. But in my final Lamet I shall utter these.

 

I confess…

 

My participation in the Orgonic Campaign. Where I stood besides Kharak and sought for the world of Vailor to be devoured by plaguelands to appease a Spirit. Before we knew what consequences our meddling with the spiritual balance would bring, it was already too late. A world was devoured, and many had died.

From this I have learned of the greater spiritual balance, and this is why I have been so adamant on maintaining, educating and spreading knowledge of it for over a century.

 

I confess…


To have had intimacy with a snaga in Vailor times. In the times when the title of Snaga’Goth was bestowed upon me and a great system of slavery was in place. Isuz blessed me with love that even till this day I dare deny - but no longer will I deny a truth as personally stated to me by a Spirit. For what I thought to be a curse, was instead a blessing.

 

I confess…

 

To have acted unfairly against my own kin. For in my quest to become the Spirits wielding spear and shield - I have relinquished mortal burdens and freed myself from cultural standards. Standards upheld by my race and kin for many centuries. As a result of this I was cast out multiple times - sometimes just, but sometimes unjust. I acknowledge my deeds that have worked against my kin. Such as aiding or siding with their foes in wartime - or refusing to invest in educating them. I see it as a failure, that when I say that I could have done so much more for them - if only they allowed me.

 

I confess…

 

To have dishonored myself by mortal standards by dishonoring blood-forged alliances and pacts with kinsmen. Only have I done such in my quest to appease the Spirits, and never for any other reason. I have lied and betrayed other mortal descendants for the betterment of my standing with the Spirits. But never have I brought harm upon a kinsman for this purpose.

 

 

My acts as a mortal on the realm have, throughout the last part of my life, solely been done to appease the Great Spirits. So that They may prosper, and us with them. And yet for all the bad that some might think or say that I have done - there was also good:

 

 

I speak truth…

 

That I reunited Phaedrus and his wife in the Stargush Stroh. Where they could share time together.

 

That I, in communion with Gentharuz, brought knowledge of the Shamanic art called: Ilzgul’Udalgum. Commonly known as Spirit Smithing.

 

That I have had the pleasure of designing and acting as architect of cities and settlements throughout the ages. Housing all kinds of descendant life.

 

That I have had the Honor of escorting Vorgo of Yar through the Gate of Kor - and see him walk his final steps into the Stargush’Stroh.

 

That I sought and somewhat succeeded in breaking apart the conflict between druids and orcs.

 

That I, even I, have felt love in my lifetime. Isuz has blessed me.

 

That I sought to spread the Word of the Spirits far and beyond. And never wished to refuse any individual mentorship or education of Them. For the Spirits Touch All.

 

That I have sought to contribute to our Ancestralist brotherin’ - The Darkelves under leadership of Dak’Ir. Whom is my oldest apprentice, and in some regard he has been like a son to me - and Tedyn with him. Luara bless them.

 

That in this long lifetime I fathered a son. Though he might be .. an odd figure .. he still is one I looked after from when he was but a seed - and now a magnificent Meladmiriel of Willow. Freygoth bless him.

 

That I have had the pleasure of caring for Calcifer, a small muyakelg flame that has lived in a lantern on my waste for the longest time. Through thick and thin. Ishvahl bless him.

 

That I have sought to aid descendant life from certain demise against a mighty foe. And cast flames greater than any shaman had cast before me. Ishvahl and Dom, blessed me.

 

That I have had the honor of granting King Abelas his passing rites. May he live forever on in the Eternal forest.

 

I hope, that in my lifetime some have learned from me, my accomplishments and my failure. This is my legacy. To those that supported me: I humbly thank you, and wish you prosperity and the Spirit’s Grace. To those that opposed me: seek knowledge in my mistakes, yet mistake not my intentions.

 

I will now end my final words of wisdom with this,

 

Phaedrus, My Friend

Vorgo, My Friend

Kharak, My Rex

Agarath, My Father

Kor, My Lord

 

I am coming home. At last.

Afar’Ilzgul, Lup’Ilzgul

Fear the Spirits, Praise the Spirits

 

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https://i.imgur.com/KK65u5o.jpg

Shagarath, ‘The Vulture’

1391 - 17….

 

[!] A single Ashen Vulture, Aged as it is Grand, delivers scrolls and small packets to certain individuals. These be the final wordings of Shagarath on a personal note towards certain individuals [!]


 

Spoiler

 

To: Dak’Ir

My child, you have honored me with your apprenticeship - and have grown to be a great worshipper and spreader of the Spiritual Word. In my passing I will grant you my Staff. Ku’Tau has served me well over the many ages - may it serve you in return and bring wisdom to others when you tell of it’s tale.

 

 

Spoiler

 

To: Tedyn

My child, you have honored me with your chosen path of joining clan Yar. May my kinsmen aid you in your quest of serving Kor and the Ancestors. May my lessons guide you in future times. Perhaps untill we meet again. In my passing I will grant you my Knife. Argon has been a tool of many sacrifices to the Spirits. But for all that it has taken, it has also been a tool of mercy. Use it for justice and all the good you stand for.

 

 

Spoiler

 

To: Suna

My dear, you have shown me compassion and suffered my cruelty. No longer. It pains me to say in writ to you that Isuz never cursed me - but that you were a blessing brought by Her into my life. I return to you a gift from an age long ago. A small emerald cow. Mi Kow.

 

 

Spoiler

 

To: Muildir and Gigarun

My brothers from another Patron. You have aided me through hardship and looked past the differences of our faiths. We have shared in adventure, loss and joy. I would deem no others but you two worthy of becoming the Keepers of my Son: Go’ruut. May he grow evergreat under your guardianship.

 

 

Spoiler

 

To: Thurak

My brother. Despite my deeds against our kin you saw truths in my deeds. You judged my intentions to be true and for that I cannot be more grateful. I will also leave you with the shamanic literature that I have governed over for centuries - and an artifact that will allow you to commune with Phaedrus: The Mark of Yar.

 

 

Spoiler

 

To: Tugnaer

My Brother. Despite all you have gone through in your life - It brings comfort to me that the Spirits have deemed you worthy of a second chance. Aside from all the advice and lessons I gave to you I give you this: Use it well. I pass to you the Ownership and role of Caretaker of Calcifer onto you. May you embrace him and the element of fire, and may warmth be shared with those that are cold. And evil be met with fury.

 

 

Spoiler

 

To: Elvira Naromis

Honored one. I suppose our long talks on interesting matters are over. I will part from you and leave you with the original books of my series on Spirits. May their knowledge be spread through you - as you were one that is eager to learn.

 

 

 

Spoiler

 

To: The Archdruii of the Druids

Druids. I thank you for the aid, generocity, warmth and support that you have offered over the long time that has passed. I have grown accustomed to your culture and folk - and look back as I sail away one last time on good times with good people. Lead them into prosperity - respect the Spirits - and may the Aspects forever guide you all.


 

 

 

 

[!] At last the vulture lands atop the shoulder of an Elder. Staff-less. Stripped of his belongings. Stripped of his name and mortal burdens. He steps onto a small boat.

 

As soon as the morrow’s sun casts down Aztran’s light upon the realm of Arcas, the small silhouette of the ship can be seen climbing over the horizon - to faraway lands. [!]

 

 

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“Hello… Old Friend”

 

 

Spoiler

For those that seek him in the Stargush’Stroh – will not find him. Not for a while.

 

((The items will be spread once the Vault has fixed itself))

 

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A lone figure stayed hidden in the darkness as she looked at the gift given to her. She sighs, writing a single letter and sending it off to someone she once loved and lost. She prayed her gift would bring him comfort as she vanished from sight, to find Shagarath’s resting place. The memories she had of her master being all she had for now. She was his since she was small. He was her world. He gave her a chance to find love, and while she did find love, she also lost it. Now she returns to find the first love and the family she had many many years ago. “Maztur.”

 

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Evar'tir frowns upon hearing the news. Though he frowns further as he realized he burnt his toast above the fire. Though the toast was certainly a lesser problem. He murmured a quiet prayer for the shaman, continuing about his day in solemn silence. 

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Kasfer loses another friend, with a bittersweet smile and a tilt of his head.

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The words of the old Orc’s end met Tedyn’s ears, yet his reaction seemed to be naught; all but a twitch of the ears. The Ker’s eyes just as red as they always were, his face just as plain as it always was and his skin just as dark. He nodded to the news before setting  his feet on the path towards the privacy of his own home, where he locked himself away and sank into his chair; right beside the fire.

 

Oh, how long the ‘Ker gazed into the fire, it’s reflection mimicked only in the trails of tears that ran down and across his thin cheeks. Yet soon he raised his arm to wipe away the squalls. The Orc was not dead of course, not truly dead anyways. “Zhagaraf, bugd’izg lat. Gaakh ghashnum gugsh’izg-ri agh lat.” He called out with a raised voice and a clear mind; his words strong and stout.... yet it seemed they fell on deaf ears.

 

“Zhagaraf, bugd’izg lat. Gaakh ghashnum gugsh’izg-ri agh lat.” The ‘Ker called again, again and again... out into the silence, just as he had heard back. As Tedyn’s hopes seemed to be crushed and his spirit seemed to wane, he called out further. “Zhagaraf, has’izg lat. Gaakh ghashnum gugsh’izg-ri agh lat.” Yet this time he did not call, he begged. His tongue, becoming deformed and incomprehensible as the dark elf blubbered. 

 

“Zhagaraf... haz’izg lat.” He’d cry... yet to no answer. Perhaps the Orc was truly dead.

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Murak’Gorkil receives the news, becoming un-ashamedly saddened at Shagarath’s passing ”We met fer ah zhort tik, but mi gruk’d lat had much wizdum to help owah Kin.  We ztruggle fer zurvival, az iz owah way.  Mi hopez Tedyn may mayk ah Lutauman ov mi, agh purhapz mi zhall peep lat in dah Ztarguzh’Ztroh”

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Mograh lights her pipe and takes a long drag, “Good Riddanz. We’z zelibratin’ tonight.” 

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A goblin once of massive size in a four armed flesh bearing skeleton simply watched from the depthful pools of the Stargush’stroh. He listened and watched.

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Elvira closed her eye, taking in a moment of silence. Then, she opened her eye and smiled softly, though her expression was pained. “Aye, and I will make sure such knowledge spreads in your name. Though, I had not known you were one who caused the Orgon plague... though it is through great mistakes, that a man learns his errors and aims to do better.”

 

She inhales sharply and leans back in her chair. “I pray the Spirits to treat you well and you gain the peaceful rest you need.  Though, I will miss you, my old friend, and the talks we had...”

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A half-orc pauses on his trek West, stretching his sore back as he looks at the setting sun. He thinks of the good people he has met on his travels, and the good people that he may never meet, even as they pass on.

 

Sighing, he continues his long journey, as the everlasting sun, and the Spirits, watch him from far above.

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The Raguk camp was quiet for a few days. News had reached Leydluk at the behest of the all-hearing Imp’Raguk; news had reached all corners of the known world it had seemed, too, and many lamented and many celebrated. To this aged Warlord, the news came as both saddening and joyous, for despite the betrayal Shagarath was still an old friend: a friend bound by blood. 

 

After reflection on the matter, he roused from his tent and greeted his red-skinned brethren, but not before muttering a short few words for Shagarath the Old. 

 

“Rest easy Shagarath my brother, I hope the spirits have mercy.”

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It wasn’t always that Gothar intruded himself in matters mortal after the rough disconnection, and the loss of his oh-preserved corruption. A buurz-zhomo, never would he appear once more. But for this? This saddened him. This broke his heart, if there was any. The crooked old ork of corrupted wits and crazed sanity looked upon the plains of the new world, his pale yellow eyes shone, the curved horns of his head, a characteristic of his clan, that of Ram, glistened with recent polishing.

 

Da gatez will be open for ‘im, mi’m zure.the orc, more-so a thing than a descendant at this point, would muse to himself, allowing a controlled laugh to come from the confines of his throat, carried and bitter-sweet to the loss of a honorable ork and fearsome opponent. 

 

Afar-Ilzgul, Lup-Ilzgul... Nagijak Urukim.... Fraut-boghad, sriz-zhomo, agh slai-thrang in dah Stargush-Stroh

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A lonesome figure stands atop the mountains that shelter the Talus Grove and the valley in which it dwells, his hands clasped atop an ancient Anthosian staff. A howling wind tears leaves from his scalp, which seem to regrow instantaneously, carrying them off towards the sea, though the winds do little to otherwise disturb the Elder Druid whose illuminated eyes seem empty and unseeing. His mind dwells elsewhere, he sees elsewhere.

Leagues away, a phoenix of fiery gold plumage soars high above the crashing waves, its gaze – and in turn the Druid’s - focused on the little boat beneath and the figure who sits within it. The great bird opens its maw and delivers a song of sadness and joy, the tune accompanying the boat until it ends, at which point the phoenix turns and heads back towards the shores of Arcas. A single golden feather, eternally ablaze, would land in the boat,, a rare gift few receive.

 

Back on the mountain top, the Pine Druid utters a final blessing in a language spoken by very few:

”Yam eht Stcepsa dna eht Stirips reverof ediug uoy, dlo dneirf. Litnu txen ew teem, Shagarath. Desselb eb.”

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Stomping can be heard echoing through the trees of a deep and ominous woodland, birds fleeting from their roosts and scattering to the sky above as a presence drags the corpse of a large boar into a clearing where a red and white clay villa rests atop a hill.

 

Beside the main structure there is an area nearly just as wide, encircled with a shorter wall and a roof with a hole at its center, where upon a large furnace and charcoal pit smolders, hissing and popping with the occasional sparks flitting upward with the draft.

 

The boar is slumped onto the stone tiles in a heap as the Elf reaches for a rack of freshly made tools and weapons, taking his time as he wiggles his fingers and grunts while debating the choices with himself. Eventually he settles on a broad but stubby blade as well as a large hook. Threading the hook into a metal pole and setting it beside the boar. While still holding the blade in one hand he sidesteps over to another corner and hooks his foot into a bucket, chucking it over to bump against the corpse, rolling to a stop in a noisy wobble as it debates which tile to finally rest on. 

 

The last piece of the assembly the Elf retrieves is a large circular metal grate, nestling into place at the charcoal pit. With a gorey squelch he proceeds to slam the hook upwards into the roof of the boars mouth, hefting it up afterwards by the pole and resting it on two other hooks hanging from the edge of the ceiling’s hole. The boar swings there with its legs hanging stiffly in the air while blood sizzles down from its mouth into the charcoal below, dripping from its chubby cheek which hangs at too sharp an angle to trickle any further down. 

 

With his preparations complete he begins to deftly wiggle the blade through the flesh of the boar at the apex of its stomach just where the ribs peak, careful not to slice into any organs as he throws the edible entrails onto the grill and the undesired trimmings in the bucket. 

 

“I am a generous spirit.” He mutters to himself with a chuckle.

 

 

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