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Urara

An Open Letter to the Paladins of Xan

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[!] 

 

A flyer is posted around Arcas by a harried dark elf...

 


 

To all lovers of justice, peace, and life throughout Oren --

 

I'd like to preface this letter by saying that I do not think the Paladins of Xan are evil. However, there is no denying that they have done something heinous. I'm writing this because I hope that, once Jack reads this, he'll be able to fix the mistake and make things right again. 

 

My name is Tanith Vursur. Up until this last month, my experiences with the Paladins of Xan have been nothing but pleasant. I thought they were a moral group of warriors dedicated to peace, protection, order, and justice. That is what I was lead to believe through my numerous interactions with them. When Jack asked me to accompany his Order on an expedition to Korvassa, I said I would go without hesitation. I wanted to do anything I could to help my friends.

 

Last month, I traveled to Sutica to embark on the expedition. We boarded a ship known as the Queen Dawn's Revenge, owned by one of Jack's colleagues. Several Paladins, as well as their allies, joined me. Among them were the Paladins Diomedes, Velenius, and Tilruir'tir - as well as allies including Xanthus, Dresden de Wees, Alicjo Verrana, Murdok'Lak, Kairn, Tailesin, Ciliren, Apollyon Snowell, and many, many others. I don't have names for every single person who attended. Our expedition was intended to be quite long and so Jack made sure that we were all prepared with many allies and supplies to survive the trek.

 

The Queen Dawn's Revenge set out from Sutica and began making its way toward the Inferi-occupied Korvassa. As we approached the Inferi camp, the waters turned solid crimson with blood and gore. Pale, decomposed corpses floated past on the waves. A stench of rot and decay, mixed with smoke, hung in the air.

 

As the ship proceeded through the waters, I noticed something strange off the starboard side. There was a wooden barrel floating in the ocean. While I was watching, the lid of the barrel popped off and a Korvassan naval officer, with his scimitar hanging by his side, emerged from the hole. He looked extremely thin and pale from a combination of dehydration and malnutrition. 

 

Immediately, I shouted that we had a man overboard. All at once, practically everyone rushed to the starboard rail. I asked for someone to throw me a rope so that we could drag the man on board. We had plenty of medical supplies and expertise. Dresden de Wees told me just earlier how he'd saved Murdok'Lak from a lightning strike with his potions. I thought certainly we could help treat this poor survivor and, hopefully, in exchange, receive some information about our destination. 

 

I communicated those thoughts to the people around me, but... it seems my fellow sailors disagreed. "This is obviously a trap," Kairn concluded. “Let’s kill him.” Murdok'Lak agreed with him, stating that the man had to be bait since there were no other survivors alive in the sea. The group decided, with little to no discussion, that we were better off killing the sailor.

 

I pleaded with them not to hurt the poor fellow. He hadn't done anything to indicate that he was hostile. Trying to prove that he was harmless, I called out to him and asked his name - as well as if he was injured. The poor sailor didn't even have the strength to respond. His head lolled back and forth and he could hardly make eye contact, let alone speak to us. I'm no doctor, but even I knew he needed help immediately if he wanted to survive.

 

Diomedes - one of the Paladins - decided to give the survivor a test. "You there! Cut your hand!" he ordered the sailor in the barrel. "If you bleed like a man, you'll be treated like one!"

 

I asked him to reconsider. The person in the barrel was clearly half-dead and in dire need to medical assistance. If he wasn't strong enough to answer when asked his name, he wasn't strong enough to cut his hand. Diomedes didn't listen, though. He gave the man precisely two minutes to answer and -- when the sailor didn't have the strength to reply, let alone cut his hand -- Diomedes pulled out his crossbow and shot him in the head.

 

I was horrified at the random slaughter of an innocent person - and I thought that everyone else would be too. But the Paladins and their allies merely shrugged it off, saying that the sailor would have likely died anyway. I'll remind my reader that we were on board a ship full of medical supplies with several competent doctors and healers.

 

I was so disturbed and upset by what I saw, I chose to leave the expedition. I couldn't bear to stay on board a ship full of people who accepted and condoned a cold-blooded murder.

 

Reader, that poor man did not deserve to die -- and the Paladins of Xan flagrantly violated their oaths by killing him. When confronted with a weak, injured, sickly person clearly in need of help, they opted to murder him rather than lend a helping hand. Even if it was a trap and the man was actually a demon -- which all evidence suggests he was not -- he was one individual versus the twenty-plus warriors on board the Queen Dawn's Revenge. There was no excuse not to bring him on board and try to help him. When the man died, he simply fell over and sank into the water. If he were a demon, I do not think he would have been felled by a simple crossbow bolt.

 

To the Paladins of Xan, I say... you all are supposed to be better than this. You're supposed to be divine protectors sent by the aengul of justice. Wanton murder is a violation of your oath. You were duty-bound to extend a helping hand and try to save an innocent life, but instead... you snuffed it out with no compassion and no regret. We had no evidence that the survivor was bait or a trap. You all saw the exact same thing I did - a weak and sickly man in dire need of saving. We had ample supplies on board our ship to treat his wounds and save his life. We had every opportunity to help him and potentially prevent his early death. Instead, you hastened him straight to his watery grave. This man survived a brush with the Inferi... but he somehow didn't survive an encounter with the Paladins of Xan. Don't you see what's wrong with this picture?

 

The Paladins of Xan CANNOT be judge, jury, and executioner! If you are free to execute anyone on the slightest suspicion of being a demon... you're not protectors. You're murderers. You can kill anyone you like and then claim they were a demon to justify your slaughter. You can even kill me and pretend it’s all right by saying I was possessed by demons or some other such nonsense. The plain truth is that you did not investigate thoroughly enough to determine if the survivor in the barrel was a demonic trick. And, as a result, you murdered an innocent man who needed help.

 

If the Paladins have any honor at all, they need to make this right. So this is a call for Jack - and the other Paladins - to condemn these heinous actions and expel all murderers from their ranks.

 

If not... then you're not the protectors of Arcas that you claim to be.

 

Signed,

 

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Another flyer would be posted in the areas closest to the Pale of Camlannen, flowing in Common Script with a hint of Elven artistry to the words.

 

Sometimes to maintain order you must make hard choices. Upon stepping foot on that seafaring vessel we were treading dangerous waters. With the many months since the killings that transpired in Korvassa we must ask ourselves why a single man resembling a corpse survived? Undead, perhaps, or bait. We made an educated guess and we had to improvise – it is without a doubt highly likely that the barrel was rigged to explode, and that upon removing the so called “Man” from it, we would have potentially lost some of our own voyagers in the process. 

 

It was our mission to arrive to Korvassa and establish camp. The man in the barrel was already dead, and he would have taken many of us with him if we gave him the chance. Paladin Dio’s mercy kill was signed off by myself with respect to the authority of Captain Jack, and it was necessary to ensure we landed safely.

 

We understand the moral quandary you find yourself in and why it may seem cruel; however, death was the only kindness we could bestow.

 

May the Path of the Living Word guide you in your purpose, and though misguided, may your kindness serve you well in the years to come.

 

Warden of the Pale, Kairn Ithelanen

 

 

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[!] Amidst Malin's Rest Inn planted within the Pale, a ‘Berun resides – his features, stoic and without mercy. His verdant gaze settles upon the parchment, lips creased onto a thinned and mirthless line as the Terin’s gaze turns to Kairn.

 

“What Tanith states is easier said than done. Condemn me all she likes, but I acted for the betterment of the crew-mates – For our, and her safety. Wherein, she left – leaving the rest of us; Paladins, Druids and Volunteers to fend off against the incursion of the Inferi.

 

She chose to come along with us, to document and make notes to aid other expeditions. She fell at the first hurdle, leaving at the first sight of bloodshed. It was cruel, but it was within reason.

 

Naivety does little amidst the battlefield, except garner an early grave.”

 

To that, his digits loosened from the parchment. The letter laid amidst the table, perhaps forgotten as the two reveled in amicable communion.

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Tilruir’tir notes his name on the parchment, eyes glazing over as he completely zones out several times and has to reread the document. The Paladin soon glances towards Jack while he idly cleaned his crossbow. 

”Diomedes was not far from reason, no?” He questioned towards the Seeker. ”For one who screamed us all to damnation then departed, she makes a large demand on a baseless claim.” The Mali’ voiced, playing a C# on his weapon’s firing wire in inspection.

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10 minutes ago, Spoons said:

[!] Amidst Malin's Rest Inn planted within the Pale, a ‘Berun resides – his features, stoic and without mercy. His verdant gaze settles upon the parchment, lips creased onto a thinned and mirthless line as the Terin’s gaze turns to Kairn.

 

“What Tanith states is easier said than done. Condemn me all she likes, but I acted for the betterment of the crew-mates – For our, and her safety. Wherein, she left – leaving the rest of us; Paladins, Druids and Volunteers to fend off against the incursion of the Inferi.

 

She chose to come along with us, to document and make notes to aid other expeditions. She fell at the first hurdle, leaving at the first sight of bloodshed. It was cruel, but it was within reason.

 

Naivety does little amidst the battlefield, except garner an early grave.”

 

To that, his digits loosened from the parchment. The letter laid amidst the table, perhaps forgotten as the two reveled in amicable communion.

 

Kairn Ithelanen nursed his mind with a pint of pale ale while contemplating the order he had issued. It, he decided, was the best course of action. 

 

”Our responsibility, first and foremost when on the high seas is to our crew. However, we must be weary, if you stare deeply into the Abyss the Five Old Lords stare back into you. Disagreement comes naturally, but we are soldiers and we did what we had to do to keep our crew mates alive.” 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Urara said:

sent by the aengul of justice

((Tahariae screeches.))

A clerical high elf reads the flyer and sighs. She stands before it for some time and seems to ponder upon it before turning to make her leave again.

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Mr Rat thinks to himself that those paladins have never quite held themselves to the lofty ideals they espouse publicly. Not for the many years he has known of them. He does set plans to go and talk to Tanith.

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A simple, charcoal message is scribbled on top of any empty area that Tanith’s parchment has. 

”Please consider the fact that demons are prone to trickery, and that no naval battle has ever occurred before, during, after the Fall of Al-Faiz. The armies of the Grey sunk their own boats, bridges, and their supplies once it was clear what was going to happen to them. As a war leader in the Firewatch Alliance, no naval battles have happened to date.

Date of Fall of Al-Faiz: 13th of The Grand Harvest, 1784

Date of Expedition: 6th of the Sun’s Smile, 1786

Why there was a marooned Farfolk sailor when no trade ships pass the straits, reeks suspicion. I take full responsibility for the actions of the crew. You know my office doors are always open.

-J” 

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Aaliyah Abbas reads over the letter, sighing “The Paladins are murderers who claim to be guided by an Aengul so they can blame their horrible deeds on something other than themselves. The fact they are killing innocents is no shock. Especially when one looks over those in the party they set off with. Murderers, hunters of innocents, hunters of Kha pelts, thieves, all under the banner of a holy order of justice and peace. I wonder if the Paladins of old were this corrupt?” She takes her leave of the paper, leaving it for someone else to read

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“’The Paladins of Xan CANNOT be judge, jury, and executioner!’ Oh? Watch us, when it comes to spooks and undead.” The very sickly Addie would say as though in response to the letter, despite her bedridden state. The words uttered, a fever would claim the poor girl back into its realm of sleep and nightmares once more. Alone in this torment, it would be clear to any who had known her that she would not be judge, jury, nor executioner for some time to come. 

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Nursing a bottle of rum, now half-empty amidst his own gluttony- the Lord of Gehenna released a bellowing laugh, adjusting the fitting of the missive within his grip as he stacked one of his legs over his opposite knee. 
”Diomedes, my friend- what a bold claim this is!” A crooked smile found itself present upon his own expression as his head tilted itself upon his fist.
“I am excited to see how this turns out.”

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