James Mallard – bad magic, good magic


SEC: SECRET-EMPEO-ARCOPS

From: Lt James Mallard, Chancer’s Hope
To: Capt Gerard, Ebony Watch
To: Sir Leonard Griffinshart, Chancer’s Hope

Subj: Reactivation of Ebony Watch defensive node

  1. Summary of events
    1. I am currently acting as part of a team of civilian specialist, under the direction of Sir Leonard Griffishart.
    2. Our group’s current mission has resulted in us passing through Ebony Watch.
    3. On arrival in Ebony Watch, Lt Green apprised us that the previous CO had barricaded himself in the top level of the watchtower. This occurred several months ago.
    4. Lt Green requested our aid in the matter.

      Did this actually happen? I forget. But it’s his word against mine, so screw him.
    5. I and other members of our group investigated the tower on insert date here.
    6. We broke through the barricade barring the top floor of the tower. Within was the skeleton of the previous commander; a skeleton of some kind of reptilian humanoid, wearing the remains of robes; a large pile of gems and currency; and the defensive node.
    7. I investigated and reactivated the node. I attempted to alert it to the various magical disturbances in Ebony Watch which appear to be originating from the direction of The Eld.
    8. It was clear to me that the node had been tampered with. Various operating runes and link-lines had been altered.
    9. Correct reactivation of the node initiated a self-repair sequence, absorbing a portion of the pile of currency and gems for materials.
    10. Upon the reactivation of the node, the skeleton of the previous CO and the reptilian humanoid reanimated and attacked.
    11. The reptilian skeleton appeared to be illegally drawing arcane power from the node.

      Yeah – it wasn’t just trying to kill us, it was breaking the law!
    12. The skeleton of the previous CO kept repeating words to the effect of “No brother, I will not permit you”. (this is fairly typical of the undead – they can tend to replay whatever was occuring at the time of their deaths).
    13. We destroyed the remains of the reptilian arcanist. As we did, the remains of the previous CO also de-animated, saying “No brother, I will not let you – it is cursed”.
    14. During this fight, undead had reanimated around the tower. When the remains of the reptilian were destroyed, they de-animated. Regrettably, there may have been civilian casualties.
    15. The node now appears to be correctly operational.
  2. Evaluation

    I cannot make anything of the words of the commander’s remains beyond the obvious: that the reptilian humanoid was tampering with the node (which I gather has been inactive for many years), and that the commander stopped this at the cost of his own life. Any more than that would require knowledge of local events which I do not have.

    There appear to be some sort of magical attacks being made on the town currently, although they only appear to be probing at present. These attacks take the form of a music which seems to be making people aggressive or otherwise affects their emotions without their being aware of it. There has recently been some sort of unusual activity in the direction of The Eld (odd lights, mainly). As giants are known to use bardic magic it is possible that they are up to something, but at this stage I can only offer speculation.

    The nodes are intended as magical defenses of the empire and its outposts, but I do not know specifically what – if anything – the reactivated node will do with respect to this magic. Ebony Watch requires better information on its node from an empire arcanist.

  3. Recommendations

    1. Our team will be departing Ebony Watch this evening. As I have indicated, they are a team of civilians not in the chain of command and cannot be ordered to remain for an investigation. I request that we be permitted to depart without delay.
    2. Our team has retained some of the pile of loot in the tower in lieu of bounty or reward. I request that this be permitted. Our group is in need of supplies, and a reward would otherwise be customary in these circumstances. I myself have retained an amount of loot for supplies and spell components.
    3. The node should not be approached by untrained personnel or civilians. It is, as far as I can determine, fully operational and will defend itself.
    4. The node is now in communication with other defensive nodes of the empire. In due course, an arcanist will be dispatched to investigate its reactivation. I recommend that Ebony Watch make every effort to expedite this. The town will require an empire arcanist to manage and monitor the node on an ongoing basis.
    5. No attempt should be made to replace the roof of the tower at any time. Nodes require line-of-sight to the sky. This is why the node removed the roof of the tower when it was reactivated. Even a tarpaulin over the roof will be treated similarly. If the tower leaks during the rain, that will have to be dealt with in some other way.

      It’s this nugget of information that makes this report secret, empire eyes only, and arcane ops. I’m thinking nodes communicate by bouncing signals off the stratosphere.

Lt James Mallard

SEC: SECRET-EMPEO-ARCOPS

We are Level 2! W00T!

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