Age of Midnight

No Sound But the Rain
An Excerpt from the Journal of Nora Calamochnus

I’ve carried this blank book with me for weeks meaning to begin a journal, but it never seemed like the right time. Now isn’t really a much better time, but I may have no time to do it later so let me begin my chronicle! The two clerics here, a father and daughter, were kind enough to lend me a quill and inkstone – it is one of the few things they have plenty of here, the food and water is quickly growing scarce.

But I’ll get to that in due time! When I come back and read this, I’m sure it will be less annoying if I tell the tale in its proper order. All apologies and contrition to my older self.

Hence the tale begins!

We traveled for weeks from a town of little repute and no particular name. As is common when travelling across the dangerous wilds I and some others bound ourselves into a road-pact. Surprisingly we encountered little danger on our way except rain, mud, and the less than friendly attitudes of my companions.

A quick list: Drake, a noble dragonborn blade. Bulloch, a dwarven adventurer. Lucas, still wearing the motley of his former trade. Rosemary, a young girl of startling arcane gifts.

I found them to be fine pact-friends, if a bit tight-lipped.

Arriving at last in Oldhaven, slogged down the hillside through the last of the muck, eager to dry ourselves in an inn of local repute, the Old Boar. Walking through the streets, something began to bother me. It was late by temple-reckoning, but the streets were completely abandoned and quiet. Nothing but the splash of the rain on the cobblestones. Pushing on into the inn, we were all keyed up for peril, though the danger could not be named.

Bulloch slipped into the inn first, then called us to join. We found tabled and chairs in disarray – signs of a rapid exit and some sort of conflict, but no clear cause. Again, is was Bulloch who shared a tale of another village called Perch that had been completely emptied by marauding goblins.

In short order we barricaded the main door for safety, and turned to a quick search of the premises for survivors or any slight thing that could tell us the tale of these strange happenings. We found several oddments left in the scramble, but no answers — until we found a mortally wounded child hiding on a rafter beam in the attic.

With the grace of Lady Onyx I was able to heal her wounds, and after a time of recovery she finally opened her eyes. I am grateful for the aid of Rosemary and Drake – the fighter’s bulk seemed a comfort to the child, and Rosemary’s young age gave her connection to the girl that also eased her fears. She told us as much as her terrified soul could allow. Her name was Leera, and ‘small, bad things’ attacked and took her family away.

We had more questions but she could not answer them for us. The answers appeared in the form of the sound of shattering glass coming from upstairs.

I had just looked outside the window, hearing another noise – and saw that all of our horses were dead! The culprits soon revealed themselves as filthy goblins poured down from the second floor waving brittle scimitars and gnashing horrible teeth.

In a short but brutal fight, my companions proved their mettle – laying waste to the flood of goblins pouring down into the common room. They bit deep into us, but we did not waver! At last the final goblin fell and I gave what aid I could to the wounded. We were all in agreement – we needed to keep moving.

Oh, I almost forgot! The goblins – they all were covered in blood. Matted in their hair, their lips and teeth caked with it. Goblins are foul creatures, there is no doubt, but this blood madness was beyond any tale I had heard of their savagery.

The rain stopped – perhaps a good omen? – and we moved as quickly through the streets of Oldhaven as vigilance would allow. Rosemary and Drake kept watchful eye on our young charge as we moved towards the only place of safety we could surmise – the Temple of Aventurine in the center of town. Any survivors would surely be there.

At last, we arrived. The stone doors and windows were tightly shut – a clear sign that people were within! I had to risk a true call to make my voice heard through the stone. If no one had been inside it surely would have lead goblins to us – but Onyx was watching over us and the stone door slid open revealing the blessed light of Day inside.

Ah, my eyes grow heavy! We have travelled far and faced great danger – with more to follow on the morrow. We will take what rest we can here in the Temple and pray that in its light we can find the strength to escape and avenge the ravage of Oldhaven.

(I have lost track of the date in our travels, and the clerics of Aventurine are too busy and kind to bother with such trifles, so for now I will date —)
First Night in Oldhaven
Nora Calamochnus

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