Ravengro Post

Ravengro Post, 13th Pharst 4711

GRIMBARROW LEADING VILLAGE ASTRAY?

Since exorcising the demons haunting Harrowstone, Roguard Ghaler has been stalking Ravengro on a mission to bring the word of Pharasma to the villager. In the mornings he pickets Father Grimbarrow’s sermons at the temple and in the evenings preaches at the Laughing Demon.

The tall, gaunt cleric came to Ravengro for the funeral of Professor Petros Lorrimar, a friend of his father, and was disappointed that the local temple of Pharasma was not promoting the Pharasmin Penitence. Roguard believes that suffering is the path to reward in the next life and the Lady of Graves takes into account the pain of a life when she weighs it in her scales. When your intrepid reporter approached him for comment he was keen that Father Grimbarrow should atone for his lack of rigour in observing the tenets of Pharasma by allowing the villagers to inflict suffering by hanging upon him.

His parting words were “The foul taint of arcane sorcery has been purged from this place, but rest not, good people for this village is still rife with sin. With the Lady as my witness I shall not rest until the apostates, fornicators and deviants are sent to face Her justice!”

Grimbarrow is not the most austere priest of Pharasma but your reporter respectfully wonders if Ravengro hasn’t suffered enough.

Ravengro Post, 17th Pharst 4711

SPECIAL FEATURE INTERVIEW WITH AZENUTINE, HERO OF RAVENGRO

There was something strange about the hero of the recent events at Harrowstone. The clear, piercing eyes shone like beacons out of the angular face, covered by a head cloth and surprisingly plain robes. Azenutine sipped his sweet wine delicately, but it seemed his eyes didn’t miss anything happening in the bar, as he reclined in the corner bench of the Laughing Demon. I started by dipping my quill into the black ink and asked him how he had met the Professor.

“I didn’t so much meet the Professor, as was found by him on his travels. On the streets, in far away city of no consequence to Ravengro.”

“And how did you know that the Professor had died?”

“I was in a nearby town, trying to find out who my father and mother were, when I was approached by a bailiff with the sad news and summoning me to Ravengro.”

“Did you know any of the other persons named in the Will?”

“No.”

“I see you are a man of few words.”

Azenutine smiled wryly, but said nothing.

“Who in the group do you relate to the most?”

“Well, most I respect. I can relate to the half-orc. She’s had a hard time, and knows how to handle that axe. She’s also clearly got a heart, not so obvious for some I could mention… You should have seen her cry over the body of the paladin when we thought he’d died. I am also fond of Ceris, though I’m not sure why. Sigmund is a fine knight, and Malvern is more at home in the wilderness, I think. Both keep their own council, a trait I value, to be honest.”

As I was writing ‘some I could mention’ I asked, “You mean the new cleric of Pharasma?” while I hurriedly scribbled down the rest.

“I don’t comment on matters of faith as a principle, so I couldn’t possibly answer that suggestion.”

“You seem a bit pale since the last few days. Do you not like your time in our town?”

“Well, it is true that there has been some strange things happening, and most townsfolk start to think of us more positively. So, no, I think there is a different reason here.”

“Which is…?”

Azenutine took his time savouring his new sweet wine.

“Not entirely sure. I seem to be able to move small things. I see lights, and hear sounds. I can even control these things with my mere thoughts. And I feel the air. Not like it’s brushing against my cheeks. Deeper than that. I feel it in my bones. Pulsing like a lightening in a storm at night. Does that make sense?”

I had to think about what he had said. He looked genuine, but reading my notes made it unbelievable, frankly. He looked sincere enough, though, so I decided to take it at face value. After all, with the extraordinary happenings over the past weeks, it’s not that excessive to be able to work minor magic.

“So, now that you have defeated the haunting of Harrowstone, what next? Will you stay together?”

“For now, yes. We have one more task to fulfil for the Professor. After that, who knows?”

I glanced at the pale-faced hero inquisitively, playing with my quill and dunking it into the inkpot.

At long last the young man mumbled something which I thought was “If that xenophobic bigot doesn’t watch his tongue, who knows what will happen?”

I can’t disagree with the editor of the Ravengro Post that the last comment might best be left unpublished – even though it might prove to be prophetic. Criticising an Inquisitor of the Pharasmin Penitence is hardly a diplomatic masterstroke. What was my overall impression of Azenutine? Hard to say. I couldn’t help but thinking that shallow waters run deep, since obviously he keeps his own coucil. Having said this, I sense that we might well hear more of Azenutine and the other heroes before long. For better or for worse, that remains to be seen.

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