In the name of Syr Evan himself, what is this country coming to?
Since coming to aid in protecting Fort Dax, I have witnessed the death of two Stewards and the Grand Marshall. While that chaos has indeed been troubling, it at least was focused at the capital and not as widespread as what I have begun to see cropping up among the lowest of folk.
I get ahead of myself. I was focused on maintaining the security of both the Fort and its surroundings, but my men were stretched thin with the recent arrivals of travelers and settlers that have begun to appear. As such, when I heard rumors of strange people stirring up trouble on the edges of our lands, I went myself to find out what to make of it. I took Jean-Paul since, if anything evil is afoot, he might know more about it than I. Additionally, I recruited Brosh from the smithy to aid us with his strength and Walter himself accompanied us, though he seemed more worried about the people not being registered than he was that they might be causing trouble.
We ventured into the woods and soon found a hermit’s cave. However, we found signs that this hermit had been recently and violently removed from his cave and carried away. We followed these signs until we found a middling group of tents, filled with people dressed in strange robes and worshiping odd images. Jean-Paul managed to scout the camp with his abomination of a pet and found that a man was being kept bound in the main tent. Being that it was becoming more and more apparent that these people were indeed members to some new cult, we decided to try to save him that night. Brosh and I approached the guards and made a fuss about them trespassing while the others slipped in to save the captive. While I am still amazed that they didn’t attack us on the spot, I am more amazed that they let us walk away once we received a signal from the others that they were out. However, our good fortune was quickly counterbalanced with the news that the captive was dead. Whether this happened before we arrived or while we waited for nightfall is unknown, but it weighted on me as we returned to the keep, fully expecting them to come after us.
As to why they’d come after us, we’d revealed that we were from the nearby fort while we blustered and stalled with the guards and, though the captive was beyond our aid, my companions had found, among his belongings, a strange device and a tome that Brosh recognized from his time with the Black Foxes in the Deep. Though I am unsure of the exact details, these things seemed to have been the reason for the hermit’s capture and something that was better kept beyond this cult’s reach.
We returned to the fort without incident and I put my men on alert as we hid these strange things. Days later, during the festival that many had been preparing for, one of my guard admitted that they’d discovered that their own son was hiding a pair of these robes, indicating that the cult was probably among us even now. Rather than wait, I decided to draw them out, asking Brosh to attend the festivities and draw all eyes to him. When several of the revelers drew weapons, we sprang into action. The fight was brief but fierce, but at the end, we managed to capture most of the cultists. Later, we managed to rally our forces enough to drive the cult from our lands, though their leader escaped.
I then sent word to the Black Foxes, relaying to them news of the hermit, who apparently had been a friend of theirs, as well as news of this cult that is growing like a cancer among the people.