Notes of Brother Geraldin, devout of Menoth
As you know Potentate there has recently been a great deal of disturbance with the faithful in the Cygnarian city of Corvis. I have previously reported on the strange occurrences within the Temple and the disturbing alliance some of the faithful apparently made with members of the heathen Order of Illumination. I wish to reinforce that it is my belief that this alliance was fateful in the later catastrophe which has beset our Temple in Corvis.
There is evidence that the Sovereign Lambert – the highest representative of Menoth in Corvis directed that the heretic’s involved in the expedition to recover the dark artefact from the wilderness should be imprisoned. It is my view that this directive was advisable and given the later events when the cursed artefact the heretics delivered unto the bosom of the Temple, it appears that despite his caution the damned item influenced him to his doom.
Evidence I have been able to gather indicates that the imprisoned Order of Illumination almost immediately arranged their escape from the cells within the Temple. They appear to have broken free of the cell in which they were imprisoned together and then later also released another heretic of the idol Morrow from a separate chamber. It is obvious that Lambert underestimated the resourcefulness, desperation and savagery of his prisoners. This is further confirmed for the single guard, patently inadequate, was viciously murdered when the heretics made their escape. I am uncertain exactly how they navigated from the cells out of the Temple itself, however some stolen initiate robes were found outside the Temple – it is my conclusion that these vestments were used when the heretics fled.
In conclusion for this short report it is evident that the Sovereign correctly assumed that the artefact reported to have been recovered by the idolaters of Morrow was cursed. Despite this and his care in securing these dangerous operatives he underestimated both them and the danger of the artefact they delivered unto him. Later evidence, as I shall outline in another report, indicates that this artefact later influenced the Sovereign to his doom.
Report: Lieutenant Falkirk Foch, CRS
I can confirm that the small Order of Illumination team did escape the Temple of Menoth where they had been kidnapped by the Temple leaders who evidence suggests were increasingly psychotic due to the influence of a dark artefact they had failed to control. The Menites had in fact gone so far as to inflame their followers in order that they protest the Cathedral of Morrow and it appears the Menites were preparing to escalate such protests to violence. My source within the Cathedral indicate that the Order team quietly entered the Cathedral, avoiding the mob and escorting a seriously injured colleague from another Order group who had been tortured by the Menites without any just cause.
You are aware that I was watching the Cathedral for the reason that a apparently high ranking Order of Illumination member known as Bainbridge had been arrested by the watch and implicated in the possession of forbidden articles. The newly arrived four man team; a gunfighter, an alchemist, an arcanist and a knight of Khadoran heritage, spent a short time within the Cathedral before leaving, I made the decision to follow. The Order team headed to a Tavern in a local slum and entered, I heard some exchange of insults and shortly three of them then left and began to examine the outside of the tavern. They stayed in the shadows of a side alley and made attempts to climb the tavern wall successfully and were joined by their fourth member. They then broke into a second story window and disappeared within the building.
My following observations are a conglomerate of my own observations, tales of witnesses and watch notes I have been able to observe. It appears that the Illuminated searched the upper story and then, with perhaps the aid of magic, managed to sneak downstairs passed the crowded bar and into the basement. It is apparent that this tavern housed not just a cellar but a further sub-basement and a later Watch investigation, at I understand the stimulus of the Illuminated, found an Infernal Shrine within. The Illuminated apparently found this dark sanctuary and, it is reported, defeated several demonic guards and the tavern master who appears to have been the shrine master. The Illuminated members then attempted to escape the crowded tavern with the tavern keeper, one Halek, as a prisoner and a boy they apparently released from the shrine itself. This escape attempt was made under the guise of a fire, the Illuminated, perhaps the alchemist, had generated great deals of smoke and everyone fled the building. In the chaos they escaped however the tavern patrons confronted the Illuminated and allowed the shrine master Halek to escape.
The Illuminated split up with the alchemist and the gunfighter heading to the central Watch building and the arcanist and the knight heading to the Cathedral. Later they all gathered at the central Watch house and with support of the evidence of the rescued boy, the late Jarek who was tragically later murdered, convinced the Watch Commander Helstrom of the innocence of Bainbridge and the location of the dark shrine. The evidence of the Illuminated and their prisoner was later utilised successfully, it appeared, at the trial of Bainbridge. However the Sovereign inflamed his followers and chaos ensued forcing the understrength watch to evacuate everyone into the city hall. Causing difficulties both Father Dumas of Morrow and Sovereign Lambert and his entourage also were present at city hall and I am given to understand that violent confrontation was only narrowly avoided.
I will continue my reporting later.
Diary of Professor Weston
This evening I received a most unexpected visitation. Four persons of the Illuminated Order were escorted to my presence by Watch officers. They claimed to have recently snuck away from city hall, which some of my colleagues had gossiped was besieged by a mob of semi-educated Menite worshippers after some spectacular trial. The Illuminated told me a tale, difficult to digest, that they had recovered a dark artefact of Orgoth origin from outside the city and they requested my assistance to destroy it. It appears this artefact was central to the recent unrest between the Menites and Morrowans and my friend Potentate Reynard sent a note that he suspected the artefact had influenced his superior Lambert to the point of madness.
Of course I agreed to help, however upon opening the box I found to my utmost shock the decapitated head of a young man. The relic was not within and both the Illuminated and Watch men present were clearly as surprised as I concerning both the presence of the head and the lack of the relic. The Illuminated immediately returned to city hall and the watch present took possession of the part of the murder victim which was now in my office. Indeed it was a most unusual and disturbing evening.
Chronicle of Father Dumas of Morrow
It is with regret I consider my failings on behalf of our Lord and reflect upon his majesty to provide the agents to support his mortal worshippers in their time of need. The chaos instigated by the unlamented damned Lambert formerly of Menoth and his ignorant followers found me trapped with many city luminaries in the city hall itself. Towards the morning I was approached by members of the Illuminated Order, who I am given to understand have been of great service already to our church while I was absent, and they presented a most unnerving tale. It appears as the full story emerged that these Illuminated member had aided Potentate Reynard of Menoth, a moderate I respect a great deal, in recovering a dark relic. Disturbingly this relic appeared to have contaminated the mind of Sovereign Lambert, who was a frothing ignorant fanatic to begin with, and this is the source of many of the recent troubles the Menites have caused.
Of course it was decided that the artefact should be destroyed unfortunately further reinforcing the fact that Lambert was lost to madness he had evidently stolen the relic and murdered an innocent before fleeing. Watch Commander Helstrom and I determined that he must be stopped, a fact which Potentate Reynard supported and we immediately began to form a party to contain the situation. However given the unrest and urgency of the situation it was felt that the Illuminated team would proceed to the Temple of Menoth immediately and try to stop or slow the damned Lambert. Meanwhile Renard and I continued to gather a force to help them and quell the chaos Lambert had brought down upon us.
I can confirm that Sovereign Lambert was indeed corrupted beyond redemption by exposure to the dark relic we recovered from the wild lands near Corvis. It is apparent that he was involved in inflaming the local Menites in order to attempt to unleash the full dark power of the artefact and that he had also corrupted several of his own priests and knights directly to devotion to his dark master. After discovering these facts and with evidence enough to convince the authorities we immediately moved to prevent whatever scheme the relic and its puppet were instigating.
We found fallen Lambert, several priests and some now damned former Menite knights in the middle of a ritual of desecration within the Temple of Menoth. We were forced into battle in order to prevent the ritual from reaching culmination, needless to say it was a most brutal and bloody skirmish. We realised early that the ritual required blood sacrifice and the cultists were only too willing to die, in fact Lambert killed one himself, for the dark pact. This further complicated our fighting as we simply could not kill the cultists besetting us as it then fulfilled the unholy spell. Zakhar was battered during the fighting but remained stalwart, Caleb in the heart of the fighting narrowly avoided death twice and it is only with Morrow’s grace his skull was not stove in. Nevertheless despite great opposition Lucien, Zakhar, Caleb and I managed to prevent the full completion of the ritual and struck down the damned Lambert. Unfortunately the spirit in the artefact did escape although we frustrated the spell which would allow it to achieve its full power. After the vicious struggle Father Dumas and Watch Commander Helstrom arrived to provide us with aid for our wounds and to secure the profaned site of the ritual.
High Vigilant, rest assured that we will continue to track this vile spirit which on this occasion escaped us. There will be a reckoning.