The Cult of the Crushing Wave has Fallen!

From the diary of Theren Stormcursed. On the road from Red Larch to Sacred Stone Monastery.

It’s been some weeks since my companion, Helios, found me in the wilds of the Dessarin Valley and offered me a path with the Harpers. Since then, we’ve encountered many strange places and creatures, some of whom joined our group. Though I’ve thought long and hard, I remain unsure how a hybrid of man and shark may come into being.

The settlements of the valley seem more receptive towards me than when I was younger. Nobody has recognised me that I can tell, but perhaps they are more concerned with the strange happenings of the weather, bandits on the roads, and monsters stalking the hills. It took some time, but Red Larch in particular has welcomed us. Our group has grown to six, each as much a misfit as I, with their own colourful histories. Though I don’t always agree with their underhand actions, their intentions seem good, and I turn the other way. I never thought I’d have as many as five friends. Helios has taken a shine to a young priestess however, despite my best efforts to help his courtship, she seems strangely angry with him. He also appeared to have had a romantic encounter with a bard who joined our group. Perhaps she is jealous? I struggle to read the rest of the group, although I’m becoming increasingly concerned at the barnacles growing from the one with the strange accent and fish smell. Maybe I can mix him a potion to help. I’ve already tried to deal with the smell but it keeps coming back.

An odd bunch we may be, but I believe we’ve helped the people of the valley. Our travels have uncovered four cults in the area. They work against one another as much as together, as far as I can tell, otherwise I suspect things would be worse. Whatever they’re up to, I intend to uncover and stop it before they can do more damage. It’s the least I can do after what I caused in the valley. Despite everything they’ve done, I admit one of the cults has an intriguing manner. Their leader casts a striking figure but was unreceptive to my questions. Her powers appear similar to my own and I wonder if she can teach me where they come from and how to control them.

My powers. They’ve grown considerably but they concern me more than ever. Not two days past, the last remaining priests of the Crushing Wave cult followed us to Red Larch in retribution for us killing their leader. Something happened to me in the fight. My memory of it is vague as though viewed through mist and cloud. A spell erupted from me and filled the streets of Red Larch with battering winds. It was like a thunderhead, spitting lightning from its core. It happened so fast. Next I knew, a great storm assailed the town, just like the one that devastated the village on the night I was born. I locked myself in the inn for the rest of the day, unable to look at what I’d done. I try to keep my friends safe from my magic but sometime it is wild and they are caught in the surge.

Despite the damage I’ve caused, I take solace that people can now pass freely along the river and live in Riverguard Keep without fear of attack. As soon as I’m able, I will pay for repairs to Red Larch. I hope we’re making a difference, but I fear that growing my powers this way will only cause another disaster. One that can’t be undone.

In the meantime, I try to stay positive. We are no longer on the back foot, manipulated and beset by the cults, but now take the fight to the earth worshippers.

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