High Priestess-in-training Thalu Lham Ragoth, her hand, to the High Priest Hagadorn, concerning the events occuring at Kori Canyon,

"Honored sir, it is my duty to report to you the tragedy at Kori Canyon. We made our way to the village with Kelwick as our guide across the ice sheet without further incident. Kori Canyon revealed itself to be far more than a simple fishing village! Indeed, the entire bustling town existed within a vast chamber carved beneath the ice sheet itself, complete with a dock, wooden streets, and a large waterfall, all guarded by a nearly undetectable tunnel to the surface. Kelwick's parents Stavin and Emily were kind enough to let us stay at their establishment, the Pinfeather Inn. We rested and recovered from our exposure on the ice sheet the next day. Taybyrn and Harn, having worked their rest day, had booked us passage on a ship to Ablach. In speaking with a Kanpekian guardsmen of the entrance to Kori Canyon, Kuun and I learned that the tattooed Kanpekian fit the description of a Shalin. The guardsman said the Shalin are priests of a sort and that, while they wander somewhat, they never leave the hills of Kanpeki. It would seem some dark power has seduced one Shalin from his hills to the Empire.

"I also learned much of Kuun's culture. While I am aware, honored sir, that you know far more than I about the many cultures of the lands, I knew little of Kuun's people. He spoke of a line of Draiocht magicians known as Druids, powerful in elemental magics and welcome allies in these times. According to Kuun, the Draiocht are a remote people, who had no interest in joining the war against the Empire until recently; Kuun acts in the capacity of a full ambassador, and I earnestly recommend he be welcomed to Ablach as such.

"The peaceful day and the relative safety of the hidden town might have lulled others into a false sense of security, but not those with whom I traveled. As I learned later, the Pinfeather Inn was visited by midnight marauders. I could only assume at the time that they sought the former Exemplar, for to lose such a powerful person to Ablach is something the Empire simply would not suffer. Due to the keen senses of Sparrow and Taybyrn, the assassins were discovered, and a battled ensued on the roof, alerting the rest of the group. It was fortunate that we were awake and geared, for shortly after the assassins were discovered, a Steam Titan revealed itself at the top of the waterfall and began to decimate the ice-borne town with fire balls, incidentally hitting the inn.

"As evidence for Taybyrn's defense, I admit that he returned to the burning inn to rescue the avian Stavin, who had been trapped beneath a wall. Curiously, Taybyrn was also furious with the Steam Titan's attack from an Empirial standpoint, saying that an attack on civilians was not in good form. One wonders what he made of the tragedy at Tangir, but then was hardly the time for such debates. Kelwick led us along a hidden path up the waterfall and around behind the Steam Titan, armed with what Taybyrn called a Fire-Shock Cannon and a Repeating Action Bolt Gun, and which was guarded by support troops. A short battle ensued and we overcame the guards. The Steam Titan turned its attention to us, using the frighteningly powerful Bolt Gun, which could shoot metallic bolts through two meter blocks of ice as easily as one would shoot an arrow through cloth. With the aide of Kuun's fiery magic and the overwhelming bravery demonstrated by Harn, the Steam Titan was defeated. Surely, honored sir, you have heard a dozen versions of the story of his charging the machine and forcing it off the cliff. I can only hope that our fighters can take heart in the destruction of one of the awesome machines and keep in mind that Empiral technology is not invincible.

"After questioning the surviving member of the attackers we learned, honored sir, that they had not known of the existence of Kori Canyon until they came upon it then. I cannot fit that with my understanding of the Empire. Honored sir, given the unique and powerful nature of the Steam Titans, I find it odd that they would send one to eliminate an individual, even an Exemplar, in the middle of the ice sheet. I spent many nights after the attack trying to figure just how the Steam Titan managed to find us, and I doubted my judgement of my companions' alignment with the Empire. I should mention that the captain and subcommander as well as the assassins had some means of suicide, a hidden poison tablet.

"With the attack of the Steam Titan Kori Canyon began evacuation; for, once discovered, the Empire would not leave such a thorn in their belly. However, it simply was not feasible to relocated all the inhabitants. Most of the large transport ships had left the day before, leaving the townspeople little option save to hide in the surrounding ice valleys, a temporary solution at best. It would take one week for a ship to reach Ablach. Assuming good winds, it would take another week for war galleys and transports to reach Kori Canyon. Even by airship the round trip would take a week and a half. In that time troops from the Empire would have returned and eradicated any trace of the town and the townspeople.

"I could see no alternative but to continue on to Ablach in the hope that my promise to Kelwick was not empty and some delay to the Empire would keep the townspeople safe until our return. Taybyrn and Sparrow, denizens of Tarsis, were hesitant to go, and Taybyrn doubted for his survival once setting foot on Ablach. To that end, honored sir, I revealed to my companions and the two owners of the ship the nature of my position at Ablach, both to convince them of their continued safety once in Ablach's wings and of the importance of our swift journey to the island. It would seem that each of us were unique: an Examplar, a T'Saaur war hero, a Draiocht Druid of some royal status, and a training high priestess. I might add that Sparrow was much amused by this, even though he dreaded making such a long journey in such proximity to water. I can only hope that by Baldur's hand we would be enough to save the people of Kori Canyon and perhaps to make the winds of war blow more favorably in our direction."


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