Dark Shadows of Theah

Bader's Journal 1549

Bader’s Journal
Tirdas 4, 1549
Here I sit in these sullied walls of stone that once belong to Poor Bernd; my cohort in arms, my dearest friend, my brother in blood, my Rucken. Ah Bernd, I did not want for this… I cannot be you. I am not you in the slightest, nor did I want for all this to happen. Yet, here I sit in your stead and have been given your title and barony, in default. I can only hope to retain some semblance of your memory. I do not feel right donning your dracheneisen. As many good memories it fills with, I also feel much sorrow in your wake. Your son, Pieter, will soon be of age to take this mantle from me. I hope to continue my days and stand by him as I did you, though he will not ever truly replace you.

Tirdas 5, 1549
The guard grow unsettled. They whisper amongst themselves. They say the Griffin sentinels move. I have not seen this though several were found drunk on duty, so be it drunken fools. A few nights on watch should quell it. I look upon these stone guardians and in awed by their presence.
There are pranksters among the lot of them as well. I heard armored boots pacing the hall in the night and saw two suits in the foyer disturbed. I had words with the guard officer and he would be seeing to it.
I am getting better suited to Bernd’s armor. I never knew dracheneisen to be so cold to the touch when wearing it.

Tirdas 7, 1549
One of servants swore they saw a suit of armor move and walk down the main hall. She was so frightened they ran from the Schloss in a panic. It was as if I was watching Odessa all over again. Thankfully, she did not cast herself off. As night fell, I swear I heard Odessa’s scream in my ears. I could not shake it, try as I might.
The bedroom has become the coldest room in the house. I swear I woke up and saw my breath this morning. I cannot explain it. The weather has dipped cooler than I recall for this season.

Tirdas 8, 1549
Four guards were found dead this morning at their posts on the towers. Pieces of the old suits were found by the bodies. The suits themselves showed signs of a fight and dried blood caked upon on the weapons. What madness is this!?! The guard grows restless in the wake.
To add to the mystery, Tanja left the bed in the middle of the night. I did not think much of it, at first. She could not have killed the men, after all; she is not a fighter. She does not recall leaving but I awoke to her movement so I know better. What is she up to?

Tirdas 9, 1549
The mystery of the death’s still haunt me. Was it a prank gone wrong or is something more sinister afoot? The bodies of the dead men were to be taken into town, yet the guard officer, Kern, made the mistake of burying them in the small grove along the way. He reported back that he had found remains already present. Damn, him! He told me he was going to send word to a priest to verify and hallow the land for their disturbance. I told him I would see to it. For now, THAT past can remain buried.
I have been hearing the cries of wolves throughout the day. What has stirred them up?

Tirdas 10, 1549
I awoke to someone speaking my name. It sounded like the late Archduke of Posen or Bernd, I could not tell which. Was I dreaming? My thoughts were of those nights once more. I try to escape them, yet they will not escape me.
I realized that Tanja was not in bed again. I had to clear my head and walked around trying to find her. Tanja was in the room blankly staring at Odessa portrait. She said nothing and no matter what I said she would not stir. As quickly as I found her she turned and went back to bed. Tanja never sleep walked before, why now?

Tirdas 11, 1549
Tanja woke up screaming hysterically as sleep had escaped me. She flew out of bed in a panic. I tried to calm her but only shriek about being covered in blood and it being on the sheets. There was none, I tell you. She ran out of the bedroom and frantically began scrubbing herself down in a bath.
As I descended down to my study, the Kern asked me to follow. We made our way to the front doors and I carcasses of wolves piled in front of the Griffins. There were easily a dozen or so. There was no blood, no cuts, Nothing! They were far colder to the touch than the air outside. Again the guard officer reinforced his request to call upon a priest to investigate or perhaps one St. Gregor’s Order.
What in Theus’s name is going on? I swear there is coup d’état in play…

Tirdas 12, 1549
The voices… the screams… the blood… I cannot shake the visions. I cannot sleep. Everytime I close my eyes I see it… I hear them…
That fool Kern disobeyed me! He tried to leave the keep but I caught him in the act. I had him shackled and secured in the tower. The rest of the guard troop followed my orders, but their eyes cast a questioning glare throughout the rest of the day. I feel they side with the Kern are plotting… I must be watchful.

Tirdas 13, 1549
Kern is dead. This morning his body was found lanced where he was shackled. There was blood on a halberd in the foyer. The guards have begun to whisper. Tanja has been speaking cryptically to my son. Brandt. Brandt’s eyes have gone cold to me. I am being turned upon everywhere I look. I know they are seeking to some sort of ill against me. Should they come… they must fall.

Tirdas 15, 1549
Brandt! You foolish boy! Why you!?! He turned against me. A son should never stand against his father. I raised you better. He drew on me! Challenged me… ME! His own father!
His blood is now on my hands… Tanja will not speak to me… let alone look at me now. I have no words for her as well. She obviously turned him against me. All this time… my own wife… plotting against me.

Tirdas (unknown)
Tanja came at me while I lay in bed; knife in hand. I have come to sleep with the breastplate at night. I know when I started this habit… It saved my life. For once I slept… the voices were but echoes… I was drugged… Tanja’s hand… she gave me the drink…
I swear I saw Odessa when I thrust my blade… she haunts me… he screams dance on the wind. It was not her, but my wife. Through the stomach I pressed the blade… “We are cursed!” she screamed as she threw herself through the window. My wife… Tanja… is dead.

(Unknown day) Night
The guards have turned on themselves. Blood drenches every stone in the yard. Only one servant has stayed loyal to me. I am alone. The blood moves. I hear music…. Troops are marching the halls… I hear them…

(Unknown)
What day is this? I know not anymore. I cannot descend to the lower levels anymore. Too much blood. There is a feast and revelry below… I hear them… I HEAR YOU I SAY!

(Unknown)
Bernd… forgive me… your armor is lost to me… it is too cold to wear. The blood… it has taken it grip on it. I dare not venture in the halls. Waves of blood follow me. I hear them… their blood drenched screams. They are in the mists! I see them on the walls! They are coming! I will them all again if I have to!

(Unknown)
Sleep… I need sleep… the cold is not so bad. I saw my grave dug out this day… it must be time… it is time. Blood on the sheets… it is cold. So cold…

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