Lore: The Vaunnt Conspiracy

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Praise be to sweet Lydusa! She has showered the Pan with blessings and good tidings, thanks to the fine work of noble King Thalos. We, the Vaunnt, have met to make official that which is so clear—Lydusa of stone and loam is the goddess of the Pan, sent to watch over and guide us in our time of need, thanks to the prostrations of the Vaunnt and the sacrifices of our king. It is decided. The Vaunnt have spoken.

Praise be to Lydusa, goddess of the Pan. It has been long and long since the Vaunnt have had occasion to meet in secret. The first and last account was written by my great-grandfather, who was also a Vaunnt recordkeeper. There has been no need for secret meetings in all this time, yet I fear the need has arisen once more. Even now, as I wipe the dust from this record hidden well within our secret chambers, let it be known that the Vaunnt do not question the goddess’s will, we simply seek to understand it. There are grave dangers in the jungle, and her power is so great, we wish only for a more generous sampling of it. Not for selfish gain, not whatsoever. Simply to secure and protect our future. Here, within these walls, we will devise a way to make her see. In the goddess’s name, we pray.

Praise be to Lydusa, goddess of the Pan. Absentee goddess though she may be. Is it not a deity’s duty to look after her people, always? Yet ours is a fickle goddess, though we Vaunnt are loathe to concede as much, and would never breathe a word of it outside these walls. Yet where is she when we need her most? When our stones lay broken and useless, in need of repair to continue our work? To mend our structures and satisfy our basic needs? She appears when it suits her, and we have no way of knowing if she will up and leave her Pan for good one day, magicking away our king along with her. And should we hint at this fickleness to King Thalos, he flies into a rage. The Pan have suffered so much. Do we not deserve better? We will try harder to make her understand how we rely upon her mercies. Then all will be well. In the goddess’s name, we pray.

Praise be to Lydusa, goddess of the Pan. Goddess, indeed. The lady of stone refused us again. We merely asked for another small sliver of her power, to fortify our society and strengthen our kin. Though many years have passed since the plague nearly ravaged our kind, the Vaunnt’s memory is long. We remember, through story and song, the piles of Pan bodies ravaged by illness. The younglings crying in the night for a solace that never came. The cold and hardship and merciless grip of the jungle that took many more lives than could be spared. Though we are safe now, it is not enough. We must strengthen our people to ensure no ill, plague or beast, should ever threaten us again! We will regroup and present our request once more upon the full moon, this time more forcefully than before. In the goddess’s name, we pray.

Denied, again and again. Lydusa, praise her name, has power over all of the stone and soil before her, yet she can hardly spare a pebble for us. It is humiliating to continually beg such a creature for help, and to no avail. Something must be done. As such, we are to meet, in our secret chamber, and devise a plan. The stone goddess will be made to understand. It would progress much more swiftly if our king would beseech her on our behalf, but he is under her spell. A king reduced to a mere plaything for a goddess. It is treachery to speak so, yet it is the truth. And when a king no longer prioritizes the needs of his people, is he truly a king any longer? Such are the musings of the Vaunnt.

It is decided. Within this hallowed chamber deep beneath the soil, a plan has come to fruition. It was drawn up and voted upon. The dissenters were disciplined until the wool fell from their eyes and they could dissent no more. A unanimous decision was made. The goddess will bend to our will. The Vaunnt have spoken. I dare not write the plan here, for if it somehow came to light before its execution, it would mean the end of us all. And what would become of the Pan without the Vaunnt to look after them?

It is done. Lydusa is captured. The king...has fallen. Rest his soul. There is no turning back now. We have no need of this secret chamber any longer. All is bare before the light of day. Praise be to the Pan’s bright future. Praise be.