Second Darkness

Following the Trail to Thorn's End

In which quite a few things from my past come to llight

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Well I must say, my loyal readers, that the entry today is one of the more intriguing. Events have taken place in the last few hours that have given me the answer to a great many questions, many of which have haunted me since my childhood. I suppose I shouldn’t keep you in suspense, and so we will get to it.

Still in the Paradise Chamber, we took our rest in order to prepare ourselves and discuss our strategy in recruiting the disguised succubus, Quilindra. We decided to see what she would reveal about herself before sharing our mission, and so we approached her innocently enough. Apparently she believed that we were another illusion, however, as she proved uncooperative in engaging us in any meaningful conversation. However, once we revealed that we were interested in taking down the Winter Council, she immediately changed her tune. At least, she agreed to accompany us, if we could escape, which she doubted greatly.

She likely would have been correct, if not for Zee and her mystical prowess. Her spells gave us the willpower necessary to break through the enchantments that both shrouded the exit and compelled us to remain, and once past the entrance curtain, we had only the stone golems to deal with. I can tell you from firsthand experience – those buggers pack a wallop! Fortunately, between the blades of myself and Taz, along with spellcasting support, we eventually ground them into fine particles. Chuffy backed us up by stuffing his face and staying out of the way…

Once free of the Chamber, we found little resistance as we escaped the palace. It was obvious that the Queen had kept up her end of the deal, as we say nary a guard throughout. Once we were safely into the city, Quilindra informed us that her path to Thorn’s End required travel through the aiudara network. At least five jumps were required, but fortunately she had the necessary gate keys to get us through, and we followed her lead to the first gate in Kyonin, the Lotus gate.

Once we had passed through the Lotus gate into Galt, we took a few moments to recover, as well as question Quilindra as to her motives for assisting us. During our escape from the Paradise Chamber, it had become necessary to utilize spells that revealed illusions and magical disguises, and so she was aware that we all knew of her true appearance. She admitted that the demons just want to get rid of the elven stronghold, as it is located deep in what they consider their territory in the Tanglebriar. The keep is warded against demons, and so outsiders were needed to bring any sort of force against the Winter Council’s fortress. The demons wanted the elves gone, and were willing to accept strange bedfellows in order to make it happen.

Speaking of bedfellows, Quilindra approached me later in the traditional manner of succubi, offering her devilish comforts and her Favor in order to boost our odds. All deals with devils come at a cost, but knowing that I would be protected from her mental manipulations, I accepted her embrace. Let me just say that I now understand how lesser men and women are drawn into deals with such creatures… My male comrades also accepted her advances, and so I will have to take care to watch for any odd behaviors from my friends, as their protections may not be as strong. We may need to seek additional protections in case Quilindra changes her allegiances.

Continuing our travels, we stop briefly in Irrisen before stooping in Ustalav at an abandoned elven fortress known as Mirianath. Said to be inhabited by the souls of fallen elves, risen as banshees, Qulindra informed us that the gate would not be approachable until these souls had been laid to final rest. We prepared ourselves accordingly, and when the moon had risen along with the spirits, our protections allowed us to resist their deathly wails and send their spirits to see their maker.

We continued into the aiudara and back to a more remote location of Kyonin. Once here, we took note of an ancient structure on the hillside, and Quilindra mentioned in passing that it was an ancient elven observatory known as Sun Dagger. This, my friends, is where things got really interesting, as the name struck a memory from my past. My uncle had mentioned something about the Sun Dagger when speaking of my father, and although he had said nothing more, I knew it had something to do with my lost parents. I asked my companions if they would mind stopping briefly to investigate. This was the first lead I had on my parents in years, and although I hadn’t been pressing the issues in a while, the fact that this had fallen into my lap was impossible to resist.

Passing through an abandoned village, we approached the structure in stealth. Finding some guards at the entrance, we posed as lost travelers and convinced them, and the mages whom they were serving, to offer us shelter for the night. Once inside, Zee quickly found an old journal with the name Dalynthalus – my father’s name – inscribed in the cover, and so while I examined the writings, Zee and Chuffy cloaked themselves in invisibility and explored the keep.

The journal revealed that my father had been working for Allevrah and the Winter Council, as some sort of “problem eliminator” it claimed, before he became disenfranchised with how radical she had become. He had planned to retire, but was instead tricked by Allevrah into coming to Sun Dagger, where he was imprisoned. During his incarceration, he was seduced by what he believed was a lovely elven lass, but whom was actually a succubus in disguise. The wizards here were experimenting with ancient aboleth magicks in order to create more subservient minions, and they planned to transfer his skills and knowledges into a younger, more pliable body. The ritual required a blood link between the subjects, one of whom must be an infant – hence the seduction by a succubus in order to produce a child. Being resourceful, my father had uncovered the wizard’s plan, and before they could successfully attempt their foul sorcery, he was able to rescue the child and escape. Unfortunately, the journal stopped there, the story unfinished.

Seeking the end of the tale, I sneaked into the head wizards room to confront this Voronion personally. He was uncooperative until Quilindra was able to compel him to speak. Once he was under her sway, he finished the story. My father had rescued the child, but unfortunately his escape only got him as far as the village of Dandinen, where his wife and her family lived. Although there was no mention of it in the journal, surmised from what I had been able to glean that my father had passed this half-demon child to his wife’s family before he and his wife were killed in the wizard’s attack on the village. They could allow no one to know of their experiments, and most of the villagers were just collateral damage.

And so, I came to know the fate of my father and his wife. Suffice it to say that the way in which Voronion spoke of the deeds – his cold indifference to their fate – stoked a fire in me, the likes of which I had not felt in a long time. He was the first to die, and his fellow wizards and their guards became their own bit of collateral damage in my thirst for vengeance, as my companions joined me in avenging my father.

I will end this journal entry here, as I need time to come to grips with my feelings on this matter.

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