Second Darkness

A Tragic Tale in the Tanglebriar

In which we uncover a great deal more about our "friend" Allevrah

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Loyal readers, we return once again to discuss our adventures. First off, I want to assure everyone that I am quite recovered from the shocking events of my last entry. Although I still have some questions, my rage has settled to an angry simmer, and until I can confront Allevrah herself, any additional vengeance will have to wait. So, let us return to the adventure at hand.

Before heading into the last gate to the Tanglebriar, we made a quick stop in Riddleport, where I was able to spend some quality time with the lovely Cyphermage, Samaritha, as well as receive some well-deserved pampering from Crystal, my beautiful priestess of Calistria. Riddleport has been in flux since our last visit, with the crimelords of the city maneuvering to fill the power void left by the loss of Zincher and Slyeg. It appears that Mistress Pamodae has put the information on Zincher’s operations that we proved to her to good use, and has quickly risen to a position as the most powerful crimelord in the city. She may even be looking to take the Overlord’s place in the near future. There could be opportunities opening up for an ambitious young man such as myself, and so I will need to keep tabs on the situation.

After that brief reprieve, our journey continued as we made our way through the Iudara. Bebiliths were guarding the other side, but we left their corpses in our wake as followed the path to Thorn’s End. A large group of abyssal creatures were surrounding the place, and we were forced to parlay with their leader, a nalfeshnee demon known as Viggrizzur. Having Quilindra with us allowed for a peaceful confrontation, and after promising to bring down the keep’s defenses, we were allowed to pass to through to the inner courtyard.
The castle itself was in bad shape, both damaged from constant siege as well as polluted by the demon’s presence. However, the gate held strong, and we decided to once again use diplomacy to secure our entrance. The elven guards appeared surprised and relieved that apparent reinforcements had arrived, and they allowed us to enter with little dispute. Armistril, their lieutenant, was particular grateful for our presence, and led us to the Council while sharing his take on the current situation.

After the betrayal of Allevrah, who killed the Council’s leader, Auramestites, before fleeing (presumably to the Darklands), the Council had become fractured and disheartened. They had ceased meeting together, as each began to pursue their own goals independently. Perelir, priestess of Calistria and the Council’s divine expert, was working to secure the protection of the keep, while Alrindil, the elven druid, and Malindil, the chief defender, were seeking solace in each other’s arms as Malindil recovered from the shock and anguish of Allevrah’s betrayal. Hialin, the arcane master, fled into his work on destroying the demonic threat. As each worked alone, the Council had not been in session in months.

We began to speak with each in turn, in hopes of bringing them together to learn more of what had happened with Allevrah. Perelir was the most open to this gathering, with Malindil and Arlindil less enthusiastic. Hialin wanted nothing to do with us, but once the others had agreed, he was willing to hear us out, and so the Council gathered once again to hear our tale.

We told the Council of our adventures, including the fate of Allevrah, the drow whom we believed was once a member of their group, and this led to an awkward silence before the arguments continued. Perelir and Arlindil both believe the Council’s time was finished, and that it should be dissolved, while Hialin was only interested in the continued fight against the demonic horde. Malindril was ambivalent, but sided with her lover when pressed. Although they all believed that the Council was working for the best interests of the elven people, we convinced the majority that returning to Kyonin and throwing themselves on the mercy of their Queen would be their optimal resolution.

Hialin was not a fan of this plan, and grew more enraged as the talks continued. Finally, he could take no more, and his anger became uncontrollable. A dark event, and a great secret, was revealed by his actions. At the moment his fury reached its apex, he began to change, with skin darkening to a sickly purple hue, his hair shifting to bone-white, and his eyes becoming solid darkness. He had become a drow before our eyes, revealing the great shame known as the Dark Fate – that the drow were not a separate race at all, but merely elves turned fully to the dark side.

Once turned, Hialin wasted no time in attempting to destroy us all. First, he took down the magical defenses of the keep, allowing the demons to enter. Secondly, he turned his foul magics upon us, hoping to destroy his enemies quickly. He was not prepared for our ferocity, however, and our blades finished him before he could bring much of his power to bear. The demons were another matter, as they had quickly infiltrated the keep, and Quilindra used that moment to withdraw her favor, giving our party a mighty blow (and not in the good way). However, once the barrier was restored, its power made short work of the horde, and our help was barely necessary.

Once the keep was secure, we were able to question the remaining Council members further. They gave us access to the archives of Hialin, as well as Allevrah’s person quarters, and I spent some time one-on-one with the charming and exquisite Perelir, as she had been close to Allevrah, and she was more than amenable to sharing some experiences (quite an enjoyable distraction, I must say). Our search revealed that Allevrah had discovered the aboleth glyphs during her time on the Council, and had hoped to bring down crushing death on the drow city using the ritual. The Council had rejected the plan, fearing that it could cause too much damage to the surface elves, but Allevrah continued with her research. Eventually, her anger and hate led to the Dark Fate and her betrayal. Hialin had been continuing her research, however, planning to recreate Earthfall. He would have had the elven people return to the Old World during the event, and resurface shortly after to return civilization – under his rule, of course. His research was incomplete, but it did contain enough information that we felt confident that we could disable the glyphs used in the ritual, if we encounter them in the future.

The last things of note we uncovered was a strongbox of Allevrah’s personal notes. They mention what occurred at the Sun Dagger, apparently her own personal side project involving my father – Perelir was able to confirm that Allevrah had quite a few of these projects during our pillow talk – leading me to realize that the other members of the Council would not be helpful in my pursuit of revenge. The notes confirm that my parents were both killed when the village was destroyed, and discuss the failures in the rituals ever since. There were also notes of her other comings and goings, other projects she had going on – things our Queen would like find quite valuable.

Once our search was completed, Zee let us know that she had been in contact with the elven monarchy, and that they had located Allevrah and her forces. We returned to Kyonin to provide our input and plan our next move. The Council came with us – hoping to beg for mercy – thus ending the Winter Council’s current incarnation.
And so I leave you, my readers, until next time.

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