Second Darkness

The Land of Black Blood
In which we attempt to dismantle the plans of Allevrah

Shrine-of-Bound-Earth.gif

Ah, you have returned, my loyal audience, to hear the next portion of our tale. And I, of course, will not disappoint! And so we continue with our journey to the Land of Black Blood.

Having completed our time at Thorn’s End, and returned to the capital, we reported to the Queen. She greeted us in the throne room, in proper fashion this time, to show appreciation for our efforts. Since the fall of the Winter Council, their allies were crossing sides to join with the Queen, except for a small few who chose exile instead. Her Majesty let us know that the elves had located Allevrah and her forces, as well, in a part of the Darklands called the Land of Black Blood. Allevrah’s servants had started the ritual again, and a new meteor has been seen approaching our world.

Fortunately, we had a plan. The ritual consists of a main glyph and a number of sub-glyphs, which protect the main portion of the ritual. To destroy the main glyph, the lesser ones must first be dealt with. These glyphs are scattered about the Land of Black Blood, a place filled with a lake of pure corruption made manifest, but the Queen not only had a map to help guide us, but a possible ally – the Shaitan Djinni Haiten Bhaq, a caretaker of the region.

Before we left, I requested a private audience with Her Majesty, and she was kind enough to grant my request. We spoke of many things, including the Dark Fate (and whether it could be reversible), Allevrah and her pet projects, as well as items of a more… personal nature. Suffice it to say, I plan to spend more time in my parents’ homeland serving the monarchy once this crisis is all over with – assuming the world survives, of course.

We then proceeded to return to the Darklands, once again utilizing the Iudara, before Zee used her shadow magic to speed our travel to the Land of Black Blood. We found the home of Haiten Bhaq easily enough, considering it was under siege by the drow. We defeated the “vermin” as she so eloquently called them, and the djinn was kind enough to direct us to the Livid Sanctum in the Hanging Forest, and area of excessing fungal growth.

It seemed like a very productive meeting, and we were preparing to depart. However, one of the drow had survived our assault, and so I called upon the power of my goddess to bind him to our cause. Dominated, we began to question him on Allevrah and her plans, and the drow deception quickly unraveled. The Haiten Bhaq we had spoken to was in fact an imposter! We returned to the shrine to confront the pretender djinn, and sent her to her final rest before we proceeded to the lower levels of the shrine, where we found the actual Haiten Bhaq locked in a crystal prison.

Haiten Bhaq was quite appreciative of our rescue, and proceeded to give us an impressive amount of information about the Land of Black Blood and the glyphs we sought. There were five glyphs to deal with – one atop the Weeping Cliffs (one thousand feet in the air and guarded by ropers), one in the Crystal Plaza (protected by an abyssal harvester), one at the Blood Forge (filled with drow defenders), one in the Fetid Palace (guarded by the Moldering Emperor, a neolithid bonded to the Black Blood), and one in the Rotstone Hollows (the home of a tribe of chadras). It would not be easy, but we had our destinations, and with the knowledge we set about to complete our mission.

We took to the skies with Zee’s magic, Wind Walking to the top of the Weeping Cliffs to deal with the first glyph, sneaking past the ropers with flight and magic. Next followed a trip to the Crystal Palace, where we avoided the flailing tentacles of the abyssal harvester to disable the second glyph. Finally, we infiltrated the fortress of the Blood Forge, using our traditional stealth and slay approach to defeat the evil drow wizard, and his mortal and demonic minions before shutting down the third of the five sub-glyphs.

We plan to rest and recover before setting out for the next glyph. We must move quickly, as time could be short for our world above. Until next time, gentle readers!

Abyssal-Harvester.gif

View
A Tragic Tale in the Tanglebriar
In which we uncover a great deal more about our "friend" Allevrah

Dark-Fate.gif

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 likely 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.

View
Following the Trail to Thorn's End
In which quite a few things from my past come to llight

Banshee.gif

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.

View
Return to the Surface
In which we report our findings to the elves of Kyonin

Arrival.gif

When we last left off, good readers, we were fleeing the city of Zirnakaynin at our fastest pace. First Daughter Alicavniss had promised to give us a head start, but it appeared that she may not have been completely forthright with us. Although we made it safely out of the city, and her map proved to be accurate, when we finally arrived at the aiudara (elfgate) we find Second Son Tiryin and his band of nasties waiting for us. Using my favorite tactics of stealth and invisibility, along with a fair helping of fireballs and blinding lights from our resident caster, we were able to subdue the enemy forces with minimal danger to ourselves.

One drow had managed to survive our assault. After questioning the lone survivor, we found that it was fairly obvious that Alicavniss had sent her brother to his death. Ah, the joy of drow politics. (Internal note – I find myself being very impressed with the First Daughter. She has an incredibly devious mind, and it doesn’t hurt that she is ridiculously attractive. I may have to try and spend some more time down here in the Darklands. Once we have finished saving the world, of course.)

We stepped into the aiudara, which was kind enough to activate at our approach, and were quickly greeted by an elven war party. Led by Lord Vilastir of Siavenenian, we were questioned as to our business before they agreed to escort us to Iadara, the capital of Kyonin and our fortunately our destination. He appeared interested in our tale, but we decided to withhold any details until we had spoken with the Queen.

Vilastir was kind enough to take us to guest accommodations to allow us to clean up before meeting with Her Majesty. I was glad that I cleaned up first, for upon retiring to my chambers for meditation, I glanced up to find that Her Royal Highness, the Court Wizard, and a few guards and appeared in my room! Having wished to speak with us in private, before we were brought before her in court, her wizard had brought her to my chambers. As beautiful as the tales had said, I admit that I was not my most eloquent at first, but soon my manners had returned, and I fetched my companions to speak with Queen Telandia.

The reason for her visit was that Her Majesty does not trust various members of her court, including Vilastir, whom she believes reports to the Winter Council – a group of nobles who believe in more traditional elven values, and desire to keep the other races out of Kyonin. She believes that this group may be complicit in the plans to create a Second Darkness being pursued by the drow House Azrinae. It turned out that the Council is currently reeling a bit, as one of their number, a General Allevrah, had killed the leader of the Council, and then fled into the Darklands. The new leader of House Azrinae is also named Allevrah, and she appears to have a great deal of knowledge of the surface world. This seemed like quite the coincidence, and we planned to investigate this further at a later date.

Queen Telandia is still concerned with this Council, as they hold great sway in the court. She wishes to pretend that she has no interest in our findings, and so she asked us to accept her apologies ahead of time, for she planned to ignore and belittle our findings in front of her royal court, while working in the background to help us continue our mission. She asked us to infiltrate the Winter Council’s secret fortress, hidden somewhere in the demon-infested Tanglebriar, as they have recently gone silent. The exact location was not known, but the elves had captured a succubus agent of the demons, and they had placed her in a Paradise Chamber – a prison of mental manipulation and illusions – to hold her until she could be properly questioned. She should be able to guide us to Thorn’s End, and we agreed with Her Majesty’s plan.

To follow through with Queen Telandia’s plan, we went to court with Vilastir the next day. I presented our case, the truth coated with dramatic flair, having a bit of fun with it, and Vilastir went out of his way to poke holes in our story, revealing his obvious bias. The Queen followed through with her pre-planned response, and laughed us off and dismissed our findings. We went back to our lodgings to await her command.

We spent a few days in the city, visiting the various vendors to resupply and prepare for the next part of our mission. Although it was mostly uneventful, one night we did wake to the sounds of a stealthy infiltration to the building. We discovered a group of elven hunters had entered the main chamber, in what appeared to be an assassination attempt. Using Zee’s power to influence the darkness, and our ability to see though even the deepest of shadows, we had the elves at our mercy, and the hunters soon became the prey.

Zee used her powerful magicks to allow us to question one of the corpses, and we found out that they were sent by Kolvar, a member of the Winter Council. He was hiding somewhere in the Noble’s district of the city, but we had no time to investigate, as the Queen chose that moment to set us on the path to Thorn’s End. Her guards moved us into the palace, using the attack as an excuse to change our accommodations, but instead of being brought to new quarters, we were brought to the Paradise Chamber and left to our own devices.

Entering the Chamber, we found the succubus Quilindra quickly, but she had little interest in our presence. Instead of confronting her, we examined our prison, which seemed pretty pleasant as such things general went. However, we quickly discovered that we could not find an exit, and that magic was going to be necessary to assist in our escape. Planning to rest a bit and talk to Quilindra later, we settled down for a nap and to figure out our next move.

Next time, my friends, I will share our encounter with Quilindra and our escape from the Paradise Chamber!

Queen-Telandia.gif

View
Being Drow
In which we continue our masquerade in the city of Zirnakaynin

Driders-vs-drow-party.gif

Once again, loyal enthusiasts, welcome to another piece of our tale. Unfortunately, things remain dark, as we are hidden amongst the dark elves in their Darklands city of Zirnakaynin. Our investigation continues as we seek answers to the plot to bring about the Second Darkness.

The next couple of weeks were actually quite boring, as we continued in our pretend duties to House Vonnarc. We escorted a group of slaves to the Vivirnis, the main temple to the various deities and demon lords worshipped by the drow. I had spent some time there previously, and was familiar with the place, but nothing of note happened during this errand.

Slowly, the drow were placing more trust in us, however, and we were given escort duty for a few of the nobles of the House. One trip led us to The Irresistible, the drow version of a playhouse. I am a great lover of the arts, and so you may believe me when I say that what they do here is not worth discussing or reliving. shudder

We also retrieved some escaped driders for our House masters. Again, nothing of consequence occurred. These two weeks led up to a much more important meeting, however.

During our sixth week in the Darklands, Undamesta called us to the upper levels to witness a scene of massacre – or so it appeared. Three dead drow, all male, were floating in a reddish tinged relaxation pool on an upper balcony, face down and obviously deceased. Tiryin Vonnarc, the second son of our House, and his lower born concubine, Safan Domvesia, had apparently been engaged in quite the orgy before things got out of hand. This was not uncommon for Tiryin, and Undamesta gave us the task of escorting Safan back to her home while she once again cleaned up the mess.

As we were departing, a group of drown riders on their own gecko mounts attempted to slay us all, but they were no match for our level of violence, and soon most were dead or dying. Upon interrogation, we discovered that they were Vonnarc estate guards, and that they were sent by Tiryin to kill Safan. Apparently the honeymoon is over! We return her home as ordered, and return to the House. Tiryin was very surprised to see that we were alive, confirming our suspicions that he had sent his men after us. Drow society continues to confuse us.

Another week of unexciting duties led to another request from Undamesta, and this time it brought a chore of a more interesting nature. Alicavniss, the First Daughter, wished to speak with us in the forbidden mages tower of House Vonnarc. As I had been hoping to draw her eye for quite some time, I was excited about the prospect of finally receiving some of her attention. I should not have been so pleased…

Once we had entered the tower, and kept ourselves from destroying the guardian, we were escorted to the First Daughter, who had some unpleasant news. She claimed that she was aware of our deception, and demanded to know what our intentions were in Zirnakaynin. Once we reluctantly admitted that we had come to the city seeking the drow of House Azrinae, she decided to help us for her own selfish reasons. But first, she required that Orvignato, the proprietor of the Venom’s Kiss, a local pleasure house, be removed, and any documents or maps in his possession be returned to her.

We had little choice but to accept the mission, and set out for the Kiss at once. Upon our arrival, we decided to take a direct approach and asked to see the manager. Sure enough, we were escorted to his office, where we presented our dilemma. He chose not to negotiate, and instead set his minions up on us. A fatal error, as it turned out. Soon his men and pets were dead, and we returned with the documents as ordered. Not the approach I would have taken, but sometimes my party members lack my elegance in such matters.

Alicavniss was pleased with our success as well as our timeliness, and as promised, she gave us the information we sought on the Azrinae. They had apparently retreated to Orv, the next level of the Darklands below our current one, to a legendary realm known as the Lake of Black Blood. This location places them directly below Kyonin, and the information finally gave us a reason to depart this wicked realm. Alicavniss also provided us with a map to the closest aiudara (elfgate), but of course, being true to her race, continued with more assistance that we deemed necessary. She dispelled our disguises with her powerful magicks, forcing us to flee the city at once.

We commandeered four of the cave geckos, retrieved Chuffy’s family members, and fled at our quickest pace towards our freedom.

Battle-in-Zirnakaynin.gif

View
Into the Darklands
In which we infiltrate the drow city in hopes of locating those attempting the Earthfall ritual

Drow-party.gif

Welcome, my loyal followers! As you know, we last left off with my brave companions and I preparing to journey into the Darklands, under cleverly created disguise as dark elves, to seek more information on the vile ritual that the drow seem to be attempting to bring about. Another Earthfall is possible if we are unsuccessful, and so the fate of the world is in our hands.
As we emerged from the Elfgate, our elven allies on our heels in parody of a pursuing force, we played the role of fleeing drow forces and ran for cover. Our friends were outnumbered, but with the element of surprise on their side, and with a bit of help from Zaitherin’s magic, they were able to play their part convincingly and retreat through the portal with minimal losses. We fled past the main force of gate guards and to the rear supply wagons, where a delivery driver named Gadak was waiting to pass through to Celwynvian. We informed him that the drow forces were overwhelmed, and the traitor elves had taken full control of both the city and the gate. He offered us a ride in his supply wagon back to Zirnakaynin, and we were quick to accept his guidance to our desired destination.

Gadak was quite chatty, and we were able to divert his questions into a passable story as to who we were and where we were from. We claimed to be from the Darklands city of Gizratayn, and that our masters had been killed in the Celwynvian skirmishes. Gadak was impressed with the tales of our prowess in battle, and since we were essential ronin, Gadak offered to introduce us to the master of arms and the Slave Mother of House Vonnarc. As we were looking for a way to enter the drow’s society smoothly and without suspicion, this seemed a perfect plan, and we accepted his invitation.

Our story seemed to have held up under the questioning of Slave Mother Undamesta, and she agreed to take us on a servants. Us males were assigned to Paingiver Drovonais, head of the guards, while Zaitherin was assigned to household duties more fitting to the higher-ranked females. Once assigned, our menial tasks were begun.

Let me just pause a second here to say the title Paingiver is very appropriate. Drow are vicious creatures, and prone to violent mood swings, and our overseers were no exception. Floggings were administered for no reason other than whim, especially for newcomers. It was a long week, and I grew tired of it quickly.

In order to avoid more menial tasks (and unprovoked beatings), I decided to make myself more useful, and presented myself and my skills to one of the House daughters, Eskervalla. She found me interesting enough to approach, although she was a bit skittish when I revealed my talents. She assigned me a task – the death of a certain noble from House Rasivrein whom has been charging House Vonnarc exceptionally high prices for their slaves – and I set out to accomplish the task.

During our first two weeks in House Vonnarc, we learned quite a bit about the House itself. We also learned more about House Azrinae, who is apparently behind the attacks on the surface world. Apparently most of that House is missing, and we surmised that likely these drow have retreated somewhere in order to work on and perform the Earthfall ritual. This has become our key focus now, and hopefully we can learn more about this House’s occupant’s location soon. Entering the House does not seem possible, because even though the occupants are mostly absent, the First Son Kardinnyr has stayed behind with a host of deadly traps, arcane weapons, and summoned demons to keep out intruders.

During one of our missions, Chuffy managed to pick up two new slaves – his father and sister, whom the drow has somehow captures from the surface. We also had an encounter with a giant purple worm, who almost got the best of yours truly and tried to swallow me whole before my party was able to finish the beast. Huzzah to Taz and his might swing!
During this time, Gadak started to become suspicious of our story and motives. He was watching Chuffy a bit too closely, and we had to divert him from this curiosity. Zee was able to distract him with her magic, and may have to further follow up with her wiles if he keeps it up.

I also managed to complete my mission for Eskervalla. Rhespen Rasivrein, was careful, but not careful enough, and I was able to find him in a vulnerable moment and end his annoyance of House Vonnarc. My mistress seemed pleased, and rewarded me in a most pleasant manner.

Our infiltration will continue until we have successfully located the ritual.

View
Echoes of the Past
In which we pursue the drow army's leadership into the Armageddon Echo

In-the-Echo.gif

Salutations and good tidings, my loyal readers! When last I left you, we had just entered the Armageddon Echo, the shadowy realm retreat of the drow invaders of Celwynvian. It turned out that the Armageddon Echo is just that, an echo of the past city, specifically at a point in time somewhere around a week before Earthfall. The city appeared to be in pristine condition, but the entire landscape was muted in color, likely due to this realm being a part of the Plane of Shadow. A blot was present in the sky, similar to the one that we had seen above Riddleport some weeks back, but much larger and more menacing. This bodes ill for the world, as it seems the drow are indeed on the way to being able to reproduce Earthfall itself!

We had little time to ponder those thoughts, as a group of Blast Shadows began to emerge from the tree line at the entrance to the city, and we soon found ourselves in a battle for our lives. The creatures were not fearsome in combat, but upon their deaths, the creatures exploded into flaming death traps, and even with my demonic resistances, we were all lucky to survive. Once we had, though, we tended our wounds and ventured towards the city, where we began to interact for the first time with the Echo’s inhabitants.

Our first greeter was an elderly elven man, who stood near the gates, staring up at the blot in the sky as if studying it. He also appears to be muted in color, and his voice is almost a bit out of sync with reality. Despite these oddities, Ilamain Silverwind, as we found he was called, was kind enough to answer our questions, revealing the state of the city as being mostly empty, as the population had already fled through the Gate to Iadara, the capital of the Kyonin. They were there preparing to flee to the ancient elven homeland of Sovyrian, and he suggested that we could join them, as the Gate was still open. With the help of the elven librarian in a bottle, as well, this information gave us our first indication that we were in an echo of the past. He asked if we were emissaries, and spoke of two others whom were visiting from their homelands. They were unknown to us, but again reinforced the timeframe of this realm. He was not able to direct us to our missing companions, however, giving us only a vague direction before returning to his study of the heavens, and so we continued to make our way into Celwynvian proper.

As we passed by the Library, a location known to us from present times, Taz mentioned that maybe we could find something of use inside. I thought that maybe a map would be handy, and so we stopped to investigate. I was surprised to find that the librarian on staff was none other than Eloquan, the bottled librarian that I have been carrying around! He was as useful in the Echo as in the real world, and help us to find the before-sought maps, as well as to search the areas of the library in which the drow had been so interested in the real world. Our investigation uncovered their interest in the mutability of the shadow realms, as well as an obsession with the heavens above. Likely this research helped them create the Armageddon Echo, as well as make progress on their Earthfall Doomsday rituals, and we will need to inform the elves of such when we return.

After our stop at the Library, we continued into the city, heading towards what we were told would be the best place to find lodgings for “visitors”, meaning non-elves, the Fluted Goblet. When we arrived, we found the place empty, like much of the city so far. Nevertheless, we availed ourselves of what found remained, and spent the night resting from our battles and gathering a plan to find our people.

We woke the following morning with the plan to search a few portions of the city for signs of the drow, as well as perhaps purchase some scrolls to help locate them, and our first stop was the markets on the southeast side. The market square was devoid of merchants, unfortunately, with a group of doomsayers discussing the pending apocalypse. Note to self – take doomsayers more seriously from now on… Regardless, fortune did smile upon us, as a group of drow had spotted us, and attempted to divert our search efforts in a most permanent fashion. Except for the assassin whom cleverly disguised himself as a muted echo being, and almost ended Zee’s life, the threat was quickly ended, and their leader taken hostage. Using my Charming demeanor, we were able to gain quite a bit of information about the Armageddon Echo, confirming some of our thoughts as well as informing us that Earthfall would indeed occur here in a couple of days. She also let us know that Nolvenis, the realm’s creator, carried a key that controlled access to the realm, and that he was holding our elven allies in the Observatory close by. We thanked her for her cooperation with a quick death, and moved out to rescue Shalelu!

Grand-Observatory.gif

We were able to come up on the Observatory without being spotted, and Chuffy utilized his magical gloves to peer through the walls and locate our missing elves. I used my burglar’s tools to cut an opening in the rear window, and we crept inside quietly. Under the cover of magical silence, we eliminated the guards and our companions were free! Unfortunately, we did not have time for a proper reunion, as Nolvenis was still holding the Shadow Key, and we needed that to be able to escape the Echo.

After stashing Shalelu and Kaerishiel in the shrubbery out back, we took to the sky under a cloak of invisibility to scout the top of the Observatory tower. We discovered that Nolvenis and his guards were indeed present, with Nolvenis himself studying the heavens above. They were all unaware of our presence, and that made it irresistibly easy to attack at once. Nolvenis was down in an instant, and his guards moments later. We gathered his possessions and fled the scene before his reinforcements could arrive, leaving them to wonder at what had occurred. It as masterfully done!

Once we were back at the Fluted Goblet with our companions, Zee finally had the opportunity to examine the Shadow Key. She was able to easily discern its activation and effects, including both exiting the Armageddon Echo and activating the Elfgate to the Darklands. Apparently, activating the gem also resets the Echo and destroys all of the visitors – a happy gift for our drow friends. Healed up, and with Shalelu in tow, we activated the gem and returned to our native plane.

We avoided being shot by our elven allies when we suddenly appeared before the gateway to the Echo, but once they recognized us, they welcome us back with open arms. The army was delighted to learn of the fate of Nolvenis and the end of the drow’s ability to retreat to the shadow realm. We were showered with appreciation, both in the way of fame as well as fortune, and a great feast was held in our honor. The drow threat in Celwynvian was over, and we were to thank. Huzzah!

I made sure to keep checking in on Shalelu as often as I could. It was good to find out that she was not permanently harmed by her time in captivity. She was very grateful that she was not fated to die in that horrible shadow realm, and she made sure to show me just how appreciative she was of our efforts to rescue her.

Of course, celebrations can last only so long, and a couple of days after our return, Evianna requested our presence. Her people were disturbed about what we had uncovered, specifically as to why the drow had such an interest in Earthfall. If they were looking to replicate that cataclysmic event, then the whole world would be in danger. Such a powerful ritual would need to be performed at the heart of the drow’s power, and so someone would need to travel to the Darklands and investigate futher. Evianna asked if we were willing, and we of course agreed. I find the drow fascinating anyway, and would love to get a chance to learn more of them. Plus, I would find the end of the world most disagreeable.

The elves had been hard at work, planning for a way to infiltrate the drow city of Zinakaynin (“Last/true home of the elves”) and discover their secrets, and they believed they had finally perfected a plan to do so. Giseil Voslil, an elven wizard and alchemist, had been studying various techniques in order provide a workable disguise for an infiltration team, and his Recorporeal Incarnation would allow us to appear as drow, using the bodies of our dead enemies as a sort of magical flesh suit. It sounded quite awful, but the effects were such that it would be near impossible to penetrate the disguises. Although I believe my companions might be a bit hesitant to through on a dead drow body suit and enter their city, I find the idea invigorating! We set ourselves to gather the proper provisions, and soon we will use our Shadow Key to enter the Darklands.

Wish us luck, my gentle readers!

View
Assault on the Academy
In which we approach the Armageddon Echo

Green-dragon.gif

The situation for Kaerishiel and his men was as dangerous as reported. The Lantern Bearers were pinned down in a crumbling tower, and Kaerishiel and two of his fellow warriors were down, victims of the drow sleeping poison. The remaining two elves were attempting to guard against any sort of assault, but the vicious pounding the walls were taking from the drow ballista on the neighboring tower was taking its toll, and the fortification would not have lasted long.

Zee moved to assist the elves under the veil of an invisibility spell, while Chuffy, Taz and I made a direct line for the drow’s position, also under an invisibility affect. Taz flew up to the top to directly attack the drow firing the ballista, while Chuffy and I attacked their allies in the base of the tower. The drow were unprepared for our sneak attack, and fell quite easily, but it was at that moment that the dreaded green dragon that had been rumored to have been seen in the area, Razorhorn, chose to confirm its presence and began a strike on our location! He breathed his foul, acidic breath into our midst, and we were forced to flee the tower and attack the beast directly in the open. With the three of us surrounding the creature, our flanking tactics whittled it down in a hurry, and by the time Zee could join us, the battle was over and the green dragon’s threat to the elves was ended. Huzzah!

We quickly gathered the wounded and began a stealthy return to the elven encampment. We hoped for smooth sailing, but along the way we came upon a group of drow and trogs escorting a band of elven prisoners. Fortunately, they had not noticed our approach, and again stealth became our key ally as we struck at them before they realized we were there. In no time the enemy was down, the prisoners were freed, and we were once again headed towards the camp.

Upon our return, we escorted the elves to the infirmary and reported to Eviana. I made sure to present the horn of Razorhorn to her with our compliments, while also informing those present of our success in retrieval of Kaerishiel. She and her commanders were dutifully impressed, and thanked us for our efforts before asking us to return to our tents to await further orders.

Once Kaerishiel was fully recovered, he came to thank us personally for saving himself and his men. His tune is quite different from that which he sang upon our initial arrival to the elven forces. I appreciated that he has come around, and was gracious in accepting his apologies. He even agreed to perform a favor for us, and after finishing our rest, we returned as a group to the body of the fallen dragon. With his magics, we were able to located the monster’s lair and raid his horde. We returned victorious to camp to gear up before the final assault.

Sure enough, after our return Eviana informed us that her forced had cleared a path to the Academy of the Arts. Three groups will attack the drow headquarters, with myself leading my companions, Kaerishiel leading a small band of Lantern Bearers, and Shalelu with a group of her rangers taking the third weak point. We volunteered for the front gates, to further impress our elven allies, and we set out at dawn the next morning to cut the head off of the snake and finish the battle of Celwynvian.

That night, I spend some more time with Shalelu. We talked of our place in this war, and how things have progressed on the battle front. We also spoke of the death of the dragon Razorhorn, and Shalelu seems pleased that no other elves will lose a loved one to this hateful creature. She kindly rejects my invitation to stay the night. but I can sense that she is warming to the idea. She will be mine! Oh yes, she will be mine…

The next morning, our various bands set out to the Academy, each traveling individually and under stealth. Upon arrival, we surveyed our attack point, where a group of drow and a couple of flesh golems were stationed to repel intruders. We felt a frontal assault would work best, and after we took down their casters in mere seconds, the remaining dark elves and their minions soon followed.

Once in the building, we turned towards the entrance that Shalelu and her rangers would have entered from. We discovered the bodies of her men, along with the drow troops stationed there, and some remaining water elemental guardians, which we let be. Shalelu was not among the fallen, and fresh bloodstains indicated that someone was dragged away from the central area. We had to move quickly, as she could have been in great need of assistance!

We next turned quickly toward the entrance that was being attacked by the Lantern Bearers. Again, fallen troops and drow were littered about, and as we were turning to leave a demon stepped from a summoning circle to confront us. A Vrok, as we later learned it was called, the abyssal nightmare was quite formidable, and Chuffy was nearly killed before we were able to slay the fiend. But all of this was just wasting time. Shalelu was still missing, as well as no Kaerishiel, and so we followed the trail of fresh bloodstains through the final passage we had available.

The trail of blood lead to the first room in this building that had not fallen to decay. Also, it was the first on that appeared to be occupied, as a lovely elven maiden floated upon a giant leaf in a pool of crystal clear water. Well, if that didn’t scream TRAP then I haven’t been adventuring long enough, but Shalelu was still in trouble, so after a brief bout of questioning, the lass confirmed that our missing allies had been taken through the doors towards The Portal, and so I opened the doors to find a rear guard standing before a shimmering portal. They were not much for words, and their barbarian captain attacked almost immediately.

Although the captain was quite fierce in his assault, he was quickly overcome by our superior numbers and skill. During the fight, something kept attempting to magically control the thoughts of my companions, and once I had finished with the drow, I turned my attentions to the elven lass, whom Zee had begun to assault with magic. After close examination of her pool, I discovered that the room was entirely cloaked in illusion, and that an Aboleth, as I believe they are called, was attempting to manipulate us all. We banished him to the depths, but not before he struck me with his horrible, diseased tentacles, infecting me with a disgusting, flesh-warping plague. Fortunately, Zee was able to call upon the gods to cure me before I was lost, and I shall be sure to thank her profusely once we are out of danger.

The Aboleth gone, and the building clear, we stepped up to the portal. We had to move quickly, as Shalelu could be suffering all sorts of unspeakable tortures at the hands of these drow. We dashed through the shimmering curtain of magic, and stood in a strange place, with the feel of a foreign dimension or plane. Zee mentioned that it reminded her of the Plane of Shadow, and the building in the distance appear to mimic those of Celwynvian, though of a time before she had fallen into her current state of disrepair.

This was apparently the Armageddon Echo, and there were no enemies or allies in sight.

We must move quickly to rescue Shalelu, and so I will leave it here, until I have time for a further report.

Aboleth.gif

View
Fleshcrafters, Alchemy, and Taz’s Revenge
In which we learn more of Taz's past, and help him avenge an old wrong

Drider.gif

Just time for a quick update, as we are in the midst of ongoing battle here in Celwynvian. Once we had returned to the camp, Eviana gave us time to recover before assigning us take the Alchemy Lab, a building on the northeast side of the city. There, the drow were manufacturing their fearsome crossbow bolts, which unleashed fire, acid, or poison upon contact. The loss of this strategic target would greatly reduce the effectiveness of the drow legions, and we were excited to be give the assignment.

Before we set off, I spent a few hours amongst the men of the elven legion, learning more about the people we were serving with, as well as about our leadership. Unfortunately, Shalelu was still out on maneuvers, and so I was unable to continue my pursuit of her affections, but my time with the troops will be well spent if we ever have to rely upon their help on the field of battle.

One interesting note on our mission. The lab forces were commanded by a drow named Ilverae Parastric, their head alchemist, and her name was not unknown to our party. Apparently, Ilverae was the creature who had captured, enslaved, and tortured Taz’s parents, experimenting on them with the drow’s Fleshwarping techniques. Although they eventual escaped, a rare feat among the drow slaves, this experimentation lead to deformities in their children, and Taz was of course born with his third eye and bat-like wings. Suffice it to say that Taz was extra motivated to pursue our current target.

We chose to skirt the edges of the city on our way to the Alchemy Lab, to avoid any unnecessary confrontations along the current battle lines. We did, however run into one adversary. We were attacked by a treant, likely an ancient guardian of the city, now crazed beyond reason. Likely, the loss of the city by the elves led to the creature’s mental state, and we were forced to put it down.

We are also pretty sure that the rogue dragon Razorhorn passed over us at one point. The beast was difficult to make out, and did not make landfall, so we were not able to get a closer look. We will need to be on the lookout in the future, and maintain our stealth as often as possible, since a surprise attack by such a beast could prove devastating.

Once at the lab, we were forced to fight the guardians, two creatures called driders – half drow and half giant spider, and apparently the result of this Fleshwarping we have now heard about. We combated their invisibility with our own magicks, and then Taz and I bypassed the chemical seepage on the ground to bring the fight directly to Ilverae, while Zee and Chuffy dealt with the troglodytes on the outer ranks. Ilvarae’s magical prowess was considerable, and after Confusing Taz and taking to the sky, she would likely have escaped if not for Zee’s well-timed Charm spell, which allowed us to bring the confrontation to a mostly peaceful end.

Using the powerful mind-magic, Zee was able to convince Ilvarae to return to the camp with us, after revealing a great amount of information about the drow. This intelligence will no doubt prove invaluable to our continued efforts to understand and defeat these creatures, and so we decided to hand her over to the elves for continued interrogation. She was not pleased by our plan, and unfortunately we were forced to cut her down when she tried to escape her new captives. Too quick an end, according to Taz, but a necessary route.

While scouting ahead on the way back to camp, I discovered a lone elven warrior lying wounded on the edge of the city. I helped Rodrick, as his name turned out to be, to return to his people, and it was a good thing I did, for he had important intelligence for Eviana. It turns out that a group of the Shin’Rakorath, including their leader Kaerishiel, are currently pinned down in the city, under siege by heavy weapons and needing immediate assistance. We of course agreed to set out at once, as even though Kaerishiel has been less that friendly to us, his loss, and that of his troops, would greatly set back the morale of the elven army. And so, after taking a quick moment to pen this narrative, we are setting out for his position. May the Lady of Fate guide our way!

View
Into the Woods
In which we continue our pursuit of more than just foes

Dretch.gif

My dear readers, I wish to begin this entry with an apology. I believe I have been doing you a recent disservice. If you feel, as I do, that my writings have been more terse of late, know that you are not the only one. We had been stuck on that cursed island, and without my creature comforts and more than amicable companionship, my mood has been less than perfect. However, with my recent religious experience, as well as our escape back to civilization, our forecast is much brighter, and I will continue my narrative with a more positive bent. Of course, we must start with the escape from the Devil’s Elbow…

After having vanquished the drow on the island, our work appeared to be complete. We took our rest in order to be prepared for a possible fight on the island above. However, we had skipped over the fact that one cavern in this complex was sealed by magic, and of course we could not let such a mystery go unexplained. We broke through the barricade, disrupting the magical seal, and entered a cave not unlike the ones surrounding us. Inside, we came across a sad sight – Vishari, the siren noted in the island’s legend, lingered on here in spirit form. She had been unable to pass on until she was assured that her love, Yaris, would accompany her. From the stories, we believed that Yaris had thrown himself form one of the lighthouses after his lover’s death, and so we promised Vishari that we would find proof of his passing on, so that she would be able to as well.

We traveled to the southeaster end of the island, recovering an additional meteor fragments that we encountered along the way, and once we reached the lighthouse we began our search in earnest. Fortune favored us greatly, and the body of Yaris was easier to find than we expected. We wrapped his remains in an old cloak and brought them back to the caves where Vishari waited.

Upon revealing the body to Vishari, we were unprepared for the most unfortunate events that followed. Yaris had indeed failed to pass on, and he spirit rose from the remains as a deadly wraith! He called his victims to his side, and they proceeded to try and add myself and my brave companions to their ranks. Fortunately, Vishari did not share his disdain for the living, and her beautiful voice rang out as we battled, inspiring us to defeat her true love’s shade, and so we did. Once defeated, both spirits were able to enter the true afterlife, and the island was once again spirit-free. Huzzah!

After that harrowing encounter, our remaining time on the island was brief and without incident. We returned to the pier, and our ship arrived to take us back to Riddleport on time and with minimal fuss. While the life of a pirate may never be in my future, I must admit that the voyage home was calming and restful, and the roll of the ocean is something that I will always enjoy. Perhaps I will buy a vessel, once my adventuring days are done, and ride the waves, enjoying a taste of the bounty available at strange, foreign ports. But that musing is for another day, as our adventures continue.

Our return to Riddleport was riddled with activity. Both the Cyphermages and the forge dwarves were grateful for our help on the island, greeting us warmly and offering reward for our efforts. We also had some inferno-hot information on the inner works of Zincher’s holdings, and Mistress Shorafa or Calistria was more than pleased to take it off our hands. Kwava was spending this time making contact with his superiors, while we spent a few days enjoying the creature comforts of home, while also arranging for upgraded gear and preparing for what we assumed would likely be a trip to the Celwynvian region.

Of course, we were not disappointed. Kwava’s superiors were interested in hearing our tale, as well as meeting with us in person. They were also especially interested in reading the journals of our drow enemies, a very useful task in knowing one’s enemies. Kwava would not be joining us, however, as his duty was to remain in Riddleport and keep an eye out for any additional drow activity. And so, after wishing a passionate and lasting goodbye to the lovely ladies of my adopted city, we set off to the town of Crying Leaf, to meet up with a Miss Eviana and share our exploits with the elves.

The trip to Crying Leaf took us four days on foot. We considered mounts, but with Chuffy among us, that was unlikely to work out well, and none of us were adverse to a bit of leg stretching. It was mostly an uneventful venture, although we did have a bit of a scare with some local Velashu horselords, who charged our group from their magnificent steeds before thinking better of attacking. They gave us information on the region, offered to sell us a few of their extra mounts (we declined), and wished us good luck in dealing with the elves, who do not welcome outsiders with open arms.

The fourth day brought us to the Mierani forest, and we followed an old hunting trail towards out destination. A flock of forest drakes attempted to make a meal of us, but the lovely and talented Zee ended their assault by creating an area of magical darkness, a place where few creatures excel like we do. Once the drakes were repelled, a group of elves, who had obviously been watching us, emerged from the forest to ask our business, and once we established our identities, we were escort to the town.

What we found out upon arriving is that Crying Leaf is a village under siege. The town had been fortified against attack, and there were obvious signs of a recent battle. We were taken directly to Eviana Nirgassan, the leader of the elven forces, by Kaerishiel, a member of the Shin’Rakorath, the Lantern Bearers mercenary group that Kwava belongs to, and their apparent leader in this area.

Eviana was very interested in the information we had brought, and asked to review the journals personally. She also informed us that the elves believed that they had the drow contained in Celwynvian, the ruins of which have fallen almost entirely into their hands. The activity in Riddleport reported by Kwava and confirmed by us indicated otherwise, and was of grave concern. Eviana informed us that she could use our help in the upcoming attack on Celwynvian, to the obvious anger of Kaerishiel, and asked us to stay in Crying Leaf for the night to consider the offer, while she reviewed the journals. We agreed, and after a brief trip to gather some local intelligence, we retired to our lodging.

The next morning Eviana confirmed that they would be headed to battle, and offered us a place as mercenaries, paid to accompany the army. My friends and I agreed, although once again Kaerishiel expressed great anger and disdain for our assistance. The Shin’Rakorath are apparently very concerned with outsiders knowing elven secrets, and even my family history was not enough to assuage his doubts. Nevertheless, we set of with the elven army towards Celwynvian, gathering intel on the situation amongst the elves as we traveled and learning more of the history of these drow that we were about to confront in numbers for the first time.

Marching with an elven army is a bit different than traveling with the military among other races. Elves break into much smaller war parties while on the march, and they are much stealthier as a result. We made a game of playing Who is the Sneakiest with our Lantern Bearer watchers, but otherwise the trek itself was mostly uneventful. However, a couple things of note did occur. We spent one night on the road, and we took our evening meal with Eviana, discussing tactics and receiving intelligence from the elven rangers on the front lines. The second event of note was meeting Shalelu.

Shalelu is one of the elven hunters, and I have rarely in my day seen such a ravishing creature. Tall, long of limb and slim of waist, with flowing golden hair and eyes of a deep sapphire that could drown a man in their depths. I was captivated, and I must admit, had a difficult time following the rest of the evening’s events. However, I had enough mental capacity remaining that I discover that we would be attempting to take all of the main arteries in the city during our assault. Our group would be responsible for securing the Academy of the Arts first, and that our planners would reassess the situation after our initial attack. But back to Shalelu…

After returning my companions to the campsite we had chosen, I returned to the main camp to speak with Shalelu some more. We talked of many things – tactics for fighting the drow, politics, our families and our pasts, the Shin’Rakorath, and anything else that came to mind. Spending time with her was exhilarating, and although she appeared to be all about her duty and her mission, I can sense a burning passion beneath that cool exterior. It would be quite a challenge to keep my mind on our coming battle.

Speaking of which, the following dawn came too early, and soon we were on our way to Celwynvian proper. The city was obviously in ruins, with large amounts of overgrowth covering buildings, roadways, and almost everything else. The Library was on one of the main thoroughfares, and we crept upon it in stealth, using the vegetation for cover. Instead of attacking the obvious entry point, we decided that we should come in from the room, taking out the sentries before descending into the building. Our assault went smoothly, and almost exactly as planned, and once we had defeated the drow and their pet spiders on the rooftops, we scoured the inside of the building until all was clear.

Once we were relieved by an elven patrol, we returned to the camp to report our success. We now wait for our next assignment, giving us time to rest up and time for myself to see how Shalelu fares. Until next time, dear readers, when hopefully I can report some significant progress – both on and off the battlefield.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.