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!