.:| Quote |:.
"Honor isn't about making the right choices. It's about dealing with the consequences."
-- Kierath Ranamor
.:| Vornae Proverbs |:.
"I no naka no kawazu taikai o shirazu."
A frog in a well does not know the great sea.
"Ame futte chi katamaru"
After the rain, earth hardens
.:| Libraries |:.
October 27, 606 ER Gather - Breyland's Rest, Greyhelm
I arrived at the unnamed outpost and noticed the vast amount of work that had been done improving it over the past month. Still, the weather was horrid, and many of the trails muddy. Katarina and I settled into one cabin, and were soon joined by Trisana. The three of us took time to secure our belongings and prepare for the wet and chill weather before checking on Travador and Simon and then continuing on to the tavern to see who else had arrived.
As people gathered, Nigel arrived and spoke to me about my nomination for a seat on the Greyhelm Council. I confirmed with him that I was indeed interested in serving in such a capacity, for which he thanked me before heading off to speak to the other nominees. Finally Nigel called for everyone's attention and announced the nominees: Titinius, Khorvai, Kellian, Simon, Sandrine, and myself. After a brief discussion, during which Chey asked a number of questions of several of the nominees excluding myself, the voting began. No one of noble title or status was allowed to be nominated or to vote. During this time, Lady Sinai arrived at the tavern, accompanied by both Du'Kratha and her younger sister Rhaiyneihsitao. A short time later Nigel concluded the voting and tallied the ballots. Titinius was the popularly elected individual, and then Khorvai was named to the other seat. Both Simon and Kellian were named as alternates.
At this point, I took my leave and left the tavern to get some fresh air. In doing so, I was one of the first to be met by an Evendarrian soldier who told us that two armies were marching on the outpost from opposite directions; undead from the south and vampires and charmed soldiers from the north. In hindsight I probably should have thought to feed him an enslavement antidote, but instead I quickly sought out Squire Carak and Lady Sinai to make them aware of the situation. Squire Carak spent quite a while dividing the town into two fighting forces, and I am thankful that he placed me in the same group as Lady Sinai and the Dancers.
With the preparations finally made, we traveled a short distance to the north and prepared to meet the vampires and charmed soldiers. They soon arrived, and the battle was joined. Unfortunately, it was a very poorly coordinated battle, with our forces becoming quickly surrounded and then scattered as many people fell and were placed in a pile, presumably to be later charmed or fed upon.
I am not sure who healed me, but I managed to run away from the main force and protect myself for a time with a circle of power, and later several imprisons. I also met up with Patches and Rocco, who threw the two of us some of the Evendarrian tabards from the soldiers to wear. This ended up helping to turn the tide a little, as the charmed soldiers and vampires mistook us for their comrades for a short time. This ruse did not work for long, however, as the stripped soldiers were discovered and our deception discovered. In the end, we would have all resurrected were it not for the timely appearance of Lord Breyland. As it was, Tsukiko did resurrect, which caused quite a confrontation between Rocco and myself. Sadly, at least one of the vampires escaped.
We returned to town, battered and demoralized, to find that the other force had just as much difficulty, but was saved by Dominic. This left the overall mood of everyone quite low when combined with the damp cold weather we were facing.
As people gathered in the tavern to try and regroup and warm themselves, Bargle made an appearance in his natural form. From what I am told, he wished to have a promise that was made to him fulfilled. Squire Carak and a number of the other nobles spoke to him for a while. Apparently he expressed regrets for making his pact with the Lich and no longer wishes to serve him. The Lich, however, made an appearance and quickly cast a circle for himself so that he could harass both Bargle and us. Titanious and I joined the commotion at about this time, both of us standing behind the Lich in hopes of a chance to strike mightily at him if the circle was dropped. The Lich, however, activated Bargle's transform and voice controlled him, which forced us to attack and kill him. The Lich then misted out via his green mist, despite Travador having the box opened.
I joined Trisana and Katarina in the tavern for a wonderful breakfast of bacon, eggs, and biscuits with gravy. Many of the other gypsies were there, and there was much joviality. Eventually Rhaiyne joined us, and even added to the mirth by suggesting we name the outpost Impending Doom . The tavern was also attacked by a few baby rust monsters, but these were easily dispatched. Having rendered armor and weapons makes facing those curious creatures a much less dangerous affair.
Rhaiyne and then I talked for a time, as she was curious about how I had greeted her the night before and wanted to know more about me. When she told me she only had a normal weapon, however, I offered to give her an extra silver sword I had so that she would be more effective. We returned to my cabin so that I could get the sword for her, and then made our way to her cabin so that she could make a change of clothing, and we waited for Sinai and the Dancers to rise and join us before returning to the tavern. While we were away, Breyland had come into town looking for assistance in retrieving a whistle. He took most of the younger adventurers with him.
Most of the afternoon was uneventful and I spent a good deal of time simply talking with the adventurers who had made the trip. As the afternoon wore on, Rhaiyne and I joined others in eating some lunch. I found it slightly amusing that Rhaiyne has grown to love meatball sandwiches, which are most decidedly not a Dark Elven dish. The discussion during the meal turned to Dark Elven culture, and it was interesting watching some of the younger adventurers struggle to grasp the concept of Dark Elven honor as Rhaiyne explained it.
After eating, Carak came and spoke to me about a mission to root out the remaining vampires in their cave, and wished to have my talents along in the event that there were traps. I readily agreed, and simply milled around speaking with Sinai and others until the appointed time came. Fifteen of us traveled to the vampire cave, and I entered at the front behind Gwalchmai, Val, Idrahil, and Travador. The first section of the cave consisted of pillars for us to step across, and there were traps found on both paths. Joho handled the left path, and the Count handled the right. We were attacked by bats during this, but they were no trouble. Several people fell, unable to make some of the longer leaps, but in the end we all made it. The next section was interesting, in that it held a large pool of molten steel. I suspect that this might be important, but the metal had no magical properties. Finally, we crossed a narrow stone beam and confronted the vampires. Several people fell repeatedly, and at one point I wedged myself into a corner to allow Du'Kratha and others to pass in front of me. Upon reaching the final ledge, I quickly searched the skulls that were present and then began inspecting the two small boxes for traps. Finding none, I then secured them for inspection and division later on.
As we were finishing the division of loot at the celestial circle, Simon came and was questioning many of us about our intentions for being bottled. He did an admirable job throughout the day of not only answering people's questions and concerns but also in relaying all of the information to everyone. I told Simon that I did intend to allow myself to be bottled, as Sinai had made me realize that this was time for me to either stand by my words and become an individual of action, or to set aside many of my aspirations.
Darkness had begun to fall, so I escorted Rhaiyne and some of the others to their cabin to change for feast. I, too, took this opportunity to don more appropriate clothing for the night ahead. As Rhaiyne and I returned towards the tavern, we encountered what later proved to be a group of fey who were looking for Travador in order to retrieve the box. We avoided them, and then found Prince Bane. Feeling safe, Rhaiyne continued on to the tavern while I walked up to see to the fey with Chey and his highness. Negotiations went poorly, and eventually the fighting began with the fey. I was disappointed, as I felt that we should have returned the box to them given that we had learned it would not stop the green mist. Sinai did have a valid point, however, that none of the fey present up until the end were those from the trial, and that we might be best served to turn it over only on our own terms and after finding out a bit more of why they want it.
Soon it was time for feast, but before Halcyon served the food, Prince Bane married Thoma and Marina. The ceremony was touching, and there was much rejoicing for the newly married couple. Towards the end of feast, many people honored Thoma and Marina with gifts, including Travador the gift of several songs. I walked up to congratulate the newlyweds; Thoma thanked me for my assistance in freeing him and gifted me with the last of his Harm Undead Gasses. The Dremoran then walked to the head table, saying that he wished to toast the newlyweds. I thought something was wrong as he began to prepare a rope into a circle, and those fears were confirmed when he cast a circle and began telling them how they were his favorite slaves. It became clear that he was actually the Lich!
While he was in the circle talking, Sinai, Joho, Modriz, the Huntsman, Kellian, and I ran out the back door after his escort. We chased him for some distance straight towards the keep, but as we drew near him he stopped and cast a circle of power. Without a word, he then touched his hand to his left breast and vanished in green mist. Joho did manage to get a good whiff of it as it dissipated, and said that it smelled of fey and almost sorcerer king power; he mentioned a similarity to someone named Azazel from Tyrangel. He also tried to capture a sample of the mist in a vial, but we then watched it dissipate from within the vial showing that it is very much mystical in nature.
A short time after we returned, Breyland gathered everyone in the tavern for the casting of the ritual. As he sang the ritual, we all felt our spirits being drawn into the chalice as Breyland's form faded. Breyland's assistant then took his body outside where he burned the body in a ritual that granted each of us who plunged our blades into the fire the gift of Spirit Fire, fueled by Breyland's own spirit. He had made the ultimate sacrifice of himself to aid us in the fight ahead that would hopefully help both Greyhelm and his own people.
Preparations made, Juniper transported us all to the edge of the woods near the keep. Douglas began to cast the protective circle we would use for resurrections and such while we held off the Lich's forces on the field. Once that was done, we began pressing the attack towards the keep's drawbridge which was blocked by a circle of power. Lady Akoya was able to sieze an opportunity to slip in and begin the ritual to drop the Lich's circle, and for the next hour the battle raged fiercely. During this time, Dame Miranda was spotted and dropped, then carried to the circle where Jade performed the destroy formal magic to free her of her transform and the spirit bottle she was placed in. Eventually we managed to push the lich back and enter the courtyard. The courtyard of the keep presented us some additional challenges, in addition to Malyon's undead forces. A green mist settled across the ground, and we saw skeletal hands spring up from the ground which grabbed and held anyone who fell. Still, we pressed the attack, and were eventually able to push into the keep itself.
As we entered the keep, Malyon, Mandrake, and the transformed Bargle all retreated to a small room behind the throne. Others moved to investigate while I moved to the throne and began inspecting it, and then the box underneath it, for traps. While I was laying on my stomach working on the box, I heard a loud explosion from the next room and much commotion. Once I'd secured the box and joined the others in the next room, I saw a number of spirit bottles on the walls, along with one of the glowing green orbs. In the center was a circle of power, in which Malyon, Mandrake, and Bargle were standing with a few spirit bottles, which I presume were their own. After some taunting back and forth, Malyon used the green mist to carry the three of them away.
I chose this opportunity to retire, but I'm told Dame Miranda resurrected and was seen in town later. Unfortunately, the overall mood was still rather disheartened, given all that was sacrificed only to have our enemies escape.