Shards of Oblivion

The Rebirth of a Legend

Note: This got kind of longer than planned. For the busy/uninterested, the TL;DR is that Abbot accepts an offer to work for Sehanine more full-time than half-time. It’s the explanation for the paragon path that he’s taking which is Shadow Assassin, re-flavored for Sehanine/Nightcloaks.

Up in his room in the Grey Guard keep, Abbot is, surprisingly, reading a book. It’s called Evard’s Almanac on the Lands of the Fae. It was the least insufferable book he could find on it, since most of the others in Ansalon’s library were written by eladrin with no small chip on their shoulders about their home plane. Several pages of notes lay on the table, as did a motley selection of weapons and a bottle of wine he snagged from the festivities outside. Wasn’t very good, but when you’ve grown up on the crap they have on tap at The Rusty Razor, you learn to swallow first and taste it later.

It’s funny, really. The notes were the only part of his life that he actually kept in a semblance of order. And that was only because his Zaedos, his oldest (possibly only) friend kept egging him on. Twenty years in Sarthel together, and he had never stopped in trying to get Abbot to crack open a book. It was only after he had to flee the city that he had actually followed through on that urging.

Abbot put the book down and rubbed at his eyes. He hadn’t seen Zaedos in months now. He hadn’t even wrote to tell him that he was okay and, oh hey, I’m going to the Feywild on a suicide mission, probably won’t see you again, bye.

…damn it. There was a week before he left. He’d send a letter. Something.

There was a knock at the door. Abbot’s hand half-heartedly went to his dagger before settling down. “Come in.”

The door opened, and Melandra walks in, carrying a small bundle. She looks at the weapons and the book on the table, looks back at Abbot and asks, “Are you free to talk? I was hoping to speak to you about something before you leave. Something that you may find useful in your next travels.”

Abbot raises an eyebrow. “I’d never refuse help in a situation like this. After all, I don’t even know where it is I’m going from here, much less who I’ll have to fight when I get there. But what help can you offer?”

She sits at table, and pours herself some of the wine. She sniffs it, winces the tiniest fraction, and then takes a drink. “You’re going to be fighting something very ancient and very dangerous. And in such a situation you need every edge you can get. And I know our Lady’s mark is upon you.” She holds up a hand to forestall his question. “It’s not very visible. But I have walked in the Lady’s shadows for longer than you’ve been alive. If nothing else, I am quite attuned to her signs and sigils.”

“I see,” responds Abbot, “but how does that affect the help you can give me?”

“Because, I think you have the potential to help bring back an organization that has long been derelict, at least in this world. I want you to help me resurrect the Nightcloaks.”

“Who?” Abbot asks. “I’ve never heard of them. Not that I’m exactly well learned here…”

“They were once one of Sehanine’s orders, alongside the famed Moonbows. They were the blade to the Moonbow’s arrow, skilled at stealth and trickery, and were protectors of those who sought paths free from the chains of fate, as well as silent allies to Sehanine’s fellow pantheon. Not even Corellon, Sehanine’s husband, knows of all the things which her agents have assisted him and his devoted in.”

“But they’re gone.”

“Yes,” said Melandra. “The order began to face higher and higher casualties as other gods and entities began to take notice of their activities. Eventually, it was disbanded since it could no longer hide in the shadows from all the enemies it had made. But Sehanine needs those who strike from the shadows now more than ever, and most of its enemies have long moved on to other battles. That’s why I have come tonight, to ask you to take up the mantle of the Nightcloak, both in service of our Lady, and to protect you in what transpires in the days ahead.”

She places the bundle on the table now, and unwraps it to reveal armor of midnight black, as well as a rapier and a buckler of silvery metal. “I know it’s a lot to thrust upon you, but you have time to consider before you leave. When you’ve reached a decision, please let me know.” She rises to leave, then pauses and adds, “It was so many years ago that we found you about to be killed on that plain. Even if you choose another path from here on out, what you’ve done and the person you’ve grown to be is something you should be proud of. Let no one take that from you, especially just for being drow.”

Abbot doesn’t respond, unsure of what to say. Melandra nods at him, and walks out the door, closing it quietly behind her. He reaches for his book, stops, and looks at the bundle laid out on the table.

He could take up this armor, this… regalia. There would be power, purpose in that. But even for a goddess that values making one’s own path, to do so would be different than the offer he made a year ago. To take up this offer would be to commit to Sehanine’s service. Not forever perhaps, but well beyond the forseeable future.

It was a lot to give up. But there was a lot to gain as well. And if there was ever anyone who he thought worthy of serving, it was the Lady. It was said that there was never an honest deal made in Sarthel, but the Lady had offered in true.

Abbot reaches into his shirt and pulls out the symbol he found back in Sarthel. He could almost swear it was glowing faintly. “You have a deal, Sehanine. For now.” He walks to the window and looks out at the moon. “The Nightcloaks are back, tonight.”

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Abbot's Notes: Massacre at Whitetree, Locke, Zombie Farm, Second Battle of Whitetree

I’m writing this on the back of a phantom horse riding down an icy, frigid mountain, covered in so many wounds that I’ve given up on trying to count. We’re making a dash for Winterhaven in hopes of warding off the attack that is to happen in a… day and a half? Something like that. It’s a colossally poor time to be riding, much less writing, but these things provide a surprisingly smooth ride (spirit horses don’t seem to buck and bounce as much when they’re not really alive, learning something new every day) and mine just follows the others anyway.

I need to write this because I’m getting increasingly uncertain about my chances of survival. I’ve seen far too many lights with tunnels in front of them as of late. This last fight saw me laid out in a field of spinning magical blades that were chopping me to bits. I need to write this because

because

Shit. I’m not even sure. It’s not like I expect anyone to be coming after me if I die. I use these for reference, true, but this drive is centered around me possibly getting fucking killed. I guess given the shit I’m involved in now, someone’s going to need the info here sooner or later. And I’d rather something of mine be left behind, even if no one listens to it later.

So. For you poor bastard who’s stuck reading this, sit down and get a drink. It only gets darker from here on in. And yes, you can skip the personal shit, it’s not for you anyway.

The Massacre at Whitetree: Not fond of calling it a massacre, but everyone else certainly is. We broke into a prison to rescue a bunch of guards from the Silvanesti. Managed to get in, kill a good number of guards before the alarm got sounded. Ended up killing at least twenty men in a matter of minutes, and the rest were fleeing for their fucking lives. Plus side: All prisoners rescued successfully. Down side: We’re pretty much now known as dangerous psychopathic murderers.

I hate taking personal notes here, but when did I become so damn uncaring about all this death? I poisoned four men and ripped out the throat of a fifth, none with their weapons out. Then a pile more outside, before they ran. In Sarthel, I could count number of people I actually killed on one hand. Beat a lot of them up, sure, but not killed usually. I beat that record in five seconds in that prison. And I’m constantly thinking of ways to do better because that’s what I’m here to do. Because Ambrose and the Silvanesti are too cruel to own the Vale, much less Sarthel.

Things have changed so much.

Locke: Elf. Eyes like spyglasses. Can hit anything with his bow, so long as its next to him. Pretty cold sometimes, but effective. Came from a different plane, wants to get back. He informed us of our next location.

Zombie Farm: Marek’s award winning bread has some fans in the Empire. They were feeding it to their prisoners and recording the results. Blue ribbon stuff, apparently. We found the remnants of a ritual which screwed up Nevun’s memory, as well as Arctus’. Remnants of a soul-sucking ritual, one which was headed towards…

Whitetree (again): Hahaha. Ha. Ha. The entire town was brainwashed and turned into obedient slaves of three mages with a shiny ball. And they all wanted to kill us. We killed them and disabled the ritual, found out it was the Empire’s fresh, hip plan to create massive armies.

The people who approved this run Sarthel now? By Sehanine’s silver blood, this is completely, entirely wrong.

Marek was also involved. But he was long gone, and we wouldn’t pick his trail up until later.

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Abbot's Notes The Resistance, and Thunderspire

Ugh, every bone in my body hurts. That last fall off of the bookcase nearly killed me, and I think I’m going to be sore for days. But I’m alive, which is a pretty good result given what we went through in Thunderspire.

However, I do need to bring my notes up to speed starting from where I left off. First, about the Resistance. Led by Aldrea, it mostly comprises of guards and soldiers who didn’t want to bend knee to the Silvanesti Empire. They’re at a pretty severe disadvantage though. They’re outnumbered and out-armed, and winter is coming which means less food and less tree cover from patrols. We’re helping them out mostly for Nevun’s sake, since he sees them as the best chance to take back Stronton. I don’t particularly care either way, but I’m keeping with the group since I’m rather lacking in direction at the moment.

I suppose I could run off with the mask. Half the reason I wanted to get it was so that eventually I could go back to Sarthel. With the gold I’ve earned and the mask, I could live a good, easy life there. One of the nicer districts, a good house, all the liquor I could drink. Then again, I don’t think I have an option there anymore. Not after what I found in Thunderspire’s library.

Alright, seriously, back on track. These are notes, not ramblings.

Thunderspire: First off, it’s a giant friggin’ tower. Second, the base of the tower is used as a neutral trading zone for anyone, especially drow from the Underdark. Third, the Mask of Many Faces is… or rather, was in these walls. Last, Ambrose was buying weapons from the drow to equip his army through intermediaries here.

I found that last bit out completely by accident, when one of their agents rather confusingly assumed that I was working for the Iron Chain, and that I was here regarding the shipments. With a major assist from Zeph, we managed to convince him to ship a huge pile of weapons to the resistance, though they’re definitely on to us now. Still, small victories.

After a little bit of bartering, we dived into the labyrinth. First we blundered into the Hall of Eyes, which was run by a mimic that loved toying with his prey. After a lot of mirrors and illusions, we did managed to break out and kill him. This had two unexpected results though. First, we found a mirror that Tobias demanded. Second, we found a man who was supposedly one of the triumvirate that ran the market. The only problem is that last we checked, he had remained at the market, not been frozen as a statue for two weeks. All of which implied dopplegangers.

That was going to be a problem.

Got back to the market, turned over Hasafiir, met Tobias’s patron, and then lost him and the mirror. So, no more eladrin apparently. It was promptly after that that we stumbled onto a gnome who supposedly knew the way to the main tower and was willing to guide us. Thus, meet Leianto… or some similar spelling thereof. He guided us to the Demon Pit, which had quite few demons, appropriately enough. It also had giant animated statues, teleporting mirrors, pillars of undead, and finally one gigantic ass demon.

It also featured a rather strange soul-gem-thing, which provoked an… interesting reaction from Leantau. It brought out some gnomish paladin from his head, who was apparently his twin brother Haplo.

Note to me reading this in the future: Yes, this all actually happened. Yes, this was exactly as brain hurting and strange and confusing as it sounds. Yes, you should go out and get a drink or two.

So, the group of us went farther into the tower at this point, minus Leianto who went back to the hall because he wasn’t feeling well. An ill-timed ambush by a Hasafiir doppleganger let us capture him, and we forced him to lead us to the room in which the wizard was actually still living. We talked to him, but perhaps needless to say, negotiations broke down rather quickly. He wouldn’t give up the mask, and we wouldn’t leave peacefully.

What follows was one hell of a fight. The only description I can really provide was that it featured lots of thunder and lightning, and hopping around on bookshelves. Finally killed the bastard as he almost got away, which will probably save us a lot of trouble in the future.

And good news, there was tons of treasure for everyone! I got a shiny spear, Zephyr got a grimoire, Nevun got a suit of armor which turned out to be a special artifact, and Haplo… well he seemed happy with the books he found. Which is more than I can say for myself.

I dug up a book there on drow prophecies, which finally gave me information on why I was tossed to the surface and almost killed.

Apparently, I’m going to help bring about the end of the world.

Not sure how to take that.

It’s not set in stone, supposedly. Prophecies are certainly likely, but apparently never foolproof. Unfortunately, this one seemed as close to certain as you could get. The visions were consistent; even if the details changed, the outcome was always doom. Somehow, I’m supposed to help usher in these “Harbingers” even if not intentionally.

I mean, how the fuck am I supposed to react to this? I.. I just don’t…

Yeah, really no words available here.

After that, we got out, made our goodbyes, and went back to check on the Resistance. But I now need to find the prophetess, who fled to somewhere on the surface. I don’t know what chance I have, but I need all the information I can get to figure out a way out of this. The book suggested she might have fled somewhere where her skills might earn her a living, perhaps performing somehow. I’m thinking it’s got to be Sarthel, assuming she came out from the Thunderspire. I sure as hell know firsthand that the rest of the Vale is not hospitable to drow.

I hope Nevun and the others won’t mind a field trip…

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Zephyr's Journal Entry 5

Ha! Found my journal! I thought maybe it had gotten sucked up into that vorpral null demon thing, but no, it was here in my backpack all along hidden under some camouflage clothes and my spare caltrops. Maybe I should stop carrying so much stuff around? Nah. It’s a little wet and burnt, or is that covered in water and fire elemental guts? But its still good.

Now where did I last leave off. So we got the amulet on Thom that ostensibly should have protected him, and it seemed to. The curse stopped spreading, but he didn’t wake up. We went to investigate some elemental gates that were opening that the Grey Guard were concerned about, and also to find Uncle Aureon who was in the area and happened to be the author of all the works on items from other plains we had been reading in the library. Some of the local peasants were convinced he was an evil wizard bent on destroying them by summoning elementals. Hilarious! I suppose he was the one opening up some of the rifts, and I guess elementals were coming out of them and probably were killing some of the peasants, but the idea that anyone would go that far out of their way with the sole intention of killing farmers is ludicrous. In a cave near the rifts we found none other than Tallow, who has been spending his time since he last left us attempting to open some rift into another plane for “him” to come through. We killed him, of course. We also decided to finally try feeding Vecna’s knife to one of the primordial demons we keep encountering. It didn’t work out as well as we had hoped, hence that vorpral demon thing I mentioned above. However we shoved the demon into the gate and closed it and I’m hoping that’s the last we ever hear of him. Ever.

Soon after Nevin’s cursed mark finally activated and we were send to kill…Courtney Stone! It seems he secretly married his lover without the approval of the Raven Queen and he was going to use power granted by Vecna to bring her back from the dead. Our whole quest to bring the amulet to Thom had been at Vecna’s order all along. Well, we killed him too and ran off to stop the ritual designed to summon his dead lover from taking place. Oh, I though, maybe NOW Thom is saved. But no, his arm was still rotted so we went troll hunting to get the key ingredient in some healing ritual to heal that too.

Dear Thom, there’s this little thing called self sufficiency some of us like to practice. You need to start. You can’t live life thinking random adventurers will always be there to whisk in and solve all your problems. This is why I’ve been taking your sister goblin hunting at night. Also, don’t tell your father I told you that. For some reason I think he’d object to his 10 year old daughter hunting monsters in the dark. He coddles both of you.

Oh, and Tobias ran into some minions working for his mother. He seems angry, I don’t really understand why. If he wants to walk away from the whole thing he should just walk away.

Well journal, I’m glad I found you again. Is that demon puke or troll blood that stuck those last two pages together?

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Abbot's Notes - Killing Stone, Curing Thom (twice), Dryad Showdown

Events these past few days have been… hectic. A lot is changing.

Courtenay Stone: Turned from his goddess to resurrect his dead wife. More specifically, turned to Vecna. Vecna, who then orchestrated… honestly, just about everything that we did since the dagger turned up was planned by him. Also, Thom was going to be killed by a Vecnite ritual in a couple of days. Fought Stone, eventually admitted his guilt and jumped off the side of his tower. After talking down the crazed mob, we went dashing off to…

Stone Keep: …the lovely Stone Keep, former home of the Stone family where they were all massacred, now home to undead and Vecnites. We always go to the nicest places. Got there, interrupted a big ritual. Nearly didn’t stop it in time, but after a particularly brutal battle, we managed to halt it at the last moment. This was followed by a slow disarming of the soul gem, and then a return to Thom, who was not dead or controlled by Vecna. Big plus right there, obviously.

Trolls and Tobias: Of course, Thom still had that dead arm. So, we went and hunted some trolls to get the blood to fix it. After that it was a jaunt to the Feywild portal at the lake, where we met a couple of dryads glamoured up to look like eladrin. It didn’t come to blows though, but Tobias gave them a message for his mother: Come see me. Not looking forward to that meeting. Also annoyed I couldn’t see past the illusion. Got back to the extra-fortified Winterhaven and fixed Thom’s arm. It appears like Thom is finally finally finally out of danger for good.

The Plan: Unfortunately, Nevin is really pissed still that they took over Stronton. And he wants to go back and kick out Sarthel. As good as we are, I think we might have a little bit of trouble against a whole army, but he’s set on this. Also, confused as to why Sarthel taking the area is a bad thing. It’s not like life in the Vale was all that great to begin with.

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The Secret Journal of Tobias Wintersnow

The Hand of the Fallen Seasons – Initiate Journal – Situational Record

Assignment – Anaylsta Autumnborn, betrothed of Eversol Greydoon


The previous records have been transferred to the Sect journals and the current events have changed my perspective of this assignment. What follows is my personal observations and my speculation about the amulet of dreaming and its true abilities. When Lorthram of the Seasons first approached me that stormy Autumn night and asked that I join Him in the Stones Reach Tavern I was almost certain He had found my true Father or information of the man that I only know through whispers and rumor. Guildas was a man who kept most of His own knowledge close to the chest and hidden truths and secrets would follow Him to the grave. Perhaps they did. I sat there watching the flickering of the table candle dance along the edge of the wax my attention only partly attuned to what Lorthram was saying until He grabbed my arm tighly. “Look at me now Tobias, what I tell you and what I ask of you could very well cost you your life, and in the least your chance to learn the truth of your Father’s legacy” I took full attention and cleared my mind of the cobwebs of daydreaming. This was the first time I had heard of The Hand of the Fallen Seasons and that my Father was a member, perhaps even a legend of sorts amongst their ranks. Fate holds my Father’s truths and importance within the mists of uncertainty and for this I scorn Fate’s trickery but I took the words of my mentor that day as Corellon’s own will. I still do as I sit within the camp now enroute back to Winterhaven. I have a much deeper appreciate of the power of artifacts and why they must be controlled or destroyed outright. Eladrin or otherwise. The dagger of Vecna, the soul crystal, even that cursed amulet for all the pause it brought to the necrotic illiness it too needs to be destroyed but I am getting side tracked.
The morning I was set to meet with Cordelia Valeci, representative of the Hand of Fallen Seasons and one of the more influential members of the current Winter Court I was flush of face and wet of palm. The chambers She enjoyed were cold feeling with their hard lined sigil laden walls no doubt there to create an area of privacy and block sound. Her deep magenta eyes were warm though and although proper and bearing the posture of a powerful woman, She regarded me with kindness in those eyes. There was also some deeper information there too that I doubt even to this day will ever be revealed from Her deep red lips. Lorthram entered the chambers, His soft silvery gaze greeting this woman with admiration and a touch of awe. What came next altered the course of my life river, fate had another laugh and I still hear the snickering. “You have been observed young Tobias, watched by eyes that you never know. What I tell you now will come as a shock but it must be told. Your Mother, although you know She is not blood to you. She is not actual the former lover of Guildas Autmnborn either. She has become close to you for alterior reasons that now I will explain, but please take a moment to understand this.” Sipping Her tea and watching my face there was a supporting smile playing about the edge of Her lips. My mostly pale face turned a shade deeper I would imagine. Betrayals numbness stings deeply and shock and disbelief were awash in the brewing anger I felt instead. Opened eyes see all the good and the bad and now mine were fully open. She went on to inform me that The Hand of the Fallen Seasons had a special task for me, son of the former main guardian to the previous Leader, Trentis Winterwhite. I was given many things that day. Information, truth and a task. I was also given a choice and time to think on the things told to me. Cordelia was smiling when I returned a few days later and agreed to assume a new role to my Mother other than “son” that of observer and false conspirator. How could I refuse to slowly burn the woman who’s very ethics and lack of moral center had corrupted my life. Poisoning my mind with false love was the last injustice.
Lorthram thought it best we stop meeting for clerical lessons and He offered me some advice. Stay close to Analysta and learn as much as I can about Her allies, than about the amulet and its three pieces. The Sect believes that the amulet was broken into three sections to ensure that no one could use it. Still many within the Sect also believed that the protector of the main piece a Sinrow Silverfey would not be swayed by the promise of sexual favor. Well they didn’t know my dear Mother’s ability to strip away a man’s defenses or appear in the bed undressed and vulnerable. Fools. So I took the aid I was offered. Some gold and the knowledge of the summoning Sigil “Seasons Calling” that would bring Cordelia as well as Her two trusted and skilled personal guardians to the location it was erected. They told me to just remain with Analysta and act as if nothing had changed. I was fully intending to aid Her in Her plans to recover the two remaining pieces of The Amulet of Ever Dreaming. The second artifact and that which is actually what my initiation rite requires is believed to have been spirited away to the mundane plane, removed from the Feywild a long time ago. The Unnamed Mirror. Believed to have the ability to show the gazer two truths when asked. There was no record within the libraries within the Silver City but perhaps the answer would lie within my travels. I finally found some mention of it and ironically or perhaps again Fates will that mentioned Thunderspire Tower. The mirror is there or the man who knows for sure. My offer to aid Abbot with finding the Mask of Many Faces works to serve mine and the Sect’s interests in the process. Still I think Cordelia would want to know of the Mask as well and truly check if it was a harmful thing beyond the glamours it is rumored to create for its wearer. We will learn soon enough the truth of this.
My meeting with Analysta now will truly strain my own deceptions against Her and I will have to truly keep my witts about me. Looking at Her face now disgusts me. Still I can’t allow Her to know that I am no longer Her doe-eyed son so eager to eat all the spoon fed deceptions. Well your day will come. I have a use for the Amulet, removing this vile woman from the world for good but I can’t act without Cordelia’s approval. I dare not risk learning what I can about my Father and following fully and with pride in His footsteps. Soon I will have to tell my new friends the truth but not just yet. I still must maintain my cover. I have decided that once we enter the tower and its safe for me to summon the Sect, I will let Cordelia do the talking. Hearing that Analysta has returned to Eversol and that someone unknown to me wants me dead are weighty troubles. No one could know of my cover though, so why? Something the mirror will tell me. I will not let the truth evade me much longer…
My current studies both within the library of Winterhaven as well as that of Aureon’s tower have yielded a bit more information. The Amulet of Dreaming End as it is properly called predates the Eladrin race. The origin I assume would be that of Godhood. The true power is not that of a simple wish but the ability to alter the very fabric of reality itself. Good Corellon, can Analysta be this mad with status that She would go to such lengths to potentially damage our very core society. Yes She would and that is why my resolve to smile and dote in Her presence is failing me. When I tipped off that wastrel Payne as to my search I knew He would think there was something more to gain than the mere 20 gold coins I gave Him. I think that anyone watching me would be watching Him now. I hope to find that He has joined The Silent Lady’s resistance so I can further utilize His less than savory talents. My resolve to complete my assignment hardly exludes me from the notion that I am not a user myself. We all use each other. The word is ugly but the motivation doesn’t need to be. Those who stand in judgement of me now are inconsequential to my stopping Analysta. I wonder if I will have the strength to retrieve the amulet and not want to use it for myself, my own selfish personal gain. It could bring my Father back, perhaps even from death.
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Abbot's Notes - Gnomes, Tobias (add'l), Aureon, Elemental Rift & Tallow, Key & Nullbeast & Thom

Gnomes: Ambushed by gnomes. Not very focused, even though they were probably after Tobias they still took time to mess with us and with Nevun’s daughter. Apparently they now have a vendetta against us for not rolling over and taking it from them.

Tobias: So, he may or may not have eladrin after him because his mother is conspiring to kill the Fey Court and because she stole artifact(s) to do so. Didn’t reveal it until this event forced him to do so. Hell, even I warned everyone else that the Iron Chain was pissed at me. A little heads-up would have gone helpful. Not really keen on the risk we’re taking on keeping him, but unless things get a lot worse it’s not worth making waves over. We already have everyone else trying to kill us, adding the Fey can’t make it much worse.

Oreion Lyrander: Shares Zephyr’s lack of morals, but also paired with insatiable desire for arcane knowledge and extremely powerful. Wrote everything there is on the Key material (need a name for it… bindstone, nullstone, planebreak ore?).

Rift/Tallow: Rift opened north of Winterhaven. Maintained (and possibly opened) by Tallow. Tallow from the initial trip to Whitetree. Lots of raving about how this “wasn’t the time yet” and that someone was coming through. Didn’t get to find out more though. I knocked him out for later, but he got sucked into the Nullbeast that we unleashed. See below. Rift has been closed.

Key/Nullbeast: So. We may have unleashed an unknown primordial null-creature upon creation. Nevun got one of the gnaw beasts to eat the Key, which then resulted in something appearing that attempted to suck in anything and everything around it and dissolve it. We did shove it into the elemental chaos rift and lock the rift behind it, but we have no idea what will happen from that. If we got lucky, something might just kill the damn thing for us and then Thom will be fine. It can’t be the strongest thing in the whole Elemental Chaos.

Okay that’s probably not going to happen. Realistically speaking, it’s going to cause problems for someone. Either for the people on the other side of the rift, or for us if it comes back through. And if the “Gardmore Artifact” doesn’t work, we’ll have to bring it back to kill it once and for all. Which might kill us.

What have we wrought, Sehanine?

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Zephyr's Journal Entry 4

The past few days have been confusing. We entered the keep that guarded the Shadowfell and defeated its guardians. We manged to release two undead who had been trapped forever guarding the keep. I normally wouldn’t go out of my way to help a wandering spirit, but being trapped and forced to guard a keep over a planar portal is something I understand. We found the Vecnites opening the portals, one of them even attempted to use lightning on me, it tickled. Apparently the knife that injured Nevun’s son can also be used to open entryways into other planes, interesting.

Speaking of Nevun’s son, he and his sister are one source of my confusion. They don’t know any magics, but nor are they trained in the use of armor or weapons. Who raises their children like that?! A goblin raiding party could kill them never mind a real threat, and the girl must be at least 10! Maybe he doesn’t like them? I’m concerned for their safety if they continue traveling with us. Maybe I can teach the girl to at least manifest some thunder, otherwise I just don’t see the point of her.

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Abbot's Notes - River Fens, Silvanesti Empire - Iron Chain, Stronton, Ambrose, Thom

Witchlight Fens: Lizardmen. Not friendly. Like poison and explosive wisps. I believe I hate swamps.

Silvaneste Empire/Iron Chain: So, I apparently somehow missed that Sarthel was planning to annex a major chunk of/near Harkenwold. Using the pretense of anti-goblin defense. I don’t think they’re actively pursuing me still, but they won’t be happy to see me. Furthermore, they appear to be quite aggressive in dealing with possible threats, since they immediately moved to take out Nevun when he returned to Stronton. Wonder if they’d like to handle the looming primordial threat. That would be nice.

Stronton: Just another village, except that it’s Nevun’s home and it’s been recently annexed by Sarthel. We got there, visited Nevun’s wife and kid, met the local lord, nearly got mobbed and raided, and sailed away ASAP. Lovely way to spend a vacation.

Ambrose:

Fucking politicians.

Short version: Local lord for the Silvaneste Empire. Tried to blame killings caused by Vecnites with V’s Key on Nevun. Actually a rather smart double-win for him if he had pulled it off; he gets the credit for ending the killings and de-legitimizes the old system/government by implicating the former captain (Nevun). That said, fuck this guy with a rusty spear. Nevun doesn’t deserve that shit after running all over to save his son. And he’s pretty clearly interested in Thom’s affliction for not quite clear reasons. Power, obviously, but not entirely sure of his angle. Unfortunately if he rules Stronton, we’ll probably be seeing him again. Nevun isn’t going to leave Stronton as is.

Thom: Hey, the amulet worked! Something actually did what it was supposed to do! Of course, now we’re on the run with him because Ambrose tried to arrest Nevun and was creepily interested in Thom’s condition. But we’ve halted the spread of corruption. Which means probably something else is going to go wrong to compensate.

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Abbot's Notes - Keep Shadowfell, Lyrandar Keep,Origin, Vecna's Key

Keep/Shadowfell: Lots of undead, traps, Vecnites holed up in the innermost rooms. The last fight with the cultists nearly brought me down. Brought back some bad memories from Sarthel as I was coughing up blood. I know I (sort of) chose this life, but being this close to the edge and back is starting to leave some marks mentally. Also, closed up a rip into the Shadowfell. See Key entry below.

Lyrandar Keep: Blasted, overrun with demons, Lyrandar guardians dead. I think that might be a problem.

Origin: Well, didn’t really expect to be writing up this section. Melandra had some news about me. Apparently, a bunch of drow were going to sacrifice me up on the surface. Grey Guards found them, killed them, and saved me. I was supposed to be sacrificed in order to “save the drow” or something. Man, if all it takes is a baby to take down the drow then the surface world has really overestimated them. Anyways, they wrapped me up and shipped me off to the orphanage in Sarthel.

The second thing is that the symbol I found after nearly dying the first time was actually the symbol of another priest, whose name is unfortunately escaping me. They sent him to check up on me, and haven’t heard from him since. I have no idea how his symbol ended up next to a bruised and bloodied me, and the priests had no clue either. On top of all that, Melandra was certain all of this meant Sehanine had some special plan for me.

Not sure how to feel about that.

I respect Sehanine. I serve her faithfully because of that and because of the deal I made. I even pray to her and pay respects to her. And I know that nothing comes for free, that she was going to get something from me as I had gotten something from her. But, I still don’t really worship her. She’s my patron, my boss, my guide (sometimes), but I’m still not sure how I feel about her being my goddess. And I hate being a pawn, even for her.

So, I was hoping that the Iron Chain would be the worst of my problems. Now, it’s up there with Vecna, loose demons, Marek with his primordial buddies, and now any other drow that buy into me being the doom of their race.

Fuck, I miss Sarthel.

Vecna’s Blade/Key, (add’l):

By Sehanine’s silver blood, we are so fucked.

Had to get that out of the way. Vecna’s Blade is actually known as the Key. Key to ripping holes between the planes as it turns out. Or at least to the Shadowfell. The whoreson of a cleric in the Shadowfell keep ripped one open right in front of us, which was much harder for us to close than it was for him to open. So, this blade has gone from a deadly/dangerous magic weapon to a very, VERY important and dangerous magical tool.

Shit, I thought we were playing with a minor little castoff from Vecna that happened to go astray. How in the hells did thing end up in Sarthel? The servants of Vecna and possibly Vecna himself ARE watching us. Even if we get the amulet to Nevun’s son, we might be just putting him at more risk. The amulet alone will make him a target, and once Vecna realizes that Nevun’s kid is in Stronton (and he will, I can’t imagine we have any way of hiding that from him, even assuming he doesn’t already know), then they will come and use Thom to get the dagger.

I think I need to get Nevun to get his family out of Stronton. We might be able to bring them to the Gray Guard keep in Winterhaven, the Guards might protect them just to spite Vecna or to be able to examine his magic and its effect. But leaving them in Stronton is a death sentence. I don’t know if Nevun will see it my way though.

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