The Un-Made Crown

Journal of Arnexus 16

So it seems Lady Veradyne is making a major mistake, per normal. Helion Academy is making a push to train mages at an accelerated rate, in the hopes of building up their martial prowess. Given the nature of human magic and its wrongness this could cause a great amount of trouble. Sasha Addler claimed that she had stolen some of his secrets and used those to gain power. I’m going to be keeping an eye on her, as the circumstances of her ascension seem suspicious. She is going to attempt a conjuring, which worries me greatly. Binding beings of power is never a good way to achieve such.

In the last week we were able to sell off the last of the treasure that was not claimed, which resulted in a nice share for each of us.

During the week Rohveka enlisted help of our group to investigate the Company of the Shining Beacon with the intent of impersonating Candice Mordane. I’m wondering if it might be wiser to just approach them diplomatically rather than cladestinely. I suppose it’s not altogether likely they’d be open and willing to share everything, however. It is known that they prefer to keep things close to their chest.

Kephri disguised herself as Slyph (her old self) and attended the trial of Falcovere the fallen paladin from our last week’s encounter.

Rohveka was successful. She was able to find that there was a veritable trove of Chessine artifacts. There was a blooded trapped in a large piece of amber, an amulet and two sword-staves. Now we just need to figure out how to study the items and perhaps procure them.

I wrote a diplomatic message to the Company of the Beacon to try and get access to their Chessine artifacts. Luckily they allowed me to visit. They only have a fraction of the items that were present in the vault, but I did not expect them to allow me full access; at least not right away. I hope to earn their trust so that I can gain full access to their knowledge.

They had the amber gem in the items that I was allowed to see. It contains a blooded being for sure. There are runes used as a disguise or red herring to prevent others from tampering and freeing the being. I am very much sure that the being within is evil. I used a spell to detect blooded magic to determine that it is a Buspar bloodline trapped within. A sigil of Kephri is what is keeping the being trapped…quite interesting. I shall have to ask Kephri what it was that caused to her to chose the name she did. The sigil itself is older than the primal sigils of the world. QUITE intriguing.

The other items were interesting enough, though shadowed by the power of the trapped creature. Shield generators and magical batteries.

I came to the realization that the being within the amber is awake. I warned the Beaconites but it came to late as their wards did not come fast enough. Connor struck the amber with his sword. A succubus creature began to come out of the amber, but was phased in and out of our plane and time. Suddenly the rest of our group appeared…courtesy of what? The being was Vemerous, the first succubus.

There were two versions of both Connor and Rennik, changed versions. Suddenly a blast changed everything. We found ourselves…elsewhere. We were outside of time. Connor had pierced the heart of Vemerous and fallen unconcious, no doubt overwhelmed by the sudden infusion of power. We were in the holding queue for creation. Great…

Some in our group wished to track down various dragon gods. I’m somewhat wary of such options as we do not know how they would react. I voted that we move in the direction of water. Rennik found game, which is odd for this place but who am I to question something that could keep us fed.

Journal of Arnexus 15

Those that wished to go were preparing to visit the Chessine Exhibit at the Blakemore Museum. While awaiting the appointed time to go, Rohveka recieved a “gift”. Sara Connor’s head was sent to her with a message. “Noone shall take your form again.” It was signed with a stylized A. We eventually compared the A with the notes of Sasha Addler and found that they matched. The weapon is a rare weapon called a war razor, and Rennik showed us that it was made of glass. A very sharp glass-steel weapon.

Slyph said that she wished to go by the name Kephri Andersmith. Apparently it’s the name of one who was part of the Buspar bloodline (one of Rohveka’s ancestors). I know I’ve heard the name Kephri somewhere, but I cannot quite place it at the moment. I’ll have to investige the name.

We arrived fashionably late, but were subjected to a line. I won’t go on dramatically about waiting in line, but let’s just say that elven events don’t “perform” in the same manner. We all just arrive exactly as is necessary.

The warding magics of the display cases prevented me from truly getting a good guage upon the magics of the items themselves. This is truly frustrating in all honesty. While the exhibit is of mild interest, it’s mostly for show. True academia would require me to closely examine the items. Obviously I realize this was mostly an event to show off, and push socializing among human society’s elite.

I decided to study the wards as I couldn’t truly study much else. They were of elven and dwarven make, which is quite interesting. Dwarves are known to hire themselves out while elves, however, are not.

Voices then began to emanate from everything surrounding us “Danger is coming.” “Danger is here.” Suddenly we find Connor and Rohveka in our presence, who had previously been absent; interesting…

It’s truly hard to say what happened next. The “brainless” woman accompanying her “love” reliving his older days ripped his heard out. A hound archon becomes a corrupted something or other. Bearded devils I believe. The woman that killed the noble becomes a burly male being after adressing the dragon skull. Apparenltly “it” had been a male previously.

One of the figures that I noticed, a stoic being, charged in, on our side. It was unusual. Apparently the female ripping the old noble’s heard out was Baron Carza, the one that killed King Stephan. The stoic being is a “guardian of the stoic hall”. The hand used to rip out hearts was the hand of Vulche. A deathknight… Obviously this is alarming given the murals we saw of our group facing off against death knights. The skull is the pentarch? A being that knows all magic. Rohveka walked toward it and obviously touched it. What else could she do?

Rovheka approached the skull, wishing to go back to her previous form. Studying the magic that transpired I realized that there are five skulls that make up the pentarch. This one should not be held in the improper hands. As Rohveka touches the skull, her true, previous, form was returned to her as the tiefling’s wings returned to her. Her black wings changed from black to gold. They were both scaley and feathered. Most strange. In the end, Rohveka is returned to her true form. Six horns sprouted from her head, draconic instead of demonic. Her tail became more draconic. Her rings grew to….a more true size perspective wise.

We took the “paladin” to the temple of Aethon. I imagine their justice will be harsher than our own.

Rohveka, having returned to her “true” form, attempted to help Slyph return to normal, and attain that which was due to her through her own efforts.

I, Kephri


Things are not what they seem. My dreams….my hopes….my success….all has been tainted. I have lived the life I thought was meant for me, but there was a greater calling placed on my life. My parents and my companions too have looked up to me and expected me to be what they wished. I was molded and shaped into the image they wished, but not what was meant for me. There was another path I was meant to follow. Ninkali herself has intervened in Her great wisdom and shown me my true path…the path of Her Chosen. I once was crippled and dying in my fears and the restraints I allowed others to place upon me. When I had thought She abandoned me I learned the truth. She has called me to be something more and empowered me.

I heard her….saw her….FELT her as she told me _"You are more than just a Knight. You are more than just a rider of a unicorn. You are my Chosen. I have chosen you. That is enough." _

The “Slyph that was” has been transformed into the protector she always was. She now encases the lost child Rohveka. Ninkali’s hand is upon her. The tiefling cannot deny it. She is Slyph now.

And I? I have been reborn. The blood of the ancestors of Buspar’s bloodline runs through my veins, teaching me the ways of war and battle. Knowledge of hundreds of ancestors now belongs to me.

The Chosen has been reborn. Kephri Andersmith, cousin to Slyph now walks the path of the Goddess…a path carved just for her. As Ninkali wills it, so shall it be. This ancient evil that plagues this earth shall not win.

(Lyrics to song above:
I lie here paralytic inside this soul
Screaming for you ‘til my throat is numb
I wanna break out
I need a way out
I don’t believe that it’s gotta be this way
The worst is the waiting
In this womb I’m suffocating
Feel your presence filling up my lungs with oxygen
I take you in
I’ve died

Rebirthing now
I wanna live for love wanna live for you and me
Breathe for the first time now
I’ve come alive somehow

Rebirthing now
I wanna live my life wanna give you everything
Breathe for the first time now
I’ve come alive somehow

Right now
Right now

I lie here lifeless in this cocoon
Shedding my skin ‘cause I’m ready to
I wanna break out
I found a way out
I don’t believe that it’s gotta be this way
The worst is the waiting
In this womb I’m suffocating
Feel your presence filling up my lungs with oxygen
I take you in
I’ve died

Rebirthing now
I wanna live for love wanna live for you and me
Breathe for the first time now
I’ve come alive somehow

Rebirthing now
I wanna live my life wanna give you everything
Breathe for the first time now
I’ve come alive somehow
(I came alive somehow)

Tell me when I’m gonna live again
Tell me when I’m gonna breath you in
Tell me when I’m gonna feel inside
Tell me when I’m gonna feel alive

Tell me when I’m gonna live again
Tell me when this fear will end
Tell me when I’m gonna feel inside
Tell me when I’ll feel alive

Rebirthing now
I wanna live for love wanna live for you and me
Breathe for the first time now
I’ve come alive somehow

Rebirthing now
I wanna live my life wanna give you everything
Breathe for the first time now
I’ve come alive somehow
(I’ve come alive somehow)

Right now
I’ve come alive somehow
Right now
I’ve come alive somehow )

Journal of Arnexus 14

So the morning started up quite nicely as I enjoyed a quiet breakfast with Genna, and then Connor. One could have actually thought it was a normal family gathering.

Then a storm of shite came raining down upon us. Slyph’s dreams are manifesting even more strongly as apparently she’s been up to mischief, or at least has procured the products of mischief. Rohveka has also been up to no good and as Slyph seems to have been inducted as a Vestigal Knight expectant. I really cannot fathom what goes through these women’s minds. Slyph may not be at fault in this instance but their actions led to this point. I’m wondering if every time Rohveka changes into Slyph that there is some price to be paid. The two women are linked and that link needs to be removed or controlled.

Slyph struck Rohveka, and then a thunderclap occured. The world blew apart for lack of a better description, and only flames from Connor protected us from the wake of what occured. A voice proclaimed, ‘The investiture is complete.’ Somehow Rohveka has completed the investiture procedure and given Slyph her bloodline. Both of their appearances have changed, Rohveka looking like an aasimar rather than a tiefling. Slyph has grown, her hair changing to red and her eyes to green.

We first tried to visit the temple, to try and make sense of everything. Eventually we decided to visit Rohveka’s mother and mentor and bring her to Granny Liddie.

I believe the enemy that the blue dragon that had spoken to us of, perpetrated this change. Liddie said that nothing could alter reality with no trace as has been done to Rohveka and Slyph. Basically this is undoable. It is as I feared, what has happened is beyond the power of all our contacts and allies. We will have to go from here, on our own…

We returned to our compound no better off than when we left.

I introduced Slyph to elven wine. Perhaps not the wisest of courses, but it will prove enlightening to her. Connor and I had a good discussion. Apparently his sword provides a good sorce of knowledge.

What happened next is really hard to put into writing. Basically the goddess manifested itself and said basically, it was sorry. There was something older about the goddess than what the humans knew. This gave me some sense of well being. A being manifested entirely of merely human-ness isn’t really…appealing.

Conflicted Spirit, Part Douze
These Dreams Go On When I Close My Eyes

So much has happened these last few days…first we met with Sasha Addler in the most unusual of prisons. The warden, a pseudo dragon seems very intelligent, but also somewhat distant. I do not think he has the best interests of the kingdom at heart. Still, he has managed to keep the serial killer locked up. I must admit, he was not at all what I had imagined….if I even could imagine. He looked relatively harmless….that is up a point….

I still shudder at the memory of it. He longs to get out. I can feel it. I fear I may have made things worse, but at least we know of a way to possibly cure this plague…but not destroy it. I fear even if I asked, even if he knew, he would not tell me. The price would be far too great. I do not think we can trust him one iota. He wishes for revenge and will stop at nothing to have it. Once upon a time there might have been hope for his redemption. Now? Locked away in this tower? Having had years to seek the perfect woman, his obsession fueling him. He is a sorry soul to say the least, but a dangerous one. The fact that the prisoners and guards so fear him does not make me feel better. Hobkirk has let him out before….

My dreams grow more disturbing each night. I feel…..I feel as if I am changing…It is as if I am becoming another person. My link to Rohveka seems to be growing more and more each day so much so that I brought my fears to Arnexus, wanting…no HOPING there was a way to undo what we have done. His only advice was that we should refrain from using our powers until we could speak with her mentor. Fate will not allow us to rest, though. If Rohveka remains in her true form, she will be hunted down and killed for her bloodline. There is no other option but for her to hide as me. Yet….what do I do? Where is my freedom and escape? The walls close in more and more. My dreams haunt me with images of being hunted, tortured and burned…..or so they were.

Goddess, my dreams are far more disturbing now. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME? Have they come to life? Is no one safe from my curse?

Journal of Arnexus 13

Through Genna’s subterfuge we have made the manor our home. It is proving most useful so far.

Slyph came to visit me this morning. She looked very disturbed. She shared that her dreams have crossed over into her waking world. I’m beginning to wonder if someone or something is trying to get to us through our dreams. Slyph’s link with Rohveka could be affecting things as her hands glowed red, like certain demons when about to subvert someone’s will. It is disturbing to say the least. I shall have to share this with Rohveka and do some reading on the matter. I think we should probably consult Rohveka’s mentor on the matter as well.

We met for breakfast, where I learned of their visit to the prison and the madman contained within. I shared with the group the happenings with the army and their travel to aid the dwarven kingdoms. This leaves Helion quite undefended, as the majority of the army has been mobilized. The Queen did this despite what her advisors recommended. I honor her for her choice but I worry about the ramifications. We spoke of the White Kingdom and their worship of Drathi, Goddess of the Undead.

As Rennik walked into the room he was hit by a poison barbed arrow. We chased after the assailant and discovered a hobgoblin branded on the forehead had attempted to shoot Rohveka. Some of our group charged out to confront the attacker and found him blowing a strange horn that made no sound to our ears. Upon study we figured it was a rather old horn that signifies a hunt for a creature of a specific bloodline…obviously I am thinking Rohveka. I’m afraid our tiefling friend is now being hunted.

Rohveka told us as such after the fact. Apparently she was visited in her dreams by her mother and was told that only one fitting Connor’s description could help her hide.

Connor was able to destroy the horn, though touching it with his bare hand caused a vision of some sort, based upon his rather angry response. In anger he destroyed the sword and then the sword changed…again. It started out as a short sword and then grew to a longsword. Now it is the size of a bastard sword.

We spoke of how we wished to go about curing the plague. I’m wondering if the madman could have used his own blood to create the golem, which could help with getting rid of the plague. It seems a better option than convincing a unicorn to give up its life.

Lord Tel-Florin, the noble who had a package in Boldger’s shadow storage area, came to visit looking for powdered black rhino horn, the same material that was in the package. Interesting. The Lord’s words reminded me of the Chessine exhibit, which is of great interest to me.

Connor’s sword is talking to him. Obviously it’s a rare item, which we already knew, but it makes a certain sense that it would be imbued with sentience.

The morning wasn’t eventful enough so Rohveka suddenly commented that someone was approaching and easily slipped into Slyph’s form. A seven foot tall being in ash black full plate came calling, Jacob by name. He seemed to know much about Connor’s sword and said that it was in the right hands. The name of the sword is apparently Doomsayer, The King’s Sword. We told him that Rohveka had been slain, and he said it was a shame as a daughter of Valeria has much power. Supposedly there are seven (now six) horns that can track blooded folk. There are five bloodlines (Askarid, Guyress, Buspar, Exferrax and Arabis). He was amused by our company name as Askarid was a blue dragon. The other princes are blooded as well. The man was a font of information. He told Connor to fortify himself and begin an army. He said that someone had anchored Connor’s bloodline, imbued or locked away the power in an item. An anchored bloodline is stagnant. So Connor was born before the anchoring took place. He showed off his sword, Asvernix the Void’s Claw.

Talon’s Blade was the sword of the Champion of Askarid, who was a blue dragon. It’s another name for Connor’s sword, which was given to him by the shade of a blue dragon. It stands to reason that perhaps Askarid was the dragon that gave us our gifts. He could not remember his name.

Investure…someone can willingly give up their blood to another blooded and become “mundane”. This becomes interesting.

Conflicted Spirit, Part Onze
The Shining Knight Amid the Darkness

How many days has it been? I cannot tell. I cannot get the man off my mind…and what I did. Every corner I turn, I dread running into him. Luckily such is not the case.

Eventually Arnexus, Rohveka, Connor, Genna and myself are able to slip away and get some much deserved rest. Goddess I have never been so tired before. I do not remember when I closed my eyes. One minute I’m asleep and another I am awake again and well rested. Thankfully the nightmares did not return this time. Were it not for exhaustion I fear I never would have slept.

We break our fast together and discuss the rumors milling about the city. No one has reported anything about Amara Naren’s remains or even her wheelchair. Surely someone would have come forth about her disappearance if nothing else. We agree that Sir William Croftsley needs to be made aware of what happened before news reaches the Queen and her advisers. Yet, before we leave we realize Genna is not with us. We know she left the Temple with us….. Where had she run off to now?

Just then a young messenger approaches us and says he has a missive for the Company of the Blue Dragon. Arnexus agrees to sign for it while Connor takes the missive. Of course all of our nerves are on edge after all the things that have happened in the city. We’re even more uneasy after Connor sees the seal of House Naren.

Apparently the deceased Amara Naren has invited us to a tea… I have a bad feeling about this. When discussing whether we should go, I offer the thought that Genna may already be there which is why we have been summoned. If Amara was alive…how I don’t know…she would not hesitate to have a second chance in eliminating us. We have little choice. We must go and see what she wants.

When we arrive at the estate, we are ushered inside. The guards seem a little gruff with us, but do not harm us. Apparently it is against Amara’s wishes that we come to any harm….that is by anyone but herself. We are lead into the Arboretum where a table is set for us and Amara sits at the head…oh yes….it is her alright.

Wary of what unruly magic and construct she might have summoned this time, I go and take a seat to her left, making sure to let the light of Ninkali wash over to her just in case she might be undead. Connor and the others, however, stay far away. For one so recently recalled from death, she seems rather jovial and amused at our wariness.

Amara claims she wishes to start over with us, but Connor is not willing to play her games. Immediately he asks her if she still wishes to murder people to which she laughs. It is not an evil or cruel laugh but one of pure glee….

Genna!!!! That sneaky little halfling! After all we’ve been through she does this to us?!

Of course we demand to know what is going on. She proceeds to say that she came back and took on the visage of Amara after one of the woman’s servants came to her about something stored in her labs. Apparently there is a plague that could wipe out the entire kingdom or parts of it hidden away inside her personal lab. By taking on Amara’s likeness Genna was able to do some investigating and find out some more information. She needs our help in destroying this bone plague for which there is no cure.

Clever girl! Still, she should have been more forthcoming.

She leads the way up the stairs to the second floor where Amara’s bedroom and study is located. Connor and Genna open the door with little trouble and discover that this is where Amara had kept all her financial records. Apparently her estate is vast and investments numerous. Knowing we need to see the laboratory we close the door and head to the third floor.

The laboratory door has one of the most complex locks we have ever come across before. Connor and Genna tell us that there are several linked traps joined to the five part locking mechanism. They both work on the door while the rest of us stand ready to aid them in what ever way we can. Given Amara’s love of locks and traps, we expect the worst. When we hear that final click I close my eyes and offer a quick prayer to Ninkali….but alas Connor and Genna did it!

As we enter the room we find glassware hanging from the ceiling, glass jars filled with body parts and strange fluid…it is similar to what we had found inside the basement of the warehouse. Before we can look around much more we hear a disembodied voice of Amara haunt us as a misshapen?…no…malformed?….no…..a piecemeal raven? owl? all of the above? sitting upon one of the glass jars. It tells us that its master would not want us here, to which I point back to Genna. The creature, however, is not amused. It knows Genna is not its true master. It has a bit of her inside it….so it claims.

Connor acts quickly as the bird tries to take flight and tries to knock the bird down. Rohveka and Arnexus too aid in stopping the bird creature as it tries to get to a cabinet. We are able to subdue it and Connor kills it with ease. As his blade pierces the bird, however, a silvery crackle of light appears around him, baffling…but now makes a little sense. Connor is far more than he seems, but alas I am getting ahead of myself.

We further investigate the room and discover two large contraptions facing a table that are capable of making the virus airborne. This whole lab is one giant distribution center! Several other mechanisms are throughout the room linked to various ways to release the plague should anyone tamper with them. Amara was serious about releasing this plague, but why?

Inside the cabinet the winged creature was trying to access is a human pieced suit with an opening at the top large enough for the bird. It was this it was trying to reach.

From what we scrounge up in the lab we discover that Amara did not create this virus but was able to improve upon the one her master, The Addler, had worked with. Apparently she had become fixated on this disease that not only affected her but she believed to be the divine hand of the gods. Only paladins with their ability of laying on hands are able to help lessen the effects of the plague, but they themselves cannot be infected. Priests and healers of other callings are unable to do anything to protect or heal the poor souls who have caught this dreadful plague. Why would anyone create such a horrific disease? I cannot fathom the reason…nor the mentality….

Further notes indicate that the green liquid in the glass jars contains the concentrated disease. There is no known cure, just as we had been told. We know we must destroy this lab, but without more information, we do not know how to do it safely. Connor and Genna disable the distribution center from inside to prevent any release from happening through the tunnels Amara had set up.

Then and only then do we turn our attention to another locked room, trapped similarly like the door. It must be her private library where she held all of her research. With the help of Ninkali Connor and Genna once more are able to open the door to reveal a treasure trove of books, some forbidden, some full of recipes and notes. It would take a lifetime to go through all of these books. I already see Arnexus’s eye drawn to a particular book. Before we touch anything though we check for more traps but find protections upon the books only. It seemed Amara never expected people to get this far.

Further in the room Connor finds a door that is much like a vault. As he approaches the door, standing in front of a window, the glass shatters and an arrow pierces him in the shoulder. An assassin! As turn to him and he removes the crossbolt, we hear a whirring sound. Immediately someone grabs it and throws it out the window where it explodes and sends pieces of shrapnel and gears flying everywhere.

Connor attempts to take out the assassin just as we hear a thud and the walls to the building begin to shudder and quake. Large hell hounds emerge from it before us. We have little room to maneuver and all chances of reaching Connor are lost as long as these beasts are here. One by one we unleash our might upon them, with me calling forth the might of Ninkali’s mightiest lightning.

Connor shouts something I do not completely hear…something about these things not having us….but honestly my mind was on the hounds and keeping them away from my companions. When I do chance a glance back toward Connor he looks different….radiant….more like a valiant king than ranger.

The last beast is sent back to its realm as Connor turns his attention back to the assassin. He shoots true and pierces her chest as she falls to her death. Breathless I turn my attention back to Connor just in time to see him collapse and the silvery glow about him dissipate.

Hurrying to his side, a celestial creature summoned by Arnexus draws near and hovers over Connor. It tells him “He is risen, he is born anew. The Shining Knight has been found”….

In wonder I look up to the Celestial before it fades. Turning my attention back to Connor I feel the energy of Ninkali surge within me and wash over his wounds. My mind however still reels from what the Celestial had said. The Shining Knight is a folk tale that has been around since the death of the king. It tells of the Knight restoring the kingdom. Could it be?

Genna unlocks the door to the vault as I continue to tend to Connor. They tell me there are all sorts of items inside, varying from collectibles to jewels….many items.

With our inn burned and no other place to go, we agree to stay within the estate as Amara’s guests while looking further into this plague and these strange items.

It was after that night that the nightmares returned again. This time, however, they do not fade when I awaken. The normal darkness of early morning filling the room is gone….I can see through the shadows….and whispers….vile whispers of demons fill my mind as my hands glow red. What is happening to me? Oh Goddess what is happening to me?!

Journal of Arnexus 12

These dreams create more questions than answers. My head is filled with arcane knowledge I had previously not possessed. What is the purpose of these fox beings in sharing this knowledge? I am assuming they are foes of our Enemy, but this assumption could prove dangerous. I shall, without a doubt, be very mindful of using and studying this magic. My studies will also pull out other possibilities.

The past two days have reaffirmed that humans may have some potential after all. I think it’s an individual’s ideals that make them community centered over self centered. I know there are those that will likely take advantage of the devastation wrought by the planar beings but as a whole the humans have rallied to help those in need. This is good.

We decided to set off and talk to William Croftsly about the events that had transpired with Amara Narren. I had, had the idea of perhaps given Amara’s criminal/monstrous personality that perhaps we could be granted the estate as a base of operations. Instead we recieved a summons from Amara Narren.

We were noticeably wary as we were ushered into the arboretum once again. Eventually Genna revealed that she was disguised as Amara and that the servant Malcom had a goal for us in mind. Despite my mischevious nature, given the extreme paranoia we all have been feeling lately left me ill in the mood for pranks of this nature. I found the “joke” to be in bade taste.

Apparently we need to destroy Amara’s laboratory in order to prevent the true Amara from coming back. There was also a plague within the laboratory that required destruction. We decided to investigate the lab. Within the lab we found equipment suited to a madman, or woman. Within was another monstrous creation, some sort of golem bird familiar creature. We were able to destroy the strange creature. There was a body within a cabinet that would have taken the bird and allowed it to control the contrust. Quite disturbing.

We were able to find a way of removing the lab’s ability to disperse the virus, but we weren’t really able to determine how to destroy the virus itself. We are going to have to safeguard this incredibly virulent creation until we can determine how to destroy it.

Within the next room are Amara’s study. There were many books within the room that should not have been written. Others I believe may be useful in my magical research. I’ve made a note on the side of the tomes that look the most promising. If I get the chance I shall investigate further.

While investigating the room Connor was attacked by an assassin through the window. We were then set upon by three hellhounds. Connor was changed when the attack occured. His posture was more authoritative and strong, his attacks harmed the hounds greatly. The rest of the group performed admirably as well. I was worried about collateral damage with the attacks but we neutralized the threat quickly.

The lantern archon I summoned for the fight said something over Connor while he fell to his knees after the fight:

“He is risen, he is born anew. The Shining Knight has been found”

Interesting. I do feel that we shall have to guide Connor toward leadership, though I know he doesn’t desire it. I have found those worthy of power but not desiring it are best to lead. I feel his empathy would suite him well as king. We shall see.

We made our way into the vault and found quite a few items of magic. It looks like we have our work cut out for us on all the various tasks arrayed out before us…

Conflicted Spirit, Part Dix
Poor Judgement in Darkness

With our prisoner disguised we know we must decide what to do with her. If we take her to William there is a chance she might be set free. Still, I feel it is not for us to judge what her fate might be. William has proven to be trustworthy in the past. With the evidence against her, we can prove her guilt. Of this I do not fear. Still, the thought of taking her to Grandma Liddie seemed to also have merit. There are things she can do that William cannot.

Our decision has to be made swiftly as we see smoke rising from the Lower District…the same district where Grandma Liddie lives. I insist that we head there. Persons might be injured and our help would be needed. The others, however wanted to head to William. Their reasoning was if there was trouble at Grandma Liddie’s that there is a chance our prisoner could escape. We cannot let her go.

So, against my better judgement, I agree to follow them to William. Precious time is lost as once we arrive we see the gates sealed. The gates are never sealed unless the city is under siege and the Queen’s life is in danger. We hear an ear piercing shriek in the air above us, humanoid with wings, claws, etc. It is shadowy as if is covered with soot. It is a creature from the Gray Wastes. It is a part of the demon fields, foot soldiers. It appeared from nothingness. As it banks to swing down into the city a lightning bolt comes up from the royal precincts and disintegrates it.

Whatever is happening we cannot delay any longer. We must help those in the Lower Districts. My fellow companions decide it is too risky to take Amara. They ignored my protests against killing her claiming it was our right and duty as an adventuring company to deal with this threat. Every person, evil or not deserves a trial and a just outcome. My pleas fell on deaf ears as Rennik stepped forward and ended her life. I will never forget the sight…seeing a head severed from a body. It will haunt my dreams forever. I prayed to Ninkali to show forgiveness to my companions for their deed. Goddess forgive me too.

I did what I could to serve last rights, sanctifying the body with holy water to wash her clean of her deeds in preparation for the Crone. The body started sizzling and smoking! She was not alive but a flesh golem! What kind of person could craft such a foul creature and pass it off as a respectable lady of the kingdom? If I had not seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed it!

We run through to the Burrows to find all in utter chaos. Genna had urged us before we arrived to say she had not been with us earlier, but that seemed to be a moot issue. Demons were everywhere fighting against townspeople and…could it be? Vestial Knights! I felt my heart swell and will strengthen just in seeing them in this fight. The Vestial Knights were here! It truly was a magnificent fight.

It was Rohveka’s words that helped ground me and steel me to our purpose here. The planar energies were twisting and warping. The demons that were here were fluctuating in and out as if they were not fully here. I knew of an ancient but deadly Ninkali ritual that might keep the two planes from locking, but we could not do it alone. We needed another to help us complete the link. If we failed…such could not happen. I urged Rohveka to shift into my form to protect her and we all joined in the battle, fighting our way toward what remained of Grandma Liddie’s home.
Genna was beside herself but fought bravely as we ultimately faced Griselle. We were not alone, though. The Vestial Knights joined in as well as a few others. One was a strange dwarf commanding a stone golem. Another joined in with glowing swords, one fiery and the other cold as ice. The strangest sight of them all was a priestess of Aethon who hurled blindingly pure white energy toward the hag.

I lend what aid I can, channeling the light of Ninkali around me to heal those wounded. A wolfman thanked me and gleefully joined the battle. Oh how I longed to be at the side of one of the Vestial Knights. I should be in there as well. Still, I hold firm healing those I can and aiding my companions.

The words of Connor come to mind as I long to enter the battle. I should stay back and continue what I’m doing. Yet, an opportunity presents itself that I cannot resist. Rushing in toward the bowed hag, the one who has haunted our dreams and tried to end us before, I unleash what should have been a glorious attack only to have her fling me like a rag doll away. Stunned and unconscious I hear the sounds of battle so far away, chiding myself for such foolish actions. Was this to be the end?

Alas, such was not the case. Feeling the warmth of Ninkali fade away again, I open my eyes just as Griselle is just about to fall, which she finally does. Genna immediately goes in search for Liddie, but I know no time can be wasted. With what strength I have left, I approach Arnexus, Rohveka and the priestess of Aethon to assist in the ritual. Though I warn them it is a dangerous ritual, Connor forces me to say what I had not wanted to do. It could kill any one of us. Yet, there was no other choice to save the city.

Lady Candice Noirdane, Priest-Huntress of Saint Benador of the company of the Shining Beacon, and Rohveka are able to hold the planes together as my strength and that of Arnexus falters. I remember little else of that time after the planes were secured. It is only the warmth of Ninkali rousing me and renewing my weak spirit that eventually ushers me back to reality. Rohveka…if you only knew what a gift you possess….

Liddie is found underneath rubble and is unconscious. Genna and Renniks attempts to rouse her fail. Renewed by Ninkali, I call upon her aid to once more channel her light toward the poor halfling woman. It is Connor, however, that finally is able to get her to open her eyes. The priestess urges us to leave the area as the planes still are unstable. Even though Helion is now safe, it did not survive without some scars. I suggest we return to the Temple where Liddie can receive the aid of my sisters.

As soon as we arrive, I am immediately grabbed and pulled away from my companions to aid in tending the wounded. Day blends into night. The strength of my body fades and is renewed yet again by the healing energies swirling about me. I feel strung out and as used as a wet towel. If I do not sleep, I fear I will collapse. It is then that a desperate man comes to me…no grabs me and begs that I aid his wife. I try tell him that we are doing what we can for everyone, but he is hysterical. I have nothing left within me. I am utterly spent. He does not listen to reason and He insists and nearly becomes violent. He must calm down. Reaching out a hand to try to calm him, I felt…..I felt….his will crumble beneath mine. His eyes glossed over and soon cleared as he immediately calmed. Those words he uttered….I shall never forget them:

“Yes Priestess, as you wish.”

It was the way in which he said them…almost as if it were a command given by a superior. I looked at him dumbfounded at first, but he stayed at my side awaiting my command. A chill still crawls up my spine at the way he waited. I did not know what else to do. I told him to return to his wife and tend to her as a loving husband. I did not know what else to say.

He…obliged….he went.

What happened? What did I do? HOW did I do it? Is he okay? Was it something permanent or temporary? I am afraid to even find out the answer. I was tired! Exhausted! Could he not see it? Oh Divine Goddess, what have I done? What have I done?

I hate writing journals, pt 8
It wasn't a dream

While we were still deciding what to do with Amara, torn between taking her to Liddie or William, columns of smoke began rising from the halfling quarter. This forced us to make the choice of going to William, fearing that we would lose Amara in whatever chaos was afflicting the halflings. As it turned out, several guards passed us on the way to deal with the trouble. They urged me, disguised as Amara, to head back to the safety of my home and stay there, as the city was under attack by winged fiends of some sort. I assured them I would, as soon as I was concluded my task.

We got the the noble district, but the gates were barred, something that never happens unless the city is in danger, such as an attack. Being now stuck with Amara, we had to decide what to do with her, as companies such as ours would be needed in repelling the attackers. Arnexus voted for immediate justice, which as a company we have the right to do. I agreed, but given how Amara wanted us to kill her, I cautioned that we needed to make it a very thorough execution, with a full beheading. I’d even prefer to burn the remains, but that did not seem to be feasible with our current location and means. Slyph objected, but I really did not see we had any other choice. Sure, getting info from her would have been preferable, but I did not think it likely we would even if we had kept her alive, as her escape was the more likely outcome. So with that, death was the right choice. It turned out she was not even really alive, and was a construct, so no wonder she did not fear “death”. We made sure to separate her head from her body, and we put her body back in her chair, and I discarded the disguise. To make sure it seemed I had been held somewhere, captive, I put rope burns on my wrists. Then we headed to the halfling area.

Upon arriving at Grannie Liddie’s, we found her house and most around it, in smoldering ruins. Numerous creatures were arrayed in the remains and around it in combat. The one that caught my attention was the 18 foot tall Grizelda from my dreams. She was ensnared by shadowy tendrils, and being held by a large creature of rock. Other beings were attacking her too, and battles raged nearby between the flying fiends and some sort of mounted holy warriors. The battle seemed to be almost evenly waged by both sides. But it was Grizelda, tall as in my dreams, and held by the tendrils that shook me to the core. I could not see Esmerelda, but she had to be nearby. That the hag was now so tall, well, I don’t think what I saw was a dream so much as a vision.

We knew we needed to get Grizelda out of the way if the casters (I was not counted among them, as the strength of my new abilities is not yet understood) were to enact the ritual that Slyph recalled. To get the hag, we needed to clear the way, so this we proceeded to do. We had to go through 3 creatures on our own, and then a few more that were engaged with the warriors, before we could turn our attentions to the gigantic hag.

By a joined effort of all of us, we managed to get lucky with a hold spell, and several attacks. It was not easy, but our combined forces finally brought the hag down. Slyph, Arnexus, Rohveka, and one of those that were fighting the hag when we got here performed the ritual to severe the link between our realm and the other plane. It seemed to work, but Slyph and Arnexus fell to the ground during it. While they worked, I searched what was left of Grannie’s home for some sign of her. I found her, badly broken but still alive in the wreckage. Thankfully Connor was able to stabilize her, when I could not, and she opened her eyes long enough to thank us before falling back unconscious. We decided to head to safer ground, the Temple being the choice preferred. At least there, there would be healers to help the wounded. The halflings were looking at me for direction, so I told them to go to the Temple, which they did. I did search briefly for any sign of Esmerelda in the ruins of Grannie’s house, but all I found was her shawl. I will hope that she escaped to somewhere safe on her own.

We were not the only ones to have that thought, and arrived at the Temple to find it teeming with wounded, and the priests/priestesses running to and fro dispensing aid. Both Slyph and Rohveka, who looked like Slyph still, were pressed into healing. Connor was too after mentioning he could heal a bit. The others were put to work carrying supplies and the like.

I got to stay with Grannie, and watched over her as she was tended to. The priestesses said they did not have anyone of sufficient skill to heal her arm, and thus could not be certain how damaged it would remain. I told them to do what they could. I hope that Grannie is not rendered helpless as a result of her injuries. She has too many enemies to be left unable to protect herself. As she lay there, recuperating, I managed to grab a bit of rest, and prepare myself for what lies ahead. Something opened that rift between the planes, and it wasn’t Grizelda. Eventually, I fear we are going to meet that powerful entity face to face. Given that we are not strong enough on our own to take out even Grizelda, well, I just hope that we have time to grow stronger, or make some pretty powerful friends…


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