Eladhir’s Haven, Greyhelm
Although I had made cabining arrangements with Kivuli and Du’Kratha, they would not arrive until the next day. I met up with Kier and Althkaelis, and we ventured out to see what we could see. Many of the Greyhelm regulars were absent this gather, and we had quite a few travelers from other areas. I recognized some members of the Black company from Darkwatrer, as well as a few wearing green, who I believe are with the Emerald Guard. Dracos introduced himself to me, and offered to give me some enslavement antidotes for the aid of Greyhelm. Between Dracos and the other visiting adventurers, Darkwater made a good showing of themselves this gather.
To my surprise, we were also graced with a visit from the Dremoran Ambassador Ralair, and the Blade Falshaar. I spoke to them at length, and told them of the map and my experiences with the Lich. They were surprised at seeing the map, which they confirmed is Dremora, but did not ask for it’s return. The draconic skeleton depicted on the map was also confirmed to be a drake skeleton, which was used in the architecture of their magical schools. They also both agreed to drink enslavement antidotes, and showed no difference in behavior afterwards. Despite all the relations I have had with them thus far, the meeting was awkward at best.
As the darkness grew, our enemies decided to show themselves. Shadows began attacking the tavern and nearby area, only a few at first, but growing in number. As the adventurers realized attack was imminent, we gathered to prepare ourselves. Dame Miranda arrived, and immediately met with the Dremorans and a few hand-picked adventurers, none of which had dealt with the Dremorans before. A few of us thought this an odd choice, but did not question it further. Cotton was also in Greyhelm for this gather, and caused quite a stir. I am surprised the Dremorans did not kill him.
Soon after Dame Miranda and the Ambassador finished their meeting, the shadows gathered for attack. I was unsure how this battle would go. Between the many adventurers that were strangers to this land, and the newly-returned Dame, anything could happen. It worried me more than a little that I did not have my regular group to fight beside, and the absence of my koukennin was felt keenly.
Two of the Shadows were tougher, and capable of voice-controlling the others. One of these we knew to be Malshaar, a shadow wraith. The other is an unknown. What was also strange is that these were not the usual para-elementals that we have seen, but were purely shadow. The battle was scattered, and away from the light, which I am sure Malshaar was thankful for. I discovered the second Shadow could voice-control when I heard him order his horde of shadows to attack me, by name. From that point forward I was targeted, and our forces were not well organized enough… I am amazed that nobody resurrected. Kaelis once again proved himself to be a valuable ally that night, and Sir Chey also helped me more times than I could count. At one point, the battle advanced into the woodline near the cabins. As I went to join, searching for my friends who were scattered Tyrra-knows-where, I found Malshaar. I attacked him with as many imprisons and high elemental spells as I could, but he was able to defend himself from them all. He then attacked me, causing me to become diseased, and then charmed me…. I lost count of all the charms he threw. He asked me to follow him into the darkness, and I did so. Althkaelis managed to awaken me numerous times, but I was always charmed again. At one point I was attacked and dropped…. When I awoke, I was nowhere near where I had fallen, and I was behind a cabin. Malshaar was running away from me, defending himself from the adventurers who had come to my rescue. For the record: yes, I was given an enslavement antidote upon being healed. My pouch was open, and my sword was away from my hand. Between that, and the lesser shadows saying that they were searching for something, I can only assume I was searched. Nothing was found missing. I quickly met up with Kier, who had also been targeted, and we made our way through the shadows to our warded cabin. I took the time to re-memorize all the spells that had been returned to me, and we organized ourselves for further battle. Fortunately, the battle did not last much longer. Later I was told that the shadows were searching for a box, so that they could destroy it. We believe they were searching for the Dragon Turtle box… and in the absence of Baron Travador, assumed Kier or I had it. Malshaar was chased down and killed by Dame Miranda and some others; I never found out who dealt the killing blow. On his person was found a letter, detailing the components needed for some sort of High ritual. The dragon turtle box was one of these….the piece of Cassanova’s missing spirit was another. I do not know what this ritual will do, but I know I do not wish for it to succeed.
Late at night, Dame Miranda and I had our talk. We discussed many things, mostly concerning politics, subterfuge, and the flow of information. Although I was not happy about this discussion, and not pleased with the direction it took, I do believe that she and I are closer to solving any problems that lie between us. And I have resolved to never have such discussions when I am that tired again.
Of course the night could not end without another attack… spiders in the rafters of the Tavern. They were stupid surface spiders, and not trainable. They were dispatched easily enough.
After sleeping in, I was still mulling over the discussion Dame Miranda and I had, and felt I needed to meditate on the matter. I left the cabin and found a nice secluded place by the stream to think things over. I did not return till much later in the afternoon, where I met up with Kivuli, Kier, Althkaelis, and Du’Kratha. To my surprise, I also saw Dancer Nicolai present, cheery and loud as usual. From what I was told, quite a few interesting things happened while I was gone. Patches had been proclaimed “the Goblin King”, and given a crown made of chicken bones. I am not sure how or why this happened, but Patches seemed to enjoy it. His reign was brief, however, as he gave the Kingship to one of his goblin servants. Sir Chey also looked different, more… tree-like. He explained to me that he had eaten a cursed pecan nut, and he believed it was transforming him. After Dominic had invested me into the circle here, I identified Chey and found that he was turning into a pecan tree… just a tree, nothing more. Apparently there had been quite a few items that were sold with a story attached, and each item was cursed in a way that the story hinted to… after one saw the effects of the curse, of course. I also met an older human named Tarrnaak, who had fought beside Du’Kratha years ago in a war against Spider sect Dark Elves. That meeting was interesting, to say the least.
Nigel had found some chaos-tainted woods in the nearby mountains, and a large group of us left to investigate. We were reluctant to take everyone, because we did not wish to leave the town undefended, and it being a mountain, the terrain was not conducive to working as a group. For as far as the eye could see, the forest was tainted with corruption and dripping with black ooze. After fighting some of the tainted creatures, we found a clear pathway, the gate of which was through a large tree. After about half of us went through, the gateway flickered… when the rest of us crossed over; the first half of our group was nowhere to be seen. The first half consisted of Kier, Cotton, Dancer Nicolai, Patches, Hector, Sandrine, and Ravalyn. My group had Du’Kratha, Kivuli, Althkaelis, Jade, Katarina, and Anno. Luckily, each group inadvertently had a good mix of healers, celestialists, and fighters. Anno got stuck in the gateway, and could not come to assist us. We made our way up the pathway, thinking and hoping we would find our friends along the way. Although we fought many of the ooze-creatures, we did not find the first half of our group until reaching the top of the mountain trail. They were gathered around a large rock with a chaos symbol engraved in it. This symbol had holes in it, shaped so that the small stones carried by the chaos creatures would fit inside.
The other team informed us that the gate was closed, and none of us could get out. We checked, and found that Anno was still stuck, with no sign of being able to get out of that predicament. It looked like we were supposed to put these tainted chaos marbles into the chaos star, which I thought was a very bad idea. We began to explore other options, and found that attempting to purify the rock or nearby area had even more disasterous consequences. After Hector purified the rock, a large chaos-tainted beast arose from the ooze and attacked. It was very powerful, and difficult to defeat. After this, everyone pretty much agreed to place the marbles into the star, and see what would happen. We all touched the rock together just in case this action would cause people to rift out. As it turned out, my “paranoia” was unfounded. (Hey, I lived in Tyrangel… give me a break). The chaos star began to glow, and the gate opened. Anno was able to get out, but told us the gate was closing soon. We all ran down the mountain as quickly as the terrain would allow. We have yet to see what the long-term effects of this will be.
Uneventful, and not poisoned for once.
The night was looking to be uneventful. No one knew what to expect, or if Malshaar would try to attack again. A few hours after feast, a green circle appeared at the woodline. Thinking it was the Lich himself, all of us began to frantically prepare for battle. As we formed up below the tavern, the other force approached. Many of us noted the lack of a glowing lich crown among the darker figures. As they entered the torchlight, we saw sparkles…..fey.
There was a Firbolg, guarded by a redcap, a flaming creature, and a few other fey monsters I cannot identify. They wished to negotiate. Kier volunteered to conduct negotiations with the Firbolg, who is called Loris. Loris wanted the dragon turtle box….
At this point, I was getting a little annoyed. Here we are, holding onto a powerful artifact that is absolutely useless to us, but the undead want it for their ritual, and the unseelie fey want it for their own reasons…. And in the meantime, we are attacked by both, all over an item that has not aided us. And the item was not even present at the gather!
Kier looked to be doing all right in the negotiations, as well as can be expected I suppose. However, he was rudely interrupted by Cotton, who swaggered over to the fey and began slinging insults at them. Though Cotton was ordered to stop, and retreat, he did not. At this point, Loris became very angry and summoned a large hairy creature with blood dripping from its claws and fangs. Cotton continued to instigate, and Loris declared that they would leave only if the Rabbit was given to him, to kill. Battle quickly followed.
The battle lasted a very long time. Any time a fey monster was killed, another would enter the fray. Loris had not yet joined in battle. In the interests of keeping communication open, and learning why the blazes the fey were here, Kier had made an oath that he would not attack, and stood to the side trying to keep others alive. Du’Kratha was not seen for much of the fight, I assume he was dealing with the creatures attacking in the shadows. I saw Loris talking to Sandrine, and Sandrine was following him wherever he went. Seeing as how the fight was pointless, I decided to try talking to Loris. I was allowed to speak to him without fear of attack by his fey monsters, who called him “boss”. Sandrine was clearly charmed, and gushingly answered whatever questions Loris asked her. Since she was being kept safe in that condition, I decided to let her remain that way, and keep an eye or two on her. Loris believed I had the Dragon turtle box, so I allowed him to search me. After a brief talk, he believed me when I told him the box was far away, and not in these lands. However, he still refused to call off the attack, because he wanted to kill Cotton. As I looked out over the battlefield, I noticed many comrades of mine fallen, and bleeding. The healers could not even get to them, because of the fey, some of which were swinging for massive damage. I talked to Loris a bit more, and convinced him to strike a deal with me. If he allowed me to get to my comrades and heal them, I would try to take down Cotton. (I did not promise that I actually would do so). Loris also agreed that all attacks would stop the minute Cotton was brought to him. At the time, I felt I was out of other options. Considering that Cotton had been mouthing off insults throughout the gather, it did not take long for me to decide he should take responsibility for his actions.
I re-entered the battle, and the other fey allowed me to get to most of my friends. After they were all standing, I saw my opportunity. When Cotton was in his own imprison, surrounded by fey, I dispelled it and allowed them to attack him. Cotton of course was able to defend himself, and survived, immediately shouting and demanding that I be charged with assault. While Dame Miranda frantically tried to deal with him and the battle, which was still a full-on assault, I shouted out a plea of guilty. Soon after all this, the Faerie gate disappeared. Unbeknownst to me, Sir Chey had been DFM-ing the gate. Much relieved, the remaining fey were wiped out quickly, except for Loris, who allowed us to kill his minions without interference. Loris eventually left, but not after talking to Cotton, and securing a promise from me that “his” dragon turtle box would be returned. Since everyone seems to want it, and sooner or later the undead would find a way to get it, this was not a difficult thing to decide.
And since some may view this document as admission to a crime…
Dame Miranda brought
charges of assault forward against me, on behalf of Cotton. I pled guilty without any attempt to even
explain myself, and was punished. The
charges have already been documented, the proper authorities have already
been informed. Cotton and I have since
discussed it, and our issues with eachother, and resolved our problems.