Eladhir's Haven, Greyhelm
Kier had arrived ahead of time, and reserved a cabin for all of us. Travador was with me, and I was expecting to meet Seiji as well, but he never arrived. Soon after setting up our cabin, the Firbolg Loris arrived in town looking for us. He had brought some of his creatures with him, and had smaller fey holding a large chained monster. Travador bargained with Loris, and handed over the Dragon Turtle box…. The real one. Apparently, Baron Travador had created duplicate copies of the box, with the intention of distributing these fakes to any large bad guy who asked for one. It was a brilliant idea… and luckily Travador asked me for the specifics on my given Word to Loris, so that he would not bring me dishonor. Because Loris and his minions were so agreeable, Travador decided to give him the real box. In exchange, Loris has agreed to not return to these lands with malicious intent, unless he is provoked. He will also remove all of the fey curses that were given out, but must do so in person. Loris also stated that he will return for the Rabbit, with malicious intentions, as that is an unsettled issue.
It was around this time that the three of us noticed the lack of adventurer presence in the town. Most of our usual crowd was not present, and we only had a handful of people to defend Eladhir’s Haven. This made everyone a little nervous, and escape plans were quickly laid out. Just in case.
Sometime after Loris left, the Death/ Darkness/ Chaos Lord known as “Kauffe” arrived, with his Para-elemental minions. Kauffe was looking for the Dragon Turtle box, and for his daughter, Crazyeye Sam. Travador quickly produced one of the fake boxes in the hopes that Kauffe would leave once he had what he was seeking. However, Kauffe did not leave, and continued to roam around while looking for Sam. He found her sheltered in the Earth circle within the Tavern. Although he tried to talk to her, many of the adventurers continued to attack him. He seemed to be warning her of something, and felt that we all were placing her in danger. Eventually, Kauffe was imprisoned, and Crazyeye Sam and Kylou both had their chances to speak to him before he was killed. Killing him does not do much good ~ we will need to find a way to travel to his own plane of Havoc to kill him permanently.
It was also at this time that we all met the new Count of Greyhelm; a Quentari Elf named Kelovar Wyndham. He seemed like a nice man, a healer well versed in diplomacy, and I have high hopes for what he may accomplish here. Dame Miranda also made a good showing of herself, and she and I parted on good terms. She has been recalled to Evendarr city, and I think it will be best for her to be away from all the pain she has encountered in Greyhelm. I also mentioned one of the components I had remembered from Malyon’s list, and she confirmed that Grey, the Stone Elven knight for whom these lands were named, had met his permanent death. Apparently the lich had run out of uses for him.
Some Light Elf -hunting Pantergasts showed up later friday night, and Kier was very excited to hunt them down. Two of the new younger Quentari also had their chance to play with one, with Douglas as their healer. These panthergasts seemed much weaker than the ones we have encountered before.
Despite the early hour, everyone was exhausted, and many retired to bed. Kier and I took this opportunity to impress an important safety lesson on a good friend of ours. This lesson was of what some would consider questionable nature, yet I believe it is the most effective sort of lesson. It was done in what Baron Travador refers to as “the adventurer’s way” which does not always agree with the laws of Evendarr.
Kier and I awoke earlier than usual so that we could prepare for the Tea party I planned on hosting. Our cabin was cleaned and prepared, decorations and cushions set, and food ready. To my dismay I had forgotten my kettle for the tea. I decided to go to the Tavern and borrow one, and ask those that were invited if they still wished to attend. Considering that many of those invited were also involved in the lesson, I had my suspicions that they would change their minds. My suspicions were confirmed. I also learned something interesting. Apparently, many of the jochu here believe that an invitation to Tea issued by a Vornae means “I’m going to kill you”. What it actually meant is “I am going to tell you everything I have learned over the past few months that will help you survive the weekend”……. I was simply doing as I have done for years now in Greyhelm: try to help the others here in a combined effort to cure the land of its problems. And everyone reacted the same as they have before. Sinai’s paranoid… Sinai’s crazy… Sinai’s enslaved… now Sinai is a murderess. Anyway….. I doubt I will attempt to host such Tea parties in the future.
Most of my afternoon was spent explaining the cultural differences between Dark Elves and jochu, and that of Tyrangel and Greyhelm. After fully explaining the purpose of the lesson, many of those involved declared that although their dignity was wounded, it was a lesson they needed to learn, and were indeed thankful for it. Katarina, however, remained angry throughout the entire gather.
There were a various small fights during the day, the usual trouble we run into in these lands. No jester pools were spotted, but there were large wolves, and goblins who demanded our surrender. Despite the gang graffiti of the Red Tigers, there was not much bandit activity that I noticed. As the hour came closer to the renewal of magics, Bargle came to town. He was in his undead state, but capable of controlling himself somewhat. He showed us a map leading to the Lich Malyon’s new hiding place, which was close nearby. Promises were made. In exchange for his assistance, his punishments for his crimes will be lessened, but would still include obliteration. This was the decision of the new Count Kelovar Wyndham, who did not expect to have to deal with so many debatable issues on his first day as Count. Since we still had daylight, it was decided we should launch our attack against the lich immediately. Everyone gathered their supplies, and gathered their friends. Lady Akoya and Count Idrahil had finally arrived, their caravan having been delayed on the road. Douglas, Sereg and I distributed many potions and scrolls to everyone present, and we all headed out.
Bargle’s map was accurate, and we found a cave hidden behind a waterfall. As soon as we entered the cave, Douglas’s crystal necklace began to glow. We proceeded onward, fighting a few undead as we progressed. Although there were only 16 of us, including Count Kelovar, we held together well, unified in purpose. We came to a bend in the cave, and saw the Lich Malyon and Mandrake, and a few other lesser undead inside a smaller section, with a circle of power containing bottles. As soon as Douglas entered this section, a beam of light shot out of his crystal necklace and into Malyon’s circle, filling it with the light of the Daystar.
Before I had been blinded by this outburst, I noticed the cave walls covered in green slimy spider webs. I warned everyone not to touch them, as they act as a powerful paste of stickiness. These same webs were in Malshaar’s cave. I would like to find out what is creating these webs…
We defeated the lesser undead easily, but Mandrake proved to be the problem. Through dealing with him and with the lich, our fighting became sporadic and spread out. Malyon ran out of defenses, and seemed weakened by the light. He shouted at us that we were “too late” and rifted out, carrying his mirrored spirit bottle.
After intense battle with Mandrake, who had been left behind, I managed to imprison him. Shortly before this, I had suggested to Douglas that he attempt to enter the circle, since it was glowing with the light from his necklace. I am not sure what happened, but somehow Douglas summoned the Daystar itself into that cave, and brought it crashing down on the circle of power. Everyone was blinded by the intense light, and I had a headache for several hours afterwards. This light not only destroyed Mandrake through my imprison, but it cancelled out the magical properties of the remaining spirit bottles, and we suspect it removed their transform as well. Bargle’s bottle was one of these.
After this, there wasn’t much else to do. We searched the place, and Kier found a box that was possibly trapped. Aside from the bottles, Mandrake’s armor, and the webs, it was the only thing in the cave.
Feeling elated and victorious for so soundly defeating our enemy, we all returned to the Tavern and divvied the treasure. To our surprise, we also found a few knitted tea cozy’s with the treasure….. I can only assume that Malyon was faced with such boredom in his Undeath that he decided to take up knitting.
The warmth of our victory was ruined when we heard an explosion from the kitchen. Somehow, the oven had exploded, and the feast we were waiting for was ruined. Bianca was very upset, and her curses could be heard echoing throughout the tavern.
Very shortly after this, the Dremorans arrived. Count Kelovar had been expecting them, as they were to work out the details of a treaty between Dremora and Evendarr. Luckily for us, Ambassador Ralair had intended to invite everyone to feast in Dremora, as guests of the Council. I guess our oven exploding was only convenient…. To my amusement, everyone reacted to this news with quite a bit of nervousness. Count Idrahil and some others almost refused to attend, but hunger won over their paranoia.
Ambassador Ralair and Blade Falshaar took us through a magical gate to Dremora, and gave us a tour of the city. Dremora is walled and built in the traditional Vornae way – using natural cavern formations as part of the architecture. He took us to the top of a great tower made from an ancient stalactite where we could view the entire city. All of the things we had guessed at upon seeing their map were now confirmed or explained. The red area was a mushroom field, and the points that were connected were stalactite/mite fences surrounding important compounds. I could see no visible slaves in the city, or other races, though the males were acting as servants. There were also no spider or webbing symbols at all, though the dragon was common. The most impressive building was the magical academy, built around the Drake Traegor’s skeleton. I felt very nervous seeing this, knowing how close we were, and what Malyon and others had planned. Everyone here respected this skeleton so much that they never thought of it as a threat… such carelessness. Clearly, these Dragon Sect were fanatical in their beliefs.
The Feast was amazing, and contained a large selection of food ranging from imported jochu food like carrots, to traditional Vornae dishes. And the dessert table was laid out with an array of chocolate covered goodness, the best being the dark chocolate blackberries. The darkness of the feast hall was soothing to my eyes and provided a needed break from the pains of the Daystar. And as much as I enjoyed being underground again, it also made me homesick. As I watched all the jochu eating their meal in awe, amazed by all that they had seen and tasted, I could not help but feel pride for my race and all that we have achieved. Then Count Idrahil’s continued nervousness and paranoia would remind me why I check my food for poisons before I eat, and that pride would fade. Looking upon a Dark Elven city is to look upon a deep lake… beautiful and calm on the surface, but concealing what lies beneath. I set out to mingle with the Dremorans, determined to find what lies beneath the illusion here.
I met Councilwoman Marisol Aranmore and her daughter Meshawn, who also happened to be Malyon’s mother and younger sister, respectively. Marisol and I began by discussing her hair, which was dyed mostly black similar to the ways of the Kumokami. She told me of Malyon’s childhood, and her fervent hope that the rumors she heard were false. Apparently, House Aranmore and many others believed Mandrake to be the leader of the undead army, and Malyon to be one of his unfortunate victims. I do so hate being the one to destroy hope, even if it is exchanged for truth.
Through my discussions with Marisol, I learned that the Council had never heard of Traegor. This was the exact opposite of what Ambassador Ralair had told me earlier. I also learned that none of the information I had given Ambassador Ralair had been conveyed to the Council. The treachery that we had all suspected was now apparent. Adding things together, I realized that the “unjust oppressors” Malshaar mentioned must be the women of Dremora. The males were planning a rebellion, and would use Traegor’s awakening to aid them.
Ambassador Ralair had noticed me speaking with Marisol, and thereafter made sure to stay near me for the rest of the evening. I tried to speak with Lady Nashai alone to warn her of the treachery, but could not. Feeling that we had more time, I did not try as hard as I should have.
Count Kelovar was worried about signing the treaty, and asked me and some others about demands/ requests that should be worked out. Although he and Lady Nashai discussed their options, a treaty was not signed. Lady Nashai also presented Baron Travador with a gift of a Dremoran plate that had a fanciful engraving of ships at sea.
Soon after everyone had finished eating, and pleasantries were exchanged over spiced wine, an alarm was heard echoing throughout the entire cavern. Falshaar ran in to the feast hall in a panic, explaining that this was the Magical Academy’s alarm, and that somehow Malyon had entered the academy. Dread, alarm, panic… these are all the feelings that filled the hall, as each one of us realized what was about to happen. We looked out upon the city and saw the Academy of Sky and Earth glowing with a green light, and an all-too familiar form within a circle of power at its entrance.
Everyone grabbed weapons and aura, and ran outside. Malyon was chanting and laughing…tossing burning bits of used components behind him, and calling for Traegor to awaken. I went as close as my companions would allow me, and noticed he was using some of the components on his list that I had seen earlier. Many looked like spirit bottles, and I assume they are the components containing mention of pieces of spirit. As I was so close, I noticed the Drakeolich, which now had glowing red eyes and fog surrounding it, lower its head and look at Malyon, who was acting clearly insane. I wisely decided to back up.
Malyon stood and shouted for Traegor to awaken, all the while ignoring his mother’s pleas for him to stop. The Drake skeleton moved, green fog swirling around it, and looked out upon us all. Malyon, who by the way was not transformed, ordered the Drakeolich to kill us, and all the women who have opposed him. Traegor laughed, and ordered Malyon to do it himself. Malyon was quickly killed as he attacked us, with no emotion visible on his face.
Blade Falshaar quickly escorted Marisol and Meshawn off the battlefield and into safety.
In a booming voice that echoed across the cavern, Traegor commanded all the males of Dremora to stand against their oppressors and fight. The city erupted into chaos.
Ambassador Ralair attacked Lady Nashai and placed a circle of power around her, seeming gleeful at this rebellion. I only wished I had the time to warn her of his betrayal earlier. I spoke to him in the hopes that he would change his mind, or at least show some dignity, but he cackled and told me to shut up. Clearly, he was suffering from the same insanity that had affected Malyon. There was no hope for Lady Nashai, and after her body dissipated, Ralair spirit-walked away.
Many male Dark Elves had answered the call of Traegor, and attacked us in open rebellion. Quite a few of the rebels tried to target me, until I made an example of them with my magic. After that, they decided it was wiser to attack me in groups. All of them avoided Falshaar, who had returned and was in a fury at the betrayal around him. At first I thought he might join the rest of the males, and watched him carefully, but after a while it became clear that he had no desire to join the Drakeolich. He and Kier worked together well, and cut off the heads of any offending male they encountered. Many of the rebels knew Falshaar, and were afraid to fight him, even when they outnumbered him 3 to 1.
Traegor waded through our battle formations like a fish through water, and the fighting became very scattered. Many of the rebel Dark Elves took advantage of this confusion, and would ask for healing, then attack their healer. Kier was able to take advantage of this confusion in the same way, and Baron Travador simply cut his way through any “Darkie” he did not recognize. Katarina also fought more fiercely than I have ever seen her before. I suppose some anger does her well.
Traegor was a powerful foe, but thankfully did not have the full strength of a Drakeolich. He took damage from everyone present, but no matter how hard our best fighters hit him, he only took the damage a cure wounds potion would heal. All magic elements seemed to affect him equally, and he was affected by silences and magic that harms undead. His only spell immunities were to binding magics, including imprisons. Strangely, the damage and silences we hit him with was healed by some invisible presence that aided him. I can only assume that this was brought about by his mastery of spirit magic.
Traegor retaliated to persistent attacks against him by calling upon his spirit magic to tear the offender’s spirit asunder in obliteration. I was obliterated once, but received a life spell thanks to Falshaar’s constant vigilance, and Count Idrahil’s aim. I know Kier was also obliterated several times, but received a life spell for each. We were lucky to have such powerful healers as Count Wyndham, Count Idrahil, and Lady Akoya with us.
Everyone on the battlefield proved themselves an invaluable ally, for without each other, we all would have fallen.
After some time, and many resources, the Drakeolich still acted as though we had not harmed him. I had used almost all of my spells and scrolls, and put the potions I bought from Duncan to good use. Traegor stated that he was tired of this game, and rifted out.
Falshaar wasted no time in escorting us all to the magical gate that had brought us into the city. On the way out, we saw that the entire city was at war, fires breaking out everywhere, and the sounds of fighting echoed across the cavern. Occasional rumbles could be felt reverberating through the air, but Falshaar reassured me that the caverns were not collapsible, so I worried about it no further. I could not help but wonder how many innocents would be lost because of all this foolishness.
Fortunately for us at least, the gate was still functioning, and we were transported back to Eladhir’s Haven, and Falshaar returned to Dremora to gather the Loyalists who still supported the Council. As angry as I was at the males who chose to rebel, I also understood them. Even Draelonde acknowledges respect to males who earn it, and the women of Dremora had clearly become complacent in their ways, to have made so many mistakes. I found myself reminded once again why I prefer a companion with a sharp mind and defiant nature.
After returning, we all rested for a bit and recounted victorious moments in battle. It was as we sat in the Tavern discussing all the possibilities that someone noticed a spirit entering the Earth circle for resurrection. The spirit was Malyon.
Many of us were amazed that he would choose to resurrect in such a clearly hostile circle, after tormenting us with his undead creations for years. Before his body had even reformed, plans were made for obliteration. Douglas and Lady Akoya performed the resurrection. I considered offering, for the sake of one Vornae to another…. But decided it would be wise to keep a circle between us.
When he awoke, screaming in pain, he was confined. Count Kelovar made his situation clear, and asked why he would resurrect here. Malyon felt he had nowhere else to go, and preferred Evendarrian justice compared to what the Dremoran Council would do to him. He offered to tell us “everything”, and to tell his story, in exchange for a lenient sentence. After much debate and consideration, the nobles present decided to give him one death only, provided he could give us information that would aid our fight against the Drakeolich Malyon had awakened, as well as information on Dremora, Kauffe, the Defiler, and any other entities that might be allied against us. Many in the room still felt that Malyon deserved obliteration and more, but the opportunity for such a boon to our cause could not be ignored. He has henceforth been banished from the area, and will be subjected to obliteration if he returns.
There are many questions which remain, but the one that echoes in my mind is this: Why would the Drakeolich give up such a powerful, willing servant? And why, after going through all of this effort, would Malyon be so willing to simply walk away from it all?
I have included a written accounting of Malyon's story with the rest of my reports.