:: Dungeons & Dragons - The Threshold Party - The Perdissium Papers, Volume XXV - From Haven to Exile ::

The Perdissium Papers - Volume XXV
From Haven to Exile

Soladain 14th Flaurmont 1007
Specularum, Kingdom of Karameikos

An interesting day, indeed. We said our goodbyes to the denizens of Haven early in the morning and, with the help of one of the Princessí priests, opened the gate back to Krakatos. Interesting to see the fusion of Arcane and Divine magic in the first person Ė Zirchev and Petra did an excellent job of the portal. I look forward to examining it in depth the next time I return to Haven.

Back on the Prime we found the ruins of Krakatos much as we had left it. Unable to determine how much time had passed, and worried that Ptanophixís encroachment was imminent, I scried upon the Hutaakan wokani and was alarmed to find her outside the complex in which we stood, apparently animating the dead which she was excavating from the earth near to the entrance.

Sure enough, as we moved to leave the dungeon we began to encounter a horde of skeletons roaming through the complex. Vasily and Piotr invoked the names of their patrons causing the undead thralls to be destroyed or turn and flee our group. The few that did not succumb were easily despatched by the warriors. I wasnít called upon to use my magic, but, frustrated at the time this was taking and anxious to surprise Ptanophix I walled off an entire section of the dungeon, simultaneously securing the portal to Haven and entombing a large number of undead with us safely on the other side.

And so, with a few more skeletons destroyed along the way, we made it to the entrance. We quickly agreed a plan; I would sneak out of the dungeon, reveal myself to Ptanophix and distract her, while the rest of the group got in position. Wary that the hutaakan may attempt to possess another body should her current corporeal form be defeated Lana and I agreed that our target must, in the first instance, be her staff. Destroying that would leave her stuck in the gnoll form she currently inhabited, mortal for the first time in a millennium.

And so I assumed the ubiquitous form of a bird and quickly took flight from the entrance. I observed my foe from the air far above, watching as she used her staff to excavate large portions of earth, revealing the skeletal remains of battles long past. With a pulse of that hot, purple magic the skeletons arose, clambered out of the pit and, with an imperious gesture from the mage that commanded them, lurched towards the entrance to the dungeon. I assume that Ptanophix was creating this army for a reason, though given that we later came to suspect she did not know about Haven nor the portal it is not clear to me to what end she was animating all these thralls. I suppose weíll never know now.

Landing about 50 yards from the entrance, and behind the mad hutaakan mage, I resumed my human form and cast a spell of fllight upon myself. Taking to the air and tapping the knowledge of the hutaakan tongue from my own staff, I called to Ptanophix. Suffice it so say she was not pleased to see me. That staff, alike mine in so many ways yet different in so many others, swung up to challenge me, its eyes throbbing with purple magic.

We bandied words, as one would expect in these circumstances. I tried to find out what it was she was after here, what her plan was, but she was clearly insane. All I determine was that she was after the Crown of Petra, that somehow it would allow her to set in motion the overthrow of human society. Iíll have to follow that up, as Vasily is no doubt at this moment presenting said crown to his patriarchs. I can only imagine the party that will be held this evening in the Church of Traladara.

Back to the mad hutaakan; I was generous. I offered her the chance to surrender, to come with me and see the wonders of the world. Unsurprisingly she turned me down. Which made it all the easier to send two arrows shaped from sapphire magic sailing through the air towards her. My speed surprised her Ė there was nothing she could do to stop the stunbolts, and they struck her square in the chest. Reeling the gnoll-hutaakan stumbled backward, her arms flailing. Without hesitation I unleashed my next spell, an attempt to place a geas upon the ancient mage. The spell would have compelled her to return to the magic jar within her staff, never again to emerge, but to my great, and continued, annoyance the magic failed to take hold. Had it done so I had planned to take the staff to Myskuramis, certain that he would find value in both the soul of Ptanophix and the staff itself. But alas that was not to be. With regret I signalled to the others that we were to move to phase two.

The nimble Antonius leapt from the shadow of a nearby mound of earth and, with astounding elegance, sprung over the broken terrain to land with enviable grace beside the stunned Ptanophix. With a single controlled twist of his elaborate scimitar the Staff of Ptanophix sailed out of the mageís hand, twirling end over end as it careened through the air. The stunned wizardess had just enough sense to scrabble after the precious weapon, dropping to all fours as she tripped over her own feet. She extended a hand toward the distant staff. It was in this pose that she remained, as Lana completed the words to her own spell, freezing the hutaakan mage in place.

Conor the barbarian hefted his axe and stepped towards the staff, but Lana held up one hand to stay him, gesturing with the other. The shaking of the earth was all the prompting Antonius needed to retreat, and as he ran from the centre of the action a sixteen foot simulacrum of a man arose from the ground. The elemental looked down at the Staff of Ptanophix lying before it, and at the paralysed gnoll/hutaakan mere feet away, raised a mighty foot and stomped down hard on the staff.

A blaze of purple energy surged out of the staff as it shattered, engulfing Ptanophix and the elemental in a wave of destructive magic. The force of the blast wave propelled me through the air, and I had to exert my full will to regain control of my flight spell, shielding my eyes from the blast as I did so.

When the blast cleared, Ptanophix was gone, and in her place lay a great crater hewn from the rock. The staff's final strike had collapsed the roof to some natural cavern just beneath the surface, revealing the ancient cave to the sunlight. The dazed earth elemental was reassembling itself as best it could from the wreckage of the cavern roof, but a quick glance could tell that not a lot remained of the animating force behind the creature. Unsurprising, given the ferocity of the detonation. Lana put the poor thing out of its misery and returned it to its home plane.

Delighted at the victory I landed on the ground beside Lana, congratulating her on the elemental's part in our victory. It was then that Anya called over from the rim of the crater - there was a tunnel in the cave, leading into the darkness.

As we gathered at the edge of the caved in ground, a shudder passed through the group. We looked at the collapsed cave beneath us and, to a man, knew that there was something... wrong about the place. A sulphurous smell hung thick in the air, a cold breeze arose from the cavity, and the hair on the back of my neck stood up... Whatever had been unearthed by our actions had the unmistakable hallmarks of evil writ large.

Lana of course immediately suggested we investigate. I wasn't keen at first, but Lana was persuasive, pointing out that we had expended a mere fraction of our power in combatting Ptanophix, and that it was our duty to investigate this place in case we released something which might terrorise the locals. Her arguments were well founded, but I'll confess despite the logic of Lana's case I still felt some primal caution against descending into the pit.

Yet descend we did. Conor and Drewen led the way, clambering down a slope of collapsed earth and hefting their weapons. Piotr was not far behind, an almost hungry look upon his face, as if he had something to prove. Vasily and Lana helped Anya down the slope, the young archaeologist's face a mized picture of fear and optimism, anticipating what wonders may lie ahead. Antonius, Gaius and myself exchanged hesitant looks before following the others, the two of them nimbly climbing down while I stepped off the cliff and swooped down toward the tunnel.

Overtaking all but Piotr, Conor and Drewen, who were already at the tunnel's edge, I alighted upon the ground, feeling a chill run up my legs as my boots touched upon the accursed soil. The tunnel ahead stretched into darkness, and I pulled out my Everglowing Beam and allowed it to play over the ground ahead. Far in the distance metal glinted, but not much else was revealed.

The remainder of the group joined us, and we stared into the tunnel silently. Each of us was considering the merits of proceeding, of facing whatever darkness could emanate such an aura of evil. I doubt I was alone in almost persuading myself to turn back there and then. Lana broke the spell, striding forward and saying words of encouragement. She was the first to cross the threshold. I cannot honestly say that I would have done that in her place.

Yet once it was done, the others moved quickly to follow. I wanted to, but found it difficult to command my feet to move. Antonius, calling after the others in general and Conor in particular to reconsider, seemed to be having the same trouble, which was good because I suddenly realised I was at real risk of being the last in and I would never have lived that down. Summoning courage, and gripping the Staff of Hutaaka tightly, I stepped into the darkness. Whining somewhat, Master Tyrannon followed.

We caught up with the others a few feet into the tunnel. They were standing in the middle of a group of bodies, their equipment being the metallic glints I had noticed earlier. Drewen and Piotr stepped warily through the corpses, but no animation appeared evident. They were simply dead, though their deaths had not been pleasant from what I could tell. Several of the skeletons were contorted horribly, their limbs twisted in ways I feared to imagine. One, I am certain, had actually been torn in half. All carried equipment which looked at least one hundred years old, but I could not date it more accurately than that. Each wore around their neck a talisman, identical in every way, including its destruction. Every amulet had been sundered in half, in exactly the same way, bisecting the runes laid upon it. A quick inspection implied such symbols would have been used to ward off evil. Their lack of success spoke volumes about our current predicament. Vasily muttered a prayer under his breath, while Piotr announced that an evil presence resided in this place, no doubt further down the dark tunnel

Oblivious to the sounds of Antonius whimpering or my own cogent arguments, Lana headed deeper into the tunnel, followed by the warriors and Vasily. With a shrug I shoved Antonius toward the rest of the group, gesturing for Anya to go first (chivalry isn't dead even in the darkest of places, it would seem) and calling to Gaius, who was picking at one of the corpses. The dark fellow gave me a frosty look and moved to follow.

By the time we caught up, there was commotion in the tunnel. I shouldered my way past Antonius to get a better look, and saw that the people at the front of the group were in the midst of a custer of ethereal tendrils, coiling and snaking through the air as they caressed Piotr, who was leading the way. The paladin swung his sword through the nearest tendril as it went to brush his face, but it reformed immediately, apparently ignorant of the warrior's attack.

Lana gave the web of fog a suspicious look and cast a spell, then stepped back momentarily in horror. Realising she could now see something I asked what it was her spell had revealed, though she was momentarily speechless. That did not bode well. Without answering me, Lana raied a hand and ice filled the corridor just before the startled paladin. Lana muttered a curse and turned to me, asking that I unleash fire to "see if that would do the trick".

Lacking a visible target (I really need to research that particular spell) I reluctantly followed Lana's guidance, all the while trying to determine what it was he saw. A bolt of fire leapt from my hand, impacting on the ceiling 20 feet in front of Piotr, who recoiled as the rolling fireball exploded in front of him. Lana turned the air blue again, which I took to mean that my spell had been as ineffective as her own. I began to counsel retreat when a rock sailed through the air and struck Piotr square on the face. I was a bit phased by that, as I was expecting something more spectacular from a creature who could withstand Death Fire's Rapture than simple rock throwing, but I was soon satisfied, as Piotr turned to face us. As we watched, the man contorted in pain, and when he stood up again his face was that of a much older man. A moment of silence lingered over the group until Master Tyrannon shrieked in horror. I confess I shared his fear - having sacrificed a decade of my lifeforce willingly I know the value of such a finite commodity, and had no desire to pay this creature, whatever it was, against my will.

Another thrown rock clattered against the wall. Piotr turned, cried out a prayer to his Immortal patron and began slashing at the air. Lana hefted her own dagger and ran to join the paladin, placing a hand on his shoulder and indicating where he should strike before setting about the creature herself. Drewen brought his hammer up and charged to where the melee was occurring, followed by Conor, who slashed wildly at the nothingness in front of the battling warriors. Antonius continued to cry out in horror, pleading with anyone who would listen to join him in fleeing. I glanced round and noticed that Gaius had already exited the scene. Anya hung back, equally as horrified as Antonius.

Vasily suddenly shouldered me to one side, pulling out an elegant sceptre from his pack and holding it up in front of him. Invoking the name of his immortal patron he demanded that the invisible creature retreat before this holy relic.

Lana cried out as she and the warriors hacked at the invisible creature, declaring that Vasily's rebuke had driven it back. The melee advanced down the tunnel and rounded the corner, Vasily following, still holding out the sceptre and appealing to Halav to protect us all. Anya, myself and Antonius (he reluctantly) followed. Lana called out to me for assistance, but there as nought that I could do - my magic was geared towards the infuencing of mortal minds - this creature was beyond such magicks, and if it could shrug off a fireball there was little else I had to use against it. Unlike the others I had no ensorcelled weaponry, so even melee was pointless. Frustrated I shouted back to Lana in anger, only to see her head turn toward me at a critical moment. A rock struck her just as she turned, and, to my horror, she aged a decade in the merest of moments, our eyes locked as the lifeforce drained from her.

Unperturbed she redoubled her efforts, following Drewen and the warriors as Vasily's borrowed power pushed the creature back into a cave of sorts, where, with more space to maneuvre, the four of them surrounded the invisble being. I had the time to look around and noticed that the room appeared to be some form of primitive laboratory, or had been before calamity and time had taken their toll. A shattered altar or table dominated the room, and on the floor beside it lay a pile of scrolls and potions, scattered with gems. An amazing treasure, and one which this creature evidently guarded as its own.

Vasily stood beside me, continuing to command the creature to depart this plane, seemingly confident that his appeals were preventing the creature from counterattacking fully. As Lana and the warriors fought the undead thing, the mist from earlier interwined around each of them, snaking up their legs and caressing their bodies. The fight seemed desperate, and beside me the whimpering Antonius, eyes locked on his barbarian companion seemed to find courage from somewhere. He stepped forward, hand on the hilt of his elegant scimitar, then dropped back, his face full of shame. Our eyes met and I could not judge the man. Without magic to assist me I was as ineffective as he. I resolved then that, should we be forced to retreat, it would not be empty handed. If I could not assist the fight, I could at least ensure we took payment for our hurts. Holding out my Staff I commanded it to unleash its beams of telekinesis, striking the table with them and causing it to sweep the pile of scrolls towards me.

Quite pleased with my lateral thinking I looked up to tell Lana I had secured the treasure, only to find myself looking with horror into her fading features. As those of us by the cave entrance watched, the ethereal tendrils exuding from the creature faded, and all those caught it their grasp similarly dissipated from our view. Drewen, somehow, threw himself clear at the last moment as he realised what was happening. A tendril of fog reached out toward the dwarf as he dove but Vasily, seeing the peril, stepped forward and held out his sceptre, the fog recoiling just enough to see it miss Drewen's foot. The dwarf landed with a thump and a curse, then all was silent.

The calm was shattered by a cacophony of noise; Vasily praying, Antonius crying out to his departed friend, Drewen demanding I explain what had happened. I ignored them all, frantically wracking my brain for answers. I had seen that fading effect before, I knew it, but where? The answer came to me in seconds - Aasla, when Lana had been taken to the Ethereal Plane by Alvion.

I whipped out my crystal ball and bade it show me the image of my old friend. Sure enough, her image came into view, surrounded by a grey fog that stretched in all directions. It appeared our companions were still struggling with their invisible assailant, yet as I watched Lana drove her dagger forward, and for the briefest of seconds the nightmarish outline of the creature she fought flashed into view before fading to nothingness, dissolving back into the primal fog that surrounded my friends.

Lana, Piotr and Conor all drifted in the fog, unable to move in the aether for lack of magical flight. While Conor cried out in horror and Piotr offered up a votive to his patron, Lana calmly unrolled her magic carpet and moved to collect the stalwart paladin and the panicked barbarian. I watched as she explained the situation to them, then she turned, looked up in the direction of the sky and said "Karnus, we're going to Thyatis."

This was a sensible move on Lana's part - Thyatis City presents the most proximal location where a mage with sufficient might to penetrate the veil between our plane and the aether might reside. I belive I shall find myself calling in a favour from Demetrion when I arrive there on the morn.

But back to Krakatos. I informed Drewen and Vasily of Lana's predicament. Neither was all that pleased with the situation but both agreed that my quickly travelling to Thyatis to prepre for Lana's rescue was the best idea. I swore to Drewen that I would stop at nothing to get Lana back.

We quickly gathered up the loot from the cave and made our way back to the light of day. The dark creature's death had done nothing to lessen the palpable scent of evil in the air. Vasily speculated that the creature we had fought was merely an echo of a greater darkness, a parasite drawn to this site by the evil emanations of dread acts long past.

We trekked back to Specularum, our horses having been felled by Ptanophix's skeletal minions. Gaius had dissappeared, and I did not wish to scry upon him for fear of the need to look upon Lana again that day. A long walk lay ahead of us, but for that day at least, our troubles were over.

Or so we thought.

It was a long trek back to the city. Spirits were low with the events of the day, though victory had ultimately been ours, I had been forced to explain Lana's dire circumstances to the others. I outlined how, with minimal food and water, they would need to journey many miles in unfamiliar conditions. Antonius seemed very quiet, not at all his usual self. I caught up with him en route and he quietly offered me whatever assistance I required to retrieve our mutual friends. I was moved by his impassioned pledge of help - this Conor obviously meant much to the man.

Vasily kept much to himself on the walk back - he spent much of it staring at Petra's crown. I confess I share his fascination. This simple bronze circlet was the object of Ptanophix's desires, and seemed to offer her a chance to end human dominion in these lands. What power could lie within this object to so justify such a claim? I broached the idea of studying the crown with Vasily but he reacted badly, claiming that it was a holy relic of his church and that he would not allow a mage to sully its glory. I replied by saying that this mage in particular had carried round the staff wielded by another patron of his church while he yet bore mortal form. At that Vasily's eyes narrowed, but he said nothing. I left the matter, hoping to persuade him of the need to inspect the crown later, but unfortunately I didn't get the chance.

We arrived back in Specularum in the late afternoon, coming to the northern gate. Expecting smooth passage through we were perturbed to find ourselves stopped by a unit of the Guard Phorsis. They demanded that I wait at the gates while my brother was sent for. Vasily, eager to get the crown back to his superiors, departed at that point, as did the exhausted Anya. At least she had the good grace to say an emphatic goodbye.

Kelsin eventually arrived, and ordered the guards to relinquish custody of the prisoner to him. It took a moment for me to realise he was referring to myself. I actually laughed at that point, so absurd was the notion that these feckless guard could have prevented me from doing whatever I wanted. Sensing my amusement, Kelsin quickly asked (politely) that Drewen and I follow him and his small contingent of guardsmen. Whatever he was up to I saw no harm in playing along.

We were led down some side alleys before Kelsin fell in beside me and explained the situation. It would appear that my adventures on the Isle of Dawn have finally caught up with me - the Alphatian representatives in Karameikos had made representations to the Duke that I had committed acts of war against the Alphatian Empire, and should therefore be handed over in order to exhonerate Karameikos from involvement in my acts.

So there it was. I had followed my own conscience, acting where my Duke would not, forestalling the Alphatians from probably destroying the world, and was now branded a traitor. Such are my rewards...

I took this all remarkably well at the time. It was Drewen who was the more incensed, demanding to know what charges specifically had been levelled at me. I did not refute anything that Kelsin said, and I think my admission surprised Drewen somewhat. My old friend does not yet realise the power that I command. I think he still sees me as a a mageling capable of ensorcelling a single person per day - the very idea that the blood of hundreds of Alphatian soldiers stains my hands doesn't reconcile with Drewen's world view.

Throughout all of this, Kelsin had been nervously casting around, and I was just about to ask what he intended to do when, all of a sudden, cries and muffled shrieks burst out all around me. Looking round, I was amazed to see that where there had been a contingent of guards a second ago, there now stood a number of surly looking men, looming over the unconscious forms of the city watchmen.

I was about to deal with these evidently dangerous newcomers myself, for fear that they were Alphatian assassins, but before I raised my hand a familiar voice stayed my spellcasting. It was Vintrus, my brother, who calmly strolled out of the shadows and greeted his two siblings. It turned out that Vinny and Kelsin had conspired to make sure I got out of the city. It seems Kelsin had been approached by a mysterious woman who gave him advance notice that I was to be arrested and said that it would be 'unfortunate but understandable' if I managed to evade capture given my 'great magic and suspected network of conspirators' and that should I indeed escape it would in no way reflect on him as it was well known how loyal he was to the Guard Phorsis, Specularum and the Royal Family. Apparently what was important was that nobody be seriously hurt.

Kelsin had let it be known that I was dangerous, and that only he should attempt to arrest me. That ensured that he could lead me down this particular alleyway, where Vintrus' men were waiting. Clever, and I was indeed touched by my brothers' concern for me - it was a rare thing for them to even talk to one another, never mind hatch a plan together. Still, as with Drewen, I don't think they realised that it was perfectly in my gift to escape unaided. I decided not to tell them that. Wouldn't have wanted to spoil the moment.

Kelsin outlined the plan - now that the guards were dealt with I would be escorted to a safe house, there to hide out until I could flee the city in the morning. My brothers expressed concern over what my next move should be, suggesting that I would be trouble by the authorities until I was able to get across the border. I thanked my brothers, but said that an overnight stay would suffice - I could transport myself to Thyatis once I had memorised the correct spell (this gave rise to satisfyingly impressed looks on my brothers' behlafs.) At the mention of teleportation, Antonius, whom nobody had noticed had seamlessly slipped into the shadows of the alley when the trouble started, piped up, startling Kelsin. The Thyatian claimed that he would be able to help me in Thyatis, and that he knew Demetrion Karagentoropoulis himself. I was unsure about this claim but agreed to take the man along, convinced as I was of his passion for the safe return of his friend.

I said farewell to Drewen, who was uncomfortable with the turn this had taken. I knew his sense of justice would have seen him prefer to have me air my case in front ot the Duke, but I explained that time was of the essence if Lana was to be saved, and that I simply couldn't waste the time it would take to clear my name here. I think he bought it.

Satisfied that all was progressing, Vinny turned to Kelsin, thanked him for his help, then asked if he was ready. The elder brother nodded and said "make it convincing", to which Vintrus nodded and, to my horror, pulled out his short sword and ran Kelsin through. As the blade punctured Kelsin's shoulder Vinny withdrew it, reversed his grip, and bashed the guardsman on the side of the head with the pommel. I watched in horror as Kelsin slumped groggily to the ground. Vinny raised his foot over Kelsin's left leg, just a I mentioned that there was no need for this pretence - I could simply have removed Kelsin's memory of these events. Vintrus and Kelsin looked at one another, and simultaneously laughed at the absurdity of the situation. The moment passed, Vinny brought his foot down, Kelsin's leg broke and he passed out from the pain. I joined Vintrus as he stood over our prone sibling. I could tell he had enjoyed that...

And so, I write this from the dank basement of a hide out somewhere within the city. Vinny says that it used to be used by the Veiled Society but apparently they no longer frequent the place. Beside me are a pile of scrolls, the spoils of the days events. I look forward to tomorrow when I can inspect what has come my way. But I must stop there. Sleep calls, and I have important tasks on the morrow if my friend is to be rescued. Much work yet lies ahead.

An interesting day indeed.

Lunadain 15th Flaurmont 1007
The Cask and Barrel Inn, Thyatis City, Empire of Thyatis

This morning I said my farewells to Vintrus. He still seemed genuinely worried for me, which was quite touching, as Vinny rarely showed that sort of concern when he was younger. He said he'd keep an eye on the rest of the family. Between Kelsin and himself they have it covered. I'll confess even with all that lay ahead of me, at that moment I was reluctant to leave. I've been to places and seen things that would curdle their minds, I've faced down creatures wilder than their nightmares, I know secrets that are known to only a select few and yet, when I return here, I feel... left out. Apart from them all. Wizards should never go home. Perhaps we truly never can.

My introspection complete, I propelled Antonius and myself the considerable distance to Thyatis. Appearing once again on the dock I use for teleportation I looked around, and up, trying to find Master Tyrannon, but unfortunately a spluttering and gasping from beneath told me that I had been a little off with my aim. Hauling the shivering man up onto the dock, I was profuse in my apologies.

Calling by a tailors' to equip Antonius with fresh clothing we quickly headed to the heart of the city, Master Tyrannon insisting that he take the lead. I would have led us to the Glantrian embassy, there to seek their assistance in getting time with Demetrion, but my companion insisted on heading straight to the gates of the palace, where he badgered a guard into admitting us (I'm not entirely sure how.) Within a few moments we were in a waiting room, and then soon after in the presence of the Imperial Magist. It turned out that he did know Master Tyrannon after all, for the two greeted one another with familiar, if not exactly warm, words. I explained the situation to Demetrion, appealing to his prior relationship with Lana and my own recent services to the Empire. Antonius joined in, exhorting the Magist to assist, but Demetrion did not need much in the way of convincing, I am glad to say. He agreed to contact certain friends of his who may be able to help. I scried upon Lana and saw the trio of aethereal adventurers riding along on Lana's magical conveyance. We calculated that, based on the crow's flight on the Prime, it would take Lana nine or ten days to reach Thyatis City's ethereal counterpart. Demetrion told us he would summon us when his labours bore fruit.

And so, once again, I found myself at a loose end in the capital of an empire. Antonius seemed nervous about hanging around in the city, and said that he wished to make himself scarce for a while, but that he would be back in the evening. I headed to the great library, hoping to lose myself in a book. I'll confess the events of the past few days still hung heavy around my shoulders. I was given to reflecting much upon my actions... or lack thereof.

Dwelling on this somewhat, I settled into a comfortable nook of the Imperial Library and unfurled the many scrolls that we had liberated from the evil creature beneath Krakatos. I cast a cantrip allowing me to read the magic upon the paper and was pleased with the result - many spellss I had long saught after were upon the scrolls. It was a treasure indeed!

Yet I felt a sense of guilt that I had not contributed more to the battle which had left me with such a haul. Lana's bravery and spirit had once again won out, though she had paid a price in vitality, and yet remained in danger. Solemnly I sorted the scrolls into piles; magic which I required and spells which I suspected Lana would be interested in. Once I was done copying the spells into my own spellbook, I sent a slave out to acquire a blank spelltome, one bound in green velvet and worked with gold edging. I then copied the spells from the second pile of scrolls into this book, adding a duplicate of several of the spells I had just acquired. When the tome was brimming with magic I passed a hand over it and spoke the words to bind a powerful transmutation to the book. With a flare of blue light (annoyingly, I couldn't get it to render amber magic...) the book was replaced by a matte metal disc, with Lana's sigil upon it (that at least I had been able to vary). I only hope my friend returns so that I may give it to her.

The rest of the day was spent in research, my mind making pleasant connections and instinctual links that carried me from one end of the great repository of books to the other. After a long time a man I did not recognise approached me. Claiming to be a merchant from Kerendas the man was overly familiar, and I did not like him one bit. Then, with a wink and a nod, I realised that this was Antonius in disguise - quite impressive, too - different coloured hair, newly acquired moustache and I could swear his nose was a different shape. Not bad for a mundaner solution. Antonius explained he wasn't exactly the most popular man amongst several of the city's thieves guilds. I chose not to ask any further, which I think he appreciated.

Antonius had arranged a quiet inn for us to stay at. On the morrow we shall continue our vigil.

Gromdain 16th Flaurmont 1007
The Cask and Barrel Inn, Thyatis City, Empire of Thyatis

No sign of Lana today. I scried upon her but saw only the trio flying through the eternal fog. It must be terrible for them. This unexpected stopover in Thyatis has at least allowed me some time to research the quest which lies ahead of me, and my investigation have born some fruit. Iíve found several accounts of the colonisation of Ylaruam by Alphatia, a few of which mention interest held by a few powerful Alphatian magic users in the northernmost emirate.

Most of the accounts of Nithia appear to contain an alarmingly numerous degree of tombs, necropoli and the undead associated with such. Given my recent experiences with the undead Iíve been brutally reminded at the ineffectiveness of most of the magic I possess against such creatures, though admittedly itís rare to encounter one so invulnerable to a good fireball as the thing we fought beneath Krakatos. Still, forewarned is forearmed, and it would be imprudent of me to simply blunder into catacombs filled with the undead without some form of preparation.

The obvious answer to such a threat is to take on the services of a cleric. While Iíll admit theyíre a useful bunch in some circumstances time spent recently with Vasily has reminded me just how tiresome their proselytising can be. Bonderenkoís self-righteous assumption that Petraís Crown was automatically his for the taking grated upon me, and I hate to think of the lecture that await should I even attempt to disturb a grave in the presence of a priest. Iíll probably be forced down this path, but Iím going to make sure itís not the only option open to me.

Iíve therefore commenced research into crafting a wand, enchanted with Death Fireís Rapture. While the fireballs produced from this wand will be considerably weaker than anything I could create by using the spell itself, the sheer destructive potential represented by a fully charged wand should be most useful in handling most forms of the undead. Initial research has also pointed me towards making such a device easily rechargeable. Should I succeed in its creation it will be a potent weapon, equalling the Boltwands favoured by the Alphatians.

Nytdain 19th Flaurmont 1007
The Cask and Barrel Inn, Thyatis City, Empire of Thyatis

Still no progress in retrieving Lana. No word from Demetrion and our friends are still travelling through the aether.

My researches continue. I know that Narzarina travelled to Sura-Mann-Raa, but know nothing of her travels from there. She seemed to be hunting for something, but what? Perhaps tomorrow I will find the tome I require.

Antonius comes and goes. We're getting along quite well, in all honesty - he may be as mad as a werewolf at full moon, but he has a good heart and a keen mind. I've been in worse company.

Lunadain 22nd Flaurmont 1007
The Cask and Barrel Inn, Thyatis City, Empire of Thyatis

Engrossed as I have been in research and enjoying the wonders of Thyatis, the Emperor's birthday quite snuck up on me. As a hero of Redstone I had been invited to join the festivities being held at the palace, and honour the import of which was not lost on me. Thankfully I was able to find a tailor at short notice to run me up a set of fine robes, in an interesting cross between Thyatian everyday dress and Glantrian military stylings - I cut quite the dash it must be said.

The celebrations themselves were impressive to say the least. Course after course was wheeled out, and I confess I did not turn many of them down. Speeches were, of course, given in the Emperor's honour, then we clustered on balconies here and there to watch a parade go by, coupled with a flypast made up of the Retebius Air Fleet. The crowd of citizens looking on cheered for what seemed like an eternity! It seems that the recent reversal of the Empire's fortune at Redstone has been seized upon by the citizenry as a turning point in the war. I can't help feel just a little smug about that.

Demetrion was, of course, present, though I once again got the impression he was distanced from the Emperor. Dreaded Anya was there too, naturally. We exchanged a frosty glance from time to time. Demetrion asked that I meet an envoy from the Heldannic Order the day after tomorrow (some sort of High Priest I'm given to understand), to which I gladly agreed, long having been curious about these Hattian crusaders.

I have had a little to much to drink. I may need to send a slave out to get the ingredients for my famed hangover cure. Thank Rad for those alchemy classes...

Tserdain 24th Flaurmont 1007
The Cask and Barrel Inn, Thyatis City, Empire of Thyatis

Most perturbed. I had a terrible, portentious dream last night. I record it here now, that I might not forget the details:

I was standing on a battlefield, bodies piled on every side. A tattered Alphatian banner fluttered past. Suddenly I become aware of something behind me. I turned painfully slowly and see a massive lion feasting on the dead. Its fur was as black as night. It raised its head and looked directly at me. Feeling threatened I raised my staff but the lion was faster. In a single bound it leapt upon me, snapping the staff like an old twig and pinning me to the ground. I tried to speak words of magic but they would not come. The lion opened its jaws .... and I awoke.

Yet no, still I dreamt but I was aware I was dreaming. I stood in my room. The lion was there, the tattered Alphatian banner in its jaws. It dropped the banner at my feet and stared at me for what seemed like a thousand years before it became an eagle and flew away. I stooped to pick up the banner. It was heavily stained with blood. As I held it in my hands the heraldry began to shift and change into...

That is all I can recall. Disturbing. I feel drained by the experience. I meet with the Heldannic envoy in but a few hours and I have had nowhere near enough sleep. I must study my spells before breakfast.

That was wishful thinking on my part - I've spent the last hour staring at my spellbook but what comes so naturally under normal circumstances seems beyond my reach now. I am denied the ability to memorise spells this morning. Interesting. Just as well I had nothing spectacular planned, nor cast many of my memorised dweomers yesterday.

Is it just coincidence that my own dream altering abilities would deny their victim the use of their spellbook were the dream sufficiently disturbing? I think not. I have been sent a message, yet I know not from whom. A fellow Dream Master? Strange that they should send such a dream to one of their own... Yet if not one of my Craft, then who? Who else might have the power to alter the dreams of another. The meddling immortals, are, of course a prime candidate... Nice of them to keep it all quite so cryptic, as ever.

Speaking of meddlesome immortals, I must away to my audience with the Knight of Vanya. I will record how it went once I return.

Well, so much for subtlety. It turns out that black lion of my dreams was a direct reference to the symbol of the Heldannic Order. They're fairly fond of displaying it...

I met with Torsten Klimz at the palace as planned. Though I wasn't particularly optimistic about the meeting we got on well enough, in all honesty. I think mutual respect played a part there.

Klimz, who turned up in full armour with a pair of similarly dressed escorts, identified himself as a Grand Knight of the 5th Glory of Vanya and the Voice of Vanya. I was therefore as confused as before regarding his military and ecumenical rank, but though it polite not to press the matter. He seemed to think his titles would suffice in that regard and I didn't want to be rude.

The knight wanted to know the specifics of the Battle of Redstone from an insider's perspective, and I saw no harm in enlightening him. I fully described the battle and the days leading up to it, leaving out only confidential information that didn't really effect the narrative. The knight listened with enthusiasm, interrupting only once or twice with salient questions. Overall he seemed quite happy with my tale. He did ask about Alphatian skyships, and whether any had been at the battle, but that seemed like a pertinent question so I answered truthfully that while I had feared the presence of such a vessel none made themselves known.

Changing the subject, Herr Klimz asked about Prince Urmahid, his character and nature. Again I answered truthfully, expressing the genuine admiration I hold for His Arcane Highness. Having had the pleasure of his company on the adventures that we found en route to Thyatis a mere month ago I remain convinced that he is the best man for the job of Chancellor, and said as much to the Heldanner.

Next, Herr Klimz turned the subject toward me, enquiring as to where my true loyalties lay. It would appear that my actions refuse to prove my intent to all and sundry. Once again I was forced to justify my moral stance and explain the apparent contradiction offered by our mission to Sundsvall and my subsequent actions. I reiterated my belief that the interest of all the nations of the world are served by stopping Alphatia before it can claim the secrets of the Radiance and doom us all. Herr Klimz demanded more of me, asking if I served only my own interests. Insulted by the notion I laid bare my feelings towards the Principalities; that although I shall forever be an outsider to the Glantrians I care

deeply about the welfare of their nation, which feels so much more like home to me than Karameikos. Though Thyatian by birth, and Karameikan by virtue of residence, it is Glantri where my heart belongs, and to that nation I pledged myself. That seemed to satisfy the Heldanner; though describing me as 'faithless' he at least acknowledged that I could declare where I stand.

Next the conversation turned to the hordes of Ethengar. I recalled that Heldann was fighting against the Ethengarians at that very moment, and though I had no first hand knowledge on the Council's policy toward the Golden Khan (beyond my discussions with Urmahid) I furnished the Knight with my rudimentary understanding of the situation, and expressed my opinion that Prince Jaggar, while he would like nothing more than to lead an army against the Khanates, would probably not be allowed to open up another front while Glantri was at war with Alphatia. Herr Klimz observed that the Heldannic Knights would be petitioning Glantri to do just that, and crush the horselords between the two allied nations. He suggested that the Princes could reach out to the King of Vestland, himself at war with the Ethengarians and his forced quite in need of some arcane reinforcement. I undertook to pass that advice along to Prince Urmahid.

We then had a general discussion on why Heldan allied with Glantri in the first place, with me observing the outlook of both nations was quite at odds. Klimz agreed, but accepted the will of Vanya, who had ordered that Glantri must be defended. He seemed to believe that, as civilized nations, we could set aside our differences in times of conflict and unite against a common enemy. I agreed and expressed the desire to see such understanding last beyond the bounds of the war, should our nations be triumphant.

Finally, I asked what the history was between Heldan and Alphatia - the two nations seemed to despise one another, almost as much as Alphatia and Glantri do. Herr Klimz told me a little of their history, both old and recent. It would appear that the Order sees in the Alphatians everything they despise - their chaotic, hedonitic lifestyles are sins of the highest magnitude to these lawful knights. The recent actions of my old friend Admiral Haldemar seems to have soured the relationship even further. Apparently he broke into a sacred shrine or some such and that really peeved the knights. Herr Klimz said this took place in 965AC and that Haldemar vanished for decades. I must cross reference that with his logs when next I get the chance.

Klimz droned on a bit more about the wonder of Vanya and asked some probing questions about the Glantrian military, questions which, even if I were indiscreet enough to answer, I wouldn't have known about. We chatted about my time in Alphatia as well, then parted on good terms. I was surprised - I had expected a fanatic and found a man who, while still a zealot, at least had some human dignity in him, and a sense of reason. I must find out more about this order of knights. Something tells me there's yet more about them to be discovered...

Now, I'm going to bed, even though it's barely evening. I have a lot of sleep to make up for.

Nytdain 26th Flaurmont 1007
The Cask and Barrel Inn, Thyatis City, Empire of Thyatis

Our long vigil is at an end - our friends are returned to us safe and sound. Demetrion sent for Antonius and I early this afternoon and, demonstrating a strata of magic I can only dream of, transported all three of us to the aether, where a djinn friend of his awaited. This creature of the aerial plane had been scouting the ethereal realm for Lana, whom she apparently already knew, and informed us that Lana, Conor and Piotr were even now making their way the final leg of their journey.

We waited, not talking. I was not relishing my return to the aether, and quickly cast a spell of flight, even though there was no need to move. That drab place, so cold, so much an echo of the real world of light and laughter we cherish, made me nervous. I knew only too well what dread denizens might be lurking and, Demetrion beside me or not, I did not want to be caught out.

My paranoia was unfounded. Sure enough, in mere moments the misty atmosphere of that grey plane parted to reveal our companions, obviously haggared by their journey. I looked into Lana's eyes and saw, for a split second, some reflection of the horrors she had seen in the depths of that dungeon dimension. Demetrion wasted no time; with a gesture he returned all of us to the Prime. There, he made sure that our recovered friends were taken care of, servants bringing water and food and fresh clothing. I said that we had arranged rooms at the Cask and Barrel, and, after thanking Demtrion profusely, we all repaired to the inn, where Conor and Piotr headed straight to bed. Lana I took to one side and offered her the spoils of her adventures - she seemed pleased at the bounty of spells we had liberated, and touched that I had provided her with a book enchanted with Armoured Arcana.

Lana, Conor and Piotr are resting now, well fed and healed after clerical intervention. All three seem reluctant to talk about their adventures. I did not press the matter with them. In her own time I'm sure Lana will relay what it was she saw, down there in the foundations of our universe.

Loshdain 27th Flaurmount 1007
The Cask and Barrel Inn, Thyatis City, Empire of Thyatis

Lana awoke in a fine mood this morning, full of the joys of spring. We had arranged to spend the day catching up so, meeting after breakfast we took the time to stroll around the bustling city centre (and indulged in a spot of shopping - Thyatian fashion will cut quite a dash back in Glantri I think.) We had arranged to meet the remaining members of our little group for lunch (a pleasant affair in a Kerendan restaurant which had been recommended to me), during which a most curious sight presented itself - a formation of griffons was flying through the air, heading towards the Zendrolium, the fort at the heart of the Thyatian military complex, which we happened to be quite close to. This would, in and of itself, not be unusual, given the propensity of the Thyatians towards flying mounts, but Lana's keen eyes picked out a strange haze in the air around the creatures, and noticed that only one of them was mounted.

She wasn't the only one to find this unusual. We were close enough to notice that the guards on the walls to the mighty fort has seen the incoming phalanx of griffons and were scurrying to action. I brought out my crystal ball and scryed upon the guards, hearing their shouts of warning to the intruder as a result, and their subsequent cries of alarm as the griffons overflew them. At this point Lana suggested we act. I was, admittedly, less keen, worried as I was that the guards would potentially see us as a second wave in the attack, but I was soon persuaded that the risk was worth it.

So, once again our little gang sprang into action - Lana and I cast spells of flight upon ourselves as Piotr piloted Lana's carpet with Antonius and Conor on board. Together we set off toward the mighty fortress, hoping to intervene in whatever might be occurring.

As we approached I noticed that the guards had, as I feared, turned their attention towards us. This would not have occurred had I memorised my area effect version of Shield from Mortal Eyes today, but alas such prescience was not afforded me. A ballista bolt flew through the air near us, alarming us all. The guards would get many more shots off before we closed to a distance where we could converse, and I didn't want to see what would happen when a ballists bolt hit a crowded flying carpet. I quickly cast my most potent spell, summoning an image of myself in the guards' midst. Putting on my best "ordering soldiers" voice I had picked up from Redstone I demanded the guards halt their attack and focus on their real enemy, berating them for attacking a Hero of Redstone and his allies, who were once again putting their own lives on the line for the sake of the Empire, and that we could all do with not being shot at by our own side. Suitably cowed the soldiers passed word that the true attackers were already within the walls. I gestured to Lana and co, and we advanced toward the griffons, who, from what we overheard, were running interference for the human who had been astride one of them earlier as he made his way toward the dragon pens.

As we made our way through the air, a great gout of flame leapt up, consuming a building. I feared that an elemental had somehow been released, but as we cleared the inner walls I saw the horrifying site of an efreet, laughing with chaotic glee in the middle of a courtyard as it torched the poor soldiers who dared stand against it. Not far from the efreet the human griffon rider had dismounted, and was busily fighting a group of soldiers who stood between him and the door to the dragon pens. His griffons swooped through the air, rushing soldiers left, right and centre, picking them up bodily and dropping them from great heights. It was a scene of carnage and these common men of Thyatis, brave as they were, were no match for this assault.

As one, our party bounded forward into action. Lana, her eyes narrowed, started launching spells at the efreet. Piotr brought the carpet down into the courtyard, the nimble Antonius leaping onto rooftop as it passed by, before Conor and Piotr reached the ground and ran towards the melee. Conor stopped to engage a griffon, dipping under its flailing claws and then virtually beheading the creature with a single blow. Piotr leapt upon another of the monster's backs, driving his long sword into the back of the creature's head. Antonius had, I noticed, disappeared from sight. I didn't have time to worry about him however - I had alighted on a rooftop some distance away, and sent my Projected Image to hover over the courtyard.

Focussing my power through the projection I unleashed spell after spell, paralysing the largest griffon, hurling spellbolts at the others, until, in short order, the creatures were disposed of, and all that remained were the human rider and the efreet. The latter didn't last much longer, either, as, with a crackle of lightning, Lana finished it off and the creature's mortal form exploded in a last rush of flame and ash.

This unknown human, then, stood alone against our assembled might. He looked around to see what had happened to his companions, and beheld the foes that faced him with admirable resolution on his face. The man appeared to have Alaysian blood in him - handsome by any standard, but his eyes betrayed a certain sadness. Piotr called on him to surrender, but the intruder simply shook his head andd raised his javelin in salute to the warriors that stood in front of him. I held back for the moment, giving the fighters a chance to deal with the interloper. Deal with him they did. In a brutal display of martial efficiency and murderous coordination, Antonius sprung out from nowhere, appearing from behind the paralysed form of one of the griffons, to plunge his long, elegant sword into the man's back. Simultaneously, Conor swept out with his halberd, hooking the man's left leg and tumbling him to the ground. Piotr then stepped in and put all his might behind a swift, clean blow to the downed man's neck. The intruder's head rolled clear of his body. The fight was over.

Some general or other arrived shorty thereafter and took command of the situation. He quickly checked that the dragons inside the pens had not been disturbed. It turned out that the creatures in question were newly made mothers, their precious eggs curled up in their tails. Lana mused on the risk this intruder was taking, daring to snatch the eggs from a flight of dragons, but Antonius, who had been investigating the body of the intruder "for clues" brought over a vial of dark red liquid. A potion of dragon control... We do not know what this man's motives were, but had he succeeded he would have had gained many powerful assets this day.

Demetrion sent for us this evening. It would appear our interloper was one Lord Zubir Al-Hamqid, a Knight of the Air. Demetrion could not say why he had attacked the Zendrolium, but expressed regret that the man had died in the process - it appears he was quite the hero in his day. The magist resolved to investigate further.

The man's possessions were made available to us as a reward for saving the dragons. I claimed the elegant dagger he carried, with Antonius taking his enchanted bow, Conor his javelin and Lana and Piotr splitting the potions. Yet more intrigue strikes the Empire. I sense Alphatian hands behind this event...

Soladain 28th Flaurmont 1007
The Cask and Barrel Inn, Thyatis City, Empire of Thyatis

Lana and Piotr departed this morning, courtesy of Lana's teleportation magic. We parted on good terms, she and I, though I sensed she felt conflicted about my de facto exile from Karameikos. I assured her it would not prevent me coming and going in the country as I pleased, and promised to look in the next time I was in the area. Presuming I wasn't on the run from the law at the time.

Lunadain 1st Yarthmont 1007
The Cask and Barrel Inn, Thyatis City, Empire of Thyatis

I finished my initial researches into the crafting of my wand. I believe it should be possible to create just the weapon I require, and the cost of such enchantment is well within my means. I have already contracted a metallurgist with considerable experience in jewelry crafting to my service, and discussed with him what it is I am looking for. He agrees that such a design is not overly compleex. Now I just need to find the right components. Most of them have been easy enough to acquire in this mighty metropolis, but my primary ingredient will not be so easy to find. I need to use something that has a link, no matter how small or primal, to the elemental plane of fire, in order to bind the magic of Death Fire's Rapture to the base metal I am working with. My best chance is to harvest the necessary component from a monster of some description. It need not be an actual denizen of the plane of fire; some Prime-based creature with a primal link to the pyromantic realm will suffice. I wish I had known this when we faced that efreet - it would have been a prime candidate! I've ruled out the notion of summoning an elemental - the fire used in such a conjuration is merely sustained and fuelled by the spirit of a creature from the plane of fire - the flames themselves are of the prime, and would not suffice for my purposes. No, I must look to some creature that channels flame. Perhaps a red dragon or a phoenix? Where in the name of Rad am I going to find one of those around here?

Tserdain 3rd Yarthmont 1007
The Cask and Barrel Inn, Thyatis City, Empire of Thyatis

Fortune smiled upon me today. Even though I completed my initial research into my wand days ago I have been struggling to find any word on a creatures with a link to the plane of fire. I was considering teleporting back to Glantri to see if the Monster Hunter's Guild could assist, when Master Tyrannon visited late this morning.

It appears that for the past day or so he's been trying to track down a consignment of hellhounds, shipped from Glantri and bound for the arena. Hellhounds! They will be perfect for my purposes!

This particular pack of hounds had been brought to the city by one Lord Osylaian Lascaromus, a senator who was arranging games to demonstrate his political prowess. He noticed that the shipment was late and subsequently discovered the consignment had been stolen.

The senator then put word around that he was desperate to find these hellhounds, for his games are to be held the day after tomorrow and without the hounds all he has are some giant rats and a pack of kobolds. The crowd would not be entertained by that sorry display! The Order of the Sands, some gladiatorial guild, from my understanding, spread word of the contract and Conor and Antonius have been on the case ever since.

Antonius explained that they had drawn a blank. They have a lead, but he's a tough chap, and smart too. Neither Conor's bluster nor Antonius' wiles have been able to extract any information from him, and he's rich enough to afford some bodyguards, so "direct action" has been ruled out. That's where I came in. My young friend had picked up on my talent for persuasion and thought I would be perfect for this.

He wasn't wrong. An hour later we had the information we needed, and knew where the hellhounds were being hidden. It turns out that another senator, Lord Vindosius Kargonitzes, had paid a band of brigands (our lead being one of them) to intercept the hellhounds, in an attempt to embarass Lascaromus, his political rival. The hounds were being held at his villa just outside the city. I volunteered to help Antonius see this through - the man seemed pleased that he could call upon my power in this situation.

We arrived at Kargonitzes estate in the early evening. Easily gaining entry we met with the senator, who was alarmed that we knew of his plot. He ordered his guards to attack us, which was a shame because by that point half of them thought I was their best friend. The other half were soon either paralysed, asleep or stunned. Even Antonius seemed stunned at the ease with which I had dispatched our foes.

Kargonitzes ran from the room and into the coutyard. There, slavering in a large wrought metal cage, were the missing hellhounds, a pack of six. Kargonitzes drew out a potion, exclaiming something about it being the insurance policy included in the shipment, and drank it down, opening the cage the next instant.

It appeared this was a potion of hellhound control, for the beasts surged forward, closing on Conor, Antonius and myself. The two warriors quickly dispatched a hound, but the flame breath of the creatures lashed out at all three of us, inflicting nasty burns. Thoroughly unamused by the situation I waved a hand and dispelled Kargonitzes control of the hounds. Their fond disposition toward him evaporating, the hellhounds seemed to remember their jailor's past cruelties, and turned from us to circle the whimpering senator. With a collective burst of flame, the man was burnt to a crisp.

The three of us retreated, leaving the hounds contained within the villa courtyard (fortunately the senator could afford iron gates - we reckoned the hellhound would have difficulty escaping.) We made our way to the nearby home of Lascaromus, who was pleased to hear of his beasts being recovered. However, when Antonius asked about a reward the senator's face clouded over. He threatened us with accusations of murdering Kargonitzes, unless we left immediately. I was having none of this, however, and calmly explained who it was he was dealing with. The hulking barbarian at my side seemed to seal the deal for the senator, who relented and agreed to reward our efforts. I also laid claim to the corpse of the dead hound and any others who died in his games. On the morrow I shall harvest the components I need from the already dead specimen.

Antonius expressed his sincere appreciation for my help. He mentioned he might have another proposition for me, but wouldn't expand upon it there and then. I told him that I would be spending a few weeks in research, but that if he wished to put something to me he could ask me once I was done. He agreed. I find myself wondering what sort of trouble he might be thinking about getting me in to this time.

Nytdain 19th Yarthmont 1007
The Cask and Barrel Inn, Thyatis City, Empire of Thyatis

Success!! After sixteen long days of dedicated work the wand is complete. It took almost four days to ensorcel the metal, another three to cast it into the form required, and the rest of the time to stabilise the item, but my wand of deathfire is finally complete!

I keep turning it over again and again in my hands, savouring the latent power pent up within it. I can't wait to see how it handles in the thick of combat! I need to finish planning my journey to Ylaruam - another couple of days here in Thyatis should be sufficient to arrange everything. I find myself almost wishing for trouble on this adventure now!

Read the next instalment - Volume XXVI - The Sands of Ylaruam

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