The next morning Keros decided to try dispelling the magic that had turned Varel into a chipmunk, and it worked! This will serve as a valuable learning experience. I hadn’t tried that because Whilhelm was so insistent that only a break enchantment spell would restore him! Next time I need to remember that I’m the mage and he is the bard. At any rate, we resumed our journey and reached Ashalae without further encounters and took our usual rooms at the Voronion Inn.
I spent the rest of the day scribing spells, in the meantime I sent Varel and Trailamen out to sell the gems we’d looted and change out all the silver for gold. It seems that afterwards, they took it upon themselves to visit one of the more prominent libraries within the city and try to research some of the items that we’d acquired. It didn’t seem to go well for them as they returned to the inn requesting my assistance. I’ll add it to the to-do list for tomorrow. The others also took the time to go do some shopping, I’ll need to stop by Malfora’s tomorrow.
A group of us paid a visit to Malfora the next morning. I was able to purchase a new bag of holding and sell an item or 2. The others also made a purchase, not only magic, but new horses! It seems that despite our previous bad luck with mounts that some are trying it again? I had 1other errand to run. I commissioned 4 special ropes! A pure black one, 1 alternating patterns of brown, another with alternating grey patterns, and the last a camo green pattern with fake leather leaves interspersed every so often so as to resemble a vine. This should make them very difficult to spot when used with a rope trick camp. I went back to my room and set about examining some of the items. The gloves could be useful, unfortunately they seem to be made of human skin! I need to see about finding some way to disguise them for it would not do well to be caught wearing such things. Many of the other items resisted my attempts to discern their nature. Perhaps some research tomorrow will provide more answers.
We retired for the night. After a couple hours, we were awakened by the shaking of the inn. The shockwave from a huge blast had rattled the city! We stumbled outside just in time to see the energy from the explosion fading to the NE. Judging from the distance and direction, it looks as if the event was centered on Darkwoods! Whatever this was, it was a magical event of an enormous magnitude! Not being able to do anything right now, we returned to our beds.
We had not been long in our slumber when we were again awakened! The sounds of screams filled the air and we saw flames from our windows! Boa was the first to make it outside and he reported that a nude elven woman was flying above the city hurling fireballs in her wake! No attack could touch her as any magics simply dispersed before they touched her? Boa got a look at her before she flew off to the palace, but he recognized her from a painting that he’d seen years before. It was Aileen, the so called “Dark Princess”, somehow she’d gained a massive surge of arcane power and was on the move. We geared up, gathered the mounts and followed her path to the palace.
The outer walls of the palace was a scene of devastation! There was a giant hole in the side of the palace that looked as if it was melted through! The grounds were strew with debris, the air was filled with shimmering embers that were reminiscent of the effects of a glitterdust spell, and everyone who was in the area had been somehow twisted by the passage of Princess Aileen! They all looked like they’d been partially melted and then had extra limbs added in the wrong places. Some had extra mouths, hooves and claws, while some others had been merged together into a single organism that resembled a shambling mound, if it was made of flesh. The area positively reeked of magic! We found that spell casting produced an unusual effect. Keros was the 1st victim! His casting somehow left him vulnerable and the extra magic of the area began to infuse him with power! He charged forward into the courtyard, but by the time he did so, his eyes glowed and wisps of power spilled from his mouth when he spoke! I am highly concerned at this! If he absorbs too much power, there is a good chance that he could explode! I too feel myself succumbing to the influx of power, I must restrict my casting lest I too fall victim to the effect.
As Keros rode on ahead into the palace, we stayed to fight the abominations on the outside. The humanoid creatures fell easily enough to our blades and my elementals, the flesh mounds were another matter. They had the ability to sprout tendrils and grab, then drag their victims within themselves. Once done, the creatures would attach mouths to them and try to drain their life blood. This happened to Varel and Resnov several times, luckily they were able to escape! These creatures took much longer and my most powerful elementals to defeat!
After our triumph over the warped guards, Resnov and Varel led a charge into the palace, following Keros! I argued against such a move. I know Whilhelm would have agreed with me had he been here, damn his halfing head! Of all the times to run off to do whatever the hells he does when we come to the city! At any rate, going in there to challenge Princess Aileen is certain death. The others would not be dissuaded. Before they charged forth, I snatched a finger length of Varel’s hair from his head! If they all perish, as I suspect they will, at least I can bring him back! Upon seeing this, Traileman and Boa all cut a lock of hair and shoved it into my hands. I’m not sure how to break it to them that I can have 1, maybe 2 of them raised, but not all 4? Oh well, my last view of them was as they ran into the palace, my pleas of reason falling upon deaf ears.
Whatever happened, it happened quickly. Less than a minute later as I debated whether to join them, wait or flee, I heard the voice of a woman. Rather it sounded like a hundred voices speaking as one. She ordered someone to kneel and pledge their obedience! I hope that it is my comrades that she is speaking too. Next I heard, “A new era has dawned within the land!” and a new hole was melted into the palace wall. Aileen, or rather Queen Aileen, I gather floated out across the courtyard. I believe that I heard the voice of Keros calling out to me to kneel as she passed. That could’ve just been my imagination, but falling to a knee seemed the prudent move at the time regardless. At any rate, she barely spared me a glance as she moved on heading out into the city proper, I imagine she has others to call upon this evening. I imagine that the elders of the church of Kaltia Melith won’t be having a very pleasant time during the next day or so. They among others. What in the hells did she do to herself? How did she get this power? Was that explosion earlier her followers all exploding at once, their forms unable to contain the power! She spoke with the voices of a hundred others, has she somehow absorbed their essence? What will our fate be? Do we stay and hope to serve under the new regime? We never had any true loyalty to the old rulers. Also, considering the way they treated anyone who wasn’t exactly like them, the kingdom under Queen Aileen may just be a more tolerant and welcoming place? We also need to consider though, we have killed 2 of her Deva’s and have been working against her. She may hold a grudge about that? Perhaps using the distraction that her ascension will cause to get out of the kingdom may be the best plan? We could head south to Malline and secure passage on a ship, or try our luck in the human empire to the north. Despite the fact that getting out of here may be the prudent move, I’m curious to see how all this plays out. What to do?
Heroes of Ethova
Campaign Journal of Burned Seth
This is the journal of Burned Seth, Wizard; Shattered Shield Company