I was interviewed by Lady Diege and with an endorsement from Darnakar I was picked as a member of the team. The day came for the meeting at the Manor and I was ready to depart. I paid his tab at the Flotsam Inn plus a generous tip, and bid my new friends goodbye. I made my way to the Manor and was escorted to the meeting room. From my interactions with Lady Diege the room fit perfectly with her personality. It was very…spartan, I liked it. I entered the room with a group of 4 others. None were wearing armor, carrying weapons (other than the human with the chain wrapped around him), or a pack. Were we not leaving today?
I entered the room, walked to the other side following the human, and placed my pack, map cases, and shield against the wall. I took a seat near the end of the table and watched as the other members entered. Only one human in the party when we were in a city almost exclusively populated by humans. I was pleasantly surprised by the composition of the group.
The human with the chain, Absylon, had shared his tea with me. There was something different about him, he was not like the other humans in the city. I like Absylon. He had shared his tea, an obvious sign of respect and friendship. I can’t help but respect him.
I was pleasantly surprised when I found out Fruben was on the team. While Fruben may outwardly display the countenance of a glutton, I knew he was a capable tracker. Fruben would guide us well, and his defense of Luthadel put his integrity beyond question.
I was amazed when Quoice revealed himself to us. I have no doubt he could remain hidden from us all if he wished, for the forest has blessed his people with amazing stealth. It is odd to see one of the Forest Gnomes away from his home. Something must be threatening the forest for him to have left. I shall have to speak with him and offer my aid. He is an odd little gnome. He seems to constantly be ingesting strong liquor yet suffers no ill effects. The fortitude of nature is strong in this one. Another champion of nature makes me confident we will succeed.
There is an Elven Druid in the party as well. Gracevyre is her name. I am heartened by the number of staunch nature allies we have, for I worried I would be accompanying a group of humans. While I do not dislike the humans, it is in their nature to destroy. The elves I have heard are staunch allies of nature, and we have many Killoran Druids.
Lastly I write of our leader Xyrella Kra’alin. I couldn’t help but be impressed with her. She is obviously not human. The eyes, the hair, and the…wings. She is a Cleric of Bahamut and this is good. I revere the Dragon Father as does Tharur.
We left the following morning upon our mission. I packed my own provisions for the trip even though Xy offered to carry the food for everyone. I trust her, but I have been traveling alone for so long that I am not ready to rely upon someone else completely. The extra weight doesn’t slow me down. As we were leaving Engelstad Xy was giving money to the beggar children. I had noticed these children in my studies of the humans in Engelstad. What was their role in human society? Who looked out for them and taught them? Why did Xy give them money? There is much I still don’t understand. Maybe I’ll ask her one evening. We began to get mobbed by more and more children making our progress slow. I prepared to frighten them away but Xy released some kind of….power. It had such a calming effect on everyone, including me, that we were able to walk through the throng of children after she convinced them to leave.
Our goal was the Obsidian Keep. We had talked about several paths and decided with the vast experience many of our members had with nature we would cut right through the Methwood despite the Troglodite infestation. I had faith in our scouts. Quoice, as a Forest Gnome, would be our best scout in the forest. As we traveled we rarely saw him, but it seemed as if the forest itself was covering the noise of our travels. We made it through the Methwood without incident.
The day we moved from the forest to the barren foothills of The Smoking Mountains I meditated when I woke. I searched within me and around me for the power to manifest the Aspect of the Destroyer. The raw power of nature is mine. I know some of my companions were taken aback when my hair and eyes turned from green to black and my skin darkened. We moved through the foothills with our scouts out again. Xy gave Fruben a ring for some sort of protection spell in case he was caught alone scouting. Absylon gave him some sort of crystal as well. What does that crystal do? He didn’t explain it. Absylon is a reserved fellow and I didn’t want to pry.
We made it to the Obsidian Keep. The raw power and majesty of the lava flows was incredible. This is why I revere the mother. What force could fight the volcano? We debated stopping to rest or not but decided to press on. The head was incredible. It is lucky that Diege gave Xy the key to open the door, for without it we would have failed immediately. The keep seems to be made from Electric Obsidian. I knocked on the door and was shocked, no pun intended, by the obsidian. Just a singed hand, nothing major. The entry to the keep seemed to be seldom used and the last entry in the log book was 8 years ago. This does not bode well.
We went through a strange perversion in one room. Trees and vines made of metal. The fiery dwarves we met next almost attacked us. I intimidated one quite nicely before the battle was joined and we all came to realize we were friends. They are servants of the Burning sage. They stated his apprentice Radinnal, Xy’s brother, had interrupted a very powerful summoning ritual the Sage had been performing in another area of the keep and had thrown that half in a kind of flux. Their leader Gorblam told us of a Sphinx friendly to the Sage, a demon, and a necromancer. The necromancer evidently is Radinnals’ secret benefactor.
Xy wishes to take the undead head on immediately. Myself and others wish to try and enlist the aid of the Sphinx first. I can’t help but wonder if Xy has led people before. Maybe it is my fault partially. I should support her more. She was given leadership by Lady Diege, and I respect her choice as I respect her. I will try to support Xy more.
I can’t help but be concerned with Xy’s place as our leader. She obviously has a vested interest in this endeavor as her brother is a pivotal player. Will she be able to do what may need to be done when the time comes? If her brother is under the influence of the Necromancer will she be able to destroy him? The news we got from the fiery Dwarves puts him at fault for trapping the Burning Sage. Was that the plan all along? I feel she is a good person, and can only have faith that she will do the right thing when the time comes. Or I will.