The Light Empyrean

The Dark Realm

In which Kadath speaks of the harrowing despair of the Shadowfell - and a point of light within

Had I truly understood what lay beyond the portal in the depths of that accursed keep, I would not for one moment have considered stepping through its bounds into the realm beyond. The place I find myself now is more hopeless and forgotten than any I could have imagined. There are no clear skies, no shining constellations… Caiphon, my Lord, I can barely sense your presence in this place, please know that my devotion has never faltered, not even for an instant…

Unlike the rest of the heavens, Hadar’s influence is strong here… in my dreams he promises me great power, a malevolent devouring cloud, a fragment of His being called forth by my will…feeding him. Such an offer is not without merit, although I should have to exercise great caution, I do not imagine the Devourer would spare my companions from his insatiable hunger… I shall think on this.

Lore tells me this place, the Shadowfell as he calls it, is a dark reflection of our own world, cities where our cities lie, but different, more lifeless, more hopeless. More starless. This seemed to be the case, for we quickly came upon a keep that was not altogether unlike the one near Winterhaven. In fighting its denizens, we came upon a curious creature native to this realm, a ‘Shadar-Kai’ and in all truth a not unpleasant specimen. Her name is Kiara. I find it odd that I should remember… or care… She was…a spark of life – of light – in this place and I found her presence reassuring as she fought alongside us against the malevolent residents of that forsaken fortress. Never before have I met one quite so intoxicated by life and by danger as she. Surely this is the only thing that keeps the hopelessness of this place from taking root in her as in the other creatures I have encountered here.

Speaking of encounters… Once we had concluded our business in that keep, we made our way to a nearby settlement. Simvita, I believe it was called. A bleak city in a bleak landscape with few redeeming features. It was in a tavern there that an aspect of my past caught up with me and after no small amount of searching. A great beast of what was once a dwarven soul, seized by Hadar during my initiation into the ways of the Distant Ones, now a lifeless husk filled with vengeance and rage. Such fury I have never before encountered, it was all Solace and Korrin could do to hold the beast off as it lunged for me again and again, shrugging off the worst of any invocation I could throw at it. It is no exaggeration to say that we tore that bar to pieces, with the creature trying to cleave me clean in two and my companions doing all they could to restrain it and squeeze in any shots they could to try and bring the thing down. Between the magical assistance of Lore and the brute strength of Korrin and Solace, the creature was barely restrained, at which point I seized my opportunity. Crying out to my patron and to great Delban, radiant above all others, I exerted every ounce of willpower I could muster to channel the exalted light of the Distant Ones in this forsaken place and their answer came in a glorious column of pure brilliance, tearing through the beast and reducing it to a mound of ash. Still, the experience has had no small effect on me. My pact brought great suffering to that dwarf. It was never my intention for such to be so, but still… an unfortunate necessity. I feel this may not be the last of such encounters…

There is much more of note regarding this realm and indeed I have other… concerns regarding situations that have occurred since arriving here. Now, however, is not the time as progress awaits us and I should not want at this moment to be of any further inconvenience to my associates, Caiphon guide their steps.

This morn, such as it is, we strike out to the city to the South. It shall not be a pleasant trip.

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