The Light Empyrean

A Torn Journal Page
Found scrunched in the corner of an inn bedroom in Simvita...

...hadn’t before quite felt such sensations as when I saw her… lithe, athletic, utterly without fear or doubt… (smudged handwriting) ...seemed to take a liking to me, I must say I felt something similar in return. Her aid was invaluable in tackling the denizens of that keep. It was there…

...disappeared through the wall and as I followed…

...moved close to me, kissed me passionately. I could feel a great vitality within her, an abundance of vigor, of zest for life. I felt an awareness, as if my Lord, the Purple Guide Star could feel this energy too…(smugded) attention upon me… upon her… She pressed her…

...experience such as I have never felt. All the glorious while, however, I felt that presence, dare I say… waiting… the aftermath…(smudge)...presence seemed to fade from around me. Looking into her eyes, I smiled contendedly, as I felt was expected. In reality, I was hiding my dread… Caiphon forgive these blasphemous and traitorous words… but I… I fear that in our…joining…he used me as his vessel for…

...can only wait and see now. I devote myself to my Lord, but… she… I just do not wish to see her harmed… I sense…something…within…I..I hope it is but my imagination.

Caiphon preserve me, preserve her. I beg of you.

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.

'Day One' - The Journey To Winterhaven
In which portents make themselves known

With Acamar at its celestial apex, it was only natural that today should herald great things. The influence of that distant red star continues to draw me on even as I stop to record these thoughts. Of significant note they are, too.

I was pleased to find out today we would be departing Aldar at the behest of one ‘Quarion Lanarias’, an eladrin mage. I can see why he gravitates towards our scholarly new companion, the two are much alike in their constant desire to study any and every phenomenon the world holds. The lifetimes of a thousand devas would not be sufficient to index the wonders of the multiverse, so why waste a life in this manner? This I cannot answer.

Our transport was a reasonably impressive affair – a flying boat of no small size. Lore, predictably, paid far more attention to it than myself. Its crew gave themselves quaint thematic names and the ship itself bore an appellation I don’t currently recall. All this was, of course, largely inconsequential as the behemoth served no purpose other than to carry us from one location to another. Unsurprisingly, this simple task could not be completed without fanfare. It seemed our eladrin friend had not given us the full details regarding our voyage.

The ship was ambushed and boarded in mid-flight by a band of goblinoid pirates who made a foolhardy and frankly haphazard attempt to overcome us, apparently in search of our eladrin associate. Our party made short work of the cargo deck and proceeded to engage a number of blood-frenzied savages on the floor above. Solace seemed most at home in the fray, sidestepping fatal blows with ease and confronting powerful brutes with confidence, throwing them off balance as he felled each in turn. Korrin was, perhaps, out of practice and Lore simply seemed wholly unaccustomed to such frenetic melee as each suffered significant injuries at one point or another. I saw to it that an aggressive bugbear brute regretted ever lifting a weapon and as for the foolish archer who saw fit to level a crossbow at me… Well, Caiphon take his soul, if there was enough of it left after I’d responded to his pathetic attack.

The upper deck proved to be quite the confrontation as we held a narrow gangplank against a fierce warrior intent on boarding our vessel. Our dragonborn friend showed a flair for the heroic, leaping the gap between the two ships to avenge a telling blow on Solace and inspire our band to take out the goblin threat. Solace’s regrettable sense of nobility prevented me from properly punishing a creature marked for death, although I later took to opportunity to instil in him the fear of the void as I extracted information from the cowering thing.

My associates reached an agreement with the largely neutral gnomish engineers of the craft that had docked with us and after some exchanges and repairs had been made, we continued on our way.

Landing safely in Winterhaven, I glimpsed the faint twinkle of Gibbeth near the horizon at sundown. I can only interpret this as a sign that the next few days will be…eventful.

Entering the Shadowfell
Week of adventuring 20th-26th March 2009

Left Aldar on an airship, traveling to Winterhaven.
Airship attacked by goblinoid mercenaries.
Cleared Winterhaven’s graveyard of undead.
Cleared a ruined keep’s cellars of undead, battled a cultist turned blood elemental, and headed through a portal to the shadowfell.
Cleared a pentagonal keep of undead aided by a Shadar-Kai ranger.
Attacked in tavern in Simvita by undead dwarf seeking revenge on Kadath.
Set out to ruined city to investigate Orcus cult.
Cleared a path to a temple through city.
Stormed temple of Orcus, killed the high priest and ‘The Beast’, a large undead.


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