Episode 98: The Beginning of the End?
Yuna channeled her divine magic into Greater Restoration and restored Sirlius’s memories. The party then listened while Levani quickly related what she new of the activities of the Trazjte ur Flasch since she had been recaptured the previous winter. From this Magnus deduced that the three streaks of green light pouring from the tear in the sky must be some sort of massive portals. Sirlius concluded they were less portals than a sundering of the Divine Gates blocking the Abyss from the other planes; he realized they must have been opened by ritual sacrifice of the three tieflings they were unable to rescue from the Feywild. In retrospect, he noted, it could have been much worse. It was clear that whatever the years-long plan of the Abyssal lord Graz’zt, his endgame was now under way.
Levani said her goodbyes and teleported back to the Trazjte ur Flasch, in the hopes that she could still bring the cult down from inside and disrupt whatever work remained for Alestair Aleph. “It’s too bad,” she said, “I was really hoping to kill Tak.”
Though it was only late afternoon on a warm spring day, the party was exhausted from their protracted encounter with the arch-fey of Winter, and moved off some ways into a copse of trees to rest.
Whisper watched the sun go down in a hideous green sky as her friends rested, enjoying the respite after a harrowing adventure in the Feywild, but worried that the party may have made the wrong choice in allying with Mab. She quietly spoke to the Whisper King, pleading for reassurance, but no reply was forthcoming. Ara awoke to relieve her, and the old kenku quickly found her way to sleep. It was in her dreams where Whisper heard the reply of the distant, deep voice of the Whisper King, his words of comfort: Keen yet lived, and moreover he was not made a pawn of the Winter Queen. “The Warden does her duty well,” it said, “And the Whisper King is proud of her.”
Meanwhile, Keen received a visitation of another sort: whether waking or a dream he wasn’t sure, but in the trees just beyond the light of the campfire embers he saw the silhouette of a woman. She was dressed in black. Her black waves of hair framed deep orange eyes glowing from a face of deep shadows. She addressed him in a familiar urgent whisper and he realized with a start this was Seema, his first worshipper. But Keen had thought her a small child. Answering his surprise Seema explained that it had indeed been 13 years since she had last prayed to him; she had spent the time since following his teachings, namely amassing power to secure her own safety and ensure her own prosperity. That was until the unexpected arrival of his servant – the old man with the eye patch and bastard sword – who instructed Seema to pray to the Hidden God a warning to protect the tieflings.
Struggling to comprehend these revelations, Keen asked her why she had come. Seema declared that she was now the High Priestess of the Hidden God, Deliverer of the Word, and Kiiri’s followers were now legion, hidden in every shadowy corner and each dedicated to his Word. Not even she knew how many; His worshippers organized in secret, disconnected cells. She came now to declare that His worshippers stood ready, and awaited His call to whatever end. Keen thanked her, and instructed her to await his sign. She backed into the trees then, dissolving into shadow, and Keen returned to sleep.
The party awoke in the darkness of the pre-dawn. Whisper went to remove the Ring of Bliss from Keen’s finger only to discover he wasn’t wearing it. She woke him, suddenly afraid his nightmares might come to life as they had before. Keen sleepily explained that he no longer needed the ring. He could simply choose whether his dreams would manifest in reality or not, and he had chosen that they would not. When Whisper demanded to know how he had come to this realization, he revealed that he had been speaking to Ginny Myrndottir, his ex-lover, who had explained it; she had appeared shortly after he secured the third Shard of the Heart of Bahamut.
Sirlius became overwhelmed with pity for the halfing rogue, who it seemed was suffering a nervous breakdown of some sort and imagining an ex-lover’s betrayal had not happened, that she was with him even now.
As dawn broke over the ridge to the east behind the ancient watchtowers known as Zikrin’s Eyes, the Stella – once again in the form of a giant temple dog – alerted Yuna to a ramshackle cart following the road northwest towards El Astrum. The cart was being pulled by a knackered mule indifferent to the urging of an old man and his wife. Ara stepped into the road to halt the cart. From the frantic, terrified couple they learned that El Zikrin had been “overrun” by monsters emerging from the green light; they were fleeing for the city in the hopes of finding safety. Whisper gave them a handful of goodberries and wished them well while the adventurers turned east and with a couple of hours travel arrived at the outskirts of the north tower…
Keen Love-Life Status: Sad
Godhood Levels: Rising
Lore Dump Ranking: S
RP Rating: Awesome!