I’ve decided to write down my thoughts on the various events that have happened as of late. It seems that people have great expectations of us Yurath, since we’re legendary creatures with all sorts of mythical powers attributed to us. I feel like an ordinary Elf myself, but who knows what time will reveal… A small group of the Elven Yurath decided the best course of action would be to go about gathering up all the others of our kind, so that we might determine what purpose we have been reborn for. We managed to persuade a Human Yurath named Stryvl to join our cause, and with his guidance we’ve journeyed to Hathrak to recruit one of the other Human Yurath, a man known as Thormod. We were attacked last night as we slept at the inn. Our assailants were Ziyrs, demonic creatures in the service of Tharzian. Perhaps the demonlords have begun to take note of our rebirth. Who knows what plans they may have for us…
Thormod has agreed to accompany us. He is a strong and proud warrior Cleric in the service of a Human god known as Werra. There is something disturbing about him though… He seems to harbor a great deal of anger in his heart. I’m not really certain where this comes from, but his great strength and prowess in combat are both to be respected and feared. I suppose I should be glad he’s on our side.
I had a strange dream last night… There was an Elven woman with golden eyes like ours, obviously one of the Yurath. I can’t really recall any other details about her, but I vividly remember the sense of terror and desperation in her eyes. It seemed like she was being held in the city of Tharn from what I could remember. Thormod spoke of a similar vision as well. We have to go there and help her! Hopefully the others will agree.
We managed to recruit two other Yurath today. One is a Half-Elven Wizard known as Sefiros. Apparently, he has been leading a life of banditry, working to free the Elven slaves of Tharn. The other is a Human warrior known as Jarek, who is a resident of Tharn and a member of the local warrior’s guild. Though Jarek is a Human living in Tharn, he does not seem to be a slaver nor does he appear to have any particular fondness for slavery or slavers. Sefiros has confirmed that the woman from my dream is being held in Tharn, in the tower of the city’s ruler. Elyos shifted to his animal form, an eagle, and flew over the tower to do some reconnaissance. Eventually we settled on a plan of action and decided to rest and prepare for our rescue attempt.
It seems we were too slow in acting. Jarek and Stryvl went to meet with the Cassolmir, the ruler of Tharn, in order to negotiate for the woman, but instead they discovered that he was forced to hand her over to Dark Elves two days ago. Damn it… We have no choice but to try to rescue her from their foul clutches. The Cassolmir says that they are located in the mines near Tharn. Hopefully we can get there and free her before anything terrible happens to her. The Dark Elves are vile spawn of Tharzian, undeserving of life. I tremble to think of what they may be doing to her right this moment…
I have seen the heart of darkness, and the terror still makes my soul tremble. Our expedition into the mines was an utter failure, and we were captured by the foul Dark Elves. Their leader is called Zariiz, and he took great pleasure in seeing us tortured and experimented upon. I have no idea how long we were down there, how many hours or days or weeks we endured that hellish experience… Eventually, Zariiz brought forth some sort of demonic creature of Tharzian in an attempt to transform us into servants of the darkness. Thormod was chosen to be the first to be tainted, but something unexpected must have happened. The next thing we knew, a great commotion arose and the Dark Elves were suddenly slaughtered one after another in a most brutal fashion. We were able to free ourselves in the confusion and recover our equipment, and eventually we discovered Thormod lying unconscious in the caverns, covered head to toe in blood. I can only surmise that some aspect of his Yurathian blood awakened in response to the demonic power attempting to overcome him, and the slaughter of Zariiz’s minions was the result, though their master was nowhere to be found.
As we wandered the caves, we encountered another group of Dark Elves, this one an all-female group claiming to worship a goddess known as Lolth. They claimed to know where the woman we sought was located and offered to guide us there. I did not wish to trust them, but we were left with little choice. We were allowed to rest and regain some of our vitality, and then we mounted our assault. Despite our poor condition, this time we prevailed, and as promised, we were able to finally achieve our goal and rescue the woman.
Her name is Alasandriel, and she is… beautiful. She is in surprisingly good condition despite her captivity, but it seems my worst fears have come to pass all the same. She carries within her the taint of Tharzian; a demon child conceived in some dark ritual by those detestable creatures. The Dark Elf women have told us of a location within the Demonweb Swamp where we may perform a ritual to remove Tharzian’s taint from her, but I know not whether to trust their word. Either way, I feel the need to protect Alasandriel, to see to it that the taint within her is cleansed… There must be a way somehow, and we must find it.
We’ve finally arrived in Hathrak after a harrowing journey. We decided to travel over the plains, where we encountered several bands of Orcs. Disgusting creatures, though not so much as the Dark Elves. To throw off their pursuit, we cut through the Lost Wood. Perhaps not the wisest decision, but we survived all the same. It was not without peril, however. We encountered a temple within the forest where the remains of a great battle lay. Among the many skeletons of fallen warriors, we discovered a few items of minor power, but of particular importance seems to be a pair of holy symbols. They are unlike any holy implement I have ever seen before; a golden disc with an eye in the center. There were some among us who spoke of feeling calm and comfort when handling the symbol, but for Thormod it was quite the opposite. As soon as he took hold of the symbol, he grew enraged and unleashed great strength and fury. I do not know what came over him, and he was extremely difficult to restrain, but somehow we managed. Several of us have been having visions of some sort, whether they are of the past or the future or of events that may never transpire I am not certain, but their effect on Thormod is the starkest. He grows stronger and angrier with each passing day, and I fear he may eventually reach a point where his great rage cannot be contained.
Alasandriel seems to be doing well despite her situation. Despite the insistence of most of the Clerics of Werra that she harbors a great evil which must be vanquished, she remains steadfast in her belief that the child within her may yet possess some goodness in its soul. Were it not for the strong aura of evil that the child seems to possess, I would be inclined to agree with her… It hardly seems like the heroic or courageous thing to do to murder a newborn child, and I certainly will not stand for slaying Alasandriel herself to prevent the child’s birth as some have suggested. I know of a wise Elven sage not too far from here who may be able to lend us some guidance. Certainly it cannot hurt to at least seek his counsel…
It seems our efforts as of late have been woefully misguided. After seeking the advice of the Elven sage, we were directed to a temple of Alorinyai, where we learned of a holy spring with healing powers attributed to it. We took Alasandriel there in hopes that its sacred waters might help cleanse the evil she carries within her, but it seems we were mistaken in this course of action. Another Yurath appeared to us last night, a Human who calls himself Jachyra. He revealed that it was because of his efforts that we were rescued by the followers of Lolth and led to Alasandriel, and that the location within the Demonweb Swamp is actually an ancient Yurathian holy place. I’m not certain whether to trust this Jachyra or not, but if what he says is true then we must take action quickly. The minions of Tharzian have been searching for Alasandriel, and if we linger here too much longer they may invade the Tarth seeking her. We are setting out for the Demonweb Swamp now; hopefully we will not be too late.
I don’t know how long it’s been… The Demonweb Swamp is like something out of a nightmare. Time seems to flow differently there somehow… And in this place as well. I’m not sure how long we’ve been here, but many strange things have happened. We made our way through the swamp and eventually found a hidden chamber of some sort at the bottom of a well. There we met a pair of robed figures, a master and apprentice, who claimed that we were the “chosen ones” and that we had some sort of grand destiny ahead of us. The master appears to have had his eyeballs removed, and only vacant sockets remain in their place. It is highly disturbing to look at. The master provided us with a small mirror of some sort, claiming that it must be the first thing Alasandriel’s child looks at upon its birth, and that Tharzian’s hold over it would be released. He spoke of her child being “prophesied” and that it had the potential for both salvation and destruction. Perhaps, if this mirror truly removes the taint of evil from the child, we can raise it to be a force for good in this world. I would like to examine the mirror more closely to determine its powers, but we were told that the child must be the only one to look into it.
There is something else to this place as well. A great set of double doors leads into a mist filled corridor of some sort. The master refers to it as the “Halls of Awakening” and claims that we will discover our destinies inside. I’m not so certain I want to discover my so-called “destiny” given the results I’ve seen so far. Stryvl was the first to enter, and when he emerged his own sword had been driven through his chest. He seems to still be alive, but Thormod’s healing has been incapable of rousing him. Sefiros was next, and while he returned unscathed, he seems to be a completely different person now. Before he was cheerful and upbeat, but now he won’t utter so much as a single syllable, and the look in his eyes is cold and full of malice. It’s like looking into the eyes of a murderer… My turn in the halls is next. I dread what I may find, but if it is truly destiny then there is no way to escape it.
I still live, yet our situation is dire. Shortly after the others emerged from the Halls of Awakening, Sefiros suddenly stood up and proclaimed that he was leaving. Somehow he conjured a portal of some sort; I’ve never seen magic like that before. I quickly persuaded the others that we should follow him since he clearly was not in his right mind, and we all went through the portal after him. Now we are in some sort of massive underground labyrinth in what appears to be an arcane laboratory. A programmed illusion appeared when we all arrived and began addressing Sefiros, saying something about a series of experiments and numerous other things which I know nothing about. Sefiros was suddenly back to normal after arriving in this place, but he was unable to provide any sort of insight into the situation.
I do not know what the others experienced in the Halls of Awakening, but as for myself… I am not sure what to make of it. The eyeless master spoke of my destiny being one of a great ruler, perhaps over all of Yuir. I was skeptical at first, but after what I have seen, I’m not so certain. When I entered the Halls of Awakening, I found myself suddenly in the body of an Elven prince known as Arandil of the Calanea. I was charged with a mission to deliver an ancient artifact known as the Shard of the Ages, a mirror capable of divining the past and future with perfect accuracy, to safety. The entire experience was so vivid… So real. It was no mere vision; it was as if I really was Arandil. It somehow felt as though what I experienced took place in the distant past; perhaps sometime during the last instance the Yurath appeared on this world? I shall have to research this more at a later date…
Finally, we escaped from that hellhole. So much has happened… So much has gone wrong. We wandered for days down there, searching desperately for the way out. We were attacked by vicious creatures and we encountered devious traps that nearly killed us. Ever since entering the Halls of Awakening, our visions have been more intense and more frequent. Thormod became consumed by his anger and rage and turned on the rest of us. Sefiros once again shifted to his alternate persona and wielded an incredible spell that felled Thormod instantly, but he was not slain as we had initially thought. Just as we found the exit to the labyrinth, Thormod appeared again and assaulted us. We were able to subdue him, but not before he sliced Sefiros’s hand off, putting him in dire condition. Then the final trap guarding the exit nearly slew all of us; Elyos was teleported elsewhere while myself and Jarek were blasted with fire and electricity. I have Alasandriel to thank for helping me at that time; apparently she is able to channel the power of the True Gods in a limited capacity, and was able to heal some of my injuries. Jarek however was badly hurt and she could not help him. Just when all seemed lost, Stryvl amazingly managed to figure out the key to bypassing the trap and we were able to finally leave.
Now we are in the temple of Althania in the city of Kaerl. Apparently the labyrinth we found ourselves in is underneath the city. This is another city where Elves are sold as slaves, but the Clerics of Althania at least do not seem interested in the slave trade. They allowed us to rest and helped heal our wounds from the labyrinth, and even bartered with us for some supplies. They also took several of the magical items we recovered from the labyrinth however, claiming they were tainted by demonic magic. Sefiros was rather unhappy, but there was not much we could do about it at the time.
Thormod managed to find his way out of the labyrinth on his own, and we have managed to convince him to help us search for Elyos. Sefiros claims to know where he was teleported to, so we are going to set out to find him, or at least recover his body. He deserves a proper burial if nothing else for all he’s done.
We’ve found Elyos, but perhaps it would have been better if we hadn’t… He was trapped in some sort of cavern underground with no means of escape. He should have starved to death down there, but instead he has undergone some sort of horrific transformation. His features are twisted into a demonic mockery of their Elven nature, and somehow he is able to survive without food or water. I fear that he draws his sustenance from something else now… But he is still Elyos despite his appearance. I cannot abandon my companion when he is in such a situation. Stryvl however would not have anything more to do with us. Thormod’s hostility and now harboring a demonic Yurath in our midst have prompted him to abandon us. I wish him well all the same, though we will all miss his strength.
It seems that bastard Zariiz still survives. We were accosted by a band of Dark Elves on our way back to the Tarth, and a battle ensued. Alasandriel was taken from us by those vile scum… Something happened to Sefiros during the battle and he vanished without a trace. We tried to track them both down, but were unsuccessful. We returned to Kaerl to determine our next course of action, when we learned that Sefiros’s alter ego had manifested once again and taken Alasandriel from the Dark Elves. He left a message for us to meet with him, where we learned that he was holding Alasandriel prisoner back in the labyrinth! That bastard wants us to recover the objects taken by the Clerics of Althania, which have been taken to the city of Lywth to be locked away in the vault in Althania’s temple there… I know not why the other Sefiros wants these items or what ends he plans to use them for, but we must rescue Alasandriel somehow… We were teleported back to the Tarth before the other Sefiros relinquished control. Sefiros is himself for now, but he is unable to recall how to get to where Alasandriel is located. If it is for her, then I would brave that hell once again, but there is no telling when the other Sefiros will come back, and if he impeded us then I fear we would not survive. I only hope the other Yurath gathered in Tarthemon will be open to aiding us…
A great many Yurath have been gathered here in Tarthemon since the last time I was here. My friends Lodaril and Shydani, two other Yurathian Elves whom I have known for many years, have traveled throughout the Tarth and the lands to the west, and have brought back all the Yurath they could find. It is the first time I have ever seen so many of them in one place.
The more notable of the Yurath of Tarthemon are as follows:
Lodaril: A Yurathian Elf and one of my childhood friends. He has taken to worshipping the True Gods and claims they have granted him divine power as a Cleric. I am wary of what this may bode for us with Thormod still in our group… He seems confident in their power and is apparently the leader of the group.
Shydani: A Yurathian Elf and my other close friend. She is a Cleric of the goddess Alorinyai, though it seems that Lodaril has been trying to persuade her to take up worship of the True Gods. She is much more subdued and reserved than Lodaril, and unlike some of the others she is not quick to judge or eager to destroy.
Tyiana: A proud Yurathian Human warrior, she is strong and steadfast in her convictions. She seems to be experienced in fighting demons and other evil creatures. She did not take well to Elyos’s new form, but was at least calm and reasoned enough to refrain from attempting to slay him right away.
Belar: Another Yurathian Human warrior, though he seems young and inexperienced. He seems to have taken to training under Jarek and wishes to experience combat firsthand, though it seems Jarek has judged him to not yet be ready.
Katai: She is a Yurathian Half-Elf, like Sefiros. She is by far the youngest of us all, appearing to be not even on the cusp of womanhood yet. Contrary to her youth however, she seems to be vicious with a dagger and cares not for her own life or that of anyone else it seems. I’ve learned that she was orphaned at a young age and had to learn to survive on her own, so I suppose it can’t be helped. I feel pity for her, but at the same time her complete lack of innocence and disregard for life disturbs me.
Yerondel: He is a brash, cocky, smart-aleck Yurathian Elf who claims himself to be the greatest archer in all the Borderlands. He overflows with self-confidence and conceit and takes every opportunity to brag about his exploits. I find him rather annoying, but if he has half the skill with a bow that he claims, then hopefully he will be a valuable companion.
Jachyra: The Yurathian Human who tracked us down before and directed us to go to the Demonweb Swamp. He seems to be a Wizard of some sort and is well learned in ancient lore. There is something about him that I don’t quite trust, but I cannot find anything to back up that lingering suspicion.
There was a great uproar when the group learned of Elyos, and Thormod and Lodaril very nearly came to blows as well. It took a great deal of effort, but Shydani and I were able to get everyone to calm down, and I gave a brief explanation of everything that had happened to our group up until that point. There was a lot of arguing back and forth amongst ourselves and not much was really accomplished. Hopefully tomorrow once I explain things in more detail we can reach some sort of consensus and come up with a plan. We have to get Alasandriel back somehow…
The meeting went slightly better than I thought it would. I relayed our story to the other Yurath in full, and while at first they were skeptical, we managed to convince most of them to help after a bit of assistance from Jachyra. He came up with a convincing enough story to sway them, though it meant bending the truth somewhat. We will split into two groups; one will attack the slave markets of Lywth to free the Elves there and draw away the town guard, while the other will assault the temple of Althania itself. Jachyra meanwhile will lure away the high cleric, which should make the temple assault a bit easier. Hopefully we can recover the items which Sefiros’s other self seeks and trade them for Alasandriel, though I know that this will likely lead to more problems later on. If it is to help her though, then I will do it, despite my reservations… I must save her.
Disaster, absolute disaster! The temple raid was a complete failure. We killed many innocent people, and we were unable to unlock the vault before reinforcements stormed the temple and drove us out. Elyos and Katai were captured, and Thormod… Thormod is dead. The rest of us barely escaped. Why do we keep failing so miserably like this?! Those of us who were left escaped to Kaerl to meet up with Jachyra, who offered a healthy dose of his usual arrogance talking down to us. Though he also has devised another plan; if I can convince Sefiros to help then maybe we can return to the labyrinth and rescue Alasandriel. He has already been back there once and thinks that Alasandriel has been placed into stasis and locked inside the vault in the laboratory we appeared in before, though he still does not remember the key to opening the vault. Jachyra thinks he may know a way to bypass the wards and open the vault, so if I can convince Sefiros to take him along with us, then maybe…
I have killed other beings before, but this is the first time I have ever killed a human. What’s more, I have taken the life of one of our own kind… I took advantage of Thormod’s weakened state and slew him with my blade as he lay unconscious among the bodies of the temple’s defenders. I am ashamed of myself, but I felt I had no choice… Thormod’s rage and fury had continued to grow, and he loathed the True Gods with every fiber of his being. He endangered Lodaril and Shydani and all the other Yurath, and when we recover Alasandriel once again, she too would be in danger since she also reveres the True Gods. I could not just let that madman slay all the people I care for… And Alasandriel especially must be protected. Though I am a coward for killing him the way I did. In the end, I can only pray that I did the right thing.
I have returned to the Tarth once again. Alasandriel has been taken to a safehouse enchanted by Jachyra with wards to prevent scrying and location magic from discovering her. I am staying there with her now, watching over her. I am glad that she is back with us and safe. Being with her like this fills me with an odd sense of joy… It is hard to put into words. Alasandriel seems a bit disheartened that she must stay indoors to remain within the effect of the wards; I’m certain she would enjoy roaming the Tarth after all she’s been through. I brought her some flowers from a small clearing nearby, which seemed to cheer her up somewhat, and she seems glad for my company.
A couple of new Yurath have joined the group at Tarthemon. One is a Human Cleric of Werra named Junkata, who came to inquire about the fate of Thormod. It was difficult evading his questioning, but he seems convinced that we were not at fault for his death, and has agreed to join us in his stead. The other is an Elf named Suldannahar, who appears to be a skilled warrior trained in some sort of esoteric fighting style. They can never replace the companions we have lost, but I am thankful for their strength.
My visions have been continuing and growing more intense. They seem to be gradually forming a picture of important events in my previous life, like the pieces of a puzzle falling into place. Sefiros has also had several powerful visions, and he seems conflicted between himself and his alternate persona, who was apparently a powerful Wizard known as Tirenyr. It seems that Tiernyr was an enemy to the Calanea family that ruled the great Elven empire of ages past, which has put Sefiros and myself at odds with one another. Apparently Tirenyr was in love with my sister (or rather Arandil’s sister), Illusana of the Calenea. I’m not certain of all the details and Sefiros has not been willing to reveal much, but my visions seem to indicate that Illusana was killed after the two of them had eloped, and Tirenyr was driven mad as a result. It’s all so complicated… I hope I can make some kind of sense of it all eventually.
Damn it all… We’ve been forced to flee the Tarth by the followers of Althania, who have mounted a crusade against the Yurath. I suppose it’s not surprising considering that we assaulted their main temple in the Borderlands… It would be too dangerous to flee over land, so we must set sail across the sea instead. A powerful enchantment makes the seas impassible however, so we must first journey south to the ancient citadel of Yuirelor, where a series of orbs are said to reside that can grant ships safe passage across the ocean. If we are to escape to the Centerlands then we must recover at least one of these orbs. Yuirelor is a perilous place however, home to legions of zombies infused with ancient magic of some sort. It is also said that a powerful dragon has made its home perched upon the highest tower of the citadel. Yet we must brave these dangers if we are to escape the safety. I will face them, and whatever else I must face, if it means keeping Alasandriel safe.
Yuirelor was yet another disaster, yet somehow fate has smiled upon us. We were viciously attacked by unending swarms of zombies on all sides and nearly perished many times over. Junkata was consumed by a torrent of zombies, and all the rest of us received severe injuries at their hands. I have fallen under the dreaded Elemental Curse of Yuirelor as a result of my injuries, and without the ministrations of Lodaril and Shydani I would have surely succumbed by now… Our group retreated from Yuirelor to meet up with Lodaril and the others and come up with another plan of action, but Sefiros stayed behind and braved the tunnels beneath the city himself, and miraculously was able to procure several of the Elemental Orbs we sought. Another miracle presented itself when Jachyra rejoined our group, bringing Katai with him. Somehow the intrepid youth managed to escape her captors and was wandering the plains when Jachyra managed to locate her. Now she is reunited with us and we are all overjoyed that she was not lost to that ill-conceived raid.
We are sailing towards Umilgas, a major port city in the Centerlands. We plan on selling some of the Elemental Orbs we recovered in order to raise much needed funds before traveling on to Erentiyr, the holy mountain of the True Gods which Lodaril speaks of. This blasted curse plagues me day and night… I am comforted somewhat however by the fact that Alasandriel constantly watches over me. Perhaps it is just a way of returning the favor for all I have done to help and protect her, but I would like to think that perhaps there is something more to it… But maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.
Our difficulties never seem to cease. We reached the holy mountain of Erentiyr only to discover a group of bandits inhabiting the temple complex of Yuihtyr at its base. They deceived us into believing that they had gather to await our arrival in accordance with some sort of prophecy, and after partaking of a meal they offered us, we were struck by a powerful poison. Luckily some of us were able to fight off the full effects of the poison, and part of our group had stayed back in case of trouble. I was unconscious for much of the battle due to the foul toxin I ingested, but I awoke to find Alasandriel unconscious and on top of me. Later I would learn that she charged into the fray to rescue me, channeling the power of the True Gods to incinerate the bandit leader with holy fire. She used the last of her energy before falling unconscious from the exertion to cleanse the poison from my body, saving me from death. I rose to battle the remainder of the bandit forces and eventually we drove off or subdued them. Thankfully the others who succumbed to the poison were able to survive and eventually recover.
I explored the holy mountain of Erentiyr along with Jarek and Sefiros a little bit. There was a strange cave of some sort which we discovered. Something is unnatural about it, though it’s hard to say exactly what. Light behaved in odd ways, and not even my keen Elven eyes could see through the darkness. Time seemed to act differently, much like what we experienced in the Demonweb Swamp. It disturbs me to think of it, hopefully we’ll not be returning there any time soon.
Upon our return from the mountain, Jachyra reappeared, having gone ahead of us earlier to visit the city of Syndalin to the west and scout the lay of the land. He seems to have researched the formula for an elixir which promises to rid me of my curse, and has provided a list of components for us to search for. He also warned us to stay away from Syndalin, saying that Queen Treadriel who rules over the city is dangerous and not to be trusted. It seems that she has been gathering other Yurath like herself in an attempt to found a new Elven empire, with her elite army at its core. While I would certainly welcome the peace and prosperity of the Elven empire of legend, I do not think that raising an army will lead to anything peaceful. I imagine we will eventually have to deal with Treadriel one way or another, but for the time being it seems we are all mostly content to stay at Yuihtyr and rest a bit after the many harrowing trials we have experienced.
We have a new companion whom we met in Umilgas, a Yurathian Human warrior named Herlock. He seems to practice a similar fighting style to Jarek’s, but prefers a large and heavy blade as opposed to Jarek’s lighter Longsword and shield. He’s an odd sort and can be difficult to understand at times, but he seems like a good person and a capable fighter.
We very nearly met our ends last night, but somehow fate was on our side. That loathsome bastard Zariiz somehow managed to track us down all the way to Yuihtyr and assailed us in the dead of night. Many of our group were absent at the time, having left to gather the components for my elixir. That left us with myself, Jarek, Belar, Tyiana, Yerondel, Lodaril, and Alasandriel against Zariiz and two powerful undead creatures. Yerondel was apparently caught by surprise and overcame before he could mount any sort of resistance, and it is only by sheer luck that Belar and Tyiana awoke just in time to alert the rest of us to the attack. Jarek faced down Zariiz in single combat and was finally able to overcome our nemesis, putting an end to his menacing threat once and for all. We received some grave injuries, but everyone survived. Hopefully this will be the last we see of the minions of Tharzian.
Last night was the great and momentous occasion we have all been anxiously awaiting; the birth of Alasandriel’s child. There was much trepidation among us as to the nature of the child and whether it could truly be cleansed of evil, but it seems the mirror we received from the eyeless master performed true to what we were told. Lodaril’s divinations reveal none of the evil taint of Tharzian that they previously detected, and the child seems healthy and normal. Serinay is a strange child all the same however; a Yurathian Dark Elf. Such a creature is nothing less than an abomination to those amongst us of Elven heritage. Indeed, Yerondel insists that we should kill her regardless of the presence or absence of evil within her soul, owing to her heritage. I am conflicted myself… I have no love for the Dark Elves and have declared more than once that I would like nothing more than to see their kind wiped out completely, but this child did not choose her heritage, and I know that Alasandriel will raise her well.
We also received another new arrival shortly before the birth of Serinay, a Yurathian Half-Elf who calls himself Eltalin. He seems to be an ascetic or mystic of some sort. Many of us were suspicious of him owing to the incredible timing of his arrival. Jachyra in particular seemed to outright dislike him and insisted several times that he should leave. Ultimately we allowed him to stay, though he is still being closely watched. He has a strange manner about him, but seems very wise and speaks as if he has experienced many things. I have to wonder at just what his arrival portends.
The elixir which was concocted from Jachyra’s instructions seems to have done its job, and my vitality has returned to me. I can feel the skills which had been suppressed by the curse returning to me, but my memories of the past are muddled. Hopefully with time I can eventually recover fully, but I believe the curse to be broken at last.
Life at Yuihtyr has been peaceful for the most part. It is a most welcome change from our trials in the Borderlands. Alasandriel and Serinay are both doing well, and I am thankful for their good health. There still seems to be some lingering suspicion of Eltalin, however. Suldannahar witnessed a conversation between Jachyra and Eltalin that was rather ominous in nature, but none of us really know what to make of it. I’ve not really trusted Jachyra ever since we first met him, but he seems to have proven himself for the most part. Eltalin on the other hand is still an unknown, but he does not seem to be one for deception. Yerondel and Tyiana seem to think that Eltalin can’t be trusted, and that he is weaving some sort of plot involving Serinay. Yerondel in particular seems to be rather paranoid, accusing everyone left and right of being the Trickster. It’s true that we’ve seen many strange black butterflies around Yuihtyr as of late, and the stories say they are the servants of the Trickster… But perhaps that is just a legend. We have nothing to go on for the time being, so if there is a foul plot brewing, we have little choice but to wait for it to be hatched upon us.
Jarek, Belar, and I decided to journey east to Crossing Points Sanctum near Umilgas. It is home to a mercenary band led by a Yurathian Human named Veleros. We thought to recruit Veleros to our group, but he is a despicable person and most certainly not someone we would wish to have with us. Crossing Points itself is a madhouse, where the warriors fight each other for sport and the thrill of their own bloodlust permeates the air. It seems that Veleros keeps many slaves, a despicable practice that I thought we left behind in the Borderlands. Jarek and I have agreed that this cannot be allowed to continue, and we are journeying back to Yuihtyr now to rally the other Yurath and mount an attack to put Veleros in his place. On the first night of our journey back, the two of us both experienced a strange vision… I saw my previous self fighting inside the halls of Crossing Points against a warrior who bore a strong resemblance to Veleros, and it seems as though Jarek was once the master of a renowned fighting school there. Perhaps the place will be important to our futures as well as our pasts.
I cannot think of a worse situation to return to than this. Sefiros seems to have traveled to Syndalin in my absence. I don’t know what happened to him there, but Tirenyr has manifested again and he has taken Serinay captive, demanding that we return what was taken from him for her safety. I know not what he speaks of, unless he refers to the objects the Althanians still hold. Lodaril was transformed into a rat by his powerful magic… I suppose I should be thankful that he didn’t simply burn the entire complex down, but this is terrible. Alasandriel has gone off on her own to attempt to reason with Tirenyr, and I fear for her safety. I tried to stop her, but she would not listen, and though I am loathe to admit it, I know not what I could have done in her place… We had little choice but to let her continue on her own. I am sick with worry and I pray earnestly for her safety and for Serinay’s safety as well.
It seems my prayers have been answered, and Alasandriel and Serinay have returned to us safetly. Alasandriel was somehow able to help Sefiros overcome Tirenyr’s influence and they were able to escape Syndalin together. Sefiros seems to think that Jachyra is the one who took what Tirenyr sought from us when we freed Alasandriel from the vault in Tirenyr’s labyrinth. I did not see him take anything at that time, but if Jachyra is not all that he seems like we have suspected, then it makes sense. Suldannahar and I were unable to find anything on Jachyra’s person when we searched him, but it’s possible he has hidden whatever might have been stolen elsewhere. We have little to go on either way, and Sefiros has fled after the reception given to him by Tyiana and Yerondel upon his return. Luckily he at least changed Lodaril back to his normal form before being driven away. I’m not certain where he’s gone to, but I hope that this does not drive him further towards embracing the Tirenyr side of his personality. I’ve tried to explain to the others that he needs our support during these times instead of our scorn, but so far my pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
Sefiros spoke of visiting Queen Treadriel when he was in Syndalin and of imbibing a powerful elixir the queen has created which elicits powerful visions of the past in Yurath. That explains why Tirenyr suddenly manifested again, and in such a powerful manner. My own memories have still been hazy ever since I was cursed in Yuirelor, and I’ve come to suspect that the potion Jachyra gave me to lift the curse also has suppressed those memories somehow. Perhaps if I can see Queen Treadriel myself and convince her to allow me a sample of this vision elixir of hers, I can overcome whatever is holding me back.
I’ve just returned from my own visit to Syndalin. The city is vast and seems to be a bustling metropolis. The people there appear to be treated well and I heard no one speak ill of Queen Treadriel. I was allowed entry into the city and an audience with the queen simply on the merit of my Yurathian blood. I spoke to her at length about many things, however after the episode with Tirenyr she was not as willing as she had previously been to share her elixir. I would still very much like to get hold of a sample of it, but it seems I must wait for an opportunity to present itself.
Another Yurath has come to us as we continue to reside in Yuihtyr, a Human named Galen. He has been blessed with divine powers like those channeled by Lodaril and Shydani, claiming they come from the True Gods. He has been studying under Lodaril and his talents have grown quickly. I dare say he may even be more skilled in channeling the power of the True Gods than Lodaril himself. He is young and idealistic, but seems to possess a great inner strength.
Jarek has returned from scouting the lay of the land around Crossing Points and has told us of a secret passage which we may use to enter the sanctum. The other Yurath seem supportive of our desire to return to Crossing Points and liberate it from the evil grasp of Veleros. He is a blight upon the name of the Yurath and must be stopped, and removing him will eliminate the threat of the mercenaries should someone wish to hire them to attack us. Amazingly, they even consented to allowing Sefiros to join us. Perhaps he can redeem himself a little in their eyes with this mission. We will be setting out soon.
Crossing Points has been liberated and Veleros has been slain. The full extent of that man’s depravity is breathtaking, and I am glad that he is dead. We’ve freed many women who were held captive as slaves. I can only imagine what sorts of depraved acts Veleros and his men had them participate in. We’ve pledged to return them to their homes and are now journeying throughout the Centerlands to see to it that they return safely. Our journey will eventually lead us back to Syndalin. I wonder what sort of reception will await our group as a whole there.
We were welcomed by Treadriel and even given a small reward for our heroism in driving the mercenaries from Crossing Points. Jarek received a ceremonial sword to hang up at Crossing Points as a symbol of the new friendship with Syndalin. We were also given an intricate gold pocketwatch, which Suldannahar showed some interest in, and I received a beautiful necklace of pearls, something which should make a wonderful gift for Alasandriel. Katai received a set of rather expensive looking courtly clothing; something that I think may be ill-suited for her. We were also given a vial of the Elixir of Awakening, as it is known. Treadriel has asked us to undertake a quest on her behalf to drive the minions of the Burning One from an ancient holy place that has been corrupted by their influence. Supposedly, there is an altar located somewhere in these caves of fire which can be used to craft magical items of flame. Being able to produce items which ward against the harmful effects of fire would be a great help in combating the forces of Ar’Sargithor, and so we have agreed to undertake this quest.
Eventually, it was agreed that I would be allowed to imbibe the Elixir of Awakening, and it has finally restored the full clarity of my memories, as well as unlocking new ones from somewhere deep in my subconscious. I had hoped to learn more of Illusana, the woman who was once my sister and whom Sefiros and Tirenyr both seem so obsessed with, but those memories remain locked away, befouled by an enchantment placed upon me in my past life. What I did recall was of great interest however, though it raises many more questions and has done little to put my mind at ease. Sometimes I wonder if we would be better off without these visions and memories of the past, but I fear that they have become something which can no longer truly be caged now that they have been released.
The Caves of Fire were a harrowing place, and we encountered many fearsome creatures, but we were ultimately victorious. The minions of the Burning One have been vanquished and the caves have been cleansed of evil. Treadriel was most pleased and rewarded us all well. A grand banquet was to be held in our honor, and Treadriel wished to speak with all of us in turn, but I took my leave early in order to travel back to Yuihtyr to be with Alasandriel. Her continued safety and well-being is foremost of my concerns, but there is something else as well which has slowly blossomed within me. Upon my return, I presented her with the necklace of pearls which Treadriel had gifted to me, and she was most pleased as I had hoped.
It has been nearly six months now, and Alasandriel and I have become lovers. It is quite a different experience than what I ever imagined, but it is certainly not unpleasant. With Serinay, it’s almost as though we are a family, though I’m not certain how I feel about being the girl’s surrogate father. We have taken pains to keep our relationship discreet, though I suspect from some of his remarks that Jachyra is somehow aware of what has developed between us. Everything has been peaceful these past few months, with all of us engaged in our own various pursuits. Jarek has restored Crossing Points to some of its former glory, Sefiros spends much of his time at an ancient tower in the Forest of Fallen Souls, and Lodaril and Galen continue to rebuild the great temple of the True Gods and recruit more followers. Sefiros has invited us all to his tower for some sort of celebration; perhaps he has finally finished restoring the place to his liking. Part of me still feels uneasy about our future, but I hope that these peaceful times continue for as long as possible.
By the gods… I don’t know where to begin or what to say… I have seen madness, true and absolute madness in tangible form. My soul has been stained with that absolute and utter blackness and I fear that I may never recover. The Void… Yes, that is its name. It is like the starkest insanity distilled and refined into the most potent form imaginable. The absolute horror of it all… I cannot bring myself to write of it in too much detail, lest I truly go mad.
As we visited with Sefiros in his tower, a great disturbance suddenly affected Serinay and she began crying uncontrollably. Our attempts to console her were to no avail, and when we tried magical means to calm her we were met with quite unexpected results. I do not remember clearly everything that happened, but suddenly Tirenyr manifested himself once again and informed us of the growing danger which threatened to consume all of Yuir itself. We were teleported back to the Borderlands, back to that terrible labyrinth once again, where Tirenyr retrieved an enchanted object to aid us. Then we traveled overland to the city of Lywth, back to the temple of Althania, where we had failed before to retrieve the objects taken from Sefiros so long ago.
Among the objects taken from Sefiros was an ancient tome written in what seemed to be complete gibberish. What none of us realized at the time was that this book was the key to unlocking an absolute hell on Yuir. One of the Clerics of Althania must have taken to studying the book, and somehow its corrupting influence twisted and eroded his mind until he unlocked its dreadful secrets. And so we were forced to return, but this time we faced odds that were truly insurmountable.
The entire city was like something out of a nightmare more disturbing than what any sane person could imagine. The townspeople had been changed, corrupted by the incredible power emanating from the temple. That fool Yerondel slew some of them as they tried to mob us, and they rose up again, corrupted even further by the enormous power of the Void. Like zombies, they kept coming, and almost nothing seemed to stop them. There were spellcasters as well, or rather beings that had once been spellcasters, wielding globes of absolute darkness that utterly annihilated anything they touched. The zombies… So many zombies… I was overwhelmed by them. I should be dead or worse… But no, I am still alive… Or am I? Sometimes I can’t really tell any more… That girl… Oh gods, that poor girl… What have I done? Why…
Our group explored the temple, searching desperately for the tome and for anything which might stem the tide of the unrelenting madness that poured out of the place. The mirror took so many of us… And then the ice that would not melt… I made another terrible decision, one that I fear I may not live to regret. The Rod of the Burning One, his most powerful artifact… Only by the grace of the Burning One himself could one wield its power… Sefiros was gone… No one else could do it… A single soul for all of Yuir? I did not deserve to be alive, I had to do whatever had to be done…
The swords… There were four of them… Yes, that’s right… The Four to light the way out of the darkness! We found them, brought them together… Jarek was able to fool the black sword… Gods, the black sword! No, no, I can’t write of it… I don’t want to remember it! The darkness was exiled, but he who brought it into the world remained… With all my strength I banished him, bound him up, and finally it was over. The tome is ours now, and I pray that it is never opened again.
I’m such a fool! Such a bloody fool! Damn it all! Jachyra finally reappeared and revealed himself to me, and he is indeed the Trickster as Tirenyr had said. He knows of the pact I swore to the Burning One, and he seeks to leverage my situation to his advantage. Damn him… And yet I am a fool, for it was only after Jachyra pointed it out to me that I realized that the pact was something I did not even have to swear in the first place; if only I’d had the clarity of mind to realize it at the time! Jachyra promised to reveal a way out of the soul pact if I agreed to hand over to him the Tome of Madness, which I still keep with me, and also the Shard of Ages, the ancient artifact of the Calanea empire which foretells the future with perfect clarity. Naturally I refused; I will never hand either object over to him so long as I live. And yet, my life may yet be very short if I do not act quickly… I told the others of the pact I made, yet they could do little to help me. Tyiana and Yerondel wanted to slay me on the spot, but Shydani and Alasandriel were able to stop them at least. I don’t know where the others are… It has been several days since the events at the temple, but none of them have reappeared as of yet.
Alasandriel is devastated, and I can stand her sorrow no longer. She grieves every night, for she does not want to lose me. I have decided to undertake a desperate gamble. The Shard of Ages may possess the knowledge of how I am to break the soul pact. I do not remember enough to pinpoint its location clearly, but with the help of Queen Treadriel and her Elixir of Awakening, the knowledge may come to me. I must make haste if I am to succeed; my time dwindles.
Treadriel has agreed to help me, and with another dose of the Elixir of Awakening, the path is now clear. We have traveled far into the Elven Lands to the north of Syndalin, where the ancient empire of old once held power. I did not want the others to come along, but somehow they were able to follow me and have caught up to the queen’s group. It was then that I learned that one of my worst fears had come to pass; Alasandriel has been kidnapped by the Trickster. That bastard demands the Shard in return for her safety… Damn it!
Sefiros and the others don’t trust Treadriel and think that it’s possible she may want to steal the Shard for herself. I haven’t discounted that possibility, but it’s too late to have them turn back now. We are almost to the Shard’s resting place; I only pray we are not too late.
I have the Shard, and I believe my soul is safe for the time being, though the cost was high. Herlock started a fight against Treadriel’s group while we were inside the ancient keep housing the Shard, and we were grievously injured in the ensuing carnage. Several of Treadriel’s Yurath were slain, and Treadriel herself was gravely wounded, but she managed to escape. Her magic is powerful, and we almost didn’t survive. Poor Serinay has lost a hand as a result of a powerful blast of freezing energy.
In order to recover the Shard from the vault in which it was placed by my previous self, I was instructed by the vault’s guardians to swear an oath to Mairyssa to restore the great Elven Empire. I’m not certain how I feel about doing such a thing… But if it is truly my destiny to rule as the eyeless master stated so long ago, then perhaps this is the path by which I come into that destiny.
The Shard was drained from its long slumber within the ancient vault, but I finally coaxed it to awaken its powers once again. It works just as I have seen in my visions, and I suppose this is the first truly tangible proof that what I see in my dreams is real. It has shown me Sefiros performing the ritual to contact the Burning One in order to bargain for my soul, and indeed he confirmed to me that he had been planning such a thing all along when I questioned him. I had my misgivings, but he insisted on taking the burden upon himself for my sake. I shall be eternally within his debt if he succeeds. I know not what vile bargain he has made with the Burning One, and I am probably better off not knowing. Now I must rescue Alasandriel from the vile clutches of the Trickster, if it’s the last thing I do.
Our journey back from the Elven Lands has been long but mostly uneventful. Luinor, the ancient capital of the Elven Empire, has been taken over by a being which is referred to simply as “Mother.” The city is a ruin of its former glory, and all of the Yurath there seem to be enslaved by some sort of mind controlling power. As we approached the city, we could feel “Mother” calling out to us in our minds, and it took all of our willpower to resist her. At some point I shall have to return and face this evil power, but now is not the time.
We have stopped for the night in an Elven village in the Duralad Forest. It seems that slave traders from Umilgas have been terrorizing Elven lands as of late, capturing slaves to be sold in the Borderlands. Sefiros, Jarek, and Herlock were able to track down the slave traders that had attacked the village recently and rescued the Elves that had been taken. The villagers plan to hold a banquet in celebration of our deeds, a welcome change from what I’ve experienced as of late. I’m not sure how much I will be able to enjoy it though, given all that still faces us. The Shard has shown me many things; Treadriel has razed Yuihtyr to the ground and taken Shydani captive and the Forest of Lost Souls has been set ablaze at her orders, and Alasandriel suffers in a dark and mist filled cavern, taunted by the Trickster. I must rescue her! I will rescue her!
Finally, I have my memories back again… Herlock became possessed by something and stole the Tome of Madness, then began reading from its pages while we were unaware. By the time we discovered him, it was too late, and the power of the Void had taken his mind. Sefiros attempted to stop him with a Finger of Death, a powerful necromantic spell, but the power of the absolute madness that is the anti-reality of the Void was far too strong for such simple magic born of the laws of the our universe. A voice came to me somewhere from within my subconscious, or perhaps it was my own still lingering madness, and told me what to do. I managed to persuade Herlock to demonstrate his power but taking us to the place where Alasandriel was being held captive. When we arrived, something strange happened and all of the Void energy was suddenly drained from Herlock’s body. Death quickly took him from there.
Alasandriel and I were reunited once more, but now we were trapped in the caverns of the Trickster. Luck was with us in that he seemed to be absent at the time of our arrival, and we moved quickly to find a way to escape that place. It was a harrowing experience, but eventually we located an ancient portal which Sefiros managed to activate, taking us back to Crossing Points.
Something about the Trickster’s Caverns robbed us of the memories of our previous lives and of our experiences with the Void. I’m not certain what to make of it, or what could possibly be responsible. It was only after I consulted with Jarek, who was not with us when we teleported to the Trickster’s caverns and thus kept his memories intact, that I managed to piece together enough of what happened and managed to activate the Shard of Ages once again, restoring my memories to their original state. I also received a new memory; a prophecy from the goddess Mairyssa, patron of the Elven race. I only hope I can live up to my patron’s high expectations. Now we gather our forces to rescue our friends who were taken captive and face Treadriel for what will hopefully be the last time. I dread what encounters may await us.