Whispers of Belorai

When in doubt; grease fire.

We departed for the Deltai with an inconsolable Delle on Soloma’s ship. We intended to write her symbol on the gate and fix whatever was wrong with her. When we reached the crater we could see that we had had a lasting effect on the place, as now jungles grew up around the pyramids and oasis where the water flowed to; islands of restful trees in a desolate sandy sea. We reached the gate and wrote Delle’s sigil on the gate, and peering through saw only the island on which we had found her. Sensing that this was going to be as useful as trying to cheer her up by telling her that Desteros would never come back and that it was all her fault, we decided to close it and try the symbol found in Nibinal’s journal. The one associated with the words “Godsbane”. It sounded ominous, and upon opening it we felt a chill wind and saw snow, reminding us of our time spent on Cordain. We stepped forward into the frigid place with great apprehension, at least on my part. I hate snow. It’s just not normal. Who thought that something fluffy, cold, and wet was a good idea? As we started walking we could see a storm approaching, which would envelop us if we stayed in the open. We headed for the mountain at a quick pace as it was the only cover we could see. We walked for hours and still we weren’t there and the storm was continually gaining ground, whipping the snow into a furry not far behind us. In desperation we sprinted for the mountain using every last drop of energy we had, and seeing a cave we piled inside just as the blizzard would have overtaken us. I looked around. We looked disheveled, wet, and thoroughly exhausted. Dast and I looked as if we had grown white beards as all the condensation from our heavy breathing had frozen our fur. After we recovered from our head long dash to the cave, we headed deeper into it, as it seemed to be more of a tunnel. It was then that I started hear the whispers. They were faint and indistinguishable and tugged at me, urging me forward. Suddenly I recognized them. I had almost forgotten what they had sounded like, I hadn’t heard them since we were last on Deltai, but there had been a time when I heard them almost constantly. I used to embrace them and be excited to hear them, but now I felt a touch of apprehension, and a bit of fear. Whatever we were getting ourselves into was going to be dangerous. Suddenly there was a bang and I saw Andichar on the ground, a shadow running off ahead, and an absence of Dast. After Soloma helped Andichar, we continued forward. Soon we saw a large keep. We walked through the open portcullis and up to the main door. We knocked and it opened, and then we took the bar and placed it outside well away from the door so we couldn’t be trapped in. We then all recognized the keep as identical to the one we saw on Cordain. We proceeded into the throne room and sitting on the throne was Dast. He spoke with a voice of whispers and deadly shadows, and yet the voice was still his own. The Snake with the Dagger Mouth was speaking through him. He demanded fealty, which I neither gave nor refused as I did not wish to anger him or loose myself. He knew me. Dear Gods He knew me well, and I could see him looking straight through whatever personas I might concoct for myself and whatever stories I might have to tell. I hadn’t realized I had done so much to warrant such intimate scrutiny. I didn’t know whether to be proud or disappointed. Soloma and Andicar stayed with me, and the ever curious New Goop decided to submit and went to stand at Dast’s right hand. He then issued a challenge. We had to kill him, it had to be a surprise, and he couldn’t call for his guards, and it must be done in 24 hours.
We awoke to find ourselves (Soloma, Andicar and I) in a small hut. Upon peering out we saw Elven peasants working the fields. We tried talking to them but they seemed worried to speak their minds and kept glancing over at one man. He seemed a bit dodgy to me but no more so than a normal person in such circumstances. He had a way to get us in. It seemed fine but at the same time, why have others do what you can do yourself? Andicar had been talking about branding the peasants and having them look like they had the plague and using them to distract the guards. I was going to try and take it one step further. I was going to try to make it look like a peasant revolt led by some of the guards. I did my best to explain that I was going to try to orchestrate the distraction. I normally am the one doing the sneaking and assassinating so if we have to keep him from knowing what’s going on, who better than me to be the distraction and the bait? That would leave them to work out exactly sneak in and assassinate the lord. By necessity we had to split up. I put on my mask and an air of slightly paranoid importance as I strode in through the open portcullis. I knew that I needed to obtain meetings with the powerful people in this keep. That is what we did in Garreth, I figure I should look like I’m sticking to a typical mode of operation. My first meeting was with the captain of the guard. I had to try to convince him that some of his own men were in a faction to overthrow the lord. Ideally I would have something forged to prove this but my lack of languages proves to be a bit of a barrier. He, who it turned out was an enthralled New Goop, was less than receptive to the idea of this, although he wasn’t openly hostile towards me for suggesting it. All I needed to do was plant the seed. Next I needed to talk to the chief librarian. Unfortunately the only way I could get a meeting with him was with an escort of guards and the captain himself after being completely stripped of all armor and weapons. I had hoped to subtly implicate that the captain of the guard was the one staging the coup to the librarian but with the escort it was now impossible. At this point the only play was to further plant the seed I had already planted. I intended for my next stop to be the steward so that I could implicate that the librarian and the captain were working together to stage a coup, but the captain had other plans. I was led downstairs and into a secluded room and beaten for answers. At first I tried a version of the truth, but when that got me nowhere I resorted to deception. I claimed that I was hired by another lord to incite rebellion in these lands, and they bought it thankfully. They put me in a cell and manacled me to the wall. After easily slipping my bonds, I tried to pick the lock to my cell, but couldn’t do it. So I turned myself invisible and made a huge commotion about someone escaping until the guards showed up. Seeing that my cell appeared empty they opened my door and I slipped out undetected. I hurried along, knowing that I was slowly running out of time to put my plan into place and hoping that Andicar and Soloma were having more luck than I was. I slipped into the barracks, still invisible, and saw that there were only two guards in the room. I needed them out of the way so that I could dress in armor and appear to be one of the guards. Perhaps I could look like I was leading the rebellion or further claim that others were. I used magic to create the sound of a fight going on outside and they ran out in pursuit of ghosts. I quickly dressed in the armor and ran out looking like I too was responding to the fight; I even removed my mask so that I wouldn’t be recognized as the person who escaped. I didn’t matter. As soon as I stepped outside and saw the look on the captain of the guards face, I knew I had been caught. I tried to make the case that only I could thwart the plan and that he needed my help, as I knelt submissively to the ground. I received another blow to the head, followed by darkness.
I awoke, weak and bleary eyed. I was tied up extraordinarily well. I guess my first escape had made them cautious. I couldn’t move at all and I couldn’t touch the ground. I was going to be stuck here until…I didn’t really want to know what came after this. Suddenly I heard footsteps approaching, followed by some mumbling and then more footsteps leading away. The door swung in, and in stepped the man Soloma and Andicar had been talking to earlier about getting us into the keep. He informed me that he would ensure my escape if I were to burn the library, as there was information in there that needed to be destroyed. I consented, as I had little choice, and he left me the key. After working my way out of my bonds, I turned myself invisible and headed for the library. As I passed a peasant, I sent him a magical vocal message ordering him to bring the Lord to the library immediately. I got into the library, and seeing that there was no one there, started using magic to create a whole bunch of grease, covering the books and bookcases in the room. Then I waited. I could then hear the lord approaching with his guards and I turned myself invisible. Then in walked Andicar surrounded by guards, but clearly unhindered by them. Not having time to reason out what was going on, and knowing that if he wasn’t the lord and I killed him he would just go back to the material plane, I chucked a candle at the grease becoming visible once again. The room erupted into flame as I dashed out the door, which I then closed and roped shut. I then snuck into a hiding spot. Soon a guard appeared and started hacking at the rope with the sword. I snuck up from behind and lifted his own dagger off his belt and then stabbed him in the neck. It was a good, clean, swift kill, unlike the agony on the other side of the door. I dragged his body into a hidden spot, but there was too much blood on the ground for me to clean up and I could hear more guards coming. I stepped out to face them, while using magic to create more grease on the ground, which two of them slipped on. I then used magic to move a nearby torch to the grease and started burning those two alive as well. At first I tried to fight the third one, but when I couldn’t hurt him sufficiently at the begging, I leaped over the wall of fire I had just created and sprinted towards the door. I rammed into the door with every bit of energy I could to muscle it open quickly, but it took its toll. At this point I was lucky I was still on my feet with the abuse that I had taken. As I got out the door I saw a whole company of guards come around the corner. I knew I couldn’t fight them, but I also knew I couldn’t let them get to the library. So I yelled to them, “If you want your lord to live, you’re going to have to catch me first!” and then bolted for the sill open portcullis. They started to close it and I changed course heading straight for the wall. The first volley of crossbows fired and missed as I took a running leap halfway up the wall, and fired again as I reached the top, but I managed to avoid those two. I then leaped from the top of wall, using magic to slow my decent, and took off running once I hit the ground avoiding one last volley of crossbows before I was out of range. I guess I must have successfully killed whoever the lord was because suddenly I was back in the throne room with the rest of the party and I had with me a fearsome dagger that I knew must be my reward for a job well done. But something wasn’t right. There was no door back. We were still stuck on this plane with no way out, and if we had to go through all of that and we still weren’t out, then the things that lie ahead of us must be very dark indeed.

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