From the journal of Awynn, Lareth’dei the 13th of Wardingdawn, 1325 IR
There was quite a storm raging in the mountains as we travelled. Thankfully, we encountered a nice cave to take shelter in. The cave was small and quaint. In the center was a large pit, the result of a destroyed bladegem vein. In the back corner was a wonderful hot spring! The waterfall spewed from the top of the cavern, and the water seemed to be heated by some sort of volcanic activity near. It seemed to be of no concern, though. The water felt incredible. Saphirra and I snuck in to bathe as Nikul and Thryn slept by the pit of bladegem. Xevan wanted to keep watch. Saphirra and I had an…interesting bath. We began splashing each other, and eventually she tried to get the blood caked into my fur out…but it turned into a wonderous back massage. I never felt so relaxed and wonderful! Her hands were strong and firm, but still soft and feminine…it was incredible. Her fingers worked through each muscle to relax them. It hurt at times, but when she would get a knot out…it was pure bliss!
We were interrupted, though, by a whisper in the winds. It was the spirits. “The storm…not of ours..” it said. It was faint, they were struggling to reach me…I had to contact them. The bladegem deposit provided a scent that was able to assist me in my rituals. I was able to contact them, and they sent me a vision. One of a man, dressed in robes, speaking alien words….walking through the north wall of the cave…He walked up stairs to a temple. There had to be something there. In my trance, I believe I mentioned something about the north wall, because when I returned from the vision Xevan and Saphirra were already there inspecting it. I felt this wasn’t enough, however, and took an Elixir of Clairvoyance to aid my connection with the spirits. Then, a very powerful vision…if you could call it that…it was as if I was there, in the battlefield…there were soldiers slaughtering men, women, and children by the dozens. They held their bloodied swords to the sky and they turned to lightning. Then, a man with a dragon’s head turned and looked at me….and I was thrust out of the vision.
I stumbled to my feet, lightheaded, and walked to the north wall where Xevan and Saphirra were. I tried reciting the phrase the man spoke as he walked through the wall, but I could not. I was so frustrated, I smashed my head against the rock caverns. The wall didn’t budge, but I wasn’t about to give up. I felt Xevan at my back as I rammed the wall once more. I think I also felt a hand at my breast…but I’m still not sure…Anyway, the wall shattered, rock crumbling to the ground, and there before us laid the stairway to the temple.
We ascended the stairs, and I saw more clearly my vision. It was there, right before me. A brazier in the mid of the room, with two poles of electricity on opposite corners. Nikul woke from the sound of the destroyed wall, running up the stairs, and his feet met with some strangely colored floor. He took a swing at Saphirra, but missed, thankfully. I believe the floor had violent magical qualities. Then, a song began to echo off the walls. Nikul mentioned it was ‘The Song That Ended A War.’ Apparently, an eladrin named Silas Songweaver was practicing his violin…but the sound of his tune was so beautiful the soldiers dropped their weapons and the fighting ceased. It sounded as if it was coing from the cavern, and so we headed back.
Before us stood the famed Silas Songweaver. He played a songblade. After the finale, he bowed and explained to us the temple. The temple belonged to the Stormcallers of Kord, followers of the god of storm and war. Their faith had become corrupted, and Kord was not pleased. He explained that we had a journey destined for us…We must make right the Stormcaller’s mistake.
We turned and reascended the stairs. Just as we did, gates of lightning stretched the entrences to the room. Unfortunately, Silas Songweaver was locked behind the elemental barriers. Three draugr entered from the north, and reanimated corpses rose from all walls of the room. The corpses exploded in a fit of static upon death, which caused some… unpleasant sensations. I think I still feel little bits of static in my fur…We defeated them with ease, though, and progressed deeper into the temple. We did find, however, a coffin, with a fresh corpse adorning a tunic adorned with bear fur. I could feel the spirit of the bear in this armor, and Silas bestowed it upon me. I graciously accepted the gift, hoping to please the bear spirit that watches over this armor. We came into a dungeon looking area where more of these dragur lie in wait for us. After a bit of a battle, they decided to call a fighting retreat…but only one of them actually got away…
It was then we escaped the dungeon looking area and came to a courtyard with a shrine in the middle. Rain still poured from the sky, thunder ravaging our ears. We curiously walked towards the shrine-looking building. As we approched the entrance, Silas spoke once more. He addressed a character as Valdimarr, the man responsible for the Frenzy of Frosthallow. He appeared to be another dragur, though much more powerful. Beside him stood Torvus of the Cloudstrider clan, a goliath witht he scales of a dragonborn. Apparently, the Spiral Knights had driven a clan dubbed ‘the Red Hand’ out of an area…and Torvus was captured, treated as a slave, tortured and beaten. He blamed the Spiral Knights for the actions of the Red Hand…he was full of fury and savagry, and yet…I could understand…As Silas went to attack, a bolt of lightning shot from the sky and wounded him badly. I offered to assist him, but he teleported away swiftly, leaving the goliath and the draugr to us.
The two were very challenging foes…Torvus used a powerful dragon’s breath that damaged many of us…And Valdimarr used a chain lightning spell which could bounce between us…not long after the fight began, Nikul grabbed Torvus and pulled him to a trap….sacrificing his life for us…Although Torvus and Valdimarr were still strong after the explosion, Nikul had passed on. He had sacrificed his life for us…even though he acted very rudely, obnoxiously, and arrogantly often, he had good in him. We struggled to keep awake…I’m sure I lost consciousness at some point…thankfully Saphirra came to my aid and protected me as I could get back on my feet.
As things looked dire, Valdimarr approached us, asking us if we wanted to know the truth. In a fit of rage, Torvus screamed, “It doesn’t matter what the truth is! You will all die here, and Spiregarde with you!” Right after that…Valdimarr summoned a vicious thunder at Torvus…he said it was never about vengeance…never against spiregarde. Although he cursed Spiregarde in his death, he would never seek to harm them. As if this wasn’t surprising enough…Silas returned, and on his violin he played a song. A song so invigorating, it brought Nikul back to life! It filled us all with soft energy and healed our wounds. Now it wasn’t about us…it was about them. Silas played one last song as Valdimarr cast one last lightning spell on Torvus…
I lowered my head, and Saphirra embraced me…and I cried. I cried for the goliath. Many minotaur lose their way to vengeance and savagry…and it is a cursed existence…and I wished I could have helped. My heart ached for the poor creature, and I couldn’t help but sob for him in Saphirra’s arms. Karme came to my side and I could feel his anguish, as well. He felt for me. But I knew I couldn’t mourn for long. There was more to attend to. I wiped the tears from my cheek and listened to Valdimarr.
Valdimarr was loyal to the Dragon King as well, just like the Spiral Knights. Torvus has come to him, as a fellow follower of Kord, to request his aid. even though Valdimarr cursed the Spiral Knights, he only did so because they could not save him and his unit. He believed he was a citizen of Spiregarde forever, even after his passing. With that, he fell into a pile of ash and bones, with an amulet and rusted armor atop the small pile.
Silas offered a choice of reward: A bag of holding, or the tongue of sentinels and fey creatures. Although, a choice it was not, as he claimed fortune had already decided. He walked to Xevan and placed his finger upon his lips, transferring him the knowledge of the language…I won’t deny my jealousy…but I still believe it is much more valuable than a bad of holding. He offered Nikul a place in the Blackwing Nightcloaks, a thieves’ guild of Spiregarde. Nikul’s time with us had come to an end. I could see relief on Xevan and Sapphira’s faces, but I appreciated his sacrifice and silently mourned his departure. I must agree, though, that he will be better off there than with us…
It was a long day, and I thank you, spirits, for aiding and guiding us through this difficult journey.