5 Frostfall, AR 1518
I, Rhiannon the Healer, take up the tale. My entourage left Reshfagli at dawn today. Havnek and Ilana stayed behind, he to find a shaman, she to work with the Lightbringers; Frankel and Samantha also, he to study with Ennelath the Sage, she to sing scurrilous songs in all the taverns.
On the road we met and defeated a vampire.
Something terrible has occurred. Late last night—not long before dawn in fact—a huge red blotch appeared on the Face of Apsei, as though some power had wounded Her: and Her white veils shimmered from the blow. What does this portend? It cast a strange pall over our little celebration of Fruck’s fortieth birthday.
In the afternoon we hunted wild goats, and took much meat back to camp. Some power was at hand: our meat racks were toppled many times by unseen hands.
Last night we all were assailed by uneasy dreams, so, as my ally Eyebright urged, we moved on, and thereafter slept soundly.
Late today we reached the plains and could finally stow our mountain gear. We rested in the small town of Asit-shan at the edge of the foot-hills.
Last night we encountered two great owls, Ghostwing and Greybars by name, allies of the Sómisen elves. They apparently recognized what we carried by the auras alone (I am amazed), and let us pass with the greatest of respect.
We met some fauns while searching the forest for deadwood—what else should one look for in an elven forest?—and were calm enough to pause before taking them for broos. The fauns led us to a village of the Sómisen: these folk revere the memory of Sornath for his aid long ago, and were saddened that Havnek, who had occasioned our original expedition to his tomb, was not with us. They warned us about that the Tsendristani were quite bigoted about the Great Pantheon.
Zeyd took his friend back to Ogdania: his god had warned him about a matter of family honour that he had to attend to. We wished him success in that endeavour.
We made camp early, on advice of the Sómisen, to rest up for dealing with the Tsendristani borderers tomorrow. They said, “Think of it as trying to escape from a prison.”
In fact it took us all day to “escape”. The borderers delighted in tormenting us over our beliefs, and sent us hither and yon to get permits for this thing and that thing: very time-consuming.
We dined with a peasant family well over the border into Hengistan. They had just returned from the market in Lop Tsor. A proud and friendly lot, unlike the surly, fearful folk in Tsendristan.
Ha! We arrived at a crossroads, and there we met Samantha, riding hard to catch up to us. It was not clear from her report whether she had had a falling out with Frankel or the tavern-keepers, but in any case, the Mighty was still in Reshfagli with Ennelath, while Havnek and Ilana seemed to be studying magic and each other.
We stopped at a road house, and swapped our tale of the Blow to Apsei as seen from the mountains for stories of the Gods’ Weapons round about Skyfall City, and how they had smoked and glowed for days in early Frostfall. What is afoot?
We saw the Spears grounded about the city, and could well believe the tales of their activities!