Aldion is a world in upheaval. Everywhere, beings are wrestling with the aftermath of The Arrival - the event that just 77 years ago brought magic, monsters, and extraplanar visitors to roost in a realm that until then had been mundane. Portals to other planes of existence open and close seemingly at random, bringing curious and power-hungry denizens with them. Ancient societies rear their heads in retaliation, existing monarchies attempt (and often fail) to consolidate their power from threats they cannot possibly prepare themselves for, and a select few common folk have begun to show signs of inherent magical talent. Even items and locales that were once mundane are showing signs of magical activity. Aldion is a realm aflame, actively being colonized by outside forces while existing power structures struggle to keep order.

A few powerful individuals could guide this world back to relative peace, or tip it over the edge to damnation.

In Expanse, the adventurers of the F.I.A have been hired by a Janavian princess to locate and recover her brother - the crown prince of Janav - after he went missing while investigating strange behavior among the high Yalban clergy. The party will have to survive the Sea of Teeth, the Great Expanse, and the city of Yalba - a place of both great religious piety and political corruption alike. Meanwhile, from the desert itself, sandstorms begin to brew seemingly out of nowhere, bringing both chaos and destruction in their wake...

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Session 15: Chapter 3: Cruel Cowards and Competitive Changelings in the City of Silk.
{Hello Frisco,
I left some editing notes in this one, in font like this, because some of the truth is a little bit bent, and I want your advice on if I should make any changes.

Yours mostly truly,
Thane Ilamin}
What we expected when we entered the tavern with our wolfish companion, on that day of trickery, was merriment and celebration. At worst, we expected a harmless prank or two to be set. But Nimlasser herself would be wary to play a trick so cruel as Fate aimed at my party. The mask of a wolf couldn’t be more accurate, for the man who had come before us had hidden himself in plain sight, a wolf in wolf’s clothing. He offered a drink to me in a form of friendly contest, and I was forced to remove my mask to drink it. Although I was unaware of the man’s alliances and cunning at the time, I’m sure this was his exact plan of events. He was hoping that I would expose my identity, and incapacitate my abilities with the drink, which was an especially intoxicating Yalban elixir.
Thankfully, by the blessings of the Gods, my constitution overcame his potent potable, and I was saved from incapacitation. However, the liquor did affect me enough so that my skills were dulled for his nefarious plot to come into action. For right as the drink began to warm my stomach, I saw something that froze my blood. Out from the back of the inn strode the wicked wizard Vorimbor, the one behind my attempted kidnapping in Etir. He exclaimed that he was a conspirator with the man sitting across from me, in one line turning the image of a jovial new companion, to the heartless and calculating monster he truly was.
My hand went to the mask astride my head, but then I decided that I should not cower before the evils of these two men. Even I make mistakes in my adventures, and this, dear readers, was one of them. For I had no idea that when the wolf’s clothing would be removed, I would see the scarred face of one of the most powerful sorcerers and hellish warlords I had ever met, and a ghost of my own past.
His name was Phanalan, and he was once a dark sorcerer in the country of Galmran, who led helpless villagers into the world of the occult, even going so far as to sacrifice children for his own power. I managed to defeat him by calling down a lightning bolt from the heavens, but he apparently survived the attack and had come many years earlier to Janav, no doubt in fear of what may happen if our paths crossed again.
My companions kept their cool at the reveal of this new information, but curse my hot blood, for I could not stand the sight of such evil. I had been a child when I defeated Phanalan, and I was lucky that he did not recognize me when my mask was first removed. {People may figure out who you really are if you give away too much information on your histories} However Vorimbor recognized me rather quickly, and was able to ascertain the identities of most of our party, before he began to threaten us one by one.
I assumed these two ruffians to be wild cards of death and destruction, but they instead turned out to be high-ranking officials in a business corruptly sewn into the fabric of Yalba’s government. The yarns of their business colored many different factions of society in Yalba’s great tapestry, and it quickly became clear that we were out of our element dealing with the two in such a public place. Distracted by thoughts of strategy, and admittedly dulled by the drink, I was suddenly overcome by a force I was too slow to recognize. Phanalan had intruded upon the sanctuary of my mind by some unholy power, and commanded my body to attack the bar and my friends.
Hagar, still disguised as Lisa, managed to restrain me, preventing me from any heinous crimes {Make sure to leave out the part where Phanalan had me kill the barmaid. It would look bad. Make sure you talk to Midi and make sure she leaves it out of any songs she makes.} but not before the combined surprise force of Vorimbor and Phanalan overpowered the other members of our party. They were even able to convince the public that we were the instigators of the attack, though of course, when power like mine is used, it is only natural to be afraid. Phanalan had me break free of Hagar and dash towards himself, striking him and feigning my self control. His little theatre play debuted just in time for his audience, the city guard, to arrive, and have me and my party members arrested.
Once I regained my wits, I struggled to convince my party members that my body was not my own in the bar, and even Midi, as kind as she was, did not believe me at first and was appalled by my behavior. Our new friend Zari was able to convince the palace guard of our innocence later in the today, and we were freed into the open public. However, after my failure as a guardian of peace at the hands of a great foe, I was still feeling very much imprisoned.
We decided that we needed to make preparations for the coming adventure, and set out to first get a map of the city with which to orient ourselves. Zari saved us from the unfortunate irony of being lost in a city and trying to find a map, which makes you more lost in the city, by directing us to the store of who must be the greatest living cartographer. It may seem insignificant to you, my esteemed reader, but as someone who loves only to fight for good and defend the endangered, it does my heart good to see citizens of a caliber as strong as this one. His name was Rafiq al-Ir, and the map he provided us with was clearly one that had taken hours upon hours of slow refinement, careful dying, and a master’s brushstroke. My and my companions hearts were set aflame by this inspiring young man, and swore doubly to protect this city, and this weak, weak boy who had charmed us all so much.
To arm ourselves against the empire of evil infecting the city, we went to a nearby auction, hoping to procure some magic items that would help us to remove those unfit for the power they wielded from their high thrones. However, we found surprisingly stiff financial competition in the form of none other than the Djinni Moroden, the one who had instilled me with even greater power after glimpsing my true character. He had come to the auction to collect more of his magical wares, no doubt to sell at an exorbitant rate later on, and to thwart the efforts of seemingly every other person in the auction hall. He bid hard and fast, especially against my party and I, and a Dao named Calvinia across the room, who appeared to be a scorned lover from his past.
I tell you now dear reader, if it were not for the abilities of our party, we would have struggled to snatch the mystical items at our disposal from the jaw of someone as sly and clever as Moroden. However, with the financial fortitude of our heroic wallets, we managed to come across some beautiful and powerful items. We procured an elegant elemental emerald {Sapphire, whatever, the alliteration is important}, a concealing clandestine cloak, and some persuasively pleasant perfume. Hagar even managed to receive a truly beautiful spear of lightning, which reminds him of me so much that he declares my praises every time he uses it on the battlefield. He is a truly kind man with a beautiful spirit.
Zari then took us to the palace to meet the retainers of the beautiful, charming, and tasteful Raha’s missing brother. They were two incredibly athletic specimen, a sinewy and handsome changeling named Fazil, and a towering brick of a Tiefling named Rashad. The two were fresh off a gripping wrestling match when we entered, and had their full bodies on display, barely covered by matching loincloths so that they could preen themselves in front of our party, I imagine they were attempting to intimidate us, but they had no idea who they were up against. In the arrogance you so often see in the physically powerful, they decided we would need to prove ourselves in battle to earn their trust and information. Wykeera, in her characteristic selflessness, did her best to convince them that it would be best for their prince if we began searching for him sooner, but their skulls, thickened from years of abuse, were unable to pass the message on to their brains.
I realized during the exchange that it was my fault, once again on this trip I had been careless. My presence had begun to make Rashad terribly afraid, and it began to become difficult to tell if the marks on his loincloth were sweat or something even more unsavory. The slimmer Changeling realized this as well, and looked to defuse the situation, ending all further negotiations. We were faced with one option, engage in their paltry games, or endanger the life of the prince. For true heroes like us, there was only once possible option.
One week later we found ourselves at the bloodsport coliseum of Yalba, a sickening architectural blemish of horrible combat where meager slaves fought for an unachievable freedom. {Should I add the part about Midi researching Dragonborn culture? It was kind of a downer what with the priest who seemed depressed an everything. I should definitely leave out the stuff about me losing money gambling…} In spite of the unpalatable atmosphere of the stadium, we knew that we had come for the achievement of a just cause, and forged ahead into the tournament of glory. The tournament was set up simply, our party made up one of the many teams competing to rise to the top. We would fight waves of monsters, and eventually the other teams until the final two remained, and the winner would be rewarded with glory and gold, though such earthly pleasures disinterested are party when compared to the chance to save the prince.
One of the competing teams was Fazil’s Fighters, led by the changeling retainer and his lover Rashad, and they established themselves as the team to beat with ease in the first round. Whereas the first team struggled for a full minute to dispatch their opponents, and even then seemed to escape with barely more than their lives, Fazil’s team struck the monsters down in merely thirty seconds. We clearly had our work cut out for us as we walked up to the entrance of the stadium prepared to meet our first challenge.
Before us lay a mock ruin of the Zeharian people, with a group of Gnolls placed around. There was also a fair maiden in the midst of these gnolls, being held captive as an objective of rescue for our team. {Switching it from a dummy to a real woman is going to make the kiss at the end better, but it might make it less believable…} For those of you readers who have no knowledge of the gnolls, count yourselves blessed, for their grim visage is almost to horrible to recount. Each one of the five stood on spotted and matted haunches, like hyenas learning to beg, with thick and bloodied bodies haphazardly strapped to pieces of metal and stone creating makeshift armor. Their grizzled necks led to lazily hanging jaws with long strands of viscous slobber leaking continuously from their frenzied grins. They turned their smiling faces towards our party and began to growl, looking to protect the terrified woman between them. The ringing voices and thunderous applause of the audience would have been distracting if we hadn’t all become so single-minded in our pursuit of both this rescue and the next.
Hagar ran headfirst into battle, sprinting up to his first opponent and drawing Ostan’s blade from its sheath, preparing to wet it against the neck of the foul monsters before us. Zari brandished her flails and cast two spectral hands that gripped two of them by the neck and began to enshroud them in a dark necrotic energy. Wykeera too leapt forward, sending a knife of ice singing into the throng of enemies, deftly causing shards of ice to hit the targets and miss the maiden. Ever eager to rescue, I teleported to the maiden in a flash of lightning and mist and grabbed her from the gnolls. Midi encouraged me forward, and I was able to frighten two of the gnolls away from me. However, one of them, incredibly brave, or more likely, incredibly stupid, managed to score two heavy strikes against me as I threw myself in front of my new charge. I was buffeted back by the blows and almost thrown into the pit of spikes below, but managed to get cushioned by my favored winds and landed safely on the bridge. The maiden, now unprotected by my frightful presence, was grabbed again by the gnolls, and I kicked myself for not being more careful.
However, it was at that moment that Hagar was suddenly knocked from his position on the bridge onto the spikes below. The crowd gasped in horror, and I too was worried for Hagar’s fate, but I knew that he would want us to continue our rescue. I furiously aimed my next spell at the two gnolls who had knocked my friend in, and vaporized them both in one searing ball of electricity. Wykeera and Zari continued their assault on the other three gnolls while Midi did her best to help Hagar recover from his fall and to exit the pit. Zari grew her necrotic shroud on the two gnolls from before, and Wykeera deftly noticed the weakening constitution of the one on the left, and took him out with a well-placed ice knife.
I was debating if I should attack the remaining gnoll holding the maiden, or the larger gnoll captain who had so deftly struck me with his blade when, suddenly, a thick forearm and sizable hand sprang out of the pit and grabbed ahold of the gnoll captain and pulled it down. Hagar hadn’t been able to spring himself from the spiked pit, but was able to succeed in bringing down one of the enemies to his level. Knowing that no ragged monstrosity like the gnoll could stand up to Hagar in a one on one fight, I turned to the final gnoll on the ruins and blasted them backwards with my magical might. However, my blasts were so strong they managed to cause the maiden to lose her balance as well, and she began to fall backwards. At the last second, in a flash of lightning and mist, I was above her, my arm securely fastened around her shoulders, protecting her from above. The audience went wild with the last minute salvation of the woman, and were only propelled to greater heights of enthusiasm when she passionately embraced and kissed me as thanks for my heroism.
However, there was one thing they wanted to see even more. The battle with the final gnoll had become surprisingly intense, as he was of a sturdier breed, pit bull or some other large dog probably, than the rest of his litter. Even worse, the battle in the pit was too low for anyone in the audience to see, and the sound of shouting, yelping, and metal clanging against stone and metal alike, had driven them into a frenzy of speculation. Hagar, distracted by the audience and his disguise, had made some surprising mistakes, and was having trouble keeping the gnoll at bay. Wykeera in her classically resourceful way, had begun firing her bag of unending water at the mongrel, washing years of grease, blood and decay from its matted fur, and giving Hagar the advantage in the fight. Zari sprung down lithely and managed to hit the gnoll with her flails, sending it stunned and reeling backwards.
However, the true disadvantage was becoming clear, the spikes on the bottom of the pit were hindering Hagar and Zari’s attacks by reducing mobility, while the more animalistic fighting style of the gnoll was unaffected. I realized the best way for them to defeat the beast, was by leaving the pit. So I told the fair maiden to step back, and summoning every ounce of my being, I cast a spell and caused the faux ruins to explode out ward, leaving a method of escape for my teammates. Wykeera followed it up immediately with an especially strong geyser from her bag, sending the gnoll rolling back into view of the audience, battered, wet, and afraid of the hulking warrior now sprinting across the sand towards it. The beast reared up for one final attack, which Hagar easily outmaneuvered, driving his blade through its grinning mouth and out of it matted back. The crowd was silent for a moment, and then erupted into peals of applause and cheers, as the announcer brought it to our attention that we had finished in the same amount of time as our true opponents. Thirty seconds.
An hour later, after rebuilding the stage and testing the other teams, it was time for our second round of the tournament. As we took the field, the thoughts of the previous teams, the ones who had faced this same challenge and been beaten savagely, weighed on our minds, and we prepared ourselves for a battle that would likely not go as easy, as the stadium began to shake from the steps of some monolithic Monster.
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Epic!
Session 14
20th Sosia

The journey on the Zephyr was smooth. It was fascinating to see where Thane gets the... everything about him. Today we landed in Port Qamsa, purchased some clothing more suitable for the Janavian climate, and sought a caravan to accompany across the desert on the journey to Yalba. Conveniently, Rilka, Bip, Bap, and Dak recently arrived in Port Qamsa as well, had joined a caravan, and needed guard on the journey. Bap’s cockatrices have been growing very well, and are adorable and wonderful.

Tomorrow we’re departing on the journey to Yalba. I really don’t know how I feel about being back. We’ll see what happens.

4th Latea

Today sure was… something. I had been steeling myself in preparation for passing through the Oasis, but I assumed it would be just a simple pass through and nothing more. I wouldn’t feel compelled to say or feel anything, and we’d be in and out with no problems. Whoops.

When we arrived, some unfamiliar and insignificant halflings stopped the lead cart of our caravan and claimed they were the last surviving members of the Greenbough clan. Fuckers were trying to wring money out of travelers and sell some supposed antiques from a supposed Zaharian ruin under the Oasis. That whole “don’t say/feel anything” plan? Didn’t work. Telling them off sure felt good though.

It turns out they weren’t completely dishonest, and there was a Zaharian ruin underneath the Oasis. I’m not sure if it was some family secret or if we never knew. We explored them, and I felt something… calling me. Somehow, I was able to open a false wall and reveal what appeared to be a burial chamber. There was a golem that was aggressive, but then I was able to mentally talk to it, and then it wasn’t. It held up the ruins long enough for us to escape their collapse. I’m not sure why it listened to me.

I still don’t know how I feel about being back.

21st Latea

We finally made it to Yalba. Today’s the Carnival of Shadows. I’m grateful for the holiday… It’ll be a nice excuse to relax for a little while before we begin our mission.
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Session 13
From Zari's Notebook


Day 1
I've finally gotten to meet the adventuring group I've read so much about. Much to my surprise, they are just as capable as Delivered From Evil had lead Raha and I to believe.

They attended her wedding dressed in fancy clothes that I'm sure they weren't usually accustomed to. They were hardly armed, although I think I saw Wykeera pull a few items out of a bag of holding at some point and I believe I saw Midi take something out from under her skirts. Despite this they were more than successful.

They blended in fairly well and made very good conversation with Raha, Eldon and myself. (I got to practice my Gallian!) I even saw Midi sort out some dispute between the musicians. The only one who acted a bit off was Hagar. He had forgotten his name and ran away from Raha and I at one point. I supposed what Thane said about him being "a strong, charming, but simple behemoth" was quite accurate.

In the middle of the wedding Thaddeous alerted the crowd to a group of assassins. I assisted the group in fending them off while bringing Raha and Malkar to safety. It amazes me how kind-hearted and cooperative they all are. They took the time to save a few members of the crowd from being crushed while still tracking down every assassin. It was unsurprising to me that Thane was the one to catch the one who tried to escape.

They discovered signet rings from the house Castorria on the assassins bodies. It seems that they must have been sent from Vulsa.

After the tensions had died down a bit. Raha and I met with the party alone. And after some explaining they accepted the job. I will list the details of this job below for the sake of keeping this journal consistent. It is the first entry after all.

Abdul al-Khaari, Raha's brother, is missing. Raha targetd the F.I.A as she wanted outsiders have not been corrupted by Yalban influence to find him without drawing too much attention to themselves. I will join this adventuring party to help with navigating Yalba and providing insight to Abdul's background. At the time he went missing he had been investigating strange behavior among the Yalban high clergy. Some have been exhibiting traits unexpected of them from past interactions and what I know of their values.

We've now traveled away from the Galmrainian Empire. and are on our way back to Yalba. I will be excited to be able to follow conversation without needing to focus so hard. I'm worried that my loose grasp of Gallian has made me come across as slow.

For now we've taken refuge on the Zephyr by invitation from Captain Tritus. Thane's many connections impress me. Of all things I thought that his affiliation with pirates was the most suspect. We should be in Janav soon.

I will continue to keep this journal as up to date as I can. This way, should I die, the party may continue to have my knowledge with them and succeed in returning Abdul to Yalba.
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Session 12 [Epilogue]
From the journal of Tysha Hetoria, Spymaster of house Maldren

They came back today, almost ten months after they left. Seeing them standing in my office so long after I sent them to Drasek has me feeling ... nostalgic? Optimistic? No, not optimistic. Fia didn't come back with them. It's bittersweet.

I, of course, did my research on Fia's background and upbringing before selecting her for this mission. She came from a poor farming family in Sidun. She had five siblings and a good heart. It's a shame, her natural talents as a rogue and her unique changeling heritage would have made her a valuable asset for our house. I wish that she had come back.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the only dissapointment from this mission. Evet was compromised. She was one of my best spies, and she would have done whatever it took to survive right until the very end. I'm sure that she had a strong reason for making the choices she did, but now I'll never know. I'll have to make the training for my agents more intense. It's the only way to ensure that a fiasco like this doesn't happen again.

In happier news, they managed to clear the garden of whatever threat was keeping people there and ensure that the Galmranian high command will have easy access to the archalium that rests beneath the Spirekeep Mountains. Better yet, they'll know that house Maldren helped to make that happen. Better yet, they'll know that house Terroc was unfortunately not quite up to the task (the Cobalt Company apparently got imprisoned in Etir, how dreadfully embarrassing). That means a bonus for me and a boost of influence for our house. Midzaynov also mentioned to me that she made an influential friend while she was abroad in that cold hellscape. That will be an interesting lead to pursue...

I just escorted the four of them to the Grand Axis, where they can use our system of teleportation circles to travel to friendly forts or allied capitols. They told me that they were leaving for Sidun to inform Fia's family of her passing. I think that, in the long run, this will be beneficial for them. They need time to mourn, and to understand that their actions have direct consequences in this world. They need to learn that as they grow in power, the ripples that they create will attract more powerful allies and enemies alike. The four of them are powerful, moreso than I think they realize. Well, except for Thane. He knows how powerful he is.

I do hope that those adventurers elect to keep working with us. For one, I've already sent agents into the countryside to spread the word of what these brave folk did and the noble house that sponsored them ... but, despite my urge to use them to gain a political edge, I can't help but admire them. They fought their way past crossbow-wielding thugs, wild cockatrices, a manticore (still not sure how they pulled that one off), a coven of hidden wizards, dragonborn raiders from the Frostjaw Forest, ravenous undead monsters, and finally, Xeridal herself. They described her as an elven woman who had the ability to transform into some kind of shadow creature who was somehow causing the the plague. None of my research turned up anything on who Xeridal was, and her motivations still confuse me. But I still can't help but smile as I write this - not only did they find a cure for a plague that they didn't even know existed when I gave them this mission, and not only did they prevent a scourge of zombies from escaping the garden and ravaging what was left of the Drasekian countryside, but they managed to do it all while snubbing house Terroc (a feat that I will continue to be excited about for as long as I can be).

Still, not knowing all of the details about Xeridal is worrisome. If she represents some kind of extraplanar threat, I'm not sure that we're adequately equipped to defend ourselves. Thinking about the power that these other planes must have access to is sometimes exhausting. They've had access to magic for far longer than we have, and seem to have abilities beyond our understanding. Elves that can turn into shadow creatures? Plagues that can create undead? How can we possibly defend ourselves against that?

I can feel my breath quickening. Drasek was ripe for takeover, yes, but what if Attessal, what if all that we've built is nothing compared to the power that these extraplanar beings wield? What if we are ripe for takeover? What if they're just biding their time, waiting for an opportunity to strike?

I need to calm down. All I can do is try to increase our understanding of what these extraplanar beings are and what they want. I'm not going to solve this today. I just have to hope that the agents I sent to recover the archalium can learn more about what Xeridal was after. I need to stay focused on the present.

...

I've just been informed that the ambassadors from Janav have arrived in the harbor. Finally, something actionable to focus on. I will need to greet them at the docks soon.

One more thought before I leave you. The status quo in Gallius is changing, and there are so many unknowns. I cannot predict the future, and I need to remember that. However, having these adventurers back in Attessal reminds me that there are still people in this world who are willing to put everything on the line. People who will defy the status quo, delve into fierce wildlands, and face unknowable dangers. Whether they do it for riches, redemption, glory, or because it's simply the right thing to do, they have something in common - a unique desire that pushes them ever forward and ever upward into challenges that most people couldn't even fathom. As long as people like that continue to exist, no matter what trials we face in the future, I feel better about our chances. Maybe even optimistic.

I have to go, I'm being called to the docks. It's the beginning of a new era, after all, and there is much to discuss.

- Tysha
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Session 11

We defeated the being that was holding the Garden captive, but I think we will be here for a while. Because while Xeridal might be gone, the plague she created remains.

And we don’t have nearly enough time to treat it. Wykeera found a cure thanks to Miletia’s notes, but there were only enough supplies to make 5 doses. 2 we used trying to convince the Null Army to help us, and 3 we gave to the Cobalt Company to fight Xeridal with. They are all gone now. And while Tanya and Yoseph are cured - thank god - there’s no guarantee they won’t get sick again. The only way to ensure the Garden’s security is to treat everyone.

A part of me wishes that the Null Army wasn’t being played for their numbers, but instead was ass-backwards hateful bastards we first thought they were. And that they were holding the Garden captive for food or something. But no, they were only trying to protect the rest of Drasek from a horde of zombies and the plague that caused them. I can’t blame them for that.

Lord only knows what will become of them now. I’d like to think that they will become a protecting force, empowering their people and keeping them safe from bandits and the like. Hopefully with Merrick in charge they will learn that magic isn’t evil. And from watching our actions, likewise learn that non-humans aren’t all that bad either. I really hope so.

Tanya seems to think I’m too trusting here. She never changes. The Null Army have been keeping her and Yoseph alive for the past year and she’s the one to tell me I’m naive. The Cobalt Company saved her and Yoseph, using 2/3 of their most effective weapon against Xeridal to keep them alive. And she still thinks that I’m too willing to put faith in them. “Are you sure that they need to stay? Can’t they leave and do their own thing?”

I reminded her that Dorkuul helped Wykeera make the cure. She reminded me that he mostly just watched her work.

She wasn’t entirely wrong about me being too trusting. If I hadn’t told Evet about her and Yoseph then they wouldn’t have been captured. Yoseph was quick to point out that they wouldn’t have been cured either. I don’t know if Evet was truly evil, anyway. She took down Ostan on her own, and helped us fight the creatures that were ambushing the Null Army. Honestly, she was probably in the same position as the rest of the Null Army. Xeridal was probably threatening her. Too bad Thane killed her before we could find out more.

Anyway, Xeridal is dead. We still don’t know what she really was or why she did what she did. Why was she poisoning the garden? Why have everyone killed? Why have the Null Army killed if she wanted the garden killed and they were willing to do it? Only 5 members defected. Even if they included the two most competent members of the Null Army it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Hell, we almost didn’t make a difference. If Thane didn’t have the abacus’s fireball, or Wykeera didn’t have moonbeam, or if Xeridal didn’t seem to cower in fear for some reason, I don’t think we’d still be alive. Oh lord, and we almost lost Wykeera too. Whatever power Hagar seems to have gathered, it saved her life, and by extension, everyone else's.


Most of the Null Army survived, and so did the Cobalt Company. So we’ll work with them to distribute the cure. In a week this nightmare will be over or most of the Garden will be dead, we’ll see. Musasi already left to pursue his brother in the mountains. He was already so many days behind him. Thane and Hagar almost went too, but ultimately stayed. Thane gave Musasi his last mastiff, and with some money from Wykeera, Musasi was gone.

I wish him luck on his mission, and wish we had been able to talk more. I hear rumors of dragonborne in Kelkenheim. I’d like to go. Find out more about what I am, why I keep spewing lightning. But that will have to wait. Because no matter how successful the mission may seem, we can’t take joy in it. Because while the Garden and everyone in it may survive, Fia still died.

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