The Journal of Zari Misza

Campaign: The Arrival: Legacy

Recap Session 22
[From Zari’s New and More Secure Journal]

We’ve finally done it! The precious prince is safe.

After fighting off the undead in the palace’s zoo, we realized that we needed to make our move. We decided to break Siaval’s scrying mirror so he could no longer track us and use Wykeera’s pixie friends to stealthily move through the palace. But Siaval and Batu had other plans for us. We were called to the throne room where Siaval told us more undead were on their way to the palace to find us and collect the ring. He used us as bait. He seemed to think he could gain something out of a deal with the undead.

Midi convinced him to let us have most of our weapons back in the evening to defend ourselves despite Batu’s objections. He didn’t seem to keen on the whole plan or Xeridal’s ring.

They released us back to the slave pen where we decided to send Prin to inspect the area in the throne room to see what trap had been laid, and Lyndra to look for Siaval’s scrying mirror.

Prin found an illusion hiding 60 gallons of holy water that was hanging from the ceiling in the throne room above the entrance. Lyndra found Siaval’s mirror in his bath next to his bedroom on the top floor. Thane and Wykeera snuck up to the 3rd floor to snoop and remove the mirror. Thane misty stepped his way around and Wykeera wild shaped as a beetle.

They discovered Abdul making holy water inside Siaval's bath tub with a few other clerics. They made a plan with him to escape during the fight with the undead. One of the pixies would transform Abdul into a flying creature and meet us in the slave pens once the fight was over.

When we returned to the throne room that night, our belongings were returned. Everyone got their weapons, armor, and magic items back except for Hagar's sword. Midi received a weapon called the Instrument of Kar'duuth. It’s a magic drum that can transform into a great hammer. It’s made of dragon bone. She clearly doesn’t like it as much as the hammer thane wrote about in his book, but I hope she can keep it.

Before the undead arrived, Hagar got Batu to open up about his father. His dad is a Demon Lord!!! TYelpech. Batu revealed that his goal is to rule the Abyss with an iron fist. He wanted to kill his father to become a Demon Lord himself.

Thane showed me a journal that he had nabbed from the 2nd floor library since he can’t read Abyssal. He’s finally starting to ask for help with things. It contained a series of entries relating to a demonic cult that praised Yelpech. The entries got awkwardly sensual, and each was signed “Siaval.” I’ve heard of a cult dedicated to Yelpech in the early days of The Arrival in Yalba, but don’t know much else about it. We should look into it more when we are back to the city.

Thane mentioned to Siaval’s that Batu was acting sneaky. Which was probably what allowed us to survive this fight.

We waited. And waited. And eventually, the undead arrived. Pouring through the door to the cistern was a mass of black smoke. As it entered the throne room and grew to towering heights, Siaval began talking to it. He said that the ring belonged to it, and then he placed the ring in the palm of his hand as an offering. The shadow condensed its form into that of a pale elf woman with scars covering her face and a bandana covering one eye from behind her long white hair. She asked Siaval if, being the ringbearer, he had been the one to kill Xeridal. He told her that the we had killed her.

While that was mostly true, He either doesn’t understand my involvement with this group or chose to leave my innocence out. I’m sure it’s the latter, but believing the former makes me much happier. I don’t like to believe anyone other than Kielel can know my every action.

She was enraged though by the idea of us killing her. Black smoke began to flow from her mouth and her eyes as she took on the form of 20 foot tall shadow being with a deer skull for a head, glowing green eyes, and dozens of scythe blades swirling around in its shadowy form. I’ve never seen anything so purely evil in my life.

She said, “Xeridal’s talents were in alchemy. Let's see how you fare against one made to destroy. Let's see how you face against Orthordis.” I’ve never heard the name. But I’ve also never heard of Xeridal. I was sure that whatever their connection, the ring could not be given up. Undead are never good. But the direct interference of undead this powerful will lead to more death. We I couldn’t let Xeridal’s soul be restored.

A moment before Siaval could spring his holy water trap, Thane cast a suggestion on Batu saying, “Siaval is going to lose the ring. You have to take it from him, now.” Batu flew up and shoved Hagar's longsword a foot into Siaval's chest. I had no clue why he reacted so violently to the suggestion.

At the same time, Midi triggered the trap behind Siaval's throne, dropping the 50 gallons of holy water straight onto Orthordis’ undead form. Orthordis screamed and writhed and retreated southward to the cistern room as her undead servants flooded the throne room from the open skylight.

Siaval ran out of the throne room with a few of his servants while Batu took the ring from Siaval and flew towards the cistern chasing Orthordis. It was clear he wanted to give her the ring. He knew how dangerous and stupid Siaval’s plan to make a bargain was.

They all wanted to let him do it too. I tried to explain that we couldn’t let her get the ring. That we would be dooming the world by giving her the ring.

They wouldn’t back me up. They wouldn’t listen. So I did it myself.

I understand why they would be afraid but it’s no excuse. Yes, she was dangerous. But they would only get stronger if Orthordis walked away with the ring now. There is no benefit in simply postponing our death. I had to risk it.

I followed Batu and cast a suggestion of my own on him. I think I said, “You need to go take care of Siaval. Leave the ring with me, I’ll keep it safe.” It worked. He hated Siaval in this moment more than he distrusted me. Or I thought at the time. I later realized he actually wanted to take care of Siaval. Make amends with his brother. Batu gave me the ring and flew through the throne room to follow Siaval. I didn’t bother to follow Orthordis myself. She was retreating.

Her hordes stayed to fight. As we fought them off, a pink pixie and a raven descended from a 3rd floor room. Things were working out fine.

We made our way to the slave pens after clearing out the cistern. There were some skulks attacking the slaves but Midi located them and we were able to some everyone. Aym thought the slaves would be safe for a bit, and we went to clear out the rest of the palace.

We asked Peter to help us fight the skulks and shadows. We were able to get him out of his cage and kill the few undead that were attacking him. He cast a scrying spell on the throne room to find Siaval, who he saw running through a window on the 3rd floor to his bedroom.

Raam, who I think is another one of Hagar’s sex friends, escorted us through the palace into Siaval’s bedroom, where he and Batu were screaming at each other.

We tricked Siaval into thinking we were on his side and fought Batu. When he was almost dead, as we went for the finishing blow, Batu plane shifted away. We couldn’t kill them both. Yalba is still not safe.

Siaval met a gory end with Thane dropping his last iron door on his head while an air elemental Midi created whirlwinded him into oblivion. As a final revenge filled flair, Thane shocking grasped the iron door and Midi used her new hammer to slam the iron door down turning Siaval’s head to mush. It may have been a bit much.

When he plane shifted, Batu left behind Hagar’s sword. Peter cleansed it for him transferring the enchantment to Hagar’s Warhammer. Peter told Hagar that he’d wander the wastes, and see what other destiny he could find.

Prin returned Abdul to his human form. I had been searching for him for so long. Even when I did find him, he was a wreck. Mind controlled and demeaned. Now he is free and my heart is filled with hope. I think we can still save Yalba. And I know he will make a great emperor. We hugged. I cried. I wasn’t even embarrassed.

In the past couple of weeks as we’ve waited for aid, we explored the rest of the palace. We found a staircase down to the basement. Inside was a tomb for Zeharian pharaohs. It looked like a few sarcophagi had been completely removed from their resting place. Looted maybe.

Finally, today we saw banners approaching from the north. This rescue party solidified all of the hopes I have held during our captivity. To see the prince, but not be able to help him was torture. Those banners were a signal to me that we had really done it.

Everything is going to be okay.
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Session 19
An Excerpt From Zari's Journal

I'm beginning to question my decisions over these past months. Raha and I were so confident that The F.I.A. would be able to help us find Abdul. While we have found many leads, and even uncovered some other political scandals, I am losing trust. I nearly watched my family die last night.

They never should have been in danger, at any kind of risk. Especially not because of events I've only read about in a book. I've come to realize that every member of the F.I.A. sees themselves as a hero and will go so far as to mislead others and warp their realities to make this true.

Thane elevated each of his actions in Deliverance From Evil and put us all in danger by hiding the truth about Xeridal's presence from us. Midi consistently flaunts our name and cause even having agreed not to. Wykeera withholds her opinions and ideas from a group who so clearly needs them. And Hagar, the dumbest of them all, is the only one capable of understanding team work.

I am beyond frustrated with the avoidable mistakes that we have made and how often I am left in the dark.

This week we were forced to take refuge in Moroden's Domain as our indecision led Teoshi to realize exactly who we are. Safe for a moment, I convinced the group that we should speak with Madame Raven to learn more about the Palace of Pleasure. For the first time, we were able to keep our motivations discrete.

She told us that there was a group who visit the city at the end of every week. 12 agents in traveler's garb wait in The Crescent for would-be victims to be delivered to them by cart. We decided we would meet them at the end of the week. Only four days to make a mess and ruin a holiday.

After a failed attempt and then some negotiation with Vorimbor at Iomine, Midi was able to sketch out a rough map of the ruins that could possibly contain the Palace of Pleasure. We regrouped at the Athenaeum where we realized that we were being tailed by Teoshi's slaves.

We met with her to work out a compromise. She offered to trade information for our silence. She was able to corroborate the information that Madame Raven gave us about the Palace of Pleasure. i think it is wise for us to keep her as an ally for now and not make a fuss about her tendency towards human sacrifice. Although I should discuss this later with Raha after we have found Abdul.

Not much occurred in the two days before the Sacrament of the Passage. Everyone did some individual research and prepared for the excursion. I bought a shield from the F.I.A.'s friend Dak. His shop does not seem to be doing well.

The Sacrament of the Passage was lovely to a point. I got everyone to dress up for the event and it was so good to see Hamza again. Mother's cooking is always incredible. I feel so blessed on this day. This year was the first time that I saw anything bad come from the blending of the line between the Shadowfell and the Prime Material.

I don't think any of us but Thane knew that Xeridal was still a threat. Her attack nearly worked and I'm sure my fatehr and brother would have passed if not for the strength of my mother's bond with Kielel. These shadowy figures could have ended our mission to find Abdul. Even worse, they may have been able to bring Xeridal back to her full power.

In involving the F.I.A. in our affairs, I believe that I have become a part of something far greater than saving Abdul and the stability in Janav. If Saadia's knowledge can be trusted, Xeridal is an unimaginably powerful force. Thane, who I am more and more keen on not trusting, told us that her plan is to colonize the entire planet. The Garden of Deliverance was just a test of her plague. She is not working alone.

I believe that we are fools to preserve her soul at all. No we do not solve the greater issue in killing Xeridal but we prevent her from gaining an edge on us. We are the only ones who know her plan and just how powerful she is. If we become so conceited to believe that we can control her or trick her, we become her pawns. Freezing the ring is a temporary fix, and we will fight over this issue again.

Maybe it is not my place to have an opinion on what should be done with the ring as I was not there to fight Xeridal originally, but I do believe the whole world shale feel the impact of our decisions. At least for now, I'm glad that Wykeera holds the ring instead of Thane.

Now, we are about to meet the agents of the Palace of Pleasure. I hope that this is the last leg of our adventure and I hope that it concludes so that my sense of dread is not justified.

To travel in the desert for a week and a half with only villains and a party, whom I no longer trust and whose abilities I doubt... my nerves are reaching their limits.
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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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