Alert: Contains spoilers for the adventure “Into the Fire”
Everyone voted to wait at least a day for Lydia to find us, since it’s been about a week since she and Heiron have been traveling. Ezekiel has been talking recent history with Uthien, while Uthien and Sir Fredrick sift through their home and try to find anything salvagable.
I’ve been on guard with the sword of Lyons (and Tressarian, of course, because he doesn’t like to be left out). We sit in the windowsill by the bridge and watch the valley. It’s very strange. This lake is a perfect place for deer and birds to come to drink, but I haven’t seen any all day. The giant creatures in the lake seem to mind their own business, and Uthien assures me they weren’t aggressive 120 years ago when he was studying them…Something is strange.
14th Planting – Still no Lydia. I’ve not been feeling well. Something came over me while I was watching the valley… I thought maybe it was the shadow of a cloud, but that wasn’t quite right, and I don’t know why a cloud would make me feel like we’re all going to die.
Raven thinks it’s the sinking feeling I get regularly every hour or so, but this felt different. It made my skin crawl…not like the sinking dread of inevitable horror that just comes from living in a world where so many things are unfathomably deadly.
Sir Fredrick’s sword Mironis says he feels that way whenever it’s night.
The others wanted to scry Ldyia and Heiron, since we still haven’t heard from them – and since Ezekiel doesn’t have a sacred font here, I pulled out my crystal ball and concentrated. They were still on horseback (their own horses, so they got to Fort Gellsblood all right) but it didn’t sound like Lydia was her old self yet. She was yelling at Heiron for something, and I don’t even know what, and using language I’ve never heard before. Heiron was riding very fast, and I hope he finds a priest soon.
Then Raven asked me to spy on the end of the tunnel we found – but I couldn’t make it appear in the orb. It could be it’s because I don’t have a clear enough picture in my mind…only I’ve spent a lot of time staring at this valley, and when I try to move the picture from the valley, up the slope, and into the tunnel, it’s like a cloud floats into the image, and everything grows dark. Raven and Mikael pointed out that might mean the tunnel is protected from scrying, which would mean Lydia can’t find us if we go in there.
We talked over our options for some time, but Ezekiel decided he really doesn’t want to face whatever is in there before we have Lydia (and Heiron of course) back, so we need to sit tight some more. I suggested we try to lay a trap for whatever jumped the knights – using someone small and vulnerable as bait, while the others wait within striking distance to catch the attackers. But Sirion pointed out we don’t really know what came after them, and six knights is a very different target from one insignificant-looking person. He said a lion would not react to peanut butter on a mousetrap the way a mouse would…and while I don’t know all the words he used, he makes a point.
So, more guard duty and checkers it is. Still no wildlife sightings, though.
Mikael spent some time meditating, and says the wildlife population increases slowly as you get farther away from here. So this valley, and mountains near it, are a dead zone. It’s very disturbing, and he agrees. Sir Fredrick wonders if whatever tilted their tower had long-lasting effects. Uthien says he always saw birds, at least, while he was watching his water creatures and making notes, so the stillness is uncanny…and I can’t help feeling like something is hanging over us…something so deadly the mind can barely grapple with it.
And then the feeling passed, and I came inside, but I haven’t forgotten it. And even Ezekiel talking about how we cleared out the Temple of Elemental Evil doesn’t make me feel completely better. Maybe it’s sitting on my hands doing nothing that puts me on-edge. I’ve been flipping through Tain’s journal for inspiration. He really talks like he could turn things invisible…or almost…he uses some words differently than I’m used to…Raven would be interested in a science experiment with me, I’m sure.
Lydia and Heiron caught up with us this evening! She’s basically her same chill, collected self, but Heiron seems much happier now that she’s not yelling at him. They say they found a priest in Thornward who could help them – and by then they decided to just ride the rest of the way to Gorna, rather than teleport.
So Lydia escorted Uthien and Sir Fredrick through the portal so they could be safe, and start to put together a new life, and she took me through so I could show our map to someone responsible and we could leave messages about where we are – in case we are never heard from again, so someone can carry on the mission. Left some notes for Dree and Ronhass, and tomorrow we’ll head for the tunnel.
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