10 Shal 1333 YS
Wow what a hectic couple of days we’ve had. I mean, so much to do, and so much happening. Where to begin?
I guess I will start with the Second Sorrow. I sure was tired yesterday, given the end of a very long trek through the red sands of Las Arenas Rojas, waiting so long at the gates, then scurrying straight to the Explorer’s Lodge. But it was to be expected. We’d discussed the importance of getting rid of the scary dagger and that vile mask, and we’d hoped to rid ourselves of them as soon as we could. We did NOT expect to find the High King’s emissary, but I guess he was expecting us. After the brief meeting (we still had not arranged accommodations, nor had we eaten, it being the Month of Sorrows), we decided since it was just sundown, to head to the temple and see if we could arrange for Dorak’s restoration. The malaise of his resurrection had been plaguing him these past weeks, and a cleric’s touch is nearly the only remedy.
Of course, being the Second Sorrow, the church was inundated with parishioners, as to be expected on such a holy day. We wended our way through the lesser folk to the gates of the great temple. It was an impressive structure, and I am surprised it has not earned the status of Cathedral, it was so large and awe-inspiring.
Upon the stairs to the Temple of Great Sanctimony, for that is its rightful name, we came upon a small contingent of Tinelites, who had a minor issue regarding their horses and their presence on the steps of the the Church. Among the Mage Guard and other holy men, was an Inceptor, Neophyte Ignatius. It seems the Inceptor was sent from the Scriptorium at Alcazar Toledo, to chronicle our mission and aid us in our quest. My goodness, does everyone know what we are doing? My guess is that the Explorer’s have very loose tongues, and the ones in Toledo had to go and brag that they were sponsoring the endeavor, and had converted Dorak to their cause. Sheesh. In any case, Neophyte Ignatius has joined with us, which is a blessing. For he is a full-fledged healer, with all the spells and channeling rights of a cleric of the fifth or sixth order. This will be quite a relief to both Izzy and I, to have a bonafide Inceptor amongst our midst.
Once inside the temple proper, which was crowded to the extreme, Dorak arranged for an appointment on the following day, handing over a bag of gems. Next we all partook of the great feast sponsored by the Church. The Neophyte politely pushed his way toward the Nave of the Gods. Being so tiny, I lost track of him fairly quickly. That, and I was really really hungry. I don’t think my little body is supposed to be denied food for so long. Its just so… anti-halfling. Does that make my suffering extra holy?
Following a most satisfying holy meal (a savory chicken stew with some very delightfully tasty unleavened bread, and a small portion of nuts and – of all things – dried dates), the Bishop performed a very inspiring service, which again made me reflect upon this last year, and the wrongs I have done… and my regrets. I do, my love, regret leaving you. It weighs heavy on my little heart, but I know that I did what Mormekar asked of me, and in the end, if I am to survive this trial – or series of trials, as it now seems likely – that not only will we (you and I, Cali my love) – but the whole world will benefit from the destruction of the Wheel of Kaidan. If I am an instrument to bring the Maker’s Gifts to the world, there would be no finer reward for my life’s work (other than returning to you, of course).
We retired to the Silver Swan Inn, and were able to procure rooms therein. What a complete joy it was to be able to get a real bath, and sleep in a bed. A feather-tick bed! Oh my, the next morning I felt better and more fresh than I have since perhaps Alcazar Toledo. We then took the short trek to the Explorer’s Hall and discovered we would be leaving at 11 AM to be transported to Venchenzia by the High King’s wizard, or wizards. We decided to split up, Dorak hurried to the Temple to get his malaise removed, Smriti, Coatl and the new Inceptor stayed to deal with the exchange of the cursed items, and Iz’Alma and I took care of the selling of the horse, donkey and cart, and the transport of the gear back to the Lodge where Sir Vinchenzo said he’d meet us.
Izzy and I had no trouble on our part of the mission, other than realizing after we sold the cart that the stupid statue was too heavy for either of us to move. Luckily Pedro, the innkeeper had a couple of brawny lads working for him, and they acted as porters for us. It was kind of cute, how they fawned over Izzy and me, and how they were so careful not to drop or damage the statue. I had to giggle when the two of them, Roberto and Claudio, were trying to impress us with their strength and how they tried to out-do each other. The only eventful occurrence happened when, back at the Explorer’s Lodge (we later found out), when the Oni Mask got taken out of the Haversack, that it used its power to lure everyone in the city. Oh it was quite scary there for a while, because a few fights broke out, and some people got shoved and pressed against each other and a few were injured, some badly.
But back at the Lodge, they handled the situation and destroyed the mask, which abated the mass-hysteria. I guess that Ionian lady, Chrysos, was also present. For Smriti later described how Chrysos went outside the Lodge at a fair risk to herself, and gave some great speech which allowed the mob to disburse. I guess the Oni was in reality a spirit that was bound somehow to the mask. When the mask was destroyed – they dropped it into a bag which had an anti-magic field within – the Oni’s spirit was released and it escaped, according to Chrysos, who can see such things as spirits. That is a rare gift, if you ask me.
Oh yes, I forgot. Kumori had been taken by the curse of the lamp once more. If he had been here, I would have suggested that we throw that foul lamp into the Purple Bag of Magic Nullification. It is surely the most savage of our curses, for it is so very random, and leaves us quite vulnerable. I thank the gods it has not yet trapped me. I am hoping that perhaps Mormekar has blessed me and kept me safe from its grasp.
We met back up with Dorak, and set out to sell the rest of our acquired treasures, so we would not be burdened by the weight of it all. We did fairly well, given our rush and unfamiliarity with the city. I will hand it to the Explorers, even though their tongues may be loose, they were quite generous in assisting us by directing our party to the best and most reputable merchants in town, or at least the nearest ones.
We now patiently wait for Sir Vinchenzo. He is apparently running late. At least we have a few moments to catch our breath and talk about what we are going to do when we have our audience with the High King. My tummy is full of butterflies just thinking about it. I know he is a man just like anyone else, he puts his gold embroidered shoes on one at a time. Or does he have servants that do that? I don’t know, but in any case… wow! We are going to meet the High King of the Free Kingdoms. What an honor.
The attendants just called for us.
Will send this as soon as I can. Hope you got the letters I sent off yesterday.
All my love,