Aym 14 1333 YS
My Dearest Calliope,
With mixed blessings I write to you that we have returned from Aegyptus. Although I am overjoyed to be out of that hot, terrible country, we have unfortunately returned to Phthyanopolis and all its cruelty, corruption and decadence. As last I wrote, the soothsayers had sent Ian to Phthyanopolis to find Ignatius, who had not come through Fehid’s magic portal and was left behind. We were very trepidatious about leaving our fate in Ian’s hands, for he had so obviously fell under the same curse, or possession that had afflicted Fehid. Additionally, Izzy was acting strangely, and we later discovered that when she went through Fehid’s portal, she picked up a rider… a ghostly spirit that had was tempting her to do bad things, to steal and abandon the party and who knows what else.
As for Ian, well… he did come back for us. He used the demon’s magic to return to the City of Nekhen, then opened another portal back to Phthyanopolis. He’d had to study a place there for a time, before he could open a return portal there. We waited in a dank chamber for three days before he finally came back. But he indeed returned, and later that day we were back in the Phthyan capitol. Apparently Ian had some issues with the rest of us, because he fled to Archemaine, using his demonic portal. While he was gone, the wizards there cured him of his affliction. Unfortunately Iz was not as fortunate.
Our oracle was being manipulated by the spirit that had possessed her, and as long as Izzy obeyed this demanding spirit, she was left unharmed. But at one point, the spirit threatened to kill her if she did not obey. Izzy, bless her soul, stubbornly refused, and payed the price for her obstinancy. This horrid spirit attacked her body, weakening her bit by bit. She told us that it was giving her a chance to obey, and punishing her when she stood against its will. Finally the thing killed Izzy, but I was able to lock her soul onto her body, hoping she would not lose a gift. But alas, when Izzy’s spirit was no longer controlling her body, the evil spirit possessing her took control, turning our beloved friend into an undead. Oh the horror of it. Of course, neither I not Ignatius would tolerate this abomination, and we used our powers in an attempt to destroy the spirit. Alas, our surges of divine energies only served to damage the physical form it had possessed, namely Iz’Alma’s body. Once her body was destroyed, oh by Mormekar I hate to even think about this, but once Izzy’s body was rendered unusable, the spirit fled. By destroying her body, Izzy’s spirit was also no longer tethered, for it had no body to cling to, and went off in search of the nearest shrine.
Luckily we were able to easily track down that nearest holy place. There are a surprising amount of shines to the faithful in Phthyanopolis. I have even heard that the Lords of Heaven are catching on here, if for no other reason than the Maker’s Blessed Gifts. A rebellion of sorts is brewing, and again I am glad that I will not be present in this despotic city when the Light finally hits.
Iz’Alma, I am happy to say, was reborn, sans her first lost gift. Ignatius is of such prowess in the church that he was able to alleviate her resurrection malaise, restoring her to full vigor. The ceremony itself was in performed in a delicate shrine dedicated to Zheenkeef, the mad. The Apostle of Zheenkeef seconded as a Priest of Bacchus, so we had no end of his delightful anecdotes and the best wines that the Empire acquired. He was, beginning to end, a drunkard and philanderer whose hands were constantly slapped away from the ladies’ particulars. But he was relatively harmless, and at least Izzy was back with us, and rid of that terrible spirit.
Equipped with fine battle-trained steeds, we are ready to leave the city now, thank the Holy Gods in the heavens. But we are still in Imperial territory, and shall tread with caution as we carry ourselves henceforth. Please, my love, send word of where we can meet you. We will leave Phthya via the City of Taginae, crossing Aetrlia along the southern road and entering Drusas, if we are permitted, across the span between Aesis and Ölipso. Leave word with any Explorer’s Guildhalls along that route, addressed to Dorak the Dwarf.
Thank you my love,
I am giddy that we will be together soon.