Exile on Drochtrèdia

Interogation of a Half Drow

To the citizens of Mariner’s Landing and New Blainsport,

We must share what happened today. I don’t want to alarm anybody, but I worry there may be a serious threat looming in the heart of Drochtredia. Let me start at the beginning.

Immeril, Mac, Erevan, Alistra, and myself all wanted to ask a half drow named Faven some questions. Faven had been arrested under many charges a couple months back. He had gone mad, claiming he had been shown a cataclysmic event that would be the death of Droctredia, and decided to have some fun, creating horrendous flesh golems which murdered at least four people, and several animals. We were curious about who this man was, and we wanted to learn more about this vision of his.

During the peak of the day we made our way to the New Blainsport jails, and were surprised to see Captain Quinston in Faven’s cell with the guard Rodrick. He was confused as to why we were there, but Alistra informed him she would ensure an orderly interrogation, and he gave us permission to speak with the half drow. He told Alistra that he felt the man had gone quite mad, and that we weren’t to believe everything he told us.

With this warning, we approached the dark skinned man, who was sitting at the back of his cell, looking resigned and calm. Alistra began by reading the man the charges he has been accused of, and informing him that his sentence could perhaps be shortened with his cooperation. I won’t bore you with the details, but we found Faven to be a man resigned to his fate, whose soul had been corrupted by some evil that was beyond his comprehension. He claims he was exiled here from the empire for a crime he didn’t commit, with no trial or hearing. The police raided his house and stole him away without even giving him the knowledge of what crime he was accused of. Perhaps racism was a factor. While in Droctredia he wrote to his sister, Acordia often, but never was graced with a response. He claims to have sent dozens of letters, but perhaps they got lost in transit, or perhaps some higher power in the empire didn’t want his words to escape Drochtredia. Perhaps this was part of his punishment. Since then he has learned the true nature of this cruel world. He claims the empire is sending us all here as sacrifices to some greater power.

The most disturbing of his musings however, was about this vision he had. He said he had travelled to the desert and found himself at a welcome sight, a small temple which he entered to escape the maddening heat of the dry desert sun. In the temple he was shown a vision full of terror and doom. He claims he met a goddess who spoke to him. He said he went mad looking in the eyes of a true goddess. How insignificant you seem in the presence of something so powerful. He said this goddess wanted people to follow her. Perhaps she even offered shelter from this cataclysm? Her ambitions were unclear from his story, but she was not who, or what, he was afraid of. He was afraid of something much more menacing, a shadow that seemed to erupt from the mountains and engulf the continent. Faven said this vision had granted him the power of sight, and he was eager to show us if we would like. Despite being a madman, we all agreed he seemed genuine, and that he believed every word he was saying. Faven was not lying to us.

So, I reached out and took his hand so I could see this cataclysmic vision.

It was disorienting. My ears rang so loud I thought they would burst, I fell into a fog that took me thousands of miles away, and after a second that lasted longer than it seemed, I was in a desert, a wide expanse of a desert and the sky was plagued with terrifying storms and wicked winds. There was a small temple in front of me, that radiated a strange energy, that almost seemed to beckon me.

Just as I got my bearings, I was engulfed in fog again and travelled what seemed to be hundreds of thousands of miles, to somewhere no where near where I was before. I was surrounded by dead trees, on a coast with a cold and unwelcoming bay. I turned around and saw the mountains behind me, and from the mountains, towered a gargantuan shadow that raised up high into the sky. Sun bursts seemed to emit from the outline of the shadow and it was horror itself. Every ounce of me wanted to bolt, to run, to never see this horrid, terrible sight ever again, but I couldn’t move. It was worse than the nightmares that plagued me as a child after I was cursed with the lich’s dark magic.

And then the ringing returned, even louder than before, and I blacked out for a moment. When we came to, all of us were together, back inside that temple in the desert, with all of our items missing. We were in an endless hallway, surrounded by a thick fog. Before I even had the chance to say anything, I felt a huge slash that came from nowhere in the fog cut me across my chest. I staggered back, just to be caught by another deep cut. I stumbled to the ground and felt a final slash draw more blood than seemed possible from my back, and I fell unconscious. I don’t have any memory of the rest of our time in the temple, but the others said some force was using our blood to speak with us. It spelled out the words “HELP; UP; ME; WAKE” in the blood from our opened bodies. They said any sort of offensive attack was useless against the invisible force.

When I came too again, we were back in the jail cell. Alistra told us when all events were over, that she had seen a robed man with purple skin and tentacles for a face standing over her and disappear before the rest of us woke. The seen we were greeted with had Faven lying slain in his cell, and three ghastly looking creature that we later learned were Banshees cornering a nervous Rodrick and standing over our recovering bodies. Before we could even all stand, one of the Banshees let out a blood curdling shriek that was the worst sound I had ever heard in my entire life. I saw multiple of the party fall unconscious from the shear pain of the shriek itself. I was shook, but managed to maintain my composure. I tried to heal as many of the party as I could, and sent my two zombies who didn’t seem to mind the sound to attack. It quickly became apparent my specialty of magic was useless against these creatures, so I spent my time healing as much as I could. Mac fought valiantly and charged, in, getting in the face of the banshees that cornered Rodrick. Alistra struck hard with blades that seemed to cut the mind. Erevan’s sprite and wolf fled the scene to find help as he laid unconscious on the ground. Everything happened so fast. Rodrick and Mac were both knocked out, and Quinston ran in, shocked by the scene, and slashed out with a brilliant miss again and again, cursing up a storm about how the god damn desk work was making him soft.

The fight continued on, Immeril blessed his bat with dragon’s breath and shot fire out to burn the strange beasts. And suddenly, Faven rose up, an animation of what he once was, but with a fierce hatred in his eyes. His body was definitely not under the control of what was once Faven’s soul. “TRAITOR” he yelled at Erevan, and held out his hand to the startled drow. Erevan froze up in an unnatural state of paralysis, and endured hit after brutal hit by the animated Faven. I did my best to keep the party fighting. Alistra found herself cornered by a Banshee, and a now awake Mac did something that pulled the banshee towards her in a brave move, which cost her her consciousness yet again. The battle was long and drown out, but eventually we felled one, then two Banshees. Quinston and Rodrick found their grove, and Quinston showed his expertise as a true leader and commander of a pack. His sword glowed bright and he slashed through the final banshee and barked out orders to stand tall and fight strong!

Finally, only Faven was left, and we crowded the Revenant and fought until he was barely standing. Erevan dealt the final blow, stabbing Faven through the stomach. Faven’s eyes seemed to flicker, and cleared for a moment. His face relaxed, and wearily, he raised his hand to stroke Erevan’s face. “I wish it didn’t have to end like this….” he murmured, and fell, lifeless, to the ground.

We staggered back, and took in the events we just endured. Rodrick started talking hurriedly, saying he ran in after hearing a commotion and saw us felled on the floor. “Wake up! Help me!!” he had been yelling. Quinston looked furious. “What happened?!” he demanded, and Alistra pulled him aside to speak with him and debrief. While it was entirely unexpected, the interrogation was incredibly successful. We learned of a great potential threat, and have many questions to pursue answers to. I feel a great draw towards the northwest, in the direction of the desert. Perhaps I will travel there soon to see what we can learn of this danger. I know some of the party in Mariner’s Landing will be interested in our findings. Immeral talks about mind flayers and Ilithid. He claims these beasts can deal devastating mind attacks, which is likely what happened when we were in the foggy temple, getting slashed to pieces.

I am greatly disturbed by these events. I hope this information was useful, and I hope we can come together to learn about this looming threat.

Your friend,
Tahli

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