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October 31, 2003

Of the Essence

Drusilia's Journal

Godsday, Wealsun 4, 592 CY, continued

While several of my alchohol-enriched friends recuperated at the Silver Dragon Inn, Fafnir was studying in the Great Library a few blocks from Pelor’s temple. I wandered over to the Inn after morning prayer, after which we caught up with Fafnir at the library (though Aramil, characteristically, shut himself in his room for the day to “study”). Fafnir presented us with a very charred journal describing some other world’s brush with the Void. Ghelt read it to us aloud, and actually started to giggle partway through— I think the stress must be actually getting to our normally stalwart dwarf, or else she and Pockets had already had a round of intoxicating beverages during breakfast. Fafnir noticed too. When I suggested that we go to the Wizards’ Guildhall for assistance, he suggested several times that Ghelt and Pockets wait for us in a tavern.

The four of us made our way across town to the hall, Pockets occasionally disappearing into a shadow only to pop up right beside us, and we asked to see their specialist on Planar Magics. A young boy led us to the dimly lit chamber of Master Vistal, a red-robed, hunched old man with white eyes. Pockets again disappeared somewhere amongst the walls filled with skulls and alchemical items (presumably Ghelt was keeping an eye on him the few times he was visible), while Fafnir talked to Vistal about his findings and I filled in the detail on what horrors we’d encountered on our journey. Vistal answered in that dry, raspy voice I’d hoped never to hear again— Arkon had possessed the man’s body!

The lich went on to answer our questions, though I suspect he twisted his tale to best suit his own needs. He told us that the one way we can stop the Void is with the essence of Aramis— the Void now holds the Heart of Nerull and Aramis is the “anti-magic” (to use a phrase from Fafnir’s library find) to that of the Heart. He went on to tell us that he worked for the “Celestial Council” which, among other things, answers to the gods themselves, and it was his duty to keep Aramis bound to the Heart to keep him weak, lest Aramis annihilate the world in an effort to cleanse it of all evil. He told us that he does not work with Durll, who is an entity of chaos and entropy, and would much rather see the Heart destroyed than to fall to the deurgar.

While it is plausible that the celestial creature’s positive essence can cancel out the Heart’s negative one, it is utterly illogical to me why the gods would torture an angel in such a fashion. I do not doubt Pelor or my faith, but I now feel the need to commune with my god for the parts that the lich has perhaps twisted or neglected to mention, so we now how best to proceed. Aramis saved our lives when the temple where the Heart was kept was destroyed— a creature that wanted to annihilate us all would not have bothered— letting us live, the only ones who knew of his escape from the Heart, would serve him no purpose.

Before we could argue further with Arkon, he departed the body of Vistal, who crumpled where he sat. I ran over and provided him with some healing, though I think the elderly mage was only stunned. We had to explain our tale to him again, included the part involving Arkon. He was able to us that we needed an iron flask to capture an unwilling celestial to use against the Void. Of course, we don’t have the kind of money needed to purchase such an item. He asked us to go to the waiting room while he consulted another expert. We were soon called back in to talk to Allisha the Seeress, who informed us that we could obtain an iron flask beneath the ruins of Redcastle in Bone March.

We of course, forgot to ask her if the flask already contained something more horrible than the Void creature, lest we let that out upon Oerth too!

I would like to talk to more experts and do some more research before sentencing a celestial creature we’ve just rescued to total annihilation, but time is of the essence. The only thing now holding me back from communing with Pelor directly is some disturbing news I received upon returning to the Solarium to talk to a high-ranking cleric named Cornelius. He apparently had recently attempted to commune with Pelor himself, and somehow his mind touched something... else. As a result, he’s not quite himself, and no one, in a temple to the god of Healing, seems to know how to help him! I would of course ask this of Pelor when communing with him myself, though now I fear that whatever has disturbed Cornelius will affect me as well, and I definitely need my wits about me if I am to help destroy the Void. I think I may contact another celestial creature instead, in the hopes that they can tell me what parts of Archon’s tale are true, as well as what touched Cornelius when he reached out to Pelor.

Posted by Kristin at 18:22 | Drusilia’s Journal