After the Bowmen departed we left to see if we could find Trask before his arrival at the Cascades. More time on this flying vessel was not what I wanted, but speed was more important than my comfort. We arrived at the Cascades during the night and locating Trask and his men proved to be more difficult than expected. Not feeling comfortable with the flying, the incessant rain and the darkness it was decided to not take the risk and head back to the Rise.
The trip back was as peaceful as it could be while flying in a storm. I prayed most of the time, but it did little to calm my emotions. Upon arrival at Lochaid I was met by people wanting questions answered and moments of my time. I spared a moment for Hershel so he could fill me in on any information he gained about The Scarlet Spire. He gained entrance and was teleported to a room with the cousin of Xar’eth Teken’und, after a brief discussion he was teleported out. He was warned any further intrusions would not go unanswered. Trying not to show how the nagging feeling that something was not right was bothering me and not willing to risk his life I agreed that he should avoid sneaking in for now. The drow had given me little reason to outright question him. The torture incident was disturbing, but if he was doing what he could to help I can’t truly condemn him and not others like Hershel when he goes off and tries to assassinate people.
He also had discovered a hidden vault that contained several books and scroll that I wanted Nathaniel Brommson to have a look at. I made my way to the Spire to meet with Xar’eth before continuing with my meetings, but was surprised by a gift of a flag that combined both Heironious and the Watchmen. The only pleasant distraction I received, Gruendok was given the honor of mounting the flag atop the Temple. Finally making my way to the Spire, Xar’eth let me in and informed me that although the Spire has been reformed the main Scrying device was not functioning without the missing gem only the small one that covered just Temple Rise and Lochaid. I departed to make my way to retrieve the gem.
Nathaniel was looking at the recently discovered tomes when I arrived, he again asked if it would be possible to further examine the Soul Gem. I agreed he could at a later date, but not until I could confirm some of what he said about it. His displeasure was obvious but necessary, unlike him I’m responsible for the lives of theses people and will not risk his until I know more. My training was more than a little responsible too, as I kept thinking of the warnings about people eager to embrace power and its trappings. I should give him the benefit of the doubt, but him being an arcane user didn’t help. A messenger arrived informing me a group from Anglers Cove numbering at least 40 wanted a word. A meeting was quickly set up at the Temple where they proposed they strike out at some men of Trask that had been waiting for him nearby. Agreeing that could draw him out of the Cascades we started planning.
Thinking the scrying device would give us much needed intel, and willing to risk my own life more than Nathaniels, I got the gem and after some praying I conversed with the Dragon inside, Saanphariandr’onthiliax. Informing it of my intentions and the condition the Spire is in he agreed to help if he could. Several of us made our way to the Spire. Xar’eth led us down to the device, upon entrance to the Spire the gem reacted by vibrating and warming to the touch. Whether good or bad we would soon discover.
Upon placing the gem into the device I was immediately warned by Saanphariandr’onthiliax that there was a deep dragon inside the Spire. We felt the footsteps come from the hallway as the drow believed to be Phazeuroth accompanied by a preternatural darkness. Upon stating aloud I was aware that he is a dragon all hell broke loose. From out of nowhere two arrows appeared in Xar’eth and he collapsed, Sorscha appeared to attack the dragon from afar though she had no weapons. Sir Siefer immediately moved up on the dragon and with one swing dealt what would have been a death blow to many creatures but somehow it lived. In return the ceature spewed forth a cone of acid that Siefer somehow blocked part of with his sword but Caleb took the full brunt of when he tried to save Nathaniel.
Pushing Calebs body off himself, Nathaniel unleashed a lightning bolt at the dragon. His aim was true as he missed Sir Siefer but struck the dragon, fortunately it reflected off the wall and struck him again, unfortunately it relected again struck Sir Siefer before going off harmlessly. Wulfgar attacked him, we were healed by the gem, followed by me calling forth Heironious as I struck him down after which the skin split apart and a kobold congealed out of the rancid desiccation and disappeared into the ceiling like a poltergeist. Turning our attentions we were met by a weird scene of the body of Xar’eth getting almost ripped out of the Spire.
The dragon in the gem informed me he was outside, which I said aloud. As Siefer, Nathaniel, and Wulfgar ran up the steps I grabbed for the gem and was instantly teleported outside near a rising Xar’eth. He stated he was leaving his so-called friends, and I told him to surrender. He refused even after promising him fair treatment. Our conversation was cut short as a blade appeared in his chest and his blood splattered revealing Hershel behind him. We are now two companions down, the loss of Caleb will hurt. What to do with the body of Xar’eth, as he appears to be healing even now…