Under a Glass Moon

Trials of Power

Earthday, 13th Aqueth 179 CY

After the coward healer ran away with our horses, the others and I continued onto the Towers of Waiting, picking up our investigating where we left off. I was feeling enraged and odd following my strange experience the other evening, so I missed out on some of the discoveries made by Lady Timbre, notably the statue of Pelor and only partially gained an understanding of the altar we discovered upstairs. I didn’t like being so distracted, but I shook it off and moved on with everyone up the ladder.

We saw the damaged remains of a wooden crane, and decided to peek around on the roof. There were more skeletons! We tried to get the drop on them and shove them off, but we were too slow. We fought them off with little trouble and Artemus made to confiscate a bow from them when we noticed a dark-robed figure on the other tower, in the midst of some sort of ritual. Kaila took a shot at him and – seized by some compulsion – so did I. A ghostly skeletal hand flew out from my palm and grasped the figure. He shivered in pain and responded by stinging me with a burst of energy darts. So enraged, he ran downstairs from us. We made chase, hoping to catch him before he could begin his ritual again, but we were too late. As we reached the door at the ground level, we found a group of skeleton archers, backed up by him. Despite the obvious dangers of fighting them at range in an open field, Artemus and Katunix broke ranks and attempted to rush them!

What followed was a pitched battle where defeat was a very near thing. Thanks to our tenacity and more than a little pain, we survived the fight. I made sure that the necromancer knew what I thought of him by shooting him in the face with my newfound power in his final moments.

After assessing our wounds and resting for the night in relative safety, we moved to explore the next tower. As soon as we entered, Timbre noted some chattering in a language she didn’t understand; a tongue I was raised with. I dropped into the pit and addressed the kobolds there, who were toiling unhappily and wondering if they would ever be allowed to leave. I told them that they were free, but they feared reprisal. So I made a show of having Katunix drop the corpse of our dispatched foe into the pit where they played a game of “crush the clutch” with his corpse. I’ve heard some humans refer to it as “stomp them in the nuts,” but I don’t know why you would ever soil perfectly good food by stepping in it. Maybe it’s to crack the shell? If so, his “shell” was thoroughly cracked when they were done. I set them free and we proceeded upward. At the top, we destroyed a lone ghoul, but there wasn’t much left to do so we returned to camp with the news. Keiran was not happy to learn that his sister was responsible for the deaths and despair of his men, and issued a bounty for her capture. I think I would like to face down anyone who would so endanger their own kin.

I faced him in three fierce games of chess that seem to have earned me more than a little admiration with the General and his men. While this was good, still there is no news of Elyad or our missing horse. Timbre swore to handle the situation, so I’m choosing to stay my hand here.

I would very much like to know more about that vision we shared, what it means for us, and what is next. I also marvel at these new powers, but fear what they portend. I suppose that a good leader manages to find a use for any potential gain, so I will endeavor to exercise great responsibility with this gift even as it calls to me to honor the traditions of my people in battle. A good leader is not subsumed by that which he must bear, but adapts to changing circumstances. And so will I. I don’t think that Durna will be very happy though…

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