Part 53: Blight

5 to Verdant Sun, Inalis, fifty seven days remaining

I don’t have much time to write today. I’ve been with Mother for most of my time, or going back and forth between the infirmary and the library with Clio. Speaking with Mother has been very comforting to me. I missed her voice terribly. She’s so kind, and I’m afraid to admit that she seems to have aged since we were last together before all of this began. The League of Storms treated her with much harshness, and it’s going to be a long while before I’m can forgive that. They interrogated her endlessly on the gods of Ylisse. Some plan to invade other lands after Amalj’aa is done pillaging and destroying the beauty of the Emerald Isles, no doubt.

I introduced Mother to the rest of our party. It’s funny, I couldn’t bring myself to tell her of my attraction to Clio. Everyone else on this boat knows it already, including Clio herself. I was able to admit to Mother that Briar and Torag are like siblings to me, and I think of Shadow as the father I never had. These Heroes of Prophesy are my new family, my tribe, my hunt. I mean, I wanted to tell Mother that I have a crush on Clio, but I can’t help but wonder if she’d be upset about that. I was (and still am) in love with you, Heath. Is there room in my heart to feel this way about another person? I think so. I know that’s what you wanted me to do. But Mother might not see it that way. The anniversary of your passing is coming up soon. That’s going to be a hard day for me.

Oh, good heavens! Something awful happened! Did I mention that Shadow removed Chondrus’s head in their encounter back at the Isle of Yonder? He did it so I could interrogate it. Yuck! I hate casting this spell, but I guess it’s in my prayerbook for a reason, right? Anyway Chondrus just told us that we need to sail the Bloody Nether Sea to find Hypnos, Khar’shan’s ship, if we’re going to speak to the Lady of Dreams (or slay her, I don’t really know the plan). Her objective is nothing but chaos. But good news! We discovered that River and Rare are with Khar’shan. This proves Shadow’s lucidity! I knew he wasn’t crazy, but now we have evidence of it!

We spent a lot of time taking care of various tasks on the ship while we prepared for our arrival at the Isle of the Sleepy Drake. Clio and I did some studying in the library and learned how to find the entrance to the Nether Sea – literally get swallowed by a whirlpool and get sucked into it. I think the Nether Sea is on another plane of existence, but I could be wrong. I made Sa’kull a little sailor uniform to match the others on the ship, but he just ended up eating most of it. Torag, Actaeon, and Shadow spent most of their time in the training room below deck, and I thought I heard Briar in there at one point, too. Not sure what Rendu was doing.

On our second day out, a gigantic dragon turtle surfaced next to the ship. It was an envoy of the Isle of the Sleepy Drake, and had evidently judged us as worthy to drop anchor at the island. A friendly dragonborn woman named Kaguro came to us via some flying creature and guided us the rest of the way. Jakobe, a dragonborn man, took us to the castle of the Triad, the ruling governing body of the people here.

Rump Castle.

It’s called Rump Castle.

I can’t-

Who named it that? Hahahaha!

After proving ourselves to be the Heroes of Prophesy via truth magic, we met the Triad: Vendrayk of the Chromatic Tribes, Yadira of the Gem Tribes, and Kasiri of the Metallic Tribes. These dragonborn were more than happy to aid us and restock the Gjallarhorn for us, but they begged us to help them, too. We sought a dragon egg per the Oracle’s prophecy. As it turns out, there was likely one in the Tomb of Jasena Vendrak. Jasena was known to us and Damon the Lich as a traitor to the Dragonlords, but the Triad tells a different story: when Jasena saw the slaying of the dragons and Xander Huorath, she hid the remaining dragon eggs in the Emerald Isles to keep them safe before passing into the next life on the Isle of the Sleepy Drake. Perhaps we judged her too harshly? I ought to speak with Damon about this when we get the chance.

Oh, right! The problem with which the Triad asked us to help! Clio and Briar noticed some strange fungus growing in odd places when we moored and while Jakobe led us to Rump Castle (hehehehehe). The people here call it a blight. It’s destroying the local flora and has potential to make the entire island unlivable. The source of the blight appears to be Jasena’s Tomb. Parties of researchers have gone missing looking for this source. Our mission is to find the source of this blight and see if we can remove it.

Jasena’s Tomb is on the remote end of the Isle of the Sleepy Drake, and there are strange mushrooms growing everywhere. We put on face masks to make sure we weren’t inhaling spores or anything, and met Kaguro at the entrance. She explained that we need to split up to get to the bottom of the tomb where the dragon egg rests. The dragonborn centuries ago constructed the tomb with various security systems in order to protect the egg, and that security required two groups to help each other along the way. Clio, Briar, and Actaeon went with Kaguro. I am with Rendu, Shadow, and Torag. We decided to split up the healers – Briar and myself – to make sure everyone could survive just fine.

My team (which we dubbed ‘Bright Eyes’ for some reason) found ourselves face to face with a fire trap. Some quick thinking on Rendu’s party discovered a solution. The fire trap would not trigger if we held a certain talisman. Torag tested the idea first and came out unscathed. The rest of us moved through it without too much trouble – apart from me almost dropping the talisman into an abyss. Past that, we pulled a lever that helped the other team – Beauty and the Beast (but who is who?). A group of kobolds living within the tomb found us and put up a fight, but we dispatched them without a problem. Later, we met up with the other team while trying to disarm a swinging blade trap. After that was done, we all met up together and rested a bit. We’ll go deeper into the tomb soon. I’ll write more later.