I don't know whether to cry a sea of tears or laugh until my face splits open.|
Jacques has been returned to us, though I am certain it was not the original intent, while Nyran has...disappeared, after some most unsettling behavior.
Upon our return to our own world, we were all of us ready for a day's rest. Oaensekhtep offered rooms at the palace of Thral-Tep, but at Nyran's most agitated insistence, we left. We made our way to Tel-Tenauril, to where Horus was wandering through the forest. After retrieving the crystal shard from him, we set about burying the people we found dead in a pile beside a group of wagons on the road. We pressed on to the village to let them know what had happened, only to find that the same was happening here, on the other side of town. We raced across the village, to find that the author of this mayhem was none other than Jacques.
Through all of this, Nyran was not actual his usual devil-may-care self. He was agitated, impatient, and contemptuous of everyone and everything around him. He wanted the crystals and to make an end of Aram, though how he proposed to do so with only four of the crystals, and standing athwart a deity, I do not know.
Jacques sent against us creatures that were almost skeletons, though they had more substance, and carried with them each a huge scythe. They were dispatched, with some difficulty, and then we had to face Jacques himself. I didn't know how I would stand against him with the intent of killing him; it seemed there was no other way. As he hit me, though, I noticed the bracers he was wearing: they flashed with some vile light when his fist struck me. I must say I very nearly passed out from the evil that washed over me, and the sheer power in the man's fists, but I managed to stay conscious long enough to stun him momentarily and destroy one of the bracers.
Once he was down, we took him directly to Thanandir, in the hopes that Roen would remember him from our charge on this quest and agree to give him whatever healing he required. The others stayed behind to try to tend to him as best they could; it seemed from all the dust that Thanandir was deserted. So, Dolartu and I went down into Thanindiel to inquire after Roen. What we found was almost as disturbing as Jacques: there was a strange apathy amongst the townsfolk. Strange, and I daresay, unnatural, since two Elves flying down out of their castle, one with leathery wings, would elicit comment from the most stoic of persons. After inquiring about Roen and getting nowhere, we decided to return to the palace. Well that we did, from the flashes that appeared above us. After learning that Nyran both discovered that one of the crystals was a phony and trying to kill everyone before vanishing, I was determined to find Roen. I began with the intent of scouring the place, but I found him in the first place I looked, the main hall.
There was Roen, impaled with what looked almost a small tree trunk. He'd been dead there for some time, almost a year it seemed from a cursory investigation. What happened here, I do not know, but I know it is not good and we must lick our wounds before we delve further into it.