I wonder if home will ever be welcoming again.|
Magmar revealed that Dolartu was not of his progeny, and that he might do better to search the deserts for his elder sire. That said, with his wounds many and the return of Kalidrax a mere few days away, he decided to merge with the land, and use his enduring spirit to protect the wintry human lands. We were allowed each one piece of his hoard to aid us on our journey. We slept in his chamber, and awoke, after dreaming, to find the remainder of his vast horde gone, along with Magmar himself. Rest in honor, noble ancient.
After making our way back to Huld and depositing a repentant Freya with the townspeople, we trekked our way south, with the intent of stopping at Celembril on our way to Citadel, in search of the next crystal shard. On our way, we stopped at a hamlet in the lands of the wild elves to rest and refresh ourselves before continuing. I felt the need to be alone; thoughts of Lanathar’s confession, of the lie I had been living, and even of Arilyn’s nature swam through my head drunkenly. I needed time to come to terms with these things.
I therefore did not, until some little time later, come to learn that an old friend of Jacques’s had come in search of him, and was bringing back memories which he had long forgotten. When I finally rejoined my companions later that day, and was being updated on all that had passed between them, who should appear to us but Veridean, our old nemesis, to whom we had lost Jacques’s eyes and nearly one of the crystal shards.
It seems she knew Aeric, Jacques’s friend, and wished more for death than the crystals in our possession. Again, it seemed, of our group, the only hurt she felt was from my blade, and that of Aeric. Long we fought, and it seemed victory was in our hands when Talla tripped her. It was just the impetus she needed, however, to get me in her clutches. I was held, her blade to my throat. I thought our position had suddenly become untenable, until I saw Altaire’s eyes. I saw there what she planned to do, and why she hesitated. I simply removed her doubt. Amazingly though, Jacques pulled me from her grip a mere instant before she was engulfed by the Flame Strike. As I moved to finish her, though, I again fell victim to her vile embrace, as she sought to drag me over the railing of the inn, to our death far below.
Mere reflex saved me, with some help from Aeric, and she plummeted to her momentary end. Momentary, for I am sure we will see her again before we are done. We were left only with her dagger, and our thoughts, when we reached her at the forest floor.
Those thoughts turned again to Celembril. My home. Will it ever really seem like home again? Somehow, I do not think so, and yet I am plagued with worry. Now that we near the place where that seed was planted, it has again found fertile soil in which to grow. But, if my family has returned from wherever they had disappeared to, how shall I face them, knowing now what I do? I dread the encounter, most especially with the sister whom I loved so dearly. Whether she knows it or not, there is a rift between us now, and I don’t know that it will ever be healed.