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Veridean Revealed
It is late; I should retire for the night, yet I feel compelled to pen a few more words before I return to the reverie, even after my long day of copying scrolls into my spellbook.

My heart troubles me. I have faced a personal crisis in my time on this quest, yet I do not think I have ever experienced this sort of inward bleakness. We have been beset by a new problem; Arilyn went to bed yestereve in a drunken stupor. Upon awaking, she saw poised nearby none other than Veridean (or should I now call her Threnody?), with Arilyn's shard of the crystal in her hands. Before Arilyn could do more than ready her swords, Threnody was gone. And I, I curse myself for a fool. I was in the room next door, but so caught up in my studies was I that I heard nothing until Arilyn began hurling curses about as though they were her daggers. By then, of course, it was too late; Threnody was far gone.

And so I am once again the sole member of our band in possession of one of the shards of the Tear of Creation. It has been decided (without my approval, I might add) that I am no longer to be alone at any time, waking or asleep. Surprisingly, Arilyn herself has committed to being my shadow in partial repayment of the debt she thinks she owes us. Under other circumstances, I would be infuriated with her, but knowing that the shard is gone, among other things, has left me soul-weary, and it is useless to lay blame, now. The shard I carry now assumes monumental importance; we know not whether Threnody and her master--whomever that may be--possess any other of the shards, and so at any cost we must prevent her from acquiring this one.

Weighed against this, the addition of yet another to our group seems almost incidental, though it would be cause for much comment in any other situation. I find it difficult to even recall much about him, though I saw him but a few scant minutes ago. Kylee is his name, and he is human, but of a sort that I've not encountered before. He is extremely pale, more so than even Anwar, and he claims to live in a community beneath Citadel.

When the rest of our friends were informed of what had happened, it was decided that we try to ascertain where Threnody had gone. In retrospect, this was a bad idea, though I think the others feel differently. We obtained a spell of Legend Lore, and it was thus my duty to prepare and cast the spell, to determine her whereabouts. Though luckily it took but this day to cast, I could wish it had taken more, that I might have delayed what happened, if only for a short time.

Once the spell was invoked, I was overcome with a wave of emotions that I hardly expected: anguish, confusion, aching solitude, despondency, and to my later surprise, longing. With these came a name as though whispered across the currents of millennia: Threnody, this Veridean's name for herself. And I can still remember, to a word, what poured from my lips in the throes of this baleful incantation.

The soul of destruction
Trapped in the form of a friend.

The hand of the queen
Gave her shape and will.

The memories of her former being
Yet drive her thoughts.

Seeking freedom from the travesty
Of herself, she is neither friend nor foe.

Beneath angel's wings she is
Servant, slave, and supplicant.

In the Palace Of The Sun she waits,
Promised mercy but given no release.

Between these lines, and Altaire's divine concentrations, we determined that Threnody was in the Palace Of The Sun, an ancient sanctuary for the Queen Aesia, located in the mountains above Thanandir, which is now closed to normal entrance. Why she is there, or how she came to be there, is still denied us, but it seems there is where we would be most likely to meet her master.

I was broken when this spell ended. All my composure, my surety, my faith in myself stripped away by that rolling earthquake of feeling from someone I had thought incapable of more than detached amusement over our sufferings. I should be mortified that my companions saw me in such a deplorable state, but it seems of little import. Though it cannot be consciously utilized, I now feel some strange bond with her, having broken open her heart and peered inside. Whether she knows of my presence amongst her sentiments or not seems to matter little; I was there, and I was exposed to some of the pain that she experiences. I dread to say that now, more than any other feeling, I harbor pity for her. I suppose that it should come as little surprise to me, for it seems that every other week my world is turned upside down. But how can I help to do what must be done, how can I help kill her if I feel such pity for her? Perhaps, if nothing else, I can rationalize to myself that we might finally give her an end to her horrible sufferings. I do not, however, look with enthusiasm to the day we meet her again. Will I see her as enemy, or as kindred? Will I see a being of hate, or of sorrow?

Associated Regions: Palace Of The Sun, Tel-Tenauril
From the journal of Islan Diemyn

Contributor: Chris Schuettpelz