I returned from Xaphan yesterday.
Part of my is surprised that I just wrote that. The other part of me is not surprised at all.
I have lost Divining Light. We lost the bracers.
Let me explain, a woman hired us to to investigate Khiras. We arrived and found a portal to Xaphan. We entered it and ended up in an old fort in Xaphan. There I found a most unusual sword. It has no blade and emits only light. It seems particularly effective against undead. Its origins are not known at the moment. We found several Bodaks there. Nasty things undead, filled of only hate.
Finding our escape cut off by forces we did not witness we jounied to the capital of Xaphan. Arriving in, of all things, the temple of Phaant. Yeren's temple of Phaant. I need to make a note of this, of its lay out. We found a girl... no a woman, a demon blooded creature I believe. She looked young. Magic... so much magic came off her. Dangerous. Damn dangerous. She is not a child. Despite that Arn and I snuck off and stayed in the temple of Phaant. She led Taban, Gen and Artemis to the temple of Orcus.
Artemis never returned.
Yeren was in the temple... with, what I am sure was a consenting adult elf woman... Yeren sent us home. He was not pleased to find us. And was concerned the council would not approve of us working with him. I wanted to see Variel. I did ask him how Variel was, he did not elaborate on Variel's condition.
I miss Variel
We were split up but when we had returned Gen was at the bar, and Taban arrived shortly. Artemis had been captured. Taban murdered him to save his own life. Coward. I was talking with Taban at the time. Then we felt it. Keli was here. We both raced downstars. I casted my spells. Cats Grace... Blink... The things that should allow me to survive a few seconds against that monster.
Gen, unfortionately for Gen he was now wearing the bracers. Taban left them. Perhaps he didn't feel he deserved them? Guilt? I don't know. Unbeknownst to Gen he was now wearing one of the two biggest targets on the planet. The other was hanging from my neck. She taunted us, she knew where we had been. The other artifact we sensed was it hers? Probably. She threatened Gen. Then she demanded my necklace. My amulet, my Divining Light. When I hesitated she turned her attention to Honda. I have already seen what this women does to Paladins. I would not allow her to touch Honda. But I had little choice. I slowly removed the amulet and handed it to it. She reached for it. Her hand went through mine. In the confusion I had almost forgotten. I was bounding between planes. I was Ethereal.
As she missed me Taban grabbed it, and teleported away. Keli, angry teleported away.
We were safe... for the moment. But we had lost both artifacts.
Hollow and depressed I left the group at the table. I sat at the bar and had a few drinks when someone got my attention. A ghost of all things... A ghost. This was a dwarven woman. recently dead from what I later learned. And if you would believe it a Cleric of Durann. I honestly do not know if the events in my life are unfolding due to Chaniud's intervention, or because of the lack there of. To be honest though seeing anyone from an allied order made me happy. Here I had lost all connection to him. (Perhaps for the best?) completely failed at every task I attempted and now there was a cleric of Durann on our doorstep. And more importantly looking for us.
Ria, as she likes to be called. (Her name is Thinria) was in Hazuk and heard about us, and especially me I suppose. When I was arrested for kidnapping Nicca. She followed the trial and was impressed with the way we proved not only our innocence but also had Highsmith arrested. (I need to check up in Hazuk and make sure hes still in prison). Realizing we left town as if we had more important things to do she followed us to the Last Call to find out exactly what those things were.
I took her down stairs and filled her in on our situation. As dangerous as it was she agreed to help us. I later scried Taban and found him being tortured at the hands of the demon child. Punishment perhaps. Though I suspect for her it was more play.
Gen was talking to a strange man upstairs, he had some very... odd ideas about ghosts. Interesting timing.
Taban returned this morning with out Divining Light. He refused to tell us where it was. This did not seem to bother anyone but me. I often wonder why this is always the case. I am coming to the conclusion my party members are in denial or psychotic. Possibly both.
I told Ria about Yeren. But I left out the parts about Variel. I... I am not sure how much I want people to know about that until I can truely trust them. Maybe in a few days. I doubt she will understand though she seems rather open minded, clerics of Durann can be that way. I rather like her and she wears a scarf like mine! (Okay I admit that sounded stupid rereading that... still though there aren't many people I feel comfortable being close to. Even less now.)
I will take my Amulet back if I have to go to Xaphan alone to do it.
We are going to head north to get our horses, then travel to Manifest to see if Ennic is willing to help us track down the ranger with the ring. Ennic is dangerous but if hes loyal to Yeren he might do it, seeing as how there are no Firestones around. Dangerous but we need to try it. The ring is the only lead we have on the other artifacts. Honda suggested the ranger might be in a near by plane. A smart suggestion. (Though as are we know she might be sunbathing with Durann at the moment) aside from the Coil, that primarily leaves the Ethereal Plane and the Shadow Plane (if I remember what my uncle taught me about the planes). If I had the amulet I could blink into the Ethereal Plane... but that is no longer an option.
Ennic might also kill us on sight. But what else is new?
Yeren seems to want us alive at the moment. That is something.
I also made a small offering to Phaant for luck when I was in Xaphan. Between Phaant and Orcus I am taking Phaant.
We need to go now.