I am still shaken by the whole dragon incident. I am still SO angry at Sharn. I know she thought she was protecting us, but she showed her lack of trust in the rest of us.
El & I had a nice ceremony for the dragon; she performed some kind of ancient funeral rite over the corpse with her magic, and it was hauntingly beautiful. It involved magic: flaming footsteps, a fiery quilt, and in the end, the body melted away and all that was left was an engraving of the dragon on the stone floor. There was music, too - like a chorus of spirits joined in with the dirge.
Once we were done weeping, we caught up with Sharn and Firia, and decided to explore the cave. I was looking for dragon eggs - you never know! - but instead we only found some cool bioluminescence and an assembly hall filled with undead and shadow creatures in the middle of some kind of fascist rally.
I assume it was a necromancer that gave the exuberant speech. It was the typical political drivel: destroy everything to make the world new, fire and light and other overblown metaphors. Then again, maybe he was speaking literally. At the end he performed a ritual sacrifice, causing a wave of dark power to cascade across the room - it echoed with discordant but powerful tritones. Cool but creepy.
We crept around a ledge overlooking the massive room, and El transported us across a chasm using a teleporting portal (it actually worked smoothly - though Sharn squeaked just before falling through it, drawing attention to where we had just been). Firia's attempt at fixing the bridge with magic wasn't so successful, but it was a good distraction.
We managed to avoid the attention of the creatures, exited through a doorway, and found ourselves in a hallway with multiple bedrooms. They were clearly ornate - probably upper class accommodations at some point in the past. As luck would have it, I came across a sealed stamina elixir (who knows how old!). I opened the vial, sniffed it, and downed the concoction of honey and locusts. Not bad - it certainly was refreshing!
Meanwhile, the others had continued on, and El lit more things on fire - I hope she isn't going light-crazy like the person in the journal. Sounds of fighting made me hurry over - shades, not shadows or bats. I felt like these souls were different, and instead of attacking the remaining shade, I decided to chant a song of peace and forgiveness to help the tortured spirit move on to the next dimension. As the shade dissipated, I spoke to her and she offered to help, giving us directions to the necromancer's lair.
We avoided the next group of patrolling shades, and took refuge in a library. El found a picture imitating the sacrificial ritual the necromancer had performed during the rally. We took some time to read some ancient documents, and learned more about an ancient rebellion, and the rise of various cults. It seems like the fire beings gained power by enslaving the shadows instead of destroying them, and the old gods, whomever they were, perished in the great battles of long ago.
Our pathway through involved a secret passage behind a bookcase, but it also contained some rather large shadow creatures. I drew my lute and began singing as Elisandre did a poor imitation of the necromancer (I'm not sure what that was all about, but it was a good try).
In the middle of this battle, Firia was getting battered a fair bit, and suddenly burst out into a feral rage. I wonder if this berserk condition is why she hunts alone, and keeps leaving us to visit the forest. In the end, though, it was Basbogha that finished off the largest enemy, like usual. That crossbow is amazing!!
Things seem to be heating up around here - enemies all around, and lots to think about. I don't really have time to process it all, but I do hope we can end this crazy necromantic threat and the fascist regime that wants to destroy the world…
Maebh the Peace-bringer (Hmm, I like that one)