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One in Two

Gwenn’s journal…

Well, it seems we’re caught up in, what? Machinations of gods? And elementals? I don’t really know.

Here’s what I can piece together from Vecna’s admittedly-unreliable account:

600 years ago, somewhere between being mortal and becoming a god (literally), he contracted with the elemental of chaos Kyuss to create a set of magical items capable of summoning Kyuss. It is not possible to deliberately bring one of these immortals to our plane– Vecna is an exception (I think because he originated here, but I could be wrong, and he implied I was). Kyuss would very much like to get here– presumably because our world is, in a word, vulnerable. Gods do not stroll around our world willy-nilly, Vecna notwithstanding. We have no dragons. Our knowledge of and creation of items of power is rudimentary, at best.

And so, the Tiles were made. They have rules, though. It is not possible to deliberately summon Kyuss, so the tiles must be drawn in sets of three. There were originally 23 tiles– today, only 5 remain.

It gets better. The remaining tiles are in the hands of the Patriarch of Erathis. So much is now clear about his ascension to the Patriarch’s seat– he’d gone from relative obscurity to power so quickly! According to Vecna, he’s drawn the sun– pure power, and star– influence over others. He has yet to draw the third, but must do so before his mortal death.

It’s unknown, even by Vecna, how to destroy it.

And the remaining tiles: summon an ally (the knight), bring greater power and understanding (comet), empty mind (hat)… summon Kyuss (broken sword), and the real kicker, in case you didn’t have the worst luck ever by just having this set of tiles in your world– the jester wand, which draws the remaining tiles.

Indeed. In the remaining 5 tiles, of which one must be drawn before the Patriarch can die, two out of the five guarantees that Kyuss will be summoned. If the tiles move on to another holder without Kyuss being pulled, then his summoning is a certainty.

I do not like these odds. At all.

Worse still, Kyuss can only be defeated with arcane magics and arcane items of power.

The likes of which Zachary has been systematically destroying for the better part of five years.

His perfidy struck a nerve with me. Even the factories in the hills is a part of it, though thankfully it’s one with a beneficial result! For who would continue to seek arcane power if mundane power is just as useful in most cases?

I will kill him. I will kill him and feed him to Firiel.

Well, except she doesn’t need to drink anymore. That was a welcome change, to be sure! That and… the ring that Vecna gave her. Oh, someday, I am going to have to study arcane lore more thoroughly so I can understand how he did such a thing, divorcing the power from the soul that had trapped it in the brooch! That such a thing is even possible– could one make items of power without sacrificing a mortal soul to be trapped forever? The possibilities if such is the case!

And if I understand her correctly, Dynera will gradually fade away and be no more. I hope Vecna makes peace with his sister before that. I did not tell him, did not presume to tell him, my real thoughts on such a thing, only commented that immortality seems lonely. I wanted to say, rather, that there is nothing lonelier than losing a sibling. I do not think Vecna understands… it might not be her who “dies” before him. Does he really think all of her anger is at what he did, and not at his abandonment of her, those many centuries ago?

Lady Fenton– or more likely Will Fenton– sent along the Erathin’s bow. No real note with it– just the bow. I will need to practice with it somewhat, but the pull is like… like the first time I tasted chocolate. It’s unfamiliar at first, but the moment it breaches the fulcrum of the pulley, it is as smooth as butter. I mentioned this to Emilien, and he made a lewd remark. I will never understand that man.

—-

Another letter to Marco Venadi of Sava….

Marco,

Everything in Masir was exactly as we hoped it would be. Truth is, it’s a lovely older town with so many historical sights to behold! Very few travelers from as far away as we’ve come, however. Evan and I saw some old friends and became acquainted with a couple of new ones, whom I hope some day you will meet.

Conversation with my old friend was interrupted somewhat by these new ones, of course. Nonetheless, we all managed to get along passably well, and even discussed that incident we’ve been so keen to learn about. All things being considered, there are some very intriguing developments within the world, and we have some kind of luck to be a part of them.

Nonetheless, we continue our meanderings around Kollund. Our journey might take us south again someday, but probably not soon. We’re constantly seeking knowledge, after all, and it seems that the knowledge we seek may be much further north at this time. On the other hand, we’re finding an excellent courier service is being established in the southern peninsula, which may help communication. No doubt, one of its agents has delivered this very letter to you. Too much trade and communication was disrupted by the bridge problems earlier this summer. Or were you unburdened by such trivial problems as crossing a chasm in the road?

Finding time to write is thankfully never a problem. Evan and I both have friends we care to address sometimes, so you can be assured that more letters will be forthcoming. Letters, that is, unless you simply can’t stand the sight of my penstrokes and ask me to cease. Should that happen, you need only say the word, and I’ll obey.

Many times in my journeys I’ve thought about Sava and hoped you and your lady mother are doing well. I enjoyed meeting both of you, and found our visit very instructive, and far too brief. Lady Venadi was a gracious hostess and lovely, as always. Do send our regards to her, if you find it politic to do so.

Don’t hesitate to write back, either, should you feel the wish to do so. All of us are a bit lonely in our travels. No doubt my friends all appreciated my improved mood when you and met before. Gods know they certainly tease me enough over it! Evan isn’t even the worst of the bunch, though you’d think so, being my cousin, and all.

Regards to you and yours, as always.

–G

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