I won’t record the details, suffice to say that when we got there, there were a lot of people. A lot of time passed. In truth I lost track of how long we were there. In hindsight I reckon it must’ve been hours, but like everything here, hours, days, or probably years all feel like a single instant that lasts eternity. A very odd feeling that I can’t explain beyond what I’ve just written.
Having lost track of time, we’re not sure where the others are, or what they’re doing. They’ve not turned up so they’re probably either in the meadow, or on their way to Calderra. We decide to swing by the meadow, as it’s more or less on our way. We take the requisite time to wash the blood off, which is just as well because Naraya is there, sullen and angry. I don’t blame her, I’m angry too; not at Jaros or her, but at this place, and myself for not having the power to change things.
Naraya tells us the others left for Calderra not long after I flew off. Thanks to the truly wonderous item I recently picked up: The Survival Pouch, we have mounts to get us there in reasonable time. It’s hard to tell how long it takes, but I think less than a day. Honestly I wish I’d had it when I set out on my journey, almost 2 years ago now.
On arriving at Calderra we ask around to find out about the others. The description of an Aasimar, a girl, and a giant hulking super rat points us towards the prominent temple of Wee-Jas, perhaps the biggest building in the city town.
Calderra is an interesting place. The road to it winds and twists up the side of the volcano, and in it surrounds its namesake lake in the crown. The city itself is in three concentric rings around the lake, almost like ripples of civilisation out from the centre.
On arrival at the temple we find significant signs of disruption. The central room matches what we saw in the scrying bowl, a giant ornate symbol of Wee-Jas, though new to it are large pieces of stone torn apart, and lots of plant growth, signs of battle.
I reach out to Sevastian with my mind, an ability recently granted to me by the Dweller on the Horizon, and he responds, thankfully. He’s upstairs and we’ve arrived just in time to assist. We hurry up and encounter Skit, Sevastian, and a half elf woman I don’t recognise, clad in Heironian armour, the three of them preparing to kick a door down.
On seeing us she remarked “Ah, Jaros Byrne, and Aarnel, today is full of friendly faces”. I’m taken aback, I don’t remember her at the temple before we left, and the only other Heironian I’m consciously aware of being on Carcerei is… Klarissa, the Bolt of Glory, Champion of Heironius herself.
Questions aside, she motions us forward. Apparently she has business with the man at the top of this temple. We break our way north to the top chamber of the temple and are met with a tableau: surrounding a small table in the centre are 5 undead creatures, floating above the table is a whispy shadowed/cloaked figure with blazing red eyes, and up high 4 identical armoured men are floating by the ceiling.
Combat is quick and dirty, Sevastian and Skit take on the flier from the ground, whilst Klarissa and Jaros tackle the zombies. The Wraith creature has a deadly touch that seems to suck the life out of those it touches, and shortly after being Fireballed by Sevastian, and having escaped a plethora of plants and black tentacles, our target drops from ceiling and smashes Sevastian with his sword.
There’s only room for one flying cleric in this room, and I shoot over to support Sevastian. Klarissa and Jaros finish the zombies and close on our descended necromancer, Jaros knocks him out, and I stabilize and revive Sevastian. Klarissa wants this guy dead, but Jaros refuses. Sevastian points out the apparent irony in this; that Jaros was prepared to kill hundreds
in cold blood who haven’t harmed him.
With the unconscious man in tow we make for the unused sewers of Calderra, to make shelter there. On the way Klarissa explains it all.
Lukan’s plot here is simple: he wishes to open up a permanent gate to the Material Plane, to unleash thousands of the vilest people on an unprepared population. To do this he needs one of the direct bloodline descendants of the Layer Lords themselves. There’s 4 left, counting our new captive, Klarissa is out to execute them and bind their souls, to prevent Lukan getting them. On the Layer Lad’s person was an unsigned letter that reads:
The cages alone will not suffice, what more is needed I cannot say. I will continue to investigate the mysteries of the soul, while the insanity continues to stir.
Needless to say, continue guarding the cages. Expect further contribution to the church.
My price has doubled."
A most puzzling note. Anyway, Klarissa sets us down and explains that tomorrow she’s like to show us around Calderra and introduce us to some allies: A dwarven Cleric of Moradin (who is not from our world), Azphelkia high priest of Kord, and most exciting of all, the Striders of Fharlanghn, a small group of my faith.
Before turning in I take the time to ask her about how she knows me, apparently some length of time ago I was in Deepmere’s Capital, causing a fuss about there not being a strong representation of the church? I have no recollection of this event, it doesn’t fit properly. It’s not the first time either that something has failed to fit properly; Mine and Auriel’s connection to each other, the journals don’t fit either, though with one thing and another I’ve not had the time to properly puzzle over that.
It doesn’t look like I’ll get the time either. Tomorrow we are questioning the cleric of Wee-Jas, and being introduced to new allies.