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Welcome to the Northern Reach! Join us in following an adventuring party through the eyes of their Wizard, Trilith, as they investigate strange lights on a nearby island. Click here to read the backstories of the party!

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Moonday, 9th of Rainmoot, 1267


Dear Dad,


Well, we have a new assignment, but I have to say, this one has me scared.


After we returned from Relgard we finally had some time to relax. My friends trained, and I spent my time researching in the library to learn more about these planar creatures and the undead. It’s a fascinating study, but since I’ve started my research, it seems like all my dreams are nightmares. So, I stay up researching more, rather than risk going to bed. So I’m tired Dad, really tired, and the more I learn the more depressed I become. There is so much powerful evil out there. But I guess in the end I’d rather face it than spend my life locked in the tower.


I took a few breaks to check in with my companions and found them helping to train the city guard and indoctrinate the awestruck town children. It’s amazing how our youth are mesmerized by some shiny armor. I just hope that shiny armor is of some use against what we are about to face.


After a few days the higher-ups called us in to discuss what to do about Xexorel the shadow demon. And would you believe it, they want us to go deal with the thing. I can’t imagine what gave them the idea that we are even remotely up to the task, but there you go. Maybe there was no one else to send, or, more likely, they just figure we are expendable. I suppose they would not be wrong in the greater scheme of things.


At least they gave us some new toys to fight with. Robi got banded mail and a fancy new lance. (On loan from the temple.) Geldion got a scroll of dismissal so hopefully he can send the thing back where it came from. (Though they tell us we need to injure the thing badly for Geldion to be able to dismiss it.)


Cold steel is what we need to damage it, so we loaded up. I have cold steel crossbow bolts and my new Launch Bolt spell. I also picked up some cold steel bullets for my sling. Antinua got twelve cold steel arrows as well as four magical arrows.


Besides killing the shadow demon, the Council of Fortitude has another mission for us, and this one is intriguing. Have you ever heard of a magical bow called Anlahrel’s Light? They tell us it is an Elven composite longbow made of wood from a heavenly plane. It was held by Quennis Whitestar who stopped by the Council 20 years ago. The Magus believes the bow’s magical properties will make it especially deadly against the undead. 


Well, it seems that Quennis and his crew were fighting some group called the Obsidian Scythe and were never heard from again. The bow went missing and the council wants us to find it! Now there is a project that excites me! And hopefully the bow will help us against the shadow demon as well. Antinua is chomping at the bit to get her hands on that bow, I can tell you!


Quennis and his pals were searching for another weapon called Valor’s Might. This one supposedly represents one of the gods and also has some awesome magical powers. They think perhaps it is a mace of Pelor, which has, of course, piqued Geldion’s interest. The Magus believes that the mace and the bow may well be in the same place. Which makes sense if Quennis died trying to find one of them. It doesn’t inspire confidence, however, if Quennis couldn’t survive the ordeal even with his fancy magical bow! Again, we’re expendable. If I were Magus, I’d send us as well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


They tell us that the most likely place to find both the bow and the mace is an old catacomb behind a four-story waterfall. If we head north from Relgard about 18 leagues, we’ll find a river. We can follow the river inland to the falls. It’s all wilderness up there so we can’t expect any help, and there are plenty of humanoids in the hills that would probably think we’re delicious. Not to mention that the shadow demon could have possessed something very big and nasty.


Oh, and just as a kicker, I asked about the vulture demon that Xexorel was trying to summon. The Magus actually shivered and shook his head. He said, “If you see it, run like all the hells are after you.” I did a little research. The damned thing is resistant to pretty much everything. Only Good weapons can harm it. At our best, all we could do is annoy it. Let’s hope to all the gods that the shadow demon hasn’t been able to find any “pure hearts” up north to use to summon it.


Geir arrived and they held the funeral for the acolytes. It was a lovely ceremony, and it cemented our resolve to find this shadow demon and destroy it. Though, to be honest, Dad, I haven’t told my companions all I’ve learned in my books. Best not to dishearten them before our mission begins, but I have my doubts we’ll make it home alive.


At least we won’t be walking to our doom. We picked out some horses for the journey. I choose a sprightly little girl named Nix. She’s raven black like Quenya. They seem to be getting along well.


As we left in the morning there was talk that a few hundred men were arriving from Avenshore to beef up the guard. That’s good news, at least.


We headed north in sleety weather. Antinua told us not to expect any better weather for the next few days. We made a quick trip of it, riding straight through to Relgard. We arrive just in time for some delicious dinner from Delling. It had been 5 days since we were last there and it was good to see they still had a patrol set. I asked one of the guards if there had been any excitement. He said it had been quiet.


We handed off the horses to the stable hand and got some whiskey and warm food. Robi and Geldion made friends and blessed people (whether they wanted it or not) while we ate. I think Robi and Geldion have a conversion competition going. We’ll see who wins. I blessed my bowl of fish stew with my full attention. While the boys were trying to make converts, I got Delling to fill my new flask with the good stuff. 


We headed out about an hour after sunrise. I have to admit, Dad, I got a little choked up as we passed aunt Iduna’s place. We paralleled the coast heading north. I sent Quenya up to check the path ahead as Geldion bragged to Robi about his converts. You know, at one point, I almost think I saw Quenya roll his eyes at them. He’s such a good boy.


As a very cold, snowy night closed in, Antinua spotted a two-story barn. I think we were all cheered at the prospect of not having to spend the night outdoors. Quenya checked the inside and reported with excitement that it was infested with mice. Great. 


Antinua checked it out. She didn’t see anyone inside, but the place had been used by bugbears a few days ago. It was overgrown and crumbling, but it would at least stop the wind.


I enticed some mice for Quenya to catch with food scraps and he caught one. It was a fun game.


While Geldion was on watch when he spotted three bugbears approaching. Geldion cast Bull Strength on Robi, and I cast Mage Armor. Then I cast True Strike on my Launch Bolt. I can’t wait to try this!


More once we finish these guys off,

Love, Trilith


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