Siliceous

Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

The White Wizard was interested in Scathe’s offering and he skeletal hand.

The internal struggle to fight the White Wizard or to parlay and offer him information he sought was coming to a boil.

Xabier wanted to reconcile with the spirit of his brother.

Kal Kathier wanted to return to Athas to help his world.

Scathe wanted a return to her former party.

Shivon sought a way out of the Shadowfell and back to the Feywild.

Kissandi servant of the Raven Queen sought an end to undeath, including the White Wizard.

For a time, the White Wizard vanished and was gone.

Shivon’s POV of the White Wizard Encounter:

“A few weeks ago, I met an odd confluence of characters who had all recently found themselves in the Shadowfell. Having suffered this place for over a year myself, I knew that they were in for the worst experience of their lives.

One of these characters stood out among the others — an elf named Kissandi, a fanatic of the Raven Queen. She promised a way out of the Shadowfell, and although I was skeptical, my desperation led me to follow this woman. That was a bad decision.

Kissandi has led us on a straight path to the most desolate, forsaken place in this desolate, forsaken plane. Through sheer force of will she was able to bully us into believing in her quest, but now we see that she had only her own goals in mind, never those of the rest of us.
Confronting the lich known as the White Wizard is an experience I hope never to repeat — at least not without a squad of Eladrin soldiers behind me. Our group quickly realized that combat with the Wizard was futile, with the only possible outcome being our deaths. When offered the option of a parlay, we acquiesced. Kissandi, however, blind to any common sense by her mad faith in the Raven Queen, would not be stopped. The lich had the power to give each of us what we sought, yet would not consider discussion until the frantic elf was quelled. It was clear that if left to her own devices, Kissandi would kill herself by tossing herself heedlessly over and over against the impenetrable wall of this lich’s defenses. Out of a combination of our own self-preservation and care for Kissandi, our group wrestled her into submission.

The lich was amused by my apparent zest in performing this action and proposed a deal. If I would fight Kissandi in his area, he would tell me how to leave the Shadowfell. As Kissandi had proven that she had no desire to help the rest of us, I felt no compunction against this agreement. The lich transported us to his arena where the battle was to take place. I was at peace with what was to happen — I would either earn my way out of the Shadowfell or die in my efforts. Kissandi, however, once again showed little honor in her approach to the fight. She immediately fell to her knees, dropped her sword, and asked me to kill her. I am a soldier and not a murderer, so initially it did not even cross my mind to follow through with her request. But Kissandi’s pleas became more urgent, and I thought of myself. Kissandi’s unwavering faith in the Raven Queen is unquestionable; if she was ready to put her life in the hands of her god, who was I to deny her this? I did not understand completely, but who would understand if we were in the Feywild and I asked another to throw my body over a mountain cliff, trusting completely in Melora’s plan for me? So I drove my sword through Kissandi’s throat.

My companions, not understanding that this is what Kissandi wanted, charged in to heal her thinking I had just turned on them. Admittedly, I did not help this perception when, in order to stop the cleric, I had the slayer attack her. The cleric went down (a condition I planned to keep temporary, just until Kissandi finished bleeding out), but the slayer charged and attacked me. I was able to convince him that the lich, not I, was his enemy, and that Kissandi wished for death, but before he rampaged off toward the White Wizard, he stabilized the dying elf. I decided to leave her in this state; again, I am not a murderer.

The White Wizard, after revoking his promise to send me home, continued to treat us as his playthings, summoning two golems and a swarm of giant wasps. Seeing his power and endless resources, I realized that this was likely where I was going to die. And understanding this, I decided to go out fighting. Giving the cleric a psychic boost and rallying her spirits enough that she could rejoin the fray and decide her own fate, I charged the golems. The cleric must have further healed Kissandi; unfortunately, she was not able to give the capricious elf any common sense and her first action was to stab me in the back with her falchion while I was engaged with the golems. (This is how she repays me for granting her ultimate wish, yet the others still see me as the disloyal one.) Just before the battle turned completely against us, the lich again offered a parlay if we lay down our weapons. I decided to live another day and avoid dying so far from my god. Kissandi, however, would not.

To all of our surprise, as it seemed like we would never see the light of day again, we were pulled through dimensions and returned to the lich’s library, now restored to its former state. The group was shaken and willing to discuss options. But Kissandi stormed out of the library like a stubborn child. Upon reaching the top of the tower, and without hesitation, she leaped into the air. Another act of blind faith I assume. After scaling down the tower in a more conventional way, our group decided to part ways, agreeing that each of us would be better alone.

The Eladrin from the land he calls Athas, offered to remain in my company if I would return to his land with him. At first, this offer held no interest to me; however, he explained that he wished to restore his land to its former fecund beauty. I recognized this as a calling from Melora, goddess of Nature, to bring her glory back to a land that has lost touch with her. I vowed to return to Athas with Kal Kathier to do the work of my goddess."

Xabier’s account: “Lies! Everyone in this place tells me lies! That vile dead creature tells me that I should not believe what I’ve heard in the library, that I should listen to him. He will not tell me anything of my brother unless I help him destroy the winged one I travel with. No matter, I will destroy her so that I may learn about my brother and the dealings he had, and why he haunts me now. Still I don’t trust him, I will stop Kissandi and the wench Shivon, when the wizard tells me what I will want to hear, I will destroy him as well. I will stand by his side as a trusted ally until such time that my ax will want to taste whatever flesh and blood may still be contained by him. When I am through I will escape this terrible place and go back to find Tyzzer. Regardless of how many of my companions fall I will have the answers that I seek.”

Once returned to the top of the tower, Kissandi saw two sorrowsworn reapers and followed them out the window. Not able to fly like them, she let her wings bring her safely to the base of the tower. The other four heroes saw a glimpse of the backs of the sorrowsworn, unsure of what it was Kissandi was following.

Kissandi’s account: "It is finally confirmed. The Raven Queen WANTS me to continue on. I should not have tested her as I did. But it is done. She has sent certain allies to assist me. These are Tyzzer, Bui and Xabier. I must take him and leave this land to return to the other two asap. Unless the Raven Queen sends me a sign. "

At the bottom of the tower, the group parted ways – Kal Kathier convincing Shivon to the help in Athas to revitalize Feywild there and Scathe and Xabier following Kissandi at least for now. To leave, they still had the tall task of saving Sunderheart first…

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