Zara Entry 5

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Mother,
We took some sorely-needed rest after I sent my last letter your way. In the morning, we took breakfast with Obanar at the Watcher’s Tower, to plan our next move. The torrians have started repairing the old city; I forgot to ask earlier, but the traitor Thror is no longer among them, having died many years ago. Good riddance, I say. Whether he was a willing accomplice of the demon Physandos or not, we have more important things to do than to keep eyes on those who turn stag. (Do you know where that expression comes from? I heard Logan say that about someone who’d betrayed him…)

We decided that our next course of action should be to secure some star metal, which the old Champions of the Silver Cloaks used to make items of great magical power, made all the more powerful when used as a group. Obanar said he could make similar items for us, if we could bring him some of this wondrous substance. A long-dead hero, Qwor, once knew where to find star metal, so we traveled to Argent’s Necropolis, hoping to find answer in his mausoleum.

But Sir Forbain (of the Emerald Watchtower of the Bael Turath Empire), the spirit guarding the entrance to the Necropolis, took umbrage with our plans. He demanded that we prove ourselves worth to be Silver Cloaks, which seemed to involve a great deal of shouting, boasting, and sneaking up behind him (on Rowan’s part). What manner of heroes were these Silver Cloaks, anyway? I haven’t exactly been invited to join them; after this, I’m not sure I care to. As before, Valiketh did most of the talking. He’s very good at it, Mother. I’m afraid I don’t know much about him, but I’d like to.

We assured Sir Forbain that we had not come to plunder Qwor’s tomb. I would never rob properly hallowed ground, but I know that places me in a minority among adventurers. Part of me wanted to keep an eye on Cirrig, but I still believe that stories of dwarven avarice are greatly exaggerated.

Rowan unlocked the mausoleum door while I checked it for traps. Neither of us have a rogue’s eye or hand for these things, but we’re as close as this group has. We seem to have a great deal in common – so much so that I worry about threatening her role in the group. There’’s probably nothing to worry about – she hasn’t said a word about it, so far – but it’s in my nature to worry, I guess. I seem to be getting along with her, and the others, well enough.

The mausoleum was vast on the inside. I suggested starting toward the back and working our way back toward the entrance. The others agreed, only to find that the long hallway appeared to be endless. Fortunately, Archer sensed a flow of magical energy that led us in the right direction.

I have never known a wizard before Archer, Mother. He’s quiet and shy, but when he does speak, he’s honest and respectful. Was Father like him? I know you have your reasons for never speaking of him, but the more I see of arcane magic in the world, the more I wonder about him.

Archer led us to a door, which opened into the grand burial chamber. Something about the room’s layout told me that the floor tiles might be trapped, so I hissed out a warning at once. Rowan and I attempted to disarm the traps, while Archer’s magic illuminated a safe path out of the room, to Qwor’s inner sanctum.

The chamber was filled with ancient artifacts and statues. Qwor’s spirit stood beside his golden tomb… We convinced him that we needed the star metal, and that no one else could, or would, stop the giants from freeing Piranoth. Qwor said that the last set of implements vanished with their wielders in the Abyss, which made me think of you and Father… and that our best hope to find star metal was to travel into the past, to the height of Bael Turath!

To do this, he bade me to remove a gem from his tomb, after I disabled its trap. The gem was blue, and large, Mother… warm to the touch, and alive with thousands of whispering voices… I hated to part with such a gift, but the gem contained the memories of Bael Turath, which Obanar could use to send us back in time. We took it to him at once.

Obanar explained the gravity of our situation: causing changes in history could cause the present to unravel. Archer, Rowan, and I went to Argent’s library while the others went to talk to Urthix. There, we read about a meteor that fell into Diamond Lake, and the nearby workshop of a golemsmith and inventor named Acererak. We decided to travel back in time to his workshop to secure the star metal we need.

Valiketh seems satisfied that this plan has little danger of destroying the present. When he asked if the star metal we steal, or stole, would have been used by other heroes to save other cites, I explained that the world would then have ended before we could have the chance to go back. I wish I could explain the look that Archer gave me in words, Mother. It was… well, I’m going back in time now. Maybe I’ll explain when we get back.

Yours,
Zarari


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Zara Entry 5

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