29th of Fharl, 561 QC
Fully rested and healed, the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Finwick Shortwick, Maya Foxtail, and Grakar Foechuckle) decided to infiltrate the Temple of the Ebon Destroyers. They entered through a cave lip high up on a cliff face, sneaking in undetected. With Horros and Grakar in the vanguard, they managed to take out a number of the resident monks before any alarm was raised. However, when it finally was raised, the party found itself on the back foot. They were suddenly sandwiched between a six-armed avatar of Vecna and a flame-throwing assassin. A number of them nearly fell, but they regrouped, destroyed the avatar, and ran off the assassin.
After healing, they continued with their explorations of the temple. They searched through a collection of mostly empty rooms for a few minutes before finally stumbling upon an ornate set of double doors. Upon entering, they were greeted by a dark-eyed and sharp-tongued oracle. She and Horros bantered for a while in Vudrani… they clearly knew each other. Meanwhile, Adanna and Grakar tried their best to hold Borgakh back, and Ra Quel began to lose patience. Everything eventually came to a head. In the blink of an eye, Borgakh was encased in a cage of force, Horros was being assaulted by the oracle’s sword, and the flame-throwing assassin re-appeared, pelting the party with deadly chakrams. It was a long and arduous battle, in which Ra Quel was dropped multiple times and Horros was brought to within an inch of his life by the oracle’s desecrated hands. Eventually, though, the party prevailed.
And they stood victorious, the residents of the dreaded Temple of the Ebon Destroyers broken before them.
What makes us who we are?
Our names? Our faces?
Is it our deeds that define us?
A man named Chodak once lived in Radav Oldranon. He was a killer, an assassin, an Ebon Destroyer who carried out the will of a malicious order.
I do not know this man, yet I have inherited his sins. They call me by his name and hold me to his promises. Memories of his life linger in my consciousness to haunt me.
Are you the same person you were yesterday? What if you’ve changed your state of mind?
The man chose to leave the order. He chose to oppose them, stealing pages of the book they hold dearly. He chose to purge his memories. He chose to change his identity.
If you wake up with different memories, do you wake up a different person?
I do not know the whole of this man’s story, but it ended with me. He sought absolution through me. And I will help his spirit find peace, not because we share a face, but because I am a monk, and this is my purpose.
When will his spirit be at rest?
When the Ebon Destroyers are exterminated? When She of Nightmares has fallen? Or when Tondar’s Prophecy is fulfilled?
Perhaps when there’s no one left to remember him.
Pelor has shown her light down upon us as victors of the most death-defying battle. Grekar and Horros, truly masters of stealth, enabled us to assassinate quickly and undetected at first. But then the most horrifyingly evil creature of Veckna with unending limbs attacked, along with a talented spell caster and a mistress of the devil who nearly killed us with her flaming circles.
But the worst was Zafeara. She obviously knew Horros, calling him Chodek while speaking to him in Vudrani. In the most condescendingly familiar tone, she told him she knew he would return, bringing her the Dragon’s Eye and ready to do her bidding. She also mentioned Deveroe, stating he stole the real Magnificent Thought for himself, leaving her with a false copy. She repaid this treachery by killing who appears to have been Borgak’s surrogate mother.
Horros was quite at a loss of how to proceed. He kept repeating to me how formidable she was, hesitating to attack. But when Zafeara gave him the order to kill us, there was no further choice in the matter. He attacked Zafeara directly. They fought literally to the death, with Horros barely standing afterward. Ra Quel slayed the spell caster (with glee I’m sure considering her aversion to magic), and Poppy ended the flaming harlot.
Horros will surely need time to recover, physically and mentally. We will need to ask him more about what just happened, but now is not the time. Borgak will need spiritual tending to as well, when she learns of her mother’s fate and Deveroe’s alleged involvement. She is not an easy one to calm when she gets going.
What to think of Deveroe is the ultimate question. Really, it has been the question since we first met him. What are his true intentions? Why does he have Ril Rador’s Magnificent Thought, and why did he lie to us about it? Why did he send us to La-Kum-Gee in the first place? According to Zafeara, he sent us here sacrificially. Or at the very least under false pretenses. My intuition leads me to believe her. But not to forgive her – may the fires of The Hells be unmerciful.