Last Stand of the 5th Crusade

Riva: The Avalanche

6th of Neth, Drezen


The Avalanche is disaster. It is an unthinking, unreasoning thing that overruns all who get in its way. It can represent physical disaster or the disaster that comes from a panicked crowd or other unthinking group or entity. If the card is misaligned, the calamity is likely to be averted, though not without consequence.

The Heros of Kenabres departed today for the Ivory Sanctum. I warned Irabeth Tirabade that today’s omens were poor and advised that their expedition wait another day, but she foolishly disregarded the cards, curtly stating that she holds no believe in such things. Can these paladins ever see past their own self-righteousness?!

Stop. That is no way to think about this. Irabeth has vastly more experience in the Worldwound than I do, and who’s to say what will come tomorrow in this place? I can feel Livia coiling around my mind, poisoning my thoughts. I must stay on guard for this. I am stronger than she is, and I grow stronger still with every day. Livia, poor Livia, I don’t know how you managed to get yourself killed or how your ghost wound up being just one of many spirits in my mind, but I will not let you have such power over me! And when midnight comes again in a few hours, even your small measure of influence will vanish.

I am so tired. Between the visions from Arueshalae and the symbol dreams, my sleep has been even more broken than usual. I’m physically tired too. We fought a chimera today, an ancient and mythic one I’m told, plus some brimoraks and a demonic shade of some sort. I fell again, hit by a fireball this time. I must be more careful. This was only a test; the real onslaught is yet to come.

To protect Drezen against that threat, Irabeth has ordered us to retrieve the Bell of Mercy, a powerful artifact sanctified by Desna. I am excited about this mission, but I’d be a fool not to be worried about our deepest foray yet into the Worldwound.

I’m even more excited by the prospect of meeting Arueshalae tomorrow. Irabeth finally conceded to pass along my letter to her. The messages she has sent have already been such a help in my understanding of the symbol dreams. Can it be true that they are from this Black Butterfly? Fates, I hope that is true. Maybe it is silly, but I feel a kinship with her. She too is undergoing a transformation — in truth far more profound than mine — and struggling with her new faith. Her life as well has been touched by Desna. In that we are sisters.

Ivan and my friends have been so kind to me, but the few times that I’ve mentioned Desna to him and Keeya, I felt a distance. It would strike me as comic — if it didn’t make me feel all the more alone. I can sleepwalk all night long, writing ancient glyphs on the walls and speaking in tongues, but it is a mention of a goddess that gets me the oddest looks from them! We have all been so sheltered in our own ways! But enough of that. I can barely hold the pen anymore. Dreams or no, I must sleep.



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