On the 24th of Nymm we returned to Flamekeep to catch up on goings on. Arius was the first to speak, and he spoke at length about (female) Alacor, with whom he “shared everything” about the past, present, and the future. Jayden, as always, asked whether this was for the best, and I’m glad he asked (for once) because I wondered the same. Arius was able to answer very quickly, convincing me that Alacor (in this form) is very interested in the same goals as our group.
As for what he learned, there are several important points. 1) Arius believes he can save Sarrington between “now” and the collapse of the planes. His experience with the Plane of Dreams attempting to break through during the ritual to make Saber gave him some insight, and maybe some confidence. 2) He seems certain Xerxes was meant to give Arius his soul so that his memories would be restored, thereby preventing his “evil” nature from taking control as it did once. 3) The memory shards we once believed belonged to Alacor are actually mind shards of Arius. Gilroy asked immediately if there was a mind seed of Arius in his brain… and Arius could not answer in specific terms. 4) Arius’s soul, he thinks, was being shepherded by Vinder (Vindral’s father). 5) In Xendric, Arius believes there is a magical relic or place of importance, guarded by Umbergen (drow).
In addition to generating leads of what to do next, Arius also mentioned he tasked Alacor with purging the church of rotten eggs, as well as studying the Plane of Dreams to prevent the collapse in Sarrington.
Gilroy, over the past two months, had been working tirelessly with the Church of Golden Flame. A rather extensive library of the church’s teachings and history has been established, which I appreciate as a student of magic. He also spoke with the new Keeper about the fleshwarped creatures currently residing on (in?) Vindral, and Thokishsty believes they can be cleansed by the Golden Flame as was the breastplate. The church, he mentioned is working towards demilitarization, in hopes that paladins will remain a dedicated arm of the church meant to fight evil, not politics. Speaking of politics, Gilroy hopes that as we move from city to city (as will others), we can root out the corrupt members of the church, like the Hierophant of Sharn, who is currently on her way to Flamekeep to meet the new Keeper. At least, that’s what she believes. It’s actually a way to get her in the Chamber of Flame and confront her. I am greatly looking forward to that meeting, as are several others, especially Gilroy.
Gilroy then brought up a powerful vision he had a few weeks after the rest of us left Flamekeep. It sounds like the Flame is stronger now, able to reach out to more people directly, not just the Keeper. Saber confirmed this, echoing Thokishsty’s thoughts. The vision, likely given to him by the Flame, featured a lithe bipedal form surrounded by robed figures. Gilroy believes the lithe figure (possibly demonic of undead) was contesting for control of the skull. But, as Jayden said, we “beat it”, so I am sure we will never hear from that person/creature in the future (present future or future future)…
Lastly, I brought up my planned trip to Stormhome, to meet with Thordrin D’Lyrindar from the Twelve. As always, the others knew far more about the city than I, and so the group decided we would travel together. Braun was especially excited at the idea, for Stormhome is a resort island and a bustling city.
So that afternoon (the 24th), we left for Stormhome via Jayden’s plant travel. We split up almost immediately. Gilroy and Arius went to explore the city together, while Braun went to find us a place to stay and gather some information for me on the head of Gilroy’s “family”. Jayden transformed into a mouse and stayed in my pocket, so that I was not alone during my meeting with Thoradrin. Aurora left to buy some local clothing and learn more about the city and its inhabitants. Lukar stayed behind and did not join us for the trip.