Time seemed to slow down to a snail’s pace waiting for a visit from Princess Anneka while she is busy attending to city politics. We are honored guests in the palace wanting for nothing. General Joshua paid us a visit thanking the five of us for putting an end to Draco and invites us to attend the Unity Celebration in five days’ time. He asks for Draco’s sword, as it was a gift from the last king. I explain that a magical item has been placed upon it and the sword will be returned once the item has been removed. I also ask for the city guards to send a guest I am awaiting for named Leyorin to us immediately upon arrival.
We explain the events that occurred in lowly mist mountain and the portal that allowed us to enter Merikesh, also of Aden Kell’s heroic demise. The general asks to speak to me in private. He asks if my feelings for the princess will keep me in the midlands. I am a bit set back by the inquiry. The question itself is no surprise I just hadn’t expected it from Joshua. I explain to him that home has several meanings. I’ll for ever have a love of the Jeh’an people, but I had sworn an oath as a Dragon Knight and I cannot forsake that oath to remain in one place, no matter my personal desire. The general nods in understanding and says he expected as much. Furthermore he explains the princess’s battles have just begun. The shift in power has left many nobles concerned if a woman ruler is strong enough to lead their people. Anyone who doubts the Princess certainly wasn’t there at the execution to witness her bravery in the face of death.
We part ways and a young page hands me a plate of correspondences along with a parcel. Each one addressed to a separate member of our party. As it turns out they are all from Phoulkanis. My letter informs that he did not want to face justice at the hands of the Jeh’an, but perhaps will see me again in Kaer Maga, in the meanwhile he has left me with Draco’s diary and a warning of a white haired assassin. The dairy reveals that Draco finding the dragon’s eye was pure luck, but that his advance arcane knowledge came from Lady Crimson and aide from a changeling named Snowlocke. Faelwyn edits the diary to remove anydescribtion of the Dragon’s Eye before we hand it over to the princess or Joshua. I spent the rest of day recuperating.
The next day I am invited to dinner with Princess Anneka. As the time nears I am escorted to the upper parts of the palace by a young page and ushered into an old storage room set up for an intimate dinner for two. My heart skips a beat with Anneka enters in a form fitting white gown. Over wine she asks me about other dragon knights and I tell her I am the only one. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end as I notice a series of mannerisms different about Anneka. Most evident is a strand of stark white hair brushed back behind her ear. Recalling the warning from the letter I test Anneka about a false event. She agrees to the fictions events and I know without a doubt this is not Princess Anneka. Capturing the element of surprise I grab a hold of the doppelganger and smash it’s head into the table. With a sinister laugh it breaks free of my grip and stands thanking me for telling her that no other Dragon Knights exist. Her mistress Lady Crimson will be pleased. The false visage of Anneka fades away into a ten-foot tall black skinned demon with snow white hair and massive claws. Furious at its deception and guile I draw Dragon Bane and attack.
Without my platemail and shield the demon underestimates me greatly and attempts to toy with me. The fear of what this creature may have done to the real Anneka turns into rage and I slash and thrust repeatedly into the demon’s torso, it shrieks as my sword becomes coated in his purple blood. At its first chance it flees to the balcony and leaps off into the sky transforming into a white crested black bird. The door to the room is soon busted open as Andrew, Aranwe, Faelwyn, Kara and Princess Anneka rush in. So relieved am I to see Anneka that all thoughts of pursuit evaporate. A re-tale the events and how Phoulkanis’ warning served me well. Andrew volunteers to search the palace for more shape shifters. I share Draco’s diary with Anneka and how it ties in with the name Lady Crimson. It appears Draco was a pawn to this demon queen who wishes to use the Jeh’an to attack Aragonite. Faelwyn offers to start warding the palace from demons and declares the portal must be destroyed.
The princess and I find the time to take a walk together. She shares the difficulties of uniting her people and restoring power to the palace. It appears she already misses the days of guerilla warfare over seating charts and endlessly signing of scrolls. We briefly spot Andrew Rowe down the hall from Anneka’s most favored part of the palace, a magnificent room with glass skylights and shelves full of unique trinkets. She notices a set of unicorn book ends missing; just another reminder of how much has changed since her father’s death. Concerned for her people I promise to stay until this new threat is abated. Our tour abruptly ends when the duties of a new ruler finally catch up with her. I return to our suite and Andrew asks when will we leave as he is in a hurry.
After some prompting he explains that he is more than just a merchant he is also a treasure hunter and on the trail of The Heaven’s Vault. He has a very dangerous partner who if he does not meet on time in Kear Maga then he’ll have Andrew killed. All of us expect Aranwe assure Andrew as his friends we’ll protect him and he should have told us sooner. Andrew being brave did not want to drag us into his mess.
The next day we all are summoned by General Joshua and escorted to a tavern called the Strangled Goose. Inside is a corpse of a gaunt faced man missing his right eye and with the name Rowe carved into his chest. In the dead man’s grasp is a unicorn bookend. After examination Faelwyn concludes the death was performed by a Revenant. Andrew questioned by the General admits he came to this tavern yesterday with Aranwe and was threatened by this man to steal the bookends from the palace or he’d kill Aranwe. The bruises on Andrew’s face is proof enough of the dead man’s violence. Andrew did what he thought would protect his friends best and stole the item. We asked Andrew to think of anyone who he could have wronged in the past to have become or sent a Revenant after him, but he could not think of anyone. It was mentioned that Niles Tenderfoot spoke to Aranwe in this very tavern yesterday and we ask the city guards to find him so he may rejoin us and discover if he witnessed anything strange here yesterday. We all return to Palace
Back at the palace we are visited by Leyorin who is both alive and well after saving the Wayward Inn. He begins the process of separating the Dragon’s Eye from the sword. At the moment it is separated a wave of magic passes through us all, but only Kara and I seem to be affected. I suddenly know the location of all dragons on this cotenant, including three, which I did not believe to be in existence any more. Shadow Fang, Blood Fang and most surprising of all, Bahmet the god of all dragons. In private I ask Kara if she has any guess why she would share that vision with me while the others didn’t. She explained that the Lady of the Woods whom she had gone to for help after being freed from Antraste is in fact Bahmet. Kara continued to explain that she lived the future and saw a path of peace where the dark lord falls, but that was only a lie and the true path she walked was the destruction of the world. I asked her to explore the possibility that what she experienced was form of a vision of the possible future. She thought not, but hasn’t had the chance to ask the Lady of the Woods. I suggested she ask her and asked if I could come as well. I don’t think I took a breath until she agreed. A Dragon Knight has never before met the great Bahmet, oh the things I could learn. It would be the honor of a lifetime. Nearly gitty from the prospect I commented on Kara’s vast beauty, but I believe I had made her feel uncomfortable, I must behave more considerately of her feelings in the future, she just comes across as hard as steel that I forget myself at times.
Late that night I awake to my door opening and a small dog like creature entering. At first I think it’s that abomination Andrew insists on feeding, but the sounds of combat from another room quickly dashes that thought. Then lumbering in from the balcony is Snowlockes in her true demon form. Her claws casting massive shadows across my bed. I manage to get up in time to avoid her first swipe tearing through the sheets and sending feathers exploding into the air. A bob and weave later and I have my shield and sword in hand. This time Snowlockes is taking no chances and attacks in a fury. I block as many blows as I can, but time and time again her claws find my flesh. I manage to wet my blade more than once, but as I continue to bleed uncontrollably it looks like this battle will go to the demon. With great relief Aranwe and Kara enter my room and attack the large demon. Their apperance grants me a second wind and I give a mighty strike to Snowlockes sending her to the ground where Kara runs her sword through its chest and into the marble floor. Snowlockes stirs no more. Kara stops the bleeding from my leg and I rush out to help with the last few skulkers. With the last one dead Faelwyn using the Maker’s light heals both Andrew and I alone as Aranwe and Kara escaped the midnight assault unscathed.
Thanks be to the maker and to my friends, for without both I would not be entering these events into a journal.