With one and a half days travel to the small settlement of Ramaran ahead of us, we all decided that we needed to be on our way. The first day of our travel and our night watches were both quiet for a change. The morning of the 30th day of our journey found a single rider charging towards us. Though we could tell it was not the Dark Rider, we readied ourselves for action. It turned out to be Shara, who advised us to be careful, but implored us to push on as quickly as possible. Yerold convinced the group to have Caster’s new hired hand “escort” her back to the city. I wrote back to the council and they agreed with Shara, also indicating that she was actually a spy in the employ of Sorcerer Therin.
A half day of travel revealed a cloud of smoke ahead of us. As we got to the burned rubble of what used to be Ramaran, we were greeted by a group of various sized Fire Elementals, led by an elf woman Ilyiana Firestarter. Yerold charged ahead to battle immediately. Those foolhardy enough to follow him were met with a fireball, before melee ensued. Caster and I then joined the fray. The battle waged on, but eventually we were victorious without any hindrances that could not be fixed by copious amounts of healing potion.
As I approached Ilyiana, I noticed that, while shallow, her body was still breathing. I gave her some healing and she regained consciousness. My initial questioning yielded little more than false bravado from the woman. With a final plea for her to turn on her evil masters and abandon the darkness, she pronounced that we would be defeated. As Yerold approached to cast his judgement, I saved him the formalities and with one swing of my scimitar, lopped off her head. Her remains disappeared in a fine purple mist.
Without a guide from Ramaran, we were left little choice but to simply go forward into Duskwood. As the woods seemed to magically close the paths off behind us, we were quickly disoriented and lost. After an indeterminate amount of time, a drow appeared before us, telling us that we had been summoned. Though Caster required some convincing, we were escorted peacefully to their city.
We spoke to Phanur, King of the Drows. As I explained what we were doing in their lands and what we seeked to accomplish, the drow to his right Alton Zeztro, hurled besmirching comments toward my character and indicated that one who hid his heritage should not be listened to. The others continued to speak with the drow. It was determined that while the drow prefer to exclude themselves from the affairs of the other races, this threat was one they could not idly ignore. The rest of our group was sent off to their quarters, while Zeztro beckoned for me to stay behind and speak to him privately.
It was there that he revealed that he was my great grandfather, from my father’s side. He took offense to my practice of dying my hair from white to blond, as he felt it was an attempt to deny my heritage. I explained that I had never been told of this heritage from my mother, father or uncles. He said we would speak of this more tomorrow and directed me back to the rest of my group.
After pondering this new discovery, in the morning I decided to leave my hair dye and embrace whatever it is that makes me who I am. In the morning, the group spoke to Phanur and Zeztro. We were told that what we seeked was the Temple of the Nameless One. Contained there is the Book of Ahn Ainollan, a nexus of evil. The temple is protected by a maze and only the true of heart will be able to enter. Yerold asked about Goodwin, and was told that there was one behind Goodwin who turned him into Shadowheart. We would be given a guide to take us to Zarabadnur and continue our quest from there.
I then spoke privately to Zeztro and told him that I would no longer deny who I am and hoped that upon successful completion of our quest, I would be able to return here to learn of the drow part of my heritage. Pleased that I chosen that path, he additionally showed me our ancestral sword that I may one day wield, a scimitar.