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Faerin's Twenty seventh letter

Dearest Father,

Hope you are well.

We are done at the moment with our business in Raven and plan to move on again. As you know, we had decided to go to Raven at the request of our trusted companion Cedric. Furthermore we wished to put as much distance between us and the Arcarost valley if Allidra should return. Finally, we had a final request from Ferris to complete in Raven.

So we used Fierna’s teleportation magic to travel to Raven. However a protective ward repelled us from the city itself and we were placed in the woods outside. We donned our disguises as the ‘Brotherhood of the Shield’ and attempted to enter the city. But we were confronted by a long queue near the gates. The guards were checking each person attempting to enter the city. When it was our turn, they relieved us of all of our iron tools and weapons. A little bit of magic revealed that despite their human appearance, they were in fact fey creatures called lionarchs. Despite the search, we were allowed entry into the city where we were confronted with massive construction works.

As you are aware Raven had long ago fallen to the followers of Dullahan, an Elder fey. After Dullahan was destroyed, his forces were scattered. In Raven, we learned that the city had now been taken over by a different Elder Fey called Meraedo. He was one of the leaders of the aquatic fey faction, who had a known strong vulnerability to iron. To make Raven more suitable to his followers, Meraedo was now rebuilding Raven with many canals and fountains.

As we travelled through the city, we noticed that humans had become a rare sight and that fey, such as elves, gnomes and lionarchs, made up the bulk of the population now. The new overlord of the city was pressing his mark as statues to Matt Mattonwy were being removed everywhere they could be seen. We found our way to The Donkey’s Burden inn to arrange our stay. The inn was filled with many half-elves of all types, and it became clear that fey in Raven were the privileged class. Speaking to the patron of the inn, we learned that the city had known many revolts in recent times. First the uprising of House Inaste to oust to Magelord with the help of mercenaries and fey creatures. Then one month ago, there was another rebellion, this time against House Inaste by the forces of Meraedo. Now the city was indeed under the control of Meraedo, who had declared himself the new Elder Fey of Summer. The Inaste family had in the meantime gone into hiding. Meraedo was now consolidating his power. There was now a curfew for all non-fey creatures. Non-fey were not allowed in magic shops and were strongly urged to leave the city.

We left the city to complete our first task, a delivery to the final resting place of Mirna Vestori. We found the graveyard a bit outside of the city walls. We were sworn to Ferris to deliver his violin to the grave of his beloved. It was a solemn affair. We said a prayer and played the music from the magical inn that we had acquired from Matt Sadom. Without any sound, Cedric vanished. It almost seemed as if Cedric was a divine being sent to guide us to this place and time, and now that his mission was complete, he left us once more.

However we were being watched by a human with a crossbow. We confronted him and discovered that his name was Alec and that he worked for Lady Inaste, the former ruler of the city and leader of the thieves guild. Alec took us to a nearby safe house of the Inaste family through an ancient crypt and a hidden basement. We were told to wait in a room while Alex informed Lady Inaste of our arrival. It was then that Cedric reappeared, with a new divine mission for us. He commanded the liberation of Raven from oppression and for the city to be a beacon of freedom for all races.

We were then brought before Lady Inaste. Despite having never met, we had a complicated history. We travelled with her wayward son, Ferris, for a long time. We were responsible for the death of her other son by the dragon Feyras. Despite all this, she asked for our help against the tyrant Meraedo. Since taking over the city, Meraedo plans to make it into a foothold for fey creatures on Ourborros. His priest had placed the city into a state where the material plane and the Fey Realm overlapped, allowing for free movement between the planes. Though we did not trust Lady Inaste, our goals were aligned, sow e agreed to see what we could do. We arranged that we could leave messages for her on the grave of Mirna Vestori.

With this new information, we contacted the warden of the pact, our former travel companion Miri. She told us that the pact was still intact and that no rules had been broken as Raven now counted as part of the Feywild. Sevento also used his magic to check up on Allidra. We learned that the ancient red dragon was in the palace of Queen Iceni in the Astral Plane. Queen Iceni is the ruler of the Silver Rock and leader of the Lamarites, staunch allies of red dragons. We also contacted the soul of Ferris, who warned us not to trust Lady Inaste but to place our faith in Fierna.

Fierna meanwhile had hatched a plan to liberate the city. We had defeated Dullahan with an ancient arrow, that Dullahan himself had once forged. While we did not have another one, we did know it was possible in theory to create more. However Meraedo did not know that we only had one. So Fierna convinced Sevento to enchant an arrow to make it seem like we had a second one. We then asked for an audience with Meraedo. The guards recognized us as the group that brought down Dullahan, so they did not make any trouble about letting us in.

Face-to-face with Meraedo, we gave him an ultimatum. Leave the city now, or find himself in a confrontation with us. We showed our new magical arrow, and though he seemed hesitant to actually believe us, Meraedo did not want to take the chance. So he offered a counter proposal. Meraedo would leave Raven in the hands of a governor. We would be allowed to propose three candidates in the next 48 hours, from which he would choose one. Meraedo would return to the Fey Realm proper and never return. The only requirement he gave us was that any candidate must have a fey origin. We agreed to these terms.

So then we set out to find three suitable candidates. We sent out three sending to some of our contacts who met the criteria that we were looking for. We contacted Elanna from Welby’s band, who was open to the idea, Guildmaster Selkar, who had no time, and the dragon Feyraz, who told us to come to explain.

We first travelled to Welby’s band to meet up with Elanna in the Arcarost valley. We told them of what had happened in Raven and how we though that Elanna, as someone from the Feywild originally, would be a perfect candidate. We also hoped that the rest of the band would be able to back her up. Elanna hesitated as she was unsure of her capabilities, but eventually agreed.

Then we journeyed to Solvelis through the gate near Aurion. On the Aurion side, we were stopped by guards until they recognized Fierna and let us through. On the Sovelis side, we met up with Letia, the guard captain who helped us liberate Solvelis. She escorted us to the city and we headed straight to Feyraz. We explained the situation to the elder dragon and he advices us to talk to the King Ridario, the ruler of Solvelis. Feyraz was not inclined to take up command of a city himself as he was quite comfortable where he was. We also told Feyraz of Varris’ passing and eh was saddened by the news. We also introduced our new companions, Cedric and Sevento. After catching up, we bid the dragon farewell and went on our way again.

As we travelled to the palace, the strangest thing happened. The street that we were walking on, started glowing with a strange magical light. Our spellcasters felt that it was something that was trying to teleport in with a planar portal. Not willing to take the chance, they dispelled the spell. Guards arrived as the spell had set off plenty of alarms. And we told them what we had seen. Not knowing what to do next about it, we continued to the palace. We were granted an audience with King Halima immediately, and he was happy to see us again. He heard our proposal and set out to consider possible candidates. He told us he would give us an answer the morning thereafter. However sometime during this audience, Cedric disappeared again. We left him to do his thing and continued our business in the city.

It was almost evening, so we met up with Letia for drinks to catch up on what had happened in the past months. The city was recovering well from the uprising against Dullahan’s forces. Many of the structures had been rebuilt and things had been relatively uneventful. Letia had an early shift, so we bid her farewell. And then we set out to introduce our new friend Sevento to the wonders of the Sated Satyr. I will not go into details on what transpired there, nor would I probably be fully able to, but I think Sevento enjoyed the break from the hardships of the world that the Sated Satyr provided.

The next day we returned to the palace and found an Inevitable in audience with the king. The creature was quite a sight, a metallic construct infused with divine energy. It was built to complete a single task, kill the one who had killed Dullahan. Apparently it had finally tracked down Cedric, but he had escaped somewhere. The inevitable left the palace again as no one there knew where Cedric had gone to.

We were granted an audience with the king, and he told us that he had spent a long time considering the best candidate. He did not trust any of his nobles enough for the job. So he proposed our friend Letia as a strong candidate. Though he would miss her services, he agreed that this was an important undertaking. We thanked King Halima and left the palace once more.

As we walked out of the Solvelis palace, a strange metallic bird landed on Nissa shoulder. We did not know what to make of it, but as it was a divine construct, we guessed that the inevitable had something to do with it. Sevento used his magic to reach out to the other planes for advice, which confirmed that the bird was an agent of the Inevitable. The Inevitable was now lying in wait in the Astral Plane for any sign of Cedric. We did not want to take any risks and trapped the bird in a bag of holding.

We then left Solvelis with Letia to return to Raven. On the way back, we picked up Cedric who had gone into hiding in Aurion. We found him in The Arcanist bar, which was run by Tigresse Rassa. We also picked up Elanna and the others. Before long we were back in Raven. First we tried to find Lady Inaste, but she was nowhere to be found.

But as we travelled back to the Raven palace, we were beset by fey. They were Heartbound Elves, ruthless assassins sworn to kill their quarry. They had the jump on us and they brought us down low before we could even react. It took all of our might to bring them down, and many of us lost consciousness sometime during the battle. However we triumphed in the end. When they were defeated, the assassins turned to wood. So we took one along, hoping to find who had sent them.

At the palace, we had a new confrontation with Meraedo. However it became quickly clear that he had not sent the assassins. So our deal was still on. We present our three candidates.

· Elanna, the fey whose union with Barreris symbolized the new state of Raven as a merger of Fey and Humans.

· Letia, the fey with a strong sense of the law to rule over the city.

· Sevento, the fey with roots in the Jewels to bring the city closer again with its neighbours.

Meraedo had a hard time choosing. He disliked Elanna and her adventurer friends. Letia was too close to Solvelis and its king. Sevento was a mage from the jewels. In the end, he decided on Elanna as the most worthy candidate.

So we celebrated the liberation of Raven that evening with Welby and Henk. Fierna took Letia back home. And we considered the assassin’s once more. The most likely remaining culprit was Lady Inaste. We scryed on her, and found her to be planning another coup to seize control of the city. So the next day, we set out to find her. We first travelled to the more prestigious bars and inns of the city, but found no trace. On returning to the palace, our tracking magic showed a blip. Lady Inaste was already inside the palace!

We followed her down to the basement, near an old shrine. There we found a set of portals in alcoves. As soon as we saw Lady Inaste, she gave some sort of signal and hordes of spiders rushed out of the portal. She had apparently made a deal with creatures from the Umber Reach this time to take the city for her. Sevento immediately placed a wall of force. Nissa changed into a triceratops and started smashing giant spiders. Fierna used her magic to blast away the enemies in a rainbow of colors, and placed the entire room under a sickening aura. Cedric ran into one of the portals. Thorin used his spiritual weapon to smash the insectoids. In the end, we drove back the Umber Reach creatures but Lady Inaste also escaped.

We tried to pursue with teleportation magic but simply ended up outside of the palace with a blast of force. There we could see spiders all across the city and the guards valiantly defending it. It was clear that the spiders were already in retreat, likely after the defeat of their leaders. Back inside the palace, we soon found and captured Lady Inaste who had been weakened by our battle. We ran to the throne room and found Meraedo and Welby fighting side by side to push back the invaders. With the last spider dead, a calm restored itself.

However just as soon as one battle was over, the Inevitable reappeared and demanded Cedric’s death. While Cedric pretended to surrender, he used two magical bags of holding to shift the Inevitable away to the Astral Plane. Cedric then wanted take run away himself but we convinced him to stay.

We then rested a bit and went shopping. We also took the time to interrogate Lady Inaste, who confirmed that the spiders were indeed creatures from the Umber Reach. But following their defeat, their alliance was broken. She gave us details on the Thieves’ Guild which we shared with Elanna later in the hopes that it would aid her in managing the city’s underbelly. We investigated Lady Inaste’s former hideout in a set of catacombs behind a secret door. We found items that belonged to her daughter, which we used to scry but found no signal.

The next day, we spoke to Elanna one last time. I gave her a necklace with a single golden coin from the Umber Reach that was used in an attempt to bribe us away from rescuing her. I gave it to her in the hopes that she remained grounded to where she was from and how she too is a single person subject to the torrents of faith. Though I trust Elanna, I am a bit worried that the power of managing an entire city will strip her of her innocence and compassion. I also left a newly purchased sending stone, should they ever need our help. Welby and his band told us that they too stood ready to aid us when needed, after all they are still adventurers at heart.

We had dealt with everything we had planned to in Raven so we moved on. Our next destination is Mason’s Hall, the capital of the Mountain Dwarfs. We hope to learn more about Peacebringer and hopefully how Pax can be stopped if need be. We plan to teleport to Laef and travel from there.

Love to mother.

Your son,

Faerin Khan

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