Serpent's Skull in Eberron

Treachery

The Military Quarter
I was excited to venture into the military district of Saventh-Yi. The buildings and their layout all seemed vaguely recognizable and that brought with it, a feeling of nostalgia. Compared to the ruins of the mercantile district, this group of once-proud buildings still held on to some of their dignity. The pride of the Azlanti army once occupied these barracks, and I was honoured to walk in their shadows.

Monkeys
With great disgust, I found that a group of monkeys had turned a barrack into their private cesspool. The stench from their unclean living spurred me forward to rid this sacred place of their foul presence. I charged in to action, followed closely by Iyum Kreshton. We dispatched the monkeys – a trio of small monkeys leading one large monkey – in short order. They made quite a ruckus during the fight, but we chased them down and shut them up in less than a minute.

I searched the surrounding for more monkeys, but found none. It’s strange, they usually live in large packs. There must be more of them somewhere around here.

The Great Fortress of Saventh-Yi
Excited to visit the fort overlooking the city, I traversed the steep and windy path with great haste. A couple of monkeys inhabited the gatehouse, but we rid them of their worthless lives in mere seconds. Ahead, I could see the fires burning in the Great Hall of the Emperor, Overlord of the Azlanti Army. My passions were inflamed as I bounded up the stairs. Could there be members of the 5th army still in residence here? Or, were there more monkeys squatting here? Alas, the truth would turn out to be far worse than I could have ever imagined.

The Return of the Thessalonians
When I entered into the great chamber, what I saw filled me with despair and then anger. A false king sat upon a throne, holding court over a gathering of monkeys and men. At first, I thought the men were prisoners, held captive to entertain the monkey king’s gross indulgences. Then, shock set in. These men were here to join with the despoilers of Saventh-Yi. Righteous vengeance filled my heartwood and I charged forward into their midsts. As I bashed the nearest monkey with my Azlanti morningstar, I heard one of the men exclaim, “he’s my enemy too”! Any doubts I might have had about these men being Thassalonian interlopers, was quickly fading.

As the monkeys fell, one after another, the Thassilonian leader disappeared into the darkness. Seeing him vanish without a trace reminded me of a story the commander once told me…

Before the commander joined the Azlanti army, he lived on a farm bordering the northern frontier of the Empire. Across the border, the great enemy lay in wait. The Thassalonians, ruled by a cabal of dark magicians, had a need for more souls to power their runewells. So they came, on a moonless night, to capture the peaceful farmers of the Azlanti frontier and sacrifice them. The commander escaped with a childhood friend to the south. There were no other survivors.

He warned me to be ever vigilant against the magic of the dark. And here before me I see a man, making peace with the defilers of Saventh-Yi and then becoming one with the darkness. Also, this man was quick to identify me as his enemy. Why, when we had never met before? I didn’t know him and he didn’t know me. Of course, if this man was indeed a Thassilonian spy, he would have instantly recognized my Azlanti armour and knew I was his enemy. This must be it… I must be ever vigilant.

Strange Behaviours
During the battle, Iyum Kreshton assisted me greatly with killing the monkeys. However, at the end of the fight, he persuaded me not to attack the Thassilonians. I had concerns about his intentions. In the past, he has given me reason to suspect he might not be an Azlanti surveyor. Certainly, the fact that he can’t speak Azlanti troubles me, but it’s possible he’s just joking. I never did understand Azlanti humour. Even more troubling, the Thassilonian warlock used his dark magic against me and Iyum Kreshton did nothing in response. He continued to insist that we not harm them. Very strange indeed.

Stranger still, was the behaviour of I-Da-Dak. He seemed entirely uninterested in fighting the monkeys, or aiding us in that fight. He instead offered assistance to the Thassilonians and at times appeared interested in leaving with them, as they all backed away together toward the door. He appeared quite familiar with one of them, even addressing him by name. Extremely strange behaviour indeed.

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