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The Heart of the Matter by Khandis

Our mission:
“With darkness and shadow spreading, the daytime of the land grows dim. Without light to guide our way, the end we shall see begin”
This is the prophecy received by Oracle Shard Farsight from the Green. The Council of Lords has met and decided that this must mean the return of the element of light to Orin Rakatha.
Together they have come to the conclusion that the best course of action is to travel to the source, the recently discovered Conflux plane. Since the rapidly declining political situation between the valley and Wizards Concillium have led to the barring of our use of the Mystics Gate, and on the advice of our new ally P.O.D. It has been decided to send groups south to the Labyrinth lands to request use of their “void ships”.

The council have sent out the call to adventurers from every sector to aid the entire plane and return light to a darkened land.

Our Group was assembled as follows:
Myself – Grey Sorcerer
Jux – Warrior of the Reavers
Nathan – High Priest of the Spheres
Obelisk – Warrior of the Sentinel
Frannk - Wizard of the Black School
Ringil – A scout sent to aid us from Thranduil
Lancorrin Bloodcall – An Assassin from the Monastery
Lord Giles – Eminent Sorcerer of the Grey School
Dryden – High Priest of the Spheres
Kali – Mage of the Black School
Tallon – Valdamar sage and our guide.

Main Mission:
We travelled to the Wraiths Head waystation just aside the Labyrinth lands and based ourselves there. The Labyrinth itself has been in turmoil for some time. For the past four and a half thousand years Xenos has been asleep within the Labyrinth and High Enchanter Wayland Wycan has been the effective Nation leader. Recently Xenos has been awakening slowly and this clearly came to a head just as we arrived in the area.
Phineus (a drone created by Xenos from his son) arrived in the area and told us that he could get us access to the Labyrinth Throne room where Xenos slept. He also provided us with an item that would awaken Xenos fully and asked us to do so. Shortly after he left Wayland arrived and gave us an item that would put Xenos back to sleep fully and asked us to do so.
Either way it was clear we would have to travel to the Heart of the Labyrinth and make our decision. Phineus transported us (in a strange metaphysical way) into the Labyrinth. To get to the Throne Room itself we had to pass three trials.
Strength – Slaying an ancient Minotaur which contained some truly increasable items which sadly did not leave the Labyrinth with us.
Intellect – This test was a little unclear. Either a large group of magic elementals we encountered or the visions we saw.
Will – Psionic Drones! Purple faced drones are apparently Psionic in nature.
While going through these trials we saw some visions of the history of Orin Rakatha. We saw some of what drove Xenos to put himself to sleep, the death of his wife and son. We also saw a vision of the origin of the nodes of power. The bloodlines had been gathered by the Black Pharoe to meet with Xenos and with their aid Xenos created the nodes. Originally part of the reason for this was to house the lesser mystics to prevent them from growing old or dying.
While not important for this mission directly we discovered that many of the individuals of the bloodlines four thousand five hundred years ago were the same that the valley met. Madrigal (River people), Grand Master Kontoro (Shendai), Ulgar Stormcloud (First Son of Father), Kasenwati the Eternal (Halls of Sutek) were all present at this original meeting.
It was also gradually made clear that Xenos was an innovator and an inventor in a way that Wayland is not. Based on this knowledge and the presumption that Xenos would be able to help reform the nodes we made the decision to wake Xenos knowing this would damage our relationship with Wayland.
We arrived at the throne room and found Xenos himself sleeping surrounded by letters from his wife about his constantly working and missing the birth of their son, her disease and clearly also her death. Xenos himself looked as ancient as we expected and was somewhat groggy following his four and a half millennia of sleep. As his faculties started to return Xenos did seem relative competant. He was concerned by the threat of the void and while he could not immediately do anything he has started to look into what he can do to aid with the node going forward. There were some noticeable changes to the labyrinth in the time we were there after Xenos was awoken. Initially the enchanters had been denied access to the hivemind, later they were granted restricted access to only the sections they needed access to. This looks to be a permanent change in the way the labyrinth operates, the full consequences of this are yet to been seen.
While Xenos was prepared to give us access to a void ship, Wayland had barricaded himself in the void docks with his own personal drones and was determined to refuse us access. With help from Phineus we were able to sneak in past the bulk of Wayland guards and confront him directly. The resulting fight was inevitable but sad none the less. Wayland had been a great ally against the void and was a formidable foe. He specialised in aura effects and without Phineus’s direct aid countering them it is unlikely we would have survived. The aura of Fatal disease was particularly unpleasant. When it became apparent that we had won Wayland activated a “contingency planar teleport” and disappeared. While I suspect he will not return for some time the valley has made a powerful enemy in the long term from all of this.
We were final dismissed from the Labyrinth only to wake in our beds. While what we experienced was probably not what literally occurred what we achieved remained and we were granted access to the void ship. Our journey to Conflux was not a pleasant one.  Traveling the void led to all manner of unpleasant psychological effects though none that lasted past the end of the trip.
Our landing was also not the most pleasant affair. We dropped right to the edge of Prince Aqualanders realm (the Prince of Water, who was recently at war with the Valley) and he was about as pleased to see us as imagined. We put on an excellent display of the valley tactical withdrawal maneuverer which lasted till we crossed from his realm to the realm of steel.
There we met, chatted to and had a friendly fight with one of the lords of steel. He asked for our help exploring an area that elementals were unable to go safely, in exchange he would teach us to travel quickly around the Conflux plane. The area we investigated contained a group of the Aldonar. In a similar way to last time we found them on Conlux they appeared to be enslaving and experimenting with elementals. They had a sizeable force including part of a claw which we killed in a tough fight.  
We were then able to step to the realm of white magic and meet the prince there. The prince of white magic spoke with us at some length before giving us a focus of light and ice magic. After which we caught our ship back home.
From here we were somewhat stuck for how to proceed so decided the thing to do was ask the Dreadlord for guidance directly. This involved a ritual, with the aid of the Azad-An to summon and speak with him.
 We performed our ritual and what we actually summoned was Sir Giles de Noir one of the Knights of His Dark Majesty, who took our questions on how to create a new mystic/node to the Dreadlord. Our answers came the next day with Sir Kylar, we received details of a complex ritual that required the focuses and two hearts, one of the mother and one of the father. The Heart of the Mother could be obtained from the Darkvale wood forest close to our location. The heart of the Father would need the assistance of the Mistweavers.
We travelled into the Darkvale Wood spoke with Evans the Druid, one of the Pordaradrim. Once we explained the situation to him he agreed to facilitate our travel to the Heart the of the Forest on the condition that we would bring five druids to the Darkvale wood within the season to form a new seed to grow into the heart once again. We took the heart from the forest as it was necessary but there is no denying that the forest suffers for it and the new heart should be started as soon as possible.
We then had a visit from Bethelem himself in response to our request for help obtaining a Heart of the Father. The Heart of the Father was a Heart from any of Fathers children. This included the original Mistweavers and the Snetherheim people. We learned there are around 20 of the Snetherheim left alive in the mountains, though only Ulgar is part of the bloodline for the void prison. In another case of the lesser of two undesirables it was clear we would need the Heart of one of the Snetherheim. Bethelem took us into the mountains around the edge of the world and from there we went (through some hordelings) to Ragnar Stormborn, 4th son of Father. Being a warrior he would not simply give us his heart but fought his last fight, surrounded by creatures of the Father, and elementals of the Storm. Ragnar Stormborn was one of the first people and made it known in the way he fought and died.

With the Hearts, the foci and the ritual information we were able to start our final ritual. Again, we had the aid of the Azad-An in exchange for a few favours for them in the future. Our relations so far with them have been very good and given they are a key part of the festival lands and have been friendly at every encounter thus far, working with them in the future should be as much a help to us as to them.
The ritual was an extended affair and at the culmination we were attacked by what was almost certainly the void corrupted former master of white magic. We slew the creature and completed the ritual, then with a blinding flash a new mystic was born, embodied white magic and left to join its siblings on the central isle. White magic has been successfully returned to the plane and we have another weapon against the void.

Other business:
Other nations associated with the void
-    The Khalid appear to be continuing their experiments into using the void. We did not directly see this but another group in the area found the remains of a Khalid void ritual. We did have a few skirmishes with Khalid groups and our Khalid tally for the mission was a respectable 13.
-    The Halls of Sutek are doing similar. Our group travelled out at one point to find a group of the Halls performing a ritual on one of their knights. We arrived too late to stop it but were able to slay the Void Knight that they created. During the fight one of the Keepers of Set spoke with our group and it seems that there are factions within the Halls who see the folly in siding with the void. If we are able to change the leadership, say by bringing a forceful enough individual back from Axos, then the void corrupted parts of the Halls would be dealt with internally rather than becoming our problem.
Attacks on waystations
When we first arrived at the Wraiths Head Waystation we found a void master performing some sort of ritual there. With both void weapons we were able to destroy the ritual and then slay the void master before anything happened to the waystation. This is not the first report of attacks on waystations and further groups should be vigilant for other similar attacks.
Knights of His Dark Majesty
Sir Kylar brought more clarity regarding the standing of the knights. They are not a nationed people but are direct operatives for the Dreadlord. They are currently stationed around the Green protecting it from the Void assaults. They have also enlisted the aid of the Valdamar in this task. Sir Kylar has also confirmed that while still being a close ally he has left our nation to remove any potential conflict of interests.
Internal valley affairs
Following the recent trouble in Darkhome things came to a head on this mission. The state of chaos and backstabbing in the sector was being stoked by Raven, acting through Zalfuron Nightspell. The former a long time enemy of our people, the later a known Shadowmancer and so void corrupted. After years of meticulous planning the Dreadlords plan finally came to fruiting and we were able to draw out Raven by provoking Zalfuron into a fight. When we did Lensal Blackbone was ready and took Raven to face the Dreadlords justice. Raven is now gone forever, once this was clear Zalfuron fled openly using Shadowmancy. Since this, Lord Vetzlar has not been seen and while there is nothing more than speculation his disappearance lines up exactly with Ravens end.
With the approval of the Council of Sector Lords I have been appointed the new Sector Lord of Darkhome.
Following Lord Malcolm Middletons actions with the teaching scrolls and the fact that he is currently either a prisoner of the Concillium or a member of their nation Malcolm is no longer a sector Lord. With the approval of the Council of Sector Lords, The Darkbringer has been appointed the Sector Lord of Aether Town.

As ever if more you require more information or clarity on any point I can easily be found in Darkhome or the Grey school of magic.

Lord Khandis Greyspider
Sector Lord of Darkhome
 

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