DDA3 – EYE OF TRALDAR
13 THAUMONT OF 1005 AC
I knew that the trip aboard the New Hope would last a few hours more. For the entire trip we traveled along the coast, all of us holed up in the hold, away from the prying eyes of the sailors. Probably very few people knew of our presence on board: the captain, a gruff man of Vorloi and some of his most trusted assistants. From the little I was able to notice on the mainland, at the end of the third day of sailing, the 13th of the month of Thaumont, we had passed the promontory which overlooks the small village of Sulescu and we made our entry into the Gulf of Marilenev. For the entire trip Tordek had done nothing but throw up, attracting the irony before and the insults later, of the hateful halfling. That Reed is really unbearable. If not for his valuable contribution in Fort Doom, I believe that some of us would have already thrown him overboard! The beautiful Azulenia has not touched her food for the entire trip. She seems feverishly engrossed in reading one of the ledgers found inside the trunk of Aurelian. When I tried to ask her what it was, she mentioned, quite evasively, something related to a long list of names, probably of people abducted and then sold by the slavers of the Iron Ring in the last years. I sense she is involved in a personal way. I didn’t pry, out of respect for her. I think if she wants it she will let me to know the thoughts that trouble her. Even now my eyes cannot help but look for her. Reserved and immersed in her reading, in one corner, at the bottom of the hold. Azulenia… Are my feelings toward her, only respect? I known her from less than a week but I already believe to feel something far more profound for her. Her gaze upon me! For Halav, Petra and Zirchev! Quick, look away, you idiot, before beeing spotted! I quickly search my other fellow travelers. Undir and Francisco are sitting together, whispering. Who knows what they are speaking about. I’ve never seen the oriental boy  to speak so much as in the past three days. It is as if all that was unsaid so far is overflowing, like a dam no longer able to hold a flood and, as a river, now the words are coming out from his mouth.
The Vyalia elf, Immeral, is undoubtedly the most tried of us all. Since we’ve been holed up in this ship he remained motionless, curled up on his treasure. He continues to hold tight the Fire Opal. At times he seems to be sleeping. At times he raves something unintelligible. Francisco confirmed to me that the words Immeral pronounce belong to a language unknown even to him. We were tempted many times to shake him. To wake him from this trance. But, in the end, no one has the courage. I believe that among us prevailed the doubt and fear that, to stop him so suddenly, we would jeopardize this long process of attunement with the Opal and it could be even more dangerous for the elf than to leave him undisturbed in this state. So we wait. We wait for something to happen.
“Friends ..” The faint breath of Immeral is little more than a whisper. Francisco. Azulenia. Reed. Our eyes meet quickly. The paladin of Petra is the fastest moving to the bedside of the Vyalia elf. With loving care she helps him to rise while Francisco hands him a water bottle. As I approach cautiously, I observe the elf drinking. He is greedily drinking like I never saw him doing before. His pale, stark face, betrays an inner suffering that goes well beyond the three days of fasting. “I need to speak to you, my friends. The Eye’s secrets appeared to me in a vision.” We sit next to him, worried, waiting for his words to give us the desired answers.
– – —
The next day we reached Specularum, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos. Recovered the horses, we began right away our trip in the direction of Rugalov, the village situated on the border with the Empire of Thyatis. There, we took a ferry along the Rugalov River and we reached Ryania, the native village of Azulenia. Throughout the trip I could not help thinking about the personal decision I would soon be forced to make. In fact when Immeral concluded his story about the nature and history of the Fire Opal, uttering the famous words “That’s it! ”, it became clear for all of us that we will have to choose whether or not to help him in his research. I had spoken very little, keeping to the bare essentials interactions with my mates. I thought and thought constantly to his words. “For my entire life, my preparation for the arcane arts, I was told that the Fire Opal, also known as the Eye of Traldar, was the gift of the Immortal Zirchev to his people. The test that would elevate Him to the rank of Immortal but also the symbol of the eternal alliance that would bind Him to the people and to the land of Traladara. Today I discover that all this was the result of a lie. That the Eye was forged long before the coming of Zirchev in this world, from a developed nation, powerful enough to be able to conquer and rule over the lands that are now the Grand Duchy of Karameikos, well before the advent of the first Traldar. I find, above all, that the Eyes are two, two twin orbs of unspeakable power. I must absolutely know more about all this. I have to go to the bottom of this lie that almost costed the life of us all. I really cannot blame any of you which does not want to satisfy my request but your help would be more than valuable.”
Tordek was the first to go along with the request of the Vyalia elf. “I will never let you go alone back to your Seer of the of the Lake of Lost Dreams, my dear pointy ears!” – he grinned in his almost incomprehensible Thyatian. Reed had watched his former bodyguard with an ill-concealed displeasure but said nothing. Who could say what the scion of Nimblefoot house would do? The same uncertainty for the enigmatic Undir. Of those who harbored no doubt there was Francisco. “If the Lord of Light Ixion wanted that my journey crossed yours and with this orb of fire, then this can only mean one thing. And it does not matter that I now understand it or not. Ixion guides my steps, and they are at your side Immeral!”
Azulenia however, was mired in uneasiness, even more accentuated than the previous days, if possible. She didn’t only look troubled. She was fighting a tremendous inner battle, within his heart. Not even the sight of a young green dragon flying over the Dymrak Forest had managed to distract her from her dark thoughts. Overcoming my shyness, in the end, I had approached her in one of those moments when she seemed to be more prone to dialogue. “What troubles you Azulenia?” – I asked her.
Straight and forthright as you would expect from a friend. She watched me. The inner conflict that gripped her was noticeable. “My sense of duty tells me to follow Immeral and to complete what I started. To search for answers to questions that he seeks because this object, this Fire Opal, is a powerful object and dark forces are plotting to have it, to enslave his powers to their evil purposes. But on the other hand, my heart, my sister. Kidnapped by the Iron Ring. She’s here, on the list!” With what she let me, for the first time, see the log that we had stolen from Fort Doom. “How can I ignore it? If there is only one, infinitesimal chance that she’s still alive… “
“Say no more!” – I told her by placing a hand on her shoulder. And at that moment I had the knowledge and the certainty of what I also would have to do.
- Undir comes from Skothar, the eastern continent of Mystara.
- During the attunement with the Fire Opal, Immeral, through dreams, visions, feelings, has relived the entire history of the genesis of the twin orbs as told in the preface / background of our conversion to D&D 5th edition of the adventure module B7 – Rahasia. This can be downloaded from our website here