My Noble Lord,
We waited patiently for over two weeks for our audience with the Overlord before we finally approached the castle to ascertain the status of our audience request. Upon our arrival in the castle, the Overlord’s master scribe, to my surprise, immediately granted us the audience that we had requested weeks ago. The Overlord, who I must admit was younger than I had expected, was far more concerned with the well-being of his people and the safety of Lady Raina than he was with staying on our good side (read staying on our good side as “telling us where the girl was.”) However, after a lengthy discussion, we finally convinced the Overlord that we meant Lady Raina no harm, and he informed us that Lady Raina was studying with the Archmage of Bentenvania, Zane. As such, we set out for Bentenvania without delay (NOTE: Lucas has deliberately omitted two key events that occurred during the group’s journey for fear that it may put Calandia or Malcolm at risk. Lady Sekhemit actually discovered that the Overlord was allowing the Kirakai’s son, Malcolm, to hide in Calandia, and the group agreed to help Malcolm become a Vitae. The Overlord also allowed the group to use some his dogsleds, which could be seen as a violation of Calandia’s neutrality in the War of Light and Dark.)
Unfortunately, our ship was not equipped with the appropriate hull to make the dangerous journey through the frozen waters of Bentenvania, and we were forced to make our way through the Icy mountains of Northern Calandia instead. As we traveled through the mountains, we discovered a group of Kira, but we were unable to ascertain the reason for their presence in the mountains. We were, however, able to purify a young purple worm (read purify a young purple worm as “obliterate a big disgusting worm thing”) that was living in the caves.
With the threat of the worm eliminated (read the threat of the worm eliminated as “the worm beaten to a bloody pulp”), we made our way out of the cave and onto the other side of the mountain where we used the scales from the worm to fashion a series of sleds (read sleds as “sleds and snowboards.”) This allowed us to greatly increase the speed of our descent down the mountain, but we greatly underestimated the speed at which some of our allies would travel and our two-headed ogre friend was thrown into a snow bank. Fortunately, we were able to free our comrade from the snow and we began our journey towards the Bentenvanian Keep. However, as we continued into the snow-covered lands of Bentenvania, we quickly realized that we had underestimated the unnatural cold that surrounds the lands and we were eventually forced to take refuge in a camp (read take refuge in a camp as “just barely stagger into a camp dragging out frostbitten allies behind us”) under the command of Duke Kazyr Stjeune of the Harsgalt Clan, Captain of the Bentenvanian Royal Guard.
His Lordship, Duke Kazyr, offered us a place by his fire, blankets, warmer attire, and was even kind enough to offer us his services as a guide. We, of course, gracially accepted his offer as we were a little disoriented by the snow (read were a little disoriented by the snow as “nearly froze to death in the snow.”) After a short rest, Kazyr led us north over a frozen river into the city-state of Bentenvania proper where we met with the ruler of Bentenvania, Lord Angus. Lord Angus is not a man of many words, but instead a man of strength and he had no great interest in preventing us from seeing Lady Raina (Read this sentence as "Lord Angus is a barbarian to the core and, as such, it took longer to explain why we wanted to see Raina than it did to actually convince him to let us see her.) With Lord Angus’ permission, we made our way to the Mage’s tower and requested an audience with Raina. The Archmage Zane, was reluctant to grant our audience at first, but we eventually convinced him to allow us into the tower (read to allow us into the tower as “that he really didn’t have a whole lot of choice in the matter because Lord Angus gave us permission to enter.”)
We then made our way up a long spiraling staircase, past a series of doors, and into the Wizard’s Laboratory where Raina studied. Once inside, we explained the situation and asked her to help us learn the mysteries of the orb. Raina agreed to tell us everything that she knew about the orb, but she warned us that the orb was damaged and that there was no way that she could repair it. To make matters worse, Raina quickly revealed that the orb was not only damaged, but was also causing the area around the orb to rift unexpectedly and, as such, was a great threat to anyone near it. Realizing the true extent of the chaos that the orb could cause, we quickly asked Raina and Zane if there was anyway we could send a message, and Archmage Zane, at Raina’s suggestion, reluctantly allowed us to use one of hiS Raven’s to send a simple message “Orb unstable. Get Orb out of camp!” With our message sent, we began to look for the fastest route back to the Vitae Camp…