Lost Mine of Phandelver

Starry Lucidity

Discord is propositioned.

Nightal 18, 1491 DR

Discord‘s interest in the poor bastards strapped to the alter of Moradin could be best be described as “academic”. The warlock didn’t particularly like seeing people in anguish. It was more that she had spent her life being threatened by shadows. Their icy-cold, and sibilant voices had threatened her with so many torments over the years that when she encountered actual torture, she could not help but momentarily mentally transpose herself with the victims. As if sensing Discord’s thought process, the shadows around her began to shriek and writhe. Since everyone else seemed to not notice the shadows frenetic activity Discord did her best to not react past darting her eyes back and forth a few times.

Discord felt a pulsating thrum, as much in her mind, as on her chest, from Myrkur. She was surprised to find herself holding sword and scabbard tightly to her chest. The blade, recently satiated, emitted only the smallest sense of desire for lifeforce. Discord knew that Myrkur was voracious, and soon it once again call to her with the hunger.

“The hunger steady grows,” Discord and the Mrykur voiced in unison, although only Discord could hear Mrykur.

Discord watched as her companions began releasing the captives of the kenku from the alter they were being tortured upon. There was still a galvanic tingle in the air from Gyr’Squall’s lightning bolt. All that remained of the birdmen was a few scorched feathers, and their shadows forever burned into the stoney floor.

“Dead shadows,” Discord whispered under her breath. “Captured. Haunt no more.”

Discord buckled Myrkur’s scabbard back around her waist. She reached absently for the hilt to adjust the position of the sword, however as soon as her hand closed around the hilt shadows swarmed her vision.

Discord was no longer in Tyar-Besil. Amidst the writhing blackness she saw glimpses of her companions freeing the captives through sepia toned windowpanes whose edges flared with purple eldritch fire. The ever creeping chill of shadow stuff permeated Discord, and she could see her breath.

Suddenly the shadow-solid mass beneath her vanished, as if the floor had been dropped out from beneath her. She was falling through a lightless sky, wind whistling past her. Oily black tears began to form at the edge of Discord’s eyes. There was a loud “snap” that resounded suddenly as Discord’s wings, made of shadow-stuff and three times larger than she remembered them, suddenly unfurled.

And then Discord was soaring above a lone mountain that issued forth steaming water as if expectorating contemptuously unto the surrounding land scape. A huge plume of billowing steam rose above the mountain, casting the surrounding area in shadow with an inky shadow.

Others flew beside her now, a dozen, maybe more? Their shapes were umbral wisps, yet their blades, like Myrkur, but not Myrkur, formed weapon-shaped darker masses in an already lightless sky. The blade-shaped voids and their bearers descended and gathered at the foot of the mountain, as if waiting to be called. Discord smell the acrid stink of the plume and the far off his of the steam escaping the mountain jarred her teeth. Luke warm droplets of watery gray misted all the skin and clothes of all who waited at the base of the mountain.

“Will you take me up?” A voice that sounded like ice cracking spoke, being joined by a chorus of whispers, and a cacophony of ecstatic shrieks, each trailing the other slightly.

Discord’s whole body tingled, like when she thawed her limbs after being too long in the cold. The shadows swirled anew. Discord stood, a new blade in hand. This one was made of a starry sky. Instinctively she wielded the blade first against a rush of fire and a swirling gale. With another stroke of the blade she dispersed earthen hands as they grasped for her, then twirled the blade to a guard position in time to have a tidal wave crash around her harmlessly. Each time the starry blade sunk into the target Discord felt a rushing surge as she pulled the very powers of devastation into her blade, and then into herself.

Discord returned to darkness. The voice from before seemed to solidify like fractals of newly forming ice across the surface of her mind.

“Seek me when you are called. And through me, fear Her shadow no more.”

Discord found herself once again in a room in Tyar-Besil. She was sitting in a corner, her wings wrapped tightly around as if shielding her and a white-knuckled grip on the hilt of Myrkur. For the first time in as long as Discord could remember there was total silence. The silence was expansive and vast. It had weight, and it pressed upon Discord’s as if briefly holding her together. She could see her companions speaking, but no words resounded off the ancient dwarven stone walls.

And then the silence was gone.Her companions voices suddenly could be heard, faintly at first. The breathy mocking of the shadows returned. They once again promised to visit terrible tortures on her body and mind. They whispered that the longer Discord denied Her, the greater her suffering would be. The fear returned to Discord like familiar friend, and the moment of peace she had known seemed a distant memory.

If the other’s noticed Discord acting strangely they didn’t show it. Perhaps they were used to it by now. Either way, with the last of the captives freed Discord knew the group would soon be moving. That is what people did. They kept moving. If they stopped, their shadows would catch them.

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Mars

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