The cold was what I noticed first. It was more than winter’s cold. There was an eerie finality to it, as if everything had stopped, except for the slow spread of ice. It seemed to be coming from Knell, or rather beneath him. I have often wondered about Knell. He is the only one of his kind I have ever met. His visage would be terrifying had I not spent much of my youth amidst the equally terrifying dragonborn. There was a certain infernal taint to him, like the taste of water in a tin cup. Subtle, yet potentially dangerous. There is a reason to avoid pools that animals avoid. They are death.
I said the Invocation of Protection that is written in the Platinum Book. I noticed that my breath was visible in the air. I imagined that the faint puffs of vapor contained the Invocation itself, and hoped that as they dissipated, they would cloak my companions in the invoked aura of the dragonborn paladin Kuyutha, exarch of Bahamut.
Then I knew the source of the cold. As if the Invocation had been a hammer struck against a great bell of ice cold iron. The Raven Queen claimed her own. I understood the sense of finality. Of fate. The bladeling had received a calling, much as I had, but from a very different source. I do not know the wonders he may have experienced in that eternal moment, but I remember my own.
Kuyutha it was that spoke to me. It seems both long ago, and yet immediate. His light-filled presence illuminated a dark place in my life. I felt lost among the dragonborn. Maybe as Knell must feel among us, separated from his people. Kuyutha explained to me that even as the world we know collapses around us, we can be as mountains in our faith, enduring. A mountain is sometimes a singular presence, or it may be allied in a range. Either way it endures.
I hope that, if Knell is willing, I may share this vision with him. Perhaps the Raven Queen will grant him a similar vision to ease the pain of his separation. He is made of stern stuff, that much I know. The Raven Queen has chosen well, if she has selected him as one of her agents of fate.
Awakened by the sending of the Raven Queen, we sought beyond our place of rest and found a curious tunnel that would later become far more hideous than curious. Suffice to say that we were “birthed” into a loathsome chamber inhabited by slavering grubs and the hags who kept watch over their gestation. A truly vile encounter ensued.
The wraith-like hags howled at us, the grub swarms gnawed at any exposed flesh they could find. We fought with sword and spell and fire, retching all the while. Finally we defeated the things. Crythis torched the chamber in a fury.