Doom and Hope Alike Visit Aryslan

Cordell Swiftmender

UP: Chesapeake

    Over the course of the last few weeks, my colleagues from the Healer's Guild and I have witnessed or gained word of many a happening in and about the lands people call Aryslan.

The enigmatic Zephyr has been seen with less frequency, although two new faces, linked by a battle not so easily forgotten, have taken sides in this ongoing conflict with the forces of Mazrim. Returned from whatever hellish pit he was cast into upon his defeat several months ago, the fiendish elementalist known as Zyrn has been brought into Mazrim's service. Hardly a scrap of flesh remains on this now undead user of arcane forces. His very bones show a darkened color of rot and decay.

Although he serves a new master now in his undead state, Zyrn continues to possess the same sway over the elements as he had when attacked Magincia before the facet of Felucca lost the initial struggle. What is most concerning is the evidence that his power is still increasing. On occasion, he has been known to bring harsh arctic winds into Aryslan, shaping them into some of the more powerful elemental forms.

All my peers and I have learned thus far is that he has been commissioned to destroy Zephyr and perhaps all of Aryslan at any cost. Raids upon the area are not uncommon. Obviously, a continuing campaign to wear away the strength and vitality of the region's defenders is well underway. Although Zyrn may pose a direct threat to these people, there are those who might help during one of Aryslan's darkest hours. Grandmage Elindor, the man responsible for leading the defense of Magincia against Zyrn months ago, has been found by the locals and encouraged to side with them in their efforts. For some time Elindor had been the wielder of an artifact known as the Staff of Tempests, a powerful work of artifice capable of controlling the winds, summoning localized storms, and raining lightning the likes of which few people have ever seen.

It is this very Staff which has become the focus of both Zephyr and Zyrn's actions. For weeks, Elindor was sought out by both sides of the conflict, having been believed to still be the wielder of the Staff. Zephyr seeks it to use it in what he claims would be the destruction of Mazrim. The fiend Zyrn seeks it in the hopes that it may be corrupted and used as a means of binding Zephyr to Mazrim's will and command. A local healer has told me that Elindor no longer possesses it, though Elindor would not comment, at least in public, on its current whereabouts. I for one fear for Elindor's safety. His knowledge, and the fact that Zyrn undoubtedly will wish revenge for the defeat in Magincia, will make him quite the target.

Lastly I would write on two recent developments in the area, quite visible by any who would visit. First, an iron fence has been erected in front of the Tower of Souls, the stronghold for Mazrim. It would appear that Mazrim is sparing no expense to fortify his holdings in the ongoing conflict. Second, and on an even more dread note, are the signs of continued pestilence creeping into the life around the area. A small circle of flowers, which once grew in healthy color around a statue in the town center, have now become blackened and withered with evidence of disease and plague. My colleagues and I will do what we can to make sure this recent corruption poses no threat to the local populace.

Times look bleak, reader. We must hope that Elindor, Zephyr, and the ever-vigilant local defenders of Aryslan, can restore peace to the land before the blanket of evil that spreads from the Tower of Souls stretches even further