Three weeks have passed since Lord Firaksa has laid root to the Elderwood seed, and, though the earth is dry, the tree grows quickly. It is a miraculous sight. To see its dense branches stretch toward the moon each night, as if it were cradling it in its ancient grasp. I find myself nestled in its shadow often.
The vines have retreated from the ramparts of the walls. We haven't had a surge in over ten days, and I admit it's a tad funny to watch the guard mill about without purpose or stress. But the Lord is not without industry, and has set them to work with other tasks. One of which being accompanying our expeditions into the temple.
Yuan-Ti corpses litter the landscape behind the temple, and the final Ironwood sapling has been recovered, along with sets of elemental gem stones. Firaksa seems happy with his findings, but I worry on how much his eyes glint with every report.
But this is not all. I wish I could say all is well, but the latest scouts have begun returning with less and less of us, the last of which filed a disturbing report. I'll share a segment of it now:
"We had just circled the wagons, setting up camp. We barely had time set up a watch when the clouds rolled in. I swear, the sun was shining seconds ago, but now the sky is black. Heavy rain hammered against the carriages, and while we ushered everyone under cover... That's when I noticed something was off. The horses. They were calm. They were quiet. Even as the rain pounded my senses, they didn't even flinch as I watched Silas be sliced in half by an invisible knight. I heard shouts, the clashing of steel, and witnessed a river of blood form from each wagon. I was frozen as footsteps found me, the cold iron of a gauntlet squeezing my shoulder. 'Tell them.' it said. I'll never forget its rasp."
Something is killing our scouting parties. The vines may be satisfied, but whatever lies beyond the temple I fear is far worse. Intelligent, powerful, and very, very angry.
Colonel Striga, I leave the following for your council. Thank you for your time.
--- Dyren Fisk, Exalted Chronicler, War Magic Initiate