Mad, Bad, and Ebon-clad
Greetings, Forename. I hope you are prepared to take action.
Ever since we increased our presence on the trade routes, our black-robed villain has ceased his attacks. Now it is our turn to go on the offensive.
With the blessings of my superiors, I have arranged for a lightly guarded shipment of crystals with which we will lure Tristan into an ambush.
And I want you there when we spring the trap! I have already sent word to Y'mhitra, and she will meet us in Camp Bluefog. Let us bring an end to this, Forename.
Have you spoken with Captain Wolf? I suggest we follow his orders, and trust in the preparations of the Immortal Flames.
We have been waiting for you, Forename. Let us put Captain Wolf's plan into action!
Forename, you're here. Good. Our “crystal couriers” have just left camp.
The plan is simple: the caravan will head towards the processing plant, but conveniently break an axle before reaching the east watchtower.
We three will take up separate positions nearby, and wait for Tristan to take the bait─I've had the driver complaining long and loudly about the lack of a suitable escort for his precious cargo, so we can be reasonably sure that an attack will come.
I trust you need no further explanations? Head to your assigned position, and do your best to keep out of sight.
Is aught amiss? This tree is hardly big enough to conceal the both of us...
If I've read him aright, Tristan will be unable to resist this lure. But enough talk─take up your position, and keep an eye out for black-robed madmen.
...You're here for the ambush? Uh, it's a pleasure to meet you and all, but you'd best keep your distance─we wouldn't want the enemy avoiding our carefully laid trap, eh?
Aaargh! It burns! IT BURNS!!!
Talk to me, soldier!
I... I'll live, Captain. He popped right out of thin air... Took me by surprise...
The same happened to me. Another man in dark robes stepped through some manner of portal, and assailed me with spells.
My position also came under attack─an underling, judging by the ease with which I dispatched him. But I have never before seen such teleportation magicks...
...No! It cannot be...
You know this man, Captain Wolf?
This is Kahedin─Tristan's brother! But how...? He was tempered...slain...
...And now both siblings have disappointed me. <sigh> I should exercise more care in choosing my pawns.
An Ascian!? That voice... You were the one who taught Tristan the art of summoning! Have you come to inflict yet more misery upon the world!?
...Tristan? Yes, that was the other's name. I had hoped to groom him─granted him the knowledge of Allag's mages that he might unleash his wrath against the primals. Alas, he was all too easily vanquished...
No matter. The Bringer of Light has proven a more-than-adequate replacement for my failed god-slayer.
With every primal you kill, the beastmen's fervor grows ever hotter. We need but supply the tribes with crystals...and watch as they summon ever more terrible deities!
When the confluence of chaos reaches its peak, the world shall be swallowed in darkness. Our master shall rise again...
And we should be gone as well. I shall see that my soldier is treated for his wounds, then await you outside the Hall of Flames.
Once again, a Paragon lurks behind the curtain, pulling the strings. I should have suspected...
...I believe some reassessment is in order. We now know that the black-robed menace we thought to be Tristan was actually his brother, Kahedin─a reanimated puppet, under the control of an Ascian.
Both brothers were present at Ifrit's defeat, so Kahedin's aura, too, would have been stained with the primal's essence. Which, if I understand correctly, would explain his ability to command the egi.
But for that Ascian to raise the lad's corpse and press him into service as his pet summoner... I shall see the blackguard suffer for his cruel depravity!
Aye, the Paragon has many crimes for which he must answer. But we must move with great caution─the power of these immortals is not to be underestimated.
Forename... I have uncovered yet another spell of summoning magick, the casting of which would drive a lesser mage to his knees. After the battles you have fought, however, I believe you are strong enough to wield it.
I will return to Gridania, and redouble my efforts to decipher the remaining tomestones. We cannot face an Ascian unprepared!