In an effort to get back to where the opening section of this chronicle left off, the next expedition Helcequen (Helce) undertook after Eregion needs to be considered… A massive journey into the Northern realm of Angmar and the old fortress of Carn Dum. This adventure and its primary pupose is documented elsewhere in great detail. This writing seeks to lluminate those small parts concerned with the matter of Helce’s affliction and includes some further insight only conceived some time after the return.
When Helce departed the valley with the company, her past trauma had largely healed but it had left a scar, an imprint. Yes she had new understanding regarding this type of ‘attack’ but there remained a vulnerability within her psyche. It first manifested many days into the journey, time is too short to explain the choice of route but the party had entered the fields of Fornost. It began as if a memory had been triggered, an odd feeling, low level, in her gut … something familiar but most unwelcome. It was like a ghastly reminder of an act of violation. As they approached a camp set up by some orcs in the ruins the feeling became stronger and an idol in the shape of Sauron was discovered, Helce could feel the weak presence of her tormentor within the disgusting constuction. The idol was utterly destroyed before the party moved on.
We step ahead to Angmar itself and the approaches to the fortress .. there is a will set against the company it feels like the same powerful person to Helce but showing an utterly viscous and cruel side to the personality. The force seems to emanate from a number of stone statues ‘watchers’ along the approach .. it is hard to pass them but Helce’s previous encounter and her knowledge of the nature of their trap, helps get the party through. She is however utterly drained and at the point of giving up, she wants to take a ship and leave, much time and healing will be needed… Helce is greatly diminished for a time.
Now, the leader of Vanimar’s scholars at the time, the Lady Danel, had chosen to accompany the group for this great undertaking and she had in her possession something that would prove very interesting. More of the background to this object is discussed elsewhere but suffice to say it was a beautiful glowing red gem. It was, apparently a once lost heirloom of the Lady’s house that may have been corrupted somehow, perhaps using a similar to that on the Eregion stone. The gem seemed to be 'happy' in the possesion of Danel, it was hers without doubt, a beautiful jewel from a lost time. However it did significant harm to others in the party that handled it, namely Carniquesse and the instrument of Helce’s previous recovery, Norliriel.
The point is, Helce immediately saw a connection with how the gem had harmed the two party members and what had happened to her after Eregion. The effect was far less powerful but the mechanism appeared quite similar. How did it connect with it's owner? What corruption had been put on it that it would cause such harm to other innocent parties? Unlocking its secrets could help her and her friends!
On returning home Helce took a long period of convalescence, during this time she thought much about what had happens and how she could permanently remove the scar of her ordeal. The power of the ‘Annatar Stone’, as she called it, was far too great to experiment with but the gem? She reasoned that a controlled exposure to fully understand the mechanism, finding how to reverse it and why it spared its owner, could be the key to solving her own problem. Experimenting with the weaker device could be what she needed. If she could cure Carniquesse and Norliriel of their hurt from the gem, maybe she could finally fix herself?
The problem now was that since the surprise departure of Lady Danel, the Order had no leader, no one to give permission for this work or allow the access Helce needed to the materials and subjects. Hopefully the Tur would act swiftly and a new Leader would be appointed soon, but when to ask? Whoever it was would be busy .. celebrations, parties, anthems to be sung and all that, then reorganizations, people moving in and out, it would take a while for it all to settle. Helce holds her head to stop it spinning off with all the thoughts swirling round and round …….