Shifting Concerns or, A Hairy, Sticky, & Slippery Situation
The bluish white light of the Quarat’s portal began to fade, leaving our group in the basement of the Occularum housing in Sharn. Their arrival was harkened by the slamming of the trap door into the Occularum’s main chamber. Solaruun’s voice came from the behind the door.
“You can’t get blood from a stone. I’ve got nothing to give to you so leave. No more galifars to give!”
“You old fool,” Anemone began, “it is us just returned from our jump.”
The room stayed silent for a moment. Realizing that the door was not opening, the group set out to inform Solaruun of who the “intruders” were in a strong chorus of shouts. The process proved to slow for Anemone and she swiftly climbed the ladder and began to open the trap door. The moment that the latch was turned a burst of flame shot out, engulfing Anemone and singeing many of the crates and antiquities laying about the room. Solaruun let out a wicked laugh.
The party once again raised their voices in effort to beckon the old man out. Sera sent a small messenger, in familiar winged lemur form, to speak for them. Solaruun attempted to destroy the messenger as Sera attempted to communicate. Anemone, slightly burnt and increasingly impatient, was now angry. She bellowed a roar and set up the ladder with more determination to open the hatch. Just as her hands once again moved to open the latch, the door was pried open from above. The round, wrinkled face of Solaruun peered down at her intently examining the contorted expression of frustration etched into Anemone’s face.
“You’re back! Back at last… the jump i thought killed… but that is irrelevant now… much work to move on… time to find the key… move more… you’re back!”
Solaruun attributed his actions to the recent arrival of “collectors” from the landlord. During the span of the journey Solaruu’s funds had run out leaving him 6000 galifars in debt to the landlord. He quickly dismissed the concerns of having hired henchmen coming to collect and the old man pleaded for the group to tell him about their journey. Solaruun was adamant about learning the intricacies of every action the group took on their journey. Anemone was beginning to burn up, her flesh growing hotter by the moment from the Slaad Fever she had contracted in Kythri. Shim expressed similar concerns, in a most calm and polite way, about his limited time frame to be solidified before becoming an amorphous blob of jittering chaos fluid. Sera cheerily revealed that she had become a lycanthrope of the were-tiger variety. Solaruun’s jaw dropped almost fully agape. It took what seemed like several minutes for him to muster up the strength to draw his mandible back in disbelief of the state of his self-proclaimed saviors of Eberron. As the realization that his champions had not performed as he expected Solaruun began to question what other follies the party had made in their trip.
Solaruun’s demands of a full recounting of the tale became less of a demand and began to teeter towards an ultimatum. Reluctantly, but quickly, Sera began to recount the tale. As she began to spin the yarn of the groups clumsy stumble through the planes, each member called out minute additions to the story; each addition seemed to tie an unsightly tangle in the thread. Solaruun listened in disbelief, occasionally yelling exasperated protests against the decisions (and accidents) the party had made.
As his questions grew more and more aggressive, the group began to turn the questions around to him. Questions were fired from both sides in a violent barrage.
“What are we trying to accomplish?”
“How could you have transported a whole civilization to another plane?!”
“What do you know about other ‘polycosms’?”
“Aren’t you concerned with the fact that you have become a ‘were-beast’?”
“Why didn’t you tell us what we were ‘supposed’ to be doing?”
“Did you retrieve the device?”
This question brought a stop to everything. Sera checked her bag, heart racing for a moment as she tried to recall if she had recovered the device. Her pulse slowly returned to a more moderate pace as she found it. She removed the Chaotiscope from her travel bag and presented it as if it were a prized holy relic recovered from a lost temple. In the groups mind it had almost become a god-like trinket, snatched from the hands of powerful creatures in a crusade to save the whole fabric of reality. It was at that moment that the party began to process the events of what they had done. In what seemed to them like a couple weeks, but was in fact four months, they shifted the orbits of four planes.
Their lack of knowledge as to what possible purpose it could serve in whatever demented endeavor Solaruun had convinced them to embark upon began to trouble them. The words of the Quarat echoed in their head. They had changed the path of existence for the entire world. The decisions they made, good and bad, had changed the whole of Eberron. The ways in which these changes would effect their surroundings and situation were yet to be felt.
Solaruun gave few answers to the questions of the group. He ranted and babbled on, almost incoherently. Shim extended a hand palm out to calm the old man. He focused and connected Solaruun’s mind to the rest of the party. There, in their minds, they could fetch the answers to their questions with some chance of getting a decipherable answer. With a calm stream of thought coming from his mind, Solaruun revealed the motivations behind his plotting.
“Long ago, the Daelkyr, a race of horrible creatures crafted from pure madness, were sealed out of Eberron by The Gate Keepers. They stewed in their mad rage trying to find some way to once again step into the prime material plane, if only for a second, to bathe this world in flame for the shear joy of watching it smolder. These beasts take great pride in the beauty of the absolute destruction of worlds. They view it as we do fine art.
While I studied with my peers during my time in Arcanix, I befriended a fellow researcher by the name of Felix Ir’Lemna. We became great partners while working out new arcane theorems and practices. He was intrigued at my ability to divine, and I was amazed by his proficiency with alchemical substances and implementations. We soon began to see ways in which we could overlap our research in these areas to accomplish great feats.
We found marvelous new applications for alchemical substances to be used in enhancing and perhaps, even augmenting the powers of my scrying pool. While perfecting the mix of magics and substances, we encountered a brief vision of one of these Daelkyr followed by flashes of what appeared to be a world in ruin. The smoldering earth patrolled by strange beasts of the Daelkyrs’ mind. The Vision shocked me and I lost concentration. The images in the scrying pool shocked my mind, freezing me in my place for a moment. Felix rushed to my aid. I tried to tell him about what I had just seen but the words became jumbled.
Over the next weeks Felix and I researched what we could. We then tried to recreate the circumstances of my first vision in hopes of getting a better understanding of the events that would lead up to this horrible conclusion. Despite hundreds of attempts we were never able to recall that vision for any duration. I got the same vision I had before, several times over, but still only as small intense flashes. On occasion those visions did not come though. I saw flashes of a world much as we know it today. We took this result as a fluke at first, a miscalculation in our methods. We tested even more feverishly. Hundreds of tests turned into thousands. The results showed the same sprinkling of one or two flukes among a string of horrible visions of the Daelkyr and their minions.
Felix and I debated what these results meant and we weighed what would bring about each of these possible courses. We could only come to one agreement, the vision of a world in flames did not have to be a reality, it was merely a plausibility. We differed in how we sought to avoid this end and our disputes led to our separation as a team."
With this Solaruun let out a deep sigh within the mind link. The group was silent for a moment. Then Sera chimed in, “How do you think we are going to accomplish this goal?”
Solaruun took a moment to collect his thoughts and began, “I believe the one of the Daelkyr sealed in the depths has found a way to draw Khyber into Eberron. If he is successful he will disrupt the delicate balance that maintains the orbits of the planes. Eberron will become a gravitational magnet drawing in all the planes at once. Imagine the effects of Risia during the early parts of the year, the chill it brings to the areas it touches. It cools even the hot temperatures of Sharn. Now imagine that across the whole of Eberron combined with the forces of Fernia blasting areas, shades creeping in from shadows, forces of order attempting to control violent bursts of chaos and madness. There is no way the world can survive in that state. I must calculate where the next key is, all is not lost. The path has just changed.”
“How has the path changed?”, Frost asked.
“Does this have something to do with a plane cut off from this ‘polycosim’?”, added Sera.
Solaruun spoke, “Yes, I believe that by changing the orbits of the planes in conjunction with returning the multiverse to its original state will be able to off set the plans of the Daelkyr.”
“You mean to return the connection to Dal Quor.”
Solaruun did not move. He paused a moment to let the group soak in the gravity of what he hoped to accomplish. Then he stood with out a sound and moved to his journals, tapestries, and artifacts to search for clues.
The revelation of what the group is hoping to overcome must surely seem daunting to the group. Destroy or at least subdue a beast who views the destruction of worlds as an art form. Not to mention restore the connection of Dal Quor to the prime material plane. The giants closed the connection for good reason. Describe below what your character’s thoughts were after hearing a conformation of the suspicions the Quarat raised. Doing so will reveal a character specific secret that may come in handy later. The best entry will earn 800 XP. Deadline is 12/7/2012.
Curing Ills, Catching Up with Friends
With Solaruun’s nose buried in his tomes, the party once again turned to face each other. Anemone’s fever had only worsened and the time frame to restore Shim was growing more and more narrow. Sera was also growing increasingly concerned that at least one, if not several, of the moons of Eberron was bound to be full. Sera hastily provided Shim the funding to be healed at a proper Jorasco House of Healing. Selwin set to work curing Anemone’s Slaad Fever. After some prayer and transference of divine energies he was able to relieve her affliction.
Frost grew restless and wanted to accomplish something. His mind was still racing from the delivery of Solaruun’s motives. He decided that perhaps something less strenuous could be handled in the immediate future, something to give his mind a chance to process what they were attempting to accomplish.
They had the A.A.R.P. for far longer than they were supposed to and Frost was sure that there was some word around the adventurers guild in Clifftop as to how this “extended borrowing” of the prize possession of the guild was being viewed. Tired of listening to Solaruun mumble to himself, and sick of smelling Selwin, Frost began to head to the door. Once again feeling more spry, Anemone leapt at the chance to walk around somewhere she was able to procure a strong beverage. She followed and they headed to the Dragon’s Roost in Clifftop for a little listening and a lot of drinking.
Once in the doors, the pair took in a lively bar scene. Several members of the guild, of a wide range of grades, filled the cozy bar causing it to feel like a cramped shed filled with a tribe of savages. Loud songs rose up from patrons drinking at a nearby table. A small littering of guild member ‘admirers’ were intently listening to greatly exaggerated stories from members, many of whom only appeared to be recent additions to the guild. Anemone and Frost made their way through the crowd, narrowly avoiding having drinks spilled on them multiple times.
On their battle to get to the man dispensing hard liquor, they both took a moment to scope the make up of the crowd and find a possible source of information. They spotted a couple higher ranked members of the guild conversing at a table. Frost made note of them, but at the moment drink was first on the agenda. They beckoned the barkeep and were promptly presented with two chilled mugs of strong spiced ale. They sipped at first but that soon gave way to simply pouring the beverage down their throats. After ordering another round, they made their way to the table of higher ranking members that they had sussed out.
They approached and began to strike up conversation with the members. They learned that Guild Master L’Blaugh had been overheard talking about the theft of the device. The members began to question how this slightly singed shifter and dark clad, white haired elf, came to know about the A.A.R.P.. Anemone did not care to have her ethics, or those of the members of her group, called into question. She began to vocally and vehemently defend the group. She explained how the group had not expected to be gone for as long as they were. Her defense became more aggressive. Frost attempted to cool the situation and was mildly successful in this endeavor. They quietly exited the situation and headed back to the Occularum housing, after one last ale.
Persistence Makes the Door Frame Weaker
Shim moved through the layered towers of housing and businesses in the middle wards of Sharn on his way to Sera’a Apartment. He took in the sights of the denizens filtering out of the taverns in their inebriated states. Occasionally he would stop and watch a small group of them talking loudly as they stumbled through the streets making their way to the elevators, spiraling staircases, and air coaches that would get them home.
On his walk Shim stumbled upon a discarded edition of The Sharn Inquisitor. He stood for a moment to read the stories. The major news told of a recent raid on a Daask warehouse by the Sharn watch. The raid was lead by a lone guard that heroically took on the ogres, medusi, and other miscreants that worked in the warehouse. Large amounts of silver statuettes were found along with some controlled substances. The article went on to discuss the great victory on the drug plague that had taken hold of Sharn. Shim read on.
In the top portion of the next page was a simple ad touting the “superior sausage” at Philantrup’s Sausage and Banger Emporium. Spiced sausages, mild sausages, kielbasas, and custom orders were no trouble for these “Sultans of Sausage”. All meet processed in house, and discounts offered for large orders. Located in the Bazaar! Mention this ad for a 10% discount!
Shim pondered the system of selection by which one becomes a “Sultan of Sausage”. Was it something that was selected by birth, social status, or election? What were some of the responsibilities and privileges that came with the title? Questions that would be stored in his banks for future research. He moved on to the next article.
The next story was a tawdry gossip article about about the upcoming Tain Gala. There was great discussion as to who would be attending, who would be performing, what food and spirits would be served, and what the theme of the gala would be. Shim committed the list of possible attendees to memory and moved on to the next article.
A full page ad with color printing, magically animated, announced the recent opening of a new tavern in the heart of Haereth’s Folly. The Saucy Wench boasted spirits from around the whole of Khorvaire and beyond. Food that rivaled that of the restaurants on the sky deck, and was more affordable too! A Festival, to be held the last week of Vult, included singing competitions, arm wrestling, and selections of beer and ales from all the land. This “Brewfest” was to be an event not to be missed.
The final article was another rumor and gossip column which, as Shim was beginning to realize, was typical for The Inquisitor. Apparently there was talk that the High Cardinal of the Church of the Silver Flame was to come to Sharn. The idea that a man in such a high position would ever leave the security of Flamekeep was rather odd. Shim took a moment to process how likely it was that this particular article held any validity to it. Still, the thought intrigued Shim. The possibility to encounter a person in such a prominent position and perhaps peer into his mind sparked a string of internal questioning that Shim stored in his memory.
Shim neatly folded the paper and tucked it into his armor. He then proceeded on his way to Sera’s. As he arrived at her stoop, Shim took a moment to listen at the door. He sensed a movement in the room, a light pacing sound. He turned the knob but, the door was locked. Shim stood for a moment and debated bashing in Sera’s door. He glanced at the construction of his body and judged it against the steadfastness of the wood in Sera’s door. The conclusion of that evaluation was that, it would likely be more devastating to his shoulder than the door if he were to use brute strength. Preferring to err on the side of caution, and what he had learned to be “polite”, Shim began to knock. He chose a spot on the door that would optimize the sonic resonance of the wood and minimize stress on the hinges, frame, and overall structure of the frame.
The first knock went unanswered. Shim tried again. Still there was no answer. Shim settled into a steady rhythmic beat. He began to count the knocks so that he could evaluate a common knock to answer ratio for predicting the answering patterns of non-metallic beings. It soon became apparent that this ratio would be severely weighted on the side of knocks.
“Sultan of Sausage!”
Shim has made a point of determining what changes the group has made on the prime material plane. In this effort he has drawn some interesting conclusions as to what causes have led to what effect. One of his more outlandish assumptions has been the idea that their jump has caused the quality of the sausages in Sharn, if not the whole of Eberron, to greatly improve. Describe his chain of logic that led to this presumption for 250 XP and a 10% Discount on all local meat markets in Sharn.
A Shady Meeting
Vult 2, 998 YK
Frost, Anemone, and Selwin awoke in the lower chamber of the Occularum. Beams of light shone in through the small windows in the bottom of the housing. Solaruun still was sitting at his table looking through several tomes and journals. Occasionally getting up to examine a tapestry, taking a few notes and returning to his spot at the table. Frost stood up, stretched, and glanced around. “I’ve got some business to take care of. Make sure he eats something, I’ll be back in an hour or so and we will head out to Sera’s.”
Frost was out the door before Anemone could respond. He walked briskly through the streets and made his way to the residence of his former mentor, Ranger Brad. Frost was anxious to see him after all this time. A familiar face would certainly be welcome after this last “expedition”.
The staircases on the sides of the towers seemed to go on forever as frost trudged his way upward. Finally he came to the door. He quietly opened the door and made his way inside. Frost knew Brad would be alone, he usually was. He walked in to find his mentor pouring over purchase forms for his next trip. Brad looked up, slightly older than frost remembered him. They embraced before the first hello was spoken.
“My boy, its been sometime! How are you?”
“Generally speaking, I am well.”
“Excellent!” Brad said as he sat again and motioned for Frost to do the same.
“I have come today though to ask a favor.”
“You know that you have only to ask…”
“I need to request a meeting with The Serpentine Table.”
Brad stopped for a second at the open utterance of such a secret group. He cast his eyes over Frost for a moment and took in his demeanor. Brad knew by the expression on Frost’s face that whatever news he had to share with the table was something that was causing Frost some distress. Frost told the aging ranger about the task that he and his traveling companions had been charged with. The tale kept Brad completely motionless as he focused intently on the unbelievable course of events that he had participated in.
Brad was just overcoming his restricted motion as Frost came to the conclusion of what he hoped to accomplish with his meeting. As the temporary paralysis was disappearing, and the conversation turned to him for response, Brad was rendered speechless. “The Table would indeed be interested in the implications and possibilities of the magics and power you speak of. I will attempt to arrange something soon.”
“My thanks to you for that. Tell me what other news you have of happenings here in the ‘real world’.”
Frost said the last part of the phrase with a sort of beleaguered frustration due in part to his recent inter-planar hopping. He sat back and waited for news that would be more “normal”, and with any luck good.
“Sharn has been fairly quiet. There have been a couple new establishements opened, ohh… and the raid. A rather inept guard, Harris I believe is his name, was credited with discovering and almost single handedly destroying a huge Daask drug warehouse. I believe that the story is at very least embellished, if not an out right lie. Harris is a known junky and has barely kept his post over the years. Several condemnations and even a demotion speak to his work ethic. His propensity to take bribes is not unknown either.”
“Interesting to know, though I fear that this is something that I need not concern myself with at current, considering my current endeavors. I will keep this though; as you know, you never know when information may prove useful.”
Frost stood to leave, Brad followed suit. “Oh, I nearly forgot, your mother and sister will soon be visiting back to moon watch to see to some financial affairs they have there.”
Frost took the news with a somber face that showed little emotion. “I will have to arrange a trip then.” He shook Brad’s hand and gave him a parting pat on the back. Frost stepped back out down the spiral of stairs to meet back up with his companions.
Frost reentered the Occularum housing to find Anemone following Solaruun with a piece of bread that she had buttered and constantly attempted to get him to eat. She let her arms drop in defeat as Solaruun bounced between piles of “artifacts”. Solaruun’s pace was frantic as he leafed through a few pages of one tome before dropping it and moving on to the next. At the sight of Frost, Anemone threw her arms up in defeat and set the bread on the table.
“He has been like this the whole morning! He refuses to eat. He keeps claiming that he has almost found the key.”
“Well where is it?”, asked Frost, attempting to hold in a laugh at Anemone’s frustration.
“Ask him yourself.”, Anemone retorted.
Frost moved towards Solaruun, but each time he approached Solaruun would move on to an adjacent pile of books. Solaruun collected what appeared to be a journal and began to flip through it. He scanned each line with the tip of his finger, mouthing each word as he did so. Frost approached cautiously. Closing a foot of space between them with each step, Frost was almost upon the old man when Solaruun let out an exclamation. The old man’s beady eyes caught Frost’s eyes and he spoke, “I need another book!”
Frost looked around the room at the collection of books that this strange hermit of a man had already put together. Surely this was the largest collection of books that Frost had seen outside of any major institution with a library. What tome could possibly add any information that could not already be found in this collection.
“There is a tome… a book… a book… regarding the the giant societies… giants in the southwest reaches of Xen’drik… giants… giants that built Mi’la Aur’oth! Sera… sera… at the library… Moregrave…”
Frost focused in on Solaruun’s words attempting to decipher the stuttered rambling. Believing that he had gathered the gist of what the old man was saying, Frost told Anemone to get ready to go collect Sera and Shim. “Now old man, you should sleep.”
“No time… must start… must start… must start…”, Solaruun trailed off and sat in slumber, mouth agape, drooling on the journal. Selwyn stayed to watch Solaruun as Frost and Anemone went to meet their comrades.
They made haste to Sera’s apartment and came to the door to find a small dent along the right side of it. The dent had four segments to it, almost like a fist. Had someone come to hurt Sera? Had the adventurers guild found her and come to collect the A.A.R.P.?
Anemone readied her blade and Frost opened the door. As Anemone lept in the room she found Shim, taking books off of the shelves in Sera’s room and stacking them into neat piles according to some system not known to Anemone.
“Welcome Anemone, Welcome Frost. Sera is in her study putting together her notes on the A.A.R.P. before its return to The Clifftop Adventurers Guild. She has instructed that she is not to be disturbed in the course of her work. Upon completion she will emerge from her study.”, Shim reported while taking a small break from his dubious stacking.
“We have some new information on where to get the next key but, we need Sera to get us into Moregrave.”, said Anemone.
“Sera has instructed that she is not to be disturbed in the course of her work. Upon completion she will emerge from her study. Her books may offer a source of information. I have also learned of several various stories of relevance from a local news source.”
Shim went on to regurgitate all of the stories he had read in The Inquisitor to painstaking detail. As he drew to a close, he spoke of his revelation, “It appears as though our actions have vastly improved the qualities of processed meats in Sharn. Further research needs to be done in order to evaluate how wide spread this phenomena has spread.”
“Shim, we need Sera”, pleaded Frost.
“Sera has instructed that she is not to be disturbed in the course of her work. Upon completion she will emerge from her study.”, retorted Shim.
Realizing a futile effort when he saw it, Frost said, “Well, let’s go find something to fill our time then.”
“Hazjrak!”, exclaimed Anemone.
Anemone & Gunfer, The Wench & The Waif
On the way to the western wards, Anemone excitedly explained the finer points of the game to her compatriots. “Its almost like the game you call capture the flag, but instead there are totems on either end of the field. Oh, and the field is a treacherous obstacle course covered in all manner of physically trying challenges. Plus there are two Razorclaws for each team that attempt to balk the advancement by ravaging the runners.”
As she spoke this last line, Anemone mimed the pouncing and clawing manuvers that she was describing, causing several passers-by to jump away from her to avoid being hit. As they drew closer to the field, they saw posters proclaiming the battle between the two shifter teams.
The favored team was captained by Gunfer, a legendary player of the game. Gunfer was also the topic of many of the conversations amongst the other fans that now were flowing into the arena. The crowd was comprised mostly of other shifters but, there was also a sprinkling of humans, dwarves, elves, and even a few half-orcs. The teams did warm ups on the edge of the obstacle course.
Shim, Anemone, and Frost procured beverages and places to sit. The group watched the teams stretch as they discussed their attack routes among the array of physical challenges. Suddenly, a great fanfare of music was started. Shifters sounded trumpets fashioned from animal horns as drums of various makes were pounded in a rising beat. The pulse of the drums grabbed hold of the crowd. Many fans stood and clapped in unison with the drummers until the stadium threatened to collapse from the thumping stomps of feat, cheering fans, and visceral percussion.
The song came to a powerful and sudden stop. The sudden conclusion was followed by a loud thunderous voice booming over a magically amplified system. The announcer began to announce each team…
The Sport of Hajrak is truely a violent and wild sport. The constant struggle to capture the Idol of the other team. We only covered the game in short while “in session” so, use the space below to tell your characters account of the Mighty Gunfer’s Victory. This challenge is open to Frost, Anemone, and Shim. A good description will net you 500 XP, but the best one will get an additional 500 XP. If you want some additional info to go off of, please view , pg.30 Deadline, is 12/14/2012.
As the crowds emptied from the arena Anemone spoke in fervent praise of the amazing skill presented on the field by the mighty Gunfer. Frost looked at her with a dismissive glance and then attempted to tune her out on his path to the nearest tavern. Shim listened intently, hoping to gather more information on the strange, brutal spectacle that they had just witnessed. Anemone reenacted several impressive plays from the match. Her relentless praise of the majesty of the mighty Gunfer drew the cheers from other passing fans. One shifter approached the group, “You know that Gunfer is going to be imbibing at the new tavern in Hareth’s Folly? The Saucy Wench I believe its called. I’ll be there for sure!”
And with that, the shifter dove back into the crowd and pressed forward towards the nearest stairs leading down the towers into Hareth’s Folly. Anemone’s eyes lit up at the thought of being able to meet up with the star of today’s match. She turned to Frost, He waved his hand forward with a belabored nod approving the question he knew Anemone was about to pose to him. “Thank yo…”, Anemone started.
Frost jammed a finger to her lips to silence her, “Just don’t talk until we get there.”
Shim stared strangely at this interaction, but then proceeded to follow as they made their way to the newest drinking hole Sharn had to offer.
The Saucy Wench was not the typical watering hole that they had anticipated entering in Sharn’s middle wards. The tavern took up what looked to be three stories of a newly remodeled tower. A small bridge led to the entrance, forcing you to walk by a large sign hung to the wall, lit on either end with two ever burning torches, proclaiming the name of the establishment.
Take a Virtual Tour of The Saucy Wench.
The smells that emanated from the kitchen in the establishment were nothing short of intoxicating. The place sounded lively from the outside, and the smells overcame any question as to whither or not they should go in. As they entered they were immediately confronted with a large orcish bouncer who eyed them all suspiciously.
“Chud no allow weapons in The Wench.”
Frost looked to his side and Anemone to her blade. They reluctantly surrendered their weapons and entered in. They made their way downstairs to the main bar where a very skilled dancer was being aided in her performance by a small gnomish illusionist. He created embellishments to her dance by leaving sparkling trails of light tracing the paths of all her appendages. They grew more intense in color and shimmer as the movements of her dance grew more erratic and lively. Music seemed to fill the room but, there was no band in sight.
The group found a table and took a moment to order some food and drink. The place was a buzz with energy and the spirits were poured liberally. Quality ales, some harder liquors, and a bounty of food was soon presented to the table.
Shim watched the crowd and took in the sights of the performance while Frost and Anemone began to gorge themselves with the cornucopia of delicacies set before them. As he turned to see his friends stuffing their face, Shim decided to attempt to sample the “food” that his counterparts were so greedily inhaling. He took a sliver and chewed it between his mechanical lips but, was relatively nonplussed by the experience.
The Dancing gave way to live instruments as a bard took the stage and began to sing. Frost sat back for a moment to rest his meal before finishing off the rest of the delicious food. A murmer began to take hold around the place and several patrons stood up and began to move back upstairs. Gunfer had arrived. Anemone took the news with great enthusiasm and pushed past other patrons to make her way up the stairs.
Soon a crowd was clustered at the top of the stairs spilling over into the nicer section of the bar upstairs. Anemone was at the head of the pack in accosting Gunfer. She presented herself with a chant of “Gunfer, It’s me. Anemone! You were so great on the field, the way you… grrr,” and with that she once again launched into a miming of one of the more impressive maneuvers pulled off by Gunfer.
Frost, having already witnessed the reenactment, scanned around the crowd. The bulk of the clientele had been at the match just a few hours before; many of their faces were familiar to Frost. One patron stood out though. A young waif like human female pushed against the crowd to make her way down the stairs and to the bar. Her dark hair was matted and wild, her clothes were destroyed and appeared to have old blood stains on them. She stood at the bar and demanded something but Frost was unable to pick out the words. He watched as the barkeep took two galifars from her and in exchange, presented her with a small vial of a milky white substance. As Frost attempted to catch a better glimpse, the waif palmed the vial and headed upstairs. Once again she shoved her way through the crowd. Most of the patrons were unphased by the slight jostle because they themselves were jostling to get closer to Gunfer. As the waif passed the top of the stairs, near Anemone she came on to a particularly dense clog of people barring her exit. The frail looking girl gave a sharp elbow that moved the group of fans forward, right into Anemone’s range of motion. Anemone’s blow by blow reenactment for Gunfer was interrupted and her position to talk to Gunfer was challenged. Anemone gave a mighty shove back to maintain her spot. Her own strength got the better of her though as she ended up knocking back the whole group of patrons strewn along the stairs.
As the cacophany of groans and disgruntaled statements started in from the crowd, Frost saw it was a prudent time to make their exit as well. He left some coin for the meal and drink, then stood up with Shim in tow. They carefully stepped over the guests trying to regain their footing until reaching the top of the stairs. Once there Frost grabbed Anemone’s arm and politely insisted that they head out.
After catching the sky coach back to Menthis Plateau, Shim left the company of his two friends to check in on Sera. Anemone and Frost made their way to Dragon’s Roost and then to the Occularum Housing. Upon entering, Selwyn stood from his vigil over the still sleeping Solaruun. “He has been asleep since you left, he has been talking in his sleep and occasionally shouting as if stricken by a nightmare. He doesn’t appear to be in any actual pain, and I have done what I can to calm him. After a day indoors though, I long for a return to the wilds for a time.”
With that Selwyn took the form of a hunting bat and took to the skies. Anemone and Frost looked to Solaruun to check on his well being. He seemed to be resting quietly atop the table in the basement area. They each found a place to rest their bodies and slipped into a deep slumber after the day’s intrigues.
Anemone, Frost, were all startled by a sudden gasp for air from Solaruun. The old man began to flail and twitch as he gasped for air. Books that were stacked on the table toppled over as he clawed at the air in an attempt to catch his breath. Anemone and Frost rushed to his aide. Frost moved to hold Solaruun still. Anemone pounced on top of the table to look at his face. Solaruun’s eyes twitched wildly under their lids. He appeared to be having a dream that was stealing his breath. Frost had just gotten him under control when there was a violent knock at the door. “Great…”, Frost uttered with a heavy sigh.
Another knock. Solaruun began to twitch and convulse even more violently. Frost shoved all his weight on him to hold him down while Anemone grabbed his legs to prevent any flailing. The door was pounded on once again, but this time with a heavy boot. The thug outside was attempting to break in the door! Anemone snapped to the ready and cast a sharp glare at the door. She moved through the piles of books and detritus with an animal like posture until she came to the door and ripped it open. She was surprised to find not one thug, but instead three. She balked for a moment and the three thugs pushed in. “We’ve come to collect the rent old man!”
“He’s preoccupied at the moment.”, Frost said, holding Solaruun down.
“We are not leaving with out the money.”
At this Anemone slipped the blade from her back and grinned at the two thugs closest to her. Sensing the situation was not going to be conducive to their victory in a hand to hand, Frost shouted.
“Just wait, as you can see our friend is poorly. We have just returned from a long journey and are amiable to settling any debts but, at this moment our friend’s life may be in danger. Tomorrow, We will meet with you tomorrow.”
As frost finished this statement, Solaruun let out a gutteral gasp while his eyes rolled back. The thugs took a step back. The combination of the violently thrashing old man, the strange elf, and the hairy woman with a sword seemed to unsettle the thugs and divert their one-mindedness. “Tomorrow, [i forgot this guy’s name] will meet with you. Be at the tavern four towers south and 2 levels down at dusk. Be there, with the money, or we come back.”
Frost nodded and motioned for them to leave. Anemone smiled at each of them as they left, bearing her teeth ever so slightly while turning the blade slightly at her side. “See you tomorrow.”, she said.
As soon as the hired help left, Frost told Anemone to collect Sera and Shim in hopes one of them would be able to formulate a plan to save this enfeebled lunatic.
Anemone returned with Shim and Sera in tow. Anemone and Sera were visably winded from the expeditious nature of their sprint to aid Solaruun. Recent doubts in the old man’s true motives lead them to question their feelings for the eccentric geriatric. If nothing else though, they needed him to operate and maintain the Occularum.
Shim, not prone to the effects of being ‘winded’, was quick to Solaruun’s side. He approached to find Solaruun’s eyes violently flicking back and forth beneath his wrinkled eyelids as his body contorted in spasms of what he approximated as pain. He immediately began to process the situation and his logic systems began to fire rapidly. He began to assess the variables and eliminate improbable or impossible explinations thus deductively arriving at the appropriate action.
The untiring psiforged had observed this type of eye movement before while he took his turn at watch over the party’s camp. This is what the fleshlings called “dreaming”. Shim had discussed dreaming with Sera at a point during their travels. He had deduced from her description that this state was a random flux of thoughts drawn from a pool of the said human’s experience. Occasionally these sporadic patterns of thought would induce sensations that the human types found unpleasant. They called these variations “nightmares”, or occasionally, “bad dreams”. Shim had never seen any of his band froth at the mouth like Solaruun was. Sera did occasionally secrete small quantities of spittle in her sleep but, Shim had concluded this was just an effect of gravity and an open mouth with a slight excess of unswallowed saliva. The old man’s violent convulsions had not been witnessed by Shim before either. Anemone did occasionally move her arms and legs in a vaguely canine or lupine manner. Shim had concluded that this was most likely Anemone reacting to a perceived change in reality and acting out a portion of her “dream”. If Solaruun was acting out a part of his dream it must have been the effect of something terrible happening in his thoughts. Logically, the first thing Shim needed to help was to understand what in these thought patterns could cause this reaction. In what was mere seconds to the rest of the party, Shim fired off a set of models based on his comparative observations of normal “dreams” versus whatever kind of “nightmare” Solaruun was experiencing. This equivalence test led to Shim’s decision to delve into his mind with his psionic abilities.
As he entered Shim started to recieve the information that made up the world of Solaruun’s dreams. He was confronted with an image of a terrible beast, the likes of what he had never seen before. With no physical creature to draw direct comparisons to, Shim broke down the various parts of the creature. The bottom portion resembled a serpent that moved with its top half upright. Shim had read about a creature called a “naga” in a book that covered the more unusual creatures of Lammania. The eight eyes that made up a large portion of the beast’s crown were almost exactly like those Shim recalled from illustrations from a tome in Solaruun’s collection called “Large Arachnids of Xen’drik”. The hands of the creature, if they could be called hands, resembled that of an odd insect called a “praying mantis” as depicted in “Common Gardening for the First Time Horticulturalist”. The maw of the beast was, in Shim’s opinion, the most fearsome part. It resembled nothing that Shim had encountered in his reading. It was a vertical opening lined with sharp teeth and six “hands” at its sides to help shove things into it.
In the vision the beast moved forward to attack, this sudden disruption forced Shim out of Solaruun’s mind. As it did Shim jumped back in his seat.
Vult 3, 998 YK
- Solaruun Hospitalized
- Solaruun put in Jorasco house to be cared for
- Group returns the AARP
- Ra L’Blaugh Spends the deposit, Interest
- Moregrave research (Madam Moi’sel)
- Books On southern giant culture
- The page & The Silver robed man.
- Shim’s “emittion”
- Sera knows about I/O of Warforged
- Transcription of Mabran/Irian texts
- Talk with Planar Professor
- Points on astral plane & Magic
- Prof reveals that the language pops up across artifacts on several planes.
- Discusses limited knowledge of the Giant magic that Sealed Dal Quor.
- Questions Sera’s mental state
- Ask about man in Silver robes, works with Pilah Aruun, head of artifact research @ moregrave.
- Twilight Meetings & Leavings
- Sera gives frost money, goes home, dyes her hair & goes to the wench.
- Anemone & Frost Visit with their creditors, bad meeting, get one week to come up with the money.
- Shim goes to the OH and encounters the traveler.
- Selwyn is to leave to train as a planar shepherd.
- Traveler tracked down Frosts Uncle(communicated via ML, traveling into wroat, then further westward.
- Traveler evades shims questioning, telling him that it will be important to let him discover answers for himself.
- Frost Rallies Ranger Brad
- Tells ranger brad about his uncle, ranger brad says it may not be wise to attack in Wroat as it is a tumultuous place at present.
- Reveals Demonoc
- Frost reveals true inventory at the wench, has Brad scout the purchaser.
- Tells ranger brad about his uncle, ranger brad says it may not be wise to attack in Wroat as it is a tumultuous place at present.
- Wenchy Woman
- Sera’s new look, Zippers, & Spiderlegs
- Meets Torwin
- Gets room at an inn in Tavicks Landing.
- Shim begins to organize the journals in solaruun’s Collection
Vult 4, 998 KY
- Sera peddles her “weres”
- sera doesnt return to the group & is ellusive.
- More Morgrave
- Solaruun Pleads with shim & frost to get the book as the pick him up from the JHH.
- Anemone tracks Sera
- Talk with Pilah Aruun
- Learn of Siviroth, the man in the silver robes.
- Office locked
- Book Deals.
- Solaruun Pleads with shim & frost to get the book as the pick him up from the JHH.
- Book Report
- Solaruun gets the book tracks location of Mi’la Aur’oth, several days hike south west of Last Chance.
- Attempt to track sera but no posessions.
- Scry on viva’s coin purse.
- Viva affixed to machine.
- Stacking Galifars
- group attempts to make some coin.
- Shim Learns of a high stakes game of liars dice in Hareths Folly.
- Frost & Anemone learn of a less than reputable Gnomish artifacts dealer, Vundry, @ Dragons Roost Tavern.
- group attempts to make some coin.
- Frost prys about “extra work”
- Vundry makes him earn her trust by recovering an artifact that is in the posession of one Duke Bronson.
- Anemone & Frost investigate in Oak Towers
- Bronson, Duke Bronson
- Frost’s “Inquisitor Impression”
- A paragon of society.
- Getting the orb. Aliases
- Solaruun appraises the Orb (8000 gp)
- Frost’s “Inquisitor Impression”
- Liars Dice
- Shim goes to “The King of Fire” Gambling hall in Hareth’s Folly
- Shim loses to the table and decides to pilfer the coin purse of a drunken friar.
- Shim was only lucky, not so much successful. He was noticed by the house.
- Bag only had 2 FF Tokens, 50cp, 10sp, 2gp, 1pp, and a jade symbol of Onatar
Vult 5, 998 YK
- Friend of Sera’s come to find her.
- Points out the sleeping bag that Sera left behind in OH,
- The Occularum is modified
- Group Scrys on Sera.
- How to Haggle with Gnomes
- Frost visits Ranger Brad to find a fence.
- Frost and Anemone resign to actually take the device to Vundry.
- Frost convinces Vundry to add an additional 100 gp to cover his “extra costs”.
- New work to recover some “artifacts” from Xen’drik
- Group advanced 5000gp for expenses including Travel Papers, Letters of Marque, Transit, and supplies.
- Party required to leave in < 2 weeks.
- Two Metal Heads Look for a Girl Dressed in Black
- Shim and Peter go to Tavicks Landing to find Sera.
- They spot her first on the small sky coach landings.
- Tell her of the need for her to return.
- A Melding of the Minds
- Shim and Peter get to know each other.
- Accomplishment: Metal on Metal
- Frost and Anemone Return. Tell of Xen’drik side mission.
- Solaruun begins repeating himself, more than usual.
- Shim uses mind link to understand Solaruun.
- Solaruun, becomes evasive when asked about his research in Arcanix.
- Shim Probes deeper
- Solaruun reveals his quantum mind state
- Solaruun reveals why he and Felix split
- off and on
- Solaruun is questioned on the topic of ir’Gannik.
- Shim and Peter get to know each other.
- Shim begins to search through Solaruun’s journals.
- Sera spends time with Peter. / Anemone and Frost pay debts.
- The group reunites, Discussions of Lyn’Esta (The ship in the boat house)
- Sera goes to Moregrave w/ Anemone for more info.
- Sausage is purchased.
- Info on Ship, a former member of a fleet of Xen’drik catalogers.
- Sausage is dropped off.
- Frost goes to Ranger Brad, calls off search for the waif.
- Redirects the efforts to figure out more about the wench, as he put together that Vundry was among the wenches VIP.
- Frost tells RB about mentions of Felix being associated in some way with the group of evil doers.
- Breakfast Studies, Office Hours
- Party conducts surveys and info on and enhanced qualities of the sausage.
- Visit with Siviroth.
- Fr & Se track page before Siviroth arrives. See book of maps.
- Anemone & Shim learn about giants.
- Group reunites. more talk of giants & nature of their magic.
- Shim attempts to detect thoughts, is balked and reprimanded.
- Shim gets status reported.
- Sera & Shim do more research.
- Learn more about the boat and its strange properties.
- Collecting the Dossier & Sending a Letter
- Frost & Anemone See vundry, get info.
- 20+ Giant idols in temple w/ a payout of 7000 Galifars for each one recovered.
- After collecting info, Sera sends a letter to Flamekeep.
- Achievement: Letter to the Metatron.
- Frost & Anemone See vundry, get info.
“Letter to the Metatron”
- Preperations, Brewfest, The Waif and Substance
- Party secures gear for trip
- Travel papers, letters of mark, etc.
- Hires group to ship occularum back to stormreach
- Brew Fest
- Shim indulges
- The Waif Approaches
- Anemone & Lily
- Party secures gear for trip