Gloryday the 20th of Drowning, 5060
Questions in the Tomb
With Manudhar called in from Feery’s Leap, the party gathered to ask questions of the primary corpse in the tomb. When that corpse’s answers were not as useful as they’d hoped for, they proceeded to ask questions of the next best-preserved corpse.
Primary corpse questions
What is the name and purpose of this place?
This is the Hyacinth Idyll, the crypt of my achievement.
What is your achievement?
My tomb, for myself and my worthy descendants.
Who are you?
Names, riddles, poems. Volter Cesil Hyves, Halcyon Bridge of Roses, 2nd prince of House Rowan
When were you born?
Lunasday, Summer 88, Year 12
Is there more to this place other than the three chambers visible to us?
Roots of a tree, branching out, touching lives, touching the heavens. But only a few, the season cut short. No time for more.
Questions for the next best corpse
What does the summoning circle bring?
The dark, the dread, the snakes-for-fingers, the forked tongues, the scaley skin, the stink of brimstone… the fire!
What’s the name of the creature summoned?
Many. Hordes. The more you strive, the more come.
What’s your name?
Hemry Iver Hyves, Bridge of Tulips, 7th prince of House Rowan
What is the Bridge of Tulips?
My place, my second name, the waypoint on my path, the place I seek, the place, the eternal journey, the passing way, step by step…
At this point, the questioning-magic had faded from the second corpse. Oervind commented that, given time and the right tools, he should be able to translate the dates the corpses gave into meaningful dates. The calendar they used is the Blossom Rhyme, popular among druids and sailors, and it counts years since the last Bridgeglow. A Bridgeglow happens about twice a century, so it is not helpful for longer reckoning, but since the days of the week in the Blossom Rhyme do not line up from year to year, it should be possible to count back until they found a date where the weekday and calendar date line up with the corpses’ recollections.
Exploring the Steppes
Realizing that they wouldn’t get much farther until they could do some research into Tarsh history, the party teleported back to the Keep, and set off into the steppes to check out the possible places of interest that Sender and Shegger Gork had found during their winter survey.
First, the party sailed down the Dustwash river and entered the reedy Lake of Tears for the first time. Edane noticed that there was a suspiciously deep channel running almost exactly through the middle of the lake, tracing a line between the Dustwash and a tributary on the eastern side of the lake.
Gux enhanced the party to allow them all to breathe underwater, and they spent a few hours poking around the cold muck at the bottom of the lake. They noticed some suspiciously regular mounds in the sediment, and very little sign of life in the briny water. Their preliminary inspection did yield a crystal that resembled the crystal codices they’d found in the Tomb of the White Jackal.
The party decided that their time would be better spend elsewhere, and sent message to Feery’s Leap to invite other adventuring parties or students to come play in the mud.
Moving on, the party made landfall on the eastern edge of the Lake of Tears, and headed east on foot to investigate the next site of interest. On the far side of the Lake of Tears, the flat expanse of the steppes gives way to scrubby hills and an irregular smattering of mountains. Among the hills, a small clearing sits at an odd angle, bedecked with paving stones and decorative columns, at its center sprouts an elaborate fountain – more in keeping with a Viridian noble’s ostentatious display of wealth than a remote hilltop in the wilderness. Sender reported that the columns shed light at night, making the site visible for miles.
When the party approached the fountain, elementals splashed out of its pool, taking a menacing posture. Gux parleyed with them, and persuaded them that the party meant no harm. Recognizing his elemental affinity, they told him about their patron, who may choose to speak with them after she greets the sun the next morning.
Consulting the Fountain
The party returned, and Oervind cast tongues on Edane so she and Gux could both address the patron. When the patron emerged from the fountain, it appeared as a 10-foot-tall elven woman made of water and lit from within by a dazzling ebullience. After her paean to the dawn, she greeted the party, and allowed Gux and Edane to step into her territory. She identified herself with a Sylvan name, Eyliathanistrianei me’Atylôndreya s’Istrianarien, which could be rendered in elven custom as Thaniss or Ilôndreya.
Their initial conversation went well, though the lady had limited knowledge to share. She had been given dominion over the fountain and its environs long ago, combining her watery heritage with fey essence. She described a great “disagreement” that happened shortly after she took up her mantle, and the river fled from the sea and the land became confused, then very quiet. Since that time, others occasionally intrude disrespectfully upon her domain, but all have been turned away.
When asked if the “disagreement” could be rectified, she sounded uncertain. “Perhaps a mountain could be persuaded to intervene,” she said, “It is quite beyond a creature of the flowing waters.”
Edane and Gux explained that the party had recently established their own dominion nearby, and considered themselves to have a duty to explore the area and protect its rightful denizens. They asked the lady if they could do something to aid her, but she insisted that there was little more she could wish in the world, aside from some occasional company and perhaps a nice stream within view.
Promising to return soon to talk further, the party bid the lady adieu and returned to their exploration.