Feery's Leap

Session 85
Sidebar: Plugging in the White Jackal's tomb
10th of Dearth 5060

Gux collected the manufactured conduit replacements from Feery’s Leap, and Feordin, Manudhar, and local hire Savannah Stalu escorted him. Connecting the conduits to the replacements was exhausting and demanding work. The artisans had reconstructed seven conduit components. One of the connections conveyed a strong blue light that blinded Gux for several hours.

When Gux connected the bright conduit there was a bit of planar distortion, but the sixth conduit conveyed a charge of spell energy that pushed it over the edge. The planar boundary thinned, and some red-skinned outsider marauders broke through. They attacked Gux, and did quite a bit of damage before his friends distracted a few of them. They managed to dispatch the invaders, and decided to wait until the following day to finish the repairs.

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Session 84
Coming back for more
17th of Dearth 5060

The party retreated to a secure shelter, and interviewed the hobgoblin they escorted away from the keep. The evacuee, a “spirit talker” named Girrock Hregek, told the story of how he and the orcs got to the keep.

Many of the humanoids from the steppes fled south when the undead rampages began. They crowded out and clashed with local tribes there, until a strange shadow-stained troll appeared among them as if out of nowhere. The troll, Black Brok, carved a bloody swath through the countryside. He whipped several orckish warlords into submission, and turned them against other warbands. They slew or enslaved anyone who got in their way. Other bands allied with them to win the spoils of conflict.

Several bands took their gains (weapons, goods, mostly slaves) and headed north before the tables turned on them. Hrikk Ice-Blood took his band here. He has three dozen orcs, a dozen half-orcs, and at least two dozen goblins and hobgoblins. You could also count at least a dozen kobolds and a few humans. Most of the non-orcs are slaves.

Girrock said he could contact his friend in the keep, and they would not stand in the way of the party’s assault on the warlord. The kobolds would obviously flee at the first opportunity, but the others would need to put up a good front before escaping.

The party said they would not molest anyone leaving, which apparently was good enough for Girrock. He did some quasi-magical circle ritual to communicate with his compatriots. Then he made camp with the party, and they made their assault early in the morning.

Approaching the ruined keep, Shegger Gork spotted a camouflaged kobold (sorcerer?) in a tree. The kobold flew away toward the keep on barely-functional winged boots.

The party approached the keep much as they had before, invisible and by air. As they approached, an air elemental surged at them from the top of the keep. It caught several of them in its whirlwind. When they became visible, they became targets for pot shots from the keep. Sender got a grease spell through an arrow slit, which inspired Edane to follow suit.

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Session 83
Great Southern Orcking
16th of Dearth, 5060

Evening hostilities

Camping overnight, the party was accosted by a small hunting party of seasoned orcs – one of whom had ram’s horns. Daylight and blistering radiance broke up their assault pretty quickly. Though Oervind was rudely awakened by flaming javelins in his backside, his summoned fiendish dire wolf more than made up for it.

The orcs’ remains did not seem noteworthy: no particularly valuable items, no magic items, no valuables. None of them was dressed much better than the others.

Later in the evening, Sender and Shegger spotted a large wolf on the far side of the river, apparently studying the camp. It backed off when approached.

Mayhem in the morning

The party finished the upriver trek to the ruins of Haeldregu keep, where the orcs and their allies had made their base. Imbued with invisibility and flight, the party approached for reconnaissance. They saw wolves, a few horses, and several hobgoblins around the keep. The orcs, they assumed, would be asleep inside.

Oervind summoned a large earth elemental to drop on the keep to flush out the occupants, and the party indulged in a brief orgy of destruction as orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, and kobolds streamed out of the main building (and later the guardhouse). They summoned several interesting creatures to fight on their behalf, and Sender blasted the keep’s main door with fireball spells as the occupants ran out in terror. Aranethon carpeted the keep with blistering radiance.

The party noticed that someone inside had summoned another earth elemental to fight with Oervind’s. Sender spotted a hobgoblin reach the roof and disappear (without casting a spell). Sender quickly cast see invisibility to see the hobgoblin slipping away on a broom. About that point, they also saw an orc on the roof, casting dispel magic at him to strip his invisibility. The party offered him aid in escaping, and Edane distracted the orc with a well-placed scorching ray before the party slipped away into the skies.

The party regrouped to make camp a few miles away, there to converse with the hobgoblin and discuss what to do next.

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Session 82
Reflections
Marvelday the 5th of Dearth 5060

After speaking with the fountain-tender elemental, the party returned to the Keep. Feordin broke in the new inn, the Laughing Lich, while Gux went to the White Jackal’s tomb to fix the conduit there.

Conduit repairs

After two weeks of game time, and for each week thereafter, the following skill checks can be rolled to execute conduit repairs:

  • Knowledge (arcana)
  • Knowledge (eldritch arcana)
  • Knowledge (architecture & engineering)
  • Craft (lapidary)
  • Craft (mason)

Multiple people may work on the project, and a total of seven successful rolls are required to complete repairs (they must be a mix of Knowledge and Craft checks). Using a stone shape spell adds +4 to the Craft checks. A roll of 1 on any of these checks does further damage to the conduit, requiring a DC 30 Craft (lapidary) check to fix.

Scholar for hire

The company’s tailor shop in Orgolash received a call from a wizard named Nervil Grayzer Hawke. Mr. Hawke is a recent graduate from Greeling College, the school that they visited to purchase a scroll of Mephaniel’s proxy. The wizard has heard of the party’s interest in classical history, and would like to offer his services to the party for 6 months or so. He is a native of Tarsh, raised near Ovation before he studied in Orgolash. He is fluent in Tarshakan, Elven, Dwarven, Draconic, and Sylvan, and knows a little Classic Orichalan. He is looking for an agreement that includes room and board, with a small stipend. Location is negotiable.

Several party members teleported to Orgolash to meet with the aspiring wizard. They thought he showed enough promise to let him work on their findings from their most recent tomb explorations (Session 79, Session 80, Session 81). They exchanged arcane marks and will check on him in 3 weeks. They gave their tailors enough money to cover his room and board during this trial period.

A missed call

An eccentric nobleman from Warwick (City State region) arrived in Sitoon with a small retinue of seasoned explorers, and has hired guides to take him into the steppes. He stopped briefly at Feery’s Leap before heading to the Desert Lotus Outpost, then the Charm Tree, and the Keep, before proceeding east, possibly southeast, into the wastes. He gave the name Radyosha Alyeovich Deniskov, and he claims that he has ancestors who came from the steppes, and was worried that explorers in the steppes might disturb his ancestors’ remains and relics. He has retained the Oaken Guise adventuring company from Feery’s Leap, and the survivors of Driku’s Widowmakers from Shalay.

Journey to Silent Reflections

To retrieve Aranethon, the rest of the party (Edane, Oervind, Valess, Sender & Shegger) sailed upriver as far as they could go, rode the rest of the way to the waystation at Norikhan, and from there turned southwest toward the research camp of Silent Reflections, named after the dream-city that Manudhar had accidentally discovered there (session 20). A dozen wizards and scholars from Feery’s Leap had gathered there under the gnome diviner Wainey Wickle’s supervision.

The elven dream-wizard Eylavien agreed to guide Edane and Oervind into the Dream of Silent Reflections, help them find their companion, and return to the material plane. The rest of the party waited in the camp for a little over a day, until they returned with Aranethon.

Stela intervention

During their absence, the rest of the party discussed what to do about the partial stela of Orichalan text that the drifter treant merchant-prince Hentennec the Scourge claimed to have for sale. Was it really a fragment of one of these stelae? Did they have the means to purchase it legitimately? If it was a “real” stela, what was more important: obtaining it or preventing the wrong people from claiming it? Was this beyond the party’s means to accomplish? Traveling to the southern border of Durju lands to drive back the orcs might be a better use of their talents.

Aranethon had spent the winter studying the stelae and meditating, before deciding to visit Silent Reflections to search for more clues to his god’s history. He realized that the stelae were someone’s attempt to tell a story, a tale important enough to protect against the ravages of time. And somehow that story was key to the history of the steppes, and to his god’s past.

Aranethon said that even if the rest of the party weren’t interested, he would go to Vertigo to figure out how to get the stela. It was that important to him. Valess also expressed interest, and managed to talk Aranethon out of it. “Let me take care of this,” she said, “I know something about navigating the ”/campaign/feery-s-leap/wikis/plane-of-entropy" class=“wiki-page-link”> falling-down-place, and I know people who can help. I can pull this off, one way or the other." The rest of the party gave their assent and blessings, and arcane marks to contact Edane, Oervind, and Sender with updates. Edane sent lesser sending to Gâshek to inform him of their plans, and to let him know that Valess would contact him once she reached Vertigo.

Durju’s tattered hem

Far south of Sitoon, near the southernmost reach of the Durju pantheon’s influence, the sparse local population has found itself in escalating conflict with bands of orcs. They have asked for adventurers (any able hands, really) to come south and defend them from orckish ravages.

Seeing a chance to be heroes, the party (Edane, Oervind, Sender, Shegger, and Aranethon) rode to Feery’s Leap, teleported to Sitoon, and set sail south. On the 15th of Dearth they reached the last river mouth in Durju lands, and calmed the local fishermen enough to persuade a rotten-mouthed old man to take them upriver to the next settlement. There they persuaded one of the settlement’s 10 survivors (a 28-year-old “elder”) to guide them upriver to a keep the orcs have taken. They made camp overnight about half-way between the settlement and the keep. Expecting trouble overnight, Oervind cast wall of stone several times to provide fortifications.

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Session 81
Of corpses and fountains
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.

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Session 80
Tomb and beyond
Gloryday, the 20th of Drowning 5060

The party explored the left and right wings of the tomb, and found a summoning circle and an empty bowl, respectively. During their investigation, the party noticed that the space was somehow warped in such a way that changed the way that magic functioned. Sender noticed that his divination spell did not expire when expected. Clearly, the architects of the tomb had some tricks up their sleeves.

Edane accidentally triggered a trap in the main hallway, which triggered the summoning circle. Luckily, Oervind and Gux were able to counterspell it, giving Valess a chance to disarm. Then Manudhar arrived to inspect the corpse and ask it probing questions.

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Session 79
Tomb Raiding
Forebodingday, the 7th of Drowning, 5060

The party reviewed the haul from the baron’s keep, and Valess and her friends went to meet with the dwarves for the reward, taking the dwarven goods and the flask found in the treasure trove. They came back with enough dwarven gold for each person to receive a 300gp share.

The dwarves said that the flask was the personal drinking flask from a member of a good family in a major mountain citadel. His family would be contacted, and a reward will be forthcoming.

Meeting Garrick Corm

Oervind got a lesser sending from Symon Jullet, magister MacArcher’s assistant. Symon reported that an “agent” had come to him with an object and information for trade, which may interest the party. They took the bait, and went to MacArcher’s tower to meet with the agent.

The agent, a roguish Tarshakan called Garrick Frazer Corm, claimed that he was acting on behalf of some friends of his, an adventuring company that had found a burial site that presented perils a bit beyond their skills. The party managed to get into the tomb, collect some samples, and bid a hasty retreat. They are recuperating in town.

Mr. Corm presented a tattered burial shroud, apparently a few hundred years old, long ago stamped with patterns that looked like they had come from an engraved tablet. Several party members could make out short passages of text, which led them to believe the imprint was from one of the stelae they have been collecting.

The shroud is a “proxy,” a temporary replica made via the spell Mephaniel’s proxy. The spell was developed in Greeling College in Orgolash, and is for sale.

Mr. Corm offered the proxy for sale to study (it will disappear after a week or so), and also indicated that his associates may also be willing to sell a captured image of the interior of the tomb, and the tomb’s location.

The party went for his deal, and further spent time impressing upon Corm that his associates stepped into something that is much, much over their head. They paid his price of 6,000 gp (in objets d’art and baronial florins) for the proxy shroud, the captured image of the tomb, and details of its whereabouts. They thanked magister Jullet, spent about an hour studying the proxy, notified their office and Sefu back in the Keep, then headed out into the hinterlands of Tarsh to find the tomb.

Reaching and Breaching the Tomb

Oervind sped ahead on a phantom steed while the party took the quickest overland route toward Wyrmwatch, the closest settlement to the tomb’s purported location. When Oervind reached Wyrmwatch on the 18th, he persuaded the wizards to let him leave an arcane mark with them, to teleport his party. Then he scried his sigil in Edane’s spellbook, and teleported to the party to collect them. Upon their arrival in Wyrmwatch, the wizards burned the sigil and sent them on their way.

It took two more days for the party to find the standing stones that marked the entrance to the barrow. A partial circle of worn megaliths, approximately ten feet high, edged up against the hill to enclose a 35’ lawn with a waist-high slab in the middle. The central “table” slab was stained with fresh blood, as if some hunter had recently used it as a convenient place to dress a recent catch. Where the lawn met the hillock, there was an irregular stone escarpment, extensively weathered.

Valess found a concealed mechanism as expected, and the party was able to pry open the door. The inside of the doors was engraved in an unfamiliar text (crude, but suggestive of a Draconic influence). Duly warned, the party let Valess lead, helping her search for traps. Momentarily ignoring the side passages, the party retraced the previous party’s steps, disarming the various magical and mechanical traps as they went.

Finally emerging from the hall to the central chamber, the party found a round domed chamber with many burial niches branching off, interspersed with engraved panels. In the center of the room, a sarcophagus was pried open, revealing a body wrapped in decayed cloth matching the proxy they had studied. Inside the sarcophagus was an inbuilt stone chest, which was open and empty. According to the report, the box was empty when the previous company reached the chamber.

Valess found traps on two of the inscriptions, which seemed specifically set to catch spellcasters trying to translate/ decipher the text. Circumventing those traps, Oervind and Sender read text that spoke of the glory of the “eternals,” incorruptible exemplars that inspire the most noble to rarefy their spirits and thus become similarly ageless and eternally vital. The expository nature of the inscriptions suggests that the chamber may have had a ritual training or initiatory purpose, since it was obviously meant to be kept secret, and those who already knew the secrets would have little need for such literature.

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Session 78
Robbing the baron
Forebodingday, the 7th of Drowning, 5060

After Valess returned from her exploration, the trio decided to improve their disguise (even with the slight risk of magical detection). Valess changed shape to mimic the guard they’d knocked off the wall. Edane swapped outfits with the guard, and Oervind just used a disguise self spell. As soon as they’d finished their disguise, Valess noticed a strange flux of energy, and the group heard a muffled whinny-like sound coming from the building below. Oervind thought that the horse noise sounded “too complex, like the bark of a blink dog.” They decided to flip the invisible rope to the interior side of the wall, and scramble down to investigate.

Meanwhile on the steppes, Shegger-Gork and Sender were interrupted in the middle of the night by a sudden burst of wind and the arrival of a sylph-like outsider. It said, “You are favored of my lord of freedom. I offer you a chance to aid your allies and further my lord’s cause. Your colleagues have need of your skills, and I can take you to them. Do you assent?”

The duo agreed to the sylphoid’s offer, and it started a whirlwind around them to teleport. As it began casting, it urged them to prepare themselves with any useful enchantments. They each cast a few spells, mounted up, and braced for transit.

The wind picked up around Edane’s party, and suddenly Shegger-Gork appeared before them. Edane explained the situation (and in the process discovered that an invisible Sender was also with him), and they went to investigate the source of the sound.

The horse-like noise turned out to be a pegasus stallion bound with a magic bridle, held in the stables. Valess undid the bridle, Shegger spoke with the pegasus, and then they decided to polymorph the pegasus into an owl to facilitate his escape. He gave them one of the feathers from his mane, and promised to meet them again soon. Then he accepted Oervind’s polymorph, and took wing.

Shegger talked to one of the horses to persuade it to participate in the next leg of their stable plan. They put the pegasus saddle on the horse, and loosely attached the bridle, then polymorphed it into the pegasus’ form. The horse, on cue, bolted out of the stables and took to the air. Mass chaos ensued throughout the keep. This provided the party ample cover to scramble back up the wall, run across the roof of the stables, and enter the main keep via an adjoining tower.

In the entry of the keep Valess (still disguised as the guard they’d dispatched) crossed paths with a servant of the keep. “Hurry!” s/he cried, “I’m coming to grab magic weapons. Which room?” The servant waved in toward the keep, “North end, center door.” Then the servant rushed out of the keep into the thronging chaos. At one point, Sender observed blink dogs that a few guards had, apparently blinking into the air to try to catch the pegasus.

The party headed north deeper into the keep, then found stairs down, into a short hallway where every door was locked. Sender cast knock to open one door, where he found wine, documents (including a few scrolls), and cheese.

While Sender was looting, Valess picked the locks on all the remaining doors. The party found the contraband, gathered what additional loot they could, had Oervind cast shrink item as many times as he dared, and then fled once the commotion seemed to be waning.

Edane and Oervind teleported back to the shop, while Sender used dimension door to take the others out of the keep. They stopped to retrieve Edane’s clothes and meet up with Valess’ friend waiting outside, then they fled into the night.

The group gathered back at the shop, and reviewed their haul.

  • stolen crates (gears, metal and ceramic plates, springs, bars… reminiscent of some strains of Tulani golemcraft) – these crates are marked with dwarven brands
  • Assorted potions
  • wands
    • sleep (CL 3, 28 charges)
    • web (CL 1, 6 charges)
  • 12 sleep arrows
  • 6 arrows of slaying (humanoids, human)
  • 3 arrows of slaying (monstrous humanoids)
  • money chest (3,000 Tarsh florins (TF): local baronial currency worth 3000gp in Tarsh, 1000gp elsewhere)
  • items from the baron’s ceremonial closet: coat of arms, badge and sash of office, ermine-lined stole, short cloak with coat of arms, fancy booties
  • 3 chests of objets d’art
    • ear cuffs, silver with gem flecks
    • ear piercings, large, gold
    • painting, portrait, elderly human nobleman
    • painting, landscape, castle
    • painting, landscape, pastoral
    • tapestry, battle of Whyte’s Peak
    • tapestry, elven pattern
    • tapestry, family portrait
    • bust, nobleman
    • brocaded cloak, full-length, brown and gold with blue accents
    • ring, silver with blue stones
    • ring, onyx with carved pattern
    • ring, silver with black stones
    • ring, silver and gold braid
    • ring, gold, plain
    • torc, hammered gold
    • torc, hammered gold and copper
    • torc, unknown silver metal
    • candelabra, gold and silver, ornate
    • box, small, fine wood marquetry
    • box, small silver filigree
    • box, small silver filigree with inscription (Tarshakan, “for my sweet”)
    • tin, unknown metal, full of (non-magical) unguent
    • tin, brass, full of (non-magical) unguent
    • tin, brass, full of bitter white powder
    • glass philtre, scented oil, reddish
    • glass philtre, scented oil, brown
    • glass philtre, scented oil, milky green
    • glass philtre, scented alcohol, clear
    • glass ampoule, oil (unknown)
    • glass bottle, sealed, label illegible
    • glass bottle, sealed, with label (Hobbit, “Seaton Valley Estates, Spring #32”)
    • glass bottle, sealed, with label (Hobbit, “Seaton Valley Estates, Fall #30”)
    • glass bottle, sealed, with label (Tarshakan, “from Eolmagandr’s horde”)
    • druidically-crafted wooden bottle, sealed, with label (Elven, “tears of Ioun’s passion”)
    • flask, bronze, with inscription (Dwarven, “Jukki F. Druggrsgalgr, Lt. Sergeant, Cidin Kazar”)
    • box, fine wood, full of white pastilles
    • box, common wood, full of dried herbs
    • box, fine wood, full of incense resin granules
    • cutlery, engraved, alchemical silver with ivory handles (16 knives, 15 spoons)
    • charger, 36", hammered brass with gold inlay
    • bowls, carved stone (3)
    • bowl, ceramic, white with painted patterns
    • bowl, ceramic, white with gold and blue patterns
  • 1 chest of assorted masterwork arms and armor (est. market value 2000gp)
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Session 77
Hijinx in Orgolash
Forebodingday, the 7th of Drowning, 5060

Dropping in

Edane, Oervind, and Valess teleported into the company’s tailor shop in Orgolash. After surprising their employees goofing off. After having words with them, the party members went to the Spanking Sovreign to inquire about the whereabouts of Valess’ friends. The friends had gone to a nearby theater to watch a play.

Sneaking in

Valess’ friends were there, watching a dramatization of a scene from the history of Wyrmwatch. The friends were Sammary Brentman, a stoic leather-clad half-elf; Etheldar Sterling, a human jack-of-all-trades; and Merendiel “Star-Eyes” Greyne, a half-elf priestess of the Poetess.

Sammary told the party about an incident they’d been looking into: a shipment of supplies for a dwarven bridge project went missing, and they believe they traced it to an unscrupulous baron. If the baron has the goods, it’s a secret, and he wouldn’t be able to act against anyone who managed to claim the goods. The dwarves will pay handsomely for the reclaimed goods.

Unfortunately, their skills weren’t up to the task, and they only got so far as to case the baron’s keep. They discovered that the baron’s keep has about two dozen guards, a few dogs, and at least one device for detecting magic at a distance. They identified major features of the keep, and the most likely place(s) the baron might keep such goods.

Edane offered to lead a few of the group into the keep to attempt retrieval. The fewer people the better, so they allowed Etheldar and Merendiel to stay behind. Sammary joined the party to shadow them and lend assistance if they ran into difficulties. The four of them bought fancy (non-magical) camouflage capes for the approach to the keep, and snuck up under cover of darkness after the moons had set. After some dicey moments, they reached the keep wall. Valess scaled the wall and dropped a rope for Oervind and Edane to climb up.

Once on the wall, they could see a few of the guards walking the grounds and the walls, going from tower to tower. They also saw the main building of the keep rising nearby, but struggled to decide on a way forward. Valess shrunk herself to squeeze through an arrow slit to do some further investigation. Meanwhile, Edane and Oervind heard a guard coming, used some dust of disappearance to turn invisible, surprised the guard, disabled him, and tossed him from the wall. Then Valess returned, also invisible, and used a message power to contact them.

Reunited and at risk of discovery, the party wondered still: how to proceed?

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Session 76
To Orgolash via Tula

Sea Rune

When Oervind prepared to take the group home from Sea Rune, he quickly discovered that something was woefully amiss with his attempts to cast teleport. The casting seemed much more difficult, and threatened to produce a large amount of drag, as if he were discharging huge amounts of energy. Through several attempts, they determined that he could reduce the drag by casting very slowly, but any attempts to reach a location not marked with an arcane mark would be likely to trigger spellfire on either the departure or arrival end. They did not determine whether this would happen while Oervind was present to feel the blast.

This prompted the party to divert to Tula in hopes of learning more, and possibly purchasing a device to ease the difficulties.

Arriving in Tula found the Rainbow City in a tumult. Some magic items were failing, and several conjuration spells (like teleport) had triggered messy accidents. The college regents had instituted a ban on teleportation and transportation magic in the city, though they had few means of enforcement. While Valess took the entrance exam for Tula, Oervind fished for gossip among his college peers, and Edane went to find her mother and tell her what they’d learned about her father.

Edane’s mother gave her a jewel of grounding, a gift now that she’s become a serious spellcaster. She was comforted to hear that Afvaldr did not die in battle, but sad that the trail went cold in Sea Rune.

Oervind returned from visits with colleagues, with news about the Silver Serpent and his mysterious but well-connected patron. The patron has several operatives that rummage the ruins and markets of the Wilderlands (and beyond), and seems to be a powerful immortal with an obsession with the history of the Dragon Lords of Oricha. Its operatives include another common Orichalan vampire scholar (the Chime of the Eleventh Hour), a gith warlock called the Bloodless Blade, and a Viridian witch named Eidolouna. The patron is presumed to be a common Orichalan wizard of great power, possibly a vampire, operating in some remote redoubt.

Oervind had also heard about the Bloodless Blade sniffing around for some Orichalan stone tablet that had surfaced in Vertigo. Rumor has it that it was almost indestructible, and had been used as a sacrificial altar to Apep the Ceaseless Devourer. Only one chunk is believed to have survived, and drifter merchants are looking for potential buyers.

Edane passed a note to Sefu that they were being held up in Tula, and then hunkered down for a few days to let news trickle in, see if they could be any help, and figure out the best way to leave town. At this point, Valess showed the group an item that she was carrying, a key element in her yet-to-be-elaborated personal pilgrimage. Wrapped in magic-dampening and scry-proof chamois, she had the top half of a stela, part of the set inscribed by Anroulis Shining-Echo.

Gâshek left to return to his master’s service in Vertigo, and when Edane was confident that her mother was in no immediate danger and there was nothing more worth discovering in Tula at the moment, they left port via the Eyetalon, and teleported once they were well clear of the city. There were no incidents in their teleport jumps to Sea Rune, then Sitoon, and finally Orgolash, where they decided to give Valess a few days to contact friends before traveling with the party for a while.

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