Season: Spring 817
GM Michael Parkinson
Night: Tuesdays ... beginning 26th September
Location: Commerce A (bldg114), University of Auckland [city campus] 6.30 for 7pm (tbc).
- Rhoswen, elf Binder (B. Saggers)
- Aurora, elf Air ( K. Smith)
- Shiana, Fire; formerly human (J Saggers),
- Sir Wojer, elf beginner air; fighter (I. Wood)
IMPORTANT NOTE: the game will be played with a simple opposed-rolling system and DQ-lite skills — the emphasis will be on swift, enjoyable playability.
EMPLOYER: Lord AnteCarzala, believed to be acting for friends.
PARTY: Contrary to the rumours, Sir Pru is not wanting god-bothering guild-members.
- Not humans or giants — if you want to be (vaguely) close to your existing character. However any such humans or monsters enrolling will be retro-fitted into appropriate bodies: orc, dwarf, hobbit, goblin, almost elf(ish) ...
- Definitely NO pacted characters — Research dictates that any such beings will definitely die, and worse.
- Likewise, powerful or experienced beings would be too easily discovered or eventually tracked back to the Guild.
- No equipment, mounts, familiars, etc, because you will not be going physically.
- Don't worry though, you still might die if you do wrongly enough.
- ... but probably will be resurrected (or the equivalent) in most cases.
All characters on the mission will be slightly transformed physically — partly for your own protection and to minimise subsequent "complications".
Mission & Background (only semi-relevant)
Subtitle: Part-1, Ye Prologue.
THE REAL MISSION: The employer's friends are represented by Lady Alecto (an elf of The Great Wood) from the Northern empire, One of its three Magistrates of
Revenge Justice & Retribution (the Mean One) ... similar to a previous party-employer, Lady Fell (see Land_of_the_Mislaid), but not as sweet or charming, but a great fan of Dragons and their Virtues.
The never-to-be-named of Purple, or crone TeeN march (3,11 anagram), lost many of its human & black-orc subjects/army when the Great Flood came. (Thank you! Much appreciated!) But recently T.N. has swelled its ranks with non-corporeal Greater Undead rather than the usual Vampires. Your mission is to merely confirm what is happening. And do what you think best, or interesting. And not reveal employer's name/interests/Plane. (She's happy to Geas you, if that helps)
Of course, should you accidentally destroy critical stuff and ruin the native society, you will be well rewarded. It's not expected that the party will be capable of that, but his lordship has learnt to never underestimate destructive ability of a Guild party.
The semi-official rumours concerning "Operation Puissant Heroes":
- It is believed that Lord AnteCarzala is convening a party of Mighty Guild-Members, mostly non-humans, to eliminate for the Dragonfolk of “West Capital” on the Plane of Purple an off-plane problem for said Dragons & folk.
- As usual ... No necromancers, demon-worshippers, Undead, Atrocities, or Destinians.
- A credible counter-rumour is that the MGM are headed to The Middle Kingdom (hence Sir Pru's involvement; high level; no horses; etc).
Should a few H-to-G.B. non-humans apply for the mission, they will be thanked and offered (should they wish it) to be transported off-plane, either for a free holiday or else training in exchange for high-quality non-adventure services ... up to enough disappearances to suggest a high-level party.
Go to see Sir Prudence at the Inn of the White Dragon. He turned out to be a gentleman with very white hair and elven features that were weather beaten. He’s also the Baron of AnteCarzala, sandwiched between Carzala on the south and Ranke on the north. We were told that Iapetus the Greater Titan, on the Plane of Purple, believed to have been totally slain by the N'cer is in fact the new body that the N'cer has been wearing for over 200,000 years. We decided to continue referring to him as the ‘Liquorice Allsort’. There were also floating pyramids in the air [Greater Titans can do that sort of thing]
Also with him was Lady
Electro Alecto, the Minister of Justice and Retribution. I got the impression she was part fae. The Liquorice AllSort had lost a lot of minions but he had managed to get forces from offplane – a plane from which nobody corporeal could come from. Lady Electro was also wearing a turban and I was starting to wonder if there were snakes underneath it.
We were going to go the same way, in some sort of astral travel and would end up in bodies on the other side. None of our equipment would go with us and there was a possibility that some of our abilities would also not transfer but we may pick up new ones on the other side. Also time over there ran faster than it did here.
So, the next day, we prepared to leave, lying down on some rather comfy cushions. We ended up in a small wood near a large town. I’m still an elf but looking older with grey hair and with a staff. I learnt that I was a ‘grey elf’, a lower caste of elf and all the males had been wiped out. Grey elves. This entire island we were on, was run by merchant princes with orcs and goblins making up most of the population. High Elves and dwarves had a high social status with the orcs and goblins in the middle and us grey elves right down at the bottom. Which is why most of them live in the wild woods and are considered to be wild creatures at best and evil baby-eating witches at the worst. Speaking of witches, someone got rid of the Witch King – at least that’s what the bunch of dwarf merchants that we ran into said.
We were all linked by a mind speech so we could communicate and learnt about the situation, the currency, commerce, how society works etc etc etc. It was decided to go into the city in order to equip – yes, we had arrived with money, some sort of paper script with strange runes on it. The sky was overcast, couldn’t see the sun but we were told that the day was twenty hours long. Oh, and apparently we elves have four fingers and two thumbs on each hand.
The Civil War is brought to you by the numbers 4 and 14 — slanderous treason &/or prophecy?
- There is a Forbidden Zone with Lightning bolts raining down on it.
- Quan’Toc, Liberators, Golden eggs.
- Lots of iron being pumped out of the volcano. Our artificial ‘north bump’ is pointing in that direction.
- There’s an East Star? Apparently a lot of people would be alarmed if they knew the continent was this close.
- There are chaos incursions out to the bay in the east.
- There are a bunch of travellers wanting an escort to the Temple of Concord.
- Chaos seems to be getting worse since the death of the Witch King.
- Stay clear of the old governor’s place. Grey Elves can make money by selling ceramic tiles looted from there.
The capital city [Liberation City] was built by Quan’Toc’s father - where the UnNamed One came from. Started construction 550 years ago, finished in a couple of decades. The East Star is an unseen flying citadel producing lightning, rain & storms to stop people getting to the mainland.
A few days pass.
“If the dwarves aren’t in charge of the important stuff, the world would go to hell”.
We get sent back to the inn and meet up with a goblin called ‘Doc’ with half a dozen followers. They’re the ones wanting to go to the Temple of Conchord. We were also moved to a suite of rooms so we could stay together. Of course there was a lot of DA-ing going on between us and them, or at least, whatever else that could be come up with. I must remind my self to either quest for a DA talent or invest in DA potions when we get back. We were told, at this time, that their reason for going there is because, it’s a goblin matter, it’s not important, but it would be nice to travel with others.
The other spot they recommend we look at is the Valley of the Giants. Also, from what we could determine was their E&E mage had only one of the ‘E’s but we weren’t sure which one. Also their ‘air mage’ turned out to be an earth mage. They also told us that our yellow sashes are just far enough removed from the local Imperial Yellow in order to be ‘off duty’. That explains why Sir Wojer was getting a lot of free food and drinks the other day.
Anyway, they wanted to be off ASAP so, next day saw us on a small boat on the canal drifting away from the city at roughly two miles an hour. The fact that we were going uphill through a series of locks may have had something to do with that. It was raining for most of the trip so we were under shelter (well, mostly under shelter as far as the grey elves were concerned. Oh well .... could be worse.
After several hours of travel we got off the boat at a major canal junction. We were told that we needed to get Fnesse (the lady goblin) to the temple as it is a good spot for her to lay her eggs. Doc also suspected we were off-plane as we seem to ‘know what, but we don’t know why, which would lead us to who or whatever’ He did say that there was a big change coming. Whether or not that was the upcoming civil war remained to be seen.
We also got familiar with the weapons we had purchased. While target shooting with the bow, I discovered they had a spell for duplicating arrows which lead me to taking out the berry hanging off the branch I was aiming at, the leaf next to it ..... and the poor little birdie I was trying hard not to hit. So time was spent co-ordinating spells and abilities so we could be a cohesive unit when the situation needed it.
One night while we were camping out, we saw a vehicle pass over in the air. All the goblins wanted us to keep quiet. I guess they didn’t want to attract any undue or unwanted attention. Later on I was speculating on what was above those clouds, especially since some of their airships fly above them. I was told that the clouds were multi-layer, which explained why it was overcast all the time, and apparently there is more than one sun. Now, that, I definitely want to see.
Doc also mentioned that there were a lot of things in the valley of the Giants that no-one understands. Also things keep appearing and disappearing. The goblins are also interested in the caves under the Temple and there’s a rumour that a couple of the Princes are doing magic they shouldn’t. So, as we made our way overland we continued turning this group into a cohesive whole while teaching them how to fly. Finessa, we had to be careful with, because of her fragile cargo.
Upon arrival at those caves, what looked like to be bit of ordinary rock turned out to be curved columns. Many of the caves had their floors levelled and one of them had excellent acoustics – like a whispering chamber. Of course I had to test it by singing something in one of the fey languages. That was then we discovered there was a torus of perfect sound up in the air, and without my air wings, the only way to get up there was with the aid of an Install Flight. Turned out there was writing up at the forty foot mark which, after I transcribed it, turned out to be a coded message addressed to the Titans Mnemosyne and Prometheus. It said:
To fruited leads born message prometheus song there to still city, Mnemosyne, unsafely set remains urgent, mother Unknown it assume which of two rite eye kings thought grand The am passing and folly, thyme lost maid tears, main is Swiftly many remembrancer, land outh send oat and has of a breakers bringer real joint, trusted fresh out people oh agent slaves of and cur to for death, a said follow the burden portal spite my unspeakable of chamber that signs sauce longing near evr but of and deadly eye if weevil sweet veil was this
... subsequently decoded, based on its 95 words, as five 19-"word" interwoven sentences starting at different points — of which three contain new, important information:
- To Prometheus City. Urgent. which kings passing maid (i.e., Witch-King's passing made) many oath breakers fresh slaves for the unspeakable sauce of weevil (source of evil, probably meaning the Ne...mancer of Purple).
- Unknown two grand folly ("to Grand Follie"), mainland has real people; and a portal-chamber near deadly veil leads there unsafely.
- Swiftly send a trusted agent to follow my signs but if this message still remains assume I am lost.
What the Guild/SGT knows of Purple, it's civilisations & (Great) Titans
- Music of the spheres
No one Elf/human/orc-sized or larger can go higher than 3000 above sea-level without going crazy & dying due to the “Music of the Spheres”— but all Hobbits, dwarves, goblins, pixies, Titans, and at least 1 dragon have no problems. Although some guild-members have solved that and some can even interpret the music to warn them of what is imminent or an ongoing meme.
- The Empire (Mk I) [Augustans]
Originally a small kingdom of humans (& hobbits) only a few centuries old, circa Year 1 WK (Alusia), they discovered(?) proper magic, sent their Moon spinning in the opposite direction, engulfed some other local kingdoms, which became duchies (with Local or imposed Dukes, depending on how peaceful the annexation was) and became a powerful maritime/trading Empire. Elves are creatures of myth.
By the time the guild encountered them (nearly 8 centuries later) the Empire had colonised the vast Western continent except for The Pale, where the Drow lived, in the Far west, and the Southwest, which was the realm of The N'cer & Its Black Orc minions, many Vampire Generals, really really big skeletal monsters, ... whatever.
The Empire tried to colonise the Great Southern continent, but encountered mentalist sentient lizards equally militant. So they concentrated on extra-planar trading and even founded some colonies (penal/dissident/commercial/whatever) on Other planes; and traded happily with the Eastern independent nations.
In the past century, the Empire colonised the Northern edge of the South-West continent, whose indigenous people were happy to be rescued from the Green Orcs further South. This continent is where most guild parties adventured: Encountering Drow; Undead raids down the Isthmus; Michaelines, etc, that, surprisingly, didn't burn formerly-mythical elf partymembers — especially since one such had a Titan connection [with Mnemosyne]; Discovering secret gold-mines inhabited by a sleeping Dwarven Kingdom; Switching off the Demon-Shield; Breaking the Moon; yadda, yadda …
The Church contains many approved Saints/followings/cults — including the Cult of the Elder Powers of Light [i.e., Titans], although said cult was very unimportant, way lower even than the Poor Raphaelites.
- Revisionist History & other bad ideas.
A High-level party was hired by Aurelius (an unreasonably rich elf unofficially exiled from Alfheim) to help Aurelius become the Law-giver of the Drow about 240,000 years earlier … with a technical assist from Prince Jean's Grand Horologe (Smith/clockmaker/ experimentalist).
Party did much & in the North-West encountered an Ancient Dwarvish Civilisation of 7 Kingdoms: Populous City-states, each taught by a Pair of Greater Titans of astounding powers. The Dwarves were being inconvenienced by waves of low-level Drow fleeing genocide. To minimise bloodshed (especially given the N'cer further south), the Titans created the Music of the Spheres and Raised Mountains to cover & protect the 7 kingdoms and the semi-sentient, mostly-harmless humans herded away. The party then Hibernated — and later, on waking up, discovered what happens when one princess wakes up early to give some needed advice to the local elves.
- The Great Titans & The Big Sleep
There were 14, very powerful; and, later, a few more — possibly a younger generation, or just immigrants? — merely “Ordinary/Lesser” Titans. Although when some GT moved on or allegedly died fighting the Ncer (Iapetus) a couple of lesser titans were promoted.
As the power of the Ncer grew, The Titans decided to sail beyond the sky (to other planes), so the Dwarven Kingdoms were hidden elsewhere on Purple (some even split into subkingdoms) and slept to await for Better Days.
The Titans fostered other, more powerful races — including the “Gods” of the Hellenic states, who were pissed when they too were abandoned, bitched about it to any humans that would listen … which is why you cannot trust the standard Mythology/Propaganda corpus about Titans.
- The Empire (Mk II) [Fey]
Purple is now (and ever was?) a much Greener place; Humans are benevolently ruled by Elve-types. However the architecture is shite: humans live in crude huts — earthen floors; primitive walls. Although really important people, like your employer & her "sister" magistrates, live in marble temples complete with uneven floors and silk/linen cloth strung between almost adequate columns.
Everything was OK-ish for several hundred millennia. Especially as the Elvish elite knew when the Moon was going to crash into the Far Ocean and had time to Amelia-rate the disaster: Southern Polar Ice; pumping water off-plane; build well above sea-level; etc.
The Fane in the far east developed many species of minions; and spent a long time fighting.
However some Dragons helped some Drow, Hobbits, etc, to resist the Fane & their evil minions and then, when that didn't work, to escape [several] times. This was how the Isle of the Dragonfolk was established. The fact that they know when
- The New reality
It turns out that some(?) titans didn't leave. Ever. And some Dwarven cities did not sleep.
Others titans returned. To live quietly; or to prepare new cities for their dwarves.
Also, when Reality changed in the past, it took some time to ripple through the present. Quickly, but not instantaneous. The August Empire read the portents and many fled to off-plane sites and, just before the Change impacted the present, a few scoops of estates and cities were transplanted off-plane. Possibly achieved through interplanar Manatech of their own invention … but there is suspicion that Titan magic was stolen or “accidentally-on-purpose” left behind.
- The Empire (Mk I v.2)
Once the New reality was established, these off-plane colonies and hastily evacuated bites were scooped back to the new world. In particular to the Great Southern Continent … especially near places that, thanks to the other-reality exploration & combat were known to be very close to important natural resources or mineral deposits: diamonds, Silver, Titan-metal, gold, stinky-metal; Liftium, etc.
There were rough changes to the social order. Given the need to avoid conflict with the Master-race and the Elvish pseudo-empire, the Human empire changed. For military reasons, many hobbits were pressed into the Air Force. Most deserted, fleeing to the highlands lethal to Humans. Sometimes actively asisted by dissident colonists. Some hobbits found Dwarven cities. Some "new citadels" that had been lived in continuously since soon after the first Drow incursion. Other abandoned or never lived in — such as the City of Prometheus.