Enchanted Jewels

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Summary

Adventure:Enchanted Jewels On Plane
GM:Bernard
Session: Spring 815
Night: Mondays
Location: 37 Horotutu Rd
Level: Medium/Chewy

Party:
Expressions of interest only at this point.
Mages of fairly standard colleges only, Non mages only if they are wanting to learn a specific college immediately, no-one with weird magic,

  • WordSmith Fashionable dwarf namer, healer, master merchant, and military scientist. Party Leader and Military Scientist - Errol
  • Grizelda Giantess, rune mage and master chef. Party Scribe. - Jacqui
  • Ben Tall red-haired human in appearance occasionally does a bit of fire magic, healer (actually a shape-changer tiger). - Ian
  • Anooke – Eskimo hobbit, short and round, fighting ice mage.
  • Lathron – Elf enchanter (or water mage), who can shape-shift into a water elemental. - Simon
  • Aaron – Armourer, weapon-smith and enchanter. - Helen
  • 7
  • 8

Employer:
New Alvurron.
Represented by a Merchant Captain acting as their factor.

Mission:
The High Lord of New Alvurron in Pasifika is looking for a party of mages to take some experimental potions and report back on the findings. In order for him to understand the effects of the potions he is only interested in hiring Mages who mainly employ standard magic. Warriors interested in learning a college immediately will also be considered though there may be some expense involved in the services of the Shriver who will assist.
He also has a small list of tasks to be done in Thonia he considers suitable to do while under the effects of the potion so that the results are 'natural'.

  • Find what happened to an envoy sent to the region.
  • Investigate rumours of a wing of Lesser Dragons roosting in the Ulanian massif, and determine colour and danger to the gem mines if so.
  • Secure a shipment of gems from the mines of Sikassau.
  • Secure a shipment of Hardwood from Gambay

Thonia is located about 2000 miles SSW of Seagate, on the NW Corner of the Southern Continent. Very little is known about it, though Guild parties have visited Azuria which is one of it's neighbours.


Pay:
40,000sp each (advanced to the guild). Expenses for each individual are expected to be paid from this.
30 Arcane Points
1 Quest Spell
Additional payments possible for solving of things above & beyond the initial brief.

Diary

Scribe will receive an EP bonus if the notes are up to date more than 24h before the next session, and the in game dates are correct.

Chapter One: In which a Cat becomes a Doggone Mage…

The Guild has received a request from the High Lord of New Elveron, a new town populated by gargoyles in Pasifika. They want volunteers, and have deposited 40,000 sp in the Guild Vaults. They require a party to partake of some experimental potions, and then perform a series of tasks (otherwise known as field tests). These tasks are to include:

Finding out what happened to their envoy.
Investigating a Ring of lesser dragons
Securing a shipment of gems
Securing a shipment of hard woods
Dropping a certain box into a suitable volcano…

We were given directions to a small camp in the Sea of Grass north of Brastor, together with a sealed letter of introduction. This was needed because Ben was not a mage. I bought a portable stove, and stowed it in Wordsmith’s chest. Plus lots of ingredients.

So, the afternoon of the Guild meeting we went shopping, I got to bake two batches of restorative cookies, while Lathron did the greaters and Kerry did so long duration enchant armours.

1 Thaw

After breakfast, Ben turned himself into a fiery hound and cast wildfires. We run 250 miles on fire to the Sea of Grass (making sure we didn’t get within bowshot of any towns). Finally we came to a cluster of huts. We were by a young girl human on watch. Ben showed her the letter. She led us inside, explained how they could give a College, how it would work, and how much it would cost. Lathron also discussed getting stronger, which proved to be very expensive. As were the spells he wanted. Ben decided that he’d like the Celestial college. They wanted his dog form in exchange. Lathron purchased all the remaining water mage generals for 50000 sp. He screamed a lot, as they were added. Then Ben was taken to another hut to get his college in exchange for the dog form. Which took a while. And was evidently very painful. With Ben still a big unconscious cat, we decided to camp for the night. I had to make healing salves to help him recover. He was badly drained.

2 Thaw

We returned to the Guild around evening. Ben would need to rest for a few days, while I would make lots of restorative cookies.

Chapter Two: In which a Hobbit throws a Thing into a Volcano

The Guild diviners checked us over and said that we were basically unharmed. The astrologers had a message for us: “Beware the wild beasts.” Wordsmith decided to spend some time in researching the area we would be exploring, while Ben healed up and I baked – eight batches = 64 cookies = 4000 sp. I also assembled ingredients for another eight batches. We learned that Palestrina was known for wine, citrus, silver, and marble; and was culturally insular. “Don’t offend the natives, because they won’t talk to you,” we were told. The inhabitants spoke their own language, Palanino; most did not speak common, except the traders.

5 Thaw
On the morning of the fifth we imbibed the special potions our employers had made for us. Something about new ways to do magic. Too much information. Made head hurt. We discovered that we had new ways to cast our spells. Self-target spells became touch. We could make spells last longer by preparing together. I found I could ritually draw runes – which increased duration, but reduced other effects.

Grizelda: I believe they call this exploring virgin territory…
Aaron and Ben: Well, these virgins we must explore!

Then we boarded our ship, a Delphic vessel with a long name. We weren’t allowed on deck and it was very uncomfortable. We pulled into Newhaven and got to spend the night in an Inn, which was a relief.

6 Thaw

We got to Novadom, and spent the night there.

8 Thaw

We arrived at Toronto on the island of Palestrina. And this is where we were dropped off. We debated how to continue, and decided that we would like Latron to make a boat. But there was little wood here, it being desert. We decided to spend two thousand silvers on a pair of defunct fishing boats, and reshaped them into something bigger and more seaworthy. Latron summoned a water elemental to ask it to look for underwater volcanos. But there weren’t any nearby.

9 Thaw

We left Toronto, and sailed for Magadika. It took a week, and was a bit cramped, but was otherwise uneventful.

Latron: People who don’t build coastal cities to resist tidal waves get what they deserve.
Ben: Are you related to Lath?

16 Thaw

When we got to Magadika, first the mage current stopped, and then a pilot boat arrived and towed us into harbour. When we got in, the harbour master looked at us, determined that we were adventurers, (I realised that we really were an odd bunch, no two of us of the same race) and then asked for a 6000sp safety deposit. He also recommended an inn. Nobody here knew anything about the missing envoy. The people knew magic, but it was more hedge magic than actual colleges.
We flew up the local volcano. There were signs of magical beasts, but we avoided those. We got to the top, and Anooke chucked the mysterious box into the crater and… missed. It didn’t make it to the lava, and was stuck part-way down. Ben went and got it, and then Anooke tried again. This time it worked. The box vanished into the lava. Nothing else happened, to everyone’s relief. We then flew back to the city.

17 Thaw

We left Magadika. We sailed through the straits – and it seemed to take much longer than it should have. But it was ten days to our next destination. I found myself learning more than I wanted about boats – mainly they were cramped, uncomfortable, detestable things.

27 Thaw

We arrived at Nuwadhimash, having avoided sea dangers. There were clouds above the city, and the walls were gleaming. We decide to sail in, and were met by what looked like knights on giant killer-whale squids. We explained we were looking for harbour, and they sent us in. Again the mage current dropped off and a pilot on a killer-whale squid led us in. There were mostly dusky-skinned humans at the docks, together with some dwarves and some elves.
We trawled the bars, and found an innkeeper who knew about the envoy from New Alveron – but didn’t know where he went. So we went to see several traders, beginning with one that dealt in wood golems. The envoy had shown interest in these. They were made in the wood foundry – and he pointed up at one of the clouds. Each was somehow bound to a control rod. They were really expensive (it was 100,000sp for a butler golem). Then we went to the gem merchant. He also remembered the envoy. He said the envoy was going inland with a trade caravan to a tribal gathering at Lake Kyne (it is in about a month, and it takes a month to get there). The trade caravan would have caliphants (camel elephants).
We learned that there were lost empires in the hinterlands where valleys had magically folded in on themselves. These should be avoided. Flying into one would be very unhealthy. It was old magic that did this, some of it godless, some of it going back before the War of Tears. The quickest route inland was not the straightest. There were wild creatures in the massif which fly down and attack caravans.
We went to see the beast seller. He had a caliphant. It looked like a hairy mammoth with two humps. A lion was acting as guard (with no handler). There was also an empty griffon nest. The creatures were very expensive.
We concluded that there was magic in this town, but much of it for show, rather than practicality.
We found there were two caravans leaving soon, and decided to go with the smaller one that had the caliphants. They agreed to waive the fee in return for our assistance. They talked of runes of transformation, and how they were using them to punish criminals, turning them into talking animals.

Chapter Three: In which there are Giant Worms and Far Too Many Goblins

The caliphants proved to be quite placid, and spit only rarely. The caravan masters worked out that with Aaron’s staff they could get to Lake Kyne in 15 days. For the first 600 miles there would be few folds, and far away. The dangers would be desert bandit tribes, human and goblin; and the odd desert-dwelling monster. Travelling around the Massif there was a high mana zone, many more folds, and using travel magic would be bad. After that we would be able to fast travel again. If there was trouble they would circle the caliphants with the non-combatants in the middle. There were about a hundred people in the caravan, half of whom were combatants. The twenty caliphants would form two circles. We would be at the rear of the caravan, and have three caliphants to watch over.

28 Thaw
We left the next morning. The day passed uneventfully – we set off at dawn, travelled for maybe four hours and then camped. It was indisputably hot. We broke camp around four in the afternoon, and set off again around dusk. We travelled another four hours, then dined and slept until it was time to rise and break camp, some time before dawn.

30 Thaw
We had covered 240 miles by this morning. There was a fork in the river where we camped. Some of the party reported feeling tremors in the ground.

1 Seedtime
Ben and Anook noted more tremors. Then as we were camped, about 1pm, there was a shout of “Wormsign!” from the other side of the camp. We readied ourselves for battle, and erected barriers of ice construction, and a rune wall around us. Then giant worms escorted by a swarm of goblins, among them wolf-riders, and a number of giant beetles appeared. I looked into the spirit realm and saw spirits of the earth and of life arising. Ben began casting cast meteor showers, while Latron attempted to turn the ground boggy. The goblins continued to approach, most wielding spears, but some riding dogs with lances. A wave of magic accompanied them. Then the fire balls started as the goblins came closer. Wordsmith said there were mages riding the worm, and he was putting counters under them. Latron loosed a grenade of much pain among the goblins. The rune wall went away, and when I tried to re-cast it, I discovered the goblins had Namers too! The ice-constructions were going away too, dammit. It was time to stop doing that magic stuff and to start thumping. And then they were on us. The goblins were squishy even though they wore ring mail, but the giant beetles behind them were truly nasty, having an acid bite that attacked our armour. One of the other groups of defenders was overrun. Wordsmith was kept busy countering magic. And they, just when we were getting on top, they started to withdraw, sending in some exploding goblins in an attempt to take us down. One exploded in front of me, and I fell unconscious. I might well have died had it not been for my trollskin amulet,but instead woke moments later to find the goblins retreating, the worms heading back into their burrows.

Chapter Four: In which a Dwarf Trades a Golden Cloak to a Wyvern

Anook found a few surviving goblins. And there was loot... goblin leather and leather, and one set of dog barding. The goblin dog was still alive and was saved by Pierre. And about fifteen minutes later the life field dissipated. Then there were a series of thumping sounds as the worm tunnels collapsed. Shahed, our merchant, came over. He said that there had been more goblins than usual, and they wouldn’t normally attack a caravan of this size. There were three dead among the caravan guards, who would be preserved in case there was a shaman at the gathering. Said shaman would likely charge them a year and a day’s service, but they would be alive. Anyhow, we had more loot than most. We were offered and accepted slave manacles for the three goblin captives we had, and a cage for the goblin dog. These were, we were told, now our property – they would be worth perhaps 2500 sp each, and the dog 1000 sp. We sold them right away, along with the armour and such (which got us 20000 sp) for a total of 28500 sp. There were many injured in the caravan and we set about healing them. The goblins were all life-aspected – and this occurred, according to Wordsmith’s divination, at the same time as a Guild Party made a potion that had affected all goblins, all over Alusia. This appeared to have made goblin folk more powerful, and smarter, and able to generate that life field. Why do Guild members do these things; without thought for the consequences? What’s more, these were desert goblins could withstand the sun.

The caravan left on time, at 8pm, and stopped for a meal at midnight. Given we were making 30 miles per hour, we should soon be well ahead of those goblins.

2 Seedtime
Around dawn we came upon a canyon. We were told we should go around and when we looked down we could see mists. This was plainly one of the folds we had been told about. We would need to go up and around before coming back down. Soon after going to sleep, the watch alerted us to three winged shapes, flying inordinately high, something like 20000 feet. Even with crystals of vision we could not make out more than black silhouettes, but they did appear to be dragons of some sort.

Anook: What do dragons eat?
Aaron: Anything they want!

By midnight we had forded a river, and had reached a turning point in the trail. The massif rose up to the south, while the canyon stretched out to the south.
As we were taking lunch, six tribesman on horses approached the caravan. We spoke with our merchant who told us to find out what they wanted. So we approached – and they addressed us in sand-dweller. We found that we had a common language in elvish. They wanted to trade. They had gems, described as gifts of earth spirits. They wanted long-life gifts of water-spirits and tree spirits. They seemed to be interested in waters of healing. They would take 1100 sp per waters of healing at rank 6 (Grendel offered 5 of those; 1500 for rank 10 – Grendel offered 3; 1700 for rank 12 – Wordsmith sold 2).

3 Seedtime
At dawn we could make out a town with towers and walls on an outcrop in the desert, beyond a ravine. The merchant did not know what the place was called, since they do not normally stop here. But we did camp – and they wanted us to check it out. So we used a crystal. The town was full of gardens. There were four wells. We could not scry the towers or the gates. We revised our population estimate down to only 500-1000. Two figures stood outside the gate, eight foot tall and dressed in plate armour. The merchant wanted to know if they were friendly. So it was up to us to find out.

As we approached, we noticed that the tops of the towers were shrouded in mist. Even the path was magical. When we got close we were addressed by a dark-skinned human in desert robes, with what appeared to be chain mail under, and two scimitars belted at the waist. To trade we would need to enter village, and to do that we would need to undergo a ceremony that would bind the spirit of the village to us, so we could get through the gate. In the spirit realm I could see a powerful wyvern spirit around each of the guardians, and I could not see past the gates at all. It wasn’t a complicated ceremony – some swearing of oaths and a blood sacrifice. So we went and got our merchant and a couple of his friends. The villagers brought out a pig, a stone, and a shaman. The pig was sacrificed, its entrails read, and put on the stone. Which got hot as a fire spirit entered it, and that burnt up the entrails. We repeated some words in sand-dweller, which the merchant said amounted to swearing not to harm the village, then our blood was shed, and the sacrifice completed.

So we entered the village. We saw the shaman’s house with an iridescent green wyvern lying outside, and what appeared to be an armoury beside. The wyvern was a long-lived sentient, with a magical talent for finding treasure. It wore an armour harness with invested dragonflames… There were no children, or elderly persons. They brought out trade goods. The windows of the houses appeared be one-way runewalls of some sort. As we looked around, we concluded that this was a fort that looked like a town. The merchants traded as we wandered around. Then the wyvern landed beside us. It fancied Wordsmith’s golden cloak – and offered to connect him to its totem spirit in return. It said he would need to go up to the stone, and we should not worry about the screaming. Wordsmith did in fact acquire a wyvern spirit companion – with an appetite for gold. And there was indeed much screaming.

Chapter Five: In which there are Too Many Rituals

We got back to camp by the middle of the day. When we should have been sleeping. We got some sleep then did our usual rituals and broke camp. We travelled all night without incident apart from passing through the corners of some warped terrain which meant it took longer than it looked like it should. This was because, we were told, we were avoiding getting too close to the massif, were it was rumoured there were dragons.

Wordsmith: Cheating geography!

4 Seedtime
And there we camped for the day. When I was on watch I noticed that Wordsmith appeared to be having nightmares. Which he had not had for a very long time. He was also losing fatigue and endurance. We could not determine any magical cause. And I failed the runes of sight on him. There was something there in the spirit realm, but I could not determine it.

5 Seedtime
I tried again, but it did not work. I tried to get some advice from Meg, but that did not work either. So I thought about ways to enhance the rituals and started carving rune stones.

6 Seedtime
I tried again, and this time the ritual worked really well. Only it told me nothing we did not already know. So I carved more stones, with travelling runes. Ben tried a reading of the night sky. He saw the constellations swirling and fighting each other, as if the zodiac was a war with itself. We talked to Wordsmith and he confessed to having an arrangement with the Earl of Justice similar to the one I have with Meg. Which might be the problem. He had justice and chaos fighting over his spirit. Hibernating him just gave him more nightmares.

7 Seedtime
Wordsmith tried cursing himself to forget the connection with the Earl of Justice. It didn’t work.

8 Seedtime
I tried runes of sending and asked what was fighting inside Wordsmith’s dreams, but got no answer. We saw a bunch of griffins come down from the massif, but seeing the distance and the size of the caravan, they turned around.

9 Seedtime
Ben tried the reading the night sky and said that the Earl of Justice was not involved. So, back to square one with Wordsmith’s problem. That night we saw goblin tracks but no goblins. Again, too many of us. This day we passed a cool lake with an unpronounceable human name.

10 Seedtime
Ben decided to invite some trolls… Around lunchtime he woke, saying we should expect company. I stepped out of the tent… and saw a large whale-troll land on top of the tent. And a great eastern tufted troll beside it. They started talking in trollish. Anook made snow and ice for the whale troll. The guards nearby were readying weapons. Meanwhile Ben asked the trolls to look over Wordsmith – and they said that one part of his spirit was eating the other – and the dwarf part was losing. The other part was a fanged lizard creature. The lesser part must change, vanish or defeat lizard thing. Lizard bigger much older and more powerful. Dwarf must become not dwarf or die – maybe become human shape-changer wyvern. He would need to become the wyvern, become not dwarf, or somehow defeat the wyvern. It was his decision to make.

Chapter Six: In which not all Change is for the Better

11 Seedtime
That evening we crossed a bridge across a deep ravine. It was hazy down there. Must have been another of those folded places. We decided not to mess with it.

12 Seedtime
We crossed another river. Then ahead of us, we saw a vast city of tents, enough to house perhaps a hundred thousand people, and beyond them, a lake. We had arrived at Lake Kyne. The tents were arranged in towns and villages, their flocks of animals with them. There were animals crossing between the groups, with jewelled collars, apparently carrying messages. The shamans would be doing a big ritual by the lake during the equinox. Wordsmith was still getting weaker, and trying to figure what to do. So we went to see the shamans. They were in a cleared area, with some kind of barrier. But we kept going. We could see a bonfire in the middle of the tents, and three unusually hot figures – probably efreeti. A young shaman met us, and ran off to get a more senior shaman when we said our tribe was Seagate Adventurers Guild. Wordsmith explained that he was here because he was not well. More shamans came and started shaking their sticks at him. Their names were Shoja, Namba, Temora, Tiran, and Esan. They explained that it would be difficult, they would need to call on the spirits of all the tribes. The easiest thing would be to let the wyvern spirit take over. They could call on spirit of change. The wyvern would be less interested in eating humans. So he could become human. He could appeal to the desert spirit of change. The hardest thing would involve calling all the spirits of the tribes, and that would mean a great offering.
Wordsmith settled on calling on the desert spirit of change. The shaman said that would cost… money. 2000sp per person. Probably spirit would appear at noon. I made a mistake by joining in this. I lost much height. And become a shape-changer. I also lost much strength. This was truly horrible. Wordsmith had also become a shape-changer. He could turn into a lizard thing. But I did not care, I was totally miserable. When I tried to change, I changed into a giant flightless insect. Which was horrible too. All I had wanted was a better connection to my totem. Then Anook went and got himself changed too.
Wordsmith was very to remember what we were doing here, and began asking around about the envoy. They remembered him. He had spoken to some of the young warriors of the tribes of the River and of the Camel, and then decided to go up to the massif to see the dragons. He took some scouts and purchased slaves as bearers. The people are somewhat concerned about the dragons, but they might be just ranging further, or perhaps there are more of them.
A small monkey arrived at our camp, bearing an invitation to the shamans of Seagate to attend the grand ritual. They insisted that I come to. We got to rehearse participating in a number of rituals, over three days. Various powerful creatures were also participating. It did not seem difficult. It was as if we were dancing the runes. When it was done, the shamans seemed happy with how it went, and everyone was feeling blessed.

15 Seedtime
The rituals were over. We rested the remainder of the night and the next day. Everyone was being very nice. But I was still miserable.

19 Seedtime
We arrived at the river crossing, about twenty miles from the massif. Then we headed on up into the hills. It was much greener, and there were fluffy clouds up there. There were cliffs – which meant that there would be underground rivers. So, we could climb the cliffs or start looking for caves. The animals told Ben that sometimes scary animals come into the caves, but often they flood, especially in the spring. We found a cave entrance perhaps twenty foot wide, with a five foot wide stream. We made our way up without being drowned on account of the water-breathing magic, and found ourselves in a foggy jungle full of weird and wonderful creatures.

Chapter Seven: In which a former Dwarf is nearly Eaten by a Plant

20 Seedtime

It was morning, and we were at the bottom of a sinkhole. We climbed up into the swampy jungle. There were big trees and animals that seemed somewhat larger than normal, probably on account of being in a high mana zone.
We did summoning. I called up my spirit animals, the bees. They showed me the streams running through the forest, and the geography of the area. They also said there were no unusual insects in there. Ben summoned an owl. It had seem some half-shiny two-leggers, more lizard than metal. And some not-shiny two-leggers, who were around maybe six weeks ago. The owl thought that they were probably dead. To the west, two-three hours flight (maybe forty miles). We summoned transport – a water elemental, an ice monster and an efreet, and set off, reaching the area around dusk. Anook made an igloo on a platform for us to sleep in. Ben summoned a hawk to talk to. It said that the humans had come up the cliffs, spent days there doing things with vines. Then they went into the middle and about a week later some of them came running back. The night passed noisily.

21 Seedtime
This time Anook made snow simulacrums in the form of wyverns. I still had my efreet. About midday we spotted a manticore cruising along, matching our course, perhaps 500ft away. One snow wyvern headed that way. And there was something tailing us. Then, there were five manticores… so we decided to land. We travelled on foot for a while. By dusk we were perhaps ten miles from our objective. And camped. A giant pitcher plant tried to eat Wordsmith. Anook sent an ice monster to deal with it, and it got squished. I was able to salvage some herbal components from it. Ben summoned a leopard and got into cat-grooming with it. Then we questioned it. It had seen a dozen or so humans maybe two weeks ago. They had weapons and magic. Then Ben read its aura – which was avatar strength. Wordsmith learned that it was a demonic duke. Havres – the Leopard Duke. He thought some of the other party were promising, because they had fire magics. There were questions he could not answer, because the entity in charge of this place had forbidden it. He wanted the sandy-haired desert man, and the dark-skinned tattooed man. The rest of the night passed relatively uneventfully.

22 Seedtime
Annok summoned snow monsters, while I summoned an efreet. After about ten miles we reached the place where the jungle thinned, and the terrain became hillier. Our summoned creatures stopped suddenly. There was an invisible barrier – its magic was Sealing. We had to leave our elementals behind. By mid-afternoon, we found the centre; a flat-topped dome of a hill.
We tracked around – down in a ravine we found a blackened human skeleton, perhaps two weeks since death. Next ravine over, we found a cave. No signs of habitation, but there was a magical aura. Transportation magic, destination Alusia, non-colleged. So Wordsmith divinated it – it was triggered by GTN and ITN, and was put there by power-level non-colleged magic. Runes of Sight to determine what might happen gave confused visions with fire and screaming. Using a crystal of vision we could see a shimmery cliff that appeared hot.

Chapter Eight: In which there is a Conversation with a Dragon

It was late afternoon by the time we were done, and they decided that it was too dangerous to camp here. So we would go through the portal now. After putting on wings and counterspells. The first group, Aaron, Anook, and Ben stepped forward, but nothing happened. The portal activated when the other three stepped into it. Weird. We found ourselves on a ledge, high on the slopes of a volcano, near a smoking crater, on its western edge. And then a dragon roared, right beside us. We were deafened. But as we looked around, we saw no sign of a dragon. The place we were standing had a magical aura. And there were plenty of traces of dragon, claw marks and the like.
We sensibly decided to exit the area, and took to the air, flying south. As we left the area, we realised we were very high up, so high that the air was thin and it was hard to breathe. After about half an hour we found a ravine where there was some scrubby vegetation, and there we landed, and made camp. As night fell, we studied the stars and deduced that we were at approximately the same longitude and season as when entered the portal.

23 Seedtime
At dawn, I was on watch, and spotted a swarm of flying specks high above, so high that a spyglass could not resolve them. A crystal of vision picked out a red dragon wearing some kind of barding. I suggested that we stay put for a while, cast our spells, and summon something for the dragon to eat should it deign to notice us, and require a snack. Ben summoned a goat. We talked to the goat. It hadn’t seen any humans before.
An hour later a red dragon landed and ate the goat. It was indeed wearing shiny armour. We explained that we were looking for a lost human. Apparently humans could not trigger the portal. Someone in our second group obviously triggered it. It said that if we wanted to go we should walk and not fly. The dragon did know about those humans that came wandering up onto the massif. The dragons ate most of them. Some of them had pointy sticks that could penetrate the dragon’s armour. The survivors fled, somewhere on the massif. We were some three-four hundred miles from the massif. If the envoy, the human with the tattoos, could get to the edge of the massif the dragons might let him go. They were apparently using the humans for sport.
But of course, the dragon required payment for letting us live. He was keen to get our individual true names. Aaron admitted to being an armourer, and offered to make it armour. Only his forge wasn’t working normally. The dragon’s armour was unusual in its styling and decoration. So Aaron and Anook made a handsome ice and silver helm for the dragon, while I ended up engraving a great many runes for it. Ben spent his the time grooming the dragon. This took two days, and we were exhausted after, requiring a full day and night of rest.

26 Seedtime
After we rested, we debated what to do next. We gave up on actually finding the envoy, and decided to proceed to the remaining tasks. So we headed to the coast, making use of Ben’s fire-running magic.

27 Seedtime
We arrived to the coast where there was a city-state called Koulikokoro, which was a divided city, the outer island city having a nice harbour, the inner city more dusty and closer to volcanoes. We knew the envoy had been here, and we decided to attempt to find out what he had done here. We went to the harbour, which smelt of much decaying fish, and looked for the harbour master, who was not hard to find, because he was busy shouting at the locals. The locals were not helpful. Eventually Wordsmith found a factor who remembered the envoy, who had been here, enquiring about shipping routes. But this was not the best place to organise a shipment of wood or gems. We needed to get closer to the source. We spent the night in a good inn with a bathhouse in the inland part of the city, not the island.

28 Seedtime
We flew along the coast to Gambay. Here we could see lumber-yards. The problem now was that a suitable shipment of lumber cost well beyond the monies we had in hand. And none of us were lumberjacks – except Ben. We learned that there were fantastical monsters in the forest, which needed dealing to. Wordsmith thought some might be horror-tainted. We found a reliable merchant who would pay a bounty of a thousand silver per proven kill, plus a thousand per carcass as a start. He would in lieu of this payment consider sending the load of hardwood to Pasifika that we required. There would be interesting rare herbs in there as well. We spent eight days hunting, finding a number of giant snakes and certain chimeric beasts, worth perhaps 20000sp to the merchant. But there was something else in there, something that was evading us, showing more intelligent behaviour.

Chapter Nine: In Which We Get into a Fight

6 Blossom
After resting overnight, in the morning as we were planning the day’s hunt, we heard a commotion down the far end of the camp. One of the loggers said that he and his mate had been chopping down a tree, when as he turned to pick up his axe, he heard a thump and a muffled gargle. When he turned back, his partner was gone. We followed the blazed trail to the logging encampment, six miles away.
We met five woodsmen on the way, who were the rest of that team, heading back, laden with weapons and gear. The trail ended at a pair of long-huts. We carried on, following a series of fresh cuts on to the logging site. We searched around and spotted a couple of claw nicks about 10ft up on a branch, a paw mark on the ground, and brushmarks heading west. There were no drag marks or bloodstains. We followed the trail west for an hour, when we came upon a small abandoned hut. Ben pulled the vines away, disturbing the birds in the roof, and the snake in the wall… Then he pulled away the entire wall, and we could see the wood was mostly rotten… the vines formed a roof. Ben could see the husk of a body in one corner. Anook made a more solid floor out of ice. Wordsmith read the aura of the corpse… it was only two hours dead! And was a desiccated husk, the flesh stripped off the bones first. And the clothing reduced to rags. I could see the tatters of a spirit as I approached. I spoke to the spirit… I could hear whispers, but it was plainly too weak to communicate. The aura of the corpse indicated it had died from massive trauma. The last magic cast on the plants was blessing on crops. Anook determined that the man had been killed, then feasted on, both physically and magically.
I summed my totem, my bear spirit… which told me, among other things, of a ruined tower nearby. This, we concluded, was most likely the source of the problem. There was a clearing, and as soon as we stepped into it, we found that it was much bigger than it looked. One of those rifts? Eventually, we made our way round to where we could see the door. Which took an hour… Seeing the door, we approached, and then shadowy panther creatures came up behind us. One bit Wordsmith and almost broke his neck. And we fought back. More appeared and attacked from our rear. It got nasty before we changed shape and started chewing on them.

Chapter Ten: In Which We Finish It


Then I took a nasty blow, and briefly fell unconscious. Wordsmith loosed a necrosis, and that really hurt them. One of them shrivelled to a desiccated husk. The grass around was brown and dead as they drew life from their surroundings, as well as draining the party. When I came to, there were only two of them left so I took a third healing potion, and waded in. It didn’t last much longer, but by the end of it, both Aaron and I were badly drained. As they died and withered Wordsmith saw something slip from them to the tower door – which was a solid black none of us could see through. The aura of the corpses said they were wraith panthers. The blackness had no aura… it reminded Wordsmith of primordial magic he’d encountered in a chaos temple elsewhere. There were undead hydras guarding that one, and a chaos dragon inside. Nasty. We decided to leave well alone.
We got back to camp and explained what we had found to the camp boss. He also decided to leave well alone, and decried that they would a good fifty mile exclusion zone around the tower. He gave the party a 10000sp bonus for our efforts. The merchant agreed to sort out the wood shipment for us. He also gave us a letter of introduction to some of the merchants at the gem mines.
So, we went to go and sort out the gem shipment. At the mines they were busy preparing defences against dragons. Ballistae and bunkers, mainly. There was no problem organising the gem shipment, and that was basically that. Then we took ship for Pasifika.

18 Blossom
We arrived at the trading post in Pasifika in the evening. We flew onward next morning.

20 Blossom
We arrived at New Alveron. We landed in a clear area, and were greeted by a group of gargoyles. They asked what we were doing, and Wordsmith explained we were here to see the High Lord. So they led us into the town, after advising us not to fly on account of the unpredictable air currents. We got to a longhouse where there were some heavily tattooed humans. They offered potions of sleep, and while we slept, we would be divinated by the High Lord. But we got to eat first. The food was from a plane we’d never heard of, so I memorised its name for future reference. We took the potion, and woke in the morning, in our rooms, as if nothing had happened.

21 Blossom
We were greeted by one of the tattooed persons. The High Lord was pleased, but we had not used enough magic for him to unlock anything major in that. He could tweak our spells in some minor way or do something physical for us. It would need to be the same thing since we would be “all going into the tank together”. They showed us the tank… it was this big mechanician thing full of green goo… and tendrils. We chose the physical change which would allow us to extend the maximum in certain of our abilities. Willpower was a favourite.

28 Blossom.
We got back to the Guild.


People

Shahed; Merchant owning 3 Calephants that the party is protecting.

Mil Sci

Mil Sci will receive an EP bonus for ensuring Combats run smoothly and quickly

Daily Pattern

  • Sleep/Camp 11 Hours (4/3/4hr)
  • Travel 10 Hours
  • Meals 2 Hours
  • Rituals 1 Hours

Travel Magics

Anok Iceberg + Lathron Mage Current.

  • Total speed: ~20 miles/hour.
  • Duration: 10.5 hours.
  • Ft cost per duration: 3-5 Ft.
  • Effective travel distance: 200 Miles

Ben Fire-running

  • Total speed: 50 miles/hour.
  • Duration: 5 hours 20 mins.
  • Ft cost per duration: 14/28 Ft.
  • Effective travel distance:260 Miles

Ben Wings (rk9)

  • Total speed: 39 miles/hour.
  • Duration: 5/9 hours.
  • Ft cost per duration: 14-30 Ft.
  • Effective travel distance: 180/330 Miles

Aaron Marching stick

  • Total speed: 30 miles/hour.
  • Duration: Once each day.
  • Ft cost per duration: Std travel Ft.
  • Effective travel distance: Until we stop or drop.

Watch Order

1st B + An
2nd W + Aa
3rd G + L

Marching Order

Scout: B
Main body front: W Aa
Main body rear: An L
Tail Guard: G

Buffs

Buffs listed in the table don't need to be detailed, other buffs not on the table must be mentioned at the time they are cast.
Y means always on, N/- means never on, 'Sit.' means when the party has time for buffs before a fight.
Weapon Spells which weapon/s it is going on normally should be noted also.

Grizelda makes restorative cookies (-8EN +16FT)
Lathron makes Waters of Healing
Grizelda does Rank 8 Willow Healing


Long Duration Buffs

Magic Rk Effects Dur Ws Gr Be An La Aa
Enchant Armour 12 +26% def +1 FtProt (target entity) 16 days or 6&1/2hrs Y Y Y Y Y Y
Rune shield ?? +17% Def, +3 FtProt, +3 EnProt x hrs x min - - - - - -
Elemental Armour 11 60 Ablative vs Elem Dam. 12 hrs x min Day Day Day Day Day Day
Greater Enchantment 16 +17% to appropriate areas 13 days Y Y N Y Y Y
Water Breathing 8 Breath water, Water college Fog see through. 9 hrs - - Y - - -
Enchant Weapon 9 10sc 3dam (target weapon) 16 days or 14 min 1 1 H1/2 1 1 Y
xxxx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx x hrs x min - - - - - -

Short Duration Buffs

Magic Rk Effects Dur Ws Gr Be An La Aa
Branch Counterspells (Gen) 8/8/9 Area+54% Ent+28% El/Ent/Tha (One) 13/14 min - - - - - -
Branch Counterspells (Spl) 9/9/9 Area+57% Ent+29% El/Ent/Tha (One) 14 min - - - - - -
Mana Sense 8 mana flows 90', 62% extra info 45 min S - - - - -
Weapon of Flames 17 18%sc 9dam / 17undead 22min/ 30min enh - - S - - -
Scales 10 40pt ablative Magic & mundane dam. (before armour) 14min/ 22min enh - - S - - S
Enhance Enchantment 8 +8 ranks to aspect of spell 50sec - - - - - -
xxxx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx x hrs x min - - - - - -

Daily FT Costs. Ben: 6 Ft.

Map

Loot

SP

Items

Gifts

Shrivers

  • Lathron some general college ranks. -50,000sp
  • Ben + Celestial college, - Gammon form, - Enhance Enchant.

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