Gathering of the Fumes

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Scribe Notes: Session – Spring 806

GM: Craig Harper
Night: Wednesday nights, and Jon and Julia's place.
Level: Medium/High.
Title: Gathering of Fumes.

The Party:

Seven of the guild air mages are off on adventure. We are leaving Aurora behind to look after things and to keep the Sorceress in Silver company and make her cups of tea.

Carnivorous Clementine - Female Air Mage (Bear)
Cultured Clarissa - Female Air Mage (Elf) - Scribe
Lovely Lath - Female Air Mage (Human) - Military Scientist
Maidenly Mebh - Female Air Mage (Human)
Stray Skye - Female Air Mage (Human)
Vigorous Vapour - Male Air Mage (Human) - Party leader
Slimy Shoka - Male Air Mage (Human)

The Mission:

We acquired quite a laundry list of tasks during the morning on the way, and hopefully we won't get too distracted. So far I've only had to break them down into three four general headings, but don't hold your breath.

Fixing the Air College

  • To quest to find why Air Magics have been weakening. Done!
  • To repair the gap left in the Air Magics by the disappearance of an Elemental.
    • To find a way to the Elemental Plane of Air.
      • To find a way back from the Elemental Plane of Air.
    • To ensnare a huge storm as a replacement Air Elemental.
      • To fashion a Wing Bag Net and Wind Jammer arrows to do the ensnaring.
  • To seek out Air College Investment.
  • To teach Whirlwind Vortex to all of the Air Mages.
    • To survive the training...

Being Generally Heroic and Noble

  • To recruit the Children of the Traveller to help Liessa.
    • To save the Children of the Traveller from Rashak's revenge. Sorted!

The Betterment of Guild Air Mages

  • To make sure that all the Guild Air Mages have a flying steed.
    • To make sure that all the Guild Air Mages who can be bothered with all the fuss have a flying steed.
  • To make sure that all the Guild Air Mages are properly Air aspected.
    • To make sure all the Guild Air Mages quite happy with the Aspect they have, thank you very much.
  • To nominate each other for Smartest Adventurer.
  • To avoid embarrassing the Sorceress in Silver.

More Personal Goals

  • To fix Lath, or her Air Elementals.
    • To help (Sir) Lath recapture her womanhood.
  • To get Shoka a "certain person's" Ancient Invocation. Easy!
    • To keep Shoka from using it before we go need to any where "you know who" might have great big friends.
  • To find Mebh a good, hard man, who can woo her for a good time.
  • To get Clarissa fixed.
    • To make sure Clarissa has a good vacation from Sanctuary.
  • To let Skye show off all of the dresses she brought along.
  • To find someone for Clementine to tell she is the Envoy of Sigismund who will be both suitably impressed and not start a new War. (I told Duke Brandon, and told him what Sigismund had said, so there- Clem)
  • To get Vapour nominated for "Air Mage Man of the Year" for the second year running.
    • Correction - to get Vapour nominated for "Air Mage Man of the Year" for the THIRD year running.

Day 1

The Guild Meeting

The air mages gather back at the guild, after the large party last night, Skye seems to have gotten lost looking for the air college or maybe she just forgot the date. We outline our goals for this season. Shoka pulls out a scroll he has researched about fantastical avians it is outrageous propaganda for Wyverns.

L: I bet Skye is late because she is busy entertaining those two dashing men that she was dancing and flerting with last night at the party.
M: Mebh tells everyone that Liessa has asked if we could pop over to the Sea of Grass and get her an army, the party decides we are too busy. Clarissa wins the posing competition but she cheats by being an Elf.
C: I was relaxing, not posing. And we weren't too busy to help Liessa, we just got delayed on the way
M: We head off to see The Sorceress in Silver, it is sooo nice being an air mage it only takes 10 minutes to get into town. Vapour uses the time to pose, He has good muscles...

Down in Seagate where all the streets, buildings and people normaly smell bad, we head to the good part of town to see the Sorceress. She tells us she is having problems with her rituals just at the moment and teaches us all a little binding air ritual. Aparently we can check how week the air mana is in an area by summoning an elemental and getting it to try and bend the bound air. If it is too weak to mold then the the magic is failing. Lath is the only one amoungst us who has learnt Mastery of Summon and Bind Air Elemental. However they don't like her any more as she killed one of them. The Sorceress looks very interested in this information and tells us of an astrology reading she has had done which refers to dead air swirling around a tree. Lath explans that this looks likes the air elemental that was accidentally killed in her service. We add "Fix Lath" to our list.

C: Just to put this a little more clearly, the sorceress had been corresponding with that prancing fop Etienne Sorholus-Vesubie and they've come to the conclusion that *all* Air magic is failing. None of us have noticed particularly, but then I haven't caught anyone in the party actually singing to birds. Anyway, they did an Astrology Reading for “Why is Air magic failing.” and they got the answer “A dead wind blowing around a tree.”

Shoka does his own Astrology reading and the runes reply to the question

Q:Is going to Odessa a good thing to do to sort out the Air Magics?
A:The wind blows in circles
It blows back on itself
What point on the circle do you stand?

C: We've been adventuring a whole quarter of an hour and we are going around in circles already? It must be a record. The usual rubbish, of course, but at least there were no entrails involved.

The Warehouse Diversion

Just then the town guard comes to the door and asks if our SMART brave good honest upstanding adventuring party will come and help them, being the intelligent people that we are we instantly agree. They have some criminals holed up in a warehouse and need help to clear them out. These people have been spotted eating the good citizens of Seagate (and the bad ones too). The guards would like us to take the back door with a couple of their numbers, while they kick in the front door. We are very disappointed about having to go around back and not being allowed to kick down the front door having espied it and all.

There is a tricksy mechanician lever for opening the back doors, we cleverly find it around the corner and up some stairs. Whilst we are away opening the doors, The town guardsmen with us step through into the courtyard. There is a bright flash and a sounding of people dying horribly. All that is left of them is a pile of bloody bones, and a young girl in a red dress steps through a side door out of the courtyard.

With weapons drawn our entrepid band enters the building and makes haste. Strange things are afoot. Nails pop out of corridors and a different (adult human sized male?) figure spookily appears at the end of one corridor. While this is somewhat unnerving nothing actually stops us from getting to the main warehouse.

On entering the warehouse proper the plan is to for Lath and Mehb to lay down a Knockout gass each and the rest storm in.

M: Apparently even though Knockout gas has a crap base chance and Windstorm is sooo much better, some people are just party poopers, We will go through the criminals like a Gryphon with a rank 20 wind walk. Three pulses later the enemy is subdued (yes I know it would only take the Gryphon one pulse to get through the room.)

We are securing priosners and sweeping the rest of the rooms when we find one office mostly decorated by more ribcages and their former contents. It appears to indicate that the intruders were also having problems with the "little girl". We are trying to make sense of the mess when she reappears wearing a cold, dead-eyed expression and surrounded by erupting flames. Having swept the room once with the flames, she disappears again. The stairs she was standing on appear unharmed, but we all (apart from Shoka, who'd valiantly thrown himself out the window) feel that we had a lucky escape.

S: I confess to having had a sudden rush of blood to the head ... I had some foolish notion about actually attempting to engage this apparition in melee. Fortunately she chose that moment to dissappear.
M: All of the bad guys are named James and look exactly the same. None of them are hetrosexual. Don't ask me how I know that. There is noone here who can DA or divinate, crap.
C: Note to self: must remember to ask Mehb how she knew their orientation. It'd be a handy time-saver. However, I think it was a side effect of the other problems they had.

Notes are sent to the guild to let them know that the Air mages have captured some crimals and need them seeing too. Count Grendal and some namers answer our summons (lucky for them as we have whispering wind and are not afraid to use it).

We get the arriving Namers to pelt the captives with DAs and we learn a few disturbing things.

Count Grendel casts some torture I mean speak to the dead for us, and we find out a bunch of stuff, mostly that the James are very stubborn and appear to be some kind of clone.

A number of us also manage to get some useful information out of the local wind spirits, who saw a group descend into the sewers under the warehouse and surface in a house belonging to the merchant who also owned the warehouse. And I say "owned" because that's where he was found dead.

C: The plot, and the smell, has thickened considerably and we are beginning to question that, bountiful civic duty aside, we are the right people to be looking into this. Maybe we should be chasing Gryphon's around mountain-tops like Mehb seems so keen about...
S: It seems to me that this notion of abandonning the guards has more to do with Lath gibbering there in the corner after her Whirlwind failed to affect said apparition ...
M: Does anyone feel a 'harden up' coming on ?

Anyway, we learn that the murdered Merchant was one Charles Giles, had lived and run an only moderately shady import/export business in Seagate for 10 years, and perished of mortal stabbing.

Clarissa and Vapour gird their fetching loins with Greaters from the esteemed Lucius, who took the opportunity to grumble about potatoes. Mehb checks in with the local representatives of Michael and learns that ornate ridge-poles are standard issue in a new church and learns more about why such a forlorn place as Odessa might warrant one.

The rest of the night is spent quietly drinking and with Vychan, discussing our next step, and watching Vapour persue some skirt around the pub.

Day 2

Eastward, Ho!

Nearly first thing the party assembles and Vapour leads the party in morning aerobics, we then descends on the Sorceress' lodging again. We reached the conclusion that the warehouse spectre/robbers/merchant incident isn't as important as the deceased Air Element at some point during the night.

Incidentally the Sorceress has already been updated by the Town Guard. The shady guys suspected are from the vicinity of Sanctuary but no-one seems sure why they targetted the merchant or his warehouse and the scuttlebutt on the streets appears to suggest they have already fled home.

L: Mumbles about Clarrisa being a well paid Mistress of Sanctuary and isn't she involved in coming for that city, and maybe they wanted to give her a hand.

However, the resurrection of Air Elemental isn't one of her spheres of expertise, largely on the account of them not usually being considered mortal. However, we are treated to some mildly morbid poetry, apparently written by the sylph, Ildrissien.

We also go over her crazy plan to test the puissance of air magic by carting foot square blocks of *unspeakably* heavy bound air from high mana zone to high mana zone and having Air Elementals try and deform them. And, hopefully, not us.

There is animated conversation about the relative safeness of the local high mana zones and the liklihood of have to deal with dragons, flying undead, swarms of bats and the possibilty of flying swarms of undead bat-dragons.

In the end, we decide that Ildrisholm is on our way to the Children of the Traveller and that is the first thing of the "list". Mehb mounts up Spike (a flying horse), Lath climbs aboard Twister (a flying wolf), and the rest of us board Shoka's cloud and we head east. Out of deference to the displaced peoples of the Dark Circle Spike spends some time on the cloud too, as his flaming hoofprints might excite bad feeling among them.

On the way to Ildrisholm we spot another clearly magical cloud (flying twice the speed and at right angles the ambient winds) who circles us warily until our earnest waving convinces them to touch-down for a bit of a chin-wag. They have gone to the extent of all donning Lightning Shield to make us appreciated and they claim to be monks from the Cloister at Ildrisholm.

Cheerfully giving them our names without even asking for theirs seems to endear us and they invite us back to their place for lunch and a little polite interrogation. We discribe our Air Magic related objective as best as we are able and they seem quite impressed. Anyway, they offer to whip up a nice, friendly Rank 20 Elemental for us to play with.

Better luck next time

The monks do their party peice and a brisk wind arrives, but there is no sign of the towering column of tearing air that one normally expects. We eventually notice a hazy figure skipping from place to place around us and manage to start a conversation. Whatever it is, it's chatty and doesn't identify itself with Air Elementals. It seems to think much of your bravery, espicially as we have Lath, who it call the "Elemental Slayer", with us.

Anyway, it's got some information about the situation, again in the form of poetry. Fortunately this isn't just a horrible coincidence but due to the fact that both bits of doggerel are from the same book, a tome of occult significance to Magics of the Air. It was written the Ildrissien we'd heard about after she had been trapped and reduced in status to a mere sylph. We have no idea what she was before her demotion, but the book was scattered to requisite number of winds(4) so it was clearly important. Or not very well bound.

Usefully it started to describe the process by which one might capture a mighty air spirit and reduce it to something more managable, which involved spider silks from the Pagan Mountains and other rustic clap-trap. The figure revealed this process to be very relevant to us rebalancing the elements, as the Elemental Lath exploded by accident will need replacing.

It went on further to says that if we to go to the "Azure Blue" mentioned in the poem, we could find a storm of sufficient strength that it replace Lath's lost Elemental, it being a non-trvial Rank 18 specimen.

At some point the briefly revealed itself, in a rather ostentatious display of lightning, to be some sort of Dragon. We are not sure, being as the party is rationed to a single DA a week, so we only have conjecture and bleached out after-images to work with.

We discuss access to the plane of air, which merifully no-one has to hand, and the possibility the that original site of the accident might make a crossing point. Sadly (but only sadly for us), it has been sealed and the figure, which may have been looking in Lath's direction, quite pointedly said "Only a fool would open it."

The wind/lightning/air dragon/person bids us good luck and disappears, along with another missed opportunity to ask someone their name. The monks appear to have vanished as well, but that's not surprising if they thought their summon had gone south.

A plague on both your horses

We plump up some more clouds and it's decided to continue East into the Sea of Grass as the Children of the Traveller might have some crazy ideas about how to get us to the Elemental plane of Air. We send whispering winds to them to ask for directions, and one back to Etienne to keep him up to date with our progress. Given the hour it's due to arrive he may not be thrilled to hear Lath's voice but he should understand.

A couple of hours later, Mehb gets a message back from the Shaman that she knew in tribe we are seeking, and the news is bad. They are plagued, and having been fleeing in an Easterly direction for a while now. We resolve to help them out and continue to head East.

To keep us occupied on the long cloud-bound parts of our journey Lath is helping us learn her own particular flavour of Whirlwind Vortex. With extra lightning.

C: I swear, the towering blue vault of the world never felt so damn small. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one humouring her, but what does one say?

Time passes quickly.

Day 3

As the following day dawns we can see a dark stain of apparently burnt grass stretching from horizon to horizon, but we cannot see a fire-front or smoke. Speaking to the Winds is less than immediately sucessful when Mehb picks up Lath's Mage Wind which has been following us for most of the night and is even less informed than we were. Enquiries further afield yield that the "talky people" left the area weeks ago during a "big smelly storm" that caused the marks by withering the grass.

Later the afternoon we a ring burnt into the grass, 200'or 300' around the inside. We head down and the rangers confirm it contained a huge camp at some point, but that was probably two months ago. We continue, following a lodestone that Lath is wearing around her neck and the very logical notion that they were retreating from the storm, though we left the areas of discoloured grass hundreds of miles behind.

Once it gets dark we see distant campfires and push on to make contact. The sentries are clearly uneasy as our friendly greetings are fired upon. Lath brings down a Windstorm and Mehb tries to remind them she use to run the tribe. Eventually the dust settles, and we are escorted across the perimenter.

It's a crying shamen

Wyma the chieftan greets us, and Mehb in particular, with an enquiry that amounts to "What took you so long?" Apparently they sent a message to Guild in late Autumn and the three months since have been the worst the tribe as seen in living memory.

During the celebrations held on the last full moon of Autumn a dark and rancid storm coalesced above their camp, and resisted all attempts to control or disperse it. The rain that fell from the violent clouds was oily and rank. It took three days to banish the clouds, but the greasy residue remained and strange sickness has started to affect the tribes weakest people, especially their Adepts.

With livestock dying all around them and forced to abandon some of the eldest of their people, they fled in the direction away from Masada. Many died and the Children taxed themselves ruinously to help the tribe surivive, but they left the blighted area and those that were able recovered from the sickness. About a month later they finally felt it safe to stop and recommenced their interrupted celebrations.

At that stage things got even worse, as the creature of the plains, the grasses, and even the dead bodies that they had been forced to leave behind rose up at night to attack them. The black rain had animated them to rise each full moon and persue their living kin, along with the thousands of animals that rain poisoned. They have been forging East, fighting a running battle at night and trying to keep the entire tribe moving without completely exhausting the Children that help them get this far. All of which goes to explain our less than friendly reception.

They have gotten some assistance from the guild in Tac, but they weren't very impressed and only a Namer by the name of Tranton von Smedley is still withn them. He's been trying to get them to escort him back to the site of the storm, but they have been a little distracted fending off their poisoned, undead relatives.

To display our immediate worth Lath blows up some things on the perimeter using her Undead-vision and Whirlwind Vortex, while Shoka and Clarissa set up some batches of Restful Sleep draugh to distribute to the fatigued fighters.

Day 4

The potion brewing will take a while, so the rest of the party engages in a little cultural exchange and perimeter watching. Even a few extra hands is appreciated by the bone-weary warriors and we are starting to make ammends for the "lost" message.

Lath in particular is getting touch with her roots, apparently having come from a tribe out this way. No ones quite sure if they are missing her, but they seem to be speculating that she looks familiar. At very least they share dieties and Kallaera of the Winds is duly summoned. Lath looks a little disappointed at the message she gets, but apparently the eve of the next full moon is the time that is normally reserved for the impressive stuff.

We make plans to fly out with Tranton and have him Divinate the gigantic grease spot left by Rashak's displeasure.

C: One moment. Wasn't Rashak "pinned" ages ago? Nearly a year ago anyway? Well, I suppose that she's as a entitled to a few second thoughts as anyone, but the Travellers would hardly be at the top of *my* list. Just a thought though."

Day 5

A brisk flight back to the centre of the blighted plains and a few hours of playing "guard the Namer" and he confirms that the curse was targeted on the Children of the Traveller and the worshippers of Kallaera in particular and those killed by the storm will continue to re-animate on each full moon. That and the curse must be stopped here and nowhere else.

The means to bring an end to the curse is reasonably handy, being the inovation of the Goddess Kallaera on the full moon during the ritual known of the Rite of Spring.

We take this information back to the Tribe (more calisthenics with Vapour and mumbling the words with Lath) and set about rounding up support for the plan to save the tribe. Hantonto, the shaman that Mehb knows well is immediately convinced but it takes a bit more effort to convince him. Well, a great deal more yelling and armwaving occured, anyway. Mehb isn't very clear on the details of the ritual, but from the way she was blushing it's clear that she's not going to be participating.

Late in the afternoon, a young man with a twinkle in his eye comes and talks to Clarissa and Lath. He directly asks Clarissa if she is able to help tonight with the guarding and patrols on his side of camp tonight. Clarissa says yes and the young man seems very pleased.

Then Lath decided that Clarissa is way overdressed, and tried to convince her to don a couple of scraps of fur that may have once been a garment, for the patrol tonight.

C:Should one worry if your Military Scientist is trying to get you to remove armour? Especially if they aren't trying to get you drunk at same time?

Amongst that excitement Lath learnt that people who may have been her family were exiled during the last round of trials the elected the current regime. They apparently threw an important challange they were expected to carry easily and caused a great deal of disappointment and resentment. A chap called Lantara was the foremost "candidate" among the tribe, and bears a resemblance to Lath.

Again we patrol the camp to support the perimeter guards and raise morale.
L: We raise morale almost as high as Clarissa's cleevage
A younger lad that we'd spoken to earlier greets us, along with her more grizzled companion. I had to dampen the ardour of the youth, while his senior inform Mehb that he was horrified at the treatment that she'd received and that a famous ex-chieftan and saviour of the tribe should have been greatly honnour upon their return. It's of course possible that he's being a little unrealistic and everyone is a bit preoccupied at the moment, but it's a definite indicator that things could be smoother in the tribe.
M: What do you mean? There is always time to honour me.

C:When I said to the boy that I belonged to someone powerful and jealous, I was talking about me, by the way.
M: Oh have you been holding out on us with your special knowledge spells Clarissa.

Day 6

In the morning the air is crisp and clear. We are one day out from the full moon so we talk to the head shaman and preparing the tribe. Later in the morning we plan our activities with the tribe, Shoka creates more batches of potions, this time to "ensure the succcess" of the both rituals. He also spoke fondly, in a nostaglic way, of the possibility of sleeping at some point. His new assistant, Kareen, might have to help him with that. We get the the tribe to divide into a group of the adepts (with warrior guards) to follow us to a place of air power and complete the ritual, while the rest of the tribe stay safely away. We end up taking around 200 people, by clouds to the air place of power, far to the south west around 120 miles from the main body of the tribe and close to where the first of the storms struck the tribe some six weeks before.

The air place of power turns out to be a small 50 foot low hill, which is the highest point on the plains for many miles around. It is also a high mana area. We and the warriors set up guards and rest until the morning of the 7th.

Day 7

The Riots of Spring

Late in the morning of the 7th day and day of the full moon the adepts start the long task of Ritual preparation, to help perform the Rites of Spring. Except for the ritual preparation the day is eerily quit and still.

With the setting sun we know that the hordes of plague will come for us tonight.

The moon is full and the horizon black with swarms of Undead, some flying, some running on all fours, and the rest walking towards us. We hear them coming, then we can smell them and then they are upon us, all to soon. The wave of festering putrid birds hit us first, followed by the rancid animals, both of which present the most problems from sheer numbers and enthusiasm letting them mob us and causing minor injuries, other than their distinct odour.

The mass of larger figures is drawing closer however... slowly they take shape in the darkness. A ravening horde of unnatural undead barbarians lead by fifteen mounted warriors from the grave advances toward us. What is this? they are copying our clever tactics. Mounted figures supported by archers. A smart windstorm disrupts their bow fire and hastens them to their doom. Though they are mighty we are mightier still (and we look and smell better too). With our backs to the rite's we stand a thin attractive line of courage between death and life. We set our spears and prepare pits of flame to break the charge of the horse line.

The diligent work of our mages and archers fells the horsemen, or at least their mounts, before they reach us and then it's all on.

To the victors go the spoiled decaying corpses

We are the champions, dirt does not touch us, all this and modest too.

Of the 12 adepts we were protecting 3 have only the briefest encounters with death, thanks to Shoka's potions. With the full compliment of participants, The Rites of Spring are sucessful, they come to a climatic end with a bright light flaring over the plains washing away the stain on the land.

Day 8

Despite our exertions the lads seem to have enough in reserve to assist the tribe in completing their rite, while we women-folk keep a look out for any fresh attackers. And victims of fertility potion overdoses. Anyway, we aren't delayed long before a Whispering Wind reaches Lath from Skye. Apparently she missed the Guild meeting. We send one in return to get her to remain there and tell her that we will be back shortly.

By the time it is light, we are heading ack to the rest of the tribe again and immediately approach Hantonto to receive some well deserved, and much needed, guidance. He's a little puzzled by a slew of questions about flying animals, elementals, portals, poetry, and storms, but promises to let us know if he remembers anything.

Remembering the Jashad grizzled campaigner and his second, Mehb and Clarissa question him about the touchy subject of the recent regime change and part played by the family that could well be Lath's.

It all sounds extremely suspicious, to this winsome little city Elf anyway, that a chief so extremely weak and apparently indescisive can remain in charge of a hurly-buly tribe of Air Mages. According to Jashad, no-one's even talking about it, which is even weirder. Winooto, the chief's champion is a bit of a mystery and his bodyguard, Grellon (who was rude to when we first arrived) isn't considered much more than a hanger on.

We decide we have more pressing concerns and preapre to travel back to the West.

Terry the Elemental

Since we are to pass over the high mana zone that the Rite took place at again, we shanghai a Child of the Traveller who can summon (non-murderous) Air Elementals so we can report another plot-point to the Sorceress. With Lath safely out of sight we get to meet "Terrestralis Aurora Borealis" who is clearly able to handle the block of bound air. Terry cheerfully stretches it into a vast storm front and compresses that down to a portable vignette of it's raging, lightning wracked self.

He also talks happily about the "glowing hooks" that appear when somone attempts to summon an Air Elemental and the fun of racing to grab them and getting to see what is on the other side. He also knows of a Djinn who might be able to assist us to get back, if we are ever make to the Plane of Air.

It turns out that Lath has also met Ibi Pashar Harif and doesn't think she's offended him to badly.

Day 9

By the morning we are back in Seagate and rescue Skye from the briefing room at the Guild. She's definitely pretty enough to fit in with the rest of the party but appears to be insisting dragging most of the content of her retail enterprise with her.

There is a lot of discussion about where to head next and we actually make it several hours flight towards Brandenburg before turning back to talk to the Sorcercess for advice.

She knows of Pashar and describes him as being very well respected and extremely powerful. She doesn't know him personally but we get her to write a note of introduction, just in case.

We also discuss the possibility of using Gaseous Form and Air Spring in combination to escape from the Plane of Air. We also refine our plan further to include using a belonging to reputable scholar to travel to the Brandenburg area and he may be able to help us decipher the cryptic borders on the pages of the The Book of Ildrissien.

Grobbenbonk's Pad

Lath insists that Skye and I wear ribbons for the trip through the portal, so I already feared the worse. The ogre guard was a little surprised to see us, but our papers check out {We shouted "Hi, we're from the Guild! And we're all Air Mages!" as I recall} and we are allowed through.

The "learned scholar" turns out to be a mildly lecherous goblin Rune Mage called Grobbenbonk. It takes a very few flattering words and smiles to get his attention and slightly more work to refocus it on the documents we brought with us. Even with our sought-after fine company, he claims to be married to Sabrina and completely besotted with her. Eventually we escape after Skye preforms an aerial dance for him. I'm quite impressed by her form, but our host seems more interested in the effect her sweeping movements on her diaphanous, and tiny, garments.

We spend the night at a place Lath knows, Ambrose's Inn. Ambrose himself seems a jolly fellow and then he mentions mud wrestling. At least the mead is drinkable.

Day 10

The following morning we flew to the tower of "Ulrich the Sorcerer", another local that Lath knows. His an odd chap, both dabbling in the creating homunculi, employing Goblin man servants, and having a rather organic portal-like front door but his apartments in the tower were neat and well tended, as was his personal grooming. His taste in wine runs a little to the sweet for my palette, but he was very polite and respectful to the ladies of the party, so that hardly matters.

We talk about our quest(s) and after Vapour helps out by lifting and setting down a few heavy objects, the very reasonable Ulrich produces another page of the Book of Ildrissien. In return for some of the spider silk we hope to return from the Pagan Mountains, it's ours to keep, along with 4 specialist Spider Silk winding reels.

M: Suffer not an Imp to live!

M: "I don't think I want to cure anyone of being gay!"
L: "I don't think that's going to be a problem, dear...."
Everyone else: "Oohhhhhhhh!"

From there we visit Lurdrium, who is a renegade Storm Mage (apparently this means being civil and not living in Caulder) who is another hour further East. Although he appears to more interested in selling us horses, he does a service in summoning a Storm Elemental to test the effects of the waning magics and see if it is effected the same as the Air.

The Elemental rages around Lurdrium's tower and while it can't manipulate the block of the matching Rank, it does use it to smash some new pointing into the stone of the tower. They are, we are told, generally cranky. The storm is invigorating, but we have many things to do.

We head north-north west to the capital of Brandenburg and get ourselves set up in the Duck and Boar with a suitable compliment of baths, errand boys, and seamstresses. We make plans to gain discrete but non-destructive access to the fine private libraries of the towns citizens. One always needs a good nights sleep for things like that.

Day 11

Our options to get into access to the libraries run like this:

  1. Overt violence. Too messy.
  2. Subtle (burglary and the the like) violence. The necessary skills would leave too many of the party to their own devices, precipitating 1.
  3. Overt bribery. Apparently it's more expensive and gauche than Lath likes.
  4. Subtle bribery and cultured graces.
  5. Revealing Clementine is the Envoy of Sigismund and starting a new Baronies War. Clementine's definitely a "hawk" when it comes to this one.

Thankfully, option 4 is chosen and we have already started to spread the impression that we are in town to attend as many social functions as we can while we are here.

We manage to lure one Madame Florentine under the pretence that Skye is a semi-noble rustic lass from Cornumbria in dire need of a finishing school and a prospective husband. We also imply that there might be something hinky in the family tree involving Air Mages (and scandalously, maybe Griffins?) and we wanted to research this before someone else did. Skye gave a marvellous performance of a sullen, spoiled, little madame that Mme. Florentine was completely convinced that she required a armed escort. She also promise to mention us to a Mr Formilque, a noted local authority on such matters.

Unfortunately, it appears that we hadn't gotten the full nature of our ruse through to Skye, because she flounce off to sulk in "her" room. When shouting didn't seem to do the trick, Clementine hobbited the door open and got a Ball of Lightning in the face for her concern.

Clementine explaining the plan to Skye: "It doesn't involve marrying you off or breaking you in. Breaking in, I mean."

C: Apparently she has real objections to the concept of marriage and can't even bare to fake it. I'm hardly a fan myself, of marriage I mean, but she must think very poorly of us if she thinks we'll swap her for the first dowry on the block. I felt quite hurt.

Day 12

James (Madame Florentine's man, not another clone from the warehouse destrict. I think.) comes to meet us in the morning, to guide us while we shop and meet a learned local.

Skye displays quite an eye for the slightly dated fashions available at the apparently reputable seamstresses we are taken to and swiftly we are decked out in the local courtly garb. It's a good deal more fiddly than what I normally bother with, but we do make an impressive set by the end. And we manage it with the ball just two nights away.

Mehb is in blue and grey, Clementine dark blue, and I'm looking a little sombre and unapproachable in veiled purple and maroon, which, frankly, suits me just fine. The boys are very handsomely attired in matching purple and grey, and we round out our spectrum with Lath in scarlet and Skye in a bottle-green confection of her own design.

After the shopping, we head into the bustling streets and run into a diversion. Someone "nudges" Clementine and flees as another bystander yells "Hey, stop that!". Shoka and Mehb run down the quarry with gusto and he tries something foolish in the line of Charm or Bardic Voice. Our benefactor approaches and the guard arrives. With the testimony of the citizen and turning out the concealed pockets of the thief, they are suitably convinced of his guilt and is taken off. We are told we may be required for the trial, but promptly forget this over lunch.

Mr Familque's

Mr Familque is a portly, helpful man of advancing years who's has been researching Air Magics for the Duke. Consequently his library revealed to have a stunning variety of topics of interest to Air Mages. Actually, it might just be us.

  • "Fundamentals of Magical Storage" - which has many phrases that match the inscriptions decoded from the borders by Grobbenbonk.
  • "Where to catch Gryphons and How to Train them." -
  • "Giant Eagles: The Kings of the Air" - Vapour finds many wonderful pictures within.
  • "The Big Book of Unicorns" - Mahb and Clementine rummage through this.
  • "Hermatite in the Grenaden Mountains and Coffin-bag Flowers" - This fascinates Shoka for a time.
  • "The Flora and Fauna of the Pagan Mountains" - Lath finds references to giant spiders.
  • "How to hide from the Wind" - some of the basic techniques seem a little drastic (small sealed chambers) but Lath believes it is promsing

In exchange for this bounty of hints, we allow Mr Familque to copy the second page of the Book of Ildrissien. I keep an eye on him, to make sure he doesn't alter our copy and to stay alert while the others get over their attack of literacy.

On top of that Mehb gets a message from Hantonto regarding the investment question. He can only suggest that "Mystic Shadowweave" can capture lightning in clasp and release it later.

Mr Familque doesn't appear to be done helping us yet, and suggests that he might be able to get us an audience with the Duke or tickets to the Ball. He is a friendly old duffer.

An Audience with Duke Brandon

Mr Familque must have some pull around this town, as a young in splendid livery arrives in the evening and informs us we are to be taken to meet with the Duke this hour. We gussy ourselves up as our finest "working" clothes, some making sure that they have a collection of weapons large enough not to arouse suspicion by not being heavy enough.

The short coach trip to Brandonburg Castle terminates in an odd underground stable via a long sloped corridor big enough for several coaches at once. At the guard station, we divest ourselves of our signature iron-mongery and head into the adjoining cavern.

There is an scene of a small lake of green glowing ooze, incanting elders in robes and a group of onlookers that includes the Duke. The material isn't magical as far as my sense of smell can tell, but is definitely alchemical in nature, if my time in laboratories has taught me anything. Our attendant guardsmen indicate that this is a fairly regular magical "show and tell" session that Duke holds to keep up with the pointy-hat and fireball crowd.

Once the business in concluded the Duke greets us, and recognises the "Heroine of the Games". He seems quite star-struck.

It eventuates that he is interested in getting our assistance or advice with his downstream "neighbour" and perennial thorn in his side, Lord Azure. To avoid his taxes he's considering use Summoned Clouds to move bulk goods, rather than simply flooding Calder. He ask some very incisive question about range and carry capacity, and the necessity of having "porters" to stop goods falling through the cloud.

It's late when we finish, but we have the definite impression that wheels may already be in motion.

Day 13

Our plans to polish up the lads (Vapour, Shoka, and Mehb) courtly graces and dancing skills are put on hold the next by an offer from the Duke to hire our Cloud Summoners to get a small cargo out to a ship off the south coast.

The clouds are loaded up with stout guardsmen with heavy backpacks, and think I detect a whiff of the alchemical ooze from the night before. Some "favourable winds" are arranged and we make the first trip in good time. On the second run, some ships we had seen earlier appear to be heading rather determinedly towards the Count's ship. The First Mate is dispatched by Windwalk, and then recovered via Griffon, to confirm that they are Lord Azure's vessels.

Mehb's excuse for not boarding and killing them: "But we've got this nancy courtier thing to attend tonight!"

At the end of the second round trip, we enquire whether they should remain afloat, in the Duke's opinion. He's more keen to see his ship escape too, so turning the entire sea into a raging storm seems less useful than it might otherwise. Waters of Vision also show us that they may well have Storm Mages to help survive such a plan, and that becalming the surrounding area and propelling the Duke's vessel under Mage Winds seems much more useful. This works a treat on the next round and we head back to prepared for the Ball, which we are now cordially invited to, by the Duke himself.

The Brandenburg Ball

While we are running some quick crash-courses in "not standing on the nice noble's toes", Lath manages to get invited to look at the "not for lending, or much else" section of the Duke's library. After bribing the weasel (no, really) who runs the library with a pendant of silence that Guild Security gave her, Lath is given access to the Ancient Invocation that Shoka has been looking for.

The ball goes well, even if alcohol and Air Mages is a unstable mix. Mehb does very well, she had several dances with impressed courtiers and some minutes of normal conversation before someone managed to get her to grasp her fan like the hilt of a hand and a half and demonstrate the form with which she won the Lunar Winter games with. Shoka handles the glittering crowd with some aplomb, and remembers the parties sage words of advice.

Random Noble: "Are you one of the Duke's 'Special Men?'"
Shoka: <significant pause> "I couldn't say."

The wine eventually gets to Skye and she proceeds to fly around the ballroom, showing off, but the Duke doesn't seem to mind. Vapour is very nearly dragged off into the garden a half dozen times, but we ensure that he stays safely out of the shadows. Unfortunately Lath is a little under the weather, having manufactured most of today's, and leaves me to be sober one. Nothing goes horribly wrong, and we eventually make it back to the inn sometime in the very early morning.

Day 14

Lath is keen to get moving in the morning, and manages to get everyone stumbling in generally the right direction to a cloud headed in the direction of Freetown. Her Lodestone is pointing East to the next page, and we want to triangulate from a known point on the map.

We land on the Island in the river where Air Mages have a school. We are greeted by mercenary guards with rat-emblem shields, and who are apparently pacted. I say apparently, as Lath can see such things and Mehb swears she can "smell" it. She is also the proud owner of a looted Rat-cult shield too, so who I am I to argue?

They don't detain us long, and we then meet Arwen and the Dean, who seem to good fellow Air mages. The Dean has had a feeling that magica was weakening, but had been ascribing it to "experimental error" by the students.

OOC: I have a note about finding the Genies Lamp here? Did we, or just another clue?

Lath, about the Genie: "Maybe he's got one of those thingys you can rub?"

Lath, being quite the philosopher I've realised, does yet more research while most of the party catch up on lost sleep. When I bring her some tea, she's found a spell called "aerial Disguise" which is supposed to mask scents and close a target off from Whispering Wind. As a sign of appreciation for this good fortune she inserts another page of the Book of Ildrissien into a tome, for further generation of Air Mages to go haring off after.

Clarissa: "It's not that I'm not impressed at Lath's focus and patience in researching, but we've found something useful everything we've shaken a dustjacket. I'm beginning to get worried at all the coincidences. Smells too much like "fate" to me..."

Day 15

We triangulate the next page, and it's much further south and east. In fact, it's pointing long the way back to Seacroft on Sea. We may have been doing the scavenger hunt backwards.

Vapour: "Damn."

Apparently, he's from around there. Deeper, and deeper...

Hearteningly, Mehb has remember several courtly graces from two nights ago. These include:

  • Don't cause trouble.
  • Don't talk about breaking people's fingers.
  • Don't reflexively kidney punch or knee-cap a Duke for "dancing too closely".
  • Try and giggle at their jokes.

I try and focus and being proud for my protege.

Day X

[The scribe missed a couple of action packed sessions. Water cooler talk suggests that we visited Seacroft on Sea, then Lath's island, then the Plane of Air (briefly), and then hit the Pagan mountains (to see Morgor. I'll pick up from there, but if someone who was present can fill in the details, that'd be neat. --Ben Taberner 14:08, 25 Apr 2007 (NZST)]

We searched the deeply wooded slopes of the Pagan mountains on foot, collecting stray spider silk as we went, to avoid attracting the attention of the local top-order predator, a rather famous dragon. It also keeps us from initially being bothered by Kerris [sp??], an endemic local population of horse-sized dragon-like reptiles.

However, we hear a panicked whinnying and investigating find a winged horse snagged in a huge web strung in the canopy. A hungry Kerri had also attempted to get it and was now struggling. It's fiery breath allowed it to break free momentarily, but it gets snagged again at about 800'. We can hear the cries of it's fellows circling somewhere above the canopy.

We decide to get closer before announcing our presence with arrows and spells, and get to observe the huge spiders that set the web on the ground below, fountaining up silk to further ensnare and draw their prey. The winged-horse is starting to slip and Lath races ahead to Windwalk it. As it starts to fall it is whisked away, and we plough into the spiders.

Skye has opted to hang back to cast spells, but the other Kerris has decided that she looks tastier than the horse. As we whaling on the spiders, a couple strafe her with flames and then she is snatched up by a third. Lath doubles back and Windwalks Skye to safety.

Mehb throws down a Windstorm to keep the rest from bothering us as we finish off the second last spider, and last flees into the trees.

Mehb interrogates the webbed Kerri and Clementine tries to summon the Winged Unicorn, properly called a Alicorn according to Shoka's brochures, to talk to her. Apparently it's leery of us because some of us aren't "pure".

Clarissa: Frankly, I'm a little appalled two *are*. Still, who am I to comment on another's life style choice?

Anyway, the Alicorn seems to approve of Clementine and they arrange meet later. Meanwhile we gather enormous quantities of silk and Shoka tell me about Unicorns are hunted, which is a little sickening.

Day X+1 to X+14

We spend the next two weeks with the shaper, constructing the Windbag nets and arrows, decrypting the pages of the Book.

For all this assistance he's like us to get some him flowers. Particular off-planar flowers from the "Granadian Mountains", called "Coffin-bags."

He arranges the portal, and we find ourselves on a shallow rocky slope, on what appears to be an insanely high mountain. Air mage senses tell us that it's at least 25 miles high, though the air isn't as thin as it should be where we are standing. This is important as we Glide down to the where the tree-line starts. While we are organising this Shoka [?] recognises the many of the rocks that make up the slopes are Hematite and we grab a sackful of them.

At the tree-line the slope we find a lake almost hidden by the huge, flax-like bushes. The coffin-bag flowers actually grow just under the surface of the water, and while we are pondering how to get them out intact we notice that there are gigantic dragonflies and the like hovering over the water. No doubt, this was going to get interesting.

[Sadly, I missed the last session as well, so while I gather we survived and even succeeded, that's all I know.]


Eddy Image.png


Ulrich the Sorcerer





Lath as Military Scientist: "Ok, everyone split up, We can do more damage that way."

Clarissa: "Oh look, dirt and refuse. Who's a Ranger?"

Vapour as Mebh, wreathed in lightning, crashes into close with Lath and her attackers: "At least Lath is well grounded... hand-to-hand combat."

Lath to Vapour in combat, "Go lend a hand to the nakid girl"

Mebh: "Save our fornicating friends."

Clemintine (across the battlefield):"I thought we were looking for the alpine fields and the Edelweiss!"
Lath to Clarissa: "What sort of vice did she just ask for?"

Mehb: "Lath's the brains of the outfit!"
Lath: "Yup!"

Lath: "Vapour needs butterfly wings!"
Vapour: "Or a Giant Eagle!"

Clementine (to Mehb, indicating Clarissa and Skye): "It's not your job to smile at the Ogres, it's their job to smile at the ogres!"

Mehb: "I give it a love-tap. Just to let it know I've got weapon of flames on."

Shoka: "The virgins lure the Unicorns so the hunters can catch them, take their horns, and make potions."
Clarissa: "I knew there was a reason I didn't trust virgins."

Clementine: "It's safe; we're all Air mages!"

Appendix A

The Book of Ildrissien

The first page was given to the party the Sorceress in Silver who though it might be relevant to findong why Air magics had been suffering since the rift was opened in Odessa.

I wandered as a Zephyr in the Azure blue. Ever content with my lot to wander and explore as was my whim without thinking or consequence. Oft I would pull the leaves from the trees or ruffle the grasses or the sea and always skirting my more boisterous brothers.

Then the hunters came. I did not recognize them as such because they looked like other people and I was not concerned because they cannot harm me. They enchanted the air as their type does but I was able to enter it at will and they enchanted the ground they stood upon, but that did not concern me either.

The hunters had the knowledge which had escaped millennia ago. Our mortal foe was teaching the beings of a million worlds how to trap us and force us to do their bidding. We were in peril of being trapped in the rocks by the ignorant. Our biggest elemental foe had pulled off a master stroke and trained the peoples of the worlds how to trap us as we had trained the people to summon, bind and trap them.

The second page of the book was gifted to us by what we believe to be a Air Dragon that responded to the Summoning of an Air Elemental at Ildrisholm. It projected a very focussed blast of air to inscribe the words in to the bark of nearby tree. Interesting that it took pains to produce the stame style of border as the first, apparently printed, page.

Once the ground and air was prepared they cast their wind bag net towards me. The wind bag net was made from an imbued spiders thread. A thread so light that it floats on the breezes of the world as though it isn’t there. This spider’s thread comes from the lair of the Breeze Stalkers, a terrible spider that lives in the Pagan Mountains. These spiders cast a web that is so fine it can barely be seen yet is strong enough to hold a grown man.

The net was floated out on the air and expanded until I was surrounded completely then it began to close and draw me in. So fine was the wind bag that I did not feel it at first. Then I began to notice and struggled. But try as I might I could not break out of that bag and I did not have the strength to pull my hunters with me because they were earthed

The second page appears it have a broken sentence ending it?

The third page came from the Library of Ulrich the Sorcerer in the Jewel Spider Woods in Brandenburg. It says:

As I got smaller and smaller I moved faster and with more vigor and threatened to break the net. That was when they shot me with Arrows of Wind Jamming.

The Arrows were made from magical wood that had been etched with runes of control over the air and they are tipped with rare gems and earth enchanted with the blood of a sentient. Dozens of arrows were fired at me and 20 arrows stuck sapping my strength and drawing me essence into them. Finally I could do nowt I lay in the net with the arrows in me and waiting, expecting to be trapped in the rock to do the bidding of the ignorant.

But here my capturers made their mistake. Either through ignorance or compassion I did not know. They did not force me into the rock they held me in the net of darkness controlling and coaxing and I was compliant for I am not a doughter of the Mother of all Storms and do not have the elemental force or temperament required to break out. This is where they divined my true nature and where I was really born.


Spring: Thaw (10)
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
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