Half a crisp spring
- 1 Summary
- 2 Scribe Notes
- 3 Buffs and Mil Sci
- 4 Loose Ends
- 5 Items in question - maybe Loot
- 6 Skulls
- 7 Maps
Adventure: Half a crisp spring (Sequel to Liberty of County Palatine of Borovia. Also references A large concern)
Season: Spring 819 wk
Night: Monday night Albany at Kelsies place
Level: Very High
Info: Information from players for Jono
Playtest: 47 - Thief - Version 3.0 A and 33 - Assassin skill 3.0 A1 Healer skill 3.0B
- Dramatis Personae
- Caprice - Thaumaturge - played by Kelsie
- Starflower - Terror of the Minds played by Jacqui
- Aqualina - Aquamancer - played by Keith
- Two agents for the Summer King - Mr Wheat, & Miss Ink.
- A group of adventurers, in good standing, skilled in the art of shaping time is needed to assist the Summer King.
- Something has happened to the elemental twins.
- Understanding, recovery and restoration may be needed.
- To steal a potion from a Drow leader on a date.
- To place the stolen potion in a specific teapot in a house in Seagate on a date at a time in the near past.
- To stop one of the Drow spies (who works for Sitri) in Seagate on a date at a time in the near past.
- To deliver a message to the Elvish Ambassador in Seagate on a date in the past.
- Training of special skills. A small bar of silver (5,000sp).
- Time on Adventure
- 90 days.
- We portalled to Moriquendi and stole a potion from Master Blackbone Moriquendi. We put it in a teapot for a previous party to use, then took the empty back put it back.
- We snuck into the vampire nest in Morgors Lair, looted the place and replaced items with sabotaged copies, then took the items back in time and had the copies made
- We attacked the vampire nest
- We gave Dark Skies their old head, for which she send us to the the head vampires hideout while she was asleep
- In the process, the Elemental Twins problem of being joined together was fixed
- Loose ends abound
Our party employers for this mission were Mr Wheat and Miss Ink – not their real names but that was necessary. They told us that we were going to take a rune portal to appear within a ring of standing stones in Brandenburg then travel north, roughly twenty miles to meet up with their boss – Ambrose, the current agent of the Summer King.
Discussions resulted in Starflower being the Military Scientist, Caprice being the Party Leader, and I took on the role of Scribe (nobody else wanted to do it). Rodrigo threw his hat into the ring for leader which forced a vote. Cher also admitted she ‘glowed’ in dim light conditions that could mess up being stealthy.
After the meeting I obtained a Rank 15 Greater, in all areas, from Herkim, picked up a six pack of Waters of Healing that I had made earlier, before finding the others in the Guild Courtyard where the usual Guild Day hawkers were in attendance. Rodrigo was attempting to get me to give him Waters of Healing in exchange for doing my tribal tattoos. Meanwhile Starflower purchased four restoratives, then got attracted to a halfling selling what he claimed were ‘luck kittens’. Nature of Magic – Misdirection. I would have gotten one but, because of Rodrigo, I missed out. Caprice, Starflower and Rodrigo got one each and I also discovered there were no restoratives left. Sigh.
Caprice covered us in illusions of ourselves (R20 disguises), except Cher who was given an illusion of a human and we set off out of the Guild along with our employers. Other buffs we had on were Water breathing(R20), Waterproofing(R8), Cold Resistances(R12), Ice Traversal(R20) while Starflower ensured we were all in a Mind Speech network.
The rune portal was located not far from the Guild and hidden in a copse of trees. Touching the portal zapped us to the standing stones. The area was covered with fog but that soon parted revealing a landscape of rolling hills and meadows. Going through the portal had been rather draining so we stopped near a brook in the long grass and Starflower started making some refreshing tea. Rodrigo offered to share some ‘special sausages’ he had.
While tea was brewing up, we could hear the sounds of horses hooves. What we could see were horsemen that appeared to be sweeping the long grass as if looking for something. The odd thing was that the grass had withered a bit in their wake and... did part of the horse momentarily vanish? Once we had determined they were some sort of spectral vampires, we carefully abandoned that area and snuck more northwards a few hundred or so yards.
It looked they were preparing to battle so we carefully prepared for combat as well. I even gave Keshah a Waters of Strength. However, it turned out they wanted to parley. So Rodrigo spoke to them using Ventriloquism.
It appears they want our assistance and told us that they were from our future and wanted to talk to us about people we were yet to kill. They explicitly referenced ‘the short one’ and a fate that he can avoid. Once we agreed to parley, the rest of the spectral horsemen backed off and a crack of thunder was heard as he dismissed his ‘minions’.
He introduced himself as Mellum and told us he had a master, and his master is (will be?) at odds with Rodrigo. The master lairs in Morgor’s Fortress and it was decided that we would refer to this entity as ‘The Mistress’ Seems to have something to do with Time Travelling Tunnels.
He them told us that we should attack on W’ansday instead of Th’rsday in order to survive. To illustrate that he held up a very familiar looking head. When Rodrigo saw that, he nearly fainted on the spot and his kitten died. Seemed it took the death that he would have got, caused by meeting his future dead self. It was decided we would meet up again with him after we spoke with our employer in case there proved to be a conflict of interest.
We continued north. Three hours of walking through grassy meadows we reached the back of a two story inn sitting on an east/west road. It was the only building here but there were corrals nearby. This was the Ambrose's Inn. Caprice handed out amulets that would prevent us ‘from freezing if she backfires but don’t wear them in the time tunnels’.
Going through the door, we stepped down a few steps to floor level into a large room that had a ten foot ceiling stud. We met up with a small wizened woman called Heddy but when Cher started glowing from the waist down, she immediately threw her out. I wasn’t too happy with that and ‘volunteered’ to sit outside with Cher to keep her company. Meanwhile Rodrigo was told he needed his crassness fixed while she served the others summer beer.
While we sat outside, a young man floated down from the sky and, even though I had never seen him before he seemed to think I had. His past my future? He told us he was one of the Elemental Twins before entering the inn and joining the others at their table. He told them that the other twin is missing, or will be in two hours or maybe they’re missing now. So he wanted them to go and observe the other twin go missing. That was when Starflower discovered they weren’t currently on Alusia and maybe outside of the normal timeline. The twin here also seemed to be interested that I’m here. Meanwhile people at the other table were planning an event to occur in a few days, some sort of festival. A travelling carnival was due in a few days as well and it sounded like that they were catering for several hundred people.
After they were conducted to rooms, Cher and I were conducted around the side of the inn and to a patio where the others were. Six young men were there assembling the spits.
Ambrose and the twin showed up and we were told that he had a problem which had occurred by now. We had to find out what happened and fix it. We were also supposed to go back to are particular point in time and recover an item. Fortunately the date fell on a W’ansday. Ambrose believed that the disappearance is an attack. He then explained that we had to obtain an extremely slippery potion and which was in a teapot. To make the situation more interesting, the potion itself wasn’t actually there and contained a Great Lie. He had a small bottle which we had to leave in the teapot when we steal the Great Lie. There is also a drow priest lurking in Seagate that we need to get rid of – preferably by Caprice. The priest was hanging around to see who does the potion swap in order to go back and do something about it. We also need to pick up luggage for Kitty and Purr (I’ve been wanting to meet those two). Finally we were told to take some strands of ‘stuff’, which I suspected were something to do with the Fates. Then the twin slid some sort of lock mechanism over to Roderigo.
Starflower, Cher, and Caprice noticed that the physical characteristics of the twin have been changing over time, presumably for the worse. That was when and elvish ranger, Rabbo, arrived. He told us that his Queen had sent him to help us. He was also known as Fleetfoot, and was versed in E&E magic, mountains and giants.
Anyway, the twin, told us his name was Karuse, although that may be a name given to the both of them. Individually, he had been called Verity, Custard (by his father), and Gwynne. The other twin was also a Charm but more of a muse so her names were Dance, Cass, Raven, Betsy and Twister. All that he knew that he had woke up one morning and felt everything had changed. He was in Seagate at the time and it was only a bit later that he realised his twin was missing. The last time that they had been together was in their Temple. To make matters worse he was cursed with aging, MA 28
Rodrigo tried a Locate on the missing twin, outside of the inn so that we were actually on Alusia, and got an arrow that pointed roughly north and the range had to be within 150 miles. That put the target somewhere in Glissom, maybe in the foothills of the Pagan Mountains. Out there was also Morgor’s Lair, the Time Dragon, and the Time Tunnels.
After that, we went to see those undead we had met up with before. It was past dusk by now and, we soon discovered a group of three people staring at a scarecrow. One of them looked rather menacing. That turned out to be the one we had spoken to before, but, as the conversation went, I wasn’t sure that he had seen us before today. I could be wrong though. Anyway, he threw a bag at us and told us that his Mistress had already captured the 13th, 14th, and 15th and removed all the weights. We thought they were talking about legions for a bit until we suddenly realised they were dates, presumably now blocked off from accessing from the tunnel. However, they had ‘acquired’ the weights for the 15th and they were in the bag, blocked from detection by the beating hearts of six toads. There was also something inside that would be useful for the ranger. He then said that the Mistress feared that we would travel to these dates and cause trouble while the dragon was seeking those weights. If we tried the 9th, 10th or 11th, his men would be waiting to ambush us in the tunnel and surrounding areas. There was also something to do with me being wounded. There was also the ghost of a powerful creature lurking in the tunnel wanting to steal lifeforce to re-integrate itself. Plus he didn’t want us to try for the 11th as he would lose two personal friends. Checking the calendar, assuming they meant this month, the 12th is a Reapsday and the 15th is a Duesday. He also tossed a ring at Rodrigo.
After explaining to them what a scarecrow is for they departed. Caprice then mentioned that there’s a statue sunk in Freetaun Harbour that she needs to retrieve. A divination on the twin told us that the Janx have been using Chaos magic on the twins for revenge. There was no magic on the ring but its four engravings made it rather recognizable. Maybe they had accepted Rodrigo into their ‘club’. Caprice put it in her pouch of undetectability in case they were going to use it to track us with a Locate.
Caprice then told us that the statue was a petrified Purr she had hurriedly tossed in the harbour. To help locate the statue, I was illusioned to look like Purr and while the others memorised that, I was admiring the illusion in the mirror. Looked really really cute. Much to Caprice’s annoyance and my disappointment, the resulting locate put it in roughly the same place as the missing twin. Plus someone said that Freetaun had a problem with necromancers at the moment.
The bag was then examined, very carefully. Inside was a mass of bloody tissue in which we could see beating hearts, some black objects – presumably the weights, and a blood soaked hairy pouch. The tissue turned out to be the amalgamated mass of the toads that looked like they had been turned inside out and they Daed as Vampire Toads. Caprice went to see Rabbo to see if he knew anything. All she learnt was there was a spate of missing children in Glissom. Meanwhile Starflower had discovered that the pouch was the skin from a stone giant’s testicles. It’s also enchanted with the Nature of Magic being Protection. The toads’s blood also had the magical property of distraction
Before retiring for the night, we were treated to a display of Caprice’s nude gypsy dancing. We must swap moves sometime. I had arranged for a large tub of water in my room and, since I wasn’t going to be plumbing the depths of Freetaun Harbour, I slept in that rather than the bed. For some strange reason I dreamt I was running through the forest all night. Most unusual.
The next morning, I woke up rather refreshed. I also purified before joining the others for breakfast. Turned out Rabbo had a ‘fast running’ spell which was employed upon us. Four and a half hours later of that, we had reached the foothills of the Pagan Mountains. The spot we had stopped at was next to a lake surrounded by a cliff with waterfalls tumbling over the edges into the lake. On the other side were rolling hills, some covered with trees, others with grass etc, stretching out to the south. I thought it was a rather pretty view and I said so. Caprice then complained of a headache and deduced that there was a temporal copy of her in the area, presumably from the future. Maybe future her was leaving a message for present her. So we searched the area and discovered a map of Morgor's Lair. (c.f. A large concern)
Rabbo said we had to be more cautious travelling through here as this was giant country – and sure enough, six invisible giants turned up and attacked us. Fortunately, I saw signs of their presence and warned the others through mind speech before being set upon by two of them, one wielding the sword and another some sort of mace with six skull heads. The skull heads all bit at me and all managed to hit, two of them managing to inject poison. I then got stabbed and basically fell unconscious before I had a chance to do anything.
Next thing I know I was in the body of my puppet golem look-alike which was back at the Guild. Obviously one of the giants had also got in a killing blow. Naturally I wasn’t very pleased about this and told everyone in hearing range about my displeasure at the situation. Once I had calmed down I reflected that I really needed better armour as my best wasn’t good enough – even my eog armour wouldn’t have been able to save me plus it was obvious that those giants were trained as assassins. I hoped the others would be alright.
Fortunately, they did turn up an hour or so later after defeating all those giants and I was put back in my own body. My plan now was to do some research in the Guild Library in order to research the background so I had a better idea what was going on, but we were distracted by the arrival of a chest which contained a bloodstained book as well blood with a small bloodworm in it.
I have promised Purr when she was our prisoner that I would rescue Kitty. For some reason we then turned her to stone and put her back in the bay at Freetown. What kind of secure holding is that? We go to Ambrose's tavern to find out what our job is. One of the elemental twins has disappeared ie they are now combined. "He" came earlier and told us that it would happen in two hours, but was already "one", so must have come from the future of the event, having woken up to find that it happened when he was sleeping. He doesn't know where she was at that tie, last known to be at the temple.
Some confusing answers about their names: They are "Karuse" (Duncan) I think. When they are separated they are known as the Summer King's Charms - Verity = custard, Gwillan who is brave, Galeth. She Muse, inspires dance, called dance, kas, raven, betsy, twister
We meet Rabba, an elvish ranger, who has been sent by his queen (of the Glissom elves) to help. He is fleet of foot and an enchanter.
Starflower's finding map shows her to be in the vicinity of Morgor's lair. It also shows that Purr is there too.
We then met the dead guys from the field out the back of the inn as arranged - information for m dead guy who kills Rodrigo if we go on a Thursday instead of a W'ansday. "The Mistress" had them do that. Whenever her name is mentioned it is written in her "Book of Whispers". This is Karisi, but from now on her name is not used, so half of the party never did quite know who we were talking about.
Tey have captured the weights for setting the time tunnels for all of the 13th, 14th and 15th days of the month, so we can't change the date to those days. In the bag is one set for the 15th (a W'ansday). THe time dragon is looking for this, so it is wrapped in the still beating hearts of some undead toads blood of distraction.
On the 9th, 10th, 11th many vampires will be waiting in ambush in the tunnel and area. One who will wound the water mage will be on the outside. QAlso a ghost lurking in the tunnel of a powerful creature (a janx it turns out) is drawing energy of others in an attempt to reform.
He tosses Rodrigo a ring and says see you on the 11th or will kill two of his good friends (I think that was Rod will kill friends of the undead)
Re the elemental twins the janx have used chaos magic to get revenge on them.
Rabba the elf has trouble with some giants and the toads will go someway to making amends (turns out there are some giant bollocks also at the bottom of the bag and that is what they are referring to here) The giants have taken two children from the forest. And/or a small farm outside of Glissom town.
We go to the Pagan Mountains, guided by Rabba with fast running. I find that I have left myself a map of Morgor's lair with annotations. We are attacked by giants. Aqualina is a bit killed and we take a giant prisoner. We portal to Freetaun where I find that I have left myself a chest. Inside is bloody water with a blood eel and a book held shut by a skull. We continue on by portal to Seagate.
The book under the worm was a History of Dark Arts and that referred us to a trilogy of books in the Guild Library that were on the Restricted Reading list and all of them had to do with Dark Arts, such as variants of magic to do with Undead. Rodrigo was eager to find magics that would make him invisible to undead and Keesha was also interested in seeing what was there. Meanwhile Starflower and I were going – uh uh no way, not touching that.
Caprice was kind enough to offer to lend me her second best armour which as actually better than my best armour. The Guild healers also offered a blood stained sackcloth tunic but I suspect that was a joke. I took it with good graces anyway. Also both Keesha and Rodrigo was wanting Waters of Strength but they seemed disappointed at what I could supply. It was strongly recommended I do something about that.
We ended up taking a week out so Rodrigo could add some Dark Art to his magic. I spent the time making 18 permanent Waters of Strength and 6 more Waters of Healing which ended up going to Caprice. That left me with six each of Strength and Healing. I then went down to Slippery Rock to complete my collection of useful Amulets as well as acquiring a six pack of Restoratives.
By now, Rodrigo had got to the ‘lets experiment with this now I don’t think I’m going to kill myself by dessication any more’ stage and, as a result, there was something odd about Keesha’s aura and Rodrigo was feeling stronger. Had he managed to drain Keesha. We did attempt to test whether or not Rodrigo’s altered magic could make him invisible to undead – which Starflower’s indetectability failed to do – which meant being in the Guild graveyard at night, but the results indicated that wasn’t working either. Another consequence was I ended up spending the rest of the week trying to avoid the attentions of a rather dirty minded old necromancer.
After the week we took the rune portal to Freetaun. I was considering checking out what I can get from the Freetaun Mages but there wasn’t time for that this trip. We found Ranger Rabbo down a hole and had a rather delicious breakfast of porridge. During breakfast he told us he was a fae touched ranger. He lead us north for four hours and we were back in the rather beautiful valley where we had been before. Fortunately, this time, we didn’t encounter any giants, invisible or otherwise. It had been a tiring trip so Caprice put up her portable castle and we had a nap. This time I had a colourful dream that I was chasing something while iceskating on a frozen lake, which was really odd because I have no idea how to ice skate.
It was decided we would travel at night, so, after buffing up, which included a rather delightful dance by a skyclad Caprice, we set off. We were also indetectable which meant that some people were invisible to other people. In my case I couldn’t see either Caprice or Cher. At least I could see myself.
A hour or so later, we reached the edge of a cliff and descended into Orctown. The place looked like a hive of scum and villany with slavery being rife, especially when we passed the slave pits. We saw mostly orcs and humans. Three fifty foot towers with the tops on fire snapped into vision as we got close then we tried to travel down the main street without attracting attention. Unfortunately some perceptive individuals did notice our passage and it was soon apparent that an ambush was being set up ahead of us. We also passed a group of ogres negotiating with a seller for dwarf heads. At least three groups thought we were worth beating up.
We made it to the other side and it was soon apparent that Cher’s attempt to hide her titanglow under a shadowform wasn’t working as some javelins were thrown at her. One landed nearby and turned into a snake. The rest of us stealthed our way up the hill and out of the valley while Caprice and Cher flew up to the top and provided covering fire. A curious line of statues lined the top of the cliff but we didn’t stay to investigate.
Two hours later, we encountered what looked like cart tracks and Rabbo told us that they were dwarven, possibly coal carts. Another hour and a half took us to a lookout post where we stopped to wait for dawn. Basically we had been on the move for tn our and most of us were exhausted.
Dawn arrived half an hour later ans, now the area was illuminated, we found the way in and entered a dwarven sized room. Even I had to be careful as my hair was brushing the ceiling. Six dwarven sized packs lay on benches. Keesha took the opportunity to set up a rune portal.
A short while later some dwarves arrived and seemed relieved that we were there. Caprice introduced herself as Sasha and they wanted to know if she had received their messages. What messages was her response. It didn’t matter as she had provided them with everything they had requested including the hobbit who knew the dark and the sacrificial water mage. Presumably Future Caprice had sent them a letter.
We were led through some rather short tunnels. At some points, even I had to duck. Finally we reached a throne room and it seemed that the dwarves were on some sort of war footing as they were all wearing armour and some of them were injured. Just then, a dwarf with a blue tunic and chainmail, stepped out of the fire.
We found out that they were having trouble with a dragon and, presumably the reason I was called the ‘sacrificial water mage’ was they they honoured me for my sacrifice while dealing with the Kraken Heart Stone. I decided not to tell them what actually happened as it was certainly not my proudest moment. We were then offered three steins of dwarven brew containing four litres, a smidgen over a gallon, each. One, we were to drink immediately. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to manage it but I was determined to give it a good go. Food was also provided. To my surprise, the more I drank, the warmer and stronger I felt and it was surprisingly easy. It was also rather nice, the nicest beer I had ever had. According to Caprice, if I had not sat outside with Cher, I would have sampled the Summer King’s beer which she claimed was better. It didn’t matter though as I felt refreshed enough to create Waters of Healing for the injured.
The plan was to keep travelling at night so, we slept during the rest of the day before rising.
The book is one of three.Book one is bound copies of some of book two. Book two allows you to learn to use modern magic to steal from undead. Book three is the history of book two with provenances, library records, notes on which are incomplete and or /dangerous. The book we have is chapter four of book two. It can allow you to learn to use sense affecting magic to work on undead (eg walking unseen, invis, distraction, flash of light ventriloquism). Should take a week to learn to do this, and will start with penalties to cast. Rodrigo learns it (starts at -100, fail kills, with necrogency gets some resistance). His invis now drains and heals the caster.Rodrigo is being affected badly; he has spirits in his legs gathering lifeforce. "provided them with everything they had requested" Cold blooded water creature, Dark Elf collaborator, sacrificial water mage, the hobbit with dark blood magic and 'we're not discussing Starflower at this time' "
Breakfast was gruel. We were then escorted for the dwarves in the currently cold forge room. They told us that were fighting the shrivers who were using giant orc minions that they have created. Along with the seven dwarves were two elves and a couple of humans and we were told that their seer, Syrene, had seen someone who looked like Caprice who sent them here. Also the Snake Mistress of Luck, Anguitia, had been moving over the lands because the drow in Terranovae had done something in their armoury. Something to do with Dark Skies. Syrene, had also suggested that we use an amulet they had brought with them. It would suppress Cher’s glow. They also mentioned ‘Hands that had blocked our way’ and ‘Women divided will not realise love’.
Currently the needs of the dwarves aligned with ours so those two elves and a couple of dwarves could lead us to the Lair of the Time Dragon. The Time Dragon is currently at odds with the Mistress who is also at odds with Morgor. It is however rumoured, but unproven, that the Mistress is working with the drow but she does have a way of talking to the Ruby Scourge. We should find Sabastian the Hobbit who is able to kill the Mistress. Also the Vampire who is moving through Time could be an ally or an enemy depending on what state he is in. Fortunately we had already met him twice in a positive state. The Mothers, i.e. the Fates, say that this is a worthy endeavour for us and Caprice’s amulets will protect us from his ‘unusual’ gaze. The Ruby Scourge is working with the drow in order to invade the area. We also had to keep an eye open for the Blue Dragon that is a minion of the Time Dragon. Unfortunately, the vampires had invaded half of Morgor’s complex and he had his hands full dealing with those. If we could get rid of them, that would free up Morgor to help the Time Dragon. Caprice also had a soul mate who was missing.
Caprice expressed an interest in some complicated locks so the dwarves provided us with some that would require teeth, two hands and two feet to open. They were fun to play with but too complicated for whatever Caprice wanted them for. Caprice then did her naked dancing then Cher and I did a naked dance duo.
The next two days saw us doing blistering travel through the mountains. That evening, after dusk, saw us arriving at a cave entrance that had dragon heads carved on each side of it. The cave itself was 120ft wide and 70ft high and we decided to buff up with dancing. Partway though Cher and my performance (mine doesn’t have any magical effect but I just felt like it – must teach Cher Pasifikan dancing at some point) Starflower’s danger sense went off. An attempt was made to break the Alusian record for getting back in armour while Keesha set up a quick rune portal but I had only manage to get my two piece swimming undergarment on when this 60ft long silver dragon, with blue highlights, landed on the ledge. He then turned and faced Rodrigo and spoke saying “Have you brought them Rodrigo?” When Rodrigo replied in the affirmative the dragon then said “Thank you my minion”. I was sure I wasn’t the only one who was shooting looks at Rodrigo that said ‘And what fine mess have you gotten us into now.’.
The dragon didn’t want us to continue dressing so I just picked up my bundle and followed the dragon inside. The cave looked like it had been worked by dwarves and there were pillars of stone spaced at regular intervals that radiated light. The first chamber we entered had lots of lots of statues in it but they had been crafted, not petrified although the heads were of very fine detail, the rest not so much. I recognised statues of Kree, Braegon and Sasha, even a little one of Rodrigo.
Eventually we were led into the presence of a silver dragon who told us he wanted the vampires vanquished and opened a chest that contained six bars of precious metals that was our payment for doing the job. He also told us that he had dropped a medusa head that was causing problems – which might explain the statues near Orctown. Once the leader of the vampires is dealt with the others should move on and Sabastian, with the help of Purr, would kill
him her. Purr is currently in these tunnels hiding and waiting. Keesha may also die in the attempt to rescue Sabastian.
The dragon also mentioned a creature with the head of a gorgon, the head of a minotaur and a head of a sea naga who could improve Rodrigo’s knowledge in sausage magic. Also Rodrigo had a Darkness around him and he wanted to know what it is. According to the dragon, the vampire that would kill Rodrigo was sending it down the timeline. Caprice’s amulets should save the hobbit bit it looks like I’m going to have to sacrifice myself in the Pool of Despair in order to save the others. Maybe I should have brought puppet Aqualina with me so I’d have a backup.
He told us we had to go back to the 13th of last year to witness Sabastian going into the tunnels. He would be followed by Kitty and one of us had to ‘tag’ her so she could be Located. She stole (will steal) Sabastian’s dagger so we had to locate her three weeks into the future, when she’s hiding. In order to get it back. If we did it at this time we would be more predictable – probably owing to increasing probabilities or uncertainties. The ghost in the tunnels is the Janx and Peter,
(Caprice’s son?) is stuck in a moment of time and would be returned to us if we do these tasks. In three days time he will have more for us to do. The vampires are in league with the Dark Sky and the weapon wielded by the vampire, which he does with deadly accuracy, was used to separate the twins through time and space making them a single entity and diminished. An instant of time later, we were completely refreshed.
A couple of hours later, found us outside at the back entrance near the side entrance of the Time Tunnels. The ranger was waiting there and he offered to hold the amulets for us and he planned to return to the dwarves in a week. Hopefully we’ll be back before then.
After entering the tunnels, Keesha picked up seven angry and frustrated creatures up ahead down one branch. So we went down the other one. There were lots of doors down the sides of the corridor and we picked one at random. Inside were six glowing pools of light in which threads were being dipped in before being woven into some sort of fabric. At the end is some sort of altar and a device like a set of scales. Tucked under the scales is a bag with the SAG seal on it containing the weights. Had future us left it there for present us?
The device was set to the time that we wanted to go. Nothing seemed to happen but the others were confident that it had worked. We exited the room and Caprice left some notes by the door.
We knew that Sebastian had used the garden entrance to the tunnels but getting there could be tricky. Fortunately it was possible to hide in the orrey to observe the entrance but we still had to get there. So we exited the tunnels, snuck up the stairs past the vampires. The ramps had grilled metal floors suspended over lava so we had to be extra quiet. At the intersections, each entrance was covered with cold iron chain curtains which only stopped 2 inches above the floor. Inside the last intersection were two spectres and a couple of vampires. We had to get past them without making any noise.
After some discussion over the Mind Speech, Keesha, Caprice and Rodrigo used magical means to get through and Keesha made a rune portal for the rest of us to bypass this location. Once through, we made it into the garden and hid inside the largest planet in the orrey. We also noted that there were warded areas of lightning spells scattered randomly in the garden.
On the second day of waiting at 3pm, Sabastian leapt over a wall then went Walking Unseen. I couldn’t see him but I hope someone else could.
According to all our detection spells, Kitty was lurking by the tunnel entrance, invisible, and waiting to ambush Sabastian. We didn’t have line of sight to the entrance so I set up a Waters of Vision. What I did see was a large number of flowers near the tunnel entrance, daffodils I thought, and they were all facing in directions that suggested that they were tracking Sabastian. Several stones in the path had also changed colour which suggested wards had been turned off. A lot of minds were detected in the area including at least fifteen or so hunting spiders hiding at the top of the sphere we were hiding in. Caprice turned herself into a generic succubis then went invisible.
Suddenly we found ourselves on the other side of the garden and out of fatigue as Keesha had rune-portalled us. If he had warned us he was going to do that, I must have missed it. While Starflower was berating him over the mind speech, I threw him a dirty look then chugged down a Restorative and a Waters of Healing in quick succession, just in case I needed to spell cast.
Rodrigo then picked up a bunch of amulets from the ground – the same amulets that had been in the orrery that allowed us to cast without getting tired. I guess someone is going to have to drop them in the future – either that or he had them all the time and was just messing with us. I then used one of my Walking Unseen investments and followed Caprice as she went to intercept Kitty. Seems Keesha had the same idea. Meanwhile Cher also went invisible and went to intercept Sabastian.
Initially Cher didn’t think it is actually Sabastian but he did have two ornate daggers and some sort of mechanical clock. Cher swapped daggers with him, obtaining the ornate sacrificial dagger which apparently, I was nearly sacrificed with, although I have no recollection of that. Cher was then warned to stay away from the killer bees (there were hives along the edge of the garden) which resulted in Cher rapidly retreating into the bushes where Starflower was.
Kitty was currently dressed as an adventurer. She was either in disguise or being practical, probably the latter. Kitty then asked Caprice if she had seen Zak and that she should be wary of him. Caprice then attempted to ‘negotiate’ with Kitty, in order to tag her, which she finally managed to do. Kitty handed Caprice three gems that she had lost in the garden before departing into the tunnel.
Keesha rune portalled us back to the orrery, which resulted in all of us being tired again, but somehow, despite that, we managed to make our way back to the Time Tunnels. This time, it was decided to go back at least 180 years to roughly the time Morgor had built his lair. This time, when we exited the tunnel, the walls and floor were smooth, as well as looking new, and a red carpet ran down the length of the tunnel. We headed out. Just before we reached the entrance, we could hear a conversation so we hid behind a pile of crates and listened. We could also smell baking bread
Seemed, at this time, the tunnel entrance was hidden behind a pantry and the room beyond was some sort of kitchen, which was clean and well organised, with shelves full of cookery books, and lots of exotic herbs and spices. Three people were laying out fish on drying racks. Not wanting to attract attention, we found a room to hide in, in order to do some divinations.
Somehow, Keesha had got hold of a sample of the water from the Pool of Despair. The water drains willpower and fatigue, passing them on to somewhere else, and is also non-naturally poisonous. Also, casting the same spell a second time, is extremely difficult. Previously waterproofing and binding elements as a barrier could serve as protection but not any more as the water had been updated to counter those sort of protections. There was even some undead aspects to it.
So we discussed means of dealing to it. Could we use the tunnel to lay some sort of device to drain the pool? While we were discussing how to do that, Keesha noticed some tiny runes on the ground which detailed a method of doing exactly that. However, it was going to take at least three months to build it but we had access to every possible workshop and all the materials we could possibly need to do this. What Keesha was going to build was a time delay trap, using some sort of ‘Mad Metal’, that would drain the pool, at the right time, into the lava chamber below. I hoped that did not result in the “Steam Vent of Despair”.
So we spent the next three months training. I was picking up more details of Courtier as well as practicing my Waters of Healing and Strength. Three weeks in to this we were interrupted by a younger Morgor and his retinue. Some of his minions reminded Caprice and Keesha of the vampires they had (will) encounter.
He apologised that it had taken him so long to be aware of our presence and, after deducing that we were from the future and some of us had (will have) encountered him and it was possible his future self had sent us back, Starflower, Cher and I were invited to dinner, being the ones least likely to have knowledge of his future. We were also told he didn’t like garlic.
After dressing up as best we could, (sometimes useful to have an illusionist about), we were conducted upstairs where a young man introduced us to the various people. There were 25 to 30 people here, representing four different groups of merchants and artificers. We were introduced to his wife, Ellen, and his younger brother ‘who was going away in a couple of years’. His name was not mentioned, rather pointedly. Caprice later said that he reminded her of someone high up in the Glissom Court.
There were large windows behind the High Table, where we were sitting, and each one showed views of different places. I’d love to have a window like that. Most of the talk was about the ‘then’ Western Kingdom and the problems with vampires in Eltrandor. I used the excuse that I was from a long way way and wasn’t familiar with the local news.
Finally Keesha had his device finished and we had to plant it under where the pool would be. However, the chamber hadn’t even been excavated yet so we had to jump forward sixty years (two jumps of thirty) before it was. What we found was a bare room with three portals to far off lands, none of which were active.
It took two months to install the device, and make sure the timer of Mad Matter was properly calibrated. Another jump forward of twenty years and the room now had a large aquarium in it, complete with several species of tropical fish, and the three archway portals were now active, open, and connected to three different shallow tropical seas. I wondered if any of them led to the Pasifikan Plateau but I had no recollection of any strange underwater portals being discovered in the area although there was the possibility they were now high and dry on Rangiwhero.
Some of the runes read “The Sacrifice of a Water Mage will Restore the Waters of the Aquarium” but I was really hoping our piece of sabotage was going to render that moot, because I didn’t really want to be sacrificed unless it was really necessary. That was when the mermaid arrived that objected to Cher’s presence but I managed to calm her before she swam back out one of the portals. Caprice got a niggling feeling she fought that mermaid in the pool on her last mission.
Finally we went to a point in time, three weeks after the time we first went in the tunnels. The temperature in the tunnels had changed and the walls are scorched as if a fire mage had let loose fire spells. Starflower could hear someone in the distance and Rodrigo was getting more weird than usual. Just then Starflower realised that the voices were saying “Starflower. Come to ussss”. Also it was remembered that, twenty years ago, Kitty and Purr were going to save Keesha from a watery grave.
We time jumped two weeks back to meet up with the ranger and he told us that he had seen an emissary of 27 shrivers turn up, all carrying quarterstaves and walked straight into the front door. So, after the ranger agreed to hang around here another two weeks, we jumped back a day, went past the deliberately oblivious ranger and found somewhere to hide above the front door. Here we discovered a number of inanimate constructs, shaped as roosters, that were programmed to animate if Morgor’s fortress was attacked.
So we waited and lurked. After a while, an emissary of thirty shrivers arrived, three of which were invisible. Some of them were thinking about what they would do with stuff they would acquire if they can get it. I was highly suspicious of the three invisible ones and my suspicions were confirmed when they split off, slipped around the side and into the Time Tunnel. So we prepared to give them a surprise of our own.
We followed the invisible three into the tunnel, wondering if they were Janx. Starflower put up her ESP and picked up various minds including a ghosty thing, a shadowy thing around Rodrigo and three minds that were further away than we expected, as if they had fallen down a well. Keesha explained that it was a time tunnel thing. There was some sort of distance/relative time relationship which also made combat rather ‘interesting’. One had to be side on to attack normally. However once we got into the tunnel, the ESP ‘distortion’ wasn’t so bad. Also Starflower detected a fourth mind with the original three.
“He believes I should be the party leader” - Rodrigo, referring to his ‘evil’ shadow. “That’s not evil Rodrigo, that’s ego Rodrigo” - Aqualina.
The tunnel itself was thirty foot wide and every fifty foot, there was a door on each side. We knew that beyond those doors was a workshop and the time altar. We could hear a conversation ahead in the Lunar language which someone was kind enough to translate over the Mind Speech. It turned out they were Shrivers and they wanted to know what we were doing here and they were here on legitimate business (‘They paid their lease’). Meanwhile I was so suspicious that I had my bone trident out.
Caprice wanted to make a deal. So they laid out some grenados between us and them and asked one of us to move forward. Rodrigo did so. They didn’t trust Caprice at all, something about ‘forked tongues’ speaking lies. We finally discovered that they had received a prophecy that they were going to meet a group with forked tongues, but since we had a lizard person and a were drake in the party, two of us literally had forked tongues.
Finally I was called forward and they knew I was the water mage who had died after encountering the Kraken Heartstone. Not my greatest moment and now it seems to be all over Alusia. I was also a bit worried that I was going to say too much and have the rest of the party yell at me, so I managed to convince them to talk to Caprice instead. However, I was told to sit in a spot surrounded by some grenados as well as contorting myself. I managed to pack myself in such a way that I could have been placed inside a rather small box, and they seemed rather impressed.
Caprice managed to negotiate a year and a day long truce and we discovered that they were not in league with the vampires. They told us that some black and white beings (the Janx) kept turning up on their doorstep every few days or so and demanding that they recover the remains of their comrades that had fallen and have them resurrections. The Janx are also working with an ogre magi and they had two of the shrivers as hostages. They also mentioned that they had seen a painting of Starflower somewhere.
They then told us that the vampires have two stones, containing a spectre each who are enraged. To counter that Rodrigo’s shadow companion eats incorporeal undead as well as magic – which explained why his magic had been going strange – but would be satisfied for a while with a ghost which would allow Rodrigo’s magic to work normally. Other ways to deal with the Janx was Sabastian’s dagger, which can kill them, or invoking Sabrina who can imprison them. A potion was tossed at Cher which will allow the imbiber to cast Call Master and Cher’s Master is Sabrina – the Lady of Dance.
He also told us that Starflower had been there to purchase some Sunlight potions. Starflower had no recollection of that but rummaged in her Handy Haversack and pulled out six bottles of it. She also pulled out some Potions of Protection of Light. It was recommended to us that we should have our Despair shrived out of us before encountering the vampires and the best time to do that would be the month of Snow last year since this particular Shriver hadn’t met us before.
Once they were gone, I discovered my Ecstasy spell was missing and I had a vague recollection of being on a table, with bright lights above me, while surrounded by greyish humanoid creatures. I had wanted that spell gone as people who know I have it keep wanting me to cast it on them – and that was getting annoying. I must have asked the Shiver to get rid of it for me. Keesha said that, if I wanted it back, I could always purchase it off them later.
We headed outside and portalled back to the Summer King’s Inn because someone realised we hadn’t actually waited for our mission briefing from the party employer before heading off chasing the missing twin. We were now two days later than the time we had left the Inn and feeling really exhausted from the portal trip – again. When we got there, we discovered the remaining Elemental Twin having a drink with two elves. Food was provided and I finally had the chance to try the Summer King’s Ale.
Heddy told us that there were four guests who seemed up to no good and having bad designs against us. She also insisted we take no offensive actions against them while on Inn property. So Starflower and Rodrigo went to check them out and they recognised some of them as working for a group in Sanctuary who have been attempting to muscle in on the Seagate crime scene.
Ambrose served us some samples of his latest brew and I told him it was the best ale I had ever tasted. He wasn’t too impressed with Starflower though when she said it was only okay.
Anyway, we finally got the list of things we were supposed to be doing. The most important thing was to take a fae circle to Terranova and break into the home of a drow called Master Blackbone Moriquendi. Our mission was to steal a set of nesting dolls, extract the potion it contained, and plant it in a teapot in Turf’s house in Seagate. Two spies will be watching to observe this and they need to ‘disappear’. To access the potion, the first two shells needed to be rotated clockwise twice then the third layer will reveal the potion which was a Great Lie and very slippery to handle. Two spies will be watching for this in Seagate . Next day, we were to get it back then return the potion to where we found it, five minutes after we stole it. We also needed to do this without crossing ourselves in the time-stream otherwise we would suffer debilitating headaches. We couldn’t portal into the city directly because there were void wolves on guard that would detect the magic and set off a howling, plus the room itself, where the nesting doll is, had the master’s large, pet chimera inside. Master Moriquendi also had the ability to pass off damage to his slaves. So we had to be very careful and sneaky. It was also decided to split into two teams, one to get the nesting dolls and the other to put them back.
Ambrose offered us some disturbing vampire kurf that would change our aura to Greater Undead (another possible means of protection from the Pool of Despair) and the elves in the party received the GTN of Drow from Caprice.
We travelled back to the Guild without incident, picked up some outfits that would help us blend in a drow city then it was back to the Time Tunnel, by portal, before travelling back to Snow last year. That was then we realised we didn’t know the way to the Shrivers until Starflower found a map in her Handy Haversack that she had drawn earlier (later?). So we spend a couple of days trudging through snow until we arrived at their front door.
The other thing that Starflower found in her haversack was a bundle of scrolls and investeds that I had requested from Braegon the last time that I was in Seagate. I guess I had to pick up the order, go back in time and plant them in the haversack so I could use them on this mission. Caprice also found a package addressed ‘To the woman of some of my desires’ which contained six rings of different colours.
The oak front doors looked like they had been fire blasted, at least one half did. The other half looked brand new. Rodrigo knocked twice on the door and, after a while and a lot of sounds of bars being moved, the door was opened by a bald old man in robes. We went in and the door was closed and barred behind us. The man explained that ‘they have had trouble with the neighbours’. Dragons we later found out. Another protection they had was lots of Cold Iron in the floor.
While Rodrigo and Caprice were getting ‘treatments’, the rest of us had to wait until they were done which took some time. Afterwards, we received a box containing Tears that will make us be able to regenerate for the next two moons. If a trollskin was active, the trollskin would be twice as powerful. We also received a large snowflake each which would boost both our Endurance and Fatigue to Frost Giant levels (+28EN, +36FT). So we went outside to a balcony, off the Cold Iron, triggered Trollskins (I used a Braegon rank 14) and swallowed the Tears and Snowflakes. Some spare bottled snowflakes were also provided as well as something called ‘Winds of the Elvish Court’.
We were then showed the front door and advised to be careful about two hours later. We heard a dragon’s roar as we travelled but we were very careful and made it back to Morgor’s Lair without incident.
Using the Time Tunnel, we went back to roughly the time of the Janx Fight (I wasn’t sure which fight it was but I was trusting Caprice and Keesha to know when we needed to go). We then ‘fast ran’ back to the Inn which took us six hours. Some large spiders were following us at one point but we must have lost them at some point. We also caught glimpses of ‘things’ in the snow.
Upon arrival, we headed for the nearby Fae Circle. There, we discovered that a lot of different types of fae, including nymphs, nixies, dryads, sylphs, brownies, centaurs, and fauns, dancing around a bonfire. Starflower then discovered a map of the drow city in her haversack. Turned out they were dancing a ritual to activate the circle. Two hours later, the portal was set and we went through to Terranova, arriving outside the Drow City of Moriquendi.
It was decided that Keesha, Rodrigo, and I, would go in to get the nesting dolls. As we made our way to the estate we were going to raid, we noticed that there seemed to be two conflicting festivals going on. One was dedicated to Seir, while the other looked like they were celebrating The One Horned God. I was nibbling on one of Rodrigo’s special sausages as we gained access to the roof. Up there, we discovered that several poison spikes had been embedded in the roof tiles as well as some sort of magical shimmering wall that was blocking our access to the wall containing the window we wanted to use to gain access. Rodrigo had to go around it using his air glide ability. He then had to use hid dimensional step to get through some thin razor wires guarding the window. He then discovered that there was an antiscrying field in the bedroom. He had to actually enter the room to discover there were four bodies in there.
While we waited, I noticed a strange pattern of stars in the sky. It seemed to be a message but I had no idea what it meant so I memorised it in case someone else could interpret it. We also noticed a dead rat by one of the poison spikes, and the chimera in the courtyard below.
Meanwhile Rodrigo discovered three disembodied eyes watching the interior of the bedroom, however, there wasn’t any reaction when he went in there invisible. The bed had four figures in it and, since he had my ocular, he was also able to detect the ward on the ceiling. So he glided over to the satchel on the floor and discovered the nested doll was inside along with what he initially thought was a sleeping ferret. It turned out to be a stuffed animal attached to some sort of plug thing. Fortunately he was able to extract the doll without incident and returned the way he had come.
By the time we got out of the city, we all had pounding headaches but they went away when we portalled to Seagate.
On the way in, we found Syrene standing in the middle the street as well as this rather large Titan staring down at Keesha. I later discovered this was Matt Tumbledown. Anyway, after finding out what we were up to, he poofed off to get rid of the spies for us then poofed us all to Turf’s courtyard where he was hosting a gathering. Past Rodrigo, Keesha and Caprice must have been already here since they got headaches so Matt poofed us all to a hilltop before teleporting away to fetch the teapot. Somehow, with some really clever magic they got the Lie into the teapot then Matt and Cher poofed off to plant the teapot back into the kitchen. Then we got poofed again (all this rapid poofing about was starting to make me feel dizzy) and we found ourselves on a hilltop on a tropical island. I asked Matt about the star message but all he would say that ‘it was not meant for me’. I still wanted to know what it was so I stowed the memory in my memory crystal, and wrote myself a note to remind me to ‘ask the astrologers about the contents of my crystal’.
Time was spent here waiting for the Lie to be returned, then we portalled to the Time Tunnel, went back a day to just after we had left through the Circle, went back to the Drow City, had a headache for a short while before Starflower, Cher and I went in to return the Lie which was now back in the nested dolls. Again I got stuck on the roof but, because I was able to see all the thin razor wires, and let them know what they were up against, the other two were able to put the nesting doll back exactly where Rodrigo had found it. Once that was done we returned to the Summer King’s Inn. Just for the record, the Great Lie had been consumed by a previous party so it was only the empty bottle that had been placed in the nesting dolls.
We plotted, schemed, and compared our resources. The Light Potions Starflower found, removes vamperism from a vampire when fed to one. Getting them to drink it though could be ... difficult. Then there was Blue Garlic that would protect us from being drained if a vampire bit us. Hettie had some of that. Wooden stakes made of yew would also be effective and there were some nearby but, it was a dark and stormy night out there so we decided not to go get some yew wood at this stage. Caprice then went looking under her bed to see if there was vampire poison under there but only found a note that said ‘vampire poisons are pointless’.
Caprice also had a pair of items that would provide Immunity to Charm, a cod piece, and a chastity belt. Starflower volunteered to wear the chastity belt and Keesha wore the cod piece. However, Caprice had neglected to warn them of the side effect that the wearers could be strongly attracted to each other. I had to use all my willpower to stop myself from laughing, I was also rather relieved I wasn’t wearing the belt. That was interrupted by Caprice pulling out an ultra bright dagger and all I was seeing for the next five minutes was spots. Cher also knew an anti charm song she could play on her lyre but she couldn’t teach me it, I had to learn it from the Ellenic Goddess she learnt it from. I also offered my underwater harp in the hope Cher could play it on that. Maybe we should discuss the situation with Morgor first and see what he knew about his ‘unwanted guests’.
That night I had a dream I was on a beach and I could hear a weeping kelpie. I ran and ran to go to her to see if I could help but it seemed that no matter how fast I went, I wasn’t getting any closer. Meanwhile Cher discovered there were four hedgehogs in her room watching her.
Next morning there were 35 people at breakfast, including the four that were looking for us. Cher told us about the hedgehogs and we went to investigate. We finally tracked them down to a tunnel behind the wall. Their aura told us that they were Magical Constructs called Boot Golems, programmed to clean boots. Caprice went to tell Hettie and Hettie said that she had been looking for them as they were missing. Maybe they were avoiding all the dirty boots lined up by the front door.
Caprice and Starflower also heard the sounds of waves lapping coming from my room. Turned out I had left my Plaque of the Great Sea on the bed, intending to use it to fill the large barrel I had requested to be put in my room, which I was going to use as a casting chamber.
We buffed up, purified etc, then went out to get some fallen yew wood. Fortunately the storm was over and we were able to collect some. I thanked the Spirit of the tree for it’s gifts while Starflower detected eight minds, further in the woods, watching us.
The plan was now to meet Morgor at Turf’s place in Seagate, which was warded against spies etc. So a message was sent (or will be – I wasn’t sure) and we portalled back to Seagate. First stop was the Guild where Keesha expressed interest in something called the Egg of Portals. Unfortunately Braegon had already checked it out and had used it to close a portal to the Elven Isles, rendering the Egg inert.
On the way to Turf’s place, three people were taking an unnatural interest in us. Rodrigo recognised them as petty criminals that worked for the Gambino Family. Losing them was easy.
A couple of minutes after arrival at Turf’s mansion and being fed refreshments, Syrene arrived. Morgor was a few minutes after her. Caprice told us about the trap we had left under the aquarium and Morgor admitted he had already found and removed it. So we told him why we had put it there and several improvements were discussed and Morgor agreed to reinstall it. I got the very strong impression we were talking to a past version of Morgor – well, the Morgor of this time since we were still in the past.
He also told us that the Waters of Despair were caused by a device and, much to my relief, it wasn’t leaking back through the portals into the oceans. The device was a set of seven heads arranged on a altar, one of which was leaking the Despair.
Another head would speak of terrible things that would happen the next day, which would allow a pair of spectres to take advantage of that knowledge. The third head suppresses the use of magic in the area although currently running spells would be unaffected. Morgor told us he had four amulets that would negate this effect. A fourth fills the area with magical Darkness, which made the area always Night. The fifth, when awake and it’s eyes open, would protect anything it sees from Daylight. The sixth is the previous head of the Dark Skies which, it was suggested, that we use as a bargaining chip. It has Luck magic. As for the final head, Morgor was still trying to determine what it did.
Caprice - “Aqualina just out mathed me”
I asked Morgor about where the four ocean portals went, in case we could use them to get in there. One of the four had gone to Pasifika but he moved it as not to interfere with the inhabitants, who we described as ‘friendly’. All we’d say though was that they led to the ‘Seven Seas’. I wasn’t sure if that was an actual place or he was just being metaphorical.
As for the inhabitants, there were six main vampires, including the Lady of Dark Dreams, and 26 minions. In addition there were forty odd living creatures that were henchman worthy. The minions included nine ex-drow who were understudy to the main drow master – the man with many arms who can separate from his skeleton and fight as many. There is a Lesser Storm Priest as well who does Air and Ice magic.
The last thing Morgor said was that there was a particular book on the altar, the Book of Foretelling, that would be a valuable thing to steal.
“How do we destroy the vampires in the room?” - “Subverting the memory of their guard in the future”. It took us a while to figure out what this meant. Basically the vampires had guards that were using the Time Tunnel to check on themselves in the future then, if they discovered something had happened, they’d then go back to warn the rest that something was about to happen. So, that meant that, if we had destroyed the vampires, we would need to make it look like nothing had happened. Methods such as building fake objects using illusions, and even changing what weights they used so they’d end up in the wrong time, were discussed but it looked like it would be easier to take out those guards instead.
Starflower - “Murder is a form of subversion”
“What number of day or days are vampire guards checking in the future from present?” - “The guards are checking three days in the future”. Morgor offered to go and look, and when he got back, he was able to confirm this and also discovered that they had been using the Weaving Room to make some sort of ethereal magical carpet.
Morgor also told us that the vampires would get bored and, since they had the Avatar of Luck, they would play very risky games that would skirt the edge of danger. In some cases they were risking their own un-life in deadly competition. If we went in there, at that time, their danger sense would be so busy that our intent would be lost.
Getting back to the guards, Morgor warned us not to break the blue loom as it was destined that whoever did so would die and not be able to be resurrected. The doors to the workshops open inwards and we had to get in there before they could close the door and move themselves to another time.
Morgor lent us a dwarf assistant who had a device that would throw up Walls of Stone, which we could use to block all the other workshop doors except the two we were interested in. We were going to use the leather crafting workshop. I also discovered that the Time Tunnel is actually circular with 55 workshops and it took 45 minutes to walk around. The doors open inwards.
We set up. I provided Waters of Strength for everyone then waited for the vampire guard to start opening the door. That was when we charged in, Rodrigo and Keesha first, and they got stuck in to the closer vampire. The other one was still by the altar at the back of the room. They must have been banding damage as some wounds were transferred to the one at the back. Shadows also started to surround that one. Starflower also got stuck in and the vampire turned to ash. Caprice shadow walked and popped out behind the other one. Cher charged in and I deftly stepped in and slammed the door shut with my foot then stepped back to keep it closed.
The remaining vampire was wreathed in shadows and she must have passed on much of her damage to the cat shaped homunculus on her staff as that crumbled into dust as well. A wave of Agony swept over us. I was able to resist but it still meant it was going to take twice as long as normal to launch my Water Bolts. I really really HATE that spell. Plus I would be really annoyed if the others felled that vampire before I had a chance to shine.
Starflower leapt on to the altar and knocked the vampire down. It got up, stabbed Caprice so Caprice stabbed it back. It also had some sort of magical coil on its waist that acted like a trollskin so both Starflower and Caprice were trying to prise it off. Caprice succeeded and the damage started appearing on the vampire. Keesha knocked it over and everyone plowed in.
It seemed like an eternity until I finally was able to cast and six bolts of water blasted into into the vampire. The amount of force was enough to overwhelm it and it literally exploded. Cher and Rodrigo also collapsed as the vampire reflected some of the damage into those next to it. Fortunately Rodrigo had a one use Recall device to hop back in time a few seconds and avoid it while Cher had to be saved with a Restore Life potion.
Everything, including nearly all their possessions, had been reduced to ash. However, a red shimmering dagger had survived. It was magically trapped, warded, or cursed. So was I. The nature of the dagger’s curse was Madness to the Living so none of us were willing to touch it. We also collected the vampiric ash and cleaned up after us before returning to the leather room.
Back to Seagate we went and while I got decursed at the Guild, the others went back to Turf’s mansion. They discovered that one of the vampires was one of Morgor’s guards that had been turned and Morgor wanted him back. They also learnt that another possible defense was a harp that was located in Sitri’s boudoir and, if played, would cause us to remember pleasant thoughts. A mermaid, named Bloodgills plays it.
Someone had the crazy idea that we should go through the place, make observations, and remove what we could for Morgor to look at. We would then place the results in one of the workshops in the Time Tunnel and send them back in time. That meant that they would be already there for us to look at. Morgor suggested that we use the leather working room and, sure enough, when we got there, we found a chest containing a book, under which was seven smaller chests.
The book contained the results of the divinations and observations and, from that, we were able to tell which objects were safe to handle, what ones we could remove, and those that we really needed protection against, such as the dagger designed to destroy water mages. The book also told us about the paper lanterns in all the rooms that contained a dark powder that, when burnt, would saturate the air or water around then with some super strong kurf which also makes those affected by it detectable as undead. Apparently Cauldersville had been inundated with the stuff a couple of years ago.
“Here’s an item that makes someone bland and boring” - Caprice “So they turn into an accountant?” - Aqualina.
There was a pin, a crown, and a hand and a half sword, that was a concern to us but, none of those were there. I was still concerned that, as we discussed how we were going to proceed, that they were still talking about sacrificing me. I just wanted them not to tell me before they did that. The kirff effect could be stopped by a musical note and Caprice said she could generate a pure note.
Morgor, with Keesha’s help, was able to make us amulets containing 6 Rank 8 Rune Mage Counterspells (BC 115) as well as 2 potions of Rank 18 Necrogeny. While that was going on, I spent time ranking up my Maelstrom spell, getting up to Rank 5 from zero – mainly because I was considering putting the vampires in a spin.
“When dealing with vampires, there’s a lot at stake” - Starflower
Now we had to actually get the items and case the vampire lair. After getting our Despair removed by the Shrivers then getting hypnotised by Starflower to not be a threat to the vampires, we snuck into Morgor’s lair. I had even deliberately left my armour and weapons behind, as I was confident I didn’t need them – after all, we didn’t want a fight so, over my swimsuit, I wore one of Starflower’s outfits that would allow me to shapeshift into a mermaid. My excuse was going to be I had accidentally swum through one of the underwater portals and got lost trying to get back out.
The air in the lair was cold and fresh but we could feel the heat from the lava below the grilled walkways. Several chain curtains were bypassed and undead guards were snuck past.
Finally we could see a double archway ahead, and four people standing around it. They looked like they were living but we could also see more incorporeal guards watching the area. 80ft out from the archway, the grill walkway turned into a stone floor and beyond the archway, we could see a stairway going down into darkness. Air was moving in and out of the archway as if something large was breathing, plus there was the smell of human mixed in with something really unsavory.
Down the stairway we went and we discovered a circular room with a polished marble floor. Fifteen or so humans were sleeping to one side. On the other side was two undead guards in front of a couple of wooden doors. One was open showing a chain curtain. Again we used a teleport hop to bypass that and discovered that this room was unusually dry, the complete opposite to what I was expecting. Behind us, we could also see a curtain of water.
Past two alert looking guards, although they didn’t see us, down another stairwell and I could see what looked like rather thick gloopy water with large bubbles of water slowly oozing to the surface and popping. It reminded me more of boiling mud but dowsing seemed to indicate that it was mostly water. Had it been partially bound?
Sessions 11 and 12
As it turned out the ‘water’ was an oil and water homogenized mixture to make it thicker. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go in that. It was then decided that Starflower and I would stay here as a backup, in case they ran into trouble, and we’d keep in touch with Mind Speech. So, some of the things they ran in – in no particular order – were:
• There’s a bonepit at the bottom of the pool with a creature in it. • One of the sea portals goes to the sea around the Great Shallows, another goes to Morquendi. • Dark Skies saw them and helped them through the very dangerous chain curtain. • Two vampires saw them but ignored them. • Dark Skies looked interested in Rodrigo, thought Caprice was ‘slumming it’ and Cher was an abomination. • There was a mermaid/siren in the air space surrounded by her own bubble of water. • A room had fish in it which ‘drained’ any magic they ate. • There was a statue that literally ate wiccan amulets. • The six skulls were arranged in two rows of three, separated by the corridor, opposite the four sea portals. • Some of the humans they saw were mostly drained by the vampires but some were not so drained. • A group of ladies in red dresses were seen. • There was an area where the light was literally trying to dissolve Caprice. • Two sarcophagi were wrapped in chains • That same room had eight spectres in it, two in each corner.
Anyway, as far as I could tell, they managed to steal everything they were supposed to steal. There was an attempt to remove the full length mirror but that proved to be more difficult than it looked.
“We can’t not murder .... erm .... sacrifice Aqualina” - Keesha (I was beginning to wonder if he was getting obsessed with the idea)
Once they were done, they returned to where we were and we headed off back to Seagate.
“Is it possible to get temporal lag?” - Aqualina
We were told by Morgor that the light draining effect was feeding the sarcophagi so he quickly disappears and returns a short time later with some amulets that we had to wear on our limbs. He also had three Restore Life Potions which Keesha took. I bet I know what, or who, those are for.
Back to the Shrivers and I got the distinct impression that they were expecting us. Potions of Willpower were requested and a lot of haggling and arguing about the price occurred. The discussion got rather heated and I was getting a bit irritated by this so I slammed down a bag, containing the equivalent of one hundred thousand silver pennies and told them they could take it out of that. I think I stunned the rest of the party who, once they recovered, wanted to know what I was doing and it was strongly suggested that I stay quiet and keep my wealth. However, the shriver we were dealing with was rather pleased and took it as an advance payment for services. So I bought back my bottle of shrivered Ecstasy spell and they even offered a potion containing three charges of Curse Removal and also a new spell called ‘Water Tunnel’. It’s like the Earth Mage version but the tunnel is full of water instead. He also offered to ‘fix’ my Belt of Merform so I wouldn’t have to worry about being cursed with lycanthrope so much. I guess money does talk – and to be honest, I have no idea what to do with the wealth I have accumulated.
Back to Seagate again. Rodrigo had managed to acquire a strange staff while Morgor had provided amulets to help with damage caused by teleportation. There was also a Wand of Disintegrate. More information was also provided. Somewhere in the bonepit is something called the Well of Liquids. The water/oil mix can be activated to burn and another of the portals is in the merfolk realm in the Shallow Seas. Matt Tumbledown turned up with three dwarves and Syrene and the subjects of our illusions came up.
“I thought we were merchants, not urchants” - Aqualina.
We were taken to Syrene’s grove where Syrene was able to grant us Rank 23 Strength of Stone, Rank 23 Armours of Earth and a three point Lesser Enchantment for the next three days. There were also three, rather attractive and cute looking halfling maidens there. All our other buffs were applied including higher resistances to being stunned, having our Fate confused for the next day as well as Starflower’s special herbal teas. Finally those of us who could benefit from it were given a potion to increase our Agility.
Once we were ready, we were transported to the location of the other side of the sea portal and entered the Lair of the Vampires.
Sessions 13 and 14
The Big Fight
Upon entry, we got right into it. Caprice sang the Note and there was a loud CRACK as everything that could be affected within range broke, I launched a Water Bolt volley at the Stop Heart skull while Starflower let loose with a TK Rage, sending quite a few entities flying towards the far walls. Keesha and Caprice attack the nearest vampire which immediately turns to mist. Two spectres charge in as well while, at the back, another vampire and fae creature dive into the water corridor and flee – presumably to warn everyone else in the complex. I tried taking down the fleeing vampire with bolts but she waved goodbye before leaving. Keesha took out one spectre, while the other one went for Starflower.
We all felt a sudden pressure drop as the water/oil in the corridor started to recede, At the same time, the misty vampire becomes solid, back-stabs Starflower and turns to mist again, just as a well dressed imp turns up, which was immediately taken out by a salamander. I had no idea where that came from and even whose side it was on. I was trying to take out the whirling dervish golem that was causing problems which took at least three volleys while Caprice froze an ice elemental. I saw the salamander being disintegrated by a vampire as well as thirty four women in matching red dressed on the other side of one of the sea portals which had been redirected to a castle courtyard somewhere.
Fortunately Keesha had provided us with Runes of Truth which allowed me to see the vampire floating near the ceiling in the corner so I blasted that with another volley, after Caprice tried to set it on fire with dragon flames Keesha made his hand glow with positive energy, touched the other vampire with it and it died instantly. Caprice finished the first one off with a second dragon flames.
After a quick breather, we charged off down the corridor, now air filled,. For some reason Keesha was being followed by a black magical sludge which proved to be some sort of animated blobby death curse. Up ahead was a skull with black stuff surrounding it with a Nature of Magic being Destruction. So I blew it up with Water Bolts. The remaining sludge poured onto the floor and curved under the walkway in a non natural way so we ran to the other end, down the stairs and encountered two ghosts that looked like knights or adventurers. Keesha had them confuse and delay the blobby death curse as we continued and through the portal at the other end.
Of course we emerged in another fight. Here were an assortment of creatures including the head vampire, at least three other vampires, Kitty and Purr, a controlled Sabastian, a large bear, hill giant, a person cloaked in shadows, who immediately attacked Keesha, someone wearing a ‘battle bikini’ (which I wanted to call ‘dibs’ on) and several minions. I was concentrating on targeting one of the vampires with Bolts when I suddenly got stabbed in the back and one of the minions tried to close with me. A caster tried to shut Starflower down with a Mind Special Counter but she tapped into a stored mana source and let loose with another TK Rage.
Things were looking rather dire to be honest and, they must have got an inkling of what we had done, as there were cries of ‘Kill the Water Mage’. I knew what I had to do but I hesitated for a bit before steeling my resolve and will power and stabbed myself with that special Water Mage sacrificial dagger.
I found myself in a moonlit swampy forest standing in a foot of fetid swamp water. Having nothing better to do, I started walking, hoping that my sacrifice had been enough to turn the tide of battle for my companions.
I don’t know how long I had been there but, I was suddenly pulled back. We were in another part of the complex, probably the bottom layer, and, somehow Sabastian had been saved as he was with us as well as Kitty and Purr. We were also being attacked by spectres who were coming out of the wall so I stabbed myself again. It didn’t hurt so much that time.
“I’m putting Aqualina down” - Starflower (while carrying my body) “Haven’t we done that twice already? - Keesha
By the time I was brought back again we were still in the same level but a bit further down. It was like they had to fight for every foot of progress. It also felt like I had been resurrected on a Plane of Death. Starflower said my corpse had been twitching. Even now, my left hand was twitching by itself as I drunk an Emerald Moss healing potion in an attempt to buff up enough to be useful. I was also getting the feeling I wasn’t alone in my body but, so far, I was the dominant force. There was the sound of some liquid pouring in, but it wasn’t water, more like some sort of flammable oil. Then a blast of fire hit us .... and back in the swampy forest I was.
Somehow, to my surprise, that counted as a sacrifice, as my death took several of the undead along with it. It also banished Kitty to Hell (Kitty and Purr being succubi) as the lead vampire transferred damage to her, killing her instantly. When the smoke cleared, all the vampires had teleported out and the spectres were gone.
The party grabbed what loot was left then hightailed it back to the entrance portal. It was closed but Dark Skies was there, standing over three dead vampires. Purr was also there with her hands up.
I was resurrected again, and, in return for her old skull, she opened the portal to the manor where the Lady of Blood’s coffin resided. She also made us lucky – lucky enough to catch the queen vampire in her coffin and Sabastian kills her, and we kill her attendant vampires with little effort on our side.
Well ..... that was that. As a reward, Morgor made special requested items for us, and when we got back to the Elemental Inn, we discovered that the problem with the Elemental Twins had been resolved as well so we got paid for that.
All in all, as I contemplated my profit, horde of silver pennies, and my collection of loot, it had been rather satisfying. Maybe that’s how Starflower feels all the time.
Buffs and Mil Sci
Long Term (assumed always on)
Short Term / On Demand
We promised the shrives to try and deal with the janx ghost in the tunnels within a year or they will help to reform it. The dragon promised to give info on how to get Peter back.
Items in question - maybe Loot
Bleeding skull which corrupts water When awake protect all that sees from sunlight Scarecrow - guarded by 2 X Spectre Old head of DarkSkies Darkness Stops the heart of living within 20’ Stop draw or release mana (4 amulets to allow casting)