- 1 Summary
- 2 A Masterwork of Art
- 3 Reference Material
- A Masterwork of Art
- Summer 806wk
- Thaeuss - a binder
- Rowan - another binder accompanied by Eylor - her eyeball on a stick
- Stardreamer - a Celestial mage on the light side
- Brigetta McLeod - a bard and master troubadour.
- Aqualina (me) - human water mage.
- Angus McBright
- Assist in the construction of an artifact to destroy undead.
- Prestige and whatever we can pick up along the way
A Masterwork of Art
The mission I selected for myself seemed so odd to be curiously interesting. A gentleman by the name of Angus McBright had received a commission to construct some sort of anti-undead thingy and wanted some Guild members to help out with the promises of attaining masterwork crafting or performing status. Poets and/or troubadours wanted it seemed. So ... even though I only perform as a hobby, I went to check it out.
In the meeting room was:
- Thaeuss - a binder
- Gerald - an illusionist
- Rowan - another binder accompanied by Eyor - her eyeball on a stick
- Stardreamer - a Celestial mage on the light side
- Brigetta McLeod - a bard and master troubadour.
- Aqualina (me) - human water mage.
I became the scribe, but I suspect Brigetta will want to do the flowery bits, Thaeuss is the party leader and Brigetta and Thaeuss are the military scientists. Looks like I’m going to be a front row fighter - again.
Gerard to Brigetta - “Rumour has it you’re a bard” Stardreamer - “Not like Robert who’s barred from many pubs”.
Anyway, once we had introduced ourselves, and sorted out who was doing what, Guild Security let a dwarf in who was dressed in black. This was McBright’s right hand dwarf (Seamus) who told us to go to the Golden Ingot pub in New Seagate. Once there, we found Angus McBright at a corner table along with a spread out lunch.
After lunch, we went upstairs. He told us he had a commission from a group of Western Kingdom nobility, via the Brightrock traders in Seagate, who wanted the undead dealt to.
His idea was to devise three items, one being something to draw the undead in, and the other two being two rooms containing a special trap each to deal differently to the two main types, corporeal and incorporeal I presume. He also told us there were six deactivated golems from Milloo, parked in the Guild courtyards, that we had access to.
Astrology readings had managed to give him a list of items that needed to be obtained.
- Calinogan bird’s eggs
- Titanic harp string
- Lovelocks beads of oil
- Dark masters teardrop
- Fresh kilt lint
- Powdered indigo
- Walvo beast
- Angel’s feather
- Valkyrie feather
- A marble heart - beating
- A story that no one had heard
- Many square feet of Imperial carpet
- A tea leaf from the inside of Nihalong’s jade teapot
- The willingly given eye of a demon
- Oun Sofegel salts
- Light of the Morning Star
- A darksheen stone
- Fresh lovelace
- Hartford’s rolling pin
- Twelve perfect crystals
- Twenty pounds of fossilised iron wood.
- Two chests of andean sand, one white, one black
- Spirit of a heroic halfling.
We split up in order to do further research. I went to the Air College and found out that the Calinogan bird is found in tropical jungles as well as the desert of Arabie. It was brightly coloured plumage and is rather dangerous. The Earth College was rather deserted with only a few juniors there. I suspected the remainder were hiding so they wouldn’t get bugged to cast Lesser Enchantments on people. However, I did trade a Waters of Healing for a Lesser. Finally, at the Water College, I sent one of the junior members out on a research mission while setting down to make a sixpack of Waters of Healing for the party [no failures]. Heh. Sometimes it’s nice to be a senior member, even if I have to help with the teaching.
Next morning, over breakfast at the Golden Ingot, we all compared notes. Brigetta was missing. Gerald said she was still in the library and had been there all night, probably researching for the story she was composing. That made me think that there are probably a lot of untold stories I knew but .. no way was I telling them as they were much too private.
There wasn't such a type of carpet as Imperial so we were definitely looking at castoffs from an Imperial Court. Brigetta had already suggested talking to the Shoji Emperor as she had been there for the last two years. The Lunar Empire was another possibility.
The walvo beast is a desert beast and looked like a lizard rat. Arabie again we suspected.
Nahalong’s teapot is in the Lunar Empire
The Oun Sofegal salts were at the bottom of the ocean in hot volcanic areas. That made me think of ‘black smokers’, volcanic vents in the deep oceans around which the water is very hot, and in unbreathable because it smells very bad, tastes even worse and is generally very poisonous. So I made a note to ask the local merfolk if they knew any patches of ‘bad water’. The other possibility may be an area on the north coast of Rangefero where lava comes out of tubes in the rock under the water.
The light of the morning star may be a plant called the ‘Morning Star’ but we might have to shine the light of Tawera(Freya), when it shines in the morning, through a spyglass, and somehow trap it.
A darksheen stone is a magical stone and can be found in Mittelmarkhauptstadt.
Fresh lovelace is at the source of the Sweetwater
The andean sand comes from Destiny and is very dangerous to harvest because of the tiny, but highly deadly swamp snakes. Both types of sand are used in alchemy and are highly prized.
The fossilised ironwood could be found in a swamp, probably the Ffenargh.
We also wondered if the spirit of a heroic halfling actually referred to a special halfling brew but discounted that idea after a while.
Thaeuss also discovered that the alchemists had perfect crystals and a marble heart that they were willing to sell for a high price. Maybe if we gathered more of these items that we needed, then we could sell the excess to the alchemists and recoup our losses.
Stardreamer had found a book in the Guild Library which talked about the marble heart. It was by Mirabella the Fairy who had the title of 'Flame Maiden of the NW regions of the Garden of Phaedra. This garden could also be where the Lovelace is. The Garden of Phaedra is located somewhere near Alfheim.
We had our assignments so we split up. Stardreamer and Brigetta flew off to Slippery Rock to find out about the Dark Master's Teardrop. Meanwhile I went to the Sea Goddess Haven to see if I could get any information about the salts. Unfortunately I managed to make a complete hash of that and learnt nothing useful. They obviously had a different name for the salts or they were getting confused by my accent. However, I got the distinct impression that this lot are a lot more feral than the Pasifikans, especially when one was insisting on being given a manchild for lunch. Failing that, they'd settle for salmon. So, I spent the rest of the day making a sixpack of Waters of Strength [3 for Gerald, one failure].
Gerald had a message from Mary-M. She said there should be no problem with the angel feather as long as it is used for the stated purpose. There had been no response from Sabrina.
Brigetta and Stardreamer were being regaled with tales, including one about the Unwilling Dark Master who had fallen foul of some cads and had been forced to deal with some rather unsavoury types, demons perhaps, and had been most remorseful about it. There is a shrine to him in a village somewhere in Ranke, and it is said that, on occasions, the likeness does cry. The name given was Sebastian the Remorseful. From then on in, the stories got wilder.
More information was found out about Mirabella. She is in charge of fungi and uses charm a lot.
Gerald went to see Alphonse who told him that a heroic spirit is a story. He then went down to New Haven with a collection of maps to see Starflower. She couldn't find the location of the Calinogan birds but the Walvo beasts could be found where the jungle and deserts meet in Arabie. She also 'found' some demon eye stones in the mountains near Alfheim.
"If we had one to get the GTN ... we'd have one" - Gerald.
That evening a message came in from Brigetta saying that Stardreamer was too drunk to fly and that they were spending the night.
Breakfast meeting at the Golden Ingot. Brigetta and Stardreamer still missing. When I told him of the mess I made, Thaeuss offered to come with me to have another go with the merfolk. I was thankful for that as I was about to ask. I'm also considering sponsoring a Guild expedition to explore the undersea area around the Sea Goddess Haven. Thaeuss had already discovered that the salts in question were found around underwater hot springs. They are a very fine white grained salt and are used to store mana. They can also be found in deep freshwater lakes.
When we went to talk to the local merfolk, we discovered that they knew of hot springs past Palestrina, some distance away. There was a sea of kelp there and holes where it doesn't grow. Once we had that information, I summoned some salmon then we beat a hasty retreat.
Stardreamer and Brigetta finally arrived back sometime around lunchtime.
It was decided Arabie would be the first stop and Angus told us he had a ship that could get us there in a few hours. Naturally I found that hard to believe. Our instructions were to be at the docks at a precise time. Anyone not there would be left behind.
Everyone was on time. What was at the dock was a small dingy. However, that was only the landing craft. The actual ship was moored outside the harbour. And when we got there it seemed as if we merged with the ship in order to get on board. Maybe there was something I should not have eaten for breakfast.
That wasn't the end of the mind boggling stuff though. Angus showed us to a room and then started rearranging the furniture. He was very meticulous too, making sure everything was 'just so'. He then said something and the large wall mirror sort of 'changed'. We could see a dark narrow tunnel with a speck of light at the other end.
He told us we had to be very careful and quiet going through as there were certain unsavory types that might hear us. So we stepped through the mirror and sidled sideways, as quiet as mice, down the stone tunnel. Also, before we left, Gerald had disguised us to look like the locals as much as possible, even as far as giving the human females the appearance of men.
We came out in an alley near a bustling marketplace. Gerald memorised the location, as it was hard to see the exit, and we kept together as we looked for Angus at his uncle's place. We finally found him and after a quick drink, set out to look for information on the birds eggs and walvo beasts.
In a tent, in the market, containing various specimen jars of bits of magical creatures, we found a man who knew about Calinogan birds and the eggs and Walvo beasts. He had a relative, who he intoduced us to, who had a walvo beast which rode on his shoulder but this one was not for sale. We would have to catch our own. He did provide us with tokens of accreditation to a local group of people who could help us.
A map and directions were obtained and we flew off to meet the these people, by carpet. After landing, Gerald, Thauss and Brigetta met with the local chiefs to discuss arrangements while the rest of us were led off to the pub, or their equivalent of it. Our credentials were examined and pronounced good. Tonight, we would see a walvo beast. Two other hopeful groups were also here but their credentials were not as good.
That night there was dancing which reminded me a lot of Pasifikan pre-hunt dances then everyone raced out into the night. After a while our group was split off from the other hopeful hunters and we were led to the top of a sand canyon where we could watch what happened as the rest of them charged in. Suddenly, out of a hole came a rather oversized Komodo dragon like creature. We were told by our guide that it had been 'enhanced' by the locals. Given that, we could see where extra spikes had been added. Someone commented that it looked like Starflower on a bad day. Having seen Starflower on a bad day, I was hard pressed not to laugh.
The other hunters backpedalled as the 'monster' emerged. One tough guy charged up and hit it. His weapon bounced then the creature took a bite out of him. The other hunters lined up and also attacked. We watched as it turned into a massacre as they were ripped to shreds. The creature had also been quickened.
Finally it was all over. Bodies were everywhere as the fake walvo beast was led away and, after a short while, the scavengers moved in. Our guide pointed out a small creature that was very hard to see, as if it was blended, and told us that those were walvo beasts. They also moved rather fast. They were hunting the scavengers.
We were then led back to camp where we bathed, ate and slept.
It was obvious that many people came to seek the ferocious wavol beast but, only those of good credentials would actually see one and also discover the real nature of this village, and that of the hunting lodge. These notes may need editing.
Anyway, negotiations about payment etc carried on through breakfast. They seemed especially interested in Gerald's permanent illusions. It also looked like that we were specifically after a pack leader, otherwise known as a 'master beast', presumably the equivalent of a chief in the pack. We also had to watch out for the soldier caste as they are poisonous. We would set out tomorrow morning.
However, that afternoon, we went on an egg hunt, along with our guide, Alaric. On the way, he confessed that he had a blood oath to slay the birds as they had killed his family. Markaline birds he called them, presumably the local name.
We landed our carpets just outside the forest then walked in, following our guides instructions to avoid the many dangers. A short while later, we entered a clearing. Inside it, still standing, was a dead stag which had several holes ripped in it and flesh missing. This was the work of the birds and Alaric insisted we consign it to the ground. So Thauss summoned up a golem and had it bury the remains.
After more walking, a large, curved, red feather was found stuck in a tree. Our guide went on alert while Gerald retrieved it. He wanted it for his hat. Just then we heard an odd sound. It was like a birdcall but with what sounded like siren song mixed in with it. Brigetta and I were the only ones to resist the charming effects as everyone else got the idea that they were going to have a picnic.
Brigetta put up a sound bubble to block the sound. It would worked except Alaric got hysterical and proceeded to knock her to the ground demanding she reverse it. She did. He then scampered up a tree as I saw the bird coming in. This one was long and grey and moved very very fast. I was hard pressed to hit it with my water bolts - when the spell worked that is. Brigetta popped up another sound bubble which helped everyone else snap out of it.
It was a tough fight. At the end of it, we were surrounded by a Wall of Darkness which had a Wall of Sand inside it. Thauss had taken a severe hit which had left a gaping hole, ripping out a kidney and my krakenskin armour was shredded. Other party members had also taken damage but had given as good as they had got. Partway though a spear had landed in the middle of the clearing with long red feathers stuck to it. Somewhere in the canopy, our guide was fighting another bird. So Thaeuss and Gerald went up to help.
Stardreamer - "It's got feather armour"
Up in the trees our battered guide was fighting a larger bright red bird this was the one doing the singing, finally they vanquished it.
Mean while the rest of us waited down below for another of the grey birds hit and run attacks. I had a Waterbolt primed ready and waiting. Then we saw it coming. My spell went off and I hit it, sending it spiralling down to a crashlanding. On the groung this grey bird looked to stand about 4 ft tall. It was just after that, that those in the trees killed the red bird. The grey bird then gave a sonic attack of it's own which resulted in Brigetta, Stardreamer and myself having screaming nightmares. Gerald later said that Brigetta screamed like a diva. Thaeuss, Gerald came down and helped Rowan to kill it.
With that, the nightmares faded somewhat. When we regrouped our guide told us that the larger one with the feathers was the female. He also wanted a beak as a trophy. Most of us were just interested in feathers. Thaeuss itemised the corpses then we went looking for the eggs.
The nest was found with three eggs in it. Two of them emitted a sound which was soothing. One was dead so it was itemised, while the other two were petrified.
Upon return to camp, Thaeuss was flown off to the city for healing. Our hunt was postponed for the duration. He was also able to fix my armour.
Thaeuss was out of action for two days but, this morning, he was healed fully. He also had news. Kilt lint was actually Killits Lint which is a flower. Obtaining that was in hand but we were still required to go after Lovelock's Lace which was in the same place as the rolling pin, i.e. Tuscana.
It was decided to attempt to negotiate with the wavol beasts and leave a frontal assault to a last resort. So we got a guide to show us to a nest and spent the next several days just studying and observing them. We also used illusions to see how they would react i.e. an illusionary eagle was followed by one, although I was sure there were two of them.
Finally we made our move. A golem was sent in towards the heart of the nest. As it advanced we saw entrances in front of it being plugged then reopened after it went past. Brigetta and Thaeuss followed as the golem made utterings of peace. Finally they were able to communicate with a wavol beast and a request was made to talk to their chief. Agreement was achieved but only if there was a way for one of us to enter the tunnels. So Thaeuss possessed the body of a small rag and string golem and went in.
Negotiations must have been successful as the chief had allowed two of his sons to come with us as long as they were paid with a herd of cows. There was much keening in the nest as the news spread. I wondered how popular those two were with the ladies. Also they wanted information on a human wizard that had lived a long time ago, referring to him as their Father or Creator. The description was that of your typical elderly wizard with a pointed hat and a white beard and carried a staff with a dragon's head on it.
Apparently wavols can either be live born or egg born. The live born ones are more precious. Das told us they were non-sentient fantastical animals and they were not light aspected.
That night we flew out of the hunting lodge, after Gerald had paid them in permanent illusions, and reached the ship. Once there, while the wavol beasts were asleep, they were petrified.
Our next stop was Palestrina. In order to get there quickly, the ship's captain performed a ritual which created a huge ring which we were to sail through. They wanted me to summon some merfolk to hold it up but I summoned a water elemental instead. Once it was up, we sailed through and found ourselves off the coast of Palestrina.
The waters around Palestrina are patrolled so we were obliged to sail to their port to make arrangements to do what we wanted. The rule was that all salvage had to be examined by the Palestrinians at the city and they would decide what we could keep.
Arrived at the area where the Oun Sofegel Salts were. It was an area of reefs and shoals as well as a sea of kelp. Darker circles of water marked the areas where the upwellings were. Wrecks were scattered around the area. It was too dangerous to sail the ship in so Thaeuss and I took to the air to look for the most likely spot. Meanwhile Rowan had created a dingy which the others sailed in with.
Once we found a most likely spot, waterbreathings were cast all around. Thaeus's original plan was to quickly make a stone golem, possess that, then sink to the bottom. He would then launch wood golems with buckets of salt. However when I pointed out I could make a stone golem buoyant, the plan was slightly modified. So I transformed to merfom and cast the required spells on the golem before the Thaeuss inhabited golem jumped down the nearest hole. I hovered above the hole, around the thirty foot mark, ready to catch the upcoming wooden golems. Gerald had gone down deeper while Brigetta was paddling around on the surface.
The hole was deep and dark and I could feel the warm water welling up from it. It tasted slightly sulphurous but was breathable. Thaeuss was in the process of gathering salts (mixed in with sand) when things started hitting him. It turned out there were undead sailors down there as well which had been around the edge of the hole. He decided to ignore them for now.
The first wooden golem was launched, attracting a wandering dugong as it rose. Gerald shot at it to distract it. However that caused it to make distressed noises and since I couldn't see what had happened, only hear it, I went to investigate to protect the poor creature. It finally swam off.
The undead were getting annoying so Thaeuss went back to the surface to get some assistance. Angus told him there was too much sand mixed in the salt and there wasn't enough. So Gerald and I went down to attack the creatures from range while Thaeuss got some more. Even though I wasn't having much luck with the water bolts, basically the undead didn't stand a chance.
When they were cleared off I helped Thaeuss gather more salt. Just out of curiosity, I cast a cantrip to see if I could separate the salt from the sand and discovered that the salt was attracted to mana like iron to a lodestone. So Thaeuss made bags while I filled them with nearly pure salt. Finally I took the bags up while Thaeuss investigated a nearby wreck. Already, I was planning to come back and clear out all of them.
Thaeuss finally came out with some magical weapons, two swords and three spears. Also, for some reason, Gerald took out a piece of magical amber and ran it over the salts. We then left for Palestrina, once I was out of merform, and Thaeuss was out of the golem.
When we got back, the authorities decided to retain a sword and spear that Thaeuss had retrieved from the sunken ‘Aurum Imperium’ as tax. Angus also had a piece of news for us. The kelp was known as ‘Karapet’ and since it was next to the ‘Aurum Imperium’, it could mean that the Imperial Carpet could actually refer to the kelp. However, it had to be kept alive and fresh until it was needed. So it was decided to try and keep them in saltwater filled barrels.
The trick was going to be getting the filled barrels back up then over the reef to be loaded onto the ship. I had strong objections to the coral being damaged excessively. So what we ended up doing was to use buoyancies to get the barrels back to the surface while a hatchcover was left floating on the water inside the reef. That was going to be a landing platform for Rowan’s carpet and one full barrel could be loaded and transported to the ship at a time.
The waterbreathings had all been cast late the previous night and I did the buoyancies before breakfast. About midmorning we were ready to go down. Rowan flew us out on the carpet and, during the trip, I transformed to merform.
We were expecting to encounter undead and, sure enough, we could see a bunch of them gathered around the nearby hole. Stardreamer put a Wall between the undead and the sunken vessel then the others descended towards the kelp beds to start the harvest. I swam overwatch. Just then more undead hiding in the kelp attacked.
In retrospect, I should have summoned a water elemental to reinforce our side as an entire horde of undead poured out of the kelp. To cap it off, more of them came out of holes in the side of the ship. Those on the ground were surrounded. It wasn’t long before Stardreamer was dragged off, unconscious, into the ship. To complicate the situation, blood was leaking into the water. Brigetta had also been badly cut up and was also leaking blood into the water.
Rowen was surrounded so, as I swam overhead, I attempted to fire off waterbolts in an attempt to take some out. But, as I did, I felt my magic leak away. Assuming it was all gone, I set trident and charged in to battle.
It was looking really bad for a while then, to complicate matters, the sharks arrived. I was going to try and get them under my control but Brigetta got her spell off and managed to calm them down. As it was, they were smashing down undead on their passes, as they were also viable targets. Maybe I won’t need to control them after all. Instead, since Brigetta had to concentrate on her singing, as well as having to apply healing to herself from time to time, I was trying to protect her. However her song had been driven into my mind. “Keep on swimming, keep on swimming, swimming swimming...” over and over again.
Rowen was holding her own while Gerald was hacking away as well. Finally the undead that was in front of the hole that Stardreamer had been dragged through was gone so I went in. It was very dark in there so I triggered the last of my firelights. No sign of Stardreamer but there was a shark cruising there. It seemed to be swimming with purpose so I followed it.
What I found was a bunch of undead surrounding Stardreamer’s unconscious and bleeding form. His stuff had been stripped off him and one of them was in the process of sorting through it. So I started blasting them with water bolts, including the shark. One of them rushed forward to attack so I laid into it with my trident. At this point Gerald had arrived to help and had triggered a Trollskin on to Stardreamer.
Finally ... it was all over.
Brigetta - "It's boullaibaise for dinner" Gerald - "I hope that's not fish"
Harvesting the kelp whole proved to be interesting, and also proved I needed urgent lessons in the proper uses of elementals. My idea was to use the elemental as a plow to loosen the kelp's grip on the sand and allow it to be easily plucked free. Unfortunately the elemental as a tad over enthusiastic as the entire bottom was stirred up resulting in an awful mess of kelp, sand, bits of undead, and other materials suspended in the water. Fortunately the only things that floated was the kelp so, it was able to be scooped up and barrelled. There was more kelp then we needed so I gathered the rest up for later drying. Maybe I'd make a skirt out of it ... or a carpet.
Once all the kelp was on board, we sailed back to Seagate.
Thaeuss - "Does Innocense work on a ship?"
Arrived at Seagate where we were debriefed and decursed. Apparently I had picked up a Creeping Senility. The Lovelock Beads had been obtained and the Killet Lint flowers were on their way. Also that Hatfields Rolling Pin may be at Tuscana.
Took the portal to the Lunar Empire. Upon arrival at the Guild Embassy in Lunar City the Guild rep there gave us tickets to the upcoming Winter Games. We discovered that giant people are respected while temples and armies keep the peace.
So we went to a temple. It was very calm in here with whispers carrying far. When we asked about the Titanic Harp String, we were told that, not only they are prized by musicians, but are also used as gates to proto-planes where magic is unpredictable. These planes are the domains of the Titans and they always know what is going on. We would need to walk to the fortress and ask.
We walked through the temple gardens then went stag hunting with our hosts. Dinner was a mixture of goat and venison. After dinner, we were collected as it was now time to open the gate. The gate proved to be a large harp which was played. During the playing, the strings vanished and we were able to step through into a foggy place.
After a short while, a troupe of centaurs came out of the fog. They warned us of the Enemy which could be a gryphon or humans. The fortress is twenty years travel away but we could seek help from the ladies who live in the trees. Or we could find the hut of Grizelda, located three hours down the road.
Before we got there, we encountered a dark forest consisting of black trees with black leaves. Finally, we found the hut and met Grizelda, a translucent human. Stardreamer, Gerald and Brigetta went into a dreaming ritual to scry the fortress, after which, Stardreamer built a model of it. We were told there were mana sprites running around the place.
The transportation via Stardreamer's spell took eight hours, at least we think so as we were eight hours hungrier when we arrived on a window ledge. The fortress was on a titanic scale so we had to drop ten feet to the floor. Another Grizelda then turned up and she led us to the resident Titan. The elves were picked up and, after some discussion, the Titan allowed us to borrow an entire harp but on the condition that we would have to do some service later. Grizelda then arrived carrying a large crystal with lines marked in it. We then discovered that the local mana is called Helena so Thaeuss called on her services to shrink the harp.
The way back was by a fire portal and, travelling by your opposing element is not something I'd recommend. I lost consciousness for a bit and work up inside a golem while the healers were preparing to resurrect me. This golem looked a lot better than the last one I was in, being a scaled down replica of me. However, there seemed to be someone else in here as well which was rather unnerving. I was so glad when the resurrection ritual took and I was back in my own body again. However, I was concerned for the wellbeing of my look alike self aware golem in Thaeuss's tender care. Maybe I'll attempt to adopt it.
After obtaining a replacement Lesser Enchantment for myself, we took the portal back to the Lunar Empire. This time we were after the tea leaf. To do this we would have to enter the underground of vagabonds and thieves. So Gerald ensured we were appropriately disguised before we entered the markets.
Guide - "You don't have Princess Isil'Eth here. What are you going to do for two hours?" Aqualina - "Shopping?"
We were due to meet our contacts at the Golden Goat for lunch. Just after we were seated, a magical circle was activated around our table, making sure we weren't overheard, and a man and two guards arrived via a trapdoor in the floor. The conversation turned to tea then Gerald mentioned the tealeaf. The man nodded knowingly and left us with one of his men, Claude. Arrangements were made.
That evening I got a Preservation from Rowen for my krakenskin armour before we were met by four shady characters. While we were doing our spell preparations, another group of adventurers arrived seeking certain spells. One of them was an Earth mage so we obtained Strength of Stones and Armours of Earth in exchange for Illusions and Waters of Healing.
Once we were ready we descended into the sewers, and splashed our way down there before coming out in a corridor. Down the other end were two guards at an opening. Gerald and Thaeuss snuck up to deal to them but Gerard was seen and combat ensured.
It didn't take long to take them out. I had to admit, seeing one guard launch some sort of rocket projectile while trapped inside a Bubble of Force was one of the most amusing things I had seen in a while. The resulting dance was extremely spontaneous.
However, the alarm had been raised so we went down a different way. Unfortunately, there were guards in wait here too. As Gerald's image went down a corridor, it was attacked by spears coming out from wall hangings on each side. Plus we had to avoid the guards in the roof above us, attempting to hit us with poisoned darts.
Walls were put up to deal with the spearmen on each side and we moved down the corridor. A metal door at the end was animated to unlock itself however, that resulted in a metal sphere rolling out of a recess and down a slope past the doorway. Fortunately we were far enough back so we weren't squished. However, thick green poisonous fumes started filling that area of the corridor and some of us, including me, had to beat a hasty retreat before we were overcome. Of course we had to deal with those guys with the poison darts again. When I invited the guide, who was with us, to deal to them I wasn't quite expecting him to lob a grenado up there and blow them up. However, that stopped the rain of darts.
Stardreamer had collected one so I was trying to heal him with a Waters of Healing. In retrospect, it might have been easier if I had removed the dart first. We then held our breaths and sprinted back through the green mist to where the others were waiting.
Once through those doors, we went down another corridor, at the end was a door with a teapot marked on it. So we opened it.
Inside was a thirty foot wide teapot floating in midair. There were more guards on the balconies surrounding the teapot and as we watched, a mist came out of the top of the teapot and started to coalesce into some form of entity. I tried firing Water Bolts at them (there were two) in the hope of disrupting them but the spell failed to go off. So we ended up facing, not only the guards, but what looked like winged steam demons ... and there were more on the way.
Gerald had made his way onto the balcony and was dealing with the archers. Meanwhile Thaeuss had created a multicoloured mosaic golem, basically out of the tiling on the floor and had possessed it. Just then, Brigetta, whom we had left to guard the sewer entrance appeared on top of the teapot. Apparently she had been captured and left tied up in the bamboo teastrainer. She had then escaped and crawled out, rather tired, and looking like she had a steam bath.
Aqualina - "Don't you get refreshed from a hot drink?"
She slid down the side to the spout then dropped to the floor, while the rest of us were trying to vanquish the opposition. It didn't help that more of those demons were forming. So Thaeuss decided to attack the teapot directly.
Soon we were all concentrating our attacks on one spot near the spout. A crack formed and tea flowed out. As the crack got wider, the volume of tea increased, and some tealeaves floated out. Finally the spout fell off and Thaeuss itemised it.
Negotiations finally started at this point with the upshot that we would be allowed to leave with some tea and tealeaves, as well as Brigetta's equipment in exchange for the restored spout. We accepted.
Once all that was sorted out, we returned to the Guild. Now we were heading to the Ffenargh for the fossilised ironwood, and again we were getting there by flying carpet. Maybe I'm starting to get used to being up in the air. Finally we landed by a village, Gerald and Brigetta went to talk to them while the rest of us waited and planned strategies.
Headline for the SGT - "Aqualina denies Sainthood. Cannot Walk on Water"
They were told we had to see the local witch so, after a brief stop in the pub and general store, we found the witches cottage outside of town. She had the best garden we had ever seen plus a barn stuffed full of some rather interesting smoking stuff. There had been a bumper crop and she was concerned about it going off.
She told us some things to watch out for in the swamp such as: beasts, undead, fey, and quickmud. She then gave us some blue flowers as part of a blessing. Of course I stuck one behind my ear in the usual place.
Next morning, accompanied by one of the locals, we set out into the swamp, heading for a known stand of ironwood trees. On the way, we were beset by big flying bugs. They looked like wasps with huge mandibles. Both Stardreamer and I were bitten during the encounter and the area of the bite turned to stone. Fortunately a Waters of Healing stopped the spread of the petrification poison before it went too far. Stardreamer had been bitten on the cheek while I got one on the neck. Apparently some insane local wizard had been crossing basalics with flying insects to breed these things.
After a while, without further incidents, we found the ironwood trees, on a small island in the swamp. So we began looking for trees with had fallen in the swamp water. It didn't take long before we unearth several small pieces, then a piece shaped like a sacrificial dagger turned up. Brigetta did a ritual on it and discovered that this site had been used for a sacrifice a long time ago. The sacrifice was of some sort of fae, a prisoner of war, and it had been in a cage just big enough for it. Subsequent digging unearthed the cage followed by a cache of broadswords as well as other bits and pieces. Also the binders did rituals to turn the stone bits on us back to flesh. Thank goodness .. I was having difficulty speaking. Breathing was also beginning to hurt.
Having collected enough, we flew back to the village and dropped off our guide.
We stopped in North Ranke on the way back in order to get directions to the Shrine of Sebastian. The trail led us to a village where we discovered that the Shrine was guarded by some Michaline Knights and an old Michaline priest. Gerald also obtained a rose to put on the shrine.
Aqualina - "Are they having a religious argument?" Stardreamer - "No. They're having a religious agreement."
The Tears had to be gathered at a certain time during an evening ceremony so we headed back to the Guild and got a suitable vial from Angus. Angus also gave us a box to deliver to the priest. I decided not to return, mainly cause I still don't like the Powers of Light for trying to interfere in my homeland and causing a scene would not have been good.
So, only a few went back. Brigetta was able to use her juggling skills in order to catch a few tears as the religious frenzy neared its height. Also the old priest seemed very pleased when he received the box.
A four and a half hour carpet flight took us to Tuscana arriving just in time for lunch. For some reason, Angus wanted ponies. After landing, and obtaining suitable disguises, we headed into town and into a pub for lunch. I noticed what appeared to be a secret door in the wall while it was noticed that two other people were watching our group intently. One was dismissed as not important, but the other was identified by Angus as one of the Black Claws, a group of wannabe assassins.
When he left, we went after him, finally trapping him in a narrow alley where he was quickly taken out and the body itemised. On him, we found some magical lockpicks and a set of four rings which, when assembled correctly, formed a key. Following a quick discussion about who we could sell the resulting paperweight to, Angus claimed the choice and disposed of the body within minutes making a nice profit.
When we finally got back to the inn, we noticed someone lounging in a chair. So that started a pea flicking competition. Angus won when he got one in the person's ear. We also discovered he was a messenger from a person called 'The Senor', who wanted to see 'The Short Man' (Angus). So, after finding Angus (he had gone hiding in the kitchen and was planning to get a pea up the messenger's nose) we set off.
On the way, a little girl who had been following for a while snuck up behind up the messenger and with Thaeuss's assistance had a bit of fun with his money pouch. A bit later on, our guide's money pouch started moving around on its own accord, much to the man's annoyance.
After a wait at the manor house, we had a meeting with The Senor who wanted our assistance in uplifting certain items that belonged to him from some rivals, one of which was a goblet. What this had to do with the rolling pin or the Darksheen Stone, I had no idea but I guess all would come clear later.
The Senor (the messengers father) is an acquaintance of Angus' who offered us information and assistance in acquiring the Dark Stein and Rolling Pin, in return while we are there he wants his other son rescued from Trevecca (a more powerful rival).
A partial map of a house interior was given to us although we were told there were secret rooms inside. Also there were guards outside. So, that evening we waited in the park to accost the guards (replacement shift) as they made their way from the local pub. They were quickly knocked out/stunned then stripped, tied up, and hidden. One of them had a magical rapier. Gerald then transformed Brigetta, Rowan, myself and Stardreamer into guard lookalikes. Once at the house, we gave the correct passcodes and made it look like we were relieving the guards already there.
So we began a search of the house. A secret room was found which contained several boxes of stuff, presumably being smuggled. Also found was a magical satchel containing what might be incriminating documents.
More exploring led us down a secret corridor to a room with the missing goblet on an large stone block altar in the middle. The room also contained a fountain in the far left corner and a cage containing people in it on the right. However, as Gerald TK'd the goblet to us, something started coming out of it.
So Gerald TKed it towards the cage while both Rowan and Thaeuss animated the cage lock to open. Some of the people inside the cage took the opportunity to make a break for it, including the person we were looking for. I attempted to fire a waterbolt at the demon as it formed, but the spell fizzled - again. Really going to have to work on it. To complicate matters, as I was trying again, a wizard popped up out of the fountain and blasted all, but Gerald, with dragonflames. I lost the spell I was preparing and felt rather singed around the edges. However, that wasn't the worse, Rowan swayed from the force of the blast, then fell over. When I went to check on her, I found she had succumbed.
Stardreamer was attempting to confine the demon with Walls of Starlight while Thaeuss was using Walls of Dust to do the same to the mage. Meanwhile Gerald launched a Spectral Warrior at the mage before charging in himself, followed by Brigetta. While they were doing that, the mage did a ricochet shot with a lightning bolt that caught Brigetta. It also caught his demon. So had the shower of Diamond Tipped javelins he had cast earlier.
It was a full on fight with confusion reigning everywhere. Even one of the captives got into the act, by charging me while I was summoning up a water bolt. So I let him have it with the trident. By then, Thaeuss had summoned up his first stone golem, and got it to knock the captive out. He then started summoning the second golem.
Brigetta and Gerald were, by now, keeping the mage occupied by beating him up. Gerald then noticed the mage's wounds were regenerating so he changed weapons, to one that inflicted damage that could not be regenerated.
Thaeuss had summoned a second golem and used it to help the badly injured Stardreamer who was having demon trouble. He then encased the demon in a Bubble of Force. We used the ensuring respite to heal ourselves up while it decorporialised.
I was charging in, along with the first golem, as the Wall of Sand went down. The mage decided to try and exit through the fountain portal at the same time Gerald tried to levitate him to the ceiling. Both of them vanished. Brigetta heard the word, uttered it, and vanished as well, along with the golem that had been instructed to go with her. So I remained on guard to see if they came back.
They did eventually - through the door we had come through. Evidently the portal had come out in another room in the house. Gerald reported that the mage had attempted to cast Sinking Doom on Gerald and had sucked himself into the earth.
Meanwhile Stardreamer and I were examining the stone block and I found a hidden compartment. So I went to open it. Unfortunately I missed the trap, and got impaled in the shoulder by a protruding spike. Whoops!
Thaeuss - Aqualina got nailed
Inside the drawers, we found assorted torture equipment and a giant sized rolling pin. Some of the blades proved to be magical.
On the way out, we swapped the strongboxes, as previously instructed, then headed back to The Senor's residence, along with his son and three other rescued captives. Two of them were sons of local nobles so he paid us their ransom and told them to run along home and he would see their fathers in the morning. The third was a tanner and all he could offer was a years service. Basically we received 450gs for the three. We then gave him all the information we had collected, and he told us he owed us one and that the name he was currently using is Septimo. The collected documents and magical satchel netted us two trays full of diamonds.
After we left, Angus examined the rolling pin and found a hidden chamber with delicate jewelers tools inside. He also told us that the rolling pin could be used to roll anything flat and he proved it - on a diamond.
Getting home proved to be a bit of a problem as we were down to one carpet. Thaeuss had me put on a cloak .. and next thing I remembered was waking up in the Guild Infirmary with a very sore shoulder. Brigetta had done a ritual on the rolling pin and determined it was made during the Age of Pastry. I asked her was that before or after the Age of Chocolate.
In the wealthy merchant quarter, his home is actually three two-level houses secretly joined together.
Uphill house contains the secret room at its centre, protected by wards, hidden doors, magically triggered physical traps, and other magics we simply avoided. Has a dumb-waiter type device for moving goods to and from the basement.
Hidden within the fireplace in the kitchen of the middle house is a stone strongbox.
Central house has a secret corridor that leads to a magical 'lift' that goes up to a hidden room within which a human scholar/mage type was working. And down to the wine cellar, then further down to a large natural cavern that presumably leads outside.
Beyond the wine cellar and another empty room is a ritualistic room with the Dark Stein sitting on the bloodstained altar and several captives locked in a cage.
Rowan was back on her feet and my shoulder was healed up so we were set for the next excursion, the demon eye stone in the Dragonspine Mountains. We took a slow portal to Elfenburgh and were warned not to eat the food there. Apparently the area had been irradiated by something nasty. We then left town and flew off into the mountains.
Our landing spot was near a camp of mercantile elves and some shopping happened. They told us the demoneyes are very rare and there were only two they knew of. One was in a troll camp as a pretty rock and the other was held by a bunch of ogres as a religious icon. We decided dealing with the trolls was potentially less messy.
The troll hideout composed of a cave complex behind three entrances. Thaeuss snuck in as a small golem to scout while the rest of us watched.
Stardreamer - "If they throw enough rocks at us, then they might throw it at us"
From his report, the idea was to start a fight with the trolls and use the result as a diversion for someone to get in there and convince the troll children to hand it over, as one of the requirements was for it to be freely given. So a bunch of large golems were created and disguised as ogres and sent into the attack. Meanwhile Brigetta and Gerald snuck in invisible and suitably disguised.
It must have worked as Brigetta came out carrying a pile of rocks, one of which was the required gem. From what she said later, they had managed to trade the gem for some meat that they had 'obtained' from the store. They had just managed to get away with it before one of the adults intervened.
That night, Thaeuss decided to go and steal the other one. After all, only one needed to be freely given.
Gardens of Phadre
We were told that was a faerie place on Alusia. Having been to faerie places before, I was rather looking forward to it. The gardens are faerie gardens and Mirabella is in charge of flowers.
There was quite a bit of running and screaming when we got there as Angus had forgotten to get permission for us to be there. Fortunately that was sorted out but, in the meantime we found we were divested of all our sweets and chocolates. At least it kept the fae pacified. Also we were able to borrow the drum for a year and a day. Also Mirabella wants to meet Angus at this time ... this could get very interesting .. I'd like to be a fly on the wall for that meeting. Also, we had to pass a message to a unicorn, that is currently associated with Clementine, that he should come home.
Finally .. we got out .. surprisingly unchanged and ungeased.
This proved to be just too easy .. Rowen and Thaeuss sent in the golems to get the sands while the rest of us just sat back, watched, and swapped stories
After getting the sands we sailed north past Destiny to Bright. There, we discovered that an entire underground city had been gifted to 'Duke' Angus for experimentation purposes and it was here, his machine was going to be assembled. I decided to stay for the entire duration although it would mean six months away, however, we did manage to get back to Seagate for a few days to catch the Guild meeting.
Basically we spent some time in 'N' space ... according to Angus .. whatever that was. Also the device consisted of two types of traps, one for sentient undead, the other for non-sentient. I suggested that he should test it on Rangifera as I was sure there'd be some undead there. Besides, the island needed clearing out.
Items and Loot
The following items were acquired in excess of the quantities required for the shaping or from those we encountered along the way.
- Calinogen Bird Corpses (2) and Eggs (2)
- Two corpses less the head of the female (or male?) and two extra eggs, one may be dead.
- Magic Javelins and Broadswords
- From undead and wreck of imperial ship near Palestrina. Minor magics of preservation, sharpness, etc.
- Oun Sofegal Salts
- Extra beyond amount required, valuable to Alchemists.
- Extra beyond amount required. Aqualina planning to sun dry it to make a carpet and other stuff from it.
- Cloth Wrap Armour
- Magical cloth armour from thieves in Lunar City. Stealth bonuses, protection increase, armour vs EN damage.
- Kegs of Nahulong Jade Tea & Some Extra Tea Leaves
- From the Nahulong Jade Teapot
- Ffenargh Weed
- 7 lbs of high quality pipe weed.
- Iron Wood Swords, Utensils, Wood, Sacrificial Dagger
- Assuming the cage is what is required for the ritual. This leaves us with the sacrificial dagger, some pieces of fossilised wood, the weapons and utensils, and a few hundred pounds of wood.
- Magical Lockpicks
- From Thief/Assassin in Tuscana
- 4-Ring Key
- 4 rings that interlock to create a key from a Thief/Assassin in Tuscana.
- Magical Rapier
- From a guard in Tuscana.
- Sealed magic message pouch etc.
- A magically sealed message pouch and valuable intercepted messages and documents from Trevecca secret store room.
- Traded to Septimo for a future favour.
- Rescued Men
- 2 sons of minor nobles and 1 tanner. Reward & one years Tanner service traded to Septimo for 450gs.
- Sacrificial knives
- Magical knives, presumably used in sacrifices.
- Demon's Eye Stone
- Second stone stolen from the Ogres shrine.
- Materials for two permanent Illusion rituals.
- A herd of cattle.
The Shopping List
- Calinogan bird’s eggs - Acquired
- A bird normally found in jungles, one species is found in the deserts of Arabie. A medium sized bird with large colourful feathers.
- Vicious in defence of their nests and at feeding time. They eat almost anything. Found in the jungle along the edge of the Arabie desert, usually only one mated pair per 20 mile area.
- Mesmerising song, smaller male attacks at very fast flight speed, larger female melee attacks with claws.
- Both birds killed, 3 eggs acquired from nest.
- Titanic harp string - Acquired
- Titans live in the Lunar Empire. The Titan's harps are used as part of the magics that maintain their barrier. We travel to the home (plane?) of a Titan and are loaned a harp for the worthy endeavour in return for a favour owed to the Titan.
- Lovelocks beads of oil - Acquired
- Seamus and the Bright Traders have a lead and acquire this.
- Dark masters teardrop - Acquired
- A tear from the statue of Sebastian the Remorseful in northern Ranke.
- The shrine has been adopted by a small group of Michaelines, the locals still perform their own rituals in the evening (in the hour of remorse) which cause the statue to cry.
- The tears sting and cause temporary blindness when applied to the eyes but will help purification (unable to fail) for a season.
- Fresh (kilt lint) Killet flower - Acquired
- Presumably all this requires is someone wearing a kilt during the period of construction where the lint is required.
- Discovered to be a flower which is acquired by the Seamus and the traders.
- Powdered indigo - Acquired
- Purchased from alchemical suppliers.
- Walvo beast - Acquired
- An Arabie desert beast looks like a cross between a lizard and a rat. Different Castes have varying capabilities, some poisonous, some intelligent, most vicious. DAed as a fantastic animal. Negotiated with chief of tribe who uses some form of empathic communication, he has sent two of his sons to serve in exchange for a herd of cows.
- Angel’s feather
- Gerald is contacting Mary-M, a PoL friend who will ask her power Sammael.
- Valkyrie feather
- Gerald is contacting Sabrina a Valkyrie friend to ask.
- A (marble heart - beating) Maharabels Heart
- 10,000 sp from the guild Alchemists for a Marble Heart, animation may do for the 'beating' portion. Further research required.
- An alternate translation could refer to Maharabel the Flower Fairy who resides in the Gardens of Phadre.
- A story that no one had heard
- Brigetta will write something appropriate.
- Many square feet of Imperial carpet - Acquired
- According to local merchants, this is not a specific weave or brand of carpet.
- The removed carpet from an imperial re-carpeting is probably easiest. Lunar Empire?
- Karapet is a type of seaweed, sufficient quantity acquired from next to the wreck of an imperial ship. Same location as the Salts are acquired from.
- A tea leaf from the inside of Nahulong’s jade teapot - Acquired
- Lunar Empire - the Nahulongs are an crime family in the empire, their magical Jade Teapot is famous.
- The teapot is 30' long, kept in the central room of their quarters in Lunar City. They are able to summon 'devil-spirits' to defend it.
- Tea Leaves and several kegs of tea acquired.
- The willingly given eye of a demon - Acquired
- Eye of a Demon (or Demon's Eye) is a stone rarely found in mountainous high mana zones. There is record of one being found in the mountains near Alfheim.
- Dousing by the guild member Starflower has identified the area of the Dragonspine Mountains to check.
- Local Elven traders identified two, one held by Trolls, the other worshipped by Ogres. The Trolls are tricked into giving us one, the other is stolen from the Ogres.
- Oun Sofegel Salts - Acquired
- Rare and expensive alchemical ingredient, a fine white sand, not enough available at the guild. Found in the deep ocean near hot water vents. Local Mermen contacted by Aqualina know the location of a suitable site off the north east coast of Palestrina.
- Site protected by undead, acquired sufficient for ritual and extra for profit.
- Light of the Morning Star
- It is presumed that the Morning Star flower is insufficient.
- May refer to performing the construction or portions of the construction under the light of the morning star. Further research required.
- A Dark Stein (Darksheen Stone) - Acquired
- Reputed to be a magical stone linked to the PoDs. May be able to acquire one from a contact in Tuscana - Merillious Trevecca, a wealthy Tuscanan merchant/smuggler/thief/spy.
- Four of Trevecca's hired guards and accomplices betrayed him, stole some of his artifacts and attacked him when he tried to defend his home.
- Fresh lovelace
- Reported to grow at the source of the Sweetwater River. And possibly the Gardens of Phadre.
- Hartford’s rolling pin - Acquired
- The Hartfords are a family in Tuscana. The rolling pin is currently in the posession of Merillious Trevecca (refer Dark Stein).
- Twelve perfect crystals - Acquired
- Flawless crystals purchased from guild alchemists.
- Twenty pounds of fossilised iron wood - Acquired
- Probably found in the swamps of Ranke, presumably somewhere in the Ffenargh.
- Half a days walk into the southern edge of the swamp, buried beneath a stand of Iron Wood are a fosslised sacrificial dagger and cage, several pieces of fossilised Iron Wood, and some Iron Wood weapons and cutlery.
- Two chests of Andean sand, one white, one black
- Found in the deserts of the Andean province of Destiny, dangerous to collect because of the small highly poisonous snakes. Guild alchemists have a small bag of each for sale for 30,000sp each.
- Spirit of a heroic halfling
- Some research required to find out if Spirit and Soul are synonymous for this purpose.
- Most likely to refer to a prominent halfling troubador of the Heroist style. Plan to search for one in Crystal Springs or Gracht initially.