Peak Downs Return

From DQWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Return to Scribe notes

This adventure takes place on the plane of Aceh.

Summary

Adventure: Peake Downs - a Return
GM: Ian Wood
Session: Summer 809 wk
Night: Wednesday
Location Te Atatu Peninsula
Level: Extreme

Party:


Preference is for those who have been there before.

Employer:
The high elves of Aceh through some low goblins.

Mission:
To stop some renegade elves interferring with social experiments - preferably before the experiments have to be shut down.

Pay:
If you have to ask you are too low for the adventure.
I expect to award between 40,000 and 60,000 ep.

Briefing and Knoweldge

Aceh. It is all true.
Even the Illusions.

On a previous mission: A Party Of Elegant People, Adventurers had traveled to the plane of Aceh on a mission, apparently, for the Elven Crown.

It turns out that Aceh is a middlemarch or microplane that is being used as a test bed for social engineering research at a 7:25 time differential (i.e. 25 days pass in Aceh for every 7 Alusian days) the better to generate results. We understand from Alexander, that the university has robust patronage from members of the Elven Court whom he has either forgotten and is uninclined to name.

The previous party, mostly this one except for Canon Velcanthus (who had not been there before), had seriously compromised the validity of the research by letting the test subjects know that they were being monitored, thus introducing significant observer error. Whether the research groups knew about this or not, it appears that the particular community of test subjects may have been wiped out since the crater in which they used to live is now a lake.

Game Note: play-testing thief, assassin, spy as burglar, hitman, observer.

Chapter 1: Alexander

EMPLOYER: appears to be a tall rich Elven lady of “stunning proportions”, but when security leaves he melts away the illusion and he is actually(?) tall, with a high forehead and long black mugilid hair swept back and an arrogant fact to match. He introduces himself as Alexander, Chair of the Ethical Review Committee, responsible for re-evaluating the worth of the University’s many sociological experiments.

BACKGROUND: Aceh appears to be a human province, but it is owned & administrated by Elves who illusion themselves to be human. As a peninsula, Aceh is ideal for sociological experiments, especially [here he projected an illusion] the goblin plateau at the end of the Spineback mountain range.  In the centre of the desert plateau was a deep circular hollow about 100 miles across, like an “anti-mesa”.  The bowl has a fairly flat bottom, except at the centre where there is a small mountain on which was built the city of Peak Downs.  The region has a time differential of 25:7 that enhances the feasibility of Goblins as a test species, but makes flying dangerous.  Alexander explained that the goblin specimens became aware that they were being observed, thus compromising the experiment’s validity, so it was terminated at the ERC’s command His illusion changes to show the Peak Downs anti-mesa filled with water and the surrounding area green with vegetation].  That was an obvious decision — and useful example that the ERC, unlike many Elvish committees, was actually doing something … thereby justifying ERC’s consumption of Federal funds.  [There is one goblin survivor, Thunderer, at the town of Vars’ty [Why? Paranoid MilSci thinks it’s probably a trap].

On two occasions, Alexander left the room so that we could talk amongst ourselves. On one of these, we remarked that the area around the 'bowl' that had been inundated was particularly lush. We found this odd but drew no conclusions from it.

Now there are some elves with nothing better to do than object to many of the University researches: some opining that modification of the generic names of species to make them hardier and more productive is somehow unnatural &/or wicked; others complain that experimenting on sentients is depraved; whilst yet others whine that the transfer of knowledge to non-people sentients is immoral, or dangerous, or both; etc.  This is why experiments are set so far away from Elvish populations — to avoid unauthorised interference.  Some of the agitators have upgraded their status to Renegade and are causing problems for the Administrators.  In particular, orcs are being flushed out of the mountains, believing that they are being chased out by huge creatures, which Alexander explains are really illusionist elves with very advanced combat skills. Those Renegades wish the test subjects freed, but their actions will provoke a Orc-Human-Elvish provincial war, threatening the lives of 10-12 million Humans & Elves.

PAYMENT.  Alexander says that there is a spectrum of tasks available: if we specify our desired payment, then he can find a suitable assignment.  Payment can be items or knowledge, even abilities.  Alex left several times to allow us to discuss it.  Despite the fact that Alexander is more despicable than a necromantic squirrel, the party agrees to work for him — provided we have an opportunity to withdraw if we find ourselves in a morally repugnant position.
[The Canon attempted to explain to Gok what “morally repugnant” means; obviously unsuccessfully.] After some to-ing and fro-ing of the employer, we request rights to salvage materials from terminated experiments — excluding books & other writings, which are not negotiable.  On top of that ...
Arwen wants to always be in contact with the earth
Darian wants decent armour
Drum wants yet more dragon armour
Gok, at Alex’s suggestion, wants knowledge about his sword (which is from this place).
Rowan wants the ability not to be recorded, scryed or predicted by the denizens of the Seventh Plane.
Silverfoam wants a folding boat, since some Mr The Fool destroyed his last one (if the boat could fly or travel to other planes that would be a nice bonus)

Party officials: Same as it ever was. Silverfoam is your humble scribe and haughty MilSci (with Drum as back-up).  The elected party-leader was Darian, I think — it didn’t seem important at the time ... so long as it was anyone but Gok, Drum, or SF.

Chapter 2: Thunderer

We arranged to depart the next day, after some shopping. As well as buying scrolls & potions, we stock supplies in Drums hole with a barge. Gok & Rowan consulted their respective manifestations of the Goddess as to what must be done.
Yvanna (to Gok): Development of social consciousness and shared technology.
Chantris (to Rowan): Growth of a group ecology.

Gok, Rowan, & Arwen went to the interplanar portal’s site via Alexander’s intraplanar rune portal (a monodecahedral stone); the Locate on Gok indicating the have arrived at the destination, although the spell fails a few minutes later as the rest of the party (along with Gullinbursti & Alexander) set off overland by barge.  A Locate on Arwen indicates expected direction; arriving 2 hours later confirms only Arwen & Rowan investigated and secured the site, as per the party plan.

The portal was (emphasise past tense) in a grove between 2 trees.
Arwen’s DA: Interplanar gate; can’t activate it.
Gok’s DA: Yes, it will kill me if I use it; it will kill me in the usual way.
[Whereupon Gok touches it & disappears/ceases to exist]
Rowan’s Divinate: an incomplete portal, with recently change polarity.
Rowan’s DA (Q: "Planar location of last being to enter?"): Everywhere, nowhere, & 14 universes in between.

Through the unfathomable divine intervention of Chantris/Yvanna, Gok (who doesn’t deserve it) is returned to the party (who don’t deserve it either) and the glade transformed into an Earthmage Place-of-Power sacred to Her.  Clearly the party is new on a secret mission from the Goddess.  Because Gok wrecked the portal, we now must travel over 100 miles east, where the employer sets up a new Aceh portal, through which we travel 2 days later.  We all appear to be human (the de rigueur dress for Ache Elves).

We power up, slowly barge through the portal (because of height restrictions, and are immediately ambushed by a volley of angons (very nasty spears) — everyone took some damage, some quite severely.  After a pulse, we recover, drop a Rk20 Light, and boldly flee blindly at over 50mph … fortunately the wave is high enough for us to pass over the illusion-concealed obstacles.  As we retreat, a distinctive messenger arrow strikes. The attached a message reads: “To the Elves, both of you, Greetings.  We apologise for using such barbarous methods. Until next time … My apologies”
DAs & Divination reveal the use of Enhance Weapon Rk20 on the angons, and many of them were illusionary but they still did damage and cannot be prevented by Counterspells.

Somehow the barge has changed appearance, and the magic powering now acts at an extra 2 ranks and will be dependant on the dignity of the [legitimate] banner flying, currently that of Baron/Admiral. Alexander directs us to the Town of Varsity, which has a studenty feel to it and is currently in party mode. We split into 2 groups and scout the place. In particular, we meet Thunderer — all very hush hush.

Thunderer explains he was a merchant and some time back he was compelled to trade some mushrooms to Peak Downs more than enough for all the population there. He also felt compelled to eat one himself, but he resisted goblinfully. One mushroom is produced and studied: it has been grown/created; although not magical itself, it tweaks the GTN of the consumer so that they are naturally capable of surviving in water; this natural ability is also passed on to their descendants...because they get turned into fish creatures.

Chapter 3: Devils

From the pen of Canon Velcanthus
We determine, by means of low cunning, that the Vars'ty elves are going on 'tours' and that in general the activity is about 1,500 miles to the west. Silverfoam engages his vehicle, and we travel for about half a day out of town. We also acquire some shards of sky-metal, to enable use to breathe underwater.
We stop so that Arwen can attempt to summon Bob, who is an earth elemental of her acquaintance. It turns out that Bob has learnt the Rune College, and has acquired a girl friend who is a water elemental. One did not press for details.
It transpires that Bob cannot cast a Rune Portal that we could use because the portal must be entirely immersed in stone. Arwen has a means by which she might be able to pass through it, so we ask Bob to set one up that connects near Vars'ty and he agrees.
We travel on until night falls, and then we set watches. Somewhere between 2 and 3 in the morning, Darien and Gok both notice an elf sneaking up on us in typical Vars'ty touring style. They are about 150 feet away. Well beyond the distance at which we could identify (about 500 ft, since everyone has some form of night vision), Drum notes three more people, but cannot make out any details.
Gok Shadow-walks to the elf, the others being too distant for any shadows to be revealed. He engages, and even though we press him not to slay the elf, he does not kill him. Drum flies off towards the distant group, they having moved somewhat towards us. Darien casts a Light spell that will illuminate anything approaching Witchsight range of the camp. Silverfoam raised morale, but not quickly enough for it appears that Arwen backfired and somehow gave herself the head of a big snake. I withdraw my battle throne and make ready to engage.
Clearly, Gok is suffering from lack of sleep, or perhaps his diet needs adjusting, because the tour elf is still standing after yet another round of attacks, and one can only sympathise with his sacred blade. The shame.
Drum drops a Bane grenado and moves to engage with one of the other elves, as I make ready my vehicle. There is some dithering about who is going with whom, and in the end, Arwen and Darien elect to travel with Gok who, it seems, is about to Shadow-walk once he has despatched his current target.
As I move into position, I see Drum dive upon one of the tour elves, grab him, pick him up and fly away. Not realising that there is a Bane in the area, I cast Hellfire and backfire. Strange blue light coruscates down and bathes the two elves on the ground. Upon glancing into their souls, I notice that they are not elves, but devils from the blackest pit of Tartarus.
Gok, some distance away from the rest of us, has still not dealt with his elf, and with concern but no panic, Drum and I gently inform the rest party that we don't need to toy with them. Gok starts laying into his elf with a will. Or so he says. I could detect no change in his level of enthusiasm.
Arwen and Darien both attack Gok's elf as well, since it's holding him up, while I Turn the nearest devil. Chantris is strong with me and the devil flees. Drum flings a devil he has already captured at the non-fleeing devil on the ground, but misses. Drum moves to engage as I Turn another devil, but my faith weakens and I fail. The fleeing one, however, opens a gate back to Hell. In his flight, five imps fly up out of the gaping maw.
While Drum engages the two remaining devils, I Hellfire the imps and one of the devils. Between the two of us, we finish off these interlopers, although one of the imps makes a sprint for me and it is a near run thing for a moment. However, we prevail against them.
Drum lands on the tour elf, just as Darien deals with his refusal to die by turning him to stone.
Gok, in the meantime, has Shadow-walked to gain a better position, forcing Arwen and Darien to make their own way to the rest of us. As we surround this elf, we realise that it is some more powerful denizen of the Seventh Plane, 'though not one I recognise. It seemed, at first, a balrog, but my guess is that this was some kind of failed glamour. Indeed, it was a powerful devil, yet not that fell.
We assailed the creature with fire, feats of arms and even poison. And, for all that it lashed out against Gok, it could not do him substantial harm. Nevertheless, it withstood the barrage of our assault with equanimity until Drum Disjoined the area. Then his stored magics were denied and by attrition, we wore it down. Defeated, it fled back to the place that spawned it.

Chapter 4: The Thing from Beyond Time and Space

From the pen of Canon Velcanthus
We quickly loaded the loot and stoned elf onto Silverfoam's barge. We divined the demon's belt and some bejewelled straps. One is a Shamballah of Health, which restores EN and FT to maximum at the beginning of every pulse, the other a Zontil of Audacity, which increases Rank with a prepared weapon by 3, even beyond the maximum. The belt holds five skulls. Whenever the wearer's EN drops to 5, this triggers a 30 point heal and destroys a skull.
We determine that the belt will be good for Arwen and Gok. I didn't understand the reasoning for why it was good for Arwen so I just nodded sagely. After this, Silverfoam cast True Form on the elf while Drum Disjoined the area it was standing in. Gok drove a hook into him as soon as he was flesh, which hardly seemed well-mannered. On the other hand, the fellow had been trafficking with the blackest pits of Tartarus, so probably no more than he could expect, anyway. As it happens, the people he had been trafficking with made Tartarus seem like a tropical paradise.
It turns out that when Gok sticks a hook in you, it Binds you to his Will. He made the elf pick his nose and eat it, which he did, so we knew that he was dominated. Life, it appears, had become a decidedly non-chic dining experience for our captive. Then he made the elf strip naked, and while the indignity of the situation was not lost on anyone, Mr Flappy, as he became known to us, must have felt at least slightly chilly standing skyclad in a 55 mile an hour breeze.
For reasons of health, or perhaps simple decency, Mr Flappy disappeared, taking the hook with him. Which was a surprise. Silverfoam explains to us the magical theory behind why it is that he cannot Locate the elf. The stars wheel overhead in their courses, and with a cry that wakes one or two of us, he explains why he can cast Locate on the hook. Those of us still conscious encourage him to cast the spell first, then explain as we are bearing down on it. We distribute the belts to Arwen and Gok.
We find the hook, but sadly alone and unattached to Mr Flappy. We cast about and find him about 2 minutes after Silverfoam finishes his enlightening explanation. He looks unwell, and doesn't move much when we approach. We carry him back to the barge where Silverfoam masterfully diagnoses him as being lethally deficient in life. Normally, Silverfoam notes, a lack of propensity for breathing is as bad as it gets. Mr Flappy, however, appears to be becoming non-existant and is really putting his back into it.
It seems that the fellow has been talking to things even more disturbing than the denizens of the Seventh Plane, for his soul is fragmenting before my eye. We grow to believe that as his soul falls apart, his remains are being used by something from beyond time and space to claw its way onto Aceh. We stop the barge while Gok Whitefires it, but this does nothing more than cleanse the remains away from it, leaving some kind of extra-planar husk, the soul burning down slowly like a fuse.
From our examinations, we determine that whatever the thing is, it will be through by noon. And, it appears that Gok and Arwen are both afflicted with a similar attack upon their souls. Gok speaks with his sword, who opines that perhaps the Valar can be of assistance. Yavanna comes to him and repairs his soul. She tells him that what we face will be immune to our magic, and that it predates even the Valar.
We grow concerned.
We talk amongst ourselves somewhat, and I call upon Chantris. She hears me and we commune.
We wonder if we can use the Namer ritual, Expulsion, upon the husk. We have two and a half hours before it is too late. She points out that it is an object, not an entity. So, we ask of Her the boon to make it count as an entity when the ritual is cast, and She agrees. Both Silverfoam and Drum will cast it, and Drum plans to use some Frozen Luck to assure that he succeeds. Never was Frozen Luck more usefully spent. Arwen, who cannot directly help because of her soul taint, strengthens our will and focuses our concentration on the task.
On our first attempt, we fire both Namers at the appropriate time, but the husk prevails.
We try again, and again, the husk prevails.
We call out to Chantris to let us cast the Ritual in half the time, and again she agrees.
The ritual is cast, and as the sun reaches it's zenith, the will of the thing from beyond space and time is broken and it falls back into the Outer Darkness from whence it cames. And, we are all much weakened.
Chantris is much pleased with us. She cleanses Arwen of her affliction and She gives to me a book of psalms that I might better praise Her name. We note that the ground is now holy, and sacred to Chantris. A rift has formed, for all that it has been closed for now. A suitable edifice will need to be built upon it to safeguard Aceh from these unwanted attentions.

Chapter 5: At the Gates of Hell

From the pen of Canon Velcanthus
As we repair ourselves as much as we are wont, we decide to establish a point of return on this holy ground. As we do, those of us sensitive to spiritual forces notice activity at the place that the maw was suppressed.
On traveling to it, we discover a horde of diabolical entities labouring at some vile ritual. They have disguised themselves as elves, but we quickly penetrate this deception, and see that there are many imps, some devils and three minions of great power. Leading the entire hopping, gyrating and gibbering carnival is an even more powerful devil (not one of the Seventy-Two, praised be Her name) who appears to be sacrificing something at an altar.
Our plan is for Gok to Shadow-walk us in, cast a Solar Flare, followed by some kind of Meteor spell to get them to bunch up into a tight group, the better to Dragonflames and Blackfire them.
The spells are cast, I turn the nearest eight or nine imps, while Arwen steps forward and triggers Dragonflames on a huge pile of them. Drum engages three imps on his own, managing to disrupt one on contact. One of the two remaining went passive but appears to be becoming a husk, so he attempts to throw it into the maw of Hell whence all of the others have spewed forth from. He misses, but attacks the last imp.
As we ready ourselves to blast them from Aceh, the ritualist devil and his altar shift position from a position to the north of us, to a position to the west, avoiding the Solar Flare and Meteorite spell and there is much swearing in the party. More disturbingly, several more imps appear to replace the ones we have turned or burned. In the absence of a better plan, we turn and burn again. Well, just turn actually, since we want to conserve our investeds where we can.
Silverfoam prepares a Spellwall, Gok prepares his Shadow Blades spell. Arwen evades and prepares to move back towards the rest of the party. Drum kicks his imp a bit more, but it resists dying.
One of the devils casts some kind of enhanced Wall of Thorns. It was forty feet high, and covered an area of about thirty or so feet behind us.
Gok flies forward about 25 feet to get a good angle on the ritualist devil, and opens up with a triple effect Shadow Blades which inflicts enough damage to kill a man four times over.
Unfortunately, the altar protects the ritualist, reflecting the damage back where it come from. Gok resists the magic, but falls, badly hurt. The devils behind him don't fare so well. They are simply vaped. Silverfoam casts his Spellwall as Arwen is attacked by four imps as they move past her. She disarms one, but the others all hit her. They inflict Endurance damage but armour applies. A couple take up positions somewhat behind her. Darien cures Gok while I turn some more imps and Drum plans to charge the ritualist.
A pair of spellwalls appear in front of us that are sixty feet high. Silverfoam and I (mounted on my battle throne) move a little higher and rotate to face the altar so that our spells will not intersect the walls. Gok prepares another Shadow Blades spell, this time casting it to the north where a large number of imps are suddenly congregating. Drum charges the ritualist, but the altar itself throws him some thirty feet away from it. Where it not for his Shadow Wings, he would surely be dead.
I see that the souls of the devils and imps are all tied to the altar in some unholy way and sense that something unnatural is happening. The horde of devils was my first clue.
They cast some Mass Fear spell which has a staged secondary effect depending on the quality of the resistance. It makes victims unlucky, even if they succeed, although if they succeed well, the degree of bad luck is much less severe. Everyone resist the effects of the spell, but only make it by the skin of my teeth.
Arwen quickly downs a healing potion, and Silverfoam prepares Empathy. We decide that we need to forego taking out the numbers, and should concentrate solely on the ritualist. However, the devils, including the ritualist and his altar, rotate around an arc again. This time, however, the altar is in the centre of the imps, and is on a course (going by past behaviour) to intersect with the maw that leads to the Seventh Plane. Three smaller imps are disrupted behind us, and a large devil forms. He springs into the air and lands on the throne, his weight being large enough to force the throne out of the air. Arwen closes with the devil, as does Drum.
I prepare an Earth Tremor, while Silverfoam heals Arwen. I am afflicted by some kind of sand storm which makes it even harder to cast and yell out for Silverfoam to get a Dispel Magic up so he can get rid of these dreadful spells. Gok begins to wade through the imps towards the ritualist, but by now we can see that they are being summoned to make some kind of mystic spiral shape. Darien use his stone to annul one of the imps, and he dissappears suddenly. It doesn't have much of an effect on the ritual, however. I cast Earth Tremor, but the sand and the magic of the fear spell distract me and I nearly backfire.
We can see by the way the energies are rising, and the way the soul bindings are twisting that the ritual is going to culminate much faster than we thought. Drum abandons the devil he was fighting, and flies to engage the ritualist as does Gok, Darien uses his stone against the entire ritual construct, and I cast Earth Tremor without preparing it.
By some fluke of dumb luck, and the grace of Chantris, the magic of the ritual is terminated, it's forces imploding and turning upon itself. The devils are disrupted or flee back to Hell and nothing remains of the altar. We discover that the thing being sacrificed was the soil of Aceh.
We muse upon a means by which this place can be closed off.

Chapter 6: Teacher ("Don't call him "Bruce")

About 12.30, after Darian used his stone to temporarily close the maw to the null-plane, we establish that Arwen and Rowan have a Death Curse of MA 72 from a minion of the Null-plane (more formally, the Plane of Husks and Rinds). The effect is life magic that has not yet manifested, which is triggered by an act of will — not certain whose. About 14:00, an entity on Shadow wings approaches distantly from the East, but he retreats when Gok Falling-stars near us … then returns with 3 similar companions, At 150 yards, SF directs a warning [60pt] Fire-bolt at one of them (George), so they land, eventually negotiate, and we all have some tea. Geraldo explains they are Elves from Psychistic, sent by their teacher to close the portal, which one does (about the time Drum eventually seals the place for 3 weeks against Null-planers). They fly back to town and invite us to meet their teacher. We follow by boat but, since the walled city is closed by the time we arrive, we Divine the party. All as expected (& Gok was attacked by Repulsion and Spell Mirror), although we have been exposed to Chaotic magic, similar to the magic on the barge when we arrived.

The next day we explore town and make some visits: deliver a message, a Teleriscope, and try to squiz a bit at Geraldo’s; and Gok enquires at the Dog’s Bollix (“Tell me Barkeep, do you have secret cults — sorry, *Religions* — in town?”). Psychistic’s walls are 60-80’ high, fortified with Death-sacrifice Elvish blood to stop all long-range magics within a quarter of a mile of the walls. Psychistic holds about 5000 inhabitants and two cathedrals (to Yavanna and to Tulkus). The two Priests (or Bishops) warn us of “a darkening of the spirit in town”; we in turn warn them, “there is a bearer of the Sacred Sword in town, but he means well”. Canon Rowan unnaturally fails to commune with Chantris, for some unknown reason, and the Bishops who confirm that something is going on, but they can’t locate it. Similarly the Sword knows Yavanna is here, but its bearer [Gok] has been blocked.

That day and the next, we establish that there is an undercurrent of Fear in the town despite the big cats (upto Puma size) and Borzoi: guards ardently searching incomers; rumours of weird things happening in the province; orc raids; human raids; refugees; goblins upset; it is strangely more difficult to trade with the humans (despite the normal illusions and disguises). Divining locals shows Elves have been under bardic suggestions (to placate) and some have had battle magics (Whirlwind Vortex); Goblins have been Compelled, Bound-will, and bardic-Voiced. Gok does free blessings by the fire at the Dog’s Bollix; soon after, the bishops arrive and give some real ones.

The Dream of Gok: A falling star; a shipwreck in a cove; a muddy landslide in the mountains; a lunar eclipse; two trees dimming. The events were very realistic, recognisable; and seem to be a sequence (although we don’t know where we are in the timeline).

At breakfast after 2 full days in town, we are advised that Geraldo and his teacher will join us about noon. Teacher is … missing part of his soul [Rowan]; magically pacted, warded or cursed [Gok]; pacted [Arwen], but when asked to whom, the response is “It’s complicated”. Teacher had been incompletely informed of our actions: portal and demons, yes; but he didn’t know that Husks were possible and was initially dubious that such things could be.
Gok: “I’ve killed heaps of Demons”
SF: “Really? I’ve only managed to piss them off — although it’s obviously a flawed, short-term strategy.”

It becomes apparent to us that Teacher is some sort of Greater Summoner and that He and His pupils learnt their assorted magics through summoning (NB: a counter of any one college relating a pupil’s spells effects all that pupils spells). Teacher views the university as soulless (and he should know!). SF asks a hypothetical question about what would be the correct moral path for hypothetical extra-planar employees possibly employed by the University. Or as Gok puts it: “We’re here to defeat the powers of darkness — is the University one of those?” Teacher has studied the portents and believes the pressure of humans, orcs and demons is fraught with danger, and the elves and goblins should go elsewhere. Teacher also wonders if our acts have changed previous astrology readings. He talks of stanza and readings. We ask for the stanzas. Several times. Gok wanted to tell Teacher of his dream, but his sword prevents him from doing so.
GM: You try to say that, but your sword doesn’t let you.
Gok [to party]: Isn’t it comforting to have someone who reads your mind and prevents you from doing stuff?
SF: I didn’t realise that Gok was unmarried.

Teacher was aware of the Maw by sensing its wrongness, and that although he wasn’t responsible, there are people who could do it, by means of a summoning ritual at the site … “by someone like me or a clone without my knowledge”.

From Geraldo’s inability to conceal his surprise, it seems that Teacher and his pupils did such a ritual. The pupils have been unwitting pawns; the master is either an excellent liar, or unwittingly his own arch-nemesis.

Some party members get side-tracked on the "Clone" issue, until reprimanded by Teacher that the conversation is unwholesome. Teacher is learned in the mysteries of the planes; foretelling the future; understanding the past. The disturbance is not in the planes or foothills; but is “big” towards the mountains — or even beyond? As Cn Rowan points out, “Knowing *where* the Summoner is is the big battle”.

That night, several party members dream that Geraldo is channelling demonic energies to the 7th plane or null-plane. Party checks the sending. Geraldo says “Last night Teacher took us through one of the rituals he said he didn’t do. Course he was in a trance”. Divination revealed that Geraldo gained some knowledge and was involved in the ritual; most probably linked to the Plane of Husks and Rinds.

Chapter 7: Bruce, The Summoner

Gok (of the Black pot): “It’s amazing how quickly you religious types are to suggest killing someone.”
Rowan: “It’s not that I’m religious, it’s that I’m afraid … It’s a SUMMONER!”

After a Rune of Truth, Geraldo {hereafter codenamed Gerbil} agrees to help, as much as he can, but doesn’t want to know or say too much, be cause he knows he may be Geased and be compromised.  Rowan give Giraldo the eye (i.e. Rowan’s spare eye) and then post-hypnotically has him forget.
Because we suspect tonight might be a summoning night, we barge, slowly, in the afternoon, towards the mountain where, or beyond which, Teacher said he suspected the source of trouble lay.  Most people are sleeping (while they can). When we are beyond visual range (25 mi) we discreetly halt in the foothills and Gok Shadow-walks us back to near the town, we walk through the barrier, the Gok walks us to our rooms.  Gok, Rowan, & Arwen head towards Giraldo’s townhouse.  Arwen explores her new Teleport talent and Dean Rowan is now somewhat immue to demons. 

From observation and Locate, we realise that Geraldo and the other acolytes are with Teacher {hereafter codenamed Mouse}, all headed out of town.  We slip out too and when they fly away (on slightly faster Wings than we have), we follow.

Chapter 8: Bruce, Doom of the Plane

"Mouse" & his acolytes are in a tiny copse.  Just as we sneak up, we see a magical link towards the town, and there is a whomp of the special Whispering winds.  As Arwen prepares Hands of Earth, an answer came from the mountains {DA: instructions & from 130 miles away}.  The targets manoeuvre and a 6-point star of glowing walls (2 interlocking triangles) appear with a hemisphere over the top: Mouse is in the middle hexagon, with an acolyte in each point.  Hellfires (just to wipe their fatigue) & Hands go off; SF Dispells the hemisphere and Darian suppresses one triangle of the star.  Gok appears behind one of the acolytes and commands him to fall to the ground and break the triangle; unfortunately the acolyte was in an Earth Hand, now a soiled Hand.  Arwen throws a Noxious vapours grenado and visibility of the site drops to zero.  So the party closes in (as SF flies to the site, Rowan catches a lift on his foot): Darian stones Mouse; Geraldo is healed; the other acolytes are restrained.

We fly to the town, to find the other end of the link, which Renderer tells us should be the Icon.  Around midnight, we find the Teacher’s townhouse.  Rowan Rune-visits the house: 30’-high hallway, mead cellar, library, etc.  At the mention of library, Gok kicks in the door, breaking his ankle and is impaled on an angon.  No other traps are detected. Because the link is too vague to we must search the house for the Icon.  While Gok is being splinted in the library, and looting any books with in reach, the rational adventurers investigate the wine cellar under the kitchen trapdoor.  The cellar has a cart dock opening to a goblin-sized service road running under the normal road.  The place is creepy and unresponsive: Rowan communes with the spirits of the dead that have been “sucked dry”, so he banishes one.  Renderer says they’re that the depleted remains of souls that have been used in the rituals of the Lord of Husks & Rinds.  Also DA works & some spells remain in effect, but other magics can’t be cast and items fail to work.  One of the effects that starts to fade is Teacher’s petrification, in fact he is becoming somewhat spongiform.  We remove teacher from the room and Darian backfires excessively (even petrifying Gok) before re-stoning Mouse.  Gok is left to thaw, while Mouse is moved elsewhere less spell-disolvy. Moving an empty barrel reveals a trapdoor in the wine cellar ceiling to a room that was undetected.  Drum investigates and sees and altar very grey and unpleasant.  Rowan starts Divinating it, but is interrupted by his spirit guide before any Unpleasantness ensues.

Divinating Bruce/Mouse reveals a Doom of the Plane: the plane will be destroyed if he dies; if he is removed to another plane, the Plane will merely suffer a minor doom immediately … and then be destroyed when Mouse dies off-plane.  Other interesting magic: an Enhanced enchantment on him, Commune with Greater husk, he has been under a Control of sorts when he had no consciousness; he is under an Illusion that he has pacted to a Greater Demon and believes everything that manifests comes from the 7th P.o.H. And we thought ordinary summoners were deluded!

After a brief loot of the townhouse, especially the library, we return to the barge intending to return to the ritual site. 

Chapter 9: Avoid the Tourist traps

We wonder: Was the teacher just a dupe, or did he really know what was going on?

We flew to the barge and then headed to the summoning site to check on the other acolytes and maybe Divinate the site. But on approach, we saw through a crystal darkly that there were about 50 tourists; it seems that the tourists are getting their information from the mountain source. We decide there is little benefit in that conflict and that it would be better to head towards the Source at high speed, since we have a reasonable fix on the distance and duration.

Most of the party Purified as dawn approaches. The barge is awash with spirituality: Darian feels deep contact with the 1-H-G; Gok to Yvanna & Manwe; Drum has access to the essence of the Dragonhead. Apparently Rowan indulged some profound grovelling. Perhaps the dieties are bending the normal rules of engagement to avoid an impending “unpleasantness”. Darian gets the following answers from the 1HG …
Q1: How do we remove the doom on Teacher?
A1: Yeah, We’re Working On That.
Q2: How many entities on the plane have the same plane destroying doom?
A2: 14.
Q3: More info on the party’s death curses please ...
A3: The first effect is ameliorated and supports your desire; but a second Death curse would be bad for the recipient.
Q4: How do we seal the Hulks and followers from the plane at the moment of death for teacher or any of the other 14.
A4: Someone must willingly blood-purify: do no action but ritual preparation and expend a point of Endurance per minute. Manwe(?) answers Gok’s question about where the Source is by advising us to look where the mountain slid into the sea. There's a chorus of Ahhhs! The non-Namer party-members get a DA similar to a namer’s for the near future; while the legitimate Namers Drum & SF get an extra question on any target they DA & that question may change daily (i.e., especially applicable to partymembers). The reprieved Rowan now gets an automatic answer for his Spirit-sight talent to the question “What journey does the soul take on death?” Darian depetrifies Mouse, Gok give him —Mouse, that is— a coup de grace (receiving a MA72 Death curse) while Drum follows the ritual Endurance sacrifice to avoid Mouse’s doom befalling him (and the entire plane) ; everyone must resists magic and the soul is sent to Limbo. 15 minutes later Mouse is resurrected by Darian and Gok tries to explain to the freshly un-departed.

Mouse explained that he thought he was actually pacted to King P*lm*n, which was a step up from the normal Marquises, Marques, Marquites (whatever) that he usually Summoned. Unfortunately this conversation delays the necessarily immediate “rinse and repeat” cycle, so while Dorian suppresses, SF raises moral and kills. Gok again interrupts, so Arwen sacrifices and SF kills the summoner. This time it works. Mouse/Bruce, now that his soul is no longer headed to the Null-plane, then fills in his back-story. He shared knowledge, in the soul-sapping rituals, with the 6 followers as we knew. But he also shared knowledge with 20-odd others on special instructions from the Whispering winds source. He was passing instructions on the tourists: he would go into a trance and pass it on to the appropriate Tour-Leader. Bruce confirms that there is almost certainly a cell *inside* the University, and that they tried but failed to get one inside the church. We use several crystals to get a map of where the source is. We see a point where it appears that a meteor or something has recently punches a hole West to East though the mountains and there is now an inlet cut into the land near the mountain (or rather, the land has exploded out and water filled the void created).

Chapter 10: Gok indulges in Pawn

A few hours later, we hesitantly barge into the cavern throat, which is about 140’ wide and very high. Further in, the passage is blocked by stone constructs: 24 “pawns” 6’ high, with long swords, in a W-format; and at each of the 2 points of the formation facing us is a multi-armed 50’-high kali-like queen. Rowan casts a Light spell into the gloom beyond the golems, but there was a modified Spellwall that dropped the effect down to a candlelight. As usual, we head to port when underground and attempt to breach the pawn-wall at its weakest, but while the vessel is preparing to ride higher (& faster) beyond the reach of the pawns ahead, Gok flies ahead and pointlessly attacks a golem but picks up an impressive sword (hand-&-a-half, curved handle and blade) and matching endurance blows. Darian attempts to suppress the activation of the closest Kali, unfortunately unsuccessfully. The barge surges up and over, the kali swings with an excessive number of swords, and Drum lets off Bessie. As we crossed the line, the kali replies with a Blackfire (save at -40!), and SF hooks the unconscious Gok with a line around safely around his neck.

Then we’re hit by TK rage; then by Agony; Fireballs; … (I think there was a Falling star in there somewhere). Under fire from angons fore & aft, we position the vessel behind the central rock, with bound earth at the bow. Rowan summons a Totem and instructs it to come back with knowledge of the area. After this, moving at moderate speed so that Drum can Disjunct the wards, we duly barge into a large cavern 500x200x60 with double colonnade and perfect acoustics. Stunning, but we leave ASAP once everybody is reasonably healed (excessively so in Gok's case) to avoid the unacceptable risk of bardic infestation.

Chapter 11: A Downward Spiral

The Green area begins as a 20' wide, 60' high corridor. As we barge down, the green glow becomes stronger, eventually glowing so brightly and uniformly that there are no visible shadows. A quick check by worried Celestials ascertains that the effect is magical ... even in the hold there are no shadows. Coincidentally we notice just in time that we're about to enter a very large cavern with no floor. Stop, retreat, reapproach. The cavern is actually a shaft 500' across. Upwards, many hundreds of feet away, is a ceiling (sealing?) that only Drum can dimly perceive; and the walls are as smooth as a piston's bore. Is it our imagination, or do parts of the shaft's walls with dampness or oil? The bottom of the shaft is not visible The volume has a ward of Invitation or Welcoming. At the far side is an exit similarly sized to where we stand.

Rowan puts a Visitation rune on Drum's 8 lb silver projectile; with Bessie Mauler's help, Drum shoots across the open space and Rowan explores the distant hole. After 60', the 20'w 60'h corridor T-junctions with a slightly sloping corridor, that is actually a 1000' diameter helix that rises & falls some 180' per circuit. Gok wants to fly across, which every else calls insane, or as Dean Rowan spluttered "Yeah, you do that, and I'll write a monograph on it". With enough left over for a Eulogy perhaps? Although the walls are too smooth for mere mortals, Drum in dragon form starts crawling around the walls, which he can do without entering the warded volume. Unfortunately it will take a while (& Drum is the only person who can Disjunct the wards where we are waiting), so we abandon the barge and follow around the vertiginous down-shaft's wall using a very narrow bound earth ledge, a very timid Gullinbursti taking up the rear with a hesitant trit-trot. Drum reaches the far side and sets of a ward of Bound Speech. Uh-oh! We had intended going up, to seek another exit, but we press on as fast as possible down the gentle spiral. Since the spiralling corridor (also 20'w, 60'h) is too narrow for wings, some of the party must run on foot. The bound earth is shaped into a slightly tapered cylinder, that all the party's Mechanicians decree should have an inner to outer wheel ratio of (1000-axlelength)/1000 ... of course a ball would also have worked, but where's the fun in that.

After 5 circuits we enter a 500x200x60 cavern. 12 large Elvish figures block the centre partway down in between two 20'-high cliffs of stone; behind are two wings of archers. We arrive in open formation, and 5 projectiles land by each of us and shatter. We are covered in the dust and suffer Ill-luck [must add +15 on our dice rolls indefinitely]. Then things get worse. The 12 pass-guards are in a row of 10 warrior-types with two spell-caster types behind. Locking shields, the warriors advance several paces; so do the cliffs on either side. And the first necro spell impacts. We have no option but to engage.

Gok blinks to behind the mages, but 4 of the fighters intercept him; enthroned Dean Rowan, flying into the air, reshapes the bound Earth as a ball intending to skittle the warriors. More indirect missile fire rains down as we attack. Arwen Teleports to assist Gok as the warriors form a defensive ring around their mages. Sivlerfoam's morale-raising cry of "Release the Dragons" is taken as hollow bravado by the archers until Drum lands a couple of seconds later in the midst of the left wing (ignoring the one arrow of the volley that stuck in him), splatting one archer and trampling several others. Meanwhile Darien also lands on the far side and Darkens the right wing of archers. As Drum splats another archer or two and Darien Corrupts his bank of archers, Gok's action is to sheath Main Gauche and prepare Shadowblades which he casts the next half pulse into the pass-guards ("Apologies, I got scared") and Rowan Hellfires those still standing, whereupon the bound earth rolls in. At that point, seeing most of the pass-guard fall, including at least one mage, the remaining archers turn and flee after those that had already broken from the earlier swathes of destruction ... which panics the remnants of the shield wall and they rout too. After a brief loot and patch-up ["Empathy cast at +15 ill-luck AND +10 death effect, grumble, grumble, ..."] we set of in pursuit after a quick tweak to the Death-Roller-Of-Bound-Earth to make it sound even more terrifying.

Chapter 12: Bob, the Avatar

Chapter 13: Mind-flaying and Slaying

FOOTNOTES

Power-ups

Players please put up details.

Military Scientist 
Drum, +10 def vs Melee, +10 IV, +10 SC, & a free pass action at the end of the pulse in Melee.
alternate SF (+15 WP when raising morale) -- we should have initiative except sometimes vs MilSci Demons.

Buffs

Shadow Form  
rk20 +42%/21% Def 10.5Hrs - GoK, Drum
rk16 +34%/17% Def 8.5Hrs (can be boosted to +34% Def 1 AP with additional spell) - Darien
Strength of Stone  
rk14 +14PS or +14EN 15Hrs - Arwen
Witchsight  
rk20 10.5Hrs - Darien
Shadow Wings 
rk12 42mph, 6.5Hrs 273m - Darien
Strength of Darkness
rk 8 +5 PS 1.5Hrs - Gok
Magic Rk Effects Dur Silverfoam Gok Arwen Drum Darien Rowan
ShadowForm (Darien) 16 +32/+16Def, +1AP with other spell 8 1/2 Red x.png Red x.png
ShadowForm (Gok) 20 +42/+21Def 10 1/2 Red x.png Red x.png
ShadowForm (Drum) 20 +42/21Def 10 1/2 Red x.png Red x.png
Strength of Stone 14 +14PS or +14EN 15 EN EN EN EN EN EN
Strength of Darkness (Gok) 8 +5PS 1 1/2 Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif
Witchsight (Darien) 20 150 feet open sky, 75 feet underground 11 1/2 Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif
Blessing 10 +10 Strike Checks, +10 vs Fear 3 1/2 Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif
Rune of Willow Healing 15 Heals 3 EN per pulse for 17 pulses 30 Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif
Rune Shield 15 +20 Def +3 Prot 16 Red x.png Red x.png Red x.png Red x.png Red x.png Green-tick.gif
Greater Heart Rune 15 Cures 10 EN when EN damage taken 16 days Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif
Mil. Sci. (Drum) ? +10 Melee Def, +10IV, +10SC, free pass action at Pulse end Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif

Situational buffs

Quickness  
rk20 8tgt (3 use still available) - Darien
Temporary Restoratives
-8 EN, +16 FT, potions last 8 minutes. - Velcanthus

The Contract

We try to ensure that whatever we contract to does not require us to behave in a morally repugnant way.

For our labours, Alexander assures us that the university can provide special training or devices congruent with the solution we offer them. He has suggested training in the following areas:

  • Learn to rank the counterspells of other colleges.
  • Remove the cap from FT, raising it by one point per adventure or season, whichever is less.
  • A pool of Action Points.

We have proposed the following as a form of payment:

Silverfoam:- a celestial ship which he can carry with him and that sails strange seas.
Canon Velcanthus:- the ability not to be recorded, scryed or predicted by the denizens of the Seventh Plane.
Gok:- to enrich his knowledge of the sacred sword he holds.
Darien:- improved armour.
Arwen:- to always count as being in contact with the ground.
Drum:- more pieces of shadow dragon armour.

Creatures & People Encountered

Thunderer - a merchant goblin
Bob - an earth elemental rune mage and swain
Unnamed imps - lower level denizens of the Seventh Plane x 5
Unnamed devils - middle level denizens of the Seventh Plane x 3
Unnamed devil - a higher level denizen of the Seventh Plane with many magical devices.
Stoned elf - an elf who has been dealing with Powers that have no sense of humour and a lot of vindictiveness
Yavanna - a Valar
Chantris - a goddess
Nameless thing from beyond time and space - a Horror
Geraldo - an elf with access to Air, Rune, Ash and Naming spells. He has three other friends who are similarly gifted. Implicated in Touring. His mentor is 'the Teacher'
The Teacher - also known as 'Bruce', a Greater Summoner who duped us into thinking he was misunderstood rather than evil.
High Priests of the Valar - There are two cathedrals in Psychistic, with attendant high priests. One for Tulkus and one for Yavanna. They fear dark forces are at work in town.
Chess golems' - Stone golems shaped like pieces from a chess set. The queen cast Blackfire, the pawns hit very hard.
Elven Shield Wall and Archers - 10 or so heavy infantry with interlocking shields supported by a couple of dozen elven archers behind hard cover. Led by two 12 foot tall elves.
Dead Balrog - encountered pre-killed, possibly mown down by runaway bound earth.
Elder Brain Avatar - also known as the beached giant squid. Elder brains are avatar level entities. This was an avatar for elder brains.
Calamari Attendants - perhaps 'encountered' is too strong a word. Blew them up as they approached is probably more accurate.

Loot

Mundane

3 Elf archery sets (each set contains an Elf Bow, Elf Sheild, Elf Knife)
4 sets of Elf Swords (each set contains an Elf Blade, Elf Knife, Elf Glaive, Elf Shield)
6 Elf Spears (Angon)

Shamballah of Health x 2

A bejewelled strap that magically restores all of the wearer's EN and FT (but not tiredness FT) at the beginning and end of a pulse. The Shamballah can be activated once per day (dawn to dawn) and each activation lasts 30 minutes.
The wielder will lose 1% of their soul each time they activate this item unless a major power (god, archangel, demon lord, greater husk) has blessed them with immunity from the use of the item. Entities with less than 100% soul that use an inter-planner portal or die have a chance of being automatically transferred to the Plane of Husks and Rinds (aka the Null Plane) - the chance is equal to the amount of soul they have lost.

Zontil of Audacity x 2

A bejewelled strap that increases the Rank of a weapon by three. The weapon is chosen when the wearer takes possession of the Zontil - the weapon choice cannot be changed at any stage, even if the wearer relinquishes the Zontil and then takes it up again.
The wielder will lose 5% of their soul when they choose a weapon unless a major power (god, archangel, demon lord, greater husk) has blessed them with immunity from the use of the item. Entities with less than 100% of their soul that use an inter-planner portal or die have a chance of being automatically transferred to the Plane of Husks and Rinds (aka the Null Plane) - the chance is equal to the amount of soul they have lost.

Belt of Three Skulls

A belt that will automatically heal the wearer by 30 points whenever EN falls below 5, resulting in a skull disspating. Three charges left.
The wielder will lose 1% of their soul each time this item is activated unless a major power (god, archangel, demon lord, greater husk) has blessed them with immunity from the use of the item. Entities with less than 100% soul that use an inter-planner portal or die have a chance of being automatically transferred to the Plane of Husks and Rinds (aka the Null Plane) - the chance is equal to the amount of soul they have lost.

Belt of Five Skulls

A belt that will automatically heal the wearer by 30 points whenever health falls below 2, resulting in a skull dissipating. Five charges (skulls) left.
The wielder will lose 1% of their soul each time this item is activated unless a major power (god, archangel, demon lord, greater husk) has blessed them with immunity from the use of the item. Entities with less than 100% soul that use an inter-planner portal or die have a chance of being automatically transferred to the Plane of Husks and Rinds (aka the Null Plane) - the chance is equal to the amount of soul they have lost.

Vambrace of Protection

A single vambrace that reduces the amount of instantaneous FT damage suffered by the wearer. The vambrace will reduce both spell damage and weapon damage, but not spell or environmental fatigue. It will stack with defence spells and armour.

Clothing of Enhancement

This is a set of four pieces of finely crafted, white leather clothing: waistcoat, trousers, cloat and hat. The clothing acts as magical armour with 6 protection - it cannot be worn in conjunction with any other armour. Shaped magic that is activated by the wearer of this clothing have their attributes (range, damage, duration, number of targets) increased by 50%. Only shaped items whose effects can be activated are enhanced, and potions are considered shaped for this purpose (invested spells are not considered shaped). For example, if a Belt of Skulls were worn, and a charge used, then it would heal 45 points rather than 30.
The wielder will lose 1% of their soul each time this item is activated unless a major power (god, archangel, demon lord, greater husk) has blessed them with immunity from the use of the item. Entities with less than 100% soul that use an inter-planner portal or die have a chance of being automatically transferred to the Plane of Husks and Rinds (aka the Null Plane) - the chance is equal to the amount of soul they have lost.

Amulet of Reflection

This is an amulet of mithril 2 inches across that hangs from a silk ribbon that is normally worn around the neck. When worn openly the Amulet causes melee damage that is inflicted on the wearer to be reflected onto the attacker if the wearer makes a 1xAG check. Half the damage is reflected if the wearer makes a 2xAG check. The amount of damage received by the attacker is halved if they make a MR check. Possible Specific Injuries are never transfered and are nulified if the wearer makes their AG check.
The wielder will lose 1% of their soul each time this item is activated unless a major power (god, arch-angle, demon lord, greater husk) has blessed them with immunity from the use of the item. Entities with less than 100% soul that use an inter-planner portal or die have a chance of being automatically transferred to the Plane of Husks and Rinds (aka the Null Plane) - the chance is equal to the amount of soul they have lost.

Individual Blessings

Each of the Characters received blessings from various gods (mostly Elven but also some human cognates).

Silverfoam

Silverfoam's talent of DA now provides the answer to one additional DA question, which may be changed each day.
Silverfoam knows how to use any cleansing or purifying ritual to stop an entity's soul from "moving on" after death. The soul will stay with the body for as long as the ritual lasts. This takes the permanent sacrifice of 1 EN per application - which has to be recovered with EP just like a resurrection.

Silverfoam has been blessed to allow him to use ElfWeapons and to use items that would normally endanger his soul (specifically those that would fracture it) as long as he does not break covenant with the blessing deity. He has learnt the Talent of Slaying Inferior Beings

Silverfoam is able to sail the celestial seas. More discussion needed!

Drum

Drum's talent of DA now provides the answer to one additional DA question, which may be changed each day.

Drum knows how to use any cleansing or purifying ritual to stop an entity's soul from "moving on" after death. The soul will stay with the body for as long as the ritual lasts. This takes the permanent sacrifice of 1 EN per application - which has to be recovered with EP just like a resurrection.

Drum has been blessed to allow him to use ElfWeapons and to use items that would normally endanger his soul (specifically those that would fracture it) as long as he does not break covenant with the blessing deity. He has learnt the Talent of Slaying Inferior Beings.

Drum has learnt more Dragon Lore and is becoming more of a Drake. (details to be discussed)

Gok

Gok's talent of DA now provides the Generic Truename of a target entity.

GoK knows how to use any cleansing or purifying ritual to stop an entity's soul from "moving on" after death. The soul will stay with the body for as long as the ritual lasts. This takes the permanent sacrifice of 1 EN per application - which has to be recovered with EP just like a resurrection.

GoK has been blessed to allow him to use ElfWeapons and to use items that would normally endanger his soul (specifically those that would fracture it) as long as he does not break covenant with the blessing deity. He has learnt the Talent of Slaying Inferior Beings

Gok may teach Darien the Spell of Shadow Blades.

GoK's sword Renderer knows a new skill - CounterStrike - which has been taught to GoK. separate write up.

Arwen

Arwen's talent of DA now provides the Generic Truename of a target entity.

Arwen knows how to use any cleansing or purifying ritual to stop an entity's soul from "moving on" after death. The soul will stay with the body for as long as the ritual lasts. This takes the permanent sacrifice of 1 EN per application - which has to be recovered with EP just like a resurrection.

Arwen has been blessed to allow her to use ElfWeapons of Slaying Inferior Beings and to use items that would normally endanger her soul (specifically those that would fracture it) as long as she does not break covenant with the blessing deity. She has learnt the Talent of Slaying Inferior Beings.
Arwen knows the Spell of Armour of Earth with an initial Rank of 6.

Arwen has a talent of Teleport. Arwen may take a Cast Action to teleport to any visible or remembered location wihtin 10 miles, as long as her presence there would be acceptable or appropriate to those already there. The talent will fail if these conditions are not met.

Darien

Darien's talent of DA now provides the Generic Truename of a target entity.

Darien knows how to use any cleansing or purifying ritual to stop an entity's soul from "moving on" after death. The soul will stay with the body for as long as the ritual lasts. This takes the permanent sacrifice of 1 EN per application - which has to be recovered with EP just like a resurrection.

Darien has been blessed to allow him to use ElfWeapons of Slaying Inferior Beings and to use items that would normally endanger his soul (specifically those that would fracture it) as long as he does not break covenant with the blessing deity. He has learnt the Talent of Slaying Inferior Beings

Darien has learnt the following spell through a devine blessing:

Spell of Shadow Armour
Base Chance: 40%
EM: 600
Range: Self
Storage: None
Effects: Creates an armour of shadows that will overlay and stack with all other normal armours. Any instantaneous damage suffered by the wearer (EN, FT, spell, weapon, but not ongoing damage such as by poison or environmental) is reduced by 1 (+ 1 / rank). Initial Rank is 6. May not be taught.

Rowan

Rowan now has a talent of DA that is similar to the Celestial talent, but with an additional answer. The additional question so answered is always "the condition of the target's soul and its destination on death." Possible answers include 'hell', 'heaven', 'the Null Plane', 'Seth will claim it', 'normal - stay with body for 4 days'.

Rowan knows how to use any cleansing or purifying ritual to stop an entity's soul from "moving on" after death. The soul will stay with the body for as long as the ritual lasts. This takes the permanent sacrifice of 1 EN per application - which has to be recovered with EP just like a resurrection.

Rowan has been blessed to allow him to use ElfWeapons of Slaying Inferior Beings and to use items that would normally endanger his soul (specifically those that would fracture it) as long as he does not break covenant with the blessing deity (Chantress). He has learnt the Talent of Slaying Inferior Beings.
Rowan is immune to and cannot be affected by the non-College Talents and Special Abilities of denizens of the Seventh Plane, fae etc, nor can he be recorded, predicted or located by them.

Calendar

Summer 810wk: Meadow
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
Moon0.jpg Beltane

Full Moon

1 Guild Meeting 2 We meet Alexander of the Ethical Review Committee 3 4 Gok rendered uncertain over 14 planes of existence 5 6
Moon1.jpg 7 Enter Aceh, attacked by Elven Illusionists 8 A day in Vars'ty 9 10 11 12 Finish observing tourists in Vars'ty 13 Travel towards scene of crime, summon Bob, now a rune mage, has water elemental girlfriend
Moon2.jpg 14 Jumped by elf and devils. Expel Horror, create holy ground. After lunch, stop diabolic ritual. Meet 4 elves. Travel to Psychistic. 15 Enter Psychistic and look around 16 17 18 Meet the Teacher, Bruce 19 Capture and control Gerbil {Gerald} 20 Travel out of town, discover ritual in copse and Icon in townhouse
Moon3.jpg 21 Interrogate Mouse {Bruce the Summoner} 22 Travel west towards the mountains looking for the landslide 23 Enter mountain, find constructs, elves, dwarven architecture, the remains of a balrog and an Elder Brain attended by 2 doz calamari. We engage in sushi. 24 25 26 27
Moon0.jpg 28 Full Moon 29 30 1 2 3 4
Summer 810wk: Heat
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
Moon1.jpg 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Moon2.jpg 12 13 14 Midsummer Eve (Faerie Day) 15 Solstice 16 17 18
Moon3.jpg 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Moon0.jpg 26 Full Moon 27 28 29 30 1 2
Summer 810wk: Breeze
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
Moon1.jpg 3 Day of Death 4 5 6 7 8 9
Moon2.jpg 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Moon3.jpg 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Moon0.jpg 24 25 26 27 28 29 30