The Inconstant Moon

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An Inconstant Moon Written by Ishamael on October 16 1993 AP

The major events from a Seagate Adventurers' Guild party on a mission to seek and destroy.

Introduction

Guild members on the Adventure

Kizmit 
Our E & E Eye in the Sky who takes himself too seriously.
Aragorn 
A baby fighter (grunt) and the party military scientist.
Ishamael 
A dark celestial and yours untruly the completely objective scribe.
Everan 
A closet necromancer and the party leader. A real pain (or is it agony) to be with.
Kishwa 
Another fighter, almost as stupid as his animals.
Jhiselle 
The party fire mage. One hot chick.
Deadwood 
Simply dead useless (period).

Map of Area

A sketch map of the Cultists' valley The map draw by Gatha for us can be seen in figure[nbsp ].

Diary of Events

Day 1 - September 30 1993 AP

Leave the Guild with a patrol of Kazarlan Guards heading eastward. On the afternoon of the third of October we Slippery Rock to find a rural village. The village is actually a Wicker coven. There we meet our employer, an old man with green and grey eyes called Gatha.

Gatha says he is a member of a shape changing cult located at the eastern edge of the lesser mountain ranges, some 1200 miles to the north of here. The cult is specifically located in a valley of some 20 square miles.

He says a while back one of the cult members when on a journey. On that journey he met a group of religious people. They give him a stone which he later placed on the cultist's altar several weeks back. This caused a ring of pain to extend from the altar of a mile radius, driving many of the cultist mad. Later a group of people flew into the valley and occupied the area around the altar. It not strictly true about flying into the valley. Both the valley and the altar have wards which if passed through cause any flying magic to dissipate, centred around the altar with radii the valley and 100 feet respectively.

Jhiselle traded some ancient crocodile teeth for six amulets of luck which were distributed among the party members. Gatha also agreed to a payment of 5000 silver pennies per member for the removal of the stone from the altar.

That evening we leave the village to a nice wooden glade. There Gatha creates a gateway into a pseudo environment with a path leading away. Travelling through this environment took ten hours and considerable effort.

Day 5 - October 4 1993 AP

We arrive in the pre-dawn inside the cultists' valley. Gatha leaves us for a while until shortly after noon. There we are given a sketch map of the valley and to each member an amulet to stop various wards triggering.

While travelling through the woods towards our campsight we see a ghostly figure which is not undead. I recognise it might be a rune college visitation, having seen such a thing before. Kizmit locates the figure but after a minute and a half the target is lost.

After travelling for two hours we come to the edge of the one mile circle of pain. While there we are attacked by bow fire. The result of the combat was that we manage to kill two of the opposition but we only manage to recover one of the corpses. During the combat we believed the circle of pain had managed to extend itself temporarily, although as it happened this was not at all true.

We managed to recover a broadsword, a bow, a set of leather armour and combat clothing and twelve arrows. The arrows turned out to be have magical poison on them which is effective against people who have some of their soul not present.

After another three hours of travel we reach our campsite at the Wolf falls, a pleasant spot next to a small lake and waterfall. Here is where the body of the cultist who originally brought the stone into the valley lay buried.

Deadwood butchers the dead body we retrieved from the fight for its vital organs. Something to do with necromantic rituals. Not my scene so I don't pay much attention. He also manages to fail both his talk to the dead spells that night.


Day 6 - October 5 1993 AP

We meet Gatha in the morning to go the 'Wolf' healer who lives at the foot of the waterfall. There stands a small hut with an excellent herb garden. We are told by the occupier to return later during the afternoon so we decide to go the 'bear' foretellers.

After a two hour trek we reach the area of the bears where we are met by an old man with white eyes. The foretelling speaks of the stone growing, having a feast in the near future, All Hallows Eve (October 25), and causing an altaration or change to the altar. We also note that the valley is blessed for lunar aspected people.

After a superb lunch we arrange to meet some of the people effected by the curse. This was in order to read their aura for the last magic to effect on them. One of them was a were salmon so we head down the river for half an hour to meet it.

Along the way we see a small flying creature, some sort of imp devil. Everan believed at that point it was a celestial mage, with the opposition also having a rune mage and a fire mage.

After that we head back to the 'wolf' healer. Kizmit says he managed to locate the rune mage who is jumping around often. We conclude that they have a network of rune portals, all of which terminate close the the centre and at twelve equidistant points around the circumference of the one mile circle.

Later we meet the healer and eight people effected by the curse. I managed to glean that they had been effected by necromantic agony. In hindsight this information may have been misleading.

After dinner we scout out one of the rune portal areas on the circle edge. Kizmit, using a wizard's eye, reported three people on watch, each spending twenty seconds at the portal group before leaving for the next group. This equates to each person taking five minutes to complete one circuit. Every thirteenth point they only spend fifteen seconds there and portal into the centre and back to the next point.

The three people on watch that evening where one in red leather armour wearing a protection from weres and luck amulets and mismatched earings. We believed this to be the fire mage. The two others were common fighters each wearing chain mail, a bow with five poisoned and fifteen silvered arrows, a small round shield and wielding a broadsword. They also wore a protection from weres amulet and two rings each.

We found that are region ten feet in from the edge of the circle was trapped with trip wires. Our first plan was to return in the morning and follow the people on watch, killing each individually.

That evening we manage to talk to the person who put the stone on the altar. He did not know much beyond he was compelled and we gain a good estimate of the size and weight of the stone.


Day 7 - October 6 1993 AP

Head out at half five in the morning to ambush the opposition on watch. Kizmit warns us the familiar is out and about. As it flew above us it was shot down. From the reading of the night's sky I manage to discover that the familiar was a namer and hence any wards around the altar have most likely been dissipated.

The attack on the opposition failed after Kizmit and Jhiselle are slept by magic. We retreat back to our campsite for an uneventful day. Everan announces he is a necromancer and he was the cause of the agony that occurred in our first encounter.

That evening we manage to talk to the dead opposition. We learn that there was in total fourteen people with only E & E, fire, rune and namer colleges in their party, moreover that there was only four mages. The stone itself was capable of resurrection and other healing and it is a holy or unholy relic. It can be communicated with by audio and people in the group require periodic contact with it.


Day 7 - October 6 1993 AP

Do another dawn raid. This time we are confounded by a rank 30 darkness appearing within the one mile circle. The darkness was caused by a demonic talent. At best we manage to force the opposition to temporarily flee but because of the traps we still cannot enter to pursue.

That evening we decide to take out some of the rune portals around the edge of the circle. Using ball of fire we manage to destroy on of the areas but are stymied by the rune mage creating illusions of rune sticks. We encounter a member of the opposition but are again stopped by a rank 30 darkness. The darkness adds ten ranks onto the effects of all my spells. During the encounter both Deadwood and Everan backfire causing amnesia and deafness respectively.


Day 10 - October 9 1993 AP

Waited out the last two days while Deadwood's curse wore off and Everan had his removed by one of the cultists. Further talks with the dead reveal where are no magical wards around the altar but there are mechanical traps and the area immediately surrounding the altar is trapped, including pit traps.


Day 11 - October 10 1993 AP

In the morning we fireball four rune areas around the circle and return to camp for lunch. During the afternoon we discuss a plan of attack. Because the E [amp ] E has locate we decide that stealth is of little value and so a direct airborne assault is agreed on.

At 11:00 pm all the party gets witch sights cast on them and shadow wings at 11:45 pm. At 11:55 pm we get necromantic counters from Everan and Deadwood and leave at 11:56 to arrive almost on midnight. While in flight we also get quickened from a couple of invested items.

Jhiselle, who was been carried by Kishwa, fire balled the their rune nexus trapping three of the opposition on the perimeter while Everan landed first and put down a agony. We all landed in succession shortly after and a combat ensued.


Day 12 - October 11 1993 AP

As a result of the combat all the fighters, the E & E, a ranger with good combat skills were killed outright. The fire mage and the rune mage were captured by the rune mage escaped by shadow walking.

Interrogation of the fire mage revealed the following: Flame, a member of the mercenary guild from Sanctuary was hired to investigate a group of religious nutters with four others. He believed they are been hired by an opposing sect with both groups worshiping a demonic power. While attempting to complete their mission it all went wrong and he was captured. He sold out to them and was chosen to go on this mission.

The stone was flown towards the foot of the valley by Everan with Aragorn for support while we collected all the loot and flew back to the camp. We all meet with Everan but later Kishwa and I go back to our camp.

While with Everan we talk to the stone. It is a three quarters demon and holds people souls (or parts there of). It master is from one of the nine planes of hell. It requires fifty whole souls to form a gateway to bring its master into this world and it current had forty eight. It master was a lord of darkness so it had considerable dark celestial powers.

The stone had been sucking the souls out of the altar, which was the repository of the souls of previously living cult members.


Day 13 - October 12 1993 AP

After breakfast Kishwa, myself and Everan meet Gatha in the centre. Because the stone holds many of the souls that previously resided in the altar Gatha wanted it destroyed in the hope it would release the souls trapped in it. The solution arrived at was for Kizmit to fly over the altar, and using locates for guidance, and drop the stone.


The first run succeeded and the stone was destroyed as it hit the altar. When it exploded it released waves for rank 50 darkness, rank 50 light, high ranked agony and ecstasy. The remains of the stone came to fourteen teardrop shaped objects. Each one could hold a successfully cast spell up to ten days and worked like an invested item when triggered.

That evening Gatha transported us back to just outside the Slippery Rocks coven. From there we travelled back to Seagate to arrive back on October 15 AP.