The Sixteen Quarters of Time
- 1 Preamble
- 2 Summary
- 3 Buffs
- 4 Treasure
- 5 Experience & Other Awards
- 6 Calendar
- 7 People and Places
- 8 Scribe Notes
Return to Scribe notes
Please go to the 'Talk Page' to let me know what nights you can play.
This adventure will take place in the Lands of Chaos, Perfidious Albion and possibly Nualis and the Risk Factor is 4.
Treaure will be distributed using the Loot Auction convention.
I run the game under these variations and may add others from time to time.
Players should submit a .pdf or similar file of their character sheet and item list to me at jim.arona - at - gmail.com. You can be as thorough as you like, although I prefer brief and to the point. It is important to me that the information is readable and organised logically.
From the memory stream of Tirwh, Lord Kerberoth
Suneth came to me this Red Song Rising. It is always a pleasure to gaze upon the graceful curve of indigo that shivers across her breast, but on this occasion, there was nothing of the delicate, restrained playfulness that makes these encounters so enjoyable.
"I have seen something disturbing in the Rift, my lord", she said.
"Yes, lady? Why is this different from the other things you have seen there?"
"Well, my lord, because on those occasions, I have seen," she paused, "...something. But now..." she trailed off. She seemed lost in thought for a moment, then shook off her distraction and went on.
"These Alusians, my lord, their news fills me with concern. What is this "Form without Substance" and "Substance without Form"? What of these spins they call Strange and Charm? What of the time-quakes and the sixteen lost years? My lord, I look upon the rift, and thoughts of these things crowd my mind. I am filled with vexation thereof, and know not why. Nothing comes from the rift, my lord. Nothing at all."
"What of the Medeanites? And the Jasonites, come to that?"
"Nothing, and again, nothing, my lord. Although, perhaps we would be better advised to consult with our Mal'eboniran associates."
"Perhaps, lady. It is a thing to consider, anyway." It would be a cold day in Hell before I approached the degenerate scions of that fallen House. "Was there anything else?"
She had already moved to the door, a panel of her robe parting to reveal the delicate, dark blue scales of her haunch. Breathtaking.
"No, not really, my lord. Although it occurs to me that these catspaws", she paused again. "...There may come a time when we will call upon them in earnest."
"Yes, dear one, I know", I said. She nodded and left the chamber.
I don't think I have ever observed Suneth make so many portentous pauses in one audience. I suppose it is her stock in trade but she seems to have picked an odd time to take up the practice.
I knew that I would be undisturbed for a time and so I went to the cabinet and took out the equipment I would need for the operation. I cast four rods onto a pool of darkness upon which floated a silver vessel in the shape of a crescent. I uttered his name three times, and he came as I knew he would.
"Hello, old friend", I said as I saw his oddly flat features appear before me.
"Tirwh", he acknowledged.
"A time is coming, Homeless. Know you aught of it?"
"I know nothing, but I feel the threads of something snaking its way towards Perfidious Albion, and at the same time, a belling from the outer edges of the Abyss. It is as you say, my friend. A time is coming."
"Did you pass my request to Jade Rain?"
"Ay. Here is her pronouncement", and he paused. Perhaps it's catching.
"As hounds answer the hunter's call,
This strange beast, its time come again,
As devils rise and angels fall,
Will shatter stars and scatter chessmen,
And stalk the lands with an asses thighbone.
While, certes, at the other end of time,
Feet bound in quaking stone,
Is raised to the power of the least prime."
"Wow", I said. "Where does she get this stuff?"
"Beats me", he replied, "But I wish she'd share."
Adventure: The Sixteen Quarters of Time
GM: Jim Arona
Session: Summer 811
Location Lisa & Stephen's place, New Windsor
Turf- Elven Warrior Namer - Tracking Black Rod
- Michael - Human Psychopath Solar 65
- Grendel - Human Mind/Water Warrior/Healer/Mil.Sci
Braegon- Human Elemental Master and Healer 84 & 46 - Researching the Lands of Choas
- Bleyze - Elven Fire Mage 69
- Kilroy!!! - Human Rune Mage 25 & 72
- Aryan - Legendary Human Warrior King 98
- Mr Morden - Mortal Swordmaster, Shadow Weaver
- Tien - Fair of Face with a gift for the fantastical, a sorceress and herbalist. 16
- Puck - The Goblin King, an Immortal with a deck.
- Tirwh, Lord of House Kerberoth
- Mr Wolf, the Corrupter of Flesh, and The Biolurgen are all gathered in Perfidious Albion - it can't be for anything good. Find out what they are up to, stop them if we can, report back if we can't.
- His lordship will ask Lady Suneth to provide horoscopes for those who are not Death-aspected that will last for a season.
- The adventure is likely to provide significant experiences that will benefit Astrologers, Navigators and Soulwrights, and may, if Fortune is favourable, offer opportunities for Masterworks. Physicians who are also Mechanicians may find divers curious contrivances to while away the hours. We understand that this may also apply to Conjurors, although we cannot see how.
|Mind Shield (Gr)||13||+36 MR vs Mental Attack, can't be mind read||27 hours||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||N||Y|
|Water Breathing (Gr)||13||Breathe and see in Water||14 hours||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Strength of Stone (Inv)||20||+20 EN||21 hours||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Fire Armour (Bl)||20||100 Ablative vs Magical Fire||21 hours||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Heat Shield (Bl)||6||28 Ablative vs Magical Cold||7 hours||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Cold Resistance (Gr)||7||Prot -14°C 3 Less Damage||8 hours||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Fireproofing (Bl)||6||Prot Normal Fire||7 hours||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Witchsight (Mi)||15||See Invis, see in Dark, spot Witches||8 hours||-||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Sword of Light (Mi)||20||+21% +8 Dam vs Dark||25 mins|
|Solar Wings (Mi)||8||Fly at 38 mph||4.5 hours|
|Sense Danger||66% 22|
|Runeshield||20||+25 Def, -5 Physical Dmg, Annul 1 Spec Grev||21 hrs||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Smite||20||First Strike, resist or D+21, stunned and prone||21 hrs||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Runeweapon||20||Acid Weapon, (d-5)+8/pulse for D10 pulses||25 mins||Y|
|Weapon of Flames (Bl)||12||+13% +7 Dam||17 mins|
- Aryan Mil Sci
- Melee Only: +10IV +10SC +10Def +1 Pass Action at End of Pulse
- Raise Morale +5 WP
- Aryan - Morning
- +1 AG until dawn.
- Kilroy plus two pets
- Bleyze & Aryan
- Michael & Grendel
Treasure Distribution on adventure.
|Well of Ice||1|
|Prestige (Deck of Illusions)||1||1|
|Mace of Disruption Anti-undead + Sunray||1||5 lbs||1|
|Joyeuse (Broadsword)||1||5 lbs||1|
|Light Broadsword||1||2 lbs||1|
|Breastplate +5AP +9 abl. +3dm||1||8 lbs||1|
|Great Ring of Plants||1||1|
|B. Meliadis Armour (8+3) 8 seasons of PS+5 MD+5 AG+1||1||1|
|B. Meliadis Helm & Mask||1||1|
|Orichalcum Rod of Resurrection (3 Charges)||1||1|
|Chain of Astrological Movement||1||1|
|Angel Helm||1||6 lbs||1|
|Cube of Binding Earth||1||1|
|Alchemical Recipe for Great Sapphire||1||1|
|Alchemical Recipe for Great Ruby||1||1|
|Forest Dragon Skin 12AP 6 vs Magic||1||1|
|FD Scale Armour 8AP, forest stealth bonus||1||1|
|FD Leather Soft Leather 6AP, WF 1.5, forest stealth bonus||1||1|
|Liquor of Spirits (Blackrod's 'Poison')||1||3 lbs|
|Large Bottles of Galvanism||2|
|Water from Lake of Valinor||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|Mr Wulf's Fur Coat 6AP WF 2.5 Disguise||2||1||1|
|Fire Lance DxD Dam, Fumble on 60+MD||5||1||1||1||1||1|
|Baron Meliadus' Fire Lance DxD Dam, Fumble on 70+MD||1||1|
|Heavy Claymores D+15 63% B&C||6||1|
|Ghoul Chain 10AP & vs Magic Cold-Iron||6|
|Ghoul Amulets -5 on dice for Magic Res. (non-stacking)||6||1||1||1||1||1|
|Ice Wands of Ray of Cold||5||1||1||1||1||1|
|Forest Dragon Teeth||128||26||26||25||25||26|
|Restore Reason Potions||1|
|Circle of Protection Potions||10||2||2||2||2||2|
|Indigo Necrogeny Potions||4||1||1||1||1|
|Phylacteries of SoS rk 20||7||1||1||1||1||1|
|Century Sleep Blade Venom|
|Tincture of A & PF||2|
|Eyes of Flame||16 (-4)||2||2||2||2||4|
|Bandersnatch Eyes||7 (-2)||1||1||1||1||1|
|Bandersnatch Shell (potion bottles) (16 lbs of shell)||80||3oz ea||Y|
|Orichalcum Tooth Jawbone||1|
|Dragon's Blood Inkpots (used 4 lbs of B. Shell)||20||4oz ea.||20|
|Healing Potions D+8 EN||20||4||4||4||4||4|
|Stab-Curing Potion A SG +3D EN/FT||16||3||3||3||3||4|
|Slash-Curing Potion B SG +3D EN/FT||2||2||2||2||1|
|Bash-Curing Potion C SG +3D EN/FT||1||1||1||1|
|Shriveled Hearts (Aid Healer)||6||1||1||1||1||2|
|Pink Potions Cure D+5 EN and 3 Wounds||9||1||2||2||2||2|
|Jabberwok Shadow-Steel Wings||2 (-1)||1/?|
|Silver Points (in Moonstones and Grendel's Chalice)||70|
|Forest Dragon Heart (90 Forest)|
|FD Coin/Jewels 80,000sp||250 lbs|
|Spell Racks: Shadow, Water, Fire, Mind||3||1||1|
|M. Sorceress Spell Rack (Empathy)||1||1|
|Appreciation of Beauty||20||20||20||20|
Books on Galvanic Biology, Alchemical Treatise on ?,
Geode Rune Portals
- Kilroy/Aryan's House in Albion - Brightleaf
- Kerberoth - Paracelsus House in Jiroth
- Abyss near Kerberoth - Abyss near Alusia Astral
Experience & Other Awards
|After racial tax:|
|After Loot Auction:|
|Summer: Meadow (1) 812wk|
|Beltane||1||Guild Mtg, Shopping, Brastor.||2||Astral||3||Abyss||4||Kerberoth||5||Kerberoth||6||Kerberoth|
|7||Kerberoth||8||Kerberoth||9||Kerberoth||10||Kerberoth||11||Kerberoth||12||Into Fable||13||Well of Stories, Albion Forest|
|14||Forest & Dragon||15||Lady of the Lake||16||Skinning and Divining||17||Forest, Flying West||18||Albion, Castle Siege||19||Castle, Alchemy||20||Castle, Alchemy|
|21||Alchemy & Horror||22||Flying to Capitol, Theothrastis||23||Londrum Metroplex research, ...||24||Alchemy, Exploring, ...||25||Astrology.||26||Blackrod & Wulf. Panther & Brightleaf.||27||House Breaking|
|Summer: Heat (2) 812wk|
|28||House Building||29||Clocks & Exit||30||Brightleaf & Forest||1||Forest||2||Forest||3||Tower, Fable, Kerberoth.||4|
People and Places
Land of Fable
A middle-march. From Kerberoth it involves crossing a 3-mile grassy sward and passing through (or over) a forest inhabited by strange creatures (Jabberwok, Bandersnatch, ...) to reach Villageone.
Circular road connecting 4 villages, each circuit takes you deeper into the well of stories, the lower levels being older primal stories. It takes about half a day to walk the circuit, but if you stick to the middle of the road and don't interact with anyone or stray from the road then the circuits take half as long each time such that any depth of the well of stories may be reached within a day.
- Villageone (place-holder name)
- Mayor Giorgi - a well padded jovial man, formal robes include a bear skin cloak.
- A village (and Mayor) renowned for their great hospitality, as the story of their hospitality grows and spreads, so does the quality.
- Green Witch
- A potential ally.
Kingdom of Situlia
Lost 16 years, nobody noticed until they realised all of their neighbours had aged and they hadn't.
Hurry and Wait
- Duesday 1st Meadow 812wk
Meet Sirtekh and sort ourselves out. Some shopping for potions before we go.
Mr Wolf, the Corrupter of Flesh, and the Biologist are all gathered in Perfidious Albion - it can't be for anything good. We are requested to find out what they are up to, stop them if we can, report back if we can't.
We portal to Brastor and rest for the night ready to enter the Astral tomorrow.
- Day 2 - Astral
Through the Astral Gate we find ourselves in my grove in the Astral, experimenting with the mist I work out how to allow the others to see within my area then we leave and head into the mists to find our way to the Abyss.
- Day 3 - Abyss
We drop down to the floor of the abyss, Sirtec admires my ability to land, I foolishly mention is was taught me by Damien. Sirtekh swoons, it seems being on first name basis with Damien makes us celebrities.
Grendel opens his Warp Gate and we step through.
- Day 4 - 11 - Kerberoth
We arrive near the Kerberite Gate as planned and approach, it seems Sirtekh has been communicating with his people because the guards bow and scrape, we are treated like revered disciples of a god, all very uncomfortable.
A quick cup of tea then we walk up the path to meet the procession coming down to welcome us.
Lord Tirwh himself leads the procession, he is extremely grateful we have graced him with our presence, we could be in for long couple of days.
After formal dinner we get to retire without causing offence.
Grendel takes Michael shopping, he makes a deal with Santheriel, Michael earns blade venom (18MA Death Curse of Century Sleep) in exchange for a donation of seed.
We make more conventional trades for some Pentecost potions, Blank Phylacteries and Plover Stones. I speak with the Toy Maker about a Hair Braiding doll and start work on charging the Phylacteries with Strength of Stone.
Later we meet with Suneth, who helps us with our horoscopes.
She then takes us to see Lord Tirwh, he is in his summoning chamber, he has been working sleeplessly (Indigo potion plug!) binding devils to make corrupt potions for us. It will be another 3 days before he can finish them:
- Potion of Savnok - imbiber may raise a castle.
- Potion of Ipos - +10 WP and Headstrong, immune to fear, ..
- Potion of Raum - Lay waste to fortifications OR Charm all within hearing of your voice.
- Potion of Agares - Look into other Planes.
NB Corrupt potions will progressively corrupt those that drink them, the corruption will fade in time but the next potion will be worse no matter how long has passed. +5% cumulative Dice Mod each potion from corruption
He also advises that 3 demons are known to be out of Hell:
- Berith - The Savage Duke - in Tanuel, north of the seven Kingdoms.
- Chimeras - Lord of the Dark Continent - Nualis, on the Dark Continent, though his avatar was recently slain.
- Seir - the willing prince - Tanuel, Mt Seir.
I suggest that if our route could take us near this mine to hell, we could try to close it on our way through. Tirwh advises we would need one of the six Angels of the Seal to do that, or The Ring of Solomon - which is lost. I foolishly mention that I have the Sword of Solomon sitting at home, the eyes get wider the bowing gets deeper, I should just keep my mouth shut.
We agree to wait for the rest of the potions then retire before I can speak again and dig the hole deeper.
Just when a day is starting to look better, it turns out Turf hasn't been keeping to himself that past few days, he left following some hint of where Black Rod is without even telling us.
Then Kilroy crawls out of Bleyze's backpack with one of the guild's biggest meat heads. It turns out the meat head got them both in trouble by hassling witches in a pub. Drugged drinks, rat skin change, then smuggled into the backpack of the nearest fire mage, they must have really annoyed those witches. The meat head wants to join in the fun until he can get home, too much for me, I make excuses - exploring the Lands of Chaos, and take my leave.
Aryan: Summon Heroes take a strange form sometimes but that's all part of being a Legendary Hero. The army of five is back in action, well two of us at least, Kilroy takes over civilian leadership, I've got the military. We also pick up a couple of locals that Grendel vouches for.
There's some talk of waiting around for week for the caravan, apparently this local desert can be dangerous to wander without a guide or master ranger. But then we find a better option a short cut through the Lands of Fable, some 'middle-march' that works in some complicated way, but we can go now and it should be quicker - all good.
I help Michael purchase some wine that will help with the Horror we're hunting, a different kind of action, no sister though, tragic family accident or something.
- Day 12 - To the Land of Fable
After morning drill, we head out through the back of the Kerberoth fortress, it leads to a green sward then down to the forest, all very pretty but a bit slow, instead we fly.
A couple of hours in and something comes up at us, weird metal-winged giant bug thing, I charge to slow it while the others land, Michael steps up to engage it in close, keeping it from getting away, Michael gets chewed on a bit but doesn't lose anything vital, Bleyze burns us all, nearly killing Kilroy and the bug, the bug tries to flee but I finish it off. Turns out it was a Jabberwocky, one of the big bads of the forest, its wings are cool, shadow-steel, they fold down small and expand out to a 15' fan, weapon quality. We harvest some eyes and other bits and pieces of use, Kilroy does some Divination, we eat lunch.
Then as we're thinking of going up comes a giant 75' slug thing, evidently attracted by the blood, we see trees casually knocked over by it and confirm what was making those odd clearings in the forest. Taking to the air initially, Kilroy identifies it as a Bandersnatch, one of the other big bads. I suggest we just hang around up here while the Phantasms kill it, boring but sound. Bleyze decides range touch Dragonflames will be faster, he hits it with a flying head-butt charge (must have been hanging out with Vychan), not up with the change of tactics I land on it, horn-tube things stick up from its back and try to suck my eyes out (75' range) as I leap away. Back to the Phantasm plan.
A few minutes later it's dead, we fly down and loot it, more divination then we play with the cards we found tucked in its shell.
Fable and Forest
Taking to the air is hard, we have to struggle (3FT) to get above the tree line, it wasn't this hard to take off in the forest before, something must have changed, but we make it so nothing to worry about. Flying on we reach the village soon after, land and walk in. We are met by the mayor, Giorgi of Villageone, he is very welcoming, dinner is fantastic, the rooms are comfortable, very hospitable apart from them hiding all of their women after I ask of them.
Giorgi tells us what we need to do to descend into the well of stories and get to Perfidious Albion then as we are still looking confused, offers to organise us a guide.
- Day 13 - A circular story
We meet our guide a wood golem called Pinocchio who leads us on the road. We must travel counter-clockwise down the middle of the road, provided that we stick to the middle of the road and don't get lured into stories, we'll complete each circuit twice as fast as the one before. About 6 circuits later we pass through a town made of strange shaped buildings constructed of glass and iron, soon after Pinocchio tells us that we are to exit the path here to become threads that will lead to a story in Perfidious Albion. We re-apply protections, pay our guide with a gem for a betrothal ring and a promise to keep an eye out for a wooden girl.
Stepping out we become story threads for an eternal moment, then we're on a stony beach with a slowly (unnaturally slowly) rolling sea behind us. Walking up the beach we come to a grass sward, about a quarter mile north is the forest, the trees uniformly in line and 70' tall. Grendel later informs us the line of trees is the boundary of a middle-march.
Crossing the sward we find freshly dug graves and a tiny cemetery. A week ago someone destroyed some lesser undead, created the cemetery with a Bone Portal within it.
Moving on into the forest we walk for a couple of hours then smell a dead 9' long Dire-Boar. I remove the odd looking jaw, Grendel identifies the bronze teeth on the rotating blades attached to its jaw as Orichalcum.
Further on we come to a charred circle large enough for us to fly from, an hour of flight brings us to a large lake I call double-star lake based on its odd shape. Near an unnatural hill a small group have just finished battling some giants, we fly down to talk. It turns out they're a bunch of junior adventurers from the guild, they're working for Lady Suneth investigating strange tides caused by 16 missing years or something like that.
We camp with them to protect them during the night, their Necromancer questions the Green Hag they killed, we've been going the wrong way to get to Albion, we need to go West. We also get some details from the Hag and party about the local Necromancers, Flesh Crafters of Kroiden. They could be minions of the Biolurgen but they'd take time to track down, the young party is keen on continuing their Necromancer war so we leave them to it.
- Day 14 - Westwards Ho
150 miles flying later we get to the edge of the lake, 100 miles further on then we stop to camp. During the night, a couple of hours before dawn, Michael and Grendel alert us to an attack. Turns out to be a Forest Dragon and several Deer and trees it is controlling. The Deer are easily dealt to then I charge the Dragon. I go nose-to-nose with the Dragon and prevent it departing, Kilroy strikes from behind, Grendel at the flank, Michael and Bleyze wield magic. Half a minute later, Bleyze's Dragonflames are the last stroke as we slay the dragon.
I track it back to its lair which we loot then I start skinning it while Kilroy divines the loot, Grendel assays its body parts and we keep watch.
The Lady and Albion
- Day 15-16 Skinning and Boning
An adventurers nightmare, we have more than we can carry!
Fortunately we have a solution, packing up the excess we Rune Portal back to the camp by Double-star Lake, Grendel contacts the other group of adventurers to let them know that we've stashed a pile of loot for them.
While we're at the Lake, Kilroy calls on Angharad, the Lady of the lake. We've all been warned that the Lady will answer one question for each of us, to ask another is to attract twilight which would eventually doom us to wandering the Void.
The water parts to form a stair which she gracefully ascends, greeting us all and our swords. She recognises Joyeuse and tells us that its owner Charlemagne is looking for it, we resist asking more on the topic.
- Kilroy asks who could best help us in our mission on Fearsome Albion - The Lady warns us there are two equally helpful and dangerous options:
- Baron Meliadus of Kroiden
- Duke Toroman of the Palace of Clocks
- I ask how could I earn the Lady's favour - She considers a moment then gifts me her scarf which I tie around my arm.
- Bleyze asks if there is anything we can do to get these two to aid us - The Lady answers Yes. He then accidentally asks another question and gets closer to twilight.
- Grendel asks what could we do to get Duke Toroman to help us - The Lady answers Bind a Corner Dog as a gift.
- Michael asks the question we all now want to ask, what are Corner Dogs - The Lady answers that they are creatures from outside space and time, they may appear in any room (or space) that has corners, they are also known as the Hounds of Tindalos.
The Lady tells us there are hounds near where we are going, which sounds great, should make it easier to bind one if they are around. But the lady is surprised at my reaction, she tells us the Hounds are something that even the Lords of Wands and Rings (Oberon and Judecca) would flee from.
We don't think we can resist asking questions any longer and take our leave.
Returning by Rune Portal we finish dismembering the Dragon and Divining. Kilroy drinks the Dragon Blood and becomes less obstructed by plants.
- Day 17 - Getting out of the Forest
We fly west all day, towards the end of the day we can see a line ahead of us, it recedes as we approach though we are slowly gaining. We land before it gets dark, we guess that the line is the edge of this middle-march and that it might be stationary during the night but moving during the day. After eating we start running through the forest using stars to keep our bearing, a strenuous pace for 10 hours gets us to a road at the edge of the forest, Kilroy flies as an Owl, Bleyze rides Kilroy's pet, Michael and Grendel are exhausted.
- Day 18 - Albion (South-East Corner)
The road is made from precisely shaped and mortared red stone, its magic is to act as a boundary. Across the road is a harvested corn field, the ground looks overworked, a short distance away some people live in a hovel that is the ruins of a stone house, they tell us that town is west and their lord is Pesiastes (or something like that).
It seems that in leaving the middlemarch north has moved, heading west out of the forest we crossed the road, what was the south end of the road is now west.
We see a giant metal flying bird rise from behind a hill a short way north and head west, looking for somewhere discrete to rest we head towards the hill to find ourselves looking down into a deep bucolic valley with a pretty castle. We dig in and sleep until midday.
The noise of explosions wakes us, below someone is besieging the castle lots of black tubes throwing exploding balls at the walls, arbalests on the towers throwing glass spheres back. The attackers are wearing Pig headed helms, the defenders dog-heads. A crystal shows the attackers breaching the walls and the defenders using some sort of corrupt flesh grenados.
We fly down and approach the pigs. They declare they are here to exact revenge on Lord Pesiastes for his abduction of Flana (sister of the King). Flana has been rescued already, this is just about revenge. The Pig-heads answer to Averleath of Crompton, Pesiastes owes allegiance to Meliadus of Kroiden but Meli has declared him rogue because of the abduction. I negotiate our help in return for information leading to the Biolurgen.
Kilroy has doubts and wants to learn more before we commit to anything, he does his Evil detecting Rune thing which shows these guys are evil, Grendel points out that everybody here probably counts as evil, it's all about shades of black.
Eventually deciding to stick to what I agreed, we prepare to attack.
- Outer Defences - 30 Seconds
Unseen, we sneak close to the walls the fire-arc to the top of the gatehouse. Thunder, lightning, Dragonflames, and melee clear the 20+ defenders within 10 seconds. Another 20 seconds sees 3 of the towers and their munitions destroyed by Dragonflames and TK Rage, the occupants of the 4th tower flee Karreyhun.
- Main Keep - a little longer
A couple of hooded figures who were in the courtyard manage to flee into the main keep, we follow but slow down to find a way past the defensive light-bolt wands. Just as we've managed to get everyone inside we discover that Michael is immune to their damage and could have got us in much faster and with less damage.
The 'reception room' is beautifully decorated, Michael estimates that some of the artwork and the chandelier are worth hundreds of thousands.
A curtain of Dark Sphere beads covers the exit, I carefully take it down then Grendel wears it as a cloak.
ESP reveals the occupants are down below and are gradually disappearing, they also have a bound Horror down there. A couple of locked interior doors are 'opened' by a wave of Grendel's Dark-Sphere-Cloak then we cautiously descend.
The basement is huge and has over a dozen Summoning Circles carved into the floor, most are for some of the nastier Demons, one is for the Master of Corruption. We see one Alchemist trade his eye to Seir for transport out, the others are waiting their turn. We convince them that surrendering to us will be less painful.
Behind a thin wall is the arithmancy containment for the Horror, Bloodbinder (or something like that) they have been tapping the Horror to make their evil Alchemical weapons.
The Alchemists can't tell us much about the Horror (above their pay grade) or how it's bound (not their field) but they can give us some info on our three targets, they're all in the main city.
In between getting distracted by talking, Kilroy divines the Horror Trap, the Chandelier, one of the Horror Grenadoes, and a few other things that don't get away in time. Grendel starts working out how to extract beauty and starts burning stuff in the alchemical labs. Michael and I intercept the pig-heads, a few of them have been killed by the defensive weapons, we warn them to hold off until we can deactivate them then start exploring the rest of the keep/house. We find a few books including one Alchemical one about making a Great Sapphire and another about Galvanic Biology, life from lightning or some crazy concept like that.
- Chandelier is a waterfall frozen in time, it can only be moved by the chain it's hanging from and even then it's not easy to move.
- Horror Grenadoes inflict a flesh eating disease on all in range, those afflicted are gradually eaten down to their nerves which are linked and kept alive in shared torment.
Discussing options over dinner, Michael comes up with the idea of Binding the Chandelier with sentience to make it an entity which can then have Coruscade cast on it to make it really sparkle.
- Day 19 - Alchemy and Beauty
Kilroy uses some of the Beauty to create a rune of beauty and ordering to make Rune Weapon more effective against the horror.
The pig-heads bring in a bunch of peasants to get killed to use up the ammunition of the defences. I convince them it's a bad idea by hitting everyone of them who thinks it's a good idea.
- Day 20 - More Alchemy
The smoke and smells from the Alchemical labs are beautiful, this seems wrong. I continue working on the Dragon Hide. We appreciate the beauty of the reception hall and the art.
- Day 21 - Alchemy and Horror
Late in the day, Grendel finishes his extractions. Bleyze loads some beauty into his chalice to make his DragonFlames beautiful and lays down a ward. I disconnect the fire-water magazine from one of the light-bolt wands and start carrying it downstairs, the motion almost ignites it so Grendel teleports it the rest of the way, after taking a sample and after Bleyze tests some out.
Finally with Rune Wards, Walls of Light, Rune Weapons of Beauty, a fire-lit Coruscating Chandelier, and tincture applied, we're ready.
I open the prison by dividing the equation by zero (cutting it, but not in half), it comes out fast then gets hit by Dragonflames twice and the fire-water explodes around it. The Horror is indescribable and more than the tincture can cope with but we resist giving in to fear. The Runewards protect us from most of its magical attacks, Bleyze protects himself from the Mindworm that gets through, Kilroy is bashed in melee. Michael and I engage in melee. While it is consistently faster than us, we manage to inflict more damage. It tries to transfer all of the damage back to me but I am saved by my appreciation of beauty, a few seconds later Bleyze triples his DragonFlames to get the killing strike. We hack it a few more times to be sure then scatter the ashes a bit.
Shades of Black
While we're contemplating what we can loot (including some healing potions) and what to do tomorrow, a short young looking man wanders in, he introduces himself as Robin Goodfellow (Puck), merry wanderer of the wood, lord of Goblins, an immortal. He has acquired Oberon's deck and offers the use of it to Bleyze and Michael. We trade and question him a while then decide to invite him along to help.
We ask the Alchemists what they can trade for their freedom, they'd prefer to work for us, we agree to take them on.
- Day 22 - The Capitol
After breakfast, purification and morning exercises, last thing before we depart we disable the defences.
Unseen on Star wings we take flight from the roof, as we fly away we see some floating black pyramid-ish things (occupied by Necromancers who gang-cast enhanced Streams of Corruption rk80+) coming out of the forest in company with some troops and a gold & red carriage, our Alchemists identify it as the carriage of Duke Toromon.
We fly around them then on towards the city.
We see the city earlier than we expect then after a little longer realise that the buildings are huge. The outer buildings are up to 6 floors high, the inner city buildings are much bigger.
Assuming the inner city where we want to go will have aerial defences, we decide to fly in and land on the roof of one of the outer buildings then make our way slower over the rooftops for the 20ish miles to the inner city.
We pick a building on the outskirts that seems quiet, Bleyze finds out why it's quiet as the roof collapses beneath him, which starts the collapse of the whole building. Grendel manages to grab Bleyze's ankle and gets dragged down with him, I miss them but dive in after them, a couple of floors later I manage to collar them and leap clear of the collapsing building, we fly away from the scene and find a suburban clearing where one of these has collapsed before and not been rebuilt. Bleyze is in a bad way and uses up a few of the potions we just acquired.
We decide to go the rest of the way on the ground.
Late in the afternoon we enter the gates to the inner city, the guards accept our disguise as merchants and only ask token questions. We make our way to the tower of Theothrastis and ask to see him.
We trade and talk, in a city of bad and badder people, he seems to be one of the few good ones. He hasn't left his tower in a long time, we escort him out to the street to check out a new building next door. Now it's after dusk Grendel, Bleyze and Kilroy can see dead people wandering the streets, investigating a bit we find out that the spirits have been bound to harvesting the Spring of Tides at the centre of the city.
- Days 23-25 - Time and Tides
Theothrastis brews us some Venom of Fatal Beauty.
We spend the next couple of days investigating the spirits and tides. The spring is a source of Pain, Despair, Machine, and probably other stuff we haven't seen yet. What is available depends on the current tide of the spring. The spirits have been dead and bound to their task for a range of times, some for over 500 years. The unstable buildings on the outskirts are intentionally unstable, extra pain, suffering and death are all part of what the city rulers want.
We also sense that somewhere in the city are 16 quarters of time.
Blackrod and Wulf
I drag Michael along to help me with my social research.
Puck tells us of his overnight view of the city, it reminds him a lot of the Lord of Pattern's city, London on Victoria. He saw a man with a Clock Mask travel by carriage to the river where he boarded a barge heading down river. he tells us that there are hidden canals between the streets, most of the buildings overlooking them have no windows on that side. They seem to be the means of private travel for the most important people in the city.
That night we decide to go flying to find a roof top above the fog so Grendel can examine the stars to learn more about the tides. The light-bolt throwers on the corners of the best building put us off using that. We've already been warned about the tall round tower with the dome with hole in the top - nobody knows what it does but it can't be good. The steep roof and spikes of clock-tower by the river would be rather uncomfortable. Eventually we settle on a flat-roofed building slightly within the fog, Kilroy binds the air to keep it clear above Grendel. While we're keeping watch during the night Kilroy senses some black threads trailing across the sky to or from the bad domed-tower.
- Day 26 - Picnic Lunch
After breakfast and a few hours rest, we head out to Belgravia to look for signs of the three bad guys we were hired to track.
We stand out a bit because we're walking, locals don't do that, they travel everywhere by horse-buggy. But once we're in Belgravia (the foreign quarter) we stand out less.
We've been cruising for a while when Kilroy points out the people I glanced over are actually Blackrod and a Medeanite Sorceress - probably the one that Grendel killed almost a year ago but that would be early for her to be returning. They're standing next to their carriage outside a palace (up market inn for lots of minor nobles) waiting for someone. I propose attacking them now on a general they're-bad-guys-and-we're-heroes principle but get talked out of it, we skulk and watch.
After a while Mister Wulf comes out of the palace, they all climb into the carriage and head off, Kilroy and I shadow them on foot with the others hanging back until they exit the inner city and pick up speed. Kilroy then shadows them as a bird, we hire an open-topped carriage and follow about a mile behind.
Beyond the poor outskirts of town we come to a fancy manor house, instead of the expected fields it has several manufactories in its grounds, the carriage pulls up near these. Kilroy starts sneaking closer to see what they're doing, we disembark for our 'picnic', dismiss the driver and head to the brow of a hill to get line of sight. A couple of crystals and a rock-of-vision later and we're spying in style while the Kilroy mouse creeps through the grass.
The carriage is not really a carriage, it's something living that's about the same size. Walking down from the manor is Baron Meliadus with his bejewelled Wolf mask, shiny armour and big sword. He seems relaxed, his new guests seem on high alert. They greet each other then enter one of the buildings. Grendel has to break through some sort of magical barrier to get his crystal inside where we watch the Baron point out various things including three large bottles full of lightning which seem to concern Mister Wulf who is the first to exit.
We start planning our attack while they're inside where a few explosions would probably result in some interesting secondary effects but they exit before we're ready. Puck swaps places with Kilroy, I start flying in, Bleyze lights Grendel's grenadoes then Grendel posts them to explode by our enemy as they pass close to their carriage and driver... Mayhem! Blackrod and the driver are unharmed though their long coats are shredded revealing they both have demonic bodies; the Medeanite Sorceress and Mister Wulf both take a lot of damage but are still functioning; the carriage loses a leg, is revealed as some sort of Drake which then bolts in panic; Baron Meliadus is on the edge of the blast but catches a shard through the aorta and falls dead.
I drop in and strike Wulf, but not well; Puck engages Blackrod; Kilroy, Michael, and Grendel teleport in, Bleyze starts arcing in on his Fireflight.
The Driver and Sorceress start getting away, Grendel intercepts them; Kilroy and I eventually slay Wulf; Blackrod cripples Puck with Torment; Michael strikes Blackrod and drops him into a 100-year sleep just before being driven to
flight seek cover by Blackfire.
The Driver who turns out to be a Pit Fiend, Fire-Arcs back to rescue Blackrod, Puck stops the fiend getting away but gets smashed around (crushed Pelvis) in return, I hack at him a bit, Kilroy kicks him then nails him with Torment so we can loot and kill him at our leisure; the Sorceress is on the verge of escaping with Grendel's corpse when their luck turns and Grendel slays her with one good blow then quickly loots her dissolving corpse; Bleyze lands ready to join the fight.
- Pit Fiend - Stripped and then despatched to hell.
- Medeanite Sorceress - dead, some loot off her dissolving corpse.
- Drake Carriage - injured, scared, potential loot.
- Baron Meliadus of Kroiden - dead. Body and gear to be looted. Manufactories currently undefended.
- Mister Wulf - dead. Body presumably somewhere within the block of extra-planar ice that exploded out when he died.
- Blackrod - alive, captive, under a century-sleep curse.
Loot and Return
Kilroy's Baku is trapped in the ice with Mr Wulf's body, we DA, poke, prod, apply Fire Magic, and eventually resort to Mind Magic. Mr Wulf is back on his home world of Uranus which is infernally cold (0 kelvin), part of that world is extruded into ours creating the frozen bubble, the Baku is on the other side of the planar boundary with Mr Wulf. We try getting the Baku to loot Mr Wulf and bring his corpse home to use but it turns out he isn't dead and manages to move away. The Baku starts its long walk home, ETA 7-10 years.
We loot the flesh works, alchemy labs, Galvanic Mill, and some guards. Some of the potions from the flesh works repair the Drake Carriage, it is then willing to carry us and our loot. Setting the flesh works on fire, we leave by Carriage.
I drive most of the way, Kilroy Divines the Baron's gear to ensure we can safely use it to pretend to be him. The plan is that we head for the palace to bluff our way into Mr Wulf's room to see if we can work out what he was up to. Then we get the carriage to go 'home' - where Blackrod was staying to see what we can find there.
It is well after dark by the time we get to the inner city, the fog is so thick that I have to lead the coach on foot. Bleyze takes the driver's seat as he can partially see through the fog, we're part way home when he sees 6 cold undead arrayed across the road ahead of us. Weapon spells, Dragon Flames and Charge! The 6 Blackfires caused some concern, Grendel even checked behind the coach for an attack from the rear before joining the fun. The undead were extremely substantial, armoured, protected from magic, buffed and reinforced by Dwarfstar. Michael and I engaged them in melee, each of us absorbing the massive damage in our own way. Kilroy lit the scene then joined Michael, they carved chunks out of us that used a lot of Grendel's Empathic FT, we whittled away their health and even managed to hack a couple down before Bleyze's 7th Dragonflames dropped the last few. I remove their heads to be sure they won't get up again.
We carry on through the fog, taking an indirect route, crossing a bridge we hear water lapping against it. Getting our carriage and cargo clear we then go back to check it out. Kilroy spirit walks through the stone walls and sees moonlight pooled on a lake and a ghostly stone jetty. I climb up, poke my head through the roof of the bridge and look out, Kilroy is on drugs, it's just another of the secret canals. Kilroy is insistent that he's still clean so Michael and I make a hole in the stone wall close to the ground and peer through... nothing special. One last try to get in on Kilroy's vision before we go, I spin three times widdershins then peer through, I can see moonlight glinting on the lake. The others follow my lead then they can see it too, we make the hole bigger and start DAing. The moonlight is Telperion from the plane of Valinor, apparently the remnant light of some legendary Elvish star-tree, it's in a middle-march bound to one of the canals. We figure we can only get in tonight because of the full moon, we should try to liberate the light and we have to do it tonight. We capture small amounts in Moonstones, Grendel's Goblet, I go porpoising in it to try to capture some moonlight in me. Finally I come up with the idea of using one of the Galvanic bottles to imbue the the moonlight with enough life to ally it and walk it out. I'm about to leap in with the bottle when the others point out there might be a fatal bang when it goes off. We eventually work out a plan, Kilroy and Grendel form a bunker, I lower the bottle in, Kilroy counters the rune-lock on the lid, then lifting the lid I windwalk to the bunker, hopefully before the bottle tips... it works... It's Alive! Except for the last part of the plan, it turns out the silvery midnight blue Great Panther doesn't want to be my pet, it has a prior job to go kill the Great Drake - Set, Lord of Serpents.
The Panther is grateful for our help, he offers us a service or favour each and stays to chat a while. Like The Phoenix, he is one of the Great Beasts, he was born to battle Set. He is somewhat worried about the rise of the Gorgons - the mortal Medusa and her eternal sisters. He is pleased about Dragons no longer being Serpents. For the light to be here, he says someone must have been to the timely hill, we look blank so he gives us some history:
- About 25,000 years ago, Set created a Middle-March and took the Elves into it to protect them from the Dragons. In there he poisoned them to create a spell called Serpent of War which unites all of the Elves as one entity. This meant he could take his army of Elves through the Abyss all together and that he could transfer damage to himself to any one of his army.
- The Lord of Patterns worked out what he was up to and forced him to act early, Set led his army through the Abyss towards Sparlainth, he was met by an army of Immortals and stopped by Mark.
- The remnant of the army fled and were infected by a disease from Tlkaktla which turned them into Orcs, the Lords of Rings, Wands and a few allies sent the last of the Elves to the Timely Hill to protect them from the disease, with them was the light of Telperion.
The Panther spots Bleyze's Ent armour and is sad, we explain it was a bad Black Ent but that's sadder. So we decide to fix it. Bleyze puts his armour into the Galvanic charged Lake of Valinor, tops it up with some Restore Reason to hopefully make it a good Ent again, and appeals to Kementari of the Forests for aid, a 50 Forest donation and Brightleaf the Ent is restored to life. Bleyze also learns how to make Fire Woven Silk. Kilroy inscribes a Rune Portal on Brightleaf so we can portal to him then sends him to our portal near the forest where we arrived. We take some flasks of Lake Water, Panther tells us The Unforgotten - a free sending that Haunts Memories is nearby in Albion and that someone is trying to trap Corner Dogs.
The Panther leaves and we portal out too.
We eventually make it to Theothrastis' tower and rest a few hours.
- Day 27 - Blackrod's House
The the Drake Carriage takes us 'home' to Blackrod's House. We find six children who have been soul poisoned and some servants. The servants tell us Blackrod has been here about 3 months but they're not sure what he was doing though we find some indications he was researching Corner Dogs. We cure the children of the poison but it will take years for their souls to heal.
We find two portals in Blackrod's house that have been made permanently active with geodes, the portals they connect to are west-ish about 80 miles and north about 400 miles. I go through them to find out where they lead:
- West (and slightly north) 80 Miles to the basement of a house in a market town, normal rooms at the front, and out back the walls have been knocked down to make a discrete warehouse which holds lots of boxes of green glass-metal flasks (apparently they're alchemical alembics).
- North 100 miles to a clearing in a forest, the air is cooler here, tracks of Blackrod, Pit Fiend, and the Sorceress meeting with someone else who causes seedless-plants to grow in his footsteps (later identified as the Biolurgen).
We decide to check out our last lead on Mr Wulf next, the address he had his orders of Lord Pesiastes' flesh-eating badness delivered to.
The house is in a wealthy part of town, big houses, wide streets, and a park across the road. His house is squarish, three storeys tall, with a solarium on top. We park the carriage out back and try the back door but our key skills don't fit the lock. But we do find out that it's Uranic-level cold in there and the windows look into fake interiors.
With some extra fog cover, we climb to the roof and peer in, we can see a table and a spinning ball device thing (an Orrery), we think it's cold inside here too but one of the windows is designed to open. Grendel plays with the device with TK, he cranks it clockwise and makes another ball (Uranus) appear but we've no idea what this means as we can't DA from here. Kilroy shields me with bound air, the others take cover, I jemmy the window open...
I feel a bit dry and sore, apparently I got frozen solid by the escaping cold, Bleyze had to apply a lot of heat and Grendel's bound fire to get me fluid again in time.
The temperature in the solarium has evened out now and the insulating layers of ice are starting to melt. The table is made of Wood from a Century Tree, the Orrery of Orichalcum its magic is prediction.
Kilroy ghost walks into the main part of the house which is still dangerously cold, everything is made of ice, including lots of interesting looking devices which we can't DA or divine before they would melt. He finds some frozen memories (presumably Wulf's) and sticks his ghostly head in them, he doesn't get anything recent but does learn something of Wulf's people:
- They are from another world/plane that they needed to flee from, they did so by making it and Uranus similar enough that they could step across. About that time they ran afoul of the Parallel Man (Mr Morden) who burned their world (mostly by accident) and killed most of their people.
Then Kilroy finds some levers, he directs Grendel's TK and they flick levers which warm parts of the house until they get the area by the back door warm enough that we can enter there.
We go in and poke around, no further clues to what he was up to and not much we can loot (apart from a spare coat). In the basement we find a Well of Ice, Kilroy removes it and is immediately attacked by half a dozen Phantasms. Kilroy teleports away to heal and prepare counterspells, then Grendel gets attacked by a couple of them I tryo to help but accidentally help the wrong side, Michael and I can't find the casters, Bleyze hits the area with Dragonflames, I send the others out of range while I try to find the casters, they send Nightmares at me but I slay them before they can hurt anyone else, Kilroy returns, Michael gets attacked by five of them and is forced to flee, something is looking at some of our memories, we eventually work out it's The Unforgotten, we'll need amnesia or maybe just hypnotism's to deal to them. Meanwhile Michael's flight and the general furore has attracted official attention, a couple of the big metal birds are taking to the air. We decide to use Blackrod's portal to retreat north to the Forest until things quiet down.
While we pause to rest in the forest, Kilroy and Michael poke around and DA. We work out that Blackrod made a deal with the Biolugen to replicate his Herb that he makes the soul-slicing poison from, he has been growing the herb up here.
Moving away from the clearing to find a hard to access rocky outcropping deeper in the forest, Kilroy and I establish a House, then I ally The Unforgotten, the next morning I can bind them as a Free Sending.
Looking around the area, the forest thins to the east and there's a road leading north to a port city.
- Day 28 - Resting in the new house
Kilroy establishes some Rune Portal starters, we sort, divine, and stash the loot we're carrying. And rest.
- Day 29 - Clocked Out
Consulting our trumps to identify the best step to take, we identify recovering the stolen time. We can find it in Duke Toromonds Palace of Clocks in the city. The thing we most need to recover it is decisiveness.
Back to the clearing, I step through to Blackrod's house. There are a dozen substantial undead, they look at me and prepare weapons. Perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to dump Meliadis' body here. I take a few hits before I manage to activate the portal again and return. One of them follows me through before we can deactivate the portal, it is weakened and damaged by the sunlight, rk 20 light keeps it from casting, Dragonflames does the rest.
New plan - back to the House, portal to near Pesiastes Keep then fly towards the city and the Palace of Clocks on Starwings. All going well until we're about to cross the river and Grendel spots the 4 Fire Angels that were on watch over the palace and are now charging us. Based on prior experience, Grendel thinks we can't take them, they're flying at over twice our speed so we switch to Fireflight and head east, down river. I bring up the rear on Windwalk, the Angels put some effort in and keep up with me, after a while two of them peel off to return and report. We gain sufficient lead for the others to land safely and Grendel to establish a wormhole back to near our House.
We decide that the locals are too stirred up, we need to let some time pass before we would have a chance of discrete entry to the palace.
While it would be best to leave right now, we have a promise to Theophrastus to keep. Grendel Wormhole's us directly into Theo's tower, we help him pack and carry as much as we can grab in 15 minutes then wormhole back to the house and race inside, about half an hour later a pair of Fire Angels blaze overhead, following the path of the earlier wormhole.
Once they're well clear and we've repacked Theo's stuff, Kilroy uses a Geode to establish a permanent portal to Brightleaf, we step through.
- Day 30 to 33 - Albion Forest, Necro Tower, Fable, Kerberoth
We travel through the forest with Brightleaf, heading for the party of junior adventurers.
We find them at the tail end of a raid on a Necromancer's tower.
They lost Absinthe through a window to another plane. We investigate, the window opens into the Astral, but not the area we've travelled through, this is a place of memories, probably home to The Unforgotten. We come up with a cunning plan, I open the window and push Kilroy in, he can't find Absinthe based on his memory of her. Visitation based conference leads to a new plan - I hold the window open while Grendel stands back and picks up Absinthe on Locate, then heals her, then we can get Kilroy to her, then hypnotism gets both of them back to the Window and back to solidity.
Each floor has a window to another plane, one of the leads to Reich, another to a place we've never heard of, a mirror portal opens to an alternate Albion where everyone has only three limbs. But the good news for us is that one leads to a Certain Shore in Fable, and that connects to Kerberoth.
Farewells to Brightleaf, then burning down the tower behind us we exit to the Certain Shore. One day later we're back in Kerberoth and talking to Suneth and Tirwh.
Piecing things together, it seems that Toromond found the Kingdom of Situlia in Fable which was afflicted by a 'Sleeping Beauty' curse, he used the curse to steal the time and dragged it back to the tower via the Certain Shore and then presumably flew it on to his palace. Dragging the time through the Certain Shore caused a lot of damage and the time-quakes.
We then spend some time in the area, Kilroy establishes a permanent portal across the Abyss to near the Alusian Astral so that the Abyss can be crossed in a day. Lord Tirwh has this end of the portal in a secret location and guarded.
We travel to Jiroth and help the master Alchemist Paracelsus (Theophrastus) set up house then establish a permanent portal from his house back to Kerberoth.