We are still walking to China

From DQWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Scribe Notes

Summary

Adventure: We are still walking to China and other parts of Alusia
GM: Rosemary Mansfield
Session: Summer 811
Night: Thursday - keep an eye on the discussion page for actual nights of play
Location: my place in Avondale
Level: Medium

Party

Victoria (GM Info) is a Female Erelheine Warrior played by Struan

  1. Merco male, halfling mind mage played by Jono Bean
  2. Kakuro (Bright Spark) male, human binder played by Dylan
  3. Cher female, saurime binder played by Sean English
  4. Aqualina female, human water mage played by Keith Smith (Aurora substituted for one session)
  5. Pretty Flower (Algeroth) played by William


Mission
The mission is in two parts; initially to complete collection of warpstone from Kheledgundu and oversee repair of the Elfenburg Slow Portal. I expect this to take two - three sessions. See Slow Portal to China and apply to Rowan for more details.
Over the Xmas break your GM will write the rest of the adventure. It will be something to suit the characters on the adventure, for example: quests for spells or knowledge, something related to a character background. I want to run something on Alusia / Baronies
Employer
The Guild, on behalf of Baron Anastasius-Grendl of Elfenburg, is your primary employer.
Pay
For finishing repair of the Elfenburg Portal 7500 sp each

Buffs

Magic Rk Effects Duration Aqualina Cher Kakuro Merconium Pretty Flower Victoria
Resist Cold 9 10 hours Yes
Water Breathing 20 21 hours Yes
Waters of Strength 10 Adds (D-2) + 10 PS 22 minutes
Waters of Healing 15 Heals (D-5) + 15 32 minutes
 

Scribe Notes

Destimations and a Map

A Useful Map


Just to get the scribe notes going here are links to places mentioned:




1st Meadow

Finally finished a rather long period of training and wanted a change .. and some excitement. So I joined an adventure to continue the repair of the Elfenburg Slow Portal. Kali the Nameless was our party employer and he (I was so sure she was a she - that's the problem with Illusionists) explained our mission.

The last party had managed to find out what was required to fix the portal but were unable to complete the job. Warpstone was required but the party's attempt to obtain some from Kheledgundu had failed as they were beaten back by the half crab/half dwarf creatures that were down there. So a stronger party was required to go down there and complete the mission.

Warpstone is a material that can .. well .. basically warps stuff, including people, and unrefined warpstone was extremely dangerous and chaotic .. especially to anyone who handled it. So we had to fetch blocks of processed warpstone and take it to Elfenburg where an elven wizard could do rituals on it. Seven blocks were required to be planted in places where the portal had been leaking or could potentially leak to. There are: the Ffenargh, MiddleMarch, Mucklands, D'Arbres, Sith's Revenge, Roughness, and the Elfenburg Swamp.

Kheledgundu was associated with the Tomb of Ahriman which is probably the reason why there is warpstone there. Anyway, after Kali explained all of this, Kakuro was expressing interest in playing with the stuff and making golems out of it. We quickly nipped that in the bud as fast as possible - besides, a lot of very high level negotiations had taken place in order to allow the stuff to be used in the first place as it's just too dangerous. This was basically why the following two clauses were added to the adventuring contract:

  • No shares for any golems - especially if they become sentient
  • No playing with Warpstone without the permission of the Party Leader

It was decided that we should take only the warpstone that was needed and no more. Personally I'd rather not go anywhere near the stuff, having been exposed to Chaos effects before.

It was looking like that we would have to use the Slow Portal to get to Elfenberg and there were quite a few rules to follow, one of which was restrictions on the types of magical items that could go through. Items that involved extra dimensions were definitely out as was my Handy Haversack as it was of fae manufacture and may interfere with the magic of the portal, it too being fae of origin.

A letter of introduction to the Chief Clerk at Elfenburg was obtained then we split up to do our preparations. I put my name down for a Greater Enchantment (r10, weapons & resistances), got a Lesser then went down to check the markets. After browsing a bit, picked up some chocolate nibbles to add to my 'emergency rations'.

Finally, really late that afternoon, we assembled at the Seagate end of the portal. It was going to be here for a week either side of the Guild meeting before the end marker was moved to where it was needed next as it is a vital part of several country's economies, which is why there is a great incentive to fix it. The other end is fixed in Elfenburg.

We had to sign in. Kakuro was bringing in an animated boat and decided to take a nap with the instruction "wake me if anything happens". I decided to interpret that as "wake me only in the case of dire emergency" so, when we saw the faces in the mists, I decided to let sleeping binders lie. Besides .. there was no actual threat and we had been instructed "do NOT leave the path".

Inside the portal there was basically a wagon side path which fell down on each side to what appeared to be misty swamps with the occasional tree. At one point we saw faces in the mist peering at us. We just ignored them and carried on but I kept my trident at the ready in case something leapt out at us.

Finally, after three hours travelling (although it felt longer) we came out in the old stables. Another young guard was there and we had to go through all the formalities of signing out etc. Merconium was handing out bottles of Seagate wine which helped loosen the guard's attitude. After leaving the stables, we encountered an older guard that recommended, since we were foreigners, to go to the White House on South Street. Merconium managed to hire a couple of local lads as guides which I thought was a really good idea.

We got there without incident and got rooms for the night. Meals were a bit expensive but, after it was explained that food had to be shipped in, especially for us foreigners that couldn't handle the local stuff (it's mildly poisonous if you're not acclimatised to it). Cost us 30sp for the entire party.

Merconium asked about baths and I got really interested. We discovered that there was actually a rather large bath house in town that had a pool big enough to swim in. Definitely checking that out tomorrow morning.

2nd Meadow

First thing in the morning, checked out the bath house. Did my usual morning spells (waterbreathing and resist cold) but unfortunately my attempt at purifying while sitting on the bottom of the pool completely underwater failed when the boilers got fired up. Rather noisy down there. At least it's a change from being poked by a long pole. So I got some exercise swimming in the pool before returning to the inn for breakfast.

Meanwhile Merconium was organising outfitting our two guides with decent clothing. The current plan is to visit the chief clerk of the local keep (we had a letter of introduction) and hire a couple of rangers to help us find the path to Kheledgundu which we believed had to be there.

We discussed what to do. During the discussions Kakuro got a new name, courtesy of Merconium, i.e. 'Bright Spark'. One possibility was to follow the silk route backwards. Another was to contact either the Foresters or Hunters Guilds in order to get a guide or at least local knowledge. Besides, we still had that letter of introduction to the Chief Clerk and some of the old records there could be useful. So we headed off there via the markets. Victoria got the names of three elven trading houses that dealt with the silk.

At the Clerk's office, there wasn't much information he had. We did discover that the Forester's Guild was proably one of the oldest Guilds in the area and probably the most likely to know the area, including the old route to the dwarven mines. The question was asked whether or not the Beltan Elves could be of some use but we were told that they were rather 'touchy'.

Back to the White House where we were told by one of Merconium's 'boys' that the Forester's Guild was at least an hour and a half walk away. So we hired a trap and pony for those who didn't feel like walking. I had already been informed that it wasn't polite to go around town dripping with obvious weaponry so it was just daggere/maingauche for the trip.

After a long ride (yes I was feeling lazy and since it was there - why not) we arrived at a group of seven buildings one of which was a large wooden lodge. We were shown inside into the main hall where we spoke with some of the members including a very old man who had to be carried in with a sedan chair. They went over the maps they had but weren't sure of the route from here but, since there was a clear and defined route from D'Arbres, maybe we should start there. The best they could narrow the location to was about thirty square miles which could take an entire season to search.

Talk turned to getting to D'Arbres by boat and the suggestion was made that I use Wave Riding to speed up the journey. I wanted to know why not use Mage Current but it was pointed out that, since there was heavy river traffic, a Mage Current could cause considerable disruption and .. well .. a lot of people would get really upset and I could end up in more trouble than I could deal with. Considering some of the mishaps with Mage Current I have had in the past, I had to agree. Finally it was decided to hire a barge, head down to the nearest village to D'Arbres, and ride in. That meant we had to go back to the Guild and get horses. Someone then suggested flying in but, when it was pointed out that we had to bring out warpstone the idea was vetoed much to my relief. Even after all this time, I still don't like flying.

We had a rather interesting time talking to the foresters and it was rather late by the time we got back to the inn.

3rd Meadow

While Victoria arranged for the barge, the rest of us took the portal back to Seagate to arrange for horses and supplies. There wasn't time to get my horse from the Bolton Bay stables so I settled for something small and quiet. Finally took them all back to Elfenburg via portal.

4th Meadow

Next day we were on a barge, the Blue Peony and started the trip down river. I spent most of the time fishing as well as helping out in the kitchen.

  "In a battle against a small orange, it's an even fight" - Pretty Flower (not sure who or what he was talking about)

5th Meadow

Reached a small river town mid afternoon where we were getting off. Night was spent in a small village.

9th Meadow

Riding to D'Arbres was a four day journey most of which was through farmlands. It only rained one of the days which was still rather pleasant.

By late morning we were entering forests as we headed into the mountains. Late afternoon we spotted stonework in the forest off to one side. An hour later we rode into D'Arbres, which was located in a valley surrounded by forest. There were only seven buildings here including a new church and smithy. We later discovered that the old smithy had been put on top of a sacred place to the fey and the resulting mess meant it had to be shifted.

We met the reeve, a middle aged man who spoke halting common with an accent. The main language here was LaLange. We explained what we were doing here and he told us about the fae courts and not to mess with them. Bright Spark was especially warned not to mess with the marker stones. The nixies were especially dangerous which meant the millpond was off limits which meant no swimming for me. Looks like this lot aren't as ameniable as the ones I had encountered in Tir-Na-Nog many years ago.

It was decided to throw a party for the locals to get rid of the excess supplies. They agreed to look after the horses for us. Cher and I made the acquaintance of the local cats while Victoria dealt with the old widow's arthritis.

10th Meadow

We spent two full days in D'Arbres to rest and plan. The millpond may have been offlimits but, fortunately, the creek and the river downstream was fine.

12th Meadow

Finally set off on foot towards the dwarven mine and the unknown dangers ahead. We went past the millpond then we found the path to the old mine workings going up towards the mountains. Ended up walking in single file with Cher and Merco in front.

A short while later, for some reason, Cher and Merco were talking about hitting each other with sticks. At Merco's suggestion that they should meet back here in a year and a day to duel it out I heard a bell and the air smelt of magic. Guess it's not really a good idea to make statements like that in a fae area as they tend to make you do it by geas. Besides, I think I'd come back as well to watch - as well as selling tickets. Victoria, with me translating, asked permission to mark a tree to mark the spot. Since she wasn't pelted by acorns, she figured she had permission to do so.

Kept following the track going up saddles and into valleys. Oh .. I have to note that Merco's gear, if he dies irresurectably, is to go to his next of kin. That was because Brightspark was coveting Merco's armour to put it on a golem. Anyone tries that with me, I swear I'm going to haunt them. Oh yeah, and Merco has a fur coat that eats things or so he claims. And I thought my fae haversack was strange.

That night, a wolfpack was heard during the first watch. Apart from that nothing occurred. Oh, since I'm on the last watch, with Merco, I have to purify in the evening - which I actually succeeded in doing.

13th Meadow

Passed by a stream which we had to ford. The water was partially blocked by a large tree which could cause a problem later on so Cher used magic to dislodge the tree and send it downstream. Of course it lodged at the next bend. We decided to leave it.

Lunch time we reached the saddle. Up here it was windy and exposed. This was where we found the rocky bank that had shells in it. How on earth did they get up here? So I decided to take samples for an Earth Mage I know to look at.

Camped that evening.

14th Meadow

It's a lot rockier up here. By now we had left the treeline below us but we soon found the gully with the tailings in it that the previous party had found from the air. The nearby hole in the rock was the abandoned copper mine. Merco used ESP and detected little sleepy things in the cave. Bats? He also detected birds and rabbits.

  "Guess the dragon resisted" - Brightspark.

We had here, a flat working area with stonework drains and a paved road - all of dwarven manufacture. Victoria believed that if we picked up the pace, we could make it to the second waystation by nightfall. Which was what we did, with me setting the pace with a song.

On the way, part of the road had been covered by an avalanche but we got to the waystation just before dark. This one was located on a meadow and we could hear the sound of goats.

  "They're scape-goats" - Merco

15th Meadow

It was raining by the morning watch so I switched to my krakenskin armour, which is better worn wet. As we progressed the discussion turned to harnesses and deploying hobbits. Looks like Merco was trying to get a ride on someone taller. The talk then turned to trebuchets and launching air mages. Victoria said some Guild Air mages already had done that.

Finally reached Waystation #4 that evening. Merco didn't detect anything dangerous so I figured it was safe enough to enjoy the still falling rain. So it was two piece swimsuit and sash that evening - which might explain why Brightspark's ritual of making another stone golem failed. He has to learn to avoid being distracted.

I then discovered that Merco was measuring me. Seems like he has plans of fitting me and Victoria with hobbit carrying harnesses.

16th Meadow

During the morning watch, we spotted something black on Brightspark's arm. While Merco woke everyone up, I carefully put my tulwar between the thing and Brightspark then flicked it off. Merco's dogs quickly dealt to it but there was enough left for Pretty Flower to determine that it was a bat with large fangs. Definitely not a fruit bat. Meanwhile I fed Brightspark a Waters of Healing - just in case.

Dawn finally arrived with the speculation that the goats were goats by day and bats by night. Reached Waystation #6 that evening where it was decided to leave a cairn containing a couple of my permanent Waters of Healing. There was no metal grill over the firepit here so Cher went back to the previous waystation to get the grill from there and leave two more Waters of Healing there.

17th Meadow

The plan was to check out the mine environs then retreat back to the last waystation. Finally found the lost mine that morning. Some of the water courses had been redirected and we could see, beyond the entry doors, a defensive room, probably a gatehouse. Beyond that was a larger room and the corridors we could see were five foot wide and six foot high. No magic was detected but we did find the remains of terraced herb gardens.

There were no tailings here so we headed back to the last waystation (#6). On the way we gathered more rocks so Brightspark could increase his golem army.

Spent the rest of the day planning while Brightspark started creating his stone golem army. Merco was getting Cher to build him a proper stone oven and it took a few attempts at the build before they got something that would actually work. Meanwhile I was sparring dagger/maingauche with Victoria.

Three more bats were dispatched during the night.

18th Meadow

Raining intermittently off and on. Had to nearly tiptoe around the camp as Brightspark was having difficulty concentrating. So I stayed out of sight and soaked up the rain. By the end of the day he had 11 little stone golems and one large one standing by which would last at least a week. The original two were nearing the end of their duration.

The plan was to leave early the next morning so Merco decided to play 'mother' and insist we all have an early night, so we were all shooed into bed. A wolfpack was heard and two more bats were skewered.

19th Meadow

Mine-layout.png

Raining horizontally this morning with a stiff wind. Thank goodness for Resist Colds.

Victoria organised the marching orders. Double file from the front were Cher/Merco, Algeroth/Victoria, Aqualina/Brightspark. Single file was, again from the front, was Merco, Victoria, Cher, Algeroth, Brightspark, Aqualina.

Once we got to the mine, both Victoria and I prepared for stealth mode. The first two rooms were basically 'kill zones', for defensive purposes. Beyond that was a long downward sloping corridor that was five foot wide and six foot high - about a one in three slope.

At the bottom of that was a large high roofed chamber, fifty by fifty foot square and fifteen foot high. It contained a huge metal frame, ore carts, one simple shaft going up with a metal ladder, and a complex shaft going down subdivided into four parts with a ladder, ropes and pipes descending down. Tracks were discovered, some of which were caused by Seagate footware and others seemed to be made by a creature that alternately dragged and stepped. Some moving water could be detected down below.

Brightspark possessed a golem and slid down a rope, finally splashing down into fast moving water at the bottom of the dark, unlit, shaft. After he reoccupied his body, Victoria borrowed Merco's dragonfly brooch, that allowed him to turn into a tiny knight riding a dragonfly, and flew down into the dark.

What he found were horizontal corridors branching off the vertical shaft. At the second and third levels, he could see buildings in large caverns, presumably where the dwarfcrabs lived. The lower one had a box with wheels in the shaft - an ore cart?

Lower down, other shafts, extended out, all pointing in the same direction until the shaft disappeared into water. Once we found all of that out, I put waterbreathing and cold resistances on everyone.

There were probably lots of ways to get down but we chose the ladder, that descended straight down into the dark. Waters of Strength all around helped but we had to stop at every level to rest our aching muscles. At the levels where the buildings were, we could see movement in the shadows. However, we had decided to go right down to the bottom and work our way up in the belief that the warpstone was right at the bottom and we could avoid conflict.

The lowermost shaft extended outwards then opened out at the end. We could see a triangular hole in the roof and the floor was a bit damp. We could hear water coursing underneath. Also Merco detected something hungry beyond the walls.

There was a faint aura on part of the walls which, according to Algoroth, had the generic true name of 'quartz'. We deduced that the magic had been left here by erosion. I took a tiny sample that was flaking off the roof but Brightspark decided to create a golem out of the stuff resulting in the roof coming down. Fortunately we were all way back out by then.

When we got back to the vertical shaft, we discovered that the water level was rising. The cave in must have blocked something.

So we went up to the next level. Here, the quartz had been tunnelled out then the shaft extended onwards. There was a breeze blowing in our face. We then found another mined bit with a laddered shaft going down. Again the quartz here had an aura but it wasn't the same piece of aura that we had seen below. The draft was coming from the water drain.

Next level up was a horizontal shaft the same length as the bottom one. This one was also worked out and no auras were found.

The next level up was the lower building level. Looks like we're going to have to confront dwarfcrabs after all.

We cautiously approached the buildings. Merco used ESP to detect 25 minds but I was fairly sure there would be at least twice that. Anyway, he scouted ahead while we followed behind cautiously. We found brick buildings which were around 6ft tall under a 50 to 60 ft high ceiling. Some freshly gnawed goat bones were also found which had traces of flesh on them. The inhabitants seemed to be aware of our presence as there were thoughts of "Intruders".

So we got up on to the roof, which turned out to be a continuous platform. Marks and grafitti indicated that the children were sent up here to play as well as some craft activity, were performed up here.

Finally made our way to the other end and found more tunnel heading onwards. A hole in the ceiling had a ladder heading upwards, presumably to the next level. A water channel in the floor was collecting water that was seeping out of the rocks.

A short while later, the tunnel dead ended. Openings indicated rooms off to the side. There was also some ground water seepage and areas in the wall that indicated holes that had been filled in with packed powdered rock. Speculation included some sort of rock worm and even a chaos baker making rock cake worms.

So we worked our way around a similar platform on the other side and exited the cavern without incident.

Up to the next level. Here, the buildings seemed more roughly built. Algoroth found a patch of dried blood which had the aura of human and, from there, there was a trail which indicated that the person bleeding had been dragged off. This was where the previous party had their initial encounter.

We were rather more cautious as we headed into the 35ft high cavern, following the blood trail. Merco did detect something restless and hungry. This took us down alongside the right hand wall and had to stick to the floor as the roofs here did not form a platform like the ones below. Instead they were tiled and sloped away from the wall. Also, partway along, was a fountain that poured water into a trough.

The blood trail finally went into a building. We clambered up onto the roof and, from up there, those that could see in the dark (not me) could see figures scuttling around. After dropping back down to the floor we continued on, discovering that the cavern dead ended and there was a hole in the floor with a ladder in it. A little further on was a hole in the ceiling. Merco used the dragonfly brooch to fly down and confirm the earlier hypothesis. He then checked the shaft going up which came out on a corridor. He felt that the area up there was 'funky' but there was no aura on the rock sample he brought back.

We started working our way back. As we neared the fountain, something large tumbled out of the wall and went on the attack. It looked like a stone snake but this one was mobile and quickly had Merco wrapped up in it's coils. I was knocked off the roof and landed in the trough. Cher was being smacked by the tail. I was momentarily stunned but was soon on the offensive with dagger/maingauche. That was when I discovered that it's skin was as tough as stone, and, while standing knee deep in water, decided to swap the dagger for the tulwar.

Merco used his ability to turn to sand and dribbled his way out from under the snake. Meanwhile Cher and Victoria were laying into it, scoring some very good hits and soon had it down. Unfortunately the fracas had attracted the attention of the crab/dwarves and, at least three of them were coming in to the attack. Brightspark was in the process of creating a golem while Algoroth was casting healing on those that needed it.

I should remind you that it was rather dark down here and we were getting updates by way of Merco's mindspeech. Most of the other combatants were okay but I could only really see a few feet in front of me. Hence even that I knew that Cher was getting attacked, I couldn't see enough to do anything about it from where I was, knee deep in water that the dead snake was bleeding into. I wanted to vault bravely over the trough wall and leap into battle as quickly as possible but my first attempt failed and I slipped backwards into the water. So, trying not to broadcast my annoyance at myself over the mindspeech for being stupid, I took a bit more time in clambering out, keeping weapons ready. I found myself behind Victoria and Cher who were laying into one. Since I could not reach it with my weapons and, unlike Merco, I wasn't about to go running out in the dark to go around the block of buildings to get around to the other side of the fight (he could see in the dark, I couldn't) I prepared a spell. As I did, the creature fell down.

That was when I realised I was still standing on a (hopefully) dead snake that was still contaminating the trough water by bleeding into it. Algoroth DAed it and discovered it wasn't quite dead yet and had a GTN of Rock Snake. So Victoria finished it off. Algoroth also DAed one of the crabdwarves and discovered it had a GTN of Dwarf and had an animal aura. It was also a non-aquatic. I didn't think so, but it was worth a look.

Our objective was a door in the rockface, the only door we had seen that hadn't led into a building. So Cher started to work her way around. Not wanting to be left alone in the gloomy darkness, I followed. Thank goodness Cher was radiating a faint glow. She then created a Wall to block off the other corridor while the others completed neutralising the potential threat and moved to join us.

The room beyond was full of rotting corpses of crabdwarves and goats - and smelt really foul. Merco waited outside and I ended up joining him as it was just too gross. Cher had a poke around. No other exits were found but she did find an older crabdwarf skeleton that had pincers with a magical aura. So she carefully removed those and added them to the contents of Algoroth's loot sack. A DA told us that the Nature of Magic was Severing. Hm .. might make good knives or polearms.

On the way out, Brightspark doubled back to check on the snake. He discovered it was petrifying. He also insisted on hanging around to extract the heart but Cher solved that problem by disintegrating the corpse. Some of the resulting dust was reddish in colour with a fading aura so a sample was taken. Not me though .. the last strange dust sample I picked up exploded and I'm not doing that again.

Headed up to the next cavern level and went down the corridor. This one looked really old compared to the others and had been well used. 100ft onwards it opened up to a cavern. It had big pillars in it, stretching from floor to ceiling, with mist drifting around them as well as what looked like hairs dangling down from the ceiling. Between the pillars was open archwork.

Merco detected a big bundle of sleeping minds nearby and above us as well as half a dozen hunting/predators. That was when we realised that the 'hair' was silk and we were probably in spider country. That was confirmed when we saw one which DAed as Giant F Spiders - much like the ones in the Earth Tree in Tir Na Nog I had encountered several years ago now.

There was a series of doors along the wall and we wanted to get to them without being attacked. So, since everyone already had Waterbreathings on, I attempted to create a fog bank to conceal us. It took me three tries to get it up and I must have been more tired than I thought as I suddenly took a bit of a nap after the second attempt. Fortunately it only lasted a few minutes and Merco was able to get me away. One slab of chocolate later and I was ready for the third attempt which worked. Must have been the chocolate that did it.

Under the cover of fog, we reached the first door in the row. Cher fiddled with it a bit and got it open. Inside was what remained of a workroom with marks indicating where furniture had been and the remains of shelves. The only thing of interest was a pulley in the ceiling that had durability magics on it. Cher carefully removed it and added it to the contents of Algoroth's loot bag.

Meanwhile, Merco was throwing bits of food at the spiders and soon had the attention of nine. They were acting just like my cats. There was no answer to the DA question 'Best Magical Ability'.

The next room was another workroom with passages going off to living areas. Cher came to the conclusion that the doors were made to be spider proof. There was even a chimney hole in the ceiling.

The rest of the rooms were more of the same, more living quarters and workrooms. At the end of the row was a shafty going down which Merco identified as the top of the shaft from the lower level he had already checked out. The end of the cavern was filled in with rubble but there was a bit of a breeze going through. Another odd thing we noticed that one of the pillers seemed to have less bats and web around it.

By now we were all getting tired so we headed back up the shaft and camped up the top.

20th Meadow

We were running out of places where the warpstone could be, either behind the mechanician room, behind this pile of rubble or under the water level. After some discussion it was decided to go underwater, much to my delight. However, there was one major problem. It was rather dark down there and none of us had a suitable lightsource for underwater work (I had run out of glowsticks) nor could we see in the dark. The idea that was come up with was to invert one of the oarcarts, make it waterproof and transparent, so to trap air in it with a burning lantern inside. I still believed that they should use rocks to weigh it down but they wanted an elemental.

So, with the ore cart itemised we descended once more into the depths. I was dressed for swimming in case going into merform would make me more able to see in the dark underwater but, when we got there, we discovered that the water was muddy - no doubt due to the earlier cave in yesterday. However, instead of me going swimming, it was Merco who had a poke around while I did the summon elemental ritual in the water.

Between Merco and the elemental we discovered that the water cleared 40ft below the surface and was rather still. There was a horizontal shaft and the main shaft kept going down to the bottom, nearly another 7000 feet below the surface, making the entire vertical drop being 10,000 feet from the top of the shaft. There was a submerged horizontal shaft that did emerge into air, roughly 1000ft along, and there was supposed to be a water outlet but that was blocked. The elemental was able to flow past the blockage and discovered a lake on the mountainside where one wasn't supposed to be. A waterfall poured out of it to more step lakes. The largest, and the bottom one was three waterfalls down and was full of trout.

Speaking of the elemental I must have got one that had ranks in mechanician as well as being rather chatty as it was very helpful in implementing the plan we came up later, as well as contributing ideas of it's own. We had decided to unblock the drain to return the water to the level it was supposed to be. So we went down and Cher moulded out the grate that was in the outlet.

It was then decided that we would head out of the cave complex and meet the elemental outside at the pool. So we did, descending down a gully reaching a smallish lake that was bounded by cliffs. We then went looking for the outlet, finding it behind a rockslide.

We didn't just want to let the water go as that could cause a mess down stream and maybe even do a lot of damage. So time was spent shaping the lakes in order to have a proper runoff and control the water flow. Most of the work was done with elementals and golems and took us four days in total to do a proper job. The outlets were also marked so they could be found by magical locates. It was still mostly hidden by a rockslide though. Trying to clear that could have brought half the mountain down on us but at least there was enough gaps for water to flow.

24th Meadow

The water level had dropped to where it should have been so we descended once again, down the ladder, into the dark depths of the mine. Next time I must remember to find a Celestial with Investment ... and possibly an Air Mage as well. But, finally we reached the corridor we were aiming for, much to the relief of my arms and shoulders.

This corridor was more finished than the others and was even decorated. The walls were even deliberate perforated and cut to channel the water flow. There was also a gentle slope upwards.

It took us a while to reach the area where the corridor walls were dry. Around here, the walls began to have the beginnings of a magic aura. Just then a ghostly figure stepped out of the wall and said in dwarven "Go Back! This place is not for you. Beware! Old Evil!". Unfortunately the only one in the party who knew dwarven was me and not very well and my attempts to explain our mission didn't work too well. I think I was using Pasifikan to try to fill in the gaps. Algoroth determined that we were dealing with a revenant, some sort of guardian undead I presume.

Victoria walked right through it and it went away. A bit further on, there was another spectral figure, this one looking like an elf in ancient armour but, again, it spoke in dwarven, repeating the warnings that the first one had uttered with more emphasis. Attempts to communicate in elven yielded no results. I think I'd better learn more dwarven words for next time.

I then had an idea and passed by Crystal of Vision to Algoroth, suggesting that he use it to scry into the room we could see beyond the wight. What he saw was a smallish room with many many dwarven runes on the walls, an archway with more runes around a fissure in the far wall and a lectern in the far left corner.

That was then that the wight issued forth an unearthly wail, and the next thing I knew I was heading back down the corridor at speed with Algoroth and Merco not far behind. The others weren't as affected and Victoria bravely strode through the creature which vanished although she did suffer some draining. Meanwhile I was on the way back warily with weapons out with Merco hanging off me. Victoria rallied us all over the Mind Speech and onward we went, after I created Waters of Healing for those who wanted them.

As the front of the party reached the chamber, dwarven figures appeared in the room in front of us, all in some sort of 'turtle' formation and wielding stone hammers except for the one at the back in more ornate armour brandishing a axe. Victoria and Cher advanced into action while I attempted to trigger a Quickness - which failed to go off. That was when two ghostly figures appeared behind the dwarves, one being the wight we had previously encountered. It wailed .... and back down the corridor I went with thoughts of hiding in the water at the bottom of the vertical shaft.

Cher charged into the dwarven wall ... and bounced ... before being severely smacked into the chest with a very substantial hammer. Victoria also stepped in to engage the enemy nightgaunts while Merco came up with a plan that I think I might recommend for Smartest. What he did was to use the dragonfly brooch to fly over the enemy and land behind them, then scatter some sunlight producing salt into the midst of them. That had the effect of instantly getting rid of the wight and his mate as well as causing the nightgaunts to start fading.

Meanwhile Brightspark had been attempting to get an instant golem out of the wall at the corner going into the room but something wierd was going on. First off, the colour of the golem wasn't the same colour as the rock and, instead of animating, all it did was become a statue half in the wall.

Merco got the attention of the axe wielder and connected strongly as the undead continued to fade. As they did, a large, insubstantial draconic head came out of the right hand wall and looked about while stating in Draconic "What do we have here?" Fortunately Cher understood and spoke Draconic. It then bit Merco who vanished. Algoroth determined that the insubstantial dragon was a wight and it's greatest weakness was 'Spectral Attacks'.

All the stone here was magical. Once the nightgaunts faded away, Cher stepped into the room and, very politely, asked for our hobbit back. Merco appeared and dropped to the floor.

The dragon told us to go - the black rock is evil and not for mortals. When Cher tried to explain we needed some to fix an ancient portal the dragon told us that we should use our feet.

Brightspark tried to get control of his instant golem, and promptly collapsed. Algoroth determined that the altar has change magic and that the golem was corrupted. Cher was still trying to explain our mission and decided that she should read the letter of introduction we had obtained to the dragon. However, since she couldn't read Common, I read the Common which Cher then translated into Draconic. Meanwhile Victoria examined Brightspark.

  "He should be conscious in a few minutes .... or a few hours if we're unlucky" - Victoria
  "Don't you mean a few hours if we're lucky?" - Cher.

Fortunately there seemed to be no lasting effect. Brightspark was still human and the last magic to impact was 'Corruption'.

The dragon then asked us to promise not to go beyond this chamber. When we agreed we were geased. He then withdrew so only his eyes were showing. The sunlight had faded by now so I used lantern light to copy down the runes. Maybe someone at the Guild can translate them. The others discovered that the golem was made of raw warpstone which was emitting a chaos effect. Meanwhile the lectern was made of refined warpstone that had been channeled to create influence. It could also be dismantled into several pieces so we decided to do just that and select seven pieces. Cher tried to itemise a piece, on Victoria's instruction, and promptly fell unconscious. Last magic to impact was 'Warp'. She woke up a few minutes later.

GM note: Comparative DA's on the 'golem freize' vs the pulpit show the nature of the 1st as Corruption and the second as Change.

By the time it was all done, we were exhausted so we spent the night down at the other end of the corridor, as far away from the chaos influence as possible.

25th Meadow

Various schemes to get the warpstone slabs up the shaft were discussed and rejected, mainly because they involved magic. Finally it was decided that Brightspark, being a mechanician, would use the dragonfly brooch to fly up and see if he could get the lift mechanism working. The lift was currently sitting on the bottom living level.

While he was doing that, we initiated another plan. Leaving the warpstone at the bottom level, we climbed up to the level above. This plan involved summoning a water elemental, head back down the overflow outlet pipe from the top cistern, flood the lower levels again and float the warpstone out via this outlet. To do that we had to block the bottom outlet and then divert the water up the top into the main shaft. We believed it would take a day to raise the water level enough to accomplish this. It have the added advantage of flooding the lower tunnel to make it even more difficult for anyone attempting to come back and harvest raw warpstone. In my opinion, not as much as filling in the tunnel but it should definately slow them down. As Merco put it, 'who would usually bring a water mage to a mine'. I declined to comment.

So, we headed out of the mine, ending up at the upper lake. Cher and I, along with the water elemental, headed down to the lower lake (the one with all the trout in it) and created a series of landslides over the outlet, slowing the waterflow down to a mere trickle.

Cher and I then used the water elemental to travel up the top outlet again where Cher diverted the incoming water flow. She also created a hole in the bottom of the top cistern dumping the entire contents, including all the accumulated sludge, down the shaft. That was when we realised we were effectively stuck. With no water flowing down the overflow outlet, we couldn't use the elemental to leave and Cher wasn't keen on trying to make the trip under her own power as it was a rather narrow passage. I could have made it out myself but didn't want to leave her behind. So I decided to stay with her.

26th Meadow

We had to wait a day for the shaft to refill again up to the overflow. By that time Brightspark had made some progress in working out the complex mechanisms above and was confident he could get it going. However, it was getting obvious we wouldn't need the lift mechanism after all so, once the shaft was full, we reclaimed our Binders and prepared to retrieve the warpstone.

Getting it was rather easy now it was submerged. All we really needed was an ore cart with buoyancy on it and a water elemental to carry it. I had to go with it though to direct it and stack the warpstone - which I was handling with thick gloves on. Once on the ore cart, the cart was floated up to the next level, down that tunnel then basically flushed down the outlet pipe.

Finally, all of us, and the warpstone was outside at the top lake. Brightspark had golems waiting to carry it but we delayed a bit to see if the golems would gain enough corruption from the warpstone to go out of control ... or something worse. Fortunately nothing bad happened.

Speaking of corruption, Algoroth divinated all of us and, apart from the geases we had picked up, most of us were more susceptable to chaos effects. Also part of Brightspark's leg had been replaced by what looked like wet clay and some of Cher's claws had turned black and could cause infections in any wounds caused.

1st Heat

We were making our way up and out of the valley with the golems plodding along carrying to the warpstone. Brightspark had given the instruction to 'follow the person in front of you' which, much to my annoyance, because of the designated marching order, was me. Which meant, I kept getting the prickly feeling of chaos radiating into my back. Probably just my overactive imagination and paranoia - I hope.

Anyway, it wasn't until late afternoon that we intersected the path we had originally ascended.

4th Heat

Finally reached the vale above D'Arbres and I was looking forward to a swim in the safe water again. However, just before we reached fae territory an ambush was detected with roughly six entities according to Merco's ESP. Both Victoria and I could see glimpses of people, roughly human height. Illusionary Terrain was also detected. Merco was also able to determine that at least two of them were preparing magic.

Since our morning buffs included Waterbreathings I dropped a fog around us while the others prepared. Brightspark prepared the golems for combat (there were four of them). I then Quickened all of us using one of the high powered Quicknesses.

Combat was joined. Just then, there was a flash of light ... and I couldn't see any more. Neither could Cher. I was going to blast them with Water Bolts but that idea was now out of the question so I attempted to drop another fog among the enemy to hopefully confuse them. Somehow .. I don't think it worked.

Algoroth was dealing with a Namer up a tree and we also discovered some of them were Quickened as well. Victoria, Merco and the golems were trying to deal with a glaive wielder and I was just about to step back a bit in the hope of remaining hidden in my fog when I was hit rather badly by another glaive wielder. All I could do was try to shake off the effects and defend myself as best I can.

It was looking really bad. Both Cher and I were blinded and under attack by glaive wielders and, over the Mindspeech, it was sounding like the others were not doing too well either. I took another hit and I was sure that another one like that would take me right out. Fortunately I was able to recover from stun quickly enough to start evading.

Meanwhile Brightspark was knocked out which meant that the golems were now stuck on obeying their last order - pummel the person in front of them - which they were doing with gusto eventually turning him into a bloody pulp. The Namer disappeared into the tree. Meanwhile the rest of the party were barely holding their own.

Evading only delayed the inevitable and I was struck down. For an instant I thought I was in the Guild Healing Hall (where my golem backup was) but then I was yanked back as Merconium applied a healing potion in the nick of time. According to tribal custom, I now owe him a Debt of Honour. While I had been out, Merco had tossed a potion over his opponent then lit the ground underneath him on fire. I presumed he didn't like the idea of a potential hotfoot as he vacated the area and vanished. Another flash of light rolled across the battlefield but had no effect. Meanwhile Cher was knocked out as well but Algoroth was bravely remaining upright.

By the time I came around I could see that our opposition were really confused. One was wrestling another one and they all seemed to be surrounded by illusionary children that were acting as real distractions. I guess none of them had been parents before. Merconium and I were about to leap on one of them but he ran off into the trees. No way were we going to follow him into fae country. Cher must have got up again as she knocked another over. Meanwhile Merconium, Victoria and I broke up the fight and subdued them.

Finally it was all over. I dished out healing potions to those that needed it and we had three prisoners. The rings they were wearing had invested Windwalking in them. The two glaive wielders and the mages had got away. It turned out that they were from Sanctuary and believed that the Mage Guild there would pay a ransom for their release. We also were told that there's a bounty on all Seagate Guild memebers at the moment, and I bet it's got something to do with that bribe we turned down at the last Guild Meeting. Maybe someone is asking for a beat-down. One of them had a wanted poster in his pocket for 20,000sp. Not sure if that was a reward, or an insult.

I could also hear fae giggling as we finally set off. I hope they were sufficiently amused. It didn't take long before we finally reached D'Abres. Oh yes, Merconium wants to accompany me to Pasifika next time I go - probably next winter. That seems reasonable.

We arrived at the outskirts at D'Abres and things seemed awfully quiet. Were the villages being held hostage? Was there another gang of ruffians waiting there in order to leap out at us? So we decided to wait and see what happened.

A couple of hours later we were still waiting and we had seen nothing. So Merco, being wary of passing birds, went into dragonfly form and flew into the village to see what was going on. Meanwhile, we used a Crystal of Vision. What we saw seemed to indicate that there had been something going on at the church. White ribbons and flowers on the pews, trestle tables outside, and everyone dressed in their best. Maybe there had been a wedding.

However, on the theory that the whole thing was an illusion, (since the illusionist had got away) Merco used ESP in an attempt to get the villager's mental state. However, on the first attempt, the magic slipped and the old lady in the house that Merco was sitting on, ran out of bed, in her nightclothes, screaming something about demons. She made a beeline for the church. The second attempt was more successful and he could detect no sign that there were any hostages.

So, reassured that we weren't going to be attacked, we headed into town leaving the warpstone, golems and prisoners in the woods. Victoria decided that we should go and confess what had happened to the old lady to the reeve. We were told he was at the church with the priest so that was were we went. When we were told that the priest's name was Father Rowan, I was wondering if it was the same hellfire Guild member I had previously met but I was reminded he was now a Bishop. It turned out that this Father Rowan was a Gabrielite that had come from a nearby monastery and arrived here every few weeks or so to do mass weddings and baptisms for the Powers of Light.

Of course, once Victoria had admitted what had happened the priest started going on about 'clensings' and 'dangers to the soul by using magic' and repentances etc etc. Cher and I had enough of that so we slipped outside. Meanwhile Merco was being very sorry and, once everything was explained, the priest suggested that he attend a special evening service. The reeve also suggested that Merco apologise and give repriation to the old lady.

A bit later on, we moved the prisoners, through the village and down to Kit's miniature village just down the path a bit. While I explored the pool by the boathouse, Cher got to work petrifying the prisoners but, as time for the evening service rolled around, there was still one to do. So Cher, Algoroth and I stayed behind while the others went to church.

Finally it was done and the statues were stashed in the boathouse. To alleviate the boredom, I decorated them with flower garlands. A few hours later, the others arrived back. I was a bit worried that Merco might have to pact or swear allegience to the Powers of Light in order to satisfy the priest but that didn't seem to be the case.

5th Heat

Moved the golems and the warpstone down to the little village. Also the prisoners were itemised for transport. During that, Merco came up with the interesting suggestion that Victoria and I should accompany him to Alphonses in Seagate one evening. Alphonses is a very posh restaurant in Seagate and I had never been there especially since one has to dress up very fancy, not something I usually do. Still, it's a special occasion and I'm sure I've got something suitable. Could be fun.

That afternoon, Merco flew off, destination Seagate, along with the itemised prisoners. When he got there he was identified and hustled through the gates. The entire Guild was in 'lock-down' mode because of all these wanted posters for Guild members all over the Western Kingdom. The one our prisoners had was the Sanctuary version.

Once Merco had been debriefed and the prisoners turned over then, as per the plan, he purchased 10 scrolls of rank 10 Shadowwings before taking the slow portal to Elfenburgh, ending up in the swamp. Fortunately it was a short walk to town.

6th Heat

Stage Two of the plan was underway. Brightspark was to use my last charge of Starwings (I wanted the ring back for recharging) and my invested Locates (just in case he got lost) to go straight to Elfenburg. There, he was going to take the Slow Portal to the Guild and bring back a golem that can fly.

Merco arrived back around lunchtime while Brightspark (who hadn't got lost) was an hour later. The warpstone was loaded up and we all flew to Elfenburg. Once there, we met up with the elven scholar who was to attune the warpstone. This was going to take a while, including notifying the other end that the portal was closed for maintenance, so I headed off to the bath house.

By that evening, the warpstone was now attuned to the portal stone.

7th Heat

Took the portal back to the Guild, along with four bits of the warpstone (Middlemarch, Mucklands, Sith's Revenge and Roughlands). The other two were left at Elfenburg for later use (D'Arbres, Ffenargh). The one we wanted to get done first was Middlemarch since it was off-plane. Plus some delicate negotiations with the fae court there would be required. Getting there is easy as falling through the portal, however, once the 'hole' is sealed the only way back would be by Namer Banishment or via the Fae Ethereal as the last party had done.

Feelers were put out for people who could help. Lady Teeanna turned up from Asheth along with Aurora, who had been one of the previous party. There, we were briefed on proper etiquette etc. Lady Teeanna also arranged for a formal letter to be sent to the Fae Courts at D'Arbres via Kit to open negotiations.

Unfortunately, I had things to deal with so I had to bow out. Fortunately Aurora, who was also part-fae, offered to go with the party to Middlemarch, help with the translations, and guide the party back out again. And since she's an Air Mage, she'd be able to transport them and the warpstone all over Alusia.

>>>>> Aurora takes over the scribing <<<<<

We had the etiquette lessons and, for some reason, Kakuro was asking about duelling. I really hope he doesn't get into trouble as some fae are quick to take offense and duelling could be rather lethal. After that, we all went out to dinner at Alphonses. I was briefed on the situation.

8th Heat

Off into the portal to find Middlemarch. Since the 'holes' appear randomly it took us until the return trip to Seagate before we spotted something that looked right. I was sure I saw flamingos but none of the others did. For some reason, Merco was really giving me some odd looks when I said that. I didn't find out why until later.

We landed in an area that basically consisted of reeds and bushes. The sky above us was a bright grey and we were standing knee deep in water. For some reason, Merco was clinging to Victoria, presumably to stay out of the water. Victoria called out greetings in accented elven so I repeated in pixie. Nothing seemed to happen for a while but what was originally thought to be insects came closer and revealed themselves to be a swarm of small will'o'wisp pixies who were singing. Was tempted to join in. A fossegrim also popped up.

We asked them to lead us to the local Court so they changed formation to a large arrow and flew off. So we followed them. We were still doing that an hour and a half later and I was really hoping that they hadn't forgotten what they were supposed to be doing and we were on a wild pixie chase. However, shortly after, we reached a fenling village and bosts came out to meet us.

They had to go and get a large punt to transport us all (except for the golem who waded behind us) and we were soon at dry land at the village. There, we explained that we wished an audience with the Court. A message was sent off.

Fairly soon, a reply arrived and we were led into the forest. After a short while, things were looking more familiar from the last trip. The Nixie court was located at the bottom on a large pool that was surrounded by trees. A nixie guard put waterbreathings on us and we descended into the depths. I'm really going to have to learn to swim better if I'm going to be dealing with nixies in the future.

An intederminate length of floundering later, we reached the Court. Negotiations were started which were helped along by Merco's gift of Seagate wine, Victoria's rice wine, and my potion of Joyous Recollection (I'm saving the other one for the D'Arbres Court). Initially they were concerned for the fossegrim's food supply but after a short while, they concluded that the fossegrim will just have to be disappointed. The elven mage, who was going to do the ritual, one Welwitschia Senecio, explained what would happen and an agreement was reached to do the ritual the following morning. I was also getting rather concerned about the nixie courtier who kept touching the warpstone. Oh well, his lookout.

Speaking of which, Merco asked Welwitschia about what would happen if the ritual went wrong. His reply ranged from him turning into a Nameless Horror to the entire plane being destroyed. Which possibly explained why Merco had a restless night and I was trying to soothe him with a collection of pixie and elven lullabys.

9th Heat

Next morning Merco made breakfast, which included meat. I usually abstain from meat as not many fae do eat meat, especially on Asheth. Besides, on some fae planes, such as Lyonesse, many animals are sentient. However, Merco insisted so I tried some. I will admit it was delicious.

  Aurora - "I'm a vegetarian"
  Kakuro - "I thought we went to war with them"

Unfortunately, on the punt trip out to where the ritual was going to take place, I started turning a peculiar shade of green then was sick over the side. *sigh* I hate boat trips. Anyway when we got there, the ritual was performed which was deemed to be successful when the warpstone glowed, the area around it began to swirl and the stone sunk into the ground.

Once that was done, we travelled to the kobold village. Up the path from there was a grove surrounded by trees that felt very magical. This was where I cast the necessary spells on people, created the faerie ring before we all travelled through the mists of the Fae Ethereal finally emerging on a hillside near D'Arbres. I was feeling so tired I nearly had a nap on the grass.

Unfortunately sleeping on the job wasn't allowed. Instead Merco suggested a backrub and somehow I felt better after that, enough to cast fly spells on everyone. A short flight was made to Elfenburgh and then down the portal to Seagate.

10th Heat

Flew down to the Mucklands and spoke to the Sureme there. The Guild was in good odour there so it didn't take long before the ritual was performed which worked on the second attempt.

It was then a flight to Sith's Revenge. I was expecting a desolate area but instead, as we came over the mountains we could see that it looked really fertile and was teeming with life. Large creatures walked below and some goat sized carnivorous flying creatures were in the air. Fortunately we were flying in a flock so they left us alone as we flew towards a flat top mesa.

We landed on the top and could immediately feel that the area was crackling with magic stratic. There were even fractured portals. But, once the ritual was done, the magic levels stabilised.

We just had enough flight time to get to the Superstition Mountains so that's where we went, stopping off at the pub.

11th Heat

Arrived at Swithin's Roughlands near the Fastness just north of Amber. Here the swamp was shallow with knee high reeds. The ritual worked and we headed back to the Guild. There we had a posh dinner at the second best restaurant in Seagate as Alphonses was booked out.

12th Heat

Lady Teeanna arrived and told us that the negotiations with the D'Arbres Court was going on. They had issued a challenge to us and, if we suceeded to their satisfaction, we would be allowed to lay the warpstone. They had provided us with a list of challenges and we had to pick one each.

26th Heat

>>> Aqualina is back <<<

Well my cats are okay but, with the current situation, it's probably best if I stayed put at the Guild instead of the houseboat until this bounty thing blows over. So that's what I decided to do. Anyway, once the others had returned from Aurora's cross country tour of Alusia and environs I was briefed on the challenges that the nixie court (the Corrego da dor) of D'Arbres had laid down I immediately went for the pearl diving, especially that's what I used to do before I was an adventurer. Should be a piece of cake.

The challenge wasn't until the next full moon so we spent some of the immediate time being briefed on proper behaviour and protocols. It was also occuring at night, starting late afternoon. We also went off and laid the stone in the Ffenargh without incident.

So, by late afternoon, we were all back at D'Arbes. Kit was also there just to make sure things didn't get out of hand and both sides played nice.

Butterfly Collecting - Merco

First event was Merco doing the butterfly collecting. His opponent was a male nixie and they were given twelve silver pins and a wooden branch each. They got extra points if the butterflies were still alive and bonus points for as many different species as possible. Both sides were allowed to be buffed up. Merco was getting some strength and a water walking while the most obvious thing his opposition was getting was a frog's head, complete with long tongue. I guess that's one way to catch butterflies.

Anyway, once the signal was given to begin, Merco charged the surprised nixie but missed. They then charged into the bushes sending the ducks flying before tussling in the water. Merco then ran off after the butterflies. His skill in pinning them to the branch resulted in 7 of the 8 still being alive. By now, it was sunset so they went after moths instead. Merco got two but they were the same species so he cantripped one set of wings green. He finally came back with a rather impressive collection, especially compared with the nixie's mostly dead ones and was declared the obvious winner. His prize was a fake butterfly with a pin in it.

Wrestling - Brightspark

His opponent was a rather large fossegrim and was going to take place in the water. So I put on a waterbreathing and went to watch from underwater, along with Victoria and a crowd of pixies. I was tempted to start the Brightspark cheer team but changed my mind especially seeing the crowd of mean looking nixies on the other side. Also, one of the conditions of this match was that the winner could ask for a boon from the loser.

When the signal went off, Brightspark activated a small rag and string golem which I wasn't sure was going to be much help - at least that's what it appeared to me - but with it's help. Brightspark was able to restrain his opponent. However the match only ended when one person was tossed out of the cube so there wasn't any count. Brightspark then tried to throw the fossegrim but failed. Instead he broke the fossegrim's grip by kissing it. The fossegrim recoiled screaming something about 'Ewwwwww ... Human Cooties".

Brightpark's next move surprised all of us. He shoved his hand down the fossegrim's throat and allowed it to bite him. That didn't seem to have much effect for a while as there was a lot of toing and froing, but soon the fossegrim looked a little groggy and Brightspark was able to send it hurtling out of the area with the accompanyment of cheers from our side and jeers from the nixies. Apparently there was sleepy poison on his hands.

Pike Herding - Cher

Cher also went for the boon from her opponent, a rather weedy looking male nixie. The objective was to get three pike from their pen, through two gates and into the net. Of course this was all underwater. Instead of herding them around the course, Chre decided to swim into the cage with the pike and knock them unconscious. Unfortunately one of them got out while she was getting in. It took a few minutes but she was successful in knocking them out. She then used my pike summoning medallion, which I had previously lent her, to summon the other one, along with a few of it's mates, isolated it, knocked it out as well then shoved the three unconscious pike through the gates and into the net, taking a total of fifteen minutes. I have to admit the whole show was the funniest thing I had seen in a long while - and the astonished look on the nixie pike herder's face was priceless.

The pike herder then showed how it was traditionally done using a pole to guide the three pike through the course. I was actually impressed he didn't have dogfish to help. He too took fifteen minutes so the competition was declared a tie.

Duel - Victoria

Victoria's opponent was a female nixie with a rapier/maingauche and wearing some rather nice fishskin armour. I wonder if they've got spares to sell .... or even offcuts. If not, I could always ask the Pasifikan merfolk for some. Anyway a raft was set up with one end beached on the bank. They were thrusting and parrying until Victoria made a successful hit. Unfortunately, somehow, her rapier snapped and the blade went flying, right into the crowd where we were which sulted in pixies, and us dodging out of the way. Fortunately it didn't hit anyone when it splashed into the lake and sank to the bottom. I swam down to retrieve it in case Victoria wanted it back.

Victoria tossed aside the hilt of the now broken rapier and went for her backup. There was a bit more toing and froing until Victoria made a successful stab, bringing down her opponent. Victoria then laid on hands to heal her.

Pearl Diving - Aqualina

I was feeling a bundle of nerves once it got to my turn as my reputation and honour were on the line. I was also tempted to do this just in my two piece swimsuit for style points, or maybe in merform, but decided to use my krakinskin armour, just in case. As it turned out that was a pretty good idea. Also one of the conditions I laid down was no magic except for what was required to survive underwater - as I didn't want to negate my waterbreathing. My opponent, a male nixie, asked for a boon.

I thought this was just going to be a simple matter of swimming down, shuck as many oysters as possible to gather pearl in the allocated time, then swim back up again, like how it's done in Pasifika. Diver with the most pearls win. But nope ... nothing like that at all. Instead, they produced a large pearl ball, then tied our hands behind us. We had to swim down, grab the pearl in our mouth and bring it back. Hmmm .... a possible exercise for the advanced swimming class I sometimes teach at the Guild.

At the signal we dived for the pearl. Fortunately the moon was high in the sky so there was enough light to see by, something I had been concerned about. I was also contemplating slipping out of my wrist ropes but decided not to, as the nixie was swimming a bit faster than I was - owing to webbed feet - even with dolphin kicking - and I didn't want to give him any more advantage.

Just then I caught a sparkle of reflected moonlight from the bottom and swum towards it. Unfortunately he saw it too and went for it. His attempt to get the pearl missed and I was able to slip in underneath him, scoop it up in my mouth and clench it between my teeth. That was when he swung around and kicked me hoping I'd spit the pearl back out - and if I hadn't been wearing the krakenskin, that would have really hurt. However I didn't and managed to kick him back, hopefully in a sensitive spot, then used the opportunity to swim as fast as I could to the surface. He was right behind me but I was able to get to the shore and spit the pearl out into the basket just before he caught up. I then made a show of escaping from my wrist bonds. That was really fun ... I think I'd like a rematch.

The rest of the evening

The fae magic duel that Algoroth participated in ended up in a loss to Algoroth but he gave a really good showing. Also the elven mage, who was here to lay the portal stone, also lost the scavenger hunt and came back rather bedraggled and covered in leaves and twigs. Still the nixies declared that we had done well enough and permission was granted to lay the stone.

Feasting and revelry lasted into the rest of the night. Victoria presented her opponent with the hilt from her broken sword as a keepsake while I managed to obtain some rather interesting seafood recipes. The fairy wine was also rather delicious.

30th Heat

Finally arrived back at the Guild after laying the last warpstone.


Blood in the Water - Corrego da dor Challenge

For the right to perform a ritual and leave a piece of warpstone each person needs to take part in one of the following 'fairy games'. Sir Christopher Reynard (Kit) will act as neutral witness to ensure the D'Arbres Treaty is kept by both the fairies and mortals.

Challenge Character Preferred Conditions
Fey Magic Duel
Wrestling (no weapon or armour)
Duel (with weapons) Victoria no Talent, Spell or Talent Magic before or during but Magic Items and existing Permanent Magics allowed
Wreath Throwing
Pike Herding Cher Magic cast only by the individuals competing, Magic items
Scavenger Hunt
Butterfly Collecting
Pearl Diving Aqualina Only allowing spells or items that are required to survive in the water

Rules

  • On night of full moon – moon rise to moon set (next moon is 26th Heat)
  • Each person must choose a different game and compete individually. The nixies will then choose a champion to compete.
  • No interference once started
  • Dead bodies will go to the Sithen to be raised the next dawn.
  • Negotiable Points – each side gets to choose two:
    • On water or land
    • No items, armour or weapons (except equipment appropriate to game)
    • No magic and non magical weapons only
    • Magic items or cold iron allowed
    • Magic cast only by the individuals competing
    • Magic cast in advance by supporters (note nixies have a full village available)
    • Winner gains a boon from the loser (item or long lasting magic)

Loot and Consequences

Cher and Merconium
Are each geased to return to D'Arbres on the 13th Meadow 812 and duel each other. The specific location is on the track above the Mill Pond, some 20 mins uphill from the Village (marked by a blaze on an oak tree). The rank of the geas is 4.

Dragon's Geas
Every party member accepted a geas from the Dragon Wight to never go deeper into the mountain beyond the Church of Ahriman. The rank of the geas is 18.

Corruption
The following people are more susceptable to the corruption of warpstone or similar effects. They currently have -10 on any corruption resistance roll. This will reduce by 1 each year and will be finally worn off in Summer 821 WK.

  • Aqualina
  • Victoria

The following people have been physically corrupted by warpstone (see individual write-ups)

  • Cher
  • Kakuro


Urielite Purification
Merco has taken part in a Urielite Purification Ritual the effects of which will last 6 months

Red Sand 4 oz of red sand gathered from the remains of a rock snake after it died and petrified.
Quartz "with aura", 1 small lump ~1lb This rock has an aura. The level is "below magical" GTN quartz, with no other intrinsic information. Rock with a similar aura (GTN Greywacke) has been seen to convert into raw warpstone with an influx of transformation magic.
3 x Sabres (Rk 7 weaponsmith)
Invested windwalking: 4 x rings with 2 charges each
Sharp Blade Ointment 6 doses, increases damage for one fight
Magic Knife
Ransom for 3 Sanctuary Citizens
Refined Warpstone x 7 (all used in rituals) - Seven peices of refined warpstone, 3 are flagstone shaped weighing 80lbs each; and the remaining 4 are rectangular blocks weighing 120lbs each. Aura level is magical; GTN is "changed from Greywacke" and nature of magic is Change.

Stuff for the Seagate Times / Awards

Smartest

Merco - for flying behind the enemy undead then scattering sunlight causing dust into them

Calendar

Summer 811wk: Meadow
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
Moon0.jpg Beltane

Full Moon

1 Guild Meeting 2 3 4 5 6
Moon1.jpg 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Moon2.jpg 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Moon3.jpg 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Moon0.jpg 28 Full Moon 29 30 1 2 3 4
Summer 811wk: 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 811wk: 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