Viola's Little Problem
Summary - Viola's Little Problem (or Mungodia Chapter III)
- Viola (Party Employer) - Played by Bridget.
- Engalton Redwood OM (Party Leader) - Played by Jono.
- Liessa Redwood (2nd Mil Sci)- Played by William.
- Miss Hillborne (Party Moral officer) - Played by Julia.
- Kayseri (Party Alchemist & Beastmaster)- Played by Rosemary
- Boulder OM (1st Mil Sci) - Played by Hamish Brown
I am expecting it to take 2 or 3 Sundays, however it could take more or less. I am happy to GM until such time as: The players feel they have achieved all they wish to, or the characters are permanently dead, or I get sick of it. - Jon
- Damage repair.
A long night at the Alphonses
After a long night of fine eating and dancing we are summoned by Kali to the Namer Deans office. As we enter we notice the effects of a powerful scry guard on the door. Today Kali looks like a woman, Erzsabet is amazed as usually Kali appears as a powerful man to her, but 'Count Engalton OM' informs us this is normal when he is around. She informs us that since we have not gained employment this season, she would like our assistance in dealing with a small matter which would assist the guild and its fine reputaion.
We find the offer to good to be true; employment to assist in removing a pact from a fellow guild member, and save her very soul (and the reputaion of the Guild). The guild member in question and in need of our assistance has come to the right place, because all guild members know that Dean Kali, of the wise and powerful Namer section within the guild will help!
We are introduced to this pleasant looking woman of seamingly good standing, who is well appointed and dressed. But as it turns out - Viola has a truly broken moral compass and is in dire need of assistance. She has committed many acts which would chill the heart of even the most cruel person.
Erzsabet tells us she knows a wise shaman who should be able to help with cleansing Viola's soul, and asks Kali if this is a proper cause of action to take. The party discuss getting an astrology reading, Kali as ever is one step ahead of her students and shows us a small pile of readings the guild has prepared earlier.
The astrology reading mentions Golden Feathers and Stone hearts; Kali assures us that this indeed indicates some sort of shamanistic magic. We start planning the long journey to the southern lands and wondering if we can find Riptide, when Kali whips out a boat she can loan us which will transport us there in a few hours.
We decide to take gifts for the shaman to smooth our path. Viola calls them bribes, we are questioning whether she is beyond our help.
The Astrology Readings
Do you feel what I feel Can we make that so it's part of the deal I gotta hold you in these arms of steel Lay your heart on the line ... this time
I wanna breathe when you breathe When you whisper like that hot summer breeze Count the beads of sweat that cover me Didn't you show me a sign, this time
Can you see what I see Can you cut behind the mystery I will meet you by the witness tree Leave the whole world behind
I want to come when you call I'll get to you if I have to crawl They can't hold me with these iron walls We've got mountains to climb
Who else is gonna bring you A broken arrow Who else is gonna bring you A bottle of rain There he goes, moving across the water There he goes turning my whole world around I don't believe it's all for nothing It's not just written in the sand Sometimes I thought you felt too much And you crossed into the shadowland
And the river was overflowing And the sky was fiery red You gotta play the hand that's dealt ya That's what the old man always said
Fallen Angel Casts a shadow up against the sun If my eyes could see The spirit of the chosen one
All the tears All the rage All the blues in the night If my eyes could see You kneeling in the silver light
If you're out there can you touch me Can you see me I don't know If you're out there can you reach me Lay a flower in the snow
Should I paint my face should I pierce my skin does this make me a pagan sweating out my sins we ate the sacred mushroom and waded in the water howling like coyotes at the naked moon.
In the autumn night when there's no wind blowin' I could hear the stars falling in the dark when you find what's worth keeping with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.
I gave my love a golden feather I gave my love a heart of stone and when you find a golden feather it means you'll never lose your way back home
The sun was going down Over Echo Park Wet raven hair Glowing in the dark And that's when the fever would rise And lord what a look in her eyes From the moment that she blows out the light We'd be lost in the forever night
I dreamt if I could lay you upon this bed of straw We may break the rules but we don't break the law Come across but the river's too wide Come across but the river's too high Over by the fountain where we meet I will lay silver roses at your feet
Now I have seen a painting Old and hanging in a frame And that painting was of you Now how can you explain From another place in time Done many years ago Why I'm haunted by this vision Guess we'll never know Then she turned and whispered in my ear Can you feel my heart beat
Hold back the dawn Won't you raise up your hand And hold back the dawn
Welcome to my country Welcome to my home You could stay forever You won't leave it alone
Welcome to the bush Take what you may need When shove comes to push You want me to leave
I can stand up through your destruction My voice will tremble My hands will shake Yes I can stand up through your destruction I won't break
Sweat it out, sweat it out Let it out, let it out Sweat it out Let it out Get it outa my head
I can't let go of the painted desert I can't let go of the old way I can't let go of the ancient ways It's in the blood I can't let go
I've seen my people Standing on the shore I've seen the big chief there Standing on the shore I ask my mama What they're crying for
I saw a black cloud Hanging in the sky I saw a big black cloud Hanging in the sky And I ask my papa When will it roll by
Oh we're standing Standing out of here On the edge of the world
Shine your light down on me Lift me up so I can see Shine your light when you're gone Give me the strength to carry on Carry on
Showdown at big sky Darkness at high noon Showdown at big sky That day may be soon People, people Can you hear the sound From every village and every town Let the bells ring out Hear the bells ring in Let the bells ring out Keep them ringing, ringing
Can't predict the future Can't forget the past Feels like any moment Could be the last All you believers Standing inside this room Can't you see it coming Shooting out across the moon
Save this place In the valley of tears By the river of time
I come to you with an empty heart It's locked and I've lost the key Now she was old and almost blind But she sees more than you or me With her cane pointed towards the sky She said I'll know if you've heard The silence between the words
Walk down the long road Your back against the wind Where you can lose yourself again I've been down the old road But that was long ago I want you to walk with me When the rains come again And shine this light over you
Walk on down the hard road That's buried in your soul And you can feel the light within Go upon the mountain That's painted in the sky I want you to ride with me When the rains come again And I will carry you home
Walkin to the rainbow The halo of the sun And you will dance the song of light I could see forever High upon the hill I want you to walk with me When the rains come again And shine this light over you Rainbow
She broke down On a highway Miles from nowhere It had no number She was lost A long way from home
She was fed up With the routine And you got trouble With the man She blew town With a vengeance
A strange encounter To be sure He was wicked He was pure Hear him calling He's calling for you
Come with me Into the mystic Come with me Into the night We can live Live forever
Painted desert Peyote rain Lord don't let me Go insane Skinwalker Through your eyes I can see You have left Your mark on me Skinwalker
He takes you to A sacred place Drinks a tear Off your face
Skinwalker Talk to the spirits Talk to the wind Skinwalker
Didn't we break the silence Didn't we fear the storm Didn't we move the earth Didn't we shoot for the sky Didn't we catch the spirits Didn't we fall together Didn't we die for love
Days on the run Nights in hiding Hoping that you were The healing inside me
Breathe in the sweet fire of love I'm not afraid anymore Sweet, sweet fire I'm not alone Breathe in the sweet fire of love I'm not the same anymore The sweet fire of love
Didn't we cross new waters Didn't we mix new blood Didn't we build brand new bridges Didn't we hold back the flood Didn't we shine like silver Didn't we bear the cross Didn't we bring down the hammer Didn't we beat on the drum
Broken idols by the side of the road Luck didn't fall on the side of the law Here she comes a-shining like a light Here she comes salvation in the night
Look over yonder, Apollo at a distance You can hear his music if you listen to the wind (blow) I want to be there - I want to be right there
Bear witness, I'm wailing like the wind Bear witness, I'm howling at the moon Come bear witness, I've danced among the ruins In these shoes, I've walked a crooked mile In these hands, I've held the broken dream In my soul, I'm howling at the moon All my life I been searching for the nightbird
Are you ready to take the heat Are you ready to blow the steam Are you ready to bag the street You got nothing to lose - but your chains
For forty days and forty nights I come across the desert Apollo right by my side
Testimony, testimony Declare yourself - I will testify Testimony, testimony Speak the truth, I will testify
This was the way of it Let the story fires be lighted Let our circle be strong and full of medicine
Hear me This is my dream song that I'm singing for you This is my power song that is taking me to the edge This is rock medicine The talking tree The singing water
Listen I am dancing underneath you This was the way of it It is a river It is a chant It is a medicine story It is what happened long ago It is a bead in a story belt It is what has been forgotten It is the smell of sweetgrass and cedar
And prayers lifted to sky father It is a way a tradition The way it was always done by the people It is a feeling of warmth The sound of voices
Listen I am dancing underneath you
Come, Take My Hand Let Us Walk For A While Your burden of pain Replaced with a smile
For The Peddlers Of Death Come Calling One More Time Bearing promises
So called friends running loose Draining you whole 'Til you're of no use Letting go of what you need most Early Wish Early grave
later that day
We arrive at the Shaman's swamp late that day after having assembling our belongings and taken a ride on Kali's boat. As the mist clears we can see some of the tribes braves are shaking rattles at us in the distance. The Shaman ushers us into his house explaining that the tribe had heard that 'Red Cloud' and 'Obsidian Butterfly' were coming; most people had vacated but some of the young hot heads are still in town. He said that he was ofcourse happy to help the golden woman.
The Sharman proudly tells us his new name 'Yellow Emperor' and we are mightily impressed! Gifts and plesantries are exchanged.
for the Shaman
- 10 lbs of magical amber : 5000sp
- A still (for distilling) plus spare glass parts : 300 sp
- Needles : 30 sp
- Carving tools for fine work in bone, soft stone etc : 200 sp
- Leather satchel, with pouches, for storing the tools in oil (suitable for damp conditions)
- Brass Scales for fine weights
- A large Silvered Mirror
from the Shaman
- Golden Toad: calls the rains
- Given to Pure Blood (Count Engalton OM)
- Golden Bear: healing
- Given to Soul Hunter (Sir Boulder OM)
- Golden Dog:
- Given to Golden Woman (Miss Hillborn)
- Golden Eagle:
- Given to Raven Heart (Kayseri)
- Given to Lady Butterfly (Liessa)
- Golden Tiger:
- Given to Red Cloud (Viola)
Even Later that day
After establishing that the men can pole us up the river, we arrive at a spot with a tree which we sleep under. Kayseri makes us a mavelous insect repellent which works brillantly on all of us except Engalton OM, it seems he just smells nice regardless.
Early next morning
We set off until we reach a river of High Mana. The Shaman bids us to swim the river and dig a hole on the other side. We have to dig a hole big enough to fit all of us in. Presently we construct a sweat house and pile up enough wood for the Shaman to burn our bodies if we do not defeat Viola's deamons. A bird sits in an over hanging tree and watches our progress, the sharman says that this is very good as left handed humming bird will guide us on our journey
<this is a ritual incase you missed it>
Viola gets naked faster than a rabbit down a rabbit hole, and jumps into the sweat house, followed by others, some of which are modestly dressed. Smoke and heat and fire and smells of all things nice surround the party and the sounds of whispers from the deamlands come for us all...
The morning light is clear and bright
We all awake in a stange and foreign lands, with no sleep in our eyes, and still looking good.
Left handed humming bird appears to us as a man and gestures for us to follow him. Bedevere is there in his true form, a White man with white eyes. Engalton guesses that he will probably end up with a skunk as his spirit guide, but expresses a desire for a toad.
We travel for days crossing 3 rivers, the first is a river of scorpians which we freeze. The secound a river of poison which Engalton purifies with a drop of his blood, and the third is a river of puss which Boulder burns with his blood. As we journey through these strange lands we come upon a toad, Engalton asks the toad to accompany us on our quest.
Our journey continues onward until we come upon a vast and holy mountain. At the base of the mountain is a cave, left handed humming bird tells us that he will not be accompaning us into the cave. He tells us we will meet 7 death with in the cave and he can not enter as he has no fear.
Within the cave we encounter 10 skelletons, after DAing we discover that infact 9 of them are illusions and 1 is 7 death. We approach 7 death and he requests a gift from each of us to continue onward into the cave, Viola gives him the magical skills she was granted for pacting.
He accepts our gifts and tells us we will need to pass 6 trials to pass through the cave and get the golden feather, could this be the feather mentioned in the astrology readings from Kali?
The first trial was a Dark cave with a huge abyss, we mastered this easily by seeing in the dark.
The 2nd was an incredibly cold cavern with huge hail stones. We made an ice tunnel and traveled through that.
The 3rd was a stoney cavern with Jaguars hiding within it. LIessa easily defeated them.
The 4th was a large cavern filled with schreiking bats.
The 5th was razor blades. The toad that was accompaning Engalton defeated them.
The 6th was exploding hellfires. We used counter spells and empathy to get past
We walk into a sun lit desert
a Road stretches North onward into the hazy distance and red clouds swirl over the desert looking over my shoulder I see that the caves have run completely through the holy mountain.
We ask Viola to picture a cool breeze given that this is her mind and maybe she can do something about this opressive heat. Strangely when she does as we request she feels the presence of a Golden feather off to the west. We are unsure whether we should stay on the path or venture out into the desert.
Boulder scouted west off the path for 100 meters to get a better look, as he got closer to the red clouds he could tell that they are noxious and unpleasant. Gazing off to the north saw 4 people so it is decided to question them on what to do.
Heading along the path we discover that the 4 people are infact an old woman and 3 young children, the old woman is digging a hole and behind her stretching into the distance there are small mounds with a silver rose atop of each one.
On introducing ourselves, the old woman replies that her name is Grandmother (Coatlicue) and she is here to take care of the children, sending them to be reborn. Grandmother gives Viola a silver rose. It turns out to be a death curse, The death curse will ensure your rebirth when you die. The only method of getting rid of the curse is to have someone willingly take the curse from you.
Continuing down the road
We notice a skunk following us, The skunk tells us that Engalton OM has summoned it. At this point we realise the red mist is actually the parts of Viola that are infected by Renove and are inimicable to life.
Eventually the road turns west toward the Golden feather and eventually branches into 3 paths. Straight ahead leads to a dark citadel, to the south is a lake and to the north is a mountain.
Being the keen bunch that we are we immediately head to the dark citadel. We quickly buff up and swagger in. Inside is a small boy who is dismayed when Viola does not recognise him. It is renove. We have a quick time out and our guides tell us this is not the time for fighting.
There is a bird that has been blinded with its beak wired shut and locked in a cage. Renove tells us not to free him as he is a powerful spirit. Viola seems uncertain about how to free him and whether or not this is a wise thing to do. Liessa quotes from the 4th book of "just say no to demons - a practical study".
Viola uses the magical sword Renove gave her as a present to open the cage. She cuts the wire off the birds beak, and we leave. Engalton OM's skunk brings the sword with her telling us that we will need the sword later.
the winds send us up the mountain, on the way up Engalton cures the birds eyes as Renove had put them out. It turns out that the bird is Viola's spirit guide. Atop the mountain we come across an old man (Erzsabet notes that he is really a dragon). Kayseri remembers the part in the astrology readings about the rose and suggests that Viola gives him her silver rose.
The old man takes the rose and is reborn as a dragon, as he flies off he drops a golden feather.
we head down to the pool. A large hand reaches out of the pool and Viola tosses it the sword of Renove. A man rises out of the pool and Viola reckonises him as Renove. They exchange words about broken deals, Renove seems angry and grabs Viola to take her to hell. She is dragged into the pool, and as she is gets to waist deep water she renouces her pact. <phew>.
A fight ensues Renove summons a bunch of imps, half devils, devils, succubus, and from the forest a score of panthers race toward us. It takes two pulses to kill Renove, and the panthers slink away.
We remember that the astrology readings say if you find a golden feather you can always find your way home.
Homeward and After
After we've sorted Viola out:
- Boulder OM visits the Lunar Inquisition and accepts the reward for Viola (pact removed or her death - they weren't fussy so long as the job got done).
- Engalton OM freed a Djinn and we each get a wish.
- We visit Tycho City to buy Boulder some elephants. He wanted a war elephant and we convinced him to buy some more so it wouldn't get lonely. Then there was the mahouts, and families etc. The herd is now based out of Newhaven and will be a great help with the new road.
- On the morning of the 20th we work out treasure and taxes etc. Since we are working so well together we decide to carry on as a team for a while.
Summary - Erszabet's herb tour of the Fastness
- Miss Hillborne (Party Leader) - Played by Julia.
- Viola (Scribe) - Played by Bridget.
- Shoka (Party Herbilist) - Played by Jon Mc.
- Liessa Redwood (2nd Mil Sci) - Played by William.
- Kayseri (Party Alchemist & Beastmaster) - Played by Rosemary
- Boulder OM (1st Mil Sci) - Played by Hamish
- plus associates Bedevere and Chesmé
- Party members, Seagate Alchemist Guild
- Collect ingredients so Kayseri and Shoka can make Girwyllan's Recipies and any other useful bits in the Fastness we can use or sell.
- Bits and bobs.
Foraging in the Fastness
Kayseri is really keen to go into the Fastness of Girwyllan to look for alchemical stuff, and several of the others are already familiar with the area. Engalton OM isn't very interested, so we invite Shoka Blacktooth esq, as he is a keen herbalist & alchemist, and also knows the area.
Erszabet who is one of the owners of the 'Recipe book of the Fastness' signs out from the Guild vault. The book of receipes is written in Volkspratch so for the 21st & 22nd of Frost she reads it out to Kayseri and Shoka and together we build an ingredients list. The book's introduction explains that it will only show recipies for the upcoming season, so we see stuff for ingredients to be collected in Winter and used in Spring.
During these days Viola and Boulder look for other money earning oppurtunities, ie. get a list of stuff the Alchemist's Guild would like.
They notice that the Sanctuary Necromancers (and others) are keeping an eye on Boulder, as it is rumoured that he is looking for a new type of magic merging the elementals with necromancy. A couple of high born Aquilans volunteered to help him.
A list of what we are looking for and where we might find it.
23rd Frost - Getting Going
Shoker and Kayseri collate a 'prospecting kit' with empty sacks, oil skins, jars & pots; wax & string for sealing & straw for packing; machete & stone hammer/pick; gloves, gauze masks, solvents for cleaning up etc.
Shoka casts a cloud and we waft to Amber, arriving mid morning. We stop by a house belonging to a group of guild members; it seems to be protected from mists, and is sheathed in copper, from having copper leaves beaten onto it. Boulder pays the local kids to keep minding the house. (nb. Erszabet thinks that the house is not protected from mist but in a different weather pattern now it has copper leaves beatten into it, the house is a high mana area and is becoming part of the Fastness).
The neighbours pop by to say hello, lead by Scyllian the enchanter. We find out "Prophecy's Afoot" and there is a dance in the evening on Reapsday.
We briefly visit the manor, the Lord is indisposed, and we are greeted by Moiria. There are half a dozen houses being raised and we go to help, Boulder and Liessa doing a serious chunk of heavy lifting and the rest of us helping where we can. We talk with the Sheriff and find out: Otters are sometime beavers, and beavers are persona non grata; the village has a ship stranded on the common.
We met a blind old woman, who has difficulty walking. Her name is Roxanne and she can touch folk and find out things about them (maybe DA?). We think that she used to be a harpy, and still has bird feet. She asks us to find for her 7th floor Black Moss (to mix with ground jade and honey to poltice her feet). She can make packs of holding from silver tacks. She doesn't trust namers from the Land of the Dead.
We buy silver tacks from the merchant and ask her to make packs for Kayseri, Viola and an extra large one for Boulder (800 & 3000 sp respectively).
We borrow a barge from the village and pole down river to the swamp. One section of river has poles with a variety of skulls planted on both banks.
We can't get all the way to Katherine's island so we tie up and walk the last little way. There are steppping stones to the rocky outcrop where she lives. There is something about the 3rd and 7th stones so we jump on every 2nd stone only.
Katherine's Island is a rocky hump. There are a number of beavers sitting around on the banks taking and smoking pipes. There is a pole holding up a wriggling sack, a rug, and a number of unlit candles and incense burners. Liessa figures out the sack is full of sentient leeches. The beavers ask us, in common, to leave behind any cold iron we are carrying.
We enter Katherine's cave and it is lit up by a rainbow of colours emanating from her. She used to be an old woman, but is now a sylph. She and Shoka are friends.
We gossip about ingredients (see Girwyllan's Recipies) and also find out:
- Katherine tells us that Bellow has started his own court, and given that it was the power of air who fixed the Crystal Air is in ascendance, Bellow is seeking to take control of the Fastness. Erzsabet tells us that her last party made Bellow the Air power and in the Fastness anyone who is an air mage or air aspected is auomatically one of his minions. We are unsure what form he is now but we guess he is an Efreet and can summon any minion at will using whispering wind. Katherine tells us that he will want Erzabet in his harem permanently as she made an impression last time he met her (I try), but Viola, Kayseri and Shoka can also be controlled by Bellow.
- Erzabet has annoyed the Fey King by the Standing Stones (annoying fairies is a talent). He felt he should have been consulted about the completion of Girwyllan's Rituals. (Last time I saw the Fey King he was a hobgoblin, he will have returned to his orginal form now the crystal is fixed).
- At the bottom of the Cliffs of Change are some fey turned to stone. As these are favourites of the Fey King returning them to life would be a good gift.
- Katherine's transformation into fey is still ongoing and will not be completed for another 2 years, and most of the others transformed will be in the same position.
- There is a Michaline with a broken heart wandering around the Fastness (he was last seen at Court talking to Duke Leto, he comes from Rank, his name is Sir Michael). Prophesy The hydra will be killed by a giant and it's heart taken by a namer and given to the Michaline.
- The goblins by the cliffs (with the Naga cave) are currently working for the Necromancers
Katherine gives us some of her spare luck, ie pressed flowers with the power of luck. She sends a letter on our behalf to Girwyllan, to find a way of avoiding Bellow summoning us. We stay the night, sleeping in giant snaill shells.
During the night Ischad (Sanctuary Necromancer probably a Vampire) sends a whispering wind to Erszabet, which she doesn't hear because of the ear plugs (worn to avoid knowing any more about Katherine and Shoka's relationship).
We discuss the ramefications and end up having breakfast in the middle of the night. Shoka makes a great rosehip tea.
Girwyllan replies to Katherine's letter with an offer to visit us here in the swamp. We decline as he creates ground where-ever he goes and it would dry up the swamp, and we just spent some years saving him. There are 92 necromancers in the local area who are after him.
Katherine lends an outfit to Erszabet to prevent being summoned. It consists of a wooden shoulder yoke, wooden clogs and a curtain of reeds in between. It's extraordinarily flamable, and impossible to sit down in.
We decide to disguise everyone, summon Clementine the water nixie and run past the hydra to go to visit Girwyllan.
24th - Up the River and into Trouble
We plot under scry guards and Mind Cloaks until just before dawn. Amongst our leave takings Shoka tells the beavers that if Katherine is ever in trouble they can send word to the guild for help.
We take the barge back to Amber Village, and go up to the house to prepare. The Sheriff and posse arrive to check out the strangers, opps. Whip disguise off Erzabet and sort things out.
There is an undead sparrow watching us from the hedge.
Wind spirits come into the room making a loud whistling noise, initially on Erzabet but then on most of us. The necromances have previously used a trick where a loud whispering wind covers the noise of an incoming Falling Star. We hurry up.
We collect 5 crystals that will protect us from becoming dead when we enter the Lands of the Dead.
Talking to Clementine
When we reach the river again is washing day. Erzabet summons Clementine by sticking her head in the water. A large patch of bubbles and ripples approaches against the flow, larger than expected so we shoo off the laundry crew.
A large waterspout forms with Clementine in the centre. Now she is the Power of Water in the Fastness she has grown in power considerably. She is armed, but an 'obvious weakness' in her armour is an illusion.
Erzabet tells her all about our vunerability to Bellow. Clementine thinks that Erzabet is the only one in real trouble as Bellow wants to make her his head mistress, and has an item to make her love him forever and a day.
She offers Erzabet help in the form of a potion that will change her alignment to water for a while (weeks to months). All of us who are air aspected take her up on the offer. Viola asks if the change can be made permanent, but Clementine says she can't do that.
Clementine and Erzabet gossip and we find out the following:
- The Powers of Fire and Earth have diminished considerably and blame Erzabet (and party). Mathew (the Earth Elemental?) is now the Power of Earth, and has transformed to a pile of red hot rocks. Clementine thinks he was allied with the Necromancers.
- Mathew the Healer is the Power of Fire.
- The Power of Light has 'retuned to glory', whatever that means.
- Some of the Necromancers are sieging Girwyllan, outside the doors to the Lands of the Dead. When they heard Erzabet was in the area they had a huge confab by the Standing Stones.
- They are calling in reinforcements through the Standing Stones, maybe from Sanctuary.
The Sherrif shows up with his posse again, as the laundry crew panicked and he is convinced we are controlled by fossegrim (which are known for luring folk into the river to drown). After some argy bargy, we sort things out and go back to our conversation.
Erzabet wants to help Girwyllan so Clementine casts a couple of Waters of Vision so we can see the situation.
A Vision of the Seige
- There are numerous tents and supplies, probably 120 people all up.
- There are four command tents flying the following flags: Red Hand, Copper Hand, Silver Crook and Sanctuary Merchants Guild.
- There is an undead hydra, and two Titan sized humanoids,
- There is a pallasaide between the camp and the river, and noxious vapour and similar surrrounding the camp.
- We see a human in green leathers with a hunting bow, We think he is Leraje, the Marquis of Archers. He may be accompanied by Raithe & Moonshae, as the latter is a known agent, and they work out of Sanctuary.
A Vision of the Standing Stones
- The inside faces of the stones are all now black obsidian, but the vision is from too far away to see what is inside the ring.
- There are half a dozen humans trying to force their way into the ring, but it seems too crowded for them to fit. Inside the ring if you are effected by petit mort you appear in the Lands of the Dead, so we think this is what they are trying.
Clementine give us potions of Waters of Strength and Healing. We Wave Ride up the river. As soon as we cross into the high mana area we are in a violent storm, horizontal rain, lightning, the whole works. We see signs of lightning strikes regularily. As we pass the siege camp we can see:
- there numerous dark birds circling the camp, a murder of crows seems likely,
- There are large tarps covering four 'engines?'. We can't make it out exactly.
- The noxious vapours and mists surrounding the area are even more obvious.
Some way north of the camp we make out a large group of dwarves sneaking downstream along the riverbank.
We leave the river near the trapdoor spiders. Liessa says they are enraged and all crowded close to the river. Maybe the dwarves disturbed them. There are a couple of spider bodies, eight foot across plus legs. Liessa does a mind thing and we pick our way past the traps. We pass by the dwarven village and turn northwards.
We pause 5 minutes before reaching the Standing Stones to cast counterspells, drink Waters of Strength, turn invisable et al.
Attacking the Standing Stones
About 600 yards from the stones, before we can see them clearly through the storm, Liessa notices three entities approaching us at speed. They seem to be extra heavy earth elementals and are coming underground.
Chesmé turns into a griffin and Viola climbs on. When the enemy are close the ground on our left collapses into a tunnel, which Boulder, Bedevere & Erzabet fall into. There is an Ice Elemental in front and an Earth Elemental behind them.
A group of enemy arrive on fire flight, one surrounded by 'bonfire' and the others apparently human, Kinlu assasins(it would be good if someone let boulder know about the Kinlu Assassins. A Crystal Protector (Girwyllan's allies) appears from a tree nearby and the 'bonfire' is unable to approach her.
Another cave in and another Earth Elemental, Erzabet is in her element.
We banish, kill, run off the enemy and get a breathing space. Bedevere was killed and Boulder had disappeared. The Ice Elemental had a potion that killed you (sending you to the Lands of the Dead), and put your body out of phase for 30 seconds.
Once we had the body back we were able to ressurect them both. There are 4 Harpies (2 of which are the super powerful fastness type) and 6 undead mages guarding the Plinth where the newely dead arrive, they are ambushing all enemy arrivals but did not expect a powered up Boulder to appear - he is lucky to survive permanent death.
Liessa says there is another 111 enemies incoming, The Crystal Protector thinks they are after Erzabet.
After removing our Illusions to introduce ourselves to the Crystal Protector, we arrange to return to her home through the tree she arrived in.
The Crystal Protector looks like a female fey with four butterfly wings and she carrys a scroll case. She read from a scroll to create the protected area around her.
We arrive in the cave chamber of the complex. This is large cavern with a plinth a tree on the top (it used to hold a crystal). There are a number of exits and a wall of stonework along one side and round the corner a bit. The floor is covered in leaf mould.
There are three natural openings, one showing a forest, another leading down and smelling damp, and the third has cut steps leading up.
In the long stone wall is a pair of large copper doors, and in the dogleg a small wooden door. A goblin pops his head through this door offering us soup and other civilised accoutrements.
The Crystal Protector suggests we each collect a couple of leaves from the forest floor as this will allow us to teleport back to this cavern. We do this then wander through the wooden door.
Behind the doors are kitchens and dining areas and storerooms and all the bits that make up a fortress. The main corridor running the length of the fortress is to be avoided, as it is warded and trapped. There is a clan of goblins acting as servants, and the Crystal Protector but no others at this time. This is Mordrin's fortress in Buzzard Rock.
There should be other Crystal Protectors but they have been turned to stone. There are 3 by the Cliffs of Change and the others have been dragged into the Standing Stones.
After a lunch break we leave via the fronts doors into a mountain valley. On the other side of this is a cave which leads to four 'ways'. We take the Way to Tianna Falls, and come out on the river side.
There are two giants sitting in the sun. One is Mathew the Giant. The conversation includes:
- They object to us working for Buzzard Rock as they think the Harpies still control it. We clear this up.
- The Titans are having a dance in Lunar City in four days
- He thinks that the necromancers will catch us tomorrow at 11:15 am.
- Mathew suggests we read from the 'book' half way up the Naga's cliff. This naga is now a sylph.
- The Necromancers are going to poison the Green Waters by killing the monster in the bottom of that pool.
We talk them into showing us how to harvest diamond dust. We gather extra so we can send what is owed to the Coven at Slippery Rock.
West along the cliffs are the crystal statues. We pick them up and use the leaves to return to Buzzard Rock.
Buzzard Rock Again
Utilizing a pool in one of the lower caves we summon Clementine to let her know of the threat to the Green Waters. We discuss:
- She will protect the Green Waters
- The prophesy for Michael. She thinks they are at the graveyard in Nabrol, and we will met Michael the Michaeline there.
- The 111 assassins chasing Erzabet are 'something summoned'.
- She calls Roxanne a 'convining old witch'. She thinks she is trying to become harpy again rather than continuing the change to human. The poltice will help her do this.
- Angela was the head harpy and is now an enforced servant for Furfur for her sins. She can be summonded to Alusia into a harp string held by Clementine
- Bridget is Girwyllan's wife and is a vampire.
- She suggests that Shoka and I collect some leaves from this forest to study, but get Mordrin's permission.
Clementine helps speed up the ritual to return the statues to people so it only takes one instead of three hours per statue.
We then wave ride back to the Guild arriving mid evening.
In the Guild (24th & 25th)
In the evening of the 24th we catch up with Mordrin and get her approval for our use of Buzzard Rock fortress. Boulder buys some stupidy expensive brandy (16,000 for 2 galleons) to which we add a fairy nut, so that any drinker will fall asleep for a year and a day. We arrange delivery of diamond dust to Slippery Rock.
Erzabet has a 8 am appointment with Kali (arranged by gifting her secretary with a box of the finest Mittlemark Haupstadt chocolates):
- Raith & Moonshae have a contract on Erzabet
- Don't eat to much of the moss
- We are supposed to meet up with the necromacers in a graveyard, which we suspect is in Narbrol.
Viola receives and invitation to a dance at the Summers Mansion from Merchant Tallowfoot.
We arrange a bunch of beneficial spells from friends in the Guild:
- Armour of Earth, Strength of Stone from Vychan
- Weapon of Flames, Fire Armour from Blaze
We meet up with Mordrin at 9 am and she walks us through a copse of trees for 40 mins and we come out at Buzzard Rock. One of the Crystal Protectors gives us leaves to rub on and they will cure a grevious wound.
We go through the Ways to Narbrol, and when invisable use a cloud to reach the graveyard. There is foreign writing in the sky and 3 ocean going ships visiting the village (and a larger ship hove to offshore).
As we fly over the river to the graveyard, we notice a number of griffins in the sky, above a huge fortified camp. There are noxious fogs obscuring our vision, but it looks like there is a large ritual area on the ground. We decide to drift the cloud down and attack from the sky.
Assassins Catch us a 11:15 am
A group of invisible griffins and riders ambush us by flying under and through the cloud. Some of us get snatched off and the rest fight from the cloud. It takes cleverness and gold bricks to fight them off. After we repel them a flying disk of earth wobbles through the sky with Michael the Michaline clinging to it. We rescue him and return to the Ways.
The 7 Year Mystery
We are met near the entrance by a trio of Elven rangers, who are meeting us request of Erzabet 7 years ago ?!?.
- There is a whole plan of smuggling Viola into the necromancer's camp as entertainment, to assassinate Derwin, the head necromancer (and Girwyllan's half brother)
- The rest of us need to kill the hydra just before he dies, because he can transfer effects to it. This will also give us the hydra's crystal heart to heal Michael the Michaeline.
- They provide Viola with a special dagger which will store a spell that if triggered inside him gives the target no resistance. They do a messy ritual to hide the dagger inside Viola's thigh.
- They give us 7 tricorn hats to return to the Kings Rapiers, who are currently holding the 5th floor of the Black Tower for us.
- Clementine the Water Power has turned Kitty and Purr (cat women) to crystal statues; they can help Viola infiltrate the camp followers. They tell us where to find them and give us a vial of liquid to restore them to normal.
This all takes about 4 hours.
After all that effort avoiding him we summon Bellow. He immediately notices that Erzabet has changed her aspect and offers a glass of air to return our aspects to air. Discussion reveals that Bellow has been helping the Crystal Protectors defend Buzzard Rock and he is annoyed at the necromancers troubling Erzabet.
In a wave of hot air he takes us to the grass lands next to two crystal statues. The oil from the elves releases Kitty and Purr. These two are are pretty, senusual, amoral young women with sticky fingers. They are charming in an overly femine way but its clear they will offended people easily.
They have a number of suggestions to help the plot, including who we need to replace with Viola and where to find her.
We figure out some more details and then Bellow then he wafts us to Sin City, and gives us a vial of air to help Viola forget the plot while she is infiltrating.
The Plot Begins
Kitty and Purr take us to a clothing shop opposite the relevant brothel. The seamtress here specialises in armour for shape shifters and Liessa orders a cloak.
Our mark is having tea in the sun across the road so Erzabet compells her to us and we swap her clothes with Viola and send her off to work.
We then go over to the brothel as customers; Shoka buys Viola for the early evening and Boulder goes off with Kitty and Purr. Erzabet has an appointment with Susanna the Naga, another 7 year old mystery, so Liessa and Kayseri have a bath while they talk.
Susanna confirms a number of preset plans were made for years ago and are now starting. She suggests Erzabet also talks to Jasmine the Shriver.
Once the business discussion is over the four of us while away the next few hours in decadence. The 'high performance' oils bought into play will allow us to regenerate 3 FT / pulse for the next season. She also gives Kayseri and Liessa a magic bath stone and a box of joy each.
Into the Breach
Mid evening Viola leaves with a number of other entertainers for the necromancer's camp. Kitty & Purr volunteer to come with us when we attack the hydra, they have a cunning plan for getting us all out of the camp afterwards. They also give Kayseri some perfume.
We head out of town and, and Bellow takes us back to the Fastness leaving us at the top of the cliff above the necromancer's camp.
We sneak invisibly down ropes, and across the back of the camp; the heavy miasma of noxious fogs help us move un-noticed. We are spotted by the hydra as we approach it. It is close by the gates to the Lands of the Dead. There are a few other large critters nearby but they main part of the camp and bulk of people are 200 yards away.
The hydra attacks us first but we manoeuvre so that Boulder and Shoka can focus their efforts on it, while the rest of us hold off a number of minions that try to join in. The lads deal with the hydra efficiently, and Boulder collected the skull which contains a red crystal. Then we start sneaking towards the main camp looking for Viola, or evidence of Derwent's death.
Meanwhile Viola and associates dance for the command tent, where everyone is fawning over Leraje. Afterwards she goes off privately with Derwent, and successfully assassinates him.
As he dies all the undead controlled by him drop down, that's about Â½ the entities in the camp. Viola starts the tent burning, and while trying to sneak away she gets collected by a couple of guards who intend on a little private enterprise. She delays them, we push through the camp, and when we are all in line of sight, Kitty, (or was it Purr) transports us to the Earth Power Centre.
The Other Two Mathews
The area is filled with simmering mud and patches of crystallised mineral. Mathew the Earth Power resembles an earth elemental but made of red hot rock. He is very slow minded and easily confused. Viola gets a comfortable conversation going after Erzabet irritates him, and she accepts the offer to change her aspect to Earth. We don't stay long, but pause of the way out to collect some of the white powerdery minerals.
We scarper out to the edge of the grasslands, then east through the Bamboo Forest (which is larger on the inside than it looks), harvesting some bamboo as we go.
On the other side of the bamboo is a small whitewashed cottage, with a burgeoning garden and picket fence to keep the pests out. Despite it being after midnight there is a young man in a rocking chair On the porch. Mathew the Healer invites us in for tea.
We take the opportunity to clean up a bit from the fight, and Mathew reads our tea leaves. He says that we need to do the ritual on Michael before dawn. He gives us Healing Stones and sends us on our way.
To reach the 5th floor of the Black Tower we need to drown in the Green Waters. We summon Bellow for a lift. He detours to the Air Place of Power to restore Viola's aspect to air, then lands us on a wide meadow of verdant green grass, with a small dark hole in the middle.
The hole opens into an underground chamber filled with water to about 3 feet below the grass. We cast some light on ourselves and do a bit of diving to collect Green Waters.
Drowning Our Way to the End
One by one each of us is lowered on a rope to drown in the water and remaining folk haul the body back up. Viola can't drown and Kitty and Purr don't need to come with us; so they stay on the meadow to watch our bodies.
We come around in a poorly lit room. It is very full of 2 doz assorted people including Michael and his Michaeline friends, the Kings Rapiers, three crystal protectors, a group of Ereleine, a group of elves.
We pass out gifts: the tricorn hats to the Kings Rapiers, and small bags of diamond dust to the others. They all whisper a wish upon their gift, so immediately some of our group swap handfuls of diamond dust with each other to wish.
We squidge folk up so Erzabet has room for her ritual. This is completely successful, and after pleasantries folk leave by various archways.
We delay so we can harvest some Black Tower 5th floor moss, and the Crystal Protectors give us some Black Tower roots to save us a journey outside.
Viola revives us using Mathew's Healing Stones and we are back by the Green Waters.
We go back to Amber village and sleep the day away to have energy for the party that evening. The villagers gossip and relax, and the Kings Rapiers lead the dancing.
Over the next few days we visit the Standing Stones and harvest Time Moss but we are not able to visit the Red Swamp as the fey king still isn't talking to Erzabet.
We also visit the Wise Owl, so those who haven't asked him questions can talk to him. Here is a 'way' to reach the Wise Owl.
Q. How can Roxanne be helped to trust other people and accept help? A. She should consume dust of despair and bath in the blood of Erzabet.
Q. How can Angela be freed from Hell without trapping anyone else. A. You should employ Keisha to help you in the presence of Kitty and Purr. Travel through the four doorways to the demon of power and steal her.
Wise Owl strongly suggests Shoka should ask a question and we ask Clementine if she can clarify what question. There is some discussion that Shoka has changed form in the past, but Skoka is happy as he is. Eventually Wise Owl spouts a complicated sentence that sounds like an answer to someone else's question.
We head home with full packs, and I'm thinking the story could be called The Case of the Revolving Aspects".